When Amazons Attack by Djinn
"Batman! Oh, thank God, you're here!" The bouncer, who towered above Bruce and outweighed him by a good hundred pounds, looked like he was ready to cry.
"Where is she?"
"In the VIP room. Please, sir. Don't hurt me."
Bruce realized he had a firm hold of the man's collar, was twisting it. "How did she get in this state?"
"It was a new drink in her honor. Themysciran Ice Tea. No one told her it wasn't just tea."
"What else was in it?"
The man winced.
Bruce tightened his hold. "What else?"
"Absinthe?" He squeaked out the final syllable.
Bruce threw him across the room, striding into the bar, cursing under his breath. Mother-freakin' absinthe? Diana couldn't tell that wasn't something out of the ordinary?
"Hey, everyone! Look who's here." Diana threw back a glass mug of greenish brown liquid.
"Everyone" seemed to be a strange mix of celebrities and others who looked like they'd been flung into their present seating arrangements. One rock-and-roll type was hanging over the slow-moving ceiling fan, making an "I'm about to hurl" tour of the room.
Bruce moved out of the line of fire. "Diana?"
She walked over to him, crashing down heavily with each footstep. A supermodel barely got out of the way.
"Look who it is." Diana punched him in the solar plexus with her index finger.
But for the magic of Kevlar, Bruce would have been doubled over. He was pretty sure she'd meant that as a love tap. He grabbed her hands before she could do it again. "Let's go home, Princess."
He was praying to God that she'd remember not to call him by his name.
"You think I'm drunk." She leaned in, her breath smelling like wormwood and spice had taken the Nestea plunge--it wasn't a good mix.
"You are drunk, Wonder Woman."
"Well, yes. But in the morning I won't be. And you'll still be dour as hell." She giggled. A high-pitched, girly sound he'd have bet money she could not make.
"Kareena. Where is she?"
The supermodel she'd nearly stepped on started to crawl away. Diana laughed and snatched her up. "There you are." She carried the six-foot tall--most of it legs--woman as if she was a sack of groceries. "It's okay, he likes pretty women, too."
"Not that this isn't a fantasy come to life, but lets put the nice supermodel down and get out of here."
Kareena nodded frantically--Diana appeared to be holding on a little too tightly.
Diana made a noise of disgust and let go. The woman landed on her feet--never underestimate the utility of walking a slick catwalk in four-inch Blahniks. Bruce wondered if he should incorporate it into his training regimen.
Kareen leaned forward, sticking a card down the bodice of Diana's uniform. "If you're ever, you know, not wasted off your ass?"
"Ooh. She gave me her card." Diana pushed it farther down.
Bruce tried not to watch.
Kareena glanced at him. "Do you want one?"
He was pretty sure he'd met up with her a few times as Bruce, but what the hell. Supermodels didn't grow on trees. He took the card from her.
"Let's go," he said, trying to put his best Batman growl into the order.
Diana followed until they got to the pinball machines. "Oh, wait. I want to play."
"I have pinball in the Batcave." It was a total lie. But she didn't know that.
"But you don't have Themyssssssss..." She frowned. "Themysssss... That ice tea stuff. You know, my home is really hard to say. I need to come up with another name for it."
"I'm sure you'll be able to say it just fine once you're sober again."
"I'm not drunk, Br--" She clapped her hand over her mouth, eyes wide as she giggled again in what was becoming a really annoying laugh. "Oops. I almost blew it."
Bruce wondered how hard he'd have to punch her to knock her out. And just how badly she'd make him pay for it if she woke up still drunk. He opted for cool subterfuge.
"Look! Was that the Cheetah?" He pointed vaguely in the direction of "out of the bar."
"I've got her!" Diana took off, flying low. Her form was great, but her aim seemed suspect. She flew right into the doorjamb and fell like a downed tree, making the bar--and probably neighboring restaurants--tremble.
Bruce hurried to her, picking her up with a groan. Damned muscle mass.
He turned to look at the crowd. "You will all forget this ever happened."
"Except maybe you."
Then he was gone. Like the wind. The wind trying to carry six-feet of solid muscle while navigating through a crowded bar where no one seemed to want to get out of the way. He finally propped Diana up against the wall, snatched a smoke bomb from his belt, and lobbed it onto the dance floor. Once he saw a path start to clear, he grabbed her and ran.
He saw that someone had put a flyer on the Batmobile window--he could have a new career in direct sales. Right. He dumped Diana into the passenger seat and strapped her in. Then he tore the flyer up into little pieces and let them go.
"That's littering." Diana was watching him, her head lolling from side to side. "Oh, I don't feel so good."
He vaulted over the hood, just managed to get the door back open, her belt undone, and her head pointed the right way before she started to vomit.
"Oh, yeah. This is that dream date I've been fantasizing about for so long."
She finally stopped, and he handed her a sanitary wipe he pulled from his utility belt. She looked at it, then up at him.
"Don't even start with me, Diana."
She started to say something, then just wiped her mouth off and took the water he fished out from behind the seat.
"You're going to be dehydrated."
"I'm going to destroy every crop of tea I can find." She belched, then held her hand to her mouth. "Once I can see straight again."
"That wasn't just tea, you dimwit."
"What did you just call me?" She looked like she was about to hit him, then winced. "Ow," she said, digging Kareena's card from her cleavage.
Bruce indulged himself by watching the extraction.
"This is that pretty blonde girl, isn't it? Go back and get her, Bruce."
"She said to look her up when you're sober."
"Party pooper." Diana threw the card into the street.
"You'll regret that."
"I regret lots of things."
She held her hand over her mouth, blew out, and took a whiff. "Oh my goddess, that's heinous. Do you have a Bat-breath-mint in that belt of yours?"
He dug one out for her, then popped another in his mouth. At her look, he said, "Crouching in the shadows is no excuse for bad breath."
"Right. You probably own stock in these." She buckled herself back in as he got in the car. "Let's hit the road, Jeeves." Again the giggle.
Bruce had heard nails on chalkboard that hurt his ears less. "Diana, please stop giggling."
"Fine." She reached down, put the car in gear. Which would have been a mess if the car had actually been turned on. "Vroooom, vroooom." She leaned toward him, her body seemingly boneless, supported only by the seatbelt. "Your car sucks."
He started to laugh. "Just wait."
"My dead grandmother can run faster than this car goes."
"Do you even have a dead grandmother?" He started the car, pulled out.
"I think so. But even if not, it's a great saying, don't you think?" She sighed. "So many great sayings in English. Themys... My language is really boring. 'Hand me the larger sword, please.' But English--I mean, where else do you get to say, 'Bite me!'?"
"You have a point."
"I do. I love it here, Bruce." She ran her hand over his leg. "I love so many things about being here."
"Yes, and they love you." He moved her hand off his leg and headed toward home. "Why are you in Gotham, Diana?"
"It's my birthday."
"No, it's not. Your birthday's in a month."
She blew hard, a mocking little sound. "That's what I tell people. I don't want complete strangers wishing me happy birthday on my real day. I celebrate that with those I care about."
She got very quiet. He thought maybe she'd passed out and glanced over at her. She was staring at him, her mouth set in a trembly little pout.
"No," she said. "Not Kareena."
"Someone else in that bar, then?"
She shook her head.
"You." She looked down. "Only you're always so mean to me. I kind of...chickened out halfway to your house."
"And decided to get rollicking drunk?"
"They said it was ice tea." She blinked back tears, and he wished the giggle would come back.
He hated it when she cried. Hated what it did to him. What it made him want to do for her--with her.
"I didn't mean to get drunk." She wiped at her eyes. "I didn't know they'd call you."
"Okay." He glanced at her, saw that she was staring out the window. "I'm not mean to you."
"Am not." He held up a hand when she started her comeback. They were descending into new lows. "Why do you think I'm mean?"
"Every time you let me in just a little, you have to be sharp and grim. Just to get me to retreat again."
"Maybe I don't want you."
There was a long silence. Then she whapped him hard across the chest. "You lying sack of shit. Everyone wants me."
"Lying sack of shit? Is that really superhero speak?"
"I love that one. The closest we come in my language is 'offal bucket.'"
"And hey! You're just changing the subject. I may be drunk, but I can still track a conversation. I'm a warrior, you know?"
"It's a little hard to forget that." He was still trying to get his breath back from her whap.
"Why are you so mean?"
"I just am."
"Bruce. Please. Tell me." She had that tone that he found hard to resist.
He resisted anyway. Then he felt the lasso drop over his head.
"Bruce?" At least she didn't tighten it.
"Because I can't afford to care about you. People I care about end up getting hurt." There, he'd said it. With luck, she'd have forgotten it once she sobered up.
She pulled the lasso off him. "That's so sad."
Was she going to cry again? He glanced over, was relieved to see she was dry eyed and staring out the window.
"I can fly home," she finally said.
"State you're in, you'll get tangled up in some power lines."
"Call Kal. He'll escort me home."
"State you're in, you'll get tangled up in him."
He expected her to get mad. But she laughed softly.
"State I'm in, Bruce, I could get tangled up in you."
"That would be taking advantage."
"And you'd never do that." She made her voice very low and disapproving.
He realized she was mocking him. "Why don't you pass out or something?"
"Amazons metabolize alcohol very quickly, Bruce. I'll be sober soon."
"Then I can fly home."
"Now who's the party pooper?" She grew quiet, just stared out the window as the Batmobile ate up the miles to the Batcave.
As he pulled in, he saw Alfred waiting. The old man saw Diana and his smile grew broader. "Miss Diana. I was hoping you'd stop by. Happy birthday!"
Bruce stared at Diana. "He knows it's your birthday?"
"Why does he know and I don't?"
She shrugged again and went to hug Alfred.
Alfred wrinkled his nose. "Oh, my, Miss. Been indulging, have you?"
"I didn't mean to. Don't ever let me have Themysciran Ice Tea, okay?"
"It's a deal." Alfred leaned in, as if it was just the two of them. "I'll make coffee."
As Alfred left, Bruce said, "Does Clark know it's your birthday?"
She gave him a look. Muttered something that he imagined was the Themysciran version of sack o'shit.
"Damn it, Diana."
She was already halfway up the stairs. Still weaving a bit, but no longer half as inebriated. "It's okay. Stay down in the Cave with your little gizmos. I'm sure they'll love you back."
He stood there a minute. Then he raced up, caught her on the top step. "You love me?"
"I didn't say that."
"You sort of did."
"Yes, Kal knows." She started to cry, which made the mean way she'd just said that hurt a bit less.
"Then why aren't you with Kal?"
"Because I'm here. Like an idiot. Banging my head against the Bat-wall."
"Well, maybe you should stop?"
"Maybe I should." She grabbed him, and for a second, he thought she was going to throw him off the staircase, but then she spun and slammed him into the door to the changing room. The door, sensing motion, slid open, and they fell through it and to the ground. She landed on top of him.
The outer door opened, and Alfred looked down at them. "Your coffee is ready. Would you like me to serve it in there?"
"No, we don't goddamned want you to serve it in here."
"Very well." Alfred seemed to be fighting to keep his face straight. "Miss Diana. Do you require any assistance?"
"Nope. I'm good." She stared down at Bruce, as if daring him to contradict her.
"We're fine, old man. Go back to your crosswords or whatever it is you do when you aren't tormenting me."
"As you wish, sir." The door closed gently.
"Where were we?" Diana asked.
Bruce rolled her, knew she was letting him because she gave up the higher ground far too easily. He stared down at her.
"Aren't you going to wish me happy birthday?" Her voice was very soft, her eyes even more so.
"Happy birthday." And he kissed her.
It was just supposed to be a little kiss. A touching of lips between friends. Her arms were not supposed to twine around his neck. His mouth was not supposed to open. His tongue was not supposed to go searching for hers.
Apparently the plan was not made clear to any part of him but his brain.
She moaned and deepened the kiss.
He was suddenly heartily glad his body had a mind of its own.
They finally pulled away, and she looked aroused and sleepy--a deadly mix as far as he was concerned. He wanted to protect her and hold her and screw the living hell out of her.
"Was that my present?" She ran her fingers through his hair, causing shivers wherever she touched. "Or was that just part of it?"
She shut him up by kissing him, somehow managed to push him off her and get them both to their feet before she pulled away.
He felt a pang of tenderness. He knew it was weakness to feel it. He knew she'd become a target.
He then remembered she was damned near invulnerable.
Maybe this would be okay?
His mind said no; the rest of his body overruled it. His heart provided the tiebreaker. Smiling at her, he saw her seem to relax.
He opened the door and smelled the aroma of something good and probably sinfully sweet. Diana smiled, and it was the most beautiful smile he'd ever seen.
"Alfred's baking you a birthday cake."
"He's a nice man." She leaned in, kissing him tenderly. "You could be a nice man, too, if you'd try."
"You don't like me because I'm a nice man." He stroked her hair back, marveling at how soft it was.
"Well, that's true." She cuddled against him, and he heard her yawn.
"I'll be okay." But she yawned again.
He walked them to the couch, sat and pulled her down to cuddle in his arms. "Sleep for a while. I'll wake you when the cake's done."
"He better not guess my age right. All those candles will burn down your pretty, pretty house."
He laughed. "I'll tell him to be careful."
"Okay." And then she was out.
She snored and she drooled a little.
He found it charming--he was so gone.