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Family Ties

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TITLE: Family Ties
AUTHOR: LOTSlover
CHARACTERS: Batman / Wonder Woman
RATING: M
WARNINGS: Author Chooses Not to Use Warnings

DISCLAIMER: I love Justice League, but especially Batman and Wonder Woman. Unfortunately, I do not own the characters and, if I did, things would be much different for them.

SUMMARY: Sequel to Family Matters, Diana tries to deal with the struggles of setting up the Themyscirian Embassy in Gotham, but some don’t want to see it succeed. Also, the unexpected appearance of Talia with Bruce’s son Damian only adds to the Wayne’s already stressful family dynamic.

Chapter 1

Themyscira; June 6th, 01:10 GMT+2

She slipped through the darkness as inconspicuously as the shadows that shifted around her, pausing to look back over her shoulder to make sure that she wasn’t being followed. She brushed a fiery red curl away from her face, tucking it back inside the hood of her black cloak.

She continued her journey, carefully picking her way through the heavily wooded area with only slivers of moonlight to guide her. It didn’t matter anyhow. She knew these woods like the back of her hand. Little of its topography had actually changed over the last few thousand years.

It was the benefit of living on a magically protected island—there was little change.

Her lips thinned into a grim line. That was all changing now…had been changing ever since their own princess had forsaken them to marry a mortal man and have his children. It was not only unacceptable but forbidden and so were the plans that their queen had put into motion.

Things were rapidly changing for the Amazons, spiraling so far out of control. The wayward princess had put notions into her mother’s head, influencing her decisions. It was time to put a stop to it now before things progressed any further.

They needed to restore the island to the purity it had once possessed before Diana had turned her back on her sisters and her heritage by marrying a man, tainting her home by bringing her mate and sons to Themyscira’s shores. The decision to make the princess an ambassador to the world for the Amazon nation was the final breaking point.

Opening up Themyscira to Man’s World went against everything they knew, everything they believe in and they were going to put a stop to it no matter what it took.

“What took you so long?”

Amara lowered the hood of her cloak as she approached the circle of sisters waiting for her. “Sorry, Kyriaki, but I couldn’t get away from the palace until now,” she informed them as she took her seat among her sisters.

Kyriaki stood to her feet before taking a step closer to the fire, allowing the flickering flames to cast an eerie glow about her face. “As you know, Princess Diana will be opening the Themyscirian Embassy in Gotham in two months,” she began, her gaze shifting from one sister to the next to make certain the true deeps of such an atrocity was fully felt among her gathered sisters. “We need to make certain that she is stopped before Themyscira can be compromised any further.”

“We’ve been talking about this for months,” Melita bitterly complained. “It’s time we finally acted.”

Cyanea stood to her feet, her expression hard with rage. “I agree,” she stated, turning her glower to Kyriaki. “We’ve been meeting and discussing without any decisions being made. We are Amazons, not old men sitting around a fire gossiping about old times. It’d time we fight for what we want. We fight to make Themyscira great again.”

Kyriaki’s mahogany brown eyes hardened with resentment, her nostrils flaring in abject censure. “Are you proposing you lead this battle, Cyanea?”

Cyanea lowered her gaze slightly, knowing that she had overstepped her bounds. Kyriaki outranked her in the Queen’s Guard. If she wished to be leader, she would have to participate in the ritual battle to the death. That was something that she wanted to avoid, especially against Kyriaki.

Even though she was an Amazon warrior, she was no fool. Kyriaki was one of the very best, second only to Phillipus in direct hand-to-hand combat. Trying to defy her or battle her for leadership was to hand her own death over to the God Hades by her own sword. She might as well throw herself into the Pits of Tartarus.

“No,” Cyanea replied, her voice losing a measure of the confidence that it had just held. “I merely meant to point out that we have been wasting precious time discussing and quibbling over the way things used to be before Diana left Themyscira and fell in love with that mortal demon. I believe it’s high time we act before our princess starts inviting all of Man’s World to visit our home.”

“I agree with Cyanea,” Leda said as she stood to her feet, coming to her friend’s defense. “All of this discussion has gotten us nowhere. Diana will be opening the embassy in two months. We need to plan out what our move it going to be.”

“I don’t think we should attack Diana,” Maia volunteered. “I think we should start by sending some sort of message letting her know that not all of us approve what Queen Hippolyta is doing.”

“We’ve already voiced our grievances to Hippolyta on numerous occasions and it only falls on deaf ears,” Kyriaki heatedly stated as she began to pace. “We’ve tried approaching this the peaceful way. I believe it’s time for action.”

“Besides, Diana no longer deserves the title of princess or an Amazon,” Leda spat out. “She turned her back on us years ago when she left for Man’s World. She herself drove the final nail into her own coffin when she chose to marry the mortal demon and have his children, bringing them to the island to visit. For that, she was must reap the consequences of her actions.”

“I agree,” Melita concurred. “It is time that she pays. Once Queen Hippolyta sees what has become of her daughter, she’ll withdraw from the world again, restoring Themyscira to what it once was.”

“How do you suggest we go about doing it?” Leda asked with a frown. While she was in favor of stopping this nonsense before it got out of hand, she wasn’t certain that attacking Diana was the answer to their problem.

“I have quite a few ideas in mind,” Kyriaki replied with a darkening gleam in her eye. “It’s going to require stealth, but I think we should be able to pull it off without alerting Queen Hippolyta.”

“And just what are you proposing, Kyriaki?” Astraea inquired, voicing the question that was on the twenty gathered Amazons’ minds.

“It will require much work as well as some of us leaving the island for Man’s World in order to make sure my plan does not fail,” Kyriaki revealed. “Now, I’m just going to need some volunteers.”

“I’ll be more than happy to go take care of Princess Diana.”

Everyone turned at the unexpected sound of the voice of the Amazon sister who emerged from the shadows that surrounded them to join the group gathered around the small fire. Kyriaki’s lips slowly curled into a pleased smile as she stared at her sister.

“I guess it’s settled than,” she announced.

Wayne Manor; August 2nd, 09:04 EST

Diana paced the length of the library, her arms folded across her chest and her bright blue eyes ablaze with anger. She could hardly believe that this was actually happening let alone today of all days. It felt as though she had just stepped out of a dream and into a living nightmare fresh from the Pits of Tartarus.

Talia al Ghul sat perched on the couch looking like the queen of the world. Her attention was focused solely on Bruce, a smug expression gracing her face. She was clearly enjoying every agonizing minute of this, reveling in some perceived victory.

Bruce sat in an armchair directly across from her, his forearms resting on his thighs as he studied the woman before him. The dark glower on his face seemed to be carved out of marble, the tight set of his jaw like steel. There was no guessing what he was thinking. Diana could easily see the tension that consumed his body, the doubt and anger that had settled over him.

Diana knew that Bruce would not accept Talia’s word for it. He’d want to do his own testing to make sure Damian was truly his son. She could clearly see that Damian was unmistakably Bruce’s child with Talia, though. Damian possessed her nose and mouth, but there was no denying those piercing blue eyes or his stubborn chin. He also shared similarities with Nicholas and Kaia, making her stomach lurch. Damian al Ghul was their half-brother.

Bruce cast a fleeting glance at Diana who was still pacing on the other side of the library, her arms wrapped around herself. He wanted to hold her, to tell her how sorry he was, but he knew that now was not the time. She was rightfully upset, her fury tangible. This was supposed to be a memorable day for her, one that signified Themyscira’s stepping out of the past and into the present…into Man’s World.

Unfortunately, Talia had shown up at their front door with a son that Bruce had had no idea even existed; forcing Diana to call her secretary at the newly opened embassy to let her know that she would be arriving late. He felt horrible for bringing her pain and ruining what was supposed to be a historic day for her, her mother, and her sisters.

“Talia, tell me the truth,” Bruce icily stated. “Why are you really here?”

“As I told you before, beloved,” Talia spoke again, “I felt it was time for you to finally meet your son.”

“Why now?” Bruce demanded to know. “How do I even know that he’s my son?”

“Beloved, how can you even say that?” Talia questioned him, her expression growing wounded with his suspicion.

Bruce noticed how Diana grew angrier every time Talia called him “beloved” and, to be perfectly honest, it was pissing him off as well. He’d never particularly liked being called that even when he’d thought that he was falling in love with her.

“First of all, stop calling me that, Talia,” he warned her, his gaze narrowing. “I am not your beloved. I’m married to Diana. Second, I don’t trust you. It would be just like you and your father to orchestrate something like this in order to get me to leave Gotham and join you.”

“I’m truly hurt that you would think so little of me,” Talia replied, glaring darkly at her former lover.

“Past experience with you has taught me some very valuable and painful lesions that I don’t plan on ever repeating,” he bit out. “I want proof that he is my son.”

A Cheshire grin stole across Talia’s face as she intently studied him. “Have you so easily forgotten the passionate nights spent in my bed, beloved?” she asked with a sultry lilt to her voice. “The way that I could make you cry out my name…repeatedly begging for more of me? I know what drives you wild, what brings you the greatest pleasure. Can your wife do for you what I could?”

Standing by the window with her arms crossed against her chest, Diana’s fingernails dug into her upper arms, her teeth clenched with fury. She couldn’t stand here listening to this any longer, hearing the intimate details of his love affair with Talia al’Gul. It felt as if someone was ripping her heart open.

“I need to leave for the embassy,” she ground out, storming out of the library without looking back.

“Stay here,” Bruce ordered Talia with a deadly glare as he jumped to his feet to follow Diana out. He found her in the foyer gathering her things. “Diana, wait. Please, don’t go.”

Diana stopped, her back to her husband and her head lowered. “I’m not going to stand there and listen to every sordid detail of your sexual relationship with that woman, Bruce,” she stated with a deadly calm that actually made Bruce’s stomach drop into his shoes. It hinted at the barely controlled fury that filled her, how she was teetering on the edge.

He quickly reached out to her, forcing her to turn around and face him. The look of anguish that he found shining in her blue eyes as well as the tears brimming there was more than he could take. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her to him, holding her tightly against his larger frame.

“Diana, I’m so very sorry,” he murmured against her ear, doing his best to keep a firm hold on his own pain knowing that he had hurt her so deeply. “I promise you that I’ll find out what Talia is really up to and what she wants, but I can’t turn him away if Damian is truly my son.”

“I know,” she whispered, pulling out of his arms after several long moments. “I’ll see you tonight.”

The fact that she didn’t return his embrace did not go unnoticed by him nor did the hurt created by it. “I love you, Diana,” he told her.

She bit at her bottom lip, silently nodding her head as a tear slowly slid down her cheek. She quickly brushed it away as she abruptly turned on her heel and left without a word, without return his proclamation of love. It was like a stab to his heart, her tears like salt being poured in an open wound.

He reminded himself that she just needed some time right now, to work through this latest nightmare to descend upon their family. It did little to soothe the painful ache that had bloomed in his chest as she had walked away from him without saying a word.

“Did I say something wrong?” Talia coyly asked from behind him, a smirk on her lips.

Bruce’s hands balled into fists, his lips thinning into a sneer as he whirled around to face her. “I don’t know what you’re up to, Talia, but I will get to the bottom of this and, when I do, you are out of here forever,” he heatedly replied. “Do you understand me?”

Talia tried not to shrink back from him, making sure she firmly stood her ground. She straightened her shoulders and held her head high, not breaking eye contact with him despite the fact that she didn’t think that she had ever seen him so livid before.

“Maybe it’s something as simple as me wanting our son to finally get to know his father,” Talia countered, fire returning to her eyes. “Did you ever think of that?”

“Why now, Talia?” he demanded as he closed the distance between them, finding it more than difficult to keep a tight leash on his anger right now. “Why wait ten years before suddenly showing up at my front door and announcing we have a son together?”

“I had hoped that now that you were married and have children of your own you would be a little more receptive of Damian,” she shot back. “Face it, Bruce. You wouldn’t have handled finding out that you were going to be a father very well ten years ago would you?”

“I wasn’t given a chance so I guess we’ll never know,” Bruce quietly seethed, pushing past her to head towards the kitchen where Alfred was watching the children.

He was still reeling from Talia’s arrival and revelation that they have a son together. His mind was struggling to process it all, to sort through all the ramifications and possibilities as to what Talia was really up to by showing up now. It was more than difficult to think straight knowing how upset Diana was. He just hoped that they could work through this unexpected development.

Things had settled down for the most part since Sienna Falcone’s death a year ago, allowing him to reconnect with his wife and reestablish the fact that their marriage was on solid ground with the media. Cleaning up Gotham from Sienna’s attempt to resurrect the Falcone Mafia had taken some time, but things were progressing well.

They’d found a new normal for them with Diana taking on the title of Ambassador of Themyscira, making their new routines work for their family despite the fact that they were being pulled in every direction. Now, Talia was here with a son that he’d never known even existed and throwing their lives into another tailspin that he hoped that they’d be able to recover from.

Finding his children sitting at the kitchen table, Bruce knew that they had to recover from this, find a way to make this additional tie to his family work. No other outcome was acceptable in his mind. If Damian was truly his son, then they would find a way to make this work no matter what it took.

He watched as Nicholas stared warily at Damian, studying him as he sat and colored his picture. It was quite clear that Nicholas wasn’t so sure about this new guest that had invaded their home. Bruce could practically see the wheels turning in his head, trying to make sense of it all and how this boy fit in here. It made Bruce proud to witness. He already knew that Nicholas was going to make a great detective someday.

Kaia, on the other hand, was just like her mother in every way, freely accepting the new visitor as a friend already. She offered Damian a crayon, the boy dismissing her with a scowl of pure annoyance and boredom. It didn’t seem to sway his little girl in the least as she tried to offer him a different color instead in an effort to make a friend.

She looked up at that moment, noticing her father standing in the doorway. “Daddy,” Kaia exclaimed from her seat at the table. “Color wif me.”

Bruce walked over to the table, stopping beside his daughter to look at the picture she was coloring. “I can’t right now, baby girl, but I promise I will later,” he told her as he bent over and kissed the top of her head.

He turned his attention to Alfred as he straightened up. “Alfred, I’m going to need you to cancel—”

“Already took the liberty of calling the office and cancelling your day, sir,” he replied as he handed him a cup of coffee.

“Thank you,” Bruce murmured, downing some of the much needed caffeine.

Damian just glared sullenly at Bruce, clearly bored and irritated with this whole meeting. “I suppose you’re going to want to run tests to prove that I’m really your son,” he stated, arms folded tightly against his small frame.

If Bruce was surprised by Damian’s assumption, he didn’t show it. Instead, he set his cup of coffee on the table, his other hand falling on Kaia’s head to gently stroke her raven curls. “That’s right,” Bruce evenly replied.

The boy was obviously highly intelligent. There was no reason to hide the facts from him or try to sugar coat it. He could already tell Damian was a lot like his grandfather. This was going to prove to be a very difficult situation to circumnavigate.

“Hey, who’s the kid?” Tim asked as he entered the kitchen, all eyes turning towards him.

“I’m his son,” Damian responded, pointing at Bruce with his thumb. “Who exactly are you? Another one of my brothers?”

“Whoa,” Tim gasped in shock, his gaze flickering between Damian and Bruce. “Um, do I want to know what’s going on around here?”

“Just what are you planning to do to prove that Damian is your son, beloved?” Talia asked as she entered the kitchen, a scowl on her face.

“Beloved?” Tim exclaimed with a look of pure disgust as he turned to level a glare at Bruce. “What is she doing here and does mom know about this?”

“She knows,” Talia interjected as a pleased smile spread across her face. “Now, what about our son?”

“He’ll probably want to swab my mouth, draw blood, get a full set of fingerprints, and a hair sample, mother,” Damian matter-of-factly rattled off.

Bruce internally grimaced with Damian’s response to his mother. This was most definitely his son whether he had irrefutable proof or not. He knew it deep in his bones without doing any tests. Now, he just had to find a way to accept him into his heart and life. It was a little difficult knowing who his mother and grandfather were and what they were capable of.

He had once foolishly thought that Talia was the one, that he had found a reason to be happy for once in his life, but he had been so very wrong. Talia just blindly followed her maniacal father no matter the cost…even when the price had been him. Her betrayal had only caused him to reinforce the walls that he had built up around his heart, making him wary of trying to reach out to another woman ever again.

She had chosen her father over him in the end, choosing rather to follow the delusional machinations of a madman instead of him. It had hurt him deeply at the time, but he had recovered, finding love and contentment with Diana.

“I don’t know why you can’t just believe me when I say that he’s your son, Bruce,” Talia snapped.

“I wouldn’t believe you without proof either if I were him,” Damian calmly stated.

Tim bit at his bottom lip to keep from laughing with the young boy’s rejoinder to his maniacal mother. He was more than stunned by the unexpected revelation that Bruce had a son with Talia no less. From the look on Bruce’s face, Tim could that he was having a very difficult time accepting it as well. Of course, who wouldn’t after discovering you have a son and his grandfather is none other than Ra’s al Ghul, the foremost eccoterrorist in the world.

“Perhaps it might be better if this conversation were to resume downstairs,” Alfred interjected, frowning at Bruce.

Bruce glanced at Nicholas and Kaia who were absorbing the entire scene with rapt fascination. “I agree,” he concurred. “Be good for Alfred you two…especially you, little princess.”

Kaia looked up at him with those big blue eyes, appearing as innocent as an angel just sent from heaven. “I good, daddy,” she said with a sudden scowl that could rival her mother’s.

“You have your moments,” he muttered as he walked away, turning his attention to Talia and Damian. “Let’s go get this settled once and for all. Alfred, Damian will need a guest room prepared for him. He can stay here with us if he wishes or with his mother.”

“I’ll make sure a room is ready for him,” Alfred replied.

He found it more than difficult to appear courteous to their newest guests, especially knowing Talia’s past with Master Bruce. He had a very bad feeling that this was not going to end well. Anytime an al Ghul was involved that was usually the case.

He watched as Talia and Damian followed Bruce out of the kitchen, releasing a sigh as he glanced at Nicholas and Kaia who had resumed their coloring. He worried about how this was going to affect not only the children, but Miss Diana as well.

“This is so not good,” Tim muttered as he sat down at the kitchen table.

“No, I’m afraid not, Master Timothy,” Alfred agreed as he became lost in his own thoughts on the matter. “I’m afraid not in the least.”

Themyscirian Embassy; August 2nd, 11:43 EST

Diana did her best to focus on the important work of getting the Themyscirian Embassy up and running, but it was more than difficult with the unexpected and unwanted arrival of Talia al Ghul and her son Damian…Damian Wayne. She felt her stomach lurch again with the thought.

It was bad enough knowing that Bruce had been with that sadistic woman, but knowing that they shared a child together just seemed to magnify everything a hundredfold. She had known that Bruce had had past relationships that had failed and she was fine with that. He had married her, chosen to have a life and a family with her.

For some reason, this seemed to open up a wound she hadn’t realized even existed; the proof of a son with Bruce’s blood flowing through his veins along with Talia’s just seemed to rip it open. She couldn’t quite give a name to what that wound was or she was too afraid to actually call it jealousy.

She was an Amazon, confident and proud. She didn’t get jealous, but this…this just seemed to stir up a jealous fury in her that she couldn’t quite contain. At the same time, it also awakened an insecurity in her that she was too ashamed to admit to.

Did Bruce truly love her?

She felt so foolish even considering it let alone allowing it to have any sort of foothold in her mind. She knew with every fiber of her being that Bruce loved her, but he had also thought at one time that he had been in love with Talia…with Andrea and Selina.

She felt the burn of tears attempting to return, but she tamped down on them, refusing to allow them to form. She would not let this newest development interfere with her marriage and family or the pride that she felt with opening the Themyscirian Embassy.

They had gone through enough marital discord when Sienna Falcone attempted to break up their marriage over a year ago. She refused to go through that again. She was not about to allow Talia to invade her home and break up her family.

She had no doubt that Talia was up to something and that Ra’s was more than likely involved. They were just going to have to be vigilant at all times, watching for the smallest clues that something was about to happen. At this point, she wouldn’t put anything past Talia or Ra’s.

Maybe Damian wasn’t even Bruce’s son.

The fleeting thought brought a small measure of comfort, but she already knew that he was Bruce’s flesh and blood. She could see the resemblance in those intense blue eyes and his chin. Now, they were just going to have to find a way to welcome him into their family despite the fact that he was an al Ghul.

She couldn’t help wondering just how deep those family roots ran in Damian. Did he possess the same radical beliefs and arrogance as his grandfather, the same manipulative and deceptive abilities that his mother possessed? If Damian was anything like his mother or grandfather, they were going to be in a great deal of trouble.

“Princess Diana?”

The sound of Phaedra’s voice broke her out of her troubled thoughts. “Yes, Phaedra?”

“The Italian Embassy is calling,” Phaedra informed her. “The ambassador was hoping to set up a meeting with you some time in the next two weeks.”

“That’s fine,” Diana replied, “and you can call me Diana, Phaedra.”

“Sorry, princess, but it’s very difficult,” she told her with a frown. “You’ve always been Princess Diana.”

Diana gave her a small smile. “It’s okay,” she reassured her. “Set up a meeting with the Italian ambassador for the next two weeks. I’m going to be busy next week with the peace summit.”

“There’s also another delivery for you,” Phaedra revealed.

“Send them in,” she said, getting to her feet.

Diana watched as Phaedra disappeared from the doorway of her office, wondering what was coming now. She looked around her office at the various bouquets of flowers that already adorned the room from various countries congratulating her and Themyscira on the opening of their new embassy.

Walking around her desk, Diana smiled as a female delivery person entered her office with a beautifully decorated box in hand. “Please, sign here,” the woman instructed her, offering her the clipboard she carried.

Diana signed her name before taking the box, wondering who the gift was from. “Thank you,” Diana replied as the delivery woman left her alone in her office once more.

Finding no card or note, Diana set the box down on her desk as her phone began to ring. “This is Diana,” she answered.

“Hey, Di, how’s your first day going?” Donna asked.

Diana sank into one of the chairs that sat in front of her desk, her shoulders slumping with the new weight that she carried. “I don’t think you want to know,” she told her, anger lacing her voice.

“What is it?” Donna questioned her. “Did something happen?”

“You could say that,” Diana bit out, her eyebrows knitting with fury. “Talia al Ghul showed up at our front door this morning.”

“You’re kidding!” Donna exclaimed. “What did she want?”

“For Bruce to finally meet their son that he evidently fathered ten years ago.”

There were several seconds of silence before Donna finally spoke again. “Oh, sweet Hera,” Donna gasped. “Diana, I’m so sorry. What can I do?”

Diana released a sigh, hooking a raven curl behind her ear as her gaze fell on the box resting on the corner of her desk. “There’s nothing anyone can do about it, Donna,” she softly replied, feeling her throat begin to tighten again with the myriad of emotions coursing through her. “Bruce is running tests to confirm Damian is really his son, but I already know that he is. He has Bruce’s features.”

“Diana, I’m sure you and Bruce will figure out a way through this,” Donna attempted to reassure her sister.

“Yes…I guess,” Diana dejectedly responded as she played with the curly ribbon on top of the gift sitting on the corner of her desk that she had yet to open.

“Diana Wayne,” Donna curtly said. “Bruce loves you and you know it. That man is head over heels in love with you. Even after all this time, he can’t take his eyes off you. Just the other day at dinner, I caught him staring at you at least a couple of times.”

Diana’s eyes fell closed as she leaned her head back against the chair. “I know,” she murmured, afraid to test her voice. “I’m just…this whole thing has me rattled for some reason.”

“That’s not like you, Di,” Donna pointed out. “You don’t get rattled.”

“I know that, but I can’t shake this bad feeling that I have,” she told her. “I just feel…I don’t know…like something horrible is about to happen. I don’t know if it’s just because Talia has shown up with Damian or because of all the stress of opening the embassy, but I feel like I’m going to lose Bruce somehow.”

“You are not going to lose Bruce,” Donna firmly stated. “You know what? Grab your purse. We’re going to lunch.”

Diana sat up in her chair with Donna’s suggestion. “Where are you?”

“Blüdhaven, but I can be there in five minutes,” Donna said. “I’ll meet you at Saffron’s in fifteen minutes.”

“Donna, you really don’t have to do this,” Diana attempted to tell her.

“I know I don’t have to, but I want to,” she replied. “I haven’t had lunch and you’re having a bad day. You need some sister time and I’m the best sister you’ve got.”

The corners of Diana’s lips curled. “You are, Troia,” she agreed. “I’ll see you in a few minutes…and thanks.”

“Hey, that’s what little sisters are for, right? Besides, maybe I can talk you into a little shopping afterwards.”

“I really should actually try to get some work done here since this is my new job.”

“And it’s my job to cheer you up,” Donna pointed out. “What better way to do it then with a shopping spree?”

Diana chuckled with her sister’s response. “Okay, fine…I’ll let Phaedra know I’m leaving for a couple of hours.”

“Hey, how is Phaedra adjusting to life off the island?”

“She’s doing great,” Diana said as she stood to her feet to grab her purse. “She’s only been here a couple of months, but she loves Gotham and she’s really excited about her job as my secretary.”

“Good,” Donna responded. “We’ll have to drag her along with us for lunch some time.”

“I’ll see you in a few minutes,” Diana told her.

“See you, Di.”

Diana reached for her cell phone lying on her desk, her smile fading as she noticed a text message from Bruce. “I love you, Diana. Never forget that no matter what happens.”

She ran her thumb over the cell phone screen, wishing that she could see him, but she couldn’t right now. She needed a little time to think and to process everything that happened so far this morning. She needed to find a way to deal with this newest development that had thrown their family into another tailspin.

She knew that Bruce was not to blame for this. It all lay at Talia’s feet for not telling him from the moment she knew that she was pregnant that she was having his child. She felt horrible for what Bruce was no doubt going through. He didn’t handle change very well and this was turning out to be the bombshell no one had seen coming.

He had just gotten Jason back last year, finally fully welcoming him back into the family. Now, it seemed they had another family member that they were going to have to adjust to being around. Only this time, Bruce’s son was his own blood and he was an al Ghul.

Slipping her phone into her purse, Diana walked past her desk and the gift box lying on the corner of it. She’d deal with it when she returned in a couple of hours. Right now, she needed to see her sister and to try to figure out how she could help Bruce through this nightmare.