First Day

Disclaimer: Characters and premise are the property of DC, I'm just borrowing them for a little non-profit fun.

"Welcome to your first day of kindergarten! I'm Ms. Peterson, I'm going to be your teacher." Meredith hoped her bright, cheerful tone carried no hint that it was also her first day teaching her own class.

"Now when I call your name, why don't you tell your new classmates something about yourself?" She waited for a moment, until she'd received a few signs of acknowledgment. One little boy nodded so fast it almost looked as if he blurred, but that had to be her imagination. "Mary Abbot."

A little girl with a long braid waved her hand. "That's me! But I don't gotta tell Rita about me," she pointed to another little girl sitting beside her. "She lives next door to me and we're best friends!"

Meredith smiled and nodded. "Robert Chavez?" No one answered. "Is Robert here?"

She saw one of the boys elbow his neighbor. The second boy scowled. "My name's Bobby, not Robert!" he declared emphatically.

Meredith made a show of changing his name in her grade book. "Bobby, not Robert," she said and won a lessening of the scowl.

"Marissa Edgewood?"

A hesitant hand snuck up.

"Do you want to say hello to your classmates?" Meredith prompted.

"hi," the girl whispered, she blushed bright red, then looked down, hiding her face behind a curtain of hair.

"Owen Harkness?" Meredith moved on.

She blinked, there was a little boy standing in front of the room, she was sure he hadn't been there a moment ago. "Hi!" he declared confidently. "I'm Owen. I was born in the future. That's why my mom is littler than me."

Meredith blinked. "That's... very imaginative Owen. But if you could tell us something real..."

Owen rolled his eyes and gave a put upon sign. "I didn't lie! That's what Tricks and Evan say. Papa and Mr. Flash say she isn't but they just don't want her to be," he insisted. "But okay, I'll tell you something else: I'm gonna be a Rogue when I get bigger."

'Owen... Harkness," Meredith though. She'd grown up in Central City, of course she'd seen the Rogues on the news. 'But surely he couldn't be related to that Harkness. Super-villains don't have kids, do they? Well, maybe have kids, there wasn't any qualification for having kids. But no one would let them raise a kid. Of course no one let them rob banks either and that still happened. Still, a super-villain wouldn't put his kid in a school just like a normal parent. Only the Rogues had been helping the Justice League during the last big crisis, so maybe they'd reformed and maybe they would. But her class, her very first class? Surely not!'

While Meredith was considering a panic-attack Owen was enjoying having an audience.

"The Rogues are sort of like superheroes, but they nag less. And they don't bug bank robbers, 'cause that's Flash's job and he'd get all outta shape if he didn't have someone to chase. That's what Uncle Len says," Owen explained exuberantly. "I'm gonna throw boomerangs like my papa. I practice lots and lots so I can throw really good and not harder than I mean to. I haven't broke a wall in ages."

"You mean a window right?" Meredith asked with faint hope.

"Naw, he means a wall." Meredith turned toward the older voice. Without the bright blue tunic, the scarf and the silly cap Captain Boomerang was a hard looking man. He frowned at his son. "Now, cough it up kiddo."

Owen's eyes widened. "Papa, what'd you mean?" he asked innocently.

"Don't even try it, I've got a lot more experience selling a line," Digger held out his hand expectantly.

Owen pouted. He dragged his feet as he made his way back to his seat.

Digger tapped his foot.

Owen sighed, opened his backpack and pulled out a boomerang.

"That doesn't belong at school and you know it," Digger stated.

"I was just gonna show 'em," Owen whined. "I wasn't gonna throw it. It's not even one of your cool, exploding ones or anything!"

"This the only thing you borrowed?" Digger asked as he tucked the boomerang into his belt. "Any of Tricksters' toys mebbe?"

"Papa! I'm not dumb!" Owen exclaimed with outrage. "I never touch Tricks' stuff. I don't wanna get dyed or gummed up o stinky! But I'm 'llowed to play with boomerangs!"

"You're allowed when?" Digger asked.

Owen dug his toe into the floor and stalled a bit. Digger waited. Owen heaved a large sigh. "When you or Con or Grandpa Flash is there."

"And why is that?"

"So it's safe," Owen admitted. "But I wasn't gonna throw it!"

"Right," Digger replied skeptically. "And when the other ankle-biters wanted to see what you can do with it your were going to say 'no'. Sure kiddo, pull the other one why don't ya? No weapons at school!"

Owen pouted for several moments then gave in. "I promise."

Digger ruffled the little boy's hair. "He's a good kid, really," he assured Meredith.

"Yep!" Owen piped up. "I don't get in even half as much trouble as Trickster." Then his eyes filled with worry. "Why are you crying Teacher-Lady?"

Digger scratched at the back of his head, looking embarrassed. "Maybe I'd better give you a few numbers. Me, Cold, Conner... All the Flashes. Just in case, ya know."