spin_kick_snap: (Bitch Please)
Kathy had been lying to her family for a long time. Lying about the island ("It's perfectly normal!"), lying about her friends ("Of course you'd approve of them!"), and lying about her activities ("Nothing planned for the evening but more studying!") Since she'd come back home to fight zombies, she'd only been lying more. First that she was home because it was Spring Break back at school and she hadn't wanted to go on the trip. Then that the dorms were being fumigated, which was why Raven had come out to stay with them over the weekend (and played up the potential gratitude of Raven's wealthy adopted parents). And finally, more lies to cover up all the times she was out as Banzai: studying at the library or tutoring students for the upcoming SATs, anything that could be a plausible reason to get her out of the house for hours at a time.

But those excuses wouldn't work anymore. Not with a national quarantine and a newly announced martial law. Supposedly the police would be enforcing a curfew, so she wouldn't have a reason to be out even if her parents had been inclined to let her out. From the minute that the zombies--rather, the ex-humans--had been officially confirmed, her parents' grip had been tighter and tighter on her neck. And it was time to put a stop to it.

So after asking Raven to entertain Sarah for a few, she met with her parents in the living room to come clean about everything. Well...okay. Maybe not everything. Stuff about the island, about Anders, and Dante, about Portalocity's terrifying message--those secrets she was still going to keep. But about her secret life as a superhero, about being Banzai, that needed to come out.

Kathy hadn't expected this conversation to be easy. And it wasn't. But she hadn't expected it to be difficult in this way. What was the huge issue? Were they upset their oldest daughter was some kind of mutant? That she’d been risking her life and fighting crime since sophomore year of high school? That she’d lied to them?

No. Of course not. They had...different concerns.

Were her parents for real?

This had been brewing for a very long time )

[Some lines of dialogue lifted directly from Chapter 13, "Luckiest Girl in the World," from Ex-Heroes by Peter Clines. NFB, post: closed, but OOC is always appreciated.]
spin_kick_snap: (Bwah??)
Kathy was finishing up the last of her breakfast when her father made an annoyed noise behind his paper. She and Sarah both glanced up quickly, meeting one another's eyes, and then turned towards him. "Everything okay, Dad?" Kathy asked, keeping her voice deliberately light as Sarah went back to her gaeran tost-u. "People in the Capitol being idiots again?" That was usually a good bet and while that might trigger a ten minute rant about politics, it would get it out of his system rather than letting it simmer all day.

"We should be so lucky," her father griped. "No, just another one of them showed up. I swear, they're worse than cockroaches in this damn city."

"Them?" Kathy asked. "What's worse? Who?"

Sarah caught her eye and rolled her eyes, signaling for her to drop it, but it was too late. The questions had been asked and her father was audibly inhaling in preparation. "Another one of these!" he said, folding the paper and thrusting it into Kathy's face. "God, LA's practically infested with them!"

Kathy choked, finding herself suddenly staring at her own face. Not entirely, thank goodness. Her mask was firmly on, her hair tightly braided and coiled at the back of her head. But there was no denying it was a picture of her, rainbows at her wrists, captured mid-bounce with two men zip-tied to a lamppost behind her. She knew exactly when that picture had been snapped, too; Saturday night, about halfway through her patrol. But she didn't remember seeing anyone besides they guys she'd busted trying to rob a convenience store--and she definitely didn't remember anyone snapping a picture of her. But there she was, on page B6, practically silhouetted against the neon lights of the city. "Dad, I can--"

Well, this is awkward )

***

On her way to the Portalocity, Kathy grabbed a copy of the daily paper and flipped to the article about her. The vain part of her still grumbled every time the paper referred to her as a guy, but still, she couldn't deny that it was useful. Her family had accepted the designation without question which meant that there was no way they'd ever link 'Banzai' with 'Kathy,' even though the hero only seemed to show up when she was in town. So, yeah. She could use this. Her plan had been to step up clandestine trips to LA to establish Banzai's presence there while her parents were firmly convinced she remained on the East Coast to keep them from getting suspicious, but this worked too.

[Establishy! This was mentioned once, off-hand in canon, which ofc meant that I had to play with it. With bonus family feels because why not?]
spin_kick_snap: (Upset)
With the possible exception of Sarah, no one in the Li family had appreciated Kathy's performance at the Talent Show--including Kathy herself, once the gremlin venom had worn off. There had been a bout of tears and hiding in Mary's special lounge, but she knew better than to think she could hide in there forever--no matter how tempting the idea was. There might have been a few minutes of trying to convince herself that she could totally live off soda and fancy peanuts until everyone who'd been there had left the island for good, but that hadn't lasted longer than four, five minutes. Tops.

As a family, they'd decided to skip the brunch--which meant that Sarah had asked about going, Kathy had given her a look of wide-eyed fear, and their parents' mutual glares had been enough to peel the paint off the wall behind her. Both sisters had spent the day in busy silence; Kathy studying and Sarah playing on her phone. Both parents had spent the day having muttered conversations in Korean, voices pitched too low to be heard except by one another, and treating Kathy to utter silence.

She'd actually never been go grateful for the silent treatment in her life. The look in her dad's eyes when they rested on her promised a lecture of the most epic proportions, once he'd gotten to the point of actually being able to deliver it.

At one point, her om had stepped out to make some phone calls, but she remained stuck under her father's flinty gaze, which kept her from even trying to start up a conversation with Sarah.

The day had passed very slowly, with a feeling of creeping dread the just got more and more acute while she waited for the other shoe to drop.

***

Mrs. Li had informed Kathy that she would be accompanying them to the airport and had proceeded to hold her hand for the entire trip there, like she was afraid that Kathy might run off at any moment to humiliate them further. When they arrived at the drop-off site, Mrs. Li exited the cab first, yanking Kathy out along with her.

"Umm, shouldn't I just stay in the cab?" she asked, while Sarah and her father pulled their suitcases out from the trunk. "So I can get back to the island? You could tell him to go as far up the Causeway as he can, with no stops, just to make sure I go straight there? Not that I wouldn't! I mean, of course I'd go right back to the school. But this way, you'd know for sure that's what happened. I mean, if you didn't feel you could..." She swallowed hard. "Trust me anymore."

Her parents said nothing. Mrs. Li finished paying the cabbie, her grip on Kathy's hand tight to the point of pain, while Mr. Li set the other suitcase down and grabbed Kathy's backpack from the back seat, where she'd shoved all the stuff she'd brought to the hotel room from her dorm over the weekend. He let her bag fall to the ground and stepped back from the curb while the cabbie pulled away. She and Sarah exchanged looks, Sarah's just as baffled as her own.

[Warning for emotional abuse and manipulation in the comments.]
spin_kick_snap: (Hair Over Shoulder Shy)
So, when Kathy's dad had called to inform her the family was coming out for Parent's Weekend this year, he'd put her in charge of getting them a room at the hotel. And Kathy, knowing how particular her dad could be about things, had put in a lot of thought about where they should stay and what kind of room it would be best to get them. At first, she'd considered a hotel in Baltimore proper, just to keep them away from anything crazy the island could devise over the weekend. She'd only reluctantly given that idea up when she realized that there was no way they'd be able to get a cab past the Causeway and her parents would not appreciate having to climb all those stairs just to see an on-island hotel they could have stayed in.

Then she thought about getting them a junior suite or something, just to make sure they'd be comfortable, but she knew that her mom would freak out about the price tag. The rooms weren't that expensive, but after three plane tickets, Kathy was just going to err on the side of economical. It seemed smarter. She didn't want her family thinking she didn't appreciate how much it must have cost to fly out here or that she had become careless and extravagant. The cabins had seemed really cute and would be good for privacy, but she didn't want to take one away some someone who needed it. Or have her parents run into the type of people who'd need one. Such a meeting wouldn't end well for anyone.

Instead, she'd finally settled on a basic room, but with a king-size bed instead of two doubles. Sarah could bunk with her in her dorm--which would give them time to catch up by themselves--and they could have a nice hotel room to themselves. Maybe they'd see it as a mini-vacation and her dad would stop grumbling about the expense of flying out here.

"Here's the room," she chirped, opening the door for them. "Oooh, you have a nice view through the window! I'm glad they were able to take care of that." She gave her parents a hesitant smile, it all looked good to her. The room was clean and spacious and the view really was nice. "The bed looks comfortable. I bet you'll sleep really well on it."

[Open, if anyone would have a reason to stop by? Also, tw for emotional manipulation in Kathy's thread with her parents.]

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