Title: Visit to Gotham
A/N: This takes place during the recent War Games storyline. After Batman finds out about Stephanie, and is on his way to meet Orpheus. I've never written for Wonder Woman before, so I hope I got her right. The idea for Wonder Woman visiting Gotham during War Games came form Vinnie, many thanks to him for letting me use that idea.
VISIT TO GOTHAM
"I'm a little busy right now, Princess," Batman said as he sensed Diana's presence on the roof top.
Diana decided to ignore his attempt to dismiss her, and get to the reason for her visit. "I already know the answer, but. . . Want any help?"
"You already know the answer," he agreed. "I take it I have you to thank for Clark not showing up before now?"
"I reminded him that you don't like us in Gotham," she admitted.
"And then you came yourself. . . "
She just shrugged. "Better me than him."
"Better for who?" he threw back, then he paused and took a deep breath. Knowing that the usual 'Batman' intimidation persona never worked with Diana he decided to deal with her as Bruce. "If you want to help me, leave Gotham and keep the others away from here."
Diana was silent for a moment, thinking, trying to put the pieces together. "This is more than the usual 'stay out of my city' isn't it?"
Knowing she wouldn't let the subject drop, he answered, "I'm sure you remember when certain of my files were stolen and used against the League." He made it a statement, rather than a question.
Painful memories crowded Diana's mind for a moment, but she pushed them away. "Hard to forget, but what. . ." She paused for a beat, as the final pieces fell into place. "Someone's taken more of your files and is using them to cause this mess," she said with sad confidence.
Bruce gave the slightest of nods. "Yes. A war game plan I had in case I ever needed to take control of Gotham's underworld."
"Who?" Diana asked, genuinely curious. Which of Gotham's 'Rouges Gallery' had been able to get into Batman's files?
"Doesn't matter. The person who took the plan is no longer in control," he said, not wanting to mention Stephanie. He was still unsure of how he'd deal with her when he finally found her. He was angry at her for taking the plan, but he knew some of the blame for that, and most of the blame for the plan going wrong, rested squarely on his shoulders. He pushed the thought away and refocused on Diana.
Diana had been witness to enough of Bruce's plans to know that the plan would work. Whoever it was would end up in charge of Gotham's underworld. Before she could say anything Bruce spoke again.
"Right now I'm on my way to meet the crucial player in this game. If he's still alive, I can win this game," Bruce said with confidence.
"Since it was your plan you wouldn't have factored in the League as opponents, that means whoever is in charge now won't be ready for us. We could help keep them busy while you get your "crucial player" into place," she offered, but again knew what his answer would be.
"Considering what happened last time my files were taken and used against us, I'm sure you understand why I don't want the League. . . involved." His mind's eye saw images of Clark, suffering pain that would have killed any human. Diana in a fight she could never win. Kyle, blind and unable to properly use his ring. Flash, a specialized bullet in him. Aquaman, afraid of the very water he needed to live. Plastic man, frozen and shattered. Jonn, burning alive. He couldn't allow them to be hurt again.
Diana was fairly sure Bruce had been going to say he didn't want his friends hurt, but had stopped himself.
Seeing that she was unconvinced, Bruce gave her another reason to keep the League away. "There's also the fact that the people have lost their faith in me. They no longer trust me. If the rest of you show up, they could lose faith in you as well. The world needs the Justice League, and needs to be able to trust the Justice League."
Unable to argue with his logic, Diana sighed. "I'll keep the others away, but know we are there, if you need us." She realized Bruce knew that, but wanted to remind him.
"Thank you," Batman said. With a nod he walked to the edge of the roof and leapt off, sending his D-Cel line ahead of him to the next roof.
Within minutes Diana was on her way back to the Watchtower. She knew the others, especially Clark, wouldn't like what she was going to tell them, but she would make sure they respected Batman's wishes in this. She, and the League, owed him that much.