By Calle Dybedahl
Strength of the Earth Calle Dybedahl One thing that Kate Spencer has learned since becoming a superhero is that forests aren't anywhere near silent. Like the city dweller she is, she's always thought that away from the humans and the cars and the sirens it's blissfully calm and quiet. She's learned better now. The forest isn't silent. It only has different kinds of noises. Wind through trees. Animals. Small ones scurrying, making small rustling noises. Large ones moving slowly, sedately, breaking branches. There are mating calls. Things just falling for no apparent reason. And somewhere in the natural cacophony, too faint for Kate's oh so very fallible ears, the nearly soundless footfalls of a Themysciran princess. Or possibly the entirely soundless progress of a flying Themysciran princess. Almost too late, Kate looks up and sees Diana descend towards her, fast. She throws herself to the side almost too late, Diana's fist touches her suit and makes her fly a few yards longer than she should have under only her own power. The extra fraction of a second gives her a moment to think, to plan. To notice that the princess is coming after her, earth and half-decomposed leaves thrown up behind her from the force of her feet. Kate turns and rolls as she lands, lets momentum carry her along the curving surface of a tree root until she's moving up rather than along the ground. She kicks, aiming for Diana's face, trying to put all the momentum she has left behind the kick. It may be the most perfect kick she's ever executed. She can feel it even as she begins. Her leg and her suit act in total unison. She's hit the timing perfectly. The heel of her boot will intersect with Diana's jaw exactly at the point where her muscles have put all their force into it but before they're entirely extended. It feels absolutely fantastic. Until Diana's arm is suddenly blocking the kick. Kate has hit steel. She has hit concrete. She's hit solid wood, and moving cars, and onrushing supervillains. She knows that even those things considered unyielding aren't. Given enough force, steel is elastic, and bends. Concrete is brittle, and cracks. Wood splinters. Cars crumple. Supervillains bounce. Hitting the arm of Diana of Themiscyra is not like hitting any of those things. When Kate's boot impacts on it, it stops. There is no give. No cracking. It's like hitting the very foundations of the Earth, the one solid point around which everything else revolves. It's the proverbial immovable object. With nowhere else to go, all the energy in Kate's fantastic kick goes back into her leg, compressing bone and tearing tissue. Just before she blacks out from the pain, Kate hears herself scream. "There are no fractures," Diana says a lot later. Kate's woken up again. Her leg hurts like hell. "Sure feels like something's damaged," she says. "Stretched soft tissues," Diana says. "And again, my apologies. I should have taken your blow more softly." Kate's lying face-down on a massage bench. Diana is standing leaning over her, skilled healer hands searching for any damage in her leg. Naked leg, of course. Naked everything. Wouldn't be able to feel anything through the Manhunter suit, and since it's not possible to just take a leg off, all of it had to go. When Diana checks the muscles in the thigh, it's almost enough to distract Kate from the pain. "Why didn't you?" Kate asks. Diana sighs. "I had no time to think," she says. "The instinct to block something coming towards my face took over. I am sorry." Her words roll through Kate's mind, once and then again a few times. "Are you saying that I almost hit you?" "Yes," Diana says, smiling. "I am." For a moment, Kate can't speak. She tries, but all that comes out is a vague snorting sound. She'd almost got in a perfectly legit hit on Wonder Woman! "Well, that's certainly worth a little pain," she says once she's got control of her vocal cords again. "That, we can do something about," Diana says. Her fingers press down hard in several spots around Kate's hip. The feeling is strong and mixed, and before Kate's mind has decided if she's going to scream or moan, the entire leg has gone numb. "There," Diana says. "That's better, I hope." "I can't feel my leg!" Kate says. "It'll only last a couple of hours," Diana says. "You should still be able to use the leg, although somewhat clumsily. If you prefer the pain, I can undo it." Her hand is still resting on Kate's ass, just above where everything goes numb. It makes Kate very aware that she's not got a stitch on, while Diana's wearing her usual costume. For a moment, she toys with the thought of just turning around and giving the Amazon princess a full frontal view. "Could you get me a robe or something?" she says. "I want to get up." Diana removes her hand. "Of course," she says. "We should go get something to eat." "I'm not hungry," Kate says. Diana hands her a silky red dressing gown. It looks about the right size for her, making it at least half a foot too long for Kate. "You will be hungry soon," Diana says. "Your body will require a lot of energy to heal." And she's right, of course. Kate's dressed, and they've gone out through a dressing room and a reception and are waiting for an elevator when starvation strikes. Kate tries to not let it show. She can't walk properly with the numb leg, so Diana has supported her with an arm around her back all the way. Which is quite enough dependency for one day. "Where are we, anyway?" Kate asks. "A gym I go to," Diana says. Again, it takes a moment or two for the words to register. "You go to a gym?" Diana smiles. "Yes," she says. "I can't always keep in shape by fighting." "What kind of gym would have equipment that make you break a sweat? And why haven't I ever heard of it before?" "They cater to a very particular clientele," Diana says. "Being extremely discreet is part of it." "Could I train here?" "If you can afford it, certainly." So probably not, then. Which leads to a thought, which leads to another. Kate leans her head back and looks up at the Amazon's face. "You said your assets are frozen," she said. Diana smiles. "I paid for a year of this in advance," she says. "Of course," Kate says, irritated with herself that she didn't figure that out on her own. Even without the bum leg and the hunger she's not currently at her best. She closes her eyes and tries to calmly and rationally take stock of her situation. She's standing in an elevator with one of the world's most famous superheroes. No, not standing, actually. Leaning against. And being held by. A bit more than just as support. Kate opens here eyes again, looks around. Across the elevator car there's a shiny brass panel. And if she saw a couple of women standing like the pair she sees reflected in the panel, her first thought wouldn't exactly be that one of them had a bad leg. "Um, Diana?" she says. "I can stand on my own, you know." Briefly, confusion passes across the Amazon's face. It's, to Kate's amazement, followed by a blush. Diana moves her arm, leaving Kate to stand by herself. "My apologies," Diana says. "Cultural difference." Before Kate can ask what she's talking about, the elevator stops and the doors opens onto a penthouse restaurant. "Did you pay for a year of this in advance too?" Kate asks when they've been seated. Right by the windows, with a fantastic view of much of Los Angeles. "As a matter of fact, yes," Diana says. "It comes with the gym membership." She had the waiter bring Kate some actually really good bread as soon as they sat down, for which Kate's grateful. The hunger has increased at a really alarming pace. "So, can we talk about stuff here?" she asks in between bread bites. "Yes," Diana says. "Within reason, anyway. Anything you say here will probably reach Oracle and possibly a shady government body or two, but for more everyday concerns we're safe." "So," Kate says, "what did I do wrong when we sparred?" There is a brief smile and a sparkle in Diana's eyes that Kate hopes means that she understands a preference to keep the conversation to relatively safe subjects. Even if she doesn't, she answers the question. In detail, and at sufficient length to last through the entrees and the main course. Kate had no idea that she did that many things wrong. It's all useful information, and Diana presents it all sufficiently interspersed with praise that it doesn't completely demolish Kate's confidence, but still. Diana finally falls silent as the sorbet is brought in. "Only that, huh?" Kate says. "As far as I can remember right now," Diana says. Kate can't help laughing. "You must really think I stink at fighting," she says. "Lawyer girl playing at being a hero." "Far from it," Diana says. "You are quite talented, and have solid base skill. Certainly, there are many things that you can improve. But I firmly believe that you can improve them." "So not so bad, then?" Diana gives her a beaming smile. "One polishes the rough diamond," she says, "not the pebble." The words make Kate feel almost ridiculously flattered. She strives not to let it go to her head. She digs into the sorbet. The intense hunger has been placated by the substantial dinner, and she can eat slowly enough now to enjoy the taste. "So, what now?" Kate asks when they're finished. "If you don't mind," Diana says, "I'd like to have another look at that leg of yours. The numbness should wear off soon." "So," Kate says while they're waiting for the elevator. "What is that cultural difference you mentioned before?" Diana frowns. Just a little, but still. "Your world and mine place boundaries in different places," she says. "Almost certainly true," Kate agrees. "Which boundary did we run into?" Hesitation. "You may not appreciate hearing it, Kate Spencer," Diana says. The elevator arrives. Doors open. They enter. Doors close. Diana hits a button, and it starts moving. "Try me," Kate says. Diana sighs. "I will try," she says. She stays carefully across the small space from Kate. "Your world makes divisions so sharp," she says. "There is black or white, never gray. So many things make other things forbidden, or impossible. There are so many rules that you live by without even seeing that they're there. Sometimes, I too forget they are there and act as if I was at home." Kate stays silent. She's questioned enough witnesses in her day to know when someone wants to talk but has problems figuring out what to say, and she knows that it's best not to interrupt them. "In your world, you are either in love or you are friends. One or the other. Never a little of one and a little of the other, or a lot of one and a little of the other, or a lot of both. If you are in love with one person, you cannot be in love with another. If you are friends, there can be no sexual part of it." "It's not quite that simple," Kate says, unable to stay silent. "I know it's not. You blatantly contradict your own rules, and refuse to see that you're doing it. You say that there can only be love between two people, yet you have no problem loving your partner, your parents and your children at the same time. You even admit that it is different, that love is not one single thing but a multitude of different things, yet you refuse to act from that admission." "I take it this is not how it works on Themiscyra." Diana shakes her head. "I love all my sister Amazons," she says. "I love my mother more, and differently. I am friends with many Amazons. Some of those I love more than others." "And you have sex with some of them?" The image of Diana having sex with other young-looking yet ancient gorgeous women appears in Kate's mind and refuses to leave. "Yes," Diana says. "Back home, that would quite often be part of relaxing after working out. Particularly if the exercises have involved a lot of bodily contact." Diana smiles wistfully, her gaze turned somewhere that's not an elevator in an LA skyscraper. "Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell if an offer of a workout is just that or a seduction attempt. Not seldom, close-combat sparring is hard to tell from foreplay." Suddenly, a whole lot of little looks and smiles and frowns from Diana make a whole lot more sense to Kate. And she's never been much for calm, reasoned contemplation before acting, or she'd never walked into that evidence room looking for tools. She reaches out and hits the elevator's emergency stop button. Before Diana's words of questioning or protest have managed to leave her lips, Kate's grabbed the tall woman by the front of her bustier, pulled herself up and blocked any talking with a kiss. For a moment, everything stands still. Kate is pressing herself against Diana, who's not doing anything. Then, Kate can feel the powerful body relax and her lips accept the touch. Diana's arms go around Kate and hold her, strong and warm and soft. Kate lets her hands slide slowly down Diana's sides, along red cloth, gold bands and bare hips. She feels the Amazon shiver. She breaks the kiss. "Maybe, sometimes, this world can be more like Themiscyra than you think," she whispers. Diana laughs. The sound sends ripples down Kate's spine. "You are a peculiar one, Kate Spencer," Diana says. "Isn't that why you came to me in the first place?" "I believe my words were that I choose you for your sense of justice." "In our legal system, that's peculiar enough." There's another laugh, and it's making Kate tingle in other places than along her spine. She drags a finger along the eagle silhouette that adorns Diana's chest. "So," she says, "how does one take this off?" Diana arches an eyebrow. "Right here?" she says. "You told me to be more proactive," Kate she says. "Quick study," Diana says. Kate moves her finger down a bit until it rests right on top of Diana's nipple. "I have a very motivating teacher," she says. Diana reaches behind her back, does something Kate can't see, and suddenly the only thing holding Diana's top up is Kate's finger. She pulls it back, and the heavy gold eagle falls away, revealing the treasure behind it. Kate can't help staring. She's seen those breasts in her imagination countless times, touched them there just as many, and here they are, right in front of her. Even more beautiful than she could possibly have dreamt. That old phrase about the beauty of Aphrodite echoes in the back of her mind, and for the first time she truly understands that it is not an exaggeration or a simile. Diana really does possess the beauty of the Goddess of Love. "So, how does one take yours off?" Diana says. It seems she is not new to the kind of effect her nakedness has on people. "You saw me put it on," Kate mumbles. "You can figure out how to get it off." Obediently, Diana starts unbuttoning Kate's blouse. It's made harder by Kate first caressing Diana's breasts with her hands, and then placing kisses on them, but she doesn't complain. She just moves more carefully, and pushes her chest out to give Kate better access. It's not until Kate pulls back for a moment to catch her breath that she realizes that Diana's costume is a single piece. It becomes obvious once it's no longer supported by them pushing their hips together and it falls to the floor. Diana steps out of it and kicks it to the side, standing naked but for her boots. Kate isn't sure if the words "oh my God" come out her mouth, or if they're only in her mind. They're not the right ones, anyway. If nothing else, it should be "Goddess" rather than "God". And Diana's rather than hers. "Do I meet with your approval?" Diana says. Kate thinks she's joking, but when she looks up she sees genuine uncertainty in the Amazon's face. "Approve?" Kate says. A brief laugh forces its way through her mouth. "I didn't know it was possible to be this beautiful! You're..." Words fail her. Multiple college degrees and years of courtroom experience are as dandelion seeds before a hurricane. For lack of speech, she embraces Diana and kisses her again, deeply and passionately. And it's when her own breasts, pretty damn good considering age and a child but painfully inferior to Diana's, meet the set she's been watching so intently that she realizes that she too is naked. "How can you even need to ask that?" she says after she has to come up for air. "You know your looks are divine, because the goddess in question told you as much!" "Beauty is very subjective," Diana says, "and Aphrodite's ideals are thousands of years old. They may no longer apply." Kate swallows. This is too weird. The most mind-blowingly gorgeous woman she's ever set eyes on is insecure about her appearance. "What about the other Amazons?" Kate asks. "Didn't they ever tell you that you're absolutely stunningly beautiful?" Diana shrugs. "I was the only child ever to grow up on Themiscyra. I was given life by the gods. To them, I have always been as much a religious icon as a real woman." Kate shakes her head. "Is there anything I can do to convince you that you're the hottest thing since the invention of fire?" she says. "Let me make love to you," Diana says. Again, Kate can't stop a laugh from getting out. "Let you?" she says. "I wouldn't mind begging you to!" "That will not be necessary," Diana says. "I greatly desire to get to know your body." Again, words fail her. "Are you serious?" she gets out. Diana nods. "What can you possibly see in me? I've got bruises and scars all over, my tits aren't nearly as firm as they used to be and I've got stretch marks from carrying Ramsey." Diana runs her hand down Kate's front, between her breasts and over her belly down to her mons veneris. Kate struggles not to moan. "I came to you because you remind me of my sister Amazons," Diana said. "You do so even more now. Yet you have done something that nobody on Themiscyra has ever done. This fascinates me." Kate frowns. "I've done something that none of your people ever have? Like what? Drive a car?" "Give birth," Diana says, tracing a stretch mark down from Kate's navel. Kate doesn't know what to say to that, so she just puts her hands over Diana's and smiles. "Ok," she says. "Do what you want." This time it's Diana who initiates the kiss, and Kate who lets her tongue in. Diana's hand slides down, tracing Kate's labia back and forth. Kate can't help pressing her hips hard against the teasing digits. She reaches around Diana and grabs her supernaturally well-shaped ass. She's more turned on than she's been for many years, possibly ever. She's got Wonder Woman fondling her breasts. Teasing her nipples. Pushing a finger inside her and doing something to her clitoris that just about makes her legs turn to jelly. Diana bends down further, kisses her way down from Kate's mouth. Kate leans heavily back against the elevator wall. She can no longer reach Diana's ass, but it's not like that matters. There's plenty of Amazon princess to touch, and she does, with abandon. In one of the blank brass panels she sees Diana turn her head to get her mouth on Kate's breast, and it strikes Kate that even if she were to tell somebody about this they'd never believe her. But that is not important, and rational thought is an overrated thing anyway. Diana keeps kissing her way further down, and soon her head is all that Kate can reach. Diana's head, between her legs. Diana's mouth on her vulva. Some part inside Kate expects her to wake up any moment now. But she doesn't. She grabs Diana's head, tries to force it harder against her. It doesn't work. She begs for more, for harder, for faster. She wants Diana to make her come faster, and to keep going forever. She's not sure what Diana is doing to her, some sort of ancient Amazon love skills, but it feels every bit as divine as Diana looks. She's gasping, begging, crying, and somehow Diana's face is in front of hers again. She throws her arms around her, kisses her, holds on for dear life as fingers pound inside her and touch her in spots she didn't even know she had and the scream as she comes gets drowned in Amazon princess' lips. The gym receptionist smiles knowingly at them when they walk out of the elevator. Kate glares at her, and a chill runs down her spine as it occurs to her that there may be surveillance cameras in the elevator cars. She turns to Diana to express her worry. "There aren't," Diana says before Kate gets a word out. "Good," Kate says, pretending she's not the least bit weirded out by the apparent mind-reading. "So we're safe, then?" "Again, barring Oracle," Diana says. "So where can we continue?" Diana looks quizzically at her. "Continue?" "You want to get yours, don't you?" "I would like that," Diana says, smiling. "But I'm afraid it's not quite that easy." "Is this some kind of Amazon thing?" Kate asks, confused. "No," Diana sighs. "It's an I'm easily strong enough to crush your head in the throes of passion kind of thing." "Oh," Kate says. Still, what a way to go. "How's your leg?" Diana changes the subject. "Almost back to normal," Kate says. "Whatever you did, it certainly worked. And there must be some way for us to get you off safely." "I still want to have a look at that leg of yours," Diana says. "A medical look," she adds when she sees Kate's smirk. "Let's go back to the gym's massage room." Something clicks in Kate's mind. "This gym," she says, "do they have machines that can be set high enough that you can't move them?" "One," Diana says. "It's a S.T.A.R. Labs design, originally made to measure..." "Never mind that," Kate interrupts. "Is it big enough to tie you to it with that unbreakable lasso of yours? And can we get exclusive use of the room it's in for, oh, the afternoon?" A smile spreads over Diana's face. "It is," she says. "And I'm sure we can." Kate gives her her best "well, what are you waiting for?" look. "I'll go talk to the receptionist," Diana says. Kate follows her backside with her eyes as she walks over to the reception desk. She shakes her head slowly. Again, the unbelievability of it strikes her. Some time far in the future, she'll write her memoirs just so she can gloat about this day. "It's done," Diana says when she returns. "It was no problem at all. There aren't many who use that machine anyway." "Good," Kate says. She holds our her hand. Diana bites her lip as she places her lasso in it, a gesture Kate finds adorable. Side by side, they walk into the gym.