The Justice Academy

After the justice league discovers that villains have their own schools for creating villains, they decide to start their own school for heroes. This year, one Barbara Gordon is forced to enrol by her father and she really, really doesn’t want to be there.

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28. Chapter Twenty-Eight

There was something beeping beside her. Barbara wondered why Kara hadn’t smashed it, or why her body wasn’t responding correctly. The beeping wasn’t her alarm clock, it was too steady and quiet to be her alarm clock.
It was a heart monitor, which meant she was in a hospital.
The beeping sped up, and there was rustling around her. Her hands jerked, she could feel the IV drip, could feel the cold liquid seeping into her veins. Her legs jerked, the beeping was getting quicker.
There were fingers on her temple, they were cold and putting pressure on. Gentle pressure, but pressure nonetheless. Something was prodding her brain, something familiar.
“Barbara,” J’onn’s voice was firm but reassuring “calm down, you are still drowsy from the anaesthetic, you need to relax.”
Her body shuddered but her limbs stopped jerking, and she heard the beeping slow till it was steady again. At last, she opened her eyes. The sterile white was harsh but not unbearable and, with J’onn helps, Barbara pushed up into a sitting position.
Hal and Kaldur were in beds beside her, Hal was snoring like a chainsaw and Kaldur was watching her with a great deal of concern. Actually, it looked like he’d tried to leap out of the bed but J’onn’s outstretched hand was keeping him in place.
Telekinesis. Nice.
“Thank you, now Miss Gordon how are you feeling?”
She considered the question, the way her body moved was sluggish and annoying but she knew that would pass. Her head throbbed and she guessed a concussion was one of her many injuries. Her ribs burned, but they were bearable.
“I’ve been worse.” She finally told him and he sighed, he looked disappointed at her and she shrunk.
J’onn frowned for a moment and then moved over to her, she kept her face stern and unyielding but he was a telepath there was no hiding how she felt right now. Why was he disappointed? She’d done good hadn’t she? Caught the bad-guy, saved the day, that was what heroes were supposed to do wasn’t it?
“Barbara, I am not disappointed at your actions. A little hurt perhaps that you did not come to one of us, but I understand your reasoning behind this. It was wise.” He told her, resting a green hand on the top of her head.
“I am just disappointed that you feel you still feel you cannot rely on the league to look after you, not that this is your fault of course it is our own. At least you felt that you could trust your friends.”
She looked over at Kaldur, she felt bad about his injuries and didn’t bother trying to hide it.
“Kaldur, I’m sorry my plan got you and Hal so badly hurt…I didn’t think she’d snap so quickly.”
Kaldur shook his head and smiled across at her. J’onn had lowered the telekinesis power that was keeping him there but the message had been clear. Kaldur was not to get out of that bed.
“I did not think she would either, I truly believed that there was some good still in her…”
Barbara felt guilty, and not just because she had gotten two of her closest friends hurt but because finally the consequences of her actions meant something. She’d never cared about who got hurt before, about who she humiliated, and now she did.
“J’onn?”
“Yes Barbara?”
She felt guilty, and it probably showed.
“Can I speak to Wonderwoman, please?”
He smiled down at her, and brushed her hair back fondly.
“I am sure I can arrange that, although, I believe Kara and Roy are waiting for you to wake and have been since we got to you.”
She stared at him and swallowed thickly, just how long had she been here? Aisha had knocked the stuffing out of her after all, and when Kaldur and Hal had been brought in they’d been critical so the fact that they seemed mostly alright meant she must have been here at least a week…
“You could always ask Miss Gordon.”
“Ah sorry, how long have I been out?”
“Almost two weeks.”
He turned and left then, obviously to go fetch Kara and Roy and tell them the good news. Barbara wondered if this meant she wouldn’t have to do those exams, she had exposed Aisha after all. Nah, she’d have to do them, she needed to have those grades on record for the future.
The silence was nice, even if she suspected Kaldur had a lot to say right now. Hal snorted in his sleep and she smiled, resting back on her bed. She was so warm and it was so nice to be near people who cared, she hated hospitals but…the academy med-bay might have been the exception. Hospitals were not places you felt warm in, they were cold and sterilised.
She was warm, and she could smell food wafting down the corridors. She hoped some was for her.
“Cheshire took Aisha.”
Ah, so that was what he wanted to say.
“I knew that. Actually, I thought Cheshire had killed her when she started gurgling like that.” She shuddered, Barbara had seen enough death in her time, she didn’t particularly want to see anymore.
“So did we, your broadcast was efficiently planned. I take it Kara and Roy assisted you in some way?”
She nodded, her fingers felt all tingly and weird. Must have been the drugs, so she just flexed her fingers and ignored it the best she could.
“Do you really think Aisha knew who your sponsor was?” He asked her, swinging his legs over on the bed.
Where is his IV? Shouldn’t he have an IV drip?
“No. Cheshire might, but Aisha didn’t…Kaldur…Kaldur have I been drugged?”
He laughed, his voice was warping, changing. Something…something was wrong. This wasn’t right. This was so wrong and Barbara could feel it. Everything had been wrong since she’d woken up, there was a haze over her brain that she couldn’t quite shake.
“Oh Red, you’re still in the gym.”
Her body jerked, and she gagged on reflex. Cheshire was sat on her chest, she wasn’t even looking at Barbara, but the cold blade of her sai was pressed against her sore neck. Something was going on, Barbara couldn’t believe she’d been so open to Cheshire.
“Jade, this has to end here.”
Barbara knew that voice, Cheshire laughed and Barbara groaned when she moved. Cheshire shifted her weight and sagged further onto her burning lungs, the sai was still pressed against her neck but Barbara still whimpered.
“You were right Red, Aisha didn’t know who your sponsor was. But I do.” The mask was blurring, moving, smirking and twisting above her.
Hallucinogen. Alas, no numbing agent.
“Jade,” It was Batman, and he sounded pissed “you will not. Hurt. Her.”
Cheshire laughed, the ceramic mask seemed to laugh with her. Barbara’s fingers were starting to tingle again, her body started to spasm but the weight on her chest kept her down. Would she choke on her own tongue? It was a big possibility. Cheshire wasn’t going to relent just because Batman was doing the whole dark knight act right now.
“I know who your sponsor is Red, and I think you do to. You’ve known all along haven’t you sugar?” Cheshire was leaning down close now, but the mask was still looking up at Batman, ready for an attack.
Cheshire pushed her knee into Barbara’s chest and she whined at the pain, there was more movement around her, she could hear it. The rest of the league had arrived.
Her fingers moved, she stretched her arms out and reached around her. Cheshire hadn’t noticed, had she? With that mask on it was impossible to tell where the assassins eyes were looking. Barbara prayed she hadn’t seen, there had to be something nearby she could use to free herself. But everything felt so heavy.
“Say it Red, let them know.” Barbara’s hair was being pulled and she sobbed “The sooner you say it the sooner they help you, Barbara Gordon tell them who our sponsor is.”
Barbara could barely whisper it, but she did. And when Cheshire slapped her she yelled it, and when Cheshire punched her square in the face she screamed it.
“Batman.”
“Batman.”
“BATMAN.”
Cheshire laughed, and the sound would plague Barbara’s nightmares for months. And then the pressure on her chest had lifted and Barbara could breath again, the room was freakishly still and empty. Barbara looked up at Cheshire, she felt so helpless.
And then Cheshire flicked her wrist and that sai that had been pressed against her neck was embedded in her hand. Barbara screamed and everything was hot, the blood was tricking from the wound and the blade kept the injury safe but the pain was immense. And everything was white, and then there was nothing but darkness and nightmares.

 

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