A/N: Final Vignette in the Odi, Amo et Excrucior trilogy. The inspiration for this fic came from a portion of a comic with Batman and Wonder Woman in it. The picture is hosted on my website: Welcome to the finale, and thank you for all your support and reviews. You know who you are. Thanks.
"Nightwing!!" Batman's hoarse shout splintered the din level of the battle symphony, piercing the night sky with a cry of rage. The Dark Knight flew to the young man's side in time to hear the insane laughter of one man he knew far too well.

"Aahahahahahahaaa!!! Kill the Bird, Catch the Bat! Ah, Luthor! I should have tried this villain slumber party ages ago!" the Joker laughed sardonically. Batman swung up and threw a batarang at the Joker's head. Flash caught it less than a second before contact.

"Not funny, Bats. You would've killed me on THAT one! Oh well, c'est la vie" the Joker said, temporarily serious before grinning and ducking.

"Joke's over, Bozo!" Flash said, running up and punching the Joker out as Superman restrained Grodd and Green Lantern took out Lumina.

The battlefield was ugly. Luthor had put together another team of super villains to tear apart the Justice League. Nightwing had come, because Bruce had gone to visit Dick and gotten the signal at Dick's appartment. Dick decided to tag along. Nightwing lay on the concrete of what used to be a parking lot shakingly trying to breathe. Joker's gas bomb had exploded with added steel confetti shrapnel and slashed Nightwing's throat, stomach, face and left side before blowing him through a former building wall. Blood was everywhere, and Batman tried to seal the wounds on Nightwing's throat before Green Lantern stabilized the man with his ring. Looking up to where the Joker sat up groggily shaking his head, he growled low in his throat, stalking up to the white skinned, green haired menace.

"Batsey! Nice to see you dropped by!"

Picking up the defeated villain, Batman's growl rose to a yell as he balled his fist and punched the Joker back to the ground. Sputtering and coughing, the Joker held his chin, licking the blood off his lips.

"Somebody needs a sit down" the Joker mumbled, looking up in time to cringe as Batman thrust his armoured boot into the clown's gut. Yelling again, Batman lunged at the villain, picking him off the ground and kneeing him in the stomach before punching his face again and again and again. Scrambling back, Joker let out a weak cackle,

"What's the matter Batsey? 'Fraid Wings over there'll be meeting Robin in that big birdcage in the sky?"


"Why? Not like you'll give me more of a whoopin"

Thrusting a razor sharp batarang into Joker's face, Batman growled low in his throat.

"OOoooo gonna finish me off, eh? Wonder what the Justice Brats think o'that" the Joker coughed, looking to where... the ... Justice League battled... not watching.. ooo boy.

"Bats's gone Bats! Save the day, good doers! ... what a punchline."

The joker said as Batman took the batarang and punched it into the Joker's torso. Gurgling, the Joker's face showed fearful amazement as Batman punched him again and all went black. Before Batman could finish the job, Superman flew up and put a hand on Batman's shoulder, spinning him around like a ragdoll.

"Enough. Let the Police take him now"


"Don't make me restrain you"

"You don't have the courage"

Superman stood with an expression of shock on his face as he looked at Batman's handy work for the first time. Flash sped up,

"What's goin' on, people?... oh . . damn" the fastest man alive stopped moving as he looked at the Batarang sticking out of the Joker's abdomen.

"Bats, whaddid you do?" he whispered, as Superman called for a medic and Batman stalked off to check on Nightwing's condition. Wonder Woman flew to Flash, glanced at Joker, turned away with her eyes closed and sighed, putting a hand on Flash's shoulder before kneeling down, ripping a significant piece of the Joker's suit jacket off, pulling the Batarang out and applying the needed pressure with the suit jacket material, tying it to the Joker to save his life. Turning back around, she walked towards the rest of the League, batarang in hand, where Green Lantern raised Nightwing up and J'onn began ordering the return to the medilab at the Watchtower. Everyone was silent.

At the Watchtower, Nightwing was rushed into surgery, J'onn plying his medic duties with Green Lantern acting as a nurse. Batman sat waiting in the hall, they wouldn't let him help. Superman was still on Earth trying to explain the events of the past few hours to the authorities and haggle on who would pay the Joker's medical bill. Flash sat at monitor duty trying to get the vision of the Joker's bleeding body out of his head, and Wonder Woman walked up to where Batman sat on the cold metal floor.

Clang! the batarang made a sickening clunking sound as it fell to the floor, a small splatter of blood patterning the floor with a bat.

"How much am I going to have to cover for you?" Wonder Woman's voice strung through the air to coax Batman's face to look higher into the florescent light in which Wonder Woman stood. Saying nothing, Batman turned his head back down and found a comfortable position in the shadows. Nodding, Diana sat beside the Dark Knight, her back against the wall.

"How is Dick?"

"I almost lost him"

"He's alive, Bruce. Right through that door, they saved him"

"I couldn't"


"Is the Joker dead?"


"I crossed a line tonight"

"Yes, you did"

"Where's Superman?"

"On Earth. Trying to cover up the situation"

"I want him to die"


"Joker. I want to watch him die"


"He killed Jason, almost Dick.. I adopted Dick, he's my son. My son. He's lying on a slab being sewn back together and I could do nothing"

"You can't save everyone"

"I don't try to"

"Bruce you almost killed the Joker today."

"I know I was there!"

"How are we going to FIX this!?"

"I don't care!"

"One more slice and we would have been burrying the corpse!"

"At least it wouldn't be Dick's corpse!"

"Where's your humanity!?"

"To hell with humanity!"



Batman lept to his feet, another baratang in his hand. Diana sat fuming before looking sadly into Batman's face and standing in front of him.

"Are you going to stab me, too?"

Shaking, Batman dropped the metal weapon to the floor, the reverberations of it clanging down beside the bloodied one striking a stake into Batman and Wonder Woman's hearts. One. Two. Three. His shaking increasing, Batman covered his face in his hands, turning away from the woman he loved.
He looks old. Like a worn statue on the acropolis in Athens, beaten and weathered. Leaning forward, I know he is very dangerous, but so am I. Touching his shoulder I flex as he cringes and falls to his knees.

"Get away" his voice is feeble, it makes me cry.

"I'm not leaving"

"I'll hurt you"

"I know"

"Then why?"

"Because for every ounce of hate, hurt, doubt, despair, darkness, and sadness in your soul I will pummell you with love, pardon, faith, hope, light, and joy until you get that I'm not leaving. Get used to it, Bruce. I will not leave you."

"And when I grow old?"

"There are worse things than age"

He turned around so fast I forgot how quick he can be. Wrenching me to my knees, we kiss a savage, passionate kiss meant to say one thing: save me. Barreling across the hall, I wrench him into my room, spinning both of us into the dark space as our kiss continues more ravishingly than before. Panting a breath, Bruce threw off his cowl and cape, I don't watch it flutter to the floor as we grope and fondle each other's bodies. I keep telling myself that he needs this. He needs what I as a woman can offer. I hate myself for it, but we drive forward, the sexual energy throwing all my hesitations and qualms to the wind. If my sisters could see me now. He takes me on the bed, a pleading look of sorrow and pain washing over us in a whirlwind that is blinding.

'Did it matter if a grain of dust in a whirlwind retained its dignity?' [Hornblower & the Atropos]

I love this man. I will do anything for him. Even this.
I dress as she sleeps curled under the covers of her bed. The surgery will have been finished and Dick will be waking up in 21 minutes. Diana sleeps like a goddess, I feel like a deamon whose soul has been handed him. 19 minutes until Dick wakes up. Laying Diana exhausted under the covers felt glorious, now I look at her and feel incredible guilt. She is an Amazon, they don't take lovers lightly. Leaning onto the bed, I caress the thick black waves of hair away from her face to watch her forehead wavering between fear and ecstacy. What have I done?

"I can't promise anything close to perfection, but I can promise that I'll treat you the best I know how, and try not to destroy you". Kissing her forehead, I lay down beside her, the door is locked, and not even Clark will attempt bothering the Princess in her quarters. Curling my body against her, I allow my muscles to relax to her contour, uttering a promise to protect her even from myself, she moves closer against me and lays her head on my shoulder. 17 minutes to go.

"Diana, it's Bruce. Wake up" I kiss Diana awake, the soft moan purring from her throat makes me wish I could wake her every morning. Stop dreaming Bruce, it won't happen. Massaging her shoulders and the muscles of her upper back, I brush her hair away from her neck to whisper,

"Time to get dressed"

"Thank you"


"Not dissapearing"

It often amuses me how people react to my habit of arriving and leaving. It amazes me that someone as brave and fearless as Diana was actually scared I would leave and everything would be as if this never happened. I might be cold and unfeeling, but no one ignores this. Never. I pass her uniform to her, but she shrugs it away to take a white knee length grecian stola dress. Turning around, I hear a short sigh,

"A little late for modesty,"



"Alfred's mission in life was to make me into a proper British billionaire. He failed at making me British, but the rest works"

"Is that a smile?"

"Is it?"

Diana's smiling, by the colour of her skin and the way her eyes complete the facial expression I can tell she's nervous. God, have I destroyed her so soon?

"Hera. If I'd known all you needed was a bought of sexual intercourse I would have offered years ago"

"That isn't all I need"

"Honesty from Batman?"

"What do I have left to hide?"

Reaching out to me, I can tell by the way her eyes are tilted and the body language her muscles are twitching that some of it is an act. She is uncomfortable. I will have to remedy that.

"Dick will be waking now" I say calmly, lifting her off the bed before replacing my cowl and cape and opening the door for her.
All I have ever feared has come to pass. I have fought and lost, I have been banished, torn into the Patriarch's world and taken sexually by a man. My inner Amazon is ripping my body to shreds right now. My outer woman is filled with nervous hope that he will not forget, that I will have meant something. By the way he caressed the hair out of my face, and laid beside me, gently trailing my body with his hand makes me believe that hope will in this too prevail. I must have been distracted, because he just called my name, and all I could do was draw circles on my shoulder with the opposing finger. Again.


Looking up I see he has taken his mask off again, and it is Bruce taking me in as he coaxes me softly to come to his side by Dick's bed. Paler than ususal, Dick is trying to speak, a smile stretches lines on my face as Bruce places two fingers together on Dick's forehead.

"Say one word and I will tape your mouth shut, Richard Grayson. . . I'm sorry, Dick"

A little shrug and wink later, Bruce's tired, pained eyes lift for a second as Dick shook minutely to the mechanical beep of his heart monitor. The air in the medilab smelled of sterilization and recycled oxygen, so manufactured, so temporary. The walls white-grey din, the metal equipment and black monitor systems, the few chairs scattered against the wall and the florescent glow coming from the ceiling gives the room a feeling of a movie set, or an alien laboratory, which in essense is what it is. Feeling slightly ill from the light and monitors beeping and the oxygen machine feeding breaths via a tube to Dick's lungs, I turn to look out the massive window and see the Earth slowly turning like a top spun by an arthritic hand. My eyes flutter as the room begins to spin counter to the Earth's rotation and I jerk my muscles to the sensation of falling. A shiver runs down my back, I turn to see Bruce and Dick eyeing me, Bruce with concern and guilt, Dick with suspition.

"I.. lost my balance . . . the Earth is too slow"

"Diana come here" three simple words waft into my ears with the gentle force of a river above the waterfall. Is this what women go through? Is this why the empowerment of women is left for the overly disenchanted, progressive, divorced or lesbian? Do I need him, now? Before I didn't, before I could have lived my life without Bruce Wayne or Batman. It would have been harder to live without Batman, but I could do it. I could.

J'onn and I once had a debate about which of my Pantheon of gods was the worst, most destructive. I had argued Hades, governor of the dead, enemy of my mother, hater of Zeus. Now I can see I was wrong. Hades isn't the most destructive of the Pantheon: Aphrodite is. More wars and horrors have been made and fought because of the Goddess of Love than all the other gods combined. Troy was begun for her amusement, a game she played with Paris, Prince of Troy. Everything is a game to her, all values are held as trinkets to her entrancements and love making. Is this what she does? Hera, help me! Do you hate Aphrodite as much as I? I was a warrior. I was a strong, proud, tall princess of the Amazons, sacred to Artemis, Virgin Goddess of the hunt and moon! Pride of Athena Goddess of Wisdom and War... Artemis can't help me now. My body feels sore and crushed, my soul is falling, fading like Echo in her caves. Somebody save me!

I feel gloved fingers wrap around my shoulders and instantly allow salty tears to flow down my face as Bruce's voice whispers clearly into the room;

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury,pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek

to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen"

This is why the belief in the Pantheon decreased, unlike any other god or religion in history, God lets us believe that everything is not okay, but we will overcome. There is always an alternative of will to not change the situation, but to turn our own sadness into joy not by ritual, or sacrifice, or dance, but in finding the good, the beauty, the holiness in every human condition. Father to son, mother to daughter, husband to wife, lovers, brothers, sisters, heroes, villains, it is what changes brokenness into dancing, doubt to faith, injury to pardon, this entity we call love, we turn it good or evil, but with love the prophets prophesy and the warriors wage wars, the poets dream, the artists create, the mother sanctifies her child in a bastion of love and that child knows she will be okay if she remembers the love shed into her life. God is love. I can accept it. And I can believe that my Pantheon of gods exists with their petty games and infatuated affections, but there is always something greater than even them: love. Turning around, I let my arms fall onto Bruce's neck, claiming his mouth with my own. Taking a breath, I feel as if the weight of the world fell off my shoulders onto the back of Hercules. Even if it doesn't last, at least I've tasted of this thing called love and can remember. Playfully pushing Bruce back towards Dick's bed, I smirk as Bruce cocks his shaking head, sharing a smile with Dick as if to solve the mystery by the word 'women'.

Standing on a porch at Wayne Manor, I wait as Alfred and Bruce make Dick as comfortable as an English Butler and a Billionaire can make a recovering young adult. After four hours of bantering with Superman, Bruce got fed up and packed Dick back to Earth in the modified Bat-Jet he uses to travel from the Watchtower to Gotham and everywhere in between. I went with him. The sun is setting and everything is serene, at the point where the crickets havn't woken up yet and the wolves have just gone to sleep. I can hear Poseidon's mighty ocean batting the cliffs on the side of the house and the rhythmic drumming is lulling me into a deep peace. The soles of Bruce's shoes thud against the marble with a click like wood on stone as he walks to stand beside me, leaned against the ornate rail. Within minutes, his arms snake around me from behind and his chin drifts onto my neck. Closing my eyes, I can hear his systematic breathing relax as the swell and churn of the ocean lifts and plunges to the few owls and nocturnal animals slinking about on Bruce's property.

"How is Dick?"

"He'll recover quickly, Alfred's going to make certain he receives on no condition any telephone calls" we chuckle as Bruce imitates his patriarchal Butler, complete with hand signals and posture. Alfred's taught you well, Mr. Wayne.


I nod, releasing a breath I didn't know was there. How quickly Bruce has come into himself astonishes me, makes me wonder how different his life would be if he had been given the opportunity earlier on. He takes my hand and examines my skin with his expert touch before spinning me around in a dance pose to which I equal, smiling.

"Finally decide to finish the dance we started in Paris, have you?"

A clear laugh extends out of his throat,

"If this is the only dance I get, I'll have to make it last a lifetime. Can you stay on your feet that long, Princess?"

"Try and keep up, Mortal Man"

"If it's a challenge"

"I guarantee it"

Dancing late into the night, we tumble onto Bruce's gigantic bed three hours before dawn, laughing. Taking me into his arms again, Bruce plants a tender kiss on my lips, drawing it out until both of us are breathless. Untangling my fingers from his black hair, I catch my breath as his hands graze my side and hips. The feeling of his touch is still so new, I am grateful and hope it remains always a miracle. Letting my fingers caress and massage his ears, I smile as I hear his breath stop and he takes my hands in his.

"Thank you Diana"

"You needed me"

"I almost lost you"

"Yes you did."

"What happened"

"I remembered that in every situation where there is evil, there is also good no matter how small somewhere. I found it."

Sharing a smile, I can see the youthful soul that must be in there somewhere. The age seems to melt from Bruce's face as he kisses my forehead between my eyebrows. Tickles.

"Me too"

I set out to save his soul. He has saved mine instead. Maybe through time we will save each others. Tonight and always, it more than enough.

"Princess, may I be granted the divine pleasure of worshipping you?"

What is that supposed to mea... oh,

"Yes please"

For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see, Saw the vision of the world and all the wonders that would be, Alfred Lord Tennyson: Locksley Hall.

Our laughter fills the halls and somewhere I can sense an elderly butler smiling. Good show, Princess. And it is good.
A year ago, if anyone was to tell me I would be making love to the Princess of the Amazons, I would have caused them to be enjoying soup of every flavour through a straw. Now, the words spoken, the phrases unsaid, the ecstacy and passion, are all mindblowing. Shakespeare wrote once, "if you can look into the seeds of time and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak then unto me". The minutes are dragging to morning, and I am holding the Princess in my arms. The skin to skin contact feels exillerating. She belongs in the sky, in heaven, in Olympus not in my bed, but together we found something so intangible it cuts the very air we breathe. If, as Buddah says, "all we are is a result of what we have thought" then all of us have thought the darkest evil and most supreme good. I thank whatever powers that Diana found me before evil did. All things are changing and we are changing with them. Change can be good, this is. This is good.