Witness to Love by Djinn
Diana is mine. She is mine and yet...she is not. It is not unexpected, this tearing of loyalties within her. I knew going in that it would not be easy.
I just did not expect it to be this difficult.
I do not think Clark realizes how hard he is pushing her. I turn around and he is with her, his smile extra tender, his hand a little quicker to help her up if she falls during battle or even just a workout.
And their workouts--he gives her no quarter. The way they rain blows on each other...it is like sex. Only more violent.
Is that how they would make love if they could? This terrible pounding they subject each other to every time they spar? I thought I was strong enough for her; I thought she was not holding back when we made love.
If their fighting is any indication, I obviously thought wrong.
She pretends to be at peace with her decision. She chose me, and now she will live with the choice no matter what. She is stubbornly determined that way. I've seen it in other facets of her life. She will fight to the bitter end. Bruce knew that--it's why he made her booby trap the one he did. She will never give up, and he knew it.
Bruce is a problem. It is not enough that I must watch Clark with her, but now that he is back in the League, Bruce has decided to insert himself into the mix. He is Clark's friend--far more than I am. But this is not just camaraderie with his buddy. I sense...personal interest. He wants Diana.
Next time I fall in love, it will not be with an icon.
Poseidon is no doubt laughing at me. He could probably tell me horror stories of men who love Amazons.
I thought that when the others were split apart from their alter egos it would be all right, that I'd finally have her. That when Superman and Clark became somehow less than whole, that he would cease to be a rival. But their separation didn't last long--and even before they were reintegrated, Diana was sneaking away to visit Clark. She was not sneaking away to visit Superman--he was too busy adding on to the watchtower to spare any time for her.
But she never mentioned those visits to see Clark. Never told me about them directly.
I love her. Perhaps more than I want to admit. But I am not sure I can tolerate this. I am not sure she will ever let go of Clark. I thought she would...in time. I thought she picked me because I was different than Clark, someone she could run to with no fear. And she did run, but now it feels like she was just trying to run away from him, and I was a safe place to wait out the storm.
And the storm is in the exercise room right now as they pound at each other yet again.
It is not smart to walk down that way, but I do. It is not wise to enter through the side door and sit in the small observation area, but I do.
I should not watch as they spar, as their bodies come into contact over and over. They have done this so often it is like a dance. It is like sex. They are having sex in front of me, fully clothed, sweat dripping and blows landing and all that is missing is one or both of them crying out in ecstasy.
"Hold," Diana says and Clark pulls his blow back instantly. She turns, stares up at me. "Is everything all right?"
How long was she aware of me and she kept sparring with him? Does she have no understanding what seeing them together this way does to me? I almost want to tell her the truth. No, everything is not all right. Not when she won't leave Clark alone. Not when he won't let her leave him alone.
"Your battle is fierce," I manage to say. It is a form of truth.
Clark is watching me warily. He and I have not spoken in a personal way since Diana became my lover.
"Is it time to go?" Diana will give me that. She will let me dictate when we go, how long we stay. It is the only thing she will give me.
"No. I just came to watch." I wave them back to the mat. It is a king's wave, as condescending as I can make it, and I see Clark bristle.
Diana shoots him a glance, and their ability to communicate with just a look, in only a fleeting exchange of smiles, irritates me.
I speak before judgment can leash my impulse. "Perhaps this time you could fight rather than just having sex on the mats."
Diana turns to me, her mouth open slightly. She looks appalled at what I have said. Clark does not look so angry. He is watching her, a small smile on his face.
And it hits me. He will never let her go.
Vaulting out of the seats, I land lightly on the floor and walk quickly to the mats. "Perhaps we should make this a threesome? Would you like that, Clark? To be invited in?"
Diana touches my shoulder, murmurs, "Arthur, don't."
Clark just pulls away, but I see a smirk on his face.
"Damn you," I shout, launching myself at him.
It is intolerably stupid to do this. Part of my mind is screaming that he will wipe the floor with me. I am strong, very strong, but I am not this strong. Not "take on Superman in a fit of rage" strong.
Diana is the one who pulls us apart. I expect a lecture. I expect anger. What I do not expect is the look on her face--a look more filled with sorrow than I've ever seen. She does not cry; she only stares at us both. Then she shakes her head and walks to the door.
"Diana," I yell, even though I know she could hear me if I whispered. But my pride is on the line here, and I need her to meet me halfway--more than halfway. I need her to respond, to come to me. I need her to show him she's mine.
She stops and turns, but does not walk back to me, not even when I hold out my hand. I hear a rustle of fabric and look up where I was sitting. Bruce is watching us.
"Why won't you just let things be? Why must there be this damned rivalry?" She includes Bruce in the look she sweeps over us. "I am not a prize. I am not something to fight over. I choose. I chose." She shakes her head. "Apparently I chose wrong."
"Diana." Bruce's voice rings out. "Cool off before you make any decisions."
I do not want him on my side. I do not need him on my side. "No. Let her speak."
Clark does not say anything. Just stands and waits. But then he has the upper hand. He will not lose her here. She will never leave him, and I am only now beginning to understand that.
"You love me," I say to her. It is not a question, because I do not doubt it.
"Then come with me. Let's go away for a while." I hold my hand out.
There is a noise behind me as Bruce lands softly, then he is walking up. "Why don't we all take a time out?"
Is he doing this because he fears she will come with me and he will lose her? Or is he doing this because he cares for all of us, and if I continue with this, I will lose her...and hurt her.
He turns to me. "Arthur, let it go."
I wish that I could. I see his eyes narrow as he realizes I will not stop, that I cannot.
"Fine," he says. "Lose her. I'm done helping you." He walks to Diana, his hand falling gently on her arm for a moment, then he leaves the room.
She looks up at me, then turns to Clark. "Get out," she says with such ferocity I want to rejoice. Then I remember she spars with him with equal fierceness. I should not mistake passion for anger, not with them.
Clark sighs softly, then he turns and walks out.
"This is between us." Her eyes are glittering now, tears in them, tears I am heartily sorry that I've caused. "Arthur..." She cannot speak, begins to cry for real.
I am struck down by her weeping. I can do nothing more than pull her to me, trying to comfort her. Trying to stop what I have put into motion.
"You no longer wish to continue in this relationship, do you?" I ask, and my voice nearly fails me. Sorrow--like the rushing of the sea--fills me, fighting anger for supremacy in my heart.
"I love you, Arthur."
"Then stay with me." Surely she can hear how much I love her? Surely she will choose me again?
"I have done everything I can to knock him out of my heart. I don't spend time with him other than here. And it's still not enough for you."
"You visited Clark. Those visits were not here." She lies so easily to me--has done so since that day I first claimed her as my own.
"That was different."
"It is always different with you and him. You will always find a way to justify your contact with him."
"He is my best friend."
"No, Diana. He is your lover. You may not be having sex with him, but you two are lovers. Had I known...had I truly realized the depth of your connection..."
"You wouldn't have done this?"
"I wouldn't have." It is cruel to say it, hurts her more than I probably intended. But it is truth, and she is rumored to value that--when she is not lying to me. "I love you, Diana. I will always care for you. But I find I am not a big enough man--or too big, I'm not sure which--to share you with him."
She does not try to dissuade me, does not plead or bargain or seduce. She only takes a deep, ragged breath, her eyes never leaving my face.
"Diana. Say something."
"He may be my lover. You may be right. But you were my first. You'll have that. And I think that means more to you than I do."
She is angry; I did not expect that. I should have, but I did not. Not when she spilled tears just moments before. "I care for you, not the conquest."
"If you say so." Her voice breaks, she turns and rushes out of the room.
I wonder if Bruce is waiting for her. Waiting to gather her up in his strong arms. Willing to give the comfort that I cannot, willing to share her when I will not.
Let him have her. He will only regret it. She is bound to Clark in ways that I do not understand. I do not think even the Batman, with all his intellect, will figure out how to pry her loose from Superman's grasp.
I tried. Not very hard, perhaps, but I tried. And I had her first. It is not flattering to me, but she was right. I was her first lover, and it soothes me to think I got there before Clark, before Bruce.
But...I love her. I did not want to just be her first. I wanted to be her only, her eternal. Her one love.
At least I have made sure that Clark will not be that. No matter how long she waits now for him, no matter how good it is between them, she is no longer only his. She wanted to be unstuck, and I helped her with that. And maybe the next man who helps her will drive the wedge just a little farther in. Maybe one of us will pry her loose from him.
But I doubt it.
Some loves are eternal, no matter how destructive. Others are good and true and last only a few cycles of the moon. Tides come in and out, and love grows and then dies. And I know only that I loved her, that I still love her.
That I may always love her. Even if I will never have her again.
Even if I may never have had her at all.