Disclaimer: I own no characters, locations, et cetera, et cetera.
A/N: I decided to try my hand at a longer BMWW fic, and so here it is. Now the first chapter is long, and boring, and not terribly connected to the rest of the story, but you should read it anyway – focus on what Diana does when dealing with each situation, and enjoy!
Chapter One – Diana's Greatest Strength
"Pretty please with a cherry on top?"
Batman glowered at the World's Fastest Man. "Flash. Do I look like I want cherries?"
"Then stop wasting my time," he replied, turning his attention back to the double espresso in front of him. Deciding to get away from the younger man as fast as possible, he picked up the tiny cup and threw it back, grimacing at its still too-hot temperature. The caffeine was definitely needed though — somehow he'd managed to not notice that he had a morning monitor duty; a very rare lapse. He put it down to him getting old.
He stood, and Flash put himself in the Dark Knight's way. And swiftly got out of it when on the receiving end of a Batglare. "But, Bats, c'mon! I've been trying to get a date with this girl for ages, and the only day she could do I've got monitor duty and-"
"So rearrange it," he said, walking down the hallway.
"I'm trying, but you won't let me!"
"The date, Flash."
"But that could be days away! Weeks, even!"
Batman stopped. Turned. Glared.
Flash stopped. Gulped. Backed away.
"I'm going to be clear about this," he said, taking a step forward. "I'm tired. I'm hungry. I'm late. And I'm irritated. Go. Away."
Flash went — grudgingly, but he went.
Feeling slightly satisfied, Batman went into the Monitor Womb to relieve Superman.
Diana plonked an iced mocha in front of Flash. "You look depressed."
"Yeah…" her friend sighed.
"What's wrong?" she asked, taking a slurp of her own drink.
"I had a date."
"Yeah. I had to cancel because Mr Tall, Dark and Broody wouldn't let me switch monitor duty."
Diana frowned. "Batman? Why not?"
Flash gave her a sceptical look. "It's Bats. Does he need a reason?"
She smiled. "I'll swap shifts with you if you need me to, Flash."
He brightened immediately. "Really?"
"Sure. It's not like I have a date to go on," she grinned.
"You would if you'd just stop turning down every guy that asks you," he pointed out, picking up his drink. "Why do you do that, by the way?"
Diana shrugged. "Just never found the right guy."
"Di, you're not looking for marriage, just a first date. You've never found any of them attractive?"
Honestly, she couldn't say that she had. She didn't understand how men could expect her to agree to date them without them knowing the first thing about one another. The attention had been bemusing at first, then flattering, but now it was simply annoying. She couldn't deny there were certain parts of Man's World she liked, but so much of it seemed to be superficial. At charity functions and ambassadors' balls she'd danced with lots of men, talked with them, even tried her hand at flirting with a few, and they all asked the same questions, had the same expression when they looked at her. And the last dance that she'd actually got active pleasure from… She frowned. Had been interrupted by Kasnian separatists. Hera, that was depressing.
"Maybe I do need a date," she admitted. "But I will not date a man I am not attracted to." And the moment, the number of men I am attracted to would add up to a grand total of…one, she thought privately. "Anyway, I'll take your monitor duty — but would you mind taking my shift on the eighteenth?"
"Sure," he shrugged. "Why?"
"It's Audrey's birthday — she's invited me to go shopping with her in New York. Now I can go." With that, Diana got up and went to call her friend feeling more cheerful. Thinking about men (and Bruce) could wait. She hadn't gotten more than a few steps out of the cafeteria though, before she stopped again – her sharp hearingpicking up the sound of someone crying in the room to her right. Frowning, she looked toward it. That was Hawkgirl's room.
Things still weren't as smooth as they had been between the two women, but they were getting better everyday. And friendship could only come from friendly gestures. A friendly gesture would be finding out why Shayera was crying — even if she couldn't do anything about it.
Taking a deep breath, she knocked on the door. "Hawkgirl? It's Diana."
There was a pause, and then the door opened, revealing Shayera, red-faced, and her eyes bloodshot from crying. As soon as the door was open fully, she threw herself into a very-stunned Wonder Woman's arms. Diana's eyes widened to the size of saucers as she patted the redhead gingerly on the back. "Uh, are you okay?" Stupid question, but it was the only thing she could think of to say.
"I d-don't what's the m-matter with me!" she sobbed. "B-but it's the m-most stupid thing, and I…" The rest of the sentence was lost as her voice broke under the weight of her tears.
Diana turned her around and sat Shayera on her bed. "Don't move. I'll be right back."
She nodded miserably and sniffed. Diana flew down the hallway to the commissary, grabbed two more iced mochas and then flew back, arriving back only a little slower than Flash would have managed. She handed one to Hawkgirl and sat down next to her. "Here."
"Thanks," Shayera said dully, no longer crying. In fact now she seemed to be angry at herself. "I can't believe I'm being so stupid!" she growled.
"What is it?" Diana asked.
Still sniffing, Shayera reached over to her left and picked up a sock. A man's sock. Clean. Ish. But definitely a man's sock. Diana frowned. "Whose is this?"
Her eyes widened again. "You mean- You two are together again? When did that happen?"
"Well…not really. At least…I don't know, Diana, I thought maybe-"
"Start from the beginning," Diana said firmly, but not unkindly. "And keep it simple. Why is Lantern's sock in your room?"
"Because we slept together," Shayera said, avoiding her eyes.
Swallowing her surprise, Diana continued. "And why are you crying over his sock?"
"Because I thought maybe- we might give it another go. I mean, Diana, it just felt right. It was the right time, we were both just honest with each other for the first time in months and… It was like coming home."
"So what's the problem?"
"The problem is that was like four weeks ago and we haven't spoken since! And I swear he's avoiding me! I-I went to talk to him yesterday but…"
"But?" Diana prompted.
"I heard him talking to someone through the door. Mari, I guess. And saying that he wanted to give them another shot, that the time was right to try again." At the end of the sentence, Shayera burst into tears again. "And then this morning I found this damn sock under my bed and I couldn't- I just-"
"It's okay," Diana said, rubbing her back comfortingly between her wings. "You're allowed to be upset, it's natural. You wanted this, and he gave the impression he did too." She swallowed, not liking the fact that her words could all-too-easily be applied to her as well. She pushed the memories back. She was here to be a friend to Shayera, not to wallow in her own regrets.
"Yeah but not upset like this!" Hawkgirl replied angrily. "I mean think about it, Diana, a year ago I would have just bludgeoned him to death with my mace – now I'm crying over him?! What the hell's happened to me?"
Diana smiled slightly. "Maybe you're just hormonal."
Her friend managed a watery smile. "You could be right." Then all the blood drained from her face. "Diana!" she whispered.
"What is it?"
"You- You don't think I might be…? We didn't use protection, and I haven't had my period yet. Oh, my God…" She was looking wildly all around the room, as well as looking ready to rend John's sock into a million pieces. Her green gaze finally came to rest on Diana's equally stunned expression. "I'm pregnant, aren't I?"
"Well…" She stood up and began pacing. "Let's not jump to conclusions. Okay, so there is a chance you could be - but you also might not be. If you're stressed then your body gets disrupted. And you are stressed." She squeezed Shayera's hands and moved toward the door. "I'm going to go to the medical bay and see if J'onn has any tests, and you're going to sit tight until I get back, okay? Drink your mocha."
She paused at the door. "Yes?"
"Thank you. You… You have no idea how much it means for me to have a friend in this."
Diana smiled, glad that it looked as though their friendship was finally repaired. It wasn't the way she would have chosen to mend it, but somehow there didn't need to be an apology. They were both women of actions, not words. "Anytime."
When she got to the medical bay, J'onn wasn't there, so she went looking for him. She found him in the Monitor Womb, talking quietly with Batman. "J'onn?"
They both turned, and she smiled apologetically at the Martian. "I'm sorry to interrupt, but can I have a word?" she asked, tapping the side of her head. It would be easier this way to explain the situation.
He nodded, his eyes glowing slightly. What is it? Are you well?
I'm fine, but Shayera may not be. Do you have any pregnancy tests in the medical bay?
His expression turned extremely surprised, but he nodded. I believe so — at the far end of the bay, the left middle cabinet, middle shelf- Leaving the long-winded explanation, he simply sent her a mental picture of where it was with a rueful smile.
She grinned. "Thanks, J'onn." Her grin faded. "Oh by the way, Batman, I've swapped shifts with Flash on the eighteenth."
"Really?" he asked flatly.
"Yes," she said defiantly. "That's what friends do, isn't it? Do each other favours?"
Before he could utter another word, she spun on her heel and left the room, heading to get a test for Hawkgirl. Five minutes later, the two women were pacing at equal speed across Shayera's room. "It's not going to be positive," the redhead muttered. "I mean how could it be? The idea of me as a… I mean that's silly… Even if we do- I mean eventually, not…"
Diana remained silent, knowing that it definitely could and probably would be positive. An image of Rex Stewart's face flashed in her mind, and she mentally tried to calculate how old he'd been. If he hadn't been conceived soon, then he would have to be within a year. Though if Lantern was back with Vixen…she pushed down the outrage on Shayera's behalf. It wasn't her place to exact retribution — even if it was the kind of behaviour that her mother had always warned her about. She wouldn't have expected it from Lantern, though. He didn't seem like the type to simply use women. No one she knew did — except maybe Bruce Wayne, and she knew that he didn't, even if he was careful to maintain that impression. There was no way he'd do it to her, certainly — he'd made it quite clear that there was no chance they'd ever be sleeping together. Even if sometimes she was inches away from simply throwing him down and taking him on the table. For Hera's sake, did he think it was only men that had needs? There were some itches that just couldn't be scratched alone, and-
"Has it been two minutes yet?" Shayera asked, breaking into Diana's mental (not so unpleasant) imaginings.
Diana glanced at the clock on the nightstand, and nodded hesitantly. "Yes."
"C-can you look at it?" she stammered. "I don't think I can."
Diana nodded and took a deep breath, then looked at the pregnancy test. Knowing Shayera she'd want a quick answer. "It's positive," she blurted. "You're pregnant."
Very slowly, Shayera sat down on the edge of her bed and exhaled softly. She didn't move or speak for another thirty seconds, and then when she did she was surprisingly calm. "Okay."
"Okay?" Diana questioned, not sure her friend had really heard it. "Shayera…you're pregnant. With John's child. What are you going to do?"
"I'm going to go tell him," was the answer.
She was gone incredibly quickly, leaving Diana blinking blankly at the empty room. "Hera."
One week later, 4:28 am GMT
Strangely, considering who the parents to-be were, and how tumultuous their relationship had always been, things panned out relatively smoothly. It turned out what Shayera had over heard was John rehearsing what he was going to say to her — more than that, he'd actually been planning a proposal — though not exactly for romantic reasons; he was simply tired of waiting. In his words, they'd wasted enough time. No one could argue with that, and Flash had jumped in to organise a party for everyone in the League.
By this time of night, however, most people had gone to bed, leaving only Flash, Diana and the happy couple still awake. Superman was just leaving, and wishing everyone goodnight. "And don't stay up too late!" he called on his way out the door.
"Yes, Dad!" Flash yelled back.
"We really should clear all this up," Diana said, looking at the silly string that coated every surface and discarded party poppers lying around. She didn't move.
"I got it!" Wally said, temporarily disappearing. Within thirty seconds, he was back, and every table was gleaming.
"Thanks, buddy," John said, clapping Flash on the shoulder.
Shayera yawned. "I think I'm going to bed."
"I'll be a minute," her fiancé said.
She bent to kiss him lingeringly. "Don't be too long," she murmured with a husky note in her voice.
John's eyes followed her slightly swaying hips out of the room while Diana and Flash looked embarrassedly at each other. "Thanks," Lantern said after a moment. "To both of you."
"No problem," Flash grinned.
"What else are friends for?" Diana agreed.
The doors hissed open again, and Batman stepped through them. He nodded without a word and headed to the coffee machine. "Hey, when d'you get here?" Flash asked.
"Thirty seven seconds ago," he replied curtly, collecting his coffee and departing again.
Diana sighed and frowning. His posture had been a little more rigid than usual — there was something wrong. She stood. "Goodnight, Flash. And don't worry, Lantern," she added, squeezing his shoulder. "You're going to make a wonderful father."
They both wished her goodnight, and she left, heading for where she knew Batman would be — he almost never used his room at the Watchtower except for when he had League-related work to do that for some fathomable-to-Batman-only reason couldn't be done in the Cave. Still, there were some perks to knowing the pass-code for his room. Not that she'd enter without knocking, of course. However, she never got the chance, since as soon as she raised her hand to knock, the door opened.
She knew him too well to be surprised, and only entered, sitting down on the edge of the bed and looking expectantly at the dark-cloaked figure in the chair. "What's wrong?"
She only looked at him. "Bruce."
There was a pause, then he sighed and pushed his cowl back. Knowing that unless there was something seriously wrong he never did that on board the Watchtower, she frowned harder. "It was a slow night," he said.
"Isn't that good?" she asked.
"If the Joker was in Arkham, yeah, it'd be good, but he's not, and the almost total lack of crime is disconcerting. Worse, I can't locate him – none of my sources have any information, and there was no clues that I can find anywhere in the city."
The frown on Diana's face got deeper. If Batman couldn't find him, then the Joker must have gone deep underground. Really deep. Planning-some-kind-of-monumental-crime deep. "Would J'onn be able to locate him telepathically?"
"That was my thought too," he replied. "He's on his way here, since I had some paperwork that needed doing."
"Are you sure there's nothing else bothering you?" she asked.
He stiffened as she put a hand on his shoulder. Why had he allowed himself to be alone with her? It never turned out well. It unlocked bits of his soul that were best left closed. "I'm sure."
She left her hand where it was. "I'm here, Bruce. If you…want to talk." She mentally kicked herself as she said it — Batman wanting to talk was about as likely as her mother opening Themyscira to tourists. She sighed and dropped her hand. "Never mind, that was stupid."
"Why was it stupid?" he asked, not looking at her.
"Because you won't confide in someone you don't trust absolutely," she said simply, moving to the door.
She was stopped by his next words. "I do trust you, Diana."
She turned, incredulous, to look at him. He looked back at her, utterly serious — his gaze actually open for once. Her eyes widened; he trusted her. It was right there in his dark blue eyes. She swallowed, then frowned again as a new thought occurred to her. Her gaze flickered slightly. "Then it is yourself you do not trust?"
He opened his mouth, but suddenly both their communicators went off, and Green Arrow's voice came over the link. "Wonder Woman, Batman?"
"Go ahead," they said in unison.
"Got an alert coming in from the Amazon Basin," he said. "Huge energy discharge there. Lantern and Flash are already there, but they're requesting backup asap."
"On the way," Batman said, pulling the cowl back up and leaving the room before Diana could say anything. Why was it that any time they began this conversation it always got interrupted? Not that Bruce wouldn't have done his utmost to evade the question anyway. Seething slightly, she followed him to the transporters.
A/N: Review please!