Bart doesn't know what a crush is. Luckily he has Cassie, Traci, Steph and Cissie to explain it to him.

It had been a difficult mission; they’d been split up into three squadrons, each responsible for a different assignment. Wonder Girl, Spoiler and Static had been sent to investigate one of Lex’s product warehouses. Arrowette, Robin and Beast Boy were responsible for watching over the Detroit branch of Star Labs. Traci, Blue Beetle and him got sidetracked from their recon assignment when Sportsmaster had come out to play. By the time M’gann had finished debriefing them, they were left groaning and needing a break.

“Hey, BB!” Bart called, wrapping an arm around Jaime. “What say you and I celebrate the end of a totally crash mission with some sundaes? My treat.”

Jaime narrowed his eyes, yellow from his armor. “I really don’t think you know what the words ‘my treat’ mean.”

“Sure I do,” Bart insisted.

“Bart, ‘my treat’ means that you pay.”

Bart’s face fell. “Oh. You sure?”

“Positive, Hermano. Besides, I can’t. Virgil invited some of the guys back to his place for some video games and I said I’d go.” Jaime maneuvered himself out from under Bart’s arm and shot him an apologetic look. “He would have invited you, but… you know,” he trailed off.

Oh yes, Bart knew very well why he wouldn’t be welcome back to Virgil’s anytime soon. The last time he’d gone for a guys’ night, he’d gotten too excited and accidentally broke the ceiling fan in the kitchen. Virgil’s parents hadn’t been too happy with him, and it took a tremendous amount of mediation from both Barry and the Garricks to get him on their good side again.

“No, no, it’s crash. I get it,” Bart waved off, trying his best to look indifferent. He must have succeeded, for Jaime grinned and nudged his shoulder. The sensation made his stomach buzz, a feeling that was all too familiar.

“Next time, Hermano. I’ll text you later,” he promised before following Tim and Virgil to the zeta tubes. Bart watched him go, the buzzing in his stomach settling to one of unease; the all too familiar sensation of not being invited somewhere.

“-rented the Notebook? Come on, there has to be a better-”

“Name one.”

“Literally any-”
“You can’t name a better movie, because it’s impossible,” Cassie said proudly, hands on her hips. Bart immediately turned to the new conversation. The girls stood in a circle, masks off and hoods down.

“Whatever. I’ll find a better one, and then you are going to eat your words Cassie Sandsmark,” Steph warned with a smirk.

“Bart?” Traci called. The girls all turned to look at the speedster, and he rubbed the back of his neck in embarrassment at being caught eavesdropping. “Weren’t you going to go with the boys?”

“I wasn’t invited.”

Cissie’s eyes widened in surprise. “What?”

“Is it the Virgil thing?” Cassie asked.

“Yupperino. So that leaves me… without plans for the evening,” he ended lamely. “It’s cool, I’ll go hang with my dad and aunt.”

“Bart, you gotta stop calling them that before Iris kills you,” Traci chuckled. “We’re having a slumber party, if you wanna join.”

“It wouldn’t be weird?”

“Weird? No way, it’d be totally crash,” Steph said, ruffling his hair affectionately. “Cassie’s insisting we watch the Notebook, but I’ll find a better movie.”

“There is no better movie. The Notebook is so retro. It’s the pinnacle of all romantic comedies. I think I read that somewhere in the future.”

“Ha,” Cassie smirked, crossing her arms. “Then it’s settled. You’re hanging with us tonight.”


Hanging out with the girls was so much better than being with the guys.

Within an hour of arriving at Cassie’s place, they were all in their pajamas with Korean sheet masks on their faces. Cassie had generously lended him one of her oversized t-shirts, so he sat in that and his boxers as Traci painted his toenails a vibrant ocean blue. None of the girls really seemed to mind his presence which made him feel all the better. It was exactly the pick-me-up he needed after the mission.

“So,” Cassie said as she hooked her laptop up to the TV in the living room. “Would you guys kill me if I talked about how utterly dorky Tim is?”

“For the third time today? Yes,” Steph cut in, tossing another piece of popcorn in her mouth.

Cissie looked up from painting her own fingernails. “What did he do?”

“He left me a love letter,” Cassie said with an enormous grin on her face. “It was filled with Star Wars puns and was the absolute nerdiest thing I’d ever read in my life but…” she squealed and shook a little with delight. “I just have such a crush on him!”

“Can you call it a crush if you’ve been dating over two years?” Traci pointed out.

“What’s a crush?”

For the second time that evening, the girls all turned to look at Bart. Only this time, they seemed surprised.

“You don’t know what a crush is?” Cissie asked.

“Not a clue.”

“That’s impossible. I’m sure you know what a crush is.”

“Sorry Traci, no comprendo. Must be an outdated term in the future.”

“Someone’s been picking up some Spanish from Jaime,” Steph whispered to Cassie, who snickered.

Bart’s cheeks tinged pink and he looked down to his blue toenails. “So is anyone going to explain to me what a crush is?”

Cassie took a seat next to him, pursing her lips in an effort to figure out how to best explain it to him. “Let’s see. A crush is like… when you feel really strongly about someone. You get like a weird feeling in your stomach, and you really want them to like you back. When they do, it’s like the best feeling ever,” she concluded.

The blush on Bart’s cheeks only deepened. “...Oh. So that’s what it’s called.”

Steph raised a brow. “No way. You have a crush on someone.”

“Ooh, do tell! You gotta tell. It’s a girls’ night rule,” Cissie insisted, immediately scooting closer to Bart. The speedster wasn’t sure what to say, all the girls were staring at him so intently. He wasn’t aware that it had been such a secret.

Bart shrugged, toying a bit with his fingers. “It’s Jaime.” He grinned a bit. “Thought everyone already knew.”

Traci didn’t look surprised, but the three blondes all stared at him, jaws slightly agape. “You’re gay?” Cissie asked.


Cassie squealed, immediately pulling him into a tight hug. “I’m so proud of you! Never in a million years would I have guessed that you’d be coming out to us tonight.”

“Coming out? You guys gotta stop using outdated lingo,” Bart sputtered, trying his best to breathe under Cassie’s crushing hug. Steph eventually pulled her away, and he gave her a look of desperate gratitude.

“Do people not come out in the future?” Cissie asked, grabbing a twizzler off Cassie’s bed.

“Not really.”

“Moving on,” Traci declared, crossing her legs underneath her. “I assume you haven’t told him yet.”

Bart peeled the sticky sheet mask from his face, tossing it in the direction of the garbage and missing. He’d pick it up later. “Why would I? I don’t think he feels the same way.”

“You don’t know that,” Steph scoffed. “You guys both spend every minute together. It’s a definite possibility that he could feel the same.”

Cassie nodded, finally managing to set up the movie on the TV. “I think Steph’s right. Plus, you’ll never know if you don’t try.”

“Thank you, almighty motivational poster,” Cissie teased, groaning when a throw pillow hit her head right after. “You should definitely say something, Bart. Pining over a crush is so not the mood in 2019.”

Bart looked away from them, plucking at a few loose threads in Cassie’s rug. Sure, it all sounded great and dandy in theory. In reality, not so much. “And what if he says he doesn’t feel the same? He could think I’m a freak and then never talk to me again.”

“Um, Bart,” Steph cleared her throat, a hand on her hip and a shit-eating smirk on her lips. “Pretty sure he already thinks you’re a freak.”

“Stephanie!” Tracie snapped. “Asshole Venmo, immediately.” Steph rolled her eyes and pulled out her phone, starting to Venmo each of the girls two dollars. She was the worst at this game, no wonder she was always so broke.

“I think what Steph was trying to say,” Cissie eased gently, resting a hand on his shoulder. “Is that you guys are best friends. I don’t think he’d be so quick to cut you off.”

“And even if he did, you’d have all of us to kick his ass,” Cassie noted, flexing her bicep with a smirk.

“Yeah, pretty sure M’gann could wipe his brain out, make him forget the whole thing,” Traci added. Bart listened to them all with a wary expression; now he wasn’t sure if he felt better, or worse.


“I can’t believe you had a sleepover with the girls last night. Cassie’s mom was cool with it?”

Bart sat across from Jaime at a diner in El Paso. Jaime had offered to come to his side for breakfast, but Bart insisted that Texas breakfasts were far superior to Central City’s. Besides, if Jaime rejected him, then he wouldn’t be the one left behind. His heart was pounding a mile a minute as he watched Jaime finish off his coffee, unable to tear his eyes away from him.

“Huh? Oh, yeah. Yeah, she was totally crash. Made us snacks and everything,” Bart replied, trying to ground himself. “I had a good time.”

“Really? What’d you guys do?”

Bart organized the sugar packets in their little box, arranging them by color. “We just talked. Did face masks, watched movies and stuff. It was actually really fun. I’ve already been invited to the next one.”

Jaime’s face softened and he took Bart’s hand. “You know, I forgot to tell you. Virgil’s mom asked where you were last night. I think it’s safe to say you’ll be invited to the next one.”


“Seriously. I tried texted you, but your phone was dead last night. I’m glad you had a good time with the girls, though. Did you find out any juicy secrets?” he asked, raising a brow.

“Funny you should mention that,” Bart said. He took a deep breath, his stomach acting up again but he needed to get it out. “Look, there’s something I want to tell you.”

Jaime leaned back in his seat. “Okay, shoot.”

“I have a crush on you. I think that’s the right way to say it. Actually, I’m still a little unclear on the usage of the word, I may not be understanding it right,” Bart rambled. “But the bottom line is that I like you. A lot. And it’s totally crash if you don’t feel the same. I promise I won’t be moded. I just had to get it out.”


Bart looked up from the sugar packets. “Finally?”

“Yeah, Hermano. I’ve been waiting for you to say something for ages.” Jaime grinned and lifted up their hands, still entwined. “Khaji-Da has been driving me nuts forever, trying to get me to make the first move. I kept having to tell him that I was waiting for you to be ready.”


“Really. Guess I should stop calling you Hermano, though. It’s kinda weird,” Jaime admitted.

Bart pouted. “But I liked Hermano.”

“I’ll come up with a better one. Lo prometo.” Jaime scooted closer until he was at the edge of his seat. The only thing separating them was the small table and their coffee mugs. “Should we get the bill and get out of here?”

Bart grinned, pulling out some cash from his wallet. “My treat.”

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