1964-04-01 - April Flowers
Summary: Crystal, Kate, and Oliver are on-scene when a mutant's powers advance unexpectedly.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
oliver kate crystal 


June had been a mutant for a long time. She'd first manifested in her early teens, working at the flower shop her father ran right here in the Village. June's power wasn't anything particularly impressive to most people. She had a gift for plants - helping them grow, keeping them healthy. For most of her life, it's been hardly noticeable to most of the world. She's used it in the shop, keeping the flowers fresh, growing exotic plants that other shops just can't quite keep in stock.

It's made for a a pleasant little business, one she inherited from her father when the old man retired, sharing it with the husband she met when she was just a teenager working in her father's shop and he was just a delivery boy.

Today, though, something changed. A man came into the shop with a gun, demanding the contents of the register. June's husband Frank reached for the bat behind the counter, and the man pulled the trigger.

That's when everything changed.

Now, it's a stand-off. The NYPD has set up a one-block radius, because the shop itself suddenly looks like a jungle, with plants everywhere, whipping out the windows and striking out at anyone who comes close. No one's quite sure what's happened, but right now, no one can get close either.


It's Spring. Spring has sprung, as it were. Flowers are trying to push up around the spots in the city that haven't been paved over or fought over by <insert demonic monster here> in the past year. Even little dirt mounds in small, iron-fenced off areas are showing little bursts of yellow, of purple, and with that, the return of robins hoppin' and boppin' to eat what few worms they can find.

And with spring comes the need to have flowers inside the apartment, regardless of whose apartment it may be. ahem. Kate Bishop is glancing at the intersection and the flow of cars, but ever the New Yorker, she crosses against the signal and both walks and jogs in order to get across (alive). Her destination is just ahead, and-

Aw, no.

Kate starts a jog forward and is most likely met with some kind NYPD officer, "I had a lily bouquet I have to pick up!" As if that'd get her closer? "Seriously… what?"

Okay, there will obviously be no satisfaction should she maintain her distance here, and she's counting on her not being tracked as she moves off to the side. Windows… this is where Clint's lessons on climbing is going to come in handy! Ducking into one of the buildings a little outside the perimeter, Kate is in and up, moving quickly to the escapes where she can get to rooftops in order to… "Long way down… don't look, Katie.."


Flowers. For men like Oliver Queen, flowers are very important. He buys them on special occasions. He buys them when he's made dreadful mistakes. He buys them for parties and charity events. It's anyone's guess what he had on his mind when he headed for a little flower shop in the Village, but a hostage situation wasn't on the list.

It didn't take long for the situation to escalate. In that brief time, he's retrieved his gear from the trunk of his car, changed discreetly into his working clothes, and found himself a perch. He's crouched at the edge of a neighboring building's roof with a pair of binoculars pressed to his eyes. Unfortunately, his angle and the thickness of the crowd leave something to be desired.

Cursing under his breath, he tucks the binocs back into one of his outfit's many pockets. As always, the Arrow is so very, very green and almost exclusively clad in leather, except for his hood.


Crystal's arrival is a little less circumspect than the others. But then, Crystal has at least one ID to help her get closer to this. Still, she's not exactly dressed like a superhero, in a floral-print mid-length skirt with a dark green sweater. "I'm with Act-F," she says to the officer in charge, offering over an ID card.

"What, they think this is some sort of alien thing?" the officer stutters, taking several steps back from the barricade. "Jesus. Whatever happened to an old-fashioned robbery? Demons, gates to hell, and now I've got aliens? Everybody back," he says into a radio. "Feds are on the scene."

Granted, the "feds" consist of what looks like one young woman who might as well be a housewife as she walks toward the shop, stopping just out of reach of the current plant growth.


Kate can't quite catch what's going on down below; she's a few stories up now and making her crouched runs. Of course she doesn't have her bow, why should she? It's down in her car that's parked, oh… more than a few blocks away. Still, she's not without her resources. Mostly.

One building, then the next, then one more will put her pretty much up and just away from the flailing green bits of plant, and she slowly sneaks her way towards the edge of the building, finding a good place to crouch once she does. She's got a pretty good spot, and looking around quickly, she's got at least one, maybe two viable ways down to the street. She doesn't yet see the greenly-dressed gentleman who had the foresight to bring his own bow. Not yet at least.

Kate does catch the fact there's someone being allowed through the line, and she smiles; bingo! A way in.


The sight of a single federal agent parting the waves of NYPD officers like the proverbial Red Sea elicits a squint from Oliver as he works to bring the scene into focus, he doesn't retrieve his binoculars. He's already back to focusing on the impromptu jungle that the Village didn't have this morning. One thing he doesn't notice is the arrival of any other sneaky, climbing individuals like himself.

He's not thinking about climbing down yet, either. Right now he's busy thumbing through his quiver. He comes up with three arrows that all have fat, cylindrical tips rather than the broadheads he normally favors. The cylinders each read 'THERMITE - HIGHLY FLAMMABLE' along the sides. Two of the shafts are clenched between his teeth; the third is knocked against his bowstring. He takes aim at a side window that's barely visible through the various bits of vegetation. At a glance, it seems large enough and low enough to be used as a point of entry.

A moment to test the wind. A few heartbeats while he adjusts his shot. Then he fires all three high-tech fire arrows quickly enough that the third is in the air before the first has found its mark.


As anyone draws closer, beneath the sound of rustling plants something else can be heard: sobbing.

"I'm sorry, Frank, I'm sorry! I'm trying to- Someone, he needs help!" June, at least, is alive inside. And it sounds like someone else is too.

"Let me out, you crazy bitch! Don't you even- ARGH!"

And apparently the burglar, too.

Frank may or me not be alive, but it sounds like June thinks he is. Crystal starts moving closer once she can hear the voices, holding a hand out as if manipulating something unseen. "Hello?" she calls toward the vegetation. "Can you hear-"

Which is right when the thermite arrows shoot into the window, shattering the glass. June shrieks in surprise, the plant life starting to whip angrily to catch them, but plants aren't much of a match for fire. Luckily, Crystal is.

As the arrows burst into white-hot flame, the young woman's hand clenches and the flame is drawn swiftly out of the building, shooting up into the sky before winking out, shafts and arrow-heads falling in a molten clump to the sidewalk. Crystal turns in the direction they came from, and a decidedly unseasonal wind starts to whip along the street.


One, two, and Kate takes the third count to jump down to the fire-escape landing before she psyches herself out. Landing mostly easily, but for the shaking of the metal, she's off and running into the building to get at the front so she can make it down. As she makes contact with the pavement, the arrows fly, lighting the world just a little more. Her brows crease and she looks back, "Clint? What the-" He didn't even tell her he was back around! (After all, who else would have arrows that would do that sort of thing?)

Once Kate hits the ground, she's running towards the blonde and the shop, "June!" It's her florest, after all! "Are you- whoa!" Plants. Whipping around? "Okay, I'll just ignore this part," she begins again, "Where are you-" Fire. She actually did run into a 'fire' zone, and here comes a wind.

"It's Kate! I'm coming!"


Oliver was expecting carefully controlled demolition, hopefully with a clear entry point to show for it. This is a little more than he'd bargained for. Such is the life of a vigilante.

Though it's possible that he's already overstayed his welcome, he's nothing if not determined. So low to the rooftop that he's doubled over, he takes off at a run and makes an impossible leap toward another building that's close, but nowhere near close enough. When he hits the apex of his jump he fires an arrow, this one with a grapple line trailing behind it. Once it's secured, he uses it and his momentum to swing his body like a pendulum and propel himself the rest of the way to his destination.

Like any good sniper, he knows to fire and maneuver. Having given away his position and subsequently taken up another one, he's as safe as he can be under the circumstances. Safe is a relative term, though. He skids and slides until he's crouched in the shade of a rooftop air conditioning unit, which at least provides him with some cover while he readies his weapons.


Someone is shooting into the building, and someone else is running toward it. Spectacular. The wind whipping down the street almost takes Oliver's grappling line away from the building, but there's enough force behind the arrow to keep him safe. Also, the young woman running into the florist is a larger concern for Crystal right now.

"Kate?" June sobs from inside the shop. "Kate, stay away, I don't know what's happening. But Frank is hurt. Please, tell- there has to be someone who can make this stop."

The problem is, the more upset June is, the tighter the weave of plant life around them all becomes. "June?" Crystal calls in, picking up on what Kate's said. "June, it's going to be all right. There are doctors out here. But we need you to let us in."


The running of the man in green is missed, though given better circumstances, Kate would probably have heard the all too familiar sound of *whzzzz* of the grapple arrow. Her attention is fully on her friend slash florist there, and calling in, "Where's Frank? Where did you see him last?" She's calling in and can't see for the tangle of greenery. "You know, June-bug, you've got the best growth for the spring." The attempt is there to try and lighten the mood, but the chances are even better that it'll probably fall a little flat.

To hear the second voice, Kate perks up, and even though she doesn't know the woman from Ada- Eve, there's faith. "Junie, there's someone here who can help. I'll find Frank, I promise. You just take a deep breath and listen. I won't let anyone hurt you, I swear." Under her breath, she continues, "And we'll spin this like no tomorrow."

In the next few heartbeats, Kate does exactly what she's promised; time to look for Frank. "Frank! It's Katie! Can you hear me?!"


It's a matter of seconds before an NYPD spotlight illuminates Oliver and his air conditioner. Proof that you can run, but you can't hide. Rather than push his luck, he scoots backward toward the far edge of the tenement before someone starts shooting.

The wind gives him a push of its own, sending him into a sprawling roll that takes both his feet and the roof out from under him. Thoroughly disoriented, he barely has time to draw another grappling arrow and fire it before he hits the ground. The line snaps itself taut in time to lessen his fall, but there's still a meaty THUD as he lands flat on the pavement.

Groaning, he picks himself up and shakes his head to clear the stars from his vision. He seems more than a bit the worse for wear as he takes off down a shadowed alley at an unsteady run.


"I'm not doing- I mean, I'm not trying to do it," June protests through the tears, panic edging into her voice again. As it does, the plants reach more aggressively out of the windows, the weave of them tightening to further isolate the people inside. "Frank is in here, Kate," June cries. "This man- He tried to rob us, and Frank tried to stop him, and he shot him. He was talking before, but he's not answering me now. He needs help, but I…"

Crystal steps closer to Kate, keeping an eye on the plant life around them. "Keep her talking," she says quietly. "She needs to calm down. These plants are responding to her emotions, to what they think is her need. She needs to focus on being calm, and on letting people in."


"You're doing fine, Junie. I swear," Kate calls out in what she fully hopes is a calm, cool and collected tone. "You have to let me in, though, so I can find him. The nice lady here says there's doctors out there, and I bet there are at least a couple of ambulances waiting. But you have to calm down." She pauses before she finishes, "We got this."

Kate nods in Crystal's direction, but for a heartbeat, she looks at the other woman, holding her gaze there, "I'm not going to let anything happen to Junie." Over her dead body, anyway! "We've got good lawyers, and…"

Wait, burglar? Kate exhales in a soft sigh, while checking her pockets for throwing implements. "She said burglar. Please, take care of Junie. I'll get Frank and the bad guy." I hope, at least.


Crystal reaches for Kate's arm, and her grip is…stronger than she looks like it ought to be. "You take care of June," she says firmly. "I can handle the burglar, but June seems to trust you. And the sooner she calms down, the sooner we can get Frank the help he needs." She doesn't wait to be obeyed; she takes it for granted, heading toward the doors to move through the greenery with the assistance of a powerful, directed breeze.

"I don't know how to do it, Kate," June sniffles. "I've never done this before. Never this much, never…I don't even know how this happened. It was just a normal day, you know? We have a wedding this weekend, we were waiting for the orchids for the Kennedy banquet…"


Kate's attention lingers for a few more seconds before she calls out, "Junie, I'm here. What you need to do is breathe, okay honey?" When Crystal lets her go, she's off to the densest part of the greenery. Reaching up on tip-toes, she makes the attempt to see through the thick, lush jungle that is June's newly discovered abilities(?). "It's because you got scared, startled more like it. I'll punch someone. You are more of a healthier soul and.. didn't I say you had a green thumb? So jealous." Kate is doing all she can to try and keep herself together, keeping her head, keeping her voice level. (At least her friend isn't disintegrating into goop…)

"I know you've been really busy with that. You'll do great, I know it. Just, you just have to breathe. It's going to be okay, I promise. I haven't let you down yet, right?"


"They called us, you know," June says, fixing on the business part of the conversation. "They called us, because we were the only shop in town that could make sure we'd get them in time for them to be ready, and could keep them fresh until it was actually time for the party." As June talks, the greenery between her and Kate starts to withdraw just a little bit, opening up a path - the path Kate usually takes through the shop, actually.

Crystal, meanwhile, heads toward where she last heard the burglar. Given his earlier shout, she suspects he's not going to be an issue, but best to make sure he isn't. When she reaches him, she finds he's well-restrained by creeping vines. But, just to be on the safe side, she throws a punch at his jaw. Now he won't go anywhere if the vines release him when June relaxes.


"Of course you're the best shop in town. Frank wouldn't have it any other way, and neither would you. You just rock that way," Kate digs deep to find a laugh. "You have secrets that even I don't know, but that's okay." The dismissive wave is in her tones, anyway. "I'm horrible at it."

There, the path opens up slowly, but it's path. Putting a hand out tentatively, Kate begins to move forward, climbing over the greens, making sure she doesn't step on an errant leaf. "Hey," comes when she can actually see her friend. A hand is reached out, "Here, take my hand. After all this is cleared up, I swear, you've got me for the rest of the night and tomorrow so we can get everything set up for you guys."


"Oh, Kate." June is kneeling on the floor, her face tear-stained and blood on her hands. "What will people say? They'll stop coming to the shop, they'll think I'm on of those dangerous…"

Crystal moves quietly along Kate's path, pausing when the vegetation opens up enough for her to get a good look at things. "No one needs to know anything, June," she shakes her head. "And if they do, then there's nothing to be ashamed of. You have a gift. One that's made quite a few people happy. One that's captured a criminal." She looks toward a large cocoon of plant life at June's side. "One that may very well have saved your husband's life. But we'll need you to let us get to him. I know you want to protect him. But he's safe now. You're safe now."


Kate gets down on the floor next to her friend, sitting cross-legged as if she's got all the time in the world. "We'll do what you want, Junie-bug. You want people to know you have a real gift with plants and flowers, then that's what we can do. You want to act like you were attacked or something by some bad guy," she's choosing her words carefully, "and some alien they can't find did all this? We can do that too." An encouraging smile works its way to her face, and she does mean it. "But, I gotta say. I always knew you were good with plants. You have the competition beat hands down."

Leaning back and looking up at Crystal, Kate gives her a long look before, "This is a big deal." As if the other woman couldn't possibly realize such a thing? Looking back at June, Kate looks past at the cocoon and her brows rise. "Okay, Junie. Frank's okay. Take one more deep breath, close your eyes and relax." At that same time, she's reaching out for her friend's hand to hold it. "Deep breath.. and out."


"Yes, I'd noticed," Crystal deadpans to Kate, crouching next to the cocoon. "Do you know what this flower is, June?" she asks, looking to the woman with a small smile as she crooks a finger beneath a tiny blue blossom. "It's a very rare Himalayan bloom that helps blood to clot. And this," she runs a finger along a vine, "Is an antiseptic. It stops bacteria and viruses. You may not have meant to, but what you've done has been keeping Frank very safe until someone could get here."

Between the two women, June manages to take a deep breath, closing her eyes and nodding to each. "I just love him so much," she whispers. "He's my everything. I told him we didn't need that bat, that whatever happened to the money didn't matter. As long as I had him." Another deep breath, taken in and slowly released. "But we're going to be okay."

Once she seems to recognize it, the cocoon around Frank slowly opens up, and as it does, the vegetation through the rest of the shop starts to recede.


Kate looks at the flowers that Crystal was pointing out, and brows rise again, followed by a low whistle. "Junie, that is very cool. I didn't even know you had something like that. I thought you were all for the baby's breath." She's teasing softly, but there's no question she's impressed. "You did good, and you should be proud. You haven't lost me as a friend and a customer."

And there, as June's eyes close, the plants loosen their hold on Frank. Katie rises from her spot, though she keeps hold of the other woman's hand. Looking to Crystal, her head ducks a little, "You said there's a doctor out there? I'm going to stay by her side, and she's going to want to close up the shop and go with him." Just in case there's any doubt.


"Paramedics are on site," Crystal nods to Kate, checking on Frank once the plants are out of the way. He's bleeding from a wound to the gut, but thanks to the veritable pharmacopeia June unconsciously summoned, the bleeding is container and he's practically sedated. "I think your husband is going to be fine, June," Crystal assures the woman with a small, warm smile. "Let's go get him to the professionals."

Crystal leans down to scoop the man up in her arms, rising as easily as if he were a small animal. Apparently she is stronger than she looks. As she rises, the last of the plants disappears, the shop itself…suddenly back in order, at least as far as the plants go.

"Thank you, Kate." June catches the archer in a tight hug, wiping at her face with the back of her hand. "Thank you."


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License