DC owns Bruce Wayne/Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Lois and Alfred. I do not.

Not run through a beta, so I apologize for my mistakes. Based mostly on the Animated Universe, with particular mention of The Batman Superman Movie: World's Finest.

When I get my hands on him I'm going to kill him! thought Lois Lane with a bitterness she usually only allowed herself to feel for those she truly hated like cheap hacks, pedophiles and Lex Luthor. She had been out in the pouring rain, very late at night or very early in the morning depending on your point of view, for more than two hours in one of the seedier parts of Gotham's East Side where she surmised Batman would be patrolling, waiting not so patiently for the vigilante to find her. She looked up through the sogged clumps of raven hair that was stuck to her forehead and watched the endless horde of rain drops fall towards her. She was soaked to the bone and her teeth were chattering a rhythm that Bach would have been insanely envious of.

And there was still no sign of him. Not that that really meant anything, of course. He could have been standing right behind her for the entire time she'd been getting drenched and she wouldn't have had the slightest clue.

Damn him.

Just for her own sanity's sake she quickly glanced behind her to make sure he wasn't there. He wasn't.

She once again took in her surroundings and nearly cursed- there wasn't even a doorway she could duck into for a moment to escape the cascading rainfall.

On the upside, it was raining so hard that there wasn't another soul in sight. No muggers, rapists or killers. Even the prostitutes had forsaken their usual corners and gone somewhere to stay warm and dry.

Nope, no one was crazy enough to be out in a monsoon in Gotham.

That is no one except a crazy reporter looking for a middle-aged billionaire who dressed up as a bat and fought crime as a nighttime gig. Of course, she could have simply gone to the dry and warm manor and be pampered by Alfred until Bruce returned home, but she wanted Bruce to think her visit was work related. Besides, getting pampered, even by someone as kind as Alfred, just wasn't her style.

Damn it.

She walked a few feet down from where she had been hiding under a porous fire escape and stood next to a dumpster, peering into the alley next to it as the relentless rain continued to target her. She pulled her raincoat tighter around her neck with both her hands to keep any more of the rain from getting inside and working its way down her blouse and travel a ticklish trail between her...

"Damn it!" she muttered to herself harshly in frustration and anger. "What the hell am I doing here?"

"Good question, Lois."

Lois spun around and, out of pure survival instinct, attempted a right hand roundhouse that would have made her self defense instructor proud. The instructor would have been even prouder had her surprise visitor not deftly avoided the would be knock out punch, sending her into an uncontrolled spin that ended only when she fell flat on her ass in a pool of water facing said visitor.

Lois sighed and looked up through the sheets of rain into the white slit eyes of Batman. "Aren't you at least going to help me up?" she asked deflatedly.

There wasn't even so much as a smirk as Batman reached out his gauntleted right hand to her. She reached up and took it, and tried to ignore the spinning in her head as he pulled her up towards him. And when he pulled her tightly to him she had to ignore something altogether different. He was a well built, physically attractive man, after all, who she still cared deeply about.

She was so close to him that even in the dark and through the water falling in between them she could easily see the stubble on his chin and feel the breath escape his nose on her own face.

She flashed him her best disarming smile and said softly, "Fancy meeting you here."

She wasn't sure what she was expecting really. A snide comment or playful repartee, perhaps. A knowing smirk. A grin or a growl.

What she really wasn't expecting was the way his left arm snaked around her waist and pulled her so close to him that even through the body armor he wore she could feel his heartbeat.

She knew it was her imagination of course, but they were pretty close.

And all the while she couldn't take her eyes off the white eyes of his cowl, which had incidentally stayed focused on her the whole time they stood there.

A particularly large raindrop pelted her on her forehead forcing her to tear her eyes from the mesmerizing gaze of Batman. She looked up into the sky for a second before the rain forced her to look down into his 'eyes' again.

"I'll be happy to answer your question for you, Batman," she said with a sweetness that didn't sound strained at all, despite the fact that it most certainly was. "Once I'm dry."

She waited for him to say something.

But he didn't.

When she figured two minutes had passed by she cleared her throat and said, "Are we ready to go, Batman?"

Without saying anything Batman raised his right hand towards the sky. For a moment she wasn't sure what he was doing, but the muffled bang and the telltale whiz of a zip line flying through the air told her that he was about to take off into the black Gotham sky.

She threw her arms up around his neck to keep him from leaving and said with a little more desperation than she was used to hearing from herself, "You can't leave me here," she calmed down enough to be able to whisper his name, "Bruce. I didn't bring a car and I'll never find a cab…"

"Who said I was leaving you here?" he asked brusquely, and when his mouth twisted into a smirk she realized what he was saying. She had just enough time to tighten her hold around his neck before he strengthened his hold around her waist and pressed the wind button on his grapple to send them flying up into the torrential rain.

"Miss Lane," said Alfred affectionately as he took her drenched coat off her shoulders. "It is a distinct pleasure to see you again."

Lois turned around and faced Alfred Pennyworth. Even at the late (early?) hour he was dressed in his usual butler attire and looking ready for anything and everything that Bruce's life as Batman might throw at him. She genuinely liked the older man, and she'd figured out very early on that he was the man to see if she needed or wanted anything from Wayne Manor.

"Thank you, Alfred," she replied as kindly as she could through chattering teeth. "It's nice to…see you, too. And it's L…L... Lois."

"Oh dear," said Alfred, alarm thick in his accented voice. He placed her waterlogged coat over the back of a chair before regarding Lois. "Come up to the manor, Miss," he said as he held out his arm to indicate the stairs that went up into the manor. "We need to get you out of those wet clothes at once."

Lois laughed softly. "Right, Alf…Alfred. I'm sure that at least one of the twelve walk-in clo…closets upstairs is full of clothes my si…size."

Her voice had been laced with good natured sarcasm along with the chattering teeth, and she managed to hold her surprise in check when Alfred simply raised an eyebrow at her and stated seriously, "There are fourteen walk-in closets, Miss Lane, and Master Bruce likes to be prepared for any eventuality."

"What do you think, Bruce?" she asked when she found her voice. It had taken that long that she'd managed to warm up enough to stop quivering. She turned around to gauge his reaction as she asked, "Do you have anything…in…my…size?"

She turned back to Alfred and gave him an irritated look when Bruce was nowhere to be found. "I really hate it when he does that," she said quietly.

Alfred nodded knowingly and said as he once again motioned to the stairs, "Shall we, Miss Lane?"

Lois nodded and said, "Lead on, Alfred."

Instead of leading the way Alfred, ever the gentleman, offered Lois his arm which she took with a grateful smile.

Alfred led her up the dimly lit stairs, and she realized immediately that his confident steps were the result of years of traversing them in all manners of speed, depending on the situation.

When they reached the top step, she watched curiously as Alfred reached over and pressed a certain place on the rock wall. Lois gave the gentleman butler a curious look- there were no markings on the wall at all, no sign of there being any sort of mechanism. In fact, if she had to right at that moment she wouldn't be able to press exactly the same spot, and she had just watched Alfred do it!

The light that the sliding entranceway set upon them wasn't as harsh as she had expected it to be, and it wasn't until they passed the threshold into the manor that she realized it was because the source of the light was the fireplace. The dancing orange and amber flames caught her eye, demanding her attention with their mesmerizing movements and colors.

"Master Bruce will be a few minutes, Miss Lane," said Alfred as he guided her into the large room. He led her towards the door, and as they passed the room's doorway he said, "The guestroom is ready for you, Miss, and you will find a more than adequate selection of clothing in the closet and dresser." As they neared the staircase, Alfred released Lois' arm and pointed politely up the stairs. "The room is the third on the left, Miss. It has its own washroom, of course, should you feel the need to refresh yourself. I anticipate Master Bruce arriving upstairs, as it were, in approximately fifteen to twenty minutes."

Alfred gave Lois a slight nod and started to move off, but he stopped when Lois called out to him.

"The guestroom is ready, Alfred?" she asked as she placed her hands on her hips. She knew Bruce hadn't called Alfred after he'd surprised her in the alley. If Bruce knew she was out in the rain all that time she was definitely going to kill him.

"Of course, Miss," replied Alfred as though it was the most natural thing in the world. "There are always guestrooms at the ready in Wayne Manor should any of Master Bruce's friends or colleagues unexpectedly require a place to stay."

Lois dropped her hands from her hips and felt a slight burning in her cheeks. "Right…of course. Thank you, Alfred…the second door on the left, you said?"

"Third, Miss…the third door on the left," replied the butler, tactfully ignoring the plight of the younger woman.

Lois cleared her throat and nodded, sending wet hair around to stick onto her cheek. "Thank you, Alfred."

"My pleasure, Miss."

Lois turned and walked up the stairs and found herself facing down a long, lightly lit hallway. She moved cautiously down the hall, unsure why she was being so wary, until she reached the third door on the left. As she reached over to take hold of the old looking doorknob, she looked down the hallway and counted the doors until she got to six, at which point she gave up and opened the door with a slight shake of her head. She stepped inside and closed the door behind her, then gave a low whistle of appreciation at the room. An antique looking mahogany dresser occupied one corner of the room, a partner evidently to the massive mahogany framed bed taking up part of the room and matching nightstands; heavy velvet drapes had already been drawn across the large window; and a beautiful and very old looking silver lamp on each nightstand chased the darkness to the corners of the room. She stepped toward the bed, the echoes of her shoes against the hardwood floor so loud that she stopped and easily slid her feet out of them. She didn't have a clue as to what she'd been thinking when she wore those flat slip on shoes on a night like this.

She silently approached the bed and tossed her purse, which she'd all but forgotten she'd had strapped around her shoulder, onto the bed. She turned to look to her left and found a door next to the night stand that stood sentry to the left of the bed. Then she turned to her right and found another door on the opposite wall. Both were identical and both were closed.

One of the fourteen walk in closets, I presume, thought Lois of the door to the right. She turned back to the left and eyed the first door again. Which makes you the bathroom.

She began undoing her still wet blouse as she started towards the door and had three buttons undone by the time she reached for the doorknob. The door opened inward without making a sound and with no resistance at all allowing her to march right in. A moment later she marched right out of the walk in closet and crossed the room and went into the bathroom.

"I see you found something to your liking, Miss Lane," commented Alfred cordially when she reached the bottom of the stairs thirty minutes later. The shower she'd taken was a lot longer than usual, but she'd had a devil of a time forcing herself out from beneath the hot and extremely comforting water.

Lois smiled and she looked down at the perfectly fitting blue pantsuit she'd found. She wondered briefly if Bruce would miss it, knowing before the thought had even finished coalescing in her mind that he wouldn't, and even if he did miss it he wouldn't mind if she appropriated it. "I did, Alfred," she said as she looked up to the kind face of the butler. "Thank you."

"Alfred would say that kindness to those in need requires no thanks," said the baritone voice of the manor's master.

Lois had just enough time to see Alfred slightly roll his eyes before she turned towards Bruce.

He was standing in the doorway to the room that held the entrance to the Batcave, the gentle glow emanating from the fireplace behind him giving him a sort of aura that looked pleasing and chilling at the same time. But then again, that was Bruce- pleasing and chilling in one handsome package.

He stepped towards her and Alfred and as he moved closer Lois remembered just how handsome and physically fit Bruce was. His hair was still wet from what she'd assumed was a shower he'd just taken, and the remnants of facial hair she'd seen on his chin earlier was no longer present.

Not for the first time since their amicable split so long ago and despite her total love for Smallville, she wondered what would have happened if she'd been able to accept Bruce's life as Batman. Would she have been able to handle the Gotham social life that went along with being with Bruce Wayne? No. Would she have been able to be the reporter she'd always been? No. Would she still be Lois Lane? No.

She adored the man across from her, but she loved herself and her life. And Clark.

She nearly jumped and tried unsuccessfully to yank her arm from Bruce's hand when he'd touched her to lead her to the couch that resided in the room. He'd been so silent and she'd been so caught up in her moment of introspection that she hadn't even noticed that he'd reached her.

She sat down on the couch at his gentle yet insistent urging, crossing her legs and placing her hands on her lap and studying her fingers instead of meeting what was sure to be Bruce's intensive gaze.

"What were you doing out there tonight, Lois?"

After stalling for as long as she figured she could get away with, she finally turned to look at him. Yeap, she thought with an inward grimace, pretty intense alright. To him she said, "Looking for you, actually."

"I gathered that much," he replied with the Batman patented patience. "Why?"

She held her breath and steeled herself. "I wanted to see if you had any information on the new drug kingpin operating out of Gotham. Lofert."

Bruce's eyes narrowed and a small noise of disappointment rumbled in his chest. "I'm not in the mood for games, Lois."

Her heart skipped a beat but her voice was innocence itself. "What do you…?"

"You know as much about him as I do," Bruce interrupted in a voice that brokered no argument. "What are you really doing here?"

Lois hesitated, her pride getting the better of her as it was prone to doing, but then she realized that this was why she had come here in the first place, and it had been truly naïve of her to believe that Bruce would believe any of the fabrications she'd thought up to cover it.

She lowered her foot to the floor and then swiveled on her ass so that she was fully facing Bruce. "I think Clark is cheating on me."

Lois Lane had seen many things in her life that would have been considered extraordinary or impossible by the average Joe, so she wasn't totally knocked off kilter when she saw something that only a handful of people had ever seen: a surprised Bruce Wayne, complete with widened eyes, furrowed brow and slightly slackened jaw. For someone like her who knew so much about the man, it was an impressive sight to behold.

His recovery was immediate and just as impressive. "Excuse me?"

Lois looked away from Bruce, unable to meet his gaze which had become more severe than she'd seen before. "I think Clark is cheating on me," she repeated, her voice little more than a whisper.


Shocked at the softness of his voice, Lois turned to look back to Bruce and was surprised to find his face gentle and eyes softened with sincere concern. She immediately chided herself for her reaction- she knew Bruce had a soft side, especially when it came to people he cared about. People like her.

"Little things," she explained after a moment during which all that could be heard was the crackling of the fire in the fireplace. "He's been distracted lately. He's missed several appointments. He's been rushing off in the middle of things and using the flimsiest excuses." She saw a knowing look cross his eyes and knew what was coming so she added, "And none of those times had anything to do with Superman. I've come to know when Superman is needed and when he's not. Clark gets that little sense of urgency about him. He gets that look in his eyes. Besides, when Superman shows up it's news, and there's been no news of him during the times I'm talking about."

Lois drew in a breath and exhaled as she readied herself to bare her soul to Bruce. "And he's been distant," her eyes darted away from his for a moment, but she needed him to see how much this was hurting her, "physically, I mean. We haven't…he hasn't seemed interested in a while."

Bruce had remained still and quiet during her explanation. "Clark isn't cheating on you, Lois."

There was no doubt in his voice. Not a hint of uncertainty. He was completely confident that what he was saying was indisputable fact.

This was what she had come to Gotham for. She had sought out the one man who would know without a shadow of a doubt whether or not she was right. She had come to the one man who would know and would not lie to her. Without even realizing it, the weight of her world lifted from her aching shoulders. "You're sure?"

Bruce nodded as Alfred entered the room and placed a silver tray on the table in front of them. They remained quiet as Alfred poured their coffee, leaving them to add their own extras if wanted. As Alfred was about to leave, Bruce called out over his shoulder, "Alfred…have Lucius set up a meeting with that Chinese company for next week. The twentieth will do."

"Yes, sir."

"No," announced Bruce so suddenly and with enough added decibels to almost make Lois jump and waste the coffee from the cup she'd just picked up from the table. "Make that the twenty-first."

"Very good, sir," replied the butler extraordinaire before shutting the door.

As Lois stared down into the black liquid looking back at her from the fine china cup, something clicked in her mind.

When her head snapped up and she looked to Bruce, he was looking at her expectantly. "Son of a…" she whispered, and then loudly exclaimed, "He promised me he wouldn't throw me a birthday party!" The twenty-first was Lois Lane's birthday, a fact which she desperately wanted to keep off the radar.

For the second time in the evening Lois saw something few people got to see: a genuine smile from Bruce Wayne.

"Actually, he isn't throwing the party," Bruce clarified as he reached over and picked up his own cup. He took a cautious sip of the steaming hot liquid and then held the cup in his hand as he returned his attention to Lois. "He's just helping an appreciative friend of yours throw it. I have no doubt it will be a wonderful party."

Lois' eyes narrowed almost into slits that were indicative of a slight fury building within her. There was something telling about how he'd stressed 'wonder'.

Seeing the light bulb go off above her, Bruce nodded and explained. "She's very grateful for the superb article you wrote about the orphanage she's been helping out. The article it seems generated a tremendous amount of interest and support from the community, particularly the business community. She wanted to repay you…"

"By throwing me a birthday party?" Lois finished with more than a tad of exasperation in her voice. "What made her think that would be a good way to repay me? Not that she had to pay me back! I mean it's always nice to have your work appreci…" Lois shook her head to derail that off topic thought and said, "And you couldn't talk your girlfriend out of it?"

Bruce quirked his right eyebrow and then shrugged his broad shoulders. "For what it's worth I did try, but she's almost as stubborn as a certain reporter that happens to be sitting next to me at the moment."

Lois sighed to concede the point and willed the floor of Wayne Manor to open up and swallow her whole. She'd spent the night in a dangerous part of Gotham in the middle of a rainstorm waiting for Batman to find her so she could see if he could confirm whether or not the man she loved was cheating on her, only to find out Batman's girlfriend was throwing her an unwelcomed and unwanted surprise birthday party.

"I feel like an idiot," she mumbled at last.

Bruce quickly returned his cup to the table, then reached over and took her hand in his larger one. "Not at all, Lois." He smirked and added, "Though I will admit it is funny that you thought the Boy Scout would be cheating on you."

Lois looked into Bruce's eyes, and after holding his amused gaze for a few seconds a chuckle passed her lips, a chuckle that was matched by Bruce which only drew another from her. While that was the extent of Bruce's outward manifestation of his amusement, her sporadic chuckles continued on for another couple of moments before Lois was laughing so hard that tears were streaming down her cheeks.

It took quite a while for the laughter to work itself out of her system, but when it did she looked at Bruce and gave him a heartfelt smile. "Thanks, Bruce. I don't know what I'd do without you."

Bruce gave her hand a gentle squeeze before he released it and said, "You'd manage. But I will always be there for you when you need me. Remember that." Bruce studied her for a moment as if trying to decide whether or not to tell her something that may or may not be relevant. "After you and I parted ways, I told Clark that he'd better be good to you, and if he wasn't I knew where he lived. I wasn't kidding." Before she could reply to that he glanced at the clock and said, "It's late, Lois. Why don't you get some sleep and I'll have Alfred drive you to the airport in the morning. I'll have my jet take you home."

Lois placed her cup on the table and stifled the yawn that had chosen that moment to try to erupt from her mouth. She only partially succeeded. "Thank you, Bruce."

Lois looked up as the door opened to admit Alfred into the room. "If you are ready, Miss, I will show you to your room."

Lois nodded at Alfred and then shifted her gaze to Bruce. Her eyes held his as she rose from the couch and then leaned down towards him, and didn't break from them until her eyes closed as she kissed his cheek. When she straightened up, Bruce stood up as well.

"Good night, Lois," he said with a warmth that seemed to flow easily from his lips despite his reputation.

"Good night," she smirked as she added in a gentle whisper, "my dark knight."

She held on just long enough to see his eyes soften at her words before breezing past him and walking towards Alfred. The older man gave her a small formal nod before holding his arm out for her to take like the true gentleman he was.

She turned to give Bruce a small wave, which he returned with a smile, then took Alfred's arm. As Alfred led her towards the stairs, Lois Lane couldn't imagine what she'd done to deserve a friend like Bruce Wayne.

Bruce couldn't help but smile when Lois waved at him, the relief and gratitude in her violet eyes more than enough thanks for the discomfort and inconvenience he'd gone through this evening. Not that Lois was an inconvenience by any means, but playing comforter to a woman suspicious of her fiancé's fidelity was not something he'd ever trained or prepared for, despite his penchant for being prepared for anything and everything.

The door had only barely clicked shut when a familiar voice whispered from behind him. "Did you really have to tell her?"

Bruce turned and watched as Clark Kent emerged from the secret entrance to the Batcave. Not for the first time Bruce wondered how a pair of dress pants, a shirt and glasses could hide the fact that Clark Kent was Superman from the general populace.

"Yes," replied Bruce, his voice as hard as steel. "I wasn't going to let her get worked up over something that isn't happening." He gave Clark a withering glare that made the bigger man's Adam Apple nervously bob up and down. "If you don't like it, tough." He let Clark chew on that for a moment before saying, "She's been feeling ignored and unwanted. If you were smart, you'd go out that door right now, walk up the stairs, barge through the third door on the left and show your fiancé just how much she means to you." Clark's cheeks erupted in a pink hew that looked ludicrous given the strength attributed to the man's alter ego. He started to stammer and Bruce held up his hand to put a halt to it. "Don't say anything, and never speak of this again." He brushed his hand wearily through his hair and said as he lowered it to his side, "Just…don't destroy anything in there."

Clark held his hand up to his mouth to cover the cough of surprise that had exploded from his mouth, then nodded and moved towards the door.

As Clark moved by him, Bruce's left hand shot out to grab Clark's wrist in an iron grip that would have crushed the bone of a normal human being. His voice was low and ominous as he said, "You heard everything I said to her, didn't you?" It was, after all, the reason he'd talked to Lois in the room that hid the doorway to the Batcave so that Clark- ever the curious reporter and jealous fiancé- would overhear. When Clark's jaw ground together and he gave a stiff nod, Bruce said with an even more threatening tone of voice, "Then don't forget it."

Bruce released Clark's arm and turned away from him, knowing full well he'd made his point. Only when he heard the door open and close a moment later did he start to relax.

He'd known from the get go that becoming involved with a team of super heroes would bring a unique and demanding set of challenges for him to deal with, but never in his most fantastical imaginings did he think he would end up playing Cupid for Superman.

"You love doing that to him, don't you?"

For the second time in five minutes Bruce looked up to the entrance to the Batcave, only this time he was more than happy to see who was speaking to him. He walked towards the beautiful Amazon currently leaning against the doorway. "It does give me a certain sense of satisfaction," he admitted without a shred of remorse. "And it doesn't hurt to remind him what I will do if he ever hurts her."

Diana gracefully pushed off of the doorway and slowly walked inside the room. She looked radiant in blue jeans and a white hoodie…of course, she looked radiant and anything, even more so in the soft glow created by the fireplace. They stopped a few feet from each other and Diana crossed her arms across her chest. "You really are her dark knight, aren't you?"

Only Bruce's indomitable iron will kept him from wincing at the daggers being carried along with Diana's voice. He had hoped that unlike Clark she hadn't heard everything. By the tone of her voice as she'd asked the no doubt rhetorical question, the narrowing of her eyes and the tapping of her right foot against the floor, he hadn't been so lucky.

"Lois is a very special lady that I care about," he explained truthfully as he held Diana's gaze. He stepped closer to Diana as she lowered her arms. "And if anyone ever hurts her, I will make them regret it. I don't care if it's a mugger on the street, Luthor or Superman."

Diana sighed and then smiled as she reached over and encircled his neck with her arms. "Do you care that much about all your exes? Will you care as much about me when we're no longer together?"

Her voice had been flippant as she'd spoken, and her lips had formed a smile that had tried to convey a joking attitude, but in Diana's eyes Bruce saw the genuine fear and sense of inevitability that Diana felt about the future of their relationship.

He couldn't blame her.

He hugged his arms around Diana's waist and thought for a moment. "Diana," he whispered as his eyes focused on hers with the intensity of a supernova, "despite my best efforts, you've managed to get in," he lifted his right hand from her waist and pointed to his heart with his thumb, "here." He replaced his hand on the top of her hipbone and added, "Deeper than anyone has managed to get. If you've been stubborn enough to get that far, I can see no reason why you'd let me screw this up now, no matter how hard I tried." Diana smiled so brightly the room seemed to light up. "I don't like to see anyone get hurt, Diana. Especially those I care about."

Diana nodded and said, "It's one of the things I love about you." Her slender fingers delved into the hair on the back of his head and began playing with the short strands. "And I do adore Lois as well.

Bruce couldn't stop the smirk coming to his lips even if he'd wanted to. "You'd better hope she adores you, Princess. Lois is older than she'd like to admit and she hates surprises." At Diana's questioning look he added, "Let's just say I'm glad I'm not the one throwing her a surprise birthday party. I tried to warn you."

The fingers that had been frolicking in his hair stilled and as stoic and controlled as Bruce was, even he was powerless to chuckle when Diana's face fell as she realized what she'd gotten herself into.


"Don't worry, Princess," returned Bruce, his face deadpan and voice grave. "If it comes to it, the vault in the cave is unbreachable. If that's not suitable, we can always take you into protective custody aboard the Watchtower or send you back to that island of yours until she calms down."

Diana pretended to consider those options and then shrugged. "We'll see what happens," she said with an equal amount of false seriousness that Bruce had shown.

Bruce nodded and began to lean in towards his princess when the distant slamming of a door stopped him. Both he and Diana turned to look towards the closed door and listened to the muffled sounds of hurried steps down the stairs. A few moments later they could hear equally quick steps moving up the stairs and another slamming of a door.

Bruce and Diana looked at each other, and he could see that she had about as much idea about what it was that he did: none.

He stepped away from her and took her right hand in his left and led them to the door. When he opened it and they stepped out into the hallway they found Alfred hurrying towards the stairs with an icepack in his steady hands.


"I am sorry, Master Bruce," replied Alfred as he slowed down but did not stop. "It appears that Miss Lane has injured her hand and immediately requires this icepack to stem the inevitable swelling."

Bruce put two and two together and came up with three and half. "What did she hit, Alfred?"

By now Alfred was halfway up the stairs, and at that question he did stop and turn to face Bruce. "Why, Master Kent's face, sir," he replied as though it was the only possible answer and Bruce should have known it.

As Alfred resumed his mission of mercy, Bruce turned to find Diana staring after Alfred with some concern. He cleared his throat and when Diana turned to look at him he gave her a contemplative nod and said, "Maybe we could hide you in another dimension."

Diana blushed, and her mouth opened and closed several times in an eerily perfect imitation of a fish out of water. It was then that he decided the only thing that looked more adorable than a flustered Diana was a sexually satiated Diana. He also realized that the perfect wedding gift for Lois would be a little kryptonite ring.

He pulled Diana towards him and the last thought that crossed his mind before his lips touched hers was, And a lifetime supply of Aspirin for Clark when I give it to her.