Disclaimer 1: I own nothing.

Disclaimer 2: I have never read Batman: RIP, and since I hate the story line I don't ever plan on reading it. What little knowledge of the plot I have comes from wikipedia articles and the dcdatabase. So, some of the things I mention might be very close to the plot or very divergent. I took what I wanted and made up the rest.

Disclaimer 3: While this could be a very long story (which I might write at a later date), I am stopping it after the third chapter. There is some closure there and a semi-natural ending, but it leaves things very open ended. I thought I should finish Stranger in Paradise before I tackled another big story. Normally, I like to wait in between posting the chapters, but since I've been so terrible with updating Stranger, I thought I'd put these all up at once. Hopefully, it's a treat and not a punishment. :D

A/N: Thanks, Kipling (whoops, I almost wrote your real name, lol), for betaing this ministory. I know how busy you are, so for those moments where you can relax, I'm purchasing some massage chairs for the enclave. I plan on coming over to use them often. :D Also, thanks to Hepburn for giving me some suggestions to make my story more authentic to Diana's culture and vocabulary.

Rest in Peace

Chapter Three:

A New Day Dawning

The light fall of rain against the roof and window woke Diana from her peaceful slumber. Eyes still shut, she enjoyed the stillness of the morning and the coziness of his arms wrapped around her. Through blurry vision she stared at the blue walls of her room, which appeared darker due to the lingering night. The sun could have just risen and blocked out by the clouds, or she had woken before Eos had made her circuit over Gateway City.

She could feel him all around her, which made sense, as their bodies were near flush against each other. But it was more than that, his very presence seemed to fill all the empty places. Rolling over, she hoped to watch him as he slept. At her movement, he woke up. His hands left her, trailing over her waist before they fell away, but his gaze remained fixed on her smiling face.

"Good morning." His already gruff voice sounded even scratchier.

Diana scooted closer, burrowing further into the blankets and his side.

"What time is your press conference?"

"Nine in Metropolis. As usual."

"What are you going to say?"

"Nothing. Clark said he would speak."

"So our argument last night, about you not wanting to lie, was pointless."

"Hmmm. Maybe."

Her eyes closed again, lulled by the steady rhythm of the rise and fall of his chest. Half hoping he was asleep again, Diana whispered, "I'm glad you came to me."

She looked up from his chest to find him staring down at her. The familiar struggle hung about his face, manifesting itself in his tortured gaze and clenched jaw. Pushing herself off of him she leaned forward and kissed the tight line of his lips. When he didn't move, she did it again. And again. His heart, whose beats she could feel under her palm, was pulsing faster and faster at her continued caresses, though it grew more and more difficult for her to keep giving without any response.

Diana rested her forehead against his, eyes lowered, unable to see his rejection. "Please, do something."

"I can't. Not y—"

"I love you."

Though it was probably not a secret to either of them, it had never been voiced. Fear, distance, pride, excuses; for whatever reason, the truth had been kept prisoner for years. And now she wondered why she had waited so long to say it. It had sounded and tasted right, because it was right. It bore repeating. "Bruce, I love you.

"I love you, and I have for a long time, and now that you are here, I'm not going to let—"

Bruce kissed her, pushed her into her mattress, the weight of his body heavy on top of her. Her mouth easily remembered his lips, how perfectly they melded with hers those few times they had given in to the truth of their situation. She moved herself closer to him, determined to learn other ways they fit together, and thankful that now she had the opportunity. In a haze, she flipped him over on his back, and he groaned into her mouth.

He broke away from her and removed one of her hands from his shoulder. She stared down at him confused and out of breath as he pressed his lips to her palm. "If you aren't careful, you'll open my stitches again."

"How bad does it hurt?"

She wasn't going to stop unless he said it was excruciating.

"We need to talk."


"Diana, this isn't right."

"I know. It's perfect."

He smiled up at her, and Diana returned it. "The timing is off. I have to find my father, and you need to break things off with Tom."

"I already told you, things between Tom and me are over."

"But he doesn't know that. You don't want to be that woman, Diana. And I don't want to make you that woman."

She normally rejoiced in the truth, but today it was a burden. "I want to be with you."

"You will be."

He'd never given anything like this to her before, but she felt dissatisfied. The promise should have been enough, but it just wasn't. "When? We've waited so long. I'll end things with Tom, but then you'll have to find out what is going on with your father, and once you've done that, something else will come up. I'm just…" she stared down at the pattern on her blanket, "What if we never get to be together? What if we lose our chance?"

His hand moved to her shoulder, brushing her hair out of the way before it wrapped around the back of her neck. The light circles his thumb traced over her skin relieved some of her tension. "I won't allow it." He pulled her down, kissing her softly. "For the first time in my life, I am going to have everything I've always wanted. I'm finally free to stop denying myself."

"I don't understand. How is that possible? You said it yourself, you're whole life has been a lie."

"I didn't say I felt happy, just free. Finding out that my hero is really a villain destroyed whatever reason I had to be Batman. I thought I could push through that, that it didn't matter, but being here just reminds me of everything I had to give up. Without Batman, I could allow myself to have everything."

"I don't want the world to lose Batman because of me."

"Not you. Thomas Wayne. I'm tired of being unhappy. I'm taking what I want." His smile was charming, almost enough to make her forget her unease.

"But even if your dad was not a good man, that doesn't change the fact that Gotham City needs you."

"I will still help Gotham City, just not as Batman. And with him gone, there is nothing to keep Bruce Wayne from becoming a respectable member of society, with an even more respectable girlfriend."

He had all his reasons and arguments lined up in a row. Why am I being so stubborn?

"What if…what if it turns out that your dad is dead, and this man has been lying to you?" She turned her face away from his, focusing on the blue of her walls. "I want Thomas Wayne to be good. I hate the idea of your work being done in honor of an evil man, and I know you do too. But…"

"It's alright, Diana."

"Hera, forgive me my selfishness, but now that I feel like we can be together, I don't want anything to get in the way."

His fingers forced her to look back at him, moved her chin so he could kiss her mouth. It was enough to erase her guilt. "I came here, because I knew this would happen, not because Clark was a lesser alternative. Even if I hadn't found out about Thomas, even if my parents truly were as perfect as I believed them to be and I continued to be Batman, this was inevitable. It was time to give in."

The tables had turned. His persistence, rather than hers, was now driving this forward, if only she would agree. The seconds dragged on, but he wouldn't look away. There was no hardness to his face anymore, nothing that suggested he dreaded or resented surrendering to her. There was no cause for hesitation; he was promising himself, and the gratification that had been so longed delayed made it that much sweeter.

Diana pouted, laughing as he kissed her again. "I'm going to miss Batman."

His hands moved along her sides, and he dipped his head to her collarbone. Her body flushed even more at the knowing smile against her neck. "I can still wear the costume," he promised in a voice lower than normal, in the voice of the Bat.

"Good," she answered in a voice higher than normal, in the voice of a woman whose boyfriend was doing his best imitation of a vampire.

His body shifted over hers, lengthening as he stretched against her. The languid movement of their bodies aligning was enough to make her a permanent fixture in her bed, but she didn't lift her arms to stay him when he rolled off her and crawled out of bed. There would be more moments like these, and they wouldn't be overshadowed by the specter of Tom, Bruce's father, or the upcoming press conference.

"I think it's time for a shower." He disappeared behind the bathroom door, and she heard the loud click of the door locking. Sitting up, she gave herself a few seconds before getting out of bed. There must be some male clothing lying around the Embassy somewhere.

She was almost at the door, but something on the wall drew her attention. Taking the picture frame off its nail, she removed the photo, crumbling it before tossing it into the trash. The wooden frame was back on the wall, even and empty, when she pulled the door off its hinges. Wanting to get back before Bruce was out of the shower, Diana sped around the rooms, until she managed to find some extra uniforms in the guard's break room. Vowing to replace it later, she hurried to her room, uniform in hand.

Bruce was sitting on her bed, his lower body wrapped in a towel. "I hope you don't mind my outfit. Alfred won't be here for a few more hours."

"This has to be one of the worst plans anyone has ever created, let alone you. I thought you were supposed to be smart."

"I wasn't anticipating having my clothes ripped off by an Amazon. What's that?"

She held up the uniform. "Sorry, I couldn't find any underwear."

He gave her a smile, which could only be described as wicked, and she found herself fumbling the blue shirt to the ground. As she knelt down to pick it up, he said, "Not that it's any of your business, but I like to go commando."

Her jaw dropped open at his brazenness. His tapping foot drew her attention, and her eyes traveled upwards, momentarily pausing at his chest. His hands moved to his waist, then slid around behind his back. A smirk slowly pulled at his lips, making it much easier to drum up the will power to turn around. She was just about to when he pulled a pair of boxers from behind his back. "You're so gullible. I brought an extra pair."

Diana threw the shirt at his head. "The Embassy will be opening in an hour. I'll inform everyone that you are a new guard."

He stood and she looked away, but it was no good. He sidled up in front of her, a satisfied look on his face. "Not a bad idea. Will you be needing any personal protection?"

Diana scoffed, but her face was warm. "Not a smart idea. I'm Wonder Woman. I don't need a personal body guard. Now get dressed. I'm going to shower."

She walked into the bathroom, shutting the door firmly behind her. Noticing the gap in the wall made by her telephone, she stuffed a towel in it, then climbed into the shower.

When she was finished, she made a beeline to her walk-in closet, towel firmly wrapped around her. Closing the door, she checked any and all nooks and crannies. Satisfying herself that Bruce was not in there, she dropped her towel and changed into her uniform.

When she walked out, Bruce was on her bed, dressed like a security guard. The shirt was a bit snug around his chest and arms, but she did not think that a bad thing. She also noticed that the door was back on its hinges.

He stood and walked over to her, kissing her hard on the mouth. "Are you sure you don't need a body guard?" he murmured, as they drew away from each other.

The pair stood there, catching their collective breath. When that was accomplished, they still did not move.

"So what happens now?" she asked.

"When you get back, I'll fill you in on my plans."

Her shock was real, but she kept a playful tone in her voice, "You're going to let me know?"

"Things are different now."

Diana nodded, meeting his smile with one of her own. "I should probably be going."

With great reluctance, she pulled away. The task was made somewhat easier by the knowledge that he would be here when she returned.

The End...for now

Anonymous Review (d) Replies:

d-I couldn't wait till I posted the next chapter to reply. You have found all my weaknesses! But thank you for exposing them and helping me improve. That is always welcome! Anyway, on to the questions...(I italicized your words) And, *sigh* why did Bruce have to push Diana away in the beginning when he knew in the first place if he came to her expecting "this to happen?" LOL, that was just probably me not paying attention to previous dialog, but I think I can resolve it with what I already wrote. The first time she tries to tell him she loves him (in chapter two), he is worried that she is only doing it because of the stress/emotion of the situation. I could see him being bothered by that, not wanting to take advantage of her emotional state to make his move. Plus there were some real objections: he still has his father issues to deal with, she needs to dump Tom's sorry a--ahem, she needs to end her relationship with Tom. However, when he heard Diana tell him she loved him, he couldn't control himself (yes, I know that's OOC, but whatever. My story!) and just had to smooch her! Gasp, is that really what happened in the comics? Is Thomas Wayne really made out to be a villain?! Honestly, I can't remember the details, but it must have been something like that. I would never have devised anything that stupid. Seriously, if that were true (and I think it turns out that the guy is an imposter), Bruce would have no reason to be Batman. The motivating factor is his parents' deaths. To turn that into a big, fat lie is so demoralizing and irked me like you wouldn't believe...If/When I continue this, there might be some major overhauls, but one of the things I will certainly be keeping is this new openness between BMWW. To have his past shattered like that, while highly injurious, I could totally see it as a very liberating thing. I'm not saying it would be smooth sailing for the two, but there wouldn't be anymore of this stupid "will they? won't they?" idiocy. His parents' "legacy" would no longer dictate his actions. The guilt would be gone, shifted to the bad guy. However, if it turns out the bad guy isn't his dad, that could be a problem. LOL, I stopped here because I have NO CLUE what to do next. I basically wrote this as a BMWW vehicle without little thought to anything else. However, I can't see this story continuing without addressing all the father stuff, and I want to write a story that's more than a romance. Oh, and if you continue this, I do hope for more of Tom's reaction to Diana dumping him and finding out that she is dating and in love with Bruce. I actually have written parts of what would most likely be the last chapter of this story, and it includes Tom's reaction. :D By the way, why wouldn't Tim be in the know whether or not that Bruce is alive? Um, no good answer. I was just thinking, "keep the inner circle super small." So no Tim, though it probably doesn't make sense. I'll have to rethink/probably rewrite that bit if/when I continue. I was also confused as to why I let Bruce let Diana think he was dead. Perhaps he was trying to choose between Clark and Diana and hadn't come to a decision at the time the letters were sent. In any case, I have an idea for the rewrite of the beginning that would change it all and I think will be awesome...Thanks for the grammar lesson; I think I understand what you are saying. Seriously, I'm terrible when it comes to commas. Some of my sentences are so unbelievably long, I feel obliged to throw in commas even where they don't belong. (Did I use it correctly there? LOL I don't think it's needed now that I look back at it. I think it's one of the complex compound sentence dealios you were talking about earlier) Any and all help is appreciated. And if you see any other mistakes, feel free to drop a line. Speaking as a writer and beta, it's nearly impossible to catch everything...Um, I don't know if this breaks the rules of our online relationship/lovefest, but would you mind terribly sending along your email address? I understand if you don't feel comfortable doing that, and I promise not to be hurt (much =D) if you don't/can't, but I would love to discuss the future of this story with you.