Disclaimer: I don't own YJ blah blah blah.
"Wait," Artemis called out in the mental link after the most obvious realization had literallyhit her straight at the face in the form of Oliver Queen stumbling half drunk with a half-embarrassed, half-amused Dinah Lance by his side, "if the whole Justice League is here, then why the hell are we here?"
The blond archerer was feeling more than a little out of place at theevent of the year - the 48th Annual Wayne Charity Gala - and she would be out in an instant if she wasn't needed. True, as a Wayne Scholarship student, she had a better excuse than anyone else in the team to be here, but she felt a bit like Alice in a wonderland of wealth, and it made her feel more than a bit self conscious. Even the silverware was probably worth more than the price of her whole outfit combined.
Still, she had it a bit better than the speedster who kept repeatedly fiddling with his tie while doing his best, and failing quite spectacularly, to pass off as a waiter. "Hey, just be glad we get to work with them," Wally answered mentally while quickly using his super speed to shovel several of the tarts on his platter into his mouth within a blink of an eye. However, his uncle managed to grab the last one on the plate before the smaller hand got to it, and the older speedster ate it equally as fast with a satisfied grin.
Artemis made a disgusted face at the speed eating and turned away. Kaldur was behind her, also dressed as a waiter with a cup of water on a platter held out as an offering to her. "I do not quite understand why this Bruce Wayne has been given such a large security personnel, but I do believe it is best to…'go with the flow?'"
Megan's voice rang out just as Artemis took the glass. "Well, the wholeJustice League isn't here, my uncle is still at the watchtower."
"Superman's here?" It was Conner this time, probably somewhere with Megan. The two were passing off as a couple, and pulling it off much more spectacularly than Artemis's efforts. Megan, of course, credited it to Earth media while Superboy had his programming to grudgingly thank once again.
The last to report in was Robin, his laugh somehow still retaining its creepy echo even in the mental link. "Yup, most everyone's here. Even Roy. Martian Manhunter just pulled the short straw to stay behind."
Artemis looked around, trying to spot her youngest teammate, but to no avail. The charity ball had more than its fair share of black haired young boys, all as unwilling to talk to her as the rest. Then, she reprocessed what Robin said. "Wait, pulled the short straw?"
The laughter rang out again. "Well yeah, don't you know? This is the "vacation" mission of the year, courtesy of Bruce Wayne, one of the sponsors of the Justice League."
The cup in Artemis's hand nearly dropped out of a mix of shock and anger. So this was a useless mission. How did she possibly not catch it earlier. How did they all not catch it?
Megan was the most sensitive to the growing feelings of uncertainty and the first stirrings of anger and resentment building up in the link from what the team perceived as being dumped, once again, with a "pointless" mission. She didn't see it as such though. "Hello, Megan," She called out through the link, causing everyone to sharpen their mental attention towards her. "Don't you get it? Everyone in the league is out here, in their civilian identity."
"So? It's not like they can come in costume." Conner didn't get it, and shot Megan a confused look as they went through well practiced steps on the dance floor.
Wally, surprisingly, did get it. "Duh! It means that they're trusting us with their identities!"
"If we can figure out who's who," Artemis added snidely, but she paused for a moment to scan the crowd with a calculating look. This could actually be pretty interesting.
"Consider it…a training exercise."
Sniggers passed through the mental link, but Kaldur's carefully neutral expression did not change an inch as he poured the last bit of champagne from his bottle into a waiting glass for a guest.
Apparently, the snort came from Wally, because the speedster immediately chimed in afterwards, "Well, Robin's out of the game then, because he already knows. And he won't tell-"
The conversation paused as the lights in the ballroom suddenly went out, and hushed whispers broke out in confusion. Megan was half tempted to fly up to get a better view, although the crowd was surprisingly calm. Was this a common thing in Gotham?
"Is someone actually attacking?"
"Well babe, villains do like to crash a good party…"
"Team, let us gather at the center-"
"GREETINGS, ladies and gentlemen of Gotham! How I've relished for this moment!" The crowd turned to the direction of the new voice, and the emergency power turned on promptly afterwards to reveal a man, clad with C symbol on his chest, standing triumphantly on one of the dining tables. More importantly, two tubes were strapped to his back, connected to gun-shaped bottles of what looked to be…ketchup and mayonnaise?
Artemis's jaws dropped. "You have got to be kidding me."
"Yes! Tonight will be the crowning moment when I, THE CONDIMENT KING, will finally ketchup and prove myself to all the other villains by-"
The villain's spotlight was short lived though, because at that moment, the reporter Clark Kent managed to trip over something and barreled straight towards the back of the so called Condiment King, knocking him off the table. This, unfortunately for them, didn't turn out well because the Condiment King was hurled straight towards one displeased Diana Prince who did not hesitate at all to punch the wannabe villain back into the clumsy reporter. The two landed in a heap of limbs on the table, earning sympathetic winces from the crowd.
Wally whistled at the scene, and his other teammates were beside him, looking on in equal amounts of awe and bemusement. "I bet you ten bucks that that's Wonder Woman."
"Sucker's bet," Artemis scoffed, "How about twenty that the guy who ran into him was Superman?"
A frown settled on Conner's face as he observed the man struggling to get free. Clark Kent was blushing in embarrassment, and with his thick glasses knocked off to the side and clear blue eyes shining visibly, the resemblance to Superman was almost uncanny. But…"Superman isn't that clumsy," he insisted with absolute certainty.
"Hello Conner, secret identity?"
"Megan is correct," Kaldur contributed, "In his civilian persona, Superman might not act like...Superman."
This did not satisfy Conner at all, especially when he saw the man finally get up, then trip right again on the Condiment King's ketchup bottle after only three steps. His clumsiness was almost as appalling as the Condiment King's choice of theme.
"If he's Superman then…" Superboy paused, glancing around the crowd for an equally clumsy male. His eyes finally locked in on the man of the hour, Bruce Wayne, accidentally spilling champagne on his own suit (and still getting quite a bit of females vying to clean it up regardless). "…then, Bruce Wayne is Batman."
Wally choked on his food and the rest of the team turned to watch Bruce casually glance at the women flocking around him with a slightly lecherous grin. One of his stray hands had begun tracing its way down one woman's back. Meanwhile, Bruce was leaning far too close to another woman, lips almost touching.
The whole team immediately looked away in horror before it progressed further, because imagining Batman, the epitome of seriousness, as a playboy was more than enough to short circuit their minds. Robin was laughing once again into their mental link. "Oh my god, hah. The look on all your faces…pfff…Bruce Wayne? Really guys?"
"Well," Wally commented while the rest of the team was busy looking elsewhere sheepishly, "that would explain the no dates, only justice policy. He has enough dates as-"
"Wally, your uncle just went off with the last plate of nachos," Dick cut in with a deadpan voice.
"Wha-! That was against our agreement!"
Just as Wally left with only a breeze left behind, Megan had a realization of her own. "Robin, are you watching us? We haven't seen you at all tonight!"
"'Course you have Miss M," Robin replied with a chuckle, "you just don't know it."
The comment tempted the team to look more carefully at the shifting crowd around them. Most of the attendees had already moved past the Condiment King accident, and no one seemed too interested in the odd gathering of teenagers. Artemis crossed her arms. "I see no black haired bird brains around here, how do we know you aren't skipping out on us, boy wonder?"
"Who said I would come with black hair? Or even come as a boy?"
It was Superboy's turn to have a look of complete bafflement. "You're dressed as a girl?"
"Maybe," was the cryptic reply.
"Maybe," another voice, a physical one this time, caught their attention, "you guys are being a bit too obvious with your mental conversation again."
Zatanna emerged from the crowd of strangers, dressed in a casual show suit and a top hat. She had been enlisted as part of the early entertainment for the ball to explain her presence at the event, and had decided to stay in costume for the rest of the night. "Sorry I'm late guys," she replied mentally when Megan's crushing hug prevented her from doing so physically.
"Zatanna," Kaldur acknowledged with a nod. "You look great."
The magician smiled, extracting herself from Megan's arms and removing her hat to give a short bow. "Thanks! So what's got you all looking so confused?"
"Robin," they all answered at once. Seeing the unsure look on Zee's face, Kaldur elaborated, "We are attempting to guess his identity for the gala."
"And the boy wonder may possibly be a girl wonder tonight," Artemis added, still busy scanning the crowd for possible suspects. But at this point, any teen in the vicinity was a suspect.
"Ooooor, he might be trolling you." Wally's voice finally joined in on the conversation again, although he was still distant. Everyone ignored the speedster though, probably because they could practically imagine him speaking in between unbelievably large bites of food. After all, hadn't Robin told them earlier to keep an open mind?
Zatanna pursed her lips thoughtfully. "Funny thing, actually," she started, "there was this odd girl with red hair who just smiled and waved at me when I was coming down from the stage. I didn't know her at all, but she disappeared before I could speak to her."
"Now that you mention it…" Everyone turned to Megan who looked equally as thoughtful, as if trying to recall a memory. "When we arrived, I saw a red-haired girl staring at our direction, but I thought she might have been looking at someone else."
"You mean that girl standing there with Red Arrow?"
The other four heads whipped around to follow the direction of Superboy's finger straight towards the scene of two redheads chatting over a bowl of punch. One of them was obviously Roy Harper, his hair and exposed muscular arms left no question about it. The other one, only Artemis recognized.
"Wait, that can't be Robin, she's Barbara Gordon! She's from my school and Robin…isn't a girl…right?" Her mind flew back, bringing up every memory of Robin she could recall. She was pretty sure she didn't see any signs of breasts during the attack of the Red robots, but…well, Robin was young. And she hadn't really looked that closely. And for a brief second, Artemis swore she saw Barbara meet her stare.
"Well, she's definitely the girl I saw from the stage…"
"…And it can't be a coincidence that she's talking to Red Arrow right now…"
And Robin had gone suspiciously silent over the mental link.
The evidence was building up fast, thus prompting Kaldur to lead the group toward his friend while reminding them, "We must not jump to conclusions, my friends."
Unfortunately for the group, by the time they reached Roy, he was standing alone and sipping from his cup of punch. The team looked around suspiciously. The girl definitely had the disappearing act of the Robin mantle down.
"Roy," Kaldur started, catching the archer's attention.
He acknowledged them with a nod, easily guessing who they were by their number and hair color. "What do you guys need?"
"Was that girl Robin?" Megan blurted out, a bit too loud. She quickly covered her mouth and looked down. The martian was seriously contemplating about using her powers to just disappear, because the group received several curious stares from the other attendees at the blurb.
Roy raised an eyebrow as the rest of the team literally jumped into more casual poses to blend in, waiting for the short attention span of the party goers to pass. When it did, he joined into their mental link. "Why would Barbara be Robin? Robin's a guy…as far as I know."
The team exchanged a glance with each other, then stared back at Roy. They would need to ascertain this some other way. "How did you meet her?"
"She just walked up to me and started talking," Roy recalled, although he had not found it even slightly odd at the time. He was Roy Harper, ward of the millionaire Oliver Queen. He usually had to hide to get girls to stop talking to him. However, the team remained unaware of this detail and the cogs in their brains were spinning faster than ever now.
"Why did she leave?"
"She got a text and had to leave," the expression on Roy's face slowly grew more and more annoyed. "Are we done with this game of twenty questions yet?" His irritation was only growing with the team's inquiries. After all, a girl did just walk out on him - something that hadn't happened in a long while since he became Ollie's ward. And now the team was trying to tell him that Barbara had been Robin. It was all absolutely ridiculous, and he was more glad than ever that he had distanced himself from the team.
Lord blessed Kaldur who had to deal with this on a daily basis.
He tossed his jacket that he had been holding to Kaldur who immediately caught it on reflex. "I'm going to get another drink," he told them out loud, abruptly exiting the mental link which was now rife with theories regarding Robin.
No one tried to follow, too busy with other thoughts.
"It…it can't be, right?"
Back in his room, Dick Grayson was grinning so widely that his companions were already giving him funny looks. Well, at least Barbara was; Wally was just as amused.
"Dick, why did you keep disappearing all night?" Barbara crossed her arms, fixing her best friend with a glare. "And why did you call me when I was talking with Roy?" She wanted answers. It was the least Dick could do after setting her up with a stranger (that part she didn't mind too much) and disappearing on her most of the night, only to repeatedly re-appear around a strange group of teenagers who she had never met before. Except that one girl who looked suspiciously like Artemis Crook.
"Oh nothing, Barbara, just had to run some errands," Dick assured with a grin and offered her one of Alfred's personally made pastries before Wally ate them all. "And Alfred just finished making this batch, so I thought you would like to give it a try."
The glare only relented after Barbara took a blissful bite. No one could stay angry for long after a bite of that cooking - Dick knew from experience.
The two heros shared a quick fistbump during her distraction.
"Feeling the aster, girl wonder?"
A smirk. "Always."
A/N: This was a fill for the YJ anon meme, with the general prompt of the team trying to guess secret identities while both the league and the team were in their civilian personas during a mission. And Robin's a troll, as always.
As always, feedback is appreciated because writing humor is not my forte at all. Also, I kinda owe 3 fics for the anon meme right now, but I haven't chosen which prompts I want to write yet. If any of you guys have suggestions, feel free to message me or leave a review with the prompt, the part number, and the page number it is on in the YJ anon meme. And these can only be prompts from the YJ anon meme (google it!), although you're free to post your own prompts on there and suggest it.