A/N: So, over the summer, I managed to cram all seven seasons of Smallville into my brain. Yeah, I know, I'm pathetic. But I was just hooked once I saw first season. So here I am writing my first story for the fandom. Now I know the character's aren't perfect, nobody expects them to be, so please bear with me.
Summary: A week in the life of the Justice League through Bart Allen's eyes. Will Impulse finally find a common ground with the other heroes or run away again?
Disclaimer: A lot of people have a hand in creating Smallville/Superman, unfortunately mine was swatted away. -pout-
"This is it, gentlemen, home sweet home," Oliver Queen, the tall, blonde-haired playboy who, better known by the rest of us guys as the "Green Arrow," led me, Arthur Curry, and Victor Stone into the elegantly-furnished lobby of the magnificent estate. "At least, for now..."
The three of us who had less experience with the prestige of the rich and famous ogled the household with wide eyes and gaping mouths. I could see myself in the shiny tiled floor and couldn't resist running the full length of the mansion. It took me approximately two seconds to scour the entire perimeter, which should say something about how huge the place was.
What impressed me most about the finely-decorated manor was Ollie's handiwork to set up rooms that matched each of our individual tastes and needs. I had to give the guy props; I was impressed:
For example, AC's room, which I labeled a glorified fish tank, included a sparkling blue aquarium equipped with waterproof speakers and hi-tech computer system. Outside the tank, Ollie had installed a separate holding room for storing AC's suits and gear.
A similar such holding room was also in Vic's quarters, a futuristic-styled space stocked to the nines with the hottest computer equipment known to man. I swear, I'd never seen anything like Vic's new PC before. -Maybe in passing on my way to Tokyo , but I couldn't be sure.
Oliver's room was pretty much the same as the apartment he had in Metropolis. Very studio-style with a lot of modern furniture. He had many of the same nifty arrows in his holding room with a rack well-supplied with the familiar green suits. I noticed a study through two large double doors (probably Ollie's) but a stupid panel, demanding password clearance, stopped me from entering. I had contemplated breaking the room's window from the backyard, but my short attention span had brought me to my room before I could find a brick to shatter the glass.
When I got to my room, I was surprised to see how cozy it was. It reminded me of a college dormitory with its cushy four poster bed, elaborate fireplace, and remarkable computer set up in the corner of the large bedroom. The carpet felt nice beneath my shoes and the paneled walls were made of a gleaming cherry wood. Upon further inspection, I noticed a set of stairs leading to my own kitchen stashed with hoards of food. I noted from the food groups Ollie had made it a point not to include anything sweet or caffeinated. The big green giant (as well as the rest of the team) got pretty annoyed when I got too wound up. No worries, I'd fix that little glitch at the Circle K later.
Arriving back to the luxurious lobby, I found Oliver blinking, wondering where I'd gone off to, and the two other members still gawking at their majestic surroundings.
"This is really somethin'," AC commented, his cowboy-western accent thicker than ever.
"You haven't seen anything yet," I told him and Ollie smirked at me knowingly.
"I take it you took a tour of the grounds." He asked, although I'm sure he knew the answer from the twinkle in his eye.
"Yeah, I saw a thing or two," I answered vaguely, winking mischievously up at him. "Thanks for the setup, by the way. It's muy bueno."
Ollie rolled his eyes at my Spanglish. The guy could speak the language twice as good, making my crappy rendition pretty exasperating to hear.
Oliver wrapped a bulky arm around my neck, pulling me close to his side whilst grinning grimly, a gesture I recognized as a way to keep me from bolting impulsively (as I still had a habit of doing). He continued with the "official" tour, giving me a better chance to absorb the mansion's towering rooms and surroundings.
After AC and Victor had filled their quota of gazing at staggeringly extravagant lodgings for the day, we all settled down in the peaceful lounge of the upstairs loft. Ollie had walked around a classy-looking bar and retrieved three soft drinks and an orange juice bottle for me. I took the proffered bottle, set it down on the nearby side table, and returned from a trip to the drug store with a Jones Soda. I popped the cap off the glass bottle and took a large gulp, sighing excessively. Oliver scowled.
"Bart, did you pay for that soda?" he questioned. AC and Victor stopped their drinking and friendly argument to look at me curiously. I smiled casually.
"Oliver, they're not gonna miss…" I looked at the bottle's price sticker. "1.50. Anyways, what's the big deal? You could buy the whole drug store if you wanted to."
My quick vision noticed all three of their faces undertake the same disappointed stare.
"That's not the point," Oliver told me crossly, looking seriously in my eyes. "We started this team to help people, Bart. You have a responsibility to use your ability for good, to never break that code. Speeding around, stealing soda's, which, I might add, I don't think is very good for you, is not what we had in mind when we promised to use our powers for good."
I snorted. "What gives you the right to tell me not to steal when that's practically your secret ability, Robin Hood."
The team's blonde-haired leader clenched his jaw tightly and the two other superhumans regarded me with upset expressions.
"That's enough, Bart," I heard a stern voice scold from behind me. I looked around, surprised. Clark Kent stood at the upstairs landing, his arms crossed around his wide chest, looking down at me disapprovingly.
"Clark !" I said jovially, forgetting the argument and his displeasure completely. I darted over to him and in a millisecond's time had wrapped him in a friendly hug. "What are you doing here?" I looked up at the slightly shaken man of steel. He recovered from the shock of being embraced so swiftly and placed his hands on either sides of my shoulders, looking down at me with his piercing blue eyes. I just smiled, attempting to hide my intimidation.
"Apparently watching you stir up trouble," Clark raised an eyebrow at me and my face fell. "Did you really steal that soda, Bart?"
"What? Does Ollie have you on speed dial or something?" I muttered sarcastically, trying to wrestle out of his hold, but failing. I looked down sulkily instead. "I thought you came here to join the league,"
Clark rubbed my shoulders with his giant mits. Anger and hurt bubbled up inside of me and the calming gesture was doing nothing to appease it.
"I didn't come here to join the league," I glared harder at my shoes upon hearing the response. Clark lifted my chin with his finger and softened his stare. "And I didn't come here to lecture you."
"Oh really? What're you doing here then?" I pressed, unable to hold back the bite in my voice.
"He's here to help with the mission," Oliver said from behind me, and Clark let his hands fall to his sides so I could turn to face Green Arrow. Confusion must have been written on my face because Ollie continued. "But just this once. A Phantom was sighted somewhere in the area, and Boy Scout's going to help us fight it. After that, he's back to clearing evil from the fields of Smallville."
Clark's face twisted up at the name. "How many times do I have to tell you? I'm not going to be called Boy Scout."
Oliver grinned wickedly. "Saying Cub Scout would work better?"
"I'm saying," Clark enunciated. "That 'Clark' will work just fine."
"Dude, that's not a superhero's name. Have you ever heard someone say, 'Look up in the sky! It's Clark'? You need to pick one." Victor asserted, getting up from his position on the couch to grab a second soda. I stared at my own stolen soda on the coffee table and stashed it away in my room before anybody even knew I had left my position beside Clark. If this conversation went on like it did, I'd be home free from another group scolding. Excelente. "Cyborg, Aquaman, Green Arrow, Impulse- Everyone's got one that embodies their ability."
"So, what's yours, stretch?" I inquired, leaning against one of the hallway's wooden posts casually. Clark simply shrugged.
"I guess I never really thought about it." He confessed, looking uncomfortable under all our expectant stares. Ha, now he knows how I felt a few minutes ago. Granted a lot of things make Clark uncomfortable...
"Hey, how 'bout the Green Alien?" AC offered, causing Vic and I to snicker.
"I don't think so; doesn't exactly suit him." Ollie said, joking by giving Clark a once over. "Plus, the 'Green' title is kind of taken. Pretty soon people will think we're just a band of leprechauns."
"What's the problem with that? We could get a lot of work doing box covers for Lucky Charms," I quipped. "Plus the year-supply of cereal wouldn't be too bad."
Although my comment made the rest of them laugh, it had an opposite effect on our good leader Ollie.
"I think we've had enough about you and sugar for one day," He said and got up from the couch to walk over to me. I flinched when he raised his hand, but he lightly rested it on my shoulder and smiled good-naturedly. He turned to the rest of the members and spoke, "C'mon, that last assignment was pretty tough; why don't we go downstairs and grab something to eat? You hungry, Clark?"
"Well, actually I-" Clark stammered.
"Good, we'll see you in the kitchen then," Green Arrow told him, patting Clark's chest and leading me and the other members downstairs.
God, I hated walking. It was foreign to my body, and every time I did it, I couldn't help my brain from screaming "Faster!" Before I could even think about taking the far less scenic route, Ollie had tightened his hold around my neck, making any escape impossible. I sighed. I may be faster than the others but everybody else was bigger. I really should invest some time in body building like the rest of the team... Nah, too boring. I don't think my concentration skills could handle the tiresome training.
As we walked down yet another long, winding hallway of the nearly 15,000 square foot manor, I swiveled my head around every which way in curiosity. Ollie looked down at me concernedly and loosened his hold slightly, misinterpreting my furrowed eyebrows as a sign that I was in pain rather inquisitive.
"Something wrong?" he pried, close to checking my neck for injuries. This guy really didn't trust his own strength, huh? "Did I hurt you?"
"No," I said quickly to put a halt his pesky hovering. "I was just wondering why there aren't any, like, servants roaming the halls and stuff."
"Why? Hoping you could get out of chores or something?" He guessed with a smirk. I shook my head.
"No, I just figured that since this place is so big you'd have at least fifty or so butlers and maids. Lex's place isn't half as big as this one and he had chefs, chauffeurs, bodyguards- the whole enchilada."
"Well, sorry to disappoint you, but we won't be having any of those around here." Ollie told me, looking up wistfully at the vaulted ceilings as we walked down yet another hall.
"Why? Did Clark give you that 'there's nothing better than an honest day's work' speech again?" I cracked a grin and looked over Oliver's arm to see Clark glaring at me.
"I can hear you," he said, causing the heroes he was flanked by to simper.
"I know," I called back, turning my attention back to Oliver. "Well?"
"No, it's not because of Boy Scout. This is a hideout, Bart. We're a part of a secret team thus we don't have the privilege of being waited on hand and foot. Nobody, not even the most loyal of lackeys, can know we're here." Oliver explained, glad the other team members were following him so he wouldn't have to clarify the arrangements twice. "It's not that we need them though. With a guy as fast as you, who needs workers?"
I grimaced, "Greeaaat... Just don't expect me to wash your guys' sweat-stained boxers."
The others laughed, and, after what seemed like forever, we finally arrived at our destination. The counters, which encircled the entire kitchen, were made of a dark granite and the massive, silver refrigerator jutted out of the east wall prominently. An island, with various spices and a hi-tech grill atop it, sat in the center of the large kitchen, six chairs lining the counter on both sides. Not one, but two pantries were found through a couple of large wooden doors, and I counted three TVs on various spots of the room. This was the opposite of Hell's kitchen; it was Heaven's!
The moment Oliver released me, signaling for us to behold the heavenly room, I had bolted to one of the pantries in the blink of an eye. I'm pretty sure nobody was startled by my vanishing act since they were all too occupied rubbing their hands on the streamlined refrigerator. I, on the other hand, was voraciously hungry.
Without hesitation, I dug into three bags of chips, five boxes of cookies, and four liters of soda. By the time I exited the pantry, wiping my mouth and burping loudly, I was met with the four stunned stares of my fellow super friends. I just smirked in response, seating myself on one of the tall stools and resting my chin on my hand.
"So, what's for dinner?" I asked.
Oliver shook his head at me, flabbergasted, but decided to keep his mouth shut. We'd been working with each other for about three months, but there were still things about each other that remained a mystery. My eating habits, for example, still hadn't lost its ability to shock and awe.
"I think you ate it," AC said, still regarding me with wonder. "Where does it go?"
"I told you, I'm a furnace." I replied. Sometimes it got tiresome explaining that to people, but their expressions made it worth it. I flicked my gaze to Queen. "Seriously, Ollie-man, what's for dinner?"
"Well, I was hoping Clark could tell us that." Oliver said, rocking on his heels and looking sheepishly over at the oblivious man snacking on a banana. "Clark? Dinner?"
Clark looked like he was choking on his fruit, and I was at his side in an instant to help perform the Heimlich. Fortunately, he held out a hand and swallowed the bolus.
"What are you saying? You think I can cook just because I work on a barn?" the man of steel asked, miffed. An irate Clark Kent chewed out a wincing Green Arrow for a few minutes more until Victor finally cut in.
"Whoa, dude, cool it. Sure, it was wrong for Queen to make that assumption, but he's sorry. Right, Oliver?" Stone asked and Clark raised expectant eyebrows on the billionaire.
Oliver bobbed his head, happy to be saved from the usually peace-loving farm boy. "Very, very sorry, Kent."
"Anyways, fellas, we can fix this," AC butted in optimistically. Like a tidal wave, we all turned hopeful eyes on the speed swimmer.
"Why? Do you know how to cook?" I queried eagerly. Please say si. Please say si. AC's gleaming smile faltered under the weight of all our stares.
"Err... No. But I do know how to make a mean barbecued seaweed." The rest of us gagged at the thought of letting that "dish' slither down our throats.
"That's disgusting, man." Victor pointed out. Oliver groaned, leaning against a counter. I hoped he was reconsidering this deal of living without servants in a house of four totally culinary-clueless males.
"Ugh, I'm sooo hungry!" I complained, dropping my head on the counter and moaning.
"How is that possible?!" "What do you mean your hungry?" "You just ate the entire pantry!" "Your stomach is as dark and insatiable as Lex's soul!"
A few more exclamations were uttered by my appalled colleagues, but I chose to ignore them., presenting my own question. "Still, what are we going to do about dinner?"
"Look," Victor said, hoping to solve tonight's problem. "I'll download some recipes and tips tonight and put some practice time in tomorrow, alright?"
"Super, but that doesn't settle our little meal riddle now." I pointed out.
"I guess we'll have to just eat some of the frozen dinners I got then," Oliver shrugged, walking over to the large freezer and rifling through the numerous boxes. Everybody seemed too hungry to argue with this, so Ollie started calling out the dinner contents. "Okay, who wants the fish sticks?"
Aquaman bristled noticeably at the statement and stomped over to snatch the thin blue box away. "What do you mean, 'who wants fishsticks'? These are defenseless creatures, practically family. and you just want to dip them in ketchup and wolf them down? Huh?!" AC looked at the Green Arrow in heated anticipation, fire glowing in his eyes.
Oliver opened and closed his mouth, much like how the fishsticks used to, before shaking his head furiously. "No, of course not, I'm sorry, AC. I-I should've-" I'd never seen the Ollie-man at a loss for words before, but it was kind of funny. Okay, hilarious. Queen reached inside the fridge and fetched four more boxes of fishsticks, surrendering them to the fuming fishman.
"I think you should check the pantry, AC," I informed. "I believe I noticed a few cans of tuna."
AC shook his head at Ollie, his mouth a grim line of irritation, before plodding huffily to the pantry. Oliver glared darkly at me and I tried to suppress a smile from creeping on my face. What do you know? Didn't work.
"I guess those are off the menu..." Oliver trailed off as he crouched down in front of the freezer, pillaging for more instant meals. By the end of his search, we had agreed upon simply mass baking three lasagnas, two bags of fries, four boxes of chicken fingers, and two tubs of taquitos- my personal favorite.
After we had worked to lay the foods out on the appropriate trays and slid them into the six foot long oven, I was forced to do the hardest thing I'd ever have to do: sit still and wait. After a few moments, Clark fixed himself a bowl of cereal and proceeded to pour himself the rest of the box. AC ripped open a bag of salad and began munching on the greens, and Oliver and Victor played catch by seeing who could pop the most grapes into their mouths. Oliver was winning, I surveyed as I bit into a cracker. Of course, he had better aim...
One hour later, everybody felt like they're sides were going to burst. Scratch that, everyone... Except for me. I continued to scrape the sides of the lasagna dish, all witnesses in the group resisting the urge to vomit at my ceaseless scarfing.
"Put it down, man," Victor groaned sleepily. Everybody seemed ready to turn in at that point and I felt my own eyes itching with the need to rest. I set the plastic tray down on the counter sluggishly. Oliver walked over, lethargic from the full day's work and meal, resting a hand on my back.
"This place is a pig sty." He commented, examining the empty cartons, bags, and boxes strewn across the counters and floors. "Mind doing a little kitchen duty, kid?"
I sighed and nodded, stepping off the chair and super-speeding into action. In five seconds time, the kitchen was back to its regular, sparkling self. I probably would have reflected on my unusually slow finish time but my brain and movements were fatigued beyond belief. I had to get to bed quickly or else I would collapse. I knew this because an overuse of my ability usually drained my body of all its energy. After the long, thrilling mission we encountered today, I was amazed I had lasted so close to midnight. It was imperative I get on carpet soon because face-planting on the floor was looking mighty tempting; smacking the tile wasn't in my best interest.
My ever-faithful legs suddenly gave out from under me and I was crashing toward earth. Luckily, Clark had noticed my drooping eyelids and caught me just before contact. He pulled me up in his arms and I rested my heavy head on his large shoulder, letting my hair fall on my closed eyes.
"Guess the kid couldn't last the night," I heard AC say, his chair squeaking as he got up from the counter.
"I knew he was eating to much," Vic grumbled.
"I'm just amazed all that sugar he consumed today hadn't lasted him forty more hours." Arthur commented.
"I can still hear, you know," I murmured, languidly turning my face from where it was resting on Clark's shoulder.
"Oliver, where's his room at?" Clark's voice rumbled beside me. It sounded weird through his shoulder...
"Why? Is he getting heavy?" Victor taunted, knowing such a thing was impossible for the man with superhuman strength.
"You'll never find it by yourself. I'll show you where it's at." Oliver said. I guess I must have fallen asleep during the slow trek back to my new room because I only remember stirring when Clark was laying me down on the unfamiliar four-poster bed. I felt him pull the covers over my shivering body and move my bangs out of my face. The feeling that bubbled inside of me at that moment was one I couldn't quite place my finger on. It felt warm but altogether strange. I wasn't used to having people care for me. Ever since I was thirteen I was on my own, stealing my way through life, and claiming no one in the world could be trusted more than myself. Then... Clark came along.
Clark pulled his hand from my face, the odd warmth still wrapped in my stomach, and got off the bed.
"Are you sure its okay for him to be fighting with you?" Clark anxiously asked Oliver, who was still present apparently.
"Sometimes I'm not sure," Oliver admitted. I didn't have the strength to show it, but his answer surprised me. "He's very young, but he's been through so much."
"Yeah but living a hard life on the streets doesn't qualify a barely sixteen year old for an open application to adulthood. He should be getting a better childhood." Clark insisted, his voice harsh.
"I know its hard for you to see him with us. It was hard for me to take let him join. But, the kid's stubborn. He wouldn't allow me to take him in unless he deserved it, unless he could put his powers to good use." Oliver explained my and his tale with a sad tone. "I needed a new member, and he needed an honest roof over his head. I don't think there's anything else I can do for him except that."
"You're wrong," Clark stated. "He needs you to look out for him. Bart's never trusted anyone enough to be there for him so it's up to you to help him. He can't go through life with a chip on his shoulder. With abilities like his, he could cause some serious damage. You, AC, and Victor have a responsibility to protect him."
"You're asking us to raise him? It's a bit late for that, don't you think?" Oliver pressed, sounding stressed.
"Oliver, you know that's not what I'm saying." Clark persisted.
"Right. You're just asking me to contain the fastest guy alive. Like AC told you before, we don't call him Impulse for nothing." Oliver pointed out.
"I didn't say it was going to be easy. Nothing worth it ever is," Clark quoted. I could hear Oliver sigh tiredly in acceptance of the proposition, turning out my bedside light.
"C'mon, you can sleep in the guest bedroom tonight," he told Clark. I never heard the door close to my bedroom but by then I think I was really asleep.
A/N: Sorry for the sort of plot-less chapter; I promise, so much more is bustling beneath my fingertips. Reviews will greatly speed up the writing process. Keep in mind though that my biggest pet-peeve are three-worded reviews. Four words or more is what keep me happy, ha, ha.
Have nice days,