Disclaimer: Young Justice © DC / Warner Bros. - Full disclaimer on my profile.
Summary: In the insular environment of a submarine, rumour spreads easily. / Oneshot; SeaArrow; season 2; spoilers for "Depths". Requested by timballisto on Tumblr.
A/N: There is not enough SeaArrow on this website, so I asked Tumblr for prompts.
Um...I kinda wanted to avoid the angst with this one. I referenced it since it's not possible to avoid it entirely with the situation they're in, but tried not to focus on it. So I don't reference Spitfire at all. Because hoo boy, that would turn this into angst central. English spellings and words are used.
Prompt: "Rumor on the submarine is that Kaldur and Tigress are an item. All speculation by nameless Manta henchmen wanting to gossip." (timballisto)
Jacob (Mantaman #43) glanced nervously about him, leaning in close to his companion over the table and speaking low, as if expecting Black Manta himself to teleport in out of thin air and punish him for his words. "I mean...what else do they do in there all the time? Why else would he bring her onto the ship out of nowhere?"
An exasperated groan came from Afzal (Mantaman #19). He brandished a bootlegged beer can at Jacob in a manner that was almost threatening. "Speak up! And stop looking so nervous. You're gonna make me seasick. 'Sides, who gives a shit whether Manta's brat is getting some or not? Good for him if he is." He took another swig, kicking his feet up onto the chair beside him with some effort. They were still clad in the heavy, metal suits that were a requirement for all of Black Manta's henchmen, but their helmets lay abandoned on the submarine floor.
Jacob crossed his arms. "I'm just saying. I mean, did you hear about what Reagan -" (Mantaman #87) "- saw? He was just walking by and saw her stumble out of his room -"
"That's because they share a room, idiot."
"Exactly! Which is suspicious itself. And it's kind of unfair, isn't it? Black Manta got to seduce that Atlantean woman - an Atlantean! - and then he lets his son have Tigress, and what are we allowed to have?"
"Beer," Afzal grunted. "As far as I'm concerned, I'm sorted."
"Nothing!" Jacob continued as if Afzal hadn't spoken. "No relationships. That's the rule, unless you happen to have connections."
"God, why are you so pissed about this? Did you miss the part where Kaldur'ahm's about ten times nicer to us than his old man is? Give the kid a break. Let him have a little fun every now and again."
He lifted the can to his mouth. An arrow tore it from his hand.
Afzal and Jacob started in unison.
Tigress stood in the doorway of the room. Her dark eyes were narrowed dangerously behind her mask; her crossbow was aimed in their approximate direction. The beer can was pinned to the wall by the arrow she'd fired, the liquid seeping out and pooling on the floor. She swung the crossbow to rest it on her shoulder and placed her free hand on her hip.
"That's not a very respectful way to talk about your superiors."
They leapt up from their seats, backs straight. "Tigress! We were, uh, w-we were j-just..." Jacob babbled. Tigress approached them - true to her alias, she moved like a feline, a predator.
"You think I'm here for a bit of fun," she spat, "do you?"
Afzal emitted a small, embarrassing squeak when the tip of the arrow in Tigress' crossbow almost met his adam's apple, and he silently cursed himself for removing his helmet.
"Let's make one thing perfectly clear, soldier. I am not here to be someones fun." The arrowhead lightly grazed the skin of his throat. He swallowed. "Kaldur'ahm did not hire me to keep his bed warm. I'm here to fulfill an objective - one that you should also be working towards, instead of slacking off, getting wasted and gossiping like old women. Capiche?"
Jacob nodded nervously, sweat beading on his face. Azfal did not dare to move his head. He exhaled in relief when the arrowhead let his throat.
"Breaktime's over, kids," Tigress said over her shoulder as she left. "And clean that mess up."
Kaldur raised an eyebrow at Artemis when she entered their shared chamber and locked the door behind her. The bathroom door was open, and Kaldur was washing at the sink. His Black Manta armour lay on the bedroom floor, and instead Kaldur had donned a fitting black shirt and black trousers.
"I heard you berate those men," he said, towel-drying his webbed hands. "It was...impressive."
There was no surveillance in these rooms. Artemis dropped the stern-mercenary-Tigress pretense, removing her mask. "Well, they deserved it. The way they were talking made me sound like a prostitute."
"It was quite intimidating."
"I've learnt from some of the best." She sat on her bed, pulled her feet up and her knees to her chest. Her words were heavy with implications (a still of Sportsmaster flitted across Kaldur's mind), so she shifted the topic. Nowadays, the two tried their best to avoid the uncomfortable and painful subjects - and there were far too many for their liking - in favour of concentrating on every ray of light they could conceivably cling to. She tilted her head and smiled (with a little bit of effort). "They did get one thing right. Us sharing a room is suspicious..."
"You are quite correct." Kaldur's perpetually stormy eyes cleared slightly. The corner of his mouth twitched as he took the spot on the bed beside her. "We would not wish to confirm their suspicions..."
"'Course not." Somehow, Artemis' hand found her way to Kaldur's abdomen. His shirt really was very fitted. "Totally innocent cohabitation."
"Nothing -" He interrupted himself by pressing his salty lips to Artemis' collarbone. "- at all is happening to distract us from our duties..."
(And if there were a handful of Mantamen clustered outside of Kaldur and Tigress's door, straining to hear their conversation and mouthing smug "I told you so!"s at one another, well, Kaldur and Artemis were too absorbed in not making out to notice.)