"Do you have any regrets about the process?" the reporter asks as they all stare at the giant television showing the projected results as the exit polls start trickling in from the states. "Anything you would change?"
"What kind of question is that?" Iris mutters under her breath.
Mick - to whom the question had been directed - hums for a moment. "I think - the time travel," he says. "That bit. Wouldn't do it."
The reporter frowns. "But wasn't it your association with the, quote, 'Legends of Tomorrow' that originally propelled you on your current path towards politics and, eventually, your present run for President?"
"Yeah," Mick says glumly. "Exactly."
Technically, it's a bit more complicated than that.
First, of course, there was the Flash. Everything always starts there - oh, shut up with your stupid 'Green Arrow was first' bullcrap, no one cares that he was first because he was just some weird serial killing vigilante to start off with, and anyway barely anyone outside of Starling (Star City, whatever) knew about it - because it was by watching the Flash's epic battles with what have come, retrospectively, to be known as his "Rogues" that Mick first became famous. He even had his own action figure, which most people running for president could only imagine happening in relation to political satire.
Of course, back then they called him Heatwave.
Then Snart - that's Captain Cold to you, reporter - had the bright idea of hooking up with some time travelers for a lark. Mick hadn't thought much of the idea at the time, even tried to quit a few times - quit with prejudice, one might say, and there'd been that whole Kronos business that you're not finding out any more about, the news media already knows more than Mick would like on the subject - and it hadn't taken.
And then Snart died.
Yes, Mick is perfectly aware that Snart's back now, but for a while there he'd been absolutely and totally convinced that he was gone for good (he was dead - how was Mick supposed to know that it hadn't fully taken?!) and it'd been pretty shattering.
That was the period with the Legends. Saving history, fucking up history, all of that.
Yes, that's when he met Georgie Washington. Stop asking about it. Mick's already told you all he knows.
No, he refuses to go get him for the Inauguration, should it happen! The guy didn't even like politics towards the end of it! Leave Georgie alone!
Okay, maybe a dinosaur. Mick makes no promises.
Well, yeah. He guesses it would be pretty cool to ride to the White House on a dinosaur. You might have a point there.
Anyway, where was he? Oh, right, the Legends. Anyway, when the first alien attack came - the Dominators - Mick was there with the Legends. It was a state secret and all that at the time; that's when he got a pardon for everything he'd previously been involved with. Very hush-hush, though how the pres was planning on keeping the details of how a nation- or world-wide invasion was defeated a secret is anyone's guess. Sure, keep it a secret from the American media, that's one thing, but those British tabloids are vicious weasels that will stop at nothing.
Okay, yeah, Mick taking a selfie with a downed Dominator and posting it to Instagram - instantly making it one of the only good pictures anyone had of the damn things, which were resistant to being recorded on any type of media unless you did some special adjustments to the settings, like, say, the sort Gideon did automatically when upgrading their camera phones, and by sheer scarcity thereby became famous worldwide as the definitive Dominator photo - probably didn't help with the whole secrecy thing.
Hell yeah Mick's going to put a copy of that in the White House if he wins, you kidding? That picture won photo of the year, and that was the year of the solar eclipse, so it had some pretty stiff competition.
Anyway, yeah, that's how Mick's rep started shifting from supervillain to - you know what, let's just avoid any use of the terms 'superhero' (Mick is not) or 'hero' (also not).
Ugh. Fine. Out of lack of better options.
Anyhoo, that's when the buzz started, y'know? A couple of pranksters - whose names shall remain nameless but who know exactly who they are, Barry Allen and Cisco Ramon - uh, that last part's off the record - anyway, these fucking assholes decided to start up a fake Super PAC called 'Heatwave for President'.
Yeah, Mick knows it was just meant as a contrast to the current incumbent. Sort of a "if this idiot can become president, why not Heatwave the famous supervillain" sort of deal. Mick's cool with that. It was a funny joke and, yeah, the incumbent was worse than useless. You'd think getting the job when your predecessor was shot by aliens would give them the sympathy vote, at least for a bit, but wow did they blow it. Who the fuck tries to kill health care for kids as their first official push in action? Seriously, who?
Yeah, you can definitely write that down. “Mick Rory still ticked off about asshole move”. Honestly, just keep that handy for copy-paste purposes, it’s probably going to be relevant a lot in the future.
What? No, Mick hadn’t thought about running for office as far back as the whole joke Super PAC thing. Mick was traveling through space and time at that time. Keep your chronology straight. If Mick can do it – and, again, not to over-emphasize this, but do you know how hard it is to keep track of time on a time-traveling spaceship? – then you can do it when you've got your feet firmly set down on planet earth in a consistent timeline.
So yeah, things were going along that way, Mick with the Legends, going around, doing shit, messing shit up, fighting with people. The whole thing wasn't exactly all sunshine and roses, but they did well enough. Well, they managed to keep the timeline more or less intact, at least.
No, you wouldn’t know it if they’d failed. Time doesn’t work that way.
No, the current incumbent isn’t a result of a horrific failure by time travelers to prevent an evil catastrophe from –
Huh. You know what, Mick’s not going to give a definitive answer on that one. Just assume that if the Legends had failed, things would be even worse.
No comment on North Korea. Just – no comment. Ever.
The Legends are on it, okay?!
Not the point Mick was trying to get at here. More what he was trying to get at is – Len. Snart. Captain Cold.
Fuck it, Mick's just calling him Len for the rest of this interview -
Yes, thank you Len, your commentary that you are “always the point” is incredibly helpful here.
Fucking drama queens.
That's about when it turns out (or rather, when they all discover) that Len didn’t, in fact, die – or maybe he did, and it got reversed, or something like that – and he ended up in a different universe. Fighting Nazis.
Listen, if there’s one thing that Mick’s going to take a permanent never-gonna-change-it-no-matter-what-new-evidence-appears-no-matter-what position on, it’s gonna be Nazis. Mick fucking hates Nazis.
Yes, neo-Nazis count.
Yes, they have a First Amendment right to free speech, meaning no government oppression.
Yes, Mick realizes that means he’ll have to stop punching them all the time if he gets elected President. It’s okay. He’s sure that some fine, upstanding people will take up the slack and keep on the good work for him.
Listen, if Super PACs are “sufficiently unrelated” to a presidential campaign to raise money on behalf of some asshole – and yes, Mick’s counting himself here – then the Nazi-Punching Party which endorsed Mick and which he may or may not go to regular meetings of is “sufficiently unrelated” for the purposes of government oppression of free speech. You get me?
Fine, Mick will probably stop attending meetings.
Len can still go, though, right?
See, Lenny, you can still go. Bring a goddamn camera.
Fuck, being President is going to be no fun at all. Why is he doing this again?
Oh, right, because the World’s Worst Caricature is running for office and the Legends and Gideon have all agreed that letting that guy get elected would literally mean the end of the world. That’s it, kaput, no more history, everyone’s all back to using sticks to write in the dirt again – what weird mutated creatures are left over anyway.
Trust Mick, you don't want to see the things Mick has seen. It's bad.
Mick would like it known that he does not approve of things going in a political drama-slash-mutated creature sort of way. Sci-fi was always more Len’s things. Mick prefers ninjas.
Yeah, that meeting with Tokyo’s Prime Minister went awesomely, why do you ask?
Shut up, Len. There was some discussion of policy; it wasn’t all about what classic ninja movie was the best. Though the last five hours were definitely all movie marathon. Not gonna lie.
Where was he?
Right, Len. Fighting Nazis. Terrible nearly world-ending invasion of the present Earth by the Nazi forces of that Earth, including the superhero and meta equivalents, repelled only by the combined forces of basically everybody.
Len and Mick teamed up to save the day, just like old times.
Okay, old times, they teamed up to steal things. Basically the same thing.
Listen, Nazis from another dimension invaded. That trumps everything.
For anyone other than the current incumbent, anyway. Fuckhead.
Yes, that’s on the record.
What? What the fuck is “Presidential decorum”? Listen, you, unlike you, Mick’s actually met George Washington, and if you think that every three words he uttered wasn’t some variation of ‘fuck’, ‘shit’, or ‘damn’, then that’s just because you’re reading the cleaned up history version. He was a soldier. And before he was a soldier, he was a surveyor, which as far as Mick can tell means “walked out into the forest with a compass and came back out hating bears”, and if that doesn’t make a man swear, then nothing will.
No comment on whether or not Mick hooked up with him.
Just give up. You’re never going to get a comment.
So while everybody else was being scared shitless at how the Nazis from another dimension – and yeah, Mick’s perfectly aware that the usual term is “another Earth”, but fuck it, “another dimension” sounds like a crappy 1950s sci-fi “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” and makes Len grin every time, so Mick’s sticking with it – were invading, especially when they got all the white supremacists on this Earth to join up with them, taking advantage of all those so-easy gun laws to arm up into an actual local army, the current incumbent decided to throw a temper tantrum because the attention wasn’t 100% focused on them for five fricking minutes.
Also, Mick’s pretty sure they’re actually not-so-secretly a Nazi supporter. All that talk of cooperating and seeing what they have to say and how they were “good people” – total fucking crap, obviously. That asshole was probably disappointed when Mick and Len had their Moment of Awesome sending them all back to where they came, right into the trap Len’d been setting up with the other resistance forces on that Earth.
Either way, as everyone knows, as soon as the Nazis were gone, the next thing the current incumbent decided to do was push a horrible law outlawing any metahumans – and they defined metahumans in the stupidest possible way, and all because they wanted it to cover people who actually didn’t have any powers like Len and Mick, which didn’t even make sense – and trying to make Earth-1 full on fascist.
Yeah, fascist. They put lots of fancy words and stuff – no, that’s not right, their speechwriters put fancy words and stuff around it, but that law was – is – fucking dystopia nightmare fuel right there, okay?
Listen, Mick literally has someone from 2042 going around and testifying to how awful that law makes literally everything. What more evidence do you fucking need?
So, yeah. Horrible future. World's Worst Caricature running for office, almost certain to pass it if they get in.
And that means -
Someone was gonna have to man up (woman up? non-gender up? human up? wait, is the last one specieist?) to stop it.
Now, you’d think the other party would do something about that, wouldn’t they? But noooo, they decide to shoot themselves in the foot by nominating some old geezer taking a hard line about how everything’s going to change now that everyone’s “together” – never mind the details, togetherness is what’s important, right guys? the movement's gonna fix everything! because it's a revolution! of feelings! Of all the dumbass hippie-dippie crap... – and coming up with increasingly more stupid ideas that wouldn't work. Doesn't matter, of course, Mick was all set to vote for the fucker anyway, along with everyone else, just to keep Worst Caricature outta office, but no. See, then, three fucking months before the election, the asshole gets found out to be corrupt as fuck! Except he won’t resign and let anyone else run! And his fanboys have made their way into the levers of power, so the party can’t kick him out, either! And all the goddamn ballots have already gone to the printers!
That’s how this whole thing really got started, you know. Three fucking months, and the only other person who’d been entered to run for President in all 50 states before the deadline passed is – you guessed – Heatwave for President.
At the time, the entire freaking organization was being run by the people who now make up Mick’s circle of advisors – Felicity Smoak, Oliver Queen, Barry Allen, Cisco Ramon, Caitlin Snow, and Iris West – because they’d all thought it was freaking funny or something, and everyone suddenly had to change gears real fast to try to make it into an actual thing.
Not that anyone thought it would work. You know, they just thought - might as well give it a try. Can't just roll over and give in; gotta go for the Hail Mary pass if that's all that's left to you.
No one actually thought it would work.
At least, no one thought it would work until the polls started changing. First time they polled it, Mick got, like, 5%.
Second time they polled it, he got 30%.
Now he’s somewhere near 50%.
If Mick wins, Mick’s taking a weekend to go sit quietly in a room and hyperventilate for, like, an hour.
Thanks for the hug, Len. Means a lot; Mick knows very well how much you hate public displays of affection. Or emotion. Or anything but drama, drama, drama.
Huh? Yeah, Len and Mick are partners. They’ve always been upfront and clear about that.
No – no – partners.
Yes, criminal partners. But also, you know, partner partners. If you get what Mick’s saying.
Oh, for fuck’s sake, they’re married. Len’s going to be the First Supervillain or whatever they call it when it’s a guy.
What do you mean, nobody…? It’s fucking legal and everything! Central City’s Hall of Records has a copy of the goddamn certificate!
…oh, okay, yeah. Fair point. Can’t even imagine the type of backlog you’d have to go through to get Central City bureaucracy to do anything, much less respond to a freaking FOIA request. They'll probably get around to responding to it sometime in the 2030s.
You mean people really didn’t know?
Well, that’s gonna surprise a lot of people, then.
First ever non-straight resident of the White House? Don’t be ridiculous. Haven’t you met Lincoln?
Right. Not everyone time travels. Sorry, keep forgetting.
Yes, Mick’s met Lincoln.
No, Mick’s not going to comment on if he hooked up with him, either. Jesus. Stop asking.
Why hadn’t Mick mentioned meeting Lincoln before? Because it wasn’t important? It never came up!
It’s not like anyone asked for a listing of all the time eras he’s visited!
Of course the Legends never mentioned it; it wasn’t when Mick was with them. It was during his Kronos period. Listen, it’s a long story, okay? And they’re getting close to actually starting to yell out states, so maybe everyone should pay attention to that instead.
Yes, Mick is totally aware that he’s being weaselly. He’s a politician now. He’s allowed to be weaselly sometime.
What’s everyone got against weasels, anyway? Perfectly nice animals.
Mick has a pet rat, you know. If Mick wins – yes, he’s still using fucking “if”, nothing gets decided until we hit Ohio and Florida, Iris – does that make Ratigan the First Pet or something now?
Is there a First Pet position?
Wait, there is? Kickass.
Never been a rat before? So what? Mick’s got nothing against dogs, you know, but he doesn’t have a dog. He has a rat. People will just have to deal.
Heh. Not Mick’s fault you don’t know what part of this interview you should make the headline.
…thank you, Len, he’s not going to go with “Bisexual Rat-Owner Wins Presidency; Husband Approves”.
No, “President-Elect Uses ‘Fuck’ More Often In Last-Minute Interview Than Any Prior Candidate” isn’t a good choice either, Iris. Probably historically inaccurate, too; LBJ was real big on the whole swearing thing - no comment on the hook-ups! Jesus!
What? No, Ramon, no one is running a headline that goes “Time Traveler Confirms Academic Suspicions Regarding Lincoln’s Sexuality”. No one cares!
Fine, maybe the history journals care. But no one else. Not like it’s a big deal. People can sleep with whoever they want.
Oh, it’s still a big deal in some ways? That sucks. Okay, that’s going on the agenda of things to do to fix in the next four years.
Yes, he means it! Why the hell would he run for office twice? How bad can the next option be?!
And Sara just ran into the room. Please say that you’re not here to tell everyone that some horrible thing has happened in the future that –
Actually, never mind. Please be here to tell everyone that some horrible thing has happened in the future and that you desperately need everyone here to go take care of it immediately.
What do you mean, Mick won?
“So, what are you planning on doing now, Mr. President-Elect?” the reporter asks, beaming like a maniac, as the giant television shows the explosive celebrations occurring immediately outside – literally explosive, since Mick had insisted on bonfires and fireworks and at least four different pyrotechnics teams. “What’s your first move?”
"What kind of question is that?" Iris laughs as Barry swings her around. “We can worry about that tomorrow! Tonight we party!”
“The world is saved!” Cisco cheers.
“I’m doomed,” Mick says, his head rolling back. “They’re never gonna let me quit.”
“Probably not,” Len, who is perched right next to him, says to him, not without sympathy. “But it’s okay. I’ll do the work for you.”
“You’re the best, boss,” Mick says, not without feeling. “Why couldn’t you have been Vice President?”
“Because they can’t be in the same building for too long,” Len explains. "Meteorite strikes."
"Oh," Mick says glumly. "Right."
Len pats Mick’s arm comfortingly. “Don’t worry. There’s a long, storied precedent of First – uh, First Spouses – running the joint for their husbands.”
“Damn right there is,” Mick says, rubbing his face. “Thank god for Woodrow Wilson, that's all I'm saying - don't you even ask," he warns the reporter.
“Besides,” Len continues, sounding quite practical. “Sara makes a great Vice President. After all, if you die, who would you want to avenge your murder if not Sara?”
“Um,” the reporter says, blinking at the two of them. “That’s…not what a Vice President does?”
“Really? Are you sure?”
“…moderately sure. I’ve been reporting on political matters for a long time now.”
“If it makes you feel better, I’m pretty sure she’s gonna let Jax, Stein and Ray do most of her work,” Len offers. “Even after all that trouble we had to go to in order to get her declared alive again…”
“It…really doesn’t,” the reporter says. “But thanks for the update?”
“No problem,” Len says. “C’mon, Mick. Let’s go watch things burn.”
Mick brightens and climbs to his feet.
“Hey,” Len asks the reporter, “you’re the politico here. Do Presidential spouses get immunity from prosecution?”
The reporter frowns. “Why?”
“No stealing stuff, Snart,” Barry says.
“For four years.”
"You're a role model now!"
"No! I refuse!"
"Too late now," Iris cackles.
Mick starts laughing. “Well,” he says, looping an arm around Len’s waist and dragging him towards the flame, Len’s face still frozen in a rictus of horror. “At least I won’t be the only one suffering!”
“Look on the bright side!” the reporter shouts after them. “Politicians are basically just thieves on a much larger scale!”