Sorry for the long wait, guys! You know, World Cup and all that. Anyways, thanks for all of the reviews and feedback! It really means a lot!
I hope you guys enjoy the continuation of Shattered!
"Bruce!" I yelled out, more in surprise at his sudden action, than anything else. However, if Bruce had heard me, he did not show any signs of it, as I watched him run out of the room, his footsteps only growing fainter.
Realizing that he had no intention of returning, I ran a hand through my hair, and wiped away the last vestiges of my tears with the back of my hand. I knew that it had been a mistake to force myself on Bruce, but he had reciprocated my action. Hadn't he? Had I been dreaming, or had he been whispering my name? But then, why had he run away so suddenly?
Saying that I was confused right now would have been an understatement.
"Miss Diana, do not be alarmed. Master Bruce has an…odd way about him. By no means does he wish to frighten you."
I nodded softly at Alfred's words.
"I know that he didn't mean anything by it." I sighed, "But I just wish that I could understand what is going on in his head."
Alfred smiled, "You are not alone in that desire, Miss Diana. I have spent many nights myself wondering what exactly would possess a man to dress up as a bat in order to fight crime. Although, I suppose that any other animal would be impractical."
At the attempt at humor, I couldn't help to smile a bit as well, for the first time in days.
"Thank you, Alfred. I needed that."
Alfred bowed, "To you as well. I'm glad to know that someone in this house can appreciate my wit."
At that, I cracked another smile.
"If I may, Miss Diana," Alfred began, "Perhaps the problem is that Master Bruce cares too much."
"Too much?" I scoffed. The Bruce that I knew could not have cared enough. He had never taken the League as seriously as I did, and he was unapologetic about it. He hadn't even taken the courtesy to let any of us know that he was withdrawing from the League. One day, he just…stopped. No explanation, nothing.
"I understand your skepticism, Miss Diana. But although it may seem at times that Master Bruce is cold, or uninterested, the contrary is quite true. Since the passing of his parents, I have only seen him act in extremes. He remembers too fondly. He speaks too harshly. He falls in love too deeply."
I nearly snorted at Alfred's words, "Falls in love? Bruce?"
But when Alfred's face remained unchanged, I realized that he wasn't trying to make some ridiculous point about Bruce. He was completely serious.
"Wait, Bruce is in love?" I asked, as my jaw involuntarily dropped. For the entire time that I had known Bruce, he had never been the type to listen to his emotions, and now, he was in love? With who? Who could have possibly gotten the Batman to fall in love?
"Miss Diana, I think that it would be best for you to pose the question to Master Bruce yourself." Alfred said, scooping up one of the two untouched plates of food, "Now, I must excuse myself. There are dishes to be washed."
"Ah," Alfred said, just before he left the dining room, "I almost forgot to mention that the code is zero-six-two-six."
With that, Alfred disappeared into the kitchen, as I digested his words.
My eyes trailed over to the door to Bruce's study. Almost as if they were acting on their own, I felt my legs carry me over to the door, which I pushed open slowly, my curiosity getting the better of me. As I entered the room, I took in the bookcases that lined the walls, broken up by the futuristic metal of Bruce's elevator to the Batcave.
Suddenly, Alfred's comment made sense to me. I walked up to the double doors, with a number pad fixed squarely to one door.
"Zero-six-two-six." I repeated, tapping each button in order, to be rewarded by the elevator doors hissing open.
I closed my eyes as I followed the familiar road to the Batcave, every contour and turn memorized and imprinted into my muscles, so that my hands turned the steering wheel without any need for my supervision. I took a deep breath, appreciating the thunderous roar of the Batmobile, accompanied by the small vibrations that let me truly feel the power behind the vehicle.
Anything that could get my mind off of Diana, even for a brief second, was a welcomed respite at this point. I had been lucky enough to run into a few muggings in process during my patrol. Needless to say, I seriously doubted that any of them would be able to walk anytime soon.
But still, they had only been temporary breaks from the visions of Diana that plagued my every thought.
Growling in frustration at my inability to shake her face from my mind, I pressed even harder on the gas, eliciting an even louder response from the engine.
As the Batmobile flew into the tunnel of the Batcave, I begrudgingly eased up on the gas, before slamming onto the brakes, bringing the car to a jarring stop. Opening up the cockpit, I climbed out of the Batmobile, dropping down to the floor with a dull thud that reverberated through the metal platform upon which I was parked.
I trudged up to the Batcomputer, intent on doing a quick check on Gotham before my night ended, only to realize that I was not alone.
Diana cleared her throat, drawing my eyes to the makeshift gym situated next to the elevator. She had evidently chosen the perfect spot to prevent any escape from this confrontation.
"Bruce." Diana said slowly, taking a step in my direction. She was now dressed in a set of dark workout clothes that I recognized as having been a spare set belonging to Barbara. They had always been a little loose for her, but with Diana and her taller figure, the material was stretched maddeningly tight, showcasing ever curve and contour of Diana's figure.
I inwardly shuddered.
"Diana." I managed, doing my best to avert my gaze.
She gestured at the training mat.
"Spar?" I asked, eyebrow raised.
"On Thymescira, we resolve our issues through sparring." Diana explained, "And believe me, we have issues that need to be resolved."
"Maybe another time." I replied quickly, moving towards the elevator, knowing that I would not have another chance to escape.
But, as I had expected, Diana had no intentions of letting me leave.
She grabbed me by the cape and flung me at the training mat, where I landed with a practiced motion, using the momentum of my fall to instantly get back onto my feet.
Without any pause, Diana was upon me, firing off a series of jabs and kicks that I narrowly avoided, knowing that any one of her strikes would be enough to subdue me.
Searching for an opportunity to counter, it took everything I had within me to continue defending against her onslaught, which was relentless and becoming increasingly frenetic.
Deciding that my only opportunity would come from taking the offensive, I lunged forward with an elbow, only to have my legs taken out from under me, and to be pinned into the ground.
Staring straight up at Diana, with her chest heaving in deep gasps, and skin slick with sweat, I gulped in a futile effort to quell the desire welling up within me. As I felt her legs straddle my body, trapping me further, it took every ounce of willpower I had just to keep a straight face.
Diana merely stared down at me with a victorious look that managed to be both irritating, and frustratingly attractive at the same time. God, she was driving me insane, and she had no idea.
"Well, now that I have you trapped, I think that we need to talk." Diana said, her hot breath causing me to shudder underneath her.
"Is this really the time?" I replied, making a half-hearted effort to escape from her grasp, but from no avail.
Ignoring my question, Diana adjusted her position on my body, and leaned in closer, "What happened during dinner? Why did you run away?"
"I-I…lost control." I replied, watching as Diana lessened her hold on me, brow furrowed in thought.
Taking advantage of her momentary lapse, I slipped out of her grip and tossed Diana off of me, getting back up to my feet.
"I'd prefer to talk like this, if I have to." I said, knowing that Diana would not allow me to leave. But I couldn't be held down by Diana any longer. If she had still been on top of me for even a second longer, there was no telling what I would have done. I had to keep my distance from her.
Diana slowly nodded, and crossed her arms over her chest, "Fine."
"Now, what issues do you feel you need to have resolved? I'm already letting you stay in my home. I feel as if that should be enough for you." I said.
Diana frowned, "Well it's not. Bruce, I want to know where it went wrong. Why you left the League. Why you wanted nothing to do with us."
At the mention of the League, and the images that it conjured up, I felt my anger nearly boil over, "You know where it went wrong." I spat, venom in my tone, "It went wrong when you and Clark changed the equation. I knew that I wasn't needed."
"Bruce…it wasn't like that. You know that I didn't mean to hurt you." Diana whispered weakly.
"But you did."
Diana was silent.
Realizing what I had just said, I looked down at my feet, "Diana, I didn't mean it like that…"
"No, Bruce, don't apologize. I don't need any more apologies. Not from Clark, and not from you." She said, tears welling up within her eyes. Her stance weakened, and I could see her body visibly deflate as she spoke. God, she looked so vulnerable, so unlike the Amazonian Warrior that I knew she truly was.
Unable to stop myself, I took a small step in Diana's direction. She barely noticed.
For the second time that night, I lost control.
Well, hopefully this chapter didn't seem too out of place. I know that Diana has seemed pretty depressed and all that so far, but I feel as if she would probably try to be proactive, rather than dwell on her feelings longer than necessary. But hey, that's only my opinion.
Hopefully, you guys are still enjoying the direction of this story. Please let me know any and all thoughts in either a review or a PM.
Thanks for reading!