Smoke and Mirrors

Kyoko: I…just…couldn't resist! (sobs) Mou…I'm sorry, I had to write this one-shot, it's been eating at me ever since "This Little Piggy" premiered. You don't actually have to have Batman: The Animated Series knowledge to read this; it's just preferred. Post "This Little Piggy".

Aki: (sighs) At this rate, she'll never get to any of her other fics.

Kyoko: (sheepish grin) Gomen ne…

Aki: Kyoko Kasshu Minamino does not own Justice League Unlimited or any characters in it.

Kyoko: Sad, but true. Warning for fluff. Ja ne.

"Ria htiw llif!"

The once flaccid balloon on my practice table began to inflate as I waved my wand and spoke the enchantment words. It was a basic warm up method before I began run-throughs of my show. I let it expand to a certain point, and then said,


The balloon sagged with an almost rude sound, usually one that made me laugh but today, it didn't. I laid back in my chair, relishing the moment of bad posture, a slight frown on my lips. It still bothered me.

I twirled the wand between my fingers boredly, muttering,

"Ria htiw llif!"

My last mission poked at the back of my brain like a gnat that just wouldn't die. It was silly to feel this way. Ridiculous. We had been friends for a long time now but…seeing him with Diana irked some part of me that I had hidden inside myself for a long time. I scowled. Obviously it was easier for him to hide. Unless he'd completely forgotten about me.


I jumped as the balloon exploded because I'd forgotten to stop the spell. Whoops.

I sighed and ran a hand through my hair, placing the wand on the table. Okay. Maybe it did bother me how concerned Bruce had been over Diana. Yeah, he'd been concerned about his teammate's safety but I knew it ran deeper than that.

Another part of my brain argued, 'He'd do the same thing for you,' I agreed but the way he looked when she'd disappeared and the lengths he'd gone to change her back started to make me doubt. That magic that he and I once held was gone. I hadn't noticed that I'd missed it. It had been buried deep in my heart until that one fateful night when he'd come to my hotel room with a proposal to become a member of the Justice League.

' I came out of the shower, the towel still wrapped around my damp body and clicked on the lamp. I jumped, eyes widening as I recognized the familiar eternal stillness of the man I used to love. I couldn't have suppressed the shivers that rolled down my naked spine. I managed to keep from hyperventilating and smirked softly, genuinely glad to see him.

"Long time, no see. How'd you find me?"

His voice was empty of emotion and I felt a stab of disappointment.

"It wasn't hard. Your performance schedule is listed all over the Internet."

I tucked the edge of the towel more securely between my breasts and grabbed my brush, brushing the dampness from my hair.

"To what do I owe the honor?"

"As you probably already know, after the Thanagarian invasion, we've had to rebuild the Watchtower. We've all agreed to avoid letting an enemy take us over so easily so we're recruiting members. I thought you'd be interested."

I considered this carefully and smiled gently as I turned to him.

"So, you think I'm good enough to play in the Big League?"

A soft smirk curled on his lips.

"You have some potential."

I found myself walking towards him without telling my legs to move. I was close enough that the edge of his midnight cape brushed against my bare legs and I could smell the familiar scent of his body. I spoke with our lips inches away.

"Is that all you came for?"

I kissed him, leaning into his chest as I rose on my tiptoes to reach him better. He hesitated, then kissed me back as if out of habit. His hands inanely found my waist, pulling me closer, then he suddenly broke away.

"Zatanna…" he began, breathless, but the warning was evident in his voice.

I put a finger to his lips, quietly hushing him.

"I know, I know, I just…wanted to remember."

His arms slid from around me and out of sight beneath the cape. I withdrew, hugging my arms around myself and turning away..

"You know why we can't, Zatanna. I wouldn't want anything-"

"Yeah, I know. It's for my own safety. It's just…I've missed you."

Silence filled the room for a few moments, then he spoke with the deep tone of Batman back in his voice.

"I'll send a ride for you on Saturday at one."

I heard the swoosh of his cape and then his voice, husky and quiet, say,

"I've missed you too."

He was gone.'

My cell phone rang.

I jumped again and stood, silently praying it wasn't B'wana Beast trying to get me to go out with him again. How the heck had he gotten my number anyway? I paused and thought about it. Bruce. He is SO dead…

I answered the phone.


"Hey, Zatanna. This is Diana. Are we still on for lunch?"

I checked my watch and mentally cursed at myself, hurrying behind the change curtain.

"Uh-yeah! I'll be there in five!"

I hung up and tossed my outfit over the side of the curtain, grabbing my normal civilian clothes.

'Well, even I've got to admit the man has good taste,' I thought absently, staring at the goddess across from me daintily sipping her hot tea. She was graced with a long sleeved, lavender shirt that was meant to be modest, but due to her copious amount of chest, it fit snugly and emphasized the perfect curves of her hips, and simple blue jeans that flared out over navy boots. It was hard for anyone not to be jealous of her, and damn near impossible for me since she currently held the affections of my somewhat-of-an-ex. He'd never admit it to her, but I'm pretty sure she knows. However, I'd kindly asked my "new best friend" out to lunch to bestow a bit of wisdom upon her and wish her well with Bruce. It was going to be hard, but I had to do it if I was ever going to get over him. I had to be the bigger woman. No pun intended.

I took a big breath and spoke in a calm, clear voice.

"Diana…the reason I wanted to talk to you is that Bruce and I-"

"I know. He told me."

My eyes widened.

"H-He did?"

She colored a bit, then replied.

"Yes. He told me you and he had a relationship while ago."

I closed my mouth and managed a small smile, half-seething, half-relieved. Well, he just made my job a little easier.

"Oh. Then you'll understand where I'm coming from. Bruce, as you've probably figured out, can be quite…enthralling and frustrating at the same time."

Diana flashed a small, grim smile. "I know the feeling."

'If only you did,' I added silently in my head, blushing as I remembered that kiss and how it had affected me soon thereafter. I'd had to take another shower.

"Then you know his reasons for not wanting a relationship, right?"

She nodded bitterly, counting them off on her fingers.

"Complications within the team, background differences, and safety issues."

I nodded. "Exactly. All I'm trying to say is that you should know that he cares very deeply about you and you should consider how it will affect the both of you. It's not that I'm jealous or anything, I just…don't want to either of you hurt."

She nodded gravely, eyes softening.

"I understand. I know it must be hard for you as well."

I shrugged. "I'll be okay."

She suddenly touched her ear, clueing me in that she was being contacted on her comm. Link.

"I'm here. Yes…I'll be there as soon as possible."

She hesitated and looked at me.

"I'm sorry, Zatanna, I-"

I smiled and waved her away.

"Don't worry about it. Go, they need you."

She thanked me and left as I whispered,

"He needs you."

I sipped my cooling coffee with a soft expression on my face as I listened to the music in the background of the restaurant.

'Hello there

The angel from my nightmare

The shadow in the background of the morgue

The unsuspecting victim

Of darkness in the valley

We can live like Jack and Sally if we want

Where you can always find me

And we'll have Halloween on Christmas

And in the night, we'll wish this never ends

We'll wish this never ends…"

I sighed and softly sang the next verse.

"Where are you?

And I'm so sorry

I cannot sleep

I cannot dream tonight

I need somebody and always

This sick, strange darkness

Comes creeping on so haunting every time

And as I stared, I counted

Webs from all the spiders

Catching things and eating their insides

Like indecision to call you

And hear your voice of treason

Will you come home and stop this pain tonight?

Stop this pain tonight…"

I put the money on the table, gathered up my purse, and rose with the words pulling heavily at my heart like an anchor. He had moved on. And now, so had I.

"Don't waste your time on me

You're already a voice inside my head

I miss you

Don't waste your time on me

You're already a voice inside my head

I miss you, miss you."


Kyoko: (bows apologetically) Sorry! That's my trademark! I can't help it! I love music and it just fit this fic so well! Anyway, hope you liked it so feel free to review! Bye!