This story is the requested sequel to More Than Words.
The prequel which got written first was called Words Unspoken.
The time-line is loosely based off the JLU animated series.
Thanks to my beta Imfanci.
The Javelin docked in the hanger of the Watchtower and out stepped Hawkgirl, Flash, Wonder Woman and Superman. They had been away for week on a distant planet that needed their aid in rebuilding after a long civil war. The ground staff waved at them as they made their way past numerous crafts towards the elevator. It was always a pleasure to see the heroes up close and personal and, most importantly, safe.
They walked past the long line of air and space-crafts towards the elevator, when Diana stopped near the space that had her jet. It was currently not wearing its invisible cloak and it stood with a sleek, silvery, almost translucent type of sheen under the lights.
Diana said, "I need to check out some things. Go ahead without me."
Shyera nodded. "Fine. But don't take too long. I think Batman wants us to sit in on the weekly meeting before we disperse."
Flash grumbled. "Leave it to Bats to want to hold a meeting after a week long mission. Some of us have lives, you know."
Superman smiled. "It'll give us a chance to catch up on what's been happening since we've been gone. Besides it's not like if you have a wife and kids to rush home to."
Flash frowned. "Well, if Batman keeps us grounded, I'll never get the chance to have a wife and children. I mean, it's okay for you three. Diana is a workaholic; Supes is just plain inexhaustible and Shyera…well, what has she got to go to since John dumped her for Mari now?"
Superman very gently flicked his head with a finger. "Watch your mouth."
"Ow! Hey, you'll give me brain damage doing that!"
"I know how hard to hit you by now. Honestly, Wally, have you no tact?"
Shyera sighed. "It's okay, Clark. He's right. I have nothing to rush home to. Might as well look forward to sitting for an hour at the conference table."
Wally muttered, "We are among the most powerful people in the world. All four of us and you'd think we'd be beating them off with a stick. It sucks not to have gotten laid in the last two yea-…" Flash reddened and backtracked. " Ah…um…month…"
Shyera grinned and slipped her arm through his. "So, you've had a dry spell for two years, huh?"
"No! I had dates…I mean …"
They entered the elevator and pressed for the observation deck. Superman, due to his towering over the two, politely stood at the back of elevator.
She laughed. "It's okay, Wally. It's not a crime to have a dry spell."
Superman felt his comlink vibrate. He never needed to have it beeping loudly. Not with his hearing. But instinct told him it was not an emergency. Very subtly he raised his hand as if to scratch the back of his head and glanced swiftly to see a signal blinking at his wrist.
He said casually, "I'm getting off here."
Flash looked at him oddly as he pressed the button on the elevator to stop. It was the floor to the lab. "What's up?"
"I just remembered I need to do something in the lab for Steel. I'll be there for the meeting."
As he left them, Shyera said drolly, "I bet even Superman is unlucky in love. I think he broke up with that Lois Lane woman a while back. So don't feel bad."
Wally remarked, "At least we three had some action. I think Diana must have never had any at all. Since she and Bruce stopped the flirting after Darkseid, I haven't seen her look at anyone. I think the Bat must have broken her heart bad."
Shyera rolled her eyes. "Oh please, Wally. Diana was a mere child back then. She barely understood the dating rules between men and women. Her little playground antics with Bruce was not what I would even call love. You don't just fall for the first man that piques your interest. Especially if you are a woman brought up like Diana who has not even had much exposure to men. And as much as we love Bruce, the "I am Batman, too grim and uptight for my cowl" attitude makes him poor boyfriend material. She needs to see what else is on offer. Besides, Diana seems so much more …calmer these days. She's found purpose in her job as Ambassador and I doubt she's pining for anyone."
Superman went down and got off one level above the Hanger. He headed to an area used to store condemned or damaged fittings, furnishings, electronic and mechanical parts until they could be carried back down to earth to be recycled or dumped. It was basically known as the Junk Room by everyone and was more frequented by the cleaning or salvage robots. No Leaguer really had cause to visit because it was a useless room that occasionally trembled from the vibrations coming from the hanger below where crafts were being serviced or taking off.
But he had come to know this place very well in the last couple of months.
As he entered the dark room, he heard the sound of a beating heart. He walked towards it. He had no need for light. Not with his superior vision. He could see the whole room without having to flick on a switch.
He saw what he sought: a feminine outline against the wall.
He soundlessly approached her, the irises of his eyes almost glowing like a warm ember.
They reached for each other eagerly.
Lips locked hungrily.
Despite being on a mission together, they had been so busy there had not been any moments to spare to fly out and meet up secretly. Diana had to share quarters with Shyera which made it impossible for him to even sneak in to be near her at night. They could not kiss or touch each other. And it had been trying to say the least.
Since starting their affair some eight months ago they had miraculously managed to keep it secret. It had taken a lot of stealth, excuses, quick thinking on their feet, and white lies. The latter Diana found the toughest. She never had to avoid the truth. She never told lies. And she thought maybe it would have been easy simply just not admitting to the truth instead of actually not telling a lie. But it proved more complicated than she expected. Especially when one had the likes of Batman and the Martian Manhunter in the same room. Superman was accustomed as Clark Kent making excuses to cover his identity but even he was finding it hard to keep this under wraps.
They now had little time.
They were expected up in the conference room in fifteen minutes. They could have waited to be with each other after the meeting, when they could have flown out of the Watchtower, to meet up anywhere in the world. But Diana estimated that would be about two hours too long for her. She could not wait. So she had summoned him to one of the few places in the Watchtower where they could discreetly be with each other. The recruitment of more League members made meeting in each other's rooms dangerous now. Two months ago she had Fire move in the quarters next to her, making it imperative they find a new place to rendezvous.
Now there was little need for in-depth exploration.
They were wound up too tightly for that.
Diana's hand fumbled with his belt and helped him yank down his tights. Clark lifted her and braced her back against the wall. She wrapped her arms about his neck and her legs around his hips. He pulled aside the fabric of her star spangled pants and they groaned in unison as he thrust into her.
The sound of his flesh meeting hers filled the darkness. They were accompanied by their combined moans and gasps. He could press her harder here because the tremors were assumed by all to be as a result of what was going on just beneath them. No one paid attention to this slight rumbling which was drowned out more often than not by the roar of engines or mechanical tools being used to weld and cut and repair aircraft below.
Diana's hands curled upon his shoulders and he could feel her nails beginning to dig into his flesh. Clark caught her wrists and pinned them on either side of the wall. He had to, on more than one occasion, explain tears on the shoulders and back of his uniform and he knew this time he wouldn't be able to find an excuse.
He kissed her deeply and with one final thrust of his hips pinned her body to the cold metal wall. Diana arched her back as a powerful wave of ecstasy hit her. She felt his hold on her wrists ease and she moved to wrap her arms around his neck and keen her pleasure. He groaned and felt his body shudder and he gratefully surrendered to her, as she pulled him along into an abyss of agonizing bliss.
They slid to the floor, Clark on his knees, holding her close.
They panted. Trying to catch their breaths. Diana closed her eyes and leaned her head back. Gods, it was just so good being with him.
Clark was breathing her in as his own heart slowed. He bent to kiss a spot at her neck, making her shiver. She tasted like honey and smelled of fresh blossoms. He was addicted to her. It was the only explanation for his recklessness and willingness to continue this subterfuge.
After a minute, he muttered, "I don't want to work on any more missions with you."
Diana stiffened and looked at him startled. "What?"
"If you aren't there, I can cope. Knowing I'll see you when I get back. But having you near and not able to touch or kiss you…it's the worst torture a man can feel. "
Her eyes warmed at that confession. For a moment she had been scared.
She sighed and raked her fingers though his silky locks, playing with the hair that curled at his nape. "I know. I think you might be right but surely they will know something is up if we do that? We always team up. It's a given. I can see people wondering if we stop doing what they always expect of us."
Diana moved to ease off him. She would dearly love just to rest with him in the aftermath but right now they had a meeting to attend.
They stood up to fix their uniforms.
He pulled up his tights and buckled his belt. "How long are we going to sneak around like this? There is only so much lying and excuses we can make. One day we will get caught. I hate having to rush us. To hide that I want you. To hide that I just had you."
Diana regarded him, a little puzzled. "What do you want to do, Clark? Tell them? You know how people gossip. Look at what happened between John and Shyera. I don't want that to happen to us."
"Diana, hiding it will not lessen the fact that we may or may not end up like John and Shyera. I know you hate lying as much as I do." He smoothed her hair and straightened her tiara.
Her blue eyes looked troubled. She whispered, "I do but if it means we keep this special…"
"Is it special if we have to hide it?"
"What do you mean?"
He took her hand. "I want to tell my mother and father about you. I want to take you home for Christmas. I want you be able to sit with me in the commissary and hold your hand across the table. I want Flash to rib us. I want Batman to scowl at us…."
Diana looked uncertain. "Suppose it changes? Suppose we can't sustain it?"
He touched her cheek. "Depends what "it" means to you?"
Those beautiful blue eyes held hers. Eyes so open and gentle that she was forced to whisper, "I treasure your companionship and friendship. I treasure the passion between us. You make me feel as if I will never be alone...I can't bear the thought of losing it."
"Why would you lose it?"
"I know you have a life outside of here as Clark Kent the reporter and you cherish your privacy. When we both tried to date people it failed…and maybe this is working because we are not dating. I guess, I just don't want this to be by default..."
He forced her chin up and said gravely, "This isn't by default."
Oh Aphrodite, if he only knew how much she wanted to believe that! She wanted to be his woman. Only his. To share his life but how to begin to explain to him how terrified she was. That she was so lacking in experience and she really did not know many things still. Those times she was so uneasy of the woman called Lois and whether he regretted not having her. And how much she feared that being an Amazon Princess would make all the difference. Bruce had told her as much.
His eyes flickered with a kind if disappointment. "How much about this is still about Bruce?"
"No more than it is about Lois…"
"Diana, when you came to me, maybe I was unsure at first because I was not confident what you wanted or needed. I know what I need and want now. It's you. I lo…"
"No, Clark, don't say it…" She looked panicked and put her fingers to his lips as she always would when she felt he was coming too close to making himself a victim of the Fates.
But he was firm this time.
He moved her hand down. "No, Diana. You don't get to stop me this time. I love you. Why else would I be here, doing this, lying to secretly rendezvous with you in a junk room and asking you let us share our lives openly?"
He loved her…
Tears, unbidden, stung her eyes. "Clark…"
"I need an answer, Diana. We cannot go on this way."
"If Hippolyta said no, are you saying you would give up what we have?"
Diana's comlink beeped.
It made them both jump.
She looked at him in dismay. She cleared her throat. "Yes, J'onn?"
"Diana, the meeting is going to start soon. Are you finished with what you were doing?"
"Yes, J'onn. I'll be there in a few minutes." This was a line she was accustomed delivering without the Martian Manhunter able to suspect anything, shielding her thoughts and feelings from him. But for the first time, there was a quiver of emotion in her voice.
Clark closed his eyes for a second, as if willing her to be strong.
J'onn paused and asked solicitously, "Diana? Are you okay?"
She steeled her mind. "I am."
"If you see Clark…"
Superman turned and blurred out of the room.
"…tell him we are about to…Oh. Superman ! You're here. It's okay, Diana. He's here."
Diana said, "I'll be there is a few minutes." She switched off her comlink and closed her eyes. "Athena, what do I do?"
The meeting was chaired by Batman. The returning team gave a verbal report on their mission and then they were updated on what was happening on Earth and Off-World. Suffice it to say Diana and Clark's attention wandered. Both were preoccupied with what had taken place downstairs. Aside from the fact their bodies still hummed with sensation after being with each other, both felt a kind of inner turmoil.
Diana tried focusing on what Bruce was saying but she was clenching her hands in her lap.
Hera, had Clark given her an ultimatum? What was she to do? She wanted and needed him…she even…Gods, no. She must not think it. She must not be tempted by the images. Of proudly showing the world that they cared for each other. Of being part of his world in Metropolis and he being part of hers in Washington. She met his parents a few times and they were such warm people. How would she feel to be part of that circle? What would they think of her? Her mind flew to Hippolyta. And she winced inwardly. She had renewed a tentative peace between her and Themyscira. Hippolyta had lifted her ban and had given her blessing to her as Wonder Woman. But what would her reaction be? Diana had not been home since she had begun her affair with Clark.
Clark could sense her unease. He was so in tune with her now. Had he put his foot in it by pushing her back against a wall? Was he really prepared for her answer? Diana was like no woman he ever knew. He could not predict what she would do here. Suppose she agreed with him and decided that for both their sakes and safety they should not continue?
She had this superstition; or perhaps it was part of her reverence for her heritage and culture. Happiness was something that was too perfect and reckless to embrace. Even more so when the Fates had been known to cut the threads of beings that seemed to achieve it.
He was a fool to have pushed her. He put his hand over his eyes in a kind of exasperated gesture.
Flash, who was slouching in his chair, suddenly yawned. "Come on, Bats, hurry up. You're even boring Blue to death."
Batman's eyes narrowed to slits. He asked acidly, "Am I boring you, Superman?"
Clark jerked out of his reverie. He blinked. "No more than usual, Bruce."
"I see, "he said, somewhat sarcastically, "Well, if that's the case, I'll not keep you too long. I expect being away for a week, you have a lot of catching up to do."
"We all do," said Shyera dryly, wondering why Batman seemed more grumpy than ever.
Batman said curtly, "Last on the agenda. Especially for you four who have been away. Tomorrow some of the world press is scheduled to come aboard the Watchtower and spend a couple of hours to see what the League is doing and finish off with a press conference. I suspect they will be interested in our off planet dealings as well as our last battle involving the Crime Syndicate last month."
There were groans and looks of surprise.
Batman said dryly, "You can thank Superman for this. It was his idea. J'onn and I just followed through this year."
Green Arrow frowned, "Yeah but you didn't seem keen when he did it last year. Fact, you thought it a silly P.R. exercise."
"Well, it did help to advance our cause and mission. I would be stupid not to see."
"It's not a bad idea but tomorrow? I was hoping to have the day off," said Wally.
Green Arrow grumbled. "I hate snoopy reporters."
Green Lantern agreed, "You're telling me. They tend to be more interested in my love life than what I do as a Leaguer."
Hawkgirl couldn't help but say, "If you must date a supermodel, I guess you're asking for that."
John shot back, "Didn't they call you an alien traitor?"
"That's enough," said Clark sharply. "Come on, you know how suspicious the world can become if they do not feel they can trust us. Trust is based on open communication. This will give them an idea to see what we do and keep them in the loop. It takes a lot of tolerance to have super powered beings floating above you policing the world on your behalf and not knowing how they are doing it or what they are doing. Let us keep our personal lives out of this."
They colored guiltily. Everyone else looked chastised. As usual Superman was the voice of reason and most of the League never questioned his good will.
Diana looked sadly at John and Shyera. They had loved each other once. She closed her eyes. Hera, would that be her and Clark one day?
Flash said wryly, "You're lucky it's you asking, Blue."
Batman said, "We have a list of names of the journalists who took up the invitation. They represent various international news bodies."
Everyone scanned the list with some interest and simultaneously Superman and Wonder Woman stiffened. J'onn's eyes seemed to flicker for a moment as if he had suddenly been roused by something and he stared at the two heroes who sat near each other.
J'onn eyes narrowed.
Flash whistled. "Hey, Supes, your ex-girlfriend is here."
Black Canary said with mild amusement, "That should be interesting. She's not your most avid fan right now is she, Clark? Didn't she write an article that said that the world needed to save itself than relying so much on a Superman?"
Green Lantern snorted. "That's rich considering she's had him saving her neck like a zillion times. Lois Lane would be long dead and not that hot shot of a reporter if there was no Superman. She made her career over you."
Flash grinned. "The grapes you can't reach always seems a bit sour."
Superman put his hand up. "Please, let's not personalize this and attack Miss Lane. Her concern is reflected by many members of society and sometimes I admit I do take it upon myself too much to try to save people without giving them the chance to do so themselves."
Wonder Woman said tightly, "I think it is too late not to personalize it, Clark."
Superman looked at her. She was not meeting his eyes but staring at the papers before her and almost digging her pen onto the page.
"We all make mistakes, Diana. I admit that freely."
Green Arrow said dryly, "Yeah, well, still doesn't change your ex- reporter girlfriend is pissed at you and coming here to grill us."
J'onn intervened in that gentle calm way of his, "I think everyone is tired and hungry. Perhaps we should, as you would say, call it a day?"
Batman said curtly, "Meeting over unless anyone has anything to add."
Everyone rose to file out. No one really had anything else to add.
Diana caught J'onn's gaze and she blushed. Gaea, he knew! For that split second both her and Clark had been caught off guard, J'onn must have read them both. She needed to leave. She moved past Clark as he rose and their eyes met. Diana shook her head imperceptibly.
His blue eyes seemed to cloud but he understood. They needed their space. There was a lot to think about. As she left with the others, he stayed back to watch Batman gather the folders up.
He waited until everyone had filed out.
Clark frowned, "Since when have you been interested in public relations and what the world thinks? You invited Lois deliberately, didn't you?"
Batman smiled facetiously. "I do paranoia much better than you, Clark. Oh, come on, I don't have to invite her. She would make sure she gets this assignment. You know that."
His blue eyes clouded. "What are you playing at?"
"I should ask you about the game playing."
Bruce's tone was baiting now.
"You know, I am the one who supposedly does the shadowy stuff but you, Clark, the naïve Kansas farmboy, you can give me a run for my money in the art of stealth." He faced him and said bluntly, "You are putting this team at risk with your antics. But mostly each other by compromising discipline and professionalism for lust."
It suddenly dawned on Clark. "You know."
"Yes. So don't take me for a fool."
"I must admit you two have been very discreet. It would have been easy to miss. Anything out of sync or any of the excuses you made, we all believed. Because hell, you're Superman and Wonder Woman. The big, blue, boy scout and virginal, champion of the Gods who wields the lasso of truth. Both so lily white. They wouldn't have an affair right beneath our noses, much less lie left, right and center about it."
He picked up a file and opened it to a page and threw it on the table for him to see. "I didn't catch on until I looked at the quarterly requisitions. Between you and Diana, you must have broken a dozen beds in the last year. I thought nothing of it at first. Accidents happen. You are both powerful. Until the numbers became obvious. Then I realized that one of the beds that Diana sent back had been welded in an attempt to repair it. I know your handiwork, Clark."
Superman's face grimaced. Batman said mockingly, "Yes, you should have been more careful."
"So, we are together. That's none of your business though."
"Maybe not. But last month you nearly got killed because you hesitated in taking down an enemy because you thought Diana was compromised in her own battle."
"I thought she needed my help…"
"You misjudged because you are emotionally tied to her. Those few seconds could have cost you your life and the League its victory. Dating between members is never a good thing. Look at what is going on with John and Shyera."
"We are not John and Shyera. We will deal with it our way."
"Really? Is that why you are lying and hiding your relationship? Are you ashamed of it?"
Clark knew what he was doing. Baiting him for information and he would be damned if he was going to go there. "It's not up for discussion." He turned to leave.
"Fine. I said my piece and I am not saying it out of spite. You risk your working relationship when sex gets in the way."
Clark was tempted to stay and argue but for Diana's sake and privacy he didn't. He said stiffly, "Have a good evening, Bruce."
Batman's eyes narrowed.
Superman stepped down from the teleporter some eighteen hours later. Stationed in the main control room were Green Lantern, Black Canary and Fire.
Lantern turned and said relieved, "You're here."
"Sorry for the delay. There was a volcano that needed plugging. How are things going?"
"Okay, I guess. J'onn is playing host. I had the bunch of piranhas in here for only fifteen minutes, thank god. They have already been shown the Hanger by Flash and Resource Room by Batman. They're now with Steel and Atom down in the lab now. They will end up the visit in the armory and training rooms with you and Wonder Woman."
"J'onn said you two were the better ones to show off those areas," explained Fire.
"Ah. I see."
Black Canary mused, "Must say that ex-girlfriend of yours is a sharp cookie. Nothing escapes her. She was wondering about our benefactors. Funding is currently a hot topic with the public. I expect she'll grill us more at the Q & A."
"That's Lois Lane for you. Where are the others?"
"Out on the field. They may or may not be able to get back in time for the press conference. You know Bruce and Ollie will not attend any press conferences and Wally says questions make him nervous. They will hold the fort but it will be carried live so no one will be missing anything."
"Well, I guess I'll go down and wait for them."
The door slid open to the training room and armory and he entered.
He found Diana in the armory.
She was going over the log of weapons they had, ensuring everything was secured. No doubt some of the things they had would be cause for great concern. The Annihilator stood, albeit under strict security protocols, as a testament to the dangers of what the weapons under their care could do if gotten into wrong hands.
She turned and saw him enter and her cheeks colored.
She said, however, very primly, "Clark."
He asked politely, "How are things going?"
"I was just going over our log and checking over the safety features."
"All in order?"
"It seems so. I just have Faust's mirror to check."
"Um, I'll let you do that."
Superman treated magical artifacts with respect and caution. He came to stand behind her as she walked towards the mirror and pulled the cloth covering it. She studied the artifact ensuring the energy spell placed upon it by Dr Fate was still in place.
He watched her as she walked around it, eventually coming to stop before it. She bent to run her fingers along its frame and glass.
The mirror looked harmless and its surface calm. Her eyes caught Clark's in it as she looked up.
She caught her breath.
Cerulean blue eyes were regarding her with an enigmatic kind of stare.
They had both stayed away from each other last night and it had been torture. Even now he could see her eyes looked tired. He guessed she possibly had not slept very well or maybe like him, not at all.
The question still hung like some obstacle between them.
Diana's heart thudded as she saw his hands move to cup her upper arms.
His touch scalded her as it promised to soothe. She wanted to flinch and yet she wanted to turn and throw herself into his arms.
She felt him draw her back slowly towards him.
He slowly put his arms around her and rested his chin on her shoulder. His whispered breath made her pulse race. "Have you decided?"
Diana closed her eyes and relished the feeling of his large, muscled, warm body encompassing hers. She was an Amazon. She always felt bigger then most men and women. This powerhouse of man always made her feel almost dainty, fragile, feminine…things she never felt with anyone else. He made her feel womanly.
She shivered as he kissed the skin of one shoulder. The fine hairs at her nape rose and she longed to yield to him and tell him what he wanted to hear from her.
But her fear of the spite of prideful Gods made her falter, "I…need time…to think…"
His gaze held hers in the mirror and she saw resignation in his eyes. He let her go at once and said heavily, "I know I want to be with you. I don't have to think."
He turned and walked towards the doors to the training area.
Diana grabbed the cloth and threw it over the mirror hastily and hurried after him. She grabbed a handful of cape.
"Clark, you don't understand…"
He paused on the threshold of the training room. "What is there to understand, Diana? We have been sleeping together for eight months. We have been friends…good friends… for the last six years. If you don't know what you want by now then I don't see that a week…a month…a year…is going to change it. I'm sorry I pushed you. I won't bring the topic up again if it distresses you…"
Diana opened her lips to say something when the doors slid open and standing there were the group of some twenty journalists with the Martian Manhunter.
The reporters looked on with interest at the sight of Wonder Woman holding onto Superman's cape as he turned away from her.
Lois Lane folded her arms and said ironically, "It seems we have interrupted something."
A female journalist, with silky, dark hair in a high pony tail, from the Times of India, who stood directly behind the Daily Planet reporter, smiled and murmured, "They always look so cute together."
Lois turned and gave the young woman an unimpressed look.
Diana dropped Clark's cape at once.
J'onn cleared his throat and gestured matter-of-factly, "It is the training room, after all, Miss Lane. Sparring frequently occurs here. Ladies and gentlemen, do come in. Superman and Wonder Woman will be happy to show you around and what we do here."
The journalists watched Superman take down some virtual parademons in an arena on a large screen in the viewing room. Most of them smiled and looked on impressed. Lois' eyes however kept drifting to where the Amazon sat behind the glass enclosed control chamber to their left as she ran the simulation exercise.
When Superman took out the last parademon, everyone rose and applauded. The screen went blank to reveal a clear glass pane that allowed them to see the whole simulation arena. Some reporters began to ask questions about the programming and the technology which was much more advanced than anything on Earth.
J'onn got up and said, "Whatever questions you may have you can reserve for the press conference. Shall we go up to the main level?"
Everyone began to file out.
Lois stood up. But she loitered and stared at Superman as he walked towards Wonder Woman. They exchanged no words. He took off the ear and eye piece and handed it to her and walked out.
Lois was the best at what she did. And that was sniffing out a story. Brow beating, dogging, digging, even using her wiles and putting herself in danger to get a scoop. She was single minded about what she wanted. But it was her womanly instincts that were roused seeing Superman and Wonder Woman earlier. Was something going on between those two? The press used to speculate about them from day one. Some rubbish about their matching colors and that they looked good together. Superman had laughed it off and convinced her otherwise when they were dating.
Lois was now suspicious and annoyed.
The press conference was held in one of the large rooms that was used for lectures and in house training. A table was set up for the League to sit before the group of reporters and the single fortunate TV network that got the rights to broadcast.
Superman sat in the middle. To his right sat Steel, the Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman and the Atom. To his left sat Green Lantern, Black Canary, Hawkgirl and Fire. Batman and Green Arrow chose to stay in the main control room to oversee the running of the Watchtower with Flash.
Questions came at them and each Leaguer took the questions suited to their area of expertise. Superman took the questions that pertained to his role as chairman and did his best to fend off Lois' persistence at wanting to know about their benefactors and wanting to know if ordinary citizens were financing them.
He asked, "Do you think normal citizens can really afford to fund the Watchtower, Miss Lane?"
"Well, that is kind of my point. Maybe they are not normal but people who have something to gain?"
"A lot of the technology we use here is Kryptonian, Thanagarian, Martian, …even Themyscirian…No human money could begin to fund some of the things here," he replied calmly.
Flash was watching the conference on one of the smaller TV screens in the control room. He was consuming a large milk shake and eating from a big bag of potato chips. He turned to Batman and Green Arrow.
"Blue has the patience of a saint. She won't let up, will she?"
Green Arrow said grouchily, "Well, let's see her argue that answer. He may be a boyscout but he sure is taking fire for us."
Batman was before the main monitor checking on the other news networks and satellite feeds to check what was happening in the world. He kept his back to them and said nothing.
Diana took the last question from the Indian reporter related to Themyscira and the hope to start an Embassy. The young woman smiled, thanked her and sat down.
Superman then looked at the time piece on the wall.
"So any last questions before we go?"
Lois stood up. "I have one."
Green Arrow rolled his eyes. "Here we go again…"
Superman asked gravely, "Yes, Miss Lane?"
She smiled somewhat ironically, "Oh, don't look so serious, Superman. It's just I have one question every woman on planet Earth wants to know."
"And what might that be?"
"Are you dating anyone?"
There were guffaws around the room.
Flash snorted. "Oh, for crying out loud!"
Superman shut his folder with a snap. "Miss Lane, I don't see the point of this question."
"Oh come on, Superman, don't be coy. There have been rumors of you and one of your colleagues for years." Her eyes fell upon Diana. "I just wanted to clear the air."
Diana's eyes flashed and her nails dug into the table. She seemed to rise when a hand shot out to stop her. It was J'onn. He shook his head at her. She sat still. Biting her lip.
"So you are single. How nice. Right, ladies?" She appealed to the women in the room. There were ripples of laughter and claps of affirmation. The male reporters shook their heads with some amusement.
Lois smiled and went for the jugular. "You know, the world thinks you should date Wonder Woman. I think the Amazon Princess is single. Would you consider dating her?"
There were chuckles now.
Superman's face grew rigid.
Lois was smart to keep it playful and light. "Superman? The world is waiting." She sat back down having thrown down the challenge for him to answer.
A male reporter from a French newspaper called from the back. "Yes, would you?"
Superman said quietly, "No."
The Indian journalist spoke up. "No? You don't find the most beautiful woman in the world date worthy?"
There was a brief silence. Everyone stared at him.
He said politely, "Miss Mizoram, Wonder Woman is indeed exceptionally beautiful and she is my respected colleague and friend."
The journalist smiled but there was a sparkle of interest in her eyes. Like every admirer of these two heroes, it intrigued her to know what Superman really thought of Wonder Woman and vice-versa. "That is avoiding the question, Superman. I could ask Princess Diana." She turned to her. "Your Highness, would you date Superman?"
Diana looked taken aback as the attention swung swiftly to her. Her cheeks colored as she felt all eyes focus on her and saw her bemused face on the television monitor.
Superman stood up. He had had enough. They could badger him. But not Diana.
He interrupted brusquely, "She is an Amazon Princess, heir to the throne of Themyscira and blessed by the Gods. I don't even consider myself to be in her League. Hence the matter does not even arise. Now if that is all, we will officially end this press conference."
There were sounds of disappointment. "Awww, come on, Superman…"
He looked at his colleagues. Some like Fire and the Atom looked a little lost and others like Green Lantern and Hawkgirl looked annoyed on his behalf. They all were about ready to take his cue and rise.
He added coolly, "I thank you all for coming. You are requested to follow J'onn so he can escort you to the Hanger so you can be transported back to Earth."
Diana's voice suddenly sounded over the shuffling of feet and dragging of chairs.
Everyone stared at her now in curiosity.
The Princess' cheeks colored. " I…Yes."
Lois' brows crinkled.
Diana stood and looked at Miss Mizoram pointedly. "Yes….I… I would gladly date him."
Miss Mizoram gasped in surprised delight.
Everyone in the room, including their JLA colleagues looked startled and bewildered at her response.
Green Lantern began, "What the hell..?"
Black Canary instantly understood what was happening and elbowed him in the rib. "Shut up."
The Martian Manhunter, however, smiled.
Diana rose and stared at Clark. His blue eyes gave her a look of warning. Pleading with her to not say another word.
But she continued steadily, "It would be my honor to be with him. He was the one that made me believe in the goodness of man. That challenged my beliefs that the Patriarch's world was self serving and self destructive. He is a kind, brave, noble, selfless, and humble man. I respect, admire and… I love him."
Jaws dropped. Eyes widened.
Flash snorted his drink up his nose and spluttered.
Clark's stared at her as if he could not believe what she had done.
She swallowed, "I just hope that he might want me too."
Green Arrow nearly fell of his chair. "Son of a …Did you hear that?"
Batman spun in his chair and he stared at the screen. Even he was taken aback.
Lois' jaw dropped as Superman walked towards Wonder Woman. In front of the entire room and the whole world, he cupped her face as one would something infinitely precious and kissed her.
The room buzzed and cameras flashed.
Batman came upon Superman a few hours later. The journalists had long gone and the gossip and excitement in the Watchtower had finally settled down.
The Man of Steel was just coming off the video phone with his stunned parents. They had, like everyone on the planet, gotten the hot news about their son and the Amazon Princess. It was being played on every network, and tomorrow would no doubt be a headline on many newspapers and magazines.
He was beaming but when he saw Batman come in the room his face grew somber.
There was an awkward silence as Batman took his seat in the monitor womb.
Clark quickly said goodbye to Martha and Jonathan Kent and then signed off.
He looked at Bruce and was about to say something then seemed to think the better of it. He turned to leave when Batman remarked gruffly, "So you two bit the bullet. You know the press will hound you?"
Clark remained where he was. "Yes. But then they hounded us even when we weren't an item. This just makes it official."
"Well, I hope you two know what you're doing. I know I said hiding your relationship was foolish but broadcasting it to the world was not exactly what I had in mind."
Clark smiled wryly. He came around to face Batman. "I need to say something. To clear the air. I hope you know I would not have started anything with Diana if I didn't think that you two were no longer a viable option."
Batman's voice suddenly became less raspy and his posture less stiff.
Bruce shrugged. "It takes two to tango, Clark. Diana was a beautiful child woman. Curious, naive and over zealous back then. I would be a fool to think she knew what she wanted. It didn't help every time you were in the room she would light up around you."
"Me? But she wanted to date you back then…"
"She flirted with me...or what she thought was flirting. She spent a lot of time being angry at me and those around her. But you…she mourned you the most when we thought you died…I never saw Diana cry in my life but that day she did. She admired you. She respected you. She laughed with you. She had this way she would look at you. The way she would launch herself into danger to protect you. Diana was in love with you long before she knew it and you were in love with her from the day you laid eyes upon her. Lois and I were mere distractions in the greater scheme of things."
"That's very magnanimous of you, Bruce."
"It's the truth. I would say treat her right but that's like the sinner telling the saint to repent."
Clark said with a twinkle in his eyes, "I will do my best to be worthy of her. Now excuse me. I have my first official 'date' with the Amazon Princess and have no intention of being late."
Clark Kent opened his eyes and felt something soft and warm next to him. He smiled as he saw the spill of raven tresses across his chest and her beautiful face in repose as Diana slept soundly in his arms.
It was dawn and although his bedroom in the apartment was still dim due to the drawn curtains, his body instinctively felt the pull of the sun rising.
He gently moved her off his chest and untangled her smooth and lithe legs from his own. She stirred and tried to open her eyes.
"Hmmm…Clark? What time is it?"
She was clearly still drowsy after their hours of love making from the night before.
He pulled the sheet that had fallen half way off the bed. His eyes ran over her flawless naked body in appreciation as he covered her. He bent and kissed her mouth tenderly. "It's early…You rest…"
She gave a little sigh and snuggled into the pillows. "I'd rest better with you next to me…"
"Back in two minutes…" he promised and reached for a pair of boxer shorts from a basket. He regarded their uniforms strewn on the floor. He grinned as he recalled them tearing off each others clothes last night. His blue shirt was torn and he had ripped her red bodice. Repairs would have to be made. He picked up her lasso and tiara and carefully put it on the bedside table where her bracelets rested.
He quietly left the room.
For the first time in months Clark felt absolutely euphoric. He knew he was a lucky man. Diana loved him and wanted him. Their love making had always been passionate but last night it had been free of any restraint and intense. Every kiss and caress was etched in his memory. Her whispered gasps and moans and her free admission of her love had brought him unbelievable pride and joy.
He couldn't stop grinning. He guessed he would grin inanely for the whole day. For the whole week.
He walked out into his living room and drew the curtains to his balcony and slid the door open. He stretched like a cat, his large body glowing and muscles rippling in the golden light.
Whatever tiredness he felt instantly seemed to vanish as he absorbed the sun's rays. After a minute of this he walked to the front door and opened it. On the doormat was his subscribed copy of the Daily Planet. He picked it up and opened it.
Superlove screamed the headline. And there was a picture of Superman kissing Wonder Woman.
He regarded it with a pensive smile and closed the door. He began to read what Lois had written when two hands reached around his chest from behind. Diana's upper body pressed into his back.
"What are you reading?" she whispered against his ear.
He turned to see her wrapped in the sheet.
He showed her the newspaper. "We made headlines."
She looked at it and said ruefully, "I guess it was not that great an idea kissing in public."
He grinned and turned to face her. "Maybe not but it sure as hell felt good to do it. I think poor Wally nearly asphyxiated on soda."
Diana laughed. "Well, I suppose if the paparazzi hound us all we have to do is fly away."
"That certainly helps."
She wrapped her arms around his waist. "And maybe I could adopt an alter ego like you."
"Maybe you could," he smiled. "You'd look cute with glasses."
"I suppose we should thank Lois for her incessant needling…What did she write?" Diana looked at the front page curiously.
He looked at the paper and then at her. The sheet was sagging between them and he could feel her breasts press against his chest. He tossed it aside. "Maybe we can read it later. Much, much later.
He crushed her to him and gave her a long and passionate kiss.
When he raised his head, he murmured, "Last night was incredible."
"It was, "she agreed breathlessly.
"I love you, Diana."
She sighed. "I love you, Clark. With all my heart."
"And hopefully a little more than content?" he asked tenderly.
She replied fearlessly, "Happy. So very happy."
He hoisted her up in his arms and carried her back to the bedroom.