Characters: Dee, Mother, Ryo, OCs.
Setting: After Vol. 7.
Summary: Dee has a regular annual gig, taking the kids from Mother’s orphanage trick or treating.
Word Count: 1615
Content Notes: None necessary.
Written For: Challenge 243: Amnesty at fan_flashworks, using Challenge 50: Kids.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Dee laid his costume out on his bed before going for a shower. He’d only worked a half shift today having booked the rest of the day off well in advance. The squad’s Halloween party was this evening, starting at nine, but he had somewhere else to be before that. He’d need to be home for handing out candy to the local kids between six and eight, but first he had his annual chaperoning duty to take care of.
Mother had her hands full this year with seventeen kids currently in her care. Two were too young to go trick or treating, one a six-month-old baby, the other just turned two, but the remaining fifteen, ranging in age from four to fourteen, would be raring to go. They’d spent the last month creating their costumes, with a little help from Mother, her two assistants, and yours truly, and no doubt they’d be so hyped up as to be barely controllable, but Dee had been doing this for years. He could handle them, and the three eldest would help with the youngest.
It was important to Dee that the orphans didn’t get left out of all the fun seasonal activities just because they didn’t have parents to take them places; they had little enough as it was and had lost so much. He did what he could, arranging Easter egg hunts and visits to Santa’s grotto, but Halloween was the biggest event of the year.
When Dee had been a kid, Jess had shown up every year without fail to take him and the others trick or treating, so the way he saw it, he was just continuing the tradition. Who better to escort a bunch of kids in search of free candy than a cop? He’d be armed, just in case, because the orphanage wasn’t in one of New York’s better neighbourhoods, but he knew which buildings to avoid, and most of the locals knew him as well as they knew Mother.
Showering away the grime of the morning was bliss; work had been pretty busy and despite the chilly fall weather he’d worked up a sweat. Normally he would have shaved too, but not this time; he hadn’t done so for several days and as a result had some pretty impressive designer stubble going on, all the better to fit the role he’d be playing. Returning to his bedroom, to don his costume, Dee grinned. This was going to be so cool!
He was looking forward to seeing Ryo in his Harlequin outfit later; he knew his lover had tried it on, but he’d refused to model it for Dee, telling him he’d have to wait until the party. Dee had tried his costume on as well, just to check the fit in case alterations were needed. He wasn’t as good as Ryo with needle and thread, but he could always ask his downstairs neighbour if there was anything big that needed doing. Turned out he’d only needed to move the button on the pants; they’d been a little loose at the waist.
Slipping into the costume, he checked himself in the mirror and adjusted his mask, admiring his reflection. Green Arrow reporting for duty! He was going to wear a pair of his own boots for comfort, and he strapped on his shoulder holster with his police revolver, concealing it beneath the costume’s hooded jacket. Nobody would have any idea he was armed unless there was trouble. Slinging the costume’s quiver and bow over his shoulder, he tugged his boots on and headed out to take the bus across town, getting a few funny looks from other passengers on the way since it was still only mid-afternoon.
“Bit early for dressing up, isn’t it?” one elderly lady asked him as he slid into the seat next to her, the only vacant one near the front of the bus.
“Takin’ some kids trick or treating,” Dee told her. “They expect me to dress up and anyway, goin’ to a costume party after. This way I don’t have ta go home and change. Saves time.”
He got to the orphanage just after three-thirty, in plenty of time to help Mother put the finishing touches to his charges’ costumes.
“Dee! My, don’t you look splendid!” Mother greeted him.
“A bit more weatherproof than last year’s costume,” Dee grinned, doing a quick twirl. “Nearly froze my ass off in that demon outfit, the wind cut right through it, so I figured I’d go for somethin’ with a bit more to it this time around. Besides, superheroes are in, or so I’ve heard.”
The kids’ eyes nearly fell out of their heads when they saw him.
“Wow! It’s the Green Arrow!” the orphanage’s newest resident said in an awed voice. He’d only been there three months so this was his first Halloween away from home. He hadn’t been sure whether he wanted to join in or not, but if the Green Arrow was going with them…
“Nah, it’s just Dee dressed up,” Thomas informed him. “He takes us trick or treating ever year. Still, cool outfit, dude!”
“Thanks, Thomas.” Dee studied the boy. “Pirate, huh? Good choice, very apt.”
“Can’t get the stupid parrot to stand up on my shoulder,” Thomas grumbled. “It keeps flopping over sideways like it’s drunk or something.”
“Probably been at the rum,” Dee quipped. “Give me a few minutes and I’ll see what I can do.”
After helping with uncooperative fairy wings, princess tiaras, a ghost sheet that kept sliding off, three Jedi knights fighting over two lightsabres, a pair of vampires, a grim reaper, complete with homemade scythe, and a bumblebee, Dee turned his attention to Thomas’s floppy drunken plastic parrot. It took a bit of ingenuity and some wire, but he managed to fix it so it stayed upright instead of listing sideways.
“Okay, you’re good to go.” He straightened up and surveyed his posse. “Anyone needing a bathroom break, go now; we’ll be headin’ out in ten!” There was a bit of a mad rush as usual, with several costumes needing to be adjusted again, but at last everyone was ready, trooping past Mother who handed each of them one of the plastic pumpkin baskets Dee had brought over a few days previously.
It was still light out, which was the downside of having to go trick or treating so early, but it couldn’t be helped. It did make it simpler to keep track of all the kids though. With so many it would be all too easy to lose one or two in the dark; Jess had done that a couple of times, until he’d gotten used to herding kids. There was a knack to it, which Dee had learned from his surrogate father. Thinking of Jess brought a smile to Dee’s face; he was sure his mentor would be proud of him for continuing this tradition, bringing a bit of normality and fun into the kids’ lives.
They trooped along the street, the oldest kids holding the hands of the youngest, with Dee bringing up the rear. At some point there would almost certainly be tears from one or more of the youngest kids, but right now they were all in high spirits, eager to show off their costumes and rake in the candy.
Dee took his chaperoning duties seriously, making sure there were no stragglers, doing a quick head count as they left each building to make sure he hadn’t left anyone behind or picked up a few strays. It wouldn’t do to set out with fifteen and return to the orphanage with a few extras. The last thing he needed was to spend half the evening trying to get lost kids back where they belonged; he had a schedule to keep. If he wasn’t home by the time the local kids showed up looking for treats… They were a bunch of little hoodlums, perfectly willing to steal hubcaps, egg windscreens, or let the air out of tires, and they knew which car was his.
By five-thirty he was herding his band of merry monsters back through the orphanage’s doors, loaded down with candy. As predicted there’d been a few tears and arguments, and he’d wound up carrying the weary little bumblebee all the way back, but the kids had a pretty good haul and they’d mostly had fun, which was the main thing. There was some grizzling about having their candy locked away, but Mother solved that by letting them keep their costumes on for the rest of the evening, and promising hot cocoa and Halloween cookies before bed. Dee almost wished he was staying for dinner, Mother made great cocoa, and the cookies would be homemade too, but he needed to get going; he had a busy evening ahead of him. There’d be food at the party, but he’d fix himself a snack to tide him over when he got home.
The bus was already packed as he made his way back to his apartment, standing room only, and it caused a bit of a stir when the Green Arrow boarded. An off-duty cop demanded he remove his mask, then recognised him when he did so and spent the rest of the bus ride apologising. On top of that he got stopped several times by people wanting to take selfies with him; maybe his costume was a bit too cool. Not that he didn’t like the attention, but it was really slowing him down.
On the other hand, he couldn’t wait to see the looks on the faces of the local kids when they saw him. It was going to be a blast!
Halloween After Party