Flash By Northwest
a Justice League story
by Dotfic and Merlin Missy
Copyright 2007
TV-14 (DSLV)

Disclaimer: DC Comics and Warner Brothers own the characters and situations. No infringement on their property is intended or should be inferred.

Continuity/Spoilers: Takes place after JLU "Destroyer" and the events of the flashback in "Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker"

Thanks to Amilyn for her beta on this work. All mistakes that may still be found herein are ours alone.

Pairings: Lots. If it was canon, if it was implied in canon --- heck, if we just thought it was amusing at the time --- it's in there.

Summary: The Big Seven (plus one) are trapped inside a world created by a magical artifact. As the body count rises, familiar faces hide deadly secrets and it's up to Flash to save them.

"You're not having dinner with Bruce Wayne."

"I think you meant to rephrase that, because it sounded like you just gave me an order." Mari put on a pleasant smile for the benefit of anyone watching. Here on the Watchtower, rumors orbited the Earth faster than the satellite did.

John's frown deepened. She tensed, then took John's hand because it was better than smacking him. "It's just business, Boo. His secretary set it up. He read that interview I gave last month about the girls' program, and now the Wayne Foundation wants to give us a little funding and publicity."

"Yeah." If disbelief was a color, his uniform would have been making a whole new fashion statement.

Mari counted backwards from ten in her head, and then again in French before she spoke. "I wasn't asking permission. I was telling you my plans for tonight. You have watch until midnight anyway so unless you were planning on retasking a satellite to follow me around this evening, you wouldn't even have known."

She didn't bring up the last time she'd been on a slow late evening watch and had called to find out John "happened" to be with Shayera fighting Copperhead and Cheetah.

"You don't know him," John said. "He's up to something."

"I thought Batman was the paranoid one."

John dropped his glower to glance at her curiously until she let out an exasperated breath.

"I'll talk to you later when you're not acting like an idiot." And without looking back, she walked away from him. Not until he was well out of sight and earshot did she rest against a corridor wall and close her eyes.

John had told her about his little future hop with Batman and what, or rather whom, he'd seen. He'd told her it didn't matter, it wasn't a real future, just one possibility. If she hadn't spent the last two years picking up on his tells, she might've believed him.

Her head hurt, and the founders' private conference room was just a few doors down. It wouldn't be occupied for at least an hour; John had come up here early for a meeting, and Mari was just getting off-shift.

She went inside.

The lights brightened automatically in reaction to her presence. She went to sit at the table, and stopped herself. That table was magic in its way. Decisions that changed the world were made there. Plenty of arguments, too. That table meant responsibility, and power, and yes, justice. Admittedly, the majestic effect was spoiled by a pile of unread mail stacked at one end. The mail guys brought up fan letters sometimes, business proposals, marriage proposals, treaties, referendums.

They didn't have assigned chairs, but she knew the two of them sat together more often than not. It shouldn't bother her, but it did, and if John was going to be upset over what was really just a nice gesture on Mr. Wayne's part, then Mari could spare a few minutes to be angry right back.

There was a small package, coming open at one end. Probably had been opened and inspected already by the staff, she figured. Curiosity getting the better of her, she nudged the package the rest of the way open.

It was a book. Hardback, cheap but well-wearing yellow binding, with the gold-lettered title and author's name both too faded to make out. Mari flipped the cover open, idly glancing at the text.

And died.