'Urgh.' groaned the masked archer as he flung himself onto his bed. What is wrong with me! I can't even look at him anymore. He punched his pillow in frustration as he thought about his teammate.
The crime rate had been low of late and the Titans East had been doing nothing but lazing around their tower for a month now. At first, Speedy had been happy to spend the time practicing archery and tinkering around with his beloved arrows and hair. Eventually however, even his hobbies began to bore him as the summer heat set in. It was too hot to go out so as a final resort he took to seeking refuge in Aqualad's bedroom as that room was always deliciously cold.
In the beginning, Aqualad had only grudgingly let him in as he too was feeling bored from being cooped up in the tower all day. The two began to have civil conversations as the days plodded by. Speedy knew that Aqualad had a gentleman air about him which when paired with his looks led to his large fan base. But it was only after they started chatting when Speedy realised just how great a conversationalist the Atlantean prince was. He soon found himself laughing over tales that Aqualad told him and Speedy began to actually look forward to his time spent with Aqualad.
The two warmed up to each other at a surprising rate and Speedy learnt more about his team mate in the next few days than in the past months they had worked together. He learned, for example, that the lad's favourite colour was not blue as he had thought but orange, 'Because that colour is hardly found in Atlantis. Whenever I see it, I remember the warmth of land.' he had said with a half-smile. Speedy loved that smile and always did what he could to see it.
It was two week later, after he had made Aqualad break into peals of ringing laughter over a silly joke, before he finally realised just how much he loved that smile. How much he loved that laugh. Just how much he loved those eyes that shone with so much intelligence and mirth and untold tales. It was then when Speedy realised finally that he had fallen for Aqualad.
The comfort he had felt whenever he was around Aqualad shrunk into a tightening sensation in his belly. The discomfort sat like a heavy knot on his heart as he tried to convince himself that it wasn't true. He, Roy Harper, could not be gay. He had fan girls. Many fan girls. Tons of fan girls. And he liked girls. He had dated a few, kissed a few even! He would not, could not, and should not be gay! Maybe you're bi, whispered a traitorous voice in his mind. He had groaned aloud at that thought which was unfortunate as he was in mid-conversation with the very boy he was thinking about.
'What's wrong?' the lad had asked, eyebrows furrowed in concern. 'Nothing.' he had said as he pinched the bridge of his nose. 'I'm just tired, that's all. Must be the heat, you know? I should go.' he had barley uttered the last sentence before he hurried out of Aqualad's bedroom. Aqualad had tried to say something but the archer had long since stalked away.
Speedy avoided Aqualad for the next four days. He did not go into the boy's room and did not speak unless spoken too, using monosyballic words when a reply was necessary. Finally, Aqualad could stand it no longer. He cornered the masked archer in the kitchen on the evening of the fifth frustratingly tense day.
'Why are you avoiding me?' he questioned.
'I'm not.' denied Speedy even as he turned his head away, making a big show of searching the cupboards for a snack.
'Speedy. Something is wrong with you. You won't talk to me, you won't look at me, you've stopped going to my room... What's going on?' hounded the determined Aqualad.
'I- just- Leave me alone okay? I'm fine! I don't need you to baby me!' said Speedy as he slammed a cupboard door shut. Aqualad grabbed him by the shoulders and spun him around.
'What the hell is your problem?' the Atlantean growled angrily.
'What's my problem? What's your problem?! You're the one acting like you have a pufferfish up your ars-'
'Leave the fish out of this!'
Speedy huffed and blew on his fringe as he did when he was annoyed. He turned to walk away from the prince who he had to admit still looked attractive with his normally pale skin flushed a beguiling shade of pink.
Aqualad flung his hands up in frustration and lamented, 'By Neptune's trident! I just do not understand you at all! One day, you are barging into my room first thing in the morning and the next day you can't even stand to be in the same room as me! I would probably be better off asking Robin what goes through that skull of yours! I bet he'll be the only one who'll know wh-'
There was a thump as Speedy pinned the swimmer to the wall, holding those slender wrists in his own calloused hands.
'I told you, never compare me to ROBIN!' he narrowed his eyes behind his mask as he continued 'I. Am. Not. His. Clone! I am my own person! Why won't you people just understand?! I have my own tastes, I make my own choices, I do things MY WAY!' he was yelling now. There was just so much anger fuelled by the injustice he felt all the time and this mixed with his current confusion drove him wild. Why was it no matter what he did, everyone could never see him for who he was?
Only when Aqualad shifted awkwardly in his hands did he remember he still had the swimmer pinned to the wall. He realised he was so close to Atlantean that they were literally chest to chest and his own lips were hovering dangerously near to the other's temptingly parted ones. Speedy quickly let go and spun around, praying that the other boy had not seen his red cheeks. He fled to his bedroom for refuge and did not leave even when Bee herself came knocking on his door.
And that was how he got here, sitting on his bed, punching his pillow and wondering just what to do next. Bee had long given up trying to coax him out and had muttered something about dropping off his dinner outside his door later. Why was she being so nice? Was it because Aqualad had asked her to go easy on him? Damn him, why does he make it so hard for me to hate him!
He hugged his pillow to himself and chewed one of the corners as he pondered his next step. How was he going to explain his strange behaviour? The twins were easy. They never really cared about the tower's going-ons since they were too caught up in their little Spanish-speaking world. Bee was a bit tougher. He would have to say that he had broken one of his arrows during practice which had left him in a foul mood. She would chide him for getting mad over such a small thing but would probably not probe too much. As for Aqualad...
Speedy smoothed out the wrinkles of his purple pillowcase. Purple, he found himself thinking. Just like his eyes. It had surprised him to find out that Aqualad's eyes were not really black. They were actually a deep, regal purple that one could only see when they were really close. Aqualad. Speedy closed his eyes as he replayed his violent reaction to the Robin-comparison comment. He was ashamed. Ashamed that he had lost his temper so easily. Ashamed that he treated his teammate in such a manner. How was he going to face Aqualad now?
Just as he was thinking of a solution there was a knock. 'Speedy? Open up! It's time for dinner.' Bee said, her voice muffled by the door. 'Coming.' muttered Speedy, arranging his face into a carefully blank expression as he slouched over to open the door. He was greeted with the sight of Aqualad holding a tray of food and a disgruntled Bee. She pushed the door open wider and shoved both Speedy and Aqualad further into the room.
'Personally, I was in favour of making you do all the chores for the next few months but Aqualad here asked me to go easy on you so here's the deal.' said Bee with a sort of savage kindness as she planted her hands resolutely on her hips. 'You two sort out whatever it is that's been going wrong. You will not leave this room until then. I won't have your bitterness or whatever it is to affect this team. The city needs us to be in top fighting condition and I can't have you two unwilling to so much as look at each other. Is that understood?'
Speedy wanted to protest but knew better than to do so. Aqualad must have used a considerable amount of charm to convince Bee to be so calm about the whole situation. All he could do was nod dumbly and watch as the girl flounced out of the room and slammed the door behind her.
There was an awkward silence as Aqualad silently made his way across the room and placed the tray carefully on Speedy's messy desk like it was some sort of peace offering. Speedy watched him and observed the way the other's hair swooshed when the prince nervously tucked his hair behind his ear while he perched gingerly on the purple sheets. Speedy turned his head away and they had a one way staring contest with Aqualad peering keenly at the red head, trying to figure out what to do next, while Speedy stared stubbornly at his gloves.
'Speedy...' started Aqualad as he laid an apprehensive hand on the archer's arm.
'Don't touch me.' said Speedy as he jerked his arm away. He had not meant to sound so harsh. He only knew that if he let the Atlantean too close, he would do something he would regret. Aqualad was hurt and confused. He tried to reach for the archer again but the reaction this time was so large the bed actually shook as the red-head turned his whole body away from the swimmer.
'Speedy, please.' implored the lad, his purple eyes begging. 'Look at me.' Speedy didn't dare. If he looked, he would drown. Then Aqualad said the magic word.
'Roy.' Speedy's head jerked up involuntarily at the sound of his given name. He made brief, fleeting contact with the other's gaze before returning to stare at his gloves. 'I'm sorry.' Aqualad murmured as he nervously chewed on his bottom lip.
'For what?' Speedy asked, careful not to meet the other's searching gaze. His voice was a bit hoarse from all the shouting before.
'I'm sorry for what I said. About Robin. I didn't mean- I could never think you were him. I'm so sorry.' the purple-eyed boy apologised. 'I knew it would make you mad. I knew you would react to that. I just didn't know it would hurt you so much. I swear that if I had known... I would never hurt you intentionally Roy. I swear it.' He said it again. My name. Speedy felt so stupid because hearing his real name coming from Aqualad's lips actually sent a tingle up his spine.
'It's okay.' he mumbled quietly. He wasn't mad at Aqualad for that comment anymore. He was more concerned about the pressing issue that was currently weighing heavily on his mind.
'Really?' the Atlantean seemed relieved.
'Yea, really. It's okay. I forgive you.'
'Good. I'm glad.' and Aqualad flashed his half-smile again.
'I knew you would come crawling back to me anyway.' joked Speedy as he tried to diffuse the remaining tension in the air. Purple eyes rolled like marbles as the Atlantean chuckled lowly. 'Right. I do not crawl to anyone Speedy, not even you.'
'Well let's have a little wager shall we?'
'I won't gamble.'
'Oh, you and your gentleman act. You're no fun.' said Speedy as he lay back onto his bed. He was surprised at just how fast that little misunderstanding had passed. He almost felt normal again. Well, except for the whole liking his male friend thing. But other than that, everything seemed just fine. He didn't even have to explain himse-
'You still haven't told me why though.' Damn. Speedy froze as Aqualad stared at him questioningly.
'Why what?' he tried to act dumb.
'I know you remember exactly what I'm talking about.' Aqualad rubbed his wrists subconsciously and Speedy winced. He didn't realise how rough he had been.
'Look, I'm sorry.' he said, propping himself up on his elbows. 'I was just... I'm just so sick of this weather. These few weeks have been so dull and - hanging out with you was never dull of course! You know what I mean. And- and I broke one of my arrows the other day so...' he trailed off lamely before finishing with a sincere. 'I'm sorry.'
Aqualad sighed. 'You and your silly arrows.' he said simply. Then he grinned. 'I've missed talking to you. My room feels so cold without you around to keep me warm.'
Speedy shivered at the innuendo. He cursed his hormones as he once again found his gaze wandering over his team mate. This time his eyes took in the sight of the Atlantean's broad shoulders and trailed down to the well defined torso.
'You cold? You shivered.' asked Aqualad as he placed a hand on Speedy's abdomen. 'Gah!' Speedy gave a small yelp and immediately jerked up into a sitting position. He had been so caught up on looking at the prince that the sudden warmth on his stomach had shocked him. He flushed scarlet when he realised how stupid he must have looked. 'Err... sorry about that. I was just...' he started to explain before he caught sight of Aqualad's face.
It was blank, unreadable, like the ocean. His all-knowing eyes were focused on the hand he had just rested on his teammate and his eyebrows were furrowed slightly. He was in what Speedy had jokingly dubbed his thinking state.
'You like me.' were the three words he said after careful pondering. Purple eyes searched for masked ones. It was not a question. 'I- I- Yea, of course I do. You're my friend and...' he was silenced by the look that Aqualad gave him. There was no clear expression on the Atlantean's face and yet Speedy could not help but feel a bit scared. He did not know what was going through the other's mind. The seconds seemed to stretch into hours as the prince kept his lips firmly sealed.
'Aqualad. I- I'm sorry. Please don't get mad. Please.' pleaded Speedy. He was certain that the Atlantean's silence was a polite expression of disgust. 'I- I don't know what's wrong with me. Maybe it was something I ate, maybe it's the weather. Please, please don't turn away. I won't try anything, I swear! I- I- I don't know what is wrong but if it makes you feel better I'll stay away from you, okay? I'll stay far, far away until it goes away! I-'
Aqualad silenced the babbling boy with another look before slowly, almost lovingly; removing his right glove. Speedy felt chocked as he saw the black fabric slide up to reveal a pale expanse of skin. Aqualad then turned his violet gaze on the frozen red-head and raised his un-gloved hand. For a heart stopping moment, Speedy though he was going to get punched. And I deserve it. He thought and held his breath, waiting for the blow to land.
It never came. Instead, he was surprised to feel the Atlantean's smooth hand on his burning cheek. Aqualad stared into his eyes and murmured in a low voice, 'Roy Harper. You are a world class fool.' Speedy was very confused. Aqualad leaned in closer, his dark eyes clouded by something unidentifiable. 'Such a fool.' he whispered into Speedy's ear as a small grin touched his lips.
'I- I don't understand.' Speedy stammered. 'Oh Roy.' Aqualad almost sighed. He gently pressed his lips against the archer's forehead. Speedy was frozen for a second before he reeled away in surprise. Aqualad sat there patiently, his face once again a mask as he pulled his glove back on while waiting for Roy's breathing to return to normal, much like a hunter waited for his prey.
Roy stared dumbly at the Atlantean as he slowly connected the dots. Aqualad had just kissed him. On the forehead only, but still. Aqualad had kissed him. And now he was just sitting. Waiting. Speedy gulped nervously as he slowly crawled back to his place beside the Atlantean.
'You kissed me.'
'You know why.'
Speedy gulped again. 'I thought you liked girls.'
'I thought you did too.' He had a point there. Speedy was reduced once again to silence. There was a pause before-
'How long?' it was now Aqualad's turn to ask questions.
'How long have you liked me?' Speedy lowered his head almost guiltily when he said, 'I don't really know. A couple weeks now I guess.'
'I see.' Aqualad clasped his hands together and rested his chin on them. 'Is that why you were avoiding me?'
'I- Well. Yes.' stuttered Speedy.
'I never expected you to be so shy about it. I thought you were the kind to shout from the mountain tops about your love affairs.'
'I do not!' Speedy said angrily and he prepared to launch into a tirade about just how he liked to keep his affairs quiet. Aqualad smiled. 'You are adorable when you get mad, you know?' This immediately caused the archer to deflate and blush. Aqualad chuckled at the sudden display of shyness. Then his face became serious. He cupped Roy's head in his hand and looked into his eyes. Roy felt as though the Atlantean could see straight through his mask.
'Roy, do you like me?' he asked.
The archer was silent. He slowly ran though the list of reasons why he liked Aqualad and then he went though the list of reasons why he didn't. He thought about the possibilities that this was a case of momentary infatuation, a moment of hormonal madness. He thought about all the consequences of what he was about to say next. He took a deep breath and then...
Aqualad's face broke into the biggest smile Roy had ever seen. 'I'm glad.' He tackled Roy in a hug that caused the masked teen to land on his back on the bed. Aqualad took the opportunity to straddle the surprised archer. He leant over, pressing himself shamelessly against the trapped teenager. 'I knew you would come crawling back to me.' The Atlantean drawled into the other's ear with a salacious smirk on his face.
Roy was surprised the sudden change in Aqualad's temperament. The gentlemanly demeanour had been replaced by an almost predatory stance. The worst thing about the whole situation was that he was actually enjoying it. 'I did not crawl to you, you- you- gender confused fish!' he stammered. Aqualad's smirk grew even wider and his eyes seemed to darken. 'Is that the best you got? Besides, I am not the only one who swings both ways...'
'Well... I- You're the first...' Roy confessed. Then he summoned up his strength and flipped Aqualad over, pinning him onto the bed so his hair splayed about his head like a black halo. 'How long?'
'What do you mean how long?' Aqualad quirked his eyebrows at the word 'long'. Roy almost blushed at the blatant innuendo. Had the Atlantean been sending them to him all along? 'How long have you liked me?'
Aqualad smiled. 'There was never an exact moment. It was a gradual thing I suppose.'
Speedy was silent for a moment before asking. 'So... maybe, even from the very beginning?'
'Maybe.' Aqualad shrugged carelessly though his eyes were telling a different story. Roy felt a silly smile spread over his face at the thought of having Aqualad's affection for so long. 'I was so sure you only liked girls. I mean, you always share looks with Raven and I never saw you look at boys that way.'
'Raven and I are just good friends. Nothing more. And you don't catch me staring because I am careful.' Aqualad chuckled and looked up into his new lover's face. 'You should count yourself lucky that your first is someone who came from a culture where it was acceptable to take a mate from any gender.' he whispered. He placed special emphasis on the world 'mate' which immediately caused a number of thoughts to race through Roy's hormone addled mind. Aqualad took advantage of his sudden daze to get on top again.
'You know,' the Atlantean said cheekily as he planted a light kiss on the red head's cheek. 'Bee did say we didn't have to leave this room until we were done.'
A grin that matched Aqualad's spread across Roy's face as he replied. 'I love the way you think.'
'So do I.'
Well, here it is. My first ever slash fic. I know most of the people who watch me only do so for my Avatar stories but I thank you for giving this Teen Titan fic a chance. I was inspired to write this after recently rewatching some episodes which reminded me just how much I used to love this series. Such a shame they ended it... AL and Speedy were and still are one of my favourite slash pairings so I'm glad I finally wrote a fic about them. They need more love and fanfic and art!!
Big love and hugs to everyone who read this! Hope you enjoyed it and I hope you can also take some time to review cuz it means the world to me! :D