Justine Todd was good at what she did. She was very good. She could shoot the eye out of a bird flying twenty feet away using a BB gun with one bullet. She could chase a robber at full speed for twenty blocks without tiring, not that she needed that much time to get him. She was agile enough to jump across three rooftops without making a single sound, and vanish without a trace. In short, she was a sharp shooting, gun slinging, eagle eyed, bad to the bone vigilante trained by Jason Peter Todd, also known as the Red Hood.
So, if she was so great, why on earth did she have to get paired with Robin?
Justin groaned, looking at Damian who was perched on the balcony next to her. She was good enough to chase down the snitch by herself; she didn't need Bird Boy tagging along. Unfortunately, Dick seemed to think other wise.
"Stop complaining Black Hood, I don't like it either." Robin spat, glaring at her.
"I didn't say anything." She protested. Robin, known to few others as Damian, was also great at what he did, unfortunately, he had to be a huge pain in the neck.
"That groan said everything I needed to hear." He sassed, looking at the night club across the street.
Damian may have been ten years old, but he had a superiority complex the size of a small country, the speech of a dictionary (meaning he used very big words, and cursed even more than a twenty year old male druggy) and he was related to three of the most messed up people on the planet, Talia Al Ghul, Ras Al Ghul, and Bruce Wayne. Believe it or not, the last one was actually a saint compared to the first two; although at times it seemed as though he was worse. Those times being when he found out Justin was the one who broke the thousand dollar vase, or that Damian was the one who gave Justin the black eye, not a street thug.
The last one was pretty obvious, no common street thug could take out Justin, she was a trained assassin, trained by Jason Todd, her Father. For another reason, Justin's Mother was Kimberley Mathilda, Blue Jay, who had also taught her a thing or two.
'Why couldn't Dad have come with me? Or Mom, or Stephanie, or even Tim? Why did it have to be him?' Justin thought. Unfortunately, she knew the answer. If Damian hadn't come with her, he would have gone out by himself, and letting him loose on the Gotham City was like yelling at some one holding an AK47 that was locked and loaded, not to mention the wielder of said gun was a homicidal maniac. The only other person Damian could have gone with tonight would be Tim, and Tim would not have that, he hated Damian. Mostly because Damian hated him.
Another reason Dick had sent Damian along was because they weren't going to Gotham, no, the snitch had split town, choosing instead to go to Star City. Justin had a raging temper all her own, and she had to admit, if some one said the wrong things, and pushed the wrong buttons, like Damian, she would kill them. Sure, she knew she had anger problems, but she had never tried to work on them, something that made her like her Father. Maybe if she had, Dick would have trusted her enough to let her come alone to Star City and not cause trouble. Then she wouldn't be sitting next to the biggest jerk on the planet. The only thing she felt good about taking Damian with her, was that she was taller, and older, something she would continue to hold over his head forever more.
She sighed, and watched as their target came out of the night club, and started walking down the street. Her and Robin sprang into action, darting across the roof tops and following the target. They thought they had him when he ran into an alley, but when they jumped down to confront him, he wasn't there.
"What the-" Justin started, but then they heard something crash from the next alley. They looked at each other, and then ran to the next alley, and saw some one dressed entirely in read, holding bow loaded with an arrow, and a quiver full of arrows on their back. Justin smirked, knowing who it was. The new Speedy, Green Arrow's side kick. Rumor had it that the new Speedy was a girl, and now that Justin saw her up close, she knew it was true.
She had heard rumors about this new hero, saying her temper was matched only by her commitment to the job. Justin had heard a rumor that she knew wasn't true, but it was funny to think about, they said Speedy kept 'himself' so busy 'he' only had half an hour a day to sleep, and 'he' also used that time to exercise. Funny right?
Speedy was standing in front of their target, one arrow had already been fired, a net arrow that had the man tied up, and a knock out gas arrow was loaded, ready to fire. Justin wouldn't have that, if the man was unconscious, then they would have to drag him back to Gotham, and that was not happening.
Justin stepped foreword, "Speedy, right?"
Speedy turned looked over her shoulder, seeing the two were also heroes, she lowered her bow, deciding the man wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. "That's me. Your the Black Hood and Robin right? Something I can help you with?"
Justin smiled, "Yep, that's us, listen, that guy your about to knock out, we kind of need him. Chased him all the way from Gotham and we need him for questioning."
Speedy raised an eyebrow, "I caught him, and I need him too, Green Arrow asked me to grab him. We've been working on a case with him for awhile."
Justin frowned, not liking how Speedy was trying to take him, "So have we, and if you want Green Arrow to call Batman, then he'll explain it all."
Speedy frowned too, "Look, I caught him, I keep him. That's the rules around here."
Justin glared at her, "No, you look rookie, we have chased that miserable scum bag all the way from Gotham and we'll be taking him."
Speedy lifted her bow, pointing it at Justin, "Get lost, this ain't yer city."
Justin smirked, taking out her gun, and pointing it at Speedy, "Put your toys away kid, mine are cooler."
Speedy glared, "I'm not a rookie, and don't call me kid, your no older than me."
"Age wise, your right, maturity wise, your wrong." Justin said.
Speedy smirked, "Yeah, maturity wise, your seven."
Justin growled, and her finger tightened on the trigger.
Damian quickly stepped in between them, "Speedy, come on, you know me, we really need that guy, so if we could figure something out here, maybe question him together?"
Justin wanted to take a picture, this was the first she had ever heard of Damian stopping a fight. She knew that Robin and Speedy had worked together in the Teen Titans, until Damian quit that is. However, she hadn't thought that they had gotten along, by the look in Speedy's eyes; she respected him as an equal, and a friend. In Damian's eyes, she saw the tiniest bit of admiration.
'Good grief.' She thought, 'The bat family with the arrow family? That's an odd twist.'
JUSTIN'S POINT OF VEIW:
Speedy nodded, putting her bow away, and I put away my guns. Now I understood the real reason Dick had sent Damian along. Speedy and me were to much alike, he knew we would end up fighting if we ran into each other. Since Robin and Speedy were surprisingly friends, he knew Damian would be able to break it up.
Speedy took out a knife, and sliced the net away from the man, and Robin preceded to question him brutally. Finally, we had information worth writing home about. The gang this guy had recently quit was hiding out on the edge of Gotham. And by the edge of Gotham, I mean the really bad part, where teenagers can get any drug or alcohol or weapon without any chance of getting caught by the cops.
Where punk teenagers attended alley parties and raves almost every night. Even I didn't like going into that corner of Gotham. I wasn't scared, it just made me a little nervous, and when I saw teenagers staggering around drunk, it made me sick. Just looking at a kid drunk made me disgusted. Sure, I had a beer before, but I hadn't gotten drunk. What? My Dad is Jason Todd; of course I've had beer! Once just to see what it tasted like.
Speedy turned to me, "Well, looks like I'm headed to Gotham then."
"Drat." I muttered. I had only known Speedy for a few minutes, and I already hated her.
"Shame." She tossed back. Guess the feeling was mutual.
We let the guy go, right to the police station. Then we headed to that corner of Gotham. I looked at Speedy over my shoulder as we arrived, "Here's the rules tourist, stay behind me, don't talk, don't look anyone in the eye, and don't do anything stupid. I know that's near impossible for you, but in this business, it's all about pushing your limits."
She gave me a dirty look, and Damian raised an eyebrow at me, guess he really did think of her as a friend. Better lay off her then. Not!
We slowly walked down the street, and I spotted an alley party not far from here. "That's where we'll find any info they have around here." Damian said, and I took one look at Speedy, and smirked.
"OK, from here on out, this is an info gathering mission. Meaning, we have to blend in, meaning -"
"Masks off." She finished. She reached up, and pulled off her mask, "Damian already knows who I am, you don't. But I know who you are, Justin Todd."
I frowned, not liking that she knew who I was, and I didn't know her. She continued, "I won't tell you who I am, and you aren't gonna find me because of my face. I'm a nobody, but for the sake of the mission, you can call me Susan."
We quickly changed into civilian clothes, and headed to the alley party. We got there, and as soon as the girl pouring beer into plastic cups saw us, she immediately handed us some.
"It's completely free." She said, her mow hawk was a neon blue, and her ears were pierced so much, there was probably more metal than cartilage.
Speedy (Susan) looked at hers with disgust, dropping it. Damian merely handed it back, I dumped mind on the girls head.
She sputtered, wiping it off her face, and glared at me, the beer had made her mow hawk practically deflate, hanging in her face and the gel dripping into her eyes. I smirked, trying very hard not to laugh. She glared harder, "Go die scum bag!" She spat out.
I smirked, laughing a little, "Oh, I'm sorry did I hurt your little poser feelings?"
Her eyes practically glowed red, and then a voice came from behind me, "Valiant, these guys giving you trouble?"
I turned around, to see Conan Kent, also known to very few others as Super Kid. Her eyes widened, recognizing me, "Justin, what are you doing here?"
Valiant turned to Conan, "You know this doofus?"
My hand twitched to the gun that I had hidden in my leather jacket. Conan kept her face expressionless, and nodded, "Yeah, my Dad and her... uh older brother are best friends."
She was referring to her father, Conner Kent, also known as Superboy, and my 'older brother' Tim Drake. They were best friends, and they had gotten us together once, trying to get us to become best friends. Tim told me it was because Conan needed to get comfortable around people her own age. I knew the real reason. The real reason, well, reasons, were: 1, I had no friends except Damian, and he was more of a brother than a friend. They though I would be a little more non-antisocial if I had one close friend. 2, Conan's Dad thought that Valiant was a bad influence on her. I guess, with Valiant's defy the man attitude, she was.
It was a great plan, don't get me wrong, but they hadn't taken into calculation the fact that I also had a very big defy the man attitude. Not towards my Dad, no, Dad was cool; I didn't even have to defy him. More towards pretty much every one else. Dick, Tim, Bruce, even George, my grandfather. I guess sometimes I could be a real pain in the neck, but I just didn't give a Flying Grayson about that. I don't think I actually gave a Flying Grayson about much these days, except my work, and my family.
Damian turned to Conan, "We're here looking for a gang called Gotham Ghouls, heard of them?"
Conan nodded, whispering, "That's why I came here with Valiant tonight, some of the kids here are members of that gang, and I didn't want to risk her getting into trouble."
I couldn't help but roll my eyes, I didn't really thing any of the members would hurt Valiant, she was the one who poured the drinks. Unless she picked a fight, or dumped the alcohol on their head. I turned to Valiant, to see her glaring at me, fingering something in her pocket that I would bet my mask was a knife. OK, maybe I was wrong about her not being in danger of getting killed.
Conan nodded her head to a group of people who looked to be around sixteen, seventeen, and a few looked eighteen. They were gathered around a radio that was blaring Papa Roach. "That's them, they keep to themselves, but if anyone approaches, they're either looking for a membership, or a very brutal beating." We would need to get into the gang, and get them to drop their guard before taking them in.
I nodded, "I've got this-"
"No." Said Speedy, "Let me take care of this, I know how gangs work."
I snorted, "So do I, and I already called it."
Damian turned to me, "Speedy is right, trust me Justin, she's the one for the job."
I raised an eyebrow, and Speedy walked over to the group carefully. Her body language made it clear she wasn't looking for a fight. "Hey," She said, her tone extremely bored and not interested, "Where you those guys that lit almost every car in that Wal-Mart parking lot on fire the other week?"
A few of them laughed, and one of them spoke, "Yeah that was us, why? You gonna call the cops?"
Speedy smirked, "Hardly, just wanted to thank you, one of those cars belonged to my math teacher."
They all laughed, and Speedy continued, "She was so upset, she forgot to give us her annual pop quiz."
I raised an eyebrow, she was talking to them as if she was already in the gang. One of them, who looked a little drunk, said, "Your OK kid, come on and sit down with us."
He grabbed her arm, and yanked her into the seat beside him.
We all left the alley, and changed into our costumes, masks and all, and sat on the roof top right above them, watching Speedy below.
She talked to them for awhile, asking questions in a way that gave a few hints she would be mildly interested in joining the gang. They asked her if she was in a different gang, and she laughed, "I used to be in one, very small one, they never did anything awesome like you guys. We would spray paint the bottoms of bridges and walls of abandoned buildings. They pretty much sucked, didn't even threaten to kill me when I told them I was quitting."
They talked a little more, and I found myself mildly impressed with how well she handled sitting with a gang, and talking with them as if they were old friends. Finally, they asked her if she would be interested in a member ship. She stood up, pulling on her mask. That was the signal, we dropped down next to her, and they jumped a little, faced with several heroes as Speedy shed her trench coat, revealing her costume.
"Sorry." She said, shrugging, "I'm booked tonight, agenda, taking you all down."
They stood up, going for their guns, but were quickly stopped by me and Damian's attacks. Speedy proved to be able to hold her own in one on one combat, but wasn't as good as us. She was more of a marksman, but she could pack a punch.
One of them tried to make a run of it, but Conan flew after him, grabbing him by the collar, and lifting him into the air. He kicked for a minute, before she threw him into the wall. The others kids who were just innocent party goers were running around scared, and she flew up above them, and quickly directed them out of the alley, before returning immediately to help us.
In no time, we had the gang unconscious at our feet. I smirked, turning to the others, "This was fun, lets do it again sometime."
Valiant approached us, "Nice show, you know, you guys could make a pretty good team."
Damian snorted, walking away, "Count me out of the girl club."
Super Kid spoke up, "Y'know, it's not a bad idea... since none of us are on a team anyways."
It was true, I had been offered a spot on The Teen Titans, but I had refused, because of one condition they had thrown in, I wasn't allowed to use my guns while I was fighting on the team. I had gotten pretty upset at that, and had refused promptly. Mom had been a little taken back by my answer, Dad was happy, he didn't really like The Titans.
Speedy had been on the Teen Titans before, but she had quit a little after Damian had, for reasons I didn't care about.
Super Kid's powers were unstable, plus her Dad was on the Teen Titans, so she had never been offered a spot on the Teen Titans.
I looked over at Speedy, I didn't like her, but I could live with her. Tim had been on my back lately about getting friends, and it was getting annoying. I sighed, "Oh heck with it, let's do it."
Speedy raised an eyebrow, "Seriousley?"
I nodded, "Yeah, I'm tired of getting paired up with Bird Boy all the time, maybe if I have a team then Dick'll leave me alone about taking Damian with me everywhere I go, and Tim'll get off my back about socializing."
Speedy shrugged, "I've been bored lately anyways."
We turned to Super Kid. She shrugged, "Never been on a team before, sounds kind of cool."
Valiant smiled, "Awesome, I just started a super hero team."
Speedy rolled her eyes, "OK, talking about it is cool, but don't we need head quarters?"
I thought for a second, and then a grin spread over my face, "I know just the place."
LATER THAT NIGHT, IN AN ABANDONED WAREHOUSE:
"Wayne Enterprises owns this warehouse, Bruce was going to have it torn down, but I think I could convince him not to." I said.
Speedy turned to me, glaring, "This place should be condemned, not rented out to kids. I mean, if you look at the ceiling wrong it'll probably collapse! If Super Kid breathed on the walls, they'd cave in."
I smirked, "Hey, we have the best construction crew money can't by."
Speedy perked up, "You're going to get Bruce to fix the place up?"
"No." I said, "We'll do it ourselves, Speedy, if you can fix those trick arrows, you can fix the electricity, Super Kid can do the heavy lifting necessary to get this place back into shape, and I can supply us with tools."
Speedy gave me a sarcastic look, "Oh yeah, fixing trick arrows goes right up there with rewiring a whole building and taking care of anything electronic we'd need."
"Great." I said, pretending not to notice the sarcasm.
Super Kid shrugged, "I can do the heavy lifting when it's needed, and I do know a little about construction."
I smiled, "Great, all we need now is a leader, any volunteers? No, oh well, I guess I could be the leader-"
"Oh no you don't." Speedy interrupted, "I can be the leader too."
I frowned, I would have snapped back, saying she was just a rookie, but after what I had seen tonight, I just couldn't. She might be new at this, but she was good at what she did. Almost as good as me and what I did.
I sighed, "Look, it's getting late, I'm tired, I'm sure you both are too. Let's meet some time tomorrow, can you two do lunch?"
Speedy nodded, "My place?"
"Sure." Super Kid said. Speedy wrote down her address, and we all went home.