2010-01-28: FB: The Incredibles



Date Set: April 28, 2009


The super family learns of SECRETS.

Nine Months Ago…

"The Incredibles"

Sanders/Hawkins Residence — Niagara Falls, NY

Micah's room is as anyone would think. His desk has his laptop safely closed, his bed is made (for once), and his laundry is finished. It's almost like he's working too hard to stay under his parents' radar. Yet a couple of things are oddly amiss. First, the window is wide open, even though it's a rather crisp April day. Second, Micah is no where to be found yet a device resembling a radio on his desk buzzes loudly with voices crackling through. A static-y female voice comes through the device, "…ten-four… we have a two-twenty-four on West Thirtieth…. units please respond…"

A male voice then crackles through the station, "…Roger… Unit 221 heading to the site… please send details…"

Ignorance is bliss for the short time it'll last. Niki is in the kitchen, trying to get things together for supper— but aside from a few ingredients scattered along the counter, no such thing has happened yet. She just got off an afternoon shift at work a couple of hours ago and has ditched the blouse for one of her tank tops — pink, today, as casual as the twist her blonde hair has been tossed into. "D?" she calls while looking into the fridge. She has no idea where D.L. actually is, mind you, but hopefully she's not talking to herself. It could happen. "Can you go upstairs 'n' see what kind of waffles Micah wants for dinner?"

Where is D.L? Where else would he be? Watching Television. Granted, though, there's nothing really on. And he's too busy flipping through the channels to even realize he's passing by some good television, when his letter is called. This, of course, has him hopping up from the boredom that is his television watching. "Woman! You ain't gonna' keep tellin' me what to do!" It's followed up by a laugh, before D.L. slides himself over to the stairs. "MICAH!" Oh, he's being ghetto and carefully taking some semi-slow steps up the stairs. Pause. "Wait. Waffles?" D.L. shakes his head and continues on his way up.

The radio-like device, which in actuality is a police scanner buzzes again with the female's voice, "…Unit 311 we have a 10-94 on First and Amistad… please confirm you are in the area and available to investigate…"

"…Roger, roger," another female's voice buzzes through the radio-like device very loudly out the door and down the hall.

Fortunately for Micah, he's outside the house on his way home from his usual antics, with his now black (painted with fabric paint) spiderman mask matched with his black shirt and black pants. He climbs through the bedroom window and stretches. Still masked, and dressed entirely in black.
As D.L. eventually disappears up the stairs, Niki shakes her own head, laughing lightly to herself— at him, even though he's out of sight. A smile has found its way to her face and it lingers warmly while she turns away from the fridge, letting the door mosey shut on its own. Whatever the answer from Micah may be, she goes about crouching to rummage through a cupboard for a bowl. It requires a good deal of clanging about; police scanners and the clandestine activities of her son are the farthest notions from her mind.

"Son! I must speak with you about the last Jell-O Puddin' Pop!" D.L.'s voice is close. A little too close. Mostly because he's passing through the wall and right into Micah's room. After all, he's not really of the mind and body to be using doors. Doors are pointless when one is a ghost. Almost literally, considering how many times he's been pronounced dead. He's too busy wearing a smile on his face at this moment, to be worried about what he may find in Micah's room… nor is he really paying attention to the sounds he heard on his approach. He was too busy coming up with that horrible Bill Cosby line.

The voice is enough to send Micah into silent motion (even if it's technically already in-the-room). He doesn't think to take off the mask; he's gotten too used to wearing it these days. Instead he lunge-jumps towards his police scanner, effectively knocking the scanner from the work table onto the floor along with his own body, generating something akin to a CRASH followed by a THUD as Micah himself lies flat on the floor, masked. His window is still open. His actions, unfortunately do nothing to stop the scanner from buzzing again with that same female voice, "… Units 221, 323, and 333 are needed for backup and fifth and —" but it's cut off with a touch of Micah's hand.

Huffing and puffing for air he tries to collect his breath and only now remembers his face mask. Pulling it over his head (and causing tufts of curls to spring out), he tries to appear casual like this is something that happens every day, "Hey Dad." Smiiiiile.

Stare. Stare. Staring. Still Staring. Still Strong. Wait, what? "Oh hell no." D.L.'s face switches from jovial to angry as a pissed off buzzard in the span of three seconds. And there's only a moment that it takes for two and two to be put together which is that Micah is doing something that Cybil Shepard and Bruce Willis used to do on a regular weekly basis, at 9PM/8PM Central. It takes a moment for D.L. to suck in a breath, but then the bellowing of doom happens right after that: "NIIIIICOOOOOOLLLLLLLLE!" With the call for the Good Cop to come upstairs in the air, D.L.'s finger of GROUNDING is pointed in Micah's direction. "You. Sit. And if you even begin to think about the phrase It's Not What It Looks Like… this is gonna' go from the Cosby Show to Mama Said Knock You Out /really/ fast." Oh

Wide-eyed and pale faced, the teen gapes several seconds, smile fading quickly. Yup. He has officially been busted. Relatively expressionlessly, he stands to his feet before walking to his bed and sitting down. He knows better to say anything now. In fact, he clamps his jaw and stares at the floor as he frantically tries to decide what kind of excuse he can come up with. Maybe there's still a semi-plausible one in him. Somewhere. And as he's glancing at the floor, he notices he's still wearing his gloves. So either he's saving people or he's become some kind of cat burglar. Neither one is a good. Slowly he slides the gloves off h is hands.

Niki is standing with her hands on her hips, atop the pink fabric of her overly long and trim shirt, staring thoughtfully at the array of things on the counter. She's already on the verge of checking upstairs after that crash and thud, but when the she hears that shout, she just about jumps. Instinctively looking toward the stairs and up, she abandons the breakfast-for-dinner in the works and heads that way, taking the steps two at a time. Micah's mother appears via much more traditional methods than his father. By the time Niki hurriedly strides in the room, looking alarmed, Micah's activities are less obvious — but you can bet she's taking in what details she can find. At least no one's hurt which is what she was half-expecting. "What's going on in here?"

D.L. is standing in the same place he was when he came in. Only his arms are crossed over his muscled chest and he just seems to be glaring phase-daggers in the direction of Micah. "What /is/ going on here?" That's the question of the night it seems, considering that D.L. is not even looking up at Niki yet. Not while there's a child in the room that needs to be pwn'd something nice. "Curly Sue. Tell your mother what's going on here. Because if you tell me, I'm gonna' knock you into last week so this never happens." Fear of God is a good Bad Cop tactic, right?

Still silent, Micah considers his words carefully, particularly now that both of his parents are in his room. He quietly stares at his feet, choosing not to look at either of his parents. Eye contact will only make this work. Clearing his throat, he tries to speak, but nothing comes out. Taking another deep breath, he glances at his dad and then his mom before staring at his feet again. Ironically, this makes him more nervous than anything he's faced in the last few months. Clearing his throat again he finally manages words. "It's an experiment," he finally blurts before clamping his mouth shut. Oh dear. Lying will only cause more trouble.

Bad Cop is only a good tactic if there's a Good Cop. Niki might not be it, given that her pose starts to mimic D.L.'s, arms folding across her chest as she watches Micah expectantly. With even less of a clue of what's going on, though, she does give him a bit of leeway in her expression, not so stern… yet. "An experiment?" Colour her confused. She glances to D.L. for some kind of help before focusing back on Micah — and the mask pushed up on his head. "Is that what it looks like? Help me out here, Micah."

"Babe. He's right. It is an experiment. He wants to see how dumb we are, you know. He wants to figure out how many times he can get away with god knows what while we oblivious parents work our asses off to try and provide a safe and loving environment for him to grow up in. While we slave over hot stoves and make him WAFFLES whenever he wants. He wants to see how far he can go before we break down!" D.L.'s moving now, off in the direction of the police scanner and narrows his eyes. "Oh look. He's even got something to measure our anger levels with." And he's reaching to flip the knob and hopes it comes own, or else his Moment is ruined.

Frown. He doesn't understand why he compulsively feels the need to lie about his actions considering they were the right thing to do (in Micah's own mind, anyways), and this only agitates him. Finally he looks up from the ground, and takes a deep breath, butterflies fill his stomach. "What does it look like?" it's a bold question given the circumstances. With another deep breath he purses his lips together, considering his words. "DAD! That's not .. I DON'T… I… I'm experimenting… with myself." He could be more ambiguous, maybe. If he tried.

And then the police scanner turns on and that same feminine static-y voice comes through, "…There's a twenty-one-thirty on Fourth and Rowe…" Swallowing, Micah shakes his head. The jig is up. After three months of heroism, he finds himself shamefully admitting, with his head buried in his hands, "I'm a hero."

"D.L…" Niki interjects in a much calmer voice, almost pleading. She's not happy either, but yelling before they even know what's going on isn't going to help. After she realizes what D.L. is holding, and after what Micah confesses … it's starting to come together. She sighs and uncrosses her arms, her features hassled into a more concerned state than an angry one. She moves to sink down onto the edge of the bed near Micah and leans ahead on her knees, looking over at him. "How many times have we talked about this?" She pauses long enough to look away and look back, more concerned, even, than a second ago. "What's a twenty-one-thirty?"

D.L. might actually know what it is, because he's probably done it at some point in his crazy ass criminal life. But right now, his focus is on the fact that he's trying not to be as mad as he is. Letting Niki handle things for a moment, while he plays with the police scanner and breathes seems to be helpig. He's not going to say much of anything for a short bit here. So just work it, Niki.

Silently, Micah fully expects a lecture. A long lecture. But, it doesn't come. Instead Niki asks questions. Relatively simple ones, but with the anger and the yelling, there is only one instinct the teen has. Say as little as possible. He shrugs at the first question. It's not really a nonchalant shrug, but it's a shrug nonetheless, yet after a moment the shrug is accompanied by a quiet argument of his own, "I told you. I need to be who I am. This is who I am. Who I was born to be. Maybe both of you are okay being like everyone else, but we're not like everyone else. I'm not… I don't… I've never fit in." He shrugs again. "And I'm helping people." The second question, however, is met with another shrug, "Armed robbery." Yes, he knows. And then he stares at the floor again.

Niki can't disagree with everything Micah says — she can't just throw it out the window and say no, at least not so easily, because it's true. She knows it is, but she has a stronger priority. The conflict is clear on her face, anger battling sympathy and understanding. "Armed— " What's a parent to do? "You could've gotten yourself killed!" She suddenly holds a hand up; haven't they been down a similar road? "I know, you're capable. It— I know we're not like everyone else, Micah. Believe me," she says with a quick smile, brow furrowed. She looks to D.L. as if to say 'pitch in any time'.

"Micah." D.L.'s tone is back to normal. Back to the fatherly tone that it should've been in the first place. "It's not that you're helping people. It's that you're doing it behind our backs." D.L. sighs, shoving lightly at the police scanner and turning slowly. "We're supposed to be a family. We haven't been for… too long. We finally have a shot at being a family and already we're keeping secrets from each other." D.L. shakes his head slowly, disappointed. "That's no good." He looks over at Niki, wondering if he's going about this the right angle. "This is a very dangerous world. I know first hand. And our priority, your mother and I, is your safety."

"Mom, I've never gone after an armed robbery," except that one time, but some things are left better unsaid. "I'm not stupid." Despite the evidence to the contrary. "W — I wouldn't do that. And I got hurt worse with the bullies at school without my ability than anything I've seen out there!" There's no reason to draw Cam into this discussion. "And I didn't tell you because I didn't want mom to worry." Seems like a good enough reason. "Besides you both have kept secrets or outright lied to me for like… ever…" Seemed like his turn.

One look from Niki and D.L. ought to know he's on the right track. He could've taken the words straight out of her mind. At this point, it's not even that Micah went off to be a "hero". Well— it is that, but what makes it harder is that he did it after being told not to, behind their backs. "And we're done with them now," she reminds Micah on the subject of secrets, a sharp tone sneaking into her voice. Kind of a sore subject. Frowning, her voice softens, as do the blue eyes that study the young teenager. "I know you want to do something … good, Micah. I do. I… sometimes, baby, you have to put your dreams on hold for a little while. Like … until you graduate high school."

"Or. Until you're ready to play with the big boys." D.L. may not be followed by Niki on this one, but he's just trying to make sure that this all blows over smoothly. And that's why he's heading over towards Micah to sit down next to him. He may be physically choosing sides at this point. "You're right. We lied. We did terrible things. And maybe it's time we made up for them. All of them. Atonement's always been good for the soul." Pausing to realize he's sounding like his Grandma, D.L. shakes his head. "Anyway. What I'm sayin' is that, if you're gonna' do this… we're gonna' do this. Together. As a family."

"I don't care about school," Micah murmurs quietly as he crosses his arms over his chest. "Saving the world can't wait. And what if something happens where I need to know how to do… like how to use my ability? We've had to save the world before, we may have to do it again." But as DL sits next to him, the teen's expression changes from defensive to hopeful. "I… " nodding a little he agrees, "…yeah… Cam would be all over that… we want to help people."

Niki doesn't actually look surprised when D.L. chimes in again with what he says. No, she just looks tired. Instead of blowing up, she buries her head in her hands, elbows digging into her knees. "Don't say that, Micah. School is important! No matter— who you are. These abilities don't make us better than everyone else." She comes 'to, dragging her hands through her pale-and-dark blonde hair. "There are other people who can— save the world." It still sounds crazy to her. Getting frustrated, now, Niki gets hastily to her feet. "D.L., can I talk to you for a minute," she directs at the father of her child as neutrally as possible through a clenched jaw.

"Now we're both in trouble." D.L. quips, before kind of leaning against Micah and pushing up to his feet. "As I'm walking towards your mother and sealing my doomed fate, remember that if we're going to be a crime fighting family, that somebody and his cool brother are going to have to keep their grades up in school or else they'll be benched!" He's hoping that will get him out of most of the trouble that he's probably going to end up in. Unfortunately, it only takes him a bit to get over to Niki and he's puting on a weaksauce fake smile. "Love you?"

Micah smirks at DL's words, but doesn't comment, only offering a fleeting shrug. He has good grades, that's not an issue. And he doesn't argue with the school is important argument, some battles aren't worth the effort, especially if they're all going to fight crime together. Instead, while his parents disappear he reaches for a pen and paper from his desk, scribbling down ideas for awesome superhero crime-fighting names that he'll keep to himself.

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