"Stupid kid," Ollie sighed, affectionate because there were no witnesses. Sleeping the sleep of the drug-induced, Roy still looked unnaturally pale. The fluourescent lights added a ghostly finish to haggard features still recovering from blood loss and trauma. Redheads were supposed to be fair-featured, but Roy had always had a bit of color to him. Except now.
"'kay. I'm back."
Ollie turned sharply. Roy's eyes were half-lidded but open and he was making a face that would have been one of his infinite number of sardonic expressions were he less weak.
"You're supposed to be sleeping, Harper," he growled without menace. "You never did do what you were told."
"Wasn't sure if I was awake or not," Roy said, ignoring him. His voice was thick and the words came slowly. "But y're insulting me, so I'm not dreaming."
Ollie pursed his lips, unsure of how seriously Roy intended for him to take the comment. There was an instinctive guilt whenever Roy brought up their common past; Ollie had been a damned lousy father-type figure and knew it. But Roy, like Connor, seemed to have forgiven him almost all of it without him having to either apologize or make amends and that forbearance disturbed him more than if his boys had decided to never speak to him again. It felt like grace unearned, a gift he should have had to work for, and that his bad behavior was in some way being rewarded without his being punished. (It's not always about you, Queen. You got two good boys and if they wanna forgive you, then let'em.)
"You should be dreaming," Ollie said out loud instead. "They doped you up but good." He gestured with his chin towards the drip line.
"Kiddie stuff," Roy scoffed groggily. "I did my poppies the hard way, 'member?"
"Yeah, I remember." Roy meant it as a poke at himself, but Ollie felt the prick all the same. "You in pain?"
"Hmm?" Roy was obviously drifting, Ollie realized. More 'not sleeping' than actually awake. "Nah. 'S all good. I'm floaty."
There was quiet then, the only noise being the beeps and chirps of the various monitors and Roy's still-raspy breathing. They had taken the tube out three days ago and his voice was still low and throaty. Jade--Jen had teased him about using his bedroom voice on his friend's girl when she had been in with the rest of the team (sans Grayson) to see him earlier. The big one -- Grace? Gretchen? -- had snorted indelicately and Ollie had taken that to mean that she was the one Roy had actually been sleeping with. It had surprised him a little, but only initially. Roy did seem to drift towards strong women.
"What was that?" Ollie asked, startled out of his reverie. He had thought Roy had gone back to sleep. "If you're gonna insist on talking, I'm gonna insist on you making yourself understandable."
"I said," Roy said slowly, eyes twinkling with something between mischief and frustration, "Who has Lian?"
"She's with Dinah at your place," he replied. "Your nanny had some sort of family emergency."
"What?!" Roy sputtered and tried to sit up. "What sort of family emergency?"
"Down, Tonto," Ollie ordered, reaching out to push Roy back against the bed. "Don't want you opening up any of your stitches. You're held together with little more than butcher's thread and duct tape right now."
Roy leaned back, but was obviously still agitated.
"What are you so panicky about?" he asked once Roy was settled again. "You sweet on the girl?"
Roy rolled his eyes and groaned. "Deathstroke's her family."
It was Ollie's turn to sputter. "You have Deathstroke the Terminator's kid watching your daughter?"
"You rather me let her mother take her?" Roy wasn't amused anymore and Ollie held his hands up in apology. Last thing he needed was to set Roy's recovery back by getting him all riled up. Roy nodded curtly.
"Dinah's been with her mostly," Ollie said once Roy had taken a few deep breaths and the fire had gone out of his eyes. "Didn't want to bring her here and have her seeing you look like you've just come out of a meat grinder. Connor's babysat a few times, too. Mia as well, I think. Not sure 'bout that, though. She's still not talking to me."
"Yeah, when she finally gets the courage to tell me to fuck off for good," Ollie retorted. It had come as no surprise when Connor had told him that Mia was going to Gotham for a few days to stay with Dinah. He'd barked at Connor then and had to apologize later. It was the message, not the messenger. And the burning feeling in his belly that once again Dinah had bailed him out when he hadn't been there for the kids. Between that and not being able to tell her about Joanna... "Same shit, different vintage," he muttered to himself.
"Nothing." He shook his head. "Just talking to myself."
"Crazy old man," Roy said, his voice sounding weak enough that Ollie looked closely at him. The moment of agitation over the nanny must have cost him whatever strength he had. "Mia'll get over it. Dinah won't let'r wallow."
"Dinah's..." He trailed off, unsure of what he wanted to say.
"Yeah, she is," Roy agreed sleepily. "'S why you should treat her better."
"I know," Ollie sighed, mostly to himself. He'd put up a front about a lot of things, even (especially) to Roy. But Dinah was one topic he'd never be able to bluff to him about. Not anymore.
There was no reply and after a long moment, Ollie looked over. Roy had finally gone back to sleep. Ollie looked at his watch and saw that it was half an hour past visiting hours and, rather than have Roy woken by the nurse sent to rouse the dawdling visitors, he got up and gathered his things.
"'Night, kiddo," he said softly, kissing Roy's forehead gently and turning to leave. "See you in the morning."