"Clark Kent,will you stop pacing?You are making me dizzy!"
Clark looked at his wife as she sat on the sofa trying to concentrate on the news. He looked at the wall clock. "It's nearly midnight. Where is she?"
"Darling,if Lyta said she would be here at midnight,then so she will," replied Diana,trying to look around him as he stopped to stand in front of the television. "And please move. I don't have x-ray vision,you know."
Clark folded his arms across his chest. Even in a tee-shirt and jogging bottoms he looked as imposing as ever."I checked and I can't hear or see her anywhere within a two mile radius!"
Diana sighed and dropped the remote."You promised not to follow her with your senses."
"I didn't follow her. I only just checked to see if they were driving back. I tell you,I don't trust that boy,Diana. What's his name? Rod?"
"Todd. And,Clark,you don't trust anyone around your daughters. Just be thankful it is only Lyta on a date and not Lara too."
Clark sniffed."Lara has the decency to follow in her father's and godfather's footsteps and bury her head in books and science. Lyta,darn it,just has to be the most goddamn beautiful thing in this state and have every boy within a ten mile radius sniffing around her!"
Diana replied calmly,"Yes,she is beautiful but she isn't stupid and she can put anyone in their place. No boy will be able to man-handle her and get away with it. I made sure of that. And she really seemed excited to be going out with this one."
Clark said dismissively,as he walked to the window and stared out at the road,"She's seventeen,what does she know? And he's a typical jock."
Diana smiled. "Whatever that means."
She stood up. She was in a customary,loose,Grecian tunic with her bracelets on her wrists. She was as beautiful and elegant as ever. Like him she had barely seemed to have aged. She walked over to him,slipped her arms around his waist and leaned into him from behind. "You are very cute when you are all riled up."
Clark frowned. "Don't try to distract me,Diana. I'm not falling for that one. It's twenty to twelve and I'm not moving from here."
She kissed his nape and the side of his neck. He protested."Hey,come on,that's unfair! I need to see them drive up."
She let her hands slip under his tee-shirt and caress the flat planes of his still very taut, muscular stomach. "You don't need to see that and you know you shouldn't be spying on her. She hates that."
He gritted his teeth."Stop that...please."
"No..." She smiled smugly at the power she still had to make him,after so many years of marriage,weaken at her very touch. She nibbled his ear and he groaned. "You are asking for trouble,you know."
"Oh,I hope so."
He spun around and yanked her close ." Minx."
Diana laughed as they toppled back on the couch. She murmured,as he showered her neck with kisses,"Shouldn't we adjourn to the bedroom?Lyta will be coming soon..."
Before he could agree,a child-like voice announced,"I had a bad dream."
Diana and Clark looked up to see their eight year old son,Jonathan,standing near the arm of the couch,rubbing sleep from his eyes,with Krypto at his heels. Diana and Clark looked at each other ruefully. Clark moved off Diana and she took her son by the hand and drew him around. "Did you,sweetie? Want to tell me about it?"
He nodded and climbed in between his mother and father on the couch. Krypto settled at their feet."It was a monster and he was chasing me. Can I sleep with you and Daddy tonight?"
Diana looked at Clark ruefully who smiled wryly. He ruffled his son's head. "Of course you can. So,what was this monster like?"
Jon wrinkled his brow and gestured wildly with his hands"Big. Bigger than Daddy. Big like the room. With big teeth. And pointy bones on his hands and over his eyes . And I was calling for you and you didn't hear me. I couldn't fly,Mommy."
Clark looked at Diana worriedly. It seemed one of Jonathan's ability was a kind of second sight via dreams. Morpheus was one of his patrons and the child seemed to get warnings despite his age. A monster with pointy bones brought one thing to mind. Doomsday. Was it likely the monster would make an appearance? Doomsday had been killed many years ago. So if it was the monster, it could be a clone or just something like it.
Diana smoothed his head and put an arm around him."It was just a dream,and we are here to protect you. Always."
Jon put his arms around her neck and snuggled into her .Clark rubbed his chin. He would have to do some digging and talk to Bruce. The idea of that behemoth coming back in any form was bad but having it threaten his children was unthinkable. So far living quietly had proven to be be just what they needed to rear their kids in safety. The girls had grown up relatively safe,getting into trouble as any normal teenagers. All their powers had manifested themselves when they were toddlers and it had been quite a busy time keeping them from not using them indiscriminately. Many a time something would break because someone had been too enthusiastic or in a bad mood.
All of them had inherited the power of flight but none had gotten heat vision,something that had piqued Lyta. It didn't matter she was the only one with super hearing and vision,she really wanted the ability to "fry with my eyes".Lara had gotten her mother's animal empathy and father's super-breath. All three had levels of invulnerability, super-speed and strength. This promised to get stronger as they grew older.
The girls were still in the process of training on Themyscira as this could only be done when they had time off school. It was decided when they were eighteen they would decide ultimately what they wanted to do. Lyta was showing an impatience to follow in her mother's footsteps but Lara just wanted to go and do medicine and help in humanitarian causes once she was qualified. The only concern with Jon currently was to teach him to keep his powers under wraps from other children. Because of this he had been tutored at home until he was seven years old and it was only last year he had begun full time school in Smallville.
Clark was about to say something to reassure him too when another voice made them turn. "Hey,we got a family-get-together here or something?"
It was Lara. She was tall and lanky at seventeen. Her burnished hair was cut in a bob and it was plain to see she looked very much like her name sake,Clark's biological mother. She had only just decided to lift her head out of very rare copy of Emile by Rousseau that Uncle Bruce had loaned her and upon hearing voices,decided to come down to see what was going on.
Clark smiled as she came around to squeeze in between them. Despite being a teenager, and very studious in nature,she still loved to cuddle with her parents. Diana took Jon on her lap to make space for her.
Clark said."Well,it looks that way now. Jon had a nightmare."
Lara looked at him."Really,Jonny?"
Jon nodded solemnly."Yes. And it was really awful. It had big teeth and bones here and here and I was scared it would eat me..."
Lara petted him. "No monster is going to eat you. All Dad has to do is give it a shot of his heat vision or Mom tie it up in her lasso and whack it like she did that witch last year."
Jon pondered this."The witch with the purple hair?"
"Yes. Remember how Wonder Woman kicked her butt?She'll do it again."
Clark and Diana smiled but both knew they should take nothing for granted. The children did not know about Doomsday. Diana remembered the dreadful day when Superman died all too well. It had been the most terrible time for the people of Metropolis and the League and it was the first time she realized how much she loved him. She did not want to think that something so terrible would threaten again.
Diana gave her husband a knowing nod. They would talk later. She looked at the clock and said briskly," It's late and Jon should be in bed..."
Clark looked in the direction of the road and then at Jon."But he doesn't look sleepy. Maybe we can watch some tv."
"Come on,Diana,it's Friday night."
Lara looked at her father acutely and put an arm around his neck."Daddy,how about some real pancakes? I'm starved."
Clark perked up and kissed her brow.'That's a great idea! I can do some chocolate ones. What do you say,Jon?"
Jon suddenly forgot about the monster and sat up.''Can we,Mommy? "
Diana looked at her son's eager expression and sighed."Oh,very well."
Diana smiled wryly as Clark rose triumphantly and led the way into the kitchen. She brought over the real milk and eggs to him. In a world where everything was pre-cooked and only needed popping in a microwave,they took pride in doing things the old fashioned way. Plus getting real organic eggs and milk from Themyscira was a luxury many folk did not have.
"You are only doing this so you would have an excuse to peep at Lyta,"she murmured.
"Woman, you wound me."
Jon wanted to help so Diana sat him down at the kitchen table and put a bowl with eggs in from of him and bade Lara to make sure he didn't make a mess. She went to help Clark take out the frying pan whilst he took out the cocoa powder and chocolate.
Minutes later Clark was ready to drop the first pancake in a plate when Diana saw him turn and look in the direction of the road. It was clear Lyta was home from the look of relief in his eyes.
She hit him on the arm."Stop ogling."
He said defensively,"I wasn't. I was just stretching my neck. I ...Hmmm,she is being dropped off by one of her female friends. Where's Todd?"
"Oh oh...Our little girl looks mad!"
Diana blinked as she could hear the door slamming and something creak and fall. She closed her eyes as Clark winced ."The door!"
Lara and Jon looked up in curiosity. "What was that?"
They all went out into the living room to see Lyta lifting the door and trying to hang it back onto its hinges. She turned and looked at her parents with a guilty flush. Slamming doors was a no-no in the Kent household for more than one reason;the most obvious being it was a mark of respect to not do it.
"Sorry,"she said gruffly. Even in a bad mood one could see how beautiful she was;with eyes like sapphires and hair that curled on her back the color of midnight. She was the same height as Lara but had filled out already and in the right places.
Clark took the door off her to weld it back in place whilst her mother regarded her with a raised brow."Well?"
Lyta took off her coat to reveal a pretty blouse and skirt that was soiled and torn in places. Diana's face turned dark. "What happened?"
Clark turned and his fingers suddenly dug deep into the door and dented the steel. "When I get my hands on him...,"he began angrily,letting the door go to hang on one hinge
Lyta put her hand out quickly to catch her father's shirt tail. "No. It's not what you think...He is an idiot,yes,but he didn't do this."
Clark stopped and turned. "Explain yourself,young lady."
"I...sort of got into a fight,"she returned grudgingly
Lyta folded her arms. "I went to the party with him and it was awful. It was full of people drinking and carrying on like idiots. I thought he and his ex had broken up but it seems they hadn't really,or maybe he just did not tell her. I don't know but she took it badly. She and her friends sort of ganged up to make fun of me and I lost my temper and poured my drink over her head and they set upon me. It didn't hurt. In fact,it tickled but they did tug at my clothes a bit ."
"And what did you do? Please tell me you didn't hit or break anyone's bones?" pleaded her mother looking worried now.
She shook her head and said impatiently,"No. I know I'm not supposed to display my strength in public. But I couldn't very well stand there. I only threw a few of them in the swimming pool and stormed off. Todd was mad at me for spoiling the party and he didn't even stand up for me so I just left."
Diana reached out."I am sorry."
Clark said dryly,"Sounds an idiot. So,who dropped you back home?"
"Anna." She looked at her mother and sank upon the couch perplexed. "I thought he liked me. I liked him..."
Lara and Jon came towards her. Lara said wryly, "That crowd are as shallow as they come. I could have told you that. But who listens to me?"
Jon put his hand around her neck."Don't cry,Lyta."
Lyta snorted."Cry? Not on your life! I'm more mad than sad,Jonny."
Jon declared confidently,"We're making pancakes. You will feel better soon."
Lyta smiled and hugged him but observed crossly,"I will never understand boys. They either stare at me like fools who have no tongue and those who do speak to me are cowards like Todd. Did you have that problem,Mom?"
Diana smiled and looked at her husband. "Oh,I remember even some Supermen found me intimidating and ran away."
All eyes turned towards Clark. Lyta raised her brows. "Really?You,Daddy?"
Lara asked eagerly,"What did he do?"
Clark began,"The pancakes ..."
Diana took his arm."Oh,no you don't. Explain to your daughter why boys run away or just stand and stare."
"Hey,come on. No fair to throw that in my face. I was young and you were clueless!"
Lyta pressed her father."Come on,Dad,what did you do?"
"I didn't do anything...,"he protested with a half laugh knowing full well what was coming.
Diana said primly,"That's right you didn't."
Whilst she turned to explain to her girls,Jon,who really didn't see the point of all of this,went to play with Krypto. "When you father first met me it was shortly after I had come from Themyscira. I was very naive and never saw men and I would say I was fascinated by him. I was a little scared too but I suspected he was attracted to me . I didn't really grasp the subtleties of male and female relationships but I wanted to see more of him. So with some clever wheeling and dealing by your father,as Clark Kent,Superman and Wonder Woman met up for what you could say was a first date."
Lara frowned."You had a date back then? But I thought Daddy was married to Lois Lane ?"
"No,this was way before."
"Lois and I were just co-workers. She liked Superman and didn't know about Clark Kent,"Clark explained,causing Lyta and Lara to screw their faces up at that. Their loyalty to their father was such that they could never understand why anyone could ever not love him whether he was Superman or Clark.
Diana went on."We met up somewhere isolated,away from prying eyes,and he didn't even say hi. He just planted one on me before I could say a word."
Lyta rebuked,"Daddy! What kind of behavior was that?"
Lara observed,"I wonder what Dad would do if a boy did that to any of us?."
Clark said ruefully,"In my defense,I was smitten. She looked so darn adorable I couldn't help myself. But that was foolish. And yes,I would knock the block off anyone to do that to anyone of you. Still,your mother took it very graciously."
Diana smiled."He apologized and looked so awkward and cute I couldn't be mad. I remember he said something like 'that was out of line'." Diana laughed to herself and at her husband's sheepish expression. She continued," But we began to talk and were barely ten minutes into our "date" when we were called away to Olympus to battle Darkseid. It was a hard battle but we worked together and won .When we came back your father did a,what he likes to call,"a one eighty" and said to me that he wasn't interested anymore."
Clark exclaimed,"Diana,I never said that! I told you that we were too different and I could never fit into your world."
Lyta looked perplexed. "You said that?You told Mom that you were too different? But that's so silly!Did you hit your head in Olympus?"
"Very funny but I really felt I wasn't worthy of your Mom,that's all. I was a farm boy and she a Princess with Gods for patrons. I felt out of her league. She knew that and she wasn't too cut up about it .In fact,she agreed we should keep it platonic,"he said giving his wife an accusing look.
The girls looked at their mother who shrugged. "What did I know? I was young and foolish. He,who ought to have known better,was just happy to run ."
"Dad,so you mean you just stopped liking her? Just like that? Well,boys are stupid and I don't want to have anything to do with them,"Lyta declared.
Lara concurred."Dad,that was not very gallant,if I must say. I wonder Mom even gave you a second chance."
Diana said mischievously,"I often wonder myself and believe me when I say he put his foot in his mouth many times before we got together."
Clark tutted."Now I know how Bruce feels when he says they gang up on him. Diana, shame on you. Is this the wisdom of Athena?" Diana stuck her tongue out at him.
He laughed but looked at Lyta and explained," It was complicated and don't think I didn't suffer any doubts after or regret. But when a guy is young sometimes we do stupid things and aren't really ready to face up to certain situations. I wasn't brave enough nor patient enough to understand nor wait for your mother because I truly thought she and I would have never worked romantically. I mean,what did I have to offer her? She was a princess and diplomat. But we became good friends and that allowed me to see beyond what was on the surface and really understand her and see that,despite it all,we weren't that different when it came to how we saw the world."
He patted her hair."Todd may very well be a coward but he is still only seventeen and in a few years time he may be a different person. Same with the other boys who are tongue-tied around you. Look,Honey,sometimes things don't work out but we need to get to know people first before we jump into anything. One day I hope you will find someone and be as happy as your mom and I but in the mean time,enjoy being young and free . Because it gets really complicated as time goes by."
She sighed."I guess. But I am not going on any date with anyone for a long time."
Clark,to Diana's amusement,brightened at that and said soothingly,"Whatever you feel..."
Lyta looked up inquiringly,"So,are we really making pancakes?"
Jon jumped up and took her hand."Yes. Come!"Lyta got up and Lara said,"Dad's gonna do us chocolate ones..."
As the children went towards the kitchen Diana looked at Clark,who looked very smug as he went to finish welding the door. "You must be the happiest father in Kansas."
Clark retorted, "I don't know what you are talking about. I thought I handled that pretty well considering you left me to flounder."
Diana coyly tilted her head at him. "But you acquitted yourself so well,my love."
He came to her when he was finished and put his arms around her."Do you think we need to worry about what Jon saw?"
She leaned into him."I don't know. He is still so small and much of what he sees is never in context. But you will go do some digging,right?"
"Tomorrow first thing. Or maybe I could go take a spin by the Fortress tonight. After all,you and I have company in bed."
Diana batted her lashes at him."And I was so looking forward to trouble."
He chuckled and whispered in her ear,"Tell you what,I'll take time off the roster on Monday if you give classes a miss and when they go to school we can have a lot of trouble then."
"It's a deal. Two whole days to wait. Still,it will be nice to have a whole day to ourselves and not have to worry about anyone walking in on us or your work with the League or my teaching ."
"We can go somewhere isolated. How about that nice little spot in the mystical areas in Themyscira?"
"Perfect..."she murmured,nuzzling his neck.
Lyta poked her head into the room to see what was keeping them and rolled her eyes to see them about to kiss each other. "Hey,will you two cut that out ? You have three hungry children waiting here. Come on,Dad,you can cuddle Mom later. Honestly,you two start up anytime anywhere."
The pair looked up and grinned unrepentant. It was an accusation their daughters normally liked to hurl at them that did not bother them in the least. Clark did not let go of Diana. He waved his daughter away. "I'm coming. Let me have one moment with your mother."
Lyta rolled her eyes."Whatever."
Whilst they stole their moment,they heard a cry and crash and the smell of burning. "MOM!DAD!You would not believe what just happened!" shrieked Lara over Krypto's excited barking.
Jon squealed."I can fry with my eyes!"
Lyta cried,"What?Nooo! That's so not fair!"
Diana groaned."I think someone has taken after his father."
Clark's eyes twinkled with pride."I tell you there is never a dull moment in this house. I love you and I love our family."
Author's note. This is it. End of Best Friends. I wanted to just convey the warmth of the Super/Wonder family . I hope everyone who took the time to read the story enjoyed something about it and I thank all of you who have been so wonderful to give feed back.