I don't own Young Justice. I finally got a tumblr and as my first clumsy attempt at using it, I invited people to give me one-word prompts upon which to build short Roy/Kaldur stories. These are the results. If you have a tumblr and you want in, I'll fill up to ten of these - handle is shadesninde.

For anyone interested, the title is taken from a Mika song - "I See You" - that will always remind me of these two. Go have a listen. :)

Dreams Won't Do


The Bialyan sun beats down on him harder than any blow, and at last, his knees buckle.

He knows in this moment that he should not have pushed himself so far – he should have stopped when he had the chance, when he still had the strength to find protection from enemy forces, or at the very least some shade. There is a rock cropping nearby but it is not adequate. He is exposed here, to the elements and to attack, but the sun and the heat have sapped every last ounce of his power, magical and otherwise, and he cannot even open his eyes.

The sand is coarse against his exposed skin. The heat boils his very thoughts, sends them bleeding into one another as he sinks, into unconsciousness, struggling to the last.

He dreams of the cool Atlantic Ocean, of Shayeris and home. His mother guides his hand patiently, teaching him the basic brushstrokes of the Atlantean alphabet as he sits at the kitchen table, the centerpiece of their small home. But even as he manages the gestures, the characters slip from the page, rearrange themselves, spell out nonsense and form the faces of his classmates, jeering, mocking, laughing at him. Then the ink rushes off the page and twists up onto his arms, uniting on his back to become the symbol of his strength, and all their taunts fall silent.

He dreams of the military, of harsh discipline and raw meritocracy. His body takes a man's shape, his mind a soldier's, and he sees himself as if from a distance, on the border of a town of strangers, staving off a strange and shadowy menace while his squadron attempts to give aid. Despite them, the beast is strangely intent on him and him alone, its bright eyes glowing an unnatural red as its great black bulk threatens to crush him into the ocean floor. Then Kaldur's tattoos – the tattoos he should not yet have in this time of his life – flash a brilliant, defiant blue, as if to say I do not belong to you, and the beast crackles into dust for the current to sweep away.

He dreams of the Academy, of Garth's warm smile and Tula's pretty eyes. In his lessons, Mera and his mother become one, their forms seamlessly blending into one another's, his respect and admiration as unchanging as the ocean is fluid. The day after the ceremony, Tula runs her hands over these new, foreign marks on his skin and his heart races at her closeness, until suddenly her touch is like fire and her grip is like steel and she will not let him go, that gentle, apologetic smile plastered to her face like it's been painted there, and he can't breathe and he can't move and he can't fight and it's so hot

and then suddenly it is cold again, and he opens his dream-eyes to the sight of a plain white ceiling, its planes rippling through the lens of the water in which he lies. There is cool porcelain pressed against both his arms. There is a faucet between his feet. He is submerged in a bathtub.

Furthermore, he cannot rise. Though he can feel the water moving gently against his body below the surface, above him it is hard like a hundred-year ice, and however he struggles, it will not break. He closes his eyes, ready to accept his own helplessness, when suddenly a warm mouth presses onto his own and callused hands cup the back of his neck, pulling him up and out of the water as if there had never been a barrier at all, and intoxicated by these dream-sensations, he loses the need to see. Strong arms wrap around his back and cradle him to a broad, flat chest, and he melts.

He awakes to Artemis's worried face, to his teammates' success, and to the lingering memory of trust so deep, it rendered him blind and returned him to the water itself.