Goes to the song Tough Enough by Vanilla Ninja.
Last chapter. I never said the endings would happen in this fic. *smiles*
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters.
This may seem abrupt, but trust me. This was planned from the beginning. Lol.
Dick's eyes fluttered open.
He glanced around, eyes nervously dancing from one thing to the next. White. It was that color again. The color of no emotion, the one that had created nightmares for him, was back. The one that hurt the most. He shifted, yet found he was strapped once more to a medical table. Panic rose in his chest and his cobalt eyes widened in panic. Not again. He struggled and bolts of electricity danced up and down his arms; he screamed. Screamed bloody murder.
It hurt his ears.
It pained his throat.
It caused a headache.
But he had to toughen up.
Because he was tough enough.
Superman rubbed his temples. It ached him to say those words to Bruce. But it had to be done. Heck, had he not done it and waited for Bruce to come to the mountain he would have had a Kryptonite necklace around his neck so fast the Flash would have been proud. When he had gotten the distress signal from Kid Flash, he had flown straight from the Daily Planet to the mountain. Lois had asked why he looked so horrified when he set down the phone and Jimmy had joked about something stupid. He honestly hadn't heard the photographer over the roaring in her ears.
He stood there next to Wonder Woman, who was cursing under her breath in Greek as she looked around the cave. One wall had been completely blasted out, debris lay strewn on the floor and the ground was left charred from the blast. Flash, being a forensic scientist, was inspecting the scene. He was out of his costume however and was in his civilian clothes… well, civilian work clothes. He had on rubber gloves and was seemingly troubled by the scene, as any rational person would be. But he did not speak, nor did he say anything as he shook his head toward Superman and Wonder Woman.
The only clue being the blast itself.
The children, which was how the looked at the moment, were in the far corner of the main room of the cave. Artemis was sobbing (quite unlike her) into Wally's shoulder, he himself looked quite upset, but everyone knew he was holding his anger in. Connor just stood there with his arms crossed and M'gann was silently crying as well. Kaldur simply stood there with a poker face, Zatanna gripping his shoulder while crying as well. Black Canary stood by them awkwardly, unsure of what to do. She watched Barry Allen shake his head and her shoulders slumped. Red Tornado stood next to her. Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter were on there way. Hawk Woman was flying around the surrounding area, looking for anything that may be suspicious. So far, her Comm. Link was silent.
Superman shook his head, closing his eyes and sighing.
Recognize Batman 02
Recognize Guest Barbra Gordon
Superman's head snapped up. Batman… was bringing… a civilian? Barry walked over and Superman could guess that he felt obligated too; one, to not upset the silence that came over the cave and two because he most likely didn't want to run in his regular clothes. It felt weird to do so, Clark knew how he felt.
"Great, just what we need, another crying kid," Barry commented, sighing deeply and shaking his head. Clark snorted, but knew that Barry was simply tired. They all were, that was just it. When your nephew gets kidnapped… again, you get a bit tired, and angry. But mostly tired.
Batman walked stoically forward, a red headed girl followed closely behind him. She wore a Gotham Academy Uniform. Her lush red hair was pulled back into a sloppy ponytail and her blue eyes were rimmed with tears. One hand gripped the side of her grey skirt and the other was folded over her chest. Her right hand tucked under her left arm. Her eyes were downcast, yet when they stopped at Superman, she looked up with a small smile toward him. Even looking so, being left in the dark, getting ready to break down, she was still polite. She was desperate to find something out. She, Barbra, had that air to her.
"What happened, exactly? Has the team said anything?" Batman asked his voice unnaturally calm and soft. Superman could guess that he was talking to Barbra when he called and he most likely had had to calm her down. Of course, he also knew that the man was scared; scared for his son and that he was angry; angry because he was taken for him. If they didn't find him, it could be for good. Gone for good.
Wonder Woman stepped forward. Her brown eyes locked with the endless and emotionless white of the cowl and she sighed. "Artemis and Wally are really the only ones. Wally called Superman and Clar- er, Superman here called me. The poor boy had to relive it and told us everything. None of them… where injured. Artemis said she was scared but they seemed to have toughened up. I think they're willing to go after Dick even without our permission," Diana explained, glancing toward them and tensing her muscles. It was obvious that the female Amazon warrior was getting ready for war. She was toughening up, just like they all had to.
He was back in that cell.
That white grey cell.
His cobalt eyes stared at the floor emotionlessly. But that was merely the outside; inside he was stirring. He was ready. He remembered everything. He was still in the nine year old body, but he was ready. He just had to wait, to be patient. He had to keep waiting. Good things come to those who wait… so he was going to wait.
He needed to be patient. He closed his eyes, his thoughts swirling in his head. He was tough enough. He just had to wait. That was the game. The angle. Everything was an angle. Don't trust. Be prepared.
Barbra stood a few feet away from the team, feeling slightly uncomfortable. She had been angry, at first, to find out that Artemis was on the team, but then she didn't care. If Dick could trust her, so could she. She had to keep going and move forward. She stiffened when she saw the red headed boy, Wally, walk over. He looked uncomfortable. He should. They should have brought her in, not have left her in the dark.
"Uh, so… how are you?"
Barbra looked up toward the red head and she glared toward him. Was he seriously asking that question.
"Right, okay, stupid question-"
"Understatement of the year, Baywatch!" Artemis yelled toward him. Wally chuckled slightly, his green eyes twinkling with a sort of bright sadness. He sat down on the wall next to her, fiddling with a part of his blue button up shirt. The girl glanced over at him, crossing her legs and leaning forward.
"I mean… physically, I'm okay. Except for a few tears tracks on my cheeks," she chuckled and shook her head, pushing her red hair back, "but… I'm worried. I mean, come on! Why wouldn't I be? It's a really stupid question, no offence, but seriously. My friend is kidnapped, again, and I just found out that he dressed up in tights and ran around at night acting, no, not acting, he ran around at night as a superhero, risking his life! I'm blabbering, aren't I?"
Wally nodded, blushing slightly. Artemis vaguely wondered if all red heads were talkative.
"Slightly, yes, but I know what you mean… about the worried part. I go out in tights too, but that's beside the point. I know what you're feeling… I guess. But we have to toughen up. We gotta do this, for him."
The words echoed through the cave.
They were tough enough.
They had to be.
Dr. Anders walked down the halls. A few other scientists walked behind her. They held clip boards, each reading charts and stats and other things like medical details and experiment profiles.
Her stature was stiff and her posture was one of arrogance, and her face remained impassive as she thought about what lay ahead. Desperate times called for desperate measures… they had exploded into a mountain. It had been hollow, and worth it. They got R00012J back, and that was important. Everything involved him. He was the key to the world. The perfect little boy too. He listened. He was strong. He was young. And, as far as they knew, he knew nothing.
She chuckled slightly, her dark eyes narrowing dangerously as she thought about what would happen to the Justice Babies once she and Management took the world. Hey, she might even let in villains from another universe come in and help. She had seen them. Those other places. She marveled it; simply because it was marvelous. But, that was beside the point, that didn't matter.
She would continue project Paradox and everything would be fine. It would all work out for them. She had her contract with Management and they with Sportsmaster and Cheshire, it was fine.
There was no problem.
She continued down the hall and stopped at the steel door.
"Hand me the access card," she demanded, snapping her right arm out with the snap of her fingers. Another whitecoat quickly handed her a card and she slipped it into the access box and, entering the code, she walked into the cell; with that, a small grin grazed her lips.
That's where he was.
He was in the danger zone.
When he watched her leave, he stared after her.
A burning in his arms.
He was in the danger zone.
Are you strong enough?
Out of the danger zone.
Out of the dark.
Into the light.
Out of the dark.
Out of the Danger zone.
What you see is what you get.
Welcome to the danger zone.
Sweat ran down his face. His heart pounded as he ran. He could see the littlest details, the smallest things. They were all relative. But wasn't everything in life relative? Did all matter? Of course it did. Everything mattered; everything had it's place. Because it all mattered. Everything that happened mattered.
So why did this matter?
He jumped as he ran, pushing himself to faster. Guilt overrode him as he thought about it. Why did this happen? Why? Why not to someone else, why not to him? Wherever he went, wherever he ran, it was still there. That guilt. That worry. That pain of thinking of "why".
Why did it matter?
Why did anything matter?
Did anyone have an answer?
Because, honestly, it seemed like no one did.
Bruce looked up at Diana and shook his head. "When Barry said he found nothing, he meant it. Nothing. I have no idea how they did it. In and out within a minute," he admitted, sighing and rubbing his temples. The issue was, he was at a standstill. His son was gone again, most likely taken by the same organization, and he knew absolutely nothing. And the worst part was, Dick still hadn't regained all his memory. He still was unsure of who he was and where he belonged.
"I know… I am so angry. Hera is helping me restrain it, but I feel it," Diana growled, growling and cracking her knuckles. Superman walked in (they were in the Batcave) and stood by the Amazon warrior.
He sighed, sending an look toward Bruce before speaking, "We found something. It was written on a piece of rubble. Barry noticed it after we cleared everything out. Someone had taken the time to write From Management on it. Did they actually write it or-"
"Was it planted?" Diana cut in, moving forward with a slap on the back toward Superman, who lurched forward slightly. The Kryptonian nodded in response, glancing upward as bats above him screeched and flew down.
Bruce frowned. "Is Flash bringing it? It must've been planted. What type of rock?"
"Obsidian, but it was covered in dust so Barry didn't notice it. It wasn't until he caught the dark glint."
"Meaning it came from anywhere there is a volcano," Diana cut in, frowning once more, "that could be anywhere."
"The Ring of Fire is the most common place to find it. You need water, because it cools rapidly. Anywhere there is a volcano on the west coast, check it out. Around it, in it, I don't care. We have to find him."
They just entered…
…the Danger Zone.
Sorry for any mistakes guys! I will go back and fix them later!
So, the sequel will be called Danger Zone, look for it!