Staggering, still sleepy, Ollie punched a button on his phone. "Who is it, Andrea?"
"Your two o'clock meeting with Marjorie Santa-Anna, Mr. Queen. Which, uh, is now your four o'clock meeting."
Marjorie Santa-Anna? The name only vague rang a bell but he was well versed in faking it. "Let her in please and bring a tray in as an apology."
"Right away, Mr. Queen."
Ollie vigorously rubbed the last of his drowsiness and slipped on his jacket; that would hide the majority of the wrinkles on his shirt. The tie was hopeless so he went without.
Marjorie Santa-Anna was a brown cannonball of a woman, her determination evident in every tense angle of her suit. "Mr. Queen. I normally wouldn't wait on anyone but this case is quite close to my heart and I am determined to see it through. Although," and she sniffed at the pillows which had fallen off the couch "I have a feeling this will only be a formality."
"I apologize very heartily, Ms. Santa-Anna," said Ollie. "I had a very late teleconference with colleagues in Prague. The time difference makes scheduling hell and when you're the one coming with your hands, you don't get a say about the time. Please, take a seat. Andrea will be in with a-- here she is! The deli downstairs has the best club house sandwiches and a wicked herbal tea. May I pour?"
She shuffled through her papers as he spoke, ignoring his every attempt at eye contact. Dammit. All women fell for the eye-contact, even the ones who didn't like men. Ollie duly poured and served sandwiches then took his place behind his desk to gather more power.
"If you will just sign here, Mr. Queen, I'll be out of your hair." She smacked a thick booklet in front of him. The insignia for Family and Child Services jumped out at him.
"As you know from our last correspondence, these are the papers waiving guardianship for--"
"Wait, last correspondence? Mrs. Santa-Anna, I have no recollection of ever being contacted by Social Services. Believe me, after falling into their tender mercies as a child, I'd pay attention." Ollie sat back. "Now please, tell me what the heck is going on."
The woman clenched her jaw against a sigh. "Do you remember Tommy Brave Bow?"
"Of course. He and I were very close."
That was an understatement. Tommy somehow reached Ollie on the brink of adolescence and knocked some sense into him before he fell too far into a dark path of substance abuse, sycophants and bad judgment. He taught Ollie the basics of archery, giving him a focus in life. Green Arrow was in part dedicated to him.
"I didn't see you at the funeral," said Santa-Anna.
Ollie clenched his fist. During Tommy's burial, he and the boys had been liberating mutates from the Pakistani division of 33.1 who were due for "elimination" that very night. He'd meant to visit but that whole side-trip to Metropolis and Black Canary and Lois...
"I was planning to pay my respects by the end of the month," was all he said.
It was obvious Santa-Anna didn't believe him. "Tommy named you guardian of his nephew for reasons that I can't fathom. My first inquiry into your interest was returned with a form letter to the effect of 'Sorry, but not right now.'"
"Tommy had a nephew?" At the case worker's visible irritation, Ollie hurried to recover. "I mean, I know he had a sister but they were estranged. She married a forest ranger, a white man. Tommy didn't approve of him. Apparently, the guy was a condescending drunken workaholic."
"Whatever the case may be, both Jenny and Sean died in a forest fire six months ago. Sean was helping the fire fighters but his team got trapped. Jenny was manning the tower when it was engulfed."
"Jesus. And now Tommy's dead."
"The res would love to keep him but because Indian status goes through the matriarchal line, when Jenny married, she gave it up. No one there has the money to fight the system and quite frankly, the chances of a judge granting a whole res custody is slim no matter how enlightened the times may be, not when the closest relative has named someone else as guardian."
The boy had no one. Ollie clenched his other fist. He knew how that felt. "How old is he? Tommy's nephew."
"Eleven. He turns twelve this Sunday." Santa-Anna's tone had gentled but not enough that Ollie noticed.
"Bring him over," said Ollie curtly. He stood up, the booklet in hand. He stared at the insignia again then flipped the cover open. A skinny, red-haired boy looked back at him, the picture a staple of elementary school yearbooks throughout the country. A smile quirked at the boy's lips but his eyes-- God, Ollie had only ever seen those eyes in the mirror right after his parents died.
"Bring him over," he repeated in a much more diplomatic tone. "I want to get to know him before I sign anything. And if he wants to stay with the res, I'll pay for any legal fees. I owe Tommy that much."
He handed the booklet back to Santa-Anna then remembered a vital piece of information. "What's his name again?"
"Roy. Roy Harper."