"Now, today we will be learning about the quadratic equation..."
As your teacher turns her back to class to write something on the white board, you take the opportunity to hastily scribble a note to Barbara. You take one quick glance to the front of the room before tossing the folded paper on the red head’s desk. When the note gets to its intended location, you turn away from your friend, returning your gaze to the window adjacent to you.
Sunlight streams in from the outside, warming you up considerably. You begin to tune your teacher’s voice out, your attention waning as you watched the physical education class start a game of soccer.
Your teacher continued on with her lesson, oblivious that most of the class had started to doze off. Glancing away from the window, your eyes found the clock. Class wasn’t even half way over. You resisted the urge to groan as you propped your elbows on your desk, chin resting in one hand. School was so boring. There were so much more productive things you could do with your time. You could be anywhere, everywhere, doing missions, catching bad guys. Hell, you’d even be up for Black Canary’s spartan training at this point.
What was even worst was that Dick wasn't even in this class with you. At least if he was here, he’d entertain you with his dumb puns. But since Dick is a super genius, he fortunately has skipped the hell that is pre-calculus, leaving you and Barbara to suffer alone.
You're broken out of your reverie by the frowning red head next to you. Glancing over to her, she motions to the front. "Mrs. Beall is calling you!"
"Miss (Last Name).” By the annoyed look on her face, Mrs. Beall seems to have noticed the lethargic atmosphere that has fallen over the classroom. “If you're done daydreaming, you have been called to be checked out," her stern voice calls from the front of the class. Mrs. Beall stands up from her chair, smoothing out the wrinkles in her skirt. She waits for you impatiently, her foot tapping noisily against the linoleum, a pink slip in her hand. You feel a blush creeping up your cheeks as you start gathering your books. Piling everything haphazardly in your bag, you stand up, pushing your chair in behind you.
"I'll see you Babs," you whisper, slinging your bag halfway across your back. Barbara pouts, crinkling up a partially written note in her hand, but waves goodbye at you nonetheless.
Although you try to walk as discreetly as possible up to the front, you feel like there are a hundred pairs of eyes on you. Mrs. Beall eyes you for a moment before turning back to the class to give them an assignment. Once most of your classmates have started pulling out their notebooks, she turns her attention back to you.
"You apparently have a doctor’s appointment," she says reading the sheet of paper blandly. "The office just got a call from your mom. She said that she will pick you up for your appointment with,” she squints her beady eyes at the small handwriting on the slip, “a Dr. Kaldur."
Dr. Kaldur? Stifling your laughter, you take the note from her and thank her. You walk out of the classroom, closing the door quietly behind you.
Skipping school for a mission? Score! You walk down the quiet hallway towards your locker, excitement coursing through your veins. You really wanted to just leave without your books, but you had to keep up appearances. Stopping at your locker, you reach a hand up to turn the lock, putting in your combination. The locker easily opened, revealing your emergency bag, a couple textbooks, and your coat.
You take off your book bag, replacing it with the battered red messenger bag from your locker. After securing the bag on your shoulder, you take your woolen coat out of the locker. You’re just about to close your locker when your eyes meet the pile of textbooks sticking out underneath your book bag. A dejected sigh escaped your lips as you thought about the immense amount of homework you had. You supposed you had to take at least one home. Pulling out your math book, you shut the locker door before continuing down the empty hallway towards the exit.
The book in your hand was really just for show. You most likely would not have time to crack it open if the mission went like they usual do. You’re so engrossed in your thoughts that you almost run an open door. A moment later, a familiar blonde haired girl steps out. A wide grin stretches across your face when you see her.
She turns at the sound of her name.
“Hey,” she greets you casually as you approach her.
“So lemme guess,” you say after a moment’s silence, “Doctor appointment with Dr. Kaldur?" She lets out a laugh, rolling her eyes.
"Who even came up with that?”
You shrug and begin walking to her locker. You stretch your arms over your head, joints cracking noisily. "I'm so ready to get out of here."
"Yeah," she agrees, "School is a pain in the ass. And so is this uniform." She gestures to the entirety of her uniform, instinctively pulling the hem of her skirt down. The two of you stop when you reach her locker. Artemis turns the lock multiple times, opening the door easily. Her locker is messier than yours. Artemis rummages through sea of papers, books, and general debris. Within the clutter, lies a nondescript green bag duffle bag.
"Right? This uniform is really uncomfortable." Artemis nods in agreement, still looking through her locker. "But we're almost outta here! There's nothing like a long night of ass kicking to make you fee-"
You and Artemis whip around to see Dick standing there, eyes darting between the two of you. He stands there with a teasing grin on his face, his blue eyes shining mischievously.
"Um, yeah. Ass kicking, Me and Artemis are uh,” you glance at the archer, willing her to cut in. “…playing a new video game?" Artemis lets out a snort of laughter.
"So the two of you are skipping to go play video games?" he says skeptically, raising a brow. Batman would have been ashamed. You were such a shitty liar. "The honor student skipping to play video games?” He tuts. “Aren't you bad."
"No Dick. That's later tonight." You roll your eyes at him, holding up the pink slip.
"Ah, and you, Artemis?"
"Doctor's appointment," she replies curtly. "Not that it's any of your business." Artemis turns her back to him, taking off her book bag and replacing it with the green duffle before slamming the locker close. Dick doesn’t look remotely put off by Artemis’s brusque behavior. In fact, his grin seems to grow wider.
"Not taking your binder home Artemis?"
"We do have a test coming up in a couple days you know. Shouldn't you be studying?" he says, a playful smile on his lips. Although Artemis and Dick were in different grades, the two had a class together due to Dick being a world-class smart ass.
"Nah," Artemis replies unconcernedly, "got better things to be doing."
"Like kicking ass?"
“Like kicking ass.” You step in smoothly when Artemis doesn’t immediately respond. It’s then you notice his coat hanging loosely over his shoulder and the books tucked securely under his arm.
"And you’re here interrogating us!” Your scoff, gesturing to his books and coat. “Where exactly are you going?"
"Dentist," he says, grinning at you, showing his teeth. "Hm, what a coincidence it is that we all have appointments at the same time."
You and Artemis tense, glancing at each other. Having been friends with Dick for a long time now, your heart always twanged with guilt every time you had to lie to him. He made you nervous, one of these days he would catch you in the lie…
"Yeah…what coincidence, huh?" You let out a nervous laugh.
If Dick notices your strange behavior, he makes no comment. He pauses, eyes flickering to his watch. "My ride should be here soon. We’ll have to continue this later. Bye (Name), Artemis." And just like that he’s gone, already halfway down the hallway and out of your sight. You unknowingly let out the breath of air you’ve been holding in. You and Artemis stand for a moment looking at the spot where Dick disappeared before turning, walking in the opposite direction.
"He's your friend right?"
"Yeah," you answer, "We’ve known each other for a while."
"Doesn't it seem like..." Artemis trails off, unsure of how to word her suspicions without offending you.
"Like he knows something?" you suggest.
"Exactly," she says quietly.
"I know," you say uneasily, as the two of you exit the school.
It's not until later when you and Artemis ‘accidentally’ run into Robin at the phone booth that serves as the entrance to the cave, you wonder whether it's a coincidence that both Dick Grayson and Robin live in Gotham City.