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The continuing adventures of Time Dad! Playing catch up again. I've really need to get back in the habit of posting everywhere at the same time. I'm just going to end up confusing myself, forgetting what I've posted where.

Title: The Adventures of Time Dad
Characters: Rip, Mick, Ray, Sara, Martin, Jax, Leonard
Rating/Warnings: PG
Genre: Humor, Crack, Fluff, Family, Friendship
Word Count: 7500 so far
Spoilers: Takes place between seasons 1 and 2 with random visits from Leonard because I keep forgetting he's dead.
Summary: Some days Rip wants to strangle them. Some days he wants to hug them. Some days he wants to do both.

Parts 1 - 4



5. The Small Matter of Birthdays: Jax

The matter first came up when the team were gathered in Rip’s study having a celebratory drink after a successful mission, or at least, a somewhat successful mission, all of the Legends were alive and the timeline wasn’t completely screwed up so they were calling it successful, and Martin was making his familiar protest about Jax not being twenty-one.

Jax made a face at this and said in an exasperated tone, “Come on, Grey. All that drinking age stuff is arbitrary crap. Besides, I’m pretty sure I am twenty-one by now.”

“No, you’re not,” Martin replied, brusquely. “You haven’t had your birthday yet. I'd have noticed.”

“Only ‘cause we haven’t been to September 2016. Enough time has passed since we left that I should be twenty-one.”

“No, it hasn’t.”

“Yes, it has.”

“No, it...”

“Gideon!” Rip called out in a desperate attempt to stop the childish argument from continuing any longer. “Would you please calculate Mr. Jackson’s chronological age for us.”

The A.I. quickly obliged. “Mr. Jackson’s age is twenty-one years, seventeen days, nine hours, and twenty-six minutes.”

“Told you,” said Jax, nodding smugly, and then his face suddenly fell. “Wait. That means I missed my twenty-first birthday.”

Sara put a consoling hand on his arm. “I’m sorry, Jax.”

“Yeah, tough luck, man,” said Ray.

Rip frowned gazing at his team in confusion, not understanding the sudden somber attitudes. “What’s wrong?”

“I’m afraid turning twenty-one is rather a big deal where we’re from,” explained Martin, offering Jax an apologetic look. “It marks the final step into true adulthood.”

“Not to mention it’s finally legal for you to get completely shitfaced,” added Mick, who was lounging in one of the armchairs, his glass of whiskey already half-finished. “Not that that stopped most of us from getting shitfaced before we hit twenty-one.”

“I see,” said Rip. The twenty-first birthday party wasn’t a coming of age ritual he’d ever been a part of, but he could understand why Jax would be upset.

“You should make it up to him,” Sara declared suddenly. “After all, it’s your fault.”

“My fault?” Rip stared at her. “How is it my fault?”

“You’re the one who brought us along on this mission. Besides, you’re the captain,” she added with a smirk. “Everything’s your fault.”

Of course, it was, thought Rip. Everything was always his fault. He gazed over at Jax. There had been so many aberrations recently they really didn’t have time to stop for a party, but Jax did look rather heartbroken, and he had been working very hard recently, and he had done quite a magnificent job modifying the bridge.

Closing his eyes, Rip hung his head and sighed. He really hoped he wouldn’t regret this.

“Alright,” he declared, straightening up and clapping his hands together. “Mr. Jackson, you get one trip anywhere in space and time, a birthday treat. Where would you like to go?”

Jax’s eyes widened. “Seriously? Anywhere I want?”

“Within reason,” Rip quickly amended. With his luck, Jax would want to go to the middle of a warzone or all the way back to see the Big Bang.

His entire face now alight, Jax rubbed his hands together biting his lip as he considered the possibilities. It didn’t take him long to come to a decision. “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” he announced.

The rest of the team looked at him blankly.

“The golf movie?” said Ray, eyebrows scrunching together in a frown.

Jax rolled his eyes. “The 1958 NFL Championship Game!” he exclaimed staring at them as if they were most clueless people he’d ever met. “The Baltimore Colts vs. the New York Giants?”

The team continued to look blank.

“It was the first championship game broadcast nationally, the game that finally made pro ball popular, the game that... Oh, forget it.”

“I take it we’re talking about American football,” said Rip, uncertainly.

“Just football,” replied Mick. “Stop being so English.”

“I think it’s an excellent idea,” said Martin, placing a hand on Jax’s shoulder.

“I think it’s an awesome idea,” said Ray.

“Then I guess we’re going to see a game,” said Sara. “Right, Rip?”

“We are going to see a game,” agreed Rip, nodding. It wasn’t really his sort of thing but it was a reasonable request. He’d been expecting something much worse.

“We’re still getting drunk afterwards, right?” asked Mick. “It is traditional.”

Rip sighed. It can always get worse, he reminded himself.

The trip actually went quite well except for the fact it was freezing cold, unsurprising considering they were sitting outside in New York in late December. Most of the team didn’t seem to mind much as they were constantly jumping up in their seats with the rest of the crowd while Rip huddled in his wool coat and watched his breath steam in the air as the men on the field collided with each other. Rip had never been a fan of the cold, or watching sporting events for that matter. The things he did for the team, he thought as he shivered.

Afterwards, they went out for drinks, because, as Mick had said, it was traditional, but Rip took them somewhere slightly more appropriate, as well as safer for both the team and the timeline: September 12, 2016. Jax was very pleased and preceded to drink until he passed out and had to be carried back to the ship by Rip as he was the only one left in a fit state to do so. Rip didn't mind. He was just glad Mick and Sara had kept their bar brawling down to only a minor scuffle this time.

That should have been the end of the matter or so Rip assumed. Jax woke up the next morning the happiest person to ever have a hangover and the team went back to their regular job of chasing down aberrations in the timeline.

Then several weeks later, Ray turned up in Rip’s study with a giant grin on his face.


6. The Small Matter of Birthdays: Ray

“Hey, Rip,” said Ray, sidling over to where the captain stood by the large screen at the back of the study.

“Dr. Palmer,” Rip replied as he continued examining the data displayed there.

Ray shoved his hands into his pockets and rocked back and forth on his feet. “You probably don’t know this," he said, casually, "but my birthday’s coming up. I had Gideon calculate my chronological age and it turns out in a few days time I’m turning 39.”

Rip’s forehead furrowed. “Congratulations,” he said, wondering why Ray was bringing this up.

“Thanks,” said Ray. “Anyway, I’ve been thinking about it for a long time and I think I’ve finally decided where I want to go for my birthday treat.”

Rip turned and stared at him. “Your what?”

“My birthday treat,” Ray repeated. “You know the trip anywhere in space and time I’d like to go.”

“Wait, wait, wait,” said Rip hastily, waving his hands. “I never said everyone was getting a birthday trip.”

Ray’s face fell. Sara had once described Ray as looking like a giant puppy dog and Rip suddenly understood why. He grimaced. It was a bad idea, he told himself, a really bad idea. He knew he shouldn't do it, but it wasn’t like Ray didn’t deserve a trip any less than Jax. He had been working just as hard and Kendra's departure had been rather hard on him.

Taking in a deep breath, Rip offered up a quick prayer and said, “Alright. Where would you like to go?”

Ray beamed. “Well, I would have asked to see the old West but we’ve already done that and I’ve always wanted to see the pyramids being built but I’m kind of over Egypt after the whole Savage thing. There’s a ton of historical figures I’d like to meet, of course, but it’s hard to pick just one, and we’ve been to so many great places already and I’m sure we’re going to go to so many more, so I thought we could go somewhere that I’ve always wanted to go to but we’ll probably never get to see because well, frankly it’s not like there’d ever be a time aberration way out there.”

“Out where?” Rip prompted when Ray paused in his babbling.

“Antarctica,” said Ray. “I want to go to Antarctica to see the penguins.”

“Antarctica?” said Rip, drawing out the word.

“Yup,” replied Ray with a grin.

“You want to go to Antarctica to see the penguins?”

“Yup.”

“You have all of time and space to choose from and you want to go to the coldest place on Earth to look at birds?”

“Yup,” Ray replied for the third time, his smile just as bright and unwavering.

Rip slid a hand through his hair. “You do know,” he said in a last desperate attempt to dissuade Ray, “that depending on when you go back, you may very well end up celebrating your 39th birthday twice.”

“I know,” said Ray. “Isn’t that awesome!”

Rip resisted the urge to slap his hand against his forehead. “Fine, fine. I’ll let the others know.”

Of course, Ray didn’t just want to see any penguins. He wanted to see emperor penguins, baby emperor penguins. Jax blamed some movie Rip had never heard of. Unfortunately, emperor penguins happened to be the only members of the species that bred in the middle of winter. This meant in order to see the babies they had to go during the southern spring when temperatures were still sixty degrees below zero. Rip chose a time when emperor penguins were plentiful in the Antarctic and humans weren’t so they didn’t have to worry about anyone catching sight of them and causing a disruption to the timeline which meant they could wear high-tech, cold weather gear, but even with the gear, it was still way beyond freezing.

The other Legends didn’t seem to mind. They were completely enamoured with the penguins the moment they saw them. The colony they found was enormous, hundreds of the black and white birds huddling together, craning their necks as they gazed about, waddling back and forth, and sliding along on their fat bellies. The air was filled with a cacophony of trilling caws.

Rip felt rather nervous among the massive crowd of birds but the rest of the team happily dived right in cooing over the little fluffy babies. Even Mick seemed to find the penguins amusing. As the Legends busied themselves with the birds, Rip stayed back standing on the ice with his arms wrapped around himself to keep warm, keeping one eye on the birds and another on the team to make sure none of the them decided to kidnap a baby penguin and take it back to the Waverider. The babies were after all, even Rip had to admit, ridiculously cute.

When they’d had enough of the penguins, Rip assumed they would return to the nice warm ship, but since there was snow, someone suggested sledding, so spare pieces of hull plating were fetched and they used them to sled down the glaciers, Rip joining in after much cajoling. This led to the inevitable snowball fight, or perhaps snowball war would be a more accurate description. There were two teams at the start but there was so much switching of sides, betrayals, and rebellions that in the end it became a complete melee with each Legend fighting for themselves. Rip was pounded by snowballs but proudly gave as good as he got displaying a surprising amount of accuracy as he battled against his team.

At the end of the day, they finally returned to Waverider, divesting themselves of their snow-covered cold weather gear and retiring to the galley for hot chocolate and cupcakes where the events of the day were gone over in enthusiastic detail.

“This was the best birthday ever,” said Ray somewhere between his third and fourth cupcake. “Thanks, Rip.”

Rip’s only response was a sneeze.


7. The Small Matter of Birthdays: Sara

After that day, Rip knew he was doomed, knew that despite his numerous protests that this was not what he had intended, there was no stopping it, no going back, no chance the matter would be conveniently forgotten as they busied themselves fighting time criminals across the timeline.

He had given two of the team special trips for their birthdays and now they all wanted one.

His cold lasted for almost a week, because sometimes even the Waverider’s advanced medical technology can’t handle a persistent virus, but even before it was over, he caught several of the Legends chatting about where they’d like to go on their ‘trips’. Before long, a list mysteriously appeared on one of the screens in the galley containing the team’s names with numbers beside each one counting down the days. Even Jax and Ray’s names were on the list.

“Have to be ready for next year,” Jax said when Rip asked them about it.

“Next year?” said Rip, his feeling of inescapable doom growing stronger.

“Yeah,” said Ray. “I was thinking for my next birthday we could go to the moon in 1969 and get a close up view of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the surface, or maybe we could watch Michelangelo paint the Sistine Chapel, or go sailing for a day on the HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin, or check out the library of Alexandria before it burns down, or find out who really built Stonehenge.” He paused. “Wait,” he said, narrowing his eyes at Rip. “Do you know who built Stonehenge? Was it aliens? Please tell me it was aliens.”

“No,” Rip replied tiredly, and then reluctantly corrected himself. “Well, yes, sort of. It’s a long story.”

Jax gave him an incredulous look. “You make it sound like you were actually there.”

Rip grimaced. “Never trust a druid,” was all he said, quickly leaving before either could ask anymore about that rather unfortunate adventure.

As the days passed, the numbers on the list continued counting down like the timer on a particularly slow bomb, a constant reminder every time Rip entered the galley, so when Sara arrived in the library with a smile on her face a few days before her number was about to hit zero, he had a pretty good idea of what she wanted to talk to him about and it turned out he was right.

Sara leaned across the desk at which he sat and said without any preamble, “You know what I want for my birthday?”

“No idea,” said Rip, not bothering to look up from his work, acting nonchalant while at the same time bracing himself for what was to come.

“Christmas,” said Sara, simply.

This time Rip couldn’t help looking up. “Christmas?” he said, gazing at her with raised eyebrows.

“Christmas,” Sara repeated with a nod.

For a moment, Rip continued to stare at her in disbelief, and then he threw his hands up into the air. “Right. Fine. Brilliant,” he exclaimed sarcastically. “Shall we go to the North Pole to see Father Christmas himself? After all, we’ve already done the South Pole. We should do both. Maybe this time I’ll catch pneumonia.”

Sara reached over and smacked him on the arm. “No grumbling.”

Rip grimaced and rubbed his arm. A smack on the arm was infinitely better than a punch in the face but Sara happened to be rather strong.

“My birthday’s in December,” Sara explained, “only a few days after Christmas which means we’ve missed the holiday and we need to celebrate.”

“We do?” said Rip, glumly.

“We do,” said Sara in her ‘I was a member of the league of assassins so don’t fuck with me’ voice.

Rip rubbed his forehead feeling a familiar headache building. “Alright,” he said. “What exactly did you have in mind?”

As it turned out, Sara had had a German grandmother who always talked about the amazing Christmas markets in Munich, so that’s where they ended up, at the Christkindlmarkt, December 23, 1964, strolling between the wooden huts, listening to brass bands play carols, and admiring all the glittering decorations while they pigged out on gingerbread and mulled wine. At least it was warmer than Antarctica, Rip consoled himself digging his hands deeper into his coat’s pockets. Sara had wrapped a striped scarf around his neck and shoved a red tuque onto his head insisting they couldn’t let him get sick again and grinning the entire time.

Rip meant to keep a close eye on the team to ensure they didn’t get into their usual trouble but the market was fairly crowded. He took a moment to gaze up at the enormous Christmas tree standing outside the town hall and when he looked back they had all disappeared. When he was finally able to gather them all together once more, Martin was supporting a rather ill Jax who had had far too much food and far too many rides on the carousel, Ray was carrying a surprisingly large bag of ornaments which he was threatening to use to decorate the Waverider, Sara was saying goodbye to a very tall, blond woman with a satisfied grin on her face, and Mick had set fire to one of the huts though he insisted it was an accident.

Apparently, there was something called feuerzangenbowle. Rip didn’t understand exactly what it was but it had something to do with mulled wine, sugar, and fire which when combined with Mick had unsurprisingly ended with a hut burning down. Deciding they’d overstayed their welcome, Rip quickly ushered them out of the market before someone could come looking for Mick.

They ended up rounding off the day with a horse drawn sleigh ride through the hills outside the city. The snow covered countryside was beautiful and Rip was surprised to find he was actually enjoying the ride though he couldn’t help wishing for a moment that his family was there to see it.

“No moping,” said Sara, smacking his arm again. “It’s my birthday and it’s not allowed.”

Rip was about to protest but changed his mind when Sara took his arm and curled up against his side. After all, there were people she was no doubt missing too.

Most of the rest of the sleigh ride was spent singing Christmas carols, several of which had yet to be written thoroughly confusing their poor sleigh driver.


8. The Family Barbeque

“So you’re the one in charge of this...” Oliver gestured with the beer in his hand at the Legends who were busy mingling with the rest of the people currently gathered in the park. “...team?” Oliver concluded.

“Unfortunately,” said Rip, the word coming out more like a sigh.

Barry raised his eyebrows giving him an incredulous look. “And they actually listen to you?”

“Not as much as I like,” Rip replied and took a sip of his beer.

The sun was shinning down on the first annual Teams Arrow and Flash and Friends Barbeque and it was quite a crowd which had taken over the normally quiet park in Central City, eating, drinking, chatting, and playing a rather odd, and surprisingly violent, game of frisbee. The Teams Arrow and Flash and Friends’ Barbeque was what they were currently calling it though the name clearly needed some work. Barry’s friend Cisco wanted to call it the SuperFriends’ Barbeque but the name had met with some resistance, so they were stuck with the overly convoluted one for now.

Leonard, who had apparently been listening to the three men talk, sauntered over and leaned casually on Rip’s shoulder. “Actually, we only let him think he’s in charge,” he said. “In reality, we just keep him around because he makes pretty speeches and looks good in that coat of his.”

Rip rolled his eyes. “Yes. Thank you, Mr. Snart. If you really want to make yourself useful, how about you go tell Sara to stop flirting with Supergirl. The last thing we need is to have her embroiled in some love affair with an alien from another universe.”

Cocking his head to the side, Snart smirked and said, “I would but I rather like the way they look together. Don’t you?” He waggled his eyebrows suggestively before sauntering off once more in the direction of Sara and Kara.

Barry shook his head as he watched Leonard walk away. “It’s nice to know I was right about Snart, but seriously, having both him and Rory on your team must be quite a handful.”

“Not to mention Sara,” said Oliver. “She had a knack for getting into trouble even before she became an assassin, and then you've got Ray. He might mean well but he does have a tendency to let his enthusiasm get away with him.”

“Yeah,” Barry agreed. “Professor Stein’s the same way. His enthusiasm, and his stubbornness for that matter, has gotten him into a lot of trouble.” He pursed his lips thoughtfully. “Jax can’t be that bad though.”

Rip let out a weary huff of air. “I wish I could say that was true but I’m afraid Jefferson has a tendency to think with his heart rather than his head and that has lead him into several rather unfortunate situations.” He spotted something across the park. “Excuse me,” he said, and then raising his voice yelled over at small group who were clustered together, heads bent, deep in conversation. “Oy, you lot! Enough of that! I don’t care what experiment you’re planning on running. You’re not bringing it on board my ship!”

The conspirators, Martin, Ray, Cisco, and Felicity, turned to him with guilty looks on their faces.

“And no using parts from the Waverider either!” Rip added.

With glum expressions, the group slowly dispersed.

Barry’s eyes widened. “How did you know?”

“I can tell,” said Rip. “Trust me. I’ve developed a sixth sense for this sort of thing. I’ve had to.”

“I take it your team likes to keep you on your toes?” said Oliver with an amused smirk.

“They like trying to give me a heart attack,” Rip grumbled, taking another swig of his beer as he watched the Legends circulate among the jubilant picnickers. “I swear one of these days I’ll...” He stopped and sighed. “Not again.” He turned to where several people were gathered around a picnic table and cried, “Sara, how many times do I have to tell you not to use your throwing knives to cut up food!”

Sara gave him a one-fingered salute in reply and continued slicing pieces of watermelon.

Oliver snorted. “And I thought my new team was a pain.”

“They’re not really that bad,” said Rip. “Honestly, they’re not. They just... Damn it.” He raised his voice once more. “Snart, give Mr. Diggle back his wallet!”

Leonard sent Rip an exasperated look but handed the leather wallet back to Diggle much to the poor man’s confusion.

“Did he just...” said Oliver, pointing at Snart with a frown.

Barry winced. “Yeah, he does that.”

Rip shook his head. "I may have lost my only child but some days it feels like I've gained six more."

“And you’re seriously trying to tell me they’re not that bad?” said Oliver, eyebrows raised in disbelief.

Rip waved a hand in the air and nodded concedingly. “They are admittedly undisciplined, belligerent, headstrong, impulsive, reckless, and perpetually aggravating.” He took a deep breath. “But,” he continued, “they are also intelligent, resourceful, courageous, steadfast, compassionate to a fault, and have given me back hope countless times when I thought all was lost.” He gave the two men a wry grin. “Best not to tell them that though. It might give them ideas.”

The other men matched his grin with ones of their own.

Turning back to the gathering of heroes, Rip spotted Jax leaving the increasingly chaotic frisbee game. The young man grabbed Martin’s arm and began pulling the Professor in the direction of Kara, a giant grin on his face.

“No flying competitions!” Rip yelled after them, and then sighed. “Of course, they will probably drive me completely insane before too long.”

“But you wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world,” said Barry with a knowing smile.

Rip gazed at his team watching as they enjoyed themselves among their extended family. He tried to imagine his life without them and found he really didn’t want to. “Not a thing,” he said softly.

The moment was broken, however, when Rip’s eyes caught a rather worrying sight. “Oh, for pity’s sake,” he cried. “Will someone please keep Mr. Rory away from the barbeque!” Mick was approaching the barbeque with a manic grin on his face and a bottle of lighter fluid in one hand. Excusing himself from his fellow team leaders, Rip hastened over hoping to get there in time to stop the inevitable and once again cursing whichever god had set forth to saddle him with such a maddening team.
 

Parts 9 - 13
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