|William Telling It|
|What: Mia tracks down her predecessor|
Usually the weekends were Lian's time with her father, and this was no exception. This time around, rather than tour the museums or the park, Roy had settled on an amusement park ride. All went well enough except for one thing: the cloudbursts. And so they'd had to leave early, and Lian was none too pleased, riding the train back and being upset about it.
Which was why, in addition to the amusement park souvenirs (flags and bears and balloons), Roy was carrying bags of groceries and the makings for hot chocolate smores, while Lian was valiantly trying to keep her father's head from getting wet with an umbrella.
"Thanks, Princess," Roy says, dripping wet. "Get the door, will you?" And Lian drops the umbrella right there in the hallway and scoots down the hall towards their apartment so that she can unlock and open it, leaving Roy to ponder just how he was going to carry -one more thing-...
Mia waits until Lian is inside- she doesn't want to be the creep approaching someone when their kid is right there. She waits just inside the lobby, folding up her own umbrella. "Need a hand?" she offers. "Um. Hi, by the way. I'm Mia," she offers, unsure whether he's bothered to check up on what his former mentor's been up to. She waits to see if there's any look of recognition on his face before she continues. She looks... nervous. Guy-on-a-first-date-with-the-daughter-of-a-tempermental-rifle-enthusiast level nervous.
That Lian's already darted into the apartment and left her father to fend for himself is something Roy had -better- get used to at some point. "Sure," Roy nods, flashing a grin at the attractive might-be-jailbait. "Roy," he replies in a manner that indicates he doesn't even recognize the name. "Just tuck the umbrella under an arm for me. You just move in?" He thought he knew just about everyone in the building, but apparently not.
"Um. Actually," she says, awkwardly. "I don't live here. I was hoping to talk to you." She tucks the umbrella, as instructed. Deep breath. "I live with Ollie- but he didn't send me or anything, I promise," she tacks on that last part pretty quickly. "Ugh, this is turning out way more awkward than I intended," she mutters, holding the door for her... what exactly is the term for this? Prodigal foster brother?
There's a pause as Roy digests the name, before nodding slightly. "Yeah. So uh..." There's a brief pause as Roy glances up and down at Mia, before moving towards his apartment. "Come on," he says. At least he was inviting her along for... well, something. Or maybe he just wanted Lian around in case he had the overwhelming urge to do something and needed moderation.
"So uh... are you his new girlfriend or something? Ollie always liked them young," Roy remarks, perhaps too flippantly, as he indicates the open door that was his apartment. Yes, he really needed to have a talk with Lian...
"What?!" Mia makes a /face/ at that. "Oh, God no. Really- just-" she gets the door. "No. So, so much /no/. Why would you-" she shakes her head, finally. "No. I... was in a pretty rough place a few years back. He took me in after saving my butt." She looks around the apartment, not wanting to talk too much about her past within Lian's earshot. "Like, /really/ rough. Lifetime movie of the week kind of messed up." She closes the door once they're both inside. "I know about... his other job. The one you used to help him with." She starts trying to put the words together, stumbling over them. "I... want to do that, too."
"... because that's Ollie for you," Roy shrugs. "If you've lived with him..."
Lian waves at her father, already busy watching "Tangled". She does pause to eye Mia. "Daddy..." she sighs.
"I'll explain in a minute, princess. Got to put grocery away. Lian, this is Mia. Mia, that's my daughter Lian."
There's a glint at the mention of 'the other job', and Roy nods, tilting his head towards the kitchen. Talk there?
It's not until Roy unpacks everything onto the counter and begins putting things away that he speaks again. "Want hot chocolate?" he says, as he gets a kettle. "And so... you want to be... a sidekick?" There's a bitter tone in his voice. "You want to be the next one to hit the street, so he can find his own way?"
Mia gives Lian a smile and a wave, then goes to sit with Roy. She listens to him, having expected him to say as much. "He was against it, actually. And he doesn't know I'm here." She bites her lip a little, and hesitates. "I've been on the street. My mom died when I was little. My dad-" she looks down at the surface of the table as she speaks of it. "Was a very... bad person." Her shoulders tense, even mentioning him. "I ran away when I was eleven. You've been on the streets, you /know/ how girls survive there," she tells him, not wanting to elaborate too much. "I lived like that for a while. GA stopped a... client from putting me in the hospital. Or worse." She picks at the chipping polish on her nails. "Ollie took me in. Took me about ten seconds to figure out who he was- I mean, that teeny mask, that facial hair? Anyone who sees him up clouse could- nevermind. Not the point." Another breath. Long pause. "I want to help people," is what she says, finally. "That's it. Whether it's as a sidekick, or a partner, or on my own. I want to help. And I've worked my" a pause, and she checks to make sure Lian can't hear "ass off to be good enough to do it. I'm /going/ to do it whether you, or Ollie, or anyone else approves or not. But I'm /asking/ you, because I won't use your name to do it without your blessing."
"He doesn't know?" Unexpectedly, Roy grins. "I may like you."
Listening to Mia, Roy sighs a bit. "You know, I think all the sidekicks had a story like that. Losing parents, finding a new father replacement..." There's a nod, then, at how -street- girls survive, and Roy turns his attention towards making the hot chocolate. Bringing the mugs to the table, he places one before Mia, and then heads to the living room to give Lian her mug, before nudging her. "Daddy has to talk to Mia a bit... it's about something important."
"Okay, Daddy," Lian barely hears him through the noise of Rapunzel being totally awesome.
Shaking his head, Roy comes back to the table, sitting down. "So yeah, anyone can pick out O.J. Queen out of a lineup. And so you say you want to be an... -archer-, whether or not you have our blessings... but you want to be -Speedy-?" There's a light laugh, before Roy shakes his head. "You know the story about me and Ollie, right? I'm going to spare you the sob details. You don't need -my- blessing to be -his- sidekick... but if you want to be -Speedy-, well..." There's a wide crooked half-grin. "Are you -really- that quick on the draw?"
Mia Dearden nods. "He probably didn't tell me everything, but enough," she says. "That's part of why I want to be Speedy. You've been through some shit. I've been through some shit. The kind of stuff not everyone would be too sympathetic about," then she laughs as she adds, "and we've both got some seriously fucked-up taste in father figures." She smirks a bit. "And for the record, I already /am/ an archer. Just not one who wears a costume, yet. And I'm good. Maybe not quite as fast on the draw as you, but I make up for it. Quick on my feet, fast reflexes, still a pretty damn good shot. If you wanna test me..."
"Damn right." Now Roy grins, almost conspiratorially. "If you're everything you say you are, you'll be busting your butt to prove you're -better- than the old man. While he's busy contemplating his goatee in the mirror..."
Imitating a bow and an arrow with his hang and even making the requisite 'twang' noise, Roy grins. "Fine. Let's do it."
"Daddy," Lian protests, holding an apple on her head, leaning against the wall. "Why do _I_ have to stand there while Mia is shooting?"
"Because, princess, she wants to be an archer."
"But Daddy, why is she using -my- nerf bow and arrow, and why are you standing there with that bat?"
"Because I'm going to hit her if she hits you instead."
"No pressure or anything," says Mia, pulling the bowstring back. This probably would have been easier with a real bow and arrow, given the fimsiness of the foam arrow- nevermind the squirmy child holding an apple on her head. She aims a bit high, making up for the funny way Nerf darts travel. SPROING. And then there's a little foam stick attached to the apple via suction cup. "Thank you for letting me use your bow, Lian."
"No pressure," smirks Roy. Well, at least Mia showed -good- form, especially compensating for the tricky path the nerf travelled. "I guess you -could- handle a trick arrow too," he remarks, referring to the funky aerodynamics -those- had as well.
Putting down the bat that he'd been thumping against his hand oh so menacingly while glaring at Mia, Roy grins. "That wasn't so bad, was it?"
Lian snatches back her bow and arrows, regarding Mia with a suspicious look. "How many archers -do- you know, Daddy?" she grumps.
"Uh... one more at least, that you haven't met," Roy's smile falters a bit. "So uh... how -did- you track me down, anyway?" The unspoken question there was "and can Ollie?"
"I have my ways," she says, perhaps sound just a tiny bit... Nightwingish in manner. Dickish, if you will. "But no, Ollie has no clue." She looks at Lian for a moment, then back to Roy. "About anything. I think he feels too guilty to even try."
"Yeah. Well, congratulations. You're Speedy, if you want it. Try and hold on to the job longer than I did, will you?" Looking pensive for a moment, Roy shakes his head, long enough for Lian to bump her father on the hip. "What is it, princess?"
"Daddy..." Lian whines. "You said _I_ could be Speedy."
"I'll just keep it warm for you," Mia promises Lian. "Until you're big enough. And... you can even keep the hat." Because there is no way in hell she is wearing that thing. Ever. Unless it's on a dare. "You'll probably be even better at it than me and your daddy combined." Considering the people she's growing up around, and the training she'll have access to? Criminals beware.
"Aw c'mon," Roy protests. "The hat was the best part."
Lian, however, squeals, clapping her hands. "Okay! Will you join a band too?" she asks.
"Lian! That was -a secret-!"
"Aw, Daddy... I thought Speedy had to join a band too."
"... is that why you're singing "It's Not Easy Being Green" lately?" Roy mutters. "That is -not- what the Great Frog was about!"
"Great Frog?" Mia looks amused. "Ollie never mentioned that," she says, grinning a little. "No bands for me, that would just be unfair to anyone with ears," she says. "I'll let you keep that part all to yourself too." The grinning doesn't stop. It's hard not to in the presence of the father-daughter pair.
"Ollie?" Now Lian looks curious. "Is that Daddy's...?"
"Uh..." Roy looks conflicted, before sighing. "Long story, princess."
"Will you tell it to me at bedtime?" Lian asks, wide-eyed.
"Sure. I'll tell you about the Ogre and his horrible burning chili," Roy says, not without a bitter trace in his voice. "So, Mia... where did you come in from?"
"I see the chili has always been... unique," says Mia, trying not to giggle. "Star City, but I came up here to join up with the old man. Dunno how long we'll be in town, probably a while." She refrains from any comment about looking him up, or hammering out old differences. It's so not her business. Even if she's pretty sure it /would/ be good for both of them. "Hey, look, if you need anything. A babysitter on short notice, an extra pair of hands-" she goes to grab the backpack she dropped by the door, rustling through it for a pen and paper. She finds a pen, and a pad of paper from the Star City Youth Center, and scribbles down a number. "My cell phone. So you don't have to worry about anyone else picking up." Roy nods briefly, regarding the paper before putting it away. "Right... I've got babysitters." There's a wide grin. "Three of them, actually. Just about your age, too."
Lian beams. "They're my posse," she declares as though this were a perfectly natural thing. And if Mia thought about it, she might have realized the place was -too- neatly kept to be maintained by Roy and Lian, so...
Yes. Lian's posse. Keepin' the Harpers clean.
Mia Dearden grins. "Still, it wouldn't hurt to keep in touch. I... wouldn't mind coming around again sometime, maybe. When the old man has... company. You know how it is." Some things can never be un-heard. Shudder. "And I'm sure you can teach me some stuff he can't," she adds. "We are kind of... sort of... almost family. In a weird way."
A shudder. "The kind where you just see leftover food trays outside the bedroom door?" Roy grimaces.
Lian just looks confused. "Is that room service, Daddy?"
"Oh, I'm sure the old man was eating..." Roy replies thoughtlessly, before slapping his head. "Nevermind, Lian. Just uh... yeah, anyway, I guess Mia's part of the family." Technically, actually, given that Lian's never met Grandpa, actually...
"Wow, I have a big sister now?"
"More like an aunt," Roy corrects.
"The really cool aunt," Mia adds, making a mental note to buy her an awesome, but noisy toy of some sort. Since that is the job of the Cool Aunt, since Grandpa Ollie isn't in the picture... yet. "Look," she adds, a little more seriously to Roy. "I won't tell him about all this. But... I might tell him it might be a good idea to try to get in touch. Think you guys could try to be civil to each other for my sake? I... actually wouldn't mind having something a little more family-like in my life." She breaks out the +10 Wibbly Eyes of Emotional Blackmail.
"... you realize, Lian uses that look on -me- all the time," Roy remarks dryly, although there's a slight shift in his posture, one of unease. "Fine, maybe. I guess." If it happened, it happened. "You been in touch with him already?"
Lian, meanwhile, seems to be taken with the notion of having a -family-, outside her daddy and her posse, as she latches onto Mia's hand. "What do aunts do, Daddy?" she asks. Poor kid, never had -anything- really stable for a family life outside Roy. It's fairly clear by now to Mia, is it?
"I'm not sure," Mia admits to Lian, giving the girl's hand a gentle squeeze. "I've never been one before. I guess you'll have to help me figure it out as I go," she suggests. Then beams at Roy. Men... so /easy/ to manipulate.
Oh, brother. Still, Roy can't help but grin. "Fine. Say hi to the old man for me," Roy drawls, before ruffling Lian's hair, ignoring her protests. As Lian tries to straighten her hair out again, Roy remarks, "Just don't spoil her. She's gotten enough already. So, you want to stay for dinner? We were going to make..."
"Spaghetti and meatballs!" Lian chimes in. "Daddy lets me make the meatballs. With breadcrumbs and spice, but he won't let me put in salt."
Mia keeps on smiling. "Sure. I can even lend a hand. I've had to learn to cook to avoid an all-chili diet," she jokes. She starts heading back towards the kitchen. "I make a pretty wicked marinara sauce," she promises. "You'll have to teach me how to make the meatballs, though." She lets Lian lead the way from there.