I… don't handle grief well. First I go into shock. Then I go into frustrated hopelessness, and then I cover that vulnerable feeling with sarcastic humor, because that is so much safer. I did that same thing with Wally's 'death'. And this is what appeared because, heck no, I'm not accepting that ending.
Oh, uh… I'm actually doing a disclaimer, because, well, let's hope this never is actually seen by the people mentioned in it, let's say… (I don't own Young Justice… or its creators, producers, or its target marketing team.)
Previously on Endgame:
As Dick turned away, Kaldur followed, not ready to give up. "This is no time for you to resign."
Dick paused, wearily turning back to him. "I'm not resigning, just… taking a leave of absence." A BIG leave of absence. "Besides," he looked across the room meaningfully, "if you need help, Barbara is more than ready to step up." In fact, she had been dogging him for months for a better position on the team, might as well finally give her what she wants.
Kaldur wasn't quite ready to quit. "Agreed, but Dick-"
"I need a break, Kaldur." Nightwing looked away from his friend, not wanting to meet his eyes. "You, me, Wally. We founded this team, without him…" He couldn't finish.
Kaldur sighed, knowing he couldn't argue further. "I understand."
Nightwing stayed on the watch tower long enough to listen to Kaldur's speech to bring everybody's spirits up. He was a powerful speaker, and Dick was glad that job was no longer his. He smiled somewhat sadly as he took in that almost nostalgic scene. "Business as usual."
He turned and left, knowing that now his part in this plot was officially done and he had to complete one hell of a mission. It might take some time, but he wasn't about to let this one slide. He might not have been able to rescue Tula after all this time, or Jason or Ted Kord.
But he sure as hell wasn't letting them take Wally too.
The underpaid executive clicked to the next power point slide. "So as concluded, we estimate our new franchise, 'Teen Titans Go!', to be a much greater success to the target audience, bringing up our ratings and franchise popularity both up by at least 30%."
One of the head producers, a somewhat pudgy man with thinning hair, smiled. "We should be able to make a reasonable profit off this new focus. Kids nowadays don't care for the quality; they don't have the attention span for it."
A lower temp, slightly pock-marked face and lack of stress lines showing he was still young, mumbled under his breath.
One of the producers, this one with brown hair and sharp eyes, over heard. "It doesn't matter if it's a better cartoon, or that it had a huge following. The bottom line is, in essence, 'Young Justice' sucked for our sales. We work for profit, kid."
"But it was a great show! And have you been following the fandoms? They're freaking out! You're going to lose ratings!" The temp bit his lip at the glares he was receiving; quickly reminding himself that he had loans to pay and had better shut up.
"If we lose viewers, it's going to be from the sixteen and up range, which is not the target audience." The thinning man pursed his lips, his double chin sticking out more. "Collateral damage."
"Half of them will be turn coats anyway." A man with a red tie spoke up from the far end. "You know how fickle our viewers are. Five episodes in and they won't even remember the show."
"You guys had the writers take out Kid Flash, your second best character." The words jumped from the young man's mouth before he could stop and oh god they were going to fire him.
"Enough!" The pudgy man turned an interesting shade of red as he heaved himself up. "Get yourself out of this building! We are discussing the bright future for our network, not sulking about a sinking ship not worth saving!"
Oh god I just got fired. My mom is going to kill me, my WIFE is going to kill me. Fighting back the urge to take back the words and grovel the temp stiffly got up and made his way to the door, reaching for the handle. Wasn't a great job anyway…
The sharp eyed man cleared his throat uncomfortably. "Now, about that increase in sales-"
Before the temp could fully open the door it was kicked open by a powerful leg dressed in combat attire. The heads of each respective department swiveled around and gawked in astonishment, not believing their eyes.
Nightwing, dressed and ready for taking down villains, pinned them down with a bat glare. "Where. Is. He."
"Those idiots!" The red tie man stood up in shock, his chair flying out from under him and hitting the wall. "They mentioned a character went off the grid, I wasn't told it was Grayson!" He grit his teeth, seething in building fury. "How did you even get past the dimensional security? This building's security?"
One of the more zealous suits had been trying to sneak around and jump the vigilante from behind. Dick wasn't in the mood, however, and right as the man leaped, he delivered a round-a-bout kick that connected solidly with the guy's chin, sending him crashing into a potted plant. Ah, well, his salary could afford jaw surgery. "Hmm, that's a toughie. Maybe it's because you made me a world renowned hacker and kick-ass hero?"
"Get him!" The man with a double chin bellowed, several suits looking apprehensive but nonetheless moved to obey the one controlling their promotions and salary bonuses.
It's not even worth describing the fight that transpired. Accept that Nightwing beat his record in how many thugs he had knocked out within thirty seconds.
The pudgy man backed up, breaking out in a cold sweat as Dick put away his eskrima sticks and strode purposefully towards him, the bat glare coming on even stronger. "I won't ask nicely a third time. Tell me where he is."
The man sputtered as the dark knight's protégé picked him up by the collar and held him suspended in the air. "I-I-I don't even know w-w-what you want f-freak!"
Nightwing resisted the urge to sucker punch him, gritting his teeth. "Wally West, where did you put my best friend?"
"He's d-d-dead you idiot! We killed him off!"
No! Dick Grayson had not gone through all this to find out that his friend hadn't actually made it! Furious, he held the man's throat with one arm, bringing his other fist back in preparation to brutally knock out the babbling man.
Nightwing paused, turning away from the whimpering coward to see a younger man, the first one he had knocked aside, shakily raise himself up on his feet. He looked over to the hero, trying to fight down his fan-boy awe, knowing this wasn't the time. "They left him in a suspended state, they didn't want to finalize it just yet, and left enough openings in the plot to ensure if they ever wanted to bring him back it was possible."
Dick narrowed his eyes accusingly. "And then you canceled it."
"And then they canceled it." The ex-temp raised his hands in a placating gesture, so not wanting to be falsely implemented here. "Weisman and Hopps probably threw him in with the other alternate dimension take outs. I- I can probably lead you there."
"Don't you dare!" The pudgy man seemed to become livid again at the thought of his plans being destroyed. "We ended his life in that world! And that world is now in limbo without completion! You can't send him back, you'd start up the plot again!"
"It was wrong of us to do, and to hell with what you want, you guys keep nose diving with your original plans!"
"You stupid temp! Get this man off me, or I'll- I'll-"
"What?" The kid gave a sadistic smirk. "You'll fire me? Kill me off from the plot?"
"Wow, I'd love to watch you both monologue, but," Grayson let his fist strategically collide with the man's temple. "I have way more important things to do." Dropping the blubbery man to the ground, he turned and looked at the recovered temp. "Lead on, we need to hurry."
The fidgety man in the suit had led him all the way down to a sub basement level that wasn't even on the blue prints. They had encountered three security personnel and two secretaries but the hindrance lasted less than a few seconds for all meetings.
The temp may have squealed a little when he watched the hero take down one of the guards and had the elevator system. Just a little. God, fan boys.
Now they were passing numerous cells, several of them looking ancient and untouched for years, each holding one or more uniquely shaped creatures/beings in a frozen, sleep like state. The green glow coming from the cells was oddly clashing with the checkered black and white floor. Dick couldn't help but take note of the other captives as they passed. That one was some kind of ancient samurai, his features jagged and straight cut. Another held a group of five teenagers, their attire somewhat a mix between patchwork and metal armor. Then there was a boy with arms that were machines, a faint techno humming and trilling coming from the slightly glowing appendages. Another held a man that appeared to be part beast, with fur and cat ears that stuck out of a short red mane. And those two teens in the older cell, they looked almost familiar. Maybe it was the kid with the dreadlocks… or the blond in the green costume guy next to him…
"Here he is!"
Knowing there was nothing Dick could do for them, he rushed over to the farthest cell the temp was gesturing frantically to, as if saying 'see? I found him for you!'.
Inside was a familiar red headed form, his face slumped in relaxed sleep as he hovered in the stasis. Wally! Dick felt his heart lighten at the sight. "How do we get him out?"
"Right, move over." Dick made quick work of the somewhat surprisingly advanced tech, knowing there wasn't much time left. Within moments the faint green glow died and the figure of his best friend gently fell to the floor. He quickly rushed in, ignoring the hovering temp. "Wally? Wake up, KF. We need to go."
"Ugh…" cringing, the young man opened his eyes to look up to see his best friend. "Wait, Dick? No way… the last thing I remember- the crystallized energy tore me apart… and then everything disappeared and there were these freaks that grabbed me and threw me in here… I'm not dead?"
Dick smiled. "Not dead at all."
"Wow… well, good. 'Cause the afterlife sucks otherwise." Wally gingerly brought himself up, his eyes suddenly widening in realization. "Wait, I'm not dead? Oh god, Artemis is going to kill me for ditching her like that!"
Ah, good old Wally. "Don't forget about your parents."
"Oh Christ, my parents!"
"And your uncle."
"… shut up already."
"Uh, guys?" Dick turned back to the temp. "I don't think we can get back the way we came." Dick turned to find that the hallway was starting to blink red, distant blares from the upper security going off. "Can you get home from here?"
Nightwing nodded, cringing slightly at the somewhat puppy like adoration this guy was showing him. God, what was with this alternate dimension? "Are you going to be able to get out okay?"
"Pfft, yeah. Trust me, the head honchos are big, but they can't exactly run to the police and say I let their suspended show's characters escape. Besides, this beats whatever jail time I might potentially get. I got some connections; I'll just get me and my girl out of state for a bit. I hear Florida is nice this time of year."
Satisfied that the babbling kid would be fine, Dick turned to the corner and took out a device, pressing a code into it before a high powered laser shot out and started to form a golden portal that gently began sucking in the surrounding air. Supporting his friend, he turned one last time, "Hey, I'm not going to need this anymore, and I think you might be able to put it to good use." Bludhaven's hero gave a mischievous smirk as he threw the tech to the astonished ally before turning and jumping through.
The temp, after seeing the circle disappear, glanced around at the other suspended figures, then meaningfully down at the dimensional portal tech.
Well, he was going to need a distraction to get out…
Gotham City, outskirts of Wayne manor:
The relatively peaceful night was interrupted by a sudden glowing circle that popped about three feet off the ground. It sat there a few moments, before another sudden burst of light revealed two figures being dropped out of it. The moment the two men hit the ground, the portal closed up behind them. Groaning, they both stood up and looked around.
"Man, I feel like I've slept a lifetime." Wally cracked some kinks out of his neck.
"Yeah, not funny." Dick abruptly turned and hugged the guy, suddenly feeling like the scared little teenager from all those years ago during the failsafe incident. "It was only for a bit- but I had thought- we all thought you were dead."
"Sorry, dude." Wally awkwardly hugged him back, knowing that their previous fights and growing distance was, for this time at least, gone. "It's just, I had to help them, you know? I can't just sit by even if it does mean I might…"
Dick smiled, somewhat painfully. "And here I thought you were retired."
"Yeah, but I guess you never really leave the life, you know?" Wally's face turned worried again. "Man, I don't know even what I'm going to say to everyone. How long was I gone even?"
"Don't worry," Dick slung an arm around the costumed form and started guiding him towards the entrance of the bat cave. "As far as I know, it's still only been two months."
"Like I said, don't worry. In fact, I don't think Artemis has figured out whether your 'welcome home gift' is a boy or girl yet, so you can help name it."
… I REGRET NOTHING.
And, yeah. Artemis did say "when we're alone." You ALL know what the implied. And Wally is one of the fastest freaking guys alive, I'm sure even with the world in crisis they could have… slipped in some couples time. Besides, can you imagine his reaction if he comes home to that? HA! Or maybe Dick's trolling, we'll never know. If I accurately described any people apart of a certain company… I will laugh. And the characters in 'stasis' will be explained below.
My first attempt at a crack fic… I think… did it work?
NOW I'll go back to Possession. God, glad to have this out of my system.
In other news: Generator Rex comes spontaneously out of its hiatus, along with Thundercats, with some ambitious episodes that long time fans wept in happiness when they saw. Old Samurai Jack fans roared in approval when without any warning they were given a two hour movie of the final battle between Aku and Jack that ended in Jack's well deserved happy but slightly bitter ending as he finally made it home and reunited with what was left of his home. It becomes a best seller over night. The Red Hawks jump back into the game with an all new season, throwing in plot twists unseen before and captivating a whole new generation of audiences as well as the old. Static Shock got its season renewed, and won awards for the new plot and character development, as well as quality lessons learned during each episode and intense ratings and top reviews from family and critic circles alike.
The previous owners of the respected shows are baffled, offering no comments to the public other than a temp who wouldn't give out his name saying. "Yeah, it was time for some radical changes. And in order to change our company's future, we had to meet back with our past."