Author Note: This is the BM/WW shippy ending to Doomsday Sanction which would have happened if JLU was an hour long instead of 30 minutes.
The Watchtower (II) and its surrounding support satellites reside in a middle level orbit almost 1,000 miles above Earth. During the construction of the second Watchtower, J'onn and Batman had debated at great lengths about how high and where the Watchtower's orbit should be situated relative to the threats facing the Earth's population. The options ranged from a higher (over 22,000 miles straight up) geostationary orbit (likely above North America) to a lower orbit a few hundred miles above sea level. Both had advantages and disadvantages.
J'onn favored the geostationary orbit as the lower Earth orbit resulted in a fatigue inducing revolution around the Earth every 90 minutes. Batman preferred the Low-Earth orbit already used by the International Space Station in order to save fuel the Javelin's required to reach the Watchtower. The two opted for a compromise. The middle orbit allowed for relatively easy access for Javelins launching from the Earth while also providing a manageable height from which J'onn could easily reposition the Watchtower over a potential trouble spot.
The Watchtower had just slipped behind the Terminator (the dividing line on Earth between sunshine and darkness) when Bruce heard the hiss of the medical bay door. Diana slipped in quietly in case the patient was sleeping, then groaned when she realized he was still wide awake, riveted on the recent news reports of the public's favorable reaction to Luthor's candidacy for President of the United States. Most of the pundits agreed the announcement had aroused more excitement than seen in the political arena since Ross Perot declared in 1992.
"Don't you ever sleep?" she groused, moderating her tone to make sure he knew she was kidding.
He glared at her for a moment then responded by changing channels and increasing the volume. She tried to respond in kind, sternly pursing her lips while crossing her arms, but even her harshest glare would not elicit a response.
After another minute of being ignored, she decided to try a different tact. "You were a little hard on Clark, don't you think?"
"He can handle it." Bruce responded gruffly.
"That's not the point," she snapped back. "Calling us Justice Lords wasn't fair."
"Life isn't fair, Princess," he replied sternly. "Get used to it!"
Stifling a yelp of agony as he sat up in the bed, Bruce finally pulled his gaze from the video screen then glowered at her again. "Big surprise, you taking his side in this."
The accusation of an implied relationship with Clark shot home, especially since the world media always profiled Superman and Wonder Woman as if they were a couple. "That's not true and you know it!" she yelled. Angrily, she spun on her heels, raising her hand to open the door, then stopped. Bruce thought he detected the sound of her choking back a sob, but didn't feel the need to offer words of comfort.
She stared at the door for a few seconds before she'd regained enough composure to address him, but didn't bother turning around. Her voice quavered for a moment before she regained her poise. "Why do you insist on making this so… hard?"
"It's my responsibility," he replied without hesitation, "I'm here to make sure you don't get out of line."
"YOU," she emphasized, spinning to face him. "Meaning me and every member of the League with extraphysical prowess."
"If the shoe fits." He replied darkly, flipping the channels again for emphasis.
"ENOUGH!" Diana yelled. She crossed the room in two quick strides then yanked the channel changer from his grasp. Throwing it through the video monitor, she watched with satisfaction as the pieces of plastic showered onto his bed.
He raised in eyebrows, surprised by the sudden display of her fiery temperament.
Not to be outdone, she anchored her arms above either side of his shoulders then leaned over him until their faces were only a few inches apart. "Just because you're one of the two non-powered members of the League doesn't give you the license to treat me, or anybody else for that matter, like we're criminals."
He studied her carefully. Electing to preserve his own health for a moment, he softened his gaze, still perched only a few inches from hers. "Why are you here, Diana?" He nodded to his wounds. "Today…these… should only reinforce what I told you a few months ago."
Diana quickly swept her eyes over his bandages but slowed her inspection when her gaze moved over the sinewy muscles not damaged during the ejection from the Javelin. "You're still insisting on using your mortality crutch so we can't date?"
"Interesting description," he replied. "But it will serve."
"Your insistence on burning up Javelins, Batwings and Watchtowers troubles me more than your mortality." She replied, the hint of a smile reflected on her face.
"Like I said, I've got issues."
"You DO have issues, the best of which are your courage and your compassion for your friends and loved ones," she observed. Changing her stance in order to use only one arm in support, she delicately started to trace the outline of a faded scar on his exposed shoulder. "You almost killed yourself twice today. Once during the re-entry" she raised her hand to shush protest, "J'onn showed me the telemetry. He still can't figure out how you didn't burn up at 100,000 feet."
"Tricks of the trade, Diana. I haven't showed you every pilot trick I know."
She smiled with her eyes, fondly remembering the earliest days in the League when he'd taught her to pilot the Javelin before she continued her diatribe. "Then, once you slowed down to Mach 3, you attach the plane to a nuclear warhead in order to save me and Clark. You were pulling 14 G's when you ejected, by the way." She noted softly, now tracing the outline of the sculpted deltoid muscle of his shoulder. "You almost have this pathological need to put yourself in harm's way whenever I'm in danger."
He didn't reply for a moment, electing instead to savor the exquisite touch of her fingernails gliding over his skin. Finally, he drew in a deep breath. "It's not a death wish. The League needs you and Clark more than it needs me. I'm expendable."
She recoiled a few inches in shock, then angrily set her jaw in reply. "You are many things, Bruce Wayne, but 'expendable' isn't one of them." Realizing she sounded harsher than she intended, she took in a quick breath of her own before continuing. "First of all, I would miss your brooding too much. More importantly, you're our field general, our strategist… you're the warrior we look to for answers when nothing else works. If you're gone, the League would lose its edge. We need you."
"Others would replace me," he protested. "Nightwing could run this operation in his sleep."
"Your son is a welcome addition to the League," she agreed, "But you're still missing the point. I need you." She emphasized, then look at him pleadingly for the first time in her life. "So don't scare me like that again, okay?"
Still staring at each other, his gaze softened for the first time that night. He nodded his head in understanding. "Sorry if I scared you."
He brought his uninjured left hand up to hers for a moment, then retreated quickly as if her skin was hot to his touch. She laughed softly then moved her own hand over his. Diana turned his palm over then threaded her fingers through his. "There," she whispered, "that wasn't so hard, was it?"
"I don't know why you want this," he replied with a shake of his head, "I'm emotionally…unavailable."
"You're emotionally crippled," she replied with a smile. "Not unavailable. People who aren't available don't put themselves in harm's way every day for people they don't even know."
"I don't see much difference." He replied darkly.
"It doesn't matter if you see it or not," Diana replied, then leaned in to kiss his cheek. Pausing there for a moment, she whispered in his ear, "That's why I'm here – to keep YOU in line."
He considered her statement for a moment then nodded his head in agreement. She slipped into the bed next to him, immediately wincing with pity as he groaned in pain from the movement against his broken ribs. "Sorry," she whispered an apology, then rested her head on his chest.
"Don't be," he replied, then closed his eyes. Luthor would have to wait…for now.