A/N: Heyyy, guess who's got a OneShot? I know this isn't the best thing I've ever written, but you know how the plotbunny works… And it likes to mess with me. XD I just thought it'd be cute to write something about how Adam interacted with Diana when she got older, and how Lawrence would deal with her getting older, as overprotecting as he is… Also, I got the inspiration to this from a song, but I didn't want to write it as a songfic. So if you listen to Opposite of Hallelujah and gets like: "Hey! COPYCATTING!" that's why. Now, READ!
The Next Generation
Adam did admit to having a thing for beaches. When he was younger, it was basically the only family activity his family could engage in, since everything else cost money, and when he got older, it was the place he went to gather his thoughts, took pictures, and even though he'd never admit it, one of the few places he actually thought were beautiful.
It was even better going there with Lawrence after they'd gotten together. On days like these, when the weather was bad and they pretty much had the place to themselves, they could take hour-long walks without even talking much, and during the winter, they could take about a half-hour walk until Adam tackled Lawrence and pinned him to the ground while pressing the snow into his face from lying like a thin layer of powder sugar over the sand, even though he should've known by now that there's no use. He got the element of surprise, but in wrestling matches, Lawrence always won. Almost like when they had sex.
They'd started taking Diana with them when she got older, and when Alison had been okay with the idea of having Adam around her. At first, she'd ran around looking for seashells, or helped Adam wrestling Lawrence to the ground, but at this point, she'd gotten more drawn into herself. She walked with them, and just like them, she usually walked in silence, and sometimes, she stopped by the surges and looked out at the sea, the wind blowing her hair back.
Adam had never really felt like he lived up to the whole "groovy support person"-image that Lawrence seemed to want him to be to Diana. And to be honest, he didn't really feel like he had to. Hell, he'd entered her life when she was nine, so she remembered her life before him, and she knew damn well that he was the one who broke her parents up. And about her getting more closed down now that she was a teenager and not talking to Lawrence about everything… Well, name one damn teenager who did talk to their parents about everything! And since not a lot of them actually turn out as serial killers or emotionally damaged people, why make a big deal of it, rather than telling her that she had support, they were there for her, and leave it at that?
None of these arguments worked on Lawrence, of course. He just wouldn't be him if they did.
"Can't you talk to her?" he'd said one night when Diana was with her mother. "She'll listen to you."
Adam rolled his eyes.
"Why the hell would she listen to me?" he snapped. "I don't even listen to me!"
Lawrence grinned dejectedly and raked a hand through his hair.
"Well… I don't know what to do about it. I mean, I'm just… Her father. In my head, she's still nine years old, or ten at most. I don't know how to deal with her growing older any better than she does herself."
Adam sighed. Shook his head slightly.
"She knows that it was me who broke you and Alison up," he said after a minute. "We've gotten along, and she likes me, but if I start preaching about life, she's going to kick me in the nuts."
Lawrence chuckled and put a hand on his shoulder that was probably meant to be supporting.
"She won't kick you in the nuts. She knows those are reserved for me."
"You talk to her about that stuff?" Adam said and reluctantly leaned against Lawrence's shoulder. "That's disturbing."
They were quiet as Lawrence moved his hand up to Adam's hair. Just because he knew Adam had a lot harder saying no to stuff then.
"So you'll talk to her?" he said sweetly.
Adam wasn't going to do it. He really wasn't. But as it was, they were once again at the beach, and he was sitting next to Diana while Lawrence was walking around with his big coat flapping behind him in the wind, conveniently just out of hearing distance.
They hadn't said anything since they sat down. It wasn't the silence that made Adam uncomfortable; Diana wasn't more of a talking person than he was. It was more the fact that he knew that she expected him to say something, since he was still the one that had asked her to sit down with him, and thing was, he had absolutely no idea what that would be.
He tried stepping into her shoes. See things from her perspective, but it didn't work very well. When he was her age, his parents weren't years past their divorce, they were in the middle of it. And that hadn't exactly been as merciful as Lawrence and Alison's.
Diana cut his thoughts short before he'd come to a conclusion where he was going with this. Not that he'd made a lot of progress, though.
"So…" Diana said and turned to him. "What was it that you wanted to talk about?"
Adam exhaled slowly. He tried to think of something reasonable to say or do, but just realized that he felt the same self-doubting panic as he did when Lawrence had first kissed him, which only made him feel even more of a loser.
"Well…" Your father is worried about you. No, that wouldn't work. "I just… I don't know. I realized that you're growing up, and sort of panicked."
Diana snorted and wrapped her arms around her knees. Okay, so she hadn't rolled her eyes and stormed off, which Adam most likely would've done at that age. So she'd probably turn out a little better than he did. Good sign.
"Yeah, me, too," Diana said and looked out at the sea again. "Feels like I haven't aged a day since the Jigsaw-thing."
She gave him a look from the corner of her eye.
"Dad's freaking out, too, isn't he?"
"I think he can't accept the fact that I've grown up over the past few years. You're his daughter, the fact that you don't think he hung the moon anymore is a knife through his heart."
Diana laughed. Then they were quiet again.
"Did he ask you to bring me his pearls of wisdom?" Diana said, with a lighter tone now.
Adam shook his head with a small smile.
"He actually expected me to give me some of mine."
"Do you have any?"
"Not really," Adam said with a nervous chuckle.
Diana smiled again. She didn't seem to think that was a giant loss.
Adam kept looking out at the ocean. It was so big, like it could just rise above his head and crash down over him.
He'd had a fear of open spaces when he was younger. There was a name for that phobia, but he'd forgotten it. Whatever the phobia was, it probably had something with his childhood. A fear of things outside his control.
That thought should be enough to make him speak from his heart, but he'd never been much for that. Especially when he was right in front of something that was so big that it made him feel stupid. Instead, he spotted a seashell next to him and thought of it as a good way to illustrate his homelessness before he met Lawrence. He reached out to pick it up, but right before he managed to grasp it, a hermit crab crawled out of it and ran away. Adam rolled his eyes in frustration.
Fuck, why would Lawrence ask him to do this? To make sure that Diana wouldn't turn out as messed up as he was? Well, with the only role models in her life being Lawrence, Adam and a passive-aggressive housewife, how normal could she possibly turn out?
"Adam," Diana interrupted his thoughts. Adam glanced at her. "You don't have to do this."
Adam was close to panic. Was he that transparent?
"You don't have to act all… Dad-like," Diana said and moved a little closer to him. "I mean, teaching me about life and right and wrong and flowers and bees, that's more a dad's job. You're better at doing your thing."
Adam smiled feebly. He assumed that was meant as a compliment.
"Plus," Diana added and looked at him, "I already kind of look up to you."
"Ugh," Adam said and turned back to the ocean. "Don't do that. Lawrence would never forgive me."
Diana giggled. Adam didn't look at her. He had a feeling that if he did, he'd suddenly be the one getting the lecture, not her.
"No, seriously," Diana insisted warmly. "I mean, dad is good at his thing. He's smart. He teaches me how things should be, if you have healthy values and an established trust to yourself."
Adam laughed miserably and rubbed his fingertips against his eyes.
"Doesn't really sound like me, does it?"
"No," Diana said with an overseeing smile, "but you're still the one who shows me how things… Can be. You know?"
When Adam looked at her with mild disbelief, she went on:
"You know, being unemployed… Drinking and cursing even though you try to behave when I'm around… I need that kind of role model, too."
Adam buried his fingers in the sand and looked at Diana. When she said those words, with that stupid childish face, there was suddenly so much he wanted to tell her. He wasn't sure how he'd do that, though. He was still working on the whole opening up-thing.
That was one of the things he might have to teach her. About the importance of opening up. Of seeing when someone actually wanted them well. If she ever met a man as wonderful as her father.
So, all in all, he had a lot to teach her. But that didn't mean that he wasn't terrified at the idea that she actually would listen to him.
"You should talk to Lawrence about that," he finally said quietly and looked back at the sea. "He'd be good at all that, too. He'd do anything for you."
Diana smiled and looked the same direction as he did. To the horizon.
"I know." Pause. "You have very high thoughts of him."
Adam smiled, too. The strong winds were blowing in from the sea, flapping his hair back.
"And he matches every fucking one of them. He's a lot more than I deserve."
Diana looked at him with that know-it-all-look that she got when she thought he was being stupid. But before she got a chance to disagree with him, Adam saw Lawrence approaching them, that damn coat still fluttering behind him, and he got up.
"What have you two been up to?" Lawrence said when he'd walked up to them, and put a hand on Diana's shoulder when she walked up to him and leaned against him, like he could protect her against the cold winds.
"Adam's been teaching me about how to snort coke and get out of working," Diana said and wrapped her arms around herself as they started walking to the car. "And… There was something else, right?"
"Every meaning of the word 'fuck,'" Adam said and took Lawrence's hand. "And how to suck cock."
Lawrence put two fingertips against the tip of his nose in a way that he pretended was dejected, and Adam and Diana laughed.
"And sarcasm, I can tell," Lawrence said and shook his head as they kept walking.
Adam was still smiling, but that uneasy feeling hadn't left him. He hated the idea that Diana looked up to him. Maybe she hadn't if he'd told her everything today. About life, about love, about the happiness that was almost painful and the empty downfall that usually followed. Unstoppable sorrow, about how stupid people are by nature, about how many times she was going to get knocked down and how she would probably feel like she had to get back on her feet all by herself.
Maybe he would've gotten her to believe it if he hadn't been so bad at it himself.
Or had been.
That was another thought that struck him. When he felt the hand in his.
He had been bad at that. Before. But then he met someone who not only had the patience of a saint and put up with all his stupid hangups, but also had gotten him so head over heels, drop-dead, ridiculously in love, that none of them had seemed very important anymore.
Adam's smile grew wider when he gave Lawrence a quick glance, saw that stupid coat that made him look like he wore some kind of Superman-cape. He wasn't a good role model, he stood by that. But he could thank God for the fact that Diana didn't meet him before he met Lawrence, then he would've messed her up for good. And even if he weren't exactly a Dr. Phil-prototype now, the thought of Lawrence calmed him down. As always.
With Lawrence's hand in his, he was reminded that it didn't really matter if Diana turned into a bitter little nolifer, if she spent half her life terrified of taking chances and bit every hand that was reached out to her to hide the fact that she was dying inside. Because as it had turned out, behind every person like that, there was someone like her father to pick the pieces back up again.