Disclaimer: I do not own the characters and no financial gain is derived from this.
A/N: I had to listen to StoIen by Dashboard Confessional again and again for added inspiration. I miss Bruce and Diana!
I watch you spin around in your highest heels, you are the best one of the best ones. And we all look like we feel.
You have stolen my, you have stolen my…You have stolen my heart!
You have stolen my, you have stolen my…You have stolen my heart!
It was not the easiest to locate him, he had the natural ability to blend in with the darkness. If not for J'onn's assistance, it would have taken her longer than necessary to find his brooding form atop one murky rooftop.
Her red boots landed firmly without much sound, though she knew only too well that he sensed a presence nearby as he turned to the source of the faint sound.
"Princess." It was a curt greeting. As curt as he could get.
His mood did not dissuade her from her purpose. "Aren't we formal tonight," she remarked as she approached, handing him a tall paper cup. "I brought you coffee."
"I already had mine."
If she did not know him like she did, her patience concerning his bluntness would have worn off a long time ago. "Still, I brought you one."
It seemed he knew of her stubbornness as well as he accepted the offered beverage with the slightest of hesitations.
"You're welcome." Her smile was lost on him as he continued to look down at the people on the dimly lit street. For a while she studied his profile before blurting her plan straight out. "Can I have five minutes?"
He was really testing her patience.
"I'm fairly certain that nothing…very unusual will happen in that span of time. If there will be, I will only be too happy to assist you." Her straightforward approach was not getting the desired results. It was time for Plan B, the appeal to his guilt approach, if ever the guilt applied to him. "In the…nine years that we've known each other, become friends, I hope that's not too much to ask."
She knew it worked because he finally gave her a sidelong glance. Though he's probably glaring at me for taking that route.
She led him a few steps from the ledge to somewhere they could sit. The very unappealing concrete near the middle had to do. "See…that's not hard after all."
He sat and studied the cup of coffee for a while.
"I didn't put any…sedative in it, if that's what you're thinking."
He ignored her light banter. "What do you need five minutes for?"
As she took her time in answering, his earlier detached behaviour grew anxious. "Is there something I need to know?"
She chastised herself for liking the way he became worried.
"Is this about work?"
She shook her head before she sipped on her coffee. She was relishing every minute.
"Are you quitting?"
"Are you pregnant?"
"Great Hera!" She nearly choked.
"No!" she looked at him incredulously. "As if I have time enough for a serious relationship," she muttered under her breath.
"You want time off?"
"No…it's not that."
"Then what?" He sounded impatient, more impatient than usual.
It was suddenly a tad difficult to tell him now that he was so close, intently watching her.
"I just wanted to have your undivided attention, talk or…no talk," she began. She was not really that big on birthdays. But it had been so long since they last talked and she knew there was no way in Hades that he would make the first move. So she took initiative. "It's my ninth year in man's world. So it's like your gift to me, like a…birthday present. So consider yourself…fortunate, that I chose you."
She knew she sounded too smug. Thank Hera she said in her mind when she sensed that he was not taking it as non-sense, instead, he seemed to have eased a little. And that, for Bruce, was a milestone.
"What happened to your face?"
"This?" she pointed to her right cheekbone where a very pale outline of a bruise was still present. "Occupational hazard. Good thing I heal easily." She really did not think he would notice.
"You should be more careful."
The note of concern in his voice made her smile. "I will, thank you."
He finally took a sip of his coffee before returning his gaze on her, seemingly feeling a little awkward with her staring at him as seconds progressed.
"This is your plan…for five minutes?"
"Yes. Isn't it nice?" She lifted her gaze at the wide night sky. "No sirens, no explosions…just you and me."
She looked at him, expecting him to say something disapproving. When he did not, she said it for him. "And don't tell me it's a waste of your time." She could see a faint smirk appear. "I initially wanted an hour but…that's pushing the envelope when it comes to you. I know how grumpy you get-"
The smirk slowly faded as he continued to look at her. "You could've asked for more."
His voice sounded so soft. At least, that was what she felt. And there was nothing she could think of that was better than this…except for world peace.
"I just want this."
"Are you sure? I'm being…generous."
"Be careful what you ask for…"
She missed trading light banter with him. It seemed ages ago when they had this kind of conversation so she indulged herself. "Okay…I'm thinking of taking a month off and retreat somewhere where a communicator does not work," she started. "I want you to…delegate so I will not have to worry about you…slipping a disc or something because you are not getting any younger. And I want a room at the manor."
She had to laugh at the sudden change in his expression. "I'm kidding of course. You can breathe now. You take everything too seriously." She added a tap on his shoulder as if to assure him that she was indeed kidding, that after all these years she had learned to accept that friendship was all that he could offer and that hoping for something more was like aiming for the moon.
"Someone has to be the adult in this relationship."
Relationship…the word covered a lot of possibilities. But when applied to the two of them, she knew it was the friendship kind, maybe not too platonic, but still nothing beyond.
"Seriously…thanks, but I'm good. I have all I want. A family, a very long list of aunts and cousins, good friends," she looked at him straight in the eyes for emphasis. "People who…care."
His expression sobered again and she knew he was going to enumerate the reasons once again why they could not take a step further than being friends.
"Stop…deducing." She did not want to hear that again. "And I'm changing my mind. I want something else. I want you to sit there and pretend you are enjoying every moment. Five minutes or what's left of it. Don't worry, I'm not going to hold you to anything afterwards."
A moment passed before he made another move as he sat closer. And what surprised her even more was that his left hand reached over and held her right hand. Her heart was singing and she mentally thought of how long was left of her five minutes as she looked at his gloved fingers interlaced with hers.
It was such a good feeling. And she had not felt that in a while. It was the kind of feeling that made everything…every bruise, every wound, every life threatening experience…worthwhile.
"What will your enemies say?"
"Get a room."
She laughed. "Seriously."
"Now you're telling me to be serious," he answered and she loved how the way his deep voice was laced with humour. "Anyway, it's dark."
"Night vision lenses?"
"I have protection against night vision lenses."
She turned to look at his face, if he was not kidding.
"If you say so." She turned her attention back to the night sky, closing her eyes for a while and just enjoying the moment. That would probably end in less than a minute from now.
"It's your tenth year."
She smiled and was glad. "I purposely said that, to check if you have been paying attention."
She could swear by Hera that she felt him squeeze her hand a little.
"I've been paying attention."
"Good to know," she whispered, knowing he heard her.
"For making the last ten years…bearable."
"Bearable?" she feigned disappointment.
She was silently praying to her gods to freeze time, just so she could hold his hand a little longer. But the world did not stop for her, for the both of them. And it was time for her to return him to the world once again.
"And thank you too, for the five minutes." She released the hold to which he did not offer much resistance. Quietly, and with a little reluctance as if they were both lost in their own thoughts, they walked to where they stood a few minutes before. "See, I told you. The museum is still intact. Nothing bad has happened."
He was back to being the Batman as he continued his survey of the street, in quiet contemplation.
Yes, he was far away again. And the five minutes seemed to not have happened at all.
With a sigh she said her temporary farewell. "Goodnight."
He did not bother turning to her. "Goodnight."
It was uncanny how he could shift from one emotion to the polar opposite the next minute, she thought a little forlornly before turning away. And because her feelings for him never wavered after all this time, she had learned to accept that part of him.
Her feet lifted a few inches from the ground before she turned. "Yes?"
He did not move from where he crouched, looking below. "Let's do this…five minutes again."
"What?" She was not sure what she heard it right the first time.
"You know I hate repeating myself."
"Sorry…I just thought I heard you ask me if we could do this again."
"I did not ask," he finally turned to her.
She tried to hide her smile. "Next year? Sure. But on another rooftop, one that's less…stinky."
His lips curved into a faint grin. "How about next week?"
At her surprise she was not able to reply immediately.
She planted her feet on the ground once again, considering his request. Quite an ironic reaction she thought, since she had been waiting for this moment for…ten years. And now, she was stunned speechless. But happy, nonetheless.
"Aren't we…" She tried not to sound too obvious. "Moving a little too fast?"
"For ten years? No."
He sounded so sure.
Don't get too giddy, it's just five minutes of talk…or no talk. But it's a start, she thought contentedly. "Okay. I'll bring the coffee. You bring the donuts."
She desperately fought of the desire to grin from ear to ear. "Well…goodnight. Again."
The smile he gave her told her she lost. "Goodnight," he replied. "And see you."