countlessuntruths: Ritsuka and Soubi, Loveless (We've giving up believing)
[personal profile] countlessuntruths in [community profile] fictionaluntruths
Title: Fathers Know Best.
Fandom: Young Justice: Invasion.
Warnings|Contents: Spoilers up to True Colors.
Characters/couples: Black Manta, Tigress, Kaldur'ahm.
Summary: Black Manta overhears Tigress when she's taking guard over Kaldur'ahm and makes his own conclussions.
Rating: G.
Notes: Sort of SeaArrow-ish. Kinda. I... have no idea what I just wrote, okay.

Fathers Know Best.

It's by chance that he takes notice. As far as Kaldur'ahm has told him, as far as Black Manta knows, his son still grieves for his lost friend and his mind has been focused on the Light's purpose. The midst of a war isn't, really, the best of times to find love, or so he had thought.

But Black Manta comes upon Kaldur'ahms room to visit him and... it was by chance that he hears them. Hears Tigress.

“I know you can hear me, Kaldur,” her voice sounds low in ways that do not belong to merely a whisper. There is an ache in Tigress voice that cannot be faked. “I know you're not gone, not completely. You're not. I won't let you be gone.”

There is a moment of silence. He peeks through the door. Tigress is holding Kaldur'ahm's hand, her head bent against his. Her whole pose speaks of grief and misery. So far Black Manta had considered his son's right hand... not heartless, but harsh in ways that he had admired. Kaldur'ahm had spoken of debts being paid and of honor within the assassin he had selected. He had naught but to trust in his son's judgement and hopw that it wouldn't cost him.

Now, he sees, perhaps there is nothing he should have feared. Not from Tigress.

“Listen to me, Kaldur,” Tigress whispers again and there is no way, for him, to pretend he doesn't hear the way this woman is suffering. He wonders if his son has noticed that pain, the levels in which this woman's loyalty towards him extends. “We'll fix you. I'll make sure you're okay again. You hear me? So... just, fight, okay. I know you. You're the strongest, bravest person I've ever known. Don't give up now, please.”

Silence, as if she was expecting something: a twitch, a sigh, even a blink of the eye. Many a night he has expected but the same, but he knows – and he suspects Tigress does as well – that nothing will come from it.

He knows that pain deeply, each time he visits his son. And to this woman who loves his son – and there is no doubt in his mind that it is like that – he decides a little mercy is due. He opens the doors, rewarded when, even here, where Kaldur'ahm is safe, Tigress drops down into a defensive stance that would protect his son, was he an enemy.

Black Manta feels like smiling for, perhaps, the first time since his son was struck by the Martian Witch. Instead he raises a hand, was she to attack.

Tigress' reflexes are, however, much better than that. She murmurs a “Black Manta,” then immediately she abandons her stance, saluting, moving to the side. He considers asking for changes, but knows that it would be nothing, and he wishes no further hurt upon himself or this woman, not when he can see the redness in her eyes, or the way she glances towards Kaldur'ahms prone form for a seocnd.

Black Manta moves forward, takes his son's hand and squeezes once, gently, before moving his hand beneath the covers again.

“You will command the next strike, Tigress. Prepare your men.”

“Yes, Black Manta.”

She turns to go without another word, not another glance towards Kaldur'ahm. Black Manta calls for her.

“Tigress.”

The woman stops, turns towards him again, patient and deadly. Her name befits her in more ways than just her costume. Black Manta puts a hand on her shoulder for a moment, out of the fact that she, also, cares for his son.

“We will get Kaldur'ahm back,” he tells her. It's not a promise he would have made to his son's right hand, something too personal, too big to give to anyone.

But towards the woman who is in love with his son? Perhaps he is growing soft in his old age, or holding romantic delusions of, perhaps, Kaldur'ahm having a happier life, once they succeed. Perhaps then, when his son is better, he will take notice of how deep this woman feels for him.

Her eyes widen for a moment – ah, the surprise of having been heard – but she doesn't flush, doesn't deny what she said, what she feels. She nods her head once before she turns around to do as she was ordered.

Black Manta takes off his helmet, moves to occupy the chair Tigress was using so he can put his hand upon Kaldur'ahms shoulder and speak towards him in the same hopes that Tigress had: that Kaldur'ahm can still get something from him, from this.

“You are more loved than you may have expected to be, my son.”
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