Disclaimer: Don't own the characters. Don't own the bar. Don't even own a Marvel Girl outfit. I just get to borrow them for a bit.

Location: DC Universe... mostly... but not to excess.

Slash/Het ?: No. Not a chance. Hornet universe, but Tim is SIXTEEN! And you have a dirty mind.

Archive: Ask

Sweet Sixteen (or Happy Birthday, Tim)
Part Three-Warrior

by Darklady

First off, this is none of this my fault. Not that I did anything wrong anyway. But if I did, well..... some folks should lighten up. Anyway, it was Tuesday. Tuesday is payroll, and I was in my office figuring overtime for the next two weeks. Which is tougher then it sounds. Figuring who wants it and who gets it and trying to keep everybody square. Rewarding your people without playing favorites. Some of the JLA tight-ass types give me 'tude 'cause I run a bar. Huh! Like to see them try it. So there I was, in Warriors Vegas, sitting behind my desk fighting a pencil when...

"Mr. Gardner?" One of the waitresses in a Marvel Girl suit. "There's a Superboy to see you?"

"Give him the form and let Louise look him over, 'cause we could use...."

"Sorry Sir, but I don't think he's here for a job."

Good guess, given that he was looking in over her head. About three feet over her head. You can fake the suit, but it's hard to fake the flight. I drop the schedule and stroll over.

"Hey ya, Kid, what's...?"

"Warrior? Can we talk? Privately?" He sounds more serious then I like in a meta type. I nod.

"Names Guy, kid, and sure-step on in. Universe need saving or what else can I do for you?" I give the waitress the sign for 'close the door', which she does-on the way out. Good.

"Nothing like that, Mr.... Guy." The kid hovers for a few seconds, then plops into one of my soft chairs. "Just.. I was flying over and thinking about..... well... I need some advice."

"Woo, time out." Wasn't this kid supposed to be with Kal? His brother or his clone or some such? Same last name at least. Kon-El. I don't hang around the League much these days, but I do remember the whole crappy funeral bit. Then the fake four, and Mogul, and Hal. No way I'm forgetting Hal. Hal and Coast City and the whole damn Corp. This kid came out of that shit, so I've mostly ignored him. But he fought beside Hal, which means us, which means I owe him maybe. But advice? *My* advice? "The Big Blue will tell you I've got nothin' to say that he wants you to listen to." I hand the kid a soder, then get one for myself, while I try and remember just what the Krypton connection is. "And I don't do sidekicks."

The kid gulps down about half the can while he thinks about that. "Nothing like that. Not hero stuff. This is more a relationship sort of thing."

Frack! "Double time out. The Boy Scout twice as much doesn't agree with me there." I give it a moments thought. I can't remember ever discussing chicks with Kal, but I've got to figure the Middle America gig goes pretty deep. "And to be honest, my track record might not be that great with the commitment thing, so..."

"I know. Kal says you're like a grown-up teenager." The straight look tells me he's not being flip. He's just quoting. "Which is why I figure you'd be the perfect person to ask." I ought to be offended, but somehow he say's it like it's a good thing. Kid's more like Kal then I'd guessed.

"OK, I'll bite." So Superman wants my ass. What the hell. Life was getting to easy anyway.

Kon had finished his can of soder, so I toss him another. Kids need their chow.

"Well" I could see him considering how much to say. A pause, then. "I've got this friend. A good friend. And he's turning sixteen tomorrow. And he's sort of bummed."

About having a birthday? At my age I could sort of see it. Not that I'm getting older or anything, but I mean I could see it for other people. But at sixteen? I remember that as being very cool. I think back a moment. Yep, got my driver's license, my cousins old Yamaha, and Sussie O'Banion. Sixteen was a very good year. So... "Why bummed?"

"Guess cause nobody like cares." He waves the can, implicating the universe. "I mean, his parents have this idea for this lame kiddie party, and his-well friends-well they, I guess they just ignore it or whatever, and so...."

Not exactly Shakespeare, but I get the gist. Smart kid. He came to the right hero. "So? You give him a party."

"Wha?" Kid shoots up so fast he twists the soder can and maybe the chair arm.

I kick back. This is one kitten I *can* pull out of his tree. "You are talking a guy-type friend?" I confirm. "Not some chick." Not that I couldn't fix up a babe, but it would change the details. "One of your YJ types."

The kid nods. Probably that Flash boy, I figure, whatshisname. The Speedsters have always been a bit slow.

"If his folks suck" I mentally add 'and almost everyone's do' "then *you* give him a party." Another thought or two and I have a plan. "Tell you what." I take a sip of my soder. This will be good. "You can give it here."

"What?" Now he's not even *in* the chair. More like over it.

"Here." I wave at the club. "This is a cool place, right?"

"Sure, yah, the coolest, but...." He's got a million questions, but Guy Gardner's the man with the answers.

"Sixteens underage, so you wait until after hours. I shut down the bar and that makes it legal. You invite your friend and HIS friends -and I assume you *do* have some cool friends-and you throw a party here. I'll keep the girls on for another hour or so. They can do the floor show bits. We can get some decent food-burgers and such, and one of the fancy cakes from Papa Khan. How does that sound?"

"Way kewl, Mr. Gardner, but..., why would you..."

"Easy, kid. You went all out for a Lantern. The Green pay back their friends.

"Robin will freak on this."

Robin? Batkid? The dreadful image of a scowling Dark Knight springs full-blown in my mind. I lean back, draining my soder and tossing the crushed can at the trash. Basket. Triple cool. Who says kindness is not it's own reward.

Continue To Chapter Four

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