Bruce felt a sudden draft on his face and looked away from the computer. Sitting next to his hand was a steaming hot cup of coffee. A minute ago the coffee had been cold. He’d poured it hours ago during his last break—if you could call taking advantage of the computer’s reboot time to grab coffee a break. Bruce did.
He ground his teeth. He wanted to pour the coffee out on principle. He was fully capable of taking care of himself. When he was at the mansion he had Alfred, but that was different because he paid Alfred. Besides, Alfred would kill Bruce if he didn’t let him take care of things.
Out here on the Watchtower things were different. Bruce was Batman and he needed other people to respect that. He might be the only human here, but he could take out any of the other members if he had to. He’d made sure of it. He didn’t need anyone to take care of him here, he just needed their respect.
This wasn’t the first time since he’d started working on the damn computer that something just showed up and it didn’t take the world’s greatest detective to figure out who was doing it. After all, there were only three suspects. Only three people in this solar system were fast enough to get in and out, only leaving a breeze in their wake.
It was easy to check Impulse off of the list because he wasn’t on the station and would never be if Batman had his way. No matter what Flash said, Impulse was too green for the Justice League. Plus he gave Bruce a headache.
That left two people: Superman or Flash. Both of them could move fast enough, but if the size of the lunch he’d been left was any indication, the culprit was Flash. While Clark had a hearty appetite, no one ate like the Flash, and sometimes he forgot that other people didn’t need five hamburgers and a dozen donuts for lunch. Bruce was also pretty sure that Clark wasn’t stupid enough to bother him while he was working.
Bruce hadn’t eaten any of the lunch, instead getting up and finding a sandwich on his own. Eating it would have only encouraged Flash, but apparently he hadn’t gotten the message.
He scowled at the cup of coffee. He should just push it aside as well, but it was hot and he was getting tired. Bruce reached out and let his hand hover over the cup, debating the pros and cons of giving in just this once.
“Come on, Bats!” Flash said, suddenly materializing next to Bruce. “I didn’t poison it.”
Bruce hated it when Flash snuck up on him. His first instinct was always to lash out with a fist, but he managed to smother it and appear unruffled. He hoped. “Of course you didn’t.”
“Then just drink it already,” Flash said. “At this point I don’t think it’s the kohl making your eyes dark.”
“I’m fine,” Bruce growled. “If I wanted coffee, I am perfectly capable of getting it. I don’t need you to take care of me.”
“Of course you don’t,” Flash agreed. He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back against the console. “But it’s there now so you might as well drink it.”
“You aren’t going to leave me alone until I do, are you?”
Flash grinned. “Probably not, but just think about how much time you’ll save if you drink that cup instead of getting one yourself. At least five minutes, which means you can be back in Gotham five minutes sooner.”
Bruce raised an eyebrow that he knew Flash couldn’t see under his cowl. He was going to have to reevaluate his files on Wally West. He hadn’t expected that kind of logical manipulation from him.
“You may have a point,” Bruce said, reluctantly picking up the cup and taking a sip. It was black with just a touch of hazelnut syrup, which was the way he liked it because it let him look like he was drinking it black, but it cut down the bitterness. Bruce hadn’t thought that anyone but Alfred knew that. Hell, he was pretty sure that Dick hadn’t even picked up on it.
His surprise must have shown on his face, because Flash laughed. “You move fast when you slip the syrup in, but you can’t get anything by me.”
“I guess not,” Bruce muttered, taking another sip. He inclined his head at the Flash turned his attention back to the console, hoping that the other man would take the hint.
There was a rush of wind, enough to rustle his cape, and then Bruce was alone. He had several more hours of work to do and he had a feeling that he would find a disturbingly large dinner next to him at some point before then. He knew that he was going to eat it. There was no point in making trying to make a stand after he’d already accepted the coffee.
Bruce took one more swallow of coffee and set the cup down. Right now the best thing to do was accept Wally’s kindness so that he could get done as fast as possible and get back to Gotham. It was the only logical course of action. At least that’s what he told himself.