Family Introductions
by DC Lady


Thanks again, Heybats!

This story follows the Alfred's Prayer series of vignettes.

Diana gazed at her image in the full-length mirror, satisfied with
the blue dress she chose for the occasion. She smiled at her
reflection, fondly remembering the past several weeks. Her evolving
relationship with Bruce Wayne had been a welcome addition to her

In the last two years, she'd spent a fair amount of time getting
to know Batman on various missions with the Justice League. That
being said, she'd recently discovered the man behind the mask
was a total stranger to her. The endless flirtations they shared in
the past gave her glimpses into his world, captivating her interest
and possibly her heart.

But, dating did not come easy. Their first date was arranged by
Alfred, Bruce's butler and surrogate father - and possibly the
only man who could make the Batman cower in fear. During this date,
she'd discovered the complexity of Bruce Wayne. He was a riddle
to her. A man who at the drop of a hat would call upon various
personas he used to keep people at arms length. Hoping that
she'd leave, he'd tried to anger her by using his carefully
crafted image as a playboy as a deterrent. Luckily, Alfred had
taken her under his wing, anticipating the various methods Bruce
would likely use to repulse her.

Alfred's strategy and her persistence worked in concert to
achieve her goal: getting Bruce on a real date. It was still early
at this stage of their growing relationship to hope for some sort of
commitment, but since they'd settled into a habit of seeing each
other a few times a week, Diana had noticed a steep decline of
tabloid headlines featuring Bruce Wayne's love life.

With Alfred's careful tutelage (and much to Bruce's relief),
Diana suggested that they keep their newfound dating status quiet
for the present time. Neither was certain where their dating would
lead, but they were both adamant about guarding their privacy.

They wanted to get to know each other in normal circumstances,
without the constant threat they faced on a daily basis as
superheroes or under the glare of well meaning family and friends.
That would pressure an already commitment-shy bachelor to run
screaming for the safety of his cave. To reduce the anxiety level,
the next few dates were either quiet evenings at the Manor or in
Diana's sitting room adjacent to her bedroom on the Watchtower.
Alfred also made one quiet suggestion to both of them out of earshot
of the other; no bedroom antics until both were ready to make a
definitive commitment.

This particular day was a momentous day as Bruce had invited Diana
to meet his son. It was a significant step for Bruce, who initially
wanted to take this thing' with Diana at a snail's pace.
He'd been unwilling to rush into something that would jeopardize
their working relationship with the League and had originally
suggested going on a date once a month. By introducing his son,
Diana assumed it represented an indication that Bruce was ready to
advance to the next level.

This was also the first time that Bruce Wayne would be seen in
public with Diana, a difficult proposition as she had never bothered
to assume a secret identity. She was widely known as Wonder Woman.
To keep the media hounds at bay, they dined at the restaurant
located on the top floor of Wayne Enterprises. As the owner; he had
a table reserved for him in a private room. The table was private
enough to keep away from curious patrons and media who followed the
antics of the playboy.

Bruce nervously waited for Dick's arrival. Dick's approval
obviously meant a lot to him, Diana noted, watching his increasingly
nervous behavior with amusement. Bruce never ceased to amaze her.
So different from the Batman persona she knew so well, to her
amazement she found Bruce to be reserved; uneasy about his
feelings. So unlike the self-assured Bat that she found the
difference startling.

After a few minutes of nervous chatter Bruce spotted Dick. The
Maitre'd escorted him to their table where he arrived with his
trademark grin. Bruce stood and firmly clasped Dick's hand in a
sturdy shake, extending his other hand to Diana.

"Dick, I'd like for you to meet Diana," Bruce introduced.
"Diana, this is my son, Dick."

Dick took the Amazon's hand in his, bringing it to his lips for a
kiss. "I'm glad that we've finally had the chance to
meet. Alfred speaks very highly of you."

Diana smiled. "Alfred. And what of Bruce? Does he not speak of
me, too?" she teased.

Dick stole a quick glance at his father and smiled. "Bruce hardly
speaks at all. You know; the strong, silent type and all."

Diana relaxed at Dick's easy manner, instantly smitten by the
charming young man Bruce had raised from an early age.

The waitress approached the table when she saw Dick join the
group. "Can I get you something to drink before you order,

"Yes. Yes you can. Bring us your best bottle of champagne."

Bruce touched Dick's arm. "Don't you think it's a
little early for champagne?"

"Not at all. I'm in the mood to celebrate. After all,
it's not everyday I get to meet my Dad's girlfriend."

Diana laughed. "Why not. I've had champagne only once
before; Paris, wasn't it?" she asked, turning to Bruce.
Laughing atthe memory, she turned back to Dick. "I enjoyed
it immensely."

"There you go. We can't deprive Diana of another glass, now
can we?" Dick's charming nature was definitely in full swing.

Bruce nodded to the waitress his consent then turned to Dick.
"You off the rest of the day?" He questioned the younger man
who worked as a police officer in Bludhaven.

"Bruce, I wouldn't order alcoholic beverages if I didn't
have the day off. I have a couple of days off, actually.
I was hoping to spend some time in Gotham. If that's ok with
you, that is?"

"You know it is. You don't have to ask."

"I know."

Bruce's phone rang. Reaching into the breast pocket of his suit,
he pulled out his phone and answered the call. "Hello... Oh,
hello Lucius... Yes I know I'm not at the office. I'm
having a late lunch at Tony's with Dick and a friend... The
he questioned "S.E.C... Oh! Lucius I don't fool around with
secretaries anymore. Not after what happened the last time...
U.S. Securities and what?"

Dick rolled his eyes at the dimwitted playboy and leaned over to
whisper in Diana's ear. "You can take the playboy out of the
mansion, but you can't take the mansion out of the playboy."

Diana laughed causing a smile to crease Bruce's lips.

"Alright, alright. I'll be there in 15 minutes. But I still
don't understand why I have to meet with the secretaries. Do
they need investing tips or something?" Bruce deadpanned.
"Ok, Lucius. Whatever you say. I'm on my way." Bruce turned an
apologetic look to Diana. "I have to go."

"Go meet with Lucius, Bruce. He usually doesn't bother you
unless it's important. Diana and I will entertain ourselves while
you're gone," Dick stated.

"That's what I'm afraid of. I shouldn;t be long." He
leaned down to kiss Diana's cheek, then turned to Dick with a
pointed finger. "Behave."

Dick gave Bruce the stunned, "Who, Moi?" look then broke out
into an evil grin. "Don't you worry about a thing,
Bruce." Then he turned to Diana as Bruce walked away from the
table, making certain that he could overhear. "Diana, did I ever
tell you the time that Bruce." He stopped, then looked up at
Bruce with the same grin. Bruce glared, then turned and left for
his office.

Diana and Dick settled into a late lunch of exquisite Italian food,
champagne, and tantalizing conversation revolving around the
schizophrenia of one Bruce Wayne.

"Oh, oh. I got one. My enemies can use those I love against
me," Diana stated, her voice lowered, trying to imitate Batman.

Dick laughed. "If I've heard that once, I've heard it a
gazillion times. Why do you think I ran away from home? He would
have been perfectly happy moving me into the cave permanently where
he could keep a constant watchful eye me."

Diana laughed, the dizzying effects of the champagne wearing off a
fraction. She looked up to meet Dick's eyes before continuing on
a more serious note. "He is also one of the finest men I've
ever met. I have learned a lot about him. Much more than I initially
assumed existed beneath the cowl," she whispered so as not to be
overheard by a passing waiter or patron. "There is quite a
contrast between the two, isn't there?"

"I was hoping you'd get to see that side of him. He protects
it pretty well. Not many know who the real Bruce Wayne is."

"Why is that? I realize he needs to protect his identity, but
the contrast is still so huge. Why the playboy image?" Diana

"That's kinda complicated. Partially for extra insurance in
protecting his identity. But, mostly, I think, it's easier for
him to put on this playboy' mask when facing such a large
audience on a daily basis. Being one of the richest men in America
can have its drawbacks. The real Bruce Wayne is much more

"Yes he is, isn't he? And yet all of the women he has
charmed is daunting. He must be enjoying that persona more than we

"Diana, those women; they mean nothing to Bruce. They're
shallow, gold diggers who crave the limelight and dream of being the
one' to wed the richest man in Gotham," Dick tried to

"But," she started. Her concern over Bruce's many women
washing over her features. "There have been so many. He is;
'experienced'. I might be a disappointment." She held his gaze,
unembarrassed by the turn of the conversation.

"Bruce isn't as experienced as you might think. Yes,he's
had a couple of relationships that've been serious, but the
others are just an act. He leaned closer, placing a comforting
hand over hers. "In all my years at the manor, he never brought
anyone home with him. And he never stayed overnight with anyone
either. He always made it back early enough for us to patrol.
They were just a show," Dick explained.

Diana visibly relaxed.

"Hey, are you trying to steal my date?" Bruce smirked at his
son who still had his hand over Diana's.

Dick playfully picked up Diana's hand and rubbed it
tenderely. "That'll teach you to abandon your date and leave
her alone with me," Dick teased.

Bruce looked shyly to the floor. "I do apologize for that. It
couldn't be helped."

Dick let Diana's hand go. "Everything alright?"

"Yes. Thanks to Lucius quick thinking, a potential accounting
audit has been nipped in the bud," Bruce murmured then looked at
his son. "He was wondering when you were going to start working at
Wayne Enterprises. I told him that I would ask you; again."

From their conversation, Diana knew that Dick was adamant about his
independence. He would not be content living in Bruce's shadow.
But, he also spoke of how his relationship with Bruce had grown over
the past year. He was' his own person and no longer felt the
need to run from Bruce to prove it. "Well, why don't you tell
Lucius that I'll think about it? Who knows what tomorrow'll

Bruce smiled more brightly than she had ever seen him. It wasn't
a commitment, but it was a start. "Yes, who knows," he
returned then turned to Diana. "I only know that I like how
things have been progressing thus far."

Diana smiled, taking his offered hand. "As do I."