Jul 19, 2019 10:37 AM
Aestrix and Kaylin's characters in Young Justice
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"Uhhh..."

They look at each other sheepishly -

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- and Robin steps forward.

"I-it was my idea." He hesitates, wilting a little, when this predictably brings the full weight of the Bat-Glare down on him, but presses on. 

"I hacked the computer system because I wanted to know about Project Cadmus, and then we decided to investigate because you said there was something suspicious about it, and, well." He gestures over at Rain, talking to Eventide.

"Then we found him." 

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"You found the facility before you found him. You didn't call in for backup or to report what you'd found. Why?"

The Bat-Glare is really more of a Bat-Poker Face. Robin is the one talking, so Batman gives him his full attention. It's more than a little intimidating.

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"...um." 

Robin looks away. Batman's right; they should have tried to call the League much sooner than they did. 

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"You...were busy tryingtostopWotanputtingoutthesun?" Kid Flash puts in, noticing Robin falter.

The last half of his sentence speeds up until it blurs into incomprehensibility, but the general message is clear. 

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"We did try," Aqualad adds. 

"...admittedly, not until we were inside the facility, and were too deep underground for our communicators to function." 

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Batman looks at Kid Flash, then Aqualad. That - sure is a gaze he has.

"The reason why the Justice League has been successful is because its members communicate and coordinate when faced with possible threats. Before they investigate an unknown threat, they call it in. Having all worked with League members, I would have expected this to be understood." He lets that sentence hang in the air, then continues. "Even if many members of the League are busy elsewhere. Before you are too far underground."

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"You could have died down there," Flash bursts out. "And we wouldn't even have known!"

He's mostly looking at Kid Flash, but there's some concern there for the others, too, especially Robin.

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Aqualad seems to have taken over as spokesman. 

"We understand, and we are sorry," he says sincerely. "We acted without fully considering the consequences, and only realized our folly when it was too late to correct. We expected this to be an easy mission, which we could complete quickly and return to the Hall before you noticed our absence, but that," he sighs, "does not excuse our carelessness."

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"It does not," agrees Batman. "Any mission can become much more than anyone expected, at any time. As you've just experienced. Your results speak for themselves, but you got lucky. Do not rely on it. It will run out."

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"Batman, we know we messed up," Robin says.

"But we were just trying to prove to you that - we're ready to start using what you taught us. And, look!" He gestures at where Blockbuster is being airlifted out of the wreckage by one of the Green Lanterns. 

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Aqualad picks up the thread, standing taller than he was a minute ago.

"We did good work here tonight; work you trained us to do," he tells the gathered mentors. "Together, on our own, we forged something powerful. Important. And, yes, perhaps it was luck. But it was not only luck."

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"It was not," allows Batman. "But rushing headlong into danger is only a way to prove you're not ready. End results aside, we are not happy. You hacked Justice League systems, disobeyed direct orders, and endangered lives. You will not be doing something like this again."

He pauses just long enough for that to sink in, then before they can protest: "Next time you will have resources you can rely on. You will not let a simple neglected phone call put all of you in danger. You will adhere to the protocols we taught you, because they are there for a reason. This is dangerous work, do not ever forget that. If you do it, you'll do it on League terms."

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The three of them droop as Batman enumerates all the ways they messed up...

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...only to perk up again at the words 'next time'. 

By the end, Robin and Kid Flash are openly grinning at each other. 

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Even Aqualad is smiling, caught up in his teammates' excitement. (They're teammates now!)

He composes himself, and turns to the adults. 

"Thank you," he says, still smiling a little. "I promise that you will not come to regret this decision. We will not let you down." 

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"See that you don't," agrees Batman. "In the meantime, you've all proven yourselves in need of a refresher course on standard mission protocols over the next few days. I expect all of you to pay close attention."

In case they forgot that they were in trouble, or anything.

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But if a personal reminder from Batman isn't enough, then the three days of remedial mission protocol instruction will probably hammer it in. They do not get the cliffnotes version. They made their mistakes together, they get to spend time experiencing the consequences of their mistakes together. It's a boring bonding time for all. Or - well, just the three of them. Rain doesn't have to attend; he needs more instruction than three days of review can really get him. Also, he's not in trouble. They don't get much chance to see him while they're in review, but the League promises that he's doing well. They'll be able to ask for themselves, once they're done with their remedial instruction.

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