And I come baring gifts: a fic about the very family I'm most curious about. Hope you enjoy. I look forward to fun times in this community ^_^
title: Peace, not Battle: five unrelated shorts about Warren's family
disclaimer: Sky High and associated characters and settings are not my property. This story is written for entertainment, not for profit.
summary: short shorts about Warren's family and the mystery of his last name.
notes: i wondered why Warren's last name was Peace, not Battle.
Warren is a Peace because he was born a bastard. Out of wedlock. Parents never married. Mother didn’t believe in it, didn’t want entanglements. Doting, lives-ten-minutes-away father who picked him up from pre-school and taught him how to shoot bottle rockets from the backyard of his condo. Family picnics in the park. Warren never knew there was anything wrong with his family.
Until one day, when Warren turned eight, his father stopped picking him up. Just stopped. One day he was there, the next Warren sat waiting at school after the final bell for three hours. Mrs. Turner was the one who called his mother and drove him home. She stayed with him until his mother got home, the key from under the welcome mat lying on the table between them. The next time he saw his father was on the news. His mother was crying. “What’s wrong?” he remembers asking. “Where’s Daddy?”
He saw Forest Gump when he was fourteen, but by then he already knew that “vacation” means gone—forever.
Warren is a Peace because his mother made him change his last name. He didn’t want to, but the kids at school were saying such bad things about him, about his dad, and he was getting into fights. His mother changed his last name and made him switch schools. Nobody gave him trouble anymore, and she thought the matter resolved.
Warren is still a Battle though. He owes it to his dad. He’ll always be his mother’s boy, but he is his father’s son.
Warren’s father’s name was Michael, like the archangel with the flaming sword. Michael Peace didn’t have a sword, but his hands still burned with holy fire. Or so he told Warren when he’d tuck him into bed. “Remember, God gave your Mommy and me these powers. We must use them to do good.”
Warren’s father’s name was Michael, like the archangel with the flaming sword. Michael Peace didn’t receive orders directly from the mouth of God, but he acted like he did. “Eat your green beans!” he would shout at the dinner table. Warren would pick at them, slide them around with his fork, and gag when he put one into his mouth. “Go to bed,” his father would order, pointing toward the door, finger sparking. And Warren would go, because nobody disobeys Daddy.
Warren’s father’s name was Michael, like the archangel with the flaming sword. Michael Peace didn’t have a sword, but his hands and his heart still burned. On the news, his father razed entire buildings while his mother watched with horror on her face. A big white building with pillars and a well-manicured lawn went up in flames, and Warren’s eyes grew wide with awe. “Will I be able to do that, Mommy?” She gave a strangled cry and spanked him until he was crying too. Then she sent him to bed, “Don’t you dare! Don’t even think it!” ringing in his red ears.
Warren’s father’s name was Michael, like the archangel with the flaming sword. Michael Peace didn’t have as many colors on his uniform as the Commander when he came to the house, but he made the carpet red and black when he fell through the coffee table with his hands on fire. Warren didn’t understand why he wasn’t afraid, but when he rushed up to the big man in red, white, and blue, and beat that meaty thigh with his tiny fists, he knew he was doing the right thing. His father burned with holy fire, and Warren’s heart did, too.
They live in suburbia, but they didn’t always. Warren remembers nights when the rat traps would go off and he would rush to his parents’ bedroom and snuggle in with his Mommy, Daddy’s warm hand closing over his shoulder, protecting him.
They live in suburbia, and their lawn is well manicured. It wasn’t always though. Warren remembers the days when they had no lawn, when the cars would go by and make the streets pulse with their thick beats. When the gunshots would sound and everyone would duck even though they were inside.
They live in suburbia, and it’s everything they’ve dreamed of. The windows are wide and unbarred. The neighbors are friendly but not too friendly. There aren’t any robberies or rapes or murders. Their house is red brick with white shingles and a small porch. Inside, there’s room for more than three in the kitchen, and there’s even a guest room in the basement. The fact that they have a basement—and a second floor—is new to Warren, but he loves it whole-heartedly.
They live in suburbia, but they didn’t always. It’s a dream come true for them to finally move out of the city, out of the human rat trap, out of the streets perpetually coated with smog and cigarette smoke and despair. But Warren and his mother would joyfully go back, if only Baron Battle could come home to them again.
“It builds character and these are my friends,” his mother says in Chinese. Warren knows they’re not really friends, knows they’re just Chinese in the same city and so know of each others’ existence and ability to speak the language without an accent, but agrees to work at the Paper Lantern anyway.
At home his mother speaks Chinese. She says so he’ll learn, but he thinks she’s still uncomfortable with English. She still uses Chinese-isms sometimes, leaving out articles or letting her American accent slide when she’s angry. Warren’s father loved her accent, he remembers, and would coax her into speaking English just so he could hear it.
Warren speaks perfect English and Chinese. It comes from two multilingual parents speaking their native language to you over your cradle and laughing with each other over which gurgles sounded like English and which sounded like Chinese.
So Warren is interviewed by the manager of the Paper Lantern—a formality, though it’s all in Chinese—and is told he’ll work weekends and weekdays after school. Warren doesn’t much care. It’s not like the son of a Supervillain has a social life, not at Sky High. So he works at the Paper Lantern, and his life is, for the most part, dull and lonely, until it becomes tangled with Will Stronghold’s irrevocably, and Layla walks into his restaurant and sits down.