District Ayus

scavenger-rights:

He knew the amour shielded him from the head and radiation, and he saw the scarab’s shields go up, but it didn’t stop his stomach from dropping when he saw the beam connect.

"Shit. Shitshitshit." He hissed, weaving around the last of the stragglers and directing a couple to the shelter he’d passed further up the street. Why did regular people have to be so slow? He shifted his route slightly at Jaime’s advice, heading east and advising people none-to-kindly that if they didn’t want to have several third degree burns and eleven kinds of cancer by next Wednesday they should probably get the hell out of the warehouse district.

"Blue? You alright?" He asked, trying to keep his voice even over the comm. 

"Okay! Hurry can’t you-? Just do it!" Jaime yelled, and it was difficult to care less about who overheard. The armor’s shield seemed to curl away from his form, creating a sphere that stretched out towards the Atomic Skull, before another blast knocked Jaime to the ground. 

The scarab was already sticking him full of pain relievers, but Jaime snarled as he shoved off the ground, rolling away just in time to prevent going out by way of bug lamp.

"Could use some back up, KF. This guy’s not letting - up!" Jaime hissed, playing a game of tag with nuclear energy, trying to bounce back the rays that were tossed his way without actually sending them anywhere. All the while, the scarab whispered re-calibration settings into his ear.

District Ayus

scavenger-rights:

Bart swore under his breath at the crowd of people rushing down the street towards him as they struggled to be the first out of the warehouse district. There weren’t too many of them- the warehouse district thankfully wasn’t overcrowded- but it slowed him down when he had to haul someone to their feet or squeeze between a large group.

"Avoid the acid green death-beams. Got it." As if to prove his point, another energy blast arced overhead and smashed into a nearby building, sending rubble crashing into the street. The crowd panicked and tried to stop, and he was slammed between a larger man and a business woman’s briefcase. Taking a quarter of a second to confirm that no one was in danger of being crushed by the debris, he extracted himself from the crowd and finally managed to find a clear path.

"Hey Blue, you got a visual yet? Frenzied mob down here’s not so great for actually finding our baddie." 

The morning news would have a crisp close up of the Blue Beetle demanding everyone to get the fuck out in as many languages as he could properly pronounce, before a block of rubble nearly knocked him out of the sky. Then he said a few things his mother wouldn’t appreciate on live television.

"No, but he’s heading east, into the warehouses. He’s tearing everything apart. Nothing on the shipment list’s raising red lights. Make sure the civs stay gone. I’ll just - shh!"

He hadn’t even needed to catch their target’s attention, and he’d been coming in too hard and too fast. The blast hit straight on, and even with the shields the scarab erected, he was forced to give up space.

District Ayus

scavenger-rights:

"Oh shut up." He laughed, swerving to overtake a car and turning back onto the main street. "At least you’ve finally admitted I’m crasher than you." 

Spotting the light from Jaime’s jetpack a couple hundred meters above him, he wove through the traffic so that he was running only a few meters behind him. “How much is a shit-ton?” Bart asked, mentally going over anything he’d learned about nuclear radiation.  

"Cause the KF suit protects me from about 105 rem if I’m not moving, and I can adjust my vibration to account for about 200 more, but I risk radiation poisoning past that, and I can’t keep that up forever. Plus if we don’t take him down quickly, we’ll probably need to do an evac,"

"That’s because I’m not a kid, ese. I’m a man." And at this height, Jaime didn’t have to bother hiding a smile. Considering what was flashing across his visor, it was out of place, but he’d take what he could get. "By the way, maximum readings on this guy are almost triple your best. He blasts from the eyes and mouth. Bottom line - don’t get hit. Nothing new there."

Their destination was fast approaching. They brushed past stragglers from news crews and police teams. Jaime almost sounded chipper about it. It was either that or succumb to horror. The ‘being stronger than Superboy’ thing, that was a little new. Gritting his teeth as Khaji Da announced adjustments to the suit to combat radiation exposure, Jaime urged, “Yeah, go ahead, hermano. Just - KF. Really, really don’t get hit.”

Jaime barely had time to get the last of his transmission out before a blast of pure energy surged in their direction. Someone was already screaming.

District Ayus

scavenger-rights:

"It was one time!” He called after Jaime, zipping out of the house after him and easily keeping pace with the blue light of Jaime’s jet pack in the quickly darkening sky.

Pulling the goggles over his eyes and pressing a button on the side, he called up the GPS function and inputted their destination. One of the roads on the map that had placed itself in the right-hand corner of his field of vision lit up, and he upped his speed a little to catch up.

It didn’t take long for Bart to be running directly under Jaime, and he twisted himself around so that he was running backwards and facing Jaime. Giving him a mock salute, he was about to turn back around when he noticed his GPS informing him that there was a turn coming up, now, as the street ended and split in two. Realizing there was no possible way he could turn himself back around and still make the turn without smashing into the buildings in front of him, he spun on his heel and poured on the speed, vibrating straight through building.

"You… didn’t see that, right?" He muttered hopefully into his comm, turning down a side street to correct his path.

"Kid Flash, the Crashest Kid, runs into walls faster than any man on the planet," Jaime announced dramatically, doing his best Michael Buffer impression. It was only fair to even out the playing field. "No detours, ese. Let’s keep that one time at one. Friends were allowed to wallow in your embarrassment. It was a fact of life.

The smile twisted off Jaime’s face only to be replaced by uncertainty. “Uh. I am reading a shit-ton of nuclear energy, ese, and I don’t think any of it was delivered into Ayus the old-fashioned way.”

District Ayus

scavenger-rights:

Bart squinted at the screen trying to make out what exactly the grainy figure was doing, but his reply was cut short when he glanced at Jaime and saw the last bits of the armor sliding over his body, and realized they weren’t looking at the same thing. Rolling his eyes, he put the popcorn bowl on the floor and got to his feet.

"You’re so on. Going to lose, but still." Bart scooped his bag up from behind the couch and pulled the Kid Flash uniform out. It was still stained in places from whatever goop the Krolotean machine had sprayed them with earlier, but it would have to do. Even from the low quality news footage, he could see the villain firing some sort of beams- something his civvies would not stand up to half as well as the kid flash suit. 

Sighing, he zipped into the hall and back into the living room, pulling the hood over his head as he entered.

"You ready?" He challenged, rocking on the balls of his feet.

"Sure, keep telling yourself that," Jaime baited, as the metallic whirl of metal hid inch after inch of civilian clothing, already on stealth mode. He hated the idea of walking around in the bug suit at home. It felt wrong, not even something he could pretend to tease Milagros with because it was genuinely scary. It was what a monster could look like. 

He made sure all the lights that could reflect on the porch were off before preparing to the disembark. “Try not to get lost this time, ese.”

He took to the air, and the street lights around his house malfunctioned at the same time with a flicker. Jaime only turned on the jet pack once he was high enough to make identification difficult. 

At least there wasn’t goop this time. Probably.

District Ayus

crashedthemode:

Bart balanced the bowl of popcorn on his legs and raised his arms over his head, pretending to flex his biceps. “Ah, we just put on a good show. They can’t help but watch.” Bart bragged

Settling back into the couch, he tossed another handful of popcorn into his mouth, laughing at Jaime’s comment. “Yeah, that’d be totally crash.”

Bart’s laugh faded as the anchor read the announcement, and as he sat up to get a better look at the grainy news feed, only his super speed stopped the bowl from spilling it’s contents on the ground.

"District Ayu? That close to here?"

"North of here. Not far. What the heck is trying to do?" Jaime demanded, but he was no longer watching the television screen. His helmet had come up too easily, and it was almost funny to see Blue Beetle sitting in the middle of the Reyes livingroom, surrounded by popcorn crumbs and half-eaten pizza. Jaime’s seemed to be focusing on a point above the set, as Khaji Da hacked into recording devices in the area. 

There were benefits to having a GPS strapped to your back.

"Race you," he dared, and even if his smile was grim, it was no less sincere.

The zeta tube flashed brightly, announcing Beta squads' return to the Watchtower. Bart stretched his arms over his head as he walked out of the transport tube, his jointed popping loudly. "Hey, Blue. You wanna hang after we give Nightwing the mission report?" He asked over his should.

scavenger-rights:

crashedthemode:

An untimely yawn and the zeta tube’s additional role as a glorified doorbell muffled Bart’s question, but there was goop (no other word for it - Jaime knew he was in trouble when the Scarab called it goop), sticking to the oddest parts of his armor, and he was so tempted to just grab Bart and run, mission reports be damned. “Definitely, ese, s’long as it’s far, far away from -” he paused, looking out the closest window. “Space. Huh.”

There was still that to get used to, as well.

Without hesitation Bart rolled off the couch, scooped up the mostly empty popcorn bowl, and headed into the kitchen to refill it. Was it a distraction? Absolutely. But really, with the life he’d made for himself here, what wasn’t? 

"Mmm, maybe. Megatron is big. Like, really, really big. We’d have to outsmart him or something." He replied. He fished the popcorn bag out of the microwave and decorated it with an assortment of spices at an oddly leisurely pace, given that food was involved.

"Could your scarab hack him or something? You know, make him feel the mode? Cause then I could run around him or something and distract him and then you could come in from behind and wham, we win. Of course, then he’d probably fall over or something when we shut him down and I don’t think the citizens of whatever city we’d be in would appreciate that cause he’s kind of really big and I don’t think cities do really well when giant robots fall over in the middle of them.”

Finishing his rant, Bart let himself fall onto the couch, somehow not spilling popcorn everywhere, and lay down with his head on the arm rest, purposefully setting his feet in Jaime’s lap. Grabbing a handful of popcorn- there was already a suspicious amount missing, given that he’d just made it- he held out the bowl and offered some to Jaime.

"Maybe - y’know it’d be kinda cool to ride Megatron, ese, I could probably get him out of the city… Y’know we don’t know I gotta wonder why people keep living in cities with how often we go through them." Jaime pointed out, scowl visible on his features. He remembered the last run in he’d had at El Paso, where nearly the entire city (small at is was, but still) was leveled to the ground. Sure, when everything settled, the town was rebuilt. He had to thank La Dama and her soft-spot for Brenda for that, but his point still stood. Superhero-ing did not happy insurance companies make.

He accepted the popcorn readily, stuffing a handful into his mouth before making a cursory attempt at movement without actually moving. He was midway to his second mouthful, when the picture paused, only to be replaced by a local news station’s logo.

"This would be so bad if they announced news in Optimus’ voice," he pointed out, only for his expression to tense as the announcement began.

We interrupt scheduled programming to bring news live from the scene of Warehouse District Ayu, where the Atomic Skull is wreaking havoc.

The zeta tube flashed brightly, announcing Beta squads' return to the Watchtower. Bart stretched his arms over his head as he walked out of the transport tube, his jointed popping loudly. "Hey, Blue. You wanna hang after we give Nightwing the mission report?" He asked over his should.

scavenger-rights:

crashedthemode:

An untimely yawn and the zeta tube’s additional role as a glorified doorbell muffled Bart’s question, but there was goop (no other word for it - Jaime knew he was in trouble when the Scarab called it goop), sticking to the oddest parts of his armor, and he was so tempted to just grab Bart and run, mission reports be damned. “Definitely, ese, s’long as it’s far, far away from -” he paused, looking out the closest window. “Space. Huh.”

There was still that to get used to, as well.

"Ah." Satisfied with the answer, Bart’s head disappeared back behind the couch. Tossing a handful of popcorn in his mouth, Bart stuck his tongue out at Jaime obstinately, but slowed his pace down marginally, if only to placate his friend. 

He swallowed at Jaime’s question and kept his gaze glued to the television, his face thoughtful, almost mournful for a fraction of a second, before he tilted his head towards Jaime and grinned, shrugging his shoulders.

"Who knows? Maybe. That’d be crash. Unless it isn’t, and they’re deceptioncons or something." He said, as if for a second his mind hadn’t gone to collars and ashes and smuggling broken electronics in the night. Oh well. The future- not the future it doesn’t happen any more it won’t happen anymore. the past the whatever it is whatever it had been- was in the past, he reminded himself firmly, before returning his attention to the brightly coloured automaton on the screen.

"Decepticons," Jaime corrected with deceptive ease, turning back on screen where Shia Lebouf was making an idiot out of himself. He shouldn’t have been looking. He thought there were seconds he shouldn’t have been privy to, and yet. He got exactly what he expected for not letting sleeping dogs lie, and part of him still wanted to ask, like maybe forcing Bart to respond a different way could mean anything.

He made a show of grabbing more popcorn, leaving nothing but unpopped kernels at the bottom. Leaning back into the couch, he asked in the same tone, almost too lightly, “Think we could take down Megatron?”

The zeta tube flashed brightly, announcing Beta squads' return to the Watchtower. Bart stretched his arms over his head as he walked out of the transport tube, his jointed popping loudly. "Hey, Blue. You wanna hang after we give Nightwing the mission report?" He asked over his should.

scavenger-rights:

crashedthemode:

An untimely yawn and the zeta tube’s additional role as a glorified doorbell muffled Bart’s question, but there was goop (no other word for it - Jaime knew he was in trouble when the Scarab called it goop), sticking to the oddest parts of his armor, and he was so tempted to just grab Bart and run, mission reports be damned. “Definitely, ese, s’long as it’s far, far away from -” he paused, looking out the closest window. “Space. Huh.”

There was still that to get used to, as well.

 

Bart gave Jaime a wave from the couch without looking away from the television, but his focus was soon interrupted when the pizza was waved in his face. Snatching it from Jaime, he was already working on two slices when he answered. 

"Mehbee?" He answered between bites. "I ‘ident shtay bery long. Food sheemed more ‘portant" Swallowing his food with a gulp, he grabbed a mostly empty bowl of popcorn from the coffee table and gestured at the kitchen with one of the pizza slices. "Your bag is in the microwave. You’re out of popcorn, by the way."

He set his gaze back on the television once again, before frowning and sticking his head back over the couch. “Which transformers is this? There’s like five of them. I can’t remember which one we’re on.”

"The one where they fight in the city," Jaime explained, and grabbed his two slices before Bart could inhale the rest of the pizza. He’d leave the popcorn for now, wagering that given enough time, someone would bring it to him (half-empty and over-salted probably, but still).

The explanation didn’t help much. At least it could separate this one from the one where they fight in the desert. 

"Chew." He ordered, only half teasing. After a beat, wondering about their victory laps and things he should have been more careful about, he still asked, "Do you think they’ve got Transformers in the future now?"

The zeta tube flashed brightly, announcing Beta squads' return to the Watchtower. Bart stretched his arms over his head as he walked out of the transport tube, his jointed popping loudly. "Hey, Blue. You wanna hang after we give Nightwing the mission report?" He asked over his should.

scavenger-rights:

crashedthemode:

An untimely yawn and the zeta tube’s additional role as a glorified doorbell muffled Bart’s question, but there was goop (no other word for it - Jaime knew he was in trouble when the Scarab called it goop), sticking to the oddest parts of his armor, and he was so tempted to just grab Bart and run, mission reports be damned. “Definitely, ese, s’long as it’s far, far away from -” he paused, looking out the closest window. “Space. Huh.”

There was still that to get used to, as well.

Bart opened and closed his mouth repeatedly as he struggled for a response, and realized with a groan of frustration that Jaime had, indeed, won this round. 

Quickly switching into his civvies, he tossed the kid flash uniform into his bag. He headed towards the door, but not before shouting out the only retort he could think of: “I’m not promising I won’t eat all of it!” 

                                                 ******

It had taken all of five minutes for Bart to type up the report, deliver it to Nightwing, Zeta to El Paso, and check that the Reyes’ car wasn’t in the driveway before phasing himself through Jaime’s front door. 

He’d learned that phasing into the house when Jaime’s family was there was a bad idae when he’d almost taken a spatula to the head startling Mrs. Reyes.

Tossing a bag of microwave popcorn in the microwave, he collapsed onto the couch and flicked on the TV.

"I don’t expect you not to!" Jaime lied. It was probably for the best as nothing but his echo responded. He took considerably longer to get home though, for all that he knew the streets better than Bart did. Grabbing a pizza on the way home was an endeavor important enough to excuse missing Cybertron explode (again). 

Biologic Signature of the Impulse detected. Front entrance status remains guarded. Therefore defensive protocols are inadequate. “Does it help that he said he’d be here?” Jaime tried, not quite sighing, but he entered his house in a more traditional manner. His parents had given him the green light to use the attic window as a less visible mode of exit when he came clean. Jaime wasn’t sure how he felt about that.

"When you submitted, did Nightwing give you any ominous warnings about more bomb-goop-things?" Jaime asked, bypassing hellos as he dangled the pizza box in front of Bart. He’d stop caring about not being the first to turn in his homework. Bart liked to kill deadlines, and kill them dead.

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