Summary: The middle portion of my story "Cosmic Dance" tackling the question of how to bring Clark and Diana together. For the complete fic, see the Justice League animated section or my author page.

Disclaimer: Once upon a time there was a guy. He wrote a story with characters and settings he didn't own, but he put a disclaimer on his story and that made it legal (sort of). Superman and Wonder Woman are the intellectual property of DC Comics. Warner Bros. owns some rights too. All I own is a few concepts of my own.

Rating: This story is rated M for Mature and explores themes of violence, graphic nudity and explicit sexuality. If you are below 18 years of age or are uncomfortable with any of these, then best to stay away. If not, then by all means, dive in.

As always, constructive criticism is most welcome. After all, I'm still striving for perfection. Unattainable, yes, but you got to set your sights high to get anywhere. Or at least, that's what a very wise man once told me.

That's enough of my lengthy preamble.

Well, what are you still reading this part for?! Start with the story already!!


Cosmic Dance: Windmill of the Gods

By Cael-El595

Olympus, a time beyond time:

Clark sat wearily at the massive table in the grand hall. The victory went to them on this day, and they were finally beginning to make some headway, push the Titans onto the back foot. A whole century in this heaven had been hell for him. Everyday, a fresh death toll. The endless combat. The monstrosities that cropped up tirelessly. And yet he had soldiered on, wielding Athena's own swords on the field, never killing, but impaling his foes nonetheless, his soldiers following on to deal the final blow. It wasn't killing, but it was damn close. A mere technicality, but it nevertheless eased his burden, affording him a sound sleep when the day's fighting ceased.

He loathed it. Ares reveled in it, the war feeding his insatiable bloodlust. Diana accepted it, seemed to deem it necessary. But the end of this senseless bloodshed was finally in sight, and he'd thrown himself into his training, as long as it meant never having to see this again.

Diana had seen to it that he was proficient with the weapons, spending hours on end, relentlessly training him to hold them, to twist his wrist in the right way, teaching him to swing the chains in order to send the great blades where he wanted with precision. In due time he had mastered it, become one with the swords, learning new ways to impale without killing. It wasn't much, but it did wonders for his conscience. She however, had no such qualms as she tore into them. It had unnerved him at first. Over time he had gotten used to it. He'd had plenty of time to get used to it. She was after all, created from the earth. Why would she be anything but elemental, a devastating force? And he'd seen her kill for him. It no longer surprised him.

So here he sat, at the grandest table of them all, the greatest champion to ever walk through Olympus. And it sickened him. For at the same table sat the god that worked against everything he stood for.

Ares. The God of War. The muscular Olympian was still in his armour, amusing himself with the brew of Dionysus as he tossed his great sword into the air, the attending lesser gods scattering in case he didn't catch it. He looked over at Clark, the disdainful sneer he reserved for the Kryptonian firmly in place, "You're even gloomier than ever today Kryptonian. You should try the drink. Enjoy yourself once in a while. It might do you good."

Clark took a bite of the ambrosia, wondering how on earth he'd put up with the god for this long. Then again, he wasn't alone in this ordeal. Diana had made it somewhat bearable. He shook his head, his voice calm as ever, "None of that for me Ares. It's not my sort of thing." He turned; saw Diana discussing something with her cousin Aphrodite at another table. She saw him and smiled, waving at him as she did before returning to her conversation.

Ares caught the look in Clark's eyes and watched her, his eyes raking up and down her figure, a lecherous smile on his face. Clark saw it, prompting another sneer from the god as he shoved his exquisitely cut diamond glass into the mortal's chest, spilling drops of the dark red beverage on the table, "You hate it when I do that, don't you?"

"I couldn't care-", he shoved the elegant glass away, spilling more wine, "-less what you do."

"I don't- " the god poked a finger hard into Clark's chest, challenging him, "-believe you."

"Suit yourself," Clark shoved the offending hand away, returning an equally hard jab into the god's chest, "Your problem, not mine."

The God of War sneered yet again, letting out a scornful laugh, "You are not the least afraid of me are you, Kal-el? A foolish mistake mortal."

Diana turned and saw the steely look in Kal's eyes and was instantly alarmed at the downward spiral their conversation was taking as he replied, "I don't fear your kind Ares."

Ares' eyes flashed at the man staring him down, "You challenge me, a god? Show me what you're made of then!" He thrust the sword in an elliptical arc, the surrounding gods scattering as it swung towards the mortal. Clark stood his ground, unflinching as the blade made a direct course for his head.

He stood there, not moving a muscle, without so much as a twitch, when at the very last moment, a flash of gold too swift for their eyes to follow; the heavy blade stopped its course, parried away from Clark's face by the Chronoswords that had seemed to suddenly appear in his hands by magic.

Ares stood there staring at the mortal champion whom he couldn't force to budge. Clark narrowed his unflinching gaze, "I don't have time for this," as he yanked the chain away, crouching down in one smooth motion to evade the next blow even as his mailed right fist went into the god's gut, the uppercut lifting them off their feet. Before Ares knew what had happened, he found an immovable shoulder in his ribs as Clark launched them up, crashing into the high ceiling before hurtling down, tossing the God of War across.

The god actually fell. He fell, knocked back over the table as he tumbled over before landing rather unceremoniously with the contents of his platter and wineglass falling all over him.

A hush filled the entire hall, as Diana rushed to her friend's side, pulling his arm and looking at him like he'd grown a spare head, "Kal! What were you thinking? He could retaliate."

Clark looked unrepentant as he returned her glare, "What? The guy was being an ass!" he was petulant, the storm that had been brewing threatening to erupt.

The god stood up, glowering at the mortal who had just toppled him, "You strike at Ares? Think you've shown me pain? I invented it!" he bellowed, grabbing his sword and axe, ready to send the man to Tartarus.

Clark just stood here, pushing Diana out of the way, his hands tightening around the hilts of his swords, the heavy chains wrapped around his forearm. He showed no signs of cooling down or backing down from a confrontation with the god, an all-out battle if need be.

The two males made to lung at each other's throats when they were stopped by a flash of lightning, the crackling sound sharp as the sizzling sparks cleared out between them, revealing a large, very imposing god, his hair and thick beard whiter than the sun. Zeus, the God of Thunder and Lightning, King of the Olympian Gods.

The divine monarch glowered at them, lightning crackling in his eyes, "That's enough! Both of you!" he turned to Clark, " I hoped you would know better than to let him get to you, lad," a disapproving shake of the head as Clark turned away, brushing Diana's hand off his arm as he began to walk off.

Zeus turned his attention to his errant son, his glare crackling as he did, "And you son, you shame me. Another game of yours, and so help me, I will send you to Tartarus myself!"

"Yes Father," the younger god bowed stiffly before storming off to sulk in his private quarters.

Diana was about to go after Kal, but was stopped by her cousin's hand on her arm, "I would advice you to wait a while before you talk to him," Aphrodite warned, "Or you'll end up facing his wrath."

She disregarded the warning, rushing out after him. She'd learned by now that Kal's temper could be unforgiving when he was feeling this surly. She pitied any godling that crossed his path until he cooled down again. But she had to reach out. It was her way.

She found him sitting alone on the temple steps, his face dark like it always was these days. She went over and sat next to him, her hand on his arm. He didn't turn or even acknowledge her.

"Do you want to talk about it?" He finally looked up to meet her gaze. Her touch on his arm was warm, tender, her eyes free of any rapprochement.

"You probably don't want to hear about it."

"It's Lois isn't it?"

He shook his head wearily, "I'm not sure. I haven't thought of her for a while now. Not for real like I used to. Passing thoughts maybe."

"Kal…"

"She's been dead for forty years now Diana. I mourned her and then went on. Should it have been that simple when I loved her?"

"We've been here for a century Kal. You've been away from her that long. How long can you grieve?"

"Maybe you're right. Still… I didn't expect it to be this easy, this straightforward. I thought I loved her. I can remember every other detail like I'm still there, and yet, I can't remember if I really loved her. Or if I thought I should."

She looked up at him, startled by this revelation. Did he mean-? "Why didn't you tell me this sooner Kal?"

He shrugged, "I don't see what that would have accomplished."

"And what does this accomplish? You can't wallow like this forever. You can't shut everybody out Kal." You can't shut me out like this.

He scowled at her, "Go back in there Diana. You should be enjoying the feast. Not sitting here with me while I mope."

"Not much fun when you're not there Kal."

"Just go," his voice was low, barely a whisper. She knew wasn't going to make any headway with him, not when he was in this mood. Sighing in resignation, she rose and walked back to the banquet hall. She'd have to talk to him later…

--X--X--X--X--X--

"How much longer are you going to keep up this charade?" the voice behind him asked, coaxing, cajoling him.

Clark didn't have to turn around to ascertain the identity of the voice. After a hundred years in this so called heaven, he'd grown tired of her carefree forwardness, "I told you, I'm not that kind of man", his voice rumbling out like controlled thunder, as if he was keeping his rage in check by sheer will alone.

The golden haired woman laughed, the musical note carrying through the air to him. Any mere mortal would have been enchanted. But he was no mere mortal. Her frivolousness only served to annoy him further, "That's a real shame. We could have been so wonderful together. A hundred of your years, and yet you manage to resist me." She floated towards him, snaking a slender arm under his much larger arm to circle her fingers on his massive chest.

He caught her wrist, yanking it away from him, "Quit wasting your time Aphrodite. And mine. You know I'm not interested."

She moved closer, pressing her lips behind his ear. Her voice was like a silvery flute, "I know that Mighty One. Few mortals have such power as to resist me as you do." She kissed behind his ear, pressing herself against him through her diaphanous lavender gown, knowing full well that it sickened him, "But you," she licked her lips as she relished toying with him, "You have such power. By my father, you have such power." She came around and sat next to him on the steps, too close, as if she was daring him, "And such control. It must come from channeling that immense strength of yours."

"It doesn't take much control to avoid you," he sighed, looking away from the divine glow of her creamy skin, staring up at the endless firmament, "You don't feel anything. No emotion. No love. With you, it's only lust. That's all that matters to you. Or to your brother."

"This isn't about me or my brother. It's about you. And this farce of yours." She smiled at him, her pearly whites reflecting off the moon. It irked him even further.

"I don't know what you're talking about." He scowled down at her as he rose to leave, but she stilled him with her hand on his knee.

She laughed again, that damned annoying laugh of hers, "Of course you do, Kal-el. You don't have to be so coy with me," her large, sparkling twin emeralds locked with his sapphires as she spoke, " You can delude yourself as long as you want, and you can fool her, but not me. Did you forget about my portfolio?"

"Fool who?"

"You certainly are a beautiful one. But not too clever though. Or is that another facade of yours?" Her voice dropped to a barely audible whisper, "I know you feel nothing for me Kal-el, but what about my cousin? I've seen the way you look at her."

He wasn't in the mood for her games tonight, not after his little scuffle with Ares. He glowered down at her, "You're just fishing. And what do you care? We mortals are but nothing more than mere playthings for you, till something else catches your fancy."

She softened, mollified by his strength of conviction, knowing she'd hit home and lifted her hand to cradle his cheek and brush back the hair from his forehead, the rogue forelock still defiantly falling back to its place. Her expression was now tender, maternal as she spoke, "She's still a child, Kal-el. She may have survived a hundred years here and many more before, but she's still that same innocent child that Hippolyta cradled in her arms, even if your world has taught her. She's confused Kal, by what she feels for you. And it is threatening to break her like the clay she was formed from. She needs you Kal, more now than ever. How long are you going to deny what you both feel? How long are you going to deceive yourself? And I have my own motive in this as well. As much as I enjoy my brother, war needs to be balanced by love. The universe would collapse on itself otherwise. Only you can change this, Kal-el. Only you," she gave his knee a gentle squeeze as she leaned over to kiss his cheek, the mischief from earlier completely absent.

With that, she walked off, her playfulness returning as she swayed her hips suggestively, winking at him as she walked over to the shore, the giant oyster opening up to welcome her. Clark sat still as a rock, digesting everything that had just been said, before he rose into the crimson firmament as twilight began to make way for the night. He knew where he'd find her at this time.

--X--X--X--X--X--

Clark hovered above the domed spire, his cape billowing behind him in the air. From his vantage point, Clark could keep an eye on Ares… or was it an eye on her? He found his gaze being drawn to her more often.

Her girlish naïveté and innocence had given way to a certain womanly maturity since he had first met her. Perhaps it was the added responsibilities, which she took on quietly…or perhaps it was a lingering sadness that seemed to envelope her more each day – a sadness that he felt driven to take away, if only he knew what caused it… he was ready to move the earth, scrape the heavens, if it meant easing her pain. Clark looked back at the Olympian and noticed he was staring back at him, eyeing him coldly and carefully, before resuming his stalking with a purpose. For now, he had to retire for the night. Tomorrow was an important day, and he didn't want to be caught flagging on the field. He'd have to talk to her about this later…

She found herself standing outside his closed door. She did not know how long she had been wandering the halls of the Palace, her bare feet padding softly on the cold granite floor. She did not know how she got in front of his door, only that her careful and measured steps slowly, inexorably, had taken her here. Her nights were restless now; she found the hours between moonlight and sunlight growing in her sleepless rapture. By now the night guards were used to her aimless meanderings and no longer glanced at her quizzically when she made her way past them in the torch lit hallways. They simply and respectfully drew up their height to full attention as she walked past. She was just another nocturnal wraith in the long dead silence, looking for a beginning or an end. Even Ares had stopped following her as her circular rounds started approaching the dawn.

She knew Kal was probably in a deep sleep and felt guilty for considering the thought of awakening him. She didn't even know why she had stopped by his door. Maybe she wouldn't even have to wake him up; just being near him at times was comfort enough. She pressed her hands to the door and paused; she could almost feel his soothing presence through the birch. She glanced surreptitiously down the hall: the guards at either end were staring straight ahead and not at her. She briefly wondered where Ares was, if he was watching her at Kal's door and what he thought, but if he was present, he did not make himself known. Pushing the door open, she slipped her statuesque frame through and carefully let it fall closed.

She saw him sleeping on his back, his right hand stretched behind his head under his pillow. His blanket was tussled, as if he had been tossing and turning in his sleep. She wondered what could have been disturbing his dreams so. She walked around the bed until she was by his side, staring down into his face. When he slept, he was much younger looking – without a care in the world till the dawn; the sweet, simple farmboy, the weight of the world finally off his massive shoulders. His black hair was carelessly tousled and she smiled; she thought he was even more devastatingly handsome when he wasn't trying to be so perfect. She crouched so she was at eye level with his face and studied it critically but warmly. She admired his jaw, how it was strong and firm – like the man himself. His lips appeared surprisingly soft when not tightened in righteous anger over some injustice, some dishonor or over the Gods' pettiness. She wanted to lean in and kiss him lightly in his sleep – it was a selfish thought entirely, made mostly for her own sake. Maybe she could…if she moved slowly…

Clark's eyes suddenly snapped open and his left hand struck out, grabbing her throat even as his right hand moved swiftly from the side of the bed, where he grabbed the gem encrusted Chronosword, to the intruder by his side. His arm made the wide arc, the finely crafted golden blade glinting in the dim light, when he looked and saw Diana's eyes staring back at him, making no move to evade the incoming strike, or to defend herself. Recognition stilled his hand; he stopped the burnished blade a hair's breadth from her throat and dropped it in shock. It clattered to the ground beside her, the sonorous clang harsh in the dark stillness of the night.

"Diana!" he whispered hoarsely, and before he could stop himself, he grabbed her shoulders to check if he had cut her in his moment of drowsy defense.

"What…what are you doing here? Are you hurt?" Realizing his hands were gripping her strong shoulders rather hard, he quickly let them go, flushing in the darkness, and sat up.

"Is everything alright?" He could not hear the sounds of battle; no alarm had gone up.

She continued staring at him, as if in a trance, showing no sign whatsoever that she even knew how close to death she had just come. He looked at her, concerned. Was she under some sort of spell – Circe's mischief? He could not sense anything off about her. "Diana," he continued cautiously, "Why did you come here like that? I…I could have hurt you…even…killed you!"

She finally gave him a wisp of a smile and shook her head slightly, "No Kal, I knew you could never hurt me." She seemed sad and as he looked closer he saw how tired she looked. Her hair was still perfectly kept and her tunic was pristine. He frowned slightly, "Haven't you gone to sleep yet?"

She shook her head again. "Sleep does not find me easily these days." She seemed resigned to staying up and staying with him, and rested her arms and head on his bed, always staring at him with a wistful smile. Clark suddenly realized that he had left her sitting on the hard granite floor while he rested comfortably in the bed and silently castigated himself for not being more gracious. He sat up and swung his legs over the side of bed, lifting the blanket. "Alright, do you want to sit here with me, then?"

She nodded and he helped her stand. Clark tried not to stare at her body as she moved past his eyes. Her long silk tunic was cinched at the waist by a ribbon, and he could see the curve of her hips, the fullness of her breasts... It was then that he realized she was not actually wearing anything under the garment and he could see the top of the two pale mounds of soft flesh where her neckline plunged dangerously low. He looked away quickly but it was too late; he felt the heat rising in his cheeks and felt his heart grow taut with desire. A hundred years in this distant realm and she had a way of stirring up long lost feelings in him; feelings he had buried long ago and vowed would never interfere with his duty again.

He quickly wrapped her in the blanket to cover her up and tried to push the image of her collarbone and the dark line of cleavage where her breasts pressed together out of his mind… he shook his head sternly.

She seemed uncharacteristically grateful for the small gesture of offering her the blanket and rested her head upon his shoulder. They remained in silence in the dark for a time. She could stay like this forever, but she'd come here, sought him out with a purpose.

She was content to lean against Kal and while he seemed uncertain of what exactly was going on, he kindly allowed her to stay. He was only wearing a simple light blue silk tunic and dark brown linen trousers, but even without his uniform, his shoulders and chest were broad and majestic. She reached out and slipped her hand in his, squeezing his fingers. She could feel his back suddenly tense with her touch and he broke the silence hurriedly. "Is there anything you need Diana? Something you want to talk about? The troops looked fine tod-"

"I do not want to discuss the troops, Kal." She immediately regretted saying that, as he suddenly looked crushed. She did not mean to be difficult but the very reason why she could not sleep was because of the troops. Chronos. The Embassy. Her home. She worried about her comrades. She worried about him. She offered, simply, "I want to talk about you." I want to talk to you. To Kal. The man. Not Superman. Not the hero from the stars. But she did not say it out loud.

"About…me?"

"About you."

He relented, "All right. What do you need to know?"

She considered her words carefully. She had to do everything carefully now, living under the constant threat that that moment could very well be her last. But this time, she wanted to make sure she did it right; she might only have one chance with Kal. One chance for what?

"Why do you follow me Kal? I am not your princess. I'm your second. You are the League's leader. And yet, you follow me into battle. Why?"

He gently lifted her head from his shoulder and looked intently into her eyes, "Diana, I follow you because it is the right thing to do. I follow you because together we can achieve a greater good. We can show them the way. I follow you because I have sworn myself to this cause. And I do it because you are our only hope. I'd follow you anywhere."

She knew he was saying that in earnest. He had followed her into this strange land, dropping everything he'd ever known, fighting side by side for a hundred years. Leaving behind the world he'd grown up on. The woman he loved. And he'd done it all for her.

She smiled softly at him, "Then do you see it as simply your duty, Kal, to comfort me in the middle of the night and to hold me, to protect me from heartache and sorrow?" Her eyes were searching his face looking for the answer she already knew.

He lifted his eyes from her face and stared at a fixed point over her left shoulder.

"Yes… there is an… obligation. To see anything happen to you would mean the end of our hopes." He dropped his eyes back to hers. "Of my hopes. You may think I'm the one who comforts you but the truth is… it is very much the other way around. You have given my life meaning and purpose when I thought I had none." He turned his body to hers and took both her hands in his. "Diana…you…surely you already know how I feel. To say it out loud or to consider it only serves as a… distraction, an interference… to our mission. Maybe, after Chronos' defeat…" But he stopped speaking when he caught her eyes suddenly flaring up in the dark, her aquamarine orbs brighter than he'd ever seen.

"And what if we can't defeat him? How would you feel then, if I were lost to you or you to me or…both to each other? Would you be satisfied that you had left us both so unsatisfied in death? You speak of your duty to me, Kal, yet you continue to deny me."

His face looked pained, the wounded puppy look that never failed to melt her even at her hardest. "What do you want me to do, Diana, to prove myself to you… to prove that my oath…and heart…are both true? Just name it, and it's done."

She suddenly turned to him, a wild and unbridled look in her eyes, and he felt a knot form in his stomach. Maybe agreeing to do anything wasn't such a good idea. She knelt on the bed so her face reached his. She slowly shrugged off the blanket covering her shoulders and Clark watched it fall and settle around her hips. She stared at him through her thick, long lashes and said in an imperious, husky voice that only she was capable of, "Undress me Kal."

Clark stared at her in shock and his eyes darted left and right, trying to find some way, any way out. But there was no escaping his earlier promise. It hung heavy in the air between them. She waited, patiently and expectantly, the left shoulder of her tunic already slipping off and revealing the gentle, undeniably feminine slope of her body. Clark lifted his hands and gave a slight tug on her right sleeve, and the soft fabric slid down to join its twin on the other side. She sat in front of him, the light of Selene glowing behind her head, crowning her like some angel, her shoulders bare. His angel. She was utterly beautiful, an exquisitely carved living statue in a temple, lovingly crafted by virtuoso hands, a living goddess. She was too perfect – he couldn't mar her with his clumsy touch…

He heard her exhale loudly through her nose but he sensed her exasperation was more for show than actual feeling. "If you won't undress me, then undress yourself. Take off your shirt." He paused, considering, realizing that if he agreed to this request perhaps she would have no more for him. It would perhaps delay her and hopefully by then she would be tired and go to bed, and he could keep his pledge, her honor and her feelings all intact. He pulled the silk shirt over his head and she took it from him, throwing it over the back of the chair. His skin crawled with goosebumps, not from the chill, but rather from having himself so exposed before her.

Her slender hand reached out and stroked his smooth face, tracing her finger down his chin, along his throat, to his chest. She pressed her palm against his heart. She could feel his heart beating, strong and steady as the man himself. Kal was powerful; she could see every perfectly defined muscle of his torso, his broad and bulging chest, the rippled yet streamlined abdomen, his arms – all unyielding.

She glanced at his face. He was politely staring ahead, with lowered eyes, his hand clasped in his lap – trying not to let her see his nervousness or the building warmth in his loins. But Diana knew; a wonder or not, she was after all, a woman, and every woman knows when desire is thick. She could taste it. She moved around him and pressed her chest to his straight back, wrapping her arms around his shoulder and nuzzling into his neck. Clark felt his back warm to her skin and he leaned back into her, listening to her breath become deep and rhythmic. "Diana, if you want to stay here tonight, I can go and sleep in your chambers…"

Her voice came to him, muffled but sharp despite her drowsiness, "You will do no such thing. If I wished to sleep alone, I would have stayed in my own chambers. I did not seek you out and nearly have my throat slit, to sleep alone." She softened and pressed her lips behind his ear, "You can be rather silly sometimes, my dear Kal." She lifted the blanket and tucked her legs underneath and smiled at him expectantly. He slowly swung his legs back onto the bed and she let the blanket fall. She sidled up against him, "Now take off your pants. And lie down."

She watched him open his mouth, then shut it, then open it again before he managed to say, "My pants?" She nodded then replied crisply, "That or you can remove my tunic; the choice is yours." She felt a twinge of guilt, cornering and manipulating him like this but told herself firmly it is for his own good. And mine. She watched him reach down and pull the last of his clothing off, being inordinately careful to keep the blanket on top of him. She saw him push his trousers to the edge of the bed; she heard the rustling as it fell to the granite floor. He lay down, placing his head stiffly on the down pillow and folding his hands once again in his lap to hide his arousal. She pressed herself insistently against his side once again, resting her head on his chest, and her hand on his tense stomach and his arm instinctively went around her and clasped her to him.

Clark was surprised at the ease with which he held her. Her slim body fit snuggly in the crook of his arm. But more than that, he was surprised that he even remembered how to hold a woman. How long had it been? He remembered adolescent fumblings, stolen kisses and touches in dark corners with Lana, follies of youth before the seriousness of life caught up with him, and Lois' aggressive pursuit when he wore the cape…but never anything like this with her. He felt her fingers idly tracing the skin below his navel and he felt himself warming, hardening to her gentle caresses. He closed his eyes and inhaled, steadying himself. He was not such a bonehead that he didn't know what her next request would be. Her lilting, dulcet voice came to him again in the dark, begging, "Now will you undress me?" Keeping his eyes closed, his fingers found the knot in her ribbon. The knot was loosely done but his finger floundered with the thin fabric. Finally, he tugged the knot free and stopped.

Her voice was chiding but tender, "You'll have to do better than that, Kal," the teasing note in her voice evident. He sighed, "Diana, what you have asked me to do…is most unusual. I have sworn to protect you, preserve your honor, not…defile it!"

"Kal, is it really so dishonorable and impure to love a woman? Especially one who loves you?"

He felt his heart give another squeeze and found himself smiling at her, "No but…there are certain rites of passage that a…common man and… a Princess must undergo before they are to…" He flushed even harder and thanked every god he didn't believe in that it was dark in his room. "To…ah…love each other," he finished lamely.

She suddenly laughed, her voice ringing out like a clear bell in the night and when he looked at her, she had an impish smile on her face. "I am a princess only by title– a champion in name and convenience during times of war. As such, I believe I am exempt from these requirements. The women of your world are already disdainful of me for knowing how to wield both sword and plane; what more can they do if they find out that I also know how to wield a man? Besides," the wicked smile got even bigger and she wiggled her eyebrows at him suggestively, and he saw for the first time, not a goddess, but a real woman, the woman he had loved for far too long, "I won't tell if you don't tell?"

He laughed, marvelling at her ability to extract that from him when they could be facing their possible demise, and gathered her up in his arms when her suddenly serious expression stopped him. Her face registered a flurry of emotions, "Kal, I say this truly and honestly: I want you to take me. I have longed for you for all these years and want you to have me, as man and woman. But if you choose not to for whatever reason, I will never hold it against you. But it is a choice that you, and you alone, can make." She kissed the tip of his nose.

He gazed at her, and she returned the gaze, openly and unwaveringly. Her eyes on him were infinitely tender. No judgement. Only love and deepest desire that had been locked away for so long. Her words haunted him; her ethereal beauty and figure, her skin and touch, her voice, laugh, walk…it had all haunted him for a century and more. And now the choice was his.

Generous. She was so generous. He knew that he loved her. That she loved him in equal measure. And yet she was so magnanimous, so giving, selfless in her love for him, giving him the power to decide. Waiting till he was comfortable and ready. She was giving him this. His decision could imprison them both forever. Or set them free at last.

He was torn. Now was not the time for such important, life-altering decisions, not when they could be facing their possible deaths the next day. This was a decision to be carefully weighed, to be made when one had the luxury to ponder over the repercussions.

But then, he realised that this chance may never come again. The only reason they had even come to this point, to this choice, was a life and death situation. Tomorrow could be their final stand. Victory meant that everything could return to the way it was. The basic order of the cosmos.

What he wouldn't give just to have this one night with her.

But if they survived, and returned home, how could he act as if nothing had happened?

Could anything ever be the same again? Should it be the same again when they'd been through so much together?

How could it ever be just this one night for them?

He thought of his past of broken promises fallen to the wayside; yet her words from earlier continued to resonate in his ears…

"How would you feel then, if I were lost to you or you to me or…both to each other? Would you be satisfied that you had left us both so unsatisfied in death? You speak of your duty to me, Kal, yet you continue to deny me."

He suddenly realized she was right. Even if they had wanted to undergo the rites of marriage, there would be no minister to ordain them in this surreal place, in these times of war, darkness and uncertainty. Time was growing slim and everyday, his ability to protect her waned as the titans advanced. He could lose her tomorrow…and the thought of that terrified him. They would both be damned if the other was taken away before they could….

He felt himself yielding to her, and leaned in to meet her lips with his - tentatively, like he was afraid she would crumble to clay in his arms. She lay still in his arms, so light that she seemed to float. It was a chaste, shy kiss, the kiss of the boy from Kansas – one of promised love, of undying loyalty, of souls left open. There was no Kryptonian or Amazonian ritual, but he did not need one; he bound himself to her to the end of time with that kiss. His soulbond.

Then he kissed her again, kissed her with the passion he had wanted to since the first time he had touched her and felt the charged energy running from his fingers, up his arms, to the very top of his head and through to the soles of his feet. He felt her mouth responding vehemently, her desire dangerous and fierce, their mouths burning together with insatiable desire. She was utterly inebriating as she pressed her naked body against his, her robe falling entirely open, and he pulled it off with uncharacteristic fervour. He wanted to be close to her; no, he wanted to be one with her! He wanted to close all distance between his body and hers, his heart and hers, his soul and hers.

She held him fiercely, running her fingers through his thick hair, and continued to massage his scalp as he worked his way downwards from her ear. Gentle, teasing, then biting kisses along her neckline and collarbone, concentrating on the smooth hollow in between, eliciting a thrilled gasp. He then moved down to her breasts, taking in the sweet taste of honey that came off her smooth skin as he closed his lips and teeth around her, trapping her large areola. It was beautiful, the same colour as her unpainted lips. She clutched his head violently, driving it in, feeding her sweet globe deeper into his ravenous mouth as her back arched in response. He moved to the base of her breast, alternating between kisses, and sucking and licking. He found her translucent skin made the finest satin seem coarse in comparison. She pulled him up, a slight distance, her strength in her current state of arousal enough to move him as she buried his face in the deep valley in the middle.

He had her calling out his Kryptonian name over and over again, and it drove him insanely wild with pride that he did that to her. Slowly, he continued exploring her with his lips, caressing her navel with his kiss softer than the finest down. She let out a low, primal moan, raking his scalp, inducing most pleasant shivers down his spine.

Clark ran his large hands along her back, the strong fingers delicately tracing along the curve of her spine, sending her into a violent shudder, her skin sensitized to his every caress as he moulded her with his touch. He sent her spiralling repeatedly back and forth from a most wonderful bliss at his devoted ministrations, a bright red flush covering her fetching chest as he finally touched her and kissed her every way he had always wanted to.

He was aching to do everything to her, with her, for her. There was no tomorrow for them. Only the here and now, and this fierce passion, thundering through them, like barely contained lightning.

Diana suddenly realized that her labia had become moist from his exhilarating actions, but nothing could prepare her for what was coming next. His lips had moved from her navel to more sensitive spots, as he continued to relentlessly torment her, lavishing her with his lips and tongue everywhere except where she needed it the most. It only served to whip up her anticipation even further. Heighten her arousal to a dangerous level. She was powerless to resist as he found all her most sensitive spots, begging for his amorous touch. This was so unfair.

Diana wanted to rail at him for this torture, but any rational thought was driven out as his lips found her ripe centre at last. Hera, when did this man learn to do that so well?! He soldiered on, flicking his surprisingly skillful tongue along all the right spots, her most erogenous zones as he continued his worship of his goddess, drowning in the taste of the nectar emanating from her.

There was no war for them. No home to go back to. No tomorrow. Nothing else mattered. Nothing else was real. Only this very moment and this wonderful feeling that coursed through her as he gently blew a cool breeze into her, their raw passion, trapping her and liberating her, all at the same time. Each flick of his tongue pushing her deeper, pushing her further and further away from the woman who'd thought she loved Bruce, or perhaps saw him as the only acceptable alternative to this man who sent her heart racing with his mere presence; her blood aflame, who sent her into such throes simply with his tongue.

She couldn't take it anymore. All those years of martial training on the island, and all her warrior discipline came to naught, as exploding into a thousand glorious Dianas, she raised her hips to his mouth, entangling her fingers in his hair as he buried his face in the soft mound between her thighs, her centre, her very core, sending her to a blissful heaven she had not envisioned even in her most vivid dreams as he continued his assault. A thousand years on, and she'd never forget this night. Not if what he'd just done to her was any indication.

As she slowly returned to her body following his sensual assault, he rose from his position, coming up so he was face to face with her. He reached down, kissing her in a way that was so heart-achingly sweet that she thought she'd break from the overwhelming emotion. She could taste herself on him, the flavor of her own body on Kal's lips setting her on fire as she pulled him closer, her mouth open and demanding as she welcomed his tongue before reciprocating with her own. He nuzzled her earlobe again, nipping it with his teeth before flicking his tongue over it. It was too much for her to bear. Looking into his eyes, cerulean pools for her to swim in, right then she resolved that she'd gladly forsake her immortality for union with this man.

She had to even the score after the unbelievable things he had just done to her. She needed to return the favour. She pushed him over, the only one who could do that to him. Running her fingers in a serpentine curve along his chest, she pressed, her dancing touches leaving red patches on his sensitive skin. Soon she was exploring him, discovering for herself what she had envisioned for so long. He was beautiful, every inch of him the equal, no, the superior of a god. And he was finally, at long last, hers after being forbidden for so long.

She left a trail of kisses on his chest, her tongue brushing across the thick, heavily muscled curve as she began to repay him for his earlier torment, biting at his chest as her silken hair cascaded over him. He reached for her, his eyes vibrant. She resisted, the only one capable of resisting an amorous Kal, "Behave," she admonished, pushing his hands away from her. She returned to the task at hand, continuing her merciless torture as she moved further down, licking his taut stomach, reaching his navel as she blew gently over his rippling abdomen. He quivered slightly, a low deep moan escaping his lips as he did, the sensation of her lips and tongue all over him and the cool breeze from her lips was too much to bear, even for him. She smiled in triumph. He deserved it after what he'd just done.

He looked at her, a helpless look in his eyes that told her he was her willing slave. She could only imagine that her own eyes showed the same submission. He overturned her, gently easing her down. She had wrapped her legs around his, intertwined her arms and fingers around his body, head and hair. He could feel her trembling, breathing in short, catching breaths as she readied herself for him.

He braced himself against the bed, between her endless, well-muscled legs, feeling the softness of her thighs against his hips. As he lowered himself to her, he heard her whisper, "Kal, I love you," as she angled her hips to meet his and they became one.

He pushed slowly, savoring every intoxicating inch as she slowly gave way to his girth. She was frowning slightly, her lips parted, as she took him in. He whispered gently to her, "Are you all right, my love?" She nodded, pressing her cheek to his, "I am yours now. Everything is all right. Everything is as it should be."

She held him against her, luxuriating in the weight and masculinity of his body. She could smell the musky unique cologne of his. Her statuesque frame was almost entirely covered by him, safe and protected. His eyes were closed as well, his breath coming from deep within his chest. He began to rock gently against her, and a sigh escaped her lips as she felt the delicious length of him sliding against her. She felt the radiating, vibrant heat blossoming within her once again as Clark began to push into her in earnest. She threw her head back into the pillow, her whole body heaving vigorously with each lunge.

Clark felt her returning his thrusts, slowly but grinding over every inch of him. The windmills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exquisitely fine. Clark at that very moment had not the gods, but rather Diana in mind as she continued to grind him, slowly at first, but quickening until she was in time with him, matching his intensity with a strength that only she could muster. She was his equal. More than his equal in some ways. Good Lord, what had he done to deserve her? His body was throbbing with a love, a passion that he had never allowed to be released. He could hear the sounds of their flesh meeting under the covers in the darkness; he could hear the way her breath caught every time he plunged into her fully; he could hear the quiet insistent whimpering in his ear as he withdrew. He could feel the excitement emanating from her skin, and he exhaled into the nape of her neck.

He had to clench his jaw and swallow hard; she was bringing him to his explosive brink with no signs of slowing but he wanted her satisfied first. His hands cupped her face, kissing her lips, forehead, eyelids; he traced his lips down to her throat, finally burying his face between her breasts. She was clutching his dark hair, roughly pulling and he found the pain pleasurable as her eyes glazed over. She could not believe how he filled her, how he made her feel so whole and complete. She could feel her abdominal and pelvic muscles tightening, and knew she wasn't far from arriving again. Her voice came to him, low and thick, "Please…Kal…."

Her urging whisper ran through him to his core and he drove into her, hard and quick. He felt himself swelling, engorging to the tip. Their bodies were slick with sweat and he was panting from the sheer flood of sensation. His hands found her perfect breasts and slender waist and he moaned shamelessly when he felt her fingers digging into his back, sending a bolt of electricity through his being.

He felt her whole body tense as one muscle, he felt her tightening around him suddenly and he knew he could not hold back. Not for her, not for a woman who demanded and deserved everything. He thrust into her one last time with a force he no longer had to withhold, impaling her and pinning her to the bed; he heard her cry out his name with an unrestrained moan, bucking and shuddering before sinking her teeth into his shoulder – but there was no pain, there could never be pain again not as long as they were together - and after an eternity of infinite sensation, with the purest sharing of truly unconditional love and passion, he finally released himself into her, letting the waves of pleasure wash over him, letting his torment and guilt be destroyed by her love, giving himself over utterly to her…his Goddess, his Diana, his Love…

She lay there with him, completely spent and sated and let out a contented sigh as she breathlessly kissed his shoulder before resting on it, and realized for the first time in days she could feel the quiet quilt of tranquility settle on her. Her heart would no longer tread these halls, soft, silent, and sad. It had found her beginning and it knew she would not be alone in the end. She listened to Kal's breathing as his heart slowly calmed down, and she whispered jokingly and affectionately, "So…I won't tell if you don't tell?"

He laughed again, this time a rich, clear laugh that rumbled through her as he held her to his chest, "I have some experience keeping a secret."

She was stroking his chest again, running her long fingers, tracing the outline of his muscle, her eyes sparkling as she looked into his, "Think we can handle another round?" her chest bumping against his as she ran a hand down the inside of his leg. Her devious work soon bore fruit, for as she wriggled against him, she could feel him responding to her touch.

He couldn't resist her anymore. Not once he'd finally let her in. Or resist a challenge. A wicked smile on his face, he pulled her on top of him, "Only one way to find out."

He immediately had her laughing uncontrollably as he tickled her sides, making her grab his arms and pin them to force him to stop. She moved closer, her wonderfully soft, luxuriant hair cascading onto his face and chest once again, "You need to amaze me, love," she whispered into his ear.

She had no defence against his next move, as he nipped her earlobe with his teeth before flicking his tongue over it again, inducing a sharp gasp and shudder as without warning, he caught her wrists and overturned her, his superior strength overpowering her.

"Cheater," she accused him, but her tone was far from accusing, her eyes sparkling with mirth. However in a matter of seconds, she'd pulled his hair and straddled him again.

"What now, darling?" she inched even closer, a hair's breadth away from his lips.

He pulled her closer, his lips locking on hers possessively, "I promised to amaze you didn't I? I'm a man of my word," he nuzzled in her neck again, his warm breath on her making her forget all about sleep for the night.

He was such a passionate and considerate lover. But then she knew he would be. After what had just transpired between them, she had no doubt he would amaze her. But she knew she would be unable to do anything useful once they were through. She prayed to her gods that there would be no urgent need to do anything complicated. Like wield a lance. Or walk, or think straight. Or even remember her name for that matter. But she'd worry about that later. For now, this desire between them, their union of two bodies that shared one soul was all that mattered.

--X--X--X--X--X--

A hundred years they'd fought alongside the gods. Bled till the ocean was crimson, killed as many as they lost, all for this day. Their final battle. Their last stand.

They were now a team again, fighting as one, a brutal ferocity in her every strike, a surety of purpose in his every step, his every blow as they wielded their weapons. She spinning her dual bladed lance; him swinging the heavy chains on his gauntlets, sending the linked Chronoswords dancing out at the hordes that came at them. All deadly grace and power, a fearsome artistry to their lethal dance; a force equivalent to thunder and lightning in their every move as they shook the ground.

A cyclopikon came behind her, raising a heavy battleaxe over her. All she heard was the whistling sound that passed her as the chain shot up. She turned to find the sword lodged firmly in the creature's eye as it crashed beside her, Kal unshakeable as he yanked the chain back, wrapping it around his forearm as the sword returned to him like it had a life of its own.

She spun around to meet his gaze, her eyes possessive like his own, "You're getting deadlier."

They were both deadly now, "The rules have changed. I didn't finally find you only to lose you," Out here, despite his power, he wasn't a Superman. Here, he was just a man. Her man. The man that gods followed into battle.

He fought with passion. Passion that he shared with her in another form last night, he channelled on the battlefield, as entire battalions of titans and dark gods lay prostrate before his might.

They covered each other's backs, fighting in unison. It was much easier this way, protecting each other. One could go lax about one's own safety. But never while protecting one's love.

And he was still a man. For all his power, a vulnerable man who would always need her to protect him, she thought.

She cut a line through the beasts, felling a Hydra with her poled blade as it threatened to sink its venomous fangs into his back, cutting down anything that came close to him.

He turned, staring off into the distance. She noticed the red glow in his eyes, "Kal?"

"It's time. It all comes down to this," his gaze didn't shift from whatever it was he was watching.

She already knew what it was. The final charge of the titans' hordes. Steeling herself for this battle to end all battles, she could see plumes of dust being kicked up.

"Another wave coming in from the western gate," she nodded in understanding, turning to face the new wave, when he caught her wrist, "Diana," His voice had an urgency to it, a purpose.

She turned to him, unerringly meeting his lips in a long kiss. His lips were hungry, needful, as if he was trying to sear this memory into his mind, and hers, in case they did not return.

As they parted for air, she noticed the red creeping into his eyes, "Fight well." It was an unusual thing for him to say. But after last night, nothing was unusual for them anymore.

She smiled breathlessly, "You too," and rose into the air. Nothing was going to stop them from returning to each other. Not when they had finally discovered each other.

She saw him launch himself into the advancing horde. She'd seen videos of a nuclear explosion, the nebular burst she'd witnessed in the observatory. She saw the same thing, magnified a thousand fold as he threw himself into the battle, ploughing through as he struck, the impact carrying outwards, throwing up blood and twisted flesh and metal. The ground trembled; great, deep fissures opening and swallowing unlucky abominations that had somehow escaped Kal's wrath. Machines of death and destruction collapsing with abandon in his wake. Even the goddess Artemis, born to hunt, bore awed witness as she let loose a steady shower of arrows from her bow the Eaglehorn, raining punishment on those that dared to challenge the might of Olympus. To challenge the gods of Olympus was one thing. Another thing altogether to challenge the greatest champions to have walked its hallowed grounds.

He rose higher, spinning a furious tempest in the sky as he dove down, a Kryptonian peregrine, swooping down for the kill. The ground distorted from the sheer impact, tossing more hapless creatures of doom as he rained fire on them. Fire that was unparalleled in its intensity. Fire that had but one master. And it emanated from those same beautiful eyes that she fell in love with.

They rose to fight him in the sky, a futile move. He was a rare force, brutal, elemental. Even here, in a realm of gods, he was peerless in the air as he cut a swathe through them.

She fought on. Slicing her way through the enemy lines, she fought on, for him. The man who inspired the entire world. The man that she loved without measure. She ignored the cuts and bruises she bore, shrugging off the pain as she pushed on to the centre.

Finally, they reached the eye of the storm. The demonic fiend at the heart of it all. Baal, the Lord of Destruction, eldest of the three Prime Evils, his massive twenty-foot frame crowned by a twisted mass of horns and his spiked shoulders framed by leathery bat-like wings. The yellow eyes. The scaly plates. The eight arachnoid legs. The entire appearance of this arch-devil invoked fear. And yet Kal flew forward without hesitation, dropping altitude so he was at eye level with the demon. His eyes smouldering as they unleashed the full force of his wrath, first a searing red before turning white hot.

The beast howled in pain as it hurled a hail of shadow orbs. Kal ducked and weaved, swerving with balletic fluidity to avoid instant death, as he surged forward, his speed increasing to a frightening pace as he swung the chains around, the Chronoswords coming to life as he spun into a corkscrew, spiralling on for the killing blow, all the while using the swords to deflect the lethal orbs.

More of the hellish hounds came at him. He responded as only he could, unleashing pure, unadulterated force as he incinerated them, froze them, cleaved through them. Nothing that faced him stood the test.

Clark let out one final gasp as he surged forward, the Chronoswords dancing with life as he swung them with more power than they'd ever been swung. Power enough to move the earth. Power enough to rend the fabric of the universe. Power enough to fell the demon.

The echo from the impact flattened the ground where they stood, the impetus of his heroic charge lifting the great beast off its feet as he ripped through it, going through its very heart. Baal let out a hellish, earth-shattering howl as he fell, crashing down with a deafening thud. The hellgate collapsed in on itself, pulling in the entire Burning Legion as it did. The titans, without their new allies, were quickly routed.

She dropped her dual-lance and raced to the epicenter, frantically digging for him.

Divine Mother, let him be alive! She'd almost seen him die once. She couldn't lose him again. She finally exhaled in relief when his hand broke out of the ground, sword in hand as he burst through. He walked two steps before collapsing in her arms.

"Kal," she laughed, gasping in relief as she stroked his forehead, only the lightest bruise on his handsome face, but his body heavily bloodstained. His skin was still burning hot from the exertion.

Clark reached out and stroked her cheek, tucking back a tendril of hair behind her ear as he smiled weakly, "Didn't think I was going to die out on you did you?" She was so beautiful. He'd done it all for her. And he'd do it all over again if he had to.

"No," she bent down and kissed him, but he had already passed out. Hermes rushed to her side, the Messenger God covering the distance faster than thought itself, "Is he… ?"

"No, he's just worn out. That last battle took everything he had," she continued to stroke his face tenderly, pushing back the damp hair falling over his forehead.

Four of the gods lifted him up and hoisted him over their shoulders, a fitting carriage for a hero of his standing, as another helped her stand, "Come Princess." After all that, it was finally over. Just that simple. So much death and destruction and it was finally over.

--X--X--X--X--X--

They lay in his apartments, the coziness of the large bed more welcoming than ever as she cuddled up in his arms, soaking in his warmth. It was a new dilemma that lay before her now, but she had to confront it, "They say they can send us back."

His eyebrows knotted, "Back?"

"To earth."

"I'd hoped they could."

This was the painful part, "Back to the time we left it. Their reward," she held the pain in, wanting him to decide on his own.

"That sounds fair. They start fresh, so why not us?" He didn't sound too convinced of the fairness of it all.

"Kal…" she began, but trailed off, her voice failing as she succumbed to the sinking feeling in her gut, willing herself not to cry in front of him.

He cupped her chin, lifting it up so she had to look at him, "But we're not them, Diana. We lived this. All that pain and suffering for a hundred years. And to say that it was all for nothing? I plan on enjoying this for a while."

"Kal…" She wasn't strong enough to fight this feeling anymore.

He leaned over and kissed her, this time tender and sweet, a connection, "You didn't really think I'd turn my back on all this did you? On us?"

She smiled, the first real smile since she'd considered the unpleasant possibility, "I didn't know," her voice a low whisper.

"He laughed, "I wouldn't. After all the trouble it took us to find each other, only a fool would do that," he touched her, making her jump at the thrill, and laugh like he loved to hear her do.

"We'll go back. Someday. Start over. But this will never be the same again," he kissed her brow before returning to her eager lips.

She held him tight, kissing him back, "No it won't"

"We'll worry about that later. Sleep Diana. Rest." He kissed her forehead gently as he caressed her back soothingly.

He was right. They'd worry about that later. For now, they had each other. Secure in that knowledge, that he wanted this as much as she did, Diana finally settled into a calm stupor, Morpheus claiming her for the night. She knew her dreams would be pleasant ones.


Fin