They were gone. Brainiac. Darkseid. Luthor. Clark took a deep breath, absorbing that his greatest, most dangerous enemies were dead. At least for the time being. In his time as Superman he had quickly shed his Kansas naiveté; perhaps Bruce's constant suspicion had rubbed off on him in the past few years.

If his enemies were ever to return, Clark would defeat them, whether alone or with the help of the entire League. But until then, he wanted to unwind and appreciate the things he'd neglected of late.

His apartment in Metropolis had probably been missing him; it was a simple space, his second apartment since moving to the city after college. The first had been rigged to explode by a charmingly crooked detective. He hadn't spent a full night in his place in nearly fifteen days- he missed being Clark Kent of the Daily Planet, just a man who helped his older neighbor with his garbage, a man who could spend at least part of his Saturdays watching basketball games on ESPN and a bachelor who had mastered the art of the TV dinner.

Clark could admit he missed being human.

The Kent farm. He'd been wanting to go back there for a long time. He and his family deserved a chance to reunite, even if Kara was no longer a part of their lives. It wouldn't be the same without her, but it would be enough. He missed his parents, he missed the fresh air and the animals. He missed the chores, the accomplishment he'd always felt at seeing the result of his work. The Kents had hired men to take over the daily tasks that Clark had always been able to finish before lunch.

Yes, he would go back home. He would also finish and submit his stories to the Daily Planet online while the iconic Metropolis building was still undergoing repairs. His final fight with Darkseid had caused more city damage than usual, but most officials are forgiving of the world's heroes, especially when said heroes fight against alien warlords.

It was the end of his shift; the world would be safe for one more day. The weight of the world, however, never left his conscience- the others looked up to him, depended on him both as a role model and a leader. He often wondered how his life would have been if he had remained Clark Kent and never taken on the mantle of Superman.

He knew that romancing fantasies of a simple life was not productive. It had been proven, time and again, that the world needed Superman- what good were the police against monsters, aliens and superpowered villains? It would be a coward who could help the world but chose not to for the convenience of anonymity.

Still, every once in a great while he had to wonder…

He stopped short just outside the door leading into his apartment, a place he felt like he hadn't seen in years. For a moment, he thought he heard something, but no.

Clark opened the door and blinked, surprised to find Diana inside, apparently waiting for him. His balcony doors were open, explaining how she'd slipped in. He smiled for a moment, but it slid from his face on seeing her grim, determined expression. He had not seen her since the war with Darkseid.


The door to his apartment gently slid shut behind him, leaving them both in the darkness. He switched on a lone overhead light to be sure he hadn't been imagining things. No. Diana was still there, still silent.

Her eyes met his, though he could see that her mind was far away. "Diana?" He asked again.

She blinked, coming back to the present. "Oh, Clark."

"Are you all right? What are you doing in here?"

She shifted slightly on his sofa, her eyes dropping down to her lap. In a way, it was strange to see her out of her Themysciran armor. Sitting there before him in jeans and a simple top made her look bizarrely harmless.

"I…I was visited by Hermes."

Clark's eyes widened in surprise. "Hermes? The Hermes? The Messenger of Olympus. What did he have to tell you?"

He felt like an idiot for asking- he knew that the last time Hermes had paid her a visit, Diana had been ordered into Tartarus. Messages from Hermes were rarely good news.

The woman stood up, straightened to her full height. "Aphrodite has fled from Ares."

Clark raised a dark brow at the news. "She left him?"

"Yes. For a time."

He frowned slightly. "Hermes came to tell you that?"

Diana's voice caught in her throat, she had to force the words. "You don't understand, Clark. I must take her place."