This is set during Failsafe. I took it, made it darker and then tossed in a few monsters just because I wasn't in a very good mood when the idea came to me.
Disclaimer: I don't own Young Justice or its related characters. Character deaths.
It was just supposed to take four minutes; four minutes to line the explosives, grab the hands of those who had managed to survive this long and take the door out to freedom where they'd watch the alien ship turn to ash in the night sky around them.
It had taken thirty seconds to get to the door, two for it to close and three for a blast from one of the ship's inhabitants to delay them.
Two minutes were spent in escaping the oncoming swarm of machines with their eyestalks all pinned to four survivors of the invasion with no mercy.
With twenty seconds left, it had taken six to convince Miss Martian and Martian Manhunter to escape while they still could with the help of the lie that he, Robin, and Kid Flash would blow the doors and be out in time.
Three seconds were spent in a tear filled stare before the remaining two embraced in the tightest hug their friendship had ever withheld.
Three were choked on for a trembling, "See you upstairs, KF."
"I'll be waiting by the snack table," was returned in four.
Three more were spent grasping at what they could of their best friend's costume, stifling small sobs with heavy and heartbroken shudders.
The last second was given to agonizing screams as the alien ship was blown to pieces around them.
Megan held her breath and her uncle's hand in equal anxiety as she trained her eyes hard on the towering spacecraft that was set to blow in ten seconds, a furrow of her brow upsetting the relative calm of her forehead as the seconds grew more and more sparse.
"Nine, eight…" a shudder ran the length of each breath, growing larger and heavier as the seconds ran out, her fingers tightening to a death grip as her fear just continued to grow. "Come on, guys… please…"
Tears were already brimmed on her amber eyes when she had left her teammates' sides, cheeks stained harsh from the remnants of Artemis, Conner and Kaldur alike, but now they were pushing back through her eyelashes impatiently.
"Six, five, four…" the numbers passed over the red of her lips as they moved in a ghosting motion, her opposite hand balling up in the closest edge to her cape with a tremble racing against each of her pale green fingers.
The second the one parted her lips, it came out in a broken sob that she didn't try to hold in for even a moment, turning and burying her tears into J'onn's chest. Her sobs cut the silence in rough and desperate shrieks, grabbing at whatever material was within her reach, before the sound wave of the overhead explosion drowned out her screams.
At first, it was just a blazing heat that licked at their flesh and made the two Martians stagger on their feet with near simultaneous groans of pain. The heat became a swift shove of sorts, a wind stronger than any other that swept them both to the darkened grass below, and then the deafening roar of the spacecraft exploding above left their ears ringing a terrible tune for a good minute or so after.
In that minute of serene quiet, the blazing heat slowly began to edge off and vacuumed out every ounce of warmth the world seemed to have, blanketing the now icy land in a thick gray ash that fell like ideal winter snow. Smaller thuds could be felt in the earth below as the surviving bits— though few in number— crashed down into the graying planet and sent their broken shrapnel bits to-and-fro. Metal was seared and broken straight in half from the hull. The harsh concrete and rock of the floors were shattered to thin bits no bigger than a fist.
"M'Gann!" her uncle's voice pierced the ringing a long while after, a time past when she was sure she'd never remember quite how to breathe past her wailing sobs, and he gently lifted her to her feet to inspect for damage.
The redhead couldn't stand on her own, crumpling back to her knees and hanging her head in her hands.
"No…" was all she could choke out, fingers entangling in her hair just for something to grab.
There wasn't an ounce of hope, not even a molecule, in any of the tears that stained deep over her freckles. She would've heard Robin's trademark little giggle rise up through the wreckage, or even a cheesy line from Kid Flash when they had seen they had made it out alive. There was nothing but quiet—and the ringing that now just buzzed in the back of her mind with the breaths to her sobs.
A hand set tenderly to her shoulder, but she wrenched it free and crawled backwards, turning her eyes up with the growing rage adding a neon glow to the rims.
"It will be okay," J'onn solemnly tried to assure her, swallowing hard.
She imploded, melting into her legs and hugging them tight enough that she hoped they would be bloody and bruised the next morning if she could live with herself until then. Her thighs captured the chest-heaving sobs.
"N-No! I-It's not!" she gasped out, nails digging into the spandex with the intention to tear flesh, "T-They had… f-families! Friends! H-Homes to ret-… return to! I didn't even… I-I didn't… I don't e-even know R-Robin's name…"
Though she knew the League would never see eye-to-eye with her on such humane thoughts, all of those kids beneath the masks were just average ordinary people with lives that now they were left without. Siblings would be heartbroken, families torn—all because blood was shed that she could've easily prevented.
Wally had a family, she knew that. He had two parents, a kind of bossy mommy that always fought with his dad, but they'd have big dinners on Saturday with the whole family and it was a cozy sort of deal. He had a turtle, a happy little one that could manage a grin to melt your heart before he nipped you—feisty little thing. There were friends too, at a school that he hated, and he had had Artemis in a relative sort of way.
Robin—she knew nothing about him. He was a thirteen year old kid, trapped beneath Kevlar and spandex with a grin that held so much pain behind it and a giggle that could stop an enemy line mid-fire. He could tumble and flip like the best of gymnasts and he had the best of spirits when he needed to, holding what he could of the team together. Even when he smiled though, his mind always cast out these darker shadows that pushed him farther and farther away from the other sidekicks with the faintest pulse of a green and a scream. So much pain in such a little frame…
And now, they both were gone, dust that now lie uselessly beneath the tendrils she sat in and that dug deep into her scalp. She was on her friends. She could hold them in the palm of her hands.
"It does not matter. They died in combat. We should honor their names by carrying on," Martian Manhunter straightened up, aiming to yank his niece to her feet.
Megan got to her feet alright, but it definitely wasn't from her uncle's help. The glow to her eyes grew and she lifted herself up until she hovered above grass, flying as fast as she could away from the monster that she used to call family. Who was the white Martian now?
Her tear-filled amber eyes swept the wreckage as she passed by it, throwing the larger bits aside as far as her strength would allow her, clearing a path like the Red Sea through all the destruction that marred the planet she had long longed to be a part of.
"They… were people… n-not just… masks and… h-he… heroes…" she gasped out, wiping at her eyes with the back of her hand, the droplets flicking off and parting the ash in small little splashes of sorts.
Green fingers were now in tight fists, when not moving the metal and rock aside, both trembling high on the Richter scale when she saw it.
A resilient black fabric standing out against the gray, a scarlet stain seeping deep into the world around it. She'd know that cape anywhere.
"O-Oh God… Robin!" she flew fast enough for the wind to make her cheeks ache, delicately releasing the nearest fist she held and lifting the body beneath it up with a cradling palm.
The faint smile was wrenched away from her with the harshest of screams, dropping what was left of the sidekick's body back down into the wreckage. It was Robin; there was no question about it. It just wasn't all of Robin. The little bird was severed messily off at the hips, the intestines that should have just tumbled messily out now cooked finely inside what remained of his torso. The burns left him a white and frothy mess, near unrecognizable if the mask hadn't survived.
Beneath him was another body she would've killed herself to not have to see again, one that the surviving fabric had allowed her to place together in her mind. Wally was curled up, one arm—what was left of it anyway—curled up beneath Robin's corpse as if they had gone out holding each other. His legs had survived, but only just as tarred bone and above the kneecaps that were shattered. Large bits of his chest were missing, where shrapnel wasn't jutting out, and he was down to one melted eye inside his goggles.
"Wally!" she shrieked, collapsing into the wreckage and feeling at his neck, desperate for a pulse.
What was left of the speedster twitched at the contact before a roar of nothing but agony tore from the gaping hole that served for his mouth, blood spewing like spit out onto the Martian's pale green features. Tears seeped out messily from the edges to his eyes, going even worse as he barely managed to look over and see what was left of his best friend.
"N- Dick!" the name was choked on like a curse, the mostly bony appendage serving as his free arm flopping over to clutch at the half of his friend remaining, realizing he didn't have the fingers to clutch at the teen's cape with an even louder scream.
Megan sobbed, cupping her mouth in horror before sliding her hands up to hide her eyes too, her small frame convulsing violently from her spot on what probably served as part of a boiler.
"I-I'm so-!" the Martian tried to gasp out, but another agonizing scream cut her off and just made her sobs grow in volume.
Her fingers slipped and she looked at the shriveling remains of her teammate, bile rising and coating her throat thoroughly, a cold sweat leaving her feeling like the worst of beings to exist. There wasn't an ounce of hope in the speedster's face. There wasn't room for it. Between how tight he had his eyes squeezed shut and how wide his lips parted for his screams, the only spot for it would be in his tear-streaked cheeks, but it would've just slid right off.
Little by little, the screams siphoned off into pained groans and then to pitiful whimpers until the bloodshot emerald eye that remained cracked open. The pupil was oblong, as if it had been stretched while his eye had melted, and the whites were stained the same color as the blood pooling around him. He looked slowly to Megan, straight into what of her eyes that he could manage.
"Me… M'Gann… ple… please… kill me…" Wally choked out, having to look away as he coughed out a palm full of blood onto Robin's shoulder, "It… hur… hurts so… so bad…"
The words were like taking a bullet to the heart, even managing to cut the sobs away into a dark sort of silence, a trembling swallow tracing out the length of the girl's throat.
"Wally… I… I can't…" she breathed, reaching forward and touching a hand to his shoulder.
A scream tore through his lips at the contact, causing her to dive back with a heartbroken sob into her fingers, maybe a minute passing before the cries of pain became quiet, hopeless groans.
"Please," the ginger whispered, closing his eyes again and pressing his forehead up against Dick's, clinging the best he could to the thirteen year old boy's body. "I ca… it… hurts…"
He convulsed violently, sobbing in the process at how bad it hurt to move even in the slightest, blood trailing like a faucet down his chin and staining the inside teeth a reddish yellow that would never wash out.
"Ro… Robby… he… s… I have… t-to go up… there… gon… na… meet… h-his… parents…" his pinky managed to bend just the slightest, drawing the cape closer to his burnt palms.
The words took the bullet in Megan's heart and veered it down as sharp as they possibly could, a hot stream of tears breaking the steady pace.
Robin's parents were dead. He was a regular kid, about thirteen—the regular age when most boys are drooling over the new girls in school and Sharpie-ing dicks on their friend's assignments. Instead of worrying about relationships and homework, he worried about whether or not he'd live until tomorrow. Not just that, but he was presumably an orphan from the tone Wally had used. Robin, the kid who never stopped giggling, with a past as dark as the underneath of your bed where all the monsters lurk.
"Wally," she breathed his name, bowing her head before she found herself nodding stiffly, staggering to his side.
The relief to fill his eye was the same look a five year old would give to getting a new bike on Christmas, hope sparking in time with the setting sun's light. His lips turned up into the tiniest smile.
"Thank you," he mouthed the words, closing his eyes as her hand delicately cupped the left side of his face.
She trembled harder than she ever had before, trying to stifle her sobs long enough for a proper goodbye, but no words seemed quite right for this kind of situation. The redhead leaned forward instead and tenderly kissed his forehead, pulling back with a dark scarlet tracing around her lips like a lazy halo.
"Tell them…" a sob threatened to give way and she couldn't manage it out, shaking her head roughly. "S-sleep… tight…"
Eyes sparking neon, M'Gann took a deep breath and Wally took his last.
We're all fighting getting old in the hopes of a few minutes more to get on St. Peter's list, but you need to lower your standards.