A/N: A re-write for you, since I wasn't 100 percent happy with the first one. I hope you liked it. Part I isn't that different, but enjoy anyway.
It didn't take him long to find Diana once he was on board the Watchtower. Bruce would be in the Cave, but he wasn't feeling quite brave enough to deal with Batman on his home turf. Especially not since he'd been in Gotham once today, and knew that would have pissed Batman off even if he hadn't been gone five years.
However, if he was expecting Diana to be easier to deal with, Superman soon realised his mistake. Diana was in the Monitor Womb, the crumpled remnants of an iced mocha cup in her hand. She was looking out at the stars.
"So...how are thi-"
"Things have changed," she said without looking at him.
He sighed quietly. "You're the second woman to tell me that today."
"Lois has a point," she replied.
Stung by the bitterness in her voice, Clark took a step forward. "Diana-"
She overrode him. "Why did you come back, Clark?"
"There was nothing there-"
And again. "You knew there was nothing before you left, and that's not what I asked." Finally she turned to him, her fists balled at her sides and every muscle tense. "Why did you come back?"
He opened his mouth. "Because I missed…" Home. Lois, the League, you. There were too many ways to end that sentence, and looking at Diana's face he'd have to be extraordinarily careful about which one he used.
She fixed him with a glare that she could have only picked up from one person. "Because you missed?" she asked dangerously.
He shrugged. "Earth," he said simply.
She scoffed, turned away again. "We've been fine without you."
"I know," he said sadly. That shouldn't hurt as much as it did.
She began pacing. "It wasn't just the world, Clark. They hated you for a while, but then they forgot you. You became just another legend to them. But you weren't just a hero." She took a step closer, and he caught the first glimpse of real sadness under her anger. Felt even more guilty. "What about us?" she asked. "What about Lois losing the man she loved? What about Bruce losing a brother-in-arms? What about me, Clark? You were my best friend."
He could find only one thing to say. "I…I'm sorry."
She shook her head, raven locks swinging around her face. "There's only so many times that sounds sincere," she said flatly, her face now blank of emotion. He hated it. She wasn't Bruce, she wasn't supposed to be able to do that.
"What else do you want me to say?"
"There's nothing you can say. The bridges are burnt, Clark," she said. "Don't expect them to be rebuilt anytime soon."
The doors opened with a quiet hiss behind her, and Batman stepped in silently. Clark fought the urge to groan. He couldn't deal with both of them at once. Thankfully, Bruce seemed to pick up on that, since he walked to Diana's side. "Go home, Princess."
She looked at him, then back at Clark, then Bruce again. Clark watched, stunned, as Bruce put a hand to her face gently. The two seemed to engage in some sort of silent communication for a moment. Finally she nodded, kissing his cheek and casting another truly disappointed look at Superman before leaving.
Clark couldn't stop himself from following. "Diana…"
Bruce's arm shot out and caught him in the chest. "Don't. Leave her be."
Clark looked at the floor and nodded. It occurred to him she hadn't called him Kal throughout that entire conversation. Batman walked further inside the room and over to one of the computers, accessing a programme. Superman shut his eyes. Of course. Batman couldn't come up here just to see him. In fact he was being ignored totally. Finally what little patience he had left ran out. "Are you going to say anything?" Nothing. He rubbed the bridge of his nose between forefinger and thumb. "Bruce."
"Anything I could say has already been said," his friend replied, finally looking at him and fixing him with The Look.
"So you're just going to stare at me?"
"Is it making you uncomfortable?" he asked, deadpan.
Clark sighed, and cast around for another topic. "How long have you and Diana been-"
Bruce interrupted. "Any reason I should tell you?"
"Now I'm not even allowed to make small talk?" Superman asked, exasperated.
"That's personal," Bruce said flatly. And therefore off limits.
"Well that makes a change," Clark remarked. Five years ago, the words 'personal' and 'Batman' couldn't even coexist in the same room. But he was glad that they'd found each other, the two of them. It had been a long time coming. "It's good to see you happy," he offered.
"Diana's not happy," was the terse reply. "She hasn't been for a long time." There was no effort made to mask the bitterness of the tone or the words.
Clark frowned. "Bruce, we were never-"
Bruce interrupted. "You were her best friend. It's enough."
The silence was long, and loud, and uncomfortable. So that was his relationship with the love of his life destroyed, as well as the relationships with his two best friends. And about six billion people who, according to Diana, resented him for simply up and leaving. "So what do I do?" he asked the atmosphere in general.
Bruce got up and walked toward the door. "Wait."
He found her where she knew he would; in the Batcave, taking her anger and frustration out on an unsuspecting punch-bag. Since she'd moved in they went through at least half a dozen a month. "Diana." She didn't stop, didn't look at him. Increased her punches. "Diana." She upgraded to kicks against it as well. He walked forward. "Princess, look at me."
At the name only he used, she spoke, though she didn't stop. "How could he just- And then to-"
He stepped closer. "I know."
She sighed and rested her forehead against the punch-bag. "I don't want to forgive him, Bruce."
"No one's asking you to," he reasoned, stepped closer.
"He is," she muttered. "He won't verbalise it but it's Clark."
He nodded, apparently recognising the truth in that statement. "I know."
"So what do we do?" she asked bleakly.
"We forgive him," he shrugged.
Diana sighed again, knowing that the belief they could do anything else was foolish. She stepped away from the punch-bag. She kissed his cheek briefly. "I have to go. Hera only knows what Lois is going through right now." She got two steps before she hesitated again. "Do you think she'll tell him?"
"About Jason?" Bruce assumed.
Diana nodded. "Yes."
There were only three people in the world who knew the truth about Jason's paternity, and two of them were standing in this cave. When Clark had disappeared, Diana had gone to tell Lois that the League didn't think he was coming back - and consequently had been told that Lois was pregnant. Diana felt for the reporter, and over the next nine months they'd become very close, to the point of Diana being named Jason's godmother. As such, she'd been able to get a sample of Jason's DNA just after his birth. When Batman had run it through the computer, it was clear the boy was half-human, half-Kryptonian.
"I don't know," Bruce answered honestly. "Lois is nothing if not unpredictable. He hurt her badly. Worse than either of us."
Diana considered that. It was probably true - she felt betrayed, but it was nothing compared to what Lois had gone through. She swallowed. Her best friend had left, but what if it had been worse than that? What if the one person she'd always relied on suddenly left without a word? The person she needed more than anyone else had never even told her- She broke off that train of thought with a shock of self-disgust. Hera, how could I have been so foolish?
She turned to look at Bruce with new eyes. For the time Superman had gone, he'd been more than a teammate to her, more than a friend. A month after Clark's disappearance, she'd come to him - the first night they'd slept together. They'd been lovers for years now, and in that time they'd reversed. When they had entered into the relationship, Diana had been the ardent one, had been silently watching and waiting for Bruce. But that had changed. Slowly, she shut down emotionally. She gave her body to Bruce, but her heart had been on ice. In contrast, she knew he loved her. He would never say it, but she saw it in his eyes. Every time they made love, he kissed her with such tenderness afterward that it was unmistakable.
And he'd been there. He'd waited, all this time...because he loved her.
"Bruce, I…" Having been silent about it for so long, she had no idea to broach the subject. She settled for, "Thank you." He raised an eyebrow in question. "For… For the last five years." She so desperately wanted to say it, but something stopped her. He'd never said it to her either - and she knew that if he wanted to hear it, then he would have said it. Wouldn't he?
So she stepped back with a quick, soft kiss. "I should go to Lois."
"Be careful," he warned. "I'm going to check on Luthor. No way he's idle now Superman's back."
She nodded, sighing. Though the League had by no means been lax in its surveillance of Luthor, the fact was that he'd quietened down since Clark's departure. That didn't mean Bruce was any less suspicious of him - marrying an elderly millionairess on the point of her death hardly screamed 'reform'. But he hadn't been an active threat. Diana suspected it was what would happen to the Joker should something other than himself happen to Batman. Though, she thought, her fist curling, should anything ever try to take Bruce from her...
Suddenly cold, she strode quickly back over to Bruce, and kissed him deeply. Frozen in surprise for a moment, he soon reciprocated, pulling her down into the chair with him. Diana poured everything she had into the kiss, feeling him sparkle in her blood. One kiss turned into two, two turned into his cowl being pushed back, her tiara hitting the floor with a tinkling sound neither of them noticed. The past twenty-four hours had stirred so many emotions in them both - anger at Clark just waltzing back into their lives, then guilt at their anger, and the knowledge that the three of them were a three of them again - hands and mouths moved against one another desperately, exploring the only thing that was the same, stable. A constant.
Except, to Diana, it wasn't. This time, she looked at him with new eyes. Not with the blind greed of pure lust, eager to taste and to take whatever he could give. This time, she gave everything, let him be the one to feast on her, gorge his senses on her sighs, her movements. She may not be able to say it yet, but with their lovemaking she did the next best thing.
In the chill of the Cave, it didn't take long for sweat to turn cold, and Diana was grateful for his warmth. He pressed a kiss to her hair and stroked down her back. "Not that I'm complaining... but what brought that on?"
She shook her head. "I just realised..."
She looked up, hoping her eyes were conveying how much he meant to her. "How lost I'd be without you."
He kissed her. "I'm not going anywhere, Princess. I promise. I'm never leaving you like that."
She smiled sadly. Like that. She knew he wouldn't take off without a word - but she also knew that if he felt he was putting her in danger, or she was taking over from his duties to Gotham, he would end the relationship immediately, breaking both their hearts in the process. But that, she had known for years, though she'd never been so invested in it as she was right now. Right now, when her heart really did hang in the balance, Diana knew she'd risk it without a seconds' pause. And even if one day he did end it, he would never leave her in silence.
"I know," she replied, "I know you wouldn't."
They held each other for a moment longer before the princess knew she had to get up. She had the man she loved. Now Lois had to deal with two. She smiled at Bruce as she left, seeing him getting ready for patrol. "Don't wait up."
He smirked, and she left through the tunnel for the Batwing.
A/N: The second part will be up soon. Review please!