Kindred Spirit

J'onn would have been perfectly content to stay on the Watchtower, but with Cadmus out to destroy their reputations, the League couldn't afford to waste any opportunity to show that they were still indeed the good guys. Superman was still trying to repent for all the damage he'd caused during his fight with Captain Marvel. Shayera had the Invasion and Cadmus staining her record, so she went on as many missions as she could get so she could prove to the Earth that she'd never betray them again. Batman showed up a little less frequently since the chaos with the Doomsday sanction, but Gotham had felt his presence—crime was at an all-time low, something not seen since the League was first formed. The Flash had gone back on active duty after a long sabbatical spent re-connecting to Central City and his colorful rogues' gallery. Both he and Green Arrow were working to keep the League on the straight and narrow, though J'onn suspected that the Question was also watching them. Diana and John had clocked in many hours, probably the most of all of them. In the end, J'onn was the only one who hadn't gone on a mission. He had no choice but to, and he did so reluctantly. Though he had confidence in Mr. Terrific's ability to man the Watchtower for this short period, he did not like leaving. He didn't belong on Earth and never had.

The battle in Japan was over relatively quickly (and Booster Gold joked with Static and Gear about how it was always a giant robot tearing apart Tokyo), so his team quickly moved to crowd control. Dr. Light was invaluable as their translator, but despite the language barrier, some Leaguers managed to make a good impression on the civilians. Supergirl got a fan-following in the local schoolgirls, and Vigilante enjoyed showing off that America still had some cowboys riding around. J'onn mostly supervised, trying to assess the damage and determine who needed help the most.

"J'onn, a little help here?" Dr. Light asked, kneeling next to a teenage boy. He was pale and shaking somewhat, and she gave him soft instructions in Japanese, to which he responded in a reassuringly strong voice. "He says he was studying in the library when the attack happened, but he wasn't hurt during evacuation but he passed out. The paramedics have their hands full, and I'm not sure what to do."

"You're doing fine," he assured. She was a seasoned superhero but didn't have all of her certifications for leading a team. Crowd control was one of her weaknesses.

J'onn then turned his attention to the boy and picked up a few stray thoughts. He nodded before saying, "Low blood sugar, most likely. He skipped two meals while studying." The message was repeated through telepathy, which had no such language barriers. The boy turned faintly red and murmured an apology. "Dr. Light, wait here. I'll return shortly."

There was a grocery store a couple of blocks away, and it only took a shapeshift and a Wayne Enterprises-issued credit card to get him through. When he returned, the boy was still sitting on the sidewalk, drinking juice that someone had gotten him. His color had returned for the most part, but J'onn knew it would be better if he ate something. He unwrapped the package of Oreos and placed them in the boy's lap.

"Eat," he instructed telepathically. "The sugar will help." Then, to make the whole situation less intimidating (but still surreal, as Dr. Light's thoughts indicated), he sat next to him and took a cookie out of the package. The boy stared at him in surprise as he untwisted the halves, ate the cream first, and then finished the chocolate cookies—just as any human would. Then with a smile, the boy followed suit.

A few cookies later, and they'd managed to carry on a telepathic conversation. The boy, Kouichi Kimura, as he'd introduced himself, handled the oddness of eating Oreos with a superhero rather well. And from the stray thoughts he unintentionally sent J'onn's way, this was considered fairly normal for him. J'onn didn't mean to read his mind, but Kouichi was like an open book, and the story inside was fairly disturbing but too hard to resist following.

"I don't know how I'll explain this to my mom," Kouichi admitted. "I managed to call her to say I wasn't hurt, but still…" There was a trickle of memories that gave J'onn some insight into the Kimura family life. Kouichi was raised as an only child by a divorced mother with health problems, apparent depression, and an extremely stressful job.

"You don't want to worry her," J'onn inferred.

Kouichi nodded, and a few more images slipped through. There was a large number of happy memories with his twin brother, but awkward moments with his father and stepmother that seemed few and far-between. Whatever had forced the boys to grow separately had left a lasting impression in Kouichi's mind.

"Your family is very important to you?" J'onn asked, trying to get a better idea of Kouichi's feelings on the subject—both what he told others and what he truly felt.

"I fought hard to get it," Kouichi insisted, and there was a sudden flood of memories that made no sense to J'onn: a demon fighting several armored warriors and hurting one in wolf-themed costume; a man in lion-themed armor fighting alongside a man in lupine armor against various monsters; the lion-warrior taking a killing blow meant for children that broke down his armor and revealed Kouichi himself underneath before his body fell apart into shining ribbons of something; Kouichi waking in a hospital to the sight of his brother sobbing uncontrollably while several other children ran their way. J'onn was puzzled, but from what he could put together, Kouichi was a metahuman—or at least used to be one, and very similar to Captain Marvel at that. He suddenly dreaded how wrong Superman's battle with the ten-year-old super could have gone, or what could have happened if Captain Marvel met an enemy that much stronger than he was. It could have gone as horribly as it had for Kouichi, as this had nearly cost him his life.

"And your friends?" J'onn asked, trying to pretend he hadn't just seen every secret Kouichi had kept all of his life. "Did you have to fight for their acceptance too?"

Kouichi was about to bring another cookie to his mouth, but he froze momentarily. It was a very brief moment, and almost unnoticeable, but anyone who dealt with Batman on even an irregular basis could pick up these subtleties. Kouichi's shoulders sagged as he put the cookie down, telling J'onn, "They accepted me pretty fast." His thoughts suggested otherwise, however. Despite what they'd gone through, he wasn't quite one of the team, a member of the core six. There was the core five, and then him. It eerily paralleled J'onn's relationship with the League now. Kouichi couldn't relate to ordinary humans because he'd once been something more, and he couldn't even relate to the people who had shared that experience simply because the rest of his experiences were just too alien for them to understand. In all honesty, he might as well have come from Mars.

Kouichi stood up suddenly and handed over the half-empty package, declaring, "I'm feeling better, so I'd better get home. Thanks." He bowed in gratitude before heading off to the train station, a little too quickly. J'onn didn't blame him in the least.

J'onn stood and scanned the area, but no one was left. Finally, he slipped the Oreo package back in its wrapper and tucked it under an arm before tapping his earpiece.

"Watchtower, one for transport."

Shimmering lights signaled his departure.

I own neither Justice League Unlimited nor Digimon Frontier. In all honesty, this is a crackfic written one day when I realized how similar J'onn and Kouichi are in characterization. Hopefully, I've written it so that even people who don't watch Digimon can at least catch the gist of what's going on, at least from J'onn's point of view.