Happiness Is A Choice By superninja

A short and silly vignette based on current Wonder Woman continuity written by Greg Rucka. All characters belong to DC Comics. This story is not intended for profit.

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Jonah stared out the window of the bookstore with frustration as the people rushed to-and-fro trying to escape the impromptu downpour the sky had dropped on Gotham. A couple ran by tugging on an umbrella between them. A young girl with a miserable expression to match his own was holding the soggy latest edition of the Gotham Gazette over her head. Jonah watched the cops that were standing across the street in the rain head to their patrol car and dig out their rain slickers and then head into the coffee shop next door. A stray mutt shook off the water and then crossed the street narrowly avoiding a car as the driver screamed obscenities at it before screeching off again. Jonah watched the poor animal slink into an alleyway with his tail between his legs.

He stared down at his watch. 3:00 p.m. and the turnout for Diana's book signing was not going as planned. It had to be the rain. Not that there wasn't a nice turn out for the signing, it just fell short of the numbers they'd seen in other cities like Gateway and Metropolis. Being Diana's official handler for her public appearances was challenging enough as it was.

But then, he had been warned that Gotham was like taking a pit stop in hell. The sky hazy from the pollution of heavy industry, the jutting gothic architecture, and the slick oily streets were enough to bring his mood down when they had stepped off the plane. Even Diana's couldn't bring back his spirits as she explained with a smile that Gotham was a city with a unique disposition.

And now, it had started to pour. He was beginning to feel a lot like that mutt about now.

Jonah moved away from the window and headed back to the signing table. He's had enough of looking out at that dismal street and thinking about projections and sales volume. He watched as the last customer held out a copy of his newly purchased book eagerly.

The young boy was standing with his mother as Diana asked "Whom should I make this out to?"

She smiled at the child with her eyes gently taking the book from him.

"Bobby," he said, his freckles almost hidden by the blush in his cheeks. "Bobby Kane."

Diana put the pen to the inside cover and said aloud as she wrote, "To Bobby Kane, the boy with the sweetest freckles I've ever seen." She signed her name and handed the book back to him. The boy was as still as a stone. He grinned nervously and then said in a small voice.

"The.the Batman. Is he, y'know, real?"

Diana grinned. "Do you think I'm real?"

"Yeah," the boy said, staring at his shoes, his freckles long gone. Diana looked up at his mother who had an apologetic look on her face.

Diana winked at the boy then said "Then maybe the Batman is real, too."

The boy looked up at his mom with a triumphant expression that said "I told you so." The door to the bookstore chimed in the background as Diana said to the child's mother with a light but serious tone, "I do hope you read the book first before your share it with your son."

The woman stared back at her unblinking and then softened. "I'll have to pry it from his fingers," she said, "But thanks for the suggestion." She raised her eyebrows and then physically turned her son away heading towards the door.

Jonah came up beside her as they watched them head towards the door. "Put on your raincoat, Bobby!" the mother urged, holding out the arms for him. "But Moooom, I don't want to wear a raincoat, the Batman doesn't wear a raincoat!" The boy ended up winning the argument as the mother tucked the book into her handbag for protection, shooting a look back at Diana as they left at the sound of the door chime.

Diana looked up at Jonah and shrugged. "You've created a monster, you know," he said.

Diana put her elbow on the table and balanced her chin on her hand wistfully. Jonah had been on enough of these jaunts to know her mind was already headed elsewhere and on a hundred different issues.

"Well, that's the last of them," Jonah said energetically, "We should get back to the hotel and get everything rounded up for the international leg."

Diana was ignoring him. This was not unusual, but Jonah noticed she was looking at something. He turned to see a large man in a black dress coat spotted with raindrops holding out a copy of Diana's book with a black gloved hand.

"I was hoping to get this signed," said the man, proffering the book to Diana. Jonah looked over at Diana.

"Mr. Wayne," she said bemusedly, "You could've just called my publicist." Wayne? Jonah was trying to figure out.Bruce Wayne - the guy from the tabloids. Millionaire playboy, philanthropist, head of Wayne Industries, both domestic and international operations.

"Not exactly," Wayne said, "I'd like to have this copy signed, in person." Jonah looked back at Diana.

Diana grimaced back at Wayne and took the book from him. "So you can auction it off for charity, I presume?" They work the same charities. That makes sense. Jonah looked back at Wayne.

"Oh, no," he said, leaning over the table. "Just for me." Jonah looked back at Diana.

Jonah watched the uncomfortable exchange, trying to figure out what was going on that he wasn't getting. Diana said, "Very well," and was about to write on the inside cover when Wayne interjected.

"Actually," he said with a chuckle, and took the book from Diana turning it towards him, "With your permission of course."

"Permission granted," Diana said flatly as Wayne began turning the book's pages and then stopped and turned the book back towards her.

"The chapter titled, 'Happiness is a Choice'," he said pushing the book back towards her. Diana picked up her pen quickly as he put his finger on the left page. "This part, about how you come across people in your life that may present challenges." Diana moved his finger away. "Sign there, please," he said.

Jonah leaned over trying to look as she scribbled something quickly and then snapped the book shut, handing it back to Wayne.

"There you go Mr. Wayne," she said, " Have a nice day."

Jonah watched Wayne walk away and considered for a moment that this was the first time he'd seen Diana actually fake a smile.

They watched him walk away as the chime clinked after him. An older man opened a door to his towncar and Wayne slipped inside. When they had driven away, Jonah looked back at Diana to see a troubled countenance on her face.

"Is everything alright?" he asked.

Diana sighed deeply and answered, "Of course. We're done here, aren't we, Jonah?" She stood up and placed a hand on his shoulder.

Jonah nearly jumped. She never wrapped up things. That was his job. She always wanted to linger and get a feel for the city and its people. But that Wayne guy showed up and now she's ready to leave Gotham? Whatever it was, he wasn't going to ask.

****

Diana was back in her hotel room, after an early dinner with Jonah, packing her bags for the international leg of the book signing. They were going to leave tonight and get into London early so she could meet with the Wonder Foundation offices there.

As she closed the suitcase, she thought about what she had written. Some things in her book she knew would be inflammatory, both professionally and personally. She had made a choice when she wrote it. And she was ultimately happy with the decision to include her friends, although very vaguely in her writings.

When the window to her hotel opened from the outside, she wasn't surprised that it happened. She was just surprised that he came.

She felt him walk around the bed to the side where she was sitting.

"You're dripping on the carpet, Bruce."

The Batman stood before her, indeed, dripping on her carpet from coming out of the rain.

"One question," he said, "What does 'To Bruce Wayne, the boy with the sweetest freckles I've ever seen.' mean?

The End.