I own nada.
Monitor Womb. A slow night.
"Wally, dearest, we can continue like this indefinitely, but I would really rather not."
"You have nice hair."
"Thank you, Wally."
"It's really soft."
"Wally, please stop petting my hair."
"Have you ever thought about a scrunchie? Or doing it Lara Croft-style? Except yours could be an extra weapon. Like, your Braid of Bad-assery. It's cool, I won't even copyright that."
"My hair has been imbued by the gods with the invulnerability of Olympus. I would risk grave offense by binding it."
"You know, Di, I think I liked you better back when English was your second language."
"Wisdom of Athena, Wally."
"I blame Bats."
"You always blame Batman."
"And 80% of the time, I'm right."
"The rest of the time?"
Hawkgirl strode into the monitor womb, wings lifting ever so slightly. "Shay, you're back!" said Wally. "We were just talking about what a corruptive influence you've been."
Shayera appeared to be genuinely proud of herself. "Justice League Charter By-Law 64 Section D: Founders shall take any and all opportunities to promote deviousness and destruction of innocence."
Diana rolled her eyes before returning her attention to the flickering screens surrounding them. "I somehow doubt that."
"We have by-laws?"
"About 400 pages worth. As a Founder, you've voted on all of them."
"I have? I'm drawing a total blank."
"You were actually asleep during most of it, so we just had J'onn decide for you."
"He read my mind?"
"Nah, he just wanted an excuse to flip Oreos."
"...they're the same on both sides."
"Try telling J'onn that."
"Regardless," Diana smiled up at the Thanagarian, reaching out to tug playfully at a wing, "I'm very glad to see you back safe. Were you able to talk the Zornaki forces into standing down? Where is everyone else?"
"Yeah, finally, but it was excruciating. Dinah just stopped talking by the end because she was too tempted to sonic-scream both sides into oblivion. By the way, Wally, she and Batman were right behind me, so you might want to remove your hands from Her Highness' hair before he does it for you."
"But Shay, it's so soft. Come feel," he wheedled.
Shayera paused, and then gave in. "Huh. That really is soft."
"Olive oil. Aphrodite swears by it."
"What on earth is going on here?" Black Canary stood at the entrance, blinking at the scene in front of her. "You know what, I don't actually want to know. I was just going to see if anyone wanted to grab dinner tonight."
"Count me in," said Shayera. "I've been craving some decent Thai all week."
"Wish I could," said a Diana, a moue of apology crossing her face, "but we're stuck here till midnight."
"Oh, that's a shame. Someone's going to be disappointed when you're not waiting up dressed in nothing but a smile."
"Me," muttered Wally. "Every single ni-OW! Shay!"
"Oh c'mon, taunting a man like that is just cruel."
"Fair enough. Hey Shayera, let me know if any men walk in and I'll stop talking about Di naked."
"Don't pout, hon. I'll give you a break so I can finish making fun of She-Ra, Princess of Power here."
"Mad pop culture props, Canary. Even if I still hate you."
Diana sighed. "This is something I will have to google, yes?"
"We'll add it to movie night tomorrow," Wally promised.
"Actually, do you think we could postpone till Sunday? The harvest festival is tomorrow, and I'm to be back in Themiscyra. Mother says you're all invited, of course."
"Ooh, yes. Amazons have the best bar fights," said Shayera eagerly.
"I wouldn't mind a drunken sparring match or two," mused Dinah. "An evening on Paradise Island sounds fantastic."
"Free booze and hot chicks who want to kill me? Count me in," said Flash. "Is tall, dark, and grumpy coming?"
Diana shook her head. "Not likely. He'll have so much to catch up on after being gone all week."
"Then why are you still here and not ripping the kevlar off your man? You're never on duty when he gets back from a long mission. And don't even try and tell me that's just coincidence."
"Dinah," Wally groaned. "I don't need the imagery. It's like thinking about my parents in bed and that's just icky."
Diana, to her credit, blushed only a little. "You got back early," she admitted. "We weren't expecting the three of you to be back until after my shift was done."
"Hah! I knew it," said Dinah triumphantly. "He's lucky I support League-sanctioned sexytimes, or I'd write him up for misuse of power."
"Trust me," said Diana. "It's being used very, very well."
The women burst into fits of giggles while the Flash looked vaguely nauseated.
"You are shameless and I like it."
"Amazons don't play coy, Dinah."
"I'll say," snorted Shayera. "The walls may be reinforced steel, but our rooms are definitely not soundproof."
"At least we stay in our rooms. We're not the ones getting caught on monitor duty."
"One time. That happened one time and you are never going to let it go."
"To each their own, Shay. Ollie and I prefer the training rooms ourselves," Dinah said with a wicked smile.
"We know," said Diana dryly.
"Uh, ladies? Remember me? Good-lookin', super-fast dude who's also super-grossed out right now?"
"Wally, please. 'Super-fast' is the reason you haven't been caught yet," Dinah snorted.
"Be nice, girls," Diana said. "You know that's not true."
"Thank you, Di."
"He'd have to get a date first."
"Et tu, Diana?"
"I know that one!"
"You got Shakespeare but not She-Ra? Your island needs more TV."
"Hey, so if you say 'It's Greek to me', does it actually mean the opposite?"
"He was speaking latin, not Greek."
"Does anyone actually say 'po-tah-to'?"
They all lapsed into silent thought.
"I don't think so?"
"I pronounce it 'french fries'."
"Mmm, I could go for some of those," said Shayera. "Weren't we supposed to go get dinner?"
"Yes, but I wanted the dirt on the royal couple first."
"I have no dirt for you," Diana laughed. "Or at least, not until I've had a strong drink."
"You ladies were being plenty dirty, thank you very much. Don't think I didn't get your little innuendos," said Wally.
"Nothing gets by the Flash," Shayera teased.
"Fi-ine," said Dinah. "I'll ply you with drink tomorrow night and we'll figure out why you don't want to marry the guy who controls the schedule."
"Et tu, Dinah?"
"Oh c'mon, hon. What's a little extra jewelry when you're already setting off every metal detector we've got?"
"You've all been very persistent about this, but I still don't have a sufficient why."
"Do you need one?"
Dinah shrugged. "The man loves you and wants to call you his wife. Would it really be so bad to indulge him?"
"You make it sound so simple. Like it wouldn't change anything."
"You're already committed, Diana, heart and soul. Marriage? In your case? Po-tay-to-po-tah-to."
"French fries, Canary. We're saying french fries now."
Diana bid Wally goodnight and made her way slowly down to the teleporters. Bruce had stopped by the monitor womb briefly, after the girls had left for the night.
"I'll see you at home?" he asked quietly, careful not to touch her.
"Don't wait up, my love. You look exhausted."
A near imperceptible twitch of the shoulders. "I'm fine."
"Alright, I won't be much longer."
He leaned forward then, mouth close to her ear, and the warmth of his breath touched her neck. "Hurry, princess," he said, his voice rumbling deliciously in the pit of her stomach. "I want to say hello properly, and if I kiss you now, I won't stop until I've had you."
With that, he touched his lips to the soft skin below her ear, then once at the corner of her jaw, and then disappeared. Diana shivered, her concentration broken, and was thankful when Wally held his tongue.
She paused at the entryway. Beyond the sliding doors was the teleporter, where she would key in the numbers that would take her down to earth and to a good man. To good men, she amended, thinking about Alfred, who would no doubt be waiting with something hot and sweet, and the boys, fine and straight and strong, both so easy to love. Dick who made her laugh, and more importantly, who made her sister smile oh-so-sweetly. And Tim was so earnest, so eager to please. What was she to do with this clan of men who had drawn her in despite herself? Who had accepted her as one of their own. What did she know? She had only ever had sisters.
She felt paralyzed, suddenly. She tried willing her foot to lift, to step forward, but it remained firmly planted. Every sound on the Watchtower, every clank of metal and conversation, every hum of machinery hit her all at once. She was the center of sound, torn between the desire to dominate it, shut it out, and the desire to succumb, to let herself be overwhelmed and swept back to her quarters where she could wrap her lasso around herself and burn.
She flinched, much to her embarrassment. Wally was watching her, a look of concern on his face. "Time to go home, Di," he said gently. Another good man. Where had they all come from?
"Goodnight," she said, and smiled softly.
She blinked, once, twice. It always took a few seconds for her eyes to adjust from the bright lights of the teleport beams to the inkiness of the cave. The dark here seemed tangible, woven together with shadows and hidden truths. Bruce sat bathed in the glow of the many screens before him. His posture was almost casual, leaned back as he was, but his expression was one of focused intent. The sleeves of his white button-down were rolled up to his forearms, his legs crossed at the ankles. Diana felt as though she were drinking him in with her eyes, tracing broad shoulders and the echoing sharp angles of his jaw line. She could keep looking at him forever and it still wouldn't be enough.
She stepped forward into the hazy light, and Bruce looked up, all the intensity of his gaze undiminished as it settled on her. One sweep to look for differences, one to memorize her form anew. And then he grinned, boyish and happy, and it was all she could do not to fly to him immediately. But royal blood reared, and she quelled the excitement that bloomed in her chest, trembling ever-so-slightly as she struggled to regain her composure. She forced herself to take slow, deliberate steps, but lasted only a few seconds before running the rest of the way. He'd risen to meet her, arms outstretched, and she just barely managed not to knock him over.
"Goddesses, I missed you," she whispered, and felt him wrap his arms around her even tighter. She let herself be maneuvered into his lap - no easy feat, long as she was - before pulling his head down and kissing him hard.
"Christ, Diana," he rasped, coming up for air. His grasp would have been punishing on anyone else. He licked a long stripe up her neck, then another, and then again starting in the hollow between her breasts. He peppered her collarbone with small bites, while his hands roamed across the smooth expanse of skin pressed and warm against him. She felt loose-limbed and heavy-drunk.
She let her eyes roll back, reveling in the sensation of his fingers tracing love letters on every inch of skin. His thumb swept back and forth across her clavicle, stopping at pulse points, soothing the marks he'd made on her skin.
"Good thing you heal fast," he said wryly. "Your women would have my head tomorrow."
She was in no way inclined to think of anything but how much she wanted Bruce's hands on her, but something he said caught at her.
"Tomorrow? What do you mean, tomorrow?" she asked, puzzled, in between soft, short kisses.
Bruce chuckled, abandoning her shoulders to run his fingers down her side, just barely grazing the side of her breast. "I haven't made you forget the karperos, have I, Princess? I'm not even trying hard."
She stilled. "I didn't think you'd be joining me…" she trailed off, looking up at him in earnest, kisses forgotten. There was a chill to his expression for the barest second. "I just thought you'd want to be here in Gotham after this last week, rather than leave right away for Themyscira."
He shrugged, a practiced gesture, but a graceful one. "It's important to you," he said.
No one had ever told her happiness could be painful – her heart seemed to crack under the strain of it.
"I'm glad," she said, trying and failing to keep her voice light. "It will be a fitting time to present you formally as royal consort."
His hands gripped her arms; it very nearly hurt.
"What changed?" he asked, disbelieving.
She smiled and reached up to curl her fingers at the nape of his neck. "I came home."
"You mean it," he said hoarsely, tenderly. It was a statement, not a question, but still he searched her face for clues.
"Yes," she said, as simply as she knew how. "I do."
How could she ever have thought him dark? He was luminous; she could feel his grin against her mouth as he kissed her.