Title: A Place To Fall
Author: Shatterpath
Feedback address: shatterpath@shatterstorm.net
Date in Calendar: 21 December 2017
Fandom: Light, Water, Muses
Pairing: Dace/Catherine, Roni/Mal
Word Count: 1044
Summary: Dace has had a variety of adventures. On a very different Earth, this is one of them.
Advertisement: Part of the FSAC:DW16


Note: For you Pyramid fans, a little side excerpt on a very background character and a favorite location that I think we ALL miss.

It had been a weird paradigm shift for Dace. She'd left National City behind with her past. And her mother. Sometimes, there were people you couldn't save. And the endless procession of asshole losers she kept bringing home became more and more interested in the tall, pretty daughter…

Dace packed up what she could carry and ran.

She avoided much of the worst being a teen on the streets could throw at her, though there were a few instances that still woke her in a cold sweat, decades later. But she found herself a wild tribe to run with and eventually went straight with the help of a gruff old bastard of a cop who would be her partner for so long she still expected to find him hovering around.

He might have been Inspector Mitchell to most of the force, but he'd been just Dick to her. Side by side, they'd loved and lost and loved again, been heroic and done terrible things alike. Even once he'd retired from active and started driving a desk, Dace assigned a sequence of younger models who never quite fit just right, she would usually go to him to talk shit out.

When he finally retired for good and vanished from her life, she felt like she was missing a limb.

Out of some weird, unspoken agreement, she never went looking for him, even though the itch to do so some days rivaled the scars on her arm. Her kids never stopped asked after him, her wife's eyes never stopped carrying that empathetic sympathy. She stood on a very different part of the blue line, but she still got it. Catherine had transferred to San Francisco out of Las Vegas years ago, wanting a better life for herself and her daughter. Dace had been interested, but with her enhanced senses, she never made the first move. Better to miss an opportunity than forever wonder if she overstepped. Catherine drummed up an amusingly prickly friendship with Dace's pal Sara, whom she'd known since they were both rookies in their departments, and one thing had finally led to another.

They were both older now, Catherine gone soft and frail and still beautiful to her much younger wife. Dace had never cared about the age gap. The move hadn't been her favorite idea, but she certainly didn't miss the chill that San Francisco could sink into old bones!

Speaking of her wife…

"Hey Roni! ETA?"

"What is this, a police raid?"

It was always some variant of sass from her newest employee and the best thing to happen to '3' since they reopened. Roni Mills had been displaced out of her own bar in Seattle, packed up and followed her grown kid and his family to sunnier shores and stumbled over '3'.

That happened a lot. Like really, a lot.

Dace had no idea how word got around, but she loved it. The Metas and Aliens and weirdos willing to be accepting drifted to this place like sand carried on the tide. They'd been so successful that Michael had moved to a building nearby and the bar had punched through the wall to spill into the old warehouse.

"Mal finish that piece you've been going on about?"

"Oh, oh! Yeah, she did, check it out."

Uncaring about packaging, Roni had fallen in with a Meta glass artist completely immune to heat who shaped the deadly molten stuff with her bare hands. People couldn't get enough of the stuff, fascinated by the impressions of her palms and fingers left in the medium when it was nearly hot enough to melt stone.

The newest piece was a decent photo on Roni's phone, the sculpture still clearly in Mal's workshop. It was beautifully grotesque like a victim trapped in flames. With her heat-immune hands, Mal had twisted in ropes of hot colors like striped taffy. There was literally nothing like it in all the world.

"It's gorgeous and disturbing. The client will love it."

"Right?" Roni laughed. "And she's still working on that massive piece for your pals too."

"Ooo! The dragon? I can't wait to see that thing up on the roof in the sun."

"Yeah, the sheer scale of it is intimidating. She keeps cracking jokes about trying to make it 'life sized'. Pfft, like anyone knows what life-sized would be for a dragon."

Bantering and carrying on, the two women whipped through cleaning and readying the bar for the next evening. It was a good habit, staying on top of every little thing, because there was always someone who wanted this place gone. And Dace would be damned if she were going to make it easy on the bastards.

There'd already been pitfalls and stumbling blocks, but Dace had barely had the time to open her mouth before Maggie and her pack of wonderful, weird friends had closed ranks. And that included a lawyer so rich and sharkish than even the bar patrons hadn't messed with her. Knowing Maggie's pals, Dace still hadn't figured out if L-Corp or Catco footed that particular bill. When the city backed off their bullying tactics against her tribe of oddballs, frankly, Dace didn't much care. That local gang that had tried swaggering around had never returned and Dace made sure no one got to curious about that, including herself.

Slowly, places like her own, and that great nightclub a couple blocks over, and the whole city block Cat Grant and Lena Luthor were converting into god knows what, were lessening the shadows and grime in their neighborhoods. They were becoming little havens between the horrors of the grittiest parts of National City and the unwelcoming glare of the corporate spotlights.

They were islands.

Tonight had been about a holiday blowout for those that wanted to party and get wild. The dozen most wild had long since been poured into cabs and handed off to friends. Christmas would be a quieter affair, a night like any other at the bar. For there were always those that had no families to be with, no cause for joy. And they too needed a place to not be alone.

That was the best legacy Dace could carry on for her old partner and mentor.