Title: Theoretical Chemistry
Fandom: Justice League Unlimited
Characters: Booster/Beetle, Vigilante/Shining Knight
Word Count: 678
Rating: PG-13
Author's Notes: Alba's fault, Alba's fault, Alba's fault! There I was, minding my own business, saying I agree that JLU Vigilante and Shining Knight are OTP material, then all of a sudden Alba demanded I write fic. (...I think she had a whip, too. Or maybe a sharp stick. It's all kind of a blur.)
---------------

Theoretical Chemistry

Of course it would be Booster Gold who said it.

Casually, over lunch, and loud enough that anyone walking by could overhear. Worse, he was being cheerful and supportive and seemed completely oblivious.

"I really admire you guys, being so open about your relationship," he said. Grinning, he reached over and threw an arm around Blue Beetle's shoulders. "Beetle here won't even go anywhere public with me unless we can say we're saving the world or just two pals hanging out."

Blue Beetle, for his part, had widened his eyes behind his goggles, and what little skin of his was visible had gone red. He seemed to be mentally debating whether to punch Booster or try to sink under the table.

"But really, I admire you guys," Booster continued obliviously, letting go of Beetle and stirring his salad with his fork. "It's real brave."

"...I beg your pardon?" Shining Knight said slowly, then glanced at Vigilante to see if the man had a better idea of what the flashy hero was talking about. Vigilante caught his eye and shrugged to indicate he was just as confused.

"Well I mean, from what I've seen it's tough being in a same-sex relationship in this century."

Beside him, Blue Beetle had buried his face in his hands and was shaking his head while muttering something about his lamentable inability to withstand the lure of Booster's shiny...assets.

Shining Knight and Vigilante just stared at him in mute bewilderment.

"'Fraid I don't rightly know what you're talkin' 'bout," Vigilante finally said.

"Booster, for the love of god, shut up while you still have a chance of getting your foot out of your mouth," Beetle hissed, lifting his face from his hands to glare at the man.

Startled, Booster stared at him in confusion for a moment, then turned to look at the baffled pair across from them. "I'm just saying...well they make a cute couple," he told Beetle, looking hurt. "They've got real chemistry, and it's nice that they're not worried about what everyone thinks--"

"It never ends," Beetle groaned quietly, dropping his face into his hands again.

"Now wait just a minute," Vigilante spoke up, leaning forward and lowering his voice. "Are you sayin' you think me'n Sir Justin here are...playin' plug the gopher hole?"

"Uh, if that means 'having sex' then yes," Booster said slowly, looking from one to the other. Finally a look of understanding crossed his face, quickly giving way to surprise. "Wait, you mean you're not?"

"Certainly not," Sir Justin said firmly.

"Kind'a thing a body'd r'member," Vigilante muttered.

"But...chemistry!" Booster protested. "And...you're always together. And touching, and going off alone together, and..."

Straightening, Beetle reached over and patted his shoulder. "Come on, Booster," he said, standing.

"But...chemistry," Booster insisted, letting Beetle pull him to his feet.

Beetle nodded and settled a hand on Booster's back, guiding him away from the table. "I know," he said consolingly. "Why don't we go somewhere quiet and you can explain to me all about chemistry."

"Wait, does that mean sex?"

Beetle sighed in resignation. "Thank god for that asset."

After they had left, Vigilante and Shining Knight sat quietly for a few moments, each processing what Booster had said.

"Reckon he's right about chemistry?" Vigilante asked quietly.

"I fear he may be mentally unbalanced," Sir Justin replied.

Vigilante chuckled, then glanced over at his friend. "Either way, I reckon th'only question here is...my bunk or yours?"

"I'm afraid I don't understand your meaning, my friend," Sir Justin said, looking at him in confusion.

Crossing his arms over his chest, Vigilante sat back in his chair. "Well...ain't rightly sure on the proper way t'go courtin' ya, Sir Justin," he mumbled, tilting his head down so the brim of his hat hid his face from view.

Shining Knight was silent for a moment, then smiled. "I shan't expect flowers, but dinner would not be amiss."

Looking up sharply, Vigilante studied the honest face for a moment before nodding, eyes crinkling with his hidden smile. "Sounds like a right good plan, Sir Justin."

-----