|Fic -- Family Secrets
||[Dec. 17th, 2008|09:47 am]
Hail the Rogues!
Title: Family Secrets
Word Count: 4700
Characters: Golden Glider/the Top; OCs (Star and Nate Dillon).
Summary: Star Dillon learns something new about her parents.
*Set in my Dillonsverse timeline. There are a couple of references to a story which hasn't been posted yet, but I think it's fairly explanatory in the fic.
*Yes, he really did try to blow up half the planet.
*My other posted fic from this timeline is here. In case you don't care to click back and read the timeline's intro, here it is again:
It split off from the DC timeline just before the Top croaked, so he never died and Lisa Snart never became a psycho villainess out to destroy the Flash...she did, however, join the Rogues to become a thief like the rest of them. Eventually they retired, shacked up, and had two darling brats: Lisa Star Dillon (commonly known as Star), and Nathaniel 'Nate' Dillon. Their daddy is pretty heavily medicated to keep the worst of his instabilities in check (not that it always helps...).
The morning had started normally enough in the Dillon household; Lisa had gotten the kids ready for school, and Star had dropped into her father’s workshop to say goodbye before she left. Everything happened as pleasantly blandly as usual. But when she arrived at school, things were different.
“Hi!” Star greeted some of the girls in her class, but all they did in response was whisper to each other. It puzzled her, but she let it go. When she greeted some boys, including the one she had a crush on, they all laughed. She was by no means the most popular girl in class, but people usually treated her in a friendly manner, and now she was confused and hurt. Silently, she went to her desk, and none of her seatmates chattered with her as they usually did.
What’s going on? she wondered, and as with most girls her age, immediately became paranoid that something was wrong with her. Is it my breath? Do I have something stuck in my teeth? Oh my God, Mom should have told me!
She resolved to run to the washroom as soon as lunch hour began, in hopes of correcting whatever was wrong. She was already feeling rejected and humiliated.
A check in the bathroom mirror revealed nothing out of the ordinary, and now Star was really confused. Slowly, she grabbed her lunch and went down to the cafeteria, but when she looked to the friends she usually ate with, her smile was met with only hostile stares. Biting her lip to force back tears, she went to eat by herself, though she’d certainly lost her appetite. All she wanted to do was run home and cry, but she was thirteen now, old enough that she’d never do that.
“Hey, Star,” a girl from her class said, sliding into the chair next to her, and fixing her with an unreadable smile.
“Rachel!” Star exclaimed with relief, glad someone was finally talking to her. “What’s up with everyone? Nobody wants to hang out with me today…did I do something stupid?”
“Did you know my dad’s a cop?” Rachel asked, ignoring the other girl’s question. She was still smiling in that strange manner, and it suddenly occurred to Star that it was not at all friendly. “He told me something really interesting. He knows who your mom and dad are.”
“Yeah? So what?”
“Your dad’s a total psycho and your mom’s a complete slut! Why didn’t you tell anyone?”
“Uh…what the hell are you talking about?” Star demanded, stung by the accusations against her parents. She knew her father had mental problems from time to time, but it seemed grossly unfair to call him by such a harsh term. And the slur on her mother clearly had to be a malicious invention.
“Your parents were Rogues! Your whole family’s crooked! Your dad tried to blow up half the planet or something, and your mom cheats on him all the time! You shouldn’t be at school with normal people, and your parents should be in jail. Although your mom would probably fuck all the guards…”
Rachel started laughing, but although stunned, Star suddenly leapt at her.
“You take that back, you lying bitch!” she hissed through gritted teeth as she shoved Rachel to the floor. “My parents are not Rogues! My mom is not a slut! My dad is not a psycho!”
Rachel screamed, trying to shove the other girl away from her, but Star jumped on her and was utterly determined. Other kids quickly surrounded them, watching and laughing excitedly, though Star didn’t even notice the growing crowd.
“I’ll prove it to you!” Rachel shouted with smug confidence, scratching Star’s face. “And I bet you’re a total whore like your mom!”
“My mom’s not a whore!” Star shrieked, punching her in the side of the head. At that moment a teacher pulled her away, dragging her roughly to the principal’s office.
“What exactly did you think you were doing?” the principal asked sternly, having taken her into his office before the school nurse finished tending to her scratches. “You’ve always been a good student, Star, so I’m curious about what sparked this fight.”
“She insulted my parents!” Star replied indignantly, tears of anger in her eyes. “Nobody’s been talking to me all day, and then that bitch claimed my parents were Rogues. I wasn’t going to let her get away with that.”
“I see…” the principal said uneasily, and began to flip through her school file. “And you believe they weren’t, correct?”
“Of course they weren’t! Everything she said was a lie!”
“Star, maybe we should have a talk with the psychologist.”
“Oh, now what?” the girl asked warily. “She totally had that punch coming. I don’t need to see a shrink.”
“It’s not about that. But Rachel’s allegations -- though very cruelly put, and I am going to speak to her about that -- are true. Your parents were Rogues. I remember them well. Didn’t you know?”
Star clenched her fists. “You’re lying.”
He cleared his throat and pushed a small folder towards her. Inside were a series of mugshots, police reports, and various police photographs, and it was not difficult to recognize the two subjects as her parents. Her father glared out from a variety of mugshots, dressed in a strange uniform she didn’t recognize, while her mother seemed more cheery in an outfit similar to a skating costume she’d seen in a family album. She even saw her Uncle Len in some of the photos as yet another Rogue, making things worse. She suspected her other ‘uncles’ were also Rogues, and suddenly some strange discrepancies about their lives began to make sense.
“Normally we don’t keep records on students’ parents,” the principal was saying as she tried to digest the information, “but you and Nathaniel are a special case. We felt it was best to keep this in your files, in case it was ever needed.”
“I…” she began, anguished, but couldn’t finish. Suddenly, she jumped to her feet and ran out of the room.
“Star!” he shouted, hurrying after her. But she kept running until she’d left school property, raced through busy city streets, and finally found herself back at home.
When Star burst into the house, face red from exertion and tears, Lisa was quietly reading a magazine in the living room. She looked up, surprised to see her daughter home so early.
“What are you doing here at this hour, sweetie?” Lisa asked, concerned. “Are you all right?”
“Why didn’t you tell me?!” Star screamed at her.
“Tell you what?”
“That you two used to be Rogues! That you were criminals!”
Lisa’s eyes went wide. Oh no… she thought to herself in distress. She hurried over and tried to give her daughter a hug, but was rebuffed.
“We thought you weren’t ready yet,” she admitted with a guilty and worried expression. “We weren’t sure how you or Nate would react.”
Roscoe came jogging into the room, having heard the yelling from his workshop, and looked equally concerned.
“Star…” he greeted her apologetically, also trying to offer a hug, but was also refused.
“Both of you stay away! Everybody knew but me, and now I’m a laughingstock! Nobody wants to talk to me because of you! I hate you!”
Sobbing loudly, she ran upstairs to her room and locked the door, and her parents looked at each other with worry and regret.
“She needs time to herself,” Lisa said reluctantly, though she wanted to go comfort her daughter. Roscoe, who considered Star his favourite child, just lowered his head.
“We screwed up,” was all he said, and shook his head as he wandered back to his workshop, feeling defeated.
Star had a long and cathartic cry in her room, trying to sort out everything she’d learned that day. The Rogues were infamous in the Twin Cities; feared, reviled, and sometimes a little bit admired. Everybody knew at least one person who’d had a run-in with them or been rescued from one by the Flash. She’d booed the ‘Rogues’ who appeared in the Flash Appreciation parade just like (almost) everyone else, but in hindsight, her parents had never been particularly enthusiastic about that sort of thing. She remembered her father refusing to go to the Flash Museum, so she’d only visited as part of school trips or with friends’ families. The Rogues were bad and a scourge on the city, if somewhat cool; this was something she’d never questioned. And now she’d learned that all the beloved adults in her life were Rogues, which they’d schemed to hide from her. It was a terrible betrayal.
“Sweetie..?” came her mother’s voice at the door, about two hours after she’d run upstairs. “Do you want to talk?”
“No,” Star replied flatly, staring at the bedspread in front of her.
“We brought you something to eat,” Roscoe added in a wheedling tone. “I think we really do need to talk.”
“I said no, you psycho!”
There was a pause, as if they were calming or steeling themselves, and then Lisa asked “What did you just say?”
“I called him a psycho, you slut.”
She used the very words that had hurt her earlier to strike back against her parents. It was payback for what they’d done to her, and since Rachel had turned out to be correct about them being Rogues, Star figured the words must be accurate too.
“Star…” Roscoe began slowly, his tone getting harsher with every word, “never call your mother that again, do you understand me?”
“Why, does the truth hurt?” she suggested rudely, and could hear Lisa trying to calm him down on the other side of the door.
“Do you want me to come in there?” Roscoe demanded. But Lisa grabbed his arm and dragged him away so he could fume elsewhere in peace, to give Star some more time alone. As much as it hurt her, Lisa understood her daughter’s hostility and wanted to let her work through it.
When Nate came home from school, his parents told him about the secret, figuring Star would just tell him anyway. He accepted it calmly, and seemed more intrigued than shocked, much to their relief. He begged to go on a family trip to the Flash Museum, to which they reluctantly agreed, and Roscoe began digging out the carefully-hidden relics from that era at his son’s request.
“Well…I knew Nate would take it better than Star did, but I wish it hadn’t happened like this,” Lisa fretted as he dug around the attic.
“I will not let her insult you,” was all Roscoe said as he pulled out a buried trunk. “She knows better than that.”
“She’s been going through a tough time. Puberty, junior high, and now this. If the other kids continue to ostracize her, what are we going to do?”
“I don’t know. I wonder what those kids told her, to make her mouth off like that.”
“You’re not a psycho, baby.”
“No, just crazy,” he said grimly. “And apparently everyone knows it. So much for privacy.”
“Pfft, who cares what other people think? If we cared so much, we would have moved years ago. Besides, I bet everyone who knows is scared of us anyway.”
“Sometimes I wish we’d never given up that life,” he mused, and his eyes began to glow with pale green light, illuminating the gloom of the attic. “Decisions were simpler then, with fewer responsibilities. Not to mention things were considerably more fun…doing and taking whatever we wanted, taunting the police, matching wits with the Flash…”
“We couldn’t keep doing it forever,” Lisa reminded him, afraid he was going to say he regretted settling down and having kids. “We’d have ended up dead or in jail for a long time.”
“Oh, I know. But it would have been one hell of a ride.” Noting the concern on her face, he smiled at her. “Not to worry, darling, I’m not going out to rob a bank. I just miss those days, that’s all. And I really miss you skating through the air -- ah, the sight of your pert little butt working in that skirt couldn’t be beat.”
“I’ll beat your butt if you don’t watch out,” she chided him fondly, slapping his rear with a loud thwack. He yelped and fell over laughing as he tried to grab her, but missed.
“Aw, gross!” Nate exclaimed from the attic’s trapdoor opening, where he’d silently been watching them dig through the mess. They stared back at him with the frozen surprise of teenagers caught necking by the cops. “My parents are perverts!”
An hour later, the family (minus Star) sat in the living room and looked through the collection retrieved from the attic. Nate was fascinated by everything.
“These are my ice-producing skates,” Lisa explained. “Lenny built them so I could skate in the air. And this is one of my costumes…I don’t know what happened to the rest.”
“This was my uniform,” Roscoe added when the green and yellow suit was pulled out of its box, and looked unamused when his son stifled a laugh.
“Stripes, Dad? Really?”
“It made a nice effect when he spun,” Lisa soothed, rubbing her husband’s shoulders. “I liked the stripes.”
“You’ve already seen my tops…well, the harmless ones, at least. I had all the dangerous ones destroyed years ago, for obvious reasons.”
“Awww,” Nate declared with disappointment. “I bet those were so cool. Could they blow up and stuff?”
“Will you build some more?”
“Hmph,” the boy grumbled, having already envisioned some explosive fun with his friends.
“Like father, like son,” Lisa said dryly. She had never approved of Roscoe’s fascination with bombs, fearing he’d get himself killed someday. It was time to change the subject. “In this album, I stored some old photos and news clippings about our careers,” she explained, opening the book. “And some stuff about Uncle Lenny, who you can see here.”
“Wait…Uncle Len is Captain Cold?!” Nate gasped. “That’s so fucking awesome!”
“Watch your language,” his mother reprimanded him, and he hastily apologized.
“He’s the baddest Rogue ever!” he declared authoritatively. Roscoe wrinkled his nose in disgust, but no one noticed.
“I’m sure he’ll be glad to hear it, but you’ll give him a swelled head,” Lisa replied with a smile, and turned the page. “Look, here’s your dad and me getting arrested.”
“My God, why did you save that article?” Roscoe complained, embarrassed.
“I liked the way my hair looked in the photo,” she said defensively. “Plus, you looked pretty funny. Remember how you were telling the police all about your revenge, and then bumped your head going into the squad car?”
“Yes, Lisa, I remember,” he muttered irritably, and Nate cracked up laughing.
“Sounds like you guys had fun,” said a new voice behind them, and everyone turned around.
“Star! You have to look at these!” Nate enthused. “Mom and Dad used to be cool!”
“Used to be..?” Roscoe asked, raising an eyebrow in amusement, but Nate just shrugged at him. Star leaned over to look at the album, smiling at the pictures.
“You looked so pretty, Mom,” she said, and Lisa beamed at her appreciatively.
“Thank you, honey. I hope you’re feeling better.”
“Yeah, I guess so…I had time to think and stuff. I know you didn’t mean to hurt me. And I’m sorry I called you guys those names.”
Roscoe nodded at her, a pleased smile creeping across his face, and Lisa gave her a friendly hug.
“We know you’ve been going through a tough time, sweetie. We understand.”
“But what am I going to do if the other kids won’t talk to me, Mom? I don’t want to go through the rest of my life without any friends!”
“I can always go threaten them,” Roscoe offered mildly. “Or mind control would work, too.”
“This isn’t the time for jokes,” Lisa scolded him, and he gazed up at the ceiling.
“Who’s joking? I’m making constructive suggestions.”
“Okay, forget I said anything.”
“You can wait things out and see…or try talking to them,” Lisa suggested to her daughter. “It might blow over once they get used to the idea. They’re just surprised by the news, that’s all.”
“And what if it doesn’t?” Star asked, dejected.
“Well…I guess as a last resort, we could always move to another city, where no one’s ever heard of the Rogues.”
“I don’t wanna move!” Nate complained. “I like it here!”
“We all like it here,” Roscoe reminded him, “but if our reputations are going to follow us…”
“Dad, did you really try to blow up half the planet?” Star asked suddenly, and he coughed, looking deeply uncomfortable.
“Um. I might have. We’ll discuss it later.”
“Yes, that reputation,” Lisa said with exasperation. “You would have blown me up too, you know.”
“How many times do I have to apologize for that? I’m sorry, okay? I didn’t even know you then!”
“And that’s why you have to keep taking your meds, so you don’t get into crazy schemes like that again,” she lectured him, and he scowled.
“Yes, Mom. Could we not discuss this in front of the kids, please? I’d like to keep what few scraps of dignity I have left.”
Nate started to laugh, and opened his mouth to make a wisecrack, but one glare from his father quieted him.
“So…basically, I’m suggesting you just wait and see what happens at school,” Lisa summed up after a few moments of awkward silence. “Then we’ll see how things go from there. Okay?”
“…okay,” Star said reluctantly.
Star was anxious about going back to school the next day, but a pep talk from her parents firmed her resolve. She stuck close to her brother, who was breezily open with the news, telling all his friends about it.
“Dude, your parents were Rogues? That’s awesome!” his friends enthused, giving him congratulatory high fives. Star watched their glee in silence, worried about going back to her classroom alone.
“It’ll be okay, Star,” Nate comforted her as the first bell rung. “And if it isn’t, Mom and Dad can beat them all up!”
“I just want to be normal,” Star said mournfully, heading off to class. The entire room turned to look at her when she walked inside, and some of the students began whispering, so she put her head down on her desk.
“Hey Star, is it true that you beat up Rachel yesterday, and that your parents are Rogues?” one kid asked as he walked past, and she glumly replied “yes” without bothering to look up.
“Hahaha,” he laughed as he went to his seat. “Now no one’s ever going to mess with you, you know that?”
She thought about it and felt a little better, as that hadn’t occurred to her. Maybe there was one positive to be had from this debacle. She reached into her desk to pull out her notebook, and discovered a homemade flyer stuffed inside; someone had pasted a photo of her head onto an old picture of the Golden Glider’s body. Angry, she crumpled it up and threw it away, glaring daggers at the students who giggled.
“I don’t think you should piss her off. I mean, her dad is insane, so maybe she is too. I heard they have to keep him locked up in the basement,” a girl smirked. “No wonder she’s so weird.”
“I wish he’d get loose and blow up the school,” one boy said wistfully.
“That’d be tops!” another declared with mocking laughter.
“If he doesn’t, I will, with all of you in it!” Star hissed at them under her breath, and took some satisfaction in their stunned silence. They didn’t have time to retort back at her, for the teacher then began the day’s lessons.
When Star came home in tears at the end of the day, her parents were worried and chagrined. She didn’t go into details, but they understood she’d been bullied, and did their best to comfort her.
“Oh sweetie, I’m so sorry,” Lisa whispered, hugging her tightly. “I hope things get better.”
“I don’t want to go back. Ever,” Star sobbed, and Roscoe looked thoughtful as he kissed the top of her head.
“Why don’t you stay home from school tomorrow?” he suggested gently. “Maybe sleep in, get plenty of rest and relax, and your mom can take you out to do something fun.”
“O-okay,” she sniffled, grateful that they seemed to understand. After some loving hugs, they sent her off to watch TV, and Lisa looked at him warily.
“You’re up to something,” she said accusingly. “What’s going on?”
He evaded her gaze. “Please don’t ask me, hon. I’d rather not go into it.”
The next day, Star’s classmates noticed she wasn’t there, which many found amusing. It also provided an opportunity for them to plan their strategies for tormenting her.
“I found this hilarious old photo of her mom on the Internet. Look, her skirt’s blowing up and you can see her panties!”
“I would totally do her mom.”
“Half of Keystone already has.”
The door suddenly opened, and a tall man stepped into the room. He looked around with a stern expression, and several students recognized him.
“Oh shit, it’s her dad!”
“Excuse me…” the teacher said to the intruder with irritation, getting up from her seat, and he stared at her with glowing eyes.
As soon as he spoke, she obediently sat back down, and he turned to look at the class. They stared back at him with terrified fascination, and more than a few wondered if he really had arrived to bomb the school.
“Leave my daughter alone,” Roscoe addressed the students harshly, his eyes glowing with even greater intensity. “You don’t care who her parents are. You have no interest in bullying her. And you will not remember this.”
With that, he turned and walked out of the room. It took the class five minutes to awaken from their trance.
Star had enjoyed a wonderful day off with her mother, feeling more relaxed than she had in a while, but was frightened to go back to school again.
“Be brave, honey,” Lisa counselled her as she sent her off the next morning.
“Good luck,” Roscoe told her calmly, fairly certain the situation would be improved, but had not told anyone what he’d done. When Star arrived at the classroom, some of the girls waved to her.
“Star! Oh my God, where were you yesterday? We missed you!”
“You did..?” she asked cautiously, waiting for the set-up.
“Yes! Emily told Mike she likes him, and he said he likes her back! Isn’t that amazing?”
“Um…yeah, I guess so. I didn’t think she’d have the guts,” Star replied, still wary but relieved to be having a normal conversation. “Yesterday I was out with my mom. We went shopping.”
“You’re so lucky! Wish I got to skip school to go shopping…your mom is cool.”
“She is…she might be willing to drive us around, if you guys want to go later,” Star said carefully, testing them, and the girls squealed with delighted excitement.
“That’d be awesome! We can get Emily some new lipstick for her date with Miiiiiike,” one of the girls teased Emily, who blushed deeply. Star smiled happily at them, finally won over. Things seemed as they’d been before everyone found out about her parents, and although she didn’t understand the sudden change of heart, she was grateful for it.
The day Roscoe and Lisa had promised the trip to the Flash Museum was nerve-wracking for them, worrying about what they’d see there, or how the kids would react. They did not feel comfortable visiting it, and somewhat resented the glorification of all things Flash, but had made a promise and couldn’t back out now. At the very least, they hoped the trip would help the kids come to term with their parents’ criminal past.
The Dillons entered the museum together, but Nate hurried on ahead while his parents strolled at a leisurely pace, trying to seem normal. Star followed just behind them.
“C’mon guys!” Nate urged impatiently, practically running in circles, and the family caught curator Dexter Myles’ eye. He looked intently at Roscoe and Lisa for a few moments, then smiled and turned his attention elsewhere.
Nate was interested in the Flash memorabilia, but what he really wanted to see was the Rogues’ exhibit, so he made a beeline for the gallery as his family followed.
“Cool!” Nate declared as he entered the Rogues’ Gallery: it was a cavernous room filled with statues, photos, and artefacts, completely dedicated to past and present Flash enemies.
“Would you look at that…” Roscoe murmured, looking around in surprise.
“It’s nice in here!” Lisa exclaimed, clutching her husband’s hand tightly. “Kind of reminds you of the old days, doesn’t it?”
“There’s Uncle Len!” Nate said excitedly, pointing at the statue of Captain Cold. “He looks awesome.”
“And Mark, and Digger…don’t know who most of these are,” Roscoe frowned as he looked around the ‘Current Rogues’ section. Well, he’d heard of them via the news, but he didn’t know any of them personally or even much about them.
“Where are you guys?” Star asked, speaking for the first time since they’d arrived.
“Probably in the ‘Former Rogues’ area…if they even remember us.”
“Over there!” Lisa announced with delight when she spotted their statues across the room. “Oh, wow!”
The entire family jogged over to look up close, and even Roscoe couldn’t resist cracking a grin. Their statues were posed together, arm in arm, looking very much like a couple.
“I love it!” Lisa gushed, her face shining in joy. “We look great!”
“Always did love that skating outfit,” Roscoe told her affectionately, planting a kiss on her cheek, and she blushed.
“They look just like you,” Star remarked, and started reading the display’s text aloud, which gave a quick recap of their criminal history.
“You guys look cool,” Nate said in awe. “Can we have our picture taken with them?”
Roscoe claimed he didn’t want to be in the photo, but Lisa soon persuaded him to participate, so he set up the camera with only a little bit of faux-grumbling. The result was a cheery -- if somewhat wry -- family photo, accompanied by avatars of the parents’ supervillain selves. Roscoe and Lisa even posed just like the statues. Nate thought it looked hilarious, and planned to make copies for all his friends.
After an hour of wandering through the villains’ hall and looking at everything in it (including a photo of some classic Rogues, which featured Roscoe and Len with their arms around each other and provoked some good-natured teasing), Nate went off to look at other exhibits in the museum, leaving Star with their parents. She’d been fairly quiet, having spent a lot of time thinking.
“Mom…is it true that you cheated on Dad?” she eventually asked, and Lisa turned red. She looked away with discomfort, unsure of what to tell her daughter, because it was unfortunately true and something she still felt guilty about. But Roscoe put an arm around her and spoke up before she could say anything.
“Absolutely not,” he said firmly. “I don’t know where you heard that, but some people have too much time on their hands and don’t mind their own business.”
Star smiled, glad to hear Rachel’s claim had been false. Decades later, she was to learn her father had lied to her, but by then she understood he’d just been trying to protect her mother, and could not be angry at him.
“Thank you,” Lisa whispered in his ear when they were alone. They stood hand-in-hand in front of their statues, looking up at their younger and more carefree selves.
“I guess you owe me one,” he said good-naturedly, with a twinkle in his eye.
“Hmm, how can I ever make it up to you?” she pondered with pretend confusion, squeezing his hand.
“Oh, I’m sure we can think of a way,” he answered cheerfully as he licked his lips, and both laughed as they turned to leave.