saga/title/fandom: 3X5 Index Cards chapter 1 (Justice League)
author: Dimitri Aidan
rating/genre: (Pg-13-ish) - comedy, romance
warnings: het, slash, language, murder
summary: It’s Clark’s fault: His ‘making sure they were in a healthy place’ line started it. In which Bruce is broody, Wally knows…stuff, and John wishes for sanity. Oh, and a therapist is killed… Sequel to Secret. (Batman/Green Lantern(JS)/Flash)
comments/disclaimers: I don’t own the Justice League and no actual therapists were hurt in the writing of this story. I blame this on…erhm, I mean dedicate this to Candylyn. …yeah. Dedicate. coughs. Superman/Lois Lane, Supergirl/J. Olsen, Arrow/Canary, Diana/Barbara Gordon, and this weird Flash/Bats/Lantern thing I haven’t quite worked out in my head yet. I’m making it up as I go along folks. Be afraid. So I like Flash/Lantern. And I like Flash/Batman. I figure this is because I think Flash belongs with someone dark, powerful, and broody. Because hyperness should always be tempered with brooding. …at least that’s my reasoning. Anyway, I was reading Candy’s story (which can be found on my favorites list because doesn’t like to let anyone post links.) and this plot bunny kind of bite me in the ass. T’is a sequel to ‘Secrets’. You don’t have to read it, unless you’re curious about how Flash and GL got together.
Why Clark has no friends
This was most likely Clark’s fault. Most things were Clark’s fault, John had come to realize. Because of Clark’s recent ‘mental health’ kick they had to suffer. They being the so called ‘less sane’ members of the League. Being he, Wally, and Bruce. Which was odd, since he’d always thought them the sanest of the group.
Well…maybe not Wally.
But he was clearly sane.
More or less.
He had been sane once. Until he started sleeping with Wally. Everything had kind of gone to hell after that, in regards to his sanity.
Wally was stretched out on the plush purple carpet and doodling in a sketchbook. Every so often he would stop and hit the end of his pencil, clicking out another piece of lead. Only it was less lead and more graphite, whatever the hell that was, according to Bruce.
Bruce who was clearly descending into some form of official insanity if he throwing out random information type thoughts. It was one of those rare nervous quirks that the man had. Apparently all that information he’d absorbed in order to become the Great Detective began to bubble over when he was subject to annoying tedious things.
Most of the League had been forced into two or three sessions with Doctor Sam, but not them. Apparently the woman thought there was something wrong with them because this was John’s ninth session, Bruce’s eleventh, and Wally’s twelfth.
Bruce was sitting in the hard plastic chair next to him, eyes on Wally. John glanced at him sideways then looked back at Wally who was still scribbling on his sketchpad. His hair was brushing against his cheeks, strawberry blond over milky white. Blue-green eyes were very intent on whatever it was he was drawing.
Wally was deceptively attractive.
And John used the word ‘deceptively’ because a person was usually so repelled by Wally’s personality they never got to see that an actually good-looking person was underneath the mask. Not that there was anything wrong with Wally’s personality per se…he was just overly enthusiastic. Always moving and seeking and searching and talking and thinking and wanting and it was like he could never ever stop for fear of…well, John didn’t know why it was that Wally very rarely stopped.
But he didn’t.
Wally’s always ‘on’ way of living could turn some people off. He didn’t think things through and he was always going on a whim and…John liked that about him.
He wasn’t sure he liked Bruce watching him like that. It wasn’t that he didn’t like Bruce or anything like that (Which was a big deal because John didn’t like very many people.) it was just…
Bruce was an asshole. He’d been acting like an asshole for a few months now. Ever since that whole Javelin incident. John didn’t like to go into details but it involved Wally temporarily losing his mind and deciding to jump his bones in the Javelin.
No one had been amused. Well maybe Kara but that girl had a weird sense of humor. …Okay, he may have been amused. But he had a really twisted sense of humor as well. He blamed Wally’s influence for that. He was pretty sure he’d once been able to go for weeks, even months, without being overcome with perverted thoughts.
Wally was really good at stirring up less than pure thoughts.
And even better at making him not care.
But that wasn’t the point. A few of the Leaguers had taken to avoiding them and John had to confess he couldn’t bring himself to give a damn. After all any problem they had with them was their problem, not his. Bruce had been, up until this therapy thing, one of those.
So Bruce was an asshole. Then again Bruce had been an asshole before he’d started sleeping with Wally now that he thought about it. …He was pretty sure it was just part of his personality, or perhaps the lack thereof.
“Mr. Wayne.” A light voice called out. Dr. Sam was standing in her doorway, smiling in that sickeningly sweet way that John was becoming gradually desensitized to. “I’m glad you decided at attend. You seemed quite upset last time we spoke.”
“It was either this or baby-sit acid spewing infants from another galaxy.”
“You had a choice?” Wally asked and then paused, glancing at the therapist. “And you choose this?”
“Someone,” That was code for ‘that bastard Clark’. John knew this version of the code well. He’d help develop it. “Threw my acid proof suit into the sun. And then sent the medical staff home, otherwise I may have risked it regardless.”
Dr. Sam laughed. “Very funny Mr. Wayne. You have such a wonderful sense of humor. If you three would follow me I was thinking we’d try a group exercise today.”
“Did I sound like I was joking?” Bruce muttered.
“You realize she only hears what she wants to hear. Wally thinks she’s a meta-human and selective hearing is her special ability.”
Bruce’s lips quirked. “This theory doesn’t involve evil electronics does it?”
“They all involve evil electronics.”
“I can hear the two of you.” Wally said, frowning. He’d been gathering up his supplies but had, seemingly, stopped to glare at the two of them. Bruce blinked while John nodded slowly.
“That’s nice Wal.”
Wally stood up and stalked into Dr. Sam’s office. John could tell just by the way his lover was walking that this was going to be an especially long and annoying session. Which was actually the norm.
John took ‘his’ seat on the couch by the window. He liked to think that if things ever got seriously out of hand he had an easy escape route. Or an easy way to dispose of the good doctor, but that was something he didn’t think he should admit out loud, least she decide to schedule him for another session.
Wally took the seat in front of her desk and Bruce (in true Bruce form) took the chair in the far corner. Somehow, even without the costume, he managed to blend into the shadows and almost vanish from sight. John really had to learn how he did that because master of stealth John was not.
It wasn’t like he didn’t have the training to do it. Sneaking up on people had once been an area he was very skilled it. And then his eyes had become neon green and he’d become ‘glow-in-the-dark’ man and that had all pretty much gone to hell.
Maybe he could get a new uniform. Something that dulled the effect of his wonderful bright green aura which, now that he thought about it, just seemed to scream ’please, come and kill me’.
Maybe something in all black.
“-But why is this one wearing a belt?” Dr. Sam was talking to Wally. She was looking at a drawing that she seemed to have ‘liberated’ from the younger man. Blue-green eyes were practically burning holes through the blond woman. “I wanted you to draw simple stick figures.”
John glanced over at Bruce who arched an eyebrow at him. John suddenly wished he had telepathy in order to tell the other man that this was on the verge of getting very ugly. Wally wasn’t easily angered or a violent person by nature.
But that didn’t mean he couldn’t be.
“That’s not a belt. It‘s blood.”
She blinked. “Why is it green?”
“Alien blood.” Wally’s fingers drummed on the desktop. She nodded thoughtfully.
“I see. So the blue and green man is an alien. What about the red and green one? Why is his arm so long?”
“That’s me.” Wally said mildly. “And the arm isn’t long, it’s a knife. A green knife.”
Bruce made a noise that may have been a laugh but John didn’t really have anything to compare it to so he wasn’t exactly equipped to make that decision. Then Bruce flashed him something that was without a doubt a half-smile and John was pretty sure he’d fallen into another alternate universe.
And wasn’t that a scary thought? Alternate Universes always had this way of turning out really bad for them. Them being Flash of course. Not him.
Though in theory a world without Flash would be pretty dismal. And sometimes he thought about telling Wally things like that but was half-afraid of giving the younger man an inflated ego (Not that Wally really needed any help with that) and half because he wondered if knowing you were supposed to lose someone made any difference in the long run.
Did knowing mean that he could prevent it, or did knowing just mean that he…knew?
If knowing didn’t mean anything then…this was temporary. And while John was used to such arrangements by now he was wary of saying anything that could make it seem…more than that.
Which may or may not have made total sense.
“And what about these two up here? In the green and the black.”
“How should I know? Telepathy isn’t one of my skills.” Wally’s voice had fallen into a careful deadpan. Dr. Sam’s smile didn’t even falter and Wally’s eyes rolled heavenward. “They’re arguing over possession of my sexy body.”
She blinked, startled.
Yeah, that was clearly laughing on Bruce’s part. There was something disturbing about Batman doing anything other than frowning and smirking. Not disturbing in a bad way exactly…just disturbing in a disturbing kind of way.
“Not that I can blame them.” Wally continued. “Because my body is, like I said, sexy. Who wouldn’t want me, you know? I’m young, in shape, attractive-”
“Modest.” John interrupted.
“With a sparkling personality.” Bruce added from his corner. Dr. Sam jumped as if she had completely forgotten he was even in the room.
John really had to learn how he blended in like that.
“I see.” Dr. Sam’s smile returned. “Thank you Mr. West. Now, if the two of you would like to move in more we can begin.”
Neither he nor Bruce moved. He didn’t know about the other man but he really had no intention of doing such. She frowned but shrugged it off easily.
“If you’re more comfortable where you are, that would be fine. The reason I scheduled you three together is because I was concerned about the way you relate to one another. In talking with your teammates and the three of you I’ve been able to detect some noticeable tension.”
Wally looked over at him, eyebrow arched. He shrugged. He certainly hadn’t said anything about any ‘tension’ with Bruce. If you gave that woman an inch she’d try to milk it for all it was worth and do her damnedest to get you to have some kind of ‘deep revelation’ about your mother.
Or so Wally said. Unfortunately all Wally had realized was that his mother was a serious flake but he’d apparently known that for years. Wally had thought Dr. Sam was disappointed that his mother hadn’t been domineering so she had an excuse to delve for the root to his ‘homosexual behavior’.
John had laughed. “You think she needs an excuse?”
“Who told you that?” Bruce leaned forward some. John could almost see the plans for torture weaving themselves through Bruce’s mind.
“I’m not at liberty to discuss such things.” She was reaching into her desk. She emerged with as small box. John already knew what was inside. She had a strange filing system based around note cards, 3-by-5 if he had to guess. She had them color coded, ordered, and placed neatly into boxes.
He wasn’t sure what to think of someone putting his life (the little that he was discussing) down onto note cards and then putting them into an unlocked box. He wasn’t exactly paranoid but it made him uneasy to think that anyone could have access.
Plus, a note card? Who wanted their life scribbled down on a note card? It was kind of depressing; he’d saved the world but everything about him could fit on a note card.
“The two of you have been together for a few months now. Would you say the tension has been around since then?”
“By tension do you mean Bruce being a jackass?” Wally tilted his head off to the side. “Because he’s always been that way. It’s part of his charm.”
“I was referring to his unwillingness to work with the two of you, avoiding you if you aren’t working together, and,” Here she paused to look at one of her cards. “His increasing sarcastic nature.”
Bruce frowned at the back of the note card. It was pretty obvious he was dying to know who had dared to open their mouth in reference to him but unless he’d suddenly developed X-ray vision (which was possible where Bruce was concerned. The things the man came up with were nothing short of impressive.) it looked like a wasted effort.
“Always sending you on different tasks-”
“Standard protocol. No one in a relationship is permitted to work together in case of distraction and to stop one of us from being used against the other.” Bruce’s lips twisted slightly. “It’s the Circe Rule. Wally wanted to call it the ‘Pig Rule‘ but he changed his mind.”
Mainly because Diana had threatened to shove something very large in a certain area that was sure to be very uncomfortable.
“It was my idea.” John added. “Wally’s right; this isn’t new. He’s like that with everyone.”
And he wasn’t just saying that because having her echo his earlier thoughts was creeping him out. Now that he thought about it Bruce probably just seemed like a bigger asshole because Wally was always on the other side of the world and no longer able to take the brunt of his wit. Batman was able to spread the sarcasm and scorn around more evenly without Flash around, which meant that Lantern got a little more than he was used to.
And avoiding people…well, if they weren’t working Bruce avoided everyone. He probably even avoided himself and considering that Bruce was the poster child for Multiple Personality Disorder it was wholly possible.
“Mmhmm. Mr. Wayne I understand that your latest girlfriend left you for another woman.”
John sighed and put a hand over his eyes. He couldn’t help but wonder if it was too late to volunteer for acid-spewing toddler duty.
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