Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice, or its characters, all of which are owned by DC Comics/Cartoon Network.
THIS IS A REVISED CHAPTER ONE. EVEN IF YOU HAVE READ CHAPTER ONE PREVIOUSLY, DO READ IT AGAIN!
Author's Notes: This started as a germ of a story, and has now blossomed into a full-fledged fanfic. For those of you who have read my Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfics, The Spirit Within: Part One: The Water Tribe Child, and The Spirit Within: Part Two: Spirit Born, you will know that I love a good original character, and a good-looking male with whom to entangle her! In this case, the good-looking male is Dick Grayson, he of the perky butt cheeks and piercing blue eyes.
I don't know how quickly and how often I will be updating this - I am still juggling Zuko in my other fanfic, happily, I might add - but I vow that I will finish both fics!
This takes place about three years after Young Justice: Invasion. Dick is now an undergraduate student at Gotham University with many of his friends, including Wally West, who is now a grad student. For purposes of this fic, you will meet a Dick Grayson who is a little bit Robin and a little bit Nightwing. For any readers who are deeply into the DC continuity, please let me know if I have offended any of the laws of the Batman's world, as unwieldy as it is. Also, for those fans (and for myself), you will see some characters who have not yet been seen in YJ making an appearance, including Damian Wayne and Jason Todd, among others.
Enjoy this, and please let me know what you think!
Team Year Eight
He wasn't looking where he was going. He never looked where he was going. He didn't need to – he had an innate sense of things in space. He could, in fact, almost sense where things were. It was certainly not something that he had been born with. Rather, it was something that he had cultivated since acquiring his skills all those years ago. It was not, however, infallible. Especially when he was texting.
"Oof!" There was the sound of two bodies smacking together and the strong smell of coffee in the air. Papers flew everywhere and books slithered to the ground.
"I am so sorry! So sorry." He grabbed the girl's elbows to steady her as she staggered back. "Are you okay?"
She rubbed her forehead. "Yeah. I – I guess."
"I am so sorry." He repeated, ignoring the thumping pain in his own head. "I wasn't paying attention." He dropped to his knees in the middle of the student union and began picking up the papers starting to turn brown from the pool of coffee where they now floated.
"Here. Let me help." She squatted beside him.
"Did you get coffee on you? Are you burned?" He asked, concerned.
"No. No. I'm okay. Really." She took the papers he held out.
"Oh. You got coffee on your sweater. Look. Let me pay for dry cleaning. I insist."
"No, no." She shook her head. "Not necessary. Really. Accidents happen." She smiled at him and scrambled to her feet, and he did the same, wet textbooks in his arms.
She looked at him quizzically as he attempted to wipe the coffee off her books. "Do I know you?"
He looked at her intently. "I don't know. I didn't do undergrad here."
"T.A.!" She pointed at him. "You were a T.A. In one of my classes last semester. Chem!"
He squinted at her. "Oh, yeah. I – think I remember you."
"You're Willy, right?" She continued to point.
"Uh, Wally, actually."
She blushed and dropped her hand. "Right. Sorry." She folded the papers she held. "I'm not great with names."
"No prob. Look, I'm really sorry." He handed her the books, which were only slightly less wet than before. "Really."
"No, it's really okay. No harm, no foul." She picked up her emptied coffee cup from the floor, and Wally snatched up his cell phone, the cause of the accident.
"I hope you didn't get coffee on your phone." She grimaced.
"No. No. Fine." He rubbed it on his pants to dry it, and turned it on. "See?" He showed her the display. "Works perfect."
She nodded. "Well – good. I'm glad."
"Me, too." He felt a bit awkward now.
"Well, it was good to, um, run into you. Wally." She smiled.
"Yeah. Me, too." He nodded.
She gave another smile, reticent this time, and was gone. He watched as she wound her way through the throngs of students in the student union building until she reached the doors.
Wally took a deep breath and sighed. Idiot!
He got a text alert on his phone and wearily swiped the screen to activate it.
Smooth move, read the message.
He gave a groan. Of course the collision had been witnessed. Of course it had.
He looked around him, and saw his friend seated on a sofa by the large windows, a wide grin on his face. He gave Wally a mock salute, and, sighing, Wally made his way over to him,.
"You saw that."
Dick leaned back and stretched his legs out, pushing his backpack out of the way. "Yes. Yes, I did."
"Did you get it on camera?"
Dick gave a rueful smile. "Only half of it. The second half. I'm going to have to hack into the security cameras and download the whole thing. It is going to look amazing on Youtube."
"Do not." Wally held up his hands. "Just – do not."
"Are you going to make it worth my while to keep it off the internet?" Dick raised an eyebrow.
"Yes. I will. What do you want?"
Dick pondered this for a moment. "A favor to be named at a later date."
"I'm going to regret this, aren't I?"
"Maybe a little." Dick couldn't suppress his grin.
Wally threw himself down next to his best friend. "And I had become so good at not running into people."
"Well. Baby steps. You know."
"Yeah. Whatever. Look, if you tell Artemis about this – and I assume that you will – will you please tell her that the girl I ran into looked like Monsieur Mallah?"
"Instead of a goddess?"
Wally wondered at this for a moment. "I don't think I would classify her as a goddess, but –"
"Oh, yes. A goddess, unquestionably. Look." He showed Wally his phone. On the screen was a still picture of Wally and the girl talking.
The girl definitely photographed well. She really was beautiful, something that Wally had not noticed while he was busy apologizing. With dark brown hair and brown eyes, and an exquisitely shaped face, she could certainly be described as one of the better looking girls on campus. Still, it paid to be noncommittal.
"Eh. If you like the type." He shrugged.
Dick pulled the phone back and looked at the subject in the photo. "I do. Emphatically."
"Besides – you know. Got my own goddess – and all."
"Good answer." Dick looked at the image again, and put the phone in his pocket. "So, you seemed to know her."
"She was in one of the classes I was a T.A. for."
"What year is she?"
"Does she live on campus?"
"Couldn't tell ya."
Dick sighed. "You've been real helpful."
"Sorry. I can tell you, though, that she works at a diner on Elm. Professor Stapp and I went to lunch there a couple of weeks ago. Good burgers."
"Oh. Lunch with the department head – you're hot stuff." He gave Wally an affectionate punch to his shoulder.
"Oh, yeah. That's me." He chuckled, rubbing absently at his arm.
"Did I hurt you?"
"What?" Wally was indignant. "No! Of course not! As if you could. I've been knocked around by the best – or the worst, depending on your point of view."
"That's true. You sure can take a beating."
"Yes. Thank you. I think. What are you doing today after class?"
"The usual. A little bit of studying, grab some dinner. Then I've got to go to work."
Work was being Nightwing – patrolling the city to protect citizens, and/or saving the world. Something that he had been doing since he was nine years old, first, as Robin to Batman, and then on his own, as Nightwing. However, as part of his cover, he had a part-time job at Wayne Enterprises, for which he collected a paycheck, but for which he rarely showed up. Luckily, he was assigned to no supervisor at the company, and so his absences at the company were never noted.
An alarm went off on his watch, and he looked at it as he switched the sound off. "Got to go to class." He slapped his friend's outstretched palm. "Hey, thanks for the information on the goddess, bud." Dick stood and slung his backpack over his shoulder. "I owe you one." He walked off with a careless wave over his shoulder.
"That makes us even, then!" Wally called after him.