"I think J'onn and Supes are dating," said Wally.
John spewed beer. He glared at Wally. "You cannot say things like that."
"What?" said Wally.
"First of all, Clark is dating Lois Lane, and secondly, you cannot just say something like that while we're watching the game."
"Oh," said Wally. He propped up his feet and watched another ten seconds of men tackling each other on John's big screen t.v. "I don't think Clark's dating Lois."
John was still mopping up beer from his front. "Lois gets kidnapped every other week because she's dating Superman."
"Yeah, everyone thinks she's dating Superman," Wally shrugged, "and Lois is ground central for every story that blows through Metropolis, but every year for Christmas, Lois goes home to her family, and Clark goes home to his."
"So," said John, who gave up and hit pause on his DVR, "Mari and I don't spend Christmas together."
Wally wooshed out and came back with three pizzas. Wally ate a slice. "Yeah, but you did spend Christmas with Shakira. Every year for Christmas, J'onn goes home with Clark to visit his family in Smallville." Wally ate another slice. "Smallville."
John wadded up the napkins and ringed them over the garbage. "So, J'onn doesn't have anywhere else to go."
"Nah-ah." Wally waved a finger at John. "That's what I thought. So I offered to have J'onn come home with me to Central City. Bring some Christmas cheer in to the lives of kids who don't have much." Wally tossed a handful of nuts in the air and ate them as they fell. "He turned me down. He turned down kids in need, because he had to spend Christmas in Smallville. Kids in need. For Christmas. And now that J'onn spends the holidays with Clark, he is into them. You've seen him with the tinsel."
John legs were still damp from his beer. He thought back to how much time Clark and J'onn spent together outside of missions. "They are dating."
"Yup," said Wally. "And J'onn's a shapeshifter. Think about it."
John grabbed a slice of pizza before Wally ate all of it and resolved to forget this entire conversation. He hit play and turned up the sound on the t.v.
"We have a problem," said Bruce stepping out of the shadows. "Superman and the Martian are in a relationship."
Diana looked up from where she was weaving a tapestry depicting Hestia, goddess of the hearth, at a feast. She didn’t want to lose the old skills. She raised an eyebrow. "You consider that a problem?"
"They are two of the most powerful members of the League. If there's an issue in their relationship there will be fallout." Bruce loomed over the top of the loom. It amused Diana to think that Hestia was staring Batman down.
"How have we gone directly from the idea that they are in a relationship to that relationship's disintegration?" She stood up and faced Bruce eye to eye. She refused to cross her arms, but she was not going to sit for this conversation. "I am sure that Clark and J'onn will be able to handle whatever comes their way. They are both the last remnants of their civilizations. It is fitting that they should find each other." She raised her chin and dared him to once again tell her his ashen view of relationships.
Bruce laughed as if she'd said something ridiculous. "J'onn didn't just lose his world, he lost his family. He won't be able to get over that. Ever. It's not possible. While Clark," Batman leaned forward. "he's from a small town in Kansas with all the small town, rural prejudices. He is not prepared for a relationship with someone who has gone through what J'onn has." He stepped back into the shadows. "When it goes badly, I need you aware of the situation and ready back me up in neutralizing the problem."
He left through the window that had not been open a minute before.
Diana was alone.
Diana sat back at her loom and resumed weaving.
"Oh, come on. The number of times they've gone on missions where they've pretended to be married," said Plastic Man leaning up against the water dispenser. "You don't think that's suspicious?"
Blue Beatle shrugged. "The last time was so we could negotiate a treaty with a race that would only negotiate with a married couple."
"What and we couldn't send Green Arrow and Black Canary," said Elongated Man, pulled his taquitos out of the microwave.
"You think Green Arrow and Black Canary should have handled planetary level negotiations in which Superman had to hurl a nuclear device into a sun and Martian Man Hunter had to telepathically warn some flying pig things about a robot invasion?" Blue Beatle rinsed his coffee mug. "And don't suggest the Question and Huntress. We actually would have had an interplanetary war."
"Whatever doth please them most is most fitting," said the Shining Knight, as he pulled his lunch bag out of the refrigerator.
"Well, said partner. Well said," said Vigilante, tossing his used soda can in the recycle bin.
Hawkgirl came into the kitchenette and pushed the button on the coffee machine for French Vanilla.
Plastic Man elbowed Blue Beatle from across the room. "Ask her."
"I am not asking her," said Blue Beatle, who based on his suit's suggestion, retreated from this unnecessary discussion.
"Ask me what?" asked Hawkgirl.
Clark stared at the rug.
Diana said, "I am sure that your relationship will prosper. I thought to change the rug's theme to Aphrodite, but Hestia rules the hearth and home, which is fitting. You shouldn't allow Bruce's fears to affect you."
"Okay," said Clark. Diana hugged him with enough force that he actually felt it. He liked that about Diana. Most of the time he felt like he lived in a world of cardboard.
He shook his head, and walked down the corridor. He was stopped five separate times with congratulations about his relationship with J'onn.
When Captain Marvel stood in front of him blushing, Clark said, "Hold that thought."
He beamed down to Earth and contacted J'onn. "We need to talk."
They met at their regular meeting place, the Crimson Empress, the restaurant beneath J'onn's apartment.
Clark said, "You won't believe this, but all of a sudden everyone in the League thinks we're dating."
J'onn deftly picked up a pork bun with his chopsticks. "Of course, I believe it." J'onn chewed slowly. He currently looked a bit like a Hong Kong movie star. "Half the League members have been broadcasting their thoughts on the subject with increasing regularity. Batman is convinced that we will cause a global catastrophe when our relationship implodes. Diana hopes that our success will convince Batman that balancing League work with a relationship is possible. Wally enjoys fantasizing about the myriad sexual possibilities between aliens. He's particularly obsessed with the idea of gender fluidity. While John has decided not to think about it." J'onn ate another pork bun. "Loudly."
"But," said Clark waved his chopsticks at J'onn, "we're not dating."
"We eat together regularly," said J'onn.
"But that's just eating. We're not…" Clark looked around the room and lowered his voice, "involved." He made some sort of gesture that perhaps would have had meaning if J'onn had grown up on this planet. Clark's shoulders hunched. He said at a volume that only a telepathic being could hear, "Sexually involved."
J'onn unconcernedly ate a sliver of suckling pig. "There was the occasion that Gorilla Grodd made us kiss."
"Made us being the key word there," said Clark pointing with his chopsticks.
"There was the time you were exposed to red Kryptonite while I had just consumed a box of Oreos." J'onn contemplated the onion pancakes. "We fully explored the possibilities of my ability to shape shift. We coupled with such force that we levelled a forest."
"It was only a few acres," said Clark, "and that was the red Kryptonite. And the Oreos." He cleared his throat.
J'onn raised an eyebrow. He shifted his face to have a permanently sarcastic right eye brow. "And the time we engaged in public intercourse in front of the High Council of Grobling?"
"That was to avert a war." Clark glanced around them and lowered his voice. "They weren't going to believe us until we completed their ritual of the M'shayat."
"M'shayerat," said J'onn, who being a telepath, spoke fluent Grobling. "We also had a child together in the Crystal Caves of Igerath."
"After we were metaphysically merged by the cave. And it was a non-corporeal energy child, who ascended to another plane of existence." Clark waved in Central City's general direction. "Wally's had at least three of them with GL."
"That is not precisely a good argument," said J'onn sipping his tea. His left eye briefly flashed red and then green.
"What really?" said Clark. He pushed his heavy glasses up his nose. "Actually, no that doesn't surprise me."
They ate in silence for a minute or five.
J'onn said, "Your Mother makes me gifts for Christmas, my natal day, and invites me to her Church bake sale. Your Father calls me son."
Clark reddened slightly. "That's just small town good manners."
"We have shared a bed on eleven separate missions. Only three of which actually were required to complete our mission." J'onn calmly pulled out a wallet from some obscure portion of his anatomy and put some money on the table. "As you will recall, my apartment is upstairs. Care to join me there?"
Clark looked at J'onn narrowly through his glasses. He said, "We should go to the fortress."
J'onn considered this. "That is perhaps a wise idea under the circumstances."
Clark was the first to arrive at the fortress, but due to the fortunes of physiology, J'onn was able to enjoy the encounter more times.
Later, Clark put his hand over his eyes and groaned. "Lois is going to kill me. She loves being kidnapped as my girlfriend. She writes half her articles based on my enemies rants."
J'onn nestled his long head on the heat furnace of Clark's chest while wrapping a limb around his legs. "As long as that is all she enjoys, she can retain that privilege."
"Fine," Clark drew his fingers down the line of J'onn's back. "we'll secretly date."
They breathed in time. Somewhere in the distance, polar bears were recovering from their trauma at the ice quakes. Into that silence, J'onn cleared his throat. "If you'll recall the full extent of our treaty with the Golins of Inner Earth, we are married." J'onn skated briefly sharp teeth over the impenetrable surface of Clark's skin.
Clark moved under J'onn. "Don't say that. My Mother would kill me if I got married without her there."
J'onn shrugged. Not saying it didn't change the facts.
"Fine, we're secretly married, and I need to stage a second wedding on another planet so my parents can see me get married."
J'onn blinked sleepily. "Third wedding." J'onn yawned. "Remember the ultra-dimensional city of Tripet."
Clark laughed and hugged J'onn in an embrace that would have been bone crushing with anyone else. "Fine. Third wedding." Clark kissed the tip of J'onn's long head. "Pleasant dreams."
As Clark drifted off, he vaguely thought that they couldn't be anything else. Especially, as their dream patterns idly wove together through the pleasant hours of the night.