Mindless BMWW fluff really... Currently working on a sequel to Ad Interim and Behind Closed Doors but argh, med school has turned my brains into mush... The chapters are not working out the way I want them to turn out... So, I ended up with this one-shot instead (go figure).

Story set during Superman/Batman: Apocalypse (the direct-to-video thingy for Superman/Batman: Supergirl). So, I guess this story would make more sense if you've seen the movie or read the comics. Special thanks to mbembet for clearing up some stuff regarding the comics. Also has allusions to Nolan's Batman.

I do not own anything, DC does. Wait... I lie... I own the "mindless fluff" part and possibly some typos and grammatical errors. *wink*


Stay

Bruce, Diana and Clark stood watching as Kara Zor-El looked up at the statue built in the honor of Lyla, the Harbinger. She had died while trying to save Supergirl from Darkseid's forces.

"Are you sure it's a good idea?" Bruce asked Clark.

Clark was staring at his young cousin's back. "It feels right." Belatedly, the Man of Steel noticed the look that Bruce was giving him. "Can't let it rest, can you?" Clark gave him a wry smile.

"Knock it off you two," Diana admonished lightly, placing her hands on her hips.

After a short while, Kara turned from the statue and made her way to her three 'guardians.'

"Diana," Kara approached the Amazon Princess first. "I can't thank you enough."

"You will always have a home here," Diana told the teenager, engulfing her in a hug.

Kara turned to face Bruce. "Allura."

Bruce tilted his head questioningly.

"You once asked if I can remember my mother's name," Kara explained. "It was Allura."

Kara's recollection earned her a very rare smile from the Dark Knight.

"Kal," Kara looked up as Clark placed a hand on her shoulder. "I'm ready now."

As the two Kryptonians flew off, Clark turned in mid air. "Thank you," he told Bruce and Diana.

"You still owe me a computer," Bruce reminded him.

"It might take a while," Clark replied with a small smile. "Reporter's salary." With a final nod, Superman flew away.

Bruce smirked. "Always has to have the last word."

Diana's lips twitched as she elbowed him lightly on the ribs. Bruce grimaced and surreptitiously rubbed his side as pain lanced through his entire ribcage.

"Come," Diana chuckled. "Let's have a look at that."

Bruce shook his head. "I should get going."

"No, you're not leaving this island until I've checked you out," Diana told him imperiously. "I know Barda offered that she tend to your injuries. And I know you refused. Stubborn man."

"They're just minor contusions around the ribs," Bruce said firmly. "Nothing to be worried about."

Diana gave him a flat stare as she crossed her toned arms over her chest.

"Okay, okay, so maybe there's a very small, hairline stress fracture on my arm." Bruce grumbled in a slightly sheepish tone. "It's nothing Alfred couldn't handle."

The Amazon princess remained silent as she lifted an aristocratic eyebrow.

"Diana, I'm alright, really," Bruce insisted defensively. "I've had worse."

Her crimson-booted foot made a clicking sound against the marble floor as she started tapping her foot rather impatiently.

"Fine," Bruce bit out, finally conceding. "But make it quick. I've been away from Gotham for two days so I need to – "

Dian rolled her eyes. "I know, I know," she interrupted. "You need to patrol." As if you can do much in the state that you're in, she added silently. Aloud, she said, "Come on, then. The quicker I'm done, the quicker you can leave."

The silence was palpable as they walked side by side to Diana's quarters.

"Oh, do stop the sullen pouting, Bruce," she told him as they entered her room.

He glowered at her sideways. "I do not pout."

"I do apologize if I made you sound less masculine," Diana chuckled. "Of course, you don't pout. You're Batman." She gestured towards the backless settee at the foot of her bed. "Now, stop being stubborn and strip off your armor." She made her way to a small bureau and busied herself in taking out several canisters containing a variety of herbal potions and ointments.

"She's calling me stubborn?" Bruce muttered as he took off his cowl and sat down, slowly taking off the upper half of his specially reinforced Kevlar-titanium suit. He tried not to wince as the act of removing his armor brought stabbing pain through his scarred torso and arm. He was lying when he said he was okay. It actually hurt to breathe. Three broken ribs at the very least, he thought wryly. Had it not been for his suit's impact-resistant features, his ribs would have been more than broken when Darkseid smashed him through the walls of his throne room. His bones would have been pulverized. He had not been totally truthful about the 'very small, hairline' stress fracture on his arm either. And he was pretty sure that he had suffered a mild concussion as well. But no need to get the girlfriend more worried than she already is, he mused.

Girlfriend. The word brought a small, awestruck smile to his lips. It had taken years for Diana to break through his defenses. But break through them she did. The woman is tenaciously unrelenting, he thought fondly.

"Here, drink this," Diana turned around to face him. A gasp escaped her as she took in the extent of his injuries.

"They look worse than they really are, Princess," Bruce told her softly.

Diana pursed her ruby red lips as she walked towards him and handed him a small glass.

"What's that?" Bruce regarded the yellowish green concoction suspiciously.

"Drink," she commanded in a tone that brooked no argument.

Bruce sighed. No use arguing with her when she's in this mood, he told himself as he took the glass. She's worse than Alfred at times. He tipped his head back, drinking the tonic in one swift gulp. He very nearly gagged.

"What in blue blazes did you put in that?" He grimaced.

"Calendula, comfrey and plantain," Diana answered promptly. "It's supposed to be good for the inflammation and will help with bone healing."

Bruce studied her face closely. Her seemingly innocent smile failed to hide the mischievous glint in her blue eyes. "And I'm pretty sure you mixed in some other herb to give it that… memorable… taste."

Diana's musical laughter was like a balm to his spirit. She sat down beside him and started rubbing an ointment on his bruised ribs. Her firm but gentle touch coupled with the cooling effect of the ointment somehow did make him feel better.

"What you did was really risky," Diana told him conversationally as she started to wrap his torso in bandage. Bruce noted the undercurrents of worry in her tone though.

"I know," came his short reply.

"What would you have done if Darkseid called your bluff?" she asked, looking at him from under her lashes.

Bruce's jaw tightened. "Who said I was bluffing?"

"As if you would really destroy an entire planet," Diana scoffed.

"Diana," Bruce sighed. He had to know. "Do you… regret… us?"

Diana frowned at him slightly. "What in Tartarus is that question, Bruce?"

"Just answer it."

Her hands stilled on Bruce's side as she took a deep, steadying breath. "It is… difficult… for me to think about your… fatalistic ways of doing things, if that's what you're asking."

Bruce opened his mouth to interrupt but Diana's unblinking stare stilled his tongue. "We are warriors, you and I," Diana continued. "I have accepted the fact that sooner or later, the gold coin must be paid to Charon for passage across the rivers Styx and Acheron. And don't even try to play the 'immortal' card on me, Bruce," her blue eyes flashed in warning. "Being immortal did not help my mother nor did it do Donna any good."

Diana reached up and cradled Bruce's cheek. "You are my teammate, my best friend, and my… lover. If you were the first to go, it would be more than painful, Bruce. But I will never regret us. I will never regret having you."

"I am only trying to spare you the pain, Princess," Bruce whispered. He covered her hand with his, turning his head to kiss her palm.

"Do you really think that your death would be less painful for me if we maintained a platonic relationship?" Diana asked him incredulously. "Not having you this way will only hurt me more. Because I will have eternity to wonder what it would be like to be with you. At least, with this, I will have happy memories to look back on. And you have given me many, Bruce. Even if you think otherwise."

Bruce's throat worked, unable to voice out an argument to Diana's line of reasoning.

"And besides, I have a feeling that you will outlive me," Diana teased. "You're too stubborn to die."

"Don't say that," Bruce growled, his gauntleted hand tightened over hers. "Not even as a joke, Diana."

Diana leaned forward and lightly brushed her lips against his. Bruce immediately deepened the kiss, tongue delving into her mouth, probing, taking pleasure… and giving it in return. His hands had a mind of their own, finding their way around her waist, drawing her closer to him. He could barely feel the aches and pains from his injuries as Diana shifted herself onto his lap, straddling him.

Both of them were breathing heavily when they finally broke off the kiss.

"I should go," Bruce said in a husky voice. He rubbed his thumb against her lower lip. Ask me to stay and I will, his eyes challenged her silently.

"You should…" Diana took his thumb into her mouth and sucked on it lightly. You should stay. Let me love you for a while.

"You're making it hard," Bruce groaned at the feel of her warm tongue circling the tip of his thumb.

Diana wriggled on his lap deliberately misunderstanding his statement. "I am."

"To leave," he clarified with a smirk. "You're making it hard for me to leave."

"I know," she could not stop a wayward smile.

"I suppose I could stay for a few hours…" Bruce trailed off.

"You could," Diana lifted her eyebrows suggestively.

Bruce's hand slipped around her nape tugging her towards him. "Stop agreeing," he murmured, his lips a hair's breadth away from hers.

"As you wish," she trailed kisses along his jaw.

"I thought you were the ruler of this island?" he whispered, hands roving down her back. He hissed in pleasure as Diana nipped at his earlobe. His hands went lower, down her thighs, wrapping her endless legs around his waist.

"Very well," Diana's voice was thick with passion. "I order you to stay, Bruce."

"As you command, Princess."

The stars twinkled high above the clear nighttime sky. The light of the full moon glistened over the waves as they crashed gently on the shores of Themyscira. But the beauty of the night was lost on the two lovers as they immersed themselves on each other. It was a union of hearts, a union of souls. And when their passion reached a crescendo, it all became so clear.

Why do we fall, Alfred?

Why do we fall sir? So we might learn to pick ourselves up.

He had lost count of how many times he had fallen down and how many times he had had to pick himself up. He had asked himself the same question every time he stood up: What was the point? The answer was always the same: every time he picked himself up, he got to live again. He got to fight again.

As the weak light of dawn struggled past the darkness, he looked at the woman slumbering trustingly in his arms. A new answer was forged in his mind. And each time I live, each time I fight, I get to love again, he thought, tenderly pressing a kiss onto her forehead. Bruce closed his eyes and finally surrendered to peaceful sleep.