Sep 23, 2019 7:32 AM
Aestrix and Kaylin's characters in Young Justice
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"Cool name, man!" 

Kid Flash grins, and slings an arm around Rain's shoulders.

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"Hey, we match," Robin points out, sounding delighted.

"Robin and Rain!" 

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"Thank you!" He grins at Kid Flash, then Robin. "Yeah, I guess so. I hadn't really thought about it."

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Meanwhile, Batman is discussing with Aquaman and Flash how they should deal with their sidekicks' insubordination. 

"Eventide. You seemed to be getting along well with the clone. Anything to contribute?" 

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"He's remarkably easygoing and mature, especially considering his age and what Cadmus planned to do with him. He'd rather not be associated with Superman, on entirely Superman's behalf. He noticed that it bothered him and didn't want to make it worse. He instead picked the name 'Rain.'" He looks thoughtfully at the group of young heroes. "Worked well in a team, which is good. Made friends pretty easily, which is better. ... Though I think you might have trouble splitting them up, now. Exact words were 'I want to keep punching giant monsters in the face with my friends,' not just in general."

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Flash chuckles.

"Wasn't the whole point of this that our sidekicks would get to spend time together?" he points out. "Maybe we should let them keep doing that. With more supervision, obviously," he adds as Batman and Aquaman glare at him. 

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"And missions in their weight class," agrees Eventide. "It'd certainly be educational, to work with a proper team. And aside from Rain, they all already have field experience and training from the best."

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"You may have a point," Aquaman says, stroking his beard. 

"But I am reluctant to reward such disobedience, even given the spectacular results." 

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"They disobeyed you because you didn't trust them. They felt betrayed, and wanted to show you that you could trust them with something. Not in the best way, granted. I'm not saying this was okay, whatever the actual results of their stupid move. There need to be consequences and they need to understand why this was a stupid move, but the solution here is not 'don't trust them some more.' Give them boring and painful classroom lessons on how running off without backup gets people killed, but also give them what they'd wanted in the first place. Maybe prevent this from happening again."

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Batman is quiet, watching the others argue back and forth. 

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"You do not even have a sidekick!" Aquaman accuses Eventide.

"You have no stake in this matter - no wonder you advocate for leniency." 

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"I have a daughter," he points out, annoyed. "She's about Robin's age. If she'd wanted to come to the Hall of Justice, she'd probably be down there with them now. We all have a stake here, they're the next generation of heroes. Are we going to treat them like misbehaving children, or are we going to help them grow up?"

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"They are misbehaving children!" Flash snaps, gesturing over at where Robin and Kid Flash are playing some kind of game that involves chucking tiny pebbles at Aqualad when he isn't looking. 

"They're just kids and they could have been killed tonight and you're saying we should let them do it again?"

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"They risk their lives every time they go out on patrol," Batman states.

"The only difference tonight," he continues, "is that they did it without our supervision - or even our knowledge. That can not be allowed to happen again." 

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"Agreed. So we help them do it with supervision and guidance, instead of waiting for them to decide that they're sick of being coddled."

He's silently glad that Green Arrow isn't part of this discussion. It'd hurt him. Perhaps objectively he should be a voice present, but he doesn't expect that any of the things he's saying would be appreciated by the guy whose former sidekick just threw a temper tantrum, went solo, and made every attempt to cut all ties with the League. The whole mess is definitely indicative of possible failure states if they don't handle these teenagers properly.

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Aquaman is, apparently, thinking along the same lines.

"As Speedy did this afternoon? I will concede that is an outcome to be avoided, but that it happened at all would suggest none of them are mature enough for such responsibility, even supervised."

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"... They're not responsible for Speedy's decisions, Aquaman. Only their own. They have some growing up to do, but I think punishing them for the actions of one of their peers and not them would be a mistake."

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"Agreed," Batman says.

"We will need some time to work out a satisfactory arrangement, but I am not opposed in principle to letting the four of them work together on designated missions."

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"Sure. Details pending. They can get lectured while we figure out the details."

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"Alright," Flash agrees immediately.

"Should we lecture them all together or individually?" he wonders. 

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Aquaman looks thoughtful.

"Together," he decides. "They all made the same mistakes. Although perhaps we could leave out...'Rain', was it?" 

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"Definitely. He had nothing to do with the decisions that require a lecture, and it'd just be confusing and upsetting to get a lecture that he didn't earn. Innocent bystander."

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"Agreed." 

Batman turns towards the young heroes, and starts walking in their direction.

"Let me do the talking," he tells his fellow Leaguers. "Eventide, would you take Rain aside again?"

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"Yep."

He performs the Rain extraction maneuver. Which is to say, he says that he'd like to talk to him about his living situation, and then actually does that. Does he want to have a secret identity? ("Sure, why not.") Does he want to go to school? ("Sure, why not.") Does he want to be adopted by someone and have parents? ("If they're not terrible.")

And meanwhile, the others can get a lecture.

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For a few seconds, Batman just looks at the trio, evenly. His expression is impossible to read.

"What were you attempting to accomplish?" he asks, eventually, in a tone that says they'd better be very sure about their answer.

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