Fandom: Young Justice
Rating: K+ (for now...)
Summary: It was in his genes to catch people when they fell, a predisposition if you will. But Superboy found himself in the unfamiliar territory of falling. And who is supposed to catch a hero when he falls?
Disclaimer: Young Justice and its characters do not belong to me. All I claim is the plotline of this story.
AN: This just...came to me. I'm already working on another YJ story (it has an OC...eek I'm not a fan of OCs in fanfiction. I can't believe that happened to me but I can't stop it now), but it's long and I probably won't ever post it because I'm ashamed I used an OC (no matter how much I love him). But I feel I can contribute this story more easily (and without too much worry of embarrassment) to my new obsession. As if I didn't have enough fandoms to write for, now I'm adding YJ. Will the madness never stop? So yeah, hope y'all enjoy it.
Superboy knelt on the ground, his breath coming out in harsh pants. He cradled a body in his arms, the figure quiet and motionless. His arms were shaking but not from the weight of the body, but from his fear. It overwhelmed him, so much so he couldn't respond to the voice shouting in his ear com, asking if they were okay. All he could do was stare down at the body in his arms, trembling from emotions he hadn't yet felt in his brief existence.
The team was on a mission, doing reconnaissance on a business company Batman suspected was double dealing to the Cult of the Kobra. So they saddled up and came to the main building of this company, which might be working for Kobra, searching for clues that may help them win this undefined fight. Or at least understand where they stood. They snuck in just after midnight, splitting into teams to search the building. Superboy had been teamed with Robin, so he could protect their team's greatest weapon against the complexity of cyberspace.
Robin had been hacking the mainframe when someone had found them, and that someone had a Kobra Venom junkie with him. Robin immediately disappeared like a wraith, going after the man that had found them. Superboy was left to fight the juiced up monster, following after his partner after he sent the beast through a window ten stories up. He had followed the sound of Robin's banter with their foe, making his way to the roof of the skyscraper.
Superboy arrived on the rooftop just in time to watch Robin be violently knocked out by his opponent. The man looked at Superboy, a smirk distorting his pale face as he grabbed a hold of one of Robin's ankles. Superboy realized what was about to happen a moment too late as the man swung Robin's limp body into the air and over the ledge.
Superboy didn't think twice before jumping after his friend, leaving the man laughing alone on the roof.
He had done this many times before, catching his teammates if they fell. It was in his genes to catch people when they fell, a predisposition if you will. Superman was always catching the falling innocent victim, and Superboy was just following in the man's footsteps. But then he realized that he was falling too as he reached out for Robin, the ground looming ever closer and closer. Who was supposed to catch Superboy when he fell?
But that wasn't the scariest part. No the scariest part for Superboy was how his heart felt as he and Robin fell to the ground 80 stories below. When he had seen Robin knocked out his heart felt like it had been crushed in a vice like grip. And when Robin had been thrown over the roof's edge Superboy could have sworn it stopped a beat. And then, as they fell, it felt like it was breaking. And it wasn't because he was falling.
It was because Robin was.
Half way through their fall he caught up with Robin and Superboy snatched his motionless body into his arms. Now he was falling feet first, his teammate clasped tight in his arms. He didn't know if he would be able to endure this fall, he had never jumped from so high of a place. But what had worried him the most was Robin. His frailer body wouldn't survive the impact, no matter how much Superboy's body absorbed it or how big of a crater he created.
That thought made his heart hurt more. The unfamiliar feeling of tears gathering in his eyes surprised him and Superboy couldn't seem to catch his breath. But all his flustered mind could process was that Robin was going to die, no matter what he did.
The ground was upon them, rushing up so fast that it blurred in Superboy's eyes, or maybe that was the tears. And then it happened...
It was only for a moment, just a heartbeat, but he had felt it. Instead of crashing into the ground they landed softly, his feet tapping down before his trembling legs collapsed. His body shook all over and he was left staring at Robin's face, his partner safe and sound except for the trickle of blood running down his left temple.
Robin was alive.
The relief was so strong it reduced him to a shuddering mess, shutting down everything in his head except for that one thought. And so Superboy knelt on the ground, staring at his teammate as he waded through all of the endless emotions he was feeling.
"Superboy, do you copy? Are you okay? What's Robin's status? Superboy!"
Robin groaned, eyes cracking open as a voice continued to shout in his ear. His head felt like it weighed a ton and his stomach churned with nausea. But he was warm. And except for the urge to puke and feeling like his head was going to crack open like an egg, he was comfortable. Robin shifted, realizing immediately he was held in someone's arms. He lifted his head and found Superboy's face staring into his own, his blue eyes shining.
The yelling continued in his ear and Robin groaned again as it caused his head to pound even more than it was. He brought a hand to his ear com, hissing as his shoulder protested at the movement.
"We're fine Aqualad," he managed to ground out, gasping as the world spun for a moment. "Kobra's on the roof. Don't worry about us and just finish the mission."
Robin very much appreciated Kaldur's personality at that moment. The Atlantian knew they weren't okay, but understood they were fine enough so that the rest of the team could focus on the mission. Kaldur would no doubt be babying them later, but when in the field he was all business. He was a good leader.
He let his arm drop, turning his attention to the young man currently holding him. Robin was about to ask what happened when he glanced up, seeing the building they had infiltrated towering above them. The two of them were in the middle of the road, which was thankfully deserted at this time of night. His stomach dropped as he realized what had undoubtedly happened after Kobra had sucker punched him. Robin's hands suddenly felt sweaty and his mouth was dry at the thought that he had been falling. He didn't like falling.
"Nice catch, Supey," Robin said playfully, giving a smirk he really didn't feel. He should probably get out of the clone's arms now, but his head was telling him he shouldn't move on his own for say, a week. So even though his Batman induced pride was scoffing at his weakness, Robin just settled into Superboy's embrace.
"You were falling," Superboy whispered, still looking at him with his unwavering blue gaze.
"But you caught me. I'm fine," Robin replied, his smirk falling at Superboy's expression. The boy looked lost.
"When you were falling. It made my heart hurt."
Robin shifted in Superboy's embrace, gasping when his teammate tightened his hold, seeming to not want to let him move. He lifted his hands and placed them on Superboy's cheeks, shaking him as bit as his gaze continued to be unrelenting. It didn't seem like Superboy was all there. "I'm fine," Robin said again, though the tremble in his voice disputed that. "I'm fine. You saved me."
Superboy finally blinked, seeming to realize where he was and what was going on. He looked around them before turning his gaze back to Robin, his eyes assessing him from head to foot. They were quiet for a while, a soft wind blowing along the road to ruffle their hair.
"You're trembling," Superboy whispered.
"So are you," Robin replied, his hands sliding down from his teammate's face to rest on his shoulders.
"Why are you trembling?"
"...I hate falling."
"Why are you?"
"I don't like watching you fall."
His body's shaking increased for a moment and Robin felt utterly naked. He shouldn't have said that, he shouldn't have asked that. But he had. He was cradled in Superboy's arms, feeling so warm and safe that he had exposed himself, exposed a weakness. He had taken down part of the wall Batman had ordered him to erect between himself and everyone he knew. But he couldn't stop himself. He felt so raw, like he had been stripped of everything...like he was watching his parents die all over again.
Superboy didn't look any better. He appeared confused, shaken, naked, and seemed as vulnerable as Robin felt.
And for a moment, Robin wondered if this was what falling in love felt like.
Their mission had not been as successful as they had hoped. Kobra had disappeared and they had only been able to collect a small amount of data. Robin's hacking skills had been sorely missed after he was indisposed. But Batman said they would try again, at another location. And then he and Red Tornado were called away on League business, leaving the young team on their own in Mount Justice.
Kaldur watched his team as they dispersed. Artemis and Ms. Martian decided to watch a movie, Wally deciding to join because he said Megan could hold onto him "if it gets too scary." Robin was in his room, heavily medicated so he would rest and heal from his fight with Kobra. That just left Superboy. Kaldur watched the clone as he trailed away from the other three, walking towards the hallway which led to their personal quarters.
He was immensely worried for his friend, Superboy had been quieter than usual since they had returned, which just made Kaldur's concern grow. So he followed Superboy now, sparing a smile as Wally and Artemis argued over what movie to watch while Megan offered to make the popcorn.
Kaldur found Superboy standing outside of Robin's room. He was staring intently at the door, eyes narrowed and a frown on his face. "Are you trying your heat vision again?" he asked softly, hoping a joke would lighten Superboy's mood.
The young man looked at him for a moment before returning his gaze to the door. He said nothing, just standing stiff and still with his hands clenched at his side. Kaldur sighed, walking forward and sliding open the door to Robin's room. The inside was sparse, much like Superboy's room was. The clone didn't have an identity and Robin couldn't reveal his. The two were very much alike in that regard, because to the team they were only known by their hero identities. Kaldur smiled at Superboy and placed a hand on his shoulder, gently urging him into the room.
Superboy looked at him with wide eyes, appearing bewildered and just a touch scared. "You wanted to see how he was doing, right?" Kaldur asked, smile unwavering. "I would like to see how he is doing as well."
Slowly Superboy went into the room, and once he was moving he didn't stop until he was sitting at Robin's bedside, looking intently at the boy's face. Kaldur approached the bed as well, but he took up residence on the opposite side, so he could watch both of his teammates. He sat down, taking a deep breath before broaching the topic Superboy had yet to elaborate on. He had given enough information to satisfy Batman, but Kaldur knew there was more to the story than what Superboy had let on. And he hoped his friend would open up enough to explain what he was feeling.
"What happened back there?" he asked softly, keeping a smile on his face as Superboy looked at him. The clone expressed himself more in his company if Kaldur had an un-threatening and supportive expression on his face.
"Kobra showed up with one of those Venom guys. Robin went after Kobra and I took care of the other guy. Then I went to the roof. Robin was knocked out and tossed over the ledge. I caught him," Superboy said quietly, tensely.
Kaldur sighed, frowning at his friend's response. It was exactly what he had said to Batman and Red Tornado when they had returned, Robin held dazed and injured in Superboy's arms. Kaldur leaned forward so his forearms rested on his thighs, looking seriously into Superboy's closed off stare.
"What really happened, Superboy?"
The clone closed his eyes, face scrunching up in frustration before he relaxed, turning his eyes from Kaldur. Instead he looked at Robin his hands twitching in his lap like he wanted to reach out and touch the Boy Wonder.
Kaldur blinked in surprise at that response, leaning back to sit heavily in his chair. Then he smiled. "That is wonderful," he said, grinning at his friend who didn't return the gesture.
Superboy frowned and finally lifted a hand from his lap, reaching out and softly touching Robin's cheek. Kaldur's smile fell and he tilted his head at the clone's unusual actions.
"I've never felt that before."
"Yes...no. My heart hurt. When we were falling I was scared. Because I knew he wouldn't survive the impact. It was too far. My body was shaking. It hurt so bad. He was going to die and I couldn't do anything. I've never felt that when I've caught someone. It's only him."
Kaldur was quiet after Superboy's admission, slowly putting two and two together as his friend continued to stroke Robin's face. Superboy's eyes were confused as he looked at Robin, his other hand reaching out to hold the Boy Wonder's limp appendage, almost instinctively. A smile came to Kaldur's face and he reached over the expanse of the bed to clap Superboy on the shoulder. The clone looked up at him, eyes narrowed in his frustration at not understanding what was going on.
"What's wrong with me," Superboy asked.
Kaldur's smile grew and he squeezed Superboy's shoulder before he sat back. "I do believe you are in love with Robin or at least have a crush," he said softly.
He expected shock or possibly disgust from Superboy in reaction to what he had proposed but Superboy just stared at him in confusion. Kaldur blinked when his friend just continued to blankly look at him.
"You do know what love is, right?"
Superboy just shook his head, glancing back down at Robin before turning his attention to Kaldur, opening himself up to learning something new. Kaldur smiled, scratching his chin as he thought about how to explain something as complicated as love when he himself had never truly felt it before.
"It is a complex emotion. It's when someone feels more than friendship for someone else. Usually when someone is in love, their heart beats faster when in the presence of the person they have affection for, and they feel worried when that person is in trouble or hurt and they feel very happy when that person smiles or laughs. Love is wanting to always be with someone and to make them happy. Their happiness is your happiness," Kaldur explained as best as he could.
Superboy blinked, looking at him impassively for a few moments before his eyes shifted to Robin's face. He stared at the Boy Wonder for a long while, nothing changing in his posture or expression. And then Superboy smiled. He glanced back at Kaldur, his grin warm and bright.
"Thank you Kaldur. I wasn't able to explain my feelings around Robin. I was worried it was something bad. But now I know it is a good thing."
"So you've felt these feelings even before our mission yesterday?"
Superboy nodded, his hand that had been stroking Robin's cheek drifting into the boy's black hair. And then Superboy frowned for a moment and he tilted his head. "What do I do now," he asked.
"Well traditionally, when someone realizes their feelings for someone else, they tell that person. And if the feelings are reciprocated then the two will date."
"They become a couple."
"Oh... so I should tell him how I feel?"
"That is best. Even if he doesn't feel the same you will feel better for telling him."
"He doesn't feel the same?"
"I'm not sure."
Superboy nodded, a determined look coming to his face. "I will tell him when he wakes up," he said with conviction.
Kaldur smiled, respecting the young man in front of him more and more as he got to see the man within the clone. Superboy didn't seem to feel embarrassment, mostly because he didn't understand what situations usually invoked awkwardness. Many people would not be able to so easily confess such strong feelings to someone else. But Superboy was able. Kaldur hoped Robin felt the same, or that he would feel the same in the future. Because Superboy was quite the catch.
Kaldur stood up from his seat, walking around the bed to place a hand on Superboy's shoulder. He smiled down at his friend, and the action was returned. "I will take my leave then. I hope things work out for you two," he said softly, and then Kaldur left room, deciding he would join the rest of their team in their movie watching.
He looked back once before he left. Superboy was hunched protectively over their teammate, his strong hands soft and tender as he held Robin's hand and brushed his hair. Kaldur smirked and then started walking down the hall, whistling an Atlantian love song under his breath.
Robin groaned as he woke up, his head pounding and feeling much too heavy for his body. He hated waking up after taking medicine. He knew why Batman did it, because he would have jumped right back into crime fighting even with his bruised ribs and lumped head. Still, he hated waking up after being drugged.
"Are you alright," a deep voice asked.
Robin's eyes snapped opened before he closed them immediately when they protested at the light of his room. His next try was more successful and he slowly opened his eyes, letting them adjust to his surroundings. He saw Superboy leaning over him, looking concerned. Robin smirked, shifting on the bed so he was in a more comfortable position on his back. He wasn't going to try sitting up quite yet. "I'm fine, just feeling a little groggy," he said, lifting a hand to rub at his head. It was then that he realized that his other hand was being held by Superboy and that there was a palm cradling his scalp.
Robin looked up at Superboy in confusion for a moment. His teammate was gazing at him with his bright blue eyes, looking similar to how he did after they had fallen. He just didn't look lost right now as he did then, but his eyes were still intense. Robin tilted his head more into Superboy's hand, marveling at how blue his eyes were. They were lighter than his were, more like the sky than the ocean blue his own were...
His eyes widened and Robin sat up, looking around for his glasses or his mask, but finding neither. He looked at Superboy with panicked eyes before turning his back to the clone, covering his face. Robin couldn't believe someone had seen him without something covering his eyes. Hands grabbed at his shoulders, trying to turn him back around.
"You saw my eyes when you weren't supposed to."
"Why is that so bad? Your eyes are very pretty."
Robin knew he shouldn't but he did anyway, he turned and looked at Superboy. No one had ever said anything like that to him. It made Robin feel... happy. But even so, Robin was still forbidden to let anyone see who he was. He turned away from Superboy again, bowing his head.
"You're not supposed to know my secret identity."
"But... I don't know your secret identity."
"You saw my eyes though."
"Yes. But that doesn't mean I know who you are. You're still Robin to me. Now I just know what color your eyes are."
Robin blinked and once again he looked over his shoulder at Superboy. "You have to promise not to tell anyone," Robin said in all seriousness. But inside he felt like laughing happily. As long as Batman didn't find out it wasn't that big of a deal having Superboy see him unmasked. Robin had a feeling though that he wouldn't feel this way if anyone else on the team, especially Wally or Artemis, had seen him unmasked. It was probably because it was Superboy that Robin felt happy that his eyes had been revealed. Though he couldn't quite place his finger on the reason why.
"I promise," Superboy said earnestly. And after he said that Robin relaxed and turned to fully face his teammate.
They quietly stared at each other for a while, not saying a word. Robin could hear the sounds of a movie playing in the other room along with the noises of Artemis and Wally arguing. Robin was just about to suggest they go join their teammates when Superboy spoke.
"I believe I'm in love with you."
It wasn't Robin's most graceful response to something said to him, but he had never had to respond to this particular statement. He just stared gape jawed at Superboy for the longest time, thinking his teammate would laugh and say he was joking. But Superboy didn't, and Robin honestly didn't expect him to. Superboy was not a jokester like Wally was and he was someone who didn't speak unless he had something important to say...or he was angry. And Superboy did not appear angry at the moment.
So after about five minutes of nothing happening, Robin could conclude that Superboy was speaking the truth. And Robin was at a loss.
Superboy was frowning now, but he didn't move away from Robin's side. "You're not saying anything," Superboy murmured after a while.
Robin looked down, plucking at the bed sheets spread across his lap. "I'm not sure what to say, Superboy," he admitted quietly.
"You're supposed to tell me how you feel, correct?"
"But I'm not sure how I feel. I know I like you, but I don't know if it's love."
"Then I will wait until you are sure."
Robin smiled and chuckled a bit. Anyone else would be getting upset that their feelings hadn't been answered, but not Superboy. He was going to wait because to him that was the course of action that made sense. And Robin had the sneaking suspicion it wasn't going to take him too long to reciprocate Superboy's feelings if the clone kept acting this way, acting like such a nice and considerate guy that is.
"I think I might be falling for you," Robin murmured under his breath as he glanced up at his friend, a phrase not meant for anyone's ears but his own, but he had forgotten that Superboy had superior hearing.
Robin jumped at Superboy's sudden shout, looking at the clone bewildered as his teammate grabbed his shoulders. "What's wrong?" he asked.
"Don't fall. You told me you hate falling... and I hate seeing you fall."
"No, it's okay. Falling in love is different. Besides... I know you'll catch me."
Robin smiled at Superboy for a while, feeling pleased when the gesture was reciprocated. His teammate had scared Robin with his outburst, making him believe for a moment that Superboy hadn't wanted his feelings. Robin chuckled as he thought about what Superboy had said about falling. He took things much too literally sometimes, not that it was the clone's fault. Many common phrases were misleading if someone hadn't heard them before. And it was right about then that he processed what he had said in response. Robin groaned and covered his face with his hands, feeling a mortified blush heat his cheeks.
"Oh my god," he moaned, so utterly thankful no one else had been in the room to hear that.
"What's wrong, "Superboy asked worriedly.
"Didn't you hear what I just said?"
"Yes. And you are correct that I will catch you if you ever fall again."
Robin slapped his forehead and groaned. "You don't get it. I just said the corniest and most cheesiest line ever. Not even one of those stupid romantic comedies things Ms. Martian insists on watching could compare to that."
"I do not understand what corn and cheese have to do with anything."
Robin chuckled despite himself, looking through his fingers at what he could only dub as Superboy's 'adorably confused face.' He sighed and slapped his forehead again. He was turning into a girl. But as Robin glanced at Superboy's face and was unable to keep a smile off his face, he thought acting like a girl didn't seem so bad at the moment. Thankfully his pride as a boy was safe around Superboy. The clone had yet to acclimate to society's definition of things, including gender roles. Slowly Robin relaxed his posture, lowering his hands from his face and leaning back against his bed's headboard.
"I'll make you a deal Supey," Robin said, continuing when his teammate nodded. "You promise not to tell anyone what I just said, and I'll go on a date with you."
"So we will be a couple," Superboy asked.
"We're just going to try it out. And if things go well then you can be my boyfriend."
"But I thought we already were friends."
"Being boyfriends means that we're a couple Supey," Robin said with a roll of his eyes, feeling amused rather than annoyed by Superboy's lack of mainstream knowledge.
"Oh," Superboy said quietly, looking away from Robin with a frown on his face. He seemed upset that he hadn't made that distinction.
"Hey relax. Before you know it you'll understand everything that's being said."
"I doubt it. Especially if it's Kid Flash talking."
Superboy smiled at him and Robin had another girly moment of internally sighing over how handsome the clone looked when he smiled. That whack to the head must have more damage than he thought. Or... maybe he was just finally taking notice of some things he hadn't before. Maybe that fall and the lump on his head had actually been very good things.
Superboy took a hold of his hand and Robin showed him how couples did it, by lacing their fingers together. He laughed at Superboy's childlike interest in the action, thinking to himself that maybe falling hadn't been the worst thing that could have happened to them.
AN: Well how did it go? Did ya enjoy it? I rather enjoyed writing this. I really love the male characters in the show (though Wally kinda pissed me off in "Denial"). And since slash/yaoi is my forte, I had to do something with these boys. It's always hard though writing in a new fandom, especially one so new. I'm not sure if I captured their personalities right or not.
I'm tempted to add more to this story but I'm not sure yet, I suppose I'll wait and see what kind of response I get before jumping the gun. So yeah, let me know if you want more of this story or if you want to possibly see my OC story or anything else slashy (I've got a soft spot for KF/Robin and Superboy/Aqualad along with Superboy/Robin). I'm just looking to see if YJ might be another fandom I add to my 'frequent writing' list.