A "Hallelujah" story for our favorite YJ pair. Because it just had to be done. (Hopefully I won't screw it up.) The first installment, for your holiday enjoyment.

Well I heard there was a sacred chord

That David played, and it pleased the Lord

But you don't really care for music, do you?


From his position far above the floor of the opera house, in one of the boxes circling the ornate ceiling, he saw the black form in the dark pause and turn, masked eyes sweeping the place for the source of the voice. The spectacular echo effect of the theater should have made her search difficult, so he was surprised when the cat eyes locked with his only seconds after his call.

"Red," she replied, and sounded genuinely pleased. In one fluid motion, the painted steel mask came off, and he was met with her own stunningly feline features, somehow distinguishable despite the heavy shadow of the place. "It's been too long. Fancied an after-hours tour, too?" She gestured at the hall around her. "Pretty swanky, right?"

"Swanky enough for an assassination, apparently."

He heard the smile. "What, I'm not allowed to have interests?"

"Don't play games." He tightened his grip on the bow in his hands. For some reason, the arrow kept slipping. Only slightly, but enough to ruin the shot if he went for it.

"Don't be like that, Red," she crooned, and it was ridiculous how only imagining those plump lips sinking into a pout made his pulse race. "We're just two music enthusiasts, checking out the set for that Broadway hit. What was it called again - Hallelujah?"

"Music enthusiasts, huh?" Damn it, why were his fingers shaking? "I find it hard to believe that you put in a day of murder and thievery to go home and listen to Leonard Cohen."

She grinned, and even in the darkness of the theater's black lights, his sharp gaze picked up the faint shine of her lips.

"I have all kinds of interests. Why don't you let me finish up here and I'll show you a few?"

A beep in his ear alerted him to a call from the Watchtower.

"Red Arrow. Has Cheshire been apprehended?"

He kept his eyes trained on the dark shape of the woman thirty feet below. "Yeah, Tornado. Just give me a few minutes to wrap up here."

"Your robot friend?" she asked, echoed voice dripping with a strange kind of sarcastic seduction. "Oh, Red, I thought you came all by yourself. Now my feelings are hurt."

He saw it coming. He really did. The quick but perceptible twist of her arm towards the line of pouches on her belt, the flash of white that came up and settled over her face again. He even had a split second between the moment when her arm drew back and when the smoke bomb struck the banister of the box he was in - he could've loosed the arrow he'd been holding, notched and ready even before she'd entered the place. He'd had the opportunity. Why hadn't he taken it?

By the time the smoke cleared and he'd coughed the thick fumes out of his lungs, she - Cheshire - was gone.

"Damn it."

Back at the motel, he threw his bow and quiver in the dark with particular accuracy onto the center of the bed, cursing as he tramped into the bathroom. Without switching on the light, he turned the shower head on and reached for the anti-adhesive aerosol bottle concealed in his boot so he could de-mask.

Despite his uncannily good vision, he didn't see it until after stepping out of the shower. There, glaring out at him from across the small bathroom, written in a looping hand on the fogged mirror in bright scarlet,

No, I don't particularly like music. But there are plenty of things I do like.

Until next time, Red.

He reached out and touched the edges of a large and perfectly-formed print of puckered lips right next to 'Red', and his fingers came away scarlet.