Unexpected Connections
Roleplaying Log: Unexpected Connections
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

After Ladies Night at Luke's Bar, Zatanna Zatara and Bart Allen grab some pizza on the way back to the new Titans Headquarters, with the former taking the opportunity to get to know her teammate a little better.

Other Characters Referenced: Red Robin, Jessica Jones, Nico Minoru, Luke Cage, Superboy, Raven, Nightwing, Starfire, Owen Mercer, Giovanni Zatara, Max Mercury, The Flash, The Winter Soldier, Spider-man, Kid Flash, Atli, Quicksilver, Cyborg, Silas Stone
IC Date: December 11, 2018
IC Location: Harlem, New York City
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 13 Dec 2018 07:43
Rating & Warnings: G
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's only after a few drinks (and Bart would know that she's not entirely legally allowed to drink, a year shy of twenty-one, but for some reason, her ID marks her as the very thing) and a polished off plate of the Punisher's plate of perfect nachos, which she shared with Bart, before they decided to call it a night, Zatanna lingering until after last call before she decides to accompany her teammate back to the new Titans headquarters' super secret location in the heart of New York City. By the time the crowd lets out of Luke's, it is well past two in the morning, her boots taking on a quick clip next to Bart's own footsteps as they make their way further into nighttime darkness blanketing the sleepless city.

Winter has fully settled in, and their street is decked out in Christmas cheer, lit up by streetside decorations strung over their heads. Their breaths leave them in white puffs of mist.

"I heard things got a little crazy in there from Jess," she wonders, her hands in her pockets, realizing, and not for the first time, that outside of Titans operations and whatever happens in the Tower, or the mall, she knows very little about Impulse save for the fact that he is one of Tim's best and oldest friends. Hell, she didn't even know what his real name was until today. "She's a good friend of mine, we met two years ago when I needed a private investigator to help me look for Daddy and it's been strange and awesome ever since. She and Luke are getting married, so when she invited me out, I thought I'd stop by to congratulate the groom-to-be, except he disappeared. Next time, though, for sure."

She inclines her head towards the younger Titan, though he is of a height with her that she doesn't have to tilt her head up and down to examine his profile. "So how long have you been working for Luke?"

With a slightly heavier coat thrown over his casual Flash costume, at least it interrupts the bright red of his hoodie and pants combo. Maybe not so much the bright yellow galoshes but do you know how hard it is to find yellow boots that aren't made for weather and wetness? Bart puffs breaths into the chill air even as Zatanna speaks, watching the frosted steam rise and wisp. He might be imagining himself a dragon.

"Eh, crazy's kinda normal in there, especially when Owen's involved," he says, shrugging a little with a bit of a grin. "I probably don't know Jess as well as you - definitely not as long. But she's pretty cool, and she and Luke seem to get along great. Glad you came by though. I think Luke kinda got upset when Atli brought out the goat so you caught him on his break." A muchly deserved one at that.

He tilts his head back, lips twisting in thought as he stares skywards at Zatanna's question. "Just about a year now that I think about it. Yeah- we had a private Christmas party not too long after I got hired." His wistful smile fades just a touch, brow furrowing as he then sighs and looks frontwards again. "…and then the bar exploded, so I guess all things considered, I haven't been working here all that long."

"I was wondering about the goat," Zatanna confesses. "I mean, is that a thing? Normally when I think goats, I think some kind of ritual sacrifice or some kind of curry." Because it's always a good idea to talk to Bart about food. "So Atli owns it? Is it some kind of emotional support animal that she needs to take it around with her?" She has not met Atli, and has absolutely no clue that she is Asgardian - though if she knew, it would most certainly explain everything.

There's a bit of a confused look - she might be one of the only people in the city who doesn't know who Owen Mercer is, though she is more connected to him that she initially thinks; not just through Bart, but through Tim, and the unfortunate family history that connects the sons of two dead fathers. "So, what, is Owen your direct supervisor or something? Anyway yeah, Jess is pretty cool, she's like the sister I never had."

And then the bar exploded.

She winces visibly; her face lends quickly to expression, never one to usually hide her emotions. "I feel like a lot of things explode around Luke, too. I first met him in some trouble in Wakanda - where I was for a while, I put in a short leave of absence from the team to tackle a few things there. I think you would've loved to visit, though, there's a lot of technology I've never seen, all vibranium-based, and they make these…you know the awesome coconut donuts I brought back to the Tower? It came from there."

After a moment watching him, she grins and shakes her head. "You know, I always just kinda thought getting a job outside of the capes-and-tights thing was always this conduit so a meta can just take a break from all of it and have a normal life, but it probably doesn't work so well when the crazy is in your civilian life too, huh? So what else do you do outside of the HQ? Do you go to uni, too?"

"It's a space goat," Bart replies, ever so matter-of-fact. He's not even sure how he came to the conclusion or has decided it makes sense since Atli must be an alien. "I think it's her mount or something? She crashed it into the Tower once, flying."

Maybe Zatanna might consider herself lucky not to know Owen. For whatever reason, people sure seem to have a negative opinion of him. "I guess he kind of is." He and Luke were definitely above him on the employee heiarchy. At Zatanna's relating of Jess prompts a faint smile, although it seems to hold more complications about some matter for the way his brows turn at the thought. He's only just recently become privy to the dark past shared by Owen and Tim Drake himself. It's certainly quite the spot to be thrown into.

"Owen's also my half-brother," he explains. "I didn't know until more recently too. It's…kinda weird, but cool, I guess? Having family in this timeframe."

He blows into cupped hands to warm them up some before stuffing them into his jacket pockets again. "Luke was real bummed about the bar going down. It took him a while before he finally decided to rebuild it. Thankfully he did, and now it's like nothing had happened at all." While not super close to Luke either, it was easy to be concerned for the guy. Bart remembered all too well the night of the incident when the bar was burning, and it took the concentrated efforts of all of them to help get people out safely. The only casualty had been the building itself.

"Where's Wakanda? It sounds like it should be familiar," he says, although who knows how much attention he pays to news of any sort. He seems more impressed about Zee having brought donuts all the way from this place. "…all this food talk is making me hungry though. Those nachos were good but not really filling. Maybe we can grab pizza on the way back."

Zatanna's observation about the apparently nonexistent line between their alter-persona and normal life has him laugh a little. "It was always a pain at first, trying to do things the 'normal' way, at least for me. Heh, but even then I guess somehow things managed not to be so normal around me. I'm surprised Max hasn't given up." Bart glances back at her, nodding. "Yeah, I do school. Back in Alabama." Talk about a commute. "…you?"

His half-brother? Surprise suffuses over Zatanna's pale face. "Really?" she wonders, glancing at Bart. "I didn't know that, that's great that you have family around here. …isn't it? To be honest, I try not to pry, so I don't know who's got…you know, anyone. I mean, Conner was grown in a tube, from what I heard, Nico ran away, and…I guess we can say the same for Raven. Cy's got his dad but considering he took back the Tower, I'm assuming things are a little thorny between them right now, and Kori can't go home even if she wanted to."

She leaves Tim and Dick out of the tally, because Bart knows that they've got family in Gotham.

But the last words catch her attention and she slowly turns her head to look at him. "This timeframe?" she wonders out loud. "What do you mean?"

It's telling that the magician doesn't even blink in disbelief at the concept of a space goat, her life has become even weirder in the last two years.

Regarding Luke's Bar mark I, there's a sympathetic nod. "I can imagine," she agrees. "If I had my own business and I just lost it all in one night, I'd be bummed too. But I'm glad he didn't give up, either. He and Jess seem really happy together, so I'm sure she was around and there for him when all of that came down the wire. God, I can't believe they're getting married…it seems like just yesterday when they just met, but I guess time really flies."

She has no idea.

"Anyway, Wakanda's a secret country." Not anymore, but she figures she could trust Bart with its existence, at the very least. "Or at least, it was until just very recently. Apparently there was just this super-secret, space-age monarchy hiding in the jungles of Africa. I was called to help out because Bucky Barnes was forcefully extradited there." A nicer sounding way of describing to someone that said person was kidnapped and taken to another country to face justice. He does change subjects quickly, however, though the magician manages to keep up, and she laughs. "Pizza? I introduced Conner to Di Fara just recently, you ever try it? It's the best, let's go get some."

She turns the corner to head straight into a dead end. "It's in Brooklyn," she says as a portal opens up with a whispered word, the air suddenly filled with the scent of herbs, tomatoes, garlic and freshly-baked dough.

"Max?" she wonders. "Why Alabama? I'd ask if the commute was ridiculous, but then…you can probably zip back and forth in no time, huh?"

You?

She grins at the speedster. "Languages," she tells him as she steps inside the portal. "And theatre at Gotham University. I figured if I wanna keep being a celebrity, I'd learn the stage, and as for the languages, mnemonic incantation is actually the most complicated of the mystic arts, I figured the more words I know, the better off I'll be. I have to study with flashcards every night." Evidence, and confirmation, that her ability to speak backwards isn't in any way natural - it is learned, and has to be maintained by regular training. She gives him a look. "I don't have the fast brain you do, after all."

Secret countries in Africa sounded amazing. He lets his thoughts stray off the earlier subject in favor of entertaining the possibility of finding the place himself. If it's not too much of a super secret place now, then they wouldn't get too mad if he tried poking around for it, right?

"I'll never get tired of that," he grins as he watches his friend open up a portal. Traveling via such by Zatanna or Raven is about the only other alternative he'd happily take aside from getting there on his own two feet. Bart tries not to drool at the scent that wafts through the opening before them as he follows the magician through.

"Max is…my uncle." He supposes it's more or less true now, anyway. It had been a rocky start but he's definitely warmed up to the older speedster, and their odd family has indeed become as much a family as Bart has ever come to know. "And mentor. He figured that settling down in Alabama would be an ideal place for a speedster to learn how to be normal. Or at least someone like me to try meshing with whatever flies for the norm around here. I kinda blew up his hopes for keeping low the day I started high school in Manchester. Somehow ended up in a fight with the whole school, and the next day I was famous." He's not even bragging, and from his telling still seems somewhere between amused and trying to figure how that all worked out.

Hearing Zatanna's favored subjects of study he finds himself unsurprised and nodding for it, although the look she turns him makes him duck his head sheepishly. "It's still pretty cool that you pull it off as smoothly as you can. I would never have thought that you'd have had to practice it."

Thinking about it now, Bart realizes he's only got so much of a familiarity about the rest of the Titans and background as well. Tim and Conner were a given, but he's known them the longest of all the Titans. He hadn't wanted to dig too much on Raven's own family although he had a feeling it was really complicated, being half-demon.

Normally the slip about his own true background would have him panic, but when it came to his teammates, he was considerably more relaxed about it. Well, maybe not too relaxed. He can't not mention something about his history without picturing a tiny Max with a giant head yelling at him for it.

"Yeah…" he says, confirming that Zatanna had heard right as he turns his head towards her again with something of a shy grin.

Different people take the information in different ways, so he decides it'd be best to let her soak in what he says rather than add on anything more right off the back. In a way, maybe it'd make sense. For as long as he's been in the current time there's a lot he hasn't completely shaken off by way of expectations when it came to technology, and even his odd choice of apparent swear word (unless anyone else spoke Interlac to be familiar with 'Grife!').

"See, I'm…not from this century. I'm from the thirtieth."

The portal opens up right across the street from Di Fara, where an 80-something year old man from Naples is still cutting basil with scissors over freshly baked crust and homemade pizza sauce. It is a small place, no frills, the kind of hole-in-the-wall that New York City is so full of, but the difference can be scented almost immediately just by standing across the street. It keeps late hours, much like any other food joint in a metropolis with a frenetic night life - after all, drinking and clubbing often pave the way to the hankering for late-night munchies. Di Fara is in a brick building, sandwiched in the same block as a bakery and a kosher bagel store.

"You're the only one who's ever told me that he liked my teleportation," Zatanna tells Bart with a laugh. "Before I learned to do portals, it was pop-in, pop-out. Tim's always hated it, but I suppose it's only fair since….well, I scream my head off every time I have to zip-line with him across buildings. It's unnatural, Bart. Human beings aren't meant to travel that way!"

The fact that the speedster has more family, and thus made all the more accessible to him because of his powers, has her laugh tempering in a small smile, her interest visibly growing, as always ever the kind of person who genuinely invests herself in a person's origin story whenever he or she deigns to let her in. It was never a thing she has taken for granted, and she does nothing but listen as she crosses the street with her fellow Titan, towards the waiting doors of Di Fara. It's past two am, it's sparsely populated. In fact, save for the old man still making food behind the counter, there's nobody inside.

She only orders two slices of the joint's classic - fresh basil and mozzarella on tomato sauce and the amazing crust. "My treat," she tells him. "Don't be shy, you worked really hard today."

She might regret this later.

They would have to wait, so after procuring a can of soda from the dispensers in the main eating area, she moves to the very back and takes a seat. "So what started the fight?" she asks, going back to his first day at school story. "Did someone try to haze you for being the new kid or what?"

Her grin returns when he compliments her on her backwards speech, despite the revelation that it isn't some genius or superhuman proclivity that enables her to do it smoothly. A black-lacquered fingernail pops the tab of her orange soda, and she's about to take a drink when…

I'm from the thirtieth.

The magician pauses. She slowly sets her soda can back down.

"What?" Time traveling is not all too strange of a concept to her, she can manipulate time - another talent in her vast array of ridiculous magical powers that she hardly ever uses because she's responsible, and still somewhat scared shitless of everything she can do with the sorcerous nuclear reactor of a soul sitting inside of her. But as far as she knew, Bart is not magic. "Wait….so….don't tell me you ran so fast you went back this far?" It's a logical guess, and if anything, proves the sheer depth of exposure Zatanna has had with some very weird phenomenon. "Bart, if you're not from…then how is Max your uncle? Wouldn't that make him…your ancestor? And…what made you…what are you doing here?"

It's Bart's turn to give Zatanna a look when she claims that travel by zip-line is an unnatural method of transportation. She's talking to someone who travels fast enough to go up and down the sides of buildings and across the river. Also, zip-lining looks kind of fun!

All but hopping into the pizza place, he looks around eagerly and waves (perhaps too enthusiastically for someone awake at 2AM) at the old man working with the dough. He can tell it's going to be good, but even with Zatanna's offer to cover him for whatever he orders, he hesitates before ordering two.

Whole pizzas.

He's being good, honest!!

All things considered, he'd been operating for the most part at normal speed during work (as Luke's rules were strict in that no super powers were allowed in the bar), save for when he zipped over to the apartment at Jess's request to grab Doritos and cheese. Thankfully for Zee he's not nearly as famished as he might otherwise be from patrolling or coming in from Alabama.

"Did smeone try to haze you for being the new kid or what?" she asks. Bart nods as he gets a drink for himself, dropping into the seat across from Zatanna as he cracks the can open with a refreshing hiss of carbonation. "Yeah, something like that. What is it with people homing in on new faces? And freshmen? Most of the stuff that got them in trouble was their doing anyway." Bart just happened to be their intended target. Not his fault their attempts backfired! "Not that I really fought anyone. I just kind of walked between everyone because they ended up mostly fighting each other."

He takes a long sip from his soda can as Zee goes through the motions of learning he's technically a time traveler. He shakes his head.

"Well…no. Although I know it's possible- time traveling by running fast enough. I haven't tried it though. But I was brought here, because my granma wanted me to learn how to control my speed under someone who would know how."

He leans back against the seat, his mood oddly solemn. "Max isn't related by blood. He's…Max Mercury." How renowned was Max anyway? He seemed to know people and has been around forever.

"See, back in my time, dad got killed fighting the Dominators. Those alien guys that Starfire mentioned at the end of the meeting?" That's why he'd had to stop and stare at her then. It hadn't occurred to him that he'd ever hear about those guys again, much less here in this time. "He and his sister- they were twins and speedsters both. I was just born, but I guess they figured I'd inherited the abilities of a speedster too, so they'd kidnapped me. I was saved by Earthgov scientists- but then all they wanted was to experiment with me too. Except they weren't helping." Shrugging, he toys with his soda can.

"Granma wanted to save me before I ran myself into old age- my hyper metabolism was killing me and all they did was plug me into VR to keep my brain developing with the rest of me. So she snuck me out, and we traveled back here. To this time."

I just kind of walked between everyone because they ended up mostly fighting each other.

Zatanna can't help it; that colorful imagination, the thing that enables her to design stage illusions and magical artifacts, brings her the picture of an entire school erupted in chaos, because the bodies within it can't hit one guy. She starts laughing, her hand coming up to bury her face into it. "Oh, Bart," she says, a wellspring of unexpected and warm affection blossoming over her chest as she looks over at him across the table. "Never change, okay?"

He was brought here to learn. She takes a quiet sip of her orange soda after her truncated attempt from a few minutes earlier, blinking faintly at him as she realizes that it actually is possible to run so fast one can turn back time. She pauses to consider this, brows furrowed faintly. God, what was that even like? Does she even want to know what would happen if a speedster actually did that?

(Answer: No, not that any of them would know that.)

And it's when he reveals who Max is that has her nearly choking on her drink. "Wait, my Max is your Max?" she cries. "I mean…wait…really?"

As Bart continues explaining, she reaches out to look for her phone and pulls up the camera roll containing neatly archieved photographs. There is a folder labeled Max Mercury, and she calls up the photos from within. She slides it towards her fellow Titan so he could take a look.

His beloved uncle is present in all of them, all from the backstages of different shows, and each with Zatanna in her performance get up - the tailcoat, the top hat, the heels and the fishnets. And there he is, Max Mercury, grinning and looking pleased. The venue is never the same, but each image has a commonality with one another - not just the presence of the magician and Max Mercury, but the fact that he has a different souvenir shirt from each of her shows worn in each picture.

Seriously, it's a hell of a coincidence.

"He's been a big fan almost ever since I started out," she explains. "He's been to my father's shows, also."

She is almost on the vein of commiserating about Max further, but the rest of Bart's story comes out and her bright expression fades - dwindling first, to concern, and then to pure horror. She falls quiet for a very long time.

"Bart, I…I never knew…" she says quietly, her hand moving before she knows it; the first, always, to make a gesture. Gentle fingers fold over his own. The experiments - it reminds her of Conner's own story, though in his case, he was created to be a weapon. In Impulse's case, they just wanted to know. To peel someone apart just to see how everything works. Sorrow, yes, but anger, too, sitting like a stone somewhere in her stomach. It suddenly explains everything - not just why he'd become such good friends with Tim and the Superboy, but also why he was in agreement with the Titans' anti-registration stance. Not just because everyone else didn't want it, not just to keep his secret identity secret, but…

"…so does that mean…you're getting better?" she wonders. "Or are you still…I mean…if that's the case how old are you, really?"

It's Bart's turn to nearly spittake when it turns out that Zatanna actually knows Max Crandall a.k.a. Max Mercury. Coughing, he sets his soda down so he won't spill it on anything, wiping his mouth as he lifts his gaze to look at the pictures presented via Zatanna's phone. His eyes widen along with a grin, even as he continues to try clearing his throat between chuckles.

"W-wow, I'd never peg him for a fan of anything." Much less a groupie.

He doesn't tell her the rest, the things he'd found out later in the truth of his being taken in by Earthgov. About how his grandfather, President Thawne had wanted to use him, a token for an ultimate play in the long-stretching vendetta between Thawne and Allen.

The gesture in sympathy he appreciates, his head lifting with a faint but genuine smile.

"I've learned to get a handle on things," he confirms. "I guess technically I'd be….sixish? I'm not really sure." Things got a little fuzzy between time-jumping, and while he's gotten more or less used to going by age apparent, in a lot of ways mentality-wise he was still quite the kid.

"Ah…sorry for dumping all that on you. I'm…kinda glad to be able to talk about it though." And despite the things that have happened between them, he still feels pretty comfortable with the young magician. And surely Max would forgive him for indulging in his past with someone the older speedster apparently admired, right?

I've learned to get a handle on things, he says. The confirmation brings overwhelming, palpable relief. It creases Zatanna's expression, and she releases a breath that she isn't conscious of holding. She flashes him, instead, an encouraging smile. "Good."

She squeezes his fingers before returning her own to her orange soda, taking a thirsty gulp from it. "Six, really? So you're just as literally young as Conner," she tells him. "He told me recently he's six, also, though the two of you are technically nineteen." She takes her phone back and it vanishes between her fingers. There is no wisp of magic present, pure, sleight of hand so deft that it would be difficult for even someone like Bart to determine how.

His apologies earn him a shake of his head. "No, this isn't dumping," she tells him. "To be honest, this is long overdue, at least for me. Normally I'm pretty quick in getting to know other people that I spend a lot of time with and ever since…everything, even before what happened on the Island, I've been staying in headquarters more and more. I was just thinking the other day just how little I know of everybody, save for Tim and Spidey, and the bits of pieces I've learned just by being in the same place, participating in the same operations. I want to change that, at least from my end."

Her ice-blue stare lowers on the table.

"Besides, the original Titans weren't just teammates, they were close friends. If we're going to carry on the name, we might as well embrace the tradition. I mean, as we are now, we're all friends but…definitely not on that level. Not yet. Not that it's required, but I think we get through what we do together these days because we're all willing to give one another the benefit of the doubt, not because we know one another." She takes a breath and looks up at him, her smile taking on a more rueful bent. "So I'm glad that you're able to talk about it, especially with me. I still feel bad about what happened." Not what I did, sign enough that she is slowly, but surely moving forward from all the guilt weighing her down. "But I'm starting to accept that it's not entirely me…not entirely my fault, and that I'm not the only one who's scared."

The disappearance of the phone distracts him for a moment. It's a simple trick to be sure, but it's fascinating nevertheless, and perhaps it's the six-year-old awe that surfaces on his face then. Taking a cue from Zatanna Bart sips again at his own soda once he's reclaimed the can and not choking.

"…we're like family too. It's like Kori said. So…yeah. I agree. It'd be nice to get to know everyone more. I know we hang out and stuff, but I guess some of us have different ranges for how much we're supposed to be secretive about things."

He shakes his head a little as she touches upon those events, but the difference is there, and with her admission he smiles encouragingly. "Good for you." He knows it can't be easy, but hearing Zatanna say this much is relieving. The last thing he wanted was for her to keep beating herself up about what had happened. He won't lie; it had been a terrible, frightening experience. Sometimes he still catches snippets of it in nightmares, but he hasn't ever blamed Zatanna for it then, and he wouldn't think to start doing so now.

"Hey. Wanna know another secret?" he asks, smiling almost impishly before bringing up a hand in a blatantly conspiratorial manner. "My grampa's the Flash."

Then he straightens, looking towards the counter. With the amazing smells of the pizzaria it's difficult to forget why they were sitting here in the first place.

"Is the pizza ready yet?"

"Conner told me that when it comes to this stuff, we always think we're alone, but not in the…Young Adult Fiction Protagonist kind of way. More like…we're naturally driven to look out for one another, even if it means carrying the weight of our issues by ourselves, because we know everyone else's got them, and we don't want to bog each other down." Zatanna tilts her soda can sideways a little bit. "I think after being a year in this thing, we ought to know better now, though. The Titans were always different as a group because the original members never subscribed to that kind of thinking."

She smiles faintly. "The question is always who'll be the first to take that initial step, though," she says. "I was never afraid of it….but after everything else that's happened in the last two years, I guess after with what happened at the island being one massive broken straw, I pulled back from that a little. Not anymore, though. So no matter what it is….I hope you know that you can always talk to me."

There's a twinge of guilt there, reminded of Peter Parker, and the difficult conversation in the horizon for them both. He never hesitated to do that, to let her in. If he had, then maybe she might've not been able to use the ghost of Ben Parker as a weapon against him.

But that wasn't her. Peter said it himself…didn't he?

Hey. Wanna know another secret?

"Why, what's— "

My grampa's the Flash.

She stares at him, her lips parting a little bit. "He's…oh thank god. I was sitting here for a second wondering if I should ask you if you and that terrorist Quicksilver were related. I wouldn't even know how to start asking…I mean…what's that even like? Different speedster family, then? You know, I never met him, but I've heard of him lots. There was a Kid Flash or something once upon a time in the original Titans roster, is he related to you, too?"

And right on cue, one of the younger servers carries out two pizzas, and a smaller box for Zatanna with her two slices.

"It's…pretty easy talking to you. Guess that's why I shared in the first place," Bart says, nodding at her. It's nice knowing the door's always open though.

Just talking now was a good reminder of what should be done, and now more than ever, it seems like the Titans needed each other. Maybe that was the place to start.

Zee really needs to stop saying weird things while he's drinking, however. If not for super-speed she might've had a cola shower just now.

Hand clamped over his mouth, Bart tries swallowing his drink down the right pipe while simultaneously trying not to sputter all over the place as he tries to get over Zatanna's admitted assumptions regarding his possible relations. "Grife, really?? That guy—?!" Taking a moment to catch his breath, he decides to hold off on taking any more sips from his soda for the time being.

"I've never met him either, actually…" he admits, once matters with Quicksilver are straightened out and they're back on the correct speedster branch. "And Kid Flash was who granma had wanted to teach me originally but I guess things got complicated. -we're not related though, no."

With fresh pizzas presented to them not long after, Bart flashes the server a grin along with an enthusiastic thank you as he hops to his feet to take up his boxes. "This smells so good! You sure that'll be enough, Zee?" he asks as he glances over at her smaller box.

"I'm glad that's still true," Zatanna says softly, her expression softening. But with that statement, she looks especially relieved.

Though when Bart nearly chokes on his drink, her hands come up. "Sorry! I mean, after what you told me, I figured nothing's impossible and considering the entire six degrees thing, I just couldn't help but wonder what if…you know? Hell, I've known you for a year and I didn't even know about Max! I hope he's doing well." He seems to, otherwise…well, she hoped that Bart would say something if anything happened to his 'uncle.'

She listens intently, and while she has yet to meet Wally West, she is surprised to hear that Max hadn't been Bart's grandmother's first choice. "Bart, you traveled back in time to the twenty-first century because your grandmother loves you," she tells him. "I'd say things are probably beyond complicated at this point where you're concerned. Luckily, you've got us."

Standing up, she reaches over to take her smaller box, and she grins sheepishly at Bart. "Well, unlike some people, my metabolism is just normal, and I already…went on a super eating binge this entire week," she confesses. "Including more Di Fara's pizza than I could ever admit, so I better watch it before I can't fit in my fishnets anymore."

With that, she heads for the door with him.

"Anyway, yeah, I can't wait for you to try them. Trust me, Bart, this pizza will change your life."

The portal reopens across the street, waiting for both Titans to step through, shrinking the distance between Brooklyn and to their new secret base.

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