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Fic: Purple Arrow

Title: Purple Arrow
Author: Brokaw22
Rating: T
Characters: Roy Harper, Lian Harper (various Bats in later chapters)
Summary: Roy encounters a 15-year-old Lian from a different Earth.
Spoilers for Cry for Justice 7
Thanks to Kathy for the beta work.
Chapter Two

 

There were a lot of things that Roy Harper had never expected to have happen to him...losing an arm being one of them, but you get over certain things. What you don't get over is having a 15-year-old girl who claims to be your daughter from an alternate Earth staring at you with a glare that any of the Bats would be proud of, and leveling a--is that a purple arrow?--at your head.

 

The girl is dressed from head to toe in something that looks like some version of his Red Arrow costume, except that hers is dark blue and purple. Her mask looks more like Robin's though, and that's probably the oddest part. She's got on nice heavy boots, and clearly the costume is very well made. He can tell from here that she's got more amour on than he does, but it clearly doesn't hinder any of her movements. Roy thinks that she wouldn't look out of place with a cape on, which he knows is an extremely odd thought to have right now. Her costume looks like something that the Bats would wear, which is pretty much the biggest warning sign that he's ever seen. He knows that he should be on his guard right now. "Hi ya, dad." The girl smiles at him with a Cheshire grin.

 

Roy has to force himself to glare…has to force himself not to just gather the girl into a hug, because she even sounds like his little girl. "I'm not your father." Roy grits out, because well, anything else and he would a sobbing mess on the ground.

 

"Well, that's obvious. My dad…the Roy Harper from my world…he died when I was a kid."

 

That makes Roy's heart clench a little more, because there isn't a day that goes by that he doesn't wish it would have been him. "I see…so, what do you call yourself?"

 

She laughs at him, and he's finding it harder and harder to stand. It's so much like his little girl that he wants to just run in the other direction, curl up on his floor, and weep. "Isn't it obvious?" She tilts her arrow at him a little more.

 

"Are you telling me that you seriously go by Purple Arrow?"

 

She nods at him and smirks as she puts the arrow away. "I just was never a red or green kinda girl. Plus, my dad never wanted me to look anything like a Robin."

 

Roy laughs, because that's something he can totally agree with. "I remember when my Lian was little and she told me that she wanted to be Robin when she grew up. I think my heart stopped for a good minute and a half."

 

She laughs with him for a moment before sobering. "So, I take it your Lian isn't in the life."

 

Roy shakes his head and tries to talk around the lump in his throat. "She…she didn't make it to your age."

 

The girl's eyes clearly widen behind the mask at that. "Oh…I…I'm so sorry. This has to be so hard for you. I mean, when I first saw you after I got out of that portal-like thing, I wanted to cry. You must be…" She bites her bottom lip. "I can't even imagine…"

 

"It's okay." It's not, and they both know it's not, but Roy is going to say whatever he has to to get her to stop biting her lip like that, because it shouldn't make him miss his little girl anymore than anything else, but it does. It's so much worse seeing mannerisms that remind him so much of his Lian, who never got to even try her hand at the Arrow thing. Roy's not naïve…he knows that if Lian had lived, she would have become an Arrow, and she would have been great at it, too.

 

The girl in front of him, and he isn't about to refer to her as Lian any time in the near future if he can help it, steps closer to him. "I can go, if that would be better for you. I'm sure there's a bat cave around here somewhere, and I'm sure Grandpa Bruce--if he's still alive--can help me get home."

 

Roy blinks at that a few times because even if she is a Lian Harper, and 15, and in the life, she still shouldn't be trying to do what's best for him when she's the one on a new Earth and dealing with seeing a guy who looks just like her dead dad. Unfortunately, Roy knows that he isn't really coping well, and he doesn't really know what to say or do, so just ignoring her question seems to be the best option for him. "Um…are you close to big grim and creepy in your world?"

 

She throws her head back and laughs. After a few moments she composes herself again. "Um, yeah, actually after you and most of my aunts and uncles died in my world, Grandpa Bruce raised me."

 

Roy isn't sure if he's allowed to have a brain aneurism on her actual dad's behalf, because he can't even imagine what would have happened had Bruce been left to raise his little girl--and what he can imagine terrifies him. "I…I'm not even sure what to say to that. The only question I can even think to ask is how you ended up as an Arrow at all."

 

She smiles as she folds her arms over her chest. "Well, Grandpa Bruce was really hoping I would end up as Batgirl or something, but Uncle Tim talked him into letting me chose my own identity…or at least that's how he put it to Grandpa Bruce. Uncle Tim already had the Purple Arrow costume made and my weapons ready. He knew that I would want to be like my dad."

 

Roy nods, because that actually explains a lot. Tim would take the time to make sure Roy's daughter was well prepared for whatever she encountered, and the amount of amour, overall appearance, and sheer amount of weaponry has Tim's signature all over it. "Are you close to your Uncle Tim? My Lian wasn't really. I mean, he babysat her sometimes, and he definitely cared for her, and she certainly loved him, but this Tim…well, he had been going through a lot before my little girl died. I know he regrets not spending more time with her, but I'm pretty sure that we all do."

 

The girl's smile doesn't really fade, but Roy could tell that she was probably imagining what her life would have been like without her Tim, and it clearly wasn't a good thing. "Yeah, I'm really close to my Uncle Tim. He trained me more than anyone, helped me deal with my dad's death, and kept me from killing Grandpa Bruce when he got overly…."

 

"Battish?"

 

"Protective."

 

Roy grins because…yeah, he could definitely see that. "Are you close to your Uncle Dick, as well?" Roy had always thought that if anyone was going to take care of his daughter when he died that it was definitely going to be Dick--if there were no Arrows who could.

 

She shakes her head remorsefully. "I was when I was younger, but he died when my father did. Uncle Tim said that he wasn't surprised that they went out together, since they were always getting into trouble together."

 

Roy hums to himself in confirmation of that. "Yeah, I'm pretty sure no matter what Earth you go to, at one point or another there is a Dick Grayson and Roy Harper causing trouble."

 

The girl laughs lightly at that before biting her lip uncertainly for a moment. "Is your Dick Grayson still alive?"

 

Roy nods enthusiastically. "You bet, although I'm not really sure how. I swear he thinks gravity is optional for him."

 

She grins a little at that. "Do you think maybe I could meet him?"

 

Roy thinks about that for a moment. On one hand, Dick would probably kill him for not letting him meet a Lian Harper who was raised by the Bats, but on the other hand, if Dick has half as hard a time seeing this girl as Roy does, Dick might want to punch him in the face. The girl looks really hopeful, though, and it's confirmed that no Lian Harper can be denied when using that pout. "Yeah, I mean, we'll have to go to the bat cave anyway to figure out how to get you home." Roy's not stupid. He knows he's justifying it, and that it's a lame way to justify such a thing, but she looks happy, so he can't really care.

 

She smiles so brightly at him that he thinks his heart is going to explode, and he's back to feeling like he's going to sob at any moment; but before either of those things can happen she's back to looking at him uncertainly. "Will I get to meet this world's Tim, too?"

 

"Yeah, I don't see how we could possibly avoid him if we're going to the bat cave. It's almost like he never leaves the damn cave now-a-days."

 

She frowns deeply at him. "That's not right. Granted I don't know this world's Tim, but I'm pretty sure no world's Tim should spend so much time underground. My Uncle Tim…well, if he spends too much time in the cave, it's bad. It means that he's brooding about Uncle Dick's death. He usually leaves the brooding about dad's death to me, though."

 

Roy ran a hand (the non robotic one) through his hair. "Do you, um, brood often?"

 

She laughs at him for a good long moment. "Let me guess, you're worried because brooding is a Bat trait, right?"

 

Roy's mouth twitches into a small grin at that. "Well, yeah. I mean, clearly I don't know your dad, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't want his little girl picking up too many Bat traits."

 

She shakes her head at him, and a few strands of dark hair fall out of her ponytail. "I don't think Uncle Tim would let that happen anyway. He always makes sure I know that I'm an Arrow, and act appropriately, which basically means playing pranks on Grandpa Bruce and keeping both of them from getting too grouchy."

 

Roy laughs again, because that's pretty much what he's been doing for the last couple of years, too--but he's not willing to examine whether that's more to distract himself than anything else. "So, I guess we should probably head to Gotham, and then try to get you home, huh?"

 

She raises an eyebrow at him as she folds her arms over her chest, and Roy knows…just knows that she learned that from her Uncle Tim. "You know, if this is too weird or too difficult for you I can totally find my own way to Gotham. I assume maps work the same way in this world."

 

Roy shakes his head, because the one thing he had hoped his little girl would never pick up was Tim's dry sarcasm and monotone voice, which this Lian seems to have down pat. "No, it's fine, really. Besides, if Dick found out I let a Lian Harper find her way to Gotham on her own when I know damn well where to take her, I'd never hear the end of it. You don't want to be responsible for a Bat giving an Arrow a lecture on proper etiquette, do you?"

 

She smirks at him evilly, and it looks like a weird cross between his Lian's evil smirk and Tim's. It's actually a little hard to watch. "I might want to see such an event. I mean, I'm pretty much the last Arrow there is in my world."

 

"Oh…" Roy isn't really sure what to say to that, because he can't even imagine a world like that. "I can't even imagine what kind of disaster could take out so many of us."

 

The girl shrugs. "I don't know. Uncle Tim won't let me read or watch any of the news articles from that terrible day. He always tells me that he does his best to prepare me for every conceivable scenario, and unconceivable ones, too, but sometimes there are just some things we can't avoid. And trust me; I've tried breaking every lock he's got. I've tried accessing the data from other computers, but he was trained by Oracle, so I've kinda just accepted that I'm screwed."

 

"I doubt your dad would want you seeing that stuff anyway."

 

She shrugs at him again. "I don't know, but I feel like I have a right to see it."

 

Roy nods, and feels like he should be feeling some variety of uncomfortable here, but he's just not. "I'm sure your Uncle Tim is just trying to protect you. He's probably already sifted through everything he could find about what happened and has probably done everything in his power to prepare you for such things, but doesn’t see any reason for you to dwell."

 

She folds her arms over her chest again, and Roy is really starting to wonder if she once had a costume with a cape, because it just seems to fit with her stance, or maybe that's just something else she picked up from her Tim. "Because he's doing enough dwelling for the both of us. I hear you, but it doesn’t make me any less angry."

 

"I bet, but give him some slack. I don't know how old your Tim is, but I doubt he was ready for his big brother and a bunch of his friends to die. I'm sure he's just doing his best."

 

She sighs and lets her arms fall to her sides again. "Yeah, I know he is, but sometimes it's just damn irritating, and Grandpa Bruce can just be so damn overbearing sometimes. It's really frustrating when they both go all…'we're just trying to keep you safe' on my ass."

 

Roy nods in understanding. "I can see how that could get annoying, and I definitely feel like I should be saying something here about 'language, young lady,' but well…it's not like I'm your father." And that last bit was more of a reminder for himself than anything else. Because it would just be so easy to pretend like he hadn't lost his entire world the day that Lian died. It'd be so easy to just take this girl home and pretend like his daughter was just missing for a really long time, but he can't. He knows he can't, because this Lian has a family on a different Earth, who is probably going crazy because she's missing...especially since that family is a family of Bats, and that's just so wrong, and yet so right.

 

She's staring down at the ground, when Roy finally remembers that he needs to stop having minor mental breakdowns while this girl is here, standing in front of him, dealing so much better than he is. "Um, yeah, you're not my dad, but is it wrong that I really wouldn't mind it if you reprimanded me for my language?"

 

Roy shakes his head, and feels his heart break all over again. He's been spending this entire time referring to her as 'the girl' in his head because he can't handle thinking of her as Lian, but that doesn't change the fact that she is a Lian Harper, and she misses her father just like he misses his baby girl. Before he can stop himself Roy is pulling her into a hug. "You should really watch your language."

 

The girl laughs and it’s a pained noise…sharp and anguished as she wraps her arms around him tightly. "I miss him so much."

 

Roy lays his chin on the top of her head as he pets her ponytail. "I know you do, sweetie. I miss my baby girl too."

 

She lets out a breath, and he can tell that she's trying to control her breathing…trying to hold back the tears, which…she was raised by Bats, so that's not nearly as wrong as Roy thinks it should be, but he can't let her do that for his own sake. "Let it out, baby girl."

 

She clutches at him, and squeezes him even tighter as she lets the first few tears fall. "I…I didn't want to do this in front of you. I wanted to be strong."

 

"I know you did, but that's not necessary." Roy is completely overlooking the fact that he wants to break down and cry now, too, but he allows himself to strengthen the embrace.

 

"But you have to be hurt too…unless….unless I don't look like her. I mean, you look just like him. Did…did your Lian look more like you and less like her mother?"

 

Roy shakes his head and he can't keep the tears from falling either. "No, you look just like her, albeit older."

 

She presses her face into his chest. "I'm sorry…I'm so sorry. I don't want to be a painful reminder for you." The girl's voice is muffled by his shirt.

 

"I know. It's not your fault, kiddo, and I know I'm probably an equally painful reminder for you too."

 

"Yeah, but…"

 

Roy pulls back enough that she can see his eyes. He doesn't really remember when he took off the mask, but it was probably sometime after a 15-year-old Lian Harper showed up pointing a purple arrow at him and sometime before his brain broke completely. "Don't…don't tell me how you were raised by Bats and you're expected to be better. You're still just a kid, and no, I don't want to hear anything about how you're 15, because that's still a kid in my book."

 

She nods once, just the way Tim does when he's not in the mood to argue, and then lays her head back on his chest. After a few moments she pulls away, and clearly has to readjust her mask. "So, how are we getting to Gotham?"

 

Roy wants to cringe at how good she is at going from emotional teenager to perfectly professional in seconds. No kid should be able to do that. It doesn't matter that she's probably more Bat kid than Arrow. "Well, I think it's probably better if we go in civvies. There really isn't any reason to call the wrong type of attention to ourselves."

 

She gives another curt nod, like she's taking orders, and Roy really isn't comfortable with that expression. He never really has been, not from anyone who wasn't on his team anyway, but he can't help but think that maybe it's better than the way they were interacting before. Well, maybe better isn't the right word for it, but Roy is certain that it's easier. "If you tell me where to meet you I can get some civilian clothes, and then we can leave."

 

Roy is fairly certain that having her meet him at his home would just be difficult, awkward, and bad for both of them; even if it isn't anything like the one he had in Star City. He gives her directions to a place not far from his current residence. He'll need to gather a few supplies before the trip, and it's just easier than trying to find somewhere easy to find, but not too easy to find. She nods again, the way Tim does when he's working a case with Roy and he's just about to…Roy's thought trails off as he watches her give him a small smile before jumping off the roof. Exactly the way Tim would.

 

Roy is pretty sure he's never going to get used to a Lian that acts so much like the Bats, and he's almost a little grateful that he really won't have to for long, because Tim is good at that computer stuff and the other Bats will certain help get this Lian back to where she belongs, and probably in a hurry too. He thinks that maybe he should be concerned that this Lian has picked up so many of Tim's mannerisms and so few of Bruce's. Not that he thinks any Lian should act like Bruce in any way, shape, or form, but that has to mean that Bruce isn't in a position to teach her…not the way that he did with the others in his care anyway. Then again, maybe that Bruce was just completely against training her, so he left it up to Tim. Roy has a sneaking suspicion that the answer is closer to the first one though. He can't imagine a crisis that could take out so many heroes and leave a Batman all in one piece.

 

Roy mentally shakes his head and forces himself to stop thinking about it. He needs to focus on the task at hand, and right now that task is getting a 15-year-old Lian Harper from a very different world to Gotham. He can handle that…or so he hopes.

 

The End (for now)


Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
spastasmagoria
Mar. 9th, 2010 04:21 am (UTC)
glad you finished and posted this!!
eternal_moonie
Mar. 23rd, 2011 06:22 pm (UTC)
omg! I'm so ashamed. I only JUST found out about this fic.

I really love this start!
brokaw22
Mar. 23rd, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, don't be ashamed! I write so sporadically I'm surprised that anyone is reading it at all. Thanks for taking the time to comment, though.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )