Beyond Meta, or What the Hell Are They Doing to Us?
Diana sat at the laminate table, a selection of comics in a pile in front of her. She was cutting out images of herself from them and compiling them into an impromptu collage.
"Nice," Kal said as he stopped to look at what she was doing. "Greatest hits?" He tossed a brew to Bruce, snapped one open for himself.
"Give me that," she said, grabbing the beer and guzzling half of it.
"I love a woman who can hold her liquor," Bruce said, as he changed the channel on the television. "Why is there nothing but infomercials?"
"Because you won't spring for premium," Kal muttered.
"I heard that."
"I meant you to." Kal leaned down. "Not that I mind seeing you splayed all over the table"--his eyebrows went up and down in a funny way that made her laugh--"but what the hell are you doing?" He eyed his beer meaningfully as he pushed a few pictures to the front.
She noticed they all showed her with particularly large bazoombas. "Stop that," she said, as she pushed the beer back into his hand. "Look at these."
"No, I mean look at them, don't ogle them." She pulled one out. "I look like I'm on steroids. How do I even lift my arms?"
"It's not your arms I'm looking at."
"Boob shots? Oooh, I want to look." Bruce got up and hurried over. "Oh, I remember that one. It was when they were trying to get us together."
"Like that would ever happen." She giggled as his hands meandered down her hair, around to her throat and then down and down...
"Mmmm, a fistful of Dianas."
"Yeah, that's original." Kal pushed him away from her. "I like this one. Remember this one?"
It was when she'd gone after the dragon queen. She was thin in this book. Barely a muscle on her and nearly flat. And her face was very different from any of the others. She realized she'd seen that face before. "I look like Courtney Cox."
"Courtney Cox-Arquette," Bruce corrected her absently, ever the social butterfly. "It wasn't your best look."
Kal found the book she'd cut the shot from and flipped the pages until it showed him pounding on her chest. "Oh, I think it was okay." He dug around in the pictures, pulled out another and studied it. "This is from Asgard, isn't it?"
She nodded. She could still smell the bonfires. She'd thought she'd never get the smell out of her hair.
"You look pretty built here."
"That's my point. I go up and down like I'm...Christian Bale."
"Sweetie, we've been over this." Bruce leaned down. "We're drawn by many different people with many different visions. Week to week, there's no telling how we might look."
"I want to be drawn by a woman."
"A gay woman," Kal said, grinning at Bruce.
"Mmmm, girl on girl. Never get enough of that."
Diana pushed the pictures away and grabbed another set of comics. "Have you seen this?"
They both started to read. There was a long silence. Bruce moved his mouth as he read, and Kal kept going back to start over.
"Do you want me to sum up?" she asked when she got tired of waiting.
"We've got it under control." Kal looked at Bruce. "We've got it under control, right?"
Bruce pushed the books closed. "In the interest of time, why don't you sum up?"
"They're killing us."
"Seriously? They killed us?" Kal began to rifle through the books.
She set her hand on his, stopping him. "You they're just making look stupid."
"Stupid-er, you mean." Bruce giggled.
"Don't laugh, Bruce. He beats the holy shit out of you. I have to rescue you. Then I get to carry you like a big girlie-man out of the Watchtower."
"Do not!" Bruce reached for the book.
Kal pushed his hand back. He had that faraway look that meant he was using his super-vision. "Oh, she so does, my friend. Wow, I really do a number on you. You heal fast, if it's any consolation?"
"I shouldn't heal fast. I'm not meta."
"Like you don't remind us of that every ten minutes?" Kal continued his perusal of the closed books. "Ooh, look who's here. I always thought she was such a hottie." Kal opened the book so Bruce and Diana can see.
All three of them murmured, "Sasha," at the same time. The boys looked at her.
"I was raised on an island of women. Do you really think that I'm naturally straight?"
They both got the dreamy girl-on-girl look again, and she was sorry she'd said anything.
"So back to this beating the crap out of me part." Bruce seemed seriously worried. "Is it going to hurt?"
"No, it's going to feel like you've been sitting on your ass all day watching pay-per-view." Diana glared at him.
"We have pay-per-view?" Kal frowned. "When did we get that? Why didn't you tell me?"
"What do you care? All you watch is the farm channel." Bruce turned back to Diana. "You carry me? In your arms? Might as well call me Robin and get it over with."
"So I don't get hurt?" Kal looked very pleased.
"You're just a big dupe," she said.
"Nothing new there." Bruce walked back to the couch, interest in the books apparently over.
"It's your fault, too, Bruce. You built this satellite thing to keep tabs on the metas. And, of course, it's taken over by your enemies."
"Like that would ever happen..." Kal said, winking at her.
"That was NOT my fault." Bruce didn't turn around.
"Your paranoia is likely to be the ruin of all of us," she said to his back.
"Nothing new there," Kal said in a snotty tone, a little Krytponian sing-song in his voice. "How many times have you planned for our destruction, Bruce? When do you find the time between chicks and movies?"
"I'm a good multi-tasker," Bruce said, proving he was by changing the channel on the remote while simultaneously scratching his nuts.
"And couth to boot." Diana sighed. "Why can't they just leave us alone? Look at what they've done to all of us in the last few years."
"You looked so hot with that red blindfold, Diana. Didn't she look hot, Bruce?"
"She looked hot. Bondage Wonder Woman."
"Funny." She pulled Kal with her to the couch, sat between him and Bruce.
"Why do you always get to be in the middle?" Kal asked, pouting quite prettily.
Sighing, she got up and let him sit in the middle. Big girl.
"I like it better when she's in the middle." Bruce shot Kal a "You just don't get it" look. "Basic anatomy dictates it works better with her in the middle."
"And you can't see her boobs if I'm sitting here."
"Right. That too." Bruce peered around Kal. "Yep, still big."
She pushed at them. They were big. But not giganamous like in the stupid books. "I think I'd fall over if I had melons like they draw me with."
"You'd fall over, but you'd have landing pads." Kal giggled. It was a toss up whether he or Bruce had the higher pitched snicker.
"Bounce, bounce, bounce." Bruce slapped Kal on the shoulder.
Kal slapped him right back.
"Shit! That hurt!"
"Hey, I'm just practicing for my big moment in the books."
"You won't even see it," Diana said. "You don't know what you're doing, and when we do finally see it, it's in hazy flashback mode."
"I hate it when they draw it like that." Bruce sighed. "You sure you carry me out like a girl?"
"I take very good care of you. I'm the picture of devotion." She scowled. "Although I don't know why. You've got Sasha. You've got Alfred."
Kal snickered and they both looked at him. "Manservant. I'm just saying."
Diana got up and pushed herself into the little bit of space left between them. "This is why I get the middle. When you start acting like grown-ups, one of you can sit in the middle." She took a deep breath--sometimes dealing with these two gave her a headache. "As I was saying. Sasha. Catwoman."
"Ooh, I get Selina again? Which book is that in?" Bruce oomphed loudly as she elbowed him in the ribs. "You're just jealous, Diana. Think of those lithe, leather-clad thighs sliding around your body."
She did. She was suddenly in a very nice girl-on-girl world that did not include city-boy and his country cousin as voyeurs.
"Come back, sweetheart." Kal tickled her--or tried to. The armor got in the way.
"Where's Lois, anyway?" Bruce asked.
Kal shrugged, so Diana answered. "She's boycotting. After that last, incomprehensible storyline where they split Kal apart again, she'd had enough. Plus they made her wear that peasant girl outfit and pick fruit." So not Lois. Although she had looked hot in the get-up.
"That was the one with you guys fighting?" Bruce pretended to act out Kal and her fighting. He made Kal into a big wuss.
"That was only one of the ones with us fighting. Whenever they need to boost ratings, they have Diana and me fight. Or hint we might screw." Kal was flipping absently through a newspaper as he talked. At their silence, he looked up. "What? I can't be smart?"
"Well, it's just that you usually aren't," she said.
"I'm not stupid," Bruce said with a breathy Jessica Rabbit voice. "I'm just drawn that way."
For a moment, they all went to a nice Jessica Rabbit place.
"I'm not stupid, either." Bruce leaned his head back. "And I do have a life. Why won't they let Batman have a damn life. Fight, patrol, pretend to be a playboy. Why can't I just be a playboy for real? Wouldn't that be easier?"
"They'd see the scars," Kal said.
"Oh, yeah." Bruce looked down. "I hate those scars."
"They're very sexy," Diana said, patting his hand and thinking about Selina some more.
Kal broke the silence. "So, are we officially worried about this new storyline?"
Bruce watched her, his expression ready to go either way.
"I think one of us is going to die," Diana said softly.
"Well, it's Bruce's turn." Kal slammed down the newspaper. "I've died already."
"Yeah. We all had to live through that." Bruce rolled his eyes. "How long did they drag that out? How many books did we get out of that?"
"At least you guys have books. Some of us just have the one." Diana sighed. "I think it's going to be me."
"They can't kill you."
"Why not? They're brought Donna back. She looks just like me. Except she has better sense when it comes to choosing a costume." Diana looked down at her well-displayed assets. "Why do I continue to wear this outdated, Miss America bathing suit of a uniform? It makes no sense."
"Maybe it's the change of life? You're too warm?" Kal looked down. "Just trying to help."
"I'm made of clay, Kal. Not a real woman. No time of the month, no change of life."
"So, that's not PMS? You're really just a moody bitch?" Bruce clapped his hand over his mouth. He had obviously not meant to say that out loud.
"Getting bitchier by the minute, too." She held her hands out in front of her. Studied them. "Do you think I'd kill someone?"
"Yeah, why not?"
She dropped her hands. "Yeah, that's what I thought." Leaning her head against Bruce's shoulder she felt Kal pull her legs up across his lap. Which left her at a very odd angle. "Ow."
"We get to share."
"Share some other time." She pulled her legs off him, sat up straight.
"Way to ruin it for both of us, you big dope." Bruce flipped the channel. "Who are you going to kill?"
"Cool. Can I watch?"
"No. You're too busy watching Sasha get skewered."
"Sasha," they all three said again in hushed tones.
"Can I watch you kill Lord?" Kal grinned at her.
"Oh, yes. And you get to judge."
"Judge? You mean judge you?"
"Why?" He rolled his eyes. "When will they drop this 'I can't kill' crap? So damn stupid."
"Plus, you big ingrate, I do it to save you. Well and to save mankind. And because I have gray eyes."
Kal glanced at her. "I hate to break it to you, love. Your eyes are brown."
"Yeah, you're Greek," Bruce said. "You have great brown eyes."
"Well, we all know that. But the guys who draw me apparently think I'm part Swedish."
They all went to a nice Swedish place for a moment.
"They won't kill you off, Diana. You have a movie coming out. With that Buffy guy directing it."
She looked at Bruce like he was an idiot.
"What?" He looked at Kal. "What?"
"He killed off Buffy. Twice."
Diana nodded. "And Darla? And Fred? And Cordelia?"
"And don't forget Joyce, Tara, Anya, Lilah, Jenny, Kendra. And a bunch of those wannabe slayers." Kal nodded. "I'm thinking the Whedon argument is not going to hold water."
"Besides," Diana said. "We all have movies coming out."
"I know. A blonde Lois. It's just wrong." Kal shook his head.
"She's very pretty."
"She's not Lois."
Bruce shot him a look. "Lois goes back and forth from red-haired to brunette. Is it such a stretch that she'd try blonde?"
"She's not a blonde." The issue was obviously closed to Kal.
"Fine, she's not a blonde," Diana said, remembering that old movie where they'd try to make her a blonde. As if. "I'm still worried that one of us is toast."
"Maybe they're just working their way up to a big Trinity moment. I mean a real Trinity moment. One plus one plus one. Girl on boy on boy action." Bruce sighed, clearly in a very happy mental space.
"Right. Like that's going to happen." Diana put her hands on their thighs and pushed herself up. "I'm sick of worrying about this. I'm going to go beat up some super villain." She could feel her smile working its way from innocent to wicked. Was Cheetah busy and would she put on that slinky cat suit if Diana asked very, very nicely? She wasn't Selina, but in a pinch...
"Can we watch?"
Bruce hit Kal. "Cut it out, you perv. Diana just needs time alone." He smiled up at her. "They're not going to kill you off, doll. Trust me on that." He went back to playing with the remote.
Kal nodded then went back to reading the paper.
Diana walked over to the comic books piled on the table and, with a casual flick of her wrist, knocked them all off the table. They opened to various shots of her, boobs accented to the max.
With a tired sigh, she went in search of a cat to fight with.
Fight being a relative term.