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the future needs heroes

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The Legion’s return was unexpected, to say the least. 

Winn was sure he wouldn’t see them for a long time after their departure from Earth, more specifically, the present. But Winn’s life never went according to plan so here he was, standing across from Brainy and Imra inside the DEO.

“With the Blight gone, the future is safe,” Imra reassured the worried group, watching as each of their faces relaxed by only the slightest. “But we do have another problem.”

“There’s a virus in the future that is affecting Coluan’s. It’s deadly and, so far, incurable. There is treatment for it but it seems to only be slowing down the process. I must stay here in the present until it is safe for me to return.” It was Brainy who piped up, the circles underneath his eyes dark, a rival to Winn’s own. He was wearing his image inducer, so everyone could see past the shield he upheld when he wasn’t. Brainy was tired, worried, and, frankly, a total mess.

“You’re welcome to stay here at the DEO for as long as you need.” J’onn had his hands on his hips, like always, but there was a soft look in his eyes. Pity, Brainy had concluded. 

“Is there anything we can do to help?” Kara was always there to save the day, a helping had constantly at the ready. 

He took in a deep breath for lifting his gaze from the table. “Actually, there is. But only Winslow can help.” 

Winn flinched at the name, recovering quickly as the information processed. “I-I’m sorry, me?” 

“We need you to accompany Mon-El to the future. As of right now, you’re the best bet we have at finding a cure for Brainy. No offense, Alex, but this is more a job for Winn, considering he took down Indigo accidentally. He’s had experience with Coluans before and has a better chance of helping them.” Imra tried to assure Alex that they weren’t picking the IT guy over the actual scientist for no reason, but Alex simply waved it away as if to say ‘none taken’. 

“I- uh, how’d you know about that? Know what, forget it.” The words flew out of his mouth before his tongue could catch them and Winn wrung his hands nervously. 

“The future needs heroes, Winslow. We need your help, I need your help.” The look in Brainy’s eyes was desperate, something the agent had never seen on him before. 

So Winn took a breath, shook his hands out, and nodded. “Of course. I’ll go.” 

“Are you sure about this?” Kara was at his side, placing a hand on his shoulder. She knew the anxiety was bubbling deep within him, that he was putting on a brave face for everyone. He had a panic attack going to another planet, but the future? Kara was unsure if he could handle that.

“I’m positive.” His words were shaky and Kara was sure he was trying to convince himself rather than her, but she nodded and gave his shoulder a squeeze. 

“Then it’s settled. I have all of the information you need on the virus and how it’s affecting people, it’s already loaded onto the Legion ship.” Brainy gave him the faintest of smiles and Winn felt his heart warm. This was for the greater good. This was right.

“I’ll be staying here with Brainy until you return, so only you and Mon-El will be going to the future. You’ll be able to have contact with us back here. It’s slow and a bit tricky, but it works.” Imra also gave him a smile, a thankful look on her face. 

“We’ll be leaving within the next few days.” Mon-El pat him on the back, before walking away, presumably to prep the ship. 

“Winslow, may I speak with you? Alone?” 

With a nod, Brainy led them off to somewhere quiet, which ended up being the med bay. Winn sat atop the cot where he lay on his death bed not long ago, and the doubts he had settled. Brainy helped him, it was only fair, and only right, that he did the same for him.

“What’s up?”  

“I’m sorry.”

He was taken aback. “What? You have no reason to be.”

“I’m taking you away from your home for my benefit.” The tired brunettes refused to meet the other man’s eyes, which were now much closer seeing that he had hopped off the bed as soon as he apologized.

“It’s to save you and to save the rest of the Coluan’s. What you’re doing is by no means selfish, Brainy.” He put a soft hand on his shoulder, watching as he looked at it, perplexed. He didn’t know what it meant to be comforted. 

“Okay.” It was firm, but there was doubt laced into it. 

“Okay.” He went to remove his hand and turn, but Brainy caught it just as it fell back to his side. He reached for the other man’s face as he had done just before his departure a short while ago, but this time, Winn didn’t stop him.

Winn didn’t push his hands away and go for a hug again, he let the Coluan cradle his face and pull him down close, into a kiss that should’ve taken place the first time. He put his hands on his waist and gently tugged him closer. Just as Brainy’s hands fit perfectly cupping the back of his neck, Winn’s hands fit just as well around the other man’s waist.

Their kiss was slow and sweet, for both of them wanted to savor the moment before they left the other. 

“Thank you, Winslow.” Brainy whispered as they parted, finally looking him in the eyes. 

“No need.” Winn smiled and pecked him on the lips, watching as he mirrored his smile. 

Everything would be okay.