A/N: First YJ fic!
So this fic is set close to the end of Season 1 after Zatanna joins the team but before Rocket does. I love Artemis and Superboy, especially Season 1 Superboy; they're so much fun to write!
In any case, the way I see it Conner inherited a lot of Clark's good traits but never had the benefit of Kent manners. Therefore leading to situations like this one. I hope you enjoy it.
Disclaimer: Anything you recognize, I don't own.
Artemis ran, her boots pounding against the pavement as she searched desperately for some options. Behind her, she could hear the metallic thump of her pursuers' feet as they gained ground. It had rained that afternoon, leaving the rooftops slick and treacherous, but Artemis could not afford to slow down. Sprinting flat out, the young archer whipped around a corner, cursing as her foot slipped on the wet asphalt.
Trying very hard not to think about how disastrous that could have been, Artemis dove off the roof, hoping the sudden change of elevation would allow her to lose the robotic henchmen hot on her heels.
No such luck.
She had barely reached the mouth of the alley when a man-shaped robot slammed down exactly where she had been seconds before. Its red eyes scanned briefly before landing on her. Letting out another curse, Artemis bolted down the empty street.
Really, some rational part of her mind supplied between measured gasps, this was all her own fault.
…I mean, sure, the team had needed some way to get rid of these goons so that Robin could get close to the device, work his creepy Bat-magic and turn the damn thing off. In retrospect though, jumping up and yelling 'Hey you overgrown tin cans, bet you can't catch me!' maybe hadn't been her brightest move, especially now that her quiver was empty and the things just kept coming.
Well, Artemis thought sardonically as she ran, at least it worked. No less than five were right behind her, about a third of the total goon-squad the team had barged into.
Hearing an ominous whine, the archer dived desperately to the side. Some sort of energy blast lanced out from the thing's arm, missing her by inches and taking out a good chunk of concrete behind her.
Damn, she cursed internally. Energy weapons…of course they have energy weapons…why not? Rolling with the momentum of her dive, Artemis came back to her feet and took off in the new direction without missing a stride. Hearing the whine again, she dropped into a slide, using the wet road to her advantage as another blast shot over her head. A car in front of her suddenly gained a smoking hole in its driver's side door.
Note to self, don't get hit. She didn't even want to think about what a direct shot would do to her very human body. Her Kevlar wouldn't do jack. Risking a glance back, Artemis felt her heart jump into her throat. They were maybe half as far back as when she had started, and unlike them, she was getting tired.
"Now would be an awesome time for the cavalry to arrive." She muttered to herself. The words had barely passed her lips when the concrete behind her exploded. The blast threw her clear off her feet and face first into a retaining wall. Twisting desperately and bringing her hands in front of her face, the young superhero managed to avoid breaking her neck on impact, but her whole world went white as her head made contact with the wall.
Groaning, Artemis managed to sit up just in time to see the mechanoid approaching, arm raised to deliver the killing stroke. Some part of her was screaming to move, but everything was hazy and her body wouldn't seem to obey. It was all she could do to sit there and hope the world would stop spinning.
Suddenly, the thing stopped dead in its tracks. Artemis had maybe two seconds to notice a black throwing star in the thing's chest before the whole thing went up. Robin.
A moment later the whole alley was filled with loud sounds and energy blasts and quick moving blurs that Artemis was pretty sure were her friends but she couldn't seem to focus her eyes. Blinking rapidly, the battle came back into view. Kaldur's water bearers glowed as they smashed down on one robot, leaving little more than a crater. The one to his left turned, intending to bring its energy weapon to bear against the young Atlantian.
It never got the chance.
Catching the arm before it could swing around, Kaldur pivoted on one leg and threw the machine into the one Robin had damaged, which was just trying to get back onto its feet. Both smashed into the wall and fell into a crumpled heap on the ground.
"nurt ffo! Eb deit htiw sniahc!"
The robots were suddenly powered down and bound with heavy chain. With those two effectively out of the fight, Zatanna turned her attention to the remaining robots, or, more specifically, to the ground underneath them.
"teerts emoceb dum."
The ground under their feet gave way and the two sank out of view. It wasn't until they had completely disappeared that Zatanna ended the spell.
There was a moment of tense silence, but no other robots jumped out at them, nor were there any rumblings to indicate that the two who were buried still functioned in any way. Robin was beside her, Artemis noticed vaguely, trying to turn her head so he could see her eyes. She groaned in protest at the movement.
"Stay cool." The Boy Wonder reassured. "I just need to check your pupils. You took a good one there."
Letting him turn her head, Artemis winced at the bright light he shined in her eyes. "Pupil dilation is normal." He reported. "I don't think you have a concussion. Think you can stand?"
In answer, Artemis forced herself to her feet. Every muscle protested the motion but she managed to get vertical. "The others?" She asked.
"Tying off loose ends." Kaldur answered, sheathing his water bearers as he approached. "The scientist behind the machine fled with the plans before we could stop him. Superboy, Miss Martian, and Kid Flash pursued while we left to assist you."
"Did they get him?" Artemis asked urgently.
Kaldur smiled reassuringly. "Moments ago." His smile faded. "However, we do need to discuss your reckless actions here. Your distraction significantly weakened the force we faced, but it placed you in a position of unacceptable risk."
Artemis felt her face heat up. "I can look after myself! I'm not helpless. Just because I don't have powers…"
"Your lack of powers has nothing to do with it." Kaldur cut in. "We are a team…and we cannot act effectively when one of our number runs off alone, no matter how noble their intentions."
Looking at her rebellious expression, the Atlantian sighed. "Please at least consider it the next time you decide to do something so rash. If we had not arrived at the precise moment that we did…"
"I got it." The archer cut in, moving to cross her arms. Her left forearm suddenly reminded her that it had been introduced to a wall and she winced, cradling the limb.
"Hey…are you OK?" Zatanna asked, catching her abortive move.
Artemis huffed. "Yeah, it's fine…just a little tender."
"The others will be meeting us back at the Cave." Kaldur informed them. "We should go…unless your arm requires first-aid?"
"I said it's fine!" Artemis snapped.
Aqualad leveled her with a steady look. "As you wish. Come…let's go home."
The trip back to the Zeta tubes was…fun. Her head pounded like someone was drilling a hole into her brain. She was dizzy, exhausted, and her injured arm refused to bear her weight.
Her teammates kept shooting her concerned looks, which she very studiously ignored. Her injuries weren't that bad after all. She'd certainly had worse. Even when her arm nearly buckled when she tried to grapple between two buildings, she absolutely refused to wimp out and ask for help. It didn't feel like there was anything broken, it was just painful. It would be fine with a little rest.
Despite her inner pep talk, she almost whimpered with relief when they reached the cave. The others were already there, having dropped off the villain with the League.
Robin took a quick look around. "Batman?" He asked, expecting his mentor to be there for the usual post-mission debriefing.
"Dropping the wacko off at Belle Reve." Wally answered, halfway through stuffing a cookie in his mouth. "He'll debrief us once he gets back."
Robin nodded, flipping over the back of the couch and reaching for the remote. After a moment, Zatanna settled beside him. Wally flopped down on the other side.
Artemis was about to join them when Conner blocked her way. "That was stupid." He said without preamble.
Artemis' brow furrowed. "What was stupid?" She asked, confused.
"Running off like that." He clarified. "That was stupid. You could have gotten hurt."
Her face heated up again. "I've already had this conversation with Kaldur." She snapped. "I don't need to have it with you." She made to move past him, trying very hard to ignore how much she hurt.
"Hey…" He started angrily, catching her arm…her bad arm.
There was an explosion of fiery agony as a wave of nausea rolled through her body. Artemis gasped, trying desperately to keep her feet as the room spun. Conner's hand shot out to steady her.
It wasn't until the pain faded back into a dull ache and the room came back into focus that Artemis saw the furious concern on Conner's face. "You're hurt." He stated, frowning.
She tried to pull away from his steadying hand. "It's nothing," she said for the second time that day. "It's a little tender that's all"
Conner released her reluctantly and took a step back. "You should get it looked at." He suggested. "Black Canary is in the infirmary doing inventory anyway."
"It's fine." She stressed. "It just needs some rest…look, I'll ice it tonight, get a good sleep, and by tomorrow I'll be good as new." With that, Artemis turned around, intending to join her friends on the couch.
Conner watched her retreating back for a moment. His face hardened into a determined scowl. Taking two steps he stooped down and…mindful of her arm…swung her over his shoulder.
"Hey!...What are you…?" Artemis flailed, groaning as the movement jostled her injuries. "Conner, put me down!" Her good hand pounded on his back.
She might as well have been hitting a brick wall. "…Conner, come on!"
Everyone else stared as Superboy calmly turned around and walked towards the door.
"Where are you going?" Kaldur dared to ask from his position behind the couch.
"Infirmary."Superboy grunted without breaking stride.
"Infir…Conner I said I was fine!" Artemis snarled from his shoulder, exasperated. "Put me down! I don't need to go to the infirmary."
She squirmed, letting out a quiet curse as Superboy's arm tightened around her, holding her in place. "Conner!"
By the time they reached the door, Artemis had moved past protest and into full blown threats.
"I'll get back at you! I will! I know where you sleep! I will stuff Kryptonite down your gym shorts! See if I don't!"
The rest of the team watched, bemused, as the two disappeared into the hallway. The closing door cut off Artemis' last frustrated scream.
A/N: Thank you to everyone who read. I hope you enjoyed it. I'd love to hear any comments you would like to make. Specifically, as a newcomer to the fandom, I'd be really interested to know how I did with the characterization.
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