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“Despiértate, Jaime! Get up, get up, get up! You promised!”

Jaime groaned and pulled his bed sheets over his head. This was going to be a long day. He needed coffee if he was going to survive. The protection from the blankets didn’t do much to keep him relaxed, as his sister Milagro was bouncing on the bed and shouting. Jaime still didn’t budge, so she threw her weight on top of him.

[We are under attack, Jaime Reyes! Eliminate the threat!]

“No! I’m up, I’m up, okay?” The Scarab’s threat to ‘eliminate’ Jaime’s little sister did more to wake him up than any cup of coffee would have.

“Yay!” Milagro grinned and adjusted herself so that she was sitting on Jaime’s chest.

Jaime couldn’t help but smile. He had promised to spend the day with his annoying little sister, and as much as she got on his nerves, he really was happy to spend time with her.

“Alright, the day is yours, hermanita. Just let me get ready, ok?”

Just then, Jaime’s phone went off. Milagro rolled off of him so he could answer it. He reached for his phone on the night stand and picked it up without bothering to see who was calling.


“Hair-man-oh! What are you doing right now? I happen to be in the neighborhood, thought we could hang.”

“You just happen to be over here … in El Paso?” Jaime said sarcastically.

“Yup.” Apparently, Bart wasn’t even going to try to come up with an excuse.

“Jaime, who’s that? Is that your boyfriend?” Milagro reached for the phone, and Jaime jumped out of the way, blushing. Bart was saying something, but it was hard for Jaime to focus with Milagro singing in his ear.

“Jaime and Bart, sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-” Jaime covered his sister’s mouth frantically and she let out a muffled giggle and then licked his hand. Then she continued humming the tune, loud enough so Bart could hear.

“S- sorry, Bart. Uh, I can’t hang out today. I- ow!- I promised Milagro I’d- MILAGROOO!” Jaime dropped his phone when his sister bit his hand, hard. As soon as the phone dropped, she leapt out for it and cheerfully started up a conversation with Bart as she ran away with Jaime’s phone.

Jaime let his head hit the wall behind him and slumped back into the bed. Sometimes, he thought Milagro’s sole mission in life was to embarrass him. He figured it was no use chasing her, so he took his time getting out of bed. He put on some jeans and a hoodie, and as soon as he was dressed, Milagro came skipping back into the room.

“Can we go to the fair?”

Jaime frowned, “Sorry, Mili, I don’t have enough money for all that. How about the mall?”

“Okay! Oh, and Bart’s coming with us.” She said with a grin, then tossed Jaime’s phone back to him.

“You invited Bart?” Jaime was surprised, but he couldn’t say he was disappointed.

“Yeah! I like him. He’s funny.” Milagro let out an exaggerated laugh, and Jaime couldn’t help but imagine his sister and best friend swapping embarrassing stories about him.

Jaime’s mom dropped the three of them off at a discount mall. It was almost empty, even on a saturday. It was probably going to go out of business soon, but they went ahead and took advantage of the discounts, since they were all pretty broke.

They made their way to a Build-a-Bear workshop. Jaime and Bart meandered around the store while Milagro searched for the bear she wanted.

Bart looked around in wonder. He picked up a minion ‘bear’ labeled ‘Stuart’. “This is so crash! You’re not gonna get one?”

Jaime laughed. “Sorry, ese, not a huge fan of minions. You getting that for yourself?”

“I don’t know. These are crash, but if I buy one, I won’t have enough money to eat, and, uh, I’d rather eat.”

At that point, Milagro came running back over to them, looking disappointed.

“They don’t have the Darth Vader bear I wanted.” Her bottom lip puffed out and she looked up at Jaime with big puppy eyes. She knew Jaime couldn’t resist a good puppy face, but this wasn’t a problem he could solve.

Jaime grabbed her hand, “It’s okay, Mili. I’m sure there’s something else here even better. Is there another one you like?”

She shook her head, “Let’s just go somewhere else.”

Jaime and Milagro turned, and realized Bart was gone! Milagro looked a little worried, but Jaime was just annoyed.

“Ay ay ay. Don’t worry, he runs off like that sometimes. Where else do you want to go?”

The Disney store was on the other side of the mall, so it was a bit of a walk. Milagro held onto Jaime’s hand most of the way.

“So you don’t know where Bart went?” She looked down. Jaime knew she really liked Bart, and she was probably feeling a bit abandoned right now.

“I don’t, sorry. I’m sure he’ll be back. He never disappears for long.” It was true, but Jaime still felt a frustration welling up in his chest at the fact that Bart would just leave without at least warning Milagro.

Before he could get too worked up about it, he heard a voice call out from behind him.

“Catch me, Jaime!” It was Bart.

Jaime whipped around in time to see Bart running quickly, but at a human speed, towards him.

[The Bart Allen is attempting an attack. Destroy him!]

Jaime was fighting his scarab’s efforts to suit up, so when Bart tried to leap into his arms, they both went tumbling to the floor, leaving Milagro pointing at them and cracking up.

“He wasn’t trying to attack, he was just - uh, you know what? Yo no se!” He threw his arms up and gave Bart a dirty look.

Bart stood and brushed himself off, grinning wide. Jaime’s anger vanished when he noticed that Bart was carrying a build-a-bear bag, which, at a closer look, was really more of a toy house than a bag.

Bart crouched down and turned to Milagro, then handed her the bag. “I, uh, found one of those vader bears you wanted.”

Milagro jumped up and down and opened the bag to see the vader bear. Jaime smiled, who knows how far Bart had to run to find a store with those in stock.

Milagro squealed. “He’s perfect! Thank you, Bart!” She threw her arms around Bart in a hug, and Bart hugged her right back. Milagro then grabbed Bart’s hand and led him over to the Disney store. Jaime trailed behind a bit so he could scold the scarab without drawing too much attention.

“You know Bart is not a threat! Do you really have to freak out every single time he does that? You should be used to it by now.” Jaime scoffed. Bart had a really self-destructive habit of trying to catch Jaime off guard.

[Given the circumstance, it was logical to conclude that the Bart Allen was attempting to attack, Jaime Reyes.]

“Ay dios mío! Bart is the reason we got off mode, you know that! Bart is the only person on the team who consistently checked up on me after we got saved, no recuerdas? He’s the one who made sure I was okay after everything. He’s saved our ass more than once on missions, too! It would be logical to conclude that the Bart Allen is not a freaking threat!”


“You know I’m right.” Jaime made his way into the store to meet up with Milagro and Bart when he finally got a response.

[Perhaps the Bart Allen does offer some tactical value.]

It wasn’t much, but it was the closest the scarab ever got to admitting that someone was to be trusted, and Jaime couldn’t help but beam at the idea of how much progress that was for him.

After a couple of hours of shopping, Jaime could actually hear Bart’s stomach growling, and Milagro looked like she was about to fall asleep.

Jaime handed Bart some cash for food. “You want to run ahead? We’ll meet you at the food court.”

“Sounds crash.”

Jaime distracted Milagro for a moment so she wouldn’t see Bart run off at super speed. The mall was empty enough that there was no one else close enough to notice him run off.

When Jaime and Milagro made their way to the food court, Jaime felt an almost frantic buzz coming from the scarab.

[You have one second to catch the Bart Allen.]

But by the time Scarab finished saying the sentence, Bart was already in the air, and Jaime couldn’t move fast enough to catch him. So, once again, they both fell to the floor, and Milagro fell to the floor with them in laughter.

[Your reflexes are exceedingly slow, Jaime Reyes.]

“Sorry, I’m working on that.”

Bart chuckled. “Good. Maybe you’ll actually catch me one of these days.”


By the time Jaime’s parents came to pick them up, they had gone to see a movie, and spent some time at the mall’s the Play Place. Then Jaime’s parents met them for ice cream. His parents already knew Bart pretty well, since he was over almost constantly, and they were really happy to see how well he got along with Milagro.

Once they finished their ice cream, they made their way to the parking lot. Jaime hadn’t even noticed Bart disappear this time before he heard the infamous, “Catch me, Jaime!”

Once again, Jaime didn’t have enough time to turn around and catch Bart before the impact, but something different happened this time. Jaime felt a warmth emanating from Scarab, and he knew right away that Scarab was asking for control. Jaime allowed Scarab to take over without suiting up, and he easily turned and caught the Bart Allen in his arms.

“Crash.” Bart smiled.

Scarab looked at Bart with expressionless gold eyes, and put him down. “Incorrect. This was the first time that a crash was properly avoided.”

Jaime was immediately given back control, and they both burst out laughing. Who knew Scarab had jokes?

“You did it, Jaime!” Milagro clapped her hands and jumped cheerfully.

Jaime’s mom laughed. “Bart, do you need a ride home, mijo?”

“No thanks, Mrs. Reyes.” They still didn’t know Bart lived in another state, or that he could run there faster than the Reyes’s would get home.

“Alright, good night, then!”

Bart said goodnight to Jaime’s family as they all got in the car to drive off.

Once Jaime closed the door, the vibe completely changed.

“Jaime …” Jaime’s dad awkwardly cleared his throat, “anything you want to tell us?”

“What? Uhm, not really. No?”

“What your father means, is … te queremos muchisimo … and we support you no matter what, okay mijo?”

Jaime scratched his head. “I love you too? Is something wrong?”

His dad rubbed a hand down his face. “Ay, Jaime. I’m just going to say it. Bart is a good kid. You seem happier now, and that’s all we want for you.”

His mom nodded in agreement. “We approve, you have our blessing, niño.”

“What? Bart and I aren’t …”

“I approve, too! I like Bart!” Milagro chimed in.

At that, Jaime turned into a sputtering mess. “We - we’re just friends! We’re not -”

[I approve of the Bart Allen as well, Jaime Reyes.]

Bart woke up with a start the next morning at the sound of his bedroom window closing. He shot out of bed and scanned the room for any signs of an intruder.

The only thing out of place was a build-a-bear box sitting on his night stand with a note. Bart opened the box to see “Stuart” inside. He laughed and read the note.


Thanks for getting Mili the bear she wanted. It’s only fair I returned the favor.

Despiértate- wake up
Hermanita- little sister
Ay dios mío- oh my god
Yo no se- i don’t know
no recuerdas?- don’t you remember?
te queremos muchisimo- we love you very much

Chapter Text

Jaime had just gotten into the battle of his life, and he barely won. He fell onto his knees in exhaustion and tried to catch his breath. He knew he wouldn’t have been able to last much longer in that fight. His entire body was aching.

“How bad is it, Khaji?”

[I am currently repairing the internal bleeding in your abdomen. There are four broken ribs, and we have also sustained a concussion. Repairs are estimated to take 1.5 days.]

“Ay, que la chingada…”  Despite still wearing his Blue Beetle armor, Jaime instinctively pinched the bridge of his nose when he noticed how bad his headache was. It didn’t occur to him until a few moments later that he had no idea how he got in this situation. He tried to concentrate, but, for the life of him, he couldn’t pull any context from his memories. He figured it must be the concussion. With his breath finally evening out, he got to his feet. Then his surroundings began coming back into focus.

The first thing he noticed was M’gann laying limp on the ground with an inhibitor collar on, only a few feet away from him. Then he saw Beast Boy, Wondergirl, Robin, Superboy… almost the entire team was collared and incapacitated. Or dead? He hoped they weren’t dead. Another quick scan of the area confirmed something else Jaime was afraid of. Bart wasn’t anywhere to be found. It was also suspiciously quiet. Jaime wondered if this fight was really over. He wanted to go help his friends, but he was frozen in shock or exhaustion.

Then Jaime heard a shift in the ground behind him. It was quiet enough, but his instincts told him someone was trying to sneak up on him. Now, his body allowed him to move, almost as if he were on auto pilot. He snapped around with his cannon fired up and ready to shoot, but he wasn’t pointing it at someone from the Light, or the Reach, or an intruder.

He was pointing his weapon at Bart.

Bart was wearing a collar, and he looked pretty beat up. There was a stream of dried blood under his nose, and there were several rips in his uniform that revealed bruises and some fresh blood. His left arm looked broken, and in his right, he was holding onto something that he dropped as soon as Jaime turned around. Bart slowly raised his hands in a ‘don’t shoot’ gesture and froze, eyes wide and trembling.

A quick scan of the fallen object told Jaime that it was a league-issued taser, strong enough to weaken even Superman… or Blue Beetle. But why would Bart want to hurt him? Bart spoke before Jaime could ask.

“H-hey, Blue…? You in there? It’s- it’s me- it’s just me…” He gave Jaime a shaky smile in a desperate attempt to hide how afraid he obviously was.

Jaime realized then that he hadn’t put his cannon down. Instead, he felt it click into place, a few mere inches from Bart’s face. Bart’s nervous smile immediately disappeared, and Jaime couldn’t help but notice his own terrifying reflection in Bart’s tear-coated eyes. Then, without skipping a beat, and without breaking eye contact… he fired.



“No!” Jaime jolted awake with the image of his own terrifying reflection in Bart’s eyes burned into his brain.

[Your body was showing signs of severe distress, Jaime Reyes, so I woke you.]

“It was… it was just a dream?” Jaime whispered as he caught his breath. It felt so real.

[Affirmative, Jaime Reyes.]

Jaime let out a sigh of relief, and let his muscles relax, although he was still shaking. The Reach was gone, but Jaime hated that he still sometimes got nightmares about what could have happened. Jaime pulled his blankets over his face and curled up in a ball underneath them.

“Why didn’t you wake me sooner?” There was a pause before Khaji Da answered.

[I was at rest as well, Jaime Reyes. The manifestations of your subconscious mind were…  convincing.]

Jaime knew Khaji Da needed to rest sometimes, - not as much as Jaime did, only a few hours a week- but he had no idea until now that they could share dreams.

“You mean… you thought it was real, too?”

[I was able to determine that it was a creation of your subconscious imagination… however, it took unfavorably long for this scarab to make that distinction.]

“Wow. Khaji, are you okay? I know it was… pretty messed up.” Jaime knew that dream must have really bothered Khaji Da if he got absorbed in it enough for it to disrupt his usual systems.

[Affirmative, Jaime Reyes. The Bart Allen is in no danger. There has been no sign of the Reach on this planet in over 5 years. You are in full control of your actions.]

Then Jaime felt the blankets being pulled away from him.

Their conversation must have woken up Bart, because he groaned and rolled over from the other side of Jaime’s bed, hogging the blanket to himself. It actually surprised Jaime, since he almost forgot that Bart had stayed the night, but it was a happy surprise. Seeing Bart laying next to him made him feel more at ease. Bart was here. He was okay.

Not dead. Alive. Alive .

Jaime wondered if Bart still got these nightmares, too. He hoped not. He didn’t know how Bart would ever be able to look him in the face if he did.

“Sorry if I woke you up. Vuelve a dormir, cariño.”

Bart hummed softly and pulled himself closer to Jaime. He lazily threw the blanket over the both of them, slipped an arm around Jaime’s waist, wrapped his legs around Jaime’s hip and squeezed him like a body pillow. Then Bart nuzzled his face in Jaime’s neck, and mumbled some nonsense about chicken whizzies.

Okay, so maybe Bart hadn’t woken up, after all. That was probably for the best.

[I recommend that you go back to sleep as well, Jaime Reyes.]

Jaime closed his eyes and drifted off, wondering how he’d ever gotten so lucky.








ay que la chingada- kind of like oh what the fuck

Vuelve a dormir, cariño- go back to sleep, love

Chapter Text


“Oh no. This is bad…” Jaime said, slightly panicked. There didn’t seem to be any way to escape. “Khaji, ayúdame un poquito, what do I do?”

[Do not move, Jaime Reyes. Any action at this time would be unfavorable.]

En serio? We’re running out of time, here!” Jaime whisper-yelled, so as not to wake up Bart, who had fallen soundly asleep on Jaime’s lap on the couch. Jaime had been sitting still for a while now, and his legs were starting to fall asleep. Regardless, the situation would be fine, ‘favorable,’ even, if it weren’t for the fact that Jaime had to pee. Bad.

[The bladder does not need to be emptied for another 6 minutes, Jaime Reyes. By then the Bart Allen will have entered into a deeper sleep cycle. Movement on your part will not wake him at that time. We must wait, Jaime Reyes.]

“Ay ay ay.” Jaime rubbed his temples. It had been about a year since they got taken off mode, and at some point along the way Khaji Da had grown to be surprisingly protective over people other than Jaime. Particularly of Bart and his sister, Milagro. “Sometimes I miss you being all murdery. At least then I could pee when I wanted to.” 

Khaji Da let out a small vibration in response, which Jaime interpreted as something similar to a scoff. Of course, Jaime didn’t actually miss the ruthless-murder-bug version of Khaji Da, but he was about to burst, so his bladder did the talking.

It was the middle of the afternoon, but Bart had had bags under his eyes today, so Jaime figured he really needed a nap. Jaime sighed and resigned himself to 6 minutes of keeping still. Khaji Da was right. Waking up adorable things was just wrong, and Jaime was a superhero now. He had to do the right thing.

After what felt like an eternity, Bart let out a soft snore.

“Pues? That means I can move, right?”

[Affirmative, Jaime Reyes.]

“Finally!” Jaime was still whispering, just in case. He gently lifted Bart’s head and slid a pillow under it where his lap had been. Then he booked it for the bathroom.

Jaime decided to make some food while Bart took a nap. Bart seemed to be having a rough day. Jaime didn’t want to pry, but he figured maybe he could help in some small way, like making food. When he opened the refrigerator door, though, he was disappointed to see very few options. So much for a nice gesture. Maybe he could order pizza instead. He closed the door a little too firmly, and Bart stirred at the noise.

Crap. Why did he have to be such a light sleeper?

“Morning Jaime…” Bart mumbled as he stretched out on the couch like a cat.

“Afternoon, Bart.” Jaime laughed. “Sorry, I wasn’t trying to wake you up.”

“That’s okay. I guess I didn’t realize how tired I was.” Bart rubbed his eyes.

“Did you pull an all nighter or something?”

“Not on purpose. The house was empty since Jay and Joan went out of town last night, I guess they’ll be gone all weekend. It was all weird and quiet. Kind of reminded me of the apocalypse, you know? And I am not homesick, so yeah I guess I couldn’t sleep. Anyway, would it be crash if I stay here tonight?”

Bart hadn’t realized that he was speedster-talking, so Jaime had to take a few moments before responding while Khaji Da translated for him.

“Uh, yeah, claro que si. You can stay the weekend if you want.”

“Crash! Thanks, Jaime.” In an instant, Jaime felt himself get squeezed up in a BartHug™ with his arms pinned to his sides. Sometimes he wished he could get a little warning before these hugs. It wasn’t that he didn’t like Bart’s hugs, but it was awkward not being able to hug back.

Khaji seemed to pick up on the sentiment, so a tendril came out of the scarab, and awkwardly patted Bart on his back. Apparently this was Khaji Da’s way of returning the hug while Jaime couldn’t.

Bart jumped slightly at the contact, since he hadn’t been expecting it. As soon as he realized it was Khaji Da, though, he giggled and pat the scarab in the same manner.

“You know, if you want me to hug back, you could try leaving my arms free.” Jaime joked.

Bart released his grip and took a step back. “Oh, uh, sorry. Okay!” And he jumped into another hug, this time sliding his arms under Jaime’s instead of over them. Jaime returned the embrace and laughed. He was never much of a hugger until Bart came along, but he’d grown to really love Bart’s hugs.

From the beginning, it was obvious to Jaime that Bart was extremely touch starved. He sought out physical affection every chance he got. He would lean on Jaime when they played video games, and grab onto Jaime’s hand or arm whenever he had an excuse to. Cuddles and hugs became a frequent part of their friendship early on, and even though it took some getting used to at first, Jaime definitely wasn’t complaining.

That night, Jaime and Bart went to bed fairly early. Bart was too tired to stay up late, and he was such a comfortable person to snuggle with that Jaime was more than happy to just lay down with him while Bart slept.

Bart’s cuddles were different than his hugs. They were still warm and sweet, but much softer. Jaime felt more delicate when they were cuddled up like this. It was like the two of them could disappear into each other, and the world could stay on pause until they felt like coming back.

Jaime had a living weapon that was engineered to protect him fused to his spine, but it was only moments like these that he could honestly say he felt completely safe. Before long, he found himself drifting off with Bart into sleep.


2:05 A.M.


[Wake up, Jaime Reyes.]

Khaji Da sent a small shock throughout Jaime’s body to wake him up.

“Ay!” Jaime jumped at the sensation and almost fell onto the floor. He noticed that he must have moved around at some point, because he was all the way on the edge of the bed.

[The Bart Allen is in danger. His heart rate has increased drastically. He must be awakened.]

Jaime looked over to see Bart curled in on himself, breathing heavily and whimpering in his sleep.

“He’s having a nightmare.” Jaime explained as he moved closer. He gently put a hand on Bart’s shoulder, and Bart flinched and jolted awake with a gasp. His tear-filled eyes darted around the room in a panic, not yet processing that it was a dream.

“It was just a nightmare, Bart. It’s okay, you’re safe.” Jaime said in the softest voice he could and pulled his hand away from Bart’s shoulder. Jaime couldn’t help but feel like he was the worst possible person to help in this situation, considering Bad Blue was most likely the source of those nightmares.

“J-Jaime?” Bart’s breath shook, but Jaime’s voice seemed to calm him down a bit.

“It’s me, I’m right here.”

Bart let out an unsteady breath and wiped the tears from his cheeks. “S-sorry… Did I wake you up?”

“Don’t worry about it, we’re even now.” Jaime smiled, trying to lighten the mood. Bart gave a small smile in response, but another small stream of tears was already beginning to replace the ones that he had just wiped from his cheeks.

“Do you… want to talk about it?” Jaime asked on a limb. Bart hadn’t opened up much about his past since he revealed to Jaime that Blue Beetle was the “biggest, baddest big bad” there was in his timeline.

Bart shook his head and pulled himself towards Jaime, burrowing into him as if the warmth alone could protect him from anything. Jaime didn’t hesitate to wrap his arms around Bart, wishing that it could. He hated seeing Bart like this. He hated that even with the timeline fixed, Bart still had to live with the trauma from things that were never going to happen. Jaime wished he could fix it. That he could go back (or forward?) in time and stop anyone from ever hurting Bart.

But it was fixed. And Jaime couldn’t even stop the nightmares. It wasn’t fair. All he could do was hold him. And at least for now, that seemed to be enough for Bart.

Still, Jaime felt a tear prick at his eyelashes for everything Bart had been through.

Because of him .

“I’m so sorry…” Jaime whispered. He would never understand why Bart chose to trust him after everything, but he couldn’t be more grateful for it.

After a short pause, Bart answered with a yawn, “For what?” Jaime couldn’t see his face, but he seemed to have stopped crying.

“I don’t know. For ruining your life, basically.” Jaime hadn’t actually meant to start this conversation now, but he was so tired that his filter was turned off.

“Huh? That’s, like, the opposite of what you did.” Bart said as he sleepily wrapped his legs around Jaime’s, apparently not realizing what Jaime was getting at.

Bart sounded like he might be ready to go back to sleep soon. Jaime figured they could have this talk another time, when they weren’t both half awake. For now, it was nice to know that Bart didn’t still associate him with Bad Blue. If Bart of all people could forgive Jaime, then maybe Jaime could move past it someday, too.

“Thanks, Bart, go back to sleep, okay?” Jaime closed his eyes, smiling.

“Mkay… g’night, Jaime.”

“Night, Bart.” Jaime began drifting off.

Bart squeezed Jaime’s body like it was a pillow, then mumbled something, barely audibly.

“I love you, Jaime…”

Jaime’s eyes shot right back open. Suddenly, he was not half asleep anymore.

What just happened? Did Bart say that on purpose? Or was it just sleepy talk? Did he mean it? Does he love Jaime as a friend, or…? Jaime’s heart was pounding in his throat.

[There is no immediate threat, but this scarab is unable to halt analysis and must remain on high alert until heart rate is lowered.]

*Ay ay ay, what does that even mean ?*

[You must calm yourself, Jaime Reyes. You are stressing me out .]

*Bart just told me he loves me! How am I supposed to calm myself? What am I supposed to say?*

[According to my observations, concealing human emotions is ineffectual. However, no response is necessary at this time, Jaime Reyes. The Bart Allen lost consciousness 4 seconds ago.]

Just then, a small snore from Bart confirmed it. Maybe it was just sleepy talk, but Khaji Da was right. There was no point in holding it in, not now.

“I love you too, Bart…”








Ayúdame un poquito - help me out a little

En serio? - seriously?

Pues - well

Claro que si - of course