Reunification In Triplicate
"This is so weird," Eddie said, and Rose had to agree. Not the fact that the New Year had given many dead superheroes a return to life; that was almost par for the course, and a welcome change from the opposite having happened so many times in recent memory. No, what was weird was how human Robin was acting. Even though she knew more about Tim than Eddie did, Rose hadn't known this side of him.
Considering that in the three days since Kon-El was spit out of a volcano in Hawaii – and promptly set about rescuing people from the flow, however short, despite his current lack of real powers – Tim had practically had to force himself from Kon's side so they could go to the bathroom separately, Rose knew she would never know him as well as some.
Though the real surprise was Wonder Girl, who didn't act like a bitch upon finding out that her former (not ex, because he'd died and they hadn't broken up) boyfriend was hooking up with her current boyfriend. Then again, from certain things Rose had overheard, it looked like she'd really just agreed to share.
Rose had always wondered if there was something about spandex that lowered people's inhibitions; it would explain the number of gay and bi superheroes. But seriously, now that Gar was back and had worked things out with both Raven and a newly-freed-from-being-part-of-the-Tower Vic, there appeared to be two threesomes in residence.
It wasn't going to be three, not as long as the only options she had – besides Eddie – were the Wonder Twits. Not like she necessarily thought that she needed two lovers, but it seemed to work better long-term for people in their lifestyle; the added stability of having more than one person to lean on was definitely something a superhero could take advantage of.
"I mean, Robin is smiling," Eddie continued, thankfully breaking Rose out of her weird thoughts. "Really smiling, not even like when he saw Vic was back online. I didn't think he'd ever smiled."
A snort came from their left, and Rose did her best to hide the shock on her face. She knew what had happened to Bart – her very first Titans teammate – but to see him up close and personal… He was over a foot taller, and at least four inches broader than he had been back then. He also looked at least twenty, as opposed to fourteen like he did when she knew him, or sixteen like when he was last a Titan.
Bart could make a good third, Rose couldn't help but think. Then she had to hide a grin behind the fall of her hair. But Eddie would probably spontaneously combust from the thought.
Eddie definitely topped her list, though; he may not have been a heart throb, or a fantastic fighter, may, in her view, have hovered somewhere between nerdy kid brother and shy best friend…but he was always there for her. Rose needed someone that kind and compassionate, she knew.
"Rob used to smile…not all the time, but back in Young Justice…" The look Bart sent towards the younger trio was full of nostalgia and wistfulness. "He was a lot less dark. He did a lot of crazy things, too. Not as much as the rest of us, but…" Bart sighed again, a rueful smile twisting his lips up on one side. "He was our friend."
"Like what kinds of things?" Eddie asked, and Rose had to admit to being curious, too.
Bart looked thoughtful, then he disappeared for a split second, coming back with a battered denim photo album, covered with signatures and stickers, and even a few brightly-colored buttons commemorating everything from Earth Day 2000 to the Junior JLA Scout-style fanclub. "Here, I'll show you," he said, nudging his way in between them to lay the album on the countertop.
Eddie hopped up on top of the kitchen countertop, hands dangling between his knees. Bart slipped into his vacated seat with a thankful smile, tilting the album towards them both. He flipped to the third page, and there was a picture of a group of young teens, two girls, three boys, and a cloud of brown smoke that was vaguely shaped like another girl, gathered around a purple vehicle that looked like the designers couldn't decide if they were building a car, a motorcycle, or one of those theme park golf carts that could hold a dozen people.
"This is the Super-cycle," Bart said, sending an amused sideways look at Kon. "It used to belong to Rip Roar, but he was really mean to it – New Genesis tech, it's vaguely sentient – and Robin had to try and entice the cycle to come with us so Rip wouldn't use it to hurt people." Bart's grin was wide as he let out a laugh. "It was so funny; he treated the Super-cycle like it was a dog and whistled for it and promised it 'lots of adventure and fun helping people' and then the cycle started nuzzling against him like a giant cat." He let out an annoyed snort. "It always liked him better than everyone."
At the mention of a sentient vehicle, Eddie's eyes glowed and he said, "Cool." Then he heard the rest of it and couldn't help a chuckle. "He whistled for it like a dog?"
"Did it come when he called?" Rose asked with a vaguely sardonic raise of brow.
Bart nodded, the look he slanted her out of the corner of his eye letting her know that he'd grown up enough to recognize her sarcasm, even if he wasn't reacting to it. He flipped a few more pages and there was a picture of two boys, neither having appeared in the first picture, who were handcuffed together – with handcuffs that had a Bat-symbol on them. The boys were a complete contrast to each other, one pale, skinny and with dark scraggly hair, the other broader, tanner and with coiffed blond hair. The one thing the boys did share was their unamused expressions, but then one of them looked like the mini-Lobo Rose had heard about, and she didn't think he was ever in a good mood, like Eddie seemed to think about Robin.
She wouldn't have tried to tumble the Boy Wonder into bed if she'd thought he was all grim and batty.
"This was when we were trying to figure out who should lead the team," Bart explained. "Robin had before, but then when I quit, he quit, and when he got back Kon didn't think he should get to lead again. Cissie got pissed over everybody fighting over her vote – even though she wasn't technically on the team anymore and thought she shouldn't have had a vote – and said that whoever made the next rescue first would get it. Ray–" Bart pointed to the other guy in the photo, the one in yellow, with no mask, "–could move at the speed of light, so Rob wouldn't have had a chance to get there first."
"So he handcuffed the Ray to this other guy?" Eddie asked incredulously. "Just so he could win?"
Bart smirked. "Yup. Then he called for the Super-cycle."
"That's crazy," Rose said, unable to help the familiar thought that at least she wasn't – anymore. She'd never imagined Tim being that…petty, though.
"You think that's crazy, you should see…" Bart flipped some pages, his final words said with smug satisfaction as he came to his destination, "Mr. Sarcastic."
Rose could only stare at the picture of a man with a shaved head and a goatee, wearing skintight green leather pants, an orange and black mesh clubbing shirt, and a fur-lined cape with flames on it. He also had more tattoos than Vin Diesel.
Shaking her head, Rose couldn't help a laugh. That flaming rock god of overblown sexuality – but not entirely in bad taste – could not be their strait-laced Robin.
"Rob's really good at undercover work," Bart continued, amusement laced through his voice at their reactions. "He didn't like the time he had to be a girl, but I finally pestered him enough that he let me see the photos, and he was really pretty."
The mind boggled. At least Rose's did.
"Robin dressed up like a girl?" Eddie hissed sotto voce, wide eyes slanting towards the teen in question. Draped in his cape and leaning against Cassie as he said something of important to Kon-El, he looked…unquestionably male. "Really?"
Bart hid a smirk and nodded. "Really."
"Wow…" Eddie seemed even more blown away by that information than he had by seeing Robin smile.
Rose wasn't, however. Going undercover was part and parcel of being Robin's kind of superhero. Robin actually having a personality that wasn't hidden most of the time – that was news to her.
"So can you tell us any more secrets about our fearless leader?" Rose asked, swinging one leg back and forth and smiling coyly at Bart. Flirting with the younger Bart had always gotten him flustered. She was curious as to how the older Bart would react.
Not very much, it turned out. Bart's cheeks went pink and he ducked his head a bit, but his voice was steady as he said, "I'd love to, really – Grife knows Rob needs to loosen up – but I can't. I gotta get back to Keystone. I have a date in–" he glanced at the wall clock, and his eyes widened a bit, "–less than half an hour with Carol and Val."
"Carol and Val?" Rose asked, doing a double-take at the two names. "I didn't know you were still seeing Carol." She remembered a much-younger-but-not-really Impulse telling her about his best friend, though. At the time, she'd thought it was cute that he was so clueless about having a female best friend.
He didn't seem so clueless now.
"Yeah, Val and Carol have taken a lot of the same classes at the Uni," Bart replied, tugging up his cowl, presumably in preparation for leaving. He blurred, and the photo album disappeared. He'd done it so fast that Rose knew the album must be kept in the Tower; she wondered whether she'd find it in the library. "How do you think I met Val?"
Rose had thought Bart had met her during a rescue, or…something. Actually, she didn't know, beyond that Valerie was very smart, and her father was Manfred Mota, a Flash family villain.
"How does that work, exactly?" Eddie asked. His eyes were flicking from side to side in that way Rose had come to know meant that if his skin could show a blush, his cheeks would be metaphorically burning.
"Well…" Bart was now flushing a little himself, shifting comfortably from foot to foot. "Mostly, they share me. We're all so busy, Val with work, Carol with her college courses, me with Keystone and the Titans again… I'm the only one with extra time most days. But sometimes when I have to be gone for a while…" He shrugged, giving a little grin that was more like his Impulse self than anything except his hair was these days.
"Anyway, I should–" Bart turned towards the door, and blinked. "Huh. I didn't think anyone could be greener than Beast Boy."
Rose turned to look where Bart was. Peeking in the doorway was M'gann. It wasn't M'gann's green skin Bart seemed enthralled with, however; it was the curves that skin covered. "That's Miss Martian." Pettiness made her say, "She's…odd," but truthfulness made her add, "But…nice."
"Way too nice," Eddie added, almost griping.
Bart sent Eddie a puzzled look, before waving to the two of them and tossing off a quick, "Later!" and zooming out the door.
"Was that…the Flash?" M'gann asked, finally abandoning her shadowy sanctuary. Skirting around the couch-cum-loveseat that contained Robin, Superboy and Wonder Girl, she headed towards her other two teammates.
"Yes," Eddie replied. "He was telling us about his and their–" he gestured towards the trio with one claw-tipped hand, "–old team." His tail swished and he glared out the window opposite from M'gann and Rose. "The one we weren't on."
And consequently, the several years they spent fighting together that meant that the four of them had a bond that they, the newbies, couldn't be a part of. Even having been a Titan with Bart before, Rose knew he still felt closer to his Young Justice teammates than he did to her.
That was okay. She had the other newbies to be friends.
"We're our own team now, though… A team within a team, even. So Meg, why don't you come join us Titans Outsiders?" Rose suggested, a coy smile on her lips.
The smile M'gann sent back to her was sweet, shy…and extremely sexy. "I would like that, Rose," she said in her husky alto voice, before floating up to perch daintily across from Eddie on the counter.
Rose determinedly did not think that if M'gann ended up being her and Eddie's third, they'd look like Christmas when they were naked.
But it was just early enough in the year that she should be able to find some mistletoe…