The team was, once again, at the mountain, chilling in the after school hours. The only one missing was the Boy Wonder, who had apparently been doing the Dynamic Duo thing in Gotham since Sunday. It was now Tuesday and no one had seen Robin since – though that wasn't completely uncommon. Sometimes they didn't even see him when he came to the mountain.
For Artemis, the main drawback of the bird's absence was that a friendless Wally was a very bored Wally; and a bored Wally was a very, very annoying Wally. Usually the two friends would be hanging out, off pranking somebody, but at least they would be quiet.
The speedster had been bothering Artemis since the moment she stepped out of the zeta tubes at 3:45 p.m. It had taken her a good hour to ninja off his radar, finding blissful sanctuary in Robin's room. It was the only place she was sure Wally wouldn't look for her. That and she needed to borrow one of the Boy Wonder's numerous laptops to send an email.
She felt proud of herself; she had finally made a friend at Gotham Academy. Dick Grayson might be a total nerd and a grade below her (a freshman,) but he was fun to hang out with. Especially at lunch seeing as the two shared Accelerated Algebra II and the inexplicable need to finish their homework so that they wouldn't have to take it home (well, so she wouldn't have to take it to the mountain). They tended to gravitate toward each other, in a sort of good friends kind of way. If Wally found out, she'd never hear the end of it.
Unfortunately, Dick had been sick since Monday, and she was missing his brilliant brain while she tried to trawl through algebraic equations without his help to decipher their meaning (the kid was a certifiable genius). She thought it would be nice to send him a get-well note via the World Wide Web.
She booted up the first laptop she found, hoping Robin didn't have it impregnably locked and wouldn't kill her later for using his stuff. Fortunately the screen blinked on without asking for a password. Instead, a banner scrolled across the screen: 'Hey Artemis.'
The archer smiled. She didn't know how he did it, but Robin always seemed to know that other people needed. She had found it creepy at first, but now she realized that was just how Robin was; he thought of everything. He was a bat through and through. In the end, she was just glad he was on their side, not against them.
Artemis quickly wrote a short email, sending it to Grayson's school address because she didn't have any other way to contact him. He was, after all, the prince of Gotham; his phone number was as restricted as phone numbers get.
She shut the laptop and set it aside as a sudden announcement cackled over the Mount Justice speakers: "Team, report to the briefing room."
Only it wasn't the Batman's voice. It was Red Tornado's. What did he want?
Within a minute, the team had gathered, standing before a holo screen that displayed the gleaming visage of Tornado.
"For what reason have you summoned us?" Aqualad asked, voicing the question on everyone's mind.
"This is an emergency protocol. You are to be immediately dispatched to Star City. Your mission is to apprehend Robin. He is currently en route to Queen Industrial Labs to steal top secret technology research. Depart immediately."
The team was left aghast.
"We're going to WHAT!" Artemis couldn't mask the disbelief in her voice.
"What's going on?" Kid Flash asked, his anger reaching a boiling point. It sounded as if Tornado was insulting his best friend; calling him a thief; calling him a traitor.
"Why is Robin stealing?" M'gann's innocent voice was quiet with shock
Superboy remained impassive, staring at the league member as if he were trying to deduce if this were some sort of test or robotic programming left by T.O. Morrow to turn the team against their friend.
"Tornado," Kaldur kept his voice respectfully level, but he was close to frustration on the inside, "Please tell us what has transpired."
An explosion resounded across the link, interference causing ripples of static to cascade across the screen. In the distance, growing nearer, the sounds of a fight echoed discordantly out of the speakers, a chaotic jumble of noise sending ominous chills down the teenagers' spines.
"The battle is nearing," Red Tornado said as urgently as an android could sound, "There is not much time for an explanation."
"So tell us. Now!" Superboy demanded with a scowl.
"Please," Kaldur added, trying to soften his teammate's severity, but maintain the same urgency.
Red Tornado began: "We assume that it happened Sunday night while the Batman and Robin were on patrol. They were infected by a new strain of Poison Ivy's mind control spores. We believe she was hired by someone due to the fact that their recent activities have been very… purposeful. Monday morning, a source informed us of the Duo's downfall. Superman was dispatched to quietly resolve the matter, but he was quickly subdued. Since then, the entire League has attempted to detain Batman and Robin, but have failed. Right now five members of the Justice League are out of commission (injured), six more are inactive (unconscious), not including the two that are currently off-world. The League is weak enough that the Duo has split up to finish their mission. While the remaining heroes confront Batman, we need the team to pursue Robin and… stop him.
JY was gaping at this news.
"Why didn't we know about this earlier?" Artemis asked
"The situation has been delicate. We…"
Whatever Red Tornado was going to say next was cut off by a loud whine. A glowing, blue, baseball sized device sailed across the sky behind the Red hero's image; a final beep signaled its ignition. The last thing the team saw was a cerulean wave enveloping the screen before it went completely white. The holo display closed, signaling the cut connection.
"What happened?" M'gann asked worriedly.
"That was an EMP emitter;" Wally said grimly, "RT is now 'out of commission' too."
"We cannot dwell on it," Kaldur said, his soldierly composure in place, "The League has their mission and we have ours."
Minutes later the team sat in uncomfortable silence, anxiously waiting for the boiship to arrive at their fateful destination.
It was twilight by the time the team reached Star City, and the dreary, overcast sky didn't help the mood very much either. Artemis disembarked first to do the usual scout out, but the absence of their resident bat made the team feel like they were missing a limb. Less than a minute later the archer gave Kaldur the okay; he issued the order for the members to disperse. The plan: find Robin, surround him, and overwhelm him as quickly and efficiently as possible. It was simple really; it shouldn't have been hard; it was only Robin, right?
Through the telepathic link Superboy alerted the others of his position. He had located the Batman's protégé with his x-ray vision. The bird was crouched in the air vents, poised above the main hard drive unit, ready to steal the data when the security was weak. Kaldur relayed the commands for the team to converge and surprise him when he made his move for the theft.
The link went silent in anticipation for the fight; no one was sure what to expect in the next few minutes.
The shaft vent was removed so quietly only Superboy noticed it a first: a light scraping sound closely followed by the muted landing of Robin's light, flexible, combat boots.
The Boy Wonder froze in a crouched landing, as if he knew the team was watching. Slowly, he turned to face their hiding places, his cape barely swishing in the sterile air of the data conservatory. Wally shuddered, noticing that his friend's face was completely blank. His mouth didn't curve into his usual, self-satisfied smirk; his eyes didn't narrow with merited suspicion. No expression formed, he simply slid his hand into a pouch on his belt and flung a disk at Miss Martian's camouflaged form. It embedded itself in the wall near her hood, exploding into a cryogenic prison, trapping the Martian, but not causing any serious harm.
The fight had begun.
The team jumped into action to avenge their fallen comrade and to take back their traitorous one. Kid Flash beat the blitz, the first one to reach the mind-controlled hero. Wally wasn't surprised when his first attack missed. Robin had been teaching him to plan a strategy that utilized a set of feints to mislead a more experienced opponent. What did surprise the speedster though was the sudden sting he felt to his right, lower leg muscles. A tingling feeling was racing up his leg and numbing his toes. Anxiously, he peered down for signs of damage, but found none. He looked up just in time to see Robin bearing down on him, but not soon enough to dodge the fist that connected to his jaw.
Unable to keep his balance on his wacked out leg, Wally spun around, violently toppling to the floor. Before he could even catch his breath, Robin had crouched over him, quickly jabbing the Fastest Boy Alive in the left calf. His good leg was suddenly plagued by the same, numbing pain as the other.
Bewildered, Wally looked up at his best friend; his face was obscured by his black gauntlet curled in a cruel fist. From the knuckles protruded three long needles loaded with what Wally now realized to be a concentrated muscle paralysis serum. Kid Flash would not be running anywhere in the near future.
Whatever gloating the entranced bird may have enjoyed over the fallen speedster was cut short by a strong kick, courtesy of Aqualad.
Robin flowed with the momentum of the attack, handspringing backwards into a grinding crouch. He rose, completely expressionless as he evaluated his remaining three opponents; his demeanor in stark contrast with the team's tense stance.
As Artemis prepared herself, a fleeting thought escaped her mind, 'Does he even know what he's doing?'
'I am not sure.' Kaldur's voice echoed through her mind. Miss Martian's link was still in place, she was still conscious despite being frozen solid.
'I've been trying to reach him telepathically,' M'gann said, 'but his mind is wardened off by his orders. I can sense his consciousness, but it's repressed. I can't make contact so I can't say whether or not he's aware.'
'Are we gonna stop him or what?' Superboy demanded impatiently.
Wally coordinated form the floor, 'Organize the attack so that you all charge at once. Rob has less of a chance of fighting you off if you're together.'
'Wise advice from the one who decided to go solo,' Artemis couldn't resist pointing out Wally's hypocrisy.
'Noted, Kid,' Aqualad took control before an argument to break out in the middle of an important mission. He saw Robin sprint towards the drives, taking advantage of the standoff. Seeing their chance while the boy's back was turned Kaldur called out mentally, 'Team, go!'
Kaldur, Superboy, and Artemis charged.
Robin spun to face his adversaries. He ducked and weaved around Aqualad and Artemis's attacks, smoothly dodging their strikes, but Conner was moving faster.
Superboy was surprised when he landed a hit. Robin had always been able to evade; the clone had never actually been able to hurt the bird (apart from the first time they had met, but then again, he hadn't really been sane then). Now his fist connected, sending Robin skidding across the linoleum until his momentum was halted by a floor-to-ceiling hard drive.
Robin rose unsteadily to his feet, hand gripping the drives for support. Kaldur followed up Superboy's attack, hoping to get the bird while he was still groggy. But Robin was clever. He dodged Aqualad's strike, kartwheeling out of the way so that the Atlanean's fist landed where Robin's hand had rested on the drive. Kaldur's strike triggered the explosive disk Robin had armed while standing up, blowing the computer drive in half so that the broken section landed heavily on an unsuspecting Aqualad.
Superboy spared a glance at their KOed leader, but one glance was one too many. Robin was still moving after Kaldur's offense, the moment Conner lost his focus the bird took advantage of it. Whipping out his taser, Robin momentarily took aim and ejected the hooked wires towards the boy of steel. Superboy felt it, but didn't think much about it. After all, it had happened before (unsuccessfully). But as the electric charge raced down the lines, a pit formed in Conner's stomach; he didn't feel right.
The hooks: they were tipped with kryptonite.
But it was already too late. The voltage ripped through his body, a crippling force. He went down hard, his thoughts fading out before he even had a chance to tell himself how stupid he'd been to underestimate Robin. Bats never made the same mistake twice.
Artemis looked around at her fallen teammates. She was alone, just like she had been when the Reds attacked. But that time, she had Robin. Now he was the enemy.
M'gann had lost consciousness too; Artemis held felt the mind link slip away a moment ago. She was truly alone.
She looked up. Robin hadn't advanced; he simply waited as if he knew her failure was inevitable.
Artemis steeled herself: Get traught.
She drew back her bow and let her arrows fly, using it as a distraction to gain some distance. Robin intercepted her projectiles with batarangs, relentlessly pursuing the last standing member of Young Justice.
It was all she could do to stay away from him. She knew what would happen if he got too close: it would end quickly. Artemis fired arrow after arrow; trick arrows exploding into foam traps, nets, or electric fields. Robin skillfully avoided the areal barrage, avoiding some of the shafts so narrowly she thought she had hit him. But she was running out of arrows and he was getting closer. Change of tactics.
She collapsed her bow, drawing two long hunting knives. Jade had always been better with knives than Artemis, but that didn't mean the archer was inept. She crossed the blades, running the edges along each other to produce a metallic ring before taking a ready stance. Robin stopped his advance.
Artemis's face was set in a determined grimace. Something she had noticed in training: Robin hated knives. He wasn't scared of them, but they reminded him of unpleasant run-ins with the Joker. He avoided knives if possible, and when she sparred with them in practice sessions, he would lose his joking manner and quickly take her out without a cackle.
The bird's face was impassive, but he was finally standing still.
She watched as he reached into his belt. Before she could react, he activated three smoke spheres which beeped simultaneously before he let them drop. The gray cloud spread quickly, obscuring Robin's figure from her sight. Artemis gripped her knives nervously, shifting her stance even lower to be ready.
He came like a specter out of the murk – silent and deadly. Expertly, she spun out of range of his initial attack, her knives flashing in the gloom. Robin held his collapsible Eskrima sticks, now fully extended, to match her weapon of choice.
He disappeared again, melting into the shadows.
Moments later, Artemis cried out as one of her knives was painfully knocked out of her hand; it skidded away, out of sight. Frantically, she looked to the left and the right, only noticing Robin's second approach at the last moment. Instinctively, she raised her remaining knife to block the path of his stick towards her neck – a blow that would have most certainly knocked her out cold. Instead, the colliding weapons locked. The sharp blade of her knife bit into the heavy material of his Esckrima.
Artemis didn't recover fast enough; Robin reacted immediately.
He grabbed her wrist, flipped over her shoulder, and violently wrenched her arm.
Artemis couldn't hold back the scream of pain that escaped her lips as her arm popped out of its socket. Her shoulder was on fire; the white pain eliminating every other thought. She collapsed to her knees, cradling her pain riddled arm to her chest. She thought she heard Wally calling her name, but her mind wouldn't process the signals. The rational part of her brain reminded her that this had happened before, during training with her father, but this was now. And it hurt like hell.
She cracked her eyes through the fog of pain to see Robin, completely unopposed, step up to the computer drives and work his magic on his wrist computer. Within half a minute, he was done, slipping back through the vents without a backwards glance at his team. Artemis ground her teeth, channeling her pain and frustration into anger. They had failed; five versus one and they had failed.
A hand hesitantly rested on her shoulder. Kid Flash had dragged himself over to where Artemis was, worry written across his face.
"He got away," Artemis mumbled, closing her eyes and gripping her injured arm.
"No, I mean, what happened to you?" Wally's voice was filled with concern.
"I dislocated my shoulder. Stupid mistake."
Wally didn't say anything for a moment. He was watching her intently.
"We didn't listen," he said eventually, rearranging his paralyzed legs so that he was sitting beside her.
She cast him a confused look, one eyebrow quirked in question, "What are you talking about?"
"Rob told us we needed to be able to stop him if the situation required it. Well, the situation requited it, and we were clueless."
Artemis would have shrugged her shoulders, but she didn't want to jar her injured one.
"Not you though," Wally went on. He put a hand on her arm in a comforting way, but the action only caused her to suck in a painful breath between her teeth. "You did awesome. You were the last one standing, but you kept on fighting. Rob had a tough time taking you on!"
Artemis was slightly embarrassed by Wally's praise.
"I still lost." She reminded him, her face a little warm.
"Details, details," he dismissed her objection giving her a sneaky smirk, "You looked awesome doing it too, by the way."
Okay, what the heck. Did that stuff Robin hit him with paralyze his brain too? What was the speedster getting at? He wasn't usually this…
A sudden flare of pain spiked down her arm as Wally unexpectedly yet firmly popped her shoulder back into place. She bit her tongue to hold back the yelp that rose in her throat. Hot tears streamed, unbidden, down her face, soaking into her mask. She curled into a ball, inadvertently leaning against Wally's chest as he comfortingly put his arms around her. It took her a minute to regain her composure before looking up to glare at the speedster. He was grinning, but there was undisguised concern in his green eyes.
"That hurt!" she hissed, but didn't push away.
Wally seemed to think that response meant that she was fine, "You never saw it coming."
"You are way too smug."
"What can I say," he said with a shrug, "It's not like I've never dislocated my shoulder with a sudden stop. Flash just talks to me until I'm distracted, and then puts it back into place. He usually buys me ice cream too." He added as an afterthought.
"Then you owe me ice cream." She said, standing up.
"Fair enough," the red-head agreed.
Wally struggled to his feet. His super-fast metabolism had burned off most of the drug by now, but Artemis still had to help steady him. It was almost comfortable with his arm around her shoulders. Stupid hormones! She banished her wayward thoughts, focusing on the task at hand.
The pair decided to lift the broken equipment off Kaldur first. He groaned, stirring after they had managed to move the mammoth sized hard drive. As they panted from the effort, Aqualad used his hydrokinesis to free M'gann from the ice. She coughed and gasped upon waking, but was shortly able to arouse Conner telepathically.
Within a few minutes the whole team was on their feet. Kaldur was grateful to observe that no one had been seriously injured; perhaps Robin really did know what he was doing despite the mind control.
"Well that was a failure." Superboy's surmised bluntly.
"What do we do now?" M'gann asked, "We need to help him. Robin is our teammate."
"Darn right!" Wally said.
They team looked to Kaldur. Luckily he was saved from deciding what to do by a call coming over his communicator. He pressed a finger to his ear to receive the transmission.
"Get over to the Star City International Design Center, pronto!" It was the Flash's voice, "The team needs to detain Robin. Just detain him, mind you. I will be there shortly take care of things." He hung up without waiting for an answer. The Flash was always in a hurry.
The team didn't need to be told twice. They nearly broke the sound barrier en route.
It wasn't hard to find him this time. The bird was jumping over rooftops; a Star City Police helicopter had its spotlight trained on the boy. Young Justice joined the fun, dropping out of the bioship and surrounding Robin.
"Don't let him leave this rooftop!" Kaldur ordered, "Don't engage him, just keep him here until Flash arrives."
The change of strategy helped the team stay focused. Instead of a hodge-podge attack, they diverted Robin's offenses towards themselves so that he wouldn't leave their perimeter.
Suddenly, an unexpected wave of dizziness hit every member of Young Justice like a tidal wave. They collapsed onto the tarmac of the roof. The feeling was terrifyingly familiar: Vertigo.
Wally looked up just in time to see his Uncle flick a switch on Count Vertigo's strange head device. Still on his hands and knees, Wally noticed his teammates in similar positions as they shook their heads to banish the wooziness; everyone but Robin.
"Rob!" he called, scrabbling over to his best friend.
The Flash beat him there, kneeling beside the young hero to gather him in his arms.
"Why is he unconscious?" Artemis sounded a bit hysterical, "The rest of us are fine!"
"He's tired, let him rest," The Flash's laid-back manner never ceased to amaze them. He had the boy cradled in his arms.
"Explain," Superboy demanded. Kaldur shot him a look, "…please," he added grudgingly.
"Forty-Eight hours later and we finally figure it out!" Flash exclaimed, "Batman would not be proud of us. But then again, that's why we need him…"
"To. The. Point." Wally prompted his mentor.
"Oh yeah, Right. Well anyway, we finally noticed that all of Batman's gadgets were tailored for each individual in the League. So we zetaed up to the watchtower, grabbed this do-hicky, and zapped Bats a few times. He didn't come prepared to fight Count Vertigo (but then again, we found sonic filters in his utility belt, so technically, he did come prepared), but he wasn't expecting it from us! We figured the same technique would work on mini-bats, and it did." The team was still looking at him like he had left out the important part, "And Robin is unconscious because he has been awake for 52 hours straight and all it took was a little push to put him over the edge of exhaustion."
"So, what now?" M'gann asked curiously looking at Robin. He looked small and vulnerable in the red-clad hero's arms. His face shone pale in the darkness, black hair mussed where his head rested on Flash's chest. It was hard to believe that barely an hour ago he had been threatening enough to disarm all of his super-powered friends.
"I'm taking him home," Flash said, "Batman is already back at the Batcave and Agent A is anxious to have Ri- Robin home as well. But, he'll probably be back before you know it." He said the last part with a resigned sigh. Bats never stay down for long.
The Flash disappeared. A brisk wind was the only sign of his departure.
It was silent for a moment before the unforeseen occured.
"Do Batman and Robin live in the Batcave," Kaldur mused, "I wonder."
Wally couldn't suppress his snort, "Of course not, duh!"
"And what do you know about it?" Artemis challenged, she had always figured Wally knew more about the Bats than anyone else.
"Absolutely nothing!" Wally amended, realizing he'd slipped up, "I'm going home now. See you all later." He was gone in a flash.
"Pft, typical Wally."
All in a not-so-ordinary day's work for the team.
Kid Flash had waited seventeen hours. Seventeen hours! That was a long time to wait for a speedster. True, he had spent ten of those hours sleeping, and two more watching TV before his mom had forced him to go to school for the remaining five. But really, seventeen hours! How many more before Dick was going to call him, text him, something! Wally wouldn't stand for another minute of it. He was going to Gotham himself. You don't just get mind-controlled for two days, then not tell your best friend that you were finally okay. That was unheard of!
The moment the last bell rang, Wally was zipping down the hall and to the nearest zeta tube. He ran through Gotham fast enough that no one would notice him, save for a light breeze ruffling their hair. Wayne Manor rose on the horizon. Wally remembered how intimidated he had been the first time he visited, but that was two years ago now. These days, he skidded to a halt at the front door, grabbed both knockers and banged them as obnoxiously as possible.
Alfred answered; one eyebrow rose disdainfully at the teenager's antics.
"Ah, Wallace. I had a feeling it was you." His accent, which Wally always thought was awesome, negated his subtle sarcasm. The speedster stepped into the mansion as Alfred stepped aside.
A voice echoed down into the foyer, "Alfred, is someone here?"
"He's on his way up, Master Richard." Alfred called up.
Wally took that as his cue. He raced up the Persian carpeted staircase as fast as he could. Alfred's admonishment, 'no running, please,' fell on deaf ears (or maybe it was because Wally was already in Dick's room).
His best friend was sitting up in bed, black hair damp as if he had just taken a shower. There were shadows under his eyes, and his face still looked slightly pale. But a smile was fixed on his face and his blue eyes lit up upon recognizing his visitor.
There were so many things Wally wanted to say, but the only thing that slipped out oh-so-eloquently was: "Dude, you look awful."
"No dip, Walls," Dick said with a roll of his eyes, "I just woke up about twenty minutes ago. Good timing by the way."
"What can I say, heroes always show up in the nick of time." The red-head put his hands on his hips, smiling proudly.
Dick sighed tiredly, reminding Wally of his friend's predicament.
"How do you feel?" he asked. It seemed like the most necessary question.
"Pretty crappy," Dick confessed, "Over fifty hours, no snack breaks, no sleep. It doesn't do you any favors. And Alfred barely let me out of bed for breakfast and a shower. He thought he needed to bring it up here."
"You nearly fell over," Alfred's voice came from somewhere down the hall, "bed rest is the best thing if you want to recover your strength, Master Richard."
"Yeah, yeah," Dick grumbled.
He looked so pouty it took all of Wally's self control not to burst out laughing. Instead, he plopped himself down on the bed, casually leaning back with his fingers interlocked behind his head.
"So where's Bats?"
"Really?" Wally sat bolt upright, surprised. That man never slept.
"Really," repeated Dick with a grin, "The entire Justice League agreed that the best way to get Bruce to rest was to sedate him. Otherwise, he'd have been out, righting all the wrongs he committed for Ivy. He's going to throw a fit when he wakes up and finds out. The League doesn't really realize that pulling two-straight all nighters is like, on Bruce's weekly agenda."
"So what about you? How come you're not drugged?"
"Apparently, they don't think I'm as stubborn as he is." Dick shrugged. He went to throw off his covers to get up for something, but Alfred's voice wafted through the door: 'Don't you dare get out of that bed, Richard Grayson!'
"Or they know who your taskmaster is." Wally smirked as his friend grudgingly settled back into his bed.
"How does he do that?" Dick grumped under his breath.
Wally laughed, "It's a bat family thing. What did you need?"
"My school laptop. That one there… no, the other one. I'm probably so behind on my homework. Murphy's Law would state that I recently received two class projects, five essays, and a truckload of algebra homework."
"That's what you get for attending a fancy-pants school," Wally said, handing him the computer.
"Well, you know how it is. The sons of billionaires can't attend just any public school, like someone I know." Dick's tone was dripping with sarcasm as he started his computer, fingers flying across the keyboard at an impossible pace (even Wally couldn't type that fast with super-speed).
"So… do you, remember anything?"
Dick grimaced, but didn't look up, "Some of it. It was like a bad dream, but one that you find out was all real when you wake up. Trust me, I know what that's like. I can only recall odd parts. I think Superboy might have punched me. I'm really sore."
"Yeah, he did."
"Alfred gave me the rundown of everything that happened, but no details. I'm not sure what to think," He slowly smirked, "I'm a little proud, even though I know I shouldn't be. The League, we took out The League! Oh, and I knocked all you guys out too."
Wally grimaced, his pride hurt. "Technically, you didn't knock me out."
Dick didn't say anything. He was staring at his computer, an expression of shock on his face.
"What is it?" Wally asked, scooting around so he could see the screen.
"I got an email… from Artemis."
Dick opened the message on his inbox. The text in big green letters read:
I heard you were sick. Hope you get well soon!
I'll be honest, I'm missing you here at school. Mr. Baker saw fit to let us try and self-teach ourselves from our books, and your big brain is way better than the textbook :P
Don't be gone for too long, or Babs is going to lose her mind. Bette took your place at the lunch table, claims she's 'filling in' for you, but all she can talk about is her Robin fixation. Babs nearly drowned herself in her milk carton and I feel for her. She's pretty worried because apparently you haven't been answering her calls. Don't die on us! If Bette takes up permanent residence, you're going to have to send me to Arkham.
See you soon (hopefully),
Dick cackled, "Oh Wally. Your girlfriend sends the nicest emails."
"She's not my girlfriend," Wally deadpanned. Unexpected jealousy was rising in his chest, coloring his cheeks as he fought to stay calm. It was hopeless though. Dick was the protégé to the greatest detective in the world, he noticed the signs.
"When are you going to have it?" the black haired boy asked cryptically.
"An epiphany. I want to be there to see the light go on in your head."
"Whatever," Wally was fine with denial.
Dick smirked knowingly as he went back to his laptop.
"You dislocated her shoulder you know." The red-head's voice was quiet.
Dick looked up at his friend, a mixture and horror and disbelief on his face, "Really?"
The younger boy bit his lip. Wally was able to see the guilt in his features, not just for Artemis, but the whole catastrophe. Realizing he had been a bit tactless, he told the rest of his story.
"I reset her shoulder for her, told her I'd get her ice cream sometime."
Dick smiled. He was familiar with Barry's buying Wally ice cream when he accidently got hurt or did something good as Kid Flash. Needless to say, it was good motivation for the young speedster. He had tried it on Bruce once. Batman told him that 'justice was its own reward, but if he really wanted something special, he'd make him a soy-protein shake when they got home.' That was the last time he asked.
He grinned, "Sound's like I got you a date Walls, you should thank me."
"Whatever," the speedster rolled his eyes, "Speaking of 'dates,' I gotta go meet Artemis soon. Gotham Academy lets out in five minutes."
"Thanks for dropping by," Dick voice was grateful. Sometimes Wally forgot how young his friend was. He could hide it so well.
"Anything for my best pal. Get some rest."
"Or what? You gonna sedate me?"
Wally smirked, "I'll leave that up to Alfred."
"I'm doomed!" Dick groaned, falling back on his pillows.
"I heard that Master Richard!" Alfred's voice came from somewhere on the first floor this time.
The boys laughed.
"So, see ya soon then!"
"As soon as Alfie lets me up." Dick vowed.
"Then, sometime next week?" Wally teased.
"Don't give him any ideas."
Wally's own cackle echoed through the mansion as he sped out. Robin would be back in a day, bet you five bucks. Oh wait, that money is for the ice cream. Nevermind.