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Hearing Things

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For a long while, everyone but Miss Martian assumed that Blue Beetle was just a tad bit schizophrenic, or really (really really) liked to think out loud. It wasn't until his first covert mission - nothing vocalized, all conversation through a telepathic link set up by Miss Martian - that they discovered that wasn't the case.

It nearly cost them the mission the first time they heard that unfamiliar voice in their minds, rattling off statistics about the aliens they were spying on in this low, electronic hum that almost sounded like a human voice. The entire experience was just strange and unexpected enough to disarm them for a badly timed moment. Despite orders to the contrary, noises were made. Since the alien residents of this particular underground cavern had senses that rivaled Superboy's, their cover was instantly blown. Luckily, Blue Beetle's unexplainable ability to scare off aliens worked again, and the team made it out relatively unscathed, if without the lead on the Kroloteans they'd been hoping for.

"Okay, what was that?" Lagoon Boy demanded the second they were all safe and accounted for.

Blue Beetle frowned. "What was what?"

"Are you deaf or something upstairs, Blue? The guy who got into our mind link!"

"There's no need to worry about that, La'gaan," Miss Martian said absently, more focused on flying the ship than on the conversation.

"Are you joking, angelfish? If there's a telepath out there strong enough to break through your shields, I don't want to meet him unprepared."

"There isn't a telepath alive who could get through my shields," she said lightly, her mind still elsewhere.

"But... there was somebody else's voice in my head!" Wonder Girl paused, then laughed a little, awkwardly. "Besides all of yours, I mean. How else could I have heard them, if they didn't get through your shields?"

"We have to consider the possibility that Miss Martian's telepathy is weakened by Blue Beetle's suit," Robin said. "There's still so little we know about either of their abilities, to say nothing of how they might interact - "

"But there wasn't anybody else," Blue Beetle said, interrupting him. "It was just me."

After a confused silence, Wonder Girl asked what they all were thinking: "Say what?"

"That other voice. I mean, it's not me-me, it's my suit."

"...your suit has a voice."

"Well, yeah. We work together more efficiently when it's communicating verbally instead of just through code and chemical impulses and stuff." Blue Beetle frowned. "I talk to it all the time, guys! What did you think I was doing, talking to myself?" He laughed at the idea. "Yeah, right."

The rest of the group started laughing too, stilted and uncomfortable.

It wasn't very convincing.

"Oh, come on!" Blue Beetle shouted. "You guys seriously though I was - "

"Oh, look at that, we're here!" Wonder Girl piped up, jumping out of her chair. "Well, great mission guys - except for, you know, the part where we didn't get what we were looking for, and the part where a lot of them escaped and might have told others what we were doing, but other than that, great job! Okay, gotta go, bye!" And she was gone.

" - and you never said anything about it? No creo que - "

"You know, I think I have to..." La'gaan trailed off, turned tail, and ran.

"I really should go find Nightwing and debrief," Robin said as he dashed out.

" - pendejos," he concluded bitterly.

Miss Martian patted him on the shoulder. "There, there, Jaime. I always knew you weren't talking to yourself."

Somehow, this wasn't reassuring.