Title: Heartbeat
Author: Emerald Star / Yami no Kaiba
Series: Young Justice
Rating: R
Pairing: Tim/Kon

Notes: Shounen-ai, set after YJ issue 37. Spoilers.
Disclaimer: All characters are owned by DC comics.


The war's finally over. It's been hell in a way that I never want to see again. Never want to think about again. I just want to deny and repress this entire episode like I've never denied and repressed anything else in my entire fucked-up life.

But for the first time I've known it to happen, repression doesn't work. Doesn't even start to take the edge off of the nightmare fodder these memories hold for me.

And the worst of that fodder never even really happened.

So here I am, staring up at the ceiling of my bedroom at the Young Justice resort, eyes wide open and trying my damned hardest to blank my mind.

It's not working.

All I can think about is what happened with that Granny Goodness character back on Apokolips. What she made me see...

Wonder Girl begging me to stop them before she's burned to death in one of the fire pits. At least Cassie was instantly incinerated. What I saw happen to Kon...

I'm shaking. Even before the memory of Kon screaming as he's being pulled apart has a chance to go through my head, I'm shaking and twisting onto my side to curl up and hug my knees to my chest.

Even though I know logically, rationally, that it never happened, that the entire set of memories are lies a thousand times worse then any that I've given to my father, it doesn't help. Because there's a voice in my head, the one that I've learned to listen to when I panic, when I know I'm over my head but I have to stay calm, keep my cool so those around me don't go hysterical, telling me that it could have happened, most likely would have happened if someone other then that fat old hag had captured us.

And the fact that it was Kon and Lobo ignoring my order to stay with the mission that got us into the mess in the first place would mean squat when it came to blaming someone for Wonder Girl and Kon's deaths. Because I was the leader. And as the leader it would be my fault. Nothing could change that.

For a few, terrifying seconds in the dark, the images repeat in a loop and I can't get them out of my god damned mind. So sharp, so real. The acrid, stomach churning smell of burning skin and the feeling of hot splattered blood and bits of flesh and guts covering the bare skin areas that my Robin outfit doesn't cover.

Before I'm even aware of what I'm doing I'm in front of Kon's door, banging on it with a shaking, jerking fist in my hysterical need to see the proof that it's not real, that it never happened, that Kon's alive and whole and not dangling in bloody-fucking-parts in the sky of Apokolips.

When Kon opens the door, rubbing at his eyes with one hand, his hair mussed by sleep and wearing only a pair of boxers with an 'S' shield monogram, I must have been out of my fucked-up head at that point.

Because I practically jump on Kon, who's too tired and surprised to do anything about it, and lay him out flat on the ground, pinning him down by the shoulders while straddling his hips.

"Rob? What the hell do you think you're doing?" He looks somewhere between confused, freaked, and pissed.

"Kon..." And that's the problem, isn't it? I'm not thinking, and that's why I'm sitting on top of my best friend, no longer really pinning him, but petting him. Because hands? Sensory imagery of soft, smooth, firm skin.

Kon's eyes (pretty blue eyes, really) widen even as his muscles tense and there's warning bells going off in my brain, because Kon? He's scared.

Like with the instantaneous flicking of a light switch, I'm thinking again instead of reacting. And the very first conclusion my sharp intellect can come up with is to get the hell off Kon, now, before he uses that oh so delightful tactile telekinesis of his against me.

So with a shove and a backwards somersault I'm up on my feet and backing into the open doorway of Kon's room (messy with all sorts of magazines and empty chip bags on the floor and bed with the walls covered in girls-with- large-tracks-of-land posters).

If it wasn't for the fact that I knew Kon deserved an explanation I'd be running to my room and not coming out until Batman showed up to take me home.

Thinking of Kon, he's sitting up now and just sort of looking at me in a way I've never seen him do before. If it wasn't for Batman's training I'm sure I'd be squirming, looking away from that look. As it is, the very silence of the room is eating at me and it's so reminiscent of when I'm with Batman that I just have to break it. "Um... Sorry."

Now Kon's just smirking in that over confident manner of his and I just know I'm never going to live this down. "So the little bird has a crush on the Kid? Why Robin, I'm touched."

A shift of weight from one foot to the other. "It's not a crush."

Kon's standing up now, dusting off the seat of his boxers, and really, with the state his room is in that's probably a smart idea. When was the last time he had vacuumed the floor in here? "Then what was with the impromptu make-out?"

Well, at least Kon hadn't thought I was molesting him. "I needed to be sure."

Kon's body language says he's confused, but that cock-sure smirk of his is still in full force. "Sure of what? That the nickname 'Teen of Steel' was literally apt?"

And, yeah, Young Justice might be a support group for us teens as much as anything else, but nobody's really talked about what we saw during the war. The memory (false, it's false, not real) flashes through my mind again and I can't clamp down on the shudder that it causes. "No, sure that you're alive."

That must have really shaken him, because he drops the whole macho fa├žade and I'm seeing just Normal-Kon. Not Superboy-Kon the flirting teen hero, but Normal-Kon the scared of being alone kid.

Seconds tick by as I let him adjust to the revelation. Besides, the next move is his.

"Let me get this straight. You needed to touch me to make sure I'm alive."

Was that really what I needed? Most likely, since that's what I'd been doing before rational thinking had kicked in. "Yes."

Kon's tilting his head in that little thinking gesture of his. "Alright."


He nods. "You're sleeping with me tonight."

I jerk at that. "What?!"

He nods as if it's the most natural thing in the world. "I'm tired, so I'm not staying up for however long it takes for you to get over this. We'll share the bed and hold hands or something."

I'm pretty sure my face is as red as a cherry. "Oh."

It takes about two minutes to push the excess clutter off Kon's bed and onto the floor and another ten minutes for the both of us to settle down in our own comfort zones. Like Kon suggested I'm holding his hand long after he falls asleep.

It's not enough. He's still screaming every time I close my eyes.

So I scoot over as silently as I can without waking him and lay my head on his chest. I close my eyes and focus.

And the screams are drowned by the heartbeat.