Tactical Advantages

Wally drummed his fingers on the table and wondered if it was Superboy’s cargo pants that had caught Robin’s attention. Maybe he should sew some utility pockets into his suit, he thought. It’d be a lot easier to store snacks, on the one hand, but on the other, being aerodynamic is pretty important when speed is your superpower. Or maybe it didn’t make a difference, maybe he could sacrifice a few milliseconds if it meant Robin would stare at him like a schoolgirl with a pocket fetish.

At this point, Wally stopped to reassure himself for the third dozen time that day that he wasn’t, in fact, gay. He shifted his gaze from Superboy to Megan, who caught his glance and smiled at him. Nope, he thought as he felt a doofy grin spread across his face, not gay. Then, just to be safe, he looked over at Aqualad, who was licking his fingertip to turn the page in his book, a perfect point of reference.Definitely not. Robin, apparently, was just a freakish exception to the rule. A bendy, thirteen-year-old, asshole exception to the rule.

And he was staring at Superboy, like, all the time.

Wally wondered if Robin had ever said that pockets “whelmed” him, and furthermore, whether that was good or bad. Wally was pretty sure he still had a pair of cargo shorts from back in the fifth grade when they were cool, and he figured it wouldn’t take too long to dash home and get them to test his hypothesis.

Just as Wally was trying to decide whether or not he was plain losing his mind, he was startled out of his reverie by a pair of blue eyes trained on him and a rough “What are you staring at?!” Wally then realized that he’d been staring at Superboy for the last twenty minutes straight–not as long as Robin had been staring at him, which was always, but still way too long, he supposed.

“I, uh… was wondering if you… um… use your cargo pants tactically?” Wally said sheepishly. Robin, he was sure, was glaring daggers at him beneath his stupid sunglasses. Robin, he was sure, could go suck a bag of dicks. Super dicks. I really am losing it, Wally thought.

Superboy, for his part, settled comfortably back into his chair, another fit of irrational anger come and gone. Was that what Robin was attracted to, should Wally start flipping over chairs and yelling “Wally SMASH” at everyone?

“I don’t use the pockets,” Superboy mumbled, self-consciously fingering the flaps. “These ones just fit good.”

“Reeeally?” Robin was out of his chair and on his knees examining Superboy’s pants. “That’s a waste, man. You could keep gadgets in there.”

“Or snacks,” Wally suggested.

“I don’t like things in my pockets,” Superboy said, and that was the end of that.

At least, Wally figured that had to be the end of it. However, Wally didn’t figure that he’d get jumped by a tiny black blur of skinny arms and ugly Ray-Bans when he went to use the can, so it soon became apparent that he just didn’t have much of a grasp on the situation in general.

“It’s his eyes, isn’t it?” Robin demanded, pinning down Wally’s shoulders as he straddled him.

Wally, completely baffled and more than a little bruised, simply lay there with his mouth gaped open like a particularly oblivious fish. “What in the good god damn are you talking about, Rob?” he asked, comically delayed, having needed a moment to ease himself back into coherency.

“His eyes, his stupid blue eyes!” Robin exclaimed, leaning back and crossing his arms in a huff. “All the girls are swooning over him like idiots and now you are too, I get it. Well FYI you dickface, I’ve got blue eyes, too!” And here Robin leaned forward again and jabbed Wally in the chest to punctuate his indignation. “They’re gorgeous and way too goo for you, anyway!”

“Rob, have you lost your mind?” Wally asked. Maybe it was contagious.

Robin grasped Wally’s shirt collar. “You’re my friend,” he said. “I put up with you hitting on anything with boobs, but I’m not going to let you ditch me for your man-crush, alright?”

Finally, the extent of the situation was beginning to dawn on Wally, and he flailed his arms in some vague attempt to fend off Robin’s accusing glare. “I’m not swooning over Superboy,” he said, “Why would you even think that that is weird.”

Robin was frowning. “You’re always staring at him,” he said, “and I’ve been trying to figure out why. Today he even caught you! No way were you wondering about utility pants.”

“I was! That’s exactly what I was thinking about!” Which was, Wally reasoned, technically true, by omission. “I was hoping I could get him to keep some chips and Dew in there since I got no pockets. It was perfectly innocent and eeeeven a little manipulative, I swear.”

Robin leaned back again, and even in the dark Wally could see his cheeks going a little red. “The chips would get pulverized and the Dew would be warm,” he said.

Wally shrugged. “Better than nothing.”

“I guess.” Robin stood up and offered Wally a hand. “Sorry,” he said, pulling Wally back to his feet, “I don’t have a whole lot of friends, I guess I overreacted.”

“No big, Rob,” Wally said, giving Robin’s hand a friendly squeeze before letting go. Was that a friendly thing to do, or an intimate thing to do? Robin was giving him kind of a weird look. Intimate, then. Oh well.

Robin stepped back and rubbed awkwardly at the back of his neck. “I guess I’ll, uh, get back,” he said. Things had gotten totally weird, at some point, way too weird.

Well, Wally reasoned, if things were already weird he might as well go all in. Blue eyes too, gorgeous blue eyes. He hadn’t even really thought it through before he was reaching out and grabbing hold of Robin’s sunglasses.

“What are you doing?!” Robin asked, but he didn’t move, didn’t try to bat Wally’s hand away.

“Dunno,” Wally said, and he pulled the shades off Robin’s face. Robin had his eyes scrunched shut. “Oh come on,” Wally said, annoyed, and Robin sighed and slowly opened them. Blue, like he said. Gorgeous, too, he wasn’t lying. Wally stood there, Robin’s sunglasses dangling limply from his outstretched hand. He looked young, and vulnerable, and Wally suddenly felt really skeevy as he fought the urge to brush Robin’s hair back from his forehead, I have lost it I have totally lost it it’s official.

Robin frowned and snatched his sunglasses back. “Batman would kill you for that,” he said, shoving them back on his face, arms over top of his hair like a dork.

“That’s the least of of the things he’d kill me for if he knew,” Wally muttered, shifting his stance uncomfortably.

“What?”

“Nothing.” Wally thanked god for baggy pants. “Hey Rob,” he asked, “If I tell you that I figured out like forever ago that you’re Dick Grayson, can I come over to your mansion sometime and play video games?”

Robin tensed up for a second, and then a big grin broke out over his face. “Nnnnnope,” he said.

Wally punched him in the shoulder. “Asshole.”


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