Title: Just Might Make Me Believe (Fantasies & Fables)

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the DC characters used in this story. I simply manipulate them for my own means and pleasure.

Chapter Title: Prologue

Story Summary: AU. Set after the episode Hearts and Minds. My original story about how Batman and Wonder Woman began a romantic relationship. Aided and inspired in part by the JLA comic Divided We Fall.

The old man spoke in a deep and gravelly voice, regaling the wide-eyed, raptly attentive children before him with stories of days gone by, of fair princesses and dark knights, of danger and dark times.

These subjects were often part and parcel of fairy tales, of imaginary stories and places, and the children seemed to love these types of tales, of the amazing and the fantastic, something that would delve into their dreams and have them reenacting scenes for hours, fake swords in hand and wishes in their eyes. Their tousled heads and rosy cheeks gave the old man a feeling of pleasure, as did the telling of the story.

He sat in the plush leather arm chair, gazing down at the small children who looked back at him, the room filled with the heat of the afternoon sun and the fire that blazed in the marble hearth across the room. The flames leapt and danced, but no one was looking, all attention in the room was focused on the old man preparing to tell the story of a dark knight and his princess. He leaned forward, slowly and with an almost perceptible creak, bending down towards his captivated audience with a twinkle in his eye and the hint of a smile on his lips.

"Once upon a time," he began, "there was a beautiful princess with hair that shone ebony in the sunlight, hair that spanned the length of her back, and flowed like waves to the shore. She was possessed of a fierce warrior spirit, the kind that never let her back away from a fight, but she was also peace-loving and rarely seemed to be the one to actually start an altercation. Many who met her considered the princess to be a kind and generous woman who could pierce and lighten the darkest of souls with her smiles."

"One of these dark souls was a man who had been witness to the slaughter of those he loved, had been born of a tragedy and formed by the promise of vengeance, a man who came to protect the city that had birthed him so many years before in the darkness and the shadows of the night. He too was possessed of a fierce warrior spirit, one that drove him to seek answers and to prevent others from suffering the same fate he himself had endured. His constant presence in his city helped to stem the wave of crime that filtered through the streets and gave hope to the citizens that their once fair city could again return to its glory days of peace and prosperity."

Picking up a warm cup of tea, the storyteller sipped, enjoying the warmth of the liquid as it slid down his throat, bringing with it a comfort that soothed his voice as he prepared for the telling of the tale. "Together, this princess and this man, this Dark Knight as he was often called, were part of a team that strove to bring change to the world, to aid all those who had desperate need of them, and to protect Earth from those who sought to harm it. This Justice League, as it was named by those who fashioned it, was made up of seven members, each with different skills and strengths, each with a want to use those talents to defend and to serve Earth and its peoples in whatever capacity they could."

As he set down the cup of tea, he placed his gnarled hands together, linking the fingers and placing them atop his knee, all the while looking over his captivated audience. "These seven men and women were considered heroes to the world at large, each endowed with special abilities that enabled them to work amongst the others on this team and rise to the occasion when the world truly needed them."

He slowly leaned back, letting his back rest against the cushion of the chair, his tone modulated and even, blue eyes gleaming with that special light of revelation that seemed to enter his eyes whenever he was just getting involved in a story. The children, recognizing that look, peered around at one another with eyes shining. Knees were instantly pulled to their up, hands encircled their legs, and chins were propped quickly, their attention focused completely on the man in front of them, entertaining them with stories of princesses fair and knights handsome and true, of heroes from foreign lands and ordinary people who became extraordinary in the face of adversity and danger.

"This story will tell the tale of these seven men and women, of those close to them, and of one extraordinary time in the history of the league, when each of them had to fight against creatures the likes of which they had never seen before and work through a storyline familiar to them but with one small difference – they were now a part of the magic and the mystique that has given us all enjoyment and pleasure for centuries."

Eyes twinkling, he continued, "This, dear children, is the story of Superman, the last Kryptonian, a man given special powers by those who bore him and given ideals and character by those who raised him.

"This is the story of Green Lantern, a former military man who was recognized for his courage and heroism by the guardians of Oa and given a special power ring to act as a peacekeeper across worlds and throughout space.

"This is the story of Flash, a man fleet of foot and possessed with a quick wit that always found the light hearted humor in every situation. Although he is the youth of the group, he is still a hero in every right and one whose optimism rarely flags in the face of adversity.

"This, dear children, is the story of Hawkgirl, a woman who found herself a stranger in a world that considered her an outsider. She is a woman of fiery spirit with keen eyes and a heart that understands loyalty and devotion to a cause.

"This is the story of the Martian Manhunter, known as J'onn J'onzz, the last survivor of the Martian race who came to Earth to save its inhabitants from the same plight that had destroyed his home, his planet, and those dearest to him. While now an integral part of the Justice League, he is still a man alone in the midst of a new world, one struggling to adapt, but one who still strives to help his new world and care for his new family.

"And last, this is truly the story of the heroes known as Batman and Wonder Woman; two heroes who many consider opposites – a woman of lightness and grace and a man who is a part of the shadows and the darkness he fights against. These two heroes have the deepest admiration and respect for one another and have become like partners over the course of their time together in the League. They fight side by side, each knowing that the other will not let them down and will fight as long as they are able to draw breath."

Gazing down at his audience, at the rosy cheeks and the smiling eyes, rapt with fascination at the beginnings of the tale, he let his lips rise with his next words.

"As they have grown closer, an attraction has sparked between these two heroes and it will take one mission, the tale of which I am about to tell, to bring these two together, slowly and surely, in a romantic entanglement that will span until this day, their hearts coming together as their love grew and flowered in adversity."

Taking one last sip of his tea and setting it down, he added in his well modulated tones, "After all, it was once said that the flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all. So, now, children, I will begin my tale. It starts, as they all do, once upon a time…"

And little did the children know that this one was true…

And so it begins! Settle in – it should be an interesting and magical journey! Hopefully.

I'd love to hear your thoughts - what do you think will happen next?

Next chapter (appearing soon): A Hard Day's Night - A book and a mission…