Epilogue. Part one.
Wonder Woman and I descend from the east the rising sun is behind us as we leave the realm of Olympus for Themyscira. Hand in hand, we're a bright against the sky, red, blue and gold. Diana's hair flowing behind her into the sun like polished ebony, the red sail of my cloak pitches and stretches a flag behind us.
I wonder below how Paradise Island reads this unashamed signal of our affection.
The Amazon's sight us, their cries proclaim our arrival, shouts reverberate around the central complex of buildings, the seat of government, and Diana's sisters run to greet her return.
Our red boots make land fall on the marble paved walk way before the columned façade.
Queen Hippolyta hurries to us with scant regard for protocol, for thought of regal procession, there is something more primal at work here, a mother greeting her daughter, a child returned, safe and sound – released from death.
The two embrace and cry together, cheeks wet where lips press, the air hums with laughter, scented with tears of joy as a wave of emotion rises and falls across the Amazons as one spirit, one nation, a collective consciousness reunited once again with it's heart and passion – Diana.
I stand a lone Patriarch before the divine feminine, and I wait patiently not immune to the emotion of the moment, my isolation is short lived, for Diana's hand reaches back to mine, and draws me to her, to her mother, the Queen. Hippolyta's eyes still brim with tears as she looks into mine, I see around her neck a silver disk mounted on a silver chain, it bears two symbols intertwined, one is a Kryptonian glyph that resembles the letter S, the other is Athena's eagle rendered from WW. If my throat were not already dry, I would have been rendered speechless, that I can still be moved in the midst of this emotional outpouring is testament to the wonder I feel.
This disc is the same one that Diana wore against her heart, this must have been left behind when her body reformed around her reunited soul in Hades. Hippolyta taking the disk from the funeral dais had further inscribed it with her daughters crest alongside mine. Mounting this on a chain and wearing the resulting necklace as a keepsake.
She gestured to the medallion knowing my eyes were now fixed on it. "This shield Superman, I am told means hope, it may have been sacrilegious to cling onto such hope when the gods snatched Diana from us so soon after your triumphal return from the underworld, but I did, we all hoped that you would overcome Olympus.
"Kal-El you have done what I believed in impossible, twice." Hippolyta takes my other hand and holds it to her heart. "You have brought Diana back to us."
"I did not do this alone." I said quietly.
Diana squeezed me closer to her. "You came to Hades with scant thought for your own safety, on Hectates whim."
"I am impetuous – Bruce chides me for it." Diana laughed with me. To Hippolyta I said. "Your Majesty it means a great deal to me, to be accepted by you."
"I cannot fail to give my blessing to one who would face the depths of hell and heights of heaven, and battle the gods themselves."
I learn from the hushed voices that whisper among the crowd that gathers around Diana and me, that our victory in Olympus has been revealed by Hera herself to the Amazons prior to our return. I suspect Zeus finds himself once again on the back foot with his eternally long suffering wife.
I speak to the Queen, conscious now of the assembling Amazons who join us here before the Palace.
"Majesty I am touched beyond words by your gesture, and I can't deny I would have fought any and all for Diana." I looked at my beloved, and she touches my lips with her finger.
"Mother I am can tell you Kal's sword arm is strong, his heart brave, his courage, skill, and dedication won the admiration and favour of Athena herself, but I ask for a blessing not for this, but because you believe me when I say, no one else in all the heavens and all the worlds can please me, can care for me, can love me as Kal does, it is our love Mother that deserves above all else your blessing, because it made all else possible."
Hippolyta closed her eyes and nodded. Then taking our joined hands she said. "No one could doubt the depth of your affection for only a love strong and eternal could withstand the trials you have endured, my blessing is one of joy to see a bond so true and strong."
With the Sun at it's zenith Diana I stood in the arena of Themyscira, both of us were dressed in red silk Chitons, almost indecently transparent. Diana wore a golden veil, a sign of virginity, the colours were for fire, for warmth and light in life. Around us the Amazon's gathered brought together to feast and celebrate our marriage. Hippolyta joined our hands once more and called us man and wife, as she spoke of long life, happiness and of children. Then the skies above us reverberated with the sound of thundering trumpets as Athena and Aphrodite appeared before the assembled Amazons. The goddesses stood either side of Hippolyta who fell to her knee between them, as did her people, the stadium crackled with shifting stance of the Amazons. Only Diana and I remained standing. We had earned that right.
"Diana and Kal-El, Champions of Earth and Olympus, we present you a gift of the gods to seal our bond, to make sure our promises." Athena declared.
Aphrodite extended her hand. "Here I present to you an Obol."
"As do I." Athena acted likewise.
Together as one, Diana and I gasped. The goddesses had brought with them obol's we had made together from the bangle Diana had given me, the one forged with a lock of her hair, and in their hands the silver adamant discs sparkled and transformed into two rings.
"It is the tradition of lovers in this age to exchange rings as a symbol of their love." Aphrodite sang her words with an angelic tone. "So Athena and I give you rings."
Athena gave mine to Diana, and Aphrodite placed the ring for Diana in my hand.
So Diana placed my ring on my finger, and I hers. Only then did I lift her veil and kiss her, and the cheers of the Amazons was like thunder. Then we made haste directly to rooms prepared for us, as is the Ancient Greek tradition, while Diana's sisters sang colourful songs of encouragement to us - the new couple, as they feasted.
Their anthems would have made me blush, echoing as they did across the Island, that is if I hadn't already felt a rush of blood as I lay with my beloved, as our lips met, and we gave way to the passion that had smouldered between us for so long, in an unique union. When the master and mistress of flight meet the earth does not so much move as remain untouched, as we made our own thunder, gravity of no consequence, moving in three dimensions, making the sky high above Themyscira our marital bed, the clouds our covers, the sun our light, vibrating the air around us with shock waves that had a beat of their own. We are one together in a way only we can enjoy, until that moment it is fair to say I have never made love, never experienced the joy of cutting loose in the fullness of my power, and I never dreamed of the ecstasy that having that power met with equal passion and strength. Secure in the knowledge the magical nature of Themyscira meant we were alone and unseen above the earth.
Epilogue part two.
"Hello, I'm Jonny Nevada and I'm your host for this televised special from Washington DC. We're here outside the White house where the President is holding a reception for two of the Justice Leagues finest. As you can see from our pictures the great and the good from Washington are meeting here to toast the happy couple.
"Well Jonny, I'd say they are the finest. I'd hate to imagine the world without them."
"That's true Bob. America – indeed the world is excited to learn Superman and Wonder Woman are officially a couple." Jonny Nevada's long suffering side kick grinned happily.
"Well Jonny, like I said earlier, it's amazing how many people thought they were an item already."
Jonny Nevada nodded seriously, before turning to his other guest.
"That isn't the case is it Miss Lane?" Jonny Nevada asked the former reporter, who for once had forgone her casual attire for a smart suit in lavender, to match her eyes, which didn't wrinkle as she smiled.
Nevada pressed on with his well know brand of warm enthusiasm. "I should say for those not familiar with Metropolis's leading Newspaper the Daily Planet, that Miss Lane is considered the foremost authority on Superman since the Man of Steel made his first appearance over the skies of the big Apricot – isn't that right Miss Lane?"
"I don't know about that Jonny. I'm just lucky to have been close to the action when I was reporter."
"Oh come on Miss Lane – surely your not telling me there wasn't anything between you and Superman, weren't you once called Superman's Girlfriend?"
"That was a lifetime ago Jonny."
"Jonny, we should remind viewers Miss Lane was widowed earlier this year in the terrorist bombing of the Planet News Room."
"Yes we're truly sorry for your loss." Jonny said with a serious expression. Which quickly changed to a more earnest look. "But Lois, you don't mind if I call you Lois, as Editor of the Daily Planet you must have an observation about the happy couple?"
"They have been good friends for some time Mr Nevada. I guess it was always just a matter of time before that friendship evolved into something more."
"But they've been working together for a number of years, Miss Lane. What do you think held Superman back from popping the question?"
"I imagine he had his reasons Jonny..."
"Sorry to cut you off there Miss Lane, but we have confirmation that Superman and Wonder Woman will appear with the President, on the White House Lawn, before flying – under their own power, naturally, to the UN where the delegates their are gathering to honour the couple with a celebration in New York.
Epilogue part three.
"Gentlemen, as the Executive Officer for Homeland Security let me welcome to this meeting the Federal Agency Oversight Committee, while I'm sure you all as the respective heads of your organisations know each other, you may not be familiar with Dr Winters.
The young woman was attractive brunette, and out numbered in a room of middle aged servicemen, gathered in this Washington Bunker, although her tailored grey business suit was appropriate given their own sober uniforms.
"Gentleman." She began. "As you know above us the President is celebrating the de facto Marriage Royal of the two leading superheroes from our own meta-human community. It falls to us to consider all possible threats to United States. Since the Roosevelt administration, that created the Omega Sanction to deal with the possible threat arising from the first masked vigilantes, the need to plan for every eventuality has been recognised by each successive generation. From this first Agency came others notably Checkmate and latterly OMAC. I don't need to remind you of the chequered history of these organisations, but that is not to say they were founded on sound intentions.
"As some of you know this committee's unique remit was first instituted during the Presidency of Lex Luthor who foresaw this possibility that we celebrate today – I direct you to the notes which deal with potential threats arising from this union.
Dr Winters pointed to the file replicated for each member of the committee. The title read 'Project Hyperion'.
"Gentlemen with regard to the Super-Wonder couple, in the words of many an activist over the years – I say with all seriousness – we must consider the children."
Author's note: Well folks there it is, Clark Kent is dead! The never ending battle of course continues - I just want to thank all those who have reviewed this story while it was a work in progress. Especial thanks goes to Superman – Wonder Woman Yahoo Group who encouraged me to expand the 'mini-fic' into a novella. I will thank ahead of time all those who have yet to enjoy and review this story.