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hands clasped in undying loyalty

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"Again," Bruce said as he got to his feet. Sweat dripped down his face and naked torso, but his eyes were still as sharp as when they had started this hours ago.

Bruce had asked if Diana would show him her fighting skills on his private beach miles away from prying eyes and Diana acquiesced to his wishes. It had been decades since she trained with another warrior and while Bruce was not an Amazon, he was a skilled warrior. Even though she had been throwing him onto the ground every single time, for a human, he was holding his own as much as he could and he kept on fighting.

Diana crouched low as she held up her arms in front of her. "Come at me then."

There was a smirk on Bruce's face, one that Diana was slowly recognizing as him about to do something sneaky, and Diana only managed to catch something between his fingers before a cloud of smoke filled the area. Diana coughed as she averted her eyes. When she tried to look through the smoke, she couldn't find Bruce.

Suddenly, Diana's arm was grabbed and twisted behind her back while something kicked at the back of her knee and she fell to the ground. Bruce chuckled against her ear.

"I know you can get out of this, but for now, I win," he said.

Diana couldn't help but smile at what Bruce did. It was a dirty move that would have made her aunt proud. "Where did even hide that?" Bruce was only wearing shorts while she was in her traditional Amazonian garb.

"I'm full of secrets."

Of that, Diana had no doubt. She had lived for centuries, but Bruce was a man who very comfortable in the shadows and who understood human nature at both its finest and its worst. Above all though, he fought for justice as much as she did and she appreciated that about him.

Diana jerked forward before launching herself up into the air to break free from Bruce's hold. When she landed on her feet, Bruce was standing and giving her a pleased look. Bruce liked it when she surprised him. It only meant he was going to figure out another way so she couldn't do that again.

"We'll stop right here and take a break." She walked towards a table Alfred had set out for them and picked up a bottle of water. Bruce was right behind her and she calmly sipped her water as Bruce poured his over his head.

Diana could admit to herself that Bruce was a gorgeous looking man, especially when water droplets were running down his body. And while he didn't know everything about her, he knew enough that he didn't shy away from the truth of her. Diana could honestly call Bruce a friend and it was nice to know she had one in this modern age.

She handed Bruce a new bottle of water. "I can see you're improving."

"Thank you. I can do better though." Bruce chugged down the water and Diana continued to watch him. "The world is changing and I need to change along with it."

"You still think something is coming for us?" she asked. Of course he did. It was the reason he reached out to her after Superman's death. Diana didn't know how Bruce knew something was coming, he was a human after all, but she trusted him.

Bruce wiped his face of water droplets before letting out a long sigh. "I feel it with every fiber of my body. I just don't know when it's coming or what's coming, but I do know we have to get ready."

Diana took a step forward before she clasped his hand in hers. It was not the smooth hand of a playboy billionaire. No, Bruce's rough hand spoke of untold strength and hardship. It was the type of hand that she was familiar with and she liked that Bruce was reminding her of home.

"You shouldn't doubt your strength. I don't. When the time comes, you'll shine like you always have."

And there it was, a rare smile from Bruce. Diana cherished seeing it in these dark times. "You're not like any woman I've ever met."

"I'm technically not unless you know other Amazonians and even then."

Bruce shook his head, the smile still on his lips. "That's not what I meant. You're a lot more hopeful than I am, even in the face of impossible odds. There's a light within you that isn't in me and I need that."

She could see that. They were similar and different at the same time. Diana suspected that was why she felt drawn to Bruce and his cause. "We compliment each other since you brought me back into the world when I had grown disillusioned with it. I thank you for that."

Diana released his hand and turned away to look out to the ocean. The world had been a lonely place for her since she left her home, but being here with Bruce comforted her. It was more than just having a renewed purpose. Bruce was a friend that Diana never expected to have and she enjoyed being around him.

An idea formed in her mind and, though it was probably not the best time to even think about such things, Diana knew just how fleeting life could be. There was no point in hesitating when in the next breath, everything could change completely. She turned back around towards Bruce. He was standing there like he'd been watching her this entire time.

She smiled at him as she closed the short distance between them. "I'm going to kiss you," she said, her voice full of confidence of a woman who knew what she wanted and who wasn't going to get rejected, not when she knew that Bruce was attracted to her.

Bruce didn't look surprised and when he didn't say no or back away, she leaned in to press her lips against his. His lips were chapped, but soft. His arms wrapped around her waist, pulling her tightly against his glistening body, and deepened the kiss. Diana licked into his mouth and Bruce met her tongue with ease.

It'd been a long time since Diana had kissed someone like this and Bruce kissed as well as he fought. She wondered what else Bruce was skilled at.

Bruce pulled back and Diana opened her eyes to meet his gaze. "As enjoyable as that was, what brought that on?" he asked.

"You don't live as long as I do without realizing a few truths and time is too short to lie to myself." Diana brought her hand up to cup Bruce's cheek and she noticed him ever so slightly turning his head towards her hand. "I'm thrilled that you enjoyed kissing me. We should do it more often when we're not training or searching for more members of our new team."

"I think we can do that. Alfred's been nagging me to enjoy myself more." Bruce frowned, as if he didn't think it was necessary. Diana privately agreed with Alfred's opinion and since she was going to be working alongside Bruce during the coming days, she was going to make sure that that happened.

Diana glanced out to the setting sun over the horizon before looking back to Bruce. It was getting darker and while it would be interesting to spar with Bruce in his natural habitat, it was probably more prudent to return to Bruce's home and search for the other metahumans.

"Shall we go?" Bruce asked as he dropped his hands from her waist, only to reach for her hand and held it. "We can have dinner under the moonlight."

Diana raised her eyebrow though there was a smile on her lips. "Bruce, that almost sounds romantic. I'm surprised."

He lifted her hand to his lips and kissed her knuckles. "I can be charming even when I'm not pretending to be Bruce Wayne. After dinner, I'll show you the collection of weapons I've gathered over the years. I think you'd enjoy them."

"I would, thank you." Diana kissed Bruce before they started walking away from the beach and towards Bruce's car parked a short distance away. "And tomorrow I'll teach you how to use a lasso. Maybe after that, I'll teach you how to fight with it." She winked at him.

Bruce laughed. "I don't think even my playboy self has fooled around with being tied up, but I see the possibilities of it with you."

"Good, because I see a lot of possibilities with you." Diana let go Bruce's hand to walk around to the passenger seat. "I hope you can keep up."