Summary: My epilogue to the DCAU, exploring the SM/WW side of things (naturally). Clark and Diana reminisce on how it all began, as they steal some time away for themselves amidst the pressures of heroics and running a kingdom.

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. I'm doing this not for profit, but as some measure of redemption for two icons that were woefully shortchanged by Bruce Timm's theochiropterophilic (translation- Bat-god lovin') narrow-mindedness.

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

By Cael-El595

Part 1: Infinite Legacy:

Themyscira, 30 years from now:

The lone figure sluiced through the air, a blur of blue and red and gold until his tremendous speed dropped drastically as he approached his coordinates over the vast ocean. The famous red cape flowed around him as he came to a standstill, the legendary diamond shield now a streamlined S against a sea of gold, his uniform now a continuous blue bodysuit with only a broad red and gold belt adorning his waist instead of the old red trunks.

After two months on his latest deep space mission, a trip to the island, and a chance to unwind seemed more appealing than ever. Then again, he always enjoyed his trips to Themyscira immensely. He reached the point where the large golden eagles circled, the magic field now fading as the island finally came to view. The great sentry birds let out a call, heralding the arrival of the visitor. He was no stranger to them as he touched down upon the marble terrace of the main palace.

He was greeted by his two children, the stripling boy now as tall as him, the girl as tall as their mother. Christopher Carter Kent, Cyl-el, his son, gripped his arm with a strength that equaled his father. The young man stood, only twenty-five, but already as large and powerful as him. Powerful. Beautiful. Perfect in his dark blue T-shirt and light brown jeans, the crisp black hair slicked but casually falling over his temples over the light brown sports shades he wore. Clark himself looked no older than thirty-five save for the fine lines around his eyes and mouth, and the dignity of a life that had been through it all in his eyes.

"You're getting stronger son. Another two years and you'll overtake your old man!"

Cyl laughed, "Nobody can ever top you Dad. Welcome home," he pulled him into a vice grip of an embrace, making him laugh at the boy's power.

Clark moved to the athletic young woman, her shoulder length mahogany hair framing her angelic face. But appearances were deceptive, for Lynda Kent, or Laerna Kal-el as she had been christened was no gentle angel. True, she had a heart of gold like her parents, but her fierce temper rivaled that of her own legendary mother. And coupled with her strength, it meant she wasn't a woman to be trifled with. A few reckless boys at the college had learned that lesson quite painfully. But here, looking at the lovely woman before him, dressed in a casual red T-shirt and grey jeans, all he saw was his little girl, blossomed into a fine young woman, his face instantly turning tender with paternal pride as he hugged her.

"I missed you so much Papa," she looked up at him, her eyes as blue as her twin brother's, sparkling with joy for seeing her father after a year. She held on with a strength that didn't surprise him anymore, lifting him off his feet without any effort.

He chuckled at her display, "I missed you too pippin," he kissed her forehead, "Is your mother still in the senate?"

"Yeah, she's meeting some delegates from Tamaran and Rann today," his son explained, "It's gonna take a while before she gets out of there."

"Fair enough. I'll just wait for her here then," he smiled at them indulgently, "You two find something to do instead of waiting with a boring old-timer."

"Nobody could ever call you that Dad. No problem. We'll just knock ourselves out," Cyl turned to his sister, "Race you to the Coliseum? Last one there does inventory duty for a week."

"You're on buster." She laughed at his audacity and rushed to the ledge, but he beat her to it, diving off the terrace to land on a space age, red and gold hyper-cycle hovering below, even as she landed on her blue one, gunning their machines to life as they took off, a spot in the horizon mere seconds later.

Clark watched them jet off, shaking his head as he remembered his own impetuosity at that age, and turned to head down into his private chambers. He went straight to the large pool in the centre of the grand bathing room, shedding his uniform and stepping into the bubbling water. An hour in the hot water with the fragrant herbs in it had never felt as welcome as it did now. Within minutes, he was lost in the peace of this place, his eyes closed as he loosened up after the tension accumulated over the past week.

He didn't know how much time had passed when a pair of slender hands came up from behind and covered his eyes, "Didn't think you could escape me did you?" that commanding, sultry voice could only belong to one person. He grinned at her attempt to catch him unawares.

"Perish the thought, Your Majesty. I'm at your mercy," he lifted his head up as she leaned forward, tilting her head upside down to kiss him like they were two wild things. He half-groaned, "Careful my Queen, I just got back to terra firma. Keep this up and you'll send me to Centauri V all over again."

Then without warning, he grabbed her strong shoulders, pulling her down into the pool with a big splash. She rose to the surface, "Fiend!" But her sea-blue eyes were sparkling as she dunked him with all her might.

She shed the red robe she wore as they continued with their playful tussle, finally neither winning the contest, but both greatly enjoying the moment. She eased herself onto him, resting her back on his strong chest, his steady, strong heartbeat transmitted through to her through the warm skin.

She sighed, "We hardly get to see each other anymore. I'm here all the time, and you're always with the League, off on some deep space mission. And the banquet is in two hours."

"Makes the time we do get all the more worthwhile my love," he pushed her glistening hair out of the way, kissing the back of her neck. The feeling on her skin was electric.

She let out a low wanton very un-Monarch like moan, "That it does, darling," she agreed, taking his hands in hers and gently kissing them, "I love you so, Kal."

"And I love you too… so now, how much time did you say we have?"

"Two hours. But what about the children?"

"Oh, they're facing off in the coliseum as we speak. Speaking of which…" he turned her head to face him, claiming her in a hungry kiss.

"Well, I could use a workout," she offered as they broke the kiss for want of air.

His eyebrows quirked up, "What, you want to spar again?"

She laughed again, wiggling her eyebrows suggestively, "You can be so obtuse sometimes darling. Of course, you don't fool me for a second," she leaned in, whispering her plans for the evening that involved them, a secluded section of the beach, sealed off from the rest of the island in their timeless dimension; and very little clothing.

He looked at her, that dreamy look in his eye, and that smile that won over her in the first place. It was a devastating combination, his sweet small-town shyness coupled with the unshakable confidence in his innate perfection, "I think we can make this work."

"Oh, you think?"

"Of course, much of it depends on you, your Highness," his dreamy smile turning devious as his eyes came to rest on her glistening form.

"Shut up and kiss me," and she pulled him into a greedy kiss, officially ending all conversation between them for now.

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

He broke the clouds, scanning the vast firmament for her, wondering how she'd managed to elude him and his infallible senses in this hyperbaric dimension. Damn, that woman could be sneaky!

Diana floated behind him, making sure to remain out of his field of vision and to stay downwind as she snuck up on her prey, a lioness stalking her hapless victim during the hunt. Clark never saw her coming as she threw herself at him.

The impact sent them both plummeting down, the force sending him out of control as he dropped like a ton of bricks. She wrapped her legs around his, tightening her arms around his shoulders to cut down his maneuverability.

"Don't you think we should try to steady ourselves?" he shouted over the rush of air as the ocean came up at them increasingly faster, their fall accelerating every second.

"Shut up for a second. This is exciting!" she yelled back, burying her face in the warm spot below his chin.

His eyebrow rose at that along with one corner of his mouth as he could feel her body's response to him through her shift, "Well, I can tell you're excited."

"Pervert," she punctuated her riposte by grabbing two handfuls of his behind. Before he could say anything in response, she was biting his lower lip as she furiously pulled off his uniform, an urgency fuelled by her most carnal urges and this love they shared. He returned the favour, their bodies colliding together with a will of their own as they crashed through the deep blue, waves breaking out rising up as one as he filled her.

She rode him in the night sky, kissing him fiercely as she neared completion, waves of pleasure rising up to a powerful crescendo as she wrestled him for dominance, with no clear winner yet. As she finally collapsed against him, their cosmic dance over, letting him wrap his arms around her and fly for both of them, she looked up at him, "Remember our first time?"

"Like I could ever forget," he was already back there, the timeless realm where it all started…


Part 2: Windmill of the Gods:

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.


Part 3: Earth and Sky

They were floating down now, his cape covering them as they stood in the air, silhouetted against the night sky. "Ironic isn't it?"

She turned to face him, her chest pressing against his, "What is?"

"That it took a hundred year war away from home for us to see what was in front of us all along. To embrace it."

"The gods always work in mysterious ways," she remembered too well what it had taken to bring them together.

"That's for sure," he laughed at the solemn look on her face, kissing her deeply to wipe away her seriousness.

Apparently he was successful, for her expression soon changed as they settled back down on the beach, a mischievous smile as her fingers crawled over his chest, idly tracing the outline of his muscles before drawing random circles.

She reached into the bag they'd brought, pulling out a piece of dark chocolate, and made a gesture of offering it to him, but instead popped it into her own mouth. He laughed again, "Come on, don't be so cruel."

She had a lascivious expression on her face as she beckoned him, "You want it so bad, come and get it."

"Be happy to," he closed the distance, wrapping two warm bands of steel around her as he captured his prey, his tongue demanding entrance. After a half-hearted struggle, she relented, opening her mouth to him slightly, letting him thrust his tongue a minimal distance, making him work to reach deeper in until he could pull the fruit filled praline out. She wasn't letting him off so easily however, as she bit his lower lip, tugging at him gently, so he couldn't break the kiss just yet. He tasted of sweet fruits and chocolate, mixed with the taste of his lips. It was electric, all consuming, this passion they shared.

He pushed her to the ground, his hands roaming over her body as he smeared the chocolate over her, kissing her breasts, kneading them as he did, making her clutch the sands. He continued to lick the chocolate off as he sucked her succulent globes, sending her spiralling yet again.

"You're going to make a real mess of me, Love," she called out when she found her voice.

He pointed a thumb towards the sea, "We can always wash off afterwards," and went back to his devious work.

She laughed at his playfulness before succumbing to his mind-numbing attack as he drove into her again, calling up her pleasure as she held him, before it was her turn to squeeze some fruit on him and lick it off, making him groan as she did, riding him with total abandon once she was done.

Completely spent, she collapsed against his chest, fitting perfectly over him. He pulled her away so she had to look at him, the pain of those years long gone from his eyes, now replaced by a tranquil peace and joy, "To think we almost never took this chance. I was such a fool."

She nodded in understanding, "We both were. I couldn't look past Bruce when you were there all along." They were both lucky. Lucky that they were the noble souls they'd always been, forgiving it all. Moving past the pain and torment to finally accept something they should've a long time ago. Lucky that he was a son of the Sun, fallen from the sky; that she was a daughter of the Moon, formed from the earth. Lucky that when Earth and Sky both finally collided, they did with an unbridled passion and unconditional love.

"I'll tell you a secret." She perked up, wondering if he was going to say he dreamt of Lois during those early days, "Should I be worried?"

He grinned, "No, not that sort of secret. It's just… I don't know if what we have would've been so good, so sweet, if we hadn't been kept apart for so long. It's taught me one thing, to forever cherish what we share."

She gave him a mock admonition, "I'll give you a sound trashing if you ever forget that."

He laughed again, "Of that I have no doubt," his hands running up and down her sides, stroking her armpits, inducing a violent fit of giggles from her, "We better head back now, or I'll never be able to move from here."

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

"Harder. You're hitting like a-", Laerna yelled over the sound of fists meeting as she sent another punch her brother's way.

"Like a girl?" he asked, grinning smugly as he flipped out of the way, blocking a kick with his forearm.

She laughed at the suggestion, "In your dreams. Grandma used to hit better than you," she caught the incoming fist and flipped him over her shoulder.

Cyl countered it by vaulting over her shoulder before twisting to launch himself into her in an Olympian tackle, plowing them both into the field with his force, "Is that so? What dear sis, do you call this then?"

She was about to head-butt him when they were interrupted by the red bolt of lightning that erupted before them. The spark cleared, revealing an eight foot tall demon covered in blood red scales over his chest and shoulders, a crown of vicious horns around the black visage and a pair of reptilian wings between the powerful shoulders. The hellish fiend strode with a scorching step, leaving a trail of burning footprints.

He bellowed out, a booming, demonic voice, "Salve, moritorum esse!"

They both recognized the words immediately. It was the old Latin greeting of the Roman gladiators. Except for one key alteration. You who are about to die, I salute you.

Cyl didn't know who this new monster was, but that didn't faze him, "Is that so pal? Well I got a message for you. Why don't you Osci assinum Meum?"

The demon looked puzzled, "You want me to kiss your donkey? Your ass?"

To his utter consternation, the two humanoids laughed out loud, "Wow, guess you are as dumb as you're ugly!"

The demon roared out, "Nobody insults Tichondrius, ruler of the Eighth Plane of Hell and lives to tell the tale!"

"Ruler of Hell eh? That's all we need to know. Ready Cyl?"

"Oh yeah, let's do this," he already had the Legacy Stone in his hand, primed for action. He held the large flawless blue crystal to his heart, the incantation intoning through the air-

"Mighty Stone, Legend Old,

Power Unto Me Unfold!"

The stone let out a blinding glow of godly light, enveloping the youth in it as he began his transformation, his body a conduit for the cosmic force channeled via the stone. When the light faded, Cyl now stood in his deep blue body suit and dark crimson tights, his forearms, shoulders, chest and legs covered in burnished gold with the House of El's legendary crest emblazoned on his chest-piece. The shades now replaced by a gold visor fitted with a ruby lens, and a gold lion's head overhead, his large belt buckle and greaves with the lion's motif, and the huge eagle's wings arising from his shoulder blades, Cyl-el now stood the Celestial, the Cosmic Champion in all his regal splendour, Chronoswords in hand.

His sister stood transformed as well, clad in a form fitting red and gold armour that reached her thigh, with blue leggings and a cape, the stylized eagle crest on her chest and her lariat hitched at her girdle, and the Moonblade, the double-ended lance of Artemis in hand. A winged tiara with the crest of El adorned her forehead. Wondra, champion of the Gods.

Tichondrius let out a bone-chilling roar as he hurled a volley of chaos orbs at the two new age heroes who simply deflected them with their weapons, the projectiles thrown heavenwards like a simple peashooter fired at an elephant. It only enraged the demon king further. Rising into the air, he summoned his weapon, an evil looking double ended cleaver.

"Eons ago, your parents purged my father. Now, we will settle this!" he roared, surrounding himself in a black flame as he grew in size, now a colossal astral demon as he took to the air, cleaver in hand.

"Ironic how this will end the exact same way," the boy was brazen in his nonchalance. He had to be silenced. The demon was unsettled at the lad's impudence. Mere children spoke thus to him?!

The girl was different. She projected a powerful presence, radiating a quiet courage that wouldn't wither in his presence. That would change by the time he was through with them. He turned his weapon to the ground, drawing an arcane symbol that sent forth a horde of Doomguards and Felhounds….

The fiercest battle waged on Themyscira's peaceful shores in over two decades continued to rage on with no end in sight, as the Demon King, the son of Baal, sent forth every attack, each one beaten back by the godlings, who struck back in equal measure.

The woman was busy with a legion of Doomguards, her back turned to him. The treacherous demon saw his opening, firing a death bolt at her. There seemed no chance of her seeing it in time or surviving it.

The stripling of a lad, barely a man, rushed in the bolt's path, taking it full-on onto his chest. The blast was blinding. Nothing could have survived it. Or so the Demon King assumed.

He hadn't accounted for a true godling, the man standing before him unscathed, his wrists crossed before his face.

"Time to end this, demon," the Celestial launched himself, barrel rolling into the fiend's chest, sending them both into the stratosphere. The vile beast struck out, the cleaver managing to cut a deep gash in the boy's side. He stumbled momentarily, zoning the pain out as he spun the chains around, the Chronoswords going in a smooth wheel around him before forming a figure eight, parrying every one of the beast's strikes, the hot sparks from the clash of blades burning the atmosphere.

The impasse eventually ended when Cyl drove his knee into Tichondrius' gut after another successful parry, rising over the doubled up demon to deliver a crushing elbow to the spine, sending him crashing to the ground below. The land reverberated with the seismic force generated, the Burning Legion stumbling as they lost their footing.

The young hero dropped to the ground, primed to rush his opponent who rose in a burning rage. The demon was, no pun intended, angry as hell, a raving dervish as he opened his mouth to spew a Doom coil, the missile enveloping the two heroes in an explosion from the deepest pits of Hell.

The smoke billowed out, seemingly wiping out the intended targets, until…

Two forms emerged from the epicenter, the gold and blue male and the gold and red female rising out unharmed like phoenixes from the pyre as they made for their decisive charge.

The demon's eyes narrowed as he considered his options. They seemed unstoppable, even at this young age, but he had an ace up his sleeve.

"Impressive, young godling. Let's see what you're really made of!" he laughed maniacally, the sound like that of a hellish hyena. He drew the cleaver across his massive forearm, drawing forth blood that scorched the earth it fell on. Before the two royals' astounded eyes, the drops that fell gave rise to a clone of the fiendish brute, as an entire army sprung out from the red stream that spewed out from the wound.

The tide of the battle shifted instantly. Well on top of things until now, Celestial and Wondra suddenly found themselves swamped as the rampaging host of the Demon King and his doppelgangers rushed them, the combined power too much even for them.

The twins suddenly found themselves buried under a mountain of the vile beasts, their weight pressing down on them. There seemed no way to break free. Things looked bleaker than ever.

The pileup suddenly burst outwards, the Celestial straining every sinew as his rage finally exploded.

Two of the clones came at him, cleavers poised for a lethal strike. Cyl bent back to avoid the sweeping blades, kicking one in the back as he struck out with his sword at the other, momentarily stunning them. Before they could catch themselves, his swords swiveled out across each other to their opposite sides, nailing the pair in the shoulder. The Celestial shot up, pulling his hapless victims in his wake as he spiraled down, hurtling at a frightening pace as he tugged the swords back to their respective sides, the momentum slamming his would-be assassins through the ground.

Wondra was answering their challenge in her own way, using the straight pole of her weapon as a fulcrum as she spun out a full 360 degrees, her frame parallel to the ground as she kicked the stuffing out of a good number of them before sweeping the Moonblade around her to clear a large chunk out of the invaders from hell.

The Celestial greeted another incoming attack by launching a solid aerial kick in a demon's gut before slicing another's wing and knocking it into the others with his palm. He rounded off his offensive by going into a rising bladewhirl, the spinning mass of blade and muscle ripping off scales and wings in painful fashion. Wondra did likewise to her opponents as they came at her.

Their best efforts weren't stemming the inflow of demons as they continued to pour in, crawling out of the sands. Cyl had taken as much as he could, and Laerna was tiring now. He couldn't hold this up for much longer. It was now or never, all or nothing. He decided it was worth the risk, and finally unleashed his full power, letting out a stentorian roar as a golden aura enveloped him, the form of a winged lion, the Celestial Avenger; crackling blue with electricity as it burned off anything that got too close. His sister stared at him, her jaw hanging as she bore witness to the carnage, "C-Cyl-?"

"No more. This psycho's really getting on my nerves sis. Let's finish this," Cyl dropped low, drawing enemy fire as he wove around, a sleek dive-bomber as he executed an Immellman to come above and behind his pursuers.

"About time," Laerna dropped below the rampaging Demon King, swinging the Moonblade into a mighty uppercut, juggling him into the path of a waiting Celestial.

The Ruler of the Eighth Plane felt pain that he had never felt before in all of his six hundred years as a powerful elbow rammed into the base of his neck before carving out a large chunk of the scales on his chest. Cyl wasn't through with him yet as he rose up, pulling the monster down violently with both hands to ram his rising knee into the unfortunate one's gut before hurling him downwards.

Tichondrius managed to stall his descent, only to find the two godlings charging at him, weapons ready. He let loose a finger of Death, the red bolt sizzling out from his talon and making an arc towards them.

The twins went in for the triangle attack, weaving in and out of every turn the bolt took as they twisted and zigzagged like two fighters, dodging yet another bolt with their maneuvering. Tichondrius didn't realize it until it was too late, lifting up his cleaver up in a futile attempt to brush them off.

It was no use. There was no stopping an enraged Celestial and his equally angry sister as they flanked him, the Celestial banking sharply to his right to slice off a wing, Wondra following suit with the other wing. Cyl flew higher, leaving the beast at his sister's mercy.

The Amazon Princess tore into the demon with everything her mother and tutor had taught her, a barrage of blistering kicks and chops as she knocked the beast about with consummate ease, finally sending him down with a vertical roll-kick.

"He's mine," the Celestial swooped in for the telling blow, veering into a steep hypersonic dive as he came up in a corkscrew split-S, unleashing a devastating burst rush as he delivered more punishment, finally rising in an Olympian uppercut to impale the plummeting dark lord through the heart on his Chronosword, "Go to hell," he spat out through gritted teeth, "and take your damned friends with you!"

The vanquished Demon King let out an unearthly howl, the monstrous form erupting in a ball of flame, the Legion below following suit as they burst into an incendiary cloud. The ashes scattered, carried away by the winds of Eos, leaving the island as it was, pristine and unspoiled.

The adrenaline of the battle fading away, Cyl finally became aware of the searing pain in his side as he felt the gash in his side. A flesh wound. Not too bad. The first. Definitely not the last. Clutching his side he fell to one knee, his sister instantly at his side, steadying him with one strong arm as she scooped his arm over her shoulder to help him stand.

He stood up gingerly, concentrating his entire being onto the wound. In seconds, the severed muscle and shredded nerves repaired themselves, the wound already invisible even to their vision. Soon, the torn fabric over the wound had been restored as well. He turned to her, his face visibly weary despite the visor, "We better get back. They'll be back from their vacation any minute," she reminded him as she released her hold.

He nodded, transforming back into his civvies as she did likewise. In seconds, they were on their bikes, racing back to the Palace.

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

Clark landed through the open roof adjacent to the courtyard, Diana still holding onto his arm as they floated down. They turned just in time to catch the sight of two hovering hyper-cycles approaching the Palace, their speed dropping as they drew close. The twins landed in the yard, easing the cold fusion engines like one would a galloping stallion.

The two younger heroes strode into the main hall, Cyl tipping his head towards his parents as he walked past. Laerna was more open, a wide smile as he reached over and kissed her parents' cheeks.

The regent turned to his children, "Sparring went off well, I take it?"

Lynda grinned, "Better than we hoped actually. Cyl here was slacking off again until some basket case from Cania turned up," her brother rolled his eyes as she continued, "Only then did we get a proper workout."

Cyl laughed, "Yeah, some workout. If that's what you call an all-out battle with a Dread Lord!" he turned to his parents, "Enjoyed your little vacation?"

Diana ruffled her husband's hair, nuzzling into his neck as she mumbled, "You could say that," she reached over to kiss Kal. A sweet, tender kiss, their passion completely spent for the night.

Chris gave an amused shake of the head, grinning to himself, "Get a room!" as he sauntered off, challenging his baby twin sister to another round of Halo on the X-treme system. She was only too eager to oblige, "Just wait till I bury you bro! For the seventeenth time!"

"Says you. You're on li'l missy!" He tackled, sending them over the couch in a clumsy tumble.

Diana laughed at their playfulness, then turned to her husband, "Time to call it a night?"

"I guess so," but he was kissing her again, pressing her against him as he stroked her arm.

She pulled him to their bedroom, never breaking the kiss as she tugged his lower lip till they were past the threshold. They were barely in before he hiked up her tunic even as she pulled his shirt off.

Maybe their passion wasn't spent yet. Maybe it never would be.

Fin


Author's Note: Thanks to everyone for reading this little tale. I had a real blast writing it, since Clark and Diana are right up there as my two all-time favourite characters, and theirs is the most enduring relationship of all. This fic is dedicated to my dearest friend and co-worker Angelic Enchantress, a real Wonder Woman. What would I ever do without you, girl? You're a real lifesaver.

And Ashlee, I've kept my end of our little bargain, since I owed you another story, ma'am. LOL. I was gonna post this before your video, but you beat me to it. And Hellacre, you owe moi another chapter :-)

Of course, it'd be a travesty not to thank the usual suspects: Ron (You win man, it's now official- I'm the dirty one! But not too dirty I hope. Hehe), Arcadia, Sword of Rao, Emily Feist a.k.a Rose Hustle, Taurus Walker, Fanci & WonderCat, David Schock, Darius Butler… and the list is endless.

And last, but by no means least, Djinn, without whose visionary venture I'd have never met all these wonderful people and become a part of this happy family.

Yeah, I know, Celestial's visor is a big Cyclops rip-off, but I couldn't resist- that visor looked too cool when I drew the concept, and I just HAD to use it.