A/N: This story is for Trecebo. Thanks for all the support and encouragement. I'm not real familiar with the Superman or Wonderwoman timelines. . . So I'm saying that Lex Luthor was just elected President; Wonderwoman, Superman and Batman have worked together, but there's no JLA yet; and it's the summer after Dick graduated from High School, before he leaves for college.
Walking into the reception, Bruce looked around. He wasn't surprised to see Clark and Lois. After all, the reception was being held by the newly elected President Lex Luthor. Clark never passed up a chance to keep an eye on Lex. And Lois never passed up a chance to get a good story.
With Bruce Wayne's usual, easy, smile in place, he turned to greet his host. "Hello, Lex." They'd known each other since they'd both been students at Excelsior Prep. Even then, they'd been rivals more than friends; but they'd always kept up an appearance of friendliness, if not the reality.
"I'd like you to meet, Princess Diana, of Paradise Island. Or do you two already know each other?"
Bruce raised an eyebrow at the insinuation in Lex's voice. "No. I've never had the pleasure." Turning to Diana he took her hand and raised it to his lips. "It's an honor to meet you, Princess."
"A pleasure to meet you, Mr. Wayne," she replied. And in a way she felt as if she was meeting him for the first time. She'd worked with Batman many times, but never seen him as Bruce Wayne. He truly seemed like a different person. It was no wonder he was able to fool everyone, she decided.
"Please, call me Bruce. My son, Richard," Bruce introduced.
With his trademark grin in place Dick stepped forward and greeted her. Diana smiled at him and relaxed. It was much easier to see the smart alec Robin in Dick Greyson, than to see the brooding Batman in Bruce Wayne.
Only once they'd moved on did Lex realize that Bruce had never introduced his son to him. For a moment he wondered if it was a deliberate insult, but then decided Bruce was to shallow to have done something that subtle. Not that he thought Bruce was stupid, he knew about the straight A's Bruce had gotten at Excelsior and every other school they'd attended; but whatever one said about Bruce Wayne, subtlety was not his strong suite. And he had much more important things to worry about this evening than his old rival. Looking over at Mercy, Lex gave a small nod.
A couple hours later Bruce was watching Diana. He'd meant to spend the night keeping an eye on Lex, but his attention kept straying to Diana. The deep purple silk dress she wore was of simple design, meaning it didn't distract from her perfect figure. But there was something else. . . he just hadn't been able to place it yet. Then he saw it. She reached out and rested her hand on the edge of a table for balance.
A moment later he was at her side. "Diana?"
The concern in his voice was unmistakable, and totally unlike the Batman she was used to dealing with. "I'm not sure what's wrong. It's getting harder to keep my balance, and my head and muscles are starting to hurt," she said softly, so only he could hear.
Her admission worried Bruce. The easy answer would be that she'd drunk too much, but she hadn't, and that wouldn't explain the headache and sore muscles. It was still hours too soon for a hangover.
Across the room Clark wasn't really listening as Lois charmed a foreign diplomat she wanted an exclusive interview with. Then one word, spoken in a low familiar voice, caught his attention. "Kal-El".
"Something's happened to Diana. Meet us outside. The gardens," Bruce continued speaking in a whisper he knew only Clark could hear. He'd leaned in as if whispering to Diana, so that there was no chance for someone to read his lips, now or watching the security tape later.
With his arm around her waist he began leading Diana out. When Dick met his eyes Bruce sent a silent message, using just a look. 'Cover me. Watch out for Lex.' Bruce had no doubt that Lex was behind whatever was wrong with Diana.
Dick gave an almost imperceptible nod. His job was now to be careful of Lex and make sure no one followed Bruce out. If necessary he'd also have to explain Bruce's absence, but seeing the looks on people's faces as they watched Bruce and Diana walk out into the garden together, with their arms around each other, people were drawing their own conclusions about why Bruce was leaving. Dick almost shook his head. There were definitely times when Bruce's carefully created reputation as a playboy came in handy. A few seconds later he saw Clark slip out another door. He doubted anyone else would make the connection between the three people leaving.
"What's going on?" Clark asked once they were all three in a secluded part of the garden.
"I believe Diana has been drugged," Bruce answered, his arm still around Diana's waist, helping to steady and support her. "I need to get her back to the Cave immediately."
Moments later Clark had flown them to the Cave.
"I'm going to go back and make sure no one else is in danger," Clark said. "I'll keep and eye on Dick, too," he added.
Bruce gave a nod. He knew Dick could take care of himself, but with Lex involved, it wouldn't hurt to have Superman watching his back. And Dick could also keep watch on Superman. Clark's judgment had always been. . . less than objective, when dealing with Lex Luthor.
With Clark gone, Bruce turned his attention to Diana. She'd sunk into the chair in front of the computers and was looking around the Cave. "This is even more amazing than the rumors," she noted.
"The Wayne Fortune has its uses."
Just then the elevator opened and Alfred appeared. "Master Bruce. I hadn't expected you back so soon. . ." He broke off when Bruce stepped to the side, revealing Diana. "Miss Diana, welcome to Wayne Manor," he greeted, recognizing her, even though they'd never met.
"Hello," she replied.
"Alfred, could you call Leslie. I think we're going to need her."
"Of course, Sir," Alfred said, stepping back into the elevator.
"Leslie?" Diana asked.
"Leslie Tompkins. She's been my doctor, and friend, since . . . I was a child."
'Since your parents died,' Diana realized, though her thoughts were becoming increasingly fuzzy.
Bruce easily picked her up and carried her over to a nearby bed that was surrounded by medical equipment. She was a bit surprised by his easy strength. Of course she knew Batman was strong, but her drugged mind hadn't made the connection to that meaning Bruce Wayne would also be strong. She barely registered Bruce taking a sample of blood, and then beginning to run it through the computer to analyze it.
While the computer worked on figuring out what she had been drugged with, Bruce concentrated on figuring out how she had been drugged. He felt sure that the entire reception wasn't in danger. Too many people Lex needed were there. That left two possibilities. Either Lex had used something that affected Amazons, but not humans; or he had found a way to drug only Diana's drink. He suspected the second option was far more likely.
A small movement from Diana drew his attention, and he walked to the bedside. "Would you be more comfortable in one of the Manor's guest rooms?" Even as he spoke he realized something. He didn't mind having her in the Cave. Given that, as a rule, he didn't like to have anyone outside the BatClan in the Cave, this realization surprised him.
It took her drugged mind a few seconds to process the question. "No. I'd rather stay here." 'With you,' she silently added. She knew most people, even their fellow JLA members, found him intimidating, but at the moment his presence seemed very comforting. He was working to find out what had been done to her, and she knew that he wouldn't stop until he had the answers. The concept of giving up wasn't one Bruce understood. It was perhaps the most dangerous thing about him. No matter what happened, or how much time passed, he would never give up. You could never count him out, because he would just come back, stronger and more prepared than ever.