Twenty-six minutes into Mount Justice's total-system power outage, the blackened rec room on the main level shimmered with bobbling flashlights.
Artemis tapped hers against her open palm in a continuous rhythm, scooting down with her back against the inside of one of the sofa's armrests. She hadn't bothered to change out of her night clothes — a white ribbed tank top and short, green pajama bottoms — in the rush to analyze the sudden crisis and M'gann's alarmed screams when the lights went out around 1:24am EST. Honestly, the Martian should have been exhausted like the rest of them from the previous brutal mission and not hunched down in the breakfast nook so early, memorizing fruit cobbler recipes.
Sighing bored, Artemis glanced at one of her teammates on the other end of the sofa (in nothing but Flash boxers) who had his head tilted against the back cushion.
"Fixed yet, dude?" Wally yawned into one of his hands.
Seated between the older boy and Artemis, and in full uniform, Robin uncrossed his legs from his lap with an agile, fluid motion no one else on the team would manage to copy — even with months of training. He hit a few holographic keyboard tabs, staring hard at his computer screen. "…It's like someone purposely wiped out the entire control console."
"Accident," Conner grunted out somewhere in the flashlight-lit background.
Robin replied offhandedly, "Doubt it."
Wally flopped his arms at his sides, groaning loudly. "How long until we figure out we're not being invaded by an energy feeder so I can go back to sleeeeep?"
"Quit complaining, Strawberry Shortcake. You've got other things to worry about." As soon as the impish words passed Robin's uptilted lips, Wally flattened a hand over his crew cut and vibrantly pink hair with an open, angry scowl at his best friend. Artemis's emerald, LED flashlight shook as her body did with laughter.
"Yeah, I don't know what scene fashion magazine you've subscribed to… but that clearly doesn't go with your pale-ass complexion," she joined in once she could breathe regularly.
Robin's lips inched higher.
"So, when's your next record deal?"
Artemis snickered at Wally's affronted expression, looking down at M'gann on the floor who made eye contact with her timidly and bunched her hands into the silky fabric of her floor-length, purple nightie. "Aww, Megann, isn't it just the sweetest thing that Kid Dork is making a statement about Breast Cancer Awareness this week?"
"It probably smells like cotton candy too."
"Where's your floating crown, Wanda?"
"C'mon, Arty, don't be so harsh on him." Robin giggled at their exchange. "He's just a big fan of Final Fantasy XIII."
"It looks like you lost a bet with someone who was messing with Easter egg dye," Artemis mentioned with a straight face.
Wally snapped, cheeks reddening with irritation, and he shot upright, "You guys are a bunch of as—!"
A noise-explosion of buzzing and a pop! of forced air turned everyone's heads behind them, as well as their flashlights on Conner standing with a now broken kazoo in his hands.
He mumbled a half-hearted apology to the red, plastic grill of the kazoo on the rec room's carpet.
Kaldur entered from the darkened corridor after another moment, arm tattoos lit brightly, and eyebrows knitted together in stern bemusement. "…What seems to be the problem here?"
Robin admitted calmly, disregarding the pleading cutting gestures being made with Artemis's index finger across her neck, "Just giving KF a hard time about his magic hair."
"It's not magic!" Wally hissed at him, "It was oxidized with hydrogen peroxide and ammonia and used primary intermediates—"
The younger boy switched off his wrist computer, pointing his own red-and-black striped, LED flashlight straight into Wally's face. "Your hair wasn't dyed like people ordinarily do it, man. It was a ceremonial ritual that you interrupted by charging in headfirst even though Aqualad told you not to and the high priestess threw a fit."
"My head was dunked in a pool of chemicals." Despite the funny-looking faces he was making while blinking out light from his eyes, Wally insisted in a louder growl, "There wasn't magic involved!"
Kaldur rubbed his temple, mildly exasperated. "Have you tried to return your hair color to its natural state?"
"Like thirty friggin' times!" The speedster mumbled something about 'altitude problems' and 'ridiculous' before attempting to knock the flashlight out of Robin's gauntlets.
Artemis rolled her eyes. "Get over it already. It's not going to last forever, right?" Wally mimicked her in a squeaky voice, releasing Robin's cape from its tugged capture and sped out past Kaldur, disappearing into the shadows. "Sheesh…" she muttered, waving her flashlight in a jerky circle. "What did he say his major malfunction was with the whole magic thing?"
"He doesn't believe in magic because it wouldn't explain his powers," M'gann and Robin recited at the same moment, and then peered over at each other curiously.
The archer raised an eyebrow skeptically. "Okaaay… that was weird."
"Wally confessed this to us when we were searching for Mr. Nelson." M'gann tilted her head to the side, bringing up a green hand and brushing aside a loosened, auburn tress (not pinned to her scalp by her Hello Kitty barrette). "You were not present…" A slight but somehow still neutral accusation laced itself in her voice.
Another giggle escaped Robin's lips, this time annoyed. "Known him longer. I don't need a field trip to the Tower of Fate to figure that out about him."
"Guuuys…!" Wally zipped in, holding up something glinting and metal in the faint sources of lighting. "I think I found out what caused the power outage!"
Kaldur took it from him, inspecting the twisted, burnt scrap of wiring and steel. Conner shuffled in place, casting his eyes down, "I said it was an accident…" he repeated. The rest of them stared.
"..You did this?" Artemis said, awestruck.
"Heat vision?" When the clone nodded slowly, neck heating with humiliation, Robin jumped over the sofa and beamed. "Supey, that's great!"
"Really…?" Artemis made a disbelieving cough. "He could have burned everything down." She held up a hand to Conner, face softening. "…Sorry, no offense."
Conner shrugged wordlessly, jamming his hands into his jean pockets.
Wally yawned again. "Now that we have confirmation that we're not in danger, can I crash?" Robin switched back on his holographic computer, humming a few minutes as he considered readings.
"Security system to the Cave isn't compromised. It should be fine until morning when I fix the console."
"Greeeat!" the speedster crowed, yanking onto Robin's arm and calling out to the others, "Nightyouguyssleepwell-!" As Wally zipped out with his yellow flashlight thrust out in front of him, towing along the younger boy until they were out of the staircase on the third level of the personalized living quarters, they missed the curt joke by Artemis about 'bedmates'.
Robin dusted himself off on the floor they halted on, questioning Wally's deliberate look, "What do you need?"
"Can you, uh…" Wally frowned, threading his pink hair. "When you call in Bats about the lights and Supey's new, destructive powers…could someone figure out…this…?"
Robin offered, busying himself with unstrapping his wrist computer and then offering a smile, "…He might know a magician or something through the League."
"There's no such thing as magic," Wally said dully, pink eyebrows forming together. Robin's smile widened, and he poked Wally's hilarious eyebrows until they separated.
"Whatever you say, Ramona Flowers."
A confused, distracted noise.
Wally went for a bathroom mirror, throwing open a door as Robin blended into his surroundings — presumably to do whatever he was doing in costume before everyone went downstairs — and he shone his flashlight on his reflection. Wally pulled back his lips, licking a spot of broccoli out from between his two front teeth, and then stopped with a thudding heart. Except for the very front, the remainder of his hair was a shade comparable to… florescent blueberry. Slowly, dumbfounded, he froze with bugged out eyes as the vibrant pink evolved into the ludicrously blue color.
"… …Are you freakin' kidding me?.!"
"Kid Flash's hair is turned bright pink by idk, magic or something. xD He is mocked until it returns to normal."