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The One Day It's Expected

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"Artemis?" The archer jumped at the sound of her name and turned her head to see M'gann looking at her with furrowed eyebrows. She had been so caught up in her 'mission' that she hadn't noticed anyone approaching. Her dad would have been disappointed.

"What are you doing? If you don't mind my asking…" the young Martian inquired hesitantly. She looked uncertain if she really wanted to know the answer but her curiosity had gotten the best of her.

Artemis pursed her lips thoughtfully. She supposed she did look a bit suspicious standing in the shadows of the hallway and peeking around the door to the common room. Her eyes widened slightly as she realized she'd let her attention be averted for what could be a second too long. She quickly sunk back against the wall and peered around the doorframe.

Sighing when she saw her target hadn't moved she whispered back to her friend, "I'm spying on Wally."

There was a short silence behind her before M'gann answered, confusion evident in her voice. "May I… ask why?"

Artemis narrowed her eyes, still focused on the speedster sitting sprawled on the couch. "Because I know he has something up his sleeves and I will not be the butt of whatever joke he's going to pull."

"Oh," M'gann said then paused before… "I'm sorry, I still do not understand. Wally makes a lot of jokes every day. Why is today special?"

"Right, you probably don't have it on Mars," Artemis mumbled to herself. She glanced briefly over her shoulder to explain, "On Earth we have… a holiday of sorts, that always falls on the first of April."

"A holiday?" M'gann smiled, clasping her hands in excitement, "What is this holiday for? Should I bake something in celebration?"

Artemis raised an eyebrow and pondered it for a few seconds. A smirk played on her lips as she considered directing the green-skinned girl in cooking a 'traditional' dish for the day. It could involve any number of ingredients to make the enemy's stomach crawl and M'gann would never know the difference. Not to mention, Wally would eat it without question coming from her.

Artemis shook herself of her thoughts and, taking one look at her friend's eager expression, decided not to deceive her. She would think of some other way to get back at Wally should he try anything.

She turned her attention back to the common area to see that the other redhead hadn't moved. Then she answered, "It's called April Fool's Day."

M'gann tilted her head, looking interested, "And what does one do to celebrate it?"

"They prank each other," Artemis replied.

"Pranks?" her friend looked up in thought, "You mean like when Wally put that bucket of water over Robin's door?"

Artemis snorted, "Wasn't a very good one considering Robin found it and put it over Wally's door. Kid Idiot should have known better than to try anything after that hair-dying incident."

M'gann nodded in understanding, "But dying Robin's hair… that was a successful prank?"

Artemis grinned. "Sure, I mean he did pull it off. Doubt he thought it was very 'successful' though," she said making air quotes. "Anyway," she continued her explanation of how the day worked, "after you prank someone on this day, you say 'April Fool's' and… well that's pretty much it."

"Is it fun?" M'gann asked.

Artemis shrugged, "It can be I guess. Unless you're dealing with someone like Wally who doesn't need an excuse to prank any other day of the week. I can't even imagine what he'll do now that he's got this golden opportunity."

M'gann stepped forward to watch their object of conversation along with the archer. She frowned slightly, "Has he even moved at all today?"

Artemis scowled in irritation. "No," she practically growled, "I don't get why. It's almost like he's waiting for somethi-"

Her sentence was cut off as the mountain's sound system announced the arrival of Robin. Wally immediately perked up and turned his head to watch the common room's other entrance.

"Or someone," Artemis rephrased her thought. She groaned as the team's youngest member walked over to join Wally on the couch. She couldn't hear anything they were saying, but they were obviously discussing something. And whatever it was…

"What's wrong?" M'gann asked, concerned at Artemis' barely audible moan.

"What's wrong is that the only thing worse than a plotting speedster…" Artemis huffed, "Is a plotting speedster with a crafty bird to help him."

M'gann frowned, "You think Robin is going to help Wally prank you? He always seems to prefer to stay out of your… disagreements."

"Yeah, usually," Artemis said, "But today is April Fool's and Wally is his best friend. If he's going to team up with anyone for pranking mayhem, it'll be Kid Mouth." She watched as Wally leaned in closer to whisper something and then set her jaw. She refused to take her eyes off of them until the day was good and done with.

"They are not getting the drop on me," she swore to herself.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Hey, Wally."

The redhead smiled a little as his best friend strolled into the common area; shades on, hands in his pockets, looking for all the world like it was just another day and nothing was bothering him.

Wally knew for a fact that wasn't the case. Robin always struggled this time of year... especially today. He put up a pretty good front that might've been believed by those who didn't know his true identity. But everyone who knew could see right through it.

"How's your day been going?" Wally asked conversationally as the younger boy sat down beside him.

Robin shrugged, staring at the blank TV. "It's been okay I guess," he replied turning his head to give the speedster a small smile, "No emotional breakdowns or anything."

"Well that's always good to hear," Wally smirked. He became serious a moment later, "You go to see them yet?"

Robin nodded, "Bats took me a little after breakfast. He stayed for awhile but…" the bird sighed, trying to hide his disappointment, "He had to leave for a meeting."

Wally raised an eyebrow in surprise, "A meeting? Seriously?" It didn't sound like something his friend's mentor would do. Especially not to Robin. He'd move mountains for the kid if he had to… or if it were physically possible.

"Well it is with Lex Luthor, so…" Robin allowed.

Now both of Wally's eyebrows were nearly to his hairline. "Luthor?" he said in disbelief. He took a quick glance around before leaning in to whisper, "I wouldn't think Wayne Enterprises would do business with a major villain."

Robin gave him a pointed look, "Why do you think he had to take care of it personally?"

Oh… he probably wanted to make sure none of his employees got into Luthor's pocket by making a deal. Only way to insure that was to be there. Made since.

Still though…

"He didn't want you to wait around or something?" Wally asked hesitantly, "I mean… I'm guessing you'd rather be with him right now."

Robin shook his head, "Nah, I don't mind being here. Besides it isn't safe to hang around Gotham when B's in the beginning stages of conferences with Big, Bald and Snooty. Don't want to give them something to use as persuasion."

Wally was outright gaping now, "What… You're not saying… Has he ever…" the older teen lowered his voice again, "Has he ever grabbed you before? As… you?"

"Personally no," Robin said as though it were no big deal, "But he's had me… 'collected' once or twice. Superman found me both times… no surprise there. We never could legally connect him though."

Wally felt like he should say something else about it, but he really had no response to how nonchalant Robin was concerning the whole thing. So he changed the subject.

"You could've stayed with the Temperamental Mother Hen," he pointed out. Wally's nickname for the Commissioner's daughter always made Robin smile. The speedster had only met her a few times but he thought she was pretty okay. He found it amusing that she never asked how the ward of Gotham's richest man was friends with the nephew of a forensic scientist from Central City.

"She has a gymnastics competition today," Robin informed his friend, "Too public. She sent me a few texts though."

Wally nodded and they lapsed into a comfortable silence. It lasted for about ten minutes before Robin crossed his arms and leaned back into the couch.

"You know Artemis has been staring at us since I came in," he said, sounding less than half as curious as he normally would.

Wally snorted, "Dude, she's been watching me since I woke up this morning. She thinks I'm going to pull some major practical joke on the whole cave, mainly focusing on her."

Robin looked at him and raised an eyebrow, "Are you?"

Wally grinned and wrapped an arm around the young acrobat's shoulders, pulling him closer to his side. "Nope," he made sure to pop the 'p' for emphasis, "Today I'm just gonna hang with my best friend. Maybe we can have a Lord of the Rings movie marathon."

Robin smiled gratefully and relaxed against his friend. "Sounds like a plan," he agreed.

"Besides," Wally added with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, "She's completely freaking herself out over it and I don't have to do anything. Best April Fool's joke ever."

Hearing Robin's laugh at that made giving up his golden opportunity worth it.

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Gotta love brotherly fluff! :D