Whew. Finally another chapter. Took me long enough...Mr. Aanonymous has been an amazing support and confidant during this time but I'm still pretty sure I did not get Roy's character right but instead of dwelling on it I've been encouraged to just post it and let you guys decide. I hope you enjoy it and enjoy the few chuckles it contains.
But let me thank the generous reviewers who so kindly sent me their messages during the massive break between chapters. Hopefully I'll manage to get more updates up sooner.
seddiefortheboys: Thank you for the lovely review :)
usoverlooked: Yes double crossing dad is always the best. Thank you so much for the kind reviews!
JemsnJewels: Here it is sorry for the wait :) I'm glad you enjoyed it.
andy-ninja girl: Yes it really is a different dynamic to write their relationship and I always worry that I'm slipping back into their dynamic. It's nice to hear I've managed to capture them and their relationship.
roxy695: Thanks for the lovely review :)
Guest: Thank you so much. I try very hard and without Mr. Aanonymous's advice I wouldn't be able to capture the same level of characterization.
purpledragon6: I guess the way I look at it is in the series Roy wasn't around when Artemis told the team and it was never mentioned in season 1 that he knew the truth about her. He only alluded that he knew Artemis wasn't related to Green Arrow but never to who, but who knows in the series he might have known anything that's all up to the creators. Thanks for the feedback.
almostinsane: He'll learn...eventually how to get along with Cheshire. He really will have to since he's already beginning to rely on her.
Samian: Thanks for the nice review!
j9162: Thanks hopefully I'll get to put more updates out soon. Your support is amazing :)
BlackBird16: Thank you so much :)
Mr. Aanonymous: You and I both know you're awesome for putting up with me.
Wolf skater: We all know Roy is just a little confused right now and is saying things he doesn't mean. Spitfire and Roy and Cheshire will of course persevere :)
anon: Thank you for all your kind comments. You have a very interesting perspective and comments. I really enjoy you pointing out your favorite parts.
ArtemisBlossom: Wow that is a huge compliment. Thank you so much :)
Thanks to the silent reviewers.
Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice but I really want to.
Roy was angry.
They hadn't called him back. His so called best friends hadn't even bothered to return one of his numerous calls over the past forty-eight hours requesting transport to Germany. The least they could do was borrow the Bioship for him but none of them even had the decency to send him a text.
There was no way he had enough money in his bank account to cover an unexpected flight across the globe and there was also no way he was calling Oliver to ask for a loan because he did not need anyone questioning his objectivity and trying to perform another intervention to comfort clone boy.
Roy grimaced turning towards Cheshire who was leaning against a wall in a secluded corner near the airport check-in examining her fingernails.
"So?" she asked as he clicked off his cellphone bitterly. He wasn't going to wait around for them anymore. He had to find the real Roy Harper; that was all that mattered now.
"Good," Jade purred smirking as she shoved Roy backwards into the wall. "Hand," barked Jade to him.
"Hand. Give me your hand. It's step one of the master plan."
"And if I don't want to?" questioned Roy skeptically squinting at her from behind his sunglasses. He was not entirely on board with whatever Jade was planning; he wasn't exactly about to hand over the reins to a criminal.
"Then I get on a plane and leave you here." Jade stated bluntly. "I'm getting tired of having to explain every little thing to you." Roy frowned not very happy at the prospect of being left in Rio where it was hot and muggy. This was the first air conditioned building he'd been in since he had landed in this miserable country. Add the fact that he wasn't feeling too thrilled at the prospect of going on another wild goose chase with the Queen of Subterfuge herself and you had one infuriated Roy Harper. It was just so maddening why couldn't people understand why this was important to him? How could he be an engineered hero and people be okay with that? Everything he did was in the aide of the other side, everything that had driven him was orchestrated by The Light and The Shadows. But no one seemed willing to help him, except Cheshire and her band of convicts. So he'd adapt.
Roy groaned internally as Jade pressed closer to him significantly invading his personal space; she appeared to take delight in tormenting him. Not in the sexually attractive way (because if there was one person in the world he would never sleep with it would be Jade) but in the I'm about to trick you into doing something illegal way which he was beginning to realize actually wasn't so bad.
Jade was the kind of person who'd walk by a cafe table and steal someone's orange juice or put on a piece of tacky jewelry and then walk away wearing it. They were victimless crimes - technically. The customer didn't get their orange juice so they didn't tip the waiter and the vendor couldn't profit from the purchase of the necklace but so what? Jade's nomadic, eclectic, erratic way of life where there was no consequences to her actions was kind of alluring and it obviously paid off better than being an honest hero ever had. Besides there was only small consequences, insignificant even. There was a lot of appeal to this no rules, take what you want lifestyle that was kind of starting to affect Roy in the worst possible way; he was condoning Cheshire's behavior. She had already broken the rules from when they first started this "mission" so he doubted she'd start listening to him now and really her methods were the only thing so far to produce results. Begrudgingly Roy raised his hand. "Fine." Jade dropped a ring into his open palm grinning wickedly.
"What the hell are you playing at!"
"I'm proposing," answered Jade seriously, "Now shove that ring on your left ring finger so we can actually get on the plane sometime today."
"Are you insane?"
"Do you want to find the real Roy or not?"
"Not if I have to marry you!"
"You are so predictable," smirked Jade raising her own left hand where a matching ring glinted, "It's for effect. You can lie can't you."
"Of course I can."
"Wow. You're better than my sister at least," stated Jade leaning back a satisfied smile on her face. "You are just full of surprises Red."
"I'd like to think I'm better in all ways than your sister." Jade narrowed her eyes slightly, a twinge dancing along her brow.
"I'll have to test that theory someday." She responded running a finger along his collar. "But for now shut up."
"I'm," emphasized Jade sternly pressing a hand to his mouth, "Doing all the talking. You're better as a the strong silent type. Dare I say it even pretty when you have your trap shut." She sniggered. "No matter how good you can lie, act and cheat I'm still better than you. I've got mileage."
Roy glowered at her.
"Now come on, darling. Chop, chop we're trying to catch a plane," teased Jade digging around in her satchel, "Do you think a German, Vietnamese, or American passport would be more convincing?" She asked holding the three thin books aloft, "You do have a passport don't you?"
"Yes. A legal one," ground out Roy.
"Pity. Guess I'm an American then," said Jade tossing the other two forgeries in her bag, "I'm your new wife Rita Lu. Urgh, I always hated that name."
"This is stupid let me do the talking."
"And say what big boy?" Roy remained rigid and silent. "See," pointed out Jade, "You can be as manipulative and sneaky as you want. Make plans and do immoral and illegal things but without improvisation you're nothing. No con man ever conned someone because they had a plan they had to improvise when obstacles arose and you suck at that. Remember our little kiss in New Orleans? You were a dead fish. So keep your mouth shut and put on the damn ring."
"Rita," she interjected, "This is exactly why I'm doing the talking."
"Where did you get these rings?"
"You won't like," grinned Jade evilly her eyes straying to a jewelry store outside the pristine glass doors of the airport that now has a police car in front of it, "I'm always thorough and you're the one who wanted to get to Germany."
Roy snapped his right hand out and gripped Jade's arm tightly while clenching his left hand, "I'm not putting this on you little thief. This isn't a game." Jade narrowed her eyes seething before breaking his hold knocking him backwards so his skull cracked against the concrete wall. Within seconds, and at an alarming quick speed, Jade had pried his left hand open spat on the ring and jammed it painfully onto his ring finger.
"Everything's a game and you're just one of pieces. Always will be; until you start bucking up and doing something different for once. If you want the Scooby Gang's help that's fine," snapped Jade pressing forward and invading his personal space, "But you'll never find Speedy without my help. All the technology and research in the world performed by the good guys will never get you where you want to go. I open doors. Your little gang just finds them. But you already know that and besides you gave me your blessing. With every passing moment you sink farther and farther into this twisted game of lies and you believe your only salvation is to find the real Roy. Will he somehow cleanse you of your sins? Of the acts you committed using his identity? You'll sicken him. That's what you'll do."
"It won't come off," bit out Roy not even bothering to look Jade in the eye he had chosen throughout her conversation to focus on removing the golden band from his finger instead of acknowledging any truth to her words or acknowledging her period.
"A size small," smirked Jade, "Welcome aboard partner."
Jade just grinned leaning up to whisper in his ear. "I'm having so much fun on my little vacation with you I'd hate to cut it short by calling over the authorities. If you recall you're wanted in Brazil," sung Jade as she pulled away from his body and began walking towards check-in, "Come along baby you don't want to miss our flight do you." Jade doesn't seem the least bit worried he might not be able to get the ring off. Typical.
Jade quickly scanned the clerks before settling on a young man who seemed to have only been working at the airport for a few days considering he was having trouble handling a stapler. Cutting the line, and dragging Roy with her she slid up to the desk and sent the hapless man a shy smile. Roy gagged internally at the false act of sweetness.
"Hi," greeted Jade looping her arm through Roy's, "I'm Rita Lu and this is my darling, Roy Harper. We're newlyweds, see." she shoved her hand beneath the man's nose briefly before pulling it back, "And as a wedding gift my fantastic Uncle Conrad was going to buy us a trip to Germany for our fantastically romantic honeymoon." Conrad Higgins. She was going to use a dead man's money? That was actually pretty smart.
"But this morning he got up and he wasn't feeling so well. You see that's why we're late for the noon booking on Air Transat to Berlin because we had to take dear Uncle Higgins to the hospital. But he gave me his credit card," Roy watched stupefied as it literally materialized in Jade's hand, "And his pin so I could buy myself his lovely present. You won't say no, will you?" She finished while fluttering her eyelashes.
The boy looked around flustered, "I should really check with my supervisors using someone else's credit card is -"
Jade pouted leveraging herself on the desk so the man could get a good look down her blouse.
"Oh please! I've been dreaming of this night ever since I was a little girl and I won't have my perfect honeymoon if I don't get on that plane. Please," she reached over the desk and petted the clerk's arm, "It would mean soooooo much to me." Did people actually fall for this crap?
The man flushed at the attention sparing the redhead a few glances as if expecting Roy to lean over the table and punch him, "I guess...if you know his pin."
"Excellent," chirped Jade shoving the card into the reader and punching in the code. "See," she said smiling deviously at him, "Easy." Just like that two tickets were produced with their names on them and they were walking towards security.
Roy should be furious, angry at least, but he can't help but think that was the best service he had ever gotten at any airport and once again victimless crime. No conqeunces. Why worry? But he won't give Jade the satisfaction of thinking she's somehow impressed him.
"Would you like some cheese with that wine?"
"It got us the ticket didn't it?" she smirked.
"You stole Higgins credit card." However, he relented, "That was smart."
"Well he's not using it and no one will know what's happened - Wait. Did you just agree with me?" questioned Jade stepping in front of him. "Red. Did you just -"
"I have to find the real Speedy," interrupted Roy shoving her aside.
Miffed the confusion that had lit her face dissolved as she said, "Keep telling yourself that. You've already hit the bottom. Just keep digging."
"I'll never be like you," spat Roy tugging again at the ring because at the moment it was the only thing he had control over.
Jade raised an eyebrow, "I'm not beneath you because I know who I am. Until you start acting like your regular self I'm going to be your conscience because you clearly have lost it."
Roy riposted, "How can I know who I am till I find Roy?"
"You're you," she stated bluntly, "You never stopped being you. You've shaped your own life and it's different then any the real Roy Harper would have chosen. So act like you already - clone or no clone."
"I don't need an assassin as my conscience. That's just stupid."
"Then take a look around you. You've betrayed your friends, the League, the Shadows. You won't let anyone in. You've got to get over this nobody has abandoned you but you're starting to abandon yourself and the precious little ideals you held dear."
Roy grunted bitterly taking her words as an insult, "How'd you get Higgins access code anyways?"
Jade sent him a sideways glance eyes clouded over, "We have history. I needed something, he wanted something."
"You sicken me." She gave him an infuriating grin as she gestured at a security guard.
"Remember, baby, no talking."
"Wow. Let's go Jiminy." Again she plastered on a friendly smile and explained their little dilemma of being a recently married couple who were late for their honeymoon to Berlin - and of course they got to jump the cue. But not without clapping and congratulations from everyone they passed. Roy was pretty sure if anyone complimented him one more time on how beautiful his wife was he was going to seriously give security a reason to earn their paycheck.
It wasn't till the alarm sounded when Jade walked through the metal detector that Roy felt like throttling her. Was she that stupid to carry weapons onto the plane? At least he hid his.
A woman security guard began to wave a metal detector wand over the relaxed Cheshire's frame who merely sent him a saucy wink as she let the woman examine her. When the wand beeped right above her chest Jade let out a surprised little epp then shyly grabbed the security woman's wrist.
"I know what's causing the sensors to go off," she looked down abashedly whispering, cheeks pinkening, "Gosh this is so embarrassing. It's my underwear." Pretty much everyone blushed except Roy and Jade - primarily because they both knew it wasn't her underwear. Roy had a very good idea that it was something else entirely.
Jade continued furthering the embarrassment of the poor woman who'd been about to pat down her body, "It's going to be our first night together and I got this lovely little corset number with black lace and ribbons and chains and bows. And the front closes using eyelets and metal grommets and ribbon. I just wanted to surprise him and I accidentally put it on."
The woman nodded dumbly.
"My husband's into goth styles."
Roy was about to protest he wasn't when the unwanted vision of Jade decked out in black lace and chains flitted across his mind. No. The only chains he wanted to see her in were the ones that landed her behind bars. That was all.
"But if you want we can go in the back room and I'll show you," placing her hand over her heart apologetically Jade said politely, "I wouldn't want you to risk your job by letting a potential risk on the plane."
The woman shook her head, "It's perfectly alright. Go through dear and enjoy your honeymoon." Was there anything Cheshire couldn't get away with? Was all a flabbergasted Roy could think as Jade waltzed toward him.
She called waving, "Thank you so much!" Linking her arm with Roy's she tugged him away towards their gate. Although he kept his eyes fixed straight ahead and a smile on his face he hissed under his breath.
"What's in your bra?"
"You don't want to know. Besides don't criticize me your bow's in that carry on broken down into pieces." She responded simply. "There's our gate." Roy didn't like being toyed with so he stopped Jade latching onto her wrist and tugging her back roughly.
"Is everything an act to you?! I swear -"
"What makes you so different then me?" questioned Jade challengingly, "Heroes hide behind their secret identities all the time. You're Roy Harper, buff loser and Red Arrow buff superhero yet no one would take you seriously if you didn't have your hero cloak to hide behind. People fear you because they don't know who you are. Heros are just cowards who hide behind masks because they can't be themselves. But criminals are themselves a hundred percent of the time and most of us don't wear masks. People fear us because of what we're willing to do not of who we are." She snorted, "Don't worry I won't hurt any precious civilians on this flight. You have my word."
"It doesn't mean much."
"You seem to think so Broken Arrow."
"Rita," he snarled. "So long as I get to Germany I don't care what you do." Jade's eyebrows rose slightly in shock but quickly returned to their teasing expression.
"Glad you're getting the hang of this." From there it was simple. They handed over their tickets were wished a good flight then directed to their seats which he didn't fail to notice were in first class, or as first class as a low budget airline could afford. Then they took off and beverage service came along and with it something that was supposed to be chicken alfredo.
"What are you doing?" asked Roy as he finally acknowledged the reclined form of Jade beside him.
"Sleeping, sweetheart." She opened one eye and cattily petted his hand. "Talking to me again are you?"
"Pretty sure that name is taken."
"I'm not trying to become a criminal," he whispered harshly.
Jade let loose a sickening laugh, "Then what are you trying to do? The only thing stopping you from following that path of depravity is one word. No. That's it. But all I hear from you is yes. Find yourself. Don't go chasing shadows that don't exist."
"You don't get it. I can't do that till I find the real Roy."
"Then you're already lost you blind moron. What's the real Roy going to tell you? What will it accomplish to find a scared little fifteen year old boy? Is he going to say that you were a good Speedy in his stead? Pat you on the head and congratulate you? You don't owe him a thing." she sneered, "You're a lie."
"Well you're a liar."
"You're a bully," she quipped smartly flicking him between the eyes, "People listen to you and look up to you and you abuse that power by forcing your opinions on them and thinking you know best."
"What the hell do you know!"
"You asked me remember and I seem to be the only one present with a functioning brain. If you don't like the answer don't ask. You are a bully and that's worse than any criminal. You're a shadow of your former self and its pathetic." Finished Jade sourly. It was then that their eyes meet and Roy realized just how close they were. Both were leaning over their arm rests and were nary a breath away.
"Ah how romantic," cooed an older woman behind them, "Love birds."
Roy glowered but Jade just sent him a simpering smile and turned around. "Night lover."
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