Disclaimer: I do not own Justice League or Justice League Unlimited. This series is written merely for my own entertainment and the entertainment of others and no currency exchanges hands.

A to Z, an Anthology

It had taken some time for Diana to accept that, one day, her friends would die. Living on an island full of immortal women had never truly allowed for her to understand the concept of death. In all honesty, it was not until she had thought that she had witnessed the death of Superman from Toyman's weapon that Diana realized just how easily her friends could be taken from her.

Over time, though, she had come to grips with it as much as she could. If anything, it made her fight that much harder to protect them. She wanted them to remain with her for as long as possible. It might sound selfish, but she would rather that those mortals she loved die when they were frail and old and lying in a bed, than to the swift, merciless hands of war.

Perhaps it was because of this self-centered mindset that Diana had been barely able to function at his funeral. Standing in a cemetery, disguised in black clothing with a black veil covering most of her face, she had only been able to stare blankly as a single coffin was lowered into the ground. The headstone had already been in place.

Bruce Robert Wayne
Treasured son, benefactor of all.
1963 – 2009

She hadn't said a word since Batgirl had informed her and the other Founders. While Shayera had raged, demanding to know who had killed their ally and friend, and the others had grieved openly, Diana had just… shut down, withdrawing into her own world.

Diana understood pain. She had felt it in battle often enough. This pain, though, was foreign to her. Bruce was gone. For good. There was no bringing him back, wherever he had gone. He had not been a believer in the power of the gods, so she did not know if he had been granted the solace of Elysium, where Persephone held sway and protected the worthy from the ravages of Hades and Tartarus. A part of her was afraid to ask, lest she find out that his soul, everything that made him Bruce, was damned to forever walk the universe without the peace that had been so cruelly denied him in life.

Diana thought that knowing he was dead and gone was the worst thing she could ever endure.

It wasn't. Learning that his death was a sham, a part of a plan to lure a villain out of the shadows, and that he had left her and those who loved him to think they had lost him was worse. Much, much worse.

"You're here," she breathed, staring at him.


She reached out, let her fingers run along his jaw reverently. He leaned into her touch, seeming to drink in her presence as much as she was his.

The silence was broken when her hand reared back and swung, landing on his cheek with a resounding slap.

Diana's hand stung. This was pain she could understand. She glared at him. "How dare you," she snarled. "How dare you do this."

"I had to –" he started.

Diana cut him off. Everything she felt, everything that she had endured that he had caused, erupted. "And to hell with everyone who loves you! Do we mean anything at all to you? We thought you were dead, Bruce!"

"I know!" he shouted back just as loudly. "Did you think I wanted to do it, Diana? Do you think I got some perverse pleasure in watching you suffer?" He stepped forward, gripping her shoulders tightly. Diana didn't even notice the bruising grip, just stared into his eyes like a mouse mesmerized by a snake.

"I had no choice, Diana! Absolutely none! Pemberton knew everything about me! If I went to anyone in the League, he would have found the rest of them, and many of them have more to protect than I do with their secret identities," he said, no longer shouting but his voice was still louder than normal. "The only way I could deal with him is if he thought Bruce Wayne was gone and no longer able to pursue him."

He didn't release his grip on her, but Diana didn't care. Her own hands came up to grip his arms. "Why not come to me?" she demanded. "I have no secret identity to protect. I –"

This time Bruce cut her off, only not with words. Instead, he used his lips, which smashed against hers heatedly. For a moment, she froze, shocked, but then felt no problem returning the assault with one of her own. War raged just as surely as their blood roared hot in their veins.

Seconds or minutes later, Diana felt her back slam against the wall, but neither of them even paused. Hands were everywhere, and she could hardly distinguish between hers and his.

She was still angry, so angry, at him… but he was here. He was warm and solid against her, and so alive. He had tortured her with this scheme, whether he'd meant to or not, but now he was here.

Their hands continued to roam, this time to remove various articles of clothing. Diana's breath hitched when Bruce lifted her up against the wall, and the brief pain that followed made her wince, but it quickly faded. The bliss that came after made her forget that physical soreness.

The emotional pain would be healed in time too. She hoped.

Agony: n. great pain or anguish; intense emotion; suffering proceeding death (literary).