8 Justice League Conflict

Note: This is the 9th part of an ongoing series. The preceding installments are Justice League New Beginnings: DCAU Series Part 1; Justice League Second Strike: DCAU Series part 2; Justice League Past Imperfect: DCAU Series Part 3; Justice League Nuptials: DCAU Series Part 4; Justice League Cardinal Sin: DCAU Series Part 5; Justice League Twice Shy: DCAU series Part 6; Justice League Darkness: DCAU Series Part 7; and Justice League Family Affairs: DCAU Series Part 8. Events and personal developments from these installments will be referenced with little warning or back story given. If Part 9 raises any questions, I suggest you read the previous stories.

Additional Note: Reviewers are highly appreciated. I need to know what I'm doing right and/or wrong so I can either do it again or not do it at all the next time `round.

Additional Note #2: This is my third outing with animeluverqueen as my Beta Reader. I owe her a lot for her patience.

Disclaimer: I do not own the Justice League concepts, actualization, characters, or depictions thereof (such as the DCAU). All such intellectual and actual rights are properties of DC Comics and Warner Bros Animation which are both owned by Time Warner. I'm not making any money off of this. Hopefully I'm entertaining a few folks, but that's it. Do not sue me!

Call me a joker, call me a fool
Right at this moment I'm totally cool
Clear as a crystal, sharp as a knife
I feel like I'm in the prime of my life
Sometimes it feels like I'm going too fast
I don't know how long this feeling will last
Maybe it's only tonight

Darling I don't know why I go to extremes
Too high or too low there ain't no in-betweens
And if I stand or I fall
It's all or nothing at all
Darling I don't know why I go to extremes

Sometimes I'm tired, sometimes I'm shot
Sometimes I don't know how much more I've got
Maybe I'm headed over the hill
Maybe I've set myself up for the kill
Tell me how much do you think you can take
Until the heart in you is starting to break?
Sometimes it feels like it will

Darling I don't know why I go to extremes
Too high or too low there ain't no in-betweens
You can be sure when I'm gone
I won't be out there too long
Darling I don't know why I go to extremes

Out of the darkness, into the light
Leaving the scene of the crime
Either I'm wrong or I'm perfectly right every time
Sometimes I lie awake, night after night
Coming apart at the seams
Eager to please, ready to fight
Why do I go to extremes?

Darling I don't know why I go to extremes
Too high or too low there ain't no in-betweens
And if I stand or I fall
It's all or nothing at all
Darling I don't know why I go to extremes
No I don't know why I go to extremes
Too high or too low there ain't no in-betweens
You can be sure when I'm gone
I won't be out there too long
Darling I don't know why I go to extremes

-Billy Joel

A vague pseudo-smile formed on Batman's lips as he landed on Selina Kyle's balcony. He wasn't expected and that was the delight of the visit. She'd spent the day with the Justice League, specifically on monitor duty, and he thought a little…well, a little of what most people would consider to be TLC was warranted. The Bat couldn't bring himself to think in those exact terms but it was the intention that counted.

He had dinner planned and then a full body massage. Where that could lead made him stiffen slightly. Her balcony door was unlocked, as usual, and he entered in. Inside, he smelled food and heard…voices? Now another kind of stiffening had afflicted him. He stood still, frozen in a form of shock. The voices carried out from the bedroom.

The table held the remains of dinner. A dinner with two participants. He decided whoever it was, was going to enjoy plunging off of the balcony here in another second.

Hecate intervened at that point. Selina's cat meowed and rubbed his legs. He bent over picked her up and set her outside. She ran back into the apartment as he tried to close the door. Hecate meowed and meowed all while trying to get Batman's attention. He avoided her, fearing he'd handle her too roughly. What he didn't realize is that she'd accepted him into the family and she sensed his distress and sought to comfort him.

Selina finally emerged to see what was worrying Hecate. She knew her cat's moods and knew when Hecate was alarmed, angry, or in fear. Her present cries were those of desperate love. And looming in the kitchen was the object of her concern.

Selina wore a deep purple silk robe over bare skin. Seeing Batman cowering in her kitchen, all impotent and full of rage brought a smile to her lips. She thought it might be a lesson in learning to properly appreciate her. Seeing his smoldering glower, she knew that lesson had been overlooked altogether.

"Who is he?" Batman growled.

"He?" Selina played dumb.

"The man in your bed." Batman hissed.

"How do you know it's a man? You have to evolve your thinking these days." Selina grinned. Seeing Batman blanch, she let him know; "It is a man."

"Why I should tell you is beyond me. You should sit here and confront your prejudices while I see Quinn out." Selina scolded.

A uniformed Sergeant of the Gotham City Police Department came up behind Selina, "Who're you talking to? I…Oh! Batman! I have to tell you that this is an honor. I'm such a fan. When Selina told me about her other identity and the Justice League, I never thought I'd get to meet you!"

A low growl formed in Batman's throat. Quinn recoiled, withdrawing his extended hand. Selina ushered him to the door, "Time to go."

She got him out on the landing, "Sorry Quinn, he didn't know about 'us'."

Quinn grinned, "So that's his 'protective dad' routine. Funny, he acts more like a jealous boyfriend."

"He only has one mode." Selina replied, "And he'll probably drop in on you in the near future."

Quinn chuckled, "That's okay. I can take care of myself." He chastely kissed her on the cheek and whispered in her ear, "So, we're on for Thursday?"

"Unless work crops up." Selina whispered back before she kissed him on the lips.

Quinn smirked and tipped his uniform cap in her direction, "Ma'am."

She watched him go, both elated and with an ache in her heart. She knew this day was coming but she'd wanted to handle it better. This method of discovery seemed…crass.

She also knew that she'd drawn things out too long and that the fault lay with her. But Bruce…Batman, was an Olympic marathon runner when it came to sex and they'd definitely pushed new boundaries for both of them. She couldn't imagine poor Skyler Quinn reaching the same mountainous peaks.

Quinn had other things going for him. He was sweet, kind, and affectionate. Three categories that Batman scored a fat zero in. Also, she'd always known that there would be no happily ever after with Batman. She'd ridden the thrill ride. If it was time to get off then she would because being forced to choose, she'd choose Quinn.

She returned to the brownstone and locked the door behind her, "I know what you're going to say and you can skip it. I told you at the beginning that I would be looking for 'Mr. Right' while you were 'Mr. Right Now'. You were my fantasy and the fantasy's played out."

"Why would you choose him over me?" Batman's voice was raised.

"Maybe because he has a sense of humor?" she yelled back, "Or I can hold his hand when I'm with him? Not to mention a thousand other little things that make me feel appreciated. I have that with Quinn. With you, we just ooze sex. There's more to life than sex."

Batman wanted to stay mad, he truly did. It's just that what she said made sense. She had warned him and he'd ignored her. She'd set her terms and limits at the beginning and she'd lived up to all of them. He was the only monkey in the wrench. It was time he stepped aside.

"You won't be offended if I do some checking into Mr. Quinn?" he asked.

"No, but Vic didn't pull anything up. I doubt you will." She warned, "Speaking of Vic, you're still coming to the wedding?"

"I…" she cut him off.

"They're counting on you, Bruce!" Selina stressed, "Helena's family is going to be there in droves but Vic has no one but you and Ollie."

"How exactly did the Family get invited?" Batman asked.

"Helena sent an invitation to her grandmother. Her grandmother in turn invited everyone." Selina answered, as if it were that simple.

"Helena should've known better." Batman declared.

"Oh c'mon." Selina whined, "You have to go."

"I will. I may invite a few friends as well." Batman decided.

"Friends?" Selina deadpanned, "You?"

"You may be surprised." Batman said and then he strode over to balcony door. He opened it but hesitated before exiting the confines of the flat.

"Thank you…for making life…easier for a while. I truly hope that Quinn is your man." He said.

"Even though you'll be trying to prove otherwise." She said with a rueful expression.

"It's my way." He exited and fired his grapple gun. Diving off of the balcony he disappeared into the night.

"Yeah, it's definitely your way." Selina sighed as she locked the slider. Now Hecate chose Selina to be the object of her affection. They curled up on the couch together and consoled one another.

Superman viewed the gathered leaders; the leaders who'd attended the recent G8 summit, had agreed to reassemble at the request of the Justice League. They met in a briefing room within the UN HQ. Max Lord, General Wade Eiling, Amanda Waller, and the Martian Manhunter represented the League's interests.

The special guests were Mr. Miracle and Big Barda. Their contribution was a small pyramid that sat atop the round table. Miracle controlled the pyramid through his Mother Box interface wrapped around his left arm.

"I do not see the necessity of having Mr. Miracle here." The French President complained, "He is a sideshow performer."

Mr. Miracle held Barda back while Waller addressed the question, "Mr. Miracle is a valued member of the JLU. He is also our resident expert on the mind control you were subjected to."

"Bah! I was subject to no mind control. This 'Glorious Godfrey' merely spoke to us." The French Head of State argued.

"Then prove it." Waller challenged, "Unless you're afraid."

"I am afraid of nothing. Use the machine on me. Now!" the President demanded.

"Just relax and recall when Godfrey spoke to you." Miracle instructed.

A shimmering orb of golden energy formed over the apex of the pyramid. It arced an apparent electrical charge to just in front of the President's face. He visibly quailed but he stayed seated. An image appeared before his face, it was Godfrey and he was trying to persuade the world leaders to pardon the Legion of Doom. The sound was entirely in the President's own mind. When the presentation ended, the arc and the display disappeared but the golden energy remained balled atop of the pyramid.

"Oh my God." The President groaned, "What have we done?"

"You were duped by a professional." Superman consoled him.

"There's little comfort in that. Hurry, you must free the minds of my compatriots so we can rectify this tragedy." The President urged.

"I'll have to declare myself unfit to perform my duties between then and now." The US President worried, "That will throw a dozen bills that I signed in jeopardy."

"We all face that." The Canadian PM said, "But our duty is clear."

"The Legion of Doom must face justice and only our admitting our weakness can ensure that." The British PM said, "Once more unto the breach and all that."

"I'll be happy to speak on behalf of each and every one of you." Superman offered.

"Thank you. That may help us keep our offices." The US President gratefully replied.

The following day, off of the Horn of Africa, pirates captured an oil tanker. Superwoman and the Crime Syndicate, representing the Legion of "Good", freed the crew but then they held the ship captive themselves while demanding compensation for their efforts. The stand-off lasted for 6 hours until the JLU arrived on scene.

The Big Oil Company had registered a complaint with the US. The US passed the complaint along to the UN and it took 5 hours to arrange a vote in the General Assembly. When the vote was cast, it came out nearly unanimous. The Legion's actions were themselves deemed "piracy" and the League was dispatched to deal with the situation.

It may have seemed like overkill but the League sent Wonder Woman, Booster Gold, Mary Marvel, the Ray, Supergirl, and Kyle Rayner. Six versus four, as the Crime Syndicate was composed of Superwoman, Ultraman, Power Ring, and accompanied by Wonder Girl. Diana's logic was that the Syndicate was ruthless and willing to inflict amounts of harm that the JLU wouldn't even consider. It was better to have cannon fodder than not have enough heroes.

Diana and Booster were carried in a green orb by Kyle. They could fly but not at supersonic speeds and time was of the essence. The Hall of Justice flashed an update to the team as they travelled. Superwoman, having received the charge of piracy, now claimed if the Legion wasn't paid within the hour, she would sink the ship.

The JLU team arrived within twenty minutes of leaving New York. They followed the GPS tracker on their signal devices to reach the proper spot. Below them, floating in the ocean, seemingly at peace, was the tanker.

Supergirl swept the ship with her X-Ray vision, "The crew is being held in the wardroom. Wonder Girl is guarding them. Superwoman is on the bridge with the captain and navigator. Ultraman and Power Ring are on deck."

Supergirl winced, "And they've spotted us. See ya."

Kyle had released Diana and Booster and Diana tried to grab hold of Supergirl before Kara streaked off. Frowning, she said; "We're committed now."

The others travelled in Kara's wake. She herself came barreling in at near supersonic speeds. Ultraman met her in the air and delivered a right cross that sent Supergirl hurtling over the horizon. Mary swooped in and delivered a right of her own.

Ultraman bounced off of the tanker's hull and he sank into the ocean. Power Ring sought to avenge his friend and Kyle blocked him. Every construct was thwarted and every gambit derailed.

Ultraman burst out of the sea and came straight at Mary. The Ray blasted him with concentrated red solar rays. Ultraman slowed and grunted in pain but he still reached Ray and swatted him across the sky. Mary was incensed.

She slipped under Ultraman's first punch and came up at him for an uppercut. He went arcing over towards the African mainland. Mary pursued, all while trying not to worry about Ray.

Diana and Booster alighted on the tanker. Diana stepped into the bridge and Superwoman saw her and cried out, "You'll die today!"

Diana steered their fight outside and they battled for several minutes before Superwoman began to give ground. Superwoman threw everything she had into one punch and it staggered Diana, but Wonder Woman was swiftly recovering. Seeing no profit in staying, Superwoman began to gather her forces.

Wonder Girl bolted onto the deck. Booster Gold came flying up behind her. Donna spun and landed a backspin kick to his temple. Fortunately for Booster he had his force field on and it only stunned him rather than cave his skull in.

The Amazons took to the air. They came up behind Kyle and then belted him into the tanker's hull. Superwoman summoned a boom tube and the trio departed. As they left, Supergirl, the Ray, and Mary came flying in from opposite directions.

"Where's Ultraman?" Diana asked Mary.

"Halfway to Burma by now." Mary glumly replied, "He sucker punched me and took off faster than I could see, which is saying a lot."

"Man, we didn't get any of them." Booster complained.

"We underestimated them. We came in superior numbers and felt that that automatically secured our victory. Now we know better. I suspect we could all use some time back in training." Diana surmised, "When we get back, I'll put us all down for teamwork exercises."

Noting that Diana was including herself in that remedial program, they fell silent as she declared, "We'd best check on the crew and report to the captain that she is once again master of her vessel."