Chapter 21

Several hours later

Wonder Woman, by request of Superman, put out an urgent call to the members of the League to gather for an emergency meeting. They had to deal with the current situation as soon as possible. Because if they did not the media was sure as heck dealing it with.

It was on every channel.

Diana watched as most of the major news channels, national and international, were re-playing Maxima's dramatic entrance, her announcement and her kissing Superman. The kiss was being examined and analyzed from every angle. The entertainment news networks like TMZ and Channel 52 were having a field day.

"She's quite a looker this Maxima. They'd make a hot couple."

"He said they are not together, though."

"What? Is he dead? He does not have anyone as far as we know and she said they are genetically compatible. Seems to me the last of his race has a chance not to be so lonesome anymore. Would you turn that down? With her?"

"Well, I wouldn't...but he's Superman...who knows what turns an alien on."

"He's probably just being coy. You know, being Chairman and all that, he can't be seen to be drooling over her. Heck, he admitted to drinking too much, playing tonsil hockey and then telling her to come on down to Earth! Supes is like any man. Probably got a little jittery when she talked marriage and backed off."

"Well, viewer feedback via text and e-mail think this makes Supes a little more relatable. He always has been viewed as an outsider."

Diana sighed and muted the screen to go to another network. She wondered what Clark was thinking about all this. He hated this kind of attention. He was still down in the city helping the Flash and Green Lantern clear up. Maxima had followed them "to help" to show how serious she was about wanting to join the Justice League. Diana was positive it was just to milk publicity since cameras were following the cleanup operation. In any case, her telekinesis meant she did not have to over expend or sully herself. She noted Ultraa did most of the heavy lifting and Maxima spent a fair time stopping mid task to smile and pose for the cameras. Lobo. She was not sure where he was. No doubt he must have taken off as was his style after creating chaos.

Diana raised the volume on a GBC channel. This one had experts on politics and foreign policy.

"There was a poll tonight and 85 % were impressed by her handling of the invaders. Because the fighting was curtailed and property damage minimized when she came...this is a huge plus in her favor. Metropolis is fed up of being the stomping ground for these meta throw downs!"

"She's pretty powerful though. Could that be a worry?"

"It could be but she managed to nip that incident in the bud while Superman and the other alien just caused more damage. I say the League need to give her a chance."

"But what does she get out of this? All the members so far have some allegiance to the Earth. She is an alien who runs an Empire. Could she want to cede the Earth?"

"From what she's told us about this Almerac I doubt she wants that. They are highly advanced while we must come across as if stuck in the Stone Age. And don't forget she seems...er, interested in allying with Superman."

"Allying…hmm, that's a delicate way of putting it. Well, he invited her...so maybe it is reciprocated."

"Can't say I blame him. Here's some lighter facts we want to share with the viewers. Since her arrival, green and gold material has sold out in many stores, as has the demand gone up for fitted green pants, red hair dye, and green contact lens. There are even gyms claiming to have fitness programs to get the Maxima Midriff."

"Sounds much like the Wonder Woman craze when she appeared. There was a demand for silver bracelets and Wonder Thigh programs if I remember."

"Yes, it feels familiar. But Princess Diana has been struggling against some negative press these last few months. With her dumping a national hero and her alliance with Edge, public opinion has not been in her favor. She's been lying low and one can't blame her. As one style blogger put it, "Almerac is in, Amazon is out."

There was laughter.

Diana shook her head mollified. "Gods, unbelievable."

"That bad, huh?"

She spun around and uttered, "Clark..."

Superman hovered towards her and looked at the screen cynically. "How they're enjoying themselves. A fine example of modern journalism."

She looked behind him. "Are you alone?"

His boots touched down to the ground beside her. "Green Lantern and Flash are escorting Maxima and Ultraa to the Watchtower. I flew on ahead. Did you contact the others?"

"Yes. They will all try to be here within the next hour. Where's Lobo?"

"I don't know. One minute he was grinning at me and the next he was gone. Probably out of the system by now."

"Why did he even come here?"

"Some crap about us being blood brothers."

"Lobo has a bizarre sense of humor. The cleanup went well?"

"Yes. There were few casualties. I suppose we have to thank her for that."

They stared at the screen silently. Clark looked suddenly very self-conscious and Diana seemed uncertain what to say next.

"What are we going to do?" she asked, after an awkward pause. "The government is very keen to know what is going to happen with her because she is an outsider and they are only tolerating her because of what she did. The President is deferring to us in this case."

"I know. That's why we need to discuss this with the team."

"What do you think?" she asked.

He sighed. He had his personal thoughts but he still was Chairman and had a responsibility to weigh up the pros and cons. "It's not up to me. I want everyone to have their say."

"You know what I think," she said gruffly.

He turned to her and touched her shoulder. "I know. For what it's worth, I'm sorry."

"What for?"

He gestured to the images. The one of Maxima kissing him was quite popular. "That. For inviting her too."

She said ruefully, "It wasn't your fault, Clark. You were under the influence of the potion."

He looked at her, gratified and even a little surprised. "You're not mad with me?"

Diana wrinkled her brows. "Why should I be? Maxima is the one forcing herself on you. I doubt you believed she would have come all the way to Earth to come join the League. It's not as if it is the kind of a work a queen of her caliber would enjoy."

He sighed in relief and took both her hands in his."That's what I thought. I really don't know why she thinks she would enjoy being in the League. For her it'd be like slumming it. She even has Ultraa as her bodyguard still. I don't even think she knows how tedious this can get and living in the Watchtower is hardly fit for Almerac royalty."

Diana returned ironically, "Well, you made quite an impression on her. Maybe she thinks just by being near you is worth the discomfort."

He drew her closer, arms going around her slim waist. "Are you making fun of me, Amazon?"

She placed her hand on his chest and glanced at the cameras on the walls. "Bruce said..."she began warily.

Clark snorted, "Oh, to hell with him. I had a nightmare of an evening. The least I could get is some time with you. Besides, no one is here."

Diana found herself smiling. She remarked playfully, "You know, you were quite the cad under the potion? Insufferably charming and flirting with every female and telling Maxima how amazing and splendid she was. She swallowed it, hook, line and stinker. She wasn't happy when you said it was a misunderstanding."

He laughed outright for the first time that evening. Diana's misuse of phrases was his joy. "She wasn't, was she?" He sobered. You know, I'm wondering if I should have just told them the truth. Maybe we'd avoid all this mess and Maxima would get the message and..."

"No, Clark." She touched his cheek gently with a somber expression. "Have you heard what they have been saying? You're the newly appointed Chairman and you don't need this right now, especially me adding more to make you the subject of gossip and jest."

"So you're saying we shouldn't let the public know we're together as we had planned?"

"Not right now at least. It's not the best time, is it? Think carefully, Clark. You have much responsibility now and with it your every deed and action is up for examination. It reflects on the entire League."

He said dryly, "If I knew being Chairman was going to cause this nonsense, I wouldn't have accepted."

She said gravely, "But you did and you're actually good at it. This is just going to be one of many tests. Take it from me."

He put his forehead to hers. "Now I know how you must have felt when you were being hounded. So we keep mum, huh?"

"I think it wise for now."

"Not many of the members know we're dating though apart from Bruce and Vic."

"Zee and Ray I think suspects something between us but I don't think they know we're dating."

"I know I don't have to speak to Bruce and Vic. They'll keep our confidence. But we'll have to be discreet from now on when we're in the Satellite and in public."

She wrapped her arms around his neck and toyed with the hair at his nape. "At least this does not affect Clark Kent and Diana Prince."

He smiled in relief and hugged her. "I've never been more glad to be Clark than I am now."

She replied, "Now I have more of a reason to get that ID organized."

Clark pulled back a little and bent to brush her forehead tenderly with his lips. "Thank you." Then he dropped a kiss on her nose. Then he moved to one cheek, then the other.

Diana murmured throatily, "The others will be here soon..."

"I know. I'm taking advantage of the time we have alone."

She let out a little sigh, and turned her lips to his.

The signaling of an aircraft arriving at the Watchtower computer made them drift apart reluctantly.

Clark looked at the screen showing the Hanger. "They're here."

"What are we going to do?"

"I'll go down and show them into one of the interview rooms. We'll need to follow protocols for visitors. Maybe I can try to talk some sense into Maxima," Clark said wryly."Maybe she'll get fed up before the day is done."

Diana rolled her eyes. "Good luck."


The sleek Almerachi craft was Maxima's personal shuttle. It was piloted by Ultraa; she sat behind him in a large, luxurious chair and tried to ignore the two Justice Leaguers escorting them in the green energy bubble.

Ultraa said dryly, "Are you sure you they will take you into the League?"

"What a silly question. Of course, I am sure. He admitted it before the entire planet."

"So I should tell the Elite fleet to withdraw?"

"Yes, of course." She looked at the Watchtower in the distance. "They would be foolish to change their minds. The people here are impressed with my power. Thanks to that buffoon Lobo we had the perfect opportunity to display them. I thought you mistaken to hire him to bait the Eyrudians but it was a perfect plan. It worked."

Ultraa said nothing. He simply opened the channel to the fleet waiting at the end of the solar system and relayed the message.

They docked into the hanger five minutes later. Green Lantern and Flash were already on the ground by the time they disembarked. They were greeted further up the hanger by Superman.

"Welcome to the Watchtower, Your Majesty. Allow me to show you and General Ultraa to a waiting area. The League is going to be meeting to discuss what transpired earlier today."

She gave him a flirtatious look. "You have to meet to discuss that you want me?"

Hal and Barry tried not to chuckle behind her. Ultraa's expression remained wooden.

Clark cleared his throat and pretended he did not understand what she implied. "Yes. It doesn't matter what I might have said. The League needs to discuss any nomination to its roster. You will have to wait until we finish our meeting."

He turned to start walking towards the elevator. They followed.

She did not look fazed. "I am sure they will be smart and say yes. I can do much for your...League, Kal-El."

"We appreciate the abilities you displayed today and the lives you saved. But why did you want to leave your comfortable home and come to this planet? It can't be because I asked you?"

"Is it so hard to believe that you left quite an impression upon me?" She batted her lashes at him.

He narrowed his eyes at her and said bluntly, "Yes."

She laughed. "This is exactly why I enjoyed your company and was intrigued when you told me about your mission here on Earth. In time, I will have to wed and have heirs as part of my Queenly duty. I will not be able to travel at my leisure or leave Almerac for any extended period. I find I want some adventure in my life before that happens. I want no Council breathing down my neck. Surely, you understand that. Is Wonder Woman not heir to a throne but she chose to leave it for a time to join the League? You also had a King of Atlantis with you."

He conceded, "Okay. Fine." He glanced at Ultraa. "What is your purpose here though, General? You intend to leave if she is accepted?"

"I am here to protect, Maxima. She is the Queen of Almerac. Where she is I must be."

Superman looked a little bemused. "You intend to protect a Justice Leaguer who is powerful enough to take on a whole pirate crew on her own? I am afraid I don't know how this will work. If you are not a member you cannot stay at the Watchtower."

Maxima said briskly, "Then consider him as an applicant as well. I cannot stay on Earth without my shuttle or a guard. There are many who would seek to take my throne and a Queen always has someone who will be vigilant for her when her back is turned."

"That is unprecedented," Hal began.

"How so?" She gave him a little glare.

"What kind of place would this be if everyone bought a bodyguard?" he scoffed.

She reposted, "Not everyone is a Queen."

"Well, you're not Queen here," Barry pointed out politely.

Maxima's hand rose as if to retaliate. "How dare you speak to me that way? You are not the leader here!"

Barry went behind Hal quickly. "Yikes!"

Ultraa put his hand gently on her shoulder as if to stop her. "My Queen."

Clark intervened swiftly, "That's enough, all of you. I will bring up the suggestion, Maxima, but I can't promise you that Ultraa will get to stay."

"On his own he is formidable. You know that."

"Yes, I know." The lift stopped and they stepped out. Clark gestured to them to follow him to a waiting room and Hal and Barry went on ahead towards the bridge. "But we have rules."

Maxima waved her hand dismissively. "Rules are mere guidelines. You are leader, surely what you say goes?"

He opened a door for them and they entered something that looked like a lounge. It had two long sofas, a center table, and sideboard with drinks and snacks. A video monitor and television mounted the on the wall. There was an adjoining water closet, and a port with a view of the earth. "Ours is not an autocracy. Everyone has a say. This is where you can wait."

Maxima stalked in, and said, "But you have some veto, I assume?"

"To some extent."

"Well, use it. Sometimes we use our discretion. You recall when you visited how I used mine?"

His brow rose as she said silkily, "Your Amazon friend raised her fists at me and for that she could have be flogged. But I took our newly forged friendship into consideration. It was an ugly incident not fitting someone of her station. Many a nation has gone to war for less. The Earth owes me. Is the Amazon here? I am sure the media would love to know what she did to a Queen."

Superman's jaw tightened. She was playing hardball now. "I will consider it."

She smiled and sat down with a flourish. "That is all I ask."

He asked, "Would you like some food?"

She considered the offer. "We are hungry. Yes."

"I'll have something sent for you. Please, wait here. I will return when we have made a decision." He took up a remote and handed it over to Ultraa. "You might be interested in surfing the channels. The General can change them for you."

He left them, and expelled an exasperated breath once he was outside the door.


"I can't believe we're actually considering this," uttered Batman.

The conference room was filled with most of its members. Steel and John Stewart were the only absentees. The former was still convalescing and the latter was off world. Even Aquaman had shown up when he'd been alerted to the fact that there was a breach of earth's atmosphere by aliens once again.

"We can't ignore her," began Superman."As much as I would want to."

"She's as pig headed and obnoxious as they come. Who can work with that?" began Hal.

Barry coughed. Hal gave him a glare. "Shut up, you."

Clark tried not to laugh. It was a serious situation but his sense of humor still managed to hold its own even though part of him wished it was like the old days when he would just hover in the background while Bruce and Arthur trashed matters out. "I know. But we have to consider if we refuse on personal grounds what the backlash could be. Public opinion seems to be on her side. I'm afraid I didn't help much when Lobo and I engaged the Eyrudians. Metropolitans are getting fed up of having their city constantly attacked and property destroyed."

Green Arrow shrugged. "She did do it in record time. You gotta give her props."

Cyborg added. "That Ultraa dude seems pretty capable too."

Bruce said stiffly, "It's bad enough we're forced to have one but two?"

"It's not unusual for teams to have duos, Bruce," replied Zatanna. "You and Dick worked together for a long time."

Clark remarked, "And to be honest, Ultraa seems to have some form of leavening influence. He's way more level headed than she is."

"So we know they are powerful and can deal with threats expeditiously," began Ray. "But can they work as part of a team? She's a law unto herself, that much is clear and he's her minder and bodyguard."

"Ultraa is a soldier. So he'll be able to follow orders," said Hal. "Maxima? Ha!"

"Then we have the issue of her flirting with you," Barry pointed out.

Clark rebutted, "You all know I'm not interested in her that way. I said so openly."

"What about her telepathic and hypnotic powers?" asked Diana, looking at him concerned. "She was not averse to using it on you before. Who is to say she won't again? And on other people?"

Clark suddenly looked a little worried. He could remember her trying to force him into obeying her will and being helpless. It had taken Diana to whack him on the head to get him to not to succumb to it.

"Seems to me," declared Bruce," There's more reason to say no than yes. Why are we even arguing still?

Clark said soberly, "Bruce, Maxima threatened to expose what Diana did on Almerac to the public."

Dian reddened. "What?"

"She's using blackmail?" snorted Victor.

"Yeah," he replied bluntly.

Most of the original members knew about the incident on Almerac. The newer ones did not. Some of the older members like Hal and Vic smiled inadvertently while people like Bruce and Barry looked annoyed.

Zatanna demanded, "What happened in Almerac?"

Hal replied with a grin, "Catfight between Diana and Maxima over Clark."

Diana flushed, rose and gritted, "I was not fighting over Clark!"

Clark glared at Hal. "It was not a catfight, for Rao's sakes!"

"Says you. But you were frolicking in a pool with them when John and I arrived, so I'm guessing you weren't too worried," he replied wickedly.

Ollie leaned forward eagerly. "What? Clark in a pool with Maxima and Diana? No way! Spill, dude!"

Zatanna nodded eagerly. "This I gotta hear! Sit down, you two, and stop looking so pissed and let Hal tell the story."

Hal was very happy to tell it with his own embellishments but Clark and Diana occasionally cut across him to correct or clarify parts of the story.

By the end of it the new members were laughing.

Clark threw his hands up in defeat. He would never live this down.

Diana folded her arms across her chest in a huff. "It's not funny!"

Zatanna wiped her eyes. "Oh, God, I wish I was there to see Clark behaving like Don Juan while you and Maxima duke it out. I hope you kicked her ass, Diana?"

Before Diana could reply, Bruce slapped the tabletop. "This isn't a laughing matter! The woman is threatening us if she does not get her way. Clark, why are you even considering her? Everyone has more or less pointed out the obvious."

Clark said firmly, "Not everyone." His eyes moved to the King of Atlantis. "You've been very quiet, Arthur. What do you think?"

Arthur replied, "As far as I see it, Maxima is not threatening you. She's asking for you to extent to her the courtesy she did for you. She could have even executed Diana, you know that?"

Bruce asked sarcastically, "Royalty standing up for each other?"

"No, Bruce. I understand the ways she thinks. She is an absolute monarch. It is the way she has been bred. To rule well, she can't be seen as a pushover and that does mean it is all about her comfort. I don't rule that way but others do. As far as she is concerned, she was lenient and you are being unfair. And Diana doesn't need her name being ridiculed nor do you."

Clark always valued Arthur's opinions. He was a man who shouldered the well-being of a people; who straddled two worlds; who had more leadership experience than all of them put together. "So what do you suggest, Arthur? Let her join?"

"Meet her half way. It's like negotiating a truce. If she feels she's losing she will not be happy. I think maybe a period of probation. You do not even have to worry about Ultraa. He's doing what any personal guard would do. His presence won't affect the outcome. At the end of the period based on her performance, you can decide if she meets your requirements. Also, make it clear to her if she should violate anyone's free will, she will have to go. She says she wants a chance...and she did do a good job out there...so give it to her. End of the day, Clark, the Earth is vulnerable. With every passing year, we are seeing more and more escalating threat levels. To have Almerac as an ally would be a good thing."

Clark listened closely. Arthur's ability to see things on a larger scale was exactly what he needed to come to his decision. It would also be the best drama-free option. He folded his arms across his chest and put forward a plan. "One month probation. She is not to go on any mission by herself. Always supervised. Assessed weekly. Any abuse of her power will result in her expulsion. What do you think?"

Barry sighed. "I guess we have no choice really. Fine."

"Who's going to act as her supervisor?" demanded Bruce.

Clark rubbed his chin. "Hmm, that's a good question."

"It would be best if it was a female," suggested Ray, glancing at the women.

Hal raised his hand. "Second the motion!"

Zatanna shook her head adamantly, "No way! I'm not going to baby-sit her."

Diana uttered, "I'd rather go fight parademons on Apokolips for an eternity!"

Clark put his hand out as if to placate them both. "I'm not expecting either of you to baby sit Maxima...and you don't have to go to Apokolips, Diana…so relax." He glanced at Arthur. "Shame Mera wasn't here. She'd be perfect."

Arthur thought for a moment then said, "Well, I can ask her if she would consider coming to work for a month."

Clark's eyes looked hopeful. "If you could ask her, Arthur, we'd be grateful."

"Sure, Clark."

Clark looked around the room. "I guess we need to put this to a vote. So, those for Maxima joining put up your hands."


Superman faced Maxima and Ultraa ten minutes later.

"You've been accepted into the League," he informed her.

She stood up with gleaming eyes. "Ultraa?"

"He can stay as well."

She gave a gracious smile and approached him. "I shall prove to you that you made the right decision, Kal-El."

"Yes, well there are conditions," he warned.

She frowned." Such as?"

He rattled off the conditions. There was a slight clouding of her eyes but she could see from his serious look, that it was non-negotiable.

"It's the best we can offer. You can take it or leave it."

She was not used to being dictated to but she could see she still had managed to get what she desired. A month? It was more than enough. She had princes, emperors, lords, generals, even priests at her feet. This would be no exception. She said lightly, "I welcome the challenge. So, am I going to be introduced to the rest of this League?"

"Yes. If you both follow me, I'll show you around, introduce you to the others and then you can settle into your rooms."


Superman led them to the bridge where everyone had gathered and did the formal introductions.

Maxima already knew Green Lantern and Wonder Woman. She gave the former a cursory nod and looked at the latter as if she were an insect she would like to crush under her boot. Diana, for Clark's sake, overlooked the slight and tried to be polite as she welcomed her to the team. However, she stared right back at her with glacial eyes to make her feelings clear.

Maxima was not very impressed by any of the others either. Flash had already irritated her and she gave him a withering look. Batman and Green Arrow had no powers to speak of so she did not know what they were even doing there. Cyborg, Atom, and Zatanna she supposed were a tad better. At least they had some ability. The only person she was genuinely interested in meeting was Aquaman, a fellow monarch, like herself. She was even a little flattered when he informed her that the Queen of Atlantis herself might be coming to be her supervisor. Arthur had enough presence of mind to engage her in discussion about her planet and her people which made the presentation less awkward.

This gave the others a chance to disperse and move their attention to other things. Diana moved towards monitors. She was still on duty after all, her and Clark; they had an hour again before Victor and Ray relieved them. The Man of Steel joined her.

"Are you alright?" he asked quietly, as she sat down and began to log in her report.

"Yes."

"It's only a month. I'm sure she'll get fed up of us before then."

"What I don't understand is why she would even want to come here and do this? Is she that bored dictating to everyone around her?"

"Maybe she sees this as some form of amusement. Sometimes having everything one's own way can be mundane."

"Or maybe she's here to continue what she started with you," Diana told him roundly

He looked skeptical. "Me? You think she came for me? Oh, come now, Diana. Sure she flirted with me but I hardly think she'd come all this way to see me. It's not like I'm some big prize."

Diana said wryly and glanced up looked him, "But you could rule the universe by creating unstoppable, flawless heirs. Not tempted, Kal?"

He smiled and pretended to lean down to peer at the screen in front of her. He whispered, "Hardly. My mind is preoccupied with a certain Miss Prince and wondering where I can take her this weekend."

"Oh, her." Diana hid her smile and pretended to type up something. "I can't help you there. I don't know the lady other than what you told me in passing. You're enjoying her company?"

"She's adorable. Wish you could meet her."

"So where are you taking her?"

"I'm thinking about it. Do you think she might like going for a picnic in Smallville down by the lake? We could go berry picking, explore the woods, and maybe check out the Carnival in town later than evening."

"She might."

"Great. I'll give her a ring and confirm the time."


Maxima's eyes could not help but fall on the two of them across the room. They seemed to be engrossed in something on the screen but she did not like how close he was to her. Nor the smile curving the Amazon's lips. It looked a little too pleased. Writing a report surely could not be that satisfying! She had always suspected the little princess wanted him for herself. Unfortunately she couldn't use her psionic powers to confirm anything. Superman had made that abundantly clear. He wasn't actually interested in the half-naked little hussy, was he?

She was only to glad to finish her discussion with Aquaman. "Thank you, your Majesty, I look forward to meeting your wife. I am tired now and would like to retire a little."

Arthur looked at Victor. "Cyborg, perhaps you can show Maxima and Ultraa to their quarters."

"Sure."

On their way out Maxima stopped before Superman. "So, Kal-El, when do I start?"

He straightened up. "I'm going to work on slotting you into the roster tonight. Report to the bridge at 08:00 hrs tomorrow and you'll be briefed."

"Are you working tomorrow?"

"Afraid not."

She frowned. "But you are the leader. You have to see how I am settling in. When will I see you?"

"In a couple of days I'm back on shift. But the others will keep me informed."

"I see. Well, I will be waiting for you to see how I am for yourself, "she replied. "What time do you assume duty?"

"At 21:00 hrs but I don't need to..."

"Of course, you do. It is always better to deal with a matter yourself than subordinates make your decisions for you."

"Maxima , they are not subordinate to..."

"I will see you then, Kal-El. Do not be late," she warned and sauntered out with Cyborg and Ultraa. "I hate being kept waiting."

Hal let out a snigger at the look on the Kryptonian's nonplussed expression. "Dude, you are in for it."

Zatanna shook her head in disbelief. "Freaking unbelievable."

Bruce snorted. "I told you so."

Clark sighed and looked at Arthur. "With Mera coming back, you sure you don't want a month's stint in the chair?"

Arthur laughed and clapped his hand on his shoulder. "You'll be fine. As a leader your patience and diplomatic skills are going to be tested. It's part of the job description. Mind you, I've never had to deal with anyone like Maxima."

Ollie said a little enviously, "It's clear she's hot for you. Man, you so lucky!"

Diana turned at that and sniffed, "How so?"

"Come on, Diana, look at her! Supes is single! What's to stop him having a little fun along the way? I know I would."

Clark rolled his eyes. "I'm not interested in Maxima."

He waved at him dismissively. "Sure. It's the right thing to say."

"I'm not just saying it."

"Seriously?"

"Yes."

"I don't get it. Are you blind? Look at her. That bold, forward way of hers...I like it. Nothing more attractive to a man than a woman who is hot and knows what she wants. There are no mind games. You'd go for it right, Hal?" He turned to Lantern.

Hal scratched his head. "Not sure. She's way hot but she's annoying too. She'd more than likely stop you in the middle of making out and tell you you're doing it wrong. But ultimately she might kill me with her alien strength."

"When did that ever stop you in the past?"

"Well, yeah, I know but ...heck, yeah, I'd go for it!" he admitted, with a sheepish grin. "I don't mind being dominated and the ring has helped me out in many a jam."

Zatanna uttered, "You two are disgusting."

"Nope. We're normal. I'm sure Ray and Barry understand."

Barry shook his head. "Leave me out of this. I have a girlfriend."

Bruce interrupted, "Enough with the nonsense! This is supposed to be a team of professionals. Not a fraternity house. I have to go." He looked at Clark. "I hope you don't live to regret this."

Clark said, "Look, given it's mainly my fault she's here, it is up to me to deal with her. I won't run from it or dump the responsibility on anyone else. Who knows, Arthur might be right...in the end we might get an ally in Almerac."

Barry sighed. "It's going to be a very interesting month, that's for sure."


Author's Note: Thanks for the reviews!