|The Liar's Kiss
Author: RealityChik PM
Deception, doubt, close calls, and lost in a paradise of Ecstasy begins with a blinde decision that chains her to the unexpected until she is left at odds with two paths. One that holds peace and protection, another that holds warmth and escape.WallArtRoyRated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Artemis C./Artemis & Roy Harper/Red Arrow - Words: 3,412 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 15 - Published: 02-19-12 - id: 7852913
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Scribbler Memo: As you can see, this is a Romance/General fic. I know that sometimes the 'general' genre is perceived as a story with a touch of romance behind the plot, but not much. However, general also means multiple main genres. I put it as general because I simply could not decide what else to brand this fic. Romance is a big part of this plot, but it's not the center. This story is full of adventure, angst, crime, drama, friendship, hurt/comfort, mystery, thriller, and suspense; with hints of family and humor.
If you are looking for all those things mixed in with a dynamic plot that will leave you guessing, well, you've come to the right place. I cannot guarantee that this story will make it to the top of your favorites list, but I CAN guarantee that at least once or twice, you will be left on the edge of your seat.
Also, on the romance part, I wanted to create a story that explored the idea of a RoyxArtemis romance without making it cliché or cheesy (I don't want that to sound like I am downplaying other fics between the two on this sight, they are actually quite good and entertaining, just not my perception). And we must not forget Waltemis. It was hard to think up a plot that would fit all ideas between the love triangle, but I think I got it pretty close. But that is just me, the worth of a story is entirely up to a reader.
The post date of this story is during the last half of the first season, so for future readers, take that fact into account while reading this.
But at a certain point, and I don't really know… people have asked me this. I don't know exactly what it was that pushed me towards directing, but I think it was a naïve notion that if I directed I would be able to play all the roles. A kind of greed.
Artemis sunk closer to the wall, surveying the scene to her right as she did. The night cast a shadow over everything, making it more difficult to see. However, not enough to cover the nine masked men making their way into the closed up jewelry shop. Two were at the van, a driver ready to bail at the first sign of trouble and a lookout standing on the outside. Two more were taking up a patrol around the perimeter, the rest were headed inside.
They looked like the textbook street criminals: masks, guns, a get-away van, and the entire dark outfit to top it off. They were intimidating in every way. Mysterious, dangerous, lethal. They held their heads high with their chests puffed out; they were obviously confident about their situation. Somehow, they seemed to have found a way to shut off the security system. There was no alarm and no police after them. Any other night they could have escaped with the loot, free of a hassle.
But tonight was different. If only they knew they were being watched and sized up by two deadly archers.
"I count nine," the voice over her radio said.
She reached up and tapped her earpiece in response, "Me too. What's the plan?"
"You decide, you're in charge tonight," she could almost hear a smile in his voice, "ready when you are."
That's right. She almost forgot she was calling the shots. Green Arrow had asked her earlier that day to go scouting in his home town Star City with him. Patrolling on the streets, sounded simple enough, but they weren't doing this for a joy ride. There was a reason she was going out with him tonight.
Since the team was formed and she joined, different scenarios have been spreading through the media about her. It happened to all heroes. If the right Intel wasn't given about why they were at wherever they happened to be, the news made it their business to make up explanations on their own. Sometimes they were bad, sometimes not. Neither her or her team had been caught on camera yet, but her heroics were starting to attract attention.
They didn't know who she was, so they were going to give her a story. To keep things from turning into a potential problem or nuisance, Green Arrow decided to make it public that he was her new protégé. Though she technically wasn't, it would keep suspicion away. They didn't have to make a statement, the two of them just had to be caught on camera together. A simple photo would brand her.
This was the first time she had ever gone on patrol with Green Arrow. Sure they had trained a few times at his hidden, person range, but that was different. She had always heard about heroes and their partners patrolling their cities. She'd always imagined them to be exciting, even an adventure. Now here she was, doing just that with one of the world's most famed vigilantes. It was different than she had expected. It felt like more of a job at the moment.
She drew an electric stun arrow from her quiver and strained the bowstring as she aimed at the man guarding the truck. GA said she was in charge tonight. Maybe he wanted to see how well she performed; maybe it was just for kicks on his part. She didn't know, and right now it didn't really matter. It did make it more fun on her part, though. He was directly vertical from her on the roof of the neighboring store. She couldn't see him, but she knew he was there waiting for her signal. As soon as she moved, he would follow.
She didn't waste any more time and fired the arrow. It hit the thug square on. Blue sparks circled his chest before he blacked out onto the pavement. She immediately grabbed more arrows and moved to take out the two patrol men who had their guns ready to fire, surprised at the sudden attack. She knocked them out within seconds and pinned one against the brick wall with three arrows. She moved from her cover and headed toward the entrance of the shop, ready to hit anyone who tried to get through the doors.
When she heard gunfire within the walls she knew GA was already taking care of the problem inside. The sound of screeching tires from behind her caught her attention. She turned and aimed an arrow at one of the front right tires and fired. The tire popped loudly and caused the van to lose control and crash right into a metal street lamp. She waited for the driver to get out, but when no one exited the van, she knew he was probably counting stars.
The gunfire behind her had silenced. This was too easy, done in under a minute. She turned back to face the store, but found a fist headed for her instead. By the time she reacted to it, she heard a thwack from behind the thug who was trying to knock her out. She quickly stepped out of the way and watched him hit the ground, now unconscious. She looked up and saw Green Arrow holding his bow like a club. She looked at him curiously, he still had arrows.
"There's more than one use for this thing," he said as he slid his bow over his shoulder.
She gave a small smile in return, though it wasn't genuine. From the moment she first met Oliver, well, he was Green Arrow at the time, she knew he was the funny type. It didn't bother her, but she wasn't quite sure how to answer his funny remarks sometimes. Sarcasm was what her answers usually fell to, but it wasn't Wally she was talking to here, it was someone who deserved respect. She wasn't much of a jokester herself so, a fake amused smile was how she answered him.
"I called the police, they should be here any minute, let's go."
She followed him as they headed back to their bikes. By the time they were on and speeding away, blue and red lights filled the streets accompanied by the loud sirens. They sped through the streets looking for trouble to take care of. Though, Star City wasn't exactly a crime capitol. The city seemed to be low on bad guys compared to others she had been to.
Suddenly, Green Arrow pulled into an ally way. She readied herself to fire an arrow, but hesitated when she saw it was empty.
"What are we doing?" she asked over com.
He pulled his helmet off and turned to her once the bike was off, "There's usually a lot of crime around this area. You can see the main streets on that roof up there. Gives us a vantage point."
Her eyes followed as he pointed to the top of the large apartment building they were next to. After firing grappling arrows and hoisting themselves to the top, she followed Green Arrow as he walked to the far side edge and looked over the cement railing. Artemis took up the same position and gazed at the lively city.
Star City was nothing like Gotham at night. Gotham was older and had more classically styled buildings. This city was a perfect example of the futuristic modern look. The thing they did have in common was the lights. GA was right when he said this was a good vantage point. You could see a good portion of the area from this spot. You could also see distant lights flickering in the background, it reminded her of fireflies.
She looked at her partner from the corner of her eye. He was taking in the view of his city as well. It was quiet and she considered filling the silence with small talk. She didn't exactly have anything to say, but this silence was making her edgy. Though she would never admit it, Green Arrow made her nervous. She wasn't afraid of him, but rather afraid of herself. He and Batman were the ones that trusted her enough to let her on the team, know their secret identities, and work alongside them.
If she did something, said anything to screw that up, especially in front of her mentor, she would hate herself for it. Sometimes she thought she was just over reacting; thinking too much about it. However, it was better to be safe than sorry.
She decided she liked the silence better than trying to lighten up the mood. However, he must have been thinking along the same line because he turned to her and spoke up. "I also brought you up here to ask you something," he said with usual cheery voice, though she detected a serious note in it.
Artemis tensed slightly. She really hoped this wasn't probing about her past, "Ask me what?"
"How would you like to test your detective skills?"
That caught her by surprise. He didn't wait for her to answer back.
"I think you're ready for your first solo case."
"Really?" she asked, the confusion clear in her voice.
"Yeah, you are already doing better than I thought you would. You catch onto this hero stuff pretty well," He propped a leg on the cement railing and rested on his knee, though his gaze never left her, "Think you can handle it?"
He set her answer up for her already. She couldn't just say no, not that she wanted to. "Yeah, what type of case is it?"
"Illegal weapons dealing. I would take this on myself, but I'm already staked up to the neck with League business and other cases I've got."
He pulled out a yellow file and handed it to her. She couldn't help but notice how thin it was.
"I thought detective work was Batman's thing? I never really took you for the sleuth type."
"How else are you supposed to find those criminals? They don't all walk around with visible targets on their heads."
Artemis shrugged, "Touché."
She opened the file and gazed at the papers. They seemed to be personnel files, most likely of the people involved with the deal, with pictures to add. There was one picture in the front in particular that caught her attention. It was a face shot of a man in his mid-forties, early fifties. He had jelled back grey hair and cold, bright blue eyes. She couldn't quite put her finger on it, but he somewhat resembled a slightly older version of Nicolas cage.
"Anton Davydenko," said Green Arrow
As soon as he said the name, she looked down at the name listed below the picture; it matched. Without taking her eyes off the file, she answered back.
"The name sounds Russian."
"It is. I'm surprised you don't recognize it."
"He's the current leader of the Russian Mob."
She almost dropped the file.
"The Russian mob?"
That was a name to be remembered. Of course she knew what the Russian Mob was. As far as organized crime went on the East Coast, they were right up top with the Santorini Mafia. This mob in particular had a lot of connections and a lot of people working for them. From rumor and things she watched on the news, they were hard to get to. The police have been at them for years, never really making any progress in arrests or slowing their crime rate.
This was basic information. Many people knew about the mob and its reputation. The reason she was surprised was because Green Arrow was giving her a case that apparently had to go with one of their weapons deals. This mob was the real deal and she was a little shocked that he was giving her an assignment that had to do with something so big; she was expecting something smaller and perhaps local.
"Yeah, a government agent caught wind that they're selling weapons to private buyers somewhere near the coast. They don't know where, when, or who's buying."
"So this is about stopping a weapons deal, not taking out the mob or anything?"
"No, even if we get Davydenko someone will step up and take his place."
That made her feel a little better. Taking out the entire mob was an impossible job, even for her.
She scrunched her eyebrows in confusion as she thought about something, "If they don't know who, when, or where, then what do they know?"
"We have multiple leads that you can get information from, their fresh too. They might disappear within a few days, so you might want to get started soon."
"I'll get started on it tonight," she said as she glanced through the rest of the papers in the folder which happened to be low in number.
"Need me to walk you through how to go about this?"
"No, I think I can handle it. I've already been taught how to handle these things. Sort of."
"Your father teach you?"
She paused for a moment, feeling her muscles tense up ever so slightly. Talking about her father with anyone, especially Green Arrow and Batman, was not something she enjoyed. Though, GA understood her situation, or what little she was willing to tell of it. That's the only reason she was so open with him about certain things of her buried life.
He nodded thoughtfully has he continued to search the street below, "Make sure you document everything you do, in order to convict people, the government likes hard evidence."
"I'll send you the rest of the information later tonight once we're done. I don't think it will be too hard."
"Why not give it to the whole team to figure out? I'm sure Robin could solve it over night."
"Do I detect a nervous note in that voice of yours?" he said teasingly.
"I'm not nervous, I'm just curious is all," she said calmly. She wasn't lying.
"I want to test you I guess, see how good you are at figuring cases out by yourself. Of course, you can have others help you when you need it. And though you're relatively new to this stuff, I trust you and so does Batman."
A test. Oh, how she loved people giving her tests. Not. Though, hearing his praising words, she couldn't help but feel a little satisfied. She had been trying to earn everyone's trust from the beginning. His words gave her a little burst of confidence. She wasn't going to disappoint.
Green Arrow's attention on the street below broke as he looked down and smiled. It was dark, but whatever he was thinking about light up his whole face.
"Speedy use to really love it when I gave him cases to go solo with. I think that was his favorite part of the job," he laughed as he looked over at Artemis.
She couldn't help but put on a sympathetic expression, but only for Oliver's sake. Roy was a touchy subject to get onto. Especially since he all but nearly cut ties with him. She didn't like Red Arrow; at all. He didn't even know her and he already had her pegged as the enemy. Threatening her also fueled her dislike for him.
"Once one case ended, he'd always be asking for another a second later," He seemed to be playing a memory in his head when suddenly his face fell.
She could tell that their 'breakup' hit him hard. She didn't know the full story, but she did know that Roy practically abandoned Oliver. In her opinion, he was probably better off without him. Who would want to work with such a brooding pessimist? She kept her mouth shut. She had no place in telling him about her thoughts on Roy.
"Oh, one more piece of advice." She pulled her thoughts back to the present and turned to look at him. "There might be other heroes working this case."
"Like who?" Images of other League members passed through her mind.
"League members, Rogues, Independents. I'm not sure exactly, but be careful if you run into any." He shifted as though his position were uncomfortable. "Not all vigilantes are whole-hearted heroes. Some get territorial with things- cases included."
A good piece of advice. It made sense; she understood the vigilante part and the territorial thing. Some joined the cause to help people in need, other joined simply for the fame and glory and are willing to do just about anything to get it. Sometimes it was hard to see the line between hero and villain. Some walked the line, and some get a little too close to the shady part of the job. In a society that accepted heroics, there were still rules to follow. Not everyone could be a hero. She was probably thinking too soon, but she wasn't worried. She could handle other onlookers.
"I'll keep an eye out."
Green Arrow looked at her as though he were going to add on to his advice, but was interrupted when a blood-curling shriek came from an ally below them. The two looked at each other then reached for their grappling arrows. Artemis tucked the small case folder away. Though she grieved for the soul in danger below them, she was glad for the distraction. She needed some action tonight. The invigorating chilled air instantly sent a rush of adrenaline through her as the two archers descended back down into the allies, headed for unknown danger.
Scribbler Memo: Just a set up chapter, nothing too exciting. They get better as it goes, so stay tuned for an update.
Also, if there is a good question that someone has, feel free to ask. I will post up to two questions (or comments that I will reiterate on) that people have asked on the Memos before the story.
Reviews are appreciated, and of course, thank you for taking the time on reading. :)