The Shake Up
There were a dozen things that Diana of Themyscira could have been doing right now. She could work out, fly, read, torment her mother, anything. But as bored as she was she still didn't move from her sofa located in her embassy bedroom. Despite the fact that the program she was watching was miserable she still watched it. It was a celebrity gossip show, and this week's edition was profiling the 'The love life of Wonder Woman.' The show was worthless in every way, most of their commentary was speculation and a significant majority of it was way off base but she found herself unable to change the channel.
They started from the beginning, 4 years ago with her brief affair with Steve Trevor when she was 21 years old, just after the Amazons revealed themselves to the world. Steve was a young officer assigned to security for Diana and her mother as they began to integrate back into society. The speculation was that he and Diana had been together under the Queen's nose for months until they were seen publicly together. And that she injured him after he made too strong of a pass at her. In fact none of that was true. Steve was possibly the only non-Amazon who wasn't afraid to speak with her at the time. They became fast friends, and shortly after Diana discovered ballroom dancing she convinced him to break curfew so they could go try it. He only went because she was determined to go with or without him, and regretted his decision. On their very first spin on the dancefloor Diana pulled a little too hard and accidently broke Steve's arm in 3 places. That was the beginning and the end of their relationship.
Then of course there was Bruce Wayne, who she once shared a table with at a charity dinner. After that there was speculation of their whirlwind affair and eventual breakup. All they did was sit at the same table, they barely even spoke to each other! Despite the fact that both she and Bruce publicly denied everything, the vultures still ran with it. In fact she didn't even know Bruce at the time, and didn't want to know him, she had only gone to the event because her mother made her.
They talked about other men she'd been seen in public with as well, sons of politicians, athletes, hollywood actors and the like. But the most buzz was caused after Diana accepted a YouTube invitation to the Grammy's from R&B singer Carmella Day. At the time Diana didn't have the slightest clue that Carmella was an unabashed lesbian, she was just thought it was a kind gesture to invite Diana to an event she had never been to before. There was a now infamous picture all across the internet of Carmella passionately kissing a surprised Diana on the mouth. Even to this day there were still whispers about Diana's sexual preference.
Those whispers were probably strengthened by the fact that Diana never had any sort of romantic connection with Superman. A great deal of the public thought the two of them were an ideal match. Videos of them fighting together were quite popular, as well as photos of them together. Everywhere she went she was asked about him and any possibility of a romantic connection. Recently she'd been on a talk show in England where the female co-host flat out asked how Superman was in bed. Diana simply laughed it off.
However in reality she was always a little bit curious. He was the reason she became sexually aware of men in the first place. While Steve was the first man she'd gotten to know on any level at all, she was fresh off the island when they met. She wasn't the least bit interested in boys or sex. She had known Steve for nearly 5 months before she broke his arm, and hadn't even considered anything romantic with him until the reporters speculated that they had been a couple after the fact. By the time she had he was already gone, reprimanded for breaking protocol, and also he was quite intimidated by her strength. It had been nothing for her to hurt him like that.
But Superman garnered a totally different response. It was unseen by the tactless reporters and reasonably well hidden by her, but he had a weird way of getting her 'motor running' despite not trying to. She was intrigued by him from the beginning, almost in awe of him, until the aliens attacked and they fought side by side to drive them away. She realized he was no different than her in many ways and a friendship was built. A friendship that had been as strong as ever for the last 4 years.
But there was always that little question in the back of her mind. What would they be like together? She knew that she was still attracted to him, and knew that he was to her. Deep down each one of them knew it, but they always kept it on the back burner. Other than that, only two other people knew about her feelings for Superman, or Kal as she called him. Her dear friend Vanessa Kapatelis and of course Queen Hippolyta, her mother. Both of whom occasionally liked to tease her about it.
There was a knock at Diana's door followed by it swinging open. Diana looked up to see her mother walk into her room. In the embassy Hippolyta never waited for anyone to open the door, she simply knocked, then walked in. Diana was used to it by now and didn't complain anymore.
"Good afternoon mother." Diana greeted.
"Good afternoon to you." Hippolyta sat down. "What are you watching?"
"Garbage, it's a paparazzi special about my love life." It was almost over now.
"Why do you watch this? Surely there is something else for you to do."
"There probably is, but I just don't feel like doing anything right now."
"Hmm. Do you have plans later?"
"Yes, I was going to have dinner with Kal on the watchtower."
"Oh, I see. If only those vultures knew about that little tradition." The Queen said with a sly little smile.
Diana rolled her eyes. She and Kal tried their best to have a meal together once a week. But with their busy lives it wasn't uncommon for them to have to cancel. So far however today seemed to be going smoothly. "Thank Hera they don't. Otherwise we'd never hear the end of it."
Hippolyta gave Diana a teasing smile, and gave a little laugh.
"Don't give me that look!" Diana snapped. "Just because he's a man and I'm a woman doesn't mean we can't be just friends."
"I never said a thing." The Queen protested sarcastically raising her hands in a mock surrender.
"Well you were thinking it!" Diana jumped up and went towards the closet, wanting to get an opinion about something. "Our dinner tonight is supposed to be a black tie affair. What do you think of this dress?"
Hippolyta stood up and examined the dress Diana showed. It was a teal, one shouldered dress that went all the way to the floor, with a slit going down the left leg. It was tasteful, elegant, ladylike, something she might even wear herself.
"It's a little modest is it not? Perhaps something a little more revealing. Something to show off your legs, or draw his gaze to your neckline instead of your eyes."
Diana frowned, Hippolyta smiled widely. When it came to Kal-El, Diana was an easy mark. She despised being teased, particularly about him, but the looks her daughter gave her were simply too priceless to pass up. At the end of the day she liked Kal-El, very much so. He was a nice, honorable young man from a nice family. He was a terrific companion for her daughter, a great friend and a powerful ally. And if she were honest with herself, he would be an ideal romantic partner for her too. Or at the very least he would be better than the clowns that vied for Diana's attentions. But it seemed so far that Diana held little interest in romantic relationships with anyone, which was perfect in Hippolyta's view.
Clark was scrambling, work had kept him later than he planned. He was hoping for a fairly elaborate dinner for he and Diana tonight. Emergencies forced them to cancel 3 out of the last 5, and they ate something simple on the two that they could make. It was Diana's idea to have a fancy black tie dinner, and Clark agreed to make it. The prime rib roast was going to get into the oven maybe an hour later than he'd hoped, which would push things back. Hopefully nothing too crazy happened tonight that would force them to cancel again.
He hurried home, and then up to the watchtower where he had everything reserved and set aside so he could get to work. Once he got the roast into the oven he sent a text to Diana to let her know that their plans would be delayed for an hour or so.
"Hello Superman." Mera walked in to greet him. "You and Diana trying to get your weekly dinner in?"
"We're trying. Please tell me you don't have bad news."
"Oh no. John Henry is tracking something, but I think it won't matter. We'll let you know if we need you."
"How's Arthur doing?" Clark asked, as Mera sat down in a stool apparently in a mood to talk.
"He's tired. He feels bad scaling back his work here, and feels like he needs to make up for lost time."
"Everybody has their priorities. He needs to take care of home. How are you?"
"Fine. I only stopped in to see how things were going, and to ask you something."
"Yeah? What's up?"
"Do you know someone named Lori Lemaris?"
Clark looked up surprised, he hadn't heard that name in a long time. Memories both good and bad washed over him. "Yes why?"
"Interesting. She's a citizen of Atlantis, and she was eager to get a message to you."
"She's pregnant." Mera explained, "Does that mean anything to you?"
"Yeah it does. Wow."
"You're not the father are you?" Mera quickly wondered.
"No! No, I haven't seen her in years." Clark laughed gently. When It appeared Mera was about to ask him to elaborate he decided to indulge her. "We dated most of my sophomore year of college. I obviously didn't realize she was a mermaid until she told me. That's uh, that's great… I'm happy for her."
Mera could tell by looking at him that there was a lot that he wasn't telling her, and she decided to leave him alone with his thoughts. He quietly went back to the items in the kitchen, not doing anything in particular. He barely seemed to notice as she slipped out.
Diana was disappointed in Kal's delay for several reasons, first of all she was concerned that something would force them to cancel altogether, and secondly because Vanessa would get out of class before she left. In hindsight she should have just gone to the watchtower and spent the time there, but for some reason she couldn't get herself off the couch until it was time to leave. Now Vanessa was teasing her just as her mother did.
"Seriously Diana, he's seen you look elegant a million times. Be a little daring, just this once. Wear this one, show off a little leg, and a little cleavage." Vanessa joked. Pointing out the same dress that Hippolyta did earlier, a dress that Diana had never worn nor planned to wear.
Diana scowled at her. "Did you and my mother call each other this morning to share notes on how to get on my nerves today? We're having dinner, which we've done a hundred times. Why do you insist upon doing this?"
"It's fun." Vanessa Kapatelis was 21 to Diana's 25, a college student who befriended Diana about a year after the Amazons revealed themselves. She was the daughter of Julia Kapatelis, a historian who built a friendship with Hippolyta, and now played a vital role in the day to day operations of the Themysciran Embassy. Vanessa was also one of the few who knew about Diana's little crush on Superman.
"That's a matter of opinion." Diana lamented.
"So are you going to tell him that you love him and want to have lots of sex and babies tonight?" Vanessa added.
"No. I'm not pining over the guy." She wasn't interested in all of that anyway, not really.
Vanessa leaned close. "You don't know what you're missing. I'm telling you." Vanessa had let Diana in on some 'experimenting' she'd done with her boyfriend over the last few years.
Diana knew exactly what she was talking about now. Sex. "Vanessa if I've told you once I've told you a thousand times. I don't need to sleep with a man to have a good time with him. He and I are above all that. It's refreshing to spend time with someone who doesn't have getting into my pants as his ultimate goal. Friendship, that's what I have with Superman. Does he make me feel some type of way? Yes, but I am in control of my body, and through training and meditation I can overcome any desire of the flesh."
"Who are you trying to convince, me or you? Because I'm not sure." It was obvious she liked the guy, why not go for it?
Diana frowned. While it was true that she had an erotic dream every so often, and Kal was her preferred co-star, those dreams were few and far between. And while she was a little curious, she'd never given serious thought to acting them out. Not even after the night they spent together naked.
"Believe what you want, Vanessa." Diana finally said, picking up her communicator and sending a message that she was ready for transport. Seconds later Diana disappeared. Leaving Vanessa shaking her head.
Diana re-appeared on the watchtower meeting Kal, dressed impeccably in a black suit and black tie. As usual his sense of humor took center stage, he had a glass of wine in each hand and had a rose in his mouth biting it across the stem.
Diana burst out laughing immediately. He was good for making her laugh, he had the perfect remedy for what had been a rather annoying day so far. She was hoping for a high end, black tie dinner party for two, but then she remembered Kal didn't do anything without putting his own twist on it. She couldn't be mad.
"Hello Kal, you look most handsome this evening." She took the rose and one glass of wine, noticing he wasn't wearing his signature glasses.
"And hello to you Diana, you look more radiant than ever." He said with a sarcastic snootiness that was making fun of high society people more so than her. "Your dinner awaits milady."
He extended his arm for her to hook hers around it, they walked arm in arm to the private dining room where the food was. The only other leaguer they crossed paths with was Michael Holt, aka Mr. Terrific, who paid them no mind. He'd never seen the two of them dressed up quite like this before, but at this point he didn't believe they would ever hook up unless he saw them doing so with his own eyes. Not that it really mattered anyway.
Clark opened the door to the private room. Diana was met with impeccable decorations and beautiful place settings and soft jazz music. "You have gone all out for this haven't you?"
"You asked for black tie. You got it."
"I suppose I did." She ran her fingers across the tablecloth, it was a pretty embossed pattern that had an otherworldly quality to it's fibers. She wondered if it was Kryptonian.
"Please sit." Like a gentlemen, he held her chair, and pushed it in for her after she sat.
"Thank you. So what's on the menu?" She asked.
"See for yourself." Clark sat and pointed to the covered plates on the table in front of them.
Diana wasn't surprised by what she found. A prime rib roast, baked potatoes and assorted vegetables. "Kal, if there's one thing about you, you're yourself."
He smiled. "What do you mean? How could I ever not be myself?"
"Meat and potatoes, that is just so… you. And if you're never not you, I honestly don't know what I'd do with myself." She laughed.
Diana began assembling her plate, the vegetables, a potato and thin slices of the prime rib. While Clark took a big thick cut of meat, the size of a steak, she laughed inwardly. Everything he'd done tonight had been so very typical of the friend she'd known over the past four years.
"Kal, when I suggested a black tie dinner what exactly did you have in mind? This doesn't seem all that different from most other times we've had dinner together."
"I'm literally wearing a black tie. What more do you want?" He joked.
"Kal." She said his name more as a warning than anything else.
"Ok fine, maybe I should have gotten lobster and shrimp or something. But you know what, this cut of beef was not cheap, and you sure didn't offer to help pay. Plus, I had to work all day today. What did you do?"
Diana declined to say that she sat around and watched TV. Something he'd have preferred to do. "I have my work at the embassy."
"No you don't, your mom does everything!" Clark called foul on her. Hippolyta had originally planned to be the ambassador only until Diana was ready, but she enjoyed it so much she simply never left. Diana had plenty of time for charity appearances, or sitting around to do nothing. That is of course when she wasn't averting disasters with the Justice League.
"She… she doesn't do everything. When she goes back to Themyscira I take on all of her responsibilities."
"True, and you do a good job, but she doesn't have to go but every so often. It's not as if they can't function without her."
"Ok fine. Maybe you're a little sour over the fact that you spent so much for someone you're not having sex with tonight." Diana immediately regretted saying that as soon as the words left her mouth.
Clark chuckled lightly, then got quiet.
Diana got quiet too. She chided herself for violating the unspoken rule between them over not mentioning sex. It was always there, since the beginning. The romantic tension that simmered between them. They had never pursued it, rarely spoke of it, but both knew of the feelings that each had for each other. Feelings that hung just below the surface that held more than just friendship.
In many ways it was obvious that the two of them should be together, but in other ways it wasn't. There was constant speculation about them in the media, among their family, and in the Justice League, speculation that they ignored. It wasn't as if they hadn't had the opportunity either, they'd been alone together many times. Once they were forced to spend the night with each other naked. For whatever reason it just never happened.
Hoping to kill the awkward silence Diana changed the subject to something a bit less... Heated. "So how's your novel coming along?"
"Oh here we go with that again." Clark groaned, she'd been giving him grief about his novel ever since he mentioned he wanted to write one.
"It's been two years, do you even have an outline?"
"I started one, I really need to get into a better habit of writing down my ideas. I've forgotten better stuff than most people ever think of."
"Are you going to let me read it?" Diana asked hopefully.
"I won't even let you read the book. I'll publish it under a pseudonym and I'll never tell you what it is." He threatened.
"He says to the woman who has a magic rope that forces one to tell the truth." She said to her food, before directly addressing him. 'If I want it out of you, I can get it."
"See that's why nobody likes you, you always hold that over everyone's head."
"Nobody? Come on Kal, that joke is so tired I don't even…"
The door opened, cutting Diana off from her statement. It was Mera. "Hey you two, sorry to break up your little friend date but that thing we were monitoring, turns out it does matter. Can you help?"
Both Clark and Diana leaned back and groaned in frustration, it was a never ending cycle of people needing help. Both stood to offer whatever assistance the could.