A/N "Speaking", 'Link/thoughts', Flashback. Just thought I'd straighten that out. Also, when the team's on duty, I only use their aliases, but if they're in civvies I'll use their names (the exception is Robin, because the team doesn't know him as Dick he'll always be Robin with them)
Metropolis Oct. 4 12:30 CDT
"Cat Grant, reporting live from Metropolis, where our mystery bandit has struck again, stealing the rings from every jewelry store in the city, just the rings. Of course they've left quite a mess behind, leaving a rose in place of everything stolen. The identity of our thief is still unknown, as is their motive, but police have said they have everything under control and that our thief will soon be brought to justice."
Mount Justice Oct. 5 7:30 EDT
The clip ended and Batman continued briefing the team on their new mission.
"This is the fifth break-in this month, it appears to be the same person each time, but the city has changed each time as well as the target," he said, "The only thing linking these crimes are the roses, the thief seems to be using them as a calling card."
"How are we supposed to catch them if there's no pattern to their actions?" Robin asked.
"The league has gotten together some of the most beautiful diamonds in the country, and are having them put on display in Gotham for a few days with a very high security detail. The only thing we know for certain about this thief is that they're toying with us, so this is a job they're not likely to pass up," Batman said, "We want you to stakeout the building where the diamonds are being displayed, and try to catch them. Think you can handle it?"
"Piece of cake," Kid Flash said.
"Good," Batman said.
Gotham City Oct. 5 8:55 EDT
"So do you think they'll actually turn up?" Miss Martian asked. The team was in the Bio-ship, waiting for night to fall so the stakeout could begin.
"Come on, what thief could resist a chance like this?" Artemis said.
"Maybe one who comes to Central City and steals candy?" Kid Flash said, annoyed.
"Why would someone steal candy?" Superboy asked.
"Because they hate happiness?" Kid Flash said.
"Then why are we trying to catch them?" Superboy asked, "Is candy really worth our attention?"
"No, but this guy also robbed the biggest bank in Star City, a Pearl Harbor Navy Base, all the TV's in Apex, every ring in Metropolis, and several candy stores in Central City," Robin said.
"Oh," Superboy said, "So when does this stakeout begin?"
Robin looked at the holographic computer on his wrist, "Right about now."
As he spoke, every light in the building switched off.
"That's our cue," Aqualad said, "Let's go."
The team headed out, they had decided to watch the perimeter, and wait for the thief to show up; after that they just had to capture them, simple really.
'Everyone online?' Miss Martian asked.
'Yep,' Artemis responded, followed by the other members.
'So why aren't we using coms?' Kid Flash said, 'Not that I mind.'
'Batman wanted us to use the link more,' Aqualad answered, 'He wants it to become an automatic thing.'
'He's mad about the jungle, right?' Superboy asked.
'Guys, please, a little focus?' Robin said, 'We don't want them sneaking by us.'
The team was silent for a few minutes.
'So how do we know the right villain will show up?' Kid Flash asked, 'No offense Rob, but Gotham's got a lot of villains who might be interested in stealing diamonds.'
'None taken,' Robin answered, 'Batman and I have been rounding up the villains most likely to interfere, so we shouldn't have too much of a problem.'
The team was quiet for about an hour after that, until Kid Flash spoke up again.
'How long is this going to take?' he practically shouted, he wasn't a very patient person to say the least.
'It's a stakeout Baywatch,' Artemis said, annoyed, 'These things can take days.'
'Well it's boring,' KF said, also annoyed.
'I can list everything we know about the thief if you want,' Robin said.
'I thought we didn't know anything about them?' Superboy asked.
'We know a little bit, but nothing big enough to release to the press,' Robin replied, 'So you want to hear it?'
'Why not,' Kid Flash said, 'it can't be worse than sitting in silence.'
'Ok, well we know they have experience, they've never tripped an alarm. But we also know they don't have too much tech, they can patch camera footage and that's about it. As for a description, there were a few guards at the bank, they didn't actually see any one, but one of them got kicked in the face. The imprint reveled that our culprit has size 7 combat boots.'
'Whoa, size 7?' Artemis interrupted, 'Do you realize how small that is? Either we're dealing with a munchkin, or our culprit is a teenager.'
'Should that matter? We're teenagers too,' Robin said, 'Anyway, the only other thing we have is a partial shadow caught on one of the tapes in a jewelry store in Metropolis, from what we could see, they're probably in between 5 and 6 feet tall.'
'Could they tell a gender?' Kid Flash asked.
'Ten bucks says it's a girl,' Artemis said.
'What makes you say that?' KF asked, defensive, 'Don't think a guy could pull it off?'
'No, I don't think a guy would use roses as a calling card,' she answered, 'Of course, now that you mention it, I don't think many guys could have pulled it off any way.'
Kid Flash was going to say something else, but the argument was interrupted before it could escalate any further.
'Someone's coming,' Superboy said.
'Is it the thief?' Kid Flash asked.
'Maybe,' he said, 'it's hard to tell from here.'
'Where are they?' Aqualad asked.
'Near the east entrance,' Superboy said.
'I'll check it out,' Robin said, sticking to the shadows as he crept towards the east entrance.
He reached the door, only to find it was wide open; the intruder was already inside.
'The door's open, I think the thief's inside,' he reported, 'I'm going in.'
The museum was dark, and the exhibits cast eerie shadows around the different rooms. Robin pulled up the blueprints he'd downloaded earlier, the diamonds were just down the hall, but to get to them you had to get through a laser grid. He turned the corner and saw the red lines crisscrossing the hall, they were supposed to be invisible, so someone had definitely tampered with them, but to be honest, just spraying something down the hall was all it took, you could use anything from air freshener to hairspray.
Then he heard someone behind him, he turned around, poised to strike.
"Whoa, it's just me," Kid Flash said, putting up his hands in surrender.
Robin turned back to his computer.
"So how are we getting through this?" Kid Flash asked.
Robin pressed a few buttons and the lasers switched off, "Like this," he said, walking down the hall.
"Right," Kid Flash said, muttering something Robin couldn't hear.
"So are the other's coming?" Robin asked.
"They're working on it, but they were kind of far, and Supey is guarding the door, in case they get past us," Kid Flash said.
"Like that will happen," Robin said, smirking.
Then they walked into the main exhibition hall, where the diamonds were on display, and saw a figure messing with the glass case. They could only see the silhouette, but it was more than anyone else had seen of them. It was definetely girl, and she couldn't be more than thirteen years old. She was thin, but didn't have many curves.
Kid Flash ran up in front of her, "So you're our mystery thief," he said, "Aren't you a little young to be going to jail?"
She turned and ran away, right into Robin knocking them both to the ground. She got up quick and pulled a knife from its sheath at her side.
"Whoa, no need to turn this into a fight," Robin said, "Why don't you put that away before someone gets hurt." He took a few steps toward her, and she stepped back, as she did so the clouds moved and moonlight streamed through the many windows, allowing them to get a better look at their opponent.
Her outfit was black, with different fabrics sewn together like patchwork. It had a short skirt, and a hood with fabric draped across the lower half of her face. She was also wearing leggings and combat boots. All they could see of her face was her eyes, they were emerald green, and while Robin couldn't shake the feeling that he'd seen them before he couldn't remember where.
"If anyone here gets hurt, I guaranty it'll be you," she said.
"Can't we talk this out?" Kid Flash asked.
"I tried that once," She said thoughtfully, "But nobody would listen to me, so nothing has changed."
"Well why don't you tell us?" Robin said, "Maybe we can fix it."
She raised an eyebrow, "But I've already told you, if you didn't pay attention then, why would you pay attention now?"
"You know her?" KF asked.
"I don't know," Robin said, confused, "She seems kind of familiar, but I don't know."
They couldn't see her mouth, but it seemed like she was smirking at them.
"Shame you don't recognize me," she said, "But I don't really have time for a walk down memory lane anyways, I have diamonds to steal and what not," she sheathed her knife and started walking back over to the display cases.
"Look, we can do this they easy way, or the hard way, but the only way you'll be leaving is in handcuffs so you might as well give up now," Kid Flash said.
"I'll think I'll take my chances with the hard way," she said. Then she lunged, there was a sickening crack as her foot connected with Kid Flash's nose. He stumbled back, and Robin lunged forward. He tried to punch her in the gut, but she caught his hand, almost like she'd been expecting it. Then he tried to hit her head with his other hand, with the same result. Their arms were crossed, and she pulled them down, then up like a hand shake to kids would come up with. The motion was familiar too, like he'd done it thousands of times before, but before he could think too hard about it, she ducked and Kid's foot hit him in the face. Of course it was probably the kick that triggered the memory.
They were sitting on the floor in front of the giant TV in the mansion's entertainment center. The two had been playing the same video game for hours, and had just beaten it.
"Finally," Dick said, grinning from ear to ear, "I thought we'd never beat it."
"Oh come on," Quinn said cockily, "I always win; it was only a matter of time before we succeeded." As they spoke they performed their secret handshake, they'd cross their arms, right on bottom, left on top. Then they pulled their hands down, then up again. It was simple, and not very secret, but they'd seen friends make similar gestures in movies and had decided to come up with one of their own.
They fell back on the couch laughing.
Robin shook his head, he needed to focus on the task at hand, and that was dragging this girl's sarcastic butt to jail.
She was currently laughing at Kid Flash, who'd somehow gotten himself tied up.
"Hey Rob," he called, "If you're done daydreaming, could you start fighting this chick? She's really getting on my nerves."
Robin ran towards her, aiming a round-house kick at her head. She dodged it easy, like she'd done it a thousand times before. She threw a few punches, but he blocked every one of them. Then he hit her in the gut, and she stumbled back.
"Huh, either you're getting better at this, or I'm a little rusty," she said thoughtfully, "Probably a little of both."
That's when the others arrived, Artemis leading the way. She already had an arrow drawn and it only took her a second to aim and then fire. The girl twisted, causing the arrow to miss her by less than an inch.
"Why, you brought the whole team just to catch little old me?" She asked, "I'm flattered, really."
Artemis shot another arrow at her, but she always managed to move at the last second.
"You know, you look kind off familiar," the girl said, "but I know we've never met before….Do you have a sister?"
Artemis was in the middle of firing an arrow, but the comment made her slip up and it almost hit Kid Flash who was being untied by Aqualad.
"Watch it!" he yelled at her. Artemis glared at him, and the girl started laughing again.
'Miss Martian, we need a weakness for this girl now,' Artemis said.
'On it,' Miss Martian put her fingers to her temples and started focusing on Quinn.
'Wonder if those two are dating or not? They'd make such a cute couple.'
'She's not thinking about a weakness,' Miss Martian said.
'What is she thinking about?' Kid Flash asked.
'Uh, it's not important,' she said, 'but we need to get her to think about her weakness.'
'Got it,' Robin said.
He ran over to her and they started fighting again.
Miss Martian tried reading her mind again.
'Block, duck, kick. Man you'd think he'd have changed his routine by now, it's been almost a year.'
'Got it!' Miss Martian said, 'Robin, I don't know how, but she's memorized your routine. She knows what you're going to do before you do it, apparently she did this a year ago, is there anything you've learned since then you could use?'
'Yeah,' he said.
Now that he thought about it, he did have a pattern so he broke it, and successfully knocked her to the ground.
"Damnit," she muttered. She put her hand to her ear and her frown deepened, "Fine."
She jumped up and threw a smoke bomb. Robin was determined not to let her get away, and lucky for him he used smoke bombs so much, they didn't have much effect on him anymore. So he could easily follow her out the window and into the alleyway below.
He was only seconds behind her, but she seemed to have vanished.
"Where did she..." he trailed off.
Then someone slammed him into a wall.
'Found her,' he thought.
"You really should work on the whole ninja thing," she said.
"You only caught me because I let you," he said. She snorted.
"Whatever you say Dick." He stiffened, "You haven't figured it out yet, have you? You all ways were the clueless one."
"Who are you, and how do you know my name," he tried to sound relaxed, but failed.
"I'm your best friend," she said.
That's when it clicked for him, "Quinn, but you're in prison!"
"No, I was in prison," she said, "Getting out was really easy too, you really should do something about the lack of security, it'd make your life so much easier."
"Ok, but you never answered my second question, how do know my name," he said, "I never told you."
"No, but you didn't have to," she said, "I started to notice stuff, like how much school you missed and how Robin was never around when you were, even when Batman was. Not to mention all those mysterious injuries, nobody could possibly be that clumsy, especially not a former acrobat. I also noticed how very similar my friend was to the caped crusader, see you'd be surprised how many people won't pay attention to other's voices, but on the rare occasion that someone does they'll notice that nobody sounds exactly like someone else, at least not unintentionally; once I figured that out it was only a matter of time. Don't worry, I made a vow I wouldn't tell anyone, a vow I will always keep, and I also decided that if you ever trusted me with that secret I'd tell you mine too. Never dreamed you'd catch me before I had the chance."
Robin was shocked, he always knew Quinn was smart, but he didn't think she was that smart.
"I have to go now, and this time you can't follow me," she said, "Or else…well I won't be the one deciding your fate anymore."
"Meaning?" he asked.
"Meaning, when a kid says they're afraid of the dark, they've got it backwards. They should be saying they're afraid of the Light," she said. Then she stuck her knife through his cape, pinning him to the wall. She nodded one last time, and then disappeared into the night, and this time, Robin didn't follow her.