03/16/2008

This chapter is for HappySmoker for a cute�fanart of Brainy in Richie's sweater (No link available). I'd also like to thank MaryAna, a new reader to the series, who commented on some of the earlier chapters. I hope she'll continue to read, comment and enjoy the rest.

I'd also like to dedicate this chapter to Yu-Gi-Ah 2.0 for her constant support and conversations through e-mail that made all the chapters after chapter 3 possible.

And sorry for no update yesterday but since this IS nearly twice as long as usual chapters so I think that makes up for it. ENJOY! ...the last chapter...�-sniffs sadly-

Oh, and cyber cookies for whoever, besides Yu-Gi-Ah 2.0 who already knows, tells me where Static and Gear's ending lines come from. -giggle-

Chapter 18

When Superboy walked away from Superman, Static was quick to pull him to the side, as far away from Batman as possible.

"Listen carefully mini Supes, I know I'm not supposed to interfere with the space time continuum and what-not but I don't think it counts if I don't know what I'm talking about," whispered Static, watching the others for any sign they knew about their conversation, except Superman who seemed to be distracting Batman for him.

"What do you mean your don't know what you're talking about?" questioned Superboy, wondering about Static's sanity and if he should talk any of this seriously.

"I don't know what happens but I know something does happen," whispered Static. "Big you looked miserable yesterday when Brainy was freaking out about you-"

"What do you mean Brainy was freaking out?" asked Superboy, turning his head to look at Brainy only to have it turned back by Static.

"The kid was crying his eyes out because he thought he hurt you, now listen. After I, er, put Brainy down for a nice relaxing nap, Richie asked if something had happened between you and Brainy and he didn't deny it," whispered Static, wincing when Superboy's eyes narrowed in suspicion around the phrase 'nap'.

"You know he can't tell you anything about the future," said Superboy, but the seed of worry had already began to grow.

"I know, but I don't think he would have looked so miserable if it hadn't been something bad," said Static. "I'm just saying that you should be careful. Big Supes seems to still care about Brainy a lot so it, it could be bad."

Superboy thought of what Superman had said, about fighting for Brainy. Had it been his future's self own attempt to change time?

"You two better not be making out over there," shouted Gear.

Static turned and pretended to look disappointed.

"But he still owes me a kiss from yesterday!"

As Superboy blushed Superman laughed.

"Oh yea, I remember that now," said Superman, he grinned at Batman looking at him in Batman's unique 'tell me what's he's talking about before I kill you' look. "Long story short it was Virgil's kiss being given to other people and when it came to me I told him to kiss himself."

Brainy looked like he was struggling not to laugh at the memory.

"Sorry Virgil, but you're never going to get that kiss," said Superman.

"Then I guess I'll just take it from Richie," said Static, grinning.

"Not in front of me," said Batman sternly.

"How about behind you?" asked Brainy and smirked at Batman's glare.

"Shouldn't you be leaving?" asked Batman.

Though he was still smirking, Brainy nodded. He lifted his arm, the panel opening under his skin as he did so. He pressed a few keys and the time bubble appeared in the center of the room.

"Can't we put off the inevitable for a little longer?" asked Gear. "Like a few more days? A year would be good."

"Sorry Gear, but we've meddled with time enough," said Brainy.

"Is it really meddling if you did what you're supposed to do?" asked Gear.

"Nice try, but we still have to go," said Brainy.

"One more thing though," said Superman, walking over to them. He leaned down and kissed Brainy's cheek.

Eyes going impossibly wide, Brainy turned a darker shade of green then ever before. He had no idea what was worse; the fact he was reacting in such a way over such a simple act of affection from the future version of the boy he loved or that Batman was glaring at Superman in a way that Static had described as 'protective Daddy Bat' or that Gear and Static had actually cheered or that Superboy looked like he wanted to murder his future self.

"Time to go," said Superboy, whose smile did nothing to mask his annoyance at the act his older self had committed. He gently grabbed Brainy's arm and pulled Brainy into the time bubble, trying to ignore the glare he knew Batman was giving him.

"Bye-bye boys," said Static.

"Have fun storming the castle," said Gear.

The door closed and the time bubble disappeared from the 21st centaury.

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

Arriving back in the 31st centaury the two boys walked off of the time bubble and watched as it faded away once again.

"Where does the time bubble go when no ones using it?" asked Superboy.

"Do you really want to know?" asked Brainy.

Looking at the spot where the time bubble had been, Superboy shook his head wanting to prevent himself from getting a headache. He then looked around Brainy's lab and thought it felt much longer then three days since he had last been there.

"Strange how much can happen in such a short amount of time isn't it?" asked Brainy, looking around the lab as well.

For a moment Superboy expected Static or Gear to crack a joke but then he remembered they were gone. He turned to Brainy and smiled.

"It's going to take a while to get used to being here again."

Brainy almost agreed but then he remembered that Superboy couldn't get too used to being in this time. He was still going to have to go back and fulfill the role destiny had given him. How long will their relationship last with Superboy going back and forth between time periods, if he would even do such a thing?

"Should we go tell the other's we're back?" asked Superboy.

"Not yet," said Brainy softly. He wrapped his arms around Superboy's neck and pulled him down so their lips met in a kiss.

Wrapping his arms around Brainy's middle, Superboy was more then willing to let the others wait.

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

"Do you have any idea how worried we've been," shouted Saturn Girl, the moment she spotted them come into the lounge. "I know we agreed that going to the past was a good idea but no one said you two should run off together!"

"Saturn Girl, that sounds like they eloped," pointed out Phantom Girl.

"Be that as it may," continued Saturn Girl, blushing slightly, "what do you two have to say for yourselves?"

"Please don't be mad at Superman, Saturn Girl. I'm the one who insisted on going without you," said Brainy.

For a split second, Superboy almost looked around to see if his future self was there but then remembered that he was superman again since his future self, or rather Batman, was no longer around.

"Brainy, why would you-" began Saturn Girl, but then she noticed something. "Brainy, your eyes…"

"They're back to normal," squealed Triplicate Girl, hugging Brainy.

"I've noticed that already," commented Brainy.

Trying not to laugh, Superman thought it was a good thing Triplicate Girl's affectionate ways didn't spark the same reaction that Gear's did. His heart would go out if he got jealous every time Triplicate Girl was nice to Brainy.

"Is everything else back to normal too?" asked Timber Wolf cautiously.

Brainy glanced at Superman and blushed slightly.

"Define normal."

"Good to have yea back Brainy," laughed Bouncing Boy, coming up to stand next to Triplicate Girl and exchanging a smile with her when she released Brainy.

"You guys are lucky nothing happened while you were gone," commented Lighting Lad, but didn't seem angry about it in the least.

"But something could have and for abandoning the team you shall be punished," exclaimed Phantom Girl.

Surprised the other legionnaires turned to Phantom Girl curiously.

"You're both grounded," said Phantom Girl in a tone that sounded much like her presidential mother's commanding presence at huge ceremonies instead of in the lounge of a bunch of teenagers. "At night whenever there aren't any missions and to save on time when we check in on you, Superman shall henceforth sleep in Brainy's room indefinitely."

"Phantom Girl-" began Saturn Girl, looking torn between scolding and approving.

"Fine by me," said Superman brightly, turning the rest of the legion's attention to him. He, in turn, turned to Brainy. "If that's alright with you, that is."

"We're been practically living in the same room for about a week," stated Brainy, trying hard not to smile. "It makes sense to make the arrangement more permanent."

"Then I'll get my stuff," said Superman, leaning in and kissing Brainy's cheek.

Silence filled the lounge until Triplicate Girl let out a large squeal. She continued to divide herself into her three parts and run from the room.

"Where are they going?" asked Lighting Lad.

"Probably to move Superman's stuff for him," said Phantom Girl, smirking.

Superman made a face.

"Oh no they're not!"

The remaining legionnaires watched as Superman sped after the giggling girls.

"When did this happen?" asked Saturn Girl, surprised but happy sounding.

"Way back in the past," said Brainy.

"Brainy, was that a joke?" asked Bouncing Boy.

For the first time in his life Brainy found himself being thankful towards Brainiac. It was strange, almost ironic that the memories Brainiac passed down to his descendents would cause so much trouble but do so much good. If not for the memories, it was possible that Brainy and Superman would never had gotten closer and that without their influence Richie and Virgil may have never admitted to anything more then friendship.

There were other examples but those were the most prominent in Brainy's mind. Then there was the way Brainy felt different like another part of his mind had opened up. He found himself thinking differently, less black and white, and saying things he never would have considered before. The urge to smile more was stronger now and his emotions had an overall bigger part in his decisions.

Then again maybe it was the knowledge that he was loved that caused this and not an after effect of dealing with Brainiac's memories?

Brainy had just finished rearranging things in his room to make room for Superman's things when Triplicate Girl blasted in. She seemed to instinctively know where Brainy had made empty spaces for she quickly put everything away and was gone before the genius had time to ask any of the five W's.

Soon after Triplicate Girl made her exit, Superman made his entrance looking mildly annoyed. All he was carrying was the photograph of his adoptive parents holding him as a baby.

"She even grabbed my underwear."

Stifling a laugh, something else that was happening more often, Brainy looked at Superman curiously.

"Why didn't you stop her then?"

"All three of her pouted," said Superman hesitantly. "I thought she was going to cry if I didn't let her help."

'Not just because you're Superman. Because you're you. You have the biggest heart out of anyone I have never met and it will be your greatest strength,' Brainy remembered himself saying when he had shown Superman the statue of the Justice League in the park on Valentine's day.

Definitely the biggest heart, thought Brainy, stretching his neck slightly to give Superman a kiss on the cheek.

"Ah, where can I put this?" asked Superman, suggesting to the frame and blushing.

"Anywhere you like," said Brainy.

"It's your room," said Superman.

"Our room," corrected Brainy.

Again, Superman blushed and looked at the ground nervously.

"I'm not that familiar with the dating customs of the 21st centaury but I know people starting out don't typically live together," said Brainy. "If you want to move back to your own room-"

"No," said Superman quickly. He laughed nervously at Brainy's slight jump from his shout. "Er, no, that's not it. It's just that I don't know much of anything about Coluan traditions. I don't want to offend you or push you away or, or anything that, that could make me loose you."

Brainy's eyes widened at Superman's words but then smiled softly.

"Besides Brainiac Two's mother and Brainiac Two,�I'm the first Coluan to ever date an outsider," said Brainy, placing his hands over Superman's upon the frame. "And I've been living with many human like species for just over three years now. Just being off my planet would be enough to horrify most of my kind, probably why none of them came to hunt me down and take me back. I may still be influenced by my culture but I'm not going to let it push you away from me. It's other things that worry me."

Superman hesitated for a moment but pulled away just long enough to set the frame down on the dresser before pulling Brainy to sit down next to him on the bed.

"Do you want to talk about it?"

Now it was Brainy's turn to hesitate. He had thought of these things before but had decided to hide them yet he had mentioned their existence. Could he really discuss them so soon?

"You've met Brainiac," stated Brainy, deciding to stick to something Superman knew at least a little about, "but I suppose I'm still worried what will happen when you've had enough encounters with him that you hate him."

"I hated him before I met him" stated Superman, surprising Brainy. "I hate how miserable he seems to make you, how much his memory has hurt you." He touched the side of Brainy's face. "There isn't that much he could do that is worse then that."

Like before when Brainy should have felt relief, he felt his mind rejecting everything Superman had said and thinking of everything that could go wrong. The reasons now wanted to jump off of his tongue and strangle him with reality.

"I'm different, even from other Coluans. Don't you care that I'm half fake?"

"You're not fake, Brainy," said Superman.

"My mechanical parts-" began Brainy.

"They're not fake," said Superman. "They're a part of you."

To emphasize his point, Superman grabbed hold of Brainy's hand and kissed the black lines on his fingers that showed just one of the additions made to him.

Brainy's mind raced. He thought of the main body of arguments of why this relationship was doomed, but most Superman knew already or wouldn't know unless their relationship progressed. Superman accepted the reasons he knew and Brainy could work on the ones he didn't such as his issues with intimacy.

Leaning forward to rest against Superman, Brainy realized there wasn't much the other things until later in the relationship.

"There, there are other things that I can't tell you yet, but I'd like to, someday."

The fact that there was more worried Superman but he didn't want t push Brainy by demanding to know right away. He wrapped his arms around Brainy and kissed his forehead, whispering, "Alright."

It was then Superman noticed something on Brainy's back. He pulled it off and examined it.

"Brainy, what's this?"

Sitting up, Brainy's eyes widened. It was a Bat shaped tracking device, but when could Batman have put it on him. They were never within a foot of each other. He looked from the device up to Superman.

"I think that kiss was a distraction."

Superman blinked.

"What?"

"Your future self and Batman talked for a bit. Batman had plenty of time to slip your future self the device and the kiss was a perfect distraction to put it on me," explained Brainy, remembering how future Superman had touched his back when he had kissed his cheek.

"Why would I do that though?" asked Superman.

"You'll come to trust Batman," said Brainy. "He probably just asked you to."

"But why would Batman want this-"

"Tracking device."

"This tracking device on you? He knew you were going back to the future. What would it accomplish?" asked Superman.

"You'll have to ask him when you are your future self," said Brainy.

"This is so confusing," commented Superman.

"Time travel usually is," said Brainy, taking the tracking device from Superman to get a closer look at it; it was still giving off a signal. "Take our original voyage into the past to get your in the first place. You didn't know how to use all of your powers and you've been learning to use them here. You may only have become a great hero because we knew you would become a great hero and brought you here."

"So you're saying that if it wasn't for interference from the future that the past, my time, could have been different?" asked Superman.

"Most likely," said Brainy, holding up the device. "And even though the owner of this device has been gone for over ten thousand years he knew that when it arrived in the future it would still be new and functional. After we left that past he had plenty of time to make use of that knowledge."

"But like you said, he's gone. What could he possibly do with it?" asked Superman.

"Numerous things," stated Brainy. "Possibly have a trusted line of descendents watch for the signal with a set of instructions on what to do when we arrived back from the past. Or he could have hidden a device that will reactivate with the arrival of the signal and deliver itself to us."

"Brainy, what could he have possibly made that would last ten thousand years?" asked Superman.

The headquarters alarm went off.

"We might be finding that out in just a moment," said Brainy.

The legionnaires rushed out of the headquarters to see what had set off the alarm and jaws dropped at the long forgotten sight of what used to send criminals running down the ancient streets of old Gotham, the Batmobile.

Somehow, the Batmobile had been kept in nearly perfect condition. It's body, though old, rusting and filthy from years of sitting kept it's basic shape and, after a good wash, would still be any auto enthusiast's dream. The wheels, since the rubber ones never would have lasted even if all it did was sit, had been replaced with a material that had been created towards the end of Batman's lifetime; rubberlastic, a form of rubber that would never decay though it had never been used for wheels at that time. They were solid rubberlastic as well, not having to worry about the air ever leaking out or needing refilling.

"The Batmobile," whispered Bouncing Boy, the shock just starting to fade away. Excitement filled him. "THEE Batmobile!" He turned into a ball and bounced around a few times in unbridled joy.

"Besides the fact that it's old, what's the big deal?" asked Lighting Lad. "Batman was a vigilante that hid his face. He didn't even have powers."

Turning back to his human form, Bouncing Boy turned to Lighting Lad.

"You obviously never talked with Lyle," He didn't notice Saturn Girl glare at him or Brainy pointedly look away, "Batman was one of the most amazing superheroes of the 21st centaury! He did everything and more heroes back then did without powers and those with powers still feared and respected him. He helped found the Justice League and he was said to be one of the most brilliant minds of the time!"

"Bouncy, stop talking about Batman in front of Superman," exclaimed Triplicate Girl, covering his mouth with her hand.

"It's alright, Clark and I met Batman when we were in the past," said Brainy.

"And you didn't get an autograph?" demanded Bouncing Boy, looking more dismayed then when something broke on the Legion Cruiser.

"I doubt he would have given one," said Brainy.

"I thought we weren't supposed to interfere with the past," said Timber Wolf.

"We didn't have much of a choice," said Superman.

"So you guys met both Gear and Batman," began Bouncing Boy.

"We also met Static and Brainiac," said Superman.

The other legionnaires looked at Brainy as if expecting him to explode, but the genius didn't seem to be listening. He was too busy examining the Batmobile's structure.

"Lyle would be so jealous," commented Bouncing Boy.

"Who's Lyle," asked Timber Wolf.

The other legionnaires that had been in the legion since before Superman or Timber Wolf glanced at Brainy again, but he still didn't seem to be listening. He had moved to the other side of the Batmobile and away from the conversation.

"He was a legionnaire," said Saturn Girl and left it at that.

Brainy examined the Batmobile at the door now and saw that instead of a keyhole it had been replaced by a locking device that needed a small bat shaped item to be placed in it to open. He put the tracking device into it.

The lock came to life, scanning the tracking device, beeping and clicking as it went. After about a minute there was a loud click and the door popped open.

Brainy pulled the door open all the way and saw that it was filled with metallic boxes with locked timers.

"He sent us some sort of time capsule on wheels filled with more time capsules that won't open until the timers go off."

"He probably didn't want to interfere with history," said Saturn Girl, moving around the car to stand beside Brainy. "It looks like one will be opening soon."

Picking up the aforementioned box, Brainy watched as the timer went down to it's final seconds and clicked open. He first noted that the box had been air tight and nothing inside had been damaged by time. He lifted out a big brown envelope and, upon reading the name upon it, held it up in the air.

"I think I spoke too soon Bouncing Boy."

Bouncing over the Batmobile, Bouncing Boy took the envelope and stared at the handwriting of his name. He, very, carefully opened it and pulled out a slip of paper. Unfolding it, he read it out loud;

"Dear Bouncing Boy, Brainy was right. Batman wouldn't give an autograph but I got you these instead, Superman."

The legionnaires now looked at Superman, who shrugged.

"Future me."

Digging into the envelope again Bouncing Boy pulled out two large photographs. One was of Static and Gear, with his helmet on, in the garage making faces at the camera. Below their faces were their autographs and, in the corner, was the tip of Batman's cape looking as though he had escaped the frame just in time. It must have been taken shortly after Brainy and this Superman left that past. The other was of Batman in some unrecognizable location, glaring at the camera as if the person behind it was about to die the most horrifying death imaginable.

"Future Superman rocks," shouted Bouncing Boy but upon noticing Superman's look he said, "You rock!"

Brainy pulled out another envelope and handed it to Superman. He pulled out a third one with his own name on it. They were both in Batman's handwriting, instead of Superman's like on Bouncing Boy's envelope. Both envelopes also had an underlined sentence underneath their names 'Read this Alone'.

"I'm assuming, since it says it on both of our envelopes, it means without each other as well."

"Probably," said Superman, wondering what was in it. He scanned it quickly with his x-ray vision and saw the phrase 'Break his heart and I'll kill you' on a solitary piece of paper. He felt himself loose all the blood from his face.

"After we unload everything, do you think you could repair this Bouncing Boy?" asked Brainy, suggesting towards the Batmobile.

"R-Really?" asked Bouncing Boy.

"Batman was one of earth's greatest heroes," said Brainy, touching the hood gently. "There ought to be something of his in his memory at the Gotham Museum."

"Can't we keep it?" asked Phantom Girl flying over and admiring it. "It was Batman's after all, shouldn't it be with other heroes?"

"Headquarters gets attacked all the time. It could get destroyed if we keep it here," said Brainy. "We'll fix it and give it to a museum."

"I get to work on the Batmobile," said Bouncing Boy happily. "Superman, kiss Brainy for me."

The idea of kissing Brainy brought Superman's thoughts away from Batman's threat and he smiled.

"Okay!"

The boxes were unloaded and kept in a safe section of Brainy's lab that wouldn't be damaged even if headquarters exploded. At the same time the Batmobile was moved to the hanger with the Cruiser, Bouncing Boy being very disappointed that it wouldn't drive for anyone besides Brainy, was very excited when Brainy let him sit in the passenger seat.

"When the Batmobile is all fixed you're taking me for a proper ride before you take it to the museum," Phantom Girl had said, very disappointed that she had to sit in the back during the short drive to the hanger.

Now Brainy sat alone in his lab with the envelope. He carefully opened it and pulled out the contents; three smaller envelopes.

The first envelope contained a small computer chip and a note that read;

Superman said that lots of the facts of history had been lost. Gear, with the information Backpack took from you, helped me design this chip so it would still work in the 31st centaury. It contains names, dates and everything about all the heroes of my lifetime that they were willing to tell the future including a few secret identities and personal views on incidents during our time. After Superman has done everything that needs to be done in the past, your can use it to create a museum in your time remembering us. Static still doesn't want the name of his headquarters to be known but Gear says to publish it anyway.

- Batman

Before moving on to the next envelope, Brainy put the chip in a special case and placed it and the letter in the safe he used to keep his kryptonite in. He then opened the second envelope which had a bat shaped computer chip and another note reading;

If you are ever in the past and need me, use this.

- Batman

Looking at the chip more closely, Brainy saw that it could be integrated into the systems in his arm and, if activated, give off a homing signal. That would take some time to do, so it was placed to the side for the moment.

The last envelope was thicker. He first pulled out a piece of paper reading;

Clark insisted.

-Bruce Wayne

Brainy blinked at the name. It was still Batman's handwriting but Batman's identity had been something lost to time and though the information could no longer be used against him in the 31st centaury Batman had to know there was always a chance his time capsule wouldn't have made it to him and the information stolen when he was still alive.

Unable to help it, Brainy smiled and touched the name.

The rest of the envelope was filled with pictures. The first couple were of Clark at his job at the Daily Planet, one of which was with Lois Lane. Another was of Superman with a few newspaper clippings paper clipped to it.

After that were pictures taken of Richie and Virgil at various places goofing off, a couple with Mr. Hawkins and Virgil's sister Sharon. There were none of Richie's family but a few of Static and Gear and related newspaper clippings included one by Clark Kent of the Daily Planet. Future Superman had been right when he said there would be no mention of Brainy or past Superman in the article.

Last of all were pictures of the Robin's outside of their costumes labeled Dick Grayson and Tim Drake at various ages along with Barbara Gordon AKA Batgirl. There was only one of Bruce Wayne and it was of him reading in an arm chair reading as if he was ignoring the fact the picture was being taken. Among them there were pictures of an older man labeled Alfred, who looked like a butler. Some of them with Alfred were in the Batcave so he had to have known his master's secret, perhaps even helped in it. Then there was ones of the Robins, Nightwing, Batgirl and Batman with less newspaper clippings then the others.

Brainy wasn't sure why Batman said to open the envelope alone but he supposed that it was to keep the note and pictures of his secret identity to himself until Superman learned Batman's identity on his own in the past. He put all of the notes, pictures and newspaper clippings into the safe besides the pictures of Richie and Virgil. These he felt sure that he could share with Clark.