Standard disclaimers apply. I'm not responsible. I know I always say this,
but Brendan FORCED this plot bunny on me. Like in the 'why don't you write
this for me, please please please' category.
Daddy's Little Girl/Mommy's Nightmare
Biting her lips, Lian turned the volume up on the television set.
".Several inmates of the slab."
Pictures of three women flashed on the screen, and after the third image
popped up, she didn't hear a word the announcer was saying. She swallowed,
one tear falling out of her eye. She didn't want to go through this again.
Her father would be upset at first. Then her father would bring Cheshire
back in again. And then her father's heart would break again, and she
couldn't watch that.
Lian would never admit it, because she was seventeen now and very
independent, or at least she thought she was. Lian would never admit it
because of all that she and her father had been through, the fighting, the
making up, the long camping trip that ended in crying, bonding and lots of
hugs (and that was just her dad). Lian wouldn't admit that she couldn't
watch her dad fall apart again because that would mean she was vulnerable
to his being vulnerable. She didn't know why she couldn't do it, but she
The Titans, including her father, were no where near by. This was something
she could handle on her own. Or at least she hoped.
Her bike roared to life with a growl that tapered off to a trill. Uncle
Dick had gotten it working for her again after the last. incident. It had
involved Young Justice, Muck Monsters and almost drowning (herself AND the
bike) in soupy mud.
A display lit up. The LCD flashed to life, and her best friend stared at
her. "You want back up on this?" Yellow Hurricane asked. "I can be there in
Lian was sure she could be.
"Why don't you guys round up the other inmates. I have Cheshire." The
emerald bike sped down the road, past cars and two cops. They'd leave her
Her younger friend had a face that was laced with anxiety. "Arrow. I don't
know girl. I mean."
Lian's face twisted. "I have to. Look. I just have to." She checked the
speedometer. She really wanted to get there before her father found out
about this and came rushing back from wherever Nightwing had dragged the
Titans. "Seventeen years of angst on my dad's part has lead up to this. I'm
going to finish it once and for all."
Hurricane looked like she couldn't even breathe. "Don't."
She shook her head. "No." With the flip of her wrist, the display shut off.
She had a plan. Her mother had never faced her before. Her father would
never permit it. If ever Cheshire was on the prowl, Jade Arrow was whisked
away, even if she had her OWN team to worry about and didn't have time for
dad's overprotective antics.
Honestly, she couldn't stand this any more. Cheshire would break out, dad
would go insane.
And where did that leave her? Constantly second fiddle to her own mother,
until dad snapped out of it. She was jealous and she hated it. She and her
father had come through FAR too much to be at this juxtaposition.
Dad had had a tracer placed in Cheshire's restraining collar years ago.
Using the newly rebuilt computers in the bike, Lian followed the collar to
the George Washington Bridge before it blipped off the map. Into the water,
she was guessing. Which was just great. Mom was getting lost in traffic.
Lian had the most dysfunctional familial unit EVER, she decided. And she
was going to do something about it. She was voting Mom off the island.
* * *
It took her an hour to track her mother down. Actually, her mother had been
looking for her, so they'd ended up chasing each other around New Jersey
which could have been fun, had it not been New Jersey. Her friends on the
GSP tried to pull her over twice, and the second time around when she was
explaining to the nice officers in brown that green cycle plus pretty girl
in green poncho and tight green pants with arrows and bow slung over
shoulder equals Jade Arrow, and Jade Arrow was currently tracking an
assassin, so that's why she was going seventy-five on the Garden State
Just as she was getting back on her bike, she saw a flash of green on a
bike up ahead, returning in the other direction. Apparently she'd gotten
behind her mother's schedule for her.
Half a mile up ahead, the Jersey barriers were parted because of
construction. Waving to her friends in the brown uniforms, she jumped the
dirty orange cones and took off in the opposite direction. "Getting there's
half the fun," she muttered to herself. Camping trips with dad were FAR
better than chasing mom, she decided. As far as family bonding went, it
Coming back around again, she saw her mother cut across three lanes of
traffic and speed off an exit. It had to be New Jersey, didn't it?
Lian pulled off behind her, almost admiring the bike her mother had stolen.
It was a Harley, which showed that Cheshire had either been incredibly
lucky, or incredibly tasteful. Cheshire even was courteous enough to slow
down. Lian knew she needed to be on guard. This was so totally those traps
that Uncle Dick warned about.
* * *
After about four miles, Lian got tired of slow-speed chasing, and did
something that drove her father nuts-shot out her mother's back tire while
driving. Mom spun out, then jumped before the vehical dropped and skidded
on the asphalt.
'You'll fall and crack your head opened!' she could hear her father
berating. It was cute, and it was also annoying in that 'dad I'm a big
girl' kind of way. She'd been all over the universe with Young Justice, but
the first stupid bike stunt, and she was getting nagged.
The bike, of course, stopped sputtering and spinning right in her path.
Jade Arrow screeched to a hault in front of it. The kick stand came down
with a click, and she leapt off her vehical, looking around. Nice, wooded
area. If Poison Ivy counted as woods. This should be a fine place for it.
"It's been a long time," was all her mother said as she approached.
In an instant, Lian had an arrow aimed at her mother's heart. "Not long
enough," she told her mother in honesty.
"Put that thing away."
Lian grinned. "Uh uh."
"What are you planning on doing with it? Shooting me in the heart?"
Before Lian could respond, her Young Justice communicator blipped. "Lian,
honey, where are you?" her father's voice was laced with concern. Hurricane
had ratted her out.
"Daddy, now isn't a good time."
"Lian, I want you back at the Titans tower."
Cheshire grinned, taking two bold steps forward. "Tell your father I say
"Aww, crap. LIAN! I can't believe. LIAN!"
Lian smiled and chuckled just a little bit. That was her dad. "Sorry,
"Lian, listen to."
Rolling her eyes, Lian let the arrow fly. At the last second she aimed just
a little low, and the arrow landed two inches from her mother's feet. "See,
this is what I've been saying." She shook her head. "I'm a big girl now.
And I think it's time we had a little talk. Or, as my friend Bart would
say, it's time for me to talk at you. If me taking aim at your heart
doesn't give you the hint that I don't want anything to do with you, I'm
not sure what will. Probably me putting a piece of metal and wood straight
through. But I'd really rather not. See, I'm the leader of Young Justice
now, and it sets a really bad example for the troops if their leader goes
off and kills someone who, by most accounts, probably deserves it."
"Lian, dearest. he's tainted you against me. We can be a family. Don't you
want to know your mother?" Jade was about to step around the arrow at her
feet, but another one came flying at her. She realized Lian had her
father's aim, and her own reflexes. The child could be dangerous.
"I know the important things. You're someone who couldn't even be with me
as I grew up because the type of person you are."
Cheshire spread her hands. "That isn't fair," she said patiently, as if
talking to a small child. "Your mother loves you. I tried to come to you."
Two more arrows fired, whisking past both of Cheshire's arms by bare
inches, forcing her hands back to her sides.
"If you loved me, you'd have stayed PUT. If you'd have loved me, you
wouldn't have broken my father's heart so many times."
"If you want to have a relationship with me, go back there and don't
Her mother's eyes narrowed. Lian saw so much of herself reflected in her
"You're voted out of the family," Lian said quietly. Another arrow launched
at her mother. The canister at the end exploded when it hit the ground with
a flash of light, and an eruption of smoke. Cheshire slumped to the ground,
unconscious. The usual rampage and loss of life had been avoided this time.
Of course, Cheshire hadn't fought very hard to begin with. She'd wanted to
Lian to catch up to her. Hopefully after recent events, Cheshire would take
the hint that Lian was done with her. Then neither she, nor her father
would have to go through this again.
"Good work, kid-o-mine." Oops. Dad was still on her communicator.
"I can only handle bonding with one manic parent at a time," she told her
Of course, Cheshire WAS a sociopath, and somehow, Jade Arrow could see this
coming back to haunt her.