July 4, 11:27 CDT
The road was quiet. The shops on either side were closed, and the streets were empty of life. The wind blew through it, making a howling sound that set her on edge. "Relax, Reaper. There's nothing to it." A man said suddenly, making Reaper jump almost a foot in the air.
Floating down, she hissed, "I am relaxed."
The man just nodded and turned away from the grey clad child. Reaper stood at measly 5'3", and every time someone decided to comment she would stick out her tongue and blame it on her brothers eating everything in the house. Over her head a grey hood rested, blocking any light from reaching the top half of her head. Her face was covered in a black domino mask, and her eyes glowed an eerie white. A torn grey cloak rested upon her shoulders and tore away at her knees, exposing grey combat boots. Her hands were wrapped in grey cloth, and on her upper body was a shirt that was tucked into a utility belt. Her legs were covered in baggy, dark grey pants.
"It's just too quiet." She whispered. Her voice echoed around the street.
Her mentor made a sound of agreement while nodding his head. Suddenly, a yell sounded out and a freezing blast was shot down towards the duo. Reaper jumped in front of her mentor and grabbed his arm, causing both to go slightly translucent and allowing the blast to go through them. A deep growl resonated in Reaper's throat as she launched herself at the villain. When she got close enough she thrust her hands forward, making the snowy man fall with a blast of magic. As he tumbled towards the ground he let out shrill scream off terror but was stopped when a man in dark robes lifted his arms and slowly brought the man to the hard concrete.
Reaper eyed the frost-creature quizzically as she floated back to the ground. She walked up to it, only to find him to be made completely of snow and slowly melting. "The Snowman?" She asked, turning to the man in the dark cloak. He nodded, his head quirked to the side in confusion as he stared down at the frosty villain. It was strange to see the wintery man this far south.
"Interesting." The dark man said, his voice coming out in a low, dangerous drawl. Reaper's lips drew into a wicked smile as she turned to face the villain that was now conscious, and quickly becoming aware of the danger he was in.
"We're a thousand miles from comfort. We have traveled land and sea."
Reaper felt as a deep crimson blush started to color her cheeks and was forever grateful of the mask she wore. She cleared her throat and reached into one of the compartments on her utility belt, pulling out a new MyPhone Eleven that was playing the music.
"Sorry." She said, pressing the 'accept' button and putting the phone to her ear.
"It'll just be a minute."
Erebus nodded and picked up Snowman by his arm. "You may continue to the Hall of Justice." He said. "I will not be joining you."
Reaper felt her smile drop from her face but nodded at him. He had other things to look after.
"Heeeeeeeeeeeey Carly! How're you doin'?" A voice said in her ear.
"Awesome! Besides, who wouldn't be? Today's the day."
July 4, 14:00 EDT
Reaper stood by the fountain, listening to the heroes as they spoke to each other. She was waiting at the end of the walkway. Sometimes she smiled and waved at the people surrounding it, but she soon grew bored and stared off into space.
A face suddenly appeared in front of her. Making her start and let out an outlandish yelp, while sending a punch at the boy next to her. He cackled, holding onto his stomach as he bent over from laughing. "You little brat." Reaper said angrily while folding her arms in a big harrumph.
"Aw, come on." Robin said, putting his chin on her shoulder. Something that was quite easy seeing as he was taller than her, most people were. Stupid growth hormones. "Don't be like that."
She snorted but unfolded her arms and put her hands in her lap. Robin nodded and rubbed the top of her hood in an attempt to ruffle her hair.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. Hands off." Reaper said, pushing his hand off her head. Robin laughed again, causing Reaper to lift the corner of her mouth in a little smile.
"Oh man!" A voice exclaimed, "I knew we'd be the last ones here."
Reaper lifted her head to see the scarlet and yellow speedsters that had arrived and smiled at them (all the while thinking of ketchup and mustard). "Sup KF?" Robin asked.
"Nothin' much." Kid Flash smiled at the two, bumping his fist with Robin and patting Reaper on the head.
"And how's my favorite girl?" He asked her, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively. Or at least tried to, with the mask came restrictions.
Reaper scoffed and shoved his arm gently, smiling at him from under her hood. "She's fine." She said, sarcastically.
"Oh! Speaking in third person now, are we?" Kid Flash asked.
"Pot, kettle. Have you met?" Reaper asked sarcastically. Kid Flash humphed in mock indignation and turned away dramatically.
Reaper giggled, covering her hand with her mouth to drown out the sound. Suddenly, the heroes started to walk towards the hall and the three scrambled to keep up with them, ending with the three almost bumping into Speedy's back. When he turned around and gave them all a look that clearly stated 'I am not impressed' and that 'they needed to grow up.' Kid Flash and Robin smiled at him cheekily while Reaper stuck her tongue out at him. He just rolled his eyes at them.
"Is that Batman?" Someone exclaimed excitedly.
"I see Flash and Flash Junior." Another said.
"His name's Speedy. Duh."
"No. Speedy's Green Arrow's sidekick."
"Well, that makes no sense."
Reaper had to hold in a laugh when she turned to both Speedy and Kid Flash, annoyance etched onto their faces. She almost lost it when they both turned to her and glared with all the power of teenage-ism.
"Is that Reaper? I thought she was a villain."
"No! She saved my cousin."
Reaper felt an amused smile stretch across her face as she gave them a mock salute. It widened dramatically when they stilled in her sights.
"Hey, Reaper?" Kid Flashed said, pulling Reaper's attention from the crowd.
He looking around the group wildly. His head whipping around them. When she was younger, she was always scared that he would break his neck. But now she just went with it.
"Yeah?" She asked.
"Where's Erebus? Isn't he supposed to be doing this with you?"
Reaper felt her stomach give an unpleasant jolt, but she smiled and waved a dismissive hand at her friend. "He did want to come." She said. "But he had other business to attend to. I'll just see him after. His stuff is pretty important." Too important to see his protégé off to become a real hero. She thought angrily. KF nodded, but he continued to glance at her every few seconds or so.
"I am glad we are all here." Aqualad said, pulling Reaper from her thoughts.
"Same. It's been a while since I've seen you guys." She said. Aqualad nodded and smiled around him at his fellow teens.
"Have all five sidekicks ever been in the same place at the same time?" KF asked.
Reaper smiled at him and shook her head.
"Don't call us sidekicks." Speedy growled from behind her. "Not after today."
"Sorry. First time at the Hall. I'm a little overwhelmed." KF amended, raising his arms in surrender.
"You're overwhelmed, Freeze was underwhelmed. Why isn't anyone ever just, whelmed?"
The heroes continued on through the doors to the Hall of Justice. Upon entering, they were met by bronze statues of the founders. Superman stood tall in the middle, to his left was Batman and father left was Flash and Aquaman. On Superman's left was Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. Huge windows lined all side on the Hall, bathing the statues in brilliant sunlight. Reaper felt her mouth drop open in shock. "Oh." Said Robin. "Maybe that's why." Yup.
Right under the statues were a set of doors made of high-quality metal. The Leaguers and Teens walked up to it, stopping once the doors opened to reveal Martian Manhunter and Flash. "Robin, Speedy, Aqualad, Kid Flash, and Reaper, welcome." The Martian said, gesturing for the Teens to follow him through the doors. "You now have unlimited access to the gym, our fully stocked galley, and of course our library." Reaper stood gawking. The whole place was filled with books and different science equipment. And it was HUGE! Was everything in this place so big. In the corner of the room, a giant monitor stood. Like a big bat-computer.
"Make yourselves at home." Flash said, motioning to the couches and chairs that were in the center of the room.
While Robin and Kid Flash ran to take a seat (Aqualad following at a more dignified manner), Speedy and Reaper stood at the back of the couch.
"Quick debrief to discuss the coincidence of four ice villains attacking on the same day." Batman said facing the older heroes, "We shouldn't be long."
Suddenly, a scanner came down from a hole in the ceiling. A blue ray shot out of the fish lens it had and proceeded to scan the heroes. "Recognized: Batman, 0-2; Aquaman, 0-6; Flash, 0-4; Green Arrow, 0-8; Martian Manhunter, 0-7; Red Tornado, 1-6." A robotic voice said. They started off in to a room farther back in the building. Reaper felt discomfort bubble in her. They weren't going to let them in? They could handle a debriefing. They had been there too.
"That's it?" Speedy exclaimed in disbelief. The Heroes turned and looked at Speedy, some turning their gazes to Reaper who was standing a little too close. She felt blush spread on her cheeks and looked away from Martian Manhunter's piercing gaze. "You promised us a real look inside! Not a glorified backstage pass."
Reaper saw as Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad turned their attention from each other to watch as Speedy brawled it out with their mentors.
"It's the first step. You've been granted access few others get." Aquaman said, stepping forward. He shot Reaper a look out of the corner of his eyes, something akin to distrust and suspicion.
Many Leaguers had been against her joining. With her mentor being a god of chaos, and her being a messenger of death, they had their doubts about letting her into a group meant to protect people, not bring them to the gates. But per Batman, Green Arrow, and Flash's request, they had given her a chance (also having the magical capabilities to battle the Zera and come out on top did help).
"Oh really?" Speedy said, sarcasm dripping from his words while he raised his hand and waived at the elevated glass on either side of the room, showing everything was going on to the people on the outside. "Who cares which side of the glass we're on?"
Reaper moved, putting a hand on his shoulder in an attempt to calm him. But he just shrugged it off and continued to glare at his mentor. Reaper felt her stomach drop and cold sweat blossom on her brow.
"Roy, you just need to be patient." Green Arrow said softly.
"What I need is respect!" Speedy ground out. He turned to the rest of the sidekicks, "They're treating us like kids! Worse – like sidekicks! We deserve better than this!" Reaper crossed her arms and leaned up against one of the chairs and looked at the boys uncertainly. Sure. She thought it was a little insulting that the adults weren't letting them into the debrief, but it was basically like someone skimped the meat on their sandwich. It wasn't that bad.
"Well…" She started quietly, her voice drifting off at the end. She lowered her head and scuffed her shoe on the tile that lined the floors, shame filling her as Speedy glare filled with betrayal, hatred, and hurt.
"You're kidding, right?" Speedy asked. "You're playing their game? Why? Because you think they play fair?" Reaper cocked her head to the side a bit in confusion. Sure, they could be devious. But she hardly thought they were 'the game-playing' type. Except for Batman, of course. "Today was supposed to be the day! Step one in becoming full-fledged members of the League."
"Well… sure, yeah." Kid Flash said hesitantly. "But, I thought step one was a tour of the HQ?"
"Except the Hall isn't the Leagues real HQ!" Speedy continued. "I bet they never told you it's just a false from for tourists and a pit stop for catching Zeta Beam Teleporter Tubes to the real thing. An orbiting satellite called the Watchtower!"
Silence. Then, "What?" Reaper said. She looked between the heroes, a laugh bubbling in her throat. "You're kidding?" She said to Speedy. He clenched his jaw and his frown deepened. She turned to the heroes who had the decency to look a little ashamed. The heroes looked away from her when she tried to meet their gazes. Only Batman would look her in the eye, and she didn't even know if he was looking at her. She nodded slowly and bowed her head as anger began to accumulate and her magic flowed through her body, making her fingers spark.
Batman glared at Green Arrow who raised his hands. "I know, I know. But I thought maybe we could make an exception?" He said. Batman's glare deepened. "Or, not."
"You're not helping your cause here, son." Aquaman said to Speedy, stepping forward. "Stand down, or-"
"Or what?" Speedy exclaimed, cutting off the atlantian. "You'll send me to my room? And I'm not your son! I'm not even his!" He turned to Green Arrow. "I thought I was his partner, but not anymore." Speedy reached up and took off his hat before throwing it at the ground at his mentor's feet. He turned and glared at the other teens. "Guess they're right about you four. You're not ready." He said quietly, but his voice cut like a knife. He stalked out of the Hall, not even turning his back. Everyone was frozen in shock until Kid Flash snapped out of it.
"Wait. Speedy. Come on dude." Kid Flash said, walking up behind him. "You can't really mean it." He reached out and grabbed his arm, spinning him around to look at him. "We're all in this together."
"No. We're not." Speedy said sharply, ripping his arm from Kid's grasp and leaving the group behind.
Kid Flash walked back to the group in a sullen silence, not even glancing up at the heroes that stood awkwardly amongst the disappointed teens. Reaper stood, watching as the metal doors closed behind her brother. Leaving them all in a saddened and tense silence. Suddenly, the giant monitor blared on showing Superman.
"Superman to Justice League." He said. "There's been an explosion at project Cadmus. It's on fire."
The group surrounded the monitor as Batman began typing on the keys. "I've had my suspicions about Cadmus. This may present the perfect opportunity to in—"
"Zatara to Justice League." Another window popped up, showing a disgruntled man in a tuxedo. "The sorcerer Wotan is using the Amulet of Attan to blot out the sun. Requesting full League response."
"Superman?" Batman asked, turning back to the Kryptonian.
"It's a small fire. Local authorities have it under control." Superman said.
Batman sighed in disappointment. "Then Cadmus can wait. All Leaguers rendezvous at Zatara's coordinates. Batman out." He said, cutting the stream for both men. He turned to the teens who were watching hesitantly, albeit excitedly. "Stay put." He growled, effectively killing the mood. Reaper looked from one League member to the other, an eyebrow raised in annoyance.
"What? Why?" Robin exclaimed in disbelief.
"This is a League mission." Aquaman started.
"So?" Reaper bit out. "We're supposed to be in the League!"
"You're not trained." Flash said placidly, a small frown on his face.
"Since when?" Kid Flash exclaimed.
"I mean you're not trained to work as part of this team." Silence met his statement. Sure, yes, fine. The boys and girl realized that they weren't trained like that. But they all had worked together at one point or another. With different team-ups. They had done well, hadn't they? The teens stared at their mentors in shock and disbelief.
"There will be other missions when you're ready." Aquaman said through the silence. But his words drifted in one ear and out the other. The teens had yet to react to what the Flash had said and continued to stare at them.
"But for now, stay put." Batman said, his voice low and gruff. The teens continued to stare at the heroes as they left the building through the back doors. The last thing Reaper heard was Green arrow asking Martian Manhunter something, and the doors closed, leaving them all in stunned silence.
Seconds ticked by with nothing said by any in the room. The civilians had left minutes ago, not wanting to disturb the sidekicks. Side. Kicks. Reaper thought. We're all just a bunch of – "-MOTHER FUCKING SIDEKICKS!" Reaper screamed, throwing a chair across the room with a blast of magic. "WE ARE ALL JUST A BUNCH OF MOTHER FUCKING SIDEKICKS TO THEM! NOT PARTNERS! JUST FUCKING SIDEKICKS!"
"When we're ready?" Kid Flash mocked, his voice laced with anger. "How are we ever supposed to be ready when they treat us like- like sidekicks?"
"My mentor, my king. I thought he trusted me…" Aqualad said quietly. His eyes were downcast and his shoulders slumped.
"Trust? They don't even trust us with the basics! They've got a second HQ in fricking SPACE!" Kid flash yelled, pointing his hands to the ceiling and waving them around.
"What else aren't they telling us?" Aqualad asked gravely.
"I have a better question." Robin said. "Why didn't we leave with Speedy?"
Reaper walked back slowly from where she had been destroying the furniture. Her gaze was locked onto the giant monitor. "Robin?" She asked. The boy in question turned to her, his face set in a deep scowl. "Can you tell me what project Cadmus is?"
"Yes, I was wondering the same." Aqualad added, turning to the Boy Wonder.
"Don't know." He said, shrugging. "But I can find out. KF, can you go get Speedy for me? He wouldn't want to miss out." Robin said absentmindedly as his fingers flew across the keys on the complex computer.
"Why?" Kid Flash asked angrily. "He said the he didn't want to be a part of this, so why should we include him?"
Robin rolled his eyes. "Because he still cares Kid Idiot. Plus, he would kill us if we went somewhere awesome and he didn't get to come with." He added sarcastically.
"K, sure, fine. Be right back." Kid Flash said reluctantly, speeding out of the room and leaving a trail of dust behind him. Someone needs to vacuum. Reaper thought.
As Robin hacked into the computer. Digits and letters flew across the computer faster than Reaper had ever seen, files popped up and left like they were never there. "How are you doing this?" She asked in amazement.
"Same system as the bat-cave." He said simply.
"And you hacked the bat-cave?"
"Pff. I bet Bats doesn't even get annoyed anymore." He answered smugly.
She nodded in amusement. Boys and their computers, but she had to admit that his hacking skills were amazing. Suddenly, a puff of dust appeared in the middle of the room. Followed by the sounds of someone dry heaving while trying to spit out curses. "Hey Speedy!" Reaper said while she skipped over to him. He groaned in response while he bent at the waist. "Should I get you some Advil?"
He groaned again but shook his head. "Just a couple seconds." He said shortly. She nodded and walked back to the computer. Robin was now looking through all of the files related to Project Cadmus. It appeared that they had been getting some pretty questionable supplies from some pretty questionable sources recently, and they still hadn't let out what they were working on. A bit different to when they had been bragging about their work a couple of months ago. "So, what are we doing?" Speedy asked, standing up and walking over to them.
"We'regoingtobreakintoCadmus." Kid Flash said simply, too bad no one understood him.
"Slower, please?" Speedy asked, raising an unimpressed eyebrow.
Kid Flash smiled sheepishly at them and said it again. "We're going to break into Project Cadmus."
"Solve their case before they do." Aqualad said in realization. "It would be poetic justice."
"Hey. They're all about justice." Robin said happily.
"But, they said stay put." Aqualad said, his brows were furrowed and he looked hesitant.
"For the 'Blotting Out the Sun Mission,' not this." Robin pointed out, the corner of his lips quirked up in a smirk.
"Wait, let me get this straight." Speedy said, burying his head in his hands. "You are all going to go on a mission?"
"Yup!" Reaper exclaimed joyfully.
"But the League said you couldn't?"
"Well… not specifically they didn't." Robin added.
"And you all are going anyway?"
"Just like that we are a team on a mission?" Aqualad asked in confusion. The youngest in the group smiled widely at him. Personally, Speedy thought they all looked like little devils.
"We didn't come for a play date."
A/N: And it's done. To those that follow my stories I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while, I've been busy with school work and other things. I probably still won't be posting for a while, I've noticed that my writing isn't what it used to be (even though I will take down the old stories I have and re-do them), and I rarely have any free time to myself. Hopefully during Christmas break I can find time to write more and get some ideas onto my screen. I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving even if you don't celebrate it, and that you all get some good food soon. Also I have no beta reader so all mistakes are my own and I welcome feedback.