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24 January 2007 @ 08:04 am
Flash by Northwest (10/14)  
***
Flash By Northwest (10/14)
a Justice League story
by dotfic and mtgat
Copyright 2007
TV-14 (DSLV)
***

Disclaimer: DC Comics and Warner Brothers own the characters and situations. No infringement on their property is intended or should be inferred.

Continuity/Spoilers: Takes place after JLU "Destroyer" and the events of the flashback in "Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker"

Thanks to amilyn for her beta on this work. Special thanks also to xffan_2000 and billa1 for editing above and beyond the call of duty on the final draft. All mistakes that may still be found herein are ours alone.

Pairings: Lots. If it was canon, if it was implied in canon --- heck, if we just thought it was amusing at the time --- it's in there.

Summary: The Big Seven (plus one) are trapped inside a fantasy world created by a magical artifact. As the body count rises, familiar faces hide deadly secrets and it's up to Flash to save them.


***
Chapter Ten
***

Bruce was midway through his makeup session. Matches was out for now, but with a little improvisation, he could make his face take on other shapes, his voice reach different timbres. All a matter of practice, of design, and he was a master.

He lacked most of his usual assets here. No network of informants. No well-crafted and tested devices, not yet. He didn't know which alleys to watch, which patterns of traffic meant what; worse, because this strange story was built out of his own thoughts and memories, he couldn't trust that these things would work as he wanted, because to be brutally honest with himself, he always expected them to fail at the worst possible time.

Worst of all, he'd gone docile here. There was a murder to solve, now many murders. While he'd begun by gathering data from the rest, none of it was panning out. Clark and John had yet to find anything more than rumor in the back pages of the paper. Wally and Diana were chasing dead end after dead end, surely made even harder now with Shayera's unique brand of detective work thrown into the mix. So far, the best he could was that she hadn't killed any witnesses, at least none that Wally had reported.

J'onn was dead.

He filed the information away like another data point. Vixen was dead, until they figured out this mystery. J'onn was dead for the same period. Arrow seemed dead, as did Speedy and Dick, but the real men weren't here. That wasn't the real Barbara he'd had Alfred send flowers to in the hospital. Babs was alive and well. Somewhere.

Tim was alive and well here. He couldn't accomplish anything on the murder investigations, but he could tail Tim, keep an eye on him, drink in his presence even from a distance, as he watched the sane boy his own Tim would never be again.

The great, booming gong of the doorbell echoed through the house, and from downstairs, he heard Alfred answer, as he looked with pride at the image in the mirror.

A few moments later, Alfred tapped on the door without entering. "Sir? The district attorney is here to see you."

Bruce froze. So much for the disguise. "Show him into the study, Alfred. I'll be right along."

"Yes, sir."

Quickly, Bruce ran water in the little sink in the room and splashed away the makeup. He wiped his face on a threadbare white towel, and slipped his smoking jacket back on as he hurried downstairs.

Harvey Dent waited for him inside. Alfred had just bent over the grate to start a fire. "Hello, Bruce," Harvey said. "Alfred, please leave us."

Alfred set down the matches and nodded as he pulled the door closed.

As soon as he was gone, Harvey had crossed the room in long strides and was suddenly a few inches from Bruce's face. "What the hell is going on, Bruce?"

"You're going to have to be more specific, Harvey."

"You've got dead bodies piling up left and right. Everyone tells me you were doing that Macabe bitch before she was killed." He held up his hand as Bruce protested. "And I don't care. Second, you send that lowlife West and one of your starlets to meet up with the Mayor, who also winds up dead. Macabe's numbers guy dies right after visiting your house. Now Queen's kid is dead, your brother's dead, and I can't help but notice he was sleeping with another of your favorite toys at the time. Bruce, this doesn't look good." Harvey moved in closer, until their noses were nearly touching. "I need to know how deeply you're involved in this. I can protect you." He grabbed Bruce's hand, held it. "Let me help you, Bruce. Before it's too late."

Bruce pulled his hand away, uncomfortably aware of how close Harvey was standing. "I don't need protection. Just tell me you've got men guarding Barbara's door in case that bastard comes back to finish the job."

"She's guarded. You should know, your name is on the list of people not allowed to see her."

"I visited her yesterday."

"She put your name on the list after you left. Bruce, talk to me."

"I swear, I don't know anything. I don't know who killed Mari Macabe. I don't know who killed Dick or J'onn or anyone else."

Harvey went on like he didn't even hear him. "I've deflected the inquiries away from you, God help me. Queen's death was clearly a hired hit. Harper and Grayson were probably the cleanup work on that one, and Gordon's girl was just in the wrong bed at the wrong time. The Commish is ready to call Jones' death a suicide, and I can't say I blame them. Hell, I was at the party on Friday and I know I didn't shoot the Vixen but I'll be damned if I have any idea who did. It could all be a coincidence."

"It is." Bruce didn't believe in coincidences, though. He knew the murders were related, but how? Other than by the fact that the deaths had occurred after their arrival here, what was the one thing they had in common? The matchbook?

Harvey rested his hand on Bruce's shoulder. "I can't let our history get in the way of a multiple murder investigation. If you had a hand in any of these, I'm going to find out. Please, you can confide in me." He took Bruce's hand again. "You always could. You know that."

Bruce pulled out a smile from deep inside. "I do know that. And I appreciate it, considering all we've been through." This pulled a reluctant matching smile from Harvey, and Bruce remembered the good times, the long talks, the double dates and the easy camaraderie. He'd trusted Harvey with all his secrets but one. Probably would have given up that last secret had fate not twisted so terribly and turned his best friend into just another damned soul, or in his case, two.

All of a sudden, the bulb to Bruce's desk lamp sizzled and popped into darkness. Harvey's face went half into shadow, and Bruce twitched and stepped back.

"What the hell, Bruce?"

"Sorry. The lamp. Startled me."

"Whatever you say. Look, I've got to get back to the office. You have my number. Call me if you want to talk about this. I'm your friend. I can be more," again that intense expression, "if you just give me the chance."

"Thanks," Bruce said, not sure what else to say. "I can't imagine needing help right now. As I said, I wasn't involved. But if I do, you know I'll call you. Right?"

"Right," said Harvey. "Take care of yourself, Bruce."

"You too, Harve. And come by more often, all right?"

"I'll do that. Walk me out?"

"Sure." He walked Harvey to the door under Alfred's disapproving gaze. Even as Bruce watched the car turn around in the driveway, he still felt the pressure of Harvey's hand on his shoulder and the look in his eyes. Not the man's normal brand of crazy, just very focused.

Harvey thought Bruce was involved in the killings. Harvey had good instincts, though Bruce knew for a fact he hadn't anything to do with the deaths. There was a bigger picture he was missing, one he'd let be obscured by what was turning into an obsession with Tim. But this world's Tim was a fantasy, an image plucked from Bruce's mind and no more real than the dreams Jervis Tetch had created. That fantasy had been designed to lull him into complacency, just like the Black Mercy. The book, the spell, whoever had designed this trap, wanted the same thing. The first person who fell into it died; the others were slowly killed off or driven mad or, like Bruce, allowed to drift into the delights a fantasy world could create.

Then, like the Mercy, it would devour them.

"Sir? You don't look well."

"I'm fine. Just ... Mr. Dent gave me a little wakeup call." He willed himself to calm. "I'll be upstairs. Please see that I'm not disturbed for the rest of the day."

"You have an appointment this evening. Mr. Queen's wake. Should I cancel your plans?"

"No. I'll go. Should I have an escort, do you think?"

"I would expect so."

"Fine. Contact Miss Prince and tell her that I would be delighted to have her company tonight."

"Yes, sir."

Bruce went back to the spare room and returned to his task. He would still go out in disguise, but not to follow Tim. He had a murder to solve.

***

Wally's head hurt. Their fragile truce gone, the girls had gone back to sniping at each other, and his only saving grace lay in not drawing too much attention to himself. At least neither of them had superstrength at the moment, although blunt objects were in great supply.

"We've been over this," Diana said sharply. "You can't keep shouting at the people we're questioning."

Shayera replied, "It's my technique. Then you come in and ask them all diplomatically."

"Not if they've already chased us out of the building and threatened to call the police!"

"Ladies," Wally said with great relief, "we're here." He found a parking spot in front of the little storefront business and couldn't get out of the car fast enough.

"Don't say anything when we're in here," Diana warned as they approached the door. "Let Wally and I do the talking."

"You can menace them silently," Wally said.

"But I ... "

He put his finger to his lips. "Silently."

Shayera glared but closed her mouth. Wally prayed that she'd stay that way, and he thought Diana was doing the same thing. We ought to make her stay in the car.

A bell chimed as he opened the door, and remembering the era this time, held it for them both.

A woman sat behind the desk, not pretty, but handsome in that way certain women could be if they understood early on that they'd never be Greta Garbo. "Hey, babe," Wally said, leaning comfortably on the counter. "This G&K Carpentry?"

"That what it says on the sign, mister. How can I help you?" Wally still didn't know her face, for obvious reasons, but he remembered Dul's voice, even with the lousy forties accent.

Shayera stepped forward, and then winced as Diana grabbed her arm, hard. Diana said, "We'd like to talk to whoever worked on the Harper place."

"The guys are due back for lunch any time. Have a seat."

"Thanks," Wally said, and the three of them sat down in the small chairs provided. Without discussing the matter, Wally sat in the middle. Think Switzerland, West.

Sketches of roof cutaways lined the walls, and there was a photo album with black and white shots of different houses. Diana thumbed through the pictures while Wally peeked over her shoulder, seeing the nice places this company had worked on or built.

"There's Bruce's house," Diana said.

Shayera watched as the pages turned. "That's John's. These guys get around." She looked around the office. "Kind of a dump, though."

Diana turned another page. "Isn't this your house?"

The bell chimed again. Wally turned to the opening door, but didn't miss Shayera's sharp intake of breath, punctuated by her nails grabbing and digging into his arm. Carter Hall was the first through the door, but it was his partner that she stared at, trembling.

"Who's that?" he hissed at her, as they stood, Hall coming towards them with an uncertain smile.

"Mr. Kragger," she said calmly to him in greeting. "It's been a while."

"Your broad's talkin' to me again, Joe," Kragger said to Hall. Joe? "Toldja to tell her to clam up."

"She just forgot," Hall said, and positioned himself between Kragger and Shayera as the former walked by irritably. "What are you doing here?"

"We're looking into the murders at the Harper place," she said. "Did you work there?"

He rubbed the back of his neck. "Yeah. We did some remodeling for him last month."

Diana asked, "Do you still have the key?"

"Us? No. Paran, didn't they come by for it?"

"Just the other day," Paran said. To Wally she said, "You could've asked."

"Sorry."

Hall said, "It's good to see you again, Shayera."

She said, distractedly, "Did you notice anything weird about the place while you were there?"

Diana added, "Any killers hiding in the closets, for example?" Wally hid his grin.

Hall shook his head. "Wouldn't that have made things easier? No, sorry. Weapons, sure. And I think we found their opium stash, but you didn't hear that from me. They were mob scum."

"But you took their money," Wally said.

"Gotta pay the bills. I didn't kill them. Pretty sure Paran and Kragger didn't, either, did you, guys?"

"Hell, no," said Kragger. "Customers can't tell their friends about you if they're dead."

Diana said, "Thanks for your trouble, then. We should be going."

Hall said, "I was just about to have lunch. You want to go somewhere so we can talk?" This was entirely to Shayera, and not for the first time, Wally's creep-o-meter pinged in the man's general direction.

"She really can't," he said, taking her arm. "Come on, Shayera."

"Now hold on," Hall said. "I was just being polite."

"Yeah," said Wally. "I'm sure."

"Drop it, Wally," Shayera said.

"Yeah, 'Wally,'" Hall said. "Who is this guy?"

"A friend."

"Another friend." The word dripped with meaning.

Shayera let out an exasperated sigh. "Yes. A friend. Wally is my friend. Diana is my friend, too. Kindly stop insinuating that I sleep with everyone I know."

Kragger said, "Commander Talak said she was a pretty good lay. You know, right before she turned on us and let him be burned alive."

"Enough of that," said Dul from her seat, as Shayera went deathly pale. "Don't mind him. He forgets we’re Americans now and that the war is over."

Hall ignored her. "You never told me you slept with Talak."

"It didn't come up."

"What else are you hiding?!" He advanced on her, but Kragger put a hand on his shoulder.

"I told you she was trouble. All dames are. Come on, I'll buy you a beer."

Hall stared at Shayera and then said, "Get out."

"Go," said Diana, pushing her towards the door. "Before you start another war." Still being pushed by Diana, Shayera led them unprotesting out of the store and to the street.

"That could have gone better," Wally said. "All right. They didn't have a key."

Diana sighed. "But we don't know if the person who picked it up was one of them, or the killer, and we're not getting a description any time soon." She turned to Shayera. "What part of 'silent' didn't you understand?"

"We got what we needed," Shayera said, and got back into the car. "Let's go."

Wally and Diana shared a glance.

Diana said, "I might be able to talk Paran into giving me a description of whoever picked up the key."

"You don't think I should sweet-talk her into it?"

She smiled at him. "I don't think you could. Anyway, you shouldn't go back inside for now. I think Hawkman would try to beat you up."

"That dork? I could totally take him."

She placed a hand on his arm. "Leave this to me." They looked into the window and saw the men had gone into the back room. Diana went back inside. Through the glass, Wally watched the pantomime:

Diana leaned over the counter a little bit, smiling. She said something.

Paran rolled her eyes and said something, pointing behind her.

Diana leaned over a little more, and played with her hair. She said something with a grin.

Paran's head tilted up, and then matched with a shy grin of her own. She looked down at her desk again, but the smile stayed.

Diana said something with made Paran laugh, then cover her mouth.

Paran glanced out the window at Wally and said something. Diana waved her hand, dismissing him. As she brought her hand back, she touched the neck of her blouse, opening it just a bit more.

Wally's mouth went dry as Paran's eyes went up to meet Diana's again. Her eyes went wide, and then she nodded.

Then Hall stormed out of the back, frightening both of them. He took one look at Diana, and out the window to Wally, then yanked the door open so hard that the bell came free and bounced.

Wally stepped back against the car as he saw the gun in Hall's hand. "Shayera!"

She scrambled out of the car on the street side, and stood with the car between her and Hall. Good move. Wally wished he was on the other side of the car too, and not on this side wondering how good a shot Hall was.

"Put the gun down, Joe," she said, edging her way around the car.

"You think I killed them. Queen's boys."

"No," she said, and she was out from behind the car. Wally started to move, and the gun swung towards him. Behind Hall, he saw Diana size him up, ready to grab him. "We don't think you were involved."

"But you came here asking questions. I don't need questions, Shayera. I take the jobs and I don't ask questions, and I don't want them asked. You don't survive in this town with questions."

Wally thought back to his visitor the night before.

"Carter. Joe!"

"Stop calling me Carter!" he shouted, and he turned and fired at Wally. The bullet hit the car two inches away from him and buried itself inside. Wally was unimpressed with what life managed to flash in front of his eyes at that moment, as Hall pointed it directly at him. "Tell your other friend to stop trying to sneak up behind me, or I'll put one in your belly."

"Diana!" Shayera called, but Diana had already frozen to the spot.

"Out here," he ordered, and moved aside for her to walk very slowly in front of him. "Now here's what's going to happen. Shayera and I are going to go have a long talk, just us. That's all. We have a lot to talk about, so we're gonna be gone for a while."

"I don't talk well with a gun in my face," Shayera said.

"You won't have a lot to say," Hall said, and Wally's creep-o-meter pegged the top of the scale and broke. "You and me. Reno. Just like we said it would be."

"Okay," she said. "Yeah. Just like we said. Now put the gun down, and we'll go to Reno."

Diana said, "You're not going anywhere," and the gun raised from Wally's stomach to his head.

"We'll go," Shayera said. "Back to my place. I'll need another dress. Can't get married in this old rag."

Wally turned to Diana and mouthed, "Married?" Diana shrugged.

Hall said, "Get in the truck." Hall's vehicle was parked behind the car.

Shayera gave a quick nod to Wally and Diana. "Don't forget to feed my pet Bat while I'm gone."

"Sure," said Wally.

She got inside, and waited for Hall to join her. Hall looked at Wally, then moved the gun and shot both tires on that side. "Don't follow us." He got into the truck and they drove off.

Diana ran back inside the store. Wally was right behind her, and didn't have time to ask her plan as she said to Paran, "Do you have a car?"

Paran shook her head. "I walk to work."

"Call Bruce Wayne's house. Tell him," Diana paused, "tell him Hawkman just took Hawkgirl and we need backup, her place. Then call the police. Can you do that?"

"Sure," said Paran, mystified.

"Thanks," said Diana, and that grin was back again. Wally could read it a lot clearer in here.

He grabbed Diana's hand. "Come on!"

Outside, the truck was long gone. Wally, feeling the seconds drain by, flagged down a cab.

"Where to, buddy?"

Wally gave him the address of their office. He needed his own gun. As the cab peeled away from the curb, Wally prayed they'd find the hawks in time, that Batman would get the message and come too, that they'd get out of this mess alive and unscathed.

***

Bruce didn't get the message.

***

John sneezed his way through a paper from September of '45. All the headlines were about the war, though the back articles were if anything even more scandalous. Torrid affairs on the backlots, exposed. An illegitimate child brought into the daylight, and respected police captain Alan Scott has to step down from his position. A mob leader is killed in his own club --- The Emerald Parrot --- and while the rumors swirl around Oliver Queen, no arrests are ever made. Movie grosses break box office records, as some of the troops come home from Europe, until a finicky little man named Temple Fugate embezzles millions and disappears.

Clark wrote something down on his own pad.

"What've you got?" John asked, then sneezed again.

"Bless you. Curry Films again, lost a bidding war with Bruce over a prime piece of real estate."

"What's that got to do with the case?"

"I'm not sure." Clark frowned. "Bless you," he said, just as John went to sneeze again

"Thanks."

"Mari's in the picture with Arthur. There's a note at the bottom about a rumored deal for her to star in a new movie called THE LONELY."

"She didn't," John said, looking at his notes. "She got an Oscar for another movie that year. Bruce lured her back with more money?"

Clark sighed, and sat back. "I hate this. We're trying to put together a puzzle, we don't know what the picture looks like ... "

John finished for him: " ... And the only thing we have to go on is that the pieces all reflect right back at us. Move a little, and the picture changes again." He took Clark's paper from him and stared. "There's got to be a reason why he keeps popping up on the paper. Want to take a trip under the sea?"

"I'm not sure we can get an appointment."

John smiled grimly. "I am."

***

The man she insisted on thinking of as Carter shoved the gun into his own lap as he drove them back to her bungalow. Shayera sat calmly in her own seat, not reaching for the weapon.

She ought to be frightened, she knew. There were any number of things that he could do to her, and she lacked her usual strength in order to fight him. But she also remembered her training, the hand-to-hand combat she'd used infrequently yet trained on religiously. She could think of ten ways to kill him right now as they drove on towards her home, double that if she didn't mind making a mess.

Everything was out of her head or the heads of her friends. Someone's image of Carter was of a half-crazed, somewhat dimwitted obsessive. Knowing this didn't narrow it down much.

She tried reason anyway. "If I leave town, the police will assume I'm fleeing prosecution. I'll be a fugitive from the law."

"You didn't kill her. I didn't kill her. That's all they need to know." The truck jerked forward as he pressed the accelerator.

"They want to pin this on someone, and I'm convenient. If I wind up missing, they'll pick me for sure, no matter what I did or didn't do."

"Stop talking and let me think," he said, and lifted the gun, aiming it inexpertly with his left hand while he drove with the right.

The roads became familiar, and soon they'd passed the turnoff to John's house and were closing in on hers. Carter killed the engine and transferred the gun to his other hand. "Let's get you packed."

Shayera let her hands tremble as she unlocked her front door, noting the location of the knives in the butcher block, the relative masses of her rolling pin and a lamp if used to impact his skull. The worst part was, while she knew she was capable of killing Carter easily, she didn't want to do it. Even the thought of injuring him twisted her stomach. She'd seen so much death already, had doled it out on such a large scale, and she'd been trying so hard to find a new path.

She found a suitcase in her closet, and under his careful scrutiny, she dawdled over folding outfits, placing each inside with tenderness. "Hurry up," he said, watching the clock beside her bed.

"These are delicate," she sniped back, with no idea if that was even true. In went a sun dress, a loose cotton caftan, a nightgown.

"Leave that." He yanked it out of the suitcase.

That gave her an idea. Not, she knew, one of her better plans but anything that worked. Shayera put on a little smile. "Why don't we leave for Reno in the morning?" She ignored the gun and sat herself on Carter's lap, lacing her arms around him. "We could stay here tonight one more time, and get on the road just as the sun's coming up."

He pushed her off, almost knocking her to the floor. "Finish packing! Your pals'll be by any minute!"

"Fine." She groused through the rest of her packing, throwing in items at random now. She didn't even know what she owned here, so how could she possibly know what she needed to take? And it wasn't like she was actually going with him in any case.

"That's enough," he said abruptly, as she went through her underwear drawer. "Close it."

Shayera sat on the case until she could get the latch snapped. "Happy?"

"How much cash do you have on hand?"

"How should I know?"

Carter let out a disgusted noise. He grabbed her arm and she allowed him to drag her to the living room. Where were the others? They ought to be here soon. She didn't need a rescue, just a distraction so she could deliver a palm-blow to the back of his neck.

If they didn't come, she'd have to make her own distraction. Carter's head swiveled around and settled on a potted plant. Dropping her arm, he hurried to the plant, and dumped the contents on the rug. Shayera began a sharp retort, when she saw the metal case amid the dirt. Carter bent over to scoop it up, and there was her distraction, ready-made.

With a quick motion, she raised her arm for the chop. She didn't expect his elbow in her stomach, or his iron grasp on her hair as he threw her down. Okay, bad plan.

"I'm not stupid, Shayera," he said, not looking as she lay there gasping for air. "I know what you did in the war." He clicked open the metal case, and she saw money in large bills. He folded them and stuffed them in his pocket. "That'll get us started somewhere."

Shayera got to her knees and back to her feet. Dirt covered her dress, and she wiped at it with her hand, until he stopped her. The gun was in her face, and she'd lost her one chance at surprise.

"Come on."

They took the truck again. He forced her into the driver's seat. He kept his weapon aimed at her from beside her as she pulled out, the truck lurching in protest as she tried to remember which gear did what. Carter grew impatient with her at each jerk. "Cut it out, Shayera."

"I'm not good at driving this thing." She wanted her wings, wanted to stretch them out on the rising currents and glide for hours, not be trapped inside this little metal box with Carter or Joe or whoever he was in this stupid mass hallucination.

Behind them in the truck bed, cans of paint and turpentine clattered with every turn. In the distance, she heard sirens.

Carter shouted, "Dammit! Get us out of here!"

Shayera turned to him, still trying to shift. "Why?"

He pressed the muzzle of the pistol into her cheek. "Because I said so, and I'm running this operation now."

She knew she could feel pain here as much as she could feel pleasure. She wondered how much pain she'd feel as the imaginary gun spit an imaginary bullet into her mouth, if she'd feel her teeth explode before she lost consciousness. The noon sun beat down on them like a fist, making the already humid air impossible to breathe as she contemplated the agony of a death she'd be able to remember later.

The sirens grew closer as she drove. Wally and Diana would be with them, or behind them. Wally, who'd come to her aid whenever she'd needed him, and loved her like a sister. Diana, who likely wouldn't let her die given a choice, who'd once called her sister in that short-lived golden time before their very first argument.

The road turned and weaved, hugging the outcroppings high above the beach, where earthquake and erosion had left marvelous drops. Oh, to have her wings right now, and feel the salt spray mingle with the hot sun!

"Drive faster," he said, a whining note to his voice.

So she did.

***

The taxi followed the police cars as closely as the cabbie dared.

They'd arrived at her house too late. The place was a wreck, with dirt heaped on the carpet from an overturned plant, and half her clothes hangers were empty and tossed to the bedroom floor. Wally's stomach tightened when he saw the rumpled bed, but Diana had told him Shayera always slept like that, so maybe they hadn't been delayed so badly.

As the police pulled up, Diana had told them what she knew: the lead suspect in the Macabe murder had just been abducted by her crazed lover. The sergeant looked at Wally for his nod of confirmation, and he felt the blush start again as Diana rounded on him angrily. He'd put up his arms in his best "Not my fault!" gesture.

The cabbie kept the meter running, and Wally winced when he got back in to follow the cops after they'd given over the make and model of Hall's work vehicle as best as either could remember.

They gave chase.

"He's going to kill her," Wally said quietly, as the police pulled further ahead. "If we don't catch up with them."

Diana said, "We'll get there."

Sure enough, just a few minutes later, the cab slowed as the police cars came to a stop in front of them. Diana tried to see why they'd stopped, and Wally saw the broken rail beside the road, saw nothing but blue-green ocean beyond, and great dark plumes of smoke. Numbly, he got out of the cab, Diana right after him, and they walked to the edge, ignoring the police officers around them.

The white truck had plowed through the barrier and down the sharp incline, scything through palm saplings and the thick brush that carpeted the ground. About two-thirds of the way down, the angle went sharper, and the truck had flipped onto a stretch of rocky beach not ten feet wide. And then it had burned.

Wally felt the intense heat on his face, pushing him back from the edge. The brush nearest the car was already catching fire. He felt Diana's hand on his arm, let himself lean on her.

"We have to get her out of there," he said, his mouth moving and refusing to believe what his eyes were telling him.

"She's already gone." Diana said this in a voice that was not dispassionate nearly so much as devoid of emotion because emotion would be a liability now.

Vixen had died almost instantly. If the coroner was right, J'onn wouldn't have felt anything after the first blow that had killed him. This wasn't quick. This wasn't painless. Wally closed his eyes.

He had to tell John.

***

To Be Continued ...
 
 
 
Matt Zimmermattzimmer on January 24th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
Shayera's dead? Bummer. I can't wait for the next chapter.

Is Tempus Fugit Temple Fugate the Clock King?
Merlin Missy: Big Scary Freakmtgat on January 25th, 2007 02:11 am (UTC)
That would be him. This would be me too lazy to change it. Maybe Dot will be more inspired. :)
getting the chocolate in the peanut butterdotfic on January 25th, 2007 03:36 am (UTC)
(I don't know what she's talking about, she's not lazy, she fixed it already. Thanks for the catch!).

Kiraava_cabot on January 24th, 2007 07:51 pm (UTC)
Oh Carter. I mean Joe. Road rage does not suit you.
Merlin Missy: HGGL undressmtgat on January 25th, 2007 02:12 am (UTC)
Carter Hall = Great Big Dork in all known universes.
getting the chocolate in the peanut butterdotfic on January 25th, 2007 03:37 am (UTC)
It really doesn't.

Nuts in any universe.
Chris: Blushing Bruce90scartoonman on January 24th, 2007 09:23 pm (UTC)
What a way to end a chapter (that was pretty full of slash if you ask me).
Merlin Missy: Kara and Ivy (small)mtgat on January 25th, 2007 02:13 am (UTC)
It was supposed to be full of slash, so glad that came through! :)
getting the chocolate in the peanut butterdotfic on January 25th, 2007 03:40 am (UTC)
Yes, I suppose it was. :)
dariclone on January 25th, 2007 11:58 pm (UTC)
Whoa. Finally caught up and what a place to be. It seems like somebody's picking off the Justice League one by one. Can't wait for the next chapter!