A/N: Here y'all are! It's the first chapter! Yep.
Heads up! Until I'm done with the super duper rough drafting process, updates will be erratic. So...Sorry. As this is chapter one, not much is happening. There will also be a lot of recap in the beginning few chapters.
BTW, I own noting... Except for a few briefly mentioned OCs.
ALSO, there's going to be some language.
Chapter 1- Differences
"One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives."
The video was fuzzy, having been filmed by a low quality security camera. It showed the inside of a small bank in southern Blüdhaven. There were people lying on the ground, hands on top of their heads. Then there were the robbers being recorded marching through the lines of hostages, automatics held threateningly in front of them.
Nothing particularly new. After all, it was Blüdhaven.
That's when something new did happen. A dark blur came out of nowhere and took down the first guy. Turning, the blurred figure launched a small projectile at the second guy, hitting the gun away. Guys three and four were knocked down just the same. The second guy, who was still shocked at having his hand hit by the odd projectile, soon found himself to be the only one still standing. Cowering against the wall as the dark figure approached, his shoulders sagged in relief as the mysterious blur apparently said something to him. Holding his hands out, guy two voluntarily allowed himself to be handcuffed by the blurred figure.
Turning its head, the figure took off. Whatever features on guy two that weren't distorted from the camera appeared confused, and then shocked as a swarm of cops ran in. As the cops helped the hostages up, the questions floating around the room were tangible even through the screens of the viewers watching. That's when the video paused.
"This video was taken two days ago, ladies and gentlemen," a middle aged man said in a somewhat nasally voice, neatly trimmed sandy blonde hair perfectly combed, and grey eyes intense, "It is the first footage taken of the enigma that is Nightwing, the supposed hero of Blüdhaven."
The man took a moment to dramatically straighten his tie. "G. Gordon Godfrey's belief in this new hero's existence isn't too farfetched anymore, is it? Yes, I've believed he's been real since the first reports of him were made a bit over a year ago. Did you all trust me? No. But now there is actual video evidence that he exists."
Godfrey, for that was the name of the middle aged man, paced dramatically in his news studio, the cameras following him. "Notice how this amateur hero didn't go in full force like what the Justice League has been known to do. He slipped in, got the job done, and left. If you ask me, this guy has got it right. In a similar case not even two weeks ago, Superman flew into a bank in Metropolis to save hostages from four robbers. His methods caused the city thousands of dollars' worth in damage. If the League insists on being heroes, perhaps they should break less and save more."
The camera zoomed in on Godfrey's face. "The Justice League is full of secrets, ladies and gentlemen. I don't know about you, but I'd feel a bit better sleeping at night if I knew they were more like Nightwing."
Kid Flash pushed the power button on the remote forcefully. He glared at the television where Godfrey's face had previously been. "I really hate that guy," the speedster announced to the group congregated in the general area.
Those present consisted of Artemis, Miss Martian, Superboy, Robin, Batgirl, and the recently added Beast Boy. The others were either on a mission, injured, finishing school, going at it solo, in the League now, traitors, or dead…Mostly, they were on another mission. Batman had sent them to go look into a suspected importation of some type of illegal technology. Those not on the mission hadn't been given the full details due to Batman's paranoia.
"Did you see that Megan!?" Beast Boy exclaimed in excitement, "That guy just came out of nowhere and beat them all up before they could even raise their guns!"
"I did see that; he was quite skilled," the Martian said.
Batgirl nodded and asked, "Who do you think trained him? There's no way he got that good on his own."
"His style is very direct," Artemis noted, "Almost like a mercenary's. Yet, there's more to it."
"Honestly, I'm just surprised he's real," Kid Flash stated.
Raising an eyebrow, Artemis appraised her boyfriend, "You didn't think he was?"
"Hey," the red-head defended, "Half of the population didn't think he was real."
"Half of the population isn't on a covert ops team for the Justice League."
"How do you know? Maybe they're just really good at being covert."
"That's you're defense?"
"It's not impossible."
"That's the exact same thing."
"No it's not."
"Uh, close enough!"
"They're not the same!"
"Alright guys," Robin jumped into the impending argument, "I thought you said you weren't going to do this anymore."
"We never said that," Wally said cheekily.
The fifteen year old Boy Wonder sighed as he turned his attention back to the laptop he'd been toying with all day. Upon entering Mount Justice earlier, he'd been complaining about having to hack the Pentagon…again. Apparently they'd upped their firewalls if Robin was having this much trouble.
"Maybe you should take a break," Wally suggested.
"No, I can't until I figure out who's doing this," the teen declined.
"What do you mean?"
"Somebody has set up a side program to the Pentagon, it repels outsiders from entering while duplicating all information that the government receives. Whoever set it up must have a lot of free time."
"Recognized: Batman 02."
"-we'll get a mission?" Wally finished his sentence with something entirely different than what he'd originally intended due to the arrival of the unexpected Leaguer.
Batman's appearances at Mount Justice had dropped drastically in recent years, as the team's abilities and independence increased. Unfortunately, since Kaldur was presently injured from a recent mission and Mal was preoccupied elsewhere, the assigning of missions to the young team once again fell on the Dark Knight's shoulders.
"I guess we should go meet him," Connor suggested after a moment's silence, standing up. The others followed suit, all curious about their upcoming, rather sudden, mission.
Earlier that Day:
Blüdhaven High was a normal school. It consisted of normal low quality lunches, normal lessons, and normal extracurricular activities. The teachers were normal. The classrooms were normal. The hallways were normal. The students were normal, minus their connections to some of Blüdhaven's criminal families. This normality was pretty abnormal when one took into consideration that Blüdhaven High was in…well…Blüdhaven.
So, on a normal Friday, in a normal calculus class, a (not so) normal student called Chester Honeywell was staring out the window overlooking a rather normal parking lot. Like all of his classmates, Chester was eagerly awaiting the end of the school day. Glancing at the clock, the twelfth grader noted that there was only five minutes left in said school day, and because it was Friday, that meant he had a whole weekend ahead of him to relax.
"Mr. Honeywell!" the sharp voice of Mrs. Carther, the calculus teacher, drew the boy's attention away from the window.
"Yeah, Mrs. C?" Chester asked casually. This wasn't the first time he'd zoned out in class, and it definitely wasn't going to be his last. So what if the teacher called him out on it? It's not like he was a novice when it came to this stuff. In fact, he'd bet money that he knew way more about calculus than his teacher…not that he'd tell her that. Besides, the C he currently held in the class wouldn't do very well to help his case.
"Perhaps you'd like to answer this problem then, since it appears my lesson is boring you again," Mrs. Carther said with malice evident in her eyes. She was highly against students who didn't pay attention to her, and since Chester never did, she had a habit of picking on him.
For his part, Chester was caught in a trap. On a personal level, he was sick and tired of his smug know-it-all teacher always asking him dumb questions when he ignored the lessons; dumb questions that he always (purposefully) answered wrong. He wanted nothing more than to put her in her place! Then again, he couldn't be too smart. He did have an appearance to uphold, and Chester Honeywell was supposed to be an average student, not a genius.
Secret IDs sucked.
"Chester, if you don't know the answer, you can feel free to admit it. Even those actually paying attention would have trouble," the I-am-better-than-you tone of Mrs. Carther rang through the room as the class of twenty three students looked from their teacher to their classmate.
Chester gritted his teeth. That woman really got on his nerves. What's one smart ass move going to do to ruin his guise anyway? So, coming to that conclusion, he said in a snarky voice, "Actually, Mrs. C, I do know the answer."
The teacher glared. "Do you now?" she asked.
The other students' eyes widened at this new development. Never before had Chester actually graced Mrs. Carther with a response. Sure, he'd been called out many times, but each time when the teacher commented that he wouldn't know the answer, he either just shrugged or glared. It depended on what the teacher said. Yet, for some reason, today was different.
Oh yes, calculus just got much more interesting.
"Yes, I do," the dark haired boy responded confidently.
"Would you care to share it with everyone?"
Chester's eyes knitted together in faux confusion, "Wait, why would you ask me a math question that you don't know the answer to?" That elicited chuckles from a few classmates.
"Of course I know the answer!" Mrs. Carther exclaimed in irritation.
"Then why were you asking me to share it with everyone? If you actually knew the answer, then you would've asked me to share with my fellow classmates instead. Not everyone. Be more specific Mrs. C."
More chuckles echoed throughout the class after he said that. Everyone knew that normally Chester was a laid-back kind of guy, but there were a few rumors that he could be quite mouthy when he felt like it. Obviously he felt like it today, much to the joy of his peers.
"Mr. Honeywell, I suggest you stop mouthing off right now and provide an answer to the question," Mrs. Carther scolded, glaring at her entire class for encouraging the unruly student's behavior.
"Ah, but I did answer the question."
"Oh really? I don't remember you answering it."
"Well…forgetfulness is an unfortunate side effect of aging. Perhaps you should look into an early retirement."
The class laughed. Mrs. Carther turned beet red. Chester leaned back in his chair and smirked.
"Mr. Honeywell, I will-"
"Oh, look at the time! Mrs. C, you've killed the rest of your class time, we've only got about thirty seconds left," Chester interrupted the teacher, successfully saving himself from receiving a detention.
Mrs. Carther glanced at the clock to find that the boy was indeed correct, opening her mouth in another attempt to punish Chester, she once again found herself being cut off.
"Don't worry about it; we can continue the lesson on Monday! It'll be great!" That's when the bell started to ring, signifying the end of the school day. Mrs. Carther just gaped as her laughing students patted Chester on the back while they exited.
Then, to make matters even worse, as Chester himself was leaving, he paused for a quick second, turned to her, and said, "By the way, the correct answer is pi over three."
Flipping through her book of answers, Mrs. Carther found, much to her displeasure, that he was right.
"Oh man, that was great!" Chester's friend Joey cheered as their group walked home after school. Joey wasn't the smartest kid in school, like Chester he mostly got Bs and Cs. Both boys were in their senior year and on the baseball team. The same could be said with Sam and Toby, the other two boys walking with them. Although, Sam was a junior…not a senior.
"Yeah, that was pretty awesome Chester," a girl named Mira said, getting a bit too close to Chester. Mira was the brains of the group, despite her flirtatious attitude, and she too was a senior; with her was her friend (and Sam's twin) Sara. Both girls were on the volleyball team, and during their off season, they worked for the school newspaper.
Yes, Chester Honeywell, the new kid who began school at the beginning of his senior year, was becoming quite the popular guy.
And to be honest, he didn't know how to handle it.
Back at his old school, he had only one true friend. Nobody besides her really wanted to hang out with him. Now, he had a lot of friends. People who wanted to spend time with him. It made him happy, confused, and nervous. He did, after all, have a pretty unconventional after school activity.
"Chester, do you know if your brother is coming to the next game?" Sam asked suddenly, "I haven't seen him around much since you turned eighteen."
Chester shrugged, "I don't know. Last I checked he was still in Europe somewhere."
"Man, that brother of yours," Joey laughed, "He's something else."
"Yeah, I mean, who else gives their little brother full possession of their apartment and takes off to God knows where, just like that?" Mira questioned.
"What can I say?" Chester asked with a fond smile, "Devon is one of a kind."
"That's for sure…" Joey mumbled.
Before anyone else could say something, someone's phone began to ring. The group of teens all felt their pockets or dug through their purses to check if it was theirs. As it turned out, it was Chester's phone.
"Speak of the devil," the boy stated whilst showing his friends the screen. The screen which clearly displayed the words: The Dark Lord. That, of course, meant that it was Devon.
"You guys go on ahead; my road is coming up anyway," Chester said. The others just shrugged and said their goodbyes before continuing their treks home.
Turning back to his phone, Chester quickly answered it by saying, "Are you back, then?"
"What, no hello?" the very familiar voice of Devon answered.
"No. You haven't contacted me in a month; I don't have to be nice."
"Aw, you were worried."
"Now I'm just pissed. So your reason for silence better be a damn good one."
Devon chuckled and said, "You sound a hell of a lot like me right now."
"What do you want?" Chester asked, ignoring his brother's playful mood.
"Is your line secure?"
"Of course it is. I set up the security myself."
"Good, because the Outlaws need a lookout."
Chester stopped in his tracks. Looking around, the boy quickly found an empty alleyway to continue his conversation in.
"There's going to be a kryptonite shipment at Blüdhaven's LexCorp on Sunday. It's gonna be tricky, so who better to help than my little Dickie Bird?"
"In case you forgot, Jay, Nightwing is supposed to be a hero."
"We're just being proactive. Do you really think Lexy is gonna use the kryptonite to help humanity? No. So, come on!"
Dick sighed, because in all actuality that's who Chester was. He was Richard Grayson. The dead ward of Bruce Wayne. Chester Honeywell only existed while other people were around.
"Fine, I'll do it," the teen conceded. Then a slight smile formed on his face. "It has been a while since you've needed me to steal something."
"You're not stealing anything, punk. You're just keeping wa-"
As he casually left the alleyway, Dick Grayson's smile transformed from slight to rather evil.
He had, after all, just hung up on the Red Hood.
Batman's scowl deepened as he observed the young heroes before him. Every time he saw them, he couldn't help but wonder where Dick would be among them. Would he be taller? Hopefully. Would he be the tallest? Would he be muscular? Would he have facial hair? Would he have scars visible on his face? Would he have a girlfriend? Would he be smiling and mischievous still? Would he still be Robin? He'd be seventeen if he were still alive. Almost a man.
Shaking himself out of the train of thought usually reserved for when he was Bruce Wayne, Batman addressed the Team. Pulling up a picture, he heard gasps coming from Young Justice.
"This," the Dark Knight began, "is an image taken of the group known as the Outlaws while they were in Madrid last month. The leader of this group is Red Hood, the girl is called Starfire, and the other man is now going by Arsenal."
The picture in and of itself was relatively fuzzy. In the front was the obvious leader, the red helmet a dead giveaway to who he was. Above him, and a bit to the right, was a flying girl with orange skin and green eyes. She appeared to be shooting some type of energy beam from her hands. The man in the background was an easily recognizable face within the hero community. He was the first vigilante to ever defect. With red hair, arrows, and a bow, Speedy…erm Red Arrow….erm Arsenal, appeared to be running, with an arrow already drawn and ready to fire.
Continuing, Batman said, "We have gained some intelligence saying that the Outlaws will be going to go after a shipment of kryptonite just sent to the LexCorp in Blüdhaven. Your job is to prevent them from getting it. The shipment is due to arrive Sunday evening. Any questions?"
"You're not going after them?" Batgirl asked, "Red Hood is one of your guys..."
"Now that Blüdhaven has a hero, the League can't just waltz into his city. It'd bring bad press," Robin explained for his mentor, "Especially if Godfrey caught wind of it. That guy seems to adore Nightwing."
Batman nodded in agreement to Robin's assessment, causing a small smile to grace the boy's face. As he aged, Robin's detective skills were improving at an alarming rate. It was hard for the Dark Knight not to feel proud knowing that he'd helped sharpen the teen's ability. Of course, such pride was usually followed by a deep feeling of sorrow. Both Jason and Dick had died after he'd come to terms with how much he cared for them, and Bruce simply refused to have the same thing happen to Tim, especially since the boy still had his father.
In order to leave before his thoughts strayed back to his sons anymore, Batman stated, "Batgirl, you're in charge. Anymore information you require for this mission is located in the folders just outside the Bioship. I expect you all to have them read through thoroughly come this Sunday." With a swish of his cape, Batman retreated back through the zeta tube, thoughts of his sons still swirling around his head.
A/N: It's done! YAY!
So, in case you didn't pick up on it, I altered Dick's personality a tad. Seeing as he's been spending time in Bludhaven, as well as with Jason, it'd be strange for him not to develop somewhat of a potty mouth and grungier attitude...Especially since he doesn't have to act all "high society" anymore. Don't worry too much. Everything will be...revealed I suppose...in time.
COMING UP IN NIGHTWING: ALLEGIANCES: The segment of story that started it all, a Sunday night in Bludhaven, and lots of Timothy Drake.
Hope you enjoyed! PM me your concerns, but as this is the first chapter, many of them will probably be answered soon.