Chapter Four

Night Lights


John collapsed onto the bed in his quarters and closed his eyes, willing the Lantern costume away with a stray thought. He really wasn't feeling the whole undressing thing at the moment. He was beat. Peacekeeping missions were just so…damn annoying and draining in ways that they really shouldn't have been. He was starting to wish he could just destroy something, as opposed to talking nicely and trying to keep things from erupting between the factions trying to come together.

Peacekeeping just wasn't his shtick.

Plus, and he'd be damned if he admitted this anywhere except in his head, he kind of missed Wally and Bruce. Those two kind of had a way of getting under a guy's skin, even when he didn't want them there. John was strangely used to losing the important things and people in his life and, though it was cliché in a sense, he figured the less people he was attached to the less change he had of being hurt again.

He'd gotten used to closing himself off and being the hero who faded to the back of your mind after he rescued you, a comforting thought but little more. Batman was mysterious and occupied your mind for quite a time afterwards, Superman was inspiring, and Flash was manic and rapid and left you breathless. Green Lantern was none of those things.

He had grown content with such things.

At least until Wally had decided to make it his business to drive John as close to the edge of insanity as possible. Something about Wally tended to change a person's attitude and outlook on life, simply because he took everything so…he saw things for what they were. He moved at speeds most people couldn't believe and didn't have the time to waste for lies and dishonesty or hiding, except behind his mask, and there was something so…open about him.

That's what appealed to John, canceling out Wally's annoying quirks, tendency to babble, and crude mouth. He was just open and waiting and willing and always eager and it was strangely appealing to be around someone who was like that.

In essence the exact opposite of Bruce, who was guarded and kept his walls built up high, with a cruel sense of humor and carefully sharpened wit. Honesty was something Bruce wasn't overly acquainted with and he supposed Wally's nature held the same appeal for him.

Which could leave one wondering how he and Bruce could…work. They seemed so similar but in reality were very different. To John Bruce was…he wasn't as lonely. He seemed like he was, or perhaps should be, but he had built a very careful and caring family around him, who knew him and his secrets and were close to understanding him. For all his jaded 'big bag bitter bat' show he needed people around him and John just wasn't like that.

He was okay with being alone.

Family and friends and lovers…they all faded and left or betrayed or died. Wally and Bruce though…they were the closest to not being lonely that John had been in a very long time. In the past few months he'd allowed himself to grow comfortable and content with them around.

So. Yes. He kind of missed them. He liked being breathless and having his mind occupied. It was a nice change.

They were really starting to ruin his cold and indifferent image. If this thing ever got out his reputation was really gong to be shattered.

He found he didn't care much.

Something beeped. He opened his eyes, seeking out the source of the noise and settled on the duffle bag he'd brought along. Unless he was mistaken, and he sincerely doubted he was, that was the sound of his cell phone ringing. Why would a man like him have a cell phone?

Shit happened and he wasn't a big fan of J'onn's voice in his head. It caused headaches…

It was Wayne Tech, so he couldn't even drag up the proper amount of surprise over the fact it worked when he was two or three galaxies away. He wasn't even overly concerned about long distance, for obvious reasons. He rolled over, and rummaged through the bag and eventually came into contact with the phone. He flipped it open while sitting up.


"Do you always answer that way?" Bruce sounded faintly amused. That was a good sign. That meant that no one had died…or else it meant Superman was dead and Bruce had killed him. Either way… John grunted and allowed his body to fall back onto his bed again. "Tired?"


Bruce chuckled but the weariness slunk through the cracks in his voice. "Do you think you'll be done soon?"

"If there is a god, yes. They're supposed to sign the final treaty today. Then again they've said that everyday for a week…" John rubbed a hand over his forehead, eyes sliding shut much against his will. "I might be motivated to just kill the leader of one side and let the other army take over."

"I'm sure the Guardians would appreciate that." Bruce deadpanned.

John snorted. "Do you want me to pretend I care now or later?" Bruce made a noise that sounded almost thoughtful. John forced his eyes open and tried to focus on the pale blue of the wall. "What's wrong? Do you need me to hide a body?"

There was a pause. And then another, longer pause that actually started to worry John, just a little bit. He briefly considered which planets were best when it came to hiding bodies when Bruce laughed again. He relaxed.

"Not this time. But if that offer is still open after the election, maybe I'll take you up on it. Joker's ahead in the polls." He could almost feel Bruce rolling his eyes in annoyance. "It seems Clark's cousins are the eavesdropping talkative sort."

"I'm too tired for cryptic shit. Blunt please."

"Kon and Kara have been kind enough to tell everyone we're involved in some form or another, everyone thinks Wally's a slut, and Wally's having one of his 'self-worth' episodes."

"I keep telling him Prozac will fix that."

"Yes, that's what the world needs, Flash on Prozac." The amount of sarcasm Bruce managed to cram into a statement was truly impressive. It quite literally oozed.

John snorted then rubbed at his eyes. Awake…had to stay awake. "I don't care."

"That Flash on Prozac is potentially mentally scarring?"

"That everyone knows. Clark's cousins will have to suffer of course." John kept his tone light. Bruce stayed silent. It was for the best. "We'll just…let it sort itself out."

"What about Wally?" There was a touch of seriousness in Bruce's voice. "He was worried that, with everyone knowing, we would end things."

"Well. It's Wally. Clinically low self-esteem." John rubbed at his eyes again. "The stuff people are talking about…it's wrong I guess?"

"I've been listening around; haven't heard anything accurate." John could hear the sounds of typing in the background. "Nothing that paints Wally in a good light, some stuff that makes you look stupid and me seem childish."

"Then we'll set the record straight." John sighed mentally. He had the strange feeling he wouldn't be sleeping anytime soon.

Bruce snorted. "How do you plan to do that without stirring up more? They all seem to be in a constant state of boredom."

"…Do we do 'company memos'?"


Don was playing a rousing game of Mine Sweeper for what may have been the thirtieth time in the past hour (he'd yet to win once…) when something popped up on his screen. For a moment there was a blank document and then small black type spread over the screen.

Justice League Memo

From: Batman and Green Lantern

To: All Computers linked through the Watch Tower

It has recently come to the attention of the aforementioned parties that certain superbrats are spreading stories concerning them and another League member, the Flash. Thus far none of the stories being heard are accurate so things must be cleared up. While it is none of the concern of anyone what any others may do with their personal time, rumors such as this can interfere with the work process and thus can't be allowed to circulate.

The nature of the relationship between Batman, Lantern, and Flash is an intimate one and there is no deception going on. Any more than that is not for anyone else to know.

Superboy and Supergirl should be aware that they will be expected to answer for their roles in the spread of these rumors once Batman and Lantern return to the Watch Tower.

Don blinked then stood up and walked to the door, which slid open before him. Everything had gone…disturbingly silent. Even the workers who were constantly milling about weren't present. It was eerie, in an impressive sort of way.

Don doubted everything would stop if knowledge that he was getting laid got around. There was movement towards the end of the hall and Don looked, eyebrow going up some. What were-

There was a startled yelp and then a door slid open, revealing a slightly panicked looking Superboy. Don arched an eyebrow at him, wondering what exactly was going on.

"Do you know when Bats and Lantern are getting back?"

Don pointed at Green Lantern who was walking down the hallway almost leisurely, a smile on his face that bordered on the sadistic. Don shook his head then pulled back into his room. He walked over to his desk, closed the document, and then went back to his game.

He'd learned his lesson about getting into other people's affairs and wasn't going to get involved with this one. He hit one of the squares.


Lost again.

He wondered what Wally was up to.


On the other side of the tower, where the original seven kept their rooms, Wally West stared blankly at his computer screen.


I know…it's short! I'm sorry. Another part within the next week…

Saturn: Bruce's darkly tinted sarcasm is really almost as much fun as sadistic John and slightly flawed Wally. Clark is one day going to go insane and it's going to be Bruce's fault. I would know, I plan to write it… I'd like a boyfriend like Bruce… Maybe because I'm poor.

Mechante: Cute is a word that no male over the age of thirteen appreciates… I hate being called cute. I want to be handsome, in a dark and poetic way but nooo…I'm cute with strange piercings. It's irksome.

Sarky: Sorry luv, about Ivy and the typo. But…well, she doesn't like people, loves her plants…I think she's a plantophile.

Nameless: …okay, perky was a bad word choice. Perhaps…naively optimistic? Clark drove Lex nuts… Well, okay Clark and Lionel together, but I swear if Clark would just tell him the truth (or at least say 'I was mutated by meteor rocks) everything would be good. Why would Lex care, he's nor exactly normal himself… Oh well. Wally is a manwhore, but not on purpose.

Aku: My single-minded stubbornness is…something. My third profile has been frozen three times so far…it's brilliant… I always thought that Don, if not killed off by the PTB, would have done a great job of keeping Hank in line in the comic. Now Hank's all crazy and homicidal…

TP96: I'm glad you think so.