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man_of_steel ([info]man_of_steel) wrote in [info]dc_heroes,
@ 2010-10-25 19:54:00

Previous Entry  Add to memories!  Tell a Friend!  Next Entry
Entry tags:"ended", aquaman, batman, constantine, green lantern hal jordan, martian manhunter, superman, wonder woman, zatanna

JLA Forever!


The Hall of Justice shone in the early morning, sunlight glinting off its gold and silver facade. Great glass panels allowed light to flood into its marble entryway.

The Man of Steel stood in the doorway for a brief moment, taking in the room. This had once been a bustling hub of activity, staffed with dozens of aides and security personnel. The main floor of the Hall of Justice had acted as an embassy, a link between the world of Super heroes and everyday people. Here, one could learn about the history of groups like the JSA and Justice League, and could file petitions for the League to help with a crisis. While the League was stretched thin, they still tried to find time to make people feel as though they were listened to. That the League cared.

Superman found himself wandering through the empty reception area, following a familiar route. He ran his hand over the desk where a young receptionist had sat. Her name had been Judy Torrence...

“What do you make of the Hall, Mister Kent?” she had asked him, some months ago...

Clark had frowned, looking up at the amazing architecture. “It's...breathtaking, of course. But I can't help but wonder what the point of all this is, ” he had said. His thoughts had been clouded with doubt, in those days leading up to the League's dissolution.

Judy had frowned, twirling her short blond hair on one finger, “I know there's a lot rumours going around that the League's going to break up- but I can't see why.” He had been surprised to see tears twinkle in her eyes. “People think that our heroes just spend their time fighting aliens and super-villains, but they help everyday people too...” She had opened up a drawer in her desk, and produced a book. As she flipped through it, Clark saw the faces of smiling children, tearful families holding one another, paramedics and firemen giving thumbs-up. “Who are they?” Clark had asked.

Judy had smiled “They're people the League has helped. They send in these pictures. Some of them were saved from floods or natural disasters, some were brought food during famines in their countries, some are just first-responders who didn't have to go into a burning building because a hero was able to do it for them.” Her eyes had shone with hope. “When aliens invade or monsters try to destroy a city- a thousand people are helped in a thousand different ways, by groups like the Justice League. But you don't see stories about these people on TV or in the paper. Because it happens to often, we take it for granted...

Superman smiled at the memory, and wondered where Judy Torrence was now. He vowed silently that should- no, when the League re-formed- that he would personally ask her to come back and work for them. Possibly as head of public relations.

But for now, Superman had to content himself with leaving the Lobby and Museum level- and taking the secure elevator to the top floor.

The sliding doors opened, and Superman stepped out onto the Executive Level. A great conference table dominated the room, symbols etched into the back of chairs. Superman was early, so he went and stood before the glass wall that overlooked the the city beyond. He waited for the others to arrive- so they might start to rebuild the Justice League of America.

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2010-10-26 10:13 pm UTC (link)
Arthur arrived, nodded to Supes and took a seat.

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2010-10-27 12:11 pm UTC (link)
Zatanna teleported into the room. She nodded to Superman and Arthur before taking a seat.

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2010-10-27 06:32 pm UTC (link)
J'onn arrived a few moments later. "Clark. Arthur. Zatanna." he said amiably.

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2010-10-27 09:38 pm UTC (link)
Arthur nodded to Zatanna and J'onn as they entered.

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2010-10-28 02:40 pm UTC (link)
Diana showed up next and took a seat.

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2010-10-29 08:27 pm UTC (link)
Superman responded to each of his friends as they arrived; to Arthur, he gave a respectful nod; he gave Zatanna distant but genuine smile; when J'onn entered, he grinned widely "Hello J'onn, good to see you"; with Diana's arrival he took his seat at the table, content to wait for the rest of the League to arrive.

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2010-10-29 11:19 pm UTC (link)
J'onn smiled slightly. "It is good to see you, Clark. I hope that you found the answers you sought."

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2010-10-30 01:48 am UTC (link)
You can't hide out forever, Hal. You've been saving people since you got that ring back. Either they're gonna come lookin' for you, to see if the rumors are true or you're gonna run into one of them when you're out helping people.

If it's Clark, J'onn, or Diana, they might let you speak first before trying to take you down. If it's Bruce, you'd better be ready to fight.
Ollie said to him the day they'd finally met up, two weeks after his resurrection.

Hal's not afraid of meeting with the League; in fact, he's ready to clear the air about what happened with him and make the amends he needs to make. But he'd be a fool to say that it didn't at least make him nervous.

Well, here goes nothing.

Green Lantern enters the Hall of Justice and goes to elevator, taking it up to the meeting room to see if anyone's around.

"Good morning, everyone. I'm back, and I'm here to talk to all of you about what that means." he says.

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2010-10-30 01:54 am UTC (link)
Arthur practically jumped out of his chair. It wasn't often the Sea King showed such surprised. "Hal?"

Arthur walked over and put a hand on Hal's shoulder just to make sure he wasn't hallucinating. A smile broke out on his face. "It's good to see you back in the hand of the living."

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2010-10-30 01:59 am UTC (link)
Zatanna blinked.


Still...you could never be sure.

"Hal, if you don't mind," she said, going over to him, placing a hand on his face. Her eyes glowed, as she performed a simple spell to make sure that this was the real Hal Jordan, and not a duplicate of some sort.

She smiled. "It's him alright," she said. "Welcome back, Hal."

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2010-10-30 02:56 am UTC (link)
Diana was about to lasso this Hal before Zatanna declared him the real deal.

"Oh good. Now we can decide when the Christmas party is." She grinned.

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2010-10-30 03:02 am UTC (link)
"Great H'ronmeer!"

It was not often that J'onn was taken by surprise, but this... this was one of the few times he truly was.

He wept openly and unashamedly.

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2010-10-30 03:12 am UTC (link)
Hal couldn't help the grin on his face as his friends seemed to accept him with open arms. He shook hands with Arthur and J'onn, and smiled at the Diana and Zatanna with that charming grin that Carol often accused of using to get him out of any trouble his mouth got him into.

Still, it wasn't lost on him that Superman had yet to weigh in on his appearance. If Clark didn't like what was going on, he had the means to say and do something about it.

It also wasn't lost on him that he didn't see Batman in the room. That was either a very good thing or the start of a really bad day.

"Hello, Superman. It's good to see you." Hal says, testing the waters and keeping an hand on both Arthur and J'onn's shoulders.

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2010-10-30 07:32 am UTC (link)
Hal? The handsome face, the square jaw, even his heartbeat- they all confirmed it.

While the others surged forward to greet their resurrected friend, Superman slumped back in his chair, placing a hand over his mouth. Clark decided to give the others their turn before moving to welcome Hal back- but even as his heart filled with pride and joy, he couldn't help but feel Batman's glaring absence If Bruce doesn't show up at all, who'll ask the hard questions? Clark thought, deciding he would play the skeptic if he must.

Clark stood and rounded the table, slowly. He crossed his arms and came to stand a few feet from the others- content to wait for a lull. When Hal finally turned his attention to the Man of Steel, it was with reluctance that Clark translated his feelings of genuine joy, into a quiet chuckle and polite smile.

"Only Hal Jordan could make rising from the grave sound like getting back from sick leave" he quipped, extending a hand.

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2010-10-30 05:20 pm UTC (link)
Hal shakes Clark's hand and relaxes just a bit, looking Superman directly in the eyes.

"I wish I could say it was that easy, Superman, but you know something about resurrections yourself. They never come without their share of problems." Hal elaborates.

"I know that the last time we all saw each other, I...was an enemy. I'm here to explain what happened with me and clear the air with all of you." Hal says, looking around the room at everyone.

"Would I be allowed to speak?" he asks.

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2010-10-30 05:24 pm UTC (link)
"Of course, Hal," J'onn said. He had never truly believed how far his friend had fallen, and this, this was something he would admit he wanted very deeply. His friend back.

Ever since Barry Allen's sacrifice, it seemed he had done little but lose friends.

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2010-10-30 06:14 pm UTC (link)
"Why don't you start by explaining the bodies, Jordan?" comes a voice from behind the group, at the opposite end of the room. Anyone looking in that direction will hear Batman's familiar rasp as he steps into the room, his eyes locked on Hal.

"I knew you were arrogant, Jordan, but showing up here after everything you've done...you found one thing I /didn't/ expect." Batman says, dropping a manila folder on the table.

"Those photos are from Davis Mortuary in Coast City, where Hal Jordan was buried until last month. On the night of September 20th, the owners of the funeral home, as well as five of their workers were found dead around a particular gravestone. No marks or wounds. The owners of the home, Kate and Brian Davis were in their mid-forties and decent health.

Dave Richcards, 43, Vincent Morris,28, Ben Warton, 31, Alex Liston 26, and Martin Heimer, 35 were also in various stages of health, though none of the men should have dropped dead of their own volition.

Care to elaborate, Jordan?" Batman asks. He doesn't wait for Hal or anyone else to speak up.

"Seven bodies, plus the man who crawls out of the grave make for eight sets of footprints. When I went to the site to conduct my own investigation, I found a /ninth/ set of tracks leading away from the grave, going in the opposite direction from Jordan's.

Male, approximately, 6'1", between 190-200 lbs. He left his business card near the headstone, which is also included in the file on the table. If you won't tell us who helped you...maybe Zatanna will." Batman says, now looking to the magician.

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2010-10-30 06:22 pm UTC (link)
"Go ahead and speak, Hal," Arthur said.

Then Batman spoke.

"Goodness, Bruce. Give the man a chance to explain his side before you start interrogating him."

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2010-10-30 08:16 pm UTC (link)
“These are Troubling revelations, to say the least” Superman interjected, as he looked at the photos. "As usual, Bruce is two steps ahead of us," Superman said, placing a supportive hand on his friend's shoulder.

But although he spoke to everyone, his next few words were aimed squarely at Bruce. “And I think Hal's more interested than any of us in learning more about what these deaths might mean. So let's start at the beginning and hear what he has to say-” he looked to Batman “Alright?”

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2010-10-30 09:08 pm UTC (link)
"Ever the paranoid, eh, Bruce?" J'onn growled.

"Whatever madness may have befallen him in the past, Hal deserves still deserves some measure of our trust."

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2010-10-30 11:00 pm UTC (link)
Diana looked at all of the information.

"How do you know that the timing of Hal's prints and the other eight sets have much to do with each other? Nights are long and even five minutes either way really can remove someone from another's presence entirely." Her eyes looked on Bruce. "Your heart is in the right place, but some of us grieved for Hal. Let us have a moment to be glad to see him again before you drink a bunch of water to pee on our parade."

Diana then looked to Hal.

"Tell us what happened. If you'd like to take the measure of dispelling certain doubt, I have my lasso. I don't mind binding you briefly if it clears the air."

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2010-10-30 11:36 pm UTC (link)
Batman couldn't believe what he was hearing. It was as though everyone here was /willingly/ forgetting how they'd barely survived Parallax's onslaught. Yes, Jordan eventually came to his senses at the last moment, but before that he'd also turned on his own Corps as well, according to Gardner.

However, it seemed he was outnumbered. J'onn and the others were rallying around Jordan, which made Bruce sick to watch. His glare takes in every person in the room before settling on Jordan again.

"Let's hear it, Jordan." Batman growls.

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2010-11-01 04:28 am UTC (link)
"Diana, go ahead and bind me with your lasso. I want /everyone/ here to know the truth of what I'm saying without a doubt." Hal says, offering his hands forward to be tied.

Batman glares at him even harder than before.

Hal takes a deep breath and is silently grateful for the support he's receiving right now. Batman wants his head on a stick, but the rest of the League is clear-headed enough to hear him out. Hopefully, they'll be just a clear-headed and reasonable when he's done.

"Regarding those bodies, Batman, I don't know who those people were. When I crawled out of my grave they were already dead. I swear that to all of you. I should have done something, called someone, and I did. But the only thing I could think of at the time was that I was alive again and I didn't know why.

I stayed with a friend who helped me get back on my feet and then got in touch with the only other person that I thought would hear me our fairly before rushing to judgment. Green Arrow." Hal says, looking around the room.

"Now, before we can get into today, I need to explain what happened five years ago. Five years ago, I made a lot of mistakes, before I even attacked the League. You all remember what was going on then. Coast City had been destroyed and I...I was a mess. You guys knew it and so did the Green Lantern Corps.

I didn't learn until recently why I'd been more bent out of shape at that time. Sinestro managed to pull a fast one me, on all of the Corps while he was imprisoned in the Central Battery. He encountered a being in the battery that is the embodiment of Fear itself.

That being worked with Sinestro to set me up and then push me over the edge. Considering how Mongul and the Cyborg had already destroyed Coast City, they didn't have to do much. This creature got inside my head and twisted me so badly..." Hal says, stopping a moment to compose himself. He's not proud of the fact that Sinestro played him for a fool, played everyone for so long. He'd walked into the trap without even looking, counting on his ring and his wits to save the day like he always did.

That didn't work out for him at all.

"I started seeing everyone as an enemy, as not being willing to stand up for what was right. The Guardians wouldn't let me rebuild Coast City and I felt like all of my friends and allies were holding back. You all know the rest. I got so erratic and distant that by the time you all knew what I was going to do, I didn't care who I had to hurt to or destroy to achieve my goals.

The being that possessed me called itself Parallax. As in the name that I used when we all fought each other. It led me to attack my own Corps and...I killed a lot of people, blood that I can /never/ wash off my hands. Then I came after my friends, all of you, and...you know the rest.

Yes, I know I eventually came to my senses, but that was at the last moment when things were nearly hopeless and I was already dying. So, the first thing I need to say, to each and every one of you, is that I'm sorry for what I did to you and what I put you through. Some of you I get along with well and others /very/ well. There are those of you that I don't know as well as I'd like and those that I don't see eye to eye with at all." Hal tells the group.

"But this second chance I've got...I'm devoting it to rebuilding my life from the mess I've made of it. It's not going to happen in a single day or even a year. But I'm the law in Sector 2814 until I'm told different and I will do my best to aid each and every one of you if you should need my help, whether or not I'm a member of the Justice League of America.

I'm willing to work with all of you in any way I can to prove my sincerity and to be worthy of joining you all again.

I hope you'll give me that chance." Hal finishes, taking a deep breath. His posture relaxes, though he still stands tall and proud. He's glad to get that off his chest, even though he knows that everyone is going to have their own questions, concerns and objections. He's ready for them. He's not running from anything.

He's not afraid.

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2010-11-01 06:43 pm UTC (link)
Arthur was the first to speak. "As far as I'm concerned, you always have a place here."

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2010-11-01 10:08 pm UTC (link)
J'onn was not far behind him. "You are, and shall always be, my friend. And I would be happy to stand by your side again."

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2010-11-02 02:50 pm UTC (link)
The lasso remained on Hal's wrists for a few moments after he finished speaking and she looked at Bruce as she unwound it.

"He's telling the truth, Bruce."

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2010-11-02 07:12 pm UTC (link)
Clark held his hand over his mouth, his brow furrowed as he listened to his friend's tale.

"The lasso tells us that Hal believes everything he's said to be the truth. But it can't tell us whether his account is factually accurate."

Superman sighed, and looked out the window for a moment. "The variety of powers, and creatures, and alien forces we deal with... they make it hard to be certain of anything." He looked back, nodding toward Hal. "I hear a fantastic story like this one, and I can't help but think of how many ways someone might be using the memory of Hal Jordan against us."

He crossed his arms and continued in an earnest tone, "We can call Batman paranoid or reactionary- but he brings a perspective that none of us do. And we need to respect that"

He needed to be careful here, but he wasn't about to let the League fall into old patterns- with Batman immediately taking the role of outsider, and the team obliging by closing ranks.

"We can afford to take risks, risks humanity cannot. And Batman represents that view.

At worst we suffered some bruises when we fought Parallax. But think about the collateral damage from an attempt to destroy the world...the riots, the civil unrest, the economic fallout."

"If the JLA accepts Hal's story, the world will follow our lead and accept him. And a lot of people could very well pay the consequences for our mistakes- so don't take this lightly." He came to stand at Bruce's right, halfway between the Dark Knight and the rest of the League.

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2010-11-02 08:44 pm UTC (link)
"My magic doesn't lie," Zatanna said. "This is Hal Jordan. "I can do some more tests to make that it's the same Hal that we knew before Parallax, but I think we've got Hal back."

She looked at Superman. "After all, it's not the first time that someone we know has come back from the other side of death."

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2010-11-02 09:19 pm UTC (link)
"While I have not probed his mind," J'onn said, "his basic psionic aura matches that of the Hal we once knew and my impressions of him are that he is truthful."

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2010-11-02 10:52 pm UTC (link)
Hal was disappointed that Superman didn't believe him, but he understood. Superman had the best interests of the League at heart, as always.

He couldn't say the same for Batman.

"Superman, I understand your position. I didn't call any of you right away because I thought things would go the way they are now or worse. Granted, I also didn't think the League would break up over what I did. We always seemed stronger than that, to me." Hal says.

"I'll undergo any tests or answer any questions needed to prove that I'm /me/." Hal says, looking around the room.

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2010-11-02 11:04 pm UTC (link)
"Don't flatter yourself, Jordan. You aren't enough to break up the Justice League." Batman rasps.

Jordan's arrogance had always irritated him, which pretty much assuaged Batman's suspicions that this was the real Hal Jordan.

"Suppose, for a moment, that we buy into this story about an evil extraterrestrial embodiment of fear. This Parallax managed to get inside /your/ head, while you have what might be the most powerful weapon in the universe on your finger.

It proceeded to use you to destroy your fellow Corpsman and the Justice League in order to fulfill whatever mad plan it created with Sinestro." Batman says, using his logic to illustrate the next point for everyone in the room, especially J'onn and Arthur whose joy over seeing a friend might be trumping their otherwise good instincts.

"Who or what is to say that something like Parallax or Parallax itself, won't show up and try again." Bruce says.

"Who's to say that you aren't still possessed by him /right now/?" Batman asks, narrowing his eyes.

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2010-11-03 02:31 pm UTC (link)
"The truth is Hal can't prove he's escaped Parallax influence, or that he'll win if it chooses to try and possess him again."

"But I can't that promise you that Poison Ivy won't use Kryptonite to control me again. The last time that happened...well, I don't need to remind you how serious it was" he said. The incident had nearly cost Batman his life.

"Zatanna can't somehow prove she'll never use her powers to wipe the minds of others." He said softly, his gaze falling on Zee."But if she looks me in the eye, and swears she won't....then that's all I need" He continued, his voice filling with pride and conviction. "Because I've seen the good she's capable of, and it's nothing short of miraculous. Or magical, if you'd like" his lips twitched in a suppressed smile.

Superman looked into the faces of each of his friends. "We've all done terrible things. Some were our own fault, some were outside our control. And in the end, none of us can prove that we won't fall prey to the same hubris, or fear, or secret weaknesses once more- that we won't repeat the sins of the past."

He turned toward Hal and gestured to him. "And yet, when I look at Hal Jordan, I see the same thing I do in each and every one of you...a hero." Superman put a hand on Hal's shoulder.

"I believe in Hal, and I believe in the Justice League. I vote we bring them both back."

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2010-11-04 02:55 am UTC (link)
"There has to be some amount of trust given, Batman. Like Supes said, we've all done stuff we're not proud of and we've all made mistakes," Arthur said. "Hal gets a second chance as far I'm concerned."

"I will second Supes' motion to vote on bring the League and Hal back."

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2010-11-04 04:40 pm UTC (link)
"I vote with Clark and Arthur," J'onn said.

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2010-11-06 02:10 am UTC (link)
"I vote with Clark, Arthur, and J'onn." She paused. "I'm not willing to give up on a friend."

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2010-11-07 01:09 am UTC (link)
Hal could hardly believe the support and faith that his friends were putting in him. He should have known that they would do so if he gave them the chance, but it was easy to prepare for the worst and deal with it than hope for the best.

"I'd like to thank each of you for hearing me out and for believing in me. I'm going to work hard to show you that you weren't wrong about me." Hal tells them, shaking hands with Clark, Arthur, J'onn and Diana.

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2010-11-07 01:41 am UTC (link)
Hal Jordan does it again.

Batman watched as everyone rallied around Jordan, wanting to accept him because it seemed like the opposite was just too much to consider. Then again, he expected something like this.

If they'd let Zatanna back into the League after what she'd done, then letting Jordan in was a formality. It would never stop. Anyone who'd betrayed them, who'd killed or mesmerized someone could provide their sob story and get a free pass. It seemed to Batman that there was no longer any accountability for actions taken and something inside him broke, because he'd wanted to believe, with all of his heart, that the Justice League was like him.

He'd wanted to believe that the Justice League of America would /never/ compromise.

"I've heard you, Jordan, but the things you've done aren't things I can let pass. Everyone's made mistakes, Arthur, but he's killed people. He tried to kill all of us and he would have succeeded if not for Oliver Queen, in the end.

I cannot and will not be a member of an organization that compromises itself on account of friendship. The world will accept the Green Lantern again because the Justice League does, but it won't stop here. Soon, we'll be letting in the likes of Deadshot and Ra's al Ghul because if they come up with a convincing tale of redemption. I'm not going to be here on the day it does." Batman says, turning to go.

"Consider this my full and final resignation from the Justice League, effective immediately. I'll be watching. Stay out of Gotham and don't contact me again." Batman says.

And now, he walks toward the elevator.

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2010-11-07 04:55 am UTC (link)
Superman looked Batman in the eye during his tirade, his gaze never faltering. His eyes followed the Dark Knight as he turned away- to anyone watching, the Man of Steel visibly sagged as his friend left. His face was a stoic mask. Unchanging, unreadable. But his eyes were not.

A stunned silence fell over the room, no one sure of what to say. The League disbanding had been heartbreaking, but the relationships at its core had never seemed in question- not to Superman.

He cleared his throat and addressed the remaining members "I'm sorry you had to see that" he said softly. "We all know Bruce, we know his outlook is very...black and white." He looked at his friends' faces "But also know that his choices are his own. No one makes Batman do anything" he said, his gaze lingering on Zatanna and Hal's faces to ensure they understood "no one.

"Assuming Zatanna is on board, I think we've all done a great thing here today... and we should be proud of it." He said. "Everything is where we left it, and our old communicators should still work if and when we need to get in touch. I think we can work with the old protocols for the moment..." he looked into thin air, his mind clearly occupied.

"Sorry to do this but I'm on a deadline for my latest story. We'll talk again soon" he said, patting Hal on the shoulder one final time before making his way out of the room. To those who knew him, Superman looked like a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders...

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2010-11-07 07:22 pm UTC (link)
J'onn frowned, wondering if the League was over before it had truly even begun again.

No. He could not allow himself to think that way. The League always survived.

He took in a deep breath and let it out slowly.

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2010-11-08 11:41 pm UTC (link)
Zatanna sighed, massaging her temples. She was on board. She'd just remained less than vocal because she knew that she'd snap at Bruce...and she didn't want to want to start an argument.

They were giving her a second chance. Why shouldn't Hal deserve the same?

"I have a show in two hours," Zatanna said, getting up from her seat. "I'll consider this meeting adjourned." She looked over at Hal. "Welcome back, Hal."

There was a puff of smoke, and Zatanna was gone.

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2010-11-09 04:27 am UTC (link)
Bruce would be Bruce and would be back in the League before long. It was just the way things went.

"Well that went swimmingly," Arthur said dryly. "Anyone else want to quit before we get done reforming?"

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2010-11-09 04:41 am UTC (link)
"You /would/ mention something going /swimmingly/, Arthur." Hal jokes. "I didn't think I'd ever hear you crack a joke on purpose."

Hal shakes hands with J'onn and Arthur.

"I want to thank you both especially, for standing up for me today. I didn't want Batman to leave the League, no matter how much I think he's a self-righteous jerk." Hal says.

"But I'm here and I'm ready to answer the call anytime I'm needed." he says.

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2010-11-09 04:56 am UTC (link)
"Bruce is Bruce," Arthur said. "He'll eventually be back." Arthur ignored the part about jokes.

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2010-11-09 03:54 pm UTC (link)
Diana, of all of them other than Clark, seemed to be taking Bruce's production hard. Her brow briefly furrowed and she stood up, winding her lasso and putting it away.

"Gentlemen," she acknowledged the three remaining men. "I have business I need to attend to." Unless anyone stopped her, she'd make her way to the jet.

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2010-11-09 05:51 pm UTC (link)
"It is good to have you back, Hal," J'onn said. "And Bruce... he will go where his path takes him."

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2010-11-25 03:48 pm UTC (link)

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