Prologue: Cue the Orchestra
She dropped the newspaper on the table in front of him.
"You need to start seeing other people," she said with no humor or irony in her voice.
Bruce stared at the Amazonian princess for a moment. He knew what the gossip column said. It was wondering what had happened to Gotham's richest bachelor. He had started showing up to events alone and then leaving them solo. It was unheard of in the history of Bruce Wayne. The assumption, which he had noticed was closer to the mark than he thought the columnist was capable of getting, was that he had found someone but was not taking her out into public.
"Not yet," he answered darkly.
"But sometime," she responded. "Why not do it now?"
"Because the columnist wants me to. I'm no longer good for a 'bimbo of the week' column and she has to do real work now and she is mad about it. I am not falling for it."
"Then we need to make a real effort to be seen together at these events. You need to woo me in public," she said.
"Then the League will know."
"Half the League suspects," she fired back.
"But they do not know."
"Back to your enemies using me against you?" she said. Her tone was one of disgust.
"No, Princess, I have visions of being kidnapped by your enemies," he said dryly. The conversation was absurd and he had decided to play along.
She glared at him. "I don't understand the need for a secret identity, but I know it is important to you. I am trying to help."
"And if it was a situation where help was either warranted or requested, I would be extremely grateful."
He looked at her grimly. The absurdness had increased to such a point that he actively wanted to leave. He would have too, but they were having this conversation in his house.
She looked back.
Something inside Bruce snapped. He felt a surge of anger and disgust rise within him and he embraced it.
Let's dance, he thought.
"You're right, Diana," he said. "I have balanced two identities; I certainly can balance two women. Your idea is a good one. Bruce Wayne is back on the market."
Bruce caught the regret that flicker for only an instant on Diana's beautiful face.
"Good," she said. "That's settled then. I need to get back to the Watchtower."
She kissed him quickly but tenderly and then transported out. Once she was gone, Bruce walked to his study where he attacked the pile of invitations on his desk with a gusto he had never experienced before.