Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice. Greg Weisman, Brandon Vietti and Cartoon Network do.
Summary: Artemis and Robin are being held captive in a stone fortress. Surprisingly, Robin is hesitant to use his hacking or trolling powers to escape. It seems he's been prisoner here before. Did it have to happen right before a mission? CRACK fic!
A/N: Artemis knows Robin's secret identity here. I guess this fic could be a companion to To Catch A Robin, I'm not claiming this story as canon to it or the show though.
These Four Walls Can't Contain Us
Their communicators had been the first thing to be taken away. As of now, their one of their captors was examining the devices closely, turning them over in his hands curiously.
Sweat collected in a pool at the base of Artemis' skull as she watched helplessly from her chair.
"Calm down, Artemis," Robin whispered next to her. "It is vital you do not show signs of breaking down. They can smell fear. Last person who did that in front of them, they sent him to a "special shrink"—I never saw him again."
"But what if the team comms us while he has it?" Artemis hissed back nodding towards their captor who had begun pressing buttons on the devices now. "We can't afford to let them know our current status. They'll try and rescue us without understanding the full implications and everything will be one giant catastrophe!"
A shadow fell over them sinisterly before Robin had time to rely. "What's this?" another one of their captives crooned, stretching her lips into a thin, empty smile. "Conspiracies between two juvenile delinquents?" her voice dropped to a chilling hush as she bent down and pressed her face close to theirs. "Don't make us have to punish you more than we have to, you naughty, naughty children."
Robin gulped. Actually gulped and shrunk down in his chair. What was truly horrible, Artemis realized, was that he didn't appear to be acting.
The female captor bent upright again satisfied at the sight. "I suggest you get busy, kiddies," she purred. "Otherwise we'll have to resort to more forceful measures."
As if on cue a tortured scream split the air coming from behind a sealed door off to the side of the room.
"OH, DEAR GOD, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I'LL BE GOOD, I PROMISE! NO MORE, PLEASE!"
The female captor curved her mouth upwards into a cruel grin as she relished the screams. "That was one of our more disobedient ones. I do hope you two will be a bit more compliant than he was. Now if you excuse me, I'd best check on him—it's never wise to expose people to it for too long," she murmured under her breath, striding over to the sealed room and entering it.
"Okay, that's it. We're getting out of here," Artemis said struggling hard not to panic. It lasted for exactly two seconds before she glanced to her right and saw that Robin had picked up the instrumental device their captors had left for them. "No!" she cried frantically. "Don't give in! Come on, you're stronger than this! You must have at least ten possible escape plans thought up by now!"
"It's useless," Robin said with a defeated expression. "I've been held by these guys before. We might as well accept their demands and submit. "
Panic evolved quickly into anger. "Listen, you little troll," Artemis growled through clenched teeth. "You're the one who got us both into this mess, so now you're going to get us out! You owe it to me!"
"Oh, you're going to toss the blame card at me, are you?" Robin asked coking one eyebrow at her. "It was totally your fault! We got caught because of you. I only got nabbed trying to save your butt, that's all."
"I will have silence, you young renegades!" roared their male captor from the front of the room. He pointed at finger at Robin. "Unless you want me to call Daddy Dearest again this time?"
Robin shook his head back and forth frantically.
Artemis clamped down on her tongue to refrain from making some snippy remark that at least Batman would be on their side and enact his wrath upon the captors of their unjust imprisonment.
The male captor shifted his attention onto her now. "That goes for you too, Little Miss Goldilocks. Unless you want your guardian to become involved, be a good little girl and follow the rules!"
On second thought, Artemis suddenly understood why Robin why so terrified of Batman coming to get them. She didn't want to face her guardian either and see the disappointment of their face. Getting caught like this… how humiliating!
"Now," their male captor said holding up their communicators abruptly. "How exactly do these work? I've never seen this type of model before? Are they new or did you buy next year's unreleased version off the black market? Friggin', rich kids always showing off your expensive bling," he muttered nastily as he fiddled with them.
Please, don't accidentally turn it on, please don't accidentally turn it on, Artemis chanted mentally.
"Yo, Arty-licious, what's shakin', babe?" Wally's voice drifted out soon after the guy's thumb hit the ON button unknowingly. "You run into some trouble? 'Cause you know, you were supposed to be here like half an hour ago."
Artemis didn't bother holding back her groan of frustration as their male captor blinked and narrowed his eyes at the device in his hands. "Who is this?" he demanded.
"W-what? Who are you?" Wally's tone had changed from flirtatious to confused and suspicious. "Artemis, who is that?"
"Oh, I see, you must be her boyfriend," the male captor said throwing a dry glance her direction. "I'm very sorry, but Artemis is not available to talk at the moment. She'll have to call you back." The man frowned as he tried to end the connection. "How on earth do you turn this thing off?"
"Artemis! Artemis, are you alright?" Wally's voice pitch had shot up about four octaves in stress. "Have you been kidnapped? Where's Rob? Wasn't he supposed to be with you?"
Artemis jerked her head to stare at Robin who had gone stock-still ever since her communicator had switched on. He must be worried. This was bad! Their secret identities could be exposed any second and—wait, why was he smirking so evilly like that?
"HELP! WE'VE BEEN TAKEN HOSTAGE! WE NEED BACKUP AND RESCUE IMMEDIATELY!" Robin hollered at the top of his lungs.
Their male captor sputtered indignantly at the boy's claim. "What?" he snarled marching over until he stood in front of them. "You playing some kind of sick joke, you little punk?"
"OMIGOSH, WE'RE BEING TORTURED!" Robin continued his pained wailing as if being beaten mercilessly. "I DON'T KNOW IF WE'LL SURVIVE! TRACK OUR LAST TRANSMITTED COORDINATES AND BAIL US OUT! PLAN KOBAYASHI MARU!"
"On the way, buddy! I'm coming, Arty! Never fear! I won't let the bad man hurt you! Over and out!" Wally shrieked, his voice brimming with righteous fury, before cutting the transmission short.
It was quiet in the room for several seconds with only the sound of static fizzling from the communicator as their male captor still hadn't figured out a way to turn it off. Artemis sat in her seat seething inwardly. She couldn't believe Robin had come so close blowing their cover like that—heck, as soon as Wally showed up, as Kid Flash, it was curtains for all of them. Goodbye, hero lifestyle, because she couldn't see Green Arrow or Batman ever allowing them to continue fighting crime with their secret identities blown.
"This some kind of high-tech walkie-talkie?" their male captor asked breaking her out of her brooding thoughts.
Artemis looked at him startled. No way. No way he was as stupid and dense as that.
"Look, kids, I realize this might be cutting into any play dates you may have made with your friends previously," the guy said sarcastically. "But you're in here because of your own actions and blatant disregard for the rules. And I'm here to ensure you don't skip out on your punishment. And just for your information, the sooner you write those lines, the sooner we can all leave. Alright? So get cracking!"
Artemis glanced down at the open notebook and pencil lying on the desk in front of her before eyeing the blackboard at the front of the room which had one sentence scrawled in giant, white chalk letters across it:
I WILL NOT CRAWL THROUGH THE SCHOOL'S VENTILATION DUCTS TO CUT CLASSES.
"Okay, seriously," Robin said quite unimpressed by the man's logic. "The class was P.E. and we were supposed to learn the basics of gymnastics. We would have sub-consciously slaughtered everyone at it—so we decided it'd be fairer to everyone if we didn't show up." He purposefully left out that they had received a call on their communicators that they were needed on a mission ASAP and had been attempting to leave the school grounds unnoticed.
Their male captor laughed madly at that. "Haha, what, you? Mister Mathlete? And Princess Rapunzel over there? Fat chance! You Gotham Academy brats don't know the true meaning of a good workout. I bet all you had to do was pretend to faint and they'd let you off the hook and out of the class permanently. But it's too late. You wanted to play Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, but you didn't do the role justice."
"Please stop with the cheesy nick-names and metaphors, you'll make my ears bleed," Robin said. "And yes, I would have gotten away with it if it was just me, but she doesn't know the meaning of 'subtle'."
Artemis glared at him. "I didn't scream because of that enormous spider! I screamed because my hair got snagged in the air vent and it was really painful!"
"You keep telling yourself that. Either way, I had to double back for you then we got caught when we fell through the ceiling," Robin glanced at his wristwatch. He started counting under his breath, "Five… four… three… two…one."
Every window in the Gotham Academy's detention room shattered simultaneously as blinding beams of light from a ray gun were blasted through them. The air outside rippled like water passing over a mirror before the sleek red coloring of M'gann's bio-ship morphed into view.
"W-W-WHAT'S GOING ON?" their male captor shrieked panicked. The turbulent commotion was enough to make their female captor emerge from beyond the sealed door of the side room. She simply stood in place and gaped at the scene.
This is it. Life as I know it is officially over, Artemis thought. All those other times at her old school in Gotham North when she had actually wished to escape from detention—but not like this. Never like this.
Their female captor seemed to have regained her sense of speech. "W-w-what is this?" she gasped hoarsely with wide eyes.
"This…" said a course, gravelly voice as huge, terrifying White Martian phased through the detention room's stone wall. "Is the first of a Martian invasion. I shall be needing two human specimens for experimentation and research." Megan's eyes landed on her teammtes' captors. "Ah, wonderful. An adult male and female. You will be sufficient." She stretched out one willowy limb towards them.
The two detention supervisors unleashed twin blood-curdling shrieks and fled the room, yelling pleas over their shoulders to take the children instead.
"Oh, dear. It looks like I'll have to make do with the second choice," M'gann laughed as she shifted back into her usual green form. "Need a lift, guys?" she asked as she floated back to her waiting bio-ship.
"W-we can't leave!" Artemis stammered hardly believing what just happened. She pointed in the direction their captors had disappeared. "Those buffoons have our communicators!" True, the man thought they were either advanced cell-phones or walkie-talkies, but they still couldn't leave them in his hands.
A red and yellow blur zipped in front of her suddenly. "You mean these?" Kid Flash grinned holding up the devices. "Swiped 'em right under their noses! They never even saw me pass!"
"You're the best, KF," Robin said, pocketing his. "Did you bring our uniforms and gear?"
"All on board," Kid Flash replied cheerfully. "Just as planned!"
"God, this one of the little troll's genius brain-farts, isn't it?" Artemis moaned in disgust recalling Robin's words as he had shouted at Wally through the communicator before. "Plan Kobayashi Maru? Isn't that from Star Trek?"
"Cool, Art, you know your sci-fi," Kid Flash said impressed, slinging an arm across her shoulder. "Yep, me and Robin planned it out ages ago that if a communicator ever fell into the wrong hands, not a villain, just a civilian, and we couldn't get away without risking our identity, we'd do this whole charade. Worked like a charm, right?"
"Except for the part that those two idiots are probably calling up the White House to inform them of a Martian Invasion and us being kidnapped by aliens," Artemis retorted sourly.
"They're not that smart," Robin smiled at her. "They'll just call the Gotham City Police who'll call Batman who'll call the Justice League who'll back down once they realize it was us all along."
"And after we get grounded until we're thirty," Artemis stated.
"What? They were hindering our entire mission sticking us in detention! That takes priority over a making up a fake Martian invasion any day!" Robin protested.
"Then why were you so worried they were going to call Batman's civilian identity earlier and squeal to him that his son was in detention?" Artemis pressed, smirking as she saw Robin flinch visibly. "What kind of other trouble have you been in here for?"
"Details are unimportant," Robin brushed the question aside and walking hurriedly towards an open window. "Let's go. We're on a tight schedule, remember? If we time everything right, we can still save the day and wake up conveniently memory-less in a cornfield tomorrow morning before our news interviews at noon."
"You've been kidnapped one too many times, methinketh," Artemis said following him.
"It's Gotham, babe," Kid Flash told her. "It's kind of in his hero job description."
It irritated her. That Robin could weave such a brilliant and twisted plan and pull it off so perfectly without one single hitch.
"Oh, wow," came Zatanna's voice in awe from inside the bio-ship as Robin stepped on board. "Is that really what you look like without your mask?"
"This school looks pretty fancy," Superboy spoke up. "Do you go here? Does that mean your civilian identity's rich?"
A humongous grin enveloped Artemis' face as she heard Robin curse violently. Oh, yes, she had forgotten there was always silver lining to every cloud.
A/N: LJ was down when I started writing this. I was in YJ anon meme withdrawal. I blame the CRACK on that. Plus, I just love writing Artemis-and-Robin hijinks! XD People who have been following my fics for a long time probably guessed early that Robin and Artemis weren't being held captive at all. Not by the usual bad guys at least. I like to do this: play with the readers' minds. All it takes is to be vague enough on the setting and description for the plot device to work. That and Artemis kept thinking of Robin as "Robin" and not Dick Grayson, and how their captors never addressed either of them by their real names probably tricked people into believing the wrong scenario. But by this time, they had been pulled out of the ventilation ducts and Artemis' mind was still in "mission-mode", so you were deceived. Anyway, if you caught on early that things weren't as they appeared, I salute you! Oh, and I meant to put it in the fic somewhere, but I never had a chance: the sealed door to the side room is where they would stick the more disobedient kids in and force them to watch episodes of the Teletubbies. Torture, sheer torture. Gotham Academy dishes out strict detentions!
I hope you have enjoyed reading this! Please review and share your thoughts and favorite scenes. I love hearing what you liked best and it's the only reward a fanfic author gets. I like knowing what my readers think and feel. Thank you!