Care to Explain? - Epilogue.
Author's Note: So, here's the epilogue. We're back to Artemis's point of view, just in case you're wondering. This is kind of a tie back to the first chapter. Anyway, enjoy! And pardon for the long wait…
Note: Pay attention to the dates in this one, it'll help you understand the context.
Disclaimer: Nope, still don't own anything other than the plot. If I did, there wouldn't be a flippin' hiatus over the summer…
Well, what do you know? I was right. Not that I ever doubted it, but still. Robin and Kid Flash are together. And now, thanks to my bitching at KF and making Robin reveal his secret identity, the whole team knows. This also means they don't need to hide their relationship. Conclusion? M'gann and I get to walk in on the two of them making out in the bathroom or cuddling on the couch, and then run off fangirl screaming.
Plus, I am now twenty dollars richer, and Roy is twenty dollars poorer. I get to rub it in his face every time he comes over and sees the two lovebirds, to my immense satisfaction.
Hmm, good times. 'Course, everything isn't all perfect. Actually, it's far from that; a whole bunch of my secrets are now blown. First of all, Bette wasn't the only one at school who recognized me. A few of my other friends did too. At least they had the decency not to declare it to the whole world, and I managed to threaten them all into silence. Seeing as they all saw my pretty incredible aim during the battle, that wasn't too hard.
It's not just my friends at school, though. Now Kid Flash keeps giving me these weird looks every time the names 'Star City', 'Gotham Academy' or 'Green Arrow' come up. I know the whole team is itching to know why I lied to them when I first came here, but I just don't know if I can tell them. I'm… I'm afraid. I don't want them to think of me differently once they know my parentage. I know that's probably just bull, but still. I can't help but worry. I'll probably tell them one day… Probably being the key word.
Then, there is of course the fact that the whole team is now living in various states of fear. Batman still doesn't know everything that happened during that mission three weeks ago, but we are all sure that is going to change. Batman figures out everything. He's the world's greatest detective, after all. I'm afraid one of us is going to let something slip.
What none of us guessed was that it would be Robin who'd let it slip.
October 24th, 16:00 EDT}
The team is relaxing in the Mount Justice living room. It's Friday afternoon, and supposedly 'team bonding time'. Aka, Friday night off. The zeta tubes announce Batman and Black Canary's departures, and Red Tornado retires to his room on the second floor. We've got the place to ourselves.
"So… movie night?" Robin suggests. He's standing hands-on-hips in front of the TV screen, eyebrows raised in question.
"Hell yeah!" exclaims Wally, speeding into his room to grab a handful of DVDs without even waiting for our responses. It's pretty unanimous anyway- we're all tired after the last week and need to recuperate. We pick a nice mindless comedy, and the team's hacker has it set up in no time.
"Rob? Take your sunglasses off," Wally announces, out of the blue. Robin turns around and looks at him with a quirked eyebrow. I look up from the magazine I was flipping through and watch them both curiously.
"You know I can't," he replies quietly.
"Why not!" Wally shoots up out of his seat indignantly. "We all know who you are, there's nothing left to hide," he points out. "And Bats is back in Gotham. We're the only ones that are going to see you." Robin sweeps his glance over the lot of us. None of us have brought up that mission since Robin swore us to secrecy, meaning we've never called him 'Dick' or seen his bare eyes since. He hesitates, glancing back at Wally.
"I guess… I guess just tonight won't hurt," he mumbles, pulling Wally (who was grinning like a preschooler that just got a bag full of candy) back down onto the couch, and swiping his glasses off in the same motion. The rest of us try to look everywhere but at Dick. It's true; he really does look different without glasses on. I mean, I see him every other day at school, but that's just not the same. There he's always in his uniform with gelled back hair and a snobby attitude. Here he's just… well, Robin without a mask.
And so began our new routine of Friday movie nights where Robin became 'Dick' for two hours. It wasn't long before we wouldn't even notice whether he had the glasses on or not. Dark blue eyes became as normal a sight as shades or a mask.
I guess even Robin became careless after a while. He was so used to being himself around us now; he forgot that he always had to be on edge.
November 20th, 19:16 EDT}
'Recognized: Batman 0-2.'
The zeta-tube's monotone voice sounds over the speakers, and I look up in surprise. Batman had left three hours ago, and it is a Friday night. He shouldn't be coming back. Robin slides out of Wally's arms and presses a button on the remote, pausing the movie.
"My apologies for interrupting your team bonding night," the Caped Crusader states, approaching us with quiet steps. "We have gotten a rather important piece of information regarding another of Cadmus's facilities. You will be sent out to investigate, as well as determine whether the rumor that the project is being moved to a higher security campus tonight is correct or not. I expect—" Batman cuts off abruptly, eyes narrowing suddenly under his cowl.
"Robin." He says it in a sharp way that makes all our hearts sink to our stomachs. I turn slowly, looking over at the black-haired boy. He is in the process of hastily sliding on his dark sunglasses, but the damage has been done. An uncomfortable silence descends on us all as the Batman and his ward eye each other with matching bat-glares. The temperature in the room drops by at least five degrees.
"Robin will come with me. The rest of you, I'll be sending you the coordinates. Get dressed," he finishes curtly, turning with a swish of his cape and heading back for the zeta-beams. He doesn't even look back at Robin, knowing he has no choice but to follow. I bite my lip, still staring at the boy. His fists are clenched, and his eyebrows are in a tight frown-line. Wally is vibrating in place next to me, fear for his boyfriend obvious in his eyes. Robin lets out a little breath, gives us all a quick nod which does nothing to reassure us, and then follows his mentor. We are all at a lack of what to say.
The mission was a failure. We let ourselves be seen, we ended up blowing up half the building trying to escape unscathed, and we didn't learn anything new. It was no surprise really; we weren't working as a team. Wally wasn't listening to any commands whatsoever, Kaldur was distracted, and the rest of us weren't nearly focused enough. Besides, we needed a certain hacker to find out anything from the triple-encrypted files in the main computer, supposing we'd even gotten that far.
"It's all my fault!" Wally blurts out suddenly as we fly back to Happy Harbor in the Bioship, battered and glum. He is tugging angrily at his fiery hair. I wonder whether he's talking about the Robin fiasco or the recent mission. "I'm the one that forced him to take his sunglasses off in the first place, that one night!" he continues. "If I'd just kept my mouth shut we'd never be in this mess…"
"I'm sure he's fine," M'gann tries to reassure him. It sounds like she's trying to reassure herself as much as the rest of us. "He'll just have told Batman everything from the beginning, which I'm sure he'll understand."
"No, he won't," glowers the speedster. "Batman doesn't know about us. He never knew we were together. Rob can't explain anything without explaining other things and… oh God. Bats is going to kill him. And me. And probably the rest of you all too." He leans his head in defeat against the wall. I exchange a look with M'gann. Once again, none of know what to say.
We make our way slowly into the debriefing room, with dragging feet. Not only do we have to now listen to the League chewing us out for failing the mission, but we will find out what Robin has said and what our verdict is. Batman is nowhere to be seen when we arrive, and neither is Robin. Instead, the Flash gives us consoling pats on the back and makes a feeble attempt at Batman's 'you failed and I'm disappointed' speech to which he had been apparently assigned. He then leaves us alone as soon as possible.
"Where's Robin?" asks Wally, futilely, seeing as none of us know any more than he does.
"I'm here," comes a voice from behind us, and we all spin around. The Boy Wonder moves from the shadows to stand before us. Wally flies at him, ready to envelop him in a hug, but stops himself in time. He looks around fearfully, while Robin laughs.
"Don't worry guys," he says, his typical smirk back on his face. I brighten. Does that mean…? "Batman isn't here." Wally takes that as invitation to suffocate him in a hug.
"So? What happened?" I prod, voicing my still nervous thoughts. Robin sure is looking sunny, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I think he has a bit of a sadistic streak in him… As answer to my question, Robin drags Wally down into a kiss.
"Bruce gives us his, uh, blessings," Dick says to Wally first. Turning to us, he sends us a wink. "And he's letting you all off the hook seeing as you didn't have a choice in the matter. But, he warns that if you ever breathe a word about my identity, you will be in danger of your lives, simply put." We all nod quickly, relief blooming through us. Robin then pushes Wally away till they are a foot apart, an irritated frown appearing on his face again. I should have known there would be a catch. "Of course, he's decided to punish you and me, because it is our fault after all." Robin continues. He jabs a finger at Wally. "Mostly yours, but whatever." The speedster blanched.
"Well? What is it?"
"You're not allowed to touch me until the Christmas holidays, and vice versa."
"What! You mean… you mean that was my last kiss for a whole month, and you didn't even tell me!" Wally cries, looking like he's about to pass out. I hide my smile behind my hand.
Author's Note: Sorry, I'm really bad at endings… Hope you liked it all the same. Please leave a review to tell me what you thought! I had a lot of fun writing this. And before you say anything, I won't be writing a sequel to this, sorry. If you want more birdflash, just look at my other fics XD
And, as always, I'm still open to requests so send me a PM :)
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