Why did Batman really build that portal to the dimension with the living Flash?
All the lines that are in bold are words taken directly from the episodes A Better World Parts I and II, though I might have changed the context of it. You probably need to have watched that episode to understand this story.
If any of the people in my story seem out of character, remember, these are the Justice Lords, not the Justice League. How much do we really know about them. : )
I borrowed the idea of Batman passing out while in Diana's lasso from a story by Meljean Brook called World Without Wonder.
Sorry I keep changing it, but I keep seeing things that need to be fixed.
Again, please review. Thanks!
It'll Grow Back
Lord Batman knew there would be some fall out for what Superman had done. You couldn't kill the President of the United States without some backlash, even if it was Lex Luthor. So he sat back and waited for the changes to come.
He thought he was actually dealing with the whole thing rather well. He readily agreed to sealing off all the entrances to the Watchtower; better safe than sorry. Enforcing the little laws like picking up litter; sure, why not? Lobotomizing the patients at Arkham Asylum. Yeah, it was a bit extreme, but he found he wasn't that bothered by it. Being called the Justice Lords was the change he took to most easily. He'd been calling himself Lord Batman for years. Having never handled change very well, Batman was feeling pretty proud of himself.
But then things took a turn for the worse.
Lord Batman tried to forget that day, but it relentlessly forced itself into his consciousness again and again. If he were honest with himself, he would have admitted that it had supplanted the memory of his parents as his prime motivating factor. But Batman was never honest with himself. Otherwise he and Wonder Woman would have been married long ago.
It had been a day like any other. He was sitting in the conference room with all the others, waiting for his beloved Diana to enter the room.
She walked in with a minute to spare. He had been reading some reports, and only looked up when he had noticed the eerie quiet that had descended upon the room.
He quickly saw the cause for the deathly silence. It was gone. Her crown of glory--her beautiful, lustrous, raven hair.
If he weren't the Batman, he would have started crying. He looked around at the others to see how they were handling the disaster. Even though all of their eyes were widened in shock, not one of them looked even slightly wet. Right then, he missed Flash more than ever. He would have cried.
(Little did Batman know that on his cloud in heaven, Flash was watching, tears streaming down his face.)
As she entered the room, Diana blurted out, "I did something new with my hair."
Without missing a beat Clark replied, "Don't worry. It'll grow back."
Diana's nostrils flared. "I didn't say I didn't like it."
She actually liked it!
Diana slowly took in the faces of each of her teammates, before ultimately settling her beautiful, unusually bright, blue eyes on Batman. In astonishment, Diana uttered, "You don--None of you like it?" He saw her lips tremble before her indomitable Amazonian will reasserted itself.
"Tough. I'm keeping it this way, whether you like it or not." She looked straight at him as she pronounced that last sentence, as if throwing down the gauntlet. Then she sat down, and waited for the meeting to begin.
A world without Wonder Woman's long mane? It was too cruel. Why was it that every time things were looking up, the rug had to be pulled out from under him? He had been doing so well, making all the necessary concessions, without a single complaint. He hadn't really liked the new costumes (especially Diana's), but he went along with it. He would learn to deal with it…eventually. After all, the safety of the world was at stake.
But Diana cutting her hair?!
He never would have predicted this; not in a million years. It was a catastrophe! They had said all the changes were to ensure a better world. Better world, his ass. He didn't care what they said. A world with a shorn Diana was the worst possible thing he could imagine. There was only so much he could take. He had to draw the line somewhere.
Lord Batman coped with it the only way he knew how. That very night he began devising some protocols under the name Operation: It'll Grow Back. He hadn't thought of the name himself. He had Clark to thank for that.
In all his years as Batman, he had never come across a more difficult task. His broken back inflicted on him by Bane? In comparison to this, a piece of cake. Shaking that pesky Catwoman off his tail? Child's play. Batman shook his head. When would Catwoman ever learn? He was not now, nor had he ever been interested in her. At all.
In fact, he wasn't interested in much of anything these days. Even the mission took a backseat to this. All that mattered now was Diana and her hair.
He had tried everything. First, he changed the shampoo and conditioner in her containers, surreptitiously adding a hair growth serum. Her hair smelled just as fragrant as before, but it was also still just as short. He had read somewhere that Jennifer Aniston used horse vitamins to get her hair to grow back, so he tried hiding some in Diana's food. Unfortunately, Diana's heightened sense of smell detected something was off, and she sent her food back for another "uncontaminated" helping. Undaunted, he tried slipping the vitamins into her iced mocha. He cringed as he remembered her spitting it out all over him, then gagging out the words "This is disgusting!"
Wherever he went, the short hair followed, and he couldn't help but feel that it was mocking him for his failure. He knew it was a little paranoid, but he didn't care. They always thought he was paranoid, but, in the end, he always happened to be right. Coincidence? Not bloody likely. Still, he found he couldn't take it any longer. Batman stopped visiting the Watchtower.
No matter how hard the Justice Lords tried, they could not get him to leave his cave. He would have liked to helped, but his work was all-consuming. He couldn't eat, couldn't drink, couldn't sleep. There was only the new mission.
Sometimes, after days of research and testing had yielded nothing, he would think about giving up. All those months, and still her hair hadn't even grown a fraction of an inch. She must have been going in for routine haircuts. He could come up with no other explanation. It was during those long, lonely nights that the desperation would creep up on him, preying on his mind by ensnaring him in the old fears: You can't save it, Bruce. You couldn't do it back then, and you can't do it now. You're a failure.
But when things seemed at their bleakest he would remember how her hair would flutter in the wind, beckoning him with its fragrant scent. Remember how it sparkled in the sun as she tossed it over her shoulder while simultaneously tossing a flirtatious grin his way. Remember how it would tickle his nose as she leaned over him on the sparring mat, after he had let her take him down.
NO! He would not give up! He could not give up.
One night, during his crusade, Wonder Woman came to pay him a visit. She missed him, and wanted to know why he no longer visited the Watchtower. She resolved not to leave until she had gotten to the bottom of this.
She approached him. Unfortunately for him, he was too distracted by her short coiffure to notice the lasso in her hands until it was too late.
"The old Wonder Woman would never have used her lasso on me," he said.
The old Wonder Woman would never have cut her hair either, he thought, feeling the wave of betrayal wash over him for the millionth time since that awful day.
"Batman, why did you leave?"
"I hate your hair."
Shocked, she said, "I knew you didn't like it, but hate it? And enough to leave the Watchtower? Surely, it can't be that bad?"
"It looks butch."
He viciously kicked out at her, but her only response was to tighten the lasso. He panicked. She could NOT probe further! Not when he was so close to finding the cure! He did the only thing left in his power.
He passed out.
Lord Batman woke up in his chair, facing his computer. He stared up at the blank screen, and breathed a sigh of relief. He knew he would have to make it up to her eventually, but for now he was safe to plot and plan.
Finally, the day arrived. He called the Justice Lords to his Batcave and showed them another dimension.
"We're looking at another dimension."
He heard Wonder Woman speaking from behind his chair. "It's just like ours."
Now to set the bait. "Almost. But their Flash is still alive."
Naturally, Superman threw in his two cents. "You've been a busy little bat haven't you?"
He had no idea.
They seemed enthralled with the fact that the League still had their Flash.
Batman was more interested in the fact that their Diana still had her hair.
Surely, if his Diana saw what she used to look like, she would grow her hair back. He wasn't a man of faith, but he was growing desperate. He chose to believe it would work. Prayed to God that it would work.
They decided to send J'onn through the portal to summon the League. He hadn't foreseen their Hawkgirl getting hurt, but he forged on undeterred. If a thousand, nay, an infinite number of Hawkgirls had to be injured for Diana's hair to come back, so be it!
With the exception of the injury to Hawkgirl, everything was going according to plan. As if he wouldn't know that Flash could speed up his heart rate to make the monitor flatline. As if he wouldn't know that the other Batman would go to his cave to find the portal. He laughed at their naivete. It was almost too easy.
When Lord Batman found him there, he knew he couldn't explain to his counterpart his true reason for summoning the League. The League Batman would never understand. His Diana still had her hair. And so, when the League's Batman yelled at him, "You grabbed power!" he coolly retorted, "And with that power we've made a world where no eight year old boy will ever lose his parents because of some punk with a gun."
That seemed to work, if the clanging of the dropped batarang was any indication.
The Lord Batman tried not to gloat inwardly. He knew that in the end, both Batmen would emerge triumphant. He was positive that after seeing her counterpart's short hair, the League's Diana would never cut her own.
Now with the two Batmen working together, it was only a matter of time.
Lord Batman waited for the depowered heroes to return to his world. Thankfully, they would never know his real reasons for doing this. And if they found out, he figured he could take on a powerless Justice Lord, or five, for that matter. Besides, didn't everyone benefit? He would get his long-haired Diana back, and the world would, too. Not to mention, he had abolished the Justice Lords' totalitarian dictatorship.
Now all he had to do was sit back and wait, which he actually found quite hard, because he was too excited to sit down.
Maybe if he had watched the Lords' Wonder Woman attack the League's Batman and Wonder Woman, he wouldn't have been quite so giddy.
When the Lord Wonder Woman saw her longer haired doppelganger rush to join the fray, her lovely locks streaming behind her, she felt jealousy bubble up within her. Jealousy with a little pride mixed in. So that's what he sees when he looks at me, she thought. She decided to visit her Batman when she returned from the fight.
Her pride at seeing her long, beautiful hair on someone else's head, unfortunately, did not prevent her from pulling said hair when she was fighting her counterpart. Nor did it prevent her from roughing up the League Batman. She hadn't forgotten how Batman had said her haircut looked butch. Granted, this wasn't the same Batman, but she'd wager that he thought the same.
By the time it was all over, she had plenty of ammunition to use against Lord Batman, her Batman.
Meanwhile, back in Lord Batman's lair….
With nothing to do while he waited, Batman tried to impartially weigh the pros and cons of his little scheme. "Was it really worth it?" he asked himself. The question remained unanswered because, right then, Diana entered the cave.
He tried not to smile as he heard her footsteps approach him. He turned around, regarding her coolly, "Wonder Woman."
"Bruce! How could you do that? It was just hair!"
So she knew.
She actually wasn't that mad at him--at least not for the loss of their powers. They had deserved it, and she had long ago learned to regret all that they had done. But sometimes he infuriated her so much. Part of her hated how much she loved him, but really it was only, like, 0.000000000000001 percent of her.
She breathed in deeply, petitioning her gods for patience.
"Fine. I'll grow it back. And I won't tell the others why you really opened that portal. But in exchange, you have to teach me to fight crime without powers, and I get to fight beside you, not just as one of your sidekicks..." she looked shyly at him, "...but as your girlfriend."
Long hair and a chance to work side by side with Diana on his turf? As his girlfriend?
Hell yes! It was definitely worth it, he decided.
Trying to keep the glee from reaching his eyes and mouth, Batman turned away and gruffly said, "Fair enough."
Turning around, he managed to get out a "Yes?" before his whole world was rocked again.
Diana slowly moved her fingers up to her hairline. Then she quickly yanked off her wig.
Her locks leapt forth from their prison, cascading down in waves, only to stop when they came to rest at the middle of her back. As Batman saw the attainment of all his arduous plotting, he felt his heart fill with joy and wonder, and he could have sworn that he heard angels singing choruses of Alleluia. It was actually Flash.
Batman reached out a trembling hand and reverently took her hair in his fingers. Stunned, he could barely formulate any thoughts, let alone words. "But I saw it. It was…it was gone." He removed the cowl from his face, his eyes silently pleading her for answers. "Diana...how?...Why?"
She shrugged. "I never actually got my hair cut. I just wanted to try something new."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"You never asked."
"You mean to tell me, that if I had simply asked you, you would have grown your hair back?"
"Taken my wig off, you mean?"
"Don't toy with me, Diana."
"Yes, Bruce. I would have, but you were being so idiotic about the whole thing."
Bruce found he really didn't care anymore. He hurriedly pulled her into his arms. She placed her head on his shoulders, and he inhaled the soft scent of her hair. Her lustrous, lovely, LONG hair!
And then he did something that neither of them even believed he was capable of doing anymore. He began to cry.
And when Diana pounded him mercilessly for being so stupid, he began to cry harder.
Writhing in agony and joy, Batman still managed to get the last word in, "Desperate times call for desperate measures."
Diana punched him again for good measure, and laughed at him. Then, and only then, did she begin to kiss him better.
Some time later, he lay peacefully in her arms, with her hair streaming about him. As he savored the way it brushed against his skin, he thanked God for answering his prayers, and decided to step out in faith just one more time.
"Does the whole 'ask and you will receive' thing really work with you?"
"Of course it does. Why do you ask?"
"We need to talk about your uniform."