Reposted from the yj_anon_meme, original prompt at the end. Been a while because I was planning on some pictures and maybe an epilogue, but I haven't got them finished yet so I might as well post this anyway.
Sometimes Lex thought that he should make his employees wear tags. Not name-tags. Reason-tags; ones that remind him why he hired them in the first place. Like Dr Banker. He was imaginative and had the technological genius to back it up, but his presentations were deathly dull. As it was, Lex was almost glad of the interruption from Mercy about the sudden change of weather.
When she said sudden change, she meant sudden change.
Despite it being early November and during a forecasted warm spell, golf-ball sized lumped of ice were hailing on Metropolis' streets. Lightning was crackling from the heavy clouds that were mostly focussed on Luthor-corp's offices. There was someone dressed in green flying with the aid of a twister in the middle of the storm.
Upon sighting Lex and the other businessmen, the Weather Wizard descended to their level and shattered the window with a bolt of lightning. It had been specially reinforced glass to keep damages from the Man of Steel at a low, so Lex was slightly impressed.
Only slightly, it wouldn't do to be properly impressed by someone wearing green spandex after all.
"The Rogues don't take kindly to people messing with our city," Weather Wizard said, his voice somehow being heard over a roll of thunder that made the building shake.
Lex had the foresight to step away from the open window before a bag of blue dye was thrown in and splattered over his investors. A blond teen swooped around Weather Wizard, grinning and cackling madly all the while.
"Messing with your city?" Lex asked, raising his voice as much as was dignified, "I have no idea what you're talking about."
Weather Wizard's eyes began to spark lightning. A thunderclap took out several more windows. Lex barely kept his feet. Mercy lined up a shot, but before she could fire red emergency lights came on and an alarm started blaring.
Lex narrowed his eyes. Subtly different to the normal alarm, this one meant that the restricted access underground facility had been compromised.
For a bunch of two-bit criminals they were annoyingly good at what they did.
"I hate this," Captain Cold grumbled.
"It's not for long," Piper hissed out of the corner of his mouth, "Just scowl, you're good at that." Cold hit Piper over the head. "And don't do that! You're not a very good bodyguard if you hit me you know."
Cold grumbled some more, thankfully much quieter. Truth be told, Piper didn't much like the clothes they were wearing either, but they had to be dressed smartly or their side of the plan just wouldn't work. He itched to be dressed in his Rogues outfit, and Cold looked downright weird in a suit.
"We're almost there," Piper said, "Just don't say anything."
He didn't need to turn around to see that Cold was glaring at him. It was, Piper reflected, quite impressive how well Cold could glare through a pair of sunglasses.
Luthor-corp was an imposing building. All chrome and glass and menacing looming. Piper didn't pay it any attention and waited. Eventually he had to elbow Cold to get him to open the door for him. Cold did so, muttering unsavoury things under his breath that Piper hoped no one else could hear.
Piper marched confidently to the front desk. The secretary noticed him, but there was no recognition on her face.
"Yes?" she asked blandly.
"My name is Hartley Rathaway," Piper said imperiously, "I'm here to see your sound and sonics division."
The secretary's eyes widened with the name-drop. "ID please," she said.
Piper handed over his ID and waited for it to pass muster. The secretary spent some time typing at her keyboard loudly.
"You weren't booked for another week," the secretary said, politely apologetic.
"I was in the area," Piper said, "I assume that's not a problem."
"Not at all," the secretary said as she handed back Piper's ID, "Sound and Sonic division is based on floor twenty-five. The elevators over there will take you up. Enjoy you visit at Luthor-corp."
"Thank you," Piper said.
He walked toward the lifts, with Cold following. Once inside the lift Piper pressed the button for the highest floor the lift would go to.
"Two minutes," Piper said as he started playing a tune on his flute.
"Mardon, your cue," Cold spoke into a walkie-talkie.
"And we're gone!" came the cheerful voice of James through the other end.
Even encased in several feet of concrete and metal, Piper and Cold could hear an ominous roll of thunder. Piper hit the right note and the lift stopped. It took another minute and a half to send the lift in the other direction. It bypassed the ground floor and continued down.
"What floor we after?" Cold asked.
Piper tapped his foot four times and the lift slowed down. When the doors opened the lights went off and red emergency ones came on in their place.
"Guess we've been found out," Cold said, puling his gun out of his jacket.
Piper stopped playing, but kept his flute close to his lips. They wouldn't have long before reinforcements appeared. They ran down the corridors, Piper counting the doors as they passed by.
When they got to the right one, Cold froze the door solid and kicked it down. True to Mirror Master's scouting, Kid Flash was in there. The speedster was strapped to a table and stripped down to his underwear. There was another person in the room, a surgeon looming over Kid Flash with a bloody scalpel in his hand. Kid Flash's torso was covered in cuts, some much deeper than others.
The surgeon didn't have a chance to do more than straighten up before he was encased in ice.
"Kid?" Cold asked as Piper freed the speedster's limbs.
"Cold," Kid Flash said.
"Yeah, it's me," Cold said.
"No," Kid Flash slurred, "'m cold."
"Oh," Cold said. He shrugged out of his jacket and handed it over as Kid Flash got to his feet.
"Can you run?" Piper asked.
Kid Flash waved his hand in front of his face, when it didn't blur into superspeed he shook his head. "Drugged," he offered.
"C'mon," Cold said, grabbing Kid Flash by the arm and supported as much a dragged him out of the room, "Weather Wizard and Trickster are running interference, but we don't have long."
"Rob?" Kid Flash asked.
"There was a robot attack we saw your team fighting off on the news," Piper said when Cold just looked confused.
"Ah," Kid Flash said, stumbling.
The corridors were suspiciously empty as they made their way to the lift. Piper clamped down on the feeling that they were walking into a trap, though he did notice Cold glance around a bit more than usual.
Their fears proved to be correct when the lift doors shut and it started moving without and input from Piper. He quickly started blowing a tune, but the lift kept moving. He couldn't override it and looked over at Cold in a panic.
"Whatever it is, we'll deal with it," Cold promised, shifting so Kid Flash was out of sight of the doors.
The doors opened around level thirty-seven. It was time to face the music.
Lex could deal with criminals. Being one himself helped quite a bit in that direction. He didn't, however, like children all that much.
Oh they had their place, seen and not heard and all that, but Lex preferred them young enough to be in awe of him or actually an adult. Certainly not the age of the annoying blond teen calling himself the Trickster.
Weather Wizard was a much better hostage. Though his eyes had spelled out murder for the guard who had snapped his wand, at least he didn't talk enough to warrant gagging, unlike his companion.
"Time to see to the rest of your little group," Lex said as the elevator reached their floor.
The doors opened and released a cloud of translucent mist. In the lift stood Kid Flash, who was slumping sideways against a man who was presumably Captain Cold by the look of the gun in his hand. Another young man with red hair and a flute was stood next to them, the Pied Piper then.
The Trickster shouted something that got muffled in his gag. Captain Cold's face darkened as he took in the state of his team mates.
"Bravo, gentlemen," Lex said, "I'm impressed."
"You've got one warning, Luthor," Captain Cold said, "Let us walk out or I'll ice you."
"I'm sure we can come to some sort of deal," Lex said, "I am a very wealthy man you know."
"The five of us walk out," Captain Cold said, "Right now. I'm not dealing with you."
"Have it your way," Lex said.
Mercy activated the elevator failsafe. The Pied Piper glanced sharply up, then yelled, "Move!" running for the doors even as the elevator cable snapped. Kid Flash dragged the other two out of the lift with a sudden burst of speed. Behind them the elevator dropped like a stone down the shaft.
Kid Flash slumped against Captain Cold, what little energy he'd saved up now spent. The Pied Piper brought his flute to his lips, but Mercy activated a sonic device which brought him to his knees, moaning and clutching at his ears. He wouldn't be playing anything anytime soon.
"You'll find I'm holding all the cards," Lex said, "I can be quite reasonable. I could use resourceful men like yourselves."
Captain Cold lowered his gun and shot the floor. The ice spread out further than Lex expected, but slippery footing wouldn't help them now.
There was a yelp behind Lex, he spun around to see empty space where the Weather Wizard and the Trickster had been held. The guards were blinking, dazed. Lex turned back to find the Pied Piper missing. Captain Cold was smirking.
"Shoot him!" Lex commanded.
The guards opened fire, but their bullets stopped in mid-air before they reached the intended targets. The bullets dropped to the ground, encased in ice.
"Now that I have your attention," Captain Cold said, "Stay the fuck out of our city."
A hand in green reached through the ice at Captain Cold's feet and latched onto his ankle. With a burst of bright light, Captain Cold and Kid Flash were pulled through the looking glass, such as it was.
Lex was pushed to the side by Mercy and the guard behind where he had stood was encased in ice from Captain Cold's parting shot. Lex was furious.
He wasn't going to let them get away with that.
Len barely managed to keep his feet when him and Kid Flash tumbled out the window on the ground floor. The ride in the mirror-verse had been a lot rougher than usual.
"If that's what it's like when you've got a cold, I'd hate to see what it's like if you ever really get sick, Scudder," Len said to his reflection.
His reply was a laugh followed by a cough.
"Get well soon, Uncle Sam," Kid Flash said, "I'll bring you some chicken soup."
Another laugh. "Be appreciated, Kid."
"C'mon," Len said, dragging Kid Flash over to the car Piper was already stumbling toward.
It was an ancient, battered car, with an engine as old as Len. Trickster loved it, since he had made a game of rewarding himself whenever they completed a journey without a piece of it falling off. Piper hated it, but then he'd never done that well with motion sickness.
Mark was already in the passenger seat, eyes closed while he ignored Trickster's rant about calling shotgun. Len pushed Kid Flash toward Piper.
"You three, in the back," Len ordered, making his way to the driver's side.
"Tell him it's not fair," Trickster whined to Piper, "I wanted to be in the front."
"Mark's older than you," Piper said reasonably, "And he's got longer legs. It is fair."
"I'll be older than him one day," Trickster said decisively.
Kid Flash covered up a laugh with a coughing fit. Len got into the car and looked over at Mark. His hair was matted with blood on one side, Len swore.
"Mark?" Len asked, prodding him. Mark's response was a half-hearted flinch, "Stay awake, Mark. It looks like you've got a concussion."
"'m fine," Mark insisted.
"Stay awake or I'll get Trickster to keep you awake," Len threatened.
That thankfully got Mark to open his eyes and glare as best he could in Len's general direction. Piper ended up behind Mark, Trickster behind Len, and Kid Flash in the middle.
Four hours to Central City. Len could only hope they didn't end up murdering each other before it was over.
As the approached the boarders of Central City, Mark finished his mumbled story about lightning in the desert which Len hadn't been paying attention to. Len checked the rearview mirror, then angled it to get a better look.
"That better wash off, Trickster," Len said.
Trickster's gave one of his mad grins and held the marker forward so Len could read the 'permanent' clearly labelled on the side.
"They're gonna kill you," Len said.
Kid Flash was fast asleep, leaning against Piper's shoulder. Piper himself was leaning on Kid Flash's head, snoring. Both now sported matching moustaches and goatees. Trickster looked unapologetic, but then he always did after his pranks.
They found a relatively quiet spot near the Flash museum and parked the car. Len got out and found himself suddenly pinned to the car by arrows. Len raised his gun, but it was knocked out of his hand by a razor disk. A boy in a superman shirt landed in the road in front of Len, creating a pothole in the road.
He grabbed Len by the throat. "Where's Kid Flash?" he demanded.
The rest of Kid Flash's teenage team appeared behind Superboy, all armed and glaring at Len. He had to admit – if only to himself – that it was surprising that they'd picked the right car.
Then Mark got out, covered in blood and still dressed as a Rogue. Ah. That would explain it.
"I'd put him down if I were you," Mark warned.
Unfortunately the effect was somewhat diminished by him lurching drunkenly to the side and leaning heavily against the bonnet in order to stay upright.
"Where's KF?" Robin asked.
"He's asleep," Trickster hissed, leaning out of his open window, "Be quiet or you'll wake him up."
Like most things that came out of Trickster's mouth, that had the advantage of stumping the heroes. It didn't make Superboy loosen his grip though.
Robin approached the car carefully. Trickster obligingly scrambled through to the front seat and out Mark's door, since Len was currently pinned to his. Robin ducked his head through the open window and saw Kid Flash drooling on Piper's shoulder. The Boy Wonder laughed.
"He's there," Robin called to the rest of his team, "Hey! KF, wake up!"
Piper and Kid Flash woke with a start. Not that Len could see any of this, but he could hear the resulting tangle and the car door opening. The next second Kid Flash appeared by Robin, still looking slightly woozy.
"Hey," Kid Flash said, then he noticed Len's predicament, "Supey, might want to let go of Un-Captain Cold."
Superboy finally did so. He backed off, still looking angry. That seemed to be his default expression and it vaguely reminded Len of someone else. Kid Flash helped Len get the arrows off, during which time Piper noticed the marker on his face and quietly promised to have his revenge to a laughing Trickster.
The teen superheroes looked to Aqualad for guidance, who made a show of putting his weapons away.
"Kid Flash, are you injured?" Aqualad asked.
"No," Kid Flash said, "Well, a bit drugged," he amended when Len had to reach out and stop him from falling sideways. "Not by them," Kid Flash said quickly as his team mates reached for their weapons again, "By Luthor."
"Look, this is all well and good, but we need to get Weather Wizard somewhere safe before he throws up on Piper," Len said, ignoring the noise of protest from Mark, "I hope none of those are going to go off," he added, eyeing the few arrows still stuck in the car.
The archer shook her head. Judging by the way the teens would all glance at one of them every now and then they must have been using telepathy or something. Not that Len particularly cared one way or another, he just wanted to get out of there before someone else decided to attack them.
"See you later," Kid Flash said. Then Len suddenly had an armful of speedster, "Thanks, Uncle Len," Kid Flash whispered into Len's shoulder.
Mark, Piper and Trickster all received similar treatment. Len had to smirk at the teen team's expressions, ranging from worry to outright bewilderment. Then Kid Flash was with his team and herding them away from the Rogues and into a ship Len could've sworn wasn't there a second ago.
"KF, explain," Robin ordered as the bioship lifted off the ground.
"Well, I didn't exactly have anything to wear, so L-Cold gave me his jacket," Wally said, "Otherwise I'd be in costume, I swear." He winked at Megan, "Not that anyone's complaining."
"Start from the beginning, please," Kaldur said, "We had heard you had been abducted."
"Oh, that," Wally said, "Luthor kidnapped me. One of his scientists did anyway. Though he probably knew about it. I think they wanted to find out about my speed. Which might have something to do with Superman, since he's got superspeed too, but I'm not sure."
"Luthor? As in, Lex Luthor?" Artemis interrupted.
"That's him," Wally nodded, "Anyway, they drugged me with something so I couldn't run and blindfolded me. Piper said we were in Metropolis and what I saw looked like it. They were going to cut me up or something. Then the Rogues came and got me. You should've seen Luthor's face when S-Mirror Master got us out of there."
"Your villains rescued you," Kaldur confirmed.
"Well yeah," Wally said. Judging by the looks on his teammates' faces, this was the bit they were having trouble with, "You don't know the Rogues very well, do you? They're my villains, and me and the Flash are their heroes. They don't like anyone messing with their city."
"You aren't surprised," Megan said.
"Well they got me away from the Joker last year," Wally replied. To his surprise, Robin looked blank, "You didn't know about that? They like to say they're villains, but not psychos. I'm the closest they get to hurting a kid and they're not much for random murder."
"But they're villains," Conner said, still stuck on a frown.
Wally sighed. They just weren't getting it. "Read the reports on them, hack their bios, whatever." By the way Robin was typing on his glove-computer he was already doing just that. "They're the bad guys, but they're not monsters."
"We will take your word for it," Kaldur promised.
"Thank you," Wally said, "Does anyone have anything to eat?"
When KF was first starting out as a superhero, he got kidnapped by an "outsider" bad guy. Naturally, the Flash rogues did not approve, and they rescued KF. After that, he started calling them "Uncle_" granted, her stopped as he got older, but now that he's been kidnapped by an "outside" again (Luthor? The Joker?) they're going to team up and get. Him. Back.
By the way, my head-canon for the Rogues in this has Trickster about 19, Piper about 21, Weather Wizard about 23, and Cold around 26. They've been tangling with the Flash for something between 3 to 7 years already.