Hey there everyone, TMNTXMadness here! I hope you like the first chapter of my new Young Justice fan fiction Everyone's a Critic! If you liked it, didn't like it, or have some suggestions please let me know through reviews! As well as helping me out reviews also make me a happier author who updates faster! So the point is REVIEW GUYS I know it may seem annoying but it'll be better for everyone in the long run! Anyway, enjoy the story, and don't hesitate to leave a review!
Summary: Hildegard Amsel, alias The Harlequin Kid, is looking for fun in all the wrong places. During one crazy night with her favorite comedian Hildy will find out that fun isn't all it's cracked up to be. Not only that but she'll find out one of the world's greatest lessons. Everyone's a Critic! Red Arrow x OC or Superboy x OC not sure yet!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything except for Hildegard and the storyline! Young Justice and it's characters all belong to DC Comics.
Hildegard looked up at the ceiling boredly with a perpetual frown on her face. The atmosphere of this place was so damn dull, and she thought that for sure she was gonna go insane in this place. One more day in this joint and I'll end up at Arkham with the rest of the loonies, her own voice rang in her head. Hildy, as she preferred to be called when not in character, laughed at her own thought causing several nurses to look at her in confusion. After they saw it was her who was laughing they would always roll their eyes and go back to work. Hildy wiggled her fingers which had started to lose feeling in the heavy cast that covered her up to her collar bone. She hissed a little at the twinge of pain that still appeared whenever she moved her arm, and she wished these nurses would let her have her make-up to cover the recovering bruises on her face. She wasn't a vain girl, and it wasn't vanity that made her beg for her make-up. It was out of necessity she begged for weeks for the nurses to put on her face. She didn't like this person who everyone saw when they walked by, and this person wasn't her. She was the infamous Harlequin Kid, apprentice to The Joker and Harley Quinn! She may have been born Hildegard Amsel, but that wasn't who she was; not by a long shot.
Hildy stretched out her shoulder as she held the cards in her hands. She held them in front of her face, a cheshire grin on her pale lips as she looked to her only remaining opponent over the cards. The circle of defeated girls looked between the two in anticipation whispering about each of them. Hildy pushed all her winnings forward and let out her best 'Joker laugh' before speaking to the girl across from her.
"I'm all in. Your move!" The girl grumbled some choice words under her breath, and slammed her cards on the table. Hildy let out a loud laugh and threw her own cards down pointing and laughing at the other girl. "You guys are a bunch of losers! I didn't have squat! I'm gonna be one clean little jail bird eh guys?"
Hildy smirked as she brought all her newly acquired shower tokens into her hands, and put them in her pockets. Hildy's time at the Gotham Juvenile Detention Center for Girls hadn't been quite as dull as she had originally thought. Once she was fully recovered she was having the time of her life. Her reputation had followed her, and because of it many of the girls had quickly fallen into line. She had to prove herself to a couple of girls who thought they owned the joint, but she had quickly put them in their place. She smirked as she kicked back in her chair, all her girls surrounding her, cheering her on. I'll have to thank Daddy J for this later, she thought fondly of her mentor and adoptive father, but a little seed of resentment buried itself in her thoughts.
Everyone turned to the sound of the heavy metal door opening as one of the guards came in. Everyone waited expectantly for a parent or a friend to have come to visit. Hildy just sat back unphased by the guards appearance. The only one who ever came to visit on occasion was Harley, but that was out of the question since her and Mr. J had pulled another stunt lately. It was already suicide coming in here to visit her, and Hildy didn't expect much from the women who had resented her for the first few weeks they knew each other. The fat guard cleared his throat, and spoke to the group of incarcerated girls.
"Amsel you got a visitor. Hurry it up!"
Hildy spun in the visiting chair while she waited for her surprise visitor to finally come in. Blurs of gray and white passed by her, and then suddenly there was a fleshy tone and a lot of black. She stopped spinning only to look upon the man who put her here in the first place. Hildy chuckled at her visitor and shook her head.
"Well if it ain't the Dork Knight. What do you want, can't you see I'm paying my debt to society already Batso?" The Dark Knight kept his cool as he sat across from the troubled teen villain.
"You might want to take this visit seriously Hildegard. I'm offering you a one time chance to get out now, and get a fresh start on life."
Hildy spun again in her chair with a scoff as she watched the blurs of color go by. She stopped and narrowed her eyes at the hero responding to his statement.
"You mean to tell me that you think sticking me in another orphanage is a fresh start? You've lost it Bats, cause that's no life that you're talking about giving me. You wonder why I ended up with Mr. J and Harley? Cause they're the family that I didn't get to have!" The hero had a poker face, and didn't seem at all phased by her outburst.
"Who said I was going to put you back in an orphanage? I'm giving you a chance to work with people your age fight against what you're daddy does. A chance to redeem yourself, and you can get back at The Joker by joining the opposing side." She looked into his eyes and just stared for a second sizing him up. He was giving her a chance to be a super hero, and it came with revenge on Mr. J? It was too good to be true, and Hildy didn't like the idea of Mr. J sending people after her for defecting.
"Join your little kiddy team and get a hit put on me for being a traitor? I don't think so Bats,; if there's one thing Mr. J taught me it's that when something is too good to be true, it ain't!" Batman was being too patient with her, and his patience made Hildy uneasy. She had only known him as the crime fighter that struck fear into her heart. She would never let him see her sweat though.
"The League can protect you from The Joker, Hildegard. This is a one time deal, and it's about to be forfeit. You can rot in here for another few years, or you can work with me and The League and start fresh. It'll only be on the table for a couple more minutes, and once it's done it's done." She looked at the Dark Knight with a pout and sighed dramatically.
"Stop calling me Hildegard, and you got yourself a deal."
Hildy rung her gloved hands as she waited inside the Hall of Justice. She was wearing her Harlequin Kid gear, and waiting for Bats to get back with the rest of her jury. She jumped at their entrance, and tried to play it off as impatience. Following Batman were the founding member of the Justice League, and a woman Hildy knew to be Hawkgirl, as if the giant wings weren't a tip. Hildy looked up at them from her seat and gave a defiant smirk.
"We finally ready for the crucifixion Bats?" He narrowed his eyes at her and she sat back feigning apathy. Really, she was about ready to get into the fetal position and beg for mercy.
"Hildy this is Shiera Hall, she's going to be your care taker while you're on this team. You might want to be respectful if you still want to be on this team."
Hildy rolled her eyes with a sigh, and gave a soft apology. It felt like she was pulling out her own teeth sitting here apologizing to these yahoos who only lived to put people like her in jail. Wonder Woman gave a small glare in her direction and spoke to her with a hand on her hip.
"You're not making a good case for yourself Joker Girl." Hildy hated when people got her name wrong, and Wonder Woman had just stepped in the wrong direction. Her name is what made civilians shake in fear when she walked by. Her name is what made her a threat, and without it she wasn't much. Hildy growled and stood up ready to defend her own honor. Second lesson Mr. J had taught her; it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.
"The name is Harlequin Kid Blunder Woman! You want me to prove I can be on The Leagues little team, well come on then, and I'll give you some proof." Batman stepped between the two, and Hildy looked toward her new care taker as she chuckled at the scene in front of her.
"She's definitely got spunk that's for sure." Her statement earned a few chuckles from a few other supers, and that made Hildy smirk with pride.
Batman spoke with all the members looking at her like she was on trial. Of, course she kinda was on trial considering the circumstances.
"So we're all agreed? Harlequin Kid joins the Young Justice team." Everyone nodded and agreed quietly while Hildy let out a breath she didn't know she was holding in. She regained her joker grin and looked to her new bosses.
"When do I start kicking some butt, and taking some names?" The silence of the group of adults didn't sound reassuring, and her smile faded slowly.
Hildy sat in Hawkgirl's new apartment in Star City which the League had purchased so she could keep an eye on her new charge. Shiera seemed a nice enough lady, but she seemed to be walking on egg shells around her, and it didn't make for nice conversation. Shiera and Hildy just looked at each other for a good while. Hildy sitting indian style on a kitchen stool, and Shiera standing across the counter from her. Hildy knew she had no idea what to say, and it was starting to bore her. She knew Hawkgirl wasn't going to like her when she was bored.
"Is there anyway you could take off the make-up? I can't take you seriously with it on." Shiera finally spoke to her, and Hildy shook her head.
"Nope, it's my face. Get used to it."
Shiera sighed deeply, and turned to the door to leave.
"I got work to do so try not to burn the place down. I'll be back by tomorrow to take you to Mount Justice." Hildy waved absent mindedly and jumped off the stool and made her way to the fully stocked fridge. She only looked away to see Shiera walk out and close the door behind her. Once her new 'mother' had left she sat on the couch in front of the blank TV, and as she let out a breath she felt the sting of tears coming to her eyes. She sniffed softly and wiped her eyes with her gloved hand a bit of her white and red make-up coming off on it. She could see her face in the glass coffee table and noticed the ever fading bruises that still spotted her face. It seemed like the person under her true face would always shine through even when she didn't want to be that person anymore. Her blood started to boil as she saw the face looking back at her through the glass, and it made her storm to the bathroom and splash water on her face. she rubbed until her skin was red and the water in the sink was an ugly green. She looked up at the dripping face in the mirror the purple bruises were like neon lights in a drug store window. The face of Hildegard Amsel was looking back at her; the face of the sixteen year-old orphan gone super-villain was who was in the mirror. The person she hated was who was looking back at her, and she closed her eyes for a second remembering why she was even here.
A fifteen year-old Hildy stood staring at the abandoned toy factory in awe. She felt the eerie building calling to her as she walked toward it, and into it through an entrance yet to be secured by her 'hero'. She had been following the story of this villain who seemed to be on top of the world, and had one heck of a sense of humor. Hildy felt drawn to the psychotic clown by a sense of familiarity. He was a kindred spirit, and she may have been crazy to want a chance to prove it. Yet, then she would just fit right in wouldn't she? She followed the sound of maniacal laughter and lights to the sanctuary of her soon-to-be mentor. His main chamber was grand and full of life as he sat atop the throne made of old and melted toys laughing with his crew. She couldn't help but grin her own cheshire grin at the sight that was before her. She was in the stronghold of the scourge of Gotham, the lair of The Joker.
Two large men dressed as clowns picked her up by her ragged shirt, and threw her before the clown like a sack of potatoes. He looked like a god upon the well lit throne as she looked up at him in awe.
"Look what we found boss. A little rat." Hildy stood up confidently and dusted herself off before looking back at the two flunkies with a smirk and a glare.
"A rat? me? I'll tell you what smells like a rat. Your breath wide load." She looked up at the Joker as he laughed at her statement. Harley Quinn sat upon his lap fixing the young Hildegard with a glare. The Joker's laughing stopped and he looked down at Hildy with a grin.
"The girl has spunk, we'll let her talk. For now." The clown looked at her with interest after speaking. Hildy bowed graciously and dramatically before her hero, and looked up at him again.
"Hildegard Amsel your Joker-ness. I'm a, fan, of your work. Maybe more of an admirer."
"You here that fellas? I got a fan!" He laughed again with a slap to his knee that wasn't occupied by Harley. Hildy nodded and put a fist to her chest.
"You're a comedian after my own heart." He smirked wiping a few tears from his eyes, and looked down at her.
"You got spunk kid," His smile faded and it was replaced with a serious face, and he put his fingers together for a snap. "we feed spunk to the hyenas. Unfortunately for you." He snapped his fingers, and the two pet hyenas came forward from the dark-almost as if they were shadows themselves-with a laugh. Hildy felt the familiar tingle of fear flow through her as she was face to muzzle with the deadly predators. She sprang back as they lunged for her, and they charged her together their laughter filling the air. Just as they were close enough to chomp down on her she dove over them and tumbled before the toy throne. The two hyenas hit a wall with a cry, and the group of clowns looked at her in shock and amazement. She turned toward them with a sigh, and smirked at her accomplishment.
"I have a proposition for you Mr. Joker." The clown laughed and stood from his throne to come down and put a hand on her shoulder.
"Call me Mr. J kiddo."
Hildy stared at the TV as she watched her morning cartoons just as the sun was beginning to peek over the horizon. Shiera had come in, earlier than expected, about midnight and fallen asleep in her room without a word to Hildy in the process. Hildy sighed boredly as she lounged into the soft cushions of the living room couch. She had nightmares when she fell asleep, and so decided against a good eight hours for her first day on the geek squad. She chuckled lightly at the scene playing on the television in front of her, and looked out the window at the awakening sun. Hildy looked over the top of the couch to see Shiera ready and walking toward her.
"Get ready it's time to go kid."
She felt winded by their means of transportation, and felt the familiar feeling of nausea hit her like a semi-truck. She held her stomach tightly and put a hand to her mouth in urgency.
"Someone get me a bucket!" Hildy yelled before sprinting to the nearest trash receptical, and getting reacquainted with her bowl of cereal. She took the wad of tissue Green Arrow handed her as well as sending her a look of pity, and wiped her mouth off before looking at the group of adults. It was all the mentors of the kids who were on the team; at least to Hildy's knowledge that was the case. Batman looked to her with his normal brooding stare, and motioned for her to come forward.
"Put all your weapons on the table in front of me." She looked confused, but did as she was told hesitantly.
"Why do you need to see my weapons?" Hildy's question was answered as they picked out all her deadly weapons, and confiscated them. "Whoa, whoa, whoa! I need those! Don't take my acid pellets! Not my laughing bombs! Okay, that's not even deadly!"
Hildy sat with a pout looking at her sorry array of usable weapons according to the League. Smoke bombs, her mallet, and a rubber chicken-Mr. Clucky-who could double as a restraint or grappling device. She looked to Batman with a pout and stuck her tongue out at him when he turned around.
"Until we can fully trust you with the team we can't allow the use of these weapons. The Joker toxin bombs you're not getting back ever." Hildy scoffed at the adult super heroes and threw her hands up in outrage.
"Talk about sending a joker in unprepared! What am I gonna do with these?" Batman glared a bit at her before answering her like a lecturing father.
"You have just enough to use should you need to. This is a covert team only, and you operate under the Justice League now. Get used to it."
"You want covert? Then you hired the wrong girl! Do I look like I do covert Batsy?"
`Batman pulled up a screen in front of them both explaining the next mission he was going to assign in great detail. She wondered if he was only doing this because he felt she would be too slow to pick it up like the rest of the team would.
"I want you to remember this blueprint as best you can. It could be your greatest weapon in a pinch." Hildy stared intently at the diagram on the screen committing every hallway and air vent to memory. "Now, the mission has three parts to it. Infiltrate, plant, and get out unnoticed. Infiltrate the underground base. Plant the microphones and cameras. Got it?" Hildy nodded and looked to Batman with an eyebrow raised.
"Yeah I got it, but what's so special about this place Bats?" He pulled up another screen full of pictures with various figures entering and leaving the place.
"We have reason to believe that various groups-mainly Kobra-have been stashing some of Scarecrow's fear gas, and a newly developed venom that the team has already discovered.. Since Cadmus was, in need of renovation, several thefts have occurred there as well. We think they all might be connected." Hildy nodded feeling a twinge of fear at the mention of Dr. Jonathan Crane.
"Has Mr. J been in on any of this? Last I heard he got a one way ticket to Arkham." Batman shook his head looking apologetically at her.
"Not that we know of, and he is currently still at Arkham."
Hildy stood behind the now duo of adults before her. Only Shiera and Batman remained to help her greet her new team members. She stretched her arms out, and looked to the sound of somebody being teleported in. Robin and Kid Flash came from the beam of light. What happened in the next couple seconds she should have seen coming, but didn't. Robin looked at her in complete shock and pulled out a restraint birdarang, and threw it in Hildy's direction.
"Batman look out behind you!" Hildy was on the floor within seconds struggling to be released. Shiera flew in front of her as Robin went to attack like a mother bird ready to defend her nest. Puns fully intended there kids. Robin froze in confusion at the scene and Hildy growled into the floor which her face was now acquainted with.
"What the hell is your deal bird brain? Mr. Tie-Up-First-Ask-Questions-Later!" Batman took his place in front of both Shiera and Hildy to explain the situation to Robin while Shiera helped Hildy out of her restraints.
"Hildy is the newest member to your team. It's going to take some getting used to, but I know everything will be fine." Robin went wide-eyed and pointed at Hildy in outrage from in front of Batman.
"Since when does the League employ super villains? Are we forgetting this is The Joker's apprentice we're talking about?" Hildy dusted herself off as she stood, and grumbled to Shiera who had asked if she was alright. The hit to the floor reminded Hildy so much of the first time she ever tangoed with the Boy Wonder.
Hildy smiled at herself in the full length mirror as The Joker's henchmen set up their first show as a family. Harley stood behind her with a pout and a hand on her hip.
"Move it kiddo you're hogging the mirror!" Hildy pushed her way in front of Harley admiring her new digs. Her long, light, reddish-brown hair was pulled back into a pony-tail that reached passed her shoulders with two strands framing her petite face and bound at the ends into small buns. Her face was covered in white make-up with two red diamonds on her eyes, and her lips painted black. She adjusted her white jester collar that sat atop her shoulders and her green and purple, one sleeved belly shirt. Long red gloves went from her upper arms down to her wrists, and black attachments covered the tops of her hands meeting between her index and middle fingers. Puffy green and purple pants went to her knees, and covered part of her red tights with scattered black diamonds. All this meeting at her feet which adorned mismatched green and purple shoes that were fit to her jester persona.
"Sorry Harls, but I gotta look good for my debut! I can't do that if I share my spotlight!" Her new adoptive father came forward with a laugh slinging his arms over the shoulders of the two women.
"Look at my girls getting along so well! Well kid the shows about to start. Are we ready to meet Gotham my Harlequin Kid?" Hildy chuckled lightly putting on her best cheshire grin.
"Oh yeah, but the question is daddy-o is Gotham ready to meet me?" The two looked at each other grin for grin before sharing a laugh that echoed throughout their home.
"That's my girl!"
Hildy had a hand on her hip as her new family came face-to-face with Batman and Robin. The Joker chuckled as the Dark Knight stood shocked at Hildy's presence.
"How about it Batsy? My family against yours?" The bat didn't even give time for a response just charging forward for his enemy making the make-shift family scatter. The Joker looked over his scuffle with Batman to speak to Hildy. "Kitten, be a dear, and keep the Boy Blunder busy while the adults talk? Show him the new toys daddy got you." Hildy grinned and nodded flipping forward to intercept Robin. She flipped over him grabbing him by his shoulders and throwing him forward as she landed on her feet in a crouch. He landed on his feet and skidded to a stop across from her.
"You actually think the Joker cares about you? He's just using you, and once you've outlived your usefulness he'll get rid of you." She stood up straight and made a crying gesture to the teen hero before replying to him.
"Momma Harley says if you can't say nothing nice," She pulled a little ball from her gloves and threw it to the Boy Wonder who barely had anytime to dodge it. A thick paste covered his mouth, and he tried to pull it off desperately. "don't say nothing at all!" A grin settled on her lips at the success she was having in her first encounter with the two heroes.
Hildy made faces behind Robin as Batman explained the mission again to the whole team. She earned a few giggles from Miss Martian, and a glare from Batman every time the alien girl would laugh. She could feel the whole team studying her intently as she stood mocking the Boy Wonder from her position in the little group. She quickly stopped and turned to whistle when the lights came on Robin fixing her with a glare. They had a couple hours before they had to leave for the mission since it was still light out, and Batman had given that time to the team to get acquainted with the new girl. As soon as Batman was out of sight Robin was quick to approach the young jester.
"This is the first and last time I'm gonna warn you Harlequin. You hurt my friends, and you won't make it out of here in one piece." Hildy yawned boredly at the younger boy, and fixed him with a blank stare.
"Cool your cape bird brain! The Bat confiscated all my toys until I learn to play nice with you lot. Plus if I wanted to hurt anyone it would be you for that stunt you pulled earlier." At that point in time Aqualad chose to intervene, and separate the two.
"Robin, Batman must have a good reason for wanting Harlequin Kid on the team. We must trust his judgment, and get used to each other." Hildy stuck out her tongue at Robin from her side of Aqualad. The Atlantean turned to the young jester with a stern look, and spoke to her next.
"Harlequin Kid, do you have everything you need?"
Hildy made her way over to the table that still held her weapons which was near Kid Flash and Artemis.
"Yup right here." She put everything away as she listed them, and picked them up from the table. " Big ass mallet, smoke pellets, and Mr. Clucky." Artemis gave Hildy a look of disbelief from under her mask, and gave a scoff.
"You're really bringing a rubber chicken on the mission?" Hildy held the rubber chicken to Artemis' face with an irritated look.
"You can learn about Mr. Clucky one of two ways. From the Boy Blunder over there, or the hard way. I really hope you choose the hard way." Artemis pushed the toy from her face, and growled at Hildy.
"That didn't even make any sense!" Again the Atlantean interrupted a near argument, and told the team to gather around.
"This mission will be easier if we split up. So the teams are: Robin, Kid Flash, and Artemis. M'gann and me. Superboy and Harlequin Kid. Agreed?" Kaldur looked to everyone as they gave a nod of agreement. Hildy nodded half-heartedly looking to her partner in surprise and letting out a wolf whistle.
"No complaints here Fish Stick." Everyone let out an audible groan, and Hildy looked at all of them in confusion. "What? Too soon?"
That's the end of chapter one folks! I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you all like Hildy! Please don't forget to review, and tell me what you thought. I hope it wasn't too rushed, and I definitely hope no one is OOC. Plus I'm praying that no one thinks that Hildy is a Mary-Sue! Just a notice: all the chapters probably won't be this long. I just wanted to make sure everyone got to know Hildy, and got to see her interact with the team at least once before I send them all off on a mission! Also, if you want to know what Harlequin Kid looks like go to my page and there's a link there to a picture of her!