It was yet another dreary morning in Gotham. The morning sun always seemed to stay hidden behind gray clouds that always seemed to threaten with a potential rain storm. The scenery was certainly something that had yet to become an expected sight for one of Gotham's more recent occupants. It was certainly a different scenic view than when she would find a window within the Watchtower to peer out of each morning.
Although, there was certainly one positive from her temporary residence. She always had a fresh cup of tea awaiting her arrival on the kitchen counter, and was always met by a cheerful elder man in Alfred. Spending time with the elderly gentleman had been serving as one of the highlights of each day for her. His presence was a breath of fresh air for her, only further confirming that her mission was a worthwhile endeavor.
Another highlight for her was that she was getting to know two of the more stoic teammates on a more personal level. While one of them still chose to be difficult in getting closer to, J'onn Jones had been the exact opposite. She almost wished that her room on the now destroyed Watchtower had been as close as they were now inside Wayne Manor.
Not unlike some of the television shows Wally had incessantly attempted to get her interested in, she almost felt as if she had a roommate of sorts. It had practically become customary for them to meet out in the hallway each morning before making the trek into the kitchen, and it was that pattern which had caught her off guard on this very morning. J'onn had been nowhere to be found when she came outside her room.
Even more concerning to her was that when she'd approached Alfred as to J'onn's whereabouts, he'd informed her that her Martian friend had requested and received a room at the opposite end of the Manor. Even worse, Alfred informed her that her friend had also left the Manor entirely, stating that he wouldn't be available for League Duties that day until he returned that evening to serve his monitor duty shift from Bruce's cave. He'd even removed his communicator and left it behind.
J'onn hadn't given her the slightest indication that he'd been unwelcome toward their still growing friendship, but rather exactly the opposite. In fact, he'd seemed to really enjoy her company, and even came close on more than a few occasions of actually cracking a smile as she graced him with stories and anecdotes of her time growing up on Themyscira. His unforeseen request had her quite perplexed, and her initial reaction was to immediately seek him out for the reason behind his relocation. But just as quickly, she stopped herself. He obviously didn't want to be disturbed, and she wondered if perhaps she had done or said something to force his decision.
She decided that she would give him his space for the time being, but when he approached her again, she was going to broach the subject and discover if she might owe him an apology. Still, she couldn't help herself but to mentally go back over the last few days, trying to recall if there was a time where he'd acted differently toward her. So she continued to peer out into the gray of Gotham as she processed each conversation and interaction.
Unfortunately, all her reflection only brought her to the same conclusion. For as well as she had gotten to know him, it appeared that she still had quite a bit more to figure out. She tried not to allow frustration to grow inside her due to the knowledge of apparently how little she'd managed to glean from J'onn, but it was difficult when she'd decided to take advantage of the situation by getting to know both him and Bruce better while they all resided in the same house.
Everyone else was really an open book compared to those two men, and she wasn't about to let something like what Shayera had managed to pull off happen to her again. She was going to know each of her teammates intimately if she had any say whatsoever. If she could help it at all, there would be no more moles within the team to be concerned about.
Flash wasn't nearly as secretive as he'd believed. Sure, Bruce was the one to "unmask" him per se with the announcement of Wally being the man under the red mask, but really he wasn't the only one who'd figured that little nugget of information out beforehand. It had taken a couple of months, but Diana managed to figure out who the Flash was underneath the mask on her own. She was also quite sure that she wasn't the only Leaguer either to have discovered his identity prior to Bruce's big reveal.
Surprisingly enough, Kal would've been difficult to figure out had he not entrusted her with his identity not too long after the incident with the Secret Society. Once everyone had sufficiently cooled off from their revealed private thoughts about their teammates, Superman had then approached her with the intention of rebuilding trust within the team. In reality, he hadn't needed to go to such lengths to regain her trust, but still she appreciated the effort.
John Stewart hadn't made any real effort in hiding the type of person that he was, even from the very beginning. His military record spoke volumes as to the type of man he'd become, and she'd seen the heartbreak on his face as a result of what happened between Shayera and him.
Bruce would've been the last on her list of teammates to figure out, but that was only because of his level of secrecy being at such a phenomenal level. Even still, she'd managed to break through his defensive shields, although not close to all of them yet. He held a brutal honesty when it came to handling matters, was logical in almost every action or decision, but there was still more. He'd shown her a softer side at times, and often those times were unprovoked. There were even some times where she believed that perhaps he was interested in something of a more romantic level with her, but those moments were always fleeting with large gaps of inaction between them.
With J'onn going out, she'd initially decided to move onto her final target in Bruce. She believed that he was still at home, as he didn't seem to dare leaving without first downing a couple mugs worth of coffee. That much she'd definitely been able to ascertain in the short amount of time she'd been staying in his house. The man seemed to be hooked on the stuff from what she'd seen of him, and if he appeared to be unapproachable as the Bat before they'd lost the Watchtower, she'd concluded that those moments he more resembled a cuddly kitten when compared to how he was in the morning before his first cup.
Bruce was quite possibly more intimidating and fear inducing during those few uncaffeinated minutes in the mornings without the mask than he'd ever been while in the cape and cowl. In fact, Kal made certain that he left through the Batcave exit when he happened to fall onto the nightshift monitor duty, and everyone else noted that pattern on the first night. Except that is for Wally.
On one memorable instance, the Scarlett Speedster made the poor decision to come up for some breakfast. He'd also attempted to strike up a conversation with Bruce, and that was a mistake he'd never make again. He'd already been fearful of the Bat beforehand, but from that moment on, it was a guarantee that he was now even more fearful of Bruce. It was most definitely a far cry from the perception of a pampered and pompous billionaire playboy that Wally believed would be prevalent.
Without coffee, Diana jokingly thought that Bruce could very well become the most dangerous person on the planet. She however, was still not intimidated by him. She'd just learned that if she wanted any chance at getting along with him on a particular day, she had to let him get some caffeine into his system first. A caffeinated Batman was a happy...well, a more tolerable Batman.
With that in mind, Diana turned and glanced over to a nearby clock, confirmed the hour of the day, and set off in search of her broody home owner. As she started to seek him out in his usual haunts, her thoughts began to revolve around the potential why's that Bruce hadn't come into the kitchen for his morning coffee. Although miniscule, some trepidation began to course through her system as the thoughts of potential injury while out on patrol came to her.
She'd never before really given much thought toward just how vulnerable Bruce was until her unplanned and extended stay in the Manor. That change had put her in a position much closer to him which he'd never allowed her to witness before. In fact, he still tried his best to hide anything he could that could remotely be perceived as a weakness from her or anyone else, but despite his efforts there was plenty of evidence in support of his limitations.
She'd seen the infirmary in his cave after all, and it didn't take a detective to notice the potential clues. There had been times she happened to notice plastic bags marked as "contaminated" which were taken to an incinerator, and other instances where she'd witnessed Alfred restocking gauze, bandages, and various ointments into the medical wing even if he'd already done so just a night or two before.
So lost in her thoughts, Diana hadn't realized that she'd made it down into the cave until she was already standing before the surprisingly empty computer chair before the super computer Bruce utilized extensively for his mission. While slight frustration arose from her temporary failure in tracking his location, there was still another part of her that was relieved. Not because he wasn't in his well used chair, but rather because she could clearly see that every vehicle was sitting in its designated area, and also because he wasn't lying on a gurney in the infirmary. He had to have returned home, otherwise she was certain Alfred would've been down here instead of preparing her morning tea earlier.
She wondered if perhaps he'd had a late night, and perhaps needed to catch up on some rest. She knew that she could always go to his room and check, but if he was resting; she'd rather not disturb him. He slept so rarely it seemed, and he certainly needed any that he would afford himself. Still, she wanted to know for sure that he was indeed safe, and it was then that Diana recalled back to one evening while serving a shift of Monitor Duty.
Alfred had been in the cave cleaning when someone had entered Wayne Manor property for an unplanned visit. Alarms blared throughout the cave as a result of the intrusion, and Alfred ceased his efforts in cleaning the cave, approaching her. He'd requested and briefly took over the computer controls, and pulled up the grounds security footage. He either hadn't cared, or hadn't considered the fact that she could see the commands he entered, or that she could see just how many cameras were actually available on the grounds. It seemed that every possible inch, both within the house or on the property itself could be seen depending on the chosen camera selection.
Recalling the commands Alfred had used then, Diana sat down at the super computer and typed them in, and began pulling up the security recording files. It took her a few moments of maneuvering through the different camera feeds, but soon enough she figured out the order, and started to scroll through them until she located Bruce crossing through the study in the wee hours of the morning.
She watched intently as Bruce made his way up to the master bedroom under his own power, and it was at that point where she finally released a breath that she hadn't even realized she'd been holding. Bruce hadn't appeared to be injured at all. His gate was normal, and his face revealed no noticeable pain. She then reviewed the the time stamp, and found that he'd come back home around the normal time that he usually returned from patrol.
So injury was certainly ruled out, and she was about to close out the camera file when it suddenly came to life again. It was then that she realized the cameras were only actively recording when something triggered them into action. Perhaps it was motion or audio sensitive, she wasn't sure. In this instance, the cause appeared to be J'onn bursting through his bedroom door from just across the hall. Even more surprising was when Bruce stepped out and joined him.
She had to re-watch the action a couple of times, and focused on their body language since she couldn't read their lips nor was there any audio. J'onn seemed to be in a bit of discomfort judging by his posture. He wasn't in his normally stoic demeanor. In fact, she thought she saw some real emotion from him. Turmoil perhaps? It almost looked like he was in pain. Bruce was still the enigma, but one thing she could see clearly was that he seemed to be drenched in sweat.
Shortly after the two held their brief conversation, the next thing she was Alfred assisting J'onn in moving his meager possessions from what had been his room to another wing. She didn't need to seek out further camera feeds to discover where the butler had gone with her friend. That information was already known. What wasn't known was the why behind the move, but it seemed to be from their late night meeting in the hallway.
Diana wanted answers, and if J'onn had left for the day, then rest be damned, Bruce was going to have to provide them. Diana quickly closed out all of the files she'd opened, and flew back up to the clock entrance only to come to the conclusion with her enhanced hearing that she'd just missed her other target. As fortune would have it however, there happened to be a third source, she realized. Bruce had apparently chosen to drive himself to the office this morning, the subject of this fact entering from the foyer.
"Alfred." She called out to grab the elderly man's immediate attention.
"Yes, Miss Diana." He replied as he returned his jacket to the nearby closet. "How may I be of service?"
"I need some information Alfred." She said, straight to the point.
The butler didn't speak, but rather nodded his head in acknowledgement before offering his arm and leading her into the kitchen area. If conversation was on her agenda, then a comfortable seat and some tea would be a welcomed addition.
Diana took Alfred's arm and followed him as he led her back to her normal morning seat before crossing to the other side of the counter and reaching for the teapot. He procured two more cups, and poured them both a drink as Diana stuck to her steadfast and direct approach. "I saw the camera feeds from early this morning." She announced. "I think you know more about the why's behind J'onn's room change, and I'd like to understand. You surely know that my preference would be to ask him, but with his abrupt departure I don't have that possibility."
"I'm sure Master Jones would be more than willing to share in his justification when he returns." Alfred replied.
"Are you certain that he'll be returning this evening?" She asked, and was met with the uncertain shake of his head in the negative. "J'onn once left the team when he attempted to connect with too many minds. He was initially overwhelmed by it, and when he finally returned, he told us that he'd been questioning whether the people of Earth deserved our help any longer as a result of that connection. I'm concerned for him, and after sharing that information with you, I'm certain you can understand why."
"I'm certain that your friend has every intention of returning." Alfred said in a comforting, yet confident tone. "He did state as much before leaving without being prompted."
"Something happened last night, Alfred." Diana said, undeterred. "I know what I saw on the video, and I'd like to know so that I can help my friend. He doesn't have family to seek refuge with on this planet. We are the closest thing he has to that, and if something is troubling him, I want to try and help him."
Alfred sighed, knowing that Diana's heart was certainly in the right place, even though she also seemed to be taking a cue from his surrogate son on eavesdropping. Still, it wasn't his place or desire to share personal information, and he wouldn't do such a thing unless it was truly something critical or life threatening. But perhaps he could be vague enough to allay her concerns. "Have you ever experienced a dream or to be more specific, a nightmare that seemed so very real it would jolt you awake from your slumber?"
"Yes Alfred." She answered. "Phobetor has even invaded my dreams on occasion, but I don't see what..."
"And I'm certain you are aware of Master Jones' telepathic abilities." Alfred said, interrupting Diana's next question, knowing already what it would be. "I am of the belief that perhaps such a vivid nightmare could very well leave a longer effect on a person with such abilities."
Diana leaned back, giving thought to Alfred's explanation. She could tell that what he had willingly divulged had been honest, even if it was still a little vague. He was obviously trying to respect the privacy of others, and she could certainly understand that. She was just going to have to focus on what she knew, and then piece things together from there. So she thanked Alfred for his time, and left for a quiet place to do just that.
J'onn's abrupt move came to mind first as she moved about the mansion. He'd never been so affected by dream or nightmare before in all the time he'd shared living space aboard the Watchtower with them. She couldn't even recall a single time where he'd seemed affected by dreams or nightmares he experienced at all. In fact, she could only recall one instance of a sleep cycle, as he'd referred to it, where he seemed to be in a more meditative state than actually sleeping. in that instance, Flash had even waved his hands in front of J'onn's face and snapped his fingers, but nothing really gained his attention until he ended the cycle himself.
Also, J'onn didn't seem to require sleep very often. Especially not in comparison to a normal human being. She figured that if he'd been in a sleep cycle while in his room, it was doubtful that he'd been affected by his own dreams or nightmares. Perhaps his telepathy played a role? Maybe he'd fed off a dream from Bruce or her. But she couldn't recall a time where he'd been affected by other teammates in the League either, and he'd lived among them for a much larger period of time than the few nights they'd stayed in Bruce's Manor.
With that thought in mind, Diana began to mentally catalog all of her teammates, both current and former, and how often they slept on the Watchtower. She was able to quickly conclude that Shayera had been the only other full time occupant along with J'onn and herself. She then recalled how J'onn mentioning how he hadn't been able to read Shayera's mind.
While she'd been being honest with Alfred about the experiences with nightmares, it was more of a rare occasion than not by far. She could only recall one instance where she'd experienced a nightmare while aboard the Watchtower, and that was immediately prior to the attack on Themyscira by one Felix Faust. J'onn hadn't come to her on that night, and didn't mention anything to her until he felt her dour mood.
So, in the end, she only had one confirmed time in mind where a nightmare could be the cause of J'onn's odd behavior, and he hadn't approached her then. She didn't feel that conclusion provided quite enough evidence to prove or disprove that the dreams of others would have a lasting impact on her Martian friend. The notion still merited more investigation, and that meant she would have to approach Bruce or J'onn in order to get to the bottom of it.
It'd been three days since J'onn's departure, and Diana was absolutely fuming while she sat in the study of Wayne Manor staring at the flickering flames from within the fireplace. The only contact he'd made was to Kal, and that was only to inform everyone that he required a few days of solitude before he'd make his return. Some of the others believed it had to do with the aftermath of the Thanagarian invasion, but Diana knew differently. She also knew that Bruce was aware of the truth as well, but he'd been equally as vexing in terms of discovering the actual cause.
Bruce had been seemingly avoiding his own home the past three days as well. He'd only been coming home long enough to head out for patrol, and justified his absence as simply being busy with Wayne Enterprises dealings. She wasn't buying the line he was trying to feed her, and still tried confronting him, but was only met with the typical brush off comments and non-answers alongside bat glares.
Well, she was having no more of that. She'd decided that three days was more than enough, and planned to stay awake on this night until he returned from patrol. She'd checked and rechecked Bruce Wayne's schedule, and she knew he didn't have any morning appointments or meetings. She'd gone the extra length to confirm that by calling in herself with the ruse of setting up a meeting with The C.E.O. of Wayne Enterprises to discuss a potential business dealing. One way or another, she was going to get her answers. She would even resort to using the Lasso of Truth if it came to that.
"A penny for your thoughts." A familiar, deep voice called to her, rousing her from her thoughts.
"I've been worried about you, J'onn." She said without looking away from the fire. There was anger clearly evident in her voice as she spoke, and she made no effort to hide it. "Are you alright?"
"Yes Diana." J'onn answered. "I apologize for worrying you needlessly about my wellbeing, and I certainly hope you can forgive me."
Diana turned her head to look back at her friend. She saw the contrition in his features, and all her frustration drained away. "No need to apologize J'onn." She said, gracing him with an appreciative smile. "I was concerned is all. I had no idea that dreams and nightmares could affect you so."
He tried not to show it, but knew that she'd seen all the recognition she needed to confirm her apparent suspicions about his unexplained departure. He sighed and moved over to the lounge chair across from her and sighed as he took a seat. "Normally, his thoughts are so controlled that I would struggle to read anything coming from him even if I were to try." J'onn explained. "But while sleeping, Batman's mind is less focused, less controlled, and thusly more easily readable. There was such incredible emotion and pain exuding from his mind that I couldn't help but to see it and feel it."
While she'd made an educated guess, Diana still hadn't been completely sure that Bruce's dreams had been the culprit. And now that she knew, she wanted to know why it had affected J'onn so dramatically. "I didn't know that one person's dream could have such an impact on you J'onn." She said. "Until now, I wasn't even aware that someone's dreams could. In fact, I thought it would take quite a number of minds to have such a taxing impact on you."
"No, Diana." J'onn said, catching her by surprise. He'd realized that she hadn't uncovered everything just yet. "While initially troubling and unsettling, my own wellbeing was not the reason for my departure."
"If it wasn't, then why did you move into a different room?" She asked, curious about just how far off track she was.
"Bruce requested the move in an attempt to protect me from being affected by something which is beyond his control." J'onn explained. "Especially after I had informed him of how I'd felt them almost every night since you and I have resided in the Manor. He doesn't wish to burden others with his nightmares, and after experiencing them firsthand, I left to clear my thoughts as I sought out a possible means where he would allow me to try alleviating him from them as well."
"But they're only dreams J'onn, and Bruce has one of the strongest minds, and perhaps the most indomitable will of anyone I've ever met." Diana said. "It's hard to believe that he could be shaken from something like a dream or nightmare, no matter how real they might seem."
"That's because I believe it's not just a dream, but a tragic memory replaying over and over." Alfred said from the entryway to the room. Both heroes jumped initially, neither having heard the butler when he'd entered the room.
Diana felt almost sheepish at having been caught discussing Bruce's dreams behind his back and without his permission, but she couldn't stop herself now. She'd become as invested as J'onn in trying to help their teammate. Especially if it was an unrelenting and repetitive torture he was experiencing. Even if the source of the torture came from inside, he was a hero, a good man, and didn't deserve such punishment.
"What Alfred says is correct." J'onn said, ending the slight silence that followed the butler into the room. "It appears that Bruce's mind is replaying the memory of his parents' murder almost each night."
"How could I have not heard this with my enhanced hearing?" Diana asked.
"Sound dampeners." Came Alfred's quick response. "Master Bruce, as you surely have discovered, does not celebrate displays in which could be perceived as a form of weakness. He quickly tired of my attempts at consoling him, and so in attempt to keep from bothering others, he had sound nullifying dampeners installed to mask any loud noises that could potentially rouse others."
Diana clearly heard the disgust behind the mere notion that such a thing would be a bother to him, but Bruce had always displayed the desire to protect others at the expense of himself if necessary. "Has he done nothing to try ridding himself of such torment?" She asked.
Alfred gave a look that almost said he'd already revealed too much, but he knew these two heroes were only wanting to help his son. He'd been conflicted about what to reveal before, but perhaps they could find some way to rid Bruce of these punishing nightmares. All he had to do was be forthcoming and honest. Something that was shrouded in secrecy to this point. Well, that hadn't helped, and repetition with the expectation of different results was the mark of insanity. And to date, no resident of this household had held such a moniker. It was then time to try something different.
"He sleeps as little as possible, drowns himself in his work, be it his nocturnal activities or his daily responsibilities." Alfred explained. "An example of this, is that he likely hasn't slept since the night Master Jones confronted him."
"So he pushes himself to the point of sheer exhaustion until he has no choice but to pass out?" Diana recapped more than asked. and received a confirming nod from the elderly man. "Then we must find a way to help him. He'd certainly do the same for us."
"He has." J'onn reminded her. "When Doctor Destiny was attacking the League, it was Batman who located and stopped him before he could harm anyone else."
"I remember reading about that mission report." Diana replied. "Wally and... well, pretty much the rest of the team spoke of just how detrimental it felt."
"Indeed." J'onn said. "And Doctor Destiny showed how powerful a dream could be when he was able to successfully murder his former girlfriend using her own nightmares against her. I wasn't able to free her before it was too late, and I was barely able to free our friends from his grip in their subconscious."
"Then we must do something to help him, even if he doesn't want it."
Another full day had passed before Bruce finally came home to the Manor, and as soon as Diana laid eyes on him, she could see that he looked absolutely terrible. Exhaustion wouldn't have been a good enough term to appropriately describe it. Still though, he went about the evening just as he would any other, but it was obvious he was trying to play it off as though nothing was wrong as he methodically went through the evening agenda. Just like clockwork, he went down to the cave, checked on the status of open cases or League activities, spent over an hour training, and then finally ate some of the food Alfred had prepared for him before he left for patrol.
Diana's initial reaction had been to corner him as soon as she saw him and bring his issue to the forefront, but she'd stopped herself after witnessing how Bruce reacted around J'onn. It was miniscule, but she still saw the hesitance. It was almost as though he was waiting to see if J'onn would try broaching the subject of his nightmares. He'd made it as obvious as possible that he didn't need or want any help, and he was likely confirming that they were respecting his wishes, however misguided she believed his approach to be.
So instead she reached out to J'onn mentally, and sought out his thoughts, only to find that he held the same opinion as she had. She then decided to allow Bruce to settle in a little first. After all, she didn't want him to run away from them in an ignorant attempt at "saving them" from his own personal demons. Instead, she decided that the best course of action would be to perform some more research in preparation for when the right moment was presented to her.
Thanks to Alfred, Diana had been provided with the locations of the sound dampeners within Bruce's bedroom, and she'd promptly deactivated them. In order to tell that they'd been disconnected, Bruce would have to pull each device out from their secluded hiding spots. So long as Bruce had no reason to suspect, Alfred believed that he wouldn't do such a thing.
When he came back from patrol on the first night, Diana was able to tell that he'd had a dreamless sleep. Aside from some soft snoring, she hadn't been able to pick up any other sounds coming from his room. He didn't seem to toss and turn, hadn't been breathing erratically. He just seemed to sleep, and her belief was further confirmed the following morning, as his demeanor had gone back to normal. He even looked ten times better than he had the evening before.
The following night offered more of the same, but by the third night she was able to pick up on some subtle tossing along with the occasional faint moan escaping his lips. He didn't seem to wake up, but it'd been clear that the exhaustion ran its course and his dreams had begun to return.
The next morning, Bruce approached J'onn; who honestly hadn't felt anything from that dream. However, when he noticed Bruce's change in demeanor, J'onn did try asking some questions around it. He justified his questions as part of the process of running a comparison to what he'd experienced before, but Bruce instantly brushed him off and then went about business as usual.
By the fifth night, the night terrors seemed to return in full force. Diana was stirred by Bruce clearly shooting up out of his bed. She listened intently through the neighboring wall between their rooms, and found that he seemed to be struggling to catch his breath. She could almost picture him sitting on his bedside, hunched over with his arms resting on his knees, attempting to support himself as he sucked in shaky breath after shaky breath. He most likely had been covered in sweat just as he'd been when J'onn confronted him before.
It was then that Bruce did something somewhat unexpected. She heard him walking up to his bedroom door and opening it. Curious, she slowly slid out of her own bed and glided through the air to get closer to the hall without having to worry about a creaking floorboard giving her actions away. From her bedroom door, even with it closed, she could clearly hear every pant from Bruce as he continued coming down from the emotions brought about by his dream. It wasn't difficult for her to confirm that Bruce remained standing in his doorway, and she soon came to the assumption that he was waiting there, checking to see if J'onn was going to approach as he had the last time.
After a couple minutes, Bruce's breathing returned to normal, and she'd caught herself reaching for her own door handle. Her desire to offer help to her teammate, her friend, had been almost overwhelming. Had it been anyone else, she would've instantly opened the door, but this was Bruce she was dealing with. Her every move would require a precise plan around sure logic, otherwise Bruce would have her moved to the other wing just like he'd done with J'onn.
Even if he honestly believed it, she didn't need saving from Bruce's nightmares. He was the one in need of saving. But he was so damn difficult when it came to accepting help from others, and especially so with personal matters. Her heart broke for the man as she gained more of an understanding of the torture he was putting himself through. He certainly didn't deserve it, and in that moment she became even more resolute in her desire to try banishing these demons from his thoughts.
Her resolution to help at that very moment however had been deviated as she thoughts were interrupted by the soft click of his bedroom door followed by the padding of his feet as he returned to his bed. She knew that she'd missed her opportunity on this night, and she had to be ready for the next time.
"Are you sure about this Diana?" J'onn asked.
"I am." Diana confirmed in a confident tone which was a far cry from the uncertain feeling she had within about this approach. "He's been most willing to be paired up with me on missions, and I think there's a level of trust that's been built up from those times we've worked together. And it has to be just one of us that approaches him."
"I understand that Batman may feel cornered if we both approached him, but I still believe that it would be better if I..."
"It has to be me, J'onn." Diana interrupted. This was the one thing she was sure of. "For as well as Alfred knows and cares about him, he hasn't been successful in helping Bruce with this. When you tried, Bruce only pushed you farther away. Besides, I believe he'll be expecting you to approach again. In fact, I think he was expecting you to show up again last night. In order for this to have any semblance of a chance to succeed, we need to maintain an element of surprise just to throw Bruce off balance."
J'onn wasn't so sure that Diana's plan would have any better chance at getting through to Bruce, even if she appeared to be. However, he did agree that there seemed to be a level of trust she'd been able to glean from the Dark Knight more so than other heroes, and she had gained that trust in a rather short span of time, but still...
"I will allow you to move forward with your plan without intervening Diana." He said with a sigh. "However, I believe even if you refuse to admit it, you are risking more than just trust between the two of you."
Diana brows furrowed in obvious confusion at J'onn's words, but she didn't want to dwell on them at the moment. What ever the risks, she was still going to do what she could to help Bruce, and then deal with any possible repercussions later.
A/N: This was honestly meant to be a one shot, but it grew to the point where I felt it had to be cut into two parts. Especially considering I haven't even gotten to the juicy part yet. Anyways, I'm writing this in the hopes that it will help kickstart some progress on my other two fics, which are sorely in need of updates themselves. What can I say, writer's block can be a major PAIN.
Anyways, please read and review! Hope you all enjoy this little number to whet your appetites for the two big features in progress.