I want to thank all my reviewers, and as always a very special thanks to my BETA Hepburn, and to her mom who just had a Birthday (Applause!). Now without further ado...
As the two heroes walked, Superman noticed that his friend's steps were a bit uneven and shaky, something he was not used to seeing from him. "You sure you're okay, because it looks to me like that spell took more out of you than you think?" He asks.
"I'm fine," Batman answers, "or at least I will be once I get back home. Back to Alfred, Tim, Barbra, Jim, Dick, and especially Diana. And after I get back, if I ever see anything Kryptonian again...except for maybe you...it will be too soon. In fact, you're not Kryptonian anymore. From now on your just a guy from Kansas, who happens to have superpowers."
Superman raised a worried eyebrow at that. "Okay Bruce...um...you want some water?" He asks. The Dark Knight's tired steps stop for a minute, as he takes a swig of liquid.
As the two start again they hear a monstrous bellow from above. Looking up they see a large flat alien creature flying overhead. Hanging from the bottom of it is Doomsday and a small group of spear wielding Zoners, who all drop off to land in front of the heroes.
"Okay, what in God's name is that?!" Superman asks, pointing up at the retreating creature.
"My ex smuggling buddy, Tod," one of the Zoners answers, "Not much for fighting, but he was always a lot of help with the heavy lifting."
"Well...that answers my question," Superman says, "thanks."
"Attack!" Doomsday bellows, and with that they rush at the Leaguers.
"You take ugly, I'll handle his friends," Batman tells his teammate.
"You sure you're..." before Superman can finish the question, the Dark Knight flings a round ball at the ground in front of the spear men on the far side of Doomsday, which erupts in a fiery explosion, and then he takes down one of the advancing Zoners on the other side, with the kind of savagery he usually reserves for clowns. "Alright then."
As the Caped Crusader begins beating down his prey with extreme prejudice, Doomsday and the Man of Steel square off. The villain starts things with a dozen swipes at his enemy's head, the boney blades on his arms missing him by inches. In response, Superman rolls out of the way, and picks up a discarded spear. When his gray clone hacks down at him with a meaty spiked arm, he ducks out of the way and jabs the butt of his spear into his enemy's eye.
Meanwhile, the Batman is terrorizing the henchmen. After he takes the time to break each limb on one of the spear men, most of his still conscious companions decide its more prudent for them to run for it. One of them, however, decides to try and skewer the Dark Knight by leaping at him and plunging his weapon down into his back. To his amazement and horror, the Batman almost seems to glide out of the way, and before the Zoner's feet can hit the ground, the hero grabs him by the neck. "I'm tired, I'm hungry, and I haven't seen my wife in days...because of you!" The Batman tells him in a quiet hate filled voice.
"GAAK! ...I'm...sorry...?" he chokes out. The Batman head-butts him, knocking him out, and drops him to the ground.
Seeing that things have taken a turn for the worst, a Zoner backs up to Doomsday and says, "My King, we are the only ones left."
The villain looks around, and finds that to be true, and stabs the bone blade on his arm...into the last standing spearman. As the man gurgles blood and dies, Doomsday pulls out his spike and wipes the blood off of it before turning to the heroes and telling them, "Leave now."
The two heroes look at each other in shock. "Leave now?! You just murdered one of your own men, and now your telling us to escape! What is this?!" the Man of Steel demands.
"If Linyn was to make it to Earth, she would have more power than the three of us could ever dream of," he answers, "and then she would need me no more."
"And you love her too much to let her go," Batman says.
"Yes." Doomsday says, "Though I doubt my Queen foresaw this when she cast her spell on me."
"You knew?" Superman asks. When his enemy nods the Kryptonian asks, "Then why?"
Doomsday laughs at the question. "Superman, before I met Linyn, the only thing I wanted in all of existence was to destroy you. Now...I have love. Would you be so quick to throw that away?" he asks.
Superman stares dumbfounded at him until Batman shouts, "Superman!" Once he gets his attention he says, "Remember what they say about gift horses? Let's just get the hell out of here."
With that the Man of Steel just shakes his head, and the two run towards home.
A team of the Justice League stand in the Fortress of Solitude as the teams leader, Diana of Themyscira tells them, "Alright people, this is a rescue mission. Batman has not made contact for about five hours so there is a chance that he might..." before she can finish her sentence the two heroes jump through the portal and into the room. "Oh. Never mind everybody, everything seems to be handled, and thank you for your...um...willingness to help." At that the rest of the team shrug, and beam out.
She turns to the two and says, "Wow, you both look like you have been dragged through Tatarus, are you alright?"
Superman turns off the projector and in a small voice says, "Yeah," before walking away.
As he does she turns to Batman, who is rolling his eyes under his mask. "Bruce?"
"Its alright, I'll take care of it," he says walking after him.
"You sure?" she asks.
He answers with a wave and keeps walking, thinking as he does, First I had to save your life after you got yourself sucked into the Phantom Zone, and now there is something else wrong with you. And they say I'm the one with issues.
When he reaches the Man of Steel, he is standing under a yellow sun lamp, soaking up its power. "Kent, what is it?" the Dark Knight asks, with the sort of bluntness that would make Shayera proud.
Superman shakes his head and chuckles for a second. "Its just...that is it. That's what's left of my people? I mean they are all trapped in some red hell, and I hope to heaven that they stay there. What does that say?"
"Clark. They are not your people," Bruce says. Clark looks at him and he continues, "The Kents are your people. The Daily Planet, the Justice League, they...we are your people. Not the scum in the Phantom Zone. Never forget that."
Clark smiles at him, "Thanks Bruce."
"You're welcome. Now you'd better go see Lois, before she steals a plane and heads for the Artic," Bruce tells him.
Superman laughs, and then in a flash he streaks away.
Then Batman turns to see Wonder Woman standing behind him. "That was pretty sweet of you," she says. He responds with a tired grunt. "Oh, are you tired, my poor baby?" she asks, with a fake concerned voice.
The Batman glares at her for a second, before picking her up off her feet and saying, "I'll show you tired. Tower main, priority WMBC, authorization code Biff Bam Pow!" With that the two transport away.
The end! Everyone, tell me what you think!