When It All Comes Down
A Justice League story by Lavender Gaia
Summary: After the events of Starcrossed, Wonder Woman talks to Batman about his decision to go down with the Watchtower.
Pairing: Batman/Wonder Woman
Disclaimer: I do not own Justice League or any related characters. They all belong to DC Comics.
Dedicated to alittlesummerwine for being an excellent writer and a great person. Plus, no one can write Alfred quite like she can.
You can wake up now, the universe has ended. – Jim Stark, Rebel Without a Cause
It made sense to Diana that a formidable man would have such an ominous place to live. There wasn't a lot of light, and the hallways seemed to echo when she walked through them. Of course, it was very kind of Bruce to let her stay here now that the Watchtower was…in disrepair, but she had hardly seen anyone other than J'onn or the butler, Alfred Pennyworth. He had even found her clothes to wear, all of her belongings having went down in the fiery explosion of the Watchtower.
At the moment, she was waiting outside Bruce's bedroom, having finally found it in the labyrinth that was Wayne Manor. Mr. Pennyworth was inside now, tending to the wounds his charge had gotten during the fight with the Thanagareans. Hearing footsteps approaching, she moved back from the door.
Alfred blinked several times as he opened the door to find Diana standing in front of it. "Your highness," he smiled, covering up his surprise. "Is there something I can get for you?"
"No, thank you," Diana shook her head. "You've done too much for me already."
"Nonsense, Princess. It is an honor to serve you." Alfred lowered his voice conspiratorially, "If you are going in to see the Master, may I ask something of you? He tends to like getting up before he is fully healed. Lord knows I've tried to teach him since he was young that it only worsens the situation. Alas, his head is harder than these stone walls. If you could get him to lay down for at least an hour, I would be most grateful."
Diana smiled; the mental image of a child-like Bruce trying to climb out of bed as soon as Alfred turned his back was extremely entertaining. "I'll do my best."
"That is all I ask," he bowed, before heading down the hallway towards the large staircase.
Taking a deep breath, she pushed open the large oak door, not surprised to see Bruce pushing the down comforter off himself and swinging his legs over the side of the bed. She reached his side when he was still in mid-wince, gently putting her hand on his shoulder. "I thought you were supposed to be resting."
He opened his eyes, blue orbs observing her warily. "Nothing gets done while I lay in bed, and there's plenty to do. I need to secure funds for a new Watchtower, not to mention the Javelin, think up new passwords, go over what I missed in Gotham when we were under martial law…"
"All of which can wait until you're able to sit up without any pain," she added gentle pressure to her grasp on his shoulder, easing him back into a reclining position.
Rolling his eyes, he moved up on the pillows anyway. "You're as bad as Alfred."
She smiled lightly. "I'm worse. I can hold you here if I have to." From his bed, Bruce looked longingly at the PDA sitting on his nightstand. Deciding that he needed a distraction from work that was sure to get him agitated, she cleared her throat, "Thank you for letting me stay here."
"It isn't a problem. As you see, we have plenty of room. Besides, it's the least I can do after I used your former residence as a weapon of mass destruction."
Diana stared at the hardwood floors, a sudden lump in her throat. Flash had told her what had happened in space, confirmed by J'onn when the speedster was talking too fast for her to understand. He tended to do that when he was anxious, and normally she found it endearing, but this information was too important to gloss over.
"He just said it was an honor to work with us! An honor to work with us?" Flash had repeated, running back and forth between opposite walls of the Batcave when they had finally arrived back. "What is that? I mean, do even Bat suicide notes have to be weird?"
"You should get a place of your own," Bruce told her now, rubbing a sore shoulder.
She met his gaze. "Why?"
He raised an eyebrow. "It's good to have a home base."
"No. Why did you stay in the Watchtower when we were going to use it against the Thanagareans?"
His lips were set in a firm line. "As I told Kent fifty times, it was the only way to ensure that it would hit where we needed it to hit."
Diana shook her head. "I'm sure there were other ways."
"None that could have been thought of and properly executed in the small amount of time we had, Diana. You know that." He took a deep breath, looking away as if unable to keep their intense glare. "Sacrifices must be made. The good of the many outweigh the good of the one."
It was something she understood; her sisters had died in battle before, in order to secure the peace of Themyscira. The idea of it had never bothered her until it was Bruce's life she would be mourning. "An honorable death is still a death," she whispered, then cleared her throat. "Superman, J'onn, or I would have been better suited for such a mission."
Rubbing his eyes, Bruce told her, "It would have been a shame for the last Martian and last Kryptonian to die in such a way. And I don't want to think of what your mother would do to us if you had been the one to die."
"But Alfred and the people of Gotham can live without you?" she insisted, anger bubbling up to the surface.
"Listen," he narrowed his eyes. "It's not up for discussion. It happened, I survived, and it's over."
"How am I supposed to know that you won't do it again?" It was a simple question, one that made her heart beat painfully. Being in the Justice League—being in Patriarch's World—without him wouldn't be right.
"You're just going to have to trust me," he told her softly. "I wouldn't leave if it I could help it."
Holding back a snort, Diana hoped he realized that he was a hypocrite; the most paranoid man in the world asking her to trust him? Now wasn't the time to start an argument, though. Bruce was supposed to be resting. "The least you could have done was let me say goodbye."
"What would you have to say, Princess?"
Turning to look into his eyes, all of the words she had wanted to tell him, all the thoughts that ran through her head as she tossed and turned restlessly at night thinking of how life would be without him, every kind word that she knew she felt died on her lips. "I don't know. But I'm sure you would think of something. There's nothing you would want to say to me even if you knew you were about to die?"
Bruce opened his mouth, closed it again, and shut his eyes. "Obviously it was a pleasure working with you. And don't just give up and go home. The world needs you, Diana."
"But I need you." It was said so softly that she doubted Clark would have been able to hear. The way he stared at her gave no notice that he had picked up on her plea, the four words that she would have said had she been given the chance.
Before either of them knew what was going on, his hand was braced on her forearm and she was leaning over him. Both pairs of blue eyes drifted shut; their lips met and again they were kissing. It was slower, deeper than their time in the restaurant. There wasn't the haste or fear of being caught. Still, both hearts were beating out of control. The dehydration that had chapped his lips didn't make them feel any less than heavenly, and Bruce held back a moan at the heat she was managing to produce.
They pulled back to breathe and recover their senses when Alfred knocked on the door. "Master Bruce, I'm terribly sorry to interrupt," the butler explained. "But Master Fox is on the phone and is determined to speak with you."
"If Lucius is that insistent, I'm sure it's important," Bruce rationalized, clearing his throat and reaching for the handset.
With a sigh, the Englishman relinquished it. "Your highness, lunch is waiting for you downstairs in the dining room. Master Bruce, I will bring yours to you and by the time I get back you had better be off the phone."
Diana nodded, getting off the bed and heading for the door. For a moment, she stopped to look back at Bruce. He didn't hesitate to meet her eyes. The Amazon wasn't sure if Alfred's delicious meal would fit with all the butterflies crowding her stomach.
Of course, just like their kiss during the invasion, it was something they would never discuss. But it sure gave them a lot to think about.
A/N: Just some BMWW fluff to start off the weekend. I had to write something about Starcrossed, seeing as how I watched the episode (specifically the kiss scene) about twenty times last weekend.
Questions, comments, reactions and reviews are greatly appreciated.