saga/title/fandom: 3X5 Index Cards chapter 2 (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.
Sanity As An Overrated Policy
It occurred to Wally that Dr. Sam was suicidal.
Bruce’s eye did the weird twitchy thing Wally had always associated with severe annoyance. He edged his chair away from the therapist’s desk and closer to John in order to keep out of the line of fire. He’d known it was only a matter of time before someone ended up killing her but he’d thought it would be him who snapped first.
The stupid stick figures had been what did it. She’d asked him to, using simple stick figures, draw a scene depicting how he felt about the situation. It had actually been fun at first, drawing picture after picture of various ways to kill Clark.
He’d actually felt very…cleansed when it was all said and done.
Bruce and John had made their way into the drawing not to argue over his body but as spectators to the stabbing of the Clark-figure. That too had made him feel a considerable amount better about the stupid therapy thing. He had always been easily amused.
“We broke up on amicable terms.” Bruce said finally.
It was pretty much common knowledge that Wonder Woman had met her match in Oracle. It was slightly less common knowledge that it had happened nearly a month after she and Bruce had broke it off and that they had the man’s support.
Or at least that’s what Diana said.
In Wally’s opinion people liked to talk and being in charge of the safety of the entire world didn’t stop the League from talking. Batman was just lucky enough to be one of the constant topics of interest up on the Watch Tower.
Thinking sarcastic things really wasn’t the same as saying them. Sure, he knew he was being sarcastic but it really lacked the tone when it was just in his head.
“Of course.” Her tone said she didn’t believe him. “I’m sure you did. However are you sure you don’t harbor any bitterness or anger? Being left always leaves one feeling betrayed and unworthy; surely being left for a woman could only intensify these feelings. After all you are left with the feeling that nothing you did was good enough.”
“If he wasn’t depressed before I’m sure he is now.” John said wryly. His lips were curved into a faint smile and he was sitting back on the couch as if this wasn’t the most torturous thing they’d done all week.
Except maybe that thing with the Joker trying to take over Washington DC, but only because that guy had a laugh that could peel paint. If not for that this would have been worse, hands down. Wasn’t it bad enough he was gay, had fought aliens, robots, and crazed radioactive mutants, surrounded by people with no sense of humor, never got weekends or holidays off, and had to wear a skintight suit nearly all day, everyday?
Why did he have to talk about it and try to make it ‘better’ than it was? Couldn’t he even be allowed to acknowledge that there was something seriously dysfunctional about his life without people deciding he needed to see a shrink?
Because it was pretty damn dysfunctional and excuse him for being realistic enough to comment on it from time to time. He didn’t want to work it out, or whine about his feelings or how his parents didn’t love him, or whatever the purpose of this was.
He was actually really okay with being dysfunctional because if he weren’t a little whacked out he would look for a new line of work because this whole thing was crazy as hell. He didn’t know what Clark had been thinking when he came up with this stupid idea of trying to help them achieve mental health.
The minute people became sane they were going to burn their uniforms and get real (paying) jobs like normal people.
Wally had half a mind to tell him that. In a nice letter. Next time he went off planet.
Not that he was afraid of Clark, exactly. It was just…the guy was Superman. A guy had to be very cautious when dealing with someone who could cave your chest in with their pinky, on a bad day.
“Maybe your hostility over what happened has transferred itself onto Mr. Stewart and Mr. West’s relationship.”
“I’m not hostile.” Bruce practically growled. Then paused. “About what happened. Diana and Barbara are two of my closest friends and they are happy together it’s hardly my place to be angry about it.”
“Have you considered the fact you may be homophobic?”
“I am not homophobic. Furthermore-”
“Have you ever felt that you may be jealous?”
Bruce had the grace to look confused. “Of?”
“The people you work with. For being happy and finding someone to be with while you always seem to end up alone and betrayed by those you decide to let in.”
Wally stood up and shuffled over to John who moved over to let him sit down.
“Yeah. You up for dinner later?”
“I don’t care if Wally and John are sleeping together.” Bruce said sitting back in his seat with his arms crossed over his chest.
“Did you know that his eye twitches when he’s upset?”
“I’m not holding any lingering hostility, homophobia, or jealously over the fact they’re happy together, though I don’t think I’ll ever understand it. I’ve met infants with a more impressive attention span than Wally and John is so anal-retentive he can make me look relaxed.” A beat. “Joke not intended, so pull your mind from the gutter.”
Wally couldn’t smother a large grin. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Not surprising.” Bruce said dryly. “I was talking to John anyway.”
“I am not anal-retentive.”
“Yes you are.” Wally frowned at the older man. Bruce may have exaggerated slightly, but it wasn’t like it wasn’t true. John was, by far, one of the most obsessive people Wally had ever met. He wasn’t complaining or anything because someone had to worry over the little things and it sure as hell wasn’t going to be him.
“And you have the attention span of an infant.”
“Yes I do.” He’d heard worse said about him and he knew Bruce considered him a friend, no matter how much he bitched at him. The insults were almost affectionate coming from him. It was when he stopped being a snaky bastard that you had to be worried about what he thought about you.
John was the same in a way. Almost everything that left his mouth was bitingly sarcastic but if you know him then you knew not to take him totally serious.
Unless he was serious.
Wally still had trouble deciding when he was and when he wasn’t.
John snorted and looked away from him. Wally saw the smile playing on his lips and was content that John didn’t plan to spend the entire day muttering and sulking, as he was prone to do after an hour in the company of Dr. Sam.
“Maybe you harbor some sort of feelings for one of them?” She had her elbow on her desk and her chin resting in her palm. Her note cards had been set down and she was just watching them with a steady frown on her lips.
Wally just stared at her.
She had apparently run out of potential problems for Bruce and was grasping at straws now. Which was almost scary because Bruce had no small amount of potential psychiatric issues. None he needed really to get worked out, because they where what made Bruce Bruce and Bruce was…well. Bruce.
He had his bad points, sure, but he was basically a good guy. A little bitter and sarcastic and sometimes being on the wrong side of his temper could crush your self-esteem… But Wally didn’t mind any of that. He kind of liked it.
And he was so not thinking about that. The liking of Bruce’s personality quirks. Because he liked John’s personality quirks and therefore couldn’t like anyone else’s quirks. Even if they were as interesting as Bruce’s.
Bruce was silent for a long beat, dark blue eyes staring more through the woman than at her. And then he shrugged and flashed her a small smile.
“Wonderful!” Apparently his long-suffering tone had been completely lost on her in her excitement to actually be able to analyze someone. “Now we need to confront these feelings so that you can move on and begin to work in a healthy environment.”
Bruce glanced at John, almost as if he was asking for permission. John nodded slightly then leaned towards him some.
“If I die of boredom before you feel free to take revenge on Clark.”
Wally was a little confused. This was boring? He was tempted to run to the store and buy some popcorn and was far from bored. ‘Sides, it wasn’t everyday you got to hear Bruce confess to feeling…well, anything.
Even if it was just a ruse to make the next- He looked at his watch- fifteen minutes go past without any bloodshed. Not that there was anything wrong with bloodshed when the situation called for it. Of course he’d found his idea of a situation calling for it and everyone else’s idea seemed to clash the vast majority of the time.
Like, John was pretty adamant that he stop trying to provoke Hawkgirl and Vixen into a fight but Wally didn’t know what his problem was. Even Wally knew a good chick fight when he saw it and the tension between the two of them had him pretty convinced that they were going to come to blows with or without his help.
Sure, the fight had it’s roots in John (who was his.) but the two women made a point on disagreeing on just about everything else now that John was openly unavailable. So it wasn’t like he should be upset about it or anything and, more than that, it was something he wanted to see. He could probably sell tickets for it actually.
All he had to do was get Dove to stop playing ‘angel’ to his ‘devil’ for a day and got Superman to go…away he could probably
A hand clamped down on his thigh. He jumped then took a deep breath as he realized he’d lost focus for a moment. Not that it was always a constant effort to not do things at super speed, it was jut that when he was distracted or daydreaming he had a tendency to…vibrate.
And why was it that the only time he could get John to touch him in public was when he was on the verge of vibrating through things?
John liked to say he was constantly in motion and could never slow down, but that wasn’t exactly true. Wally could move slowly for John. Hell, he’d completely stop moving if John asked it of him which probably wasn’t the most normal thing in the world.
But the fact that they weren’t normal had already been thoroughly established.
The little egg timer Dr. Sam kept in the corner of her desk buzzed. Wally wasn’t sure if he was glad or a little disappointed. He had seemingly zoned out on the rest of Bruce’s ‘confession’. Fake or not he could always use an ego boost. Or blackmail material.
And he didn’t care that it was a fake confession, so there. Stupid taunting mental voices…that he wasn’t actually speaking to because that was a level of craziness he didn’t want to actively pursue.
Dr. Sam was taking out her date book of Doom, as Wally liked to refer to it. He feared that book because every time she took it out he somehow ended back in this room wishing he were elsewhere.
“We’ve made great progress today and I’m sure that soon the three of you will be-”
The rest was lost as Wally was dragged, unresistingly, out of the office. He glanced back to see Bruce following them. All of the humor he’d had on his face while inside of the office seemed to be lost the moment he walked through the door. Which kind of sucked. The only time he got so see Bruce in something resembling a good mood was while being tormented by a blond lady in need of a new profession.
They went past the receptionist, who looked up from her phone call startled and made as if to call after them. But they were in the elevator and on their way to safety before she could say anything.
“You don’t think she’ll send security after us or anything?”
John frowned at him. “She’s a therapist, albeit a nerve-racking one, not an evil scientist. I doubt us leaving without scheduling a new appointment is going to bother her that much.”
“Most psychiatrists are.” Bruce muttered.
Wally bit his tongue to keep from pointing out that Bruce was pretty fucking nuts himself and settled instead for being his usual pain in the ass self. It was a tough and at times hazardous job but someone had to keep people like Bruce and John from getting too serious.
Because if they were bad now he shuddered to think what they’d be like without his unmatchable sense of wit and humor.
Bruce looked at him warily. “Wally, don’t-”
“So you really do like me?”
Bruce and John exchanged looks over his head and Wally frowned. They had a tendency to do that and he couldn’t help but feel that they were conspiring against him. Not in an evil way but just in a ‘Let’s get Wally to do something really idiotic and mind numbing’ kind of way. And they often got together and outvoted Superman before sending him off on the most tedious missions ever. Stopping common robberies, saving people from fires, and stopping out of control buses…not that those were unworthy activities.
It was just that they took him all of thirty seconds to do so it’d be nice to be given something a little more challenging once in a while. There was something inherently wrong with a clinically bored hero.
Was all he was saying.
“No.” Bruce said finally. “I can’t stand you.”
Ouch. Self-esteem thoroughly crushed. Or it would have been had he not seen that coming a mile away. So instead he just smiled, wondering how upset Bruce would be if he knew he was getting predictable.
“Well, I know that already. That’s not what I asked.”
John snorted. Bruce was temporarily spared from answering as the elevator doors swung open and a young woman with a child stepped in. They were all quiet, which was pretty common with them. He supposed they didn’t really trust anyone else.
Had he always been so paranoid or did it just crop up after joining the league. If so than Clark and Bruce had rubbed off because no one else was so paranoid. John, Diana, J’onn, and Shayera had never really had to hide from anyone and Wally had been wary of showing who he was, but he’d never been paranoid.
At least he didn’t remember being paranoid.
They stepped into the underground garage and the woman walked away, child in tow. Bruce reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone.
“Alfred? …It’s fine. Five minutes? Okay.” He closed the phone and tucked it back into his pocket. No one said anything for a moment. It was tense couple of seconds.
“You didn’t answer my question.”
Bruce’s lips quirked just slightly. Ha, Success! Not even Bruce could resist his charm.
“I think you’re a pain in the ass. Completely infuriating. You never do what your told, you always complain about everything, and I’m pretty sure that without a buffer or a way to get away from you I’d have to strangle you within a week.”
Wally couldn’t help but remember the night before when John had threatened to throw him outside if he didn’t shut up. Wally had pointed out that there were in his apartment but John hadn’t seemed to care much.
“And John is obsessive about his work, to the point where even I have more of a social life. Any place with just the two of us would be one of the most depressing places on earth.”
“Thanks.” John said dryly. “It’s nice to know you’ve put so much thought into this.”
“Mm.” A black Rolls Royce turned into the garage and headed towards them. “I assume you two chose a less conventional method of getting here.”
Wally nodded then waved at the older man behind the wheel. Alfred offered him a small smile and a wave. Alfred was probably one of the coolest people that Wally had met, and considering some of the people he’d encountered that was saying a lot.
Plus he made the most awesome cookies.
Almost as if the man was reading his mind he reached down and picked up a small white box. He held it out and Wally took it. He opened it and couldn’t fight the slightly bemused grin.
“You aren’t like…psychic or anything?”
Alfred chuckled. “I assure you I am not. Master Bruce was simply telling me that you’d be here today and I recalled how much you seemed to enjoy these.”
“You were talking about me?”
“Ranting.” Bruce said mildly. Then there was that half smirk again. “I have it on good authority that Alfred always makes a breakfast worth trying.”
Wally blinked. That sounded dimly like something Dick had said to Kori once. Starfire had looked about as confused as he currently was. Mostly because it was almost four o’clock so Alfred’s breakfast making skills were
“Bruce is propositioning us.” John’s voice was surprisingly close to his ear and he almost jerked away from him. But, for the sake of his manly pride, he managed to not do that or squeal like a girl.
“This isn’t one of those indecent proposal things is it?” He paused for a moment. “Because I could actually use a million dollars.”
He was pretty sure he heard Alfred choke but when he looked the man looked as composed and calm as ever.
“Oh well. How about dinner first?”
“Of course. What kind of person do you think I am?”
Wally shrugged. Like he hadn’t heard all of the playboy rumors. …Then again, it wasn’t like he cared. “John didn’t buy me dinner.”
“You didn’t ask.”
“It should have gone without saying. I am always hungry.”
John rolled his eyes. Bruce snorted.
And Wally was sure this ranked high on the dysfunctional things scale. It would probably be a good idea to not tell Clark…
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