Birds of Prey Chapter 11: Sunrise Mar 1, 2015 3:32:45 GMT -5
Post by adrini on Mar 1, 2015 3:32:45 GMT -5
Birds of Prey Chapter 11:
“He’s so cute!” Kate said, as she looked over the small boy. At three months Tommy was looking like a baby, and less like a human like crying creature. It seemed that he heard her, as he flashed a smile and reached to play with her hair.
“Why did you name him after Thomas?” Renee asked as Jade took the moment to get some work done. Kate, hardened as she was, was actually fond of the kid. Visits had already become more common after Di’s loss, but with Tommy’s arrival and Jade needing help they were now almost daily. Thomas had showed up once, and quickly run. She had no idea if she would see him again.
“Naivete.” Jade said and shrugged. “Thought if he had a junior he might actually show up. Oh well.”
“He’s all you.” Kate had picked up the infant and was playing with him so he would let his mother get things done. “Good sense to go with the superior genes.”
Watching her friends fawn over her son, Jade smiled a little. Free of family Kate had, if only among her and her mate, started to really come into her own. Using her personal fortune Kate had gotten a real flat for herself and Renee, and Jade hadn't missed that it had a guest room neither of them were willing to talk about. She was just curious as to who would be volunteering to take the fall.
It was after the house work had been done and they were sitting on the sofa passing around the resident mascot that Renee pulled out a small package. She winced before she spoke.
“Not to ruin the mood.” She said as Kate winced also.
“We found her.” Kate said simply. “Or so it looks.”
“A lot of the bone had been baked to dust, so I guess it’s not one hundred percent. But we also found this.” Renee said, pushing the package to her. “We talked and we wanted you to have it. It would mean more to you.”
Jade had a sinking feeling that she knew what it might be. She could feel herself tremble as she picked it up. The police wrapping was easy to open and she tipped the pouch into her hand.
They were little more than gold flecks now, and the paper photographs were long gone, but she knew what she was holding. One or two of the large fragments still had the engraved lines she had once assumed she would see forever. It was as much of her sister as she was going to have now.
“You were closer to her then anyone, it had to be you.” Kate said, as Jade held the fragment tightly. These she wouldn’t lose. “I’m sorry it’s not more.”
“It’s more than I had, Kate.” She very carefully put the prices back in the container, knowing exactly what she was going to do with them. “Thank you.”
--BOP--“Glad to see you’re enjoying paradise.” Adrien said as the young woman on the screen grinned a little. “How is the new work?”
“Not bad, I’d far rather carry grain then palm oil. I don’t know if you know who is in charge of it but the barrels leak. Almost took our hands several times.” Di said, trying to take care of her mental to-do list. “Other than that we’re pretty good though, the musical groups are a big hit. People get excited over the drummers.”
“Was that really you in that picture the professor sent me?” Di blushed a little but nodded. “Nice fire you had going there.”
“It just, well, happened. I don’t remember the last time I danced before that. But it was sunset, and they had this huge bonfire. The drummers were in this long line-“ She was excited just describing it.
“The time was right.” Adrien said, and she nodded. “I’m glad, you’re coming back.”
“About time, really. It’s been almost a year. Speaking of going back to things.” Di looked at her hopefully.
“No. At least not yet. Roulette is still looking for you and the bulk of ‘haven crooks blame you for what happened to them after the brawls. You wouldn't make it.” Adrien said firmly. Oliver used the same tactic, sweeting his way into making you want to say yes. Even with years of letting the young man down, however, Miss Lance still made it hard, she was a true master.
“I don’t think they know I’m alive!” She said, true fears at surface. “They could be sitting there, just morning and have no idea I’m still with the living.”
“Look, a few more months and the last of the leads will die out, it’s just in the programming. Once that happens you can send out a few letters.” She needed to stay hidden to stay alive, one day these friends would understand. In the interim Adrien wasn't sorry for keeping her as far from ‘haven as possible. “Try to wait a little more.”
“But they-“ She tried to talk but by now knew that there wasn't a point. “Fine. I have work to do.”
The screen went dark and Adrien sighed, she knew leaving her friends behind was hurting her. She was a young woman in her prime without parent, friend or partner. It had to be hard.
She could hear Diggle’s frustration before the man even made it to her. He was almost physically steaming.
“What now?” She asked, turning her chair. He kept his cool long enough to get into her office but that was the edge of his control.
“There is no way either of the parents would put up with any of this!” He half screamed, actually angry. “He’s arrogant, mean, self-centered-“
“He’s in pain, morning.” Adrien tried to explain, Oliver had only lost his parents six months ago.
“And I’m finding it hard to care!” Diggle said. “I lost them to, it sucks. But if he’s going to ride this out on that excuse-“
He couldn't finish the thought. The meeting must have gone very badly.
“What happened?” She asked again.
“I found him a date, that’s all. That’s my crime.” The man said. “He’s been working 90 hours weeks, I thought a break would do him good. God, even Thea tried to get him to go out for an hour and he threw her out.”
“Thea, but-“ Thea always got through.
“Thea. I thought we were done with this, but he’s back on the damn island again.” Diggle yelled. “He won’t take help from anyone.”
The man, having vented, fell into a chair. Adrien however was thinking. She had a young woman who wouldn't stop asking to contact her old friends and a young man who wouldn't give himself a chance to breathe. It was time.
Renee was lounging in sweat pants and a cotton tee, and enjoying a mug of tea. It was her day off, more importantly it was Kate’s day off. After their morning visit they were settling in for an easy day.
That morning had not been easy. With no actual body to bury Kate had placed a statue in the park that Di had loved in her time there. It was one of the few really nice views in ‘haven, peaceful even.
Bright and early, when the park was still mostly empty, the four had gone to mark the one year anniversary. In truth they had no idea when she had actually passed, but it was a valid guess. After they had grabbed a meal and gone separate ways. Jade had a meeting with her mother.
Kate walked in, wearing very skimpy yoga shorts, and started a yoga set to loosen up before her fuller workout. It was something Renee had no problem watching.
There was a frantic and panicked knock on the door and both of them hurried to see what was wrong. Jade was standing there, holding on to Tommy with a vice like grip, and sobbing.
Ushering her inside she clung to Kate and began to calm down. Renee had no idea what was going on, neither did Kate.
“I need you to hide him.” Jade said, panicked. “Please Kate. I need you to find a place, somewhere.”
Jade was pushing Tommy, who was thoroughly freaked out, into her arms. Kate took the kid.
“Anywhere she can’t find him, I don’t care where.” Jade continued. “But she can’t have him, she just can’t.”
“She won’t, what happened.” Renee said as Kate tried to calm to kid.
“I went back, she said she wanted to talk about something. She had a bunch of people there, the terrible people, and they wanted to start the ritual of raising a child in the family.” Jade almost started to cry again. “You have to understand, they-they do terrible things. I’ll be homeless, I don’t care, but they can’t do that to my son!”
Jade started crying again, and ran to Tommy who happily clung to his mother. Kate looked at her, lost. Renee could only shrug.
“So they want a contract on Tommy.” Jade nodded, peppering her son with kisses to assure herself he was well. “So we need something that can cancel out that claim. What counts?”
“Um, there are a few things.” Jade said, thinking. It was helping. “I could claim a stake in a new city, but the law would mean I’d have to be welcomed into a house.”
“Fresh out. Anything else?” Renee asked.
“Yes.” Jade said, suddenly much calmer. “If Thomas would claim him as his son that would be a stronger claim. That of the blood, not of the line. I think I know where he is.”
“Kate, change.” Renee said as she went to change herself. “Jade, hide in the guest room. Lock the door. She’ll know to look here.”
Fate was hiding something. She knew it. Furthermore she could tell he was happy about something. That was nice, but he always told her what was happening and all of a sudden he wasn't.
She followed the man into the library and took a book off the shelf, old of course. Waiting until he was done with his own chapter she walked over and looked at it. The Book of the Canaries. That didn't make sense. The Lances had died out, she still was hit with the grief of it sometimes. But the book made her think. Lines did die out, when they did their book, well, faded away. A failed line of fate. It was tragic, but it happened.
The Book of the Canaries was still here, more it was thick, at least three inches. If anything it had gotten bigger than the decent size volume it was before. Maybe there was a secondary line, it happened.
She sat down and picked it up, gently opening the pages. It was stuff she knew. Mrs. Lance taking on the Canary name, Di being born, and the team she had loved. Resigned she kept turning. Mrs. Lance’s passing, Di’s kidnapping, the torture with Roulette, her trying to help the kids and-
Di’s injured form being rushed out of the tunnels, a dark hospital room, and suddenly the gym.
Ted heard the door open and soft footsteps enter the room, half-drunk he was in no mood to take on some starry eyed idealist who thought they could fix the world. It was broken, and people who tried to fix it got broken to.
He was ready to say this when he turned and instead found himself unable to speak. It wasn't possible.
She was cut and bruised in ways he had never seen on her before, but Dinah was standing there. She was leaning on a cane and weak from even the effort to get from the car to the front door. Roulette had done a number, certainly, but not taken her out.
He looked for anther few seconds and then rushed to help her, bring a chair over, make sure she wasn't about to fall.
“Thank you.” Was all she said. She was shaken, still weak, not well.
“You got it, kiddo.” He said, taking inventory of her wounds –and these were the ones that hadn't healed yet. “Good to see you.”
“I came to tell you something.” She said, thankfully leaning into the chair. “I’m still being hunted, but I found someone who wants to get me out. I leave as soon as I’m done here.”
Ted wasn't surprised, even relieved.
“What can I do?” He asked, gently touching the healing hand.
“I’m told that if anyone looks for me I could be found again.” She said and he nodded.
“Mums the word, Little Bird.” He said immediately.
“Look after them for me. As soon as things clear up I’ll be back, help out again. But right now-“ She pulled up her sleeve, her skin was marked with wide scars.
“Go.” He said and pulled her out of the chair. The car outside was honking. “Run, get away from this place.”
She only nodded, then walked slowly with her cane to the door again before fading into the white of the memory.
Zatanna was crying, sobbing, bent over the volume that she was holding onto with everything she had and feeling the hot tears fall on her knees. Alive, Di was alive. Those sweet words washed away months of pain and loss. She was wracked with those tears for some time until she felt a hand on her shoulder. Fate was there and knelt down next to her, handing her a handkerchief.
“I thought that might help.” He said kindly. “All will be well, look at the next page.”
She cleaned up her face and gently turned the paper page. Even as she cried, she smiled.
Di was safe, healthy again, and far away. Sitting on a porch at sunrise she was wrapped in a green blanket and resting peacefully in slumber. She looked happy.
“Much more to come, Little Rabbit.” He said, taking the book before she could look. “Trust in Fate.”
It was the same house, but it wasn't, Jade thought as she woke up and walked to the front room. Far from perfect, but better then what she had. And she couldn't shake the feeling that it was temporary.
Thomas, once confronted with three angry women, had taken his place as Tommy’s father. If anything he had taken to the role too well, but considering her other option this was preferred. At the moment he was sitting on the floor and playing with his son to keep him quiet so she could sleep. Tommy was loving it, and trying to talk to the man who now couldn't get enough of him.
At six months Tommy was happy, but there was a problem. She could feel it. He wasn't keeping food down, he was in pain after meals, there was blood in his diaper. They had taken him to the local clinic but they had found nothing and suggested that it was a passing parasite. But it was still happening.
Taking money from Kate for the medicine would break the claim, so Thomas was back taking every job he could get to afford the real tests that would let them find out what was actually wrong. This being ‘haven it wasn't going very well.
Tommy was fighting, but as she watched she swallowed her worry. She would do anything, if it would only save her son.
The pale green office was quiet. It had become general rule to leave the new CEO alone, he was brilliant but not known for his winning personality. Even the secretary outside buzzed in news rather than going in himself.
“He’s expecting you, Ms. Rivers.” The young man said. “Not too bad today.”
“It’s just dropping off a file, there shouldn't be a problem.” She said, walking to the door. “But I appreciate the warning.”
He nodded and she walked inside. Oliver was suffering under the weight of the loss of his parents, the responsibility of his taking on his sister as a ward and taking charge of one of the largest privately held companies in the world. He wavered between stress induced rage and more depression then she really wanted to think about. She hoped that was about to change.
“I think I know what those are.” He said and she handed over the pile. “Perfectly done, as always. What I wouldn't give for a hundred of you.”
“I could try, but it seems unlikely.” She said, sitting down. “If you have time I do have information on another matter, it’s taken some time to complete the file.”
“New merger?” He asked, looking up. She hid a smile. “Leave it on the side pile and I’ll get to it.”
“Of a certain kind, yes.” She stood. “You are still interested in a certain ‘haven vigilante by the name of ‘Black Canary’, I assume. If not I can see it’s filed.”
He froze, stopped. Pen in mid motion, the air seemed to be still. His features locked in place. Only his eyes moved, looking at her.
“Complete file?” He repeated. “Up to date complete file?”
“Fully, yes.” She said, pulling the item from her bag. “It seems she disappeared into our ranks, she’s been working under us for some time. You’ll want her real name I assume, location, psych profiles.”
“Give me that-“ He stood, disturbing several piles but didn't notice. As though starving he opened the file and devoured the information, beginning to beam. “You did it, it’s her! I know that camp, I was there with Dad when it opened. That’s, right 12 hour forward. I’d get there first thing in the morning but work starts about eight, it’s only a few hours. I can find her office, request a meeting, first thing in the day.”
He was in his own world, but a far happier and welcoming one.
“Plane leaves in two hours. Enough time to pack and get there. I have Digs busy with something else.” She said, and he grinned. “Roy and I can take over here.”
“Yes. Yes, that’s perfect.” He said, running to her and giving her the biggest hug she’d gotten from him in years. “Thank you, thank you so much Adrien. Just do what you need to here.”
Running out of the office he made it to the elevator before pushing the button and impatiently waiting for the ride to get there. Roy came out of the shadows and stood next to her, looking at her knowingly.
“You've been sitting on this one.” He said, and she nodded.
“She wasn't ready, dealing with her own losses.” She explained. Roy nodded.
“So grump Oliver?” He asked hopefully.
“With any luck, yes, gone for good.” She grinned. “With any luck much brighter days are ahead.”
She hadn't meant to fall asleep on the porch. It was a habit she really needed to break. But it was a nice habit. Curled up on the padded seti, thick green foam blanket keeping her the perfect temperature, greeting the sunrise and the promise of a new day. It was a greeting card, but real.
She had been awoken by a plane landing nearby, the only downside of this spot, then by talking soon after. But that had drifted to the barracks so it was quiet and still again. The pale orange of the sky just barely touching the heavens she curled into a warm ball and watched.
There were footsteps nearby, soft conversation. Some small matter to be dealt with by someone else. But as the purple of the sky began to fade she noticed that the steps were coming near her. Another person to watch the sunrise, she couldn't blame them.
They walked over to the benches and stopped near her, it was reasonable to get scolded for sleeping out here. Local bugs did carry all kinds of things she wasn't inoculated for.
“Are you Miss Lance?” She heard a man’s voice say. “Dinah Laurel Lance?”
“All three names, always a sign of trouble.” She said and stood up, to face the speaker. “Welcome to Alpha Camp, culture and resource alocat-“
She couldn't finish. She couldn't walk. She could just look. What she was seeing couldn't be real.
“Green eyes.” It must have been an odd thing to say, but they were new and old at the same time. She was seeing them for the hundredth time and the first.
“From my mother. I was wondering if I could have a word, Miss Lance.” The man said. Blond beard and mustache, sweeping hair, brown jacket, and vibrant emerald green eyes. If he wasn't also wearing a wrinkled shirt from sleeping in his cloths and carrying a scuffed phone she would have thought him impossible. “I've come a long way.”
“Yes, I have my keys on me, um, my office is close by.” She patted her pockets, she had them somewhere.
“Mind if we watch the sunrise first?” He asked, also looking at her. She was suddenly very aware she hadn't showered in days. “We don’t get anything like this back home.”
“Yes, of course.” She moved the blanket and sat down, he quickly followed. “I’m sorry, not to be rude, but you are?”
“Queen, Oliver Queen.” The man she never met, who wouldn't stop looking. If he had been there the whole time she should have told Kate to shove off and just gone out to meet him. “I hope you don’t mind, but it’s taken a long time to find you.”