Inferno of the Damned's Odds and Ends: Challenge
I used everything thrown at me. Even the bickering. Whether I did it well or not…eh, it's coherent, right?
Things happen when six teens are left mostly unsupervised. Even more happens when said teens are trained in combat, weapons, and super-powered. And a lot of it just doesn't. Make. Sense.
It was a Saturday, mid-morning in Happy Harbor. The Young Justice team had just gotten back from a stake-out mission that actually went according to plan. A completely novel concept for the new group. Everyone had been on their marks, Kid Flash hadn't pissed Artemis off too bad, Robin hadn't done his ninja thing without warning, and Superboy didn't get his hands on a tank.
So when Kid Flash had insisted they stop for food before returning to Mt. Justice, Aqualad had allowed it, all the while subtly praising Wally for his good behavior. It was all about positive reinforcement.
He hadn't been counting on six boxes though; at least Kid Flash had enough sense – or fear – to not try and eat them during the debriefing with the Dark Knight
Batman's words were, quote, "You did the league proud," unquote.
The whole, short-while he talked, the Young Justice member stood at attention, even Superboy who usually just glared apathetically and slouched. It was a good moment.
So once Batman had dismissed them and went of to do League business, Kaldur allowed himself to go along with the others to just hang out for a while. Wally zoomed past them several times as they headed for the kitchen, as he went back and forth to retrieve his after-mission Dunkin' Doughnuts.
"So, you are sharing, right?" Robin asked after he counted the six boxes Wally had stacked on the counter.
Kaldur sat down at one of the dining chairs as Wally looked up from the box of glazed doughnuts he was ogling, some drool beginning to slip from his mouth, and blinked.
"Oh, you guys wanted some, too?"
"You are such a pig!" Artemis accused.
"Don't hate, Arty, just 'cause you can't maintain this kind of figure."
"Don't call me Arty!"
"Don't call me a pig!"
"Then don't be one!"
Robin stopped paying attention to their conversation at the first signs of degeneration and searched for hot chocolate to go with his doughnuts. However, all he found was coffee. Well, that worked too. While the archer and speedster had been talking, M'gann had tried to get Superboy involved in a conversation.
"Superboy, do you want to watch TV with me? I can set it up for you."
"…Do you mean no no or no yes?"
Superboy sent her an annoyed glance and said,
"I mean, I'm going to bed. Don't bother me,"
And with that he turned and walked down the hall to his room, missing the disappointed look on M'gann's face. Kaldur reached out to touch her arm, gaining her attention. He smiled at her a little, conveying his sympathy. She smiled back, a little embarrassed but grateful for the support.
"Don't worry about him," he assured her.
"Yeah, he's just being a crabby Superboy," Robin commented as he scooped a large scoop of coffee into the filter.
Then another. Maybe one more. While Robin continued to load the filter to with an obscene amount of coffee beans, Wally and Artemis were wrapping up their conversation.
"Ow! Ow, ow, ow, ow!" Wally yelped from his position on the ground, one arm twisted painfully behind his back, Artemis' knee planted firmly along his spine.
"Say it!" she ordered him.
"Artemis," Kaldur spoke up, "stop abusing Wally and let him up."
Artemis looked a bit stubborn for a moment before scowling and getting off of Wally's back. Wally quickly gained his feet and zipped to the other side of the counter. He pointed an accusatory finger at her.
"You are an evil, twisted…girl!"
Artemis smirked and planted a hand on her hip.
"Like there's another kind?"
"There is! M'gann is totally not evil. She's," he turned to the Martian girl and sighed, "awesome."
She scoffed and rolled her eyes.
"I'm not even going to take the time out of my life to point out all the errors in that statement. No wonder I got D + on that last math test. Obviously, you have a secondary ability to drain people's intelligence after prolonged exposure."
Wally opened his mouth to reply, but Kaldur cut in.
"Wally, did you put your souvenir away?"
That souvenir being an ancient artifact of great importance that the League Members hadn't noticed. Because while important, it was at the same time inconsequential. It was a golden comb studded with rubies that was said to have belonged to a powerful, Ethiopian queen that gave her the power to captivate men to her will if she used it. Or something.
He quickly checked the compartments of his suit for the comb, but no luck.
"Crap! Where'd I put that? Be back soon."
He ran out of the kitchen and came back a second later, stopping in front of Robin.
"Don't you dare touch my jelly filled doughnuts."
Robin grinned and tilted his head.
"'Course not, buddy. Your jelly's are in safe company."
With a careful glare at his best friend, Wally nodded and sped back out the room. Robin finished adding the coffee and switched it on. Then he went through the boxes until he found the jelly-filled ones.
How did he know those were jelly-filled out of all the others? Two words: Batman's kid.
Robin took the jelly-filled and placed them in the oven before going back to watch his coffee drip through the filter.
"Meg?" he asked in the same tone.
"Why did you do that?"
"To mess with Wally. Just watch him freak out when gets back. He's going to have a panic attack," Robin nodded.
"But why would you want him to?"
"Because he's my best friend. I'm supposed to torture him from time to time for my own amusement."
Robin allowed M'gann to ponder that little nugget of Earth culture a moment. Kaldur pointedly ignored Robin's activities and gestured for Artemis to come closer.
"What?" she asked bluntly.
"You said you got a D on your test," he began, "This is a low grade?"
"Barely passing. My mom's threatening to get a tutor, but I don't want one. I'd rather perform the Swan Lake in Batman's boots."
"Batman's boots are actually very comfortable and have great arch support," Robin cut in.
Before M'gann can question just why he knows that, red and yellow blur by her.
"Where are my doughnuts?" Wally yelled as he zoomed back into the room and stopped at the counter.
"Dude, chill. They're on the counter," Robin assured him.
"No, the jellies, man! What did you do with them?"
"You didn't get any jelly ones."
"Yes, I did."
"No, brain-dead," Artemis said, "you didn't."
Wally sent suspicious, downright paranoid glances between his so-called friend and her. They were pulling his leg. He knew it. Because if there was one thing he didn't mistake, it was food.
"Kaldur, you wouldn't lie to me, would you, man?" Wally looked at the Atlantian with pleading eyes. "Just tell me where they are. Huh, pal?"
Kaldur glanced at the subtle shake of Robin's head and Artemis making slicing motions across her neck. Then he took in the near desperate look on Wally's face.
"I am sorry; I did not see what Robin did with your doughnuts."
"Megan?" he pleaded.
Her gaze flitted between Wally looking downright pathetic, and the others looking deviantly amused.
"Why don't we just eat real food?" she asked instead.
"Hey!" Wally objected. "Doughnuts are real food! They're the best. And the jelly-filled are even better!"
Robin grinned and gave her a thumbs up while exchanging a fist bump with Artemis.
"Well, yes, they are good, but not very good for you. I saw on this cooking show how they made a piranhacasserole. We could try that."
"P-piranha?" Artemis questioned, looking a little disgusted.
"Do they even sell piranha here?" Robin wondered aloud.
"Focus, man! The jellies!"
They all ignored the jelly doughnut craving speedster, who began to flit around the room to search for his snacks, as they offered different ideas for dinner, reminiscent of a familialsupper planning. While Artemis suggested they just go out, M'gann pointed out Superboy might not want to go, and he'd feel left out. Kaldur was fine with anything as long as it wasn't seafood. Piranha lived in rivers so they didn't count.
Robin didn't even attempt to contribute as he was busy ruining his appetite with coffee and a jelly-filled doughnut he'd crept over and pulled from the oven when Wally wasn't paying attention. He'd left the rest in their hiding place though and made it back to his original perch on the counter.
Wally turned from looking in the bottom cupboards only freeze upon seeing the doughnut halfway to Robin's mouth. He squawked and pointed, mouth hanging open from shock.
"Huh?" Robin turned to him, munching away. "Oh, you wanted one too?"
Not appreciating the smug look on his friend's face, Wally picked up the closest thing to him, which happened to be a wet sponge and threw it. Of course, Robin dodged it; imagine the apocalyptic explosion he'd catch from Batman if he'd gotten hit with a sponge. And with it just being the way of things, Artemis didn't even see it coming as she was propped on the counter with her back to it. Things seemed to slow down as the sponge flew past Robin's face as he leaned back and watched its progress curiously and Wally's own expression morphing from righteous indignation to 'Oh, crap!' In fact, he completely forgot he had super speed and theoretically, could run faster than a speeding sponge.
The wet sponge hit the back of Artemis' head with a soft plop and fell to the counter. She made a sound of disgust and swiftly turned to catch the culprit. Robin unnecessarily pointed to Wally, still poised in a throwing position, one arm outstretched. Artemis' glare held him in place as one hand swiped through the spot the sponge hit and came away red.
It would seem someone hadn't rinsed the tomato sauce off of the sponge.
"Come here," she fairly growled.
He shook his head frantically.
"I wasn't aiming for you, I swear! Robin had the doughnuts and –"
"Enough with the doughnuts!" she snapped. "Just get over here and take it like a man."
"No way! I'm Kid Flash, not FlashMan!"
"Artemis," Kaldur began, seeing that the situation was escalating far more than he'd thought it would. "Don't-"
With speed that would impress the Flash himself, Artemis had pulled her bow from her back, knocked an arrow in place, and let it fly. The arrow emitted a small puff of smoke, and a boxing glove popped out of it. Wally yelped and dashed out of way and down the hall.
"You're not getting away that easy, you idiot!" Artemis yelled after him and stalked down the hall after him, already knocking another arrow into place.
Neither noticed what they left behind, that being a stunned M'gann, an increasingly hyped-up Robin, an annoyed Kaldur, and a faucetless sink that was spraying water into the air like a high-powered fountain.
"…behave rashly," Kaldur finished.
"Hello, M'gann! I'll be right back!" M'gann said and flew off down the hall.
"M'gann, wait!" Kaldur called after her, but she was too far gone.
Down the hall, Kaldur and Robin could hear Wally's cries.
"Don't aim there!" Wally yelped as he dodged Artemis' kick to a region no guy wants to be kicked.
"Don't move then!"
"Stop shooting at me first!"
Robin cackled and quoted Humpty Dumptyat his friend's distress.
"And all the king's horses…," he murmured into his coffee mug.
Kaldur sent an uncertain glance to the youngest Justice member and moved to stop the flood waters. From now on, he'd forgo hanging out after missions and go straight to his room. After he made certain Artemis and Wally were separated.
Robin swung his legs back and forth, banging them on the counter in an odd rhythm.
He'd also have to remove all forms of caffeine as he was certain Robin was singing the 'Doom' song in a queer, high-pitched tone.
It was times like these when Kaldur was uncertain about all that talk of Robin becoming leader.
Black Canary had just finished setting up the next training session and was headed home. With two teenagers regularly living here, Mt. Justice stayed surprisingly clean. Although Red Tornado's surveillance might have something to do with that. If that was the case, she needed an android at her apartment. She wrinkled her nose at the one inconsistency to that theory as she spotted a random article of clothing tossed into the hall.
And then Kid Flash zipped around the corner by her, tripped on someone's pair of Captain Underpants undies, and slid magnificently into the wall with an impressive thud.
When Artemis stormed around the corner with an arrow ready to fly, Dinah glanced at the boy's prone figure and the dark look on the younger blonde's face. Without a word, she simply turned and continued on her way. Who was she to interfere in the matters of young love?
Artemis let her arrow go, and it sailed to Wally's legs as he'd just managed to stand. A net sprang out of it, effectively trapping him. He flailed his arms to regain his balance but fell over anyway, squeaking when he hit the ground again.
She didn't respond, instead continued her determined trek toward him, intentions to cause pain clear. She returned the bow to her back then cracked her knuckles.
Wally had taken note of this as he struggled to un-wrap the net from his legs. He managed to loosen it some but too little too late though.
"Wait!" he wailed, holding his hands out. "Just wait a minute!"
She stopped three feet from him and cocked a hip to the side.
"It's just…your hair."
She arched a suspicious brow, not that he could see it through the mask.
"What about it?"
"It…it would look great if…"
"If it were braided!"
With that, Wally sped through the disentangling the net, zoomed behind her, seized her hair, and quickly transformed the thick mass into a long blonde braidconnected to the tip of her bow.
Then he, just because he really had a death wish, slapped her on the butt and sped out of there as if the Devil himself were on his tail.
Or at least, the Devil's demon spawn. Not even all that. His little cousin, twice removed.
Superboy heard screaming but stayed within the safety of his room. On a plate were some muffins M'gann had made for him. They were hard as rock, and even with his super strength, he just couldn't bring himself to eat them. Yet, he couldn't bring himself to just throw them out either. And he had no idea why that was. So there they sat, like some eclectic work of art.
Instead of seeing what the yelling was about, Superboy lay down on his bed and pulled his two large, fluffy blue Elmo pillowsto his head. Robin had gotten them for him, and Wally had laughed, but he hadn't understood the humor. But he liked them; they were extremely comfy.
His hand brushed over the pillows, and he felt something crusty. With a slight frown, Superboy picked up one of his Elmo pillows. It appeared as if there was somedrieddrool on it. And it wasn't his.
Someone…had taken his pillow…and drooled on it.
There were certain rules Superboy lived by.
One: if you told him what to do, he'd catch an attitude and do it anyway, punch you out, or not do it.
Two: he reserved the right to be angsty. Whenever. About anything.
Three: Don't. Touch. His. Pillows.
And he hadn't quite gotten to four. But give him a break! He just became consciously aware of existence, like, three months ago.
Superboy brought the pillow near his face and sniffed the drool. It smelled like…fish. Strongly. He jerked back from the stench coming from his prized cushion. And that smell was the proverbial glass slipperthat he was going to use to track down his proverbial Cinderella. And there would be no happy ending to that.
Back in the kitchen, M'gannwas in an inflatable vest and trying to hand the rest to Kaldur and Robin.
"Are you certain these wouldn't be useful, Kaldur? This one's actually quite comfortable."
"Thank you, but no."
Kaldur had used his powers to manipulate the water into flowing down the drain and turned off the water under the sink. Still, things were a bit damp…soaked actually. Some of it had even spread down to the lounge area. He went about cleaning all of the water using his powers to get what he could.
Robin had sat atop the counter just as he was now, sipping sugary, caramelly coffee and eating doughnuts. At one point, he'd scooted along to reach the coffee pot to refill and started vibrating in place at one point. At the moment, he paused mid-chew and leaned forward, casting a look down the hall. In the distance, he saw the hulking figure of Superboy stomping their way. He was holding something fuzzy.
Robin popped the last of the doughnut into his mouth and reached for a second – or fifth – one. The wiser thing to do would be leave, but really. He wanted to see what was going to happen. Hanging around Batman since age nine left him with a sort of morbid curiosity about things. So he drew up his knees and munched on jelly filled doughnuts, ready for the show.
Superboy stomped back into the kitchen and cast a quick glance around. Robin waved frantically at him, a face-splitting grin on his face.
"'Sup, Supe Boy!"
M'gann turned and saw him, a smile forming on her face as well. Otherwise occupied clearing the water, Kaldur merely glanced at him.
"Superboy! You're back. Did you decide you wa –"
Robin watched, truly fascinated, as Superboy grabbed M'gann thick vest and pulled her to him. He leaned over her, his nose inches from hers.
"Breath," he told her.
It's a good thing he told her to do that, because the Martian girl looked like she was going to pass out. Wither her whole face flaming red, she sucked in a deep breath and let it out. Superboy inhaled and found her breath to smell like mint, which would have really great if he were going to kiss her but to her disappointment, no. Ain't happenin', hon.
He let her go, and she her knees nearly gave out. As it was, she had to catch herself on the counter. Superboy came to stand in front of Robin who didn't even have to be told to. He gladly submitted Superboy to sample his massive coffee breath, and the Boy of Steel nearly gagged. He backed away from him, waving a hand in front of his nose with a repulsed look on his face.
"Watcha doin'? What's the scoop? What's the deal? What's the haps?" Robin asked in rapid fire speech, fingers tapping along the counter.
Superboy stared at him for a moment, uncomprehending what even came out of his mouth. He decided to explain anyway.
"Someone slept on my pillow," he informed the younger boy and held the pillow up for inspection.
Robin stared at it as if it were the most wondrous thing on the planet aside from coffee. Because in his present condition, it was true.
"Fuzzy," he nodded his approval.
"You bought it."
Superboy titled his head and considered how strangely Batman's protégé was acting. He fidgeted and twitched and giggled for absolutely no reason. Momentarily forgetting his quest, he posed a question.
"Is he okay?"
M'gann was still a little flushed and staring vacantly into space so it fell to Kaldur to answer. Just as well, seeing how he was mostly done. There was only a thin coat of water that would air dry easily.
"He is. I believe he's had too much coffee."
"Oh," Superboy said, clutching his Elmo pillow in hand with a confused frown. He looked very much like a child rather than a genetically engineered twenty-nine week old with the physicality and understanding of a sixteen year old which he was. "What's coffee?"
"Coffee is good. Coffee will take care of everything. Coffee is everything everyone strives to obtain in their lives. It is the ultimate good," Robin answered in a strange monotone, staring straight ahead.
Superboy and Kaldur both stared at him a moment and jumped a little when the masked let out a howling laugh. Again, for no reason. They slowly backed away from the boy, Kaldur having the good leadership-like presence of mind to snag M'gann on the way from the hyper teen.
He noticed none of this, too wrapped up in his hilariously, intoxicated thoughts. When Wally completed his circuit and arrived back in the kitchen, Robin was still laughing off and on, murmuring about alternate worlds and people named Beast Boy and a cyborg.
Artemis came up behind him about to yell at him, but Wally caught her first, threw her over his shoulder, and sped to the farthest point in Mt. Justice from Robin. He tried to explain what was going on with Robin and why they needed to stay away from him. Artemis said that he was being an over-reactive idiot, she was tired, and she'd kick his butt tomorrow. Almost absent-mindedly, Artemis told him good-night, kissed him on the cheek, and walked off.
He stood gaping for a good five minutes. After a while, Wally gave up trying to understand that girl and went to bed, vowing never to bring this up again.
It took a moment for Robin to even realize he'd been abandoned and he frowned. Then he remembered something, got happy again, and decided he should visit the rest of Happy Harbor.
When the rest of the Young Justice members woke up the next morning, they found Robin curled up on the couch, mechanical pieces with wires poking out strewn across the floor, the flag of a mailbox, a rubber duck, and a black and white striped kitten. What were left of the Dunkin' Donuts appeared to be burned, eroded by some type of acid, stained with something red…and glued together.
Superboy had cautiously picked up the unconscious Boy Wonder and dropped him off in his own room. Later, they would find out that someone had filled the indoor pool with piranhas. After Kaldur had gone for a swim. Robin couldn't remember where or how he got the piranhas.
On a side note, M'gann casserole that night was very tasty.
A/N: At the very least, I can ramble on. Over 4000 words.
Queerest thing: I was 'studying' for my tests, but found myself working on this. Now that the tests are over, it took a whole lot more effort to get out. Also while 'studying', I drew Artemis and Robin chibis. ^.^ She looks like a leprechaun.
Oh! Anyone know where the 'Doom' song comes from?
Oneshot. Over. Done.