Check out JuniorFanficCritic who has reviewed the first chapter of this story on YouTube if you want to at www. youtube .com/watch?v=GUiZsY2qE4s
Hello everyone, I am sorry that I took so long to update, but I was extremely busy with college and just life in general. I tried to make this really long for all those who were kind enough to wait and not complain.
Thank you to everyone who has reviewed/favorited/alerted/read/etc., and again I apologize for taking so long to update.
Special thanks to Champion of Justice, tinheritance, Riqis Inna Sunja, and asredwer for reviewing my Trailer chapter. They didn't have to, but just knowing that there were people out there that would still review for me despite not having to gave me the push I needed =3.
I will be referring to Shinigami attire, weaponry, titles, honorifics, and such in their Japanese names to prevent some confusion and to make it easier to understand.
As I've said before, the time frames in these are a little strange, because both series move at different paces (Bleach's storyline is basically in a 6 month span from Episode 1 to the Winter War while JLU goes by years from just Season 1 to Season 2). I'm trying to make it work, so if you could just suspend disbelief for a little bit and just sort of role with it, I would very much appreciate it. Also as an added, some episodes of JLU are altered in order slightly. Not necessarily in this chapter, but just a future reference in case I ever do. It'll never be anything as big as changing Once Upon a Future Time to before Ancient History happens. It's just small minor changes (also because I believe that the certain episodes happened together [what else would the other League members be doing while a small group is having a mission?])
I'm still working on beta-ing the remaining earlier chapters and some information in the chapters has been changed. It's nothing that will affect the overall story, but feel free to go back and re-read them. If you have time you can review them as well if you'd like ;)
Once again I would like to thank everyone who has been patient so far, and I thank everyone who has reviewed. It really kept me motivated to write knowing that there were people out there that actually cared whether I update or not. As long as there is one person that likes my story and will follow through with it as I write it, I will continue to write; however I may take longer, much longer.
"This is Japanese"
Important Reminder: I do not watch fillers, and I only use material from the Manga (unless the Anime episodes follow really close to the Manga where they only change a few lines). This is because Manga is canon material, and it is what the author intended it to be; it is the actual storyline. So if there are any filler episode characters or things that you want me to add, I will not add them. I apologize if this upsets anyone, but I've never really liked how non-canon characters would unnecessarily stay in the main storyline.
As far as English Dub vs English Sub goes in regards to the script, I'll stick to the original script in the English Sub, but nicknames (like Ichigo's nickname to Kisuke: Geta-boshi vs. Mr. Hat-and-Clogs) I'm sticking to the English Dub because its simpler that way; it doesn't interrupt the flow of the story as much. Besides, its pointless to have to Japanese words when I'm using English dialogue when I can just Bold and Italicize it to "make it" Japanese.
Last Note: I'm going to try to give mention to every character that showed up in the DCAU Justice League Unlimited (not in this chapter but throughout the story). Characters that should have had more screen time (or at least dialogue) and didn't get it. I.e.- Gypsy, Crimson Fox, Vibe, Obsidian, The Gentleman Ghost, etc. Of course I will research them (and the ones without speaking roles in the actual series will be based upon their comic-book personalities since I can't really work with anything else).
Last time on Soul Reaping Janitor of the Justice League
"We're picking someone up."
The Watchtower's power went out as well as the power for the backup generator.
"Wait, picking up whom?"
"The only person who knows the solution to this situation and the only person that'd be able to explain everything."
"It's about time you got here Q."
"Do it to me Urahara-san."
"But…Maxi-chan…what would people say?"
"Who cares what they say? This is what I want; I give you permission."
"All this because of Ai…"
"Shut up! I'm not doing this because of him; I'm doing this for me. You told me that this was what you've been wanting for centuries. You asked me years ago and I refused, what's so different now? It's not like you haven't done something similar to this to me before."
"I know, but, that was out of...necessity. What if you…"
"What, get caught? What do I care what Soul Society thinks? What do I care what anyone thinks?" I reached up to grab Kisuke's face, "I only care what my students think; Tessai, Yoruichi, hell not even Shinji or Hiyori will care if you do this. They'll acknowledge that this is my decision; this is what I want. Just do it Urahara-san."
"Max…" That tone, that voice, that name, he only used it when he was serious, "Once I start, I'm not going to stop; I won't be able to stop."
He grabbed the hand that was on his face, "This will hurt, greatly." I could tell that he wanted to do it, badly, but he didn't want me to do it because I felt like I had to. And I wasn't doing this because I had to, I'm doing this because I want to, "I can't…"
"You act like I want to sleep through this. Enough talking Urahara-san; just do it."
Kisuke grabbed my hand and laid me down. He softly kissed my forehead, silently muttering a quick, "I'm sorry."
I knew that he would both enjoy this, and hate it.
He grabbed a towel and told me to bite on it. I didn't even wince when he lifted up the scalpel and began to operate on me. This is what he's been wanting for for years—a test subject for his new idea: the replacement of all organs and bones in the body with a synthetic substitute. It'll make me faster, stronger, and less vulnerable.
Kisuke couldn't put me to sleep because he didn't bring the anesthetics with him when he fled the Soul Society, but I didn't want to be put to sleep; I wanted to feel the pain, I wanted to know that I still existed, I wanted…no, I needed to know that there was a me that existed outside of Aizen.
Kisuke wanted to use me as a test subject years ago because he's operated on my body once before for my arm, and many times before for small miscellaneous things like stitching up a wound. The main reason why Kisuke wanted to use me, and specifically me, for a test subject is a story for another time.
Kisuke told me himself that he couldn't leave the synthetic substitute parts behind in the Soul Society; besides the Hogyoku, the synthetic substitutes were Kisuke's biggest project—both him and Mayuri's. Though knowing Mayuri, I'm sure he's capable enough to make another batch for himself.
Kisuke's main focus has always been to make better Shinigami—either by making them Vizards or, in my case, replacing their bodies for another.
xX – Watchtower | 4:35 PM – Xx
The doors slid shut and locked from the outside.
'Just wonderful. Isn't this peachy Lady Maximilienne? We're stuck in a stuffy room filled with hundreds of strangers, while the League is fighting a battle they can't win!'
'Calm down Sebastian,' he was right though. As I've stated before, there are few things that can hurt a Hollow. One of which is a Soul Cutter; Quincy arrows do very well too, and anything that's been, even lightly, coated with spiritual energy is able to cause damage.
The League members have spiritual energy; what living thing doesn't? The issue lies in the fact that they can't, or rather they don't know how, to use it, nor is there enough spiritual energy in their bodies; their spiritual energy is surrounding their core/heart; just enough to sustain their life. It won't do them any good in a battle.
'You better start storing it now Sebastian,' I cracked my neck and my knuckles, 'because I'm done playing nice.' I really didn't intend for it to turn out this way, but given the situation, I'm sure the others will forgive me; it'll only hurt for a second.
'As you wish Mi'Lady.'
As I reached into my pocket rearing to unrelease Sebastian, I felt a hand on my shoulder.
I looked up to see Jasmine Dailey, one of the technicians in Sub-Level 5 that worked to make sure that the hatches to the Javelins would open on queue. Her favorite food is spaghetti with meatballs sprinkled with just a tad bit of parmesan cheese and Alfredo sauce. She likes long walks on the beach and karaoke nights with her two friends who also work on Sub-Level 5: Jennifer King and Mariette Stases.
She has two children: Damien and Margaret. Damien is eight and suffers from a minor-case of dyslexia which caused him to be held back a year, so he's now in second grade at Star City Elementary. Margaret is twelve and she's an aspiring pianist in the seventh grade at Star City Middle School.
Jasmine's been married twice; her first husband, Jake Jeremiah, died in a chemical explosion while working at Star Labs and her second husband, Geordie Dailey, is a regular "Mr. Mom" who stays at home to watch the kids. Both of the children were from Jake, and Jasmine is expecting another child which will be Geordie's.
I made it my business to memorize the bios of everyone who went in and out of the Watchtower. I haven't memorized each and every individual's information (there was a bit too many workers), but at the very least I was able to match names and faces.
Jasmine's last name was in the D's, so I was able to go over her profile before many others.
It's not as difficult as it sounds if you talk to them rather than memorize the information from a piece of paper; it's like getting to know a friend versus memorizing the information of a stranger.
Don't get me wrong, these people (the workers) were not my friends. Acquaintances maybe, but definitely not friends.
Despite what I told Kara, I didn't see any of the League members as friends per say (aside from the first day that I met the Supers, I've never referred to any of them as friends again). I was definitely close to them, but I still couldn't consider them as friends. It was more like the middle ground before friends and acquaintances; I only told her that I was her friend to get her to trust me (I didn't want to use her, but this is war, and all is fair).
It wasn't like I didn't like or trust her and the other league members to an extent, but I didn't want to throw around the "Friend" word too often or it'll lose its meaning; it's like throwing around the word "Love"; the word loses all sentimental value.
I've always been paranoid about who I hung around with since Aizen's betrayal; if someone I've known for centuries could betray my trust, there was no doubt in my mind that someone I've known for a couple months could do the same.
Another reason was that they didn't really know the real me, and I'm not just talking about being a Shinigami. Most of my "cutesy-lovey-kiddy" act was just that, an act. It's true that I'm a hot-tempered person with a Napoleon Complex and that I do act like a child sometimes, but I'm much more mature and experienced than I let on (obviously this was kept hidden for good reasons to keep up my façade). I'm also calculating, cold-hearted, vain, and obsessed with fighting and bloodshed.
Jasmine knelt down and looked at me with concern, probably her maternal instincts kicking in, "Are you okay dear? Do you need something? I know it's a bit scary, but don't worry the League will get us out of this, I just know it."
I turned my body around so that I was facing her. I wasn't about to answer her, because I knew that she didn't understand the gravity of the situation; she didn't know that the League couldn't do anything against Hollows. I grabbed one of her shoulders with my hand, and with my other I pulled the front of my fedora over my eyes and nodded. I mentally reassured myself that this was necessary; I had issues with attacking a pregnant woman, "I'm sorry."
She tilted her head ever so slightly, "Sorry? For wh…?"
I squeezed a pressure point on her shoulder that caused her to sway slightly before falling over. I made sure to catch her before she hit the ground; I didn't want to injure the unborn fetus.
"Ahhh! Someone help!"
The entire room looked in my direction as I screamed for assistance. Some were panicking, trying to figure out what was going on, while others took the initiative and began to examine Jasmine while pushing me aside thinking that I either shouldn't see this, or that I would get in the way. Either way I wasn't going to complain about it.
Slipping away from the crowd wasn't too difficult; everyone was worried that Jasmine's fainting episode would hurt the baby and/or her own health, so I was the last thing on their minds.
'There must be at least a hundred staff members here. I have the advantage because the room's very simple in design, but it's going to be hard taking them out without alerting someone.'
'Do you require my assistance Mi'Lady?'
'No, I don't need it just yet. It shouldn't be that bad; they're technicians, not guards.'
'I'm really hoping that you're not planning on taking them down in your usual manor.'
'They're humans Sebastian; you act like I'm going to mutilate them.'
'Yes, well that is usually your general course of action in concerns to fighting. Besides, you do like to take things apart.'
'Yes, but I have trouble putting things back together again. Besides you know flashy fights are beneath me now; why make anyone suffer if you're just going to kill them anyways? Besides, there's no reason for me to kill them, and since I'm not Kisuke and I can't put them back together, I'm not going to try to take them apart. As long as they don't see me coming, a quick knock on the head should do for most of them.'
'Just try not to give the lot a concussion. I hope you're aware that we still need them even after this little incident blows over.'
'I know, stop treating me like a child Sebastian.' Crouching down on the ground in a runner's position, I pushed off of my back leg and Shunpo-ed around the room.
One by one, two by two, and sometimes more, the staff members went down like flies. The first half were easy to take care of, but after a while people started to notice that something was wrong when the people around them suddenly collapsed to the floor.
Panic raced through the room as the staff members attempted to compose themselves and try to figure out what was going on, but when facing the power of a Shinigami who specialized in combat, they weren't going to get the chance to do much of anything before I knocked them out.
I was right in the fact that a simple knock on the head would take care of most of them, but there were a few who had harder heads than most.
Pointing my pointer and middle finger in a downward position, I struck the pressure points of those select individuals' shoulders in order to knock them out.
'And so the Master is reborn.'
'She never died; she was just on an extended vacation.' My self-proclaimed title remained strong and true: Dim Mak (as Yoruichi self-proclaimed herself as the "Goddess of Flash"); it originated from Chinese Wuxia fiction. Thought literally it means press artery, the concept of it is supposed to mean "the Touch of Death." Taken that I "borrowed" this technique from the Chinese Soul Society, I thought the Chinese title reference would be fitting.
It's true that I was, and still am, very strong, but pure strength was not my forte. Given Sebastian's ability, and his non-combatant nature, I'm often forced to eliminate my opponents in the minimal amount of time given.
Of course I don't understand why anyone would want to take their time taking out their opponents; Hollywood often gives people the misconception that fighting is a stream of hits and fireworks; real fights (not shows and exhibitions) last a few of minutes at the most (especially straight out fights [no weapons, no distractions, and no furniture]), even that is considered rather long. If anyone's fought for more than a few minutes, you'd understand that it's not as easy as the movies make it out to be; you tire. My match with Senichi didn't even last all that long.
The reason why I was able to have a status of "Sensei" over my students wasn't because I was stronger than they were (no, all my students save for a couple are stronger than I physically), it was because I knew how to take out my opponents faster than they could; I had more experience and I was a great manipulator of Reiatsu when it came to a person's body through the pressure point technique.
I learned this fighting style from my decades of research on the Chinese Soul Society and how the majority of their fighters fought using pressure points, but that's a story for another time.
Basically in both the living body and in a soul's body, there are pressure points that allow the body to perform certain movements and functions. Eliminate one and it can cause anything from dislocating a limb to cutting a Soul Reaper's connection with their Zanpakutō to death. It all depended on which point you hit, how much pressure is exerted, and, if you're hitting more than one, what order you're hitting the points in.
I'm not as good as the Chinese Soul Reapers who used this fighting style as a basis for all their other techniques; however, I'm the best at using this technique amongst the Japanese Soul Reapers. This is mainly due to the fact that I'm the only one that utilizes this technique; most stick to sword fighting and/or Kido. Squad 2 doesn't use them often either; why use a complex technique that requires centuries of practice and research if your current method works just fine; if its not broken, don't fix it.
Squad 2 specializes mainly in stealthy assassinations and captures, the pressure point, though it's effective, isn't necessary and it over complicates things for beginners. And if a point wasn't precisely hit, it could reveal the location of the member; it was more trouble than it was worth.
I tried to teach it to my students, but it just wasn't their forte. I shifted my focus to training them to deflect the technique instead.
Though it isn't as exciting as going out on a full on battle with clashing swords and flashy spells, it is much more effective in getting the job finished. I learned that lesson the hard way.
'1.52 minutes Mi'Lady.'
'It shouldn't have taken me that long.'
'There were quite a few of them.' I looked down at the sea of bodies, some piled on top of one another. I mentally apologized to them, but I thought nothing more of it; there were more important things to worry about right now.
'Yes, but I had the element of surprise, and I overpowered them by a mile.' I mentally sighed, 'I'm getting rusty in my old age.'
'You probably should have taken them all out on the shoulders rather than knocking their heads. It would have been much more effective.'
'Yes, but no more fun. Besides, it's much quicker knocking them on the head because the angles' were easier to get to.'
Unclipping Sebastian from my pocket, I quickly unreleased him; I don't want to unnecessarily use up his ability on accident.
'Still storing Sebastian?'
'Yes, Mi'Lady. We should have enough when we're outside; I'm ready and waiting.' I was lucky that Sebastian's ability could be used even in his unreleased form. I only needed to release it for the activation, but I needed to re-release it if I was going to release the ability.
The power went off, 'There goes the power.'
Then the power turned back on, 'And here comes the back-up power.'
And then it went back off, 'And there goes the back-up power.'
"How the hell does the generator and the backup generator go down at the same time?"
'What's the point of having the generator and the backup generator shut down at the same time? That sort of defeats the purpose of having a backup generator.'
'Hell if I knew.' I turned towards the doors as I heard them being pried open only to see The Question and Green Arrow.
'What took them so fuckin' long?'
'The Watchtower is a big place Mi'Lady, you should know that. Besides, you didn't exactly call for The Question; we're lucky he's here at all.'
'Lucky? Not likely, you act as if I couldn't have broken out of this place on my own. Which, if you look around, I did.'
I wasn't angry at The Question, nor was I angry at Sebastian, but the tense atmosphere was tearing down on my mood.
"It's about time you got here Q." My fedora shadowed my face, but my eyes were still visible. Chances were that my expression wasn't cheerful—a mirror of my tone; Green Arrow looked like he was going to shit in his pants and The Question…its The Question, 'nough said.
I started to walk out of the door, "Come on, we don't have much time."
I felt a hand grab onto my shoulder, "Max, what's going on?"
"I'll explain later G.A."
"Nuh-uh little missy. Not until I get an expl…" The Watchtower trembled from the force of the Hollows crashing against the force field.
"Now's not the time G.A. Let me go!" I smacked his hand off with a little more force than necessary, but it wasn't enough to cause damage to his hand. The anger boiled inside of me, but it wasn't directed at Green Arrow, no. It was directed at the situation, at Aizen, and at me for allowing this to happen.
'Lady Maximilienne.' Sebastian, I knew, could sense my angst and the guilt that panged at my heart.
'For all I know, Aizen already knows that I'm here. He's going through the League to get through to me, and I'll be damned if I'm just going to sit back and watch. He's gotta get through me if he wants the League.'
'But that may be his intentions Mi'Lady.'
'You said it yourself Sebastian, the League is fighting a battle that they can't win. What would you have me do? Besides, you know me better than that; I don't let people fight my battles.'
I couldn't really describe the look on G.A.'s face. It looked betrayed, concerned, but above all, confused. To see such a man with such strong will look so lost, I couldn't help but be reminded of Kisuke and how he looked when we were betrayed by Aizen and sentenced by Central 46.
"You lied to us, about who you are, where you're from. Everything, why? I think we at least deserve an explanation."
My angered died down a bit as Green Arrow spoke to me slowly as if he was hoping that he was wrong, a wish that both he and I shared. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case, "Not all of it was a lie. And I have my reasons."
I looked over at the Question as he grabbed my shoulder, "I suggest you explain. Explain everything."
"You don't have to speak in Japanese, Q; its not like G.A. can't understand. I don't care if anyone overhears, but right now is hardly the time to be explaining things."
I looked back to Green Arrow, "I promise you, everything I've done has been through good intentions. I'll explain everything. But not now, for now just trust me."
Green Arrow looked as if he was weighing his thoughts and at that moment the Watchtower trembled again, but the magnitude of this one was much stronger than the previous shake.
Coming to a conclusion, Green Arrow nodded his head, "For now. But I expect an explanation."
I nodded my head; this was as good as I was going to get in this situation, "And I'll give you one. I just hope that when the time comes, you'll understand."
No more was said as we started running out of Safety Hatch and through the corridors of the Watchtower. I would have Shunpo-ed out, but I needed to conserve my energy and assess the situation, and I couldn't very well leave the Question and Green Arrow alone. That would give them the wrong impression, something I wanted to avoid.
I looked over to Green Arrow, "If the power's off in the whole tower, how's the force field holding itself up?"
"The force field will still run because it runs on a separate energy source. A "backup-backup generator" of sorts."
"Why didn't you guys just make a backup-backup generator for the whole tower?"
"We need too much power. Besides, the League didn't think that something like this," Green Arrow swept an arm through the air, gesturing to the situation, "would ever happen."
"At least they thought ahead for the force field. I still don't understand how the Hollows managed to destroy the main power and the back-up power at the same time."
I looked over to the Question as our running continued, "The things that are attacking the Watchtower right now. I'll explain more to you later, but they're souls of the dead that remained on the living plane for too long."
"What're they doing here?"
"I'm still working on that. The main thing we have to focus on right now is getting outside. I have to get outside to help the others...there!" I pointed to the door that leads to the spacesuit closet.
We ran into the closet and started to search for a spacesuit, "This spacesuit won't fit, it's too big! They're all too big!"
I saw Green Arrow moving to put one on, "Don't even think about it G.A."
"What? Why not?"
"Your arrows won't do any damage," we rushed out of the closet and I pointed to the League members—Dr. Light, Ray, Stargirl, and Metamorpho—that were attempting to fight the Hollows, but they're just swinging wildly in the air as the Hollows attack each and every one of them with great ease, "none of you can even see them let alone touch them. Your weapons are useless; you'll only be in the way."
I didn't want it to come out as cruel as it did, but Green Arrow had to face the fact that in this situation, he was useless unless he arrows were able to damage the Hollows, and I wasn't about to coat each and every single one of his arrows with Spiritual Energy; it was a waste of time and energy, no pun intended.
The Question didn't make a move to put one on; I'm sure he understood that he couldn't help, at least not in the way that Green Arrow wanted to help.
"I need to get out there somehow, but I can't exactly breathe in space."
"You're dead; it shouldn't matter."
"Wait, you're what?"
I ignored Green Arrow's question, "As much as that makes sense Q, it does matter. The lack of Spiritual Energy is enough to weaken me, but the lack of oxygen could very well kill me…again. The make up of a Shinigami's body isn't that much different from a human's."
"A Shinigami?" I looked over to Green Arrow. He was one of the few people on the Watchtower that was able to speak Japanese—minus Dr. Light, Huntress, Speedy, and Batman—and he knew what Shinigami meant—the Grim Reaper.
"Like I said, I'll explain it to you later." As the words came out of my mouth the Watchtower shook once more.
"Hey G.A., the force field will hold up right?"
"It can endure a lot from what we've seen in the past. It's just not as strong without the main power system to help reinforce it, but it should hold up just fine."
I nodded my head once more. I could only pray that G.A. was right.
"So what do we do now?"
"Is there an oxygen tank or something that'll let me go outside? Anything will do as long as I'm able to breathe in it and stay mobile."
Question spoke up, "There's an oxygen mask that the League uses for emergency purposes in Sector L-52, but at most it'll only last you 10 minutes."
"That's more than enough time."
"Sector L-52? That's all the way on the other side of the Watchtower."
I looked up to Green Arrow. He was right; Sector L-52 was on the North-East Wing of the Watchtower; we are on the South-West Wing of the Watchtower. It couldn't have been any farther if we wanted it to be.
I scratched the back of my head before fixing my fedora, "I guess I have no choice."
I hoisted Green Arrow onto my back after readjusting Sebastian slightly on my back and I carried The Question bridal style. Any other time, any one would be laughing at two grown men being carried by a vertically challenged little girl. The Question was awkwardly stationed in my arms with his legs high up in the air, his hand holding onto his fedora, and his head leaning towards my neck in a reflexive attempt not to fall. Green Arrow arms hung over my shoulders and reflexively gripped around my neck and, with my arms looped around his legs and holding onto the Question at the same time, his legs were in an awkward position that slightly curved his body into a V-position.
"Woah! Max, what in the world?"
"What're you…?" I quickly cut off The Question, "This is the fastest way to get there. G.A., Q, just hang on tight."
The Question was a bit more than a little uncomfortable, but I didn't pay him too much attention. Green Arrow wasn't anymore comfortable than The Question, but he heeded my warning and tightened his hold around my neck.
Feeling the tightened grip, and after slightly adjusting The Question in my arms so that I would have a tighter hold, I Shunpo-ed down the hallways to get to Sector L-52.
As much as I didn't want to waste any energy, we didn't have any time to waste. If I were to run alongside Green Arrow and The Question, it would have been too time consuming. I didn't need to bring the both of them, but it wasn't exactly a smart idea to leave them alone without any defenses either.
Speeding through the hallways I saw a few other heroes looking out the window of the Watchtower. I could see the look of want in their eyes; they wanted to be outside helping and fighting the unseen force.
Unfortunately I tired in front of a group of heroes (my stamina could use a lot of work): The Flash, Vigilante, Shining Knight, Huntress, Vixen, Black Canary, and Wildcat. Remember what I said about plans? Yeah, they don't ever seem to work out like you want them to; this was not good. I tried to push myself a bit further, but any more and I'd be completely spent.
The lack of Spiritual Energy in the Watchtower was finally getting to me; after months of dealing with the thin air my soul was finally feeling the strain.
The Flash, Huntress, Vixen, and Wildcat were great fighters…when there was gravity and when their opponents were visible; swinging wildly wasn't going to get them anywhere. They obviously stayed behind because they would be more of a burden than anything else outside.
Vigilante and the Shining Knight would do more damage than good because they would also be swinging their weapons wildly. It was more likely that they would hit a League member than the Hollows.
Black Canary would be very useful; unfortunately her meta-human abilities would be unusable in a spacesuit that covers her mouth.
I carefully set Green Arrow and The Question down to catch my breath; I must have run at least 10 miles using Shunpo, a good half an hour at the least.
'Why did Batman have to make the new Watchtower so big?'
'Otherwise it wouldn't fit all the members Mi'Lady.'
'Rhetorical questions are a foreign language to you, aren't they?'
We passed various areas: the ten or so lunch rooms, Sectors Z-Q (we were going up backwards), the technician rooms, two out of seven other Safety Hatches, and don't even get me started on how many League members' rooms we passed. I'm glad that I never had to clean every inch of this place.
"What the…?" The Flash was the first one to turn around and notice our presence. Green Arrow was on his knees panting a bit. Despite not having to do anything other than cling onto me, the speed in which I was sprinting at took a slight toll on his body. He'd be a bit winded, but otherwise he'd be fine. The Question adjusted his fedora and stood up from the ground a bit more shakily than Green Arrow.
"Max? What're you doin' here darlin'?" I wanted to answer Vigilante, but I too was too winded to speak.
Adjusting the fedora on my head The Flash spoke again, "I thought I put you in the Safety Hatch on C Deck, what're you doing here?"
'Seriously, how many Sub-Levels, Sectors, and Decks do these guys have? The Watchtower's interior design rivals that of an entire Rukongai District.'
"Did you just…?"
"Wait, but she's human…" Black Canary and Huntress looked at one another.
I finally caught my breath, but before I could say anything I was decked across the face by Wildcat, "I thought you were my friend! We trusted you!"
Man, did Wildcat ever hold a grudge against meta-humans or what? I mean I know we're not in the best situation now and I know that they're still recovering from the Thanagarian betrayal, but seriously. Now is not the time to be playing the blame game. I haven't even said anything yet. For all they knew it could have been some freaky device made by Blue Beatle or something.
I rubbed the cheek that was hit with the back of my hand. It wasn't the force of Wildcat's hand the sent me to the ground, but rather my surprise; as much as I respected Wildcat, he wasn't all that strong.
"Calm down," I said getting up, "I understand how you all feel, but please let me explain myself…"
"Why? So you can spout more lies? I…we trusted you! For all we know, this little invasion thing is probably your fault."
"Wildcat, with all due respect, please shut up."
Silence swept throughout the group as they watched me brush off my pants and stare into their eyes. I looked at his face, my friend, my companion. I could only imagine what Wildcat was feeling; he treated me like family in the time that he "trained" me. He believed that I was the "normal" one amongst the League (of course I wasn't really in the League, but you get the jist of it).
I silently continued staring into each of their eyes, one by one. I stubbornly refused to look away.
I wasn't very good at reading eyes, but I distinguish the look of hurt, confusion, and anger from a mile away. Having seen and experienced all of them first handedly (and repeatedly), it was hard to forget.
Vixen, Huntress, and Black Canary looked very confused and if not slightly peeved. My guess was that they couldn't believe that a little girl like me, who threw up because a food was salty, had anything to do with the current situation.
I trudged down the hallways eager to take my much deserved break; I just finished cleaning all the toilets on Sub-Level 2 and let me tell you, its one of the worst levels to clean—bathroom-wise. It's like someone detonated a bomb in one of the toilets and all the water and shit just spewed everywhere. It was not pretty.
Finally getting to the tenth kitchen on the same Sub-Level I let out a large sigh; it was insane how big this Watchtower was—thank god I didn't have to clean every inch of it.
Given the length of time that it took to clean the toilets, my break was a bit later than it usually was, so the groups that ate in this kitchen during this time were absent.
I walked in expecting for the kitchen to be empty (the usual lunch rush hour was over), but to my surprise there was a group of three League members sitting and chatting as they ate: Huntress, Black Canary, and Vixen.
I walked over to the buffet line and got a slice of cake drowned in syrup before I decided to go and join the group for lunch; it wouldn't do me any good to sit alone in the corner.
They turned around and greeted me in a similar manner, "You're awfully late today Max."
"I had to clean up all the toilets on this floor. It was not fun." I answered Huntress before sitting down in an empty seat.
"When is it ever?" The four of us shared a small laugh at Black Canary's comment, "You know, you're going to get cavities if you continue eating like that; it's not good for your health."
"You're only a kid once Canary; once she hits our age then she can worry about her health."
"But being a kid doesn't make her immune to diabetes or obesity. Huntress you're setting a bad example; Canary's right, you shouldn't be eating that Max."
"It's okay Vixen; I have a high metabolism."
"Even so, all that sugar's bad for your body." I don't know whether I should be touched or annoyed by Vixen and Black Canary's concern about my eating habits, but I wasn't going to change it.
Besides, it's certainly better than eating nothing but water and, if you were lucky, Kompeito candy back in Rukongai.
Vixen took a pretzel off her plate and offered it to me, "Here, if you want a snack eat these. They're a lot healthier."
Coming from a model I wasn't sure if I could believe that; models were known to starve themselves, but Vixen wasn't your everyday model; her perfect figure wasn't due to her diet, it was due to the effort she put into staying fit through fighting for the League.
'Lady Maximilienne, don't be rude. Miss Vixen's right; you should change your eating habits.'
'You know why I won't Sebastian; I can't.'
I forced a grin to my face and took the pretzel from Vixen, "Thanks," but before I ate it I made sure to take off every last salt crystal.
"What do you have against salt?" Huntress asked me as I continued to take off the salt.
Black Canary agreed with Huntress, "Yeah, I've noticed that too. You don't eat ketchup, spam, ranch, or anything else that has even average sodium levels."
"Nothing, I just really don't like it."
"So you don't eat salt." It wasn't a question from Huntress, "You know you need sodium in your system."
Isn't it perfect, 'I just had to sit next to the three most health conscious women in the League for lunch. Fun.'
"It's fine. I just. don't. like. it." I furrowed my brows a bit; bad memories indeed.
Vixen, Huntress, and Black Canary looked at one another and then back at me as I continued to take the salt off the pretzel; there was a lot of salt.
"So you don't eat anything with salt?" Vixen said, continuing to stare at me after I finished taking off all the crystals off the pretzel.
I popped it into my mouth, "Lots of things I eat have salt, but I drown it in sugar or hot sauce or something, anything to cover up the flavor."
"I've seen how you eat Max, and you're not going to live up to forty with your habits."
'Oh how little Canary knows.'
"All that work just to avoid a flavor you don't like; seems a bit childish to me." Huntress looked at me with teasing eyes.
"Then it's a good thing I'm a child." I wasn't, but let them believe what they want.
"You could at least eat some salad or something."
"No thanks, I'm not interested; it tastes so bland. If it's not overly a certain flavor, I don't want it." I closed my eyes thinking that the conversation was over. Who were they to judge what and how I ate? They weren't Old Man Yama or Big Sister Retsu, so they have no right to tell me what I can and can't do.
Unfortunately for me, faster than even my eyes could see, Black Canary shove a forkful of salad with Italian dressing into my mouth.
The second it hit my tongue I was overwhelmed with the delicious salty flavor I've been missing for a hundred years. Unfortunately it left as quickly as it came and I was then overwhelmed with a feeling of nausea.
Sōsuke ran into the kitchen with his Zanpakutō ready and waiting, "What's going on?"
Tears were prickling the corners of my eyes as I sniffed a bit. In my hands held a now empty bag of salt. I wasn't usually this emotional, but I worked so hard on it only for it to go to waste.
"M-My cookie batter…its dead." I loved salt very much (too much by average standards), so I decided to some salt like the instructions told me to, but I thought a pinch wasn't enough so I pour in a little bit more. My hands slipped and the whole bag emptied into the bowl—all 5 pounds of it. I guess my scream woke Sōsuke up from his nap.
Sōsuke lowered his blade and sighed in relief, "Maxi-chan, don't scare me like that."
I sniffed again, which caused Sōsuke to come closer to me. He put a hand on my head and drew me closer to him in a sort of hug. I could tell he wanted to laugh because of the way his body was shaking, but he was doing a terrible job at hiding it.
Sōsuke started to playfully ruffle my hair, "It's just batter," he crouched down to my level, "besides, you know you're a bad cook; this shouldn't surprise you."
I punched his face lightly; Sōsuke didn't say I couldn't cook to be insulting; it was a well-known fact throughout Seireitei—especially the Squad 11 members who had the pleasure of tasting my cooking that one time I had kitchen duty. Needless to say I was banned from ever entering the kitchen again, "It was supposed to be your birthday gift asshole!"
I sighed deeply and withdrew my hand. I wasn't so much angry at him than I was at me; I really wanted to do something good for him on his first birthday since we moved in together.
"Come now, I'm sure there are other gifts you could give me for my birthday." Sōsuke ran a hand through my hair and proceeded to rub my cheek with his thumb. His thumb inched towards my lips parting them slightly as he leaned in, but I was too upset to get turned on by this.
I grabbed onto Sōsuke's hand, "I'm sure I could, but I worked so hard on it."
I spent hours trying to get the recipe right. It was bad enough that I was a bad cook to begin with, but what was worse was that I was too strong for my own good. At one point or another I ended up breaking some kitchenware because I was beating the batter too hard. Then I found out that I didn't even need to beat it, and that just started a whole chain of bad cooking related events. Our kitchen ceiling will forever be yellow dotted with brown chocolate chips.
Rose told me that this was the best gift I could give Sōsuke for his birthday because it would really show my efforts (considering how bad of a chef I was). I found the instructions and the recipe, and I thought it would be so simple that even a cooking illiterate like I couldn't mess it up. Oh boy was I proven wrong.
Sōsuke sighed and stood up, making his way to the bowl of batter. He dipped his finger in the batter and popped it in his mouth, "It's not that bad."
I looked at him with a face that said it all, "You're joking right?"
"See for yourself." I moved over to try some, rather reluctantly, as much as I loved salt, this was a bit much; however, Sōsuke beat me to the punch.
He took some more batter and popped it into his mouth before kissing me fully on mine. I could feel the batter, guided by his mouth, moving into mine. If I didn't love salt so much I probably would have gagged at the flavor, but fortunately I did. There was just something about this that tasted so much better than usual; so much more salty. When he finished what he set out to do, he took his mouth off of mine as I gasped, greedy for air, "See, you could barely taste the salt."
'That sly devil.' I thought lightly glaring at him.
"Unfortunately I like salt; that little bit wasn't enough."
Sōsuke grinned rather mischievously and continued the process. Thus began our tradition: every year I would try to bake cookies for Sōsuke only to mess up for the same reason every year, and he'd try to cheer me up the same way every year.
I began to love salt more and more to a point that every time I tasted anything even remotely salty, all I could see and think of was him.
I ran to the nearest trashcan and emptied out everything in my stomach.
'Lady Maximilienne! Are you alright?'
I couldn't answer Sebastian; all I could see was that monster. I couldn't stand salt; I couldn't stand being reminded of all the things he and I did together.
Aizen took away so much more than just my friends; he took away my way of living. I'm cautious around who I trust, I'm cautious about what I eat, I even went as far as to replace parts of my body because I didn't want any attachment to him.
I can't wait to get my chance at him.
I didn't notice that the three women ran to my side. Black Canary was apologizing profoundly, Huntress was rubbing my back, and Vixen got me a napkin to wipe my lips and some water for me to get rid of the taste in my mouth.
'They're like mother birds Mi'Lady, more so on Miss Canary's side.'
I didn't want to answer Sebastian. I felt guilty; I would protect these women with my life, but I don't know if I could trust them to protect mine. No, I couldn't. I've only known them for a few months; that's not enough time to trust anyone.
Aizen showed me that.
I won't admit it to him, but Sebastian was right; the female League members often acted like "Mother Hens". I figured that it was their maternal instincts kicking in. Often times back in the Soul Society whenever there were new members of Squad Thirteen or Eight, they would often treat me in a similar manner; they acted like worry warts—worrying about ever little thing "bad" thing that happened to me. They were often fresh out of the Academy, so they didn't know that I was a Lieutenant; they often thought I was a child going to visit Jyuushiro and Shunsui.
If anyone was a child it was The Flash.
He's a man that, I think, acts more like a child than an adult, but whenever the situation turns serious so does he; he always has your back whenever you need it. Like the time he took the blame for me after I "accidentally" dismantled the remote controller to the big screen television in the Fourth Lobby beyond repair.
I was cleaning out one of the sectors on Sub-Level 8 after there was a small accident concerning one of the medics who dropped their medical equipment all over the floor.
It wouldn't have been so bad if it didn't trigger a chain reaction that caused one of the technicians to spill their coffee onto the machine. If that wasn't bad enough, that caused the machine to malfunction due to a shorted out fuse. And if that wasn't bad enough, it caused a small explosion of electrical parts from the machine to scatter all throughout the floor.
If that wasn't bad enough, the heat from the electrical circuits around the parts melted some of the parts after it shorted out. This caused a huge mess within the room; some of the parts were even stuck on the ceiling.
But I couldn't complain; this was my job after all. I didn't have to like it, but I couldn't complain.
It took me about three hours to clean up the area; it would have been faster if I was able to use Shunpo, but there were cameras everywhere; I couldn't run the risk of being discovered.
'For all that is holy and righteous, sometimes I wonder why I couldn't just straight up tell the League about the War.'
'Because the chances of them attacking you were much higher than the chances of them believing you Mi'Lady. I was against this in the beginning, and I still very much am, but you know as well as I do that they're still very much bitter about the Thanagarian invasion. Gaining their trust before putting them into a bad situation could be the difference between gaining their help and having two laser beams burn a hole through your forehead.'
'It was a rhetorical question Sebastian.'
I walked out of the hallway and wiped my forehead with the back of my hand. Shinigami or not, anyone would be exhausted after all that cleaning; after getting this job I had an even higher sense of respect for the Squad 4 members. It didn't help that I had to be as thorough as possible or we ran the risk that the machines would catch on fire because the melted parts were still able to conduct electricity. Without a current to go through, it'll burn up again (quite literally).
I passed by the Fourth Lobby. It was, as its name suggested, the fourth lobby room in the Watchtower. Most of my cleaning originated in the kitchens, the heroes' individual rooms, and the lobbies. Sometimes I felt like I was taking care of a group full of rowdy teenagers (and in a literal way, I was, due to the age differences).
There was food on the floor, on the tables, on the ceiling, and just everywhere. The pillows were disorganized as well as some of the sofa cushions, and some of the chairs were toppled over.
I know that everyone needs to kick back and relax sometimes, but I am neither their maid nor their mother. They should learn to pick up after themselves. I understand that in the event that they're called to a mission, they wouldn't have the time to clean up, but if you don't want to clean it up, then don't make a mess!
'Sometimes I wonder if this is worse than the manhole. At least the ceiling of the sewers was somewhat cleaner than here.'
It took me about an hour to finish sprucing up the room, and by the time I was done, it was time for my break. Since I was already in the lobby I decided to use it for my break; I just didn't feel like meeting up with the other League members after all the work I just had to do.
The lobbies usually weren't used by the staff members, but it wasn't forbidden for staff members to utilize it. It was like the gym; staff members are free to use it, but no one does because the heroes usually, unintentionally, intimidate the members into not using the facilities.
I certainly wasn't scared of them; I was both older and more experienced that the majority of the League (save for possibly Wonder Woman and J'onn).
'Lady Maximilienne! Lady Maximilienne! Lady Maximilienne!'
'What?' I groaned in my head; I couldn't have ten minutes of silence.
'Oh, oh, turn on the television! Please Mi'Lady! Wang Zi Bian Qing Wa is ON!'
'Prince change frog?'
'Mi'Lady! It is The Prince Who Turned Into a Frog! It is an amazing drama Mi'Lady!'
I wasn't worried about whether the League had the channel or not (odds were they had every channel of every nation in more than one world).
'Really…what's it about?' Now I should have known better than to ask Sebastian about what his dramas were about, but I was tired, and unfortunately I wasn't thinking straight.
'Oh it is wonderful Mi'Lady. You see, there's this man, Shan Jun Hao, the CEO to a large hotel chain, whose the stereotypical heir – spoiled, coldhearted, and ruthless. He meets Ye Tian Yu, a schemer and somewhat of a gold-digger and after a series of events, Tian Yu "accidentally" runs Jun Hao over. Turns out, Jun Hao has lost all of his memories and became a kindhearted and loving person. Just when love is in the air, Jun Hao's family came looking for him and he has a fiancée who loves and misses him. Some more "accidents" occurred, and Jun Hao lost all of his memories of Tian Yu and went back to being a spoiled heir. However, Tian Yu fights for their love even though Jun Hao thinks of her as a lying schemer. The story is just so compelling! So loving! So…'
'Cliché, do we have to watch it? Sounds like another boring love drama.'
'Love dramas are not boring Mi'Lady! How dare you! You who blanks out in broad daylight! You who cannot pay attention to the slightest thing! You Mi'Lady are the boring one! You who walked right into a man…'
'Okay, okay. Geez…I don't see how walking into a manhole was boring, but whatever.' I reached for the remote and flipped to the Asianic channels.
'Let's see…Korean channels, Vietnamese channels, Laotian channels, Malaysian channels, Filipino, Japanese, Taiwanese, Chaozhou, Indian, Shanghainese…'
'Why is the most popular Asian language not here!'
'Alright, don't have a cow…Burmese, Tibetan…' Personally I didn't know what most of the languages sounded like; I traveled the world, but that didn't mean that I learned every language; I was lucky to know English, and the only reason why I don't have a British accent is because I mostly hung around Ryuuken and Souken while I was in Britain. The two of them learned American-English before arriving in Britian, and they were the ones to teach me; therefore, I have an American accent.
The only reason why I knew which channel had which language was because it showed it on the upper right hand corner whenever I changed the channel.
'Mi'Lady! Search harder! We're missing the beginning!'
Unfortunately for Sebastian, and me as well in the long run, his outburst surprised me and I dropped the remote. It felt as if everything was moving in slow motion as the remote clanked on the ground.
I picked it up and tried to flip the channels, but the remote wouldn't work.
Inside of my head I could hear Sebastian freaking out and throwing one of his Male PMS tantrums again.
I looked the remote over; twisting and turning it this way and that. I even tried hitting it and it didn't do anything.
'Maybe if I…'
'NO! No Mi'Lady! Don't even think about it!'
'What're you talking about? I'm great at taking things apart.'
'But you can't ever put them back together! You're worse than all the King's men!'
'Just trust me on this Sebastian. I'm too short to reach the top of the T.V. to change the channel, and there might be cameras in the room; I'm not going to risk getting caught jumping 10 feet in the air by the League members; I'm not going to make these last few months a waste because you didn't get to see your Frog Prince show.'
Despite Sebastian's protests, and warnings, I started to dismantle the remote. I figured that I'd be able to figure out what was going wrong with the remote if I got a better look inside.
'I don't understand why people hit their remotes instead of doing the logical thing and taking it apart. What does anyone hope to fix by destroying their remote?'
'I could ask you the same question Mi'Lady! Don't touch that!'
I began to twiddle with the remote; taking it apart bit by bit.
'Mi'Lady not that! No no no no no, that's not removable!'
Needless to say, I didn't listen to what Sebastian said and after 10 minutes, the remote was completely disassembled. Bigger problem, I didn't know how to put it back together.
Unfortunately for me, The Flash decided to walk in at that moment.
"Hey Max, what's….u…p?" He walked over and picked up what was left or the remote, "Woah, what tore up the remote?"
'Great, now I have to put on the kid act again.'
"I…I didn't mean to…I…I…it d-didn't work…and…and" I looked up at him with watery eyes and I sniffed to overdramatize it a bit. I was hoping that he would fill in the blanks himself because I wasn't sure what I was going to say. Somehow, "I'm going to take it apart because I like to disassemble things," didn't sound right in my head.
"Hey, hey," He pet my head which pushed my fedora over my eyes, "its cool kiddo. We just have to replace it before anyone else…"
And just my luck, Vigilante and the Shining Knight walked in.
"This Clint Eastwood fellow, I dare say, besmirches his orders time and time again. He certainly doesn't, how do you say, play by the rules?"
"Sir Justin, you truly are uneducated in the ways of the movin' pictures. I know one particu'ler movie that'll have you worshipin' the path that Mister Clint Eastwood walks on."
"I still believe that…"
Sir Justin paused in his statement and looked at Vigilante. Vigilante looked at Flash, who looked back and then to Sir Justin, then Sir Justin looked at me after looking at the Flash, then Vigilante looked at me before turning back to look at Sir Justin who looked back at Vigilante. Then the both of them caught eye of the remote.
'Ah~ man! Shit's gonna hit the fan now.' I forgot that the Fourth Lobby, the one with the big screen T.V. with the 5.1 surround sound, was the main hangout area of Vigilante and the Shining Knight; Vigilante owned the T.V. (why he brought it from his actual home I'll never understand); therefore, he owned the remote.
Vigilante loved his T.V., which constantly played Clint Eastwood films, almost as much as his guns and his motorbike. I was in deep trouble; no amount of acting will get me out of this.
"Wh…What in tar nations did you do to my remote?"
For once in this old Shinigami's life, I wasn't able to think of an excuse. I couldn't exactly say, "Hey my sword disguised as a pocket watch wanted to watch an Asian drama movie but he scared me so I dropped your remote. I tried to take it apart, but it wouldn't go back together again."
Yeah, that was more than likely to get me killed…again.
I was about to speak up but Flash beat me to the punch; I flinched slightly fearing for the worst; Vigilante had one hell of a temper, "It was me."
"I thought it'd be cool to show Max how a remote works and I guess I broke it." I slowly opened my eyes to peer at Flash.
"You guess? Why you no good scally waggin'," Vigilante inched closer towards Flash, "when I get my hands on you…"
The Flash lightly pat my fedora smiling his goofy smile and sped off with Vigilante looking like he was about to give chase.
My face flushed ever so slightly. It wasn't that I was feeling anything romantic towards Flash, but I can't say I wasn't touched. But the flush disappeared from my face as quickly as it came as a wave of nostalgia washed over me; I was reminded of how Jyuushiro used to take the blame for me after I pranked his best friend Shunsui, because he knew Shunsui wouldn't do anything to him. Shunsui, of course, knew it was me, but he played along anyways.
Just as I got up from the couch I saw Vigilante at the doorway. He winked at me before turning out the door and yelling, "Come back here ya no good remote killer!"
Only one thing went through my mind, Vigilante knew the truth; he was just…playing along.
We never did get to watch that drama.
Vigilante…Shining Knight, remembering the "remote" event, brought them both to my attention. They were like brothers to me, and I couldn't help but feel like I let them down. Was it my fault that the Hollows were attacking the Watchtower? As far as I knew, the idea wasn't all that farfetched.
Even I have to admit, that in the short time that I've known them, I've grown quite attached to them. Did I love them more than Aizen? Of course. Did I love them more than the illusion of Aizen that I initially thought I feel in love with? Just maybe.
It wasn't until after the Hollowfication incident that I realized just how little I've known about Aizen, but Vigilante…I knew so much about him—his personality, his identity, his obsession with Clint Eastwood, all of it. And I knew just as much about him as I did with Sir Justin.
Looking into their eyes now, I considered the thought, "Maybe they are my friends." But then I snapped back to reality. Though I highly doubt it, even if they were, they sure weren't going to be after this. Could I trust them? Not if they couldn't trust me. Aren't I ever the hypocrite?
Locking my eyes firming on Vigilante's, I remembered our heart-to-heart conversation a while back. It was the conversation that made me fear his reaction towards this very situation.
I was on my third break and I just finished cleaning up an accident in the Second Kitchen on Sub-Level 3.
Apparently The Creeper freaked out Crimson Fox after he jumped on one of the tables making her accidentally shoot her pheromones at Ice and Fire—freaking them out. The two of them shot their respectable elements at opposing parts of the room.
Luckily no one was hit, but food exploded in different directions due to the blasts. Apparently some of the foods were flying towards Vibe and Starman, and they thought it would have been a good idea to deflect the food with their powers.
The food ended up hitting Elongated Man who promptly screamed out, "Food Fight!", and thus began the hardship I've come to know as…cleaning.
'I swear, they're just like children.'
'They even lack the poise and posture when fighting with the food Mi'Lady. No technique.'
I looked around the room, 'I can't believe it took that long to clean the ceiling. Did any of the food even get on the floor? You know what, why don't we just turn the Watchtower upside down so I'd get a chance to clean the floor sometime? Hey Sebastian, remember the time when I said that there was nothing dirtier than the inside of that manhole?'
'I take it back. Cleaning up this," I swept my hand across the air, motioning to the ceiling, "was much worse.'
During this break I was originally supposed to meet up with Hawkgirl to discuss the properties of the Nth metal in her mace, but she was busy on a mission, so I decided that I'd take my lunch break later and meet up with Vigilante to learn how to use guns again.
Turning around the corridor I spotted Vigilante making his way to the lobby, "Hey Vig, how's it going?"
"Hey there little critter. What can I do you for?" He plucked my hat from my head and ruffled my hair before setting the fedora back down.
I grunted a bit in annoyance and muttered a silent mantra in my head, 'One more month, one more month and I can drop the child act. Just one more month!'
At first acting like a child wasn't all that bad, in fact it had its benefits. But when everyone was treating me like I was a little over five instead of a little over five hundred, it can get pretty annoying.
"Could you teach me how to use a gun again?"
"Sure thing Lil' Lady. I was headin' to the shootin' gallery myself." Yeah right, that's why you were heading to the lobby. I wasn't going to be complaining though.
Vigilante and I began to talk about random events that occurred throughout our lives on our way to the shooting gallery. One particular topic caught my eye—what happened to Vigilante during the Thanagarian invasion.
"Those good fer nothin' Hawks went and darn captured me. Humiliated me. That Hawkgirl's a good fer nothin' traitor; I'd stop hangin' 'round her so much if I were you."
"She's not that bad Vig; just give her a chance."
"After what her people god darn did to me? Not a chance."
"You know, my first Cap…uche…"
"Your first what?"
"You know, Capuche. A hood…cowl…thing?"
"I think we're gettin' a little off topic here."
'Shit, I almost talked about Captain Ryoku.'
"Just hear me out Vig. You see, my first…capuche was given to my by a very close friend of mine. He was strong, valiant, and he earned the respect of everyone. Despite all previous attachments he was well respected. To call him amazing would be an understatement. He was one of the greatest people I've ever come to know."
I wanted to say that he was like a brother that I never wanted but I got stuck with so eventually I learned to tolerate and grow to care for. I wanted to say that it was only with him around that Squad 11 ever received any respect from anyone. I wanted to say how much I missed him and how much I wished he didn't die at the hands of that barbarian and sorry excuse for a Captain, Gosuke Kiganjō, but I truly am getting off topic.
"Sorry darlin', but how's this relevant?"
"His favorite saying was 'I don't care where you're from, how old you are, or what your records look like. I'm not going to force you to stay but I'm not going to tell you to leave. The only thing I want is strength. Nothing else matters.' Sometimes I wondered if he a few loose screws in his head, but working alongside him…at…my caretaker's shop, he proved to be a man that I respected above all else."
"Sorry darlin', I'm still don't get it. How's this related to them Hawkpeople?"
I sighed and shook my head slightly, 'How much clearer could I get?'
'Mi'Lady, it only makes sense to you because you've know the late Captain for many, many years. You have to realize…'
'Rhetorical question Sebastian. Seriously, it just goes right over your head doesn't it?'
"He never judged anyone. It didn't matter where you came from. It didn't matter if you were a rich kid from Beverly Hills or a bum who grew up in the ghettos of New York City. It didn't matter if you were as young as a toddler or as old as Confucius himself. It didn't matter if you've never hurt a fly or if you've killed off a million people in the past. All C…Ryoku cared about was whether or not you could fight now; he only wanted you if you were a good fighter now, here, in the present. He didn't care if you liked him or not, because if you didn't you didn't matter and if you did, well good for you."
"You tellin' me I shouldn't judge them; after all I went through!"
"I'm telling you to let go of the past. If there was one thing I learned from Ryoku it was that it doesn't matter who you were or what you want to become, its what you are right now that matters. Of course who you want to become is sort of important too, and that's where our views differ. But for the most part, the whole past thing was dead on. What you are shouldn't matter, what you've done shouldn't matter, as long as you're willing to redeem yourself."
"I still don't like them good fer nothin' Hawkpeople, and nothin's gonna change that."
"Not even if she apologized?"
Vigilante sighed, "You're still a youngin' so I'll give you a life lesson that I had to learn the hard way," he patted my head, "sometimes a simple sorry don't fix nothin'."
"I'm sorry. Truly I am." That grin, he wasn't sorry for what he did. He was sorry he got caught, and I don't even think he was sorry for that.
I looked up at Vigilante. He didn't have to teach me anything, if anything I needed to teach him some life lessons. He especially didn't need to teach me that.
Seeing the anger in my eyes he probably thought he said something wrong; let him believe what he wants. Vigilante squatted down next to me at eye level and sighed again, "Look, it just ain't all that easy to forget 'n forgive. But if that Hawkgirl ever does apologize, I'll consider acceptin'. How's 'bout that?"
I looked at Vigilante, "If I ever apologize to you. For something, for anything that I've done, would you forgive me?"
"I figure I can. Of course if you take apart my remote controller again, I'll probably have to reconsider."
Despite Vigilante's attempts to lighten up the mood I just couldn't lighten up with it, "I mean it Vig. If I was to do something…on…on let's just say for example…just for example…I mean…hypothetically…on Shayera's level. Would you?"
Vigilante's eyes knitted together and his brow furrowed, "What?"
"Would you?" I looked at him and he did the one thing I didn't expect him to do; Vigilante laughed it off like a joke.
"What in tarnations are you talkin' 'bout Max?"
'Well there go my chances.'
He ruffled my fedora slightly, "O' course I would. Unlike them Hawkpeople, yer my friend and I trust you; if it ever came down to it, I think y'all deserve a second chance."
We continued on our walk, but I was no more at ease after Vigilante's exclamation than I was before it. Why? Simple, Vigilante wasn't taking it seriously; he just saw me as a kid that needed reassurance that he'd never be that angry with me. If push came to shove, I don't know whether or not Vigilante really would give me a second chance.
Vigilante's response to the whole "hypothetical" situation made me think, it made me doubt, and worse of all, it made me worry; Vigilante's response made me remember that most of the League members suffered from the betrayal of the Thanagarians—some worse than others.
If I was to show the same betrayal, I don't know what they'd do to me. For all I know they could drop their whole "no killing" rule and get rid of me if they wanted to; there's no way I could take on all the League members on my own; I'm skilled, but not invincible.
"Little one," I looked up to see Shining Knight placed his hand on my shoulder, "…what is…what is going on? Explain yourself."
'I swear, you Shunpo one time in front of them and they think you're the devil.'
'Yes, but you must see it from their point of view Mi'Lady: bizarre creatures are attacking their base, someone they thought was just your average vertically challenged janitor turns out to be someone, or in their views something, they're not, and they're still recovering from the emotional backlash of the Hawkpeople's invasion. From this assessment, it isn't surprising that they're weary of us.'
I lightly touched my jaw, 'Yeah, but did Ted have to go and punch me? It didn't hurt but still.'
'He is the one that holds the most animosity towards metas. Finding out that you had powers would be no different than when you found out that Aizen was…well, you know.'
'Yes he feels betrayed, but still to hit me? What happened to the whole "She's just a kid" thing?'
'Do you want them to treat you like a child in this situation?'
'That's not the point. Anyways, panicking isn't going to do any of us any good right now.'
"I know you all have a lot of questions, but right now isn't the time. I'll explain it to you all lat…"
"No! Explain everything now, or we're taking you down." After Vixen finished her statement everyone got into a defensive stance, some with their weapons rearing to fire.
I looked, Vixen, Shining Knight, even Green Arrow was prepared to fire at me. The only one who wasn't rearing to fire was The Question, and that's only because he slightly knew the situation.
I ran my fingers through my hair; now was not the time to be arguing. Every second we waste here talking is another second that the League has to fend off the Hollows.
'And you didn't want to tell them the situation.'
'Yes, and look at their expressions; they're hesitant. If there's one thing Aizen taught me it's that if you have fond memories of someone, it's harder to take them out. If I didn't need their help I would have taken them down eons ago. Or at least fought my way through them.'
"Look, just ask Q. I'm not the enemy here."
The League members, save for The Question, turned to look at him.
"Q?," Huntress narrowed her eyes slightly at The Question—what The Question saw in Huntress I would never know; she's rash and trigger happy. I respected her whole-heartedly, but she was a bit too honest for my liking sometimes—"What's she talking about?"
"Wait so now we're listening to The Question? Of all people…"
Huntress and Black Canary started to argue about their stances on the situation.
"Enough! Look, I know you guys don't trust me, but at least trust in Q's trust in me." Oh why, oh why didn't I tell someone more credible than The Question? Where's Batman and J'onn when you need them?
"Q's a wackjob," Huntress turned to The Question, "no offense."
The Question turned his head a big, possibly in anger but I can't exactly read a face I can't see, "None…taken."
"That's not convincing enough." Huntress continued.
"Look, I've had plenty of chances to take you guys out, but I've never taken any of them."
"Right, as if you could."
"Yes Wildcat, I can."
Wildcat walked closer and put his face in front of mine; our noses were touching, "Oh yeah? Prove it." No sooner had Wildcat finished his challenge did knock one of my knuckles into his diaphragm.
Wildcat gasped, most likely feeling the wind knocked out of him, before he kneeled on the floor.
"Don't ever insinuate that I'm weak ever again." Something inside of me just snapped.
"Oh yeah? Prove it." He looked at me with those eyes; he was mocking me.
The entire Watchtower shook once again as the force field noticeably flickered. I could tell that it wasn't going to hold up for much longer; its color was fading and there weren't as many fibers visible as there were before. I had to do something, and quick, "Believe what you want; I don't care anymore. We don't have time for this."
I looked at their faces one last time before I prepared to speed off to Sector L-52 to get the oxygen mask. I lied to them—that much was evident. I lied to them, but I would never trick them. Unfortunately they didn't know that, and I didn't have the time to convince them otherwise.
As I turned to leave I felt someone grab my arm, "Wait."
I turned around to see myself looking in the eyes of The Flash. I looked at his face, my friend, my companion, "What? Look, we don't have time for thi…"
"I'm coming with you. Look, I'm not exactly sure what's going on," Flash turned towards the other League members, "but Max hasn't done anything to make us mistrust her before."
Flash turned back to me and smiled, "If you don't find Q's trust credible, then maybe you'll find mine to be."
I suppose being a Founder and feeling first hand the full blunt of the Thanagarian invasion's treachery gave Flash more than enough credibility as the remaining members dropped their stances.
Wildcat, unfortunately, still didn't look too convinced, "One thing, if she does one thing out of line…"
"I'll take full responsibility." Flash lifted my fedora and ruffled my hair before setting it back.
I lightly swatted his hand, "No need," I smiled just a bit. I was truly happy that all those toilets cleaned paid off, "I'm not using any of you."
I could see that the League members present, save for The Question and The Flash, were still hesitant, but for the most part they didn't argue the point any further.
"I need to get to Sector L-52 stat. The source of the Hollows is somewhere outside, so that's where I'll need to go." I looked out the window to see the League members fighting, or at least attempting to fight, off the Hollows. "Except for Dr. Fate, none of the League members are even grazing the Hollows. At this rate they'll die."
At that moment Obsidian and Waverider crashed into the Watchtower's force field, "This isn't good, I have to get out there now."
Something was going on with the power generator; my guess was that the last power surge really did a number on it.
The power generator was going on and off. It wasn't broken; it was just, for lack of better terms, "static-y". I could only bet that it was because of the Hollows, but I don't understand why; they didn't excrete any spiritual energy or pressure, so why were the generators being affected?
It made even less sense since the generators were internal, then something clicked, "There are Hollows in the building!"
Shining Knight was the first to respond, "Pardon me, but what is this Hollow you speak of?"
"They're the things that are attacking the Watchtower. Wait Max, how do you know they're in here?"
I turned to Green Arrow and gave him the answer that was painfully obvious, "Why else would the generators be going on and off?"
Flash answered my question with another painfully obvious solution, "You haven't been in the Watchtower for very long so you probably don't know, but there are switches on the outside of the Watchtower."
"Outside? What for?" Vixen asked.
"For emergencies. Bats said that it was just in case we ever got locked out again like the time we fought Brainiac with Static and Gear."
"Makes about as much sense as anything else." I turned back towards the League members. I'll never be able to tell them how sorry I am for lying to them, but now was not the time for me to get sentimental (not like I ever did), "Look, does anyone know a faster way to Sector L-52? We're running out of time here. The force field's losing power, and fast. I've used up most of my energy running G.A. and Q. this far. Is there a shorter way or something?"
"Wait, why did you run with us in the first place?" Green Arrow looked at me in confusion.
"Because I couldn't very well leave you alone in a highly unpopulated sector of the Watchtower. The two of you wouldn't be able to defend yourselves if anything happened."
"I'll take you," I looked over at The Flash and nodded, "Alright then. The rest of you do whatever you want and can, but stay together. When you fight against Hollows, there really is strength in numbers. Not like you guys could see them, but if by some chance you're able to make enough of an outline of them to see their body structure, aim for the mask; aim for their heads. It's the fastest and easiest way to k…defeat them." I refrained from using the word kill; I didn't know how they would take it.
"I doubt you'd be able to hit them with your weapons, but in the event that you're able to just remember that the mask is their greatest weakpoint." As well as their greatest strength if they fire a cero, but hopefully it won't come to that.
They all nodded, even Wildcat to my surprise. If they didn't trust me as a person, at least they trusted me enough to take my advice; they're going to need it.
"Wait, if we can't see it, how come you can?" Wildcat asked.
"Because I was trained to fight them…all my life."
"Max, let us come with you."
"No offense Vixen, but you'll only slow me down. Sebastian's help is all I need to get rid of them."
"Sebastian? Yer compadre from Japan? He's here?"
"Yup Vig; right here." I patted Sebastian lightly to emphasis his location.
"Little one, I'm not trying to question you; however, how is your friend…"
"Sebastian is my friend, but he's also my sword."
"Oh..." I could tell that he was a little more than confused.
"Sir Justin, he's as real as you and I…sort of. Look, it's hard to explain and I promise to explain it to you in more detail later I promise, but if you have to, think of Sebastian like Excalibur. He is as much my partner as Excalibur is to you." Of course Sebastian is a spirit with amazing abilities, but he doesn't have to know Sebastian's ability; it's an ability better shown than explained. As far as I'm concerned, the author's going to go into depth about it next chapter, so if Sir Justin could just wait that long to find out then we're all good.
Shining Knight nodded, if anyone could understand the bond between a Zanpakutō and a Shinigami in the living world it would be Sir Justin.
"Let's go Flash." I got on Flash's back and as we were running I thanked him, "Thank you Flash," he turned around slightly, still keeping his eyes on the road, "for believing in me."
It took us all but 10 seconds to reach the storage room of Sector L-52 to retrieve the oxygen mask. Flash was much faster than I was by far and he wasn't even remotely short of breath.
Flash patted my shoulder once I got off, "Hey, like Supes said, "Everyone deserves a second chance.'"
He ruffled my hair once more, only this time he didn't take off the fedora, "Besides, I think I'm a pretty good judge of character."
"Really now. And how would you judge me?" I asked him as I went to put on the oxygen mask. It looked like a normal oxygen mask only it wasn't attached to anything. The oxygen came out of the two red tubes sticking out of the sides of the mask that held the oxygen. The Question was right, there's only about ten minutes worth in here if I were to breathe normally; I'd have to use the oxygen sparingly. Good thing for me, ten minutes was more than enough time.
"A-OK in my book!" He smiled that goofy grin and gave me a quick thumbs up.
I smiled a genuinely relieved smile. With three Founding members on my side, and hopefully Superman will be as well when I tell him, it'll be that much easier convincing the rest of the League that I mean no harm.
'Things are finally looking up Mi'Lady.'
Suddenly something jolted the entire Watchtower. Tremors shook through the Watchtower as the force field died. I ran outside of the storage room followed by The Flash. The Hollows started to break into the Watchtower by tearing open the hatches and breaking through the windows.
I've been to Hueco Mundo a few times in my day for retrieval and research missions (as Squad 11 was considered one of the "tougher" Squads that could take on the Hollows), and there has only been one time in which this many Hollows came after me at one time. And if it wasn't for a certain someone, I would have never made it out alive.
"You just had to say something!"
I promptly smacked Sebastian before unsheathing him. I just hoped that the others would be fairing alright, because at this point, there's nothing I could do to help them.
To say that this scene was frightening would be lying, I was brimming with excitement.
"Flash stay behind me," before Flash could argue with me I pushed him behind me, "don't even think about it. You can't see them let alone fight them. Besides, I need to let off some steam."
The first wave of Hollows were low-level unintellectual Menos, "You're a century overdue for a beating!"
I brought down Sebastian on the first Hollow that resembled a fish with legs. The Hollows began to back down a bit after seeing their friend slain.
It was obvious from their expressions; these Hollows didn't expect to be slain. That could only mean one thing: the Justice League was the target, not I. How was I able to deduce that from a single reaction? That was simple; their eyes showed immense confidence and the second I slew their ally their eyes showed me nothing but fear. As I continued to cut down the Hollows, my theory was solidified; some of the Hollows were too afraid to even fight back.
"Flash, follow me." I couldn't afford to cut down all of them. As much as I wanted to have my fun and go ballistic on these Hollows, I had to get outside. The sooner I found the source of these Hollows, the sooner the League would be saved.
I only cut the Hollows in my way and any Hollows that were aiming for Flash.
These Hollows weren't very strong or very smart, so they were easy to cut down. I was lucky that I didn't run into anything at a Gillian or Adjuchas level and I was thanking all the Gods that I didn't face any Vasto Lordes, or I'd be in trouble; it was hard to defend Flash and fight off the Hollows as it was based on sheer number alone.
When I got outside to where the stronger Hollows were, that's when I'd be faced with the real fights. Oh boy was I ever excited; I haven't had a real fight in a century. I was way overdue.
I found the group again who was running in our direction, only this time Zatanna and a many other League members: Nemesis, Crimson Avenger, and B'wana Beast to name a few, joined the group.
"Max, what the hell's going on?" Green Arrow and the others were desperately trying to get a grasp on the situation; however, only Zatanna was able to even see the Hollows. The hatches that were opening due to the Hollows were causing air to be sucked out; it was very difficult to hear what everyone was saying.
I ignored Green Arrow's question and ran towards Zatanna, "I'll explain everything later, but for now protect the League members in here! Aside from you, I'm willing to bet that no one else would be able to get rid of the Hollows! Concentrate your attack on the mask; break that and the Hollow will be destroy!"
"Got it!" I was glad that Zatanna wasn't asking or saying anything, but as far as I was concerned, she probably knew all along and just didn't care. That or the situation was too dire for her to care.
"I have to go out and help the other League members!" After I said that I heard Shining Knight yell in pain and surprise.
He couldn't see it, but he was being grabbed by a rather large hollow with a diamond shaped mask. It was at least ten feet tall and it had three arms—two on the side and one in its chest.
There was a Hollow hole a little under the third arm that was currently holding Sir Justin.
Before I could go and do anything Sir Justin used Excalibur to slice off the Hollow's arm out of reflex. I doubt that it was as much skill as it was luck, but luck can be considered a skill as well I guess.
"Woah! What the hell is that?"
"Oh my god!"
I turned to Flash after he cursed, "What? What's going on?" I didn't see anything out of the ordinary.
"That monster…thing! Is that what a Hollow is?"
"Wait, I thought you said you couldn't see it!"
"We couldn't, until Sir Justin hit it! Is it down?"
The monster wasn't down and it was angrier than ever; Sir Justin managed to harm it, not kill it.
'This doesn't make any sense. How can they see it one minute and not the next?'
I was suddenly hit with a theory and I turned to yell for Zatanna, "Zatanna! Hit that Hollow with some of your magic!"
Complying to my wishes without argument, man did I love this girl, Zatanna shot a stream of, what looked like, light at the Hollow that Shining Knight just attacked.
I quickly turned Flash's head to look at the scene, "Do you see it again?" It didn't matter if I could see it, what mattered was if the League members could see it.
"Yeah! That thing's huge!"
'So that's how it works.'
"Zatanna, see if you can let out a wave of magic to coat the Hollows!"
I think Zatanna, after seeing what happened understood what I wanted to do. I figured it out. As long as magic was present, the Hollows were visible to humans. Why? That's simple. Magic is the middle ground for spirits and the living; magic can be used by both the living and spirits.
"You got it!"
Zatanna let out what looked like a sonic wave. It was like she let off a wave of spiritual energy off; it didn't hurt anyone, it just coated them with a "magic-ky" substance.
I could hear gasps of shock and horror come from all around the vicinity.
Out of instinct, most League members began to fight the Hollows, "Everyone, aim for the masks!" Zatanna yelled out.
Doing as Zatanna instructed I was blessed with another heavenly surprise. Although Zatanna couldn't attack anyone as long as she was letting out the wave of magic, the wave of magic allowed the other members to be able to hit the Hollows, and, in some cases, destroy them. Remember what I said about objects that were even lightly coated with spiritual energy being able to harm Hollows? This was the same situation, only in reverse; the magic coating the Hollows wrapped around the weapon/appendage of the attacker as they hit the Hollow, thus coating them in spiritual energy. It was a stroke of genius born from trial and error.
Things were finally looking up.
Shining Knight ran towards me, "Little One, you are going to go outside yes?"
I nodded my head swiftly as he outstretched Excalibur towards me, "Could you give this to Superman? He would find it of much better use than I."
I shook my head, "No he wouldn't. Remember what I told you about Sebastian Justin? Same rule applies to Excalibur. He is your partner and you are the only one who knows how to use him to his full extent. Superman isn't trained with a sword; he might hurt himself with it; he's already weak against magic and what I plan for Dr. Fate to do might weaken him to a point where he'll be useless in battle. Strong as he is he's a hand-to-hand combat fighter not a sword fighter. It'd be like giving me a gun."
I lightly pushed Excalibur back towards Shining Knight as he nodded his head and went back into the fray. Looking around, the League wasn't doing too shabby. Now is hardly the time to marvel, but I can't help but feel giddy inside; we found a way for the League to help, Kisuke doesn't have to find out that I found out on accident. What he doesn't know won't embarrass me.
I ran to The Flash and patted his shoulder before he was about to charge into the fray, "I'm going to go outside now, you and the other members, cover my back!"
Flash nodded swiftly, and he began to cover me as I jumped out one of the hatches and hit the hollow that was holding it open before turning on the oxygen mask by pushing the button on the side. I was surprised to see that all the windows that were broken were now covered up by a metal screen. It was probably yet another failsafe of the Watchtower.
I charged outside pushing Spiritual Energy into my feet so I'd be able to run rather than float aimlessly in space.
I needed to get to Doctor Fate so that he could do the same thing Zatanna did.
Before I could get to him, however, I fought through an entire swarm of Hollows all gearing towards me. Why? Because I had the most Spiritual Energy out the entire bunch; it was like putting cake in front of a fat boy, he just couldn't resist.
I aligned Sebastian with the length of my leg and kicked the first Hollow that came after me. The strength from my kick and the strength of Sebastian's blade made a clean and easy cut through it.
I quickly sheathed Sebastian and pushed up from the "ground" with my arms and spun on them with my legs outstretched. It didn't kill any Hollows, but it pushed them back enough for me to take them by surprise.
A couple of Bird Hollows came in my direction and I pushed off from the non-existent ground and sent a flying punch towards one of their beaks. I flipped over the one I just punched and used it as a spring board backwards to send a quick uppercut with the back of my right heel right under the other Bird Hollow's mask effectively ripping it off and killing it.
After about a dozen, I didn't know how much longer I could take; the lack of Spiritual Energy would kill me at this rate; even with the oxygen mask I could barely breathe. I didn't want to release Sebastian just yet, but if this continued, I'd have no other choice.
After 2.1 minutes I was finally beside Doctor Fate as he tried his best to assist the League members. I could tell that he was having great difficulty doing so; he was the only one who was able to see the Hollows.
He quickly turned around, "Young Max? What're you doing here?"
"I'll explain later. I need you to do something." I started to explain what I needed him to do with, what I called, the "magic wave".
Stupid name, but I'm just making this up as I go along.
Doctor Fate seemed a bit reluctant, either because he wasn't sure if was going to work or whatever, but we couldn't afford to waste time.
"Look, I only have ten minutes with this mask. I assure you, you won't hurt them Fate. It's just enough to coat them with magic, not damage them with it. Zatanna tried it already; we don't have time to waste. You won't be able to fight, but the rest of the League will. I think that's a pretty good trade off."
I put my hand on his shoulder, "But it's probably best for the Supers to go inside; they're weak against magic."
"Dr. Fate," I looked over to him as he replied, "Yes, yes I understand. You will fight as well?"
I nodded, "I have to."
He put a hand on my shoulder after I let go of his, "Be careful child."
I nodded once more.
Doctor Fate sent off the wave of magic, and knowing that I was going to be able to have cover fire while I searched for the source I was ready to begin the real fight. I got ready to release Sebastian, but what I saw in the corner of my eye nearly gave me a heart attack in my already failing soul.
I hastily released Sebastian, "Distort, Sebastian!"
I Shunpo-ed to the two figures I never thought I would see again, "Hey."
His eyes widened significantly at the sight of me, but no other words were exchanged. Instead it was the female one who voiced her surprise, "Max? What're you doing here?"
"It's been a while hasn't it?" I readied Sebastian's ability, "I know I can't win and I don't want to be making threats I can't keep, and I don't want to fight you guys, but please back down."
"Sorry," he scratched his head, "Aizen told us to take care of the Justice League."
I looked at them with sorrow in my eyes, "Please, for old times' sake."
I looked at the two people I never thought I would be fighting; Starrk Coyote and Lilynette Gingerbuck.
Wow, that took me forever to do.
Thank you all who have read and if you review, who knows, part two of the finale might be uploaded faster than you might think ;D.
All joking aside, thank you to everyone who has read and followed the story up until this point and who has encouraged me to continue writing. I hope you all enjoyed it and I hope you all found that it was well worth the wait.
I will continue to fix the remaining chapters for grammar issues and such and if you find any here, don't be afraid to tell me.
If you guys want, just tell me who you guys want to see more of as far as characters that you wish had more lines in the series but they didn't show up all too often (i.e.-Blue Devil, Aztek, etc.)
Please do review, it takes a couple of minutes but it gives me a lifetime of happiness :)
But seriously, thank you all once again. The next chapter will be the Finale of the Janitor Arc.
If anyone is interested, I'm hosting a small contest.
Its nothing big, and I don't think its all that rewarding, but if you're interested...
It is a competition to see who can portray (in a fanart) my main character, Maximilienne Zaraki, from "Soul Reaping Janitor of the Justice League" the best.
If you win, you'll get mention in the next chapter and I'll put your picture in my profile...
It's not the greatest reward, but if you're interested, go for it.
This is a list of everyone who has sent in a fanart: