Gotham, July 3rd, 2006

It was only until about a month later that the kids finally managed to pry some stuff out of Bart.

They, using extra money thst they had 'borrowed', were able to find the materiLs they needed to create their costumes.

It wasn't too difficult, actually. Impulse had brought an extra pair of spandex with him from the future. Evidently, travelling through time and space could stretch spandex.

All they did was dye the colors to a shade of grey and stitched a bird-lightning bolt symbol onto the center (Courtesy of Megan). Wally loved the Falcon costume. Bart even gave him a pair of goggles that Bart had worn when he was (technically) Wally's age.

Megan easily shapeshifted into a black uniform and dark blue cape, as well as hange her skin color to its normal shade of green.

Dick and Ari used their old acrobatic costumes and just added a cape, gloves, longer pants, and boots. Megan also helped stitch the letters "R" on Dick's and "J" on Ari's costumes.

Artemis used the Tigress uniform that her parents had made her use, only she changed the colors to green and silver and changed the mask shape.

Jaime's scarab actually did something useful (for once) and gave him a strong armor. After much debate, the scarab agreed not to annhilate his friends while they slept (for now).

That was reassuring.

Kadur had used a dark grey skin-tight top and a dark blue skin-tight pant, made mostly for swimming. His mask was black and shaped similarily like Artemis'.

Raquel, who had attached the disk to a belt, wore a black collared top with black combat pants. Her mask covered the edges of her face, kinda like Impulse's.

"First night of patrol!" Ari sang, enthusiastic about kicking butt. That kid really needs theraputic help...

"Do you know if it goes well?" Dick asked, facing Bart.

"told you, I'm not the best history student." He said sheepishly.

"Tell me again why we think we can overpower the worst of gotham?" Wally asked, vibrating nervously.

"Because we have a telepath, two speedsters (One of which has already been trained) two acrobats, a strong and hydrokinetic Atlantean, a trained archer assassin, a super-powered kid with a high-tech scarab, and an energy manipulator!" Bart exclaimed. "We have the ability to help people! How many kids want to do this but can't because they don't have the powers to do so?"

"You're forgetting the fact that you said you've had your powers for a total of three hours before coming into the past, Wally accidentally ran all the way to Gotham because he couldn't control his powers, Jaime couldn't control the scarab AND flew here completely out of control, Dick and Ari are... well, TINY!"

"Hey!" they both whined.

"Kaldur is technically an academy drop-out, Raquel can barely control that- whatever it is, and me-" Artemis stopped herself before she accidentally said 'I'm the only one who is trained'. She swallowed and looked up at her friends.

"Have faith, Arty." Wally winked in her direction. "We're not just normal kids, you know."

Artemis sighed and watched her friends run off to the next roof. "That's what I was afraid of." She murmured.

She jogged after them, barely able to catch sight of them in the pale moonlight. "First crime of the night." Bart pointed at a mugging.

"Perfect, it's only one guy; do we all really need to help?" Megan asked.

"No, but we'll keep a couple of us back just in case." Ari grinned. She and Dick disappeared.

"Where did they-?" Jaime looked around.

"There!" Kaldur whispered, pointing at the cousins as they proceeded to knock out the mugger before disappearing again. The man being mugged looked around, confused before he grabbed his wallet again and ran off.

"Jeez guys, slow much?" Dick asked teasingly, standing behind them and making them all jump.

Ari giggled, and the two hyper kids ran off.

"Why do I feel like this is going to become a regular occurrence?" Wally asked, groaning.


Alfred was deeply concerned abut Bruce, in all honesty.

Since becoming Batman some seven years ago, Alfred did not fail to notice the darkness that Batman was slowly spiraling downwards to.

It was plainly obvious that crime fighting was Bruce's entire life. It would be impossible for Bruce to die in any other way.

Alfred could see the darkness that made Bruce slowly become less human, which was ironic considering he was the only human in the Justice league (aside from Green Arrow). He knew Bruce needed at least a night off, which is why he practically forced Bruce out of the batcave and shoved a ticket to a circus in his hands before slamming the door. He knew Bruce wouldn't like it, but he figured it was worth it.

Alfred knew that Bruce needed something, someone, to keep him grounded. Sitting in a dark cave staring at his computer screen with only his butler around clearly wasn't healthy, especially since he barely ate and slept. Although, he also knew that the last thing Bruce would do was settle down with a woman and kids.

That's why Alfred was surprised when Bruce came home and bluntly said, "I want to adopt."

Had Alfred been any less professional, he would have spat out his tea out of pure shock. Instead, he looked at Bruce, deeply concerned and confused. Bruce told him of the tragedy that had befallen the Flying Graysons, leaving behind two nine year old orphans.

Alfred was even more confused. If it were an accident, why did Bruce feel so obliged to adopt? Bruce had seen the cousins after the fall. Although his Romani was quite rusty, he could just make out, 'Not an accident!' and 'Cut the lines!'.

Unfortunately, when Bruce called their social worker the next day, she told him that "The brats ran off and were probably dead".

Bruce hired private investigators to search for the cousins, but to no avail. Either they wer kidnapped and killed, or they were just really good at hiding.

Eihher way, after two months of searching, Bruce called the private investigators off and left the searching to Batman's free time.

Around the end of June, Batman was patrolling downtown Gotham, one of the evwn worst sides of Gotham.

It was then he found a group a children.

Children.

In costumes.

Fighting crime.

Commissioner Gordon (Who had long since returned from his vacation, which was good since he was still the only one who accepted the vigilante) had told Batman of a robbery happening at Gotham bank.

When he arrived there, there were literal children who were fighting full grown men. Batman watched from a rooftop, curious. He would intervene if something went wrong.

They were no older than thirteen, and no younger than maybe nine. But there was something different... Some of them were metas! Batman quickly realized.

A part of him found it ridiculous that a bunch of kids were fighting crime, but a part of him found it somewhat admirable. To be fair, if these meta kids weren't going to fight crime, there was a good chance they'd end up causing the crime instead.

The fight was over and the robbers were left tied up and unconscious in the alleyway. The smallest looking girl let out a whoop of excitement and grinned. She jumped up and swung off of a nearby clothes line before letting go and flipping midair not once, not twice, not even three times, but four times.

As far as Batman knew, there was only one family in the world who could perform a quadruple flip in midair. And two of these children right now had just been orphaned.

It didn't take the greatest detective in the world to figure it out.

The Dark Knight of Gotham slipped into the shadows, following the group of children that grew up way too fast.