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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22. Chapter Twenty-Two

Sneaking out of class in a school filled with go-lucky teen heroes was easier than Barbara thought it would have been. Well, sneaking out of class wasn’t correct seeing as she didn’t even go in the classroom to begin with, but after all the hard work she’d put into getting good grades and staying out of trouble (if only a little) ditching class just seemed so…childish.
“You know I’ve never ditched class before.” Roy hummed thoughtfully behind her, she could hear the mirth in his voice.
“I must be a bad influence.”
She felt the rumble in his chest more than heard the laugh, he was pressed right against her back so he could see the zeta-tubes the three commissioners would be arriving in. Kara had stayed in class, the offer to ditch had been given and she’d almost had an aneurism.
They were hidden behind boarding equipment for the ship the league were letting the fifth years upgrade as part of their studies, the zeta-tubes were being prepped by some civilian techies and a few leaguers. Since Barbara hadn’t spotted J’onn she figured they’d be safe.
She doubted the league would expect her to be waiting for her Pops, she’d not hidden the fact she was dreading his visit. Which she was in part, it meant putting him near Cheshire and Aisha and him potentially guilt tripping her into spilling, but really…really she just wanted her Pops to tell her she was going to figure it all out and that she could do it.
His unwavering faith in her was the only thing that had stopped her tumbling over into the deep end, the only reason she was here at all.
Cold air rushed at them as the zeta-beam started roaring into life and she shivered. Roy pulled her back a step so she was out of sight, and pushed further into his warm chest. She didn’t complain, just let the warmth spread across her back until the winds died down.
Batman was there to greet them along with Green Arrow and Flash, as they were talking she saw Batman peer over his shoulder and she held her breath.
“Barbara, Roy, good to see you made it on time.” He called to them, and he beckoned them forwards.
The two emerged from their hiding space and Barbara had to resist the urge to leap at her Pops, standing beside Roy and waiting for whatever berating they were about to get.
“Roy and Barbara are some of our most skilled first years, we thought it would be a good idea for them to get a firsthand idea of what working with the police force is like.” Batman told the three commissioners and Barbara hid the confusion she was feeling.
He’s covering for us. The Batman is covering for us!
“Do you expect them to be working with the police force a lot in the future?” The Central City commissioner asked curiously, and Flash nodded with a grin.
“Oh you’ll see these two plenty when they graduate, they’re practically being groomed to replace the league one day!”
Flash winked at them both and Barbara dared to glance at her father. He looked so damn proud, his chest was puffing out and everything, and he was trying so hard not to show it that it was almost funny. Barbara however felt kind of heavy, lying to her Pops about being groomed was mean.
You can ask them about it later, for now, play along.
“I think a formal introduction is in order,” Green Arrow intervened before Flash layered it on too thick “Commissioners Gordon, Smith and Jones, this is Roy and Barbara, pardon us if you don’t give you surnames. And erase your memory of their names and faces when you leave.”
Barbara felt stricken but the three commissioners just laughed, joking about consent forms and trust and such. She didn’t like the idea of J’onn playing about in her fathers head, messing with his memories.
“Now Roy and Barbara, I believe first period is over-” As if on cue the bell rang “and you can now return for second period. The teachers have been informed of your absence and subsequent lateness.”
They both nodded and waved their goodbyes to the commissioners, Barbara tried not to make the smile she sent her father look any different from everyone else’s but she was sure she failed. Not to mention Smith and Jones already knew who she was, it wasn’t the first time they’d met her after all.
Roy gave her a gentle push, his hand on the small of her back to make her move. With Batman covering for them it wouldn’t do to be any later than necessary to second period. Not that it was anything interesting at all.
“Do you think tomorrow is going to be bad?” Roy asked her softly and she sighed, noting his hand was still on the small of her back.
“I think that using the word ‘bad’ may be the greatest understatement I’ve ever heard. But heck, at least it’ll be fun.”
Roy smirked and she mirrored him, the two strolling companionably along the corridors towards second period. High school mathematics was a class that Barbara truly despised, she was half-tempted to ditch it despite Batman covering for her.
But Flash had also covered for her, and laid it on thick for her Pops, so she let her feet carry her to maths where they rejoined Kara, she look pleased to see them at least.
“What did we miss?” Barbara asked softly as they joined her, Barbara scrawled the answers to the mock test absentmindedly as she waited for an answer.
“Not a lot, they announced the commissioners had arrived and that they’d be touring the school today and that the first and third years should put on the show of their lives for training tomorrow.”
“I might asked J’onn if he can keep Aisha away for tomorrow. I think Pops would have a heart attack if he saw the two of us going at it.”
They laughed at her and she scowled, but it wasn’t a very good scowl because moments later she was laughing with them. The image of her Pops leaping in to save her from Aisha was one that had plagued her for weeks, but she was slowly coming to trust the league. Or at least a few select members.
J’onn, Flash, Question and Canary (a surprising addition to her growing list of friends) would never let her Pops get injured. It made her feel strangely at ease knowing there was people out there that actually had her back and would protect the ones she cared about should they ever need them to.
Still throughout the day as she spotted her Pops and the other two commissioners being shown around the grounds she couldn’t help but feel the unease in the pit of her stomach. How could she not? Her Pops had never seen her fight, well, he’d seen security footage but that wasn’t the same as seeing it up-close and personal.
They’d be in the Leagues box, which was apparently only used for special visitors and examinations. Otherwise the League preferred to be closer to the action, in case of any emergencies or accidents where they would have to get involved. 
By the time they got to the dorm that night to watch the news she was a wreck, not that she let anyone see it. Although it seemed like Kara and Roy could read her better than she could actually read herself, because they seemed to know exactly what was wrong before she’d so much as opened her mouth.
“Sit down, I’ll grab you some of that blue monstrosity you like so much.” Kara grinned and winked as she went to fetch said drink, and Barbara fell heavily onto the couch.
Roy settled beside her cautiously, but she moved for him and curled up against him like she did every time they took charge of the couch. Kara was back quickly with three drinks, Barbara’s regular blue energy drink in one hand, and two cups of coffee in the other.
“Blue monstrosity for Barbara, coffee as black as his soul for Roy-”
“Hey!”
“-and sweet coffee for sweet me!”
“Hey wait, does that make me a blue monstrosity?”
By lights out Barbara felt much more at ease with the idea of her Pops watching her potentially go blow-for-blow with Aisha, although she had meant was she said earlier, she was definitely asking J’onn to keep the two of them as far apart as humanely (or alienly) possible.
She didn’t think that it would be too hard, but as it turns out, she was very, very wrong.

 

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