A long time ago, around the time when 'When' was still just an idea, back in 2007, I mentioned to Yu-Gi-Ah 2.0 that I was thinking about doing a shrunken Brainy story. She encouraged me but I still wasn't sure if I wanted to do it with BG unfinished and TOSoP stuck in my head. Recently I've been reading a couple shrunken (whether by age or just mental state) Brainy stories and they made me want to write the idea I've been keeping in the back of my mind.
This (ongoing) story is my birthday gift to Yu-Gi-Ah 2.0 (March 9, 2008) who has encouraged me from the very beginning of my LOSH story writing career and who has always been my best commentator and who has drawn me much awesome fanart. SHE ROCKS! -hugs her and kisses her cheek-
I hope you all like it and don't worry about BG or TOSoP. I'll continue with BG until it's finished and then move on to TOSoP while doing this on the side.
"Brainy won't come out of his lab," whined Triplicate Girl, joining the remaining Legionnaires, pouting as she sat beside Bouncing Boy.
"I'm sure whatever Brainy is working on is-" began Saturn Girl.
"-Important?" cut in Phantom Girl and laughed at the other girl's surprised look. "You don't need to be a mind reader to know what you were going to say, Saturn Girl. You say it every time Brainy goes into one of his antisocial sprees."
"Brainy is not being antisocial, he's-" started Saturn Girl.
"-Working," finished Phantom Girl and Triplicate Girl together, though Phantom Girl had said it with a smirk while Triplicate Girl mumbled it with a sigh.
"Hey, if the guy wants to work himself to death," started Lightning Lad but gulped at the look the girls were giving him and quickly corrected his statement, "exhaustion, let him. As soon as he works whatever he does in there out of his system, he'll come out on his own without us bothering him or any of us being threatened with laser canons."
Triplicate Girl crossed her arms in a defiant fashion, sending the legion's leader a small glare.
"Sure he will, for a day, maybe too and then he's right back on it. Someone needs to teach Brainy how to have a little fun."
"Sure we can," said Lightning Lad, imitating Triplicate Girl's earlier sarcasm. "What are you going to do? Drug him with happy pills?"
Bouncing Boy looked up from his comic with a somewhat fearful look on his face.
"I'd hate to be on his bad side when those drugs wore off."
"What's the worse he could do?"
Superman wondered why his fellow Legionnaires were suddenly looking at him as if he had misspelled his own name.
"Oh, that's right," said Phantom Girl suddenly, "You've never been on Brainy's bad side."
"His annoyed side, maybe, but not his bad side," said Lightning Lad.
"What does he do when you get on his bad side?" asked Timber Wolf.
Timber Wolf and Superman watched, as the other Legionnaires, minus Saturn Girl, looked around horrified and simultaneously shivered.
"Forget I asked," said Timber Wolf.
Flashing lights and sirens filling the room cut off any further conversation they would have had. Soon followed by COMPUTO's voice, which sounded similar to Brainy's, ordering them to evacuate headquarters.
"This is not a drill," COMPUTO continued.
Everyone got up and started to fly towards the exit, except Lightning Lad who began to fly further in.
"This includes you Lightning Lad," announced COMPUTO.
Groaning, Lighting Lad sulkily followed the others out of headquarters.
"Grife, how does he do that?"
Once they were outside the Legionnaires waited and waited, but Brainy did not come out to join them.
"What do you think happened?" asked Superman.
"He probably blew something up again," said Phantom Girl.
Just as Phantom Girl finished saying this the ground shook. They all looked up, spotting a newly exploded hole in the side of the building where Brainy's lab would be and two figures flying out of it, one riding on the other's back.
Even with a gas mask covering her face and with the absence of her formally long hair, Superman recognized the rider and the white robot she was riding right away; Alexis and Woodhouse.
"Alexis," shouted Superman, flying into the air after her.
"Should we follow him?" asked Triplicate Girl.
"Superman can handle himself," said Lightning Lad, waving a dismissing hand at her as he stared at their headquarters. "And he can call if he needs help."
Saturn Girl placed a hand on Lighting Lad's shoulder.
"I'm worried about Brainy too."
Making a face, Lightning Lad didn't bother to shrug off her hand.
"Who said anything about being worried?"
Yet the moment the sirens went off a moment later Lightning Lad flew inside making Saturn Girl exchange smiles with Triplicate Girl as Phantom Girl laughed along with Bouncing Boy.
The others flew in after Lightning Lad, heading towards Brainy's lab.
"COMPUTO, what happened?" asked Bouncing Boy as they flew.
"Gas was released into the ventilation system that was designed to control the minds of humans but would have had different results for other species," said COMPUTO, its voice following them as they went.
"Joy," muttered Phantom Girl. "What would the other results have been?"
"Possible brain damage in most cases with the possibility of fatality in those from the planet Winath," responded COMPUTO.
Lightning Lad almost seemed to speed up at that.
"What about Coluans?"
"Unknown," said COMPUTO.
"Stupid genius trying to get himself killed," muttered Lightning Lad, flying into what remained of Brainy's lab.
During the short amount of time between the siren going off and being deactivated Alexis and her robotic butler, Woodhouse, had torn the lab apart. Nothing looked damaged beyond repair, except for a few weapons thrown about, and one of the computers was flashing Brainy's insignia but there was no sign of their friend.
"Brainy, you here?" called out Bouncing Boy.
Silence was his reply.
"Hold on a sec," said Timber Wolf. He sniffed the air, following it to where one of Brainy's work chairs stood, tucked under the workbench. For a moment he thought he had picked up on an older scent, there was no way Brainy could fit under there with the chair pushed in, but his nose continued to tell him that was where Brainy's scent was strongest. He pulled back the chair and looked underneath it, eyes widening.
Underneath the workbench sat Brainy, pressed against the wall with his knees against his chest and shaking, much smaller then before, but it wasn't just a change of size. He was actually younger, shaking intensifying upon seeing Timber Wolf.
"P-please don't eat me," whimpered Brainy, eyes watering as he tried to back further away, only to find himself trapped in his hideaway.
Timber Wolf could only stare.
"Why would Brainy think you were going to-" began Phantom Girl, coming up beside Timber Wolf and looking under the workbench. She voice trailed off at the sight, her eyes widening right alongside Timber Wolf. She turned to the others, disbelief clear on her face. "Guys, Alexis shrank Brainy."
"Let me see," said Triplicate Girl, coming in between Timber Wolf and Phantom Girl. She kneeled down and smiled at the shaking Brainy. "Hi there cutie, what are you doing under there?"
Not answering Brainy stared at her, sniffing softly as he tried not to cry.
"Please don't cry, nobody here is going to hurt you," said Triplicate Girl. She pulled on Timber Wolf's arm so he would kneel down next to her. "And Timber Wolf is a nice guy. He wouldn't eat anybody."
"Yeah, he's a nice puppy," said Phantom Girl, kneeling down as well and grinning. She ignored Timber Wolf's glare, reaching past Triplicate Girl to pet the furry boy on the head. "And he's so soft. Don't you want to pet him?"
Shaking his head, Brainy wrapped his arms around himself and tried to scoot further back, only to encounter the wall again.
"Well, I guess no one can deny Brainy's the youngest now, right Saturn Girl?" asked Lightning Lad jokingly turning to the girl only to find she was no longer there. "Where she go?"
"She left when Timber Wolf found Brainy, weren't you paying attention?" asked Bouncing Boy.
"Sorry, I was occupied with Timber Puppy over there," said Lightning Lad, his laughter cut short when Timber Wolf turned and glared at him.
Ignoring them, Triplicate Girl continued to smile brightly at Brainy.
"My name is Triplicate Girl. Would you like to play a game with me?"
Brainy shook his head.
"Are you hungry? Timber Puppy makes really good cookies," said Phantom Girl, well aware that Timber Wolf couldn't do anything about her teasing with little Brainy there unless he wanted to look like a bad guy to their shrunken friend.
The little boy looked at Phantom Girl carefully for a while, as if wondering if she could be trusted. In the end he shook his head.
"You guys obviously don't know anything about kids," said Lightning Lad, walking up to the group. "Let me show you what my brother used to do when I wouldn't come out of hiding."
Timber Wolf and the two girls moved away from the opening to let Lightning Lad through.
"Who wants to play airplane?" asked Lightning Lad in an energetic voice, reaching under the desk to grab the boy.
Brainy screamed and the two girls pulled him away, forcing him to stand up again, each smacking him upside the head.
"What made you think that was a good idea?" asked Phantom Girl.
"Hey, I liked it when I was a kid," protested Lightning Lad.
"Did you stop to think that Brainy wouldn't know that playing airplane is not something that would hurt him?" asked Triplicate Girl.
"Er… no," said Lightning Lad softly, tapping his fingers together.
"Who doesn't know much about kids?" asked Bouncing Boy.
Saturn Girl came back into the room with a box in her hand.
"He come out yet?"
"No, and Dim Lightning Bulb here scared him to death," said Phantom Girl.
Lightning Lad bowed his head and stared at his fingers.
Glancing at Lightning Lad, Saturn Girl just rolled her eyes and shook her head. She suggested everyone moved away from the entrance of Brainy's sanctuary and sat herself on a floor a foot away from it. She opened up the box and poured out the pieces to a puzzle, the numerous pieces signifying it was for puzzle solvers at a moderate level.
First Saturn Girl turned all the puzzle pieces over so the colored part faced upwards. She then looked at the cover to see the picture before placing it down beside her. Looking at the pieces she softly hummed.
"I like putting puzzles together. It really challenges my mind to put all the pieces together to make the picture on the cover of the box. Let's see, I think I'll start by putting all the corners at the right places."
Gathering up three of the corners Saturn Girl placed them in front of her to make three parts of the rectangle. She looked at the fourth corner several times, but continued to look around for a while for it.
"I don't see the last corner," said Saturn Girl sadly. She held up the box towards the other girls, knowing that Brainy could see it too. "Do you see the last corner of this picture Triplicate Girl?"
Walking over Triplicate Girl looked over the pieces, her eyes glancing over the last corner twice before she pouted and walked away.
"I don't see it either."
"Isn't there anybody who can help me find the last corner?" asked Saturn Girl.
"Your foot," said a soft voice from under the workbench.
"What did you say?" asked Saturn Girl.
"T-the corner is by your foot," mumbled the voice, just as softly.
Looking by her foot, Saturn Girl 'spotted' the piece and put it in place, smiling brightly.
"Thank you Brainy."
Not saying anything further, Brainy stayed under the bench against the wall.
Continuing her work, Saturn Girl made the outline of the puzzle saying how much fun she was having.
Slowly, Brainy edged away from the wall and more towards the middle of his sanctuary so he could have a better view. He watched, but quickly backed back in when he saw Bouncing Boy looking at him.
Lighting Lad grabbed Bouncing Boy and pulled him to the side so Brainy could no longer see him.
Even more slowly, Brainy edged back out towards the middle of the workbench. Soon he was at the entrance, but was careful not to leave it.
By this time Saturn Girl had filled in some of the outline, but she paused holding a piece in her hand. She sighed.
"I don't know where this one goes. I guess I'll just put it to the side," said Saturn Girl sadly, placing the piece away from her, closer to Brainy.
A few minutes later Brainy poked his head out from underneath the workbench, looking around. He saw that, besides Saturn Girl, most of the Legionnaires were to the side, a good distance away. He looked at the group to the side and then at the puzzle and Saturn Girl. After doing this several more times he ran out of his hiding place, to the puzzle, put the piece into place and ran back in.
Looking at the puzzle, Saturn Girl smiled again.
"Thank you Brainy, I never would have seen that."
Still not saying anything, Brainy stayed in his hiding place, though a little closer to the entrance then when he first started out.
Over the course of the next half an hour Saturn Girl place more pieces to the side and Brainy would run out, put the pieces into place before running back, though he did this a little slower each time. By the time the puzzle was half completed Brainy stayed seated across from Saturn Girl, not realizing that she was mostly letting him do it by himself now.
"It must be hard doing it upside down," said Saturn Girl. "Would you like to sit next to me?"
Pausing in his work, Brainy looked up at the girl curiously. He then glanced over at the other Legionnaires, who were watching their interaction, before moving to sit next to Saturn Girl, on her side further away from them.
They continued working on the puzzle, Saturn Girl congratulating Brainy when he put in the final piece and softly patting him on the head.
Brainy had jumped at the touch, but didn't run away. He watched Saturn Girl for a moment, pure wonder clear on his face before looking almost ashamed of himself, forcing his gaze back down at the completed puzzle.
Instead of removing her hand, Saturn Girl placed it on his shoulder and used her free hand to point at the picture.
"This is Saturn and it's moons," Saturn Girl explained. She pointed to one of the moons and smiled at Brainy. "This one is Titan, my home world, but I go by Saturn Girl."
"I-Is this Titan?" asked Brainy softly, not looking at her.
"No, we're on Earth," said Saturn Girl gently.
"Are they humans then?" asked Brainy, pointing towards the others.
"Only Bouncing Boy is," said Saturn Girl, waving at them until Bouncing Boy waved back. She smiled when Brainy did the same. "The rest of us are from all different places, just like you."
Superman came into the room, looking drained.
"Sorry guys, but Alexis got away. Is Brainy-"
The question died on Superman's lips as he spotted the shrunken boy, he stared and rubbed his eyes but the image remained.
Lightning Lad laughed at the impression Superman was unwittingly doing of a fish out of water.
"You don't need your glasses Superman, Brainy really is smaller then usual."
"Superman?" repeated Brainy. He turned and looked at the newcomer, his eyes widened when he recognized the super suit he had seen in the historical texts numerous times before.
Feeling strange under Brainy's stare Superman nervously waved and said, "Hi."
Brainy screamed and ran back under his workbench.