TITLE: Raising Nicholas
CHARACTERS: Batman / Wonder Woman
WARNINGS: Author Chooses Not to Use Warnings
DISCLAIMER: I love Justice League, but especially Batman and Wonder Woman. Unfortunately, I do not own the characters and if I did things would be much different for them.
SUMMARY: Sequel to my fic Baby Makes Three, Bruce and Diana learn firsthand the ins and outs of marriage as well as raising a baby.
Author's Note: BIG SHOUT OUTS to the faithful readers/reviewers who have been following all of my BM/WW fics. You guys are totally AWESOME! You have no idea how your reviews make my day and keep me writing. You make me love this amazing fandom more and more!
And a SPECIAL SHOUT OUT to DINASIS! Thanks for letting me pick your awesome brain and to bounce ideas off of. You are the best!
"Admit it, Princess; you have no clue what you're doing, do you?"
"Are you saying because I'm an Amazon from an island full of women I don't know how to use this?"
"No, not exactly, but this is probably the first time you've actually held one."
"Just let me do this."
"Wait!" he cried. "You're gripping it too hard!"
"I am not!" she protested. "I know what I'm doing, Bruce."
"You're going to break it," he insisted. "It's not a toy, Princess. Ease up on the grip."
Diana huffed in frustration, blowing a raven curl out of her line of sight. "Are you going to be a backseat passenger or are you going to be quiet and let me handle this myself?"
"It's backseat driver and I think you are in dire need of my help," he maintained, doing his best to hide his amusement as he watched her. "You're doing it all wrong."
"And you think you know how to handle this?" she exclaimed.
"I know better than you do," he snorted. "At least I've handled one before."
"Do you want to do this yourself?" she glared hotly at him.
"Thanks, I thought you'd never ask," he replied as he covered her hand with his own, guiding her movements. "First of all, you need to relax your grip."
"It's very hard to relax when you're breathing heavily in my ear," she pointed out.
Bruce smirked with her words. "Are you complaining?"
"No, but you're making it very hard to concentrate on this," she said, her tone growing a little more breathy. "You better stop if you want me to do this."
"You know we could finish this upstairs where we'd be much more comfortable," he suggested, his lips grazing against her cheek.
"I'm very comfortable," she purred in response. "It's you that seems to have the issue. Now, hold still or we'll never finish this before dinner."
"It's going to take a lot longer than that, Princess," he rasped. "I could take three or four hours before we're done."
"You're not very optimistic about my abilities, are you?"
"What? No!" he bit back a grin, his lips brushing against her throat. "You are very skilled…in more ways than one. Blessed by the gods is an understatement of great proportions when it comes to you."
Diana giggled with his sweet talk. "Now you're just trying to get into my…"
"What's going on in here?"
Bruce and Diana both turned sharply to see Dick standing in the doorway with Nicholas in his arms, a look of amusement on the young man's lips. "Dick, when did you get here?" Diana asked, somewhat embarrassed to be caught in the position she was in with Bruce practically wrapped around her body from behind, his hand covering hers on the screwdriver.
"Just a little bit ago," he grinned knowingly at them. "I stopped by to see Junior here."
"And it just so conveniently happens to be almost the same time as dinner," Bruce rolled his eyes, refusing to put any distance between him and his beautiful wife despite her obvious discomfiture.
"What are you guys trying to do?" Dick asked, ignoring his surrogate father's observation.
"Trying to put this baby swing together," Diana groused.
Dick's grin turned into a frown as he stared at the numerous pieces still scattered about the floor of the library as well as the partial frame that had already been assembled. "That's supposed to be a baby swing?"
"Yes," Diana exhaled deeply, her frustration obvious.
"It looks more like a death trap," Dick decided as he bounced Nicholas in his arms. "I think Nick would be safer playing in the Batcave than in that thing."
"Hera, no," Diana groaned at the thought. "My son is not going to be allowed to play in that dark, dirty cave."
"Hey, it's not that dirty," Bruce frowned. "Alfred does a great job of keeping it clean."
"There's only so much one can do to keep a cave clean especially with bat guano everywhere," she said as she pursed her lips, glancing back down at the instruction sheet.
"You didn't seem to mind it down there the other night," he whispered huskily in her ear, his right hand rubbing her side in fond remembrance.
He could practically feel the heat of Diana's blush as it rose up her neck and chest to her face. It never ceased to amaze him how innocent she could be especially with how wild she was in the bedroom…or the Batcave…or the Batmobile…the library…the kitchen…the Watchtower monitor womb…the training room…
"Okay, too much information," Dick wrinkled his nose at his surrogate parents, still taken aback at how much the Amazon Princess had managed to loosen up the Dark Knight. "Why didn't you just pay the store to put it together for you?"
"Because we are two very smart adults who are more than capable of doing this by ourselves," Diana replied with righteous indignation.
"Except for the fact that she's never handled a screwdriver a day in her life," Bruce chuckled.
He grunted when a sharp Amazonian elbow came in contact with his ribs, but it did little to erase the grin on his face. She was just too adorable especially when she became frustrated by something. She made it nearly impossible to keep his hands off of her.
"That doesn't mean I can't figure it out myself," she scowled.
"I'm surprised she didn't crush the screwdriver with the way she was gripping it," Bruce informed his oldest charge.
"I'm going to put this together myself and prove you both wrong," she snapped.
"Before Nicholas turns one year old?" Dick laughed.
"I don't know, Princess," Bruce shook his head in amusement. "That only gives you four months."
"If you want a repeat performance in the Batcave, I'd stop now if I were you," Diana murmured under her breath to her husband.
"Again, too much information," Dick groaned. "Come on, Nicholas. You're too young to be hearing such things from your parents."
Bruce began running his fingers through Diana's long mane, his lips anxiously seeking out her neck. "You look so sexy with that screwdriver in your hand," he whispered against her skin, his hand snaking around her side to stroke her torso just beneath her breasts.
A hum of pleasure slipped past her lips as her eyes fell closed, her head tilting back to rest against his shoulder as he continued to feast on her neck. "You know…you shouldn't start something…you can't finish," she reminded him, having difficulty connecting her thoughts with what her husband was doing to her.
"Just trying to work my way back into your good graces, Princess," he muttered, his hand moving up to lightly caress the underside of her breast.
"I think you better keep working at…Hera!" she gasped as he began to squeeze her.
"What was that again?" he smirked.
"Bruce…" she whispered, her hands finding his thighs that circled her, massaging them in response to his touch.
He shifted to her side, needing to taste her. His mouth found hers with a sensual hunger, savoring the feel of her soft lips against his as his hand snuck up under her t-shirt to stroke the smooth skin of her back. He could feel her shiver against his touch, her breath hitching as his fingers circled around to her abdomen.
"If you two think you can pull yourselves apart, dinner is ready."
Bruce reluctantly broke off the kiss, his nose brushing against hers. "We'll be right there, Alfred," he grudgingly replied.
Diana caressed his arm, silently telling him they could pick up where they left off later tonight. She slowly disentangled herself from his embrace, getting to her feet before offering him her hand. He took her hand, getting to his feet at well before pulling her into his arms.
"I'm not done with you yet, Princess," he whispered to her, kissing her with intense desire once more.
Diana tried to catch her breath as she took his hand and began to lead him from the library. "So, what are your plans for this weekend?" she nonchalantly asked, trying to change the subject in order to quell the need thrumming through her at that moment.
Bruce gave her a curious look, feigning ignorance as they made their way towards the dining room. "This weekend?" he asked. "Nothing important that I can think of. Thought about making some upgrades to the Batmobile, change the oil in the Batcycle."
Diana shot him a sidelong glance of pure daggers as she appraised him, noting the indifferent tone of his voice. He continued to keep his attention focused directly ahead of him, his expression completely stoic without a single crack in his formidable façade.
Bruce bit the inside of his cheek to keep the amusement he felt inside from rising to his face. She was completely annoyed by his apparent lack of acknowledgement that it was their first wedding anniversary coming up this weekend and he wasn't about to let on that he remembered. He was going to force her to wait, make her wonder if he actually remembered the special event or not.
In reality, he had remembered, had been planning something special for this upcoming weekend for over a month now, but he wasn't about to ruin the surprise. Besides, it was more fun to see her agitated, fishing for information and brooding over his ill-perceived insensitivity.
"What are your plans for this weekend?" he casually inquired as he led her to her seat next to his at the dining table. "Finish that swing for Nicholas?"
"I'll have it finished before this weekend," she bit out, irritated by his forgetfulness, but deciding that two can participate in whatever game he was playing. "Thought I'd go to the Watchtower for a couple of days, help oversee the installation of the new solar panels. I'm sure Kal could use my assistance. It would make the job go a little more quickly. Besides, you won't need me around here if you're going to be down in the Batcave tinkering with your toys all weekend. I might as well make myself useful to someone else."
Bruce frowned with her words especially the last several, knowing she was toying with him, but, at the same time, feeling his jealousy stir at the thought of his wife spending their anniversary weekend with Clark Kent instead of him. "I thought Green Lantern was helping Kent with the installation," he said, sitting down next to her.
"He is," she simply shrugged as she took a drink of her water. "I'm sure Kal would love the offer of my help. We always work so well together."
He ground his teeth with her continued mention of the Kryptonian. Even though they were married and Diana was fully his, Clark's close friendship with her still managed to work its way under his skin like a pesky thorn that refused to be removed.
And as much as he wanted to continue this little charade, he found his ego winning out. "Well, I didn't say that I was going to be down there all weekend," he amended. "I just thought that I might spend a few hours doing some routine maintenance work and some upgrades on the equipment."
"Which you won't need me for so there's no point hanging around the manor trying to occupy myself," she pointed out, looking up to see Dick enter with Nicholas in his arms and Tim in tow. If she had been looking, she would've seen an expression of sheer, possessive jealousy flash across her husband's face. "There's my little warrior."
Diana instantly got to her feet, taking Nicholas from Dick and giving her son a kiss on the forehead before getting him settled into his highchair that sat between her and Bruce. Nicholas turned to look at his father sitting beside him, his little legs kicking in excitement at the sight of him as Diana strapped him in. Bruce quickly leaned over and nibbled on his little fingers causing his son to giggle in response before tickling his sides.
Dick and Tim stared at the scene before them before staring at one another in utter amazement. If someone had told them that their surrogate father, Bruce Wayne, would act like this with a baby, they would have never believed it.
Diana had accomplished the impossible in being able to cause the difficult, often ill-tempered man that they had come to know to loosen up and enjoy life a little bit. She had been the best thing that could've happened not only to Bruce, but to their whole family.
Taking a drink of his wine, Bruce was doing his best to not allow his jealousy or insecurities get the better of him, but it was beyond difficult with her playing it so cool. She wouldn't forget that their anniversary was this weekend would she?
That was something that all women remembered and every living breathing male struggled valiantly never to forget out of fear of death. But Diana was definitely not like any other woman he'd ever known. She came from an island where marriage didn't really exist, where the ways of Man's World held little meaning.
Maybe their anniversary didn't really mean anything to her. The thought suddenly hurt in a way that he had definitely not anticipated. He knew that she loved him more than anything so their anniversary should hold some sort of special place in her heart.
Casting a sidelong glance at her, he watched as she fed Nicholas, her gaze lifting to meet his full of such mischief it made him want her even more now despite the fact that she was completely toying with him at that moment. Before he could say something, though, Dick spoke up.
"So you to aren't even going to be together on your first anniversary?"
"Oh, is that this weekend?" Diana asked with mock surprise as she gave Bruce a look that spoke volumes about what was going on in her pretty little head.
Definitely toying with me, he thought to himself.
"Is it already?" he replied, pretending to be uninterested with the conversation, pausing to bend over to pick up Nicholas's sippy cup that he'd dropped on the floor. "I guess it must have slipped my mind."
Out of the corner of his eye, Bruce watched with growing amusement as Diana's look of mischief swiftly shifted to true anger. He was beginning to think that he must have a true death wish the way he loved riling up his wife, but he had always loved to live dangerously.
Dick and Tim both shared a panicked look before turning their attention back towards their soon to be deceased surrogate father. "Bruce, uh…I'm not sure that's a good thing to admit to," Dick ventured, his eyes sweeping back and forth between the couple sitting opposite him.
"No, it's alright, Dick," Diana coolly replied, wiping the baby food from Nicholas's face while trying to keep his quick little hands out of the bowl with little success. "If he doesn't remember the day that he married me then there's a perfectly empty guest bedroom down the hall that's not being used. I'm sure that bed will be more than comfortable for you, Bruce."
"Diana…" Bruce began.
"Whoa!" Tim exclaimed. "Bruce, you are in so much trouble!"
"Tim…" Dick groaned, kicking him under the table.
"Ouch! What was that for?" Tim glared at his brother.
"Just…let it go," Dick hissed through clenched teeth, keeping his head lowered and his attention focused solely on his plate of food. "You're going to make it worse."
"No, it's perfectly fine," Diana clipped response came as she got to her feet, picking up a messy Nicholas out of his highchair. "He has until Sunday to make up for it."
Bruce shot a polarizing glare at his two eldest. They had definitely not helped things. "Princess, I—"
"I'm going to give Nicholas his bath and get him ready for bed," Diana cut him off before abruptly turning to leave the dining room without having even touched her supper.
"I'll be up to kiss Nicholas goodnight," Bruce called to her.
He didn't receive a response from her, though he knew very well that she'd heard him. He turned his annoyance on the two young men sitting across the table from him, knowing grins plastered on both of their faces.
"You two are absolutely no help at all," he scowled as he ate his dinner. "I know our anniversary is this weekend. I've been working on a special surprise for Diana for the last month."
"Really?" Tim lit up in surprise. "What is it?"
"Do you really think I'm going to tell you two morons?" he frowned. "Besides, she has super hearing. I'm not about to take the risk of her listening in."
"Do we get a hint?" Dick asked.
"Sure," Bruce suddenly smirked. "You two are going to cover Gotham while we're gone and help Alfred take care of Nicholas."
"Cool!" Tim exclaimed. "We're in charge while you and Di are gone?"
"Shhh…" Bruce glared fiercely at them. "It's a surprise and no you're not in charge. Alfred and Dick are in charge."
"Sweet!" Dick grinned. "Guess I'm moving back in to the manor for the weekend, bro."
"Did you ever really move out?" Bruce asked, quirking an eyebrow.
Dick just shot him a dirty look. "Can we have a party?"
"No," Bruce adamantly stated, his tone leaving no room for further debate as he stood to his feet and set his cloth napkin on the table beside his empty plate. "And if either of you breathe a word of this to Diana, I'll—"
"We know…we know…" Dick rolled his eyes. "You better hurry and get upstairs so you can kiss and makeup before you're banished to the guest bedroom permanently."
Bruce shot him a patented bat glare before heading out the doorway just as Alfred came in with a chocolate cake. "Master Bruce, where are you going?" he called after him in confused disappointment. "Don't you want dessert?"
"Later," Bruce growled as he headed for the stairs.
"Do I even want to know?" Alfred asked the two boys as he set the cake on the table.
"Probably not, but same as usual," Dick shrugged as he dove into the cake with knife and fork. "Bruce gets himself into trouble with Di, now Bruce has to work to get himself back on her good side."
"When will that man ever learn?" Alfred sighed with a roll of his eyes.
"Ne…ber…" Tim managed to mumble with a large mouthful of chocolate cake.
"Master Timothy, you will not speak with your mouth full," Alfred scolded as he began to clear the table. "You were not raised by animals; therefore, you will not act like one."
"Sorry, Alfred," Tim meekly replied. "Did you hear about this weekend?"
"I am well aware," Alfred nodded his head. "And no you may not have a party."
"Oh come on, Alfred," Tim begged. "Just a couple of friends Saturday night to watch movies?"
"I guess that would be alright," Alfred supposed. "Who do you plan on having over?"
"I don't know," Dick replied. "Barbara, Donna, maybe Roy…"
"That would be acceptable," Alfred agreed. "Just no Wally West. That man is an accident waiting to happen."
"What?" Tim frowned. "Wally's hilarious!"
"Need I remind you, Master Timothy, of the mess he created at the wedding reception when he decided to reenact how he stopped Mr. Freeze during a bank robbery?"
"Oh ya," Dick laughed with the reminder. "That was awesome!"
"I don't believe Master Bruce thought so," Alfred frowned. "I believe murder actually crossed his mind this time."
"That was hilarious," Tim laughed, his arm falling across his stomach. "I don't think I've ever seen Flash run so fast in my life."
"Just remember that moment when you have your friends over Saturday night," Alfred admonished, leaving the boys both internally shuddering at the thought of facing an enraged Bruce if things got out of hand while he and Diana were gone.