Oh, so there's a movie-related tab now?
Welp *cracks knuckles*, time to sully this thing up nice and proper then.
Mr. Pennyworth's Rough Morning
A fine layer of mist settled over the surface of the lake, rising ever so slightly as Alfred cut a path from his car to dock. The sun had yet to rise, and the air was still crisp, forcing the aging Englishman to nestle his chin further down into his jacket. The dock greeted him with an even cooler wall of air; cold enough to make him mumble an ungentlemanly obscenity under his breath.
Passing in front of the new Wayne estate, he noticed a rather expensive looking car sitting idle under one of the yard's spruce trees, it's windows fogged by the dew of the morning.
At least this one has a better taste in cars, he thought to himself, already finding his mood turning grumpy despite the day having not even begun yet. Shaking his head, he picked up his pace and reached the entrance to the house only five steps. He noticed the sweeping windows overlooking the lake were fogged as well.
Splendid. Another mess for me to clean up as well, no doubt.
He opened the door quickly, hoping to startle whatever take-home prize Master Bruce had no doubt left behind into consciousness. Stepping inside, he noticed how eerily quiet the house was; no rapid shuffling of shoes, no hushed curses, not even the static of the television set. He didn't know if he was worried or surprised, but decide to announce his presence regardless.
"Master Bruce? Are you home?" No answer. "Is anyone home?"
Years of dormant training took over. Alfred hugged the wall and slowly crept towards the master bedroom, the nearest room to the door and the most likely place he'd find anyone; if anyone was still around. Silently, he rounded, and craning his neck his peaked out from behind the wall...
There he was; sitting in a chair, next to a tall and strikingly gorgeous woman, their backs turned to the lake and their eyes locked forward. Looking closer, he saw their faces twisted in some horrible concoction of agony and fear. Training gave way to panic, and Alfred found himself leaping towards them in bounds reminiscent of a panther.
"Master Bruce! What's going on? Are you alright?"
He received no answer; just a continuous, unyielding stare. Alfred wasn't even sure Bruce was breathing.
Locking onto Bruce's shoulders, Alfred began to shake his fried as hard as he figured he could manage, still shouting at him as he did so.
"Talk to me, please! What's happened?"
Still no answer. Sighing, Alfred pulled back, raised his hand, and like a spring, he snapped his hand hard into the cheek of Bruce Wayne. The echoing slap likely could have been heard for miles.
In an instant, colour returned to Bruce's face, and his eyes found Alfred's. "Oh thank God..." Alfred said.
"What's going on?" Bruce asked, absentmindedly rubbing the side of his face.
"Just hold on Master Bruce," Alfred said, turning towards his companion. A wave of recognition hit him; this was the woman from the parties, the immortal hero that had saved Bruce from becoming a pile of ash. He rolled up his sleeves and held his hand back. "Apologies Miss..."
Bruce's face lit up in shock. "Wait Alfred, don't..."
Alfred's hand came round just as Bruce's sentence was cut off, but before it could reach it's target, the woman's hand snapped up (her eyes still locked straight ahead), grabbed hold of Alfred's wrist, and in a single, blurring motion, launched the Englishman through the window behind her, and out into the lake. It didn't hit him that he had been ejected from the Wayne home until he was swallowing freezing lake water.
Bruce, meanwhile, was horrified. "Jesus, Alfred!" he cried, launching up from his seat. Crashing through the remains of the window, he took off for the dock.
Diana, now, was just becoming lucid again.
"W-what is..." She turned her neck, feeling the breeze of the lake hitting her, and caught a glimpse of Bruce diving into the water, fully clothed, as an elderly man coughed and sputtered yards from the dock.
"Bloody help me dammit!" she heard the man scream at Bruce, who was shedding his vest and shirt as he picked up swimming speed.
"Hera..." she said. Kicking off her shoes, she leapt through the window as well, and joined Bruce in the water...
"Again Mr. Pennyworth," Diana said, "I apologize for what happened. After 5000 years of training, my reflexes can't be easily turned off."
They were sitting in the living room now, a fire slowly heating the surrounding area, a towel wrapped around Alfred to keep the shivering down. Bruce had changed into what Alfred hoped were merely his workout clothes, while Diana, he noticed, seemed to be perfectly dry already.
"It's quite alright Miss Diana," he said. "I've had to fight off crocodile people in my time. As the children would say, 'I've seen some shit'." His gaze darted towards Bruce, and he began to burrow his eyes into his adopted son. "Besides, I'm sure someone here could have informed me ahead of time."
"This wasn't planned," Bruce said, raising his hands. "I didn't know she'd be staying the evening either. At least not like this."
"Is that so," Alfred said. He received a glare from Bruce in response, but like always, he ignored it.
"Yes, Mr. Pennyworth," Diana said. "It was not my intention to stay overnight either. The invitation, I believe, was merely related to our plans for the other meta-humans Luthor discovered. We just got...side-tracked."
"I'm sure you did," Alfred said, again shifting his glare to Bruce, though with a noticeable smirk this time. Bruce responded in kind, albeit sheepishly. "Do you mind," Alfred continued, "enlightening me as to why you were both staring daggers at my nice and inconspicuous wall when I found you?"
Diana and Bruce looked at each other, and shuffled awkwardly on their feet. Bruce's mouth opened, but Diana cut in before he could say anything.
"He wanted to know more about what happened during the First World War; what I was doing there and why. I believed that, after all we had been through, he deserved to know a bit more about me..."
"So long as I extended the same courtesy," Bruce said. They both flashed each other a smile.
Alfred hummed to himself. "I see. So you both got to telling stories, and..."
"I got to the part where Jason...uhm..."
"And there was a confrontation at the French border that...well..."
"Diana heard of this meditation technique developed in the Alps that's suppose to help you relax even you're completely in the grip of PTSD..."
"So since Bruce and I have more than a few painful memories..."
Both of them shifted their gaze to the floor, to each other, then back again, and in unison their hands started rubbing the back of their necks. Alfred couldn't help it; he started laughing.
"Bonding over your mutual inability to sleep at night. Well if that isn't the beginning to a wonderful relationship, then I don't know what is."
Bruce's mouth fell agape. "I...Alfred, we..."
Diana's hand found his shoulder as she cut in. "As you said, 'we've seen some shit'."
Another smile from both of them (or something closer to a smirk, Alfred decided). Standing from his chair, Alfred chuckled yet again and wrapped himself tighter in the blanket. "Well Miss Diana," he said, "I applaud you for being strong enough to tolerate a man as mentally messed-up as Master Bruce here."
"Thank you Alfred," Bruce deadpanned. He turned to Diana. "Did I mention that he's been my closest friend for twenty years?"
"I can see the fruits of that paying off already," she said, smirking harder. Bruce scoffed.
"An awfully hurtful implication, Princess."
"Princess?" Diana crossed her arms and leaned back on her heels. Still smirking, she said, "Do you besmirch my title, Mr. Wayne?"
"Only if it annoys you."
"Play nice you two," Alfred said. He moved closer to the broken window, which glistened as faded orange light seeped through the surrounding trees. Much warmer than the water, he thought to himself.
Diana stepped forward. "I do still feel bad about tossing you into a lake, Mr. Pennyworth. I feel that is a bad introduction for the both of us."
"Please, call me Alfred," he said, turning to face her. "And don't worry, it could have turned out much worse."
"How so?" Diana asked.
"Well for one thing," Alfred said, turning grim. "You could have accidentally said Martha—"
His sentence was cut off as Bruce, his face a flurry with rage, crashed into Alfred, pile driving them both back into the water as he screamed "Why did you say that name!?" all the way down.
Diana sighed. "Hades," she said to herself.
Kicking off her shoes yet again, she dove into the water after Bruce...
Goddamn adverbs always invading my writing...
Well if you enjoyed this story, there's plenty more fun to be had over at the "Justice League" tab in the "comics" section of this here sight, including some stories I've done where I actually try and be serious for a whole five minutes (no this isn't a shameless plug. Why would you even think that? Pffft.)
Also if you like the pairing of Bruce and Diana, there's a magical forum called "BatmanWonderWoman . com" where such a pairing has been discussed for a mighty long time now (2007 or something like that; right after the publications of a little comic known as "Wonder Woman: Blackest Night #2). Come for the drinks, stay for the comic recommendations. Just...don't ask me about the movie, please. I did, in fact, write a review about it. It's 3000 words long. And full of me yelling at a screen that can't yell back.
But those Wonderbat scenes tho...
Otherwise, it's back to the existential pain in which I live every day.