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#young justice fic
aylaranz4 days ago
"Sam", Angel says slowly. "Sam, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, what the hell is going on?"
Her best friend, the one being in the entire universe that she trusts more than anything else, looks at her. Just... kind of stares. Like the situation at hand is perfectly normal and she's the one being weird.
"What is going on", he says, "is that my grandfather has come to visit."
Angel nods once. Twice. A third time for good measure. "Right. Great. Love the family reunions... just have a few questions about, I dunno, the goddamn supervillain?"
"As I said, my grandfather has come to visit."
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bleedinqhearts5 days ago
No wait we def do want to hear abt how obsessed u r with young justice
no bc i was really abt to make a new blog and drop this one temporarily to write myself all the dick grayson content i want
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redjayson7 days ago
B, please, please鈥
Batman is coming. He has to be.
Someone, anyone, help me.
"Knock, knock," says an unfamiliar mechanized voice from behind the Joker.
[Or: Batman doesn't make it to the warehouse in time. Red Hood does.]
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lala-ladybug8 days ago
Healing Hands: Chapter 8
You brush your teeth. now BOOM orange juice. That鈥檚 life.
Jasonette Sword Art Online AU
Read here on AO3
Chapter 8:聽Adrien Elizabeth Agreste, we do not have "plenty of time"
Tag list: @iloontjeboontje鈥 First | Previous | Next
Marinette was tired. Sure, she didn鈥檛 have to be class president, worry about akumas, or study for the baccalaur茅at, but she was more tired than she鈥檇 ever been in Paris. She鈥檇 been running herself ragged with training day after day for weeks, waking up earlier and going to bed later than everyone else.
Even her Order was starting to worry about her.
鈥淗ey Mari, let鈥檚 go shopping! I鈥檝e heard there鈥檚 a really posh fabric district on level 8.鈥 Chloe wheedled as Kagami poured them both a cup of morning tea. The blonde had a sharp look in her eye that meant it was more serious than just a shopping trip, but Marinette wouldn鈥檛 budge.
鈥淪orry Chlo, I want to level-grind so I can prep for tomorrow,鈥 Marinette shrugged and grimaced at her friend. She hadn鈥檛 picked up a needle in months, chances were slim to none that she鈥檇 start now. And tomorrow was too important to skip training.
Adrien came in from the garden and traded glances with Chloe. He sat down next to Marinette and said softly, 鈥淵ou really don鈥檛 have to overwork yourself this much, you know.鈥 He gestured to the four of them and Luka, who sat plucking at his lute. 鈥淲e鈥檙e all here right alongside you, and we always will be.鈥
Marinette forced a smile. 鈥淚 know,鈥 she replied. And she did, really. But it was still so hard to let herself relax, even for a moment. She felt more burdened here than as Ladybug. At least back home all they had to do was wait for the next akuma attack. In here, every second not actively spent fighting in the dungeons or leveling up was another second lost in the real world. Another life lost, too.
The newspaper had daily progress updates and blurbs about quests, but every month it also put out a death toll. There were so many names. A good month only had a few dozen. Marinette always read them all, whispered their names to herself as a reminder to keep fighting.
鈥淚 should be heading out,鈥 she gulped down her tea and rose from the table. Ignoring the worried faces of her friends, she packed a bag and shouldered a full quiver of arrows. She waved without turning to look behind her and left through the door to the stables.
The roan stallion, playfully named 鈥淩ouge鈥 by Nino, had taken a liking to her, so that was the one she saddled up and mounted. They rode into town, where Marinette touched the teleportation obelisk and directed their destination to the thirteenth floor.
She shielded her eyes against the bright sun. The heat rolled off the clay buildings in shimmering waves, carrying with it the scent of spices from a nearby market. In the distance, she could see rolling hills of sand stretching on for miles. This floor was the highest that was open, but the dungeon wasn鈥檛 scheduled to be beaten until the next day.
Despite their best efforts to defeat each level by themselves, the Order quickly found that other guilds fought right alongside them. They were much more competent than the Parisians had given them credit for, for various reasons. The game cultivated a cutthroat culture where limited resources served as selfish motivations for players to do as they pleased. Some groups wanted to help, just like them. Others wouldn鈥檛 think twice about abandoning allies to save their own skins. Above all, no one wanted to be left behind, not after the fiasco of the first level. And of course, everyone wanted to go home.
When she wasn鈥檛 talking strategy with the other guilds, Marinette trained hard to increase her level. She was nearly at level 20, and wanted to be at her absolute best for the dungeon battle. She鈥檇 read in the paper that morning that there were scorpion monsters lurking out beyond the limits of the villages. They would be perfect practice.
She spurred Rouge onward down the stone road that wound through the dunes. They鈥檇 barely made it out of sight of the village before, sure enough, waist-high black scorpions started tailing them. Rouge tossed his head as he trotted along, sensing something was amiss.
Marinette nudged him into a gallop, which he gladly obliged to get as far away from the threat as possible. But a glance over her shoulder revealed that the monsters were doggedly following. Their pace sped up enough that she could hear the clacking from their many legs scraping over the stones of the road.
Twisting in the saddle, Marinette fired at their pursuers. Her archery skills were her favorite thing to practice. The ranged attacks and versatility were similar to her yo-yo, and moving targets only made it that much more of a challenge.
Her arrows hit their marks, and she didn鈥檛 have to turn her head to see the congratulatory loot windows popping up in front of her to confirm it.
More scorpions approached from the sides, which made it even easier to pick them off. Rouge seemed to be enjoying the exercise, never flagging as they bolted across the level. Fending off enemies left and right, dodging fast-paced obstacles, feeling the wind rushing in her hair....
It was the closest she had come to feeling like Ladybug since the game began.
She fell into a rhythm that allowed her mind to wander to Tikki. How was she holding up? Had she found another holder? She would probably need one.... The Order hadn鈥檛 talked about it, but they all knew that Hawkmoth likely wasn鈥檛 taking it easy on a city devastated by so many deaths and disappearances.
Marinette frowned and swallowed against the lump in her throat. All of the Miraculous holders were here and there was no one left to distribute new ones. She felt so stupidly careless to have left Paris completely undefended.
The next arrow that found its mark sank deeply enough to reward her with a level-up.
Eventually, they reached another village. They stopped for water and some lunch, then kept going onward. By the time the sun was setting, Marinette had reached level 20 and was well on her way to achieving level 21. She felt more ready now, the physical activity having calmed her nerves somewhat.
She and Rouge teleported back to the house just in time for Alix, Kim, and Max to serve dinner. Marinette raised a questioning eyebrow at Luka. She could鈥檝e sworn they鈥檇 taken their turn to cook dinner just a few nights ago. Her friend just sighed and mouthed, 鈥淟ila.鈥
Ah, of course.
Lila did deign to come downstairs, allegedly from the girls鈥 bedroom where she had to take a nap because her vertigo was acting up. Which it only did when there was something she didn鈥檛 want to do.
Marinette was the first to serve herself. She piled some of the food from the kitchen onto her plate and took a seat next to Alya. Her best friend was chatting with Adrien and Max about the game plan for the boss fight tomorrow. Listening in to get the context for the conversation, Marinette took a bite of the potatoes.
It was bland.
Terribly, awfully bland.
She hid her face as politely as she could, then stood to retrieve spices from the cupboards in the kitchen. She applied them liberally to her own plate and then to the rest of the serving platters before anyone else could try them.
Upon rejoining her friends at the table, she heard Adrien and Kagami once again shut down Alya鈥檚 pleading to join them in the fight. Of their guild of classmates and friends, the Order comprised the only members they鈥檇 allowed to fight in the dungeons. Marinette knew her civilian friends were more than capable, hell she鈥檇 trusted many of them with a Miraculous at some point or another, but the chance of them getting hurt and dying in the game was too great to take risks.
鈥淲hat if we just stayed with the support teams? I don鈥檛 want to get in anyone鈥檚 way, but if there鈥檚 something I can do to help I want to do it!鈥 Alya protested.
Kagami shook her head sharply. 鈥淎bsolutely not. Even the support teams have sustained damage in prior fights. You should leave it to us.鈥
Lila sat down smoothly on Alya鈥檚 other side. 鈥淲hat makes you five so much more competent? Everyone knows how clumsy Marinette is.鈥 She waved a casual hand.
鈥淲ell, Kagami and I fence together, and....鈥 Adrien started explaining but trailed off.
鈥淐hloe has been bringing me and Luka to her self-defense classes back home,鈥 Marinette blurted out. She internally cringed at the questioning looks Chloe and Luka gave her. 鈥淭here鈥檚 so many akumas near us at home, we thought it might be a good idea.鈥
Oh Kwami, she hated lying to her friends. But she couldn鈥檛 put them in the line of fire. If something happened to one of them, she鈥檇 never be able to forgive herself.
Luckily, it seemed like they鈥檇 bought her half-truth.
鈥淩eally?鈥 Lila raised her eyebrows.
Well, most of them had.
鈥淚 hope that鈥檚 really the reason and it鈥檚 not just because you guys are hoarding all the loot you get from beating the dungeons,鈥 she sniffed, leaning forward slightly to look directly at Marinette.
Marinette鈥檚 stomach dropped. To even think that they could be so greedy and manipulative....
鈥淥h come on, there鈥檚 no way our friends would ever do something like that.鈥 Alya gently put her arm around Marinette. 鈥淢y bestie is our Everyday Ladybug, and I鈥檓 sure she鈥檚 going to do her best to help get us out of here.鈥
Nino and the others spoke up about their support for Marinette and her Order, but she tuned them out. As grateful as she was for her friend鈥檚 support, Marinette couldn鈥檛 help but feel even more overwhelmed. Being called their 鈥淓veryday Ladybug鈥 only served as a reminder of how much they all depended on her.
She finished her meal and quietly thanked Alix and Max (Kim was busy arm-wrestling Adrien). While washing her dishes, she felt herself nodding off. Rouge still needed to be brushed after their long ride, so she shook herself awake and trudged to the stables to do that.
Luka and Chloe were waiting there for her, to her surprise. Luka was already working to brush Rouge鈥檚 coat, and Chloe wordlessly took Marinette by the shoulders and firmly guided her upstairs to their room.
鈥淗ey, wh--鈥 Marinette tried to ask before Chloe shooed her up to their loft beds.
Chloe followed her up and said, 鈥淵ou need to rest,鈥 then began tucking her friend in.
Marinette made an effort to protest, but the quilted covers invited her to give in to her heavy eyelids. So she let her friend fuss over the sheets and straighten the duvet.
She hardly remembered whispering her thanks before falling asleep.
* * *
The next morning, Marinette woke from a dreamless sleep. She couldn鈥檛 remember the last time she鈥檇 slept so long, or so well. She yawned and stretched with a groan, blinking blearily at the large circular window in front of her.
The window spanned nearly the height of the two stories in the girls鈥 room. It cast shafts of swirling dust, gilded in the morning sun, across the beds on the floor below. She and Chloe had thought at first that they鈥檇 drawn the short end of the stick when Lila had insisted they be the ones to take the loft (the extra climbing would be awful on her knees, you know how it is), but in her grogginess Marinette took a moment to appreciate it.
From her vantage point, she could see clearly out into the front of their yard. The hills of their spread-out neighborhood sloped downward to reveal the mountains in the distance beyond the limits of the main town.
As she watched, small songbirds flitted between the apple trees lining the path. She could hear their soft chirping in the distance, as well at the hum of the beehive that had been growing in their eaves.
Today was an important day, she knew that much, but why...?
Oh no.
A glance at the clock embedded in her player menu revealed that she鈥檇 overslept. She was late.
She threw the blankets off and quickly dressed, hopping in place to tug on her boots. She slid down the ladder and rounded the corner of the landing on the stairs, terrified she鈥檇 missed her team leaving to fight the boss.
Adrien鈥檚 bubbling laughter followed by Luka鈥檚 soft chuckle told her otherwise. She breathed a sigh of relief and slowed her pace down the rest of the stairs. Thank Kwami.
In the kitchen, Adrien was holding a yellow hairbrush high above Chloe鈥檚 reach while she pouted and jumped to try to grab it. Kagami shook her head while Luka snuck up behind them and plucked the brush out of Adrien鈥檚 hand.
Chloe huffed at Adrien when Luka handed it back to her. She began brushing out her already-perfect hair, chastising him. 鈥淵ou know this is my travel brush. I鈥檒l need it for after the boss fight! Kwami knows how utterly ridiculous it will look after that.鈥
Kagami noticed Marinette's arrival and sidled up to her, hands clasped behind her back. 鈥淐an鈥檛 imagine why she was ever Queen Bee,鈥 she said drily. Marinette put a hand to her mouth to hide her smile. Kagami鈥檚 practical sense of humor had only grown the longer her friends had 鈥渃orrupted鈥 her, as Adrien liked to claim.
鈥淢elody!鈥 Luka smiled warmly, greeting her with a wave. Adrien and Chloe stopped their play fighting to look at her. They crossed the room in an instant, Adrien鈥檚 hands placed lightly on her shoulders and Chloe grasping her hands. 鈥淗ow are you feeling?鈥 she asked.
鈥淏etter than I have in a while, thank you Chlo,鈥 Marinette smiled at her friends.
Adrien glanced over her head to check the clock in the kitchen. 鈥淲e still have plenty of time, why don鈥檛 you have some breakfast.鈥
鈥淎drien Elizabeth Agreste, we do not have 鈥榩lenty of time,鈥欌 Marinette retorted. 鈥淚鈥檒l take some food to go.鈥
Lila, sitting with Alya on the couches nearby, gave them a questioning glance. Alya quickly explained, 鈥淗is middle name obviously isn鈥檛 actually Elizabeth, but it鈥檚 way funnier to pretend that it is,鈥 before hopping up to give Marinette a quick hug.
鈥淏e safe,鈥 she whispered into her hair, holding her tightly for a few seconds. Marinette gave her a tight-lipped smile as they parted, then caught the apple that Kagami tossed her.
They opted to leave the horses, in case some other players tried to steal them while they were busy with the boss fight. The five friends walked to the teleport kiosk in town.
Marinette felt tense and nervous, but couldn鈥檛 help relaxing in the presence of her carefree friends. They all joked and made horrible puns (thank you Adrien) the whole way to the thirteenth floor.
Surprisingly, they didn鈥檛 run into any other guilds along the winding, cobbled roads of the thirteenth floor. They must have already been gathered at the dungeon since they were approaching the designated meeting time. Marinette hoped they would wait.
The entrance was an ornately carved archway framing a spiral staircase. The steps led into the depths below the shifting dunes. There were lit sconces every so often, affixed to cavities in the curved walls. The steps were made of glass, but the overlapping flights of stairs didn鈥檛 clue them in to how deep the passage went.
A hot draft blew up and scattered the sand at their feet. With a glance to her team, Marinette led the way down.
Their boots had little grip on the glass steps, and they had to grip both walls to try to avoid falling. Adrien cracked one too many jokes about it being a 鈥渟lippery situation鈥 and earned himself a hearty slap on the back that sent him reaching the next landing a little sooner than he would鈥檝e hoped.
Marinette only paid half-attention to their antics, devoting most of her brain power to going over the plan. Pamphlets in NPC shops said that this boss had ranged area attacks, which wouldn鈥檛 mean much until they saw what exactly it could do. She hoped that the extra upgrades she鈥檇 given to their armor would protect them from whatever projectiles that could possibly entail.
While her small squad would lead the assault, archers would back them up and hopefully be able to counteract the boss鈥檚 ranged attacks. Healers were on deck, of course, and there were plenty of defensive lines with shielding capabilities.
More and more guilds were joining the front lines as the people started to band together. Meetings were no longer the exclusive events they once were, and the plans of when and where to attack were placed in the paper. That meant they鈥檇 have some wild cards. Marinette frowned as she considered where they would fit in.
She sighed. Again, they probably wouldn鈥檛 know until they were in the thick of the fighting. A glance upward revealed that they could no longer see the daylight warping through the glass steps above them. It couldn鈥檛 be that much farther, though it was odd that the air around them was getting hotter, not colder, the farther they went.
Adrien cocked his head and he gestured for the others to quiet down. The five of them had retained some of the attributes lent to them by years of consistent miraculous use, and his hearing was better than most of theirs. They proceeded carefully.
Marinette began to hear it too, a low murmur that sounded like....
Players, dozens of them, were waiting for them at the foot of the stairs. She let out a breath she didn鈥檛 know she鈥檇 been holding.
They were scattered about the long, tall antechamber with golden walls that glimmered in the soft torchlight. Arches, like the one at the entrance far up above, supported the ceiling. Three-meter tall pillars displayed vases and other beautiful decor. There was an open doorway at the opposite end of the room, but they couldn鈥檛 see anything beyond it but darkness.
The gentle pressure of a hand at her back told her Adrien was standing by her side. She made eye contact with one of the other familiar guild leaders and made her way over to him and his team.
鈥淗ey Danny, are we the last to arrive?鈥 She greeted her American friend. He ran a hand through his cropped dark hair and his icy blue eyes met hers. 鈥淗ey Mari. Nah, we鈥檙e still waiting on Crimson Dragon.鈥
His raven-haired friend Sam shook her head. 鈥淭hey鈥檙e always late,鈥 she muttered.
Next to her, their other friend (Tucker, if she recalled correctly) shrugged. 鈥淏ut you gotta admit, they always deliver!鈥
Marinette had to agree with him there. Thanks to the programming in the system, everyone in the game spoke and understood the same language. That meant that the Miracle Workers had wound up working with both Ghostbusters, Danny鈥檚 guild, and Crimson Dragon on several occasions even though they both spoke English as their native tongue. She had to admit she was impressed with how well they did. Unorthodox as they were....
鈥溾楽up party animals!?鈥 A loud voice echoed down the stairwell. The whole room of players turned to look at the small figure sliding to a halt, boots squeaking against the floor. He tossed the hood of a bright red cloak back and threw up finger guns. 鈥淢iss me?鈥
Next to Marinette, Chloe scoffed in a way that said she most definitely did not. Jake was... quite the eccentric character. The rest of his guild, two very embarrassed-looking girls and a tall boy, descended the stairs as well to join their leader.
鈥淎bout damn time!鈥 Someone spoke up from the back. Jake鈥檚 head whipped around and his eyes flashed. Beside her, Danny winced at his hotheadedness. Before anything worse could happen, Marinette gave Luka a meaningful look.
He gave a sharp, loud whistle that drew everyone鈥檚 attention to them.
鈥淟isten up people! We all know the plan. Is everyone ready?鈥 Marinette raised her voice to reach the whole chamber. The atmosphere shifted to a laser focus, and she saw grim nods as people drew their weapons and potions.
A glance to Adrien confirmed that it was time. 鈥淟et鈥檚 go.鈥
She and her Order led everyone through the great doorway, and into the unknown.
The boss鈥檚 room was an enormous, golden circle lined with torches that flickered to life as soon as she stepped onto the glass floor. She could barely see the far wall of the round chamber. Levels of glass flooring circled up to the dome high above their heads, carved into the walls. A few alcoves dotted the walls, but other than that there was hardly any cover to be found, which was concerning.
A whispering noise thrummed through the chamber, made louder by the acoustics of the massive room. Marinette held up a hand to halt the movement of everyone behind her. She listened intently for the sound to happen again.
It didn鈥檛 take long, and it was getting louder now. She jerked her head to Adrien and Kagami, who started silently directing groups to assume their stations. While they moved, Marinette cast her eyes around the chamber. Where was the boss?
A loud hissing sound seemed to come from the floor, and then--
Shattered glass erupted from the floor at the center of the chamber. A colossal golden snake with red eyes reared up and bared its fangs at them. This had to be it. Marinette yelled, 鈥淪catter!鈥 and they all ran for it.
It struck right where she had been standing only moments before. Her boots slipped on the glass as she scrambled to gain purchase and hoist herself up onto the nearest alcove. She managed to do it just in time, the boss snapping at her heels.
She raised her shield and distantly heard Kagami shout for the archers to take aim and fire. A volley of arrows fell on the great beast, and Marinette twisted sideways and crouched to take cover under her shield. Loud hissing meant at least some of them had found their target, and to their credit only a few missed and bounced off of her shield.
鈥淗ey, you big ugly worm! I bet you鈥檙e all hot air with nothing to show, huh?鈥 Adrien was bravely doing what he did best. Distracting the villain so that Marinette could come up with a plan. She risked a peek from over her shield to watch the snake whip around to face Adrien, who stood a few levels up on the opposite side of the chamber.
It leaned backwards only to shoot forward a few feet, opening its mouth wide. Screams echoed from the people it faced. Oh Kwami, what was that?
Marinette bolted to her feet and raced up the sloping pathway, trying to get a better angle. She stopped and her eyes widened once she could finally see what was happening.
A cone of air coming from the maw of that thing shimmered with heat. She looked in horror to see that Adrien was shielding himself and the civilians around him as best he could, but those he couldn鈥檛 reach shouted in pain as their armor began to melt off. The glass around them started to sag and they screamed louder as the floor bent beneath them.
A blur of motion jumped onto the head of the snake from high above. That was Chloe鈥檚 signature move, and sure enough it was her. She landed hard enough to knock the boss鈥檚 head down to the ground, its body collapsing probably from sheer surprise.
Or maybe it needed a cooldown time? Shit, this wasn鈥檛 good. They knew nothing. They were underprepared and overwhelmed.
Mariniette coughed as sand fell from the faraway ceiling at the impact the beast had made when it fell. Below her, Chloe was hacking away at the monster鈥檚 face with her flail. It gave no warning before snatching its head back to knock her off her feet and coiling its tail around her. Marinette cried out wordlessly as her friend was trapped in a matter of moments.
She was still squirming when the monster bared its fangs and let loose another breath of boiling air directly onto her.
Marinette could only watch as Chloe's golden armor heated to a bright red and began to melt, her friend still squirming to get out. A desperate cry fell from the blonde鈥檚 lips as the hot metal touched her skin, and still the snake kept going.
She flashed a look to their party鈥檚 health bars and saw Chloe鈥檚 dropping fast. Too fast. Marinette grabbed a specialized arrow and drew back her bow. When she let it loose, the arrow exploded into goopy foam. She鈥檇 aimed perfectly, and the snake鈥檚 closed mouth was soon covered in the quickly hardening substance.
She pushed off from the wall and jumped. There was a moment when she was suspended in the air where time seemed to slow down. She saw the snake loosen its hold on Chloe and writhe in confusion. She heard the deafening cries from the wounded, and her name on Adrien鈥檚 lips. From the corner of her eye, a glint of metal flashed and she felt a split-second of coldness.
Then the moment was over, and she was tumbling onto the snake鈥檚 sinewy form and hoisting Chloe up. She half-carried her as she bounded away from the monster. She could see it shaking its head in her peripheral vision. But that wasn鈥檛 important right now.
Luka was waiting for her in the antechamber, out of the boss鈥檚 reach. He and several other healers already had potions at the ready. Marinette didn鈥檛 wait to see how many it would take to save her friend. She ignored Luka鈥檚 shouts and ran back into the monster鈥檚 room.
* * *
Well, Jason had finally convinced his stupid brothers to fight on the front lines. But the fact that they expected him to fight with them? Laughable.
When they made it to the dungeon, he had left them in the dust, or sand as it were. He was scouting up onto the higher levels of the paths that led up to the top of the dome when it happened.
Some girl was caught in the hold of the boss, a snake with apparently really fucking bad breath. He tensed as it blew a torrent of hot air right on her, but before anyone could move an arrow flew out and hit the beast smack in the mouth, releasing some foaming substance as it did.
Movement on his level caught his eye a few feet away. Jason stilled and observed as best he could without moving.
Some creep was wielding a metallic blowgun, aiming it dead ahead at the--
No, not at the boss. At the person who鈥檇 just fired the arrow, the person who had just jumped into the air and left themselves wide open.
He didn鈥檛 even think, he just tackled the sneaky bastard. In the commotion, they dropped the dart they鈥檇 been about to fire and it sank into their own leg.
As Jason watched, it didn鈥檛 take long for green tendrils to start appearing under the person鈥檚 skin. They clawed at their leg, but the movements grew weaker by the second.
And then they stilled.
Jason鈥檚 eyes widened as he watched them dissolve into pixels. As he watched his own name in the upper corner of his vision turn orange, indicating a player-kill.
Well shit. Dick was going to be pissed.
* * *
Marinette felt calm. Her hands had been shaking when she鈥檇 handed Chloe off to Luka, but now she felt nothing but a cool, calculating rage. As she stalked back into the chamber, she saw the boss struggling under another wave of arrows fired from all around the chamber.
A glance upward and a once-over of the pathways spiraling up the walls of the chamber confirmed all she needed to formulate a plan.
Marinette drew her knives and flicked her wrists. This monster was going to regret that. She broke into a sprint and slashed around the body of the snake. It was fast for its size, and it tried to keep up. But she was faster.
Arrows rained down around them, sticking out of chinks in the beast鈥檚 scales like some twisted sea urchin. The boss worked furiously to try to unstick its jaw, but as cracks appeared in the substance holding its mouth closed Marinette distracted it with a particularly deep slash.
It wasn鈥檛 ready, not yet.
鈥淕et back to the antechamber!鈥 She yelled to the other players. Most of them ran, but some-- Danny, Jake, her Order-- hesitated.
鈥淕o!鈥 She egged on the monster to move towards her, away from the door, giving everyone a chance to escape. 鈥淚 have a plan.鈥
They reluctantly followed the others as they left her alone in the dungeon. Adrien paused, asking her, 鈥淢y lady, I help with--鈥
鈥淕o.鈥 She growled, glaring at him as best she could while battling the serpent. He gritted his teeth and retreated with the others, but stayed within view of the battle.
Good. Now she could put her plan into action.
Marinette sheathed her knives and pulled out her bow, then dashed to the sloping walkway. The snake pursued, seemingly going after an easy target running scared.
When she鈥檇 nearly reached the carved alcove, she fired an arrow with a cord attached to it. The cord was a special elastic design that could retract but couldn鈥檛 be pulled to be any longer. It landed high above her and anchored itself into the wall with a distant click. Then came the tricky part.
Marinette turned toward the giant snake and ran at it. Its red eyes burned with rage and the cracks deepened in the hardened foam still leashing its mouth. Still holding onto the other end of that cord, she gave it a sharp tug that sent her flying through the air, far above where the monster had expected her to be.
The leap carried her to the opposite side of the circular walls. She neatly landed on the walkway about two stories up from the ground. The snake gave a muffled hiss of fury and set out on the bottommost level, steadily approaching her as it wound around the cavern.
Marinette let the cord go and started running.
She kept an eye on the monster, firing a regular arrow at it every now and then to keep it angry. That didn鈥檛 seem to be a problem. What would be a problem is if she timed everything wrong, or if the snake caught up to her, or if the ceiling wouldn鈥檛--
No. There wasn鈥檛 time for doubt. She had faith in herself, and she could almost hear Tikki鈥檚 little voice cheering her on. She thought of Chloe and pressed on even harder.
The beast got close enough that she could smell the reek of it before she fired another corded arrow and launched herself across the chamber again. She gained even more height, and continued the climb to the top.
This only made the boss angrier, but she could tell that it sensed victory. There was nowhere left to go once she reached the top. Nowhere but down, that is.
A third corded arrow brought her to the uppermost levels, and then it was only a short run before she reached the edge of the dome. She was panting for breath and her legs were aching with the effort of so much running, but she wasn鈥檛 done yet.
One steadying breath in. Two.
The serpent had nearly reached her. Marinette could see it rounding the final curve that would bring it to her level. She drew her bow back and aimed it at its mouth, counting it out in her head.
She held until the beast was nearly upon her, then fired. The arrow was tipped in lead, and easily broke through the already-breaking foam. Immediately after, she fired an arrow directly above her. It hit the apex of the structure holding back all the sand above them.
The beast looked up at the mass of sand falling on it and opened its mouth to fire a hot stream of air.
Marinette didn鈥檛 stick around to see how it would play out. She fired one final corded arrow to the side where she could see an alcove in the wall. And there she stayed, facing the wall and shielding her face from the sand pouring into the chamber behind her.
Finally, the avalanche slowed and then stopped. Only then did she risk stepping away from the wall and peering down to see if her plan had worked.
The snake was laying on the floor of the chamber below her. Its form was contorted and broken, speared by great spikes of glass that it had created itself. As she watched, it faded into glowing dust, and a screen popped up in front of her displaying her cut of the loot.
She sighed with relief. Then raced back down as fast as she dared on the dusty glass, anxiety twisting in her gut. She had to see if Chloe was okay.
If something happened to her....
Her thoughts turned to the worst as she neared the bottom of the chamber, no matter how she tried to stay positive. Her hands were shaking when she finally made it to the glass floor and, carefully avoiding the glass spikes, picked her way over to the arch leading into the antechamber.
Adrien was waiting there for her. He embraced her and said, 鈥淒on鈥檛 scare me like that again,鈥 then let her go to see Chloe.
Tears were brimming in her eyes as she saw her friend, still lying prone on the floor with her head on Luka鈥檚 lap. She looked up when Marinette came into her view and sat up with a wince.
鈥淲ell,鈥 she said. 鈥淚 made it.鈥
Marinette burst into sobs at that and collapsed by her friend鈥檚 side, hugging her tightly. She heard Luka softly telling her that Chloe had been at 1 HP, but all the healers put everything they could into bringing her health back up.
It only made her cry harder.
And as she held her friend close, she thought to herself how she would do anything to keep this from happening again. How she couldn鈥檛 stand to see her friends get hurt anymore. How she had handled the boss on her own.
There was no Maman and Papa, no Tikki, no Order that could help her. She was alone in this fight, and that was how it had to be.
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paulbunyanstatue11 days ago
I love the idea that Kon and Bart were both raised by elderly couples and I bet they bonded over that experience.
Kon: Yesterday Jonathan asked me what tiktok was. I just told him it was a new burger joint in town, hoping that would be the end of it. But no, they suggested we go there this weekend for lunch with Clark and Lois.
Bart: Jay is an expert in physics and chemistry, probably math too, and he doesn鈥檛 understand to unplug and plug the WiFi router back in when it glitches. I didn鈥檛 even grow up with WiFi. You think we had WiFi during the apocalypse? Absolutely not.
Kon: We don鈥檛 have WiFi out on the farm. I asked about it once, but Martha said it is bad for聽鈥渂rain development,鈥 whatever that even means. I told her I was already developed in a test tube in Luther鈥檚 basement but she did not like that. She made me go work out in the field with Jon after that.
Bart: Wow, that really sucks. You can come over and use ours, after I end up having to fix it again. I am expecting a call from Joan within the next five minutes.
Tim and Cassie: ...
But these four grands definitely give their children the best hugs <3
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woahjaybird12 days ago
15 days till the world ends and all i have is an expired gift card for jamba juice and a best friend
(for the fic title thing)
cissie & cassie stuck in the local grocery store and its a long weekend but they're also with tim, kon and bart (the title is ''15 days till the world ends and all i have is an expired gift card for jamba juice and a best friend (+ 3 absolute morons)''. it's not really THAT bad until the first night when they all drive each other absolutely batshit (hence the ''world ends'' thing)
anyways i got carried away
Kon takes this real lightly bc "free food, beds, AND literally everything i could ever want??? for a whole weekend?? thanks"
bart: you know its not everyday that i can stay up for as long as i want. max is always like "nO bArT yOu NeEd sLeEp" pfft not today sir" tim sends him to sleep at 10 max
greta was there initially but then she got tired of those morons so she just left and never came back
"we can't just open whatever we want because I'm sure they'll make us pay when they find out we were here" "okay that's cool no problemo"
then they all get hungry and they take half an hour fighting because they all like different types of granola bars (cissie's favourite is the one that bart absolutely hates and the ones they buy at the yj cave are always healthy and disgusting (kon's words) and they should try a new kind. Cassie just opens one of those boxes that come with different kinds of granola bars
"so. what movie are we gonna watch?"
"we're watching ocean's eight" "no we're not" "yes we are" "NO WE AREN'T" "WHY?!" "i like oceans eleven better" "TIM NOBODY ASKED YOU"
they all camped out on the floor even though there were literally beds they could sleep on
*the next morning*
kon: did you know that cissie snores cissie: so? kon: idk its just funny ok
cassie: YEAH YOU DO YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT killing the president??? kon for president??? is that a secret ambition of yours???
bart: *snorts* kon: YOU SHOULDN'T EVEN BE TALKING BART!!! YOU DON'T EVEN SLEEP! it was literally 2AM AND YOU WERE LIKE "why does mayonnaise?" NO BART I DONT KNOW WHY MAYONNAISE
"hey what are we gonna have for breakfast?" "granola bars?" "nope"
they ended up having frozen pizza that kon warmed up with his laser eye thing vision
tim: kon. kon: what? tim: KON YOU USED YOUR WHATEVER ITS CALLED YOU CAN LITERALLY BUST US OUT OF HERE kon: yeah? i told you that and you said it was the stupidest idea you'd ever heard and that then we'd not only have to pay for damages but explain to dear batsy how exactly we got LOCKED IN THE GROCERY STORE IN THE FIRST PLACE tim: oh yeah i said that lol
second night its boys in one bed and girls in the other
does not go well.
*next morning* bart wakes up on the floor and turns out he vibrated in his sleep and he's under the bed. it was the guys' idea to sleep inverted (like tim one way and bart the other so that bart's feet would be at tim's (and kon's) heads and vice versa-- its not the smartest way to sleep ngl)
anyways kon somehow turned in his sleep so his feet were at tim's head and bart was literally under the bed and anyways kon woke up with tim's leg wrapped around his torso and his [kons] arm around tim's ankles)
cissie and cassie slept like angels
i have sooo many other hcs on this but like i feel like i went way too far from the title you gave me but sfdksfhf
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averagelonelypotato13 days ago
Lmao Sad Conner rights, specifically the cartoon YJ
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witchofinterest15 days ago
okay, here鈥檚 my pitch to fix the later season is young justice.
okay so, season 1, great, not touching that. maybe a few more teases for later characters but that鈥檚 it.
okay, season 2. so, i say we get rid of the main cast (listen please!) except for Rocket and Zatanna bc they got little screen time in season 1. we introduce the new kids: Tim drake aka robin (there will be jason todd flashbacks i am insufferable im sorry. also he gets his name!), cassandra 鈥渃assie鈥 sandsmark aka Wonder girl, Jamie Reyes aka Blue beetle, Garfield Logan aka beast boy. we focus on introducing them as a team, with Rocket as their Red Tornado and Zatanna as their Batman (giving them missions). Their trainer is Black Canary still bc i love her. first episode is them as a team. then we get individual episodes for each of them. then Bart gets introduced and he joins. virgil gets the same treatment. halfway through the season something happens with Rockets mentor and she has go away, leading to the ex main cast coming back to temporarily hold Rockets position. we learn about their lives. Also dick vists tim bc their brothers. Kaldur still gets villain arc, and artemis gets her faking her death arc. there鈥檚 a league-sanctioned due to help them, Karen Beecher aka Bumblee Bee, barbra gordon aka batgirl, la鈥檊aan aka lagoon boy, and mal duncan aka guardian. they are later joined by arsenal bc were spike that storyline still. it can fit. okay, so the plot plays out the same. dinah later passes fight training over to will harper. the old team comes back for the season finale.
okay so: season three should be very different. it鈥檚 gonna focus on three different teams. the league, led by Kaldur. the breakaways (idk what their called lol) lead by batman. and young justice completely breaking away with no league oversight. there adults? the rest of the season 1 young justice team. Plus the new characters. it鈥檚 kinda a scramble to see who should be mentors. they episodes need to be longer to accommodate full cast. (more jason flashbacks. i am still insufferable, so sorry). uhh, they all get a piece of the plot, and come together in the two episodes.
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moon-daisie16 days ago
there are two little me鈥檚 in my brain and one me reminds me that i can write something without having to create oc(s) for it and the other me says 鈥測eah, what鈥檚 your point????鈥
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lala-ladybug17 days ago
Healing Hands: Chapter 7
Little bit of a filler, but we鈥檝e got some fun shenanigans in store! >:)
Jasonette Sword Art Online AU
Read here on AO3
Chapter 7: Guys bein鈥 dudes indeed
Tag list: @iloontjeboontje
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Marinette was up early again. She found herself some breakfast, then went to the stables. The Order had made it back late last night, so they didn鈥檛 have time to groom the horses. She entered the first stall and started to brush the first horse. The routine motion let her mind drift, and she thought back to the events of the past few weeks.
Marinette, Kagami, and Luka embarked on their daily ritual of collecting the morning paper from town. It was the day after they鈥檇 beaten the first boss, which they had reported anonymously. Marinette and Adrien had agreed that taking the credit would only serve to draw unwanted attention towards their group, which could put them and the rest of their friends in danger.
But it apparently had another unforeseen advantage. As Marinette paid for the newspaper that highlighted their victory, she heard comments from other players around her.
鈥淎re you serious? Some party went rogue and beat the first dungeon on their own?鈥
鈥淪elfish assholes, can鈥檛 believe they got all that loot to themselves.鈥
鈥淲ell I think it鈥檚 good that we鈥檙e making progress!鈥
鈥淵eah, if you ignore the fact that they didn鈥檛 tell us what it was like at all, so now we haven鈥檛 got a clue how to face the next one.鈥
She shook her head in disbelief and glanced at her companions, who looked similarly concerned. They hadn鈥檛 even considered that the other people might not want them to take up the battle alone. Or that last comment, that they were actually hurting the other players by not giving them the chance to fight too.
The three remained quiet until they returned to Chloe鈥檚 house, or the manor, as they鈥檇 taken to calling it. By then, Adrien and Chloe were awake, and followed without question as Marinette ushered the two to join her, Kagami, and Luka out by the well.
She told them what the people in town had said, Luka and Kagami jumping in with additional comments they鈥檇 heard from passersby, and they talked it over. Maybe it was worth fighting with other groups. It would certainly beat the first boss.
They decided to try working with others for the next dungeon, but to lead the battle so that the civilians would stay as safe as possible. There were already groups in town recruiting for it and people exploring the second level, so it couldn鈥檛 be too long before they found the next fight. They鈥檇 be ready this time, they thought.
Less than two weeks passed before they were ready to take on the second dungeon. The Order had spent the whole time training and leveling up. There was hardly a moment where they weren鈥檛 fighting monsters or sparring with each other. They became almost more adept with their new weapons than they were with their ones from the real world. Those days of miraculous encounters seemed a lifetime ago.
The Order made preparations with other groups of players, determining strategy and planning to play to each others鈥 strengths. All the parties assembled at the dungeon and set up to fight the boss.
All things considered, it could have gone much worse. The support teams kept all the fighters鈥 HP high, and they had whatever cover they needed whenever they needed it. The battle was significantly shorter with around forty players there. But when the other players got hit....
Marinette could still hear the screams of the civilians as they went down. The blood oozing from their wounds was so very lifelike, and there was no cure to sew them shut. Or bring them back if they fell.
Kagami and Adrien were focused on taking what would have been killing blows if the boss had struck anyone but them. Chloe and Marinette drew fire away from the other players, and Luka used his mace and shield to defend his fellow healers. But Marinette saw the pained look on his face at being separated from the rest. She relived the moment Kagami and Adrien went down while fighting the first boss in frequent nightmares, and she knew Luka did too. The two of them had shared a few too many late-night cups of tea while avoiding sleep.
They won the battle, but there were so many wounded, so many close calls. One look at her Order and she knew they felt as lost as she did. Was it worth it? The thought seemed to echo through each of their movements as they returned to the manor.
鈥淢arinette?鈥 Alya鈥檚 call shook her out of her daze. She looked down at her hands and saw that she鈥檇 finished brushing the last of the horses. Putting the brush away, she returned to the main space in the downstairs of their home.
Home. She supposed that鈥檚 what it was now, but it didn鈥檛 feel like it. The design of it was very cozy, there was no doubt about that. But she saw it as little more than a place to eat and sleep. There were far more important things she could be doing, sitting down to relax was out of the question.
鈥淭here you are,鈥 Alya grinned from the kitchen. 鈥淔eels like I haven鈥檛 seen you in days!鈥 She carried a simple charcuterie board into the living/dining area and placed it on the table. Nino, Adrien, Lila, Alix, Nathaniel, and Luka were already sitting in the various couches and chairs gathered around it.
鈥淲e were just about to have a snack and play some cards,鈥 Alya said over her shoulder as she used a poker to encourage a small fire in the hearth. 鈥淵ou should join us, girl!鈥
Marinette鈥檚 gut response was to refuse, and she waved her hands and made excuses but Luka and Adrien got up and marched her over to sit next to them. 鈥淐鈥檓on Buginette, you need this,鈥 Adrien said quietly in her ear. Luka just gave her a meaningful look.
Over-protective mother hens.
She sighed and gave in. One afternoon of cards couldn鈥檛 hurt.
Nathaniel was on her other side. While Alya dealt out the cards, Marinette asked him, 鈥淗ow鈥檚 the garden coming along?鈥
His face lit up with a quiet joy. 鈥淚t鈥檚 going great! I don鈥檛 know if the weather is going to change, but the onions are taking nicely!鈥 She listened with a small smile on her face as he went on about the different crops he was planting in the garden. He鈥檇 really stepped up to grow the bulk of their food, and seemed to genuinely enjoy spending his days taking care of the plants.
She was glad that he could still talk freely to her, even in the game. They鈥檇 always been close and it was nice to see his artistic spirit was unbothered by... everything.
Adrien nudged her to play her turn, and she did so quickly. Across from her, Alix and Nino were laughing at something Lila had said, and Alya sat up proudly with a comment that made them laugh even harder.
On Adrien鈥檚 other side, Luka had his hands of cards facedown on his lap while he strummed a lute he鈥檇 bought the other day. The pleasant melody lifted her spirits and reminded her of happier times.
This is what she was fighting for, she realized. For Nathaniel to take pride in his art, for her dear friends to laugh, and for Luka to play his music. She blinked away the tears that rose in her eyes. This is what was worth fighting for.
Even if she couldn鈥檛 bring herself to sew, to create like she used to love doing. Here she just had to be Marinette the friend or Marinette the fighter. It was almost easier, having less to manage. And yet... she couldn鈥檛 feel that same joy for herself that she found so precious to her friends. Not until they were all home again. She couldn鈥檛 let herself.
* * *
Jason trudged into the base, pack digging into his shoulder with all the loot he鈥檇 recovered. He鈥檇 spent the past few days camping and level-grinding, which was apparently the correct term for it. He couldn鈥檛 even remember what Dick had said to set him off, but he needed to be on his own for a while. The woods were surprisingly peaceful, and he found the time spent by himself in nature to be refreshing.
鈥淗ey.鈥 Dick sounded pissed. The hell was his problem? Jason wasn鈥檛 even back long enough to do anything. Jason turned on his heel and raised his eyebrows. 鈥淲hat?鈥
Dick thrust a newspaper into his hands in response. He folded his arms, clearly expecting Jason to read it right then and there. Jason sighed loudly and slung his pack off. He turned his attention to the paper in his hand.
鈥淐oalition of over forty players defeats second dungeon,鈥 he read aloud. Shit.
鈥淛ust thought you should know,鈥 Dick said in his I told you so voice. 鈥淲hen you went on your little adventure, you missed the next boss fight.鈥
Oh, now he remembered why he left! Because his 鈥渂rother鈥 is an asshole. 鈥淢y little adventure was to get experience and level up,鈥 he glared at Dick. 鈥淲hich is still doing something more productive than just sitting on my fuckin鈥 hands.鈥
Dick鈥檚 nostrils flared. Good, he was itching for this conversation. 鈥淲e are not doing nothing. We need more time to practice with the gameplay. Hell, Gar still tries to shift when we spar!鈥 He threw up his hands in frustration. 鈥淲e鈥檙e nowhere near ready yet, Jay.鈥
鈥淵ou know, there鈥檚 more to this game than fuckin鈥 sparring.鈥 Jason retorted.
Dicks brows shot up. 鈥淥h, that鈥檚 rich coming from the guy who so desperately wants to get back to our lives that he runs off on his own.鈥
鈥淚 can鈥檛 stand being cooped up in this damn house all the time! Just because we鈥檙e stuck in this game doesn鈥檛 mean we have to stop living,鈥 Jason shook his head. 鈥淲e鈥檝e already been in here for over a month, who鈥檚 to say how much longer it鈥檒l be? We can鈥檛 just put our fuckin鈥 lives on hold the whole time.鈥
鈥淭raining to beat the game isn鈥檛 putting our lives on hold,鈥 Dick rolled his eyes. 鈥淭his place is a death trap in case you forgot. We need to train to get our lives back.鈥
This idiot just didn鈥檛 get it. 鈥淥h sure, and in the meantime we can鈥檛 have any happiness or fun. Sounds pretty miserable to me.鈥 He picked up his pack. 鈥淵ou can level up without training at all hours of the fuckin鈥 day, no matter what a certain black-haired, blue-eyed bastard says.鈥
Jason stormed out the door, bumping into Garfield on his way back outside. The kid stumbled backwards before pointing finger guns at him. 鈥淣ice alliteration!鈥
He ignored him and kept walking down the path that led into town.
鈥淗ey, hey wait a minute!鈥 Seriously kid? He heard that argument with Dick but still couldn鈥檛 take the fuckin鈥 hint.
Garfield caught up to him and said, 鈥淵ou know, for someone who was supposed to have a relaxing vacation, you sure look tense.鈥
鈥淔uckin鈥 excuse me?鈥 Jason growled.
鈥淲h-what I mean is you鈥檙e probably looking for a way to burn off some steam!鈥
This was getting old. 鈥淕et to the point, kid.鈥
鈥淥n the third level, there鈥檚 a quest we can do to make our own guild!鈥 Garfield bounced excitedly, keeping pace next to him. Well, a quest would certainly help get this new brotherly stress out of his system. 鈥淲e want you to join us, pleeeeaaaase?鈥
鈥淗old up, who the hell is us?鈥
Garfield grinned at him. 鈥淥h you know, just a couple of the guys.鈥
They鈥檇 reached a junction in the path that led to the main road. Waiting beneath the tree beside the signpost were Roy, Jaime, and Bart. The ex-speedster waved excitedly while Roy looked about as pleased to be here as Jason did. They got along swimmingly.
鈥淗ey dudes, everyone cool if Jason joins us?鈥 Garfield reached out to pat his back then hesitated as he thought better of it.
Jaime shrugged while Bart gave an enthusiastic thumbs up. Roy gave him a pitying look, like he鈥檇 been dragged into it too.
鈥淔ine.鈥 Jason muttered to no one in particular. 鈥淎re we heading out now?鈥
The other four got their things together. Jaime sent out party invites to everyone to better keep track of each other, which Roy and Jason reluctantly accepted. Garfield pulled up a pamphlet and started leafing through it. Jason spied the title, The Good Adventurer鈥檚 Guide to Guilds. Lovely.
鈥淎lright,鈥 Garfield snapped the papers shut and started walking down the path into town. 鈥淟et鈥檚 go to level three and get this bread!鈥
Roy narrowed his eyes. 鈥淭he quest is to retrieve some bread?鈥 He asked incredulously.
鈥淲ell, no but yes! But no. Man, we gotta teach you slang,鈥 Bart slung an arm around Roy鈥檚 shoulders. The latter pushed him off and Jaime sped up his pace to plant himself as a buffer in between them as they walked.
The walk into town was easy, and they used the teleportation kiosk in the town square to get to the third level without a hitch.
The third level had some more interesting terrain than the plains of the first and second levels. Cliffs and quarries dotted the landscape in front of them. The main town itself was built onto a cliff, a gaping valley splayed out before them with minute details.
鈥淥h wow,鈥 Garfield said. 鈥淭his reminds me of that one town in France where--鈥
鈥淒on鈥檛 care. Let鈥檚 move.鈥 Roy cut him off and stalked down the winding road that would take them down into the valley. Jason smirked and followed suit.
Garfield made a face, then followed them along with the others. He pulled out his pamphlet again, then pointed them in the direction of the quest. Some quarry worker NPC wanted help collecting materials. If they got him everything on his list, he would apparently grant them the rights to start a guild? It made less and less sense as Gar read aloud from the paper.
They trekked on for a few hours, easily hacking apart the common monsters they came across. Between Jason and Roy, the others hardly had time to draw their weapons before the threats were gone.
鈥淲hat鈥檚 better than this?鈥 Garfield put an arm around Jason and Bart鈥檚 shoulders. Jaime grinned and put his arms around Bart and Roy. 鈥淕uys bein鈥 dudes!鈥 He finished.
Roy, Bart, and Jason exchanged mystified glances. Roy and Jason had been out of the loop for roughly the same period of time, and Bart had told them before that not much of contemporary pop culture had survived into his future.
Guys bein鈥 dudes indeed.
Between the five of them, gathering the listed materials and getting them to the worker by sundown was easy. Well, it was easy for most of them.
鈥淵ou look like a mess, ese!鈥 Jaime exclaimed, seeing a very sticky and scratched-up Garfield. He groaned and replied, 鈥淗ad to get tree sap. Trees fought back....鈥
Well, that served the little shrimp right, Jason thought to himself. He and Roy had been collecting gemstones, which could be mined out from the caves littered throughout the floor... or the infinitely more fun way of killing giant gemstone monsters. Take a wild fuckin鈥 guess which one they chose.
Jason was actually pretty content with the levels he鈥檇 gained from the quest. Not to mention getting his excess anger out from talking to Dick. It seemed like whenever he went to the house, there was always some type of disagreement between the two.
Damn. Maybe he should start saving for his own house.
His party currently stood in line at the guild registration office, also located on the third level. The setting sun cast a golden glow over the valley, highlighting the small clusters of houses dotting the countryside.
鈥淥h crap,鈥 Garfield suddenly said. He danced nervously on his feet. 鈥淲e did the whole quest, but I forgot the most important thing!鈥
Roy looked at him sharply. 鈥淲hat鈥檚 wrong?鈥
鈥淲e need a name for our guild!鈥 Garfield wailed, clutching his hands to his head.
Seriously? Roy scoffed, 鈥淲hy not just Justice League?鈥
Jaime rounded on him. 鈥淎re you nuts, ese? We can鈥檛 go around calling ourselves the Justice League. Secret identities and all that.鈥
Garfield paced in line, clearly thinking hard. 鈥淗mm, justice. Juuuuustice. Just-ice. Just ice! Hey, we could do something with that!鈥 He exclaimed.
Jason rolled his eyes. 鈥淵eah that鈥檚 great,鈥 he said, sarcasm dripping from his voice. 鈥淗ow about On the Rocks.鈥
Bart put a hand on his chin, looking thoughtful. 鈥淲ell, we should add a little pizzazz to it, don鈥檛 you think?鈥
鈥淚鈥檝e got it! Rocky Road!鈥 Garfield threw his hands in the air triumphantly. God this kid was excessive.
Jaime and Bart, after the former had explained it to him, voiced their approval. Roy and Jason looked at each other and silently commiserated over their unfortunate situation.
Rocky Road it was.
* * *
鈥淯gh, that was way harder than it needed to be.鈥 Alya slumped over her battle axe.
Marinette giggled and offered her friend some water. 鈥淲ell, a ton of other people are starting guilds too! So I guess there are limited resources for a while.鈥
Nino took the water from Alya after she鈥檇 finished with it. He drained it and looked heartbroken until Adrien handed him a new bottle.
The four of them had decided to team up and do the quest to establish a guild. Not everyone in the guild needed to attend the quest to establish one. So when Alya and Nino had approached Marinette and Adrien, asking if the original friend group could be the ones to do it, they couldn鈥檛 say no.
鈥淲ell, I just wish Marinette had told us about the quest sooner. Then we could have had an easier time!鈥 Lila simpered, sweet as ever. Oh yeah, Lila had invited herself to come along too.
鈥淲eren鈥檛 you also a beta tester?鈥 Adrien frowned innocently.
Lila blinked, looking startled. 鈥淥h yes! But you know about my memory issues. I really wish I could remember all these things to help us out,鈥 she sighed dramatically. Typical.
鈥淪o!鈥 Marinette decided to move that conversation right along. 鈥淲e need a name for our guild. Got any ideas?鈥
Nino rubbed his arm. 鈥淎ctually dudes, I鈥檝e been thinking of a name for a while.鈥
鈥淥h? Let鈥檚 hear it!鈥 Adrien smiled and nudged his best friend鈥檚 arm.
鈥淲ell, I was thinking we could be called Miracle Workers,鈥 Nino began. Marinette traded a look of alarm with Adrien. 鈥淵ou know, because Alya and I used to be miraculous holders? And I thought it鈥檇 be kinda nice to honor Chat Noir, Ladybug, and the other heroes. We could use some of their strength right about now.鈥 Oh, that was actually really sweet of him. Marinette offered Adrien a soft smile.
Alya looked at him fondly. Adrien, with a slight nod of approval from Marinette, gave him a side hug and said, 鈥淚 think that鈥檚 a wonderful name.鈥
Lila tapped her chin. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 know, workers seems a little odd to me. We鈥檙e more like leaders or executives.鈥
鈥淲ell, I think Miracle Workers is perfect, babe.鈥 Alya leaned in to peck Nino on the cheek. 鈥淟et鈥檚 go with that.鈥
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themartianwitch18 days ago
Butterflies; moments from a neverending metamorphosis.
M鈥檊ann bends Conner's elbows and wrists into zig-zags. Even with her clothes shifted, the cuffs of her white sleeves hold the dirt her gloves took from his bootprints. It鈥檚 not her real uniform, she reminded him; Earth clothes are harder to clean, apparently. The sparring room floor casts her human skin in an unearthly glow. It suits her. Her freckled cheeks beam as white as her smile as her hands press his spine straight.
She steps back, prepares to clap. 鈥淣ow it鈥檚 'float like-a but-ter鈥'鈥
鈥淚 don鈥檛 float,鈥 Conner states, lightly. Somehow. Somehow, it feels light to say.
鈥淣either do the Bumblebees!鈥 M鈥檊ann fake-pouts, expression giving it away.
"Except you," Conner answers, another fact.
M鈥檊ann hops back over to him, lays a finger on his lips, and then brings it to her own. 鈥淭hat鈥檚 a聽se-cret,鈥 she fake-whispers.聽
Conner drops the pose and takes hold of her hands. M'gann gasps for real. 鈥淚 thought you wanted to help with my routine!鈥 she then laughs. 鈥淜aren said if we can鈥檛 teach it, we don鈥檛 know it.鈥
鈥淲e've done enough maneuvers. Besides, you got it." Conner's hands move to her waist. He spares a look up to where he knows is a surveillance camera. M'gann's face flares red. She's in her own form鈥攐ne of them鈥攂ut all the same, Conner turns to put his back to the camera instead of their faces. M'gann's gasping lips are easy to find, and she gulps at the air his kiss pushes into her mouth. A satisfied hum rings through his ears and his mind.聽She鈥檚 there now, too, a warmth like the sun.聽
[Just float me,]聽he thinks to her.
Conner peeks out from the kiss to watch both their name rings blip out of the floor screen. In the air, he's not Superboy.
He's more.
聽Conner's feet leave the ground like they always do. His eyes stay to the sky, ears as tuned out of the crowd as possible. The noise still finds its way into his head. Rapid-fire shots鈥攃ameras. Oohs and aahs.聽
His leap reaches its apex. He鈥檚 far off the ground, far enough for now, but in another second he鈥檒l be down. He breathes in, braces himself鈥
His drop stops.聽 Conner's stomach lurches, his toes clenching inside his costume's red boots. The flap of the cape against the backs of his arms makes a chill even as it curls around him.
[In position,]聽Conner relays back to M鈥檊ann via the psychic link, as if she didn鈥檛 already know.
[Acknowledged,]聽M鈥檊ann answers back, the voice in his head still hers despite her form.
To her, he鈥檚 barely a thought. He鈥檚 being聽suspended,聽not聽controlled鈥攁ll the same, he raises one knee just to prove he can.聽
Superman, he reminds himself. The voices below echo the thought.聽Superman?聽Superman!聽
Conner turns his chin up higher than the setting sun and squares his shoulders.聽Think Superman thoughts.聽
Down on stage, M'gann greets Carol Ferris in Martian Manhunter鈥檚 voice, cool and concise.聽Good luck, Conner would say鈥攊f it mattered. She's got the act down.聽
And nothing he says still matters to her anyway.
The crowd is still all flashbulbs, blurry speckles for heads; looking down, all that Conner can see clearly is himself. The blue tights fit him better than he ever thought they would, even before he knew he鈥檇 never grow.聽
He鈥檚 thankfully too high up for the press to read age on his face, much less a grimace.聽So much for 鈥楽uperman thoughts,鈥櫬燙onner grumbles to himself as he lets his jutted knee slump.聽
The press can鈥檛 read his聽mind聽either. He鈥檒l think his own thoughts.
聽鈥淐atch me!鈥
By the time M鈥檊ann can look, Conner is already off the ground. He smiles at her as his leap takes him past her, reaching its peak over her head. M鈥檊ann opens her arms wide and casts a telekinetic net beneath him. Conner drops into the space, body bobbing up and down on a wave.
M鈥檊ann鈥檚 body glows in the moonlight, sinews and all. Conner kicks himself over to her. M鈥檊ann鈥檚 red eyes dart away as soon as his arms hook around her neck, but she takes him into her telekinetic hold.
Her skin ripples against the undersides of his arms. She pushes herself up by his shoulders and gives him her waist as it turns human-shaped, giggles as her form becomes the right size for him to envelop.聽
[Well鈥聽M鈥檊ann turns back towards the horizon and points a still-white finger out towards a bright red spot beside the moon.聽[There it is.]
Conner presses his cheek into the smooth, bare skin of her head.聽[Don鈥檛 tell me you鈥檙e homesick.]
[If I were homesick, I鈥檇 go inside.]聽M鈥檊ann giggles aloud.聽[But鈥 this聽is聽one of those years when it鈥檚 brighter.]
Wolf lets out a faint but full-throated howl below, and a slow breeze tickles the back of Conner鈥檚 neck. At this height, their yard becomes the cliff, the shore, and the sea, their roof a spec barely bigger than Mars.
[It鈥檚 always a鈥 strange feeling, seeing it from here,]聽M鈥檊ann says as she thumbs at his knuckles.聽[But it鈥檚... a strange feeling that I think I聽should聽feel.]聽
M鈥檊ann鈥檚 only answer is a hand under his chin and a kiss pressed to his cheek.
[Not alone,]聽Conner fills in as he threads his fingers into hers. He holds her hand out where he can see.
His鈥攈er鈥攖heir聽shield shines.
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cipheress-to-k-pop23 days ago
Could write a Beast Boy x reader one-shot based on Good Fight by Unspoken please ?
Good Fight
Pairing: Garfield Logan as Beast Boy x Reader
Warnings: I don鈥檛 think there are any.
Word Count: 1.1K
A/N: I am so so sorry this is so late. I really hope you like it.
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Keep fighting the good fight (never give up, never give up) Keep letting your light shine (holding it high as long as you live)
The life of a superhero was gruelling. It was blood and fists and chaos most of the time. To Gar, every day out in the field passed by him in a blur. When he was fighting the supervillain of the week, he was reduced to base instincts, taking orders from Dick and fighting alongside the others. He knew who his team was and he remained loyal to them.
That was how all of his friendships were forged, in loyalty through battle. If he was able to risk his life with these people and trusted them enough with himself then he should be able to get through a meal with them. Sometimes he felt extremely thankful.
But sometimes it felt like he was running towards something with no end. How long was he going to keep burning himself from both ends to try and save the world time and time again when people keep trying to wreak havoc across it anyway?
It was another fight that the team was unprepared for. Some deranged super villain that called out the cities heroes to come and stop him. They weren't prepared, they were caught by surprise, but even then, they couldn't let down the city.
That was why Gar was currently getting thrown around like a rag doll. For those few seconds of his life when he felt pain, he wanted to quit. He didn't want to fight this fight anymore; he didn't want to be a superhero anymore. Why should he fight just because he could?
A whimper from his side brought him out of his subconscious haze. It was troubling him to open his eyes but he finally focused on the person beside him through shaky pupils.
You were whining slightly when you moved because of the pain you felt. Blood was running down the side of your head. Your body was spasming slightly from the amount of hits you received and Gar could make sure without even looking that there were multiple bruises underneath your clothes.
It pained him even more than the hits he received. The love of his life was in pain and he felt concerned seeing your features twisted in agony. He wished he could pull you into his arms.
It was at that moment he wanted to pack up and leave. Never look back to this superhero life. Get an apartment with you where you would wake up in the same bed and eat breakfast and laugh. A life where fights would be verbal and would end in apologies and kisses and make up sex.
He didn't want to fight for others anymore. He wanted to be selfish for once in his life. He wanted to be selfish for you. His lungs were burning, joined searing and head throbbing when he was thrown to a wall. For a second, Gar saw white and his ears were ringing.
You turned to him, still panting and offered a smile, "Just a few more seconds."
He sent you a lopsided smirk, "I've heard that before."
You laughed, taking a few breaths before getting up, groaning unapologetically. When you finally stood with stability, you held out a hand for him to take, "Let's go babe. Let's keep fighting the good fight."
He gave you a smile that made your heart skip a beat and grabbed your hand to help haul himself up. The fight had moved downtown and so he spared a second to peck your lips lightly before turning into a tiger and sprinting away, with you following closely.
Even in the road blocks, Even through the rough spots When you're feeling you're giving all that you got
''Cause I'm never gonna leave you Always gonna see you through to the other side
I'm with you in the next step, givin' you the next breath I'll be the voice saying "You're gonna make it" When you're out there on your own you are never alone
It was those days when he returned back to the tower, beaten and bloodied. Everything in his body was burning and he dragged himself to the showers even though he just wanted to lose consciousness in his cosy bed. But he could smell the stench of blood and dirt, amplified by his animals鈥 senses.
The hot water rained over his bed, red went down the drain and he tried to drown out the smell by using the most fragrant thing he could find; apple body wash. When the sweet smell hit his nostrils, he was filled with a sense of comfort.
It was your body wash.
Suddenly he wanted to be right in bed beside you, with you curled up in his arms. So, he intentionally rushed through the shower, not letting the hot water soothe his joints for long before hopping out and wrapping himself up in your thick bathrobe.
When he got into his room, you were sitting on his bed and applying lotion to your body. Cocoa butter. You raised a brow at him when you noticed the frilly bathrobe he was wearing and he shrugged cheekily, sitting in front of you.
You took a silent cue and began rubbing lotion on his back, taking the time to gently massage his muscles. You didn't need to say anything, it was silent but your actions were speaking waves to him. You were comforting him. You were rejuvenating him. You were home.
This was essentially aftercare except the before wasn't that fun.
Gar got dressed quickly after that, feeling his eyes droop shut with every second before he crawled beneath the covers right beside you. By habit, you curled into his side, throwing a leg over his waist and he sighed, smelling how clean you were.
"Feeling okay?"
Was he feeling okay? To be quite honest, he really wasn't, he felt unfulfilled. But way too tired to discuss it with you. He turned his body towards you, wrapping his arms tightly around your waist and feeling slightly full from the contact of your skin on his and murmured something incomprehensible.
"I'm always going to be here for you, my love." You mumbled, flitting in between consciousness. Gar kissed your forehead and that was the cue for you to fall into a deep sleep and he chuckled hearing your soft snores. You were always so quick to fall asleep. Maybe it was because you always felt so safe with him.
That's why he had to keep fighting the good fight. So that he, and others like him, could fall asleep like this with you, or others like you, in their arms.
The joy will be your banner And my love will be your anthem And you may never know What your tomorrow holds But you can know that I am holding your tomorrow
Forever Taglist:
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hella-writes26 days ago
The Kent Family, a Young Justice Fanfiction
The Kent Family, by TheInverseUniverse on Ao3
4k, oneshot
Clark may not want anything to do with Conner, but he鈥檚 not his only family.
AKA Martha Kent is amazing and willing to fight over her new grandson.
Oh Young Justice, my love. A fandom of my childhood that still is with me today. I remember getting on a call with my friend Paige and we would watch it together by hitting pause and play at the same time. What a mess.
Okay seriously Superman in Young Justice needs to get his head out of his ass, so I wrote this so that Ma Kent could help him out with that!
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lala-ladybug28 days ago
Healing Hands: Chapter 6
Boss level, here we go!
Jasonette Sword Art Online AU
Read here on AO3
Tag list: @iloontjeboontje
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Chapter 6: Stranger danger!
It was a good thing Jason hadn鈥檛 taken his weapons or armor out of his inventory last night. He opened his inventory and donned a crimson cloak. Approaching the midtown news stand, he paid for a paper advertising the location of the first level dungeon and continued on his way.
Skimming the headline, it sounded like he had to go to the northeast mountains to find the entrance. The team hadn鈥檛 been able to justify buying horses yet, so he鈥檇 have to go on foot. Fine by him, more time to walk off his bad mood. And work out a plan.
He鈥檇 be in and out, just to see what type of a threat they were dealing with. He wasn鈥檛 stupid, but he wasn鈥檛 about to just wait around for Dick if he wasn鈥檛 going to make a move until they knew exactly what they were facing.
Jason put the paper away and pulled his hood over his head, the red fabric concealing his face. He had reached the road leading north out of town. He took a swig of water from his canteen, which he noted was half-full, and set out.
The walk was almost pleasant, if not for the number of travellers-- both players and NPCs alike-- that he ran into. He couldn鈥檛 be sure of their intentions, especially towards a lone player, so he鈥檇 duck into the nearest ditch or bush for cover until they鈥檇 passed.
The sun warmed his dark cloak, but not uncomfortably so. It felt like springtime here in the game, with tulips and wild daffodils blooming in small clusters by the road. Jason knew he should be back before dark, but that was a long ways away. He kept checking his compass to make sure he was heading the right way, but the path was very easy.
In the distance, he began to see mountains. Pulling out the paper he鈥檇 gotten from that morning, he checked that the dungeon entrance was along the slope of one of the mountains. When he reached a crossroads, he adjusted his course accordingly.
By then, his anger had all but faded. He still didn鈥檛 agree with Dick and he definitely still thought he was an ass, but he didn鈥檛 want to rip his head off over it. Literally. God, what a mess.
He stopped to buy some fresh bread from a family farm of NPCs a few miles before the base of the mountains. What a thorough game it was to have given the three children dimples. He wondered how much information their programming gave them. Did they know the players were forcefully kept here? Did they live the same, simple day-to-day lives? Or did they simply stop moving when players weren鈥檛 looking, like cheap animatronics.
Jason shook his head. Too much time alone with his thoughts was never a good idea. He almost missed the company of the others. He鈥檇 even settle for Garfield, that obnoxious green punk.
He sighed and continued on his way. It wasn鈥檛 even halfway, but there was no way in hell he鈥檇 turn around now. Every step he took was a step closer to getting out of this... admittedly pleasant hellscape.
A flock of birds lifted off from a field on his right. They swirled about in the sky, fluid as fabric. Each one moved on its own path and yet fit in as part of the whole. He stopped, watching the ebb and flow as they journeyed to find the next field to settle on.
That would never be him, a cog in the machine, no matter how beautiful. He had put his faith in people before and quite literally gotten burned for it. He scowled at the memory, a crowbar and a grin flashing through his mind. No, he was better off fending for himself. Always had been.
He decided to count his steps instead of face his thoughts for the remainder of the trip.
732 steps to the base of the mountain. He picked the leftmost path.
1056 steps until he needed to grapple around a rockslide.
409 steps before the mouth of a cave. The cave.
Jason confirmed one more time that this was the suspected entrance to the dungeon. He put away the paper, took a deep breath, and plunged into the darkness.
It was cold and damp. He didn鈥檛 want to risk a light, so he put a hand to the freezing walls as he walked. He tested every step with his toe, trying to avoid potential falls into the darkness in front of him.
Silence drew in around him, heavy and expectant. It dared him to light a torch and rush forward to face the boss himself. He knew it was a bad idea, but it called to the energy humming in his blood.
He breathed and pictured colors.
In and out, he would be in and out, just like his breaths.
It was hard to think of the cave as anything other than the grave he鈥檇 once been confined to, but stretching out both arms helped.
In and out.
He pictured blue.
The ceiling seemed to press down on him, nausea rising in his throat.
Blue skies and blue waters. He wasn鈥檛 trapped in here, he was free. Free as the birds in the fields.
Just when he thought he couldn鈥檛 stand it anymore, he glimpsed a faint light ahead. It flickered around a bend in the cave, and illuminated the stalactites that were over twenty feet above his head.
The cold sweat that coated his back started to dry, the tightness in his throat loosening. Taking in a deep breath of stale air, he surged towards that light.
He rounded the corner, crossbow drawn and ready. The light came from a burning torch, barely a stub left. The sound of metal clashing on metal caught his trained ears and his head whipped up.
An enormous doorway stood in front of him, huge doors left ajar. He saw a flash of movement beyond them. The noises were also clearer now, shouting punctured by roars that shook the walls. Pulling the hood of his cloak further over his face, he silently advanced.
Peering through the gap between the doors, he made quick work of taking it all in. The room was a long hallway, lined with tall columns and lit by torches. There were some rocks scattered about, which would provide good cover from the massive beast before him.
The monster was about fourteen feet tall of ugly with a large, red belly. It wore armored greaves and wielded a huge axe and a round shield. Its face had a dog-like snout framed by a form-fitting helmet. Red eyes glowed from within the helmet, and slobber dribbled from pointed teeth.
So basically a medieval Killer Croc. This was doable.
Jason was about to leave and report back when he heard a shout. 鈥淜itty, 鈥楪ami, cover me!鈥
Before he could unpack that hell of a battle cry, a figure in black armor darted out from behind a column. They blew a raspberry at the boss, then somersaulted and wove just out of reach from its enraged blows. At the same time, someone with red and gold armor drew a rapier and began slicing at the boss鈥檚 feet.
A slight person with red armor stood from where they鈥檇 been crouched behind a rock on the far side of the room. They fired a longbow with devastating accuracy, and Jason watched in profile as the arrow pierced the monster鈥檚 eye. They disappeared just as fast.
The boss roared and started swinging wildly. The red and gold fighter danced out of the way, but tripped over a piece of rubble. Jason鈥檚 eyes widened as the monster gleefully brought its axe down upon the felled player.
It never met its target. The black armored person dove over their friend and raised a shield. The blow sent the two flying back to the columns, where they quickly limped for cover.
From Jason鈥檚 vantage point, he could see a figure in blue armor dart over to the two injured fighters. They shook their head, then whistled a series of notes. Answering whistles came from the last place he鈥檇 seen the red archer, and the three people stayed put.
鈥淨ueenie, Maneuver 18!鈥 The archer, a girl he now realized, yelled. A fifth person, this one in golden armor, leapt onto the monster鈥檚 head from the top of a column near the ceiling. They took a flail out of their inventory and bashed the boss鈥檚 good eye, then flipped down to find cover opposite of the archer. All the while, the archer ran along the length of the hall, firing shots into the monster鈥檚 gut.
She slid neatly behind the rocks in front of Jason and glanced at the boss behind them. It was blinded now, bellowing furiously. The girl鈥檚 chest heaved with the effort of running.
With three of their fighters out of commission, he didn鈥檛 like their odds. Well, so much for in and out. Dick was going to kill him for this.
Jason waved until the girl in front of him noticed the movement. Her mouth, the only part of her face that wasn鈥檛 covered by her helmet, parted in surprise.
He somersaulted to join her spot of cover and said quietly, 鈥淚 can help.鈥 The monster had quieted down now and seemed to be listening intently.
She nodded, then pointed at him and then to his right. Pointed to herself, then to the left. She looked at him to verify he鈥檇 understood and he gave a thumbs up.聽
She picked up a handful of pebbles and tossed them in front of the rocks they hid behind. The monster pricked up its ears and began advancing towards their hiding spot. She held up a fist to have them wait. The boss grew closer and still she held. Jason could feel its hot breath through his cloak before she finally whispered, 鈥淣ow!鈥 and launched herself to the left. Jason dove aside just in time. He fired his crossbow at the monster鈥檚 chest and could see the girl doing the same on its other side. It had left itself open in burying its axe in the rocks they鈥檇 been at mere moments before.
Damn this girl was good.
He watched her exchange her bow for a pair of daggers. The beast鈥檚 arms still busied trying to get its axe unstuck, she flipped onto them and ran up its back. Jason fired more bolts into it, keeping its attention while she--
Oh damn. This girl was really good.
She flipped her daggers around and dragged them through its skin behind her as she slid down its back. Then she danced away behind a column, switching back to a longbow and firing arrows into its exposed arms.
Jason grinned, letting the thrill in his blood take over for a moment. He exchanged his own ranged weapon for a shortsword, and started hacking away at the monster鈥檚 legs. Where the red archer went high, he went low. They accommodated each other perfectly. He glanced up to see the boss鈥檚 HP depleting to nearly zero.
While he swung his sword and dodged out of the monster鈥檚 reach, he noticed how much more focused he felt, despite having freed the roaring in his veins. It seemed that the Pit didn鈥檛 have as much of a hold on him while he was in the game. A small victory, but staying in control was more than useful here.
The beast turned around just as Jason swung his sword, and it broke against the monster鈥檚 shield. A rush of movement beside him was the golden fighter, sinking their flail into the beast鈥檚 back. They wrenched it free only to whirl around and use the momentum to plant it in the monster鈥檚 stomach.
That blow did it in. It staggered backwards, wounds glowing bright red, and shattered into fragmented pixels. A menu screen popped up in front of him displaying his share of the loot, which looked to be proportional to how many blows he had landed.
Jason looked at the other two. The golden one had already rushed back to where their injured companions were, but the red one remained.
鈥淭hank you,鈥 she held out her hand to him with a smile. He took it and shook once. 鈥淚t was my pleasure,鈥 he rasped, still catching his breath. He raised his broken sword and asked, 鈥淵ou don鈥檛 happen to know a blacksmith, do you?鈥
She held up one finger, then ran off back into the rubble, searching for something. When she returned, she held the other pieces of his sword. 鈥淚 can mend it, if you鈥檇 like,鈥 she offered, almost shyly.
He nodded and handed his piece to her, hilt first. She assembled all the fragments on the ground, then placed both hands over it and inhaled deeply. As she breathed in, the pieces were pulled inward to their original positions as if magnetized to each other. She breathed out just as deeply, and the cracks between the pieces glowed blue.
The glow faded when she picked it up and handed it back to him. He twirled it around a few times just to be sure, but it felt as good as new. Maybe even better. 鈥淭hat was... amazing. Thank you,鈥 he said, sincerely grateful.
She smiled and replied, 鈥淚t鈥檚 the least I could do. It鈥檚 a type of magic I learned called Restorative Alchemy, if you鈥檙e interested!鈥 That was definitely something worth looking into. 鈥淚 also put a little bit of magic in it, so when it鈥檚 hit like that again, it--鈥
鈥淟ady!鈥 A girlish, high-pitched shout came from the player in golden armor. She ran back over to the two of them and tugged the girl away. 鈥淪tranger danger!鈥 she muttered pointedly.
The red archer tried to respond, 鈥淲ell we wouldn鈥檛 have won without hi--鈥 But the other girl cut her off, 鈥淪hush, we don鈥檛 even know who he is!鈥 The archer gave a long-suffering sigh.
Jason took the opportunity to leave while their backs were turned. He鈥檇 intruded enough, and he didn鈥檛 really care to learn their names.
As he disappeared back into the cave, he thought he heard someone say, 鈥淥h! He鈥檚 gone....鈥
* * *
Marinette watched the doors in the boss dungeon, wondering why that strange man had left so soon. She blinked and turned her attention back to her injured friends. Adrien had taken that hit for Kagami, and even though it was to his shield, he鈥檇 need a lot of rest before his arm was in working condition again.
The fight was costly. Luka had run out of healing potions, putting more than half of the team out of commission. It had just been her and Chloe left fighting. She wasn鈥檛 sure if they would鈥檝e made it, let alone won without that stranger showing up....
鈥淗ow鈥檚 it looking, boss?鈥 Adrien鈥檚 hiss of pain pulled her from her thoughts. She crouched down beside him while Luka treated the arm with what simple herbs he had on hand.
Luka finished tying a sling and stood. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e going to be fine. Keep it still for a few days. We鈥檒l get you some health potions when we get back to the house. Kagami, can you stand?鈥
The girl in question used to column to get up on her feet, but kept her weight off her left. That must have been the one she鈥檇 tripped on. 鈥淚 can stand, but I鈥檒l need help to walk,鈥 she said through gritted teeth.
A costly fight indeed. Marinette moved to slide her arm under Kagami鈥檚 and supported her. 鈥淲e just need to make it back to the horses,鈥 she murmured to her friend.
God, her friend. Her friends had gotten hurt because her plan failed. They had no idea what they were walking into, and she had almost gotten them all killed because of it.
They just needed more time. More training.
The five of them started to limp back to the cave where the light from their torch had almost died out, when a bright light flooded the chamber. It came from behind them, and as they turned to look they saw an open door.
鈥淭hat must be to the next level....鈥 Adrien said softly.
Marinette looked at her Order, broken as they were, and made a decision. 鈥淎nother time,鈥 she said. 鈥淲e鈥檝e done enough for today.鈥
They still had to make it back and spread the word to the other players. A small smile fell on her face. They could give them this news, give them this hope.
* * *
鈥淵ou did WHAT?鈥 Dick鈥檚 voice cut across the room. Jason had returned to their base after dark, but he didn鈥檛 have much choice in the matter. He was tired from walking the entire trip and even more tired from the battle, so his pace on the return trip was a little lacking. But that didn鈥檛 mean Dick had to yell about it.
鈥淚 helped some people beat the first boss,鈥 Jason shrugged. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 see what the big fuckin鈥 deal is.鈥 He put his pack down and grabbed some food from the counter.
Dick looked him over and, finding no major injuries, rubbed his hand over his mouth. 鈥淲hat part of 鈥榳ait for recruits鈥 did you not understand?鈥
Ah yes, this again. He decided to tactfully dodge that shit. 鈥淚 only meant to get a look at the boss. You know, do some reconnaissance and then report back? But a group was already there and fighting, and they needed help.鈥
鈥淪o you jumped in to help them?鈥 Tim asked incredulously. 鈥淵ou? Mister Lone Wolf?鈥
鈥淔or fuck鈥檚 sake, they could have died,鈥 Jason was getting annoyed now.
Dick gripped his shoulders. 鈥淪o could you.鈥 He glared as Jason pushed off the touch. 鈥淟ook Jay, I know we don鈥檛 always get along, but I don鈥檛 want to... I can鈥檛....鈥 Dick hung his head. 鈥淣ot again,鈥 he said softly.
鈥淟ook,鈥 Jason raised his hands in mock surrender. 鈥淚鈥檓 not looking to die anytime soon. Repeat performances were never really my thing,鈥 he gave a crooked smile. 鈥淏ut I was fine. The monster couldn鈥檛 hold a candle against us.鈥
Dick didn鈥檛 look convinced. 鈥淐an you just... tell us the next time you go off on your own?鈥
Jason barked a laugh. 鈥淣ot a chance.鈥
鈥淵ou鈥檒l give me gray hairs by the time I鈥檓 thirty...鈥 Dick rubbed his temples.
鈥淭hen we鈥檒l match,鈥 Jason winked and ran a hand through his streak of white hair. Tim snickered and rolled his eyes. Bastard.
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even-tha-stars28 days ago
My BatFam Headcannons:
Dick, Roy, and Wally once blew up a Walmart. (There was no one in it.) Dick somehow got the owner of Walmart (it was blackmail, he blackmailed the owner of Walmart) to drop the charges in exchange that the three of them are forever banned from every Walmart in America. This has come back to bight all three of this in the ass.
Roy was especially pissed of when he just wanted to by diapers at 2am and instead got thrown out of Walmart.
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kimirce29 days ago
Daphne Blake's socialite mother, Nan, is an old childhood friend of Bruce Wayne's.
Years before Mystery Incorporated will be established; during Dick Grayson's early years as Robin; Nan Blake visits her old friend to attend the annual Wayne Foundation Charity Ball, bringing along her daughters Diane, Dorothy, and Dawn.
This work is a prequel to an as-yet unposted story set 10 years after this one, wherein sixteen-year-old Daphne Blake visits Gotham and meets the Batfamily.
(Also, I would like you all to know that when I briefly reference Martha Wayne in this story, I am picturing @unpretty鈥榮 brilliant characterization of Martha in her fic Wayne Manor.)
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lala-ladybug29 days ago
Healing Hands: Chapter 5
Can you say ~trauma~?
Jasonette Sword Art Online AU
Read here on AO3
Tag list: @iloontjeboontje
First | Previous聽| Next
Chapter 5:聽Yes, Dick? You鈥檙e looking particularly dickish today
After so much commotion, the silence as they sat made Marinette鈥檚 ears ring. She and her Order were gathered in the spacious living room of Chloe鈥檚 house. After checking to make sure it was empty, she and the other miraculous holders had reassured their civilian classmates and sent them off to bed. They鈥檇 spent the better part of the day getting out of the overcrowded town. Thank Kwami they hadn鈥檛 still been travelling after the sun went down, but the noises from the woods still kept them all awake. Kagami had dug out a teapot from the kitchen cabinets and brewed several mugs for those who had needed one. No one was hungry.
Marinette鈥檚 hands shook slightly as she sipped her tea. That was another blessing, that Chloe鈥檚 VIP pass included a partially stocked kitchen to begin with. They would explore the rest of the house tomorrow, but for now, while the others rested.... They needed to talk.
She set her cup down with a sound that was amplified in the heavy quiet, then took a deep breath. 鈥淥kay....鈥 The words felt strange in her mouth. She swallowed against the lump in her throat. 鈥淐an anyone sense their Kwami?鈥
She looked around at the blank faces of her friends as they all tried to reach for their respective powers. Chloe鈥檚 lip trembled, but her eyes were dry. Luka and Kagami鈥檚 jaws clenched, and Adrien frowned as he shook his head.
鈥淣one of us can, then,鈥 Luka stated evenly, finally voicing what she鈥檇 been afraid of.
Marinette bit her lip. Kagami placed her cup of tea down forcefully. 鈥淲hat are we going to do.鈥 It wasn鈥檛 a question so much as a statement.
Marinette rubbed her eyes. Kwami, what could they do? They should count themselves lucky they weren鈥檛 dead yet. She could only imagine her Maman and Papa鈥檚 panic, but they hadn鈥檛 tried to pull her out, so she hadn鈥檛....
They could still die though, if what the Game Master had said was true. If their HP dropped to zero, they would die. There was no Second Chance or Lucky Charm this time. But they were still likely among the best trained people in the game. Her mind was made up.
鈥淲e fight.鈥 She finally said with all the confidence she could muster. 鈥淭here are thousands of civilians stuck in here with us, so we need to fight for them. We need to beat the level bosses in order to advance, right?鈥 The question was rhetorical, but Chloe nodded and Kagami blinked in affirmation all the same.
鈥淕ood,鈥 Marinette stood up. 鈥淲e will be the ones to fight these bosses. So they don鈥檛 have to. Think about it, even without our Kwami, we still have an edge on everyone else here. The faster we beat the game, the faster they can go home.鈥
鈥淎nd us too!鈥 Adrien jumped up with a smile. 鈥淎nd us too,鈥 Marinette echoed.
Luka drained his tea and stood next. 鈥淪o it鈥檚 settled then,鈥 he put a hand on her shoulder, steady as ever.
鈥淚ndeed,鈥 Kagami rose beside them.
Chloe stared up at them, eyes wide. 鈥淵ou really think we can do this?鈥 She asked in a small voice.
Marinette looked her in the eye and said, 鈥淚 know we can.鈥 The blonde released a small sigh and stood as well. A gleam of determination entered her eye as she said, 鈥淥kay. Let鈥檚 go save everyone from this ridiculous game.鈥
* * *
Jason, Jaime, Cassie, and Zatanna returned to the center of town. It was nearly deserted now, the murky twilight creating pockets of shadows around the square, perfect for hiding lurking figures. But it was nothing Jason couldn鈥檛 handle. In fact, with his current mood, he damn well dared them to try.
They鈥檇 spent hours hacking away at the wild boars, Jaime even joining in as his allergies permitted him. The four had gained a few player levels and a decent amount of money and loot. But damn if it wasn鈥檛 tiring as hell.
His crossbow was much more taxing than using guns, and it used different muscles in his shoulders and arms than he was accustomed to working. He could tell the others were similarly weighed down by exhaustion. Cassie鈥檚 whip demanded an endurance she wasn鈥檛 used to without her super strength, Jaime鈥檚 throws of a handaxe grew increasingly shorter the longer they fought, and Zatanna wasn鈥檛 used to fighting with physical weapons at all. It took everything they had left to drag themselves back into town.
One of the shadows a few feet away swam with sudden movement. Jason equipped his crossbow, arms shaking with the effort of just holding it. Damnit, now was not a good time, but he鈥檇 still fight these bastards with everything he had.
He relaxed when he saw it was Dick and the rest of Team Alpha approaching. Putting his weapon away, Jason crossed his arms and planted his feet firmly. Dick better have gotten them those fucking beds for the night.
鈥淲e鈥檙e just waiting on Beta,鈥 Dick said in a low voice. 鈥淭hen we can go to the inn and regroup.鈥 The others could regroup. Jason would be heading right to sleep. He stalked over to the brick wall Bart sat slumped against and leaned his shoulder against it. The cool roughness grounded him and kept his eyes open.
He distantly heard Zatanna telling Dick that they had made out okay in the west. Unnecessary talking when there were other players listening nearby. He swallowed against the urge to forcibly silence them that was rising in his blood. It sang with the persistent thrum of battle, unshakable as it was insistent. He closed his eyes and counted his breaths. One. Breathe out and picture a color. Blue. Breathe in. Two. Out. Yellow. In. Three. Out. Green.
He鈥檇 barely reached ten by the time Tim led his group back to join them. The song in his blood stilled for now, he pushed off of the wall and followed as Dick and Wally guided them to the inn. He hardly registered his surroundings as they entered and divvied up the rooms. He, Dick, Tim, and Wally were in one room, the girls in another, and the other boys in a third. The place seemed clean enough as he cast his tired eyes around the tavern.
They climbed the stairs to their rooms and settled in each. Dick and Tim sat on their beds talking about going to the other boys鈥 room-- the largest of the three-- to discuss strategy. Jason hardly heard them as his head hit the pillow and he fell asleep.
* * *
The warmth of the early morning sun on her face woke Marinette up. She stretched and yawned, wincing at her soreness. Sometimes this game was a little too realistic. In the bed beside hers, Chloe grumbled something about the girls鈥 room having no curtains over the window and rolled over.
Marinette gave a strained smile at that. She quietly dressed and descended the ladder from their small loft to where the rest of the girls were still sleeping, and tip-toed out to the hall.
Down the stairs was the kitchen, empty save for a softly steaming tea kettle that meant Kagami and Luka would soon be joining her. She prepared dough to make fresh croissants as she had every couple of days for the past few weeks since they鈥檇 been trapped in the game.
The thought briefly gave her pause, that they鈥檇 already been here for close to a month, but she shook it off and formed the croissants onto the baking tray. She slid them into the oven just as Kagami and Luka trailed in from the garden. They鈥檇 been harvesting the already-ripe blueberries, and laid a heaping basket of them on the countertop.
Chloe鈥檚 VIP pass had saved their lives and then some. It came with a comfortably sized house that included a full kitchen, sitting area, storage room, balcony, two massive bedrooms with enough room to house all twelve of them, a garden ready to be planted in, and stables already stocked with several horses. It really was luxurious, and if they weren鈥檛 trapped in the game, she would have found it much more enjoyable.
The property also included a small pond that had proved to give a refreshing swim after training sessions, a well, and a few acres of woods. The latter was where they did most of their monster-training. Marinette had already reached a player level of 10 just by fighting the various denizens of their backyard. The rest of the new Order wasn鈥檛 far behind her, ranging from levels 7 to 10 between the four of them.
鈥淕ood morning, Marihime,鈥 Kagami inclined her head respectfully, then poured the tea into three waiting mugs. Luka thanked her and shot Marinette a quick smile as way of greeting.
She nodded back and stirred a generous helping of sugar into her mug. The three sipped their tea while they waited for the croissants to bake. Once they were finished and cooling, Marinette and the others donned cloaks to protect against the morning chill and started their brisk morning walk into town.
The dirt path wound down to the base of the hill where several more paths for other player houses split off the main track that they now set on. The lush grass on either side was covered in a slight blanket of mist from the evaporating morning dew. Birds chirped high above, darting between the sparse trees. The walk took about a half hour, and their tea was nearly finished by the time they arrived at the outskirts of the city.
Kagami polished off her mug and placed it back in her inventory, then rested her hand warily on the hilt of her rapier as they began encountering more people. Their destination, a news stand, was thankfully not too close to the center of town. The less people they encountered, the better.
鈥淕et your daily paper here! New news every day! Two copper pieces for a paper, one gold for a yearly subscription.鈥 Marinette veered towards the NPC shouting her wares.
鈥淗i, one paper please,鈥 she said breathlessly, and slid two copper pieces onto the counter.
鈥淗ere you go!鈥 The vendor, an ample woman of thirty, took the coins and handed Marinette a folded newspaper with a smile. 鈥淵ou know, you鈥檙e one of my best customers. I鈥檒l give you a deal,鈥 she winked, 鈥渉ow about fifty silver for a yearly subscription!鈥
鈥淥h, that鈥檚 very kind of you miss, but I鈥檓 afraid we won鈥檛 be staying quite that long,鈥 Marinette replied. At least, she hoped not.
鈥淰ery well dear, have a lovely day!鈥 The NPC thankfully seemed unbothered, and went back to shouting her prices to the general population.
Luka and Kagami moved from their posts of casually guarding Marinette while she dealt with the woman manning the stall. The three set off back the way they鈥檇 come, ready for another day of training and exploring the first level.
Marinette unfolded the newspaper and skimmed the headlines while they walked, trusting her companions to keep an eye out for her. However, they weren鈥檛 expecting her to stop dead in her tracks. It took a moment for them to turn around and backtrack to where she stood staring intently at the paper in her hands.
鈥淗oly Kwami....鈥 She said, and read the article title again. 鈥溾楨xploration team finds boss dungeon entrance!鈥欌 She read aloud.
Luka moved to peer over her shoulder and read it alongside her. 鈥淵ou know what this means?鈥 He asked with a small smile.
Kagami put her hand on Marinette鈥檚 shoulder. 鈥淲e are on the path to ending this.鈥
* * *
Jason woke up to an empty house. It had only been a few weeks since the start of the game, and his idiot brothers were out in the village. Again. He groaned at the motion of swinging his legs off the bed to sit up. Training to get used to the in-game movements was getting old.
He stood and rubbed the back of his neck, loosening some of the stiffness that seemed to have soaked into his bones. He went downstairs to the spacious kitchen to get some fruits for breakfast. With twelve people to make money and collect resources, the team had made quick work of purchasing a large house to use as a base.
Grabbing a few apples for the road, Jason traced the now-familiar path to find Dick and a few of the others in a communal amphitheater. Bart and Wally were handing out flyers near the entrances, chatting people up and trying to convince them to come listen to where Dick and Tim were speaking below.
Jason took a seat next to Artemis, near the back. 鈥淎t it again?鈥 He asked her, crunching into his apple.
She was leaning forward to prop her elbows on her knees, her chin resting in cupped hands. 鈥淵up,鈥 she said, popping the 鈥減.鈥 She sighed and sat up. 鈥淎ll week, and we鈥檝e only got a handful of recruits.鈥
鈥淲e鈥檙e all in this together after all,鈥 Dick was saying loudly. 鈥淪o join us to help end this game! I have a plan to train recruits for taking on the first level boss.鈥
Jason yawned. Same old fuckin鈥 stupid plan. There鈥檚 just no way to make risking your life sound enticing. 鈥淭he others still out hunting?鈥 He nudged Artemis鈥檚 knee with his own.
She nodded in affirmation, looking similarly discouraged and bored. He got up and started to leave, deciding to make himself useful and join the rest of the team in fighting.
鈥淛ason!鈥 A shout made him stop. He looked to the sky and muttered to himself about patience, then turned to face his brother. 鈥淵es, Dick? You鈥檙e looking particularly dickish today.鈥
Dick crossed his arms. 鈥淗aha, very funny. If you鈥檙e not busy, I could really use you here spreading the word.鈥
鈥淟ook, people just don鈥檛 want to go up against something they鈥檝e never faced before. Hell, half these dumbasses haven鈥檛 even been in a real fight before.鈥 He shook his head. 鈥淭his is a waste of time. I鈥檓 going to fight some monsters so that I can level up and be ready for when we inevitably face the big bad without these posers.鈥
Dick narrowed his eyes at that. 鈥淣ow hold on a minute, we have no idea what we鈥檙e going up against here. We need a bigger group before we鈥檙e ready to go up against the boss. More than half of us aren鈥檛 up to par with our special moves out of the picture, and we鈥檙e still trying to figure out the gameplay.鈥 He held his hands out placatingly. 鈥淎n exploration group just found the probable location of the boss dungeon, so that鈥檚 half the battle already. We just need to wait for more recruits and a more solid plan.鈥
鈥淪o how long are we supposed to wait, Dick?鈥 Jason asked incredulously. 鈥淎 week? A month? A year? How many people are going to die while we 鈥榝igure out鈥 how to do something we already damn well know how to do.鈥 He poked an accusatory finger at Dick鈥檚 chest. 鈥淲e鈥檝e been training for weeks already, we can handle this.鈥
鈥淚 hear you Jay, but we have no idea what kind of a threat this is going to be. We need to take our time and--鈥
鈥淲hat you need is a fucking backbone. We鈥檙e the best hope that thousands of people have at surviving! I say we train some more and then fight the damn thing ourselves, recruits or no.鈥 He couldn鈥檛 believe Dick. Saving people was supposed to be his schtick, not Jason鈥檚. 鈥淗undreds of people have already died, in case you forgot, and this is only the first fucking level. Time is a luxury we do not have.鈥
Dick looked ready to retort when a young boy came up to him and tapped him on the elbow. 鈥淓xcuse me, mister? I鈥檓 interested in recruitment!鈥
Jason took advantage of the distraction and stalked off towards the center of town. What a... well, Mr. and Mrs. Grayson picked a damn good name.
If Dick wanted to know what they were up against, then fine. He鈥檇 go find out for him.
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cipheress-to-k-popa month ago
Hi, I absolutely adore your writing and it鈥檚 quite inspiring and making my imagination go WEEWOO!
Could I request something for YJ With Dick? So like a headcanon or one shot (which ever you prefer queen) where the reader is quite reserved, snarky and can get angry real fast. They have feelings for Rob and they are especially snarky to him to hide their feelings, but they eventually start to open up more and during the events of episode 24 (you know, the one at haly鈥檚 circus), they open up to him and they confess? And he does the same?
Flower Language
Pairing: Dick Grayson as Robin x Reader
Warnings: Blood and injuries and plant death.
Word Count: 3.8k words
A/N: This is kind of my take on the Hanahaki disease, kind of. This was so much fun to write honestly, I didn't realize I like all this floral stuff so much. It also reminded me of another 'True Love's Kiss' trope I wrote for Dick Grayson as well. Also I changed the episode this was based on because I鈥檝e already done something based on the episode with Haly鈥檚 circus聽@hanbedumbaf聽I really really really hope you enjoy it! Sorry it was so late, I finished it a month back but it was in my queue.
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Adrenaline was a common feeling to you. A little too familiar. The life of a superhero puts you in peril more times than you would like but it was the only life you had known. You knew the familiar feeling of sweat forming on your skin and your heart pounding so loudly that you could hear it in every step you took.
However, when you heard the pounding, it was because there was a supervillain, usually hairy, chasing after you and determined to get your head on a stake.
Although, feeling your heart jump to your throat was becoming more familiar whenever you were around a certain someone. Robin annoyed you to no end, whenever he was around you couldn't help your face from growing warm and your lips from tingling to form a permanent smile on your face.
Having a crush was irritating, you couldn't think or even function without thinking of him. It was frankly humiliating, you were always so gung-ho about being bold and to the point and yet whenever you were around Boy Wonder, you couldn't help but bend your personality to something you felt like would appeal to him more.
Sometimes, you couldn't even stand yourself.
And so, as a pathetic act of rebellion, and maybe as a clear-cut sign that you had no idea how to handle emotions or anything similar to it, every time your heart got just a little soft, your tongue got a whole lot sharper. Probably not the best way to win a boy鈥檚 heart. But you weren't here for a romance story.
It was also a true sign that you had no idea how to flirt, thinking that borderline insulting witty banter was the way to go. Or perhaps it was a way of controlling your emotions, since being bitter and snarky was the thing that came easiest to you.
You seriously needed better tactics.
It was also your oblivious mistake thinking that Robin only saw what you wanted him to see. He was raised to be a detective, of course he was more observant than that. Papa (or let's be real, Alfred) didn't raise no fool.
You made the mistake of thinking Robin saw you as strong and independent and bold, just as the rest of them did. But he saw much more than that.
Robin was distressed by the number of crying faces around him, the kids were inconsolable which was understandable because of just how many things went wrong in the past couple of hours. To be quite frank, Robin was a couple seconds away from having a fit himself.
"Shh, little one," He heard distantly and his neck practically snapped. You were crouching in front of the few who were crying, with a small nurturing smile. It was the first time he had seen you out of uniform, usually referring to you as Antheia, named after the goddess of flowers, but this wasn't she.
"I know you're scared, my flowers, but I promise, we will find your parents." You soothed, gently wiping away their tears. They still looked up at you apprehensively and with uncertainty.
"I'll show you a magic trick." You began, grinning as the kids began to smile back at you. You pulled a seed out of your pocket and held it between closed hands, using a bit of your powers and felt it grow in your palms. When you revealed what you were holding, they collectively gasped.
A bud of a flower now rested in your hand. You smiled at their innocent eyes and held it to them, "Now I'm going to need your help for the next part. Everyone has to blow on the flower."
They nodded eagerly, crawling around you and on the count of three, everyone followed your instructions. And low and behold, the bud bloomed into a beautiful blossom right between your fingers.
One of the girls clamoured into your lap to hold the flower herself and you chuckled, wrapping your arms tightly around her, "You know what this flower means?"
They shook their heads, "It means faith, and hope. If you have faith and hope in us, then you'll get something beautiful in return."
For once, they look contemplatively and you chuckled, feeling pride at the fact that you managed to sow some wisdom in their minds. The girl that had been sitting in your lap turned in your grasp, with the flower in her hand and then reached up to tuck it behind your ear.
"For me?" She nodded happily and you smiled widely, kissing her cheek, "Thank you, petal."
Satisfied that you were able to calm them down, you gently placed the girl back on the floor before moving away from the group. Just as you were about to join the others, you ran into Robin. You didn't know he had just seen the whole thing.
Pulling the flower from behind your ear, you handed it to him, "You know in some cultures, this flower means to pick up the slack and stop looking like a confused chicken." You snapped.
Business as usual.
Robin looked back to the flower you had slipped into his hands, you had said it meant faith and hope, and you had given it to him. He looked back up to see you shuffling away from him quickly, a blush on your face. He smiled.
You were more nurturing and kinder than you let on, it was like it was programmed into your personality and yet you never showed it when you knew they were watching. That wasn't the only part of yourself that you were hesitant to show them.
And the more Robin observed you, the more he realized that you used flower language to depict a lot of your emotions. It was a silent way of letting them out, without having to tell other people what's really in your heart.
You thought you were sly about it, but nothing went under Robin's radar.
Everyone was watching a movie on the flat screen in the rec room. You hadn't realized you were so tired, the movie was boring, something that M'Gann had picked and you hadn't slept the night before, busy patrolling your city.
Your eyelids began to droop before you could even understand what was going on, your head lolling as you drifted in and out of consciousness.
Robin hadn't realized that he was napping through the movie until he felt a weight on his shoulder. He nearly jumped awake and glanced to his side to see you sound asleep, breathing gently. He nearly chuckled, was this what you looked like when you weren't scowling at everybody?
His heart skipped a beat, god, were you beautiful. The smell of flowers vaguely hit his nose and he noticed the red gardenia plant growing steadily in the corner of the room.
'Red Gardenias means a secret love,' Robin recalled from a book he had read, 'It's a secret way for someone to say I love you.'
He glanced back at you still sleeping peacefully, face completely relaxed and briefly wondered if your powers were taking the lead on your emotions and making gardenias grow around the cave. Or were you dreaming about something?
Something in his heart grew, here you were sleeping against his shoulder, making symbols of a secret love grow around the room. This had to be a sign of something, right?
Before he could contemplate it any further, you squirmed and then began to stir. Your eyes fluttered open, hazily taking in your surroundings before they landed on the boy beside you and widened in size, skin darkening with a blush.
"Why the fuck didn't you wake me up?" You snapped and turned on your heel to stomp out of the room without even waiting for a response from him. The others who noticed the way he was just staring at the place you were in surprise. You always do such a 180 when you're around him and conscious.
"Wow, sunshine's crabby in the morning." Wally commented from beside him. When he didn't get any response, he looked over to see Robin with a silly smile on his face.
Dick couldn't stop himself from grinning. The gardenias were still blooming.
"Antheia, do you think you will be able to stop the plants from growing any further?" Batman turned to face you, only to find you staring at him with a hazy, blank expression.
"Antheia?" Robin called but you didn't even flinch, your eyes were locked onto the holo-computer, seeing the thick vines that were twisting and turning. Their call was overwhelming, you could feel them grow even beneath your feet. It was like a siren was blearing through your head.
You couldn't tell what they were trying to say, it was like they were muffled. It was confused and lost, following Ivy and it was happy listening to her. And yet, it was feeling pain, the Justice League was busy pruning her as we speak. It was scared, crying out for someone to help them and you felt obligated to help. Your mind was getting heavy, throbbing with an oncoming migraine.
"(Y/N)!" Your eyes snapped open and focused onto the boy in front of you. Everyone was staring at you in concern and you blinked, suddenly not able to remember what the hell was going on. You were just trying to focus on something other than the screams and cries of the plant.
"......What?" You asked a little dumbly, noticing the concern on Robin's face. The plants were still crying. You couldn't get the painful sound of their screams out of your mind. You felt like curling up into a ball and crying.
"Batman asked if you would be able to stop the plants?"
"Oh, um, no." You answered in a distracted way that made his face pinch with worry. His hands were still grasping your shoulders tightly, keeping his face in close proximity to yours. You didn't even realize, too out of it to even notice.
Robin on the other hand felt his cheeks get uncomfortably hot the more you stared at him with those innocent, beautiful eyes of yours. If Batman hadn't been breathing down his neck, he was sure he would've kissed you in the moment.
Unfortunately for him, his dad always knew how to ruin the moment. And he would continue to for the rest of his life. Until death do them part. Even after the two of you grow up and live together, the Batman would find some way to interrupt your fun.
"The mission."
Oh. Right.
"Robin!" You screamed when one of Ivy's plants wrapped around his neck and slammed him against the trees. They didn't let up curling tighter around his throat. Fear struck you as he began choking from breath and you knew you had to do something.
Suddenly murderous intent took over you and you glared at Ivy who returned it with a smug smirk of her own. Oh, how you'd rip that smirk off her face.
"Okay Ivy, you wanna play? Let's play." You ground out, slamming your hands against the vine around Robin's neck and it began disintegrating beneath your fingers. He fell to the ground, gasping for breath and you tuned out the sound of the plant crying as it died beside him.
Ivy heard it just as loudly as you had, she screamed and more plants lunged towards the both of you.
"Go help the others! I'm about to snap this twig." You spat at Robin, using your powers to kill the roots as it reached you. It was working slowly, your powers weak to the pain of the plants around you. Even as every cell of your body told you not to, you clenched your fingers into fists and watched as the creeper feel to the marsh, dead.
You engaged in battle with Ivy. Plants were screaming for mercy all around you but you couldn't stop for even a second. Life around you was trembling but you had to keep fighting the villain in front of you because if you hesitated for even a second, many more would die.
Thorns scratched your skin, drawing blood and curled around Ivy, sinking barbs into her skin.
"Face it girlie! You're never going to overpower me!"
"Oh, I'm not trying to overpower you, just distract you long enough for Robin to get rid of the control system." You replied, just as smug as she had been at the start of the fight. Now you got to see her face melt into one of panic just as Robin jumped over her head and to your side with a grin identical to yours.
"Cover your ears!" He sang, wrapping an arm around your shoulder and ducking, covering your body with his own. You were grateful for it; you weren't sure you could even keep your body upright at the moment.
Then you heard the explosion and your heart stopped. Every single fibre of your body burned red hot fire as you heard screams and cries around you. Bile was crawling up your throat and your breathing got thin. They were sobbing a heart-broken wail and your eyes misted at the mere sound.
Without realizing it, you were gripping onto Robin's hand, brows furrowed together. The sound of the explosion cleared, the Injustice League was captured and he pulled you up to stand with the others.
It was silent for a moment. You had won.
And then the consequences of your actions hit you.
Everyone's necks snapped towards you when you let out a heart-wrenching sob. Robin, who was standing right next to you caught you just in time before your body hit the ground. Pain exploded in your chest as you began wailing against him.
"(Y/N)? (Y/N)! What's wrong?!" He panicked but you didn't respond, crying into his chest as you gripped his cape in an iron fist. Everything hurt and all you could feel was sorrow and guilt.
The other heroes crowded around you but your eyes were screwed shut, tears making your eyes sting. Robin held onto you tightly, pulling your body against his as you continued to cry.
"What's happening?" Artemis murmured, looking around to see the environment change before her eyes. Everyone else followed her lead to see how leaves began rotting, then the trees. The smell was pungent. Thorns and weeds were crawling up the dying trees, pulling them into the swamp.
"(Y/N) please, what's wrong?" Robin whispered in your ear but you couldn't hear him. The sounds of plants screaming and wailing was echoing through your mind. How they begged you to save them. How they begged you to stop.
And then it got hard to breathe, your chest constricted and you were wheezing. Robin had to watch in horror when petals and blood poured from your mouth. You were choking, throwing up and sobbing in his arms, and he was unable to do anything to help you.
"Flash get her to the Batcave." Batman said gruffly, he was shocked and worried for you but didn't say anything, not wanting to scare his son more, "Sending you the coordinates now."
"Alfred prepare the med-bay."
Dick watched with a sinking heart as he handed you into Flash's arms. It took him a few seconds for his mind to stop whirring, he was still kneeling in the swampy marsh when the team huddled around him.
"It's gonna be okay." Wally murmured, wrapping an arm around his shaking body.
"We just have to hope for the best."
When the others had gotten back to the Cave, you had just been moved there, after being looked over by Alfred. He joined you in the med-bay, wanting to keep an eye on you. But as of yet, you still had to wake up.
Dick wasn't supposed to be listening to the adult鈥檚 conversation, but he couldn't help himself, he had to know if you were going to be okay.
"The situation is undeterminable, sir. But as of now, the flowers that are clogging her respiratory system keep growing. If we don't find a cure for this, it's inevitable that she will suffocate and pass."
His heart stopped. Die? You couldn't die, not when he still had so many things to tell you. For so long, he hadn't told you of his feelings, wanting to keep the relationship between the two of you professional. But now more than anything, he wished he had said something.
There were so many things he didn't get to do with you yet. You had yet to give him a bouquet on your first date. He wanted to lay in bed with you, smelling fresh flowers as you told him what different plants symbolized. He had yet to see moments where you can't control your powers and make plants grow around the cave.
He hadn't even given you a flower yet.
"Rob listen, I did some research on this 'disease'." Wally said, falling into step with him, "It's called the Hanahaki disease."
"That's fiction Wal鈥"
"But that's the best we've got right now." Came his curt reply and Dick's heart clenched.
"Hanahaki disease is a fictional sickness that only occurs when someone is suffering from unrequited love. The victim will cough up flower petals that symbolize their love. This disease is only cured when the victim's feelings are romantically returned." Wally read off his phone before turning to Dick with a smile.
He raised a brow, "What?"
"You have to kiss (Y/N)!"
"Yep! You have to return her unrequired love!"
"Wally that's ridiculous, kissing someone doesn't cute anything."
"Well, it's the only thing we have. And for (Y/N), we need to try anything." He said, pushing him towards the med-bay. His voice was tight and tense, like he was holding onto his as his last hope and Dick prayed that it would work when the door of your room came into his sight.
You were asleep and if he hadn't known any better, he would've thought you were healthy. Wally closed the door behind him, leaving Dick alone with you. The only sound in was the beeping from your heart monitor and your light wheezing. It was getting harder to breathe.
Dick inched his way closer to you, watching as your eyelashes fluttered gently in your sleep. Leaning over the bed you were lying in; he pressed a gentle kiss to your forehead before moving his head in line with yours.
"God, please let this work." He whispered and your bottom lip was caught between his. It was feather-light but yet, electricity was buzzing through his veins and fireworks went off in his mind.
For a minute, nothing happened and his heart clenched in his chest before he kissed you a little harder. This had to work because they didn't have any other lead. Dick felt you exhale feebly against him and he almost gave up hope.
But then you took a deep breath, stealing the breath from his lungs and he pulled away quickly to see your eyelids fluttering open. The colour was returning to your cheeks and your eyes were sparkling up at him. You smiled gently and he blinked away tears of relief. Thank goodness.
'His eyes are blue' You thought, staring deeply into them. They were beautiful, alluring. You didn't know why but just looking into his eyes was addicting. Was this what it felt like to be so deep in love? That even his eyes were enough to captivate you?
"I'm so glad you're awake." He muttered, cupping your cheeks firmly and planting another kiss on your lips. You giggled lightly, heart overjoyed to find the boy you had been in love with for so long had returned your feelings and you responded to the kiss eagerly, placing your palms over his hands and leaning into him.
With your regaining strength, you felt a flower materialize in your hands. The stem between your fingers brought you comfort just as the scent of the flower brought you back life.
When Dick pulled away, you delicately slipped it into his hands and he turned his attention to it, blue eyes softening when he recognized this particular flower in his hands.
"It's an Aster." You whispered quietly, lips brushing against his and he chuckled. It was the only flower you thought of when he came to your mind, "Get it?"
Dick turned his eyes away from the blossom and looked at you again. Your heart jumped, noticing just how much love he held in them. Eyes you could swim in, overflowing with love for you. Suddenly you were overwhelmed, feeling adoration and attraction. You needed to be closer to him, even though he was pressed against you.
Your fingers curled into his collar and pulled him closer to you, slanting your lips over his in an open-mouthed kiss. Dick gasped against your lips, startled for no longer than a second before sinking against you and wrapping an arm around your waist to pull you closer.
Your lips moved gently against his, the blushing flower trapped between both your bodies. The smell of fresh flowers clouded Dick's mind with everything that was you. Your hair, your smile, your lips. If you kept kissing him like that, he was certain he'd forget his own name.
And then you pulled away and Dick noted that you were as beautiful as a fresh flower. Your skin was glowing with life and your tired eyes were twinkling. You smiled sleepily at him, eyes closing shut and he lowered you back to the bed. Immediately, you slipped back into slumber, exhausted from the day's events.
He watched for a couple seconds, making sure you were able to breathe without any problems before realizing he should tell the others that you were okay.
He slipped out of the room quietly, stealing a final glance of you sleeping peacefully in the bed and a huge smile grew on his face, "She's awake."
It was only then he noticed just how colourful the room had gotten in the few minutes he was with you.
The walls were covered with vines and roses of different colours, camelias and carnations of different shades. It littered the room, not leaving a single inch of the wall untouched and scattered petals all over the floor like confetti.
Different creepers hung from the ceiling, dusting all the superheroes with sparkling pollen and colourful petals. Not to mention there were stems crawling up the Justice League members, flowers hugging their ankles lovingly.
Batman looked a lot less intimidating with petals in his cape and a rose stuck behind his ear. Robin blushed at the sight of everyone giving him knowing smiles.
"We noticed."
Aster: This flower became a symbol of love when in Greek mythology it was placed on the altars for the gods. So now, when you send a bouquet featuring this vibrant bloom, the message of "Take Care Of Yourself For Me" is implied. It conveys deep emotional love and affection for someone.
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