Title: Shining
Fandom: Justice League Unlimited
Characters: Vigilante/Shining Knight
Word Count: 864
Rating: PG
Author's Notes: This is partially episode-based. In Hunter's Moon, Vigilante mentioned he'd fought and been captured during the Thanagarian invasion, then put in a tiny cell and humiliated. (It's lines like that that tweak my imagination.) In Initiation, Superman said, in his welcoming speech, "We can't be cowboys anymore." When he opened his mouth a second later, I half expected him to say something like "No offense, Vigilante." But no, he just said "Or cowgirls" and everyone chuckled. Oh well.


Greg didn't reckon these strange alien bird-folk were much fond of humans. On account of all the inhumane treatment.

Sittin' in a tiny cell all by your lonesome gave a body over to contemplating, and he was doin' just that. Took his mind off the ungenerous proportions of his captivity. Helped him ignore the aches and pains in his body.

He'd lost his hat some time ago during the fight, unfair fight to his thinkin', and he missed it. It was a good hat. Done served him well.

His bandana'd been sacrificed to bandage a wound and his face felt a mite cold without it, though he was sure that was just his mind playin' tricks on him. Still, didn't sit right with him havin' his face so bare around the enemy.

For that matter, nothing about it sat right with him. Them bird-folk were up to somethin'. Somethin' more'n just catchin' folk an' lockin' 'em up and... Didn't bear thinkin' on. Made him uneasy.

Wasn't anything he could do about it, least ways. Bein' stuck in a tiny cell as he was.

And dadgum it, that was exactly what he didn't want to think on!

A sound at the entrance to his cell drew his attention and he looked up to see one of the bird-folk smirking down at him. Greg had a fair idea what he was there for, and it didn't involve his daily rations.

Where's a knight in shinin' armor when ya need one? he wondered as the alien drew closer.

Filthy hawks.


Looking over the crowd curiously, Greg listened with half an ear to Superman's speech. Quite a colorful bunch, they were.

Part of the speech caught his notice and he glanced up in surprise as a chuckle passed through the assembled heroes. Crossing his arms over his chest, he muttered to himself, "Ain't nothin' wrong with bein' a cowboy."

"Might I surmise, friend, that you are one such 'cowboy'?"

He didn't know how the feller'd managed to sneak up on him bein' so shiny, but that didn't seem to matter none once he raised his head and found himself starin' at the bluest eyes he ever done seen. Bluer'n a clear afternoon sky shinin' off a still lake, to get a mite poetic about it.

"I surely am, friend," he replied, tipping the brim of his hat. "Who might you be in them fancy duds?"

The man straightened as he said, voice shot straight through with nobility, "I am known as Shining Knight."

"Pleased t'meetcha." Greg stuck out a hand and Shining Knight took it, grasping his arm in an odd sorta handshake that felt like maybe it meant a little more than the usual pressin' of palms. "Name's Vigilante. You c'n call me Vig, ever'body does."

"A pleasure to meet you...Vig," Shining Knight replied, smiling.

"If'n you don't mind my askin', what's your story?" Greg asked, motioning to his get-up. "Dressin' up like y'r from Camelot with King Arthur'n 'em."

"I faithfully served King Arthur until I was frozen in an avalanche and later revived in this time."

Eyes widening, Greg blurted, "Git out! Y'mean y'r a genu-ine knight from way back in olden times?"

"I'm uncertain why you wish me to leave," Shining Knight said, looking uncertain. "But I am, as you say, a genuine knight."

Reaching out to clasp the man's shoulder, Greg grinned. "Now don't be runnin' off there, s'just an expression."

"I...see." Shining Knight looked at him curiously. "If I may ask a question, Vig?"

"I'll answer best I can."

"...Is Vigilante really your name? Some of the names of this time are...quite puzzling."

Greg stared at him a moment, then ducked his head and chuckled. "Shoot, I c'n see as y'have a point there. Naw, Vigilante ain't m'real name. S'just what I go by when I'm out rightin' wrongs, savin' li'l kitty cats outta trees, gen'rally makin' th' world a better place. Name's Greg. Greg Saunders. Jus' don't be spreadin' it 'round none."

"Very well, Vig." Shining Knight's expression grew momentarily thoughtful, then he smiled again. "I am Sir Justin."

"Well this looks t'be the start of a beautiful friendship, Sir Justin." Sudden movement out of the corner of his eye made Greg look up and he noticed that Superman had finished speaking and the crowd was dispersing, breaking off into smaller groups, enjoying the view, whatever caught their fancy. "What say you'n me go scoutin' this place out?"

"An excellent suggestion," Sir Justin agreed readily. "I must see to Victory. I fear this...stronghold was not built to accommodate animals."

"Victory?" Greg asked, following the man, who seemed to have a fair idea of where he was going.

"My steed," Sir Justin said, a proud smile lighting up his face. "A fine white stallion, with great, majestic wings."

"Sounds like a mighty fine horse you got there."

Well how's about that, Greg thought, listening with interest as Sir Justin described a battle he had fought against an ogre by the name of Blunderboar. A real live knight in shinin' armor, with a flyin' white horse an' ever'thin'. Don't that just beat all.

Yep, it looked to be a bright and shining future.