If any of my Final Fantasy VII readers are here, please don't hurt me. I swear I'm not switching fandoms. I'm just visiting the YJ community. I'll finish White Mage soon. . .
I planned on using this space to tell you all the inspiration behind this fic, but I forget what it was, so yeah. No dice. We'll just chalk it up to me being a Disney freak.
Disclaimer: One day, DC, one day. . . (I have a plan)
Robin hated The Lion King.
He hadn't actually said the words, "I hate The Lion King," but Wally could tell, and it bugged him. It wasn't so much the fact that Rob hated the greatest movie in the history of ever that bugged him (that was a slight part of it though), as it was that he didn't know why Robin hated The Lion King.
Every Friday night, for a little over a month and a half now, the team would sit down together and watch a classic Disney movie. It was Artemis' idea, surprisingly enough. She made the suggestion after her and M'gann caught Mulan one night on the Disney Channel (while channel surfing; Artemis Crock did not seek out the Disney channel, thank you very much) and she realized the young Martian had never watched a single Disney movie before. Not long after this revelation, it came to her attention that Superboy had never seen one, nor Kaldur. Not that surprising, when she thought about it. What was surprising, however, was when Robin confessed he had only watched about two Disney movies in his whole thirteen years of existence.
In a rare occurrence of agreement, Artemis and Wally, who were the Disney experts of the mountain by default, decided all the old Disney movies had some sort of moral merit and watching them all would help their teammates adapt to Earth society. In Robin's case, he had to watch them because they said so. It would be socially unacceptable for him not to.
So far M'gann had loved every movie watched. Superboy, while not as vocally enthusiastic about the cartoons, seemed quietly entranced by each one, and Kaldur thought they were endearing and mildly amusing. He understood why they were popular, in any case.
Robin seemed rather passive about the whole thing. He remained emotionally unfazed during The Fox and the Hound (M'gann cried and Superboy seemed to master a few new facial expressions). Cinderella didn't seem to leave any sort of impression on him, and neither did Beauty and the Beast or The Little Mermaid. So far, the only response Robin had really had was during The Hunchback of Notre Dame, when he turned to Wally and proclaimed, "They made this for children!"
And then came The Lion King. Digging through their DVD cabinet (Robin brought every Disney movie known to man from home when he first heard of the plan, which confused Wally to no end, because why would someone waste money buying movies and then not watch them?), Artemis pulled the aforementioned title out and held it over her head.
"Lion King sound good?"
And because Wally was always sort of subconsciously watching his mysterious best friend, he noticed when Robin averted his gaze and shifted his weight uneasily. He caught the slight twitching of his mouth, telling him that Rob's lips were about to part to spew forth some excuse as to why he couldn't join them tonight. So Wally intervened.
"Naaaah, I'm not really big on Lion King. What else we got?"
Artemis raised an eyebrow (it was an obvious lie; no one was "not really big" on the Lion King...except Rob, apparently) but didn't question him. Instead she pulled out another movie and wryly asked, "Sleeping Beauty then?"
Chick flick. Ugh. Oh well, he'd make the sacrifice. At least there was a dragon at the end. And fire. "Sure, that sounds good. Aurora's a babe." He clambered over the back of the couch to take his seat, pretending not to notice the odd look Artemis gave him before putting the movie in. Robin settled into his normal seat next to him, though he seemed a tad closer than normal. Wally briefly wondered if that was the Boy Wonder's way of saying thank you.
He immediately lost interest as soon as the film started, because the whole thing started as a book and books were dull. So he let his mind wander to his best friend.
Robin was his best friend, there was no denying that. But despite how much he knew Robin, he really didn't know anything about Robin. To him, Robin was like an open book (not the dull kind, like Sleeping Beauty). He knew when he was mad, sad, happy, really happy, tired, and so on. He knew that every year on May 9th, July 17th, and October 23rd, he would get depressed. October 23rd more so than the others. He knew he wasn't allowed pets but if he could, he'd like a kitten. His favorite color was green and his favorite food was strawberries. He liked to read and his favorite book was Oliver Twist. He slept on his stomach. He did extra stretches every day to compensate for the fact that he was hurting his back by sleeping on his stomach. He was ambidextrous, but Wally was pretty sure he was born right-handed because when he walked or ran, he always started off with his right foot.
When it came to his behaviors, Kid Flash knew everything there was to know about Robin. But while he knew every little extraneous detail about the boy, he didn't know the basics. That was what bugged him. He knew all this stuff about him, but he didn't know the why behind it all. It was enough to drive anyone nuts.
So sometimes, when he was bored, he tried to make up explanations himself. Hypotheses. Sometimes the things he decided were awesome or hilarious, but sometimes...well, sometimes the things he ended up with weren't always that great.
Wally learned Robin liked kittens when they were younger. Wally had come to hang (err, that is, patrol) with Robin, and he noticed his best friend of several months was down (he could tell because he smiled instead of smirked, and the smile was kind of tight anyway and his shoulders were stiffer than usual and overall he just seemed a lot less bouncy). He let it go at the time, but when the day ended and it came time for them to part for who knew how long, Wally asked about it. To this day, he could still picture the way Rob bowed his head and how his shoulders slumped just a little. Mostly he remembered his voice, how unusually quiet it was as he told Wally he had found a stray kitten in a box the night before, while patrolling. Apparently it was a common occurrence. Robin served as some sort of abandoned kitten detector, accidently stumbling upon the homeless animals like normal people would stumble upon dirt. And dirt was everywhere. But Batman never let him keep any of his rescues. He could leave them out front of a shelter, but there weren't any non-kill shelters in Gotham, so what was the use? The clearest part of the incident to Wally was when Robin, still staring at the sidewalk below them, said, "It kills me, because they're strays and no one wants them and I know what-"
In all of the three years they'd known each other, that was the closest Robin had ever come to telling Wally something deeply personal about himself. Realizing he was about to break a bat-rule, Robin clamped his mouth shut faster than one of Poison Ivy's human-eating Venus Fly Traps. That was the day Wally hypothesized that Robin associated with strays. He wasn't sure why, but he did know the association made his best friend partial to kittens, which was more than most people knew, so he didn't press it. Instead, he squeezed his shoulder and told him that Central had non-kill shelters, so if he wanted to call him next time he found a stray, he would totally run right over and bring whatever little creature he'd found back with him. And that marked the first time Robin had been the one to initiate a brohug between them. Wally kept good on his promise.
Wally hypothesized that May 9th was the day Robin was kidnaped by the government and turned into a elite super soldier. He was partial to green because, while captured, he wasn't allowed outside and he would spend his days trying to remember what grass looked like. When he finally saw it again, it left a big green impression on him.
Robin's love of Oliver Twist had been a more recent discovery, happening within the walls of Mt. Justice. He'd stumbled upon his best friend, curled up on the couch with a book in hand. Wally zipped over and yoinked the book from his hands, ignoring the other's cry of protest.
"Oliver Twist? Like, 'Please sir, can I have some more?' Oliver Twist? Dude, why are you reading this?"
Robin snatched the book back with a frown that was really more of a pout, but Wally wasn't about to point that out. "It's a classic! Besides, it's my favorite book," he made a slight noise of disgruntlement, "You made me lose my page, Kid Illiterate."
While Wally was familiar with Oliver Twist, he wasn't really sure of the actual story line (orphan, wants food, doesn't get it, the end?). So he asked Robin to explain, because anything Robin attached the label "favorite" to got the immediate attention of Kid Flash.
Robin seemed mildly annoyed, but surprisingly enough he complied and gave KF an abridged version of the novel.
When he was done, Robin inquired why Wally was staring at him. Wally didn't tell him he was hypothesizing that his best friend just might possibly be an orphan.
July 17th was (hypothetically) the day the government declared Robin too small to be a good super solider and ordered his death. It also would have been the day Batman saved him from his fate, but the trauma from the rest of the day was enough to overshadow this happy fact and leave Rob depressed for the day.
Wally had seen Robin sleep multiple times, especially since they started pretty much living together at the mountain. It took him a while to realize he was the only one to witness this phenomenon though. Wally and Robin were usually the last to bed, preferring to stay up and play video games or watch movies. Sometimes though, especially after a rough day, Robin's gaming skills would gradually deteriorate until he was slumped against Wally's shoulder, fast asleep. When this happened, Wally would carefully pick him up and carry him to his room. If he was wearing shoes or gloves, he'd remove them, then put him to bed. Sometime during this procedure, Robin usually woke up just enough to weakly attempt to bat him away then mumble incoherently as he rolled onto his stomach and wrapped his arms around his pillow. At this point, Wally would return to the living room to turn off the TV and put away the gaming system.
Eventually, Wally came to realize that if Robin was reeeaaaally tired and desired to go to bed when someone other than Wally was awake, he would actually go to bed instead of just waiting til he passed out on Wally's shoulder. Even then though, Wally didn't fully realize that he was the only one of their group privileged to watch him sleep until Robin got sick.
He was completely bed bound for almost a week. Two of those days he spent pretending (badly) to be healthy while the team tried to force rest upon him. At the start of the third day, Robin slept in unusually late and, after not emerging from his room past twelve, Wally knocked on his door and asked if he was okay. The door opened about an inch which somehow Wally fit through when a hand darted out and wrenched him inside. Robin looked a wreck.
"Dude, you look awful!"
Robin collapsed stomach-down on his bed and hugged his pillow, burying his masked face in it and desperately trying to maneuver his covers over his body using only his feet. Wally came forward to help.
"Thanks KF, you're looking. . . gusting today too," he muffled into his pillow, "I'm sick."
"Well duh. I told you that like, a billion days ago."
Robin turned his head and gave him a pitiful look. "Could you bring me some medicine?" He cleared his throat. "And water?"
"Yeah man, sure thing. Miss M will probably want to bring you some soup or something too. We'll see how that goes!" He laughed and stood to leave, but was halted by Robin gripping his wrist. He looked down.
"Hmm? Something else you need?"
"Don't. . . let M'gann in. Don't let any of them in."
Wally raised an eyebrow. "Why not? Artemis can catch it, but the rest of us are probably safe. You know. . ." He made some vague gestures with his free hand that only Robin could have possibly understood to mean "meta."
Robin focused his gaze on Wally's captured wrist and quietly responded, "I just. . . don't want them to see me. . . like this, you know?"
Vulnerable, he meant. In that instance, Wally realized in a sudden epiphany that Robin trusted him with his vulnerabilities. Wally could see him when he slept, defenseless to attackers. Wally could see when he was sick and weak. The others couldn't. He decided not to voice his enlightenment.
"Sure dude, no problem. I'll go get you that medicine. Call if you need me?"
Robin relinquished his wrist with a small smile. "Like I'd need you."
Wally hypothesized that maybe he did, and not just for when he had the flu.
Wally hypothesized that October 23rd was the day Batman forced Robin into his first pair of bright green short-pants. Because obviously, that event was the most worthy of depression.
More than understand all that though, Wally wanted to see his best friend's eyes. He couldn't very well hypothesize eyes. The color maybe, but there was a lot more to eyes than that. He wasn't artistic enough to even begin to imagine.
So he stuck to the stuff he could guess. He already had a thousand hypotheses regarding the behaviors of his best friend and now he had to come up with a new one. Lion King huh? It was a harmless enough movie, so what could the problem be?
In front of him, Prince Phillip was walking as if in a trance toward the sleeping Aurora; Beside him, Robin's wrist was glowing blue. He pushed a button and suddenly Batman's face was before them. It crossed Wally's mind how odd it was, watching the Prince kiss Sleeping Beauty awake through the semi-transparent face of Batman.
"Young Justice, I have your next mission."
The mission was a snore.
It was a covert operation with the sole purpose of acquiring secret intel, which meant they would be running around all sneaky-like and watching the baddies without confronting them.
The mission began simply (boringly) enough. Little mysterious trucks maned by mysterious men drove mysteriously through the city carrying mysterious cargo. Same old same old.
What was weird was that Supey had a headache. Did the Super family get headaches? KF was pretty certain Supes never did, but he refrained from mentioning that to Superboy. No need to trigger another "I'm-nothing-like-Superman-and-that-makes-me-so-sad-RAWR" episode.
The trucks led them to an mysterious abandoned warehouse (like always, boringboringboring), which they snuck into without a hitch. The team split up to cover more ground and see more of the not-so-action-packed action. Artemis and Aqualad went here and Superboy and Miss Martian went there, which left Kid Flash and Robin to man the area between here and there, which turned out to be behind some crates. Mysterious crates.
Then the vandals came.
A group of five, two girls and three boys, all in their teens. They might have been eerily representative of their own group, if they weren't such brats.
They came giggling into the warehouse, cans of spray paint in hand, and were apprehended by the goons before they could understand what was happening. The girls screamed and the boys yelled and cursed. Aqualad hesitated a mere second before mentally declaring they were to abort the mission and rescue the civilians. It was the order they were all hoping for and they immediately leapt into action.
After that, everything happened kind of suddenly. Miss M went to work rescuing the teens with Aqualad backing her up. The others were to serve as a distraction, which went well until Superboy suddenly flopped to the ground like a dead fish. Miss M was the first to notice.
"Superboy! What's wrong with him!"
Robin was the one to answer, "Kryptonite. They must be transporting Kryptonite. That's why he had a headache. . . we have to get him out of here, he's completely vulnerable!"
"What-o-nite?" Artemis asked, doing her best to protect Superboy's now defenseless body.
"Robin can explain later. Miss Martian, get the hostages out of the building! Artemis, back her up! Robin, Kid Flash, don't stop fighting, distract as many as you can, I'll get Superboy!"
It crossed Kid Flash's mind that it was a little less than "turbing" that he and Robin were the only ones of their team, probably including Superboy himself, that knew of the clone's "allergy." Kryptonite probably should have been one of things they discussed over dinner or something.
Miss Martian complied to the order uneasily and flew the terrified vandals out of the building. Artemis wasn't far behind, shooting arrows at anyone who got too close to the main exit. A few goons were escaping out of other exits, but Rob and he could only stop so many by themselves. He zipped behind two baddies and knocked their heads together, garnering himself a view of Aqualad, Supey thrown over his shoulder, battling his way toward the exit. Artemis was doing her best to make a clear path for him.
No one could synchronize their movements with Robin like Batman, but Kid Flash liked to believe he was the second best at it. He wasn't great at understanding what was going on when Rob just disappeared laughing, but when the smaller boy was running full speed toward him he knew just what to do.
Robin had a lot of abilities, but KF believed the core of his strength lay in his legs. This belief stemmed from the fact that Robin kicked people. A lot. It was with that thought in mind that KF decided to grasp Robin's arms rather than his feet when the boy lunged at him. He could do more damage with his feet free.
Gripping his arms tightly, KF made a quick succession of spins, letting Robin knock out anyone in their path.
"If I get any more ready than I am now, I'll throw up."
Kid Flash laughed as he let go, sending his best friend sailing through the air. Robin threw a total of seven birdarangs while airborne, did a somersault, kicked a man in the chest, then landed perfectly on top of said man. He stepped on the dazed goon's face as he quickly sprinted away, pulling out his escrima sticks and knocking two men off their feet.
Focusing on the men around him, Kid Flash propelled himself forward, serving as a sort of human cannonball as he plowed them down.
"Haha, striiiike!" He dashed out of the way as a burly man took a swing at him and, grabbing his ankles, pulled the larger man down.
"Stop the clone, you idiots! The boss will want him, he's just as bad!"
He glanced up at the order, seeking the speaker. Before he found him, another voice issued forth.
"It's too late, kill him! Kill him!"
He saw the person shouting this time and, gritting his teeth, sped over.
"Hey pal, why don't you worry less about Supey and a little more about me?" The man swung at him and he dodged with a grin, running behind him. He kicked the back of the man's kneecaps, sending him to the ground, then planted a foot on his back.
"You seem like a pretty important dude, telling people to kill my friend. Wanna tell me who you're working for and what your beef with Superboy is?"
He wasn't really expecting an answer, but he didn't really need one either. Mass transportation of Kryptonite kind of screamed "Lex Luthor."
He also didn't expect the man to grin and reveal a thin, black, cylinder-shaped object in his hand, but that's what happened.
"Think you can run fast enough, Flash Boy?"
He didn't have time to correct him as the man pushed the button, giving him a little less than a second to respond.
He used the time he had to speed across the room and tackle Robin to the ground. The last thing he heard before the deafening boom resounded through the area was Robin's slight "oof" as he hit the ground. The world around him was filled with a blinding light tinged slightly green, and he could just make out Robin's face below him in time to throw his arms protectively over it before pain exploded in his skull and the world turned black. . .
Please, dear readers, point out any and all grammatical/spelling/whatever errors! (I won't get mad, I promise!)
So yay, here we have my first YJ fic. Hope y'all enjoy. Reviews make me wibble inside (even if they're just like, an emoticon or something).
Next chapter starts the good stuff! =D