YJAM Prompt: Five times the Young Justice boys, including Roy in this, called their mentors "dad".
What kind of mentor/student father&son lover would I be if I didn't do this? Hopefully you will enjoy! :)
Disclaimer: Young Justice is not my property.
W E A K
The drops slipped from his fingertips, slowly, painfully. His mind was hazy as he limped over and into the alley; his palms continued to pressure the wound to his side. As soon as he reached the stoned wall, he let his back rest against it. His legs gave in under him and he was soon seated on the cold ground.
Breathing was hard; he could see the blood streaming from his ripped spandex and it was getting harder to concentrate – harder to see. Everything felt so unclear and his heartbeat was unnaturally high.
His vision was getting blurry, but thanks to an undying determination he stayed conscious. Though only barely.
Get it together, Harper, he told himself as he tried to breathe slowly and controlled. Just rest for a little bit, then you're getting up.
Roy knew he was fooling himself, because his situation was critical. His communicator was destroyed, his cell-phone was back at his apartment and his strength was about to perish. The blood seeping out from his deep wounds was only the top of the iceberg, really. And it was coming fast. Dangerously fast.
The archer closed his eyes, shutting them tightly. He fought against the dizziness; the desire to just let the darkness engulf him wholeheartedly. And Roy would continue fighting. Because if he gave in now, he would never return.
He pressed his head backwards, cautiously. It was throbbing and he was freezing. The cold was spreading throughout his entire being.
Briefly he wondered how this had happened. The mission had appeared so easy when he'd first started, but perhaps… perhaps he had swallowed more than he could chew once again. This time he couldn't call Aqualad or the rest of his Team though. He was alone, without any form for communication, and was sitting in an alley in Star City.
Funny, he'd always imagined that his death would be a bit more heroic… Instead Red Arrow, who had just started a solo career as a superhero, was going to die due to a razor maniac; who had gotten away too.
He gritted his teeth, inhaled and exhaled. But once he opened his eyes, everything was swaying.
Weak. He felt so weak. This wasn't what he was supposed to feel. He was strong, he was a hero – it just… couldn't end like this.
Roy didn't know when, but his eyes had shut once more. He didn't know how, nor did he see when it happened, but soon a hand started pressing onto his wound, before the other found his leg. His face was suddenly pressed against a strong, firm chest.
Heartbeat. Yes, he could hear it now. A soft, perfect throbbing within a safe, muscular ribcage. The kind that could lull a baby to sleep, the kind that reminded every teenager that the world didn't need to be taken on by only one person.
"I've got you, big boy," he heard a familiar voice whisper. A voice he had found himself claiming to hate. Especially recently. Now, it was the sound of protection, of security. He would deny it later, but there and then it didn't matter. "I'm here now. I'm here. Now let's get you to the hospital."
And as his strength returned. He was going to endure this; he was going to prove his worth. "Thanks…" he whispered. "… Dad."
E X C I T E D
It was the only emotion Aqualad could make out as he swam through the palace corridors. The hustle and bustle going on around was complete with constant chatter about the upcoming. Surely enough, there were still months left to go before the reason for the undying excitement came into this world.
Nonetheless, the people of Atlantis in general were overjoyed by their Queen's resent news.
Aqualad himself felt a very evident enthusiasm. To think that his King and lovely Queen Mera were going to have a child was, well, somewhat overwhelming.
Though Aqualad had only been under King Orin's wing for more than two years and five months, he bashfully had to admit he felt as if he was getting… a new family member himself.
Warily he passed the guards on patrol, before entering the king and queen's chambers. Sure he had been summoned, but he always liked to be careful when entering. Orin and Mera were not afraid to show their affection for one another and the younger Atlantean really hated to be the one to interrupt them.
His silvery eyes spotted the rulers of Atlantis on their balcony. Mera was resting her head underneath Orin's chin, their lips moving. Kaldur was close enough to hear. The fact that being present now, listening to what they were saying, could be called eavesdropping, didn't quite occur to him.
Not fast enough before his curiosity was perked.
"Have you found any names that you like?" Mera asked, her voice so soft. Aqualad liked to hear her voice; it made him feel… safe. In a way only someone as dedicated and strong, yet soft and understandable as Mera could.
"Not yet, dear," answered Orin. "One thing is for sure; we're going to find the perfect one." The King of Atlantis reached out and tenderly pressed his palm to his wife's abdomen. The fact that she was with child was fairly obvious now.
A slight painful twinge shot through Aqualad. He had been too excited about this to-be-born child. Shamelessly, he had thought this new member of the royal family was going to be… well, like a brother.
But no matter how much he wished and begged, Queen Mera and King Orin were not relatives. Not in the least. They were his… tutors – mentors – and that boundary was not going to be crossed. At least Kaldur could not imagine they would want to cross it; not when they had a perfectly, and surely lovely, child of their own soon.
His head snapped up and Aqualad made his presence known. Now he felt ashamed for doing something as childish as eavesdropping.
Queen Mera came up to him, her arms embracing him tightly for a brief moment, before letting go. "Orin and I have talked and we have decided that we will make you our child's… how do the earthlings put it? Godfather!"
Kaldur didn't know what to say, or what to do. But Aquaman was by him before he could react, pulling him into a crushing hug that only Orin could serve. "You are, after all, just like, family, son," said the King of Atlantis, with a fond voice.
Aqualad returned the hug, far more tenderly than he'd first intended. But when he felt his mentor serve the same kind of affection, all fear for crossing certain boundaries was gone. "I am glad you think so… Dad."
He could feel Aquaman's smile.
H O M E
Conner had no idea when things had started changing. In fact, all he could remember was that one day where the Boy Scout had offered to take him out training.
And then, things had just become natural. Like every moment he shared with Superman was just like it had always meant to be done. Superboy really couldn't explain it, because he still had problems believing it had happened so fast. One day the Man of Steel had barely spared him a glance and the next, the big man had asked him to play American football the super way.
There was something that one could never forget though; like the increase of his heartbeat as Superman first relaxed around him. The look he'd given him that was so foreign from a troubled mind and an uncomfortable expression. It was more of a look of curiosity with a dash of need to understand.
It had felt… amazing. Everything was suddenly so much brighter.
Conner felt brighter.
After the memorable moment of Superman letting his guard down around him, other unforgettable events occurred.
Superboy could still recall how the Man of Steel had grinned a little when he got to know the clone's full name. The teen hero hadn't fully understood why until Superman told him his real name. Then it suddenly had become quite apparent that Martian Manhunter hadn't referred to Kent Nelson when they had named him.
Hearing who had proposed the surname had made Superman – no Clark Kent – laugh. Maybe, months prior he would have become angry and irritated that J'onn had done something like that. Right now though, it was all okay. He now understood that though Superboy was a clone, he was actually far from being like himself at all.
The clone had his own personality, his own way of doing things – truthfully, it was almost like the boy was his own offspring. Funnily enough, that thought didn't even frighten him a little bit anymore.
Unsurprisingly, Conner liked Metropolis. Especially when he spent as much time in the city as he did. Especially when it was either alongside Superman or Clark Kent. It felt, better than anything ever had.
Then there was the most memorable moment of Conner Kent's short life. It had been a simple, comfortable stroll through an empty street. The night filled with the usual sounds of Metropolis.
Clark had just introduced him to his girlfriend, Lois Lane, and after a long evening they were now heading… well, Conner had started calling it his home. Because, it felt like it.
"Hey, Conner, I've been thinking," Clark spoke up, scratching the back of his neck. "Maybe… Happy Harbor isn't the ideal home for you. I mean, you're a teenager and living almost by yourself like that can impossibly be good. Sure you've got Red… what I'm trying to say here is…" Identical blue eyes met and Superman smiled softly. "… Do you want to come live with me?"
It was a feeling like no other. Just, intense, heart-warming happiness. Conner didn't do this often, because despite his newly formed relationship with Superman, he was quite a stoic, silent type of person. But when he heard it, he had trapped the older Kryptonian in a crushing hug; a hug Superman was probably the only one who could ever survive getting.
"Yes," whispered Conner, too overwhelmed to form any other words until minutes had gone by. "Can I… Can I call you…?"
Superman returned the embrace. "Yeah, I think we're both ready for that."
L O V E D
Tears were rolling down his cheeks. Slowly. Because for Wally it felt as if they never reached his chin, for so to wet his crimson coloured shirt. Considering what abilities Wally West possessed, the way the small drops moved took almost an hour for each. Yet, the redhead could not find any strength to dry his wet cheeks.
His world had crumbled. Everything suddenly seemed so meaningless.
Things like he was the fastest boy alive, had the most amazing best friend in the world and had relatives who loved him dearly, despite what had just occurred – it all had been washed away from his depressed mind. He simply couldn't feel that it was true.
He doubted every observation, every fact of his life.
The moment of horror was stuck within his head. How Rudolph West had loomed over him before a hard kick had connected with his ribcage – Wally could still see it; somehow it was like a movie being played behind his eyelids.
Because his emerald green eyes were closed. It had caused the tears to fall slightly faster. But only slightly.
He wasn't sobbing. He wasn't screaming.
Deep down, he had known this.
These things took time. It didn't just occur straight out of the blue. However, it was when it happened all emotions were left free. It was when everything was revealed that all hope – all joy – was sucked out of one.
So mentally tired. So broken.
The speedster clutched the duvet. His bandaged head was throbbing; he felt so alone. As the social, bouncy kind of guy he truly was, Wally didn't like being on his own. He missed Robin – missed Dick – and he missed feeling the need to smile. The need to be close to someone.
Isolated. That was what he felt. And it was his own fault, because he was struck with paranoia.
If his own father thought of him in such a way, if his mother could stand to watch emotionlessly as he treated him that way – how could anyone else care for him? How could anyone else love him?
The door opened, but with his eyes shut so tightly as the tears streamed Kid Flash didn't see. Though soon it was felt.
He was embraced – tightly. The arms caused him to open his eyes abruptly and he realised his face was pressed into a firm, strong shoulder. But it didn't feel uncomfortable. Instead, it was like the most natural thing in the world, which made it so easy to understand who was currently squeezing him.
For a long, long time he let his uncle hug him without any reaction. But, as the relieving, overwhelming, realisation dawned on him, Wally threw his arms around Barry as well, his eyes shutting tightly once more.
Then, he finally sobbed.
He cried. Hard.
And a strong, big hand stroked his fiery hair, softly. The feeling of affection.
Barry loved him. Aunt Iris loved him.
His daddy and mommy loved him. His biological parents didn't.
And Wally West, Kid Flash, the fastest boy alive, he knew there was a difference between them. Especially when the soothing voice of his uncle seeped into his ear.
"You're going to be live with us now. We're going to court as soon as possible. As soon as you're ready. If that is what you want."
Yes, no more hitting, no more hurt – no more pain.
"Yes… please, Dad. Please."
And Barry squeezed harder. So much harder.
A F F E C T I O N A T E
It was one of those times. One of those times where Dick found himself comforted by something fairly regular. Never had the acrobat understood why it made him feel so relaxed, because truthfully – nothing could be more normal.
The way his guardian's muscular, strong chest would swell as he breathed in, for so to lower as he let it out.
The sound his nose made as it dragged in the air, the way Bruce would open his mouth, only slightly, before closing it again – but only occasionally – it all comforted Dick more than he could describe.
Maybe it was because for each fight, each mission, each mystery – his reason for living was on the line. And truthfully, no matter how extremely absurd it may sounded like, Bruce was Dick's reason for living.
That man alone had saved him from drowning in misery; had saved him from a dark road that he probably never would have been able to leave on his own.
When he was younger he'd been afraid. He had grown too close to Bruce, to being Robin and Batman. At times he almost, almost, forgot who he truly had grown up with and it made him feel guilty.
Because John Grayson was his father, because Mary Grayson was his mother – Bruce Wayne was his guardian.
A line between guardianship and being counted as a true father should never be crossed. Or at least, that was how Dick had looked at it then. Now, he understood. His father, John, was probably relieved, happy. Because Dick had another father, he had two, and his biological parent could rest in peace, knowing that someone was there to protect his son from harm.
Protect him from the cruel world the best way he could.
And Bruce had, in more ways than one.
Maybe he was a bit harsh at times, and maybe he reacted a bit to brash also, but Dick had learned to read his every personal way of being.
Batman didn't yell or treat you hard because he didn't care. He was a rough tutor, a rough parent, because he did care.
Silently, using every move he knew to avoid the Batman waking up from his slumber, Dick approached his adoptive father. Then he gracefully and silently, moved into the sofa as well and snuggled up to the side of his mentor.
Naturally, Batman was a light sleeper and therefore this waked him. He would've reacted abruptly if he hadn't instantly recognised the body that had nuzzled up to him. Bruce raised an eyebrow, but in the end only rolled his eyes fondly.
Then, the Dark Knight closed his eyes and, knowing no one, not even Alfred, would be around for hours, wrapped a strong arm around Dick's shoulders, pressing his tighter toward him.
"Why the sudden affection?" he asked very quietly, his voice holding a hint of tiredness.
John Grayson had never been replaced. Bruce had only been added to Dick's family tree and the acrobat was more than happy to let him join in.
Having two fathers was actually something Dick should be grateful for. Better to have one deceased one and one who was here with him, rather than only the deceased one, leaving him on his own.
"Thanks," whispered Dick silently just as he was about to fall asleep.
"For being here... Dad."
There was a long pause of silence, enough for Dick to slip into unconsciousness. But when the boy was fast asleep, his adoptive father smirked somewhat.
"You're welcome, Kid."
So, another prompt filled! I decided not to make the Clark/Superboy relationship angsty. I mean, that would be expected in something like this, right? Well, I wanted to make Conner happy for once :3 He deserves some.