In her mind, whoever designed Gotham Academy's security had to be some kind of genius. Not that Artemis Crock had any intention of admitting it, but certain personal factors and an unfortunate connection to the League of Shadows made her rather aware of such things.
Things like the thousands of tiny cameras so high tech and well concealed they were totally invisible to the untrained eye - and nearly so for even those who were good and actively looking. Then there was the placement. Gotham Academy was huge, but the cameras only had six blind spots, and five of those were so small that there was no way one could duck into one and use it without being picked up and deemed suspicious from the angle of another.
The final blind spot only existed when the gym wall adjacent to the locker rooms while bleachers were pulled out in full extension. Usually, Thursday through Sunday they were left this way for the multitude of athletic events and competitions the Academy hosted and participated in. Therefore, despite feeling the safest she had ever felt in any school or public place, on those days her guard was always up as she left the girls locker room. Her training would immediately force her to stare into the one sometimes viable ambush zone the school had to offer in the shadowy, semi-hallow underbelly of the bleachers.
That is how Artemis Crock, on Friday at 1:33pm, got the shock of her life. Her alert stare into the make shift cave brought her the vision of Kid Flash, Wally, in his civilian attire in her school, in her city, locking lips with, not only a boy, but him, Dick Grayson.
She could only stare, frozen, hypnotized at the sight. The way Wally had his head tilted and eyes closed in bliss, cheeks flushed as the ward of the richest and most powerful man in Gotham gnawed lightly on a captured lip, before slipping his tongue deep and obscenely slow into the speedster's mouth. The arm of the Gotham Academy uniform trailed down Wally's back needfully. Possessively.
Her nails clawed into Kid Idiots shoulder and ripped him away from her schoolmate before she even realized she had moved.
"Wha!" The red head huffed, panting, and slightly panicked at being caught. "Artie?"
She looked at Wally in concern for a moment before remembering that being out of breath in this case had no doubt NOT come from an over-extended frantic run. Her look hardened and then turned into a full out glare at a now smirking Richard Grayson.
"Excuse me Grayson, I got business with him."
Cold steel-blue eyes carefully evaluated her, and then, with a nod and fake, overly polite smile she didn't trust, he spoke.
"Take good care of him Crock, I'll be seeing him really soon. You too, I imagine."
Artemis grit her teeth and knew she was just imagining a threat implied there. They went to school together. Of course he'd see her soon, but she could swear she heard a smirk in his voice like he was laughing at her. She didn't like it. Not at all.
Wally kept looking back to where Dick had waved to him even as Artemis dragged him out of the gym and away from campus.
"Did we get a mission or something?" He inquired before they got too far. "I mean…I can go get Rob, this is his city."
"No! It's not about a stupid mission," she hissed as she continued to drag him down the street and then to an ally that had a specific 'out of order' phone booth. She should really talk to Batman about that. The city had practically done away with phone booths entirely, making this a little obvious for her taste.
"HUH?" He managed to gape at her as the zeta beam brought them to the cave, announcing their arrival to apparently no one. "Then why the hell did you kidnap me? I was kinda in the middle of something!" He groused indignantly even as he felt heat creep into his cheeks as he remembered just what she had interrupted.
"Exactly!" she shouted as she chased his retreating form into the kitchen as he grabbed a snack (if you could call a plate of Megan's recent failed brownie experiments "a snack") and then back to the couch area. "Do you even know who you were being mouth raped by?"
Wally's mouth dropped open, and she looked away from the rather gross, half-chewed brownie that threatened to spill out. Her reaction was surprising. He thought the fact she had caught him with a dude would be more of her concern, not who the dude was. If he wasn't being interrogated he might have found the situation more amusing.
"Yeah. I do make a point of knowing people's names before we kiss." At her 'you know what I mean' glare, he sighed with sarcasm. "Yeah, fine! Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne's ward."
"Are you insane? You're locking lips with the cold prince of hell!"
"Now recognized, Robin B-01," the computer's voice informed them, just as Robin strode casually in with his hoodie and shades in place.
"Oh, harsh!" Robin quipped. "You finally get some action, and it's with a cold prince of hell…"
"Well, at least he's a prince."
"Doesn't that make you the princess?" Robin snickered.
"Doesn't that make his father the devil?" KF shot back, and Robin winced for some reason before his lips pressed into a tight line, and he looked over to Artemis.
"I take it you found out about KF's thing with Richard Grayson. What's your beef with him?"
Artemis looked appalled before dialing it back. Just because Robin lived in Gotham didn't mean he went to her school or knew the Grayson boy personally like she did, otherwise she would have expected him to at least warn Kid Idiot.
"Come on Boy Wonder, don't be dense! He's obviously using Wally."
"Hey! No he's not!" Wally protested, but Robin only cocked his head in sly interest.
"Rob!" Kid Flash jumped off the couch and sped between the two before turning to Artemis. "I don't want you bad mouthing my boyfriend to anyone, even Rob." Especially Rob, he added silently in his head. Unfortunately, this had an opposite effect than what he was going for.
"BOYFRIEND?" She shrieked before walking over and slinging an arm around Wally and bringing him forcefully back to the couch and sitting him down before trying again, calmly.
"Listen. I don't care if you're gay. Hell, that would make you less annoying with your dumb flirting..."
Wally opened his mouth to say he was only gay for Dick but, quickly realizing how bad that sounded (especially since he wouldn't be able to reveal the long time close friendship with the Boy Wonder that started it), he went in another direction.
"I like girls too, and I can't help if they can't resist the Wall-man." He felt creeping death upon on his neck, and, after a microsecond glance into a glare he was surprised didn't melt the Boy Wonder's shades, he quickly added, "Not that I'd ever cheat on Dick or anything. Haha…"
He rubbed his neck sheepishly.
"Gah! You're such an idiot! Look how deep you already are! Listen! I'm not trying to give you a hard time…"
"Could have fooled me…" Wally mumbled under his breath but abruptly stopped as she snarled at the interruption.
"Let her finish, Wall-man, she's trying to be a good friend and protect your sorry butt." Robin smirked. Wally frowned as Artemis seemed to nod at the explanation.
"Protect me? From Dick?"
"Yeah. For one, you shouldn't trust him! You really shouldn't trust anyone in Gotham that easily!"
Kid Flash was going to point out she was from Gotham and so was Robin for that matter, but had a feeling another interruption would earn him a bruise and decided against it.
"He's the kid I trust the least! Always a bit too polite and too well liked; nobody is like that all the time! And, if you call him out on it, he puts up this wall of ice! Brushing it off like you're crazy to have noticed anything. And despite being popular, he never tries to strengthen those friendships by doing things out of school. He lets people think they're close, but he shuts them down if they ever get anywhere near him." She looked to Wally with grim expression. "So the fact he was sucking face with you, that's even more disturbing. He must want something from you. Must want to use you in some sinister plan, because he doesn't give off the frivolous playboy vibe Bruce Wayne does."
Wally tried not to look at Robin, he really did, but Artemis noticed and followed his gaze. He wasn't smiling, but he didn't look pissed either. He looked, well, thoughtful. She was one hundred percent right about what she had witnessed. Dick Grayson was a popular overachiever that never really got close enough to anyone, but he could fake it with the right words and fakes smiles. He wasn't trying to be cold when someone figured him out; he just didn't know what to do and didn't want them to put themselves in danger by being closer to his Robin identity.
"Artemis, you trust me, right?" Robin finally asked with a smile. Her witnessing the interlude with KF was of course going to set off warning bells, and he was kinda glad she had KF's back. Like he would have, had he not been the problem.
"Yeah, why?" She answered cautiously, smelling a set up.
"Well, I've been watching this thing go down, and it seems like Richard Grayson is probably under a lot of pressure. Trying to be perfect, not letting his father down, not trusting the people from Gotham so easily…it could be that an immature, good looking, intelligent, Central City goof ball is exactly the type he'd fall in lo…" Robin suddenly looked uncomfortable as Wally's eyes grew wide, but he continued on, correcting himself. "Er, I mean, be honestly attracted to. Wally deserves the chance to risk it if he thinks there's something real between them."
Artemis looked like she was about to protest.
"Besides," Robin cut in with a smirk. "I promise that if the rich kid does end up using KF or breaking his heart, I've got him under surveillance and will give you a time and place for some target practice."
The archer snickered at the thought.
"You better." She paused, looking at Wally. He was a real idiot sometimes. Most times. But he was her friend. He seemed so innocent and easy to hurt and she couldn't help this weird protective, older sister feeling she had. "Okay. If you think you can handle it."
"I didn't know you cared so much." Wally grinned, nudging her.
"Yeah, well. " Her mind played back the hidden kiss in the darkness, the way Dick's arm gripped possessively around the speedster's back. Her fists clenched in annoyance. "Neither did I. The kiss just, it looked like he captured you or something, and you were too distracted and dumb to realize it."
"He captured me a long time ago, Art. He's the one that thinks he needs to keep me from running." Wally replied with a wink, thoroughly enjoying the adorable blush making it's way onto the Boy Wonder's face. Artemis grinned despite herself.
"Hmm..maybe you are a bit of a stud after all, Wall-man." Maybe he wasn't as naive as she thought.
"You know it!" Wally laughed.
"Pfft, whatever loser." She started to walk towards the training room, satisfied with the exchange for now. Not that she might not talk with Grayson privately at school later but yeah, for now she felt better. "Oh, and try to keep it in your pants stud. I wouldn't want to have to explain to Batman how I offed Bruce Wayne's ward because you did something stupid, and he had to ditch you."
"Uh yeah. You wouldn't want to do that…" Robin mumbled as she disappeared around the corner.
"She has no idea." Wally nodded in solemn agreement.