A/N: just wanted to write this. And then everything changed, when I added in Batman. Plus, disclaimer on profile. Daer won.
Cat and Mouse
Kid Flash was upset. First time Captain Cold had made an appearance since he had gained his powers by repeating his uncle's experiment and he didn't even get to fight him. This is so unfair! How am I supposed to improve as a speedster when I can't even fight an ice villain, especially the Flash's own? Barry lets me fight the Trickster and Captain Boomerang, but not Cold. The encounter with Gorilla Grodd last week, I understood. Probably won't get to fight Mirror Master until I'm no longer a 'kid'.
He continued on their patrol route, heading into Central's neighbor, Keystone. Wally expected to race around, find nothing, and then head back to Central City and rejoin Flash. Sure, he only had a couple months under his belt as Kid Flash, but he was supposed to be Flash's partner, not some errand boy. What he was doing better applied to the Boy Wonder, Robin. Who I've yet to meet.
He was about to head back when an arrow crossed his path. It was black with a simple tip and aimed at an older man in a suit. He sped up and tackled the man, the arrow wedging into the underbelly of the closest table. Looking around, Wally spotted a figure drop from a rooftop across the road. Smirking, he chased after the would-be assassin. Kid Flash jumped over a fence to get into the alley the figure had dropped down into.
He was surprised to spot a girl in orange and black with a flowing blonde braid. She appeared to be around his age, maybe a tad older. Between the sword on her back and the various tools strapped to her thighs, she looked the part of an assassin. He dashed up to her, planning to sweep her up. Right as Kid Flash reached her, her foot popped out and his tripped. She giggled as he hit the ground and rolled.
"Careful there, Kid Idiot." Wally rolled over, glaring at the smiling girl. "Don't want someone so cute breaking themselves."
"Cute, huh? I'd love to know who you are so I can forward the compliment."
She eyed him for a second before saying, "Tigress." She pressed her foot down on his chest, almost enough weight to break a rib. "I wouldn't be so ready to get moving yet. I'd rather not have to drug you so I can go on my merry way and kill that businessman."
Something seemed off to Wally. "Why do you have to kill him?"
Tigress glared at him. "You don't want to know." She looked away while pulling back a tad, giving him more breathing room. She glanced back. "Will you leave me alone?"
"Can't do that, babe. It's part of the hero gig, saving people." She sighed, pulling out one of her tools. It flicked open to reveal a small, loaded crossbow.
"Night, Kid Flash." The dart hurt for a second before he felt heavy. He tried to stand as she walked off, but collapsed. I can't wait to hear what Barry has to say. Beaten by a girl my own age.
Wally woke to find night had fallen. He was still in the alley where he had confronted Tigress. He sat up, groaning as his muscles tried to resist. Must be a side effect. It took him a couple moments to stand, stretching his body once up. Looking around, he spotted the arrow from earlier on the ground, a note stuck on it.
Oh great. Now she's taunting me. Kid Flash was hesitant, grabbing the arrow. He pulled the note off of it and dropped the projectile. He opened it up and read: If you're wondering, yes, I killed that man. The Demon Head had him marked for death anyways, so your actions were in vain, unless you're open to playing a game of cat and mouse. Meet me in North Gotham, outside the high school in nine days. Be there at noon. Don't wear civs. Love, Tigress.
Wally bit his lip, reading the letter over and over. As much as he was curious to find out what Tigress meant by 'cat and mouse', he had a feeling he would be losing the zeta beam privileges he was supposed to get in a week. Before he could do anything else, his stomach grumbled.
"Well, I guess I should eat before I go." Wally pulled out a couple energy bars from the cupboard on his left wrist. He devoured them in a couple seconds before stuffing the wrappers, and the note, inside. Kid Flash then grabbed the arrow and raced off to the rendezvous point Barry had given him when they encountered Captain Cold: the Flash Museum in Central City.
It took a minute for Kid Flash to get there, not even breaking the sound barrier on the way over. Barry was talking with Superman and Batman in front of the structure. The Dark Knight pointed out Wally to the Flash.
"Kid, do you know what your mother would've done to me?" Barry asked, closing the gap in a millisecond. "The League would have to change it to 'the original six'." He noticed the arrow in Wally's hand.
"Nice souvenir you got there. Care to tell the story?"
Kid Flash brought up his right hand, not noticing he had grabbed the arrow before racing away from the alley. "Got tangled with an assassin. Heard something about a 'demon head'."
"Bats, you're gonna want to hear this," Barry said. He looked scared, something Wally had never seen in his uncle.
Batman walked over. "What is it Flash?" The two Leaguers ignored Superman fly off.
"Kid here got tangled up with an assassin. Apparently this assassin is a Shadow." Batman stiffened, looking down at Wally.
"How did you survive?"
"She was my age," Wally said, looking away from the intense glare of the Dark Knight. "Called herself Tigress." He glanced at the ground before opening up a cupboard and pulling out the note. "She left me this, after using a dart on me."
Batman swiped it, reading. "You'll be coming to Gotham for this. Robin needs to test his tracking abilities in the field, so this'll be the perfect opportunity. She'll be followed by a full Shadow, given her age. The League will monitor the situation." He returned the note to Wally and walked away.
"No 'see you soon' or 'report to Gotham in seven days'?" Wally asked his mentor. Flash shrugged.
"I barely get Bats sometimes. At least he didn't disappear on us. He usually does that to everyone, especially Superman."
Artemis was happy that she only got smacked several times after her mission in Keystone. Her father, Sportsmaster, was angry that she had failed to kill 'Flash Jr.', but was pleased to hear she invited him to Gotham for a hunt. Jade had already completed hers, becoming the Shadow, Cheshire.
Yet I still need to do mine. Although, I'm not ready. Not by Shadow standards. I didn't even kill that old man. He poisoned himself and I just stabbed his body with my sword, found the poison he used, and coated the blade in it, along with some blood.
"Well sis, congrats." Artemis turned to find Jade standing nearby, wearing her Cheshire costume, minus the mask. "I just heard you're going to be hunting a speedster. Maybe you should set a feast for him and take him out while he's gorging himself." She leaned in close. "I bet that's when they feel happiest."
"I'll try to keep that in mind," Artemis said, taking a step back. "I should go report to Lady Shiva. She'll likely have something to teach me for the hunt." Jade smiled and slipped back into the shadows.
The League of Shadows used their own facility to teach recruits how to both use shadow as a defensive and as an offensive tool. Artemis found the techniques easy and most weapons to be almost intuitive, but a number of higher ups were disappointed in her unwillingness to kill that had peaked many times.
Of course, they now thought she had finally become worthy of 'Shadow'. Tigress, the next in the line of Crock's that belonged to Ra's al Gul's League. Her mother had retired from the life, once Huntress. A nasty incident with the Batman himself had left her paralyzed.
That had been four years ago, the last time Artemis had seen her mother.
And that's just one reason why I'm hoping 'Kid Idiot' can help me escape the Shadows. If it appears I die, no reckoning will come upon him. Officially, at least. Father or Jade, however, are different questions.
"I have heard about what you've done Artemis, and I am very proud." Lady Shiva had been waiting before the door to her training room. "You are more ambitious than most other Blights hoping to become a Shadow. Taking on the young speedster will be dangerous, especially in Gotham, of all places. Interference is more likely, given the high numbers of super villains not aligned to the League of Shadows and the Light, which it serves. Plus, there is Batman, who ruined your mother, and his new protégé."
"He didn't seem like much when he chased after me."
"And why didn't you kill him."
Because I haven't killed anyone. "I thought ahead to my hunt. I'm just surprised the Demon Head has allowed for it to be so…early."
"It was his daughter, Talia, that made the decision. She did see that note you wrote for the Flash boy." Artemis remained stoic, thankful that she had been rather cryptic with the message.
"Of course, she's also looking for a chance to nab herself Batman, so it's likely she'll be the one watching your hunt."
"Perfect." Perfect. Now it'll be impossible to tell that Kid what I want him to do for me. Talia is the best lip reader I know.
"Jade told me you would teach me how to deal with a speedster." Shiva smiled and stepped aside, holding her hand to the door.
"Enter, and I'll teach you what I know." Artemis walked through the door, which closed behind her. Great. Another one of Shiva's tricks. She really is a horrible person.
"First thing you must know about speedsters is that they'll use their powers to try and tire you out. A common technique used by every Flash is called 'hit and run'. It consists of running past your opponent while throwing as many punches as they can during that second they pass. The only counter is your sword. Bring it through their path and they'll either die or slow down.
"That leads too number two, Artemis." She could tell Shiva was now in the room and not outside. "They like to run circles around their enemies. They commonly use it to either get in a flurry of hits to the back of the head, or to remove your oxygen supply. Here, wait as long as you can before reaching out and grabbing their neck. Vandal Savage perfected this technique shortly after the first expansion of the Justice League.
"The last thing I have to teach you is that distance is not your friend. Unlike against a normal person or any other sort of Meta, you have the advantage at long distances, with an exception given to Green Arrow and his protégé, Speedy. Speedsters won't give you the luxury to sit back and lob arrows at them, hoping to get a hit.
"They will hunt you down and take you out, no matter where you go on the battlefield."
"Is that all, Mistress Shiva?" Artemis asked, forming a plan.
"Yes." I will meet with you the day before the hunt. Amazo I still has the Flash's programming. Beat the bot, and the Kid is already dead."
Nine days had past since Kid Flash met Tigress. Batman had yet to discover an identity to the Shadow-trainee he was meeting. Somewhere in the buildings across the street was Robin, watching. They had become fast friends, Wally forced into a week regiment of training with the Dark Knight.
A church at the south end of Gotham Island chimed twelve times.
"You showed up," the familiar voice of Tigress said. "I was half sure you weren't going to show."
"Thanks for the confidence," Wally said. He hadn't noticed the mask the first time they met. It was orange with a couple black stripes, mimicking a tiger. Makes sense. "So, what is this 'cat and mouse' game you have planned?"
"I'm going to hunt you," Tigress said. He appeared confused. "You have either until midnight or my final breath to not die. I'm to give you a minute head start, due to your powers. Shadows are waiting at every exit of Gotham and they'd love to get a chance to kill you."
Kid Flash glared at her, trying to not appear disgusted. "And if I don't die?"
"Then I die." Tigress smiled, seeing his wide eyes. She leaned in, hoping Talia couldn't see. "However, I do have a plan to fake my death. My mother got some old friends of hers to hide me from the Shadows. All you have to do is help me."
"Why?" Kid Flash asked. He was sure that it was a trap.
"I'm sure I can come up with something to make it worth your time. Maybe I'll switch sides and we can fight side by side."
Wally laughed. "So when does my minute start?"
"You have twelve seconds left, Kid Idiot," Tigress said. "Eight. Seven. Six."
Wally took off, heading for the always-busy Gotham Square. An orange light illuminated a smudge of buildings. Probably fireworks to announce the beginning. He continued running, unsure if Robin was keeping up.
Artemis waited on the steeple of Gotham's Catholic Church, waiting for the speedster to arrive at the pizzeria down the road. She had planted a small touch of neurotoxins to make him show up for a couple extra large pizzas. She was two hours into the hunt and already bored. A compact bow at her side and a foam-dispersal arrow spinning in her hands, her moves were already planned out.
When Kid Idiot arrives, I'll make my way onto the block across from the one with the pizza. Keeping close to the roof, I'll fire it at his feet, trapping him. Batman's kid would move in as she did, hoping to keep her busy long enough for the Flash kid to free himself. From there, she'd disable the boy and her target will attack with abandon. Quick dose of a Sportsmaster-Cheshire mix and after a couple of nasty punches her death would be faked. Talia will leave to report to her the Shadows of my failure while the ever so smart Batman grabs my body.
As Artemis finished going through her plan, Kid Flash showed up, stopping in front of the pizzeria. She smiled and fired a line to a building near the target. Tigress zipped over and kept low, slipping to the point she had marked off while waiting. Once there, she loaded her bow and counted down from six. At three, she flipped over and spotted the target. When she reached one, she fired the arrow.
Kid Flash shouted, finding his feet swallowed up by the foam used by Green Arrow and Speedy. He noticed an arrow with a line hit the brick wall close by. Looking over his shoulder, he watched as Tigress descended down.
Her bow detached from the line with ease. Artemis smiled at the trapped speedster, drawing a knife. He looked from the blade and up to her face.
"You don't have to do this," he said.
"That's where you're wrong," Artemis, said. The façade of Tigress came on. "Did you really believe me?" Kid Flash nodded as he scanned the skyline. "Who ever you're looking for isn't coming."
He smiled and laughed. And then a haunting cackle spread across the entire area, coming from everywhere at once.
"Sounds like Rob is here to help out. I'm sure Bats is dealing with your buddy here in Gotham." Artemis scowled, now realizing this was exactly why Talia wanted to oversee her hunt. She had her hunch, but it was confirmed one hundred percent now.
Before Artemis could stab Kid Flash, a small disk sliced through the dagger's blade. She spotted Robin continue across the sky, landing above them.
"Told ya," Kid Flash taunted. He then vibrated his legs and stepped away from the hardened foam. His nose began bleeding. "Dammit. Every time I've tried." He looked up to see Artemis lunge at him. He sped around her, kicking her so she fell. "Just like old times."
Tigress got up, spinning and slashing, hoping to slice his chest. A trickle of blood was on the blade's tip.
"Oohhh, you got me," Kid Flash said. "Let's see if you can do that again." Artemis ground her teeth as she pricked her left thigh. The agent was in her body. Now to create a believable death. Tigress stabbed at him, aiming for his kidneys. He dodged each one, leading them into the street. Traffic had already stopped, Gothamites turning to walking around the two battling in the streets.
"Stand still, dammit!" Artemis hissed, nicking Kid Flash. His eyes turned dark and he knocked her sword away with a strong chop to her hands. Tigress answered with her foot, tripping him up. He hit his back on the ground.
Artemis paused for a second, feeling the first aneurysm. I have a minute left. He better pull something off. He grabbed her left leg and pulled, dropping her on top of him. Before Tigress could react, Kid Flash rolled over so that he was straddling her. He mumbled, "I'm so sorry," before landing two solid hits, one at her solar plexus and the other across her face.
Kid Flash stood up, looking down at the young assassin. He scowled; something was off. A couple gasps came out of her mouth, sending him into a defensive posture, but then she began squirming, as if she had a light seizure.
"Shit," he said, dropping down besides her body. As he reached out to stop the movement, he remembered what she had said at the school. "However, I do have a plan to fake my death." Tigress's body continued its violent movement for a couple seconds before going still. He kneeled next to her body, pressing two fingers up beneath her jaw. Nothing.
Artemis woke up 23 hours after her battle with Kid Flash. Members of the Justice League had been hard at work, covering over the supposed fact that he had killed a person. Some let him off the hook, given she was an assassin. Others, like barely known columnist G. Gordon Godfrey, went on the offensive, using the mishap of a protégé as a way to claim the Justice League was abandoning its principles.
She had been startled, waking up in a metal box. At first she thought she had been buried, but after some pounding, the morgue drawer she was in opened up. The Batman looked down at her.
"Your mother made her decision," the Dark Knight said. "I just wish she hadn't gotten paralyzed." Artemis nodded. Sitting up, she noticed that her Tigress outfit had been removed. The only piece she could find after an hour of searching and questioning was the mask that Wally had kept as a souvenir.
After that hour, she was introduced to Green Arrow. After a stern nod from Batman, he removed his mask and lowered his hood. "My real name is Oliver Queen and you're being discharged into my care. Even with your faked death, staying in Gotham would be too much of a risk, even with Batman. Given your looks and combat abilities, you'll be reintroduced as Mia Dearden, my niece. The rest will be dealt with."
"Will I still get to fight?" Artemis asked.
"Besides Speedy and myself," Ollie said. Artemis considered the offer for a second.
"I'll take it." She turned to Kid Flash. "Thanks for everything. Hopefully I'll see you soon." She then stole a kiss before following Green Arrow into a zeta tube.
2 years later
July 4, 2010
"I told you we were going to be last," Kid Flash told his mentor. Crowds had gathered to see all five sidekicks together with their mentors. Waiting for them had been Batman and Robin, Aquaman and Aqualad, and Green Arrow, Speedy, and Artemis.
"Took you long enough, Kid Idiot," Artemis said.
"It isn't KF's fault he can't use the zeta tube network," Robin said low enough to prevent the crowds from picking up his comment.
"Quite you two," Aqualad said. He had been given an honorary title as being their leader. Robin was a close second, having the most experience. Minus Artemis, as she liked to remind them.
"Just remember this," Speedy said. "Today is the day."
A/N: There is a slight possibility I'll do a sequel, assuming anyone wants that. Just leave a review with what scene from season one you want to see me do. Already plan on going from Superboy exiting Cadmus and seeing the moon to New Years in the Watchtower.
I think 10 reviews should be enough.