It had only been five days since Elle began to stay at the mountain. To say it had been rocky would be an understatement; Elle was guarded and secretive about everything. Every now and then, though, her true self would shine through and everyone would seem to be getting along fine; then a comment or action would upset her for no reason. Once, she said, "William and I use to train on a platform like this." When asked who 'William' was, she was broody and silent for the next two days.
The other days were spent finding her clothes to wear, then other things like toiletries, shoes, and the likes. She quickly became use to people coming and going in the mountain, and actually began to hold likable conversations.
Today was the first time in the past five days (since the not-interrogation- but-interrogation with Batman) that the whole team had been together-well, almost the whole team. She didn't see Robin anywhere, but that was alright with her; the boy had begun giving her odd looks. The looks reminded her of the ones her mentor gave her whenever he knew Elle had been hiding something from him – or, in actuality, that she was planning on leaving and telling about the bombs.
The bombs… that were probably the reason for the unspoken about tension that seemed to always be there, if only a little bit, while around Elle.
A woman named Black Canary set up matches for them, Elle not yet being included, so she watched. The other two girls, Artemis and Megan, had motioned her over to them. They seemed to be taking a break from fighting today, and were simply talking. Nervous (like always) but wanting to be included, not to mention have the attention she craved, she came over. They talked about unimportant things, at least to Elle, because she still knew so little about the real world.
They found out quickly that she hadn't been exposed to it much. M'gann had said off handedly once that she rather liked Elle's naivety because she could relate; after all, she only knew as much about Earth as the stories and television allowed her to on Mars. As soon as it had left her mouth, Megan seemed worried that what she said might be offensive, but Elle had begun to beam and even laugh; it had made her felt less isolated.
She quickly became confused between Artemis's and M'gann's conversation.
"Kaldur is, uh, nice. Don't you think? Handsome, commanding… you should totally ask him out."
"He's like a big brother to me! But you know who would make the cutest couple? You and Wally! You're so full of passion, and he's so full of…"
Then they had both started to laugh, and Elle felt a smile on her face, although she still didn't understand. She crossed her arms, and like always, she spoke without thinking about it, "Why are you pushing relationships on each other? I thought that stuff just sort of happened. Like in the movie M'gann and I watched."
The two girls seemed to shift awkwardly, and Elle bit her lip, afraid she had said the wrong thing again – whatever she thought usually came out of her mouth, and the girl didn't know how to speak to people. The two were smiling again though as they waved it off.
"We're not," M'gann replied first, then nudging her with an elbow, "But who do you like?"
"Like? Well…. I like all of you guys, really…" The confession brought a blush to the ginger's face and she looked down to her shoes. Artemis seemed confused until a laugh came out and she threw a friendly arm over Elle's shoulders.
"Yeah, we like you too, Ellie."
Elle was laughing and about to comment when the computer announced Kaldur's defeat. Superboy proudly admitted that Black Canary taught him that during her mentoring of him, and then Red Tornado came in. She listened silently as Wally bothered the robot over missions, and something about a hot date.
"Hot date?" She whispered to Artemis who rolled her eyes and replied, "Never listen to Wally. Ever. It'll help you in the long run."
Elle nodded eagerly, as if given the secret of the universe itself which only proved to make Artemis, and Megan, grin.
"Missions are the Batman's responsibilities." Red Tornado reminded the team. Elle felt herself shrink back only a little bit at that; she didn't feel as if she'd ever be accepted into the team…. But why should she? She couldn't be trusted, she knew that well enough. She didn't even trust herself, and that was something Batman seemed to sense. He and Robin both, the glances she received from them. It was obvious distrust. She had done too much wrong; it was too late to fix it.
She felt as if she could never be good…
"This is Kent Nelson." Elle snapped out of her thoughts of self-pity and now paid attention to Red's information. She glanced at Wally when he made a joke to Artemis; she wondered why he gave all his attention to Megan at times when Artemis was the one her turned to naturally. She decided not to think about it; it's not like she would get it, right?
Then Kaldur explained who Mr. Nelson was; that he was the great sorcerous Doctor Fate, and once more, she heard Wally's comments to Artemis – who still didn't respond. Then M'gann spoke so sweetly and happily about the priests on Mars. She opened her mouth to ask about them, always the curious type, when Wally spoke first about how magic rocked.
"I thought you just said it was fake?" Elle said with brows knitted in confusion. Artemis started chuckling, crossing her arms and looking at Wally with a smirk who simply stuttered out, "Wh-what? Nah. I love magic!"
Elle went to speak again but Artemis nudged her and she dropped the subject, sighing. She was beginning to think she would be in a constant state of confusion around her new – where they her friends? Another wave of sadness hit her. Kaldur took the key from Tornado, and Elle watched with disappointed eyes as the team made it to the vehicle room. Her eyes turned back to her feet, and she stood there, alone, again.
"Elle? Aren't you coming?" Artemis's sultry voice called out to her.
"I'm not allowed on missions," She mumbled, looking up to them. The loneliness she felt must have portrayed on her face by the way they all frowned.
"Technically, this is not a mission," The leader said as he stepped forward. He smiled at Elle, and motioned with his hand for her to follow.
"Yeah, so if you tag along, it'll be fine!" Wally said, and now, he was grinning too.
"A-Alright!" Elle said cheerfully, running after them. Her glee was obvious as she kept bouncing on her heels whenever they paused in front of the bio ship, waiting for the door to open. Once inside, she hesitated until M'gann told her she could take Robin's usual seat, pointing in the direction.
"Thanks!" She had said excitedly, sitting down and gasping once the seat buckled herself. "Wow!" She said, breathless. "This is so cool! Do all Martians have one of these? Gosh, I wish I did. I wasn't even allowed to drive a motorcycle though, apparently I'm too brash, but I don't even know what that means."
"Brash is impulsive and blunt while sometimes being rude." Superboy stated since he practically had a dictionary in his head. He turned to see Elle's blank face, and almost got angry, but then she was laughing.
"Oh! Well that makes sense!"
Megan then talked about the bioships, and Elle kept asking questions, but the older girl didn't seem to mind. Once she told Elle something particularly confusing, the girl silenced and began to think on it, giving someone else time to talk.
Artemis asked Wally about his 'honest divinity' for magic, Wally gave an equally answer, and Elle practically sighed in relief when M'gann's stern voice rang out, "We've reach coordinates."
"Nothing's there." Superboy stated in confusion.
Kaldur nodded to Megan, informing her to 'take us down'. Elle was still bouncing, her excitement yet to be calmed. It lessened, though, when they spent five minutes trying to find anything at all. Wally finally ran around the area, coming back, and like usual, Artemis was the one he first talked to. They said a bunch of confusing things, Superboy glancing at Elle and telling her 'just ignore it' even though he understood, but suddenly Wally had a change of direction. Elle seemed to be catching on, because she wasn't surprised when it was because of M'gann's prescience.
"A test of faith," Kaldur said, drawing everyone's attention. Elle watched curiously as he seemed to push the key into nothing, but gasped (happily) as a building appeared.
"Way too cool!" She beamed, bouncing up to Kaldur so she could enter in behind him. "I haven't seen magic since-" Elle immediately cut herself off and looked away from the group, her aura depressed again. No one could comment as Mr. Nelson appeared on a hologram, asking their business in his house. Wally spoke in what Elle deemed to be an odd voice, and she was giggling when the floor collapsed.
She let out a scream like everyone else, her fear gripping her for a moment, unable to act. She knew she had to though. She reached for her nunchucks and was painfully reminded that they weren't there. She didn't have any weapons – something made sure of by Batman. M'gann turned to Wally who was right beside her and grabbed him, and Artemis used her grappling hook to grab Kaldur and then cling to the wall.
Was she going to die? Elle was frightened… oh god, it was lava. That was just like fire! Fear once more took over her, but instead of burning alive, she let out a grunt and Superboy threw her over his shoulder and grabbed onto the wall. Her heart was pounding madly, and she watched in horror as they neared the heat. Superboy's feet entered the lava and he let out a roar, pulling his legs up. Elle was still only letting out short huffs of breath, barely able to breathe, as she clung on desperately to Superboy.
"Those were my favorite boots," He growled, "this Nelson guy better by worth it." He didn't seem to notice Elle's pathetic response to the situation, and if he did, he graciously ignored it. She said nothing as the team talked to each other to figure out the situation, along with Wally's unneeded flirting. After a moment of (what Elle decided, pure brilliance), M'gann yelled out, "Red Tornado… sent us… to see if Mr. Nelson and the helmet… were safe!"
The lava was gone, and Elle let out an audible sound of happiness. Superboy was the first to jump down, and feeling the coolness under his feet, he set down Elle. It was easy, although she was clinging, thanks to his strength. The others were down within moments.
"This platform should be red hot, but it is cool to the touch…" Kaldur stated. Elle looked to him and then slowly, (and still shaking), she leaned down and placed her hand on the ground. She sighed, shoulders sagging and her shivers stopping.
"Elle, are you alright?" The Atlantean asked with genuine worry.
"Yeah," She said weakly, "I just don't like… like fire or…"
She trailed off, but Kaldur nodded, understanding. If anything else was about to be said, it was cut off by Wally's flirtatious gestures finally being too much for Artemis. She began to yell at him, exploiting the fact that he did not actually believe in magic.
"Wally, you don't believe?"
"Fine! Fine! I lied about believing in magic, but magic is the real lie! A major load!"
"Wally, I studied for a year at the conservatory at Atlantis." Kaldur spoke while still touching the floor. Elle bent down once more, studying it and then smiling, realizing it was a trap door. "The mystic arts created the skin icons that power my water bearers."
Wally explained his power with bio-electricity, then talked about fire, and continue to back up his story. Artemis chastised him about being close-minded, and he once more backed up his opinion with a final statement of, "Everything can be explained by science!"
"Let us test that theory," Kaldur pulled back the door, Wally yelling about the back draft, but instead there was snow. Elle laughed and instantly jumped through it. The others followed and she said something unimportant, but it earned a smile from Megan.
Then, after more bantering, Artemis and Wally flew up in the sky and disappeared in a light.
"Did the sky just eat them?" Elle asked in a wondered voice, staring at where they once were rather then looking at the others – which is what they had done.
"No, they were transported." Megan said gently, and Elle looked to her. Even though the topic was closed, she added, "I knew a witch. She could do a lot of magic."
Megan smiled and offered a hand to help Elle off the ground, which she took. They then began to walk, Kaldur asking who the witch was.
Elle had smiled fondly, but it was also obviously sad. "Her name was Hannah. She was my first friend who was a girl."
"I am sorry," Kaldur said softly and Elle looked up, confusion playing on her face. A hand was placed on her shoulder by the Martian and she apologized as well, explaining, "The way you speak of her… she is gone now."
Elle looked away immediately and walked faster than before, the others matching her speed. After a minute of silence, M'gann opened up about how she didn't understand Wally. Kaldur explained, and it was in terms that Elle understood. Then, in that moment, a door opened for them.
"I find this creepily convenient," Elle said in a small voice, surprising the others. Usually, when she retreated into herself, it lasted for hours if not the rest of the day. This time it took only a few minutes; perhaps she was opening up.
As they stepped through the door, they were surprised to find that they fell through. Elle landed on someone roughly, and she muttered out an apology when Artemis was helping her up. She was thrown to the side, pushed by the girl, when someone else had fired at them. It seemed to be a real mission after all! That shouldn't have made her happy, but it did. Her happiness was short lived as she was the first one to become trapped in the electric net that Avada Kedavra pushed on them. She was yelling, kneeling against the ground, barely realizing that the others had fallen too.
After a few minutes of this though, it stopped. Elle stood, and made a face when she realized the villain had been… declothed. After Superboy punched him, she said, "I can't unsee that…"
Artemis and M'gann both laughed, feeling more at ease now that they'd won their battle.
Okay, this chapter probably seems really random and kind of like nothing happened. But I wanted to show Elle's hesitance and reluctance, and hint at things at her past. Like slyly add in people she use to know, her mentor, her fears, things that bother her, where she is slowly fitting into the team. I also wanted to kind of show that she sometimes opens up, but then immediately shuts down. I want the character to grow, and for the reader to see her grow.
I'm planning on putting a hell of a lot in the next chapter. Lots of stuff will be explained! Tons of it. And really, Elle will probably be the near only one (of the team) present, so it'll be all about her. Some KalXOC stuff might not happen for a while, because I'm all about the development in most cases. Though fluff, of course, is needed.
Sunflower13: I can tell you're hyper! XD And you'll find out in the next chapter so wait for that! Sorry it took so long to get out DX I've been under a ton of stress. And on the note about fire users, I never understood that. Kaldur is weak of fire…
Super Sonic Death Turtle: Thank you! Elle has been my main OC for about two years now, so it's nice to hear that.
Shisumi12: Well, here you go!