Disclaimer: I do not own the characters of Justice League Unlmited. I do however own some claim to the original characters mentioned.
Title: Sins of Thy Fathers
Chapter 1: Ellie Wayne
Author: Gotham's Princess
Summary: A series of vingettes about the children of the Justice League.
When Ellie was little, her mother used to regale her with bedtimes stories of knights and princesses, ancient warriors, and of a little trust and pixie dust. But her favorite bedtime story was that of Aladdin his magic lamp. Ellie had always been entertained by the concept of three wishes, and if you obeyed certain rules, you could get anything you want. She would often play game with her mother, asking what she would wish for.
"Nothing. I have everything I could ever want with my family," is what she would say. Ellie would laugh, and say she had to wish for something. She would then ponder that thought, and joke, "Now, Elizabeth Wayne, I think I'd wish to know what you were wishing for!"
Ellie would giggle, and tell her mother that wasn't a good wish, either. Why not wish for something like a pony or for Helena to quit taking up so much time in the bathroom or for Tommy to quit hitting her? Those were good wishes, and not really wastes. Because Tommy was mean, and Helena did spend too much time in the bathroom, trying to make herself look pretty for boys. Ellie knew this because that was all she would talk with Olivia whenever she was on the phone. Ellie never knew why Helena wanted to put on make-up for the boys, at that time, Ellie thought boys had cooties and must be avoided at all costs.
But that was a long time ago. Bedtime stories became just that, silly little bedtime stories. There wasn't any more pixie dust and the knight didn't always save the princess. Ellie no longer wished for a pony. Helena no longer used the bathroom for too long. She wasn't even here anymore. And Tom hadn't hit her, purposefully, in years. She no longer wished for the trivial things she did when she was a child.
All Ellie wanted was to have her family back.
She could still remember the morning her mother died. She was eleven, and in sixth grade, working on power point on the starfish. She was wearing her new sweater; the one her mother had bought her family went to Paris for Christmas vacation a couple of weeks prior. It had snowed the night before, and a fresh blanket still covered the ground. Gotham had never had snow days, so she, Helena, and Tom was forced to go to school. Miss Elliot, her science teacher, had lit a candle. Ellie could still remember the smell, cinnamon. She had always loved cinnamon. Now, whenever she smelled cinnamon, she got sick, and felt as if she'd vomit.
Ellie had just finished the slide about the starfish food chain, when the classroom phone rang, and Miss Elliot informed Ellie that she would be going home. Ellie hadn't been surprised. Sometimes her father would pick her up early from school, and take her out to eat ice cream, or go to the park. But it was too cold for those things. Maybe they would go to the Watchtower. She did end up going to the Watchtower, but it wasn't her father picking her up. Instead, it was a teary-eyed Dick, who brought her into a hug as soon as her saw her.
The rest of the day was a blur, full of hugs and words of sympathy, Helena sobbing in Rex's arms, and Tom staring blankly into the stars, his face white but eyes dry, and then…her father. Her father, the one who in an almost unbelieving whisper gasped the words, "You're mother…she's dead.", and then said nothing more to Ellie or her siblings after that. She'd heard an angry Dick scream at her father, saying that his children needed their father, and Bruce was being selfish and heartless for blocking them out. Barbara had pulled Dick away, saying that this was "Bruce's way of dealing with Diana's death on his own. He'll get over it."
They stayed the night on the Watchtower, in one of the extra rooms, used whenever Leaguers needed to rest. She had a nightmare that night. For years she had had chronic nightmares about being alone in a dark alley, and then being chased by Joker, no one hearing her cries for help. When she awoke, screaming for her mother, he mother didn't come. She had been the only one who could soothe her tears. Helena tried, rocking her in her arms, whispering what their mother would say, tears rolling down both of their faces. Tom tried to find their father, but it came to no avail. He was gone, disappeared into the Gotham night. Ellie, wrapped in her sister's arms, never felt more alone.
Things didn't get better. Their father threw himself into his work, bother Wayne Enterprises and as the Batman. Many times Ellie found herself staying at Infinity Tower, as Tom and Helena busied themselves working in Infinity Inc, which was dubbed by the media as 'The Team for the Second Generation'. It was their where Ellie found her form of occupational therapy, learning the ways of computers and technology from Rex Stewart, who gladly taught her anything he asked. She was good in her own right, and considered a technological genius by other heroes. It never gained her the attention she craved from her father. Ellie enjoyed working behind scenes at Infinity Tower, and considered the place a second home. She was surrounded by people, people who paid attention, people who loved her.
"Daddy doesn't love us anymore, does he? Not after Mama died, he doesn't," Ellie held whispered to Helena and Tom, after their father missed the family Thanksgiving dinner for a visit to Arkham, a little over a year after their mother died. Her sister grew angry, and Ellie thought that Helena had been mad at her at thinking it. Tom shrugged, and stalked away to his room, sitting in silence, staring at the untouched turkey and empty dinner table. Ellie was wrong. Helena wasn't mad at her though, as evidenced by the brutal verbal sparring match between Helena and their father when he returned. Ellie remembered lying in bed that night, their screams keeping her awake.
"You don't get it, do you? Ellie has not faith in you! I don't think Tom does either! Me…I don't know you anymore, Dad! You're never here!"
"I'm never here because I'm making sure that you and your brother and sister don't have to go through that again!" Her father's voice reverberated through the house. Even Ellie could see how illogical that sounded.
"That makes perfect sense, Dad! Absolutely brilliant! Of course only Batman could figure that one out!" Helena's sarcasm dripped heavily. "Make sure we don't have to go through losing another parent by never being one! Mom would be so proud!" Silence followed, and then heavy footsteps and the sound of slamming doors followed. Cocooning herself under her sheets, she silently prayed to whoever would listen for her mother to come back.
The next morning, they all ate breakfast in silence, from a combination of anger and fatigue from the night before. Surprisingly, her father broke the ice, announcing that they would be spending the next couple of days in London. He had a meeting associated with Wayne Enterprises, and decided that since he would be there, it would be a good time to take a much needed family vacation. For the first time since their mother died, Ellie truly smiled.
Author's Note: Thanks for reading. Reviews are appreciated. Ask if you have any questions, and I'll try to answer them to the best of my abilities. Flames are welcome. Not preferred, but welcome.