Title: When You're Talking In Your Sleep
Characters: Justice League
Un-betaed. She's on the move! Literally.
Synopsis: For this story, everyone in the Justice League has personal quarters on the Watchtower, even if they don't always use them during the episodes. Here they will! Set sometime before Starcrossed and after Maid of Honor. Because you can learn all sorts of things when everyone's asleep…
"When you close your eyes and go to sleep/And it's down to the sound of a heartbeat; I can hear the things that you're dreaming about/ When you open up your heart and the truth comes out…" – The Romantics
She walked down the hall of the Watchtower, having just returned from a mission only to discover that her stomach was practically growling with a hunger that demanded immediate sustenance.
Plus, she could really go for an iced mocha, she decided. It was the perfect thing to wash down the aftermath of a mission and help remember the simple little pleasures in life, the tiny things that made everyday worthwhile and worth living. Even if it was nothing more than an iced mocha after a long day at work, it somehow made the day a little better, a little happier.
Stepping out from the javelin bay, she waited to hear the voices of her friends echoing through the halls. The sounds of John and Shayera fighting at high volume, of Wally's laughter and jokes, of J'onn's droll tones uttered in his deep, resonating voice, and of Superman's brisk tones that implied that he had nothing but the business at hand on his mind.
And deep in the recesses of her mind, if she wondered where Batman was, if she'd be able to hear him gruffly barking out orders or speaking so calmly and quietly that they all snapped to attention, well, that was no one's business but her own.
She hadn't seen much of him on the Watchtower lately – it seemed that Gotham had been particularly overrun the past few weeks and had demanded his attention to a degree that it hadn't in the past. He'd always put Gotham before the League, but in the recent past, it had overtaken his life and she'd seen countless headlines and numerous tales of all his victories in Gotham, of all the villains that he had rounded up and returned to Arkham or jail, wherever they truly belonged.
Diana continued down the hallway, brushing a strand of hair behind her shoulders as she wondered where everyone was. Perhaps there had been another mission, another emergency while she had been gone, one that required everyone's attention
All in all, none of them had actually spent very much time in the Watchtower lately, just relaxing or unwinding. It had been mission after mission to the point where she was beginning to find exhaustion setting in – yet another desperate reason for an iced mocha, laced with enough caffeine to keep her body going for a little while longer. She needed to unwind a little, kick back before she succumbed to total and utter oblivion in sleep, maybe with a good book or after she took a few moments to pray to the gods. She had shamefully neglected them the past few weeks, having been busy with others things, saving the lives and limbs of others.
Perhaps things would settle down around here now, she mused, her boots making a clicking sound on the floors as she continued through the quiet hallways. Walking through the private quarter area of the Watchtower, she made a quick stop in the first room that she came to – her own. She placed her tiara on its stand and removed her golden star earrings as well, rubbing her ears as she made her way into the bathroom. Dashing some water on her face, she glanced at herself in the mirror, displeased with the look of exhaustion that was clouding her face.
Tonight she was staying in, she decided, and no earthquake or volcano or other disaster, natural or manmade, was going to pry her away from her bed. If this exhaustion continued she'd be useless within days. The others would be able to handle things and she hadn't had a day off in…well, since Paris.
Paris made her think of Bruce, of lights dotting the skyline, and of romance. With a quick shake of her head, she dislodged those thoughts and patted her face with a towel before reverting back to her original course – to the kitchen to get an iced mocha.
As she exited her quarters, she could hear sounds from the room across the hall – Shayera's – unmistakable sounds of grief and despair that made her stop in her tracks. She could picture her friend inside, shoulders huddled with the effort to dispel the tears, arms wrapped around her knees, wings shaking with every sob that echoed from her. It was such a strange sound to hear from the warrior-like Shayera's room that Diana almost didn't believe her own ears.
She hesitated for a moment and then made her way to the door, knocking softly as she called out, "Shayera?"
When she received no answer, she debated whether or not to move on, leaving her friend alone with her tears, or to enter and try to help ease the grief in whatever way that she could. And then she decided to do the other thing that a sister should and eased the door open.
She came upon not a huddled Shayera, but a sleeping Shayera, cocooned in her bedspread, her wings tucked into the covers and wet tracks of tears falling down her face in steams of grief and a sadness that reminded Diana of how she had felt when she'd been forced to leave Themyscira in exile, the silent tears that she'd shed at night and the sadness that had filled her heart no matter how much time passed.
And then Shayera cried out softly, "Hro, I'm sorry!" and Diana simply couldn't stand there in the doorway. She walked forward, sitting on the edge of the bed and running a hand down Shayera's uncovered arm, trying to comfort her friend in the only way that she could during sleep. Diana continued the movement for several minutes and finally, with a whimper, Shayera murmured, "Thanagar," and then the tracks of tears dried up and a dreamless state of sleep finally seemed to overtake her.
Diana wiped the tears and with a final look, exited the room, leaving her friend in peace and never knowing what had occurred between the two women.
The next room belonged to Flash and from within the walls, she could hear the deep sound of snoring but also something that surprised her – the whooshing sound that always accompanied Flash whenever he dashed from one place to the next. And the two sounds together couldn't help but worry her and so, once again, she opened the door and this type she came upon Flash, racing around his room in a circle, a continuous circle of red that almost blinded her for a second.
"Flash?" she asked, startled. And then she caught a glimpse of his face – he was sleeping, eyes closed, snores echoing from his like the sounds of a freight train.
With a stern set to her mouth, she yelled just loudly enough for Flash to hear over his snores and through his dreams, "Flash!"
And all at once, the scarlet speedster stopped, coming to a dead halt on the opposite side of the room, just next to his bed, blinking rapidly as he murmured, "Huh?"
"Flash," Diana said quietly, entering the room and laying a hand on his shoulder. "You were sleep-walking. Go to bed."
"Okay, Aunt Iris," he murmured as he yawned, dropping down onto his bed and stretching out in abandon before immediately beginning the eye-shattering snores once again. Diana smiled to herself and draped a blanket over him before walking out of his room and back to the hallway. Perhaps now she'd be able to get that iced mocha.
Then she stopped short, deciding to check on the others as well before finally being able to get that long awaited iced mocha. She could practically feel the cold liquid sliding down her parched throat, but her friends came first. And she was pretty sure at this point as to where everyone was – getting the sleep that she so desperately craved.
Across the hall from Flash was Superman's room and she walked over, tapping on his door before letting it open with a soft whoosh. He was sprawled across the bed, face down, his hair mussed, and his cape almost covering him from head to toe. Laughing softly to herself, Diana decided that he did indeed look a little bit like the Boy Scout that Flash was so fond of calling him. Especially, she discovered as she looked around the room, that everything was spic and span, perfectly arranged and ordered. After having just emerged from Flash's whirlwind of a room, she couldn't help but wonder who had taught Superman to take such good care of his belongings.
She was easing out his room when she heard him whisper, "Lois," and looking at him, she could see a small, happy smile working its way over his face, even in sleep, and hoped that he would continue his happy dreams as she let the door close behind her.
Peeking into John's room, she noticed that it was rather stark, barely decorated, and supposed this was due to his military background. He was curled up on his bed and upon further inspection, she almost burst out laughing when she discovered that the former military man slept with a small teddy bear, gaily decorated with a red ribbon. Trying desperately to contain her laughter, she quickly turned around and practically ran out of the room.
Once in the hallway, she collapsed against the wall, her shoulders shaking with a laughter she was still trying to refrain from completely letting out. It was a good thing that Flash didn't know that little gem of secret, she decided, finally able to contain her laughter.
Her face still wreathed in smiles, she knocked softly on the next door and hearing no answer, she poked her head in to see it empty. Martians, she supposed, didn't need much sleep. He was most likely pulling Monitor Duty.
And then she eyed the last door, but immediately discarded that thought from her head – Batman wouldn't be here when he'd been spending all his time in Gotham as of late. But as she walked briskly past the door, she could hear a thrashing sound coming from inside.
"Batman?" she asked softly, turning to walk back to the door. And, hearing no answer, she walked inside to see him, still caped and cowled, whipping around the bed, the covers having been tossed aside in his whip-like motions. Rushing forward, she grasped both of his hands before he could do any serious damage to anything or himself and stated softly, "Bruce. It's okay, you're fine, everything's alright."
At the sound of her voice, his movements began to cease and his breathing began to ease into more regular breaths, quiet and calm. She gently placed his hands on the bed and ran a gentle hand over his jaw, murmuring, "No more nightmares, Bruce."
Even in his sleeping state, he turned towards her hand, pressing his face more deeply into her palm and mumbling, "Beautiful Diana."
Startled, she smiled, giving his jaw one last tender caress before quietly backing out of the room, her eyes on his peaceful and sleeping form as she let the door close.
And finally making her way to her original destination of the Watchtower kitchen, she let her lips stay in that satisfied and joyful smile, a glimmer of hope radiating through her thanks to Bruce's sleep words, and she realized that she'd have sweet dreams tonight.
Reviews do a happy Heidi make. Anyone recognize where Bruce's sleepy murmur comes from?
This is the first one-shot in awhile that I'm really considering writing a second part for. Any suggestions for a sequel?
Oh, and if anyone is interested, there's a Valentine's Day fiction and art contest going on on the DCU Heroes forum. If you want to find out more, check out the homepage on my profile and go to announcements. All entries due February 17!
Still taking suggestions for one-shots as well - song titles, ideas, and whatnot. Anything that you want to see, but might not want to actually write yourself! Thanks!