Title: More Than Words
Disclaimer: I do not own Starbucks or any of the DC characters or Justice League episodes.
"More than words is all you have to do to make it real/And you wouldn't have to say that you love me/Cuz I'd all ready know…" – Extreme
She lay in bed, the sheets tangled around her legs and a small smile gracing her face as she basked in the warm rays of the early morning sun slitting through the curtain on the opposite side of the room. The drapes were still drawn, but the sun had managed to find a few holes to peek in through and Diana was thoroughly enjoying just being able to relax, to enjoy the moment and not have to rush off somewhere for once for a mission or whatever other business preoccupied her life.
Stretching her arms above her head, she yawned deeply, flexing and relaxing her muscles until she was little more than a pool of bone and mass lying there on the bed. Feeling a tickle from the lock of hair that had floated down onto her forehead during her motions, she pursed her lips and tried a huffing breath in order to dislodge it and return it to where it belonged with the rest of her hair.
When that didn't work, she ran a quick hand back over her hair, smoothing the flyaway strands and tangles that had emerged from that night's sleep while tossing and turning amidst the pillows and sheets. Tucking the covers up under her chin, she decided to do nothing more than relax for the next few minutes, to let her mind wander and her body enjoy the respite, the rest and relaxation of the moment.
Closing her eyes, she sank deeper into the pillow and smiled when the first thought that came to her mind was that of Bruce. It was unsurprising that he was her initial thought this morning – he was her first thought almost every morning and had been for some time. And today seemed the right day for reflection, for contemplation, for thinking back over their progress and how he had come to be such a dominant presence in her life, a love and a lover.
He'd never once told her that he loved her, but his actions had proven that fact time and time again and Diana had long ago realized that with Bruce, it was about more than words: it was about actions. And his told her clearly that the emotion that fluttered between them every time they were together was love, that the reason he had come to dominate her thoughts was love. And it had taken a clear look into his actions in order to see his emotions, to see the truth of who he was and what he felt for her despite how desperately he tried to conceal it.
Thinking back over his actions, over all he had done for her in recent years, she remembered some of the instances that had caused her to think twice, to review, reflect, and finally realize that her feelings were indeed returned.
The first thing that she heard about being enshrouded in darkness, after being trapped under that missile, was the sound of silence, as if the very air was and her first thought had been to wonder if she had, somehow, managed to die and this was the first step on her journey to the afterlife, to the Elysian Fields.
And then she heard a sound that made her rethink that theory, that made her realize that she was simply trapped under the missile she had been trying to stop from destroying Gorilla City, from tearing through brick and the bone of others. Now she could hear clawing, a frantic digging emanating from the ground just above her to the side of the rocket. She hadn't understood at first, hadn't realized exactly what that sound meant and why, and then suddenly, it had been clear that someone was digging for her, that someone was trying to find her beneath the wreckage.
Wriggling her arms and hands into a better support position, she used her leverage and strength to begin pushing; heaving a sigh of relief when the rocket began to move and the bright sunlight surrounded her, blinding her with its intensity. Blinking rapidly, she tossed the missile to the side and gingerly stood, looking around at the inhabitants of the city, at her team members, and telling them that the city was safe, that the crisis had been averted.
And then she'd happened to glance at Batman's hands, had seen the dirt and the grime that had clung in a messy cloud to his gauntleted hands and realization had hit: it had been he who had been trying to dig and delve and pull her out from beneath the missile. It had been he who had been clawing and scraping at the dirty to rescue her and suddenly, it gave her another perspective into the man behind the mask, a man who forgot about appearances when someone's life was in danger and rushed to help.
Normally, he was so stoic, so hard to read, so easy to see only as a hero and not as a man as well. And that man had tried to save her. Glancing down at his hands, she saw him swiftly tuck his hands inside his cape, trying to hide the evidence of what he had done for her.
Leaning over, she gave him a quick peck on the cheek and was pleasantly surprised to see a faint flush appear on his cheeks, to see him try and hide his face as she gave him a smug and knowing look, a teasing smile on her face as she took in this first substantiation that he cared.
She wasn't sure what exactly had prompted her to show up at that ballroom in Paris, only knew that it was about time that she ventured out into Man's World, seeing firsthand those she protected and championed on a daily basis. Instead, she had wandered unknowingly into a sea of humanity intent on asking her questions and learning more about the woman that they had thus far truly only known as a hero, a removed one, as Wonder Woman.
But here in this setting, in the glitz and glamour, she was just Diana and the fascination that so many held for her simply wasn't easy to comprehend. She understood the interest in the unusual and the different – it was one of the things that had attracted her to Man's World, that had made her put aside her love for her country and settle here amidst this population
She had never considered herself to be unusual or different; she was no Wonder Woman. She was simply Diana of Themyscira, a former Princess who had come here to aid and to protect. Somewhere along the way she had received the title of Wonder Woman, though, and she wasn't entirely sure that it would be possible to stem the tide of that name now.
And now, surrounded by these people bombarding her with questions, she felt uncomfortable, felt like some kind of caged animal, trapped and unable to get away. Her face had displayed her discomfort, but still, she hadn't been able to stop the questions, to be left in peace to enjoy a few hours away from the Watchtower.
And then a hand had appeared in her line of vision, a lifeline that she had eagerly clutched at, knowing that it was a sign of safety and security. She hadn't been entirely sure why she had felt that way, had simply known that something in that voice and in the line of his body had sparked recognition in her, had told her that she would be safe and protected with him.
Listening to that voice, she escaped the horde of questions and had been able to make her way to the dance floor, accompanied by a handsome man who had smiled at her with ease. She had been able to instantly relax, to enjoy the time in his arms and the cryptic questions they had tossed at one another as she struggled to identify just why this man was so familiar.
But her memory banks of potential men that this could be was pitifully small and almost instantly, she realized that this voice, this feeling of safety that had shrouded and overcome her, was from none other than the mysterious Batman.
And something in those eyes, the eyes that were revealed to her for the first time, told her that he had done this on purpose, that he had chosen to make this revelation on his own terms, in his own way, that he was controlling even this. It was one of the things that fascinated her about him – his ability to control and manipulate every situation, even those that she would have preferred him to stay out of entirely. He was a man who faced life on his own terms and it was difficult not to respect that.
Here he was, giving away himself with every touch of the man, with every movement of the head – after all, no one could change that square jaw line that featured so prominently in Batman's costume. And again, she realized that he cared, that he had swept her out of the crowd of gawkers and let her see the face behind the mask, even if she knew that he would never admit to it.
They'd gone into that battle with the Justice Lords hoping that they were prepared, hoping that they'd covered every angle so that they could see their alter-egos back and return things to the way that they had been before – imperfect, flawed, but with freedoms, with rights. Those were the things that they were willing to stand up and fight for, to regain so that the people didn't live so that they were shying away from their true natures for fear of reprisals.
Things had gone according to plan at first.
And then all hell had broken loose. They'd paired off into battle and Diana had taken on the alternate version of herself, a woman without compassion who had forgotten the Amazonian ideals that had made her Wonder Woman, had made her Diana. This was simply a shadow of herself, fighting because she enjoyed it and not because she had any deeper or greater motivation and Diana soon realized that she was facing a formidable foe in her alternate Lord self, one who wouldn't stop fighting until the last breath was drawn from her body.
Lying in the indentation that her body had made in the concrete, Diana tried weakly to move, to haul herself to her feet and stop the Lords Wonder Woman who had managed to send Diana so forcefully to the ground. Her muscles were weak and she found that her head was spinning with the exhaustion of trying only to raise herself to her elbows. She hadn't found this sore and defeated since long ago sparring sessions with General Phillipus and the other Amazons on Themyscira.
As she struggled to regain her footing, she watched as Batman leapt onto the Lords Wonder Woman's back, trying to stop her compassionless rampage and ultimate escape, but she plucked him off her like a bug, throwing him to the ground in an effortless motion. Diana watched in horror, praying to her gods for her muscles to obey her commands, as she watched her counterpart heft a huge slab of concrete onto her shoulder. Her eyes spying Batman on the floor, the alternate Wonder Woman advanced, a malicious glint to her eye as she raised the slab, preparing to toss it onto Batman and crush him totally and completely.
She was stopped by a tiara to the forehead, thrown by a weakened Diana who had forced herself to her feet, finding the strength drawn from her gods and her caring of this man to heave the golden circle and knock her enemy out cold just in the nick of time.
When Batman caught her eye, they shared a glance and Diana knew that he had once again put himself in danger for her sake and that he would continue to do so, regardless of the enemy or the futility. And she smiled before leaping back into the fracas.
During Christmas season, when it had been only the two of them at the Watchtower, they had spent quite a bit of time together, particularly since there was no one else around, no one else to talk to or just share a smile with.
It had been only the two of them.
So Diana had taken to remaining in the Monitor Womb after her shift, enjoying the company even if few words were exchanged. The silence was unusual but somewhat comforting, and even though they were on duty, little of catastrophic proportions actually occurred. And while they didn't spend every moment in each other's pockets, they each seemed content to share time together, to while away the hours in the company of each other and the stars.
On Christmas Eve, Diana located a pack of cards and they proceeded to play a few hands of poker. And while it was no surprise to her at all that she lost miserably, thanks in large part to the enviable poker face that Batman possessed, she still demanded a rematch for the next day, in part because her competitive dander was up and in part because she wanted to keep Bruce's mind preoccupied during the holiday.
And when she'd pounded her fist on the table and demanded a rematch after losing, he gave her a ghost of a smile and said, "Perhaps tomorrow, Princess." Her glare at those words had been enough to make the smile full-fledged and she'd been happy enough with that result, that she'd managed to pull him out of the funk he'd been in since the inception of December, since the holiday season had begun in earnest.
She could see that part of it was annoyance at the antics of others, particularly Flash, and underneath that was a sadness that she had yet to understand or pierce. But it wasn't her place to pry, wasn't her place to determine all the secrets underneath the cape and cowl.
To her surprise, once she'd retaken her seat, he'd handed her a long envelope, plain manila, and she'd looked at him in surprise, questioning, "What's this?"
He'd looked off to the side, avoiding her gaze as he answered, "A present."
"Oh, Bruce, you didn't – "
And he'd turned back towards her and simply said, "Open it."
So she did. And a soft smile emerged when she tore off the side and pulled out a thin slip of paper that read, "UNLIMITED ICED MOCHAS COURTESY OF STARBUCKS COFFEEE."
She recognized the name as a rather large chain and decided that this would come in rather handy when she had an iced mocha craving down on Earth. Sometimes after a mission, she needed to slake her thirst and what better way that with an iced mocha, she mused.
Diana lay a hand on Bruce's arm where it sat on the armrest, leaning over and once again went to kiss his cheek, but he turned, either deliberately or accidentally, into her and their lips met, softly, hesitantly, clinging for a long moment before Bruce pushed himself back, his eyes returning to the monitors that dominated the room, never seeing the faint smile that appeared on Diana's face as she touched her lips with her fingers.
Return to the Present
Her musings were interrupted by the sound of the door opening and, yawning slightly, she looked up to see Bruce walking through the door, his bathrobe loosely belted over silk boxers and a steaming cup of coffee in each hand. Sitting up, she smiled at him, brushing her hair over her shoulders as she reached eagerly for the mug he was holding out to her.
After opening the curtains to let the Gotham sunlight in, he took a seat on the bed beside her, sipping lightly at his coffee before asking, "Penny for your thoughts?"
She gave a little laugh and set her mug on the bedside table before turning to him and placing her hand on his bare knee, rubbing up and down a little, feeling the coarse hair that adorned him under her palm. "Oh," she began, her smile widening with every second, "Just remembering."
After planting a soft kiss on his lips, she leaned back against the pillows and winked at him, a sly glance emerging on her face as she said teasingly, "Why don't you let me show you?"
And he grinned, a smile that was coming easier and easier everyday, at least to her eyes, and placed his coffee on the nightstand opposite hers and answered her taunt and caused her blood to pulse and heat when he discarded his robe on the floor, glancing back at her and adding, "Why don't I?"
And as she pounced on him, tangling them up in limbs and linen, she thought once again that with Bruce, it was about more than words – it was about action.
And thus concludes yet another foray into the world of one-shots created by my mind! Did you enjoy this one or was it a miss? Hit? Miss?
Thanks to all of you who have reviewed these so far! My list of one-shots is finally starting to dwindle just a little bit…whew…