Looking for Mr. Suitable
The apartment was illuminated with candles and some Grateful Dead played on the stereo. Standing at the window, Zatanna Zatara looked out over her adopted city. At twenty-five she had achieved so much, but something felt missing. Her career as a magician had never been better and offers were pouring in. She was a member of the Justice League and while there had been some ups and downs along the way, at least she was sitting at the big table. Yes, everything was good, beyond her wildest dreams, but lately her mind had constantly been thinking about what was missing. For all her success and acclaim she had no one to share it with. Oh, there was her cousin, Zack, but that wasn't the same.
There was no one special in her life, yet she felt this overwhelming urge to start a family. She had been to see her financial advisor and he told her she was in perfect shape if she needed to take some time off. She'd been to see her doctor and she was in excellent health and there were no foreseeable problems with her having a child. It seemed everything was perfect for her to get pregnant, except one thing.
She wasn't even close to being in a serious relationship and the prospects were pretty slim. There was also the fact she wasn't sure she even wanted to get married. Of course she'd thought about it, but why did the two have to be connected? She might never be in this ideal situation again if she waited for Mr. Right to come along first. She didn't want to be one of those Grandma-mothers that were so old she had to take a nap from exhaustion while the baby was with a sitter. She wanted a child now, when she was young and vital.
Zatanna went back and forth with it for months. She never mentioning to any of her friends, but quietly did all the homework and soul searching that such a monumental decision required. She was prepared to take a leave of absence from the League and put most of her career on hold. It was now or never, she thought. Still there was a nagging bit of doubt in the back of her mind. What if she was being selfish and this turned out to be a huge mistake? What if she was a horrible mother? She needed to talk to someone, someone she trusted. She thought of her friends, but knew if she did, everyone would know about it. She knew how gossip, especially something like this, spread like wildfire through the League. No, she would keep this to herself until she was sure.
She finally decided the one person she could talk to about this, was the woman that had helped raise her, Nimue, Madame Xanadu. She was practically a second mother to Zatanna anyway. She'd been alive for who knows how long, so she would be a voice of reason. Yes, that's what I'll do, Zatanna thought, I'll talk to Nimue.
New York – The Hokus & Pokus Occult Curiosities Shop
Madame Xanadu, Nimue to those that knew her very well, stood behind her tarot reading table looking at Zatanna. The only other sound was the jingle of her earrings as she shifted her head back and forth. Her usually flowing dark tresses are swept up on top of her head in a paisley headscarf to keep them out of her work. If someone didn't know her true age, they would have thought she was Zatanna's sister from her appearance.
In the few thousands years she'd been alive, she'd learned many spells and incantations. Some of the tomes and priceless manuscripts in her vast collection lay by her side. She had knowledge of the magical arts only a few living beings knew of.
Many had found their way into her heart, but only one held a very special place, Zatanna. She was the daughter Xanadu never had. When Zatanna's mother, Sindella disappeared soon after her birth, Madame Xanadu had come to Giovanni Zatara's aid and helped raise his young daughter. Over the years, as she watched her grow, Xanadu took a mother's pride in the beautiful woman Zatanna became. She'd been happy when Zatanna called and said she wanted to talk to her about something. Zatanna had just told her what her plans were.
"Have you lost your mind,' Madame Xanadu shouted. She threw her hands in the air and began pacing. "You want to do what?"
"Not quite the reaction I was expecting, Nimue,' Zee replied.
"What did you expect me to do, throw a party? You're much too young to have a child, Zatanna, much too young!"
"I'm twenty-five,' Zee protested.
"Hardly a blink of time,' Nimue replied, shaking her head back and forth.
"To you,' Zee said. "You're over ten thousand years old, that's not fair! Everyone's too young to you!"
"Do you have any idea what it involves raising a child,' Nimue asked.
'Yes, I've read up on it and talk to my doctors and financial advisors,' Zee explained. "This is the perfect time for me to do it, if I'm ever going to do it."
"Bah, that means nothing, a child is a huge responsibility,' Xanadu said dismissively. "You can't just quit if you get bored or decide you don't want to do it anymore, you know. There are sacrifices, more than you can imagine!"
"I know that, but I've also thought about this a lot and I want to do this,' Zee explained. "I might never be in this situation again and it just feels right."
"If you've made up your mind, why did you come to me,' Xanadu asked.
"I guess I just wanted to talk to someone I love and trust about it. You were always there for me when I was growing up, helping Dad, but he's gone now,' Zatanna replied. "I was hoping you'd be there for me this time, too."
As shocked and upset as Madame Xanadu was, she knew she couldn't stay that way with Zatanna. She was like her own child and Nimue could see this was important to Zatanna.
'So you're serious about doing this,' she finally asked.
"I can't talk you out of it?'
"Well, than I guess I have no choice but to support you," Xanadu said with a small smile. "I won't be called Grandma under any circumstances, is that clear?"
"Thank you, Nimue,' Zee replied. The two women hugged for several moments.
"So we need to talk about all of this,' Nimue said. "Come sit down and tell me everything you've been thinking."
The two sat and Zatanna repeated everything that had been going through her mind over the last months. Madame Xanadu listened and as she did, she realized just how much time and energy Zatanna had put into this. Well, at least she has thought about it and considered all the pitfalls and problems, Nimue thought. It took almost an hour for Zatanna to relay everything that had been going through her mind, but finally she got to the one sticking point.
"… so the only problem is who's going to be the father."
"Do you have anyone in mind?"
"Not really,' Zatanna admitted.
"There's In Vitro fertilization,' Xanadu suggested. "We could check out the best clinics and you could take your pick."
"I considered that," Zatanna replied. "My doctor even recommended several of the finest private clinics. I'm checked them out and they are all top of the line, but that seems so clinical. I want to at least know the father is and what kind of man he is. I think if I'm going to do this, I want to do it the natural way. I'm young, so it shouldn't be that difficult."
"So who would you ask?"
"I don't know yet, I mean, I know a lot of great guys in the League and the magic community,' Zee replied.
"What would you put up a sign on the bulletin board,' Nimue asked. "Something that says "Looking for someone to sleep with me and have a child, call Zatanna'?"
"NO! Jeez, I'm not a complete idiot,' Zee protested. "I was thinking I'd feel some of them out on what they think about children, you know? I could ask others opinion and once I decided who I want to be the father, I'd quietly approach them to see if they would help me."
"What about the ones you don't pick won't there be some hard feelings?"
"I wouldn't tell anyone until I'm pregnant,' Zee explained. "Until then it would just be our secret, well and the father, of course."
"Why settle on just the Justice League or magical men? Why not a regular fellow,' Nimue asked.
"Well, I know them probably the best, plus it might be weird with a regular guy,' Zatanna replied. "I wouldn't want to put anyone in danger, so the Magical and the League guys would be better equipped for that sort of thing."
"I guess that makes sense,' Nimue admitted. "So you're not going to tell anyone?"
"Just you and the father when I decide,' Zee said. "I don't want everyone to know, or I'll never hear the end of it. Once I'm pregnant, I'll tell people, but I want it to be private until them."
"I have to admit, it sounds like you've thought this out,' Nimue offered. "So when will you start?"
"Well, I'm meeting an old friend for dinner Friday night, so I thought I'd start with him."
"I want you to call me as soon as it's over and tell me everything, is that clear,' Nimue demanded.
"Yes, so you're going to support me,' Zee asked.
"Did you ever have any doubt?"