Play, part 2

By Darklady and Chicago

Disclaimers in "part 0"

The central monitor screen winked to blackness and the blandly reassuring expressions of the Justice Leaguers gave way to utter bewilderment. "J'onn, what is that thing?" Wonder Woman asked.

J'onn set himself to massaging tension from Batman's shoulders as he answered through the monitor. "It's a plelloch. They're like intergalactic puppies, really. We were visited by one when I was a child on Mars."

"How come we never heard of it, then?" Kyle challenged suspiciously.

"J'onn was a child on Mars 48,000 years ago," Batman pointed out coldly, his back tensing again to demand more of J'onn's attention.

"Got ya there, ringding," Wally remarked. "So what do we do about this big puppy, then?"

"You? Nothing. Batman and I should be sufficient to meet this threat."

"Threat?" Superman questioned. "I thought you said it was just -"

"It is just a innocent creature. But like your puppies, it wants to play. And if it is not made aware of the fragility of its potential playthings, it will become a danger to Earth."

"Fragility," Batman stated flatly, prompting J'onn to tighten around him the slightest bit, enough to remind him that he was protected and loved - and could be oh-so-easily crushed.

"Apologies, Batman," J'onn said over the monitor, "but you are the lone member of the Justice League who can be presented to the plelloch as an example of what sort of creature dwells on Earth. The STAR Labs probe made it think it had found people to play with, as the Martians once did, and it must be made to understand that that is not the case. As a telepath, I can connect with it and explain."

"And you cannot make such explanations without Batman?" Superman asked warily. "Or maybe we can all go out to it?"

"Superman," J'onn began patiently. "I did not compare it to a puppy lightly. If it gets too excited -"

Abruptly Plasticman adopted the form of a small puppy, jumping onto the table and tearing across its surface, scattering papers and prompting Kyle to snatch his sketchpad protectively to his chest. "O'Brian!" Kyle protested.

"Plasticman is quite right," J'onn stated mildly, brushing the curve of Bruce's ear to ease the hard glare he was giving to his teammate. "And an excited plelloch will attract others. We will wear down long before they will."

Aquaman nodded. "Are you sure it might not be wise to bring me along?" he asked. "This plelloch sounds much like some of our ocean creatures."

"Which is why we need you to remain here in case Batman and I are unable to persuade it to go. You and the other Atlanteans are far better equipped to handle a playful plelloch without harm - would perhaps even gain much from the experience.

"There is a chance you would fail?" Wonder Woman asked worriedly.

"Diana, there is always that chance. Even if it's incredibly unlikely, you know the wisdom of a backup plan."

"J'onn is right," Batman added. "Unless there is need for further discussion?"

Superman hesitated for a moment, then shook his head. "No. This plan is fine. Although I would appreciate a thorough briefing on any other such 'intergalactic puppies' we might run across."

"The plelloch are in the database, Superman - but as you can see, they are rather difficult to describe. Batman, you will meet me at the jumpships?"

Batman stood, and J'onn delighted in the ripple of thigh muscle that accompanied the motion. "I should probably stop in my quarters for -"

"You should be fine as you are," J'onn interrupted, accompanying his words with whisper kisses along the arc of Batman's neck.

J'onn, Batman protested mentally, his aggravation tempered by a renewed stirring below his waist.

Trust me, Bruce. This is the best way to face a plelloch. It will be amused and charmed and will drift away in search of a companion.

Batman turned on heel and strode purposefully toward the door out of the conference room. J'onn, are you proposing-?

"Batman!" Superman's voice cut through his thoughts, and J'onn felt Bruce struggling to keep his face stern.

"Yes, Superman?" he asked without turning.

"Be careful."

"Always," Batman replied, resuming his stiff exit and heading to the launch bay.

That's exactly what I'm proposing, J'onn purred, pressing soft lips just beside the curve of Bruce's hip socket, then smiling and adding a nibble when the action was almost enough to cause Batman's steady movement to falter.

J'onn, Bruce protested weakly. At least wait until we're in the jumpship.

J'onn acquiesced, refraining from doing more than feeling powerful muscles pump against him as Batman continued to the launch bay and climbed into the Martian ship. Once the canopy was closed, J'onn stretched himself, changing the dimensions of the Batsuit into something closer to a natural Martian shape, webbing tendrils of himself into the semi-organic circuitry of the jumpship. "We're on our way," he reported to the rest of the League.

"Good luck, gentlemen," Wonder Woman's voice replied as J'onn ignited the engine and taxied toward the exit.

"Thank you, Wonder Woman," Batman answered before swiftly switching the comlink to standby. His breath escaped in a hiss as J'onn's shifting form slid over every surface of his skin, here and there dipping between cells in teasing caresses.

Yes, J'onn remarked playfully as he piloted the jumpship clear of the Watchtower, I do feel lucky.

Batman waited until the com light shifted from green to red before growling. "You mean you feel like getting lucky."

That gained him lick on his ear. "I already have. I met you." J'onn's voice was light. "Everything after that was just... a bonus."

A bonus - the mental tone stressed, that J'onn well deserved and was determined to collect. So Bruce would do well to just relax and enjoy the inevitable. "Besides," the small voice continued. "I don't feel you complaining."

J'onn felt the twitch of cheek muscles against the cowl as Batman instantaneously suppressed the smile.

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