... Megan? The blonde on the other side of the gym turns around, taking a break from pummeling a punching bag into submission.
"I just can't get it right." the Martian confesses, shoulders slumping. "I mean, I have the motions memorized, but it just... it doesn't look the same as the other girls on the squad."
"Let me see." Artemis commands, and Megan starts the music again, moving in rhythm. She's right; even though everything is perfectly timed it's still just a little awkward, with some ephemeral something missing.
The music stops and so does M'gann, who by now is on the verge of tears.
"Hey." Artemis comes over, puts an arm around her shoulders. "You have the choreography down, that's the hard part. The only issue here is that you're just... not feeling it. You're thinking about it too much. You need to let go, enjoy it."
With an effort, the green- skinned girl puts away her frustration, and when she speaks, her voice is steady. "'Feel it'?"
"Feel..." Artemis looks around hastily, "feel the aster."
Back in the living area, Robin tosses his controller at Connor's head; the clone snags it out of the air without looking. "Take over for me."
"Why, where're you going?" Wally pauses the game, looks over.
The younger boy grins. "Spidey sense is tingling. I must go!" And he's off, laughter trailing behind him.
Wally shrugs, looks over at Connor. "I guess you'll have to do."
"I don't care about video games." he points out.
"Then my mission is clear." Wally declares, and Connor sighs and puts down his book because he recognizes that tone. There's no getting anything done when Kid Flash feels the looming danger of boredom.
"Alright, run through it one more time." Artemis commands, and Megan does so, slowly, letting the archer commit the moves to memory.
Robin goes straight from the doorway to the top of the gymnastics/ acrobatics setup without either of them noticing him, staying out of range of the mirrors in the girls' area.
"This is an upbeat, happy song." Artemis tells Megan. "It's meant to make you want to move. Think of- think of how it feels when you fly. You like flying, right?"
"Oh, very much." smiles Megan.
Artemis nods and starts the music, going through the routine. Megan and the unseen Robin watch raptly, but where Megan is following the lightness and grace in the way the other girl moves, Dick is more taken with the slight smile on her face. It's rare to see Artemis so unguarded.
The music concludes, and Megan claps.
"Now you do it with me." Artemis commands. At the slightly uncertain nod, she hesitates, then ventures, "You can... you can peek in my head. Just enough to feel what I'm doing."
"Thank you." M'gann says with relief, linking in.
She starts the music again and both girls begin the routine, movements perfectly synchronized. Megan has indeed picked up Artemis' elegance; the slight hitch is gone when the archer has her do it again on her own.
"Thank you, thank you!" M'gann squeals, going in for what looks like a hug- but she holds out her hand instead as the boom box restarts the song, seemingly on its own.
Artemis laughs and takes it, spinning in, and the two dance. What Megan lacks in experience she makes up for in exuberance, but Artemis dips and spins and flips with the ease of a gymnast.
Dick smirks. A gymnast, maybe, but not an aerialist. He dives, grabs a bar, swings back and forth a few times to build momentum and flings himself into the air, landing on his hands and flipping over to his teammates.
"Showoff," Artemis calls, laughing and holding out her hand. He's glad. He hadn't been sure how she'd react, but it seems like Artemis is feeling her age for once. Megan takes to the air and does joyous loops as her teammates cavort below.
When the song ends, she switches on the radio and watches the humans on the floor.
They adapt to each song, moving together in perfect time, and though they can't predict each other's movements both Robin and Artemis adapt so smoothly and rapidly that an outsider probably wouldn't even be able to tell.
Come see! she invites the others, and curious, they do.
Wally is the first, of course, skidding to a stop and watching for a moment before laughing and jumping in. He's not nearly the dancer either of his partners is, but he's quick and not a little agile, and Robin and Artemis incorporate him without a single hiccup in the spell they're weaving.
Connor and Kaldur approach at a more leisurely pace, and both hang back despite M'gann's prompting.
I don't dance, Connor states baldly.
I am content watching the others, Kaldur tells her, and from the smile on his face, he's not lying.
Robin darts in and snags the tie from Artemis' hair.
"You little-!" she spits, making a grab for him, but the boy only laughs and moonwalks out of her reach.
A chase that is half dance, half fight ensues. Robin immediately heads for the gymnastic equipment, Artemis hot on his heels. Kid Flash is momentarily sidelined with laughter at the expression on her face, but he rallies quickly enough and joins his best friend, running interference.
Artemis darts one way, Wally pops up in front of her. She goes around him, there he is again. The third time it happens she's ready for him and lunges, grabbing his shoulders and flipping off like the Boy Wonder himself.
And there he is, standing before her, wagging her ribbon and smirking.
He runs straight for the wall and flips off, landing on one of the vaults and springing onto a bar, where he perches and ties the cloth around his forehead like a hachimaki.
Artemis reaches him in seconds, and Batman's apprentice leaps backward onto the top of the equipment without even looking.
Wally joins the other two boys at the wall, watching with more awe than amusement now.
The human members of the team bounce off the equipment and, occasionally, each other in a tapestry of motion so rapid and unpredictable that gravity seems to give up her hold on them. Robin bobs and weaves, flips and flies, twists and stretches and bends around the bars and ropes. Artemis soars after him, only a split second behind, not quite as comfortable in the air as the Boy Wonder but just as remarkable to watch. She looks like a goddess, all flashing eyes and palpable intent, stalking her prey like a cat. In this moment, they are young and strong and free; movement and life incarnate.
But they are human, and Artemis is bigger than Robin, who has also been showing off more. She tags him when he's coming off the trapeze, just before he tucks into a flip; she comes in from above, long golden hair flying behind her like a war banner, and snatches her ribbon back right off of his head.
He completes his maneuver, but before he can launch into another one Artemis has rebounded off of the wall and tackles him, rolling them across the floor.
Both come up on their feet, laughing and panting. Dick impulsively, briefly hugs her. "You're pretty good."
"You're both amazing!" enthuses Megan, landing and beaming at them both.
The team is all in a loose circle, and every one of them is smiling or laughing. Dick, Megan and Artemis are in workout clothes; Wally, Connor and Kaldur are wearing the usual civvies they keep at the mountain. None of them think about it, but they are standing in the line of sight of one of the security cameras.
Red Tornado, of course, knew what the teenagers were up to. And later, when processing footage from the security cameras, he will come across that one perfect still shot. He will extract the footage and leave it for Robin to find. Robin will take that perfect still and make copies of it, and later still, when one of his teammates has a bad day (as everyone sometimes does, even superheroes,) they will, one after another, find it discreetly tucked away amongst their things, looking for all the world as though it had been there all along.
And though no one will ever know it, somewhere under deep lock and key and triple encryption, there will exist in the Batcave a video of a small dark boy and a blonde girl with fierce grey eyes, perpetually caught in merry chase.
A/N: So saccharine sweet I probably gave you diabetes... but after that Joker piece, I needed this. Written to "Good Feeling," by Flo Rida & Avicii. And if someone felt compelled to draw that picture, I'd love you forever. Just sayin'.