Disclaimer: I do not claim any ownership over Static Shock. I am merely borrowing the characters for a short while.
Warnings: Self harm, abuse, homophobia, use of a homophobic slur
Three distinct voices could be heard in the Foley residence on a dreary day in November. The wind was loud, but not quite loud enough to drown out the yelling and screaming that made the windows rattle. This, however, was a common occurrence. When the family of three first moved in years ago, the neighbors would worry about the yelling; often to the point of calling the police. But now, after ten long years, no one bothers to give it a second thought.
The loudest voice belonged to a Mr. Shawn Foley. His booming bass was the main cause of the rattling windows. When he shouted, you could almost picture his red face leaning in towards you, teeth bared and eyes wild.
The quietest voice was that of Mrs. Maggie Foley. Her voice was high and trilling, often perching on the edge of hysteria. The soprano notes didn't chime in a lot, but when they did, they were full of desperation.
The third voice was the one that hit listeners the hardest. It belonged to Richard Foley, the seventeen-year-old son of Shawn and Maggie. Richie had a medium, baritone voice; not the deep, throaty voice of his father, yet not as high as his mother either. There was an abnormal amount of pain and anger dispersed through his vowels and consonants.
"Dad!" cried Richie, "If you would just listen to me, then–"
Shawn interrupted his son. "No!" he shouted, as he stomped up the stairs towards Richie's room. The blond teen trailed behind, his face stained with tears and red with anger. "This is simply unacceptable!" Shawn threw open his son's bedroom door and grabbed the suitcase from the bottom of the closet. "I simply will not put up with having a– someone like you in my house!" He threw the suitcase onto Richie's bed and roughly began throwing clothes and belongings into it. "I thought it was a phase. You were supposed to grow out of this nonsense!"
Richie was dumbfounded. His dad had threatened to kick him out before, but had never acted upon it. "You bastard!" he shouted, barely restraining himself from launching towards the large man. "You can't fucking do this to me! I'm your son!" A sniffle from behind him caught Richie's attention. He turned to see his mother standing with puffy eyes.
"Please," he begged her. "Tell him to let me stay." Richie grabbed a hold of her hand and clutched it as if his life depended on it. Which, in some way, it did. "Tell him, mom. I'm your son. You can't let him throw me out!" Mrs. Foley closed her eyes as tears poured down her face.
Shawn shouted from the bedroom. "No, Maggie! Go to our room. I'll deal with this selfish, ungrateful piece of shit."
Richie felt his face light up again. He clenched his shaking hands into fists, but didn't turn to face his so-called father. "Mom," he said, trying to keep his voice even. "Please, you have to trust me." He grabbed her hands. "Believe in me, that's all I ask, and things will be okay."
Maggie choked back a sob and pulled her hands away to press a tissue to her lips. Instead of standing up for her son, she slowly retreated to the master bedroom. Richie didn't let himself watch her abandon him. Instead, he stormed into his room and pushed his dad out of the way. He ducked to avoid the anticipated blow aimed for his jaw and grabbed a handful of clothes from his dresser. In one motion, he zipped the suitcase and snatched it up.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" Shawn bellowed.
"I'm leaving!" Ignore him, thought Richie. Just get out. Don't provoke him. Richie took the stairs two at a time, his dad close behind him.
When they reached the bottom, Shawn pushed his son towards the door. "Damn right you're leaving, you mother fucking faggot!"
Time seemed to lose meaning. Richie could hardly believe his ears. Or maybe he could. This was his racist, homophobic father, after all. His suitcase fell forgotten from his fingers. There was a buzzing in his head and his entire body was shaking with rage. With two quick steps, Richie closed the gap between them, pulled his fist back, and landed a solid punch to the man's face. While Shawn was still in shock that this boy had actually dared to hit him, Richie grabbed his father by the collar and pulled him close enough to see his own reflection in the twisted eyes staring back at him.
"Don't ever," said Richie, his voice laced with poison, "ever call me a faggot."
Richie roughly let go of Shawn and turned to pick up the suitcase. He heard his dad speak from behind him. "Get out of my house." The words were icy cold. "Get out and never come back."
"Don't worry, Dad," he spat out the name as if it tasted bad in his mouth. "You'll never see me again."
"Don't you dare call me 'Dad.'" Richie glanced over his shoulder to meet Shawn's eyes. "You are no son of mine."
The two held each other's gaze for a moment longer before Richie saw a movement out of the corner of his eye. He glanced up to see his mother standing at the top of the stairs. She opened her mouth, as if she was going to say something. Richie's heart lifted. She's going to stand up for me, he thought. She's going to kick him out, instead of me.
But he's wrong. She closed her mouth and dabbed a tissue at her eyes. Richie turned back towards the door. "Goodbye, Mom," he whispered, before turning the knob and stepping out into the cold, dark night.
Twenty minutes later found Richie at the Gas Station of Solitude. He knew that he could call Virgil and head to the Hawkins' house, but he knew he had to cool down first. The walk across town had helped a little, but he wasn't near ready enough to see V, let alone talk to him about what had happened.
Richie unlocked the door and stormed inside. He flicked the lights on and abandoned his suitcase by the door before beginning to pace back and forth in front of the ratty old couch the duo had snatched from the dump. His mind was so cluttered with thoughts that he could barely function. Even on a normal day, it was hard to sort out the regular thoughts from inventing and formulas and calculus and engineering, but take all that and add in tonight's little fiasco, and the boy's head was close to exploding.
"That bastard," he said softly. "I can't believe that fucking bastard kicked me out." His pacing increased in speed as his voice grew louder. His fingers made their way to his hair and began to tug. "I can't believe I fucking told him. I can't believe I fucking trusted him!" Overwhelmed with emotion, Richie spun to face the wall and began punching it. Fist after fist landed on the concrete wall, which was quickly spattered with blood.
He couldn't think. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't stop. All his mutated brain could hold on to was the pain in his knuckles. That was the only thing keeping him grounded. Pull back. Thrust forward. Knuckles hit wall. Blood seeps. Repeat. And repeat again. The rhythm began to soothe him, along with the constant throbbing in his hands.
Eventually, Richie's muscles began to give out. His body was both mentally and physically exhausted. The distressed teen wrenched his attention from the wall and sank down on the couch next to him. He was breathing heavily and his heart was racing from the exertion.
Richie's body began to shake. He was slowly descending into a full-blown panic attack. He hadn't had one in years, but Richie was all too familiar with the tightness enveloping his chest and the claustrophobia that seemed to make the walls close in around him.
Fuck, he thought. Fuck, fuck, fuck! In an instant, Richie felt like he was thirteen years old again, having a stupid panic attack over something that could be logically thought out. But instead of cooperating, his brain decided to abandon all hope on logic and let some whackjob by the name of Emotion run the show. Richie's eyes began to dart around the room. He knew exactly what he had to do to make the panic attack stop.
Richie flung himself off of the couch and stumbled to his inventing desk. Kneeling in front of the built-in drawers, his still-sore hand groped around in the back off the bottom drawer. His fingers wrapped around a small box and pulled it out of its hiding place.
With shaking hands and a wild look in his eyes, Richie tore the lid off and gently picked up the gleaming metal object inside before discarding the box. He pushed the sleeve of his green and orange hoodie up and laid the razor blade against the skin on his left forearm. He pressed down and let out a sharp gasp as he dragged it across his skin. Beautiful red bloomed slowly from the cut. All it took was a quick flick of the wrist.
After a few minutes, Richie had added eleven new cuts to his already mangled and scarred arm. He let the blade fall from his fingertips as he leaned back against the desk. With a sigh of contentment, Richie looked down to examine his arm. There was a good amount of blood, but that could wait a few minutes. He needed to enjoy this calmness he felt while he could.
With a bang, the gas station door flew open, and in flew none other than Static himself. Panicked, Richie tugged his sleeve down over his bloodied arm and stuffed his razor in his pocket. He had totally forgotten that Virgil was out doing patrols right now and was bound to return to the gas station before heading home.
"What up, Rich?" asked Virgil as he removed his mask and stepped down from his hoverdisc. "Wasn't expecting to see you here." Richie put on a fake smile, hoping his panic wasn't completely visible on his face.
"Ah, n-nothing's up, V," he stammered. He stood from his seat on the floor, but became lightheaded and swayed on the spot. Virgil grabbed Richie's left arm to steady him, causing Richie to flinch in pain. "I'm fine," he said, "Let go of me." Virgil complied, but gasped when his hands came away bloody.
"Richie, you're bleeding!" Virgil cried. Richie looked down and, sure enough, his cuts had bled through his sweater.
"It's nothing," he said, starting to head to the bathroom to clean up. "Just some old–"
Virgil interrupted him by pulling his sleeve up. Richie snatched his arm away, but not before the superhero saw the slashes across his skin. Richie tried to leave the room, but Virgil grabbed his shoulders and spun him around so they were face to face.
"Richie," he said somberly. "Did you… Did you do this to yourself?" After a moment, Richie nodded. Virgil deserved to know the truth. They were both silent for a second, but Virgil didn't let go of Richie's shoulders. "Come on," he said softly, gently steering Richie towards the bathroom. "Let's get you cleaned up."
A/N: So there you have it! I'm working on Chapter 2, but I don't write very fast. =/ I'm sure some reviews might boost my creative juices, though! *hinthint* ;D Thanks for reading!
EDIT: Revised 3/28/14. No major changes though, just some grammar and tense issues. :)