A/N Hey all. I love the thought of the big, bad Avengers meeting the small, equally bad junior partners to the Justice League. So, I decided to write one. This is the result of conversations I've had with several friends, and I hope to do them justice. Well Read and Review and all that jazz. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own neither Avengers nor Young Justice. I am simply putting out some ideas of mine.
"Is everyone clear on the mission?" Steve Rogers, otherwise known as Captain America, addressed his team, the Avengers, glancing back from his seat beside the pilot.
Clint Barton, a.k.a Hawkeye, glanced up from the controls briefly to give his leader a small nod, followed directly by his long time partner Natasha Romanoff's affirmative grunt.
"We gain access to this illegal lab, get information on the weird energy signature that Fury mentioned, investigate all the ongoing experiments, and get the information back 'ol one eye," Tony Stark replied, his voice clearly demonstrating just how bored he was with the whole plan as he absently spun his Iron Man helmet in his hands.
"Excellent, Man of Iron," Thor thundered, tightening his grip on his hammer in his excitement for the battle to come.
"And I am supposed to keep out of the way and help you to examine the experiments once you gain access to the main lab," Bruce Banner continued, managing to sound only marginally more interested than Tony. But then again, it was good for the Hulk to have good control over his emotions.
"Good," Steve commended them, habitually ignoring Tony's bad attitude. "Fury said that the energy signature was similar to that of the Tesseract, though not nearly to that scale. It is still worrying enough that we want to know what's going on. It could be nothing, but we cannot risk any form of that technology falling into the wrong hands."
He fell silent as Clint brought the jet down in front of the dark institutional building. "What is with this place?" Tony muttered, putting his helmet on. "I mean seriously," he continued, his voice now overladen with an electronic quality, "I've seen prisons with more personality."
Steve had to agree. It was not a nice looking building. Taking a steadying breath, Steve led his team inside, letting himself absorb the deafening sound of the alarm as he readied himself for his mission.
The sudden sound of the alarm startled three young boys out of their sleep. A red-headed teenager groaned as the small child laying on his chest grabbed his neck in a death grip, frightened by the loud noise.
"Whas goin' on?" the middle boy slurred, sitting up from his position curled up in the oldest boy's side and rubbing his eyes.
"I don't- OW, Dick, let go- I don't know Wally," the oldest sighed, moving the tiny black haired boy onto his lap so that he could sit up. He hit the light switch and glanced quickly around the small room that had been their home for the past few months. It was sparse and institutional, with only the narrow bed the three boys were currently curled up on, a small bathroom and shower, and a few old books stacked in the corner.
Suddenly, the door to their cell shook with a loud clang. Okay, the teenager thought, gathering the smaller boys closer, this is either good or really, really bad.
"Roy?" Dick asked, looking up at the teen. "Do you think somebody's here to rescue us?"
Roy sighed as Wally turned to look up at him as well, sudden hope shining in both their eyes. "I don't know, guys." He hated to disappoint his little almost-brothers, but just because he was the oldest didn't mean that he had all the answers. "I don't know if there's anyone to rescue us here. You know what those scientists said. They pulled us into another universe. We don't even know if there are superheroes in this universe."
"We don't know that there aren't," Wally pointed out, ever the optimist. "I mean, somebody's coming through that door either way. We might as well hope it's a good guy. That way even if he kills us, we die happy."
Dick looked up at him and shook his head. "Wow, Walls. Way to turn the optimism thing completely on its head. It sounded like you were channeling Bats for a second there."
"Listen guys," Roy interrupted. "We need a plan. As much as I hate it, I think the 'innocent children' act is our best bet. Dick, I think you should stay quiet and play little, at least until we have more information."
Dick made a face but didn't argue. He knew the 'innocent little baby' act had come in handy before and likely would again before he got too big for it. He was so small for his age that if they didn't hear him speak, many adults mistook him for a much younger child, especially if some-one was carrying him.
Roy gathered the younger children closer to him as the heavy door began to give way. "Remember guys," he whispered, "we're scared children unless we absolutely have to fight. We are not a threat, we are not aware of changing universes, and we are not Speedy, Kid Flash, and Robin."
Steve grunted in satisfaction as the door began to give way. It was his and Banner's job to get the main experiment while Stark and Widow got all of the information they could off of the main computers.
He made eye contact with Bruce to let him know they were nearly through. The scientist gave him a calm nod and took a step back to let him know that he understood that he was to wait for the all clear. As the door broke in, Steve hurried past to check for danger.
He froze in place as he took in the sight before of him.
The room was a simple bedroom, and curled up on the bed were three small children. He blinked in shock and turned to call to his companion. "Bruce? You're gonna want to see this."
As Banner joined him, Steve could see his own shock reflected in the man's eyes, followed by a hollow rage. Whatever these criminals had been experimenting on, it appeared that they had been testing it on children.
It was three boys, the younger two curled close to the oldest, who was glaring at them fearfully, obviously willing to fight to protect his small charges. Steve felt his heart give a painful squeeze; the kid couldn't be more than thirteen.
Steve took a step forward, but paused when the smallest boy let out a fearful whimper. He put his hands up and smiled gently at the child. "Go get the others," he said to Bruce, not taking his eyes off of the three small figures on the bed. "Keep them out and don't tell them, I'll bring these guys out in a minute." He could see Banner nod and watched him leave out of the corner of his eye.
He took slow, easy steps until he was just a foot or so away from the kids and then knelt down to their level.
"Hello," he greeted them softly. He had to fight to keep the smile on his face as he saw the bruises and welts that covered their skin, particularly the eldest. He must have taken the brunt of it to protect the little ones, Steve thought, feeling a budding respect for the young boy. "My name is Steve Rogers. I'm also known as Captain America. What are your names?"
The oldest boy was watching him warily. Steve took a moment to study all of the children. The oldest had red hair and brown eyes, and as he thought, was about thirteen years old.
The middle one was curled up to the teen's side; he also had red hair, and was peering up at Steve with frightened green eyes. He couldn't be more than ten.
The youngest was sitting in the first's lap. He looked about five or six, with black hair, slightly dusky skin, and the brightest blue eyes that Steve had ever seen. Recognizing some of the little boy's features, he guessed that he was of Romani heritage.
As he blinked fearfully up at Steve, the former World War II soldier was reminded sharply of the children of his race that he had saved from Nazi extermination camps. One of them may well have been this boy's grandfather, he realized.
The oldest boy nodded, seeming to come to a conclusion about the situation. He looked up at Steve almost defiantly and told him, "My name is Roy Queen."
Clearly taking his cue from Roy, the second red-head chimed in. "I'm Wally Allen."
The black haired boy swallowed before adding, "Dick Wayne." Steve smiled slightly upon hearing the slight accent in the boy's voice. Defiantly Romani.
"So, kids," Steve began, smiling in earnest now. "What are you doing here?"
"The scientists locked us in," Wally replied, looking like he was questioning Steve's intelligence.
"Okay," Steve chuckled, amused by the little red-head's spunk. "How about we get out of here? The rest of my team should be waiting outside for us. After that we'll take you to our jet, get the heck out of here, and then we'll go from there. Okay?"
Roy nodded. "Alright." He stood up, settling Dick on his hip with what Steve noticed was practiced ease.
Steve held his arms out to Wally. "Is it okay if I carry you, little guy?"
Wally glanced nervously up at Roy. Once he got the older boy's nod of approval, he allowed the Super Soldier to pick him up.
Steve could see the other Avengers' eyes widen as they caught sight of his young charges. "Umm, Cap?" Tony spoke up. "Who exactly are they?"
Steve put a hand on Roy's shoulder. "Roy Queen." He moved it to Dick's head. "Dick Wayne." He bounced Wally slightly on his hip, earning a soft laugh from the boy. "Wally Allen."
"Okay," Iron Man replied, "but what are they doing here?"
Bruce spoke up. "From what we can tell," he began, the anger in his voice making them all a little nervous, "they were part of the experiments."
Any worry about their comrade's control was immediately lost as the heroes heard that, replaced with a blind fury that possibly rivaled the Hulk's. Steve caught a meaningful look passing between Clint and Natasha, and realized that any scientists that were proven to have a part in this crime were unlikely to live long past their capture.
But, catching sight of a large hand-shaped welt on little Dick's face, the super soldier couldn't quite bring himself to disapprove.
"We can talk on the jet," Bruce spoke up. "We need to get these kids out of here before there's a fight."
While Steve voiced his agreement, Bruce calmly made his way over to Roy. "Here, let me carry Dick," he said reaching out to the little boy. Seeing Roy's reluctance, he smiled gently at them both. "It's okay," he assured them in the same tone he had perfected for soothing sick and injured children while hiding from the army. "My name is Bruce Banner. This is my team, the Avengers. Our leader, Cap, is carrying Wally. My other teammates are Iron Man, Thor, Hawkeye, and Black Widow. We just want to get you out of here so we can start trying to get you home."
Roy still hesitated, but Dick obediently held his arms out for the man to take him. Bruce smiled as he gently settled the small boy on his hip, then frowned when he noticed how light Dick felt. He had to be underweight.
The Avengers returned to the jet, Steve and Bruce staying close to Roy so that the boys stayed in sight of each other. They each settled into seats on either side of the young teen, with one of the younger boys on their laps.
All three of the children visibly relaxed as the jet took off. "So, where are we going?" Roy asked curiously, and Bruce and Steve both found themselves on the business end of a set of wide, innocent eyes.
"We're headed to Avengers Tower," Tony informed them.
"Where's that?" Dick asked sleepily, his head drooping against Bruce's chest.
The Avengers chuckled at Tony's affronted expression. "Where's that?!" he snapped at Dick.
The little boy's eyes widened fearfully and he pressed himself closer to Bruce, who tightened his arms around him protectively. "I-I'm sorry Mr. I-iron Man. I d-didn't me-mean to ..."
Tony wilted under his teammates' and the older boys' furious glares. He winced slightly as Natasha smacked him on the back of the head. "I'm sorry, kid. I'm not mad, just surprised. And you don't have to call me Mr. Iron Man. My name's Tony. And that's Natasha and Clint at the controls."
Roy sighed when the smallest boy didn't look reassured. He reached over and ran his hand through the boy's ebony hair. "It's alright Dickie. He's just an idiot, he won't hurt you."
"Avengers Tower is where we live," Steve informed them, throwing a quick glare at Tony before smiling reassuringly at Dick. "It's in New York City. Once we get there, we'll have Dr. Banner there look you over to make sure those guys didn't hurt you, and we'll start working on getting you home."
"We're landing," Clint informed them as the jet began its decent onto the landing pad on the roof of Avengers Tower, formerly Stark Tower.
Bruce and Steve stood up to exit the jet, keeping their respective charges in their arms. Clint gently took Roy's arm to lead the teen along behind his teammates and the boy's friends.
Pepper was waiting to greet them. "Hey, guys." She smiled as Tony came up to kiss her.
"Hey, Pep. You'll never guess what we found in the lab."
"What?" She gasped as she caught sight of the boys. "They were being held in that lab?" she breathed in horror. When she saw Steve's tightly controlled nod, her jaw clenched in fury before she took a deep breath and focused her attention of the three children.
"Hello," she greeted them gently. "My name is Pepper." Roy and Wally returned her greeting, but Dick simply hid his face in Bruce's shoulder. As they arrived in the lab, Bruce and Steve set the boys on the examination table and Roy hopped up to join them.
"Okay," Tony began. "My AI, JARVIS, is listening in to this conversation."
"How long were you held in that room?" Natasha asked them.
"Ever since they brought us there," Wally replied. "It was just after my birthday,so, March 12th?"
"You were held there for six weeks?" Pepper choked.
Roy shrugged. "I guess. It was kind of hard to tell how much time passed, because we never saw a calender or anything."
"Did you guys know each other before that lab?" Steve asked.
"Yes, sir," Roy answered.
"We're brothers!" Wally broke in.
"You are?" Bruce asked in surprise. "But you all have different last names."
"We're adopted," Roy explained calmly.
"So you're all into adopted by the same family?"
"No," Roy replied. "Our dads are all friends and we were adopted pretty close to each other, so we're pretty close."
"Can you tell us your full names?" Tony asked.
Roy looked up at him. "Roy Matthew Harper Evanson Queen."
Wally swung his feet and smiled. "Wallace Rudolf West Allan."
Dick glanced around nervously. "Richard John Grayson Wayne."
"Alright," Bruce encouraged them. "I'm just going to look you guys over to make sure you aren't hurt from your time in that lab. The others are going to go start looking into finding your parents, okay?"
The rest of the Avengers and Pepper left Bruce to his work and went off to do theirs. They had three little boys who had been away from home for far too long already.
Hope you like it so far. I took the route of giving the kids their mentors' last names. They were all legally adopted in this. I don't know if Roy has a middle name, so I just dubbed him Matthew. I also don't know what Brave Bow's legal name would be, so I just made up Evanson as well. I figure he if he had adopted Roy (he did in this) he would have the name that the government saw him as. The boys are playing innocent for now, but the Avengers had better look out for when they show their true colors.