Disclaimer: Still don't own Justice League. Or much of anything else for that matter.
As always, perspective changes with –VvV-
Ah, the bittersweet ending to yet another story – I hate to see it go, but I'm ready to enjoy working through another one. Are you ready to say goodbye to "Every Word"? Remember, if you love it, favorite it!
Chapter 10, Dream On, by Aerosmith
"Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, if it's just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away"
This chapter is dedicated to my mother because she's always the first one to throw herself into having a good time and make the most out of everything. Kind of like Flash!
Lying underneath Bruce, pinned to the mat totally in the thrall of the man above me, I honestly couldn't have cared less who had won our little tussle. It had been less about the battle and more about who had won the war of words and I currently felt decidedly victorious, thrilling to the knowledge that Bruce respected my abilities and my equality. Of course, the fact that I was engaged in a fiery duel of tongues and honey-sweet lips only added to the fevered excitement of the moment.
My body felt loose and limber, but tension was quickly mounting in a flurry of shivery pangs running the length of my spine and concentrating in the pit of my stomach. Heat spiked with each touch of Bruce's fingers, each gentle stroke and powerful clasp of palms slicing through my concentration and forcing my brain to surrender completely to arousal and excitement, the kind that I had only felt in the presence on this man, this modern-day Odysseus who dedicated his life to being a hero to the world and to his city.
And now that same hero was licking my sweat-sheened skin, the wet, heated path of his tongue causing me to gasp and moan, trying to simultaneously avoid the sexy sweep and allow him more through access to the jaw line he was currently engaged in nibbling and sucking. I closed my eyes, letting the heat roar through my system, pooling in my stomach and causing me to wriggle in frustration, to press against Bruce to ease the vicious ache that was currently overloading my system.
And yet, that tongue continued lower, lining a silky path down my neck and tracing a pattern across the top of my uniform, the hot wetness marking me just above the double-W emblazoned on my chest. Knotting my hands in his soft hair, I gasped as his tongue dipped below the uniform, flicking a nipple in a careless caress that caused an immediate reaction to my anatomy.
Eager to again taste him, to feel the hard sweep of his tongue against mine, I pulled his face back to mine, voraciously devouring his mouth and tangling our mouths in the sweet duel of kisses. My hands were unable to touch his chest due to our current position, so I decided to enjoy the sinewy strength of his back, burrowing my hands beneath the cape, the feel of the iron just under the skin forcing me to wonder just what the man looked like without the cape, the cowl…and the costume. The sight would be pleasurable and certainly arousing – the finely honed strength, the ripple of power and muscle all exposed to me, all available for me to partake in and enjoy at my leisure and in full.
The thought caused the ache in me to intensify, to build in a rippling effect across my body, the sparks flying down my spine and landing in oblivion across my senses. Thrashing on the mat, still pinned, I barely heard the voice that suddenly came into my ear.
"Wondy? You there?"
Letting my head fall back as the lips that had been pressed against mine suddenly made a detour back to the lobe of my ear, nipping at the tender flesh, I let out quick bursts of air, quiet pants as I tried desperately to get my pleasure filled senses back under control in order to speak, to answer in more than a breathy whisper due to lack of oxygen.
"What is it, Flash?" I answered in a more even tone, my breath slowly returning to me as Bruce turned to look at me, releasing my flesh, our eyes meeting in frustration and apology as I realized that once again, a private moment between the two of us was to be broken up by the greater needs of the world. His body still pressed against me, but sanity was beginning to return as the urgent demands of our bodies were again placed on hold due to circumstances beyond our control. Soon, I vowed, even the gods would not be able to stop me from being with this man. In every way.
With a shake of my head, I tuned back into Flash, trying desperately to ignore the steeliness pressed against me and listen with some attention to my teammate. Unfortunately, a pair of eyes had me ensnared, losing myself in the darkness that reflected my intentions as to our relationship – the desperate ache that ran alongside the deepening emotional whirlwind in which we had found ourselves. Therefore, I heard very little of Flash's words other than Watchtower and I could tell that Bruce's usual intensity was also lacking in listening to the speedster, in shifting through the nuances and picking apart each word for deeper meanings as was his usual practice; instead, we were lost in each other, in the heat and the blaze that roared between us, tossing our sensible selves to the side in the haste for fulfillment, emotional and physical.
Murmuring "Uh-huh," I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, letting the ache that had filled me relax a little and I could feel the hardened body above me do the same, our senses focusing again on something other than each other, than the desperate race for pleasure and abatement of the throbbing need within me. Rolling off of me, I heard Bruce groan in frustration, gritting his teeth as he looked at me with a needy glance – one I immediately sought to sooth, to help him realize that he wasn't the only one with the physicality of our relationship needing some soft of completion.
"Next time," I told him, hoping that I could fulfill those words and that dream, that I could let this man into my body, let him love me physically as well as emotionally.
He gritted his teeth, frustration evident in every line of his body as he made his way gingerly to his feet. And before he could speak, his communicator sounded of Flash's voice as well.
"What?" he growled in routine, his tension obvious in his voice, in the harsh quality to the words one even the Batman voice didn't usually quite reach.
"Uh," Flash stumbled over the words, apparently hearing the edge in the word that Bruce had uttered, "We need you, uh, at the Watchtower."
"Fine," Bruce answered before closing the line of communication and closing his eyes, breathing deeply in what I assumed was a type of meditation, a way to relax the pent-up sexual energy coursing through his body. When he again opened his eyes, I had made my way to my feet, and a gave him a small, somewhat shy smile, hoping his nerves would allow him to return it, to prove to me that he could again don the stoic façade of Batman. He simply raised an eyebrow at me and smirked.
"Let's go," he said calmly, throwing on his cowl and gesturing for me to precede him to the teleporter.
I left for the Watchtower first, winking at Bruce as I exited the Bat-cave, knowing that he would wait several minutes before making his appearance at our headquarters. If we arrived together, too many people would question it, something that in our current tense states, neither Bruce nor I could handle.
Walking down the corridor, I came upon the lounge room, the entire area set up in festive colors and decorations – lights, balloons, and streamers dangled from the ceiling in a dazzling array. A small machine stood in the corner and nearby a cooler overflowing with ice and beverages - beers and sodas - with a merrily decorated table piled with food including all kinds of sweets from what I could determine, chocolates and cakes and the like.
"Hey, Princess" cried out Flash, racing up to me in a blur of red. "Have something to drink." He raced over to the cooler, grabbing me something cold and handing in to me in less than a second. I held the icy beverage in my hand as I looked around me in amazement.
"What is this, Flash?" I asked him, curious as to the celebratory atmosphere dominating this particular sector of the Watchtower.
"Party!" he exclaimed. "I figured we needed a little something to lighten us up and what's more fun than a party?" He shrugged a little, almost in embarrassment and gave me a sheepish look. And suddenly, I understand what this little occasion was about – it was about us, the Justice League, bringing us together as more than teammates, as friends. This was a party to celebrate us and I appreciated the sentiment behind it and the obvious effort that Flash had put into the event.
"It's a wonderful idea, Flash," I told him seriously, patting his shoulder and giving him a wide smile, relieving him of his worries as he rushed over to greet the other arriving members of the team.
I walked around, sipping the cola that Flash had placed in my hands and enjoying the decorations and cheery atmosphere that now pervaded the Watchtower. I had a feeling that while Bruce would outwardly find this irritating and useless in the extreme, he too would realize the point of the celebration, the bonding that Flash was attempting to resurrect with a party, albeit a small one. And who better than the optimistic speedster to prepare such a celebration to re-forge the Justice League? Dionysus himself could not have done such as fine job.
Watching the expressions on the others as they entered, I could see the interest on the faces, the lightening of the tensions that had invaded our little battle group due to nothing more than one of us taking the effort to patch our friendships, to create a fun atmosphere in which we could laugh and share our time together.
As Bruce walked in, I nearly laughed. Flash might not have noticed it, but, knowing him so well, he looked almost taken aback so shocked was his expression. I had a feeling that this type of welcome was the last thing that he had expected. His mouth immediately hardened into a firm line, but I could see the sneaking smile lurking on his lips as he took in the decorations and festivities.
Looking hard at Flash, he asked severely, "What…is…this?"
Flash, gulping a deep breath, answered tentatively, knowing this man would be the hardest to convince of his good intentions and his idea. "Uh, a party?"
"Waste of time," Bruce stated, scowling at Flash. "I have work to do."
"C'mon, Bats! Just for a few minutes…"
"Fine," he snapped, "But you're responsible for cleaning this mess up." And then, he stalked away, walking over to join Green Lantern by the cooler of drinks. From my corner, I could visibly see Flash relax, the tension leaving his body as he realized that Batman was going to leave his head on his shoulders.
Over the course of the next hour, none of us mentioned the tensions of the past few days. Instead, we concentrated on enjoying ourselves, on taking a little time away from work to connect with our teammates. I even caught Bruce relaxing his grip on his scowl once in awhile, unwinding just enough to enjoy a few moments among his teammates.
Until Flash decided that it was time to add a little music into the mix.
"Hey, guys! Karaoke time!"
Standing next to Green Lantern, I could audibly hear his groan and I turned to him with a question in my eyes. "Karaoke?" I asked and I could see Shayera with the same look on her face.
Superman answered my question with a little grin on his face, obvious amused by Flash's idea. "It's a music entertainment device that provides accompaniment and shows you the lyrics so that you can sing along to whatever song of your choosing. Obviously Flash's idea of a good time."
It sounded intriguing to me – people taking to the stage to sing regardless of talent level and expertise, just for the pure enjoyment of the music and the song. And I had a feeling that Flash was used to being center stage, even for karaoke.
He began belting out a song that I was unfamiliar with, but the lyrics struck me as perfect for our team at the moment and I could see everyone watching Flash, some laughing, others stoic, but each of us paying attention.
What would you think if I sang out of tune,
Would you stand up and walk out on me.
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
And I'll try not to sing out of key.
I get by with a little help from my friends,
I get high with a little help from my friends.
"I haven't heard the Beatles in forever," murmured Superman and I looked at him with a question written on my face. He must have seen it because he quickly answered, "It's the name of a band."
Regardless of the band and Flash's questionable singing talents, the song was certainly appropriate, and I enjoyed the sounds of laughter in the room, the glow on everyone's faces as they enjoyed the moment. Even Bruce seemed to have lightened up a little bit, not quite as aloof as he usually portrayed himself, the set of his shoulders not as stiff as was normal.
After Flash wrapped up his rendition of the Beatles song, he paused for a moment, the hiss and crack of the microphone feedback the only noise in the room, and then suddenly a pounding beat hit the room, the music funky and upbeat and Flash began to clap his hands together around the microphone.
"Everybody dance!" he yelled, shaking his hips and wildly gyrating, vaguely in rhythm with the song. As the music continued and Flash began singing, John began to laugh, putting his palms on his knees and bending over in hopes of catching his breath. Wondering at his strange reaction to the song, I looked at Shayera but her expression reflected my own – utter bewilderment at what had provoked John's reaction. Superman had his hand over his face, obviously trying to stifle his laughter, shoulders shaking in amusement. I looked at Bruce, who was standing next to me, hoping that he would have the answers to why this song had caused such hilarity.
"Y-M-C-A!" shouted Flash, moving his arms to replicate the letters that he was currently vocalizing.
"It's a very popular song to dance as a group to," stated Bruce, cracking a slight smile as he stared at Flash's antics, the wild gyrations and the obvious enjoyment.
"Everybody!" yelled Flash and I could see J'onn staring at Flash in total bemusement, obviously wondering about this particular Earth tradition and its significance in popular culture. I looked at Shayera with a question in my eyes and she shrugged her shoulders in a "why not" gesture.
And together, we walked over to Flash and began to mimic his movements as we stood next to him, trying desperately to get the movements correct and giggling the entire time, determined to have a good time and enjoy this Earth cultural phenomenon to its fullest. John was still laughing uproariously, doubled over in amusement provided by Flash, Shayera, and I, but I didn't care. Our group was together again, laughing and enjoying our time together and not at each other's throats. Superman was still laughing as well, and even Bruce had managed to crack a smile, albeit a tiny one.
None of the men ever managed to join in on the song, but after that, there was no tension in the group, only laughter and enjoyment, laughing while reminiscing over Flash's antics and general hilarity. Flash worked his way around the room, outrageously cheerfulness and flirting with Shayera and me at every possible opportunity, cracking jokes and generally enjoying himself to the fullest. The others of us were less jovial in our enjoyment, but still, smiles were the order of the day as we helped ourselves to the goodies and beverages Flash had provided. J'onn, of course, had little other than Oreo cookies throughout the day, but I noticed even Batman sneaking a cookie when he thought that the others wouldn't notice.
As the next hour wore down, Shayera and I both took our turns at the karaoke machine, allowing Flash to choose our song selection for us. Neither of us were particularly familiar with popular songs of the time and figured if nothing else, he would provide us with songs that would make the others laugh. For Shayera, Flash choose "All Jacked Up" by a country singer named Gretchen Wilson. The lyrics seemed rather appropriate for the warrior woman in Shayera, the take no holds fighter who loved a rowdy and boisterous time.
5:30 PM rolls around,
There's a little old joint outside of town
Only got the time for a couple of beers
And a jukebox song ringing in my ear
She had a little bit of a hard time following the tempo of the song, but she managed to pull it off admirably and I could see that John was particularly enjoying the performance since Shayera was dancing and throwing herself into having a good time. And a few alcohol beverages certainly helped the good-humored attitude along.
For myself, Flash chose a song with a slower tempo, but I soon realized that this song was all about attitude and the lyrics. And I certainly admired the lyrics and thought it rather appropriate not only for a Princess but for my recent relationship woes. And I threw myself into the attitude, teasing and playing with the notes and saucily shaking my finger at the audience, thoroughly enjoying my time as center of attention, particularly when I noticed that one particular set of eyes was watching my every movement. And so I decided to relish the moment for all it was worth, to give Bruce an eyeful and a little tease even in front of our teammates.
Find out what it means to me
Take out the TCP
After much coercing and badgering, Flash managed to also get Superman to get up and sing for the group as well – he dramatically teased his hair back and began laughing whilst busting out the words originally recorded by someone called Elvis Presley.
You ain't nothing but a hound dog
You ain't never caught a rabbit and you ain't no friend of mine
I assumed his on-stage dramatics had something to do with the original singer, but I enjoyed the performance nonetheless. He seemed slightly embarrassed to have sung in front of the group, but his sheen of respectability was still firmly in place. The other men refused to do any singing, although I believe that John Stewart was close to performing, worried about preserving his dignity around the rest of us. The time together was spent in laughter and in pleasure. Flash often took up the microphone, serenading us with his tunes and ensure that we were bonding, that we were once again enjoying each other's company and becoming not only friends but a team again. Today wasn't about dignity or respect, it was about friendship and solidarity, on enjoyment and laughter, the things that bound us together alongside justice and truth.
And it was working.
Stifling a yawn, I noticed Batman catching my eye from across the room and I excused myself from my teammates, using the justification that I needed my sleep. I had had little sleep the previous night and it was beginning to catch up with me. I knew that Bruce would leave soon and I wanted to make sure that we could have a private moment together before he returned to Gotham, to patrolling and protecting his city later this evening.
I walked out the door and down the corridor to my room, opening the door, secure in that knowledge that Bruce would be inside. And I was unsurprised. Swiftly pressing his lips to mine, he stole my breath with the passion in his kiss, the sweetness that found its way through, the sweetness that was so rare in Bruce, in Batman. Sweeping romantic gestures would never be Bruce, but I enjoyed finding the little moments, the little motions that showed his feelings and his love for me.
He pulled away, giving me a quick kiss before walking towards the door. But he turned back at my words.
"Why didn't you sing, Bruce?" I whispered to his back. "I'd love to hear it."
His face looked surprised, a little dumbfounded by my words, but I wanted to hear his voice, hear that baritone tenor in song. The very thought sent chills down my spine, the thought of his voice sliding down my spine, the sexy tone and the soft words filling the air and my ears.
"For you, Princess?"
I stepped close to him, pressing my lips to his ear and murmuring, "Please." I felt the slight reaction within him to my breathe teasing his ear; feel him fight the innate response to both my actions and my question. And then, to my astonishment and pleasure, he pushed aside my hair, wrapping his arms around my waist and softly singing into my left ear:
Softly, deftly, music shall surround you ... Let your mind start a journey through a strange, new world! Floating, falling, sweet intoxication! You alone can make my song take flight -
Feel it, hear it, closing in around you ...
Open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind,
in this darkness which you know you cannot fight -
the darkness of the music of the night.
Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before!
Let your soul
Take you where you long to be!
Only then can you belong to me ...
Touch me, trust me, savor each sensation!
Let the dream begin,
let your darker side give in to the power of
the music that I write - the power of the music of the night ...
help me make the music of the night ...
Softly, deftly, music shall surround you ...
Let your mind start a journey through a strange, new world!
Floating, falling, sweet intoxication!
You alone can make my song take flight -
With the last haunting note, he brushed a hand down my hair, placing a soft kiss on my lips and silently disappearing through the door. I kept my eyes closed, falling back on the bed with a gentle smile, knowing that his voice would linger in my memory, that today had brought the Justice League back together and had allowed Bruce to grant me something special, my own music of the night.
Next story: There's Still Hope, Batman and Wonder Woman's relationship is led through yet another chapter of their lives – the episode Hereafter. How will the loss of Superman affect their relationship? And someone else will find out about the relationship. If you have any suggestions for this episode, I would love to hear them.
LG - Thanks for the great beta. I appreciate all the help that you give me - the feedback and the friendship.
Thanks for everyone who has reviewed – greatly appreciated as always! You all have really supported me through this story and this saga and I love it!
To my Anonymous reviewer - just wanted to let you know that you hit the nail on the head about who finds out about the relationship next - and I haven't quite decided what the reaction will be. Thanks for the review - I appreciate it!
For those of you wondering, the last song is courtesy of the Phantom of the Opera and it's called The Music of the Night. It's hauntingly lovely and very fitting for Batman – the masked figure who lives in the darkness and falls in love. Perhaps a different ending though...