A/N(1):This is an idea that spawned from Geeky BMWW Fan's ever insightful mind and I am completely on board. These Chronicles are a Geeky/Kipling production. I've written the first, she shall write the second and so on and so forth. Till we run out of ideas. (lol)
A/N(2): I hope this shows up correctly, I'm posting this at 1:50AM right after returning from Wolverine (shout out!!). Thank you in advance to those who read and review! Much appreciation! :D
And Geeky, thank you for the beta. Looking forward to your addition!
One: Shirtless and Sweaty
Considering Bruce and Diana's blossoming friendship, Alfred was none too surprised to see the smiling civilian-clothed Amazon in front of him after he had gently opened the grand front door. Diana's soft knock had a signature to it; Alfred knew it had been her.
"Miss Diana, to what do we owe the pleasure?" Before waiting for an answer, he thereupon ushered her inside.
Her hair was up in a ponytail, but she unconsciously tucked a nonexistent strand behind her ear while grinning. "I was in the neighborhood..."
Alfred smiled knowingly. 'In the neighborhood' could have translated into 'this side of the eastern seaboard', but he was more than delighted to have her entering the manor.
Before she had to ask, Alfred announced, "The Master is in the Cave, attending to a routine maintenance schedule." Diana opened her mouth to comment, but he continued. "Have you eaten yet?"
She shook her head, ponytail bouncing slightly.
"I'll bring you two down sandwiches." And with that, Alfred was already busying himself in the kitchen.
Diana stood there for a moment collecting her thoughts. She knew Alfred would graciously without fail welcome her into his home as he had done so many times before. However, she often wondered how Bruce felt about it.
There was only one way to find out.
Feeling as though she now had free range to move about the manor, Diana without hesitation strode over to the ornate grandfather clock that provided the single barrier between her and her destination.
After opening it slowly, the all too familiar scent of the underground habitat of the Batman hit her nostrils. The dank, moist smell wasn't entirely pleasant, but Diana allowed the scent to linger after taking in a couple deep breaths.
While descending the sturdy steps, she quickly re-imagined the few visits Wonder Woman had made to Gotham. Especially when Batman was quick to tell her to stay out of his city.
But visiting the manor was different, Diana decided. Because here she wasn't Wonder Woman, she was simply Diana. And besides, the manor was outside of city limits. No harm done there.
Expecting him to acknowledge her presence at any moment, Diana said nothing. But all she heard was the quiet still of the cave and the faint hum of the central computer system.
His usual perch, the computer's seat, was empty.
Nonplussed, she thoughtfully mulled this over. Routine maintenance? What else could...?
Diana glanced about the massive underbelly of the manor. The Watchtower transporters were pristine and shiny, as were the main generators and Cray mainframes. They were also notably Bruce-less.
Considering this, she technically only had one option left. Unless Bruce had departed without Alfred's knowledge. Which happened more often than not.
In thought-filled silence, she walked over to the main hangar which housed prized possessions: the jets and the Batmobile.
Diana new she had been on the right track, as the hangar was awash in light from the non-standard lighting system. She walked forward and without further ado, she spotted him immediately at the side of the long, sleek black car that dutifully assisted him during every nightly patrol.
Upon sight of him, Diana promptly bit her lower lip and doused the butterflies fluttering in her abdomen with an iron will.
He was shirtless. And he was working on his car.
It was enough to make the average woman's mind short-circuit while beholding such beautiful masculinity. And what else was it? Ah yes, hotness. She had heard that phrase before on many occasions. Especially from Wally.
When it came to 'hotness' the only thing that Diana could and would use to describe with such an adjective was Bruce. More importantly, right now for instance.
Still, when it came to being a woman, Diana was above average. Of course her mind had become quite fuzzy, but she hadn't lost the ability to think. Thankfully.
Because as soon as she caught sight of him, he knew she was there. And it was better to know what to do next if he gruffly needed her to make a fast exit.
He still said nothing while his back remained facing her, and Diana was intricately memorizing every muscle. His rhomboids and trapezius muscles were simply... amazing. And his deltoids and latissimus dorsi were like nothing she had witnessed before.
But of course, he knew she was there and staring at his back.
"Princess?" The soft baritone halted her stare down. Somewhat. "What are you doing here?"
Diana crashed down to reality. Somewhere along the lines of staring at his back muscles, she had somehow entered a fantasy of coming to know exactly what they felt like and...
"Uh, Alfred..." She stopped to compose herself briefly. "...Is making me lunch." It was the complete, honest truth.
He took a moment to straighten his posture after hunching over the Batmobile's open hood and turned around to face her. It was right then when Diana's mind officially short-circuited.
His bare chest was slightly sweaty and gleaming. Literally gleaming! The stationary lights in the hangar were enough to just barely expose detail on his ever expansive torso all while leaving enough to be handled with an ever persistent imagination. And to make matters worse, he was wiping his hands off on a rag without once lessening his standardized heady stare that could turn her into a puddle of mush on the floor.
Thank Hera it hadn't. Diana could only handle so much in one day.
"Is that so?"
Diana had already forgotten what had been said. "Huh?"
"Alfred's making you lunch?"
Oh right! Of course. How silly of her. Half of her brain wanted to chide her on being so swayed by the sight of a barely clothed Bruce, but her energy was currently stabilizing her from becoming ...well... a puddle of mush.
"Yes. He is. He's making us both lunch actually... "
Speaking of which, where was the Englishman? Her stomach was already demanding an Alfred creation, but she had the suspicion that he was taking his time. On purpose.
Alfred could be so cleverly cheeky at times.
Pushing any current Bruce thoughts aside, she walked forward and studied in the inner workings of the Batmobile. The mechanics of the car were an easy diversion.
"What are you doing?" She asked thoughtfully.
If Bruce had been at all irritated by her sudden intrusion into his home, or better yet, the cave, Diana couldn't sense it. Instead, he quickly rattled off what he had been working on.
"It's occurred before, so I wasn't too deterred. You see," Bruce pointed to a round looking object protruding slightly, "This is the distributor cap, which is part of the ignition system. When I fire it up, the internal combustion engine routes everything in a firing order. It's all in connection to the ignition coil here," he pointed and Diana nodded, "and the distributor shaft underneath the cap is connected to the camshaft."
She smiled and nodded, allowing him to continue. Surprisingly, Bruce seemed delighted in the fact that he was able to share information with her. It's as if his mind had gone into 'car mode' and he almost seemed like an entirely different person from his usual shadowy self.
Perhaps talking about mechanics and how things worked affected all men like that? It was something to consider.
Bruce continued to explain, "Now, you should know... all modern engines don't usually have the distributor, it's now a primary circuit system that goes from ignition to the engine, allowing it to start. But when building this thing from the ground up, I found it easier to make modifications without the low-voltage arrangement messing with the computer system that's linked in the car. Therefore, since it's state-of-the-art, I'm technically the only person that can work on it. Though Dick is pretty knowledgeable. But I had to give him a crash course in the schematics."
"I see," Diana frowned while looking down again into the car's shaft. The engine, the distributor, the ignition coil... She was trying to piece it all together. It seemed somewhat simple after he explained it to her. "So, what's wrong with it?"
"Oh, it has an oil leak," he deadpanned.
Diana raised a brow. After the entirety of his explanation, she figured the problem would have been integral and paramount. An oil leak seemed so simple.
"So, does that have anything to do with the... uh," she glanced down at the distributor cap," this?"
"I thought it might have, but I only needed an O-ring."
"Do you want to feel?"
Diana swallowed hard and her eyes somehow maneuvered to his bare chest, but she quickly refocused on his face. "Feel what?"
"The oil leak," Bruce answered flatly.
"Oh right... yes, I would." She glanced down into the engine compartment once again and wondered where it would be. Bruce then gently took hold of her hand to guide her. This made Diana shiver involuntarily. He then maneuvered her hand past the spark plugs and pressed her fingers into something.
"That's the oil filter," he said into her ear. "It's leaking."
Diana swallowed again. "It. It is?"
"Don't you feel the damp part?"
"Damp?" This was getting too much for her and she quickly retracted her hand in a flutter. "I did, yes. Are you going to fix it?"
He grinned. "Well, yeah. I should have it done before patrol." Bruce then glanced down at her balefully. "Diana? You wiped your hand on her sweatshirt."
She looked down. So she did. In her apparent fluster, she must have absent-mindedly brushed off her hand on her white zip-up sweatshirt. She then groaned at her stupidity.
"Alfred can wash it for you."
Diana nodded and unzipped her sweatshirt, revealing a tight-fitting camisole underneath. It must have been distracting for Bruce, because he swiftly looked away and handed her the rag he had used before to wipe off her hand entirely.
He managed to look back at her, though Diana noticed he was being very careful to only look at her face. He chuckled. "Diana, you have oil on your face too."
"I do?" Diana now felt like she was far too inadequate for this whole 'car' thing.
"Here, let me help you." Diana watched half-horrified, half-enraptured as Bruce licked his thumb and started rubbing oil off her cheek. She tried to steady her rapidly beating heart, but to no avail.
"There," he smiled, "now you look perfect."
She let out a small breath and nodded her thanks. She looked up at him again and tried to avoid his intensified gaze. Suddenly there was tension between then that could have been cut with a knife. And then some.
Bruce took a single step forward, but Alfred was there to intervene.
"Lunch is served!"
Diana couldn't believe Alfred's timing. But she still smiled and once she eyed the tray of sandwiches and pitcher of cranberry juice, she finally realized how hungry she was. And with that, the smiling Englishman was off, most likely to start on dinner.
"Thank you, Alfred!" Diana called after him heartily. Still, she was wishing nothing had been interrupted.
Bruce had already turned back towards the Batmobile and started tinkering again. Diana frowned, she was afraid that their 'momen't was long gone, never to be touched on again.
After taking a swig of cranberry juice, she wondered if perhaps she was interrupting Bruce's work and needed to go back up to the manor.
He must've read her mind. "Are you planning on leaving?" He asked distantly.
"Because," he turned around to look at her. "I have something else to show you."
Diana's face lit-up. Auto mechanics be praised!
"Oh really? And what is that exactly?"
He remained mysterious about it. "You'll see. Besides, I have to add something to the jet later. And I was hoping that I could perhaps get a look at yours one of these days..."
Without notice Diana's mind went elsewhere, "My... what?"
Bruce's brow raised. "Your jet."
"Oh, of course."
With that, Diana counted the hours they had till dinner. Hopefully Alfred was not going to come down again any time soon.
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