When gods Fall.
The battle field was strewn with corpses, luckily none of those that were fighting to protect had been mortally injured. No matter how strong they were, he hated to see women hurt (in any sense of the phrase). It had been a long hard fight and one that the amazons of Themyscira had not been prepared for, though they rose to the challenge effectively. He had been on Themyscira visiting his cousin in her training when a boom tube (he thought he remembered it being called) opened and hundreds of replicas of the one monster that had managed to kill him began to pour out. Kara had found this out and joined the battle quickly. She and Harbinger had apparently planned a swim, but came when they heard the fighting break out. "Come on Behemoth, today is as good as any to die!" He heard an Amazon he knew as Artemis yell at a particularly massive version of Doomsday who had singled her out. He had overreacted earlier and had almost snapped her neck in a training game Artemis had with Kara. He knew he could not let her die, in a flash of super speed he was between Artemis and the fake Doomsday. With one mighty uppercut, he spilt the fake in half,
"Artemis, about earlier…" He began.
"You have nothing to apologize for; you were protecting your own." Artemis replied waving his apology off.
This had to end, any longer and someone might die. The Amazonian warriors were already falling injured and Artemis had almost died had he not intervened, "Diana, pull your soldiers back."
"Fall back!" Diana crowed over the battlefield. Had Diana not known his true motives and what he intended to do, she might not have heeded his order. He was not the commander of this battle, and had no intention of ever commanding any army, but Diana and he had an unspoken connection. Even her warriors knew this; else she might have lost face in their sight for bowing to the orders of a man. If he understood their thinking in this situation, there was no shame in taking orders from a fellow warrior who had a plan where as you did not.
Superman didn't like what he was about to do, but it had to be done. He would not allow it to happen; he would not allow the pointless death and destruction that Doomsday brought before to happen again. Superman lifted himself into the air and scoped the entire expanse of the battlefield as all of the Doomsday replicas paused in hesitation. Superman did not. He widened his gaze to encompass the full army, and let his heat vision loose with everything he could muster. Within seconds the Doomsday replicas were incinerated to nothing but charred ash.
Superman could feel it, he could feel the eyes on him as he landed and slumped to his knees. It had taken everything he had to do it but he had done it. He had destroyed an entire army of Doomsdays with a single blast. He rubbed his forehead as he felt two figures approach him from either side. To his left was his Cousin, Kara Zor-El, and she was speechless. To his right and mirroring his tired position was Diana, his partner and probably one of the few people who could equal him if she needed to. She was on her knees at his side with her hands on his shoulders. Superman looked at Diana and spoke, "I don't think I could do that twice."
"I know." Diana responded
"It seems that they were after Kara." Spoke Batman, "Another Boom tube opened at the pool that Kara and Harbinger were at just after they left.
"There are more!?!" inquired Superman standing quickly ready to fight again.
"Relax Clark." Bruce stilled him, "I went with a group of Amazon's to investigate; we cleaned up the stragglers."
"Luthor gave Doomsday's remains to Darkseid?" wondered Diana to herself as she rubbed some of the doomsday ash through her fingers.
"A Kryptonian bent to his will would make him a very powerful dictator, and even more of a force to be reckoned with." Bruce stated with grim realization. Superman looked at Diana, Superman wanted to take Kara with him, he wanted to teach her how to use her powers and protect herself. However, he knew that an army protecting her would have more of a chance to succeed than just one person, no matter how powerful he was.
Superman looked over at Kara and said to her, "Kara, I need you to stay here until Diana says you're ready."
"Please Kara." Superman pleaded with his teenage cousin to obey.
"Fine, I can come to visit though can't I?"
"If Diana approves."
"Ok," Responded Kara reluctantly as Superman kissed her forehead much the way a parent might have.
"I'm going home. Bruce, you're probably not going to rest tonight so I'll help you tomorrow with any info gathering you might need my help with." Not even waiting for a response, Superman took to the air and blasted off toward his home.
Despite his relative distance from Themyscira she was sure that he could still hear the following conversation. Artemis walked over to her queen and friend. Diana paused as she watched the trail Superman left in the clouds. "There's more than that eye blast that's draining him, isn't there?" wondered Artemis under her breath.
"He does not usually speak of such things." Diana turned to her army, "Everyone rest as well; See to the wounded first!" She moved to do the same.
Diana Prince, of the Themyscira Amazons, was at a conundrum. She moved through her chambers as she had just stepped out from her bath. She had gotten all of the grime and animate matter off of her. She was clean now and the battle was over. For now, her island was safe, but other matters weighed on her. She knew the reason that Kal was so depleted, and had kept it a secret. He had asked her too. Bruce was probably the only other person who knew, but no one told him, he probably devised it himself. Suddenly, a knock came to the door. "Come in!" Diana responded. Slowly, the door creaked open with heavy protest. From the gap that was left, Artemis walked in. Artemis was one of the few who had express access to the queen's chambers. "Artemis, what is wrong?" wondered Diana as if she did not know why Artemis had come to her.
"You and he are close; every one of us can see it."
"Oh really?" responded Diana
"Yes, Superman has not been the same for a long while has he?"
"What would you know of it?" Diana arched an eyebrow at her long time friend.
"I know it from what I've seen in your eyes. You look at him sympathetically. You even stroked his back and hugged his shoulders earlier."
"If you even suggest that I have become closer to him than what is acceptable…"
"I mean to say no such thing. I simply mean, if you want him, just take him."
"Things are not that simple, Artemis."
"Why not? We have always taken what we wanted from men, and for the most part the men had no objections. Why should Superman be any different?" Artemis placed her hands on her hips and cocked her head to the right as if she were a little girl expecting an absolute answer from her mother.
"He is different; Kal has made a pledge to be with one woman for the whole of their life, and granted, he is a man, but Kal would rather fight to the death than abandon a life promise made. I would not tempt him into such a situation."
"But it looks as if he has already had a promise of such magnitude broken." Diana cursed Artemis silently for being so perceptive, "Has this mate of his broken the promise?"
Diana was the only one that He had told of his own free will, but Artemis was a brilliant tactician and as such very little could be with held from her. So Diana decided to tell her what she knew, "Lois, Kal's wife, served him with divorce papers a little over two weeks ago."
"Divorce papers?" wondered Artemis
"A… formal way of dissolving the promise they made to each other a long time ago. Kal told me that she said it was because she couldn't watch him die again. That she did not want to spend every night she was alone thinking that he might not come back alive."
"Stupid." Artemis said gravely, "She should be proud that she has someone as strong as him. Death itself could not keep its grasp on him and he's not even an immortal!"
"You speak as if you have thought on this quite a bit, Artemis."
"Absolutely, He is strong, skilled, and honorable."
"Well…" Diana sighed, "You may have the chance…"
"My Queen, you want him for something completely different than what I want him for. I'm afraid I do not know him the way that you do, and if I were to go after him, it would be for the children he would give me." Artemis responded with the fact, "If it is a life promise that that man wants then it is you who could give him what he needs." Diana, had she not been trained to hide her emotions, might have blushed at that statement, but she knew that what Artemis said rang true. Kal liked to spend his free time alone since the beginning of his problem with Lois, but Diana decided that this was not the best thing. She would visit him and try to cheer him up. Having sensed Her Queen's decision, Artemis turned to Diana. "Just… share him every so often." She said with a lecherous smile.
Clark Kent walked into the living room of the apartment he had shared with his wife, Lois Lane Kent, for the better part of a decade. It was full of memories and laughs as well as hardships and trials. Clark walked over to the fridge and grabbed a beer, alcohol had no effect on him in any form but he still had hope that it might at the moment. Clark walked into the living room and propped his feet up on the table. He did enjoy having the house all to himself but he would have rather wanted Lois next to him telling him to get his feet off of the table. Clark began to think of the times that he had spent with Lois, all the good times, all the bad times, and the times she proved she could hold her own if the need arose. Near the end, he had spent more and more time away from her which was another of the things that probably lead to her actions with the divorce papers. Clark's eyes began to sting as he looked at the bane of his existence, the papers that had started it all. Clark had almost incinerated them with his heat vision on a number of occasions and decided to try again. The Heat swelled in his eyes as he focused into a tight beam, but just as he was about to ignite the paper a knock came to his door. "Until next time…" Clark shook his fist at the papers much the same way many villains he had foiled did at him before, "I'm coming." Clark checked his shirt to make sure his 'S' shield was not visible and opened the door.
"Hi," It was Diana Prince on the other side of the door. Wonder Woman, though not employed in Washington anymore since she decided to care for her people, had pulled her silky black hair into a tight bun and put on thick framed glasses to conceal her identity. "Got another beer?"
"Yeah sure." He stepped aside to let his friend in, then moved to the refrigerator to get her a beer. Diana saw the papers on the coffee table. He realized that she must have known he had not signed them yet.
Diana turned to Clark and pointed them out, "Clark you can't keep avoiding them like this."
"I know Diana," he handed her a beer; "I just can't seem to finish them. I've gotten all but the last signature done."
"She can't be talked out of it?" Diana asked as Clark plopped down on the couch.
"Believe me, I've tried."
"I got a call from the Justice League." Clark threw his head back and took a long hard chug of his beer, "Now she won't even look at me until I sign those damn things."
"Kal, I'm so sorry."
"It wasn't your fault! It was mine." His eyes began to sting again as the thought dawned on him. Only this time it didn't stop at the stinging; it had become full blown tears.
"Clark…" Diana put her beer down and wrapped her arms around her friend. Clark did not resist, he just let himself be pulled into the embrace. He might not ever be able to forgive himself for loosing Lois, but he might be able to move on. Clark hated that he could not have what his parents had, but he knew he was loved. He had friends, and, with the addition of Kara, a biological family. Clark was not alone anymore; he hadn't been for a very long time. Clark pulled away from Diana and looked her in the eyes.
"Do you have a pin on you?"