Disclaimer: Young Justice © DC / Warner Bros. - Full disclaimer on my profile.
Summary: "Kaldur, nail polish is for chicks. It is a chick thing in chick colors and you really shouldn't be using it on us!" Oneshot; slightly crack-ish. Requested by kidiot on LJ.
A/N: Oh lawd, why do I even attempt comedy?
For someone who spends so much time reading angst and whump fanfiction (because I'm sadomasochistic like that), I sure (attempt to) write an awful lot of (failed) humour.
Written for a prompt on kidiot's (A.K.A. Brella on Tumblr, A.K.A. Satellites on Parade on FF) All About Justice Ficathon. Set during the Team's earlier days (not long after Artemis joins), so M'gann is newer to Earth.
(My biggest weakness: coming up with titles.)
Also: you know that moment when you know exactly where a fic is going but you get to once sentence and just...stop? It's like, that one sentence is a roadblock and you just can't write it down so that you can carry on with the story and it's frustrating as hell? I get that far too often...
Prompt: The boys; "Kaldur, nail polish is for chicks. It is a chick thing in chick colors and you really shouldn't be using it on us!"
A Rainbow In A Bottle
Kaldur'ahm frowned, a small furrow appearing in his brow as he turned the small, plastic bottle over between his webbed fingers. "And...you are certain of this? You are certain that the chemicals are not harmful?"
"Oh, no! They're very safe," M'gann insisted energetically. "See, people use them all the time in Earth movies, and they usually paint their nails at sleepovers, and I thought - well, the whole Team is staying over at the Cave after that last mission, so that's sort of like a sleepover, don't you think? I've tried it on myself, and it hasn't done anything bad."
"But what purpose do they hold?"
"To...to make your nails look nice."
His eyebrow quirked. "I have observed that many things that people on the surface use to make themselves look 'nice' are not very practical."
"Nail polish doesn't get in the way or anything. See?" The Martian girl waved her green hand at the Atlantean's face; the nails flashed in an array of clashing colours, carmine red and rose pink and brash orange and canary yellow and navy blue and a dark, glittering emerald. "It's just a thin layer. I've worn it on the last two missions and it's been fine...as fine as we've always been on missions," she tacked on with a sheepish smile. "Please, Kaldur? I've asked Artemis, but she doesn't want to do it with me..."
The corner of his lip twitched upwards. "I suppose that it would do no harm..."
M'gann's brown eyes lit up; she grabbed his wrist, pulling him down the corridor. Her toes barely brushed the floor. She mentally levitated a group of nail polish bottles behind them like a trail, making an odd procession indeed.
"And we can ask Superboy and Robin and Wally too! I'm sure they'll be -"
She faltered momentarily when they entered the living room. Robin, Kid Flash and Superboy had passed out on the sofa, no doubt exhausted from their last mission. She perked up almost immediately afterwards, however, hitting her temple with the heel of her hand.
"Hello, Megan!" she exclaimed, at a more subdued volume, rounding on Kaldur. "We could paint their nails for them!"
"Are you sure that they would -"
"Positive! It'll be a nice surprise for them." M'gann was already floating over to where the boys lay sleeping (Robin was propped against the armrest; Wally sprawled across most of its length with his limbs akimbo, mouth hanging open as he snored obnoxiously; Superboy was bolt upright with his hands on his knees, the only evidence of his slumber being his closed eyes - probably A Clone Thing), gathering up the flying bottles and arranging them around herself on the carpet.
Kaldur was still skeptical. Evidently, M'gann picked up on this, and resorted to a tactic that was (in Kaldur's book) dirty, underhanded and impossible to battle against:
She pushed out her lower lip, widened her soft, brown eyes, and gave Kaldur her best, beseeching puppy look.
Orin give me strength...
Kaldur sighed and knelt on the carpet beside her.
M'gann beamed and handed him an amethyst purple.
"I...am not so sure that Kid Flash, Robin and Superboy will appreciate this."
"What could possibly be bad about nail polish? I mean, they're like little rainbows in bottles."
M'gann's stubbornly positive outlook befuddled Kaldur'ahm sometimes, but then even after two years as King Orin's protege, many things beyond his oceanic home did. So he simply re-dipped the small brush into the shining, mustard yellow varnish and got to work on the nail of the ring finger of Wally's left hand, which dangled off of the sofa. Wally snorted unattractively and lolled his head. A lesser man than Kaldur may have made a joke at his expense.
(Kaldur could think of at least four.)
Kaldur's own nails sparkled silver, black and garish pink. Superboy's nails were coated in variations of peony (with a small, violet squiggle on his right pinky that, according to M'gann, was the Martian symbol meaning "honourable warrior", though the effect of the word was somewhat lessened by the soft baby shade it was painted atop). M'gann had attempted to decorate the nails of his bare feet. The sleeping Kryptonian had released a very un-Superboy-like, high-pitched giggle in response. After a moment of stunned silence from the two of them, M'gann and Kaldur let it be.
She had moved onto the unconscious Boy Wonder, and bore a very proud expression as she displayed to Kaldur his right hand. She'd painted small, brown and red birds on each nail (the first one had mixed slightly with the forest green backdrop where she hadn't let the first coat dry beforehand).
Kaldur pursed his lips for a moment, before painting a small, scarlet lightning bolt on one of Wally's index fingers. M'gann nodded in approval.
Wally shifted, sighing. His eyes cracked open. They settled on Kaldur. Kaldur froze.
For a moment, their eyes locked - Wally's bemused, Kaldur's sheepish. That moment was over as soon as Wally processed what Kaldur was currently holding to Wally's fingertips.
Wally scrambled away from Kaldur in an alarmingly accurate impression of a frightened spider, staring in abject horror - Kaldur employed a strategic retreat to avoid the contents of the bottles that Kid Flash's flailing limbs knocked over in a spectacular display of colours ("Wally!" M'gann cried out). Robin jerked awake at Wally's yell and went for a batarang tucked into his sleeve; Superboy, in true Superboy fashion, hollered himself as he awoke and immediately ripped the armrest away to use as a projectile ("SUPERBOY!" M'gann cried out again, ducking).
"KALDURWHATTHEHELLAREYOU -" Wally turned his abhorrent gaze to his decorated hand. "Kaldurnailpolishisforchicksa ndWHYAREWEWEARINGNAILPOLISH?!"
Kaldur glanced helplessly at M'gann for guidance, but she was occupied with biting her lip guiltily. "Uh...oops?"
Robin studied his nails as if he was torn between reacting with indignation and bursting with peals of laughter. Superboy just looked confused.
Kaldur saw a pair of dark eyebrows rise above the rim of Robin's sunglasses. "Wow, Kaldur. Didn't think you were into, uh, this sort of stuff..."
Kaldur flushed a deep crimson. He suddenly felt very foolish, with sunset orange still clutched in his hand. "I-I am sorry, I...did not mean...M'gann told me that..."
Wally took a deep breath. "Kaldur, nail polish is for chicks. It is a chick thing in chick colors and you really shouldn't be using it on us!"
"I dunno, KF. I think mustard suits you."
Kid Flash growled and dove at Robin, who dodged the other's outstretched hands nimbly. Kid Flash was not so graceful and tumbled dramatically to the floor. "Dude!"
Robin cackled. Wally leapt at him again. The last thing Robin did as he escaped the room with the speedster on his heels was yell: "Lookin' good, Kal!"
Kaldur re-inspected his hand. He decided that, yes, he did rather enjoy having his fingers decorated in such a way, and that she had been right - nail polish was not such a terrible idea.
Perhaps, if he asked kindly, M'gann would teach him the wonders of eyeliner next.