Disclaimer: I don't own the characters. I don't own the videos. ( Wish I did, but hey.) DC owns the characters and they don't make this sort of video. (Damn.) Guess the story is mine. No one else would want it.
Rated: PG - for indirect discussion of celluloid sex. Your kid could read it, they just wouldn't get the jokes. Hornet universe, but nothing happening here. Maybe later, but not here
Archive: Here, natch. All others please ask first.
I was still toweling my hair as I stepped out of the locker room. A long shift. Last night as Nightwing, and again today as 'Officer Grayson'. Caught a nap on stake-out but I'm still whipped. The shower helped, but I need to get home. With the terry cloth blocking my view, I barely stopped before running into Sargent Amy Rohrbach.
"Bad news, Rookie."
"What? Another traffic jam?"
"Worse. Film bust." She steers me towards the hall. "Guys in the 5th busted a film lab. Piracy. Turns out they had a sideline in porno films."
"That's not illegal." And it's been a long day and civil is not my beat.
"Maybe, maybe not." She waved at the vagaries of the law . "Their lawyer is screaming for the release of the masters. Seems his clients need money to pay his legal bills. Judge gave us 24 hours to charge or release." Judges, her look said, were equally inexplicable. "So go grab some tapes."
I chuck the towel and followed my boss to the property desk. There Officer Tammy Smith sits with a sour expression and a ceiling high stack of black cassettes and gaudy covers. At least there isn't a line.
"Ten per customer", she snarls. "Sign 'em out and have them back by noon tomorrow."
I look down the stack of titles. 'Blue Balls'. 'Big and Busted'. Nice to know they supported law enforcement. "So," I ask. "Other than a good time, what am I looking for?"
"Underage. But we'll also take drug use or infliction of injury."
Smith hands me a stack of forms. "Title, plot, suspected minors." She shoots a thumb at the barrel at the far end. "Cleared tapes go in that bin when you're done. Clear forms in that stack." Another gesture, equally vague. "Suspect films should be wound to suspect performer and returned to me with completed information. Juvie has flyers of known runaways. Vice has a photo list of underage sex workers. Pick it up on your way out."
Job done, the properties officer turns her attention back to her crossword puzzle.
"Hey, Grayson. Waiting for popcorn?"
I look up. Klaus Janson and his partner Collazo. Guess they had heard the bad news.
"Nah. He's just lookin' for his favorite stars." Janson taps the counter to get the property clerks attention. "Got any Vanilla Whip."
"She's got to be thirty, and you're sick." And interfering with a crossword, which at this desk was a felony.
Janson was unfazed. "Just 'working from my area of expertise' - like the chief said." He gave her a grin. "Hand 'em over."
He took the grudgingly offered stack of black boxes with a smile. "See Grayson. You rookies got to learn the ropes."
For once the lazy cop had a point. If I had to spend tonight at home with dubious movies, I might as well pick a few I would enjoy. Humm.
'Alaska Smith in the Temple of Soiled Doves?' Could be funny. Judging from the box she didn't look that cold. 'Mistress Me-ouch's Dungeon of Discipline?' Definitely! Get a copy for Bruce for Christmas. 'Wet and Wild?' He'd always liked surfer flicks. 'Braking and Entering'? 'Moving Violation'? 'Topping Cop'? Always good to keep an eye on the image. 'Just... oh shit! He pulled out the package for a closer look. 'Just-Ass League of America' Cover art of...Was that supposed to be Kal? Hard to know with out the costume. And some guy in a black...... Oh shit. Bruce was not going to find this funny. And this was Year One. A series? Someone was seriously dead.
I scan through the boxes. Yes. Just-Ass League Annual. Just-Ass League Giant. Just-Ass League Christmas Issue. Some people were sick!
"Hey Grayson, don't be so desperate."
I ignore her until my eyes fall on the last in the stack. 'Teen Tight-uns'. Holy... Another hassle. Roy will love it, but Argent will have a cow.
"Sorry, Sarge." I reach over and turn the box toward her. "But I think I have a probable here."
Collazo leans over and shakes his head. "Jeez. That kid. Always the police work."
Sargent Amy smiles. "That why he's going to make detective while you and I are stuck in blues."
Tammy Smith ignores the whole thing, counting boxes with one eye still on her paper. "One, two three.........ten. OK Rookie. Take your stack and get out of here. I got guys waiting."
Step one in a crisis. Call for backup! I don't think Tim's old enough for this mission, so - straight to the top. I call Alfred.
"Good day, sir." It's the private line, so he knows it's one of us.
"Master Richard. So good to hear from you." A guilt trip. I don't call nearly as often as he would like.
"Where's Bruce? Has he gone out yet?" It's still early, but lately he's been on one of his work jags.
"Master Bruce is still downstairs, although I do believe he has plans for later this evening. Shall I tell him you will be joining him?"
"Tell him to stay in. I'm bringing over some movies."
"More of your 'action flicks'? I doubt he will wish to take the evening off. Although it might well do him some good to relax."
"No, not more bad action flicks," I answer. "Tell him Haven busted a film lab today. I'm bring over some of the evidence."
"Some of Mr. Cobblepot's work in Bludhaven now, was it?"
"No, not anything that bad, just plain piracy. But they had something he'll want to know about. Oh, and set up the equipment. We may want copies."
"I am certain Master Bruce will wait for a legal release."
"No, not like that. For evidence."
I swing by juvie. They have an envelope waiting. Flyers of runaways and mug shots of underage hookers. Good luck. The kids change so much on the street. Nothing will match a bitter 'sex-worker' with the school photo kids they used to be.
Grabing my jacket and helmet, I scrounge a box from the break room. Chicken delivery, from the logo. No matter. It's clean, and it will hold the tapes. I don't want to run down the I-10 with these visible.
I strap the box to my purple Ninja and head straight over. Top speed. The road is clear and the CHPs know my bike. I'll risk the ticket.
"Dick. Good to see you." Bruce reaches over for a firm hug. "What's this about evidence?"
I hold up the chicken box. "The fifth busted a film lab today - brought in some porn I though you should see."
"Kids? Death?" Trust the Bat to always think he worst.
"Nothing that bad", I reassure him. "Just vanilla."
"I didn't think they still went after porn," he comments, taking the box from my hands.
"Not any more." I drop my jacket over a chair. "The warrant was for piracy. The porn was just a bonus. But Arnot's having us check it out just in case."
"Looking for what Tim calls 'stupid criminal tricks'?" Bruce knows better then I do what idiots perps can be. They film themselves in all kinds of inconceivable situations.
I shrug, dropping down to the wide sofa. You never know where your next bust will come from.
Bruce considers. "If you think it worthwhile. I had planned a night on the docks. Rumors of Two-Face bring in cocaine."
"I'll join you." Been a while since we worked together. It'll be fun. "But I think you'll want to take care of this first."
I show him he box. He hits the roof.
OK, not literally. He only actually rises about two feet, and this place has high ceilings. But it is the genuine patented cobra strike.
"Who is selling this?" The dark voice. I know somebody is looking at major pain.
"No one yet!" I project reassurance. "We busted them before they could distribute." I think. Could be true - or maybe not. The raid got all of this shipment, but for all I know this is the hundredth release. It's not like these guys are on the list at Blockbuster. I hesitate, but you DON'T lie to the Bat. "Bad news is, it's a series." I produce the other two boxes. "These went out at least six months ago."
He's had a moment to calm down. Someone's looking at major pain, but it won't be me.
Alfred has managed to keep a straight face, and he heads over to the entertainment center.
Unfortunate choice. This would be better NOT on the Mitsubishi wide screen. But I don't think Bruce thinks of this as one to take up to the bedroom to watch. Maybe the others, when this is over. Of course, 72" would suit those films just fine.
Once I got over the shock, it wasn't that bad.
OK, the lead actor was a pitiful weakling compared to Clark, but who isn't? And the props were bad to the point of hilarity. And the costumes. Steel in a silver lame Elvis suit with a painted motorcycle helmet? Wonder Woman in a plastic bikini? I mean, please!
But the script? It honestly wasn't all that unbearable. Of course, Nightwing wasn't in it. That may have something to do with my attitude.
I actually found myself laughing at some of the lines. Too bad they hadn't written it as a comedy.
And the bit with the ropes? Well, their 'Batman' didn't know how to move, but that didn't make it a bad idea. I'd keep it in mind for a rainy night. I don't think Diana loans her's out, but I have my own.
Bruce didn't see it quite that way. The movie, I mean. I haven't mentioned the ropes yet. Of course, he has to work with those people.
"If Diana sees this...." He's pacing the room. "I don't need another lecture on the 'world of men'."
"If Steel sees this...." Faster pacing. Bruce respects Steel. He's one of the few other humans in the League, and while Batman would deny it that brings in an unconscious solidarity thing. "He won't say much, but he'll think about it. He works hard to be a positive role model. Which this will not help."
"If J'onn"... Bruce cuts off, shaking his head.
Me?, I'm not certain J'onn would even catch it. Do Martians? Well, they've got to do something. How else could you get baby Martians? But I don't figure J'onns been doing it recently.
Kyle and Wally would be cool with it. I think. Well, they'd be burned, but they wouldn't nuke the planet or anything. Eel, he'd want to sign autographs. Whatever. They're not A-list.
"Orin?" I don't finish. He'll be a prig, but then he always is. Bruce will ignore him, as always.
"If Clark sees this." The Bat-voice is back.
"If Lois sees it," I counter.
That sends a shudder through us both.
Bruce turns. Decision made. "They'd better see it from us, now. I've got enough trouble with the League."
"Clark's the chairman right?" I offer, giving Bruce my best evil grin. "Let's - let him handle it."
Which is how we have the 'World's Mightiest Mortal' - or whatever line they're using this week - sitting in the Batcave laughing his head off. So I guess the world will not come to an end.
"Hypollita goes Greek - I always knew you were in to the classics." Kal flips over the box to read the back blurb. "Where did you find this?"
I give him a quick rundown of the film bust. Clark, being Clark, listens carefully. He's even polite enough to take his eyes from the screen. But I can see it's a strain.
"Woo!" His gaze snaps back to the film. "I wonder if Kyle ever thought of that?"
Holy concentration! "Give the producers credit for imagination," I reply. I would never have thought of watching porno with Clark Kent aka the Big Blue Boy Scout, but it's actually pretty cool. Probably because he's so cool with it. I sit back, wishing for popcorn.
Even the Bat has given up hovering for a comfortable sulk.
"Orin and Wally?" Clark chuckles. "To bad that he's the 'fastest man alive'."
"Sounds fishy to me." I add as the actors disappeared into a swimming pool.
Clark has no ego. He even laughs at the 'Superman' bit with 'Wonder Woman'. Bad gymnastics. Worse film work. You could see the flight harness under the lumpy costumes.
"Ho! Lois would love that." Kal points the remote at some improbable gyrations on-screen. After another moment, he clicks it off. "Thank's Bruce. You say this is a series?"
Bruce passes him the boxes. And hovers. And glowers.
"The League will get lawyers on it. Consider it stopped."
Which, his being Superman, means that it is.
"Any way I could get a copy? Make that six copies. Kyle, Wally, Irons, Diana, and Eel. Somehow I don't think 'Orin' has VCR."
Of course, that still left me with several more films to check before shift. But Bruce volunteered to help.
"Now, what was that about a Titan's film?"
So the crisis passed. Turns out the produce was all legit - as such things go - so the purps ended up dealing straight with the WB. Me, I'd rather face a judge. But that's their problem. They got their film back. Or most of it. Somehow the lab had a fire and certain of the originals were destroyed. Lucky I kept a copy for myself.