Gordon had always known that the media would be all over this situation. But as much as he appreciated Wonder Woman's help, her showing up in Gotham added an entirely new dimension to the story. Namely: paparazzi. CNN, he could handle but the tabloids smelled blood. Those guys would leap over barriers, cut through wire fences, and break into private and government property, anything for a juicy story. Hell, he could almost see the Enquirer headlines: Wonder Woman Rescues Lover Bruce Wayne, or Billionaire's Amazonian Affair: His Best Catch Yet?

He took a quick glance at Bruce, sitting in the backseat of the Crown Vic he was driving back to headquarters. The other man was wrapped in a thermal blanket, a thermos of warm apple cider clutched in both hands. Still, he looked pretty robust for someone caught on the wrong end of one of Celsius' ice blasts.

"You might as well ask me, since we both know you're dying to," Bruce said, taking a quick sip of the cider.

Gordon cleared his throat. "Alright then, what was the deal with Wonder Woman showing up?"

"I have no idea- honestly I thought you'd called her."

"Right," snorted Gordon sarcastically. "I have a world-famous superheroine at my beck and call. I wish."

"Well, I for one, am just grateful she showed up at all," replied Bruce. "I think I'll leave it at that."

Gordon turned into the precinct parking lot, outside of which dozens of paparazzi and reporters eagerly awaited a shot at the most talked-about news item of the day. "Look, Bruce, I don't care whether you and Wonder Woman have a thing going on or not. And even if I did, it's none of my business. But you might want to consider how you're gonna address it to all these guys out here with cameras and microphones. Because I guarantee you, they're reading a lot more into this than a simple hostage rescue. And they're not going away until they get something." He parked, took the keys out and unlocked the doors. "Anyway, let's go and get this debriefing over with. I'd hate to miss New Year's with my daughter on your account."

Bruce's face settled into the vacuous, generic smile that he tended to wear in public. "Agreed."

They stepped out, and were immediately greeted by an audible increase in chatter and excitement. Montoya, Bullock, and some of the other officers on duty had already arrived and were trying their best to keep the media at bay. "C'mon," Gordon said urgently as he and Bruce made their way to the station house. At first they were able to avoid any direct intrusions, but it soon became clear that despite the department's best efforts they weren't getting inside anytime soon.

"Bruce!" yelled one reporter. "How long have you and Wonder Woman been dating?"

"Bruce, are you worried about Batman? Some might say you're encroaching on his turf!" came another query. They were joined by scores of other questions, many of which concerned a possible relationship between Bruce Wayne and Wonder Woman.

"Bruce! Any comments on the baby bump that a certain Amazon seems to be showing?" demanded one particularly obnoxious paparazzo with greasy, receding hair, days' worth of unkempt stubble, and a trench coat that looked like something from a bad Matrix spoof. Baby bump? Bruce thought. You must be joking.

He took the man's camera and in one deft motion turned it around and pressed the capture button. Blinded by his own flash, the man stumbled back in a stream of obscenities. Bruce had switched focus though, now turning back to the rest of the media. "Listen!" he said loudly. "I'd like to make a statement!"

This shut everyone up pretty quickly. Even Gordon looked surprised.

"The relationship between myself and Wonder Woman is that of friendly acquaintances," he said. "Nothing more. Furthermore, while I am extremely grateful for her aid and rescue during tonight's ordeal, her actions were consistent with her duties as a member of the Justice League and nothing more. I would like to recognize the bravery of the GCPD at least one member of which paid the ultimate price in today's events. I hope that the media coverage of today prioritizes the everyday heroism of these men and women above idle gossip. Now if you will excuse me, it's New Year's Eve and I doubt any of us wants the past hours' events to taint this day any more than they already have." With that, he pushed past the gaggle of speechless reporters at the door and went inside, a stunned Gordon behind him.

"Well said," remarked the Commissioner once they were safely inside. "And now here we are. I don't think you've ever been to this new facility, but it was built with a generous donation from Wayne Enterprises. Thanks for that, by the way."

"No problem." Actually, Bruce had been there before on many occasions. Or Batman had, anyway. "How long is this debriefing going to take, by the way?"

"Not long," said Gordon as they entered the interview room. "My daughter Barbara is cooking up her famous lasagna, stuff makes grown men weep it's so good. As I'm sure you can imagine I'm in as much a hurry to get out of here as you. Thankfully, the feds came by for our boy Celsius , took him off our hands. Otherwise I'd probably be spending the night just making sure he didn't turn the lockup into a damn snowglobe." He paused. "Don't suppose you have a special someone you're looking to spend New Year's Eve with."

Bruce gave a merry smile. "Something like that."

Condominium Residence of Diana Prince

Diana's bedroom was a mess. In short, most of the contents of her closet were now haphazardly thrown around the floor, bed, and furniture. A casualty of her frenzied search for the perfect outfit to wear on the night's date. Or whatever it was supposed to be.

Luckily, her search had yielded some serviceable results. The first try, a designer dress by some famous Kasnian fashion guru, was ruled out almost immediately. It was a gorgeous black off-the-shoulder number and its effect on most men was nothing short of spellbinding. But Bruce wasn't most men, and as good as the dress looked it was a real pain to wear. Far too much hassle for the moment.

She finally settled on a deep red sleeveless turtleneck with a black miniskirt and matching comfortable black flats. Rummaging through her jewelry box, she even found a pair of corkscrew earrings to go with ensemble, and a gold bracelet (another gift from her good friend Princess Audrey). She reminded herself to thank the Kasnian regent later if all went well.

She ran to the mirror that hung on the inside of the bedroom door, turning to one side and then the other. It was a much different look than her battle outfit, she barely recognized herself. But it was okay, she genuinely liked the full-length reflection she saw. Simple, yet sexy and sophisticated. Oh, something would have to be done about the hair, and maybe a hint of makeup wouldn't hurt either. But things were shaping up nicely. . .

A quick glance at her watch confirmed the time. 7:45 to be exact. Damn. More rummaging for the curling iron she never used. This would be cutting it close. . .

"You're late," laughed Timothy Drake, standing in the doorway while Bruce finished shaving. The billionaire paused to shoot a scowl at his young ward, who just chuckled some more. "You know, that glare is a lot more potent without the shaving cream in the way.

"I'm never late," Bruce said dismissively.

"15 minutes to finish getting ready and drive all the way to her place in this weather says you are."

Bruce arched an eyebrow at the young man. "Funny," he muttered. "You being so helpful now as opposed to when I was stuck in the Tower with a psychopathic ice-blasting supervillain"

"Not fair," protested Tim. "You know I was on a coach bus coming from that internship thing!"

"Relax, I'm kidding." Bruce washed his face, rinsed, and threw on some aftershave for good measure. He was wearing jeans and casual loafers, but hadn't yet selected a shirt. Hurriedly, he made his way to the bedroom closet where he pulled out the first two shirts to catch his eye. He turned around. "Which one?"

"Umm, I don't know you're the rich playboy, remember?"

"So the black button-down then?"


Bruce threw the garment on, not even bothering to completely unbutton it first. He glanced sharply back at Tim, something having occurred to him. "No parties in the mansion while I'm gone."

The boy rolled his eyes. "Like Alfred would ever let me get away with that one. Besides, you're not gonna be gone all night-" A speculative gleam in his eye, "or are you?"

Bruce snorted, perhaps a bit too forcefully. "First, I'm bringing her back here. Second, it's not like that."

"Sure it's not. Hey, maybe it's me who should be having the talk with you. Remember to be safe and-"

This time when Bruce used the Batglare, it worked.

Diana checked her watch for the umpteenth time. Then her cell phone. Even the clock on the microwave. They all said the same thing, and as a result she was waiting on pins and needles on the couch, perking up every time a stray car drove past. Bruce was late, which wasn't like him but she told herself that if anyone deserved some slack it was him, especially after what he'd been through.

The TV was on, and the only thing covered by the local news station was the Gotham hostage story. Lots of speculation and few facts, though the footage of Bruce and the Police Commissioner entering the precinct station. The questions thrown at poor Bruce were almost funny, though she'd felt like punching the sleazy 'reporter' who'd tried to insinuate that she was pregnant with Bruce's illegitimate child. 'Baby bump' my ass.

Truth be told, his adamant denial of any romantic feelings for Wonder Woman was hard to dismiss as easily. Certainly the man was a polished actor and the statement had been necessary to ease the media frenzy. But he didn't have to sound so. . .believable.

The sound of another car driving by. Except this time it stopped in front of the condo. Being in the second floor unit, she could easily hear the sounds of a vehicle pulling over and parking. She peeked out the window just in time to see a brand new Lexus- easily the most valuable car on the entire block. It was him!

Calm down, she thought, which somehow seemed to make her heart beat even faster. Like Dinah said, just. . .enjoy his company.

Any further panicking was interrupted by the sound of the buzzer. It snapped her back to reality. Reaching over, she pressed the intercom. "Who is it?"

"Bruce." One word, said warmly in that comforting deep voice of his, was enough to send a shiver rippling down her back.

She cleared her throat. Pressed the second button which unlocked the outside door, and heard the unmistakable click of someone entering. Closing her eyes, she counted off ten seconds in her head. The she stood up, took a deep breath, and opened the door.

"I'm sorry," was the first thing Bruce said, the words sounding a lot more rushed than they had when he'd practiced in the car. At Diana's look of confusion he tried to elaborate. "For being late, that is.

Diana beamed at him. "After what you've been through, all is forgiven. Would you like to come in?"

Bruce nodded, resisting the urge to talk until he was sure he could do so without embarrassing himself. She looked different, that was for sure. She was wearing those stylish, designer glasses you see in commercials but never in real life. Her hair had been teased into gentle curls that perfectly framed her face. Her attire wasn't flashy but it wasn't easy to ignore either. Wonder Woman. . .no, Diana, looked gorgeous in the way that few of even the celebrities he encountered could pull off.

"I figured I'd try a new style," said Diana. Clearly his frank admiration hadn't gone unnoticed.

"Well you look beautiful."

"Thank you," she said, smiling back. The ice broken, she clapped her hands together. "So, this movie. . ."

"Oh. Right! I actually have it right here. . ." He fumbled in his pocket until he found what he was looking for. "X-Terminators 2: The Unhuman. " He pulled out the Blu-Ray case and handed it to her.

Diana arched an eyebrow. "What's it about?"

He shrugged. "Couldn't say. Something gets exterminated?"

"Big time," Diana nodded while suppressing a laugh. "With a capital 'X'."

"So we're in for a groundbreaking and original piece of cinema, for sure."

She had to bite her lip not to giggle. This was a side of Bruce she never got to see in costume. "Why are they all wearing skintight leather though?"

"Oh its a deeply artistic choice on the part of the director, I'm sure."

"Do you wear leather in this movie?"

"I most certainly do not."

"Hmm." Her disappointment was only partly feigned. "Now that would have been cinematic treasure."

"It's just a cameo. And like I said it wasn't even my idea. The director wanted to film in Gotham and use some interior shorts of the Wayne Tower, and things just sort of evolved from there."

Looking at the back of the case, Diana arched an eyebrow. "The same director who gave us the first four Rapid Rage movies, according to the back of the box."

"If it's too highbrow for your taste I completely understand."

To which Diana burst out laughing. She handed the movie back to Bruce, her fingers brushing his as she did so. "You're never this snarky on patrol, you know."

His mouth curled into an insouciant smirk. "I do have a reputation to maintain."

Struck by an idea, Diana gestured to her the plush, comfortable-looking sofa that sat directly across from the big flatscreen TV mounted on the wall. "I don't get to use it much, but I do have a home theater system right here. We could just stay here and watch it, instead of having to go all the way back into Gotham."

Bruce pursed his lips thoughtfully. "Are you sure you don't mind?"

"No, not at all. Here, let me get your coat." Diana insisted, feeling pretty pleased with herself for having come up with the idea. The nervousness hadn't completely gone away, but having the home field advantage (so to speak) certainly helped. She moved swiftly behind him to help him with his coat , noticing a few things of interest as she did do. She could smell hints of wood and leather and tobacco from his aftershave, a thrillingly masculine scent from so close. As she removed his coat she could also feel the solid musculature beneath his shirt. She wanted to run her hands over those arms and then turn him around. . .

Shaking her head as if to clear his scent and his texture from her mind, what she did was back away with his coat and hang it on the wall. "So, what do you say?"

Bruce looked around, a contented smile on his face. "Sounds good to me. Much easier that way."

"Good. Now I only have one rule right now."


"Do not, under any circumstances go in the bedroom," Diana said gravely.

Bruce nodded innocently, looking for all the world like he wasn't even interesting in doing so. It fooled Diana for just a second, which was all it took. Suddenly, a mischievous glint took over and he darted for the door, starting to turn it. Diana was there in an instant, her eyes flashing. "Don't even think about it. I swear I'll knock you so far away you'll be in a different time zone when you wake- hey!"

Bruce had gone and opened it anyway, revealing the chaotic mess of clothes and hangers that was her room. He let out a low whistle. "Now I am scared. Just don't do to me what you did to that room. "

"Oh. Hilarious."

"It's very different from how I imagined it."

Diana crossed her arms, cocking her head in mock outrage. "Oh, do you imagine my bedroom often?"

Which not only shut Bruce up, but brought a hint of color to his cheeks. Fortunately for him, he was saved by the chime of Diana's cell phone.

She retrieved it from the coffee table brought the screen to life with a quick passcode. The message was from Dinah: Bet he kisses you when the clock strikes twelve. The accompanying animated emoticon was giving a very suggestive wink.

Bruce walked over, intrigued. "You text now? Cultural assimilation at its finest I guess. Who's it from?"

Embarrassed, she quickly turned off the device. "Just a friend."

"Other plans for the evening?" Bruce asked mildly.

"A female friend," Diana elaborated, wondering if for the briefest of moments she'd made Bruce Wayne jealous. "And no, she was just checking up on me."

If he was relieved, he didn't show it. Instead, he said, "Could we maybe turn the heat up a bit?"

Now it was her turn to blush. Until she realized that his words were quite literal. Her body's homeostasis was sufficiently accelerated to allow for a much lower thermal tolerance threshold. She kept her apartment at something like sixty degrees because it eliminated the need to pay a heating bill. Hell, if she could fly at near-arctic altitudes in glorified bathing suit, a thermostat on its cooler setting was nothing.

That didn't help Bruce though, so she raised a finger in the universal gesture of 'I'll be right back' and proceeded to scurry into her bedroom. Seconds later she emerged with a large, pink throw blanket in one hand. She tossed it to him. "There we go. This should do until the heat kicks on."

He laughed. Tossed it back at her while she fiddled with the thermostat. "In your dreams."

A theatrical sigh. "I figured you would say as much." She pulled a second, brown blanket from behind her back and approached close enough to give it to him. "Will this do? After all you've been through we wouldn't you to catch pneumonia on accident now."

"I do believe you're making fun of me, Diana."

"Well, that's one word for it."

"And what's another?"

Flirting, she thought. "Just making an innocent observation," she said. "Now hurry up and sit down so we can start what looks to be a terrible movie." She plucked the case from Bruce's hand, simultaneously giving him a superpowered, yet gentle tap on the chest that plopped him right down on the couch. "Now letsee, movie in the slot like so. . .TV on. . ." she gave a sharp clap and the room went dark, save the TV's glow. "Lights out. . .alright, feature presentation."

She sat down next to Bruce as the movie began playing, its epic orchestral soundtrack filling the room. He offered her the end of the blanket and she accepted, pulling in even closer to his solid frame. She'd pictured this scenario many times in the past week, albeit in the Wayne Manor and not her very own home. Somehow, she'd always thought the proximity would be awkward. But it wasn't. Not at all.

The movie itself was no surprise. Lots of green-screen action and CGI bad guys. In other words, a clone of every movie she'd ever seen since arriving to Man's World. One particularly annoying character had ice powers of all things! So she playfully jabbed Bruce in the ribs when the particular cold-wielding superhero came onscreen. Her head had somehow come to rest on his shoulder and she could feel the rumble of his concealed laughter. It was so at odds with his Batman persona, a side of him that she hadn't even realized she'd been missing.

Bruce looked down and gave her a gentle nudge. "Not going to sleep on me are you?"

"No, no. . .just thinking."

"Damn, then you are definitely not watching the right movie."

"I wish the infamous cameo would hurry up and get here," she shot back.

"Patience," he murmured. "It's coming up." He gestured to the screen. "Recognize that building?"

Her head came up, alert. "Wayne Tower? Of course! It looks different without all the helicopters."

"Yep. Aaand there goes yours truly, for the best fifteen seconds of this movie."

"Ha. You look different. " She peered closer. "Wait, is Bruce Wayne wearing makeup?"

"No! I- Okay maybe a little. . ."

Diana burst out in laughter, throwing her head back. Somewhere in the back of her mind she registered the not-unpleasant fact that Bruce had but his arm around the back of her seat. Very smooth, though she didn't mind in the slightest.

The cameo came and went, and the rest of the movie proceeded like most of those in its genre. The last act wasn't half bad, and it promised innumerable spinoff titles and sequels. When the credits finally started she reached for a remote, only to have Bruce intercept her hand mid-reach. It was not an unpleasant sensation.

At her puzzled expression, he just shook his head. "The most important rule here on Man's World, Diana. You do not stop the movie until you've seen the post-credit scenes?"

"There's more of the movie to come?"


"Then why not put it before the credits?"

He looked at her as if it were the silliest question anyone had ever asked. "Because then there wouldn't be a post-credit scene."

"Ah. You're all nuts." Nonetheless, she snuggled back into him as the credits played. She didn't seem too eager to break the spell they'd wound around themselves over the past two hours any more than she did. The extra scenes made no sense to her, nor did the additional credits after those scenes. But she didn't mind. The movie finally ended and there they sat. Cuddled under a blanket on her reclining sofa.

"Hey," she finally whispered, gently nudging him, "you're not going to sleep on me are you?"

"Nope. Just thinking," he said, clearly mimicking her. They both had a small laugh over that. "It's almost New Year's you know."


He spared a glance a glance at his watch. Whistled. "Only a half hour from now."

"That soon?" A pause. "You know we Amazons don't celebrate the New Year, right?"

"Really?" he sounded curious.

"Nope. Well, not as such anyway. It's a consequence of the enchantments that Aphrodite originally put on Themyscira. There are no regular seasonal changes, and the night sky remains forever fixed. Plus we're immortal. Even if we wanted to record the New Year, from the island there's no visible entity to base it off of. Ergo, no New Year's."

"That's so tragic," Bruce commented.

"Why, do you think we're missing out?"


She sat up a bit so she could look at him. "Oh? And what about you, Mr. Billionaire Playboy? Surely you're missing out too. All the parties and clubs you could be attending right now instead of watching a movie you've seen a million times already-"

"Not with you though. That part's kind of important I think. Certainly more so than some lame parties and overpriced clubs."

Diana laughed. "You make me sound like the best movie date in the world." No sooner had the word 'date' left her mouth than she realized what she had just implicitly acknowledged. She gulped, wondering if he would comment on the terminology.

He didn't. Just laughed one of those enigmatic laughs of his and slowly stood up, stretching out his limbs. "If I thought there was a better place for me to be right now than here, I'd be there," he said simply. "That's all there is to it. That said, if we're gonna celebrate New Year's together we're doing it right. I have some champagne in the car. No wineglasses-"

"I have those," she provided.

"Right, well that works out perfect. I'll just go get the bottles from my car right quick and we'll be set."

Diana rose too, giving a quick nod. Her turtleneck was a bit rumpled, despite her efforts to smooth it out. Still, there were worse ways to have that happen. She retrieved her house key from the kitchen counter and tossed the ring to Bruce, who snatched it deftly out of the air. "Be back in just a bit," he said as he vanished through the doorway.

Diana counted out three seconds, then whipped out her phone and began furiously dialing. It was ringing. She looked out of the window and saw that Bruce hadn't even made it outside yet. C'mon, pick up.

Dinah answered on the third ring. "Y'ello."

"It's Diana."

"Heyyy, Bruce there?"

"No, he's outside getting some champagne from his car."

"What? Where are you?"

"My house I suggested we just watch the movie here because- well, never mind that's not important. I got your text though." She took a deep breath. "What does that mean?"

"I. . .thought it was pretty self-explanatory."

"No, I mean, kissing on New Year's Eve, when the midnight strikes. Is that something people do? Often?"

Silence on the other end. Then: "Diana, I need you to listen very carefully to what I'm about to say."

She clutched her phone tighter.

"Hell. Yes. It. Is. You have a date on New Year's Eve, you get a kiss at midnight. Oldest tradition there is."

Diana was beginning to realize that neither Bruce nor Diana could be trusted for reliable advice about Man's World. "Do you think Bruce knows about this tradition?"

"I'd bet all six of my black belts. Why, is he being boring?"

"No, not at all. I'm having a great time and I think he is too. He's funny and charming and considerate-"

"Are you sure that's Batman? Wouldn't be the first time a clone or a mind-control sorcerer ruined your evening."

"I really like him, Dinah. Really."

"I know," Canary replied, not joking for once. "He's an idiot if he doesn't feel the same about you. And if he does, then. . .well. . .don't do anything I wouldn't do."

"You'd do just about anything," Diana pointed out.

"Exactly." Canary laughed again. "Happy New Year's, Diana."

"You too." She flipped it shut just as Bruce came walking in the door, cradling a bottle of expensive-looking champagne. He checked his watch again. "Twenty minutes. You want to do the honors?"

"Certainly." She led him into the kitchen, where after a minimal amount of searching she was able to locate the wine glasses. "So," she said while pouring their drinks, "since I'm new to the whole New Year's Eve celebration. . .any traditions I should know about?"

"Champagne's a big one. Especially-"

"I know about that," she said impatiently. "Any. . .others?"

Bruce just shrugged. "Nothing off the top of my head."

"Oh." It was hard not to sound disappointed. "Well, here we are. Twenty minutes to the New Year."


"I stand corrected." She took a sip out of her glass, unwilling to acknowledge that it was also the first time she'd ever had champagne. It was interesting, sweet and sour and dry and bubbly all at the same time. Different, but nice. She took another sip, murmuring her approval.

"That's the genuine article," Bruce informed her. "Manufactured in the Champagne region of France."

"It must be obscenely expensive," Diana remarked. "You were carrying this in your car?"

"Well, I did buy for tonight. I just never got around to unloading it until now."

"Bruce, you shouldn't have," she sighed, sitting down at the small table.

"To the contrary." Bruce pulled up a chair of his own. "You see, when Bruce Wayne has to splurge on a lot of things that don't matter. Million-dollar parties, unnecessary yachts, art collections that cost a small fortune. . .it's all part of the cover. It's the illusion that protects me from questions when I disappear for weeks at a time or show up with fresh injuries-"

"Or get rescued by Wonder Woman," Diana couldn't help but tease.

He grinned. "Quite right. So when I get the chance to spend a little extra on something real, and for someone I care about, there's no way I'm going to pass that up."

The little voice in Diana's head said, Yeah, he definitely likes you too. She flashed a huge smile at the words and lifted her glass in toast form. "To splurging," she said, "on the people we care about."

"Hear, hear."

They downed that drink and then another two during the next fifteen minutes. They laughed and chatted about various topics ranging from the Celsius fiasco to the fact that Huntress and Question needed to stop using Justice League communicators for personal conversations (by now, half the League had a horror story of accidentally tuning into one of their 'chat sessions').

"Though you know," Diana was saying, "for a guy with no face he certainly proposes some interesting things. . ."

Bruce's eyes widened comically at the surprisingly prurient joke. "I think my appetite's been murdered."

Diana affected her most innocent look. "Just an observation. I assumed that was how things were done in Man's world. By the way, how much time left?"

"Only. . .wow, one minute. Back to the couch. We have to watch the ball drop."

Even Diana knew what that was, and while the spectacle of dropping a giant ball to commemorate the New Year had always seemed a bit silly, the couch was a lot more comfortable and a lot less cold. Bruce had been trying not to show it but without the blanket he was still giving off the odd shiver or two.

So it was back to the TV and the couch and the blanket. Bruce seemed to have an infectious excitement, and now so close to the moment Diana could tell that New Year's was a really big deal for him. He put an arm around her, pulling the blanket tight around them. "Thirty seconds," he breathed, his eyes nonetheless riveted to the screen. "You have to count down too, okay?"

"Okay," she laughed. "Twenty-eight, Twenty-seven-"

"No, not yet! When it gets to ten."

"How old are you again?"

"How old are you again?"

"Touché. . .oh! Here we go." She reached up to her shoulder and gave his hand a squeeze. "Ten."

"Nine," he continued, matching her word for word.

"Eight," they continued in unison. "Seven, Six, Five Four, Three, Two. . ."


"Happy New Year's!" proclaimed the celebrity hosting the big countdown. Diana could barely hear him over her and Bruce's own exultations. He didn't kiss her, but they shared an incredibly warm embrace. And then he was standing, dragging her up with him. He was twirling her around in some dance pattern that Diana strongly suspected he was inventing on the spot. Not that she cared. She was smiling and laughing and having the time of her life, while some techno remix of 'The New Year's Song' played in the background.

Finally, they collapsed back on the couch, out of breath. Bruce looked at her with a wry smile. "You must think I'm a maniac," he finally managed.

"Naturally," Diana replied, propping her chin on his shoulder. "I also think it's one of the only times I've ever seen you have fun. Honestly, I had no idea you were that excited about New Years."

"Well, it used to be a tradition. Back when I was a kid. Mother and Father and I, we'd say the countdown in hushed voices and then throw confetti and laugh and dance. . .play crazy music. He'd pick me up and zoom me around the room like an airplane, sound effects and all."

She squeezed his hand once more, a comforting gesture. "Well, some traditions should never die."

"Agreed," said Bruce. Truth be told, he wasn't sure where the familial anecdote had come from. It was something he'd never shared with anyone. A piece of his once-idyllic life that tended to get lost under all of the pain and trial he had endured since. That he'd been able to tell Diana without a second thought was an observation that led to some distinctly unfamiliar territory. He filed it away for later, but decided to change the subject for now. He glanced sideways at the Amazon. "So, you saw my little impromptu interview earlier?"


"Ah. Well just so you know. . .you mean a lot more to me than a casual acquaintance, or whatever nonsense I was feeding the reporters to get them off my back."

She closed her eyes. "I know, Bruce. And I can hardly blame you. The ridiculous questions they were asking- baby bumps and all that. . ." she shook her head in disbelief, only to give out a startled yelp when he poked her in the stomach.

"Ticklish much?"

"What the hell was that?"

The mischievous grin made a comeback. "Just checking. You're good though." The smile widened to Cheshire-esque proportions. "No baby bump."

Conventionally, tackling someone you're sitting right next to should be a rather difficult maneuver to pull off, but Diana was in rare form. She wrestled him straight off the couch and onto the floor, straddling and effectively pinning him down with her bodyweight and her viselike grip on each arm. "Bruce Thomas Wayne," she said in a low and precise voice, leaning down so far that their noses were almost touching, "if you ever use those words and refer to me in the same sentence I'll throw you so far into orbit-"

"First time zones and now orbits? Your threats escalate way too fast. There's an art to it."

"Are you always this insufferable as Bruce Wayne?"

"Only with you." Bruce kissed her. Pure impulse, he just craned up and covered her mouth with his, effectively cutting short whatever threat she'd been in the process of making. Her eyes went huge, her grip on his hands faltering. Then those beautiful lashes fluttered and closed as she relented, even deepening the kiss. Her hands trailed invisible lines over his arms, her long fingers splaying out over his chest as she lowered herself to meet him.

It was pure bliss. The sensation was. . .Diana could barely think in syllables, much less words to describe it. His strong hands had circled around to her back, pressing her against him with a delicious urgency as they explored one another.

Diana was the first to break it coming up for air. Her breaths were ragged, her cheeks flushed. Her hair was all over the place, little wisps falling in front of her eyes and nose. She propped herself up on her elbows, still straddling Bruce in the middle of the living room floor. She could hear his heart hammering- or was it hers? Both of theirs probably.

Bruce reached up and brushed a strand of hair from in front of her face. Words seemed so elusive now. But she looked more gorgeous than ever. He stroked her cheek, his thumb running along the line of her cheekbone and down to the corner of her mouth. His eyes never left hers.

"Where did that come from?" asked a bewildered Diana at last. She was trying to gauge his reaction to the kiss, but damn if he wasn't as hard to read as ever. Which wasn't really fair, considering he was the one who'd kissed her in the first place.

"I don't know really know," Bruce admitted. "But I've been wanting to do that for a long time."

Diana leaned back in. Kissed him quickly but tenderly, then pulled back a fraction of an inch. "Well you should've."

His smile was tender. "You taste like champagne."

"From the mountain region of France?" she teased. "Where generations of champagne-makers have carefully crafted the finest-mmmph!"

The next kiss lasted even longer, which was all relative since neither one of them had been keeping track of the time. This one went deeper, a more practiced exploration. His hands were doing some interesting things on her back and then over the silky material of her skirt. Hers were freely roaming the taut musculature of his chest and arms. The physical strength and raw masculinity it exuded. Suddenly the shirt he was wearing was. . .annoying.

He should get out of it, she told him, playfully. It didn't look comfortable anyway.

But it was still a bit chilly, he teased back as they rolled on the carpeted floor. How would he stay warm?

This was dismissed out of hand. They could definitely come up with something, she assured him. If they put their minds to it. See, she didn't even need the turtleneck anymore. Gone, just like that. There was more than enough heat between the two of them, when it was distributed properly.

Bruce seemed to find this argument particularly persuasive. She definitely had a point, he conceded, planting firm, yet fleeting kisses along the base of her throat. The side of her neck. He was warming up already. . .

New Year's Morning

Dinah Lance aka the Black Canary, staggered out of bed like the sole survivor of a World War. Numbly, she showered, brushed her teeth, and trudged back into the bedroom. That tequila. . .she knew she shouldn't have let Ollie choose shots for her. It always came back in the mother of all hangovers the next morning.

Ollie was still asleep, passed out on his side of the bed without a care in the world. She leaned over the edge to plant an affectionate kiss on his cheek. They'd still had a blast at the New Year's party they'd attended, and she supposed a headache was a small price to pay for that. Still, it would help if the cell phone would stop glowing. Even that amount of light-

Wait. Glowing? She reached over and brushed her thumb across the touchscreen. A message, from Diana.

When she saw it she burst out laughing. "You go girl."

On the screen, a solitary, winking emoticon stared back:


A/N: And that's all he wrote. I know it's short, but I guess I'm disproportionately excited because this is my first completed fic. Not much in the way of plot, I know. But if anything this was fun exercise in humanizing these larger-than-life superheroes and letting their civilians identities take the forefront.