9 Justice League Nuptials
Note: This is Part 4 of an ongoing DCAU series. Part 1 is entitled "Justice League New Beginnings". Part 2 is "Justice League Second Strike" and Part 3 is "Justice League Past Imperfect". All of these can be found on this website. Events and personal developments from these installments will be referred to without warning or much back story. If something confuses you about the past, the answers probably found in one of these installments. Of course, you could always send me a message and find out which of the stories to read.
Further Note: People who read and review will become part of the Justice League Auxiliary. Such members can attend functions and help out where appropriate on cases.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Justice League or any of its affiliated characters. All such properties are owned by DC Comics and Warner Bros. Animation. They own the DCAU, and since Warner Bros owns DC Comics, they truly are the evil empire to blame if you want to contend that Marvel is better (who is owned by the Disney Corporation, BTW). I am not attached to any of these behemoths in any way and am only borrowing their characters and universes for a bit of fun. Please do not sue me since I can't afford the legal fees.
It had only taken Barbra Gordon eight weeks to plan the wedding. She'd left the honeymoon up to her fiancé, Bruce Wayne. If he delivered half the surprises that he had when proposing after the wake of the Gordonian invasion, then she was in safe hands. Safe being the operative word since Bruce was a compulsively obsessive nutcase involving safety without the costume on. In costume, just get ready for the wildest ride of your life.
She'd had Vera Wang personally design her gown. Vera Wang! Herself! Barbara was still reeling. She'd known Bruce's money could buy just about anything but it seemed his charity work carried even more clout.
Although Bruce hadn't said a word he had been disappointed to learn that Barbara planned to continue working for the Cyber Crimes Unit of the Gotham PD. She was bucking to make Detective and for that she needed to complete her courses at the Academy. This included weapons training of a type that she knew Bruce hated.
His hatred of firearms extended to the Police. He also knew that they couldn't function without them. After all, Batman couldn't be everywhere. That included Batgirl. If her schedule conflicted with his that meant that they'd spend less time together on patrol…or off.
He'd never said a word. He never would. He knew her life was her own and he would honor her decisions even if he didn't agree with them. It was a rare gift from a control freak and she loved him for it.
Batman and Robin had spent the week before the city clearing Gotham of her super criminals. Arkham and the state prison were full. The day of the ceremony, there wasn't anyone left to threaten the event.
Clark Kent stood in as Bruce's best man. They had a public history dating back to when they were both rivals for Lois Lane's hand. Clark had won, and subsequently lost, that competition. Kara Kent stood as maid of honor. Her friendship with Barbara Gordon was a known quantity going back to before Barbara began dating Bruce.
Rounding out the groomsmen were Dick Grayson, also known as Nightwing; Tim Drake, also referred to as Robin; and Ted Grant, infamously known as Wildcat. The bridal party included Zatanna; Mary Batson, whose godly form was known as Mary Marvel; and Diana, known to men as Wonder Woman.
It just so happened that Diana was also Clark's date. Kyle Raynor was attending as Kara's guest. Mary had brought her brother Billy Batson. Discreetly hidden in the crowd were Wally West, the Flash; and Jim Jones, the human guise of the Martian Manhunter. Attending in spirit via cable broadcast were Shayera Hol and John Stewart.
L-Ron, the League's major domo, surfed the channels until he found the wedding. The little mechanoid had made a life with the Justice League after being traded by his master, Manga Khan, for Doomsday's inert form. Darkseid had liberated and revived Doomsday but Khan never returned for L-Ron. He'd never commented on whether or not that bothered him and no one was asking.
"I didn't know Bruce was an Episcopalian." John commented.
"He's not." Shayera informed him, "He isn't anything. Barbara's been raised in the church. She insisted on being married by a minister. They ended up with a bishop."
"Tough break." John chuckled.
"Hey, I'm an alien and even I recognize the honor here…even if I find the whole religious aspect to be meaningless and degrading." Shayera opined.
"Sure you do." John grinned, "You're becoming such a softie."
"I am not!" Shayera protested.
"How about we watch the ceremony and we'll see if you're a marshmallow or not?" John suggested.
"You're on." Shayera declared.
"I'm betting on Shayera." L-Ron spoke up, "She's a rock."
"We'll see." John mused.
Back at the manor, the ceremony was taking place on the south lawn. The manor itself faced east/west. The main entrance was on the west end of the house and the east's balconies faced the sea wall. The reception was taking place on the north. Internationally renowned bands and vocalists had been hired to provide entrainment. Most were involved in charitable causes that Bruce supported and they'd agreed to play in exchange for special grants to the charity of their choice.
Knowing that keeping the press completely out was a virtual impossibility, Bruce had allowed limited access. One local channel had been elected to provide coverage. Summer Gleason had her own professional history with Bruce Wayne that included a hostage situation. Summer felt that she owed Bruce, and also Batman, her life.
She would provide coverage from a soundproofed box so that her commentary wouldn't disturb the guests. The box would be wired in to a direct feed hidden microphone at the altar. Two cameramen would shoot the ceremony. One had a fixed position. The other was loose to gather crowd reactions and the arrival of the bride.
The press had made a big deal of Barbara keeping her maiden name. They didn't understand that her mother, the first Barbara Gordon, had died when Barbara was a child. Keeping her name was a way of honoring her. Bruce didn't feel slighted, quite the opposite in fact. He applauded Barbara's decision.
Finally, the Bishop approached the altar. Bruce and Clark took their places. The crowd hushed as they awaited Barbara's arrival.
The music began to play as Police Commissioner James Gordon and his daughter Barbara appeared at the rear of the outdoor "chapel." The loose camera focused in on Barbara. She radiated. This was a moment she'd dreamt of her entire life and she was exalting in it.
Her cheeks flushed at all of the attention she received as the attendants rose to their feet. Her feet seemed to glide along on auto pilot as her father prompted her to proceed. Her eyes met Bruce's and his burned bright with hope and love as well. Those eyes became her beacon.
Guided by Bruce's adoring gaze she placed one foot in front of the other. If it hadn't been for her father's steady guidance she would have thrown her bouquet aside, hefted the hem of her gown, and ran to the altar. There, she would've leapt into his arms and fiercely kissed him.
Calming, she promised herself that she would comport herself with due decorum. Bruce's eyes led her to the point when her father handed her off to him. She kissed her father on the cheek and whispered, "I love you so much."
She saw tears well up in her father's eyes at that point. Her dad, always a granite rock of strength, couldn't hide his true feelings now. There was an element of sadness there. A daddy relinquishing his little girl always felt a pang of regret.
But the sadness was overwhelmed by the joy to be found here. She'd found the man that she loved and Jim Gordon knew Bruce Wayne would give his life to keep her safe. She would want for nothing and it was obvious that Bruce loved her. They way that he looked at her as he beheld her across from him as the bridesmaids and groomsmen took their positions gave it all away.
As for Bruce, this was his second marriage. The first had been to one of Poison Ivy's vegetable people. It had been a pheromone induced whirlwind of a romance.
This time was different. Rather than keep secrets from Barbara he'd shared everything. He didn't have to hide his fractured psyche from her. She knew it for what it was and loved him for it.
He didn't know what the future held for the two of them but it would be the better for sharing it. After a lifetime of going it alone, Bruce was finally ready to incorporate people into his life to a greater degree than he ever had before. Even Batman was inclined to trust his protégés more.
Seeing Barbara in her gown for the first time, he thought his chest would swell until it burst, filled with raw untapped emotion. He found her eyes and they blazed with a similar intensity. He truly was joining together with this woman. The understanding that flowed between them went beyond words. Of course, words helped avoid moments of confusion and hurt feelings.
With all of the other factors weighing in, Bruce found himself unafraid of words and the emotions that they conveyed. Batman would fear them. Batman had no room for any emotion save rage.
The dichotomy between Bruce and Batman was growing minute by minute but Bruce didn't care. His experience with "Susan" had taught him that there was something missing from his life, something he craved. Barbara had shown him what that was and how to fill that void.
At the same time, Batgirl and the Justice League had proven to Batman that a measure of trust in another person was warranted on occasion. Nightwing and Robin had benefited from this allowance as well. He stilled reined them in though and took the bulk of the risks.
Only Barbara understood that he felt his life was more expendable than the rest. Batman would die for the cause…any cause. Her involvement with him was another way to keep him around for a while longer.
After Bruce "received" Barbara they ceremony got underway in earnest. Barbara had wanted traditional vows so the marriage proceeded along a well established framework. Their lives were crazy enough; she wanted something in her life to go exactly according to plan.
When the minister said "kiss the bride" Bruce did so with all of the zeal he could muster. He literally swept Barbara off of her feet and carried her to the reception area. The guests followed and greeted the wedding party. Afterwards, they settled down into the traditional activities.
Back at the Hall, Shayera was sniffling. John exulted in his victory, "See? You're crying."
"Shut up." She denied the obvious, "I am not."
"It's okay Shayera." John said, "It happens to everyone."
"I'll make you cry." Shayera retorted and knocked him off of the sofa. She rose, intending to pounce upon him but he kicked her legs out from underneath her. Rolling atop of her he pinned her wrists to the floor and then leaned in to kiss her.
Afterwards, he sat up, still atop of her, and held his hands up in a defensive posture; "You're going to smack the crap out of me now, aren't you?"
She grabbed his lapels and pulled his face down to hers, "I have better ideas of how to punish you."
She kissed him and their ardor increased as well as the vigor of their play. L-Ron watched for a second and then spoke, "I think I'll be going now."
There was no reply, so he walked past them and made it to the door before he turned around one last time; "Bye now."
Shayera freed an arm and waved at him. If L-Ron would have had the capability to shrug, he would have. He wandered down the halls before he stopped and opined, "They could have at least gone back to her room."
When it came time to throw the bouquet dozens of young women gathered. Diana happened to be walking by behind them and it literally came into her lap. Her enhanced reflexes allowed her to catch and she stared blankly at it.
She tried to give it away but all of the gathered women stormed away in disgust. Barbara winked at Diana and the Amazon had a sneaking suspicion of what this rite entailed. She found Clark chuckling alongside the sea wall.
"Does this mean what I think it means?" she asked, holding the bouquet aloft.
"If you think it means you're destined to be the next in marriage, then yes, you're right." Clark managed to compose himself.
"You find this amusing?" Diana glowered.
"I do to a point." Clark admitted, "After all, you've sworn off men."
"I haven't 'sworn off' anyone." Diana argued, "I had just never met the right man before."
"'Had' as in past tense?" Clark was intrigued.
"Forget I said it." Diana insisted.
"No, really. You've found someone?" Clark didn't know whether or not to be happy or disappointed. He found the reaction surprising…and vaguely disturbing.
"I found a distinct 'maybe.'" Diana sighed.
Clark found himself feeling a pang of hope. Which was ridiculous. Lois had only died five months before. He was still mourning her.
But, a small, still voice sounded in his head, Lois told you not to mourn and to get on with your life.
Feeling more confused than ever, he decided to back down; "I'm sure whoever he is will know how to respond once you tell him how you feel."
Her eyes met his and held them captive, "I can only hope so."
Bruce and Barbara's emergence from the Manor dressed in civilian clothes broke their reverie. Clark realized that he'd been lost in Diana's gaze and he'd been perfectly content to remain there. Pull yourself together man, he chided himself, she's probably talking about someone else. Whoever it is, I'll kill them. He mentally kicked himself for the last.
"Should we go say our goodbyes?" Clark asked.
"I really don't think our presence would change a thing." Diana opined, "But if we must, we must."
After Alfred had driven off Bruce and Barbara, Kara went to the sea wall and gazed out across the Atlantic. Kyle came up behind her and asked, "A diamond for your thoughts, In-Ze."
"What?" she asked as her thoughts came back to Earth.
"A diamond seems to be the going rate today." He grinned, "What were you thinking of?"
"About Argo, what else?" Kara revealed, "As a teenager, I had all sorts of dreams. Marriage was one of those. I had my ceremony all planned out. It would've been pretty close to this. Better bands, though."
"Hey!" Kyle protested.
"I'm kidding. Barb's tastes were definitely felt there. So were Dick and Tim's." Kara laughed.
"How did you get to be friends with the newly minted queen of the blue blood set?" Kyle asked, "It doesn't seem like you."
"It some ways it isn't at all." Kara agreed but then added, "In other ways it's very much me. My family were members of the ruling technocracy. We were elite even amongst the elite."
"Living on the Kent's farm must have been pretty miserable in comparison." Kyle realized.
"It was." Kara confirmed without hesitation, "But at the same time I learned a lot that I never would have on Argo."
"Like how to milk a cow?" Kyle joked.
Kara shared a rueful smile, "Even more than that. I learned patience and got a glimpse of the better side of humanity. The Kents accepted Clark, and later me, without a moment's hesitation. It isn't easy living with either a Kryptonian or an Argoan under a yellow sun and they handled it with aplomb. I'm grateful for their love and always will be."
"Well, I have to say this look of yours is definitely different. You make a nice brunette but you're gonna have to darken your eyebrows to make it convincing. The glasses are a cute touch though." Kyle gave her an appraising eye.
"I got by with this wig for three years." Kara huffed, "At least I usually don't have to wear it anymore."
"Thank God for small favors." Kyle chuckled, "So, besides Argo, were you thinking of a particular little green man?"
"Why?" Kara grinned, "Jealous?"
"A little bit." Kyle admitted. Seeing that Kara was at a complete loss on how to process this tidbit, he added; "C'mon, who wouldn't be? You are Supergirl."
Her confusion didn't diminish. Brainiac 5 had been an A-class jerk over the last year. He'd sent her into the past without even explaining to her why she was here. Cosmic Boy had come back twice. Technically, it was three times but the third time had been for the same crisis as the second. During all of this Brainy hadn't sent a single message back.
Kyle was a good friend. In a short time, he'd almost grown as close as Barbara. He could understand the cosmic side of her nature. She'd seen different worlds and even different eras. Kyle could relate. His time with the Green Lantern Corps had sent him across the known galaxy and he'd had no one to share his experiences with other than his fellow GLs until Kara had returned to the 21st Century.
Part of her wanted to start something with Kyle to punish Brainy. The more sensible portion of her brain advised her to wait. She'd promised herself that she'd give Brainy six more contemporary months. After that, she was a free agent and Kyle Raynor looked like a mighty fine prospect. Heck, she thought, he looks mighty fine now.
"Look," she tried to change the subject but Raynor had seen that look in her eye and it'd registered with him for what it was, "Alfred whipped up a meal. All the JLers are invited."
"Why would…?" Kyle began, "Barbara Gordon…Batgirl?"
Kara slowly nodded. Kyle was ecstatic, "That makes Wayne Batman. Dick Grayson's gotta be Nightwing and Tim Drake's Robin!"
"Keep it to yourself." Kara warned, "They don't hand out their identities to anyone."
"You know." Kyle pointed out.
"You know what I mean." Kara said between clenched teeth.
"Yes, I do. You should trust me by now Kara." Kyle was wounded.
"I do trust you." Kara confessed, "That's why I told you. Now, c'mon. Let's eat real food."