~X~

"Superboy…"

Kaldur's disapproving tone met with a crinkling nose and the clone's lips smashing into a thin, straight line. Hmm. Kaldur's index finger tapped softly against his tattooed forearm as he continued with calm observation, "I do not think Batman would approve of keeping him in our facilities…"

"Her," Superboy corrected him, teeth visibly scraping together.

Kaldur gazed over his tensed companion and then let his light blue eyes drift over to the tiny creature perched on Superboy's shoulder. It gripped with an animal-like stubbornness into the black fabric of Superboy's shirt with its even tinier digits and tilting its striped head at Kaldur in what would appear to be a harmless gesture of acknowledgment.

"Apologies, my friend. We simply cannot keep her. We don't know if Cadmus could still be maintaining surveillance over the telepathic links to G-Gnomes. Doing so could potentially endanger our team's operation and perhaps the team itself."

"She's not the enemy," Superboy insisted; in an extraordinary and human way, it was quite admirable how possessive he was towards the creature. "She followed me from Cadmus Labs and has been trying to find me." The G-Gnome purred through its fangs as the clone picked it up under its stubby arms, staring down with a faint smile. "She's the one who gave me the images of the moon and sun."

A smile. A real smile. They were rare occasions but when Superboy did smile, Kaldur was very… he supposed, thankful to witness them.

"If it were up to me, I would investigate a suitable option for you. But it is not up to me," he reminded Superboy who grunted. "In any matter, Batman still needs to be informed about her. If permission is granted, and if it can be proven that this creature's line of telepathy has not been tampered with… then as the team's leader, I would personally feel that you keeping her is acceptable."

Superboy's blue eyes — much darker than Kaldur's, more open and with penetrating quality that Kaldur was sure made others feel nervous, nervous like tremors — peeked up at him with a silent thank-you.

The horns of the white creature in Superboy's hands blinked a dim red glow several times and Kaldur braced himself for impact. Instead of the mind-controlled, lunging Superboy hell bent on tossing him against the Cave's walls that Kaldur may have been anticipating, the clone merely spoke to the G-Gnome with a curious expression. "…Is that what that smell is?"

Kaldur frowned at their exchange. "What smell are you referring to, Superboy?" he asked.

"You."

Light blue eyes widened, surprised.

"You smell like petrichor," Superboy affirmed.

The other boy said with carefully chosen words when the clone set the G-Gnome by his feet to approach him, "I'm… afraid I am not familiar with the term…" Those words trailed off slightly as Superboy stood in front of him, though Kaldur was a good inch or two taller than him, he was the one feeling towered over.

Superboy's hand fell over his shoulder. "It's the smell of the earth after rainfall." Fingers like steel but warm and human-soft to the touch dug into the red, padded muscle shirt but not into Kaldur's own dark skin. Superboy told him, a controlled expression in place, "You smell good," before he yanked one side of Kaldur's shirt to his chest and merged their lips together. For a brief moment, Kaldur thought he was misunderstanding this expressive and emotion-driven action. He didn't even know Superboy was accustomed to the ritual of kissing. Surely… No, no, Superboy could not be harboring… f-feelings for… …

Kaldur moaned against Superboy's mouth and pressed his hands against the space of chest wishing to decrease space between them until both boys separated, panting. A touch of pink on the clone's cheeks. And Kaldur was not all too sure that his own facial features were unrevealing. Those nervous tremors were returning. "Superboy… I…"

"Red Tornado says that I should get use to people calling me Conner." Superboy said pointedly, eyeing the other boy and letting go of his shirt, "I want you to."

"…Very well, Conner."

And how… welcoming it is to see Superboy's lips tilting upwards. "It would be best if we were to contact Batman immediately about your G-Gnome." Kaldur watched the clone nod and lean over to pick up the tiny creature as it scrambled back for a comfy spot on his broad shoulder.

Superboy's eyes met his evenly. "Can we do that again?"

Hmm.

Kaldur felt his neck heat.

"Some other time would be best…" he explained, trying not to visual the next set of his words. "With Batman not present."

~X~


FINALLY! I'VE WRITTEN A SUPERBOY/AQUALAD! I've been wanting to do it for ages. Gosh. Hope you all like~ Oh, and this was totally inspired by the comic panel of Superboy finding his own G-Gnome and wanted to keep it. Bwahaha. And to my best friend, my sister, my possessive huswife, the Wally to my Dick, the Timmy to my Kon, the Esmeralda to my Ariel, the Tiger Lily to my Wendy Darling, the Heaven to my Hell, the Erik to my Charles, the Colin to my Damian, and so many other things ridiculous and oh so precious to me… Vladbride, you deserve all my love and I express a small piece of that with this birthday present to you.