A/N: The prompt on comment_fic over in lj land was; DC, Bart Allen, Owen Mercer, Owen comes back to life and meets his brother. "So we have the same mother, can go faster than normal humans and both of us have died, that's at least three things we have in common" This is one of those fic ideas I have wanted to see written for ages! Well at least ever since it was revealed who Owen's mother was.
Owen Mercer had somehow done the impossible, or at least he thought it was impossible. He knew that he'd died. His own father had rammed his fist through Owen's torso killing him instantly. Somehow reality had shifted and Owen had been returned to the land of the living. Okay fine. Owen sought out Nightwing to find out what had happened and had a long chat with his former Outsider teammate. Nightwing had been reluctant at first, but he eventually filled Owen in on a bit of his background. Pissed that his own father had killed him so casually, Owen swore black and blue that he was going clean, and going to be one of the good guys. Nightwing told him to seek out the current Kid Flash for more details. Owen had headed for San Francisco and found his half brother there. He felt that it was safer to meet Bart Allen away from the rest of the speedsters. The two of them were in Golden Gate Park when Owen filled Bart in with everything he'd learned from Nightwing.
"So we have the same mother, can go faster than normal humans and both of us have died, that's at least three things we have in common."
Bart considered the slightly taller man before him and what he'd said. Owen had said that Nightwing had informed him of the fact that they had the same mother. Bart trusted Dick, and the rest of the Bats, as he considered his next step. "Come with me," Bart finally said.
"My speed only works for short bursts," Owen reminded him. Bart smiled.
"Unless you're with a speedster who can manipulate it for you." Owen blinked in confusion and Bart told him to run. He did and Bart raced after him. Once Bart caught up to him, he wrapped his speed field around Owen and asked him to follow him. They got to the Flash museum and Bart led them to a treadmill. "With this I can move us through time." Bart instructed Owen to hold onto a bar on the treadmill as he fired it up. A swirl of colour blew up around them and Owen found it hard to focus on Bart, he was moving so fast. The colours began to fade and Bart slowed. When he stopped, they were no longer in the museum, but in an alleyway somewhere. "Welcome to the thirty first century," Bart said, taking hold of Owen's arm.
"The what century?" Owen asked. Bart laughed and led him to the end of the alley. Owen's jaw dropped at what he saw. Everything was bright and clean and yes the cars did fly.
"I'll be right back," Bart said and tore off. Owen was just about to wonder where he'd gone to when he returned. "Start running that way," Bart instructed and pointed north. Owen did and Bart once again caught up to him and wrapped his speed field around him. They stopped after only a few seconds in front of what appeared to be an apartment complex.
"Where are we?" Owen asked, as Bart led them across the street to a single story home.
"Mom's house," Bart replied, and rang the doorbell.
"She lives in the future?" Owen asked incredulously.
"Yup, and odds are you were born in the future too," Bart replied. Just then the door opened and Meloni Thawne stood there before them, in awe and shock. Owen could easily see the relationship between Bart and this woman, who was reaching her shaking hands towards her mouth.
"You found each other," she whispered. Bart smiled while Owen looked at her in confusion.
"Forgot about that," Bart said, smacking his forehead. He reached for one of the ear pieces on his costume and opened it. A small hearing aid looking device fell out and Bart handed it to Owen. "This will help you understand each other," he said.
Owen put the device on and asked Meloni to repeat what she said. She did with tears in her eyes and Owen nodded. "Gotcha, yeah we did," he replied. Meloni ushered them inside and into the front sitting room. "Without this thing, how are you going to understand?" Owen asked and Bart smirked.
"Interlac is my native language, I don't need a translator," he replied, getting up and heading for the kitchen. Owen shrugged and focused on Meloni.
"You're a lot older than the last time I saw you," she said. "How old are you now?"
"Twenty two," Owen replied. Meloni looked sad.
"I've missed twenty years of your life," she said shaking her head.
"Don't tell her about the dead thing," Bart told Owen in English as he returned with a tray full of sandwiches and coffee. Meloni gave him a look and Bart grinned at her. Owen just chuckled and shook his head. "Okay the first thing I want to know," Bart said in Interlac, "is which of one us is the older one?"
"You are," Meloni replied. "By nearly seven years," she added.
Owen looked over at Bart, who was clearly younger than him and shook his head. "Time travel, get used to it," Bart shrugged. "Where we are, he's older than me by about five years," he told their mother.
"How come you're here, and we're a thousand years behind you?" Owen asked. Meloni frowned.
"Your grandfather," she muttered darkly.
"Okay," Bart chimed in. "I know why he hates my very existence, but what's his issue with Owen?"
"Me," she replied. Meloni looked at Owen and began explaining. "Ever since I fell in love with Bart's father, my father has wanted me either dead, or to suffer…greatly." Meloni continued to tell Owen her story until she got to the part about meeting Owen's father. "He literally fell out of the sky and landed at my feet. I got him a translator because I heard him speaking English and once I heard his accent, we headed for Australia."
"Dad's accent showed up in…what is it?" Owen asked.
"Interlac, and yeah it would," Bart replied.
Meloni nodded as she continued. "I had sabotaged an operation my father had in the works and was on the run when I met Digger," she explained. "I heard the accent and figured Australia was a good place to lay low for a while."
"Your dad is crooked?" Owen asked.
"My whole family is…has been for centuries," Meloni replied. "I'm the black sheep of the Thawne family. I'm one of the good guys," she smirked.
"Where in Australia did you go?" Owen asked.
"Brisbane, on the east coast. We headed north for Townsville a little while later and that's where you were born," Meloni replied.
"I was born in Australia?" Owen gaped. Meloni nodded.
"I was born in Japan," Bart told his half brother. "In this time it's not so much what country are you from, but what planet?"
"Don and I were hiding out in Tokyo when I had Bart," Meloni explained.
"My adoptive family…the Mercers, we went to Australia when I was a kid. We were in Townsville, doing the Great Barrier Reef and all that," Owen murmured. Meloni laughed.
"Love the reef, hate the wildlife," she said. Owen snorted and reached into his shirt to pull out a necklace. Dangling from it was the tip of a sting ray barb.
"You and me both," he said and explained how the barb had been removed from the bottom of his foot.
"No way," Meloni gaped. She slid her left foot out of her slipper and held it up for her sons to see. There was a ragged scar along the bottom of it. "I had the exact same thing happen to me."
Owen laughed. "Same spot, different foot," he told her. Bart just cringed.
"I thought that I'd mastered swimming in Australian waters when this happened," Meloni explained as she slid her foot back into her slipper. "I had you with me and your dad was nearby spear fishing, when I stood on the ray and startled it. How I still managed to hold onto you after that, I'll be damned if I know," she continued. "But Digger swam over and grabbed both of us and brought us to shore." Bart cringed even more and curled up a bit as Owen just nodded. "You were a little over a year old when it happened," she added.
"Remind me to avoid swimming in Australia at all costs," Bart muttered. Owen and Meloni both laughed.
"You do get the hang of a few tricks and it's not as dangerous as you'd think," Meloni told him. Bart was not buying it and shook his head. Meloni sobered a little and looked back at Owen. "You were adopted?" she asked. Owen nodded.
"Dad told me that he didn't want me mixed up with his life, so he gave me up for adoption in Central City. The Mercers are a good family," he said. Meloni lowered her gaze to the floor.
"When Digger appeared in this century, he had some weird amnesia brought on by his trip through time," she explained. "He didn't know much about himself except his name." Meloni looked up at her sons and continued. "Things started coming back to him after we moved to Australia," she smiled wistfully. "He fell into a routine almost immediately and he was happy."
"What do you mean by routine?" Bart asked.
"We lived just outside of town near the beach," Meloni explained. "Every morning, he'd go for a swim and maybe fish. We'd found jobs with one of the tourism agencies in town and he had all this native knowledge that impressed the tourists…even our bosses," she chuckled. "I mean talk about being at home in your natural environment…he was right at home."
"When did things start coming back to him?" Owen asked.
"Not long after you were born," Meloni replied. "We both knew from his not knowing Interlac that he wasn't from this time, but he couldn't remember when he was from. When you were born he started to recall history as he knew it and we managed to narrow it down to the late twentieth century." Meloni went on to explain how Digger Harkness' memory started coming back after that and that by the time Owen was a year and a half old, he'd recalled almost everything. "That was about when my father had tracked us down," she sighed. "We headed for the Outback and managed to hide out for a little longer, but it was obvious that my father was onto us. The safest thing for both you and Digger was to return you both to his time," she started sniffling. Bart and Owen both went over to her and tried to comfort her.
"God I want to nail this bastard to the wall," Owen growled.
"Good luck with that," Bart snorted. "He's a former President of Earthgov and has loads of power at his disposal."
"He's not worth it," Meloni muttered, looking up at her sons.
"Bullshit," Owen cursed. "Look at everything you've had to give up because of him." Meloni just shook her head.
"He's on the run at the moment…his crimes have caught up with him," Meloni explained. "I knew that the second I met Don, that I was in for a tough life. I made my choice and have lived with it," she added.
"But…why?" Owen was at a loss for words.
"Like I said," Meloni replied. "I'm the black sheep of the Thawne family. I wanted to make a difference." She looked between her sons. "You both should know what the hero life entails."
Bart nodded solemnly. Owen frowned. "Dad's no hero," he admitted. "I haven't exactly had my heroic moments either."
"I know," Meloni whispered. "But history as I know it, says that the Captain Boomerang legacy changes in the early twenty first century."
"Better believe it does," Owen muttered.
"I'm holding you to that," Bart smirked. The doorbell rang just then. Meloni ordered her sons to stay put while she answered it. Owen reached for one of his boomerangs, but Meloni assured him that it was okay.
"That's one of my operatives," she explained as she rushed for the front door.
"Do you know what that bastard looks like?" Owen asked Bart.
"Yeah…" Bart replied.
"She said he was on the run," Owen said jerking his head towards where Meloni was. "Reckon between the two of us we can take him down?" Bart leaned back and considered what Owen had said.
"If he's planet side it's possible," he started. "But if he's off world, there's no way of knowing where he's hiding. He could be on any one of thousands of worlds."
Meloni returned just then and she was mad. "We missed my father by three days," she sighed as she flopped onto the sofa. "My operatives had tracked him to Braal, but then he disappeared and hit the stargates and who knows where the hell he is now."
"That answers that," Bart told Owen in English. Meloni looked at him and frowned. "He suggested we try and take your father down together," he told his mother in Interlac.
"Where's Braal?" Owen asked.
"About fifty four million light years away in the Messier 87 galaxy," Bart snorted. Owen gaped at him. "Stargates make travel across the universe possible and relatively easy," Bart added. "Like I said, if he's not planet side, tracking him down is gonna be a bitch."
"There's an understatement," Meloni agreed.
"Is there anything we can do?" Owen asked.
"Visit with me for a while," Meloni suggested.
"I can get us back to right after we left," Bart told Owen.
"Why would we need to go back in time? Why can't we just stay here?" Owen demanded.
"It's not safe for either of you here," Meloni informed him. "My father has people loyal to him that wouldn't think twice of killing you both…just to get at me."
"And what I know of history," Bart added. "Our place is back in the twenty first century."
"Then why don't you come back with us?" Owen suggested to Meloni. She sadly shook her no.
"I'm needed here. Until my father is caught and imprisoned, I can't leave."
"Well this sucks," Owen growled.
"We can stay for a few days at least, can't we Mom?" Bart asked.
"I would love that," she replied with a small smile. "It'll give me a chance to know you both better." Bart glanced at Owen.
"If that's all I can get, I'll take it," he sighed.
Meloni set her sons up in two guest rooms she had and provided clothes for them. Owen remarked at thirty first century fashion being a bit snug and Bart laughed. They spent their days talking and learning more about each other. Owen learned of where his speed bursts came from. "Remind me to have a crack at that bastard," he muttered when he learned that Professor Zoom was one of his ancestors.
"Dude, you think you have a screwy family tree?" Bart shuddered. "I have to contend with your dad as my step-father." Meloni rolled her eyes at both of them.
"He didn't know who he was when we got married Bart," she chided him.
"Doesn't matter…uhgg," Bart shuddered. Owen laughed.
Later that night, Meloni woke up to get something to drink. She paused by Owen's open bedroom door before wandering in to watch him sleep for a little bit. She did the same with Bart on her way back to bed. The following morning the three of them would venture out into the city so Meloni could show them around. Owen donned his costume and noticed that Bart was wearing civvies. Bart showed him his ring and told him that his costume was tucked away in it. After an hour they were suddenly attacked. Owen held their attackers off while Bart got Meloni to safety. Bart returned for Owen and took him to where their mother was.
"We can't go back to the house," she said.
"Where can you go?" Bart asked.
"Reykjavík, I have a safe house there," she replied.
Bart got his bearings and faced towards the east. He told Owen to take off and picked up Meloni. "I am so sorry but this is gonna probably make you sick," he apologised to his mother, as he caught up with Owen and wrapped his speed field around him. They had gone from Central City to the Icelandic capitol in just over two minutes. Bart had to go slower than he usually would because of Meloni. They stopped just on the outskirts of Reykjavík and Meloni doubled over as she emptied the contents of her stomach. "I'm so sorry Mom," Bart apologised again. Both he and Owen held onto her to give her some support.
She waved a hand at him before doubling over again. "It's okay," she gasped as the retching began to ease.
"You're father's goons?" Owen asked as he rubbed her back. Meloni nodded.
"I'm so sorry but you have to go," she told them. "They know you're here and it isn't safe." She felt her heart breaking as she looked at her sons. "Look after each other," she choked. Bart hugged her first.
"We will," he promised, placing a kiss on her forehead. He stepped aside so Owen could have a last moment with Meloni.
"I'm glad to have met you," he whispered into her hair. Meloni only nodded as she buried her face into his chest and committed everything about him to memory.
"We have to go before they find the treadmill," Bart reluctantly informed Owen.
"What year is it for you two?" Meloni suddenly asked.
"Twenty eleven," Bart replied. Meloni hugged her sons for a last time before telling them to go.
"I love you," she whispered as she watched them fade over the horizon. It was after midnight in Reykjavík, but as it was summer the sun was still up. Meloni walked with a heavy heart towards her safe house.
Back in Central City, two of former President Thawne's operatives had found the treadmill. They were about to call in their find when Bart and Owen appeared. They shot at the two but Owen took out one of the guns with a razor-rang and Bart disarmed the other. Bart dragged the two operatives a few blocks away while Owen stood guard over the treadmill. Bart returned in a few seconds and told Owen to hold on. "There's a small army heading this way," he said as he began to get up to speed to send them to their own time. Owen blinked as the colour storm erupted around them. As Bart had promised a few days earlier, they were back in their time and only an hour had passed since they'd left. "Follow me," Bart instructed and led Owen to the outskirts of Keystone City.
Bart considered his half brother for a moment before asking if his intentions of going straight were for real. "After everything Mom's endured for her beliefs…yeah, I'm on your side of the fence," Owen replied.
"Where are you staying for the time being?" Bart asked.
"I'm drifting at the moment. Keeping a low profile."
"Come with me then," Bart sighed and walked towards a house nearby. "I'm gonna have to sort things out with my family…the other half of my family," he said as he opened the door to the house. "Max?" he called out. Owen saw an elderly man with silver hair come in through the back door. "Max, this is Owen Mercer, my younger half brother," Bart said as he introduced the two. Max raised a curious eyebrow but remained silent. "Owen this is Max Mercury, he's my legal guardian." Bart then went into talking at super speed and explained what had happened in the future with Meloni and what Owen had told him when he'd tracked Bart down in San Francisco.
"So you're Meloni's younger son," Max said as he studied Owen. "She told me that Bart had a younger half brother when I first met her years ago."
"She did?" Bart asked in surprise. Max nodded.
"I was supposed to inform you at some point but I never got around to it. I'm sorry," Max apologised.
"Seeing as she didn't tell me, I won't hold it against you," Bart shrugged. "Owen's also got the speed metagene from the Thawne side of the family," Bart added, changing the subject. "But it only works in short bursts."
Max walked over to stand face to face with Owen. "You're certain about going straight?" he asked. Owen assured him with a curt 'yes'. "You'll follow instructions when I give them?" Max asked.
"Yes," Owen replied again with a nod.
"We'll try this on a trial basis," Max told the two. "Slip up once, and only once and you're heading straight for Iron Heights," Max warned Owen.
"Fair enough," Owen agreed. Max nodded once and instructed Bart to show Owen to the guest room. "I take it he's a strict task master," Owen asked once inside his new room.
"We don't call him the Zen Master of Speed for nothing," Bart shuddered. "Make yourself at home," he added. "I'm gonna let the Titans know that I won't be back for the rest of the weekend," he added as he excused himself.
Two years passed since that day and Owen hadn't let Max or Bart down. The rest of the Flash clan was wary of him for some time, but Bart stood by him as he promised Meloni that he would. Owen had guessed correctly that Max was strict. Max had worked him to the bone honing his speed, and his rule was law at the house. Owen found that he didn't mind it so much as he was with family. His blood family. The Titans had reconfigured and Owen was one of them now. Among the new team were the Granger sisters. Owen had taken quite a shine to Holly and likewise. They had the Black Lantern nightmare as common starting point for their relationship.
The day before Owen's twenty fifth birthday, the doorbell rang at the Crandall, Allen, Mercer household. Owen answered it and his jaw dropped at the sight that greeted him. Meloni Thawne stood before him. Over a decade older than when he'd met her going by the grey streak in her hair. He swept her up into a bone crushing hug. He welcomed her into the house and called out for Bart. Bart wandered in and immediate raced to Meloni to embrace her when he saw her. She gave a watery smile as she looked up at her eldest son.
"How old are you both now?" she asked.
"Twenty five tomorrow," Owen replied in Interlac. Meloni blinked in surprise and Bart smirked.
"Just turned twenty myself, and I've been teaching him his native language…in case you missed that," Bart added. Meloni swatted him playfully.
"It's been thirteen years since you both left me in Iceland," Meloni sniffled.
"You're father?" Owen asked.
"Incarcerated," Meloni replied. "He's sick and dying," she added. "He can't hurt anyone anymore."
"You're free then?" Owen grinned. Meloni nodded.
"In this era I am," she said. "In my time, I'm even more of a target than ever for my father's fanatics."
"You're not going back there are you?" Bart asked in concern.
"Nope," Meloni told him. "They're going to be looking for me throughout the universe…not throughout time."
Max came home just then and spied Meloni. She rose to her feet and gave him a teary eyed smile. "Thank you," she said to him in English.
"It was a pleasure," Max said as he walked over to greet her. Meloni looked at Bart and Max smiled. He repeated his words in Interlac for her and she laughed.
"I only know a handful of words in English," she admitted.
"We'll teach you," Owen promised. Remembering what Owen had told her when he'd answered the door she said that she knew another English phrase.