Hello, if your reading this you must know that it's not for a readers benefit that I'm doing this story, but because I just like my story. If you don't then don't read it and give me a whole ton of crap about it. I'm all for critiquing, but there is a difference between critiquing and criticizing, look it up. Anyway, enjoy. :)


Prologue

Deathstroke stood easily on a thick pine branch looking through his sniper rifles scope to where he could see the top-secret, high-security facility that was his target. It was simple; blow-up the building and all inside and don't ask questions. Normally sabotage wasn't his main line of work, but his hit list had been rather low and this job paid well. Two-hundred and fifty thousand in advance, then the same amount afterwards, five-hundred thousand in all wasn't bad for something this easy. Too easy for Deathstroke to be comfortable with, that was for sure. Something about this whole thing stank to high heaven and he wasn't about to just charge in blindly.

He had been observing the illegal human genetics lab for a whole week and had seen nothing that would worry him. Some white-coated doctors came and went, and the guards were second rate to say the least, with a simple four guard rotation and only one electric fence. At one point one of the subjects had tried to run, but was caught without much fuss. No, he didn't see anything other than what he'd been told in the job description but that only made him all the more suspicious.

A sudden flash of light, followed by a resounding roar ripped him from his thoughts. The building had turned into a huge fireball, with a shockwave so large that it destroyed the first ring of trees and flattened the second, causing Deathstroke to brace himself against the trunk of the tree he was perched on, grateful that luck was with him this time around.

He leaped down to the ground and did a tuck and roll to his feet as he hit the dirt, a move that even a younger man might've not come up from unscathed. He walked cautiously to the sight of the explosion, his armor easily protecting him from the super heated ground and what melting scraps remained of the fence and building. He scowled angrily as he kicked the skull of what once might've been a guard.

His employer said he was the only one on this job. If so then who set off the explosion? Was it even deliberate? No matter how he looked at it, Deathstroke planned to have a little chat with his employer when he saw him again. Nearly done with his observation, Deathstroke finally went to the newly formed crater and got the shock of his life. A small girl sat dead center of the deep crater without so much as a hint of even a single burn on her.

Chapter 1

"Dad, can't I just take a taxi or even the bus or something? I don't need to be chauffeured to school." Nova leaned against the wall opposite of her dad in the kitchen, her arms crossed across her chest as she frowned slightly. The kitchen, like the rest of the house was elegant but not ostentatious. Two bars, one marble and one dark oak, cut the kitchen into three sections. The oak bar separated the cooking area from the rest of the room, with brass pots and pans hanging like odd ornaments above its gleaming polished surface.

Across from it was an alcove with a large window that filled the wall facing the bar, rays of sunshine gleaming around the spires of tall glass and metal towers of the city. In this alcove was a simple honey colored wood table with three chairs, the one at the head of it occupied by Novas dad. The marble bar was at the far end of the kitchen, opposite of the entrance, with tall wine glasses perched elegantly along one end. Behind this bar was a large liquor cabinet filled with various different colored glass bottles and carafes of all shapes and sizes.

Nova squinted as the sunlight hit the glass bottles and flashed in her eyes before she pulled the curtain to her left shut. Her dad sighed irritably at this and turned the page of his newspaper, snapping it straight as he answered. "Nova, I've told you time and again; you are not going to use public transportation to get to and from school and that's final, so stop asking me."

"But can't I at least drive myself then, or go with a friend?" Nova pleaded, walking over to thump her hands onto the kitchen table in front of her dad, trying to get him to stop hiding behind his morning newspaper.

"No!" He roared back in reply, slapping down his paper, scowling at her with his one good eye as he jerked the cuffs of his midnight blue suit straight. When Nova was younger, such a glare would have shut her up on the spot, but not anymore. She scowled back stubbornly and straightened up, crossing her arms once more. "Nova, we've been through this a hundred times. It's not safe for you to drive around Gotham and your friends wouldn't be any better off with or without you."

He stood as he spoke, walking behind the marble bar to grab a glass of brandy for himself. Though past his middle-aged years, Slade Wilson was still as strong and neat as ever. Every snow-white hair on his head and face was trimmed and perfectly in place. His suit didn't have a single wrinkle, even with his powerful shoulders tense with his frustration at his daughters' persistence.

Nova rolled her eyes and restlessly strode over to take a seat on the oak bar, swinging her legs back and forth as they dangled over the edge. "Dad, you know I can take care of myself just fine. You taught me to handle and shoot a sniper rifle when I was six."

"That doesn't mean you have to let the world know about it. And get off of there, you're in a skirt."

"Ugh! That's the real reason you won't let me get to school on my own. It's not proper for a girl to fight in such a ridiculous getup as this," she half-complained half-joked as she slid off the counter and back onto the ground with another roll of her eyes and a slight grin. She then straightened her school uniform after an expectant look from Slade. It was a simple affair, a black skirt with gold plaid, with a matching gold colored jacket trimmed in black over a white collared shirt and black tie. To finish the outfit was the required white stockings and black flats.

Nova pulled at the collar of her shirt irritably as her dad took a deep drink from his glass before he continued. "I will not argue this point any further Nova. Wintergreen will take you to school, so get your things and go or you'll be late."

"Sure thing dad, hey, will you still be here when I get back?"

"No, my flight to Chile will be leaving in a few hours."

"Oh, OK." Nova quickly went over and they both exchanged a brief hug and a peck on the cheek, all hard feelings from a moment ago gone. Both knew it was best to part in good spirits and on good terms when Slade went on one of his "business trips". "When will you be coming to Kenya?" As she spoke she noticed the time and started to head out of the kitchen.

"In about a month or so, and that's if there's a hitch," Slade replied, grinning slightly as Nova kept glancing at the clock. Nova hated being late to anything and took great lengths to get to school at least a half-hour early.

"Great. Well, good luck! Tell me allaboutitwhenyougetback," Nova yelled quickly, running her words together as she darted out the kitchen, through the dining room over the living room couch and coffee table and out the door, snatching up her backpack as she went. Waiting for her just outside was Mr. Wintergreen, or uncle Wintergreen to Nova, her dads' trainer, man-servant, and friend. He held open the door for her as she bolted from the door of the house to the limousine, flying into the back seat with a thud.

"Now Miss Wilson, that was not very lady-like," Wintergreen reproved with the barest hint of sarcasm as he got into the driver's seat and started the car. This was not the first time Nova had been unlady-like and it most certainly wouldn't be the last.

"Since when have I ever been a good lady uncle? I'm a tomboy, be happy I'm not wearing pants to school," she replied, her words echoing back her adopted uncles thoughts in her own way. She tugged at her skirt and sighed in resignation as she turned to look out the window. Nova was never very fond of big cities and was looking forward to the upcoming summer break. Thinking about it, Nova broke the easy silence and asked-"hey uncle, where's my ticket? I want to look over the info for the flight when I come home."

"It's on the coffee table. Your flight leaves at seven in the morning on the twelfth so that by the time you reach Kenya the estate should be prepared for your arrival. We'll meet you there once your father's business is finished."

"Wonderful, I can't wait to get away from all this for awhile. How people stand to live elbow-to-elbow like this constantly is beyond me."

"Also you should note that until you leave, Mr. Atherton will be driving you to and from school, as well as the airport, so please do not make the usual fuss about whether or not you drive. If you do, your father will hear of it."

"I know how it goes uncle, don't worry." Nova hid a smile. What her dad and uncle didn't know was that she had bribed Mr. Atherton into driving herself and her friends all over town when she was alone at the house, something her dad would never allow if he knew about it.

"Then you also know that you better have that new set of Northern Jujitsu techniques down pat or you're going to end up in the hospital again and this time you're the one who's going to have to explain two dislocated shoulders."

"Ah c'mon, don't start that again. I've learned my lesson so I don't see why you have to keep bringing it up."

"Because your father is not at all tolerant when it comes to failure and if you keep failing you're going to get into some very serious trouble. Remember Rose?"

"I know, I know. Don't worry uncle; I'll take care of it. With summer break coming, I'll be able to focus more on my training anyway. Plus, I'm not like her; I'm stronger and better in every way." Nova scowled angrily from the backseat of the limousine at the mention of Slades' other daughter.

"That remains to be seen. In the meantime, you also need to work on your mental aptitude tests while we're away. I want to see you raise your score by at least two points higher than your last test," Wintergreen stated, quickly changing the topic of conversation. Talking of Rose had a tendency to put everyone in the Wilson family into a dark mood.

"You know, most people can't even get my lowest score on my worst day right? So why do I have to keep doing these tests? There just a pain in the a-"

"Don't even finish that sentence Nova Wilson. You know very well why you have to do them, so don't you give me any lip about it. You need to hone your physical and mental skills; otherwise you'll just be another fool shooting for some idiot with money."

"Alright, alright I give. You and dad both taught me at least the basics of being a mercenary I know how it works, I just sometimes wish I could catch a bit of a break, you know?"

"You know what your father would say to that," asked Wintergreen warningly.

"Don't tell him I said that uncle," Nova said frantically. Her careless words could easily lead to her losing all chance of continuing her training.

"You don't have to worry about me telling him anything Nova. I understand," all too well, Wintergreen finished in his mind as he glanced back at the now slightly tensed teenager in the rearview mirror, remembering Rose. Nova was not the first to have been under Slades tutelage but so far she was one of the few that had been able to stick with it.

After some time passed by with the conversation changing to more casual talk, mostly about their summer travels, and the limo pulled through the driveway of Gotham Academy. A specialized international institute of learning and money, making the renovated mansion almost reek of spoiled collage brats. It was a school for the well-off of the world, the best of education for the highest of prices. Recommendation and very expensive uniforms were just two of many requirements to get in and with scholarships almost nonexistent; it was extremely rare to find anyone who came from a common background.

Personally Nova would have preferred to have just gone to something simple, or better yet, normal but her dad wasn't having it. If she was to insist that he train her to be a mercenary, he wanted her to be well educated and well connected, or at least that's what he told her. Secretly however, Slade hoped that with so many different options for careers before her, she might be able to become interested in something else and forget about being a mercenary. His hopes were sadly misplaced. Nova had no intention of giving up on her career choice, even going so far as to take classes that continued to train her for her future.

Wintergreen stopped the car a little way down from the thick double-doors to the entrance, making room for the cars behind them, ranging from Cadillacs to Jaguars and another limousine. Nova quickly slipped on her backpack and with a customary air-kiss and goodbye, darted right out the door of the limo and into a line of reporters and cameras, drawing her up short.

The crowd of paparazzi quickly turned their view to the next limo in line, ignoring the unknown young woman for their true target, billionaire Bruce Wayne's third adopted son, Tim Drake Wayne. Nova let out a quick sigh of relief at the change of attention and, spotting her two friends through the crowd, started elbowing her way through the news-reporters to where her friends, the tall, gorgeously dark-skinned Cherie, and the petite, voluptuous Cat, waited at the top of the stairs leading to the entrance.

"Hey girl, what's with all the news people? Did you go to some crazy party without us?"

"Yeah right Cherie, like I do parties with my dad in town."

"So who are they after?"

The trio stood on tiptoe to get a glimpse over the crowd to see the young man standing calmly in the center of the noise and flashing lights.

"Sooo, whose that guy," Nova asked, totally clueless.

"Jeeze Nova, get out much? That's Timothy Drake Wayne, ring a bell?"

"Ooh, I get it, and be nice Cat; I don't follow the social life stuff like you do."

"You don't need to follow that to know who he is. Half the girls here would do anything to get a date with him."

"It's a good thing that I'm not one of those then. C'mon we're going to be late for classes and I don't envy the idiot who's late to Tomkins."

Tim sighed as he sat at one of the booths that surrounded the clubs dance floor, bored. He wasn't in any mood to dance, drink, or anything of the like. He'd been dragged out by his adopted brother Dick Grayson Wayne for a night of fun but Tim just wasn't in the mood. After having to deal with school and the paparazzi at every corner, he wanted a moment to relax, not go dancing.

"Wipe that scowl from your face Tim and go find a girl," Dick shouted, grinning over the blaring music as he settled into his seat across from Tim.

"I don't want to go find a girl Dick, I want to go back home and finish my homework."

"Ah, take a break, you only have, what, two to three weeks or so left of school before your summer break, just forget about the homework for once and go have some fun!"

"I'm not in the mood for fun. I've been mauled by paparazzi all day, the last thing I need is to give them something to write about."

"Oh come on, they're not here now. Just give it a try."

"Ok, how about if I dance with one girl, or have a decent conversation with her, you'll do my homework and take me home."

"If you actually have fun then I won't have to worry about taking you home for awhile."

"Whatever."

Nova went into the club with her two best friends right behind her,. With summer break coming the three of them wanted to have one more chance at fun before they all went their separate ways.

"Ah man, it's good to be out of a skirt!" Nova stretched, enjoying the lack of necessary modesty that came with wearing a pair of blinged-out, boot-cut jeans and a dressy red and black shirt.

"Oh come on Nova, couldn't you have dressed up a little more for once in your life," asked Catherine, aka Cat, in exasperation.

"You sound like my dad," Nova replied in disgust.

"Well, how else are you supposed to get a guy?"

"Not by the showing of my cleavage like you."

"You only say that because you've never tried."

"Alright, play nice kitties. We're here for the fun, not the dating scene."

"Says you Cher, personally I'm all over the date scene-"

"-and almost all out of your dress too from the look of things," Nova joked.

"You're just jealous that you can't even get a boy like I can."

"Yes I can, I just don't want to."

"Ooh, I have an idea."Nova and Cat looked to Cherie, who had a mischievous grin tugging at the corners of her mouth.

"Why don't we try to get Nova a date tonight?"

"Uh, I don't think that's a good idea," Nova stammered.

"I think that's sounds great! But how are we going to manage that?"

"We find some cute boys-"

"Not interested!"

"-get them on the dance floor with us-"

"I'm right here you know."

"And if we can make Nova not scare them off we'll all have dates!"

"That's a great idea Cherie, though it's a little cliché."

"And that's how you know it'll work. Come on Nova, let's get you a stud!"

"Ugh," Nova groaned in protest as her friends dragged her into the crowd.

After what felt like hours of dancing and pointless chatter, Tim returned to his adopted brother, a disgruntled scowl on his face. Dick grinned as Tim flopped into the seat across from him.

"Having a little problem with the ladies Timmy?"

"Shut-up."

"What's the matter, it seemed like things were going well."

"Yeah, except half of them only care about hair products and the others are just interested in my relation with Bruce and whether or not I'm going to inherit the family fortune."

"Ouch, yeah I know what that's like," Dick said sympathetically.

"So can we go home now," Tim asked grumpily.

"Not yet. Just give it one more try and then we'll go."

"Ah, c'mon Dick-"

"No, no, I mean it. Here, I'll even help you out a bit. Look-" Dick pointed over to a table where a girl in a red shirt and rhinestone covered jeans had just sat down with an obvious sigh.

"-she's been about as happy with her poor dating attempts as you have. Go see if you can just have casual conversation with her."

"I don't know, " Tim hedged.

"Go or we'll just stay here until you do."

"Fine, last time though," Tim said firmly as he started toward Novas table, ignoring Dicks knowing grin.

Nova plopped down at a small table with a heavy sigh, having finally escaped her friends and their gaggle of ogling boys, whom she had absolutely no interest in, no small part of that due to the terrifying idea of her father literally skinning alive whatever poor boy came to date his daughter. Rubbing her eyes in exhaustion, Nova didn't notice a boys approach until he was standing right next to her.

"Um, hello," Nova greeted, startled.

"Hello. Mind if I sit down for a second?"

"Sure, go ahead."

The boy sat down across for her, an awkward pause stretching between the two for a few seconds before Nova spoke up.

"So. . . What's your name?"

"Tim Drake."

"Well hi Tim, it's nice to meet you. I'm Nova Wilson," Nova replied, her sarcastic perkiness making Tim grin.

"Well it's nice to meet you too Nova. It looked like you were having a good time with your friends over there," Tim grinned, mirroring Novas sarcastic tone.

Nova laughed, "Oh yes, I love being swamped by boys who don't know how to look you in the eye. And it seems you have a taste in girls who's only interested in becoming the next Miss Gotham."

"Sure, I just love talking about hairspray and clothing brands."

"Oh, I'm so sorry then Tim, you'll probably find me a very boring conversationalist."

"Well that depends, I haven't gotten to know you just yet."

"Ok, here's what you need to know; I'm nineteen years old, my favorite color is red, I love to travel, listen to music, and dance. Finally, I'm going to Gotham Academy to get my bachelors in Weapon Engineering. What about you?"

"Actually I'm going to Gotham Academy as well, majoring in biology and engineering, with a minor in linguistics. I like most sports, listening to music, and working out."

"You work out," Nova asked with a teasing smile and an appraising look.

"Sure I do."

"Care to arm-wrestle me then?"

"I don't know-"

"C'mon, I promise I'll go easy on you."

"Ok, just promise you won't cry when I'm done."

"Cross my heart."

Tim propped his right arm up on the table with an indulgent grin. Before he could even brace himself, Nova locked her arm with his and slammed the back of his hand down to the table. Nova was barely able to muffle her giggle at the look of shock on Tim's face.

"Well, I'm not crying Tim. You wanna try again?"

"Again," Tim agreed, taking her a little more seriously.

Dick smirked as he watched Tim talk to the girl sitting across from him for another hour. He had a feeling those two would get along. Was he a match maker or what? The girl then stood and indicated toward the clock on the wall and started to scoot away. Tim said something that Dick couldn't hear that made the girl laugh as she waved goodbye and started away, looking for her friends. Tim walked back to his brother, with a much cheerier countenance then before.

"So Tim, I'm guessing you had a good time?"

"Sure, I guess," Tim dodged, not wanting to admit that Dick had been right.

"Come on, you guys totally hit it off," Dick pressed.

"Alright yeah, we did."

"Are you going to tell me who she is?" Dick prompted as the two stood up and started heading out.

"She's Nova Wilson; she likes music and goes to Gotham Academy too."

"Is that all?"

"All that I'm going to tell you," Tim replied stubbornly, blushing as he hunched his shoulders against Dicks laughter.

...

"So, Nova, who was the hunk that you were talking to," Cat teased mercilessly as they sat in the limo on the way back home.

"Just a guy so let it go Cat."

"Come on, just give us a name at least," Cherie pleaded.

Nova sighed and rolled her eyes "No, just drop it!"

"What's the problem with just telling us a name," Cat whined.

"Because I don't want you guys making a big deal out of it."

"Ok, what if we promise not to make a big deal?" Cherie wheedled.

Nova paused and gave her friends a speculative look.

"You promise?"

"We promise," Catherine and Cherie said simultaneously.

"Fine. His name is Timothy Drake, though he goes by Tim."

"Woah, you mean Timothy Drake Wayne," Cat squealed.

"Hey, you promised," Nova protested.

"You've got to be kidding, are you guys going to go on a date," Cherie asked excitedly.

"Maybe, but I don't think so," said Nova.

"Oh come on, you just got friendly with one of the most popular guys in school, you can't mess this up," Cat protested.

"Hey, I thought you guys weren't going to make an issue out of this."

"But-"

"No more Cat!"

For the rest of the ride the girls switched to other events of the night, tactfully avoiding mentioning Novas encounter outright. When the two friends were finally dropped off, Nova flopped back against the seat with a deep sigh and rubbed her eyes.


If you finished this tell me and I'll give you a smiley face! Please leave a comment if you have nothing better to do, thanks! :)