A/N: So, while working on an art commission, online summer classes, and working while trying to write my next novel and promote my first, I decided to write this little story after pouring over my Batman comic books. Don't worry - 'Hunter's Moon' has not been forgotten. It's just taking me a little longer to update.
Summary: The Prince of Gotham is finally settling down, but not everyone's happy about it. Warning: It's random and OOC. Another warning: I don't care. Mwahahaha.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
NOTE: My YA sci-fi mermaid novel OCEAN OF EMPTINESS is available on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple iBookstore. Please see my profile for direct links to these sites.
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Here's a short summary of OCEAN:
What do you get when you cross a runaway rich kid, a space mermaid, and a stuck-up teen commander with a bunch of pirates in space? ABSOLUTE CHAOS. Throw in a little hint of romance, a few starship battles, and a lot of yelling, and you've got yourself an intergalactic tale. Think Star Wars meets Little Mermaid.
Also, if you'd like to be a fan of me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter, links are on my profile as well, as well as a link to my Deviantart page.
Vicki Vale strode into the bullpen of the Gotham Tribune feeling more confident than she'd felt in months. Although her TV stint hadn't exactly turned out well, Bruce Wayne was back in town, and she was determined to break through that hard shell of his and finally resolve their off-and-on tumultuous relationship.
However, as she walked to her desk, she noticed something odd. The majority of her coworkers were looking at her.
"What?" she snapped, taking a seat.
One of her most annoying coworkers, David Blane, came up to her and handed her a newspaper. "So I take it you haven't heard?" he said with a sardonic grin. He still hadn't forgiven her for dumping him a few years back. Well, compared to Bruce Wayne, who the hell was he?
Vicki sighed, took the paper, and shot him a look. "Stirring up trouble again, Dave? Why don't you just get over yours..." She trailed off as she stared at the front page of the Tribune's rival newspaper, the Gotham Times. She blinked once, twice. No. It couldn't be... He'd only just gotten back...
Vicki Vale stared in horror at the front page of the Gotham Times. No. It wasn't possible.
"Gotham Prince Bruce Wayne to Marry Grecian Supermodel" was the glaringly huge title on the front page. Beneath it was a large photo of the smiling, devastatingly handsome Bruce Wayne, whose arm was securely wrapped around a tall, slender, perfectly curved woman with sun-tinted skin and deep blond hair.
"Hey, Vale!" One of her coworkers crowed from across the bullpen. "How're you and Wayne doing now?"
Vale's lips curved; she trembled from a mix of humiliation, rage, and hurt. How could Bruce do this to her? After everything they'd been through? She'd stuck by him through thick and thin, promising herself to him even when he told her that he never planned on getting married to anyone... not even her.
"You're s'posed to be the number one reporter on Wayne," David said, drawing near to her with a sleazy grin. "Don't tell me you didn't know. It's been all over the news this morning."
Vicki stared up at the TV screens, where Bruce and his blond bimbo were standing on the red carpet in front of Gotham's annual summer gala. Bruce had the largest smile on his face that she'd ever seen... even when he was with her. His bride-to-be was throwing the cameras a dazzling smile, and around her neck was a rope of glittering diamonds.
She'd seen that before. In a glass case in Bruce's house when she'd been sneaking around one time. It had belonged to Mrs. Wayne, Bruce's late mother. But he'd been severely hacked off to find her snooping around, even more angry to find out she'd been snooping around his parents' things. She knew it would take Bruce's bride to wear something like that, something so valuable to him. And now there was that damn supermodel - a freaking supermodel! - wearing Mrs. Wayne's custom-designed, multimillion dollar jewelry.
How could he have gotten engaged - engaged - when she'd never heard of the model before?
"Who the hell is that?" she snarled.
David smirked. "Read it and find out, Miss Reporter." Sticking his hands into his pockets, he walked away, whistling.
Vicki was turning red. She crumpled up the paper and threw it into the trash. "That bastard," she seethed. "I'll show him who's worth marrying. No dumb blond is getting the better of me."
Time to do some digging on that supermodel. And when Vicki found something, she'd destroy and bury her.
Clark looked up to see Perry glaring at him from inside the doorway of his office. "Yeah, Chief?" He adjusted his glasses and rose to his feet.
"IT'S NOT LANE! IT'S LANE-KENT!" Lois yelled. "I THINK WHEN I'M CARRYING THE MAN'S CHILD I SHOULD BE CALLED BY THE SAME LAST NAME!"
Oh, boy. Five months of pregnancy had only amplified Lois's already hot temper and wild emotions.
Perry shot Lois a half-hearted glare and snapped, "Whatever your name is. Get in here, both of you."
As Lois stomped up to the office, Clark came up behind her and placed a hand on her back, muttering, "I told you you shouldn't be working, hon. All this stress isn't good for the baby."
"I'm the damn mother, I'll say what's good for the baby," snarled Lois.
"Oh, shut up, Smallville." Lois brushed some stray hairs out of her face and entered Perry's office. Once Clark had shut the door behind them, she folded her arms over her chest and glared at her boss. "What's up?" she demanded.
Perry held up a copy of the Gotham Times. "This is what's up," he said. "Billionaire Bruce Wayne, one of the most important men in the world, is getting married. And where's our story on it?"
"I don't cover Bruce's love life," Lois said with a roll of her eyes. "He's engaged to some dumb blond - who cares? That's not news. What is news is that earthquake off the coast of San Fransisco. There's something fishy about it. I think Luthor's behind it."
"What isn't he to blame for?" muttered Clark.
"Guy needs to get a life," said Lois sulkily. "What an asshole."
"Lois!" hissed Clark. "Our baby will be traumatized!"
"I married you, dear," she said sweetly. "That's enough right there."
"ENOUGH, BOTH OF YOU!" Perry snapped. "If you two can't keep it together, I'll ship you off to Africa to cover the crisis in Sudan."
"Great," thundered Lois. "Finally some action. When do I leave?"
"Honey," Clark warned.
"Fine, fine," grumbled Lois. "I'll chill."
Perry gave them both deadly looks and added, "I want you two to find Wayne and his fiancee. Get an interview with them. Find out everything. I already read the article, but so far neither of them have said anything detailed. I want details, people! All the specifics."
"Why don't you get Cat Grant to cover them?" demanded Lois. "I don't do stuff like this."
"Well, you will this time. This'll be the biggest wedding of the decade - it'll make Will and Kate's wedding look like a backyard barbeque," Perry said sharply. "Wayne's one of the most powerful men in the world, for crying out loud. I want to know everything. Got it?"
"No," muttered Lois.
"Sure, Chief," said Clark, nudging his wife gently. "We'll get right on it." As he ushered Lois out of the room, he added, "Look, Lois, this'll be quick and easy. This way we can all control the questions, and it'll be a painless experience for everyone. Besides, you're one of Diana's best friends. I'm sure she'll be more than happy to do another interview."
"I still can't get why she's marrying that jerk," said Lois.
"She can take him," Clark said with a smile. "If anyone can, it's her. You know her. She just throws it right back at him. She's the only one in this galaxy other than Alfred who's not scared of him, at least a little."
"Are you saying that he scares you? Big, bad Kryptonian?"
Clark pulled at his tie. "Um... well..." He reddened.
"Hah. Knew it." Lois smirked. "All right. Let me give Di a call. Last time I talked to her, she was pretty much going out of her mind. She's never had a wedding before, much less a double-wedding."
"Whose idea was it to have two weddings, anyway?" Clark asked, bewildered. "Isn't one enough? We only had one."
"Yes, dear, but we're not billionaires."
"Not yet," Clark said. "Not yet."
"The wedding's off!" Diana collapsed on the couch, throwing her arms over her face.
Bruce, who was already sitting on the couch and reading the latest news on his iPad, merely raised an eyebrow and shot her a look out of the corner of his eye.
"How unfortunate," he said mildly. "What seems to be the problem now, darling? Not enough money? Too small a house? My charming personality not enough?"
Diana glared up at him. "Even if you had one, it wouldn't be."
"Oh." He shrugged. "Sad day, then."
Diana sighed, rolled over on her stomach, and looked up at him. "Bruce," she said, "I'm an Amazon."
"Yes, I'm aware of that."
"Would you cut it out and listen to me?" When he put down his iPad and looked at her more seriously, she continued, "Bruce, I'm an Amazon - I fight. I don't plan weddings, I don't stand around with a hundred different designers poking needles into my skin - not that needles bother me - and I don't call caterers and the flower people and everything else. Bruce, I've only been to three weddings - Clark's, John and Shayera's, and Ollie and Dinah's. I don't know the first thing about planning a wedding. If you hadn't noticed, we don't do weddings on Themyscira."
"Yes, I can see how that might not work," mused Bruce.
Diana threw a pillow at him. "How am I supposed to plan a wedding when I don't have the first idea what to do? I've been pouring through wedding and bridal magazines, through every article online, and I'm still swimming."
"And you won't ask the Justice ladies for help because..."
Diana colored. "I'm the Princess of the Amazons. I shouldn't have to ask people for help."
"Why don't you ask Hera? Isn't she your goddess of marriage?"
"Yes, but..." She trailed off. "I shouldn't have to ask anyone for help. I feel ridiculous."
"So it's a pride issue."
"Not exact... Oh, fine, it is."
Bruce slid closer to his fiancee, who lifted her upper body and flipped onto her back, settling in his lap. He ran his fingers through her luxuriously silky raven hair and pressed a firm kiss to her hand before taking it and resting it on her stomach, entwined with his.
"It's all going to work out. Just ask Lois for help, at least. I'm sure she'll be more than happy to help. Even Amazonian Princesses need help. I should know. I joined the Justice League, for crying out loud." He snorted. "They need help more than anyone."
"Where would they be without you?" said Diana in a falsely sweet voice.
Bruce shot her a look. "If you agree to let at least Lois help you," he said, "I'll..." He hesitated. "I'll go see your mother."
"Really?" She shot up and faced him. "Bruce, you don't have to... I haven't even told her yet... I haven't spoken with her in months..."
"Which is why it's important we tell her now. I'm marrying the Princess of the Amazons, Diana. I think I can handle a few Amazon guards."
Diana smiled and wrapped her arms around him. "It's a deal, Bruce. And thank you." She kissed him warmly.
"You don't have to thank me," he murmured against her lips. "You've given me everything, Diana. You don't even know how much."
When she hugged him tightly, he embraced her in return.
In the doorway, Alfred looked on the couple and smiled. It was about time... Now he might finally have some grandchildren running around the empty house. Or, come to think of it, they'd probably be flying around the house. Good heavens... he'd have his work cut out for him.
Two days later, Lois and Clark sat across from Bruce and Diana on Bruce's garden patio. After Alfred delivered the food and left, Lois instantly started in on the questions.
"So, I never actually found out," said Lois. "Off the record, obviously... But how did you two get engaged? Who proposed?" she joked, shooting a grin to Bruce, who glared at her.
Diana grinned back. "It's not really a long story..."
"It is," cut in Bruce.
"Well, it's kind of funny..."
"No, it's not."
"But Lois needs to know..."
"No, she doesn't."
"I'm going to tell her now or another time. So get over it," said Diana firmly.
"No, I won't," grumbled Bruce, as he leaned back and folded his arms across his chest. "I'm beginning to regret this marrying thing."
"No, you're not," said Diana instantly.
"No, I'm not," he agreed, disgruntled.
Lois and Clark watched in great amusement as they bantered back and forth.
"You two are perfect," said Lois with a grin. "You already sound like an old married couple. But you can't get off that easy, Bruce. How'd you two get engaged? And don't leave anything out, because I will know, and Di will tell me eventually, anyway."
Diana grinned. "Like I said, it's a short story..."
WATCHTOWER, TWO WEEKS AGO
Diana stood in front of one of the monitors, rubbing her bracelet with her other hand, itching to get out there for another mission. She'd been cooped up for a week now, and she needed to get out. She didn't even see Batman come up, halt, and continue on towards her with great purpose.
Neither of them noticed J'onn who sat a few yards away, quietly typing up a quick report.
"Diana," Batman greeted.
"Bruce," she returned, still looking at the screen. Off to the side, J'onn watched them out of the corner of his eye.
Batman paused, then, he said, "Marry me."
J'onn stopped typing.
"All right," Diana said, still looking at the screen.
Another short pause, then, "Good," was the short reply.
"It's settled, then," said Diana.
After another pause, she turned to face him. "Bruce. You really mean it?"
Bruce hesitated once more before pulling off his cowl. "I really mean it. I love you."
"I love you, too."
"Good." His eyes glittered warmly as he took her and kissed her deeply.
When they pulled back, Diana added, "Good thing we're getting married, then."
Bruce pulled out a small box and opened it, smiling faintly. "Good thing."
As he slipped the ring onto Diana's finger, J'onn was seriously beginning to wonder if he'd figured out humans, after all. No, he didn't think so.
"Seriously? That was your proposal?" Lois stared, wide-eyed, at the chagrined couple. "That was the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard! It sounds like you were doing a business transaction! Or baking a cheese casserole! Something completely mundane!"
"It makes sense," Clark sighed. "They're both fighters, and they're both pretty logical people. I can see it happening."
"All you Justice people are crazy. I'm sorry, but you are."
"It takes one to know one," Bruce muttered.
"You married one," Clark added with an irritated frown.
"I'm carrying one in my belly, but that's beside the point," snapped Lois. "Good grief, Diana, I can't believe you took that! From him!" She pointed wildly at Bruce, who raised an eyebrow. "Diana, coming from a friend who knows Bruce better than a lot of people, mainly from his grunting, short conversations with Clark, I'm just warning you that you might want to run while you can. Sure, he's got a lot of money - more than Clark could ever hope to make -"
"Oh ye of little faith," muttered Clark.
" - And sure, he's probably the sexiest guy on the planet -"
"But not the solar system," added Clark darkly.
" - And yeah, he's got a ton of fancy cars and cool gadgets - "
"I don't like what you're implying," grumbled Clark under his breath.
" - But from one strong, independent woman to another, I'm just warning you to decide very carefully. Plan a battle strategy, which I know you're good at. Keep one of those gorgeous golden battle axes under your pillow."
Bruce and Clark both frowned and looked at Lois, startled.
"How do you know what kind of axes she has?" both demanded.
But Diana just smiled serenely. "I gave one to Lois," she said. "Laced with kryptonite."
"You what?" squeaked Clark.
"I need one of those," muttered Bruce.
"Lois, what the heck? I'm your husband!"
"Yes, well... one can never be too careful these days, Smallville. But just take my advice, Diana. Watch out for this one," said Lois, pointing at Bruce.
"Thanks for the warning, Lois. I'll keep that in mind. Now, I don't know about you, but I could go for a Starbucks white mocha. Anyone coming with?" She rose to her feet, and Lois followed right after.
"Hell, yes, woman! This baby needs some coffee!" As she and Diana started for the door, Clark and Bruce hurried after them.
"Wait, Lois - I don't think you should be drinking coffee..."
This was a nightmare. Not only had Vicki not been able to dig up any information on Bruce's little wench, but she'd gotten thrown out of a Milan fashion show by some tough-chick model who insisted that she was not allowed. Who the heck was Mari McCabe, anyway? She was Vicki Vale, TV superstar (sort of) and senior reporter. Stupid models...
Now, she was nursing a bruised elbow, was considering pressing charges, and desperately needed coffee. She stopped in at a Starbucks in downtown Gotham, knowing that they would recognize her immediately and give her one on the house. When she entered, however, she saw there were at least four other people in line ahead of her.
"I want coffee, damn it!" one of the women ahead of her snarled.
"Lois, please," one of the men muttered, placing a hand on her back.
Lois? Vicki strained her neck. Ah, yes. Her old college enemy: Lois Lane.
Then, the woman standing in front of Lois turned and faced her. "Lois, I hear tea is excellent and soothing. It also has caffeine, just so you know."
No. Freaking. Way. Vicki's jaw dropped. It was her. The future Mrs. Wayne. And yes - standing right next to her was none other than Bruce himself.
Lois sighed. "Fine. I'll try it."
Vicki felt as though she would burst with hatred. "Hello, Lois," she greeted. "Having a little ordering trouble?"
Lois whirled around; and at the same time, Bruce and Clark Kent turned to face her as well. Bruce, much to Vicki's disappointment, didn't look phased to see her. In fact, his countenance was so hard to read...
Lois glared at her. "Vicki. Still bombing on TV these days?"
"Lois," muttered her husband.
"TV didn't cut it for me. I'm back at the Gotham Tribune as a lead reporter," said Vicki with a toss of her head. "I'm tailing a lead right now... Speaking of which, maybe you can help me, Bruce." She threw him her best, sexiest smile and pushed past Clark to get closer to him.
Bruce's fiancee raised an eyebrow.
"How so, Vicki?" Bruce said, looking unimpressed by Vicki's attempt.
"Well, I wondered if I might get a little... one-on-one interview," said Vicki, placing a hand on his chest and looking up at him through sultry eyes. "Just like old time, remember? Those long, dark nights... A bottle of champagne with strawberries and cream..."
"No," said Bruce shortly, removing her hand from his chest. "Look, Vicki, we had a couple dinners. And I'm sorry if I led you on in any way... But you know it's been over for years now."
"It's over," seethed Vicki, "When I say it's over, Bruce. How could marry this blond Barbie? Look at her boobs! How much did those implants cost, sweetie, hmm?" She threw a vicious smile to Bruce's fiancee.
"Implants?" the woman looked down at her chest, confused. "What are implants?"
"Something you would never need," Bruce muttered.
Someone grabbed Vicki's shoulder and whirled her around; she was forced to face Lois, who was red, a little bloated, and furious.
"Listen, you red-headed skank," Lois snarled. "First of all, you cut the line. Secondly, you're hitting on my friend's fiance. And thirdly, you're making a complete idiot out of yourself. And fourthly, you're holding up the line, and I'm pregnant and in need of a lot of caffeine. You're really pissing me off! So get back in line or get outta here!"
"Well said," Bruce and Clark muttered together.
"Please, Lois," Vicki said disdainfully. "What, you think that because you're glomping onto Bruce and his little girlfriend that you're going to get the next big interview? Honey, you don't know what's coming."
"I already got the interview, you idiot," said Lois dryly.
Lane! Damn it, no! Lane had gotten to it before she had! That sneaky little witch... How did she possibly manage to get the first interview with Bruce? Shouldn't she have special preference? It was the least Bruce could've done after everything he'd pulled. Vicki whirled around and glared at Bruce.
"How could you?" she said, big tears filling her eyes. "After everything we've shared together... How could you do this to me?" She screamed and stomped out of the Starbucks, slamming the door shut behind her.
The four people stared after her.
"Bruce... who was that?" Diana murmured.
"Gotham's newest villain," muttered Bruce. "Just you wait."
Diana raised an eyebrow. "She does seem a little... off."
"I had two dinners. Dinners that lasted no longer than fifteen minutes each. I'd better warn Gordon," Bruce sighed.
Diana slipped her hand through the crook of Bruce's arm. "Honey... if we can pull off this wedding, it will be a miracle." They both exchanged glances. "Yep," confirmed Diana with a look from her fiance. "Let's elope."
Five days later, Vicki stormed up to her desk. Again, her coworkers were snickering at her. She glared at them.
"SHUT UP!" she screeched. Then, as she sat down, she saw the front page of the newspaper.
"Prince of Gotham Bruce Wayne Has His Princess" was the title. No. No way.
They had eloped! To some random, hidden Grecian island!
"NOOOOOO!" screamed Vicki.
Yeah, I told you it was random. I'm thinking about doing another story in the future - a chapter-story, about a really dark Bruce. Of course it would be BM/WW. But I have to finish Hunter's Moon first...