A/N: so my og note was going to be "rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated" cause people was saying on facebook that I died (which is wack y'all lmao don't do that) but then I did almost die last weekend so uh. I guess those rumors aren't so greatly exaggerated after all? and now I get to be one of those fic authors that says "sorry for the wait but it's because I almost died nbd anyways here's the next chapter!" :)
also I graduated college and moved very far and started a job. anyways hi how's 2022 been! & go check out "The Bruce List" on my profile for more Danny shenanigans. -hawk
Martian Manhunter was, so far, the strangest person that Danny had escorted to meet a wisher.
Rather, talking to him was actually… refreshingly normal. Danny wasn't being threatened, challenged, or teased. It was just a straightforward conversation about their interests and lives that segued into discussing what the meeting would be like. Really, Manhunter was the most mannered super that Danny had met.
The oddness of the situation came from the people around them. Everyone was staring. It wasn't even this bad when he brought Selina into the heart of Gotham, and she was known by many to be a villain.
It just came down to the fact that Manhunter was the most elusive founding member of the Justice League.
Danny understood the want and need for privacy. There were some moments he wished he could go back to before his life spiraled into the chaos it was now, that he could open Twitter or the news without seeing images of himself. Manhunter avoided this by rarely appearing in his natural form outside of battles or formal League business. He simply disappeared into the faceless masses.
So really, it made sense that the world would stop to gawk at the tall green alien casually walking into a hospital next to the Villain Wrangler.
"If it would put you at ease, I can disguise myself until we are ready to meet the child," Manhunter broke the silence between them. At Danny's sidelong glance, he smirked. "Your shoulders are very tense. Am I wrong in assuming it is due to the attention I am drawing?"
Danny waved off his concern. "The attention we're drawing. Don't sound so conceited and make it all about you," he joked. "But really, it's fine. This is quite literally my job and the only time I'd tell you to shift would be for safety purposes."
Manhunter watched him carefully as Danny showed his identification badge and led them past the checkpoint and up the stairs. "Not the elevator?"
"Other than leaving them free for staff and patients? Fewer exit points, and both of us are physically able to climb them. The Batbrats agree that training never stops so… I'm practicing what they preach."
"It is good to build habits early. I would also add that staircases enable you to take the higher ground in a fight."
"Huh. Good point. Thanks."
Manhunter nodded as they exited the staircase.
Aileen was waiting for them when they reached her room, fingers tapping out a drumbeat on the armrests of her chair until she caught sight of her hero. She cut off her shriek of joy by clamping both hands over her mouth. Her mom and the attending nurse both laughed at her reaction but quickly turned worried as Aileen began struggling to rise from her seat.
"Please, Mrs. Morton." Time in the room seemed to pause as Manhunter raised his hand for them all to wait. "Telekinesis is one of my abilities. There is no need for concern if Aileen begins to fall– while I am here, I will be able to help her push her limits without fear of injury. Let her stand by herself."
"See, Mom? Even Martian Manhunter agrees with me!" Aileen stuck her tongue out at her mother before gritting her teeth together and finally pulling herself to her feet.
"Mr. Manhunter isn't your doctor, honey," Mrs. Morton said with a tired yet fond sigh. "Now be polite and thank him and Mr. Johnson for coming."
"Mooooom stop, you're embarrassing me!" She hissed.
"It's alright," Danny cut in. No point in his wishee getting grounded at the start of a visit. "Aileen's the star of this show."
"Ha! The Villain Wrangler's on my side too!" She put her hands on her hips proudly but the movement sent her wobbling. Danny could pinpoint the moment that Martian Manhunter took over to help steady her. "Woah… that feels like i'm surrounded by jello!"
A surprised Martian Manhunter. Now Danny could say he'd seen everything.
"I must admit, i've never had anyone describe it that way before."
"You need to hang out around more entertaining people," Aileen shook her head in mock disappointment.
"Perhaps they could take lessons from you," the alien countered.
"I'm not sure they could handle my criticisms."
"You're likely correct," he agreed. "You'd be a force to reckon with."
"That's what I've been saying! You pass the vibe check. Now c'mon: I've been wanting to walk around for ages, but figured I should wait until you were here to ask for advice on what I was doing wrong– 'cause you change your body shape, right? So I thought you must know then what it's like to relearn how to walk when the legs don't feel like your own even though they are actually your own."
Manhunter's eyes brightened. "You are correct, Aileen. It takes years of training and experience shifting into different forms to become accustomed to it. When I was younger, I would often use my telekinesis to hover just above the ground and pretend to walk instead."
"But if I continued in that fashion, I would never truly learn and increase my ability, would I?"
"Can you show me how you did it, and then we can take that away a little bit at a time?" Aileen offered.
"That's an excellent idea."
Danny was standing in the hallway watching Manhunter and Aileen make slow and steady rounds around the ward when he immediately clocked in on a man walking in their general direction. His button-up shirt and pants were enough to pass as IT or clerical staff, but the way his eyes flitted at each beep and chime from the machines in the ward let Danny know that this person was not used to a hospital setting. He was far too unsure of himself and seemed to be looking for something.
Danny stepped into his path. "You look a little lost. Can I help you?"
The confusion cleared when he surveyed Danny. "Yes, actually! You're just who I was looking for. My contact said I was to meet both of you here…"
"Both of us?" Somehow, Danny knew exactly what the answer was going to be even as he asked.
He sighed and turned to see Bruce fucking Wayne standing behind him. "Thanks for the advance notice."
"Consider yourself notified now. Come on, Kent."
The man gave Danny a sheepish smile. "Clark Kent, reporter for the Daily Planet. It's nice to meet you." Danny shook his hand hesitantly as an insistent itch grew behind his eyes. He knew this man. Why did he know this man?
Then he watched as Clark Kent brushed past him and walked just slightly behind Bruce Wayne, who led the way to a conference room at the end of the hall… and it clicked. The walks, the stances, the broad shoulders– Danny didn't believe in coincidences at this point, and he was certain now was not about to be an exception.
He caught the door before it shut and slid into the room after them. "Is there anyone listening in?" He asked, barring the door by shoving a chair up underneath the doorknob.
"Not actively," Mr-Innocent-Reporter replied smoothly.
Bruce rolled his eyes and sighed. "You just confirmed it for him."
Clark's gaze darted back to danny before he turned his glare on bruce. "You didn't tell him? I thought he was just acting!"
"Since when does he tell anyone anything?!" Danny whisper-shouted.
Bruce shrugged, ignoring Danny. "He knows now."
"You've got to be fucking kidding me— Superman is a newspaper reporter?! Somehow this is worse than the rest of you! You," he pointed at Bruce, "you're a billionaire so you're already 'not normal,' Diana is a historian— which I think is cheating if she lived through some of it, but whatever— and Superman is out here writing articles about himself?!"
"Well, actually, Lois usually does those…" Clark-Superman-whoever started to say, but Danny didn't want to hear any of it.
"No. Nope. I don't want to know. Next thing, you'll be telling me Manhunter is the president!"
"I can be if the situation calls for it," the shapeshifter spoke up from behind Danny in an eeriely cloned voice of the politician. Danny jumped away from him with a yelp, smacking his knee against the table.
"Fucking hell! Could you give a warning next time before you phase through the wall?!"
"How is he going to warn first–"
"He has two functioning hands, he can knock!"
Bruce coughed loudly into his fist. "I didn't come here for this drama."
"Yeah, I'm sure you get enough of that at the manor."
"Johnson. Come talk to me when you're done here."
"Fine. Wait… done with what, specifically?" He was learning. The Sirens would be proud when he told them.
Bruce raised a single brow as if daring him to argue. "The Daily Planet is here to report on how World of Wishes is thriving under Wayne Enterprise's management. What good timing, seeing how Martian Manhunter of the Justice League is doing outreach with the foundation at the same time."
All three men stared at Bruce with varying levels of respect.
"You're good," Danny begrudgingly admitted.
Bruce Wayne brushed nonexistent dust off his jacket lapels and made his way to the door, pulling the chair away without blinking an eye. "Like I said: come talk to me when you're done here." He shut the door with finality, leaving Danny in an awkward silence with the strangest group he'd been amongst in quite some time.