This took way longer than I originally planned it to. I hope it lives up to all of your expectations regarding this fic.
I want to take a moment to thank every single person who had reviewed, alerted, and favourited this story. You guys don't know what it means to me. This is the first fic I completed in the last three or so years (not counting oneshots and my one twoshot). Thank you for sticking with me all the way! Hope you enjoy the last installment of Absconding Zebra.
I do not own Young Justice.
Zebra – An animal with white stripes on black body or an animal with black stripes on a white body. No seriously, what did you expect me to write here?
"Bats, I found one!" Flash exclaimed as he ran up to the Dark Knight carrying a striped animal. In his hands was a baby zebra with a collar on it saying the number two.
"Good, now as for the others," Batman acknowledged.
"Others?" Barry asked.
"Its collar. It says number two, so most likely there's a number one around here too."
"Greeeeat," Flash rolled his eyes underneath the mask. "Where should I put this one in the meantime?" The zebra was starting to recover from its superspeed adventure and was kicking with all its might.
Bruce sighed; these children were going to be the death of him. "Lock him – her? – in the hangar for the meantime, I'll figure something out once we find all of the zebras."
Barry took one more look at the kicking zebra in his arms before rushing off to lock it in the hangar.
The teens had called them saying that it was an emergency. Worried, the mentors instantly rushed to the cave to see what the emergency was. Needless to say, Batman, Flash, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Martian Manhunter had arrived to an empty mountain. No, not empty, there were animals in it - zebras to be more precise.
It was J'onn who had detected it first. When they arrived, they thought that the kids had ditched out on them or were in trouble somewhere else in Happy Harbour. After J'onn performed a quick mental scan, he reported animals and promptly flew off. Flash was the first one to find the animal with the collar.
Batman had a strong suspicion that the appearance of the zebras had something to do with the disappearance of the team. Usually, those sorts of situations ended disastrously, heavy on the dis as Robin would say.
"Bats, you're not gonna like this one bit," Green Arrow huffed as he ran into the room, clearly out of breath.
Alarmed, Batman turned around to glare at the archer. "Explain."
"J'onn found another one, he's bringing it to the hangar 'cause Flash said to bring them all there—"
"Get to the point Queen."
"It had a collar with the number 4 on it."
At that moment, J'onn flew in empty-handed. "I have placed zebra number four in the hangar with zebra number two. I cannot get any accurate readings on just how many animals are in the cave at the moment, but there are no other humans other than ourselves at the moment."
"So the kids are missing and we're left with a cave-full of zebras." Oliver sighed, what did he do to get him into this again?
"For sure we need to find number one and three. Whether we find anymore is questionable. I'll use the cameras, you continue searching by foot," Batman said with an air of finality. He turned away from the heroes and summoned a holographic keyboard.
Martian Manhunter and Green Arrow shared a look before the latter shrugged and walked back into the mountain. J'onn followed.
"You're a genius."
"I try, KF."
"How much longer must we be absent from the mountain?"
"No idea, depends on how long we can keep ourselves entertained Kal."
"I do not like the idea of worrying my Uncle like this," Miss Martian frowned.
"Relax Miss M, they aren't worrying. They're probably thinking we got turned into zebras by some villain or something," Robin snickered.
"That makes it even better!" Kid Flash sped up to Robin to get a high five. Robin happily obliged.
"Almost every mentor except Aquaman and Superman came," Artemis said, looking at Robin's holographic screen over his shoulder. "Wonder where those two went off to, I think our emergency signal was pretty effective."
"My King has other obligations in Atlantis at the moment and is currently unavailable to all surface missions," Kaldur explained from the side.
"And it's a good thing Big Blue didn't come," Robin looked up from his holographic keyboard. "If he did, they would have found the animals too quickly. The walls aren't lined with lead in the mountain, y'know."
"Maybe he just doesn't care," Superboy mumbled from his spot beside M'gann.
"Conner, I'm sure he cares. He probably just had some other… commitment to attend to. He's the Man of Steel," she smiled, trying to get the clone's mood up.
Superboy gave no vocal answer, but the team could see him shift slightly closer to her.
Wally was about to add another comment, but Robin shushed him. "Black Canary found our number one zebra."
"Dude, where did you even get those zebras?"
"I'm betting bribes were also used," Artemis smirked.
The Boy Wonder gave no answer than a small increase in his smile. "So how long should we wait for?"
"I believe Batman would figure out the farce soon," Aqualad offered his input. "I don't think he earned the title of the greatest detective on Earth based on empty achievements."
"Nah, he can be dense when it comes to pranks," Robin replied, typing to get better shots of the locked up zebras and the mentors meeting up to begin the search of zebra number 3.
"I never thought I'd see a day when the words Batman and dense would be in one sentence," Wally shook his head. "The world is ending."
Maybe they were taking this a little too far. The only real excuse was that Batman hadn't assigned them any missions of two weeks now and they were getting tired of being locked in – especially M'gann and Conner – without anything to do. So they decided to hide out in the schoolyard of Happy Harbour High School and spy on their mentors. What's the fun in spying without a little action?
As per the Boy Wonder's and the Faster Boy Alive's ideas, they had gotten three baby zebras and put collars on them with the numbers one, two, and four. The idea was that they will find those three zebras and will continue to search everywhere for the number three zebra, which was non-existent.
Kaldur was reluctant at first, Conner and M'gann were completely indifferent to it though. Megan was only worried about causing her Uncle undue stress. Artemis thought the plan was completely devious and was in immediately.
"It's been half an hour and they're still looking for the fourth zebra," Superboy remarked idly. He and M'gann had moved from standing beside Robin, to sitting with their backs leaning against the school wall.
"This is too hilarious," Wally laughed.
"Think we should call it in?" Robin asked.
"I believe we should," Kaldur answered.
"Aw, already?" Artemis whined. "This is so good though!"
"It's been going on for long enough."
"Okay, let's go?" Robin begun to shut down his holographic computer system.
"I think Batman and the others are going to kill us," Wally begun, "but you know what?"
"I regret nothing!"
"You could be charged with animal cruelty—"
"We didn't physically hurt the animals."
"And on top of that you worried us sick! We thought you kids were in trouble."
"Come on Black Canary, we've been locked in this cave for so long that we don't know what to do with ourselves!"
Green Arrow smirked. "Artemis has a point. You put six teenagers together in a cave with unlimited resources and you expect them to play nice?"
"Whose side are you on Oliver?"
This is actually based off of a true story. For senior prank week in my high school (back when I was in grade nine or so), the seniors brought in three goats and numbered them 1, 2, and 4. The entire day the staff spent searching for number 3. I don't know how that story ended, but it was pretty hilarious watching your vice-principal chase a goat down the hallway.
I hope you all liked this fic. I certainly enjoyed writing it. It was a great experience, and now I shall turn my writing to a more serious outlook. Perhaps I will start another series in the future, so keep an eye out of my future fics!