Superman wasn't sure if what he felt for Wonder Woman was real love. But Hawkeye Kent knew one thing. The sex was fantastic. Princess Margaret shook her head.
"Wipe that filthy grin off your face. Kal-El! We are still behind enemy lines on Apokolips, you know."
But it was a grin of steel.
"Sorry. But--usually--I have to hold back. Even at this reduced power level, it was good to be with someone who could compete--or better."
She put her head on his chest. They would have to move, soon, or be discovered.
"It was sweet, wasn't it? But where do we go from here?"
"From here? Well, odds are one of us--probably me--will say something to upset the apple cart. Can it wait until we've left Darkseid Heights?"
"YOU JUST WANT TO GET SOME, THEN PUT THE REST OFF------oh, geez, Kent. I see what you mean. What was that?"
"The same instinct that places a secret villains' base right under the ristorante that we choose to meet our significant other at."
Margaret added her own take.
"Or that causes Lyta's babysitter to turn out to be an alien werewolf."
Hawkeye sat up.
"Wonder Woman-who exactly--is Lyta, and why does she need a babysitter?"
"Er--did I ever mention that Frank and I had a child? Hippoltya Burns, though, she hates being called that. Really hates it."
He just stared.
"She's a good kid. Thankfully, she admires Ho Jon and Barbara a lot more than her father. Donna and Ororo just spoil her something rotten--I never mentioned this to you, did I?"
"That is just too much....Oh, God..Hahahaaa..."
"Are you laughing at my not being careful or my being a secretive mother?"
"Neither. Margaret, brace yourself. I have two of my own."
"What is this, a game of one-upmanship? I have one, so you have two? I never saw Carlye pregnant."
A look of some great shame came over Superman's face.
"That's because she never was. A Kryptonian can't get---most Earth humans pregnant, or bear children by them. The only possible mating--is with another Kryptonian. Someone like you or Soonlia might be a different story. But I---was tricked into mating with the only other known survivor of Krypton. It was The Incubator. It wanted to keep the line pure. Kryptonians don't have recessive genes, so that wasn't an obstacle. She was pregnant before we could escape the machine's hypnotic effects. We used to laugh and chat and play all the time. Now we can't stand to look at one another. I still love her, Margaret. She's been a part of me since we were conceived. But I can also still taste her."
He hung his head, and Margaret instantly knew this was no sick joke.
"The twins--Tabitha and Adam--yours? Hawkeye, Samantha is---your sister!!"
He looked up.
"I know who she is, Margaret. I grew up with her, remember? You think I don't feel like a worm? We were both under the influence, but that doesn't help me sleep nights. She calls me--we talk. It solves nothing! We still feel the same way."
"Disgusted with each other?"
He shook his head.
"Disgust we could overcome. What we can't fight off---is the hunger. I am just about the slimiest----"
Wonder Woman would brook no more self-pity from The Maine Man.
"Oh, stop it! One, you were both taken over! Two, if ever a set of siblings needed to be together, its you two! Tell me--have the feelings of desire lessened?"
"Then there you are. Great Hera, Kent, everyone used to wonder about you two. Sibs don't usually get along so well, you know. Ororo has never forgiven me for winning this uniform."
"What are you getting at?"
"Man's world is a multi-layered subtext writ large. You and Sam are the two most powerful people on Earth. Add that to the attraction family members just have to each other, and what happened was inevitable--at least once."
"Once--and that's all there is. Darrin and I may not agree on everything, but that was ridiculous. That said -- its still hard to touch those kids. That's an ache I'll never get over. I'm their father--and I'm their uncle. One day they might have questions."
Margaret held him.
"Kids always do, Kent. Tell me-could Darrin and Sam have had kids otherwise?"
"No. Next to impossible."
"Then you gave your family a gift. You were just a surrogate father. A sperm donor. Happens all the time---not precisely like that, but it happens."
Hawkeye stood up, and looked around.
"Its this place, isn't it? I mean, I was pretty much resolved on what had happened between Sam and me."
Margaret looked on in realization at her surroundings.
"Yes. Its driving us to despair. This really is Apokolips. A place of Dark Revelations."
One such revelation boomed over gargantuan planetary loudspeakers.
"SUPERMAN AND WONDER WOMAN!! I, DARKSEID, HAVE CAPTURED YOUR NAIVE COMRADE, THE GREEN LANTERN! SURRENDER NOW OR HE DIES!"
Hawkeye shook his head.
"Oh, my God!"
Margaret was beside herself.
"They've got BJ!!"
BJ spoke up from behind them.
As the second Green Lantern redressed his comrades in their true uniforms, the two demigods stood dumbfounded.
"Beeej? How'd you escape?"
BJ bowed, and twirled his arm.
"Let's just get out of this dungheap before the man from Planet Granite discovers how hard it is to kill a hologram created from 20% of my power reserves."
At the speed of thought, the three were back on New Genesis. Cha'arls was yelling in a Low Martian dialect, then again in English.
"Of all the imbecilic...Hunnicutt runs off half-cocked, gets himself captured, leaving us with three worries, now. When I get my hands on that itinerant emerald underling, I am going to...."
"What, Cha'arls? Congratulate him on a job well done?"
The Martian's jaw dropped.
"Uh, yes, Kent. That was it e-he-xactly."
A red human rocket slammed into Superman. It was Wally O'Reilly- The Flash.
"Oh, boy! You guys made us nuts. I thought sure we lost you like we did Barry--the real one. That guy what betrayed us was a faker. Hawkeye, I thought you were dead."
Superman looked at Wonder Woman, and smiled.
"Impossible, Wally. We were never alone."
As more hugs and thanks were thrown about, Sherman T. Garrick-The Flash-- pulled both Superman and Captain Marvel aside.
"I am a geneticist, ya know. I could've cleared this up, a while back. Samantha, you were worried about your kids DNA."
Hawkeye cleared his throat.
"Our kids, Flash."
The older man's face lit up.
"Her kids, Brother-who didn't do the dirty deed! Those two munchkins are the genetic property of your bee-yew-ti-ful sister and that brother-in-law you don't like so much."
Kent never felt more relieved. He and Sam hugged for the first time in months.
"But, Sam--what about the Incubator?"
Captain Marvel smiled.
"My guess is that our--encounter--was a control fantasy it generated, to try and keep us in line. Thank goodness. I could never marry a brother--who keeps such a filthy room."
"Me? You used to keep whole restaurants in your room! Wait--If you were paired off with your husband---then who was I paired off with? Darrin snores, after all."
Garrick spoke again.
"I have a good lead on that too, Kent. But it'll have to wait til we get back to Earth."
Margaret and Hawkeye announced as one.
"We're not going back. Not til we Apokolips down around Darkseid's ears!!"
Owing to a desire to end the attacks on Earth, the Justice League Of America formed a battle plan to overtake the fortress world of evil. Superman started the ball rolling.
"Leading the attack will be the one, true Green Lantern---BJ Hunnicutt. Any objections? Keep em' to yourselves."
Burns and Win'ch'tr's arms went down quickly.
BJ nodded, grateful and more than a little bit apprehensive. As they left for the final assault, The Martian Manhunter stopped Batman.
"Burns, is it me, or did our rescued friends not smile the smile of the cats who ate several large canary birds?"
Batman shrugged as Cha'arls walked off.