Hi everyone! I know I need to update my other fanfic, but I got a bit stuck and this is what came out. This is placed after season 1. Also, expect a few "guest" appearances in future chapters. Hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own rights to any of this. The fanfic is mine, but everything else belongs to DC Comics.
"What a long night," groaned Robin, stretching out his aching arms as he followed the rest of the Team through the zeta-tube and into the Cave's main hall. "So many Gotham villains. What was with that? We were half way across the world from my city!"
"Then I'm gonna go ahead and blame you for the past five hours of non-stop villainy we just had to deal with," responded an unusually sluggish Kid Flash, his words slurring as he talked. Robin already knew it, but this made it pretty clear that his best friend really wasn't used to these all-nighter missions. Wally barely made it into the TV room before falling back into the couch. "Seriously, it was like a 'Super Baddie Free-For-All' out there."
"Wait, they were all from Gotham?" Artemis asked a bit incredulously, her exhaustion pretty apparent as she kicked off her boots and collapsed onto the couch next to their resident speedster. "I mean, I knew Gotham had a lot of villains and that they were some of the most hard-core in the world, but seriously? You've been going through that for the past four years?
Robin slumped to the ground and stretched out on the floor in front of them. "Closer to five, actually, but yeah. That's how I knew so many of their weak points."
Kaldur limped his way over to the kitchen sink and splashed the cold water onto his face repeatedly. A mission in Cairo in broad daylight could not have been easy on the gills, even if it was still winter. "It's a good thing you did, because otherwise, that would have been a… very difficult situation," the Atlantian added as he wiped his face dry with a towel. He removed two glasses from the cabinet and filled them with ice water, then handed one of them over to his other heat-sensitive teammate as she flew in. M'gann happily accepted the drink and flew over to the other couch where her boyfriend had flopped down. Rocket followed in after the green girl and stole a long sip of Kaldur's water before leaping over the back of the couch and landing on the cushion next to Artemis with a soft plop.
Zatanna knelt to the ground beside Robin, giving him a small smile before joking, "I felt a bit bad though. There were times where we got in the way more than helped."
The slight touch of Zatanna leg against his set loose a cage of butterflies in the Boy Wonder's stomach. The good kind though, so he flashed her his trademark smirk and tried to subtly move in a little closer. "Nah, you guys did fine. That was kinda my bad," Robin replied lazily, pulling a pillow out from under Wally's legs and placing it over his face to cover his eyes, "I'm so used to working with Batgirl as my partner that I kept forgetting that you guys don't know those villains as well as we do."
An eerie silence swept across the room. Curious and just as equally confused, Robin lifted the pillow from his face to find all eyes trained on him. "What?" he asked blankly, totally lost on their sudden hush.
"Well, it's just… you never really mention Batgirl much," M'gann finally offered up.
"Yeah, I mean, I'd always heard stories about the two of you fighting crime together," Artemis added, "But since you've never talked about her, we had kinda just assumed that you two actually didn't interact much and she was just some solo vigilante using Batman's name. But… I guess that wasn't right then?"
Nice move, Grayson. Robin desperately looked around to his best friend for help, only to find him deliberately avoiding eye-contact by staring up at the ceiling, a small bead of nervous sweat forming on his jaw. Thanks, dude. Real subtle. Dick turned back around to face the group, but found it impossible to focus on anything but Zatanna. A mix of emotions swirled in her eyes, as if she was curious and yet a little hesitant to hear about the other part of his life. He couldn't blame her, but he'd rather hesitate for all eternity than try to explain this part of his life. He'd have to explain eventually, and it wasn't like he had anything to hide, really, but now definitely wasn't the right time. He and Zatanna had only just started dating, and something as intimate as his partnership and friendship with Barbara Gordon could easily create dangerous misunderstandings and unnecessary tension between them. And extra tension was the last thing the magician needed after what happened to her dad. But looking at Zatanna's unwavering gaze and the curious looks of his other teammates (except Wally, who still seemed totally engrossed by the paint of the ceiling), Dick knew he would have to divulge at least a part of this story. A very, very, very small part.
He took a deep breath, hoping his apprehension wasn't completely obvious, and said with a dismissive shrug of his lean shoulders, "Obviously I know Batgirl. After all, we have the same mentor. I just…" Robin paused as he desperately clawed through the endless torrents of his frantic mind in search of the most appropriate and least risky lie. "I mean, it's just never come up in a conversation before." Good! That's good. It's technically not a lie.
But the Team seemed to have noticed his little hesitation and just stared back at him with doubting eyes. "I guess that's true, but…"
"Well, it's come up now, soooo… can we meet her?" Zatanna asked, her eyes glowing with new-found excitement.
If Robin had followed Aqualad's lead and gotten himself some water before crashing to the floor, he probably would've done a spit take just now. "W-what? Why?" he managed to stutter out.
"You're joking right?" Rocket interjected disbelievingly.
"Of course we'd want to meet her! Even on Mars, I heard stories of you guys when you were sidekicks, and that includes Batgirl."
"See! She's not just internationally famous, she's galactically famous!"
"I'm pretty sure that's not a real word, Raquel," Kaldur chuckled through a sip of ice water.
"That's because there are no other words worthy enough to describe her," Artemis added, half joking, half serious.
"Thank you! At least someone gets it."
M'gann turned to her boyfriend, who had yet to say a word since they'd returned, "What do you think, Connor?"
Superboy just gave them a bored look and replied, "To be honest, I didn't even know there was a Batgirl, so I don't really care either way."
"Then it's settled!" Raquel announced out loud, "It's one versus… one, two, three, Artemis makes four, Superboy makes five, we'll just say Kaldur makes six, and Wally makes se—wait, KF hasn't even spoken yet."
The Team all turned their attention to the scarlet haired hero.
"Wally, why are you staring the ceiling as intently as Superboy watching TV static?"
"Because, it's… fun… yeah, fun…"
Artemis just watched her boyfriend inquisitively. "I'm actually a bit shocked that you aren't jumping on this chance to meet such a legendary heroine like Batgirl. I mean, I know we're dating, but that's sure never stopped you from flirting with a girl before."
"Unless," M'gann's eyes widened slightly as the pieces of the puzzle started to click into place, "You've already met her!"
That got the speedster's attention. He bolted straight up in his seat and swung his head around to stare at the Martian in disbelief. "Hey! No mind reading!"
"I promise you, that time, I just guessed."
Wally's face went blank, and he facepalmed himself for his stupidity.
"What! Seriously?" Rocket exclaimed, "That's so not fair! I've always wanted to meet Batgirl!"
"Yeah, same here. She was one of my inspirations to become a superhero," Artemis agreed eagerly before turning to punch her boyfriend in the arm, "Wally, why didn't you ever tell me that you met her!"
"Ow! Becau—ow! Quit punching m—OW! BECAUSE ROBIN TOLD ME NOT TO! THERE! NOW STOP HITTING ME!"
And all eyes swung back around to pry answers out of the Boy Wonder, who finally realized that he had just lost his last chance to sneak away unnoticed. Robin bit his lip apprehensively as a half-dozen set of eyes pried him for answers. So much for secrecy. "Look, you guys," he began, shifting his weight so that he was sitting up straight and turned around to face all of them. He took a minute to evaluate his situation. Thanks to all that training he'd done with Batman, Robin had an incredible poker face, which he desperately needed right now. As cool and calm as he appeared to his friends at that moment, on the inside he was sweating buckets, panicking as he tried to devise an escape plan. He was running out of options; he hated flat-out lying to his friends, but this wasn't a conversation that he wanted to have yet. With a weary sigh, all he could think to say was, "It's not really that big a deal, is it?"
"Well, it isn't life or death or anything, but why are you trying so hard not to talk about her?" Raquel told him through gritted teeth, obviously agitated, "It's more than just a bit suspicious."
Wally gave a small awkward laugh. "Boy, am I tired!" he interjected nervously as he moved to stand up, getting ready to make a high-speed break for it, "I'm off to bed then. 'Night!"
"Not so fast, baywatch!" Artemis snapped as she grabbed the speedster by the back of his shirt and pulled him back down, "You definitely aren't off the hook yet since you obviously know what he's hiding and why he's hiding it!"
"He's not hiding anything, you guys," Wally tried, but Artemis and Raquel clearly didn't believe him.
Robin personally didn't really care what either of the teenage girls believed; his prime concern was Zatanna, whose expression had remained entirely unreadable throughout the ordeal. She simply studied him with her clear blue gaze, never taking her eyes off of him.
Finally, after her long silence, the magician spoke up. "Robin," she said firmly, her cerulean eyes locking with his, "If you don't have anything to hide, then just tell us: why do you always avoid talking about Batgirl?"
With one last desperate glance in Wally's direction, Dick was forced to resort to one last trick, one that he didn't like using, but understood its occasional necessity. This was just such an occasion. After all, this wasn't a lie; it was a truth that avoided the truth.
"Sorry guys, but I don't talk about my partner because she's my partner. That's a very personal part of my life, a part that belongs to the secret identity side of me, even as Batgirl and Robin. And as Batman always says, respecting each other's secret identities is a crucial part of working as a team. I have never withheld necessary information regarding missions, and if the time comes when I must, I will explain all that you want to know about Batgirl in full. But until that day comes, I must ask you to respect my privacy and stop asking such personal questions."
"Robin is correct." All heads swung back around to the team leader, who was already refilling his cup for the fourth time. "He is forced to hide his identity by Batman's orders. In order to keep such a think a secret, many other secrets must be kept as well. It is wrong of us to try and pry such things from Robin when all he is doing is trying to keep the peace." Kaldur stopped and began to gulp down the liquid.
"But—Yeah, I guess you're right," Raquel started to argue but instead turned to Robin and said, "Sorry Rob, I didn't mean to be so pushy."
"I—I didn't realize that you were ordered not to reveal anything to us," Zatanna added quietly, lightly setting her hand on his knee, "Sorry."
"Really, it's fine," Robin replied, feeling a twinge of guilt in his gut. It's like Kaldur said, he reassured himself, I'm just trying to keep the peace.
"But ugh! I really wanted to meet her!" Rocket groaned, sinking back into the cushions of the couch.
Robin studied his teammates' expressions. "If you all want to meet Batgirl so badly, then you'll have to track her down on your own," he added with a small smirk, "That's the only way you'll get her to acknowledge you, anyway."
"That, or letting her push you off a roof," Wally mumbled under his breath, grimacing as he remembered the experience.
"She pushed you off a roof?"
"Don't ask. Please, just don't."
Kaldur set his glass onto the counter and walked out in front of the couches. "Alright then," he told the group, a small smile playing at his lips, "We shall accept that challenge, Robin."
"It is like I just said; we accept. In order to learn more about you and your life, my friend, we will search for Batgirl ourselves. If we find her, we are able to meet her, and at the same time, come to understand you a little more without rudely crossing anymore lines. We will not ask you these questions, but Batgirl herself. Do we have a deal?"
Wally just sat there staring at the leader, and as his proposal came to a close, the speedster's jaw dropped straight down to the floor. "Wait. Waitwaitwaitwaitwait WAIT," he stammered out at top speed, his hands raised up in front of him as if to stop the proposal from reaching his ears, "There is no way in hell that you are gonna get me to go on some wild goose chase."
"Are you saying that we don't even stand a chance?" Superboy challenged, feeling slightly insulted by Wally's reaction.
"At finding a ninja bat in the dead of night in the middle of her own domain that's infested with all those freaks we just got done fighting? Of course you don't stand a chance!"
"Well, thanks for the vote of confidence, boyfriend." The sarcasm in Artemis's voice hung on every word she spoke.
"And besides, Wally, it's not like we have to go out looking for her tonight," M'gann added cheerfully, "I mean, come on, we can hardly move."
Wally just shook his head. "No, you all are totally missing the point. I've known this girl for years, almost as long as I've known Rob, and I'm telling you that if Batsy doesn't want to be found, then she won't be. End of story."
The squabbling teens turned around to find Robin snickering suspiciously at their conversation. "Interesting," he said with a wide grin, "This could actually be quite entertaining. However, it's not very fair to have six of you against just one of her. So, let's even the odds. But the question is, how?" The team was pretty sure that Robin's eyes were shining with excitement underneath that domino mask as he pulled a simple flip phone out of his utility belt and began to type at lightspeed. He didn't even bother to shut the phone after sending the text, and within ten seconds, the mobile device beeped in notification of a new message. The acrobat smirked wickedly at the reply, before shifting his gaze back up to his now concerned teammates.
"Batgirl says she in," he snickered almost maniacally, "But only on one condition: no powers or weapons of any kind. If you can make your way through Gotham City from a starting point of my choosing without ever using your powers, even when you run into a crime, and manage to find Batgirl, you can ask her anything about her or my life. So, how's that sound?"
Wally looked like Robin had just suddenly smacked him in the face with a birdarang. "NOT ON YOUR FREAKING LIFE! NEVER! NO W—wait, did you just say, 'six of you'?" After a quick headcount, Wally leapt to his feet and did a double fist pump in the air with a loud woot, "Yeahhh! That doesn't include me! Now we're talkin'!"
"Well, duh, Walls. Why on earth would you take part in this? I'm pretty sure you know way more than you ever wanted to know about me and Batsy, anyway."
"That's for sure."
"And I definitely can't take part. Batgirl and I underwent the same training, so we think the same way. It would be way too easy for me to find her." He looked at the remainder of the team and asked, "So, you all still up for it? The journey will be rough, but the reward is pretty sweet."
"That sounds like an intriguing experiment to me," agreed Kaldur before addressing the others, "My friends, we should give this type of tracking a try. Consider it a training exercise. Or maybe team building."
"Either way, I'm definitely in!" Rocket said excitedly, leaping to her feet and placing her hands on her hips, "There's no way I'd turn down such a great opportunity for a bit of fun."
Connor shifted forward in his seat, interested in the conversation for the first time that night. "So, basically, we'd have to rely on the skills that we've honed from our training sessions with Canary, the same ones Robin has to rely on everyday and in every fight?"
Artemis smiled. "I've always wanted to try being Robin for a day. Although, you still have that fancy utility belt, so shouldn't we get one as well?"
"Ha! Nice try Artie, but you of all people should understand the necessity of the basics even if you have a weapon," Robin snickered at the now frowning archer as she crossed her arms over her chest, "Us Bats could make it just as far without a utility belt as we could with one; it would just take a little more time and effort."
"This is so exciting!" M'gann squealed, flying into the air and clapping her hands, "It's just like a scavenger hunt, only on a superhero scale!"
"And you're right; the prize is pretty sweet," Zatanna said with a smirk, a spark gleaming in her challenging eyes, "No matter how difficult, I plan on winning this little game."
Robin returned a smirk to his girlfriend. "Well then, you'd all better get ready for another long night."
That's all for now! I don't know how often this will be updated, but i will try and be faster! I have exams soon, so it may take a little longer for now.
Also, don't forget to leave a review, and to fave and follow this if you liked it! Thanks for reading!