Libby Author name: Caia -- author LiveJournal, author email
Recipient name: Wabbitseason
Requested characters: Libby Lawrence / Liberty Belle, Shiera Sanders Hall / Hawkgirl I
Story title: Business Dinner
Rating: G
Spoiler warnings: Set just after ALL-STAR SQUADRON #60 (end of the series, end of the Crisis). Scattered references to previous events in that series, but nothing major.
Acknowledgments: *Many* thanks to [info]kerithwyn for beta and encouragement.
Summary: Libby and Carter want to work. Johnny and Shiera want to play.

Business Dinner

"I thought you made Hawkman co-chair so you could spend more time with *me*, not him. World's not in danger for once, so how 'bout we forget this All-Star Squadron business and go out for dinner? Or maybe stay *in* for dinner?" Johnny Chambers held his wife (and co-chairwoman) from behind, punctuating his sentences by kissing her cheek.

"Johnny..!" said Liberty Belle, leaning back into her incorrigible husband, then pulling forward and away. "Save it for after my discussion with Hawkman. After that, I'm *all yours*." She gave him a kiss and, straightening her outfit, left their room for the dome's meeting room. Johnny followed. Closely. Libby loved him dearly, but he could certainly be a nuisance at times. Most of the time, really.

The only one in the meeting room that night was Hawkgirl. Shiera watched the newlyweds and grinned. "Carter isn't here yet, and it looks like Johnny's not leaving."

Libby smiled back, wondering when *Shiera* was planning to leave. "It's still a few minutes early. You weren't hoping to catch him beforehand, were you?"

"Let's make it a double date!" said Johnny.

"Sure, why not?" replied Shiera, with a slightly mischievous grin.

"Well. I asked Carter to discuss Squadron business with me as one chairman to another," said Libby. And, she did not say, to take my leave as a chairman and as Carter's equal, rather than as a working girl who quits as soon as she gets married.

Libby looked dubiously at the her colleagues. Both Johnny and Shiera had proven their seriousness and dedication in combat, but the way they were looking at each other and at her now gave her little reason to doubt her early impression of them as an irresponsible (but sexy!) cameraman and a dilettante with wings. At least she and Carter, when he arrived, would be similarly encumbered!

"Yes, and as members of the Squadron you two are chairing, we should keep you honest," said Johnny.

"Also, Libby's not the only one who promised more time for her lover lately," said Shiera.

"Well," said Libby, hesitating for a fatal second.

"I'll get dinner," said Johnny, zooming off.

A second after Johnny left, Carter arrived. "Sorry to keep you waiting, Belle--hello, Shiera! I didn't know you would be here." He looked more taken aback than pleased.

"Johnny and Libby and I decided you two could best discuss your new responsibilities over dinner."

"With Shiera and me," added Johnny, back again with several covered platters.

Carter looked at Libby. Libby looked at Carter. "Well," said Libby, "shall we begin?"

Carter sighed. Shiera looked at him. "Yes," he said, "Let's begin."

"Might as well, while the food's still hot!" said Johnny, zooming back in and taking Libby's arm. "Dinner's set up in the meeting room, sir, madam, dear" he kissed Libby on the cheek. Carter looked pointedly away from them. Shiera grinned and put her arm in her fiance's.

"Very well then. Belle, you were going to apprise me of the situation of the Squadron after the recent crisis?"

"Yes. Almost everyone was called in, so you got a chance to meet everyone--folks I had barely talked to myself," said Libby.

"Yeah. Who *is* that 'Air Wave' guy, anyway?" asked Johnny.

"A fine hero from New York," Libby said. "He's a communications expert and is working on improving our own technology, Johnny." Johnny pulled a chair out for Libby with a flourish, and Libby sighed and took it. Shiera and Carter also took their places.

"And not, I do believe, one of the personnel issues Liberty Belle needs to discuss with me." Carter looked pointedly at Johnny. Johnny looked innocent.

"Yes," said Libby, *not* looking at Johnny, or Shiera for that matter. "Although since Air Wave's volunteered to work on our equipment, he'll need to work with Robotman."

"Or around him, anyway," commented Shiera. "Is he still burned over Mekanique?"

"Poor Robbie," said Johnny. "Finally met a lovely girl who's a robot just like him..." He put his arm round Libby. Libby allowed herself to lean into him for a second, then pulled away.

"What went on with that? We JSAers were gone when Mekanique arrived. Is she coming back?"

"We don't know. A lot of what happened the last few days is hard to remember for all of us." Libby sighed in frustration; joined, somewhat to her relief, by Carter. "Mekanique got mixed in with that. She seems to really have been from the future, but she's gone now." Libby shrugged. "Robotman seems to be coping, although it's worth keeping an eye on him."

"Yes. I'll do my best to make sure his problems with his robot body don't compromise the the Squadron's mission," said Carter.

"And that he doesn't become even more alienated by his teammates' insensitivities," added Shiera.

"Wonder if he'll repair ol' Gernsback," said Johnny. "Not as attractive as Mekanique, maybe, but more useful and easier to take down when he goes evil."

"Wasn't Robotman friends with Steel?" asked Shiera. "I wasn't around much then, but..."

"Yeah, the Titanium Twins and their double attacks! They'd've made quite a picture in combat, if Johnny Quick wasn't too busy to let Johnny Chambers photograph 'em. More so, really, with Steel in Robbie's arms, struggling to keep up."

"...while you grabbed a woman in each arm and left the heavy work to poor Robbie." Libby grinned sardonically.

"I bet," said Carter.

"Hey! Steel weighs more than Libby and Brandy combined, and I don't have Robbie's strength. Not my fault the lighter people were also prettier! Nice side-benefit, though..." he leaned into Libby.

"I'll assume you're referring to me rather than Danette, dear," said Libby. "But we're here to discuss business."

"Yes," said Carter impatiently.

Shiera gave him a warning look, then looked toward Libby. "So have you heard from Steel?" asked Shiera. "He was almost the only All-Star not here for the Mekanique business."

"He's still in Europe," said Libby. "It's not easy to get information in and out. Possibly our new communications expert can help, but none of us have heard from Steel in some time. Good or bad." She brushed away the memories of her own escape from occupied Europe.

"What is he *doing* over there?" asked Carter. "I thought he had agreed to stay on the home front with the rest of us?"

"He went to rescue the husband of the woman he loves," said Libby.

"Brave man," said Shiera.

"Hope the lady's worth it," said Johnny.

"So," Carter summed up, ignoring Johnny and Shiera in favor of his co-chairman. "Steel's in Europe. Hourman's on leave until he gets his 'Miraclo' worked out, and Mid-Nite's agreed to watch him until he does."

"Sit on him, if necessary," Shiera broke in. " he still seeing Danette?"

"Brandy's sworn off dating her colleagues, more's the pity. If more Squadron girls do that, the guys who didn't get in early are out of luck..." He raised a glass to Libby.

Shiera grinned. Carter didn't, looking meaningfully at Johnny's glass--he had provided wine with the dinner, though really, not nearly enough to justify throwing him out for drinking. It wasn't very good wine, either, but what would you expect from a cameraman? "Be glad you got me when you did, Johnny," said Libby.

"Oh, I'm glad," said Johnny. "I'll be even gladder when we can go on that honeymoon you mentioned..."

"*After* we take care of this business," said Libby, shoving Johnny firmly back into his own space.

"Yes. What do I need to know to take over when you two are *gone*?" Carter gave Johnny a look. Shiera gave *Carter* a look. *Libby* gave Johnny a look. Libby and Shiera looked at each other with tired smiles, then grinned at their solidarity. A few weeks before, Libby might have winced and looked away; she had thought of Hawkgirl as the sort of crimefighter that she, independent and dedicated, was not. But now Shiera seemed, among other things, probably the reason Hawkman respected her *own* leadership so easily.

"Well." Libby broke away from her musing and back onto business. "I should run over the duty roster and the equipment--you have seen the board of available members? There aren't many of us around at any given time, like the JSA; our strength is being able to gather as many available heroes as possible. Firebrand, Robotman, Phantom Lady and the Tarantula should be around more regularly, though I anticipate a change in regular personnel with so many of us around recently--some may stick around rather than go back to their hometowns."

"While some of us take the opportunity to go have fun for a change," commented Johnny. "Is there anything there Hawkman *doesn't* know?"

"Well, with enough assistance from the rest of us, he *should* be able to handle it," said Shiera.

"I should go show him the equipment and records, though," said Libby.

"After dinner," ruled Shiera. "We shouldn't let the food Johnny was kind enough to obtain for us go to waste!"

"It's hardly--" said Carter, and was elbowed sharply under the wing, "--a problem to let the business wait awhile. If, that is, the newlyweds don't mind waiting for their romantic evening..."

"...if we let you chairpeople go discuss procedure unsupervised, we'll wait even longer," said Johnny.

"Johnny!" said Libby. "You're *not* making this happen any faster."

"No," said Carter. "Now, Belle. You were saying--"


Everyone jumped up. "Looks like a good practical demonstration," commented Liberty Belle.

"...*never* gonna get my honeymoon at this rate," grumbled Johnny.

"Welcome to dating in the business," said Shiera.

All four of them ran off to see what it was this time.

Libby and Shiera from All-Star Squadron #46

Reference image of Libby and Shiera taken from ALL-STAR SQUADRON #46, art by Arvell Jones and Pablo Marcos, written by Roy Thomas. Origin of Libby reference image unknown.

If you enjoyed this story, please comment here.