Summary: Your playboy of an ex is not really an ex, yet he can’t wait to win you back.
It’s ridiculous how
many times you can forgive someone for hurting you so badly. After the horrific
act of betrayal has been done, you would still want to associate yourself with
that same evil character that has torn your heart into to many pieces, you’ve
lost count. Why does the attraction toward a person allow people to forget
about all the pain they’ve suffered and immediately forgive the traitor?
This blog gives me life. I have a prompt: Alfred was worried for a while that the Wayne line would die off so now that Diana is pregnant he is very happy and is a bit of a mother hen but Diana uses the opportunity to pry embarrassing stories of Bruce as child out of Alfred.
“Miss Diana!” Alfred sounded absolutely startled to
witness the Amazonian princess phasing into the BatCave via the Transporter he
had installed personally. It had seemed so very appropriate all those years
ago, when immediate conveyance was essential for Justice League business.
However, no matter how safe he knew his mechanism to be, it did not sit well
with him to see Wonder Woman arriving via his creation. Not one bit.
She smiled, unaware of his inner turmoil. “Good evening,
Alfred,” she greeted with such earnest enthusiasm to see him still hustling
about. “Bruce asked me to come here as soon as my meeting at the UN was
“To hear the results of your tests this morning, no
doubt.” Surmised the intuitive and equally eager butler.
“Is he home yet?” Wondered the heroine who embodied the
concept. She glowed naturally – Alfred assumed that being a divine creature
would do that to a person – yet there was a something else fluttering about
behind her azure eyes.
Was it perhaps something to do with the child she was
carrying, the one she was trying to reach by rubbing her engorged belly?
Ravishing as always, Diana was dressed in an evergreen
maternity gown that truly completed the look of a woman made from the Earth.
Her makeup highlighted her in the most becoming of ways, her jewelry
classically elegant, it did the old butler’s heart well to know that his charge
was not only about to become a father, but that he just so happened to ensnare
the most beautiful woman on the planet. His work on the Batmobile’s engine had
left him covered in oil, meaning that he felt quite improper to greet her while
his appearance was in such disarray.
“Come,” he suggested rather than ordered, his tone
indicating as such. “Let us retire to the lounge, and I can bring you something
to eat. Perhaps some more of that Greek yogurt parfait I prepared for you—”
“Please, Alfred, I think I’ve eaten enough yogurt this month to last me a lifetime.” Considering
she was immortal, that was saying something.
Disappointed with her response, the older gentleman moved
to help her climb the overdramatic staircase toward the ground floor of the
manor. His proposal to install an elevator had been rejected – by her, no less. Bruce had also attempted
suggesting it to the pregnant superhero who claimed that flying while she
carried was very disorienting. He had been in the proverbial dog house until
openly denying Alfred’s idea during their next meal together. As Wonder Woman,
she was such a conscious person of the happenings around her.
He couldn’t help but to assume that all of her empathy
was extended outwards, with very little left to focus on within.
Upon reaching the grandfather clock’s entryway, he heard
the poor woman sigh. “It isn’t the weight of the baby that tires me – it’s
maneuvering myself so that the baby stays safe. I can’t walk around my own
apartment without feeling as though I’m going to bump my stomach against the
kitchen counter or the bathroom sink!” It was evident in her tone that she thought
of herself as an anxious mess.
Alfred could empathize with feeling protective, sometimes
beyond the realm of reason.
They entered the lounge easily enough, despite both of
their nervous inclinations. “Do not trouble yourself with maintaining your
apartment, Miss Diana. I’m sure Master Bruce would be more than willing to—”
“That apartment has been my home for too many years now;
I couldn’t leave it, even if it was destroyed in one of our many battles and I
had to rebuild the entire building myself.” Her dedication was believable, her
pregnant body detracting from such a hypothetical possibility.
The offer did not stem from one sole place of concern,
however. There were multiple benefits of having Diana move into Wayne Manor for
not only her wellbeing, or the baby’s, or even Bruce’s, but for his own peace
of mind, no matter how truly selfish he felt for even thinking such a thing. “But
you do intend to move in, after the
baby is born, don’t you? We have many rooms to turn into a nursery – even Master
Bruce’s old crib is hidden in one of the many closets in this perennial house.”
“Bruce’s crib?” Oh how her voice sang a tune of
exuberance, her expression one of uninhibited mirth. “You mean he wasn’t born a
grumpy old man?”
Alfred was absolutely ecstatic as well, that he finally
had a comrade with which to rip on the young master with amicably.
Chuckling, the next few words he spoke were quite bold,
even when compared to his usual sarcastic approach to conversations with Gotham’s
crusader. “No, no, I think the only reason he has yet to fire me – no matter
how many times he has threatened, over the years – is simply because he
strongly believes in keeping his enemies closest to him. And out of every
single believed ‘Kryptonite’ the Batman may possess, he might actually faint if
I shared some of the nasty stories from his younger years with you. I assume
that’s why he has the entire house bugged.”
“If I refuse to move into the manor without you to ‘buttle’
the next generation of the Wayne line, you should be safe from being
terminated.” The mischievousness he had only glimpsed in Wonder Woman over the
years was in full form before him now, seated on the couch in the manor’s lounge,
visibly impressed with her cunning manipulation of the father of her child.
Nevertheless, it was the slight note of unintentional
kindness that Diana spoke, that truly stole Alfred’s breath away.
The next generation
of the Wayne line…
The reality of her words resonated within his ragged old
body, instilling a newly discovered brand of vitality into his veins. Ever
since the Mr. and Mrs. Were tragically murdered before their only son, Alfred
had genuinely wondered if there would ever be a day in which Bruce would
recover, and plan for a family of his own to treasure. For too long did he
endure witnessing women from all over the world awkwardly encounter him in the
kitchen the morning after a casual romp, for too many moons did he have to
drive disappointed prospects home when the Batman’s role took priority and he
could no longer entertain his dates for the evening; it did not matter what
sort of woman traipsed through those doors – the very ones he polished at least
three times a week – because none of them ever managed to break through to the
man beneath the armour that was his stubborn full of a charge.
None, except for the Amazonian goddess before him.
And to hear her speak of the child she carried have
familial ties to the once seemingly hopeless hero of Gotham City truly gave
Alfred’s once defeated heart to soar.
He cleared his throat at once to avoid sounding hoarse.
Without delay, did he reveal all to her, “Did you know he was expelled from our
Gotham’s most prestigious academy?”
“Was he?” Diana nearly giggled like a schoolgirl herself,
to hear of such a secretive anecdote.
“I don’t know if I should tell you why, exactly. However, I feel as though you have a right to know
more of the seedy background of the
man who shall be the father to your child.” Reflexively, Diana stroked her
round belly at the mere mention of the babe inside, and they both grinned
happily to one another to once again have it stated that she was carrying.
Wonder Woman, the champion of truth, leaned in ever so
slightly in order to whisper, “Did it have anything to do with that sharp mouth
Master Bruce does is impacted by the way he speaks to people; no other man
could see himself beneath his people while still talking to them as if he
reigns on high.”
“He does sit amongst the gargoyles
around the city, quite a bit,” Pointed out the thoroughly amused princess. She
rested her elbow against the back of the couch so that her hand could act as a
supportive cushion for her head, allowing herself to become even more
comfortable for their discussion. “But I doubt he was just as fascinated by
such things as a baby.”
Alfred answered with an impish glint in his eyes, “Would
you believe if I said that he was quite a fan of Winnie the Pooh?”
“Winnie the who?”
Was the well-warranted reply of a woman who was not privy to the popularized
children’s characters of a world she was not born into. Most obliging, Alfred
withdrew his smartphone from his pants’ pocket and took to Google to help him
clarify. Within seconds he had a picture of the yellow bear on his screen and
showed it to the curious woman, who found herself cooing the moment she laid
her eyes on the cartoon plush. “I’ve seen this one before, it’s quite popular!
Bruce enjoyed this as a child?” While unaware of stories designed for infants,
Diana knew how to navigate the world’s most successful website and began
swiping through the images for the search, looking over all of the other
characters from the series.
“If you dared
to turn off the movie when he was watching it, he would throw the most
outrageous fit; even when he was not yet at the age to have depth perception,
he always managed to throw a bottle or a rattle or his ‘chook’ directly at my
hand, as a retaliation of the cruelest kind.”
“A ‘chook’?” Diana repeated to demonstrate her confusion.
“Ah, it was Master Bruce’s name for his pacifier when he
couldn’t pronounce the word… though I honestly have no idea how he came up with
such a word.” The answer he provided dramatically befuddled him.
“A mystery of the strangest kind, I assure you.” Came a
displeased baritone from the lounge’s doorway.
Both occupants of the couch turned their attention
towards the distraught master of the manor, who appeared to have endured a
light drizzle outside before entering his home. Still, despite his sullen mood
to discover his two greatest confidants gossiping about him like a pair of
clucking hens, Bruce Wayne strolled over to them with a manly sort of grace and
leaned towards his Wonder Woman. Laying a kiss upon her lips, he lingered while
ignore the elder man in the room. “How are you feeling?” He asked half of his
question while still pressed against her skin.
“Mmm,” Diana hummed as she savoured his touch, dazed for
but a moment. “Very well, actually. It’s both terrifying and exciting to learn
about what sort of terror you were as a boy.”
“From my understanding, you weren’t a mere doll on a
shelf as a young girl, either.” Bruce countered successfully. The unspoken
permission he had to run his hand over the curve of her stomach was intimate in
his own right, a touching scene to behold for the butler who never though he’d
see the day.
An Aphrodite-like laugh echoed in the room. “No, but I
didn’t start attacking my caretakers until I had outgrown diapers.”
“I highly doubt
that.” Admitted the manor’s master, openly insulting its newest resident.
Diana feigned insult, then turned to face her ally in
such stories. “Alfred!” If they were younger, it would have sounded as though
she was requesting for Bruce to be scolded or punished for his rudeness.
Knowing that she could handle herself, Alfred knew that she was merely asking
for support in their ridiculous lover’s spat.
Much wiser than them both, the butler turned to face his
boss and informed, “I will be making Miss Diana a dinner of spaghetti and
spinach meatballs very soon; does that suit you as well, Master Bruce?”
“Even if you managed to make me a turkey dinner and
laboured over every single side dish, I wouldn’t forget your betrayal, Alfred.”
Speaking such heavy words, wearing a mocking façade of dismay, Bruce departed
from the lounge without looking back at the pair of them. He pretended to be
offended by their private exchange, but his oldest friend knew much better than
that: Master Bruce would prefer not
to be the one to wander down memory lane for almost any reason, so it only made
sense that the responsibility of sharing such tales fell onto his elderly
“Bruce!” Diana called after him, sounding as though she
was going to scold him herself now. “You didn’t even ask about the gender of
our child!” Her mood had shifted so quickly, the aftershock feeling like the
reaction of two tectonic plates colliding.
“The gender?” Alfred repeated, stupidly.
Slowly, the enraged Amazon fell back into her seat as if
she had never been roused to yell after the Father of the Year. She nodded once
she was comfortable again. “I’ve been waiting for a week or so to learn whether
we will have a boy or a girl, and I finally got my answer today.”
Before she could tell him anymore, Alfred held up a
staying hand. “If you wouldn’t mind, I think I’d like to be surprised.”
That reaction shocked Diana, as she was most definitely
excited to share the news with someone in her makeshift family. Blowing at a
stray strand of ebony from her face, the slightly disgruntled superhero whined
ever so softly, “Are you certain?”
The empathy he housed for the poor woman who was forced
to suffer through a lifelong struggle with a partner like Bruce tugged him
every which way. Alfred kindly decided on a compromise, so that she would not
be made to endure anymore pain, especially not by his own doing. “Why don’t you
share with me the names you have decided on? That way, I will know what to call
him or her when you bring the baby home.”
“Oh,” the idea’s pleasant compromise rang true in Diana’s
immediate reaction. Once again, he had soothed her riled spirit and found her
to be quite agreeable, much more so than Master Bruce used to gripe about
during their courtship days. “Well, all right. Bruce told me that we can choose
any name so long as, if it is based in Greek, our friends and family can
pronounce it too.”
“That seems…fair.” For once, Alfred could only assume.
Diana’s nod confirmed that she had accepted the term
graciously. “So, I thought that a good name for a boy would be Alexandros,
because it is a name given to someone who defends men. It holds a great deal of
history behind it and it is used universally now.”
By meaning alone, the old man, who felt like nothing more
than a rattling ball of unbridled excitement, agreed completely. “A fine
choice, Miss Diana. Especially considering who his parents are.”
“Thank you, Alfred.”
“And, if you are to have a baby girl?”
“Penelope.” The answer was blunt, accentuated by a
“Penelope?” He said the name once after her, trying to
hear if he too could make it sound so angelic.
Diana seemed to be searching for something in his eyes, and
Alfred could not understand her gaze. So, when he had worn a rather stupefied
expression long enough, she put him out of his misery and disclosed, “Penelope is
a strong name, as it belonged to the wife of Odysseus who fought her own
battles while he was on his journey. But, I also liked the sound of this name
because it reminded me of you – we could call her Penny. Isn’t that what your
family name is, Alfred?”
Oh, how he fought to keep himself from tearing up due to
such a sweet sincerity. Though Master Bruce was not present in the room, his
butler knew that the decision on their potential daughter’s name was a shared
choice, and it warmed him beyond measure. To think that his dream for the poor
orphan boy he had raised on his own for years not only had his own family, but
he planned to honour the only family he had had for years in such a secret way.
Indeed, this sort of secret was much better than any old
gossip some old butler had to share.
Alfred nearly choked when he spoke up after her sentiment
nearly undid him. “Ah, it’s…Pennyworth.”
Without missing a beat, Diana simply said, “That’s
perfect, then. You’ve had your hands full with a very bossy boy for all of
these years; if you were to get along with my daughter as well as you do with
me, I am sure the two of you will be as thick as thieves.”
Good God, he hoped so.
Just when Alfred thought he could never be happier, he
seemed to be proven wrong with every single passing day of Diana’s pregnancy.
At long last, the sound of little feet would be scampering through the halls of
the once lively, prestigious Wayne Manor, and the old man that he had become
knew time would stand still for him many times while he ‘buttled’ after the
next generation of Waynes…
Well, he could
not help but to think, I seemed to have
done something right, then.
The evidence of such a truth would be proven to him soon,
only four months away.
((Did anyone else
tear up for Alfred? He deserves all of the love! Plus, isn’t it cool that they
are honouring a man with a name for a daughter? I am not a fan of characters
naming their children after other characters that already exist in the same
universe, because it becomes incredibly cheesy, way too quickly. So I thought I
would find generalized Greek names that apply to both of them, and ta da~ It
just so happened that Penelope had a cute ring to it, that also complimented
the best butler ever! I hope you enjoyed the Winnie the Pooh and ‘chook’
stories too, and feel free to prompt me if you so choose! ~ Maiden))
I never read comic books growing up, and I've just recently gotten into loving all the superheroes on all the different screens. As someone who hasn't decided whether or not to go see BvS, could you elaborate on the different versions of Batman you were talking about? And your decision not to see it?
I’d definitely recommend doing some research of your own, because just because I have my favorite versions and ideals of Batman and the DC universes and don’t want what they’re trying to sell now, doesn’t mean you have to agree with me.
My record with DC’s comics has always been spotty (comes of being a girl in some ways; never felt particularly welcomed, and nobody else was there to encourage or facilitate me against that resistance) but having grown up largely across the 90s, I got rather lovingly introduced to DC’s wide and varied stable of characters through the DCAU (DC Animated Universe) begun by Bruce Timm and Paul Dini when they created Batman: The Animated Series in the early 90s.
I love dearly and will to my grave heartily recommend BTAS as the very best and most coherent version of Batman available. Timm and Dini set it in a very noir-inspired style, and while it was absolutely a cartoon, aimed primarily at children, the stories aren’t dumbed down and the narrative doesn’t talk down. The characters and their motivations are complex, there’s beautiful nuance to the stories and wider context and layers. Subtle commentary on various subjects and notions was woven throughout.
The Batman/Bruce Wayne of BTAS is just… rich in a way that speaks nothing of the character’s fictional wealth. He’s conflicted and complex, dedicated, highly motivated, jaded and scarred–but deeply empathetic, driven by a nobility of purpose that doesn’t feel arrogantly trumped up or false. He’s a hero because he wants to save people from the horrors that darkened his own life, but he doesn’t utterly forget the humanity of the very people he battles against.
He cares about the people of Gotham. He cares about the people who know him only as Bruce Wayne, whether as a peer socialite or as an employer. He cares about the odd little family that he manages to gather around him.
Can he be grim, brooding, hard? Of course. Is he the original Mary Sue in his nigh-ridiculous perfection, intelligence, wealth, athletic ability? Of course. But it’s given across to the audience with a sincerity and heart that humbles and humanizes him beautifully.
And as BTAS grew in popularity, success, and critical acclaim, DC capitalized on it, furthered it by creating other stories that rode adjacent, crossed over, expanded on and overlapped one another. BTAS, then the Superman cartoon, Justice League, Static Shock, Justice League Unlimited, Batman Beyond, the Zeta Project–it was an expansive franchise of titles and characters that all linked beautifully. It was underpinned in every case by a spine of hope and the spirit of heroism that comes through determination, purpose, nobility and compassion.
Which is not to say that it was a sunshiney happy-happy land of fairy tale spun sugar. There was darker drama and hard concepts and doses of cooling reality throughout. Those things just didn’t overwhelm.
Can you imagine a movie universe for DC characters played to the spirit of the Animated Universe that brought DC so much success and broad adoration?
I can, but they seem viciously determined to never give me anything like it at all.
Instead they’d rather play over and over again in the dirt and grit and misery generated by one of my least favorite versions of Batman ever.
Frank Miller is undoubtedly a largely influential figure in comics, and the things he’s contributed to DC and Marvel aren’t going away any time soon. And I won’t say there’s no value to his stories just because they leave an overall bad taste in my mouth.
But Frank Miller tends to be the shepherd of The Darkest Timeline.
His is always the most violent, the least forgiving, the grimmest and broodiest, and by no coincidence, most misogynistic version of these heroic worlds. “Heroes” written by Frank Miller wear that cape loosely indeed. He likes to give us the ugliest, cruelest, most hopeless version of our heroes and the worlds they live in.
He’s the goddamn reason comics (especially DC comics) spent a couple unbearably tedious decades masturbating to the grimdark pornography that got hailed as the Only Way to Tell REAL™ Stories and things like happy endings got violently diarrhetically shat on.
It’s why Nolan’s Batman flicks are so gggrrrrrrrritty and dark and stiflingly self-serious. It’s why Man of Steel’s cool blue tones and Serious Business tone is what they chose to do with Superman, of all the capes.
It’s why Marvel’s Cinematic Universe boldly wearing bright colors and indulging gleefully in snapping wit and prevailing human compassion, while still bearing forward heavier dramatic beats and painful human realism in sharp strokes was such a breath of relieving fresh air.
It’s also why the MCU has seen such wide success and appeal.
I am so goddamn weary of being told that if I’m not kneeling at the grimy altar of Frank Miller’s grimdark philosophy of shitty and brutal superheroes, then I’m loving heroes and comics wrong.
And I’ve less than zero desire to fork over my money to bend the knee to that shitfest concept made large again on a soda-sticky popcorn-littered movie theatre floor.
Yes, I do understand the difference between the real world and fiction, everyone.
Promoting a fictional character in the real world who promotes abuse or cheating in the fictional world, is indirectly stating that you think abuse or cheating is okay, and it being okay for your faves in fiction is just a small leap to your clearly infantile and feeble brains justifying it in reality.
Apparently there are moronic sheep out there who do not understand gateway and threshold psychology. Once you pass a threshold, you’re in the room and/or hallway, and the next threshold will be a little worse and a little worse until you’re condoning it in the real world.
And to let children idolize the characters, even if they find out later what the characters really were, is to groupthink them into your shitty post-threshold mentality, and to start to condition them even earlier than you yourself started conditioning your way into being a shitty excuse for a human.
So yes, if you dress as Harley or Joker, after having been told who they are and what they do, you will lose my respect, pretty instantly. H has been beating on and cheating on J since the animated series. J has been nearly murdering H and being physically, verbally, and psychologically abusive. They are both scumbags who condone child murder via Jason Todd.
That is what they represent. That is who they are. And yes, it is all fiction. However, by wearing it, you’re putting yourself in that persona. You’re idolizing the mindset. You’re declaring your love for characters like that.
Gateway/Threshold psychology says you’re on a bad path, my friend, and by being a sheep this year, I am seeing the merchandise for these characters and ads for them everywhere. It’s like the whole of nerd-dom has agreed to support them. I find this lack of faith in heroes both hopeless and disturbing.
I am tired of seeing it everywhere. I’m allowed to be sick of it. I’m allowed to say so. I’m allowed to say that people who drink this kool-aid have lost my respect.
So go right ahead, continue attacking me because your poor choice in favies being called out is a personal affront to you. Or you construe it that way. Lemme add something so you actually have reason to be insulted: Go fuck yourselves. 😘