You press your hand against Kal-el's chest to find his heart. He's lost in the sweet afterglow, his breaths slowing down against your wet mouth; the familiar unfocused look in his half-lidded eyes tells you that his mind is wiped clean of all thought, leaving only sensation. His flesh is hot beneath your splayed fingers, as if someone had opened his chest and transformed his beating heart into a small bright sun, a solar furnace pounding in time with your own.

Still connected at that most intimate of junctures, legs entwined, his large hand resting on your sweat-slicked hip, you burn everywhere he ends and you begin. Sometimes you think that you're becoming photosynthetic like he is, drawing all your strength and inspiration and power and love from the heat of his stone sun-god skin.

You feel your mouth curving up in a smile against the arch of his parted lips. It's as if the brilliant sun lying tucked under his ribs has ignited your own heart, because you can feel it glowing inside you, and there's really nothing else quite like this sensation. The only thing you want and don't have is a cigarette, but the hot weight of him on your flesh is too beloved to give up.

You're listening to your heart thumping in time with his - you can hear it through your hand, so small on his broad chest - so it takes you a while to become aware that he's murmuring against your lips, barely audible words slurred together. At least, that's what you think it is.

But after you listen for a moment, your heart flips, double-quick - it doesn't sound like any language you've ever heard.

"Is that Kryptonian?" you breathlessly demand.

It takes him a moment to hear you; he's probably listening to your heartbeat, far more effectively than you can listen to his. Then his brow furrows and he blinks. It's funny - he looks more like Clark in moments like this than he does when he's actually trying to.

And he does this a lot.

"Kal-el, don't tell me this is one of those Clark things you do without realizing it!" you protest, laughing at him.

He grins - God, it's the Superman grin, that makes you fall crazy in love with him every time you see it. You're not laughing at him any more as he leans in closer, sliding his hand down your thigh. He's penetrating you with his unearthly gaze just as you are still joined below. Your arms are sliding up of their own accord to wind about his neck as he murmurs:

"Eyudi, asuë jekripyu iy, raoï, eloï, vanaï; d'ahu jesuri etoh..."

His low rumble sends fire curling down your spine. You don't know what the words mean, but they sound lyrical and alien, like an ancient foreign love song, like an exotic poem, like sex -

Oh, God, he's still speaking. You had no idea how powerfully the sound of his birth language would affect you, you haven't really heard it before; you're drenched, he's like hot stone inside you, you're afloat in an ocean of desire, looking into his bluefire eyes, drowning...


You think in English and love in Kryptonian.

Once Lois realizes this...

Well, why not start at the beginning?

The echo of your mother's voice is present in the words as you speak them; you can see in Lois's rapt gaze that your alien accent, the measured Kryptonian cadence and resonant speech of biroï, your parents, always lurking underneath your Midwestern tones, has revealed itself.

Once upon a time you were a child who loved to hear stories of the ancient gods and heroes. The gods no longer existed, for no one was foolish enough to believe in them anymore, but their stories were used as parables to teach children right from wrong. The first story to be taught and the last to be learned, as it was said, was inevitably the story of Love.

Once upon a time the sun, Rao, did not burn. When his flame was kindled - and that is another story - it was magnificent, strong enough to light up the black vault of the sky. The goddess, Yuda, saw him in his newly born glory and loved him instantly. Her eyes, the moons, lit with a pale reflection of his flame and she followed him night and day, as the moons pursue the sun.

Now Rao saw Yuda's beauty, and loved her. Their union created such incandescence that the world, Krypton, was in danger of being consumed by fire. Once they realized this -

"All right, I see where this is going," Lois interrupts, looking heavenward as if to ask why you are so predictable. "Star-crossed lovers, yadda yadda yadda. At least tell me it has a happy ending."

Well, you can't lie to her: Yuda and Rao had to separate for the good of Krypton. Ever since, they have followed each other, always close but never touching, on their path around the world.

Ever since, for that matter, the concept of love was divided into two forms, diametrically opposed to one another. In fact, there were many different words for different types of love, just like (or so you've heard) the Eskimoes have a hundred and ten words for different types of snow -

"I don't need to hear the entire linguistic history of everything all at once, you geek," Lois interrupts again, sticking her sharp elbow in your side. It doesn't hurt, of course, but it's a matter of principle. "Just tell me the important stuff."

Together Rao and Yuda were yudaro, passionately in love, each so consumed by the light of the other that they were blinded to all else. Apart, they were yeddaro, guided by a paradoxically rational love, a self-sacrificing love. Specifically, they were kryptanth yeddaro, ones who loved the world so much that they were able to sacrifice their selfish love for each other in order to protect Krypton.

"It's just like you and me," Lois murmurs, holding onto your hand as if she's afraid that you'll disappear, her gaze troubled and distant. You know without asking that she is remembering the time of Zod.

And how can you disagree? It's as if you and Lois are Rao and Yuda, you a kryptanth yeddarsuffused with power from the sun, she a passionate goddess with a desire for truth and justice that is as bright as the moon.

You don't want to tell Lois the end of the story. It's a sore subject between you and her. But she's looking at you and in the deep black wells of her eyes you can see your own soul intimately entwined with hers. You cannot but submit to this strange and beautiful creature.

Kryptonian language and culture are a quagmire of paradox and double meaning. Love is the best example - on Krypton yud was a shameful desire, the relic of a less rational past; one aspired instead to yed, self-sacrificing reasonable love. Yud has its rewards, of course. You know that better than anyone. But it is dangerous and selfish. You know that, too -

(come to me, superman - come and kneel before ZOD!)

Hatua is the concept of a blessing and a curse intertwined, like two lovers clinging to each other.

Your life and Lois's converged once upon a time, drawn together with magnetic inexorability. Now, together, yuda hataö lives under your skins, and sometimes you can scarcely breathe from its bittersweet taste.

But it's all right. Your story has a happy ending.


"Did Krypton have journalists?" you wonder idly.

You're lying in bed with Kal-el soon after waking up early one Sunday morning, propped up on one elbow, contemplating the dawnlight and shadow from the open window rippling across his naked skin, wondering what it feels like for him. He's staring through the ceiling - you can tell from the little movements of his eyes - watching birds, maybe, you don't really care. You're itching for something to talk about, and Krypton, whose language you have been learning, is on your mind.

Who would he have been, if...?

He doesn't answer. Reluctantly you drag your gaze away from the sun on his abdomen. His face has settled into Superman, reserved but not-quite-tranquil. He looks, you think, a little upset.

"Not really," he says finally. "We would be rukaro kryptanth yeddaro, I guess, people focused on saving the world through public writing. There's no real equivalent, at least according tobiroï," my parents.

You sit up to think about this, tucking your feet under your bare behind and letting the sheet cascade to your thighs. You need to stretch, so you raise your hands to comb your thick, messy hair while stretching your spine until you get a satisfying pop.

You haven't given any thought to what this does to Kal-el until you feel his hand on your hip and you turn toward him, so that his hand slides into the sensitive juncture between your belly and your thigh. His bluefire eyes are locked onto yours, wide and blackening with desire.

Evidently he isn't interested in talking about Krypton right now.

Before you can say anything he rumbles - oh, he knows exactly what his voice, so low as to almost vibrate in your chest, does to you - "Seyud iy, Yuda," Join with me.

Oh God -

By the time you figure out what he's said, what he's called you, you've gone from zero todrenched with a great shuddering gasp, hands twisting helplessly in the sheets. You're desperately aware of the friction on the hot skin of your inner thighs as you shift on your heels, aware of the powerful sprawl of his body next to you; you see his nostrils flare and know that he's smelling your desire, hearing your heart speed up.

Kal-el looks just as startled and aroused as you feel. But you don't care whether he meant to call you Yuda or whether it just slipped out, his goddess, yudar, one who loves the sun, you,you. You can't look away from his brilliantly blue eyes, the eyes of your god, your scent is on the air, his face changes, and you can't stand waiting any more.

You throw yourself at him, pushing him back down as he starts to rise, sliding your hands over his powerful chest and feeling his heart beating wildly. He has you trapped in the circle of his arms faster than you can perceive it, hands wandering up and down your sides, your back, your buttocks, your thighs, heat pressing down on your flesh. You're shifting in an unbreakable steel cage, desperate to receive him.

"Rao," you call him, hoarsely, for if you are his goddess then he is your god, and he sucks in a great gasp of air, leaving you dizzy.

"Lois, Yuda," he moans, and you feel the vibration of his thunder-rumble against your breasts.

You claim his mouth as your own and roll over, pulling him with you, onto you, so that he has to let go. Finally you can spread your legs and hook them around his waist, urging between breaths, "Now, now, goddammit, seyud iy, asari tey," I am yours.

You're pierced, claimed, fulfilled. It's so hard to pull your thoughts together, but you have to remember -

"El," you breathe, stealing his kisses while you try to remember, "el," and then you have it, "elokynyi," my gift from the stars, and his face shifts as if he's about to cry, groaning, "Lois,yudji," and you come forth into each other –