As The Watchtower Turns


I realize that the new recruits didn't show up in the JLU until after the Thanagarian invasion in the JLA (or something), but I figure if DC can retcon their own canon into insensibility, then I should be allowed to go a little AU.


John Stewart skidded into the monitor room, wearing the haggard countenance of someone who was at the end of his proverbial rope, the rest of which was rapidly fraying. He surveyed his surroundings, and, upon discovering that the only other occupant of the security station was Supergirl, let out a relieved sigh.

"When did the JLA Watchtower become Peyton Place?" he beseeched of the ether.

The ether, predictably – or maybe not so predictably, considering what Zatanna Zatara and John Constantine had been up to in one of the labs, their magic swirling around them and making random objects float – did not answer.

Kara, however, did. She turned to him, wearing a quizzical expression on her countenance. "What does an apartment complex in Greenwich Village have to do with the craziness that is a normal day on the moon?" she asked, smirking at him with her eyebrows.

She'd definitely been spending too much time with Wally.

"Peyton Place was an old television show," John corrected. At Kara's uncomprehending look, he added, "The precursor to Melrose Place." It had been his then-girlfriend's favorite show, and in return for watching the mind-numbing hour of drivel with her, she'd been very…appreciative.

Kara still looked blank.

John cudgeled his brain and finally came up with something a bit newer that she might know. "Which was the precursor to Beverly Hills, 90210?" he offered as a last-ditch effort of explanation.

Comprehension dawned, lighting Kara's face up like the sunshine she was so often compared to. "Oh! Why didn't you say so?"

Eyebrows knitting together in a frown of frustration, John pointedly did not say, "But I just did!" Instead, he simply said, "I'm a bit out of sorts. Things are even crazier around here than normal."

"What do you mean?" Kara asked curiously, spinning her chair around so she could see both him and the screens she was monitoring.

John groaned and flopped down in the chair across from her. "I just walked in on Booster Gold and Blue Beetle making out in one of the supply closets," he said, sounding seriously aggrieved. If there was one thing he could have lived the rest of his life without seeing, it was Booster Gold's naked ass.

Kara coughed to cover her knee-jerk reaction – a smile – and said, "Well, I'm not surprised." At his frown, she elaborated, "I mean, they're still in the honeymoon phase of their relationship, and the closets are prime trysting places since there aren't any security cameras in them."

Eyeing Superman's supposedly virginal – or so the man thought – cousin, John drawled, "And how exactly do you know that?"

Blushing, Kara focused intently on the screen in front of her showing the Weather Channel and mumbled, "Wally told me."

Perhaps it hadn't just been wishful thinking on Wally's part when he'd bragged about getting somewhere with Supergirl.

"Apparently it's common knowledge among the station couples," Kara continued, trying to cover her embarrassment. "Especially with so many people having hooked up lately."

"Oh?" John said, trying to hide his curiousity. He wasn't the last in the Justice League to know anything by any means, but aside from the janitor, he was pretty much as low on the totem pole as a person could get. People thought he was as much above gossip as Superman; except Superman had super-hearing, and John…didn't.

"Well, of course there's Huntress and the Question," Kara started.

John nodded, pleased; he'd actually heard about those two. He frowned as he acknowledged that it was unlikely anyone hadn't 'heard' them; those two were already legendary in the League for their loud arguments and equally vociferous 'apologies.'

Kara toggled a few switches and the Weather Channel faded out, replaced by CNN with a breaking news report about the oil fires in Kasnia. "And Green Arrow finally let himself be caught by Black Canary. Booster and Beetle are together, as you know, along with Fire and Ice."

Booster's naked ass was not a memory John wanted to revisit; Fire and Ice together, however… But he had a girlfriend, and shouldn't be entertaining such thoughts. "Shayera mentioned something about Fire being 'Brazilian' but I thought she was joking."

Kara shrugged. "She probably didn't know. They've been rather discreet – for our bunch, anyway." She grimaced and made a noise of disgust as 'Lucky Javelin #7' commed for permission to exit the Javelin bay. "Much more so than Arsenal, at least," she said as she granted the asked-for permission.

"Ah, yes; him and Grace Choi keep ruining the shocks in the Javelins," John groused, folding his arms over his chest in a militant pose. Sex in a car – a car that wasn't borrowed – was one thing, but in the Javelins? Jiminy Christmas. People used them daily.

"They used to, but that was before they broke up," Kara informed him. "Grace finally brought Thunder over to the bi side, and Arsenal's with Nightwing now. Combining the archer's exhibitionist tendencies with the acrobat's flexibility…" A dopey smile hovered around her face for a few moments before she shook it off. "Well, suffice to say, Batman and Green Arrow didn't remain ignorant of their new family ties for long."

A wave of nausea rolled over John. He had a very vivid image in his head of Batman playing Ward Cleaver and Green Arrow playing June. The worst part was, Ollie actually didn't look half-bad in the dress and pearls. The heels had to go, though, what with the man's hairy legs.

John spared a moment to idly wonder if being a member of the Justice League – or simply a superhero – had finally driven him over that fine line between a justifiable neurosis into a full-blown delusional psychosis.

"And then of course there's Batman and Diana–" Kara continued, oblivious to John's inner turmoil.

John interrupted, horrified. "Batman and Diana are…dating?" he said, the last word barely squeaking out of his throat. Batman was Batman, and Diana was…about as far on the other end of spectrum from Batman as was possible.

Eyes widening to dramatic proportions, Kara said, "Rao, no! Just…no." She laughed, but in that softly amused way that let people know she wasn't amused by them, rather just the circumstances. She was definitely Superman's cousin. "Diana is dating her old friend Artemis. And Batman finally gave in to Vixen."

John felt that he finally knew what the meaning of poleaxed was. Diana getting together with Artemis wasn't entirely unexpected; the fact that a woman from Paradise Island had actually dated any man was more surprising. But Batman, the Dark Knight, who brooded like it was going out of style, and Vixen, the internationally acclaimed supermodel, who was more social than…anyone? Together?

Add to that fact that not only was Batman in a romantic relationship, but happily so, and John didn't know how the universe, or at least their small corner of it, hadn't been obliterated. A happy Bat… That was so wrong that John thought the mere mention of the idea of it should have threatened the structural integrity of reality. Either that, or overloaded the allowable quotient of romance on the Watchtower and sent it spinning off into space.

At that moment, a station-wide alert sounded, which John only idly noted. Supergirl turned back to the monitors, dismissing him with a smile and some carefully chosen words. John nodded vaguely in reply, too focused on his own inner turmoil to register the picture on the ten-foot screen in front of him: Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Live Wire on a crime spree in Metropolis. Currently, they were raiding a Victoria's Secret.

The Watchtower is turning into a real life soap opera, John thought with a wincing sigh as he took his leave of the monitor room. Next thing you know, Shayera will turn out to have a husband back on Thanagar, and I'll have to fight for her honor or somesuch drivel.


THE END