Conner Has Two Daddies (and a Robot Nanny)

Chapter 16

Conner didn't have an alarm clock at Mt. Justice. Considering how the youth's life so far had consisted mostly of training, missions and waiting impatiently for the next visit from Booster and Ted, there had never been any need for a separate alarm. Even if Conner's internal clock somehow failed to wake him up at the crack of dawn, M'gann would usually wake the boy up if he was staying in bed too long.

So, all things considered, Conner actually had a good reason for yelping out loud when he woke up to a shrill beeping sound, grappling at his blanket while he struggled to sit up. Shooting a startled look around the room, Conner's eyes fell on a familiar gold-tinted metal shell.

"Skeets?" Conner queried while rubbing at an eye, slowly allowing himself calm down and settle once he recognized the source of the unexpected sound. "What are you doing here?"

"I snuck into your bag." If the robot had the ability to produce a smirk, Skeets probably would have been wearing a pretty impressive one at that point.

Not feeling up to managing his usual level of a scowl, Conner flopped back onto his bed, lifting his blanket up to his chin and glowering at the machine as well as the barely awake muscles of his face allowed. "Okay, let me rephrase that: why are you here?"

"I needed to get out of the apartment," Skeets replied easily. "Booster and Ted are alone at the apartment for the first time in days." He made the answer sound like it revealed a lot more than it actually did.

Conner gave the robot a blank stare and Skeets somehow gave the impression of returning the look. Finally the robot offered: "Debauchery is at foot."

Conner snorted. "Who even uses that word?" The youth's face scrunched up when he finally caught on to what Skeets was saying. The teen rolled around to bury his face in his pillow and shut his eyes. "I didn't need to know that." He really just wanted to fall back asleep now, never mind what reason Skeets might have had for waking him. He really wasn't up to dealing with the robot. He suspected he might have been better equipped to handling whatever the situation was if he could only sleep for an hour more.

Only, it seemed that Conner was going to be able to do no such thing, as Skeets' mechanical voice cut through the haze that had started to fall over the teen's mind: "You really need to get up now. Batman has a new mission for your team."

Conner turned his head to glance at the robot with one open eye. "I haven't heard anything about another mission."

"It just came in," came the easy answer.

Conner groaned at the thought of being forced out of bed. "How do you know that?" The youth frowned at Skeets as he struggled to get his mind to focus properly on the task of waking up.

"I've established a wireless connection to the Cave's computer system." Skeets sounded absolutely smug in his accomplishment. However, the mechanical tone changed into something far less positive when the robot continued: "Apparently there's been an interesting power surge in Bialya."

"You...actually sound…worried about that," Conner offered carefully, unsure how he felt about something managing to rattle Skeets' usually unflappable nature.

Ever helpful, Skeets instantly answered: "I've been to Bialya before; I don't like the thought of going back."

Conner frowned again at the vagueness of the answer. "You're coming too?"

"But of course," was the completely deadpan response. Conner was about to question the robot further, but was kept from doing so when the very distinct rhythm of M'gann's knocking sounded at the door.

As expected, a moment later M'gann's voice rang through the door: "Conner! Are you awake?"

"Yeah!" Conner called back and slid out of bed to open the door to reveal M'gann, already suited up to head out. The girl was clearly already keyed up to handle whatever task they might need to complete. She still managed to give Conner one of her sunny smiles, however.

"Good morning, Conner," M'gann spoke and Conner found his lips twitching in an answering smile.

"Morning, M'gann." Conner rubbed the back of his head. "Let me guess, there's an unexpected mission for us?"

M'gann's eyes widened in slight wonderment as the girl spoke: "Yes. How did you know?"

Conner pointed a thumb over his shoulder. "My robot nanny gossips with the Cave computer."

The words earned a light giggle out of M'gann, one that had Conner's soft smile widening in amusement. He lifted a finger to catch the Martian's attention.

"I need to get suited up. Wait for me out here?" He hadn't expected to sound as hopeful as he did, but in the end it didn't matter when M'gann merely nodded, still smiling. Conner returned the gesture before allowing the door to his room to slide shut. Immediately afterwards the youth started for his closer to grab what passed for his uniform. He also pointedly avoided looking at Skeets until he was done changing, after which he wordlessly gestured for the robot to follow him as he opened his door again to an expectant M'gann.

Together, two heroes headed for the briefing room, Skeets following after silently, like a loyal shadow.

To be continued...

Author's Notes: Aww, one person at a time Conner is learning to reach out to people other than Booster or Ted.

Sorry about the uneventful chapter. It's actually more of an interlude than an actual chapter, since I'll be changing focal characters next and, since I felt that a sudden change in the focal character mid-chapter would break down the chapter too much, I decided to cut off here. In the next chapter we'll be moving on to the events of the episode Bereft.