I do not own these characters, nor am I making any money off of this story.
Takes place some time after the events in Gorilla City. It's Diana and Bruce Wayne's first meeting, but under different circumstances.
This is my first story, and I'd appreciate reviews. Thanks!
It's All Fun and Games
He watched as she took in the scene before her—all of Gotham's glitterati gathered to raise funds for one of Bruce Wayne's charities. Though not in her usual star-spangled uniform, she still looked dressed to kill.
She had been invited as an afterthought—at least that is the impression the event coordinator received from Mr. Wayne. "Oh, and invite the warrior woman. I've been dying to meet her."
Truth be told, he had wanted to see her in an arena other than the usual Justice League missions and meetings.
Granted, he knew things about her, but nothing beyond what most people knew, and certainly not enough to satiate his curiosity—though he would never call it that. Her foray into "Man's World" had been a surprise, and he had yet to determine whether it was a pleasant one.
And so the games began. He had arranged for a fundraiser to benefit one of the Gotham's many women's shelters, and the invitation was duly sent. She knew nothing of his altar ego, and he was relying on that fact to entrap her, though into what, he really had no idea. Still, a change of environment for his test subject was sure to yield some new information.
Now that she was here, he suddenly felt very tired. Keeping ten steps ahead of everyone tended to do that, and he hadn't stopped running and plotting for years. He hoped that she wouldn't disappoint him, but he had learned to lower his expectations long ago. Recollecting where he was and what he was supposed to be doing, he glanced at Wonder Woman again.
Upon entering the lobby, Diana noticed how beautifully everything and everyone was decorated. Feeling a little bit uncertain, she hovered around the entrance. While she had many times been among Earth's inhabitants, it was never to socialize. There were no charity balls on Themyscira. Their idea of a good time consisted of war games, training, and stratagems, and she was definitely not dressed for any of those.
Looking down at her ensemble, she wondered if she were underdressed. Even though her white chiton was fancier than anything she had ever worn at home (having been adorned with silver at her waist, sapphirine beadwork at the lapels, and a train a little bit longer than was fashionable—i.e. practical—in Themyscira), seeing all of the other women decked out in all their splendor made her question if she was wanting in any way.
She shook her head; what did her physical appearance have to do with helping the needy? Common sense vanquishing thoughts of self, she raised her chin, and with a mind now bent on charity, she walked down the stairs that led to the main floor, unknowingly looking very much the princess that she was.
Batman missed none of this—her appearance, her hesitance, and finally her assurance. As she continued walking across the floor, he set his mind to the task at hand.
She was just about to pass close by him, when someone accidentally stepped on the train of her gown, causing her to stumble slightly. She felt strong arms grab for her in a misguided attempt to keep her from falling. She would have quickly righted the situation herself, but she still chuckled at the attempt of the stranger.
Batman thought of his good luck. He knew she wouldn't fall, but he couldn't have dreamt up a better first impression. To her, he would be the knight in shining armor, and hopefully, with her good will in his favor, she would open up to him that much more readily.
He was temporarily distracted from this line of thought when she turned to face him. Her cheeks were slightly flushed, her eyes sparkled, and her lips formed a smile that seemed solely for his benefit. "Enchanted," he murmured to the lady in his arms.
Diana herself was not left unmoved by the encounter either. She was unaccustomed to being held closely by a male, especially one that she found very attractive. Of course, she couldn't process these reasons for her uneasiness in the microsecond of time that elapsed after she looked into his face, but that didn't stop her from responding in the only way a woman can when suddenly confronted with a ridiculously handsome man—she blushed and smiled furiously.
(Neither of them noticed the man profusely apologizing for the clumsiness which led to their introduction.)
"Thank you…" There was a slight pause as she searched for the correct way to address him. She knew who he was, but didn't want to seem over familiar, so she settled on, "sir."
He grinned audaciously at her and replied, "Be careful, young lady. I might not always be around to catch you. And please, two people as intimate as we are can dispense with the formalities. Call me Bruce."
"People as intimate as we are?"
He slowly moved his eyes down to where his hands were still on her arms and then back at her as if in explanation, and then added for clarification, "I did just rescue you, after all."
If there were any question about this man's identity, his comments and actions removed all doubt in Diana's mind.
Expecting her to either push him aside or look away nervously, he was slightly startled when she merely moved one of her hands to rest on top of his and gazed up at him. "And again, I thank you Mr. Wayne." She then slowly extracted his fingers, and looked pointedly at his other hand that was still touching her.
Getting the hint, or so she thought, Bruce lifted his hand slowly, then proceeded to move it even more slowly down the length of her arm, and finally caught her hand. Raising it to his lips, he kissed then lowered it, but still he would not let go.
"It's Bruce. Care to dance?"
He hadn't waited for her answer, but proceeded to lead her to the dance floor.
He's not lacking for confidence, she thought to herself. Something inside told her that this was just an act to make her another of his conquests. She had read plenty about Mr. Bruce Wayne and his dalliances, but like most women had in the past, she told herself she knew better. She wouldn't be taken in. And a little flirting never hurt anyone, she concluded.
Deciding to turn the tables, Diana planted her feet firmly. When Bruce turned around to look at her, she gave his hand a slight tug, causing him to fall into her awaiting arms.
Looking down at him, she said, "Not so fast. You haven't asked me who I am, and," glancing down at the train of her garment, "my dress is torn."
Straightening himself, Bruce returned, "First, I already know who you are, and second, no one is looking at your dress."
"Is that so?"
"Yes. They're looking at your beautiful face."
Diana had to admit, she found his straightforward, corny responses amusing and slightly flattering.
"That's not what I meant. How do you know me?"
"It would be pretty hard not to recognize you, Wonder Woman, even if you are out of uniform."
"I wasn't trying to disguise myself; I just thought I'd leave the role of superhero for others to fill tonight. And I must say you are doing brilliantly. Not only did you save me from the unpleasantness of earlier but—in all seriousness—you have done so much for Gotham. I have read of all the charities Wayne Industries are involved with, and I am very impressed. I am also very pleased to meet with Gotham's hero."
"Ah. You are mistaking me for the Batman. Any help I give to Gotham is merely for the tax write-off, and, as for the earlier rescue, we both know that you weren't going to fall."
"I wasn't talking about falling. The unpleasantness of which I spoke was regarding the sea of unfamiliar faces. I didn't expect to meet with such charming company. And you needn't worry about me mistaking you for Batman. You look much different than he."
"You know what he looks like?"
"Of course. He revealed his identity to me the first week we met."
Noting his suspicious look, she quickly laughed, and waving her hands as if to dismiss her poor attempt at humor, said, "Sorry. The only thing I know about what Batman looks like, is what everyone else does. He's fearsome, imposing, intimidating, and of course, he has this penchant for the color black."
He moved dangerously close to her. "You don't find me imposing or intimidating?", he asked with a solemn face and stern voice that were both roundly contradicted by the cheeky smile he flashed after his question.
"Not in the least."
"I'm glad for that. Now, princess, how about that dance?"
She sniffed ceremoniously into the air and said, "You may take my hand." Then she turned to him, grinning as she placed her fingers into his palm.
As he led her to the floor, he noticed the looks of envy thrown his way. He just winked back and proceeded to place his arm about her waist.
Once on the dance floor, she moved to face him, and placed one hand on his shoulder and the other in his hand. "I'm still new to the customs of Patriarch's World; is it you or me who leads the dance?"
She fell quickly into step with him, and perhaps she squeezed his hand a little too tightly. Payback for his arrogance, she reasoned. Ignoring the slight pain in his hand, he said, "For a woman who doesn't know the customs of 'Patriarch's World' very well, you sure know how to waltz."
"I'm a fast learner."
As they floated across the floor, Diana was pleased with how easily she had picked this up—not just the dancing, but the flirting and banter. She could get used to socializing if it meant further interactions with Bruce. And if she could have read her dancing partner's mind, she would have found his thoughts similarly occupied.
The tempo of the music slowed, and Diana noted how the other couples changed their positions in relation to one another. Following suit, she placed her hands around Bruce's neck, and he moved both his hands to her waist.
"You know, Wonder Woman, it—"
"Diana. My name is Diana."
"Ok, Diana, it is customary to only dance the one dance. Some people might think that you were trying to monopolize me for yourself."
Surprising him again, Diana pulled him slightly closer to her, and quietly said, "We both know you'd rather be with me, or am I wrong?"
She looked at him for the contradiction, but all she got from him was a shy smile, highlighted by the pinkish hue that diffused over his cheeks. She drew back a little in surprise. What happened to the self-assured charmer? That she could deal with, but if he was really falling for her, it wouldn't be kind to keep up the charade.
Seeing her confusion, he again pulled her back to himself, and reverted back to the Bruce Wayne he hated, the leering playboy.
If he was honest, he was irritated with himself for letting her knock him off balance. She had surprised him by handling his advances in a way contrary to his expectations.
He laughed snidely to himself, at himself. Of course she acted unexpectedly. How was he to accurately predict her reactions when he hardly knew her at all? After berating himself for his forgetfulness, he adjusted his strategy.
She noted the predatory glare in his eyes, and spared a thought for the shy man she had seen a moment before. But her thoughts weren't with that man for long. Bruce quickly pulled her into an embrace and began kissing her.
Thankfully, they were at the edge of the dance floor; she didn't want to make a scene. She pushed him a little less than gently back to where he belonged, and laughed, though her cheeks grew quite rosy. "Mr. Wayne, I may be new to Man's World, but I do know that a kiss isn't expected until at least the third date. It's unkind of you to take advantage."
Without even a tinge of embarrassment, he said, "It's Bruce, and I'm available tomorrow night at around 7 o'clock for our second date." Knowing they had a Justice League meeting scheduled for that time, he predicted her polite refusal.
"You certainly are cocky."
"Is that a yes?"
"It's an 'I'll think about it.' And it will only be our first date. You didn't ask me here."
He was about to reply when some armed gunmen invaded the room. Diana took in the number of armed men and quickly devised the best course of action—grab and smash.
Turning to Bruce to offer her apologies, she noticed he was no longer there.
Not having the luxury of time, she quickly went after the party crashers, and disposed of them. After handing them over to the policemen when they had arrived, she looked around for Bruce one more time before making her exit.
As soon as the criminals barged in, Bruce had turned to leave.
He was glad for the distraction. His little plot to find out more about Wonder Woman had failed miserably.
He discovered nothing about her true motivations for coming to Man's World, or anything else that he deemed significant.
He did learn, however, that she spoke gracefully, smiled sweetly, laughed engagingly, danced lightly, smelled intoxicatingly, and tasted deliciously. And expect for the dancing and tasting part, the other data he already had!
And the worst of it was he discovered that he was strongly attracted to her. He'd have to try much harder next time.
After leaving the banquet, Diana slowly floated up to one of the many buildings towering over Gotham, and gazed at the stars overhead.
She replayed the events of that night, and for quite possibly the millionth time, smiled at the thought of Bruce Wayne. She knew his image was that of a dim-witted fop, but dim was the last word she would have used to describe him.
Wit and charm required some modicum of intelligence, that she knew; but being Gotham's Dark Knight demanded true brilliance. She suspected that she was dealing with quite possibly the smartest person she had ever met.
Now knowing that Bruce Wayne was Batman, she began to go over all her dealings with him, hoping to shed some light on her shadowy coworker.
She was thankful for her new revelation. If Bruce were just a foppish playboy, he would have much to answer for. But he wasn't. He was her brave, intelligent, admirable, and slightly bashful—at least when it came to her—comrade.
She hadn't forgotten the shy look he had given her before he had kissed her, and the remembrance warmed her heart. And all the more, as she recalled the time in Gorilla City, when his face had glowed just as pink.
She realized she was just scratching his surface, but she knew herself well enough to recognize that it had been some time since she had felt more than just respect for Batman. And tonight's encounter with his other masked self allayed none of those feelings. Quite the opposite, in fact.
She also realized that if she chose to pursue him, she would have to do it slowly and carefully; his safety had to be considered, and more importantly, his stubbornness.
But for now, she would just have a little fun with him. He didn't have to know that she knew his little secret.
Engrossed in her thoughts, she hadn't noticed Batman come up behind her.
"You aren't welcome here, Princess."
She turned around, slightly startled, but then began advancing towards him.
"Is that so?"
His only answer was the glare he shot at her, but she easily deflected it with her radiant smile.
She continued to walk closer to him until their faces were centimeters apart.
"You don't frighten me."
And they began to play their games again, though with a slight twist. It was she who moved her hand up his arm, and it was she who pulled his mouth to hers. And it was he who (after a decent interval) pushed her away, though with much more gentleness than she had spared him earlier.
"Wonder Woman, I'll tha—"
No response but the glare.
Unintimidated by his silence, she placed her cheek next to his and whispered in his ear, "I'll see you tomorrow at seven, Batman."
Without waiting for his reply, she flew toward the stars, a pleased smile on her face.
At seven o'clock the next evening, the meeting of the Justice League began promptly with all members present and accounted for.