Running Away From Home

June 08, 2018:

Where has Owen Mercer disappeared off to? Welp, let me tell you.

All over

Characters

NPCs: Amanda Waller

Mentions: Harley Quinn, Emery Papsworth, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Danny Rand, Bart Allen, Tim Drake

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

The first time Owen ran away from "home" he was seven years old. It barely counts as home since he had only been placed with the foster family a few days earlier. The incident that set it off was likely minor, so much so that Owen can't even recall it now. But the feeling of just needing to get out? That ache when a place that is supposed to feel safe and good somehow instills only dread and a sense of the walls closing in on you, that he remembers all too well.

It's the same feeling that overwhelmed him back at the beginning of the month. It was a sad realization as Owen picked up the already packed bag and headed for his nearest stash of a burner phone, cash and ids just how much preparation he had made for this. The first few times as a kid he only lasted a few hours. But hey, practice makes perfect and Owen made running away an art. The fact that those preparations never stopped despite him having ostensibly grown up never bothered him, until now.

Had he known he was just going to leave Harley without saying goodbye? Did he plan that? Having the bag packed, the money, the other phone.. that all feels like he was always going to do this? Owen tries to sort through in his head what lead him to this point but it's complicated, and he doesn't remember deciding to do it. But somehow going on a mission with Harley and one ex-boyfriend to steal from the other ex-boyfriend triggered some escape protocol. At least it didn't help.

He didn't think about it. Just felt that sensation of things closing in on him, the all too familiar feeling of everything not going his way and he left. No call to Emery to try and hang on to his sobriety. No, as soon as he picked up that bag he knew the first thing he was doing was getting high. His old phone was left in his apartment, not only did he not want to hear from anyone, he didn't want any sneaky tech folks tracking him down.

His thoughts immediately fire to Tim. Drake could track him down even without a phone. But only if Bart asked. And why would he? They were related, okay, so what? Those fake memories of a life where that mattered have mostly faded. But the very real memory of being told his mother, a time traveler who could have appeared at any point in his miserable life, had traveled back to meet Bart but not him, that still reverberated in his head.

And the first few days were spent much as you might expect, scoring drugs, doing drugs mixing about with that general crowd that he knew all too well. And who knows? Maybe that would have been his last downward spiral but fate intervened. Fate in the form of a homely, broad shouldered, vindictive determined black woman named Amanda Waller.

Plucked up out of an alley, not quite a literal gutter but very much what the colloquialism refers to, Owen was brought in to the DEO. The conversation with Waller was gentle as far as she was concerned. She barely even threatened him with any lasting bodily harm. In her mind she was doing him a kindness, offering him structure to help get him back on his feet. A place to belong, and more importantly a purpose. Even in Owen's hazy state the message was clear, Waller needed him to do something stupid that she didn't have approval to run an operation for. But somehow in the midst of her needling, cajoling and threatening him Owen was able to pick out one or two truths. Namely that he was falling apart again and if he kept doing that, he may not make it back together again.

Finding the sobriety token in his meager bag of things later only reinforced what he was running away from. He joined the program because he knew that's what good people do. They face their problems and they overcome them. That's what Jessica is doing. That's what she and Luke would want him to do. Luke.. the bar… maybe that's where it all started to go wrong? He was sober working there, hadn't gotten high in months. And then it burned and it seemed to take a part of his resolve with it.

The mission for Waller was a nightmare. A supposed simple infiltration that turned bloody and left Owen even more shaken up than when he began. Why did he let her talk him into this? Why didn't he go to Rand if he wanted work to distract him? Or go back to Stark and try to push for some sort of real position?

Why?

Because he was just going to fail them too. And right now Owen can deal with letting down Waller, he could care less about whatever rage or fit she will throw. But the thought of letting down people he's started to care about? That's what sent him running. The irony of it isn't entirely lost on Owen. But understanding what triggered him and knowing how to get back to where he was are two very different things.

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