A/N: It's CATverse, but you know that already, you clever, clever thing. The story arc listing can be found at catverse. com and this story occurs in arc two.
Revision A/N: I'm going through this phase at the moment: a revisionist period, if you will. Writers are just neurotic when it comes to revisions, so pardon the mess and pretend you never read the original, unpolished version of this story, 'kay?
Originally written/posted 2007. Revised 2009.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 5:02 A.M., December 26th
Somewhere in central Alabama (Tuscaloosa, if you wanted to be precise) in a house where several nondescript lumps lay on an equally nondescript living room floor, the term "long night" didn't even begin to describe the events that had transpired the evening before. A "long night" was a night in the hoosegow, defending your chastity from a burly man named Bubba who wanted to make you his friend--his special friend; a "long night" was waking once every thirty minutes to feed/diaper/soothe an infant with colic; this particular "long night" was nothing like those.
"Hnnnghuugh," said one of the lumps.
"Gungahaagha," was the equally eloquent reply from one of the other lumps currently spread out on the floor, voice muffled by carpet.
"What the--smegging ow!" The third lump moved, wriggling out from under what appeared to be a sofa cushion and took on the distinctive shape of a woman. She clutched her head with one hand and blinked so rapidly you'd think she'd been hit in the eye with a fluorescent flood light, rather than the faint fingers of dawn that were trickling through one of the windows. "Frak. Headache. Ow."
"S'not a headache...s'a hangover," the first lump supplied wearily, not even bothering to try moving. That course of action seemed too ambitious to be worth the effort. After all, the living room would still be the exact same living room whether she was horizontal or vertical and right now, she liked horizontal.
"What did we do last night, Techie?"
The third lump struggled across the floor to the nearest wall where she reached up and flipped the light switch. Temporarily blinded, she rubbed her eyes until her vision came back. "Whatever it was, I'm sure it's illegal in at least one state."
"Ow. Why am I sore?" Al asked, rubbing her back as she sat up.
"I don't want to know the answer to--wait." Techie stared at the room without seeing it.
The Captain yawned widely, still flat on her back. "What?"
"We can't have hangovers, we didn't drink anything."
Gingerly, so as to keep the room from spinning any more than was absolutely necessary, the Captain sat up. "Didn't we?"
Techie shook her head. "Remember? The party was just getting started when--oh God. Oh God, oh God, oh God. The Scarecrow was here. Al…Al, you glomped him! He gassed the whole room!"
"Then why aren't we dead?" Al asked. "Or insane?"
"We got lucky? We were insane to begin with? He came back and administered the antidote?"
"Techie, there's being hopeful and optimistic and then there's being stupid," Al replied. "He'd never do that."
"Eddums was with him," Captain interjected, "he might've convinced him…"
"Sure," Al snorted, "and monkeys might fly."
Techie shrugged. "In Gotham they might. I mean, have you seen the theme villains?"
"Okay, okay, so you have a point."
"Where are the other guests?" The Captain asked suddenly. "Weren't there like…a dozen other people here last night?"
Techie glanced at the empty room. "Maybe they were smarter than us and decided to flee? It's not much of a stretch…the being smarter than us thing, I mean."
"Nah, if they did that, the cops would be poking around."
"Captain, it's not like the guest list was made up of people on speaking terms with the authorities…"
"She raises another excellent point."
The sudden ringing of the telephone shook all three women sitting on the floor into silence. They glanced at each other and then at the source of the offending sound.
"You get it," Al said.
"No. You get it," Captain returned.
"Techie, you get it."
"I don't want to."
"Well, we can't let it just keep ringing…"
"I say we test that theory."
"Sure. For science."
"I like science."
"They aren't giving up."
"You think so?"
"Fine, fine," Techie grimaced and reached for the telephone, snapping it up clumsily. "Hello?"
The Captain and Al traded a look when Techie's eyes got big behind her glasses and she said, "Turn on the TV. Now."
Al scrambled towards the television set and flipped it on, only to find the screen filled with image of a very familiar green clad figure's mug shot.
"EDDUMS!" The Captain cried, launching herself at the television and wrapping her arms around it as though she were hanging onto the man himself.
"This just in from the news desk!" the announcer exclaimed. "Edward Nygma, A.K.A. the masked Gotham City villain the Riddler, is under suspicion of mass murder and is currently being pursued by police across state lines."
"What do we do?"
"What can we do?"
"Rush to his rescue!" The Captain screeched, pushing herself off the floor and launching herself towards her bedroom. "Start packing! We're going to Gotham!"
She disappeared from sight, the sound of drawers being pulled out and closet doors being flung open deafeningly loud. Techie and Al looked at each other briefly.
"This will end badly," Al remarked.
"What makes you say that?"
And now, you ought to mosey on over to the story 'Letters from the Front' by Twinings.