Earlier today I said to 'rith, "Give me two characters and a keyword." She did and she approved and so,

Disclaimer: I don't own Molly Mayne-Scott, Alan Scott, or Pieter Cross. Much as I haven't owned anyone else I've written about in here. They belong to DC Comics and obviously need their own book.

Of Apollo and Of Eros
By Smitty

"So what exactly are you looking for?" Molly Mayne-Scott asked from her prone position under the spectroanalyzograph deep in the basement of the JSA headquarters.

"To be frank, I'm not entirely sure," Dr. Pieter Cross murmured, studying the readings as they spilled from a laser-jet printer on his desk. "Most likely anything unusual, high concentrations of fatty or calcium deposits, borderline levels of radiation -- "

"You mean this ridiculous contraption isn't irradiating me as we speak?" Molly interrupted, frowning at the buzzing light of the machine.

"It works on a spectrum of light and sound, not radiation," Pieter replied to the rhetorical question. "I assure you, it's quite safe."

"Oh, I'm sure. Get me out of it."

Pieter smiled at her tolerantly. "It will only be another minute, maybe two. The analysis is nearly complete."

"Pieter." She and Alan had never had children of their own, but if they had, those offspring would almost certainly fear that particular tone of voice.

"Yes," he said immediately. "Let's get you out of there."

He spent a little too much time fiddling with the controls on his machine but in due time the buzzing stopped and the shifting lights dimmed and flickered out. Molly shook her head and sat up, moving her legs to dangle off the table. She held the drape to her chest as she reached for her undergarments and blouse and dressed carefully while Pieter kept his back turned, ostensibly comparing his new printout to the chat pinned to the front of his manila folder.

"Now," she said when she was dressed. "What was that all about?"

"False alarm," Pieter said mildly. "I'm not finding a single reading that exceeds normal parameters." He looked up from his charts and smiled warmly at her. "I'm sorry to bring you in here unnecessarily, Molly. I think Alan's upstairs in the museum if -- "

"It's him, isn't it?"

"Excuse me?" Pieter's face was carefully blank as he set his charts aside. His dark glasses hid his eyes, even without the added protection of his cowl.

"It's Alan. He's the one who asked you to run this little diagnostic of yours."

"I run a complete physical on every member of the JSA quarterly," Pieter told her, adjusting his glasses. "It only makes sense to check up on their loved ones as well."

"I don't see Joan Garrick in here."

Pieter sighed. "Charles McNider theorized that close contact with Alan's ring may have contributed to Dinah Lance's mutation -- what they call her Canary cry."

"And you think that I may spontaneously mutate into a superhero?" Molly couldn't help but laugh, thinking back to her own days in tights. "That's hardly likely at this point, Doctor." She bit her lip and glanced over at Pieter, who still seemed to be watching her. "At my age, it's very unlikely that anything other than old age is going to catch up with me. Which means Alan requested this. Which means he has reason to worry and he hasn't told me."

When Pieter spoke, he sounded tired. "Molly, you know I cannot discuss -- "

"I know." Molly gathered her things. "It's just another secret you have to keep. Tell, me, Pieter, do you ever get tired of knowing everything and telling no one?"

"I took an oath," Pieter said steadily. "And it's one that I do not regret."

"Of course." Molly hugged her sweater and purse to her chest. "I know about keeping secrets," she finally said. "Alan and I spent many years -- too many years -- keeping secrets from each other. I thought we were over that."

Pieter was silent and Molly relaxed her posture and smiled at him. "Listen to an old woman," she said matter-of-factly. "Life's too short to carry every burden yourself."

"Molly," he called as she approached the elevator.

"Yes?" she asked, turning back.

"Talk to him." Pieter's face was more open now and he looked sad. "I think he's…internalizing and -- "

"I know," Molly replied with a small smile. "He won't give unless pushed."

"Right." Pieter nodded. "I guess you know him best."

"As well as anyone does. Take care, Pieter."

"I will, Molly. You do the same. And take care of him."

"I always do," she said as she boarded the elevator. "I always do."


Author's Note: About 50 issues ago, Dr. Mid-Nite announced that Alan Scott was most probably entirely composed of the Starheart flame and only appeared human and with human frailties because he thought he should. This was mentioned one other time in canon, once by greenygal in Heartlight and once by miss_porcupine in Human Nature. We've got canon outnumbered 3 to 1.

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