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Parenthood

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Roy had never seriously considered becoming a parent. First of all, he was too young. It was never something that was on his mind; parenthood was something real adults did. Besides, not even Ollie or most of the grown men and women in the Justice League were parents. It was just way too early in his life to be thinking about that.

Second of all, Roy was just not parent material. He didn't even like kids very much; Roy lacked the sense of humor and the patience that were required for taking care of children. Plus, they were messy.

And lastly, and most importantly, Roy was just not cut out to be a parent. If the past couple years didn't prove that, he didn't know what would. Betraying the League, his failure to find the real Speedy, his decent from hero to vigilante to…hell, he didn't even know what he was anymore.

And there was the alcohol. And the drugs. And the clashes with both criminals and law enforcement that had become more violent and unpredictable with time.

He was barely taking care of himself, so how could he be expected to take care of another human being? Especially one so small, so wholly dependent?

As he sat on his moth-eaten couch in his filthy apartment, holding his daughter for the first time, Jade kneeling in front of him with steel in her eyes, he had thought of all the reasons he shouldn't be a parent. Why they shouldn't be parents. And yet here they were.

Looking back on this moment, he realized that becoming a father didn't change him. Because no matter what people liked to say, becoming a parent alone wasn't enough to really change a person; there were enough crappy parents in the world to show that.

No, seeing Lian that first time, holding her in his arms, hearing her sweet gurgle and feeling her small but firm grasp on his finger, none of it changed Roy.

But it gave him a reason to change.

And maybe that was enough.