The Initiate  

By Comix_Fana

The Initiate

A fanfic by Comix_Fana

This is a rewrite of my very first fanfic; less wordy (hopefullyJ ) and more explicit than the original. It explains the fictitious ritual of Amazon Initiation (for the few Amazons who found a man worthy of their love) through the gift of Aphrodite, goddess of love.

Batman, Wonder Woman and any other Justice League character mentioned in this story are copyrighted and trademarked by DC Comics. This is pure fan fiction, and I receive no pay or other benefit from it.

Please direct all comments and feedback to Comix.Fana@gmail.com.

A cry for help

It was late in the day in Gotham City. A worried Alfred Pennyworth had taken his leave to 'run a few errands' while Master Bruce buried himself in work in the Bat Cave; but in fact, he needed a pay phone, a line that would not be tapped by the infamous Batman.

"Master Bruce will not confide in me and Miss Diana has not visited Wayne Manor in weeks…then the near permanent aroma of Bourbon on Master Bruce's breath for the few times we have spoken in the past few days…" Alfred thought, driving into town.

He pulled into the Gotham Grand Central Hotel's parking lot and parked. He entered the Lobby and walked towards the courtesy phones.

"At least it will be quieter in here than in a Bar or a street booth." He reasoned.

He pulled his personal call card from his wallet and dialed a familiar number in San Francisco.

"Hello?" Cory's gentle voice answered.

"Miss Cory, Alfred Pennyworth here; is Master Dick available?" Alfred asked.

Cory Anders, also known as Starfire; giggled charmingly. Hearing her beloved Dick referred to as "master" was pretty amusing to her.

"Yes he is Alfred, let me get him! Richard…" She said, putting the handset down.

A few moments later, Dick Grayson was on the phone.

"Hi Alfred, it's great to hear from you! How are things?" Dick asked.

"I fear that things have taken a turn for the worse for Master Bruce…he isn't talking much but I fear his secret amorous relationship with Miss Diana is on the rocks…he hardly eats, spends most of his time in the Bat Cave and has avoided any contact with the Watch Tower. On the other hand, he seems to have taken a liking to Bourbon." Alfred said.

"Oh sh…damn; I can see from call display you're not calling from Wayne Manor, I take it the lines are tapped?" Dick asked.

"Indeed Master Dick. I have no means of contacting Miss Diana; though I overheard a heated argument between Master Bruce and Mr Kent a few days ago…something about Miss Diana being all out of sorts because of Master Bruce…to which Master Bruce told Mr Kent to … mind his own damned business." Alfred said, sounding nervous.

Dick sighed.

"You did the right thing calling me Alfred; I'll buzz Superman, see what he knows on the topic and hopefully have a word with Wonder Woman too. I don't know what happened, but Bruce's 'never dating within the team' attitude is wearing pretty thin; especially seeing that he broke that rule and tried to keep it secret!" Dick said.

"Thank Heavens Master Dick, I was becoming rather worried." Alfred said.

"Cory and I will look into it Alfred, go home, act like everything's normal. Diana might be more open to confide in Cory than in me. We'll se if we can fix this." Dick said.

"I feel much better; thank you, and God speed." Alfred said, putting the phone back on the cradle.

In San Francisco, Dick put the handset back on its cradle and looked at Cory; who had heard the entire conversation with her keen sense of hearing.

"How would you like to investigate a lover's intrigue?" Dick asked, smiling.

"I would find that fascinating! Is Bruce being antisocial again my love, and breaking the pretty women's hearts? Wonder Woman's in particular?" Cory asked, smirking.

"Indeed baby, indeed…let's gear up and request a transport to the Watchtower. I'll get a hold of Superman…" Dick said.

"...and I'll get a hold of Wonder Woman, but what should I say to her?" Cory asked.

"Simply mention to her that you heard a rumor that her heart's been broken and go from there; let her confide in you. Based on what Alfred just told me, Bruce is not handling it too well either. He started drinking…" Dick said.

"Rick Blaine, Casablanca…the hero begins drinking over an old fire…so romantic!" Cory said, smiling.

"Flame Cory, that's _an old flame…_only in this case I can only hope it's not fully extinguished. Let's get busy!' Dick said, smiling.

Cory put her arms around Dick shoulders and kissed him.

"Now we can go!" She said, smiling mischievously.

Denial

In the Bat Cave, Batman went over the same criminal file for the twentieth time, unable to concentrate. His cowl was pulled back, his five o'clock shadow had grown into a scruffy mess, his eyes were bloodshot and underscored with matching bags.

His mouth felt numb from the multiple shots of Bourbon he had taken and his body odor had reached a point where he no longer smelled it.

"All for the best…she may hate me now, but she'll thank me later…all for the best…" He thought disjointedly, reaching for a fresh bottle of Bourbon.

He opened it up and took a small sip.

"Small sips alternating with water…I get a buzz without dehydrating too badly and avoid alcohol poisoning…though I really should get some food in my stomach…" He thought*.*

He stood up and stumbled his way to the small table near the Bat Computer, where Alfred had left a bottle of vitamin water and a tray of sandwiches earlier, before going out to run a few errands. Batman grabbed a sandwich and chomped off a large bite.

"Smoked turkey breast and Swiss cheese on rye with hot mustard…Alfred you're amazing…" Batman thought.

All of a sudden, he felt guilty. His throat tightened as he chewed, tears coursing down his cheeks.

"What a selfish asshole I am…I may have my reasons for breaking up with Diana, but shutting poor Alfred out who works so hard…all the while getting drunk and hiding in this cursed cave…" Bruce thought, washing his mouthful down with a sip of Bourbon.

He gave the bottle a surprised look and capped it.

"What the hell am I doing? I know better than this…damn booze is a depressant, only makes me feel worse…" Batman said aloud.

He put the bottle down and grabbed the vitamin water. He opened that bottle and took a big gulp of the grape flavored liquid.

"All for the best Brucie-boy; just remember that. Yeah she may be hurt…she may hate me…and I sure as hell miss her, but I'm doing her a favor." Batman reasoned silently.

He took a deep breath and sat back down at the computer chair, setting the tray of sandwiches on his lap.

"Are you so sure Bruce? Why are you so insistent on being the lonesome, tragic hero? Can't you let one woman in?" A voice in his mind clamored; a voice that sounded too much like his father's.

He took another bite of sandwich, deciding not to question the voice of his own conscience. Whether it was the alcohol, his subconscious mind or the ghost of his father speaking to him from beyond the grave, Batman simply accepted that voice from within as plain common sense, whether he liked it or not.

"Honestly Bruce, do you really think that's the kind of life we wanted for you? Agreed, you do a lot of good as Batman; but do you really believe we wanted you to spend your life lonely and miserable?" The voice said, this time bearing an uncanny resemblance to his mother's.

Batman closed his eyes, a few more tears coursing down his cheeks.

"Wonder Woman is willing to share her life with yours. She rivals Superman in strength she saved your life many times over; she's the one woman your enemies can't hurt…yet you make the bone-headed move to leave her. What's the matter with you?" The inner voice that sounded like his father said.

"I…have…my…reasons…" Batman said, sobbing.

Sisters

"Transport complete, welcome to the Watchtower!" Martian Manhunter said.

"Thanks J'onn; and thank you Superman for seeing us on such short notice." Nightwing said.

Nightwing and Starfire shook hands with Martian Manhunter and Superman.

"No sweat Nightwing; I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said the founding members are worried about Batman…and Wonder Woman. She is visibly upset; keeps to her room most of the time and nearly shoved me through a bulkhead when I tried to get her to open up to me." Superman said.

"I warned you that the forceful approach would not work Kal El; not with a woman scorn. She feels hurt and conflicted and does not wish to confide in another man." Martian Manhunter said, smirking.

Superman rolled his eyes, making Nightwing and Starfire chuckle.

"And you couldn't have told me this before she nearly killed me? At any rate, she did spend a bit of time with Shayera…I found punching bags dressed as Batman and Green Lantern pummeled to shreds in the gym." Superman said.

"Perhaps Wonder Woman would like to confide in a fellow sister…I too am of Royal lineage, I too am an outcast…I too have know the pain of being separated from the man I love." Starfire said, casting Nightwing a loving look.

"So you do believe they were lovers then? Many rumors were running in the Watchtower but…stop snickering J'onn, we aren't all telepaths!" Superman said.

"Put it to you this way, Alfred told me that Diana was a frequent visitor at Wayne Manor until recently." Nightwing said.

"Why Bruce you old dog… bastard if you broke Diana's heart…come with me Nightwing, I'll tell you what I know. Starfire, you may find Wonder Woman in the Gym or in her quarters." Superman said.

"Or at the Galley for some food…she is there right now having some lunch." Martian Manhunter said.

"I'm on my way!" Starfire said, smiling.

She made her way to the nearest lift.

"Hm…I might be chasing the wild goose if Wonder Woman decides to change locations." Starfire thought.

She stepped closer to one of the Mainframe's intercoms.

"Computer, current whereabouts of Justice League member Wonder Woman?" Starfire said.

"Justice League member Wonder Woman, currently en route to her quarters from the Galley." The electronic voice replied.

"Thank you!" Starfire said, regardless of the fact that the computer was not programmed to recognize such politesses.

She pressed the button, calling the lift. The doors slid open, allowing Shining Knight, Vigilante and Booster Gold to step out; deep into a conversation about the finer points of Texas Hold'em Poker. They acknowledged Starfire with a nod and a smile.

She stepped in the lift.

"Please state destination." The electronic voice enquired.

"Living quarters please." Starfire said.

"Please specify which level." The electronic voice said.

"I am unsure…the level at which Wonder Woman resides?" Starfire replied, perplexed.

"Command acknowledged, living quarters level 7." The electronic voice said, as the lift started moving.

Meanwhile, Wonder Woman had reached her room.

"Men…go figure…would I be so angry with Bruce if I didn't love him so much? I thought he'd finally opened up to me and then, 'sorry Princess, this relationship is interfering with our efficiency on the field, we need to end this'…bastard…" She thought, angrily.

She crashed face first in bed, allowing herself to be vulnerable now that she was no longer in front of others, and cried in her pillows.

"Why Bruce, why?" She wondered, crying quietly.

Without confiding in Shayera, she had understood that Diana needed to vent her frustrations and had come up with the idea of the punching bags dressed in Batman and Green Lantern uniforms. It had certainly helped her expand some angry energy; but did not change the fact that deep inside, she still loved Bruce.

There was a quiet knock at the door. Wonder Woman's first instinct was to scream "go away", but she decided instead to remain silent, that hopefully, the unwanted visitor would leave her alone.

"Friend Wonder Woman, are you there? May I come in?" Starfire asked from outside.

Wonder Woman smiled through the tears, Starfire was a sweet girl; and the last thing she wanted to do was to hurt her feelings.

"Yes Star, it's open, please come in…though I won't be much company." Wonder Woman said, standing up.

The door slid open and Starfire walked in. Before even saying a word, Starfire opened her arms and hugged Wonder Woman who melted in tears in Starfire's embrace.

"You have it in reverse friend Wonder Woman, I have come here to keep you company; cry it out, get it off your chest. You need not say a word: it is plain to see. You had a relationship with Bruce and now you suffer the broken heart." Starfire said.

Wonder Woman nodded, and took Starfire by the hand.

"Come Star, let's sit…I need a tissue…" Wonder Woman said, sniffling.

They sat on the edge of the bed, and Wonder Woman reached for the box of tissues on the shelf near the bed. She dabbed her eyes and blew her nose.

"So you know…did Bruce tell you? So much for keeping our relationship secret..." Wonder Woman said, sounding congested.

"No…Bruce has been very tight-lipped…but Alfred is worried…very worried. He says that you were a frequent dinner guest at Wayne Manor until recently. And that Bruce has started drinking hard liquor." Starfire said.

Wonder Woman gave Starfire a puzzled look.

"Alfred…yes, the dear old man would have figured it out! But why would Bruce start drinking?" Wonder Woman said.

"The drinking is only part of it, from what I gather, he hardly eats, keeps to the Bat Cave…" Starfire said.

"Acting all depressed…the moron leaves me and acts broken hearted?" Wonder Woman said, sounding angry.

Starfire shrugged.

"Alfred says that Superman confronted Batman about it; and that Batman told him to mind his own damned business." Starfire said.

"Bruce, Bruce, Bruce…what is wrong with you? I want answers! He obviously still loves me, then why break my heart?" Wonder Woman said.

"Before returning to Earth from Tamaran I was married twice. Both my husbands were great warriors who gave their lives to their cause; both very selfish in the bedroom. Whenever they touched my body and took me like a whore; all I could think of was my Richard…how I would return to Earth one day and be with him again. It was not easy, but here we are. A bit older, a bit wiser and very appreciative of each other…we had to lose each other to realize we belonged together." Starfire said.

"So what are you saying?" Wonder Woman asked.

"We tried to pretend, just like Bruce is doing, that things were all for the best. But somehow, the distance made us stronger. Bruce needs to realize that you belong together, that you make each other whole. He will come around, as soon as he figures out what is 'blocking him' inside. That is if you still want him." Starfire said.

Wonder Woman too in a deep breath.

"Yes Star, as angry as I am with him I do love him; more than words could say. If it's my Royal lineage that bothers him, it doesn't matter; my love for him is unconditional." Wonder Woman said.

"Then friend Wonder Woman; from once Princess to another, tell him that. I cannot foretell the future, but he might open up and tell you what's bothering him." Starfire said.

"I'll try Star…I'll definitely try!" Wonder Woman said, smiling.

They hugged, and Wonder Woman kissed Starfire on the cheek.

Setup

With a hangover looming closer, Batman decided to take an impromptu break. Alfred's sandwiches and vitamin water had sobered him just enough to feel ashamed and embarrassed. He needed a shower, a shave and to brush his teeth.

"And a clean change of underwear, and a fresh Bat suit…and a dose of acetaminophen…" Batman thought, stripping down to his briefs.

He dropped his Bat suit in the sonic cleaner and selected the antibacterial cycle; to get rid of his body odor. He took the service elevator that led to his Study. Taking the staircase would lead him straight to the Grandfather clock exit…and Alfred might just be there, and he had no inclination of walking past Alfred in his underwear, puffy-eyed and scruffy faced.

He walked from the Study to the Master Bedroom, tossed his dirty underwear in his hamper and entered his private bathroom. He popped two Excedrin's and swallowed them with his saliva, making him feel nauseated. Ignoring the nasty sensation, he turned the taps of his shower for a lukewarm stream and stepped in; shivering a little.

"Bourbon bender…Wayne you're an idiot! I'm never touching that nasty stuff again…" Bruce thought, lathering up with shower gel from head to toe.

The sensation of nausea passed, and Bruce began feeling slightly invigorated.

"Who am I kidding, I feel like I could snore for the next ten days…I'll go put the Bat Computer on standby and clean my mess downstairs…then I'll grab an ice pack for my head and sleep…with my luck I'll probably dream that Diana's kicking my ass…sad part is I deserve it." Bruce thought, stepping out of the shower.

He toweled off and proceeded to shave and brush his teeth.

"Hung over, but feeling human again…almost." Bruce thought.

He walked back in his bedroom and pulled some clean underwear from his dresser. He slipped it on and wrapped himself in a black silk robe, and put leather slippers on his feet.

"Never mind the Bat suit, I'm too drained…I'll just go put the Bat Computer on standby and hit the sack…" Bruce reasoned.

He walked slowly back to the Study, stepped in the Service Elevator and returned to the Bat Cave. A visitor was there waiting for him.

"Why Nightwing…to what do I owe the honor, as if I didn't know." Bruce said, in a tired voice.

"Good old Bruce…not much for courtesies, but straight and to the point, as usual. Like the new Bat suit!" Nightwing said, smirking.

"What do you want Dick? I'm tired, sleepy and hung-over. I need an ice pack and some shut-eye." Bruce said, making his way to the Bat Computer.

"All right then; to the point, what's up your ass Bruce?" Nightwing said, arms crossed, looking sternly at his former mentor.

Bruce turned around and looked at Nightwing gape-mouthed.

"Excuse me?" Bruce growled.

"Oh drop the pretense Bruce, I know you too well. Your little bender had Alfred worried to death, and to be frank, so was I, as were Superman, Cory, Diana…a bunch of people at the Watchtower…I know it's hard to believe, but you do have friends Bruce Wayne, friends who love you and worry about you when you shut them out like this!" Nightwing replied, coolly.

Annoyed, but knowing better than to try and fib to the man who rivaled him in detective capabilities, Bruce sighed and nodded.

"Yes…and I've been giving myself a guilt trip for the past few hours…don't worry, the bender's over. I have to admit that the Bourbon's done me no favors. I take it you know about Diana and me too." Bruce said, sitting down at the Bat computer's chair.

"I've drawn my conclusions based on what Alfred told me about Wonder Woman being a frequent visitor for many weeks and then her visits stopping…and the Bourbon bender starting shortly after Wonder Woman's disappearance from Wayne Manor." Nightwing said.

"Poor old Alfred…this really hasn't been fair to him." Bruce said.

"Then I had a quick chat with Superman while Star consoled Wonder Woman…and that gave me the final pieces of the puzzle. I'm not surprised that you broke it off with Wonder Woman; it fits your MO to a tee. As soon as a woman gets too close; debonair Bruce Wayne gives 'em the heave ho." Nightwing said, in an accusatory tone.

"Don't you dare judge me Dick Grayson; people close to me have the bad tendency of getting killed or crippled; you nearly got killed a few times yourself, all because of me. For the record, I do love Diana, dearly. That's why I had to let her go." Bruce said, in a near sobbing voice.

Nightwing shook his head in disbelief.

"So that's your logic? You love her so much you had to let her go for her own safety?" Nightwing said.

Bruce just looked at Nightwing, too tired to fight back.

"Your parents weren't your fault Bruce; no more than my parents were my fault. Barbara, Jason, Tim and I knew the risks and accepted those risks when we joined the fight against crime. And by the way, the Joker shot Barbara Gordon, not Batgirl. It was all about playing head games with James Gordon and had nothing to do with you! Wonder Woman is a meta human who could kick the butts of every foe we've ever encountered with an arm tied behind her back." Nightwing said.

"Don't you think I know that? In fact, her being a meta is part of the problem…" Bruce said, feeling that he had said too much.

"How on earth could that be a problem? Your enemies can't hurt her, she's beautiful and she loves you; where's the problem?" Nightwing asked.

Bruce clenched his fists.

"Do I have to spell it out for you? She's bloody immortal! She's been around since Greek Antiquity and looks like a twenty-year old girl! I'm in my forties Dick!" Bruce said, raising his voice.

"So what? You're still a good looking man, plenty of men half your age would kill to have a body like yours; and Wonder Woman doesn't seem to care about your age!" Nightwing said.

"Sooner or later, I will be an old man, a decrepit old relic. Diana deserves better than caring for an old man when she could have any good-looking man she wants…and if I ever lost her to a younger man…it would crush me." Bruce said.

That revelation seemed to floor Nightwing. Beneath the strong façade was a vulnerable man, a man who could feel, a man who could hurt.

"Don't I get to have a say in this Bruce?" A feminine voice interjected.

"Wonderful…I'm having a Bat-Cave intervention." Bruce mumbled.

Wonder Woman stepped out of the shadows.

"You foolish man…can't you see that the only man I want is you? What must I do to convince you that my love for you is unconditional?" Wonder Woman said.

"I feel like such an idiot…" Bruce said.

"Thank you Nightwing, your plan worked…now go back to your sweet Starfire, she is very fortunate to have you…and let this be a lesson for you Bruce Wayne. Love isn't easy to find for normal people. For people like us, it can be almost impossible to find. When two people are fortunate enough to find true love, it would be madness to let it pass by." Wonder Woman said, in a reproachful tone.

"Yes Princess…I'm so sorry…I was such a fool…" Bruce said.

"I'll let the two of you talk privately. Nightwing to Watchtower, request for a point-to-point transport, Bat-Cave to Titan Tower main lobby." Nightwing said, the transport beam enveloping his body a few seconds later.

Wonder Woman walked closer to Bruce looking angry. She grabbed him by the lapels of his silk robe and planted a passionate kiss on his lips.

"And now Mr Wayne, I want you to catch some sleep. I have a few errands to run and favors to ask, but I'll be back. We can make this work Bruce, but you must want it…do you?" Wonder Woman asked.

"Oh I do Diana, you can' imagine how much I want 'us' to work!" Bruce said.

"Good, so let's go upstairs, I'll even tuck you in. When you wake up…I'll have a surprise for you." Wonder Woman said, smiling.

She put his arm around her shoulders and walked him to the service elevator.

The Ritual

After escorting Bruce to his bedroom and reassuring Alfred that everything was under control; Wonder Woman took a transport to the Watchtower. She made her way to the Monitoring womb, hoping that Martian Manhunter would be alone; as it would avoid lengthy explanations. She smiled, as he was indeed on his own.

"Come in Diana, I know you're eager to request some time off." Martian Manhunter said, with a subtle smirk.

"Show off! But you're right J'onn, I could use some time off." Wonder Woman said, grinning.

"Vacation time already approved Diana, you have accrued so much time off that you could vacation for a full month if you wished." Martian Manhunter said.

"A week would be plenty…no; scratch that, ten days would be plenty. I have some…errands to run." Wonder Woman said.

"Diana, if I may be so bold; covering your relationship in so much secrecy is a mistake. Bruce and you command too much respect, no one would judge or second guess you; in my opinion, you belong together. In fact, most members of the League would look at your relationship with a sigh of relief." Martian Manhunter said.

"One step at a time J'onn, getting Bruce to say he loves me was no small feat in itself. And he might still back down from what I have in mind; he is that stubborn. But we have a chance J'onn, a genuine chance to make our relationship work; and I don't wish to jeopardize it by blabbing about it to the entire League." Wonder Woman said.

Martian Manhunter nodded thoughtfully.

"Stubborn, determined and proud…your secret is safe with me Diana. I do not mean to pry in your mind; you are just so excited that I cannot filter out your thoughts. What you are planning is bold Diana…my thoughts are with you; may the fates smile upon you." Martian Manhunter said.

Wonder Woman smiled at J'onn's efforts to respect her faith.

"Thanks J'onn, I appreciate it. And thanks for the time off." Wonder Woman said.

"You deserve it, both of you. Please come back to us well rested and happy." Martian Manhunter said.

Wonder Woman gave Martian Manhunter a kiss on the cheek and took her leave. She made her way to the Javelin Bay where her Invisible Jet was docked.

She boarded her Invisible Jet and plotted the coordinates to Mount Olympus.

"I'm already banned from Themyscira; so the mandatory ban on any Amazon who decides to take a mate is not an issue. The trials the male must go through to prove himself worthy of his Amazon lover probably do not apply in Bruce's case; he's proven his worth many times over; his reputation precedes him, even in Olympus…I just haven't a clue about how hard or how easy it will be to obtain Aphrodite's blessing." Wonder Woman thought, as the invisible jet neared Mount Olympus.

She landed the Invisible Jet in a clearing a few kilometers away from Aphrodite's Temple. She took a deep breath and disembarked. She took flight and a few minutes later, landed on the front steps of Aphrodite's Temple. A guard greeted her at the entrance.

"Please state the purpose of your visit." The guard said.

"I am Diana of Themyscira; daughter of Queen Hippolyta and goddaughter of goddess Artemis. I request an audience with Aphrodite." Wonder Woman said.

"The mighty Aphrodite is quite busy, did you make an appointment?" The guard began to say.

"Diana? My little Diana is here? Let her in you silly imp; let her in!" The voice of Aphrodite clamored from within the Temple's hall.

Aphrodite made her way to the entrance of the Temple and shoved the guard out of her way. She opened up her arms; smiling. Wonder Woman and Aphrodite hugged.

"Diana, you have grown into such a lovely woman! Too bad your people shun the gift of love…except a few exceptions." Aphrodite said, escorting Wonder Woman inside.

"That is precisely the purpose of my visit Aphrodite; I am in love." Wonder Woman said, blushing slightly.

Aphrodite smiled and nodded.

"So Hermes' reports were true…I am happy; the ritual of Initiation was becoming extinct! You would be the first Amazon whose lover is actually exempt of the traditional trials. The Man-Bat…more and more bards are chanting his prowess, cunning and intellect!" Aphrodite said.

"He's actually called Batman Aphrodite, if you will forgive my correcting you…and to me, he's just plain 'Bruce'!" Wonder Woman said, smiling.

"There is nothing to forgive sweet child! Come with me, I have a special potion for him." Aphrodite said, leading Wonder Woman to her laboratorium.

Aphrodite rummaged through a shelf full of small alabaster containers.

"Here it is! This potion has the standard ambrosia extract to extend his lifespan to match yours and slow down his aging process. It might actually make him look and feel a few years longer - you know how vain some men can be!" Aphrodite said.

"Indeed Aphrodite, you are so right!" Wonder Woman said.

"It also has some golden apple seed oil to speed up his healing - I understand he has a bad habit of getting injured?" Aphrodite asked.

"Unfortunately yes Aphrodite…his courage often borders fool-hardiness." Wonder Woman said.

Aphrodite nodded.

"And a few ingredients that well…I will let you and your pointed-eared boyfriend find out for yourself!" Aphrodite said, with a wicked grin.

Before Wonder Woman could add anything else, Aphrodite looked at her with a serious expression on her face.

"Now this is very important child; before giving him the elixir, you must be kneeling face to face; preferably in bed. You must pour it into his mouth, and once he swallows it - I cannot stress this too much - you must hold him and comfort him; the elixir often sends the men into convulsions. Once the convulsions stop…be prepared to…satisfy his every carnal wish; as the elixir seems to awaken every sexual desire men keep most secret." Aphrodite said, handing the small alabaster container to Wonder Woman.

"I think I can _handle that…_I just hope he doesn't refuse, he can be so stubborn…" Wonder Woman said.

"Do not fret my child, your Bruce is full of surprises…I predict a lot of happiness coming your way." Aphrodite said, with a wink.

"Thank you Aphrodite, I owe you!" Wonder Woman said, giving Aphrodite a hug.

"I might hold you to that my child! Now get going, go get your man!" Aphrodite said, smiling.

The moment of Truth

Bruce awoke with a mild headache. He felt as if he had been asleep for days. In the background, he could hear the sound of water splashing in the bathroom adjacent to the master Bedroom; as well as the familiar sound of Diana's voice, humming an ancient Themysciran song.

He closed his eyes, smiling; the sound of the shower and of Diana's voice comforting him. He pictured her beautiful naked body and long raven hair covered in soapy suds; and the water stream rinsing her body clean.

"Still giving me a chance after the way I treated her…I'm one lucky bastard." Bruce thought.

He sat up, stretching his neck, alleviating the remainder of his headache. The sound of the shower had stopped. Bruce could now picture Diana toweling her warm, smooth skin dry; wrapping her long mane of silky hair in another towel to get the worst of the water out without completely drying it.

"There's something sexy about wet hair…" Bruce thought, daydreaming.

The bathroom door that led to the master bedroom opened. Diana walked out, wrapped in a plain white bathrobe, her feet bare. Her long, hair was indeed still wet.

"Bruce, I'm sorry, did I wake you up?" Diana asked.

"Not at all Princess, the leftovers of my headache did…how long have I been sleeping?" Bruce asked.

Diana smiled.

"A bit over twelve hours. I gave Alfred the day off and promised him I would see to it that you eat…after we're done." Diana said, opening the curtains and opening the window to let the afternoon air in.

A warm breeze entered the bedroom, caressing their faces. Diana sat in bed next to Bruce.

"What we are about to do, I wanted to do a long time ago with you; from the moment we became secret lovers. You have always treated me with respect; even in the bedroom." Diana said.

"It didn't take me long to fall in love with you Diana…admitting it to myself was a bit harder…I am, as you say, a foolish man." Bruce said, looking sheepish.

"Foolish perhaps, determined and stubborn definitely, but also valiant, brave and just. Your valor is actually the subject of bards on Mount Olympus!" Diana said, smirking.

"I am humbled!" Bruce said, electing not to open up the debate about the Olympians being extra-terrestrials rather than deities.

"There is a ritual, very seldom mentioned on Themyscira, which is invoked whenever an Amazon finds a man she fancies. It is called the ritual of Initiation." Diana said.

"That's a new one on me; mind you I'm no historian or archeologist." Bruce said.

"I'm not surprised; that ritual is very taboo. Do you remember how I was banned for bringing my male Justice League friends to Themyscira? Imagine the reaction if an Amazon actually wishes male companionship! Before the ritual was created, any Amazon who even dared bring up the subject would be exiled on the spot; as if it were treason." Diana said.

"Your mother being the only exception to the rule I take it? Remember that sailor to whom she showed kindness because he saved that little girl's life? And her not so secret relationship with Wildcat…" Bruce said, still irked at Hippolyta's double standards.

"Yes, I do not agree with many of my Mother's decisions; but she has to struggle with her obligations as Queen and her own needs as a woman…I may be upset with her, but I try not to judge." Diana said.

"You're right of course; I meant no disrespect." Bruce said.

Diana kissed him on the cheek.

"That's why I love you so much Bruce Wayne! You're respectful! Anyway, the first few Amazons who were exiled pleaded their case with goddess Aphrodite. After much back and forth arguing between Aphrodite and my mother; it was decided that if a man is deemed worthy of an Amazon's love - after going through a set of trials - he could be initiated." Diana said.

"Similar to the twelve labors of Heracles?" Bruce asked.

"Yes, and I must admit the trials were nothing more than a sorry excuse for the Amazons to prove that no man was worthy. Very few succeeded, and after being initiated they would be exiled to a small island a few kilometers from Themyscira. The Amazon would still be allowed to visit Themyscira, but without her male counterpart." Diana said.

"Exile by any other name…" Bruce said.

"Agreed; but since I'm already banned, that clause no longer matters to me. And then comes Bruce Wayne; billionaire, philanthropist and crime fighter by night. In Aphrodite's own words; the first man to be exempt of the trials." Diana said, smiling.

"I…I'm honored!" Bruce said.

Diana reached inside a pocket of her bathrobe, pulling out a small alabaster flask.

"This elixir is the basis of the Initiation ritual. It will slow down your aging process, allow your lifespan to match mine and make you heal faster." Diana said.

Bruce looked at the flask pensively, making Diana tense up. Bruce nodded slowly.

"To the rest of the world, Bruce Wayne will still grow old; nothing a bit of prosthetic makeup can't fix. Since I know from our many time travels that I will have a stand-in some forty years from now; I'll have to lay it on thick for him, make him believe I am a sick old man…even act more stubborn than I am now. If people were to know this elixir even exists; criminals would invade Themyscira in hopes of eternal youth…but hell, I won't be the one talking about it!" Bruce said, grinning.

Diana let out a sigh of relief.

"You scared me for a minute there! So you do want this?" Diana asked.

"More than anything else I've ever wanted in life Princess. You make this life livable, or as Alfred would say, 'you are the ray of sunshine in my stormy sky'." Bruce said.

Diana smiled and knelt, disrobing, and tossing her bathrobe aside. Bruce looked at her naked body with awe.

"Kneel down in front of me Bruce, and please stop staring at my breasts…there'll be time for that afterwards." Diana said, holding the flask in her right hand.

Bruce knelt, looking sheepish. There was no way for him to hide his erection. Diana looked at it and giggled.

"Don't worry big guy, your tension will be relieved soon. Odd how we've made love before but this feels like the first time all over again!" Diana said.

"I know what you mean." Bruce said, shivering.

"Now look into my eyes and open your mouth. Swallow the elixir and lean on me, let me carry your weight." Diana said.

Bruce looked into Diana's lovely eyes and opened his mouth. Diana poured the biter-sweet liquid in Bruce's mouth; who gulped it down. He leaned on Diana who embraced him. As Aphrodite had warned; Bruce began convulsing as the elixir strengthened his DNA, increasing his lifespan, slowing down his cellular aging and boosting his healing process.

"There, there Bruce…you'll be fine I promise…" Diana said in a soothing voice, holding him.

Shaking and sweating, Bruce began drooling, temporarily unable to swallow.

"S-s-s-sorry…" He stuttered, realizing that he was drooling on her breasts.

"It's okay; it's just a bit of saliva." Diana replied, holding him with her left arm and running her right hand's fingers through Bruce's sweaty hair.

Gradually, the convulsions receded and Bruce's pulse and breathing returned to normal. He drew in a sharp breath and released it slowly. He looked up at her and smiled.

"You're beautiful!" Bruce whispered.

He turned his head, catching her left nipple in his mouth, making her gasp.

"And so it starts..."Diana thought, moaning as Bruce's tongue massaged her nipple.

She lay on her back, allowing Bruce to take control.

"So beautiful…" Bruce said, pushing her breasts together with a firm grip, so he could lick both nipples.

Diana smiled, enjoying Bruce's caresses. He released his grip and buried his face between Diana's firm, massive breasts. At the same time, he slowly thrust his pelvis forward, pressing the head of his cock against her wet vulva, teasing to go in.

"Do it my love, do it! Take me, I'm yours!" Diana said, breathless.

Bruce raised his head from Diana's magnificent tits and looked her in the eyes. He kissed her, tenderly and passionately; his tongue parting her lips and playing a sensual game of catch with hers as his throbbing cock slowly penetrated her hot, wet pussy, making her moan loudly.

He then broke their lip lock and shot her a mischievous grin. While still in her he knelt up, grabbed her legs and placed them on his shoulders. He began thrusting his cock into her tight, wet snatch, hard and fast; making Diana scream out of pleasure.

"Unh…ohh…AAAHH…Oh Bruce…OH BRUUUCE!" Diana shouted in ecstasy.

Bruce slowed down his cadence and kissed Diana's feet. He put her left leg down and moved her right leg onto his right shoulder; forcing her to lie on her left side. Bruce resumed thrusting into her hard and fast; making Diana's eyes bulge from the intensity of the pleasure.

"Great Hera, Aphrodite wasn't kidding; Bruce might just wear me out he's being so passionate!" Diana thought, gasping for air.

"Oh…oh Bruce…Hera that's SO GOOD…" Diana screamed.

Once again grinning mischievously, Bruce slowed down, chuckling at the disappointed expression on Diana's face. He put Diana's right leg down, forcing her to turn face first in bed. He pulled out of her and grabbed her hips, getting her in doggy position. Rather than penetrating her again, he buried his face between her firm, shapely buttocks; making her yelp.

"What are you DOING?" Diana gasped, but got her answer as Bruce began to lustfully eat her out.

He tasted her love juice oozing from her vulva, gingerly nipped her pussy lips; teased her clit with his tongue and sent unusually pleasurable waves through her body by flicking his tongue on her anus. He gave her firm ass a few love bites and repeated the treatment.

"Yeah…OH YEAH…oh Bruce I'm SO CLOSE…" Diana moaned.

That was Bruce's cue to resume intercourse. He grabbed Diana firmly by the hips and reinserted his cock in her pussy in one hard thrust.

"HERA!" Diana screamed, nearing ever closer to a powerful orgasm.

Panting heavily, Bruce began thrusting in and out of Diana's pussy at double speed; as if he wanted his orgasm to explode with a force equal to Diana's.

"OH BRUCE I'M CUMMING!" Diana screamed, overtaken by her orgasm.

Her words triggered Bruce's own orgasm, who on the onset of cumming, was taken by the mental image of Diana's shapely ass and hamstrings covered with his cum. He pulled out and shot his load on her anus, pussy, ass and the back of her legs; making her yelp a loud "OH!"

Returning to his senses, Bruce realized whet he had just done.

"What the hell did I do that for?" Bruce said, looking at Diana's cum-covered ass and legs.

Diana laughed.

"Nothing a quick shower and a change of bed sheets can't fix! Come here you!" Diana said, smiling, turning on her back and opening her arms.

Bruce lay next to her and they held each other kissing.

"I don't deserve you." Bruce said, looking at her lovingly.

"Maybe not…but I love you anyway!" Diana said, teasing him.

They kissed again.

"How about a hot shower and then we raid the pantry?" Diana asked, smiling.

"I like the sound of that!" Bruce said.

Diana smiled and took him by the hand. They got out of bed and went to shower.

The Return

After their passionate romp in the bedroom, Bruce and Diana were finishing off the dinner Alfred had left for them in the refrigerator.

"Well, I have the next ten days off Bruce, any ideas?" Diana asked, taking a sip of herbal tea.

Bruce nodded, chewing on his last mouthful of quiche.

"There are a few things I need to do before I tell you my idea…" Bruce said, picking up his cell phone.

"Hello Lucious, Bruce here…yes, I know Alfred is worried; but fret no more; I'll be taking the next ten days as vacation time…yes I've patched things up with Miss Prince…" Bruce said, reaching for Diana's hand, giving it a gentle squeeze.

"Perfect Lucious; I just wanted you to know what Ill be up to should Bruce Wayne be needed the coming few days. I appreciate it Lucious; ciao!" Bruce said, ending the call.

"Making sure Wayne Enterprises is in good hands my love?" Diana asked, smiling.

"It usually is, but I like to touch base with Lucious every once and again." Bruce said, dialing another number.

Diana looked at him with a curious frown.

"Marlene, Bruce here…yes as in Bruce Wayne; your boss. Big favor, I would like you to book a Caribbean Cruise for two under the names Dick Grayson and Cory Anders; and have the tickets Couriered to Miss Anders' San Francisco address…yes it's in my Rolodex. Thanks Marlene, you're the best!" Bruce said, ending the call.

Diana smiled.

"Now that was awfully nice of you!" Diana said.

"I have them to thank for opening my eyes…and Alfred, and Kent…man the list goes on! But I've been a jerk with Dick when I saw he was getting serious with Cory…it's my way of making amends." Bruce said.

Diana reached over the table and kissed him.

"And your idea?" Diana asked.

"It's a two-parter…" Bruce said, now dialing a secret number that linked to the Watchtower's Monitoring Womb.

"J'onn…of course you were expecting my call sooner…how fast can you call a founding members meeting?" Bruce said.

Diana looked at Bruce, wondering what he was up to.

"Indeed old friend, it would make everyone's life much easier, and I fully intend to…among founding members…I'll explain when we're up there. Thanks J'onn we'll see you in twenty minutes." Bruce said.

Bruce looked at Diana, smiling.

"I trust our friends implicitly…without going into the details of my initiation; it would make our lives a lot simpler if we told our fellow founding members about us." Bruce said, standing up.

Diana hopped to her feet and hugged Bruce tightly.

"Oh Bruce do you really mean it? Thank you so much…sharing my happiness with our friends would mean so much to me!" Diana said; tears of joy coursing down her cheeks.

"I certainly mean it! Now let's gear up and make our way to the Watchtower…" Bruce said.

Diana spun like a graceful dancer, magically changing into her Amazon Armor; becoming Wonder Woman.

"Show off!" Bruce mumbled, smirking.

"Hurry up slow-poke!" Diana said, teasing him.

They made their way to the Bat Cave, so Bruce could pick up his Bat-Suit from the sonic cleaner. Later, in the Watchtower, Flash was already sitting in the board room as per usual. Green Lantern showed up next.

"Hey GL…do you have any idea what this is all about? First Batsy pulls a disappearing act, then the Princess acts like the biggest man-hater in history…and then they call this emergency meeting; what gives?" Flash asked.

"I know as much as you do Wally…though if my instincts from our bout with Morgane Le Fay's son are right…" Green Lantern said.

"What?" Flash said.

"Nothing…just a hunch; and with Batman there's never any way to know for sure." Green Lantern said.

"Then why don't we all take a seat and wait for them to say what they have to tell us?" Superman said, joining them in the board room; followed by Martian Manhunter and Shayera.

As they sat down, Batman and Wonder Woman made their entrance; and also took their seats.

"My friends; thank you very much for seeing us on such short notice." Batman said, looking at Wonder Woman from the corner of his eye.

"Over the past year…Diana and I have had a secret relationship." Batman continued.

"I knew it!" Green Lantern interjected, smiling.

"I realize we weren't exactly being discreet…however, my ego got in the way. We broke up…" Batman said.

"Explaining both your antisocial behaviors of late…" Superman added, smirking.

Batman chuckled and sighed.

"But the people around us could see the obvious: Diana and I were in love…still are; very much so. We've patched things up." Batman said giving Wonder Woman a loving look.

"About sweet time too!" Shayera said.

"I trust each one of you implicitly, with my life. We are sharing this secret with you because we know you are trustworthy. I shouldn't care about fellow Leaguers' gossip, but Diana and I would like a bit of breathing space; a bit of privacy to let our relationship grow." Batman said, reaching for Wonder Woman's hand.

"Sounds fair to me!" Flash said.

The all stood up, exchanging handshakes and hugs. Martian Manhunter's expression turned to something close to annoyance. He sighed.

"My sincere apologies…I am getting a telepathic message; the team that was supposed to handle monitoring duty is tied up on a mission; and everyone else is booked solid…I realize I gave you time off Diana but…" Martian Manhunter said.

"No worries J'onn, as long as Bruce and I get the next ten days uninterrupted…you owe us J'onn!" Wonder Woman said.

"Flash and I will handle the second half of your shift Diana, no pun intended; we should be done with our patrol duty pretty fast." Shayera said.

"Yeah, no sweat!" Flash added.

"Thank you both!" Batman said.

They made their way to the monitor womb. Wonder Woman looked at Batman with a mischievous smirk. She brought her lips closer to Batman's face.

"Wanna take turns eating each other out while the other pays attention to the monitor?" She whispered, with a grin.

"This is gonna be one exciting monitoring duty!" Batman replied, smirking.