Summary: During a fight amongst the team, Jaime is injured and the team finally meets The Scarab, Khaji Da.
Characters: Blue Beetle/Jaime Reyes, Wonder Girl/Cassie Sandsmark, Nightwing/Richard Grayson, Superboy/Conner Kent, Batgirl/Barbara Gordon, Mal Duncan, BumbleBee/Karen Beecher, Miss Martian/M'gann M'orzz/Megan Morze, Beast Boy/Garfield Logan, Lagoon Boy/La'gaan, The Scarab/Khaji Da
Notes: Alpha Squad: Batgirl and Wonder Girl, Beta Squad: BumbleBee and Beast Boy, Gamma Squad: Lagoon Boy and Blue Beetle
Okay, so I was talking to FlightfootKeyseeker, and we have decided that this story takes place right after the episode where M'gann breaks up with La'gann. That is the reason he was so angry.
There was palpable tension permeating the room. The mission had been a failure. Gamma squad, Lagoon Boy and Blue Beetle, had run into a few guards. Due to a mishap with the armor one of the guards had time to alert the base to their presence and they were all forced to pull out. Though nothing had been said aloud yet, it was pretty clear that La'gaan blamed Jaime for the failure. None of the others wanted to interfere, it was common knowledge that La'gaan had an awful temper. They were now waiting for Nightwing, Mal, Conner, and M'gann.
La'gaan was glaring silently at Jaime who was doing his dead level best to ignore it. Finally the silence was broken by La'gaan's "Well, what do you have to say?"
Jaime turned and looked at him, then, after a pause, said "About the mission? I'm sorry, I guess."
"You guess?! Neptune's Beard, you ruined the mission! And you guess you're sorry?!" La'gaan took a threatening step forward.
"Look, I said I was sorry. What more do you want?" Jaime responded, holding his ground.
Before La'gaan could respond, Batgirl stepped forward to try and calm him, "Cut him some slack, La'gaan, we all make mistakes."
La'gaan wouldn't have it and turned his anger toward her, yelling "You weren't there! You didn't see what happened! So you have no right to interfere! Now back off!"
"Hey! She did nothing wrong. So, stop yelling at her. It's me you're mad at!" Jaime snapped drawing attention, and La'gaan's anger, back to him.
"You're right, I am mad at you. In fact…" he trailed off as he shifted into his larger form and immediately attacked.
Jaime and the others just barely had time to dodge. Jaime heard the scarab telling him multiple ways to kill La'gaan and he could feel him trying to pull out the plasma cannon, but he ignored him and only allowed the armor to cover his arms. The blue and black metal extended from under his sleeves and covered his hands, allowing him to block the next blow. The fight continued like that, with La'gaan attacking and Jaime dodging or blocking. This, however, only served to make La'gaan angrier and he ignored his other teammates yelling for him to stop. La'gaan was swinging harder and faster with every miss, so when he finally did make contact he hit Jaime right in the chest and the blow sent him sailing back into the wall. As he hit the wall, Jaime cried out and collapsed to the floor, none of them had missed the unmistakeable crack of breaking bones.
Nightwing, Conner, Mal, and M'gann had come, dropping what they were doing at the sound of yelling. They had entered the room just in time to see La'gaan hit Jaime.
For a minute everyone froze in shock, La'gaan shrank back to normal size, then Jaime groaned and weakly tried to push himself up, only to fall back to the floor, seemingly unconscious.
Nightwing, Conner, and M'gann started forward to check on him only to stop when the Blue Beetle armor extended to cover him. He then rose and turned to face them. It was then that the team noticed that his eyes were different, they glowed yellow like M'gann's glowed green, he had no irises or pupils. His glowing eyes scanned over them before settling on La'gaan, then, in a voice that was like Jaime's but wasn't, he said "Enough. No more. I will not sit back and do nothing. You will not hurt Jaime Reyes anymore."
"Who are you?" Conner asked, before the being could do anything else. He had a feeling he knew who it was but he was sorely hoping he was wrong.
"I am Khaji Da, his scarab. But you already knew that, so why ask?" The being's head tilted sideways in confusion.
"I was afraid of that. What are you going to do?" Conner asks in return.
"Stop that one from hurting Jaime Reyes." He points at La'gaan. "I have not yet decided the best course of action, but I will do whatever it takes."
"You would hurt him? How will Jaime react when he finds out, if you do?" The rest of the team is silent, watching Conner converse with him, not really knowing how to react.
There was silence for a bit, then, "I will do what I must to protect him. He tells me you are friends. Teammates. Not to be harmed. But from what I have learned about human interaction, friends and teammates do not attack each other… As that one was attacking, I advised many strategies, some of which involved killing," the team's hands flew to their weapons at that, but they did not draw, "I knew, however, that he would reject these. I learned early on that he would not kill despite those being the more effective strategies. But there were others that did not end with death, still he said no. He told me that he would not attack a teammate even in self defense. I told him if he continued with that course of action, he would end up injured. He replied simply, 'I know'."
There was a silence in which no one said anything, all of the team was to stunned to say anything.
"He has five broken ribs and three more are fractured. He was in considerable pain, so I eased him into unconsciousness and took control of the armor. Normally I would not do this but I could not let this continue." He turned his attention to face La'gaan, "The reason for which you attacked him was not even his fault. I have not yet become accustomed to not killing and I automatically formed a deadly weapon, Jaime Reyes had to pause to reconfigure the weapon and in that time the alert was made. The mistake was mine, not his."
A look of slight horror was spread across the fish boy's face.
"I think I have accomplished what I intended. Should you hurt him again in the future know that I will not hold back."
"Khaji Da, if you would like I can take Jaime to the Med Bay and we can treat his ribs." Conner offered.
"Yes, that would be best." He answered calmly. The armor slowly retreated from Jaime, giving Conner time to step up and support him and then pick him up, gently, so as not to jostle his injuries. He then turned and walked down the hall at an even pace. M'gann shook off the remaining shock and followed quietly to help.
After bandaging Jaime, Conner and M'gann sat in silence. After a while M'gann decided to ask something that had been bothering her, "Conner?"
"Yes, M'gann?" Conner didn't look up from watching Jaime's vitals. She figured it was better than nothing.
"Um, it's just that you didn't really seem as surprised as the rest of us and he said you already knew who he was, and you did. So I was wondering how? If you don't mind me asking." She said nervously.
There was no response for some time and she was beginning to think she wasn't going to get one, she opened her mouth to apologize-
"He told me. Jaime, I mean. It was back when he talked to the scarab out loud. You remember that mission we went on, following the two light agents, and we ended up fighting that element golem. I had asked him to scan the case they had. He was talking but I hadn't said anything, so I asked who he was talking to and he told me." He paused and looked at her, then continued, "I was surprised though, and worried. I didn't know he could take over the armor. Jaime told me about his… violent tendencies, and I was worried about what that meant for La'gaan and the rest of us." He paused again, "I didn't know if talking to him would work or not. But it was the only thing I could think of. I was so relieved that he didn't attack. I couldn't have fought him, not with Jaime inside." M'gann couldn't help but agree.
There was silence in the room for several beats after Conner and M'gann left with Jaime. Then Nightwing whorled around on the current occupants of the room, to say the least he didn't look happy.
"Now, I want you all to tell me exactly what happened in here. And no one is going anywhere until you do." Nightwing ordered. The team shifted nervously and shot quick glances at La'gaan. Nightwing, being a bat, noticed immediately and his glare intensified on La'gaan. He squirmed for a second or two before shouting "I didn't mean it!" But said nothing more.
"Didn't mean what?" Nightwing growled, in that moment seeming more like Batman then most of them had ever seen him. "Why on Earth did you attack Blue?! This had better be good." La'gaan bows his head, knowing full well that he was getting what was coming to him and that he deserved it. "I let my anger get the best of me. The mission failed and I blamed him."
"So you thought the best course of action would be to attack?" Nightwing's voice had gotten strangely flat, no emotion was discernible, his face was completely blank. La'gaan bit his lip and closed his eyes, dropping his head the rest of the way down to his chest. "I want a word with La'gaan in private, the rest of you are dismissed." The team members in the room, left with one last glance between the two.
When they were alone Nightwing sighed and rubbed a hand over his face tiredly, "You are, here by, suspended from missions until further notice, I think that it is only fair that Jaime decides the rest of your punishment once he wakes. Dismissed."
Batgirl, Cassie, Gar, Karen, and Mal were waiting outside of the Med Bay. "So… Jaime has a sentient being stuck on his back. Did anyone know that besides Conner?" Cassie broke the silence and looked around at her teammates, all of whom were shaking their heads. "When I first joined and he talked to himself I figured he was just crazy." She whispered this sentence, ashamed of her assumption. "Then he slowly stopped and I thought he was just getting better. But he must have just been getting used to it. Oh, poor Jaime!"
Before anyone could attempt to comfort her M'gann stepped out of the Med Bay and they all turned to her in a silent question. "He just woke up. He knows what happened, we were expecting to have to explain things to him but he said that Khaji Da showed him? I don't really understand what he meant but he said it was like watching it from Khaji Da's point of view." She said quietly.
"Good." Came a voice, Nightwing's, from behind them. He was standing there with a really guilty looking La'gaan, and man they all really hated that ninja thing. "Will it be okay for us to go in?"
"It should be, but I'll go check." She turned and re-entered the room. She stuck her head out and waved them in moments later. They followed her in and immediately caught sight of Jaime sitting propped against his pillows talking and smiling with Conner. He glanced over at M'gann and saw them. His smile grew and he said, "Hey guys."
They shifted nervously and mumbled their hello's. Jaime 's smile fell and he asked worriedly "What's wrong?"
Nightwing then stepped forward and said, "Nothing is wrong Jaime, they are still in a bit of shock."
"Shock?" His head tilted to the side slightly, as if listening. It was such a small change they wouldn't have noticed if they hadn't been looking for it. Then his gaze returned to them. "Oh, okay I get it."
Cassie found her courage and took a step forward, "What did he say?"
Jaime looked a little surprised at the question before he answered "He said, in essence, that it would be quite a shock to find out that there has been a being living on your friend's back. And yes, ese, I do realize that when I say it that way it sounds a bit creepy." He rolled his eyes but he was smiling good-naturedly.
None of them really know how to react to that. But it seemed as if Jaime was in conversation with Khaji Da anyway so none of them said anything. Then Jaime snickered and grinned watching them fidget uncomfortably.
"I wish there was a way we could all hear him." Gar said quietly, to no one in particular.
Jaime tilted his head again and they waited, "Huh. You think it will work?… Vaya para él, ese." (Go for it)
"It was successful." A semi-familiar voice rang through the room. The only three that didn't jump were Jaime, Nightwing, and Batgirl.
"Cool." Jaime leaned back and grinned at them again.
There was silence, then, "Awesome!" Gar looked very near ecstatic. "Can you turn your voice off and on?"
"I… do not understand. What are you asking?"
"He's asking whether or not you can stop talking out loud, ese."
"Of course I can. Why is that in question?"
"Never mind, Khaji." Jaime shook his head back and fourth, as if to say 'what can you do?'.
"I can feel your movements Jaime Reyes." Khaji said.
"I know." Jaime grinned harder.
"It is nice to know your are enjoying yourself."
"Whoa, was that sarcasm?!"
"Yes, Jaime Reyes, that was sarcasm." It's not like anyone would ever know that he had not been entirely sarcastic when he had said that.
The rest of the heroes in the room were silent, watching Jaime interact with his scarab in slight awe. When talking to anyone else the scarab was stiff and near inhuman but talking with Jaime he seemed almost… relaxed, comfortable, and normal. After a while though, the awe wore off and they slowly joined in the conversation. Nightwing stood off to the side and watched them with a sense of pride, they were getting to know each other, granted it took a fight between two of the team members to make it happen, but he was proud that they were making an effort.
Sorry, sorry, so sorry for the sucky ending. I have a lot of trouble writing endings. If anyone wants it I will try to write a little follow-up, second chapter, thingy. Please no flames, they make me very angry, it's just people being nasty for no reason. CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM IS VERY MUCH WELCOME.
Oh, also, DISCLAIMER: I do not, in any way, shape, or form, own Young Justice. Nor do I make any money from this.
Please review with any thoughts you have.