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Bart Allen Explains It All

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"I'm sorry I haven't been able to talk to you more before this, Bart." Max says.

"It's my fault too!" Bart insists. "I mean a lot of stuff keeps happening, and Grandpa keeps almost dying again 75 times and I turned into a zombie, and the Titans, andsoanyway, what did you want to talk about?"

"To catch up on your life. What happened to your friends?"

"Ohsure. Before I do this though, GRANDPA COME IN HERE SO I DON'T HAVE TO DO THIS TWICE!" Bart hollers. He looks at Max and says, "A lot of this also covers the things we don't talk about and it's better he hears this now so he doesn't mention them."

Max nods. He asks, "What happened to your hair?"

"What's wrong with my hair?" Bart says.

"Didn't there used to be much more of it?"

"I don't know what you're talking about."

They stare at each other, and Max says, "No, there was definitely more," as Barry runs in and asks, "Is there an emergency?"

"No, we just need to have the "topics to avoid" talk."

"Ohhh. Right. Should I take notes?" Barry asks. "We had a lot of those. We probably still have a lot of those. I need to ask Hal, but it's awkward to make people talk about the things that no one talks about."

"Being dead is a pain in the ass, I know." Bart says.

"Don't swear," Max says automatically.

Barry says, "What he said."

"I'm ignoring you. Let's start with Tim. Um, Robin, Max. He's Red Robin now. First of all, he's still not out of the closet."

"Really?" Max says. "It's so obvious though."

Barry says, "Wait. What?"

Bart shrugs. "It's even more obvious now. I guess he's worried that people will make jokes about him and Batman and I wouldn't want people to make jokes about me and my dad, but my dad is dead, and his dad is not dead, but well, Dick is Batman now so Tim should want them to make those jokes."

Max says, "Which one is Dick?" as Barry says, "Back up a minute, Bart."

"Yes, Grandpa?" Bart replies as he says, "Nightwing."

"Barry." Barry says. "Call me Barry."

"Grandpa." Bart says firmly.

Max says, "The one he stalked?"

"Yeah, that one."

"I'm good now." Max says as Barry says, "What? Who stalked someone?"

Bart waves his hands. "Listen! I will start over. Tim Drake, who sometimes goes by Alvin Draper, I think I told you that, Max, but not now because Alvin is wanted by Interpol in a few countries, NOT THAT YOU CARE GRANDPA STOP REACHING FOR YOUR PHONE I SEE THAT. Anyway, Tim was Batman's neighbor and he worked out who Batman was and who Robin was, and he followed them around and took pictures. And made a scrapbook. And possibly put glitter hearts in it but I've never actually seen it so I'm conjecturing."

"Okay. When was this?"

"When he was nine."

"A nine year old figured out who Batman was?"

"Yes. Tim is smarter than everyone! Keep up!" Bart looks at Max and says, "Right so um, his mom died, and then his fake dad died."

Barry says, "Fake dad?" but Bart ignores him.

"Then Kon died, then his "girlfriend" [Bart makes quotes] died only she fake died? and now she's Batgirl, and uh, I died, and then Jason Todd, the second Robin who died came back, and then his real dad died and he was all messed up, but Batman is alive again, so he's fine now. Mostly. Plus some reporter lady in Gotham hates him and told everyone he's engaged to some girl and we hung a picture of her up in Kon's room at the Tower and I painted a lovely beard on it and it was awesome until Tim saw it." Bart says, adding, "He got upset. There was a small fire."

He looks at Barry and says, "Don't mention either of those things."

"What two things?"

"That Tim is gay, or that Batman is his real dad."

"WHAT?"

"Duh! I went up to him once and was like, so it's a little strange that Batman happens to be your neighbor, and while you look nothing like your dad in the pictures I have seen, and Kon confirmed seeing him in person, you have Batman's hair, and you look like that portrait of his mom in the living room I saw one time, and you act like Batman, and outsmart Batman, and you have the same terrible taste in men, so what's that about? He didn't like that so much. He called me Bartholomew. I hate that."

"Alright," Barry says slowly. "I won't mention that. Either thing."

"Don't mention that the new Robin looks like the second Robin either. We're pretending he's Bruce's son."

"How many Robins is this now?" Max asks.

"Five. The not dead fake girlfriend was also a Robin. At one point and then she not-died and stopped being one."

"And now she's Batgirl."

"Exactly." Bart confirms. Barry writes, 'Batgirl fake died,' in his notebook.

"Uh, okay, Superboy next, Superman named him Kon-el, and then Conner Kent, and oh, right, Lex Luthor is his other parent."

Barry says, "I need an explanation right now."

Max says, "Is this something we do or don't talk about?"

"It's okay to talk about I guess, it doesn't bother him, he just doesn't care anymore. But Luthor did try to mind control him, and we don't mention that. It was before he died, and somehow despite Kon being scanned a billion times by Tim, and on Apocalypse, and by Batman, and by Cyborg, and by the Legion! no one noticed Luthor put a mind control device on his brain, and it was pretty crappy. He kind of hurt us but it wasn't his fault!"

"That's like the thing with your hair." Max says.

"There's nothing wrong with my hair." Bart replies.

Barry repeats, "I'm still needing an explanation."

"They made him in a tube by stabilizing Clark's DNA with Lex's and then they aged him up and crammed a bunch of useless knowledge in his head, and then some boys in funny hats broke him out and ta da, Superboy was born." Bart ends with a flourish and a twist that is supposed to indicate breaking out of glass.

"Maybe a much longer explanation." Barry says. "A DNA sample?"

"I'll steal some of Kon's hair later."

"Deal."

"Oh, but don't call Clark his dad, right, because Clark doesn't understand genetics and thinks Kon is his brother. Or cousin. He said both, and Conner lives with his grandmother now, but calls her Ma, but he understands genetics. I made sure. I tried to explain it to Superman once but he got all blank faced and I was worried I'd caused him to have a seizure and I called a bunch of doctors, and anyway, I got yelled at a lot. Which Kon told me his grandfather, Jor-El, was the smartest person on Krypton, so I'm guessing that's why their planet blew up."

Max starts coughing urgently as Barry says, "That's not called for, Bart."

"I didn't make them all dumb!" Bart says. "I think that's basically all, he lives in Kansas now with cows and inbreds."

Max sighs. "There is nothing wrong with Kansas."

"That's a horrible, horrible lie, and you know it." Bart says back.

Max rolls his eyes.

Barry says, "I agree, Missouri is much, much better."

Wally appears and says, "Kansas is better and you know it. What are we doing?"

"Catching up," Max answers. Wally says, "I'm sure this is good. What have we covered?"

Max says, "Tim Drake is gay and Batman is his dad, and Superboy has two fathers, both of whom are useless."

Wally says, "Sounds good."

"Cissie next. She was Arrowette, but she quit, and she went to the Olypmics."

"Right," Max says.

"So we don't see her much, oh and Greta goes to the same school. The Floaty chick."

Max nods.

Barry says, "Anything I need to know about her?"

"Greta? No. Not really."

"About Cissie."

"Her mom, Bonnie, is crazy, and her dad is Green Arrow but we don't talk about that. Add that to your list."

"Ollie is her dad?"

"Sure."

"Does he know that?"

"Um." Bart looks shifty. "I'm sure in theory Ollie knows that he could have any number of children running around because he is a giant whore."

"BART!" Barry snaps.

"You'rerightthat'sunfairwhoresgetpaid." Bart says quickly.

Wally cracks up.

Barry says, "That's none of your business."

Bart looks at Wally and whispers, "Does he not know about Hal?"

Wally whispers back, "Which part?"

Bart leans over to Wally and they have an urgent conversation where Wally says, "REALLY?" and "I thought Green Lanterns couldn't get STDs, that's what Kyle said Guy told him."

Barry just stares at them both. Max asks, "Who's Hal?"

"My best friend." Barry replies darkly.

"You're not going to have him spend any time around Bart are you?" Max asks, and Barry stares at him, and repeats, "He's my best friend."

Max says, "Bart," and Bart instantly replies, "Yes?" as Wally asks, "Doesn't he have a girlfriend anyway?"

"You're not allowed to be anywhere near Hal." Max says. "New rule."

"No big loss."

Barry says, "You don't get to decide that."

"Bart, who is the boss of you?"

"Max."

"Sorry about that, Barry, but that how it goes."

Barry says, "You're welcome for pulling you out of the Speed Force."

Max says, "Remember Bart is my focal point."

Wally says, "Hal isn't that bad, Max, having a threesome with Huntress and Zinda is really awesome."

"HE DID WHAT?" Barry yells.

"Remember that time he erased everyone's memory?" Bart asks. "Or that time he killed the Green Lantern Corps?"

"Remember that time he saved the world from the Sun Eater and fucking died?" Wally snaps back.

"Max already said I can't talk to him!"

Wally says, "You're already sexually harassing your teammates, I can't think of what Hal could possibly say to you."

"I don't sexually harass my teammates," Bart says. "Why would you lie like that in front of Grandpa and Max? Why would you lie like that when I can bring up that time with Donna and mmmffffunnninmm."

Wally removes his hand from Bart's mouth and says, "You're right, I shouldn't make things like that up."

"That's right." Bart says.

Wally adds, "I think your actions might be self correcting soon when Rose stabs your ass."

Bart gives Wally the Dominic Cobb stare and replies, "I'm going to be needing my Impulse costume back from Irey."

Wally gives him a horrified look, and Barry says, "Back on topic here."

Bart says, "I think that's all the secrets we're concealing? No wait, Cassie's a half-god and when Zeus left to go the Grey Lands or whatever gods do, she got her powers back from Ares, and also her lasso that feeds on anger. We don't mention that. Ever. Because no one wants to be anger lasso'd." Bart pauses as Wally says, "I could think of a couple of situations I might not mind be lasso'd into."

"I'm telling Linda."

"I'm telling your boyfriend you hit on Rose when he's not around."

"Joke's on you, I hit on Rose when he's right there."

"This mutual blackmail thing only works if it goes both ways."

Max asks, "Who is your boyfriend," as Barry says, "Your what now?"

Bart says, "His name is Jaime, he has an alien bug on his spine."

"Is that a metaphor?"

"No, it's an actual, hold on," Bart says and five seconds he's back with Jaime and he says, "Look, it's Jaime! Jaime, this is my very ancient Grandpa. You know Wally."

"Hey, Jaime."

"It's very nice to meet you, Sir." Jaime says to Barry who says, "I'm not ancient. Don't tell people that. I'm 32!"

"You can be whatever age you want to be, Sir."

Barry says, "You have my permission to marry him."

Jaime laughs and Bart says, "This is Max."

Jaime lights up and asks, "Where are the embarrassing pictures of Bart? I was promised embarrassing pictures."

Max says, "It's very nice to meet you." He shakes Jaime's hand, and Barry asks, "How does the alien bug work?"

Jaime says, "Like this," and Bart says, "Uh, hey, let's not flash my Grandpa and Max. We save nudity for special occasions in this family."

Wally says, "I don't want to be flashed either."

"No one cares."

"Jaime, did Bart tell you about that time with the llamas and the twenty-five..." Wally starts as Bart yells, "HEY LOOK AT THE TIME WE HAVE TO GO AND FIGHT CRIME."