Survived hell week in med school... kinda (Test after test after test! Argh! I don't want to think about it!) This is just me trying to chillax, LoL... Story inspired by the Batman Beyond episode entitled "Out Of The Past." I was a bit peeved that Diana did not have a picture in Bruce's computer. This is me fixing that hahaha! I am not thinking straight (damn that test in General Medical & Surgical Conditions!) so please forgive OOC's and other inconsistencies.

Disclaimer: DC owns everything... except maybe a few typos here and there...


Out Of The Past & Into The Future

"More gray hair today," Terry remarked as he stood beside Bruce.

"I'm not crying," Bruce said flatly. "Within a week, I should be back to normal."

Terry looked at the picture of Bruce and Talia displayed in the big monitor screen. It was taken in a little bistro in Milan. "I'm sorry I never met her," Terry said. "The real Talia."

"She was a very special woman."

Terry gave him a sidelong look. "The special woman?"

No, she wasn't, Bruce answered silently, heart twisting from the pain of regret. The heartache remained… after all these decades. With iron resolve, Bruce pushed the memory away. There were some things better left unspoken, best left forgotten. Or at least it was better to pretend that it was forgotten. Aloud, he asked Terry pointedly. "You going on patrol some time tonight?"

Terry sighed as he put on his full-face mask. There was still so much he had to learn about his mentor. "See you in the morning."

Terry's footsteps had faded for quite some time when Bruce finally stopped staring at Talia's picture, he stood up and pressed the button to switch off the computer.

"Rest well, Beloved," he said softly as Talia's picture winked out. He reached for his cane intending to go up to his room and retire for the night.

"Belated happy birthday, Bruce," a voice greeted him from somewhere high up in the cave.

Bruce gasped as his gaze flew up. It was a voice he thought he would never hear again, a vision he thought he would never see again. His eyes followed the owner of the voice as she floated down gracefully in front of him. His heart started thumping almost painfully in his chest. Bruce dimly thanked Ra's for restoring his youth. He would surely have a heart attack otherwise.

"You're looking good for an 80-year old man." Diana's smile hit him like a blow to the head. How he longed to see her smile at him that way again.

"This is quite an unexpected visit… Princess," his voice was rougher than usual when he said the honorific. He scrutinized her from head to foot, his senses taking in every single detail like the way desert sands would thirstily absorb the rain. Her hair shone blue-black under the cave's lighting. Her golden tan was set off perfectly by the white, floor-length, linen chiton that she was wearing. The corners of her ruby red lips quivered when his eyes roved over them. And her eyes… her beautiful eyes twinkled like sapphires as she unblinkingly met his gaze. His hands itched to cradle her face and touch her soft skin. He ached to crush her lips against his, wanting desperately to taste her sweetness once more.

"Not an unpleasant surprise, I hope?" Diana asked with a slight tilt of her head.

"No, of course not," Bruce replied quickly. "It's always nice to see y – an… old friend." He frowned slightly as he looked at Diana's features closely. Is that a wrinkle? Bruce thought, noting the barely discernable lines around the corners of her eyes. Maybe it's just the lighting.

Diana chuckled softly. "Nice to see me, huh? How uncharacteristically sociable of you, Bruce."

"Diana…"

His princess took one step closer to him. She reached up and caressed his cheek. "Don't worry, Bruce. I'm not here to provoke you into a fight. We're a little bit too… old… for that, are we not?"

"No need to remind me of my mortality, Diana," he said curtly, a muscle twitching from her touch.

"It's something we have in common now."

"What are you talking about?" He demanded hoarsely. Her proximity was drugging his senses.

"I gave up my immortality shortly after I returned to Themyscira, Bruce," she answered.

"Why?" came the whispered question.

"Why do you think?" she regarded him closely.

Ridiculous as it may seem, hope bloomed in Bruce's heart. It can't be… he thought. And if it were… why did she come only now?

As if she heard him, she said, "You still would not have let me in if I came back sooner. You would have blamed yourself for my decision to give up my immortality and used it to push me away even further. I told you once and I'll tell you again, I know your work is very important to you. I accept that. And seeing you almost everyday was too painful for me knowing that you will never allow yourself the possibility of a happy ever after with me. So, I chose to stay away, Bruce. From you, from everything. But then I realized… I won't be able to bear living alone with only bittersweet memories to remember you by. So, I chose to give up eternity. And maybe, just maybe, I'll meet you in the Elysian Fields one day. And perhaps, by then, you will no longer push me away."

A small, bitter laugh escaped her lips as she dropped her hand from his cheek. "Listen to me, after almost five decades, I'm still pining over you." She shook her head ruefully. "And I didn't even make your gallery of ex-girlfriends."

He let the last comment slide. "That was a stupid decision, Diana," he growled. "The world will always need Wonder Woman." And I can't bear the thought you dying, he added silently. She was supposed to be the embodiment of hope and light and everything good. But now that she gave up her immortality, he felt cheated… betrayed. Like a child who just found out that Santa Claus was not real.

"And the world will have her," she nodded. She sighed as she turned away. "I am returning to active duty soon. I just have to go and speak with Kal first. And when I'm… gone… any of my sisters can always fill the role of the Amazons' champion to the world. If the need arises." She floated up, ready to leave.

A mortal - a vulnerable - Diana fatalistically fighting crime did not sit well with him. Bruce grabbed her wrist to prevent her from going. "You are doing no such thing!"

She looked down at the hand holding her wrist in a vise-like grip. A vise that she could easily break if she wanted to. She lifted her eyes to his and raised a challenging eyebrow. "And how do you propose to stop me?" Her eyes held the fires of determination and willpower that matched his own. Her stubbornness was always one of the things that he found endearing. Unless, it was directed against me, he thought wryly.

"Oh, for god's sake!" he growled fiercely, yanking her towards him and grunting as she collided against his chest. One arm snaked around her waist, holding her close and his other hand curled around her nape, tilting her face up to his. His mouth descended upon hers roughly, parting her surprised lips, challenging her tongue into a duel. Diana stood frozen stiff in his embrace. He kissed her mindlessly, driven by a violent compulsion to have her. After all this time, I deserve this. We deserve this, he thought fervently.

When Diana started to return his kiss tentatively, all rational thought left his head. Her hands slid slowly up his chest and twined around his neck, pressing her body even closer to his. She kissed him with the odd mixture of tenderness and ardor that used to drive him wild.

And it still did.

Finally breaking off the kiss, he leaned his forehead against hers, breathing heavily. "You are not going anywhere. You are staying here with me."

"How dare you presume to order me around like some piece of – " he silenced her protest with another passionate kiss.

"You don't know just how much I would dare, princess," he told her. "I've wasted more than half my life denying what I feel for you. I'm not making the same mistake again. You will stay here with me even if I have to bind you with your lasso."

"Tell me you love me," Diana demanded, swatting his arm lightly.

"I love you, you beautiful, stubborn, infuriating Amazon," he stroked her cheek tenderly with the back of his fingers. "I never stopped loving you."

"And yet you don't have pictures of me?" Diana pouted prettily.

Bruce gave her a cheeky, lopsided grin. "Why should I settle for pictures when I can have videos?"


A/N: I really don't know what happened to Wonder Woman in DCAU after the last season/episode of JLU. The only clue I had was in the JLU episode "Once and Future Thing." Aaaand, she died there. But I'm thinking there's a chance she did not because Chronos was twisting the timeline anyway. Besides, I don't like the idea of Wonder Woman dying anyway LoL. That's why I decided that she went back to ruminate in Themyscira. The JLU episode "Epilogue" and the Batman Beyond episode "The Call" mentioned or implied that Supes was still with the Justice League. Thus, my Diana saying "I just have to go and speak with Kal first."