Author: The lunatic who cares PM
After Wally catches Batman stealing Bruce Wayne's DNA sample from his forensics lab he is detemined to work out why, not knowing that they are one and the same man. Bruce knows who Wally is but isn't willing to reveal his own idenity. BatFlash eventuallyRated: Fiction M - English - Adventure/Romance - Wally W./Flash & Bruce W./Batman - Chapters: 3 - Words: 16,359 - Reviews: 125 - Favs: 177 - Follows: 252 - Updated: 12-19-11 - Published: 08-28-09 - id: 5338173
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Notes: This has been lurking around my computer for some time now, but I got distracted by many other things. I recently, randomly started having a JL craving again and picked this one back up. I have no idea how long it'll take me to finish it, cause I know some of my other fics will take priority... but well, yeah. So this would be set before Starcrossed and will be very much Bat/Flash. EDIT: I have changed this little, as in it is now Kyle Rayner rather than John
He sighed but there was no alternative, no way out of the situation. Every other single customer and member of staff was being swabbed to rule out their DNA from the crime scene and it would look very conspicuous if Bruce Wayne made a huge fuss over such a little thing. Bruce may not have minded, but the man behind Batman hated the idea of his DNA being on file in case some smart alec had Batman's DNA and then stumbled across the match. The dark eyes narrowed. Gotham's finest would have a visitor this night, though they would never notice. One sample of DNA would have just been irrevocably misplaced.
A loud cheerful voice sounded out from further down the line of expensively dressed people who were waiting to be swabbed and Bruce leant forward a little in his seat, trying to find the owner. Cheerful, at a crime scene, wasn't a common occurrence and certainly not in Gotham. A man in a white coat, with a silver case was crouched down, cotton bud in his fingers as he swiped it over the inside of a woman's cheeks. Bruce noted he never stopped talking as he did so, reassuring the woman it was just routine and there, it hadn't taken a moment.
He moved onto the next person as a police officer escorted the woman to the door. The millionaire continued to watch the forensics man work. When he had stood Bruce had calculated him to be shorter than his six foot two, perhaps just six foot and couldn't have missed the shock of red hair.
As he drew closer, Bruce frowned. The voice sounded painfully familiar, just brushing against something in his mind, but he couldn't put his finger on it yet. Where had he heard that voice before, set with that lilt and accent? Pouring through his memories, Bruce had dismissed everyone at his work by the time the scientist reached him and looked up to meet the bright green eyes.
"Good evening," Bruce said levelly.
"Hey," the young man smiled back, crouching on his heels as he dug out another tube with it cotton bud. "Right, so what I'm going to need you to do is…"
"I heard it the last ten times you repeated it."
The young man flushed slightly but nodded cheerfully,
He held up the cotton bud and Bruce obligingly opened his mouth, trying to ignore the horrible dry feeling as the fluff ball was efficiently swiped across one cheek.
"There all done."
As he plopped the stick back in its container, Bruce had this urge to find out exactly who he was. He reasoned it would just annoy him if he didn't know and nothing would stop Bruce Wayne asking someone their name.
"I haven't seen you around before."
The young man looked up sharply, surprise on his face,
"No I'm new. Just covering for someone for a few months. I come from Central City." He pulled a pen and a label out. "Your name please?"
Bruce arched an eyebrow. He really was new if he had to ask that.
"Bruce Wayne and yours?"
Green eyes glanced up momentarily before he started squeezing the name onto the label,
Instant recognition flooded through Bruce and all the little pieces slotted into place. He knew where he'd heard that voice before. He spent an inordinate amount of time in this man's company, only he called himself The Flash then and only knew Bruce as Batman. Flash didn't realise that Bruce knew each member of the Justice League's secret identities, if they had one. Nothing of those thoughts past over his face though and he simply nodded.
"And I'm done!" Wally suddenly announced. "You're my last guy tonight. Better get these babies back to the lab." He lifted the case up as he spoke. Bruce stood as Wally did and held out his hand,
"It was a pleasure to meet you. Hopefully I will have no cause to meet you again, Mr West."
"Please Wally," the man shook his hand, rubber gloves still in place. "And that sounds like a good plan."
Bruce watched him walk away, a small smile on his face. Wally would never know that he had just seen something so many people, including, he suspected, himself, were dying to see; the real face under the Batman mask. As an officer escorted him out the door, Bruce caught a glance of Wally climbing into an SUV with some other crime scene investigators, heading back to Gotham police laboratories, where, in a few hours, Batman would be going.
Batman glanced skywards, waiting for the bright moon to be shrouded by the scuttling clouds. It wasn't the best night to be breaking in to a high security building, but one could argue it kept his skills sharp. As light faded, he cracked up the skylight window, already having disabled the alarm for it, and dropped inside. His photographic memory drew up the layout of building and he silently headed down the corridor, slipped down the stairs one floor and into the analysis department. The lights were off, no one was home this late and he found the door to lab without incident, though someone had taken the care to actually lock the door behind them as they left.
Bruce knelt next to the lock, drawing his equipment from one belt pouch, and set to work. It wasn't a complicated mechanism and the dead lock soon snapped back. He pushed open the door, entered and shut the door behind him with a soft click, before the dark figure headed over to the bench opposite the door, where rows of tubes were set out. Quickly he sorted through them, looking for Bruce Wayne on the labels, but it took up precious time as they appeared to be in no order and there was close to sixty samples.
Just as his fingers closed on the right sample he heard footsteps in the corridor and then the door handle moved. He swung to face the door, sample in hand as a man's voice remarked,
"Huh, I could have sworn I locked that."
The world had to be playing with him as he met Wally's eyes, but he kept a blank face, though Wally couldn't.
"Bats! Errrr I mean, Batman! What are you… Are you stealing my samples?"
Batman slid the test tube into his belt, trying to keep the almost guilty feeling under wraps,
"There is a perfectly good reason for my actions."
Wally frowned, eyes lingering on the belt,
"Which you're not going to tell me."
"How perceptive of you, considering you don't know me."
Wally flushed and Bruce could almost hear the panicked thoughts running around his skull. Flash had always been easy for him to read, but Bruce hadn't realised quite how much emotion past through the younger mans eyes and just how useful the opaque lens on his mask were for hiding them.
Bruce took a step towards Wally and the door, mentally cursing that this was an internal lab with no windows to the outside. Wally straightened immediately, one hand going towards him and Bruce stopped. He had no doubt the other man could take him, if he really wanted to, but that would mean Wally revealing his other identity to Batman. Curiosity made Bruce start walking again. The red haired man didn't move out of his way, but looked decidedly unsure.
"Look, I shouldn't let you take that. You're a good guy aren't you and, anyway, I'll be able to work out which one you've taken once you're gone."
Bruce had to admit that was true and suspected Wally was quick enough to make some connections Bruce really didn't want him making. He had to give him something to chew on, so he dug the vial out of his belt, holding it out so Wally could see the name.
"I give you my word this man is not involved in your case."
The green eyes narrowed as he read the name,
"Maybe, but why are you sneaking in here to steal it, if he's not involved?"
"Because I have an agreement with him. There is information he can provide me with when I need it and return, I do what I need to for him," the tube was returned to his belt.
"That sounds kinda like a bad business deal, if it means you stealing from cops and all," Wally argued, arms folding across his chest.
"I get more from Bruce Wayne than he does from Batman," he didn't mean his voice to sound quite so bitter, but the damage was done and Wally's face softened.
"Guess you have to make the difficult decisions, always do."
The red haired man stepped to one side, showing him the empty doorway. Batman nodded once, as much as he would do to say thank you, stepping past him and into the corridor. As he strode away, he heard a hushed voice say,
"Won't stop me paying this Bruce Wayne a visit though."
Batman disappeared through a door, out of Wally's sight and out of the building, before he let himself think about that last comment. If he couldn't get Wally to stop sniffing around Bruce Wayne, then there was a good chance he would discover the connection between the millionaire and the dark knight of Gotham. Now, whilst it wasn't as disastrous as, say, a crime lord finding out, it would still be more information than Bruce would want someone else having. His trust in people, even those in the Justice League, was tainted and limited.
An image of Flash, smiling and joking, raced through his mind. Everyone discounted the speedster on account of his bad one liners and constant positivity, but Bruce could see beyond that mask to the brave, intelligent man beneath. The dark haired man wore enough of his own masks to see beneath other peoples, but it left him with the distinct impression that getting Flash to leave this alone was going to be nigh impossible, unless the world suddenly had another apocalypse.
An insistent beep and flashing light was his greeting as Bruce entered the Batcave and he stalked over to the console to punch open the connection to the Watchtower. J'onn's face appeared on the monitor.
"Batman. We have an emergency, just outside of Gotham."
Bruce bit back a noise of frustration and nodded,
"Send me the co-ordinates and I shall be there as quickly as I can."
J'onn tapped something out and the numbers appeared on the screen. Bruce quickly downloaded them to his car,
"Who else is attending?"
"I have sent Green Lantern and Flash, as the others are currently battling a forest fire in southern Australia," J'onn replied. "I shall stay here in case I am needed else where."
Bruce later decided, as he dodged a thrown car and rolled to the nearest cover, tonight was not going well. Flash zoomed past the monsters legs, distracting it for long enough for Green Lantern to knock it off its feet with a green fist. The thing simply bellowed angrily and climbed straight back to its three feet, hurling a car at the hovering hero.
"I get knocked down, but I get up again. You're never gonna keep me down."
"Flash that is not helping," Bruce muttered as the red body dived into his cover.
"Aw c'mon Bats," Flash grinned. "It's our monster theme tune!"
"How about, instead of giving him tunes, you find a way to defeat him?" Bruce asked dryly.
"Already have. Watch."
With that he sped off, weaving his way down the chaotic street to plough into one of the things legs, making it take a step back. It shrieked in pain and wrenched its foot up immediately. For a moment Bruce thought Flash had hurt it with his strike, but then he saw the liquid dripping off the bottom of its foot.
"Yup!" Flash skidded to a stop beside him. "Can't stand the stuff apparently."
Bruce narrowed his eyes, searching the street until he found what he wanted,
"Get him next to the hydrant, I'll blow it and Lantern can create a bubble around it so it can't escape the water."
"On it!" Flash gave him a thumbs up. "Hey GL, rolling out a plan here. Get ready!"
"Do I get to know about this plan first?" Kyle asked as he zigzagged around in the air, eyes never leaving the grey monster.
"You'll catch on," was the response a red blur moved in on the three legs, targeting one, then the next, driving the beast down the road until it was next to the hydrant. Batman threw the batarang with his usual perfect aim, giving the lightning quick hero plenty of time to get out of the way. There was a bright flare of light and a boom as the top of the hydrant was blown apart. A jet of water rocketed skywards, spraying the monster with liquid. It screeched and began to move away from the water, but a green barrier stopped it abruptly. Flash had been perfectly right about Kyle catching on, because the barrier curved around every side of the monster and the opaque bubble quickly filled with water.
"Ouch," Flash remarked as he drew to a halt next to Batman. "Not a nice way to go, drowning in what amounts to acid for butt ugly there."
"The being didn't appear to have any sentience and I'm not having a rogue killing machine wandering around Gotham. I have enough to deal with."
"Jees, grumpy tonight Bats. Drop off the ceiling the wrong way, or something, tonight?" Flash smirked.
Bruce flashed him an irritated look that was hidden by his mask. Even so, Flash seemed to be able to read it and his smile grew. Bat bating was so much fun, even if Batman could be really creepy sometimes. Green Lantern landed beside the pair, wiping sweat from his brow as they watched the monster dissolved into a sludge puddle that slowly oozed away down the drain.
"One disaster averted. You got here quick Wally, J'onn said you were already in the area," Kyle let the green light fade.
One red shoulder shrugged,
"I was out for a run." Flash held out his hands, gesturing around. "It kinda gets boring running around the same city all the time."
"Lantern to Watchtower," Kyle pressed his finger to his comm., rolling his eyes at Flash.
"We melted the monster. How are the others doing?"
"Superman just reported in. The fire has been contained and they are putting the last of it out at the moment. You can return to the Watchtower."
"Score for the good guys!" Flash punched the air. "Man, I'm hungry. Hey Bats, anywhere good to eat round here?"
"A few, but they are either overly expensive or I wouldn't recommend you going there."
"Not friendly neighbourhoods?" Flash glanced around.
"Gotham isn't known for its welcoming attitude," Batman replied dryly.
"You really gotta work on that Bats," a red hand patted Bruce's shoulder before it was whisked away. Flash snapped his fingers. "I just remembered. I've got a house call to make."
"Visting the kids again?" Kyle asked, referring to the orphanage that Flash regularly took time out to drop in on.
The young man just smiled in response before he zipped off. Bruce had a very good idea just where Flash was heading and was already running calculations on how long the other man would have been at Wayne Manor before he got home. Poor Alfred. The Dark Knight nodded farewell to Green Lantern as he rose into the air, heading back to his car.
It didn't take long for him to secure the Batmobile, change clothes and slip up the stairs into the mansion proper. He paused, listening, and identified that there were voices coming from the main lounge down the corridor and Bruce swiftly walked towards them. As he came through the doorway, Alfred met his eyes, a slightly relived look in his eyes and politely interrupted the flow of words pouring from their guest.
"Mr West, Mr Wayne has arrived now. I shall leave you to discuss business," Alfred dipped his head slightly before disappearing out the room.
Wally turned to face Bruce, a cheerful grin on his face,
"You didn't tell me you lived in a castle."
Bruce smiled slightly,
"Most people in Gotham know about Wayne Manor." Wally shrugged and the millionaire continued. "So what can I do for you, Wally?"
The smile faded somewhat and the red haired man spoke seriously,
"What about him?" Bruce feigned ignorance.
"I caught him stealing your sample out of the police lab earlier this evening and he said he had an agreement with you."
Bruce gestured to another door,
"Ah yes, that. Would you like to play a game of pool while we talk?"
"You've got a pool table?" Wally followed Bruce through into the games room. "Wait, stop distracting me."
Bruce racked up the balls and handed Wally a cue,
"I wouldn't do that. You can break."
"Fine, we can play it your way," Wally scowled as he vigorously rubbed the green chalk onto the cue tip before bending down to line up his shot. "So come on, why's Batman stealing your DNA out of police labs?"
Bruce leant against the edge of the table, chalking up his own cue,
"We have an agreement."
There was a sharp crack as Wally hit the cue ball, sending it racing down the table, where it scattered the balls wildly around the table and potting a striped ball. He grinned before shaking his head,
"Yeah he said that."
"It wouldn't be very good if I told random strangers about my business deals now would it?" Bruce watched Wally line up his next shot.
"I'm not a random stranger."
"No?" a dark eyebrow quirked skyward.
"Nah, you know my name, I know yours. I'm playing pool in your castle…"
"Manor," Bruce corrected.
The younger man missed his shot and let Bruce take over.
"Random partial stranger."
Wally twirled the pool cue,
"Yeah, well, alright, got me on that one."
Bruce potted a spotted ball and began lining up another before Wally levelled his cue at him from across the table. The dark haired man raised his eyebrows at him but continued with his shot anyway.
"You said you wouldn't distract me. Stop getting me off topic! Batman!"
"I told you I don't tell strangers about my business deals," a spotted ball thunked into a pocket.
"I could call the police in on this, tell them what I saw, what Batman said."
Bruce smiled broadly,
"It would be your word against the word of a masked man who's rarely seen in public and trying to connect that to me, well good luck with that."
The red haired man tapped the butt of his cue against the floor in an annoying way,
"So you're not going to tell me and deny ever having any connections to Batman."
"You seem to be out of options," Bruce missed his next shot and let Wally take over again.
"Not quite," a cheeky smile lit up the younger man's face and green eyes glanced up at him. Bruce raised an eyebrow as he leant one hip against the table and waited. He knew he had more patience than Wally and he wasn't wrong because Wally was soon opening his mouth to tell him what he had thought of. "You said you wouldn't tell a stranger, so I'll just have to hang around enough not to be."
"An uninvited guest on a regular basis, Alfred will be thrilled," Bruce answered deadpan.
"See another reason why you live in a freaking castle, you have a freaking butler!" Wally waved his cue at him.
"He certainly will be freaking shortly," Bruce quipped, feeling a real smile settle onto his face. It felt good to be more himself around Wally. Flash was always kind and open to everyone and getting to know the man behind the mask was actually pleasurable.
Wally couldn't help the answering grin on his face when Bruce smiled properly for the first time. This Bruce wasn't quite who he expected him to be. As soon as he had seen the size of the house he'd been waiting for a snobby person to tell him to get lost, but the butler, Alfred, had merely invited him in and stayed with him, making polite conversation until Bruce had arrived. The dark haired millionaire was clever, far cleverer than Wally would have given him credit for. He'd done a little back ground check before he'd sped over here and the word was playboy, flashy with his money, always with a girl in tow and a fast car to drive. This Bruce seemed down to earth, quick and with a dead pan sense of humour Wally found appealing, but there was something, beneath all of that, which seemed dark. He was hiding one hell of a secret, the red head was positive on that one and considering he was here because of Batman, well it had to do with that. Wally wasn't the detective Batman was, but he worked in forensics. He could put a trail of clues together into one whole picture and this Bruce Wayne wasn't getting away from him that easily.