Sorry guys for not updating in a while! I was busy dealing with college, writer's block and a bad cold all at once. But! My muse came to visit the other day so here's a brand new chapter of parallel dimensions, space-time continuum bullshit and shitloads of plot twists I'm throwing around for the sake of entertainment! Uh, I hope it's at least a bit entertaining. And trust me when I say I'm going somewhere with all of this.
By the way, if you guys notice anything that doesn't make sense, don't hesitate to ask me.
What if Curiosity killed the Cat?
Roy couldn't feel his arm.
Well actually, his arm didn't exist anymore. Roy could feel that it wasn't there. It was an odd sensation. It was empty. Just… empty. Something that was supposed to be there wasn't there anymore. Roy was trying to wrap his mind around the idea. It was hard to process.
Wait a second.
Roy still had a conscience?
Wave of flashy colours blending into each other. Spinning, spinning, spinning… He wasn't dreaming... He was just floating in his own consciousness. Consciousness, mind you, that Roy was pretty sure he shouldn't have. He thought he was dead. He should have been bleeding to death. He should have been dead. Or was he in limbo already? So, there is a life after death then?
Roy didn't think the afterlife would feel like the 60s. There was only music missing. If he had a voice, maybe Roy would sing right now.
He tried speaking. "A-ah…"
That was weird. Was that his voice?
Roy tried moving and suddenly, his whole being ached. Oh god, what the hell? This wasn't the afterlife! How could being dead hurt? Unless he was in hell. Pain in purgatory. Yup, that made a sense. No wait, no. That doesn't make sense. What did Roy do to deserve being sent to purgatory?
It was the drug addiction, wasn't it?
Aw man, he was sorry. Really. It was a bad time. Roy wanted to repent.
That didn't sound like a godly voice. Unless God or whatever divinity around here had a wimpy voice. It sounded familiar. Roy knew that ginger voice anywhere. It wasn't usually this girly-wimpy-sounding, but still. Only one ginger head had this voice.
"W-wally?" Roy tried lifting his eyelids. His vision was blurry for a moment. He felt like shit. Man, what the hell?
"You're awake!" Wally hovered above him. As soon as Roy spoke, he beamed happily. "He's awake! Oh my god! It's a miracle." The speedster ran circles around the tiny room.
Roy sat up, holding his throbbing head. White room. Black couches. A few bookshelves in the corner. A center table. It was cold… wherever the hell he was. "What the hell?" He mumbled. His voice sounded rusty.
"Damian! Damian! Come on, Roy's awake!" Wally shouted excitedly across the room.
Damian clicked his tongue, walking across the room with a most aristocratic air.
Roy, meanwhile, was thinking "Who the fuck is Damian?"
The ten year old in a Robin suit crossed his arm and frowned. Roy snickered. "Oh, I must have said that out loud. Sorry."
Wally laughed. "You don't sound sorry, Roy."
"Don't I? Well, I tried—Wait, Wally?" Roy took a closer look at the ginger head. "You're in civies. Why are you in civies?"
Shock painted Wally's face at Roy's words. The speedster looked like he was on the verge of tears. Roy didn't understand. What did he say? What was wrong? What was up with Wally anyway? Since he woke up, the other ginger head has been looking at him with… strange eyes. Roy knew that look. He knew it all too well. It was the look Wally gave Dick.
So, uh, shit.
Why were those eyes pointing at him now?
"I already told you, West." Damian decided to speak seeing as how Roy was confused and Wally looked desperately dejected. "This isn't your Roy. Your Roy died."
Wally bit his lip.
Roy turned his attention to the unknown kid in a Robin suit. "Who are you?"
"Damian. I'm Batman's son." He replied simply.
"Son? What the hell? So even that guy can—?"
Damian interrupted Roy's train of thought. "Don't even do there, Harper. You have more pressing things to be concerned about. Mainly, perhaps, your mere existence right now."
"Right. Yeah, sure. I was wondering about that." Roy looked down at his hands. One was still real. The other was prosthetic. Someone performed surgery on him then. "Where'd the new arm come from and how did you even get it on me?"
"Doesn't matter where I got the arm," Damian answered. "West and I saved your miserable life from that monster. You should be grateful. That new arm should work just fine for a while, but your body is going to reject it eventually."
Roy moved his right hand and fingers. They all worked fine. Weird. He could make them move and yet, the archer couldn't feel them there. How was that going affect his archery? He'd have to think about that later. "Alright then, what's going on here anyway? What's this about me dying?"
Roy turned towards Wally. The speedster seemed to be refusing to participate in the conversation. It was more than odd to see him so quiet and obedient.
"The space-time continuum in this mansion is completely aberrant. It's causing different dimensions and timelines to cross together. Batman sent me here to investigate and, best case scenario, fix the problem." Damian explained. "Why are you here, Harper?"
The archer didn't like the way Damian said his last name. He didn't even like being called "Harper" by this brat either. It wasn't like his name was much of a secret among heroes, but still. This kid was too condescending. "Half of the Young Justice team went missing so, Batman sent out a search party. I came across this place by accident."Roy then turned towards Wally. "But I'm guessing 'your' Roy would have said something different?"
Wally bit his lip and reluctantly started talking. "I… I was at your place when Rob called. He said he found something interesting so you and I went to see what he was talking about. In my world, Supey was on the search party Batman sent."
"Oh," Roy didn't think anything more of Wally's words, which seemed to depress the ginger head further.
Damian ignored them both. "West, you're free to mope around for the rest of your life, but I have a job to do here."
"That being?" Roy asked.
"Getting out of here, of course." The Brat Wonder answered like it was the most obvious thing ever (because it was the most obvious thing ever).
"And how does the little genius suppose we do that anyway? Oh, and where are we?"
"You ask too many questions, Harper."
"Just answer them, kid."
"We're in the basement." Damian sighed, getting tired of the idleness and wishing he had a twinkie. "Communication with the outside is possible as long as we destroy mirrors. And before you ask, destroying mirror restores the flow of time slightly. It stabilizes sometimes long enough for cell phones to work. The mirrors also control the space, so by the destroying them, it'll make it easier for us to run into the other idiots involved in this stupid situation."
Dick was incredibly worried about Wally.
For one thing, the speedster wasn't eating. He wasn't eating. Since they go to the Keep, he had taken half a sandwich! Half! Not even the entire sandwich! He let Bart eat the other half! And when Dick asked, what did Wally say? He wasn't hungry! Ridiculous! When wasn't Wally hungry? Dick was worried. Taking Wally's metabolism into account, that was completely ridiculous. The guy should be starving right now.
But the circus boy didn't know what to do. Wally was hiding things from them, information, something big. He knew more than he was letting on. Everyone noticed, but no one was asking question. Dick didn't really want to ask either. A part of him did. A good part of him did. But another part stopped him from saying anything.
Wally had led everyone into a safe house behind the bookshelf in the white piano room. It was failproof. Apprently. There was food here and everything else the team would need to subsist for at least a week. They were safely able to cover up Wally's wounds and, after having one of those fancy energy drinks, the speedster's metabolism kicked in, healing him completely in no time. Once again, everyone refrained from asking Wally any questions at all. It was almost unsettling. The silence, that is.
Tim and Bart were checking out the kitchen and doing inventory. Supey was bent on staying as far away as possible from Kon. Meanwhile, Kon was pretending to ignore the other Superboy. Dick and Wally were sitting across each other on the table.
The Boy Wonder was still unstable from the strange visions he had gotten earlier. The image of him killing his comrades was still so vivid in his minds. Well, Dick didn't actually see himself kill everyone… but what other explanation could there be? Everyone was dead. He was covered in blood. Besides, he knew for a fact that he killed Roy. Dick remembered the feeling of killing him. It terrified him to death. Parallel dimension or whatever it was or not… some part of him killed a precious friend.
That wasn't the only thing depressing him either.
If… If Roy had gotten those memories from destroying the mirror, that would have meant that Roy saw Dick kill him in cold blood.
Roy would have died, knowing that somewhere else, Dick had killed him.
The idea tore him apart. It was too much to bear. Just too much.
"Dick?" Wally's voice interrupted Dick's thoughts.
The Boy Wonder snapped out of it. "S-sorry, what?"
The speedster looked worried. "You're spacing out. Are you okay dude?"
Dick frowned. "I should be asking you the same question."
Wally laughed weakly. "I'm fine."
"You're not. No one here is. We're all just pretending to be okay." Dick responded quickly, turning his head away from the speedster.
Wally shrunk. "Dick… what you saw… it wasn't your fault…"
"Doesn't change anything,"
"You didn't do anything wrong."
"But another me did,"
"It wasn't you."
"Dick, I love you."
The circus boy almost fell off his chair. "Wally!"
The speedster smiled, happy to see emotion return to his best friend's face. "I know everything's going to be alright."
"You're too optimistic." Dick complained, crossing his arms on the table and leaning forward with a pout.
"And you spend too much time in the Batcave."
Wally reached out for Dick's hand and held it tightly. He grinned, sheepishly looking up at the other boy with his head bent down. "Hey, does this mean we're dating now?"
Dick stared at his friend incredulously for a moment before bursting out laughing. "You're bringing that up in our current situation? We're trapped in a mansion with an evolving monster and no escape and you're talking about dating?"
"Gotta look on the bright side, you know!"
"Yeah, yeah, I love you too."
The two stared at each other, spacing out completely and pretending nothing else existed until they realized how unnatural the silence was. Bart had been on the table looking at them and smiling for at least a minute now. Dick and Wally both pulled back into their respective seats, clearing their throats.
Bart cocked his head to the side innocently. "You know, in my world, you're both straight."
Dick buried his face in his arms, embarrassed. Wally fell of his chair. The shorter speedster sped off the table to help his cousin up. "Oh, and you were married by the way."
"Married!" Wally exclaimed.
Tim cut into the conversation, shaking his head. "Bart, you should just stop there."
The little speedster laughed happily and ran across the room to go bother Kon. The green Robin turned his attention to the embarrassed couple. "And if you two are done, we should probably start talking about what were going to do now."
They had decided to split into three teams.
Kon looked over at his partner, his counterpart. It was a weird feeling. They were technically the same person, but the other Superboy was… well, considerably different from him. Supey had eyes like a child's, but his posture was that of someone on constant alert. Kon had to admit he was intrigued. Despite Robin's suggestion that they remain as ignorant as possible about their parallel counterparts, Kon couldn't help but want to ask question. And really, he would have by now, but Supey's dislike for him was hard to ignore.
"You and Robin are together?" Supey suddenly asked.
Kon blinked, surprised the other Superboy bothered even initiating conversation.
The two were headed to the second floor. The plan, or rather Robin's plan, was simple. Since it was dangerous to move around in huge groups (it made detection much more easy and it wasn't very time efficient either), they had decided to travel in teams of two.
According to Rob (and his theories were usually right anyway), if destroying mirrors restored the flow of time, communication within the mansion would most likely become possible. Theoretically, it would also allow communication with the outside world. Dick's computer-thingy was able to cap smaller signals, so he was tasked with trying to reach anyone outside as soon as contact was possible.
The two Supers were sent out to destroy the mirrors on the second floor. Meanwhile, Tim brought Wally along with to investigate the basement.
Dick had, of course, protested against this idea. He insisted Wally still needed rest, but the ginger head speedster argued that it was Dick who needed rest. Not only was the Boy Wonder without super powers, but he was also incredibly unstable at the moment. Everyone agreed it was best Dick stayed behind and Bart was left to keep an eye on him.
Kon rubbed his temple before answering Supey's question. "Kind of, I guess." He shrugged. "We love each other, but you know… he's the Boy Wonder. Batman and Gotham come first."
"Hm," Supey replied limply.
"So, uh, what's your story?"
"There's not much to say. I've only existed for seven months." Supey decided not to elaborate. "Does Superman acknowledge you in your world?"
Kon thought that was an odd question. "Yeah, he does. Why?"
Supey shrugged, looking dejected. "No reason,"
Okay, if that wasn't awkward…
The two reached the second floor and headed into the first room on their left. The mirror was hanging on the far-end of the room. Kon flew over to it while Supey walked. They stared at the object for a moment. It was oddly anti-climatic.
"So, we just have to break it, right?" Kon picked the mirror up from the wall and dropped it.
Kon fell to the floor with a thump as if a shock suddenly went through him. Supey meanwhile felt the same feeling he felt when he was still being controlled back a Cadmus. He grabbed his head trying to ease the pain. It was like something was forcing itself into his memories.
But only Kon could hear the voice.
"He doesn't love you."
What the hell?
"He doesn't even trust you with his name."
Shut up! What do you know!
"He only pays attention to you because you're a threat. The same way Batman keeps an eye on Superman."
The memories were flooding into both their minds. Kon curled up on the floor. Supey struggled to stay up. It felt like he was reliving that incident at the Bialyan desert. This was much less pleasant. Infinitely more painful. Supey was trying to see the memories as clearly as he could. It was hard. Kon's screaming was distracting. The other Superboy seemed to be suffering more. Supey wondered if it was because he broke the mirror.
"Damn it…" Supey tried to clear his mind, remember his training.
There was a thud outside the door that could only mean one thing. Kon was out for the count for now. Supey was on his own.
The monster opened the door and walked in.
Supey grinned at it. "Hey there, ugly gorilla."
Robin told them to stay away from the monster at all costs. They shouldn't go up against it until Dick finished analyzing the data they got. They knew too little about their enemy and it wasn't safe. Supey decided to fuck safe and kick some butt instead.
"That line is getting really old."
Superboy lunged at the beast, fully expecting his move to be futile. But it wasn't. The thing groaned.
Supey struck again and again.
"yOu WilL rEgReT!"
The thing tried grabbed hold of Supey's leg and flung him at the wall. The clone got back up easily, wiping some dust of the side of his face and attacking the monster with new found power. "Don't think I will!"
Supey spun and struck him with a strong kick, sending the monster flying towards to the opposite wall. It moaned before vanishing without a trace. Superboy stared at the now empty room with surprise on his face. How had he managed to defeat the thing so easily?
"S-stop it…" Kon was still curled up on the floor, shouting things Supey supposed he could understand. The other clone had seen the same memories after all.
Supey knelt down beside his counterpart and picked him up. "Come on, we have to get you out of here."
There was a white jail cell. Both Robins were glowing a creepy blue. Dick was laughing. The other Robin had attacked Kon for god knows what reason. Supey had seen himself injured in the corner.
Supey held Kon up and looked down at the mirror pieces for a moment. He probably should take one… it might help.
After the clone stuffed a broken shard in his pocket, he headed out the door, wondering when's the next he'd be able to go home and watch static television.
Tim and Wally were heading down to the basement. The speedster was fidgety. Anyone could notice. Tim wondered if it was a speedster-thing to wear their hearts on their sleeve. Hm. Probably the same it was a bat-thing to be brooding and mysterious. Tim opened the last door on the first floor they haven't checked. Bingo. It had stairs leading down to the basement.
"Cool, we found it!" Wally exclaimed happily.
Tim tucked the key in his utility belt. "Yeah, but you already knew it was here."
The ginger head stopped and shrugged. "I…"
There was only one reason Tim brought Wally along with him rather than Bart. He had questions and he was going to get answers. Maybe he wouldn't get them now, but Tim had to start somewhere. He wasn't trained by the world's greatest detective for no reason.
"You know you're not fooling anyone, right?" Tim said as they started down the stairs. He took out a flashlight from his belt to shed light. "We all know you're not telling us the whole story."
Wally zipped his mouth shut, refusing to talk.
Tim continued. "Bart's doing the same thing. He's not telling us everything he knows from what happened to Roy. But Bart's different. I think he's hiding information because he promised Roy or something. You, on the other hand, are hiding something big. Something important."
Wally still refused to talk.
"Even if you don't tell me anything now, I'll figure it out eventually. Dick will too. We aren't fools, Wally, and you're not exactly the best secret keeper."
"Dick is unstable right now and he's afraid of what he's seen. If it weren't for that, he would have already asked you questions."
"Dick isn't ready to know what you're hiding, but I have to know what it is. We need as much information as possible if we're going to get out of this alive."
The speedster shrugged. He knew he couldn't tell Tim everything, but... Wally felt like he needed to trust someone. He couldn't tell Dick. Roy was gone. And telling Superboy probably wasn't going to be of any use anyway. Tim, however, was smart. It didn't help that this Robin was extremely persuasive. It was a bat-thing wasn't it?
For people without super powers, Wally always did think the bat family was incredibly powerful.
But Wally couldn't tell Tim the whole story. Otherwise, it would happen again. He bit his lip.
The Boy Wonder turned his head to look at Wally. "Should I be surprised you know my name?"
"Why are you even asking?" Wally replied with a laugh. "I may be hiding info like you said, but why do I get the feeling you've already figured a bunch of things out for yourself?"
Tim smiled. "You're not as stupid as you look then, Wally."
"Glad I changed your opinion." The speedster rolled his eyes.
Tim shined his flashlight higher; he could see the bottom now. "These sure were a long set of stairs and the temperature seems to have dropped quite a bit. It's cold."
When they reached the bottom, Wally groped around for the light switch. "I know it was around here somewhere…"
Tim kept his guard up while Wally looked for the switch. "So, what are we going find down here anyway, Wally?"
"A book," Wally answered simply. "Ah, here's the light!"
"A book?" Tim repeated.
The lights went on and a screech interrupted any further conversation. "Damnit!"
From down the long white hallway, the monster came running for them. Tim reacted as fast as he could. "Wally, we have to—!"
"I'm on it already!" The speedster picked up the green Robin and they sped down the hallway. Reason number two for bringing the speedster was quick escape possibilities.
Bart was sincerely trying his best. It was hard for him, really. He wasn't used to carrying such a heavy burden. It was really, really hard. Honestly. Bart didn't know how much longer he could hold. He knew Rob was going to interrogate him soon and if Rob didn't, Dick was definitely going to in the next few minutes. The speedster was sure of it, so sure, he couldn't keep still. He ran around the Keep, unable to keep calm. He had to try to distract himself and not think about anything. Not about the monster. Not about the mirror. Not about what he saw. Not about Roy. And definitely not about that promise.
No thinking allowed!
It was scary, actually. Bart didn't know Roy for very long. Not even in his own dimension. He's seen him around, sure, but that was it. Bart did like him though. Roy was a strong man with a very independent air to him. Bart thought that was cool. Very impressive.
He bit his lip, stopping his run by the table to twirl his fingers around. He was scared of what he had seen. Really scared.
"Bart?" Dick walked up behind him, putting a hand on the small speedster's shoulder.
Bart froze up.
Dick moved back to sit at the table. "You can talk to me, if you want. I know you saw it too."
"How did you—?" Bart turned around and jumped onto the seat beside Dick's.
"I made a guess and you just confirmed it?"
The speedster guiltily looked down. "I… I wasn't…" He shrugged. Why were Robins so smart?
"Roy told you not to say anything. I know."
Bart loosened up a little and looked up at Dick with bright golden eyes. "I was scared. I didn't know what to do after I saw. Roy stayed cool… Even though… Well, he was in a worst state than I was."
"So you both got the memories after the mirror broke?"
"What did you see? Was it me… Was it me kill—?" Dick couldn't bring himself to finish the question. He shivered.
It happened again. There was a sudden onslaught of memories forcing itself into his mind. Dick screamed. A pounding headache attacked him. He clenched his fists trying to control himself, but it hurt too much. Bart didn't know what to do. "Dick? D-dick! Oh no… W-what do I… I…"
The little speedster tried making Dick drink some water, but the Boy Wonder couldn't. After a moment, he collapsed and Bart had to drag him to a bed. He had a fever. Bart went to get a cold face towel to put on the other boy's shoulder.
Bart frowned. "… I don't think it's your fault either, Dick."
Dick held onto the sheets, biting his lip as he forced himself to pay attention to the memories infiltrating his mind. He had to keep calm. Don't let them take over. Just feel them, learn what they are. Always remain in control.
There was a white jail cell. Tim was glowing Dick looked down at himself. He was glowing too. Blue flames. He couldn't control his body. He was a just a witness. He could hear himself giggling. Superboy was growling in the corner, bleeding. Kon was on the floor. He seemed paralyzed.
Dick made a guess. Kon or Supey must have a broken a mirror. So, not only did mirror fix the space-time continuum slightly, it also gave people strange memories. If he went with what they learned so far, these memories came from event experienced in another dimension and/or timeline. But what determined who saw the memories?
Wally knew about what Roy and Bart saw because he traveled to the other dimension. Roy and Bart saw the memories because they were in the same room when the mirror broke. The same probably went for Supey and Kon. So then, why?
Why was Dick seeing it all too?
"Timmy, we should go." Dick heard his voice say with a giggle.
Kon in the vision coughed up blood. "Heh, so you're name's Tim then?"
Tim stared at Kon. Dick couldn't see his expression because he was standing behind the other Boy Wonder. Eventually, Tim nodded. "Yeah, let's go."
Wally ran as fast as he could down the hallway to the first unlocked room he could get into and locked from the inside. The speedster wiped his forehead. "Thank goodness for speedy exits, right Ti—You're glowing."
Tim looked down at his hands. They were blue. "Yeah… I can… see that…"
"Wait, you don't know what this is?" Tim waved his glowing hands around.
"Glowing blue flames, nope. T-that doesn't ring any bells."
"Huh," Tim examined himself more closely. "They don't burn at all."
"Nothing's weird in this dimension, Wally."
"I guess not—Oh, the flames are gone."
As suddenly as they appeared, the flames vanished and Tim was his usual non-glowing self again. Weird, what on earth was that?
Ring, ring, ring—
"Sounds like a phone." Wally said out loud.
Tim checked his belt. It was his phone, but… how?
Kon and Supey must have destroyed a mirror. Was it them calling to test out the signal? Tim took out his phone. Unknown number. That ruled out Kon. So who could possibly be calling him?
Tim answered. "Hello?"
There was a strangely familiar voice on the other line, but it sounded… older than what Tim was used to. "I got through! Hello, Robin? Can you hear me?"
Wally excitedly ran up to Tim's side to try and hear the conversation. "Who is it?" He asked, curiously.
Tim ignored him. There was no mistaking that voice. "Nightwing…?"
"Whoa… Guess I wasn't contacting the right Robin." The voice continued. "Timmy, I'm guessing?"
"What do you mean? Wait… It's really you then, Dick? But how are you calling me? What do you mean 'the right Robin'?"
"Alright, calm down Tim. You're trapped in that mansion too, right? From what timeline are you from?"
"Timeline?" Tim repeated. Then, this Dick was from another dimension too? "I'm leading the Young Justice."
"Hm, that name brings me back." The older sounding Dick replied with a smile in his voice. "Look, I know you probably have a lot of questions, but the signal probably isn't going to last long. The fact that we're talking means the flow of time in that world must stabilizing. You need to find Damian. He'll explain every—bzzzzzzt—Crap—!"
The line cut.
Wally pulled away, putting his knuckles on his waist. "Well, that was weird. Did you call that guy Dick?"
The speedster smiled. "His voice sure does get sexier in the future then."
To be continued…
Notes on the timelines from which the characters are from:
The comic!Young Justice characters are still in their 90s form. Tim hasn't revealed his identity yet, of course. The team hasn't been a team for very long either. I'm placing them a couple of issues after the whole team is already assembled. So, Cassie would still have her black wig when she eventually shows up in later chapters.
The cartoon!Young Justice characters are placed after episode nine, the Bialya incident episode. It's been a week since then.
As for the older Dick who appears at the end of the chapter, he's already Batman in his timeline—which is obvious because Damian was at the start of this chapter.
Alright, that's it for now!