Not According to Script – Chapter Two
Going to the fridge for his second beer, Clark heard a knock on his door. A quick glance with x-ray vision showed him who his visitor was.
Through the door walked a taller than average woman, her lustrous black hair tied back in a severe bun, her arresting blue eyes muted by the thick glasses that she wore and her drab, loose-fitting tan pantsuit made her look not old, but decidedly dowdy. Striding into the kitchen, she glanced at the beer bottle on the table before meeting his eyes.
"Hi Diana. What brings you here? I was just having a beer. Would you care for one?" He opened the fridge and reached in for another bottle.
"Looks like you're having more than one, but yes, I think I will. Thanks", she said as she took the opened bottle. "I don't suppose you have any mead in there, do you?"
He shook his head with a smile as he popped the top from his own beer. "Sorry, you know that stuff isn't easy to come by."
He seated himself back in his chair and gestured for her to sit too, but she just shook her head, so he looked up at her as he said, "By the way, I do appreciate you coming here as Diana Prince instead of Wonder Woman. People won't start wondering why Wonder Woman is visiting Clark Kent. That could get a little awkward to explain."
"Kal, I don't know why it bothers you so much. You leave and come home as Superman every day and it doesn't seem to worry you, and you know I can change as quickly as you." With that, she whirled herself around and in the next instant Wonder Woman was standing in his kitchen. Clark didn't get to see that transformation very much, but he was always fascinated by it. Even with his powers, he couldn't quite see how she did it, so he assumed that there must be magic involved, unlike his wardrobe changes, which were merely at superspeed. The difference in her appearance was overwhelming before he got used to it. Going from frumpy to breathtaking in a mere moment was pretty shocking. In the end, it didn't really matter what guise she wore. She was still his Diana. Still Diana, he corrected himself absently.
"You know I don't fly in here very often. I generally change a block or two away when I can." He leaned back in his chair and took a swig from his bottle.
"You're drinking a second beer, are you? That must mean trouble with Lois. What happened this time, if you don't mind my asking?" Diana eased herself into the chair opposite him, the chair that Lois had been in less than an hour ago.
Clark took another drink, put the bottle in front of him and cradled it in both hands. He stared at it as he spoke. "I told her my secret."
Diana leaned forward as though he was whispering and she was trying to hear him. "And that was it? I can't believe she would be angry enough to storm out of here just because of that. It's a large revelation, of course, but I would have thought she could deal with it better than this."
Clark glanced up and met her eyes. "What do you mean 'storm out of here'? How did you know? Now it was Diana's turn to look down at her own hands.
"Well, I was here earlier, actually. I heard voices and I left for awhile until Lois did." She looked up at him again. "But I didn't eavesdrop, Kal. You know I wouldn't do that."
He gave her one of his brighter smiles, but it took an effort. "I know you wouldn't. So, why did you decide to visit me tonight?" He took a peek out the window and saw that he was right. It was just becoming dark outside.
Diana could plainly see that things hadn't gone well at all with Lois and she thought perhaps it would be better for him to talk about it first. "No, please finish your story, Kal. What I came for can wait a while." With that, she leaned back and took a drink from her beer.
"Well, there isn't much to tell, really. I told her—well, I showed her" pointing to the clearly visible S shield showing through his unbuttoned shirt "and she was hurt for a moment and then she started asking questions and—"
"She asked who else knew your secret" Diana guessed.
"And she really blew up when you told her that I knew too?"
"Well, she was mad at that, yes, but she really lost it when—"
"You didn't tell her what I said, did you? Tell me you didn't." When he cast his eyes down again he confirmed her guess. "Oh, Kal, that was foolish!"
With a weak effort he tried to defend himself. "No, I didn't tell her. She guessed. She guessed it pretty much word-for-word too. That was when she stormed out. I just don't get it, Diana."
Diana leaned back in her chair and stared at the top of Kal's head, which was all she could see at the moment. Ah, that makes sense. At least to me. Men just don't understand. Not even supermen. You have no idea why my name enrages Lois so much, my poor Kal-El? I think that I do now. Well, this is about as good a lead-in as I'm going to get. I'm sorry Kal, but I'm not going to make your night any easier.
"Well, Kal, now is a good a time as any to tell you why I came."
At this, Clark sat up in his chair and gave Diana all of his attention. Looking deeply into her eyes, he knew he could lose himself in them, but now he had an excuse and he took it. He found it difficult to concentrate on what she was saying, but her words got his attention soon enough.
After another sip of beer, Diana began. "I went to see the Oracle of Delphi today. I had a question to ask, but instead of her usual oblique references and indirect answers I got a complete and troubling one. An answer that was surprising to say the least."
"What was the question?"
"That's not impor—" Diana stopped herself. She was tired of locking herself up, not letting much of herself out where he could see. Knowing what she did now, she could find no reason to hold herself back any longer. So, instead, she said "I asked the Oracle who I was."
An eyebrow rose questioningly, but she shook her head. "No, Kal, I wasn't looking for the obvious answer. I was beginning to doubt who I was and why I was here." She shook her head slowly this time. "And by Aphrodite, I got an answer I didn't expect."
She got up and started pacing, which jarred Clark. Diana never paced. This must be some news.
"I'm not sure exactly how to tell you this, Kal. It sounds fantastic, but I'll just get to the point. It seems that our histories have changed."
"Our histories changed? You mean someone going back in time and changing history?"
"No, that isn't it. The cause of it is unknown, even by the gods themselves. Even some of them have changed from what they were in the past. Only some of the minor gods, who hadn't changed, even noticed that anything had changed."
"This isn't their idea of a joke, is it? You've told me how they like to do that sometimes. Maybe they were just pulling your leg?"
"No, Kal, they were confused and worried. They don't know what the cause was and I don't either. I don't think we'll ever know.
"Okay, but I'm not quite understanding this. What kind of changes are we talking about?"
Diana stopped pacing and faced him. "Kal, do you remember fighting the Nazis?"
"The Nazis! Of course I remember. Why do you ask?"
"When was that?"
He gave her a look that questioned her sanity, but he answered anyway. "You know, in the early 1940s. Ended in '44, I believe. But what do Nazis have to do with--"
"Kal, how long ago was that?"
"A bit over 60 years--"
"How old are you, Kal?"
It hit him then. He was only in his mid-thirties now, so how could he have fought Nazis over 60 years ago? Was it a dream? No, he distinctly remembered fighting Hitler's agents here and abroad...but how was it possible?
"Diana, did someone meddle with our memories? I know what I remember and--"
She put a hand over his to get his attention again. "Do you remember Krypto?"
"Remember him! Of course I do. He was my only dog growing up."
"Whatever happened to him, Kal? Where did he go?"
"Well, he...umm, he--" Clark's shoulders tensed in concentration as he tried to remember what happened to his 'wonder dog'. For the life of him, it seemed as if one day Krypto was there and the next...not there. His head was beginning to spin.
"I'm sorry I have to tell you all this at once, but it was dropped on me suddenly too."
"Diana, you know I trust your judgement, but this just can't possibly be right."
"Okay, then. Tell me about Kara. Who is she?"
"She's my cousin from Krypton. You know that, Diana."
"What are her powers, Kal? If she's from Krypton, her powers should mirror yours, yes? But they don't, do they? Do you have telekinetic powers? Can you shapeshift? Become invisible?"
His headshaking was becoming very pronounced now. He had memories of Kara, his cousin, and now they were superimposed on someone else. Another alien who wasn't his cousin. Then there was a third Supergirl. All three swirled in his mind, each becoming indistinguishable from the others. The memories were all real, but they couldn't be. But if this was true too, then--
"Are you telling me that this alternate history thing has happened more than once? Whoever is doing this has to be stopped, Diana. We have to do something!"
"Yes, it seems to have happened more than once. The Oracle showed me things in my life too that were different and changed more than once. But the gods themselves have no clue, Kal. I have no idea where to even start. Do you?"
He was still shaking his head in disbelief. He plopped back into his chair as she settled back into hers. "There's got to be something we can do, Diana."
She took both his hands in hers and pulled until he looked her in the eye again. "While I don't like the idea that someone could mess with our histories, I can't say that I find anything malevolent in this."
"No, listen to me, Kal. Stop thinking for a moment and just listen. No evil power came to be because of this and no one seems to have gotten away with anything because of this. We have no clues as to who or why this has happened. I have agonized over this for weeks and cannot come to any other conclusion. There are some things that even we are powerless to combat or even solve. We have limitations too, even though my first impulse was the same as yours, to find out who was doing this and to stop them. This is not an alien invasion, criminal mastermind, or a parallel universe problem. I know you'll go over this in your head again and again after I'm gone, but I feel sure that you'll come to the same conclusion. "
A sigh escaped a deflated Clark Kent. A sigh that said that while he didn't know the answers now, he would keep looking. He just would try not let it overwhelm him. It was a little strange to have his world turned upside down like this, but it had happened to him before and he'd dealt with it then. At least, he thought it might have happened. He wasn't sure how to look at his past any longer. The thought of doubting Diana about this didn't even enter his mind. He trusted her completely. Another deep breath, and he was back with her instead of drowning in his thoughts. He looked down at her hands holding his across the table and he found that he didn't want her to let go. He tightened his grip and felt a squeeze in return.
"So. There is nothing we can do now or maybe ever, but what does this mean?"
"It means that the Oracle has given me my answer."
"And what answer would that be?"
She leaned across the table towards him, keeping a firm grasp of his hands. He met her half-way, until they were only inches apart.
"I am not who I was in the past, nor am I who I will be in the future. While the past has shaped me and the future gives me hope, right here and right now is what's important. Who I choose to be is what is most important. That was my answer."
"I got the impression that this somehow tied in with what just happened with Lois and why she goes crazy whenever your name comes up? I still don't get it. You and I are just partners and friends. The idea that we could possibly be, ummm, well, more than that is just ridiculous and--"
Diana pulled back from him, letting his hands go and standing up. "Stand up, Kal, and come here."
Puzzled, he did as he was bid, until he was directly in front of her. Despite super-reflexes, she managed to surprise him by stepping even closer to him, wrapping her arms around his neck and giving him a very thorough kiss which he found himself returning with enthusiasm.
His arms naturally came up and encircled her, pulling her even closer. She felt natural there, pressed against him. It felt right. She fit him in so many ways, intellectually, physically, and even emotionally. Not only that, but this seemed so familiar--
Reluctantly, he pulled back. He didn't let go of her, nor did her arms come away from him. "These alternate histories you talked about. Some of them involved us, didn't they? They involved 'us' being more than friends." He wasn't asking now, he was just stating what they both could plainly see.
"Yes. In some we were merely lovers. In other we were married, and even had children." She smiled at that, her blue eyes gleamed with mischief.
"And you're trying to tell me that Lois somehow senses this and that's why she reacts to you the way she does?" Clark knew he should be pulling away by now. Hell, he shouldn't have let this happen in the first place, but...he found that he didn't want to pull away so he didn't.
"Yes, I think she does."
Their lips still inches apart, she breathed, "Listen, Kal. I'm your friend and your partner, but I'm also a woman. I have to be cold and impartial in order to do the work I was sent here to do, but that isn't who I am inside. You, of all people, should know this. I'm a woman with dreams and desires, just like any other woman. I have needs and wants too. So, don't ever tell me that it's ridiculous that we might be together."
She uncoupled herself from him and walked towards the door. Clark found himself admiring her back, her legs, her--. He could swear he didn't remember her ever swaying quite that much before. It must be his imagination.
In the process of crossing the living room, she spun once more to reveal plain Diana Prince. Opening the door, she paused to turn to him once more. That gleam of mischief was back in her eyes (even the thick glasses couldn't hide it) and in her smile as she tossed a final comment at him.
"Think about it, Kal. You've been dating the same woman for more than half a century. I think it's time for a change. Don't you?" With a final wink, she closed the door softly behind her.
After she left, Clark sat back down to nurse his second beer. Yes, a script rewrite is definitely in order. His laughter could be heard down the hall and even to the bottom of the apartment's stairs where Diana was just opening the outside doors. She couldn't help but chuckle herself.