Star City should really learn that they need to put more money into public safety and less into painting everything they could green. Painting walls green didn't make the city more environmentally friendly. It just gave Ollie a bigger head. More money into a fire department, however, would mean he wouldn't be stuck on the sidelines of this mess.

Thanks a lot, people.

It screamed against every instinct that he possessed to stay put, but Roy knew he had to. Green Arrow had the bad guy covered. If Red Arrow barged in, he knew he'd be treated just like Speedy and he'd never make a name for himself. Yet Roy couldn't bring himself to leave the scene, either. Where would he go? Half the city was on fire, and the other half was swarming with useless cops. Roy doubted anyone else would have the guts to try to pull something now.

So he waited, standing on an old fire escape in the shadow of a building, hand clenching and unclenching around his bow. If things got too bad, he could always let off a couple shots from here.

The perp was some maniac with pyrokinetic abilities. He acted like an anti-Jonny from the Fantastic 4 movie. Dangerous, but Ollie was doing fine out there. As Roy watched, he recognized a pattern for a take down move. A trip line, an arrow to the head-

Yep. The guy was down.

Roy sighed; releasing some of the tension is his body as he surveyed the streets. Loads of buildings were on fire, but most of people seemed okay. He would go and help them, too, except that would be an especially Speedy-like thing to do.

Against his better judgment, he stayed where he was, observing Ollie's routine of trying to get everything back to normal. Checking with the firefighters about the buildings. Making sure all the people were out of the way of falling rubble. Reassuring little kids as he passed. Now, that was something he didn't miss.

It was like Ollie was trying to make him jealous or something, saying something to each and every 4-foot spawn that showed up while practically ignoring his own partner...

On second thought, there was absolutely nothing he missed about working with Ollie. Not being able to work on every case? Fine. Less work for him. Red Arrow could accomplish so much that Speed couldn't even dream of. Red Arrow didn't have anyone to hold him back-

Crack.

Red Arrow was jumping off the fire escape and sprinting into the square, drawing an arrow from his quiver, before he could even think about it. Come on, Ollie. Couldn't you at least make sure the bad guy was out cold before turning your back?

His first shot melted before it even touched the flame incarnate's surface. The monster took no notice of him, instead focusing on Ollie, becoming enraged. He was shooting pure heat in Green Arrow's direction, causing buildings behind him to collapse as their supports snapped under the pressure.

Roy looked around wildly for something else that would work when his gaze settled on the firefighters, still trying to quench the flames consuming the apartment buildings. Roy grimaced in a little regret as he loosed another arrow, this one cutting through the thick fire hose, enough that it would cut in half. The end of the hose, now free, waved wildly, spraying water all over the place.

The monster bellowed as some of the liquid whipped across his side. Roy stopped dead, throwing an arm up in front of his face as-

Boom!

-the guy exploded.

Not his most elegant plan.

Eh. Well. At least nobody would have to worry about him any more.

Roy opened his eyes, and began his run across the square again. Two buildings had crumbled in the explosion, and the others nearby didn't look too steady themselves as flames licked up their sides. Instinctually, Roy knew this whole block was unsalvageable. They'd have to rebuild everything from scratch. And shit, Ollie, why are you running into that building?

Still cursing in his head, Roy dashed after him, heart pounding in his chest. It was going to collapse any second. Couldn't he see that? Did he have any sense of self-preservation left at all?

He followed as Ollie jumped through the first-floor window, tackling the older man to the ground as they landed on the ash-covered ground. Ollie coughed and tried to wrestle him off, but Roy was adamant. After a few seconds, he became aware of his former mentor's shouting-

"Let go of me, damn it, Roy! There's a kid in here somewhere and – and – get off me! What the hell's gotten into you?"

Roy stiffened. A kid. Typical. Ollie could never say no to a kid. He bounded off his old partner and shoved him towards the exit, making his way towards stairs in the back of the room. When he heard footsteps behind him, he whipped around. "What, no, Ollie. I'll deal with this."

Green Arrow stopped at the foot of the stairs, frowning. "You don't have anything to prove, Roy. Let me come with you, grab the kid, and get out-"

"NO!" Roy yelled, as a piece of the ceiling crashed down right next to Ollie, spending sparks flying. There was too much fire all over the place, and with the smoke obscuring his vision, Ollie's green looked a little too much like the green of a park ranger and suddenly he was back in the nightmares he had when he was a little kid, because a building burning and a forest burning are all the same after a while and "Dammit, Ollie, I'm not letting another father burn to death."

Ollie froze, and Roy took the opportunity to shove him back once again while he sprinted up the stairs. The higher he climbed, the worse the fire got. At the sixth floor, he physically couldn't go up any more because of the heat, and he still hadn't found the kid. For Ollie's sake, he hoped the kid was never in here, because-

Oh. Did he mean that thing in the crib?

Without pausing to check if it was alive or not, Roy scooped the bundle with a face out of the crib and leaped out of a window (turned-hole-in-the-wall), not a second to soon. With a snapping noise, the room he was in caved in.

Roy grunted as he slammed into the fireman's ladder, holding himself up with one hand while trying to hold the child as best as possible in the other. He let the burning blanket fall to the ground, holding the toddler around the waist to his chest. He wasn't conscious, probably having passed out due to the smoke…

Or worse…

Roy grunted as he flipped himself onto the topside of the ladder, scaling down while the whole thing retracted back onto the truck. He left the kid…God, he hoped it was still alive…on the top of the truck, jumping off one side of it. His bow was long gone, discarded in the building, so he staggered off towards the nearest dark side street. He couldn't feel the underside of his left arm or his right shin, so he probably needed medical attention…

"Ro-Red! Red Arrow!"

And god, he really didn't feel like dealing with Ollie right now. He ran as far as he could before he allowed himself to collapse, which he did, leaning against the side of the dumpster. The metal felt so cool on his skin…

Keep it together, Red.

Right. He needed medical attention. With a grimace, he checked the comm. unit in his ear – great, it wasn't damaged. Time to phone a friend.


A/N: So, what'd you think? Not my usual thing. Predictions welcome. I do not own Young Justice.