My interpretation on the first meeting between the Original Justice League (Hal Green Lantern Jordan, Aquaman, Martian Manhunter, Barry Flash Allen, Oliver Green Arrow Queen, and Dinah Black Canary Lance, Guess starring Superman) and Batman. I thought it was appropriate to remember the early days before Infinite Crisis Screws it up. I own nothing, I am just borrowing the characters.

Barry Allen grimaced as he slammed on the brakes slowing from Mach I to a stop. He felt a little uncomfortable as he always tended to do when he was on a Justice League case. Sure the League had proven itself after the Appellaxian invasion a few months back, but the Flash never felt too comfortable outside of Keystone. The Midwestern boy inside him never liked going too far from home. It was kind of funny. As the fastest man alive, Barry could pretty much go anywhere he pleased; but he generally never wanted to leave the fifteen mile radius from where he grew up.

But Barry was also a cop, and when duty called, duty called.

So here he was, leader of the greatest team of superheroes today (a title that still sent a shiver up the Scarlet Speedster's spine) fighting in a city that was as different from Keystone as you could get. Gotham City. Dark during the day, deadly during the night.

The fight had not started here. It had started 15 miles outside of town. A collection of supervillians, including the Flash's own rogue Captain Cold had banded together to do only God Know's what. Villians were banding together a lot more now that they had seen the Justice League in action.

For whatever reason, the Injustice League, or the Rogues, or whatever they called themselves, were ambushing a military convoy running high grade plutonium to Wayne Enterprises. The concentration of power necessitated the Justice League, but not at full force, i.e. Superman didn't need to come out. As a result the original League, plus Green Arrow had arrived on the scene and the battle started.

Forty-five minutes later, the battle had spilled into Gotham proper, and was just finishing up for all extensive purposes, or what Oliver referred to as "clean up." Cold, Saphire, and all of the assorted villains were bound up and being handed over to a cop named Gordon. Night was falling on Gotham and the shadows were growing impossibly long, and impossibly deep. Barry wanted out as soon as possible.

"Well, we appreciate your help," said Gordon. "I doubt the GCPD would have been able to handle this."

"You got that right," a boastful Arrow crowed as he inched closer to the Blonde Bombshell known as Canary. "Don't you worry there Commish. You don't have to worry any longer. Hell, we might just stick around for the night, clean up the town a little bit. Who needs an urban legend when you got the league?"

Barry was a cop and a scientist, trained to observe. Gordon seemed to bristle and harden, and Barry could understand why. Gotham had the highest crime rate in the US, although it was starting to improve thanks to the hard work of a cleaner police force. And a rumor of a vigilante, a Batman, who supposedly terrified the underworld. He was an urban legend, and none of the League had seen him up close. Save for J'onn who had researched the Caped Crusader in his early years on Earth. But the Manhunter had never mentioned what he had learned about the vigilante, keeping everything he had learned secret as he had promised.

Gordon stared daggers at the Emerald Archer. "You may be the best at what you do, but you will soon find that Gotham is not an ordinary town. It is a little harsher than what you may expect. Dark is coming. Thank you for your help, but I would head home now. We can take it from here." With that the Commisioner spun on his heel and left, smoke from his pipe billowing out from behind him.

"You have such a way with people GA," Hal Jordan smirked. "Your Christmas Card list must be huge. But he does have a point Flash. We could do some real good here tonight. You know the stats. My night's free. Want to stick around?"

Barry mulled over the options. He wanted to get back. Iris wanted Barry to meet her nephew, Wally. But then again, it was Gotham, and it could really use something like the Justice League if only for a night. And they were authorized, by the government now anyway, to do these types of things……..

"Alright. There is a building in the center of town, Wayne Tower. I studied a map before we came in and we should be able to see everything from there."

A few minutes later, the League gathered on the tower and surveyed the area. The city didn't look any better from up high. Dinah moved a little closer to Green Arrow and immediately hated herself for it. Although publicly she stated she wanted more women on the team, she privately very much liked the fact that she was the only woman on the most famous group since the Beatles. But part of that was running with the boys and being able to hold her own.

Oliver grinned to himself as Canary moved closer. Everything was going according to plan. Damn it was great to be a Justice Leaguer. Glad he thought of funding it.

Meanwhile Hal stared out into the city thinking that never before had his oath had never seemed so dead on. Especially the "darkest night part." Maybe no evil will escape his sight, but in this burg, Hal thought, he might want it too.

J'onn was scouring the map of Gotham with Barry, and was considering how much he did not want to be there. He knew what lived in the shadows there and he did not want any of his teammates to meet them. Especially not Ollie. The criminals are bad………the alternative. For a telepath, the alternative was almost worse.

Barry was talking and then looked up to see J'onn pale slight. "J'onn………whats the matter. You okay?"

The League tensed up and gathered around their green tinted friend. Then out of the shadows, a voice like broken glass ground out, seemingly from everywhere, "WHY ARE YOU HERE."

The team spun around and stood around their friend, willing to protect him from whatever lay outside. The Flash spoke out to the shadows. "Who are you? We don't normally speak to shadows? Do you mean us ill?"

"Get out of my city. It is mine. I do not need gaudily clad 'heroes' bringing trouble to my city."

"That is not our intent," replied Green Lantern. "We are just here to help."

"Were you here to help when you had your press conference and destroyed a hotel? Were you here to help when you were showboating and put hundreds of people at risk?" The voice gained intensity and with tinged with hate. J'onn gasped in pain as he was brought to his knees.

"Stop," cried Canary kneeling down to help J'onn. "You are hurting him."

"Who the hell are you," yelled Green Arrow moving away from the group fingering his quiver. "We are the guys who stopped the alien invasion. We are the ones who are trying to save the world."

"Who you are is a girl who just wants to be her mother, a scientist who is the result of a fluke, a drunk driver who got a magic ring, and a drunk billionaire who likes dressing up."

"Who ARE YOU!" yelled the Green Lantern. The entire group was staring towards where the Green Arrow had stepped out.

Then out of the shadows, a figure melted out of the darkness. "I am the Batman. And you are not welcome here."

The group spun around weapons at the ready. Fortunately Barry threw up his arms and prevented them from discharging their weapons. There was no one between Batman and the Manhunter. Slowly, deliberately, the Flash moved towards Batman and extended his hand. "Batman……..we have heard great things about you. We meant…"

"I do not care about what you meant Mr. Allen," said the Dark Knight walking past the Crimson speedster towards the opposite end of the roof. "I want you gone. Be out of the city in 5 minutes. Its not safe for you. I have more important things to do then babysit you."

He walked past the Green Arrow, who bumped into the Detective. Green Arrow was livid. "And people call me arrogant. Who the hell do you think you are? We were here to help YOU out, and this is what we get." Batman did not even hesitate in his steps towards the roof. "Good thing for me," mumbled Green Arrow, "I still have my jerk finding arrow."

Flash was caught flat footed, still stunned by Batman's knowledge of his identity. Green Arrow notched his arrow and let fly at the Batman, whose back was turned.

"GA, no," yelled Green Lantern as he struggled to put up a shield to protect the Gotham vigilante. Before the Lantern could fully form it the Batman had spun around, caught the arrow, and threw a dark shaped projectile which ensnared the Archer.

The narrow slits that covered the Crusader's eyes narrowed. "You now have three minutes." With that the shape propelled himself over the ledge and fell out of sight. The League raced to the edge. The Flash naturally got there first. There was nothing over there.

"Are we going to let him get away with this" yelled the Archer from his hogtied position.

The Flash stared at the Archer. "Lets get out of here. Happy Harbor, now."

The team flew off, minus one Martian. The humans on the team were "pumped up" or whatever it was they said. The Martian couldn't keep up with the human's phrases. He did know however that this was a bad. A feud between the Bat and the League could not end up well. He had to call in support.

J'onn reached for his communicator and paged the one man who could help.

"J'onn, you okay."

"I am fine Clark. A little shaken up. Justice League had a……….experience in Gotham."

There was a long pause. "Really. During the day," asked Superman a little too innocently."

"It started out during the day. We were on Wayne Tower at night."

Another long phrase. "Really."

"Clark, Oliver shot him with an arrow."

"Did it hit him?"

"What do you think?"

"Going to Happy Harbor?"

"Be there in 15 minutes."

"I need to make a call then I'll be there in 10."

The Green Arrow was pacing the cave at Happy Harbor, furious at the world. "We have to go back. No way some goof ball who dresses like a rat gets the best of the Justice League."

"He didn't get the best of the Justice League. He got the best of you," said Canary.

"Really," yelled back Queen. "So you let him do that."

"You shot him with his back turned, Oliver," yelled GL. "You picked a fight. But you do have a point. Did you see what he did to J'onn? He is dangerous. We should put him down."

"The Batman did not do anything to me…… least not intentionally," said J'onn J'onzz as we walked in the cave with the last son of Krypton. "You need to hear the truth about Batman………at least what I can tell you."

"No," said Alan Scott, the first Green Lantern. "What we can tell you."