Disclamer: As usual I own nobody and nothing. Perhaps this may change some day, but not yet.
Summery: For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, so how will the world react to the actions of the Joker? Fourth in the Inheritance series.
Xander sat in his apartment in stunned silence as Giles finished telling him how he had gotten the helmet of Dr. Fate. As far as Xander was concerned something similar was certainly going into this next book.
"Cool origin story Dr. G," said Xander with a grin. "I take it that Cordy also got her whip in this little trip to the underworld?"
"Indeed," said Giles. "I must admit it is almost frightening how quickly she has taken to it."
"I have some ideas on that, but nothing I care to share until I talk to Cordy," said Xander as he thought of the woman his dad knew that was connected to cats and enjoyed whips. If Cordy started dressing in leather he may have to start patrolling the jewelry stores as well as the graveyards every night.
"Speaking of sharing, do you mind telling just how you were able to afford this?" asked Giles as he waved his hands to indicate the small, but well maintained apartment.
"I was able to afford it with the money my publisher gave me for my book. One good thing about the Hellmouth is that it keeps the rent nice and low, so I was able to pay for three months of rent up front. It's a good thing I did too considering that I probably won't be getting any more money for a while," said Xander.
"Oh, why's that? I had thought you successfully negotiated a fare share of the profits for your book?" asked Giles.
"A book that hasn't come out yet, and if my publisher is to be believed will never come out," grumbled Xander. "It's a book about a costumed superhero, and after our fight against the Joker they didn't like the concept as much as they did originally."
"I'm sorry Xander," said Giles with real concern in his voice. "Did you have any stories in mind that don't involve superheroes?"
"A few," Xander admitted. "It's just that 'Mask of the Tarantula' and the other books in the series were the kind of books my dad always wanted to write but never did. He was already interviewing Superman, writing a book on how it was like to be a superhero during the war would have drawn too much attention."
"Then perhaps it's for the best," said Giles. "After all putting the spotlight on yourself is just as dangerous as it would have been for your father."
"That's why I changed so much in my book," said Xander. "A normal guy instead of a superhuman strong man that works black missions instead of in the public eye. If any character would have made people think I was Superman it would have been my first character idea."
"And what character was that?" asked Giles.
"A kid named Billy Batson who had the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the poser of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury. I also had him transform into an adult every time he used his powers."
"I can certainly see how that was biased off of yourself given your powers and the fact that you have the mind of an adult trapped in the body of a teenager," said Giles with a slight chuckle.
"Yeah, I may write it anyway with instructions for it to be published after I die," said Xander. "Said death may not be too far off though if enough people believe what they're showing on the news."
"The Joker killed over two hundred people, and seriously injured over twice that amount, including Bruce Wayne, a man who almost single handedly saw Gotham through its hardest financial times. People are guaranteed to be upset after such an event, and with Joker taken care of we are the ones that will be the target of their pain and sorrow until such time as the people we saved make their voices heard," said Giles.
"I understand it, I just don't like it," said Xander as he ran a hand through his wind blown hair. "Things were so much easier back when the Society was around. People trusted superheroes back then, and even during the hard times we still had each other to lean on."
"You still have friends to lean on," said Giles in a comforting voice.
"I do, and I know the Bat-clan does, but what about the others Giles. Right now Stargirl and Flash may think they're in this alone," said a frustrated Xander.
"We did have to leave rather quickly after the National Guard started shooting at us as we were repairing the damage," said Giles as his own frustration at the situation leaked through.
"Combine the shooting with the fact that I don't believe Stargirl or the Flash is any older than I am, and it only increases the chances of them doing something stupid if they don't have someone they can talk to," said Xander.
"It isn't as if we have contact information for them, we had to leave too quickly," said Giles.
"I have a good idea how to get in touch with Stargirl, and I'm sure I can figure out some way to get a message to Flash. I'm going to contact them, the only question in my mind is if I should contact the others that were there," said Xander.
"As you said the others have people to talk to, and I'm not sure it would be wise for all of us to gather so soon," said Giles.
"I'm not sure we'll have a choice Giles," said Xander. "Including us there are already nine costumed heroes out there. Nine where there hasn't been any for almost fifty years and there may be more we don't know about. Right now my gut is telling me that we can meet now on our own terms, or we can meet later at the next disaster with more blood on our hands because we didn't talk to each other when we had time."
"Your right of course," said Giles. "Contact the others; it is time for old societies to be reformed."