9 Justice League the Corps
Three days after the Javelin flight had returned everyone to earth, Kara called on Kyle at his LA apartment that he shared with Ray. She stood on the doorstep looking very resolute. Kyle feared the worst. She hadn't spoken to him in the interim and he hadn't been selected for any JLU missions. He strongly suspected the latter was at her behest.
"Can I come in?" she asked at last, disrupting Kyle's gaping stare.
"Of course," he fell all over himself to get out of the way, "Can I get you anything?"
"Not yet," she replied in a neutral voice, "We'll see how our little talk goes first."
She moved into the living room and took a seat at the couch. She motioned for him to sit opposite her. Her ease with her surroundings belied the butterflies that were swirling in her stomach. This was an all-or-nothing venture and she had everything to lose or gain.
Kara met his gaze and her eyes were cool, "As I said before, I realize that Carol has gotten into your head and probably your heart. I'm not sure I want to know the last but you did choose me over her. That counts for something. It counts for a lot actually."
"What I propose is this: You and Ray have a third bedroom. I'll move into that in order to keep an eye on you. You are going to work your ass off proving yourself to me and when you've thought you've won me over, you're going to work even harder," Kara declared, "Most importantly though, you will avoid any and all contact with Carol Ferris. She does not exist to you. If she approaches you, you will run in the opposite direction after telling her to go to hell."
Kara's voice projected the intensity of her emotions, which were raging; "Can you live with that? Because accepting those terms is the only way I'll stay with you. If you can't live by those terms, I leave. If you break those restrictions, I leave and never look back. Am I clear?"
Kyle nodded and Kara grew irritable, "Say it."
"You're clear," he said.
"Now, do you think you've got what it takes to save this relationship?" Kara asked.
"Yes," he said. She eyed him skeptically, as if he'd answered too soon and too readily.
"I've thought about it. Actually it's all I've thought about and I made a commitment that I would do whatever it takes to win your trust. You're one of the most important things in my life. The only other things that comes close are the Corps, and after that the Justice League. I failed in my commitment to you, whether I was brainwashed or not, and I won't do that again…ever," Kyle promised.
"How can you be so certain?" she wondered.
"Because I had a talk with John and he related something Carol said," he began. Seeing Kara's face cloud over, he held out a hand; "Hear me out. She said that Will controls all of the other emotional spectrums and that includes Love. That means I can control what Carol did to me. All it takes is willpower and I have a lot of that or I wouldn't be a Green Lantern."
"I suppose your right," Kara allowed. Seeing Kyle's wry look she amended her statement, "All right. I believe you. If I didn't believe in you I wouldn't be here."
"But that belief is a fragile thing. Don't abuse it or it'll vanish for good and so will I," Kara warned, "And just so you know, you won't be getting any until I'm satisfied. We're back to square one. Actually, we're a helluva lot further back than square one."
"I completely understand," Kyle agreed to her conditions without hesitating. That pleased her.
"Okay, a good start for you is taking me out to breakfast," she suggested.
"New York is three hours ahead. Shouldn't you be getting ready for lunch?" he wondered.
"I was too nervous to eat, you idiot," Kara revealed, "Now I'm famished."
"You're not going to eat a whole cow are you?" he asked.
"Shut up, Rayner." Kara scolded him, "A girl gets hungry."
"Especially when that girl has a super appetite, In-Ze," Kyle chuckled.
"Look, feed me now or lose me forever," Kara threatened.
"Follow me," he rose from the couch.
She followed, "Will we be flying?"
He grinned. He was still slightly nervous around her but he was trying to hide it. She felt the same way.
"There's a family owned restaurant just a couple of blocks away. They serve a killer breakfast and their helpings are right up your alley." He revealed.
"Outdoor seating?" she asked.
"It can be arranged," he assured her.
"You might be redeemable after all," she said with a hesitant smile.
He gratefully accepted anything she could give.
Clark and Diana met Bruce in a diner along one of Gotham's more beaten tracks. It was a place Bruce knew well as Batman. He and Jim Gordon celebrated New Year's Eves here every year. He also ventured out here in his civilian guise once in a while. For a man whose mental voice referred to him as "Batman", Bruce Wayne was a role he played. He thought it appropriate to meet the veritable demigods in the heart of the human condition.
Bruce met them at the entrance. Alfred had driven him here a few minutes early and he had waited for the couple to make an appearance. Since that involved a rooftop change of clothes they had just made it at the appropriate hour.
"Shall we?" Bruce held the door open for Diana. He gave Clark a rueful glance when the Kryptonian followed her in.
They took their seats and a bedraggled server showed up. Her dismal attitude perked up when she saw Bruce. She quickly took drink orders after handing out the menus.
"I'll have milk," Clark predictably chose.
"Can I have tea?" Diana wondered.
Bruce, of course, ordered black coffee and asked for it to keep coming. He ignored the menu. He knew what he wanted. He suggested several of the house specialties. Cooks that were presently employed specialized in certain dishes and the others were generic at best. This varied day by day, and whether or not a certain cook was still employed. Bruce always called ahead to find out who had the shift.
"They seem to know you here," Clark observed.
"You must be an investigative reporter," Bruce sarcastically quipped, "And here I thought you just wrote about your own exploits."
Clark colored. Diana stepped in, "Really, Bruce. You know Clark has little time for other investigations. It's best if he writes what he knows. It also puts a positive spin on our activities."
"I thought you had Max Lord for spin control," Bruce remarked.
The server arrived with their drinks and took their meal orders. Bruce snorted when Clark ordered the hamburger. The All American Boy was a negative stereotype.
Diana wasn't to be outdone, "Clark recently completed a report on the price gauging that occurs at resorts along Niagara Falls. Why I…"
"Accompanied him and that's where you became pregnant," Bruce finished for her.
Diana gaped. Clark asked, "How do you know that?"
Bruce turned to Diana, "You have a certain glow about you and since I'm convinced you didn't just have sex with Wonderboy here, my first guess was pregnancy. Am I wrong?"
"No, you're correct," Diana conceded. She glowed? Could that be used against her?
"Don't worry, Princess. Most new mothers radiate. It can't be used as an attack," Bruce reassured her.
Now she wondered how he knew what she was thinking. Bruce almost smiled, "You think in terms of tactical and strategic advantage. It was easy to guess what you were thinking. What you need work on is the fact your reaction gave you away when it confirmed my suspicions. You're an open book, Diana. That is your one glaring weakness."
Clark started to say something but Bruce quieted him down with a hand gesture. The server suddenly appeared with their plates. Clark happily bit into his burger and you could see him melting as the greasy beef hit his tongue.
Farm boys, Bruce thought somewhat derisively. Diana had a Reuben sandwich at Bruce's suggestion. She loved rye and she savored the bread. Bruce studied her.
"The bread is obtained from a bakery up the street," Bruce informed her.
She gave him a quizzical glance and he shook his head, "Open book, remember?"
She blushed and Bruce shifted his attention to Clark, "So why did you request a meeting? It'd better not be about rejoining the League. That part of my life is done."
"It isn't. I've talked your ear off about that already," Clark smiled as Bruce gave a weary nod, "What I need is a venue for the wedding. I was thinking about Mannerheim's Cathedral but I don't have the clout to get us in next month."
"Whereas I do," Bruce nodded appreciatively, "Now you're using your head."
Bruce sampled his corned beef sandwich, "When do you want in by?"
"We were thinking the 3rd of next month. It's the first Saturday and our families will have time to prepare," Clark said.
"Even Hippolyta?" Bruce asked with some surprise.
"Mother will be there for both weddings," Diana announced.
"There will be multiple weddings?" Bruce was curious as to why.
"One wedding is for mortals. At the second, we stand before the gods of Olympus and my Amazon sisters," Diana revealed.
"Didn't you already get banished once for bringing men to Themyscira?" Bruce sought to jog her memory.
"The second wedding will take place on Olympus itself. As my consort, Clark will be allowed to stand in the hallowed halls and receive the blessing of the marriage of the gods' own champion," Diana said as though it were the simplest thing in the world.
Bruce looked to Clark. He shrugged, "I'm still getting used to the idea myself."
Bruce took it all in. Clark has said his peace. Diana, however, had something on her mind.
"What's your request, Princess?" he inquired.
"I want you to train our child," she said.
"What?" Bruce and Clark both blurted. Clark grinned and Bruce glared at him. Shifting gears, Bruce asked; "I take it this is a surprise for you too?"
Clark shrugged, "When isn't she surprising me?"
Bruce focused on Diana, "My track record with children isn't that great. Why me?"
"You would instruct our child in the ways of Man's World. You are perfect for the role. Clark is too…naive and I'm too ignorant. Of course the early training would be handled by us. We would have that responsibility until they reached adolescence and then you would step in. We'd be the support mechanism."
"Would they live with me at that point?" Bruce wondered.
"No," Diana decided, "You would establish a training schedule and we would assist as we could with it. Our child will return to our home when not in training so that they will…"
"Not be influenced into pursuing paths that neither of you are willing to endorse," Bruce surmised.
"Blunter than I was prepared to be but essentially correct," Diana agreed.
"How will the child be raised during its formative years?" Bruce wondered, "After all they will be one of the most powerful people on the planet."
"If we have a son, Clark will devote time with him. Kara has volunteered as well as the Marvel Family," Diana explained, "If we have a daughter, she will accompany me to Themyscira and be trained there by myself and my Amazonian sisters."
"The Marvels may be a tad unpredictable for the task," Bruce opined, "They could bring in the rest of their ilk. I'm sure Black Adam and the so-called Isis would love to get their hands on your baby. And then there's Galatea…"
"The Black Marvels will be kept away from our baby," Diana promised, "Galatea is a question mark. One we're trying to have answered even as we speak."
Galatea clenched her teeth. The line of questioning had definitely crossed over to being offensive.
"Why does it matter how many times we have sex or what types we enjoy?" she grated.
The Question's blank visage just stared at her. She was tempted to rip the mask off but she waited for him to speak. Finally he did.
"I'm trying to ascertain if you are a positive or negative influence upon Blackhawk," he said at last.
"By asking about our sex life?" she tried to keep her voice level but this little "interview" was getting out of hand.
"Certain fetishes can be a sign of deviant mind," Q said calmly, "That answers questions about your thought life."
"No fetishes! Okay?" Galatea answered.
"Yes, but I suppose your Argoan heritage makes most of them ineffective in your case. What would you like to do that you can't?"
"I'd like to break your face but since you don't have one I suppose I'll have to refrain," Galatea grated, "That's the kind of answer you're looking for, isn't it?"
"Mmm…moving on, how do you see the role of violence in your life?" Question asked.
"It's a necessary evil," Tea said. Q noted that she'd grown sadder from reflecting on the question.
"How so?" he asked.
"It's not like threats like the Legion of Doom will rollover when told to 'halt' now is it?" she said acerbically.
"But you were trained to kill your opponents. Why hold back and face them repetitively?" Question pressed the point.
"Because killing is wrong and locking them up is the right thing to do," Galatea answered.
"Why is it the right thing to do?" Q wondered.
"Because killing just brings on more killing. People lose a loved one and they want revenge so they try to kill you in exchange. Perhaps they succeed, maybe they don't and the cycle of violence just goes on," Q noted the weary sadness in her voice.
"So, do you find it justifiable to take a life?" he got to the point.
"I used to. In fact I have." Galatea was almost despondent.
"But you don't believe it's justifiable now?" Question sought clarification.
"No, I don't." her voice was strong and confident when she declared this.
"So, if I brought in Blackhawk and put a gun to his head, and my finger began depressing the trigger, how would you respond?" Question wanted her to think.
"I'd burn a hole in your hand. While you were distracted I'd use my super speed to approach you and then knock you out," she answered.
"But what if you couldn't because of kryptonite or a red sun lamp? What would you do?" he wanted to know.
A single tear came to her eye, "I'd say goodbye."
"And after he was dead?" Q demanded.
"I'd find a way to make you pay," she declared.
"But you wouldn't kill me?" Q was fascinated by the course of this conversation.
"No." she said with a flat voice.
"Why not?" Question had to know. Everything hinged on it.
"Because it wouldn't bring him back," she said with finality, "And it would just add another face to my nightmares."
Question walked to the door, "Thank you, Galatea. Your cooperation has been most appreciated."
She was surprised, "That's it?"
"I know everything I need to know," he assured her.
"And what is that?" she was leery.
"I'm changing my recommendations regarding you. You're no greater a threat than Superman or Supergirl," he informed her.
She ventured a tentative smile, "Really?"
"Really. Now Blackhawk is undoubtedly waiting for you. Why don't you find him and enjoy the rest of the afternoon?" Question suggested.
Galatea practically ran out of the room. J'onn and Sue entered in after she'd left.
"Are you sure about this?" Sue asked.
"I know you are loathe to give a former enemy a second chance, Susan, but the woman is clean. She honestly believes in what she's saying," Question proclaimed.
"I agree," J'onn concurred.
"What sold you?" Sue asked Q.
"When she acknowledged that killing Blackhawk's murderer wouldn't bring him back. That and her nightmares. I truly believe she's haunted by the faces of those she has slain and I'm convinced that she doesn't want to add to that menagerie," Q explained his reasoning.
"Hrmm. We'll see," Sue gave up.
"Let's go out on the town and celebrate," Blackhawk suggested after he'd received the news from Tea.
"Can we bring Lady Blackhawk too?" she wondered.
"I think she's off the rotation," Blackhawk mused, "Let's check."
They did and LBH was indeed free. She felt some trepidation at horning in but the happy couple insisted.
"What if I can talk J'onn into coming?" she asked. They ecstatically agreed. A little while J'onn appeared by her side and they went to get into Blackhawk's Land Rover. They drove off campus with the sky being the veritable limit.
A/N: My eternal gratitude goes out to S-Bumblebee. I knew nothing of the emotional spectrum, various Lantern Corps, and members of said Corps outsider of a passing knowledge of Star Sapphire/Carol Ferris and Sinestro. S-Bumblebee volunteered to research all of the above for me. Her multi-page reports shaped every facet of this story. She'll modestly say she just enjoyed helping but this wouldn't have happened without her support.
A/N: Thanks always go to animeluverqueen for being my beta reader. She put up with fast paced updates that reached three chapters a day on occasion. She has her own life and she allowed me to intrude upon it. I can't repay her for this courtesy. I can only promise to slow down.
A/N: Thanks also go to my reviewers. They formed a steady corps of their own and kept up the encouragement, suggestions, and critiques. It fueled this story and the ideas behind it.
A/N: As always I'm lucky to have faithful readers. Some people have followed this series since the beginning, some discovered it with this story and went back and read the preceding instalments, others latched onto this singular story and followed it to its conclusion. Whichever you are, I'm glad to have you along and I'm formally announcing that Justice League Family Ties, DCAU Series Part 12 will begin shortly. I hope you stick around for it! :)