To be clear after reading Anonymous72477's review in case there are readers who think I have been purposely withholding updates to create suspense: I give you my word that I have never published a chapter when I have had the subsequent chapter already written. I give you my word the minute I finished a chapter, the first thing I do is edit and reread before immediately publishing it. I don't start writing the next chapter until I have published the previous one. Thank you all for sticking to this story. I hope this ending satisfies your loyalty to it.
Diana understood immediately what was going on when the doors shut. She was going to kill J'onn…
"This isn't funny Kent!" she heard Batman shout as he tried to override the security on the door.
Diana rolled her eyes. Typical Bruce. Running away from his problems.
"I wouldn't do that Bruce…" they heard Superman say on the speaker. We already overrode your countermeasures to open this door. You aren't going to get out of this one until we let you."
Batman glared. They had no right to interfere like this.
Well he'll show them. Nothing was unbreakable…
Batman felt an electric shock on him and he yelped in pain and fell over.
"Warned you…" Superman said though they could tell he was trying to stifle a laugh.
Diana ran up to Batman.
"Are you alrig-"
"I'm fine," he snapped angrily and got to his feet and ran to the other door to see if he could have better luck with that one.
"Of course you are…"Diana muttered sarcastically.
"What?" Batman asked turning around, glaring at her for daring to mutter at him under her breath.
Diana responded with an angry glare of her own.
"You heard me," she stated calmly.
Batman continued his own glare before speaking.
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"Oh nothing," Diana said with mock ignorance. "There is nothing wrong with a man who runs away from his problems like a coward…"
"I don't run away from my problems!" Batman shot back his temper rising.
"Sure you don't," Diana said turning around before sighing. "This is so you. Trying to run away from everything…"
Batman had gone back to work with the other door. Diana sighed and just looked the other way. This was all a mistake…
Batman gave another cry in pain. Diana couldn't help smirking this time at how he was bested twice in a row.
"What are you going to do now?" Diana mocked.
Batman glared at her.
"Wait. I can hold out longer than they can."
And that was exactly what the two did. Both stubbornly sat in a chair, not making eye contact or talking to each other. They were both too proud to be bested by this. They were going to wait this one out.
Superman and J'onn watched the two stubborn heroes sit silently for an hour from the Monitor Womb.
"Well that didn't go as plan," he muttered, a little annoyed at how Bruce and Diana were acting like spoiled children by giving each other the silent treatment.
"Give them time," J'onn said. "Give it time."
An hour had passed and still Batman and Diana refused to talk. However the silence was getting on Diana's nerves.
Finally when she couldn't take it anymore she looked at Batman before speaking.
"Up until now, just well."
"Good," Diana said before turning away. What was with this man and his refusal to actually talk once in a while?
To her surprise, Batman actually asked her a question.
"And you and Tom?"
Diana didn't turn around to face him because she didn't want to risk her facial expressions giving herself away. Still the pause was enough to give Batman the answer.
"…we're fine," she lied. She knew Batman didn't believe her. He knew her too well.
"What happened?" he asked.
"None of your business!" she snapped at him.
"So it's okay to ask about my personal life but yours is off limits?" Batman retorted.
"You lost the right to ask about my personal life!" Diana said her temper rising.
"What is that supposed to mean?"
Diana turned around so Batman could see her face flushed with red.
"What do you think it means?"
Batman did not give an answer so Diana decided to vent more.
"After everything that happened, you refused to talk about it! About us! You just tried to act like nothing happened!"
"You're one to talk!" Batman snapped back, finally showing a little anger. "It took your own lasso for you to admit the truth! Some goddess of truth you are. Who's hiding now?"
"You're the biggest pigheaded, arrogant, jerk I've ever met!" she shouted.
"And you're a patronizing, high and mighty, stubborn meta!" he shot back.
Diana stood up angrily.
"I hate you so much. Do you know how sometimes I'm tempted to just punch you in the face?"
"Go right ahead," Batman threatened, leaning in.
Diana threw her hands up in the air with frustration and turned around. She could feel tears forming. She didn't know why, but her heart was opening itself up to him. She just felt like she needed to tell him this.
"Do you know why I hate you so much? It isn't just because you are a condescending, arrogant man. It's because out of everything that has happened, my heart still chose you. It could have chosen any other good man to fall in love with, but it had to be you. Tom figured that out and left me! I hope you are happy!"
"He left you because what?" Batman asked. The anger in his voice gone. He actually felt concern.
"Because of you!" Diana said turning around. "He knew how I felt about you and couldn't stay with me anymore!"
Batman seemed lost for words. He didn't mean for her to get hurt like that.
"I'm…sorry…." He said with general sincerity.
Diana sighed and turned around to look up at the camera in the room.
"I hope you are happy Clark!" she yelled at the camera. "Open the doors now!"
No response. Diana gave an angry huff and marched to one of the doors to try to open it.
"I wouldn't do that," Batman pointed out.
"I don't care!" Diana shouted and began to pound on it.
She immediately felt a shocking pain and reeled away. She could feel Batman was giving a satisfied smirk.
"Shut up!" she said.
"I wasn't going to say anything."
Diana swore in Ancient Greek and sat back down, this time facing Batman so she could glare at him. He was glaring back but it softened after a while.
"I'm sorry about what happened to you and Tom," he said.
Diana was surprised that he was apologizing to her. She softened her facial expressions to signal she was listening.
Batman was at a loss. One of the reasons he told himself why he couldn't be with her was she had Tom and he didn't want to ruin that. Now that reason was thrown out the window. What was holding him back?
When Batman didn't say anything, Diana decided it would be her again to break the silence.
"It doesn't matter," Diana said. "I guess were both doomed to be alone."
For a while neither said anything.
Diana then started to laugh.
"What's so funny?"
"It's we both had to fall in love with the two most stubborn people on this planet. Let me ask you something Bruce, did you ever found out what was my test for your Emblem of Love?"
"No…" Batman said. Dick told him everything except for a few parts, mainly what happened during the tests. Dick and Bruce agreed everyone deserved their own privacy on what they had to face in their tests.
Diana took a deep breath before speaking.
"I had to admit that I loved you when I thought you didn't love me."
Batman's eyes showed surprise again.
"How did you get that idea?"
"That was part of the test, to make me think you didn't love me! I mean I wasn't half surprised of that news after I got over the initial shock. What I said to you before you left the League and how you pushed everyone away…"
"I don't do that anymore!"
"But you still are afraid to be with me," she pointed out.
"That's…" Batman stuttered. Only she had the real power to make him lose his thoughts like that. "That's out of safety. You saw how dark my world is!"
"And yet you let other good women like Lois and Barbara in your life," Diana shot back.
That caused Batman to pause. She had him there.
"This is why we can't be together," she said. "You are too stubborn and afraid to commit to a stable relationship and I respect that."
Silence on Batman's end. What she said was only half true. He did fear being with her because he was afraid to be happy. But now after letting people back into his life, he couldn't deny that he actually wanted to be happy now. That he could still be Batman and not be miserable now seemed not only possible but probable.
But still something was holding him back. What was it?
Diana then looked at the camera again.
"You hear that? Please open the door!"
Superman sighed. Their little trap was going to fail.
J'onn was beside himself.
"I really thought it was going to work…"
"It doesn't matter, open the door," Superman said grimly. Both of them were too stubborn and proud to open their hearts to each other. Especially after they had been forced to earlier.
Diana heard the doors open and sighed. She was going to have a little talk with Clark later. Maybe talk to Lois first…
"Diana…" Diana heard a soft voice.
Curiously she turned around.
Batman was standing up, unsure. He looked like he wanted to beg but was too proud. She was done with this game though.
"Last chance, Bruce. No lassos, no journeys to the heart. This is your own accord. Do you love me or not?"
Batman gave no answer. She didn't expect him to.
Diana sighed trying to fight back the tears. She shouldn't expect anything else.
She was about to leave when he heard his voice.
"It was your confidence…" Batman said in almost a whisper.
Diana froze and turned around confused.
Batman seemed to be shaking. He didn't like acting this vulnerable in front of anyone.
"When I first met you Diana. The first thing I loved about you was your confidence. How you wouldn't let anyone try to tell you what to do. It is a strength of character I always respected."
Diana continued to stare at Batman questioningly.
"But that is not why I fell in love with…why I still love you today."
Diana's eyes were watering. He was actually opening to her? This had to be a dream.
"I love you because you have done something no other woman has done to me…" Batman explained as he walked closer to her.
"You've…you've…made me feel something like I haven't felt in a long time…"
"What?" Diana asked with anticipation.
"You've made me feel no longer broken," Batman said, finally admitting the truth. "That I could heal from the pain. You made me feel like I could be saved…"
Now Diana understood what Bruce had meant when he said he was affecting her in that memory.
"Do you remember what I said after we defeated Darkseid?" Batman asked.
"You said I was affecting you and you were glad," she said happily as tears streamed along her face.
"And you always have. You have been the one woman in my life that I actually feel can change me. Not for the worse, but for the better. That I could actually be happy and have more hope for myself…"
"Then why do you fear that?" she asked.
"Because I was scared. I'm always scared. I hadn't felt fixed or whole since the night my parents died. Sometimes when I thought I was happy, I almost gave up being Batman. I thought being with you would make me do that same thing. Force me once again to choose happiness or Batman. I couldn't allow myself to face that temptation again…"
"I would never ask you to give up on your mission!" Diana pointed out.
"And that's why I love you Diana," Batman said as he took off his cowl. "You have changed me for the better but still accept me for who I am. You actually make me see a light in the dark world I live in. And you were willing to sacrifice yourself to save me just as I am to you."
Batman placed both of his arms around her and looked deep into her eyes.
"I love you Diana…" he said nervously.
Diana responded by pulling him into a passionate kiss. He was startled but only for a second. They were finally opening their hearts to each other. Those feelings they had tried to suppress and deny for so long were spilling out.
When Bruce needed oxygen in his lungs, he reluctantly broke away from the kiss and resumed to look into the eyes of the woman he loved.
"Now it's your turn…" he said to her.
Diana just smiled. No way was she going to deny it anymore.
"You're an arrogant, terrifying, obsessive, brooding basturd who I shouldn't be with. A man who keeps giving others a good excuse to hate him. Mind you, I still hate you sometimes…"
Bruce grinned guiltily.
"But despite that, I still love you because underneath everything, the cowl, the grim look, the glares, you are a good man. The best man I have ever known. A man who understands what's right. A man who will willingly give up his life for others. A man who will go into battle even when he is terrified. A man who will put his own pain aside to not burden others. A man who places everything but himself first. A man…"
Bruce looked at her curiously.
"A man…who deserves my love."
And with that the two lovers continued to kiss to confirm their relationship. They didn't even care if the doors were open or the cameras were on. This was something they had put off too long. They were finally accepting their love. Their hearts were now bonded into one. Together, forever.
Superman and J'onn grinned.
"You realize he is probably going to get us later…" J'onn pointed out.
Superman just beamed. "Worth it."
Bruce and Diana were his best friends and they deserved a happy ending. He shut off the camera to give them some privacy...
Some time later…
Clark Kent paced nervously in the room. The wedding was about to start. He nervously adjusted his bow tie looking at himself in the mirror.
"Kent!" Bruce said who was sitting down calmly. "Relax!"
"I'm going to mess this up…" Clark said.
"No you aren't," Bruce assured.
"She's going to kill me. I'm going to ruin the wedding!"
"Believe me, you won't. You'll do fine."
Bruce got up and placed a comforting hand on his best friend's shoulder.
"I know people better than they care to admit, and I know you aren't going to mess this up."
The bride looked at herself in the mirror. She looked so beautiful in her dress. It was simple wedding gown nothing too showy or anything.
"I can't wait to see the look on his face…" she heard one of her bridesmaids tease.
"He's always nervous around me!" the bride shot back. "You should have seen him when he proposed."
All the women laughed. They were happy for the bride. She was going to marry a fine husband. A man who she justly deserved.
"Where's my maid of honor?" the bride asked curiously.
"I'm here Diana!" a voice shot back.
Diana turned to see Lois who had just entered the room. She was grinning at Diana proudly.
"You look perfect!" she said as she hugged her friend.
Diana smiled. After Clark and Lois's wedding, she asked Lois if she would be her maid of honor. Lois was so happy by that invitation she said yes immediately. She did a good job helping Diana plan the wedding. It was also fitting considering Clark was Bruce's best man.
"Although," Lois said in a warning tone. "I must apologize on behalf of my idiot husband. He's a nervous wreck this morning."
"Why?" Shayera asked as she tried to adjust her shoes. She was one of Diana's bridesmaids.
"He's afraid he's going to mess up the speech at the reception. I swear he's more nervous than the groom!"
The women all laughed as they helped the bride get ready for her special day.
Bruce stood at the altar looking at Tim and Dick, his groomsmen. Clark was his best man, blushing nervously.
Bruce looked at Diana's bridesmaids. Shayera and Zatanna were grinning happily at Bruce while Lois, as the maid of honor was rolling her eyes at her husband's nervousness.
Bruce then looked around the area in the Watchtower.
Up front were seats reserved for the rest of the founders and the Bride and Grooms' closest friends.
In the front, Bruce could make out Selina and Barbara sitting in a corner smiling proudly at Bruce. He was glad they came.
Dinah and Huntress offered to pick up the slack in Gotham so both Selina and Barbara could attend Bruce's wedding. They were two important women in his life who deserved to witness him be happy.
He was surprised Selina had accepted the invitation, but then again, both he and Selina had changed over the past year.
On the bride's side, Bruce could see Queen Hippolayta and a few Amazon guards. She kept an aura of regality with her.
When Diana had told her mother she was going to marry a man, the Amazons were not too pleased at first. However Hippolayta loved her daughter enough to be willing to give her support in this. She wanted Diana to be happy.
Some noise caught Bruce's attention.
Walking awkwardly to his seat in one of the front rows was a big man with white skin and red eyes. For once his usually grizzled hair was actually done neatly and he was wearing a black tuxedo instead of his usual torn black jacket.
"E'scuse me, sorry pal!" Lobo apologized as he tried to squeeze into his seat.
"You aren't part of the League!" Bruce heard Booster Gold snap back.
"I'm a part time member ya idiot! Besides, I was invited!"
Bruce couldn't help laughing at that. Lobo may have thought he was only a part time member, but like him he would soon start to realize he would be working more in the League more than just a part timer. Same thing had happened to Bruce after all…
The music had changed to announce the bride was walking down the aisle.
Bruce smiled at the sight of his future wife. She was so gorgeous in that dress.
Diana smiled back as she was escorted by J'onn. She didn't have a father to give her away so they asked J'onn too.
Of course it took a while to convince Hippolayta to allow that. She wasn't too pleased and thought it was another method of Man's world to promote patriarchy…
Before Bruce knew it, he and Diana were holding each other's hands while staring deep into both of their blue eyes. They were both happy.
Bruce didn't really pay attention to what the priest was saying. Neither was Diana. They were just happy they were committing themselves to one.
"…you may now kiss the bride!"
Bruce didn't need to be told twice. He and Diana's lips met halfway as they publicly cemented their love in front of their family and friends.
"Get some!" Lobo yelled during their kiss which earned a few chuckles and glares from some of the guests.
Barbara and Tim were sitting with Selina at a table. They were all watching Bruce and Diana look at each other with much love in their eyes during the whole reception.
Only the founders and their dates, Dick, and Lobo were allowed to sit at Diana and Bruce's table. Barbara understood. Bruce owed his life to those seven other people.
Suddenly someone cleared their throat behind them. The three turned around to find themselves staring at big man with white skin and long black hair. Lobo had gotten out of his seat and had approached their table.
"'Es'cuse me," Lobo asked while looking at Selina. "Are ya Selina Kyle? The animal activist?"
"Uh…yes?" Selina asked a little put off by not only Lobo's appearance but the fact he was the first person to not identify her by her work as Catwoman but by her work as an animal activist.
"Name's Lobo," Lobo said as he offered his hand to Selina. "Can I ask ya a question?"
"Sure," Selina said. What the hell? He was being polite to her.
"Have ya ever heard of the endangered species known as the space dolphin?"
Diana couldn't help laughing as she saw Lobo and Selina discuss animal rights at the table across. This really was a special day.
But pretty soon it was time for Clark to give his best man speech and so everyone was called back to their tables.
To her side sat Shayera, John, J'onn, Wally, and Linda, who had an engagement ring on her finger that Wally had just put on moments ago.
To Bruce's side sat Clark, Lois, Dick, and Lobo who had just got back into his seat.
She felt Bruce squeeze her hand.
"Brace yourselves…" he whispered as Clark stood up to give his speech…
Barbara watched as Superman was giving his speech. She was truly happy at what had happened the past year. Not only was she pleased what she, Selina, and the Birds of Prey had done, but that the Batclan, no Batfamily was saved.
Sure the past year had come with a cost though. With her being busy with Bruce repairing his life and starting the Birds of Prey, she and her fiancé, Sam had broken up. He just couldn't handle the double life.
No matter though. She was young and had plenty of time.
Plus the good that had happened to the Batfamily far outweighed her personal problems.
Not only were Dick and Tim back, but their relationship was better than ever. It was about time the males started loving each other again.
Dick was watching Barbara as she smiled at Clark's speech. He gave a knowing smile to her.
He was happy that Bruce had forgiven him and they were father and son again. He just hoped one day he would marry a great woman like Diana.
A woman, who he was watching right now and planning to ask later if they could start all over.
He was just praying Barbara would say yes. Working with her and Bruce reminded him how much he really loved her.
Linda was still looking at the ring on her finger that Wally had placed on before Clark's speech.
"Really Wally?" she asked with excitement.
Wally just grinned.
"Well I figured if even Batman can settle down then I can as well."
Linda gave a sniff as a few tears fell.
"Are you crying?" Wally asked half amused.
"I'm just so happy my Wally's growing up," Linda teased earning a goofy smile from Wally.
Lobo was twitching excitedly during the speech. He was looking forward to talking to Selina about how he punished people that hurt space dolphins. She seemed to enjoy doing the same stuff he did to people who hurt cats. He didn't even care if she wasn't interested in a relationship with him.
He was the Main Man, he had plenty of ladies to love him. He was just excited to find a friend who shared his passion for protecting cuddly creatures like Space Dolphins.
He was also excited about being here. He actually enjoyed the League. A lot of cool people and plenty of beautiful ladies for him to hit on. And to his surprise, many people actually liked him.
Maybe the Main Man was willing to share his awesomeness with a few friends now. Maybe being selfless wasn't so bad after all…
J'onn just smiled proudly at Diana. He was glad every one of them was finding happiness. They were all like his children.
If they were happy, he would be able to get through the day. He cared for them a lot.
But maybe things were looking up for him as well.
He had started dating the receptionist at the clinic he worked at and they seem to hit it off.
It was satisfying though to see his friends, no his family, living the happy lives they deserved.
John and Shayera were listening to Clark's speech with rapt attention.
This was the first time they had been able to go out together since the triplets were born. Raising four kids could be a handful.
Thank God Mister Terrific volunteered to watch them so they could attend the wedding.
John put a hand on Shayera's. Shayera looked at him.
"Reminds me of our wedding a little," he grinned.
"Yes it does. It also reminds me of what we did on our honeymoon," she whispered in a sultry tone. "Want to see if Holt wants to watch the kids overnight?"
John grinned and his kissed his wife on the cheek.
Even though Clark was delivering a speech and doing his best to not mess it up. His mind was still on other things. He was so glad that for once there seemed to be a happy ending.
With everything going on in the world, it was refreshing that he had someone like Lois to go home to.
It was also refreshing that even Bruce, was getting the happy ending he so justly deserved.
That gave the most hopeful man in the world, even more hope. That a man like Bruce with so much tragedy in his life would finally have some happiness.
Surprisingly, Clark's speech wasn't bad but really good. It was earning a few laughs and smiles form everyone. Even Bruce.
"…but enough about me. It's time for the groom to say something like he has requested!" Clark said as he passed the microphone to Bruce who stood up.
Many people were eying Bruce with interest. The custom was the toast ended after the best man gave the speech. However Bruce needed to say something.
Bruce cleared his throat and began to feel a little nervous. He was being vulnerable in front of a lot of people. Some people he didn't really know.
He immediately felt bad at making fun of Clark for being nervous earlier…
"Thank…thank you all for coming," Bruce said. "I know we're kind of breaking tradition here but this isn't a traditional marriage."
That earned a few polite chuckles.
Bruce took a deep breath. Diana clutched his hand to let him know she was there.
Bruce then began his speech.
"For those who don't know, I was in a dark place for awhile. I thought there was no way out and that eventually I would die alone…"
All of the guests were shifting uncomfortable. This was an unusually dark speech for a happy occasion.
"…and then there came a point where my life hanged in balance that I had little chance of living."
Many of the guests understood where he was going.
"But these…these eight people up here, didn't give up on me. After everything that happened, they decided to go risk their own lives to save my own."
Lobo was about to say he did it just for the fun but didn't. He knew Wonder Woman would kill him if he ruined their wedding.
"But they didn't just save my life," Bruce continued. "They save my soul. They brought my heart out of the darkness and into the light. They made me realize what was important in life and for that I thank you all."
Applause broke out from the guests at the founders, Dick, and Lobo. Clark was beaming with pride and speechless.
Shayera was trying to not cry like Wally was.
But Bruce wasn't done yet.
"But special thanks goes to Diana," Bruce said finally looking at her. Like Wally she was crying. It was so beautiful.
"I-I'm glad I have you in my life, and that you were there to pull me out when I thought I was gone."
Diana stood up and pulled Bruce in abrupt kiss. That earned many cheers and catcalls from the crowd. Clark decided to take over.
"Cheers everyone!" Clark said, raising his glass as everyone followed suit.
It seemed like ages when the newly married couple finally broke away.
"How could I ever think I never loved you," she said as she looked into Bruce's eyes with love.
"I have that affect on that people," he teased.
Suddenly a song started to pick up at the DJ. A familiar song.
Bruce recognized not only the song but who was actually singing it. He looked over to see Zatanna standing by the DJ waving at him guiltily.
She still had the tape of him singing in public and was playing it.
Bruce glared at the witch but it softened into a smile.
"You know, they're playing our song," Diana said.
Bruce understood and grabbed Diana by the hand.
"May I have this dance Mrs. Wayne?"
"Of course Mr. Wayne," Diana said as he led her to the dance floor. Everyone got up to surround the dance floor so they could witness the newly married couple have their first dance together.
Slowly the two swayed side by side just giving each other looks of love.
"I love you Bruce," Diana whispered.
"I love you too Diana," Bruce said with a smile. A true smile.
No longer did he carry a heart of darkness with him. It was a heart filled with life. With emotion, happiness, and love.
A heart of light.
I decided to leave it right there. Who knows if their marriage lasts or if Terry ever becomes Batman? I'm leaving that up for the readers' interpretations. The bottom line is though, my story ends here. Thank you all who have read it, especially Jess Marylin and RKF22 for reviewing almost every single chapter. Please check out my other stories like League Legacies or my Batman stories for the FFDCU (a DC universe created by a few fanfiction writers) which I will be updating again soon. I also have a credit list of the characters. It's something I like to do at the end of my stories.
Martian Manhunter/J'onn J'onnz
Green Lantern/John Stewart
with Doctor Destiny/John Dee
and Lobo/The Main Man