Perhaps there’s something in the blood. Perhaps they, like their Queen, were attracted to dark, brooding men. Certainly would explain this strange night.
But here they were, sitting at the massive dinner table at the storied Wayne Manor. Three Amazons and three Bats. Alfred couldn’t keep a smile off his face since he saw the three couples enter. He had to wonder, though, how three of the best detectives in the world couldn’t figure out who the others were dating until tonight. He had his fun earlier when he announced, “Master Grayson and his paramour are here” and seeing the look on both Bruce and Diana’s face. Then the two couples were doubly shocked when he announced “Master Todd and his date are here” and Bruce, Diana, Dick, and Donna saw the former Robin with Artemis of Bana-Mighdall in tow. Amazons and Bats. Maybe it was an affinity for strong, passionate women that drew the Bats to the stalwart warrior women of Themiscyra and Bana-Mighdall.
For the Amazons, it may have been that the Bats were completely unlike anything they’ve thought men could be. These Bats were cunning, fierce warriors in their own right, not like the vile savages they were taught to stand against. Out of the three, it was most surprising for Artemis to find herself desiring one of the Batmen. She had spent the shortest time in Man’s World, yet she had been immediately drawn to the Red Hood’s bravery and cunning. Jason was quick on his feet, adapting to every combat situation deftly. It impressed Artemis that Jason – aside from the whole resurrection business – was just an ordinary man. In some ways he was very much the type of Man she’d learned to loathe: brash, foul-mouthed, and overconfident. But in battle, Jason Todd was a true warrior and deep down, he had a softer more emotional side.
She saw the same characteristics in the other Batmen. There was, of course, the Batman. Stoic, taciturn, and what was that saying? Still waters run deep. Yet if there were any Man that Artemis would not wish to face in battle, it would be him. No wonder that the Champion of the Gods desired him. To her left, Diana’s puppy-dog eyes were dead obvious. She practically salivated for the Man in front of her. Thinking to herself, though, there was no finer match for the Princess than one Bruce Wayne, practically royalty himself and perhaps the only Man that could best an Amazon.
Then there was Dick Grayson. Outwardly, he seemed to be the opposite of his adoptive father: quick with a joke, ever smiling, and surrounded himself with friends. Yet the Batman’s training left a lasting impression on the young Man: always striving to better himself, fighting for the common folk, and quick to meet evil with swift justice. Grayson was a natural charmer, perhaps the Wayne persona rubbed-off on him as well. Troia, or Donna Troy as she’s known to the world, was lost in Grayson’s brown eyes. Though they had known each other as children and youths, their love had only blossomed recently, after they both broke up with their respective partners.
“Sister, what are you thinking?” Diana broke Artemis from her reverie. She returned Diana’s question with a smile, “I’m just thinking, Princess, how we three found ourselves at this table tonight.” Diana found the mirth in Artemis’s words, “Yes, three Amazons; three Bats. What would my mother say at this sight? Perhaps we Amazons are drawn to these dark men.”
“Stop it, Princess,” Bruce Wayne’s voice made Diana feel hot, “I don’t appreciate being compared to a god of the underworld.” Diana raised an eyebrow, “And why not, Bruce? Let me see: you both have an affinity for caves and the denizens of the dark; you both have an aura of mystery and danger; and let’s not forget, you both have the hearts of Amazon royalty.”
Bruce smirked, “So am I a god, then?”
Diana laughed, “No, but you certainly are divine, psyche mou.”
“Not to interrupt the lovely conversation,” Alfred interjected as he entered with a rolling cart, “but dinner is served.” He placed the dishes at the center of the dining table and removed the lids. Whatever Bruce paid Alfred, it certainly was not enough for the sumptuous feast before them. The Amazons had already been impressed by Alfred’s attempt at melas zomos, a rather unusual stew of pigs’ feet, blood, and vinegar. Now before them was a veritable banquet of fish: swordfish, cuttlefish, bass, and served with a heaping basket of flatbread, lemon-garlic sauce, and a variety of yogurt sauces. Just for Artemis, he even made ground lamb kabobs. “Apologies to our Amazon guests, I had to substitute some of the rarer ingredients with their nearest modern equivalents. I hope that the dishes are close enough to the real thing.” Donna replied, “No, Alfred. This is wonderful, you should definitely ask Bruce for a raise! Dick and Jason should be paying you too!” Though his face was in a perfectly calm demeanor, Donna could tell he was trying to suppress a laugh.
“Thank you, Miss Troy. I am just glad to have women in the manor once again, it’s been too long since there was mirth in this house.” With that, the quintessential English gentleman left the room and the three couples to enjoy their dinner.
Donna looked at Dick, “I’m serious, you should definitely pay him! He’s a saint, Dick.” Dick nodded, “Tell me about it, I missed his cooking. Though I can’t exactly afford a butler with my salary.” Donna rolled her eyes, “Well, do something nice for him. The man took care of you big babies and not once has he taken a day off. Oh,” a lightbulb flashed in her mind, “is that where you get it from Bruce? Jason?”
Before Bruce could answer Jason responded, “Nah, I’ve always been like that. Learned how to survive after my deadbeat dad disappeared, everyday was a fight and I gotta be on my toes, always.” He cast a glance to Artemis, “Some would say that’s one of my best qualities. Ain’t that right, Red?”
Artemis flashed a mischievous smile, “Some would, indeed. Not me, though.”
Jason feigned disappointment, “You’re killing me Red.”
They each grabbed something from the center and started eating. In between chews, Bruce asked Artemis and Jason, “So, we all know how Diana and I met, and how Dick and Donna met, how did you two meet? How long has this been going on?”
Jason looked at his lover and smiled that wolfish grin, he turned to Bruce and said, “Well it’s an old story, really. Boy works for bad guy, girl was looking for a weapon, boy stops girl from getting the weapon, girl kicks boy’s ass, and the rest is wine and roses.”
Artemis laughed, “I suppose that is mostly true, my Jason. Our paths crossed when I was hunting the Bow of Ra and while I did admire your skills then, it wasn’t until you got drunk that you…showed interest.”
“Oh well we don’t have to-“ Jason said before Artemis continued.
“What was it you said, my love? ‘Has anyone ever told you how green your eyes were?’” Artemis winked at him, “Even I knew what a cheesy, silly line that was. Of course, I found out later that green is your favorite color. But to continue, Batman, it was not until he, Bizarro, and I went to find the Bow of Ra that I was smitten.”
“Really, that quickly?” Diana asked.
Artemis shrugged, “Well, he always managed to get under my skin and we worked very well together in Bialya. It was a blur of flirtation, arguments, and combat.”
With a knowing look, Diana turned to Bruce, “Hmm, remind you of someone, psyche mou?”
He sighed, “You’re right, perhaps us Batmen do have that effect on you warrior women. That doesn’t explain them, though.” He jerked his head towards Dick and Donna.
Dick responded, “Hey Donna and I had some fights. But yeah, we’ve always gotten along well. Unlike you two. Man I heard stories from Clark, John, and Wally. All those meetings with you two at each other’s throats. The tons of robot scrap when either of you used the Watchtower training room after being near each other. By the way, John and I won the pool.”
Bruce gave him his trademark glare, but it was ineffective against the Boy Wonder, “You did, did you? How much?”
Dick laughed, “Eh, not much. More bragging rights than anything to be honest. John had some insider info though, he told me the real deal about the whole Chronos thing. I said it wouldn’t be long after that until you made a move.”
“And what exactly did he tell you,” Bruce wasn’t sure if he was angry or curious.
“Well,” Dick swallowed a piece of the swordfish, “he saw you reaching out when Di faded away, more specifically the old you and just the sheer heartbreak in his eyes. He figured you’d do anything to save your future-self from going through that.”
Diana looked at Bruce, “Really, is that why? I guess you really are the only person that can change your mind. Even if it took another you.”
“Not exactly, Princess. He…also threatened me. I do scare myself sometimes.” Diana laughed, “Oh my love, I’m sorry I can’t remember that mission, but I’m so glad you do.”
Bruce looked at Jason, “Hey if you ever meet an older version of yourself, listen to what he says.”
Jason chuckled, “Damn, B. You already are an older version of me. She thinks we’re very similar looking.” He pointed at Artemis, who paused momentarily, “But you do, Batman. I know you and my Jason are not of one blood, but your eyes are very similar.”
“And what about mine?” Dick asked.
Artemis thought about it and then said, “You and Jason have a similar outlook. Both finding hope even in desperate situations. Though you are much more cheerful.”
Donna interjected, “Yay, I have the happy Bat!”
Dick drew her in and kissed her on the cheek, “That you do, Wonder Girl.”
After the meal – and after Alfred returned to present the decadent strawberry cheesecake he made special for the Princess of Themiscyra – the three Bats and three Amazons went to the sitting room for more conversation.
Bruce related the story of how Mordred once turned him, Diana, Clark, and John into their child selves. Specifically how Diana took advantage of the situation to get closer to him. Diana of course shared her and Bruce’s undercover kiss during the Thanagarian invasion. Dick and Donna shared some tales from their Titan days. Jason told of his exploits during the time of his tutelage under Talia. Finally, Artemis took this time as an opportunity to ask the others about Man’s World’s stranger customs.
“No really,” she asked, “why are the women in Man’s World so obsessed with this rainbow colored drink? Is it a potion? I’ve not tried it but I assume it must be an elixir of some sort.”
Donna replied, “You mean a unicorn frap? Sister, you are missing out!”
Diana agreed, “Yes, we’ll have to show you these miracles of Man’s World.”
As the women continued to explain to the newest adventurer from Amazonia, Bruce managed to communicate with his boys in the sign language he taught them. “Let them talk for a bit,” he said. “You know, B, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this happy. Not even when you were with Selina or Talia,” Jason said. Bruce agreed, “I was such an idiot to keep pushing Diana away. She is the best thing in my life right now. Sorry boys. I’m thankful she’s just as stubborn and bullheaded as I am.” Dick smirked, “You got that last part right, Bruce.”
“You boys are saying nice things about us over there?” Donna said in a playful tone. “We might not know your sign language, but we know you’re talking about us.”
Bruce’s playboy smile came automatically, “Caught red-handed.”
“Well,” Dick got up, “it’s getting late and I still have to patrol the ‘Haven. I think Donna and I will take our leave. How’s Tim and Junior, Bruce?”
“Seems to be a quiet night so far,” he responded. “I’m itching to join them, but I think the ol’ bracers-and-lasso might insist I stay in and rest.” He said the last word with a sly inflection.
“Yeah Artemis and I have to…” Jason couldn’t figure out something clever to say, “Yeah Artemis and I are gonna leave too. We have a big baby at home waiting for ‘Red Him’ and ‘Red Her’ to come back. I’m sure Ma Gunn’s sick of babysitting Bizarro already.”
Donna went to hug Bruce, “Seriously, Bruce. You pay that Alfred three times as much as he’s currently getting, you hear?”
Artemis said her goodbyes and had some parting words for Diana, “Princess, we should do this again soon. And I uh…I still need help navigating Man’s World.”
Diana smiled and embraced her, “The three of us will go and share a unicorn frap, Sister.”
After the guests left, Alfred cleaned up the sitting room. “Is there anything else you require, Master Bruce? Miss Diana?” He asked, tray full of empty vessels in hand. “Shall I just leave something for the boys when they get back?” Bruce walked over and embraced his own surrogate father, “Donna’s right, Alfred. I don’t pay you enough. Why don’t you take the rest of the night off, Diana and I will take care of the clean up and the boys. ” He could have sworn he saw Alfred’s lip twitch nearly into a smile, but the stoic valet kept his British stiff upper-lip, “Nonsense, Master Bruce. Besides, we do try not to have you in the kitchen alone since the last episode with the cake you tried to make for Miss Diana. Though if you insist,” he handed the tray over to Bruce and retired to his quarters. As he left, he turned and said, “You should have these more often, Master Bruce. I’m sure they would have loved to see the manor filled with such joy once again.”
Bruce thought about that. He wasn’t sure if his parents would approve of his nocturnal activities and using company assets and personnel to fund his vigilantism, but as he gazed to the woman next to him he was sure they would have loved her. Of course, the Waynes getting along with Diana’s parents would be an entirely different matter. He walked to kitchen with the tray, she followed. He started washing the glasses and cups while Diana saw what was in the pantry. “You think Tim and Damian would like waffles?” She asked. Bruce replied, “Sure, yours won’t be as good as Alfred’s but I’m sure the boys would love it knowing you made them.”
A short time passed and voila, a stack of waffles was waiting for hungry mouths to return. Bruce and Diana went to bed and laid awake, the dinner party still fixated on their minds.
“Princess,” an affirmative from Diana, so he continued, “So you really think us Bats and Amazons are drawn to one another like moths to a flame?”
She turned to look into his eyes, very few knew just how gentle and full of love Bruce’s eyes were, “That’s three for three, my love. And why not? Warriors are drawn to one another.”
“True,” he said as he started to caress her face, moving a stray curl and tucking it behind her ear, “but it does put a damper on the whole ‘man-hating’ Amazon myth.”
She stifled a laugh that ended up sounding more like a snort, “Bruce, we do not hate Men. We simply believe Patriarchy and Man’s World are the root of the world’s problems.”
“I know, but still…can’t imagine your mother being on board with this.” He kissed her then rested his forehead against hers, “Then again, who cares what your mother thinks, right Princess?”
“Shut up, Mr. Wayne! Go to sleep!”
Elsewhere, Artemis and Jason were basking in the afterglow. He may not have super-hearing, but Jason could feel his lover’s heartbeat. He played with a strand of her long red hair and couldn’t help but smile. “Thank you for coming tonight, Red,” He whispered. “Bruce and I may not have the best relationship, but he’s still my old man.” She smiled back at him, jade eyes looking into his deep blues, “I’d always wanted to meet the man beneath the cowl.” She placed her hand on his cheek and rubbed it with her thumb, “And it was lovely time, full of surprises too.” Jason replied, “Who would have thought, huh? Us Batboys and you Wonder Women.”
Artemis laughed, “But like we said, why shouldn’t Amazons be attracted to such paragons of combat?”
A wolfish grin formed on Jason’s lips, “Hmm, I see myself more of a renegade than a paragon, Red. But I know what you mean.”
Artemis loved Jason’s coy smiles and she felt herself needing him once again. “You know,” she said as she moved her hand from his cheek down to his flaccid member, “the Bana-Mighdall would take men from the outside from time to time for specific purposes.”
Jason felt a rush of heat as she began playing with his member, “I think I know what those might be.”
She smiled wickedly, “Then let me show you the Bana-Mighdall way, my Jason. None of this Man’s World lovemaking.”
She pinned him down and Jason Todd never felt so scared and happy at the same time.
Dick and Donna returned to their Blüdhaven apartment, with barely enough time to rest. Dick had about fifteen minutes before he had to start his patrol. “Hey Donna,” he shouted from his bedroom as he slipped on his Nightwing suit, “I really appreciate you coming tonight.” Donna replied from the kitchen, where she was fixing herself a bowl of cereal, “Pleasure’s all mine Short Pants. Hey what’d ya think of Arty and Jason?”
“I never would have guessed!” He walked towards her, now he was ready to patrol. They shared a short, soft kiss as Nightwing steeled himself for another night in the city of Blüdhaven. “Especially her though,” he continued his train of thought, “Artemis is like the most ‘rah-rah smash the patriarchy’ Amazon there is, isn’t she? I guess opposites really do attract. Never thought Jay would endear himself to an Amazon.”
“Oh come on,” Donna sat on the couch, bowl of cereal in hand, happily gulping down spoonfuls of the sugary stuff, “They’re just like Bruce and Diana. You remember how close they were to tearing each other’s throats in the past? You Batmen love pushing our buttons and like you said, s’only a matter of time ‘til they kill each other or fuck.”
Nightwing laughed, “I guess you’re right. Man, my ‘dad’ and my ‘brother’ both managed to lighten up because they’re dating the most dangerous kind of woman there is.”
Donna cocked an eyebrow, “Praising Amazons?”
“Nope, stubborn women.” He managed to slip out the window before the bowl of cereal hit him.
Donna had to admit, though, it does take a bit – well, a whole damn lot – of stubbornness to break through the shell of gloom and brooding the Batmen have built around themselves. But it was worth it, truly. She never felt Diana happier or giddier than when she was with Bruce. And Artemis seems to have taken the stick out of her ass and replaced it with, well, Jason. She poured herself another bowl of cereal and a thought came to her head, hmm, I wonder if there’s someone I can set up Damian with. Maybe then Junior will calm down.