So this is a YJ AU that I've been working on for months as part of the YJ Big Bang over on tumblr. Even though I'm technically not finished, I decided to start posting it because I wanted to start getting it out since it was due this week.
This work is rated T for potential language at most, and there's no real pairing[s] that gets the spotlight, some flirting at most.
I hope everyone enjoys, and let me know what you think!
I have a lot of betas to thank, mostly mimosaeyes, xwallartftw, and theravioliyoyo! So thank you guys so much for helping me and catching my silly mistakes!
I own nothing, otherwise YJ wouldn't be cancelled.
November 4 -1:10am EST
The mystical jade Monkey Stone. It was revered by many as having magical powers, able to cure fatal diseases and make whoever owned it immortal. Dick scoffed under his breath, wondering what kind of gullible clown would believe such nonsense. That wasn't why he and his team were here, and he pitied any fool who thought a stone could cure anything. Miracles didn't exist, and it was high time the world accepted it.
"Perimeter is clear, you guys are good to go." Wally's voice came through Dick's comm-link, bringing him back to the mission at hand.
Dick was hiding behind a bush along with Artemis, waiting until Wally finished running around the vicinity to check that there were no security guards patrolling or that they were at least distracted, and to disable any cameras. In times like these, having a Speedster around was very useful. Behind Dick and Artemis, their bikes were parked a few feet away. On top of the leather seats, matching jackets and helmets rested, ready for them put on in case of any emergency or quick getaway.
Artemis looked at Dick, and they both nodded. The archer notched an arrow to her bow for precautionary measures, and Dick parted the bushes, allowing Artemis to jump out before he passed through as well. They then broke into a sprint across the street to the building they were targeting, scanning the area around them cautiously.
The Gotham Museum of Art was ancient, sporting Gothic architecture with all the grotesque ornaments the style was known for. It was a pale beige colour in its heyday, although it had long turned muddy through the decades, with some decay showing in various areas. The museum's attempt to repair the damaged parts was to add modern additions here and there with glass and steel structures, creating an eclectic environment for the museum.
Once they reached the building, they went around to the back where the circuit breaker box was located, away from the view of the average visitor. Dick positioned himself in front of the box, which was thankfully at eye level, meaning he didn't have to kneel while working on it.
Meanwhile, Artemis set herself with her back to Dick's a few feet behind him, bow fully extended, string taut and arrow ready to fire at anyone who appeared. Artemis was an excellent markswoman, so Dick had no worries and knew he was well covered. Dick got a screwdriver from his leg pouch, and proceeded to open the cover on the box without any effort. He smirked; what a bunch of amateurs. If he could crack open the box that controlled all the lights and security systems in under two minutes with a garden variety screwdriver, then clearly the company in charge of the security needed a wake-up call and a modernization of their systems. If all went well, his team would provide the perfect call.
He took out a usb connector lodged inside a compartment in his glove, which housed his wrist computer, and connected it to the circuit board inside the box. It prompted a holographic screen and keyboard to appear from another compartment in his glove, and the screen showed a red tinted image, the locked network of systems that guarded Gotham's most valuable artistic treasures. Dick typed out a string of code, and the nearly silent beep and newly-turned green tinted image notified him that the security had just been disabled.
"All systems go?" Artemis asked without turning around, having heard the faint beep.
Dick chortled. "I think you mean, all systems down." He then disconnected the usb from the box, closing it again. He turned on his comm-link, and related the news to Wally. "All right, cameras inside are disabled, guards are distracted, and laser security is off, let's go."
Artemis lowered her arms, arrow sitting relaxed on her bow as she turned and faced Dick. A black and red blur in their peripheral vision appeared, coming to stop just beside them with a rush of wind. Wally flashed a grin, touching a dial on his dark red goggles to turn on infrared. "Whenever you're ready."
"Let's go." The three nodded in unison, and they got to work.
Dick started working on the card-activated door, hacking into it. Once the door was open, the three entered in a single file, Artemis and her notched arrow going first, and Wally bringing the rear, while Dick was between them, exploring the map on his holographic screen using his fingers to navigate the building's schematics. "Next left," he whispered, and they took the turn, their steps barely echoing on the polished marble floor.
"This is gonna be our biggest break yet!" Wally gleefully noted, his mind starting to wander at the results of their mission.
"Keep your head in the present, Wallman, we're still not in the clear." Artemis reminded him, turning her head slightly back to project her voice in his direction.
Wally sighed in resignation, and the three made their way to the room holding the object they were after. The museum had a lavish interior, smooth stone walls with high ceilings and tall columns holding up the structure.
"Entrance's two feet away. Be ready," Dick stated, and soon enough, they found themselves standing in the middle of the wide hallway, underneath the archway that led to the stone's exhibit, mouths somewhat agape at the expansive spread.
Large banners were unfurled on either side of the large entrance, advertising the temporary exhibit from China. Inside the room, there were large posters explaining the history of jade stones and the different properties of each colour. Near the walls, various glass cases held multiple jade objects related to the stone, but obviously of less importance, such as blades with jade handles, carved Buddha statues, tablets, and vases, all resting on velvet-covered surfaces.
But they weren't interested in those trinkets. They were interested in the exhibition block right in the center of the room. Dick nodded after doing a quick sweep of the room. "Perfect. Artemis, stand guard, we're going in."
Artemis nodded, going to stand across from the door, staring into the room, between two large vases resting on pillars, hiding her from view but still allowing her to see everything. She once more notched her arrow at the ready, string stretching taut, eyes looking left and right and towards her team, ready for anything.
Wally switched between his goggles' settings; being something of a science whiz at the age of 19, he had programmed his goggles to view nearly everything in the electromagnetic spectrum, and for precautionary measures, he looked around the room, searching for any surprises they hadn't anticipated.
"Anything?" Dick asked, ready to get in motion.
"Hang on, I'm getting something. Seems like they did spring for additional security."
"But I already disabled all the alarms earlier." The young hacker turned to his friend, raising one inquisitive eyebrow beneath the domino mask.
"Yeah, but local alarms aren't connected to the main security box, making it harder to access it, and it gives them extra security."
"I knew that circuit box was way too easy." Dick sighed, and turned back towards the room. "But we can still do this, what are the parameters?"
"Multiple laser beams very close to the floor, about 1 inch off the ground, covering the entire area, so you can't let anything touch the ground, meaning: no stepping, and no sliding underneath it. The controls for these beams seem to be across the room, near the left corner way up high." Wally was relaying information to Dick, while clutching his goggles to switch between spectrum levels, looking around the room for any more information that could help them.
"Got a visual." Dick turned around to face the archer. "Artemis, you're up."
Artemis nodded, having listened to the entire description, and walked up to the archway where her partners stood. She put the arrow she had had at the ready back in its quiver, and withdrew another one. This was a special extendable arrow that would embed itself by releasing an inner shaft into the wall. That shaft would provide more stability, and hold someone's weight due to a counterweight being imbued into the wall. As the wall was a faux wood panel, it didn't require any prior holes to insert the shaft. She notched it, aiming below where the new circuit box was located, and took a deep breath. As she exhaled, she let go, and with a barely audible twang, the arrow went flying, straight to its target.
While the arrow flew, Artemis grabbed another arrow, identical to the one she had just fired, and aimed it now a bit above the box, firing it as soon as she had her aim stabilized. Once the two arrows were in position, she admired her handiwork, before nodding to Dick, and walking back to her post. "All yours."
Dick nodded back, and reached into one of his waist pouches, extracting a small intricate metal object. It resembled a handle, and he grasped it, aiming the knuckles of his fingers, and in turn the handle, towards the arrow shaft above the box. It was a bird-hook, as he had christened it, functioning much like a grappling hook, with some modifications.
He pressed a button by his thumb, and it released the hook, right to the shaft he had aimed for, and the hook wrapped around the arrow's shaft perfectly. Dick tugged on the handle, making sure it was stable before pressing a button at its base, wrapping his fingers around it, which activated the recoiling mechanism, and flew him towards the arrow and the box. Once he reached his destination, he grabbed onto the arrow's shaft with one hand, putting the hook away into its pouch with the other. When he finished, he grabbed the shaft with both hands and stretched his legs as much as he could, feet barely brushing against the arrow shaft beneath him. He released his grip on the arrow a bit, getting a few more inches closer to the arrow beneath. Dick swung his legs forward a bit, and let go. The crook of his legs latched itself to the shaft of the lower arrow, his shins and feet hanging on one side of the arrow, his torso and arms hanging upside down from the other side.
As a kid raised in a circus, Dick was well trained in acrobatics, and now, he lifted himself up, sitting on the shaft carefully, balancing himself so he wouldn't fall. He turned his body sideways a bit, facing the circuit breaker box. Dick smirked as he set himself to opening this new box. He grabbed his screwdriver once again, and in no time, the cover was open, and he proceeded to hack into the system. But the system here was a bit more complex. Clearly the exhibition owners didn't trust Gotham's security systems, even though the box was still the same crappy quality as the outside version.
"Hey, Nightwing, what's the status?" Wally's voice came through the comm-link.
"I'm nearly done hacking, stand by." Nightwing turned his attention back to the coding, and finished typing, once again prompting the green screen and the almost inaudible beep. He touched the earpiece, speaking to Wally, "Okay, now."
Wally nodded, and did another sweep of the room. He grinned. "You did it, we're back on schedule."
Dick closed the box cover, and dropped from his perch on the arrow, squatting on his landing. He ran to where Wally was now standing, in front of the case with the stone. Dick looked closely at the glass case, and he chuckled, noting that the glass material was super thin and clear. "These guys are amateurs. They sacrificed security so tourists could get better pictures."
Wally shook his head at the museum's lack of intelligence; they never learned. No wonder Gotham was riddled with criminals, it would be stupid to not take advantage of all of this. Smiling, he replied, "That, combined with our skills and tools, makes this so easy."
Dick reached into another pouch on his utility belt, which Wally had affectionately theorized that Dick had been born with, since you hardly saw the young hacker without it. Dick took out a laser pen, and with a careful hand, carved out a circle large enough for someone's arm, and the stone, to pass through.
While Dick did that, Wally took out a snack from his wrist compartment, and started eating it. According to the speedster, his fast metabolism meant that he had to eat often, which was why he always carried various snacks on his person.
Artemis' annoyed voice came through to his ear, and you could tell she was trying to come off as falsely sweet, but barely disguising her disgust, "Can you at least turn off your comm-link while you eat? The crunching is distracting and sickening."
Wally turned around to face the archer, who you could tell was glaring daggers in his direction, even at that distance. "Hey hey, can it, Ms. Congeniality. I don't get on your case when you start testing your explosive arrows-"
"No, never!" Artemis drawled back.
"Guys!" Dick glared at them, effectively shutting them up. Even though they were an excellent team, the two never missed an opportunity to prod at each other, starting a battle of wits, seeing who could have the last word. While it was entertaining at home, on the job it could attract unwanted attention. "I've opened the case, now we need the replica."
Wally walked up to Dick, and opened the other compartment on his wrist, where there was a virtually identical copy of the stone they were about to steal. Though the stone was small, about the size of someone's palm, it was worth a lot of money, money that the trio wanted, and that their boss would provide.
Dick stepped out of the way, and Wally positioned himself, and in two seconds, on a real 'blink and you miss' moment, he switched the stones. Wally adjusted the fake stone on the pedestal, making it look like nothing had been moved. He stepped back, holding the valuable stone in his hand, taking the velvet pouch Dick offered, placing the object in it while Dick reinserted the circle of glass back in its spot, welding it back together.
Wally ran back to where Artemis stood, and she put the stone away in her belt, tucking it away carefully. Once Dick joined them, they ran to the back of the museum, where they entered from, and when they got outside, Dick restarted the security system, taking note that they had only taken twenty minutes. While they had been planning, they noticed that the system had a fatal flaw that worked in their favour. Its clock would start again at the same place it left off at, and therefore not record that it had been shut down, and the time discrepancy would correct itself once the hour ended. Tonight, Daylight Savings Time ended, the clock would go back one hour due to an external timer, and no one would be the wiser.
When that was done, they got to their bikes, donning their black leather jackets with some coloured accents, matching their costumes and their bikes.
"I still say we look like a circus troupe with these," Wally mumbled, adjusting the shoulder pads on his.
"Well, genius, these jackets will cover our costumes in order to not attract attention as to why three teens are going around Gotham wearing spandex suits," Artemis couldn't resist rolling her eyes. Wally was the newest member of their team, and he clearly had a lot to learn still.
"Easy for you to say, you have dark green and he has dark blue, why do I get red? It's virtually impossible to make this colour subtle."
"You chose it!" Artemis hissed back, mounting her bike. "Plus, we can pretend we're racers, does that satisfy your ego better than circus troupe?"
"Not to mention it'll let us get away undetected." Dick added, ignoring the circus jab and zipping up his jacket so that the blue bird symbol that served as his logo was hidden.
They made sure they had the stone safely secured and, putting on their helmets, they revved their engines and made their way back into the street. They drove away from the museum, and back to their boss' office before they would head home with their paycheck, ready to lock themselves up for the next week doing nothing but playing video games and eating out.
As soon as they got away from the Museum's grounds, they all smirked underneath their reflective visors, knowing they were in the clear.
So that was chapter 1! I really would enjoy any comments or feedback so far, this story will be 5 chapters long, probably in varying lengths, and I'll be updating it soon!
Thank you for reading!