Batman stared at the faces of his colleagues, wondering just how they managed to keep the planet safe if they were all honestly this stupid. Taking a breath, he considered what had led to this. Obviously, the rumors about his taste for hemoglobin had spread beyond Gotham’s borders. What he could not believe was that the people he chose to ally himself with were ridiculous enough to treat them as more than just rumors.
It started with Green Lantern, as many of Batman’s headaches during League meetings did. An emergency meeting had been called after the satellites had discovered a spaceship making its way toward Earth. Lantern had explained that the ship belonged to a race of aliens that came from a planet without a sun. To survive, they drained the energy from other species by way of blood consumption.
It was fairly straightforward, all things considered. Discover if they were headed for Earth, find a way to stop them if they were planning on causing harm. Really, all this meeting should have consisted of was deciding on a plan of attack. Instead, once Lantern had finished explaining what the aliens did, everyone slowly turned to look at Batman.
“What?” he said gruffly.
No one said anything, glancing away when he tried to make eye contact. What was going on?
“Um,” Lantern said uncertainly, still not fully meeting Batman’s eyes. “Maybe you could talk to them?”
His brows furrowed together. “Isn’t interplanetary discussion your job?” Granted, it did make sense for Green Lantern to try to foist his duties onto others, or at least drag someone into sharing them, but he normally used Flash. He should have known better than to try to shove them onto Batman.
Lantern’s shoulders tightened. “Well, I was just thinking that – well, they’re kind of your people, aren’t they?”
“Excuse me?” His people? He had nothing in common with them.
All the blood seemed to drain from Lantern’s face as words starting spilling from his lips. “I didn’t mean it like that! Ha, what was I thinking? Earth vampires are totally different than space vampires. Sorry please don’t eat me!”
Batman had no words. None. Green Lantern couldn’t honestly think . . . Surely the rest of the League was smarter than to believe . . . As he looked once more at everyone’s faces, he realized that that was exactly what they thought.
“You all honestly believe . . . I’m a vampire.”
Superman was the only one brave enough to speak.
“Well, aren’t you?”
This was ridiculous. Batman found himself considering taking out the shard of Kryptonite he kept in his belt, if only so he could full-on deck Superman in the face without worrying about breaking his hand. But that would be wrong. Right?
“You’ve seen me out in sunlight before,” he reminded him instead.
“I thought you just wore a lot of sunscreen!”
“You’ve helped me fight the Joker inside a church.”
“It was abandoned and used for villainous activities!”
“I went vegan for a week!” Granted, it was only because of Damian’s decision to become a vegetarian, but still.
“People aren’t hamburger!”
Batman pinched the bridge of his nose. This was unbelievable. He had expected the people of Gotham to believe the rumors. It would have been strange if they hadn’t, considering all the effort his sons and sort-of-not-really daughter had gone to spreading them. But for word to travel to the other heroes, and for them to believe it? It was insane!
“You are all idiots.”
The tension in the air was thick enough to cut with a batarang. Then, just when he thought that maybe there was a shred of intelligence somewhere in the League, Green Lantern spoke up once more.
“So just to clarify, you’re not a vampire?”