A/N: At last! So sorry for the long wait, but alas, finals (WHICH I TOTALLY PASSED). In any case, thank all so so much for your support! Your reviews make my day, and since this website has issues sending out notifications, if I didn't respond to your review, just know that I love you. :)
So without further ado! The team chapter! Enjoy!
Wally wandered through the Cave looking for Robin. They'd been texting each other earlier that week and he was supposed to be here.
"Rob," Wally called. "Ro-ob." No response.
Finally, Wally found him in his room of all places. Everyone on the team had a room at the Cave regardless if they lived there full time or not. Robin's room was normally very tidy, a leftover habit from the circus and having to travel quickly and lightly. But right now, it was a mess.
A half packed duffel bag sat on the bed with clothes strewn around everywhere making it impossible to tell if he was coming or going. His utility belt and costume were thrown over the desk chair and the desk itself was covered with official looking papers and various gadgets.
"Oh geez," Wally said, making his presence known to his friend who was currently pacing and running a hand through his already messy hair. He stopped when he saw his friend.
"What happened?" the redhead asked, slowly entering the room and sitting on the edge of the bed.
"I got into a fight with Bruce," he muttered angrily.
Wally sat back and let Dick rant as long as he wanted. This wasn't the first time he and his guardian had fought, and it probably wouldn't be the last, but this time it sounded pretty serious.
"I'm so sick of being told that everything I do isn't good enough! That it's not "what Batman would do." Has he ever even considered that maybe I don't want to be Batman?!" He growled and resumed pacing, throwing a couple more shirts into his duffel bag as he went.
Wally stood and placed a hand on Dick's shoulder. "Dick-"
"Don't touch me," he growled, throwing his hand off. Dang, it was really bad.
"Okay," Wally relented, stuffing his hands in his pockets. "So what's the plan then?"
Robin's shoulders slumped a bit as he ran his hand through his hair, then dropped it.
"Get away for a bit. See how close to off the grid I can get." He scoffed. "Like I can get off the grid from Batman."
"So where are you gonna go?" Wally pressed.
"I was thinking I might crash with Roy for a bit."
"Mm. Yeah, you could do that." Robin raised an eyebrow.
"You got something else in mind?" Wally's smirk turned into full fledged grin.
"You could say that."
"A road trip? Seriously?"
Wally nodded enthusiastically at Robin as he zipped back and forth in the hangar packing food and some equipment. Robin and the rest of the team watched as he finally skidded to a stop and brushed his hands together.
"That should be everything." Sphere had been kind enough to transform into a car for them. He closed the trunk and gave the robot a grateful pat and it chirped in response.
"Guess I'll go grab my duffel then." Robin left and the rest of the team made their way in.
"You guys all packed?" he asked them. Kaldur, M'gann, Artemis, and Conner were dressed in their civvies and each, except M'gann, had a duffel bag slung over their shoulders.
"Wally, are you sure about this?" Artemis asked.
"Yup! I've already cleared it with Red Tornado; he knows how to contact us if there's an emergency."
"I am a bit apprehensive," Kaldur admitted. "There is a lot that could go wrong."
"In particular, making Batman angry," Artemis pointed out. Wally had quickly briefed them on the real reasons behind this trip.
"Story of our lives though," Wally said. "Come on, this'll be fun!"
"What I don't understand," M'gann said. "Is why we're driving somewhere when we could just take the Zeta or the Bioship."
"Megan, Megan, Megan," Wally said, shaking his head. "The journey is half the fun!" The others still looked unsure. He sighed.
"Come on guys. Do it for Robin."
That cinched it. The others exchanged a glance. They'd do it for their friend.
Robin came back and they quickly loaded their bags into the car and hopped inside. Sphere had set it up so there were three seats in front and three in back. Wally immediately claimed the driver's seat while Artemis, M'gann, and Conner slid in the back. Kaldur offered Robin the seat in between him and Wally, but he shook his head.
"I'd prefer the window."
Kaldur raised an eyebrow, but didn't say anything.
"Red Tornado, open hangar door please!" Wally called. The huge door slowly raised and they were off.
The conversation almost immediately devolved into an argument over what music to listen to (mainly between Wally and Artemis). They eventually settled on a classic rock station and settled in for the ride. As is normal for most road trips, now that they were actually on their way, the team started to feel excited. Artemis pulled out a card game for them to play, with the condition that M'gann didn't read anyone's mind.
"Kaldur? Robin? You in?" she asked.
"Sure," Kaldur said and took the proffered hand of cards. Robin didn't look sure, still caught somewhere between wanting to be angry and wanting to have fun.
"Come on Rob," Wally said. "You know whooping their butts will cheer you up," he baited. Dick grinned at the others' offended exclamations.
"Alright, alright. Deal me in."
They played the card game for a while, but stopped after about four rounds of Robin solidly beating everyone. Conner and Artemis were incredibly frustrated while Wally listened to them fume with glee. They stopped for gas and rotated drivers, putting Artemis, Wally, and M'gann in the front seat. Kaldur sat next to the window and glanced down at Robin who was sitting beside him. His brows were furrowed angrily as he scrolled through a list of missed calls from Batman. His younger teammate really did need to get away for a while; he needed a distraction. So, Kaldur did the only logical thing. He dropped his head on top of Robin's. The younger boy startled and didn't react as Aqualad gently reached out and took away his phone. From where Kaldur was positioned he couldn't see Robin's grateful smile either, but he felt him relax into the touch and buried himself in Kaldur's side.
Dick ended up snuggling with every single person on the team during their drive, from laying across Conner and Wally's lap and cuddling against Wally's chest, to curling up with M'gann to watch a movie, and accidentally falling asleep in Artemis' shoulder. She glanced down as he slumped against her, out cold. His glasses had slid down his nose so far that she could see his eyes though, granted, they were closed. Moving with all the caution she could, she carefully slipped them off his face, folded them up, and placed them in the pocket on the back of the seat. Wally glanced back from the front seat and made eye contact with her. She nodded and Wally smiled.
Four pit-stops, three drivers, two naps, and ten hours later, the team arrived in Central City. They pulled into Wally's driveway around ten in the evening. The team dragged themselves out of the car and stretched.
"Seriously? We could've just zetaed here," Conner said as he finished stretching.
"Yeah, but that wouldn't have been nearly as fun," Wally pointed out.
"What are we doing here?" Robin asked, duffel bag slung over his shoulder and sunglasses firmly back on his face. He hadn't said anything when he'd woken up without them, but glanced around wildly before spotting them in the backseat pocket and shoving them back on his face. He had given Artemis' shoulder a friendly squeeze when he got out, reassuring her that he wasn't mad.
"Phase 2," Wally said matter-of-factly. "Movie night and sleep over."
"Wait, what?" Artemis demanded.
"Yeah! I called ahead. My parents knew we were coming and they said they'd order pizza. And I may have chipped in for some Chinese and Insomnia Cookies." He shrugged, trying to play it cool.
"Dude! This is gonna be great," Robin said.
"And your parents won't mind?" Kaldur asked as Wally unlocked the front door and they filed in.
"Nope, they understand. Besides, their room is on the second floor and we'll be in the basement. Come on in."
The speedster led the way to the basement where they all dumped their stuff. There was a couch against the side wall and another one perpendicular to it, facing the large TV mounted on the far wall. There was a small kitchenette against the back wall where five pizza boxes, two bags of Chinese food, and two boxes of cookies sat.
"So what's the plan now?" M'gann asked.
"Let's all get into pajamas. There's a bathroom through there," Wally said, pointing down the hallway. "And another one back up there, first door on the left, that people can change in. Let's get the fort set up and pick a movie, then we can dig in!"
"A fort?" Kaldur asked.
"A giant pillow fort," Robin explained. "Man, we haven't made one in ages. M'gann come help us!"
Robin, Kaldur, and M'gann moved the two couches closer together to form a sort of back rest, then proceeded to grab all the cushions off the couches and throw them on the floor. With M'gann's telekinesis combined with Robin's experience and Kaldur's willingness to help, they were done in no time. It turned out more like a giant nest rather than an actual fort, but it was perfect nonetheless.
While they ran to get changed, Wally started opening the takeout boxes. Artemis grabbed his arm and pulled him away.
"Uh-uh, if we let you handle the food it'll all be gone before we get any. You go pick the movie."
"Fine," he sighed and zipped over to the entertainment center. "Let's see, we have Lion King, Finding Nemo, Tangled, basically anything Disney and Dreamworks."
"Do you have How to Train Your Dragon?" Robin asked as he jumped down the stairs.
"Yeah. Does that sound good to everyone?"
Of course, only the three native Earthlings had seen it, so the others really had no disagreements. Wally got the movie started and they all piled into the blankets with plates stacked high with food.
It took a while for everyone to finally settle in and stop talking, mouths full of food and watching Hiccup's story play out. By about a third of the way in, everyone was stuffed and settled in more fully.
Robin extracted himself from the blankets and offered to throw away people's paper plates. The team passed him their trash and when he came back it was without his sunglasses on. The team stared at him in surprise, though Wally was grinning ear to ear.
"You have really nice eyes Robin," M'gann said quietly.
"Heh. Thanks. Don't tell Batman?" he pleaded.
"Your secret is safe with us," Kaldur reassured him.
"Hey wait a minute," Artemis said. "You're that weird little freshmen that took a selfie with me!"
Robin let out a small cackle.
"Yup, that was me."
She was speechless.
"Well alright then," she finally whispered and moved over to make room for him in the middle of the nest.
Robin turned off the lights and hopped in, snuggling under a big quilt with his back against a pillow, shoulder to shoulder with Artemis. Wally snuggled up next to him, and leaned back against Artemis. Kaldur and M'gann sat on his other side with Superboy's head in her lap, where she played with his hair.
They watched as Hiccup befriended Toothless and then as everything fell apart. Robin scowled as Stoic disowned his son and hated how he felt he could relate to the scrawny dragon trainer, then felt guilty for even thinking that. He reached out and Wally was there with an arm to draw him close and the rest of the team pulled in tight around him, in a silent show of support, and it was nice. Robin glanced around quietly at his friends and felt himself smile as a warm feeling filled his chest, one of gratitude and contentment.
By the time the movie finished and the credits had played, every single one of them was out like a light, wrapped up in each other and tangled into one big cuddle puddle. Wally's parents found them like that in the morning, TV still on, and took about a dozen pictures before waking them up with the smell of breakfast. And if they sent a picture to Barry and he sent it to Batman who then took a moment to reevaluate his life and sent Dick a simple text that said, "I'm sorry," then what harm was done, really?
A/N: Thank you for reading! I hope you liked it and hopefully I'll be able to write more for YJ in the future. You're all wonderful!