Lois Lane was used to seeing strange things. She figured it was par for the course when it came to being an investigative journalist. Although it seemed to her things had been getting stranger. The reports of a flying man in Gateway City and a mysterious vigilante in Gotham referenced fearfully by criminals solely as the bat were powerfully odd. However, none of these things could have prepared her for the reality of mythological creatures on a destructive rampage in Metropolis.
In college she took a class on mythology and she vaguely recalled the stories but even so, Lois could only manage to name the minotaur and chimera. The rest of the creatures, monstrous as they appeared, she hadn't the slightest idea what they were. That wasn't her real interest though. She was more invested in fleeing from them which was more than a little difficult in the trampling rush of humanity. People don't think when they panic, honey, she recalled her father telling her. They become frightened animals and it's best to try and get out of their way. Lois just wished it was that easy.
And that she hadn't worn high heels today.
The concrete was rough against her cheek and she screamed as someone stepped on her hand in their desire to escape the creatures. Lois pushed herself up with determination, ready to run again when she felt a hot and stinking breath upon her and she turned to see one of those monsters behind her. It had a head of a lion and the body of a serpent and before Lois could pretend she was religious and pray to god, she was there.
Wavy black hair, legs that went on forever, bright blue eyes, and wearing leather armor ripped from the pages of a fantasy novel. For Lois, she was something right out of the myths, just like these creatures. "Run," the woman commanded, her voice rich and somehow soothing. Lois did as she was told but only to a degree. She ran a safe distance away then stopped to watch, memorizing every moment for the article she knew she had to write about this.
The woman reached for a golden rope at her waist, swinging it overhead and using it to capture the creature. "A lasso," Lois muttered, pulling out her notepad and jotting down details quickly, not wanting to forget anything. Sometimes she loved modern technology, her smartphone, her digital voice recorder, her tablet's word processing program, but in a pinch it was always easier to just scribble down her thoughts by hand. Especially when it was too loud for a recording to be clear and she had too much adrenaline in her to type correctly. Focusing back on the woman, Lois watched her swing the snake creature around by the tail, sending it flying into a minotaur. "Damn," Lois gave an admiring whistle, watching as the woman picked up a car and threw it at a chimera. "She's really strong."
To Lois it seemed like the longest and shortest moments of her life, watching her fight these creatures, but eventually they were all destroyed and the woman stood alone. Breathing in deeply and looking at the now safe citizens of Metropolis with a relieved expression. As she turned, Lois ran forward, readying a slew of questions but the woman soon flew into the air, leaving Lois staring after her. Eyes unwittingly fixed on her chest and the golden figure of a bird, almost resembling w's, which rested there along with some very alluring cleavage.
"Damn," Lois said again, a faint blush gracing her cheeks, though a frown of consternation rested there as well. "What a woman." Tilting her head to one side, considering the figure as it continued to fly away and her upcoming article, Lois formed mischievous a grin and added, "A Wonder Woman."
A week had passed and Metropolis didn't know anything more about their adopted Wonder Woman than they had on the first day they saw her. She appeared many times since then, stopping robberies, apprehending criminals, rescuing citizens in need and everyone in Metropolis was enamored with her. Not that Lois could really blame them, not when she counted herself amongst their numbers. Wonder Woman's beauty and strength was often a topic at hand but when Lois spoke to the people she saved, they always returned to her kindness. She was gentle they often said, speaking about the concern in her voice and the care in her eyes. Despite all this, the people of Metropolis were no closer to knowing who this woman was and why she was in their fair city. Which was why Lois was becoming more than a little frustrated.
She had taken to following the #wonderwoman tag on Twitter in a vain hope of keeping track of her updated sitings and snagging an exclusive interview. It was either that or put herself in peril and hope Wonder Woman rescued her. Lois was sadly giving that idea a good deal of thought when the police channel finally provided her with a lead. There was a suicidal person on a ledge of the Halldorf Hotel, and police were rushing to the scene, with Wonder Woman just arriving.
It was one in the afternoon when Lois got there. She pushed through the crowd, standing at the police barrier and looked up, unable to help admiring Wonder Woman's figure from this angle. There was a boy standing close to the edge and Wonder Woman floated in front of him, her hands wide in a conciliatory gesture. Frowning and wishing she had some way to get past the barrier, Lois spotted one of the patrolmen she had a good relationship with and the binoculars he held.
A half an hour was how long it took for Lois to get a chance at those binoculars and when she did, she saw that concern so many had spoken of clearly defined on Wonder Woman's face. Lois was struck by the overwhelming compassion on her features as she spoke to the boy who wiped tears from his eyes while he talked to her. Swallowing the lump in her throat, Lois wondered what they were speaking about up there but whatever it was, she hoped Wonder Woman could help him.
The crowd seemed to grow in numbers the longer Wonder Woman stayed there talking to the boy and two hours had passed since the incident began when she cautiously floated down the ground and spoke with police officers. It was then that Lois and the rest of the crowd were forced to scatter as police began clearing the area. She spoke with her contact and he told her Wonder Woman had promised to stay with the boy. That she said she wouldn't leave him but the crowd made him nervous.
Eventually Lois settled in a diner across the the street along with several curious onlookers. Typing the story as it developed on her tablet, speaking with Perry, and eating first her lunch then her dinner. Afternoon turned into night and if it wasn't for the lights of Metropolis Lois wouldn't even know that she was still up there but they were bright as always and Wonder Woman's outfit was gleaming in their wake. Her figure forever steady and calm, floating in that same spot, talking to the boy that had been identified as Nicholas Pierson. The boy was bullied at school, WGBS said, and Lois grimaced at the gossipy tone the newscaster adopted as he revealed this piece of information.
Perry already had people talking to kids at his high school and told Lois with a great deal of sympathy that Nicholas' few friends said his life at school was hell. That he was bullied on a daily basis, beaten up, and harassed online because he was gay. It had apparently been going on since he was in elementary school and despite pleas from Nicholas and his parents little was done to punish the bullies who made his life so horrible. Gazing up at the boy's tiny figure, huddled on that ledge, his eyes peering up at Wonder Woman beyond his arms folded on his knees, Lois wondered how it could've been for her if any of the students at the myriad of high schools she attended had any idea she was gay.
If they threatened her, Lois was pretty sure she could've beat their asses. All those karate and judo lessons along with the marksman classes had to be good for something but she doubted it would've gotten that far. Her father was transferred so often for his work in the army that Lois imagined the moment kids found out she was a lesbian she'd probably be gone from the premises within a week to a month. Nicholas didn't have that luck, his parents were lifelong residents of Metropolis, and he was by all accounts a sensitive kid whose main interest was animals, wanting to eventually become a veterinarian. Quite the opposite of Lois' upbringing with a father who taught her to defend herself at all costs and to present a confident veneer, even if that was the last thing she truly felt. Just pretend you feel it, her father said, and eventually you will.
Usually that worked and the few times it didn't, Lois almost managed to make herself believe it did.
Her eyes remained fixed on that scene, the seconds ticking into minutes then hours, and it was just past nine o'clock when she watched Nicholas rise to his feet. WGBS news roared in the diner, the newscaster babbling and theorizing what this could mean, and that dime store shrink offering his opinions and Lois rushed out of the diner, eyes always upward. Nicholas stepped forward, towards the edge and Wonder Woman flew to him, her arms out and Lois swore if she squinted just right she could see the glow of her smile. Then he was in her arms and she was flying away with him and Lois couldn't help but echo the resounding cheer from the concerned citizens of Metropolis who had prayed for the boy's safety.
The relief in his rescue was overwhelming but there was her ever present reporter instincts and above all else, Lois knew she had to get an interview with Wonder Woman about this. Her story wouldn't be complete without it. But how to get one?
As always, Lois wrote the best article she could. Giving attention to the interviews of Nicholas' friends and the history of bullying he had to endure. As well as covering the emotions of the people at the scene, what it was like watching him on that ledge knowing what had led him to that point. It was only at the end did she touch on Wonder Woman's involvement, writing about the hours she spent with him, providing comfort and a kind ear, giving thought to the hero's opinion on this affair. How she felt about what caused Nicholas to go up on that ledge and questioning if this was something Wonder Woman dealt with before, wherever she was from. A quiet but sharp focus on the fact that they still knew nothing about her origins or history.
A day later, she was leaving the Daily Planet in the dead of night, exhausted from covering a story about the newly formed Metropolis Special Crimes Unit meant to focus on apprehending the super powered menaces that were appearing more and more lately. Lois wondered if it was Wonder Woman's presence that caused things like that to happen or if they would've come to their city anyway and caused twice as much damage and death without her there to stop them.
That voice was as resonant and warm as she remembered and Lois couldn't help the instinctual flutter of attraction as she turned to face her. "Wonder Woman," she replied, quite proud of herself for keeping an even tone.
"Yes," Wonder Woman murmured, a bemused smile tugging at her lips, floating closer to the journalist. "I suppose that is what you call me."
"I figured the w's had to stand for something and it seemed to fit, if you ask me," said Lois simply.
Wonder Woman paused to study her own outfit for a moment and Lois tried not to stare at her cleavage as she did. When the other woman looked up, Lois reddened and coughed. Wonder Woman's smile widened but before either of them could say anything more a crowd of very curious citizens began to gather. All wanting to speak or touch the hero, firing questions at her, and Lois grimaced, wishing she hadn't been so shell shocked when Wonder Woman first appeared. Then again, how often did you see a drop dead gorgeous woman flying in front of you?
"I'm sorry," said Wonder Woman and Lois couldn't help but note that when she said that, it actually sounded like the truth. As if she was sorry she couldn't spend time with this mass of people, chatting with them and taking pictures. "I have a previous engagement with Ms. Lane and we really must be going." Wonder Woman flew over to Lois whose eyes widened at the hand being offered to her and Lois noted that her blue eyes that held a hint of humor. "Shall we go, Ms. Lane?"
"Fine with me, if you can actually get us out of here," said Lois with a drawl.
Suddenly, Wonder Woman was in front of her, strong arms sweeping Lois up and cradling her close and Lois yelped, automatically reaching around Wonder Woman's neck. Her first thought immediately returned to marveling at how strong she was and her second focused on how good she smelled, like grass and sun, natural and sweet at the same time. "Hold onto me," Wonder Woman said in a low instruction and Lois snorted, muttering that she didn't have to tell her twice.
Then they were flying and Lois cried out, not in surprise or fear, but from the sheer incredulous joy of it. Laughing as they went into the air and she looked at Wonder Woman who beamed at her and she asked, "How do you get used to this?"
"It takes time to become accustomed to it," Wonder Woman admitted and her arms shifted, holding Lois closer yet. "I would like to speak with you further, Ms. Lane. In private, if you are agreeable."
"Are you giving me an interview?" asked Lois keenly, an eager glint in her eyes.
Studying Lois with a wry expression, Wonder Woman eventually replied, "I suppose I am."
"We can go to my place then," said Lois, being very careful as she gestured towards the east. "I'm in apartment 15E on 91 Market Street. It's in Midtown." As she said this, Lois wondered at the wisdom of inviting a woman she knew nothing about back to her home. Particularly when that woman had superhuman strength and a plethora of other abilities. It probably wasn't the smartest thing she'd ever done but something made her trust Wonder Woman and Lois was a big believer in your gut instincts. Once too often, it had been listening to those feelings which got her out of trouble so she gave them merit. "And stop calling me Ms. Lane, will you?" said Lois belatedly, wearing a crooked smile. "My name is Lois. You can use it."
"Ah," said Wonder Woman, a charming lilt to her voice as she flew towards Midtown. "Then I insist that you call me Diana."
"Diana," Lois echoed. Saying it was somehow like tasting it on her lips and Lois found she enjoyed the flavor. "It suits you."
"More than Wonder Woman?" Diana asked almost playfully.
Pausing to consider this, Lois was struck by the fact that the moment she knew Diana's real name she ceased to think of her as Wonder Woman and instead as Diana. Which, in itself, answered the question for her. Instead of revealing this line of thought, Lois shrugged and said, "Of course it does. It's your name. Wonder Woman is just something I decided to call you. I still stand behind it though, if only for the descriptive power."
"There is that," allowed Diana, laughing.
Their flight became slower and Lois noticed they were at her apartment building and staring down at the people below, she began to reconsider the idea of walking into her building with Metropolis' guardian angel by her side. It would be all over the news in minutes. Craning her head, Lois pointed towards her balcony and said, "That's my place, the one with the army of dead plants on the balcony. Why don't you drop me off down the block and wait for me there." Seeing the question in Diana's eyes, Lois explained, "You're the biggest news story in Metropolis right now. If we walk into my building together we'll never get to talk in peace. My phone will be ringing off the hook and my place will be swarming with reporters."
"Oh no, not reporters," said Diana in an overly serious way and Lois narrowed her eyes at her. Diana smiled and flew towards the corner of Market and Pine, landing in a dark but not all dangerous alley, then added, "Who would want to talk to them?"
"You're teasing me," Lois said, narrowing her eyes suspiciously. "You are teasing me, aren't you?"
Diana placed Lois gently on the ground and as she flew backwards her fingertips were a light touch on Lois' cheek. "I'll be waiting on your balcony, Lois," said Diana softly then she shot into the sky and Lois felt compelled to watch her leave.
Walking to her apartment and attempting to act like this was a night like any other was probably one of the most difficult things Lois had ever done. She managed to return Carl's remark on the Monarchs winning with a double play in the 9th inning but it was a relief to find the elevator empty. Who had the patience for small talk when you had the story of the century standing on your balcony? Lois tapped her foot impatiently, frowning at the floors as they lit up, getting slowly closer to fifteen.
She was out of the elevator before the doors completely opened and walking with an ever increasing stride, keys in hand, she kicked the door shut and walked over to the balcony. When she reached the glass doors she paused at the sight of Diana. The other woman's back was to her, hands laced behind her, and her head tilted back, seemingly enjoying the night sky. Unlocking her door, Lois pulled it open and walked out onto balcony to stand at Diana's side.
"I enjoy looking at your sky," said Diana, breaking their comfortable silence. "It's so very different than the one I am used to but it's beautiful, nonetheless. Though all your lights make it harder to see the stars."
"Nature usually loses out when it comes to technological advancements," said Lois dryly. Diana wore a thoughtful frown at this response but before she could comment further, Lois asked, "Where are you from anyway?"
"I take it the interview has begun?" replied Diana, offering a smile.
Pulling the digital voice recorder from her purse, Lois smirked as she turned it on and said, "You got it, Princess."
"Curious you should call me that," murmured Diana, turning and walking inside Lois' apartment. "As it is entirely accurate. My mother, Hippolyta, is Queen of the Amazons in my homeland of Themyscira."
"Seriously?" asked Lois skeptically, putting her purse down on the nearby coffee table. When Diana looked at her with a somber expression, Lois shrugged. "Sorry."
"I realize how this must sound to someone from Man's World but is there not many amazing and incredible things that have been seen? Superman in Gateway City, for example, is true alien to this world, come from the stars," Diana said.
"You said you're an Amazon from Themyscira but where is that? I've never heard of it," said Lois quickly.
"That is because we have remained hidden from you for centuries. Ours is an ancient civilization," said Diana carefully. Pausing for a moment, she sat on the couch and peered up at Lois. "The Gods used their powers to give us long life and keep us protected from outsiders as a reward for guarding the labyrinth that serves as a prison for so many horrible creatures that threaten them and the world as a whole. When the monsters broke free we held a contest of skill to see who would become an emissary and slay the foul creatures before they could do any harm. I won that contest. I've also convinced my mother that the time has long passed for the Amazons to have an ambassador in Man's World."
"Man's World," Lois echoed with a frown, "why do you keep saying that?"
"Because that is what this is," said Diana simply, rising to her feet and wandering about the apartment. Lois watched as Diana picked up a framed photograph of her family and studied it. "Themyscira has no men. Our culture, our decisions, our mistakes are made by women but here it is the exact opposite. It is men who have shaped how this world developed."
"Did the Gods give you your powers?" asked Lois and she couldn't help but observe how bizarre it was to be asking this question. Though, honestly, with the things she had seen Diana do and the way she spoke it made sense. Also, it explained the outfit. Then there was the look in Diana's eyes that reflected an age far beyond her physical appearance, so despite how crazy it seemed, Lois was buying her story. Which is why she wanted more of it. "To help you kill the monsters that escaped? How many of those things are there?"
"No more than fifty and my abilities aren't a result of this quest," Diana said. "Though my armor and lasso were given to me for this mission, my powers were granted upon my creation." Observing Lois' confusion and curiosity on hearing this, Diana set down the photograph and said, "My mother longed for a child, something hard to achieve on an island of women, as you can imagine. One day she made a clay sculpture of a baby and begged the Gods to bring it life. They answered her prayers and granted me abilities far beyond what is normal." A soft smile on her features, Diana said, "I'm the only child of the Amazons and I suppose they wanted to make a noticeable contribution."
"We know you're strong and you can fly," said Lois as she walked closer to Diana. "What else can you do?"
"I can do many things, Lois," said Diana and Lois swore her voice dropped an octave as she said this. "My people are warriors above everything else and I have been trained for countless years in battle. Please make sure your readers know I will bring an end to every last creature that has escaped from our hold. Their safety is paramount in my mind."
"Is that why you spent all that time with Nicholas Pierson?" asked Lois, finding this a perfect opportunity to broach this topic. "You were talking to him for hours. I bet what he's dealing with you probably don't have back on Themyscira."
"No, we do not," said Diana quietly, a troubled look on her features. "I didn't understand at first, when he explained his difficulties to me, but I listened and I think that is what he needed the most. He should be protected though," she said this fiercely, her eyes flashing. "I spoke to the boys who tormented him. I don't think they'll forget the experience."
"Just spoke?" asked Lois sardonically and when Diana lifted an eyebrow, Lois gave a bark of laughter. "Princess," she drawled fondly. "I like your style." Diana thanked her and Lois paused, wondering if she should ask or not, and as always her insatiable curiosity got the best of her. "I'm guessing on an island of nothing but women, gay relationships aren't a big deal."
The smile spread slow and sweet on Diana's features, lighting them beautifully and Lois felt as if the breath stilled in her chest, looking at her. "We give love freely on Themyscira," she answered. "I find the difference in Man's World upsetting. How Nicholas was treated, how he suffered, for merely being himself and loving another person, this isn't acceptable to me."
"Me either," said Lois and it wasn't until Diana directed a wide smile at her did she even know she replied.
"Then there is hope for this place, after all," said Diana warmly and Lois knew she had to be blushing, she felt the heat in her cheeks and she cursed it. She hadn't felt like this since she was a schoolgirl. It was downright absurd. Suddenly, Diana tilted her head, frowning deeply, then she turned back to Lois. "I'm sorry," she said, her tones just as apologetic as when she had left her crowd of admirers on the street. "I have to be going. Stymphalian birds have been sighted near the harbor."
"Stymphalian birds?" Lois repeated, frowning as well.
"Birds that feast on human flesh and have beaks of bronze and metal feathers," said Diana in explanation, heading towards Lois' balcony with the journalist following behind her. "Their dung is also toxic." When Lois scrunched her nose up in obvious distaste, Diana laughed and leaned closer to her to say in her ear, "They're pets of Lord Ares. I'm told to catch them."
"Good luck," said Lois with dry humor.
"Thank you," Diana said in that sincere manner that Lois was fast becoming enamored with, hovering in the air in front of her. "I look forward to reading your article."
"If you like it, come and see me again, Princess," said Lois humorously, trying her best to control her rapid heartbeat and hoping her flirting was making some sort of impression.
"I think I'll do that regardless," Diana revealed before taking off.
Leaving Lois behind to watch, wonder, and hope before she rushed inside to start writing the article of the century. Though, she had to admit, just speaking to Diana and spending time with her, almost trumped scooping everyone on this story.
If there was one constant in the Daily Planet newsroom it was the fact that it was never quiet. There was always noise of some sort and usually it was nothing less than a harried din of activity. Lois imagined the only time it was silent was in the brief period of time between three and six a.m. This was why Lois paused in her work when she heard the newsroom get quieter and quieter until it seemed as if time was at a standstill. Always inquisitive, she peered around her computer and her eyes went wide at the sight of Diana standing in front of the elevator.
She wasn't in her armor. Instead she was clothed in a pair of white slacks, matching v-neck shirt, and a dark blue jacket. Diana's leather boots clicked against the hardwood floor as she walked forward and Lois found herself standing up as she approached.
"Lois," said Diana by way of greeting. "I enjoyed your article."
"So you decided to come and see me?" Lois asked, grinning as Diana lifted an eyebrow and leaned against her desk.
"You placed the invitation," Diana reminded, not seeming in the least bothered by all the people gawking at them.
"That I did," drawled Lois and while she could care less about her co-workers attentions she couldn't see herself talking to Diana like she really wanted in this setting. "It's about time for my lunch break. Want to join me?"
"I would like that," said Diana with a smile.
"Great!" said Lois, reaching over to grab her purse. "You and me, we're going to Centennial Park and having ourselves some tacos." Walking onto the elevator and ignoring the way the other occupants goggled at Diana, she impatiently hit the button for the lobby several times. "Wait," Lois squinted, looking at Diana as the elevator doors finally shut. "Do you eat tacos? I mean, are Amazons vegetarians?"
"I eat meat," said Diana, looking quietly amused with Lois' antics. "If I didn't, hunting would've been a pastime wasted on me."
"Hunting, huh? My dad taught me how to shoot when I was a kid but I bet you don't have guns on that island of yours," said Lois thoughtfully. "I'm guessing you're a pretty capable archer then."
"All of my sisters are," said Diana, nodding her head and following Lois when the elevator doors opened at the lobby.
They walked out of the building and Lois realized that short walk to the park or not, the chances of them being stopped constantly by Diana's fans was pretty much guaranteed. Signaling to an approaching cab, she opened the door and gestured towards the empty seat. "Princesses first," she said, putting on the overdone charm, and laughing at Diana's droll expression.
"Thank you," Diana replied and whatever Lois was going to say next stilled in her throat as Diana deliberately brushed against her as she got into the cab. At least, Lois thought it was deliberate. She hoped it was because, good god, was it nice.
"Centennial Park," said Lois quickly as she settled in the cab next to Diana.
"You got it," the cabbie said and they took off like a shot.
Diana's eyes widened and she reached for the handrail on the roof of the cab then looked to Lois. "Your vehicles are very fast," she remarked. "It's impressive."
"We like to get places in a hurry," said Lois wryly. "Fortunately, Metropolis cab drivers are the best at doing that."
"That's almost better than getting a tip," said the cabbie, grinning and looking back at them in the rear view window as he quickly changed lanes and rounded Larson Boulevard. "Hey," he said suddenly. "You're that lady, aren't you? The one that flies? You were at the Halldorf talking that kid down the other day."
"Yes," said Diana warmly, smiling at the man. "That was me."
"Seriously?" the cabbie whistled. "Hey, you think I can swing an autograph? My son loves you."
"Certainly," said Diana and she paused to wear a thoughtful expression. "How should I sign it?" She looked over at Lois and formed a teasing expression, "Lois has everyone in your city calling me Wonder Woman but my name is Diana."
"Wonder Woman is plenty catchy though," said the cabbie animatedly. "And it fits! But sign whatever you want, it's just great you'd do it. I had Johnny Nevada in here the other day and I thought he'd bite my head off for asking him that. Maybe if you signed it as both? That would be good, don't you think?"
"It sounds fine to me," said Diana kindly, thanking Lois when she handed over her notebook and pen. Signing both Wonder Woman and Diana with an elegant and sweeping hand, she carefully tore the page from the notebook as they came to a stop at Centennial Park. They were just a few steps away from the El Maguey food truck that was Lois' planned destination.
Taking the autograph from Diana as she stepped out of the cab, Lois handed it over to the cabbie along with the fare and a tip and he thanked them both, a huge grin on his face before driving off. "That was a nice thing you did," said Lois.
"It was only my signature," said Diana, nonplused why this would be considered a kindness.
"Yeah but there's a lot of people who still wouldn't do it," said Lois knowingly. She came to a stop in front of the truck behind a fast moving line of people. Already knowing the menu by heart, she turned to Diana. "Do you like spicy food? Fish? Pork? Beef? Everything's good here but my favorite is the tacos de barbacoa."
"I'll have what you're having," said Diana decisively and Lois grinned at the other woman.
"What about to drink? I'm getting a soda because to hell with it, I'm in the mood for unhealthy syrups," said Lois humorously.
"The same," said Diana. Smiling at Lois' happiness at her apparent decision to mimic her lunch habits, she offered, "Man's World is new to me, is it not? Why not rely on you to be my guide in this moment. I'm sure you won't lead me astray."
"Me? Never," said Lois with exaggerated seriousness, placing a hand over her heart. It was then that they reached the front of the line and Lois rapidly ordered their food and paid before Diana could even reach into her pocket. Halting Diana's protest before it even got started, Lois remarked, "It's just seven bucks, Princess. You won't bankrupt me."
In a few short minutes, their food was in hand, three tacos for them each and two cans of Coca Cola, and Lois was leading them into her favorite area of Centennial Park. Over the years, Lois had developed an attachment to this particular bench. It was on a side path only frequented by the most dedicated exercise enthusiasts and offered a nice view of the entire park and the city itself. Lois, being an avid people watcher, found it be the perfect place to eat a relaxing and cheap lunch.
Eating her taco with gusto but showing more restraint than she would've had if she was alone, Lois studied Diana's reaction, pleased when she saw Diana's approval for her food choice. They ate in silence for a few moments, when Lois paused to take a drink of soda then asked, "How are things going in terms of adjusting? You finding it easy?"
"I wouldn't say it was easy but it is not as difficult as I had imagined," said Diana slowly. "When I first accepted this mission I had many of my peoples prejudices about Man's World firmly set in my mind. Ideas of how things would be and I'm finding more and more they are blatantly false. Now I'm doing my best to try and look at every experience I have with new eyes, untainted from preconception." She sighed and studied the food in her hand. "If such a thing is possible."
"Sure it is," said Lois, waving her left hand as she lifted up her taco with her right hand and took a bite. Chewing on it quickly and swallowing, she continued, "It's just a matter of forcing yourself to forget. Every time you start to think a certain way because of what the Amazons back home said just tell yourself to stop it. Maybe it won't work perfectly all the time but I'm betting you'll be able to head yourself off at the pass more than a few times doing that."
Diana appeared encouraged on hearing this and Lois felt an unexpected surge of pride to know she had done that. If she stopped to think about how she was sitting here on a bench eating tacos with a woman who killed mythological monsters and could fly Lois was sure she'd laugh at the sheer ridiculousness of it all. But somehow it all seemed natural and normal when it came to Diana. There was no intimidation with her. She made growing up on an island of near immortal women warriors that spoke with Greek Gods something strangely normal just because she didn't see herself as above anyone else.
And Lois was positive, more than anything else, that was why she liked her.
Two weeks passed and it wasn't until she was at the annual charity ball for Metropolis Cares that Lois was able to talk with Diana at length again. They had seen each other at the scenes of Diana's various rescues and criminal apprehensions but their conversations never got much further than the facts and a few friendly words before they were interrupted. Lois was moving through the crowd and stopped at Lex Luthor, finding him as charming, if not smarmy, as ever and hoped to get a few good quotes out of him involving his recent military contracts when Diana appeared. She wasn't in her ever present armor but instead an elegant black dress with a slit down the side showing off her perfectly long legs. Lois noted absently that she still wore her gauntlets and they seemed to add something special to the outfit.
The crowd parted for her, whether it was out of respect or awe, Lois didn't know and when Diana stood before her, she wore a blinding smile. "Lois," her name was affectionate on those lips and suddenly, two weeks didn't seem all that long. Her eyes fell on Lex and Lois could swear there was a slight flicker of distaste in her gaze. "Mr. Luthor."
"Wonder Woman," said Lex grandly. "How generous of you to grace the little people of Metropolis with your presence."
"None are little in my eyes, Mr. Luthor, save those who break the laws of man and nature," said Diana sharply. "I'm here as an emissary of Themyscira, my mission is one of benevolence, something this organization clearly focuses on."
"Right," said Lois slowly. While she suspected there was a big story here there was another, greater, part of her that wanted to take Diana away from Lex before they had a scene on their hands. She didn't stop to think more on it or the fact that normally a potential story took precedence over everything else in her life, except, somehow Diana. "You know what else they focus on? Giving out great hors d'oeuvres." Hooking her arm in Diana's, well aware of the fact that if she wanted to, Diana could make herself immovable, Lois managed to lead the other woman away. "Lets go get some."
"I'm sorry," said Diana as they approached a star struck waiter with a tray of food, "but that man enrages me. He wears the face of generosity while in reality he is nothing but a scheming warmonger."
"Yeah, Lex isn't going to win humanitarian of the year with anybody who knows him," said Lois. "Problem is, hardly anyone knows him and most of the stories I do on his less than savory exploits don't get anywhere. It'd drive me crazy if I let myself think about it for too long, so I do my best not to try. Anyway," Lois said, snapping up several treats from the waiter and turning to Diana. "Have a tuna nicoise canape. I hear they're to die for."
Diana studied the hors d'oeuvre in Lois' fingers for just a second and before Lois could properly comprehend what was happening, she ate it from her hand. Pulling away with a very satisfied expression, Diana murmured, "Delicious."
Releasing a strangled cough, Lois shook her head and muttered, "Warn me before you do that, would you?"
"That would take away the fun, wouldn't it?" Diana responded and Lois blinked in surprise on hearing this.
"You just pretend to be sweet and innocent, don't you?" said Lois, narrowing her eyes humorously and pointing an accusing finger at Diana. "I'm onto you, Princess."
"I never said I was an innocent, Lois," said Diana smoothly, leading Lois through the crowd and out onto the large veranda. She formed a slow and enchanting smile then said, "But I can be very sweet when properly motivated."
"Oh yeah?" said Lois, trying her very best to keep her voice from reaching that same strangled tone again. Her mind inevitably drifted towards safer things and seeing Lex lurking out of the corner of her eye, she asked, "What's with you and Luthor anyway? I've never seen you talk to anyone that way. Not even the Martian."
"J'onn is the last of his kind, just like Superman, and those creatures destroyed his home, there is nothing to fear or dislike about him. He is a good man," said Diana quietly. "Mr. Luthor is the epitome of the warnings my mother gave me about Man's World. His concern is only with himself and his own wealth, his greed and selfishness are dangerous and threaten others." Diana paused and to Lois it seemed as if she was calming herself before she looked to Lois with a sheepish look on her features. "I apologize," she said, holding Lois' hands in her own, "but I have never been good at pretending. Not even when participating in our annual plays on Themyscira."
"Plays, huh?" said Lois with a smirk. "And you weren't the star? I don't buy that."
"As I said, I am a terrible actress. The furthest I ever got in a production was being a member of the chorus in Lysistrata," Diana said, wearing a wistful expression. She sighed and looked up at the sky. "I have missed seeing the stars in Metropolis. Everything looks so very different on the satellite."
"People here have been speculating about that," said Lois slowly. When Diana faced her she shrugged and said, "Ever since you formed that Justice League and caught the last of those monsters, you haven't been around as much. For awhile, people here were thinking you might consider making Metropolis your home base. Kind of like how Gotham has Batman."
"Themyscira will always be my home," said Diana seriously and Lois looked to one side, not liking the way this was going. Diana held her chin in a gentle touch, turning Lois' head until their eyes met. "I'm not completely comfortable in Man's World yet but of all the places I've traveled in your lands Metropolis is foremost in my heart."
"So," Lois drew the word out slow and mischievous, "you're staying?"
"I've already a purchased an apartment. Quite an expensive one, according to Green Lantern," said Diana wryly.
"Don't tell me you've got someplace in Queensland Park or Metrodale," said Lois, almost shuddering as she pictured the sheer suburban boredom of those areas of the city.
"New Troy, actually," said Diana with a smile. "The name had obvious appeal to me."
"Funny," Lois said sardonically.
"Would you like to see it?" asked Diana, offering her hand to Lois, a twinkle in her eyes.
She thought all of one second before agreeing and as Lois put her hand in Diana's, she said, "Just fly slowly, will you? I don't want our dresses flying up and giving people a show."
"Always the lady," Diana complimented, sweeping Lois into her arms, and Lois yelped, wrapping her arms around Diana instinctively and scowling at the other woman.
"Remember what I told you about warnings?" Lois snarked as they flew into the air.
Diana turned her head, her mouth a breath away from Lois' ear, her words blowing the small hairs away from her skin, causing Lois to shiver at the sensation. "Where's the romance in that?" she questioned fondly. When Lois reddened in response and didn't have an answer, Diana laughed and held her closer. "You're adorable when speechless."
Well aware that she was hardly ever at a loss for words, Lois frowned and said with a touch of sarcasm, "Oh yeah? What about the other 99% of the time?"
"Beautiful and charming, if not a little defensive," said Diana sincerely and once again, Lois didn't know what to say. They were quiet for several moments then Diana said, "I find it difficult, speaking to people in Man's World. Even amongst the League, I cannot relate many of my experiences with their own, and I am someone who enjoys finding a connection." She turned to Lois, a soft look in her eyes. "It isn't like that with you. I find myself wishing it was this easy with everyone else."
"If it was, I wouldn't be special," said Lois without thinking, snapping her mouth shut right after she said this.
"Lois," Diana's breath was once again in her ear and Lois swore if Diana moved a millimeter closer she would be pressing a very welcome kiss onto her neck. "You'll always be special."
"You're right, you can be sweet when you want to," said Lois humorously. Diana laughed, flying them down to a large terrace for a rooftop apartment that Lois could only assume was Diana's. When they landed, Lois let out a whistle, putting her hands on her hips. "I'm impressed," she said. "How much did this set you back? Never mind, I don't want to know. You're a Princess, after all. I'm guessing you have access to the royal treasury."
"Come inside?" said Diana in an invitation, walking over to the doors and standing in front of a sophisticated security device. Diana placed her hand on it after entering an access code and seeing Lois' curiosity, she offered, "A gift from Batman."
"The Bat did your security? Did Hawkgirl decorate the place?" Lois joked, pausing to stare at the empty apartment that consisted of precisely one chair and a dining room table. "Let me guess," said Lois dryly, looking at Diana who wore a rather bemused expression. "Your bedroom only has a bed and a dresser."
"Just a bed, actually," said Diana, rubbing the back of her head. "I'm unaccustomed to shopping. On Themyscira we made whatever we needed and it was a much simpler affair."
"You and me, we're going shopping," said Lois in a commanding tone, pointing a finger at Diana. "Because this," she gestured to the apartment which seemed to echo with emptiness, "isn't acceptable living conditions."
"When?" asked Diana easily, more than willing to go along.
"I think that's up to you, isn't it? You're the one with the busy schedule, always going off to save the world," said Lois with blithe humor, forming a crooked smile.
"Me?" Diana responded as she neared the other woman. "You just returned from Kasnia, covering the conflict in their current civil war. Didn't you spend a week with one of their rebel factions?"
"It was four days," said Lois smartly, her cheeks flushed. "You read that?"
"Yes, it was a good article," said Diana simply. "I feared for your safety, reading it. Then I realized," Diana reached out, her fingers sliding through Lois' hair, admiring the strands. "More than anything, you're a woman who can take care of herself."
It was unusual to find herself speechless but when had anyone said something like that to her? Her family congratulated Lois on her achievements, so did her co-workers and girlfriends but they never said anything like that. They never let her know that they never questioned her abilities or her strength but Diana said it and Lois knew it wasn't just words with her. She meant what she said and that made it all the more precious.
Really, this was too much for her to take, all this natural charm and heartfelt compliments. It made Lois want Diana more and in a way she hated it. She was never a big fan of feeling insecure and unsure of herself and that happened far too often in Diana's presence. There was only a brief period of time in high school when Lois lacked the ability to discern when someone was interested in her romantically. When she pined over someone and spent hours contemplating what they thought about, did they think about her, and all those silly stupid things.
Horribly, she was almost feeling that way again when it came to Diana. And the worst part was, Diana didn't even seem aware of her actions which meant the normal social cues went right out the window. If she was in this situation with any of her ex-girlfriends Lois would easily bet this was flirting but with Diana? Serious, sweet, and impossibly kind Diana? She hadn't a clue what it could be. She just knew what she wanted it to be. All in all, Lois found it frustrating.
Which is why she cursed under her breath and Diana, with her extraordinarily good hearing, managed to pick it up. Seeing the question in Diana's eyes matching the concern on her face, Lois said with fond exasperation, "Do you practice this?"
"Practice what?" asked Diana, looking utterly confused.
"This," Lois waved her hands wildly at the other woman who looked even more confused. Feeling incredibly foolish, Lois groaned and decided it would be best to bite the bullet and just tell the truth. "I'm attracted to you. Romantically. I'm a lesbian."
Diana stared at her blankly and Lois suddenly was struck by the thought that perhaps the Amazons on Themyscira were celibate. Then Diana stepped closer and held Lois' hands in her own and Lois had a sudden vision of Diana letting her down easy and telling her about the ways of virginal warriors in their Xena outfits.
"I wasn't aware you declared these things formally in Man's World," said Diana frankly and Lois blinked. "Very well," she continued and she straightened her posture, looking an inch or so taller. "I reciprocate."
"You reciprocate," echoed Lois and she was starting to feel like her brain was dying.
"A gesture is required," Diana observed and she wore a very determined expression as she stepped forward again. Then reaching out, she held Lois' face in her hands and kissed her.
In her life, Lois had kissed more than a few people. There were some men, mostly out of curiosity and as a confirmation of her sexuality, and countless women but this was something altogether different. Diana kissed her with such tenderness and care that Lois couldn't doubt the sincerity of her interest or her attraction. It was startling in a way, that someone as strong as Diana could be this gentle and Lois trembled at her touch. When they parted, Diana offered her a radiant smile and Lois returned it before announcing, "My turn."
Where the first kiss was soft and sweet, the second was hard and passionate, leaving no doubts about Lois' desire. Diana matched her kiss by kiss until two and three became seven and eight and it turned into a full on make out session. Because when Lois was seriously contemplating the idea of moving her hand just a little higher to cup Diana's breast they were definitely making out.
Somehow knowing Lois' line of thought, Diana's hand covered her own, moving it where Lois wanted it to be and Lois moaned, kissing Diana harder. Feeling the welcome weight of Diana's breast in her hand, Lois felt a sudden aggressive surge, her kisses becoming more ardent. It was right about this time that the logical part of her brain managed to break through, telling her this was too fast, and Lois pulled away, breathing deeply and hiding her face in the crook of Diana's neck. Diana held her tenderly, keeping her close, and Lois felt her press a kiss onto the top of her head.
"I'm sorry," said Lois eventually.
"For what?" Diana asked with confusion, tipping Lois' chin up so they could look at one another.
"For stopping," said Lois, stunned by her lack of control, something that was usually a constant.
"Lois," murmured Diana, touching Lois' cheek and wearing a serious expression. "You can stop anytime you want." Tilting her head to one side, Diana moved forward, whispering in her ear, "Just like you can start anytime too."
Bursting into laughter, Lois smirked and moved back just a breath, cupping Diana's face and grinning wide. "I like you, Princess," she drawled, kissing her quickly. "You've got a good sense of humor."
"That's funny," remarked Diana absently, "because I suspect everyone in the League thinks I'm humorless."
"You're probably not relaxed around them," said Lois wisely, tapping Diana on the nose, and laughing again when Diana wiggled it in reaction. "Anyway, about shopping," said Lois thoughtfully, gazing at the empty as ever apartment and considering the options. "How does tomorrow at 5 o'clock sound?" She reached for her purse and pulled out her notepad and pen, writing quickly. Handing the paper over to Diana, she wore a cheeky grin and said, "Call if you're going to be late."
Accepting the piece of paper, Diana frowned then confessed, "I don't have a phone."
Making a mental note of this, Lois commented, "That's another essential." When Diana blinked, Lois laughed and said, "Ask Batman if he can loan you one tomorrow." She surveyed the apartment again, walking in the direction of the kitchen, looking over her shoulder as she said, "Do you have any food in this joint or should we order in?" After a minute, Lois shouted to the approaching Diana, "We're definitely ordering in! What do you want, Chinese or Italian?"
Diana let the decision fall to Lois and they soon had a buffet of Chinese dishes on the dining room table, happily sharing with one another and Lois realized, this was probably the oddest first date she'd ever had but the most enjoyable.
Lois was in the middle of finishing her piece on the spreading influence of Intergang in Metropolis when the distinctive ringtone assigned to her sister came from her phone. With a sigh, Lois stared at the contact named Little Sister on her phone for a few more rings before giving in and answering it. "Lucy," she said, tapping her pen against her desk.
"That's a nice greeting for your only sister," Lucy snarked. "I just woke up too."
Glancing at her clock and seeing it was just past three o'clock, still leaving well over an hour until her shopping date with Diana began, Lois frowned. "You still have insomnia? I thought you got pills for that," she remarked.
"It's the weekend, I can sleep in. You're always working if you ask me," said Lucy plainly. "Anyway," she said this strongly and Lois could distantly hear Lucy rummaging around, probably looking for food. "I wake up and turn on the tv for background noise and guess what Cat Grant has on? Video of my sister flying off with Wondey!"
"It's Wonder Woman, not Wondey," said Lois sharply. "And why are you watching Cat Grant anyway?"
"I like irritating you by supporting her. Plus celebrity gossip. I'm a little shocked my sister's love life counts as that though," said Lucy in a matter of fact way. "Are you going to tell me what's going on with you two? You're not actually dating a superhero are you?"
"I don't want to talk about it, Lu," said Lois sternly, tapping her pen against the desk with aggravation. She was trying to figure out a way out of this conversation but it was incredibly hard when Lucy was just as persistent as she was.
"You are, aren't you?" Lucy chuckled. "Oh my god, my sister is dating a superhero," she burst into laughter now. After a moment of silence and perhaps sensing Lois' extreme scowl on the other side, she said more sympathetically, "What's the matter? Are your emotional troops not prepared for the battle?"
Slumping slightly in her chair, Lois sighed and said quietly, "I like her, okay? She's different."
"I would think so, she can fly and throw cars," said Lucy humorously.
"No, I mean, yes, she's different in that way but it's more her personality," said Lois finally. "I don't know if it's because she was raised on an island of all women or what but she's just so..." Lois trailed off, sighing deeply, not sure how to explain it. "When I'm with her, it's like she calms me down and excites me at the same time."
"You really do like her, don't you?" said Lucy seriously.
"I'm taking her furniture shopping later today," said Lois in wry tones.
"Furniture shopping?" echoed Lucy with amusement. "Is that some sort of lesbian sex double entendre I'm unaware of?"
"No, actual furniture shopping, she bought an apartment here and it's completely empty," said Lois, leaning back in her chair and checking her email. "Now I'm wondering if that's the best idea. I rather not end up on tv again."
"Right," said Lucy dismissively. "You like her, Lo, so who cares if you end up in a few gossip columns. Is she worth it?"
"Have you always been this dramatic or are you reading Harlequin romances again?" asked Lois sarcastically.
"You're avoiding, just answer my question. Is she worth it?" said Lucy in a steadfast demand.
Grimacing and hating the fact that she knew Lucy wouldn't stop bothering her until she replied, and honestly at that, Lois heaved a sigh and muttered, "Yes."
"Then good luck, big sis," Lucy said in cheery tones and then Lois was met with the sound of a dial tone.
Rolling her eyes, Lois put her cell phone down and tried to concentrate on her article. For the next hour all she did was write a few words then stare at the clock and then repeat the cycle until, finally, at four thirty she headed over to Diana's apartment. Walking out of the elevator and onto the top floor, Lois looked around the hallway, not quite sure what she was looking for. There was only one door, leaving Diana as the sole occupant and Lois was curious about what other security measures Batman added. Her question was immediately answered by the small video intercom outside the door and Lois pushed the call button. When nothing happened, Lois frowned and looked at her watch. Five o'clock on the dot. She pressed it again.
After a minute and no answer, Lois was starting to get irritated and she began to leave. That was when the video screen lit up with Diana's face, anxious with wet strands of hair in her eyes. "Lois?" she said quickly.
"You're late," said Lois plainly, folding her arms over her chest.
"I'm sorry," Diana apologized and she moved away from the screen and a moment later, the door opened, revealing her statuesque figure. She was dressed in a pair of impossibly form fitting jeans and a red shirt that wasn't nearly as buttoned as it should be. "I was in the shower. I only just returned from aiding with the earthquake in Chile."
Her eyes going wide and feeling completely petty and selfish, Lois said, "You could've cancelled. I would've understood."
"No, it's all right," said Diana, closing the front door and drying her hair with the towel resting around her shoulders. "Superman and J'onn have it well in hand. Besides," she looked over her shoulder at Lois and smiled. "I wanted to be here." Sitting down on her one chair, she pulled on a pair of black boots and peered up at Lois. "Where are we going?"
"Thomas Brothers, they have a great selection and I pulled a few strings so we'll be the only customers," said Lois easily, watching as Diana buttoned her shirt and rolled up the sleeves. Studying the empty apartment, Lois asked, "Is there anything you want but don't need? For instance, what are your hobbies, do you like to read? Maybe we could get some bookcases."
"I read often on Themyscira," said Diana and she wore a thoughtful expression. "Perhaps if I purchased literature from some of your great authors it would give me further insight on Man's World."
"Couldn't hurt," said Lois with a smirk. "You need a tv though, with as much as you're on it." When Diana looked at her with a blank expression, Lois' face screwed up as she tried to find a way to explain what a television was. "It's like that box on your door? We use cameras to film people and-"
"I know what a television is, Lois," said Diana quietly, an amused look on her features. "While Themyscira kept itself purposefully isolated from Man's World we are aware of your technological advancements along with all the good and ill they have caused. I was curious about you saying that I'm always on it."
"Apparently someone filmed you flying off with me yesterday," said Lois, gauging Diana's reaction and finding it utterly lacking. Diana simply stared at her calmly as if waiting to hear something of note. "We're apparently fodder for the gossip columns and entertainment news networks."
"And this is unwanted," said Diana slowly, making an estimated guess from Lois' response.
"It's a freaking pain, that's what it is," Lois huffed as she rolled her eyes. "Don't get me wrong, I know that I'm nosy but it's to get a legitimate story. Somebody's personal life, even a superhero's, doesn't come close to having any journalistic merit." She paused to offer a wide and hopefully flattering smile as she added, "No offense."
"None taken," said Diana with dry humor. "Just so you know, I do agree."
"Good!" declared Lois, taking Diana's hand and pulling her out of the chair. "Now that we've got that settled lets buy you some furniture so you can stop pretending to be some sort of Amazonian monk in this place."
A soft smile on her features, Diana allowed Lois to lead her along, pausing only to reset the security system but after that she left herself safely in Lois' hands. Somewhere she was fast discovering was a very enjoyable place to be.
Two days later, sometime around eight o'clock at night, Lois became vaguely aware of a presence in front of her desk. Heaving a sigh and continuing her typing, she retorted, "I'm almost done, Perry. We'll have it for the morning edition."
"I'm not Perry," Diana said in a good natured reply and Lois looked up at her with wide eyes.
"Diana," said Lois, quickly recovering. "What are you doing here?"
"I wanted to see you," said Diana simply and there was an honesty in her blue eyes that caused Lois' confidence to waver when confronted with it. There were times she thought Diana had to practice at being this beguiling because it couldn't be natural. Diana sat on the edge of Lois' desk, peering at her computer screen. "But I can see you're still working." Lois started to protest, despite knowing she really had to finish this article, and Diana stood up, casually wrapping a lock of Lois' hair around her finger. "Which is why I'll return in an hour... or two...?"
A slow smile working its way across her features, Lois said, "I should be done by nine thirty."
"I'll return then," said Diana easily. Walking out of the newsroom only to pause and ask, "Have you eaten yet?"
"No," said Lois, grimacing as her stomach made itself known.
"I'll bring food as well," Diana announced as she stepped onto the elevator. "Nine thirty, Lois."
"Yeah, yeah, Princess," said Lois flippantly, a playful tone in her reply as waved her hand at Diana and focused back on her article. "I won't keep you waiting."
Nine thirty arrived and Lois was submitting her article when she felt a presence in front of her once again. A basket sat on her desk along with a bottle of white wine. Diana wore an inviting smile, offering her hand to Lois and like the times before, Lois instinctively responded, placing her hand in Diana's.
"It's a warm night," murmured Diana, lacing her fingers with Lois'. She shifted the picnic basket over her forearm and used her free hand to reach for the wine. "I thought we could eat on the rooftop."
"Did you bring a blanket?" asked Lois, amused at the idyllic picture Diana was painting for them. She never quite considered herself a romantic picnic sort of girl but she was willing to give it a shot. When Diana opened up the picnic basket to reveal a red blanket that was neatly folded, Lois snorted. "Of course, you did." Stepping onto the elevator as it opened its doors, Lois punched in the button for the rooftop and eyed the bottle of wine. "So," she teased, "you trying to get me drunk?"
"I was told by the worker at the shop that the Muscadet-Sevre et Maine had only a moderate amount of alcohol," said Diana with a frown, holding up the bottle and studying the label. "He suggested it when I mentioned the meal I planned."
"You cooked for me?" said Lois, blinking at the other woman, feeling altogether baffled. She had dated more than her fair share of women and none of them had ever cooked for her. Not that she cared one way or the other but Lois found it more than a little peculiar that her first home cooked meal would come from a super powered Amazon Princess. It didn't seem to add up in Lois' head but then again, if Diana was proving to be anything, it was unexpected.
"Yes," said Diana with a smile, walking out onto the rooftop as the elevator doors opened. "I hope you like it." She sat the picnic basket and wine bottle down, removing the blanket. Diana unfolded it, placing it on the rooftop as she looked up at Lois, holding out her hand again. "Since I wasn't sure of your favorites, I decided to make you one of my own, hoping you might enjoy it as well. If I'm wrong, we can always order in, right?"
"Right," said Lois and she gave a delighted laugh, accepting Diana's hand and sitting down. "What did you make?"
"Mydopilafo," Diana replied. She retrieved two small ceramic casserole dishes that Lois recalled buying during their furniture and household items shopping spree. Handing a dish to Lois along with a fork, she said, "It's a Greek dish of baked rice and steamed mussels. Mother used to make it for me often on Themyscira."
"I love seafood," said Lois happily, opening the lid and spearing a mussel from its shell with her fork. Scooping up a bit of the rice, she ate it slowly, well aware of Diana's curious gaze. When she was done, an honest smile spread across her features and Lois declared, "Delicious. You're a fantastic cook."
"I'm glad," said Diana and she looked quite pleased with herself. Opening the wine, she poured it into both glasses and offered one to Lois. After Lois took a drink and sighed with contentment, Diana remarked, "It's good to see you relax. You looked stressed when I first arrived."
"Deadlines," said Lois dismissively, taking another bite of the mussels and groaning at the taste. Honestly, how was somebody royalty and still able to cook like this? She figured it had to be an Amazon thing. Lois couldn't see the Brits pulling this sort of stunt off, that's for sure. "I always get stressed when they're getting closer. Plus it's another story on Lex," Lois said this derisively, rolling her eyes. "They never go over the way I want them to."
"Why is that?" questioned Diana, leaning back on her elbows and granting Lois a very nice view of her lean physique.
"Lex has a lot of money which he spends on top notch lawyers and the best public relations experts out there," said Lois, feeling disgusted as she thought about it. "Between the threats of lawsuits and the sheer amount of spin on whatever he does, they can always arrange it so he comes out smelling like roses. Even if he's swimming in shit."
"That's unacceptable," said Diana harshly, a severe frown on her features.
"You're telling me," Lois scoffed but whatever else she was going to say was stopped by that look on Diana's face. It surprised her how earnestly Diana took everything but Lois figured it was part of her charm. The reason everyone in this city loved her was that she really did care and seemed to take everything to heart. Including Lex Luthor's schemes. "Hey," Lois drawled, sliding closer and touching Diana's leg. "I don't want to talk about Lex. Tell me what you did today. Foil some robberies? Stop a few wars? Maybe save a stranded kitten up a tree?"
Laughing at this, Diana shook her head and covered Lois' hand with her own. "My day was peaceful. I spent most of it on the Watchtower with J'onn. We spoke of Mars and his family," she murmured, a sad and thoughtful expression taking hold as her eyes grew lidded. "I miss my home very much but I can't imagine what it must be like for him. Everyone and everything he loved is now gone. I hope he is able to find a new family, a new home, here on Earth with us."
"It's got to be hard for him," Lois agreed and they were silent, eating their food, until Lois couldn't take it anymore. "Okay!" she proclaimed, clapping her hands and sitting up straight. "You and me, Princess, we're playing twenty questions. Only not really because I don't want to play a guessing game and that whole animal, vegetable, mineral things bugs me. Basically," Lois instructed, pointing a figure at Diana. "I ask you a question, you answer, you ask me a question, I answer and so on."
"And this goes on twenty times," said Diana skeptically.
"Or until we get bored," said Lois easily, shrugging her shoulders. "I'm going first!" she insisted and she shifted in her seat, trying to decide what she wanted to ask the most. Finally, Lois settled on, "What's the biggest difference in how you pictured the outside world to be and how it really turned out?"
"Men," said Diana immediately. "The stories about men on Themyscira were ones of grim warnings. It doesn't help that our encounters with the male Gods have never been good for the most part. I expected men to be corrupt and selfish, warlike people made in the image of Ares. Some follow in his likeness, such as Lex Luthor, but there are many more good men who have more in common with my comrades in the League. I'm happy to be proven wrong."
"Your turn," said Lois, taking a drink of her wine, thoroughly interested in what Diana would ask her.
"What was your childhood like?" asked Diana curiously.
"I moved around a lot," said Lois wryly. "My father is a General in the Army and we never stayed anyplace for too long. It made it hard to make friends but I did get to see a lot of places. We lived in practically every state and were with the General when he was stationed overseas in Japan, Germany, and the Philippines."
"Your father is a warrior," said Diana in respectful tones.
"He'd love hearing you say that," Lois laughed, taking a drink of wine. "Yeah, he is, and I have to give the guy credit, he probably wished he had sons but he never let me or my sister, Lucy, think we couldn't do anything because we were girls. I think he always got a kick out of watching us in those martial arts classes, beating up all the boys."
"What do you practice?" asked Diana, moving closer to Lois, clearly interested.
"Kick boxing and judo," said Lois easily. "It was karate when we were kids but that dropped off during high school when I picked up judo. In college I dated a girl into mixed martial arts and that led to kick boxing. I don't practice as much as I should though." Lois shrugged and said, "Work keeps me way too busy but I still go to the shooting range to wind down. It's relaxing to just focus on the target and nothing else." With a mischievous expression, Lois tapped one of Diana's silver gauntlets and drawled, "Maybe you and I should have ourselves a little contest of skill with some rubber bullets. What do you say?"
A glint emerging in her blue eyes, Diana said confidently, "I'll win."
"Princess," Lois laughed again, longer and harder, a smirk curving on her lips. "I think you just might be the perfect date."
"The feeling is mutual," murmured Diana, her voice lowering an octave and she moved closer yet. Her hand drifted forward, caressing Lois' cheek in a light touch. "I want to kiss you."
Chuckling at this, Lois closed the distance between them, leaving their lips a breath apart as she said teasingly, "You don't have to tell me. You can just do it."
And so, Diana kissed her and their game of twenty questions was abandoned many times throughout the night in the place of other more enjoyable pursuits. Whether they were speaking or not, Lois thought they certainly learned a lot about each other.
Things had been going too well, that's what Lois believed. They had gone out three more times. First to the shooting range where they had their contest of rubber bullets vs. bracelets and Diana agreed on calling it a tie even though she deflected everything that Lois fired at her save for one incredible shot. On their second date Lois took Diana on a combination walking and flying tour of Metropolis. The flying thanks to Diana, of course, and Lois took pleasure in pointing out all the famous sites of the city. Their third outing was perhaps Lois' favorite as Diana chose to reciprocate by flying Lois to all the places she had come to admire in Man's World. Diana piloting the Javelin-7 plane she had recently learned to operate thanks to Batman's tutelage. It was a whirlwind tour of the Great Barrier Reef, Machu Picchu, and a flyover of the Alps. Had she been with anyone else it would've been an impossible task but Diana was her date and while she was a seasoned traveler who had a passport filled with stamped pages, Lois found the experience exhilarating.
Despite their many successful outings they never officially said they were dating but nevertheless, Lois believed their time to be romantic, thanks to the kisses, and she suspected Diana agreed. Lois had also spoken to Diana at the scenes of various crimes and felt their relationship was progressing nicely. No problems at all. Lois should've known it wouldn't last. Particularly when Lex Luthor and androids were involved.
Amazo, it was a ludicrous name, certainly more ludicrous than Wonder Woman or Superman, and yet it was managing to defeat them pretty handily. Along with decimating several blocks of Metropolis. Lois, always too intrepid and brave for her own good, managed to get past the police barriers to the heart of the battle. It was more than obvious the Justice League was on the ropes but it didn't quite hit her how bad things were until she watched the android swing Diana around with her own lasso and send her crashing into a building that promptly collapsed on top of her.
"Diana!" Lois' scream was echoed by Superman who charged at Amazo and Lois rushed towards the rubble, not in the least concerned for own safety. She was met by Green Lantern who was lifting up the heavy debris to reveal Diana's unconscious form and Lois dragged her out of the wreckage, cradling Diana in her arms. "Jolly Green Giant," she shouted angrily and Green Lantern lifted an eyebrow at her and kept his ever stern expression. "Luthor made this hunk of junk, didn't he? Why don't one of you encourage him nicely to tell you how to beat this damn thing before it destroys everything in Metropolis?"
"Exactly what I had in mind," Batman announced his presence by landing in front of them with Luthor in hand. Yanking Lex closer by his collar, his voice lowered into a more threatening octave, if possible and said, "What do you say Luthor?"
"Please," Lex scoffed, not sounding intimidated in the least, "as if you scare me."
"Tell him what he wants to know, Lex!" demanded Lois, holding Diana closer, finding some measure in comfort in feeling Diana's pulse steadily moving beneath her fingertips. "Or do you want to be known as the man who destroyed Metropolis? Because I can guarantee you that's how I'm going to write this whole thing up."
"You're just upset your Wonder Woman can't hold a candle to Amazo," said Lex sardonically.
"I swear to god, Lex, I'm going to bury your arrogant ass," Lois growled but whatever she was going to say next was halted by the appearance of the Martian Manhunter.
"I believe I may have a solution," J'onn said before approaching the android.
Green Lantern frowned in confusion, shouting that Amazo would siphon his powers too. Batman, much to Lois' amazement, smirked at this and pulled Lex closer and remarked, "I wonder what he'll read in your mind, Luthor."
They didn't have to wonder because seconds after J'onn approached Amazo, the android fixed his gaze on Lex. "You used me," he accused quietly. "You never cared for me, you only wanted to discredit the Justice League, make them seem weak."
"And it worked, didn't it?" said Lex triumphantly. Directing his gaze down at Diana who was still unconscious in Lois' arms he snorted derisively. "Behold their great Wonder Woman! Defeated! Ivo created a superior being and I finished his work!"
Amazo didn't reply, his blank eyes only narrowed and he tipped his head back, staring up at the sky. "So small," he concluded. "All of you. And so meaningless." He turned to Lex, stepping closer. "There's nothing I want from you anymore." Lex, perhaps seeing where this was going, and no longer finding it to be a victory, started to protest only to be interrupted, "None of you has anything to offer me now."
And with that, Amazo was gone, Batman was hauling Lex off to jail, and Lois found Diana scooped out of her arms by an extremely concerned Superman. "Don't worry," he assured her, flying into the air. "We take care of our own."
"Your own?" Lois echoed, standing up and running forward. "What's that supposed to mean? Bring Diana back!" Now residing amongst the crowd and investigating police officers, Lois scowled as Superman flew away, ignoring her displeasure. Putting her hands on her hips, Lois said with a good deal of outrage, "She's my girlfriend!"
The instant she said this, Lois wondered if it was really true. They spent time together, they kissed, but they hadn't exactly spoken about their feelings and part of Lois, that tiny insecure part she constantly tried to squash, sometimes questioned what someone like Diana was doing with her. It didn't help that she looked so damned perfect next to Superman with their matching uniforms and glittering smiles, like they were a matching pair, made for one another.
Shaking herself out of this funk, Lois scowled and opened up her cell phone contacts list. She would call every single government official on it until she figured out some way to get ahold of that Watchtower and find out about Diana.
In the end, Lois harassed the upper echelons of the state department, calling on those who owed her a few favors and after two hours of phone calls she was connected to the Justice League Watchtower. Green Lantern's gruff voice met her ears and Lois demanded to know how Diana was. He hesitated a moment and she could swear she heard him talking to people in the background and she said, "It's a simple question! I'm not asking for your security codes or secret identities here."
"Ms. Lane?" Lois vaguely recognized the voice of the Martian Manhunter and it struck her as funny that he sounded more human than the Green Lantern. "Diana will be fine. She just needs several hours of rest to recover."
"You're sure?" said Lois, trying to control her anxiety and not doing a very good job of it. She was positive she tapped a hole into her desk with her pen after all these hours of trying to find out Diana's condition. "A building fell on top of her and it was big! I think it was at least thirty stories and you know, people usually aren't fine after a thirty story building falls on them."
"Diana isn't most people, as you're aware," said J'onn kindly. "She can withstand things most humans can't and this is one of them. When the building fell, she managed to stack the debris in a way that shielded her from most of the onslaught."
"Okay," said Lois and she concentrated on her tapping pen, a frown etched onto her features. Swallowing hard and knowing she should get off the phone but finding herself unable to break the connection, Lois settled on saying, "When she wakes up please ask her to call me when she feels well enough. I'd like to hear it from her that she's feeling fine."
"I promise I will tell her," said J'onn soft and solemn and as she ended the call Lois realized why Diana liked him so much.
Sighing heavily, Lois stared at her notes and contemplated the story. She did this for a few minutes, trying to gather her thoughts when Ron Black stopped at her desk. "Five million dollars in property damage," he stated, handing over several sheets of paper which Lois scanned, finding them to be statements from Mayor Berkowitz's office and the Metropolis Department of Transportation. "We'll be cleaning up that area of Bakerline for at least a year if not more."
"I'm assuming there's some point to this," Lois snapped, feeling a migraine coming on as she stared at him.
"The point is, as much as we love Wonder Woman, she wrecked a huge part of our city. Her and her friends swooped in and yeah, they saved lives, but they're costing the tax payers how much money in a clean up?" said Ron harshly. "Ever since she came here she's done a lot of good but she's done a hell of a lot of damage too. Just talk to the people at the MDT for two seconds and you'll hear all about it. I think maybe she should be made aware of the mess she's leaving behind."
"And I should be the one to say it," said Lois derisively. "Are your fingers broken? Is there a reason you can't write it up?"
"It's your story," Ron shrugged, "and I've got the piece on Professor Ivo. That's keeping me plenty busy."
"Not busy enough, clearly," said Lois in sarcastic tones, looking through the figures and finding them rather grim. She hated to admit it but Ron did have a point. If this kind of thing kept happening it could put the city in the red pretty quick.
"So don't use it," said Ron as he walked away. "Who cares about journalists being objective anyway? LexCom is popular."
Grimacing at the mention of Lex Luthor's news website that he touted as having quality journalism, Lois held back from shouting some very profane things at Ron's backside. Instead, she focused on the papers he gave her and the fact that this was an important part of the story. Something people needed to know but probably wouldn't think about otherwise. So with a sigh, she went on the website for the Metropolis Department of Transportation and got some contact numbers. If she was going to feature this in the article about the Justice League's battle with Amazo she'd need to get some quotes.
The next day, her article was printed in the morning edition and Lois spent her afternoon fixating on the fact that she hadn't heard from Diana. She didn't doubt that the Martian Manhunter delivered her message, he didn't seem like that kind of person... alien... man Martian... whatever. It just didn't seem like something he would do and she also believed, hope against hope, that he was right when it came to Diana's well being. That being so, why hadn't Diana called her?
When her phone did ring Lois found herself distracted by one of her better sources offering her a lead. Each time their meeting place was different according to his level of paranoia. This time she found herself in Suicide Slum, sitting in her car, when there was a tap at her window and he appeared. Sitting in her passenger seat, he said, "Start driving."
Over the course of fifteen minutes, he explained that word on the street had Intergang pulling off a major hijacking today. Experimental equipment under development from Star Labs that was being transported to the Pentagon and was related to the recent surge in the metahuman population. When Lois asked when this was happening, he told her to stop the car and turned on her police radio as an answer as he exited the vehicle.
By the time Lois arrived the area was cordoned off by the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit. She felt a combination of annoyance and relief when she saw Diana speaking with Inspector Maggie Sawyer and Lieutenant Inspector Dan Turpin. Lois called out to her and frowned she saw Diana's blue eyes narrow. That was an altogether new reaction for Diana. Previously, Lois had always been greeted with a smile and an affectionate light in those eyes but not this time. There was an unspoken accusation there as Diana approached and Lois tried to ignore the sinking feeling in her stomach.
"How are you feeling? Did the Martian Manhunter give you my message? It took me hours and hassling a ton of contacts to even get ahold of the Watchtower. See, things like this, buildings falling on top of you because of evil androids and me generally freaking out, that's why you need to get a cell phone," Lois rattled this off, one thing after the other, her words running together thanks to nerves and the stiffness of Diana's body language. "Diana," Lois said her name a bit desperately, reaching out to clasp her arm. "Say something, will you? That building didn't break your brain, did it?"
"I read your article," said Diana and while there was no inflection in her voice, Lois couldn't miss the unremitting expression and the disapproval reflected in her stance. She had seen it once too often from her father. Before Lois could reply, Professor Emil Hamilton from Star Labs shouted for her and Diana immediately left Lois, not bothering to say goodbye.
Frowning severely and her stomach now thoroughly tied in knots, Lois started after Diana only to be stopped by a police officer. Scowling at him, Lois managed to get a few details of the crime out of those lingering about until she managed to snag Inspector Sawyer as she walked past. After getting a couple of quotes from the Inspector about the hijacking of the truck and a few denials about the contents, Lois found the conversation shifting back to Diana.
"She's pissed, you know?" said Maggie knowingly, nodding to Diana who was still talking with Professor Hamilton. "About the piece you wrote. I think she took it as an attack and I can't say I blame her. You were pretty hard on her. And as far as I can tell, there wasn't much she or the rest of the League could do in terms of moving that fight out of Metropolis. Amazo made it next to impossible for them and I'm betting Luthor had that programmed into his head from the start."
"It was the truth," said Lois through gritted teeth. Now thoroughly aggravated, she threw her hands up and declared, "What was I supposed to do? Not write all the facts because I like her? Despite how she's acting right now I don't think Diana would want me lying for her and she's a big girl, isn't she? She can take a building collapsing on her, she can deal with a few less than glowing words about her chosen occupation and her super friends up on that satellite."
"Diana, huh?" Maggie remarked, a smirk playing on her lips.
Snorting at Maggie's coy attitude, Lois rolled her eyes. "Please," she said derisively. "Like you didn't know."
"You are pretty obvious," acknowledged Maggie and Lois made an irritated noise in response. "A piece of advice?" Maggie said, looking at Diana who was now occupied with listening to Lt. Inspector Turpin rant. "Get her to talk to you before it's too late and try to explain your side of things. Because if you don't fix this, there's a lot of people lining up to take your place."
"You included," Lois snarked at Maggie as she walked away, hating that she knew the police officer was right. Frowning severely and knowing that Diana wasn't likely to come over to her anytime soon, Lois pushed her way past the barrier and ignored the shouts of the officers. Reaching Diana's side, she clutched her arm and said strongly, "We need to talk."
For several long, seemingly endless moments, Diana simply stared at her. Then she dipped her head in silent acquiescence and said, "Very well." They walked away from the police officers who tried not to show their interest and Diana had that same maddeningly neutral look on her features. "What do you want to talk about?"
"No," said Lois firmly, holding up a finger. "We're not playing this game, Princess. We both know what this is about. You're angry about the article I wrote and fine, I get that, but what I don't get is you acting like a child and giving the silent treatment after I pretty much moved heaven and earth yesterday trying to find out if you were okay. You could've at least called me."
"Childish?" Diana repeated with not a small degree of outrage. "You were the one accusing me of all manner of irresponsible things after I saved innocent people. What was I to do? There was no way to make Amazo move outside the city lines and we did all we could to evacuate the area. In the end, I was the only person truly injured from the ordeal but instead of focusing on the lives saved and the good done, you fixate on the cost of replacing buildings."
"Buildings that the citizens of Metropolis are probably going to pay for with their tax dollars!" Lois exclaimed. "Not to mention all the road repairs that are going to be needed. Look," said Lois, feeling disgruntled. "It wasn't personal, what I wrote. I have to tell the truth when I'm writing a story, I can't hold back out of sympathy or personal feelings, that's not how it's supposed to work with journalists. The good ones, at least, and I've always tried to be a good one, Diana. This my job."
"I understand," said Diana, her voice lacking any sort of inflection. "Now I must go and do mine. Write what you will about it."
With that, she flew away and Lois was left staring after her, feeling a strange mix of anger and sadness. Unsure of which she felt more strongly but knowing either way, this was a start to a very horrible day.
When she thought that hours earlier, Lois couldn't have imagined that through the help of her contact and a few breaking and entering techniques she learned in her youth that she'd wind up in the middle of a shootout. She had been doing just fine, investigating the abandoned warehouse on the docks that was storing the missing equipment from Star Labs until it could be smuggled overseas to the highest bidder, when the MSCU decided to show up and everything got shot to hell.
It was at this point that Lois had two choices. She could try and escape or she could try and investigate. Seeing how Intergang was completely occupied in their firefight with the police, she chose the latter. Lois would readily acknowledge that she was somebody who would choose a story over self-preservation time and time again. It was one of her less logical traits.
Sneaking through the warehouse, avoiding bullets, gangsters, and police officers was harder than one could imagine but she somehow managed to do it. Finding the trucks with the stolen equipment that appeared abandoned for the moment and Lois opened the back of one, pulling out her cell phone to quickly take pictures. She had no idea what she was looking at but she knew more than a few scientists who could give her some idea. It was after taking the fourth picture that she heard the clomp of heavy boots and out of the corner of the eye she saw one of the Intergang cronies. Gripping her phone tightly in hand, she stayed low, spinning around and kicking his legs out from under him. He landed with a crash and a loud curse and Lois jumped out of the truck, only to find herself face to face with Diana.
"Lois," said Diana with definite exasperation.
"Hey, Princess," Lois offered her best winning smile and Diana sighed in response.
"Stay behind me," Diana ordered before going off to summarily defeat the approaching Intergang members. When she returned to Lois, the reporter was busy trying to get into another one of the trucks. "I thought I told you to stay behind me."
"I need to see what's in here," said Lois stubbornly.
"You need to get out of here, it isn't safe," insisted Diana and her words were marked with the sound of bullets being shot at them. Diana deflected them with her gauntlets while pushing Lois behind a truck. "What are you doing here?"
"Hijacking experimental weapons, major international crime dealings, it's a big story, don't you think?" Lois shouted, peeking her head around a corner just in time to see Diana fly through the bullets and take out two more gangsters.
Moments later, Diana reappeared with a peevish look on her features. "You don't know when to leave something alone, do you?" she said and instead of irritation there was a fondness to her voice that Lois had been sorely missing.
"If I did, we might never see each other," said Lois dryly, pointing out their many conversations at crime scenes. "Listen," she said urgently, holding Diana's hands. "I'm sorry I didn't say anything to you before I wrote that article. I wasn't trying to criticize you or your friends and what you did. I just-"
"No," Diana interrupted firmly, shaking her head. "You don't have to apologize. This was my fault. I was being vain, thinking I was above recrimination and I am not, I need to hear these things or else I can never improve upon my mistakes." She turned her head briefly at the sound of an explosion and frowned. Touching Lois' cheek with her palm, she offered a soft smile. "Superman and I spoke at length about your job, what it means to be a journalist in Man's World, and I don't think I ever truly grasped the importance of your work until he explained it to me. You tell the truth when all others would seek to censure it and I will never be one of those people, Lois, no matter how much the truth might sting my pride." Diana was holding her face in a gentle grasp as she murmured, "Yours is an important calling."
"Yeah, well, so is yours," said Lois, grinning and nodding her head at the police who were cornering off the last of Intergang. Distractedly noting that now she had to make an effort to stop being so snotty towards Superman as apparently the guy had helped her out. "So, go on," Lois drawled, pulling Diana down for a kiss, smirking when they parted, "kick their asses."
Diana's blue eyes gleamed before she flew off and Lois watched with a great deal of a pride as she captured the criminals with a few crushed guns and well timed punches. Chuckling softly, Lois remarked, "That's my girl." Then she snuck into the last two trucks and took pictures before the police ordered her away. Because, after all, it was her job, wasn't it?
After a frustrating week of investigating the Intergang hijacking, Lois eagerly accepted Diana's proposal for a romantic night out. She even managed to leave work early to shop for the perfect outfit. Settling on a sleeveless purple v-neck empire waist dress that showed off her figure in all the right ways. Satisfied with her purchase, she hurried home to shower, change, and do her make up. She was still in the middle of putting on the finishing touches when Diana knocked on her door. Eyeing her cell phone on the bathroom counter, Lois muttered, "Of course she's on time. She's only late when there's crime."
And tonight, thankfully, appeared to be a crime free evening.
Lois opened the door to her apartment, hoping her make up was just right, and promptly forgot whatever she was going to say as she stared at Diana. The other woman was dressed in a smoky gray Grecian gown that was flowing and clung to her frame like it was made for her. In fact, looking at Diana, she wagered it probably was made back on Themyscira. Finishing off her ensemble was a pair of open toed sandals that, along with the front slit of the dress, made for a very alluring picture.
"You're beautiful," Diana said in greeting and Lois felt her cheeks heat up in response. She started to make some sort of blithe reply when Diana stepped forward and gently cupped her face in her hands. "I've been looking forward to this all day."
"Really?" said Lois playfully, tilting her head to one side. "Then I guess I better make it worth your while."
"You will always be that," said Diana simply.
Then she captured Lois' lips in a slow and sweet kiss that was excruciating in its detail. There wasn't anything that Diana left unexplored or wanting, she took all that Lois had to offer and made it hers. Lois matched her intensity, kiss for kiss, not willing to simply let Diana have her way, she gave as good as she got, and it was a delicious struggle for power. It was only the sound of Lois' neighbor exiting the elevator that caused them to stop and when they did, they were both short of breath, cheeks flushed from a very pleasant exertion.
"Hell of a way to start a date, huh?" Lois joked, reaching behind her to shut the door to her apartment, turning to lock it and shivering when she felt Diana's hand resting on the small of her back.
"I trust our evening will only improve from here," murmured Diana in her ear, smiling when Lois turned to face her.
Releasing a bark of laughter and leaning into Diana as the other woman wound an arm around her waist, Lois said, "That's what I'm hoping. I think we deserve it, don't you?"
"I would agree with that," said Diana warmly as they stepped onto the elevator. She reached up, pushing Lois' hair over her shoulder and kissing the base of her neck. "Where are we going?" she asked in a murmur.
"Trattoria Marcella," Lois breathed, moving her head to look into Diana's eyes. "I know the chef-owner. She promised us a private table if she got a chance to talk to you." Seeing Diana's curiosity at this, Lois smirked and held Diana's chin in her hand, an affectionate look in her gaze. "Anne's got a major crush on you, Princess, and that gives us an advantage."
"You're exploiting her infatuation with me in order to get a table?" asked Diana with a frown.
"See, now you're making it sound worse than what it is," said Lois, rolling her eyes and lacing her fingers with Diana's when they reached the lobby. "It's not like she's in love with you or anything. I mean, she even knows the reason I want the table is because we're going on a date. She just has a thing for you, like everyone else in Metropolis, and when she heard I was coming to her restaurant with you she asked if you'd be willing to talk with her. I said yes if she gave us a private table."
"I'm not sure I understand the purpose of asking you such a thing. I thought it common knowledge that I will speak to whomever speaks to me if I wish it," said Diana plainly and Lois snorted.
"That's for sure. Just ask that hack at Newstime Magazine," muttered Lois irritably.
"Lois," said Diana patiently, standing to one side and watching as Lois flagged down a cab. "He was doing a piece on all the Justice League members. What was I to do? Refuse to participate because of our association?"
"No," Lois grumped, facing Diana and adjusting the strap to her dress that really didn't need adjusting. "It's just he asked you the stupidest fucking things. I mean, what the hell is the point of asking your favorite color and song? You're an ambassador for your people and a superhero, not a teen idol!" Diana formed a very amused and indulgent expression and Lois narrowed her eyes at her. "What? Why are you looking at me that way?" Lois turned to hail another cab and it arrived just as Diana touched her face, directing Lois' attention back to her. "You're looking at me like I'm a baby animal. It's disturbing to me."
"You never fail to charm me," said Diana, kissing Lois long and lingering, and Lois was sure that by the time they parted if they had been anyone else the cabbie would've left after having to idle for so long. But instead he welcomed them heartily as they stepped into the cab, making sure to say he loved Diana, and asking if she was really strong enough to lift five cars.
"She's good for seven easy," said Lois confidently and Diana chuckled. Sliding closer to the other woman, Lois trailed her fingers up Diana's arm, her mouth hovering by her ear. "I'll even the score before the night's over, Princess," she vowed in low tones, lightly biting down on the lobe of Diana's ear and nipping at her neck as one last promise then pulling away.
"I look forward to it," said Diana simply, an expectant gleam in her blue eyes.
Releasing a bark of laughter, Lois grinned and declared, "I love that you just act the part of a good girl."
"But I am good," Diana replied knowingly, causing Lois to swallow hard at the promise she saw there.
Moments later, they arrived at the restaurant and Lois tipped the cabbie, accepting Diana's hand as she stepped out of the cab. Lacing her fingers with Diana's as they entered the building, Lois smiled at the wide eyed look the hostess gave them. "I have a reservation," said Lois smoothly, feeling a combination of amusement and annoyance at the attention they got the instant they walked through the door. She knew bribing Anne had been a good idea. They could hardly have a good time with people gawking at Diana and interrupting for her autograph every five seconds. "It's under the name Lois Lane."
"Of course," said the hostess, nodding her head and taking two menus. "We have your table ready for you if you'll come with me." She looked over her shoulder, eyes lingering curiously on Diana before making her way through the restaurant. Through the main dining hall there was a small room, separated by sliding wooden doors, the glass of which was high enough to give a great deal of privacy. The hostess pushed the doors open and they walked inside, finding a charming private dining room. "Your waitress will be with you shortly," she said and she paused for a moment, biting the inside of her cheek and staring at Diana who met her gaze with a welcoming expression. "You saved my brother once. I just wanted to say thank you."
With that, the hostess was gone, quickly leaving them alone and Diana was staring after her. She almost seemed frozen to Lois and it was frightening in a way. Which is why she stepped forward, holding her hands and dipping her head so she could look into Diana's eyes. "You okay?" she asked quietly.
"It affects me," said Diana finally and she appeared lost in thought. "Their gratitude is always so sincere."
"Princess," said Lois fondly, reaching up to push a lock of hair out of Diana's eyes and caressing her cheek. "Of course it is. Don't you get it by now? These people love you. Metropolis is your city."
Sitting at the table with Lois and lifting an eyebrow, Diana teased, "Mine, is it? What about you?"
"Nobody owns me, missy," said Lois humorously, wagging a finger at Diana. "But if you make a good enough offer, maybe you can rent me for awhile." She paused, scrunching up her face and then muttered, "That doesn't sound right."
Laughing happily, Diana said, "I'm glad I'm not the only one to think that."
Their waitress never did appear. Instead, Anne came to them personally, getting her promised talk with Diana along with some additional chit chat and personal recommendations on the menu. She promised their cocktails would be there shortly and she left with a blush on her cheeks and a bounce in her step at Diana's bright smile.
"You're such a flirt," Lois accused the moment they were alone. Diana shrugged in response and offered another bright smile for the waitress who brought their Sazeracs. The instant she slid the doors shut to their private dining room, Lois lifted up her drink and said, "You should know it's considered bad taste in Man's World to flirt with someone else in front of your date."
"I thought it was required," said Diana, taking a drink and lifting an eyebrow. When Lois huffed, Diana chuckled and reached across the table to hold Lois' hand. "It was just a kindness. She was obviously nervous to speak with me." She turned Lois' hand over, tracing her palm with the tips of her fingers in a feather light touch. "Quite unlike yourself. You never hesitate with me, Lois, or worry over what you should or should not say. You treat me as you would any other person and that's why I care for you above all others in this place."
"In the restaurant?" asked Lois dryly, although her heart was beating faster at the already known response.
"No," said Diana, aware that Lois was avoiding and finding comfort in her humor and well kept defenses. "In this world that I've come to care for. A place that had been filled with strangers but is now populated by friends and to me, you are the most precious person residing in it." Lois ducked her head, cursing under her breath, and Diana's brow lifted at this reaction but she didn't have time to question it because Lois was moving out of her seat and perched in Diana's lap.
"And you call me the charming one," Lois drawled and Diana blinked then matched Lois' smile as they kissed.
Maybe it was the private dining room with its candles and romantic atmosphere or maybe it was the fact that Diana looked more gorgeous than usual in her gray dress but Lois found herself throwing caution to the wind and refused to let the kiss die. Soon as it started to end, Lois would start it up again, nipping and tugging at Diana's lips. Lois grinned at the small frown of consternation Diana formed, playfully licking the tip of her nose and laughing when Diana growled and pulled her closer, kissing her wholeheartedly, hands palming her ass. It probably wasn't the smartest thing in the world, private dining room or not, because Lois was sure there had to be a waiter with a cell phone camera who had contacts with the Daily Star's gossip columnists. Despite that, she continued to kiss Diana, and remained in her lap even after the kissing ceased.
"You smell lovely," Diana murmured, pushing Lois' hair gently aside, nuzzling her neck. "Like honeysuckle and marigold."
"Lucy got me the perfume for my birthday," revealed Lois and she couldn't help but smirk when she saw the wide eyed waitress through the high windows of their dining room. Anne pushed the door open and ignored Lois' seating arrangements in favor of telling them about their appetizer as the waitress set their plate down on the table and quickly exited. When Anne was done regaling the deliciousness of the stuffed artichokes, she left them but not until she gave Lois a wink which the reporter chuckled at. Picking up one of the artichokes, Lois held it out with an innocent look. "Want some?"
Diana's only response was to take a slow bite of the appetizer and mimic her actions from the charity ball, her lips surrounding Lois' fingers, and she pulled away slowly, a smile curved on her lips. Instead of her original reaction, Lois laughed and offered Diana another artichoke, thoroughly enjoying their new game.
Eventually, Lois returned to her seat and Anne came to tell them all about the Spiedini Di Gamberi and Chicken Risotto that she had chosen for their meals. Upon discovering Diana's fondness for seafood, Anne insisted she try the Spiedini that featured a shrimp scampi in marsala wine sauce with fresh spinach and a fennel risotto cake. Knowing Lois' tastes from her visits to the restaurant and their encounters at social gatherings, Anne was aware of her fondness for risotto, chicken, and asparagus, leaving Chicken Risotto as a natural choice. The waitress refilled their drinks and they were left alone to eat. Stopping to flirt and share their meals, leaning across the table to offer a taste, and Lois blushed when Diana removed a small piece of food from the corner of her mouth by brushing it away with her tongue.
An hour later, they made sure to stop by the kitchen and thank Anne for a wonderful meal and Lois swore the women turned the same shade of red as a fire engine when Diana hugged her and Lois couldn't help but grin. Hooking her arm in Diana's and feeling a little tipsy but blissfully happy as they exited the restaurant. "Princess," Lois drawled slowly, lifting an eyebrow and smiling at the other woman, content to take in her beauty. "I want to go dancing. Would you like to go dancing?"
"I would love to go dancing," said Diana, returning Lois' smile.
Nodding her head, Lois stood up on her tip toes, though it wasn't at all necessary, and whispered in Diana's ear, "If I give you an address can you fly us there?" For a reply, Diana swept Lois into her arms and Lois shrieked then laughed as Diana took off. Keeping her arms firmly wrapped around Diana's neck as they hovered above the city, Lois said, "The club name is Unity and it's on Coates Avenue just past 67th Street." Her fingers curled into Diana's hair and she played with the locks, absently murmuring, "Despite the attention you're bound to get, we should be fine there. It's a girls only establishment."
In the back of her mind, she knew there were going to be pictures and they were almost guaranteed to show up in somebody's gossip column but Lois didn't care. She wanted to dance and drink and show Diana a good time. But how would Diana feel? She knew for a fact that Diana still wasn't entirely comfortable with the attention she garnered.
"You're frowning," Diana observed. "You were happy moments earlier. What happened?"
"Just contemplating the cult of celebrity," said Lois frankly, figuring Diana deserved to know what was bothering her and decide for herself if they should forget about dancing. "It's pretty popular on a Friday night and there's no way you won't be recognized when we get there. Whatever we do, they'll be pictures of it and people writing about it. Is that okay with you?"
"Yes," said Diana immediately. When she saw the seriousness remain on Lois' features, she said, "There is more to this."
"There's a lot of ignorant people in the world," said Lois, scowling as she pictured the reactions of those who liked to put themselves on false moral high grounds. "And right now those people love you, Diana, because they consider you a good role model for their little girls. But if pictures and stories of me and you on a date, dancing, and kissing get out? They'll turn on you like a dime and start railing about how you're trying to corrupt the youth with your rampant lesbianism."
Diana blinked at this and to Lois it seemed as if she was trying to process there were people that small minded and Lois envied her that. Though she wondered if by not having to deal with hateful people growing up if it was somehow worse for Diana when she encountered it. She didn't have defenses built up against the blindly devoted mindset of I'm right, you're wrong, I'm good, you're evil, and it was clear the idea that loving women would be in this category was baffling to her.
"They can write what they will," said Diana and Lois recalled similar words being said to her after their fight. "It doesn't change my affections for you or my own desires. The only opinion I acknowledge in this matter is yours."
A slow smile spread across her features and Lois moved closer to Diana as they hovered over the club. "So, dancing?" she suggested mischievously, her fingers tangling in Diana's hair as she moved closer for a kiss.
"Dancing," Diana agreed in husky tones, smiling into Lois' kiss as they floated down to the ground.
It was a refreshing change of pace when the club didn't freeze upon their entrance. In fact, no one took much notice of them until they reached the bar and Lois ran into some friends of hers. Diana had gone off to order drinks and Lois absently noted that despite matching her cocktail for cocktail at the restaurant the other woman was completely sober. Clearly Amazons knew how to hold their liquor. When she reappeared with a rum and coke for Lois and a mystery drink for herself in hand, Lois' friends stopped and stared. Heading them off at the pass, Lois gestured to them and said, "Diana meet Julie and Christine. Julie and Christine, meet Diana of Themyscira. Otherwise known as Wonder Woman."
"A pleasure to meet you," said Diana sincerely, holding out a hand to Julie who shook it faintly and then to Christine who enthusiastically returned the gesture. When her hand was free, she slipped it around Lois' waist. "How do you know Lois?"
"We all went to Metropolis University together," said Christine quickly. "Lois majored in journalism while Julie and I were in the pre-med program. After we graduated, we still stayed close, despite our horrible reporter and doctor hours."
"You're healers," Diana said, a warmth in her eyes, focusing on Julie now. "That's a wonderful calling."
"I'm a pediatrician, I work with children," said Julie, just barely speaking above the sound of the music. "Christine is an orthopedic surgeon. Her specialty is hip replacement surgeries."
"Diana saves people," said Lois, sipping her drink and faking a solemn expression. "She focuses on emergencies."
"You're such a smart ass," Christine declared, shoving Lois slightly, and grinning when Diana immediately rescued Lois, helping her stand upright again. "How did you con a superhero into dating you, anyway?"
"Con?" repeated Lois, looking offended, and placing a hand over her heart. "I don't have to con anyone to date me. I just have to be my usual charming self and they come running." Grinning at Diana, she said, "Isn't that right?"
"Perhaps," Diana allowed, a smile playing on her lips, and Lois huffed in response.
The music grew louder, blasting a catchy beat, and Lois finished off the last of her drink. "We came here to dance," she informed Christine and Julie, grinning widely and giving them a plaintive look with her eyes. "I'll talk to you later?"
"Definitely," said Christine, nodding to Diana and silently saying Lois owed them an explanation while Julie simply told Lois to call her when she got the chance.
With that, Lois turned to Diana who had finished her mystery drink, and laughed when she offered her hand. They made their way onto the dance floor and the music roared all around them, seeming to thrum in their veins. Lois slid closer to Diana, her hands warm on Diana's hips, moving with the music and relishing the press of Diana's body against her own. One song ran into another and Lois didn't know how long they were dancing when it switched to a slower song and Diana pulled Lois flush against her body, leaving only a breath of space between them. Lois wound her arms around Diana's neck and offered a wide smile as she looked into Diana's eyes. There were so many things Lois wanted to say in this moment. How she never had this feeling of ease, of sheer rightness, when she was with anyone else. That Diana made everything better, even in the bad moments, and Lois felt safe with her, enough to let down her defenses raised by instinct and self-preservation. Only that need never existed with Diana. Quite the opposite of the attraction Lois felt towards her, something that occurred the instant she laid eyes on her and never went away. Instead, it only increased the longer Lois knew Diana.
All this and more, Lois wanted to tell Diana, but this wasn't the time. They were dancing and having a good time and Lois was halfway on her way to being drunk and she wanted to choose all the right words when she confessed such things. So she had to settle for kissing Diana long and hard, putting all of her affection and attraction for the other woman into her embrace, and when she felt Diana moan into her kiss, Lois was pretty damn sure she succeeded and she smirked. Diana, possibly sensing Lois' internal triumph at her reaction, squeezed her ass and lifted Lois slightly off the ground and held her close enough there wasn't the smallest bit of space between them. Something that Lois couldn't have been happier about.
They had been there for two hours and while people did notice Diana, they had mostly let her be. Allowing her to enjoy her time with Lois, and overall it was almost like they were any other couple. That's why when the club grew strangely quiet and seemed to freeze, Lois was utterly perplexed. At least, until she saw Batman lurking over Diana's shoulder.
"Diana," said Batman in his raspy no nonsense tone that even Lois took seriously. "We have a situation."
Frowning, Diana kept an arm around Lois' waist, and questioned, "You couldn't have contacted me on the com?"
"This has to do with the com," said Batman sternly. "I'll explain on the way."
Diana looked to Lois apologetically and Lois offered a grin, shrugging her shoulders as she said, "Duty calls, Princess." Unable to help herself and feeling a bit impish, she pulled Diana down for one last kiss. "Go on," she murmured with a smile as they parted. "Save the world. You know you want to. Just call me when you're done."
"I will," Diana promised and her fingers slipped away from Lois' reluctantly as she turned to follow Batman out the door.
Sighing greatly, Lois contemplated how to spend the rest of her night and noticed the music still hadn't started back up again. Putting her hands on her hips, Lois shouted, "Hey! Aren't you paying a DJ to work in this place?"
The awkwardness with Batman's entrance and Diana's exit finally faded. Immediately women were surrounding her on all sides, asking questions about Diana and as the music started playing, Lois entertained the idea of getting free drinks from those curious about Diana. Not that she'd give them anything. Lois Lane doesn't kiss and tell.
Lois found something inherently amusing in how Diana looked at home in her one bedroom apartment in Midtown. Walking amongst the cluttered knick knacks and lounging on the mish mash of furniture Lois collected from her various travels Diana made it seem as if she had always been there. It looked natural for her to putter around the kitchen, busying herself with fixing them dinner, clad in an apron she found shoved into one of the drawers. If Lois had to guess it was probably something left over from Lucy. She was always trying to force Lois to learn homemaking skills. Not that she ever succeeded.
After Lois attempted to help Diana cook and succeeded in nearly cutting her pinky finger off, she had been banned from the kitchen. As a result she was restlessly flipping through television channels. Coming to a stop on Cat Grant's dreaded channel, Lois frowned as the expected cell phone video footage of them appeared in a piece about their date. Listening to the co-hosts theorize about how they had met and what Diana saw in her, Lois called, "They got video of us!"
"Doing what?" asked Diana, poking her head around the corner, holding a pot full of pasta with oven mitts on both hands. It shouldn't have been an utterly adorable picture but it was and Lois allowed herself to dwell on it before answering.
"Kissing, dancing, kissing again," said Lois, one after the other, ticking them off with her fingers. Tilting her head to one side and squinting at the blurry picture because of the motion of their bodies, she added, "Maybe you squeezing my ass?"
"Those photographs don't do you justice," Diana asserted, turning on her heel and returning to the kitchen. "You are much lovelier in person. Obviously something was wrong with their devices if they cannot capture that."
"Flattery gets you everywhere," said Lois fondly. Seconds later, she burst into laughter at the picture of Batman standing in the middle of the lesbian club with Diana and Lois staring at him. "They got a picture of Bats too!"
"I'll be sure to tell him," said Diana with dry humor. "I can only imagine his happiness on hearing this."
"He should get a sense of humor," Lois advised and she turned off the television, deciding that she wasn't disobeying orders if she went into the kitchen and didn't touch anything. Leaning against the wall, she remarked, "They'll probably be like this for awhile. Fixating on you and me, I mean. It's not like they're getting anything about Superman or Flash's love life." She frowned and muttered, "Does Flash have a love life? Even if he does, it doesn't matter. Nobody knows who he is."
"That's true," said Diana quietly, pouring the pasta into a strainer. "Perhaps I should follow in their examples?"
"What? You mean get a secret identity?" said Lois with a frown. "I think it's kind of late for that, Princess. Everybody knows who you are. And anyway, even though I get why they don't want people to know their identities I like that you don't have any secrets. You are who you are and you don't pretend otherwise. You're honest. That's why everyone loves you." Walking into the kitchen, she selected one of her favorite red wines and popped the cork. "I get the feeling this is really about something else," said Lois, pouring them both a glass. "You want to tell me what?"
"I've been contacted by several publications and activist groups," said Diana slowly, adding the sun dried tomatoes and tossing the pasta lightly in olive oil. "They wish to speak to me and for me to speak to them about my sexuality. I told them I grasp the importance of this in Man's World but on Themyscira we have no need to talk of such things." Looking at Lois with a slight frown on her face, Diana said, "No doubt if I agreed you would become a topic at hand."
"No doubt," echoed Lois sardonically. "Well," she said, tilting her head to one side and studying Diana as she dished the pasta into the bowls. "I've never been to Themyscira but from what you've told me, it's a different world. You've got a culture that's been isolated from all the problems we've been dealing with way too long out here and that includes gay rights. Like I said before, I doubt women being in relationships together is anything unusual where you come from. That's not how it is here. I think it might be good for you to talk with them," said Lois, retrieving the silverware. "Hearing how things are back where you're from could bring a lot of people comfort and maybe some hope."
"What of you?" Diana pursued, setting the bowls down on the table and taking a seat.
"Are you asking permission to talk about me?" asked Lois playfully, walking over to the table with silverware, glasses, and wine bottle in hand. "That's new. Usually people just do it behind my back and pray I never find out."
"I'm asking permission to speak about our relationship and my feelings for you," said Diana and when Lois stared at her, pausing after placing Diana's fork and glass down on the table, she frowned. "Lois," she said her name almost cautiously and for the first time since Lois had met her Diana was hesitating. As if she was afraid to ask the question because of the answer she might receive. "We are in a relationship, aren't we?"
Deflecting in awkward situations was Lois' first instinct and so, deflect she did. "We are if you want us to be," said Lois.
"That's not an answer," said Diana and her voice rose as she said this, a clear sign she was becoming upset.
This was it, Lois realized, this was the end of her jokes and her make believe game, trying to imagine this as something less serious than what it was. After this point she couldn't act like her feelings for Diana were a simple physical attraction. She'd have to accept they were far more than that and deal with all the insecurities and fears that went along with Lois Lane falling in love. If she didn't she would lose Diana, she knew that with heart rending certainty.
"I like you, Diana," said Lois finally, unable to take it to the next step, not yet anyway. As much as she felt for Diana she couldn't quite commit to saying those three all important words at present. Swallowing hard, a hoarse tone clinging to her voice, she continued, "I like you more than I've liked anyone I've ever been with and if you want to be in a relationship with me, and maybe drive yourself a little crazy in the process, you'll make me a very happy woman. There," she released an audible whoosh of breath, an anxious smile forming on her lips. "Is that an answer?"
"Yes," Diana murmured and the smile she wore was blinding in its beauty as she reached up to hold Lois' face in her hands, drawing the other woman down to her. "The best one I could have ever received."
The kiss they shared defied description, even for Lois' vast vocabulary. If she had to pin a word down for it, she would've settled on devoted. There was a simpleness to it, an innocence in a way, it was engaging and enduring, spreading over the span of several minutes, exploring and tasting from one another in a lazy exchange of affection. When they separated they wore matching smiles and Lois swore she probably looked like one of those cheesy people from Hallmark cards but she didn't care. Not when she was this fucking happy. And anyway, why shouldn't she be happy?
She had herself a super powered girlfriend.
If she had to make a guess, Lois would say it had been at least three years since her last serious relationship. Which left her a tad nervous if she was perfectly honest. She had never been comfortable in any of her romances. There was always some major problem. Whether it be personality differences, work arguments, or just her general lack of prolonged interest in the other person something always ended the relationship before too long and Lois didn't want that to happen with Diana. The incredible thing was, even though she did worry about this, Lois had a sixth sense it wouldn't happen. That contentment she felt when she was with Diana had never quite left her and she imagined it never would.
Not to say they didn't have their problems. Diana was just as headstrong as Lois and when she made up her mind about something she rarely wavered. Themyscira had granted her a fairly black and white view of the world and Lois tended to see things in shades of gray. It was something they were trying to work around.
Then there was the reality of their occupations, both of which left them with very little free time. Lois couldn't fault Diana for flying off in the middle of their dates to go defeat this super villain and help with a hurricane in that city. Particularly since she did the same thing to Diana when it came to her stories. One of which currently had her hiding out in a crappy motel in Ankara, Turkey. It was the last stop on a major sex slave trafficking route, crossing the Black Sea from Moldova and Ukraine, and Lois had been following the story for the past month after the Metropolis Police busted an operation out of Hell's Gate.
Too many sleepless nights and sneaking around dark alleys and getting the barest tips and interviews from former johns and a few lucky women who managed to escape absorbed Lois' time. Now it was finally over. She would be getting out of Turkey first thing in the morning and she couldn't wait. Groaning as she flopped down on her bed, she eyed her cell phone, the battery long dead and plugged into the power converter. After it slowly came to life, her eyes widened at the series of loud notifications, one after the other, that emerged from it. Reaching for the phone, she blinked on seeing Diana's contact name show up multiple times in both voice mail and text message form. Though she knew it was inappropriate, Lois couldn't help but be amused by line after line of the word Princess showing up on her phone. After all, this was a sign of Diana's concern for her and that was hardly a laughing matter. Of course, Diana's reaction to discovering her contact name had been disappointingly staid, simply saying that it was an accurate title, considering who her mother was.
Reading through the texts, each one more worried than the last, Lois mulled over Diana's choice of technologies. She could care less about computers and cars but she absolutely loved her cell phone and that jet the Justice League flew around in. Lois was typing out a reply to Diana's long line of texts when she was startled by a noise at her window. Dropping herself and her phone to the floor, Lois reached for her nearby satchel, pulling out her gun. If this story had taught her anything, it was to never let your guard down. The people she was investigating didn't want to be exposed and if they had any inkling of what she was up to Lois knew she probably wouldn't see the light of day.
The noise came again and Lois slid over, leaning against the wall and peering up through the bottom of the window. Adjusting to the dim streetlights, Lois came face to face with the very familiar sight of leather armor. "Diana," Lois sighed in relief and she quickly put down the gun and opened the window. "You scared the crap out of me," she said as a hello.
"You didn't call me back," Diana reasoned as she flew inside. "Or text me," she added with a frown.
"My cell phone battery died," replied Lois, shutting the window quickly. The adrenaline leaving her body, Lois flopped onto the bed and covered her eyes with her forearm. "I'm sorry," she said after a moment. "I'm just really beat."
"It's all right," Diana reassured and Lois felt the bed dip under her weight. "Normally I wouldn't interfere with your work but these are dangerous people you are looking into and when you didn't respond..."
Moving her arm from her eyes and scooting down the bed, Lois rested her cheek on Diana's thigh and looked up at her. "Hey," she murmured softly. "You don't have to apologize for worrying about me. I worry about you all the time. Logically I know you have your super friends to help you out and all but sometimes I get irrational thoughts like what if the villain of the month pulls out the latest 31 flavor of Kryptonite on big blue and he goes down and you're left fighting Darkseid solo? I mean, I know it's pointless to worry about what if's like that but sometimes I really can't help it."
"At least I'm not alone," said Diana wryly, sifting her fingers through Lois' hair and massaging her scalp. Her hands moved down to Lois' stiff shoulders and she slowly began to work the muscles there. "You're always so tense."
"I can't help it," Lois muttered, shifting on the bed, and allowing Diana access to her back as well. When Diana worked through a particularly painful knot, she groaned in appreciation. "You have magic hands."
"Mythological is more appropriate," said Diana playfully and Lois snickered.
"One day people will read stories about them," Lois predicted in muffled tones, her face buried in her arms, starting to drift off thanks to Diana's attentions. "Hear the tale of Wonder Woman's mythological hands and her legendary legs."
"Just my hands and legs?" Diana questioned humorously. "I think the rest of me feels offended."
Turning her head to peer up at Diana, wearing a cheeky grin, Lois drawled, "Breathtaking breasts, fantastical face, exquisite eyes, astonishing arms, fabulous feet-"
"You've made your point," interrupted Diana in good natured tones, frowning as she worked the knots out of Lois' shoulders. "Lois," she said after a long pause and the journalist blinked at that tone. She always heard it whenever Diana felt she was going to ask something significant. It usually accompanied the rare moments of doubt from the other woman. "I want to stay with you tonight." Lois stared up at Diana, wondering why she was being so formal. While they hadn't had sex, they had wound up sleeping over at each other's apartments after one too many late nights. It was simply the nature of their odd hours relationship. "This hotel isn't in a safe area and while I trust in your capabilities I could not rest if-"
"I've got a t-shirt and shorts in my bag that will fit you," Lois cut off Diana's explanation, smiling up at her.
Diana returned her smile with a gleaming one of her own, kissing Lois tenderly and moving off the bed to retrieve the clothes. She walked into the bathroom to change and Lois turned onto her back and kicked off her pants, slipping underneath the sheets in her v-neck shirt and underwear, too exhausted to bother doing anything else. Lois was halfway asleep when Diana settled next to her, an arm sliding around her waist, and Lois sighed at the press of Diana's breasts against her back. Resting in that realm between consciousness and sleep, Lois felt Diana kiss her neck and murmur, "Sleep. I will watch over you."
In the brief seconds before slumber, Lois relished the feeling of safety this leant her. She could take care of herself, no one would ever say otherwise, Diana included, but it was nice to know that she had someone who wanted to protect her. A person who cared about what happened to her and thought of her when she was off on dangerous investigations.
Especially when that person was Diana.
Their one month anniversary was marked by Lois being kidnapped by a thousand year old sorceress with a major grudge to bear when it came to Diana. From what Lois could make out of Circe's ramblings she thought Diana was meant to steal the soul of some witch-goddess by the name of Hecate who gave Circe major magical powers by possessing her. Lois attempted to point out the idea of Diana wanting to be possessed by some random witch-goddess was pretty stupid but Circe really wasn't in the mood for listening and Lois ended up being turned into a small terrier.
If she had a dog, the experience would've left Lois rethinking putting a collar and leash on them, that's for certain.
Lois had seen Diana in action plenty of times. She'd seen her deflect bullets, throw cars, and punch Solomon Grundy across six city blocks. But she had never seen Diana like this. The wall burst apart, rubble flying everywhere, and Diana appeared through the dust, a grim look on her face and an overwhelming rage in her eyes. It had been pure instinct to bark and try to get closer, well, as close as the leash would allow. When Diana looked her way, her gaze softened slightly, only to return to it's previous state as she glared at Circe. "Reverse the spell," Diana demanded.
"Why should I do that? I think this form suits her far better," said Circe in aggravatingly dulcet tones.
In response, Lois growled and Diana flew across the room, punching Circe through several walls. She moved to chase after them, concerned about the sounds she heard and Diana's angry shouts accompanied by Circe's mocking laughs but she was stymied by that damn leash. Settling on barking to show her disapproval and worry, Lois soon stopped and jumped backwards upon having a large golden mask in her face.
"Shhh," Dr. Fate said reassuringly. "Wonder Woman brought me. I'm here to help." Another wall collapsed and suddenly Diana was in the room with them, holding Circe by the throat, and Dr. Fate floated over to the sorceress, studying her for several moments before nodding his head. "I think I have it."
"Even if you do, it won't help her," Circe proclaimed. "I'll get out from whatever hell you put me in, Diana. And when that happens I'll just take her again and change her into something even worse. Or maybe," she said this thoughtfully, an antagonistic gleam in her eyes. "I won't change her into anything at all. Maybe I'll just kill her. Won't that be fun?"
"Witch," said Diana in a soft hiss, tightening her grip around Circe's neck. "Don't tempt me."
Dr. Fate finished his chant with a wave of his hand and a loud boom and with a great amount of relief, Lois found herself back to normal, and she quickly grabbed her clothing from the floor. Shifting it enough to cover her naked form as she set about removing the damned collar and leash from around her neck. Circe began to say something, most likely insulting, but Diana squeezed tighter and there was a tormented look in her eyes as she gazed at Lois. "I have to deal with her," she said in something of a whisper, apologies in her voice and expression.
"Okay," Lois barely had time to respond when Diana turned to Dr. Fate and asked him to transport them away. Then Lois was alone and left wondering what that look had meant because her gut told her it wasn't anything good.
Sometimes Lois entertained the whimsical idea of installing a doorbell outside her balcony door for Diana. The thought occurred to her again when Diana showed up almost two hours after leaving with Circe and Dr. Fate. She had that same grim look on her face and her eyes were lowered and when they focused on Lois there was a sad resignation there. As if she was being forced to do something she really didn't want to. Lois had just shut the door and Diana opened her mouth to speak when Lois folded her arms across her chest and interrupted her.
"No," said Lois emphatically. "We're not breaking up just because a stupid witch with tacky purple hair turned me into Lassie."
"Lois," Diana said her name in strangled tones, stepping forward, her hands reaching for her. "I have taken care of Circe. She will never harm you again but there will be others. Ones that I may not be able to protect you from."
"And we'll deal with it then," said Lois simply, walking past Diana and into the kitchen. Suddenly she really needed a drink. Something alcoholic and fortifying. She had a feeling she'd need it to talk Diana out of her idiotic preconceptions. "End of story."
"No, that's not the end," said Diana with increasing frustration. "Aren't you listening to me, Lois? I cannot protect you. There will be those who will want to hurt you in order to punish me and I do not know if I will always be able to stop them."
"Yeah, I get it, you can't be everywhere at once," said Lois, pulling out a bottle of Glendronach 1968 whiskey that she had planned on giving to her father this Christmas. Deciding she needed it far more than him, she opened it and poured herself a glass. "I never asked you to be my bodyguard. Just my girlfriend. So what's any of that have to do with you and me?" she asked, drinking slowly and daring Diana to say the words.
"I will not allow you to be hurt or put in danger because of me," said Diana strongly. "We can't be together."
"Bullshit," said Lois firmly, setting her glass down on the counter with a loud thump and pouring herself another drink. "You want to know why? Let's go through all the logical fallacies, shall we? You say since we're not together the villain of the month club will leave me alone and focus all their rage on you. I say even if we break up you'll still be in love with me, because I'll still be in love with you, angry as hell, but still in love, and Circe or nameless villain number one will probably know that and they'll come after me anyway. Which means you'll have broken up with me for no fucking good reason. That's what I say, Princess. What have you got?"
"Lois," Diana whispered and she sounded so hurt, so broken, that it tore at Lois' heart. It made her want to be kinder, gentler, in her words and she would've been if she didn't realize this fucked up situation was the first time she confessed her feelings.
"You keep saying my name like it actually means something," muttered Lois, drinking the whiskey and focusing on the glass. "You know I never told you I loved you before? And now I'm saying it and you're trying to dump me. How's that for romance?"
"Don't you understand," said Diana so softly, stepping closer and holding Lois face in her hands. The journalist obstinately looked into her eyes, her jaw set firmly in anger. "If I was the reason something ever happened to you I could never live with myself."
"Something's going to happen whether you're with me or not," said Lois plainly. "I don't have the safest job in the world. I spend my time chasing stories about the worst people imaginable and none of them are ever happy about me calling them out. I've had more than my share of death threats, some more serious than others, and I can guarantee all that will still go on if you end this right now. The only thing that will change is the both of us will be miserable and I'll be pissed at you."
Seconds seemed like hours and then a small watery smile that matched the tears in Diana's eyes formed on her features and she tenderly caressed Lois' cheek. "Always so stubborn," she said in an affectionate murmur.
"Seems like I have to be with you," Lois scoffed and she relaxed slightly, reaching up to cover Diana's hand with her own, letting her anger fall to the wayside. "Does this mean you're done with the stupid talk about breaking up?"
"Yes," said Diana, her voice unsteady, swallowing back her fear. "But I still-"
"Diana," Lois interrupted, dropping her hands down to the Amazon's hips, and pulling her closer. "It'll be fine. We can't waste our time together worrying about what could happen. That's not how life should work. Whatever bad stuff flies our way, purple haired witches or international crime syndicates, we'll deal with it together."
Releasing a tremulous sigh, Diana buried her face in the crook of Lois' neck, and her hands slipped around Lois' waist, holding her closer yet. Diana's breath was warm and sweet against Lois' skin as she murmured, "I love you."
"After the stunt you just pulled? You better," said Lois sardonically and Diana chuckled, lifting up her head for a kiss.
All of their previous kisses, no matter how passionate, always had some sense of an ending. This one didn't. Perhaps because they knew it wouldn't be the last. That this kiss would lead to others more intense and involved, not just on their lips but on the rest of their bodies, as they made their way to Lois' bedroom, clothes abandoned on their journey.
If put on the spot, Lois had to admit she was still angry at Diana for trying to end their relationship but that anger didn't stop Lois from loving her and wanting her. In fact, in some strange way, it almost intensified those feelings, and Lois fervently pulled Diana to her, pushing her back on the bed, feeling enormously grateful for the fact her outfit, despite the abundance of armor and leather could be easily removed. By Diana at least. Lois was dressed only in her bra and panties at this point and she unsnapped the bra and flung it across the room before focusing back on Diana who ripped the panties off her body.
"Those were expensive," Lois complained half heartedly and Diana's only response was to kiss her harder.
Ferocious and all consuming, those were her kisses, letting Diana know with each one what she would have missed if she had been able to go through with her stupid plan. Lois' hands were rough on Diana's body, squeezing her breasts and tweaking her nipples, sucking them hard in her mouth as she explored the length of her skin. There was this uncontrollable urge in her to try and mark Diana, to try and own her in this moment, to have a small instance of pure and perfect possession and Lois achieved that as she slid down further and pushed open Diana's thighs.
The initial taste was always best, that's what Lois thought, and Diana was no exception. She was thick and sweet on Lois' tongue and she hiked Diana's legs up, resting them over her shoulders as she settled in. Distantly she felt Diana's fingers lace into her hair, encouraging her on, and Lois flattened her tongue, leaving no area unattended. The pressure increased as Lois sucked on Diana's clit, inserting one then two fingers into the other woman. Diana's hips lifted in encouragement and she soon found her rhythm, thrusting in a frantic pace, only stopping when she heard a scream and felt a tell tale trembling.
Lifting her head and licking her lips, Lois rested her chin on her arms and folded them on Diana's stomach. Diana raised an eyebrow at her, amused at Lois' smugness, before hauling her up the length of the bed and kissing her deeply. Making her intentions to reciprocate fully all too clear.
Three forty three in the morning, Lois noted the time when they finally gave into exhaustion and curled into each other, Lois resting on top of Diana with just a scant amount of sheets covering their naked forms. Diana's fingers lazily sifted through her hair and Lois logically knew she was exhausted but she couldn't sleep. For whatever reason her brain just wouldn't shut off. And what Diana said next didn't help matters.
"I want to take you to Themyscira," said Diana in a soft declaration, her words holding great meaning.
Managing to barely lift her head, Lois blinked at Diana and said slowly, "All right."
"As my chosen partner you must meet my mother," said Diana with determination.
It was with the thought that her future mother-in-law was a near immortal Amazon Queen ruling over a mythological island populated solely with women that Lois grasped how strange and wonderful her life had become since meeting Diana. And honestly, she wouldn't have it any other way.