It all happened fast, at first. One moment, they’re chillin’ in the lounge. M’gann is talking to Conner about a new recipe she saw last night, Artemis is challenging Wally in a video game Dick just knows even super-speed can’t help him in, and Kaldur watches the entire scene from his spot. It was a nice moment. Nice, but far too short.
The intruder alarm goes off, a gun fires, and Dick barely had enough time to shove Artemis out of the way of the bullet. His heart beats as fast as the scene change. So was his head.
How the hell did someone manage to break into Mount Justice?!
Not only did they have to go through high tech security, but the intruder alarm that goes off as soon as unauthorized personnel enter should have gone off way faster. There’s no way this person could have made it all the way to the lounge without anything happening.
Dick doesn’t have time to wonder. He quickly gets up to face the enemy with his team, only to find that his enemy had no face— only a red helmet successfully blocking out all the intruder’s features. He lowered his gun and Dick analyzed him closely. Batman’s logo front and center of this guy’s chest. Just who exactly does he think he is?!
Before Dick can ask just that, the intruder speaks. “What the fuck?” He’s looking directly at Dick. “Replacement’s replacement got replaced?!” his gun was completely lowered. He was unguarded, unprotected. But the team needed some answers before they could try to take them down.
Kaldur was the first to speak. “Who are you?”
The intruder doesn’t waste time with his response. “That's what I'd like to know.” Again, staring at Dick, “ You’re definitely not a new Robin or I woulda known by now. So what are you doing in that rip-off fit?”
RIP OFF FIT?!
‘A new Robin? Wait, there’s more Robins?’
M’gann had quickly established a telepathic link, as per the team’s agreement when faced with unexpected danger. Dick waste no time in replying to his teammate’s questions
‘No, I’m the only one. I don’t know what this guy is talking about.’
Wally answers to the man. “What are you talking about? You appeared to us with a gun . Who are you?”
“Ok… let’s start off with some new questions. Like, where the fuck am I?” He looks around slowly, taking in the large area around him.
‘Man, he’s really got a potty-mouth’
‘He’s messing with us, right? We shouldn’t tell him?’
‘Yes, no one say a thing of our location. He may have recorders on his person.’
At the lack of response, the intruder gets agitated, which is really dangerous on the count that he still held his gun. “Look, kids, maybe we got off on the wrong foot here. I was in Gotham like two seconds ago. Doing really fucking important shit. I have a whole team to report back to, like yesterday. So just tell me where the hell I am, and I’ll get out your hair. Deal?”
‘What the heck, guys.’
‘How could have he have gotten here from Gotham?’
‘Maybe he hacked a zeta.’
“No deal,” Dick says sternly.
Dick can't tell, but he’s sure the man gave him the glare of a lifetime. “Where the hell are the adults?”
“Right here.” Black Canary says, making everyone spot the newly arrived Justice League. Amazing timing. Dick can’t even be mad that this means the entire Justice League has access to their alarms.
The man in the helmet doesn’t turn to face the League at first. Instead, he speaks facing the Team. “Why do I have this strange feeling that this Justice League is going to be ten times more annoying than it’s mini’s?”
He finally turns to face the League. Dick sees Batman’s face turn into a glare once he spots the Bat logo.
“Who are you,” Batman asks, obviously unimpressed by the man’s theft of the Bat logo.
The man all but sighs. His body language changes drastically. “Someone who’s not where they’re supposed to be,” he mumbles.
“Well, I coulda told you that,” Wally says.
The man groans. “I’m being serious. you might have a big space-time curriculam fuck-up on your hands”
The League and Team share looks, all wondering what that meant. Flash especially seemed interested in the intruder’s claim. “Explain,” Wonder Woman demands.
The audacity of this man to plop himself on their couch after shooting at them. “Ok so boom, I'm on a mission to take down this new drug lord that fucked up and took his business into Gotham. He was specifically marketing his drugs to young people, and we just can’t have that, right? So I ‘ask’ around and find out about a new shipment coming in tonight. Obviously, I'm going to take them down ‘cause there’s already enough drugs on the streets of Gotham but I had already made sure all the dealers stay away from the minors, especially from the ones on Crime Alley. So I didn’t need a newbie messing up my hard work. Anyway, I beat up some bad guys, and the big boss shows up. I wasn't expecting to find him on the first night. But the weird thing is—“
“Wait wait wait. You’re talking a whole lot but literally none of what you’ve said explained anything. how—“
“I was just getting to that, Boy Wonder .” Dick visibly grimaces at the name. “As I was saying, the weird thing is this man showed up with a jack-in-a-box,” Dick doesn't like this… “Some of y’all should know what that meant. So now, I'm agitated. I pull out my gun,” for emphasis, the helmented man waves his gun around, putting everyone on edge. “and as I fire, the jack comes out the box, a light flashes and now I'm here. So as you can see,” he puts his hand on his chest. “I’m not an intruder. Just majorly displaced.”
“I don’t know any vigilante in Gotham that matches your description,” Batman says. “In fact, there is no other vigilante in Gotham besides myself and Robin.”
“That’s what I mean by majorly displaced,” The maybe-not-intruder says. “I don’t think this is my world.”
“-plain. Yeah, yeah. Well for one, everyone knows who I am in my world. So of course the other explanation is your memories have all been erased but that doesn’t really add up so it’s crossed out. Two, Mount Justice doesn’t exist anymore where I’m from.”
Kaldur narrows his eyes. “We didn’t tell you we were in Mount Justice.”
“Yeah, I figured it out, no thanks to you. When will you all let me finish what I’m saying, damn!” He gets up from the couch. “No Mount Justice means that this could easily be time travel, but some of you heroes don’t match with the heroes of my world. I come from the year 20XX, I’m guessing that’s far off here.”
Silence falls upon the heroes before Superman speaks. “You could be lying, making bizarre statements so we could believe you.”
The other-worldly-man sighs and does something unexpected. Actually, everything he’s done and said so far has been somewhat unexpected. But this time, he drops his gun. Not just his gun. He reaches and takes out what Dick can only assume to be every weapon on his person and throws them on the floor. Knives, guns, explosives , and—
‘IS THAT KRYPTONITE?!’
Dick doesn’t even have the time to process the fact that this unknown person had access to kryptonite. The man speaks with his hands above his head, his helmet still on. “Look, if i wanted you all dead, you would’ve been dead by now. I need you alive so I can get back home. I’m not gonna lie and say I’m 100% a hero or even a good person, but I’m not your enemy. I… need your help.”
The Justice League seem to speak with their eyes. “We won’t let you leave,” Batman says.
“I’m not asking you to.”
“Is this all the weapons you have?”
The intruder nods. Dick’s not sure he’s telling the truth.
“You’re going to have let The Martian Manhunter read your mind to confirm your past.”
“Oh, bad idea.”
“Why is that?”
“On the slim chance I am from the future… Do you really want the spoilers?”
“He’s right,” Flash agrees, “we can’t mess up this era more than it’s already been by his possible travel here.”
The man lets out an exaggerated gasp. “Wow, you’re a lot smarter here.”
Superman grabs him by the arm. An unappreciated gensture, from the man’s side. He tries to smack Superman’s hand away but Superman keeps a firm grasp on him. “We’ll take you back to League Headquarters.”
Conner steps up.“Hey, he dropped in on us. He should be our responsibility.”
“Hardly. We have no idea how dangerous he could be,” Green Lantern argues.
“Exactly, so taking him to the Justice League headquarters is a terrible idea,” Dick says.
Canary sighs. “If we leave him here, you all must be on top alert all the time. ”
The Team looks at each other then nods. “We can handle it,” Kaldur tells them.
Batman turns to the man, who they still don’t have a name for. “We’ll need the helmet.”
Intruder scoffs. “Hard pass.”
“And why’s that.”
“My helmet is lined with explosives. One wrong touch from the wrong person and…” He imitates an explosion with his hand. This creates an air of tension between them.
“Why would you put yourself in such danger?!” Wonder Woman ask in
Dick must admit, the idea of someone head wrapped in explosives leaves him with a foul taste in his mouth. But the man only shrugs. “Secret identities are important,” he says.
Subconsciously, everyone had looked at Batman, even Dick.
“You can't deactivate it?”
A silence falls upon them again. This time, slightly more dreadful.
“Helmet stays, but we take the rest,” Green Lantern offers.
“Cool with me.”
Each member of the League takes a handful of Intruder-Man’s weapons. They’re especially careful with the slightly worrying pile of kryptonite. Once all the weapons were gathered, the League headed for the zeta
“Peace,” the man says. Dick can't believe how unserious this man is about the whole situation. Maybe one day he’ll reach this man’s level of traught.
Once the League is gone, the silence in the lounge is deafening.
“So… this is awkward,” Wally says.
“If you’re all who I think you are…” The man goes back to slouching on the couch. Really not the best guest. “You’ll have way more awkward moments in the future.”
“Is that so?” Kaldur asks.
“Mhmm. Except maybe…” he points between Kaldur, M’gann, and Artemis. “I’ve never worked with you three before.”
Artemis doesn’t take this well. “You almost… You almost fucking shot me.” She walks up until she’s standing in front of him. “Don’t think you get an ‘out’ just cause you’re a time-traveling dimension traveler or something. You’re dangerous… Stay away from me.”
She leaves, obviously distraught about the whole thing. M’gann goes after her and Connor follows.
“This is why Batman doesn’t work with guns,” Dick mutters.
“Untrue,” the man points out, “We both know the reason Batman doesn’t work with guns.”
Dick eyes him warily. There’s no way this dude knows who Batman is… right? He means, the Bat logo on his chest is just an unwise decorative thing?
“I’ll set up the room, he’ll…” Kaldur stops mid-sentence. “Actually, it would be nice if you could give us your name, even if not civilian, so we can know what to call you moving on. I go by Aqualad.”
Dick thinks he sees the man actually think about giving Kaldur his civilian ID. “Red Hood. You can call me that. Aqualad… I haven’t actually met you before. Nice to meet you.”
Ok, Dick has a lot of questions. But he waits until Kaldur leaves to even begin. Dick gives KD a look and Wally takes the hint, quickly following to help Kaldur.
Dick turns to the man. “ Red Hood? As in the Joker? Just who are you??!”
Dick swears he can feel the man smile. “Wouldn’t you like to know, Dickie-bird.”
That made Dick’s brain freeze for a couple seconds. Then it restarted.
“So you do know our civilian IDs.”
“You’ve just confirmed it, yeah.”
“So we’re friends? In your world?”
“… I wouldn’t say that.”
Dick is literally going to get no sleep if he just accidentally gave his civilian ID to an enemy. An alternate reality enemy? Ugh, that’s even worse.
“Don’t stress. We already know each other.”
”Does that mean? I’ll explain later. Or maybe not…” He trails off as he gets off the couch. “Do you guys have anything to eat? I’m probably gonna be here a while.”
Dick lets out a breath. Whether it’s of relief or stress, he doesn’t know. He feels like he’s going to have a lot more of these relief-stress moments with ‘Red Hood’ here.