With a loud groan, Superboy pulled himself up and over the high ridge. Happy Harbor was spread out below him, while far above he could see several dark clouds massing. A storm was approaching.
Superboy decided that he didn't care. He was just happy to have climbed all the way up here on his own without using any superpowers. Sure, he could have easily leapt the height of Mount Justice in two or three bounds, but he had wanted to do it this way.
The experience had been just as accelerating as Robin said it would be. He would have to thank the kid later, maybe finally agree to play one of those TV games with him. Sitting with his legs dangling over the edge, he drew in a few deep breaths. He could feel the muscles in his arms vibrating from the exertion and sweat running down his face and back. It felt so good! A small pleasured smile flittered across his face.
"I bet not even Superman's done this without flying or his super strength," Superboy said with a chuckle. Wiping the sweat from his brow, he leaned his head back. "Tt, I don't need any powers to be me."
Then a worrying thought entered his head. He recalled that Mount Justice use to be Justice League headquarters. Maybe he was just following in Superman's footsteps once again. As the smug, grinning face in blue spandex popped into his head, Superboy growled, slamming his fist into the ground beneath him. The ground briefly shook in response
Superboy felt a mixture of painful emotions burn in his chest. None of them he cared to put a word to, but he knew the reason. "That arrogant, too cheerful smile always beaming, always caring about the world... but never me," he grumbled, clenching and unclenching his fists. "Pleased to see everyone else that's not me. Never me." He fought back the tears that burned at the corners of his eyes. "Sometimes, I wonder if I would have been better off staying in Cadmus with the Genomorphs." He continued to grumble under his breath, trying to force his mind on to something more pleasant.
That's when a different smile came to mind. This one was pink and light, and bubbly laughter always accompanied it. Letting his eyes slide shut, Superboy could see her soft brown eyes accented against her smooth, jade colored face and radiant smile. He especially liked how a pinkish blush quickly covered her jade colored cheeks when she became tongue-tied.
Superboy felt his heart rate increase and warmth flood to his face. When he thought of M'gann M'orzz
Megan, the warmth in his face spread through him. She was a reason he was glad he joined this band of young heroes. She was a perfect reason.
Not that she was the only reason. Kaldur was another good reason. Superboy felt he could trust the Atlantian in so many small but important ways. More than that, he always felt relaxed around the oldest male member of Young Justice. Superboy was sure the word brother and best friend would be a perfect fit for the Atlantian, but he wasn't sure whether Kaldur would agree. Still, he was sure Kaldur was the only person he could openly talk to about matters that didn't always make sense to him.
As for the youngest, male members, Robin and Wally were nice enough, if a bit odd at times with their strange, juvenile habits. Robin was smart and witty. He was always willing to explain the technology stuff to Superboy. Wally
well, he was entertaining, particularly when he put his foot in his mouth. Of course, Superboy couldn't think of a time when Kid Flash didn't do that. Admittedly, he had almost nearly always broke into laughter with the rest of the team. Only shear willpower had stopped him.
Robin, clearly, didn't even try. Then again, those two were practically tied at the hip. They always seemed to stay in step with each other both on base and on missions. Of course, they were best friends.
As for Artemis, she was okay. He thought she was tough and fast, and a great marksman. All qualities he had to admire. Of course, he didn't know much more about her. At times, he felt she wasn't that approachable, not like Megan. Also, he didn't like how she kept talking about him when she didn't think he could hear. Sure, he was strong and fast, but he preferred not to be the center of attention or objectified by anyone.
As for the Justice League, Superboy really only knew Batman, Black Canary, and Red Tornado. There wasn't much to say about the robot, except he was glad that it left him alone when there was no mission. Black Canary was an amazing teacher and the only other person he had sought advice from. Batman was fair but judgmental, and a lot more open-minded than the smile in blue spandex.
Despite Batman's insistence that it was only a matter of time before Superman actually started to accept him, Superboy was less than convinced. To be honest, he no longer cared. At least, he no longer told anyone he did, and that was close enough for Superboy. He was fine with these few close individuals friends, family, or whatever, he liked them well enough to trust them with his life. Megan
he thought he could trust with something more than that.
Blowing out another long breath, he watched as the dark clouds began to consume the sky above him. "Megan... M'gann M'orzz
has a nice ring to it."
"You really think so," chimed a familiar, feminine voice.
A shiver of fear ran up Superboy's spine. He leapt to his feet as warmth returned to his face. "M'gann," he said over his should with as much of a control tone as he could manage at the moment.
"Yes, Superboy, it is me," she said with that cheerful tone. His stomach did flips in response, but he managed to maintain most of his facial composure as he turned to face her.
Against the backdrop of storm clouds, she looked like an entrancing beacon of light. Her shoulder length hair flew freely behind her. A dark purple head band kept her bangs out of her soft brown eyes. The light purple sweater jacket was only a bit darker than her low-cut lavender shirt and matching miniskirt. One of her disarming smiles lit her face, but Superboy noticed that it didn't seem to reach her eyes. She looked worried. For a moment, he was afraid that she was reading his thoughts.
Pure panic took control of his tongue. He scowled at her and declared, "I told you to stay out of my head!"
M'gann took a quick step back from him, fear being very evident in her eyes. "I wasn't! I swear!" she stated, holding her hands up on defense. "Well, at least not on purpose. But I
I heard you from inside the mountain, and then
" She paused in speaking. A blush colored her cheeks as she dipped her head. "
I heard you say my name."
Superboy felt taken back. He drew his lips into a flat expression as all the knowledge that had been downloaded into him failed him. "I was
was just thinking about the team," he stammered, struggling for a moment to find a reply. "You're a member of the team. Right? Of course, you'd
As he stumbled over his words, he watched her posture became more slumped. One of her hands moved to grasp the opposing arm, slowly gliding up and down it nervously. "Oh, right. I should have guessed that," she said with a deflated tone. "Hello, Megan
It was just me being silly and thinking...."
Superboy's eyebrows rose up his forehead. "Thinking what?"
M'gann cringed even more. "Nothing. Nothing important."
"Well, it had to be important enough for you to come all the way here to see me," he said forthright. "So come on. What is it?"
"No really, it's just silly girl stuff," she said as her face grew even redder.
"No, go on," Superboy pressed for an answer. He took a few steps closer. "How do you know I might not be interested in 'silly girl stuff'?"
Her gaze rose as she gestured towards him. "Well, you're a guy. And from what I've learned from Earth television, most Earth guys don't tend to like
"Yeah," Superboy said, crossing his arms over his chest. "Well, I'm not exactly most guys or from Earth... not really."
A small smile curved her lips. "True."
"So?" he said questioningly, unable to stop the smile forming on his lips. "Out with it."
Her smile fell for a brief moment as the redness of her cheeks continued to intensify. Her head dipped again. "Well, I thought
I thought you might be thinking about me because
because you like me."
In the width of a breath, a roar of thunder gave voice to the dark clouds hanging over them. Out of the corner of his eye, Superboy barely took notice of the first streak of lightening cutting across the dark sky. Most of his attention was on M'gann and her statement.
Like. That word did begin to feel right in explaining what he thought of M'gann. Still, somehow, it felt incomplete. There had to be a better word for his feelings concerning her.
With a small shrug and a serious expression, he admitted, "Sure. I like you."
Almost immediately, M'gann's gaze rose and her wide eyes looked at him with such a mixture of emotions that Superboy doubted he could put a name to all of them. "Really? You... you like me?"
"Sure," he confirmed, before elaborating, "but I like all the members of Young Justice." He paused, chuckling about his previous thoughts of the team. "Admittedly, some more than others."
M'gann pushed back a few strands of her hair behind her left ear. Her smile continued to color her face. "Yeah. I suppose I can see that." As he took in a breath to just watch her nervous activity, he saw the first few raindrops falling around them. He wanted to say more before they went inside, before this moment was lost to the storm.
"Like is a very common term. Over the past few days, I've learned that I like many things." Superboy said loudly, trying to talk over the patter of raindrops against the stone ground. "So like doesn't really describe you."
He saw her brow furrow as her head cocked to one side in confusion.
"Not to me," he elaborated, stumbling over his words. "I
I don't know
I can't find the right word, but I know what I think, what I feel about you is more than just like." He swallowed nervously as he felt his face grow warm again. "I should have told you that day with the baking mess and me zoning out in front of the static television screen, but I
I didn't. And then again... in the desert when you... you saved me. And I..."
The more he meandered in explaining, the more he noticed M'gann's smile widening. She didn't even seem to notice the way the rain soaked her hair and clothes. Of course, to be honest, he wasn't either. His hearts beat faster to the point he thought it might explode or stop all together. Neither event happened. Instead, M'gann drew closer and touched his shoulder.
"I think I understand, Superboy," M'gann told him, gliding her hand along his arm. "I don't quite know what to call what I feel about you either, but
" As his arms slowly unfolded, M'gann's hand found his. He lowered his gaze to it, watching as her small hand slid effortlessly into his grasp "
but we can find out together. I mean, if that's okay with you."
For a few moments, he could only hear the blood pumping in his ears. His gaze remained locked on their joined hands, watching their fingers interlock. He noticed how warm her hand was in his hand. It felt comfortable and right, and despite the warmth, pleasant chills racked up his arm. His heart was beating fast but steady.
Raising his gaze back to M'gann's face, he found himself beaming a broad grin at her. "I'd like that, M'gann... Megan."