Disclaimer: I don't own Justice League or its characters.
This was inspired by the movie Justice league: War. It's set after the battle but before the end of the movie. For those who haven't seen it, I guess it also can go along with the New 52 JL comic.
"Can't believe we're stuck with cleaning duties," Hal complained as soon as his feet touched the ground, landing at Flash's side.
"It's not that bad. Besides, we're partially responsible for some of the damage. It's only fair we help clean it up."
"Are you saying we are to blame for this shit? 'Cause let me tell you I didn't just go up against hundreds of flying zombies just for kicks, buddy."
Barry's eyes widened behind his mask. "What!? No! Of course not. I just meant, no other city got the kind of property damage that Metropolis did since no one dared to confront them elsewhere and they didn't seem particularly interested in attacking buildings and stuff."
Hal arched an eyebrow behind his mask.
"... Not that it was our fault, of course. We had to stand up against them if we wanted to stop them, right?" Barry smiled weakly. "And Darkseid did come here on his own, right? We had to fight him ... Though maybe he came for Superman."
"Nice going, Bar. You sure know how to put your foot all the way into your mouth." Hal chuckled softly as he caught sight of the faint pink tint visible in the part uncovered by the speeder's mask.
"Shut up." He replied without heat. "I just think it's nice that we can help with this too. It would be kinda mean to leave regular people to fix this mess when we have the means to make an efficient and quicker job."
"Guess you have a point there, but what about Shazam, huh? He just up and left with that ridiculous excuse of a "hot date." And Bats is gone too."
Barry looked around, surprised to notice Batman was in fact nowhere to be seen. But then again, he hadn't been paying special attention to anything or anyone in particular. He remembered having seen Bats around a few times, though.
"Well, he doesn't have any powers so it's not like he's really indispensable for this part." Barry shrugged. "Besides, he didn't seem too keen on letting people see him so it makes sense that he vanished."
Life didn't stop in Metropolis -not even after a failed attempt at an alien invasion- so there was police officers, firefighters, a few stray reporters, and even civilian volunteers working alongside them to get the city (and especially the battle zone) into a semi-functional order, at least for the time being.
"Funny how he didn't care about not having powers when he went to rescue Superman, but he does when it comes to the boring part, huh?"
"I don't think it's fair to compare the ability to infiltrate an enemy base and fight some of those monsters with the ability to lift chunks of concrete that weight 300 or 600 pounds."
"Of course you don't. Fanboy."
Barry sighed. "You can go if you want to. We've already advanced a great deal and it looks like Superman and Wonder Woman are going to stay a while."
"Lucky bastard. He's the only one who got something good out of this mess." Hal glared only half-heartedly at the blue blur flying a few yards away from where they stood. And no, Hal's grudge had nothing to do with their previous battle. Or the fact he got the girl. Not at all.
"That's not exactly true, you know," Barry pointed out. "I mean, we got people to stop being scared of us. That's a good thing. A big, amazing thing."
"That's great, but I'm Green Lantern. People don't fear Green Lantern. They love Green Lantern."
Barry rolled his eyes, "Sure."
A grimace of pain flashed across Hal's face when his injured arm was jolted by his movement. The bright cast construction was still firmly in place, but that did nothing against the pain he had been ignoring for hours now.
Flash didn't miss it, of course.
"Are you okay?"
"Fine," Hal bit out.
Barry watched him, concern clear in his blue eyes. "You didn't actually make that worse during the fight, did you? Or helping around?"
"Nah, don't worry," Hal dismissed easily. "Shocking, I know, but I actually know how to take care of myself."
"Why don't you show that by leaving already to get that fixed out?"
"I will, Mom," Hal muttered, rolling his eyes. "Are you planning to stay?"
"Uh, yeah? For a little bit, at least," Barry replied, rubbing the back of his neck. "Can't exactly lift heavy chunks myself either, so I'll just finish getting the smallest shards away from the roads before going home."
Hal sighed. He didn't feel comfortable leaving Barry by himself. Sure, Supes and his Amazon girlfriend were still here, but they were too busy showing off to each other to watch Barry's back.
"Guess I'll stick around to help you then."
Almost an hour passed before Hal took to the air, watching the red blur heading toward Central City disappear from view. Barry had run to where Superman had been floating to bid him farewell, making the guy land down, and he two of them had been shortly joined by the Amazon chick. They exchanged a few words and shook hands before Barry took off.
There was no way in hell Hal was going to do that. He left the friendly act and easy banter for Barry. So, he stayed away from the new boyfriends and started flying away slowly, taking the opportunity to survey the area more thoroughly before leaving.
Barry was right, of course. They helped a great deal.
While there was no doubt in Hal's mind that the reconstruction was going to take time (though perhaps not as much if Superman was going to offer his help), they turned the wreckage left by those armored alien zombies into an annoying, but endurable mess the citizens of Metropolis could navigate through.
The same couldn't be said for the people who lost their lives tonight, but there was nothing they could do about that.
It was mostly pure luck he caught the slight shift of movement out of the corner of his eye as he flew. It came from the rooftop of a tall building; away from the streets where most of the people were working, but still within range of the area that had turned into a battlefield.
Hal had to give the guy some credit because Metropolis was most definitely not Gotham, and yet the Bat had found a shadow to hide in.
He shook his head, feeling his smile widen as he flew toward the building, coming to a halt in front of the figure crouched near the edge of the rooftop. The white lenses of Batman's cowl were narrowed to slits as he looked downward.
"Hiya there, Spooky. Need a lift?"
"You sure about that?" Hal asked with a cocked eyebrow. "'Cause I distinctly remember flying you here and Big Blue over there is too busy making heart eyes at his new girlfriend to be nice and come offer his services. And it's not like you can just hitch a ride back with some good Samaritan."
The silence that followed was filled with the soft whisper of the long cape billowing behind the crouched figure. The Bat's jaw was clenched tightly and his eyes were still staring straight ahead even though Hal was hovering in front of him, effectively blocking whatever it was he had been watching.
"Unless maybe you plan to ditch the costume and borrow some clothes again." No reaction. "Or what's the great plan here, huh? You gonna jump from rooftop to rooftop until you reach Gotham? Or maybe use your beloved sewers. And okay, I'm sure you can do any of that, but it would be royally stupid when I'm nicely offering to fly you back."
"Why," Was the Bat's only growled reply.
"Why I'm offering? 'Cause I'm a nice guy. And I flew you here so I feel kinda bad about leaving you stranded."
A sound that sounded suspiciously like a snort came from the dark and freaky figure in the rooftop. Hal watched Batman rise to his feet in one fluid movement, narrowed eyes behind white lenses coming to meet his own.
The sight was ridiculous, there was no question about that.
There was just no way a grown man -an ordinary man- dressed up as a giant bat, with pointy ears and a big cape to complete the costume would look any other way. And yet. And yet there was something else. Hal wasn't sure what it was. Maybe the shadows. Maybe the broad shoulders and scowl. Or maybe the lingering sensation that the being before him wasn't just a man. That it was something else...
Not that he was intimidated by him or anything like that. There was no reason for him to be. He had a power ring, for fucks sake! He could wipe the floor with this non-Dracula dude without even breaking a sweat, no matter how tough the guy looked or thought he was. Of course, that didn't mean he couldn't appreciate why common criminals in Gotham were intimidated by the Bat.
Not that even that fear stopped them from killing and causing havoc all around the city anyway.
"I have a plane, Lantern."
"Seriously, what the hell? Batman is supposed to be an urban legend and yet you have a fucking plane." Hal crossed his arms across his chest. "Let me tell you how much that makes sense, and that's none."
The corner of the Bat's lips did a weird twitchy thing but was gone in the blink of an eye. It couldn't be called a smirk, much less a smile, but there had been some amusement there.
Hal's senses automatically went on full alert as soon as he saw the dark aircraft heading their way. He didn't relax or turn away, not even when only two seconds later his brain was helpfully pointing out it was most likely the plane Bats mentioned.
It landed with a soft sound just a couple of feet away from where Batman was standing, making the dark cape flow even more. The plane had the aspect of a military aircraft, but not quite. It wasn't like any other flying thing Hal had ever seen before, and he had seen some very crazy shit. The top hatch opened up silently to reveal the empty cockpit seat.
Autopilot, Hal added distractedly to the mental list he was already making in his head. He was itching to fly toward the plane to take a closer look, but somehow he didn't think Mr. Dark and Paranoiac would be okay with that. He didn't seem like the kind that liked to share his toys.
That didn't stop him from eyeing the plane, even from a distance.
Hal wasn't a pilot only because he loved flying. And okay, that was pretty much like 90% of the reason why, but he also loved any kind of aircraft, plain and simple. He wasn't exactly a master on fixing them up or anything like that, but he knew his way around them pretty well.
He supposed that feeling equaled -or at least was similar- to how most men felt about fast and flashy expensive cars. And he actually got paid for flying some pretty damn good planes, so there was that.
As the Bat jumped into the cockpit, Hal couldn't help but think he could have gotten a pretty spectacular view of the guy's ass were it not for the dark cape pooling over his shoulders. He wasn't sure if that was a good or a bad thing.
"Nice ride, Bats. You must be pretty well loaded to have a plane like that at your beck and call, or at least have some great rich friends to pay for it. And there's also the thing about you owning a satellite too."
Hal was pretty damn sure he didn't imagine the little tug at the corner of the Bat's mouth.
"I do alright,"
"Sure you do. Wayne, was it?" Hal grinned as the man's clenched his jaw. Bet he was already regretting taking off the cowl. "Well pal, it was nice to know you exist, I suppose, but I better get going."
"You need to get that arm looked at."
"Why, Bats, didn't know you cared." Batman wasn't even looking at him anymore, watching- or pretending to be watching something in the control panel. Right. "Well, now that the world knows you're real I guess I'll be seeing you around. Right, Spooky?"
Hal was pretty sure the blue eyes hidden behind the white lenses of the cowl were watching him as the hatch closed slowly around Batman, so he met his gaze straight on, waving lazily with a smirk on his face.
As Hal watched the black aircraft lift to the air and take off as fast and silently as it had arrived, he made a mental note to look up who that Bruce Wayne dude was. It could be important to know that, or at the very less entertaining.
But first, he needed to get home and rest. He shook his head before flying toward Coast city.
Between aliens -both good and bad-, bats, lighting boys and cyborgs, it sure as hell had been a pretty interesting night.
a/n: I was inspired to write this little fic after re-watching JL:War a few months ago, but didn't get around to finish it until now, after watching the panels of the latest Justice League issue. It was such an explosion of Bruce-Hal feels and I loved it. Really, you don't even have to ship them to appreciate it. So, of course I went back to this right way. I hope you enjoyed it!
English is not my native language, so any tips or corrections are welcome.