Chapter 1: Prologue
Little known fact, the best time of day in Gotham was before the sun rose, people were asleep, too busy dreaming to make noise and cause problems.
I can't tell you how much of my life I've spent up here watching the day roll by me. Watching the sky change into different shades of grays, I sighed watching the puff of air escape my lips with a lazy smile. This was my happy place as cheesy as it sounded, no matter how crazy life got or if some weirdo with a god complex held the city hostage, I could always crawl up here and let go of it all for awhile.
I closed my eyes leaning against the cold metal railing, trying to relax my mind, distract myself from the bubbling pot of anxiety in my stomach, I tapped my nails in anticipation, ever since I woke up this morning I'd been waiting for something to happen, I wasn't sure if it was good or bad, I just knew it was big, life altering big.
Usually I could tell what would happen but but not today, something was coming, and I knew I had to prepare myself for it. Why am I not brushing this off as a simple case of hebijebis? Well that's because I know better than to ignore my gut.
Ever since I can remember I've had some kind of help whenever something bad would happen, now I can see how it be confusing so let me elaborate as best as I can. The earliest memory I have of this 'Helper' if you will, was when I was five, it was actually my birthday and at my party these little assholes (who I was forced to invite mind you) decided they wanted to play a little trick on me, they put firecrackers in my cake disguised as candles, and as soon as my mom went to light them a haze of golden yellow light enveloped a glass of water next to me, it was like time slowed down and in that moment I somehow knew what to do, like a bat outta hell I dumped the water all over my cake much to the shock of everyone, as my mother lectured me I pulled out the fake candles and handed them to her. After that it kept happening, I used to call 'it' Nadi for some reason, my child brain saw it as a helpful friend and it deservend a name. As I got older I learned it wasn't some imaginary friend, it was some otherworldly force at bay keeping me out of trouble, and for a while only I knew about it, I figured I was one of those anime protagonists who get chosen to be special for no particular reason, it excited me, I had no idea the risks it came with.
I found out though.
Picture a tiny me, my hair in puffy buns sitting on my head, an avenger backpack on and not a care in the world, ah yes middle school when my biggest worry was making it to the lunch line early before the other Gremlins could get all the good food.
Now usually after my classes let out I'd walk the short journey to my house, stopping for hot coco on the way at this little hole in the wall restaurant if it was particularly cold, and be on my merry way but this afternoon, something wasn't sitting well with me, all day long I had the looming feeling of danger hanging over my head like a over filled balloon waiting to burst, I tried to ignore it, I really did, but it lingered in my mind, once I stepped foot out of my last class the hair on the back of my neck stood on end, goosebumps rose to my arms, I felt eyes lurking in every dark corner, my knuckles were white with how hard I gripped the straps of my backpack, the yellow light appear as it always did when I was in need, it swirled and pulled me back to the school but it was like my feet were glued to the ground, I looked up to see a man, just a few yards away, not moving, but staring, something told me he was responsible for my inability to move, just as a full blown panic attack began to appear, out walked my English teacher, her warm hand gently shaking my shoulder brought me back to reality,
"(Y/n) honey, what's wrong? You gotta talk to me sweetheart."
"I-I there's a man and- "
I began to hyperventilate, unable to finish my sentence, I tried to point out where he was but he was gone, and so was the unnerving hold he had on me.
"Hey- listen you can't walk home like this how bout' I give you a ride?" I nodded nearly snapping my neck with the force, I just needed to get away from there. As soon as I got home my teacher insisted on calling my mom, I didn't want to worry her but I figured I owed her that much, ten minutes after the call was made and the situation was explained my mom burst through the door, her eyes wide with worry. After checking over me for injury's she asked me what happened.
"I dunno' things were super weird all day, then some creepy guy showed up and then poof! He was gone and so was the bad feeling I'm okay Mama."
She chewed at her finger, nervously pacing around our small living room.
"And you're okay now?"
"Mhm" I nodded half listening, most of my attention was on the TV.
Unlike most kids my age the news caught my interest, there would always be some crazy story on.
My mom quickly stepped in front blocking my view.
"(Y/n) (L/N) you listen to me when I talk to you."
Oh god not the mom voice, she had all my attention now, she never used that voice on me, on my siblings sure but me? I was the good kid.
She got down to eye level, laying her hands on my shoulders, "Listen to me baby, if this ever happens again you call me right away."
"Mama it's okay, I talked to my teacher about it on the way home it was just an anxiety attack." She sighed rising to sit next to me on the couch, "Tell me exactly what you were feeling." I racked my brain trying to put it into words "I just.. I don't know it felt on edge all day, like it was building up and then the lighting tried to take me inside but-"
"A light? What light." My throat instantly dried up, how could I tell her? She's put me in Arkham if I told her the truth."
"Is...is it a yellow light?" I snapped my head from the floor to meet her eye.
"How'd- no way how'd you know?"
She sighed, leaning back against the couch. "I guess I never thought I'd have to go through this with you." Before I could question her she rose, then offered me her hand.
"Well? Come on we have a lot to cover."
"Where are we going?"
A blaring alarm from my phone quickly snatched me from my memories.
I checked the time, "Shit already?." It was time to get ready, time to leave my little bubble of comfort and face reality.
I shook a curl out of my face with a puff of frustration leaving my lips, of course I wasted my alone time going down memory lane, I rolled my eyes at myself, turning away from the city just now starting to wake itself up, after jiggling the door open I took one more glance at my safe place before rushing inside, I had a feeling this would be my last time up here for a while.
I flicked a stray french fry between my hands, my lunch lost its appeal long ago, at this point I was waiting for my friends to wrap it up, half the day had gone by and I still had no clue what was coming, if only I could-
"(Y/n) are you even listening to me?"
"Huh-what yes, of course I am mhm." I quickly rested my hand in my head with a smile.
Dana squinted at me, "Oh yeah so what was I talking about?"
I shrugged my shoulders, "Knowing you it was probably something about that Wayne kid and how he makes your heart flutter." I finished with a laugh and a dramatic bat of my lashes.
Her face flushed as our other friends laughed in agreement before going back to their conversations. She reached over and smacked my hand. "Shut the hell up he's at the table behind you."
I snorted at her whisper yelling before clearing my throat
"What? Who's behind me?" I yelled earning another smack from the girl.
"I'll never understand why you're so hung up on a guy like that." She sighed tossing a braid behind her shoulder. "You wouldn't get it, he's got that mysterious bad boy who's secretly a good boy with a heart of gold thing going on." I snorted a laugh before turning around to look at said 'heartthrob'
Heavy on the quotations.
He sat at the table next to his only, not to mention loud, friend, arms crossed, face locked in a perpetual 'Fuck off' expression. His eye snapped up meeting mine , I turned around quickly after.
"Sure he's a pretty boy but if the insides ugly why bother?"
She smacked her lips in shock
"How do you know he's not a nice guy?"
I scoffed, raising my brow
"Do you not recall any interaction anyone's ever had with him? You're the one who had to be his lab partner, and what did he say when you sat down to work?" She grumbled "He refused to work together and told me 'Let me do it, I've seen your grades.'."
"Exactly! nah man fuck outta here with that that 'holier than thou' attitude." I finished my rant with and angry bite from the French fry
"Okay I don't know why you're gassing me like that, I just think he's fine is all." I nodded cleaning my hands on my uniform skirt. "Yeah, sure alright." She threw a balled up napkin at my head, having saw it coming I grabbed it mid air.
Dana pouted "I can never catch you off guard can I."
"The day you do that is the day Damian gets the stick out his ass."
We shared a laugh before the ringing bell demanded us back to our individual classes, as I rose I felt a wave of fear crash over me. I felt the familiar tug pulling my body, something was about to happen ,here at school.
With all these people.
I closed my eyes and let the sensation pull me towards the back of the cafeteria, 'yikes alright (y/n) think, how to get these kids outta here fast, can't exactly explain yourself so think quick.' my eyes scanned the room before a glimmer of yellow pulled my focus, perched on the wall in the corner of the room was the bright red fire alarm, the yellow glimmer pulled me in like a magnet and I could tell by the rising panic in my chest I needed them out of here quick, there no way I can get there in time with all these kids in the way. A bright idea popped in my head and before I could consider the embarrassment I was gonna face once this was over, I jumped on the nearest table. I heard Dana call out over the chatter of voices.
"(Y/n) what the hell are you doing up there?!" I ignored her and made a break for the alarm, I hopped from table to table side stepping leftovers and garbage before finally reaching out and slamming down on the lever, instantly the sprinkler system poured down upon us.
"Everyone run!" I screamed causing a chain reaction of panicked shouting, everybody in the room squirmed to get out over the blaring alarm and screams, all but me and Damian, who now stood on a table glaring at me through the water. He stormed over grabbing my arm and pulling me down from the table, nearly making me bust my ass on the slippery bench.
"What the hell was that?" He yelled over the noise, trying to pull me back towards the doors leading back inside.
"Listen to me we need to leave!" I yelled trying to tear my arm away from his iron grip.
"You're going straight to the principal's office, you think you can get away with this?" He snarled down at me, I finally managed to rip myself away "I'm trying to help you asshole, if we don't leave we could seriously get hurt- or die!" He rolled his eyes, the green really contrasted really nicely with the dark of his lashes - noW'S NOT THE TIME (Y/N)
"How would you know that?" He questioned, still trying to yell over the blaring alarm, by now the entire cafeteria was empty except for us.
"You wouldn't believe me of I told you."
"Try me." I opened my mouth to answer when the doors we were headed to were kicked open. Faster than I thought humanly possible we were on the floor behind a pillar, our bodies we're squashed together, his pressing mine against the wall, his finger silently pressed against his mouth, I nodded, to busy trying to remember how to breathe to talk.
In flooded a group of three men, all armed with something, all wearing cheap party city masks.
"We have arrived!- wait where are the brats?" The one in the middle asked, "Fuck if I know it's a Monday, they should be here." The first guy stomped his foot in anger. "How are we supposed to get J's attention if there's no hostages to take eh?" He sounded like a toddler throwing a fit at Walmart, difference is usually Walmart toddlers don't have guns. Damian drew my attention by bending down to whisper in my ear.
"How many of them?"
It took me a moment to respond, my throat had gone dry. Damn fear, damn pretty boy all close to my face.
"Do they have weapons?"
"Yes one has a gun the other two have bats."
"Where are they, be specific."
"Uh- uhm two by the snack bar and the gun guy is by the door." He nodded eyes serious and calculating, to be honest it was kinda freaky how he was acting.
"Stay here, no matter what you see."
Before I could voice my confusion he rolled his eyes "I'm serious, (y/n). Stay. Here." His voice was too authoritative to argue with so I put my hand up in surrender.
He nodded before. Crouching down and rolling off toward the guy with a gun, his back was facing me but the other two idiots were trying to figure out the vending machine.
"Fuck this." Thing 1 said taking his bat to the glass, all the while being cheered on by thing 2. This sudden distraction is what Damian was waiting for because like a bullet he launched his body at the man holding the gun, a swift punch to the neck send the guy down, his gun skirted away as he hit the ground. A cringe worthy battle cry left the throats of thing 1 and 2 as they charged Damian, I nearly ran out there before remembering his very strict warning. I watched Damian block and deflect their hits all while trying to stay balenced in the drenched room, my eyes frantically followed the fight trying to wrap my head around how this asshole rich kid could fight off three fully grown men and do it well.
The yellow glow caught my eye directing me to the gun and the figure slowly crawling toward it. Without much consideration I leaped over a table grabbing a disregarded lunch tray along the way, as the man shakily raised his hand to aim at Damian I managed to whack down on his hand with the metal tray as hard as I could, his hand squeezed the trigger regardless of my hit but he managed to knock his buddy in the arm. I quickly brought the tray down on his head before he could rise up, then again for good measure.
And once more for fun.
When I looked up both goons were knocked unconscious, Damian stood above them, a cut in his cheek and a slightly busted lip but all in all he seemed okay.
"What happened to staying still?" He panted out
"Oh so your mad I saved you from a bullet hole, by all means next time I'll let it happen if you so desire."
The corner of his mouth rose slightly before falling back down to it's natural state.
"How'd you know to pull the alarm." I rubbed my arm quickly getting cold, my wet uniform clinging to my body providing no help there.
"It's hard to explain."
"I've got time."
"How about this, you tell me where you learned to fight like that and I'll tell you how I know what I know." He pursed his lips, letting his mind chew on my offer.
"How about this, I don't tell anyone about you, and you don't tell anyone about me?" I snorted at his obvious avoiding of the question but stuck my hand out regardless.
"You got yourself a deal pretty boy."
Chapter 2: Chapter 1
Gotham getting stuffy so you decide to go on an adventure.
Chapter 2! Please comment any suggestions or questions ❤
The rest of Monday was uneventful, after the fiasco at lunch, the principal deemed the attack good enough to warrant the rest of the week off.
I originally planned to spend this newly obtained free time at Dana's or get some extra hours in at the library but no, of course the one time we get any sort of off day the spandex junkies decide to pay me a visit.
After about an hour of reassuring my mom I was in fact alive and well, I managed to sneek away to my sacred place, I wrapped myself in a thick hoodie, hood up, with the strings pulled tight to trap in the maximum amount of warmth, sure I looked like a cone head but damn was I comfortable, I plopped myself on the chair I managed to get up there and cracked open the Dr.Pepper I snagged from my mom's stash, I figured today more than ever I earned some relaxation time.
Just as a sigh of contentment left my lips a cough caught my attention.
There in the far corner of the roof stood a looming figure, cape flapping in the wind, the moon illuminating their figure in the most dramatic of fashion.
"(Y/n) (L/n), we need to talk." A mechanically altered voice called out raising every hair on my body.
I let a moment of understanding pass before swallowing, standing straight up I nodded "Yeah okay, sure- mysterious stranger who knows my whole ass name, let's settle down for a nice chat."
They slowly took a step closer seemingly satisfied with my response, they were still too hidden by shadows to properly identify but knowing who they were was far from a priority.
"It's come to my attention you seem to be enhanced, how'd you get your powers?" I mirrored their earlier action and took a step forward, "Oh hilarious story, see one day I was walking down the street and-" I interrupted myself throwing the soda can a hard as I could in the spot I imagined their face would be. With a satisfying 'thunk' I made a break for the door, my fingertips barely brushed the cold handle when a- well when a something whooshed through the air, before wrapping itself around my ankles. My body hit the floor with an ungraceful 'oof' and before I knew it heavy footsteps marched their way to my crumpled form. What I assume was a foot gently rolled me on my back before the figure leaned down.
"Oh you're definitely hiding something."
I tried to scoot away the figures face still shrouded in shadows making the experience all the more terrifying. I closed my eyes, trying to will the light to tell me what to do, after all I didn't wanna die up here, when I reopened my eyes the person had changed positions, his face now somewhat illuminated, enough so I could see the iconic domino mask peering down on me.
"Wait a sec- your that sparrow kid right?" He made a 'tsk' noise
"It's Robin, and you don't get to ask questions until you answer mine." A glimmer caught my eye, the foot closest to me? 'oh come the fuck on I don't wanna piss this guy off.' I thought, this stupid light was trying to get me killed.
It seemed to grow brighter in response to my questioning, I rolled my eyes before grabbing his ankle and yanking as hard as I could, he hit the floor in surprise before rolling over, sitting on my stomach and pinning my hands with a growl.
"At least by a girl some dinner before you get into the kinky stuff." Without seeing his eyes I could feel the vicious eye roll he gave me, with a scoffing sound the pressure on my wrists increased.
"You're pissing me off, answer the question." He demanded, I winced, trying to thrash from his hold but it was like iron- Jesus what did this kid do for fun? Lift cars? Bench press grown men?
I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of answering me, after all who the fuck sneaks on someones roof, and demands answers like they own the place, the longer I thought about the more angry I got, I tried to use the light again, but it just surrounded the strangers body, for once I was clueless on what to do, wiggling wasn't helping the situation, and that was my only option.
I groaned in frustration, I hated feeling helpless, I refused to be helpless.
I panted relaxing my body as a warm feeling spread throughout my body.
"What are you doing? Stop whatever that is- now!" Before I realized it the building pressure and heat released, like a cannonball his weight was suddenly gone. I opened my eyes just in time to see his body mid air before crashing into the fence opposite to me.
Okay so that was definitely new.
After the temporary shock I scrambled to untie my feet, I jumped up just in time to dodge something he without a doubt threw.
"You're coming with me, one way or another." I jumped behind my beloved chair, and unable to stop my remark.
"What kinda line was that you discount bond villain!" He smirked before pulling three more of the stupid projectiles from somewhere on his body.
"This won't kill you but it's gonna hurt."
Almost in slow motion I watched them spin in the air, headed for different parts of my body, ready to make me a pincushion, when a body swooped- I kid you not, swopped in and blocked them.
The dark figure rose- 'Jesus Joseph and Mary why is there another one?!'
This one was taller, decked out in a black body suit complete with a blue bird thing in his chest.
'What's with these guys a birds?' I thought peaking over my chair, the new guy casually strolled up to Robin, before giving him a good smack upside the head. "So this is where you disappeared to." He spoke now leaning on the shorter male like he was a desk.
Robin swatted the new male off his shoulder. "I'm investigating the possibility of a new meta. Go do something with yourself." He tried to wave him off with a 'shoo' motion.
The stranger made a 'hmm' noise before swiping down and getting the fallen weapons. "Investigating huh, interesting way of getting your information."
Robin grumbled something under his breath snatching the weapons and putting them back wherever he found them. Blue boy shook his head, a sigh leaving his lips before he turned to me.
"Uhm, hello?" I asked, he made his way over, stopping close enough for me to make out a smile stretched across his face, but far away enough not to make me bolt which I very much wanted to do.
"I'm real sorry about him, he's new. I'm Nightwing, are you alright?" His voice was really calming, I tried to unravel the knots of adrenaline in my stomach before I answered.
"Oh yeah I'm peachy, I love being threatened by Gremlins- my favorite pastime really." Nightwing snorted, comically scratching the back of his neck. "We're definitely gonna have to work on that- look I know you've been through a- uh stressful evening so we won't take up much more of your time." I nodded waiting for him to continue.
"You know how it's our job to protect the public from any kinda danger right? Well it's also it's our job to investigate any potential threats, aka people who pop up with any interesting abilities."
I chewed the nail of my thumb out of habit. "I don't- look all I wanna do is graduate with a high GPA and get into a college in a town that doesn't get destroyed every few years. I don't want-" I gestured to the two hero's with a wave of my hand. "-whatever all that is. No offense but I think you guys got it all covered." He nodded, still holding a smile on his face, "The world- the way things are, needs all the help it can get." He finished his little speech with a tentative step towards me before reaching out his hand, a card with nothing but a number laid in his outstretched palm.
'where on earth was he hiding that?' I shook away my useless thought and grabbed the card.
"You're a good kid, I'm not worried about you but just in case you change your mind."
I couldn't help the snort that fell from my mouth. "Did you just- y'all have business cards now?" He laughed, and with a shrug made his way to the edge of the building where the Gremlin had been brooding our entire conversation.
"I'll see you soon kid." He flipped over the edge with a wave, Robin waited a moment, making sure to send me a glare, I stuck my tongue out at him just as he disappeared from sight.
I looked at the crisp card in my hand, I toyed with the edges with a small scoff. Thinking of the kinder man's last words I shoved it in the pocket of my hoodie.
I spent the next few free days thinking of what he offered and trying to move things around my room, for the life of me I couldn't recreate what happened before with that bird boy. Usually the light only showed up when I was in trouble and told me what to do like a video game tutorial, it had never physically acted before, and I'm not weak but I sure as hell couldn't have lifted that dude off of me let alone throw him half way across the roof.
Another thing that bugged me was the fact that he knew, I kept this shit on lockdown, only a few people in my life actually knew what I could do, my mother (obviously), my Grandma and my best friend Dana, I could show up on any of their doorsteps with a body and they'd help me hide it no questions asked, they were loyal to a fault and I trusted them with my life, no way they blabbed to the bird duo, so someone had to have watched me, but I was always careful if I had to use it in public. I groaned, sliding a hand down my face, even my scared roof top couldn't cure my frustrations, my eyes would always be drawn to the spot they stood, they knew things about me. Total strangers knew an uncomfortable amount of information about me, and I couldn't do a damn thing about it.
Which lead me to now, it was Friday afternoon and work let out early giving me a free schedule for a few hours. Usually I'd bother Dana but she had tutoring today, so here I was wandering the streets not really sure what I was looking for. After two whole Spotify playlists had ended, I found myself up on the docks, the murky water bringing a sense of rest for my scrambled thoughts.
I smiled letting the bitter smell of saltwater calm me, after a while of letting the crashing waves lull me into a state of relaxation, I began walking on the pier, occasionally passing the little binocular machines pointed at Metropolis.
They costed about a quarter, and at first I couldn't understand why you'd spend money to just look at a city but the longer I stood there and people watched I realized why they might be doing it, I could see why it be fun to look it was pretty funny how opposite the sister city's were, Gotham- yeesh do I even have to describe it? Look at our city's mascot, he's fucking terrifying.
Metropolis on the other hand, man was that city golden, it seemed like nature divided the two areas completely, all blue skies there and here? I looked up to see a pool of grays above me.
Yep, polar opposites.
I laughed popping a quarter in the binoculars, sure their city was golden and their hero was- well come on it was Superman, but still, I don't think I could leave Gotham, this city had soul, the people- most of them for that matter- were wonderful, they'd been through hell and back and still helped pick each other up.
Gotham had character, an extra oompf ya know?
Pulling away I noticed the ferry that traveled back and forth between the sister city's arrive, I felt a familiar pull leading me to the boat, I'd never seen the golden city in person and I did have a free afternoon. With a smile I shot a quick text to my mom and bought myself a ticket.
After snagging a donut and grabbing a free sat I peacefully listened to music, and before I knew it I was walking of the wobbly ramp and into the people packed streets of Metropolis.
I realized quickly that I was dressed for Gotham weather and shrugged off my school hoodie throwing it in my bag, I thanked the stars I dressed okay instead of the usual joggers and oversized long sleeves. I walked in a random direction looking for an adventure.
Alright that's a lie I'm looking for food, problem was every restaurant I passed was either packed or had a line out the door and the chaos of people was the opposite of what I needed.
I followed a random street till I stumbled in a hole in the wall ramen restaurant, there were very few people inside which only further drew my interest.
I sat down at booth looking over the menu, probably with spontaneous food adventures was you never knew what to get. I stared at the worn down menu for what felt like hours when someone tapped my shoulder catching me off guard.
Damnit that keeps happening.
I peeked over the menu with an uneasy smile, I did not do well with attractive people my brain got all jumbled.
"I'm sorry to bother you miss but you seemed to be struggling with the menu." Heat instantaneously found its way up my neck.
' I'm a whole ass idiot- oh no he thinks you're stupid aHH-' I cleared my throat pausing my mental panic before nodding.
"Was it that obvious?"
He smiled sympathetically, shaking his hand in a 'eh' motion.
"Maybe just a little."
I handed him the menu.
"Alright mysterious stranger, what would you recommend?"
"Miso is always a safe option! But depending on what you like you could add different flavors or toppings this place has the best ramen hands down." He talked a mile a minute but damn was he cute when he did it.
"This actually may take longer to explain than expected- may I?" He gestured to sit down, oddly hyped to explain the differences between broths and such, it was kind of adorable I gotta admit.
I nodded "I don't see why not-help from a cute stranger doesn't come along every day." His face went red faster than I thought possible before he muttered a quiet "Oh my stars." He cleared his throat and after a few minutes of his excited narrating he proceeded to help me narrow it down, if we're being honest I was too hungry to let him talk about food for another minute so I picked a random number.
"You sure know a lot about this place, do you work here?"
"Oh no I'm just a regular."
After placing my order and buying a soda I was surprised to see he followed me back to my table.
"Thanks for all the help, I woulda been here another hour trying to decide."
He smiled with a casual no problem, after a silent moment of staring he awkwardly laughed "I should probably stop standing here like some kinda creep- anyway have a good day miss." For one reason or another I called out stopping him in his tracks. "I can't properly thank my hero if I don't know his name." He smacked a hand against his forehead, nervously tugging on the strings of his jacket.
"Gosh I'm sorry, it's Jon! Jon Kent pleasure to meet you miss."
I laughed taking his outstretched hand, "You can drop the formalities kid I'm only seventeen, and my name's (Y/n)." The grin had yet to leave his face.
"So are you new to Metropolis? I don't think I've seen you around here."
I sighed leaning against the table, lightly flicking the napkin dispenser a few inches away before replying.
"Unfortunately I'm just visiting, I wanted to see what the hype was about. I'm from Gotham." His smile got wider- somehow. He quickly slid back into his previous seat. All previous nerves seemingly evaporated.
"No way! I'm actually moving there! Like soon! Really soon!"
"Wait what? You're leaving the golden city for the problem child city??"
He leaned back tossing his hands behind his head.
"Well yeah- I was actually born there! We moved here when I was like what, five?" He hummed drumming his fingers on the table. "This is actually my last day here, I wanted my favorite to celebrate." He gestured to the small shop surrounding us.
I nodded, his stupid little smile was contagious and I found myself grinning along.
"Do you usually tell strangers your life story?" He leaned forward, puffing the dark hair from his eyes.
"Well no, then again we're not really strangers are we?."
I leaned closer, my brow raised "We're not?"
He shook his head with an almost offended look on his face.
"Of course not, I helped you order ramen, that's a bond for life." He joked, I snorted into the can I was drinking before skeptically nodding.
"Right- of course. How could I forget." We shared a laugh before my food came, as soon as I laid eyes on the beautiful bowl I nearly forgot he was there, I chowed down, my eyes rolled into the back of my head.
Fuck this is good. I came back into reality when he laughed, handing me a napkin.
"Shit did I say that out loud?" He simply smiled in response.
"Sorry I've been looking forward to this all day, I zone out when it comes to food."
"No harm done, this place is crazy good." I inhaled a few more bites before the question popped up in my head.
"Are you gonna attend Gotham academy by any chance?"
His eyes perked up, "Yeah, how'd you know?"
He sat back, somewhat flabbergasted.
"Wait to do you there??"
"Indeed I do good man."
"Look at my luck, I'll already have a friend- wait you wouldn't mind hanging out at school would you? I mean I don't wanna pressure you or anything-in fact let me shut up." I couldn't help the smile crawling on my face, the guy sure was cute when he rambled.
"I don't think you'll have a hard time making friends- like at all, but fuck yeah dude we're definitely hanging out. I can show you the best studying spots in the library- oh! And what extra classes are worth it."
After paying our conversation continued, ranging from school to parents to what to expect living in Gotham.
"By all means stay away from alleyways, avoid popular areas that usually where the bad guys like to commit their shenanigans uh- maybe carry some mace or something." He laughed shaking his head.
"Don't worry about me I'll be fine."
I flailed my arms in his general direction.
"How can I not worry? I've known you a solid two hours and you're pure, what's the word I'm looking for- fluff." His laugh was quickly becoming a fast favorite of mine.
He raised a brow, questioningly mouthing the word 'fluff' to himself.
"You're a huge softie, they'll eat you up if you're not careful."
"I'm not too worried, especially with someone like you looking out for me." He gently bumped my shoulders.
"You are way too optimistic."
We laughed for a little while longer before my phone alerted me, the ferry was leaving soon so we headed in that direction, Jon refused to let me walk alone even though we both knew nothing would happen.
As we made our way to the building we managed to swap numbers and I couldn't help but laugh at the situation.
"What's so funny?" He asked leaning against the railing as we waited for my boat.
"It's just pretty ironic, I came out here to laugh at how different from home Metropolis is and I ended up meeting Metropolis personified." He tilted his head like a confused puppy.
"I mean you're all bright and happy and kinda beautiful in a totally not weird way." He tried to look away, cheeks a'blazin.
"You're gonna give me a heart attack with all these compliments." The sound of a unnecessarily loud boat horn stole out attention, shaking my head I made my way to the newly docked ferry boat.
"Get used to it Kent!" I yelled over my shoulder with a wave.
He stared at the boat with a dreamy expression, his eyes following it until it was a tiny dot on a sea of blue. If he wasn't sure before, the new friend he found seemed to confirm his thoughts.
'yeah, Gotham is gonna be great.'
The air was thick, the smell of sweat lingered with every heavy breath I took. I squinted at the clock on the gym wall, I came down here to train for an hour or so, but that was long ago and the sun now hung low in the sky.
I unwrapped my hands, flexing my fingers once they were free of the protective bandages, the sore feeling that lingered in my fingertips brought a strange sense of comfort.
It was familiar.
I had just finished taking some of my anger out on one of our unlucky punching bags, father was still upset I didn't tell him I was investigating that girl, he had yet to tell me of my punishment, it's all that fat mouthed Grayson's fault too. Of course he had to open his mouth, when we got home that night I awaited my punishment with a scowl, and a knot of stubborn anxiety locked in my stomach.
All was going well before the Golden boy showed up- I had it under control.
For the most part.
I threw the bandages in my duffel bag, rolling my eyes at the memory.
"Damian you gotta communicate with us, that's the point of a team, to help each other." Grayson tried to reason with me as we made our way into the cave, but I didn't care, I stormed past him, throwing my mask on a nearby work table before sitting myself in my father's work chair.
I unclasped one of my gauntlets, the sound of it hitting the desk echoed throughout the cave.
"I didn't need your so called help Grayson, I was gathering information on a possible enhanced and you came along and ruined it." I shoved the power button on the computer with a little more force than necessary.
Dick pulled himself on top of a table, he opened a random compartment, pulling out two granola bars.
"Oh yeah it sure seemed like things were going swell." He said ripping one open and tossing the other in my direction, I caught it, not looking away from the computer, I opened a file, all the useless information I'd gathered on (y/n) sat almost mockingly. Nothing suspicious, no red flags, she was a born and raised gothamite with no track record, I'd be impressed if I wasn't so irritated.
My brows furrowed as I stared at the piles of information I gathered.
"Woah you already have a file on the kid? What's the situation is she a meta?" Grayson managed to find a chair and roll his way to my side.
"She's definitely enhanced, the range of her abilities and what she plans to do with them remains unknown."
Dick tapped his chin in thought before shrugging. "I'm not entirely sure what she's done to get under your radar but she seems like a sweet enough kid- look she works at a library, no evildoer works at a library." I scoffed, closing the file.
"I'm not saying she's an 'evildoer' I'm simply doing my job."
"Okay- no need to get so defensive." He rolled away, hands raised in surrender.
Grayson made a noise between a laugh and a sigh before running a hand through his hair.
"You know we're gonna have to tell Bruce about this right?"
"Tell me about what?"
Father's brooding voice called from the caves elevator door.
I hated how he could still surprise me. His voice was tired, he was dressed in his normal attire- scratch that. His normal attire was the suit, he was dressed as Bruce Wayne, the billionaire, which explains the exhausted look on his face.
Grayson sucked his teeth, kicking his feet up on a nearby table.
"Junior over here decided to do some detective work on a possible new meta without telling anyone, the poor kid he was interrogating was very close to turning into a shish kabob."
Father raised a brow, casually walking down the ramp before leaning against a case displaying prototype weapons.
"Is that so?"
"I had a lead and followed it, there was no time to inform the team." I crossed my arms in a defensive stance, "It was a simple recon mission, I couldn't be bothered to bother you."
I inwardly smirked, after all my logic seemed bulletproof.
Father nodded, his hands resting in the pockets of his pants.
He made his way over to me, gently patting my shoulder.
"No matter how big or small the mission, you always inform your team, what if this meta was too much? What if they overpowered you?" I couldn't help the small "Unlikely" that left my mouth.
Father scoffed, his casual attitude melting away to show the anger I was expecting.
"Damian, I can understand your motives but you need to learn your lesson-"
I shrugged his hand away, my anger quickly getting the best of me.
"So what father, you're going to punish me for doing my job?"
"No, I'm going to punish you for not doing your job." His voice was always annoyingly calm, no matter the situation- I hated it.
"Let me guess, you'll take me off patrol for what- a week?" He stared at me, a few moments of silent contemplation passed before he spoke up.
"No, you won't learn your lesson if I do that."
I stared at him, now more confused than angry.
"So what is it? Am I grounded?."
He smirked, then turned to walk back up the elevator ramp.
"I'll get back to you on that."
And just like that he was gone. I scoffed before turning to Grayson who managed to take my seat and reopen (y/n)'s file.
He said nothing as he opened a new tab.
I rolled my eyes impatiently.
"What are you doing?"
"I don't need your help Dick, you've done enough." A small snort left his mouth
"Said no one ever."
I begrudgingly took the seat by his side as I watched him type away.
"Don't bother, that file has everything, her mom, her brother, hell, even her grandmas in there."
"What about her dad?"
I stayed silent, realizing I didn't give much thought to the fact that there was nothing on him.
Grayson finally turned away from the screen.
"Don't you find it strange how there's nothing on him, like he doesn't exist." I quickly kicked his chair in the other direction ignoring his startled 'Hey!' and began furiously searching, the birth records, school records, doctor records, nothing.
I shook my head, bringing myself back to reality, that happened days ago and to my frustration I still couldn't find a thing on the guy.
I tried to chock it up to another dead beat dad but the fact that there was never any sign of him suggested someone edited these files.
I huffed out a breath of aggravation, before flicking the lights to the gym off and heading upstairs.
I pushed (Y/n) and her sketchy backstory out of my head as I took the long route to my father's study. I knew the moment he called me up here what was coming, my punishment.
It took him a few days to come up with something, which scared me more than anything. I tried to level out my nerves as I unfortunately neared his door. I swallowed the lump in my throat- I hated to admit any form of weakness, especially fear. Just thinking about the word left a bad taste in my mouth.
I was the grandson of the demon for Christ sake, and as much as it demolished my pride to say so my father could be quite terrifying when he wanted to be.
I quickly pushed open the door, not allowing myself another second of doubt.
"Damian, I'm glad you could join me."
"Well you did just call me up here." He smirked before rising, casually walking up to the window, his arms folded behind his back, much too relaxed for my liking.
He stared out the window for a moment, taking in the view of the lush gardens in our backyard, the sun had just begun to set, painting a beautiful background.
I stood, feet planted firmly as I awaited his anger, but it never came. When he spoke he was poised, like he knew something I didn't.
"When you took up the Robin mantle, you took on a plethora of responsibilitys." I nodded even though he wasn't looking at me.
"As you know, there have been others before you, all promising sets of skill, all determined to be the best."
I dug my nails into my palm in anticipation- 'he wasn't taking Robin away from me was he? No he couldn't be, not for a mistake so trivial.'
Despite the reassuring voice in my head, my nails dug deeper into the calloused skin on my hand.
He finally turned to look at me, eyes set in a serious gaze.
"They were very different from one another but what was the unquestionable quality they all shared? Leadership."
"What are you saying?"
"I'm saying you're a good Robin son, but I'm also saying despite all of your skills and talents you lack the conviction of a true leader." My eyes bore into his, anger, determination, envy, all swirling in my head. I swallowed every curse I wanted to spew his way before responding.
"What do I have to do?"
He made it to my side in a few steps. Placing a hand on my shoulder he gave me a smirk.
"I'm glad you asked."
Almost like magic, a knock on the door sounded before he could continue.
"Right on time." I stared at his retreating back as he walked to answer the door, the confusion evident on my face.
Alfred appeared behind the door, a cheeky smile greeted my father.
"Master Bruce your guest has arrived."
"Wonderful, where if he?"
"Ah yes, Mr. Kent is settling in his room, shall I retrieve him?"
"Yes please, send him to to parlor."
I tuned out the rest of the conversation.
Kent? As in Clark Kent?
Did my father bring Superman out here to teach me some tedious lesson on leadership?
I quickly walked up to the duo.
His hand pushed me in the direction of Alfred's retreating form.
"Come on now." He said interrupting me.
I followed, my curiosity easily slipped into annoyance as we made our way down the long hallway and eventually into the parlor room.
"This doesn't make any sense, why is Superman here to teach me a lesson?"
"He's not." And with that he gave me a shove, I stumbled slightly before catching myself, infront of me stood a young man, his back was to me as he admired the parlor, taking in the art and decor that covered the walls.
He spun around so fast his hoodie strings hit him in the chest, his gaze met mine and instantly I knew this was the son of Superman.
His hand shot out before I could process it.
"Hi, Jon Kent nice to meet you." I hesitated before shaking his outstretched limb.
"Likewise." I pulled back hiding my wince at his grip- damn Kryptonian's.
I looked back at my father's who's arms were crossed, his face held a smug expression.
"Explain yourself." He chuckled slightly, pushing himself off the wall and walking over to us.
"This, is your way Damian. Prove your skills in the ultimate test." I squinted trying to understand. If possible my face would be a question mark right about now.
I opened my mouth to voice said confusion only to be interrupted by the boy.
"Wait you don't know?" I turned to look at him, arms folded.
"Obviously not, or I wouldn't have asked."
He laughed, uncomfortable but still smiling.
Scratching the back of his head he continued.
"Oh right sorry- um well we're gonna be teammates!" He looked at me, clearly nervous, instead of responding to him I turned to my father with the best glare I could muster.
"Pardon me, did he just-"
"Yes, and he's exactly right, you two will be working together from now on."
I scoffed looking up at my father,
"In case you forgot, we have the 'dynamic duo' thing covered already." He stared back, expression unchanging from his stupid smirk.
"Exactly why it won't be just the two of you."
"If this is some kinda joke-"
I scoffed in disbelief. My mind not accepting the sudden decision.
"So, we're making a team?"
"Correct, and you'll be leading them."
"Like the Justice League but smaller!" Jon pipped in pinching his fingers together to emphasize his point.
I rolled my eyes- this kid was officially annoying, before turning back to reason with my old man.
"Father- reconsider. I understand my previous actions were childish but you've given me time to think and now I understand." He sighed, clearly not buying my speech.
"Look Damian, if you're not up for the challenge, all you have to do is admit it and the whole thing will be called off."
I frowned, his smug smile only got wider. 'oh he'd love for me to back away- it prove his point and I'd be on desk duty for the next year' I growled under my breath, the room stood silent in anticipation. I could hear Jon nervously bouncing from foot to foot, and my father leaned back against the wall knowingly.
Son of a bitch.
"Fine- I'll do it."
"I knew you would son."
I heard the Kent boy breathe out a breath of what I could only assume was relief.
"I'm assuming you thought all this out-" I wrung the gym towel hanging from my neck in frustration.
"-who are our other members?"
"Oh that's entirely up to you, I'll take care of the base and different league members will assign you missions once you've gathered your team."
"You've got to be kidding me."
He raised a brow, "Well, as the leader, it makes sense for you to pick the members doesn't it?"
"Fair point- would you at least recommend someone?"
"I already have." He said gesturing the the awkward boy, fumbling with an antique on the fireplace mantle. With that father left. I turned to my new teammate with an inaudible groan.
He immediately stepped away from the priceless trinket he'd been poking at with a uneasy grin.
"Heyyyy" I rolled my eyes for what felt like the millionth time that day before walking out of the room, and toward the cave.
Just my luck I get the stupid kryptonain.
In the following days I'd managed to avoid my new housemate, only briefly seeing him in the halls, he'd offer a friendly smile and I'd offer a nod. I'd been researching him all week, his full name was Jonathan Samuel Kent, surprisingly enough he was born in Gotham, but raised in Metropolis.
Though what I um 'borrowed' from the league database told me much more interesting things, he didn't have a good grip on his powers, he could stop a speeding car sure but his strength came nowhere close to his father's or even the first Superboy, Conner. His flight was unreliable, although he did appear somewhat faster than the man of Steel.
I brought myself out of my thoughts, instead focusing on the day ahead of me, the break we received from school was finally up, and it was my job to show Jon around according to my father. I tightened the uniform tie before tossing on the freshly ironed black blazer. I looked over myself once more before I walked out my room, not before giving Titus a quick scratch behind the ear of course.
As I made my way into the kitchen, I heard Alfred fussing over Jon.
"It's been so long since I've had to tie someone's tie." Jon sheepishly laughed "I don't usually do ties, I'm more of a flannel and jacket kinda guy." Smoothing out Jon's uniform with a smile on his face Alfred sighed in satisfaction.
"Well I must say, you clean up well master Kent."
Jon grinned at the older man.
"Aw thanks Mr. Pennyworth." Alfred gave a small chuckle, handing the boy his bag.
"Here you are son, now remember if anyone asks, your staying with the Wayne's because your parents are friends and wanted you to experience the opportunities Gotham had to offer."
He nodded taking the bag and slipping it on his back.
I cleared my throat before sitting down at the table.
"Master Damian, it's a fine morning is it not?"
I glared at the boy across the room.
"Could be better."
Alfred sucked his teeth at me.
"Now, your father was very clear on his instructions, he is your guest and you're supposed to make him feel welcome. Not as if he's about to be banished."
"Oh don't you 'Tt' at me young man, I expect better of you. You are a Wayne master Damian, present yourself as such."
Alfred, after giving me one last disapproving look, turned away to put the leftovers in the fridge. "Oh let me help you with that." Jon stood suddenly rolling up his sleeves.
"Oh how sweet of you master Kent, but there's no need."
"I insist after all I did make most of them." Pennyworth smiled before shaking his head.
"As much as I appreciate your offer, this is my job."
'oh please, if I see one more second of this shit I'll barf.'
I looked down at my watch eager to get out of this environment.
"Look at the time, come along Kent, we don't wanna be late now do we?"
"But I thought school started in an hour-"
"Ah so I take it you'd like to walk then." With that Jon jumped up and sped walked in my direction.
The car ride was silent, besides Jon's never ending tapping that is.
We arrived with thirty minutes before the first bell much to the Kryptonian's confusion.
"So why are we here so early- not that I don't appreciate the ride or anything."
I sighed cutting off his rambling.
"Do you want to know where you're going or not?"
"Then doesn't it make sense to get here before everyone else?" He said nothing, his mouth forming a small 'o' shape before he nodded.
I exited my car, already tired of the day when suddenly Jon cleared his throat.
"Look I know things are kinda- um weird between us, I'm not an idiot, I can tell this whole thing doesn't sit well with you but your feelings aren't what's important, we have the opportunity to better ourselves and help the world be a little less dark, isn't that what matters?-" He interrupted himself with a huff, raking a hand through the dark waves on his head. "-All I'm saying is, if we're gonna be stuck together, we should at least try to get along, don't you think?" He looked at me, hopeful, expecting a response I was in no mood to give.
I locked the car doors, satisfied with the loud beep, and began walking towards the entrance of the school.
He quickly caught up to me, before grabbing my arm, stopping me much to my aggravation.
"What's got you so pissed at me? I'm trying to be nice here-"
I shoved his hand off, a warning glare in my eyes.
"Listen, all I want is the peace and quiet of my morning back, not some unwanted lifetime speech. For the record, I'm not pissed at you, if I was pissed you wouldn't be walking, I'm mildly irritated at best, and if you'd like to keep it that way, shut up and pay attention, alright? Let's get this day over with."
He stared at me, for once without a dopey grin on his face, disappointed before scoffing and walking along side me.
For a while all was well and good before suddenly Jon looked up from the floor then took off, thankfully at an non super powered pace, in the direction of someone too far away for me to see.
'oh dear god it's like dealing with a puppy- a very stupid puppy'
I jogged after him, unwilling to put in any real effort this early in the day. Let alone for him.
He had stopped anyway, after picking up the random person he got so excited for and spinning them around like someone in a soap opera.
This stupid kid was gonna get me in trouble- hugging random students? How did my father expect this imbecile to be apart of a team- my team no less.
I was already preparing my apology speech to the student when I had to stop in my tracks, when I got close enough to see who exactly he had latched himself onto.
It was (Y/n).
I cleared my throat interrupting their conversation.
"Oh jeez-" Jon smacked his palm against his forehead, "So sorry I ran off like that- I was just excited to see my friend, I didn't expect her to be here this early- hey what are you doing here anyway?"
She shrugged, burying her face deeper in the festive scarf wrapped tightly around her neck.
"I had to help leadership set some stuff up for the assembly later today, what are you doing here-" she paused finally noticing me.
"-and with Damian Wayne no less?" Jon chuckled, his hands shoved deep in his blazer pockets.
"It's a long story-"
"He's staying with me while he attends here." I said flawlessly.
"-or not so long of a story after all." He said with a nervous smile.
"Oh that's cool I guess." She seemed to have more questions but appeared to shrug them off.
"How do you two know each other." I asked catching her off guard
"He's my secret lover." She responded with a deadpan expression.
Jon choked on his own spit, his face going red as a cherry.
I couldn't fight the shock from showing on my face, she laughed playing with the ends of her scarf.
"I'm just kidding relax, we met a few days ago in Metropolis."
"What were you doing all the way out there?"
She squinted at me "What's with the third degree?"
"Sorry-I was just curious." She stared suspiciously for a moment longer before shrugging once more.
"So what brings you two here so early anyway?"
"Oh I have to show him around." I replied tugging on a pair of leather gloves from my backpack.
Sometimes I forgot how cold Gotham got.
She looked between me and Jon, analyzing something unseen to the both of us before linking arms with the tall boy. "I can show him around if you want." Jon proceeded to wrap his arm around her shoulders pulling her into another hug, a dramatic sigh escaping his lips, "Now you're my hero." They laughed, some kind of inside joke making the whole thing funnier than it was. Gently shoving him away she turned to me again, "See you around pretty boy."
She turned and walked a few steps before looking over her shoulder "Unless you wanted to come along that is."
I quickly shook my head no, her loud laugh echoed through the almost empty parking lot.
I ignored the heat her teasing smile brought up my neck.
"Yeah I figured that." She shook her head, really walking away this time, Jon turned to me before following her, that annoying smile never leaving his face.
"There, now your mornings free. See you at lunch!"
I rolled my eyes at the pair before walking in the opposite direction.
As annoying as this kid was, now that he knew her, and they were friends no less?
He just got very useful.
Oooh what's that sneaky little assassin boy planning?
Saturday morning finally rolled around and I wanted nothing more than to sleep in, as it turns out, showing Jon around our obnoxiously large campus took a toll, that and the added stress of everyone and they mama asking me about him like I was his keeper, made me tired in like, seven different ways.
I rolled deeper into my soft covers, ready to drift back into the dreamless state I was in but the universe of course, had other plans.
And by universe I mean my mother.
Just as sleep grasped at my brain Redbone by childish Gambino suddenly began blaring from a few rooms over and I rolled over with a sad groan, today was obviously gonna be a cleaning day.
This was her subtle way of telling me to wake my ass up and come into the kitchen for breakfast, then directions, if I didn't get up in the next few minutes she'd make her way upstairs with the speaker blasting as loud as it could and dance her way around my room till I inevitably got up to join her, messy hair and all.
I stretched my limbs, enjoying every crack and pop my body made in response, the sore feeling temporarily making me forget what I was doing.
Once my brain caught up to speed with my body I went through the basics of my morning routine, my hair was mushed in a sloppy bun and I didn't bother switching out of my PJ's, knowing the majority of the day would be spent inside.
I entered the kitchen to quite the sight, my mother swung her body to the rhythmic beat of the song, carelessly singing into her spatula. I contemplated recording her to laugh at later but decided against it, and slid over to her, my fuzzy socks smoothly gliding me across the wooden floor. She finally noticed me, not stopping her preformance, instead shoved her 'microphone' in my face, we goofed off for the rest of the song before she remembered the breakfast slowly burning on the stove.
I pulled myself up on a random stool and rested my head on the cool marble countertop as she scrambled to save what was left of the eggs.
She shuffled her way to her phone, which was responsible for the wonderful tunes floating through our apartment before turning down the volume,
"Damn that song, always distracts me." She snorted plating up the breakfast and sliding it a few inches from my face.
"Well it is a bop, so I can't blame ya." I shoveled the food in my mouth, the warmth quickly waking me all the way up.
She skipped over to gently kiss my forehead before turning back to her plate.
I scooped up the last if my food happy to have had it but sad to see it gone. I washed my dish, slinging my hands around to dry them before I questioned her,
"So lemme guess, we're cleaning today?" She nodded taking a long sip of her coffee.
"Ah yes, I'll be handling that, as for you my wonderful child, you are gonna go run some errands for me." She spoke not missing a beat.
I mentally cursed.
'great now I had to put on real people clothes.'
"Can we trade? I don't wanna put on pants." I tried to whine but the quick look I got from her quickly shut me down.
"You don't gotta get dressed, walk outta here looking like that. Don't matter to me, as long as you deposit a check before the bank gets busy, get some groceries, get the cat some food- oh! Also stop by your job and drop some books off for me." She listed off not looking up from her phone, straight faced until she turned to look up.
"Our tasks seem heavily unbalanced." She stared at me, unfazed, yeesh her glare could make Batman nervous.
"Oh I'm sorry did you want to clean the bathroom, living room, kitchen, and vacuum all the carpets- oh wait let's not forget all the laundry we need to do and-"
"Okay okay I get it." I laughed rising off the stool with a final stretch, before running over and quickly kissing her cheek.
She swatted me away cursing at me for nearly knocking her off her seat, I couldn't help but laugh all the way to my room.
I kicked my socks off, the sun shining in through the window warmed the room slightly, I stood in the light enjoying the soft warmth before it occurred to me that- holy shit the sun's shining. I ran over to my window, to my surprise the gray clouds parted ever so slightly showing just a smidge of bright blue. As childish as it was, this filled me with some kinda fascination, Gotham rarely got sun, I took this as a sign, today would be a good one.
I yawned shaking myself out of the daze and walked over to my desk, a bunch of unorganized yet still somehow understandable notes lay sprawled out reminding me off different things to do, however what caught my eye was the somewhat crumpled business card Bird boy gave me, it sat untouched since I set it down that night.
A silly part of me felt guilty for not calling, I mean he straight up pulled an uncle Ben on me, "With great power- blah blah blah." I muttered flicking the tiny card so it faced downward. I plopped myself on my bed, unplugging my phone from the charger and procrastinated my shower by mindlessly going through the seemingly endless notifications, my eyes found a random messege I received a few hours earlier, I checked the it wondering which one of my friends could possibly be up that early, however I didn't have to wonder long, Jon had sent a simple but adorable 'Good morning' text. Smiling I thought of the boy, we'd been practically joined at the hip the past week, and I couldn't find much to complain about, he was a really sweet person, someone who saw the positive in everything and made Gotham seem brighter- yuck I sound super cheesy but I swear, that's how you had to describe him.
I won't lie, at first all that optimism was off putting, my outlook on life was far from bleak but he managed to find joy in every and anything that crossed our way, even living with the Wayne kid couldn't bring him down.
Realizing I still hadn't responded, I quickly shot a 'Hello' back, asking what on earth he was doing up as early as he was, according to him his body was so used to the farm life,it was muscle memory at this point.
I paused to imagine him as a farm boy, but the image of him chasing chickens and pigs quickly turned into him leaning against a tractor, sleeves rolled up, sweat collecting at his brow, curly black hair sticking out in every which way. I cleared my throat snapping myself back into reality.
'note to self, try not to thirst over your friends (y/n).'
I jokingly asked if he planned to spend his first free day in Gotham hanging around the storm cloud also known as Damian Wayne and he quickly shot the idea down.
"We don't really talk unless we have to."
I furrowed my brows shooting back,
"Man that sucks, you think you'd at least be sorta friends with the guy you're sharing a roof with." He simply responded.
" :') "
I snorted, gathering my clothes in a bundled heap and finally headed off to the bathroom.
After a brisk shower I redressed myself, now much more appropriately than the Superman pajama pants I was previously rocking.
I checked my phone once again to see Jon had sent another message.
"Would you mind hanging out today? That is if you're not already sick of me :p ."
I tugged my bottom lip between my teeth as I thought of a way to squeeze him into my schedule, before sighing in disappointment.
"Get tired of you? Psh not happening, I can't get enough." I snorted at my text, he was way to easy to tease.
I could see his face changing color in my head, quickly I continued texting as I slipped into my shoes.
"But alas, moms is making me do errands all day ;( ." I shoved my phone in my jacket pocket, securely tying the laces of my sneakers, surprised when my phone suddenly buzzed again.
"I wouldn't mind coming along! As long as I didn't get in your way that is." I couldn't help but smile at his words,
"It's just boring stuff though."
"Oh come on, nothing's boring with you."
I couldn't fight the small smile from taking over my face.
He said stuff like that all the time- it always threw me for a loop, I mean the kid would freeze on sight if you complimented him but damn could he say some smooth shit- and the worst part was he wasn't even trying to flirt! He was just a sweetheart.
I brushed off what other might have saw as flirting because he was so genuine to everyone.
I contemplated his offer, it wouldn't do any harm to have the extra company, plus he seemed to want to get away from the Wayne kid, and I couldn't really blame him for that.
So I sent him my street address and my apartment number telling him to come whenever so we could head out, and yes I'll be the first to admit I should probably have been more careful, after all I had just met him and he could very easily be a serial killer but if you knew him in person, even just for five minutes you'd see the kid didn't have a malicious bone in his body.
I spent the time waiting for his arrival grabbing the books my mom needed returned and the check she needed deposited, before I knew it there was a knock at the door, I jumped up eager to get out the apartment before my mom could see Jon, knowing her she'd interrogate the hell out of him, and I didn't wanna scare the kid off, at least not this early into the friendship.
I made it just in time to see her open the door, his bright blue eyes widened in surprise before instantly sticking out his hand.
"Morning, ma'am! My name's Jon Kent, I'm a friend of your daughters." She shook his hand before looking back to me, a knowing smirk on her face. Much to my dismay she opened the door wider and welcomed him inside.
"(Y/n) you weren't planning on ditching your chores for some cute boy now were you?"
"Ma.." I warned grabbing my keys and then Jon's arm.
"He's actually here to help me out, this is my mom Jon, Jon this is my mother, okay? Okay. Bye."
She grabbed my collar before I could run, dragging Jon back along with me.
"What's the rush? I wanna meet your new friend."
He smiled, nervously shoving his hands in his pockets.
"I hope you don't mind, your daughters been helping me out since I moved here, figured it was high time I repaid her." My mother's eyes raked over his tall form, examining him like he was under a microscope.
See she had this way about her, she could read people in an instant, tell if their intentions were pure or not, I couldn't help but hold my breath as I waited for her responce.
And just like that, she leaned back against the countertop, her defensive posture melted into a relaxed one.
"Well that's awful kind of you young man, you kids have fun- be back before sunset I don't wanna worry."
He nodded, still smiling "Yes ma'am." He turned to me and grabbed the heavy book bag from my hands with a wink. I went to follow him at the door only to be stopped once again,
"When were you planning on telling me about him?"
"Uh I don't know mom, I didn't think it was important for you to meet all my friends." She smoothed her hands over my jacket. She looked up, a warm look on her face.
"You sure you're just friends?"
I playfully rolled my eyes, leaning over to kiss her cheek.
She sighed looking out the door.
"Shame, you two would have made some cute grand babies." I groaned,
"MOM YA NASTY- you're so lucky he didn't hear that." I gave her a reluctant kiss on the cheek, practically running out the door, her loud laugh rang out in the hallway where Jon patiently stood against the wall, his face astoundingly red for some reason.
"Sorry about that- she's kinda protective." He shrugged, his face still bright as a set of Christmas lights.
"It's no problem at all, my mom's the same way."
With that we were on our way.
We passed the walk to the bank with random conversations he was in the middle of telling me a wild story about his short time living with one of Gotham's most elite.
"The first night I got there I was convinced he was some sort of robot who's only emotional setting was irritable." I laughed, embarrassingly loud might I add, but I couldn't find it in me to care.
"Wait- what? Can I have some context on that one?"
He laughed, running a hand through his locks before continuing.
" Well I grew up in a family that always shared, we talk it out if we have a problem but this guy-" He huffed, gesturing wildly with his hands.
"- He acts like he hates my guts but when I try to find out why, he gets even more upset!"
I gave him a reassuring pat on the shoulder.
"Don't feel bad, that's just who he is." His face fell so I quickly added on,
"Well don't give up- he's most likely never had someone like you around so it's probably new, knowing your ass, you'll get him to warm up in no time."
His eyes looked up, hopeful.
"You really think so?"
"Well duh, who could resist you?" I pinched at his cheeks like my grandma would to me, he pried my hands off with an embarrassed huff, at this point I could see the shiny outer walls of the bank, now only a few blocks away.
We walked in a comfortable silence for a while when out of nowhere a question popped up in my mind.
"Hey can I ask you a kinda personal question."
He glanced over with a small smile.
"Go for it."
"Where exactly are your parents, did they move down with you?"
He sighed, a somber smile graced his features.
"Nah, they're back in Metropolis, they knew I had a better chance to- um learn out here." I nodded.
"Do you miss Metropolis?"
He sighed, looking around the somewhat crowded streets, before looking back to me.
"Yes and no, I've always been curious about Gotham, I mean it does make the news every year." We both laughed before he continued.
"There's actually a lot of similarities between the cities."
"Oh yeah like what?"
"So far the people are the most alike." I glanced at him puzzled,
"They're both just really strong people, from what I can tell so far at least." I smiled at this, and soon we were in line at the city bank, waiting patiently for our turn. I took the time to study the elderly couple waiting in front of us, their hands interlocked the entire time, I had the urge to tell them just how cute they were being, so I tapped the woman on the shoulder.
"I'm sorry to bother you guys but I just had to say, you two are the most adorable couple." The woman smiled warmly at me, her eyes were as young as could be when she glanced at the man next to her.
"That's so sweet of you to say, thank you. I'm Gloria, this is my husband Modesto." He waved to us, an equally bright smile on his face.
"Well I must say, you two are quite the pair as well, it's nice to see such bright people together." I smiled, looking to the beet faced Jon, I was about to question the sudden change in color when I realized what the older woman meant.
"Oh no-we're just friends, but still thank you!"
She leaned into her husband, who held her gently,
"That's how it starts isn't it dear?" He laughed, grabbing her hands, bringing them to his lips.
"I chased her for years, too chicken to say anythin' thankfully my Gloria here is a smart one, she made the move for me." I grinned at the couple, now lost in their own world, before turning back to my companion.
"Thanks again for coming with me- you didn't have to but you made this day something fun." He playfully bumped my shoulder.
"What are friends for if not the exact reason of making mundane stuff interesting?"
"That's a very good point-" my response was interrupted, a sound like thunder came from the entrance, the glass doors shattered into thousands of little pieces, people ducked and dived, trying their best to hide behind the kiosks and tables scattered around the place.
Faster than I could register I was behind Jon, he stood tall, facing the five armed thugs responsible for all the destruction in the air.
One of the men casually lifted his shotgun in the high above him before firing into the celling. The panicked screaming and chatting came to an abrupt halt.
"Alright ladies and gents, we all know how this is gonna go, if you'd like to keep the contents of your head inside of your body, toss any and all valuables in the sack my colleague is so kindly passing around." With sniffles and whimpers the people complied, tossing their things in with shakey hands, the masked man got to me and Jon, I glared tossing my phone and grocery money in with the coldest stare I could muster.
When I first heard the shot tear through the glass door my immediate response was to grab (y/n) and toss her behind me, I didn't have time to think about it, I was trying my best to calm the frantically beating organ in my chest, I kept my eyes on the people, praying none of them made any sort of move to be a hero, that never ended well.
I knew I could take a few of them down but 1. That would give myself up to the public and 2. I was easily out numbered. Too many things could go wrong with an outright attack, so I held back and waited for a plan to form in my head. One that didn't get anyone hurt, and my identity exposed.
'seriously Jon? You're worried about keeping up your secret identity? People's lives are at stake, it doesn't matter if you get in trouble later if you can save them now.'
I gave my thoughts a small nod of understanding, while at the same time trying to hype myself up for whatever stupid thing I was about to do, sure my dad was the man of Steel but that's only half of who I was- my powers were unpredictable at best and some days they just didn't work.
I had the hardest time flying but that was also when I was my fastest, if I could get it to work, I had a chance to take all their weapons giving the civilians a chance to escape. I took a deep breath when the man stealing from everyone got to us, (Y/n) hastily tossed her belongings in, I threw my phone, but the guy saw the book bag slung over my shoulder.
"We said all of it, toss it in kid."
I couldn't help the scoff that left my mouth.
"They're books, see for yourself." I tossed the bag on the floor and the guy curiously rummaged though it,like, while he was distracted I tried my hardest to make myself fly, but there was nothing.
No tingle, no feeling of weightlessness, just nothing.
I felt sweat start to gather on my brow, the previously kneeling man in front of me barked out a laugh.
"Don't shit yourself kid- you can keep your stupid books."
A cold wave of fear rolled over me as he walked away, if my powers weren't working this entire situation just got a lot more dangerous.
The guy who looked to be calling the shots scratched his head in thought before realizing something with a snap of his fingers.
"Oh right, get one of those shit heads to open the safe in the back-" he gestured to the shaking tellers behind their desks with his gun.
" - and if they try to cause any trouble we start shooting hostages."
Whispers of fear rang through the crowd, the tellers all looked at each other in panic, but made no move to listen to his request.
He sighed, rubbing his face through the cliche ski mask, eyes scanning over the crowd before landing on the sweet woman from before, tearing her from her husbands grip, she winced when he pressed the weapon into her face, I cringed at the loud sound of it cocking.
"Now." He seethed through gritted teeth, like a bat out of hell one of the tellers sprinted out from the safety behind their desk and unlocked the door to the back room.
The leader, all the while still painfully holding onto the woman, casually whistled, slowly walking around the mass of shivering people, he chuckled at the terror he was causing.
Minutes passed with no other action, clearly bothering the masked psycho.
He grumbled before forcing the elderly woman to her knees, "If you don't hurry up your stores gonna get a new paint job!" He yelled towards the room where the teller and his man disappeared into.
The crowd gasped in horror, Modesto reached out for his wife only to be roughly kicked away by one of the other criminals. Gloria sobbed at the sight of her beloved in pain
It made me see red.
But I knew if I jumped on the roach like I wanted too, it would only make things worse.
Never in my life had I felt more useless, Especially when (y/n) started to talk drawing his attention to her.
The light had been frantically shifting this entire time, one second it was around the leaders gun the next it was around his throat, it bounced around from person to person, object to object, like it was looking for the best possible way out if the situation, like it was running every possible scenario.
I groaned in frustration, the ping pong actions of the light were beginning to give me a headache, I shifted on my knees trying to look around the room and locate every one of the bastards, I can't remember when they made us get down on the floor but from the soreness in my knees, it felt like time was passing by in slow motion.
It was only when the leader grabbed a random hostage tearing her from her husband- no it wasn't some random person it was Gloria, the kind woman who sure as hell didn't deserve what was happening to her.
"Hey asshole." I didn't recognize my own voice, there was a confident in the words I spoke that sure as fuck didn't belong in the situation I was smack dab in the middle of.
He turned away from the crying civilians, tossing Gloria off to one of the other men, before stomping over, he leaned down close enough for me to see the green of his eyes.
"You called darling'." I ignored the dark rasp of his voice and the chills it sent up my spine, and put on a brave face.
"You're about to make off with a shit ton of cash right?"
"That I am doll face." I could hear his grin in his voice, I cringed at him before continuing.
"Well if you know you're gonna get away with it just leave, if you kill her, or anyone else for that matter, your chances of escape go down by 90%."
He leaned back, the fake shock in his eyes was obvious.
"Oh and how would you know that sweetheart?" He laughed out, a ring of chuckles followed from his men.
"Because I'm not an idiot. If the cops aren't on their way already they sure as shit will be if any more gun shots ring out- you also have to account for the fact that the place you're robbing is in the middle of downtown Gotham and people are bound to notice the bank getting held up by some hacks in dollar store ski masks." He looked down at me with a sneer, his laughter ceasing instantaneously. He looked to his men, all equally dumbfounded before motioning for them to return Gloria to the floor.
I sighed in relief before I was yanked up harshly by my arm.
The man said nothing as he dragged me away, my eyes briefly met Jon's wide ones.
The man tugging me by my arm spun me around to face him, he raised his gun to my head, pressing the cold barrel into my skin.
"Let this be a lesson- being a smart ass can get you killed."
The light worked faster than my brain could register, I listened to my instincts and squeezed my eyes tight, Feeling that all too familiar heat building in my body again.
This time though, it was instant.
Even with my eyes tightly clamped together, I could see the bright, unforgiving light that suddenly flashed from- well somewhere on my body.
My brain was working much faster than usual, the screams of the confused hostages and even the armed assailants, fell behind like background noise, I opened my eyes to see them all stumbling around, blinking in confusion, the man who was about to intoduce my face to a bullet now laid on the floor, he screamed the loudest.
"My eyes- I can't see! Fucking bitch what did you do?!"
I took the chance to kick his gun from the spot it landed, but before I could move my foot it shot in the opposite direction of him without me ever actually making contact, the blur of light that trailed behind the object gave me a pretty good idea of what happened.
I acted quickly, while the light felt like cooperating with me, I focused on the rest of the guns, yanking them behind me, the light enveloped two of the goons heads before bringing them together with a resounding crack. One of the men stumbled in my direction, it scared me shitless, but no sooner had the fear registered in my head did he go flying into the remaining man, knocking them both out the window the haze faded away, I could hear the confused groans of the people behind me as their sight slowly returned, I breathed a sigh of relief, turning to see Jon, staring directly at me, a look of shock on his usually grinning face. For one reason or another he could see me.
"D-Did you see that?"
He said nothing, mouth still agape, but he nodded nonetheless.
"All of it?" I asked wincing at the obvious answer.
He nodded again, clearing his throat before hesitantly rising.
"No it- don't worry it's okay."
I shakily exhaled, the adrenaline of whatever it is that just happened making me buzz.
I felt my breath get shallow, the reality of it all was quickly leading me down the path of a panic attack.
"I- I don't know what's happening that's never- that doesn't..." I struggled to voice all the crazy shit running through my head, Jon took a few steps towards me, gently placing his hands on my shoulders,
"Hey- look we're all okay, everything's okay you just need to breathe." I nodded taking choppy breaths.
Jon met my eyes, a kind smile on his face, he opened his mouth to say something but the calm atmosphere was very short lived.
"What the fuck happened here?" The man who took the teller in the back had returned, he looked at his fallen comrades trying to piece together what had happened before his eyes found the only people standing,
He shot his gun with a sneer I tried to shove Jon from the direction of the bullet but I was surprisingly too slow, he faced the gun man, the bullet bouncing off him like it was made of rubber, I was just as shocked as the man he was marching toward, with a swift punch to the chest, the guy hit the wall in pack of him leaving a rather noticable dent.
I almost felt bad.
Jon turned to me, huffing, the strange look of anger on his face melted away leaving shock, fear, and something else I couldn't register.
I opened my mouth, but all the questions in my mind refused to make their way out.
I turned away without a word, and walked out the remains of the front door, I heard his loud footsteps crunch against the glass as he ran after my fastly pacing form.
"Nope." I replied in a shaky voice, not daring looking back.
"Listen to me we need to go back- just wait a second!" He grabbed my arm, halting me in my tracks, the recoil was so hard I hit his chest.
"I'm not going back there."
He stared at me, eyebrows furrowed in concern.
"We have too, we need to give our statements to the police-"
I ripped my way from his grip.
"I am not talking to the damn cops." He stared at me in disbelief,
"We have too! It's what's right."
It was my turn to stare at him like he was crazy.
"If I tell them what happened they'll lock me up in some science lab for the rest of my life- in case you missed it GCPD hate anything to do with superheros, no way- it's not happening." He ran a tired hand through his hair, staring at me with pleading eyes.
"I wouldn't let that happen to you." I scoffed shoving my hands in my pockets,
"There's some things even you can't do Kent, and in case you missed it, they'll drag your bulletproof ass in too-" I rolled my eyes turning away.
"-Stay and talk if you want, but I wasn't here." I continued on my path trying not to jump at the sirens sounding behind me.
I made it home, my mom greeted me with a smile before running to me at the sight of my puffy face, as soon as I got to my floor I let the tears fall unapologetically, the stress of it all weighed heavy on my shoulders as I trudged in the door.
She let me cry into her chest for a while, before I calmed down enough t explain what happened.
"I just- I got so scared I totally freaked. I'm sorry about the errands." I laughed lightly, sniffling at the end.
She chuckled warmly, wiping at my eyes, her gaze was sad, loving but sad.
"Baby I couldn't give more of a damn about the groceries- you're the one I'm concerned about, are you okay?"
I shrugged, rubbing at my puffed up eyes.
"I don't know....I've never- that's the strongest my powers have been, it was like I was on autopilot- what if I hurt the wrong people?" I quickly began to choke up again.
She shushed me, grabbing my hands in her warm ones.
"You don't have a mean cell in your body baby, you couldn't hurt innocent people if you had too."
I said nothing, leaning into her, I wrapped my arms around her midsection, taking comfort in how little I felt.
Her hand found my hair, softly petting my head as she told me hilarious stories of my older siblings and their problems growing up.
"Everyone goes through their own struggles in life, some people let these challenges beat them down, consume them. Those are the people who try to face them alone, the people who fail. What a lot of the world fails to see is the beauty of life, we're faced with hardships yes but the blessing is we don't have to be alone though it all."
I raised my body into a sitting position, wiping my face on the sleeves on my sweater.
"What are you saying?"
She sighed, eyeing me thoughtfully before tucking a loose curl behind her ear.
"I'm saying, you should take those nice people up on their offer."
I stared at her confused before it hit me like a train.
"Wait how did you-"
"You should know by now nothing slips past me, Especially when my baby's involved." I looked at her, then down at my hands, the buzzing feeling from earlier had died down tremendously, but it never fully disappeared, something happened today, it changed something inside me.
That much I could feel.
I sighed nodding at the older woman, she leaned over to give my forehead a sloppy kiss, making me smile uncontrollably.
"I trust you to make the right decision, for you."
And with that she left my room. I sat there for a minute taking the time to unwind, I flopped backwards on my bed, my eyes trailing the window before glancing at the night sky, as I played with them hem of my sweater, the thought occurred to me, the first blue sky Gotham had seen in ages and I missed it.
I smiled slightly, I preferred the gray anyway.
Sooner than I thought I found myself on my roof, a plethora of snacks, the thickest blanket I owned and the damned little card that had kept me up at night thinking more times than I was comfortable admitting.
I dragged myself to the loveseat, the fabric was cold to the touch as I carelessly plopped my body down, I made myself a nest in my blanket and popped a few Skittles in my mouth, I glanced up towards the surprisingly clear sky, usually you'd be lucky to get a glimpse of the stars but tonight they were on full display. I let the mostly silent universe calm my mind down enough to pick up my phone when it hit me that I no longer had a phone, I forgot to grab it before I stormed off from the bank.
I tossed the candy wrapper on the table next to the chair, a new wave of distress washing over me.
"Well shit." I chewed at my thumb, if the cops found my phone they'd be able to trace me to the scene- assuming Jon didn't tell them I was there.
I groaned wrapping myself further in my makeshift cocoon. A light knock from the other side of the roof brought me from my troubled thoughts.
I ignored it, thinking it was just my imagination when I heard it again.
I rose quietly, taking my blanket with me, I crossed the distance more curious than anything. I looked around waiting for the noise again.
"Hey." A familiar voice called out making me jump back in surprise.
"Jon??" I whipped my head around looking for the source of the voice.
"Wait you can turn invisible too??"
He suddenly floated up from the edge of the wall, I stared mouth agape as he landed, slightly ungraceful.
"Unfortunately no, but I can fly! Well sometimes anyway." I nodded, finally managing to close my mouth.
"Not that this isn't a really rad uh- surprise? But what are you doing here?"
He kicked the pebbles around his feet, shuffling around like a lost puppy.
"Well I know you're probably mad at me but I wanted to return this as soon as possible." He pulled my phone out of his pocket, hands slightly shaking.
"S-Sorry it got cracked a little in the bag."
"No problem- thanks, really." We stood there in a silence, not totally uncomfortable but definitely uneasy.
But of course, in true 90's sitcom fashion we both spoke out at the same time.
"So about earlier-"
"We should talk-"
We laughed, he motioned for me to continue so I did with a deep breath.
"I wanted to say sorry- for how I reacted. I know it was really immature and I guess I didn't really give you the explanation you deserved." His eyebrows shot up, he instantly came closer.
"Oh my god no-I came here to apologise! I shouldn't have pushed you to do something you were clearly uncomfortable with." I sighed tightening the blanket around me.
"Well for the sake of not arguing let's agree to disagree." He nodded, his trademark smile finally back on his face where it belonged.
I could tell there was a lot more to say, so I motioned for him to follow me to my seat. I sat down, squishing myself against one side of the chair and patted the space next to me.
He shrugged, plopping down with a grin.
I offered him some of my blanket but he declined.
"I don't really get cold, thank you though."
We stared up, letting things settle down before either of us dared to break the comfortable silence.
"I didn't tell them." He started not looking away from the stars.
"The police, I told them some random hero burst in and out before I could register."
I turned away from the candy I'd been guzzling down, the shock evident on my face.
"Jon you didn't have to lie for me."
He shrugged finally looking down.
"What are friends for if not to lie for you?" I laughed lightly at his call back before leaning back into the chair.
"Couldn't have said it better myself."
We sat there for what felt like hours before I remembered my reason for coming up here in the first place.
I took the card out of my pocket catching Jon's attention.
"Oh yeah I totally forgot to tell you- a while ago Robin came up here and hassled me to tell him about my powers." Jon seemingly choked on the soda he was in the middle of drinking. I stared at him slightly concerned before he waved me off, gesturing me to continue.
"Well anyway, before he could impale me with his stupid little knife things in swoops this gorgeous spandex clad man in blue and black- ever heard of Nightwing?" Jon nodded, shakily looking back and forth between the soda can and my face. I ignored his weird behavior with a shrug.
"Anywho, he gave me this and told me to call him when I was ready."
"Well are you?"
I looked at the dingy card, then at my wide eyes friend.
I put in the numbers before I could talk myself away from it.
"Guess we'll find out."
I know I know, it seems like it's more of a Jon/reader than a Damian/reader but not to fret dear (y/n), mama has a plan ;))))))
Chapter 5: Chapter 4
Nerves are high on this winter day!
Here's the next chapter hope you guys enjoy! Any feedback or questions are welcomed and encouraged, with love,
I walked into the small coffee shop, shaking the snow from my beanie as I trudged towards the very back, my long winter jacket fluttered from the speed I was walking, I silently thanked the Lord they had the heater blasting in here.
I peeled off the coat, tossing it in the empty booth in the back I'd been instructed to snag.
I tried my best not to let my nerves show, although to be fair I was meeting a complete stranger all by my lonesome, unfortunately Jon got an urgent call and had to bail, he seemed pretty hesitant to leave but after some reassurance that I'd be okay he dipped.
Seconds felt like hours as I waited for the guy to show, my fingers drummed down on the worn down surface to the beat of the Christmas song softly drifting throughout the shop. The cheery atmosphere did nothing to quell the anxiety in my stomach, if the smell of cinnamon in the air and overall warmth the cafe provided couldn't help, then yeah I was definitely nervous.
I tugged off my knit beanie, and attempted to smooth out the serious case of hat hair I had going on, thankfully, I braided my hair earlier so the loose curls sticking out looked on purpose, my fingers, now bored with the drumming, toyed with the ends of braid as a means of distraction.
I felt my eye wander from the homely decorations hung up and around the walls, to watching the world go by through the window.
I took in the sight, the snow had finally started to come down in Gotham so people were bundled up almost comically, and despite it being below 40° outside, they went about their lives as usual, whenever new folks paid our city a visit, they were always perplexed at Gothamites abilities to ignore the freezing temperatures.
I have to admit as sweet as the snow falling was to watch, hands down my favorite thing about this time of year was the city's tradition to string up what looked to be a million Christmas lights above and through downtown, making the usual dim, dark, nights much brighter.
I was so in my thoughts I jumped at the sudden body very casually-and very loudly I might add- sliding into the booth across from me, I ended up slamming my knees into the table so hard the salt and pepper shakers knocked over.
I whispered a curse under my breath as I rubbed at my newly bruised knee, and before I could roast the unwanted stranger, my head snapped up to see a familiar grin.
"Yikes- that sounded like it hurt, you okay kid?"
"Besides needing new kneecaps? Yeah just peachy - thanks for asking strange grown man."
Said random man gave a warm laugh at my response, I took in his appearance, trying to gage if he was a threat or not, I could tell even sitting down the guy had a few good inches on me, he was wrapped in a brown bomber jacket, underneath was a crisp white shirt just asking to be stained by the grease that came with living here. He simply smiled while I analysed him, familiarity pinged in my head once I laid eyes on him grin.
I scanned over his facial features, trying my damnedest to figure out where the hell I knew him from, his eyes were almost the same shade of electrifying blue as Jon's, his hair fell in tufts of black waves, the few scattered snowflakes atop the waves made the black stand out even more.
All I got from my mini evaluation was this guy was hot, but I wasn't about to lower my defenses because of it.
He broke the silence before I could, suddenly looking confused as he glanced around the building.
"Hey I thought you were gonna bring a friend? Or are they just hiding out in a vent waiting to ambush me if things go bad?" He joked, and just like that I remembered why I was even here.
"Holy shit you're Ni- you're here." He nodded, the goofy grin ever present.
My voice cracked mid sentence, I managed to stop myself from basically screaming 'Well butter my biscuits it's Nightwing! In the flesh!' and cleared my throat trying not to show the heat of embarrassment steadily creeping up my neck.
"He uh- had to cancel actually, but don't worry I have a plan in case you turn out to be a weirdo." He laughed again, not taking any offense to my sort of threat.
He leaned back against the booth, thumbing through the menu like we were just two buddies catching up over coffee.
"I wonder if they serve any food, I'm starvin' ." He waved over the waitress grabbing himself a coffee, "Want something?" I responded still staring at the man confusion plastered across my face.
After a few moments of silence he spoke, clearly amused.
"You okay over there?"
"What no, wait I mean yeah why- why wouldn't I be." I internally cringed at my answer, he gave me a look which said he didn't but it, but the conversation dropped there.
He filled the time spent waiting for our orders with casual stories about his day job as a police officer and how crazy it could be.
"Moral of the story, don't try to drive after your eyes have been dilated." I nodded, still, if not more nervous than I was earlier, a part of me felt like I should have been taking notes, he sighed into his palm, a smaller smile on his lips.
"What is it? Do I have something on my face?" He picked up the dingy napkin dispenser, attempting to look at himself in the just barely reflective surface.
I couldn't help the snort from escaping my mouth.
"Nah I'm just trying to wrap my head around," I gestured to him with my hand. "- all this." He put down the dispenser with a smile.
"It's pretty weird huh?"
"Just a little." I laughed out pinching my fingers together.
"I mean you're so - normal." Just then the waitress brought us our orders,
He laughed into the coffee mug, taking a long sip before responding.
"Well what did you think we did all day, work on our outfits and plan witty comebacks?"
I paused before nodding.
He sighed, rubbing his temple, "I can't speak for everyone but I happen to be a very normal guy- mostly."
"Well 'normal guy' I gotta get your name cuz I'm running out of things to call you ."
He stuck out his hand,
"Richard Grayson at your service, but my friends call me Dick."
I took his outstretched palm with a firm shake.
"Those don't sound like very good friends, and I'm (Y/n) (L/n)."
After half my drink was gone and the atmosphere was much lighter than earlier, a question popped up in my mind.
"Let me ask you a question Dick."
"Why'd you come here- you know, out of your whole 'sparkly' get up." He squinted at me, wiping his face before pointing a finger at my face.
"First of all it is not 'sparkly', and let me tell you I know sparkly, one version of the costume had a very, very deep v-neck, I'm talking uncomfortable to look at deep, trust me this is an upgrade."
I laughed, nearly chocking on my drink as I pictured him in the world's deepest v-neck, I wiped at my mouth with the back of my sleeve, the nerves finally leaving once I realized he was really just a normal dude.
Well a normal dude who kicks ass in tights at night but that's besides the point.
"Okay well that still doesn't tell me why you showed up all not-clad-in-skin-tight-kevlar. Aren't secret identities kind a big deal for y'all spandex junkies?"
"Well yeah, but like I said before, you're a good kid, so I'm not all that worried."
He leaned forward, a hopeful smile on his face.
"Besides, there's gotta be trust between the people you work with- if you'd like to join us spandex junkies that is." I smiled at the man, a new wave of warmth spread through me as he spoke, I mentally paused, searching for any kind of hesitancy from my gut but all I got was a 50/50 ratio of nerves and excitement.
"I'm listening, although I can't promise I'll squeeze myself into anything uncomfortable, even if it looks good."
"Duly noted." He laughed.
We spent the next hour shooting questions back and forth, most of his were unsurprisingly about what I could and could not do.
Mine were mostly about the tights.
By now the sun had set but there were still plenty of people walking about, apparently the threat of crime wasn't about to deter their Christmas shopping.
"So what made you change your mind? About calling me that is?" He asked pulling me from my thoughts.
I pulled on the sleeves of my shirt out of habit.
"Something happened at the bank the other day-"
"Wait, that mysterious hero was you?"
"Yes and no," I gave a dry laugh
"-anyway something..uh new happened with my powers and I figured if anyone could help me it be a dude who spends all his time around other people like me, can't exactly learn about this in chemistry class ya know?"
He nodded with a warm smile, before his face shifted into something more of determination,
"Look, I'll be honest here, personally I can't relate to the whole 'ooky spooky abilities' deal but I know a few people who do, and we'd all be willing to help." I gave him a soft smile, a warm feeling of appreciation swelled in my chest.
"Thank you- I mean it really, I have no idea where it comes from- or what the full extent of it is." I huffed leaning back into the seat.
"It sure be nice not to worry about it any more."
"Again, like I said, it's kind of our job to help and protect. So it's not a problem kiddo."
This felt like a moment from those sappy films where the older sibling figure ruffles the younger ones hair affectionately, but it wasn't.
Because if he tried it, I'd stab his hand with my fork out of reflex.
"So what's the plan here, am I gonna meet up with you in your secret lair and practice?" He chuckled out a no before continuing.
"Not exactly, I'll have to finalize things with the big guy and when everything's ready we'll come to you."
He looked at me questioningly, a small smirk curling on his lips, waiting for me to come to my own conclusion.
"Oh shit you mean Batman oh. OH."
He shushed me with a laugh looking around at the other patrons before turning back to me.
"Don't worry he's not at scary as everyone thinks."
"Are you shitting me? Hell no." I shook my head with an uneasy laugh.
"He's on the Babadooks level- He's on that Freddy .vs. Jason level of scary." He barked out a laugh before pulling out the money to cover our bills.
"Trust me kid, you'll do fine."
"What if he doesn't like me? What if I don't make the cut and he throws me out a six story window?"
"That's oddly specific and-" he looked around for the sake of dramatics and whispered.
"You didn't hear this from me, but if it'll make you feel better, you won't be dealing with him much."
"Wait- who will I be dealing with then?" He winced out a small laugh, rubbing the back of his neck.
"See now I really can't tell you that."
I pouted at the older man,
"Dude! You said it yourself, there should be trust between people working together, don't contradict yourself Richard." I spoke with grin.
"Damnit you got me there." He snapped his fingers together before leaning in "Okay but I'm only telling you because I think you deserve a warning." My brows shot up in concern at that.
"Why would I need a warning exactly?"
"Well, you remember that kid I had to stop from turning you to mincemeat?"
"Yeah sure, I remember the goblin." He said nothing else, calmly sipping his mug, eyes cast away from me, making me realize exactly who he meant.
I easily dodged Jon's incoming fist, his stance was wrong and his punches were sloppy, he was distracted by something.
I used this to land a firm kick to the back of his exposed knee, bringing him down with a wince worthy thud.
My heel pressed into the center of his back as I leaned down to the struggling teenager, the pressure increased on his back the lower I went. After realizing he wasn't getting up any time soon he tapped on the mat twice, signaling his defeat.
"You're terrible at this you know."
I offered him a hand after he managed to roll onto his back, he scoffed at me but took my offer, pulling himself into a standing position.
"Well yeah, thats the whole point of you training me." He rolled his shoulders before setting his feet in the proper position.
He motioned at me to come at him, I simply walked towards the nearest bench and took a seat.
"Aw come on Damian! You told me to come home and train but you won't even-"
"You are distracted, in a real fight that would kill you." I spoke before taking a short sip from my water bottle.
"Sort yourself out Jonathan."
I watched the boy from the corner of my eye, his face was furrowed in frustration, I could tell he was losing his cool, it brought a smirk to my face.
"I'm not distracted-"
"You and I both know I'm not wrong, so talk, spew your problems like some prepubescent child, if it'll get your mind in the game."
He sighed plopping down to sit on the slightly worn down mat, "I'm just a little worried about (y/n)-"
"Why is there an update?" I spoke up interrupting him.
He shook his head no.
"Besides what happened at the bank? Nothing, I would have told you." He spoke that last line with a hint of bitterness, when I first told him to get intel on the girl, he was completely against the idea.
My mind flashed to that first initial morning where they walked off together, a plan had came to my head to get the information I needed without doing much of anything.
As the week progressed, I'd ask the Kryptonian if anything interesting happened with her, hoping she'd share with the boy, but unfortunately for me, he began to catch on.
"Damian, can I ask you something?"
"You just did but fine, go ahead."
We sat at our usual lunch table, the everyday chaos of high school chatter blended our conversation into the background.
"Why are you so curious about (y/n)?"
I looked up from my book to meet his suspicious gaze.
"Is it wrong to be curious, Kent?" His leaned into his hand, the puzzlement in his eyes never faltering.
"No there's nothing wrong with that! its just, you don't really take interest in, well anything." I stared at him unimpressed.
"No offense! I meant normal teenage stuff, like I only ever see you talk to a few people here, and whenever we talk it's about her." I won't lie, his intellect surprised me, but I didn't let it show.
"She's seems like a nice person is all." I watched as his suspicion fell and the smile on his face grow into something mischievous.
"So would you say she'd make a good friend?"
My face scrunched in confusion.
"What?- sure yes if it'll shut you up."
And with that he suddenly rose before making his way across the cafeteria, to my dismay he came back with the girl in question.
(Y/n) looked between us, clearly just as confused as I was.
"Are you gonna tell me what was so urgent or keep me standing here like boo boo the fool?"
"Damian wanted to know if you would sit with us for lunch!"
Our eyes met, her's skeptical, mines more surprised than angry that the little shit had it in him to do this.
I realized she was waiting for my confirmation, obviously not buying what Jon said.
"If you want." I spoke after clearing my throat.
An uneasy smile made it's way on her face before she sat down across from me, Jon took the seat next to her.
"Uh thanks? I mean this is uhm, nice of you and all but why?"
Jon spoke for me.
"Well we were just talking about how Damian here doesn't have many friends-"
I kicked his shin hard under the table, but it only hurt my foot, I held back a wince and the urge to rub my now pulsing appendage.
'Boy of steel, right, I forgot.'
Jon looked to me with a smirk before continuing.
"-and I was telling him all about how you're so nice and cool and yeah, here we are." She looked at me with a smirk stretched across her full lips, a perfectly arched brow rose in question, "That's surprising, who wouldn't wanna be friends with someone as charming and kindhearted as pretty boy over here?" The sarcasm was practically dripping from her voice.
Jon, either too oblivious to notice or too excited to care, ignored this.
"Great to hear! Well how was everyone's day?"
Neither of us answered too busy in a stare off, I tried to analyze her, and she stared right back, refusing to step down from this unspoken glare contest.
Jon interrupted us with a cough.
"Well my day was great thanks for asking." She turned away to look at the taller boy, her expression much more friendly than the look she gave me.
"Sorry, his whole 'children of the corn' thing going on is pretty distracting." she pointed her thumb back motioning to me, "-what'd you do today anyway?"
He went on to list all the miniscule things he achieved before lunch. I half listened to their conversation, mostly focused on the novel I had, occasionally chiming in whenever I felt it necessary.
Just like that the lunch period was over, and it was time to head back to reality.
(Y/n) looked to me before she left, a half smile on her face, I was surprised it was directed at me and not the younger boy by my side.
"You're not so bad Wayne, when you aren't talking that is."
I smirked at the girl, slapping my novel shut with one hand.
"I'll admit, the brief moments your mouth was shut were rather nice." She laughed off my insult with a wave of her hand, before returning to her group to finish their day.
When the school day crawled to an end, and I was driving Jon and myself back to the manor, it occurred to me the boy in my passenger seat wasn't one to be easily fooled, it also occurred he may already know of her abilities and is acting stupid to throw off my questioning.
I decided to sidestep all the bullshit of my original plan and straight out ask him.
"Let's not beat around the bush Jonathan, has (y/n) told you anything strange about herself?"
He snapped his head up, away from his phone to stare at me.
I rolled my eyes at his act.
"You know? Her powers, what has she told you of them?"
"She has powers?" He practically screamed, I resisted the urge to slam the car into the traffic surrounding me and took a deep breath.
"I'd appreciate it if you refrained from screaming like a banshee in my car." I spoke with a roll of my eyes, god the more time I spent with this kid the more I saw the inside of my head.
"You can drop the act, I know of her powers already."
"I didn't!" He yelled, deflating in his seat.
"You're kidding me right?" He didn't answer.
"I'll take that as a no then, TT."
He groaned tossing his hands up in the air, clearly distraught.
The rest of the car ride was silent, him no doubt letting the information sink in.
It wasn't until days later did we speak again, after he returned home rather late, looking like he'd been kicked down a flight of stairs.
I sipped at the tea steaming in my cup as he sat down at the table, rubbing at his neck, exhaustion clear in his body language.
"What's up with you?"
His tired eyes lifted to meet mine. He hesitated before speaking, having some sort of internal debate on whether or not to tell me.
"Something happened today, something with (y/n)."
He gave me a very rough explanation, not wanting to delve into the details too much, before trying to head up to bed, I grabbed his arm stopping him in his tracks.
"You saw what happened today, it could get worse if she doesn't get help, but she won't listen to me, so you have to do it."
"What- me? I don't even know what you're saying." I resisted the urge to roll my eyes at the kid before speaking again.
"You're her friend, it should be easy to get some information about the extent of her abilities and bring it back to me."
He scoffed at me, "I wouldn't deceive her like that- I wouldn't deceive anyone like that!"
"You wouldn't be deceiving anyone, you'd simply be using your friendship to gain information for the greater good." I responded with a shrug.
"It would feel wrong, I don't wanna use her."
"No one said you'd use her, you can still keep up that happy go lucky friendship shit once you tell me what I need."
"That's not how friendships work." He chewed on his thumbnail, deep in thought.
I continued, placing a hand on his shoulder.
"As a hero, it's your responsibility to protect the public from any threats, or any potential threats." I used my Robin voice, the tone I used to talk to civilians, commanding but nonthreatening, trying to get it through his thick head.
"She's not a threat." He looked conflicted as he spoke.
"Any unregistered meta is a threat, hell me and you both are threats. Power in the wrong hands is never a good thing."
"Well it's not in the wrong hands, she saved those people today!-"
"Prove it to me, show me she's not a threat and I'll drop it." We stared at one another in silence before he nodded, a fire in his eyes.
I was brought back to the present when he moved to stand, stretching out his body.
"I think I'm good now, you ready for round two?"
I placed the water bottle down before rising, I walked until I was an arms reach away from him, "Let's see if Kryptonian's are all their hyped up to be."
After a good two hours of sparring (aka me tossing him on his ass in many different ways) and getting an idea of what he could do and handle, we called it a day.
We made our way up from the cave, into the empty kitchen, he grabbed two water bottles from the fridge, tossing one to me before sitting down at the table.
I nodded as thanks and pressed the cold bottle against my warm skin, sure the kid couldn't fight for shit but he was resilient as hell. I leaned against the counter, the cold of the marble bringing some relief to my overheated body.
"What had you so worked up earlier anyway?"
I asked breaking the silence that had fallen over us as we tried to catch our breaths.
He finished patting his face with a towel before speaking.
"Oh it's nothing serious, I was supposed to go with her to meet someone but she texted me everything's going smoothly."
"Why would she need you there?"
Thankfully he learned early on not to take my bluntness to heart, so he replied with a smile.
"I mean who wants to meet some hardcore vigilante all by themselves?"
My head snapped up so fast it startled the younger boy.
"She's doing what?"
He grimaced at me, a nervous smile on his lips.
"Meeting up with a vigilante to discuss her powers?" He spoke as more of a question than an actual answer.
I felt the urge to slam my hand to my forehead, or alternatively his head into the cabinet.
"It just occurred to you to share this with me now?"
My voice was rising, I couldn't believe the amount of stupidity bottled up into one human.
"Hey in my defense I thought you knew! I mean it is Nightwing, you guys are cool right? You have nothing to worry about!." His eyes shifted from me to the doorway, as he inched towards it, his voice had gone up a few good octaves in fear. He held up his hands like he expected me to throw something his way, a good chunk of me thought that wouldn't be a bad idea.
I paused, racking my brain for answers to all the questions I had, why would Dick go see her? Why didn't I know about it? Why was I not strangling Jon right now? So many questions with no answers.
I looked up to ask him for any other withheld information only to see his body quickly disappearing down the hallway.
"I'm sorry I'm running but you're way too freaky to be around when you're mad!" He yelled over his shoulder, it echoed throughout the hallway.
I had now two options, call Dick, demand an explanation and hope he'll give it to me, or take my anger out on my housemate and then call dick.
Option two sounded much more fun, and besides, a quick throw off the balcony would test his flight skills.
Chapter 6: 5
Tea is spilled
Good Lord this took forever to come out and for that I'm sorry but we finally get to meet the rest of the team!!! Feedback and comments make my day, anyway thank you for your patience, I hope you guys enjoy!!
It was one of those mornings where you wake up a minute before your alarm goes off and sleep is pulled from you forever.
Okay I'm being dramatic but who can blame me, it's so early the sky was still dark, not even the birds were up yet. Thankfully, due to being a human punching bag the last few weeks the sharp pain shooting up my feet from the freezing floor did nothing more than wake me up. I felt like a zombie as I shuffled my way towards the expansive kitchen of the base, I could still easily get lost in the place, thankfully I knew exactly where the essential spots were, like the kitchen, the training room for our daily sessions, the little rooms I could hide in to avoid said sessions, all in all I had a system.
I sat on the countertop staring blankly at the fridge, my brain still in the process of waking itself up. I took the rare moment of silence to break down all that had lead me to this moment.
I remember telling Jon, at his request, everything that went down with Nightwing in detail. He went to my house that day, after school we decided it was high time to come clean with each other about our powers.
The sun had made another rare appearance but did nothing about the bitter winter air nipping at any exposed skin, we walked fast, I wanted to get out of our uncomfortable uniforms and into my Superman PJs my mother gifted me ironically after I told her about my childish crush, if you say Superman isn't even the least bit attractive you're straight lying to yourself.
When we finally got in I wasn't surprised to see my the apartment was empty, minus cheezers our pesky cat who sprawled himself out on Jon's lap as soon as he sat down.
"Want anything to drink?" I yelled over my shoulder from the kitchen, I rummaged through our refrigerator waiting for his response. "No thank you!" He chimed in from my couch, his voice was always light, I’d noticed, it carried through the air like a breeze.
I came back in the room with a can of coke for myself tucked under my arm and two half eaten bags of chips squished in my hands, I plopped in the recliner adjacent to him, not before ungracefully tossing the junk food in his lap of course, and sat back with a sigh.
He stared at me with those ridiculously pretty eyes, a nervous expression on his face as he waited for me to speak, his fingers were running through cheezers fur absentmindedly. "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to?" I offered after taking in his expression.
"No no!- I want to tell you I do, I'm just not sure how you'll take it." I shook my head at the taller boy, popping a chip in my mouth. "You don't gotta trip chocolate chip- I don't think there’s anything you could say that would change how I see you, powers or not your still my Ramen buddy." I finished with a wink. His nervous smile broke into a real one. He cleared his throat, opened his mouth, then closed it.
He did this a few more times before I stopped him.
"How bout' I go first?" He nodded releasing a breath.
"Well, it started when I was younger, I can't pinpoint exactly where I got them, I just realized after a while the string of luck I had wasn't just luck, it was something else entirely, something watching my back at every turn."
He nodded along, an unusually serious expression gracing his soft features."For awhile it was just that, a helping hand that lead me out of sticky situations," I shook my head taking a long drink of my soda. "Up until that night on the roof that is." He nodded once more, his fingers rhythmically tapping along his knee.
"What do you think triggered it?" He asked sounding more stern than I'd ever heard, I eyed him before shrugging off his strange behavior. "I'm not sure really, I think its because I was scared, I mean any other time the light has come out hasn't been in a situation where I felt that unsafe." I laughed thinking of the boy wonders face as he flew across the roof. "And then at the bank well, you were there." He leaned back against my couch, cheezers lifted his head to stare at the boy in displeasure before laying back down.
"You're mom isn't a meta?"
"Not that I know of- as long as we're not counting her inexplicable ability to know when you're lying, although that may just be a 'her' thing." He shot me a smile, but a second later his face returned to it's neutral state, his head turned slightly as if he heard something he didn't like. "So it must come from your father- I think." He offered, I gave him a half smile, my nails tapping against the smooth metal of the now nearly empty can.
"I wouldn't know." His baby blues widened. "(Y/n) I'm Sorry-I didn't know.."
"Oh it's okay! He peaced out before I could really know him, so I got lucky." His face remained uncomfortable, as if he was guilty for asking, so I reassured him. "Really I've made my peace with it, after all, can't really miss someone who was never there." Jon nodded before abruptly standing.
"I uh, I need to go to the restroom!" He said, I cocked a brow at my friend's outburst before motioning in the direction of the bathroom, I chocked it up to him simply being nervous about telling me, I walked over to the recently disturbed cat and placed him in my lap. His big brown eyes stared back at me as I scratched behind his ears. "Is it me or is that farm boy acting all kinds of weird?" The animal simply blinked before resting his little head on my arm. "Yeah, that's what I thought you'd say."
I practically ran to the bathroom, turning on the water to try and hide all the noise I could. I quickly yanked out the expensive and inconspicuous flag ‘pin’ Damain had given me, I brought the tiny microphone to my mouth knowing he could hear me. "Was that good enough?" I couldn't hide my irritation with the young Wayne, he had me spying on my best friend, her personal story she trusted me enough to share was just information for the kid to put in his computer, it made my chest sink, I felt like garbage.
"Yes, although I wouldn't be surprised if she caught on, your acting skills are awful." I could hear the smirk in his voice, the earpiece he'd given me to hear the questions he wanted to ask felt even more uncomfortable than before. "Excuse me if I'm not good at lying!"
"You aren't lying to anyone, I simply was apart of the conversation, besides, you're one step closer to being ready for the team."
I felt stared at my reflection conflicted.
I knew what I did wasn't necessarily lying but it still felt wrong, like I'd used her trust for something bad. On the other hand this opportunity- this team they were building, it was my chance to finally step outside the huge S shaped shadow my father cast- I could become a hero all of my own.
Yes, I was conflicted, and Damian's smug voice in my ear wasn't helping anything.
"-kent? Are you even listening to me?" He spoke, voice rising in impatience. "Honestly no, now do you have what you need?" There was a moment of silence on Damian's end, the sound of tapping on a keyboard could faintly be heard before he finally responded.
"Good." I yanked the earpiece out of my head and crushed it, along with the microphone, between my fingers. I have no doubt in my mind I'd just destroyed a thousand dollars worth of equipment but that was the least of my worries, the guilt was still there, but it seemed to wash down the drain with the remains of the machine.
With a deep breath I made my way back out in the living room, (Y/n) sat there, doing absolutely nothing but still looking like someone from a movie, her head snapped up as she noticed my presence.
"You okay there Jonny boy?" I smiled at her nickname, taking my previous spot on the couch now much more relaxed. "Yep! Just needed a moment but now I'm ready." Her pretty brown eyes stared at me unsure. "You don't have to tell me if you're uncomfortable, I understand-"
"No! I'm okay really! I promise." Finally that smile returned to her face as she nodded, gesturing me to continue when I was ready."I'm Kryptonian! Well half Kryptonian anyway!"
I stared at the bright grin etched into his face, an uneasy smile on mine as his words bounced around my skull.
Because if he was Kryptonian that meant-
"Your dad is- you oh, oh okay that's um oh man am I allowed to know this? Is this legal? Oh, oh man, oh jeez." He suddenly rose from his seat and made his way over to me, a wide smile on his face. "Relax, (y/n), trust me okay? Everything's alright." I laughed rubbing my temples in the process. "Okay okay, so um, wow this is-" the blood drained from my face as I realized our previous conversations- the late night, sugar high induced conversations where I openly gushed over how fine Metropolis's space savior was.
"You let me sit there and talk about how hot your dad is?! To your face?! Jonathan Samuel Kent we are fighting- not really cuz’ you'd probably mop the floor with me but yes! Definitely fighting!"
We spent that afternoon talking about everything, good and bad.
He told me he was scared he'd never fill the shoes of his father, I told him I was afraid I'd never understand what I could do, it wasn't until later that evening when my mom came home from work did we realize how long we'd been talking, she offered him a ride home but he just smiled and politely declined.
I was brought back to reality by the helpful AI program we knew as Athena spoke to me, her automated voice calmly called out from one of the many speakers littered around the base. "Miss (Y/n), the time is approximately 5:34 AM, would you like me to initiate your 'get ready playlist?" I looked around the empty room, still not used to having to talk to someone without a body. "Uh no thanks Athena, I don't wanna wake anyone else up." I spoke in a whisper afraid to disturb my teammates sleep. "Robin is currently in the gym, would you like me to alert him of your presence?"
"Oh absolutely not, no thanks A."
"Okay miss (Y/n), if you need anything don't hesitate to call me." I gave her a friendly wave off as I made my way towards my room, unsatisfied with what I found in the refrigerator.
It still felt pretty unfamiliar living somewhere without my mom, not waking up with her music blasting throughout the walls was a very foreign concept to me.
Few weeks back, when Nightwing first came to my house to lay out the ground rules of what exactly was gonna go down, my mother was less than thrilled.
"So you want my daughter to move into some secret location? Not only that, but live with a bunch of other teenagers with incredible abilities and just you to supervise them?" Dick shot her a smile bright enough to blind someone if they looked directly at it.
"Misses (L/n), I get why you'd be concerned I really do, but this is all for the benefit of these kids, besides she almost an adult." He paused at the glare my mother gave him. "-but, but, yes, I would be there to supervise the team, not just me though, other hero's will come in to help train them."
My mother was silent as she processed his words, she glanced at my face, taking in my hopeful expression before sighing.
"...If I say yes, I get to know where this facility is right? Just in case I need to go down there and whip some sense into somebody."
"Absolutely! And if it makes you feel better Jon's gonna be there with her." At this my mother visibly relaxed, I knew she trusted Jon so before this impromptu meeting I made sure to let Dick know about it, just in case she needed some extra convincing.
"Well, I guess I can't say no, especially with her giving me those damn puppy eyes."
This time I brought myself back to reality, when I came to just in time to realize my feet had taken me somewhere that wasn't my room, to the training gym. I paused wondering why on Earth I walked there only to be met with quite the sight.
Robin, beating a training dummy like it personally hurt him, I still had yet to find out his identity, no one had actually, so no it wasn't a surprise to see his iconic mask adorning his face.
He thought it was best if everyone remained anonymous, something about secret identities - but full disclosure at the time, I wasn't paying attention, I was too busy trying not to stare at the green kid a few feet away from me, i shit you not he was green, like head to toe green- that and I couldn't agree, mainly because I didn't even have a super persona yet, so when it was brought up I laughed and told the other members my name.
"If you were smart you'd keep some form of anonymity, at least until we can trust each other." Robin scolded, The other four people in the room stayed silent, and I couldn't help but scoff. "You expect us to trust you when you're gonna have that mask on 24/7?" His glare turned to me, I tried not to flinch. "If you want to expose yourself fine, but I refuse to be apart of it." And with that he walked off leaving the rest of us in an awkward silence.
"Well, he's just a bundle of joy now isn't he?" I said watching his retreating figure, Jesus the kid even walked like he was pissed off.
"Real life of the party." The tall boy to my right spoke, he left quite the impression too, being that he looked like a blue iron Man, ya know suit of badass armor kinda guy. He was introduced as the blue beetle. I looked at him with a smile, relieved the rest of the team wasn't as stuck up as the bird boy.
"I can't imagine you'd wanna wear that the entire time either."
This earned a laugh from beetle, and much to my surprise, instead of taking off a helmet it seemed to disappear, a light flash of blue with it as his face was reviled. "I'm Jaime Reyes, nice to meet you." I grabbed his hand with a wide smile. "(Y/n) (L/n), I'm sure you hear this all the time- but holy shit that's cool." He laughed again, this time the sound was clear, no longer blocked by, well whatever was on his face moments ago. It was nice, the kinda laugh that made you want to join in.
"If we're really saying fuck it to Grumpy's rules I'm Garfield Logan." The green boy spoke from behind me. I shot him a smile, he returned a smirk, his sharp canines peaking though the half smile. The only other girl in the room remained silent, weighing her options before she quietly spoke up."Rachel." Was all she spoke. I gave her my friendliest smile before walking over. "It's nice to meet you, I'm so glad there's another girl here." She met my eyes, a hesitant smile on her face as she agreed. "It is...nice, thanks for thinking so." Her voice was level as she spoke, I almost couldn't hear her over the two loud boys now chattering like they were best friends.
I turned away from the shy girl to look for my friend. Noticing his unsure stare I walked over to him, away from everyone else.
"Yo, you okay over there farm boy?" Jon looked up from the floor, his eyes uncharacteristically troubled. "I'm fine!- just a bit, I don't know nervous? All of you guys are so great I mean, I guess I'm just scared I won't be able to keep up." I stared at the large 'S' on his chest, looking for the right thing to say.
"Umm?? Have you met yourself, are we talking about the same Jon Kent? We'll have to be worried about keeping up with you if anything." He gave me a bashful smile, looking down at the symbol on his chest then back to me.
"Don't give up before you've even started you dork." I said patting his shoulder and motioning for him to join the conversation, which he happily did after a small nudge.
That was weeks ago, Robin still, with his stubborn ass, kept that mask on. I wish I could say things were okay between me and the stern boy but they weren't, I get the feeling he wasn't too pleased to be here.
Whenever we would train, Dick was there to supervise, and since Robin was the most experienced out of all of us, he was in charge for most of the training- scratch that, it's more like the royal ass kicking he dished out.
I got the feeling he didn't like me very much, mainly because of the whole, almost throwing him off a roof thing, but the feeling was mutual.
He just, he rubbed me the wrong way, like he genuinely believed he was above everyone else and no one could match him in anything. Not to mention the way he had to comment whenever I'd fail.
"You're stance is terrible, you're just asking to die."
"Do you enjoy your face meeting the mat (L/n)? Because you seem to do that every time we're in here."
He was just one of those people you had to try not to throw out of the nearest window whenever he opened his mouth.
"If this is your attempt at stealth you're fired."
I rolled my eyes dispite him facing the other way and walked into the gym room.
"If I wanted to sneak up on you I could, don't get it twisted boy wonder." I knew I was bullshitting, he knew I was, but there was no way I was backing down from a fight with this asshole. He turned, wiping some sweat from his brow with a small towel, I could feel the squint get gave me through the rubber mask. "Why are you here?" I shrugged making my way to the closest bench and taking a loud seat. "For your information- I wanted to get an early start with my training." "Really?" He questioned leaning against the silicone dummy.
I looked down to my PJs and gave him a shrug. "I could be in a fursuit and I'd still kick your ass." His face scrunched up in confusion before he scoffed."I have no idea what that is but don’t make me laugh, you'd be lucky to get me on the ground for a second." He turned back towards the dummy before sending a swift kick to it's neck, I flinched from the loud smack that echoed across the walls.
Confidently, he spoke again, without even turning back.
"You got lucky once- never again."
The way he said that would have sent shivers down my back, had I not been raised a bad bitch, but alas, I was.
I quickly stood marching over to the male. "Okay let's go-"
My back hit the mat, the air from my lungs escaping with the force I was smacked against the floor. His smug face leaned over me. "What was that you were saying? I don't think I heard you (L/n)." I groaned before throwing myself up, glaring at the figure before me. "That was just the practice round-" his hand shot forward to, I assume toss me like a rag-doll again, but this time I was ready, I grabbed his wrist, stopping it mid swing and a force of golden light pushed us apart. He smirked from across the mat. "Without your powers you're as defenseless as a baby- you need to learn not to rely on them." I bit back my retort about his hairline being as defenseless as a baby because 1. It didn't make sense- I was just mad and 2. The son of a bitch had a point.
So I sucked up my pride and rolled my shoulders, cracking my neck with a satisfying 'pop'.
I gestured him to come forward with my hand.
"Then teach me."
Chapter 7: Chapter 6
My right fist shot through the air narrowly missing it's target, I was so so close to clipping him in the face but as anticipated he caught my wrist stopping the blow, he pushed my arm trying to force me down to the sparring mat, I retaliated by kicking my foot into his calf, hoping to finally get the upper hand, unfortunately for me, he put an end to that dream rather quickly by twisting his body to avoid the strike, then effortlessly rolled back a few feet to create some distance.
"You're getting better." He huffed out from the other side of the room.
I shot him a smile, my breath heavy as I tried to recover from his latest barrage of attacks, "Yeah well my teacher isn't half bad."
The corner of his mouth twitched upwards, before I could process it he was in front of me again, his hand wrapped around the collar of my shirt, and just like that my back became well aquatinted with the padded (yet still unnecessarily hard) mat.
"Never drop your guard around an enemy, it could be the last thing you do."
He spoke kneeling next to my crumpled form, my shirt still bunched in his hand. I tried to form a witty response but when I looked up he was closer than anticipated, my throat went dry as his hidden but still handsome features presented themselves, as always his mask was on shielding his identity. A smirk appeared on the mystery boys face.
"Staring is rude you know."
"I was just trying to see if you had horns is all."
He scoffed offering me his hand and pulling me up. "Your incapability to lie is very amusing."
I tossed his hand away turning to hide my expression, that gremlin is way too good at reading people for my liking.
After a mutual agreement for a quick break (mostly for me), I wiped away at the sweat that had begun to gather on my forehead, a deep sigh left my lips as I flopped gracelessly on my back, my muscles ached something fierce but with every passing moment it turned into that good sort of sting, just as I closed my eyes, ready to really relax, his deep voice suddenly spoke up, if I were a cartoon I'd have popped up six feet in the air.
"I'm almost impressed (L/n), that round lasted more that five minutes." He said casually walking away from my defeated form to take a drink from his water bottle.
"Shove it up your ass." I breathlessly responded squinting harshly at the tall ceiling.
Time passed in comfortable silence as we waited for my erratic breathing to even out.
This was a familiar situation for me, I always went into practice confident that day would be the day I put him in his place, and every day I ended up on my back, out of breath and glaring at the ceiling.
"You recall what I told you last time right?" He spoke again, the small hint of amusement from before long gone. The way he could seemingly flip his emotion at will made him, let's say interesting to be around.
I nodded shaking myself out of my thoughts, "Yeah, you said from now on things are gonna get more intense right?"
He simply nodded.
"What kinda intense? Because I feel like intense for you is the world ending, and intense for me are the 16 steps at my apartment building I had to climb everyday."
He remained silent once more but I could feel the vicious eye roll he shot me through the mask.
"Has anyone ever told you you talk too much?" He spat, yet that spark of amusement was back, almost like he had a personality under all the asshole.
"Speak for yourself." He scoffed but began stretching, which my my silent cue to get ready for the next round.
It occurred to me that as time progressed our simple one on one sparring had evolved into something else, we had moved on from basic combat training to more intense sessions, 'mental training was just as important as physical' was the only clue I had on what was coming, a part of me was hoping he'd whip out some flash cards but knowing him it won't be that pleasant.
Our soon to be team leader was a certified asshole, there's no doubt about it but he knew what he was doing, so I bit back my questions and waited for instructions.
I finished stretching my legs out on the floor, like clockwork Robin had silently walked back to my crumpled body his hand appearing in my field of vision once again, cocking an eyebrow I accepted the hand and pulled myself to my feet, trying hard to ignore the way a warm static shot up my arm when we touched.
"I meant what I said (y/n), you're improving, although much slower pace than I would have, but then again who's keeping score?"
I couldn't help the small laugh that left my lips as I cracked my neck.
"You're a real charmer ya know that?" I rolled my eyes at the stranger across from me.
"One of my many talents." He shot back much to my surprise.
"I didn't think it was biologically possible for you to make jokes birdie."
Again instead of the reaction I expected he simply took a step towards me.
"There's a lot you don't know about me." His voice was deep and echoed off the walls in the room whenever he spoke, I'll never tell him this but when he wasn't spewing insults at me it sounded very nice. The kinda nice that warms your belly for no real reason- okay I'm not blind the guys kinda hot but man, the asshole part, very distracting.
"Yeah well who's fault is that?"
I responded taking a step back to create some distance. I felt like slamming my head into the nearest wall, 'bad (Y/n) no thirsting over co-workers, especially this one.'
He shrugged, his stare never leaving mine.
"I have my reasons for secrecy."
I paused thinking over my next response, stretching one arm over the other before responding.
"Yeah well maybe you should consider widening your circle of trust."
"Why should I do that?" He responded, the edge in his voice didn't help with the whole heart beating out of my chest thing, I took a breath before turning to the guy, I wanted to make an attempt at peace since he'd been taking the time to help me train.
"Just figured it gets lonely, the whole 'me .vs. the world' thing and all, and we're already kinda hanging out so I thought um- just you know trying to-"
"Trying to what, make friends?" He questioned, the tone in his voice making me immediately regret saying a word.
"Please, this isn't kindergarten, we're not here to make friends, but then again how would you know that? You're way out of your league after all." he scoffed out, a wicked smirk on his face.
"Excuse me dick head, message received." I scoffed back going to gather my gym bag and leave before I said something I'd regret.
I stopped shoving my towel away when a warm hand spun me around
"Who said we were done talking?"
"You can't run from this."
"Wanna bet?" I asked before quickly turning to leave again only to be stopped by his voice.
"Guess running from your responsibilities runs in the family?" I let my gym bag hit the floor and slowly turned to face him.
"Wanna repeat that?" I huffed out glaring at his smirking form.
He remained silent as he stalked towards me. With every step he took, I took one back out of self preservation until my back met the cold hard wall, there was no escape.
"Your mom dropped out of college, your brother didn't finish high school and your dad, well he bailed on you." My fingers twitched as I let his poisonous words soak in my brain.
"You did a background check on my family?"
He ignored me, crossing his arms for an overall disinterested look.
"Why'd you even come here I wonder? Let's face it I don't think you have what it takes to be here." My heart hammered against my chest, I took shallow breaths trying to quell the anger and hurt boiling in my veins.
He leaned over to finish his word vomit with a smile that was anything but friendly.
"You can train as hard as you want, deep down I think you know you'll always be a helpless little girl who watches from the sidelines." Without thinking I brought my knee up to his stomach so hard I heard the air leave his lungs, taking the brief second of his surprise I side stepped his body, sweeping my foot underneath his legs sending his body in the air long enough for the light to wind around his chest like a coil before violently smashing him to the ground with an echoing thud.
"Says the guy on the floor." I huffed, my chest tight with some awful emotion. I'd done exactly what he wanted, he had a knack for pushing people past their limits to see their reactions, and I'd walked straight into his trap.
Not waiting for his response, I quickly made my way to my room- at least I tried too but I was so in my head I completely missed Rachel who was rounding the corner, we tumbled into each other, had it not been for her quick thinking the damage could have been worse, last second she managed to steady both me and herself with her magic.
"Everything okay?" She questioned in that same small voice she always spoke in.
"Yeah- sorry just in my head is all." She nodded tucking some of her dark hair behind an ear.
"I get that, especially here. This place is kind of a circus."
Like clockwork a loud crash was heard followed by faint yelling from further down the hall where the boys rooms were.
"We should start charging people five bucks a seat, we'll be loaded in no time." I joked, her expression warmed as we spoke but before I knew it, it was time for school. I decided to ignore the incident from this morning for the time being, thinking of it would just make me mad again.
After quickly showering Jon, Jaime, and I rushed out the door after saying a quick goodbye to Garfield and Rachel, with their abilities comes.. a lot, so they both preferred to be homeschooled at the tower via Dick and a lovely woman named Kori' who I've yet to meet but based off the stars in Dick's eyes whenever her name is mentioned, I expect good things.
No one really knows what Robin does in his free time, since no one knows who he is, it's a fun thing the team gambles on, maybe he leaves really in depth overly critical reviews on Yelp or steals candy from babies, that sorta thing.
I rubbed my eyes as me and Jon said our goodbyes to Jaime in the hall and headed off to our individual classes.
"You okay?" Jon mouthed as we sat down in history, I shot him a wink and held up the ok sign on my hand, he didn't know about this morning, I didn't wanna worry him with something so trivial as a 'maybe' fight with Robin, I say 'maybe' fight because it occurred to me that could have been the training he mentioned but the anger left behind was too raw to look past.
I tried to keep my mind off it all day but I couldn't help but think about the words he spat at me, I want to brush it off like it doesn't effect me but it did, I mean what if he's right? What if I'm not supposed to be there?
I shook the depressing thoughts out of my head, I could barely keep my eyes open let alone listen to my teachers bland voice drawl on about whatever it is she was talking about, a yawn ripped past my lips as I tried to hone in on the lesson.
I tapped my fingers against my desk as a last attempt effort at staying awake but before I knew it I was watching my eyelids.
I felt something warm and bright shine on my eyes, forcing me to crack an one open in annoyance at the golden ray's assaulting me from outside the windows. The familiar light danced outside the glass with the wind, twisting and dancing, daring me to follow it.
I ignored the urge, after all I couldn't just leave in the middle of class, besides I didn't even know how to properly skip.
I turned away from the window to face the classroom but after a few minutes of listening to the lecture the light came in the room bouncing around like the walls were made of rubber, I followed it with my eyes frantically wondering just what the hell was happening.
"Girl what is wrong with you?" Dana whispered from next to me
I jolted in my seat at my friend's sudden voice.
"You've been asleep for half the damn class and when you wake up you spazzin'- Mrs.Monroe is a hardass you better stop before you get detention."
Dana smile quickly turned to concern, "What's going on?" She whispered back, I didn't answer too focused on the odd sight in front of me. I watched as the light repeatedly smacked against the window, it definitely wanted me outside but there was no way I was doing that.
The smacking grew harder and harder until a large crack formed on the window causing an eruption of fear and shouts in the class at the sudden noise
"Calm down everyone! I'm sure it was just an accident, thankfully it didn't bust, but if I found out one of you purposely damaged school property it'll be game over understood?"
A chorus of "yes ma'am" rang throughout the crowd of students, all of them mumbling in curiosity, all except me, I just stared at the large crack frozen. The light has never acted on its own before, so clearly ignoring it wasn't an option, out of fear something else might break I made up my mind to follow the light, only problem was I was in the middle of class and there's no way my teacher will let me out of here without an excuse.
Once the student body had settled down again I got Dana's attention.
"I take it that was you." She whispered low enough so just I could hear.
"Yeah-I mean no it's hard to explain but I need to leave."
"How are you gonna pull that off?"
I pulled away from her to respond but my attention was once again stolen by the now annoyingly bright light.
"-so turn to page 394 and we'll begin our lesson on lost civilizations and the importance of keeping the proper records in case of- Miss (L/n)." Her voice suddenly called out snapping me out of my head
I could feel the anxiety growing every passing second I wasn't following the light so I simply responded "Yeah?"
"Are you even paying attention?"
"I'mma be real with you, not in the slightest."
"And why, prey tell are you not paying attention to my class?"
"Maybe you should drop this class, if my lessons are too hard for you to follow." She interrupted me.
"Well maybe you should learn to shut up." I thought rolling my eyes, Jon whipped around from his chair to stare at me with wide eyes but he wasn't the only one, every pair of eyes in the room landed on me, quiet "oooh's" sounded throughout the classroom as my eyes widened in fear, "Did I say that out loud?" Jon nodded his expression still shook, I clamped a hand over my mouth as my teacher silently snapped her book shut and hauled ass over to my seat, her heels clicking against the marble floors as she walked.
I could feel the eyes of everyone in my class, their snickers only adding to the mortifying embarrassment, I met her steel gaze, my words caught in my throat as the laughter became more obvious. The light enveloped the pink detention slips poking out of her pocket making me sigh deeply at what it wanted from me.
"I said," I stood to meet her steel gaze my knuckles pressing against my desk,
She shook her head in disbelief before reaching in her cardigan pocket to pull out a pink detention slip. She kept those little fucks on standby just waiting for someone to screw up so she could send them to study hall for the remainder of the class, no one wanted to go to study hall, the teacher assigned for that class was just as bad, he takes your phone and makes you re-alphabetize the library books.
I took the slip, a nervous grin on my face as I packed up my bag as fast as humanly possible. Dana shook her head at me as I walked out. Jon gave me a confused glance as I passed his seat, I scurried out of the class, only when I was completely in the hallway did I take a deep breath.
My footsteps echoed throughout the empty hallways as I dejectedly made my way towards the library. I let my thoughts travel mindlessly while I walked, when a glimmer of yellow caught my eye, it shined from the outside of the school entrance doors, I needed to take a right to get to detention, while the exit was straight ahead.
I knew I should have just keep walking, faced the music for what I did and save myself an even worse whooping but I couldn't.
You know when you're standing at the edge of a cliff or a really tall building and you look over the edge and for some reason, your brain tells you to jump? That's the call of the void, it's your brain taking an out of control situation and giving you control, even if it's crazy, it's oddly comforting to know you have the power to choose.
This time I didn't ignore the void, I don't think I'd ever felt a pull this strong, anxiety usually held me back from acting out in any way but I knew if I didn't follow the light I'd be thinking about it for the rest of my life. I could tell this was different, it didn't feel normal so much as it did an unquestionable order I had to follow.
A swarm of nerves and excitement bubbled in my belly at the thought of not only ditching school but following the light, it never failed to excite me.
So with a silent prayer and some sneaky footwork, I was on my way, not before texting Dana and telling her what was up, I mean I was about to go explore Gotham city alone in an unknown area, mama ain't raise no fool.
I felt like my nerves were on fire as I walked around Gotham, a hoodie thrown over my school button down so I didn't look like a kid who just ditched school.
A small voice in the back of my mind told me this was a bad idea, that mom would no doubt find out and I'd get the the belt for sure, but I didn't care, all I knew was wherever the light was taking me was important.
My shoes hit the wet grime coated streets at fast pace. The longer I followed the light the less people I saw.
After hours of walking the light finally went out when I reached a little rundown section of Gotham, specifically it led me to a park, but what set off the red flag in my brain was the lack of life there. Not a soul in sight, no kids, no lights, nothing, even the animals seemed silent.
I chalked it up to the timing, I mean most kids were probably in school right? And animals hibernate during the winter so there wasn't anything overly suspicious.
I walked over to the swing set out of instinct, after wiping away the small layer of snow on the seat I sat down. I tried to clear my head, and look for the reason the light brought me here, so far from town, alone, cold, okay yeah now that I say it out loud this was a terrible idea. I quickly texted Dana my location and a quick apology for worrying her.
She quickly texted back
"It's not me you should be saying sorry too!!! Ur little boyfriend almost bit my head off earlier because I wouldn't tell him where you went."
I scrunched my eyebrows in confusion, quickly hitting the call button for a better explanation, that didn't sound like something Jon would do, not that he was my boyfriend or anything- but he is the only other person besides Dana who would wonder where I went.
" Lmao Jon's not by boyfriend- plus that's super OOC of him."
"It wasn't Jon ;)))) and you were making out like you didn't like him smh"
"It's okay boo I ain't even Trippin' go ahead and get you some."
"What brand of crack are you smoking? Who are you talking about?"
I heard her laugh over the phone.
"Damian dummy!! It's clear y'all got a lil' something going down on the low- why else would he be buggin so much when you dipped??"
"What do you mean by buggin Dana that doesn't make any sense."
"Okay so h-"
The phone call was abruptly cut short, the bars on my phone were suddenly non-existent. I took a deep breath before pocketing my phone and glancing around my surroundings fully. A sudden chill swept up my spine hard enough to jolt me from the swing.
For once in my life I began to doubt the seemingly omnipotent guardian that had been with me since the beginning, after all, this seemed like a useless trip that would only get me in trouble.
I looked up at the darkening skies, only now becoming aware of just how far I'd walked and just how much trouble I'd be in for ditching, not only with my mom but with the team.
"Why the hell would you lead me here?" I questioned aloud, more frustrated than anything that I'd been lead to a dead end. I was more than ready to call an my mom, take the ass whooping she'd give me for cutting class and crawl into my bed.
"Isn't that the question on everyone's mind?" A voice called out from behind me.
In a flash my skin went cold, I snapped around to face the stranger, though I had to force myself not to react to his strange appearance.
Unnaturally pale skin, dark eyes, strange symbols we're carved into his face, and hands, all done in something black, a buzz of familiarity surrounded the stranger, like I'd seen his odd ass before but I didn't feel like exploring that rabbit hole so I took a step back ready to defend myself if necessary.
"You gonna let me pass or give me trouble buddy?" I asked furrowing my brow.
"There's more to winning a fight than just the physical action."
Robins's voice echoed in my head as the memory flashed of one of our first training sessions. I instinctively widened my feet in case my new friend decided to act up.
"What the hell is that supposed to mean you cryptic fuck?" He huffed out of his nose before stalking over to stare down at me, I stood my ground expecting him to back off but instead he continued to close the distance, face never changing from it's neutral expression. I hated how my heart hammered in my chest just from his intense staring.
"Back up birdie." I tried to bark in retaliation, only it came out way less intimidating than I wanted, he smirked at my clearly flustered state, lingering by my face a moment longer before he distanced himself.
"It's best to use intimidation first if you're able, it weakens your opponents defences- make them believe it's not wise to mess with you."
I stared the stranger down, the fear coursing through my body was nowhere to be seen on my face. The stranger took a small step forward making me take one back.
"You've gotten better at this little one, you're resisting my abilities quite well, much better than before, I may have to put in some effort this time."
I cocked an eyebrow before casually tightening my backpack strap.
"I don't do crazy, so either you start making sense or I start beating your ass."
He placed a hand on his chest in mock hurt "And here I was thinking you'd remember me, I'm hurt little one, I really am." A wicked grin suddenly split across his face, before he was violently gagging and hacking out some awful black substance, it poured from his mouth like a tap had been turned on, I had already begun taking steps back when this fuckery started but then the horrific shit spewing from his mouth began taking the form of a hand, I didn't hesitate to run.
"Maybe this will clear your memory."
Before I could nope the fuck out of there completely, I heard the sound of something barreling towards me, I spun around shielding my face with my arm, the light instantly repelling the tar like liquid, I watched it hit the floor before sinking into the snow covered dirt, draining the life from everything it touched the longer it sat.
'note to self, avoid spooky black shit, got it.'
I kept the focus on my front, pushing back as hard as I could, the longer I fought it the stronger the force opposite to me seemed to get, I felt my feet being pushed back through the snow, He suddenly stepped back, the loss of pressure making me stumble forward, the tendril like arm retreating back into his throat, I had to fight the urge to gag, I tightened the straps of my backpack once more before adjusting my feet.
"Am I supposed to know who you are?"
His smile tightened, a few strands of his hair fell from the bun it was in adding a feral look to the already scary mother fucker in front of me.
He shot out like a bullet and before I knew it I was dodging more tendrils of that gunk. I was so focused on his form getting closer to me I forgot to check my surroundings, next thing I knew something had yanked my legs out from under me harshly slamming my body into the snow covered ground a few times before it brought me face to face with the monster.
"Well, you've got some fight in you I'll give you that."
The gunk surrounding me was so cold it burned, every inch of me it touched felt the stinging pain, The more I struggled the tighter it squeezed my body. I gagged as it seeped into my mouth, I felt like I was drowning from the inside out, tears sprung in my eyes and then suddenly he retracted and I was throw to the floor.
Fear had crept it's way into my bones, I couldn't think, I couldn't breathe, I'd never felt as helpless as I did in this moment, well almost never.
Suddenly I was a child again, and this man this- thing was there, staring at me from across the street. Except this time there was no one to save me, no teacher, no mom, just me and this nightmare.
"Ahhh, there it is. It's always fun to see the fight leave someone." I couldn't move much but I managed to hack and spit out as much of the remaining liquid as possible, I figured it had some sort of paralyzing agent in it the way my body went full Raggedy Ann the moment it touched me.
"You have questions I can tell, but now isn't the time for that, we have buisness to attend to you and I."
I sneered at the creature before me before coughing out "Now you can call me cliche-" I grunted trying and failing to get up.
"-But who the fuck are you and what do you want?"
The man seemed taken aback by this, a wicked grin stretched across his face as he stalked toward my broken body.
"It took me so long to find you, he hid you very, very well, but we knew given enough time, and a little persuasion, you'd come to us."
I stared at the towering figure, in both terror and confusion as he spoke. "Wait who-" he cut off my question with a swift kick to the abdomen, my body slid across the snowy grass before my back hit one of the poles holding the decaying playground in place. Blood and a bit of whatever that inky substance was leaked from my mouth as I laid there in silent pain.
"Your progress is rather slow, even as a half breed you should have been able to stop me without lifting a pinkie, but look at you, being ruled by fear, being beaten so easily, it's pathetic really." He leaned down to wipe the trail of black from the corner of my mouth.
"Though it's not entirely your fault, you have no training whatsoever." He ''tsked'
"He ripped you away from any chance at that the moment you were born, hid you amongst these lower levels..." His face morphed into one of distaste before falling back into his wicked grin promising nothing but trouble.
He walked over before crouching down to my level, yanking my body up by my throat with ease, he reached into his coat with an almost practiced movement, before pulling out a small purple vile, the contents inside seemed to move almost as if it were a living thing trapped in a confined space, my eyes widened as he popped the cork lid off with his thumb, the liquid seemed to crawl it's way out of the tube.
"This should bring you up to speed-" he paused before shrugging "- that is if you survive."
Time seemed to slow as the thing eased it's way out of the tube, then once it got free it seemed to change form into more of a smoke. I held my breath much to my attackers annoyance, getting impatient he held my nose shut as the burning need for oxygen thrummed against my lungs.
My eyes watered as I stubbornly held on, but inevitably I caved, I inhaled the wisps deeply before crashing back onto the floor.
'if it was any other situation I'd laugh at how many times I've hit the floor today.'
I ignored the pain all over my body and to my surprise, managed to stagger off the floor in a sitting position.
"What the fuck was that?" I rasped before collapsing back onto my knees. The stranger walked forward as my body twitched and spasmed with an eerily sweet smile on his twister features.
And with that my world turned black
Chapter 8: Chapter 7
Guess who's not dead sorry if its ass I got dog walked by life but I wanted to post a lil sum
Damian's POV several hours earlier
She'd left the room quickly after putting me on my back, and I couldn't find it in me to be upset at her reaction.
I could tell by the look on her face I'd crossed a line. The whole point of it was to see how her powers reacted when she was angry, once I reflected on the incident, to my frustration, I realized things would have gone much smoother if I'd let her in on the exact nature of the training. I winced sitting up, a hand resting on the spot where she touched me, though the contact lasted mere seconds, an odd warmth lingered in place.
"Yeah well maybe you should consider widening your circle of trust."
Her voice taunted in my mind as I silently walked back to my room, the journey seeming longer than usual.
The words struck something in me, that alone was cause for unease, after all I'd seen an endured, it wasn't a common occurrence to be so caught up in another person, let alone someone as aggravating as her.
There was something about the way the girl carried herself, she looked at you as if she knew something you didn't, and as much as it pained me to say, this bothered me.
I'd been uneasy since we'd begun our private training sessions, not because she could do any real damage when sparring, but something about the way she could read my moves at all was enough to cause suspicion
It was the first day of our impromptu training, a smirk twitched at my lips at her bold words. It was laughable and even from my position on the other side of the room, I could see the flaws in her stance, this girl has never been in a real fight in her life.
"You want me to teach you? Fine lesson one." I spoke taking a few steps towards her rigid frame.
"Wear the proper clothes for training or this can happen." I didn't hesitate to sweep a leg under her foot, before catching her by her sweater, before she could complain, a simple twist of my arm had her on her face.
I rolled her over to stare down at her fierce glare.
"That's cheating I didn't even say go you dick-" she cut herself off with a cough before rolling out of the way and springing back up on her feet.
"Okay, you got me there but I wasn't r-" I took another swipe at her but to my surprise she managed to duck out of the way, in fact after that first initial hit she dodged nearly all my hits, of course I was only doing the barest of minimums but I was still surprised she managed to evade them, I thought of something quickly going for a right hook, only to fake out the last second with a kick, she took the hit rolling backwards on the mat. I wasn't used to training with someone so, flimsy, it was kind of amusing.
I held a hand pulling her up to her feet with ease.
"Your abilities are intriguing, why didn't you dodge that last hit?"
"I didn't see it coming, the light was around your fist not your damn foot."
"I noticed you call your abilities a light, I've seen something similar, brief glimpses when you're using it."
She scratched her head, I could see her debating her words carefully.
"Well, Its kind of a built in self defense? Like usually if something bad is going to happen I get sort of a.." she paused, "-heads up? When shit hits the fan I usually know what to do."
I nodded, crossing my arms in thought.
"Your form is sloppy and if I was going even a little harder on you, you'd be dead."
"Wow. Inspiring, has anyone ever told you you have a way with words." She grunted pulling the fly away curls back into place that had long ago fallen free.
"Just you wait. I'll make someone useful of you yet (L/n)."
"You know what? Yes, keep training me, keep talking shit because I may not be able to do it yet, but best believe you got an ass whooping coming your way."
"I look forward to it." I called over my shoulder.
I'd been observing the 'team' if you could call it that, since they'd gotten to the tower, making sure to blatantly keep them an arms distance away, it was better to observe that way, and for the most part I was successful, except for her.
No matter how many critiques I made or how often I mocked her, she always had a quip waiting on the tip of her tongue, if nothing else she was one of the few people who wasn't immediately scared away.
I was pulled from my thoughts as walked through the halls, I caught a glimpse of (h/c) rounding the corner, the small glance causing me to momentarily freeze, the pause lasted less than a second, but in that second the pale girl I'd barely spoken too stepped into my line of sight, this was another one I had to keep an eye on, The dark haired teenager stared at me, her usual neutral expression now held a frown.
"Did something happen with (Y/n)?" She spoke suddenly and was straight to the point, I hardened my eyes at the quiet girl trying to formulate a response but before I could, she continued, her stare unwavering.
"Because she seemed upset coming back from training."
"That sounds like a question you should be asking her doesn't it?" Not waiting for a response I walked around the stoic girl, feeling the burn of her stare the entire way before I rounded the corner.
Lunch had rolled around I hadn't seen (L/n) since the incident earlier in the morning, and truth be told a part of me was glad, I'm not one to run away from conflict but it was rare that I felt any sort of regret about my actions. Another rare occurrence in my life directly connected to that idiot.
I found myself spending the better part of my day wondering about the strange girl, both to my confusion and irritation, no matter how hard I tried she remained in my thoughts.
Surely I was just trying to come up with the best way to train her, that is if she didn't quit after this morning, because despite the many faults I'd found, I also couldn't ignore her potential.
More often than not, she'd be so uncoordinated, her body quickly became familiar with the floor. I found if I had her on defense constantly her powers seemed ineffective. However, there'd be a rare moment, a few split seconds where she'd see right through me and counter with a stupid smirk. The strangest thing about her had to be her perseverance. No matter how hard I went on her, how many times she hit the ground, she always got back up.
Definitely an odd one. That's for certain
My thoughts wandered aimlessly throughout the day but always managed to drift back to the pitiful look on her face, more specifically the way it made my stomach knot up.
By lunch, still not having seen the girl in question, I did what any detective would do.
After a little breaking and entering, a simple check of the schools attendance on the principal's computer and I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding, so she did come to school.
I figured I'd eventually run into her at lunch seeing she always sat with Jon and I. A part of me felt foolish for giving the situation my attention, after all she wasn't mad at me, she was pissed at Robin.
Despite this simple reassurance, the small coil of unease that had taken root deep in my stomach tightened with every tick of the clock
I was the first of us to arrive, quickly pulling out a small book from my bag, I read about two seconds before Jon's body suddenly slammed into the bench opposite of me.
I knew immediately something was off with the Kryptonian, he sat there, staring desperately at his phone, so much so he hadn't realized I was even there.
"Kent." He jumped as I said his name, his face perked up slightly before falling back down to it's pitiful expression, his thumbs tapping absentmindedly on the screen.
"Not that I particularly care but what's wrong with you?"
I asked not looking up from my book, it was actually a recommendation from (Y/n) 'like water for chocolates', not something I'd usually pick up but for a clumsy idiot she had surprisingly good taste in literature, a surge of guilt buzzed through me at the thought of the girl, the thought of this morning, but as fast as it came it was gone.
"It's (Y/n)." Jon said not looking up from his phone. I hated the way I twitched at the mention of her name.
"What about her? Did that idiot get herself in trouble again?"
"She's not an idiot, and yeah maybe but that's not what's worrying me."
I exhaled deeply before setting down my book, clearly this was going to take a while.
"Then what is the problem Kent?"
"W-Well she got sent to detention earlier during history for going off on the teacher but Dana said she ditched for some reason-"
"That stupid girl." I scoffed interrupting the farm boy much to his irritation.
"-and she won't answer her phone which she never does-"
"Can you really not go a day attached to her hip? You're pathetic."
"You're not listening to me Damian! I can't-" he paused, lowering his voice considerably, "I can't hear her okay?"
His eyes skittishly glanced around the room, he opened his mouth to bullshit a response but quickly shut it before rising to his feet and quickly shuffling his way outside.
I resisted the primal urge to ignore him and finish my book, and instead followed after the taller boy, with every step I felt my headache worsen.
"Care to explain why we couldn't talk about this at the table?"
Jon paced back and forth for a brief and uncharacteristic moment of silence, he suddenly turned to face me, the look in his eyes caught me off guard for a moment, concern was obviously there but what gave me pause was the other emotion there, something dark, "Usually, I can hear pretty well right?" I said nothing hoping this charade of his would end quicker.
"Well if I try really hard I can hear specific voices and um specific, heartbeats-"
"Stop. Is this going where I think it is?" A red flush crawled up the taller teens body as he tried and failed to glare down at me. "Shut up man I'm being serious! I can't hear her."
"So? Your powers are flakey at best. How do you know this isn't just some fluke."
It was his turn to roll his eyes
"No something doesn't feel right about this." he started to pace as he spoke.
The coil from before had tightened considerably, I ignored the unfamiliar, uncomfortable feeling, instead trailing my eyes back inside,
I set my eyes on a table of girls all chatting absentmindedly, it was the place she used to spend lunch, something she now spent with us. I ignored Jon's questioning shouts to renter the room, instantly finding the specific girl I was looking for and heading over. I stopped at their table, all conversation halted as the girl in question looked up from her food,
"Uh can I help you with something Damian?" Dana asked, her smile shy, I wasn't oblivious to the girls affections I just didn't have the time to reject them.
"Have you seen (Y/n)? We were supposed to hang out after school but I can't find her." I lied through my teeth, I knew she wouldn't tell me flat out, so I had to give her a reason too. She seemed surprised by the question
"Um the last I seen she was headed for the library." She twirled a braid between her fingers as she said this, her eyes shifting from my face and back, though I could tell she knew more than she was letting on.
"Where is she? Come on, if anyone knows it's you, cut the bullshit."
Her eyes widened at my tone, and I'd never admit it but, I myself was surprised at how quickly I was unnerved by the situation.
For reasons even I didn't fully comprehend the longer I didn't know where that idiot was the worse this pit in my stomach grew, an unease I wasn't accustomed to dealing with.
I sighed through my nose jolted from my thoughts by the sudden drop in the atmosphere. I dragged my gaze from every uncomfortable face at the table until it fell on Dana, something close to fear flashed through her eyes as she scoffed out a response.
"Look I don't know where she went after ditching but she has a phone, ever heard of using one?" Dana shot back at me in a tone that said that was the end of the conversation.
I didn't wait up for Jon, didn't hesitate to find my car and head back to the cave. Once back in the familiar territory I quickly used the caves computer to track her phone, the longer I spent looking the more irritated I became, she probably just ditched and went to the mall or-
The computer gave a chime as it zeroed in on her location, my eyes narrowed at the screen, I tried and failed to come up with a logical reason for her to be on the outskirts of town where even the average criminal hesitated to venture.
'Just what the hell were you up to?' I thought taking the batmobile's keys and speeding off.
Once I arrived to the desolate part of Gotham I was immediately on edge- okay the entire day I'd been on edge but the hollow feeling that washed over me as I entered the area was new, it felt as if the place itself was sucking all the energy I had, I couldn't stay still long or I'd feel the heavy feeling sink into my bones.
I silently navigated the decaying playground, my footfall silent but sloppy, whatever was happening here was clearly affecting me, had it not been for the flash of our school's uniform poking out from the small lump of snow I may have walked right past her. My hands were moving faster than my mind as I hastily uncovered her still form, I expected the worst as I rolled her on her back, trying in vain to get a responce.
"Come on stupid girl." I muttered slipping off a glove to check the pulse on her neck. The wind bit at my skin the second the protective kevlar was removed, my fingers pressed into the flesh of her neck, but I quickly retracted them, Her skin was hot to the touch, she felt as if she'd been sitting next to a fire rather than under a blanket of snow. The strangeness of the situation only grew as I noticed the trail of black dribbling from the corner of her lips, she looked peacefully asleep, but looks can be all too deceiving.
I sat on my knees waiting on baited breath for something, anything to tell me I wasn't too late, a million questions running through my mind, but one was louder than others, 'did I just lose my first teammate?'
Those few seconds felt like minutes as I anxiously sat there, and in those moments I'd never felt so much frustration, the lack of control was foreign. But I hated it all the same
Then I felt it.
I let out a breath of relief at the very small pulse, quickly unclasping the fabric draped over my shoulders, I swiftly bundled her form, and carried her back to the car, so focused on her, I did something I never do.
I failed to notice the pair of eyes watching the scene from the shadows.
The car was parked crooked but I couldn't give less of a shit as I leapt from the drivers seat to get her from the passengers side completely ignoring the scolding Dick was spouting at me, I wasn't paying attention to him.
"Damian you can't ignore this-" I turned to face him, the girl now visible in my arms.
"If you're not gonna help then get out of my way."
"Jesus Christ what happened?" Dick spoke following me to the med bay of the cave. I laid her down as softly as possible, once she was situated I turned to him. "I'm not sure, I found her on the other side of Gotham buried in a foot of snow," Dick glanced at her bundled form in confusion, if not for the stray snowflakes scattered over her hair, he wouldn't have known she was outside, "-there were clearly signs of a struggle, she also kept wincing in her sleep every time she moved her torso so check her ribs." Dick nodded before turning to the silent girl.
"You did good Damian, tell Alfred to come down,we could use his help, let me take it from here and when she wakes up we can ask just what the hell happened." He looked at her in concern wiping the black substance from her face. I stood there staring a moment, before Dick turned to me once more, a small reassuring smile on his face.
"Go, don't worry I'll take care of her." I nodded my head and went to leave.
The coil in my stomach was still tight.
After a few hours Dick reappeared with Alfred by his side, unreadable expressions on their faces.
"She's stable, however Miss (L/n) has yet to regain consicousness." Alfred spoke walking over to me. I rubbed my eyes and exhaled deeply through my nose, "What's the damage?"
"Her ribs appear to be bruised, contusions all over the body, no signs of internal bleeding but something.... rather peculiar is happening." He finished with hesitation. "Peculiar how?" I asked my tone betraying the little amount of patience I had.
"I believe we can help with that."
Father's voice was low as he walked in, to my surprise a woman was trailing closely behind him. She payed the rest of us no mind instead immediately walking over to the sleeping girl. I rose to my feet only to be stopped by my father's hand. He gestured to the woman with a nod,
"This is (Y/n)'s mother."
I relaxed my posture sitting back in my chair.
For a moment we sat in an uncomfortable silence as she stared down at her daughter, she reached out to touch her forehead only to pull back at the contact. She didn't seem surprised, just worried, at least until she turned to face my father with an expression that shook me.
"Where was she?"
"A small abandoned park a little outside Gotham." Her eyes seemed to widen at that a gasp escaping her lips.
The woman sniffed turning to face us with unshed tears. I could see the resemblance now that I was looking at her, they had the same big brown eyes.
"Robin is the one who found her." Father once again spoke causing the woman's attention to be brought to me.
"Thank you." She said sincerely, I simply nodded eager to know what she knew, her gaze lingered on me a moment before she turned back to the rest of the room.
She took a shaky seat next to her daughter's bed before looking at us all again.
"There's two sides to everything and every story." She started, a tender look on her face as she stared down her unconcious daughter.
Though her eyes hardened once the landed back on us.
"I always figured if she didn't know about the good, then the bad couldn't hurt her," there was a crack in her voice as she spoke, you could tell her mind was somewhere else as she talked, somewhere far, "-but now I see it finds you no matter how hard you try to hide."
She explained that something had happened between (y/n)'s father just before she was born, something she refused to go in detail about, but whatever happened resulted in his complete removal from their little family.
"I thought keeping her away from him- his way of life she'd be okay, she could have what I couldn't, but I was wrong."
She gave a lot of information we hadn't had before like her how (y/n) was the only one of the three children to be a meta, but not how or where they came from.
"And the father?" I asked eagerly since no one else had. Her expression fell into something unreadable, hands tightly clenching by her sides.
"He's gone." was her only response, Dick quickly changed the subject with another question, but the way she said it, 'gone' not 'dead' had left an uncomfortable feeling in my gut.
Her story left me reeling with questions, it seemed to pose more than answer them but I kept my frustrations to myself, and sat back with the newly received information, trying to wrap my head around it. Father had left to investigate the site where she was found leaving me and Dick to keep everything in line.
"Her vitals have completely stabilized, the young miss should wake up sometime tomorrow." Alfred spoke after checking her once more, he wiped a hanker chief against his brow, having worked non-stop on the girl since she'd first arrived.
"Come on Ms.(L/n) let me get you home, first thing in the morning I'll be back to bring you to her." Dick spoke gently, The older women seemed hesitant to leave her side.
"What if she wakes up? She'll be scared and alone- I should stay."
I shared a look with grayson, understanding her point of view but also knowing she'd be at risk of finding out just who's house the cave sat under.
"She won't wake up tonight, tomorrow afternoon the latest, and by then we'll have moved her to the tower," she stared at me hard, unconvinced, "She won't be alone, I'll watch her."
Her head turned from me to her sleeping daughter, her eyes unreadable as they looked me over, for the briefest of moments I felt a strange uncontrollable chill shoot through me, like she was looking directly into my soul.
Though after a moment she smiled at me, although exhaustion was clear on her face, that smile made her look like she could be your twin instead of your mother.
"I know you will." was her cryptic response before she leaned forward to place a kiss on the sleeping girls forehead. She passed me giving a kind squeeze to my shoulder as she walked.
Once they left I took a seat near the bed.
"You seem very concerned for this girl." Alfred's cool voice called out from the shadows, the hints of a smirk on his face.
"She's my responsibility." I said simply.
"Ah of course." He agreed but the tone of his voice said otherwise.
"What are you implying?" I turned to face him with a sneer, he simply smiled biding me a goodnight and heading up the stairs.
"Crazy old fool." I muttered to myself leaning back into the chair. His words popped up in my mind throughout the night much to my annoyance.
As promised father had taken her to the tower in the dead of night, she'd been laid in one of the towers medical beds without so much as a peep, a part of me was horrified at how deep of a sleeper she was, and I'd never say it out loud but the sudden horrifically loud snores she'd occasionally let out made the corner of my lip involuntarily twitch up, it seemed so normal compared to the circus that the day had been. Once we settled everything, as he was leaving Father paused in the doorway,
"You did well tonight Robin, get some rest."
Then disappeared into the hallway before I could register the moment, I sighed a smirk on my face.
And sit there I did determined to honor the promise I'd made with the troublesome girls mother earlier.
I don't dream. At least not anymore, for all intents purposes sleep was just a blink for me, one second its dark the next I gotta put on a stuffy uniform and dodge the 6AM crackheads beat boxing on the way to Gotham's most overrated school.
Its something odd sure but after bout' 8 years of nothing, it was hard to miss.
Whenever I did used to dream it was never pleasant, I don't know what happened in them or what they were about, but I remember the fear, waking up clawing at the sheets begging my body to move, but most of all I remember the pure, unflinching red.
The reason this memory came up was because when I opened my eyes it was the first thing I noticed.
The sky wasn't supposed to look like that. I looked around knowing this couldn't be real yet, I dug my bare heel into the ground, it was weirdly warm, like a summer in California concrete hot, the kinda hot where you gotta get in the car real slow so the seat belt buckle didn't give you 3rd degree.
I should have crumbled from the intensity of the heat but I didn't.
It felt like a hug that reached every inch of my body, I shouldn't have been able to move, but I could, and I did, my feet seemed to know where to go.
I'd never been to this strange place before but it felt, not safe but, home. An indescribable wave of comfort washed over me as I stood and began to explore the desolate world.
Large, strange creatures flew above me in swarms so thick they looks like one solid being- where those bugs? I didn't care to investigate any further, they paid me no mind as I marched forward closer to a looming structure, it looked to be a building of some kind but it was tall and dark and radiated such a deep feeling of fear and power I paused in my steps. Two red dots suddenly appeared from within the depths of the darkness shrouding the walls, they followed me as I moved closer, almost, like eyes.
A sharp light shining in front of my closed lids cut through the scream begging to rip from my mouth, instead I winced at the already fading imagery, it been literal years since I had a dream and not gonna lie to ya, not missing it.
Flinging the covers away, I sat up with a groan to begrudgingly start my day- least I tried to.
The second I moved to sit up I flopped back down with a thud, only then noticing the bandages tightly wrapped around my midsection.
I felt for stitches huffing in relief once the search turned up empty, the more I woke up the quicker the dream faded from memory, and by the time I'd noticed the sleeping boy wonder next to me, I couldn't tell you why I'd woken up so violently.
Somewhere along the line I'd fallen asleep. I only knew this because of the hand gently shaking me awake.
I quickly grabbed their wrist halting the action, once my eyes adjusted to the light I stared back at (Y/n)s unblinking face.
"Uh let go?" She said more like a question, I dropped her wrist with a sigh,
"How long have you been awake?"
"A few minutes, and as cute as you are when you sleep I'd like to know where the fuck I am." She said casually, taking in her surroundings, I found the longer I stared at her, fully conscious, very alive form, only then did that horrible coil from before finally began to unwind.
"You're in the Tower, I found you passed out on a playground."
She nodded not looking at me, a hand resting on her abdomen,
"No serious damage but I'd like to know what happened." Her hands intertwined as she looked anywhere but me.
"Dunno, must have tripped."
"You bruised your ribs and look like someone put you through a shredder the hell did you trip on?"
She straight faced it, "A big ass rock."
"A big ass rock?" I repeated back in disbelief.
"That's what I said."
I rubbed my temples with a tsk.
"Why are you lying?"
"I don't know maybe I don't wanna talk to the guy who's just gonna make me feel like shit for what I did wrong." She snapped finally looking at me. There it was, I knew at some point I'd have to answer for my behavior.
I bit my tongue and sighed deeply through my nose, "It's imperative that you tell me what happened."
"Why? I'll just tell your boss later." I rolled my eyes at her response.
"I'm sorry your feelings got hurt."
"That is not how you say sorry!" She laughed, her turn to be in disbelief, lightly shaking her head. Things were silent for a few minutes, neither of us wanting to break.
I inwardly groaned before mumbling out.
"I-" a sigh ripped past my lips."...apologize.."
She turned to me, a look of surprise on her face, before snapping forward again, a pout on her lips.
"I swear on my- I apologize for my actions this morning, I shouldn't have said what I said, I was trying to push you and your abilities, I realize now I could have handled the situation..better." I crossed my arms leaning back into the uncomfortable chair.
"I'm sorry I slammed you into the ground." She said after a moment of silence.
"Are you really?"
I huffed, couldn't help but be amused at her attitude.
"Yes I believe I had that one coming. "
"Hey, crazy idea, how about from now on we start acting like actual teammates."
She spoke now facing me, the hints of a smile on her face.
I stuck out my hand to shake on it but instead she just held out her smallest finger expectantly. I had to physically resist the urge to roll my eyes at the girl, I furrowed my brow at the outstretched appendage. "What am I supposed to do with this?"
She scoffed and grabbed my wrist.
"Give me your pinky."
"Why?" I asked ready to yank my hand away from her grasp, why was it so warm in here all of a sudden?
"Deadass give me your pinky."
"Whatever, what are you doing?"
I allowed her to interlock our fingers ignoring my body's sudden urge to freeze in place, all the while the scowl on my face grew, what was going on?
"Its just a pinky swear big bird chill out." She laughed at my expense, clearly enjoying whatever this was she was doing.
"Is that supposed to tell me why you're manhandling me like this?"
"Be all the way quiet before I change my mind."
I bit back my response, and tightened the loose grip indulging her childish request just to end the conversation. I suppose she expected a different reaction, because she looked at me, so genuinely despite the fight we'd only moments ago settled, it surprised me, and then, there that shiver was again, its warmth punched me in the gut so hard I jolted away breaking the connection but if she took offence she didn't show it, if the annoyingly bright smile she wore was anything to go by.
"I'll have you know in all my seventeen years I've never broken a pinky promise." I nodded not trusting myself to speak. An uncomfortable heat had spread up my neck, I briefly wondered if her powers were at work. I'd been close to her before but only during training not like this, up close I could see all the different shades of brown hiding in her iris.
The strangest atmosphere settled in the room, I pulled back with a cough, not realizing how or when I'd even leaned over. I risked a glance at her face and immediately felt regret, a smile that devious couldn't mean anything good.
"If I didn't know any better-" she paused to look me up and down, the small sent a bolt of electricity down my spine.
"I'd say you were blushing birdie." She must have been using her powers. Nothing else could explain the sudden fire that had spread through my nerves.
Before I could dispute her ridiculous claim the door bursted open, in pouring the too tall, too loud kryptonian headache.
"(Y/n)! I thought I heard your voice!"
Without pause the taller male had appeared by her bed throwing his arms around her. He pulled away once she winced apologizing, they quickly began talking and whatever fire that had blossomed under my skin had vanished as quick as it flared up.
"I'll inform your mother. " I spoke rising to my feet, I didn't think they heard, and I didn't know why I cared if they had, but I caught her gaze as I left and the grin she shot me before turning back to the loud conversation sent an odd tingle of satisfaction through me, that alone was enough to make me walk faster, eager to get away from whatever the hell just happened.