Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Steve/Diana, Hal Jordan (hint of Steve/Diana/Hal), Clark/Bruce (see Author’s Notes)
Genres: Holiday, Fluff
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
General Summary: Irish eyes are smiling. ;)
Chapter Summary: Diana and Hal escort Steve to the JLA Watchtower in answer to a summons.
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Date Of Completion: March 15, 2008
Date Of Posting: March 17, 2008
Word Count: 1896
Author’s Notes: This is a multiple pairings/character story, with many more appearing in the second chapter. Includes the JLA and the Teen Titans.
This was written for my 2008 DCU Fic/Art St. Patrick’s Day Challenge. Many of the prompts were used in this story.
There may ultimately be there three chapters instead of two, but I’m not certain yet. I’ll change the number if it turns out to be three. I’d usually wait to post this, but since it’s St. Patrick’s Day and the first chapter was finished, I figured, why not? :)
All chapters can be found here.
SUPER-SECRET DECODER RING
Steve gritted his teeth as he rose from the couch to answer the door. He leaned more heavily on his cane than he would have liked.
As the door swung back, he smiled. “Angel! Hal! Come on in!”
Diana and Hal walked in, both in costume. Hal’s green complemented Diana’s star-spangled red-white-and-blue. Diana kissed Steve, who enthusiastically kissed back.
“I’d say get a room, but we don’t have time for that,” Hal said with a smile.
“No time for what?”
“We’d like you to come to the Watchtower with us, darling,” Diana said. She looked a little worried.
“Sure. Is this another mission?” Steve wasn’t sure how much help he would be, banged up as he was.
“Not exactly.” Hal smiled conspiratorially, and Steve was intrigued.
“Put on your dress blues, my love,” Diana said.
“Okay.” Steve began to hobble toward the bedroom.
“Need help?” Diana asked with a twinkle in her eyes.
“Sure. And I could use help from Hal, too.”
Hal grinned and joined the two of them in the bedroom, tossing his mask on the dresser.
Steve really did need help. His hip was killing him, and he decided to carry his pain pills though he would not take any until he found out what was going on. He would need a clear head, but if there was some down time, maybe the pills would help.
Steve’s breath hissed through his teeth as Diana gently pulled his sweatpants down. His boxer shorts hid the gigantic bruise and bandaged cuts on his right hip, but Diana gently kissed the skin right over his waistband. Steve ran a hand through her hair in gratitude, and Hal assisted him with taking off his T-shirt over his head. Hal took his uniform out of the closet and laid it out on the bed, Steve taking the pants and Diana sliding them up his legs. He grasped them and stood with Hal’s help, pulling the pants up and zipping the fly.
“I could get used to this kind of getting dressed every day,” Steve joked, ignoring the throbbing in his hip.
Diana and Hal chuckled, then Diana steadied Steve while Hal assisted with the crisp shirt. Steve could have put on his shirt and jacket but was happy to play along, and there was the practical benefit of saving his strength. He had no idea how long he was going to be on his feet or without sleep, and he needed to be as alert as possible.
Diana buttoned his jacket buttons and Hal ran a comb through his hair, then smiled gently and kissed Steve’s temple. “Looking beautiful as always, Stevie,” he whispered, and Steve’s body felt a happy tingle.
“Thanks.” He took the cane that Hal handed him. “Oh, hand me that pin from the dresser, will you?”
“Ah, your shamrock pin.”
“Yep.” Steve affixed it to his lapel, a tiny diamond glowing in its center, surrounded by emerald-green. “Those of us with blood from the Auld Sod have to commemorate the day, after all.” There would be no partying tonight with this summons, though he hadn’t felt like going out, anyway. “I’m just about ready. I just need to use the bathroom before we go.”
“We’ll be waiting in the living room,” Hal said, picking up his mask and putting it back on.
Steve limped over to the bathroom and, when he was finished, washed his hands and opened the medicine cabinet. He took out the small prescription bottle and slipped it into his pocket.
Then he hobbled out to the living room.
& & & & & &
The flight was amazing. Hal was using his Power Ring, and the stars of space glowed green all around the three of them as they flew toward the Watchtower. All of them loved to fly, and Steve wished that he could have more opportunity to do so above Earth’s atmosphere.
His thoughts turned to the mysterious meeting that Diana and Hal were escorting him to, and he wondered if the JLA was going to censure him. He was a civilian (non-cape) who had been helping them more and more with their missions, connected through Diana and Hal, but he had screwed up this last mission. His injuries were glaring proof of that.
He glanced at his companions. The last thing he wanted to do was disappoint these two. Worry flowed over him that he wasn’t measuring up.
He tried to tuck these thoughts into the back of his mind as Hal guided them through the solid walls of the Watchtower and into the transporter room. The green shield around them disappeared and Hal said, “Wait here.”
Diana stayed with Steve as he waited, smiling at his Angel and hoping his nervousness wasn’t too noticeable. Being cool under fire was required for a fighter pilot, after all, and even though he was grounded until further notice, flying was in his blood, part of who he was.
That and being Wonder Woman’s boyfriend, he thought with a wry twinge of humor.
Hal returned. “We’re ready.”
Steve walked with his cane, Diana’s hand on his arm while they traversed the corridor. He recognized the room at the end of the hall as the main conference room. As they reached the doorway, Diana took away her hand and Steve straightened, composing his face so the pain would not show.
Time to face the music.
The door opened and Steve walked in, flanked by Diana and Hal.
The JLA was arranged around the table, the Teen Titans seated along the back wall, and several civilians who worked with the JLA arranged along the sides. At one end of the conference table sat a sunlit Superman, Batman at his right, a dark shadow sprinkled with starlight. Superman gestured with his hand. “Please have a seat, Major.”
Uh, oh. That formality didn’t bode well. Steve walked to the indicated chair at the end, limping but keeping the pain off his face. Pleased at that, he sat down carefully. Diana and Hal sat on opposite sides of the table at the end of the double line of heroes.
He rested the cane against the table and folded his hands, ready to take his medicine.
“Major Trevor, we have been going over the recent mission.”
Here it comes.
“We’ve seen your actions, and we are in agreement.”
I hope they don’t make me walk the plank out here in space, he thought with a touch of humor as he fought to control his nervousness.
“We think it’s time that you be given official Civilian Auxiliary status with the Justice League of America.”
Applause rippled around the room and astonishment swept over Steve’s face. “Wha…?” He looked at Diana, who smiled, and then at Hal, who was grinning like an idiot. “But…I screwed up this mission!”
Superman smiled as he shook his head. The Batman seemed more relaxed now. The other heroes were smiling or looking pleased.
“Your plane was caught in the disruptor beam and was crushed, and Diana and Hal saved you.”
“Yes, because I wasn’t paying close enough attention to the enemy craft. I should have avoided it but instead lost my plane and had to be rescued.”
A knot of tension bunched in Steve’s neck as he stated the facts.
“We watched the tapes of the battle, Major,” Batman said. “You had no shot. That enemy craft came up at the speed of lightning and was on you before anyone realized it. It was their secret weapon and surprised us all.”
“And after you were rescued,” continued Superman, smoothly slipping into the conversation with timed precision, “you were able to keep giving us information on our comms as to enemy tactics. Despite being hurt.”
Steve remembered the crash and the terror that had lanced through him: terror of leaving this life and his loved ones behind. He looked at Diana, who smiled at him gently.
“So, as an official member of the Civilian Auxiliary, ‘civilian’ meaning non-caped, as you’re in the military, we are giving you the rights and privileges of membership.” One of the civilians stood up and gave Superman a box, and he started lifting out items. “Your own JLA communicator, your own personal caller ID, the code to the Watchtower, a log-in and password to our computer system along with an e-mail account, and keys to the car, so to speak.” Superman’s eyes twinkled as he dangled a plasticard on a chain. “This card will allow you to fly any of our ships, including the Javelin once you’ve been trained.”
Steve’s eyes lit up. “Oh, do I get a super-secret decoder ring, too?”
Laughter rippled around the table. “We can get you one of those. Right out of a box of Cracker Jax.”
Steve laughed, surprise still rushing through him like quicksilver. He certainly hadn’t expected this!
“The Auxiliary meets twice a year to go over things face-to-face, and unless we need you in a pinch, you don’t have to pull monitor duty. There will be some training, of course, but essentially we’ll be requesting your services as in the past: on a case-by-case basis, utilizing your specific talents as needed.”
Steve took a deep breath. “I don’t have complete freedom, Superman, with my military occupation…”
“Taken care of. We’ve spoken to the right people and you’ll be given time for JLA business unless you’re on assignment for them or our mission takes priority.”
Steve nodded, relieved. That would make things a lot easier.
Superman stood up and strode to the end of the table, carrying the box of items, Steve rising as quickly as he could under the circumstances. The Kryptonian set the box down and lifted out a small, star-shaped badge. “This is your ID badge, which is the code to the transporter booths we have around Earth. There’s a map of the locations encoded in here, and you can play it on your computer and get a print-out or download into your cellphone.” Superman affixed the badge to Steve’s jacket and shook his hand. “Welcome to the Justice League of America’s Civilian Auxiliary Corps, Steve.”
Steve smiled as the heroes applauded, and the pain in his hip settled into a dull ache instead of sharp throbbing. Superman clapped him on the shoulder, then stepped back as Diana hugged Steve, Hal thumping him gently on the shoulder.
Congratulations were lavished on Steve, several people leaving the room, and finally Superman said, “Now it’s time to celebrate! And since you’re of the Irish persuasion…”
Steve followed Superman, Diana and Hal at his side, Batman trailing behind them.
The cafeteria doors opened and Steve burst out laughing.
The room was glittering with green streamers and green and white balloons, sparkly paper shamrocks and leprechauns on the walls, tables draped in green cloths, and a white banner with green letters proclaiming, Congratulations, Steve, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Speedy lived up to his name and hurried up to him, a mug of green beer in his hand and green beads already around his neck. “Drink up, Major!”
Irish music started to play and the lighting was softened, and Steve took a swig of the beer. Guinness, of course. He held up the mug. “Thank you, and let’s party!”
Shouts and applause greeted that sentiment, and Steve hugged his Angel as the party went into full swing.