It was one of the coldest nights of the year, and even at the headquarters of the Titans, the former teen superheroes all grown up, there was a bitter chill pervading the night. The heating system had been badly damaged due to an attack from the newly reformed Dark Nemesis, and unfortunately, repairs wouldn’t be finished until the next day. Even worse, this was the third day of March and a record breaking snowstorm had brought temperatures down to a single digit.
In his room, Roy Harper, the scruffy, redheaded archer known as Arsenal, snoozed under four blankets in maroon mesh pajama pants, an oversized football jersey for the Oljato Coyotes, and thick socks. When suddenly…
“Psst. Psssst!” A voice went.
“s too early for school…” Roy mumbled in his sleep and turned on his side.
“Roy! Roy wake up!” The voice said more forcefully, this time extending a hand to shake Roy out of his slumber. Roy’s eyes fluttered to life but fought back against the threat of awakening.
“Donna what?” Roy muttered, squinting up at his teammate and girlfriend, Donna Troy, the Amazonian Troia. She had on a starry bathroom robe held tightly, black sweatpants, and fuzzy polar bear slippers on. “What time is it?”
“It’s 2:14 in the morning.” Donna mentioned in a low voice. She eyed the digital clock casting a red shadow on the drum kit that read “GREAT FROG” in the room. Roy rolled over and tried to go back to sleep.
“Babe I’m too tired to do anything right now. “ He waved her away. “If you want in the morning we can-”
“I’m not here for THAT, Romeo.” Donna said in a louder voice.
“Then what? Wait, did something happen?” The thought of some emergency shook Roy wide awake. “Is Lian okay?”
“No nothing like that.” Donna assured him. “Scooch over.”
“Please scooch over.” She motioned with her hands. “The heat in the Tower still isn’t working.”
“So just get another blanket.” Roy yawned.
“I had three already.” Donna explained.
“Then what do you expect me to do about it?” Roy quizzed.
“Well,” Donna cleared her throat, “I just figured it’d be warmer in here, since you’re so much more…”
Donna trailed off.
“More what.” Roy deadpanned.
“Better insulated for this kind of weather.” Donna said in an offhand manner to avoid being insulting towards the fact that Roy had gained a couple dozen extra pounds and had since gained new status as “the big Titan.” Which, technically, was a nickname he’d already kind of had in certain circles. If you know what I mean.
“You woke me up just to try out better code words for ‘fat?’” Roy accused.
“Just move over.” Donna impatiently sighed, before forcing herself into Roy’s bed and making him shift his hefty body over.
“Hey!” Roy resisted.
“In the morning we can do whatever you want before breakfast.” Donna settled in under Roy’s blankets. “But in the shower. Where it’s warm.”
“Damn you for knowing my one true weakness.” Roy said.
“Yes yes, the sexing is your kryptonite. Now good night.” Donna closed her eyes and tried to settle back into sleep.
“Ahem.” Roy prodded her, poking her face with his index finger.
“What?” Donna shot one eye open.
“Aren’t you forgetting something?” Roy asked.
“I thought you were too tired for-“
“’Why thank you Roy, for the fact that your extra large gut have allowed me to avoid freezing my beautiful Amazonian butt off during one of the coldest nights of the year.’” Roy said in a very unflattering impersonation of Donna.
“…me and my beautiful Amazonian butt thank you and your extra large gut.” Donna deadpanned in response, before wrapping her arms around Roy’s midsection in an effort to snuggle up with him.
“Alright then.” Roy accepted.
“Roy? Roy are you-oh crap.”
Another visitor had intruded in Roy’s room.
“Whaaaaat?” Roy moaned, throwing off his blankets and sitting up to see who was standing in the doorway.
“What time is it? Dick? What is it?” Donna groaned and woke up, looking up to see that it was Dick Grayson, their acrobatic teammate called Nightwing, wearing two thermal shirts and sweatpants decorated in little robins. He hadn’t expected to find Donna in Roy’s bed, sleeping beside him with her hands wrapped around his waist.
“Sorry I, uh,” Dick scratched the back of his head, looking as awkward as he felt, “didn’t know you guys were-“
“We haven’t done anything.” Donna stated as she pulled up more blankets around herself to keep warm.
“You don’t need to be so adamant about it.” Roy said in a tone of mock hurt.
“Can I scoot in?” Dick innocently asked to break the tensions in the moment.
“No.” Roy didn’t miss a beat.
“In case you guys haven’t noticed it’s freezing tonight and-what do you mean-“ Dick quickly tried to say.
“No.” Roy refused once more.
“But Roy it’s-“
Roy got up, grabbed the clock off the night table, and practically shoved it in Dick’s face.
“IT IS 2:45 AT NIGHT AND I AM TRYING TO SLEEP.”
“Please?” Dick held his hands up in a gesture of pleading with big puppy dog eyes. “I wouldn’t even be asking but you’re-“
“Yes better insulated I know.” Roy once more finished Dick’s sentence in a huff.
“No.” Roy scowled.
“I’ll be your best friend.” Dick offered.
“You are his best friend.” Donna reminded everyone.
“I’ll get you a date with Huntress.” Dick bargained.
“You hate Huntress.” Roy crossed his arms in annoyance.
“So is that a yes?” Dick hopefully asked.
“YES FINE WHATEVER JUST SHUT UP AND LET ME SLEEP.” Roy shouted, throwing his hands up in protest.
“Can you stop yelling please?” Donna asked. A quick glare from Roy shut her right up.
“So, um…” Dick tried to ask.
“Just get in here.” Roy sighed in defeat as he plopped back down onto the bed next to Donna and pulled the sheets back over himself.
“Thank you.” Dick climbed in to the bed.
“Now GOOD NIGHT.”
A half hour later, a small hand tugged at Roy’s feet.
“Daddy?” A tiny voice whispered.
Roy’s daughter, Lian, stood in front of the bed. She was wearing winter pajamas decorated in snowflakes, and holding a stuffed turtle to her chest. She was surprised to see that her aunt Donna was on one side of the bed, her uncle Dick on the other, with Roy in-between them.
“Daddy?” Lian whispered a bit louder this time and tugged a bit more harder to get her father’s attention.
Roy sat up. Blinked a couple of times, and then yawned.
“Lian? Honey what is it?” Roy asked quietly.
“It’s too cold in my room. Can I sleep with you?” She asked.
“Sure.” Roy smiled without missing a beat. “But, there’s not a lot of room.”
Lian suddenly looked determined, and surprised her father by managing to wedge herself in between him and Donna with only a couple of mild grunts of annoyance from the Amazonian Titan.
“I stand corrected.” Roy smirked.
“Thanks daddy.” Lian whispered. “Ooh, you’re so warm.”
“That’s what everyone’s been telling me.”
“G’night, Etai Yazi.”