Disclaimer: I don't own Young Justice or Disney's Snow White. I wish I owned Young Justice. As for Snow White... meh, she always bugged me anyway.
Summary: Connor is beginning to notice that he has a strange affect on animals. Oneshot; mini-spoilers for "Alpha Male"; requested by anon (Livejournal). Needs a better title.
A/N: (I need to stop giving my fanfics titles that start with "The"...)
I predict that within the next few days, this will become forever set in YJ fanon: Conner is the Snow White of the team. Yeah... I saw this prompt on the Livejournal YJ Anon Meme and I couldn't resist... So, on with the crackfic!
The Snow White Effect
Aqualad first noticed the problem when we found himself having to scoop a strange melting pot of different animal droppings from the corner of the living room at Mount Justice.
Kaldur wrinkled his nose in disgust, gripping a water-bearer and using it to carry and deposit the droppings in the bin and attempt to sluice out the stench. M'gann was Orin-knows-where (probably food shopping in her civilian guise); Artemis, Kid Flash and Robin were presumably at their respective schools. This left Kaldur to clean up the mess.
As he did, Kaldur noticed that this wasn't the only desecrated area in the mountain - a pile of what looked suspiciously like rabbit droppings lay festering at the foot of the sofa. No wonder the mountain was stinking to high heaven. Kaldur's brow furrowed. Where was this all coming from? Wolf? Impossible.
"Superboy," Kaldur said, spotting the Kryptonian clone entering the room. Superboy - Conner - looked as uncomfortable as he felt. His hand was over his mouth and nose, and occasionally he let out a small cough.
"Is there any way to get this smell out of here?" Conner complained.
Kaldur shot him a stern look. "Superboy," he said firmly, "you need to take more responsibility for your pet."
"What do you mean?"
Kaldur gestured towards the 'leavings'. Conner blanched.
"Wolf didn't leave those!" he protested, crossing his arms defensively. "I already toilet trained him. And his droppings look nothing like that!"
"Then what...?" He sighed and went back to cleaning up. "Never mind."
Out of the corner of Kaldur's eye, he saw Conner turn away, and something on his back; Kaldur's head whipped around, and his mouth popped open.
Clinging quite comfortably onto Conner's back, claws hooked in his shirt and going completely unnoticed, were two squirrels. They blinked lazily at Kaldur as he looked on in shock.
"What?" Conner demanded, by now decidedly irritable.
After a few more moments, Kaldur took a deep breath and shook his head. Stress of leadership, probably. "I just...never mind..."
Conner liked being outside. After being confined for sixteen weeks to the underground caverns of the Cadmus facility, the outside had originally overwhelmed him - the glare of sunlight; the assault of the warm breeze on his senses. Now, he couldn't imagine ever being trapped like that again.
Conner reclined on a park bench in Happy Harbour, allowing himself to relax completely and close his eyes, the tension in his shoulders melting away; a small smile graced his features. The afternoon sun soaked into his face and T-shirt. The world was quiet - all town noises sounded far away, even to his sensitive hearing.
This was his favourite spot, and favourite time of the day.
A high-pitched noise snagged his attention.
Conner opened his eyes and searched the surrounding area, before spotting something laying on the roots of a nearby tree - the remains of a nest, and two tiny baby birds covered in patches of fluffy down, trilling frantically, featherless wings twitching. It reminded Conner of those sugary, romantic made-for-TV movies that M'gann like to make him watch with her - where the friend-to-all-living-things boyfriend flaunts his sensitivity to the girl by tenderly rescuing poor animals.
M'gann would like it if he rescued them.
With that thought, Conner stood, stooped and scooped the birds (and what remained of their nest - twigs and straw and leaves) into his large hands. Suddenly, they stopped trilling, settling into the creases in his palms as if comforted. He cradled them against his chest - keeping in mind to be gentle; he had no doubt that if he wasn't attentive, he could crush them like grapes in his Kryptonian grip - and wondered where to put them. Back in the tree? But what if they fell again? No. In that bush? Same risk, and there was no guarantee that they wouldn't be swiped by a hungry cat. Cats ate birds, right?
On another park bench, Conner saw a stray cat mewling. For some reason, the way it's unblinking gaze rested on his hands stirred something protective in him, and he narrowed his blue eyes at it. Definitely not leaving them anywhere near that cat.
Back to Mount Justice? It was only a short walk away... With a steely resolution in his eyes, Conner strode home. He could probably find a cardboard box somewhere in his room, and some tissue paper to line it with, and some bird seed, and...
As soon as he stepped out of the main entrance to the mountain, he spotted the same cat from yesterday.
He knew it was the same cat. He recognised the mangy fur and bright green eyes. He stared at it as if daring it to come closer - after all, he hadn't forgotten the hungry look it had given Bird and Wing yesterday (it had been notoriously difficult to find a name for the other bird once he'd named the first one, so he settled for the second most obvious name).
Then his expression became incredulous when the cat padded boldly forward, came to rest at his feet and rubbed its face against his shin.
"Um," was all he said as he felt the low vibration of its purr through his leg. He shifted awkwardly on the balls of his feet. The cat was quickly joined by two others that watched him with what was uncomfortably reminiscent of adoration.
"Conner, I - oh!"
Conner heard M'gann drift over to him from the mountain entrance eyes lit up when she saw the animals. She picked up the calico cat and stroked it, grinning. "Where did you find them?"
A rustling to their left, and two foxes were ambling over; then a squirrel; then a...deer? Where are these animals coming from?Conner sniffed his jacket. "Uh, do I smell like food or something?"
M'gann made a surprised noise when, out of the trees, came a...a monkey?
"What the hell?" he exclaimed.
"Um...maybe it...escaped from the zoo?" M'gann offered, looking as confused as Conner was. Suddenly, she smiled and hit her forehead with the heel of her hand. "Hello, Megan! This is like Snow White!" When Conner shot her an odd look, she explained: "You know, that film about the princess? When she sang, animals went to her. Maybe you've got some sort of superpower with animals?"
Connor raised an eyebrow. "I'm not going to sing." Then, as if something had just struck him, he said, "Hey, can Superman, uh, do that? Y'know... the animal thing?"
"I...don't think so."
"Oh." This seemed to cheer him, and Conner reached down and allowed the fox to jump eagerly into his arms. He chuckled. "How does 'Fox' sound?"
Superman beamed into Mount Justice through the Zeta Tube and brushed off the 'S' shield on his chest. Truthfully, he didn't really want to be there, but he needed to pass on a message to Robin.
"Robin?" he called, walking further into the mountain. "Ro-"
He paused in the entrance to the living room, and grimaced slightly. Superboy was here. As if he didn't need to feel more uncomfortable. Then he looked properly at the spectacle in front of him, and rubbed his eyes to ensure that his enhanced vision wasn't lying to him.
Superboy sat on the green sofa. This wasn't what surprised him. It was that about a dozen animals had joined him there. Birds were nested in his hair; two foxes, three cats and a dog were curled up together on the carpet; Superboy was stroking the deer lying on the sofa next to him, and the large, white wolf at his other side. J'onn's niece was laying down bowls of food for a racoon, some hares and some rabbits. The full screen television was on, and an old, grainy cartoon was playing at near-full volume. On-screen, a raven-haired ingénue trilled at high frequencies to a little blue bird perched on her finger.
As Superman gaped, one of the foxes began to stretch out towards the smallest rabbit.
"Fox!" Superboy said firmly, like a parent berating a young child. "Leave him alone." And just like that, the fox backed down, hanging it's head as if in shame. J'onn's neice giggled. "And Monkey, that's not your food."
Was that a freakin' monkey retracting it's hand from the racoon's food bowl?
Superman threw up his hands. "I don't even want to know," he muttered beneath his breath as he headed back towards the Zeta Tube, rubbing his temples.
"I hate monkeys..." he could swear he heard Superboy murmur fondly as he zapped back up to the Watchtower.
A/N: Ever noticed Superboy's extraordinary talent for naming animals? Yeah, me neither.
Side story: kept listening to the Charlie Sheen "Winning" song by shmoyoho on YouTube whilst writing this. Epic stuff. "I'm a total freakin' rockstar from Mars... WINNING."
Prompt: "I'm thinking that Conner is just one of those people that all animals seem to like for no reason (you know the type) and somehow he keeps bringing animals home. ... Somehow he has a Snow White like quality around animals."