Ladies Night

by Artemis

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Sequel to Man's World, more of the JL doing stupid non-world saving stuff.  Batman/Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl/Green Lantern, Superman/Lois, Martian Manhunter/Oreos-- everybody gets some lovin'!  Humor, angst, romance, stupidity but not an ounce of action.

Once again, Meljean Brook has bailed me out with her help—the songs and dancing was her idea—thanks!

Disclaimer: I don't own them and I think we will all agree it's probably for the best. 

Warning: I also take great liberties with these characterizations—hehehehehehehe.  .  .

***************************************************************************************

John was half-listening to Superman drone on about something.  He was paying more attention to the Thanagarian sitting across the table from him.  Shayera was looking everywhere but at him however.  She found his attention embarrassing.

John sighed and perused the room.  Everyone was shifted over a seat, except for Superman, because Diana sat on the other side of Superman today, where Flash usually sat.  So Flash sat next to her, John next to him, as usual, and so on. 

Batman was staring at the Princess, or so John thought.  It was hard to tell with the Dark Knight. 

Diana's head was turned towards Superman.  She wasn't nodding her head anymore like she did a couple of weeks ago—thank God.  That was annoying.  John couldn't tell if she was smiling though.

He glanced to his right and saw Flash staring at Batman with a smirk.  John noticed there was considerable distance between him and Flash.  He realized, groaning inwardly, that Flash had slid his chair as close as possible to Diana, but the kid kept staring at Batman.  Fortunately for Flash, Diana's head was still turned towards Superman, so she was oblivious to Flash.

John chanced a look a Shayera.  She immediately averted her eyes.  John felt triumphant—she had been watching him.

Flash jerked his head to his left, towards J'onn.  John looked at the Martian Manhunter as well, but J'onn's eyes never left Superman.

John felt a quick gust of wind to his right and noticed Flash's chair was right next to his.  His eyes went up to Flash's face and saw the smirk was gone.  He followed Flash's line of site to Batman.

Batman was smiling, but it wasn't what John would call friendly.  Creepy or chilling would be more like it.  Batman's posture was different too.  He was leaning in, chair pulled all the up to the table. 

Having experienced Batman's ire himself not too long ago, and over e-mail, he felt bad for the little punk.

He went back to staring at Shayera, who once again quickly averted her gaze. 

John smiled broadly and nodded.  Yeah, she wanted him.

"John?  Glad you agree."

John froze and looked at Superman, who was smiling.

"4-3, John was the deciding vote.  Thanks John, for supporting me in this."

John glanced around and realized Hawkgirl, Flash, and Wonder Woman were all glaring at him.

What could those three have possibly ever agreed upon?

Superman continued, "No more alcohol will be allowed in the Watchtower."

"Thanks a lot Chuckles!" Flash glared at him.

John knew it!  They were calling him 'Chuckles' behind his back!

John cleared his throat.

All the eyes of the Justice League members turned to him.

"Can I change my vote?"

***************************************************************************************

The meeting over, Flash was gone in a red blur.

Diana walked past Batman without a glance.  His eyes were on her the whole time however.

Shayera was watching Diana as well.  She had noticed her friend was quieter than usual.  Hawkgirl followed her.  In her haste, she never noticed a certain member of the Lantern Corps approaching her.

John saw her leave and sat back down.

He looked up to see J'onn staring at him, smiling.

John glared at the Martian.  "Don't you have an appointment with some Oreos in the kitchen?"

J'onn, still smiling at John, reached down and pulled up a package of Oreos.

He opened them and began eating, his eyes never leaving Green Lantern.

Don't worry, my friend.  She cares for you too.

John jumped at the voice in his head.

"Knock it off!  I hate when you do that!"

J'onn smiled and popped another Oreo into his mouth.  He then held out the package to John, offering him one.

John shook his head and scowled.

He looked back up at J'onn.

"Really?"

Really.

J'onn turned his gaze from John, who followed his line of sight.

Superman and Batman were engaged in a stubborn battle of wills.

Superman nodded his head towards the door Diana left.

Batman, still seated, glared at him and shook his head, ever so slightly.

John looked at J'onn, his face confused.  J'onn's face was impassive and his eyes never left the two men.  Instead he pushed the Oreos over to John, who took one and went back to watching Superman and Batman.

Superman crossed his arms, nodded again towards the door, eyebrows jumping with each nod.

Batman, still glaring at the Man of Steel, gave another, even smaller, shake of his head.

Superman moved his hands to his hips and, eyes wide, gave one nod towards the door.

Batman stood up and simply glared at Superman.

Superman crossed his arms again and took a step closer to Batman.

John slowly chewed his Oreo cookie, fascinated.

He could see Batman had a hand on his utility belt as he continued to glare at Superman.

Superman stood there and gave another nod to the door, eyes challenging Batman.

John could see movement under Batman's cape.  John's eyes got wider and he swallowed the last of the cookie.

Suddenly both Batman and Superman jerked their heads towards the Martian.

John did too a second later.

"Oreo?"  J'onn held up the now half-empty package.

Batman took that opportunity to slip out.

Superman grinned at J'onn.

"Thanks J'onn."

***************************************************************************************

"ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THIS?"  Shayera yelled over the music.

"YES!  IT IS A COMMON DEVICE EMPLOYED IN TELEVISION SHOWS, FILMS, AND STORIES OF FEMALE EMPOWERMENT!  WHEN A WOMAN IN MAN'S WORLD IS ANGRY, SHE AND HER FELLOW SISTERS GO TO SUCH AN ESTABLISHMENT AS THIS!"  Diana yelled back.

Shayera's eyes panned the dance club taking in the lights, smoke, and chaotic, frenzied movements of all the bodies.

She grinned.  This looked like fun.  However, she was surprised this was Diana's first choice.  She had caught up with Wonder Woman after the meeting.  Diana led Shayera to her room and told her about her date with Bruce Wayne, leaving out the part where she realized he was Batman.  Shayera asked if there was anything she could do, thinking more in terms of introducing the spoiled, womanizing playboy to her mace. 

Instead, Diana asked Shayera if she wanted to "go out."  Shayera, not sure what an Amazonian Princess considered a night out, gave a hesitant yes.

Shayera saw the bar and flapped her wings to clear a path.  She held up her mace and shouted," COMING THROUGH!  OUT OF THE WAY!"

People glanced at the Thanagarian and pushed each other out of her way.  Shayera walked up to the bar, pulling Diana along.

"Mountain Dew."

"And I will have a glass of red wine please."

The bartender raised an eyebrow at their requests, glanced at their costumes and shrugged.

Shayera turned from the bar sipping her Mountain Dew through a straw.  She watched the dancers and started moving to the music a little.  She turned to Diana who had found a stool and was playing with the stem of her wine glass.

"Come on, let's go out there."  Shayera pointed to the light up dance floor.

Diana was staring at her glass, her finger tracing the top in lazy circles.

"Diana."  Shayera voice was just short of whining.

"WONDER WOMAN!"

Diana looked around confused, until she turned around on her stool and looked at a very tall, very muscular woman.  She was wearing a long red dress and wavy honey blonde hair brushed her impressive deltoids.

"Oh girl!  I LOVE IT!"

"Excuse me?"  Diana asked slowly, her brow furrowed in confusion.

"What?"  Shayera asked, looking back and forth between the mystery woman and Diana, who shrugged.

"You're supposed to be 'Wonder Woman,' right?"

"My name is Diana."

"Oh, yes you are!"  The strange woman, who was somewhat beautiful in very made up way, was waving to someone, "Shania, Cheralyn, get over here!"

"Lana, what is it?"  But before Lana could answer her question, she exclaimed, "It's Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl!  OH I LOVE IT!" and started clapping enthusiastically.

The other one, who was tall and thin and had long curly black hair, sized the two heroes up appreciatively in a husky voice, "Excellent work ladies.  A little flashier than my taste, but you are working that gold."

The first friend, wearing head to toe leopard skin, including a hood over her red hair, turned to Shayera and gasped, "Those wings!  Normally I just use a boa, but those wings are fabulous.  What's your name sweetheart?"

"Shayera," was the hesitant response.

"Well, you already met 'Lana,' this is 'Cheralyn,'" she pointed to the thin raven haired one, "and I'm Shania."  She flipped the leopard skin coat over her hip, "Can you see it?"

Diana and Shayera nodded dumbly and murmured confused appreciation.

Lana addressed her friends, "Well, Diana here was looking a little sad and Shayera wanted to dance."

Cheralyn gave Diana a sympathetic smile, "What's his name?"

Diana felt at ease with these enthusiastic ladies.  She gave Cheralyn a small smile, "Bruce."

Shania rolled her eyes, "Probably more like 'Brute.'"

Lana looked at Shayera, "You still want to dance, honey?"

Shayera, still not sure what exactly just happened, only nodded.

The three girlfriends grabbed Shayera's and Diana's hands and pulled them to the dance floor.

"And the silver bracelets!  Now normally I wouldn't mix gold and silver, but look at you struttin your mismatched self.  Go on girl!"

Diana didn't really understand what that meant, but assumed it was a compliment from the generous grin.

"Thank you!"

***************************************************************************************

Flash was leaving his room when he saw Batman standing outside of Diana's door.

Flash was sure he'd regret opening his mouth, but he couldn't help himself.

"She already left with Hawkgirl."

Batman only looked at him, not saying a word, but still giving Flash chills.

"Uh, sorry about my behavior during the meeting, Bats."

"Yeah," he laughed nervously as Batman continued to stare at him, "J'onn told me to cut it out in, uh, his own way."  J'onn had implanted an image of the Bat beating up Flash into the Scarlet Speedster's brain. 

Flash was too scared to run away.  Why was Bats still here, still staring at him?

His brain grasped at another thing to say.  "Hey Bats, I meant to thank you." 

Another part of his brain was screaming, 'Why are you still talking?  Shut up!'

But his mouth kept moving.  "I tried your 'move,' except I said 'Hi,' 'cuz I can't do 'hello' that way you do that makes Wondy go brain dead."

Internally, Batman's senses pounced on this fact, although his face and demeanor gave away nothing.

"Um, yeah, so anyway, it worked, sorta.  She laughed at me, and I, uh, played it like I was trying to be funny, and we're going out again this week."

Batman suddenly looked furious.

Flash's brain kept screaming, 'Shut-up-shut-up-shut-up!'

Flash gave another nervous laugh.  Why was Batman looking at him like that?  Bats was going to kill him and no one would know because Bats is the world's greatest detective and could hide all the evidence and.  .  .

More nervous laughter as he said, "I even apologized, hehe—me!  Bet you never saw that coming."

Flash looked around hoping someone, anyone, would show up and save him, or be a witness.

He turned around and Batman was gone.

***************************************************************************************

"R-E-S-P-E-C-T! FIND OUT WHAT IT MEANS TO ME!  R-E-S-P-E-C-T.  .  ."

Shayera was standing on top of a table, singing at the top of her lungs, her mace punching the air with each beat.

Her adoring crowd of heavily made up women, some tall, some muscular, all joined in with tenors and baritones and the occasional falsetto for "HEY BOY T-C-B!"

Shayera dragged a blushing Diana up on the table for backup, her silver bracelets flashing as she punched the air, "sock-it-to-me-sock-it-to-me-sock-it-me. . ." as Shayera belted into her mace, "A little respect. . . "

Still blushing, Diana hopped off the table and Shayera followed her down.  They were immediately surrounded by all the laughing ladies on the dance floor.

Lana was clapping enthusiastically.  "Bravo girls!  You're a hit!"

Shania opened her fire engine matte red lips to compliment them as well, but stopped abruptly when she heard the next song.

"Young man, there's no need to feel down."

The crowd cheered.  Diana and Shayera looked at each other, shrugged and cheered too.

"I said, young man, pick yourself off the ground.
I said, young man, 'cause you're in a new town
there's no need.  to.  be.  unhap-py."

The two heroines were dancing and bobbing along to the upbeat tempo and cheery lyrics.

"This is such an inspirational message!"  Diana shouted to Shayera over the music.  Shayera couldn't hear her over everyone singing along, so she just grinned and nodded.


"Young man, there's a place you can go.
I said, young man, when you're short on your dough.
You can stay there, and I'm sure you will find
Many ways.  to.  have.  a.  good-time."

Shayera and Diana stopped as everyone did as the beat enunciated the last five words, totally unprepared for the bedlam that followed.


"It's fun to stay at the.  .  . Y-M-C-A!"

Everyone was shouting along and doing strange things with their arms.  Diana and Shayera caught on immediately and were absolutely delighted.  Diana was giggling and Shayera was grinning, and not a clue between them as to what the words meant.  But they could spell.

"It's fun to stay at the.  .  .  Y-M-C-A!"

***************************************************************************************

Clark jumped up and grabbed the ringing phone before it woke up Lois.  She only grumbled and threw her pillow over her head.  The clock on her nightstand read "2:36."  Who would be calling her at his hour, he wondered.

He paused and wasn't sure what to do.  It would look improper for a man to be answering her phone this late at night.  He didn't want to embarrass her.  Decision made, he hung up the phone.

Lois looked up at him, bleary eyed.  "Get back here."

Clark grinned and laid down, wrapping an arm around her and pulling her close.

He had come straight from the Watchtower to her apartment, landing softly on the balcony.  She was waiting for him.  Surprisingly, there was little to discuss.  His secret was out and he had nothing left to hide from her, but she wasn't interested in talking.  Clark smiled as he remembered how she just strode right up to him, typically self-assured, but then her eyes cast downward.

"Are you mad?" she had asked as she stood just millimeters away, but not touching him.

He had closed the gap between them by touching her face and tilting her chin up to look at him.

"Never."

She had run her hands up his chest, feeling the hard muscles beneath the blue material, until her arms wrapped around his neck.

He then lifted her gently, arms around her waist, for a kiss. 

Clark smiled at the memory and returned his attention to the woman curled up next to him.

His arm tightened around her and he kissed her softly.

"Wait until Lex finds out Superman likes to cuddle," she managed to say before drifting off back to sleep.

Clark chuckled softly and closed his eyes in contentment.  There were definitely worse things than Lois finding out his secret identity.

But as he nestled his face against her hair, he had trouble thinking of anything but this woman in his arms.

***************************************************************************************

Meanwhile, in a dim alleyway behind a dance club across town, a winged redhead with a mace was sipping a "Big Gulp" of Mountain Dew, as a tall woman dressed in patriotic underwear was staring into the receiver of a public pay phone.

"HELLO?  LOIS?  Hello?"

Shayera paused in her slurping.  "Guess she doesn't want to come out."

Diana shrugged and hung up the phone.  "Where shall we go next?"

"Oracle told me about a cool after hours club in Gotham."

Diana didn't care who she ran into there.  In fact, part of her wanted to see Batman so he would give them the spiel about being in his town.  Then Shayera could smack him this time, Diana thought with a giggle.

"No more wine for you."

Shayera's words would have had more meaning if she hadn't belched at the end.

"Great Hera, Shy!  That's worse than Flash."

"Sorry.  Are you ok with going to Gotham?"

Diana nodded.

"You sure?  Because we may run into that jerk, out on the town with some hussy!"

"'Hussy?'"  Diana raised an eyebrow.

"We need to broaden your vocabulary, Princess.  They say a lot worse on morning talk shows."

Diana's eyebrow was still raised as she floated up into the night sky.

Shayera finished her Dew and grumbled, "I'm coming, I'm coming!"

***************************************************************************************

John was pacing back and forth in front of the transporters.  This was only making the night feel longer, so he decided to wait for Shayera in the lounge.  He figured he would watch some "Sports Center" to help the time pass.  But ESPN was covering the National Billiards Championship, which only made him think of Shayera more.  As the cue connected with the ball, he thought of their lesson and sighed.

He flipped around, pausing on ESPN2.  Baseball.  The sight of the swinging bat made him think of her, swinging her mace.

"Oh, Shayera."

He found a movie that had already started.  The female cop had pushed a guy up to the wall and was yelling in his face.  John was instantly reminded of Shayera.

He smiled.

click Comedy Central was airing an old bit, a stand up comic with a watermelon in front of him.  John recognized the comedian as "Gallagher" when he lifted a sledgehammer and smashed the melon.

"My angel.  .  ."

John changed the channel.  A hawk had a snake in its talons and was tearing into it with its beak.  He smiled as he thought of how beautiful Shayera looked a few days ago when she beat up Copperhead.

He turned off the television.

And sighed.

***************************************************************************************

Diana ignored the panic gasps and cries around her and continued to hold up the ceiling.  She watched, with weary eyes, as little cracks started to appear around the edges, chunks of concrete threatening to fall.

Hawkgirl got the rest of the people out.  "All clear Diana!"

Diana took one last look around; just to be sure the club was empty.  In a split second move, she dropped to ground, balled up her fists, arms straight, pushed up off the ground with enough force to go through the concrete as the ceiling and roof came straight down.

Hovering in the sky above, she shook the dust out of her hair and assessed the damage with a careful eye as she went over the events in her mind.

She and Shayera had finally found the place Oracle mentioned.  They had just walked into the door when Shayera noticed cracks in the ceiling.  They hollered for everyone on the first floor to evacuate.  Diana held up the ceiling as a precaution as Shayera flew out the people who were on the second floor. 

Diana spotted her friend holding a man by the arm.  He was twisting, trying to get away, but Shayera held firm.  She held up her mace in front of his face.

Diana landed on the ground next to a police officer.

"Wow, you're Wonder Wom—"

Diana held up hand to quiet him.  "Shayera, bring him here."

Shayera dragged the morose, but now subdued, man by the collar and shoved him in front of the cop.

Diana spoke.  "This is the man responsible.  He is the owner.  I am sure you will find all the same building code violations I just did."

Only she and Shayera knew her bluff.  Diana had no idea what the building codes actually specified, but she assessed the damage using common sense and knew the structure was faulty.

Everyone on site stared into the sky dumbstruck as Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl flew away.

All except one man, who was perched on the rooftop of a nearby building, watching through night vision goggles.

He pressed the side of his mask near his ear and his voice was low and cold.

"Oracle, care to explain?"

***************************************************************************************

"Tonight was a blast, Di.  We definitely need to do that again!"

"Thanks, Shy.  I enjoyed the evening myself."

"'Night!"

"Goodnight."

John perked up at the sound of her voice.  Her voice.  He ran out of the lounge and saw her.  Her.  His angel.  John froze, in awe of her.

Shayera looked at him, smirking, "Hey John.  What the heck's your problem?"

She kept walking.

John's mouth closed and he sank back against the wall.

"#^@&!!!!"

"Uh-oh, GL said a bad word!"

"Go away Flash."

Flash leaned against the wall, a cocky grin plastered to his face.

"GL, my man, looks like you need some advice from a pro."

"Isn't it past your bedtime?"

"Why, just earlier this evening, I was giving pointers to Bats."

"Hey Batman."

Flash whirled around then glared at John.

"That is SO not cool GL."

***************************************************************************************

Diana slept in a little longer than usual due to her late night.  She opened her eyes in mid-stretch and realized Batman was standing at the side of her bed.

"About time you woke up, Princess."

She glared up at him before smiling and saying sweetly, "Shouldn't you be at work. BRUCE?"

Before he got a chance to respond, "It's Saturday," she pushed herself up to a seated position and started talking.  Her voice was rising to a shout.

"If you're here to tell me to stay out of Gotham, then, too bad!  We saved a lot of lives last night and I don't know how you could've done anything different.  Or anything at all!  Even Flash would have been more useful in that same situation!"

Her abdomen tensed with remorse at the harshness of her words.  But she maintained her glare.

"Thank you."

"Wh-what?"

"But one save doesn't give you an excuse to make it a habit." 

"You stubborn man!  I have—"

She stopped when he rose.  He leaned across her, his arms on either side of her, hands against the headboard.  His face was inches from her.  She returned his intense stare.  Her throat tightened and pulse quickened.  She was seconds from trembling.

His voice was low.  "Stay. Out. Of. My. City."

With that, he got up to leave.

Frustrated and flustered, she shouted the first words she could find.

"Well then, stay out of my bedroom!"

His lips were tightly curved in a cold smile. 

"Don't worry Princess, I will."

He paused at the door.

"Date whomever you want, but if you agreed to this date with Flash to get back at me.  .  ."

He stopped when he saw her shocked expression.

He broke eye contact and he spoke quickly.  "Of course.  It's none of my business." 

He left and Diana was too stunned to stop him.

"What in Hera's name was that about?"

***************************************************************************************

John walked into the kitchen depressed.  J'onn looked up from the crossword puzzle he was working on.

"Would you like to talk?"

John was grouchy however, so his voice was tinged with sarcasm when he responded, "Can't you just read my mind?"

"Never without your permission, my friend."

"Shayera thinks I'm a fool!"

"Do you know why?"

"Because I helped the Big Blue Boy Scout reinstate Prohibition?"

"We let you change your vote, so that is irrelevant.  Think about when she has acted strangely to you."

John did think about it.  She looked awkward during the meeting.  He only noticed because he kept staring at her.  Also she seemed to make fun of his reaction when he ran out to greet her last night.  It was in stark contrast to the overwhelming feelings of love he had for her. 

John jumped up.  "I figured it out!"

"I'm sorry J'onn, but it's the opposite."

"Opposite of what?"

J'onn sighed.  Where was Superman with his Oreos?  He craved them in the morning as humans craved coffee.

John kept talking.  "I haven't shown her how much I love her.  I haven't done enough!"

He stood up again.  "I must find her!"

J'onn shook his head.  "Sit down, my friend."

John stared at him blankly as he slowly sat.

J'onn gathered the last of his patience to explain, "Your approach is too strong.  It is too soon for Shayera.  You are scaring her off."

"Huh?"

"Shayera does not desire a man who calls her angel when he watches Animal Planet and will coddle her with sighs.  She prefers a stronger man, such as a former Marine who can be her equal."

"What happened to women who want a sensitive guy?  Hey!  I thought you said you wouldn't read my mind without my permission!"

J'onn looked away guiltily.  "Sorry.  The last of my Oreos ran out last night and I was bored."

John shrugged, "Ah, don't even worry about it."

"But your thoughts really were sickeningly sweet.  Shayera does not enjoy such platitudes and normally neither do you."

John was about to reply he'd work on it when the "Big Blue Boy Scout" walked in with a bag of groceries.

"Good morning!"  He boomed with a big smile.

John and J'onn exchanged glances.  Someone was awfully perky this morning.

Superman set the bag on the counter and pulled out a package of Oreos.

"Surprise J'onn!  These have half mint filling, green get it?  And John, here you go buddy!  A six pack of Rolling Rock.  Sorry about that little ban!"  Superman winked and elbowed John in the ribs, which coming from the Man of Steel, hurt a lot.

J'onn was staring at his new Oreos in wide eyed wonder when "WHOOOOOSH!"  A red blur flew in and the Oreos disappeared with it. 

The Martian Manhunter was once again in a corner, screaming.

Superman put his hands on his hips and looked up at the security camera.  He raised an eyebrow, nodding towards J'onn.

***************************************************************************************

Batman was not pleased. 

From the Monitor Womb, he looked up at the security monitor of the kitchen and saw Superman trying to get his attention.

"I get it Clark.  Quit before you look stupid," he muttered and rephrased it after considering the blue spandex and red speedo.  "Well, more so."

Batman grumbled and turned to his BatLaptop and started typing.

---------------

April 28th, 20xx 10:34 am

FROM: iamthenight@yahoo.com

TO: ckent04@dailyplanet.com

CC:

SUBJECT:  Your point?

Gee C, didn't quite catch it your signal there.  Could you repeat it a few more times?  (I am being sarcastic.  Please don't actually do that.) 

So should MM ever go rogue, we'll just throw some Oreos away from him?   Like a trail of breadcrumbs? 

rolling eyes Yeah that's a @$%&#@! brilliant plan. I don't care if you're right about the Oreos, the B***** does not use cookies as weapons.  I have an urban myth to protect.

B

----------------

Batman sent it, and leaned back.  He should really take care of another issue, just so the working relationship wouldn't be too strained. 

Not that Batman cared that he hurt someone's feelings. 

Because he didn't.  Really. 

Really!

He started typing again.  He re-read it, and satisfied it sounded genuinely contrite, clicked "send."

***************************************************************************************

"Shayera!  Wait!"  John ran to catch up to her.

Shayera turned, a little weary, and very beat. 

"Just wanted to know if you'd like to learn how play baseball."  He tried to sound casual.  "I'm taking J'onn to some batting cages and I'm teaching him how to hit a pitch."

Really?  You'll teach me?

John muttered over his shoulder, "Yes J'onn! Now get out of my head!"

Shayera stared at him, brow furrowed in concern.

"Are you ok John?"

John stammered in embarrassment, "Yeah, oh yeah, just that crazy Martian!"  He emphasized the last two words.

I heard that!

John ignored J'onn and continued to Shayera, as casually as he could muster, "Well, if you can't handle it.  .  ."

Shayera shrugged, "Sure why not."

John's brain was in full touch down celebratory dance.

Do you always picture yourself spiking footballs at the ground?  What a strange dance. . .

"GO EAT AN OREO!"

"Thanks, but I already am."  Flash stood there with the package of stolen cookies, his mouth full, spitting crumbs as he spoke.

J'onn materialized out of the wall and snatched them back.  "THIEF!"

"Don't they teach sharing in Martian Kindergarten?"

J'onn ignored him and left with his Oreos.  Shayera and John snuck off as well.

"Flash, what's this about a date?" 

"Hey Wondy."  Flash's grin got a little wider and he leaned against the wall with one outstretched arm.  He crossed his right leg over his left and tried to look apologetic.

"Sorry babe, you're too late.  Linda is quite enamored with the Fastest Man Alive."  He chuckled, more to himself, since Diana was hardly amused.  "I don't want to break her heart."

"But cheer up Wondy.  You'll cry for a few days, they all do.  But then you'll settle for the second best man in your life."

By now Diana was shaking her head.

"Denial, babe, I get it.  Just the other day, I was giving poor Bats a few tips.  Must be rough for an old guy like that watching a ladies man like me."

"Batman!"

Flash rolled his eyes.  "Would everyone quit doing that!" he muttered as he turned around.

A word akin to "Crap!" hung in the air long after a red blur vanished.

Diana was airborne herself, flying straight for Batman, pushing him through the nearest opened door.  He fell into a roll and deftly jumped to his feet.

She locked the door to the weight room behind her.

"We need to talk."

***************************************************************************************

Superman stood alone in the kitchen.

"Guys?" 

He looked down the hall.

"Hello?"

"Lois and I are officially a couple!  I wanted to celebrate!" he yelled in a singsong tone of voice.

"Hello?"

"Anybody?"

"Come on!  Male bonding?"

"I bought ice cream!"

"Guys?"

He checked the hallway again.

"Hey John!  Shayera, you too!"

He glanced down to check the carton.

"It's chocolate chip cookie dough!"

He looked up and down the once again empty hallway.

"John?"

"Shayera?"

"Don't make me use my X-Ray vision!"

John and Shayera had avoided eye contact with Superman and ran into the lounge.

She grabbed his head and kissed him, full on the lips.  And kept kissing him.

She finally broke away, licking her lips.

"Enjoy that?"

John caught his breath and responded weakly, "Yes ma'am."

"Good.  You want another one, quick acting like a wuss around me."

John frowned.

Without warning, he pulled her back towards him and pressed his lips to her.  Hard.

When they pulled apart, Shayera gasped.

"Good, you're learning."

"Yes, ma'am."  This one was said with smirking sarcasm.

She grabbed his head again, and engaged in another liplock.

He started backing up towards the couch, pulling her with him.

She pulled her head back and opened her eyes, pupils dilated and cheeks flushed.

"No."

John took a few shallow breaths.

"No?"

"Not here." 

Shayera then grabbed his hand and dragged him to her room, John, chuckling the whole way.

Hours later, she sat up in her bed and saw John by the door.

"What's up?"

"Monitor Duty," he said regretfully.

She arched an eyebrow at him.

"You better be here the second you're done."

He stepped quickly to her side and gave her a quick kiss on the lips.

"And you stay here and practice saying 'please.'"

He dodged the playful (he hoped) swing of her left hook and ran out the door.

John paused outside her shut door and sighed, a dreamy smile on his lips.

Does this mean we are no longer going to the batting cages?

John whirled around.

"J'ONN!  Quit doing that!"   

***************************************************************************************

Batman walked towards the door but was halted by Diana's hand in the middle of his chest.  With minimal effort on her behalf, he was unable push any further.

"Let me pass Princess," he growled.

"Not until you explain why you've been intentionally tormenting me since our date."

"Move."

"No."

"Princess.  .  ." he started with a warning tone.

"Explain your behavior!"

He made a sound that was a cross between a growl and a sigh.  He took a step back.

"I was attracted to you and I knew that wasn't appropriate.  So I pushed you away."  His voice was dry when he asked, "Happy?"

She leaned against the wall, staring at him, stunned.

"No.  Why should that make me happy?"

"Now you know, you may resume dating the rest of the League."

"Why do you say such things?"  Her voice was barely above a whisper.

"Flash told me about the two of you."

She paused, making sense of what he just said.

"Some detective," she stated dryly.

He only stared at her, so she continued.

"Flash was probably telling you about Linda."

Batman abruptly sat on the weight bench, absorbing this information.  His mind analyzed each piece of information, rearranging the parts to make a new whole.  First he intentionally ruined a perfect evening with a perfect woman.  Second, on his way to make amends, he runs into Flash and somehow misses the point by miles.  Then, he insults her character.  Ruefully, he congratulated himself.  He certainly succeeded in pushing her away.  Unfortunately, Batman always executes a plan to perfection.  His new dilemma, however, was that he wasn't sure if he had solved the right problem.

For the first time since he donned the mask, Batman did not have a plan ready.

Diana watched him, equally pensive.  She was confused and trying to sort through her emotions.  She was sure she hated him moments ago, but couldn't be so sure now as she watched him, lost in his own thoughts.  She wasn't lying to Clark and Lois when she said that she fell in love with the man who listened to her intently, asked all the right questions and treated her with respect.  And if her pulse this morning in her bedroom was any indication, the physical attraction was still present.  Yet she absolutely despised the man who accosted her in the car.  Could she trust a man who chose to act in such a way?  Who consciously chose to hurt her?  Was that not worse than a man who did so by accident?

But then again, his motives were founded in his own fears.  He already described himself as "not a people-person."  She realized she wanted to be the one to break through his self-imposed walls.

Batman's thoughts settled on one conversation.  He looked up at her, offering all he had left.  He hoped it was worthy of her.

"I'm sorry."

He turned his head back to the floor.

Diana watched him; her blue eyes bright with tears unshed.  She walked with quiet steps to the bench.  Straddling it, she sat down, facing his profile.  Her fingers tentatively touched his left wrist before she spoke.

"I'm sorry I hurt you."

His head turned sharply.  "You have nothing to be sorry about," he stated firmly.

With trembling hands she reached up and touched his face.  He closed his eyes at the feel of her caress and tried to turn his head away.  She gently guided his head back to face her.  His eyes remained closed.  He still couldn't bring himself to look at her.  Her fingers slid up his face and gently pulled up his mask.  She gasped when she saw the bruises under his eyes and around his nose.

"Great Hera!  What have I done?"

He grabbed her hands and looked directly into her eyes.  But his words were said gently.

"You did exactly what you should have.  It was the stupidest thing I've ever done—knowingly provoke an Amazon."

"But it looks so painful.  .  ."

"If you did anything less, you would be a mockery to yourself and not the woman I.  .  ."

His voice caught abruptly, but his eyes remained locked with hers.

"What?" she exhaled.

Still holding her hands in each of his, he lifted one and pressed his lips to her palm.  Her hand lingered on the side of his face as he kissed the palm of her other hand.  She drew his face towards hers, tilting his head down as he closed his eyes.  She gently kissed the bridge of his nose.

"Alfred did that too, but yours was more effective."

Diana laughed, despite the tears threatening to spill from her eyes.

She was caught off guard when he kissed her back, but on the lips.  His touch was soft until he felt her lips respond.  She wrapped her arms around his neck, and he deepened the kiss.  His tongue slid into her mouth and she pulled him closer to her, almost reflexively.  She felt one of his arms slip around her waist, his hand on her back, holding her.  He was guiding her down, as his body pressed closer to hers.  She let him.  Off balance, he reluctantly pulled away.  She pushed herself upright, her breaths deep and ragged, her heart pounding against her sternum.

He cupped the side of her face with one hand--his thumb softly rubbing her face.  A hint of a smile played on the corner of his lips.  She suddenly felt embarrassed.  That was her first kiss and she hoped it wasn't obvious.

Diana recovered enough to say, "You owe me a proper date."

"As you wish, Princess."

She rolled her eyes and leaned forward to rest her head on his shoulder.

"And that makes you my Dark Knight, I suppose," she said with a touch of sarcasm and a grin.

"That's what all the chicks call me."

She sat up abruptly and looked at him in mock horror.

"Sorry, just thinking of Flash," Batman smirked.

"You kiss me and think of Flash!"  She was laughing as she lightly pushed him.

"No," he said, staring off, momentarily preoccupied in thought, "He finally said something useful."

"Really?"  Diana couldn't hide the skepticism in her voice.

"'I'm sorry.'"  Batman looked directly into her eyes.  "He was smart enough to apologize in a timely manner.  I had to be reminded of that."

"Oh."  She looked down, not sure what to make of that.

"He also told me your weakness."

"Is that so?  And what is my weakness?"  She was laughing.

He grinned and shook his head before rising and holding out a hand to help her up.

She stood up and he guided her towards the door with his hand on the small of her back. 

Diana stopped and turned her head to glance at him behind her.

"Well?"

Batman pushed her hair off her shoulder.  Still standing behind her, he lightly ran his gloved fingers up her bare arms. Gently holding her shoulders, he bowed his head and pressed his lips to her ivory skin.  He planted a succession of kisses up her neck, leaving a trail of tingling skin in his wake.

Diana, a little light-headed, leaned against him and tilted her head to give him better access.

"I'm listening.  .  ." she sighed. 

He slid his arms around, supporting her.  His lips near her ear, he murmured in his low baritone.

"My voice."

***************************************************************************************

John, thinking of Shayera, was still grinning as he strolled down to the Monitor Womb.

He grinned as he quickly perused the monitors.

He grinned; satisfied the end of the world was not coming, he went on-line.

He grinned as he sat down and logged onto to his e-mail account.

He ginned when he saw he had new mail.

He opened the first message and stopped grinning.

---------------

April 28th, 20xx 10:36 am

FROM: iamthenight@yahoo.com

TO: greenguy@hotmail.com

CC:

SUBJECT: :)

Dear John,

Please realize that I would never actually take your ring and.  .  .

-----------------

John kept scrolling.  His jaw dropped.  It mentioned the same anatomy and maneuvers as last time, and was just as long, but interjected with "NOT" and "NEVER" everywhere.  It was signed "Your pal, B."  John's right hand was shaking a little as he moved the mouse.  He deleted the message and sunk back in his chair, numb.

If someone had asked him a month ago if he would ever fear a middle-aged man dressed as a bat.  .  .

***************************************************************************************

The End!