It was late Friday afternoon and Diana was going to spend the weekend with Clark in Smallville. She hummed as she packed a bag; in went her toothbrush, a pair of jeans and two tops, a dress, undergarments, her ipod and a book she was currently reading. They would not be doing anything much other than hanging around the farmhouse and the immediate environs, so there was no need for more formal clothing. And she needed no sleepwear. Clark's t-shirts always served the purpose if she needed anything to lounge in and well at night, they usually needed no clothing at all.
Diana smiled to herself as she recalled the past week and a half. She had never felt as happy. She had much to be thankful for. On Monday she was due to rejoin the Justice League; she and Steve were now able to talk and not avoid each other; she was in contact with her mother and sisters; even the media seemed more charitable towards her. Her mother had sent a surprising message that she would be visiting the outside again at the end of the month to liaise with Government officials. Diana knew it was, in fact, to come and get to know Clark better and, in her own way, test his mettle. Clark wouldn't be that enthused but the fact Hippolyta was even coming to see and get to know her lover better was a positive sign because she never really had much to say about Steve. She'd never condoned nor condemned. She understood the depth of Diana's feelings for her current lover and as Queen, a mother and someone who had loved intensely herself, she was quite concerned how it could change Diana. Diana wanted her to come and see the kind of man he was and see that she did not have to worry so much.
She picked up her Miss Prince frames, slipped it on her face and flew out of the window. Clark would be waiting for her at the farmhouse.
Clark and Diana lazed on the couch; she with her legs curled under her and her head against his shoulder, while his legs were stretched out before him and his ankles crossed on the round ottoman. Both were sated with the hearty lamb stew he'd cooked for dinner. They were relaxing and viewing the weekly news round up.
One story in particular had Clark snorting and rolling his eyes.
The Luthor trial had begun and Lex was in fine form trying to put himself up as the ultimate patriot and defender of humankind. The media was not allowed in the courtroom but there were artistic depictions of the accused and the room and snippets of verbatim.
Lex Luthor: "Would you really put such faith in an alien to fight humanity's battles? These people have power. Power that can make this planet tremble. They police us and we let them. Who watches them? Judges them? What I did was for humanity's sake. I was trying to create something capable of being a soldier and defender with a mandate for humanity's protection. How can we expect to trust him and them so blindly? If he turns rogue we have nothing to take him down. The super soldier was that weapon."
Tribunal: "But you created a monster, Mr Luthor. Not a super soldier. It destroyed in its bid to protect and Superman did nothing to warrant its attack."
Lex Luthor."He refuses to cooperate with the authorities to allow them to see what he has in that "Fortress"of his. What do we really know of him? His abilities? When we first saw him he was leaping buildings. He can now easily out-fly hypersonic craft and space travel. Is he truly the last of his kind? How do we know he isn't biding his time and will not turn on us and have aliens take over?"
Tribunal:"So you justify breaking the law and creating the creature because of paranoia?"
Lex Luthor."The Krpytonian is now capable of a surviving a nuclear blast. You should all be paranoid."
After the story the station discussed a poll it had been carrying since the start of the program. "Do you believe Lex Luthor is right when he says humanity is being too complacent about the dangers that meta humans present?"
The results: 75% said YES and 25% said NO.
Clark changed the station over to the cooking channel with a terse flick of the wrist. "If I listen anymore to this garbage, I'll be tempted to burn that screen. How can anyone think what he did was right?"
Diana placed her hand on his chest. "He's doing what we knew he would do. Trying to shift the blame from himself. Don't take it to heart. Polls are as accurate as the wind changing direction."
"Maybe but they still give us an idea about the mood of the people at that point in time. Do some people really doubt our good intentions, Diana?"
"People fear what they don't understand, Clark. You and I know that. Humans fear their own species if they are a different color and creed. What do we expect about their attitude towards us? Especially us. We are both considered outsiders by many still, you know."
"I've been trying all my life to not be above them. I know I'm different and saying I am just like them is a kind of a mockery because of what I can do but earth is my home and these are my people. I relate to life here. I would never in my life betray them."
"I know. It's up to us to show them we fight for what is just and right. We just need to keep doing what we do with the League and hope people judge us by our actions, not because we can fly or you can survive a nuke."
"Lex is a manipulative bastard," he stated after a moment of silence.
"He's feeding into fear and hate. It's so easy to do. It's easier to blame others for one's own shortcomings and failings."
"If he gets off..." Clark's irises began to smolder. He'd never forgotten the time he'd been tortured by Luthor.
"I hardly think he will. They would have to be very stupid to find him not guilty. He broke many laws, even international ones. I feel certain he will be incarcerated for life, "she assured him and turned his chin towards her. "I don't want to further sour your mood but I need to tell you that my mother is coming to visit in two weeks."
Clark blinked. "Really? Why?"
"She says it's official but I think it's to check you out some more, "Diana said, in that candid way of hers.
"With her sword, no doubt?"
Diana smiled. "And her royal guard."
He rubbed his head uneasily, ruffling his black locks. "Oh great, and what will I have to do to get a pass mark from the Amazons?"
She snuggled closer." Just be yourself. And maybe invite them here for a meal. I think Mother might appreciate seeing where you were born and raised and Phillipus does like good food...so cook your lamb stew, I think you might have a chance to impress them all."
He looked dubious. "You don't want me to wear the armor and take her to the Fortress instead?"
"She's already seen you in the armor and know you have alien ancestry."
"Yeah, but she'd get to see artifacts and alien tech and the menagerie."
"Seeing what is essentially a museum to your lost people is not what you solely are about though,"she returned.
"You think an immortal, Amazon Queen living in a palace would be impressed by this rustic farmhouse and my home cooking?" he asked wryly.
"Why not? It impressed this Amazon Princess. And even if my mother was not impressed...I wouldn't care what she or anyone else thought. You are mine."
Clark chuckled and relaxed. He dropped the remote and wrapped both arms around her. "You are the greatest."
"Of course," she smiled and lifted her face to his.
Clark kissed her delectable mouth."I have dessert in the fridge."
Diana purred as his lips drifted across her jaw and moved to her neck. "What have you got?"
"Smallville strawberry ice cream." He moved to nip her earlobe causing her to purr.
"Mmmm...My favorite!" She straightened with an eager look.
He saw the happy look and asked, "Shall I get it?"
He eased off her and went to the kitchen. He came back bearing a tub and two spoons. He sat down and offered her a spoon. Diana took both spoons and flung then over her shoulder and took the tub off him.
Clark exclaimed, "You're not going to eat the whole thing by yourself? That's plain greedy, Diana!"
Diana took off the lid and put the tub on the coffee table and eyed him with a naughty smile. "Oh no, you're going to help me."
"Help you? I don't...Hey!" To his surprise she reached for the buttons of his shirt and tore them open and then pushed him to lay with his head on several throw cushions on one end . She reached for the tub of ice cream and dipped a finger in . She sucked the ice cream on her finger with a provocative smile. "Two of my favorite desserts I will be feasting on tonight. Unless you think I am being too greedy?"
Clark's irises suddenly glowed as understanding dawned on him. Very quickly, he laid down. "There is a whole other tub if you like."
The cellphone lying on the bedside of Lois Lane's apartment table rang. She groaned at the sound and elbowed the male body lying next to her.
"Huh...?" Steve Trevor's voice in the darkened room answered sleepily. "What?"
"Your phone. Jesus, it's nearly four am in the morning,"she complained, as she squinted at the digital clock on the wall. "Who would be calling you now?"
He groped for the phone that was still ringing and saw the number. "It's the Pentagon. Hello? General Eiling. Ah, yes, sir. No. Now? Oh. No, sir, it's not a problem. I'll be there by morning."
He sat up slowly. Lois peered at his outline in the dark and reached to flick on the bedside lamp. "What is it, Steve?"
Steve leaned back against the headboard and shook his head, a little perplexed. "I don't know. They want me there urgently. They wouldn't say why but told be a private plane is waiting for me at Metropolis airport to fly me to Washington."
"Now? But you're on leave."
"I know, Lo. I don't know what could be so urgent they would disturb me. I'm sorry. I'll have to go to DC."
She groaned. "There goes our relaxing weekend."
He leaned down to kiss her. "I'll make it up to you. I promise. I have to take a quick shower and leave." He got out of bed and headed for the bathroom.
She eyed his naked behind with some regret. She had some great plans for them that involved a drive upstate to spend Saturday night at her family's log cabin retreat. "Would you like me to call you a cab?"
"Tell them to come at 4:20. I need at least five minutes to down some coffee to wake me up."
Steve saw her come into the bathroom a minute later. "I told them 4:30." He blinked as she stepped into the shower with him. "I know of a better way to wake you up."
Steve sat down in a room that had General Eiling and two other officials from the Pentagon and the current head of the Department Of Metahuman Affairs, Amanda Waller. Amanda, like him, was ex army, and because of her experience and ambition had been chosen to head the department that was set up to monitor all meta human activity and prepare should they turn on mankind. It was a project after Lex Luthor's and General Lane's own heart. But it was closely monitored by the President himself and made underhanded shenanigans difficult. Steve had been offered the job but he had chosen not to take it up because of his emotional involvement with Diana at the time and then he became her and the Justice League's liaison, so it was not feasible he be part of any such department.
He looked at Amanda. Skin the color of caramel, hair in a chic crop, looking very sharp in her business suit, she seemed as stern and efficient as she ever was.
"What is so urgent you had to get me out of bed at three am, Amanda?" he asked. "I take it you have something you brought to General Eiling?"
"Yes." She took up a manila envelope from the table and handed it to him. "We stumbled on some sensitive intelligence. This was gotten off a satellite that was recently decommissioned. The date you can see was over a year ago and the location clearly Washington DC."
Out fell several pictures and Steve's eyes widened.
He was only too aware of them staring at him for his reaction. His jaw tensed as he gazed at the pictures. It was Superman and Wonder Woman, sitting on the roof of the Lincoln Memorial; she looked to be dressed in pajamas; they were locked in an embrace and exchanging a passionate kiss.
Superman? But she's dating Clark Kent...Shit and hell, Clark Kent is...? No, way! Not Superman?!
"Your ex-girlfriend is rather friendly with Superman, it seems," stated General Eiling.
Steve dropped the pictures and said casually, "She's my ex. Why should her kissing Superman bother me or even you?"
Amanda Waller said, "They are the two most powerful members of the Justice League. If they are together, then we need to think of the consequences."
"Two meta humans dating. That's nothing new, Amanda. Come on, what's the problem?"
"Their children could very well be."
"Children? Aren't you jumping the gun here?" he scoffed.
"Who says it will even come to that?Are they even the same species? Superman is an alien and Diana is the daughter of a God..." He stopped and winced when Amanda uttered, "What?"
General Eiling rose. "I thought she was some damn golem brought to life by Gods?"
Steve coughed and said wryly," Golem...demi-goddess...does it matter?"
Amanda's eyes bored into him. "Daughter of a God? Which God?"
"Zeus?" Eiling snorted. "Look, it's one thing us believing in aliens but Greek mythology is pushing it. Seriously, what is her deal? She must be from some lost alien civilization herself. I'll be damned if you think I'm going to believe that we have a God living above us who can throw lightning bolts."
"For what it's worth, I myself don't know what to make of that. She's the one who told me she is a daughter of Zeus. She only found out recently herself. Not that it matters since she does not have much to do with her erm, God family. Her mother apparently kept the secret from her."
"Wait, doesn't the King of the Gods have a wife? Hara or Hera?"
"Er, yeah, Hera."
"So you're telling me...what? He forced himself on the Queen of the Amazons?"
"They had an affair. Diana was kept in the dark for most of her life."
"Well, isn't that interesting. Isn't it, Amanda? Sounds like the Amazons have quite a few skeletons in the closet."
Waller said seriously, "Steve, you should have let us know to update her files."
"I didn't think it mattered."
"But it does. What do we really know about these two? Yes, I know we have files on all of them and their abilities but we still have no clue about what makes Superman tick and how strong he will become. He survived a god damn nuke. Wonder Woman...now you 're telling me she is demi-goddess...daughter of Zeus no less? What does that mean? What can she do? We need to able to control and plan for any risk and this one is highly unpredictable. It is like groping in the dark."
She added dryly, "Judging from the date it seems she did not take that long to jump into his arms from your own. Did you even know?"
Steve folded his arms over his chest and leaned back. He thought he did. It had come as a shock to see her dating Clark Kent. But now what he had suspected was truth. Superman. She'd drifted away from him for Superman. Well, of course, why not? He was only normal, mortal Steve Trevor and Superman was a handsome, young God. It stung a bit. But then he remembered Lois and Diana herself. Now was not the time to be petty. He owed Diana that much to keep her and Clark Kent's secret IDs safe. Lois, he knew, had a fondness for Clark Kent and wouldn't appreciate him selling her friend out. He had come to terms with the fact that he and Diana was over and he was in love with Lois and in fact quite happy. So he kept his peace. No need to out Kent. But damn if it wasn't weird to think of Superman acting like some geek and writing newspaper articles for his living! Why would someone like him even waste his time? Steve frowned. It made little sense really. He resolved to talk it over with Lois.
In response to Waller's question he said, "It doesn't matter. I'm not with her. Who she dates does not affect my morals, Amanda. I still don't know why you'd call me out for this though. You could have kept it among yourselves."
"The reason we called you out was because you are one of the most experienced soldiers we have. Your special training and work with the League as liaison makes you valuable for what we have in mind."
"And what would that be?"
"We want to assemble a team. A team that can take on the Justice League."
Steve blinked. "That is surely not what being a liaison is about. Plotting behind their back to take them out."
"Trevor, we have very little control over the Justice League and almost none over Superman. We need to put some sort of contingency plan in place,"began Eiling. "It's only logical."
"This same paranoia is what drove General Lane and Luthor and they did very dangerous things."
"The president himself sanctioned this. There's nothing shady about this."
"Nothing shady in secretly assembling a team to take out another?'
"If the League and Superman remain friendly, they have very little to worry about. The team will only be used in case we have them going rogue. You and Amanda can begin to screen and recruit members. It will be like our own League."
Waller said, "If you don't accept, Steve, then I am sure we can find someone else. I just thought you would be best at leading such a team and if you care for the Justice League, and the fate of our world and humanity you'd do this for their sake. You're dating Lois Lane now, aren't you? Think of her and the future and the safety of all ordinary citizens. It's better if we handle this than grandiose or paranoid xenophobes like Luthor or Lane. Plus the President, for the sake of transparency, wants us to announce the team to the public. A Justice League of America. There is a pay rise in it for you and you'll get to work autonomously. No more pencil pushing, seminars, and aggravating meetings. You'll get to go back out on the field with them as Coordinator. We know you miss the action, Steve."
Steve considered her words and then sighed. "Fine. You have anyone in mind?"
Waller pulled out a few pictures. "Yes. But I know you have a more extensive working knowledge of these heroes and meta-humans so we are hoping you could make some suggestions as well."
Steve stared at the pictures. "What makes you think they will even accept?"
"They all have reasons to want to...belong...to prove something to themselves and the world. We can help them with that."
Steve sat down. "Okay, fill me in on what you have."
General Eiling clapped his hands. "Excellent. I"ll be taking these and getting that next thing we planned going."
Steve frowned as he took up the pictures of Superman kissing Wonder Woman. "What are you going to do?"
"Why leak the story, son."
"Why not? It's the truth. The American public deserve the truth, don't you think?"
"I..."He looked at Waller. "Is this wise?"
"Steve, you said them dating each other is no harm...so why should they mind if the world knows the truth?" she retorted.
He had no answer to that.
Eiling said, "I could return the favor, Trevor. Give the scoop to Lois Lane. God alone knows with her father's reputation stained she could do with some good press."
Steve said woodenly, "Lois gets her own scoops, sir."
"Suit yourself. But some media house is going to be very happy. Maybe we might give it to TMZ."
Eiling left whistling. Waller stared at Steve. "You look a little disturbed. Why? They're adults, Steve, and high profile heroes. They should be more careful about kissing on rooftops if they didn't want to be caught."
"Yes, but we should be above spreading gossip, Amanda. We are part of homeland security and that should involve keeping classified matters classified. Not using it to influence public opinion."
"Did you care about public opinion when you dated Wonder Woman or when we used her to do our government's dirty work in the early days?"
He reddened. "I...damn you, Waller."
"I tell it as I see it. Let the chips fall where they may, Steve. And let's get on with our job of trying to protect this country."
Monday came and Wonder Woman found herself standing on the observation deck of the Watchtower along with several senior members and five new recruits. The League had invited a handful of media to cover the induction.
Diana, Zatanna, Hal and Ollie stood together and looked on with interest as Superman welcomed the new heroes while Batman and Cyborg stayed close to main control to keep an eye on the monitors.
There was a very pretty, blond woman in black leather and fishnets called Black Canary; a tall, slender, caramel skinned beauty, with cropped hair in a yellow body fitting outfit called Vixen; and an attractive, Asian woman in her thirties called Doctor Light. The other two new members were male and called themselves Captain Atom and Firestorm.
Diana commented, "Always nice to see more females on the team."
Hal remarked ,eyeing the group appreciatively, "Yeah, agreed. This place is too much of a sausage-fest in my opinion."
Zatanna rolled her eyes. "Not because you care we have more ladies to balance off the team."
Ollie murmured, "I wonder if that Black Canary is single?"
"Ollie, don't you dare go slapping on anyone on their first day," warned Diana.
"What? I would never slap anyone!" he uttered scandalized."What kind of guy do you think I am, Diana?"
"Sorry, I mean hitting on anyone," she amended.
"Oh. Of course not. I have some class. Maybe by the end of this week?"
"Not if I get in there first," said Hal.
The two women rolled their eyes.
"I called dibs, Lantern,"Ollie said darkly.
"You mean like when Hal called dibs when he first met me?" asked Diana ironically.
"Hey, it's not my fault Clark has no respect for dibs," Hal retorted.
Ollie's eyes drifted to Vixen. "If Stewart wasn't dating her already...lucky son of gun." They all glanced at John Stewart who had a big smile on his face as Vixen informed the press about her abilities.
Hal looked regretfully at Dr Light. "She's married. Honestly, couldn't these guys get some more single ladies in? The pickings are slim."
Zatanna wagged her finger at him. " The League is not your personal dating agency, Hal Jordan."
"Oh ho, look who's talking. The moment you came in you pounced on Big Blue."
Zatanna flushed. "Yeah, well...at least I didn't do it on the first day."
"Isn't it unfair how the girls can do what they want but we do it and we get a lecture. Maxima came and hit on Clark the moment she saw him too," said Ollie dryly.
Hal sniffed. "Yeah, double standards."
"Speaking of Maxima," mused Ollie. "What happened when you and Lantern went to Almerac? She still mad?"
Diana turned at that. John and Hal had only come back from space a few days before and she was very curious to know how the Queen of Almerac viewed Earth.
"Oh, just the opposite. She was very happy. She's engaged to Ultraa."
Zatanna and Diana gasped. "Really? Ultraa?"
"Yeah, she thanked me and Lantern and sends her best wishes. She'll be married before the year is out and invited everyone. Even you, Diana."
Diana looked at him in disbelief. "Me? She, who threw me off her planet under threat of flogging, would have me at her wedding?"
"Love does wonders for people," he replied.
Diana scoffed, "Love? The only person Maxima loves is herself."
Zatanna tapped her chin. "Well, Ultraa was good looking and buffed. Maybe she finally opened her eyes and saw what she had right in front her instead of looking for it all over the galaxy. The guy had the patience of a saint. If anyone could tolerate her as wife would be him."
Ollie clicked his tongue impatiently, "Back to the topic at hand. Hal, I'm not letting you obstruct me again like the time we tossed for Zat...owww..."
Hal had elbowed him hard.
Zatanna turned and stared at them both. "What?"
Ollie gave her a weak grin. "Heh, nothing?"
"Did you two toss for me? I swear, I'll hex you both now."
"No...we never would...Owww..."Ollie grunted as Zatanna smacked him on the head and smacked Hal on the chest with her hand.
Superman looked over at them with a stern cough. They quietened down as Firestorm began taking questions from the reporters.
Zatanna hissed, "kaepS hturT!"
"We didn't actually get to toss for you."
"We wanted to."
"We couldn't agree who should get to ask you out first."
"Bruce stopped us."
Zatanna blinked. "Bruce?"
Ollie nodded, "Yeah, he grabbed the coin out of the air before we could see who won and gave us a stern warning."
Hal said, "He banned us from trying and said you would decide yourself who you wanted to date. In a nut shell, he said we weren't good enough for you."
Zatanna's brows rose in surprise and she murmured, "enoD."
Hal and Ollie stared at each other in bemusement, not sure what they had just been doing. They shrugged and turned back to the listening to Firestorm.
Diana remarked softly, "That was quite sweet of him."
Zatanna nodded, looking a little distracted, "Er, yeah. Sweet. Sweet and Bruce don't exactly go hand in hand, Diana. He was probably trying in his highhanded way to play my Dad."
"Well, it's not as if you wanted to date Ollie or Hal."
"No but I could have knocked the two horn-dogs back myself."
"Seems to me Bruce was being quite...what's the word? Chivalrous. I learned, from when I was with Steve, when men care for you...they can get a tad over- protective. It is not meant as an insult at your ability to care for yourself. If more men in this world showed more care for their women...then I think the world would be a better place. Too many women have to deal with men who don't gave a damn other than what they can get them to do for them. I would defend Clark's honor if I had to and I would hope he wouldn't be angry or see it as an insult."
Zatanna stared at her, the words sinking in, but she waved her hand dismissively, pretending to pay attention to Firestorm. "Yeah, well Bruce is not Clark. He was probably just trying to boss everyone as usual."
After the formal introductions and press conference, the heroes and members of the press adjourned to the galley where refreshment was laid out and people could simply interact informally and get to know each other better.
Batman had stayed back on deck to keep an eye on the monitors as he preferred not to mix too much with the press. Zatanna caught Cyborg fixing a plate to take up to him. Vic looked at the spread with a frown. "What does Bruce like?"
She made a warning sound when she saw him put a corn dog and nachos on the plate and about to ladle cheese on the latter. "He hates processed food, Vic."
Cyborg turned. "He does?"
She nodded. "Yes, Bruce is a bit of a snob when it comes to food. He trains hard to keep himself fit. No junk food for him. I'll do him a plate."
"Be my guest."
She took up an empty plate and put a hamburger and salad on it along with a fruit bowl. Diana ,who was across from her fixing herself a plate, smiled knowingly. Zatanna caught her eye.
"I just know what he likes," she said defensively.
"I'm sure you do."
"Look, wipe that smirk off your face, Diana."
"I'm not smirking, Zee. I think it very sweet you show some care for Bruce. I'm sure he'd appreciate it."
She narrowed her eyes at her. "Just because you and Clark are wrapped up in each other doesn't mean everyone is thinking about hearts and flowers."
"I never said that."
"But you're thinking it. Stop it right now. I should have let Vic do this. I..."
"Zee, he's alone in the Monitor Room, while you're wasting time here arguing with me," she interrupted, with a deliberate stare. "Clark said Bruce invited us to a fundraiser at the Opera House in Gotham next week, it would be nice to have someone other than one of his random models to interact with."
Zatanna sniffed and turned on her heel and headed out the door. "You're pushing it, Princess."
Batman was staring at a screen that was giving updates on a current category 1 hurricane in the eastern Caribbean. So far the trajectory put it to pass outside the chain of islands but if it changed direction and picked up speed and moisture it could mean the League would have to get involved.
A hand suddenly appeared out of nowhere and a plate was plunked down before him.
He looked up to see Zatanna. She nodded at him."You're welcome."
"Thanks, "he said gruffly. "Is the party that boring?"
"What makes you say that?"
"Well, you left it to bring me this."
"Har har. No, I came because I felt sorry for you and I have a bone to pick with you."
She sat down in a chair next to him.
Batman was about to pick up his burger but stopped. "What did I do now?"
"I was informed you stopped Hal and Ollie from asking me out."
A pause. He picked up his burger. "Did you want them to ask you out?"
"I might have."
"Sure, why not. But since you took it upon yourself to stop them, I'll never know."
"You could still ask them out."
"I suppose I could."
"They were tossing for you, you know that?"
"Yes but I would have been capable of knocking them back if I wanted to. If it hadn't gone past you, they are both quite tasty. Especially Hal. Honestly, Bruce, you need to stop playing my father."
"I wasn't playing your father."
"Then what were you doing? We have been over this before and you know how mad it makes me."
"You could do better."
"They'd bore you within a week."
"Who said I was looking for anything long term?"
"They both immature and their eyes rove."
"Oh and I suppose you can judge who is mature? You have a size zero model on your arm every other week."
"You know why I do it."
"Oh, sure and you don't bed them all while you at it."
He looked a little stung. "I don't bed them all."
"No. Only some. What a sacrifice for you. If you can have you meaningless sex, then why are you stopping me?"
He gave her a dark look. "Is that what you really want? Sex with Hal Jordan?"
"Does that bother you I could want it?" She turned in her chair to face him, her knees touching his leg.
"Stop playing games, Zee," he said sharply and pulled away as if she had burnt him.
"I'm not playing games, Bruce. Stop interfering if you are not man enough to tell me what you want." She got up when all she got was stony silence. "I think I will take up Hal's offer."
Batman watched her stalk away and did not move. She was out the doors, her face like a thundercloud and in her huff, almost knocked into Superman. The Man of Steel stared after her pensively and then at Bruce who dropped his quarter eaten burger on the plate. He couldn't help it but he had heard some of their discussion while he had been approaching Main Control.
"God, but you're a fool," observed the Kryptonian.
Batman did not turn. "Don't start, Clark."
Superman came to stand near him. "You prefer to stay in an uncertain cat and mouse relationship than be in an honest one with someone you care about."
"I'm not in anything with Selina..."
"Not right now you mean."
"There is no right now with someone like her. She's not willing to change her way of operating. I'm only interesting in bringing her in like I would any other foe."
"You like that you don't have to commit. You get to do this eternal dance where you have your cake and eat it."
"It's not about that. It's about being focused on the mission," he replied a little annoyed.
"Sure. The mission. A beautiful, smart woman who can take care of herself, who knows your secret is interested and I know you are not indifferent to her and you knock her back for a mission? What, you're the only one of us with a mission or who cares about the world? Try harder,Bruce."
"Clark, I care too much for Zatanna for her to get her caught up in my mess."
"You are an emotional coward, Bruce."
Batman gave him a pitying look. "No, I' m just not naive like you,Clark. You think you and Diana are so happy. The honeymoon period is always like that. But wait. Wait until reality hits and they come at you. Wait until they come at her to get to you. Wait until you spend every living moment terrified you'll lose her. God forbid you lose her... Zee is a friend. Her father made me promise to look out for her...I..."
Superman's hand rested on his friend's shoulder. He said softly, "Bruce, I've been there. I have worried and fretted and tried to not get too close to anyone after Lana and Sally...to not be vulnerable because I didn't want to care so much that I had to lose something so precious. But it's no way to live. I thank the stars everyday for Diana. That she could even want to be with me. I pray that whatever comes our way we can be each other's shelter from the storm...and survive together. I took a risk that night I kissed her on the Lincoln Memorial after our fight with the monster Lex created...it could have been disastrous but it turned out pretty okay."
"That's the difference between us, Clark. I don't take unmeasured risks."
"Rao, you are so pig headed...You..."He suddenly frowned. His eyes became glued to some of the monitors. The news had been playing on the feeds from the US networks and now he was seeing images of him and Diana kissing on the Lincoln Memorial and excitable reporters and stunned members of the public discussing the news.
Superman is doing it with Wonder Woman!
They must be so happy!
He is so lucky!
She is so lucky!
They are so cute!
Hahaha, wonder what kind of bed they do it in?
This is not good.
He is an alien and she's some pagan golem. I mean, do they even have real organs? How do they even do it?
They shouldn't even be allowed to stay in the United States.
Did those two heathens have to sully our nation's most sacred monuments?
These are really the last days. All matter of iniquity surrounds us...
"Oh crap, "Superman gritted.
Batman stood up and stared. "You should be more careful where you make out, Kent."
"Damn it, what are they all saying?"
"Seems like a bit of everything," said Batman darkly, as he jumped channels. "You're international now."
Even more breaking news. It has come to TMZ's attention that Wonder Woman is not some clay baby brought to life as she claimed. She is...wait for it...the daughter of Zeus himself. That's right folks, you heard it here first. She is a demi-goddess. Bastard of the King of the Olympian Gods. Yeah, seems her mama and Zeus did the nasty under the nose of Hera...yes, folks, Zeus has a wife...! Talk about drama!
Batman lips tightened. "How did they...?"
Clark didn't wait, he blurred towards the galley. Diana was foremost on his mind. While the senior members of the League knew, the new recruits and the press did not. There were monitors in most rooms so he knew Diana was already seeing the news. He could already hear the reporters trying to question her.
Diana was standing staring at the screen, her eyes troubled when she heard what people were saying. She could feel Cyborg's hand on her shoulder and the new recruits whispering and staring.
"I...are Superman and myself together even newsworthy?"
Zatanna patted her arm. "Well, you're the most powerful people on earth. And you're both hot. A dream couple for gossip. And on the Lincoln Memorial no less...bet they charge them money to snap that part of the roof now."
Hal added, "They'll talk now but you'll be old news by next week. Don't worry about it."
"I don't know, Hal. They hounded me and Steve...I was hoping to avoid this with Superman...I..." She stopped as TMZ came on. "What? Oh, Gods." Her face paled.
The media personnel came forward. "Wonder Woman? Is this true you are a demi-goddess? What does this mean in terms of your abilities?"
She gasped, "No...No...They can't do this!"
She turned and rushed for the door. Only to collide into Clark.
"Diana!" He caught her by the arms. She looked absolutely terrified. "Did you hear what they were saying? I need to go...!" she cried.
"We can get through this...we...It's just gossip..."
"I have to go!" She wrenched herself from him and flew as fast as she could for the teleporters. He followed her, trying to stop her but she shrugged him off.
"Diana, where are you going...? Diana!"
She was on the teleporter and shouting at Batman to beam her down to earth. "Don't! No, Clark. You can't come where I am going!"
Superman stood staring helplessly at the empty platform.
A regal, female figure with golden tresses, and a green gown with a cloak of peacock feathers floated into the white marbled Throne Room of Olympus. Her eyes locked upon the King of the Gods who sat at his ease upon his throne.
"How could you?" she shouted.
The King of the Gods was a bronzed, muscular figure swathed in a white cloak; his long dark ringlets were contained by a slim, circular crown; his scepter causally lay across his knees. Sitting at the side, sipping from a goblet, was their daughter daughter, Eris, and standing behind the throne was Hermes.
"How could I what,Wife?" he asked languidly. He was used to Hera screeching at him so her current mood did not surprise him. She probably found out about the beautiful Nereid he had been with this summer.
"You cuckolded me with the Queen of the Amazons!"
"I what?" Zeus crinkled his brow.
She repeated herself and gestured to the scrying pool located at the foot of the dais. "You had a daughter with her! Look!"
Eris rose quickly and peered into the pool. She clapped her hands. "Oh, I have a baby sister. Father, it has been a while since I had any playmates! I thought you were losing your touch. She is a pretty thing."
Zeus sat up. He gazed down at the pool. He saw a beautiful, dark haired, young female with blue eyes and flawless olive skin flying furiously across the Atlantic.
"Daughter?" He seemed stunned. He stared and stared.
"Did you not sleep with Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons?" Hera asked sarcastically.
"Hippolyta." Zeus's eyes softened a bit. He remembered. Ah, the beautiful and passionate Hippolyta. She had mesmerized him for many seasons. More than many of his other conquests because he had to battle for the right to her bed. It had been quite a passionate affair but he was Zeus and he could not help but stray. The world had too many beautiful and willing women. And Hippolyta had her pride. It was never going to last. "That was many years ago, Hera." His eyes marveled at Diana and he suddenly knew. "Yes, she is mine." He did not even have to question it. "How is it I know nothing of her though?" His eyes turned to Hermes. "Did you know?"
Hermes bowed his head and said truthfully, "I...yes, my mighty Zeus."
"Why was I never told?"
"Hippolyta made me vow to keep it secret. For obvious reasons." His eyes moved cautiously to fall upon Hera. Hera's wrath and jealousy was legendary.
"I am Queen. I am the patron of the Amazons! I did all I could to protect those women in that cockless coop. I blessed and protected them and this is how she repay me? How could you hide this, Hermes?" Her voice was shrill as she spat at Zeus, "How dare you? I will not stand for this!" She turned away as if to storm out when Zeus' voice thundered.
He came to stand before her.
"Do not touch a hair on the head of that girl. I want no attempts on her life as you did with Heracles. Nor think you will harm the Amazons or their Queen!"
Hera's eyes darkened. "You take a great concern for someone you did not know existed up until a minute ago."
"I take no pleasure in your trying to kill my progeny and punishing women for my weakness."
Hera gritted, "Is it too much to expect fidelity from one's husband?"
"Fidelity has naught to do with my being your husband. You are still Queen here with authority after me. Act like one."
"You want me to stand by and endure humiliation?"
"I never stopped you from seeking pleasure elsewhere. And do not pretend you and I are smitten lovers. That flame has long burnt out. But we are husband and wife still and I am your King. You will obey me in this. This...child..." He turned to Hermes.
Hermes said, "She is called Diana."
"Well named. Beautiful as the moon itself. I would know about her, Hermes."
He turned his back on Hera and walked back to the throne to hear of the story of Diana of the Amazons.
Hera clenched her fists and continued her path out of the throne room into a garden that seemed to over look the stars and planets itself. She sat upon a bench.
A low silky voice sounded behind her.
"Mother, are you really going to concede defeat?"
Eris sank on the bench next to her.
"There is little I can do. He has decreed I do not harm the girl and that...that...whore Hippoylta."
"Ah yes he did say that. But surely, my dear mother, you have more imagination than that?"
"What do you mean, Eris?"
The Goddess of Discord laughed softly. "You don't have to "harm" the Amazons to teach them a lesson."
Hera turned to look at her. "What?"
"I find death is so overrated. It is Hades who gets to have all the fun when someone gets killed. Zeus will not punish you if you did not go against his will, "she smiled.
Hera's eyes sparkled with the flame of vengeance. "You are clever, my daughter."
"I prefer to call it creative."
Hippolyta and the Amazons were going about their daily business when there was the sound of rumbling on the island.
"Earthquake!" cried the sentinels outside the Queen's door and they rushed in to see if she was unharmed. "My Queen, are you...?"
"I am fine. What was that?"Hippolyta rose quickly from her desk and stared out the window. What she saw made her eyes widen.
"Come out, Queen of the Amazons!" A giant face with a merry grin looked at her through the window. "Come out and play. It is such a beautiful day."
She backed away. "Who...?"
Eris shrunk down to size and floated in via the balcony. She looked around scathingly and then said venomously, " My mother wishes to see you, adulterer. NOW."
Hippolyta and the Amazons gathered in the inner courtyard. They stood in reverend silence.
Uncertainty pervaded the air. The earth shaking and the sight of the Goddess of Discord on the island had sent many into a panic. But they calmed when they heard that their patron Hera wanted an audience with the Queen. Surely the Goddess would protect them from the caprice of Eris, who was now sitting on a bench and playing with a short sword abandoned earlier by a nervous Amazon. Spinning the tip on a table top. Humming. Smiling to herself.
Hippolyta now faced Hera. She bowed. "Welcome, Queen. What do we owe this pleasure?"
Hera looked around. "I see your daughter is not here yet."
Hippolyta replied warily, "My daughter is not here, no. She is on the outside. She will not be here today."
Hera began to walk around the Queen. "The outside. Ah, yes. You let her go to the Patriarch's world. All alone. Very brave of you to let your heir live unprotected among those outsiders." Her cloak swept the floor and created strange ripples in the air. "Pity she is not coming today. I would have given her the chance to...say...good-bye."
Hippolyta blinked, not understanding."If you wanted to see Diana, I can always send a message to her, my lady..."
"Did you ever tell that girl the truth, Hippolyta?"
"Yes. The truth. Do your sisters know?" She stopped in from of Aleka. "Do you know the truth, Amazon, of your clay princess?"
Aleka, thinking she was displeased with her, clasped her hands together and began hastily, "I swear I will never ridicule her for it again. I...it...was just in jest... we were but children..."
Hera raised her hand to cut her off. " I see you are as ignorant as you look. You love your Queen, don't you?"
Aleka mumbled, embarrassed and red in the face, "Y-yes."
Hera stopped before Phillipus. "She is above reproach. She is honorable. Truthful. A strong ruler. She would never do anything to bring about your doom after the harsh lesson of Heracles. Would she, General? She prayed to me to protect the Amazons. She would never do anything as reprehensible as lie to the women who would give their lives for her? Disrespect me?"
Phillipus gave Hippolyta a swift glance. It also signaled alarm.
Hippolyta took a step forward. "Hera, you cannot blame them. They are not responsible for my actions. It was a selfish thing on my part. I was lonely. He said you had not shared a bed for an age...I..."
"He is my HUSBAND, woman! You bedded my husband ! You did not act with the dignity of a Queen. But that of a HARLOT."
Hippolyta flinched at her tone and she saw the blazing anger. The Queen of the Amazons was a proud woman but she knew of Hera's fury. She did not hesitate to humble herself for her people. She dropped to her knees. "Forgive me...I did not consider...I should have never done it...I was blinded..."
The Amazons began to shuffle in discomfort, some beginning to whisper, other looking alarmed. Phillipus went down at once on her knees and they all had no choice but to follow suit.
Hera snapped. "You kept it a secret! You did not come and ask my forgiveness! You lied! You gave birth to that child that I gave my blessing. She was to be a gift from the Gods. You had Aphrodite, Hermes, Hephaestus...all colluding in your lies. Why? Why did you betray me?"
"I...have no excuse other than I loved. I loved Diana more than Zeus and my own life. I never expected to get with child. I... was terrified...but when she came...You know what it is like to hold your first born. You want no harm to ever come to a child of your own flesh and spirit."
Ares, Eris, Hebe, Enyo, Hephaestus...all birthed a long time ago...she had no memory or feeling of maternal tenderness for any of them. They all had their own destiny and at times it even clashed with her own.
Hippolyta grasped the hem of her gown and pleaded, "Please, my lady, do not hurt Diana. Please. She was innocent in all of this. As are the majority of my sisters. Condemn me. Punish me. They have worshiped you faithfully. You cannot forget that."
Hera pulled her garments away and turned her back on her for a moment. She turned and said coldly, "You should have thought about that twenty five years ago. You will reap the reward of bitterness, fear and pain."
Phillipus suddenly rose and drew her sword. "I am afraid I cannot allow that. You will have to go through us first."
Eris' brows rose and the corners of her lips curved upwards. "I think they want to die, Mother."
All the other Amazons slowly got to their feet. Some gulped but they bravely began to step before their Queen. Hippolyta shook her head in dismay.
"No. Phillipus! No!"
Hera responded to Eris, "I can oblige them."
Lightning flashed and Hippolyta was blinded momentarily. When she opened her eyes she felt movement against her knees and legs and the sound of hissing. She gasped to see scores of serpents surrounding her, no sign of the Amazons but their weapons strewn carelessly on the floor.
Hippolyta cried in anguish, "No!"
Hera turned to her, eyes like daggers. "As for you..."
Diana landed on the beach of Themyscira and flew inland towards the palace with a haste and urgency she never felt before. She glanced around worriedly as she realized no one had come to greet her and she could see no signs of sentries that usually were posted at intervals along the way.
The palace looked normal but there was an eerie silence. There were no sounds of life as she entered the gates. Her heart lurched painfully as she began to run inside and call out.
"Mother!Sisters! I am home!"
Not a sound. No sign of her sisters.
She spun around in dismay, looking and listening for signs of life, and then suddenly she stopped and stared in horror.
She had just entered the inner courtyard and saw a peacock feather fluttering on the ground. Her worst fears were confirmed.
She stumbled forward. "Nooo...noooo...Mother!"
She was too late. Hera had come and punished them. Her mother was on her knees, arms outstretched as if begging for mercy, still and silent. Turned into stone.
And her sisters...they couldn't be! Her eyes gazed in disbelief at the hissing serpents around her. Some were slithering away from her while others writhed over her boots. "Gods...Oh my sisters."
Diana fell to her knees before mother's statue and her arms went around it. "I am sorry. I am sorry."
Tears blurred Diana's vision. She bit back a sob and tried not to wail. Amazons don't cry. She put her forehead to her mother's stone one.
"I swear I will find a way to free you..." she said huskily.
"That might not be so easy, Little Sister. Only Hera can undo her curse."
Diana turned and saw the smirking face of Eris.
"The Goddess of Discord." Diana stood up. Her hand instinctively went to her sword. "Did you come to finish your mother's dirty work bringer of strife?"
"Oh how formal. We are sisters now. What is between our mamas shouldn't affect that we should love each other more," she smiled. "Put the little toothpick brother Hephaestus made for you away and let us talk. Do you have any wine? I hear the Amazons make the best wine."
Diana gritted, "Stay where you are. Not an inch closer."
"Oh Diana, you must be upset. But your mother should not have bedded my father. Such is the consequence angering the Gods. There is a silver lining in all of this. You are one of us now," she crooned.
"One of you? I will never be like one of you!" she snapped and turned away. She began to lift off, wanting to get as far away from the island and Eris as possible. She could feel her anger exacerbating in the goddess' presence.
Eris floated after her. "You have Zeus' blood running though your veins, child. Of course you are one of us."
"He is but a name to me. I have no father."
"Ouch. Not many of his progeny has been known to refute him. There are so many who long to have his attention. If you are grateful enough, he might just grant you a place on Olympus.
Diana spun around. "I want nothing from him and I want nothing to do with Olympus! Who I am is because of these women, not him. Stay away from me!"
Eris folded her arms and made a tutting sound. "Oh the pride of the young and ignorant."
Hera lounged in what looked like a combined garden and sitting room. There were long divans and tables laden with food and drink amid a grassy embankment and flowers. The sounds of a harp and lyre filtered through the trees.
Hera sipped from a goblet and smiled to herself, as she contemplated the sun creating ripples in the stream running past her and then stars in the firmament above that. It was night and day always on Olympus.
She suddenly felt the sun shaded and a voice cause the trees to shiver.
"You dare defy me?"
Hera turned to see Zeus floating before her with Hermes in the background.
Her face hardened. "Your little messenger carries new fast."
Zeus landed to stand before her. "I told you not to touch the Amazons and the child. How dare you disobey me?"
Hera stood up and boldly face him, her lips in a sneer, "You said not to kill them. I did not. The "child" remains untouched."
His hand raised as if to strike her.
She continued calmly,"Before you strike, show me where I defied you. I broke no edict of yours. You cannot punish me. The Amazons are alive and no physical harm has come to your bastard."
The King of the Gods dropped his hand. She was right. "You are an embittered, spiteful woman."
"If I am, you made me so. My only crime was loving you. I did as I saw fit. No one can begrudge me satisfaction. Do not try to tell me you cared that much for the Queen. You took what you wanted and you left. Like you always do. And if you think your bastard will welcome you with open arms...I would suggest you think again. She wants to have nothing to do with you."
Zeus' jaw tightened. "How do you know this?"
"It is true, father," said a voice behind them.
Eris floated in from amid the trees carrying a goblet of wine. "I encountered my little sister and she is very angry. She said she has no father and she wants nothing to do with Olympus. A feisty little thing." Eris looked at Hermes. "But I think you already knew that, right, Messenger? You and Hephaestus. Keeping your little secrets."
Hermes' guilty look made Zeus glare. "There are many things you kept from me, Hermes. Hephaestus I have no illusions about but you..."
"I did it to preserve peace. I would give Diana some time, my lord. She...this is a great shock to her. She has never suffered any real loss in her life and this...perhaps she will come to you for help."
Hera said loudly, "What I did cannot be undone by Zeus' whim. The Amazons stay as they are. Only I can turn them back, do you hear me?"
The King of the Gods seemed to be weighing what she said. His eyes were narrowed and intimidating. She could swear lightning bolts sparked in the irises. For a moment she wondered if he would disregard her words.
"So be it." Zeus turned and walked away, vanishing amid the trees.
Reporters were camped outside the Themysciran Embassy. It was nearly midnight but they were all waiting for Wonder Woman. Since the breaking news of her and Superman and her demi-god status, it was all the media could talk about. They had questions for her, and they had their sharp eyes trained around the building and roof for any sign of the Man of Steel himself. To get a picture of him entering or leaving her place was now the goal of every gossip magazine and entertainment network.
She could see and hear them long before she broke through the clouds.
"The world can't seem to get enough of this."
"You're thinking what everyone is thinking, right? I mean, bow chicka wow, right?'
"I bet she ties him up."
"Think they do it flying?"
Diana stopped and she turned around. She really could not deal with them right now. She flew towards Metropolis.
Clark sat in front of the tv and cursed under his breath. Every single station had news on them. The reporter part of him knew this was expected. The frenzy he suspected would last for a few weeks until the next big story. The most worrying part for him was not that people were talking that he was with her but the many concerned groups that did not like the idea of him and her together because they were too powerful. A frightening threat. An Alien and God union. Humanity did not like anything it could not control nor understand.
Lex himself was making it a point to bring it up in his trial.
"They are not people. They are power. Unpredictable. What would a child of theirs bring? The thought is horrendous. You cannot let these people rule above us! I knew this could happen...why do you think I did what I did?"
Clark flicked off the remote and flung it aside and stood up. He could try the Justice league Satellite again or the Embassy. Maybe she had come back. He reached for his communicator when he heard the shifting of the air outside his window and saw the light curtain blow. She climbed inside and her eyes met his instantly. Never had ever he seen her look so pale and distraught. Not even when she'd found out about Zeus. Her eyes were dull and lost, the sparkle gone. Her lips trembled as if she was not sure what to say, then she swallowed hard and began, "Can I... stay with you? Reporters at...at...the Embassy. I...Hera...she came and took her revenge...My mother...turned to stone...sisters...snakes..."
"What?! Rao! Oh, sweetheart, come here."
He dropped the communicator at once and moved towards her. A strong arm went around her shoulder and steered her to the couch. He eased her down and knelt before her. He took her hands in his. "Stone? Snakes? She can do that?"
"Yes...they're...they're gone." Diana stared at him in despair. "And I don't know what to do."
An hour later, they lay together in bed. But she had not cuddled into him as she usually did. She simply turned on her side and stared into the darkness. She hadn't spoken much nor dropped a tear when he tried to comfort her. She had refused food and drink but had not protested when he led her to the bedroom and got her to take a warm shower and change into one of his t-shirts.
He knew not to force her to talk unnecessarily. He knew what it was like to suddenly be an orphan. The pain of suddenly knowing one was truly alone was like nothing he'd ever felt when he lost the Kents. He'd had no one to hold or comfort him. Not even Lana or Pete could know what he felt. He thanked God he was at least able to be here for her. When she was ready, she would talk. Or cry. If she wanted to.
She continued to stare off into space and it was when the digital clock flicked to three am he felt her shift. She whispered as if she was not sure he was awake," Clark?"
"Yes?" He had not dropped off. He had been listening to her heart beat all this time and longing to simply fold her into his arms.
She turned on her back. He could see her profile clearly even though the lights were off.
"I can't sleep."
"Want to talk about it?" he asked gently.
She whispered, after a long pause, "I should have considered that one day this would have happened. I should have prepared for it."
"And what would you have done? How could you have stopped Hera from taking her revenge?"
"I don't know...I could have revealed myself, told her the truth, pleaded with her maybe? Appeal to her nature as a mother..."
"Would Hera have listened to you, Diana?"
"She could have harmed me...like she did so many others...but she didn't. Maybe she might have listened..."
"Or she simply choose the better way to hurt you and have her satisfaction. Sweetheart, it's no use going over what you could have done. That does not help. Believe me, I know. I blamed myself for my parents death for years. But in truth I could not have seen it nor stopped it."
She looked at his face, so full of concern and tenderness for her. She saw shared pain. He had lost both parents. He knew what she felt.
"I...have to free her...them."
"Can they be freed?" He wasn't so sure it was that simple.
"I...don't know...Only Hera can do it...This cannot be the end. I can't be the only Amazon left...I...am alone," she quavered.
"You're not alone."
Tears spiked her lashes and she voiced sorrowfully,"My heart hurts, Clark."
Clark gently pulled her into his arms."I wish I could take away the pain. I wish I could bring them back for you. But I can't. All I can do is tell you that I'm here. As long as I draw breath, I'll always be here for you. This I promise. I love you, Diana."
Those words seemed to make the tears trickle down her cheeks. Diana turned her face into Clark's chest and finally allowed herself to mourn.
A woman in a short fitted black dress, barefooted, sauntered along the white sands of a palm fringed beach. Music filled the air. She side-stepped dancing couples and tanning men and women to head towards a wooden bar with a large, thatched roof. She sat down on a bamboo seat next to a very handsome blond man wearing a white shirt, dark trousers and shades.
"Hello, brother. Business is booming, I see."
Ares, the God of War, turned from his contemplation of the television on the wall. He had been looking at the fighting going on in the Middle East.
"Eris, it has been years. What do you want?" he asked scathingly.
The Goddess of Discord made a face. "Surely this is no way to greet your beloved sister. Buy me a drink, there's a dear."
He sniffed. "What do you want?"
She tapped her chin. "I have a feeling for "A Short Trip to Hell."
He signaled to the bartender and put the request in. "So, what are you doing here? It's not like you to slum it among the humans."
"We missed you. We haven't seen you for such a long time."
"Mother and I."
"Our mother does not miss anyone. Unless it is our philandering father. What are those two doing? Fighting as usual over his indiscretions?"
"She has been rather angry and she did curse one of his past paramours only yesterday."
Ares turned his attention to gang violence shown as a result of warring for turf over drugs from the Americas. "Who's the unfortunate soul this time?"
"The Amazons of Themyscira?"
Ares turned back. "Indeed? You interest me now."
She explained all that had occurred. He smiled spitefully, fully recalling his last interactions with the Amazons and Diana of Themyscira. It had not gone well for him. So he was quite pleased to hear about them being punished. "Ah, mother always was full of venom. I suspect they never saw that one coming. Nor that proud little princess. How is she dealing with the fact she is one of us now?"
"She hates it."
He laughed. "Oh the sweet irony. But did you come to seek me out to tell me this?"
"Not only this. You have been watching the news, yes?"
"I watch only for War."
"Then you might be very interested to know that our new little sister has chosen a male companion."
"The human soldier?"
"That is old news, brother." Eris stared at the television and the station tripped over to a channel that was talking about Wonder Woman and Superman. "She is with this one now."
"Him?" He had heard if this alien. "No accounting for taste if she'd go after that."
"Together that could be very dangerous though. They fight for justice and peace."
"Peace." The words rolled off his tongue with derision.
Eris leaned in. "Think what that could mean to you and I."
Ares took off his shades and his eyes glowed red.
Author's Note: Thank you so much for your patience, feedback and best wishes, everyone. You are the best! These versions of the Olympian Gods are not fully following the new 52 versions.