I don't own Young Justice. This was written in response to a prompt on the anon meme - Episode 1 shows a fan with an oversized Robin doll. Unbeknownst to him, Robin's teammates all have one. It is also dedicated to LJ user Ailea, who draws some damn fine art for this fandom. :)
"Ohmigod," M'gann gasped, almost blowing her cover and flying straight across the store, but her uncle clapped a hand on her shoulder just in time, and she checked herself, instead bolting on foot through the aisles between her and the toy rack. "They're so CUTE!"
A moment later, "John" joined her, picking up another one of the dolls and turning it over in his hand.
"Earthlings have such a strange fascination with one another," he muttered. "And such a faulty conception of their own shape."
"Can I buy one? Please?" M'gann begged, squeezing it to her chest and beaming up at her uncle. "It's socute! I could keep it in my room at the Cave. Earth girls keep things like this in their rooms, I've seen it on TV."
A passing shopper gave her a strange look, but the Martian girl seemed oblivious.
John frowned uncertainly.
"There are some Earth cultures who believe a likeness like this one holds power over the original being," he pondered. The toy's big, googly mask-eyes stared up at him innocently. "But…if the Batman has not forbidden such a thing…I suppose there can be nothing wrong with it."
M'gann let out a happy squeal
"Let's get one for Batman, too, now that you mention it. I bet it would make him smile, and he doesn't smile enough, he seems like a very serious person and I just think that with…"
John raised an eyebrow as he followed his babbling niece to the cash register, staring down at the oversized, ill-proportioned doll in his hands. The thought of Batman anywhere near the thing, much less smiling with it, was somehow difficult for him to picture.
"Earthlings are so mysterious," he murmured, shaking his head.
"Oh, you have one too!" Captain Marvel exclaimed excitedly, picking up the doll from Conner's dresser and giving it a squeeze. It was just so huggable. In contrast to his enthusiasm, though, Superboy was looking pretty uncomfortable.
"I um, it just…looked kind of bare in here, so I, you know…picked one up," he mumbled.
"You know there's a whole set, right?" Marvel beamed. He set the toy back down and turned around, completely oblivious to the clone's clear embarrassment. "I have them all, my d - um…I mean, I buy them for myself as soon as they come out. I have Batman, and Robin, and the Flash and Kid Flash, and all the hero-sidekick sets they've made so far, and also Black Canary and Green Lantern and Wonder Woman and Super - "
" - I get it," Conner said quickly, cutting Marvel off. The hero's face fell.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to brag. Do…do you want me to bring you more? I have some duplicates."
"That's um, that's fine," Conner muttered, taking a seat on the edge of his bed. "Really."
"The Robin one is the cutest," Marvel conceded with a bright smile. "And it was the first. Well if you change your mind, let me know. We could play with them together if you wanted."
Conner mumbled something unintelligible as the hero left, then shook his head in confusion. He was no expert on human behavior, but sometimes there was something…off about that man.
Artemis stormed out of her room, the thing clenched in both fists and her face burning red.
Her voice was shrill, but Paula seemed used to it, barely glancing up from the newspaper she was reading in the kitchen, but before she had a chance to reply, her daughter had shoved the offending item in her face.
"What is this?"
"I thought you would like it," Paula frowned, gently tipping the toy out of her face so she could look at her daughter. "I thought you liked your new team."
"I do, but this is not exactly how I was planning on…on showing my love!"
"What's wrong with it?"
Artemis threw her hands up in exasperation.
"Artemis, you're being unreasonable," her mother scolded. "It's only a children's toy."
"Yeah, a children's toy of one of my teammates!" Artemis protested. "You don't think that owning a stuffed version of someone you actually know is just a tiny bit creepy?"
"Stop shouting, Artemis," her mother frowned. She sighed, picking up the toy from the table and examining it a little dejectedly. "I thought you would like it. I just wanted to…to show you that I support what you are doing."
Then she looked up at her daughter, her eyes glistening with tears.
"I just wanted to show you how proud I am. But if…if you don't like it…"
Artemis stared at her mother, trying not to crack. This always happened. Every single time. Goddammit.
"No, Mom, it's…it's fine, I like it," she sighed at last, reaching out to take the toy back and look at it a little more carefully. "I was just…overreacting. I…thank you."
And she turned, carrying it back to her room as Paula returned to her newspaper.
Okay…maybe the thing was kinda cute.
"You seriously buy these things?" asked Roy, turning away from Kaldur's bookcase and gesturing skeptically to the set of dolls on top of it.
Kaldur shrugged, stirring the pot on his stove as it bubbled lightly.
"It is nice to feel in touch with the team when I am away from the Cave."
Roy sighed, stepping over to the kitchen table and sinking down into a chair.
"You couldn't just have photos like a normal person?"
"I have photos as well," Kaldur objected. It was true – no one had yet produced dolls of Superboy, Miss Martian or Artemis, so various pictures of them were posted on his wall, above the dolls. Opening a cupboard, he brought down two bowls and began to ladle the contents of the pot into them.
"Yeah but it's just kind of…weird," said Roy. "And you seriously made a new outfit for mine? You sew?"
"It is an Earth craft," said Kaldur defensively, setting a bowl in front of his friend and taking a seat opposite him. "I learned it at the Academy, in Land Studies. Your likeness was out of date. Do you object?"
"I mean, no, it's just…"
"I am entitled to decorate my apartment as I see fit," Kaldur said sternly, handing Roy a spoon.
"Okay, Kal, calm down, I wasn't trying to - "
" - and I can easily break both your arms if you continue to criticize it."
Roy blinked. There was an awkward pause.
"So…I'm going to go ahead and start dinner now, if that's cool with you," he said at last.
Kaldur nodded gravely, and the two settled in to eat.
"Man, I haven't been here in ages," Robin mused as he walked up the front steps to Wally's house, looking up at the place through his sunglasses. "Looks exactly the same."
"Yeah, well, you haven't exactly grown since you were last here, either," Wally teased, then dodged as Robin took a half-hearted swipe at him.
"One of these days I'm going to hit a killer growth spurt and I'm going to squash you like a bug."
"Yeah, someday you'll graduate from Boy Wonder to Awkward Teenage Wonder," grinned Wally. He pulled his keys from his pocket, letting them both in the front door. "But for now you're still a squirt, and that's cool with me. Come on in."
They stepped inside, afternoon light landing in slats on the kitchen through the half-closed shades. Wally shut the door behind him, then slipped off his jacket and tossed it over a chair.
"You want a snack?"
"Nah, I'm good."
The speedster shrugged and opened the pantry, pulling down several packages for himself, then turned back to his friend.
"N-64's still in my room, you wanna try getting your ass kicked at Smash Bros again?"
"Dude, you never won at that," Robin laughed. "But if you want to savor the bitter taste of defeat again, for old time's sake, then you're on."
"Them's fighting words," Wally grinned challengingly, and headed upstairs, Robin at his heels and his snacks in his arms. A moment later, he nudged open the door to his room and flicked on the light, when suddenly all the color drained from his face and he desperately tried to block Robin's view into his room with his arms.
"Ah, one second, it's kinda messy in here, just gimme a few, I gotta…" he babbled, sounding more panicked than he'd intended as he tried to shut the door in Robin's face, but somehow his friend had already slipped past him and into the room and oh God please don't let him see it…
Crap. Too late.
He knew his face was absolutely burning. Redder than the Flash's uniform. It had to be.
"Why do you have a plushie of me?"
"Um, because I, uh…"
"And why is it in your bed?"
"Well, you see…"
"Tucked into your covers with its own pillow?"
Wally made a big show of dropping his snacks and dropping to the ground to gather them, the packaging making lots of noise to fill the horrible awkward silence.
"Well um, Rob, it's kind of a long story," he began, his voice about an octave higher than it should have been. "I mean I was out shopping with my Aunt Iris and then there was this little girl who said that she really wanted this thing but then there was also this other guy who said she couldn't have it because you had to be a true fan to get it and he said she couldn't be because she was a girl and then I was all like no you can be a true fan no matter who you are because justice isn't about who you are it's about how yo– "
"Wally," Robin interrupted, and the speedster looked up to find his friend standing right above him, looking down with an amused expression, but not his usual smirk – it was something a little more gentle than that. "Stop talking."
Wally cringed, straightening out and hugging his snacks to his chest self-consciously as he avoided his friend's gaze.
"Rob, I'm really sorry, I wasn't trying to – "
"Wally," Robin repeated, more insistently. He looked him in the eye – or at least, Wally thought that's what he was doing, but it was hard to tell with the dark glasses – and smiled. "It's fine."
"R-really?" Wally stammered nervously. "You're not like, totally weirded out?"
"No," Robin grinned. "The opposite. Totally weirded in."
"Um," Wally gulped.
"I'm gonna kiss you now," said Robin casually. "If that's a problem, you should let me know. Like right away."
Wally shook his head mutely, hands trembling. Robin stood up on his tip-toes.
The snacks dropped to the ground all over again, but this time, Wally didn't bother to pick them up. A moment later, the two of them broke apart, faces flushed. Grinning sheepishly, Robin wiped his mouth on the back of his hand.
"So, uh…better than the doll?"
"Yeah," said Wally, his voice hoarse. He looked like he might pass out. "Yeah. Loads better."
They stood awkwardly for a second, Wally bouncing on his heels a bit like he just couldn't stand still. Then Robin cocked his head to one side.
"Um…wanna do it again?"
"Oh hell yes."
Maybe Smash Bros could wait.