Alright, a new chapter after only a week! With how hectic life's been these last few months, I'd definitely call that a success!
On to the reason you're all here, though. So this chapter is a bit different from the rest. Up to this point, I've focused primarily on the love Bruce and Diana have coming to fruition, or a love already in fruition. I've handled those pretty well, I'd like to say, and it seems from you all to be the general consensus, as well. This chapter strays away from that, and gets more into the angsty "what if?" aspects of BMWW that we see around sometimes, see how I can go about it.
Before we continue, I just want to reiterate that I am a firm BMWW shipper, and a firm believer that Superman and Lois belong together. Felt like that was needed.
With that out of the way, let us begin.
*Insert Disclaimer here*
Chapter 14: The Way Things Turned Out
Note: This chapter takes place in the DC New 52 continuity of Prime Earth.
He wasn't angry, and he wasn't hurt.
The thought kept repeating itself in his mind over and over. He kept drilling it into his heart as it did, as he blatantly ignored the cheers and such of the Gotham crowds below him. All eyes below were on the giant Jumbotron News Screen of Gotham Square, on the images and videos of two of the Justice League's most well-known members, two of the most iconic superheroes in the world.
He wasn't on that screen...with her.
The thought refused to be squashed, despite his best efforts. It wasn't him up there with her, shown to the rest of the world with her. He had spent a good chunk of three years to ensure that. It had been for the best, he had always told himself. He did it for her, it was all for her. It didn't matter that it wasn't what he wanted. This was how it had to be. There was no other way.
Despite his best efforts, though, the memories started playing back over again in his mind. Memories shared between the Batman and Wonder Woman.
They had surprisingly grown close since the League had formed, bonding over their drive and warrior spirits. But Bruce had begun noticing the signs after several months, not just from Diana, but from himself as well. Signs that he had been caught unprepared for, and it shook him. And despite his own rationality, his own self-warnings, he allowed himself to play along, to indulge himself and the Amazon. Their flirtation, their spars, those special moments that seemed to just sneak up on them.
Bruce had always enjoyed his time with Diana. He found himself anticipating moments like these. The two would always just...click, for lack of a better term. For three years since the two began bonding, their little dances grew stronger, and it was clear that there was something between Bruce and Diana, something real.
And yet all the while, Bruce knew that he had to stop. Before Diana was hurt.
How could anything between them come to fruition? She was a demigoddess, a champion to her people, and he was only a mortal man. She was a woman of light and purity, of everything that was good, virtuous. Everything that he wasn't and couldn't be. He was a man of the dark, of the shadows, who immersed himself within the filth of Gotham each night. All he could offer her was the darkness he thrived in. All he could end up doing to her was corrupt her.
He had strung her along for too long, and yet he didn't stop.
And so, he forced himself to, despite the pain. And the pain he felt then was shattering.
But that pain would be better than the inevitable pain that he would've caused her down the line. He knew that could be the only possible outcome. Shadow and darkness could have no union with purity and light. Bruce hated it, but he recognized it. He could only bring her pain in the end. It would be better to end it all off then and there, and not have her go through the pain later on. He would only hurt her and break her heart, it was who he was. He couldn't bear to break Diana's heart or spirit. It would devastate her.
He was just too broken. He couldn't let her go through such difficulty, such pain and disillusion. She didn't deserve to suffer like that; she didn't deserve to be put through that. Bruce knew what he had to do, and he knew what was needed. He had to save her from the pain he would inevitably cause her. He had to break her to keep himself from shattering her.
He could still remember her tears that night, her pain, her look of devastation.
He could still remember the week after in the Watchtower, when she platonically, politely and professionally addressed him.
He could still remember the moment it sunk in that she had died inside because of him. He could still remember how he realized what he had done to her.
He vividly remembered, like it was yesterday, the justification he gave himself that day, and from every day onwards until today. That it was for the best, that this was the only possible way for them. Colleagues and teammates, friends. Nothing more, nothing less.
That was why events had shaped into the way they had ended up today.
With the image of Superman and Wonder Woman on the Jumbotron News Screen, kissing passionately for the whole world to see.
Clark and Diana showing their love for each other to the world.
It didn't make the Batman cringe in hurt, and it didn't make his blood boil in anger. The Batman was above such things.
Ok, maybe he was angry.
But at their complete stupidity.
They had kissed in front of the entire world. He had warned them about making their relationship public so soon, if at all. The world would go into an upheaval. And this was proof of it.
He had told them specifically that their union was one that could make the world uncomfortable. Not the masses of civilians that they fought for each day, but those that led the world. Government leaders, representatives, the likes of them. They would become targets; they were arguably the two most powerful beings on the planet, after all. This kind of exposure could come back to haunt them, to ruin them. He had told them that it would be better for them to keep their relationship a secret, at least for now. It would've been for the best.
It wasn't so that he would be confronted with it so brazenly at all times.
He was happy for them. He was, he really was. All he was concerned about was their well-being. They had already tried to start gunning for the two of them, after breaking into the Batcave...whoever they were. He wanted them safe, his friends.
Batman just wanted to be sure of Diana's wellbeing...and Superman's as well.
It was concern; that was all. Anger that they had ignored him, but concern overall.
That was the reason he gave himself when he let loose the Batarangs, when he cut the wirings that fed the news onto the screens. That was the reason he silenced the images, the speculation, the eager gossips that wouldn't shut up. He wasn't swinging off into the Gotham night because of a raging fire of anger and hurt that wasn't burning within him.
The Batman didn't feel any pain in his heart. He was above those emotions. He was a man of stone cold logic, of reason .And that logic and reasoning told him that Diana had found a good man in Clark. While he would never say it, the Kryptonian was his best friend, and Bruce greatly respected him. Clark was a perfect match for Diana; that much was obvious. Their relationship may have made the world uncomfortable, sure, but they did love each other. They were clearly happy, happier than Bruce had seen Diana be in more than a year. Clark made Diana happy, and there was no other way about it. He was everything that a woman like Diana deserved: just, good and godlike.
It looked like a match made in heaven.
This was for the best. This was the best path for all of them. The Batman knew that; he was ok with it.
...so then why did Bruce feel as if the little that remained of his heart had been ripped to shreds?
And there we go.
For those who don't know, this scene was inspired from the series "Superman/Wonder Woman," Issue #4, when Clark and Diana's relationship is made public to the world. In Gotham Square, a jumbotron screen is displaying news on it, and Bats cuts the feed with what appears to be an angered expression and swings away into the Gotham night. I would always wonder if something like this was going through his mind. I mean, five years passed between "Origins," and the then present time of the N52, when Clark and Diana got together. Who knows what may have happened.
But, now that N52 Superman is gone, and New Earth Superman is back with his wife and now son, maybe DC can have a change of heart, and go back to the old ways. I mean, sure, Pre-Flashpoint Bruce and Diana aren't around as we know them now (Thank you, Dr. Manhattan), but maybe we can rebuild lost relationships, and form stronger ones? Right? You with me, DC big shots?
…*sigh*... FanFiction, what would I do without you?
So for the next one-shot chapter...eh, let's visit New Earth/Pre-Flashpoint continuity, why not? Be sure to leave your reviews, people! Thanks for sticking around for all this time! I really appreciate your support.
Now, for some shameless self-advertisement. I've published a new story, first of a series that takes place in the DCAU post-"Destroyer". I'm hoping to show how the DCAU and the League has been doing since Darkseid's invasion was beaten back, drawing inspiration from classic DC and Justice League titles over the years while adding my own spin to things. I call this first story "Justice League: Warbringer."
Since it's obvious you as readers follow this series for a romance aspect, I guess it's fair to mention to the DCAU fans out there (most likely all of you) that in terms of romance, while it won't be the main points of my DCAU series, I promise to not disappoint.
Well, that's all for now. Again, be sure to check out "Justice League: Warbringer," the first of a five part series. With that, until next time, readers.