Abbu requests: Bart admits to Jaime that he isn't who he says he is/reveals his real persona

Bart's usually very careful about keeping up his façade. He thought the Team had gone to bed, so he was sitting in the living room, slouched down on the couch, letting the thoughts he pushed away during the day run through his head.

Unfortunately Jaime had come back out and found Bart staring at nothing, a hint of tears in his eyes.

"Bart?" Jaime asked.

Bart flinched and blinked, the wetness in his eyes disappearing.

"What?" He asked his voice hoarse.

"Everything okay?"


"Doesn't look like it." Jaime said, sitting on the opposite side of the couch from Bart, leaning against the arm rest, facing the younger boy.

Bart started panicking. He wasn't ready to have this conversation, not even with Jaime.

"Everything is the same as always." He said, plastering his cheesy grin on his face, but he could tell Jaime wasn't buying it.

"Don't lie to me, hermano, I've never seen anyone look that… Broken." Jaime couldn't think of a any other word to describe how Bart had looked.

Bart's smile fell.

"I am broken," he whispered.

The look of concern and care on Jaime's face squeezed at Bart's heart, making it hard to breathe.

"What were you thinking about?" Jaime asked, just as quietly.

"The things that I wake up screaming about every night."

Jaime waited.

"Big Bad Blue Beetle. All the people I've lost. Every scar on my body. And how it's all going to happen again if I fail."

The look in Jaime's eyes changed to something that made Bart's stomach twist.

"Don't do that." Bart said.

"Do what?" Jaime asked, confused.

"Care about me. Don't care about me. I don't need you to care about me, I don't need anyone. I've taken care of myself practically my whole life." Bart said, and Jaime moved across the couch and wrapped his arms around him.

"Don't, Jaime." Bart insisted, but instead of pushing Jaime away he found himself curling his fingers into the older boy's shirt, and pressing his face against the warm chest in front of him.

"There's nothing wrong with having someone care about you, Bart. I've never met anyone who has deserved it more."

"I don't deserve anything. Do you know how many people have died because I couldn't save them? Do you know what each scar on my body means? The scars on my mind?" It came out muffled against Jaime's chest. "Each one is a reminder of someone I lost."

"It wasn't your fault, I'm sure you did everything you could, and that's what matters."

"But it wasn't enough." Bart said before sobbing into Jaime's chest.