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Update: Everything happen when the time is right
Guest: I-what does that even mean?
Why did life have to be so unfair.
His grades were good. He wasn't a total loner at school. He didn't drink or party. Homework was always done days beforehand. He followed orders without much discussions. He didn't set the kitchen on fire in an attempt to be fancy and flambé something that wasn't meant to be.
So why, why did he have to be sent to the one place he'd rather not be. Really even a stinky jock's gym locker would be better.
It's been two days since he helped Connor and M'gann with math. He still didn't mind that he helped, it was nice, but he'd rather have kept it as a one time thing for now. Not like they keep asking for help, but the social interaction is what annoyed him.
All he wanted was to be left alone. Alone time and privacy.
To hack Batman's files.
It's not like he shouldn't have seen this coming! It's been 5 days since the training fiasco and the broody man had barely given him any status updates! If he's looking into stuff it wouldn't take this long to give a simple 'hey Robin, I placed more sensors along this part of town but no sign yet'. But noooo. Nothing! They didn't even go out to place censors anymore so doesn't that mean it was useless? Who knows?! Not like he goes out on patrols anymore after being benched again. Why even let him go out if he ends up getting benched again right after?
Since he wasn't allowed to terrorize the Gotham underground as their favorite stoplight colored bird, he had to find something else to entertain him.
Of course the only logical thing would be to hack the Batcomputer and see what he's been up to, but he had heavily encrypted the files. Blasted paranoia. What else was he supposed to do? Ask? No, that wasn't fun. And it's not like Bruce would say much other than 'just checking a possible lead'. If he was even there to ask in the first place. Patrols had started sooner than usual the passed few days and combined with the Cave arrest, he barely saw Bruce.
Thus he set out to find a quiet place to get to work. Only, he had been on afternoon Cave arrest. His room was the only place where he could work in peace, away from the others.
But of course, as life would have it, he can't get into his room. Canary had seen it coming that the Bat protégé would try to retreat to his room to escape any social interaction until his time was up. So they locked his room. If he wanted inside, he would need to drag Black Canary all the way to his door to unlock it for him. He did make a small scene when she told him after their session.
"But Dinahhhh, what if I spilled food all over myself? I would have to be able to change and shower without anybody discovering my identity!" Cue puppy eyes.
"Robin, we are both well aware that you are too careful to spill anything over yourself. And even so, you'll just have to suck it up and face Alfred's wrath on your own."
The woman was too smart for her own good. She saw immediately though the rather pathetic excuse. It didn't stop him from trying to crack open the lock however, which only resulted in getting banned from the entire hallway all together.
So there he was again, in the living room, this time in one of the smaller couches that stood off to the side. He had multiple screens pulled up on his glove because of course he wasn't allowed access to his computer after the whole door lock incident. The almost took his gloves too but that would have set off a war. Still, he had the glove on his lap so he could use both his hands in hopes of getting it done faster. He had the files translated to other languages, just in case anybody would decide to look at what he's doing.
Because why would he be alone when he wanted to be, hhhmmm.
Damn Canary's forced socialization therapy to the deepest pits of Tartarus.
At least he was happy that M'gann had cheerleading practice and Connor always stayed back to watch, leaving him nice and-
"Recognized Kid Flash B-0-3"
Why. Why did the speedster have to show up on the one day he could have had his entire stay at the Cave alone. Just why such hate on this day universe? What had he done to offend thou so?
Robin sighed as he continued to work, hoping the older teen was here just to pick stuff up. But atlas, today was not his day. All too soon he felt the familiar electricity in the air as the speedster zipped to the fridge and quickly made himself a massive sandwich. Right as he was going to attempt to consume it all in once go, he paused and noticed the broody bird on the couch.
"Hiya Rob! Where M'gann and Con at?" He asked, moving the food tower to the couch with him. Robin didn't look up from the projections as he answered a short "Cheerleading". Why could he not just have shoved the mismatch of toppings and bread in his mouth and go on his way? Not that he hates his long term friend, he hates the idea of conversating with anybody at the moment.
Wally let out a content sigh, "Oh what I wouldn't give to watch her cheer." He said dreamily, already trying to imagine the scene before him. Out on the football field doing her cheers, long blond hair tied in a ponytail with a bow attached to it. Pompoms rustling as she waved them around. Dark grey eyes shining in the light, looking right at him. Wally froze as he took in what his head just created. He shook his head, trying to get the image out of his head.
Robin marveled at the silence he had been granted, grateful that was all he had to deal with. He was getting closer to breaking through the lines of code, just a few more hours and he had it. He contemplated what was important enough to warrant this level of security on his own computer. Sure, most files had a standard encryption, just in case, but this was next level. It was like Bruce was trying to keep him out of the files on purpose, but why. What was he trying to hide?
A few minutes passed as Wally finally settled on eating his creation a few levels at the time instead of attempting to down the choking hazard in one go. In that time, he looked over what the younger was doing, but soon found that A, he couldn't understand the language and B, would likely not have understood even if it was in English.
It had been a while since they really talked, never really getting passed the awkward cycle of small talk the entire team was looping in. He had heard of the little incident of the younger helping the resident aliens with math and hoped that whatever funk the bird had been in for the past few months was finally starting to lift. But seeing him now, it's like it never happened. He shifted a bit in the couch, feeling uncomfortable with the silence and the younger seemed oblivious to the speedster's predicament.
"Sooooo," Gone was his peaceful silence. If it wasn't for the older's interesting eating sounds he would have been able to ignore his existence for the time being. But no, he had to talk. "Whatcha working on?" He cleared his throat as curiously shifted closer to the edge of the couch so he would be closer to the hacker, yet not intruding in his personal space.
To Robin, the entire living room was his personal space at the moment, so honestly he was already annoyed with the presence. Refusing to take his eyes off of his work he gave as gruff of a "stuff" as the 13 year old could muster. He really didn't feel like interacting too much with people. Why must he be cursed with the one person who doesn't know how to shut up.
Wally's eyes lit up, he had actually managed a response from the Bat-in-training. His excitement run wild, unable to control his powers he slightly vibrated on the spot. "Ooohhh secret Bat stuff? What is it for? Is there a deadline? Isthat why it's ina differentlanguage? Why aren't youworkingin theCave? DoesBatmannotknow?" He rattled on and on, hoping to have some fun like they used to when Robin would look into cold cases and end up having a little adventure with the original 3 sidekicks. Don't get him wrong, he loves his team but the cant help but yearn for a mission like the old days where it was more fun than actual work.
As Robin chose to not interact with the speed talking teen, hoping it would keep him distracted enough so he wouldn't actually have to answer anything, he kept working on the annoying string of code. He had almost gotten through one of the firewalls when he was blocked out. Fine, so be it, there were other ways for him to get in. If only he could just be at the computer itself, the directer link to the mainframe would ease it at least a little.
Wally's rambling on about how he missed the old days paused as something finally clicked in his overexcited mind. "Hey, aren't you not supposed to be working? Thought Bats sent you here to get you to quit working on 'stuff'." He frowned at the younger. If it wasn't for the fact he would likely get mauled, he would have taken away the tech that kept his friend oh so occupied.
Still opting to not answer any of the questions the red head had, he had only one option left.
The art of annoyance.
As he came up with his plan the older of the two grew a slightly evil grin. It was daring, sure, and he would possibly get slapped or worse, sure, but he reeeaaally wanted to, no matter the risks. Setting the plan in motion, he wordlessly got up and brought his plate to the sink. Cleaning was for later, now was the time for possibly pissing off his best friend in an attempt to get him to talk.
Doing his best to remember his stealth training, he quietly made his way to the exit, making sure he was out of the tiny detective's field of vision. Not like it would have mattered much, with his laser focus on the screens in front of him, but one can never be too sure. Right as he was a few feet from the doorframe, he changed directions and stalked to the back of Robin's couch. Coming to a halt right behind the younger, he slowly took a deep breath, and remained focused in case he would have to dodge an attack. Ever so slowly he mustered up the most annoying voice he could create, biggest shit eating grin ever and slowly slid his head next to the hacker, almost touching the holograms with this nose.
"Sooooooooo,… Can I help?" Some otherworldly being must be looking after him because by some miracle he didn't get maimed. Of course, Dick had known the entire time where he was. The 15 year old may think he is stealthy, but in a room where the only sounds are breathing and the faintest of sounds of typing, one must nearly levitate to go unnoticed. Especially to somebody trained by the Bat himself.
Robin sighed heavily as he closed his work and rubbed his temple. "You see that chair over there?" He pointed to the chairs connected to the kitchen island. With a nod from the redhead he continued. "Sit on it and leave me alone." He shifted a bit away from the speedster, disliking that he had to trade his warm pillows for the cold ones a bit further on the furniture. Heavy on the 'dis'.
Not satisfied with that answer the speedster decided against all logic to risk his life for the sake of his friend. Using his superspeed to get away in time, he grabbed the fancy tech glove and ran to the other side of the room.
Robin jumped up in surprise and started at his friend. "Wha-Wally give that back!" Friend he may be, but a piece of swiss cheese he will become if he didn't get his glove back.
Wally held the glove closer, slightly turn it away in an attempt to hide it. "No! Not unless you relax a bit! You're not supposed to be working anyway, have some fun for once."
Robin balled his fists as he made his way to where his precious glove was being held captive. Before he even got close enough, the increasingly annoying speedster ran to another corner. "Damn it Wally! I don't have time for this!" He growled as he gave chase. The longer he couldn't work, the longer the system had time to find him and kick him out again.
Wally kept darting across the room, only pausing to look at his angered friend. "Not even time for me? When was the last time we hung out? Just the two of us?" He yelped as he narrowly dodged the younger who had launched himself in an attempt to catch him.
Growling, Robin thew pallets all across the room. There were too many for his speedy foe to avoid and soon the older teen was encased in speedster-proof foam. He made his way across the room, watching Wally fight against his trap. The more he moved the longer it would take to dissolve.
Wally grunted as he tried in vain to keep the glove from the younger. "Come on man! I was just trying to have some fun. Like old times!" Robin angrily snatched the glove as it alerted him of the time. Finally. He was allowed back at the Manor. He quickly checked to make sure he wasn't kicked from the system but it was too late. Back at square one.
He gave one last look to his friend before making his way to the Zeta tube. "I don't want to have fun, I just want to be alone."
Wally froze. Sure he had known that the younger wasn't in the best of moods as of late, and he definitely didn't help that one bit with his stunt. But for the younger to cast off the fun, the old times, their history together like that? It hurt a bit. But it also made him worried for his mental health.
There are only a chosen few know Robin is more than just a teammate, more than just his best friend. He was protective of the younger to a degree that could only be rivaled by a handful of others. He hadn't admitted it out loud in ages but he did still think of the younger as his brother. And to see his little brother like this, he wouldn't wish it on anyone else.
As the foam finally dissolved enough for his hands to be freed, he called up the only person he knew would be able to help.
Wally sighed, happy he managed to reach the other. "Hey, you got that thing with Ollie tonight, right? Can you do me a favor?"
At this point she doesn't know for sure how much time has passed. It feels like months but that's all an illusion. Not only does time pass slower in the Zone than in the Human world but within the boundaries of the old clocktower, time does not pass at all. It's like being trapped in a limbo of training with the owner of said tower.
Though she will never admit, she did enjoy catching up with school work. The actual studying not but the learning of new things and the pride she had for herself as she managed to finish a difficult equation. What Clockwork had conveniently left out was that she not only had to work for the school stuff in the human world, but he personally saw to it that she also learned about the Zone more. The inner workings and the history were the most interesting. Knowing which lairs to avoid were the handiest. But by far the best was learning to navigate the infinite space.
The Zone has a mind of its own and new lairs are created regularly so the landscape is hard to orient in. But the lairs belonging to the more stronger specters remained in the same place, sans the clocktower which had its own workings. Although there may be more space in-between, the positions to each other remained the same. By now she had memorized how to get to the frost Yeti's in case it was ever needed, or she decided to have a talk with her fellow ice wielders.
If one were to get to the Far Frozen, they must first pass Skulker's Island, followed by Ancient Greece where Pandora resides and keep following the path straight forward. Once you would have reached Klemper's icy abode you knew you were heading in the right direction. An ends further you would eventually reach the outskirts of the Far Frozen. Sometimes, if he isn't in too clingy of a mood, Klemper would join to the Yeti tribe.
But at the moment she couldn't plan any trips yet. That damned Clock had other plans, including and entirely limited to training, which for the record was getting nowhere.
"Focus on what you want to see. Concentrate on what happened just before."
Danni glared at the elderly man floating a distance away from her. "It would be much easier to concentrate if that irritating buzzing you call advise would stop." Grumpy? Of course not, where would you get the idea? It's definitely not like it felt like they were trying the same damned thing for hours already. With little to no progress. The only thing getting better were Clockwork's tolerance to Danni's snide remarks.
She closed her eyes again and took a deep breath. She changed her position to one of those meditation positions she saw in Avatar. It may look dumb but she found it actually did help her relax a bit and focus deeper. As her focus grew, she slowly levitated off the ground, her ghostly aura growing a bit brighter.
She looked within her own mind, trying to find one of the hazy memories she has, wanting to know what she was missing. She could see pieces of it, places she recognized but doesn't remember what happened. She frowned as she focused more, almost willing the hidden memory to come forward.
The area around her started becoming clearer. She was in a park, not one of the nice big ones. No, also not the ones in the more shady parts of town. It was more an in between. No snobby rich kids but also no drug dealers. There were a few birds chirping and a boy? He looked small and skinny, but definitely had black hair.
No, it wouldn't have been. The child was way too small, likely a lot younger too. He wasn't playing with the other children either, but with the birds.
As one of the birds flew over to her, the boy noticed and cautiously made his way over to her, glancing behind him to some people who were sitting under a nearby tree. The adults nodded at him and waved him on, encouraging to try and talk to a human for a change.
As the little boy approached, he looked at the little goldfinch that had landed on her hand. "H-hi, I, um, was won-wondering if you would, maybe, come feed them with me? You-you don't have to, o-of course. They, um, just seem to like you and-"
She felt herself smile as she took his hand and interrupted the poor lad's stuttering ramble. "I would love to. Do you know a lot about birds?"
The little boy smiled as they headed to where the other birds still flocked around the spread out seeds. "I don't know that much but I like to take pictures and play with them if they let me." He said as a little robin flew back to him and rested on his head. He chucked a bit and sprinkled some seeds in his hair for the little bird to feast on. "Here you go." Not long after, his head was crowded with robins, enjoying the seeds and the comfortable nest they created out of his hair.
She tried to focus on her surroundings a bit. Close to her was clear and colorful, lively and bright. But if she tried to look out in the distance, there was a red fog blocking the view.
She looked to the people under the tree. They were keeping a close eye on the two of them and the older woman was shaking her head disapprovingly, probably because of the seeds in the kid's hair. "They your parents?" She nodded to the adults under the tree. As the kid turned to look at them, the birds tweeted at the disturbance of their feeding spot.
The little boy looked down sadly at the collared dove and the sparrow that were eating from his hands. "No," He sighed, "my parents are on a business trip. They're a maid and butler I managed to talk into bringing me here. The house was so empty and quiet and none of the birds were in the garden so I figured I would find them in the park."
She frowned. The kid was small, how could any sane parent leave such a little thing behind? She sat down a bit so she would be closer to his height. "Do they leave you alone a lot?" Please for the love of whatever is good in the world, say no.
The kid smiled a little as he grabbed some more seeds and sprinkled them out in the grass for the other, more timid and apprehensive birds to eat as well. "No, it's the first time actually. They were in a rush so I think it might have been a last minute thing. I woke up from the door closing."
She felt a dizzying tug at her mind, as if something was about to happen. She looked around to find whatever could cause harm but she couldn't see anything outside of a few feet radius. The tree where the adults were sitting under was slowly being engulfed by the red fog.
The little boy was still playing with the birds, oblivious to the impending danger. She didn't know what was going on but something about that fog made her want to panic and run as far as she could. She looked at the kid and grabbed his arm to get his attention. "Kid, we have to go." She said urgently, trying to find a gap in the mist to escape it. Their voices were starting to round off. Either as if they'd be underwater or very far away.
The kid looked at her confused. "Go? Go where? I would have to tell Emily and-"
"Kid there is no time we have to leave now!"
"But they're sitting right there and I have a name you know, I'm not just 'kid'." He huffed as he pointed to the direction where the tree and the adults once were. The fog was getting closer and was starting to fully surround them.
She got up and held onto his hand tightly as she looked for a way out. There was no way out, but she sure was going to try. Maybe if she could fly them out-
"Um excuse me miss, but I think I should go back." The little kid was getting scared. Had he finally noticed the fog too? She looked him in the eye and sighed as the kid squirmed in her grasp. "Look, kid-"
"I told you I have a name! It's Ti-
He couldn't finish his sentence. The fog engulfed him and his birds.
She started to freak out at the fog was right at her, it was whispering things to her. They were suggesting things, making her want to do stuff and laughing. Soon all she could see was red as she too was swallowed.
Danni screamed as her eyes snapped open and she unceremoniously fell back to the ground. She was breathing hard as sweat dripped down.
"What happened?" The old ghost floated closer as he switched back to his middle aged form.
Between breathes she gasped out, "Memory… Park… Boy…Birds…Red mist..Took over everything. What..Was that?" As her breathing steadied she was able to look up to the well concealed concern on the elder ghost's face. She almost didn't see it but, well she was trained for a bit by the greatest detective known to man.
Clockwork had watched it all happen from the outside. The contorting of her face as the different emotions passed, the expressions that changed, even the red mist that filtered out of her closed eyes and started to surround her. The longer she was concentrating the more the mist surrounded her body. It only disappeared a moment before she opened her eyes. He knew it had to happen but he wouldn't have minded to skip over this part. It was worrying to only be able to spectate but without it, things won't be as they are supposed to be.
He handed her some extra food he had started storing at his lair after the training sessions started. Danni took it gratefully but didn't eat. She played around with the cherry tomato as she mumbled out questions she knew she would likely not get an answer to. She never did.
"What was that mist? Why even that memory. It is the first time it worked, but it has nothing really to do with me, just this random kid. Why couldn't it have been one like the ones you showed me? Those are the ones I need to remember."
Clockwork held in a sigh as he knew he could not answer. The time will come that she will understand, but it is not now. "That is enough for today, get some rest and see to that you manage your diet better. Only staring at food won't do you much."
She scoffed a bit as she finally shoved the tomato in her mouth. "I'm eating just fine that you very much, I don't need a diet."
Clockwork rolled his eyes as he grabbed a list of high energy and calorie dense foods out of nowhere. "As somebody with your power caliber should know, you burn more when you use your powers. As you have been training more you are burning more than you consume. Just like the Flash, who has to eat more than a normal person would, so do you. So please, eat more before your body consumes itself in a quest to fuel your powers."
"Sure Stopwatch. You know telling a girl what to eat isn't very gentleman-y. 'Sides I'm not that skinny." Yet.
For the first time since their meeting, Clockwork graced the young half-ghost with the strongest deadpan look she had ever seen. "You look like you could replace one of the hands on my clocks."
Dick was standing in front of his mirror, trying to tame his locks with way more gel than he would like. Already dreading the shower to get the mess out, he scooped up another blob of gel and tried again. If it wasn't for Alfred insisting on looking decent he wouldn't even bother, but the elderly gentleman has threatened to use glue if Dick didn't fix it himself. Oh how happy he was he didn't have to shave and worry about having the right aftershave on. Bruce will think twice about his combinations after that mess.
Finally having tamed his hair he set to getting dressed. Once he had left his hair for last and gotten gel all over his suit. He had to hand wash it as punishment with Alfred standing over his shoulder making sure everything was done as it was supposed to.
He looked at the suit Alfred had picked out for him, already dreading the tie. It was a black suit and a blue tie, no doubt to bring out the color of his eyes. He was extremely grateful that he wasn't forced to wear those fancy shoes Bruce always complained about and got to wear sneakers. Although he knew he couldn't avoid them forever, Alfred had sworn that he will make the boy wear them once he was a bit older and, hopefully, less hyperactive as he was right now.
Making sure to not touch his hair, he placed the tie around his neck and started to wrestle the fabric in shape. After a few minutes, and almost cutting off circulation to his fingers twice, he gave up and went to look for somebody to tie it for him.
Entering Bruce's room he walked into the en suit bathroom and saw the man in a battle of his own. To no surprise, Bruce was wearing the same suit as Dick, just a larger size. He cringed as he could already hear the women squeal about how adorable it is that they match.
Bruce looked over to his ward, somehow managing to get his hand tied into the cursed fabric of his own tie. He could fight criminals and have the League at his feet, but tying a blasted tie was not on his list of accomplishments. "Having trouble too huh?"
The two jumped as they heard Alfred clear his throat behind them. As he walked over to release Bruce of his imprisonment, he tutted the younger males. "Honestly, one of these days I will lock the both of you out of the Cave until you can tie one of these on your own."
Dick gave an exasperated sigh as he leaned against the doorframe. "Come on Alfred, that's not fair! At least let me in, he's an adult he has to do it on his own!" He quickly straightened back out as the butler gave him a hard stare.
"If memory serves right, master Richard, you have been going to these events for nearly 5 years now. One would only think that by now you would have learned it as well." He stalked over to the younger as Dick handed his pseudo-grandfather his tie.
"You know me Alfred. I don't like to be tied down and as if the monkey suits weren't constricting enough, these contraptions are everything but comfortable. If I knew you wouldn't get out the shotgun I would have burned them all already."
"Al least you are wise enough to stray away from such deeds. Now I suggest you both finish getting ready, the guests will be wondering where the host is soon." With that he left to delegate tonight's staff and make sure everything was running smoothly for the gala.
Of course Bruce had planned a gala. It's the only reason he was allowed to leave Mount Justice earlier than usual. And of course he was not happy. With the amount of attention on him it was hard to sneak off and get back to hacking the files. If it wasn't for Alfred and Bruce watching him like a hawk, it would be Oliver.
Once he had gotten word of how their failsafe exercise went wrong, he had been worried about the safety and health of not only Artemis, but also Dick and Wally. The man had become an uncle to the two boys and together with Barry, they were almost overbearing when they worried over them.
He could handle Bruce, but the two overdramatic blonds were a force to be reckoned with if they thought any of the original sidekicks were in danger. Barry even dared to break the 'No Meta' rule of Gotham, not like the man knew about his exemption of said rule, but his determance was admirable.
He could only hope he was able to somehow escape the watch of the adults and sneak off after some mind-numbing mingling. But knowing his luck today, chances of success were in the 100th of a percent.
With his amazing track record of getting insulted by the fellow rich Gothamites and the likes, he was allowed to stay away for a bit longer, only coming out when the event was already in full swing. No big entrance like Bruce either, they try to keep him out of the spotlights as much as possible. Of course he still had to go as not being there would be even worse to those stuck up pricks.
Deeming he waited long enough he went to the ballroom and set out to find any familiar faces that he can spend some time with before the pricks found him. As luck was finally on his side, he immediately spotted a familiar blonde goatee.
As if the man was trying to out himself, he wore a dark green suit. Next to him was Dinah with a slightly lighter green dress that had fine embroidery in the same dark green as Oliver's suit.
"Looking rather green today." He said to announce his presence to the older man. Oliver nearly jumped as the little bird was now standing next to him. Dinah laughed at Oliver's misery as he slightly blushed. "Yeah, well, I like the color. You're not any better, looking almost exactly like a mini Bruce."
Dick shrugged, knowing the comments were bound to come. "Not like I had any say in it. Take your complaints to Alfred." Dinah and Dick laughed as Oliver grumbled something about wanting to stay alive, thank you very much.
"He isn't causing too much trouble already, is he." Bruce said as he walked over and glanced at the skulking blonde. Giving his miniature a look, he knew his little bird had said something to annoy the man.
As Dick kept gloating at Oliver's childish behavior, Dinah pulled Bruce aside for a moment. "How is he keeping up? He still didn't say much in the sessions and I'm starting to worry he's being a bit too much like you. No offence."
Bruce sighed as he looked at the smirk on Dick's face as he kept on taunting Oliver. "None taken. I don't know if making him go to the Mountain so much is doing him any good. He is so locked in himself he even had a fight with Wally earlier. And I only know because I got an alert of extreme movement from his glove."
Dinah frowned. Wally was his best friend. She knew he had been pushing everybody away after last week's fiasco but she didn't think it would come to these extremes. Making a mental note to talk to him about it in their session tomorrow, the two adults went back to their little group to rescue Oliver.
"Say, how are your friends doing, after you know…" Oliver trailed off, he knew Dinah was going to kill him for bringing it up but he just had to know. Something about the way Dick was joking around felt off, as if he was forcing on a persona instead of being himself.
Dick tensed before he easily shifted to a comfortable position. "They're doing fine I guess. Haven't seen Kal and Arty around much, but Connor and Megan are doing fine. The other day they needed help with math and I swear if I see Conner struggle with those kinds of things again, Clark will get a talk to from me."
Oliver rubbed the back of his neck at the mention of his supposed niece. "Well, I can tell you that Artemis is fine. She's been over a few times and punched half my training bags to the dumpster. Plus she is having a hard time keeping up with school and worrying about her mother. But she'll be back hanging out with you guys in no time, just give her some time and she'll be back to chasing Wally." With a full quiver went unsaid but everybody knowing their nightly activities knew.
As their little hero group talked for a bit, using their special codes for stuff the regular people didn't have to know, their topics ended up in something less interesting for the active 13 year old. Making his way to the buffet he noticed that most were staying away from the food. Some of the more rotund folks were less caring about their image and gladly helped themselves to some of the snacks as the younger and fitter ones would stay away. He noted that some of the lower classes present opted for tighter clothing, hoping to look better in the eyes of the older generations. Wouldn't want to pop out those barely surviving buttons with the snacks, that just wouldn't be proper.
Chuckling at the thought of a button breaking off and hitting somebody in the eye, he piled some food onto the plate and grabbed a drink as well. Lucky for him, Alfred always made sure there were juice boxes with his favorite flavors available.
Spotting a group of teens he recognized from school, he walked the other way to a more calm corner of the room. Paying no mind to the people around him he sat down on a chair close to one of the balconies on the first floor. He still had a rather good view of the ballroom below, but there were much fewer people up here as the cold fresh air drafted in.
Looking around he was hoping for something to happen so he could make his escape from the amount of people here. It was starting to feel suffocating and far too loud for his liking.
Luck seemed to have turned as the perfect cover had arrived.
In one of the rowdier areas, an older, rounder build man has been almost yelling his parts of the conversation. Waiters had already been informed to steer clear of the area as it looked like he had had a few glasses too many already. The man was the head of an old money family so it was quite a spectacle as he was a rather well known name in Gotham's high society.
As his conversationalists and family members tried to keep him steady and get him to sit down, the man had refused and stumbled his way over to a small buffet table and promptly crashed into it. The table had snapped under the weight and staff rushed to help the man upright. He seemed to barely notice them there as he gleefully laughed as the cakes were slowly sliding his way from the edges of the tables. Gladly shoving them down his pie hole, he didn't care as his suit was ruined by the pasties.
As the poor staff were struggling to get the man's feet under him, Bruce and Oliver had started making their way to the ruckus as Alfred rushed to the scene as well. As the two billionaires were talking the man into giving up his pursuit of drinks and food, Alfred made sure that the onlookers stayed far enough to give the staff space.
As the 5th staff member and some buff looking security men were called in to help the drunk man, Dick quickly and quietly made his way over to the secluded stairwell that would bring him to an empty part of the manor. From there on it was smooth sailing to his room where he could work on the files in peace and-
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