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Fic: Notation

Title:  Notation
Characters/Pairings: Superman/Batman, Red Arrow, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Black Canary
Rating: PG-13
Summary:  His first day on the Justice League, Roy Harper notices Batman has some peculiar note-taking habits.  Investigations follow.
Word count:  1100
Continuity:  Takes place right after OYL, when the Justice League reforms.

Red Arrow ran his hand over the back of the chair, pleased to note it was completely steady.  He looked up to see Black Canary smiling at him.  "Red Arrow, you may take your seat," she said.

Red Arrow sat down for the first time at the great table of the Justice League.

As Black Canary introduced each member, Roy sneaked glances around the table.  Vixen and Geoforce seemed enthralled;  Green Lantern had a nostalgic smile on his face as he watched Canary speak;  Wonder Woman and Superman were both nodding and smiling;  next to Superman, Batman was...taking notes?  Well, he had a notebook out and he was scribbling in it, sometimes glancing up at Black Canary and nodding grimly--Roy assumed the adjective "grimly" could generally be applied to everything Batman did.  He nodded grimly, took notes grimly, tapped his pen grimly--hell, the man probably ate bananas grimly.

Roy wrenched his mind from that improbable image, fighting a sudden case of incongruous giggles.  It would hardly do for Red Arrow to get snickering uncontrollably at his first JLA meeting.

As Black Canary explained the layout of the new Watchtower, Roy sneaked a glance at the notes Batman was writing.  Then he squinted.  The notepad was a mess of indecipherable dots and circles, diamonds and lines:I know you're reading this.  It's been a long year, Kal.I know you're reading this.  It's been a long year, Kal..

As Roy tried not to watch too overtly, Batman added another line of scrawling doodles:
I've missed you.  Your hands.  Your mouth.  Your voice..  Was it some kind of shorthand?  It didn't look like any shorthand Roy knew--but then, the odds that Batman would use a form of shorthand that anyone knew was surely zero.

Black Canary nodded at the Dark Knight.  "And now, Batman will explain how our new transporter system works."

Batman rose in a swirl of black cape and began to explain the transporter system, drawing diagrams on the electronic board with a precise, accurate hand.  As he sketched and explained (grimly, of course), he also added little lines of notation in the same scribbly handwriting.  I bet you're hard right now..  The scribbles formed an abstract, almost lacy border around the technical drawings.  How long can I torment you, I wonder?How long can I torment you, I wonder?.

Roy looked around the table, but no one seemed curious about the scribbly flourishes Batman was putting on his work.  Superman was biting his lip slightly, as if he were bored or biting back a laugh.   Batman doodled absently while explaining how the "slideways transporter" worked at a quantum level.  Cough right now if you're desperately horny.Cough right now if you're desperately horny.

Superman coughed into his hand and Batman stopped writing.  "Yes, Superman?  Something you wish to add?" he asked.

"I think we've gotten the basics well enough, Batman."

Batman added a tiny doodle to the corner of the board:  Beg me..  "And I believe it's important that everyone fully understand the theoretical quantum mechanics involved.  You see, with this new quantum engine, the charm-flavored quarks interact with the top and bottom quarks to form a baryon that--"

Superman's fingers were drumming the table hard enough that Roy was afraid they might dent it.   "Please," the Kryptonian said, his voice agonized, and Batman smiled very slightly. 

"Very well, if I have the chair's permission to skip to the essentials?"  Batman nodded at Black Canary.

"Oh yes, certainly," Black Canary said hastily.

Batman wrapped up the explanation surprisingly quickly after that.  As he wiped the board clean, Superman jumped to his feet and nodded to everyone, then left the room as if he couldn't wait to get away. 

Red Arrow touched the shining table in front of him, felt the seat--his seat--solid beneath him.  He supposed this was all old hat to Superman, but he couldn't imagine it.

: : :

"Oh yeah, the Bat-doodles," Oliver Queen said as he nocked his bow and hit the target dead center.  "He still does those?"

Red Arrow took his turn, his arrow landing a couple of millimeters from Ollie's.  This would have been more upsetting to Roy if he hadn't been swinging upside-down from a trapeze while shooting.  "Yeah, he's a compulsive scribbler.  No idea what they are?"

Ollie's voice was uninterested.  "I think it might be Kryptonian, actually."

"Kryptonian?"  Roy watched as Ollie prepared his next shot.  "Wouldn't that mean Superman can read them?"

Ollie grunted and released the arrow.  "I guess.  They must not be very interesting, though, because Big Blue never complained at all.  You know the Bat, his mind's always working on at least two levels at once.  They're probably private notes about some devious new plan to make us all miserable."  Roy snorted and Ollie reached out to spin the trapeze in a wild circle.  "Okay, hotshot, beat my shot now."

Roy just grinned and nocked his bow.

: : :

The notes were everywhere.  Everyone else seemed to treat them as just some kind of random decoration, but once Roy started noticing them, he couldn't seem to stop.  They were left on the Watchtower monitors at random times:  Tune in to the cave at 3:15 for a treat if you're alone.Tune in to the cave at 3:15 for a treat if you're alone. .  They were scribbled in the margins of Batman's notes at meetings:   ...on your knees in front of me, God I can't wait much......on your knees in front of me, God I can't wait much...   Once Roy saw them sketched into the condensation on a mirror in the communal showers: My beautiful one.  My bright sky..  Roy watched Superman carefully, but the Kryptonian hardly seemed to notice them.

The latest one was tacked on the Watchtower refrigerator.  Roy was puzzling over it--Showers.  11:45 sharp.--when Green Lantern came in and opened a cabinet.  "Wow, there are always Chocos available now," Hal said mostly to himself, sounding pleased and sad at the same time.  He noticed Roy's puzzled face as he bit into a cookie.  "What is it?"

Roy pointed to the note.  "Ollie said these notes were probably in Kryptonian.  Can't your ring translate for you?"

Hal laughed and held up his hands.  "Yes, yes it can.  In fact, I translated one of those notes, way back when the JLA was just starting."  He ran a hand through his chestnut hair.  "I never made that mistake again."

Roy leaned forward, curious.  "What did it say?"

Hal smirked.  "Trust me, kiddo, you do not want or need to know."

As Roy sat there, baffled, Superman strolled into the kitchen and opened the fridge, grabbing an apple.  He glanced at the clock and almost dropped the fruit.  "Whoa," he said under his breath.  The apple was gone in an instant, the core rattling in the waste disposal.  "Sorry to run, Lantern, Arrow, gotta go," he said, and was gone.

Roy opened his mouth;  Hal spoke over his words, "--And no, I do not recommend asking anyone else what they say either.  Just a word to the wise."  He winked at Roy and left the kitchen, whistling to himself.

Apparently, Roy thought in bemused annoyance, this was just one of those Secrets of the League that he would never be granted access to.

----

Afternote:  Mouse-over alternate text is handy!  :)

Comments

( 134 comments — Leave a comment )
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anthraciteowl
May. 24th, 2008 03:56 am (UTC)
hell, the man probably ate bananas grimly.
That line made me laugh, probably because bananas are such a frivolous-sounding food.

I like the idea of Batman leaving secret notes from Superman all over the Watchtower. Though Hal is right: Roy really should not translate them!

Thank you for the mouse-over translations. Knowing what the lovebirds are writing really changes the story.
jij
May. 24th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
The image of Batman eating bananas was delightful in the extreme for me! :)

Thank you for the mouse-over translations. Knowing what the lovebirds are writing really changes the story.

I'm glad to hear it works! It was hard for me to tell if it worked with the changes, since I knew what the notes said, of course. :)
blackrosebard
May. 24th, 2008 03:58 am (UTC)
*dies laughing*

Oh Roy, baby, don't chase this mystery into the ground, dear....

EXCELLENT.

You do humor SO well.
jij
May. 24th, 2008 03:21 pm (UTC)
Roy should totally quit while he's ahead, lol. :)

*hugs* I'm so glad you liked this! I had so much fun writing it, even the fiddly little image issues. :)
dm_wyatt
May. 24th, 2008 04:07 am (UTC)
LOL!

Brilliant.... certainly puts a different spin on the story when you see the alt text!

Clever girl.

What a great idea and what a cute story.

jij
May. 24th, 2008 03:22 pm (UTC)
Yay! *dances* I really wasn't sure it would work, so I'm happy to hear it did! I had way too much fun with this one... :)
(no subject) - dm_wyatt - May. 24th, 2008 04:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jij - May. 25th, 2008 10:06 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - dm_wyatt - May. 25th, 2008 12:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
stinglikeabee
May. 24th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
Without finding out the translations, I had the distinct image of Batman as an eccentric lecturer, wiping the whiteboard and his doodles down. But once Hal said not to try and find out, a-ha! It was very cool finding out what the doodles were really saying.

And a big awww at Hal remarking on the chocos. Miss J'onn :(
jij
May. 24th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
Without finding out the translations, I had the distinct image of Batman as an eccentric lecturer, wiping the whiteboard and his doodles down.

I did like the image of Bruce seeming to just sort of doodle meaningless things...

And aw, you caught the J'onn reference! :) *pets Hal* We all miss him...
greeneyelove
May. 24th, 2008 04:12 am (UTC)
He nodded grimly, took notes grimly, tapped his pen grimly--hell, the man probably ate bananas grimly.

LOL. So true.

This was wonderful. I love their little hidden messages. Batman can be so naughty!
jij
May. 24th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC)
Grim banana-eating for the win! :) Batman could manage it...

Batman can be so naughty!

I love writing him as grim and naughty, so thank you! *giggles*
(Anonymous)
May. 24th, 2008 04:13 am (UTC)
*You* are a positively evil, EVOL woman.

That's all I have to say.

That and I love you!

*clings to her evil jen*
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - jij - May. 24th, 2008 03:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
stalinglim
May. 24th, 2008 04:16 am (UTC)
Cute! (taps your arm) can't get it to work though.

LOL Roy's ADORABLE. I love him. Lots.
jij
May. 24th, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)
Should work now? Give it a try and let me know. :)

(I think this is the first time I've ever written Roy!)
(no subject) - stalinglim - May. 24th, 2008 12:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jij - May. 25th, 2008 06:58 am (UTC) - Expand
aiyokusama
May. 24th, 2008 04:16 am (UTC)
*CACKLES!*

Oh that's good :) Very, VERY clever and such a Bat thing to do to poor tormented Clark.

jij
May. 24th, 2008 03:35 pm (UTC)
Batman knows when he has a technical advantage he can exploit! :) I assume Clark can fight back in kind, but I suspect he prefers the game this way...
(no subject) - aiyokusama - May. 24th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
supercaptain182
May. 24th, 2008 04:23 am (UTC)
The Batman is very crafty. Seriously, Superman must have a super-constitution if he can keep a straight face and not blush every time he sees one of Batman's notes.

*Awesome*
jij
May. 24th, 2008 03:39 pm (UTC)
I suspect Superman has gotten used to the game over the years! :) I bet he responds in kind sometimes, too...
smgriffin
May. 24th, 2008 04:43 am (UTC)
God, after getting my wisdom teeth pulled, this was EXACTLY What I needed. I swear, you're made of 100% win, Jen-darling.
jij
May. 25th, 2008 01:35 am (UTC)
*hugs you* How've you been!? Besides wisdom teeth removed--that sucks, I remember it well. I'm glad I could brighten the day a bit! :)
(no subject) - smgriffin - May. 25th, 2008 01:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jij - May. 25th, 2008 10:24 am (UTC) - Expand
purpleinkpen
May. 24th, 2008 04:56 am (UTC)
I have managed to read it (And it is, in fact, as awesome and hot and fluffy as I have come to expect from you. I thin my favorite is the note on the mirror in the condensation. I can just picture B in his towel, leaving love notes.)

But you should know that something about the text (Probably the Kryptonian) is making it all wonky. The message from lj, insterted into the middle of a sentence, is:

[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('
[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<img [...] [...]>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

I have managed to read it (And it is, in fact, as awesome and hot and fluffy as I have come to expect from you. I thin my favorite is the note on the mirror in the condensation. I can just picture B in his towel, leaving love notes.)

But you should know that something about the text (Probably the Kryptonian) is making it all wonky. The message from lj, insterted into the middle of a sentence, is:

[Error: Irreparable invalid markup ('<img [...] you're>') in entry. Owner must fix manually. Raw contents below.]

Just a PSA.
jij
May. 24th, 2008 05:04 am (UTC)
Yeah, I was doing some last-minute coding to try and make it work more effectively and messed up for abit. It should be okay now! :)
(no subject) - purpleinkpen - May. 24th, 2008 08:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jij - May. 25th, 2008 10:21 am (UTC) - Expand
voland444
May. 24th, 2008 05:10 am (UTC)
Hal smirked. "Trust me, kiddo, you do not want or need to know."
*giggles* They are so cute~
jij
May. 25th, 2008 01:37 am (UTC)
Yay, thanks! I had a lot of fun with this one, lol...
meicdon13
May. 24th, 2008 06:13 am (UTC)
Oh Bruce ♥

BTW, I'm a complete noob in the fandom and I was wondering where you got the Kryptonian letters?
jij
May. 25th, 2008 01:52 am (UTC)
You can download Kryptonian font here...but other people can't see it in things like LJ. I had to make little .jpgs of the phrases to insert into the story, lol...fussy fun!
(no subject) - meicdon13 - May. 25th, 2008 11:45 am (UTC) - Expand
sorrelchestnut
May. 24th, 2008 06:16 am (UTC)
Oh man, this was so cute. And I'm glad that you left the mouse-over option as an afternote, it was much better to have read the story, *then* go back and figure out what was going on. Much fun.
jij
May. 25th, 2008 01:55 am (UTC)
Yay! That is exactly the effect I was hoping for, so I am filled with glee. :) I'm so glad it worked for you!
hopeofdawn
May. 24th, 2008 06:36 am (UTC)
Oh wow--this is so neat! (Not to mention cute!) I love the mental image of them both being So Serious and Stonefaced while Batman is doing his best to drive Superman into a tizzy in front of the JLA ... And the mouseover thing is very very cool, I've never seen it used that way before.

My only regret is that when I save your fic for myself, I'll lose the translations ... guess I'll have to figure something out!
jij
May. 25th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
I love the mental image of them both being So Serious and Stonefaced while Batman is doing his best to drive Superman into a tizzy in front of the JLA ...

Hee! It was a lot of fun to imagine both of them doing their best to be Serious while having this second layer of conversation going on...

I actually got the idea, I think, from htbthomas! So I know I've seen it elsewhere...

oooh, I hadn't thought about it being impossible to save! Sorry about that. :) But thanks for the comment!
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