Percy received a message from Kaldur the day after returning to the surface. He thanked Percy for allowing them to use his home, and informed him that the crisis had been dealt with and the League returned to their normal selves. He also apologized for what had happened and for the intrusion on his life. He confessed that he had not known of Canary's relationship with Percy, and swore that he would have said something had he known.
Percy wasn't sure if he believed the kid, but he was grateful for the sentiment nonetheless.
Percy had not been idle in his time off.
He got out of his car at the top of the abandoned parking garage. It was exceedingly early in the morning. The sun had not yet begun to rise and Percy was not due to Gordon's office for some time. He checked his watch, and on cue, there was a flurry of fabric rubbing together. Turning his head, Percy addressed the man he had contacted.
"You said we needed to talk," said Batman, and Percy nodded, quashing the surge of anger in his chest. Without a word, Percy passed over a small file. Batman took it, opened it, and began scanning the contents.
"How did you get this?" He asked,
"I have my ways," said Percy, and Batman seemed to understand that he wasn't going to be getting any more than that.
"How certain are you of the accuracy of this?" Asked Batman,
"Completely," said Percy,
"Does this have to do with information I've obtained that Lady Shiva has disappeared?" Asked Batman, and Percy shrugged in response. As far as he was concerned, he'd done what he was morally obligated to do, and he was done here. He turned, intent on getting back to his car and getting breakfast before his shift in the morning.
"Be careful," warned Batman, and Percy turned around,
"Pardon?" Said Percy, turning around,
"The Shadows are still after you," said Batman, "They won't stop. Regardless of whether you care or not, they will be relentless in their pursuit of you. Watch your back."
"Thanks for the heads up," said Percy, "But I'm capable of looking out for myself,"
"I know," said Batman, putting the folder away in a pocket in his cape, "But all the same. They are not to be underestimated. Half-god or not, you're as vulnerable to a bullet as anyone."
"Something like that," said Percy, "If there's nothing else…"
"There is, actually," said Batman, "Gordon is going to have an offer to you today when you go in. I suggest you think about it seriously."
Percy arched an eyebrow, but didn't respond. Turning on his heel, he got back into his car. By the time he turned the ignition, Batman was gone.
One-Police Plaza was empty that morning. Not a surprise, given that it was still relatively early. Gordon had asked that Percy and Montoya come in to see him early. Montoya's car was already parked and empty by the time Percy got there, so he proceeded into the building alone.
Walking into Gordon's office, he was greeted by the unusual sight of not just Gordon and Montoya, but Batman and Dent as well.
"Did I miss something?" Asked Percy as he walked in and took his usual seat beside Montoya,
"Deadshot's gone," said Gordon blandly, and Percy's stomach dropped, "Escaped during prisoner transfer to Belle Reve. Killed three of his guards and took off."
"Fucking hell," groaned Percy, sliding down in his seat and covering his face with his hands, "This shit cannot keep happening to us."
"Funny you say that," said Dent, walking around the desk to stand next to Percy. Lowering his hands, Percy met the man's gaze and sat up straighter in the chair. He gazed around the room, and got the sneaking suspicion that everyone in there knew something that he didn't.
"I can't help feel like I'm missing something here." Said Percy,
"That's because you are," said Dent, clapping Percy on the shoulder and striding over to the window. "This mess with Falcone…it's getting out of hand. It needs to be stopped. We have evidence, but nowhere near enough to get the slime bastard. We need something concrete, something legitimate that links him to the rest of the family." He glanced over his shoulder,
"That's where you come in," said Gordon,
"Pardon?" Said Percy,
"We want you to go undercover," explained Gordon, "With the family."
"Okay…" said Percy slowly, his brain taking a minute to process the request, "Small problem with that. Pretty sure I'm as high up on Falcone's shit-list as you are sir,"
"You do have a habit of making enemies," chuckled Gordon, "But that's where he comes in," he gestured over to Batman, who stepped forward and handed over a small item to Percy. It was a simple leather necklace with intricate runes carved in elegant, multi-colored beads. The necklace looked oddly familiar, he just couldn't place where he knew it from.
"That's an enchanted necklace," explained Batman, "Courtesy of Zatara of the Justice League. It casts an illusion over the wearer, making them appear but to select few, as someone else entirely."
"Y'all have clearly thought this thing through," said Percy in an undertone as he stared at the necklace, "Just one question, why me? I've only been here a couple of months,"
"Because your disposable," said Dent with a shrug,
"Harvey!" Snapped Gordon, and Percy snorted,
"What?" Said Dent, "He's the only one here without parents, a spouse of one form or another, or any friends outside of Renee I'm guessing. He knows it,"
"Doesn't mean you have to say it, jackass," muttered Percy, even though the man was right.
"The actual reason," said Gordon with a glare at Dent, "Is because you're a wanted man. This arrived this morning." He slid something across the desk, and Percy picked it up. It was his headshot from when he had been in the military, with a large red "X" over his face. It wasn't subtle, but then again, neither was Falcone.
"Sir-" Percy began,
"I know, I know," said Gordon dismissively, "I know what you're going to say, but just hear me out, please. I've lost too many people to these dirtbags. This isn't the first of these kinds of messages I've seen, and i don't doubt that it won't be the last. I'm not going to make you take the job, but I am going to ask. These people are relentless. Odd as it is to say it, the safest place for you to be right now, is in the family."
Percy looked up, and very briefly met the eyes of Batman, who nodded subtly at him.
So that was what this was about. This wasn't about the Falcone family. It was about the Shadows. Percy wouldn't have been surprised if it had been the Bat who put him up to it. Whether it was to get Percy out of the way, or whether because he genuinely was looking out for Percy's safety was difficult to discern.
But that left a question. Did he accept.
He almost sighed.
He knew what the answer would be without even having to think about it. If it meant putting Falcone away for good…
It was worth it.
Silver Deserved that much.
"I'll do it."
AN: And there we have it! This is officially the end of the first book of the series! Thank you all for staying with me for so long on this journey, I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! Now I know you're going to be asking when the new story will be up, and I do not know yet. I'm going to be taking a minor break from updating for a bit just so I can rebuild my stockpile of chapters, but I will promise that the sequel to this story will be on my priority list. If you want updates on what stories I'm working on or when I plan on publishing the new story or even just want to chart, head over to my profile and type the link in the description into your URL to get to my discord page where I hang out and scare around with other writers and readers. Thanks again for all of the love and support, hope you had a happy holidays, and I love you all so very much!