World: Justice League (Unlimited)
Summary: A drabble about Flash dealing with the aftermath of the previous parts of this fic.
Flash was pacing around the monitor room restlessly —waiting— surrounded by dozens of screens showing him what was going on in the outside world. A world that was surely less crazy than the one he had resided in ever since the last mission. After all, how sane could he be if he was living under the delusion that Batman had asked him to save a hug for him? Maybe he had fought the slimy things and they were toxic in a way that messed with people's heads, and he hallucinated he hadn't?
He glanced at one of the screens while pondering that possibility, then came to an abrupt stop and did a double-take. Was that... a flying cow? Okay, that's it, he was officially— Oh, it actually was, although Superman was carrying it so it probably didn't count. So he wasn't yet that crazy. Maybe. Just otherwise unhinged and most certainly a nervous wreck.
He shouldn't be so jittery over one hug. He hugged people all the time. Admittedly, it was usually in the spur of the moment kind of thing that happened naturally, instead of this strange waiting game. But really, he needed to relax, talk with Bats, and wait until an opportunity presented itself. It was that simple.
“Superman sure looks happy with that cow”, he said to himself, still staring at the screen, purely to keep at least some portion of his mind focused on something other than the fluttering in stomach. Instead of the usual butterflies, he was convinced it was filled with winged rodents for this particular occasion. Wait, not rodents; chiroptera. Batman had corrected him on that once and he wasn't about to let himself make that mistake again, even inside of his own head.
“He would be, he talks about cows a lot when he is feeling chatty”, Batman's voice sounded from behind him. He turned around to look at the approaching figure, nerves shooting up again. Batman had changed out of the ruined suit and looked fresh as ever. Perfectly huggable, one could say. If one was allowed to say that about Batman.
He really needed to stop thinking and maybe start talking instead.
“Well that's an image. You two sitting in the cafeteria with cups of coffee and talking about cows. Yeah, I can picture Supes with one of those pink frosted donuts, waving it around while telling a story about... what do you do with cows anyway? Milk them, I suppose? Shovel their droppings? Okay, eww, I didn't need that image...”
Batman raised an eyebrow. Or at least Flash imagined he did so, it was hard to tell with the cowl in place. “Superman will no doubt tell you all about it if you ask him. In fact, you should do exactly that; perhaps you showing interest in the subject will direct his attention away from me when he wants to discuss cows again.”
“Oh sure, why not. Use me as your shield against Superman's cow stories, why don't you?” Flash said, grinning widely. He should totally tell Plastic Man to ask Supes about cows, as a payback for his lack of sympathy during last mission. Maybe GL too, just because. Heck, he could spread the word around the watchtower in general – make it seem like it's supposed to be Superman who is the butt of the joke. That ought to make people go for it and live to regret it.
“I recall being used as a shield against unpleasant opponents today, so I would say you owe me that much.”
Flash's thoughts came to a screeching halt, and he looked at Batman blankly for maybe a second before his brain made the connection. The perfect opportunity, handed to him on a silver platter. He grinned widely, the fluttering little bats in his stomach making a ruckus, but this time in a good way.
“Funny, I recall that we had a completely different deal to settle that debt”, he said, taking a note of Batman's expectant body language before diving right in, not giving himself any more time to think about it. Under normal circumstances it would be suicidal to basically tackle-glomp the judo-happy bat, but he trusted it to be safe right then. Red arms wrapped tightly around the mostly black figure, the collision of body against body making Batman take back a step, then another, to keep them upright. Then strong arms came around Flash, considerably less zealously, but still there.
Flash's grin grew even wider, and he chuckled into Batman's shoulder, trying and failing to conceal his relief and pure joy over this little miracle happening. His heart was pounding in his chest faster than the situation probably merited, but he didn't stop to analyze it. He had more important things to do, such as squeezing harder and nuzzling his nose into the seam where Batman's cape met the cowl.
“One hug delivered, as per request. Would you like to subscribe for more, for whenever appropriate?” he asked after a few blissful seconds, finally lifting his head from the surprisingly comfortable and probably addictive spot. Batman's face was as blank as usual when he pulled away from the embrace.
“Next time, don't attempt to tackle me in the process”, Batman said, smirked, and turned around with his usual dramatic cape flare to exit the room, and presumably leave the tower.
Flash found himself completely speechless for what was probably the first time in his life. He suspected the bats from his stomach had moved into his head instead. Or possibly heart.
He certainly wasn't complaining.