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13 August 2009 @ 04:03 am
[fic] Growing up Thorne.  
Rupert and Julia Thorne were two very different people.

In retrospect, it had been something of a miracle that they had managed to keep their marriage together for as long as they had…especially when one considered that their union had been falling apart before they had even exchanged their vows. Rupert had assumed (wrongly, but still) that his bride-to-be was merely stressed over the wedding arrangements and that once things were said and done she would return to being the charming, vivacious woman he had proposed to.

She didn’t.

They argued, often, about everything and nothing. Julie was spoiled and demanding and Rupert was not much better. Still, divorce was the last thing either of them had wanted. Instead they turned to marriage counseling…self help books…and when those failed, they tried to pretend that their relationship wasn’t as broken and twisted as it was.

Eleanor had been born from weeds like a wild flower; the Thornes had thought the birth of their daughter would signal a change for the better in their relationship, but…well, having a baby just presented a whole new slew of arguments and problems for the couple. Would she be breastfed or bottle-fed? Should she wear the pink onesie or the yellow? No, you don’t hold a baby like that.

Rupert found that his wife had no shame. He had assumed that once Eleanor was old enough to understand, Julia would take precautions to keep their fighting from her. He had been mistaken and their daughter was not spared the yelling and cursing. The most that the man could do for his child was to send her to her room.

Sometimes, he couldn’t even do that for her.

Julia was not picky about when and where she would begin her next tirade. Restaurants, the foyer of the theatre, the car…No place was safe when Mrs. Thorne decided to go off. No one in Gotham City was unaware about the Thornes’ marital problems, least of all Eleanor Thorne.

She didn’t like the fighting. She didn’t like having to tell her mother to behave herself when she had friends over to play and the humiliation that came with the looks of people who passed by while her parents argued on the sidewalk.

“What do you want for Christmas?” Eleanor remembered her father asking her one year. She had been eight.

“I want for her to go away,” had been her answer. She had only been eight years old, but she had spoken with the conviction of someone much older.

Rupert Thorne had laughed, almost sadly, and hugged his daughter. “That is something that Santa can’t give, Eleanor.”

It didn’t stop her from wishing, though; Eleanor knew that it wasn’t right for parents to fight the way that hers did.

When she was eleven, Julia and Rupert Thorne finally decided to call it quits. Her mother had packed her bags and gone to New York and Eleanor was left with her father. He had seemed more disturbed by the whole situation than she had.

The divorce had been all over the news. Statements had been released and journalists had swarmed the penthouse. PR representatives worried about how voters would react to the situation, but Rupert had won them all over again with his new role of single father.

Eleanor, for her part, was grateful that the constant state of tension she had lived in had been broken.

Years later, and she felt the same.

“Eleanor?” Her father’s voice accompanied the tap on her doorframe.

“Come in,” she told him as she moved her laptop aside and gave Rupert Thorne her attention.

He stepped in but lingered in the doorway. “Your mother called.”

“Did she?”

“She’d like it if you’d go out to New York to see her.”

“Mm.”

Rupert furrowed his brow and sighed. “I know you aren’t on the best of terms with Julia, but a daughter should have a relationship with her mother.”

Eleanor shook her head, “I have absolutely no interest in having one now.”

“You won’t always feel that way. I don’t want you burning any bridges. One day…”

“No. One day I won’t want my mother.”

“I only want to do right by you, Eleanor,” the kingpin explained. He sighed, “I would hate for you to one day turn around and despise me for not being good enough.”

It was a rare moment of sentimentality from Rupert Thorne and his daughter recognized it. She rose from her bed and crossed the room to her father. She pushed up on her toes and kissed his cheek and then wrapped her arms around him. “Daddy.

She shook her head. “I could never despise you. …I’ll call Mom, alright?”