Takes place after Season 1 of Young Justice. I don't own Young Justice or DC, but I do own Dr. Reinhard.
Rated T for physical and psychological torture.
Finding Roy Harper
Roy was numb as Green Arrow and Black Canary led him home from the Watchtower. Well, to Oliver's home anyway, not the apartment that Roy- Red Arrow- had been living in the past several months. They had stopped at the Cave just long enough to change into civilian clothes. When they reached their final destination, Roy didn't even realize where he was until he looked up and saw the Queen mansion in front of him. He gave his mentor a confused look, and Ollie quietly said, "You shouldn't be alone tonight."
The adults escorted him to his old room. When they reached the doorway, Dinah gave his shoulder a squeeze and left the two men. "There's some pajamas you can change into. I'll wait here," Oliver said, closing the door between them.
He did as the older man said, feeling like he was sleepwalking. Maybe this was just a bizarre dream. I mean, clones and mind control? That couldn't be real. Except aliens and telepathy and shape shifting and superpowers and x-ray vision and oh god, this was really happening, it was real, except he wasn't real, he wasn't Roy Harper and everything he knew was a lie.
Oliver knocked on the door and the young man flinched at the sound. He realized at some point he had sat on the ground (or fallen) and now he was rocking back and forth. Roy also realized he was chanting something quietly- not real, not real, not real. Oliver knocked again, and then opened the door. He went instantly to his protégé and knelt beside him. "Roy, what's wrong?"
"Don't call me that!" the young man snapped. "That's not me. That's not my name."
"Okay, okay," Oliver said, putting his hands up in a placating gesture. "Red Arrow. Talk to me."
The young man just sat on the floor, shaking his head. When he began to rock again, Oliver took his arm and helped him stand. "Come on. It's late. You should get some rest."
Red Arrow was going to say something to that, but exhaustion hit him then. This was too much for anyone to handle. He allowed Oliver to led him to the bed. Red Arrow opened his mouth to retort that he wasn't four years old when Oliver tucked him in. Then he closed his mouth again when he realized that technically, he didn't exist four years ago. He felt so empty. He closed his eyes and let everything around him disappear.
"How's he doing?" Dinah asked.
Oliver sighed and rubbed his eyes. "I don't know. He's just... numb."
"This is a big shock for him," she said.
"For us as well," Oliver said. "Speedy's gone. Has been for over three years and I didn't even know. I didn't notice that my own sidekick was missing."
"That was the point. If you knew that Speedy was missing, you would have gone after him. Cadmus was too clever to allow that to happen."
"I still blame myself."
"I know, but you shouldn't," Dinah said, wrapping her arms around him. "Instead of beating yourself up about his, we should concentrate on how to make this better." Oliver opened his mouth but she continued. "In the morning. Neither of us are going to come up with a good plan without some sleep."
"Are you staying?"
"You know I wouldn't leave you," she answered.
Red Arrow woke a little before noon. It took him a minute to figure out where he was, but once he recognized the room, everything else came back and hit him. He felt paralyzed for several minutes, before a single thought caused him to move. 'I need to find Speedy.'
He went downstairs and found Oliver and Dinah in the dining room. They stopped talking when he entered the room. "There's more pancakes by the stove," Oliver offered. "I figured we would all be getting a late start this morning, so brunch sounded like a good idea."
"Thanks," Red Arrow said automatically, but didn't move. Dinah tilted her head sideways as if trying to see what the young man was thinking. He quickly continued talking before she could do that therapist-thing where she figured out how you were feeling when you didn't even know how you felt yourself. "I have to find Speedy."
Oliver sighed. "We were just talking about that. Get some food and take a seat."
"We don't have time," the younger man objected. He noticed that he had started to sway slightly. Maybe food wouldn't be a bad idea. When was the last time he had eaten? Lunch the day before?
"Look, we need to make a plan before we do anything. Speedy could literally be anywhere on Earth, or maybe even in space. We won't find him by randomly checking every building in the world," Oliver said. "Sit. Eat."
Red Arrow took a seat at one end of the table, leaving two seats empty between him and his mentor. Dinah left the room and returned with a plate of pancakes and a glass of orange juice for Roy. He gave her a nod of thanks.
"He could still be at Cadmus," Red Arrow said, taking a bite. He saw them give each other a sidelong glance.
"Ro- Red Arrow, we have to consider the fact that he might not even be alive. It's been more than three years," Oliver said.
"So you're not even going to try?" he asked angrily, putting his fork down. "How could-"
"That's not what we're saying," Dinah said calmly.
"We also need to make sure you're okay, before you go out in the field," Oliver added.
Roy bristled at the implication. "I'm fine. M'gann and J'onn both checked me and made sure all the brainwashing was gone. I won't turn traitor again," he said bitterly.
"Listen to us," Oliver said, his voice testy. "We're not accusing you, or trying to stop you from finding Speedy. I just want- We just want to make sure you're handling everything okay."
"My memories are a lie, I betrayed my friends, and oh yeah, I'm a clone. Everything's perfect," Roy retorted. He took a breath and forced himself to calm down. "Listen, the only way I can start to feel better is if I find him. I'll be fine in the field. We have a lead, and we need to follow it before they pack up and leave."
Oliver allowed the change in topic. "I already contacted Batman and Superman. They will meet the two of us at Cadmus."
Red Arrow winced at the mention of the other heroes. "Do we need them?" he asked without much force behind his words.
"You know we do. Cadmus is right outside Metropolis, and it's impolite to go to another hero's territory on business without informing them. And we could use the World's Greatest Detective to help us solve a case that's three years old." There was an awkward silence. Oliver cleared his throat and stood. "Finish your food and suit up. You and I are leaving in thirty." Dinah stood and started to follow Oliver out the door, but she paused by Roy's chair.
"You sure you're okay?" she asked quietly.
"I'm fine," he lied, and continued eating. Dinah gave him a knowing look, but she didn't press the issue.
With the zeta tubes, it didn't take long for Green Arrow and Red Arrow to reach Cadmus. Batman was already there, with Robin in tow. Roy really didn't want another person along on this. As much as he realized that more help meant the faster they would find Speedy, the others were just a reminder of the life he had stolen. They were Speedy's friends and family, not his.
Robin looked up at him and smiled, "Hey, Red Arrow."
At least with his uniform on, there wasn't a question about his name. "Hey, Robin," he answered, attempting to sound friendly. Robin gave him a curious look, so maybe it didn't come across as friendly as he was trying for. Superman showed up before Roy had to navigate any more conversation.
"Sorry I'm late. There was a mugging I had to take care of." He noticed the young teen. "Hi, Robin."
"I brought Robin along since he has been in Cadmus before," Batman explained. "His knowledge could be beneficial."
Red Arrow was a little surprised that Batman explained himself. Usually the Caped Crusader expected others to figure out what he was thinking or trust his judgment without question.
"The gang's all here. What are we waiting for?" Green Arrow said and walked towards the door. Roy had noticed the nervous energy that Oliver had tried to hide on their trip here. It looked like it was getting harder for the man to keep up the calm exterior as they got closer to their target.
Green Arrow led the way, followed by Batman and Robin. Superman trailed behind, shooting curious glances at Red Arrow. Roy tried not to be annoyed that this was his mission, and he was bringing up the rear. He reminded himself that the others wanted their friend back. He also thought that if he hadn't gone solo when he did, he would have been with the others when they rescued Superboy. He would have been in Cadmus, and possibly discovered the secret of his origin months before he had the chance to betray the League. Irony, or good planning on the part of Cadmus and the Light?
Robin led them straight to the elevators. "Last time we went down the shaft using a grappling gun," he offered.
"It would allow us to come up on them undetected," Superman said." Although I don't mind flying with some of you."
Roy tried to suppress a wince at the thought of someone carrying him. Ollie seemed to have the same hesitation. "If you start a line, can't we slide down?" his mentor asked. Robin nodded. Batman shot the grappling gun and started down, his protégé following. Oliver waved Roy on, surprising him. After Roy went, Oliver came behind him. Superman flew down, passing both of them. If the hero of Metropolis was offended that no one took him up on his offer, he didn't show it.
They reached subbasement level 26 in less than a minute. Robin activated his wrist-computer. "I'm reading several life signs, but they are faint," he reported.
"Maybe they are in stasis," Batman said. "Be on the lookout for guards, though." Robin nodded and deactivated the computer. Batman took the lead, and Robin was close behind. Roy felt queasy suddenly and turned to his former mentor for support. Green Arrow didn't look much better. The teen felt a surge of sympathy for the older man. He caught Green Arrow's eye, and Oliver gave him a tight smile and pat the young man's shoulder once.
They searched several rooms that turned out to be abandoned labs. It was obvious some of the supplies had been taken, but there was a lot left behind as well. If they- whoever "they" were- found out about the Team's success at the Watchtower as soon as it happened, they would have had twelve hours to pack up and move. They could be in another country by now, setting up shop to continue their evil acts.
They finally found a room that was filled with stasis pods. "Split up," Batman said unnecessarily. The five superheroes each took a different row. Roy looked into each pod, his breath held for what, or who, he would find. There were a lot of pods, and a good portion of them were occupied. Some of the occupants were human, some were alien, and some Roy didn't know what they were. He reached the end of the row without finding the person he was looking for.
"Any luck?" Superman asked kindly when they met up at the end of the row. Roy shook his head and turned to see what the others had found.
"There were 10 occupied pods in my row," Robin said when he reached them.
"About that many on my row too," Green Arrow said.
"Same for me," Superman replied, and Red Arrow nodded.
"That means there's about 50 imprisoned beings, counting my row," Batman said, appearing last. "The pods are all plugged in to a power source. That means they would need a portable power source to move him."
"A portable power source would also have a finite amount of energy," Green Arrow said. "They wouldn't have long before they would need to plug him in again." Roy didn't miss his former mentor's wince. He turned away so he wouldn't have to witness the other man's pain.
When he turned, he found himself looking into an empty pod. Suddenly, a memory resurfaced. He was trapped inside the pod, thick glass surrounding him. He pounded on the glass, shouting for help. A man in a lab coat came by and looked at him with annoyance. The man pressed some buttons on the side of the container. Roy's panic began to fade as consciousness slipped from him.
A hand was placed on his shoulder, making Roy jerk away reflexively. Oliver looked at him inquisitively. "I'm fine," he said."Just... memories." Red Arrow could tell that Oliver was tempted to tell him to wait outside, but the older man seemed to realize Roy wouldn't listen and that it would just push the wedge between them deeper.
"Odds are, this facility has been abandoned. They took what they needed and left. The good news is that they may have left something important behind in their haste," Batman said. "Robin, I want you to examine one of the pods. See what you can on how it works. Download the schematics on your wrist computer. I'll check the main computer to see what the scientists were working on."
"I'll use my x-ray vision to see which rooms might have something useful for us," Superman offered.
"Once you identify the rooms, Red Arrow and I can help you search," Green Arrow said. He looked at his former sidekick, wondering if the young man would argue with this. Roy just nodded. If he was actively doing something, maybe that would forestall any questions the others would ask about his well-being.
Batman nodded and went to the main console. Robin attached a cable to the base of an occupied pod. Red Arrow looked away, not wanting any more memories of his imprisonment to resurface. He followed Oliver and Clark into the hallway. For the next hour, the three of them searched the facility. There were a few moments of hope that they had found something useful, only to be followed by bitter disappointment. The three heroes returned to the room where they had left Batman and Robin. "We didn't find any clues on where they went. Any luck with you two?" Green Arrow asked.
Batman was noncommittal. "I found a lot of information, but I'll have to analyze it to see if it's what we need. I'll continue sifting through the data in the Batcave."
"The portable power packs have energy for 10 hours. Unfortunately, they could have taken multiple power packs and replaced them when the battery was drained. We don't have a guarantee that Speedy is within radius of 10 hours' travel time," Robin said.
Green Arrow's shoulders slumped. "Well, I think we've exhausted this lead. We should head out."
"What about them?" Robin asked, indicating the pods.
"I'll inform J'onn," Batman said. "He can scan their minds to see if they pose a risk before we decide to release them."
Roy bit back an angry remark. He reminded himself that wasn't a jab at him. Or if it was, it wasn't undeserved.
"Thanks for your help, everyone," Green Arrow said. "Batman, you'll let me know if you find anything?"
"Of course." The heroes returned to ground level via elevator in silence. When they stepped out the front door, Superman flew away and Batman and Robin swung away with the grappling hooks, leaving the protectors of Star City alone.
"I'm sorry we didn't find him today, but we're not giving up," Green Arrow assured the teen.
"Let's just go home," Red Arrow said. He didn't feel like talking right now. Dinah was waiting for them at the house. She didn't have to ask how it went. The expressions on their faces told her.
Oliver left Roy in his room for almost three hours before he broke down and went to see him. He knew the young man would view his presence as an intrusion, but darn it, this was his house and he was going to go in whatever room he wanted.
He found the young man lying on top of the covers on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. Roy didn't acknowledge the other man's presence. Oliver cleared his throat, and when that didn't work, he said, "Can we talk?"
Roy said, "Sure," but it wasn't with much feeling.
Oliver sat on the bed by Roy's feet. "I know this is difficult for you," he started, and paused, waiting to be interrupted. He wasn't, so he continued. "But we're going to figure this out. Okay? That's what heroes do."
"I'm not a hero," Roy said softly, still not looking at Oliver. "I'm a fraud."
Oliver rubbed his forehead. He was fighting a battle on two fronts- trying to save Speedy from Cadmus, and trying to save Red Arrow from despair. "I don't know why you keep pushing me away."
"I don't need your sympathy. I don't deserve it."
"I'm pretty sure you do. You're hurting and I want to help."
"Why? You don't owe me anything. I'm not him," Red Arrow said angrily.
"It doesn't matter! Look, I've known you for three years now- you, not him. I trained you. Aren't I allowed to care about my protégé?"
Roy turned over on the bed so his back was to Oliver. The blond man sighed. "I'll be downstairs if you need me, okay?" He waited for a response, but finally left when he realized he wasn't going to receive one.
The teen waited until he was sure he was alone to get off the bed. He paced the room. Nothing made sense. He didn't trust his own mind. The only thing he knew was that he had to find the young man he was cloned from. He told himself if he accomplished that, then it would almost redeem him. Red Arrow could leave Star City and not feel like he ruined everything he touched. He could disappear and not worry about these people anymore.
But how was he supposed to find a top secret research facility? Batman might find a lead in the data he downloaded, but Roy didn't want to depend on someone else. If the Justice League decided Roy couldn't be trusted (and why should they trust him, after his betrayal?) they could pursue Cadmus without informing him. Even though it should be enough to have the original Roy safe at home, the clone felt that it had to be him who found the younger teen.
He dropped back down on his bed and thought. He had been in Cadmus before. Heck, he had been created there. During his formation, maybe he had heard or seen something that would give him a clue on a backup location if the facility had ever been compromised.
Closing his eyes, Roy tried to remember what he had observed. He pushed away memories of his childhood- the other Roy's childhood- and the past few years when he was living a lie. Every time he got close to something, the thought slipped away. Finally, he gave up and sat up on his bed, rubbing his throbbing head. Roy started to move to the bathroom to find some Advil when he stopped in his tracks.
/ He could clearly see that he was trapped inside a pod, but he made no effort to struggle. There were two men in white lab coats standing on the other side of the glass. "Did you finish it?" the taller doctor asked.
"Of course I did," the shorter doctor answered. "I wouldn't want to get on Reinhard's bad side."
The tall doctor shuddered. "Me neither. You hear stories that staff who cross him become experiments. It's probably not true, but when I'm in the same room as him, it's hard to not believe it."
"And he's so paranoid. Can you believe the emergency plans he's developed?"
"Yeah. 'Secret infiltration from a superhero.' Really?"
"Too bad the weather wouldn't be any better at our backup location if we were infiltrated. If it was, say in Florida, I'd tell Superman myself where we are so we could move." Short Doctor smiled at his joke before noticing the worried look on his companion's face.
"Careful about your jokes," Tall Doctor warned, looking around. Short Doctor looked around as well. He noticed Roy staring at them.
"Hey, the clone's eyes are open. Check the dosage on the drugs we've got going," Short Doctor said. Both doctors crowded by the controls. "Right there," he said pointing at the screen.
"I see it. Move so I can fix it," Tall Doctor said. He pressed a few buttons and the edges of Roy's vision blurred. "There we go. So, early lunch break?" he asked his companion./
His head was pounding even harder after the memory ended. Roy lifted his hand to his face and found blood. Hurrying to the bathroom, he saw that he had a nosebleed. He grabbed a wad of tissues and pressed it to his nose. Breathing slowly through his mouth, Roy tried to calm himself. This was the first memory he had purposely recovered from his time in Cadmus. Maybe being in the facility had jogged something. Those doctors had been talking about where Cadmus would be moved to if the facility had ever been compromised. That would be where they were keeping Speedy. If only he had heard where the backup location was.
Roy removed the tissues from his face. The flow of blood had stopped, but the headache was still there. He found some pain reliever in the medicine cabinet and took two pills dry. Then he pressed his forehead against the cool surface of the mirror.
He should tell Oliver that he was remembering things, but he didn't want to get the other man's hopes up. One memory didn't mean the rest of it would come to him. Maybe the other memories wouldn't be helpful at all.
He checked the clock in the bathroom to see it was a little after nine p.m. Roy hadn't eaten since brunch. His stomach insisted on something to eat, so Roy went downstairs quietly, hoping to avoid Oliver. He made it to the fridge and had his head inside when he heard a female voice behind him. "I was wondering if you were ever going to come down for food."
"Well, here I am," Roy said, still digging around in the fridge. Dinah would forgive his rudeness.
"There's some lasagna left over from dinner," she offered.
Roy found the mentioned food and retrieved it. He fixed himself a plate and heated it, waiting for Dinah to broach the subject first. She didn't. They both stood there listening to the whirr of the microwave. When it beeped, Roy took the lasagna and a glass of milk and headed for the stairs.
"Table," Dinah reminded him. Roy frowned, but took a seat at the table. She sat next to him, and waited.
Roy started eating, determined to wait her out, but Dinah wasn't chosen to be the Team's therapist based solely on her looks. She could wait out anyone. "What do you want me to say?" he asked abruptly.
"Whatever you want to," she said in that annoyingly calm therapist voice.
He rolled his eyes. "You know, I really hate it when you do that." Dinah smiled. "Fine. I'm frustrated that we didn't find Speedy."
"You know that this could take some time," Dinah reminded him. "The chances were low that you would rescue him on the first day."
"Doesn't make it easier," Roy muttered and took another bite.
"Why is it so important that you find him?" she asked.
"Why doesn't anyone else want to find Roy?" he asked, setting his fork down with more force than necessary. "Why am I the only one trying?"
"We do want to find him. You seem to have a stronger drive. I'm curious to know what it is that's pushing you so hard."
"You think I'm still brainwashed," Roy realized. "That's why you're questioning my motives."
Dinah was shaking her head before he finished speaking. "J'onn checked you over and gave you a clean bill of health."
"Then what is it? Everyone wants the real Roy found, so why does it matter if I'm more driven?"
The blond woman looked sad. "The real Roy?" she asked.
"Yeah." He looked down at his plate so he wouldn't have to see the sadness in Dinah's eyes.
"Are you not real?"
"I'm a clone whose memories were implanted."
Dinah reached out and put her hand on his arm. "Roy," she started, and gave him a squeeze to silence him when he opened his mouth. "You are real. You are human, with human feelings. Being a clone doesn't make you less of a person. Having your memories altered in the past doesn't make your memories of today any less real. You are important. We care about you."
"You shouldn't," Roy said, and pulled away from her touch. "I don't deserve it."
"Ever hear of unconditional love? You love someone no matter what."
Roy continued eating, more to avoid talking than from a feeling of hunger at this point. Dinah stood and put her hand on his shoulder.
"When you're ready to talk again, I'll be here," she promised. Roy didn't look up as she left the room.
"I don't deserve it," he repeated to himself.