Meeting of the Spandex
Disclaimer - still broke, still don't own this, still wish I did.
Monday morning, all the girls were ensconced in their classes and Xander was sitting down to work on bills and try to figure out training schedules and start patrols. The vampire activity was picking up and they needed to start patrolling, but he wanted to make damn sure any patrol was over kill until his girls got a little more experience under their belt. A knock at the door interrupted his train of thought, and he got up to answer it. “Hi Diana, what brings you here?”
Diana was in slacks and a blouse, not her normal costume. “Actually you. You have once again caused quite an uproar in the Watchtower, and I was asked to come get you so the various Leaguers could talk with you.”
A long slow sigh, “So basically everyone has their panties in a wad and need to yell at me because somehow this is my fault?”
Diana’s mouth twitched as she processed that phrase, and had to make a mental note to try that phrase with her mother next time she got upset about the world of Man. “Basically yes.”
“Fine, was just dealing with paperwork anyhow.” Xander grabbed a jacket, then half bowed to Diana, “By your leave My Princess.” The phrase was said with such sincerity that Diana blushed, but simply held her hand out to him, then activated the transporter.
Once again the WatchTower and the sight of Earth rotating below took his breath away, and Diana let him stand there looking at it. The sight never failed to stun her, and sometime she thought the others were too blasé about the beauty that hung like a jewel in front of them.
“Even after all this time, I never fail to feel humbled when I see her hanging there.” Batman’s voice spoke behind them, causing Xander to turn and shoot a sharp look at the black clad figure.
Xander turned back around to look out at his home hanging in space and spoke softly, “Willow would have loved to see this, to see Gaia hanging there in all her beauty.”
Batman’s ears all but perked up at this tiny crumb, but his voice was casual, “Willow? Who is that.”
Shaking his head Xander turned away from the view screen, “Someone I loved once, she doesn’t exist anymore.” He slapped on the mask of a goofy grin, “Well come on super heroes, let's go get the yelling done with, I have stuff to do, vampires to slay, and a dance to plan for this weekend. Oh by the way could you let Cassie know she is invited.”
The sudden change of direction and personality confused Diana, sometimes this man seemed to be a warrior to be admired, and then a man you would not trust to order coffee, she muttered that she would never understand men.
Batman simply nodded, marveling at the way even Xander’s body language changed as they walked to the conference room where the majority of the JLA was waiting.
As they entered Xander had to remind himself not to babble or act like a fan boy, but damn it was hard, most of the main JLA group was here, including the Green Lanterns. He had always wanted to be a Green Lantern, how much cooler could you get than a ring that would make your imagination come to life? And there was Aquaman, holy crap!! He fought with himself to simply sit down and not start babbling.
The JLA seemed to be broken into three groups, one entirely seated at a table, one gathered loosely in a clump on the far wall talking, and the third a group simply because they refused to be gathered with the other two, the composition was what made it so interesting to him.
At the table, Aquaman sat as if he owned the place, Diana slipping in to sit next to him, touching his shoulder briefly as they exchanged nods, the Green Arrow was sitting there glaring at the rest of the room, J’onn was sitting with an odd smile on his face watching the rest of the room, and Barbara was there, looking very uncomfortable but she flashed Xander a smile that he returned as he walked in.
Against the wall, all looking angry and confused were Superman, both Green Lanterns Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner, and the Flash Wally West.
The ones hovering refusing to be part of either group or even form their own group were Zatanna, Nightwing, and a man that Xander did not recognize.
Batman walked to the front, “People Xander has graciously agreed to come up and let us talk to him, please take your seats.”
Xander found himself alone at a table with Diana’s group to his left, Superman’s group straight ahead, and Nightwing and the others to the right. Interestingly enough Batman went and sat next to Nightwing, his mask hiding anything about his mood or temperament.
Superman started the meeting, “Xander we have asked you here to discuss the murder of the Joker and..”
“Excuse me.” Superman stopped startled, people so rarely interrupted him, “Few things first, could you introduce everyone, as I am not sure I know everyone here.”
Kal-El cleared his throat, “Of course, sorry.” He quickly called everyone’s name, and no one missed the sharpened interest in Xanders face as Jason Blood was identified. “As I was saying, to discuss the murder..”
“Excuse me again.” Xanders face was absolutely blank, “I think there are a few more things that need to be stated. One I did not murder anyone. I was cleared by the law as having killed in defense of the life of another. Second, I am not a member of the Justice League and as I have broken no laws according to the country I live in, I am not sure what there is to discuss.”
There was stunned silence, and then the room erupted in angry words and laughter. The laughter boomed over the words and everyone went quiet to look at the person laughing. Arthur Curry, King of Atlantis, had his head tossed back and was laughing a deep belly laugh that made you want to laugh along with him. He finally stopped laughing and looked at everyone. “I like him. I always said you were too soft, but he is right, your own law
cleared him. The law that all of you like to use as a club, so what else is there to talk about, he defended his own. I know I have killed in defense of me and mine, so why is this any different?”
There was a pause as people tried to formulate their arguments when Guy Gardner jumped up, “Because he went there to kill him, and he was brought here for a purpose to deal with these girls that are causing issues. This isn’t his place and he doesn’t have the right to mess in our territory.”
There was strange mutterings to that, both the feeling of yes Xander had stepped into their territory but at the same time, he had gone to save what was his to protect. Xander derailed the rumbling, “Guy was it? Always liked Hal better. One I did not go there to kill anyone, I was simply prepared and ready to do anything that was needed to save one of my girls. Second, just why do you think this is your territory?” There was a dangerous rumble under the lighthearted tone, but only Zatanna recognized it, and wondered what he was up to.
“You don’t have any powers, and you doing this could just get more people killed. You should leave the work to the Superheroes, you were just brought here to babysit some girls” came the arrogant answer. There was a strange rumble of agreement to that from some, and a gasped intake from others.
“You know, I have heard that argument before. So because I am just human I shouldn’t protect those I love. So I guess that means that Batman, Oracle, and Nightwing should all go home and watch you on TV.” Guy paled a bit as he realize how much he had put his foot in his mouth and started to stammer, but Xander cut him off, “Ah but you don’t have any powers either do you, just a ring.”
Blustering Guy tried to recover, “It takes a special ability to control this ring, not anyone can do it, you have to be chosen.”
The smile on Xander’s was feral as he leaned forward and the trap snapped shut, “Ah that is true, so I guess that means you would be willing to do a ring competition, and see if maybe I have that… special ability.”
Guy went pale as he felt the trap snap shut around him, but his own arrogance overcame what little common sense he had. “Fine, you don’t have what it takes to control this ring.” He stood up and ordering the tower to create a small pedestal in the middle of the room pulled his ring off placing it there then stepped back, “Make it come to you.”
Xander Harris knew much about this world, but he also knew something else, if he failed here they might send him back, might make him leave his girls. For they were his now, and he was theirs, heart and soul, and as such there was nothing he would not do to protect them, including destroying a personal hero of his. Xander had dealt with many things in his life, but he was sick and tired of being told to “stay out of it,” that it “wasn’t his fight”; and personally this was the last time ever he was tolerating it.
While not talked about publicly, the Rings of Oa were controlled by the will of the bearer, in the past strength of will had enabled the ring to work for other than the current bearer of the ring. By putting up the ring as the trophy in this contest, Guy had made it so that the ring was open to the willpower of another. This was rare though, the willpower of the ring's bearers and the other made it very improbable any average person could use the ring.
Xander had never been average, regardless of what he thought. With a snap of will so strong and so controlled that J’onn gasped feeling it as a physical entity as the ring was ordered to come to him, and with no hesitation the ring rose and flew to him, landing on his finger, much to the horror and intense effort of Guy trying to control the ring. It slipped on his finger and for a moment he was clothed in the green lantern uniform before it faded away and instead a warrior with no mask, no false jovialness was standing in front of them. Dressed in the style of a knight of the round table, a sword in one hand and a shield in the other, but they weren’t green they were silver and all but glowed, then they too were gone, leaving Xander there with a fierce look on his face.
“Of the people in this room two of you weren’t born here, this your adopted home. The rest of the people in this room were born here and will die here. I came here to help some young women who needed guidance, this is not my Earth but it is now my home. As such I will protect it however I might. How dare you tell me it is not my place? It is not YOUR place to tell me what rights I have. You may hate what I did, what I do, what I am. But I am here, and you don’t have the right to judge me or my actions. Some of you have chosen to be my friends, but as for the rest of you, don’t think that just because I took this job offer you have the right to pass judgment on me or mine. Because trust me, you do not want to go down that road, you don’t want those memories of what I have seen or things that have been erased come to light
.” He shot a dark look at Zatanna, Oliver, and the Flash, and all of them paled. Batman noticed and wondered what that was all about.
Then he pulled the ring off and tossed it back to Guy. “Grow up… life sucks, people die, you make choices that suck, but the world keeps turning. All you can do is try and turn with it. Not even you Superman can stop time for eternity.” With that he turned and walked out of the room, pulse pounding and tears hiding behind his eye.
Kal-El slumped down in his chair, “Well that didn’t go the way I thought it would, I thought we could get him to see he was wrong.”
Diana stood up slowly and smiled a strange smile, “Did it ever once occur to any of you, that maybe we were wrong?” Then she walked out with Aquaman still smiling following her.
Oracle spoke up, “I never said anything, because feelings aren’t exactly shared here, but since the day Joker shot me, I’ve never been able to hear a knock at the door and not have fear spike through me. I have had nightmares on a regular basis since it happened. These past few weeks are the first time in way too long that I haven’t had bad dreams. Someone knocked on my door the other day, and there was no fear. Don’t ask me to be upset or blame him.” She turned and wheeled herself out of the room.
Barry looked around at everyone confusion and sadness on his face, “So does this mean we should start killing now?”
“No.” Batman’s voice was hard and flat, but then it softened slightly, “It means… we need to grow up. There is no such thing as a happy ending, and sometimes the person we fight won’t reform, and we need to be aware of the cost of letting them live. Tell me something Kal-El if you could have killed Doomsday or Darkseid, would you? Knowing that their only desire is death.”
There was a long pause then a slow sad nod, “Yes I would have.”
“We don’t think of death as an answer, because most of the time killing us is very difficult, if not impossible, while killing someone would be almost too easy. For him… he has lived with death on his heels for a very long time. I am starting to wonder if they are almost friends. We simply need to change our world view to accept,” he smiled a bitter smile that was visible even through the cowl, “that our way isn’t always the best way. And that we aren’t always right.” With that he was gone, leaving people thinking about the change that was now unstoppable.
Diana with Arthur in tow caught up to Xander standing looking out the view port at the earth hanging in space. “Young man, it is good to meet you, you are a breath of fresh air that has been desperately needed around here.” Arthur’s voice all but boomed, and Xander winced.
“Thank you, your Majesty. I am familiar with your stand on violence.”
The act of the over jovial king faded, leaving the real Arthur a man who had and would do anything to protect his family, his people. “A little too much huh? Oh well, it keeps people off balance. Don’t worry about them, they are just scared.”
“Yeah.. but I have to ask, how did you avoid killing before? I mean in the comics they just never went into the recovery of the bad guy you were beating on or the physical effects to the human body if Superman hit you. But I mean come on, if Diana or you hit me full force in the chest my sternum would cave in, killing me.”
There was a pause as both Diana and Arthur looked at each other, then Diana spoke slowly, “I don’t know… you are correct though. Thinking back I think it was just that I never wanted to kill someone, both because I have no desire for blood on my hands and because of the League’s stand, but I always hit just hard enough to not kill. And now that you mention it, that is highly unlikely.”
They both stood looking at each other thinking through fights when Xander’s voice interrupted them, “Yeah, I thought that might be the case. Either via interference from above, or some spell, or something, you have basically always been able to avoid killing because you didn’t want you to. Me, I had no qualms about it when to came to protecting one of my girls from someone I KNEW was evil, and the same goes for a few others with different cultural upbringing. I just really really hope I my being here hasn’t caused that to change.” He rubbed a hand over his face wearily, “Can you take me back now Di? I really do need to get the patrolling schedules up and going, because people are dying.”
“Di?” Diana asked with an arched brow.
Xander flushed a little, “Sorry, it is really weird knowing and not knowing you. I picked up the bad habit of nicknames from someone, and I tend to think of some people by these nicknames.” He was a bit awkward explaining it.
“Such as?” Diana tried to keep her voice arch, but inwardly she was smiling, it had been a long time since she had anyone close enough to actually give her a nickname, it was rather nice.
“Oh Bats, Supes, Pat, Shadow… though that one only in my head,” he shrugged a bit, “Didn’t mean any offense by it though. Well maybe a little. You know it is way easier to read about the big blue boy scout than deal with him on a regular basis, he is so blasted nice you start to feel like you really are an awful person.”
Arthur burst out in real laugh that wasn’t as staged this time, “I know exactly what you mean. To this day he can still rub me the wrong way by being so bloody nice.”
Even Diana smiled, “Don’t look at me, as far as I am concerned all men are still strange creatures.” She had a wicked grin on her face that was quickly turned into a shocked look.
“Did you know I read a series once where you and Kal-El were married, you were the only two with the same level of superpowers that could deal with each other. I think the last scene was you telling Batman, that you were pregnant.” Xander turned and walked away savoring the shocked look on the Princesses face in the reflection of the view window.
That left Diana floundering and praying that Lois never heard that little tidbit, she might not have super powers, but she could draw blood with her tongue and pen. The ride down was very quiet as she left Xander at his front door with nothing but a smile, then she disappeared, planning on doing some thinking very soon.
Xander shook his head and went back to his planning muttering softly, “You know working on our own had some definite benefits, way fewer egos to deal with.”
Author's Note- wow, totally blown away. Thanks guys.