Standard disclaimers apply. Made for fun, not profit.
Heart of a Demon
"Come to Wayne tower. " Bruce said over the comm. link.
"I thought we were meeting at your home? " She was confused.
"We are. " A hint of amusement slipped into his voice. Than he hung up.
Diana smiled, knowing he had planned a surprise for her. Curiosity got the better of her. She abandoned the scenic route over the city and cut straight to the business area. Her destination towered over all the other skyscrapers of the downtown area.
Men. She thought, the smile growing. Once closer, she noticed something on the building.
The top first floor of the top section was different from all others. Save a few thick support pillars, its facade was almost entirely glass. Around it was an unassuming garden.
In the middle of it stood Bruce, smiling a welcome.
Diana landed softly as a feather, slowly and without a sound. She walked up to him with all the grace of a Greek goddess she was.
The sight of her made his throat tighten.
"I didn't know of this place. " She came to within inches of him.
"Not many do. " He answered, taking her hands in his. They stood like that for a long moment, enjoying the company.
"Shall we? " She queried, starting to feel a bit cold now that she was grounded.
"You would like that, wouldn't you? " He smirked, sliding the glass balcony doors open for her.
Diana stepped in, looking back at him over her shoulder, her eyes baiting.
The flat was sizable, but not nearly as big as the manor. Yet the large manor, filled with all the antiques, gave the appearance of clutter and coldness. This place, furnished in a subtle minimalist style and having just a few chosen artifacts, looked at once spacious and warm. This was his home indeed. But there was something odd about the flat she could not name. The rooms, not physically divided, flowed seamlessly form one to another in a sun-wise circle around a small, walled-off area.
Circling around what? Her mind said it was probably installations, but her instincts begged to differ.
Bruce walked up to her from the back. "Penny for your thoughts? " He wrapped his big arms around her shoulders.
Diana considered asking but opted for a more important one "Why now? "
Bruce frowned. The world's greatest detective was not a genius when it came to the matters of heart.
Diana turned to face him "This. A date. Why now? "
"Circe. " Bruce answered. "She made me realize how I felt about you. The thought of loosing you..."
His voice trailed off.
Diana nodded. "What exactly did she want in return for my… recovery? "
Bruce wondered whether to or not to admit and finally chose the former. "She wanted me to sing. "
He answered as blandly as he could muster.
"Sing? " Diana blinked in bewilderment. He would never sing. "So what did you do? "
"This. " Bruce said and closed his eyes. In a rich, warm, deep baritone he began to sing.
I blue? – "
Diana burst into laughter, tears and all.
Instantly Bruce stopped singing and took a half a step back. He would never admit being hurt, but he was. He disliked being hurt more than he liked being happy. And so he was having second thoughts about the whole thing again.
Diana's chuckling waned as she noticed the look in his eyes. "Thank you. " She said in a low tone, smiling gratefully at him, her palms resting on his chest. "It must have been hard to drop the armor. "
For a split second he looked surprised at her. She knew him better than he thought. Than his face turned to that calm determination she often saw on him during their missions. But this time the determination was turned inward, and the mission was perhaps the most difficult one ever.
"I need to show you something. " He said, slowly walking away.
Diana followed a step behind. She did notice his choice of words.
Bruce stopped in front of a wall, one of four closing that mysterious area she noticed earlier.
Two vertical paintings stood side by side at the middle of the wall, framed by two fichus plants. The pictures showed Gotham's first avenue on a winter day and the same street on a summer night. Light and darkness, yin and yang. The Tao of an American businessman and bachelor, boy and bat.
Suddenly the architecture of the place appeared to her with new meaning. This apartment, not the manor, was his true home. The rooms of the apartment circled like face of a clock, times of day flowing seamless one into another. And in the center the axis around which they moved. His most private room.
Bruce reached for the pictures and gave them a slight push. The center part of the wall pulled in an inch before sliding aside. Taking the shoes off, he stepped through the newly made doors into the shadow, vanishing noiselessly like he so often did.
Diana paused at the door, torn between curiosity and hesitance as her eyes adjusted to the faint light.
The modest room was tiled with thin, hard, exercise mats, each of the walls completely different. One was a huge window to the indoor garden outside. A large screen dominated another, framed by shelves of disks, a digitized private library. Yet another held various weapons and training equipment. The last was empty save an oil candle beneath a family photo. However, it was not the photo of the family he lost all those years ago, but the one he found in the mean time. A photo of him standing protectively behind his two wards - no, sons, flanked by the city's commissioner and an old black man she didn't know. The commissioner held his hand on the shoulder of a read haired girl next to the elder son. Alfred and a kind elderly woman stood above him, yet another person she never heard of.
Diana realized how little she knew of him, and suddenly felt like an intruder in this sanctuary.
Bruce could tell how she felt. "It's ok. " He held out a hand.
Diana took it and received an encouraging squeeze. She slipped out of her high heels and came to stand next to him in the middle of the room.
He pulled her close and cupped her chin, tilting her head a bit to better see her eyes.
"I need to update the photo. "