Author's Note: This is just a practice story... and I was partly inspired by some depressing music that I accidentally found online.
The quietude was something she found warm in the strange, dark haven of the Bat. The light that streamed down them somehow made her feel at peace and energized. Or maybe that was just her body doing its special work to heal itself.
Diana sat on the cold, steel table, slowly waiting for her skin to reset itself to its usual glow. Her bracelets shine their familiar, chrome glimmer. She watched the reflected light from her iron wrists dance onto the jagged wall. It was partly successful in keeping her preoccupied.
With his upper body exposed, Bruce sat quietly on the other end, trying to wrap a white bandage on his wrist. He had finished taking a speedy shower that effectively washed off the dirt and the blood. Once in a while, in the whole moment of healing, the princes peaked at his unfastidious self medication. The most that she could see was his back. His muscles flexed in their own natural way when he moved, even when his flesh was covered in a reasonable amount of various-sized cuts and bruises.
Unfortunately, Alfred, his butler and personal medic, was on vacation and the master was doing very poorly in covering up the wounds. Ultimately, the bandages ended up very messy and loose on some parts. It was almost atrocious.
She fought the urge to help and decided to stay quietly mad at him.
The brutal struggle with the usual instigators was indeed draining and damaging. In spite of the danger, she had nothing to lose. And despite his vulnerability, he thought the same and came between a deadly blow from an opponent and the Amazon.
He was willing to give his life for her. That noble fact angered her on the inside like it was something of a sin.
It was only pure chance that he came out with just a scratch. But then again, the term was so relative that it could range from a paper cut to a cracked skull. No matter how great or superficial they are, they were always nothing to him. Once, he had even gone out into the night with a severely sprained ankle. Sometimes, she couldn't decide if that was still dedication or just plain obsession.
As she continued to pout, Diana heard him curse to himself. When she turned, she saw that he was having trouble with the bandage that was supposed to go around his torso. She sighed at his failure and jumped off the table. While trying not to seem very eager to aid, she walked to his front and grabbed the bandage roll harshly. She avoided his dark blue eyes that searched her own blue orbs. She pulled the strip that loosely rolled around him, careful not to hurt the scarred body.
Both of them stayed quiet as she began wrapping him with the white fabric starting from his chest. The cuts inflicted didn't bleed badly anymore and the smell of antiseptic was present, but she remembered the image of him letting the red liquid flowed as he fought. Then, she saw his forehead. Mentally, she took note of the huge gash.
Bruce seemed to be the one who wanted to break the silence, but he was having a hard time letting the words flow.
"You seem... healing well... as usual" he muttered awkwardly.
He continued to search for her eyes, but she's not giving him the satisfaction. Her anger has to be shown, even in the most subtle way.
"I know that you're mad" he began again, "but you have to understand... I caught the attack knowing that I'll survive it"
She felt his hand on her still arm, as her other arm continued to make sure every inch was covered.
"Diana, you're being irrational"
She stopped. Her eyes glared. How could he say that?
"You, of all people, should know how hard it is for me to see you like that" she uttered while suppressing an acrid reaction.
She was unusually emotional and he reacted by taking away his gaze. At the same time, regret and pride covered his face. Wonder Woman looked down, in case tears would flow out. None came but she was still horrified at memory of him going down and going unconscious.
He started to explain again.
"I thought you were dead!" she interrupted, almost shouting.
Her voice echoed into the darkness. Bruce sighed in guilt. He touched her hand that slightly rested on his lap.
"I'm sorry" he finally said.
She swiped her hand away and grabbed the bandage roll again. She wasn't ready to let it go. Hoping to conceal her emotion, she faced his back and examined the large cut that needed a second layer of bandage. She noticed that the large cut happened to intersect the other lines on the skin. They were his scars. Fascinated, she lightly touched the longest one with her fingers.
"I got that in my first year" he said suddenly.
She couldn't help but be curious about it.
"Fought one of the assassins the mobsters hired" he explained plainly.
She accepted that information with no reaction and her hands went on with the other scars near his left shoulder, where dots form a semi-circle. A bite mark.
"Killer Croc. He would've chomped off a lot of my flesh if it weren't for the armor"
Then there's the one that ran up to his neck.
"Joker. Got me with a knife"
She recognized one that was overlapping it. It was her turn to label it.
"White Martains. Our first battle together. All seven of us"
"Yes" he confirmed.
"I remember it well. The door closed behind us and you were left inside with about twenty of them... We thought that you were dead"
The last sentence were laced with her current inner rancor. She walked around and faced him. More scars greeted her but they were more faded. Unnoticeable if not pored over.
"You weren't this upset back then" he said a bit softly.
She saw the gash on his forehead again and started to wrap bandage around his head.
"Of course I wasn't. I was used to losing friends in battles" she said coldly.
The Amazons' history was full of grand wars. Being immortal, she lived through that, and now she was having more blood shed in Man's World. She has accepted that, eventually, Clark, Bruce and the others will, one day, lose a battle and cease to exist.
Somehow, that acceptance never manifested today.
Diana stared at his eyes. This man is my Kryptonite, she thought. He'll cause her downfall and she'd love him still.
It was only then that she noticed that a small stream of tears was on her face. For a moment she didn't understand why she was crying and wiped it off immediately. The brave face was back but he looked pained to have witnessed a small expression of grief. Quickly, and as if she needed saving again, Bruce stood up and embraced her gently. She soaked in his wonderful warmth and allowed herself to rest in his hold. No doubt, she felt better. It was like her heart was almost free of the heaviness.
"I didn't mean to hurt you" he said gently.
It was at that moment that she realized that if the Justice League would fall, she will not only lose friends. She'll lose her family. Bruce was part of that and he was more than family. He was causing the most distress, the undying fear of loss. He was the focus of her endearment.
In the remorseful embrace, his trained arms were surprisingly comforting her mind. He touched her skin like they belonged to this still moment all along. Although, her mind goes back to the frightful sight of him on the ground, hurt and bleeding.
That image was a mental scar that will never fade away. It was the price of loving him.
"You didn't have to take it for me" she muttered.
"I had to. I'd go crazy if I had lost you" he replied.
It seemed that he had the same type of scars in his mind. Not only about his parents, but about her as well. Maybe he felt the same way before but only he didn't show it like this. He has always hid his distress very well. However, in a rare moment, he'll show it in its true form. He'd distance himself away from the thing that has cause it and vow to never fall for it.
In the case of his attachment to the princess, he always ended up coming back to her no matter how many times promised he himself. It was predictable. It was fate. They chose this. Both would end it to save themselves for further sacrifices, but then they'd be back in each other's arms like magnets of polar opposites. Again, they'll end it, and then they can't help themselves. It's a cycle that creates many scars.
The only way to break it is an event where one loses the other permanently. In other words, death is the finality.
Of course, neither would want that. The one left behind would receive a wound that will never heal, that will never scar. It'll bleed until there's no life in them left. The nasty thing about it is that she had accepted that eventuality. It was painful and direct.
The princess and the knight pulled away. And then he rested his forehead to hers, as if he was willing to carry her burden and she was going to do the same with him. Strangely, she felt glad about that idea.
At that moment, it all turned into a beautiful thing. Being together in this quiet place has inexplicably faded the scars.
She loved him and he loved her.
And that outweighed everything.