Diana waited patiently until Bruce had come home from Wayne Enterprises and went through his typical evening routine. Once he'd begun going through the motions, she did her very best to appear as though this day was just like any other, while simultaneously keeping a watchful eye on her target. She noted that he didn't look completely exhausted like he had a few nights before, but she still spotted some of the indicators of strain brought on by a lack of sleep which had begun to etch into his features once again.

As she continued watching him from afar, she also tried to gauge how he currently acted as well, and compared it to every other day since she'd been staying in the Manor. Her intention was to identify some type of pattern based of his sleep, or rather lack thereof. She also had certain questions in mind which needed answers as well. For instance, were his moods perhaps affected by his overall lack of sleep? Did his movements become more sluggish on days where he'd been most violently woken the night before? And based on that, she then wondered if there might be a way to pin down the likelihood that he would suffer another nightmare, or if she could figure out when he would completely forgo sleep altogether for anywhere up to three nights again until he passed due to being at the point of utter exhaustion.

As she searched through her memories during her stay, she became fairly confident that there was indeed a pattern. Based on what she'd put together, if she was correct in her assessment, she still had one, or perhaps two nights left before Bruce would attempt to evade sleep at all again. One part of her gathered evidence was in the fact that Bruce hadn't yet become completely surly toward his house guests before he left for patrol. But while he was there with them, he also seemed to be about a half step slow when working out during his training regimen.

All in all, she concluded that it wasn't worth the risk to try and wait another night. If she ended up being wrong, she'd very likely have to wait at least another full week before she could try again, and she didn't think she could wait that long without Bruce catching onto her agenda. She was by all means a terrible liar, and as such she'd been lucky that he hadn't caught on to her already. He was known as the world's greatest detective for a reason, and she was certain he'd be able to pick up on something if she had to wait for more than the next couple of days.

Once again, under any other circumstances, for her it wouldn't matter the patterns or conditions around a certain situation. If a friend was in trouble or in need of help, she would immediately offer her aide. She still felt this way toward Bruce, and that was why she couldn't wait any longer. It went against her personality to sit idly by and do nothing, and that had been what she'd already forced herself to do. Tonight was going to be the night she helped her friend.

Her cover however, had almost been blown before she even had the chance to implement her plan, and little did she know just how close her plans had become to being discovered.

Bruce stalked out of the changing room, suit and utility belt on with the cape draped across his shoulders and the cowl under his left arm. He stopped in his tracks as soon as he noticed a difference in scenery. "Where's Diana?" He asked as he changed direction and headed toward the super computer.

"We switched shifts this evening." Superman said as he spun the chair around to face his "interrogator" head on. "She said she'd take the morning shift if I covered for her on the evening one."

"Kind of prevents covering Metropolis, doesn't it?" Bruce probed.

"One night won't hurt, and besides, having the morning off will give me a chance to meet up with Lois for breakfast before we head into the Planet." Superman responded innocently enough.

Still, Bruce leveled Clark with a glare. He didn't like change, and especially so when it happened under his roof and without his approval. Questions instantly began to flood his mind as he continued to stare, looking for any signs of deception or perhaps some kind of hidden agenda, but Clark only stared innocently back at him. If there was something going on, Clark was at most, an unwitting accomplice.

He gave thought to moving the Kryptonian aside in order to pull up Diana's current location, but then thought better of it. Even though he could normally read Clark pretty well, if there was a chance that something was going on, he didn't want to give away that he'd become suspicious of it. So instead he just gave a disapproving grunt, indicating that he didn't intend to probe any further, and turned toward the Batmobile as he locked the cowl in place on his head.

Clark merely watched his friend until the Batmobile's engine revved to life just before shooting out of the cave. It wasn't until the tail lights were out of view before Clark turned back around to the computer, shaking his head. "I wonder what that was all about." He mumbled to himself as he returned his attention to the story he'd been working on for the Daily Planet.

As Bruce tore through the back roads on his way into Gotham, he was still stewing over the unexpected schedule change. By the time he'd exited the cave, he'd already pulled up the GPS tracking satellite link, and discovered that Diana was currently in the library of the Manor. That wasn't nearly enough to satisfy him with that bit of confirmation. He had to find out more to appease his uneasiness, and so he went a bit further, pulling up the live Manor surveillance feed.

Sure enough, he was able to confirm that Diana had indeed been in the library. In fact, she seemed to be reading a book, but occasionally paused to take notes here and there on a notepad. Bruce spared a few extra moments trying to catch a glimpse of the book cover or at least an angle to review the notes she was taking, but ultimately realized that he couldn't. She'd positioned herself in a manner which prevented him from being able to glean that bit of information. The question was had she done that innocently or deliberately?

He spent so much time investigating what Diana might be up to, that before he realized it, he'd already reached his chosen exit point as the Batmobile slowed to a stop in a dingy alley. He tried to focus on patrol, but the mystery of his house guests was still pulling heavily on his attention. It was to such an extent that he didn't even exit his battle armored car. Instead he set up the police band as he continued to sift through some older recorded Manor video feeds.

He watched her on the recordings from the time Clark had arrived until where she'd entered her room empty handed only to come out with that damn book. Much to his chagrin, she had the book protectively held under her arm in such a manner that she never provided a camera with an angle where he could discover the book's title. It was infuriating for him to say the least. He'd placed cameras all over the Manor with the sole intention of being able to see every angle, every crack or crevice within the structure, and Diana had just proven that he apparently had more work to do.

It didn't take long before he'd reached the live feed once again, and that was when he noticed that Diana was no longer alone. J'onn had joined her in the library, carrying a package of double stuffed oreos protectively in his grasp. Bruce continued to watch as the Martian sat on the couch across from Diana, tossing one of his cookies into his mouth and munching on it in obvious satisfaction. But after swallowing that morsel, although Bruce couldn't be completely certain, he still believed that J'onn's eyes began to glow.

And then his belief was confirmed as Diana lifted her gaze from her book over in the direction of her Martian friend. It seemed that J'onn had formed a mental link with her in order to engage in some form of private conversation, and in this specific instance Bruce never hated that ability as much. There was no way he'd be able to know what they were talking about unless one of them would to let him in on the topic.

Seeing them in that manner caused his throughts to immediately flash back to J'onn's encounter with him regarding his dreams. Certainly J'onn wouldn't divulge what had gone on as a result of those dreams. He'd gained Bruce's trust, and had understood the reasoning behind Bruce asking him to move into another part of the Manor. Once the move had been completed, he even told Bruce that he hadn't felt any more of Bruce's nightmares since that night.

But then there was Diana to factor in. Bruce was fully aware that she'd been actively re-vetting each and every remaining member of the Justice League. She'd been the most angry about Shayera's betrayal. Although he also agreed in the vote for her expulsion, Bruce hadn't argued for it as adamantly as Diana had. She'd been passionate in her conviction behind the proposed expulsion, and wasn't the least bit pleased when the vote ended in favor of allowing the formerly known Hawkgirl to remain with the League by a count of three-to-two.

Had Shayera not chosen to voluntarily resign from the League, Diana may well have spent every ounce of her free time watching over her every move, searching for any potential evidence of another betrayal. Instead, she'd been able to focus on the rest, and as such, moved through vetting Clark, Flash and John. In truth, Bruce had done the same thing, but through his own methods and background checks. He'd made certain to confirm all information, and then validate and re-validate it all until he was certain they could be trusted as heroes in the very least.

Like Diana's research, J'onn had been the most difficult one to gather useful intel about. There were just so many unknowns with him. He hadn't been raised in the heartland of church going, God fearing parents such as Clark, or been virtually hand picked by the Guardians of the universe to protect the innocent. He also hadn't had the backstory of one Wallace Rudolph West. In the end though, it was a specific mission which stood out for Bruce and provided him with all the vetting he'd need of the Martian.

Even though initially he struggled with it, in the end J'onn managed to realize the certainly empty promises from one Morgaine le Fey when she offered to restore J'onn's family that'd been ripped from him. He ended up saving them all on that day, and besides, Bruce didn't really fault him for his previous actions anyways. He could certainly relate to J'onn's motivation, as he didn't know of anything he wouldn't give or do for the chance to have his parents back. As such, it was his respect during that mission in which J'onn had earned a certain level of trust.

J'onn wasn't supposed to be what Bruce was focusing on at the moment, and as a result, he internally cursed at himself for having allowed his mind to get off track. He had to focus back on what Diana was up to, and he believed that it had something to do with the mental conversation she was in the middle of with J'onn. Still, although his mind had wandered off a little, he was able to pick up on the fact that Diana was now disregarding the book, and instead jotting down things in her notebook in-between sporadic looks toward her Martian colleague. Perhaps it was time to intervene and leave no doubt for J'onn that the princess was not made aware of his sleeping issues.

J'onn. He thought in a focused attempt to garner the Martian's attention.

After almost a minute of silence, Bruce began to wonder if the Martian had even felt his attempt to reach him, and he reached up to use a more direct approach with the comm. link until he finally felt a presence settling in his mind. Yes, my friend. J'onn answered.

Diana isn't to know about what you discovered the other night. Bruce said. It's none of her business, and not her concern.

~~A few minutes earlier~~

J'onn walked into the library with his snacks in hand. He wanted to have at least one final conversation with Diana before she went through with whatever she had planned for Bruce. He was more than certain that Bruce wouldn't be happy with any attempt at helping, regardless of the best intentions behind it. He also knew that Bruce was beginning to become suspicious, and wanted to warn her so that she could be better prepared. After all, she was just as stubborn as Bruce was, and J'onn knew there was little chance he could talk her out of confronting Bruce.

He walked over to the open couch across from the Princess, and took a seat, gathering his thoughts about how to broach the subject discreetly enough. But before he came up with anything, he picked up on Diana's thoughts already reaching out to him.

Bruce can read lips, and there are surveillance cameras throughout the Manor. She said through the mental link. So if you came in here to discuss my intentions, I suggest we keep the line of communication inside a mental connection. I don't want Bruce figuring out what I'm going to do until it's too late for him to try and stop me.

Fair enough Diana. J'onn replied. But you should know that he's already becoming suspicious that something is going on without his knowledge.

Are you sure? She asked in astonishment. Hadn't she been careful enough to evade detection? How could he have figured anything out. She'd been exceptionally cautious in her approach, and wondered what it was that she could've missed?

Nothing. J'onn said, even though he knew that Diana had only been asking herself. I felt Superman's confusion when Batman began to question him regarding the change in schedule. He almost felt as though he was being treated like some kind of criminal being interrogated before Batman left to patrol Gotham.

Damn. I guess I should've come up with a justifiable reason for asking to switch schedules with Kal. Diana replied. Although if I'd done something like that, Bruce most likely would've just followed me since that would still be out of routine for me since I've been staying here.

You've done the best you could to avoid detection, but there is a reason why Batman is widely considered as the world's greatest detective. J'onn said.

Unfortunately. Diana dejectedly agreed.

I apologize for continuing to ask the same question, but are you absolutely certain that you want to go through with this? J'onn asked.

I am. Diana answered confidently. I know that Bruce won't be willing to accept help, but I still have to try. It's what I'd do for anyone, J'onn. Bruce needs to accept that, and I'll do everything in my power to convince him of it.

Is that why you've been reading literature covering nightmares and recurring dreams? J'onn asked.

It is. Diana replied. I thought of approaching him with the idea of attempting some form of lucid dreaming so that he might become empowered enough to actually control the dream. Perhaps with that control, he might even be able to stop it from continuing. But then...

That is what I offered to assist him with. J'onn said, interrupting Diana. I'm not convinced that he wishes to control the nightmares, or stop them at all for that matter.

She in turn narrowed her eyes into a momentary glare before scribbling a quick note down onto her notepad. I was going to say that I assumed as much when you approached him, but now you've just confirmed my suspicions. Thinking along the lines of other possibilities, I'm fairly confident that he isn't suffering from night terrors based upon the symptoms you described to me before.

You're assumption is accurate. J'onn confirmed. Bruce was fully aware of the dreams. I sensed as much from his flustered thoughts that night in the hallway. His state of mind at the time was disheveled and raw at first, but as soon as he realized why I was there, his control instantly returned. Having said that, most human treatments which do not revolve around pharmacology would require knowledge of the events in comparison to what has occurred in that person's life.

Yes, and counseling or nightmare therapy is the most commonly practiced methods of addressing the problems around a recurring nightmare. Diana said. And we both know full well that Bruce won't willingly accept any form of counseling or therapy.

And he will be adamantly against the use of medication. J'onn added. Batman even argues against the use of pain medication in times where he's suffered an injury of any type.

So I have to come up with a form of unconventional means then. Diana said as she once again glanced down at her notes. If he receives an offer of help, not out of professional courtesy or for selfish reasoning, perhaps he might be more open to it.

J'onn mentally sighed, knowing that it wouldn't matter why or who approached Bruce, but he also knew there wasn't anything that would deter Diana either. She didn't seemed overly concerned about the very likely ramifications she was going to have to face herself. Her mind was made up, and all he could do was make sure she was aware of what she was risking.

Have you at least taken into consideration the possible backlash? He asked. At the very least, it could damage your working relationship with Batman, but you may well be risking a friendly relationship with him as well if he reacts the way that I fear he may.

If it will help him, then it's a risk I'm willing to take. Diana replied. Regardless of what may happen between him and I.

It was at that point where Diana closed her eyes for a moment to give weight to what she'd just said. She'd known that what she was going to try to do was just and right. Should Bruce decide to burn the bridge of friendship between them because of doing what was right, she would just have to do her best to contain as much damage as possible. Then, perhaps at some point down the road, he too would see and accept that she had made the right choice in trying to help him with his inner demons.

So, armed with a renewed determination, she opened her eyes, but could feel that J'onn had broken their mental link. She looked over to her friend and saw that his eyes were still glowing their bright orange hue, which caused her to become curious as to who might've grabbed J'onn's attention while she was lost in her own thoughts. Her curiosity however, was only short lived, for a moment later she felt the connection once again grabbing at her, and then she heard J'onn's voice followed shortly after.

Batman is beginning to put the pieces together. J'onn said. He suspects that you are aware of his nightmares, and wishes for you to not become involved.

For perhaps the first time since she'd made up her mind, some doubt started to linger. Bruce was putting the pieces together, and he'd even sent her a warning through J'onn. But that moment also came to pass rather quickly. Bruce would feel that way toward anyone who wants to help him. She concluded. He'd say that if anyone else were in the same position as I am, and if the roles were reversed, he'd make the same choice that I have.

While you are most likely correct, others might not be so ready to risk the potential ramifications of Batman's wrath. J'onn replied.

That's why I have to do this. Diana fired back. I believe I can help him J'onn, and I'll risk all that is necessary to show him just how much I wish to help him.

6:00 AM

Bruce looked up as the clock tower bells began to ring out for the new hour, internally registering how the skyline seemed to be on the precipice of entering nautical twilight. If he stayed out much longer, he knew that he'd be risking someone being able to tail him without his ally of darkness able to mask his exit. Besides, he was absolutely exhausted. He'd been without any form of caffeine for the last two hours, and in that same span of time, Gotham had been at it's most quiet. It seemed that everyone had turned in for the night. Everyone but him.

He was agitated by the fact that he too could've been slumbering away if it hadn't been for his ramped up paranoia toward Diana. Although J'onn had seemed earnest when he'd told Bruce that he hadn't revealed Bruce's nightmares to her, there was just something telling him that she still knew. It was that something which kept him from returning home over two hours ago; when on any other night, he would've done so.

Bruce didn't want to have to deal with Diana butting into his issues. But if he was right about her knowing, he knew that she almost wouldn't be able to stop herself from wanting to try and help him. With her, it never seemed to matter whether she had the foremost capability to resolve an issue or if it was even her place to step in. She always did anything she could simply because she wanted to help, and it was especially true when it concerned someone she personally knew. She did what she believed was the right thing to do no matter what it might cost her.

It didn't even matter to her if the person she was trying to help didn't want it, and that would certainly be the case if she was indeed planning to confront him about his nightmares. He didn't want the help. Although incredibly painful to have that wound reopened again and again during his slumber, he'd figured out how to channel that pain to help him in his drive behind being the Dark Knight. It was as much a part of being Batman as anything else, and he had no desire to alter a working formula.

So to avoid the conflict, he decided to give Gotham a couple of hours extra protection from its own personal vigilante. He only wished there was an actual need for it. Wasting time like this only resulted in a loss of sleep, and that additional sleep could've allowed him to be just a little sharper for the next night. He never knew when he would need to be at the top of his game for Gotham and her innocents, and regardless of the nightmares, Bruce had long ago accepted that ultimately his body required at least some rest in order to function. So when he missed out on an opportunity for much needed rest, he would become easily frustrated.

He only hoped that Diana would be sound asleep so that he could try and catch an hour or so of uninterrupted rest himself before heading back out to work as CEO of Wayne Enterprises.

8:30 AM

Diana was aggravated and stomping through the hallways. She'd become angered by the combination of a lack of sleep along with the fact that Bruce hadn't come back to the Manor until the wee hours of the night if at all. At most, he'd gotten maybe an hour of sleep before showering and heading back into Wayne Enterprises, and thanks to J'onn's warning earlier, she had a pretty good guess as to why.

She'd also further confirmed her suspicion by going through the crime reports on Bruce's Cray supercomputer in the Batcave. From what she could find, it had been a very slow night. Bruce hadn't even had much to report in his mission logs. He hadn't interrogated any more informants than from a regular patrol, and the amount of crimes he encountered had been minimal to say the least. Especially for Gotham.

So now she was marching through the Manor until she reached the kitchen area. "He's avoiding me." She nearly shouted.

Had the elder man of the house not already heard the clomping of her boots earlier, Diana may well have caused him to jump upon her entry combined with her boisterous complaint. But being the gentleman that he always was, Alfred would never give a verbal lashing to a guest of the house regardless of their loudness. Besides, he knew why she was upset, and he honestly couldn't blame her. In fact, of all the reputations his surrogate son had garnered over the years, being incredibly frustrating had always been the most accurate in describing him.

"What leads you to believe such a thing, Miss Diana?" Alfred calmly asked as he placed a freshly cleaned pan back into the cupboard.

"He was out all night, Alfred." She huffed. "And according to everything I've looked into, it was completely unwarranted for him to be gone for so long. Criminal activity was low last night, and his logs made no mention of any uptick in new information gained through interrogations."

"If I may Miss Diana, might I suggest that you join me for a spot of tea in the gardens?" Alfred offered with a slight motioning of his eyes to indicate that they weren't in a position to carry on such a private conversation.

Diana started to protest, but she did just notice the movement of the elder man's eyes. She'd been so angered that she'd almost forgotten how Bruce had surveillance nearly everywhere. Still though, she couldn't let go of all her frustration as she huffed in annoyance before finally giving a slight nod.

Having temporarily quelled the frustrated princess, Alfred wasted little time in gathering up a pair of saucers and tea cups, and placed them onto a serving tray along with tea pouches and sugar containers. He'd had the good fortune of already having a kettle of water heating from the stove top, and added it to the assembly before picking up the tray and leading Diana out into what had become his own personal sanctuary.

He had just the spot picked out. There were no cameras close enough to be concerned with, and the weather seemed to be on his side that morning as well. It was a rare, cloudless morning in Gotham. The faithful butler spared a glance back toward his company as he reached a vintage patio table, complete with some 17th century replica Windsor chairs. As quick as Alfred was, he didn't have time to set the tray down and pull out a chair for Diana before she'd already laid claim to her own seat, and it became more than apparent that the change in scenery had done little to alter her mood. So he figured it would be best to move forward with serving the tea before taking his own seat.

Diana's patience had by far been worn out by the time Alfred had finished with serving the tea and she couldn't be silent a moment longer. "He's already figured it out, hasn't he?" She asked.

"He suspects, certainly." Was Alfred's answer. "I do not believe he has come to a concrete conclusion as of..."

"Suspicion is more than enough when it comes to Bruce." Diana said, interrupting Alfred. "I know that he believes he doesn't want the help. He's more than indicated as much when he realized J'onn discovered how haunted his nightmares are for him. But just because he doesn't want the help doesn't mean that he isn't in need of it."

"There's no need to convince me of that fact, Miss Diana." Alfred said. "However, as you've pointed out, Master Bruce's suspicion will likely create quite the dilemma for you."

"I know." She agreed. "He'll probably avoid me at all costs now."

"I only wish it would be that simple Miss." Alfred somberly replied.

His change in demeanor troubled her. Normally Alfred was as stoic an individual as she come across. In fact, only Bruce was really better at not giving anything away. "What do you mean Alfred?"

"While Master Bruce is suspicious, he will do his best to keep his distance, but as we both now, it's more a matter of when, not if the young master will put all the pieces together." Alfred explained. "And once he has discovered the truth, he will confront the perceived issue in a manner that will ensure the end result will be to his desire."

"Meaning?" Diana urged.

"Master Bruce will likely conclude that you will not honor his wishes and allow him to continue suffering from these nightmares." Alfred said. "He will also conclude that he is not moving out of the Manor."

"So he'll be kicking me out then." Diana concluded, and received a confirming nod.

For a moment, she almost became angry with Bruce, but then she realized that this was just a possible consequence of her doing the right thing. Bruce needed this help, and if he was going to kick her out, she just needed to ensure that he would be kicking her out for actually doing something instead of only having plans and intentions.

She just needed a sound plan to gain control of the situation, and that was then that an idea came to her. "I'll be in the cave when Bruce returns." She said as she stood to her feet to make her exit. "Just play along if Bruce questions you about anything."

A/N: So, what honestly was supposed to only be a one-shot has now turned into a 3 parter. Just have to proofread the third installment, and then I'll get it up too. Hope you all enjoy!