Hippies and Dads

June 22, 2015:

Ronnie and Barry talk about dads


New York City


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

So, 'past shock' is a thing. After two years (from her POV) spent in the far, far future, Ronnie Hautzig has to adjust to this relative stone age — there was a lot of having to remind herself that doors are opened manually back now, that kind of thing.

There's also the fact that Ronnie lost her job, her place to live, and all of her stuff. She was able to come through with a new place pretty quickly — savings account, she said, something her folks back in California had been loading up for years, which she hadn't touched till now, et cetera — in a only KIND of run down neighborhood (just kidding, it's very run down, but good for a vigilante to hide in), and got a new job as a personal trainer basically by walking into a gym and showing one of the managers her abs.

What of Eventide? The blue-clad menace of the criminal class — well, Eventide is still a thing, but there haven't been any big cases. No Kings in Yellow or any of that. Busting up pimps and meth sellers and burglars… X-Treme Neighborhood Watch.

It's Father's Day, dark out, and Ronnie's sitting on the edge of her roof, feet dangled over the side casually, unafraid. The view from her building points towards the airport and on a clear night, like tonight, one can see so much. A nighttime summer picnic on a rooftop — not a bad plan, really, at least one would think not. "You do anything for Joe for Father's Day?" Ronnie asks, after a sip of her wine. "I sent my dad a book via Amazon. I feel kind of crappy about that."

Barry gives her a sheepish grin and shakes his head. "He and I live together now, so I'm going to grab him a sixer and stay up late for the Kansas City Royals game. That's our speed. I did, however, stop by prison to go visit my dad." He pauses and nods a few times. "It was good."

"Don't feel bad about sending your dad a book. I mean, depending on the book." Barry pauses. And pauses some more with eyes on Ronnie, "What was the book?"

Ronnie looks over, and her jaw goes slack inside her mouth for a second there. Her hair — still brown, still down past her shoulders — is tied back very, very loosely. "A biography of this guy Joseph Mitchell," she says. "He wrote a lot of journalism on like… weird people in New York. And then for thirty years he'd go to his office at the magazine and not write a single thing. They paid him. I dunno. When I say it aloud, I'm like, yeah, why would you get your dad that, what a weird story to give him, but I mean, you know, it fits, not like like he's the guy in it, but like, it's, you know, it's the kind of story that he's into, um." Ronnie has to look away, and does her laugh — still nerdy — for a second. "I mean, yeah."

Ronnie's quiet for a moment. "You know, when I was a kid, I wished my dad was more like Captain America," she says, offhandedly. "Instead of, you know, an old hippie." She smiles wryly, that kind of 'I know I'm teasing, but it's my family, I'm allowed' look. "Then I grew up and look at me. I told him I was doing the trainer thing and he sighed and gave me, like, a lecture on the morals and ethics I should consider when teaching people yoga. I didn't have the heart to tell him I'm teaching crossfit."

"Crossfit helps a lot of people. There's a lot of folks who get in real good shape that way," Barry says with a laugh as he shakes his head. "I think I always sort of idolized my dads. When I was a kid I wanted to be a doctor, and when I went to live with Joe, well…I mean, look what I do now." He shrugs his shoulders, "I think having a hippy for a dad could be fun. I mean, the music alone probably had you end up with good taste."

Ronnie laughs. "Yeah, but then you can't like the band anymore when they sell out," she says with a sly smile. Ronnie kicks her feet gently and looks out toward the airport. "It was good. I don't have a lot of complaints about my folks. Except for when I was in junior high and couldn't bring any of my friends over because they were going through a 'naturism' phase and I'd have died of, like, embarrassment."

Barry laughs, "I'm not even entirely sure what naturism is, but it sounds pretty awesome." He tilts his head, going quiet for a moment. He didn't want to push on the issue, and their relationship had been so weird for, well, for its entirety. Yet, on the other hand, she had met Joe already.

"So, am I going to meet your parents? Not trying to go all crazy person on you. Not a loaded question."

Ronnie gives Barry the most bright-eyed amused look when he declares naturism to be probably awesome. "Well, any time you wanna go rent a cottage out in the woods and wander around naked, I guess I'll join you," she says, trying to say it with a straight face and failing.

The second part gives Ronnie occasion to think for a second. "I mean, if you want to," she says, as if the thought hadn't really occurred to her before — or maybe she'd just assumed Barry didn't. "They don't like New York, it's too crazy overdeveloped for them. Which is one reason I chose to move out here, but that's between you and me," she says with a smirk. "So we'd have to head out to California."

"I don't know if you knew this, but I can get us there pretty fast," Barry says with a smile. "I suppose you did go the entire length of the country to get away from them. It's not something we have to do, I just wanted to ask about it."

"Do you miss it? California, I mean."

"Not really to get AWAY, but just to…" Ronnie takes a moment to think about how she continues this sentence. '…to become a SHIELD agent and serve the military-industrial complex they're always up in arms about' does not feel like a good option for an answer.

"…to be my own person, you know? To stop being their daughter and start being my own, um, me." Ronnie undoes her hair and brushes it out of her face. "Do you miss Central City? I mean, I don't, but I do, it's… that was one part of my life, and there are parts of my life from back then, and parts I don't, but for the part of my life right now, home is here. You know. New York. With you."

"Sometimes I miss it. I love this city, and I love that one. But there was a lot of sadness there. Things have been good to me in New York, and things got better when I met you and when Joe moved out here. So, both of those things have made me miss it a lot less." He smiles towards her, "You're getting sappy, Ron."

"I'm allowed," Ronnie says just a little bit defensively. Mock-defensively, maybe. Who knows, she's not going to explain it out. Her phone makes a little text message noise, and she looks at her pocket for a second, then decides to ignore it.

"But yeah. I'm happy here. This feels right. This is the place. And maybe one day there'll be another place, but I've got a few years left in me before the hippie genes FULLY take hold and I'm yakking your ear off about moving to Portland."

"I wonder how many times I'll move before people will start to realize that I'm the Flash. I can see it now," Barry makes a picture with his hands. "Hey, Allen," he mocks the low voice of a cop. Except this one has an east coast accent, which doesn't fit the comment but fits what he sees everyday. " when you was in Central City, the Flash was in Central City. And when you was in New York, the Flash was in New York and now you're in Portland and…"

"Well, you could become a commuter," Ronnie says with a shrug. "Instead of taking the subway to work, you just run across the country at mach a billion. Criminals would know you're headed for New York by the sonic booms getting closer and closer."

"Maybe, but that'd get pretty tiring," Barry says with a shrug. "Besides, being the first superhero commuter strikes me as a bit disingenuous." He kicks back a bit, lacing his fingers behind his head. "So, we haven't talked about your abduction much. That something you want to stay tight lipped about? If it's too early, I understand."

Ronnie looks away for a long moment, then back at Barry. She doesn't seem upset, but more like she still doesn't quite know what to say. "I dunno what there really is to… say," she says. "I mean… it was… I'm still trying to wrap my brain around how CRAZY all of that was. Time travel! I time travelled!"

Ronnie runs a hand through her hair and sighs. "Titor said he took me to protect your legacy. I couldn't find more info about what he meant — history seemed to rate you pretty okay, I hope that's not too much of a spoiler. But he wasn't… you know, into me or trying to do anything with me or anything like that. He was like… like a warden. But he did it for you, he said. I don't know."

Ronnie sighs again. "It's still something I'm thinking on. I guess. Hey — aren't you supposed to be watching the game with Joe? It's probably starting about now," Ronnie says. "And yeah, I'm a little trying to deflect. If you know any superhero psychologists with good rates, let me know."

Barry gives her a soft smile before planting a kiss upon her lips. "We'll talk when you're ready. I'll call you tomorrow." He leans in to give her a hug, and in a moment he's got the television on in another part of the city finishing up father's day with his other dad.

When a red blur streaks away, Ronnie is smiling and happy — and then takes out her phone and reads the text she got. Her smile fades instantly.


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