Somebody on the team dies. Anything about how the rest of the team (and the JLA for that matter) react/cope. – Prompt from YJ Anon Meme
Disclaimer: I do not own Young Justice
How to Cope
Everything happened so quickly. One moment, he was there, shouting at them.
"Be careful, guys! The Joker's not like other villains!"
The next moment, he was… gone. Just like that. Gone. He was still there, but he wasn't speaking, moving, breathing. He would never say anything, ever again. He'd died while looking out for them. If he'd been with his mentor, this wouldn't have happened. But no, they'd convinced him to let them help instead of waiting. Just look where it'd gotten him.
Kid Flash was furious. It was actually rather terrifying, as he'd taken out all of the Joker's goons in less than five seconds. None of them had ever seen him run at such speeds. It wasn't the best time, but they now knew he took it easy on the other villains, to be sure not to accidentally kill them or something. To see him let go of all restraints was… scary.
Miss Martian was picking through all of the goons' minds, not caring about whether she was being gentle or completely tearing their brains apart. They could all see now just how ruthless she could be if she truly wanted to. Even Superboy wasn't stopping her.
Speaking of Superboy, he was punching, kicking, hitting, smashing, and just generally pulverizing anything and everything in sight. He wasn't flying and he had several limitations than Superman didn't, but, at the moment, if anyone had to choose whether to fight Superboy or Superman, they wouldn't hesitate to choose Superman.
Aqualad was sitting quietly off to the corner. That was frightening in its own right, too. No matter the situation, he'd always – always – been positive that things would work out. Even in the Failsafe simulation, he'd been calm and collected. Now, though, a team member was dead and it was – in his eyes – his responsibility to keep everyone safe. He'd failed and because of it, they were one member short.
Off to the side, Zatanna was trying in vain to both calm the distraught members of the team and keep her own emotions in check. Sure, she was new to the team, but he'd been the first to comfort her about her dad's position. In fact, if you looked closely, you could easily see burning rage and hatred in her eyes.
Artemis herself was right next to his body. She hadn't moved. Not since finding him here, in this position. She'd seen the anger in everyone else. She'd seen the sadness in them, too. She understood she should be reacting, but it just wasn't happening. In her mind, none of this was happening. They didn't just fight the Joker. They didn't just lose to the Joker. And, above all else, he wasn't dead. Not him. He couldn't be dead. It just wasn't how he worked. He didn't do dead; it was definitely not his style.
So, why was he? How could it be possible? If it was so terribly unlike him? Because she knew how lively he was. If you looked up life in the dictionary, you'd see a picture of him. That's just how he was. Besides, everyone knew that death doesn't suit life. Not at all. So how was the poster boy of liveliness able to be consumed by death? The answer's simple: he can't. Therefore, in conclusion, he wasn't dead, not really.
However, after waiting for hours, she had to come down to earth. She knew she'd never forget the look on Batman's face, the words of condolences. The looks of pity. All of it would be permanently etched into her brain for all time.
A few weeks later, she forced herself to go visit him. So, she drove to his new neighborhood and stopped at his new house.
Richard John Grayson
December 1st, 1996 – November 30, 2010
Beloved son and friend.
The grave was so… impersonal, almost as though the person who had written it hadn't known him at all. Probably Batman's doing. Secrecy and all that.
"Hey, Richard," she whispered. "How do you like the new place?"
Silence. This was another thing to remain with her forever: the emptiness of the places where he would have made a joke, or ruined the English language.
She closed her eyes, refusing to let any emotions show. No one had known exactly how good of friends they had been; everyone had underestimated the bond between the two non-powered team members. There was also the fact that they knew each other's secret identities and hung out with each other outside of team-related activities. Of course, they'd never mentioned it to the others. Not out of secrecy, just that they'd never seen a need to. Now they never would.
"Don't worry, Richard," she muttered. "I'll stay traught."
With that, she turned and walked away, before two o'clock came, which is when she knew the team visited every day. As she opened her car door and slipped in, she looked back for a split second. She could have sworn she saw him standing there, waving. She also could have sworn she heard his voice.
"I know you will." His voice said. She shook her head, blinking rapidly. When she looked back, he was gone and so was his voice. She got out of the car and walked over to the group approaching the grave.
"Hey, guys, um… do you mind me joining?" she murmured softly.
M'gann stepped forward, disguised as Megan, and nodded.
"Not at all," she said, smiling slightly. "Please do."
They went toward the grave together and sat in silence. Somehow, even without words, they managed to help and comfort each other. This was true friendship. They'd lost a friend and had come through it together. It wasn't easy, and probably never would be, but through it all, they would have each other. That's all they really needed, anyway.
Well, this is kind of awkward, isn't it? It's been what, a year since I last posted or generally did anything on this account? Two? Sorry about that. Also, I know some of you liked my stories (Demigod Safehouse and Game Time) but I have removed them and don't plan on continuing them. So, they are henceforth up for adoption, contact me for info if you're interested. There is a reason for me discontinuing them, though. During my 'leave of absence,' I discovered several things about my writing style and abilities. One of those is that I get quite bored when stuck with writing chapters for the same story and am therefore better at oneshots, twoshots, or others of the sort. Yes, I do plan on being an actual author, but in being an actual author you don't post each chapter separately. You publish them all at once. So, yeah. I think I've covered pretty much everything, but if I left something out, please feel free to PM me.