Mindstorm, part 1

by Chicago

Disclaimers and other information in "part 0"

"...nator Duvet has renewed calls for impeachment hearings..."

"Hh," Bruce grunted, his head rising over his knees on the 87th crunch of the morning. "About time."

J'onn floated serenely over the unmade bed as he watched the morning news. "I suspect this may be more political noise than action," he cautioned.

Bruce continued his crunches. "Cynic."

J'onn stretched out and drifted toward the television to turn it off. "I believe that is your role," he corrected mildly.

"There is a remote, you know," Bruce observed, finishing his crunches and rolling into push ups.

J'onn floated lower until he was almost touching the body raising and lowering itself to the floor. "Then I wouldn't have an excuse to get up," J'onn pointed out. He studied the way the muscles bunched and released in Bruce's back, half mesmerized by the ripples in the flesh. He reached down one slender finger, tracing a still healing scar that crossed one shoulder.

The gesture caused Bruce to pause, his arms extended against the floor, and close his eyes for just a moment. "I'm okay, J'onn," he said quietly.

"I know," J'onn answered, brushing a kiss across that same scar. A teasing note entered his voice. "Just wanted to see if I could distract you."

Bruce growled, shifting his weight quickly to take a swipe at the floating Martian and pull him to the ground.

J'onn grinned impishly as he slipped intangibly from Bruce's grasp and retreated to the bed. "You'll have to-" He broke off suddenly, his face drawn into lines of concern.

"J'onn?" Bruce asked, rising worried from the floor.

But the Martian was already zipping away, and a distant sonic boom shook the windows of the penthouse. Bruce wasted no time, crossing to the workstation tucked behind a hidden access panel. For J'onn to leave so abruptly, without explanation...

Watchtower. Now. Abrupt commands, laced with worry and directed at the Bat. And - Bruce noted - three full seconds before J'onn tripped the general JLA emergency signal.

At the sound of the alert, Alfred hastened into the room. "Master Bruce?"

Batman looked up from pulling on his boots. "Watchtower," he explained. "If I don't call back before nightfall, tell Batgirl she has Gotham and see if Robin is available."

Alfred nodded. "Very well, sir."

Batman settled into the upper half of his armor and fastened the gear around his waist. Alfred handed him his cowl and stepped back as Batman reached for something on his belt and shimmered away.

Alfred picked up the discarded pajama bottoms from the floor beside Batman's workstation and quietly re-engaged the security system, closing up the access panel, allowing himself a sigh for a world that could not wait to be saved until after breakfast.

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