Family Resemblance

October 30, 2018:

Owen comes clean with Bart about his shared history with Red Robin. The two continue to not know how to brother.

Luke's Bar

It's a bar, and it's not on fire.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Red Robin, Tony Stark, Friday / Rescue


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

[Several Days Ago…]

"Uggggh. Next time, do me a favor and wear more clothes?"

Even though he was pretty sure that Owen was completely out of it, Bart still couldn't help but comment as he lugged his brother's prone form into the room. Thank goodness for demons in one aspect- it kept a bit more of the normal New York foot traffic off the streets to save him any awkward explanations to make.

It wasn't how the young speedster had thought he'd ever have the reason to come by the place, but he was thankful that at least Owen had the foresight to give him a key. He hauled the man onto the couch, sighing as he wiped his brow and looked him over. Found an icepack for the guy's face. Alternatively Bart had considered bringing him to the Tower, but in a rare instance of insight he figured that that option wouldn't be the best move.

Surely Owen's been through worse though. He'd be back on his feet in no time…



Owen's apartment is small, and only made smaller by the boxes of stuff or piles of papers piled on nearly ever surface. The boxes are filled with bits and bobs of tech stuff and gear, most of it looks busted or torn apart. The papers are filled with sketches and notes and ramblings. It's not a pretty sight.


Owen is back up and on his feet and thankfully more clothed than the last time Bart saw him. Which is good because he's working at the bar and even if it were Ladies' Night, which it isn't, that last outfit wouldn't fly. But Owen is pouring drinks and pulling beers as usual as he chats up the customers. As usual he has his own pint of beer back behind the bar that he takes occasional sips out of, but he's taking it much easier tonight.

At least there's work to keep him occupied, even if time doesn't exactly fly there either.


It feels both comforting and a bit strange to be coming back to work at Luke's when there are still demons dribbling out of portals blocks away. But so far as Bart's concerned, it seems proof enough that short of the entire world blowing up to smithereens, nothing would keep people from doing what they felt like doing. Case in point, people are still out for drinks this evening like any other night.

Stepping inside, Bart looks around, unable to help but grin a bit. He starts over towards the bar counter, shrugging off one strap of his backpack as he goes.

"Hey," he says as he slips behind Owen to put his stuff away. Under his sweatjacket he's got the t-shirt he'd been given from that Christmas party.


In the middle of pouring a beer as Bart slips in behind the bar, Owen takes one hand off the tap long enough to put out his fist for a fist bump. "Bart! Welcome to the new Luke's.." If Bart's worked a shift at the new bar, Owen hasn't seen him or his name on the schedule. Granted he doesn't always keep track of those things that well.

Finishing the pour off and handing it to the customer Owen turns to face Bart and ask, "I take it yer the reason I made it back home the other night?" It's somewhere between a friendly accusation and a statement of fact, though Owen's smirking about it. His smile grows a bit bigger when he sees that Bart has the shirt on from the old bar. Yea, the fact that it's been not even a year from that Christmas blows Owen's mind. It feels like two lifetimes ago.


Yeaaaah, fist bump! Bart reciprocates with a grin, glad that his brother's looking well. Especially considering the last time he'd seen him.

And that was before he'd gone and rammed himself unconscious!

Bart hadn't yet come in officially even though he'd gotten in contact with Luke finally. The month had been pretty busy and he'd spent the first week and a half recovering from his own injuries. Tonight he's here to see if he can get back into the swing of things, but it's mostly an excuse to check if Owen was around and how he was doing.

"Guilty as charged," he says, shrugging, his own smile angling lopsidedly. "I mean, I coulda left you there. You looked pretty comfortable in that little demon pile…"


Owen looks better for sure, but he has his fair share of scratches and bruises but that's par for the course for him. He laughs at the thought of him snuggled up with a pile of demons, "Yea, pretty sure I woke up in a pile of actual garbage so sleeping with a couple gremlins would have been a bit of an upgrade … maybe."

Because while other people might be ashamed to have passed out and woken up in a pile of trash or heap of demons, Owen thinks it's hilarious.

"I take it you stomped their tiny demons asses back to hell? Details are a bit fuzzy …" Tony's doing drag now? … That seems strange, but okay. "Wait we never even caught up after you disappeared at .." Owen now realizes that he's talking a little too loudly about super stuff in front of customers so he finishes "Tony's Recovery party."

He then moves down the bar away from patrons for a slightly more private chat.


"More or less," Bart replies, head tilting as he calls up that whole mess. Literally a mess. The streets were strewn with Stark armor bits and goblin bodies of those who hadn't been flung into portals. It takes him a moment to realize what Owen's implying by Tony Stark's 'recovery party', eyes flicking towards the people seated at the end of the bar before he nods and nonchalantly follows after the other.

"We didn't, did we? Seems like forever ago, huh. Where is Mister Stark anyway?" He sure hasn't seen him since they'd more or less rescued the comatose man from his own company.

"It's all kinda blurry. Is that what happens when you get drunk? Anyway I remember taking a drink of that stuff and going bowling for demons, and then I ran up to the roof to see the dragon."


Owen's brow furrows as Bart doesn't readily agree that the situation was handled well, but at least he's here and in one piece so hopefully it didn't go too badly. He takes a sip of his beer that he was sure to bring with him, before answering.

"Shit, I don't know. I haven't been able to track him down … and frankly I keep getting distracted. If I wasn't trashed .." heh, Owen laughs at his inadvertant pun, "I woulda asked the Tony-Chick that showed up last night…"

It's now that Owen remembers that he does in fact know that voice. "Shit. Friday. That was the AI piloting. Dammit. I could have found out." And for possibly the first time Owen regrets his antics of the other night, at least in part.

"But yea, things get a bit blurry. Though that wasn't booze, that was some crazy ass elixir." Owen stops explaining and frowns deeply at Bart, "You went to see the dragon? Dude. What?"

Yes, Owen Mercer is questioning someone else's decision. That's a bad sign.


There's a slight wince on Bart's own part at that. "Ooh, right. She was talking on the Titans' frequency but I totally forgot to ask…" To be fair there were a lot of demons in stolen armor bits to deal with, drunken brother antics aside.

…and then Owen's giving him a look, which Bart isn't sure at whether to be offended or not. He goes with not, as can be told by the uncertain and definitely sheepish grin that crosses his face. He pulls out his phone and goes through the images before holding it out for Owen to see. It's a very concerning first-person view of the dragon's snout, burning eyes leaving no need for questioning whether or not the holder of the phone had been spotted when he'd dared to take that snapshot.

"I dunno! It seemed like a good idea at the time. How often do you see a dragon?" He could blame it in part on Owen's crazy not-booze but even then Bart couldn't say that he wouldn't have gone up while completely sober either.

"A-anyway he didn't eat me, obviously. He said something like being amused cuz no one's come to look at him in a thousand years, so he gave me a free pass off the tower? …eeexcept I somehow ended up being warped to the bug dimension that Mister Stark's apparently got access to in his basement."

Another shrug, because he can't make this up. …okay no, that's wrong, he can make up some pretty crazy-sounding things as per the over-active imagination that he so possesses but in this case, he is telling it like it is.


It's not so much anger or judgement as surprise and incredulousness in Owen's voice as Bart mentions going to see the dragon. He is however very interested to see the photos and leans over the phone and laughs at the pic. "Damn. That's a keeper." He then pulls back and takes an appraising look at Bart and says, "Ya know? I've never seen the family resemeblence until now."

Whether Owen means that they look alike or just share a penchant for terrible plans is unclear.

"Bug … dimension. Yea, that's a nope for me." Owen doesn't know what that means, doesn't want to know, nope, nope, nope.

"Did Robin like the photo? I assume he gave you hell for that stunt?"

It's not often that Owen talks about Tim, and even more rare that he doesn't call him some other alliterative bird color combination, but he knows that Bart and Tim are close … at least in their other identities.


He hadn't necessarily expected Owen to be mad, but there's some apprehension lifted with the laugh from the other. Bart closes the image, laughing a little himself, but he can't help but feel good about the comment on family resemblance, even if it's not really something one might think to be proud of.

"He…didn't really get to? Things just kept happening one after the other that we didn't get much of a breather," he admits, although he's sure Tim would've said something otherwise. "Guess they did come out to find me. Apparently I was gone a few days and when they managed to get me back I was with a small contingent of Tamachoans and believed I was actually the god Huitzilopotchli. …er, that's a…kinda weird story and I'm still not all that sure how Mister Stark ended up being seen as their savior…"

In the end Robin probably blamed Stark either way.


Owen narrows his eyes and tries to follow Bart, repeating, "Tamagatchi's and hufflepuffs? What? Yea, that's a weird start to any story. Even for me." He didn't miss the part about Robin not having a chance to react to it. And frankly Owen's a little pre-annoyed that he's likely going to be held responsible for that stunt and Bart's subsequent excellent adventure.

Owen then gets something of a serious face on and wades right into a bit of an odd speech. "And look, I know that you and Robin are close. That's good. But.. you know we have a really fucked up history?" Owen pauses for a moment to see if Bart has any idea what he's talking about. "Like, I know his identity. And I know…" He sighs and decides to not dance around this.

"My dad killed his parents. You.. you know that right? Like he's not just be an asshole to me for fun? I mean, if he is." Owen half-shrugs realizing that he doesn't actually know how if at all Tim talks about him. And it starts to get awkward (well more awkward) as he pauses. But then he brings it back around with, "I just wanted to say I get it. And I don't want to fuck up your life. Or make things weird for you with him."


Waving his hands, Bart already figured it was a pretty hard story to summarize, and would make even less sense given he only came into things half-way. "Yeah, I guess long story short, stuff happened." A lot of stuff. He…decides that he doesn't need to tell the part about how he temporarily broke his leg. It's not a fun memory to revisit.

The serious look that touches Owen's face makes him wonder if he's in for a lecture, which he inwardly braces for out of reflex even as he hopes it's not. He already gets enough lectures from Max and Tim as it is. But while the subject does include Robin, it's not at all the direction that Bart had expected.

"My dad killed his parents. You.. you know that right?"

It's clear that Bart hadn't known that, although something softens the briefly wide-eyed expression, a thought, a realization. His amber gaze falls towards the bar counter, and even after that bomb's been dropped, the silence that follows still stretches on for much longer than one might ever believe possible from the young speedster.

"…I didn't. He never told me. But I could tell that it bothered him when… when I told him I found out we were brothers. He didn't say it, of course, but… I dunno." There had just been something even though Tim himself hadn't seemed to betray it.

"….wow." He's still soaking it in. It puts things into perspective, but it's still so…surreal. Just like when Owen had told him that they were related. This doesn't exactly leave him feeling the same though.

Bart blinks at Owen, shaking his head as he realizes that he's started to talk again.

"No, it's… It hasn't been weird. I think it's been like a kind of out of sight, out of mind thing with him? I mean, I won't speak for him, but he can't speak for me either. And he's the one that said I had a choice."

"Blood isn't everything, Bart." That's what Tim had said. Suddenly it makes so much more sense why he'd said that, the implications that maybe… Bart shakes his head.

"He's still my friend. But you're still my brother. If it gets weird, I'll deal. But this is what I've decided."


Owen hadn't really planned on talking to Owen about this. Eventually yes, but not like tonight or anything. His face falters and falls a bit as he realizes that in fact Bart did not know that about the two of them. He in some ways wishes that Tim had told the story. But oh well, cat's out of the bag on that.

"shit" Owen mutters the curse to himself when Bart tells him that he didn't know. "Okay." He lets Bart take time to process it. He realizes it's a lot, and means more to him than the last few people he's had to tell this too. And as much as he wishes Bart knew already, it still feels good to tell him, to start to explain some things.

"Barely." Owen corrects Bart gently on the part about him being his brother. "Half brother. And I'm not trying to blow you off. I just wanted to say.." What? Owen starts over, trying again.

"You got the Titans. It's a good thing for you. You got Robin. I don't want to screw any of that up for you. So I appreciate you carrying my drunk ass home, but you got a team. You got people. Don't let my fuck ups screw that up for you."


"Brother, half-brother. You're still actual family that's here." Screwed up or not… He wants it to mean something. Is it stubborn of him to want to try, even now knowing the situation between Owen and Tim? The thoughts of how things could crash and burn horribly threaten to turn his stomach.

"…so what, you expect me to just leave you if something happens with you? I can't do that." Bart shakes his head, eyes closed. "I know what you're saying though, I do. I just…"

What's he supposed to do?


Owen winces when Bart brings up the fact that he's the only family he has here, and it's true for both of them. "Yea. I know. And I'm not.." He is trying to have something of an earnest talk here and it is not something he has much practice at so he keeps trailing off and stopping to restart sometimes in a completely different place.

"I'm glad yer here. I never had /any/ family. Don't get me wrong. That's not what I'm sayin'"

He sighs and takes another sip of beer before agreeing, "I'm just sayin' you don't owe me anything. An' you got people t'look out for who are counting on you. I.." He sees an out from this weird emotionally fraught conversation and he gladly takes it.

"I don't know if you saw the papers, but I think it's official. I'm part of the Defenders."

And yes, in his voice most people would pick up on the fact that Owen is bragging just a touch, and not that he would ever own up to it, but wanting Bart to be proud of him. Especially after that less than glorious showing the other night.

"Apparently they're letting anyone in."

Because things were getting far too mushy and emotional Owen needs to make a crack to lighten it up.


Owen's not the only one stumbling over false starts. Bart feels like he's mentally running into walls, but it's just as well that Owen manages to fill in the space with words before that awkward silence can creep in again. It however still doesn't dissipate the existing awkwardness, at least not until Owen airs everything out with a slick subject change.

"The Defenders?" Bart lifts his head, a few blinks serving to jumpstart the makings of another smile. "That's awesome," he says, and it sounds like he means it, even if he does have to laugh as Owen tags that last bit on.

"That's good though. You got a team too, now."


"Yea. Yea it is.."

Owen smiles and is thankful both to be able to share that with Bart, but probably more so that he was able to steer the conversation away from all those weird 'feeling' things.

"Yea with the whole takin' Fisk down thing, it got a couple people thinking we might need something."

Owen glances over at the bar to see a few people trying to wave him down. He nods at them and before leaving tells Bart, "Alright enough chattin', get t'work." He gives him a shove on the shoulder, grabs his beer and heads back to serve up some more drinks.

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