A/N: Initially this was going to be a one-shot, but now it looks more likely to be a two-shot. This sprang up on me whilst I was going through a bout of nostalgia and remembered Ego Trip. I'm not the only one who's a bit confused as to why DeeDee wasn't in it as much as she could've been but I was never able to think up a half decent reason for her to be there. Then I saw Wickfield's concept of Ego Trip Dee Dee on Deviantart and my muse started talking to me. This is the story of the origin of Number 1 as well as some backstory on how Dexter became Number 12. But first, let's get them through school eh?
A/N Apr 2016: Okay I was just on Deviantart, and Wickfield is now doing her own Ego Trip fanfic. It's only two chapters long so far but those two chapters are fantastic. I strongly urge you all to go and read it...the moment you get through reading mine. Now without further ado...
Coming Out of His Shell
That was the first one.
Number 1 didn't even bother to try blocking them out as she had before, that sometimes made it worse for Number 12, especially when the boss was this angry. It was her fault, she knew, giving that despicable creature the opening he needed to once again cause his most hated underling pain but she couldn't help it. She'd made a promise to her brother and she was going to keep it!
Still, it got to her sometimes just how much their lives had changed since they had been two silly kids, back when they'd been Dexter and Dee Dee, building things and then – mostly in her case – pulling them all down again.
There were times when she looked back on those innocent days and wished deeply to hear the voice of her little brother shouting at her to get out of his lab after again pulling something to pieces. But she couldn't help it, everything he'd made in that place was so cool! He'd made hover crafts and giant robots, given himself superpowers – even though he could never settle on one – created a comic book world for himself, and even saved the world a few times. Back then she'd seen him as the epitome of cool, even though in her youthful naivety she'd never admit it out loud, if he'd just lost the lab-coat and maybe gotten himself contact lenses he could've been the stud in school, especially when he got older.
And then he'd stopped shouting at her to get out, and started asking politely to just be a bit more careful, which had been an eye-opener for her: He didn't tell her to leave because she annoyed him – though that was probably still a big bit – but because he was genuinely worried for her. After all it was supposed to be a secret laboratory, and laboratories, even the not-secret ones, could be dangerous places to work in. She'd never thought of it like that before…
After a bit even that changed and he started actively asking for her help, at first admittedly grudgingly – she'd still been quite a bit taller than him then – but after a while he was happy to have her around, especially when it came to explaining all the intricate doodads that she was helping him work on. Maybe that was what he'd enjoyed the most at first, having someone to impress, and again she got to see a bit more of the little boy behind the big brain.
Appraisal from their teachers was one thing but, sadly, the only real friend he'd had was Mordecai…and her but that didn't really count. Even as they both left Elementary school behind, she was still the centre of attention whilst he focussed on his studies. She therefore made it her job to get him to loosen up a bit and enjoy himself in Junior High.
She wouldn't have to though, when that Jar-headed creep Mandark started pawing at her again like he'd been trying to do all through sixth grade. Before she would've just handled it by herself but puberty had kicked in for him as well and he'd put it to use in building his upper body strength. But then he'd been dragged off of her and thrown against the locker next to hers, her little brother there pounding into him with his newest technological gizmos. He'd gotten a detention for that, on his first day, but whereas he would've before looked horrified at the idea of his spotless record being tarnished now he seemed only a little bit put out as he was led away to the principal's office.
Suddenly he'd been the talk of every class in school, kids who'd bullied him suddenly wanted to be buddies with him. Girls who'd scorned him swooned over him. Before the first month was up he'd gotten himself the nickname 'Mighty Midget' (a title that was soon to change) for his constant standing up to Mandark as well as some of the other bullies in school. And for the first time he'd been entirely perplexed. He didn't know what to do with all of this attention, the constant shunning of it in Elementary school leaving him uncertain of how to approach these delighted people. And so she did what she could to explain to him why everyone suddenly seemed to like him…but that only seemed to confuse him further.
"But…" he'd said after she told him, "they always insulted me, laughed at me. Made fun of my glasses, and science. All of them. Even y- Becky and Gwen." He'd thought she didn't notice the slip but she caught it, maybe all that time helping him out had started to wear off on her because she immediately heard what he really said, and a deep well of shame suddenly got filled up as she realised that, in a way, she was even worse than the rest of them. She'd never gone out of her way to encourage his torment, but then she'd never done anything to stop it either… she'd immediately remembered something he'd told her before. They'd been working on the Dexbot and she'd asked him why he'd built it.
"Because I could." He'd said, shifting his glasses a little bit and putting his hands behind his back, looking all the bit like the boy genius he was, "I'm a genius, and unlike that arrogant fool Mandark, I like the world as it is. But it's not just him, there are all other forces of injustice and corruption all around the world and I have the means to fight them."
"But why?" She'd asked him again, and she could remember the concern she'd felt for him then, thinking about all the giant monsters he'd fought with it, the asteroids he'd destroyed. "It's dangerous. You could get hurt or even…"
"Killed? Yes maybe," He'd nodded, "but the only thing necessary for evil to win is for good men to do nothing." And suddenly the boy genius faded away, replaced with a set look of grim severity. "I refuse to do nothing, Dee Dee."
For evil to win, good people just had to do nothing…or, for bullies to continue harassing her brother, all that was needed was for the older sister, the one who was supposed to look after him, to do nothing. She'd seen all of the people in her circle in a very different light after that, the blinders being taken off, they herded themselves around her because she was the talented pretty dancer with the keen fashion sense. And now those same people were trying to get into Dexter's circle because he was the badass who'd finally (they thought) grown a backbone. Even Mordecai, his one friend from Elementary was treating him differently, worshipping the ground he stood on, and you just had to look at his face to know that he missed the old version of his friend who'd chuckle with him over the latest scientific gossip. About the only people who hadn't started treating him differently were her friends in dance class, mostly Mee Mee and Lee Lee. They'd stayed over at their house, had met Dexter – Lee Lee had thought he was cute – had even gone into his lab once or twice, getting more chances to go in as he became more tolerant of her. But she was always worried that he'd back out again, recluse himself and hide away from all the unwanted attention. He might even have got what he wanted if Mandark just got it into his head that she wasn't interested, but every week that idiot tried something, and every week Dexter was there to cut him down to size again which got the whole school looking his way again.
It was when they were both in tenth grade (Dexter, despite his sometimes violent behaviour, had been skipped ahead a year, and then another when that proved no challenge either) that Dee Dee's worries for him were finally put to rest with the arrival of three new students that had moved over from the next door city of Townsville, three sisters to be exact, though it had been the redhead that caught his eye. She was clever, incredibly so, that Dee Dee was first afraid that she'd become a female Mandark to him. Instead though her little brother had been completely enamoured and had done his best to befriend her before he missed his chance. She'd liked him too and before long Dee Dee found her little brother coming to her room instead of the other way around asking for advice and tips on how to do, in his words, 'this facilitation of mutually experienced behavioural patterns' right.
After she'd translated the Dex-speak to realise he was looking for help with his relationship with Blossom, Dee Dee had dove right in, asking him what she liked, what she didn't like. What did they both like doing together? What had they both talked about doing together? Once he'd answered all of these questions she'd told him proudly that he'd already given himself all the answers he needed. But she wasn't finished there. Their next step was to find him something else to wear other than his normal white and black look. For the first time in her life, she got to see her little brother – who now wasn't so little anymore – out of his lab-wear. After a while they both agreed that the baggy trouser and hoody look wasn't for him, and so they tried looking at the smarter clothing. She may be his sister, but even Dee Dee had to admit her brother looked hot in button up shirts. The look they finally settled on was a nice mix of formal with casual; button-up shirts of varying colours along with a number of black slim-fitting jeans, Dexter had insisted they be black and she'd decided to go with it, he pulled the colour off brilliantly after all.
Blossom had definitely appreciated the work and had gulped him all in entirely. After a few dates Dee Dee was pleased to find Dexter showing his girlfriend around the lab, which she herself found amazing, confiding that her dad had his own lab too but nothing like this. Well, Dee Dee remembered thinking to herself a bit smugly, he is a genius. And for a while it seemed like her littlest and only bro had found a place in both his private and social world. From Blossom, he made friends with others who held science and inspiration close to their hearts, of which he was unashamed to include Dee Dee and her troupe.
But the happiness ended when they made a startling discovery: Blossom was also attracted to bad boys, specifically the bad boy form of one Brick Jojo. At first she ignored him, but slowly, gradually, he pulled her in until she was spending more time with the rule-breaker than the astounding achiever. It all came to a head when Dexter received a message on his wristwatch from Blossom, telling him that it might be better if they saw other people.
There have been very few times that Dee Dee has seen her brother properly cry. This was one of those rare occasions.
After that it seemed inevitable that he would pull back into himself, shrink away from the friends he'd made and hole up in the lab again. Instead though something happened that should have made him never want to speak to Dee Dee again: She got a boyfriend.
She'd first met Beau at one of the gatherings of what they were now calling 'the Dexterium,' he'd come along to see what everyone did and had been impressed at all the variety. It was around the same time that Brick started splitting Blossom and Dexter up that she and Beau had started getting closer. He was primarily a science boy but he loved watching her and the girls perform. One thing led to another and they were soon going out. When she introduced Beau to the rest of the family, she was worried that this would seal the bookcase up for good. Instead though, Dexter had received him politely and cheerfully, telling Dee Dee immediately afterwards that they could visit him in the lab any time they wanted.
Time passed, and Dexter and Beau became really good friends, working together in the lab on several projects and learning to dance from Dee Dee. Surprisingly it had been Dexter who suggested it.
"After all," he'd said, smirking intelligently, "you never know what sort of big formal event I could be invited to later down the line."
And that had sealed the deal, Beau learning as well because the prom was coming up and he wanted to get some practise in before making a fool of himself in front of the whole school. Once again Dexter was the unexpectedly brilliant student. He picked up the waltz fairly quickly along with the fox trot and cha-cha-cha. At this point he was about the same height as Beau, taller than her by a couple of centimetres but not muc more than that, making him a perfect dance partner for her. At one point they'd laughed together over how he seemed to have missed his true calling and that he should have joined her in dancing class.
"Yes!" He'd said in return, laughing heartily as they watched the stars overhead (the lab had opened up a sky window for them) "We could have been the next Fred and Adele!"
What made that statement even funnier was that she actually got what he was talking about. Deciding not to ask why he knew those names, she'd chosen just to enjoy the evening with her littlest and only bro before the following day which was the prom. She'd gone with Beau, whilst Dexter had decided to go stag, under the pretence of making sure that neither of them did anything…inappropriate on the dance floor. After he, as well as Beau who deigned to laugh at that, got a good swatting from her, they were off.
The night had been a good one, despite Mandark trying continuously to get a dance in where he wasn't wanted, slinking off again when Dexter started cracking his knuckles. The whole Dexterium had been there and each had had at least one dance with everyone else's partner. Dexter himself got a dance with each of the girls, showing off his newfound dancing abilities which got the admiration of the student body. Then he and Dee Dee had shown off their skill together, she of course had been the better of the two of them, continuous training having an effect, but he'd managed to keep up with her amazingly well. Even when they went for a tango, at her brother's insistence, a dance that Dexter had been having trouble with, he still managed to land their routine down perfectly when it counted.
As the slow dances came in for the final few minutes, Dee Dee had found herself back in Beau's arms had just swayed with him to the sound of a slow gentle beat. She remembered him holding her close and her propping her chin on his shoulder and finding herself in some sort of dreamland, somewhere between wakefulness and blissful dreaming. And then she'd seen him, just standing there apart from the rest of them, his pink tuxedo jacket over the white shirt standing out from the rest of them. He'd said they ought to match tonight. It was the first and last time that she'd ever see him wearing pink with anything. Dexter stood there on the edge of the dance floor, arms folded loosely and he just smiled at her saying with that look what he never could with words…
Number 1 winced as the crack of the whip and Number 12's screams echoed throughout her penthouse room for the second time that day.
That prom night had been the first of the last good days that they would share together.
A/N: So...like it? Hate it? First time that I've ever touched on a cartoon for this sort of thing so there's a lot less source material to draw from. I therefore had to build my on conclusion as to their behaviour. So after getting another look at the episodes, I drew the conclusion that Dexter kept Dee Dee out of the lab, not because she annoyed him, though as was said, that was probably a big piece of it, but because he was genuinely concerned for her safety. Cruel to be kind and all that.