Diana sat up abruptly trying to catch her breath. She was extremely flustered from what had just happened. Her injured ribs were affecting her ability to take deep breaths so that she could compose herself. She absentmindedly placed a hand onto her chest, and then it occurred to her that there was a hospital gown covering her. She slowly lowered her head in disbelief, but received all the confirmation that she needed with her own eyes as there was still a hospital gown on her. Had what happened been real. She'd never experienced something so intimate and breathtaking before, it had to be real. It was then that her ears began to function around her once again as she could make out someone speaking to her.

"Diana, are you alright?" Bruce asked her in a deeply concerned voice. He'd fallen asleep next to her when she'd refused to release his hand. The feel of her sitting up abruptly was enough to stir him from his slumber and Bruce's mind went straight to worry for Diana. He never anticipated her shooting up awake so quickly. He could see how flustered she was as she fought to regain her composure. It was then that Diana seemed to become more aware of her surroundings, and more specifically that she wasn't alone in her bed. They both glanced down at their still joined hands before each of them instantly pulled away as if they had been burned. Diana's cheeks quickly turned a bright shade of pink and Batman quickly climbed off the bed and turned towards the exit. "I'll get J'onn." He said in an attempt to avoid the awkwardness.

Diana raised a hand and wanted to call out to Bruce in order to get him to stop from leaving, but her voice seemed to be gone as no words came out. She tried clearing her throat and finally received a raspy response, but by then it was entirely too late as Batman was already long gone. She had so many questions on her mind at the moment. She didn't understand what had happened. Was it a dream? It felt so real though, how could it have been a dream? Had Morpheus and Aphrodite concocted the wonderfully sinful happening inside her own mind? Why was it Bruce that she was with? All these questions about what was likely to be a very important and intimate moment that only happened in her head, but then there were the questions regarding Bruce being right beside her on her medical bed. What was he doing there and how long had he actually stayed at her side? She also wanted to know what happened with the mission, and how the rest of the team was doing. She knew from what happened in her dream that she needed to talk to Bruce, but how would she approach something like that? Just knowing that he was beside her when she woke up was enough to cause the heat in her cheeks to rise again.

She received a slight reprieve when J'onn entered her room. "Welcome back Diana." He greeted. "We were all concerned about you."

"Well, as you can see J'onn, I'm going to be just fine." Diana responded as she worked to regain her composure.

"Are you so sure?" J'onn asked. "I don't mean to intrude, but your feelings and thoughts are running rather rampant."

"I….I'm sorry J'onn." Diana said as she lowered her head. "I believe that I just experienced a vivid dream. A very, vivid and powerful dream. I wasn't even certain that it was a dream for a few moments. It seemed so real."

"Would you care to discuss this dream?" J'onn offered.

Diana knew that J'onn would be the one to help hash out what had happened in her head. But before that she was also curious about the person that had been at the forefront of her dream. "Yes J'onn but first I need to ask you something." She said, and when J'onn motioned for her to continue on, she did. "Do you know what Batman was doing sitting next to me in my medical bed?"

"Did Batman not tell you himself?" J'onn asked. He could almost sense the foolishness and fear that crept up inside of Bruce's mind. It wouldn't be surprising in the least for him to have kept Diana in the dark about his feelings. Diana looked dumbfounded and confused by his question. "No. That wouldn't be like him to divulge regarding such things I suppose."

"Since Batman likely won't ever let me know the reason for him being in my bed, perhaps you could enlighten me." Diana prodded for the answer. She knew that J'onn was aware of what was going on, and she wanted to know herself. She felt that she had a right to know. "Please J'onn."

J'onn gave Diana a look that would have been misconstrued as filled with pity from anyone else, but she knew that he was silently debating what he should be willing to tell. J'onn moved a little closer to her bedside and knelt down so that they were eye level. "Security code J'onn-Lima-Alpha-Charlie-17-29-Bravo. Security override camera feed and medical wing recovery quarter door locks."

Diana glanced around as she heard the cameras winding down and the locks on the doors all clicking. "What was that about?" She asked.

"Batman seems to have a way of knowing everything that happens within the Watchtower." J'onn explained. "Surveillance and barging in at compromising times seems to be a talent that he has perfected. Now he will know that something happened, but not what."

"A mystery like that would probably drive him crazy until he uncovers the truth about what happened." Diana surmised with a smile gracing her still somewhat bruised faced. There was still some considerable pain from where her jaw had been broken, but by now it had begun to heal enough where J'onn knew better than to wire it shut. She rubbed her jaw to help ease the pain as she waited for J'onn to offer his explanation about the medical bed situation.

After making certain that Batman was nowhere to be found, J'onn returned his eye level position with Diana's. "Batman has been here at your side ever since we returned to the Watchtower." J'onn said as he started to tell the story. "Twelve hours after we arrived and I had treated your wounds, he was already struggling with exhaustion and was finally willing to think about resting after some prodding from both Superman and I. However I knew that he wasn't about to leave, and suggested that he move a bed next to yours to rest. It was then that you seemed to come to, almost as though you'd been an observer to the conversation and wanted to join in. Then you grabbed hold of his hand when we heard you saying his name."

"I did?" She asked with a surprising hint in her tone. She wasn't aware of any of this happening.

J'onn nodded his head and continued. "When I came in again to check on you, he had been sleeping next to you, and you had yet to release his hand. He woke and explained to me that you hadn't let go since shortly after I had left the two of you alone, which had been almost two hours by then. He then spent the next three days at your side, rarely allowing himself to lie next to you so he could sleep for an hour here and there until you woke up this evening."

"Three days!?" Diana exclaimed. She didn't know she had lost so much time. Then she fell silent as another notion came to her. Bruce had been there the entire time. Had he done something to trigger her dream? Perhaps an inappropriate touch here or there? No she concluded. Some other men would do such a thing, but not Bruce. She just knew that he would respect her enough to only be there out of support, and perhaps if she were special enough to him, also because he cared for her.

J'onn seemed to read her like a book. "Batman was greatly concerned for you." He said. "The only times I was aware of his thoughts not being on you were when Agent Faraday tried to reach out to him for a briefing of his account during the mission. That was…. Not an entirely pleasant visit. Since then Superman and Batman have been involved in, rather heated conversations to say the least. I'm afraid that he holds our Kryptonian friend responsible for Faraday being permitted aboard the Watchtower."

Hearing that caused Diana to run a hand through her raven hair as she scrunched her nose while trying to remember something that she was supposed to have done, and then suddenly it came rushing back to her. She had agreed to a lunch date with Agent Faraday just a day after she'd stormed out of the Manor when Bruce had left her extremely frustrated and angered from his immediate dismissal of her attempt to help with Bane. It was just supposed to be an innocent lunch between colleagues. Something that she'd done with League members like Flash, J'onn, and Kal. "I assume Batman didn't appreciate the approach King took with him." Diana guessed.

"That would be an understatement." J'onn responded. "Meeting Agent Faraday was how Batman discovered his status and access levels."

"That should certainly make staff meetings more interesting in the least." Diana commented with a small smile before turning serious again. "Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I need to gain an understanding about this dream that I experienced J'onn. I hoped that you would be able to help me."

"I will do what I can." J'onn replied. "Please continue."

Diana started trying to describe the happenings of her dream, but after becoming rather embarrassed while giving her description, she asked J'onn to probe her mind to discover the rest of the details. She thought that perhaps that would give him a better and more accurate account of what happened rather than her trying to recall the details. She looked into his glowing orange eyes as she patiently waited for him to locate what he was looking for and help to resolve any confusion. She was about to try and reach out to him in her mind when the orange glow left his eyes and he looked back at her. "I've found the details of your dream Diana." He said. "I do have a question or two for you before I let you know of my thoughts on this."

J'onn quickly set up a telepathic link between the two of them and reached out to Diana, asking her to close her eyes. Upon closing her eyes, Diana seemed to be viewing herself on the medical bed and Batman at the foot of it with her medical chart in his hands. Neither of them were moving as though time for them had stopped. What's going on? She asked mentally.

I've brought you into the memories of your dream Diana. J'onn said as an image of him appeared next to her. Inside your mind, it will be easier for you to recall anything that happened during the dream as well as outside it.

I understand J'onn. Diana replied. I'm ready to continue when you are.

After saying that, the two heroes watched as the dream versions of Batman and Diana interacted just as they had during Diana's actual dream. When Batman moved to take dream Diana's blood pressure, J'onn paused the dream versions again. I need you to think Diana.He instructed. Do you recall Batman making contact with your body at any point during this moment?

No, nothing J'onn. She answered after giving it some thought.

Batman had never stopped holding your hand, even before you were experiencing this dream. J'onn responded. I've determined from this, that Batman didn't have an impact that caused this dream to occur.

It had to be some outside force though J'onn. Diana half argued. I've never experienced something so vivid and…. And… well…vivid. Perhaps there was some intervention by my Gods? She suggested.

I'm afraid not Diana. J'onn answered. I sense no other influence that would be the cause of such a dream. I do not believe that any being, God or no, has intervened to have caused this. I believe that it came purely from the recesses of your mind.

But…..how? Why did this happen then?"She asked. I've never experienced anything like this before.

That, you will have to discover on your own. J'onn responded. Although perhaps Batman would be willing and able to help you to discover the root of this dream.

Able yes, willing no. Diana grimly thought to herself before realizing that J'onn was still connected to her mind.

You might be surprised Diana. He said before breaking the telepathic link between the two of them.

Diana slowly opened her eyes to find that she was on the medical bed by herself once again with J'onn standing next to her. Her mind quickly began to race again with questions. How would she approach Bruce about the dream? Should she just keep it to herself? She was still confused about what to make of even thinking or dreaming about a man in such a manner. It was completely against what she'd been taught growing up.

"If I may add one more word of advice Diana." J'onn offered as he could still sense the turmoil going on around her thoughts. He sat down next to her and when she looked into his eyes, he continued. "You don't have to divulge this information today, tomorrow, or even a week from now. This is not a battle where action or confrontation should be immediate. Take your time and seek out your feelings. When you are at peace with your decision is when you should act. Also, when you are ready, I have already signed off on your release from the medical wing. You are free to return to your personal quarters, and I will schedule an evaluation next week for you to return to active mission status."

"Thank you J'onn." Diana replied with a warm smile. "You've been a great help." She sat there in her medical bed for a few moments until J'onn left before she removed the covers and slid her legs over the side of the bed. She looked down at her feet, still sifting through the thoughts about what to do. She wanted to see Bruce, but at the same time she didn't. These feelings of attraction that had sprouted up from the dream left her rattled still. One revelation was that she needed to consult with her patron Goddesses and Gods, and perhaps her mother as well about what should be done. She decided that she wanted to do at least one of those things before she ran into Bruce again, and with that thought in her mind she quickly located and changed into her armor before leaving the medical wing in the direction of her personal quarters. Inside there was an altar that she would use as a means to reach out to her Gods and Goddesses.

Little did she know that no sooner than when Bruce had made contact with J'onn to inform him of Diana's waking up, he'd then immediately went straight to the teleporters and off of the Watchtower. He too had a lot on his mind to go through, not to mention that the Joker was still out there on the loose. He also needed to get back to strength training and physical therapy as he was still nowhere near back to 100% health. He also wanted to do a little more digging into the areas of the government that Agent Faraday had involvement with. He wanted to know what all of the main objectives were for Faraday aside from being the liaison between the U.S. Government and the Justice League. His own secret identity demanded no less as many of the people that he loved could potentially be at risk if anyone were to discover that Bruce Wayne was indeed Batman.

~~ Two weeks later ~~

"I first want to welcome Wonder Woman back to active status." Superman proclaimed as the beginning announcements for the status meeting. Even though she'd been technically back for almost six days by the time the meeting had taken place, Diana was appreciative of the gesture. It kind of brought a sense of her return as being official. She looked around the room to see the warm smiles from her comrades in arms. It wasn't until her eyes fell upon the empty seat to her right that she felt a little morose. Batman wasn't in attendance. She hadn't seen him since she woke up and found him in her bed next to her. She even missed him when he was on monitor duty. She had waited until his shift to go to see him, but when she entered, instead of Batman, Flash was sitting at the desk. Batman had willingly swapped with Flash so that he could go out with a date in Central City. Diana had neglected to pay attention to the twenty-four hour schedule as it had the changes listed on it rather than the weekly schedule. Flash was supposed to have the shift just before Batman's, but Batman accepted Flash's request to swap with no argument at all. Before he'd been unwilling to swap shifts with anyone for monitor duty.

It was slightly disheartening to Diana as she had already reached out in prayer to her Goddesses for enlightenment about her dream. Aphrodite had claimed innocence when Athena accused her of meddling with Morpheus to put such thoughts into the Amazon champion's head, even just in the form of a dream. Diana couldn't have been sure, but she thought she noticed Aphrodite winking at her when Athena wasn't looking. After speaking with her Goddesses, Diana had chosen not to bring her mother into the loop about the dream. She was afraid that Hippolyta would simply blame the unfortunate and innocent male that was in Diana's dream as the culprit and have him castrated and hung for any treachery she'd deemed him guilty of. Although Diana was sure that Bruce would be a lot more than her mother had bargained for in confining, she chose to maintain the peace by remaining silent on this one instance with her mother.

After a few days without seeing Batman, Diana decided to utilize some of her own monitor duty time and reviewed the security footage of the Watchtower medical wing as well as the mission reports regarding what happened to Ra's and his plan. Watching the videos only confirmed what she already believed to be true. Batman had never left her side, and more importantly never infringed upon her innocence. She also saw the confrontation between both Batman and Agent Faraday as well as with Batman and Superman. While there was no audio to go off of, but she could plainly make out the confrontational stature of both meetings based solely on body language. She couldn't help but to smile a little upon seeing that even Superman's posture seemed to cower ever so slightly when Batman stood tall and firm. But something still had not sat right with Diana over Batman being absent for such a long time. She'd received congratulations and offers of lunch or breakfast as time to catch up with each member of the Justice League, and even received a second opportunity to go out with Agent Faraday again. It was something she told him that she would think about as a response. She felt that Agent Faraday was a good man, but she didn't want to do anything that would give him the implication of romantic interest as it just didn't exist for her when it came to him. Without the dream to fall back on, she wouldn't have known what that interest felt like, and that was why she'd originally agreed upon the lunch date. Now she felt like she should be more careful about what types of meetings to accept from anyone, but especially with men.

Thinking about Diana's interactions with Agent Faraday seemed to fall in line with the topics of the status meetings as Superman continued progressing through each topic on his agenda. "I hope almost everyone's had a chance to get acclimated with Agent King Faraday." He said. "His superiors have approached him about being added to this status meeting that we hold going forward. I'm sure it's just to stay on top of our findings during missions, but I'm not convinced this is an approach that we should permit."

"I'm sure Bats won't vote for this one." Flash whispered to Shayera in a joking manner which earned him an elbow from the Thanagarian in the arm.

Superman sighed before rising from his seat. He was looking down at the table just in front of him where he placed his hands as he leaned over slightly. "I suppose there's no sense in hiding this from anyone." He said before looking up and at each League member as he continued. "Everyone's aware that Batman was less than pleased about Agent Faraday being permitted onboard the Watchtower. All of you know already how paranoid he can tend to be, especially when it comes to decisions being made without his knowing of them." That caused a snicker to come from Flash's direction followed by another elbow shot to the arm. "Now normally I'd chalk this up to just paranoia, but Batman did bring up some specific points that are very valid, and that's why I'm hesitant to allow any more access than what we've already granted Faraday and the government."

"What points did Batman make Kal?" Diana asked.

"That Faraday's being here could and likely would in time compromise at least one if not all of our secret identities, and I'm officially moving that the liaison role be removed effective immediately." Batman said from the doorway, causing everyone to jump and look in his direction.

"I thought you said that we shouldn't take that route to remove him completely." Superman recalled.

Batman marched straight over to his seat before inserting a USB drive into one of the conference table ports before typing in his password to grant access to the drive. All of a sudden, 3D images appeared above the table showing multitudes of files. He clicked on the first file, which caused pages to open into view showing all the details on Agent Faraday. "I did, but I've done some research on Agent Faraday and his position as liaison since then. As you can see here, Faraday's record is quite impressive as well as large for a man of his age. He's been involved in a variety of projects, most having been extremely successful or at the very least fruitful."

"So are you saying that he's deviated from that honorable distinction?" Shayera asked.

"No." Batman answered before closing that file and opening another regarding the liaison position itself. "He's innocent and so is the position that he's filled."

"Then what's the problem?" Flash asked.

"The problem is that there are other agencies that are using the role he's been granted as a means to study us." Batman answered again as he closed the liaison file and opened all of the other files but one. They all contained some informational data on each of the six members of the Justice League, including images of them while training and conversing in different areas of the Watchtower as well as out in public on Earth. Batman's file held the least information to the surprise of no one whereas certain members such as John Stewart contained a plethora of information. "As you can see they've already gotten a head start on each one of us."

Batman closed all the files after giving each of them ample time to review what information had been gathered on them. Superman and Flash each blew sighs of relief at discovering that their identities were safe for the time being. But that only brought their minds back to the question that Batman had left hanging. "Who would do this?" Superman asked.

It was then that Batman opened the last file. He let them look long and hard, seeing if anyone would react. When no one did, he spoke. "I don't know who they are. They've covered their tracks well, and it's been difficult to make any headway. Each time I find a money trail, it turns into another dead end. Regardless of who's behind it, we need to end their line of information off NOW."

Everyone looked around in silence for a moment before Flash raised his hand. "I want to make a motion that Batman's request for the liaison position to be removed effective immediately." He said.

Superman didn't even hesitate. "Seconded." He called out.

"Shall we put it to a vote then?" J'onn asked. "All for the removal of the liaison position." He waited and counted each raised hand. "All opposed." He announced before counting again. "The vote stands in favor that the position of liaison be removed by a count of four to two."

J'onn had abstained from the vote as he tallied the totals instead. Should the need have come, he'd have served as the tie breaker. Shayera and Diana were the only two that didn't vote in favor. "I just think that we should use this to our advantage and backtrack until we find out who's behind it all." Shayera explained.

"I agree." Diana stated. "Besides, you said it yourself that Agent Faraday has been an honorable man. Perhaps he could help us discover the persons behind this if we involved him as well."

"Too dangerous Diana." Batman added.

"He's right." Superman concurred. "Those of us with secret identities use those lives to protect our loved ones from retribution to get back at us. We can't allow that if we can help it at all."

"I understand Kal, really I do." Diana replied. "But we're giving up our one lead on finding out who these people are and what their goals are as well."

"No, princess. We're not." Batman chimed in before looking up at the clock and turning towards the door. "We're forcing their hand."

The meeting unofficially adjourned as everyone followed Batman out of the conference room where he headed straight to the teleporter room. Everyone filed in and only had to wait about thirty seconds before the teleporter activated and a figure appeared from the bright light before revealing Agent Faraday. "Well Batman, I'm glad that….you…came….around." King said as he took notice of all the League members standing there before him. "I…..suppose this isn't the briefing that I wanted from you is it?"

"Not quite." Batman said as he pulled an envelope out from under his cape while he walked up to King. "We've voted. You're position as liaison has been removed effective immediately."

"You can't be serious." King responded while looking over the shoulder of Batman at Superman and the rest of the League. When he saw the stern looks from each member, he knew that Batman had gotten his way. "I'm sure the public won't be very happy to hear that you aren't working with its government." He said as a last ditch effort to change their minds.

"I'm going to need your access card and communicator." Batman said as he held out a hand expectantly waiting for the items to be placed there.

"This is asinine." King said as he pulled out the card and communicator before handing them over. "I thought we were working to build trust."

"We were trusting." Superman said.

Batman entered some codes into the teleporter controls before stepping up next to King and leaning in next to his ear. He pulled out on one of the sides of King's suit jacket and stuffed the envelope into the inner pocket before he whispered his command. "As your last act as liaison between the Justice League and the United States government, hand this envelope over to your superiors along with this message." Batman quietly said, but loud enough for the entire League behind him to hear clearly. "Check. It's your move."

Batman padded onto the jacket a couple times for emphasis before taking two steps back away from the bewildered Agent Faraday and pressing the button to engage the teleporter. When Agent Faraday disappeared from view, the League members began to disperse, but Diana stood there waiting for Batman to turn towards the door and her. She watched with her hands placed on her hips as Batman returned to the teleporter controls and began to type in various commands. She was beginning to wonder if Bruce was actually going to try and escape back to his cave without even speaking to her. "Something on your mind Princess?" He asked, ending that line of thought from her.

"I haven't seen you since I woke up." Diana commented as she moved over towards him. "If I didn't know any better, I'd think that you were trying to avoid me Bruce."

"On the Watchtower, I can't be addressed like that Diana." Batman said as he turned his head slightly to face her. "Even though I said Faraday was innocent, that doesn't mean he didn't provide the means for someone else to keep tabs on us. I have to go through everything onboard to be sure there isn't any possibility of leaks finding their way into the wrong hands."

"Fair enough, but you still haven't addressed your absence and avoidance of me, and please don't insult my intelligence by saying you weren't avoiding me." Diana fired back as she noticed the subtle change of conversation that he'd attempted.

Batman's typing ceased at that moment as he gave her his full attention. "Between the damage Bane's caused as well as the Joker still being on the loose and my having to go through new access permissions being granted to outsiders, I've been just a little busy princess." He responded.

"Oh." Diana said. She had half expected an answer like that from him, but it didn't remove the sting that she felt upon actually hearing it. She wanted to keep him talking though as she was still feeling out what was going on inside her head about Bruce and her level of interest in him. Was he just a colleague, friend, or did she desire something more about that man? She thought quickly of a topic to use to keep him from leaving and immediately focused on work. "I've almost caught up on everything that I missed. I even had a chance to read your log. I'm a little confused though on one part."

"And what part is that?" Batman asked.

"You said in your report that you were confronted by Ra's and Talia al Ghul when you were looking for Shayera and John and placing explosives throughout the palace." Diana replied. "Yet I read that they actually escaped. How did they get away if it was just you and them in a hallway?"

"You were in trouble." Batman explained. "I made a judgment call and let them get away so that I could help Superman, J'onn, and you."

"But Batman, we all know the risks that come with being a member of the Justice League." Diana said. She didn't like finding out that Bruce had allowed Ra's to escape so easily. "I didn't need you to save me; I needed you to stop …."

Batman interrupted her at that point. "If it weren't for my decision, you wouldn't even be here right now. None of you would be."

"It would've been an honorable death." Diana countered. She had become increasingly irritated at that point. Had he stayed with her all that time because he thought of her as weak? She certainly wouldn't let him make that mistake twice. "We Amazons have been trained since birth to battle and die if need be with honor. Sometimes I think all of you men are so hardheaded that you don't think about the long term repercussions. Ra's can come back with another terrible plan to cripple the world and perhaps then we won't be able to stop him. Next time; remember that I'm an Amazon; we're prepared from birth to give our lives in battle if needed for the greater good. I knew what the consequences were going into this mission, and I'll not be treated like some damsel in distress."

Batman had heard just about enough about his choices. "There's nothing honorable about dying needlessly, and that's what would have happened." He replied with the anger evident in his voice. "And I didn't save you because I thought you were a damsel in distress. I saved you because…." He trailed off sighing in frustration and turned away from her.

Diana saw the change from anger to something she'd not seen in Batman's posture before. It concerned her a little to see that. She placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, wanting to give him her strength. "Then why Bruce? She asked. She needed to know. "You should have worried about saving the world instead of me, or Kal, or J'onn."

Batman finished punching in the codes and walked out of her grip on his shoulder and onto the teleporter pad. "Maybe I figured the world's not worth saving if you weren't in it." He answered before looking up into her soft blue eyes. "After all, the world needs Wonder Woman, Superman, and the Martian Manhunter. In the same situation, I'd do it again."

Diana wasn't buying Bruce's attempt to deflect some of his focus onto their other two comrades. "I suppose I understand." Diana responded. Be safe in Gotham, and don't try to avoid me here anymore." She said before engaging the teleporter with a pleasant smile on her face.

Bruce smirked in return and added just before disappearing in the blinding white light. "It's good to have you back Princess." It was at that moment she found out what she needed. Bruce was worth pursuing, and she decided then that she would be doing so.

~~ Government Offices ~~

A government official was running through the hallways of a complex with a folder tucked firmly under his arm. He made a left turn into a section of the building that was blocked off with caution tape over numerous doors. He eventually ended up at one door towards the middle of the hallway, which turned out to be an elevator instead. The man fidgeted as he waited for the doors to open. When the elevator finally came to a stop, he quickly exited and headed straight to an office at the end of the row. Once inside the office, the man removed the file from under his arm and tossed it gently on top of the desk, and the person behind the desk looked at the now opened folder. "What do they know aside from the title of our organizational group?" The person at the desk asked before setting the open file down and revealing the page with the name "CADMUS" on it.