Can you write a fic on how you think batman#39 should've progressed. And love your fics and I truly am excitedly looking forward this WonderBat week.
WonderBat Week 2018: Theme #2 – Elseworld
Title: Take On Me
Universe: DC Rebirth (Comics)
Rating: Teen / PG-13
Word Count: 1,973 words
DISCLAIMER: I fully respect Tom King’s run of Batman, including issues #39 and #40, despite not being a fan of the series personally. Given the theme for today, I have chosen this prompt as it suits the concept of ‘Elseworld’, meaning alternate universe. Thank you.
We shouldn’t have come here.
I know that now, and we’ve been damned for not realizing the error to our naturally heroic ways sooner. This place is full of monsters that stalk us in this perpetual night, but nothing could be more threatening to my sanity than the relentless gravitation there is between Diana and I.
It’s been years since I’ve seen Gotham, or my family, or my fiancee. Everything I ever knew is lost to me while I am trapped in Gehanna except for Diana, Wonder Woman, the beacon of all things righteous and true. She is the pillar of strength that keeps me fighting fit when the hordes refuse to be silenced, and by doing so, she forces a roar of temptation to bombinate inside me the longer we remain here together.
There have been many occasions in which the ravenous surge of energy after a monstrous battle dares me to grab hold of her and steal her lips with my own, celebrate what we have vanquished, revere her might and accomplishments. Anyone who knows Diana cannot help themselves from admiring her but to see her destroy demon after demon with such refined eradication can be an aphrodisiac that is unparalleled to anything I have ever known before her.
But I have my city, my family, my fiancee to think of, and those memories weigh down my desires when nothing else will.
After all, I’ve chosen my partner and… it wasn’t her.
The flickering of the campfire on Diana’s face tries to hypnotize me into thinking otherwise, but I’ve trained myself for most of my life to squash such enticement, having perfected the skill many times with her specifically.
Why that is, I can’t say I remember as soundly anymore.
Nevertheless, I look away from her bewitching face and dig into my own meal of the charred critter we captured and focus on satisfying a different hunger all together.
Then, she calls to me, and my resistance falters. “Bruce?”
“Yes?” I answer her immediately.
Taking a bite, I await her to continue her thought but she doesn’t maintain the pace of the conversation she started. It is worrying to wonder if Wonder Woman has weakened in her resolve, especially considering she is the immortal warrior addressing a mere mortal vigilante. I lift my gaze to find hers and her blue eyes are awaiting me.
There, behind such a vibrant cerulean hue, is the true Diana. The vulnerability she isn’t scared to reveal but fearful of giving into glimmers at me, catching the weary flame before us secretively. Seeing her pull down her own walls in order to address me makes me anxious, because I know that my need to save her from such frightful thoughts could compel me to reach out to her.
Easily, and yet while uttering a much more complicated question than another I can remember, she asks, “How long do you think we have been here for now?”
I pause to think, but choose not to meditate on it for too long. “Ten years.”
“Ten years?” She repeats back to me, quieter than I spoke. Beneath the tree that sat at her back, she radiates the aura of an ethereal being that wants more from this cursed fate she cannot break free from and I am reminded of her sister in arms, wondering if we are also destined to suffer for doing nothing empirically wrong.
“At least.” Is how I choose to comfort her, despite how fruitless it truly is to try.
She sits with my answer for the time span of the blink of an eye. Then, she strikes a pose in which I cannot tell if she means to merely stretch or if she is miming her intention to threaten The Gentleman who trapped us here. “We have tried… We must concede.”
No, I beg her internally not to say such things.
“We cannot open the gate without him.”
She speaks nothing but the truth, and yet…
“And he does not come.”
“Yeah.” I reply blandly, for I can concur with fact. We released the man whom we once promised to offer salvation to and he has not returned to give us the same. For all we know, he never plans to exonerate us from this hell, and Diana and I are confined to a fate of endless battles waged against the Hordes of Gehanna by each other’s side for all of this realm’s eternity.
“So then,” Diana lets her words drag on as she bows her head. It’s almost as if she’s become nervous as she speaks. “Perhaps this is everlasting. All of life, our life.”
Her voicing of my very thoughts is an easy task, however, it ropes me into her. I bow my head too as if I need time to comprehend what she is saying to me. “The hordes are… everlasting.”
Then, she dares to state the truth I had been fearing myself. “And all we have, forever, is you and me.”
The most infuriating and tantalizing words that have ever been spoken to me.
We teased, we taunted, we hinted at one another in the past and never dove into anything serious for reasons neither of us truly understand. Perhaps it was because we could lose ourselves to one another? Or perhaps our differences in mortality while living the lives that we do carries a heavy load on the possibility of a future? Or maybe it all comes down to the fact that her time would be best spent with someone who can enjoy life with her, not dampen her illustriousness with the darkness that swallows me?
The possibility of having her now was nothing if not…
“Yeah.” I foolishly answer again, carrying on this asinine conversation. What are we doing, discussing this as if there is a chance we could be something more? As if Gehanna was the place to make the planets align or cosmically bring us together?
Just as I am growing infuriated with our situation, Diana giggles. Softly, only momentarily, but she laughs before me. The tension gripping me slackens it hold and I gawk at her from under my brows as she says, “You know, even without the pointy ears, you do not look so bad.”
Such a swift change in conversation, I can’t help but to pause before I answer. It is almost sacrilegious for her to compliment my appearance as my eyes rake over her body while it is highlighted and shadowed by the campfire’s glow. The goddess before me, in whatever backhanded way she chooses to speak, tells me that she enjoys the way I look.
To ignore her beauty would be a crime, one I have committed for far too long considering my role as a man who seeks justice.
Dumbfounded and animalistic, I lean towards her, muttering for a third time the most unattractive word, “Yeah.” But I do lean in, I seek her out and she leans towards me. The heat that pools in my blood courses throughout my tired body and rejuvenates me with a promise of what is about to happen between us. Decades of working together plus the one we endured in this realm have led up to this moment, where our noses nearly touch.
I can hear her breathing deeply, and feel my chest lift and sink with the very same tempo. Rise and fall, just like my ability to resist Diana over the years. Having her sit before me now in our own perpetual corner of the realm feels like the opportune moment to stop wondering, stop fighting and let things happen.
“Bruce,” she calls to me again, making my insides churn painfully, desperately.
And it is with that awareness of desperation that my survival instincts reemerge from their restless sleep to stop me from making a catastrophic mistake.
Less than an inch away from her gorgeous lips, the words spill out of my mouth reflexively, without any sort of control. “We can’t…”
Diana stills and it instantly breaks my heart to refuse her for the umpteenth time. All those years of yearning reaching their climactic moment, now suddenly feeling wasted to know we can never be.
“No,” she too fires out words of discouragement in the hopes of appearing sane. “We can’t. Ever.”
Hearing her speak of finality strikes a chord with me, however. To recognize the insanity of our attraction is one thing, but to have Diana agree after offering herself to me is both saddening and infuriating. Why is our future never a possibility?
Why could I propose to one woman and never to this one, when I have admired her, cherished her, and loved her endlessly?
Why did I think it could never be Diana?
In that moment, I refused to let the madness of the answers sink their teeth into my desire and tear it away from me once again. For a moment, I would live in desperation for something that existed in front of me for too long.
Inside of me.
Always with me.
As Diana begins to laugh again, I take it as a personal challenge to silence her, so I steal that kiss that I had been craving long before we entered Gehanna. Our lips crash and so do the worlds we keep separate from one another. She feels like the most exquisite sanctuary for a soul as worn as mine, a sob urging to spring free in my throat that I quickly stamp down. Kissing her fills me with an awareness of coming home after a lifelong war even whilst we are still trying to survive the ongoing battle against the demons around us.
It takes everything I have to await her response before I notice that her hand has found my cheek, cradling it softly. The gesture alone calms my nervousness, then unseals all of the battle-induced excitement, the ages-long resistance, the indisputable greed to have her body be with mine. I know now that I need us to be so much more than a fever dream when I grab her waist and drag her into me. “Diana.” I growl her name, daring her to pull away now that we have willfully let go.
“Mmm.” Her moan sends a shiver stomping along my spine and reminds me that our clothes are the last remaining barriers to realizing our profoundly anticipated passions.
At least, physically, in this world.
“I know,” I whisper, hoping to say more. I am aware of the lives we had been clinging to in this realm, the ones we know and want to return to. I remember what the past ten years have been like as we reminisced about what we had waiting for us if and when we make our way back to Earth.
We reminisced together, though.
About what we had before being spirited away to this god awful place.
And in both of our recollections, the constant we shared was this: each other.
“Yeah.” She whispers cheekily as her long legs carry her into my lap. The fire fueling every move that she makes is just as nervous as I am, as its flame burns too quickly in the hopes that she can savour every moment before it fizzles out. I want that as well – to pin her down or have her straddle me and feast on one another like we were always too scared to imagine. With claw-like hands, I wrap my arms around her and hold her against my body so that she can shield me from any other world that isn’t Gehanna.
Neither one of us can stop this now.
Neither one of us wants to.
I can no longer say I haven’t tasted the fruit of temptation, as her name is Diana, and all I want is for her to be by my side forever more.