I don't own Static Shock or Justice League
Author: Aloysha and Dimitri A
Title: Song by Z Trip and Chester (of Linkin Park fame) Not sure it relates to the story…
Rating: PG-13, eventual R
Pairings: Virgil/Richie, Green Lantern/Flash, (Wha? Me? Predictable? Lies...)and some other stuff in the background.
Warnings: It's darkly humorous…usually. Sometimes it might just be dark. Other times just plain weird. Just be content in the knowledge that the 'narration' will be sarcastic, Wally will be goofy, John will be frightening, Richie will be the only one with common sense, and Virgil will be deeply confused.
Summery: Green Lantern needs some help on an undercover assignment and drafts Static and Gear. It seems easy; impersonate a bored rich kid and his bodyguard. It's funny how easy things are rarely that.
Notes: Dimitri: My mind is a strange and, at times, frightening place. Don't ask me what spawned this because I just don't know. But it had to be done. My mind wasn't going to give me another part of 'Heroes' until I did it. Besides, my account was frozen again and new stories always cheer me up.
Aloysha: … (Would love to comment but isn't present. Was least seen in British Columbia, Canada. If you see him please contact Dimitri immediately. Could be considered dangerous. Or at least a little nuts.)
Ages: Richie and V are around the 17/18 mark, Wally's about 23-ish, and John is, as always, legal. (He won't tell us. Older than Clark, younger than Bruce…damn cryptic Lanterns.)
I Feel the Fear of Uncertainty
The Foley House
Someone was in the Gas Station.
Richie knew it the moment he woke up, alarm bells going off in his head. He grunted, rolling out of bed and groped around for his shock vox only to have the makeshift walkie-talkie shoved into his hand by Backpack.
He grunted his thanks then turned it on.
"Hey, V, wake up."
There was silence on the other side and he sighed. He was just now beginning to wake up and process information properly. Backpack had woken him up, letting out a series of beeps that translated to 'someone in the gas station'. It probably wasn't a serious threat, because whoever it was had just strode past all of the various sensors without so much as bothering to look for them, let alone disarm any of them.
Not even that really obvious one by the door with the blinking red light. Sure, it was mostly a decoy to see if anyone tried to touch it (at which point they'd be shocked with electricity) but it was the principal of the matter, right?
Probably a stray dog. Still, someone was going to have to check it out, just in case.
"Static, come on bro', get up."
A light snore filtered through the device and he swore before rolling his eyes heavenward. It figured. Virgil could, and would, sleep through an earthquake if so inclined. He wasn't going to let a little thing like someone stumbling across the station ruin his 'beauty' sleep.
If Richie were a more sarcastic person he'd be thinking something like 'Then again he needs it'. But he isn't. He doesn't really believe that anyway. Still. Someone had to go.
That someone, it seemed, would be him.
He was going to be in so much trouble if he got caught coming in, or if one of his parents found he wasn't in his bed. He'd come home after curfew almost every night this week. And not a little after curfew, but hours after it. Unlike Mr. Hawkins his parents had no idea what he was up to and as of late his mother seemed to think he was on drugs while he father was on the 'he's in a gang' train of thought.
They made a person want to be on drugs.
But he digressed.
He grabbed his glasses then began to fumble around his room for his costume. He tried to keep as quiet as possible but he'd always been one of those people who believed that the more you tried to be quiet the more noise you'd end up making.
Five minutes later he was climbing out of his window and Backpack was streaming more information to him. Not a dog, that much was for sure. It was entirely too large to be a dog and it's heat pattern was one of a human. A human with a body temperature slightly above that of your typical person and radiating more energy that one too, but still…
…Humanoid at least.
If nothing else he'd learned that walking on two legs didn't really make you human, just bipedal. They were very very far from the only intelligent species in the universe. Hell, they were pretty damn far from the most intelligent species.
Not counting him of course.
Night flight wasn't really so bad. It was four AM and the air was cool without being cold. The sky was a dark purple, but at the horizon streaks of dark orange-pink were beginning to show, swirling with the purples. The stars were still visible, but dimming in the face of the oncoming dawn.
Below him everything was still, save the occasional graveyard shift worker making his way home. It was almost possible to believe that Dakota was a peaceful city, as opposed to rife with mutated criminals and psychos trying to make names for themselves.
Everybody wanted to be the next Joker or Lex Luthor these days. Then again with Luthor as president someone had to take up the 'ultimate genius psycho' mantel he supposed. Why that was he didn't know but there was a lot of stuff he just didn't get about people and the human race at large.
He landed in the junkyard as silently as he could manage then began the walk towards the station. Backpack hopped from his back and skittered into the station ahead of him to see what it could observe about the intruder.
He saw through Backpack the floor, noted the soda can Virgil had so thoughtfully left on the floor of 'his' workspace, a few of his latest inventions and experiments, crying out for his continued attention, and finally a boot. A very large boot actually.
The robot identified this as the source of heat in the Gas Station. Gear had to resist rolling his eyes. Well no shit. He loved Backpack, truly, but sometimes he thought he'd accidentally programmed some of Static's worse habits into him, such as stating the obvious.
Backpack's 'eye' continued its path up the body for a moment then sent more information to him. It was a friend. Nothing to be concerned about.
Gear sighed, relived, and then commanded Backpack to turn off the security. He walked into the station and headed for the back room without so much as another thought.
"Gear." The older man inclined his head towards him in greeting then nodded towards the robot, which was skittering back towards him. "I think your robot dislikes me."
"Did he beep at you or click at you?" He asked, waiting for the standard look of confusion. He got it, as well as a slow blink.
"Does it matter?"
"Sure. If he likes you he'll beep. If he doesn't he'll click." He paused, pulling off his helmet. "It's funny because I didn't program him to do that. Picked it up on his own."
"That's…worrisome." Lantern inclined an eyebrow, as if asking a question. Richie didn't need to ask what the question was and instead just shrugged.
"Backpack isn't Brainiac. World conquest and destruction doesn't suit him." Backpack beeped its agreement and Richie smiled faintly before bending down to put the robot into sleep mode. "So, to what do I owe this visit?"
"I came to ask you and Static for help." Richie stared. Green Lantern needed help from them? Really? He was only just now getting used to be associated with the League, the idea of them coming to the two of them for help was still…kind of mind boggling.
He wondered if he'd ever get over the nasty case of hero worship he had. After all he and Virgil were heroes in their own right, though they'd never saved the world or anything like that…still, that didn't mean they wouldn't ever do it. If they ever actually joined the League he didn't want to be that dork who got all starry eyed and ran into stuff every time Superman walked down the hallway.
"Where is Static?"
That snapped Richie back to attention. He smiled thinly. "Sleeping, of course. He's pretty much clinically hopeless."
"That's promising." The sarcasm in Lantern's voice was so thick it was nearly suffocating. Then he smiled wryly. "I guess this calls for the direct approach."
Richie arched an eyebrow, wondering why he felt like he should be afraid and possibly running in the other direction.
The 'Direct Approach' as it turned out called for going to Virgil's house, knocking on the front door, and asking Sharon if they could possibly borrow her brother for a mission of some serious import. Green Lantern was smirking the entire time. Richie was now pretty sure all of those rumors about Lantern's sick sense of humor were true.
And by rumors he meant stuff Flash had told him.
Virgil had been woken up and drawn downstairs, still half awake, by Sharon's shouting. Once she stopped yelling and the anger over never being told her little brother was Static subsided she decided to make coffee. Virgil had just continued to blink, utterly bewildered by the sudden turn of events. Richie had taken him by the arm and led him back upstairs to put on some actual clothes.
Not that Virgil in only boxers bothered him. …not that he liked it. He just…didn't have an opinion of it. At all. Right. So.
For the record Richie was pretty sure he was deaf in one ear. He could understand why they hadn't gone for this approach the first time around. He was sure everyone in a five-block radius was now awake and wondering what the hell was going on. Though, logically, he knew Sharon's voice couldn't carry quite that far he wouldn't have been at all surprised by it.
Nonetheless five AM found Richie, Virgil, Mr. Hawkins, Sharon, and Green Lantern sitting at the kitchen table and drinking coffee. Decent coffee, which lead Richie to suspect that Mr. Hawkins had stopped Sharon from making it and brewed it himself.
"Well, Mr…Lantern," Mr. Hawkins looked a little bemused but seemed to be dealing very nicely. "May I ask what you want with my son?"
"Of course. John's fine by the way." Lantern looked perfectly at ease, as if this was a perfectly normal occurrence to him. "I need Richie and Virgil to aid me in an assignment I'm on, from the organization I work for."
"The Justice League." Sharon supplied. Lantern shook his head, staring at his cup.
"No. The other people I work for. Lanterns are a kind of inter-galactic…police force I suppose. We go from planet to planet, when we're needed, and try to restore order and stop those with power from becoming out of control. This assignment is for them. Most of the League isn't even aware of it. Which is sure to piss somebody off."
Richie had a feeling, judging by the slightly quirk of his lips, that he was referring to a certain Gotham-based hero. Virgil apparently was thinking along the same lines because he snorted quietly then smiled benignly when Sharon glanced his way.
"I need Richie because he resembles a subject that's supposedly being targeted for assassination. I need him to impersonate this subject for a time."
Richie could only imagine how pale he became at that. Virgil almost dropped his cup, but succeed and only splashing himself, while his father and sister just looked on in shock. Mr. Hawkins was the first to recover, clearing his throat almost nervously as he spoke.
"Surely you can't expect me to condone you using Richie as…bait. What if he gets hurt or killed? How could you explain that to his parents?"
Lantern nodded. "I couldn't. I have no intention of letting anything happen to Richie though, I promise you. I wouldn't ask for his help if I had any doubts or fears where his safety was concerned, or if this wasn't a very important and delicate matter."
Mr. Hawkins arched an eyebrow. "How delicate?"
"The type of delicate that could result in inter-planetary war with a race of people who've been known to trounce all of their enemies into the dust. Even if we were able to warn the rest of the world and build up our forces they'd wipe us out in moments even with the League fighting." He paused as if considering his words. "Not that there would be much fighting. They'd probably just destroy the sun and let the shockwaves destroy the galaxy. More economical than a full scale war I've heard."
Richie was horrified. But, in the back of his head, he was contemplating the different ways to take out the sun and the galaxy along with it, as well as the potential economical value. He had to admit it made sense, in a sick and twisted sort of way.
"So this guy you want Richie to impersonate? Is he like an ambassador for this planet or a king or president or something?" Virgil asked, looking somewhere between concerned and confused. "If he looks like Rich he can't be too old…then again, aliens…"
"Do you know who Jayce and Donnie Catalina are?"
Richie didn't have a clue, in spite of knowing just about everything about everything. Virgil and Mr. Hawkins also looked clueless. It was Sharon who came to the rescue; effectively saving them all from looking like total idiots.
"They're those princes from…that place in Europe. Real jetsetters and pains in the ass, according to the tabloids. Jayce has that band, whiney Goth rock, and Donnie's some kind of serial manwhore. Like male versions of the Hilton sisters, only with armies." Everyone except Lantern blinked at her. She sniffed. "It's not my fault you three can't keep up with current events."
Lantern chuckled and flashed her a small grin. "You're right, that's exactly who they are, right down to being massive pains in my ass. The Lantern and Flash before myself and the Flash you've met stopped another race, the Chandians, from attacking our planet about twenty-five years ago and as a sign of the new treaty their princess married some royal from 'that place in Europe'. They had three sons. The princess and the eldest returned back to Chand but the younger two are still here."
Richie blinked. "Is that…legal?" Legal wasn't really the word he was looking for. More like socially acceptable and possible. You'd think people would have been talking about the fact there were two half-Chandians wandering around the Earth. And the implications of a child being formed from a human-nonhuman union…
"All things are legal when you're facing people who could wipe out your planet." Lantern said dismissively. "That's not the point. Someone, we aren't sure who they are or which planet they're from assuming they're Human or Chandian at all, has been threatening the princes. The reasoning is that mixed race marriages are wrong and that the children are freaks and that the universe should be cleansed of their presence."
Mr. Hawkins snorted. "It's nice to know racism potentially spreads off of this world."
"People tend to be bastards no matter what planet they happen to be born on." Lantern shrugged. "The Chands have pretty much declared we keep the princes safe, find out who is after them, and then send that person or group to their planet for trial. Or else they'll kill everyone."
"Why not ask for a big red bow while they're at it?" Virgil muttered. Lantern smirked at him faintly.
"And what makes you think they haven't?"
"I still don't understand why you need Richie. Why not just take the two boys off planet where the assassin can't reach them?" Mr. Hawkins asked, frowning thoughtfully.
"In theory if this person, or group, has found out what the Catalina brothers are they are either very rich and powerful, possibly able to follow them off world or else they aren't human at all. They could be Chandian or a third party looking to see Earth wiped out."
"So if you can have someone impersonate them you can let the whoever is behind this continue with their plan and eventually catch them." Richie summarized. He had caught on about halfway through Green Lantern's story but hadn't wanted to seem impolite by interrupting. Lantern nodded.
"Basically. Jayce and Donnie will be taken off-planet by another Lantern group, but the rest of the world will think they're still here. Originally I was going to have J'onn and another shape shifter do this but I realized that's too risky. I don't know anyone who can maintain another shape for long periods of time and I don't now how long this is going to take. Plus the League would notice J'onn going missing. He doesn't get out much."
"Well. He is green." Virgil pointed out. Lantern's lips curved into a small smile.
"I've noticed, trust me. I finally figured out I need actual people who resemble Jayce and Donnie. Lucky for you Richie you and Donnie share build, height, eye color and nearly the same hair color. Not to mention age."
"Lucky me." Richie muttered, frowning. It was a good plan (or at least as good as any plan could be in a situation like this) and he could see not wanting a shifter to take on the role. Still something inside of him didn't like the idea of becoming a human target.
Lantern shrugged. "You don't have to do it of course. It's up to you, but I could use your help. And Virgil would be there, acting as your personal bodyguard. This way it will seem as if some response has been made in response to the threats, but not so much a new plan needs to be devised."
Again, more or less perfectly solid reasoning. Richie knew he couldn't say now. Fate of the world was at stake and hadn't he just been waxing philosophical like about potentially saving the world one day. He sighed and put his head down on the table. Sometimes he should just…not think things. This was a sure sign that his brain was more powerful than he knew.
"Sure. My summer was looking boring anyway."
"Every time you say something about being bored something bad happens." Virgil muttered. Then sighed. "What about Dakota? Who's going to protect it if we're gone?"
"I don't recall giving permission yet. I'm not sure I'm a fan of this idea."
"I promise you Mr. Hawkins Virgil and Richie will be watched by me and the League member playing Jayce at nearly all times. And, if you don't mind me saying this, they aren't exactly your normal helpless teenagers." Lantern replied evenly. "You have my word, both will return home safely."
"Your word." Mr. Hawkins sounded tense still, but less worried.
"As a marine and a lantern."
"I want to be kept informed, as much as possible. I want to know they're okay."
"Of course. And, Virgil, you don't have to go. I'm sure I can find someone else to take your place." Richie could almost imagine the slightly calculating look in Lantern's eyes. He knew exactly how to get Virgil to react apparently.
Richie could picture Virgil's scowl perfectly in his head. "I didn't say I wasn't. No one is going to be looking after Rich but me, thanks. I was just concerned. And what about Rich's parents?"
Richie wasn't blushing, for the record. He was just kind of flushed from having his head on the table and…stuff. Not blushing. And that wasn't a warm fluttering feeling because Virgil wasn't going to let anyone else protect him.
He didn't think it was.
And so what if it was. It didn't mean anything.
"Don't trouble yourself over little details. Things like that are the easy parts."
Richie looked up almost warily. "What's the hard part?"
Lantern coughed and looked towards his left. "You'll find out soon."
Somewhere in Central City
"No. No. There is no fucking way! I'm going to fucking kill him!"
The woman who lived in the apartment next to Wally West looked up from her breakfast; startled by the outburst by the normally very quiet and polite young man she shared a wall with. She could only imagine what had him so upset.
Wally West however didn't give a damn about the nice lady next door who liked to bake him cookies and kept trying to set him up with her granddaughter and grandson alternately, depending on which day he caught her.
She was oddly open minded and seemed determined to have him be part of her family in one way or another. He usually just smiled and nodded a lot. She made really good cookies, so he didn't want to risk offending her and being cut off.
Nope, she was very much not on his mind.
He was too busy glaring at the picture he'd pulled up on his computer of one Jason Catalina. There was no way. No fucking way in any of the nine hells. It just wasn't happening. He wasn't doing it and John couldn't make him do it.
No. The entire galaxy could go straight to hell for all he cared. He wasn't doing this. He had pride goddamnit, pride. He wasn't going to let John do this to him, stupid sadistic bastard that he was. No. Just…no.
He nodded to himself, assured in his decision.
Fuck the galaxy. He was right in this. It wasn't selfish or childish or stupid. He was in the right. He had nothing to feel guilty about.
Who the hell was he trying to fool anyway?
He didn't have any pride, at least not pride worth the fate of a couple billion people. And he was wrong; he knew he was wrong. He didn't want to know he was wrong, but he did. It wasn't like John was asking for a lot from him. John rarely asked help from anyone, he couldn't very well turn the guy down after all the harassing he'd done about letting people in more. And really, wasn't he lucky to even be in on this? Even Bats wasn't hearing it from John.
He didn't want to say Bruce didn't know, because…well it was Bruce. He knew. He knew everything. Because he was Bruce and thus possessed creepy knowledge of all things…
He was so going to do this. Damnit. Sometimes he really didn't like John.
He needed a new line of work.
End notes: Most of the chapters will be between seven and twelve pages long. Unlike 'Heroes' this gets long chewy chapters. Not for any particular reason beyond 'because Aloysha doesn't believe in short chapters'.
Next Chapter: We find out what has Wally all upset, Richie's fashion sense is insulted, and more fun with slashy implications.