They May Never Forgive Us

Prologue

They both sat silently at the diner, their food having gone cold long ago. They didn't speak; they only stared off in the distance, lost in their own personal nightmares. This was the diner they met covertly at years ago, when they were young and dumb, only sidekicks. This was the spot for their pretend clandestine undercover meetings, back when the hero gig was all fun and games for two kids that desperately wanted out of the shadows. How they both longed for those days again, not sure if they wanted to relive them or avoid them, never having met. Their paths would have crossed eventually, but this was where their friendship was formed.

The Reach had been defeated, but not without cost. Kaldur's mind was lost and Artemis's injuries critical, both might never recover. The mental damage left on the League and the Team was equally costly. The accused Leaguers were found innocent of their crimes and released, traveling back to their homes and regaining their lives, but despite this miracle, this victory, the betrayal felt by both teams was relenting and unforgivable, all of it directed at two individuals.

The plan was created by one man, but supported by four. Two of those had sacrificed everything and went into deep cover, a cover they both feared they would never return from. The remaining two were left to cover their tracks using lies and deceit as their primary weapons. While teammates and friends mourned the deaths, the two continued forward with the plan, spreading untruths until even they started to believe them.

It's not to say they did not suffer, sometimes it's the ones left behind that suffer the most. The two men constantly battled each other. Close friendship had mutated into a hated alliance. One had lost the most important thing in his life, the other saw relationships and people he loved suffer due to his master plan, the plan he was forced to create because no one else could. A plan so cold and heartless that lives were treated as chess pawns, players sent out to a battle without knowing who they were fighting. In the end the victory had saved the planet and its billions of inhabitants, but it had cost the two men their souls. There would be inquiries, there would be trials, but the two told them not to bother. They would take full responsibility, full blame. They would not ask for leniency, not offer a defense. They had remained within reach, but grew tired of being still. When it was time, they would come together and face their accusers, their punishment. There was no word when the decision would be made, but they no longer intended to stand motionless.

Wally West and Dick Grayson had no one left but each other. They were completely alone, outcasts. The two had worked together to save the Earth, but now found themselves pariahs to their friends, families, and teammates. They knew the risks, they accepted the costs, and they were prepared to suffer the consequences.

They both stood, retrieving their wallets laying money on the table for the food they couldn't eat. They locked hands and eyes as their handshake turned into an embrace.

They broke apart.

"Six months, back here. Midnight."

The other nodded. "Six months."

They walked out the door and went their separate ways, neither one looking back at the others direction.