DISCLAIMER: The Justice League of America characters are the property of DC Comics. The story contents are the creation and property of Djinn and are copyright (c) 2005 by Djinn. This story is Rated PG-13.
"Can you take Monitor duty on Friday?"
Diana looked up to see Bruce watching Kal and her hopefully.
"What? You've got a hot date?" Kal laughed and got up. He poured out three glasses of milk, then checked the cabinet they usually stashed their goodies in. "Hey, someone took our cookies."
"I hid them in the vegetable drawer," Bruce said.
"Always the paranoid obsessive." Kal dug around till he found the cookies, then tossed them to Diana to open.
"When I want cookies, I want cookies. I don't want to sit here bemoaning our lack of cookies. Which is what you two do every single time Wally goes on a sugar run through the kitchen and eats them all." Bruce took a deep breath. "Now, will one of you work Friday for me?"
"You didn't answer his question. Why?" Diana asked.
"I have a fundraiser. I have to go."
"Alone?" She tore the cookies open too forcefully. Vanilla sandwich creams scattered across the table.
"No, I'm taking one of the boring socialites I always go with."
"Which one?" Kal asked. "A blonde?" He winked at Diana.
Diana tossed the ruined bag into the trash and snagged the nearest cookie, opening it and eating only the side that had frosting.
"I hate it when you do that," Bruce said, eating his cookie without prying it open.
"I know. It's why I do it." Which wasn't true. She just liked the frosted side better, but tonight she was in the mood to irritate him.
"If they meant for you to tear it apart, it wouldn't be called a sandwich."
"Bruce, it's her cookie. She can eat it how she wants." Kal shot her a smile that was way too warm for a married man to give her.
Bruce sighed loudly. "Will you two just get a room and work this out of your system?"
"And here I was going to offer to take Friday duty for you." Kal shrugged. "But if you're going to be mean..."
"You know," Diana said, thrusting the uneaten unfrosted cookie half at Bruce, "you are uncomfortable with flirting."
"No. I am fine with flirting. What I am uncomfortable with is you two flirting."
Kal laughed and turned to Bruce, holding out a cookie as if it was the original apple. He batted his eyelashes. "So it's okay if I flirt with you?"
Bruce just ignored him.
Putting the cookie in his mouth, Kal leaned forward, the end sticking out, available for Bruce to bite into. "Cmn, Brc, gv it uh twy."
Reaching for a new cookie,
Bruce said, "That's not alluring,
"He's not. If he were, we'd be able to understand him better." Diana unscrewed another cookie, thinking on all the lessons her mother had taught her: swordsmanship, swimming, archery, hand-to-hand. "I don't think my mother ever told me that rule."
"Amazons aren't known for their table manners, love," Kal said as he finished up his cookie of temptation.
"I haven't seen anyone complaining. Are you complaining?"
Both Kal and Bruce held their hands up in the universal "We're not complaining" sign.
She was about to reach for another cookie when Wally sped in, one big red blur. As one, all three of them threw themselves over the cookies.
Wally slowed enough to be fully visible. "Hey, I looked for those earlier." He turned a baleful eye on Batman. "You hid them, didn't you?"
"Why would I hide food from a trusted colleague?"
Wally tried to reach in, but three identical death-glares stopped him. "Man, you and your damned trinity. Whatever." He shouted into the other room. "Mom and the dads won't share their windfall. I'm making a Starbucks run. Who's in?"
As he sped out, Diana heard a chorus of, "I'll take a grande skinny cappuccino" and "Make mine a chai latte."
"A mocha sounds good. Or maybe one of those white chocolate drinks?" Diana loved white chocolate.
"He'll make you trade him cookies for it," Kal said, handing her another one.
"We could get a machine up here," Bruce said, "You could both learn to make specialty coffees. A skill that might serve you well the next time you lose your powers. You could be gainfully employed instead of expecting me to bail you out."
"Ha ha ha," Kal said, but the look he shot Bruce was a little hurt.
"I'll do fine." Diana grinned at them both. "Next time, I'm going to pose nude for lots of money."
"No, you're not." Kal actually seemed worried.
"Which magazine?" Bruce looked as if he was making a mental note to go buy it when her issue came out.
Kal gave him a Superman-special look of disappointment.
"What? The rest of the world can see her, but I can't?" Bruce's tone was surly. "Just because you can sneak a look at her anytime you want."
"Oh, like you haven't planted a camera in the women's changing room," Diana said. "And I haven't decided which magazine. I'm going to let them get into a bidding war over me."
"I'm uncomfortable with this conversation," Kal said. But he really only looked put out at the thought he'd have to share her with the world.
"I'm sure you are, Stupes," Bruce said.
Something abut hearing one of Plastic man's names for Kal coming out of Batman's mouth almost made Diana spew milk and cookie remnants all over the table. She got herself under control and pushed out of the chair. "Well, I better go. Big day tomorrow."
"Dinner with the president? Interview with the Times? Big sale at Henry Bendels?" Bruce smirked at her.
"No, I'm going to the Ivory Coast. The situation's getting bad."
"You want help?" Kal looked over at Bruce, who nodded slowly. "Six hands are better than two."
"In many situations," Bruce said, managing to keep a straight face.
"Yes, I'd like your help." She whapped Bruce between the pointy ears on his cowl. "And stop that."
He looked up at her. "What?"
She laughed as she let her hand drop to his shoulder. "You two promise the world and never deliver." With a wink, she added, "When it comes to that."
Bruce gave her a complacent smile.
She couldn't help but return it--he smiled so rarely that when he did, he was impossible to resist. "So, we'll meet up here tomorrow? Make a united entrance?"
Kal nodded. It was what they always did.
Bruce let his hand rest on hers for a moment, then he let go. "See you tomorrow."
As she turned, Kal said, "Diana, heads up."
She caught the cookie he tossed her. It was the last one. Opening it with a smile, she threw the unfrosted part back to him. "Thanks."
"Some things we deliver on," Kal said, his eyes sparkling.
Central Park sounded like the middle of the Amazon. Roars, howls, and other animal cries echoed up to the hilltop they had fought so hard to reach.
"So how many of these were-beasts do you think there are?" Kal looked down at the line of unconscious were-jaguars and were-foxes and other were-oddities that lay strewn in their wake. "I mean this is getting ridiculous. It's broad daylight. Don't these guys need a full moon or something?"
"Well, obviously they don't if they're changing now. Just don't get bit, Clark. All we need is a were-Kryptonian." Bruce knocked a were-elk out with a silver club.
"You better be careful. You could kill something with that," Kal said, rendering another were-jaguar unconscious with a well-timed kick.
"Yes, that would be a tragedy," Bruce said as he clubbed the elk's mate. "Diana, how are you doing?"
She mixed up the last of the potion that Zatanna had told her to make. "I don't think I should be the one doing this, Bruce. You're the brains of our trinity. Isn't that what you like to tell us?"
"It is. And I am. But Zatanna was quite specific that it needed to be an unnatural creature who invoked the spell for it to reverse the curse on these people."
"Sure," Diana muttered, as she mixed some stinky extract into the brew. "Now I'm an unnatural creature."
Kal giggled between blows, and Bruce muttered, "You know what I meant by that."
"Oh, I do. Kal's the brawn; you're the brains. I'm just the freak." She shook the potion up. "There is no way I'm drinking this."
"Pour it on the altar."
She was already doing that. "I was teasing you, Bruce."
"You know he doesn't know from teasing, Diana."
"I know. But I keep hoping he'll invent a bat-sense-of-humor along with his other gizmos."
"I have a sense of humor. It's just more evolved than either of yours." Bruce struggled to keep the snapping jaws of a were-monkey from closing on his arm. "Diana, haven't you finished yet?"
"It's done." She pulled the spell Zatanna had written down for her out of her cleavage. The ink was a little blurred from her sweat. "I don't have to say this backwards, do I?" she asked, as a were-squirrel broke through the line and launched himself at her. She caught him with her bracelet, his teeth crunching uselessly on the amazonium before she knocked him away.
"Just read the damn spell, Diana." Kal sounded unusually peeved.
She glanced over, saw that he was holding off an entire pack of werewolves. "By the will of the changer, undo all. By the will of the mother, give back all. By the will of the trickster, harm to none."
The noise died down, and the embarrassed murmurs of a lot of suddenly naked people could be heard.
"Well," Kal said, as he quickly turned away from the pack of nude people. "That went well, I think." Walking over to her, he smiled strangely.
"You've got some ink, right...there." He pointed to her cleavage.
She tried to wipe it off, had to resort to spit to get her skin clean. She looked up and realized that Bruce and Kal were both watching her in rapt fascination. "Maybe I should have let you two do this?"
They both looked away with varying degrees of guilt on their face.
"Yeah. That's what I thought." She chuckled as she took them by the arms. "Do I have to check either of you for bites?"
They both mumbled something that was clearly a "no."
It was a cinch they didn't need to check her. Her costume didn't leave much to the imagination.
"So? Ice cream?" she asked.
"That sounds good," Kal agreed.
"I am not strolling into an ice cream shop dressed like this."
"Bruce. There's a vendor just ahead. I think he may have been the were-squirrel I just beaned, but that's okay." Diana gave Bruce's arm a shake. "Live a little."
"That's probably what Moricius said to all these were-things."
"You really do need an attitude adjustment," Kal said, bounding ahead. "Ice cream's on me."
"Where do you suppose he keeps that?" Bruce asked, as Kal pulled a twenty out from somewhere.
"I have no idea." She decided not to tell Bruce that Kal had an emergency pocket in his right boot.
Bruce shot her a look, then glanced down at his foot. His right foot.
She smiled. There wasn't much the trinity didn't know about each other.
"I think the planet is perfectly safe," Bruce said, as he lay down on the ground and stared up at the clouds. "Don't you feel good?"
Kal threw himself on the ground next to Bruce. "I feel great." He grabbed a long piece of grass, putting it in his mouth and sucking contentedly.
Diana stared down at them, feeling a wave of intense love for both of them. "You're my best friends."
"I know," Bruce said. "Isn't it great?" He reached up and pulled her down.
Diana giggled as she landed between them. "J'onn. Join us."
She could hear his telepathic alert going up to the rest of the JLA. *Do not teleport down!*
*Problems?* Arthur asked.
*You might say that. I'm talking samples of the air. I appear to be unaffected. Must be my Martian physiology.*
*What are you talking about, J'onn,* Bruce said into the link. *I feel just ducky.*
Wally's mind-voice was stunned. *Was that Batman who said that?*
*Now you understand the enormity of the problem.* J'onn leaned over them. *I'll be back as soon as I can with a remedy.*
*Remedy for what?" Kal said, grabbing another long piece of grass and putting it in Bruce's mouth. Then he looked down at Diana. "Hello, gorgeous."
"Hey, who are you calling gorgeous?" Bruce asked, then he looked over. "Oh, you were talking to her." He leaned over her. "You are beautiful, Diana. I love you."
She laughed. This was the best mission ever. "I love you guys, too."
They both leaned down--she thought to kiss her--but they bumped heads.
"Hey, watch what you're doing, Clarkie." Bruce stared at Kal. "You know. You have the bluest eyes. Just like Diana's. They're really pretty."
"Yours are pretty too." Kal moved closer. "Are your lips soft?"
Diana coughed until they looked down at her. "I think you were headed my way?"
"Oh yeah." Bruce smiled and started back to her, then seemed to lose momentum. He fell backwards, landing on the grass with a slight thud. "I love it here. Let's never leave."
"Okay," Kal said, as he began to slowly run his fingers down Diana's leg. "I love you, Diana."
"You can't love her. I loved her first." Bruce looked over at her and winked. "Remember that kiss on the island?"
"Remember that kiss when I thought we were going to die?"
She nodded again.
Kal was scowling. "How many kisses did he get?"
"Just two," she said, then she gasped as Kal's fingers went places they shouldn't.
"Hey, stop that." Bruce reached over to grab Kal's hand away, but bumped her chest on his way down--he stopped, staring happily. "You have fantastic breasts."
"Thanks." She looked down, gave them a little push from the sides. "They just sort of grew that way."
"Well, they're spectacular." Bruce leaned down and began to kiss the armor that covered her spectacular breasts.
"They are, aren't they?" She looked at Kal who had followed his fingers down and was doing very naughty things to her. "I don't think Lois would like it that you're doing that."
"Well, let's not tell her then." Kal giggled.
"I'm going to tell her. Lois!!!" Bruce yelled right into Diana's chest.
"She's not in there, Bruce." Diana took a deep breath, then sat up, pushing Bruce off her chest.
He collided with Kal, and the two men stared at each other. Then they started to kiss. She stroked their hair as they did.
"I am sorry to intrude," J'onn said. His green skin seemed a little pink around the edges.
Bruce and Kal pulled away from each other as Diana said, "Hey, J'onn's back. Hi J'onn."
"This is the best planet ever," Kal said happily.
"Well, that remains to be seen," J'onn said. "I want you to know I disabled the recorders."
"You can record us. We don't care, do we?" Bruce took both their hands and brought them to his lips. "These are my best friends, and I'll go on record as having said that."
J'onn handed them each a small vial. "Drink this."
"Cool. Aperitifs," Bruce said, sipping the
drink as Kal threw his back in one swallow--following it with a
super-belch. "Wow, that was so
J'onn grabbed it back. "No, you need to finish it all at once, Bruce."
"That's a waste of good booze, my friend. But okay." He drank it down, and let out a little belch of his own.
"You guys are disgusting." Diana giggled as she followed Bruce's lead, draining the vial and handing it back to J'onn. She felt a belch coming on, but stifled it. "You're our best friend too, J'onn."
"Yes. That's nice." He sat down, watching the three of them.
Diana began to feel strange. A wave of dizziness passed over her, then she looked up slowly. "Did we...?"
"We did." Kal looked over at her.
Bruce was staring fixedly at the ground. "Just ducky?" he muttered. Then he pulled the grass stalk out of his mouth and ripped it into tiny pieces.
"Okay, we have a mission here, people," Kal said, and Diana shot him a grateful look. "Let's get to it."
J'onn nodded. "I've given the others a precautionary dosage. Our mission can proceed as scheduled."
"Excellent," Bruce said, his voice squeaking slightly. He tried again. "Excellent." It was the voice that struck terror into criminals everywhere. "I'll work alone," he said, walking away swiftly.
Kal stopped her. "Let him go, Diana." Then he let go of her too. "We'd probably all better work alone."
She watched him walk away, then turned to J'onn. "This is not good."
"They'll be fine." He put a hand on her shoulder. "They're just embarrassed about that kiss."
"I thought you said the recorders were off?"
"They were. But we were still linked." J'onn was decidedly pink. "I'll see you later, Diana."
As he walked off to join the others who were just teleporting down, she saw them throw curious looks her way. She didn't think they'd still been linked too.
She hoped not anyway. It was the last thing their little trinity needed.
They sat eating cookies. The conversation was strained, as it had been since their adventure on the planet a few weeks back.
"We ever going to talk about this?" Kal asked into the silence.
"Nope." Bruce bit into his cookie with a crunch that pronounced that was his final answer.
"I think we should." Kal looked over at Diana. "Don't you think we should?"
She shrugged. "I've always known you both liked my boobs." Grinning, she tore apart a cookie.
"That's not what I mean." Kal looked over at Bruce, his expression a bit helpless. "We kissed."
"That was the effect of the euphoric compound in the atmosphere. Once we had the antidote, we did not kiss. End of story." Bruce did not look up, was in fact playing with his cookie.
When he unscrewed it, Diana reached over and touched his hand. "It's okay to be attracted to him."
"Hey, he kissed me, not the other way around."
"Well, then it's okay for him to be attracted to you."
Kal shot her a look. "I didn't say I was attracted to him."
She sighed. "Okay then. You both thought it was me, and went for it. Only to realize your mistake later."
"I like that version," Bruce muttered.
"Well, I don't. Lois already thinks I'm cheating on her with Diana."
"So it's better that you were kissing me?" Bruce slammed down the torn apart cookie.
Diana snagged the piece with frosting and savored it slowly. "I think you're both making way too much out of this. It was a weird day; we did odd things. I'm sure under normal circumstances you wouldn't admire my chest, Bruce. And Kal, you wouldn't go exploring under my uniform."
They both gave her an irritated look.
"Well, that was me trying to help. See if I do that again." She leaned back. "I hate how this has changed things."
"It hasn't changed things." Kal bit into a cookie and washed it down with the last of his milk. Getting up, he refilled their glasses. "We're just..."
"Uncomfortable," Bruce finished for him.
"Yeah? Well, get over it," Diana said. "We'll have a mission soon, and I want to know you'll be there when I need you, not spazzing over some stupid kiss." She gave them both very firm looks. "You're grown men. Comfortable with your own sexuality. If you kissed, you kissed. No. Big. Deal."
Neither sounded convinced. Giving up, Diana concentrated on her cookie. They'd get over this eventually. They had to.
The battlefield was littered with bodies. Diana charged ahead, determined to reach the machine that was laying waste to so much life.
"Diana, no!" Kal's voice was lost in her rush.
She deflected the first bolt with her bracelets, dodged the second. Then she was at the target, leaping up, but a third bolt caught her in the chest, glancing off her armor and the bracelets she brought up barely in time. She went reeling backwards, landing hard enough to knock the wind out of her.
"Diana!" Kal charged past her. She saw him barrel into the machine. He crushed it in two blows. If there was anyone inside it, they were dead
He had killed. For her.
He seemed to realize what he'd done. Appeared to be trying to see inside the machine. "There must be lead. I can't see..."
Green Lantern pushed past him, opening the machine as if it was a tin can. There was no one inside. Kal seemed to slump in relief.
"Lie still," Bruce said, as he checked her out.
He nodded, but she could tell he was just humoring her.
She stopped his hand as he explored her side. "Bruce. I'm all right."
He held her hand firmly; his lips were pressed together so tightly they were practically white.
"I'm all right," she whispered again. "That was stupid. I lost my head."
"You nearly lost it for real, Diana," Kal said, as he knelt down next to her.
"Ribs, lungs," Bruce said, in the triage shorthand they'd all perfected.
Kal looked her over with his super-vision. "Lungs are fine. Ribs are a mess though. You were lucky, Diana." He was holding her hand tightly too.
"A few hours on the healing ray and I'll be fine." She saw Kal look over at Bruce, and squeezed both their hands. "You guys are overreacting. Now help me up." She looked up, saw John watching them closely as he destroyed the rest of the machine with his lantern ring.
They got her to her feet, and she tried to walk normally, despite how much it hurt. As injuries went, this was painful but not that dangerous. Slowing so it hurt less, she said to Kal, "You didn't know that thing was unmanned."
"No, I didn't, and I didn't care right at the moment."
She swallowed hard.
Bruce's hand tightened on her side, and she glanced at him. "Ouch."
"Sorry." He eased up immediately.
She shook her head. "My boys. What am I going to do with you?"
"Probably what you always do with us," Bruce said, and he sounded a little bitter.
She turned to him, saw him look away. Sighing she didn't press him.
He wanted her; she knew that, but she didn't think he'd ever reach back if she did reach out.
She glanced at Kal. He was watching them, a frown growing on his face. He looked like he hoped Bruce would leave well enough alone--forever.
Bruce glanced up into the stands where Kal sat watching them spar, a dejected expression on his face. "What's wrong with him?"
Diana shook her head, never taking her eyes off Bruce's hands. "Lois is mad at him."
"What he do this time?" Bruce smiled. "Or what did you do?"
"I had nothing to do with this." She waited for him to feint, but he didn't move. Sparring with him was nothing like sparring with Kal. Bruce made her work for each punch, using strategy to get her off her feet rather than brute strength.
"Is he moping?"
"Does he do anything else when she's mad at him?"
He laughed, and she smiled at the sound. "Do you like him, Diana?"
"He's my best friend."
"That's not an answer. I know you love him. Do you like him?"
She smiled. "Most of the time. When he gets like this...eh?" She shook her hand. It clearly meant "not so much."
Kal let out a super-sigh. They could hear it from where they were circling each other. Bruce looked at her, then stood up from his fighting stance.
"Bail out time?" she asked with a gentle smile.
"I can't stand it when he gets like this," Bruce said, as he leaped into the stands.
Kal perked up. "Hi, guys."
"What's the trouble,
He glared at Bruce. "I just heard your entire conversation." He included Diana in his glare. "I know you know Lois is mad at me."
"What'd you do?"
"I forgot our anniversary."
Bruce looked disgusted. "You forgot your wedding anniversary? You could have programmed that into the JLA calendar, it has reminders and everything."
"Not that anniversary," Kal said, his tone miserable.
"Oh," Diana and Bruce said together. Diana was touched--that was actually quite romantic, remembering their first time in bed that way.
"Not that one either."
She frowned. "Which one then?"
"The first time I took her flying."
"Just how many
anniversaries do you have,
Kal shook his head. "Gazillions. We were big on them when we first started
dating--and even before. Some are
"One word, my friend. Three syllables. Calendar."
Diana smiled but put a hand on Kal's arm. "You go to a florist and--"
"--And buy her roses, I know the drill."
"Not roses," Diana said. "Tuberoses."
Bruce smiled. "Right. Exotic. Takes effort. Better yet, buy them in Hawaii."
"Exotic?" Kal was smiling.
"Because she's not just any woman..." Diana rolled her eyes.
"Would you fall for this?" Bruce asked her.
"No. But I'm not her."
"She's as smart as you are, Diana. Maybe smarter." Bruce looked at Kal, ignoring the glare Diana sent his way. "Will Lois buy this?"
"Maybe." Kal perked up. "Maybe I could make it a theme. Gifts from places I had to fly to."
"You still missed the day."
"I know. But I could try...?" Kal sighed. "Calendar, huh?"
"While you're in the calendar, you can see what else he has programmed into the computer." She shot Bruce a look. None of them had ever forgotten his protocols--even if they had forgiven him eventually.
It's what friends did. Forgive. It's what lovers do too.
She looked at Kal. "Forget the flowers. Just tell her how sorry you are. Tell her what's in your heart."
Bruce shook his head. "Bring her flowers some day she doesn't expect it. And for God's sake, Kal, don't miss your next anniversary."
He laughed. "I'm glad I have you two."
"Can we spar now?" Diana asked Bruce, as Kal got up to leave.
"Yes, we can spar." Bruce followed her down to the mats, looking grateful that the insightful relationship moment was over.
The Spalexers threw one hell of a thank-you party. The JLA were the guests of honor on this little planet, and they were partying hard. Or at least most of them were. The trinity sat in the back, sipping water.
"I didn't know you could do that with a ring." Bruce was watching John cause a green lampshade to appear on his head while he danced on a green table--the other Leaguers had obviously opted for something considerably stronger than water.
"Where's the Flash?" Kal asked.
Diana pointed off into the bushes, over to the makeshift dance floor, and down by the drinks table. "He's hyper tonight."
Music started. Soft, romantic music. Diana sighed.
"You want to dance?" Kal asked.
"Yeah." She shot him a look. "We never do." She included Bruce in the look. "Why do we never?"
"We're the senior members. We set an example." Bruce sounded very pompous.
Diana noticed he wasn't meeting her eyes. "Is that what we are?"
"Oh, to hell with it, let's dance." Kal pulled her up, dancing with her in the grass.
As they moved slowly away from Bruce, she caught him staring at them, a disapproving look on his face. Then he turned away.
"He's in love with you," Kal whispered in her ear.
"You ascertained this how?"
"I just know."
"Uh huh. And a few weeks ago, he was kissing you in a meadow. I could speculate that he might be in love with you."
"To be honest, I did kiss him first."
He laughed softly. "He has nice lips. I always sort of wondered..."
"He does have nice lips." She relaxed into him, felt his hands tighten on her back.
"Diana, you're in love with him, aren't you?"
"Yes." She looked up at him, trying to read his expression.
He took a deep breath. "It's going to change things for the three of us."
"I know. Maybe that's why he and I never do anything about it?"
"Maybe." His hand tightened painfully on hers, and she shook it a little. He looked sheepish as he relaxed his grip. "Sorry."
"I love you too, Kal."
"I know. But I'm not single." Pulling her into the shadows, he stopped the dance. "I just have to do this."
She knew he was going to kiss her, wasn't surprised to feel his lips on hers. It was a nice kiss, but not very passionate. He was holding back.
Like he was saying goodbye.
He eased her back into the light, keeping to the shadows. "Why don't you go dance with him, Diana? I'm pretty sure there's a green lampshade over there with my name on it."
She couldn't see his face and pulled him back out of the dank. He looked resigned. Not happy for her, not particularly sad either. As if he'd seen this day coming for a long time.
She sighed. "Why don't you come back to the table and none of us will dance."
"You two should dance. It's nice to dance." He touched her cheek, then walked away.
She didn't move, waited for Bruce to come up.
"I thought you two were enjoying yourself?" There was censure in his voice.
"What if we were?"
He started to turn, and she caught his arm. "Dance with me?"
He didn't move.
"Please, Bruce?" She stepped closer. "I know you know how. I've watched you with other women on a million dance floors."
"That's an exaggeration," he said sternly. But he pulled her into his arms anyway. "Why are we dancing, Diana? Because Kal said we could?"
She shot him a quick look, trying to ascertain if his hearing was as good as Kal's or if he was just psychic.
"By your silence..."
"We don't need his permission." She tried to move closer but he held her at arms length. "Bruce...?"
He stopped dancing. "I want to go home."
"To be alone in your Batcave?"
"What makes you think I'm alone there?"
"My mistake." She pushed away from him. "You know, dancing is usually a fun thing to do."
"I'm the Batman. I'm not known for being fun."
"I guess I lost sight of that." She turned and stalked away, up to where Kal was sitting trying to appear as if he was having fun.
He looked at her in surprise as she sat down at his table. "Well. That didn't go as planned." He seemed a tiny bit pleased.
"What are you drinking?"
"It's just more water." He handed her his glass. "He's a moron, Diana."
"No, he's a genius. That's the problem, Kal. What's simple to us is not to him."
"I never said this was simple." He looked down. "I just thought that you two might--"
"--Do us all a favor. Don't think anymore." She glared out at the band, causing them to miss a beat in the song.
Kal laughed and let his hand drop to her leg, tickling her behind the knee.
"Stop scaring the horn section and I will."
She laughed despite her bad mood. "I want to go home."
"Yeah. Me too."
At least they all had that in common.
"I come bearing cookies." Bruce laid the package in front of her. "It's an 'I'm sorry' gift."
She pushed the bag to the center of the table.
Kal started laughing, and she took a closer look. The cookies in the bag had all been peeled apart--only the frosted sides remained. She began to smile.
"I'm an ass," Bruce said softly.
"I coulda told you that," Kal muttered as he got up. "I think I'm gonna go find a sparring partner."
When he was gone, Bruce pushed the package toward her. "Truce?"
"Why would we need a truce?" She pushed out of her chair. "You know I could use a good fight right about now too."
He pulled her back down, something she let him do, and they both knew it.
"We need to talk."
"If I had a dime for every time we've said that over the years..."
He nodded, smiling in a pained way.
She decided to cut him some slack and reached for the cookies, opening the bag and pulling out a couple. "Did you undo these or did you make Alfred?"
"He laughed at me."
She smiled even more.
"Nightwing called me whipped."
She started to laugh.
"I'm glad you're amused." He sat back, his arms crossed as if in a huff. But when she snuck a look at him, he was grinning. "I don't know why I didn't just dance with you."
"I do." She handed him a cookie, smiled as he took it from her. "You're scared."
"I'm Batman. I don't get scared."
"Liar." She ate another cookie. "I scare you, I've figured that out. But what I can't fathom is why." She looked at him, saw him look down rather than meet her eyes. "I'm just me. We've known each other forever. We're friends...sort of."
He laughed tightly. "We are friends."
"Well, good. That's a relief." She sighed. "If you don't want me, just say so."
"A man would have to be insane not to want you."
She smiled. She heard nice things a lot, but not from him. "So you do want me?"
"Yes." He helped himself to another cookie. "But you would be a complication I can't afford, Diana."
Her smile died. She'd be a complication? "I see."
He started to get up and she slammed her hand down on his, heard him huff in pain as she pinned him to the table.
"Define complication," she said.
"You would be a distraction."
"If you want me now, then you're already distracted. Perhaps if we acted on it, you wouldn't be."
"Logical. But logic and love rarely intermingle."
She looked up at him. "You love me?"
He turned away, would have walked out probably if he could have gotten his hand out from under hers.
"Do you love me, Bruce?"
"I said so, didn't I?"
"No. You didn't." She let him go. "I don't want to be a distraction, Batman."
"Diana. For God's sake."
"First I'm an unnatural creature. Then I'm a tease. Now, I'm a complication you can't afford." She got up, pushed past him. "You make a girl feel really special, Bruce."
She was to the teleporter and back in the embassy in
He was right behind her.
"You think you're not a goddamn distraction?" he shouted, to her and an entire roomful of visiting Amazons.
She looked at him, her face reddening. "And this is Batman. He's one of the more calm members of the League." She watched the Amazons leave, most of them throwing funny looks back at her and Bruce. "I swear I didn't know they'd be here."
"That was so embarrassing." He started to laugh. "What was that? A tour from home?"
"Yep." She walked to the window, could hear him coming up behind her. "Just go home, Bruce. This conversation's going nowhere."
He touched her arm and she shivered. Then he moved her hair aside and kissed her neck.
"I thought I was a complication?"
"You are. Now shut up." He pulled her closer so that she had to kiss him.
When he finally let her go, she said, "Maybe you're the complication? Maybe you're the distraction?"
He smiled slightly as he turned her, then pushed her back against the window. "Maybe I am."
She heard a strange crackling, and realized he had stuffed the bag of cookies in his belt. Pulling them out, she looked at him quizzically.
"I peeled all those cookies just for you. No way I was leaving them for Kal or Wally or anyone else."
"I have milk in the kitchen."
He smiled, pulling her in for another kiss before saying, "Lead on."
"Where are the cookies?" Kal asked as he plowed through the vegetable drawer.
"I hid them in the oven this time."
Diana laughed. It was an adventure getting close to someone as paranoid as Bruce.
"Uh, buddy. I think Wally's on to you." Kal winked at Diana.
"Our cookies are gone?" Bruce got up in a huff, clearly ready to reclaim his sweets by force.
"Bruce. Kidding." Kal tossed him the bag. He poured milk for them all and carried the glasses to the table. "So? Everything good here?"
Diana smiled. She noticed Bruce was not smiling. Would it kill him to say he was happy? But then he surprised her by unpeeling a cookie and handing her the frosted side. He popped the other side in his mouth.
"I guess everything's good," Kal said, giving her a gentle smile.
"Whipped," Kal said softly.
"I heard that." Bruce looked up at him. "And I'm going to kill Nightwing."
"That's enough out of you," Bruce said, handing her the bag of cookies. "You can open them for me, if you're so damn amused."
"But you hate it when I do that."
"Yeah, I know." He smiled at her. A warm, loving, slightly diabolical smile. "Humor me?"
Definitely an adventure.
Kal leaned forward. "So, that calendar program you let me use, Bruce. Is it bad when you get a message that says 'Fatal Error'? I mean on the screen before the calendar comes up? The main screen?"
The small part of Bruce that was visible under the cowl went ghostly pale.
"Kal. That's so mean." Diana patted Bruce's hand. "Your programs are fine, dear. He's just screwing with you." She shook her head.
Bruce seemed to be having trouble getting his breath back.
"Sorry, bud. Didn't mean to go for the jugular."
"Very funny," Bruce said.
Diana smiled. They all knew his techo-thingamajigs were the loves of his life. Except she knew they were currently running second to her. She had a feeling Kal might have figured that out too.
"So, umm. Remember that planet with the interesting atmospheric disturbances?" Kal smiled innocently.
Bruce glared at him.
"I was thinking maybe we could double date there? You and Diana, me and Lois?" Kal could barely keep a straight face.
Diana was having trouble not laughing too.
"Sure." Bruce smiled in his best "bluff called" way. "That would be fun." He reached over and held a cookie to Kal's lips. "Just name the day, big guy."
Kal stared at him.
"Yeah, that's what I thought." Bruce pulled back the cookie and bit into it.
"If you could see your face, Kal." Diana took a sip of milk.
"Flash alert!" Kal cried, and they threw themselves over the cookie bag.
"Damn freakin' threesome!" they heard as the Flash sped out of the kitchen empty handed.
Bruce leaned back, peeling Diana another cookie and putting his legs up on the spare chair. "Yeah. We're bad."