imasupermuteant: (Happy!Bart)
[personal profile] imasupermuteant
Title: On the One Hand
Fandom: DCU
Pairing: Booster Gold/Bart Allen, slight Booster/Ted
Rating: PG
Warnings: Melancholy, an informed and concensual relationship between an adult and a teen
Wordcount: 804

Summary: A continuation of the "Sundollars" scene from Out of Time. Ted meets Booster's new boyfriend-thing.

Ted really doesn't know how to feel about Booster's new boyfriend-thing. Ted doesn't understand the word that Booster uses to refer to Bart Allen and he's not quite sure he wants to because, as he's learned, 31st century Esperanto can be disgustingly specific.

The point is that Ted's conflicted.

On the one hand, Ted has never actually met one of Booster's girl- boy- or whatever-friends before. The fact that Booster has introduced them at all said a lot for the seriousness of the relationship.

On the other hand, Bart Allen is practically a little kid. Ted doesn't think Booster is capable of pressuring someone into anything, and Bart does seem pretty happy. But there is no denying that Bart is young. And crazy.

On the other hand, Booster is also really happy and that makes Ted happy. He doesn't know what to think. He has run out of hands.

"I'm gonna go to the bathroom." Booster announces. He smiles at Ted, smiles at Bart, and then practically frolics to the back of the coffee house. Booster is happy alright.

There's a moment of awkward silence while Ted sips his coffee and Bart slurps away at his double-mint-frakkachino. Ted tries to keep his eyes moving around the room but he suddenly finds himself locked in deadly eye-contact with Bart's gigantic baby-blues.

"You don't like me." Bart informs him.

"What? No! I--"

"It's okay. I understand. I mean, my best friend has this girlfriend and I can't stand her usually but he still likes her so I pretend like I do too so that we won't fight."

The kid is talking at a mile a minute and Ted's a little pissed that he's managed to reduce Ted's life into high school drama.

"So pretty much I'm saying that it's okay if you don't like me but I think you should like me because Mike really likes you and I like him."

Ted feels a little bit like he's been hit by a conversation train, "Whaa-- Mike?"

"I thought it was unhealthy for him to only be called 'Booster' all the time even though it's a really good name when you think about it. I read somewhere that a strong sense of identity is important for mental health and..."

"Do you ever shut up?" Ted feels a little like slapping himself in the forehead because that was rude and he hadn't meant for it to come out that way. But Bart didn't seem to notice.

"Not really, no." He said, "Tell me if I'm getting annoying."


There's another moment of silence while Ted contemplates the fact that Booster's bathroom break is going on way longer than necessary and Ted might have to go and see if he fell in or something. Bart kicks his feet on the booth and Ted has a brief moment where he freaks out because the kid isn't even tall enough to put his feet on the floor.

"Anyway." Bart says suddenly, "I thought you should know that Booster really cares about you. And-- And if you really don't like me or you think we should break up or something I will, even if he won't, because I don't want you guys to fight or anything. Okay?"

"You--" Ted's speechless. This kid. This highschooler who wants to study English literature because he's bad at it is willing to sacrifice his relationship for Ted's feelings? Either he's got some serious emotional maturity or...

"Do you even care about Booster at all?" He asks, and he's starting to feel a little angry.

"Of course!" The kid says, "He's awesome. We're like, awesome together."

"Then why the hell would you care what I think?" Less angry now and more confused.

"Because he cares about you," Bart says, rolling his eyes like it's completely obvious, "and you guys are totally awesome together too."

Before Ted can even begin to process that, Booster is coming back with that same goofy grin on his face and calling Bart by one of those Esperanto words that haven’t even been invented yet. He kisses Bart on the head and slides in, turning his smile on Ted and calling him something unrecognizable that makes Bart smile.

On the one hand, Ted thinks, the kid is a little bit crazy and little bit young. On the other hand, he's smart and reasonably well-adjusted.

On the other hand, Ted doesn't want to lose his best friend to what amounts to superpowered jailbait. On the other hand, Ted doesn't want to lose his best friend to loneliness and misery.

Ted has run out of hands.

The kid's got a nice smile, Ted decides, and he makes Booster happy. So what if he makes something in Ted's chest feel tight and worried? It's Booster's life.

Ted decides to be happy for them, and drinks his coffee.