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Ninja Moves

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They meet in juvie.

Len decides that this man, this Mick, is going to be his partner, always and forever. He’s very sure of it; he’s certain. And when Leonard Snart is certain, he doesn't let anything get in his way.

It’s after, when Len goes home, to find his father indebted to the wrong sort of mobster – the type that isn’t, actually, a mobster at all – and himself and Lisa delivered to a plane which takes them far, far away to the middle of nowhere, that it occurs to him that there may be a slight problem with his plan.

“And what does the League of Shadows want with a teenager and a toddler?” Len asks skeptically.

“We will train you.”

“Yes, but why?”

“You will be able to go places where we cannot.”

Len sighs.

Well, at least he has Lisa.

He’ll just have to put in a bit more effort into getting back to Mick, is all.

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“You don’t leave the Legion of Shadows!”

“I’m not leaving,” Len says soothingly. “I’m – blending. Like you said, you need us to be able to blend in, right? Now I’ve achieved master class, good enough to be teaching youngsters, and Lisa’s a youngster, but she’s finally old enough to go to normal person school. For which we need to be back in the States. She’ll never be able to blend if she doesn’t have an American public school education.”

“…how necessary, exactly, is such an education? Can we not provide it here?”

“Certainly not,” Len says. “Are you kidding? There’s a reason no one trusts you people, and it has nothing to do with your ninja-ness. It’s all to do with the fact that you have literally no idea what I’m talking about when I shout ‘Macarena’.”

“…you have yet to explain what that is.”

“Some things cannot be explained with words,” Len says solemnly in the tone of one quoting the great sages' wisdom. “Only understood in the heart.”

“You will keep up your exercises, and your sisters as well.”

“Naturally.”

“And your devotions – your asceticism –”

“In order to show the extent of my devotion, I will eat nothing but water and noodles made of cardboard for a year,” Len promises.

“Very well.”

They get on the plane from the nearest airport to Nanda Parbat.

“Are you ever gonna tell them you actually like microwavable Ramen?” Lisa asks him.

“I don’t think they really need to know that,” Len says. “Besides, you are going to eat like a normal second grader.”

“Do I gotta go to second? I’ll be a year behind.”

“Socialization is important, Lise. You certainly didn’t get any there.”

“…the lizards were nice.”

------------------------------------------------------------------------

It takes, as expected, about a year to find Mick.

Mick has gotten tall.

And broad shouldered.

And his eyes – and his face – and his arms – and –

Wow, Len is really happy that years of moderately covert Judaism in the face of the overwhelming force of surrounding Christianity taught him to be able to fake his way through religious devotion, because otherwise he might’ve done something really stupid like converted to whatever the hell the League of Shadows believes and taken a vow of chastity or something. And that would've just been a crying shame.

As it is, he’s delighted to report that Mick is just as happy to see him as he is him.

“Thought you said we were gonna be partners,” Mick says. “Then I couldn’t find you.”

“We’re gonna be partners,” Len says firmly. “I just got tied up in some other obligations, that’s all.”

“Anything I need to worry about?”

“Nah,” Len says.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Mick likes ninja movies.

A lot.

Lisa likes them too, which is worse. She shows Mick all sorts of cool ninja moves – the baby ones, for training – after they’re done.

“She’s very clever,” Mick tells Len. “Where’d she pick up on all that martial arts?”

“It’s complicated,” Len says, and moves their League training sessions to early morning when Mick sleeps in.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

“You are a thief?!” the head of Len’s squad yowls at him through the crackling phone line.

“You said to pick a career I’d be comfortable with,” Len points out.

“We didn’t mean that!”

“Lisa’s thinking engineering. You know, when she finishes middle school, high school, and college. That’s nice and legit.”

“That’s more along the lines of what we were thinking, yes!”

“Hey, I have to pay for her to do the whole middle school-high school-college thing. Also, how did it take you four years to figure out that I was a thief?”

“We heard rumors of your prowess even here,” Len’s squad leader admits reluctantly.

“Aww,” Len says. “Thanks.”

“That was not intended as a compliment.”

“I’m very creative like that,” Len says peacefully, and hangs up.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

“We’ve been kidnapped by ninjas!” Mick exclaims.

“Happy anniversary,” Len says.

“This is so cool!”

Len smiles.

“Are they going to do ninja torture stuff?” Mick asks. He almost looks hopeful.

Oh, Mick.

“No,” Len says. “They’re just going to yell. A lot.”

He pauses and thinks about it.

“There may also be some paperwork,” he adds, only a little resentfully. League bureaucracy is the worst, and whoever's currently on Ra's shit list gets to be the one making a dent in the giant piles thereof.

“Still,” Mick says. “Ninjas!”

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“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me you were a ninja,” Mick sulks.

“I can’t believe you didn’t tell him you were a League of Shadows member,” Len’s squad leader says, somewhat insultingly.

“I can’t believe this is a conversation that is happening right now,” Ra’s al Ghul says, definitely insultingly. “You are a terrible disciple, Leonard.”

“Well, yeah,” Len says. “You get what you paid for with my dad. That was – nothing, right?”

“You’re very talented,” Ra’s continues thoughtfully, totally ignoring Leonard. “Strangely loyal in some ways – you continued to teach your sister, as instructed, and you did not tell even your closest loved one about your membership –”

“Aww,” Mick says. “I’m your closest loved one?”

“Obviously,” Len says, smiling at him.

“…as disturbingly adorable as this is, we still must decide what to do with you,” Ra’s says. “You are clearly not fit for the League proper.”

“You wanted me to blend,” Len points out. “I blended.”

“Fuck blending,” Mick says. “You practically food processored yourself into Central City.”

“Very disturbing metaphor, thanks Mick,” Len says.

"Central City puree, that's you,” Mick says gleefully. “Can I go play with the ninja stars now?”

No,” Len’s squad leader says.

“Mick can probably figure out how to make Greek fire from those old parchment papers your archivists keep complaining they can’t read right,” Len says. “He can make fire outta anything.”

“Hmm,” Ra’s says.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Len,” Ra’s says on the phone. “I have another student for you.”

“She willing to come to Central?” Len asks, phone wedged between his shoulder and his ear as he picks the safe lock with both hands.

“Yes, we will send her – how did you know it was a ‘her’?”

“Because you’ve been complaining about Nyssa recently,” Len replies. “Specifically about her so-called ‘paramour’, not that that’s a word anyone uses anymore. And Nyssa is gay, gay, gay.”

“That is not true.”

“It takes one to know one, Ra’s. There are circles more straight than Nyssa.”

“She will do her duty –”

“Ra’s. Unless her duty involves artificial insemination by her very female partner, you’re really shit out of luck here.”

“You are a very strange person, Len.”

“Yes, and you love me,” Len says with the smugness of the first person in three centuries to successfully steal the fabled helmet of fate and the first in even longer not to be tempted by its powers, opting instead to return it to its proper place of pride in Nanda Parbat. The League loves him. “What’s her name?”

“Ta-er al-Usfar. She will arrive shortly.”

“When you say shortly, do you mean in a few days, a few months, a few hours…?”

“Hours.”

“Hmm.”

“That is an unusual reaction, Len. What reason do you – are those sirens?”

“Yes,” Len says. “And the tinkling sound you hear are diamonds leaving their safe and coming into the bag with me as we leave.”

“…right,” Ra’s sighs. “I will not ask.”

“You send me students, I have to pay for them somehow,” Len says reasonably.

“You didn’t even know I was sending her to you!”

“You can’t prove I didn’t,” Len says cheerfully.

----------------------------------------------------------------

“Greetings,” the girl says, her back straight, her eyes hard, her hands behind her back in perfect parade ground rest.

She sees this as a punishment.

“You understand that you are mine to do with as I wish,” Len tells her in the language of the League, stalking around her. “My student, my rules – even more so here, in the land of decadence, than in Nanda Parbat. I have no limitations; you have only one: to do as I command you to do. Do you understand this?”

Her lips grow tighter. “I understand,” she says. She understands but does not agree; she suspects that he will try to order her to his bed.

Len idly wonders if she’d stab him immediately if he asked, or if she’d wait until a weaker moment. Probably the latter: she looks sneaky.

“Great,” he says. “Your first mission is to go shopping with my sister Lisa.”

This is not what she expected.

She signals that she wishes to ask a question.

Len nods his consent.

“Shopping for…what?” she asks tentatively.

She is a very skilled warrior, given how few years she’s been in training. It has probably been a long time, in her mind, since she’s been obliged to ask a question.

“Clothing,” Len says. “Possibly shoes.” He shrugs. “Damned if I know what the hell she does in the mall that takes hours and costs an arm and a leg. If you don’t like shopping, tough. If you don’t do it, I have to, and I hate shopping. If I could find a profession that meant I had to wear the same uniform every time, I’d be happy.”

She is staring.

“Oh,” Len adds. “Do you actually like Ta-er al-Usfar as a name? Because if so I’ll use it, no problem, or whatever other name you prefer, but if you don’t mind, I’ll short it to something like Ta’er or Tziporah or something for my convenience. My partner, Mick – we’re married, it’s recent and it's great, so don’t try anything – you’re not going to have any luck with, warning in advance. He nicknames everybody.”

“Is this a test?” she asks, eyes wide.

“No,” Len says. “I don’t really go in for tests, honestly. Oh, you mean one of Ra’s’? Nah. I’m pretty sure he just wants you out of sight, out of mind when it comes to his daughter.”

“He doesn’t object to her making me her Beloved,” she points out.

“Good for him,” Len says. “I’m glad the pro-LGBT parenthood pamphlets I keep sending him are having an impact.”

She chokes a little.

“Yes, I’m really sending them,” Len says. “He owes me and he knows it, so I get some, uh, extra latitude. Here’s a credit card. Please go bother Lisa now.”

She’s gaping.

Len wonders if there’s anything else he should remember to say.

“Oh, yes,” he adds, turning back to look at her before he walks out the door. “One more thing. If you’re going to sleep with my sister, you’d better be upfront with your intentions. Sex is fine; play with her heart, and I will kill you so incredibly dead you won’t even realize you’re hitting the floor.”

With that said, he nods and leaves.

He opts not to mention that Lisa has all the training he has and can probably do it herself if she wants to. This way keeps his big brother cred intact, and anyway, Lisa likes to surprise people with that.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Len drops down from the ceiling, his face covered in a black mask that covers all but his eyes, which are painted black. His clothing is equally dark, not quite black but not quite anything else, either; dark enough to blend into the shadows properly.

He stalks his prey.

The target does not realize he is coming; his instincts only alert him to the fact he is not alone in the heartbeat before Len strikes – enough time for his heartbeat to speed up, the fear beginning to pump through his nervous system, lighting it up with adrenaline, but not enough time for him to even turn around to see who has found him.

Len strikes.

The pressure points are easy targets in such a large man; his arms are immobilized within seconds, his knees kicked out from under him, his body pushed down onto the bed he had been standing in front of.

It is a moment’s work to bind his useless hands to the headboard. Another moment, and his legs are bound to the posts at the bottom.

Len does not intend that his work be disturbed by thrashing.

He looms over his victim.

Let them see whose hands fate has delivered them into.

“Best ninja husband ever,” Mick says dreamily.

Len smirks.

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“Should I be pretending that I don’t know you?” Sara asks at the bar in the 1970s while Mick is getting them drinks. “I wasn’t sure.”

“Leave it for now,” Len decides. “Always good to have an ace in the hole.”

“So, supervillains, huh?” she asks, smirking.

“Says the superhero?” he teases. “I’m glad to see you got out of the League.”

“I used everything you taught me,” she says, smiling ruefully. “Do you know how long it took me to finally realize that’s what you were teaching me?”

“Yes, I do,” Len says. “Remember – I was there. For every. painful. minute. of. it.”

Mick brings them beer.

“So, you’ve graduated,” he tells Sara. “Wanna have a threesome?”

Sara blinks.

“I thought you said he was off-limits!” she hisses at Len.

“He was, while you were my student,” Len says peacefully. “Now you’re not – you’re not even in the League anymore. No pressure, of course; I hear you’re mostly into girls nowadays.”

“Mostly into girls is one thing,” she says. “Mostly being the key word.”

“Three cheers for bisexuality,” Len replies, holding up his beer.

“And threesomes,” Sara adds, raising her own.

“And ninjas,” Mick says happily, clinking their glasses with his own.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

“Indeed, as the leader of the League of Shadows -” Merlyn starts.

Len snorts.

“What?”

“Nothing.”

“No, really, what was that about?”

“You say that like I’m supposed to be scared of it,” Len says.

“You should be,” Merlyn says, looming a little over where Len is bound to the chair in a dank 1920s Chicago basement. “If you knew more – if you knew about what the League is capable of – you would be.”

Len waits until Merlyn's looming right above him, then he stands up and hits Merlyn in the throat, disabling him in one hit.

“You can’t bind a shadow,” he drawls in the language of the League, then switches back to English to add, “And also, underestimating people? Such an old-school villain trope. I mean, seriously. The looming, the speechifying, all that – gotta say, I’m not impressed.”

“You’re League?” Merlyn gasps, his hands wrapped around his throat.

“I was Ra’s’ favorite thief,” Len says. “Now that he’s dead, I’m not.”

His hands move quickly. Pressure points on the neck and the back of the head: Merlyn is unconscious within seconds.

“Still dangerous, though,” Len says, then smiles. “Now where is that image inducer gadget I heard you and Thawne talking about earlier?”