Shades of Red
A Justice League fanfic by Lavender Gaia
Editing and Assistance by Caytie and Jen
Disclaimer: I do not own Justice League or any of the recognizable characters appearing in this chapter. They are all property of DC Comics. I also don't own Elliot, Olivia, or Kim Possible. They all belong to their respective owners.
Dedicated to everyone who read this and gave his or her opinion before I posted it. Thanks, guys!
"This is just not my day." Holding a small Petri dish of dirt in his left hand, Wally West held back a sigh and ran his right hand through his bright red hair. He set the glass dish on the counter in front of him and stared at it, as if demanding it to give up all its secrets. The dirt was silent, and his job just got a lot harder. He sighed to the side, making sure not to ruffle the small spot of dirt, then dumped it to a Ziploc baggie and shoved it back into the evidence cabinet, grabbing some fresh bags and slipping them in his pocket before closing it back up.
He hung up his white lab coat and said goodbye to the other technicians before going to punch out for the day. Watching the hallway surreptitiously, he snuck down the corridor until he reached the center of the police department. People continuously walked in and out of the room, so no one noticed as he slid along one of the desks, kneeling alongside it and smiling up at the detective sitting there. "Hey, Liv, how ya doing?"
She raised an eyebrow at her over her warm brown eyes, smirking lightly as she leaned back in her chair. "Fine, Wally. How are you?"
"Not so good actually," he admitted, watching her cross her arms over her chest. He could tell she wanted him to cut to the chase. "I need dirt, Liv."
"I need dirt to find this guy," she retorted. "But I can't get that."
Smiling winningly at her, he said, "But my dirt is so much easier. If you could just let me tag along to the crime scene since I know you're going…"
Pushing a lock of her brown hair behind her ear, she leveled a stare at him. "You aren't authorized to go there, West. If you mess it up, it'll be on our heads."
"But I won't, I promise! No one will find out," he swore. "Plus, what the DA doesn't know won't hurt her. If I get this dirt, I could crack the case. And you, Detective Benson, will get all the credit."
She continued to watch him until a shadow fell over the lab tech and she looked up to find her partner. "Hey, Elliot."
Wally turned around, staring up at the imposing figure of Elliot Stabler. The older, brown-haired man raised his eyebrow at the young technician as Wally raised a hand in a wave, "Hi there."
"What do you want, West?" Detective Stabler asked, a hint of amusement shining through his irritation.
"I just need two minutes at the crime scene," he pleaded, literally down on his knees. "No, two seconds! In and out, I promise."
Elliot smiled lightly, obviously enjoying this. "Did you ask the captain?"
"Now, see, I figure: why bother Cap with this? It's just a quick thing. No need to tell anyone, really." As Wally tried to rationalize his actions, the impassive look remained on the detective's face. Wally West let out a sigh of defeat, then immediately brightened up as an idea struck him like a bolt of lightning. "I'll be your coffee boy for a whole month. Order it, pay for it, bring it to you. How about that?"
It was well known throughout the police station that Detectives Stabler and Benson were caffeine addicts with their poison of choice being coffee. In fact, the situation was the butt of quite a few jokes, a lot of which Wally himself had made. However, now he was using that to his advantage—if it worked.
As the two detectives exchanged a look of silent communication, the speedster couldn't help but notice it was an awful lot about how Batman and Superman communicated when they didn't want him to know what was going on. Other than the obvious fact that Batman and Superman had less underlying sexual tension. Except, well, he did hear… Wally shook his head slightly, banishing that thought from his mind.
Finally, Elliot sighed in defeat, a triumphant smile on Olivia's face. It seemed as if she had worn him down. Wally wondered how women did it sometime, but knew he would never find out that trick. It was definitely something passed down from the Amazons if how Diana controlled Batman was any hint. "Well…?"
"Meet us by the unmarked cars in five minutes," Elliot grumbled under his breath, hitching his thumb over his shoulder towards the door. "Now get outta here."
Smiling in thanks, Wally jogged slowly—or what was considered slow for a speedster—out of the department and headed towards the garage. One thing was still plaguing his mind though. What was he supposed to do for five minutes?
He ended up starting and finishing the newspaper crossword, three sample sudoku puzzles from a lame advertisement, and planning the menu for the get together he was having with his friends that weekend. Of course, he still had to check whether Dick wanted his pizza from New York, Chicago, or if he should go all the way to Italy. Eventually, he decided against the latter, definitely not needing the "Pizza wasn't really developed in Italy" lecture for the thousandth time.
Eventually, Elliot and Olivia approached him, sliding into one of the brown sedans. "Don't forget, West—In and out," Detective Stabler reminded him, watching the lab tech the back backseat from the rearview mirror.
"Yes, sir!" Wally saluted, slightly exaggerating the movement. Olivia smirked at her partner as Elliot rolled his eyes and pulled out of the station.
When they arrived at the crime scene, the police officers and Wally slipped under the barriers of yellow tape. Detectives Stabler and Benson headed towards the house to gather information about the victim, while Wally headed towards the garden in the back where the young woman had been killed.
Slipping on a pair of latex gloves, he knelt next to a flowerbed, the daisies still stained red from her blood due to the lack of rain. Heart aching for the young victim who had just been in the area to care for her sick mother who had passed away two weeks before her own murder, Wally scooped a generous handful of the soil into his Ziplock baggie. He carefully moved to the other flowerbed parallel to the murder scene, gathering more dirt to act as a control.
After standing up, he took a good long look at the flowers. Maybe it was just trite sentiment, but he hated the idea of a murder tainting something that looked so nice. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a potting shed with a hose attached to it. He wouldn't be able to do anything flowers where the death had occurred, but it couldn't hurt to water the others now that he had the dirt. If anything, he'd just blame it on the nonexistent rain.
He was unwinding the long garden hose when someone appeared in his line of vision. It was an Asian woman, about his age, with a power suit, gorgeous hair…and her own one-woman camera crew. She looked like an odd fit, but she was a good-looking odd fit. "Can I help you…?"
"I'm from channel six news," she told him, brown eyes searching his face hopefully. "I was wondering if I could interview you about what the police are doing here."
"Um, well, you can't, actually," he told her, pulling off the remains of the hose. When her face drooped in defeat, he corrected himself, "I mean, I'm not supposed to be here. If anyone else finds out that I'm here, then my friends and I could get in a lot of trouble."
She nodded. "Oh. Well, thanks anyway."
Not wanting her to leave so soon, Wally offered, "I could give you some information as long as I don't have to be on camera."
For a moment she considered it, then nodded again, a smile lighting up her face as she pulled a notepad and pen from her purse. "Okay. What's going on?"
"This is the third of three murders. They all involve people who have been sliced by what seems to be a very sharp knife, one that is used for each murder. They either bleed to death or die from the wounds inflicted on him. Part of the killer's MO is the fact that he cuts out their tongues and it appears that he keep them for himself," Wally explained sadly, trying to keep up a professional appearance. "Or she, of course."
She turned green for a moment. "That's, um, disgusting."
Chuckling lightly, he nodded, "Yeah, well, in this line of work you get pretty used to it."
After jotting some notes down on her pad, the reporter asked, "So, why hasn't this been released to the media before?"
"We discovered the first two murders at about the same time. The investigators wanted a chance to make sure the two were not linked by a similar person or group before letting the entire world know and scare everyone. Know that we've discovered between the three that there is no known link, we were planning on releasing the information." Lowering his voice conspiratorially, Wally told her, "Just between you and me, I believe there's a press conference scheduled for tomorrow afternoon."
"This is great. Thank you so much, Mr…Uh…I didn't get your name," she blushed lightly, pushing a lock of silky black hair behind her ears.
"Because I didn't get interviewed, remember?" he winked, grinning at her as he extended a hand in greetings. "But, off the record, I'm Wally West."
She returned his grin. "I'm Linda Park. It's very nice to meet you, Mr. West." As she shook his hand, a jolt of electricity ran up his arm and down his spine, leaving his tingling.
"You too," Wally whispered, then cleared his throat. "But, please, call me Wally. You know, if you want an actual interview, I'm here with two detectives from the police station. Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson. Personally," he added quietly, "I'd go with Detective Benson: she's the nice one."
Nodding lightly, Linda slipped her pad back into her purse. "I guess I'll do just that. Thank you again, Wally. You have no idea how much I appreciate this." Turning around, she sought out her camerawoman, who had been watching the exchange between the two with interest. "C'mon, Marla, let's go see what we can do."
Wally waved as the two women walked away. After giving the plants a once over with the hose, he jogged slowly back into the house, where Detective Stabler was examining some items in the bathroom. "Here, man. Dirt."
"This is the last time, West," Elliot reminded him as he pocketed the sample. "I'll put this with the rest of your stuff when I get back to the station."
"Thanks again, man. I owe you. I promise, coffee tomorrow, no matter what!" Wally headed towards the door of the room, waving back at his colleague. "See you then!"
"Wait a second!" Elliot called, frowning at him. "Don't you want a ride back to the station?"
Shaking his head, the lab tech explained, "Nah, I walked there and I can walk home from here. No biggie. See you later!"
Wally jogged out of the house and a little bit on the road, smiling lightly as he saw a shot of Linda interviewing Olivia out of the corner of his eye. Once he felt that he was safely out of view of just about everyone, he pulled the Flash ring out of his pocket, put it on his finger and released the costume, speeding into it in a mere two seconds.
Although he had his speed even when he wasn't the Flash, wearing the suit of unstable molecules always made him feel a little bit faster. Less inhibited, perhaps. As he sped his way back towards the inner workings of Central City, he felt in his element, a lot more so than he had getting interviewed by the reporter, as unbelievably hot as she was.
While he tried to place his finger on where he knew her from, several civilians flagged him down, waving at him to get their attention. Stopping still next to them, he asked, "What's wrong?"
"Flash!" Mrs. Becker, the woman who owned his favorite ice cream shop said, "There's a robbery at the Central City Bank. I think they could use your help." The other people with her nodded or sounded off in agreement.
"Don't worry about it, guys. I'm on it!" Speeding off, he reached the bank where he personally deposited all his paychecks, noticing the three police cars in front. Pausing next to one of the cops, who had his gun aimed at the front doors, he asked, "What's going on?"
The officer sighed in relief at the sight of the hero. "Thank God you're here, Flash. Two supervillains, about fifteen hostages we think."
"Gotcha," Flash nodded. "Everyone stay back." Putting on a burst of speed, he quickly ducked into bank, almost hitting his head on a large ramp of ice, ducking at the last moment. "What the…?" he murmured, looking around. "Didn't I just put Captain Cold back in jail?"
"I'm not Captain Cold! I'm the Golden Glider!" came a whiny voice, presumably from the young blonde skating on the ice ramps that weaved across the main room of the bank. "He's a jerk and I'm going to prove that to him for good when I take you down, Flash!"
Deciding that checking on the hostages was the most important thing at the moment, he eyed the banking customers and employees blocked into a large cubicle by a large spinning top. Flash raised an eyebrow at the scene, then decided that he'd seen weirder, generally in the form of Martians and Oreos. He was snapped out of that reverie by two more unseemly large tops seemingly falling out of the sky on top of him. Flash just managed to dodge them as a male voice cried, "Dammit! I almost got him, baby."
"Spinning tops of doom?" Flash questioned, looking around the room, trying to get a glance at the person who had tried to kill him with a child's toy. "Someone's been watching a bit too much Kim Possible."
"I came first!" the same male voice spat from one of the ice ramps. Flash's eyes burned as he tried to focus on the bright green and yellow striped body suit the villain was wearing. "I am The Top! That stupid show stole it from me."
Snorting, Flash quipped, "The Top?" It took him a few seconds to speed behind him, talking loudly in his ear, "Now, that's original! Just as much so as your costume. Let me guess—you're green/yellow colorblind and this all just looks beige to you, right?"
The Top threw exploding tops at the superhero as the skating girl yelled, "Don't take that from him!"
When he spotted her across the room, Flash ran over the ice ramps, getting to her quickly and running backwards as she skated towards him. "Are you two together?" he asked with mock sincerity. "Oh, that is so sweet! You two are probably really good together," he added as he took in her outfit, a light orange skating dress with a high collar and puffy sleeves. "You do know that the '80s are over, right?"
"Shut up!" she demanded as she tried to slash him with extra ice blades she was carrying.
"And fur is really bad for all those poor animals," he noted, indicated the white fur at the end of her long sleeves. "But you know what's really bad for you?"
She frowned behind her light orange mask as he grinned. "Dead end!" Before she could understand what was going on, Flash jumped off the ice ramp to the carpeted floor of the bank and she fell off the end, unable to create her ice ramp in time. Smiling to himself, he realized why learning to glance at things so quickly no one else could tell helped. Besides at cards, of course.
"Don't worry, honey, I've got him!" The Top screamed, sending a barrage of razor-tipped tops down at the speedster. He managed to dodge them all, but one sliced through the dress of Golden Glider, who screamed in frustration.
"That was my dress!" she glared at her boyfriend, tossing small explosive rhinestones at The Top.
The other supervillain ducked, covering his head with his arms. "Sorry, sorry! I didn't mean to!"
Muttering to himself, Flash realized, "Supervillain love. Now I know why it makes Batman so mad!" While the loving couple bickered, he ran over to the hostages. "Hold on, guys, I'm gonna get you out of here." He sped up his body in time with the top, then grabbed hold of one of the outer rims, slowing both of them down at the same and moving the top to the side.
"Thank you, Flash," the bank owner sighed.
"Don't thank me yet," the Leaguer advised. "Let's get everyone out of here first. You guys move along as quietly as you can, and I'll try to distract the love birds." Heading back over into the fray of things, he announced loudly, "So, have you two ever thought about counseling? Springer, maybe?"
The Top hesitated for a minute. "Babe, don't you think we should be fighting him?"
Glowering at the other villain, she snapped, "Shut up!" before jumping into the air and creating another ice slide. As she approached, Flash ran back to the top he stopped, bringing it back with him. When she slid closer to him, he scooted underneath the slide, jamming the pointed part of the top up into the ice, cracking it.
Golden Glider shrieked as she flew through the air, landing hard on the other side of the room with ice chunks all round her. "Oh, God, my ankle!" she cried, grabbing the appendage.
Flash rushed over, giving it a quick once over. "Looks like a sprain. But you won't want to be wearing these in case it swells," he insisted, removing her skates in a few seconds. "I'll just keep them for now."
"Get your hands off her!" The Top yelled, running over to them only to trip on a piece of ice that was still littering the floor, going down himself. "Dammit, Lisa, you and your stupid ice!"
Eyeing a large fire hose on the wall of the bank, Wally ran over and grabbed it, wrapping it around The Top so that he couldn't move. "Yeah, you know, I think you two would benefit greatly from some counseling. I'm not sure if they have that in prison, but I guess you'll find out!"
He signaled to the police, who rushed in with cuffs and an EMT, who wrapped up Golden Glider's ankle, calling it just a mild sprain. As the two were led outside to the police van, The Top whispered to his girlfriend, "We should have just listened to your brother."
"Oh, shut up, Roscoe!"
Flash stood with a lieutenant, shaking his head. "That's reason enough as any for someone to avoid relationships." Of course, it did point out the fact that even the crazies who liked to rob banks had someone while he hadn't had a girlfriend in…well, longer than he'd like to remember.
After making sure that everything was under control, Flash made his way to the apartment that he called home. Switching back to Wally West outside of the building, he went upstairs, wondering exactly what he wanted to order in or microwave for dinner.
As he was walking into his apartment, the phone rang and Wally picked it up after one ring. "Hello?"
"Took you long enough," said a good-natured voice at the other end of the line."
"Hey, Dick," said the hero as he settled on to his favorite spot on the couch. "What's up?"
"Nothing much," Nightwing informed him. "Just wanted to make sure that everything was set for Saturday."
Grabbing a beer from the fridge and settling on the couch with a bag of chips, Wally nodded, aware that Dick couldn't see him, but would still know. "Pretty much. I'm going shopping for the food tomorrow. I was thinking sweet, salty, beer, and pizza."
"The four food groups. Perfect."
As he enjoyed two of those four, Wally asked, "Just wondering, why are we doing this at my house?"
"Donna's having her kitchen remodeled, Garth lives underwater, I live in a so-called closet, and would you really trust Roy with something like this?" his best friend reminded him.
"Man, I'm surprised he remembers to feed his daughter most of the time," Wally rolled his eyes. "Do you guys even know how you're getting here? I know that I'm kind of out of everyone's way."
Dick considered it for a second. "I'm pretty sure that Garth and Roy are using Arthur and Ollie's transporters. I'm flying over with Donna."
"Ooo, using the teleporter for recreational fun. Bruce's going to love that," Wally smirked.
"If he gives you grief about it, tell him next time we'll just borrow the Wayne Enterprises jet," the heir apparent to the company said, a wicked tone to his voice. "And we'll let Roy fly."
Wally choked on his beer as he laughed, imagining the look on Batman's face. "Oh, man, Grayson, you are cruel."
"Let's just call it payback for making me wake up at the crack of dawn to train every single day during summer break," he retorted. "So, any plans for tonight?"
"Monitor Duty," the redhead sighed, searching through his cabinets for something to eat before realizing he could just raid the fridge on the Watchtower.
With mock surprise, Dick asked, "Really? You mean Bruce hasn't figured out a way to do it all himself?"
Chuckling, Wally said, "Not yet. I'm sure he would if he could though. In fact, if anyone could find out how to do it, it's him."
"Please don't give him that idea," Dick pleaded, sounding slightly desperate. "He will do it and I'm the one who's going to be in trouble with Alfred."
"Calm down, Short Pants," Wally smirked, seeing his friend's eye roll in his mind. "Hey, I met a girl today."
"Really? That's cool."
Holding back his frustration, he reiterated, "I know that's not a big deal in your world where every girl is not only willing to jump into bed with you, they're already there waiting, but I haven't had a date in forever. And she was really cool."
"Hey!" Dick protested, sounding offended. "I'm not some kind of…manwhore or something."
"Must I get out the list?" Wally deadpanned, voice slightly serious.
Clearing his throat, Dick changed the subject back to Linda. "Is she pretty?"
"Totally hot," he sighed, thinking of her sparkling brown eyes and silky hair. "You can't meet her, though. I've seen what happens when you meet women."
"Don't worry about it," Nightwing assured him. "I think I'm kind of getting serious with someone. I'm not going to steal your girl."
"You, with someone?" Wally questioned with mock shock. "No? Really? Let me guess: she's a redhead, isn't she?"
He could practically feel the sarcasm dripping off Dick's fake laughter. "Ha ha. I've got to get going, Wally. See you Saturday at seven?"
"I'll be here, man."
"Bye, twinkle toes."
"See ya, Boy Wonder." With that, Wally hung up the phone, cleaned up his snack mess, changed into his Flash costume and was beamed up into the Watchtower. After stopping to say hi to a few members, he arrived in the Monitor Womb just as his shift started.
Black Canary looked relived as Flash entered to room. "Oh, good, you made it. I thought you were going to be late."
Looking slightly insulted, Wally insisted, "I'm never late! What are you so anxious about?" Grinning at her and raising a leering eyebrow, he asked, "Got a hot date tonight?"
"Let's put it this way," the blonde woman smirked. "If not, this team's going to need a new archer. See you later, Flash."
He quickly moved out of her way as she exited the Monitor Womb. He didn't have the guts to piss off Black Canary; sometimes he wondered if Green Arrow was really brave, really stupid, or some sort of bad combination of both.
After a few hours of staring at boring television screens, Wally turned one to Central City News, seeing what he could catch of the late night broadcast. His heart leapt up into his throat as a familiar Asian woman came on the scene. "Thanks Stacey," she told the anchor. "I'm Linda Park here at Central City Bank, where just a few hours ago Flash took down Golden Glider and The Top, as well as saved over a dozen hostages."
As she went through her interviews, he watched, entranced by how good she looked on the camera. He didn't even notice when Orion walked in behind him and started watching over his shoulder. "That's the girl from the museum," the other man noted. "Is she stalking you or something?"
It was at that moment that the realization hit him like a flash of lightning. That was the same woman from the museum opening! How could he forget? Of course, he had been rather preoccupied at the time… He kicked himself for not remembering her face, then addressed Orion's question. "It's her job to report the news. In Central City, I am the news."
"Whatever," he muttered, grabbing whatever he had been in the Womb to get, and then left, leaving Wally alone with the television screen.
When Linda's part was done, Wally tried to think of other times he may have seen her on the news. She looked rather young, about the same age as him, so she couldn't have been working for very long. But then, he had to admit that he didn't watch the news as much as he should. He heard just about everything as Flash, and it wasn't as interesting the second time around.
Linda Park, on the other hand, was interesting even the third time around. Noting that he still had a few hours left of his shift, Wally opened an internet browser and began to search for everything he could on the reporter.
A/N: This is something I've been working on for a while, and this is the final product. Please let me know what you think. I'll continue working on it, but if people don't like it then I don't have to worry about updating. The following chapters probably won't be this long. But I love FLinda (love the word too), and I wanted to write something about them though that isn't solely what this fic is about.
Questions, comments, reactions and reviews are greatly appreciated.