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Secret Santa For Mercury-Batman (M), Cold


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Umm.  Okay.  Hi, @Mercury  I am your Secret Santa this year and I come bearing Batman.  It was the first thing on your list and while I was spoiled for choice with all the fandoms you listed, I thought maybe you might have listed them in order of preference and went for your top one. 

Although I've seen various Batmans up to and including the recent Justice League I have decided to base this on the Justice League cartoon because it is what I am the most familiar with and because it's fun to imagine that Batman with a cold and because I like Hawkgirl a lot so I've watched that show a lot.

I wasn't going to post it until I had all the parts ready because I didn't want you to have to wait for updates but I'm putting it up now for a couple reasons:  1.  If you would have preferred a different fandom or version of Batman you can tell me before I get too far into this and 2.  I apparently don't do "short stories". :laugh: This thing took off on me and I'd rather have something to give you now and offer updates.

If you have any requests as to what you want to see included please let me know.



Batman was not off.  Batman was never off.  There was that one time that he managed to fight off the Riddler and seven and a half of his goons (he couldn’t really count the one guy who gave up and tried to run away at the mere sight of Batman’s shadow as a fully functional adversary) with two broken ribs, single handedly, without once contemplating calling for backup.  There was no question that that he could push himself to the limit and beyond without anyone’s help.  

They all just wished he wouldn’t.  They were the Justice League after all, not Batman and some background extras.  Or, as Barry had put it “Batman and his backup dancers”.  Quite frankly, it was a little insulting to their own abilities, some of them (secretly and not-so-secretly) thought.  And it was distracting everyone else.  Shayera knew that only too well as he sat nursing a large angry bruise on her forearm, a gift from a minor villian that had been bestowed upon her when she turned her head ever as a reflex to follow a sudden sound that had proven to be nothing more than the sound of sneezing.

It was a conundrum.  Again, he had fought through broken ribs.  And worse.  He had broken through Scarecrows mind altering toxin through sheer mental strength.  So...how precisely were they supposed to suggest he should sit the next one out because of a cold?  That was a non-starter.  Perfectly impossible.  The only thing they could do about it was try to help him perhaps heal a little faster.  Not that that, in itself, was any easier.

“Yeah, you  have met me, right?” Shayera said.  Or perhaps in this situation it would have been more appropriate to refer to her as her alter ego, Hawkgirl, since she was in full battle gear and mask.  She was one of the ones who was quite open about who she was underneath the mask, finding it silly to be so utterly precious about “secret identities”.  It seemed to be fitting to be ready for adventure, since they were in the Watchtower as it floated silently through space, scanning the Earth for suspicious anomalies that had been taking place.  “I’m not exactly the caretaking type.  If I go in there I’m just going to tell him to suck it up and deal, which coincidentally is exactly what he’s already doing.  If you ask me, there’s nothing that wrong with wanting to tough it out and get on with life.  Are you telling me either of you would take a sick day if there was important stuff going down and the worst thing that was wrong with you was a case of the sniffles?”

“No...I guess you have a point there,” Wonder Woman agreed, at the same time Barry-or “The Flash”-said “Oh yeah, totally I would.”

Hawkgirl shrugged.  “And human colds last like what?   A few days?  And he’s Batman so he’ll probably find a way to intimidate the virus into leaving him in about half that time.”

Wonder Woman shook her head.  “No, we’re supposed to look out for each other.  If one of us is compromised it affects the whole team.   And whether he thinks so or not, he is part of the team.  It’s just...well...I think it would be awkward if I...you know...after he and I...and it didn’t work out...”

“Well,” Hawkgirl said, folding her arms and leaning back in her seat.  “Why are we talking about this like it has to be one of us who takes on that responsibility?  We’re the women of the group so we’ll automatically be stuck on mommy duty?  Humans might think they can still get away with that outdated stereotype but I’m Thanagerian and you’re Themyscerian.   Our peoples don’t exactly have a long and proud tradition of servile women.”

“Never fear,” said Flash, who had a long and cringeworthy tradition of trying and failing to impress Hawkgirl at every opportunity.  “I’m man enough to not be afraid to step up and do what needs to be done.”  Which was nearly immediately followed by.  “Well, okay.  I just made things worse.  I probably shouldn’t talk to him for about a week.  Good luck with that.  I’m gonna go eat a sandwich.”  And then he, for all intents and purposes, disappeared, his speed far too fast to be seen by the naked eye.

“I can do it,” a familiar smooth and ever so slightly deep voice answered.  They had not taken Superman into account.  He hadn’t been in the room with them so they’d forgotten he could hear them.  From any room in the massive space station.  They’d also asked him not to listen to conversations from any room in the massive space station unless it was absolutely necessary.  Then again, perhaps this counted as absolutely necessary.

Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman exchanged glances.  On the one hand, that was a bad idea.  Terrible, terrible idea.  Superman wasn’t exactly Batman’s favourite person.  Batman barely pretended to tolerate him.  But on the other hand, if he volunteered then neither of them had to worry about stepping up to the plate.  So...why not?

“Yeah, okay, sure,” Hawkgirl said, and then added under her breath once he was out of earshot.  “Just try not to kill each other, okay?”

“Don’t worry, we won’t,” Superman called from the hallway, a note of humour evident in his voice.  Right.  Super hearing.  He had that.



Superman entered the room, full of screens and various impressive looking monitoring equipment, approaching the hunched figure from behind.  Clad all in black the figure appeared to be nothing more than a mere shadow looming over the instruments and screens, smooth and featureless save for two dramatic points at the top.  If the figure heard his approach, it made no move to acknowledge it.

"Wow, this sure is an impressive bunch of stuff," Superman said, overly loudly and with dramatic feigned innocence.  "Maybe I should come in here more often, learn what all this stuff does, help out a bit."
It was truly astonishing that he had managed to keep his dual identity a secret for his entire life here on earth, because Superman was many things, but a talented actor he was not.  But perhaps this was his ploy, because as he casually walked across the room, running his finger across a bank of computers as if either finding them sensual or checking them for dust - it was hard to tell which - the black figure stirred slightly.  Under his cloak Batman's shoulders tensed, and if his face were visible a narrowing of his eyes and clenching of his jaw would have provided more definitive clues to his reaction.
A small reaction, granted, but it was a reaction, which was far more than anyone else had managed to get out of him so far.
It was possible Superman was secretly a genius.
"This is actually a one person job," Batman retorted tersely.  There was always a rasp to his voice while in costume, one more layer of mystery to conceal his secret identity.  The others could tell it was feigned, unnatural, but they had no idea what his true natural voice sounded like.  Well, most of them didn't.  The ones who did, kept that little secret safe, unknown to anyone, even Batman himself.  But there was something different about his voice today, deeper and hoarser than usual, the raspiness not an affectation like it usually was, but something that was organic and unavoidable.
"Oh, there's no such thing as a one person job, my friend.  It's not really fair to expect you to take on this task every single time it comes up."
"I like this job.  It's quiet and nobody...hehhMPPtchhh!...bothers me."
The sneeze was matter of fact, unacknowledged as if it were an ordinary word in the sentence, or a breath that needed to be taken, businesslike and efficient, like everything he did.  Not even worthy of acknowledgement.  So naturally Superman had to go ahead and acknowledge it, call attention to it even, by issuing a cheery "Bless you!"
Because of course he did.  Of course Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes-Raised-By-Mr-And-Mrs-Wholesome-Midwestern-Values would have drilled that pointless, annoying phrase into him.  Batman managed to roll his eyes wearily while still keeping his attention directed to five different screens at once.
And of course Superman persisted.  "What about when you need a day off?  It would be a good idea for someone else to know what all these fancy buttons do if you're not here to work them."
"I don't...hehhhMMMPFFchhhu!...take days off."
"Everyone needs days off sometimes."
"Not me.  Don't touch that!"  Batman sighed and let his head drop into his hand as several of the screens flickered and blurred and took a moment to come back to showing a full picture which notably looked nothing like what had been on view before.  Everything that he had been monitoring, all his work, gone just like that.  He was going to need to reset the-
His black-gloved hands gripped the desk.
He pushed himself to a standing position, narrowed eyes fixed at a particular point on the screen in front of him.
He sniffled.
And then, growling "So that's where you've been hiding.  I have to go.", he lept away from the desk, his long black cape swirling dramatically behind him as he spun to face the door and disappeared into the hall, leaving an order of "Don't follow me" as a parting shot.  In the brief moment that his face was visible Superman got a glimpse of weary dark circled eyes and a nose so angrily red it had clearly lived through the abuse of the better part of more than one tissue box being applied to it.  It was the face of a man who should probably be taking things easy right now, but instead had just disappeared to who-knew-where instead.
Well that's not how this was supposed to go at all.
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The rain fell in sheets, blasting mercilessy against anything or anyone unfortunate enough to be in its way, though the mostly flat surface of the rooftop provided little in the way of obstacles to impede the relentless progress of the rain.  It provided little in the way of shelter, either, Batman noticed as he stood at the edge near the precipice between sweet solid concrete and the unforgiving 87 story drop.  A criminal or villain that chose such a place to attempt to conceal himself couldn't possibly be very bright.  The ground offered far more opportunities for camouflage and anyone ought to know that traversing the very heights of the city was mere child's play to the vigilante bat.

Yet he had not spotted his mark yet in the near pitch black, sweeping his eyes over the topography of the room, his vision keenly attuned to see with even the smallest amount of light.
Lightning, an element that always had a keen sense for the dramatic, flashed, illuminating his figure from behind, showing the dramatic, though soaked and soggy, silhouette in the brief moment of brightness.  It gave him an opportune moment to notice a shadow flicker near the small concrete shelter that housed the stairwell, and with feline grace he launched himself toward it. 
He allowed himself that concession at least, fighting the urge had been dulling his senses and the roar of the rain drumming against the roof all but drowned it out.  Still he kept his eyes trained on where he had determined the source of the shadow must be.
And then he was tackled from behind.
Immediately he rolled backwards, up over his shoulders, swinging his legs up through the air until he had flipped the situation around to his own advantage, crouching over the masked person who'd had the profoundly misguided idea to tackle him, pinning him down by the shoulders.
Little niceties like covering his mouth or even turning his head mattered little in a situation such as this, sneezing directly onto his would be assailant's face was of no consequence.   He was going to apply his fist to said face very soon if this criminal did not coooperate, a few germs were the least of it's problems.
"What is the pattern?  What is the pattern of the bomb targets?  What are you trying to achieve?" Batman demanded in a cool and level, though hoarse and congested voice.  The man - for the body he currently held down did appear to be a man - had the audacity to scoff in response.
"Do you really think you can threaten me?" he sneered.  "You may have me, but I am but one mere piece of the puzzle.  New Moon is everywhere.  New Moon is eternal."  His defiance wavered when Batman tightened his grip on his shoulders, forcing him harder down onto the rain soaked concrete.
"We can do this the easy way...hehhhMMMPFFFtchu!...or the hard way.  Easy or hard for you, I mean, it really makes no difference to me."
The man scowled at him and struggled against his grip.  He could see the reddened underside of his captor's nose peeking out from underneath the black mask.  Figuring that Batman's health and therefore capabilities, were weakened, he clearly fancied his chances.  But his struggle proved fruitless as he was unable to budge even the slightest bit.
"The pattern?" he spat, clearly opting to go back to defiance and false bravado.  "This world will crumble.  New Moon will expose the weak points and this world will consume itself from within.  Then New Moon will show you the way to the future.  Those who oppose us will be subjugated, given to the service of those who walked willingly with us down the glorious path.  Now.  If you want the pattern, see if you can find it!"
"Wow that's a lot of words," a familiar voice interrupted from the direction of the stairwell.  "Tell me, does the glorious future have hot dogs because if not, I kinda wanna stick with this one.  Thanks."
The Flash was here?  Oh no, that would mean...
"Now what have we told you about running off and having all the fun without us?" That would be Hawkgirl.
"We're a team, or have you forgotten that?" And right on cue, Wonder Woman
"And a team sticks together!"  And, of course, Superman.
"I told you not to follow me," Batman growled.  "This is one guy, I can handle this."
The man he still held restrained against the ground began to laugh.  "Yes.  I am but one.  'Just one guy', as you say.  And this one does not matter.  I have already planted my bomb in this building.  For tonight is the night.  Our glorious path begins here.  You will never find them all, not in time.
The team paused and looked at each other, the realisation of what he'd just said dawning on all of them.
"Wonder Woman, you restrain him and get him down on the ground where the police can deal with him," Batman ordered.  "Flash, you get to the north end of the city.  Superman, you take the east and Hawkgirl, you take the west.  Wonder Woman, you stay here and be ready to take the south.  I have a scanner in the Batwing and...hehhhKEHmmmmfftchhh!...I'll start searching the city.  I'll tell you where to find the bombs.  You take them out.  Are we clear?"
And then he punched the New Moon goon in the face because he was in a bad mood and it felt good to do it.  He had a fever and a headache and was just plain weary and this was all getting on his last nerve.
To be continued...
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Ahhhhhh, this is adorable!!! I LOVE IT, so I'm sure Mercury is gonna lose her shit! Seriously, your descriptions, especially of Bat's nose *shudder, curl up and die happy*... hnnngh so good! I can't wait to read the rest!

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Thos great. Seriously. I love the descriptions of how his voice and how he is just... His usual self. 

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I'm very late to the party on commenting but holy heck, I love this! Consider my crush on Batsy fully rekindled! :D 

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This is so fantastic! Thank you so much!

I think I listed the fandoms alphabetically, but Batman will always be my first choice :D and you've written him so well. I'm also loving your superman, which is saying something because I've never been a superman fan... Guh, I wish I could find more coherence about how incredibly wonderful this is. There are so many descriptions and moments here that are amazing.


He could see the reddened underside of his captor's nose peeking out from underneath the black mask. 

^ This line in particular got to me. Unf.

(Also, I'm so sorry for the late reply. The only excuse I have is retail at xmas, but I've been rereading this store almost every day.)


Again, Thank you.

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