This is a story based around the Justice League cartoon. The characters all belong to DC comics.
The Batman sat alone before the multiple monitors in the main control room of the JLA Watchtower. He has been rostered for Monitor Duty. He did it with the resigned patience accorded to one who would rather be fighting a villain or helping to keep Gotham safe,but who knew the importance of keeping watch over the world and co-coordinating the movements of the League.
The Watchtower had access to certain government data bases,feeds from tv networks around the world and satellite and space technology to enable the monitor to watch the solar system and other galaxies.
Bruce has already called out Green Lantern and the Flash to go to the middle east to help a newly elect government deal with insurgents. He has also alerted Superman to an earthquake ravaged peninsular in south east Asia. Its president had appealed to the world for help. The quake had been a massive 6.5 on the Richter scale;and it had also generated aftershocks, adding to the damage and death toll. Wonder Woman had to be called in for back up.
The pair had been there for over five hours. Superman was helping units search for survivors,clearing rubble, as well as assisting with the morbid task of taking the scores of dead to the mass graves being dug, to bury the bodies speedily, in order to avoid any outbreak of disease in the sweltering tropical Woman had been helping the armed forces to clear the streets, keep looting at bay and assist aid workers to take the injured to hospital and the homeless to shelters.
The world press had reached the region already and Batman could clearly see the progress of his colleagues on the many tv networks trailing the pair where ever they went. There was a universal fascination for these two in particular. Whether it was their physical appearance,godlike powers or simply the charisma and appeal they engendered,the world could not get enough of them.
Diana was probably the most beautiful woman Bruce had ever seen;and he watched her on the screen fly gracefully towards Superman,who was clearing way twisted iron girders and blocks of concrete from a roadway. Batman gave a wry grimace. It had been months since his refusal to get into any romantic entanglement with her .He had been tempted. Which red blooded man would not have been?But there was too much to stop him;apart from the obvious one of keeping their relationship professional.
She was an Amazon Princess;a rookie just out into the world;with a mission that did not match his own. Gotham was his priority despite his work with the League. A secret part of his consciousness also had to admit there was another; who,despite her dalliance with villains and theft,was a source of endless exasperation and fascination to him. It was bizarre to his own sensibilities that he was so attracted to someone as vain,headstrong,impulsive,primal,self-centered...who did not give two cents for his good opinion...but who kept surprising him at every turn with her unpredictable nature. Even if he could have shaken Selina,the other reason was now on the screen looking up at Diana.
"Need a hand?"she asked.
A tiny smile curled the corner of Superman's lips as he saw her;he tossed the last block aside and dusted himself off.
"I'm done here. How's your end?"
"The streets are clear. Looters rounded up...most of them are just poor,desperate,starving people...They have been taken to shelters. The army is keeping order. Kal,the shelters are overflowing and we do not have enough food,water and medical supplies."
Superman flew up to hover alongside her. He glanced at the area with a quick sweep of his super vision. He asked,"Tell me what do you want me to do?"
"I can try to divert water from the nearby lake...but the aid being sent from the UN and other countries won't be here until the end of the week. The supplies are still on ships in port north of the peninsular and the trucks on their way are unable to breach the terrain. We cannot wait for another four days. Will you...?"
He said firmly,"I will see you within an hour."
He launched into the air at full speed,a blur fading into the horizon. She let out a sigh of weariness. As usual there were the reporters following her.
"Wonder Woman!A statement please?"
"Where is Superman going?"
"Are we nearer to finding anymore survivors?"
"What is the death-toll now?"
Diana put up her hand to stop the barage.
"Please, the League is here to help by request of the government of this land. Any statements on the progress of the rescue and aid mission will be made by the local authorities. Excuse me now,I have to be elsewhere."
Diana was helping to bring in water when she saw Superman coming in the distance. True to his word he had returned with some supplies. Shouldering a container the size of three double decker buses,he flew into the center of the town-square,now cleared of rubble and patrolled by soldiers.
There was a huge cheer. One of the aid workers, driving a truck with water tanks alongside Diana, punched the air in relief and delight.
He then colored as he glanced up at the beautiful woman escorting his vehicle. He said apologetically,
"Er,so do you,Wonder Woman...it's just...he...he's like the coolest,you know?"
Diana smiled."I know."
Wonder Woman returned half an hour later to find Superman in the courtyard of one of the shelters with a group of children who had been put under the care of a couple of volunteers. The volunteers had begged him to stop for a few minutes as they had the hardest job of trying to comfort children who had lost their parents.
She was in time to see them forget their woes and flock to the superhero. Superman was sitting, showing them little tricks that enchanted their curious mind and diverted their tears. Bottles of fruit juice, to the delight of the children, was blown upon and frozen into popsicles. Heat vision was used to carve tiny animals and figures out of lumps of stone. But most popular of all was hovering several feet off the floor and having the children dangle from his arms,shoulders and cape.
Diana watched him discreetly,smiling to herself at his patience and the comical look on his face as the great Superman was treated with the respect accorded to a tree.
"You are the popular one,"she remarked,alighting gracefully.
The children stopped to stare at her in wonder.
He said wryly,"Yeah. I can't fight my way out of this ambush."
"I came to find you to ask you to come to the hospital with me...I...Kal...What..?,'' she began, bewildered to see half a dozen little bodies swarm towards her.
Superman warned, amused,"I'd run if I were you."
But it was too late. She was swamped in seconds. Tiny faces pressed into her side and grabbed at her hands,urging her to take to the air too. She looked up to see a tv crew filming them through the wire fence.
One of the volunteers came to her rescue and began to gently tell the children in their language to give her space.
Diana said,"No, I am fine. What are they asking me?"
She knelt to the childrens' level to allow then to admire her tiara,lasso and bracelets.
The young man smiled."Er, they want to know if you ever have a little boy or girl if they will fly also."
Diana looked perplexed."Pardon me?"
Superman alighted and gently deposited his passengers. He coughed and said,"We are not married."
The volunteer said,"They want to know why not."
Diana flushed."We are friends. We work together."
"They think you should get married."
Superman said,"Tell them we will think about it."
Wonder Woman stood up and rebuked,"Kal!This is not a joke..."
He took her arm."Don't get on a high horse. It will quieten them down and we can beat a retreat from those nosy camera crews. Let's go...Children,we have to go..."
A man who was watching the pair from the sidelines came over hesitantly."Can I get a picture of you two with the kids?"
"We need to go,"Diana announced firmly.
Superman asked briskly,"Who are you with?"
Clark scanned his id badge and relented."Okay..."
"It'll help the cause. How do you need us?"
"Maybe sitting together?And the kids around you...on your lap..."
So it was a resigned Wonder Woman, sitting shoulder to shoulder with Superman, with over a dozen children,some on their lap,at their feet, draped over their shoulder, taking a picture that hopefully would bring some attention to the plight of the orphans of the quake.
Batman was looking at the images on the screen. Behind him stood the Green Lantern who had just finished his mission with the Flash and was reporting in.
John Stewart mused,"They are quite a pair,aren't they?"
Batman predicted,"They will be on the front page of every newspaper by tomorrow."
"I think that was Clark's thought."
"I hope they are prepared for the consequences."
"Ah,yes. I think I see where you are coming from. I think I understand also why you wouldn't give her a chance...",Lantern returned.
"She thinks she knows what she wants. She is only just learning about the world. What she expects,I could never give. Clark,on the other hand...her vision of the world is more like his than mine. My care is not changing the world. It is Gotham."
Lantern said wryly,"Yeah,no offense I cannot see you letting orphans clamber over you,not even withstanding Dick."
Batman smiled."You are right. It's not my style."
"Nor is sowing fields and building villages."
"I am the kind of man that will pay for it."
Green Lantern folded his arms and teased,"They like the bad boy image,Bruce. You know the saying...the more you play hard to get, the more they want you."
Batman said coldly,"What I do is not geared towards making anyone want me. I have no time for such frivolous matters..."
"Sometimes we are full of good intentions,but even crime fighting can get complex when you factor in a beautiful woman."
"Your drama with Shyera is not something I aim to emulate with anyone in the League."
"Who is talking about the League?"
He looked at him ,narrowing his eyes."What are you implying?"
"Word is you are still playing cat and mouse with a certain street thief. Why haven't you brought her in,Bruce?"
"I don't have to account Gotham's business to anyone."
"No but I wonder how do you justify it to yourself."
"Haven't you a report to write?",he demanded curtly.
"Ah changing the old subject strategy. I get it. You don't want to discuss it. Well,I'll take myself off to make my entry .Later,Bruce."
An hour later nearing four am eastern pacific time Superman and Wonder Woman ported arrived to find Batman still on duty and Green Lantern in civilian clothes finishing up a Clark and Diana looked a little worse for were covered in sweat,dust and mud and looked physically hours of non-stop rescue,clean-up,salvage and rebuilding in the heat had taken its toll.
Superman was heard telling her."You go clean up and rest. I'll do the report."
"What about you?"
"Super speed,remember?",he replied and wiggled his fingers.
She looked dubious."Can't it wait until you clean up yourself?"
"Diana,if I don't do it now,I'll fall asleep the minute I get out of this uniform."
"No buts. Go on."
She said firmly,"Well I'll get you something to eat first..."
"What?You aren't going to cook me something,are you?",he asked, suddenly wary.
"No but I am sure we have things for me to make you a sandwich."
"Um,I'm not sure that's a good idea either..."
She crossed her arms over her chest."What are you suggesting,Superman?."
"I'm not suggesting anything. I'm just recalling the last time you ,er, made refreshments,Wally had to be rushed to the ER."
Wonder Woman put her arms akimbo."That was not my cooking!He stuffed himself full of junk food and soda and then went and goaded you into racing him across the surface of the moon..!"
Superman asked innocently,"You mean he was not poisoned?"
Diana flushed."Poisoned?Of all the mean things to say ...I did not even go into the galley that day;we ordered in and all I did was help Jonn bring it out..."She stopped abruptly. Superman's lips were twitching.
She smacked his chest."You are making fun of me!"
He chuckled and said,"I could not resist it. Wally was right. You are even more beautiful riled up."
It was out of his lips before he could take it back. He blushed at his slip of the tongue. It was almost like a cheesy attempt to compliment someone who did not need a reminder of their uniqueness. Diana looked at him startled. She was not blind to her stunning physical beauty;she saw it reflected back in the eyes of every male and female that she encountered. Only Clark had never remotely given her the impression he found her attractive. Bruce had danced around her for months,sending mixed messages. Wally had flirted all the time. But Clark had kept her at a friendly but respectful distance. She knew he had a reporter ally,who was almost a girlfriend of sorts, and had put his behaviour down to this.
She uttered in surprise,"Are you flirting with me,Superman?"
He said, with a sheepish smile,"I would not dare,Princess. But...I meant what I said."
Diana felt a strange heat creep up her neck. For the first time she noticed the dimples in his cheeks. The blueness of his eyes. The boyishness of his smile. She had a strong urge to reach up and brush away the stray locks falling over his brow.
"You two intend to grow roots over there?"
They looked up in surprise. John Stewart was looking at them with a quizzical stare from his console. They moved apart quickly. Diana found herself to be blushing furiously,as Lantern said almost slyly,"I see the mission went well."
Superman rubbed his jaw self consciously,"Er,yeah,it did."
"You two finished for the night then?"
"I'm about to do the report. Diana's just going..."
Diana interrupted,"I'm going ."
She turned to leave,only to stop and realize the Batman had also been in the room. He was looking at the monitors. She said almost absently,"Oh,hey Bruce. I did not see you there."
He looked at her; an almost strange knowing twist to his lips."I know."
She sighed."I am off, unless there is anything else. Kal is doing the report."
He nodded."I know that too."
She was too tired to notice the dryness in his voice. She disappeared leaving the three men together. Lantern stood up."I'm done, Clark. You can have this station."
Superman took the place and began to swiftly make his entry.
John went past the Batman, he murmured on his way out."You are right as always."