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Zatanna was not doing well.

The attack the day before had been unexpected. She had investigated crime scenes before, and had never been caught off guard in the past.

She knew that between worrying about Bruce and...Bruce, and researching every spell she could find to try and come up with a way to heal something as invasive as lymphoma, and now trying to help settle Gotham down with the return of the Joker, she was more tired than usual. She wasn't sleeping much, and while she didn't normally sleep as much as a normal person, it was clearly starting to get to her.

And it had left her vulnerable to an attack that had very nearly killed her.

The pain itself had been unlike anything she'd ever experienced. The sight of her own blood everywhere had made her dizzy and light-headed, and if Benjamin hadn't left when he had, there was no doubt in her mind she wouldn't have made it.

It had taken her nearly an hour to get back to Shadowcrest after she'd healed herself through blood magic, because as it had when she'd healed Selina, it drained her energy considerably. She spent another hour in a hot shower, trying to get all of the blood off her.

And then she'd snapped and lashed out at Loki, turning him into a dog and sufficiently wiping the rest of her abilities.

Not the smartest move she'd ever made, but her frustration and anger and fear at having nearly died and being unable to defend herself had wrecked what was left of her better judgement.

And now as she lay on the couch in her father's old house, she was immensely glad for the protection and power of the spells that generations of her family had used to keep it safe from those who would want to break in or cause trouble, because she certainly did not have the energy for that kind of spell at the moment.


Zatanna was more than unsettled. More than that, she felt unsafe even though she knew intellectually that as long as she remained inside, no one could harm her.

Staring at the ceiling, she didn't even realize she had begun to cry.