Title: Cruel to be Kind, Letters to Cleo
Characters: Batman & Wonder Woman
Genres: Humor, Romance, BM/WW
Episode: Comfort and Joy
My first one-shot with Flash! Written for TruthBeTold/Sondra for her one-shot!
Disclaimer: Still don't own Justice League. One of these days…
"Cruel to be Kind, in the right measure, Cruel to be Kind, it's a very good sign"
"Hey, Wondy!" Flash said, skidding to a halt in front of me. I was seated at one of the tables scattered around the Watchtower kitchen, nibbling on a carrot stick as I perused the ancient literary volume propped on my knees.
Mildly irritated by the interruption, I nevertheless looked up at my teammate with a sweet smile on my face, royal manners rising to the forefront on the elegant features.
"Good afternoon, Flash," I said quietly, curious as to why he had intruded on my all too infrequent leisure time. Looking up into the boyish face half-covered in red spandex, I couldn't help but return his engaging grin, laughing softly to myself as he twitched nervously, reminding me somewhat of a puppy, sweet and somewhat begging for attention.
"Whatcha reading?" he asked, vibrating where he stood almost as if he were nervous. But I quickly discarded that thought, assuming that he was simply being his normal Flash self – too fast to stand still for long.
"It's a book on classical Greek mythology. Batman loaned it to me. I wanted to see how the stories lined up with the reality of my culture." The statement, while not exactly false, was not the entire truth of the matter either. Batman, as Bruce Wayne, had indeed allowed me to borrow volumes from his extensive library, but he had not specifically recommended this one. While waiting up for him one night as he was out on patrol, I had taken to inspecting the wealth of literature housed in the Wayne Manor library. Stumbling upon this work, I had been unable to resist seeing how the present world viewed her gods and goddesses, what changed had been made throughout the years to the tales and the origins.
Thus far, the reading had proven interesting, appealing, and somewhat humorous – a rewriting of the truths that were a fact in Themyscira into this collection of supposed "myths".
"Batman, huh?" Flash asked with a leering glance and a question in his eyes.
"Certainly, Flash. He's very well-read."
"Huh. So, what's up with the two of you anyway?" Flash inquired, finally taking a seat, leaning his elbows on the table and resting his head in his palms. An innocent look had swept over his face, but I wasn't buying it for a second.
"I have no idea what you mean," I stated blandly, trying not to catch myself in a lie or let my feelings for the Dark Knight show on my face, therefore giving away the secret part of our secret relationship.
"Are you sure?" Flash said, a hint of disbelief in his voice. "I mean, you're staying here with him for the holidays."
I wanted to roll my eyes at Flash but I knew that he didn't understand that I had not simply chosen to stay here for the Christmas season, monitoring the Earth on the Watchtower. There were many more factors involved than simply knowing that Bruce would also be stuck here during that time of joy and celebration. It was not as if I had grown up celebrating any particular holiday seasons during this time of the year – not the traditional ones practiced today anyway. I wasn't of the school of the major religions of this day and age – none of these religious winter holidays were particularly known to me either. Therefore, while I did have the extra incentive of knowing that I could spend time alone and somewhat in the open with Bruce, I simply did not need the time to celebrate with friends and family – I was celebrating here with my newly initiated lover instead.
"I am not staying here with him over the holidays, Flash. The season is simply more important to the rest of you than it is to either Batman or me."
"C'mon, Princess. The lights, the snow, the presents; how can you not love those things?" His eyes lit up just discussing the celebration of Christmas and I could tell that Flash was one of those people that lived for this time of year, for the fervor and pomp that lay within the holiday season.
"I've never celebrated the season the way that you have, Flash. We simply don't have those things on Themyscira." It was true. There were no presents under the tree, no twinkling Christmas lights, and snow in temperate Themyscira was a rare occurrence. This year would be the first that I would be able to truly experience those things and I wanted it to be with Bruce, to be able to share that together, in love and happy with our lives, even if just for one moment.
Flash looked shocked for a moment, his facial muscles relaxing as his jaw dropped. He obviously hadn't considered the implications of my worship of the gods and goddesses, of my Greek "mythological" heritage.
"Never?" he gawked, brain clearly struggling to wrap itself around the concept of no Christmas, no holiday spirit, no presents and lights and baubles and bangles for the exiled Princess of Themyscira.
"Never," I echoed back, laughing a little at the horrified expression that had come over his face. "It's alright, Flash, it wasn't as if I knew that I had something to miss. I still don't understand all the fuss about this season."
"Oh, Wondy!" he mock gasped, falling back in his chair and putting his hand over his heart. "You don't know what you've been missing!"
Pausing from the dramatics for a moment, he bolted upright, staring straight at me with a look of inspiration lighting his face. "You should come with me!"
"What?" I asked, stunned by his offer.
"C'mon, it's the perfect idea! I'll show you how to celebrate the season in style – Flash style." He sent me a pleading look, begging me to let him be the first to initiate me into the holiday season, and much as I truly did not want to disappoint him, there were several valid reasons for me to remain at the Watchtower during the others' days off. First, someone needed to be here other than just Batman – the man could down coffee and caffeine pills all he wanted, but someone else needed to take a shift as well. Second, I was relishing the feeling of anticipation of knowing that Bruce and I would be alone together, here, and that afterwards, we would be able to spend some additional time together, perhaps seeing what the holiday season was about for us, as a couple.
But looking into Flash's eager face, I couldn't help but feel bad that I was going to turn down his sweet and friendly suggestion. I also didn't want to give him the wrong impression about where things stood between us and I was somewhat afraid that my acceptance would translate to something more for Flash, something more than the friendly and caring feelings that I held for him.
"Flash…" I began, trailing off as I could see disappointment clouding his face. "I can't. I need to be here on monitor duty. I really appreciate your offer though."
Wanting to cheer up my friend, intent on turning his sadness back into a smile, I made an offer that I knew he couldn't refuse. "Want me to make us some iced mochas?"
"That'd be great!" he said, a small smile lighting his face and I could tell that he had taken my rejection somewhat in stride. "It'll be like a date!"
In the process of making the cold drinks, I rolled my eyes, knowing that Flash couldn't see what I was doing. "A friendly drink between friends," I told him.
Turning back to the table with the drinks, I handed him one, returning to my seat. "Flash, I just wanted to say thanks for the offer. I really do appreciate your kindness."
"Just sorry you can't go. Maybe next year you can see what Christmas is really about," he said, slurping his iced mocha halfway down in one big gulp.
Smiling, I leaned over and kissed his cheek softly. "You're a good friend."
"Wanna make it more than friends?" he asked with a smirk on his face. Laughing at his statement, I noticed a presence in the hallway – a dark figure obviously listening to the conversation occurring within the kitchen and I couldn't help but bring my teasing nature to the forefront once again, for both men.
"What do you think, Batman? Should I take Flash up on his offer?" I asked loudly, my voice carrying out into the hallway. Flash's eyes immediately darted to the door and he gulped in the presence, clearly wondering how much of our conversation had been eavesdropped upon. The Dark Knight stood in the doorway for a second, glaring at the two of us, and Flash quickly made his way to his feet.
"Uh, gotta go," he said, taking off in a blur, just barely brushing by Batman as he made his escape in a scarlet blur.
Batman strode inside, standing next to me and staring down at me with a hard expression on his face, jaw set with irritation at my teasing and the fact that Flash had dared to flirt with me.
"That type of behavior is rather inappropriate in the Watchtower, Princess," he said, baritone voice carrying just above a mutter to my ears.
"Really?" I said, leaning back and letting his eyes drift over my costume-clothed body, even managing a teasing stretch for greater effect. Noticing his lips soften a little, I smiled fully at him, continuing, "Because I was thinking about engaging in some very inappropriate behavior with a handsome billionaire this holiday season, but if you insist…"
"Tease," he grumbled, visage fully softening before he added, "I dare you…"