This is a repost of a fill I posted on the yj_anon_meme kink meme. The content has been edited from its original content, as I posted the original before I truly edited it. I did indeed write this in its entirety, before and after the edits.
If Superboy can keep a *Bereft spoiler* giant robot *end spoiler* he should be able to keep a kitten.
Superboy finds a kitten, or rather the kitten finds him and won't leave him alone no matter what he does to try to get it to go home... so he ends up smuggling the kitten to Mount Justice with him. Then he has to hide the kitten until the inevitable happens and everyone finds out. I'm hoping he gets to keep the kitten in the end.
I just need some adorkable Superboy and kitten interaction in my life right now.
Disclaimer: Superboy does not belong to me, nor does the universe he and the rest of his team occupies.
I hope you enjoy!
It's a secret.
Not because he's afraid of what everyone will think; he doesn't think they'll mind if he's keeping it so long as he takes care of it, but because he wants to make sure it's old enough before he lets it out and about in the world. It's fragile and small and he doesn't want to see it hurt.
So he keeps it in his room, safe and sound with the starry night sky and only brings it out when no one's around. His super-hearing's good for a lot more things than he thought it would be, especially when it comes to sneaking around the massive base.
It's sweet and gentle, and sometimes it purrs loud enough to feel like the generators from when he was back in Cadmus. He finds it comforting in a way he just can't place.
It's fur is mostly white, but its ears are dusted with orange and there's a big black smudge on his chest that if he squints hard enough he can pretend looks like the familiar brilliant "S", just like him. Just like Superman. He smiles while he thinks about it because they have another thing in common.
Inevitably, he muses, he was going to get caught. He's just surprised its Black Canary—Dinah, she says—who finds them first.
"What have we here?" She asks, peering over his shower as he starts and only keeps himself from squeezing the kitten out of sheer determination to not do just that.
"…Sorry," He responds, looking sheepish, putting a protective hand between the kitten and her. He doesn't want her to take it away. But Dinah only smiles at him and ruffles his hair (he doesn't know why she does it, but he doesn't mind. Not anymore.) and settles down next to him.
"May I?" She asks, holding out her hands, her demeanor obvious. He hesitates for a moment then hands the kitten to her. He trusts her because she's never done anything against him (training doesn't count) and she's always tried to help him, trying to understand him and work with him in a way they can both use to improve. He likes that about her. Likes that she doesn't lie or beat around the bush. So he waits, half-tense just in case, as Dinah brings it in close, murmuring compliments into its fur as she strokes it from head to tail.
"What's his name?" She asks after a while, scratching under its chin until the kitten's purring as loud as it can, eyes half-lidded and content.
"Name?" Superboy looks at her, surprised. He hadn't thought of giving it a name. He looks down, wondering if he's done something terrible. Everyone has a name, don't they? Or almost everyone. Superboy wonders if it's okay to be "Superboy" forever.
"I don't know." He says finally, looking up to find her giving him that soft smile. The one that used to make him want to punch things but now just reminds him of hair-ruffles and the chili she gives him when she drops by in between their training sessions.
"We'll think of one, then." She tells him, shoving her face into the kitten's belly, her complimentary babble muffled in his fur.
Superboy watches them together and smiles.
He thought M'gann would be next, since she's the one who lives here the most with him, but it's Kid Flash who spots it first.
He's walking past the main room, intent on going back to his room for a nap with the kitten after his spar with Aqualad, only to find Wally and his kitten rolling around on the floor with a long piece of string, laughing as the young cat chases after the flash of red too fast for him to catch.
He jerks to a stop and stares at them, fists clenching and unclenching as he tries not to hurl the couch across the room. Wally's only playing with his kitten, which means he went into his room, and-
"Hey! Supey!" And Wally's right in front of him, holding the kitten up triumphantly, grinning that cheerful (obnoxious, Artemis calls it) smile of his.
"Look what I found! He was just wandering around the kitchen and I—"
"He's mine," He snarls, lifting the kitten out of Wally's arms and pulling him close, though extremely careful not to hurt the little creature as he glares at the red-haired hero, "Don't you know better than to take things that aren't yours? Stay out of my—"
"Hey, hey!" Interrupts the speedster, "Calm down, Supey, it's not like I stole him or anything. Like I said, he was wandered around the kitchen and I just picked him up. Maybe you left the door open or something?"
He frowns at the red-head, unsure whether or not to believe him, but Superman always believes his teammates, so Superboy lets it go (but makes a note to make sure his door's always shut before he leaves).
Wally just grins at him, "So you've got a thing for cats, huh?"
After that, there's no hope.
Kid Flash can't keep a secret to save his life or his kitten must have figured out his latch (or Wally bribed Robin to break into his room), so he's only mostly irritated when he finds the rest of his team cooing over his kitten after his workout session in the gym. He doesn't punch anything, which might be a first.
M'gann notices him first and flies over to greet him, beaming all the while.
"Superboy! Why didn't you tell us you found a kitten! He's soo cute!"
Superboy watches her beam at him for a second and then levels his gaze to Kid Flash. The other hero just grins and rocks back on his heels, helplessly shrugging his shoulders.
"Sorry man. You know better than to keep stuff like this from the team."
Superboy grunts noncommittally and looks at the rest of them. Robin's dangling a bell in front of his kittens face even as Artemis scratches behind his ears and Aqualad watches it all with his arms folded, looking almost unsure for all his casual demeanor. He's Atlantean, so he's probably never seen a kitten up close.
He shifts uncomfortably, unsure of how to act in this sort of situation. Cadmus' teachings never covered this sort of incident. Mournfully, he thinks Cadmus' teachings don't cover much of anything.
"How long were you going to keep this a secret from us, Superboy?" Asks Aqualad finally, looking at him with his leader-stance in full force. Superboy folds his arms, feeling threatened and not about to back down now.
"When I felt it was safe enough to let him out," He answers truthfully, watching as the other man looks him over, then finally sighs and runs a webbed hand over his short-cropped hair.
"I am not saying you can't keep him, but—" He holds up a hand against the protests Superboy has opened his mouth to give, "Do not hide from us. Please. We are a team and we should act like it. That means no secrets," He looks between his fellows for emphasis. Robin snorts out a laugh and gives him an incredulous look. Aqualad sighs, "At least no more than you must. And this is definitely not something you need to keep from us."
He smiles at Superboy and Superboy wonders what to do next. He's getting what he wants, isn't he? But he's never gotten it without some sort of confrontation. He's not sure what he's supposed to do now.
So he nods, feeling awkward and out of the loop again. He hates that feeling.
"What's his name?" Asks Artemis, looking up from her ministrations, a faint smile curling on her lips.
Superboy twitches and looks away, unsure of how to respond. He doesn't know what would be a good name, so he hasn't tried.
"How about Sneakers?"
He blinks and looks up only to find Robin looking thoughtfully at the kitten, as if pondering the possibilities.
"Why 'Sneakers'? What about 'Speedy'?" Pipes up Kid Flash.
"Oh, grow up, will you? I'm here to stay and nothing you try to do will change that!"
"Hey, I'm just saying! He looks like a fast cat!"
"Yeah right, and the next thing you know you'll want to name him Puss and give him little booties."
"No way! He doesn't even have boots!"
"Really? That's your only problem with that idea?"
"Calm down, both of you," Interrupts Aqualad giving them both an unamused look, "Let's let Superboy make the decision. It is his cat."
They turn to look at him and he glares back, feeling uncomfortable at the sudden shift of attention.
"I don't know," He answers finally, folding his arms over his chest again, "I'll think of something."
"I'll help!" Chirps M'gann, smiling up at him, cheerfully sweet as always. Superboy grunts and tries not to look embarrassedly relieved. Robin grins at him and boots up his palm-top, "Me too. I'm sure Batman's search filters can find something you'll like."
"You can pump me for info about names too, if you want, Supey," interjects Wally, grinning again. Superboy wonders if he can make any other expression.
Artemis snorts and throws up her hands, "If you want to look up a name with meaning come find me. I'm sure we'll figure something out."
"I suppose it would be too much to ask if his name could be Atlantean?" Murmurs Aqualad quietly to himself, giving the purring kitten an assessing look.
Superboy just stares at them, dumbfounded. He'd expected teasing, maybe a little incredulity and resistance to his keeping the kitten, but not this. His cheeks feel hot and he wonders, absurdly, if they can see it. But what is he supposed to do? He's never thought they'd care, and this development leaves him feeling more out of depth than when he'd first left his pod.
He isn't sure what's going on, but he can't say he doesn't like the feeling building inside his chest. It's warm and comforting; a lot like what he he felt when he first brought the kitten home. Home. He likes the sound of that. Likes it even more that it's filled with those he cares about; from his teammates to his kitten.
He could get used to this, he thinks, as he moves to scoop the kitten up into his arms.
Yeah. Just like this.