|The More Responsible Harper|
|What: Mia drops by at Roy's place again. Lian proves she's the most responsible member of the entire extended family. Also, Mia and Roy discuss Ollie, and Mia tells Roy about her HIV status.|
It's been a couple of days since Roy confronted Ollie at Central Park, and the young SHIELD Agent was still feeling the brunt of it. He'd had to listen to his daughter tsk-tsking him for the last two days too.
"Daddy, fighting is -bad-."
"Daddy, -why- were you fighting, when you say it's bad?"
"Daddy, why can't _I_ hit Mikey? You hit Grandpa!"
"Daddy, why -don't- you like family?"
It was enough to drive a man to despair, and worse yet, he couldn't just -hide- from his daughter. And hiding from her babysitters didn't help either, because THEY would just give him -cold- looks about being a good role model.
So when the bell rings, and Roy notices it's Mia Dearden at the other end of the door, it's almost a -welcome- respite. Who cares if his face looked like nebulas had exploded on his face?
It was a relief that was short-lived, as Mia opened her mouth...
"Hey, you're not gonna hit me, are you?" Mia asks as she barges in. Prettymuch most of her entrances can be described as barging in... even when the door is opened to her. Before Roy can answer, she holds out a bag containing a pint of expensive ice cream. "You can either eat it, or just hold it up to your face. How're you feeling, besides bruised?"
"No, I am not," Roy grumps, rolling his eyes. "Not unless you want me to hit on you." He's about to tell her to get her butt in when Mia enters anyway, and Roy closes the door behind her.
"Who is it, Daddy?" calls out a voice from an adjoining room, and out comes Lian, who shrieks, and dashes to do a flying hug at Mia. "Auntie Mia!" she shrieks, before snatching the bag. "Ooo, you brought ice cream!" And without so much as a by-your-leave, she takes the ice cream to the kitchen.
"... cute kid, isn't she?" Roy remarks, as he plops down onto the couch. "So, bratgirl... you gonna lay it on me now? Go ahead, I can take it."
"Nah, I think I got everything I needed to say said," Mia responds, letting the smaller (and possibly more level-headed) Harper take the ice cream. "That Hawkeye girl called you Agent Harper. Is that something you can tell me about without having to kill me?" she asks. "Not gonna tell Ollie, promise," she adds.
That Lian Harper comes back with -three- bowls of ice cream is probably a testament to being -raised- well... or possibly a case of nature overcoming nurture. It'd be an interesting psychological study.
As Mia has a bowl of ice cream practically shoved in her face before Lian settles a messy bowl in front of Roy and then digs into her ice cream, Roy shrugs. "I work for S.H.I.E.L.D., kiddo. That's all you need to know, if you want to know more, you'll have to sign up. Why are you two in New York, anyway...?"
"Oooh, Ollie's gonna love hearing that. Make sure I'm there when you tell him," she says, taking the bowl from Lian with a polite thank-you that is not so much a testament to being raised well as just not wanting to set too bad of an example. "Some business thing of Ollie's, I think. I stayed back in Star City til I finished off my last few school credits. Which still feels weird to say. I /graduated/. Even considering college."
"You mean working for 'the Man'?" Roy replies dryly as he digs into the ice cream.
"Daddy's working for the Woman. I've met her," Lian nods solemnly. "He also works for the Pirate that smells like smoke."
"Pirate... oh. Sweetie, an eyepatch doesn't mean Fury is a pirate."
"Aw... so he won't bring me the horizon?" Pout.
"No. Mia... you said something about college? Here or in Star City?" There's a wrinkle of his nose, as Roy considers. "Because if you're going to do college in New York..." Not a word about Ollie, not going to touch that subject with a ten foot pole yet.
"Don't even know if I'm gonna go," she admits. "I've been busting my-" a pause, and she reminds herself of Lian's presence "-behind training, trying to fit classes in seems impossible. Never mind a social life. /This/ is the closest I've gotten to that in a while."
"Busting your behind?" Lian pouts. "Aw, I wanted you to put money in the swear jar."
"She's not allowed to say it either," Roy comments somewhat guiltily. Yes, Lian's daddy contributed a -lot- to her swear jar... probably just about 99 percent of it. Lian certainly wasn't going to give up -her- money by being a potty mouth... yet.
"Social life... huh. Hasn't the old man..." Roy still wasn't going to grace Ollie by using HIS name... "... gotten around to squaring you to all those -events-, or are you just going around picketing?"
Mia laughs. "Field trips with the old man don't count as a social life," she counters, then groans a little. "Oh my God," she says as she suddenly realizes something. "I don't think I've gone on a single date since-" she starts counting on her fingers. "Let's see. Carry the two... divide by pathetic..."
"Daddy says I'm not allowed to go on one till I'm twenty," Lian says. "How old are you?"
"Eat your ice cream, Lian," Roy coughs, pausing to dump the rest of his ice cream into Lian's bowl. He didn't care if she got -more- energetic, as long as she was distracted from asking awkward questions. "Besides, I was thinking of the old man's parties. The ones where you had to sit around being a trophy for his pals."
"Apprently telling a rich lady off for telling you how 'brave' you are for 'overcoming such obstacles' is a good way to get un-invited to those sorta things," Mia says with a bit of a shrug. "I'm not very good at the trophy-kid thing. And Ollie... has, I think, grown up a little." She holds her fingers about an inch or so apart.
Holding his fingers closer to about a quarter inch, Roy shrugs, as Lian looks confused. "Trophy kid?" she asks, before Roy motions for her to eat her ice cream. Lian just looks rebellious, and turns towards Mia instead, pointedly ignoring her father.
"Not that it's any of my business, and you don't have to answer right now while little pitchers have big ears, but..."
"I'd rather be a batter, daddy, and I DO NOT HAVE BIG EARS."
"Man. You really don't miss anything, do you kiddo?" she says to Lian, stifling a giggle. "And your ears are fine." She finshes off the last of her ice cream and tucks her feet under herself on the couch. "I'll tell you the rest later," she promises Roy. "It's all pretty boring, anyway," she assures Lian before she can protest. "You don't wanna concern yourself with boring grown up stuff before you have to."
"Nope!" Lian is all too proud of it. Even if certain things goes over her head.
"She's better at listening than I am," sighs Roy, half with pride and half-annoyed. "I'll hold you to that. So, uh... the old man sore or what?" And -now- Roy gets down to why Mia's here, or at least expecting to hear about Ollie. So long as she didn't play dirty, Roy was sure, he could fend Mia off.
"He's fine," she says. "Probably about as fine as you are. /Man/ that was something to watch," she says, grinning a little. "And to think, I thought all those talk shows with families throwing chairs at each other were /staged/. I have a totally new outlook on daytime TV."
"What -did- Daddy do?" Lian cuts in, asking. "He won't say, just that he hit Grandpa. And that he was stupid."
"Hey now, I said it was stupid to fight, not that _I_ was stupid."
"... I think it is the same thing," Lian sniffs, as she finishes her ice cream and puts it on the table.
"Never mind, little batter," Roy reaches out to ruffle her hair. Lian, well-versed in this by now, ducks. "Don't you have homework to do?"
"Awww... I don't want to."
"Get to it, I'll check in a bit," Roy shoos her off, watching her go.
"He's done alright by me," Mia says of their shared, flawed (so very flawed) father figure, once Lian is out of earshot. "Considering the first time I met him I was-" she stops herself. "Well, let's... nevermind what I was doing at the time," she quickly adds. "He is, and I'm not exagerating, the first man to ever help me without asking me to /do/ anything for him in return," she says. "And as much as I joke about the trophy kid thing... it really isn't like that. I can't defend what he did to you, but... it's hard to connect the idea of that to who is to me."
"Hnh..." Roy seems just a bit stubborn about this, uncertain how to respond, before he sighs, running a hand through his ginger hair. "And then you decide you need to be -Speedy-..."
His green eyes runs across Mia's blues. "And what're you going to do when it's time to stop being Speedy...? Cuz I'm telling you, I'm not giving up being Arsenal. Go call up Nightwing and tell him you want -his- gig instead."
Mia, amazingly, does not come back with a quip about Nightwing's butt (and the rather extensive Internet fanbase it has), costume, or name. She just kind of sits there, very awkwardly for a few moments, and finally speaks, queitly. "I'm HIV positive. No, I don't know when I got it, no, it's not AIDS, and I'm perfectly healthy for the time being," she tells him. She winces a little. "Man. This never /doesn't/ feel like an MTV reality show."
"... oh." Sighing, Roy leans back, covering his face. After a minute, Roy sighs. "I'm guessing this is related to why the old man pickd you up...? He was always a softheart when it comes to things like this. So... uh... what're you going to do? Man, talk about being a deadly weapon on your own, just threaten to bleed on them and... sorry. Sorry. Uh..." Running his hand through his hair, Roy mutters. "What now?"
"He didn't pick me up so much as I just announced I was gonna stay with him... But, as for the latter question- I take my pills, I keep myself in good shape, and suffer through the occasional fundraising community theatre production of RENT," she says, and shrugs. "And I keep up with the Speedy thing as long as I can." <OOC> Speedy says, "...classifying this log is going to be difficult. 'Social... comedic... angsty. Arrows can't do anything appropriately'"
"Well... then whatever." Abruptly Roy grins, as he uses a spoon to flick a bit of melted ice cream at Mia. "As long as you can, then spare me the after-school special. If -I- ever turn into the poster child for recovering junkies, just shoot me- that's not what _I_'m all about. You're Speedy. Don't you forget it, or I'll kick your ass. Don't get 'mo on me."
<OOC> Roy Harper says, "I'm so the wrong person to be talking to about HIV. ;)" "Oh, so I can't convince you to play Roger in the next production I get pulled into volunteering with? Because I looked up some of those Great Frog songs- the Internet /never forgets/ anything," she says, grinning, and flinging melted ice cream right back. These are the mature adults in Lian's life. "... Hey!" And more melted ice cream gets flung back. "The Great Frog had good -songs-! We were just ahead of our time, that's all!"
And the more ice cream gets flung, and the coffee table overturned as Roy dives for Mia, preparing to give her the noogie of a lifetime...
Mia makes a loud "eek!" noise as she's pulled into the noogie. "Oh, sure, you're like, twice my size, so not fair!" she objects, poking her elbow into one of his bruises, because she fights dirty like that.
"OW!" Oh it was -so- on.
"... HAIR-PULLING? You're engaging in -HAIR-PULLING-?"
"You're the one trying to knee me down -there-!"
The last voice belonged to Lian Harper, who storms out of her bedroom and stares at her father, who has a hunk of Mia-hair in his fist, and at her 'aunt', who... never mind what -she- was grabbing.
"I am doing homework. You two belong in TIME-OUT," Lian announces in all seriousness.
"... this is your fault, you know, Speedy..."
"Shut it, ARSEnal"