Title: The Tempest
Series: Justice League Unlimited
Characters: Huntress/Helena Bertinelli, The Question/Vic Sage
Spoilers: Up to Question Authority, after that AU
Summary: Two months after Huntress helps the Question get free of his captivity in Question Authority, she hasn't heard from him. Imagine her surprise when she does hear from the League...asking her to come back! Romantic triangle ensues, as well as various hijinks.
Chapter One: Introduction
When he wore his mask, he was Question. A cataloguer of information of great and no importance, he was a ghost, someone who existed nowhere but existed nonetheless. His home was the Justice League space station, the Watchtower. Though he was much a recluse there, he was accepted and welcomed. After all, his talents were of great need to them.
When he didn't wear the mask, he was Charles Victor Szasz, better known as Victor Sage. She called him Vic. When they were snuggled close in bed, or when she was angry with him; it was always Vic.
She didn't know his past, of course. She had no idea that he'd grown up in a Catholic orphanage, or that he'd been heavily into drugs as a collegian. He would never tell her, however. She was his angel, and angels didn't look kindly onto sinners. Sinners don't get second chances.
He let her go so that she could have a better life. She could live a life without fear, or violence, or even him. He hoped that she would move on, and forget him...even if he didn't forget her.
The night called to her when she was the Huntress. It was like a hunger in her, to feel the air rushing around her as she chased down the evil of society. It was a calling, and he alone had understood that. She may not be moral, nor may she be good, but she'd had him. Vic had kept her from going too far. He always had. Sometimes, though, his stare would make her feel guilty, for being who she was. When that happened, she got angry. The Huntress angry was never a good thing.
The children loved Helena Bertinelli. They'd never believe that she'd regularly aimed a crossbow at a murderers' throats. To them, she was a gentle and kind. A mother figure. Vic never saw that in Helena. She made sure of it. She put on her show, of being tough and hard; she kept him at a distance that way. She made her home in Gotham, and he'd never seen that either. They'd gone on 'dates' for a month, then it'd tapered away. To be expected. They had nothing in common, now that she'd been kicked out of the Justice League.
None of it mattered. She wasn't Huntress. She'd given that identity up, along with anything hero-related. She had no place in his world, the world of superheroes, conspiracies, and danger. She was a kindergarten teacher. Her mind was on what to do for crafts next week, not on who had robbed Gotham City Bank.
Or so she told herself...
The day was bright and clear, with temperature already hitting the eighties. Helena raced around the corner, already afraid of being late. She'd gotten up at 5 a.m. but no matter how much time she allowed herself she never managed to get out of the house before 7:30.
"Damn school," she swore under her breath as she tried to hail a cab while maintaining the balance of the large box in her arms. It wasn't easy, but Helena managed to do it. Why had she volunteered to bring the craft supplies for the week? What the hell did fifteen 5-year-olds need with seven boxes of popsicle sticks? Not to mention the seven pounds of paste. It wasn't really the weight throwing her off, it was the distribution. Why had someone put the glue on one side and the-...
"Ooomph!" Helena grunted as she went flying. Whoever had slammed into her had hit her hard, because she went sailing into a parked cab. Unluckily, the box went flying the other way. As the sounds of thousands of popsicle sticks hitting the ground reached her ringing ears, Helena moaned in horror. Of course, she could have been moaning in pain from the feel of a rearview mirror jabbing into her hip...no, it was the popsicles.
"Oh, my gawd! Sugah, you alright?" A man's deep Southern voice called out as Helena finally got up the nerve to open her eyes. She ignored the voice and cursed aloud as she took in the sight of all the trouble she'd just experienced.
As she kneeled and started to push the sticks back into the box, the man behind her laughed. "Quite a mouth you got on you."
Helena shot a death glare over her shoulder and froze. He was gorgeous. All tall and boy-next-door sexy. Blonde hair, blue eyes, and from the look of the suit, a tight body. Apparently, he was liking the view as well, or at least his eyes were from the way they crawled from her heels to her short skirt, now pulled tight over her rear as she kneeled, and up to her lips.
"Don't get me wrong," he continued, "it's a nice mouth."
Helena jerked her attention from his mouth and concentrated on her problem. "What the hell happened?"
"A gentleman bumped into you and you fell," the Blond Hunk offered helpfully, now kneeling to assist her.
"Why'd he bump...oh, no!" Helena looked around startled. "My purse! Do you see my purse?"
They searched through the sticks and looked around but it was gone. Helena felt like screaming. She was going to be late. She'd lost her cell phone and her keys and her money and everything that she held in her purse, so there was no way for her to call the school. And she had a run in her hose. Today was great. She was not going to cry. Crying was for girls.
"Are you alright?" Mr. Gorgeous asked.
Helena studied the tall man next to her, the popsicle sticks on the ground, and the run in her hose. "No. I am not."
At that moment, the cops showed up. Now understand, Helena has nothing against cops, per se; the two just don't get along. She didn't like that the cops of Gotham left it up to the night crusaders, otherwise known to her as the "Bat Crew" to take care of crime, while they got fat on donuts. Now was no exception.
"What do you want?" Helena demanded as the two officers got out of the car, both hesitating at the vehemence in that one statement.
"We had a report of a mugging," one explained, taking in the situation, Helena's anger, the Adonis's slightly bemused face, and the sticks. "Maybe we should take this downtown."
Helena groaned. "I've got work, and no money, and no ride..." She'd have continued but then the innocent bystander, who was hot and hunky and making her drool, offered an alternative.
"We can take my car. I'll even stay with you. Seeing as I witnessed everything, they'll probably want my statement. Might as well save you the cab fare," he explained with a congenial smile. The cops agreed and Helena was placed in the back of the stranger's car and hustled off to the nearest precinct.
"You didn't have to stay, I didn't need your support," Helena burst out at the Adonis as they left the precinct an hour and a half later. The blond had stayed with her while she gave her statement, been questioned by several people, and waited for the announcement that she could leave.
"Yeah, well, a Southern gentleman doesn't leave a lady in distress," he explained.
"I'm not a lady."
His eyes swept her form, from toes to head. "That's debatable."
"Who are you?" She asked, stopping on the corner and turning to him.
He smiled. "My name's Nathaniel Christopher Adam, but you can call me Nate," he said quickly while bending over and kissing her hand where he'd grasped it.
"Well, Nate, I'm late for work," Helena replied, pulling her hand away and throwing it up to call a cab. Nate grasped it and pulled her back to face him.
"They said you should go to the hospital. Make sure nothing's broken."
Helena glowered. "I don't like hospitals."
Nate smiled. "I'll go with you, darlin'. We can unlike them together."
"Why are you stalking me?" Helena asked in an acid tone.
"Must be all the sweet-talkin'. I figure afterwards, we'll grab some lunch. Have a date," Nate said laughingly as he called a cab and pushed her inside before she could protest.
"Sweet talking? Oh, sweetie! I'll show you sweet talking," Helena threatened.
"And here I thought you didn't like me..."
Question was at his terminal, running several different searches when a window popped up on his screen. It was an alert, designed to pop up when one of the Justice League's members or former members' real names/other aliases popped up anywhere in the criminal/law computer system. It had popped up several times today already, given the Justice League's profession and tendency to interfere in crime, but this time something was different.
It was about Huntress. Apparently, she'd been in some sort of mugging. Question felt a tingle of worry. Though the report said that Ms. Bertinelli had received an injury, it didn't say if she was hurt a lot or a little. Had she been stabbed? Or shot? It was Gotham and she was the daughter of a much maligned late mob boss...maybe an old foe decided to make the daughter pay for the sins of the father.
Grabbing his trench coat, Question decided to go check up on her. They were friends, after all, even if they weren't "together" anymore. Besides...he wasn't sure he could stop himself.