A Restless Night
I don't own Batman, Wonder Woman, or the Justice League
Usually, the shadows of the night were his allies. They helped him as he prowled across the rooftops and through the streets of Gotham City, shielding him from the evil he fought. The darkness was his one friend in those bleak nights, but tonight, the shadows were the Batman's enemy.
As he drove the Batmobile along a winding country road, a wave of tiredness enveloped him. I need a distraction, he thought, something to keep my mind off sleep...With that, Batman pressed a button the vehicle's large front console. Immediately, the car's automated computer system began speaking in emotionless tones: "ARREST REPORT-JOHN DEE: SUBJECT WAS FOUND GUARDING SMUGGLED WEAPONS IN LEXCORP'S HARBOR WAREHOUSE..."
But the police report was sliding through Batman's mind without registering in the slightest. Groaning, he raised a black gloved hand to the bridge of his nose, barely feeling the hardness of his pointed mask. His eyes were pressing downward, longing for sleep...
Then, on sheer impulse, Batman looked up slightly, and jolted. A figure was standing in the middle of the road, a tall, imposing person dressed in a midnight blue tunic and cloak, the cloak pulled up to his face, which was only a leering skull...No! batman thought frantically, desperately trying to seal off his mind, I'm awake! I'm awa-
HONK! As suddenly as he had appeared, the figure vanished, only to be replaced by a huge truck which was careening straight for the Dark Knight. A crash would definitely be fatal-for Batman, at least. The Caped Crusader grabbed the steering wheel and tugged it to the right with all of his might. The Batmobile swerved around the oncoming missile, but there was a resounding thwack as the taillight struck the edge of the truck. The car spun in disorientating circles, crashing into an overpass barrier on the other side of the road. One of Batman's hands held the steering wheel, and the other hovered over the ejector button. Then, with the back of the car perched over the high elevation, it shuddered to a stop, much to Batman's relief.
The crime fighter's heart pounded in his chest as the truck sped away. His mind, which had been filled with sleepiness, was now alert and awake. Dee's getting stronger, Batman thought, I don't know how much longer I can hold out, either...
Batman was on the trail of John Dee, also know as the criminal Dr. Destiny. Until this evening, he had been just another prisoner at the Metropolis Penitentiary, but earlier there had been a mass prison break. During the commotion, Dee had managed to sneak into the prison lab and used an experimental machine to give himself extra sensory perception powers. But it had done more than that; it had given Dee the power to invade people's dreams. And now, he had broken out of jail to take revenge on the people who had hurt him...
So far, Dr. Destiny had used his newfound abilities to murder his former wife, Penny, and had incapacitated several of Batman's Justice League colleagues; Superman, Hawkgirl, Flash, and Green Lantern. Right now, J'onn J'ozz, the Martian Manhunter, was trying to extricate the Leaguers from the delusional states they were trapped in, and Batman had set off to find Destiny's body, which was vulnerable while he used his mental powers. This would have been an easy task for the Dark Knight, except for the fact that he was extremely tired and exhausted from three days without sleep. And if he nodded off for even a second, Destiny would be able to come into his mind and tamper with is already nightmarish dreams. But right now, Batman was wide awake after being shocked by his near death experience.
I have to find Dee, he thought, for all of our sakes. But where is he? Somewhere he thinks is safe...
Safe...an inspiration came. Clicking on the computer button again, Dee's arrest report came echoing through the stereo: "SUBJECT WAS FOUND GUARDING SMUGGLED WEAPONS IN LEXCORP'S HARBOR WAREHOUSE..."
That's it! The warehouse!
Pressing the accelerator with his foot, the Batmobile flew from the wreck of the overpass and down the road towards Metropolis. Batman drove for about three miles when something came to his mind, a chilling fact he hadn't even realized: Diana didn't know about Dr. Destiny.
Batman was thinking of Diana, Princess of the Amazons, also known as the superheroine Wonder Woman. Today, the Princess had had a day off from Justice League duties, so nobody had told her about the potential danger...
Batman pressed his cowl link up to the Watchtower. If somebody had to call Diana, it would have to be J'onn. Sure, Batman liked Wonder Woman; in fact, she was one of the only team members he was willing to be sociable with. But still, even though he never would have revealed it, Diana scared the holy shit out of him.
It wasn't her incredible strength, nor her fighting skills which equaled and sometimes surpassed his own. It wasn't that she was cruel and vain; in fact, she was extremely kind and humble. No, the thing that terrified him about her was...her extraordinary beauty. Her caring personality...
And his growing love for her.
At first, Diana had merely been an ally, but as time went on, as they partnered more frequently for missions, he realized she was a lighter reflection of himself. Stubborn almost to a fault, intelligent, a leader, and alone. But Batman, even if he had found the person who could be his soul mate, couldn't love her in his opinion. His double life could only hurt her as it had so many others. Yet there was always a tiny voice in the back of his mind, asking: Could it work out? A princess and a dark knight?
"J'onn!" Batman barked out, purposefully interrupting his thoughts, "Are you there? Somebody has to tell Di-I mean, Wonder Woman about Dr. Destiny! J'onn, pick up!"
There was no answer. He must be in the others minds, Batman thought, I'll have to call her myself...
"Impressive..." Phoo-ka... Phoo-ka... "Obi-Wan has taught you well."
"You'll find I'm full of surprises!"
Diana watched Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader clash with lightsabers on the small television screen in front of her. She was spread out on the couch in her tiny New York apartment, a bowl of microwave popcorn held in her arm. Dressed in her Wonder Woman costume, minus the boots and tiara, she smiled at the fight unfolding before her.
It's a bit of a slow battle, she thought, but still, it's entertaining! Watching the Star Wars movies was one of the things Diana was doing to acclimate herself into her new home in Man's World. Tonight, she had vowed to finish the three original movies, and she was surprised at how much she liked them. Star Wars seemed to be an excellent blend of action, romance, and philosophy.
I wonder how my sisters would like them, Diana thought. A sudden pang of sadness burst through her heart at the thought of her fellow Amazons. She hadn't seen them in nearly a year, and she probably never would again, for Diana had been banished from the Amazon island Themyscira. She could never return to her friends and sisters, she could never embrace her mother, Queen Hippolyta, again...
Diana looked up, startled as Darth Vader went tumbling from the carbonite freezing platform. What had just happened?
Oh, well, Diana thought, I need to concentrate on something else. She watched the movie for a few more minutes, but her mind began to wander again. And it came upon a very interesting subject: Batman.
As soon as his cowled face popped into her brain, Diana slapped herself. "Hera!" she muttered, "Why do I keep thinking of him?"
Ever since the two of them had ventured to New Genesis to stop Darkseid,, the Amazon Princess had found herself thinking about the caped crusader with increasing frequency. She liked his commitment to business and his gruff manner (While sometimes annoying) was also quite intriguing. Diana wondered if he acted like that when he didn't wear his mask.
Maybe someday, I'll walk up to him and yank it right off his face...
Of course, his reaction would not be a very pleasant one at that. He'd never say a word to me again...
Diana looked up at the sound of her telephone ringing. Grabbing the DVD remote, she paused the movie and flew to her kitchen. Wondering who in the name of Demeter could be calling at this hour, Diana pressed the receive button. "Hello?"
Back in the Batmobile, Batman froze when he heard her tones echo through the intercom system. He had a sudden urge to profess-
"Hello? Is anyone there?"
"Wonder Woman, this is Batman," he choked out.
"Batman?" Diana's legs suddenly became unsteady. "Why are you calling me?"
"Are you about to go to sleep?"
"Go to sleep?" Why does he want to know about that? "No, I was actually watching a movie..."
"Don't go to sleep, whatever you do." Batman sincerely hoped she would leave the conversation at that.
"Are you planning on coming over? Because I'd be fine if you wanted to watch a movie-" Hera, did that just come out of my mouth?!
Batman's eyes widened, and his feet slammed on the brakes involuntarily.
SQUEE! "Batman? Are you alr-"
"I'm fine," he said irritably, "I nearly ran over...a squirrel."
A SQUIRREL?!!? Damn, that sounds pathetic!
"A squirrel..." Diana said over the line, grinning. "I didn't know Gotham City had such a high population of woodland animals."
Batman wanted to beat himself mercilessly. "I'm not in Gotham," he said in the darkest and most frightening voice he could muster, "Right now, I'm driving to Metropolis to find some lunatic who wants to kill the League. He can trap you in your dreams, so whatever you do, don't go-"
"To sleep." Diana finished, sounding worried. "Who is this person? Has he gotten anybody?"
"He calls himself Dr. Destiny. So far, he's trapped Hawkgirl, Green Lantern, Flash, and Superman. J'onn went into their dreams to get them out of these hallucinations."
"I see. Do you want any help in catching him?"
"No," he said gruffly. I can't handle another distraction; it could kill us both...
"Oh...got it. Good luck."
There was a long pause, but neither of them hung up.
Before Batman knew it, he had broken the silence. "What movie are you watching?"
"What movie am I watching? Um...Star Wars." Diana felt herself blush.
"Star Wars." He paused again. "Which one?" AAAHHH! I just need to shut up!
"The Empire Strikes Back. I like it so far."
"Which part are you at?"
"Luke and Darth Vader are having a big lightsaber battle in Cloud City."
"Ah. One question: Why are you watching these movies?"
"Well, practically everybody in Man's World has seen Star Wars, and I figured I should get to know my new homeland better."
"Yes, I'm watching the old ones tonight."
"Will that keep you awake long enough?"
"I think so. If all comes to worst, I can pack. I'm actually heading to Paris tomorrow..."
"Really?" Batman just barely managed to not say he was heading over the pond tomorrow as well.
"I'm just about to Metropolis. I should hang up."
"Alright. Good luck again."
"Thanks, Wonder Woman."
"You can call me Diana, you know."
And in the Batmobile, Batman felt a small glint of a smile cross his lips. A rarity in his life, but a welcome one.
He hung up.
Diana grinned once again, and put the phone in the dock. A strange wooziness had filled her body, and her heart felt like it was going to pop like a balloon.
Batman, meanwhile, felt even more tired than he had before the overpass incident; it took a lot of energy to talk to the woman her just might love.
At 2:00 in the morning, Diana's phone rang once again.
Is it Batman? She thought sleepily. Hoping it was someone telling her she could go to bed, she dragged herself over to the phone, slapped a thumb on the receive button, and groggily said, "Hello?"
She recognized the voice. It was J'onn J'ozz.
"J'onn? Did you get Dr...Dr Destiny?"
"Yes. I have also managed to release the others from Destiny's mental thrall."
"Good!" Diana suddenly felt invigorated and daring. "Is Batman up there?"
"Ill be up in fifteen minutes!" She slammed the phone down, grabbed her boots and tiara, and fluffed her ebony hair. Opening a window, she flew out of the apartment and to the complex's parking garage. At the bottommost level, her personal shuttle, the Javelin Three waited. Diana climbed into the cockpit and fired up the rockets.
The neighbors will be after my blood in the morning, but I don't care! The shuttle lifted out of the garage and flew into the night sky. Sky soon became clouds, and clouds vanished into the inky darkness of spaces. As she flew over the continent of North America, Diana saw the huge, monolithic structure of the Watchtower come into view.
Punching in her access codes, Diana sent them to the Watchtower and the landing bay opened. Flying in, she landed the shuttle and disembarked. Walking into the main body of the lunar base, Diana heard the faintest murmur of voices in sick bay.
Flying through the halls, she reached the bay doors. They opened for her, and Diana walked into the medical center.
Hawkgirl was propping herself up on a bed with her arms and Green Lantern, Superman, Flash, and J'onn were gathered by her side.
"Hey, Diana!" Flash whispered. "Did Dr. Destiny get you?"
"No. I managed-"
"Shh!" Hawkgirl whispered good-naturedly.
"Oh! I managed to stay awake. Why are we whispering?"
Diana then heard a sound that she hadn't heard when she walked in: a low, raspy snore. She turned around and saw Batman slouching in a chair, eyes closed.
"Came up here after beating Destiny and passed out without a word," J'onn said quietly. "Although he must be dreaming. I heard him say your name a few times."
"My name?" Interesting...
"Boy, I'd like to be dreaming his dream," Flash whispered.
The Scarlet Speedster grinned and ran out of the room. Superman and Green Lantern followed, the latter muttering something about "immaturity" and "growing up." J'onn then exited, and Hawkgirl followed suit, giving Diana a small wink as she flew out. Now, it was only her and the sleeping Batman.
That chair looks uncomfortable, she thought, Perhaps I should move him. Diana walked over and hoisted his muscular body out of the chair. She then proceeded to place him gently on one of the beds.
Then, without warning, his eyelids fluttered open slightly. "Di...Diana?"
"Go back to sleep. You look too tired to live," she said with a smile.
Then, he said, "Can...can I take a raincheck for Star Wars?"
It took all of Diana's willpower not to laugh. But still, she was immensely flattered. "Sure," she whispered, "Empire Strikes Back?"
"Yes." And he drifted back to sleep.
Surprising even herself, Diana suddenly leaned down and kissed him tenderly on a rough cheek.
"May the Force be with you," she murmured, and Diana walked out of the room, finally ready to get some rest.