A/N: Hi, all! This story is written is part of a collaborative challenge over on the Young justice Challenge Forums. This particular work was co-written between Toadflame,Naimeria, and myself. These other lovely gals have been so much fun to work with and deserve just as much, if not more, credit for this story than I do! The prompt for this challenge was "He had it coming". Overall, this has been a fantastic month and writing experience and I hope you enjoy our work.
Disclaimer: As always, we don't own young Justice or any of the recognizable characters.
The clouds that had threatened to break open for hours finally did, washing the crimson blood down the street as it poured, harsh and fast. Robin, his dark hair already plastered to his head, looked up at Kid Flash and, when their eyes met, shook his head. Wet gloves tentatively reached and pressed down, hard, against the still hero's side.
He didn't pray, he simply didn't. Still, as fists clenched and unclenched in a rapidly failing attempt to reign in his urge to run, the notion became more and more tempting. The simple thought that one of his best friends might die today brought a gut-wrenching fear that left him unsure of any future they might have together.
He watched the younger teen continue to press, and from under the domino mask, the adhesive probably loosened by the rain, tears leaked out. In that moment, KF threw science out the window and prayed to whatever higher being was willing to listen to his desperate pleas. If Robin could cry, he could pray.
He heard a wet, hacking cough from below, and bent down quickly, hardly daring to breathe. Hot air lightly brushed his cheek, like the soft tickle of a feather, and for a moment, he wasn't sure if he had truly felt anything.
"Roy?" His voice quivered, barely more than a thin whisper that was easily covered by the pounding rain.
The other redhead's eyes probably didn't even crack open, but, when KF strained to listen, he heard a breathy voice. "What's...wrong, Kid?"
He couldn't help it. The dark mirth bubbled to the surface, spilling out of his mouth without any direction from his brain. "You're dying, Roy," he said, the words interspersed with giggles. "You're dying and there isn't a thing that we can do about it."
"I...guess I do-" Roy began, a sharp hiss interrupting his words from what must have been pain. "Don't see what's...so funny...'bout that."
Any previous mirth gone, a sobered KF reached out and peeled away the mask covering the older teen's face. There was a smothered hiss, but the black and white covering was gone. He stared down into Roy's green eyes, somehow open.
"Nothing, Roy," he said, voice shaking again, mouth dry. He ran his tongue around his cheeks and over his teeth. "There's nothing funny about you dying."
"Bull," Roy breathed. "There's always...something funny...about death."
It was like Robin wasn't there, he was so quietly focused on pressing against the dying teen's side. It was just Red Arrow and Kid Flash, Roy and Wally. The speedster swallowed, his Adam's apple bouncing against a hard lump in his throat. He sniffled.
"You're dying, Roy," he whispered again, a gloved hand finding a way of its own accord to one of the motionless hands below him.
"Already said that, genius," Roy said, squeezing KF's hand tightly as his back arched in pain. "Oh, God!"
Those two words stopped Kid Flash's heart forever.
The building's windows were covered in a thick layer of encrusted dirt that blocked any chance they had of catching a glimpse inside. Then again, if the rattling sound of rapidly nearing gunfire was anything to go by, the fight was exiting the building anyways.
"What's he up to now?" Robin was glancing back and forth from the monitor to the scene before him.
"Whatever it is, we're about to find out," Kid Flash responded grimly, his own curiosity piqued.
It took a few seconds, but soon Roy was exiting the building. "Did you guys do it?" he asked, glancing behind him. The sounds of fighting had stopped, but that didn't bode well for the three heroes outside.
"Yeah," Robin said, holding up his wrist computer. "It's all on here. I just need to know what computer to transfer it to."
Roy didn't answer, instead looking behind him. "Go!" he hissed, drawing an arrow. "I'll keep them busy. You two need to leave."
"I'll stay with you," Kid Flash insisted. "Robin can shut it down himself, you'll need help."
"I said get out of here, now go!" Red Arrow growled, letting an arrow fly.
KF didn't hesitate, but instead of running away, he sped straight into the advancing men. He watched the bullets, in an almost comical slow-motion, fly around him, and he twisted and dodged before slamming into one of the baddies in front. He went flying from the impact, sliding over the rough earth as it bit into his uniform, tearing at the soft flesh encased within.
"Go, now!" he heard Roy yell at Robin from somewhere above and to his left. "I'll deal with them and get our Flashboy out of here!"
"I'm not Flashboy!" KF protested from his prone position. He staggered to his feet, shaking his head in an effort to get rid of the slight dizziness that now plagued his mind and blurred the images surrounding him. He looked around, landing eyes on Roy. "Dude, why are there two of you?"
"Less talk, more run," Roy said instead, letting another arrow fly as he gradually made his way toward his injured comrade.
"Right, running is good," Kid Flash agreed as he narrowly dodged a bullet - or maybe two, he wasn't quite sure.
Suddenly, Roy twisted, and KF, for all his speed, had no idea what had happened. The five men laughed raucously, and, miraculously, bullets stopped flying.
"Got 'im!" the one KF had run into yelled gleefully, and he searched for what the man meant. He turned, and immediately saw what had happened.
Roy was laying on the ground, a stream of blood beginning its mad rush out of the owner's body and onto the ground below.
"R-Red Arrow!" KF screamed, barely stopping himself from using the older teen's secret identity. He probably didn't need to have bothered, however, because when he turned to rush them again, they were on the ground.
Robin had returned, his presence clearly marked by the birdarangs that were jutting out from the five new bodies collapsed to the earth. Their blood mingled on the ground, almost running into Roy's own. It somehow seemed wrong that the blood could lay together, with no way of identifying one from the other. "They had it coming," the thirteen-year-old spat, before his gaze shifted to Roy. He dropped all pretenses of attack and dropped his fists, running to him and sinking to his knees next to the fallen hero.
A guttural groan escaped one of the men, but for the first time Kid Flash found himself not caring if the villains had survived. Quietly, he approached his friends, walking over one of the downed men as if he were a simple speed bump. When the body protested, KF swirled around to meet him with a withering glare.
"You deserve to die," Kid Flash hissed, bitterly delivering a swift kick to the man's groin, "and I pity death for having to take scum like you."
He looked up at the ominous sky that threatened rain before looking down at his two best friends - one lifelessly still, the other looking, for all the world, lost.
Roy inhaled harshly, breaths wet and rough. His chest rose and fell in awkward jerks, trying to breathe through the pain.
"He doesn't deserve this," Robin snapped suddenly. It brought Wally's attention to the younger boy, and he could only sigh.
"I know," he muttered, pushing Roy's sweaty hair out of his face. The teen was too far out of it to protest, and if he wasn't dying, KF thought it might be even a little endearing.
"It's not-he's supposed to go out in a blaze of glory! Not-not lay here dying like some homeless man on the street." Robin's furious tone had gone sad, hitching a little to hold in what sounded like outright sobs.
"You don't think I realize that?" Kid Flash retorted sourly, his own grip tightening on the lax hand that linked him to the injured teen below.
Robin flinched, and KF gave a muttered, "Sorry." He didn't really mean to snap, but nothing had gone right today anyway, and he just couldn't help it right now.
"Whatever," Robin tossed back flippantly, once more focusing solely on trying to stop the blood that was so stubbornly trickling through his fingers.
Roy coughed again, jerking KF's arm with his own. "Why're you s'loud?" he groaned, slurring his words more and more.
"Sorry," the two younger heroes murmured, guiltily glancing at each other.
"S'k." Roy took a huge gulp of air and said, "Think this s'it..."
Don't you dare say that! KF thought fiercely, but he didn't have the courage to say it out loud. We're going to get together sometime, laugh about it, and we're gonna go out and kick crime's butt. Don't you dare say it because I don't think that I can handle it if you're right...
""How long till help shows up?" Kid Flash asked of Robin, his eyes pleading that the boy would say soon.
"Should be...now!" he said, and KF looked up to see his uncle speeding into the secluded area.
"It's here," he whispered. He shook Roy's shoulder, and the older teen was brought back to only half-consciousness. "Roy! They're here!"
Please just hold on!
The day was oddly sunny, for the grim task that awaited Kid Flash and Robin. The day almost didn't seem to belong, with the task they were about to carry out. They were waiting patiently on the roof of a building across the street from their target, carefully observing the comings and goings from the front doorway.
"Now." Robin commanded, a man clothed in a fancy suit exiting the building across from them.
In an instant, Robin launched his grappling hook, KF holding onto the younger boy for dear life.
They landed on the street, Flash's protege somewhat awkwardly, and stood in tandem. He looked around to see the man they were tailing freeze before darting the other way.
"I don't think so," he said, speeding to position himself in the man's way.
He turned, only to see Robin behind him, and the look on his face almost made KF pity him. Almost.
"You," KF snarled, taking a step forward. "You ordered the men to be at the warehouse three days ago, didn't you?"
"I don't know what you're talking about," the man scoffed, but he whimpered as Robin spun him around and grabbed the lapels of his suit.
"You do." The teen's voice shook with repressed rage and KF was reminded just how deadly this small boy could be. "You knew they would be at the warehouse, just like you knew that someone would come investigate when there were reports of gunfire. You just didn't know it would be us."
"There are a lot of people who have warehouses." Kid Flash nearly snorted. The man wasn't convincing anyone with the shaking his voice had.
"Listen, Pauly," KF said in what he thought was a fairly decent imitation of Jersey Shore, but he dropped it as he added, "Can I call you Pauly? We don't want to have to give you more trouble than you've got coming, so let's just go back up to your office, huh? You don't want anything...messy out here."
The man's eyes narrowed, and he snorted. "Oh, no," he said, shaking his head. "I know what you're trying to do. Believe me, it won't work. You want to go up to my office so you can push me around with no one seeing. It's not gonna work." He looked around, and, to Kid's ever-growing amusement, pointed to an alley that was moderately lit. "There."
They followed him into the alley, and the man opened his mouth to speak. Robin cut him off, using something sticky to attach the man's fancy suit to the wall.
"What-" the man began, but he was cut off by duct tape over his mouth.
"You know, you talk too much," KF said, making a mental note to ask Robin about the sticky stuff later. "And you're much too angry."
"Listen," Robin said, taking over where KF left off. "You are responsible for Red Arrow's...shall we say, complications, from three days ago at that warehouse. We have enough dirt on you to put you away for a lifetime, at least. If you ever pull something like that again, we will hunt you down and we won't hesitate to reveal the information after dealing with you."
The man was snorting, obviously trying to protest, and KF pulled a small vial from one of his food compartments. "You make too much noise," he chided, taking a small piece of duct tape from Robin. He then taped the vial, filled with a small bit of something smokey that moved, under their new friend's nose, careful to make sure he could still breathe. "This is just a little something to keep you quiet." He carefully took the stopper out of the top of the vial. "I wouldn't breathe too loudly, this could be dangerous to your health." The eyes he was looking at widened, and the snorts stopped.
"We'll leave you here, and, if you're good, someone might come untangle you. Eventually," Robin added, waving and turning on his heel. KF followed him into the brighter sunshine of the street.
"What was in that vial?" he asked. "I mean, you handed it to me, and..."
Robin gave a grim smile as he launched his grapple gun. "I may have borrowed a bit of fear gas from Scarecrow. It won't be harmful, but it'll give him something to think about the next time he tries to harm someone."
KF gave his own smile as he grabbed onto Robin. "He had it coming," he said. "For Roy."
End A/N: We hope you enjoyed. We would love to hear your feedback through lovely reviews here, so be sure to tell us what you thought.