"Since when did you write frivolous gossip, Mr Kent?" she asked, crossing her arms over her chest. Diana couldn't help feeling that the imposing look didn't work quite as well in her traditional Amazon garb. Consisting of a sheer white halter dress with a gold belt, tied around her torso and matching gold gladiator sandals.
She'd refused the red Vera Wang, Selina had suggested.
"As I said earlier Princess, we cover all news," Clark repeated before asking, "So I'll take it that is a yes?"
Diana resisted the urge to roll her eyes, "You could just ask me," she said unable to hide her irritation at his antics.
Clark leant forward, stooping down even further, "I could, but what would be the fun in that?" he asked with amusement.
She wanted to smack that grin off his handsome face, but that wouldn't be very diplomatic of her. Even now she knew eyes were centred on her every move and Clark was using that against her. He probably thought he was getting under her skin, which he was, but she refused to let show.
"Kal, it's quiet obvious what you're trying to do here," Diana said calmly.
Clark raised an eyebrow, "It is?" he asked perhaps thinking he sounded innocent. But Diana knew better.
She leant slightly closer to him. "You're using inverted psychology," she deadpanned.
He blinked at her and for a moment she thought she'd caught him out, before he burst into snorts. Practically patting his chest to rein the laughter in.
Diana did not get the joke and she told him as much in clipped tones.
"I'm sorry princess," Clark said between chuckles, even having the audacity to wipe away his tears of mirth. "It's just that-" he paused to lean into her ear, "There's no such thing as 'inverted psychology'... perhaps you meant reverse psychology?"
Diana's face felt like it had been dipped in boiling lava. Only Kal could so easily make her feel foolish. It wasn't her fault, she sometimes confused English speech. After all it wasn't even her native tongue.
"What do you know anyway," she snapped, crossing her arms over her chest.
"You're right, what with my bachelors in-"
"Oh, just stop," she bit out.
Clark smirked down at her, looking smug. "Well, Princess as much as I'd like to stay and chat-"
"I wish you wouldn't," Diana grumbled.
''I have other important guests to interview," he finished as if she hadn't interrupted him.
Diana sniffed, "Don't let me keep you," she said offhandedly. She wouldn't admit it but she enjoyed being around Kal. Granted he could be insufferable and pigheaded, but she wouldn't exchange his company for anything.
"Don't look so down, Diana," he whispered. "I'm just going to the other side of the room, not another planet."
She shoved him away, "Gaia you are incorrigible!" she exclaimed.
He grinned as he gave her a salute before turning to leave. Diana scowled at his retreating form. Did he have to go by it in such a sexy manner? She wondered harried.
"Is everything alright, Diana?"
She turned to him in surprise. "Oh, Steve," she said lamely, hoping he couldn't tell she'd been appraising Clark Kent in an inappropriate manner. She'd been so distracted by Kal, she'd even forgotten about her date and her duties for that manner.
"Yup, still me," Steve echoed, as he offered her a glass of champagne. "Where you expecting somebody else?" he asked, glancing over her shoulder.
"No, not at all," she said hastily, before downing her glass in one go.
Steve looked taken aback, "Diana, are you alright?" he asked concerned.
"I'm fine, why?"
"You just drank that all in one go."
Diana glanced at the empty glass, stunned. She hardly ever finished a single glass during an entire evening and just under 5minutes into the function and she'd broken her on record. And then some. She thought dryly.
"I guess I didn't realise how... erm parched I was," she said hoping her syrupy smile would cover up her blunder.
Steve seemed to believe her or was gentleman enough not to pursue the topic further. Now they stood stiffly facing each other with nothing to say. Diana liked to think of herself as being a very social person, which was why this silence was so baffling.
It literally felt like someone had stuffed cotton balls down her throat, making it difficult to speak. But Wonder Woman was no quitter.
They both spoke at the same time, breaking into nervous chuckles when they realised their mistake.
"Ladies first," Steve offered with a smile, it looked more genuine than the strained one he'd given her when he'd picked her up.
Diana, herself could feel some of the tension in her body ease.
"So what have you been up to lately?"
Clark was feeling decidedly proud of himself. Not only had he actually gotten to speak to Diana, for the first time in days. He'd also managed to leave her flustered, which mind you was no easy feat. He fancied that by the end of the week, he'd be back in her good graces. And she'd be begging him to ravish her.
Okay maybe not beg exactly, Diana didn't beg, but perhaps suggest they end this silly impasse. They could even take their relationship to the next step, well seeing as they'd skipped most of other relationship formalities, they could take a step back. Go out for dinner, catch a game- something that said quite boldly: We Are an item.
Maybe then opportunists like Steve would finally give up. He thought darkly.
"You seem to be enjoying yourself."
"Do you ever greet people or do you just creep up on them and say evasive one-liners?" Clark asked, turning to Bruce.
Bruce grinned. Unlike Diana he was more diligent in keeping up pretence under the public eye. Then again, Diana wasn't playing at being the Amazon Princess/diplomat/Wonder Woman.
"You wound me, Kent," he joked.
No matter how many times Clark interacted with 'Bruce Wayne' it still managed to jar him. He understood why Bruce had to do it, but it was still disconcerting to see the cheesy smiles and have to listen to badly delivered innuendo.
Then again he was probably the last person to talk. His alter ego was a clumsy, blabbering giant. If anything Bruce got extra credit for having a persona people considered exciting.
"You seem to be having a wonderful evening," Bruce said in a slightly lower tone. "Saw you harassing our Amazon diplomat a while back."
"It was a harmless chat," Clark said airily.
Bruce arched a disbelieving eyebrow but before he could speak, a sultry voice spoke up.
"My, my, my... if it isn't Bruce Wayne."
Clark kept his face blank, watching Bruce as Selina Kyle sauntered up to them.
"Selina, beautiful as always," Bruce said with a rakish smile.
"Oh Bruce darling, we both know you say that only because it's true," Selina drawled.
They exchanged air kisses, before Selina sidled up to Clark, wrapping her arms around his arm.
"Clark, you're a horrible date," she told him with a pout. "You haven't even gotten me a drink."
"You two came together?" Bruce asked not even bothering to hide his surprise.
If by together, Bruce meant he'd walked into the room and Selina had casually told him he was her date. Then yeah.
"Why... are you jealous?" Selina asked slyly.
Batman would never ever roll his eyes, but apparently Bruce Wayne did.
"It was a simple question, Selina," he said dryly.
"So was mine," Selina retorted without missing a beat.
Clark shook his head. He couldn't imagine how Bruce and Selina still kept at. They'd been doing this dance for what seemed to him like decades now. Turning away from them, he glanced over the heads until he spotted Diana.
She had her hand over her mouth, laughing at something Steve had said. He paused. They actually looked like they were having a good time. He narrowed his eyes, resisting the urge to eavesdrop on their conversation.
"...Geez Bruce, I simply asked if perhaps Alfred had seen them," Selina was saying in an exasperated tone, when Clark reverted his attention back to them.
"Why would they still be there? It was three years ago," Bruce growled.
"Did I miss something?" Clark asked, glancing between the two.
Selina placed a hand over her chest, "I simply asked if maybe by some chance, Bruce had-"
"I said no, so why are we still rehashing this?" Bruce asked clearly annoyed.
"What does Bruce have?"
"Why, my pink-"
"Is that a diamond on the floor?"Bruce asked, cutting Selina off.
Selina's head practically swung off its neck as she turned, "Where?" she asked, eyes reaping the floor around them hungrily.
Clark shook his head. 'That was a dirty trick' he mouthed at Bruce. Who looked unperturbed.
"That wasn't funny, Bruce," Selina said angrily, having realised she'd been duped.
Bruce's face gave nothing way. "My mistake, I apologize," he said with as much sincerity as the cat that got the cream.
Glancing up once more, Clark caught Diana weave her way towards the restrooms.
"If you'll excuse me for just a moment," he said over Selina and Bruce's banter.
"I thought you were supposed to be conducting interviews?" Bruce asked him.
"Clark, knows when to draw the line between work and pleasure," Selina sniffed. "That's why he won't die a lonely old man with a bad hip."
"Don't worry, Selina. I won't let that happen to you," Bruce said smoothly.
Clark didn't get to catch Selina's reply as he was already pushing his way through the crowd. Absently apologizing to people in his path, as he kept the Amazon Princess in his sights. He kept his head low as he slipped into the women's bathrooms behind her. Thankfully it was deserted except for them. Diana had just stepped into a cubicle and was proceeding to close the door, when he blocked it with his shoulder.
"Kal, what are you doing here?!" she exclaimed, eyes wide.
Clark stepped inside, his shoulders almost touching the sides. The door closed behind him.
"I guess I was wrong to expect a fair fight," he said glaring down at Diana.
Diana still looked baffled, "What are you talking about?" she asked.
"You and Steve, acting like teenagers out on their first prom together," he explained. He made to cross his arms, but the lack of room made it impossible, so he settled for shoving his hands in his pockets.
"Seeing as I've never attended a 'prom' that allusion is lost on me," Diana said coolly. "But you have yet to explain why you've followed me to the Ladies' restrooms."
"Because Steve, Mr Pilot guy, hasn't left your side since he returned with drinks," Clark said.
"He is my date after all, it would be incredibly rude if did," Diana said slowly as if pointing out something to a toddler.
"He's acting more like a boyfriend than a date," Clark bit out.
Diana's eyebrows raised, her mouth forming an O. He was starting to realise she did that mouth thing quite often when coming to some realisation.
Never before had two words evoked such emotion in him. Disbelieve, wonderment, shock and a smidgeon of irritation.
"What?" he asked baffled.
"You," Diana paused to jab a finger at his chest, "Are Jealous," she concluded with a smirk.
Clark shook his head, "I'm not jealous," he denied.
"Should I get my lasso out?" she asked.
"What?" Clark uttered, before he narrowed his eyes. "Where do you even keep it, wearing that dress?"
Diana glanced downwards and he followed her gaze to her left thigh.
"You wrap it around your thigh?" he asked, surprised. And maybe a bit turned on...
"Would you rather I carry it around like a handbag?" she asked him sarcastically.
"Of course not, but still..." he trailed off now envisioning Diana's bare thigh, with just the Lasso of Truth wrapped around it. That could be interesting...
"What are you doing?" Diana asked him, cutting through his less than innocent thoughts.
"Stop undressing me with your eyes," Diana told him with a frown. "Clark, I haven't forgotten my words to you."
Clark reluctantly drew his eyes back to Diana's face. "That was like a month ago," he argued.
"It was 6 days, 4 hours and-" Diana paused to glance at her wristwatch, "... 35 seconds go."
"Who's keeping count?" Clark asked rolling his eyes.
"I am, obviously," Diana stated. "Now leave, I actually came here for a reason not to be ambushed."
Clark couldn't believe how easily Diana was handling this. She had him stalking her at her workplace- he could admit this to himself. Cramming her schedule on their roster, she'd practically been off all week. And now he was trapping her in toilet cubicles? Was there no low he was prepared to go.
He regarded her coolly, taking in that smug expression. Diana may have won the first, second and third round but this wasn't over yet. He was done playing Mr Nice guy, obviously Diana wasn't just going to roll over because he asked nicely. No, all bets were officially off.
He stepped forward. Diana looked up at him puzzled. He inwardly grinned before claiming her lips in a bruising and passionate kiss. When he tore his lips away, she was still staring at him with wide eyes.
"That's for giving me visions about you naked, wrapped up in a Lasso," he told her darkly. He left feeling that he'd taken back some of his power. The tide is changing, Princess. He thought with a smirk.
"What are you doing here, this is the Ladies' restrooms?!"
The old woman, glared up at him from her 5'1ft height, her right hand curled dangerously over her walking stick.
"Maintenance?" he supplied lamely.
"I see she wears strapped heels."
End Note: I asked my brother about 'inverted' psychology, because Google gives you hits on the term. He assured me that it's not a term used in Psychology, and probably used by unreliable sources since it's a synonym for reverse. He's an Honors Psychology student so I trust his word. Again, any mistakes are mine unfortunately.
Thank you so much for the continuous support, especially the feedback!