Starting off before the big to do in the prequel area, but with my own take on how things should have gone down.
Chapter 1: The Beginning And The End
~~ 5 Years ago ~~
Diana woke up with an extremely content and satisfied look on her face. She was glowing it seemed as she noticed the glean from the layer of moist sweat that covered her body as it shone off the moonlight that pierced through the bedroom windows. She took her left index finger and dragged it lightly across the exposed part of the chest that she wasn't using as a pillow at the moment. At the feel of her finger gliding across his chest, Bruce stirred, opening his eyes and looking down at the beautiful Amazon princess that was laying next to him with her leg draped over his and her head resting between his neck and shoulder. He couldn't stop himself from smiling while watching Diana absentmindedly tracing the scars covering his chest, feeling a fiery sensation along where her finger glided across his skin. He just laid there silently admiring the woman who had chosen to be with him on what had become a very special night. This night had quickly turned into one of the happiest moments of his life, and he still found that he couldn't believe she was here with him. To serve as confirmation, he took his right hand and placed it over her left hand, causing her to cease in tracing his scars. She turned her head to look into his eyes, while showing her happiness in the smile plastered on her face.
"Welcome back." Diana said warmly to him while smiling mischievously. "Did you have a nice nap?"
Bruce raised his hand under Diana's chin and brought her lips to his for a soft and intimate kiss. "What do you think?" He teasingly responded.
"I'm surprised that you woke up at all actually after the extended workout I put you through." Diana responded as she moved her left hand to cup Bruce's right cheek and softly began to stroke it, enjoying the feel of stubble beneath her hand.
"I'm almost afraid to sleep." Bruce admitted quietly. "It feels like I'm in a dream. I still can't believe you're here with me."
"I'm not going anywhere Bruce." Diana reaffirmed for him with confidence showing prominently in her voice. "It took such a long time to get here; I'd be foolish to leave now when I've finally gotten what I've wanted from you for years."
Hearing this caused Bruce to lean in and kiss her on the forehead as she had returned to tracing his scars. Even though he didn't want to, Bruce took a moment and looked over at the clock on his nightstand. When he saw what time it was he sighed in resignation. Diana heard it and looked up at him, curious to what was on his mind. "If it were up to me, I could easily find myself staying here for the rest of my life next to you."
"Hmm, don't tempt me Bruce." Diana teased before turning serious. "I know that we both have responsibilities to attend to. You need to patrol your city and keep looking for the Joker, and I should return to the Watchtower to see if any progress has been made there. I have to sit in on my monitor duty shift at the very least."
"I know princess. You're right." Bruce commented as he pulled Diana closer for another soft and passion filled kiss. As the passion increased, his hands began traveling down her body which she leaned into as she was enjoying the feel of his touch against her bare skin. Bruce rolled over so that he was on top of Diana again with his right hand caressing her breast before Diana suddenly stopped his hand with her own.
"If you don't stop now….we'll never be able to deal with our responsibilities." Diana forced out between breaths as she tried to maintain her composure. He continued kissing Diana down her neck, causing her body to react again just as it had each time before earlier this night. Diana gasped as she fought to catch her breath. "Bruce!" She called out. "You're incorrigible."
"You're not…..disappointed…..are you?" He asked in between kisses.
Diana fought for every ounce of control she could muster as she placed both hands on Bruce's face and pulled him away from her neck. "Not at all." She answered confidently. "I want nothing more than to let you continue, but we both know that we have to stop before we can't. For now."
"For now." Bruce repeated as he sat up and offered Diana a hand to stand up out of bed. They stood there for a moment before she leaned in and he wrapped his arms around her. Neither one of them expected that they would find such happiness. Diana was so happy that she'd managed to find her way into Bruce's heart. He was truly a warm hearted man that was well worth the struggle and the wait that she'd went through. He'd made love to her three times already and seemed ready for a fourth round if she were to give in to her desire to remain there with him. She'd never anticipated the level of pleasure that she received from being with Bruce. It was a most welcomed and pleasing surprise for her as she was just happy that she'd gained his love for her. She'd only gone in on this night hoping that Bruce would open up to her emotionally. There was no true plan or intention for the night to become physical, but once Bruce dropped his defenses, he overwhelmed her with his emotions and before Diana knew what had happened, she'd joined him in his master bedroom and given herself fully to him. Everything seemed to be turning to a state of bliss. Bruce had even offered the happy news between love making sessions that Clark had asked him to be the godfather of his unborn child. Knowing that Superman was about to become a proud parent, she began to ponder one day becoming a mother. She found that she could easily picture herself having a child to raise with Bruce. She knew this to be true, and no matter what happened in the future, she held no regrets whatsoever about what happened on this night, and couldn't wait for the moment where they would have more time to be together, but for now, duty beckoned for them both.
Reluctantly, they each released the other and located their clothes strewn about the bedroom floor so that they could get dressed and return to the Batcave where Bruce would teleport Diana up to the Watchtower before he left to patrol his city. When they made it down to the cave, Bruce was internally arguing with himself whether he was ready to profess to Diana just how in love with her that he was, but before he could muster up the fortitude, the Cray super computer sounded off an alarm that caught both of their attention, and Bruce walked over to the computer with Diana following closely behind him. She watched as he opened up the hail request that triggered the alarm, revealing Superman's face. "Bruce, I received word that Jimmy Olsen's body was recently found at the docks."
"I was planning on returning to STAR Labs in Metropolis to continue investigating the break in from the other night anyways." Bruce managed to say. "Someone there knows what the Joker took, and we need to know what it was."
"I can help Kal at the crime scene of Mr. Olsen." Diana offered. "I know that it must be difficult being a friend of yours."
"I appreciate that Diana." Superman replied. "I'll meet you there."
Bruce ended the transmission and turned towards the locker area heading to the changing room to get into the Batsuit. Within a couple minutes he was walking back out with his cowl in hand. Diana realized that she admired her new lover in his suit, especially with his handsome face still uncovered for her to enjoy. She wasn't looking forward to leaving though as she wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of her time next to Bruce, but she knew that simply wasn't possible. They were heroes and there were innocent lives that would depend on them to stand up against the evils of the world, to set an example that what is good in this world is worth fighting for. One look at Bruce was enough for her to see that he would always be there to fight against any odds because it was the right thing to do, and not because it's easy. She stood there for a moment just drinking in the man that was walking over to her at the teleporter. "I'll meet up with you after I've checked out STAR Labs and gotten the answers we need." Bruce said as he stood just before her.
"Until then." Diana responded before leaning in and placing a soft chaste kiss on his lips before stepping onto the teleporter pad and waiting for him to engage the teleporter. When Diana disappeared from sight, Bruce slipped the cowl on over his head and made his way over to the Batwing. He quickly performed a preflight diagnostic check before powering on the engines and taking off into the night sky.
Shooting through the air like a rocket, Batman flew at maximum velocity to Metropolis, and within no time he was hovering over the STAR Labs facility. Batman entered from the rooftop and instantly began his search for the personnel that had been onsite when the Joker had broken in before. Surely one of them had seen or noticed something out of place. Joker wouldn't have broken in without some type of goal in mind, and Batman was going to make it his business to find out what that something was. He dropped down onto the roof and entered through the emergency access door with relative ease, and slowly and methodically made his way through the entire facility until he finally reached his destination. Business seemed to go by without noticing Batman's presence as scientists were scurrying about in a manner that told Batman they were trying to get rid of something that could be brought up from a police investigation. It was when he saw them moving over to a computer terminal that he made his presence known. "What are you trying to cover up doctor?" He asked as the scientist sitting in front of the computer jumped up in shock.
"N…Nothing….Nothing Batman." The scientist managed to squeak out.
"Step aside doctor." Batman ordered. "Let's just see what this nothing is that you were about to delete."
"N…No, you can't. " The scientist stated and began to lunge forward, only to have his arm snatched in a hold by Batman while simultaneously becoming the recipient of a cower inducing Bat glare, and cowering for him to see it was. "I'll, I'll tell you what you need to know."
"I want to know what the Joker took." Batman stated.
The scientist hesitated for a moment but he knew that he was only delaying the inevitable. While Batman had become known as a hero, his methods were more violently direct and he wouldn't wait for things such as a warrant to seek out information. Instead he used his deductive skills to work around the issue of having illegally seized evidence thrown out of a court with other means of ensuring that justice was served to the guilty. The scientist had read all about the Dark Knight and his methods, and based on that knowledge he then began to spill every detail of what exactly they had been experimenting with.
~~ At the docks ~~
Diana was surveying the scene of the crime while Superman was discussing the situation with the police chief. He still couldn't believe that his good friend Jimmy had been murdered. According to the report, it appeared that a gun was fired through the lens and into his chest. It was a painful death as he eventually bled out while lying in the alleyway. He was looking at the chalk outline that revealed where Jimmy's body had been lying prone on the sidewalk when his thoughts were interrupted by Diana as she had approached him and was standing just to his left. "Kal." She said to further grab his attention. "The police collected some evidence. They found something peculiar."
"What is it Diana?" He asked.
Diana reached out holding a plastic evidence bag that contained a single playing card. "This was addressed to you." She said as she handed it to him.
Superman looked over the bloody playing card, wondering why it was addressed to him until he saw what card it was. He began thoroughly inspecting it until he found the reason why. He looked over at Diana with his face growing increasingly white with each passing second. "We need to find Batman, now." He said before tossing the card to the police chief and taking flight, disappearing through the maze of sky scrapers and buildings. Diana was quick to follow as she deduced on her own that Joker was the prime suspect, but didn't understand what seemed to cause the blood to drain from her best friend's face. She tracked Superman down just as he was landing in front of the STAR Labs facility, and just off in the distance Diana could see the Batwing hovering on auto pilot, which indicated that its pilot was still around as well. She landed next to Superman as he was quickly pushing through the front doors. He then scanned the area using his x-ray vision until he located where Batman was at inside the building before he started to run in that direction. He wasn't about to be subtle and planned to smash through walls in order to make the most direct approach to Bruce if it took much longer.
~~ Back in the Research department ~~
"Please Batman, you have to understand." The scientist was trying to explain. "We were only studying it for beneficial reasons. The only reason we didn't tell Superman was because he'd think we are using it for ulterior motives when that's just not the case."
"There is no valid reasoning behind it doctor." Batman fired back. "Your research has cost you the lives of multiple colleagues. I'd say that should be a good indicator of what it was actually being used for."
Just then Superman burst through the doors. "Batman, I need your help." He called out as he approached.
Batman could see the panic laced all over Superman's face, and started to become concerned himself. "What is it?" He asked while hiding the concern away.
"Joker was the one that killed Jimmy, and he left a calling card." Superman explained. "It was covered with Jimmy's blood, and there was microscopic print added to it. He put it there for me to find."
"What is he telling you?" Diana said as she joined the two of them in the Research department area.
"He has Lois." Superman answered in a worried tone.
Batman was quick to action as he immediately called in every available Justice League member to help with the search. After constructing a course of action, he went out on a search through the underbelly of Metropolis' society; seeking out any and all sources of information as to the Joker's whereabouts. By the time daylight was beginning to breach the morning sky, he'd come across some troubling information regarding the Joker and a "misplaced" nuclear warhead being in some way connected. Superman chose to stay away from the real world as Clark Kent and continued in a layered effort with the Flash to seek out and locate any trace of Lois or the Joker while Bruce investigated his findings. Bruce had kept the news of the warhead from the other members of the Justice League for the time being. He needed to know for sure if what he'd gained from some street thugs was accurate before he would share that information. He also felt that Superman was a bit on edge and didn't want to add any stress to his current situation unless absolutely necessary.
As the day moved along, Bruce investigated every government agency, looking for any information to confirm the missing warhead. By the time he'd finally located the group that had lost the warhead, Superman was well on his way to locating the Joker. Flash had come across some thugs that were involved in setting up the meeting location with Lois and Jimmy. It turned out to be an informant of Lois' that took a small fee to be swayed into betraying her trust. All it turned out to take was one call from the informant, and Jimmy and Lois were off in search of a dirty politician. That was all the setup that the Joker required in order to get Lois right where he wanted her.
Flash had reported back in to Batman all of his findings at the same time as he did Superman. Upon hearing what Flash had learned, Superman wanted to ask some questions of his own, and immediately took off towards the location of the thugs, but by the time he'd gotten there, the group was all lying in an apartment dead with twisted smiles evident on each of their faces. Between the time that Flash had confronted the thugs and gotten back to Batman and Superman, they had likely called Joker to inform him of Flash being told what had happened. In order to keep anything else from being leaked, Joker had apparently met back up with them and provided a deadly dose of his Joker venom. As Superman was the first to arrive at the scene of the crime, he was also privy to information that the others weren't. Joker had left yet another calling card with a location printed onto it. It was large enough that the normal human eye would have no trouble reading it, as he'd been unconcerned about giving up such information. Superman immediately took flight and headed in the direction that the Joker had given him.
When Batman arrived at the apartment, Superman was already long gone. He'd left no signs of knowing where the Joker was likely leading him to, but Batman knew that whatever and wherever it was, it certainly couldn't be good. Knowing that there was a limited amount of time, he quickly used the computer controls on his right gauntlet and pulled up the tracking beacon on Superman's communicator. Not one other member of the Justice League knew of the hidden tracking code that only Batman could override using a null cipher encryption for advanced protection against any attempt at hacking into it. It was an ancient form of encryption rarely used in the present world and nearly impossible to crack without the cipher being a known by the hacker. As soon as he triangulated Superman's current position, he immediately activated the sensor for the Batwing to approach for rapid pickup. It was then that he attempted to make contact. He reached up to the right side of his cowl and enabled the communicator to open a direct line. "Superman, come in." He called out.
After a few seconds of silence, some static began to come through. "I know where he's at Batman." Superman responded. "I'm going to stop him before he does something to hurt Lois."
"It's a trap." Batman replied, attempting to get Clark to think rationally.
"Then I'm going to spring it." Superman said before terminating the line.
At that time the Batwing was hovering over the apartment complex, and Batman climbed out a window before firing his grapnel up into the night sky, making contact with the hull of the Batwing. Within seconds, he was climbing into the cockpit and taking off towards Gotham as fast as the Batwing could carry him.
~~ Gotham City ~~
Superman burst through the main doors of the abandoned warehouse that matched the address Joker had written on the card. Superman tried scanning the area for any signs of life, but the walls had been prepared for him, lined with lead. Without x-ray vision, he instead focused on his other senses to guide him. Walking through the halls within the building, he found that even his super hearing was affected. Joker had planned everything out well as he was using a sound system installed to carry voices and other noises where they weren't. One of these speakers had led Superman to a dead end office. His fear for his wife's wellbeing was beginning to weigh on his frustration when suddenly a video monitor came to life, revealing the Joker's twisted smiling face before him. "Well hello Big Blue." Joker called out. "I was beginning to wonder just how much longer you were going to make me entertain your little wifey here."
"Where is she?" Superman demanded.
"Oh, she's merely enjoying the successful surgery that she underwent." Joker answered.
"What….did…..you…..do….to her." Superman growled behind clenched teeth.
"Oh don't be such a spoil sport there Supie boy." Joker cackled. "I haven't harmed your precious Lois…..Well, not much anyways. I'm afraid that she simply wasn't the talkative sort. At least not at first. But after some time, your precious Lois began to share such intimate details. I suppose I should offer congratulations on your unborn son. Kind of anticlimactic though already knowing everything about the kid if you asked me."
"I swear to you Joker, if she has one hair out of place…" Superman began to threaten before being cut off.
"Oh Supes, don't get your panties in a bind." Joker fired back. "You'll see Lois again soon enough and that's the point." Joker began to laugh at the look he saw on Superman's face. "She's up the hallway to the left, third room from the back."
Superman wasted little time in moving to the room Joker had indicated, but upon opening the door, he found the room to be empty. He slammed his fist against the wall, putting a giant fist sized dent in it. Just then the room instantaneously filled with smoke. Under normal circumstances, he'd not even be affected by it, but initially inhaling some of the smoke had caused him to begin coughing. After a few moments of coughing and feeling his way through the smoke out of that room, he began to experience something unlike he'd ever really felt before. He was short of breath and completely unable to focus on what was ahead of him. He stumbled down through a corridor while trying to clear his head and blurred vision. He didn't know what was happening to him, but he had to push on for Lois and their child. They were depending on him to get through this and rescue them from this mad man. He lamented the fact that he'd not listened to Batman about the trap. Deep inside he knew that what Bruce was telling him was more for his own safety and benefit than anything else. He'd irrationally disregarded it, not caring about the trap, and only thinking about the welfare of his wife and child. His only option now was to press forward, and so that's what he did. He gasped in shock when he reached the end of the corridor, as standing before him were three replicated Doomsdays. The one to the front was steadily approaching him as he took a defensive stance, ready for battle. He'd not let fifty Doomsday monsters keep him from saving Lois let alone the three that were here before him. As the first monster approached he sidestepped and backhanded it into a wall, where it quickly crumpled to the ground. Not wanting to give the monster a chance to recover, he quickly moved over to it, grabbing Doomsday by the throat, and began to squeeze as the monster struggled to get free. He glanced over to the other two monsters as they were standing still, merely watching a monitor screen off to the side. So long as they refrained from attacking him though, he'd continue to focus on the one that was beginning to become limp in his grip.
Batman was coming upon the outskirts of Gotham City in the Batwing almost two minutes after Superman had landed at an abandoned warehouse. It had been run by mobsters, and as such they'd paid to keep certain aliens from being able to view what actually went down inside the facility until Batman had gathered enough evidence and leverage to be sure justice was reached for the guilty. Within another two minutes, he'd be at that facility, and hopefully be able to get to Clark before he'd gotten himself into too much trouble. Batman knew the Joker well enough to recognize when he was pushing someone's buttons. He'd done it to others before like Harleen and Harvey Dent. He used his twisted yet brilliant mind to his advantage in being sure he got his way, and this instance would be the same.
Finally he'd arrived at the warehouse and he could plainly see where Clark had plowed through the main doors. If there were time, he'd scold the Kryptonian for being so careless, but would save that for once Lois was safe. As he slipped silently through an access point into the building, he sent a message out to all available members of the Justice League. He knew the rage and desperation that was building inside Superman, and despite his stubborn nature, he also knew that there was a chance he'd need help to keep Superman from crossing a line that he'd never be able to return from. Batman made his way down through the upper floors of the building until he came upon a scene that drew his immediate attention. He walked into a large open room where a medical table was set in the center. There were surgical tools strewn about the room around that table alongside some blood soaked gauze. Then over in a corner of the room was a crumpled form of a body wearing what appeared to be a white lab coat. Batman knelt down and rolled the body over to get a look at the young female doctor. He pulled out a device and placed a finger in it to pull a finger print scan and it took only a matter of seconds before information began flowing before him about this victim. She was a renowned cardiovascular surgeon that had also dabbled in the neurosurgical field. She had established herself as one of the best doctors to choose from for any needed surgical procedures when it involved the heart. It was obvious that she'd been brutally murdered by the Joker as there was still a scalpel protruding out of the young woman's chest just about where the heart would be located. Something about this wasn't sitting right with the current situation. He reached for his communicator to give Superman more information about what he'd just discovered, but the Kryptonian had set his communicator to dark mode. The only thing Batman could do then to get word to him personally would be to again use the tracking code to pinpoint Superman's location. As he did that, he continued scanning the room for any clues of evidence when his eyes found some crumpled pieces of paper in a trash bin next to a computer desk in the corner of the room. He pulled them all out, flattening each piece as he quickly scanned through the documents until he came across one that spelled out what had been done. A device similar to a pacemaker apparently could be installed to send off a signal if a person's heartbeat were to cease. His tracking program located where Superman was, and confirmed that he was still in the building, but a floor down and at the opposite end of the building. Batman was about to move in that direction when he was interrupted by the sound of the intercom PA system clicking on. "Oh Batsy, you're trying to foil my fun." Joker mock whined. "We'll have no interruptions from bats tonight!"
Just then the door to the room Batman was in slammed shut and locked. The next thing Batman heard was the maniacal laughter of the clown over the PA system. "Don't worry my pointy eared friend; I haven't left you high and dry." Joker stated. "How about some entertainment?"
The computer on the desk then suddenly came to life, showing a security monitor video stream of Superman strangling Lois. She didn't have much time left judging from the lack of movement in her body as she was beginning to cease in her attempts to get free. Batman quickly pulled out his explosive gel gun and formed a circle around himself before detonating it, causing him to fall into the lower level. He hoped that the explosion would get Superman's attention, but if not he was going to try one last thing. He mentally reached out to J'onn and received a quick response. J'onn, you have to contact Superman now! He's about to kill Lois. Once he sent that thought out to J'onn, everything else just clicked into place. If her heart stops, then the missing nuclear bomb is going to explode.
Understood. J'onn responded before severing that mental connection and reaching out to Superman's mind. As soon as he made that attempt, he was met with an unnatural amount of fear that was consuming Superman's ability to think rationally. J'onn struggled, but focused his mind to the task at hand and pushed through that fear in search of his friend. Superman. He called out. You must stop what you are doing immediately.
I can't J'onn. Superman responded. If I do, then Doomsday will take advantage of the situation. I've got to get through the monster before Joker kills Lois.
J'onn wasn't sure how to respond, so he connected Batman's mind into the conversation. Batman has told me that you are killing Lois.
Let her go Clark! Batman yelled in his mind. You're killing her.
Superman clenched his eyes shut, not believing what his two friends were telling him. How could he be killing Lois? But why would his two friends tell him something if it weren't true? At that thought he slowly opened his eyes as he eased his grip slightly. His vision was blurry again, but what he could see in front of him was definitely not the large grey monster, but a human. He instantly released his grip and moved quickly to catch Lois' body before it crashed to the floor. As his vision cleared, he felt the consuming fear slowly dissipating and he could clearly see that it was Lois that he was holding in his arms. He used his x-ray vision to check her vital organs and saw the final heartbeat before a device clicked that was attached to her heart. Oh god. Bruce! Superman yelled in his mind. She's not breathing!
Start doing CPR Clark. Batman ordered. I'm on my way.
Batman. J'onn interrupted.
What is it J'onn? Batman responded as he was making his way over to Lois and Clark.
The Watchtower has picked up an explosion. J'onn answered solemnly. It was in Metropolis.
Batman knew the answers, but he still had to ask the questions. What kind of explosion? What is the anticipated amount of casualties?
All indications are that it was a nuclear explosion. J'onn glumly answered. The entire city has been destroyed.
Batman stopped in his tracks and opened a communication channel that was designed to reach out to all Justice League communicators. "Captain Atom, we need you to move to Metropolis immediately. There was a nuclear explosion. Get the radiation down to a safe enough level to allow outsiders in so that we can search for any possible survivors." Batman ordered. "Flash, Diana, and Hal, as soon as Captain Atom gives the all clear, I want all of you to head up the search and divide the other League members into teams to help with survivors and cleanup efforts."
All members confirmed that they understood their directives before Batman closed the open channel and switched to a private channel before reaching out to Diana. "Diana, I'm not going to be there to help immediately." He stated softly in a voice that was only meant for her. "I'm still needed here, but I'll contact you as soon as I can."
"Okay Bruce, I understand." Diana responded.
Batman started running again towards Lois and Clark, and just as he was about to reach the door, it swung open to reveal Superman carrying Lois in his arms. He quickly realized that her body was limp and unmoving, and Superman held a lost yet blank expression on his face. Bruce could only imagine that his own face had resembled that look as an eight year old boy. His thoughts were interrupted by the Man of Steel as Superman just continued slowly dragging his feet forward and down the hall. Batman had to step off to the side or risk being trampled over by a Kryptonian. "She's gone." Superman murmured to seemingly no one in particular.
Even though the Batman was always the hard, cold, calculating, and unemotional member of the League, he couldn't help but to feel his heart wanting to reach out to Clark. No one should have to experience what he just had, being manipulated and tricked into killing your own wife and child. What could he possibly do or say to help? The only thing that came to mind was to speak two words. "I'm sorry." Batman said as he turned and followed Clark down the hallway.
The rest of the trip out of the building was filled with grief and silence. Batman, possibly for the first time, was unsure what he could or should do. His mind was wandering from that uncertainty to what he would do if he were in Superman's shoes. Thinking about that sent a dangerous chill down his spine. How far would he go if someone were to use him to kill a loved one? Would he be able to remain in control if he were manipulated into killing Alfred, Dick, Tim, Damien? What if it had been Diana? He shook his head as he didn't even want to imagine what would happen if that were the case, which lead him to think in another line. Clark would grieve for the time being, but then he'd seek revenge on the man responsible for this. Batman needed to find Joker and have him incarcerated as soon as possible. If Joker were already behind bars, hopefully that would be enough to keep Superman from pursuing the clown himself. At that moment they had walked out into the street and Superman turned to face him. His eyes never left the body of his wife in his arms though. "Thank you Bruce." He said quietly.
Bruce didn't know what to say about that, so he just stood there silently with his eyes fixed on Clark. He seemed to be so broken and defeated. It was a sight Bruce never believed he'd really ever see from the Kryptonian, and it was a little troubling if he'd admit it to himself. When the silence became noticeable, Superman took flight and disappeared into the night sky. From the direction he was headed, Bruce calculated that he was taking Lois' body to the Fortress of Solitude. Once his cowl's enhanced vision couldn't pick up Superman any longer he reached up and activated his communicator. "Diana." He called. "I need you in Gotham."
"On my way Batman." She responded.
Batman ended the transmission and immediately started searching for the Joker. That was now the top priority. He simply had to be caught immediately as it would only take so long before the rage would start to fester inside of Superman to a boiling point. After less than an hour, Diana had arrived in Gotham, and Bruce gave her a destination to meet him, and it took just another five minutes for her to meet him at the designated rooftop. When she landed and spotted him, it only took her a matter of seconds to clearly see that something awful was on his mind other than what happened in Metropolis. She wasn't sure what it was, but knew it had to be something significant to cause Bruce to not be able to hide it. She took in her surroundings as she walked up to him and once she was sure the roof was a secure area, she reached out her arms and embraced him. "What's wrong Bruce?" She asked in a hushed tone.
"Clark." Bruce answered just as quietly.
"Did something happen to him?" Diana asked, concern beginning to become evident in her voice.
"He….He…." Batman tried to explain but couldn't. "Lois is gone." He managed to blurt out. "The baby too."
"Hera." Diana exhaled as she gently squeezed a little tighter. The thought of someone taking Bruce from her instantly struck her thoughts. "Kal must be devastated."
"He is." Batman responded as he began to pull away from the embrace. "We have to find Joker before he does."
"Why?" Diana asked. She already knew part of the reason, but wanted to hear the confirmation.
"He's responsible for it." Batman answered. "All of it. If Superman finds him first, he might not be able to contain his emotions, and could do something that he can't come back from."
Diana's thought process wanted to question that as she would likely kill the Joker herself if she were in Kal's shoes without hesitation. The Joker was a horrible monster that would only take more lives, and he should've been executed already as it was in her opinion, but she knew better than to share that opinion with Bruce as he was adamantly against a hero killing. He wanted it to be left to the justice system to play the role of executioner as he didn't believe that one person should have the power of judge, jury, and executioner. "What about Harley?" She asked as she knew well the Joker's most famous accomplices.
"Not involved." Batman answered as he turned to the ledge of the roof. "She's still in Arkham. I'm having her transferred into protective custody now. Green Arrow is monitoring that as we speak."
"Fair enough." Diana stated as she stood next to Bruce. "So, how do we find Joker?"