Cherry was reading a book in her room until she looked up.
"Have you seen Atticus?" Diana asked her. "We have some work to do."
"Now?" Cherry replied.
"Yes, now." Diana said.
"He's probably out with his friends; although the group he's made friends with are not exactly ones that are good kind." Cherry said.
"Well, go get him, we gotta go." Diana told her.
"All right, all right..." Cherry said as she put her book away and then went to go and get Atticus. She soon got on her bike and started to make her way to where Atticus would be and where the reason why she was with Diana was because she would usually have visits with her.
"This is nice..." Atticus smiled as he relaxed with his new friends.
"Atticus?!" Cherry's voice called out. "You get your butt over here before I kick it to the moon!"
"Is that Cherry?" One of Atticus's new friends asked as he opened a can of beer before drinking it.
"Oh... Yeah..." Atticus replied before smiling bashfully. "Hey, Cher, sup?"
"You know what's 'sup'!" Cherry said to him before looking over to the guys Atticus was hanging around and groaned. "Ugh... It smells like a bar over here."
"Ah, that's your opinion." Atticus second new friend said as he puffed out some smoke.
Cherry blinked and coughed from the smoke before covering her mouth as she hated the smell right away. "Okay, Atticus, we gotta go." she then said.
"Right now?" Atticus asked.
"Yes!" Cherry wheezed before coughing. "Come on!"
"Oh, relax, it's not like he's got somewhere to be," Atticus's third new friend scoffed. "Right, Atticus?"
"Is it really that important?" Atticus asked Cherry.
"Argh... Get over here!" Cherry groaned, trying to pull him by his arm.
"Hey! Who are you his girlfriend or something?" Atticus's first new friend smirked.
"What?! No!" Cherry told him as she let go of Atticus's arm.
"Then you can't control him." Atticus's second new friend said as he tossed Atticus a cigarette and a lighter.
Atticus took the cigarette and lighter.
"Atticus, I swear, if you put that in your mouth..." Cherry began to shake. "Atticus... No! You're a smart boy!"
Unfortunately for her, Atticus put the cigarette in his mouth and soon lit it with the lighter, and where she knew what she had to do and who to tell this to.
"ATTICUS!" Cherry snapped.
"Oh, so she's not your girlfriend, she's your mother." One of Atticus's friends laughed.
Cherry soon reached to Atticus, trying to get the cigarette and lighter away from him. "Come on, you stupid-!"
"Will you just leave me alone?!" Atticus snapped. "If I wanna smoke then I'll smoke, it's my life."
"Smoking is stupid!" Cherry told him.
"You're stupid!" Atticus retorted. "Now just go and stop bothering us."
Cherry glared before leaving so she would make a call to a certain person that wouldn't be too happy with Atticus. Atticus nodded sharply before going back to his friends.
"Oh, you are so dead..." Cherry glared as she came to a far off corner and dialed a number.
After some rings, Cherry soon got an answer.
'Hello?' Clark's voice spoke.
"Clark, I hate to bug you, but Atticus is being a little jerk." Cherry said to him.
'You found him? I've been waiting for him to get back home for hours now.' Clark told her.
"Yeah, well, he's doing something that you're not exactly going to like." Cherry said.
'How bad can it be?' Clark asked.
"He's smoking, and there might be drinking involved." Cherry replied.
'WHAT?!' Clark yelped from the other line. 'ARE YOU SURE?!'
"Trust me, he is," Cherry replied. She soon heard the dial tone as Clark had slammed his phone, ending the phone call out of anger after hearing this. "Uh... Hello?" she said. "Clark...?"
Atticus laughed to his new friends as he seemed to have more fun with them than he had in a while with anyone else. "This is the life, you guys," He smiled. "Nothing, and I mean nothing could ruin this for us."
"And such a good thing Superman doesn't know that we're doing this or else the police would be sending us to our parents." Atticus's third new friend smirked.
"Heh... Yeah..." Atticus smirked back with a small shrug.
"Oh, Atticus, you are way too smart to hang around a bunch of goons like this." Cherry frowned.
"Oh, look, guys, Miss 'I-Think-This-is-Stupid' is back." Atticus's second new friend smirked.
Cherry growled slightly.
"Cherry, why don't you go home?" Atticus suggested.
"You are screwed." Cherry replied.
"Oh, please; what did you do, call the police on us?" Atticus's first new friend smirked.
"Nope." Cherry replied.
Clark soon stormed over, looking a bit angered as he came to take Atticus home.
"Dad?!" Atticus gasped which caused his cigarette to drop to the floor.
"Atticus, there you are," Clark said. "Do you know how worried I've been?"
"I doubt it," Cherry replied. "The smoke's probably rotting his brain as we speak!"
"You seriously called my dad?!" Atticus glared at Cherry.
"And I informed the police about your friends." Clark told him.
"What?!" Atticus's new friends asked.
"Atticus, I'm very disappointed." Clark told his foster son.
The police soon arrived and where they came in to take away Atticus's new friends. Clark crossed his arms as the boys were taken away.
"You little squealer." One of them glared at Cherry.
"Atticus, you're not actually going to let these posers get away with this, are ya?" Atticus's second new friend asked.
Atticus didn't say anything as he stared at the ground.
"Home. Now," Clark firmly told Atticus. "We'll discus your punishment at home."
Atticus just sighed while glaring to Cherry.
"What?" Cherry asked.
"This is all your fault," Atticus glared. "Now I'm in trouble."
Atticus was soon taken home and when they got home, Atticus was about to go up to his room. Cherry followed in after since she was visiting.
"Atticus, we're not done here." Clark told him.
"I am!" Atticus replied.
"Atticus, we need to talk!" Clark told him as he firmly grabbed his adopted son's right wrist.
"Let go of me!" Atticus cried out. "Let go!"
"Atticus, we are not done yet." Clark told him as he was firmly taking him to the living room.
Atticus grunted, but fell as he was dragged to the living room. Cherry watched them go.
"Perhaps you should go to the guest room now." Diana said to Cherry.
"That might be a smart thing to do." Cherry said as she went to the guest room.
"Atticus, what has gotten into you?" Clark asked as he sat Atticus down on the couch as the boy crossed his arms, looking pissed off. "This isn't like you. You're out late, you were smoking and drinking with hooligans... Thank goodness Cherry called after we asked her to come and get you."
"Oh, come on, it's not like I was late for anything important." Atticus scoffed.
"That's no excuse!" Clark replied. "You missed your curfew! I don't know where this attitude came from, but frankly, I don't like it."
"Well, sorry if I'm not the perfect son." Atticus told him firmly before a report card slipped out his sleeve as it landed on the ground.
"I didn't say that..." Clark sighed before looking down. "What's that?"
"Nothing!" Atticus said.
Clark soon took it before Atticus could to see it was his report card. Atticus soon tried to get it back before his adoptive dad would see his grades.
Clark took a look for himself. "Your grades are slipping..." he then said. "Atticus, this really isn't like you."
"Yeah, well, sorry," Atticus snorted a bit. "Who needs school anyway when I'm just gonna be in the Justice League with you and the others?"
"Not with that attitude," Clark told him. "And until you get your grades back up, you are not allowed to go out patrolling without me and no going out with any friends because we are going to make sure you study every single night and day."
"That's completely unfair!" Atticus glared as he stood up.
"I'm sorry, Atticus, but this hurts me more than it does you." Clark replied.
"Oh, bullshit!" Atticus glared.
Cherry cupped her mouth as she had never heard Atticus curse before.
"W-What did you just say?" Clark demanded.
"You heard me, O Mighty Man of Steel!" Atticus glared.
"Atticus!" Clark glared back. "I don't know what's come over you... Go to your room!"
"Fine by me!" Atticus replied before storming up to his room.
"Well, well, well..." Cherry commented. "Who knew that Atticus would have the 'nads to stand up to Superman?"
They soon heard Atticus's door being slammed super hard.
"Never knew he'd have the balls to do that." Cherry said.
"CHERRY! WILL YOU GO AWAY, PLEASE?!" Atticus snarled from his room.
"Um, maybe I should go now; besides, my parents must be worried." Cherry said.
Atticus grumbled as he crossed his arms and sat in front of his door, feeling frustrated and agitated. Cherry soon walked out the front door and looked up to Atticus's bedroom window. Atticus glared from his window, seeing her, and soon gave her his middle finger. She was surprised by this before seeing him closing his curtains. Atticus soon went to his bed and collapsed onto it, screaming into his pillow which muffled his screaming, and where during his screams, crystal spikes started to show up in his room.
Clark sighed as he soon plopped on the couch, feeling exhausted about what he had to do with Atticus. He then decided turn on the TV after what had happened today had happened.
"Maybe I'll come back later." Diana said.
"Fair enough," Clark said to her. "We'll meet up with the others later. I just hope no one is hurt."
"And I just hope Atticus's crystal power doesn't go out of control." Diana said as she left.
"Me too, Diana..." Clark replied. "I'll see you later."
Diana soon left while Clark began to watch TV, feeling wore out from the argument. While he was watching TV, crystals slowly started to grow around the house. Clark sighed to that.
Atticus just sulked in his room as he felt angered and bothered about being sent to his room and looked out the window as he seemed to contemplate on running away from home. 'Maybe I should run away, besides Superman's not my real dad,' Atticus thought to himself. 'But then again he's the only one that's ever adopted me. Ugh, what do I do?!'
Cherry didn't go home, she decided to come and see Bruce.
"Chocolate milkshake, Miss Cherry?" Alfred offered as she waited in the living room for the owner of the house after he let her inside.
"Please." Cherry replied as she took it and sipped it.
After waiting for some time, Bruce soon arrived. Cherry looked up while sipping her chocolate shake.
"Cherry, I was on the phone..." Bruce said. "...Are you upset?"
Cherry didn't say anything as she sipped her shake, looking away from him which seemed to answer his question.
"I'll take that as a yes." Bruce said.
"It's Atticus..." Cherry sighed.
"What happened?" Bruce asked as he sat across from her by the fireplace.
"He's fallen in with the wrong crowd..." Cherry said. "He talks back now... He's smoking... He's drinking... His grades are going down the toilet."
"Whoa." Bruce said surprised to hear that.
"And where Clark was not happy when I told him about Atticus smoking and drinking and then was really unhappy when he saw his grades." Cherry told him.
"Atticus doesn't sound like himself." Bruce commented.
"You're telling me..." Cherry sulked as she sipped her chocolate shake in despair. She soon noticed what week it was and saw what day was coming up which wasn't a happy day for her best friend as it just reminded him about his family that he would never know.
"What is it?" Bruce asked her.
"I think I know why he's acting like a different person." Cherry said.
"Why do you think this?" Bruce asked her since she knew Atticus better than anyone.
"Because it's getting close to his birthday," Cherry said. "And where he doesn't exactly like to celebrate it."
"Atticus's birthday is coming up?" Bruce asked.
"Yes..." Cherry sighed. "He doesn't like celebrating it though because of his... Family complex."
"That's understandable." Bruce said.
"Yeah..." Cherry replied. "I guess I kinda made it worse by calling Clark on him."
"Now Cherry, you did what you had to do," Bruce told her, almost like a father figure to her, even if her parents were still alive. "Even if Atticus didn't like it, you did the right thing."
"Yeah, I guess," Cherry frowned before remembering Atticus's crystal power. "Uh-oh..."
"What is it?" Bruce asked.
Cherry gulped nervously. "Killer crystals!"
"Um...?" Bruce glanced at her. "What?"
"Okay, I don't know where they came from, but when Atticus gets angry or upset enough, these crystals show up." Cherry replied.
"Oh, right..." Bruce said with wide eyes as he remembered the last time the crystal spikes happened.
"Oh, Atticus..." Cherry sighed. "I want to help you, but I don't know what to do."
Bruce was unsure what to do at this point.
"Can I stay here tonight?" Cherry asked. "I don't feel like going home right now."
"Of course, Cherry, you know you're always welcome here." Bruce comforted.
"Thanks." Cherry said.
"Of course," Bruce replied. "Just be ready when it's time for a Justice League mission."
"But of course," Cherry said. "Of course, they may be a little awkward between Clark and Atticus."
"I can't control what happens in the town, I'm afraid." Bruce said.
Cherry nodded before she soon went with Alfred to get settled into her room of Wayne Manor as she had a lot to think about for her friend as he seemed to be going down on the wrong side of the tracks, and where what was going on in his room wasn't a pretty sight. Cherry had a hard time getting to sleep that night.