Rating: Prolly a weak PG for language
Archive: Please do, just let me know where. Mooncat, Superhero, 'rith, Grey Archive, do it to it :)
Notes: Written on MLK Jr. when everyone else in the US was off and I was answering the stupid phone and answering, "No, it's a holiday, they aren't here." Thankees mucho to 'rith and T for the beta. Feedback ADORED!!!!! (email@example.com or onlist)
Disclaimers: No money made from this, done out of love. DC owns them, I'm just a writer with the strange ideas. Please don't sue me.
It's MLK Jr. day, and I ask myself for the bazillionth time today why I took this gig. Everyone else has the day off. I could be home, under the covers, snuggled next to someone warm, watching Looney Tunes while listening to the rain hit the skylight in our bedroom. I could be eating popcorn in the twentyplex, watching Ahnold blow something else up. I could be anywhere. But I'm not. I'm pulling monitor duty.
I hate monitor duty.
I mean don't get me wrong, it's important hero stuff we all have to do. Even Big Blue pulls his shifts. Of course he probably does it without griping. He never gripes. "Wally," he tells me, "it's our first line of defense. We can stop evil in its tracks from this little console." I just nod and give him that glazed donut look, like I am in awe of everything he says. Sometimes Superman reminds me of the Tick. Only with more hair.
Bats probably doesn't gripe either. I don't think gripe is part of his emotional make-up. He goes from 'moody and forbidding' to 'notify your next of kin' in 1.5 seconds. But he's a good guy. Never smiles, but that's probably a good thing. I think if he smiled, we'd all go running for cover. That's part of his charm. One time Plas put a whoopee cushion on Bats' chair. Even Supes thought it would be worth a laugh. Batman swooped in, cape billowing and sat down and.... Nothing. The damn thing was probably too scared to go off. At the end of the meeting, he got up, tossed the thing on the table and said, "Try Yukko brand. They're harder to puncture than Acme's." Leave it to Bats. We all thought it was stuck up there, not out there.
Bats has never pulled a shift up here, but then neither has Arthur. I think we all don't mind. If you want the perfect example of moody, look no further than Arthur Curry, a.k.a. Aquaman, a.k.a. King of Four-Fifths of the World. It's gotta be rough, and with he and Garth being not exactly as chummy as they could be, he's pretty much on his own. We've all offered to help, not that he'd take us up on it. He's more of a loner than Batman. I mean, even Dick sends pizza to Batman sometimes (and if you're wondering, four cheese with mushroom). Garth wouldn't dare doing that, because Arthur would probably have a fit. And when the Sea King has a fit... well... you remember the movie Jaws? Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water...
Probably the only one Arthur is vaguely pleasant with is Diana. The Amazon Princess, or goddess if you ask me. Beautiful, intelligent, dangerous, and a connoisseur of fine chocolate chip cookies. The last two things are what you need to remember. The last time I came up with Mrs. Fields Double Chocolate Death cookies, Diana wrassled me for them. Not that I minded having my legs tied around my neck, because she offered to unwrap me after she finished her glass of milk. But Diana can't bake a chocolate chip cookie to save her life. The last batch she made, the Titans used as skeet. Roy broke more arrows that day.
You know who can cook? Huntress. I've never met an Italian that couldn't cook, but Helena? Geez, I'd consider selling out my country for her tiramisu. She's actually a very nice woman, once you get past the 'touch me and I'll break your elbows' phase. One of Bats' people. Not that anyone minds. She's smart, savvy and is more of a team player than him. Add that to her lasagna and the way she fills out her utility belt... Dick would kill me. If she didn't first. I miss her.
She and Steel got along great. They're both smart. I mean really smart. But John's not as scary as she is. It's the Bats/Supes factor. Not that it's bad, because it's not. But then for a seven-foot tall guy in steel pajamas carrying a sledgehammer, intimidation isn't really a problem. No, John is a nice guy. Wicked sense of humor. He and Bats get along well too, surprisingly. I guess they communicate on the genius level. John just seems more... normal. Well, as normal as we get. I feel sorry for his niece though. He probably keeps that hammer behind the door for when she goes out on dates.
Steel gets along with everyone, even Plastic Man, which is surprising since most of us want to choke or drop kick him. Not that it would help. Don't get me wrong, Plas is ok. I mean really ok, but damn if he's not worse than Robbie when it comes to one-liners. I still can't believe Batman was the one who brought him in. Plas must know where the bodies are buried.
Kyle's running late. He's supposed to relieve me for the night. Kyle is cool. True blue hero material (or green if you want to get technical). And to top it all off, he does for a living what most of us wish we could do. He draws comics! I remember when I was a kid, before I was Kid Flash, running to the drugstore and grabbing a stack of comics (back when you could buy them without mortgaging your house). I'd read them and trace all the heroes and pin the pictures on my walls. And those lame-ass "Draw Tappy" ads would come out and I'd draw him, thinking 'I'm gonna be famous,' then the reviewuation came back and I had 'raw talent' but it could be refined into something fabulous... for $198 a month payable in easy installments. Kyle, on the other hand, doesn't need that. He is gifted. I mean really gifted. He even does *those* drawings. You know, the ones you get when you do the file search for alt.pics.nude.heroes. Of course he doesn't go by Kyle online. I think he uses SLee or something like that. Dunno if anyone else knows, maybe Bats. Probably Bats. Batman knows.
Probably the only one Kyle hasn't drawn is J'onn, and I don't think it's because of the 'Manhunter' title. J'onn's just one of those guys you don't mess with. Not because he can flatten you without breaking a sweat. He's kinda like... I don't know, a priest. Or that one uncle that comes to family reunions that everyone likes, everyone respects and everyone will kill for if he asked. You just don't mess with J'onn. J'onn, on the other hand, tends to mess with people when they least expect it. When he found nude drawings of him on the net, he printed one out and pinned it in Kyle's locker, along with a note saying, "They forgot the spikes." Kyle about had a heart attack, then stared at J'onn for a week, trying to figure out how much of that was a joke. We never found out.
The drawing Kyle did of Batman mysteriously disappeared off the web not even an hour after it was posted. I'd put my money on Oracle pulling it for him. He brought him in. Oracle that is. And yes, I think he's a he. Girly head and all, I'd bet money he's a he. I mean I know plenty of guys that play girls online. They get more info that way. And if anyone has info, it's Oracle. He must not have a life, I swear, he's always online. No one but Batman knows him. He's probably some fat pimply, superfan-boy with the god-computer. Or an ex-cop who never left the beat. Whatever he is, he's aces. Funnier than sin, and sends me the strangest emails too: Did you know that in Arizona, Texas and Florida, it's not illegal to copulate with an animal? It's true, I looked it up. Don't know where he found that out, and I probably don't want to know. Now that I think of it, I shouldn't complain. I only pull monitor duty for a 6 hour shift. He's there 24-7.
I guess it's not too bad. There are worse things I could be doing. Another 20 minutes and-Damn.
Why did I take this gig?
"JLA alert. We have a tanker stuck off the coast of Washington. At least 12 crew still onboard. Oracle will relay particulars."
I'm a hero. We don't get days off.
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