Charlie Gage-Radcliffe! (Or Misfit, but you didn't hear that from me.) Currently Living with Dinah Lance above her flower shop. Part of Save This City Rp Group
On the first day of Junior year, Charlie was late. No one in the Youth Hostel had woken her up
—or she down right ignored anyone who tried, That wasn’t their fault, it wasn’t their job to make sure she got up for school. Charlie had bounced into a stall in one of the bathrooms and barreled into her Chemistry class, everything flying every which way.
A well told lie always starts with the truth. It started with the truth, and it weaved itself in a series of half-truths which links itself to something that’s completely made up. Charlie remembered the first time she lied about it, the first time she pretended that they were alive. It was to make her feel better. Help herself cope. Help herself to… help herself. Except it didn’t.
“Soooooooooooorry—Oh my god sorry I don’t have an alarm clock because it broke and my mom isn’t here—“ the truth. “—because she works real weird hours at the daycare center and has to take care of my baby brother—“a half-truth. She did work weird hours, especially with two jobs. “—Aiden because he’s like 6 months old and she’s real busy but she’s making mac and cheese tonight because it’s the first day of school!” A lie.
Charlie was upset when she didn’t have mac and cheese that night for dinner.
Her mother would be ashamed. Charlie was taught to never ever lie… No. Charlie scolded herself for thinking that. Her mother would understand. Her mother always understood when she did something bad, even if she didn’t agree with it. Grounding was still a thing that happened in that house.
Maybe Charlie was just ashamed of herself. Of her situation. Of her part in the matter. The lies about her mom and her work and being a talented actress and living in the biggest mansion ever and being the most popular girl in school… What she told greyfaces on the internet was a lot easier on the internet. Outside the internet, the ‘if she hadn’t’s done ran rampage through her mind all through the year and she tried to cover it up. She tried her best to cover up what she had done. She tried and tried and tried.
But she got to be so good at it that she just dug herself so deep that she knew she couldn’t climb back out. IT just sunk deeper with Alana and the Joker situation- please sit down. The show is about to start. The phrase that echoed in her nightmares, followed by that horrible, horrible laughing.— In the end it was Dinah and Helena that had pulled her out of it—even though she didn’t really want too. Charlie was horrified they had known the truth. They had found out the truth. No one had found out the truth, the school didn’t know… Or maybe they did but they didn’t say it. Charlie never saw those records and if it was explained to her properly she had probably ignored it and wasn’t paying attention. She eventually assumed Oracle. Because Oracle knew everything… Oracle knows everything.
“Charlie…there’s something I want to ask you. But before I do, please know you’re not in any kind of trouble, alright? Would you like to tell us about your family?”
“…. Do… You guys already know the answer to that question?”
“We know. Sweetie, we’re not angry with you. We understand why you didn’t want anyone to know; it’s okay.”
It wasn’t okay in Charlie’s eyes, at the time. She lied to two people who worked their asses off to help her and she lied to them and and and—but it was okay. Charlie was okay. Helena didn’t lie, it was okay. She got out of the Youth Hostel and now she was being adopted by Dinah… She had friends, she had Babs, the Birds of Prey… Soon, with the help and she was happy. Truly happy for the first time in forever. Her birthday party- she hadn’t had one that fun in years, even if Ivy made an unexpected appearance.
But there was something that Charlie hadn’t been prepared for. When August hit, she looked at the date… And she knew. It was almost the 1 year anniversary… She never understood why it was called an anniversary. Those were supposed to be happy, and this wasn’t a happy situation.
Charlie woke up early on the 13th. Real early, it was 5am. She told Dinah she wanted to pay for a nice bouquet of flowers with her allowance… Dinah wouldn’t hear of it, and said she was all set. But they had carefully made it together, putting each flower into place. Charlie tried to ignore what they were for, but her usual wave of chattering had died down. Dinah had said she was there if she wanted to talk about anything, but she didn’t. Charlie hadn’t lied to Dinah when she said it made her stomach churn at the thought of it.
Charlie had taken the bus to St. Peter’s Cemetery. She didn’t want to bounce, she just… couldn’t. Charlie didn’t feel the impatient urge that she usually did when she took the normal people way of transporting herself… St. Peter’s Cemetery. That’s where Aiden and her mom had been buried. There really wasn’t even a proper funeral, if she recalled correctly. There was a memorial for the 17 people that had died. Not everyone was buried with them, some had other family that were came and claimed bodies and such. Although not many did, if you lived in Gotham’s most violent slum… Well, the chances were you didn’t have much of a family. Charlie brought singular flowers along to put on their graves.
The sun had risen a little more, and Charlie checked her phone as she walked. 8am. Good. Not much others would be there. But she reached the gravestone far too soon—- she had to wonder if she had bounced without thinking. But no, it was fine. It was okay. Charlie clenched her eyes tightly. Count to ten, Charlie. When you open your eyes, everything is going to be alright. “Deeeeeeeeep breath, one sec, mom, Aiden.” She murmured to the gravestone… She was talking to the gravestone.
Charlie reached ten before she was ready, so she counted to ten again. And then again. She must have looked pretty silly, standing there with a boquet of flowers eyes clenched tightly. But she finally opened her eyes.
Christine Anne Gage-Radcliffe
January 8th, 1968 – August 13th, 2013
Aiden Liam Gage-Radcliffe
February 4th, 2013 – August 13th, 2013
She was right, her stomach churned. Maybe she should have asked Dinah to come with her. Frowning at the Gravestone, Charlie was unsure what to do. This wasn’t like the other times she has visited it. It had been a year. A whole year since it had happened. She wasn’t ready. No one could have been ready for this. Staring at the gravestone, she placed the flowers down, and sat down.
"Hi mom. Hi Aiden. You guys probably think that this is real weird… Talking to you outloud at your grave. I didn’t really do this when I’ve visited before…” Charlie trailed off, and took a deep breath. She liked to talk. Talking was a good thing. “I brought you flowers! Dinah helped me! You… You know who Dinah is, right? ‘Cause you watch me… At least I hope you watch me. Sometimes I feel you both watching me- even you Aiden… I’m sorry, Aiden, I didn’t get you Hot wheels cars like I promised you for Christmas.” He never got to even experience Christmas. He was 5 months old when he died. Her hands clenched in her lap.
“I gotta lot I want to tell you two, ya know. A lot a lot a lot,” Charlie paused again, taking a deep breath.
“Mom… I’m sorry. I’m sorry I lied. I know you’d understand though… I dunno if you’d be disappointed, but I’m so so so sorry but I’m never gonna lie about it again…. Ever. Batman was only to keep my identity a secret… Oh, and I bet you know this too! I’m a hero,” her voice lowered to a whisper and she leaned forward. Charlie didn’t wanna talk about this right now. But if not now, when?
"I screwed up, mom,” she murmured. “I screwed up real bad… The Joker… He escaped Arkham and I thought—Mom I baited him like an idiot. I was so dumb. So so dumb. Alana White… She died because of m—“ she stopped short. ‘Remember, Alana wasn’t your fault.’ Charlie had that message saved on her phone, the real long ones from Babs… She wasn’t a failure. Batman was wrong. Her hero was wrong. Failure… Past failures. He didn’t even know what effect his words had on her. She sniffed slightly and shook her head. “It wasn’t my fault, mom. I didn’t know… He was going to kill anyone that night, even without me baiting him. And that mugger… I didn’t know he was gonna grab me it was so fast I was already bouncing and I had grabbed him automatically… I didn’t fail. Mom, Aiden? If you see Alana and that guy up there… Tell them I’m real real sorry. Tell them, okay? You gotta promise,” Charlie half smiled. “Super mega handbook cross your heart and hope for pie, promise.” She laughed, shaking her head. And suddenly, her cheeks and eyes were wet. Tears. Charlie clenched her eyes shut as she spoke. “… But I have people and I love them. They help me learn, and cope, and they’re my friends and… And family.
“I’m getting adopted,” she murmured suddenly. “I’m not living in the Youth Hostel anymore. I- Dinah. You know Dinah. She’s adopting me… She’s my adoptive mom, ya know? I don’t like the word ward… It makes me feel kinda like a possession… Like a chess piece. There doesn’t feel like there’s any love… I love Dinah a lot, mom. Adoptive mom… That’s what I feel comfortable calling her. And then Ms. B- Helena Bertinelli. I can spell her name now, but sometimes I pretend I can’t because it’s funny to watch her get all annoyed. B-E-R-T-I-N-E-L-L-I. Shhh don’t tell her. I love Ms. B though… She’s training me to be safe, I think you’d like her. And Babs… Barbara. She said I can call her Babs… She’s the best. She’s kinda scary though- she has this thing where she knows everything. But… I think she’s helped me more than she knows… Or maybe she does know, ‘cause she knows everything. And then Roy- god he’s awesome. He’s so cool, and so nice, and so great… I think you would’ve liked him Aiden. You too Mom, even though he swears a bit. But so do I, I know you’re not too happy about that. And then Mia—Mia’s my best friend! And I met a new friend Jaime! He’s from El Paso… And Damian Wayne- ya know, Bruce Wayne’s kid? We got into some Zoo trouble… But that’s okay. Oh oh oh and Holly! We went out for milkshakes and she’s gonna sleep over! And I have other friends too! Jin and Jason and Cass and Steph—they’re all my friends too.” Charlie laughed loudly, before covering her mouth, eyes widening.
“That was loud… Sorry… But mom… They’re like my family… They are my family… But I want you two to understand something okay? You probably already understand it, but I’m gonna tell you both anyway,” she swallowed, the lump in her throat rising. “They won’t replace you, Mom, Aiden. They can’t replace you… But they’re family now too and I love them very much… And I love you, Mom. I love you, Aiden. And I’m so so so sorry… I miss you guys so so so much. I miss you mom. I miss you Aiden. I miss you so so much… And I’ll never forget you guys, you guys are always here and I think about you every single day because no one can tell me how much I can or can’t think about you. Every day!” she paused to clench her eyes shut again. She was going to get hysterical if she carried on like this. To ten. And to ten again. And again. And again.
“But what I really wanna tell you is to please don’t worry. I’m happy, mom, Aiden. I’m real happy where I am right now. I’m happy.”