"You know I'm Bruce Wayne." It was a secret most villains would kill for and often had.
A rude noise was all that greeted that not-so-amazing revelation. "Um…duh!" Flash snorted. "That is so not what I'm talking about, and you know it." The speedster paced back and forth in the monitor room, annoyance radiating from him in almost palpable waves.
"I don't know that guy. Heck, I don't even WANT to know that guy. He's a total phony, and we both know he's the mask, not this." Flash flicked one pointy ear on the man in black's cowl as he passed on another circuit of the room.
Daring to touch the Cowl of Doom normally got him a hard swat or, at the very least, a nasty narrowing of eye lenses. Not so much as a grunt of irritation this time. Annoying!
Flash continued in pacing with increased irritation. "You know everything about me since you're, y'know, The Batman," he snarked. "I figured I'd earned the right to know one simple thing about you."
Batglare #4. The I'm-not-having-this-conversation-with-you-end-of-story look. Crap.
"Apparently not," Flash said flatly.
"You know you can trust me, Wally," the vigilante said in a murmur that usually preceded Batman sidetracking Flash in terribly effective ways.
"Nuh-uh," a red gloved hand blurred in a slicing motion, cutting off the baaaaaad voice. "Nope, you don't get to call me that, not now. I'm mad at you," he reminded the caped crusader.
"This isn't about me trusting you to save the day with some nifty little Bat-gadget you didn't bother to tell anyone about…again." A red finger jabbed into a Kevlar plated chest.
"Or trusting you'll rescue us metas from our own hubris with some hard-ass but painfully poignant speech…AGAIN." Another jab, with force, right in the Bat emblem.
Fancy words used correctly, go me. Score one for the not-as-dumb-as-you-think-Superfriend. Flash almost smirked to himself at his accomplishment, but saved it for later when he was perusing the thesaurus for more words to use the next time he got in a verbal pissing match with a Leaguer.
"This is about YOU not trusting ME with something pretty darn simple." More poking, with speed this time, which rattled the Batman's teeth in his cowl.
A new Batglare, one Flash wasn't familiar with. He was too irked to waste time cataloguing it right now; especially when it became clear the Dark Knight was playing the Who-Can-Be-Quiet-The-Longest game.
Flash wasn't playing, not today. "Forget it. See you around, Bats."
Before the vigilante could blink he was alone once more in the monitor room, the only indication of the speedster's passage the flapping of his dark cape.
Amazing how someone usually so easygoing and cheerful could lace just his name with such sarcasm.
It wasn't the secrecy, and it wasn't the half-truth and mostly lies he told the other Leaguers when they said there was something different about him that irritated the Flash. To be honest, the sneaking around was really freaking hot. The Scarlet Speedster enjoyed being this kind of bad in such a good way.
It only added to the excitement, the thrill when armor clad muscles bullied him into dark, private corners at unexpected moments. The Flash sat on his own little secret bomb and totally enjoyed every tick on the countdown, never knowing when Bats would catch him off guard. That was when the wicked stuff happened and he loved it.
Nah, the creeping around wasn't what had him worked up into such a lather.
It was the silence, the darn Batman-patented silence that cut Superman off mid-rant and quelled bickering among the other Leaguers. That horrible silence when Flash and he were alone and the speedster asked him a personal question or made a casual remark, probing for the truth behind the Bat.
Ooooooh, when Batman used that silence on him it drove Flash crazy, and so not in the good way. The damn thing had weight, crushing the hopeful feeling in Flash's chest just when it thought thing were going pretty good.
Flash sat alone at a table in the corner of the commissary, his back to the room, steering his food around the plate. He was working hard on a good sulk while trying not to look like he was sulking and more like he was concentrating really hard on separating his food by group.
No, carrots don't go with the broccoli, they go over there with the orange whatever that is. Thousand Island dressing? Broccoli scooted over to join the snow peas, which were staging a rebellion by rolling away to hang out with the croutons. Dang croutons, always stirring up trouble. Flash neutralized the insurrection by squishing them into crumbs with his spork.
"Flash!" A hearty glowing hand slapped down on his shoulder, causing the speedster to turn and give a game half-smile to the Green Lantern. "Mind if I join you?" John Stewart asked, even as he slid into the bench opposite the Scarlet Speedster.
Flash shrugged as he used the lone survivor of the Great Crouton Massacre to corral those pesky spinach leaves into a pile in the far corner. He prodded an ear of baby corn on top, holding down the spinach in case it got any funny ideas about migrating across the border to Lettuce Land.
GL took a slug of coffee before shooting an eyebrow at his friend as he watched the Fastest Man on Earth, especially when it came to eating, methodically attempt to create modern art with his meal.
"What's eating you, Wally? Better yet, what the hell are you eating?" GL pointed at the neat little piles of food that were stacked into distinct pyramids. "Are those vegetables?"
His wry joke turned into concern when all he got in return was another shrug as Flash slowly chewed something healthy. Usually the guy was almost hidden behind several trays of sugar and carbs and puffed things that left neon orange dust on every surface, a blur of hands and smacking noises as he demolished enough calories for a Marine battalion. This was weird.
"Not that hungry." Flash mumbled as he leaned 3 carrot sticks against each other and made a teepee for chick peas to take shelter under. Flash's mind was elsewhere and he sighed, hoping it passed for frustration that sliced cucumber was stubbornly resistant to standing on end. Playing with his food wasn't nearly as much fun as it had been when he was 17, and Flash was starting to get bored of his vegetable village.
Bored was good, it came off like he didn't care about anything. Or anyone. Or any one particular thing that was sticking in his craw like that last freaking popcorn kernel he couldn't reach with dental floss. And he was definitely was NOT pouting. Nope, no pout here. He was brooding. Hey, Batman didn't hold the freaking copyright on a good brood, and Flash figured he'd picked up some techniques from the master, at least from proximity.
GL's eyebrow climbed until it almost disappeared into his hairline. "Uh-huh, pull the other one. What's going on?" He fixed one glowing green eye on his teammate with a determination that let Flash know the Green Lantern of Sector 2814 wasn't going to let him off without an answer.
"Wally, John." A larger than life blue and red figure sat down next to them. You could almost hear the faint strains of "Stars and Stripes Forever" as the Man of Steel settled his cape around him.
"Something's wrong with Flash," GL stated without preamble, pointing an accusing finger at the red clad figure that had resumed nudging food into a coherent architectural theme.
Superman looked the Flash over with a couple of types of vision and, detecting no cellular fluctuations or indications it was the Reverse Flash, shot GL an inquisitive look. "What do you mean? He looks fine to me."
"I'm right here, guys." Flash pointed his spork at Supes to make his point. An tiny cob of baby corn missed the Kryptonian's ear by inches.
Superman revised his opinion as he took in the rabbit niblets on Flash's single plate. This was weird.
Before he could press the matter, a cold presence fell over the table in the shape of the Batman. Superman had long ago come to the conclusion that the Dark Knight had some sort of meta-human ability, albeit one limited to killing conversations and making others as uncomfortable as sitting on a porcupine.
"Clark, John, Flash," the man in black said evenly as he enjoyed looming over them for a few moments.
The heroes shifted unconsciously in the Dark Knight's presence. The man had a way of making one feel guilty for just breathing in his personal space. Flash straightened up, his spine at rigid attention, as his face turned away as though something at the opposite end of the table was terribly fascinating. The spork that had been violating the arugula shifted to roll olives back and forth from one corner to another.
After the usual adjustment to the Batman's disconcerting presence, GL and Superman eyed each other, daring each other to point out Flash's unusual behavior to the detective.
Batman legendary detective skills saved them from stating the obvious as he looked down at the table and saw a salad bar version of Stonehenge. He shot a hard look at man in scarlet. "You're not eating."
"Yes, I am. See?" Flash said coolly as he crunched down on a carrot, showing more teeth than strictly necessary.
The vigilante's only response was to stalk away in a swirl of ebony cape. GL jerked his head at Flash again and shot a side-eye at Superman as the speedster moodily gnawed on a broccoli stem.
Not very good at starting awkward conversations Superman took a sip of milk to bide his time when a black shadow swooped down next to him once more, startling him.
"Aw heck, I just got this cleaned," he muttered as he used the edge of his cape to wipe at the stain on his S-shield. "Could you at least give a guy some warning before you do that?"
The ghost of a smirk creased the Batman's hard lips. "Whatever happened to super hearing?" He shoved a tray positively groaning under junk food at Flash. "Rabbit food isn't nearly enough for your metabolism.
Flash tried to turn his nose up at it from pure spite, but his stomach voiced its angry protest as it began to consume itself with a variety of gurgles and squeals that made heads turn several tables away..
"EAT," Batman stated in a voice that brooked no argument.
Annoyed at being bossed by the Bat, even as his stomach made embarrassing groans of anticipation, Flash shot back, "I swear you're enhancing the Bat-Sneak with that Kryptonite on your belt."
It was GL's turn to spit out his drink, splattering the Man of Steel. "Kryptonite?" he stammered.
"Oh yeah," Flash said casually as the Batman's lips disappeared in a thin line. "Just in case Supes here goes all RAWR DESTORY! again." He took a victorious chomp into a Ho-Ho and almost moaned in pleasure as the processed sugar flooded his veins. Steely determination to brood was irrevocably undermined in a happy rush of glucose bliss. Flash took off one glove and dug through assorted Hostess goodies to find a pink, fluffy, coconut encrusted Snowball. Score! The perfect back to a Ho-Ho front. Mmmmmm artificial.
Batman stared down Green Lantern and Superman in turn as he patted a pocket on his utility belt. "Lead-lined, just in case you're worried."
"I'm not," Superman snapped, the urge to singe the Dark Knight with his heat vision very tempting.
"I am," GL muttered as the Batman swooped away once more.
"Aw, c'mon you honestly didn't know?" Flash grinned around a mouthful of M&Ms and pineapple. "You didn't really think he was going to hand all of it over to the government, did you?"
The glum looks that greeted him said more than enough.
"Ha! You don't know him as well as you think. Pfft, amateurs." Flash smugly stuffed two whole Twinkies in his mouth at once then washed them down with a 2 liter of soda.
"Oh yeh, smart guy," GL grunted, "and how did you know?"
"Duh…he's -" Flash stuck two fingers up beside his head in bat ears.
"I'm Batman," the detective said tersely as he returned with his own tray of skinless chicken and steamed vegetables. He slid a big bowl over to the Flash as he sat down.
"Banana pudding? Sweet, that's my favorite!" Flash said in delight before he remembered he was supposed to be mad at the Bat. "I mean…pffft….whatever." He tried to ignore the bowl but it was hard; he almost could hear the Chiquita banana theme song start up in his head.
"And how, exactly, do you know that's Flash's favorite?" Superman said with a raised eyebrow that could only dream of matching the Dark Knight's for sheer awesomeness.
"I'm Batman," the vigilante stated again matter-of-factly around a bite of steamed asparagus.
"Ok then, oh-great-and-powerful Oz, what's my favorite dessert?" Supes leaned forward, resting his chin on his hand, a challenging look in his eye.
"Apple pie," Flash said in between bites of ice cream.
"What? How did you know that?" Superman's elbow slid off the table in surprise.
Flash narrowed mask lenses in his own mean Bats-impression as he looked over the World's Biggest Boy Scout, Mr. Stars and Stripes himself. "Lucky guess," he said dryly as he finished his entrée of processed sugar, carbs, and nuclear-war-surviving preservatives to attack the pudding. Mmmmm, 'nana!
What sounded like a laugh, quickly smothered by a cough, came from the hooded figure to his left.
"That was easy," GL snorted disdainfully at Flash. "No offense," he inclined his head in the Man of Tomorrow's direction, "but you're pretty transparent. A real challenge would be knowing what his was." He hooked a thumb at the black cowled man who sat methodically chewing his meal.
"Alfred's blueberry cobbler," Flash said nonchalantly as he licked a few dregs of pudding from his fingers.
GL and Supes turned their heads in unison to look at the Dark Knight, who paused a moment then nodded in silent confirmation.
"And how the hell do you know that?" GL demanded.
Flash stroked an imaginary goatee as he nodded wisely as his glowing friend. "Elementary my dear Lantern. There was the lingering smell and some telltale crumbs in the Javelin after Bats returned from his last trip planet-side," he said knowledgably at the stupefied looks from Superman and GL. "Hey, forensic tech here." Hooked two thumbs at his own chest. "Trace evidence is my thing."
Batman brushed his hands on his cape and stood, a little too close to the table in order to achieve maximum looming potential. "When you're finished showing off your deductive reasoning skills, Flash, we need some extra comm sets from storage on Level 4, Section B-2. New Leaguers coming tomorrow." Without waiting for a reply, Gotham's protector swooped away with a flutter of leather that suggested flapping wings.
"Does that guy ever just ASK for something? Or say thanks?" GL muttered in irritation at the retreating figure.
"Don't take it personal John. He's rude to everyone," Superman said.
"He's not being rude; he just expects everyone to do their part," Flash offered as he licked the bowl one last time. "What?" he demanded at the meaningful look that passed between the other heroes. "He just doesn't see the point in thanking someone for doing their job. I mean, it's your JOB. It's what we're all here for, right?" He suddenly felt like a very bright spotlight was aimed right at him when gave him matching, hard looks.
"You seem to have a surprising amount of insight into the Batman, Wally," Superman said knowingly as he leaned forward in interest. "I've known the guy for years and I don't know half the things you just tossed out. Especially the Kryptonite."
Wally flushed, suddenly very grateful his mask covered most of his face. He fiddled while putting his glove back on to buy himself time, coughed, and rubbed the back of his neck is discomfit before he realized he was twitching. He stamped down the uncontrollable jiggle that had just appeared in his right knee.
"Well, y'know, work in a crime lab, kinda big on the whole observing things, y'know, to solve crimes and stuff, oh hey gotta go, those comm sets won't get themselves bye!" Before either man could fully decipher Flash's hurried babble the speedster was gone in a gust of wind so strong Superman's cape flapped over his head to land with a splat in his unfinished meal.
After escaping the cafeteria and the suddenly penetrating gazes of his teammates, Flash slowed to a walk as he wound his way through the various sections of the Watchtower down to the storage levels. The lights were in power conservation mode, only half of them lit and set dim, due to the low volume of traffic in this section of the orbital base.
It lent the whole place a somewhat creepy vibe and Flash resisted the urge to call, "Who's there?" down the shadowy passage just like in the horror movie he liked scaring himself stupid with late a night sometimes. He chuckled to himself at his own silliness as he studied the section signs as regular intervals. "Section A-5…let's see…A-6….A-ha B-1, must be going in the right direction. Internal GPS wins again."
Finally locating right compartment, he keyed in his access code, and computer requested priority voice confirmation for entry. Storage units didn't usually have this level of security, but he guessed keeping the League communications units locked up tight wasn't a bad idea.
"Authorization Flash Alpha Seven." The door hissed open and Flash squinted as he entered when the motion sensitive lights didn't activate. "Computer, lights." Nothing. "Computer?" Not even an answering beep, but the door slid shut behind him with a hiss. "Hey, what the-"
"Flash." Oh dang, there was the voice. And he was doing his little trick where you couldn't tell where it was coming from. Majorly creepy.
Suddenly Flash was reminded he was supposed to be annoyed at the Batman.
"Bats, what the heck are you doing?" he said warily, turning in a circle, blindly bracing for an attack from any direction.
"You were angry because you said you didn't know anything personal about me," the voice murmured near his ear, but when Flash whipped around it was gone again.
"Who's to say I'm not still mad?" The speedster edged in what he hoped was the direction of a wall so he'd have at least one side covered. "Oh, and locking me in a dark room? Not helping your case."
His hand hit something, waist high, hard and flat. A storage container maybe. Flash slunk around it to press his back against the wall, eyes open blindly, searching for the Dark Knight. Impossible task but he wasn't going to close his eyes for anything. He hadn't seen Friday the 13th 46 times for nothing.
"You know so much about me, already Wally." Dang it, the voice again, on his other side, low and sexy for a moment, a whisper of heated breath on his cheek before it vanished again.
"Blueberry cobbler doesn't count!" Flash retorted in irritation. "Everyone knows you only eat Alfred's cooking when you're planet-side."
"No, they don't," a flutter of movement on his left, a lightning quick caress of his neck before it melted back into the dark. "None of them even know my butler's name, much less what I think of his food." The voice seemed to come from all directions and made the hair on the back of Flash's neck prickle in a not entirely unpleasant way.
"So not what I meant earlier," Flash barked as he batted his hands blindly at a touch along his ribs. "And quit feeling me up!"
A dark chuckled sounded from nowhere and everywhere. "You're not serious about that, Wally."
"Yes, I am, see?" Flash tugged his mask up and over his head to pool at the back of his neck. "This is my serious face!" He pointed blindly as himself then felt stupid when he remembered it was pitch black.
A firm arm wrapped around Flash's waist from behind. "What about the Kryptonite?"
Oh god, there was tongue, and an ear, oh god oh god tongue in the ear. Distracting, oh so verrry distra-"Hey! Quit trying to distract me!" he snapped even as his head lolled to one side to expose more of his neck to invisible ministrations.
"Not trying to. What about the Kryptonite, Wally?" Batman urged again with a slide of hard lips against Flash's frantic pulse.
"What? Uh…hmmm…it would just be stupid to give it…ahh…all away when Su-Su-Superman-!" He gasped at the press where his neck met his shoulder. A neglected ridge of muscle was getting some terribly awesome attention from Bat-teeth. "—Superman could go rogue again. And you're not…mmm…MMM…stupid. You…oh god…think ahead…got pl-pl-plans!" he stammered when the hidden zipper on his suit started a downward slide.
Ok, train of thought officially off the rails now. Do not pass go, do not collect banana pudding.
"Wha-?" was the best Flash could come up with when leather clad fingers stroked roughly through the hair at the nape of his neck.
"What else do you know about me?"
"You serious?" Flash panted as he arched into the strong touch of now bare and roughened hands teased the ripple of his ribs.
"Deadly." That assurance was punctuated with a sizzling lick that traced the edge of his jaw and pretty much more effective than any truth serum could ever hope to be.
"You don't say please or thank you because you don't think doing one's duty equals getting gratitude," Flash blurted out in a rush as he was turned in armored arms and pulled hard to an armored chest.
"Sure thing if you just go a little to the RIIGHT!" Flash yelped as Batman's searing lips slid down to brush across the oh-soooo-sensitive hollow of his throat.
"Uh, you think most vegetarians are pseudo-moral elitists." That earned him another incredible slide of tongue that made buck.
"Your musical development stopped when grunge died hhhhmmmmmmm," he moaned as his tunic of his uniform was tugged off and goosebumps rose and fell again as each inch of his torso was mapped in firm slides of now lightly sweating flesh.
"Most of your civvies are gray or black because you don't know how to match colors," he rambled, pushing into each hard touch. Batman made an inquiring noise against his ear before biting into the lobe, which sent a shiver down Flash's spine. "Robin's costume," he sighed in explanation. It really was dreck.
"Ah jeez…you just…ah…you suspect Wonder Wo-Woman's corset has magical abilities, like her lasso, since she's never popped out of it in b-battle." Flash managed to force that out just as Batman's tongue traced the dip of his upper lip and-
Wuh-oh. The touching stopped. No no no stopping, more touching please, ideally with more licking.
Flash blinked slowly in the low lighting that glowed in the space, his eyes focusing on Batman, sans cowl, black hair hanging messily on his forehead and piercing eyes that bored into his own. Damn, Bats was so hot.
"And how did you come to that interesting conclusion?" The Batman had that stupid little twitch of a smirk at the corner of his mouth gave him a way. Flash would have to tell him sometime his poker face still needed work. Later.
"What? I'm a guy! If I wondering about it I knew you thought of it ages ago." He grinned unashamedly at the other hero, even as his now bare arms circled Batman's waist to flick the hidden catch at the back.
"Sound reasoning." Batman nodded in approval, even as the Bat-brow climbed as his utility belt hit the floor with a thud. He gripped Flash's hard biceps in an inviting press, pulling him closer.
"So what do I get for having the right answers? A gold sta-" Flash stopped mid-tease, his eyes widening over the broad shoulder under his chin. This wasn't a storage unit. His eyes ran a speedy circuit over dark, simple, modern furnishings and a bed the size of Gotham. Hot dog! "This…this…is…"
"My room," Batman confirmed with a predatory half-smile as he suddenly yanked Flash to him in a hard clench before taking his lips in fiery possession. To Flash what felt like several electric hours passed before the need to breathe finally overrode the grasp and throb of smothered voices urging more, more, more. With reluctance he pulled out of the heated embrace, thrilled to see Batman's chest heaving like his own.
"Wow," Flash sighed, letting his head drop back against the wall as he caught his breath. Bad idea, or maybe really great idea, as it left him pretty much exposed to Batman's exploration of lean muscle and inviting flesh.
"Is this how you greet all your guests?" He murmured into the black hair pressed to his cheek, inhaling the undeniably masculine and powerful scent of the Dark Knight.
"No guests…no one knows where my room is," Batman growled in his ear, a sound that made something start at the base of Flash's spine and his hand clutch the dark man's back hard. "You're the only…." Batman rasped as he walked Flash backwards to the bed, one hand circling his waist as the other he shucked off his uniform tunic with the other, unwilling to break contact, "…only one besides me with access." He gripped the back of Flash's neck tightly as he pressed hot, open mouthed caresses to every inch of skin he could reach.
"Oh god…you are really…" Flash couldn't say anything more because something like a warm and consuming, like a sun, had burst to life in his chest at Batman's offer, his admission. As he fell backward with a thump and felt the miraculous slide of Batman's lips against his he sighed, "You got me banana pudding."
He felt more than heard the Dark Knight's low chuckle as dexterous hands mapped his body once more. "Yeh, Wally. Love you too."