The Last Dance
by IronRaven

Disclaimer: Batman, Wonder Woman, The Justice League, Teen Titans, and related entities, characters and concepts are the property of DC Comics. This continuum was developed by Bruce Timm.

A slightly different result to the start of Here After.


Superman's vision tunneled around the sight of the oversized head before him, his hand holding Toyman's shirt tightly, shaking the misshapen psychotic like a rag doll. The thin, child-like screams and pleas of pain and fear couldn't cut through the vision of Batman and Wonder Woman, Bruce and Diana, disintegrating. Kal'el could hear the inner echo of his own scream as he felt his hair stand on end from the ionized air left in the wake of the green energy blast.

An inhumanly strong, green hand grabbed Superman's wrist, the fingers digging into his tendons, slowly forcing the hand open. J'onn's voice cut the haze, loud both inside and outside Superman's head as the midget criminal fell to the ground. "Enough, that is enough."

I could have saved them. "No, it isn't."

"They would not have wanted you to do this, to abandon your principles like this for them."

Kal'el looked down, at the unconscious body sprawled at his feet. From under the cracked, chipped mask, a thin line of crimson flowed, while one arm bent unnaturally between shoulder and elbow. Looking at his hands, they were unmarked by blood, pure to the eye. His world spun as he looked around, just in time to see Kalibek fall from a powermace to the back of the head.

Stumbling, the Man of Steel moved to were he had last seen his teammates, the others gathering with him. Batman had been digging Wonder Woman free from the debris, when Toyman selected them. It had be a taunt, a goad to lure him into a position to be killed. He should have been able to make it in time. A tenth of a second, not even that much time, was all that separated their deaths from his. Where they had been, a sphere had been bitten from the world, its edges smooth and melted.

Nothing. Not a strand of hair, not a scrap of fabric. There was nothing left of his friends.


Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, opened her eyes, breaking her meditation. Then her eyes opened wider as the Flame of Hera, which had burned for thousands of years, shrank to little more than a candle flicker. In the distance, the horses in the pasture screamed in terror, while it seemed as if every bird on Thermascera cried out in panic.


Outside, several of subjects called for her, running to the temple. But their Queen could not hear them. She could only remember the weight of her infant Little Sun and Stars in her arms, so many years ago. A weight they would never again feel.


Numbly, Alfred Pennyworth turned off the television. For many long minutes, he stared in silence at, or rather through, the wall.

It was bound to happen at some point. Master Bruce had only been human. He may have been in the top one-tenth of one percent of human intellect and physical fitness, but he was only one mortal man, with one life to live. Or to loose.

Slowly, Alfred levered himself to his feet, feeling everyone one of his years. Yes, it had been anticipated. Walking painfully down the hall, to the study, Alfred opened a hidden safe. From within, his hand drew out a thick, red envelope. Opening it, he looked at the first page, a list of names. The list of those to attend the private portion of the Last Will and Testament of Bruce Wayne. Lifting the telephone, he stared at it for a moment, as if it were an alien device, before starting to dial.


Author's notes:
The great unbreakable one fails. The shadow and the innocent are lost. The world mourns, truths are concealed. And life goes on, but not as clearly as before.

Look for the next chapter in a week or so.