Author's Note: In my efforts to do something productive this summer, I've managed to scrape together a story that will hopefully bring a spot of sunshine to people's lives. Admittedly, humor is not exactly my forte, but this idea just wouldn't leave me alone. Also, this being a WIP (aka work in progress), I'll need some ideas for the "kind of embarrassing" thing that KF mentions for the next chapter. I'm thinking of them getting stuck in the ventilation system in Wayne Manor, but it seems awfully boring and not near as silly as I want. So, if you think this story deserves to continue, hit me with what you got, and you might see it in the next chapter! Enjoy :)
Oh wait, forgot to mention, I'm only fourteen, so make sure any suggestions are appropriate. This means no mentions of nudity (I've seen a few brief yet innocent descriptions of that around the site) or anything sexual. Not really expecting anything like that to come up, but just wanted to make sure; I want to keep my mind as innocent as possible. Kay, done now. On with the show.
Gotham City | March 12, 04:17 EDT. 2011
"Why am I doing this?" Artemis asked herself as she dragged herself out of bed, finally prepared to abandon the warm covers after seventeen minutes of taking in what little sun could make past the skyscrapers and through the old window. The ancient floorboards creaked loudly under her feet as she made her way to the bathroom and turned on the shower, letting the temperature of the water rise before letting herself get soaked. A small sigh of contentment escaped past her lips as the steaming rivulets ran down her arm, burning a few of the scratches on her forearms, courtesy of the intense hours of archery she had done yesterday, but covering the rest of her body in a warm embrace. After scrubbing away the feeling of lethargy, she cut off the stream of water and dried herself with a thin towel, throwing it back on the rack after she was done. She glanced at herself in the mirror, her eyes slightly red and bloodshot due to the lack of sleep she had gotten, a rare occurrence on Saturday mornings.
"This better be good, Wally." She grumbled as she brushed and tied back her long hair before putting on her costume, grabbing the quiver of arrows and the compound bow to finish her superhero guise. There was a drawn out squeak as the rusty sides of her grimy window were pushed up against the equally dirty sides, making a large enough gap for the teenager to slip through. As a precaution, she glanced up and down the surrounding alleyways and buildings to ensure that no one was watching, since any Gothamite would take notice of a young green archer exiting from a run-of-the-mill low grade apartment. But, as she expected, there was no one particularly alert in the vicinity, allowing her to make a clean getaway by stealthily scaling the rickety balconies and flipping silently across cockroach covered rooftops. It took only a few minutes for her to reach the nearest zeta tube, squeezing herself into the cramped phone booth as it scanned and enveloped her in a flash of bright light. Her body tingled uncomfortably as she felt her molecules being temporarily disconnected, transported, then reassembled from the claustrophobic space to the wide opening of The Cave's teleporter, her arrival announced with monotonous voice, "Recognized, Artemis - B-07."
"Yo, Artemis!" she heard Wally call her name, waving at her frantically from the green couch he was currently lounging on, surrounded by Aqualad, Rocket, Superboy, M'gann, and Zatanna.
"I swear," she growled as she tromped over to him and leaned in his face, an explosive arrow clutched in her right hand, "if you don't have a good reason for calling me on a school night to wake up at four in the morning today, then you can kiss all your souvenirs goodbye."
Her threat did little to faze the speedster, who seemed unconcerned about the act of violence she was considering to enact on his prized possessions.
"Yeah, whatever." He brushed off. "Just sit down first."
She raised an eyebrow, not only surprised that her kind of boyfriend wasn't shooting back a threat of his own, but also at the fact that, judging by the anticipating looks on The Team's faces, Kid Flash was the director for whatever he had planned. Her interest now piqued, she settled herself next to Zatanna, ears open.
"Alright guys, here's the thing," he started off, "I need all of your help for a mission."
"What kind of mission?" A certain Atlantean asked, slightly intrigued as he was the usual designated team leader. Wally paused, giving himself time to perform a loud, tense breath.
"I need to throw Robin a surprise birthday party."
There was a dead silence for a few moments, which was immediately followed up with a universal look of shock.
"What!" Rocket sputtered.
"That's what you called us all for, a birthday party?" Zatanna's mouth fell open in disgust.
"Kid, you are not serious." Kaldur practically glared at him.
"Alright, that's it." Artemis got up, furious, and headed to the souvenir room. "Say goodbye."
"Wait!" Kid Flash held up his hand, pleading for them to listen. "I don't get it, what's the problem?"
"Well, Wally..." M'gann tried to explain, but was interrupted by a very angry archer.
"The problem, Baywatch," she poked him in the chest, "is that you wasted our time, forced us all get up early, depriving us of some well-earned rest, and made us think there was some mysterious mission for us to accomplish, when all you wanted to tell us was that you're going to throw a surprise party for Robin!" Boyfriend or not, Artemis was ready to kick his butt into the next county, go get him again, and haul his worthless hide back to the cave where he would become everyone else's personal piñata.
"That's all?" Kid Flash stared at The Team as if they were all crazy. "That's all! Do you know how important this is to me?!"
"No, and I don't want to!" She yelled back. "I'm going home, but before I do, let me tell you -"
But what she had intended to say never came out, because a sudden explosion of light caught the entire group, with the exception of Wally, off guard and pulled their eyes to the zeta beam, the formation of someone accompanied by the words, "Recognized, Red Arrow - B-06"
"Roy?" Kaldur squinted his eyes, unsure what to make of his friend's appearance. Ever since he had found out that he was a clone, the former sidekick had been tirelessly searching for the original one, Green Arrow's first protégé. He had disappeared, going off the radar in his widespread search, and no one had seen him since. The very thought of Red Arrow visiting The Cave was absurd; why on earth would he come here? As the older redhead came out of the metal tube, he called out again.
"Roy, is that really you?"
"I'm not Roy." He muttered. "I'm his clone."
"My friend, you are not -"
"Save it." He cut off. "I'm here for Robin's birthday party."
Once more, quiet settled throughout the room due to an unbelievable statement.
"You've got to be kidding me." It was the only time during the whole conversation that Connor had expressed anything other than a blank stare, and everyone spared him a surprised glance. He shrugged his mammoth shoulders in response. Superboy didn't know much about Red Arrow; come to think of it, they had never said a single word to each other. And since they were both Cadmus clones who had no say in their creation and had someone who resented them, be it Superman or Roy himself, it seemed - wrong. But he did know that the clone was determined; his exhaustive and so far fruitless journey to recover the original Speedy was proof enough. And to think that he would sacrifice one day of his search, and for a party at that, was nothing short of mind boggling.
"This really is a big deal, isn't it." Rocket said quietly.
"That's what I've been trying to tell you!" Wally threw his hands up in the air in frustration then collapsed back on the couch. "Me and Roy here -"
"Roy and I." Artemis smirked.
"Huh?" His head cocked to the side in confusion.
"You said 'me and Roy'. You're supposed to say 'Roy and I'." She pointed out smugly, willing to do anything irritate him.
"Since when did you become the grammar police?" He sighed, annoyed. "Anyway, Roy and I have been trying to throw Rob a surprise birthday party for the last three years, but he always found out."
"What do you expect? He was trained by the Batman." Zatanna said in an obvious tone.
"Yeah, I know. That's why I was hoping that if we all came together and drew out some kind of plan of action, we could catch him off guard." He eyed everyone hopefully.
"Well, what happened before?" Megan asked. "If we know what went wrong the last three times, then maybe we can do it right this year."
The redhead gave a groan.
"Was it truly that bad?" Aqualad questioned.
"Not bad, just, kind of - embarrassing." Kid Flash shifted uncomfortably in his seat. "Well, the first time we tried to surprise him, I started out by going over to Roy's place...