Chapter 1

Kal and Diana

Diana, Zatanna, Shayera, Mari, Dinah, Helena and Beatriz were itching to leave the moment the monthly meeting was over as they needed to confirm the final details of what they were going to do today with Wally's eager assistance. They were now going to break the status quo on the men who were frustrating them all to no end. They had deep feelings for their prospective men but found them all to either be very resistant to taking that first step to unleashing their tight hold on their willingness to pursue relationships with the women.

Di and Zee had finally declared two months ago enough was enough and had collaboratively come together with the other five ladies incorporating Wally secretly to lay all their cards on the table. Thus Opeation Sucker Punch was born. This was their way to wake the sleeping giant or in Wally's excited eyes "lay the smackdown" on their stalling or stagnant men. Diana had started to notice that the men that she and her friends respectively wanted a relationship with or who were currently in a relationship in seemed to be as depressed as she was.

They had planned to wield their surprise at the annual Justice League Christmas party but a prime opportunity arose when Bruce Wayne advised he would be throwing a party to honour the Justice League for all their hard work in a week. It was decided to hold it on the Watchtower to ensure identities were protected and in case of any emergencies that took place. The ladies convened in Diana's room after the announcement and agreed they were ready and to go for it.

Listening to J'onn list the agenda for the meeting Diana started to reflect on what had brought her to this potentially life changing day...

Kal had admitted his feelings to her six months ago after his divorce from Lois had been finalised but had said that he did not feel worthy of her, they would never work out in the long run and that they may as well save each other the heartache. He told her that he was in love with her and had been from the very moment they met but circumstances and timing had conspired to ensure they were kept apart. She was furious with him for not even giving them a chance but decided that yelling and screaming at him was not the way to starting a relationship with him, Athena's wisdom told her to retreat and concede defeat and rethink a better more solid strategy to winning his heart and their happiness.

So she had agreed with him and said if that was what he wanted then so be it, he seemed very surprised at her quick acceptance but slowly nodded his confirmation. She patted his shoulder and kissed his cheek in a chaste sisterly manner though she was far from feeling that way and said they were best friends and that was enough for her too. She saw in his eyes that it was definitely not what he wanted but decided until he freely came to her and admitted that they were meant to be, she was not going to push the issue.

The slow but inevitable decline of his marriage with Lois had been painful, bitter and exhausting for the Man of Steel who would have become a hermit if not for Diana, Ma, Bruce, J'onn and all his friends at the Justice League. Diana had been instrumental in his not quitting the Justice League for good, refusing to accept his resignation when he tendered it at that fateful founder's meeting. They had all watched him become more and more withdrawn from the confident, happy, easygoing Superman to being abrupt, arrogant and brooding more often than not, and on missions he was starting to become more aggressive to the point of almost killing Grundy in their last mission.

Diana had tried time and time again to talk to him but he kept brushing her off, albeit more politely then he did with everyone else. Bruce he just ignored and walked away, the others he just shrugged and told them nothing was wrong as his eyes glowed red, at which point said party excused themselves quickly. Which is why they were now in the founder's boardroom, Diana and Bruce knew this was going to make or break them but it needed to be done to break the tension that was palpable among the other team members who were starting to refuse going on missions with Superman because they were afraid he might turn on them.

A week ago

J'onn decided to start, "We are here to debrief today's mission-"

Clark groaned and rolled his eyes. All eyes of the remaining members widened, surprised at this unusual display and from Superman of all people.

Diana's temper flared at his insolence, deciding to cut to the chase in a voice cold as ice she said, "Something to say Kal?"

Clark visibly flinched and turned to her, "Excuse me?"

"Has your super hearing suddenly stopped working, or has it now become selective?", she asked sarcastically. Five sudden intakes of breath were heard.

"Whatever you have to say Diana, just say it", Clark was starting to get very angry.

"Kal, you are not yourself lately, you are starting to scare everybody to the point that some leaguers are swapping shifts when they are rostered with you. You refuse our help or talk to anybody about your problem, preferring to keep it all to yourself. But it is doing you no good and affecting those around you."

"Do you all feel this way?", he looked around the table, as they all nodded slowly, "Fine then" he stood up "I hereby tender my resignation immediately as you have all deemed that I am unfit to continue as a member of the Justice League" and made to walk away. This time there were six sudden intakes of breath.

Diana stood up eyes narrowing, "I never figured you for being a coward"

This time five jaws dropped to the ground. Superman looked like he was about to launch himself at Diana. But her next words took the wind right out of his sails.

"We are all sorry for what happened with Lois. I am sorry that I have not been the best friend you have needed to help you through this. We are all trying to help you but you have shut us all out. So why don't you take a few days, a week even, we can cover for you. Use the time to cry a river, build a bridge and then GET OVER IT. We already have a Batman so stop acting like him. We need our Superman back, I need my best friend back. The league and the world need you. I refuse to accept your resignation. But if you decide to continue with it and walk away, then you and I have nothing more to say to each other", she then walked out of the room.

A lengthy silence followed as everyone was still in shock over what had just taken place. Clark dropped back into his chair heavily, guilt ridden at what he had become and what he had done to those around him, but mostly for the hurt he had heard in Diana's voice and seen in her eyes. He had hurt his best friend and the woman he loved more than life.

"In light of the circumstances we should adjourn this meeting until tomorrow when we can all meet again", J'onn calmly stated.

Everyone present nodded.

"Clark, I also agree with Diana and will not accept your resignation, but if you are adamant in leaving then we will not stop you. Know though the door will always be open if you should decide to return", Bruce, Shayera, John and Wally all nodded together in confirmation.

Everyone left the meeting room without another word. Clark immediately left for his Fortress to mull over everything. He had taken a few days to isolate himself and really take a good look at his life and realised he had become somewhat of a grumpy hermit. He looked into his heart and realised he did not want to leave the Justice League or more importantly Diana. He had also come to the conclusion that he deserved to be happy and that happiness included being with Diana.

Kal tuned J'onn out as his eidetic memory allowed him to absorb the pages of information to review later. He was looking at Diana who though was looking at J'onn he knew was not here as her eyes had a faraway look. He mentally smiled at her beautiful face and wished they were somewhere private so he could let her know he wanted to be with her. They were best friends and had been for a long time and he had fooled himself into thinking that he was happy with that. Well now he was going to change that and throw caution to the wind, Diana's love was what he wanted and for once in his life he was going to be selfish and go for what HE wanted and take the happiness he deserved. He just hoped Diana felt the same way, he knew though he was in the fight of his life to win her heart and he was willing, ready and able to win.

He decided to tell her the night of Bruce Wayne's party and began to mentally prepare for the arguments Diana no doubt would throw at him. He smiled he really owed her a lot as she had done so much and sacrificed so much for him. He paused for a moment and contemplated this and his smile widened as he realised that all her actions were that of a woman who loved him deeply. He then frowned, hoping against hope that he was not wrong or had done anything to potentially ruin it for them. He blinked and remembered where he was, he turned his attention back to J'onn.

Diana sighed hoping that this would finally knock some sense into Kal's thick Kryptonian skull for she was losing hope that he would ever want to be more than the best of friends. If after Operation Sucker Punch he still refused to change his mind she would concede defeat and painfully but slowly move on with her life. She prayed to every God and Goddess she knew that this would not be the case. Bracing her shoulders and mentally shaking herself back into warrior mode she prayed the meeting would end soon so she could start getting ready.

Bring it on!