Standard disclaimers apply.

Follow up to Charlene's "Advice and Flowers"

Warnings and Sears Catalogs


Bart Allen sat on the high stool in the Young Justice kitchen, looking through the catalogue. He thought about getting Cassandra power tools, but then Max said that wasn't a good idea. Then he wanted to get her pretty nightclothes, but he figured out all by himself that would be a bad idea. Someone who worked all night didn't need nightclothes.

His legs swung back and forth as he turned the pages, trying to think of something good. Not bed sheets, not pots and pans. It had to be extra special—tomorrow night was their second date. Except for when Nightwing got shown out of the theatre by security, it was a real extra special good time. She was quiet, and she'd smiled real pretty and she kissed his cheek once. First she'd looked around a whole bunch and scowled at some weird guy in a leisure suit, but she kissed his cheek.

Superboy came waltzing into the kitchen and pulled opened the fridge. "Whatcha doing?" he asked suspiciously. Bart was taking his time on ever page, not flipping through the Sears catalog at super-speed.

"Looking for a gift."

"In the Sears catalog?" Kon asked, tearing back the tab on the Soder he pulled out of the fridge. It popped and hissed, then he lifted it to his lips and took a quick swig. "You buying for Max or something?"

Bart ducked his head down and stopped swinging his legs. "It's for Batgirl," he muttered.

"You think buying her a present's gonna make her not kill you?" Kon asked casually, taking another gulp. Cold sugary goodness.

"I'mgettingherapresentcauseIwannashowherIlikeher," Bart spit out.

Suddenly, his face got wet with Soder. He thought people only spit pop on TV. What was even grosser was that Bart realized Kon hadn't spit it out—it had come spraying out of his nose.

"YUCKY!" Bart yelled, speeding to the bathroom, wiping himself off with a towel, then coming back to the kitchen. "SWALLOW next time," Bart suggested.

"YOU like BATGIRL?" He'd been kidding before when he'd asked Bart to hook him up with BG. "First of all, you don't LIKE like anyone. And you're too young anyways. And BATGIRL? She'll kill you, disembowel you and eat your innards for breakfast." He was saying this for his friend's own good. Superboy was all about the altruism.

"Nuh uh," Bart said, hopping back on his stool. "She wouldn't do that. She likes me back. When we were at the movie, she kissed me."

Kon slammed his can down on the counter in an elaborate huff. "She did NOT! I refuse to believe she'd kiss a… a JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOLER!! She's BATGIRL!!"

"WHO did Batgirl kiss?" Robin asked, appearing out of nowhere. Those Bat- people ALL had issues, Kon decided.

Kon couldn't answer for a moment, but that was no problem because Bart was grinning wildly, giving himself away.

"You're making that up," Robin said in perfect denial.

"It was… uh… on the cheek," Bart said by way of consolation.

Robin was NOT consoled. He stood staring at the two young men with his arms folded under his cape. "Batgirl kissed YOU on the cheek." PLEASE let this be some idiotic joke to embarrass or show him up.

Bart shrugged sympathetically. Robin was a pain in the backside, but Robin was his friend, too.

"I think he's bluffing," Kon announced. "I mean, why would SHE go out with HIM? Like… WILLINGLY??" He put his hands on his hips, scowling at the speedster. "Why would she go out with HIM, when she could have ME?"

Said speedster rubbed a hand over his face, not believing Superboy was going to be so… well--SUPERBOY. Robin, meanwhile, had placed his hands on his hips as well in a mimicking gesture and was glaring at Kon with venom shooting from his eyes.

"She… said she thinks I'm cute," Bart said finally. He knew he was probably adding fuel to the flame, but it seemed like a good thing to point out. Especially since the greatest thing in the world happened—he found out she liked him back. What were the odds of that happening? He liked someone who liked him back.

"WHY? Why would she go out with you? You're a shrimp and you're an ADD child, and… and… look at ME!" Superboy moaned. "Rob knows what I'm talking about? Don't you Rob? I mean… the girl can have ANYONE, and she picks Bart? I mean she's stacked like--"

He didn't get the rest of the sentence out. Robin, The Boy Wonder, heard "stacked" and clocked Kon El.

"What'd I do!?" Kon asked, wiping a hand over his face.

"You ever say anything about BATGIRL and being STACKED in the same sentence, ever again, and I'll put you through a food-processor!" Fuming, Robin stomped out of the room, right past Wonder Girl

"What's ROBIN'S issue?" Cass asked as she entered the kitchen. Half a second later, Kon was also pushing past her to get out of the room. "Excuse you!"

"I'm gonna find out," Superboy called behind him, flying down the hall.

For two seconds, Cassie and Bart looked at each other vacantly, then shrugged in tandem. "What's going on?"

"Rob doesn't like my girlfriend," Bart muttered.

Bart had a girlfriend? The world was indeed a strange, strange place, Cassie decided.

There was a great crashing and smashing following by a wailing and gnashing of teeth beyond the kitchen. "Rob!" Superboy yelled. "You're psycho!" Without thinking, Speedster and Wonder Girl sped off after the noise.

Inside the recreation room, Robin had launched a full assault on The Kid. Superboy was currently pinned to the ceiling by Robin's bow staff.

"ROBIN!" Wonder Girl yelled. "What's going on!"

"All's I said was that she was a hunk of burning babe, and he attacked me!"

Robin scowled up at Superboy. "QUIT talking about her like she's some… some PINUP! She's a PERSON and she can KICK YOUR ASS. And if you EVER say anything about her… if you even THINK about her EVER AGAIN, I'm going to make this bow staff one with your inner ASS!" Robin huffed in deep, short breaths, glaring at Kon El.

Bart had never ever seen Robin this mad before. Ever. "If Batgirl can take care of herself, why're you beating up Kon for her?"

"You're going out with BATGIRL?" Cassie squealed.

"They're NOT going out!" Robin said forcefully, never turning away from Kon to look at them. "They spent time in each other's company ONCE, but it was a HORRIBLE MISTAKE, and BART ISN'T GOING TO DO IT AGAIN!"

Impulse arched an eyebrow. Robin was going all psycho like Nightwing did. "Holy over-protectiveness, Batman!"

Robin pulled the bow staff away from Kon El's abdomin and turned to face his friends. "WHAT did you say?"

"I said holy overprotectiveness," Bart said calmly. "I mean… Nightwing did the same thing in the movie theatre. And then security came and took him away."

"I'm not being overprotective—NIGHTWING was there? And when were you all thinking of telling me?"

Bart made a face. They were all totally psycho. He was lucky he didn't have Batman going all psycho on him too. "Like, why do you care? You think she's scary and stuff."

Kon drifted down to the carpet cautiously. "You'd think he was dating your sister." It was the wrong thing to say because Robin swung at him again. Fortunately, Cassie saw it coming and pushed Robin and Superboy apart, so all Robin connected with was air.

"She's…. NOT my sister."

"Then quit acting like it!" Kon put some distance between himself and Robin this time, though. Quick quip then RUN was his new tactic. "Geeze. I've been attacked by guys for dating their sister—and that's what that is. It aint even jealous boyfriend. I've seen THAT too. This is over protective brother syndrome."

"It—it is ISN'T!" Robin screamed, still in denial

"Well, what he's saying DOES make sense," Cass said gently. "So just calm down, Rob. It'll be OK. OK?"

Taking a few deep breaths, Robin collapsed the staff and sat down right where he was. "This isn't cool," he muttered, resting his elbows on his knees, then pressing his palms to his forehead. "Ok. I'm sorry, guys. I was out of line," Robin said, looking up at them finally. Superman had one said being a good leader meant knowing when to say you were sorry. And he was. It wasn't like him to completely lose it like that.

"'S ok," Bart said. "Least you didn't need security to take you outta here." He shrugged. "And there was this weird guy in a leisure suit making faces."

Robin moaned. "Matches. At least I'm not the only flaming psychotic," he told himself consolingly.

Bart dared to put his hand on his friend's shoulder. "It'll be ok," he said by way of encouragement. "I'll be nice to her. Can you give me a chance? Then… if I mess up, THEN you can come kill me."

Robin shook his head and slowly got to his feet. He had the beginnings of a killer headache. The worst part was—he'd done it to himself. "I'm sure you'll be good to her. It's just… I don't know. I got all weird inside. You know? It felt even worse than when I thought Spoiler was kissing Kon." He sighed. "I'm sorry, guys. Kon, you're still a pig. Bart—I hope you two keep having fun." He held out a hand to shake with his young, bushy-haired, golden-eyed friend.

With a smile on his face, Bart took his hand. "I'll be super-good to her. Extra special good, even."

Robin pulled the younger boy close to him. His eyes frowned, but the smile was still on his face. "Good," he said in a voice reminiscent of The Bat's. "Cause if you don't… I'll be waiting."