Triptych
By: Reccea and Dannell Lites

SPIFFY DISCLAIMER THINGIE:):)

Neither moi nor moi's partner in crime own any of these folks! DC comics
does! So don't sue us, heah?? This is a fanfic for entertainment purposes
only and not intended to infringe upon copyrights held by DC Comics or any
others!

Rated Pg-15 for very mild, undepicted m/m sexual references and adult
themes!

Moi's eternal thanks go to reccea, moi's co-author, without whom this fic
would never be:):) And
also to GenX88 for the grand beta and all the help she gave us!
{{{{{{HUGS}}}} Y'all are the BEST, Noel:):)

Any serrors in spelling or grammar are moi's:):)

This is set soon after Batman was expelled from the JLA.



Bruce: Retreating into Shadows


You voted against me. You _both_ did. The two people I trusted
most, with my life, my body, my heart. You voted against me.

When it started, when I realized that my plans, my counteractions,
were revealed, I knew that both of you would take the high moral ground.
You'd both do what you thought it would take to save the League. No matter
what it did to me. But what I didn't count on, what I hadn't realized, was
how it would affect our relationship. How it would affect me. I didn't know
how cold my cave would become, once there was no longer a warm place to
escape to.

Bats are colony creatures, did you know that? Of course you did. But I
didn't. Not until I was alone. Not until you both were gone. Not until I
realized how much I needed you both.

It isn't easy for me. Here in my shadows, away from the light you both
cast, trust is a hard thing to come by. Trust is never easy for someone
like me. Trust was always your forte: mine was vengeance. And preparation.

You both trusted me and I failed you. I should have told you. I should
have. Should have explained myself. What arrogance on my part! And I was
such a fool to leave those files in the Leagues computer! I hate making
mistakes like that. I hate being so ...so human.

And yet... you liked that side of me. My vulnerabilities, my
imperfections. And you, Clark. You knew about my plan for you. And Diana,
you suspected. You forgive me my failing when I can never forgive myself.
And yet... you could not forgive me this. This simple transgression. This
one time where I erred on the side of caution. And I can't blame you. For
what I've done to the three of us, I don't deserve forgiveness. Not from
you. Not from the others. I have armored myself so well with my secrecy and
my unbending methods. Why then does this still hurt so much?

I should have expected that. But I didn't. I never put emotions
into the equation. If only it didn't hurt so much. Then, perhaps, I could
think. That's what I do best, isn't it, after all? Think? But all I can
think about right now is the pain. It's cold in this damned cave all alone
with no one to warm my spirit. With no one to ... love me ...

There I've said it. If only to myself. Love. That's what I got from the
both of you. What I tried so hard to give. Love. But ... love comes with
trust. I'm ... not good with that. With love. I always seem to push it
away. It frightens me. Does that surprise you? It shouldn't. I'm reckoned a
fearless man ... but I'm scared to death of the two of you. That's the
thing about love. It always goes away. Is that what this was all about, in
the end? Was it my way of pushing the two of you away?

I've been pushing people away from me for so long. Dick. Alfred. Did I do
that to you both as well? God. Am I really that isolated? That frightened?
I suppose I am. I suppose it's to be expected. When you've seen what I've
seen. Felt what I've been forced to feel. Lost all of the
things I've lost. You can't afford to let anyone too near anymore. So you
find ways. Find ways to make them leave, before you get too close. Before I
begin to trust them.

I was six years old the first time I learned a hard lesson about
letting people get too close. But that's no excuse, really, is it? Sadly,
it's the only one I have. I lost my parents. But look at Clark. He lost an
entire world. He lost an entire world before he even knew what it was. But
Diana? I'm not sure she's ever really left hers.

She's always so caught up with her Amazon ways. Peace through justice or
something like that. She never lets go of it. Even a little. Wears it like
her crown, always the first... second thing you see. She never lets
herself... be human. Go beyond her Amazon ways into that part of her that,
like Clark, even like me, is human.

How do I know? Because I know I hurt her. When she discovered my plan for
her. She shared her mind and body with me. With a *man*. And how did I
reward her? With the same bitter dregs Heracles rewarded her mother
Hippolyta with: betrayal. And she's so very much like me. She'll never let
me
see her pain. She's too proud for that. And there's a part of her that will
never forgive me. And I'll never be able to forgive myself for that.

But isn't this different? This betrayal? I did this for the good of
the world, a precautionary measure. One I never wanted to follow through
with. Doesn't that make any difference?

Not to Diana, I think. But Clark ... Clark understands. When I saw
what Ra's had done to him I stopped breathing. I've never seen him in such
pain. I'm used to pain. We're old friends pain and I. But Clark? Clark
doesn't know pain the way I do. And I never wanted him to. I wonder what
hurt more? The kryptonite or my betrayal? I think my betrayal. And that
kills me a little.

When did this happen to me. I wonder? When did I lose touch with
everyone important to me? Did I ever even give Bruce Wayne a chance to
live? Or did I strangle him in his parent's blood in a filthy Gotham City
alleyway? When he was six? I'd like to think that Alfred kept me from
cutting myself off completely. That he kept a little line of communication
open between me and my heart. Maybe Dick opened up a second line?

Clark and Diana were trying for three-way communication. But
maybe... maybe it was too much. Too much for me to take. So here I am. Like
a dying man hooked up to life support with lines running in and out of my
heart. Keeping it beating. Listen. Can you hear it beating? And one by
one... severing the lines. Killing myself emotionally because... even one
of those lines might be the end of me.

lub-dub. lub dub. lub -

Flatline.

And not a moment too soon.




Diana: Breach of Faith

He betrayed me. I don't care what his justification was. It doesn't change
a thing. It doesn't kill this pain. It doesn't mean that he's not like
every other man. I've only myself to blame, I suppose. I *knew* the nature
of the beast when I allowed myself to become entangled in this fiasco.

It sounds so trite to say that my mother warned me .... but she did. I've
grown up with the reality of it. The knowledge that man lies. Man kills.
Man causes pain.

I thought Bruce was different. Not like the rest. I was only fooling
myself. Clark has forgiven him. I can see it in his eyes. But I never
will. Clark keeps trying to talk to me. To explain. But after this, how
can I trust him? How? Man cannot be trusted. Bruce is proof enough of
that.

How many times have we Amazons learned this simple lesson? And how
bloodily? How much have we lost just to understand that simple truth. Trust
man at your own folly. How could I have been such a fool? I'm no lovesick
mortal woman who's head turn at the sight of a pretty masculine face! I
*am* not! Hera curse him for doing this to me. Making me such a fool in
my own eyes.

I am Diana, daughter of Hipployta. I was once a God. And now? Now, I'm like
every other woman who's fallen in love. Foolish and short sighted.

I know that Bruce thinks... that he doesn't even realize.I didn't know he
could hurt a part of himself. Can he know how this made me feel? Can he
understand why this is so hard for me? After all the things the three of us
have shared, does he really even understand me?

Loving Kal was as natural as the breath in my body. He's like Apollo's sun
chariot as it blazes across the sky. But Bruce? Bruce is ... different.
He is Nox; Father Night, the shadows and the labyrinths of his mind are a
soul deep part of him. His armor is thicker even than Ares ever wore.
Hephastes himself might have forged it.

I found more in common with Bruce. Found more of myself in him. More dark
corners, more shadowed pasts. And I did not expect to. It frightened me to
see such things within me. Frightened and exhilarated me. To see the dark
patches against the sun. To see my shadows as they began to blend with his.

And Kal loved us both. Embraced the whole of both of us. He's so rarely
allowed to be himself. Kal and Bruce, they made me stronger. Reinforced
every inch of my soul with the steel of theirs. But... Bruce had a weak
link that blind sided me. I told myself that he understood me. That I
understood him. I lied, to both of us

Without trust how can there be love? And Bruce never trusted me. Never.
Bruce never trusted anyone. I shouldn't have been surprised about that. I
should have seen it coming. But I didn't. I should have known better. But
I let my heart get the best of me. I let this relationship get the best of
me. I let them get the best of me.

Does Bruce know the price of his failure? Does he care? Did he ever care?
Or was it all just a ploy so that he could get close to me to learn what he
needed? To betray me? ... I don't think that's it. I don't think that
Bruce is heartless. He's just... damn him, he's efficient. and frightened.

Kal came to me the other day. To try and talk to me. I saw the hurt in
his eyes when I sent him way so abruptly. Did he see the pain in mine as I
patiently waited for he too to betray me? But... is Kal like every other
man? Surely not in most areas? How about in this? Can I afford to believe
anything else?

My heart says not. But... I want to. So badly. I want to know that my faith
was not so ill conceived. But how can I believe? I thought Bruce was
different, too. And look where this has led me. To grief and despair.

I thought the armor was gone. That he had lain it aside with the cowl that
first time. I was under the impression that when he gave himself to us, it
was completely. I didn't know he was holding some part of himself back,
apart from us and what we were. When I first saw his face I had lately come
to appreciate the masculine form. I thought him beautiful. I want my
hope back. I want my innocence.

I want... Bruce.




Clark: One Third of Us


I knew this would happen. I knew one of them would make the wrong step, say
the wrong thing. I was almost positive it'd be Bruce. I was right. We were
getting too close. It was getting to be too much for him. I just didn't....
I knew about his contingency plan for me. I understood it, and actually
asked him to make it. But he didn't tell any of them. Not even Diana. And
that I just don't understand. I thought I knew what it was to lose a world
when Krypton exploded. I was wrong.

This is the end of my world.

Back then my world was an abstract place filled with people I didn't know.
Now... my world is Bruce and Diana. I end and begin with them. This
hollowness. This void is all that's left now.These bits and pieces are all
that's left. And to think, for a little while there, I had the universe.

All I have now is dust. And memories that warm me more than the sun. The
memory of two pair of bright blue eyes that outshone the stars themselves.
The three of us are so alike and yet... so different. Physically? The hair,
the eyes, the strength. We're different aspects of the same idea. On the
inside....

I think Diana is the thing that bridges us. Her light to mine, her darkness
to Bruce's. She's the middle ground; the person made up of both of us. Her
fire is her own. Her justice... totally different. Bruce is vengeance and
pain. I'm peace and justice. She's the olive branch and the sword. We fight
that same fights, we just play different games

The first time for us was so overwhelming. I'd begun to despair of ever
finding even one person to really share my life with. ALL my life. All of
myself. Imagine my surprise when I found two on the same night.

It started out so simple. A hand brush from Bruce. Were it anyone else I
would have shrugged it off. But Bruce doesn't make any moves he doesn't
mean. It wasn't an accident. Bruce doesn't have "accidents". It was bliss.

I could have played dumb. The foolish Kansas hayseed. I almost did. But
when I looked into his eyes I just couldn't. It wasn't possible. So I let
him seduce me. I've never been happier. I found a part of myself that
day. A part that I didn't even know was missing until Bruce filled it.

Filled *me*:

And when Diana... when she came into the room, interrupted the kiss. All an
accident I'm sure. The way her eyes darkened instantly. I heard her breath
quicken, her heart beat faster. And I saw the possibilities.

I think poor Bruce was the one who was shocked. But the tiny smile that
tickled the corners of his wide mouth was answer enough. When he made no
move to replace the cowl I knew what was bound to happen. I just didn't
understand the connection that would be made. And how deeply it would run

I've come full circle again, back in the middle. I hate the middle. I
always
have to make decisions in the middle. I always feel like I'm making the
wrong ones. But they're the only ones I can make. The only ones anybody
expects me to make. That was obvious when we came into the room and Bruce
wasn't there. He knew. Even before I did.

Diana is so angry. She won't let me try and explain. And she won't talk
to Bruce at all. They're so much alike it's painful. Both proud and
stubborn. And in pain. So much pain...

I think I'd rather have the pain that came with the kryptonite. It hurt
less. Than to see them like this. So abruptly torn from each other, pulled
apart with the seams still intact. They aren't separate people anymore.
They're in each other. In me. And I'm not sure if we can survive this.

We're slowly bleeding to death and God help me, I don't know how to stop
it. Hemorrhaging from the heart. I don't know how to staunch the flow. I'm
not even sure it *can* be stanched. But God I hope it can. I don't want to
lose this. Lose them. I'm not sure I'd recover. I'm not sure that I'd ever
stop hurting.

What if it can't stop? What if this empty shell is all that's left of me
now? How will I survive? How will any of us survive? How *can* any of us
survive? If we aren't with each other. I'm the only one of my kind. The
Last Son of Krypton. All the others are dead. And now it looks like I am
too. Was I a fool to hope? To believe? To try and find some small part of
happiness for *me*? For Kal-El?

I can't live like Bruce does. His heart locked away in a box. Or even like
Diana, being above such things. I need this. My heart is what keeps me
going. It's what makes me feel alive. I guess they both think I'm a fool
for needing that. Needing to share myself with someone. But they both
need it too! If they'd only admit it to themselves. Admit it to each
other.

I can't reach Bruce. He's fled so far inside his fear and pride that no
one can reach him now. Withdrawn so deeply into the shadows that he might
disappear all together.

And Diana? God. Diana has reverted to her Amazonian philosophy. Acted as if
I weren't a blip on her screen. I know what she's thinking. But doesn't she
see? I won't betray her. And in his own way, Bruce had no idea that he was
doing that. For being so smart he's really very unaware.

I can't save either of them. Or even myself. This is killing me. It's
killing *us*.

There has to be some way to stop this. To bring the three of us back
together
again. But How? This is what I do. I solve problems. I help people. And if
I'm not able to fix this, fix us... I won't lose another world. And I won't
lose them. I can't. I
need them too much.

Come on Clark think! Think! Everybody knows that Superman can do
anything. Use that Kryptonian brain for once. There has to be a solution.
Find it! The problem is that Bruce was always the thinker, the problem
solver. Now, he *is* the problem. But... damnit. What if... what if
there's no solution? What if this is the breaking point? What if it's now
that we realize that this can't possibly work? That we're too different.
No! I won't accept that! I ... can't.

What if ...what if ... there are some problems even *I* can't solve? What
if they are some solutions that can't be found? I've failed in the past,
after all. Haven't I? I never found a solution to kryptonite poisoning.
The Bottle City of Kandor is still sitting on a shelf in my Fortress of
Solitude; tiny as ever. And Mon-El ...Oh Rao, Mon is still in the Phantom
Zone.

I'm not infallible. What if this is another failure like those? What will I
do then? Crawl back to my two half lives? Become half a person once more?
Not even that. Less than half. One third of a person.
One third of us.



The End?