Friends and Lovers
The apartment still had that new apartment smell. They had only moved in a week before, as could be told by the various boxes, full and empty, covering the entirety of the floor. The furniture was already in place; all that was left was to finish unpacking their personal items. Donna had decorated the apartment in a combination of classical Greek and modern style, with a few Amazon novelties prominently displayed. As an apartment-warming present, their mother had given them a tapestry that told the birth of the Amazons.
"Where should we hang the tapestry Mother gave us?" Diana held up the tapestry as she looked around for the perfect place.
"Hmm…how about over there?" Donna said, pointing to a blank wall at the foot of the stairs leading to the second floor of the apartment.
"I suppose it would look good there." After hanging the tapestry Diana returned to the boxes. "This one looks like all of the kitchen items…"
"Didn't Superman give us something for the kitchen? A toaster oven, I think…now where is it?" Donna looked around the room. "Oh, here it is, buried underneath the pile of gift wrapping."
"Don't tell Kal that," Diana said as Donna put the toaster oven on top of the box she was carrying.
"Ha-ha. Don't worry. I won't!" Smiling, Diana carried the box to the kitchen and began unpacking the kitchen utensils. "Hey, Di? Where do you want to put the bust Batman gave us?"
"Um…how about near the balcony door? We could sit it on a pedestal."
"True," Donna said as she rearranged the boxes and furniture next to the balcony.
"What happened to the plates?" Diana said as she walked back into the living room.
"Weren't they in that box?"
"No, those were just the pots and pans…and Kal's toaster."
Shaking her head, Donna picked up the empty boxes and trash around her. Stuffing the trash and smaller boxes in the larger boxes, she carried them to the door of the apartment. "Well, they have to be around here somewhere." Adding her armload to the trash pile, she joined Diana in the search for their missing plates.
"I could have sworn we put the plates with the rest of the kitchen supplies."
"Did you look in that box over there?" Donna pointed to a box among a pile of boxes near the balcony.
"Not yet. How do I get over there?" She said laughing as she looked for a path through the maze. Seeing none, she lifted herself from the ground with her power of flight, and floated over to the boxes, alighting in the only clear spot available. "A-ha! Here they are!" Diana said, holding up one of the white plates with gold and blue trim they had purchased a few months before. Returning the plate to its box, Diana accidentally set off a domino effect as she bumped a stack of surrounding boxes. The boxes fell to the floor striking and knocking over others boxes and a certain pedestal as they fell.
"NO!" The sister princesses shouted in unison. Donna shouted as she flew towards the balcony and happening disaster. Jumping over the fallen boxes, Diana stretched out her body as she dove towards the floor. Ducking her head and curling her torso, Diana hit the ground with a thud.
"Diana?" Donna said as she knelt next to her sister. Rolling over to look her sister in the eyes, Diana held up the house warming gift given to them by the Batman. Smiling broadly, both sisters laughed. "Thank Rhea. Could you imagine what he would do to us if it had broken?"
"Can you imagine what he would do to us if he found out we nearly broke it?"
"You're right. Let's never speak of this again."
"Ha-ha, agreed." Setting the pedestal upright, Diana returned the bust to its place. Turning back to the jumbled pile of boxes, Diana sighed. The boxes that had previously been so nicely stacked mere moments before were now a mess on the floor, some of their contents scattered. Rolling her eyes at the mess, she began up righting the boxes and returning the misplaced items to the appropriate box.
"So are you excited about our new place, Di?" Donna asked from the other side of the room. Her happiness over their new apartment was evident in her voice. "This is going to be so awesome! We are going to be the best roommates! Just think of all the fun we're going to have! Eating ice cream after a long day, boy bashing, girl talk…Hey! We should invite the Titans and the League over for a house warming party after we get everything decorated! Whatta ya think, Di?"
As Donna rattled on, Diana perched on her heels, her gaze intent on a framed picture in her hand. "Yes…" she said in idle response, her gaze never leaving the picture as a tear formed in her eye.
"Di? Diana?" Donna walked over to her sister where she squatted behind their couch. "Hey, Di? Everything all right? I've been talking to you for the past…Oh, hey! You found an old photo of Terry and me with the kids!" She smiled as she sat down next to Diana. "I remember that, it was right after Robert's birthday. We took the kids to the zoo. I remember how they loved the monkeys! Stephanie giggled like crazy every time they swung by their tails! We all had the best time. Things were so great back then. Terry was always an amazing father. He was so wonderful with the kids." The brightness of her smile faded as she remembered her family, turning instead to one of sweet remembrance.
"You miss them?"
Her smile faded as she answered, "More than you know." Silent tears slid down her cheeks as she touched the image of her lost son. Her face matching the sorrow of her sister's, Diana pulled Donna close to her and held her as the tears came. "I loved them all so much. Oh, Di. My little baby, my sweet little boy." The tears fell faster as she whispered the words. "It hurt so much when Terry and I divorced, and even more when Terry fought me for sole custody of Bobby. It hurt so much, Di, so much, and then when I got the call…" Her throat caught as she remembered that terrible phone call. She remembered the police man's voice as he told her they had been killed. Her ex-husband, her son, her step-daughter…they were all dead.
"Shsh." Diana comforted her sister as they both mourned the loss of their family. As her sobs receded, Donna pulled away from her sister's embrace and pulled a scrapbook from the pile of over turned boxes next to her. Wiping away her tears, she flipped through the album that contained more pictures of her family and friends, occasionally stopping to answer Diana's questions about the pictures. They looked through photos of Donna as a girl with the Teen Titans, then as a young woman with the Titans, and more of her as young mother and wife.
"Terry was a good husband, but he just couldn't deal with all the trouble that comes with being a Titan."
"I am sorry. I know you cared for him very much."
"So…change of subject?"
"I think that would be a really good idea."
"Okay. Where's your photo album? I know you have one."
"Heh, yeah…it should be around here somewhere…" Leaning over the pile of upturned boxes and spilled contents, Diana searched for the photo album her surrogate mother, Julia Kapatelis, had started for her shortly after they met. "Here it is." She said as she grabbed hold of the sought after album. Giving it a light Amazon tug, she pulled it from its place beneath a pile of picture frames, hair brushes, books, and other personal items. "Oh!" she cried as she fell backwards and the mound of items before her tumbled like boulders down a mountain side.
"Oh! Ha-ha!" Donna said as she put her hands up to block Diana's backward tumble. "Careful, Di, don't make me separate you from things that are piled up. Non-stacked items for you only!" They laughed together, forgetting the pain of their previous conversation. "What have we here?" Donna asked as she picked up a framed picture that had toppled down the side of the mountain before her. "Now this is a good picture of you two. You and Superman always did make a cute couple!" She smiled devilishly at her sister as she awaited a response to her unasked question.
Rolling her eyes, Diana took the picture from her sister. "This was from a few years ago. The three of us went to Kal's parent's house for a weekend. So much had happened and we just needed a break."
"The three of us?" she asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Yes. Bruce, Kal, and myself. There should be a picture of all three of us somewhere." Diana dug around in the area a moment before pulling out a picture of herself with her two best friends posing next to a fence on the Kent family farm. There were no costumes in the picture, no hint of who the three people were to most of the world; each wore common clothing, jeans and shirts. They were themselves that day. The pose was nonchalant, as if they had merely been talking before they were asked to smile for the camera. Diana sat atop the top most rail of the fence, while her beloved friends, Bruce and Kal leaned against the fence to each side of her, a leg casually propped on the bottom rail. Their smiles told the whole of the story. They were not superheroes, just regular people, and common friends. "Here it is," Diana said as she showed it to her sister. "This is my favorite picture, I think."
Donna peered at the picture for a few moments before opening Diana's album and flipping through it. Similarly to Donna's, Diana's album contained pictures of her friends in various settings. All of the people who had touched her life in a special way smiled or frowned on each page. Unlike Donna's album, however, Diana's did not contain photos of a family with children or even photos of past lovers…only photos of friends and friends that were rumored to be more. Aye, there were family pictures inside. Several pages were dedicated to their mother, Hippolyta, during her visits to Patriarch's World, and several of her as Wonder Woman. There were even a few pictures of Diana with her mother and sisters in various poses and scenes, but none of a family with a husband and child as Donna's album had portrayed.
"Do you ever think about having a family, Di?" Donna casually asked without taking her eyes from the album.
"I do have a family, Donna."
"No, Diana. I mean a family. With a man. You know, like Terry and I had. I've never even known you to have a real boyfriend. I mean, there was that Barnes guy, but I mean really…I've no idea what you were thinking there."
"Ha-ha. Trevor was a nice guy."
"If you say so…But don't you ever wonder, Di? Don't you ever miss not having anyone? I mean, I talk to you all the time about my guy problems, but you never mention anyone. Of course, you never mention any girls that way either, so I just don't know…"
Diana smiled weakly at the question. "I have thought of it, actually…When I see you with your…boyfriend," she mouthed the word carefully, "I sometimes regret not having someone to love me like that as well…"
"So then…why don't you have anyone? I mean, you can't tell me there haven't been offers. I know for a fact that you and Superman had at least one date."
"Pff. A date. If you can actually call it that. That night was horrible. I mean, I was so young back then, and had no clue about anything, but I remember looking forward to that 'date.' And then Hermes showed up and we ended up battling Darkseid as well. That of course ruined any chances with Kal. I guess we were both young, impressionable. I saw Kal as something like a god, and he saw me as a goddess…but, knowing him now, I can see why he would have been scared off. Olympus can be a terrible sight sometimes, so can gods."
"And Hermes? I remember a rumor once…"
"Hermes was always just a friend. I had no feelings for him as anything more than my god and friend. I tried to tell him that…By the goddesses, everything was so new to me back then. I guess I was a little frightened by everything. Nervous, at least." She let out a short laugh at the thought. "Now you're going to ask me about Batman, aren't you?" She looked again at the picture of herself with Kal and Bruce. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Donna nod slightly. "He's cute." She said with a smile. "But…he has his mission, and nothing comes between him and his mission. Besides, the way he talks about Catwoman sometimes…I think he's definitely in love with her." Diana grinned from ear to ear before continuing, "And Arthur has Mera. I would never interfere with that as I would never interfere with Kal and Lois. Besides, just because two people are royal does not mean they are meant for each other. If did have something, I'd probably rip his head off before we were too far into a relationship. He can just be so annoying sometimes, and he has such a roaming eye. As for any others…I don't know…Trevor was kind of insulting sometimes. And Kal…Kal is wonderful, but so very shy and…he never thinks himself good enough for anything. And Bruce…like I said, I think he has already found someone. None of the other League members are attractive to me, before you ask. I don't think they are what I'm looking for."
"What are you looking for?"
"Sigh, I have no idea. Perhaps one day I shall find someone, but as for now…I think I shall just continue on. Hmph." She stared at her sister for a moment before saying, "What about you? It has been a while since Terry and Kyle…are you not…'with' anyone?"
"'With' someone? No, not really, I mean…not anymore. Roy and I…we were…together…for a while, we're not anymore."
"Is that a good thing?" She asked, her voice tender with concern.
"I don't know. I guess in a way, yeah, but then again…I'm not sure. I mean, I thought I…no…I didn't think. I just…I don't know. It happened right after the whole Dark Angel thing. Everyone was constantly telling me how perfect I was and how I'd never done anything wrong. I just…I wanted to find myself and be the bad girl for a change." She sighed and stared intently at the floor.
"And…did you find yourself?"
Donna looked up at her sister, staring into her eyes as she sought for an answer. "No." She finally said. "No, I found a part of myself, I think. The part of me that told me I was using Roy. The part that told me it was wrong and that I couldn't do that to someone I love. So…Roy and I are over like that. We're just friends."
"Do you love Roy?"
"Yeah, yeah, I think I do…but then again, I'm not sure if it's quite like that. And I can't really be with him or anyone in a healthy relationship right now. Maybe in the future, when things are a little more normal."
"So, you haven't had a good relationship with Roy…What about Kyle? He is cute…in a boyish kind of way." Diana's eyes twinkled with delight as Donna laughed.
"Kyle was sweet, but another rebound boyfriend, unfortunately, but still a really good guy. To be honest with you, if I had to choose between Kyle and Roy, I'd seriously have to go with Roy. Kyle is just too much of a good boy, while Roy is as wild as they come. And Roy really knows how to treat a girl." Donna grinned widely as she winked at Diana, who only rolled her eyes and laughed.
"You know…a while back, I over heard some of the younger members of the league talking. They mentioned a certain sister of mine and a certain young knight of Bludhaven…"
"Ha-ha! Dick and me? Really?" Donna threw her head back and laughed heartily. "Dick and me? I don't know. It's never happened. We've always just been good friends. Heck, we practically grew up together." She shrugged. "I guess I've thought about it, but our friendship has always been so great. It's not something that I want to lose or make awkward. And what is it anyway?" She laughed again. "Does every member of the 'Wonder Family' have to date a member of the "Bat Family' at one time or another? Did you know that I overheard Dick talking to another member of his family about Mom and Alfred?! Can you imagine! Our mother, Immortal Queen of the Amazons, with Alfred, old English Butler to the Waynes?" Their laughter continued to echo through the apartment.
"You know, if you listened to the rumors, out two families have really had their way with each other." Diana wiggled her eyebrows to add to the rumored insinuation.
"Why, Diana! You've been holding out on me!" Donna said sarcastically. Laughing, they shuffled through more of the photographs piled before them. "Oh, look, Sis, this is one of me and Dick at a Titan's Christmas party a year or so ago." The scene of the photo she held was set in the lounge in Titan's Tower. In the foreground, Donna and Dick sat on a sofa, plates containing various party goods sat on the coffee table before them, while Dick held a glass of, what could be assumed to be, eggnog in his hand. Behind them in the distance, Roy Harper and Koriander of Tamaran could be seen laughing.
Smiling at the picture, Diana picked up another from the pile. "Here's one of the two of us with mother." Donna leaned over to look at the picture of the three Amazon women sitting close together at a table. A dutiful daughter on each side of their Amazon mother, they looked to be near mirror images of her in their pose. The modern dress suits they wore only helped to accent their Olympic features, royal purple for Hippolyta, a light blue for Donna, and a shade just above her sister's blue for Diana.
"That's a good one of the three of us. I wish we had more like that. We should put it on the mantle in here."
Puzzled, the Amazing Amazon sisters looked at each other as they listened to the dying chime of the door bell. "Who could that be?" As the sisters began to rise from their positions on the floor, the handle of the door began to turn. Bracing themselves for an attack, the two warriors from Paradise watched as the door to their new apartment swung open. Fleeting moments of tense anticipation passed before…
"Hey, hey, hey! We heard two hot Amazon babes needed help moving into their new place! We brought pizza, be—I mean, cokes, and plenty of muscle."
Rolling his eyes, Superman walked past Roy and into the apartment. "We thought the two of you could use a little help setting things up. Sorry for just barging in…some people don't have any manners." He looked side-ways at Roy, who pretended nothing happened.
Standing up from behind the couch, the two Amazon beauties welcomed their friends into their new home. "It's all right, we just weren't expecting any company."
"And you're especially welcome if you brought food. I'm starving. Diana and I haven't eaten yet. We forgot to order anything and the kitchen isn't stocked yet."
"Well, then, I guess your lucky we all thought to bring pizza." Dick said as he made his way toward the sofa, and piles of pictures.
"I thought a bottle of wine might be nice." Bruce whispered in his Batman voice to Diana as he entered and handed her the bottle.
"Thank you. Although we might have a hard time opening it, I've no idea where the cork screw is. It's lost somewhere in the box of kitchen utensils."
"That's all right. I'll open it for us." Superman said as he took the bottle and proceeded to remove the cork. "Glasses?"
"In that box over there." Diana said as they joined her sister and other guests by the sofa. Seeing the picture of his time with Kal and Diana on the Kent farm, Batman deftly removed it from next to the others before casually walking across the room and hiding it. As glasses of wine were filled, beers open, pizza served, the friends began to help the new apartment owners finish their unpacking.
"Everything has its home, and everything is it in its place."
"And, I believe, this is the last thing to take its place." Donna said as she placed the photo of herself, her sister, and her mother on the mantle in the living room. Standing around the now clean and decorated apartment, everyone smiled widely, happy that the work was finally done. As if given a sign, they plopped down onto the sofas decorating the center of the room.
"Hey, I remember this old thing," Dick said as he picked up a certain picture from an old Titan's Christmas party.
"Man, would you look at this! The Batman is smiling!" Roy laughed as he looked at the picture taken summers ago on the Kent Farm.
"I guess you didn't hide it well enough," Kal whispered to Bruce.
"Hrn. Do you have to have that picture sitting out here?"
"Yes," Diana said. "All of these pictures have to be out here. To remind us of our friends." She smiled at Donna before sighing a sigh of contentment and leaning back into the arms of her two best friends.