1. Bruce was confident that his identity would be safe in coming here unmasked close to midnight, as he was promised, but that quickly vanishes when the leggy brunette secretary trails off in the middle of, "Welcome to Angel Investigahomigawd you're Bruce Wayne!"
2. The slap of fists againt flesh echoes beneath charred timber beams as Bruce and Tony spar, and for just a moment where Tony snaps a vicious kick past his guard and Bruce falters in a spike of red pain, the monastery ghosts that he's been dreaming of are alive again.
3. "I understand your anger, Batman-san," L says, perched birdlike on the chair with the tip of his thumb in his mouth, impervious to the glower and loom and rage of his unnanounced late-night visitor, "but there's nothing I can do to keep Kira out of Gotham."
4. Computer screens glow blue-white with data tables and newsfeeds long into the night and keys clatter tirelessly; one drinks coffee by the gallon and the other nibbles pocky and sugar cubes; and this is what it looks like when five of the world's greatest detectives-- who are really just two people, tired and overworked and selflessly dedicated-- unite forces at last.
5. Sweat pours off Bruce's body and his muscles burn with effort as one hour turns into two and then three, and by then a small audience of gaping teenagers and one awestruck librarian has gathered to watch as Buffy finally manages to send him crashing to the floor so hard that the library shelves shake, but Bruce doesn't even care because he hasn't had such a workout in a long time.
6. If Angel were in any stronger condition he could fight Bruce off easily, but right now he's weak and cold as ice, his insides nearly sliding out through the gash in his stomach, and so Bruce rips open his own stitches and forces Angel's mouth to his bloody shoulder until, finally, Angel's lips move against the wound and his throat works weakly.
7. From across the ballroom, Bruce spots an old and vividly familiar face, and it's in his air-headed billionaire persona to make a beeline through the crowd to see that it's-- "Bruce! You wonderful specimen of a woman-chasing playboy, how are you?" a very drunken Jiraya demands, throwing an arm around Bruce's shoulders and squeezing his own eyecandy even closer while an uncomfortable-looking blond teenager with scarred cheeks looks on in disgust from nearby, muttering something that sounds like, "Perverts," under his breath in Japanese.
8. "Yoku dekimashita," Bruce says quietly, and it's worth the entire day of frustration and repetition and annoyance just to see Naruto's entire exhausted being lift at such high praise from his demanding, silent taijutsu tutor.
9. "In order to master the body and walk the path you seek, you must first master your mind by clearing your chakras," says the Guru, and Bruce's hands ball into fists on his knees as he sits with legs folded into a perfect mirror of the old man's lotus position. "Are you ready?"
10. Her thighs flexing and powerful core rippling as she rides him, Buffy leans down and buries her face against the crook of his neck, blocking out everything except his muscular body and dark hair as she moans, "Angel," but Bruce doesn't care because he's gasping, "Rachel," into her wrong-shade-of-dark-blond hair as he comes.
11. "I've found the connection between the Markless Murder victims," Batman growled, and handed Jim Gordon a heavy parchment letter with the words Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy written on it in shimmering emerald green ink.
12. "Look at it this way," the man called Logan said as he adjusted his leather gloves around wicked steel claws, while Jim was trying to keep calm at the idea of this mutant taskforce hunting Batman down, "if this Batman's a mutant, he's our problem, but if he's human, then he's just freakishly strong and fast, and he's all yours."
13. INVESTIGATOR 'L': BATMAN IS "THE GREAT DETECTIVE" blared the headlines on the morning after Kira's arrest, and despite his frustration at L releasing official statements that pulled his shadowy alter ego into an all-too-public spotlight, it was a welcome sight to wake Bruce from restless nightmares of death gods and black books and insane teenagers and the brutal measure of a scything katana that had removed Kira's bloodstained hands forever.
14. Peter Parker realised too late just what he had gotten himself into when he stepped into his apartment late one night and his spider sense burst into activity so powerfully that he shuddered; it was a mark of just how good his opponent was that, even so forewarned, Peter's genetically-enhanced reflexes were unable to react to the attack and found himself laid flat out on the floor, pinned by a great black shadow with glittering eyes that held up a copy of that morning's Daily Bugle, the front page emblazoned with a career-making photo of Batman that the Bat himself was obviously very, very displeased by.
15. "He was dying and I had no choice," Angel said softly, his grieving eyes fixed on Bruce's unconscious form strapped to the medical table beneath burning halogen lights, but Tony merely glanced at him and did not reply as he watched his robots prepping to surgically implant the AI chip that they hoped might simulate enough of a moral conscience to bring their partner back to them.