DISCLAIMER: The Justice League of America characters are the property of DC Comics. The story contents are the creation and property of Djinn and are copyright (c) 2005 by Djinn. This story is Rated PG-13.
Something to Build
The light shines into her eyes, causing Diana to roll away from it and into something warm and solid.
"Good morning." It is Kal's voice.
She remembers, waves of memory crashing in on her. They fought. They nearly killed each other. They ran away. To Asgard. Together.
Opening her eyes slowly, still marveling that she is no longer blind, she sees him studying her. "Good morning."
One thousand years they spent together here, sometimes even waking near each other. But never this way. Never with his hand creeping down her waist, with the possessive look on his face as he leans in and kisses her.
"We're safe," he murmurs. "We're together. It is a good morning."
She smiles under his kiss. They are safe, and that is important. Even if it is not like either of them to be cowards and shirk their duties. But this time...this time she is too tired to keep fighting, and she thinks Kal is too. "We've fought enough in one lifetime." She does not mean to say it out loud.
Kal only smiles, as if he has followed her mental path and does not need any clarification. "We have, Diana. More than enough. And we've lost enough. You especially."
"We both died."
He nods solemnly, as if he knows she needs to work this out. "Painfully."
"Very." She touches his lips. "You're mine?"
"I'm yours. But I'm not sure I'm anyone's idea of a prize package." He kisses her fingers, lingering on each one.
She closes her eyes. "I'm not sure I am either."
"Then we're well matched."
She laughs and cuddles in against him. As she moves, her uniform seems to poke her, and she tries to get comfortable. Smiling, Kal gets up and goes to the door, opening it.
"Thor's a man of his word," he says, bending over and picking something up from the hall floor. He comes back in with clothing that looks soft and warm, like it will cover her up, for once. Moving closer, he sets the clothing down on a stool by their furs. "Why don't you take that off if it's bothering you?"
She knows that he has probably peeked under her uniform a thousand times. But she is suddenly shy. "You first."
"You want me to take it off you?" He laughs and dodges her slap. "Oh, you mean take mine off?"
She nods. Suddenly, her mouth goes dry and her heart starts to pound. She is nervous. More than nervous.
"Diana, have you ever...?"
"No." She's had chances to make love. Men she wanted to sleep with. But something always intervened. Trevor's fate. Bruce's better judgment. Kal's marriage.
"Do you want to wait?"
"No." She sounds more assured in that answer, and she sees him smile in what looks like relief. "I take it that was the right answer?"
"Oh, yes. Very much so." He begins to take off his uniform, blushing a little as he does it, which charms her. "You could keep me company in this?"
She slips her uniform off, and they stand naked in front of each other. "We look alike."
He is staring at her chest. "No, sweetheart. We really don't." Winking at her, he pulls her close. "And that's a good thing."
She kisses him. The way she's always wanted to. As if he is hers. As if he will only ever be hers. She hears him sigh, and feels some tension go out of her. He wants her. He likes kissing her. She doesn't need to be nervous.
He pulls her back down to the furs, whispers, "I'm still very tired. That fight..."
"I know. Me too." Her body is aching still. But she doesn't care--he might though. "If you want to wait...?"
"Did I say that?" Pulling the top fur back over them, he holds her tightly against him.
She can feel his heart beating quickly. Her own is keeping time with it.
"We have all the time in the world," he says. "I don't want to rush."
"Me either." She kisses him again, and when she's done, she studies him.
He is smiling, a deeply satisfied expression. But also one a little sad. "We can't ever go back."
"Yes, we can. Anytime we want. But I don't want to." She touches his cheek, tracking his jaw to his ear.
"I feel guilty."
"Me too." Then she meets his eyes. "I don't feel guilty enough to go back. Do you?"
"No. That's why I feel guilty."
She laughs softly. "Some superheroes."
"They'll write sagas about us. It will be very romantic." He pushes her to her back. "Speaking of romantic. Where was I?"
She pulls him to her, and he picks up right where they left off.
"So, friend Kal, what is it you and Diana have done to merit this sudden need for sanctuary?"
"I can't tell you yet." Kal looks up from the hide he's writing on. "But I'll sing it to you when I get this saga done."
"An acceptable trade. Should we expect anyone to try to find you?"
Diana sighs. "Ares, maybe?"
"I never liked him." Thor is slapping his monstrous hammer against his palm. "A rematch would be nice."
"Who won the first time?" Kal asks, not looking up from his saga extraordinaire.
"I did, of course. I always win."
"Except when you die," Diana says gently.
"That goes for all of us," Kal says with a smile for her. "What rhymes with Bruce?"
"They don't have to rhyme," Diana says gently, but Thor coughs loudly. "They do?"
"It is preferred."
"Mine never did. The men never complained."
Kal laughs. "Diana, you could recite the phone book to them and they'd be mesmerized."
"He's so sweet," she says to Thor, who she can tell has no earthly idea what the phone book is, but he's wearing the same sappy look the men used to have when she made up her non-rhyming sagas. "I can't believe you didn't tell me they were supposed to rhyme." She tries to whap Kal, but he dodges her hand.
"He was too busy pretending he was not in love with you." Thor catches Kal's eye. "And truce rhymes with your word."
"So it does." For a moment, Kal seems sad. As if he wishes they'd tried to make some truce with Bruce. Then he looks over at Diana. "No war. No need for truces. Right?"
She touches his hand. "Right."
Their smiles are sweet. She thinks they mask utter sadness, though. And writing sagas or sitting idle in the warm sunshine is not helping mitigate that.
"Are you okay?" Kal's words seem to rumble up from his chest, making it move under her cheek.
She lies against him, sweaty, sated. Their lovemaking is everything she ever thought it would be. And more. They are equals, their bodies made for each other. He does not have to hold back, neither does she. There is no fear, just play and love and deepest desire.
"How could I not be okay?" It is a wonderful answer, but not the answer he is looking for. She has learned that he is not easily distracted.
"Just say it. Starts with a 'B'..."
Rising enough so she can look at him, she asks, "Are you bored, too?"
"Well, not right at this moment." He runs his hands down to the small of her back, where they meet, clasping over her skin. It sends shivers down her spine.
"No, I didn't mean right at this moment, either." She kisses him deeply, loving the way he opens to her, the way he lets her in. In every way that matters. "We're not doing any good here."
"Is there any good to do here?" He shifts, bringing her with him, so that she is nestled against his side. "When we fought, we did good. But now?"
"Do you want to leave?" She sighs, snaking her arm around his waist. "Olympus was this way, too. Nothing to do that made a difference."
"You were a goddess there."
"What are gods? What are we?" She closes her eyes. "I used to understand how things worked. They were my deities, my goddesses and gods. I worshipped them willingly. I saw glory and beauty and grace in them."
"Until they started to make you do their dirty work?" He kisses her cheek gently.
"Or until they started to fight each other. They're just like us...only they're worse."
"Created in our image?"
"Don't let Thor hear you say that." She shifts so that she can reach his lips. Kissing him for a long time, she considers their options.
When she finally pulls away, he says, "Shouldn't it be a joint decision?"
Surprised, she looks up at him.
"You get distracted when you're thinking." He kisses her, making her pay attention. "That time you weren't thinking. So, what did you decide?"
"We could explore. Thor said there were lots of things we hadn't seen when we were here the first time."
"You think we'll find someone who needs our help?"
"Maybe?" Yawning, she curls in against him again. "I'm tired. We can figure it out in the morning."
"I love you. I'm bored with Asgard, not with you."
Smiling, she says, "I knew that. I'm not bored with you either."
Asgard is beautiful. Beautiful and full of hale and hearty gods. There is nothing for Diana and Kal to do other than play, sing sagas, drink mead, which Kal detests, and make love. The making love part is good. Everything else is wearing thin quickly.
"We make terrible lotus eaters." Kal has flown in from a quick foray east this time. Or what they've decided is east. Asgard really doesn't work the way regular space does, but to keep it simple, they use the old terms.
Holding out his hand, he rises a bit off the ground. "Fly with me?"
She clasps his hand, and they fly together for a moment. Then she takes off and they race and play tag in the sky. Some of Thor's warriors watch them, their looks wistful, and it occurs to Diana that they envy her and Kal this ability. Then she forgets about the warriors, giving herself up to riding the wind, speeding past Kal until he grabs her legs and sends her spiraling toward the ground.
"No fair," she says, already recovering, staying low and in his blind spot as she catches up to him.
He slows, turning and she turns with him, keeping where he can't see her even as she flies closer.
She is on him then, pushing him down to the ground, falling heavily on top of him. They are like this sometimes. Almost violent in their passion. She laughs as he kisses her, ripping off his furs and joining her body with his. Their union is lusty and fast, neither trying to prolong it.
But his eyes are tender as he does up her shirt, his hands lingering on her chest. "I love you so." It comes out of him as if it is a great discovery.
But she understands why he says it the way he does. This love is a voyage. One she did not expect to take with him until many years from now. To have it now, to want it this bad and then get it. It is heaven.
But it isn't enough to make either of them happy. That is the other thing it means when he blurts it out that way. That they need to leave. They need to do more with their lives then just play and rut on the ground like crazed beasts.
Although she doesn't want to give up the crazed beasts part just yet. If ever.
"Where do we go, then?" She is staring at him calmly. She has thought about this; she knows he has too.
He meets her eyes, does not blink. "Back."
She waits a moment, then nods slowly. "Yes."
"But we go together. We're together now, Diana. I don't want to give you up. I won't."
"We're together." She holds out her hand to him. "For now. For as long as we love. By our will and our desire." It is the old ritual. The Amazon partnership ritual. Good for as long as love lasts--some partnerships have lasted forever.
He smiles, and she can see that he recognizes the solemnity of the words, even if he might not understand the weight of ritual behind them. "For now. For as long as we love. By our will and our desire." He is squeezing her hand so hard that if she were mortal, it would break. "We are together." He says it as pure fact. No doubt at all in his voice.
"We are together." Moving into his arms, she kisses him. She knows it may be the last time they kiss. They may not be forgiven their flight. They may not find welcoming arms.
"We go back to the moment we left. Just like before."
It would be easier to let some years pass. It would be safer. But she has learned in Asgard that neither of them thrives on safety. "Just like before."
She suddenly has the need to make love to him again, to feel his body on hers, his heart beating against her chest. "Love me. One last time."
"It will not be our last time. We will survive." But he is tearing off the shirt he just fastened. He is pulling her to him fiercely, pushing her down to the ground with a passion that almost scares her. Or it would, if she were not feeling it too.
"I love you so, Kal. I love you more for being willing to go back."
"I know. I love you more for that too."
Then they do not talk anymore. They only love.
They appear in the watchtower conference room, and intruder alerts go off madly, then shut down as they recognize the familiar signatures.
No one comes running. They turn, see Bruce sitting at the table, studying them. "You came back." He picks up a glass--it looks like it's full of whiskey.
"You didn't suspend our accesses?" Kal looks at her. This is not what they expected.
"Guess not. Sit down." He thrusts two glasses out, making them slide across the wide table. Then he tosses the bottle to Kal, who catches it easily. "Pour."
"What are we drinking to?" she asks as she sits down, letting Kal pour for her.
"To the happy couple." Bruce's eyes are shaded by the way he is sitting, the way his cowl blocks the light.
She can't tell what he is thinking. But she suddenly wonders if Thor came up with truce by chance. This appears to be a truce. Dark and mysterious, and hard to understand. But a truce. Of the bat-kind.
Taking the glass from Kal, she lifts it. "To coming home?" She lets her voice rise, lets Bruce know it is a question.
"To never having left." He motions for Kal to sit.
"We did leave. We've been gone for months."
"Not according to my timepiece." Bruce leans back, his cowl no longer shadowing his face. "Although my new friend Loki tells me you two had quite the time of it wherever the hell you were. He's annoying, by the way." He downs his glass and gestures for Kal to toss him back the bottle.
"Loki was here?" In all their time in Asgard, they'd never met him.
"Sent by Thor. Big guy, heavy-duty tool user? Friend of yours, or so Loki said." He studies them, and Diana feels as if she is a bug pinned to a biology board.
"And what else did he say?" she asks.
"That you were all better and would be home soon."
Diana hears Kal laugh. Thor knew the whole time they were bored? That they'd eventually decide to come home? She supposes he might have known that. He's spent most of his life around heroes, after all.
"I'm sorry." Bruce pushes his chair out.
"What was that?" Diana isn't sure she's heard him right.
"I'm sorry that you thought you had to run. That you thought you couldn't trust me. That you damn near killed each other." He looks at Kal, then at her. "And I'm sorry that--and I'm only going to say this once and then we're going to forget this moment ever happened--I'm damned sorry you chose him instead of me." He takes a deep breath as if saying that was the hardest thing he's ever done. Then he puts the stopper back in the bottle, picks up his glass, and says, "One of you has duty. I don't care which one of you. Try not to have sex in the monitor room."
"Is all hell still breaking loose?" Kal asks softly.
"Why wouldn't it be? But I figured a toast was in order. That's what best friends do. We are still friends, aren't we?" He looks back at them, his expression stern.
They both nod quickly.
"Good." Then he is gone, disappearing as only the Batman can.
"Loki, huh?" Kal is grinning at her. "Did you put Thor up to that?"
"I didn't. I swear." Then she squints at him in suspicion--he is so good at misdirection. She thinks he learned it from Bruce. "Did you?"
"I may have suggested to Thor that we sure were sorry we could never go home..."
Smiling, she presses up against him. "I thought this was a joint decision?"
"It was." He kisses her softly. "But the groundwork wasn't."
"Is this how you managed Lois?" She is instantly sorry she said that.
He looks down. "Yeah. It is."
"It's okay. I don't mind."
"She never did either."
Swallowing hard, she says, "If you want to go back to her...?"
He meets her eyes. "If you want to go after him...?"
She wishes he'd answered her instead of throwing it back in her court. But she sees this is for her to start. "We said for as long as we love. I'm not done loving you yet."
He doesn't smile, and she thinks the worst thing he could say would be that he is done loving her. But then he pulls her to him, a slow smile breaking through. "I'll never be done loving you."
"That's a long time, Kal."
"It's a heartbeat is all." His grin is pure Kansas farm boy, as is his charming logic.
"I'll take it--whatever time we have, I'll take it." She reaches for his hand. "Race you for duty?"
"And what is the winner going to do while the loser does duty?"
She grins, knows it is a wicked expression. "Look for the cameras Bruce has no doubt put in the monitor room. He was practically daring us to find them, you know?"
He grins back, an identical expression. "I know he was." He holds out his hand, and she takes it.
They walk together solemnly, until they can't stand it and take off racing to the monitor room.
It's a tie. By design, she thinks. But she doesn't mind. She lets Kal start out on monitor duty, starts to search the area for Bat-devices.
By the time Wally relieves them, they've found five.
"I thought you were out of contr--" The Flash's tongue proves too fast for his brain. "I mean..."
"I'm all better," Kal says lightly, as he wraps his arm around Diana. "Let's go, hon'."
She snakes her arm around him too, winking at Wally. "See ya."
Frowning deeply, Wally says, "What the hell? Did I miss a meeting or something? Does Batman know about this?"
"Hell has nothing to do with it. No. And Yes." Kal turns back and grins at Wally. "If you need either of us, we'll be together."
Diana smiles. There's nothing more to say than that.