I do not own any Justice League Characters.
"Seven days was all she wrote. A kind of ultimatum note, she gave to me…" Sting
When he tore into the Batcave, he had hoped to find her standing there. He knew she wouldn't be but the disappointment was there, regardless. He didn't know what he would have said, what hadn't been said a hundred times before but another chance to reason with those blue eyes and the brain behind them was something, well, worth driving home for.
Another day, another conflict, he thought bitterly. The latest conflict with the princess tugged at the back of his mind as he updated records, restocked his weapons and otherwise did his normal post-patrol wrap-up. The patrol had gone as they had recently – the cold weather seemed to produce good behavior in the criminal hearts of Gotham. It would be a short-lived time of relative peace, but one worth savoring. It should have been enough time to figure out what he was going to do about, well, her.
What they felt for each other, he told himself wearily, was not the point. The point was that it was poor timing, a poor situation and he wasn't interested in being an Amazonian warrior's first experience at love in the Man's World.
Scared, Bruce? The voice in his head mocked him and he smiled and whispered "issues" as he wandered up into the mansion and towards his bed.
But, whatever the reason - once again, what had started as a run-of-the-mill mission between the friends had mutated into an argument about their relationship which only the timely arrival of criminals had put to an end. Wonder Woman had flown off afterwards and Batman had returned to Gotham for patrol. The petty bickering of Bruce and Diana would wait.
So occupied was the Dark Knight with his thoughts that it was not until he awoke several hours later that he found the silver tray that Alfred had left on his bedside table with the ivory card that, in Diana's handwriting, simply read "Seven Days."
Ah, there it is, she thought as the communicator started to beep. She had been waiting for it with a mix of dread and joy. She was doing the right thing. There was no doubt about that. Once and for all, he would get out of her head.
"Good morning," she said as if she didn't know who it was.
"Want to tell me what this is about?" came the responding growl.
"Bruce. Again, good morning. I was upset after the ways things ended yesterday. I seem to tell you how I feel about you and then nothing happens. So, you have seven days – until 2am on Sunday morning - to figure it out. If you want to be trusted friends and team mates, then we shall be. If you want to be more than that, well, you know how I feel about you. I will not, however, wait indefinitely for you to get over your rich boy issues. If you want to explore a romantic relationship, you can tell me by 2am on Sunday morning and we can figure out what that means. If I don't hear from you in seven days, I will embrace you as my team mate and I will never, ever mention a deeper relationship again because, Bruce, I will move on."
She disconnected after that, not giving him a chance to respond.
Alfred opened the secret entrance to the Batcave just seconds before a pocket of chilled silence exploded up the stairs. When he was in a position to see Master Bruce, Alfred sighed silently, pretended not to notice the stance of a man who wanted to be left alone.
"Tea, sir?" he asked politely.
"She told you what she meant."
"Not exactly, sir," he said, putting the tea tray down on the table where it usually rested. "But, one does not have to be a detective at your level to guess the nature of the communication."
It had been years since Master Bruce had asked for an opinion. Alfred felt for the boy he had raised. The boy had many, many gifts – one of them actually was a good heart – but he had no idea how to use it. At least not on his own behalf.
"It is not my place to comment, sir. However, as you have asked, I think you are good together. You can accept each other's roles in life. You make few demands of one another. I believe, if you wanted to, you could make each other very happy. The risks, sir, may be worth it."
There was a silence. Not the angry silence from moments before, almost a sad silence.
"Thank you, Alfred." The reply was quiet but neutral and clearly a dismissal.
"Very good sir," Alfred said and began his way back to the house. He stopped halfway, turned around and said "The only thing in this world better than a good friend is the right soul mate, sir."
With that, he disappeared back into the mansion.