A/N—The third and final installment. We hope you like it and if you do you review.
Disclaimer—All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Bruce sat nervously at a lovely table at Nobu. He fiddled with his communicator, making sure it was working correctly, before inserting it into his ear. He pulled out his cell phone as he signaled the waiter, making sure that is was on and Wally could call if something went wrong with the communicators.
"May I help you sir?" the waiter asked.
"Yes, I would like to order some champagne," Bruce replied.
"Very good, sir, but I am going to have to ask you to turn off your phone. Nobu policy," the waiter requested.
Panic shot through Bruce. "But I am expecting a very important call… Someone close to me is very ill and I'm waiting for news," he said, saying the first thing he could think of to keep his phone on.
"Well I can leave your phone at the front desk and get you if someone calls," he said.
Bruce nearly sighed with relief. "That would be excellent. I am hoping the evening doesn't have a tragic ending." He handed him the phone.
"No problem sir. And what was your order again?"
"A bottle of champagne..." Bruce said and felt a small internal cringe as the waiter raised an eyebrow before he walked away.
Arthur and Flash still hadn't left the commissary. Batman, having more important things on his mind, had left some time ago. At which point Aquaman had dragged Flash into a corner out of sight of the ambassador. At least, that was the idea. She was still searching for them.
"Still looking our way?" Arthur whispered.
"Yep. And she's still got the exit covered."
Flash considered, looking the woman up and down. He didn't get the appeal, himself. "Well, there's quite a lot of her," he couldn't help chuckling.
"It was ages ago, okay?"
"What, a whole six months," Wally said with a laugh.
"Shut up," Arthur glared at him.
"We could make a run for it," Flash suggested.
"Easy for you to say."
"Maybe she won't remember you."
Finally a smug smirk crossed Aquaman's face. "Oh, she'll remember. They always remember."
Wally sighed miserably. "Must be nice. I went to the movies with a chick once…she forgot me while we were still in there…"
"Yeah. She went to the bathroom, came back and sat with some other guy!"
Arthur creased with laughter momentarily, before trying to console the younger man. "Well maybe she couldn't find you."
"That is what she said." He thought for a moment. "No, wait a second, it wasn't the movies."
"No. It was a restaurant."
Aquaman went back to laughing. Then Flash said something that wiped the smile off his face. "The ambassador's moving! We have a launch window for takeoff!"
"Go, go, go!"
They both put their coffee cups down and dashed for the door. Flash, unsurprisingly, made it. Arthur didn't. The ambassador had only turned around for a second, and now she was squarely back in the King of Atlantis's path. He immediately hitched a massive, cheesy smile onto his face. This was going to hurt whichever way he handled it, so-
"Oh, excuse me," she said politely, stepping out of his way and moving back to her friends without a second glance at him.
Aquaman remained frozen in his tracks, the smile gone. Flash, standing at the door, rolled his eyes and came back, shoving him toward the exit. "Okay, you're good, let's go!"
"But- But- That's not possible!" He looked back at the oblivious ambassador, shaking his head. "How could she not remember me?"
"What does it matter? Just come on!"
"No, no, I wanna try something here."
"Remember the kracken!" Flash hissed after him, to no effect. Arthur continued inside.
When he got to the ambassador, he straightened his clothes and ran a hand through his hair before coughing very obviously. A feeling Flash had come to identify as foreboding simmered in the pit of the Speedster's stomach. This was not going to go well. Surprisingly, and with more subtlety than Wally would have expected from him, Aquaman didn't actually speak to her. Instead he walked past her, having attracted her attention, and bent over, apparently searching for something. He looked all around the table they had been sitting at, under it, picking up the chairs…
Wally looked on with increasing confusion and concern for Arthur's sanity. Then he straightened, pointing to his hook with a look of 'Oh, there it is!' and another cheesy grin at the ambassador. She smiled back, and then carried on chatting to her friends.
With a look of utter desolation, Arthur began making his way back to Flash. As he passed the ambassador though, she reached out to take his arm. "Excuse me…" she frowned, looking into his face. "I'm sorry, but I know you don't I?"
The sight of the King of Atlantis leaping into the air was not a dignified one. "Yes! Yes you do!" Then he seemed to catch himself. "I mean yes, yes, I'm afraid so."
She clicked her fingers. "Of course…"
Arthur put an appropriately apologetic expression on his face. "Can I just say how sorry I am?"
"Please don't – I should be apologizing," she chuckled, "I should have remembered you straight away." She turned to her friends. "Everybody – this is Wilf."
Flash dissolved into laughter as she continued. "Wilf used to be my kelp gardener. Didn't you, Wilf?"
Any minute now, Wally was sure his sides were going to actually split.
'Crestfallen' wasn't the word to describe Aquaman's face. "Um…"
"What was that, about six to eight months ago?"
"So – you still looking after kelp?"
Opportunities like this were just too good to miss. Flash moved forward. "Oh yeah, definitely. He is always gardening away, pruning and everything else. You should see what he has done to the hydroponics bay."
"Hello," the ambassador smiled. "Are you Wilf's new boyfriend?"
It took only a split second to think that one through. Potential embarrassment for him, but something that Arthur would never live down. Too perfect to miss. "Yes!" He put his arm through Aguaman's. "Yes, I am. We meet in the hydroponics bay when I went looking for some stuff to make a salad. I found quite a bit more than salad, if you know what I mean," he said with a wink.
The look Arthur gave him was completely horrified, but the ambassador smiled. "Well, please, won't you join us?"
"Sweet – we'd love to. Wouldn't we, sweetie?" Flash grinned, steering the too-mortified-to-resist Aquaman to the table and sitting him down. The speedster remained standing, only putting an arm around Arthur's shoulders.
"I'll get you a chair," the ambassador said kindly.
"Oh, thanks, but I think I'd rather stand. Blame Wilf for that one!"
Diana walked into the restaurant full of confidence. She had gone to see her sister Donna, who knew all there was to know about fashion, and she had loaned her the low cut, sleeveless and slinky red wrap dress that she was wearing. She had also styled Diana's hair so that it feel in sexy waves around her face and down her back. She looked like a bombshell and people turned to stare and she walked across the restaurant toward Bruce. He just stared and swallowed as she approached.
"Sorry I'm late," she said in a husky voice.
"That's okay," he choked out as his eyes travelled down her body.
"No, I really should have called," she said.
"They took my phone away. It's at the front desk," he whispered.
"Oh really," she responded in kind.
"I guess they don't want the other diners disturbed when they are eating their breasts...I mean meals," Bruce hastily corrected as heat rose up his neck. "Did I say breasts...Sorry, sorry." He started to rise out of his chair but Diana stopped him.
"It's okay, I'm sure you need to remain seated with your legs crossed for a little while," she said with a sultry smile.
"No, I'm fine," he said as he continued to stand so that he could pull out her chair. Diana pouted as she sat down. I am an Amazon, what in Hades am I doing? she wondered.
"Diana can be quite irritating can't she," Selina said as she drank another glass of sake. Both women were fairly drunk by now, though Etta more than Selina.
"Yes she can be, especially when she says crap like I don't need a man and she is living with the richest man in the world," Etta stated as she took another drink. "But then again Bruce is rather irritating too."
"Tell me about it. Maybe that is why they should be together, they are both perfectly irritating," Selina said with a giggle and Etta laughed as well.
When they calmed down Etta asked, "Do you think they will get it together, you know permanently?"
"You got me…You know what I used to do when Bruce and I finally called it quits…I used to phone him up and not say anything. Just leave a long silence until he became totally pissed off. I bought a case of untraceable prepaid cell phones."
"Why did you do that?" Etta questioned.
"To ruin his evening. He's an ex," Selina exclaimed with an eye roll.
Etta gave Selina a penetrating stare, "You don't still want to be with Bruce, do you?"
"Lord no," Selina laughed. "Way too much crazy baggage there. I don't envy Diana dealing with Bruce's issues. If they can be happy together then I am happy for them."
"Yeah I am happy for them too. It can't be easy given their lives," Etta stated.
"It's never easy especially with someone like Bruce," Selina said.
"Diana's immortal, you know," Etta said. "She will be forever young and men will probably always desire her."
"Not really fair is it. I wonder if Bruce has his cell phone on?" Selina said with a sly look.
"And I am going to grown old and so no man will want me. She will always have the edge won't she," Etta sobbed.
"What am I talking about? Bruce always has his cell phone and two communicators on him," Selina said not paying attention to Etta at all as she pulled a cell phone from her purse.
Etta looked at her and said, "You would ruin their evening would you. Not if you think that they belong together."
Selina just gave her enigmatic, green-eyed stare.
It was 2100 – the time Flash had agreed to call Bruce. Thankfully (for Arthur), the ambassador and her friends were about to leave, so now both he and Flash were once more queuing for coffee. The commissary did not stock anything stronger.
As Wally reached for his com-link, Aquaman spoke in an indignant tone. "Wilf! Wilf, for Poseidon's sake!"
"Don't worry about it," Flash said easily. "She's probably got memory loss or something."
That cheered Arthur up slightly. "Yeah. Yeah, you're probably right."
Flash looked at the time. "So – think I should call him?"
"Batman? You did say you would."
"True…" He wasn't sure he wanted to though. "Diana's nice. He could do worse."
"Well, he couldn't do better, could he?"
"Most definitely not."
"He doesn't wanna end up like you," Wally continued.
"You said she had a memory problem!" Aquaman objected.
Flash snorted. "Yeah right."
There was a tap on his shoulder, and they both turned to see the ambassador, smiling. "We're leaving now. Just thought I'd say bye."
"Yeah, whatever," Arthur muttered.
"Lovely to meet you, Flash," she said, before turning to Aquaman. "And very lovely to see you again, Arthur."
She turned away and left. It was a good five seconds before either of them got it. Then the King of Atlantis raced after her. "Wait a second!" He physically put himself in her path. "You called me Arthur."
Her face was stony now, a far cry from the warm, friendly smiles of a few moments ago. "Arthur, you didn't really think I'd forgotten you, did you? I just felt entitled to a little revenge. I did nearly get eaten by that kracken."
"Mera and I, Arthur, we both got screwed over! We both got hurt, you know."
Arthur did have the good grace to look ashamed of himself. "I really am very, very sorry."
"Well," she shrugged. "I had my fun tonight – guess we'll call it even."
"Thank you," he whispered.
"Goodbye, Arthur," she said as she started to move away but turning back and adding, "By the way, your majesty."
"Yes," Arthur responded.
"I know you're the King of the Sea and all but…" Her eyes gleamed evilly. "No woman likes a dead fish in bed." And with that final statement she gave him one last vicious look, and left.
"Thank you," Diana smiled as she took a menu from the waitress. Bruce did the same. "This is a really nice place," she remarked. "Good choice."
Bruce smiled, even though Alfred had booked the restaurant weeks ago. "It's not bad."
She leaned forward for a moment, thinking about what Selina had said about lesbian remarks. It was a step too far for Diana though – she wouldn't lower herself into that kind of thing. She had far too much respect for her sisters and Amazon ideals to cater to Man's World's twisted notion of their society. She didn't need to anyway! It was completely ridiculous!
Bruce had noticed her expression. "Is something wrong?"
She twisted her mouth. "Selina told me about her dresses."
"Yes, her dresses!"
"What, and that puts you in a bad mood?" he asked, looking completely confused.
"No, she told me that sometimes she'd wear a particular dress and that you'd get all…excited. Legs crossed excited."
He looked involuntarily down at his lap. "I guess sometimes, yeah…so what?"
Diana felt heat flood to her face, even tears of mortification prick her eyes. Suddenly Bruce got it. "Oh my God… Are you insecure, Princess? I- I've never seen you insecure before."
"Well you try having a gorgeous, sexy ex-girlfriend slinking around everywhere, that'll help!" Diana snapped.
He tried to calm her down. "Princess, you can't take that kind of…excitement seriously. You know what men are like! That could happen any time, anywhere."
Wrong thing to say. Diana suddenly looked very determined. "Okay then. Make it happen now."
He stared at her. "What?"
"Well, you did it for Selina, you can do it for me." She folded her arms, leaning back in her chair. "Off you go then."
"I can't just switch it on!" he protested. "It's not like an emergency lifejacket, I can't just pull a ripcord!"
"Any time, anywhere, you said."
"Well normally I get some help. This isn't exactly sex talk, is it?"
"I could do sex talk!"
"I never said you couldn't!"
There was a pause, then, "Nipples."
"Nipples," Diana repeated, "they're…good." Inwardly, she was praying to all the gods to give her an answer as to why exactly she'd started this. Had Aphrodite just put the word in her mouth? She hadn't wanted to say it!
Bruce looked at her like she'd lost her mind. "Yeah, thanks. Nipples are…good."
"Did that help?"
He put his menu down. "There's a fine line between sex talk and just...mentioning body parts."
"Oh, so you're saying Selina can do this and I can't!"
"I didn't say that!"
"I can do anything she does! I can do…" Think of a word, think of a word, "tricks!"
"I'm sure you can-"
"I can move my breasts!"
He put a hand up, looking alarmed. "Please don't!"
"Well no, I don't mean I can move them round the back or something-"
"Thank you for that image, Diana! That's a really scary place in my head now!"
"Oh for Hera's sake!"
They both very purposefully looked at their menus for several seconds before Bruce went very still. "That…would be your foot."
Diana didn't glance up from her menu, and only smirked. "Yes it would."
"What's it doing?"
"Just checking on progress," she replied casually.
"Can we just forget about all this, can we just have a nice meal? Come on, Diana, move your foot!" When she did, something scarily close to a yelp came out of his mouth. "Not exactly what I had in mind!"
Grinning predatorily now, Diana continued, enjoying the rough breathing and increasingly high-pitched tone of voice coming from her lover.
"That's clever – how do you work a zipper with your foot? That's…impressive…"
"Could Selina do that?"
"Don't think it ever came- up!" Bruce yelped but she could see desire starting to cloud his expression.
Without moving or slowing the action of her foot, Diana raised her head and called for a waitress. Bruce's heated looks suddenly changed to mild fear. She trotted over with a smile. "How can I help, ma'am?"
"Could you tell us the specials, please?"
"Of course. We've got duck, with an orange-"
She was cut off by the loud – and completely unbidden noise – which issued from Bruce's throat. When the waitress stared at him, all he could think of to say was, "I really like duck."
The waitress gave him a weak smile and turned back to Diana. "And, uh, steak with a-"
Other people in the restaurant were now staring, and Diana's grin could not have been any wider.
"Steak, steak, steak! Steak's good too!"
"Wait till you get to the desserts," Diana said to the waitress. "He'll really explode then, I promise you."
The waitress almost ran away. "Diana, please!"
"What? Are you not enjoying yourself, darling?"
"At least I'm underneath the table…" he muttered back.
Right at that moment, the waiter, from whom he'd ordered the champagne, approached their table. "Excuse me, your cell phone's ringing."
"The uh, urgent matter?"
"Oh. Well, never mind, I'm sure it'll be fine."
That got him an extremely dirty look. "Excuse me?"
"He'll keep! For a while…not that that's any great consolation at this moment, of course," he mumbled, trying to rectify the situation.
It wasn't working. Apparently deciding that he was drunk, the waiter moved closer. "Do you need help getting to the front desk, sir?"
"No! I'm kind of in the middle of an urgent, intimate moment, okay, so just leave!"
Diana squeezed his hand, looked all sweetness 'n' light. "No, that's okay, sweetie, if you've got an urgent call you better take it."
He stared at her. How could she be doing this to him! "Right… Yeah, I should. Um, I'll just take the wine list with me. In case I need something to read." He stood up very carefully, holding the wine list in place and moving to the front desk. Diana gave the waiter a bright smile as he passed.
When Bruce got to the front desk, his phone was still ringing. He picked it up without bothering with a greeting. "Flash, I know I told you to call, but that was really bad timing!" There was no sound from the other end. "Flash?" Nothing. "Hello?" Still nothing. Then it clicked. "Selina. Selina, if that's you, then once and for all get over it! Diana is the woman I'm going to marry!" There was still nothing – except an odd rustling noise coming from…behind him?
He turned – cell phone still pressed against his ear – to see Diana, looking unbelievably smug. "In every possible sense of the word:" she said, holding up her own cell phone. "Gotcha!"