A/N: Finally finished... After almost a month and a half of writing... The Watchman is finally finished. Its a strange feeling, really. This is my second completed series but, by far, the absolute longest series I've ever done. Back in HS I did a Gundam series that lasted 2 small notebooks long but never actually did it with the intention of it being publically read.. Its a stunned feeling, honestly. Not only to finish it before X-mas, or finish it at all, but also to finish 4 chapters in one night... Beer helps.
Days later, following the retreat of Darkseid's army and Ripper's defeat, the Jump City assembly decided to host an honorary ceremony for the Teen Titans. Gathered before City Hall, the Titans stand behind the podium with the city's mayor speaking. Thousands of citizens and guests are in attendance, each with smiles on their face at the sight of their protectors in the crisis to end all crisises.
"And today we'd like to personally congratulate the efforts of the Teen Titans who, without their help, would have led to the total destruction of Jump City by the alien invaders. Their bravery on the battlefield days ago have left each and every citizen of this city in their eternal debt."
Robin, Jinx, Cyborg, Raven, Argent, and Starfire stand proud behind the mayor, their stoic appearances a testament to the courage shown both to them and from them regarding the incident. "Each member gave their all in the defeat of the enemy and, in a few instances, almost their lives in our service. For that we congratulate you again. Lets hear it for the Teen Titans!"
As a thunderous chorus of cheers and applause begins to echo throughout the streets, high above the situation is not so appealing. Leaning on the edge of a building, the Watchman keeps a steady gaze on the populace below. His face, scratches and bruised from the other day's war, seems to remind anyone lucky enough to see him of the cost of victory. Unlike the other Titans, Gar was the only one to refuse treatment from Raven's healing abilities. To him the battle will never leave him as long as he lives, why bother covering up the scars?
"You should be down there, Gar." A voice beckons from behind him.
"I don't deserve it." The simple answer from the Watchman replies, not looking back. Why bother? Its not like he doesn't recognize the voice.
"And what makes you think that? Besides the fact you stopped one of Jump City's most violent criminals? Or the fact you pacified one of the strongest metahumans that has ever existed?"
Question takes a seat next to Gar, staring down at the townsfolk, his face hiding his expression.
"I'm not out looking for praise and you know it, Q. I did what I normally do and that's all."
Q's gaze at Gar's frowning face seems to reflect a man deep in thought. "You don't suppose what you did was worthy of praise? Humble words for someone barely old enough to purchase cigarettes."
"I don't feel eighteen, Question. I feel sixty-eight at best." Holding his ribs, still sore from days prior, Gar winces at the pain. "Besides, I let Ripper get away."
"Just because they didn't find the body doesn't mean he'll be the same again." Question suggests, trying to ease his ill mood.
"He might've become worse than before for all I know. I let Terra down in doing so." Eyes turning a bit misty, Gar tries hard not to look in Q's direction.
"Sometimes good people die to protect everyone else. You would have done the same thing in her position." Q admits, no place for sugarcoating. Gar doesn't need to hear that kind of bullshit.
"I know but it doesn't take anything away from it. Raven almost died, Terra DID die, Light could've been killed... I almost died myself a few times."
Standing now, Question suggests "Gar, come with me for a moment. I have something I want you to see."
Surprised at first, Gar allows himself to stand up. "Show me what?"
Tapping the earpiece, Q calls the Watchtower. "Terrific, two for teleport."
The teleporter deposits two blue beams on top of a building far away from Jump City. Overlooking the super-city that is Metropolis, they stand shoulder to shoulder at a sight that Gar is earnestly not expecting.
Where the Daily Planet once stood now appears as a giant patch of rubble and destruction.
"Is that what I think it is?" Gar asks, amazed and horrified by the sight.
"Its the headquarters of the Daily Planet, Metropolis district. When Darkseid's forces attacked, Darkseid himself fought Superman, Batman, and Luthor here." Ignoring Gar's confused statement regarding Luthor, Q continues. "Darkseid brought the globe-shaped emblem down on Superman during the battle, collapsing it all the way through the building to the bottom floor. Many people escaped in time but there were many causalities as well."
"Thirty percent. Not horrible in terms of the world but in the space of a heavily populated building, its a large loss of life."
Gar nods his head in reverence at the announcement.
"Although I have my own troubles with the Justice League, and Superman in particular, I'm amazed and proud of his accomplishment here. When Darkseid took out Batman and Luthor, Superman alone fought Darkseid." Looking at Gar, Q tells him "It was the only time Superman ever released his full potential on someone." Pointing to a couple of buildings in a row, Q reminds him "One shot sent Darkseid all the way across the city through six buildings before Superman sent him into that crater over there."
"He nearly got killed himself in the process. If it weren't for Luthor's last minute gamble, we all might've been killed." Nodding, he finishes "The point is that even though a lot of people died because of him, both in the past and in this battle, Superman still stayed in the game long enough to stop Darkseid. I know you're still sad over losing Terra but, just like you, she gave her last to protect the same people you convinced her weren't evil. Any of us would have died to protect this planet from the invasion and you did your part keeping Ripper from hurting anymore people. Believe it or not, that makes you a hero, Garfield Logan."
"I told you, I'm not.."
"I'm not talking about some company name in the Tower, Gar." Question interrupts. "I mean it in the literal sense. Believe it or not you aren't someone who isn't deserving of respect. You did more in the past year in Jump City than the Titans would have in ten. In one year alone you've stopped a major drug ring, multiple bank heists, several murders, a handful of maniac psychopaths, AND brought the city's underworld under your control. For all intensive purposes your actions should place you on par with the original seven Leaguers."
"Question, seriously, enough of the ass kissing." To be called a hero is one thing. To be called good enough to be on Batman or Lantern's par is another beast.
"I'm not. After this past year I believe that a world without you is not a world worth living in. I've already discussed some things with Batman regarding your actions and they want to talk to you about it today."
Stepping back, ignoring a low-flying helicopter buzzing overhead, Gar raises his hands in a waving defense "Look, I'm happy that you think I'm League material, but I told you I'm never going up there. There's too much to do back home still."
Tilting his head mischievously, Question replies "Who said anything about you working with the League publicly?"
Surprise? Oh yeah. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Even public groups like the League need black-op work. You've already proven yourself to be efficient in that regard. What if I were to tell you they're considering opening up a special, off-the-books group to handle missions that certain media mongols would consider morally wrong to handle?"
A sly grin forms on Gar's face. "You mean missions like my war against the White Rabbit trade I take it?"
Q nods with a slight chuckle "War? That was child's play and you know it. You didn't even blow up their supply vehicles."
"Hmphing" with a mock sense of hurt, Gar folds his arms "Unlike you I can't hide my face that well. Green skin, remember?"
"At least people don't ask you how you breathe all the time. Frustrating."
"So who else is involved in this project?" Gar asks, curiosity threatening to catch the cat's attention... as long as it avoids the bullets.
Turning away, Q points down to his car parked below in the alleyway "First we need to catch some lunch to discuss some of the basics. After that we'll meet the other members of the project..."
After a quick bite to eat in Metropolis, the pair teleport back home to Jump City. Still cleaning up some of the mess from the battle, including the News building, the city is abuzz with word of the attack. When news spread that the invasion was, in fact, a world-wide invasion as opposed to the invasion years ago with Starfire, it quickly became a sensation. All previous calls for the Titans dismissal were quickly squashed, leading to a wave of pro-hero sentiment in the town. However, much to Gar's chagrin, the lack of news regarding the Watchman's activities during the fighting have led to increased accusations towards his own character. Claiming he "hid" during the invasion, they label him a traitor and a coward worthy of a solitary confinement hole in prison.
Some people just never learn... that or they're not meant to learn.
Back at the hideout, Gar turns on the light and finds a surprise waiting for him. In the middle of the room, out of costume and in normal clothes, stand the trio of Raven (left), Huntress (middle), and Dr. Light (right). Startled at first, Gar questions the trio
"What the hell's going on?"
"We're here to brighten up your day, Watchman." Light suggests, much to irritation of his two female comrades. Their sighs are ignored by the brilliant doctor. "That and they dragged me here about some business proposal of their's."
"It wasn't my idea." Raven points out dryly, not entirely caring for the situation regarding the master of illumination.
"Why do I have a horrible feeling.." Gar begins, turning a not-so-happy glare towards Q "this is prelude to something our resident nutcase came up with?"
"Funny, I thought I was the charming, mysterious stranger of the group and you were the nutcase. No, this wasn't just my idea."
"It was all of our's." Huntress finally speaks up. "That and Q's been bugging me about it for months now."
"Let me guess." Gar asks "This is the group the League wants to use for black ops missions?"
Glaring at Question, Gar demands "Think you could've told me back at Metropolis or did you just give me the run around to snag a free meal?"
"Can't help it if someone has my wallet all the time." Q admits, looking over at Huntress.
Irritation gone, Gar laughs at that one finally. Its hard to keep a straight face around a guy who thinks the Pringles cans are secretly designed and run by the Maytag corporation..
"Lets not even get into that theory.." Raven cuts in, walking over next to Gar. "Besides," ruffling his head "you don't have a choice anymore."
Eyebrow raising, Gar inquires "And why is that Ravie-poo?"
"Because..." letting the grin return to her face, she informs them "I resigned from the Titans after the fight with Ripper. For once... here it comes.." sighing, she admits "I'm taking your advice."
Eyes wide, clutching his chest, he allows himself to fall over the couch. "My god... Raven's taking MY advice for once? I think... wait... yup, I did.. I think I missed two or three heartbeats. Call Gotham, I think Global Warming's gonna hit there in a few decades, if they ever catch up."
Tapping the top of his head with her crossbow, Huntress warns him "Don't get too ahead of yourself, Watchman. Keep dissing Gotham and you'll have two pairs of heels up your ass instead of one."
Looking over the couch, Raven glares darkly at Gar "Oh, we're gonna have a LOT of fun."
"Wait, wait.. hold up here." Light interjects. "I agree with Watchman here. Why weren't we told about it earlier like you three?"
"Same reason I didn't tell Gar earlier." Raven admits. "He would've ran away if he found himself caged up by the League so soon after that battle. I'm surprised you haven't run yet yourself."
Folding his arms, Light looks away "Believe it or not, I'm not as scared as you think .I just happen to know when to run and when not to."
"I used that line once too." Gar points out. "I ended up on the bottom of the bay for it."
Clearing his throat, Question folds his hands into his pockets after getting their attention.
"Gar, do you know why the League assembled us?" Question inquires, hoping he'll make the connection. If you're going to have a protege in life..
Sitting on the couch now, Raven next to him, he cups his chin in thought. Looking around, he notes "Light's good with tech and you've got three nuts short of a full toolbox. Someone, and not just Huntress, has to keep you in check."
"Please do." Huntress admits, faking an exasperated sigh towards Question.
"Slander." he mutters in reply. "Batman suggested a group that would compliment each other in terms of expertise and abilities. Raven's knowledge of metaphysics and medicine, Huntress's experience with firearms and gangs, Dr. Light is a technological genius."
"I'm too modest to boast." Light quips before shutting up under four separate glares.
"I suspect they wanted me because of my detective work that you haven't quite reached yet. You'll get there."
Gar was about to protest until the final comment, silencing the green adult on that regard. "Where does that leave me?"
The four eye him, each with a mixture of a grin or a frown on their face.
"Every black op needs a good Rorschach. You seem to have an uncanny ability to beat people into compliance." Question states, shaking his head.
"What can I say? Guys fear a man who can beat them senseless and women love a guy with pointy ears, its a habit."
Before the deal can be settled, however, Huntress makes an approach to Gar.
"Listen, before we do this, Q and I have something we need to give you."
"If this is another lecture about going to the Four Saints for dinner..." Gar tries to counter, remember the last time Huntress and Q offered advice or a "suggestion."
Smiling, Huntress shakes it off. "No, its something you'll like though."
Bringing in a long box from the table, Question and Huntress hand it over to Gar on the couch. Even Dr. Light grins a bit in anticipation for the coming shock on the green man's face.
"What the hell? Is it Christmas already?"
"Just open the damn thing." Raven warns, waving her smack hand threateningly.
Backing away, Gar complies.
Lifting it up, his face turns stunned at the object in his hand.
Dark black, purple buttons down the center, Gar's expression is lost as he stares at the beautiful build of a new, black trench coat. Standing up, he folds the coat down to inspect it proper. Just his size, color choice, and style, it feels like Christmas after all.
"If you're going to be a professional vigilante from now on..." Huntress comments.
"Time to have a proper costume." Question finishes.
"I'm not the only one who gets more respect from custom clothes." Light points out, smirking at the irony. After all, it was Gar's suggestion to him to change his attire that left him speechless.
"You guys shouldn't have." Gar stammers, considering the cost.
Standing up as well, Raven warns him "No, we did. You wear that ragged hobo coat anymore and I'll beat your ass personally. I'm just glad you didn't wear it to the May Day party."
Taking off his coat, as per Raven's delight, Gar slips into the black jacket, pleased to find it fits just right and not too stuffy. Spinning around, he laughs as the materials don't flap as much as the tattered one worn previous. "Do I look good or what?!"
"We've created a monster.." Raven dryly mutters though retaining a smirk on her face...
A time much later than this gathering, a lone robber attempts to steal something from a local grocery store. Knife clutched in one hand, sack of money in the other, he vacates the store, threatening the owner not to call the police on him.
This action, however, is halted by the sound of a growling, haunting laugh coming from the rooftop next to the building. Looking up into the night sky, full moon shading the figure, green eyes are all that the burglar can see... that and a pair of wolf-ish canines jutting from the mouth of the mysterious figure. The thief drops his money in a panic and runs off in fright.
Chuckling to himself, Gar smiles as the man runs down the street screaming.
"Let the hunt begin..."
A/N2: That's it... That's how the Watchman ends. And no, there won't be a sequel (despite how obvious and how good it would turn out to be.) I'm very burned out from writing, truthfully. I finished this story only because I had a wonderful support base here on pushing me to do so.
- Casualities in the Daily Planet were made up, obviously, but c'mon! There had to be SOME deaths during that fight! You can't have a whole building like that smashed up just for NO ONE to get hurt!
Tru-Damon and Zenn1. My two longest (and/or most in-depth reviewers). You guys played a big part in getting this pushed through.
Fantasy93, first reviewer, still sweet as can be.
That crazy bastard who offered me free organs, you're great man.
Awakening Mind, a name that should be on a PS3 game somewhere, thank you man.
MightyErg! Where's he at? That bastard pushed helped get this thing started to being a BB/Rae story.. DAMN YOU!
cm27815, hard number to remember but still a thank you for sticking in so long!
Everyone else, sorry if I don't remember your names, but you are greatly appreciated too (especially all of you favorting fiction/author people that, while some did review, most didn't. Still, you are appreciated!)
DAMN YOU, NO, I'M NOT WRITING A SEQUEL! ALL OF YOU GO HOME NOW!