Disclaimer: I do not own any part or characters associated with DC comics.
Here it is the final chapter of my first story. Now so everyone knows this is the first installment of a series I plan on writing. So remember I have more ideas in mind for future works. Thanks for everyone that has reviewed love reading them and well I hope you all enjoy this story.
Once again huge thanks to MGD who helped me finish my first story ever! Pure awesomeness on her part!
Chapter Six: Making a Connection
Diana and the other five members of the League stood on a rooftop in Gotham after leaving the party. It was around two o'clock in the morning. They took a small break, changed into their costumes, and regrouped on the top of one of the skyscrapers in the city. Their ultimate goal tonight was to search for Batman as a group knowing that the chances of him evading all six of them were drastically lower than avoiding Diana and Shayera. Right now, they were going over the finer details of the search plan and last minute reminders. However, Diana in a rare moment was having trouble paying attention.
Her thoughts kept drifting back to the party; more specifically, they drifted back to Bruce Wayne and the enjoyable evening spent dancing and talking. As the group gathered, it seemed like everyone had a word of advice. Flash teased her about finally finding an interested mortal man and asked her when the wedding was. Superman continued to warn her about Bruce and how he was probably just trying to sleep with her. Shayera congratulated her murmuring something about if she 'got some' that she wouldn't be so uptight all the time. Whatever that meant.
There was no denying that she found Bruce to be attractive, but she found his companionship to be what drew her towards him. Here was man, who posed no physical challenge to her, challenged her mentally instead, sacrificed his pride to make her feel comfortable, and treated her as an equal, not as an inferior or superior, without a hint of fear. He acknowledged her naivety towards man's world with grace, and all the while he never tried to patronize her by thinking that he had to explain everything. When they were dancing, she would occasionally stumble. He would guide her gently as if saying 'we all struggle it's what makes us human', and he never once complained or insisted on taking the lead from her. Suddenly, her musings were disrupted by the police scanners, which were attached to their belts, going nuts.
"Holy hell! This is Officer Gerald. I was in pursuit of a purse snatcher, and the guy just got yanked up into the air in front of me . . . OH, MY GOD! I THINK IT'S THE BATMAN! I'm off 5th and Chambers, and I see a shadow moving west along the rooftops. I repeat there is a shadow moving west along the rooftops from 5th and Chambers," the scanners alarmed.
"Alright, Justice League, let's move," Superman proclaimed while lifting off to the air with Diana as the rest followed close behind them.
While flying in the direction of the report, Diana couldn't help but recall the nightly adventures of the past week. Shayera and she had not seen hide-or-hair of Batman; nor had any of the police in the city for the past week. All of the sudden, he compromised his stealth to capture a purse snatcher? She felt a nagging sensation that this they were being led into some kind of trap, but she truthfully didn't care. Her blood raced with anticipation of the hunt. After days of hunting an elusive target, she was out for blood. If he had a trap waiting for them, then he would find himself unpleasantly surprised when he sprung it on them. Quickly, they surpassed the purse snatcher hanging upsides down from a lamppost and headed west in the direction Batman was reported to be heading.
All of a sudden, Shayera spoke into her commlink, "I see a figure four blocks west. It looks like it's entering a warehouse from the roof." Shayera's hawk-like vision definitely had its advantages in situations like this.
"Let's show him what the Justice League is made of!" Diana cried ignoring the warnings of her teammates. She released a war cry and raced towards the warehouse smashing through the skylights on the roof with the rest of the League right behind her.
After crashing through the roof, the six League members found themselves in a blackened warehouse. The only light source came from the moonlight allowed in by the hole that Diana created. Looking around cautiously, they scanned the darkness looking for any sign of Batman to no avail.
"I can't hear anything, not even a heartbeat," Superman stated carefully listening to the blackness of the warehouse, "He must have left already." Out of nowhere, Superman whirled around scanning in all directions.
"What's wrong?" J'onn questioned.
"I hear footsteps all around us coming from every direction. I think we're surrounded," Superman answered trying to locate the surrounding parties.
The circumstances reaffirmed Diana's beliefs that Batman led them into a trap. She vowed to Hera to make him pay for such a slight, especially if harm befall anyone of them.
Unexpectedly, the menacing voice of Batman filled the warehouse, "Gotham is off-limits to your kind." His tone brooked no argument and spoke in a manner that was more of a command than a statement.
Superman, their informal leader, decided to respond, "We aren't trying to invade your territory, Batman. We just want to talk. Nothing more, we don't want a fight."
"Then, I suggest you talk quickly and be done with it. Your presence here is a waste of time when your team could be effective elsewhere," his voice boomed out from the shadows. It was impossible to get a fix on his exact position.
Diana fed up with being trapped, and her anger at his deceitful ways got the better of her. "Face us, you coward, in honor instead of hiding in the shadows like some thief!" she yelled out to the darkness.
"Ask and you shall receive, Princess," the singular voice of Batman came from behind them.
As they whirled around to face the direction of his voice, an object that was comparable to a wraith materialized out of the shadows. Diana swore that he must have the power of flight considering the way he floated into view without a sound or even a dip in his stride unlike a normal man. He stood tall unhindered by the combined power of the League with the white slits of his eyes frighteningly empty. The eyes of the shades in Hades held more emotion than this man. As she opened her mouth to yell at him for his disrespectful tone, Superman interrupted her.
"We just have some questions, Batman, and an offer for you," Superman stated in his gentle tone that drew everyone's attention.
"Ask your questions, make your offer, and leave! You are not wanted here!" he commanded. She could not imagine his voice being any more emotionless than it currently was. His complete lack of emotion and care grated her nerves. If not for the vote that they had taken weeks ago, she would have already launched herself at this fiend before her.
"First, we would like to know who you are. We are aware of the capabilities of everyone in the League, and now we would like to know what you can do," Superman explained hoping to obtain the information the League needed. Learning more about him was something that they had all agreed on simply because they knew almost nothing about his capabilities and powers.
"What I am or am not capable of is none of your concern. If the rest of your questions are of that nature, then make your offer since they will not be answered," his statement was no nonsense straight to the point and completely infuriating to Diana. Everything this man did just seemed to enrage her, even the way he stood there before them without an ounce of concern, honor, or respect.
"If you're not willing to share any information about yourself and your powers, then I am sorry. We are going to have to find out ourselves," Superman gave him an ultimatum hoping that Batman would give in not forcing them to resort to other measures.
At this statement, Batman released a low chuckle that sucked whatever heat remained in the building out of the air chilling them all to the bone, "Do you mean like you have been trying to accomplish for the past four weeks?" At their looks of shock, he continued, "Don't be surprised. I have known of your movements in my city from the start. While some of you tried to track me during the nights, the rest sought whatever information you could find through more conventional channels during the day. I let it persist because it was only a few of you at once. It was almost amusing to watch and quite simple to stay out of sight. But your presence threatens my position in Gotham, I cannot tolerate it any longer. Make your offer and leave!"
"You leave us no choice with this decision. I am truly sorry that we must do this," Superman squinted his eyes minutely fixating his X-ray vision on Batman's cowl. Suddenly, his eyes widened in surprise, "He has lead lining his cowl I can't see through it! J'onn, you have to read his mind."
J'onn's eyes began to glow in the manner that they did when he tapped into his telepathic powers. Diana impatiently waited to see the look on Batman's face when J'onn started to recite all of his personal information. As she was mentally prepared for the satisfaction of his plan backfiring, J'onn without warning yelled out in anguish falling to his knees and clutching his head unable to get enough air. Looking from J'onn to Batman, she immediately went on the offensive flying towards him while threatening, "You'll pay for what you did to him!"
As she rushed towards him, she had to admire his courage since he did not even flinch at her advance, but he may just be a complete fool. As she raised her hands over her head to deliver a powerful two-handed strike, his hand unfurled lightning-fast from underneath his cape. Diana watched as a ball hurled towards her arms and minutely shifted position to block it with her bracers without giving it a second thought. To her horror, it exploded releasing a bola that quickly ensnared her arms together sapping her powers. It took a lot of strength to contain her shock. Somehow, he knew the weakness of the Amazons, and her anger had made her an easy target. Losing her power of flight, her forward momentum kept carrying her right towards him. Expecting to feel the impact of the floor, she closed her eyes and braced for the hit. Instead of feeling the impact on hard concrete, she felt two hands catch her absorbing some of the force of her momentum. Her head thudded into his chest. Immediately, she started to struggle to escape his grip, but without her strength and her tied hands he easily restrained her.
Before the rest of the League could jump in to assist her, J'onn, who had recovered enough to speak, shouted, "Stop! He did not mean to harm me!"
Diana stopped struggling when she heard this confused at what J'onn could possibly mean. She looked up and saw his white lenses looking at her teammates without an ounce of fear displayed on his face. She could not imagine what kind of powers or courage this man must have to look at the worlds' five strongest warriors and not even have a hint of nervousness on his face.
Green Lantern's voice brought her thoughts away from her musing, "What do you mean that he didn't mean to hurt you? One moment you were fine, the next you were clutching your head screaming in pain."
"What I should say is he didn't consciously mean to harm me. I barely entered his mind when I was assaulted with pain and anguish on a level that I never thought imaginable till now. I did not think that much suffering could inhabit one mind. How is it possible for you to endure such suffering?" J'onn asked with a touch a fear in his usually monotone voice; it was the first time any of League members could remember hearing it.
"I use it against those who seek to harm others," Batman stated closely watching the others reactions.
Diana did not understand. She knew the history of J'onn's life and how much pain he endured with the lost of his race and family. Yet this man, this Batman, surpassed J'onn's suffering to the point where the Martian could not even bear it. She wasn't quite sure if he was using some type of trick in order to purposely harm J'onn. Furthermore, she wanted to know how he knew that binding her arms would cause her powers to flee her. She had only told the members of the League of her weakness, and she knew that they did not share her secret with others. As she looked up trying to see some flicker of humanity behind the mask, he lowered his gaze to her. The sight of those white lenses boring into her eyes made her want to look away, but her Amazon heritage called for her not to back down from a challenge despite that he had taken away her powers. They continued to stare one another down in silence while the rest of the League aided J'onn.
Batman eventually broke the silence whispering in a voice meant only for her ears, "Are you hurt?" It was such a simple, common question, but it completely caught her off guard coming from Batman.
She nodded her head on instinct since his show of concern left her absolutely flabbergasted. At seeing her affirmation that she was fine, he slowly and surprisingly gently lifted her back onto her feet, so she was in a standing position. When she regained her balance again, he flicked his hand and released the bola around her wrists, which fell to the floor. Without breaking his gaze since she refused to be the one to give in first, she slowly backed away until she was standing with the rest of the League.
A minute later, Batman broke the silence commanding, "State your offer! I don't have all night."
Superman sighed in resignation and looked at the rest with an apologetic shrug. He said, "We would like for you to join the Justice League since we worked so well together during the Martian Invasion. We realize that if one of us had not been present, then we would not have repelled the invasion. We need your support and skills, so the Justice League would like to formally extend an invitation to you to join us." If Batman was impressed throughout Superman's speech, he didn't so much as flinch. By Hera! This man shows less emotion than J'onn and considering he is human that only made it that much more unsettling.
"Gotham comes first, and I will not abandon my duties here. But if you need me-and you will need me-I will come to your aid," Batman stated as he slowly started to back into the shadows
Flash quickly foreseeing a problem questioned, "How do we get a hold of you if we need you?"
At this question, Batman's impassive façade broke and a small grin formed on his face. "Simple. Just call Wonder Woman," he said as he faded completely into the darkness without a sound.
"Call me. What does that mean?" she asked completely confused as to why he would say something like that. When she looked at the other five members, they gave her equally confused looks. Then, it hit her like lightning, and she reached down towards her waist to find that the spot, where her Justice League communicator was supposed to be, was empty.
"He stole my communicator that vile, evil, no good, trickster!" Diana raged feeling equal parts of embarrassment and fury that he took something without her notice. Slamming her fist into the ground, she let out a mighty roar of anger directed towards that impossible, deceitful man, who had by some miracle just become a member of the Justice League.
After he slipped out the warehouse without being seen, Batman made sure that he was at least two blocks away before he disengaged the speakers playing footstep recordings in the warehouse. He was extraordinarily surprised that his plan went off as smoothly as it did. While keeping Superman off the scent was a relatively easy matter, he had no idea that his psyche would affect J'onn in such manner. For a moment, he felt a pang of guilt for causing J'onn pain but quickly dismissed it knowing it kept his identity safe. While he was happy that his identity was not compromised, the insight on the Amazon culture was the largest victory of the night.
Seeing Diana come at him full speed and holding his ground was by far one of the most difficult things that he had ever done in his life. He saw the fury in her eyes and knew that her strike would be powerful enough to cause him massive internal injuries. A rare Greek historical text had earned his gratitude. When Diana first came to the modern world, he purchased the text, which had detailed notes about the ancient Amazons. Most of it was common knowledge taught in modern classrooms. However, there was one interesting passage that alluded to a potential Amazon weakness. He was extremely relieved that the passage was fact instead of myth, or else he would be in lying helpless in the Batcave while Alfred stitched him back together limb by limb. Still without her powers he was a little surprised at the struggle she put up. Even though he was certain that she must have felt powerless in his grip, she never let fear show. Seeing her spirit, he could not help taking her communicator just to see her reaction, and he wasn't disappointed when he heard her yell in anger from half a block away.
Still he mentally chided himself for showing her compassion in the moment and asking if she was alright while the others attended to J'onn. That question seriously damaged the image that he carefully crafted as a frightening vigilante over the years. But holding her and seeing her stare back at him, it made him ask without thinking. It was disturbing how easily she made him lower his guard. Without the cowl on, it was acceptable to flirt a little and show some emotion regardless if it was real or not. But emotion was a sign of weakness when he donned the cowl, it was one of his greatest tools for intimidation that his enemies, and even allies, believed that he wasn't completely human. An urban legend had to be terrifying, but with one look she made him slip up for the first time that he could remember.
As he sprang from rooftop to rooftop, he knew that he would have to confuse them on another day, especially Diana. Working with the League, it would help him take his mission to a larger arena, but it also was going to afford him a chance to get to know the League members and be able to learn their weaknesses in the event that anyone of them went rouge. They did not know that he had prepared for their inevitable invitation since they started to form the League. While he trusted the League to succeed, he also knew that they needed a safeguard, someone to keep them in check and to let them know when they pushed their authority too far.
Pulling himself back to the present, he once again put his full concentration towards Gotham. He could create conundrums for the League another time when his patrol was done. Until then, he could not be distracted with those thoughts. Falling into his long established routine, he focused on being aware of his surroundings and being on the lookout for danger. However, a small part of his mind refused to focus. It kept thinking back to a certain dance from earlier that night and wondered in anticipation of when he would get to see her again.
To be continued…
Thats it hope everyone enjoyed stay tuned for a sequel in the future this story is officially completed but the series still has a way to go!