Disclaimer: If I could, I would, but I can't, so I don't.
Summary: Roy Harper - a delinquent bad boy with some serious problems and member of a street gang. Garth Curry - a sheltered rich kid with a desperate longing for something more. A lucky meeting gives them the chance to get what they need; if they can fight to keep it. Slash, Spaqua. AU.
Behind locked doors - Chapter one: Broken boys.
Twelve years earlier.
A young woman stepped up to the large oak doors and knocked loudly, the noise echoing inside. The five year old boy beside her flinched and she pressed a hand to his dark hair in apology. She was sure he had never heard this house so empty. The social worker looked down at her little charge; so small and pale in smart dark trousers and a button down shirt, inky hair just reaching his slightly pointed ears and having to be pushed back continuously from his large purple eyes. He was such a beautiful child, just like his parents had said. So polite and soft spoken. It made sense that they didn't want to take him with them on a very long trip to strange and dangerous countries while they did business. But still, she thought as she heard someone coming towards the door, surely they could have fought harder to give the child to Orin's care instead of-
"Ms Dolphin," A deep voice said as a tall man opened the door. He was dressed in a dark sharp suit, black hair cut smartly to the tops of his ears. Hair so similar to the young boy next to her. Except the boy's hair was soft threads of silk while this man's hair looked slicked with gel and greasy. Just like their skin. While the child's was soft and pale with a moon-like hue and pink cheeks, the man's was sickly pale, with a greyish tinge and stretched out over bones. Yes, Zath Curry resembled his nephew Garth so much, but at the same time, he didn't at all.
Now the man knelt down. Garth gripped on to the young social worker's skirt with a small hand.
"And this must be my nephew. You must be so glad to be home, Garth, after spending a week in that orphanage." Here, Zath smiled up at Dolphin. "I'm sorry I was unable to move in quicker."
"It was no problem," She said quickly, smoothing a hand down Garth's neck. "Was it, Garth?"
The boy shook his head, eyes locked on his uncles shoes.
"Still, thank you." Zath was being very polite but after years of working in social care, the woman had gotten good at reading people. And she didn't like this man one bit. "It's a shame that my brother and sister-in-law couldn't wait a week so that Garth could have stayed here, at home, while I got settled in."
"It was very nice of you to move your whole life around," Dolphin replied, eyeing the man. "Just to move into your brother's house and look after his son." Zath frowned a little at the emphasis on 'brother's house' and 'his son' and he stood.
"What sort of uncle would I be if I left Garth to be homed somewhere else." He said quickly. "And I doubt Garth would like to move cities away just to live in a smaller house." He laughed, but the humour didn't reach his eyes. Obviously, he was gaining so much by doing this - his brother's mansion of a house, the staff, and the bank account that Thar had set up so that Zath wouldn't have to spend a penny of his own money for however long the real owners were going to be away for.
And then there was the adorable son of Thar and Berra Curry - heir to everything his parents owned. So impressionable and innocent. Yes, it really was a shame that Garth had to live with his greedy and, frankly, creepy uncle instead of his tutor and god father Orin. Speaking of which,
"You do know that Orin will be here to tutor Garth every week day, of course? Nine till four?"
"Certainly. I haven't touched the studies."
Good, the woman thought darkly.
"O-Orin usually stays longer than that." Both adults looked down to see Garth, flushing, still watching the floor. "And sometimes he comes on the weekends too."
The small voice stopped and Zath and Dolphin both took a second to take in the first words the young boy had said.
"Of course." Zath came out with suddenly. "Thar did inform me that Garth's... tutor would be constantly round. No problem." He clapped his hands together. "Now, Garth, what say you and I go in now and put your things away." He held out his hand, not for Garth, but for the bag of the boy's things that the woman had been holding.
Garth nodded, silent again. He gripped onto Dolphin's skirt tighter for a second before releasing it slowly. As he skirt fell from the tiny fingers, the social worker felt torn, immediately wanting to grab the child and run as fast as she could. Instead, she passed the bag to Zath, a breath leaving her. "I'll call every few days." She promised, to herself, to Zath and, most importantly, to Garth.
Zath frowned and nodded. "Say goodbye, Garth." He told the boy, pressing a heavy hand to his small shoulder as they walked in.
Garth half turned while walking, huge eyes sad and heavy. "Goodbye," He murmured as the doors slid shut, closing him in.
Ten years earlier.
Oliver Queen frowned at the small house at the end of the street as he and his partner pulled in to the curve. Stepping out of the car, both he and John stretched before pulling their equipment out of the boot. John let out a whistle as they stepped up to the house.
"Jeeze, I knew that they said it had been bad but man." The dark man shook his head. "I hate doing the clear up." Especially on houses that no one had fully checked yet. Hell, this house hadn't been stepped into since the fire a few days ago - they didn't even know if it was safe to do a clear up! The roof could easily fall in on them as they tried to salvage some of the non-ruined objects and possessions.
"Quit your whining Stewart," Oliver mumbled, starting towards the blackened house. "Let's just do this."
It was such a shame about this house. Both members of the emergency services had seen the before pictures. It hadn't been huge but looked really cosy; three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a small kitchen and a living room with a connected dining room. Yeah, a nice house. Perfect for a growing family.
Oliver winced as he and John started to wonder round the outside, doing a quick check up for any dangerous damage. The poor Harper family. A young father in his late twenties, an even younger mother - six months pregnant, to boot - and that poor seven year old kid. The whole family had been inside, eating dinner when the stray firework flew in through the dining room window and caught fire to the table. He had read the report that had been scrapped together - no one had been in the house to check details after all. He knew that the family had been cut off from the front door and the kitchen's back door and had, as a last resort, fled upstairs. In their panic, they had forgotten the keys to the window and had just about broken one open before the smoke got to their lungs and weakened them too much. In most cases, at least, the smoke gets to them first. It's very unlucky and rare to find a fire in which the flames got to the people before the smoke. And man, what a way to go. It was lucky, for this family, that the fire had barely touched the upstairs. According the record, the downstairs was gone completely, but the upstairs might be more salvageable. The family might have survived if the smoke hadn't been so thick and the house so small. But with the house small, the doors and walls were so thick... if they had just closed the doors upstairs before dinner... If the fire hadn't spread so fast...
Oliver shook his head. It wasn't any of his concern. Find the saveable stuff and get out, that was his task.
"Yo, Queen!" Oliver dashed to the back of the house, to see John pushing the charred remains of the back door. It had to be kicked in to open, as it had as good as melted into the wall. But it did open and with an awful sound and an even worse smell. They exchanged looks before stepping in. The kitchen - and they only knew that because of the house's layout - was beyond help. It was a black, slightly smoking mess that crunched and squelched beneath their feet. The hall wasn't much better, the stairs blackened all the way up and the walls and roof had the same fate. The poked their heads round a door to see the toilet fared better than the kitchen - the medical cabinet at the back was brown instead of white but the doors were still attached. They might be some worth looking in there. The living room was a goner - and they expected that. It was joined to the dining room, which, likewise, was destroyed. Couches and table burned to a mess; TV and electrical melted into disfigured forms and, gods, a black and brown toy box near the broken window. Oliver could make out the seared engraves - Roy. Poor Kid.
John nodded to the stairs and Oliver agreed with a sigh. They stepped as fully as they dared on the creaking and, in some places, crumbling stairs. The further they got up, the less they hesitated on steps. And, once in the middle of the landing, they could see some of the paint that hadn't been burned or covered in ash and smoke. John looked down both ways.
"Guess I'll go left?" Oliver nodded, if only because he knew that the room they had tried to escape from was on the right and he had been working with John long enough to know that the man wasn't as good as separating himself for the job. He always took it so personally when he saw the bodies of the victims. The first door on the right was nearest the fire. The door squeaked open easily because the lock had melted undone. It took him a few looks through the grime to see that this had been the boy's room. He felt a little sick at seeing that there wasn't a lot to collect. The dresser at the end, most likely the clothes inside it too, would be fine. A shelf full of books were smoked a bit, but undamaged. A few teddies at the end of the mostly collapsed bed. A toy bow and quiver of arrows at the back of the room was gone, but there was a dirty but fine play arrow at his feet. He picked it up with a pang. It was weird when the victims were like you.
The next room was the parents'. That meant that John had the last bathroom and - wince - the unborn baby's room. Oliver had to take a deep breath before grasping the handle - only to find that the lock, which had been put on the report as locked, had been broken and made the door easy to push open. The man choked on the thick air, smelling of things he didn't want to think about. Covering his hand with his sleeve, he stepped in to look around. This was more undamaged than the other rooms, by far. The closest end to Oliver was like the undamaged end of the kid's room next door. Family pictures, dressers, drawers, clothes, jewellery, cd's, DVD's the bed - all salvageable. He didn't even look at the two bodies on the floor or the lump on the bed until he had pushed all the damaged stuff aside.
Then he looked down at the parents. Both unburned, thank god. They were dark with smoke and everything smelt and looked awful but that's what happened when you were understaffed for a week and couldn't get anyone in to clear up any sooner. He stepped nearer to the bed, dread filling his at the prospect at having to pull the covers away and reveal the poor child underneath. He paused suddenly and rubbed his eyes; it must be way too dark in here because he almost saw the covers shake. Oh god, he hoped there weren't rats or something worse. He really would throw up if there was.
It wasn't rats that he saw when he pulled back the covers though. No, it was a pair of wide, terrified and very much alive eyes staring at him. He dropped the covers as if burnt, letting them fall back onto the child's curled in feet with a soft puff of smoke. For a second, Oliver just started, stunned. This had never happened to him, in all his years of working with the emergency services. The child looked back, trembling and eyes filling with tears. Oliver knew that the only thing worse than being in this situation, was to be in this situation with a crying child so he dropped to his knees and pulled the covers away from the boy fully. Dark and dirty, but no blood, thank the heavens for that.
"Roy?" He asked softly, drawing in a breath when the boy hesitated for a long time before nodding slowly. "It's ok, Roy. I'm here to help you."
The boy looked past Oliver to his parents and closed his eyes to let a few tears slip out. Oliver hushed him gently and opened his arms when Roy crawled slowly and without grace towards him. He let the boy lean on him, curling round the man's chest and arms before he called out,
"John! Call an ambulance! We have a situation!"
"Hey! Stop! That's mine!"
Wally West was whistling when he heard the shout. He was almost startled - being on holiday in Spain for a week could really put you off your game, after all. But his mind quickly caught up with the instincts he had taught himself over the last five years. And so, instead of following the crowd and pinning himself to the wall to get out of the thief's way, he shot his hand out and grabbed the back of the man's black shirt. He pulled his full strength against the man - which was surprisingly a lot, considering his thin body - and managed to yank the man back, trip him up and send him flying the street. Before the older man had a chance to scramble up, Wally was already settling himself on his back, pulling the laptop back away from him and had tugged the man's arms into a painful lock into the small of his back.
The yelling girl caught up with them, panting and staring. Wally looked up to smile bashfully at her but stilled when he saw her face.
She was beautiful.
Thin and quite short, she took the meaning 'petite' to a level. Incrediblely pale skin clashed brilliantly with her dark make-up and street-scuffled clothes. The punk look was completed with bright pink hair, tied in two pigtails, and eyes of the same colour. Eyes that were staring at him wide and open with surprise.
For a moment, they just watched each other, blue eyes on pink, both mouths open. Then the man under Wally felt his loosening grip and gave a buck - shoving Wally off and able to scramble up and away in a few seconds.
Wally rubbed his head as the girl blinked, suddenly furious. She rounded on Wally, looking no longer delicate and adorable but dangerous and powerful. "What did you do?!" She hissed, "You've let him get away!"
Wally gaped and then scowled, not liking how, even as she yelled at him, he still found her enchanting. He stood and brushed himself down as she glared before holding out the laptop bag. "Whatever," He said, watching her expression soften and go back to amazement as she took the bag from him. "You're welcome." And he started walking again, hands slipping into his pockets.
"Wait!" The girl called and he turned, raising a red eyebrow. She moved closer and fidgeted. "Thank you." She said, sounding cautious and unused to appreciating someone. Wally let an easy smile fall onto his face and he stepped back towards her, holding out his hand.
"You're welcome," He said again, earnestly this time. When she eyed his hand dubiously, he coughed. "I'm Wally. Err, Wally West."
She blinked up at him, darkly framed eyes looking so confused and curious. Still, she slipped her hand into his and shook it slowly. "Jinx." She said, eyes darting over her shoulder. "I- Just Jinx." She finished, lamely, dropping his hand. He smiled none-the-less.
"Nice to meet you." He said, bouncing on his heels. "I hope your laptop isn't broken."
She stared at him as if he was crazy.
"Err," He nodded at the bag, assuming she hadn't seen the landing it had gotten. "It took a bit of a rough bump." He said, sorry in his voice. This seemed to break her out of her 'you-are-nuts-aren't-you?' daze.
"Oh! Yes. No, I'm sure it's fine." She smiled at him lightly, letting it fall almost straight away.
Wally tilted his head. "Wanna get some coffee or something?" He asked suddenly, making her jump a bit at the question. She flushed, shocked, and pulled the bag to her chest.
"No... Thank you. I can't."
"Another time?" She shook her head but he grabbed her hand and pulled a pen from his pocket. She bit her lip but didn't pull away as he scribbled his number on her hand. Then he turned her hand over and kissed her knuckle. He grinned up as her mouth fell open, his blue eyes wide and dancing. "Call me."
She shut her mouth, opened it again and shut it a final time. Then she nodded, slowly. He grinned more and stepped back, giving a wave. "See you later, Jinx."
She raised her hand and, only after he was gone, mumbled, "Bye... Wally."
AN: Omgsh so emo! I'm sorry Roy! I'm sorry Garth! God I'm so mean! Dx
Roy has an amazing survival story. I'll either work it into the story next time/later or I'll explain it at the end of one of the chapters. I've left loads of hints though XD; -wouldnt be surprised if people didnt get it-.
And I know, starting another story isnt good! But I've had this at the back of my head for ages and I just sat down and it wrote itself! I really didnt mean to start off with the emo stories though. Wally's part was going to be first and then the first parts of the next chapter. But then I was like 'Hm, how do I explain how they got into these messes in the first place? OH RANDOM PAST!' And so I did.
The real story starts next time, then.
Which will hopefully be LESS emo.
R and R!