Dinah's body ached, especially around her throat. It felt like someone took a saw to it. Given what happened to her throat, Dinah was amazed to feel anything. She touched her throat, wondering, hoping she could still speak, could still use her siren cry. She briefly remembered waking up after surgery with the doctors. She was told she wouldn't be allowed to speak until her vocal cords healed. Until then, Dinah had a small electronic pad by her bed where she can type and the pad spoke her words.
By her bedside slept Lex. His tall, muscled body struggled to find comfort in the two chairs he slept in. One held up his upper body and the other his legs. He doted over her last night until she pushed him away and made him rest.
It was past eight now. He slept nine hours now. Normally Lex was up at six to go to the gym. Dinah would let him keep sleeping but she knew her husband had to get up.
Dinah gently shove Lex awake with a hand. He opened his eyes jolted from his sleep. "Dinah." He rubbed his face. "Is anything wrong? Do you need anything?"
Dinah typed on her pad and hit the speaker button. "It's almost 8:30am."
"It is?" Lex sat up, pausing to yawn. He didn't think he slept in this late. "I guess I was more exhausted than I thought. Why didn't Gushen come in to wake me?"
Dinah typed on her pad again. "You told your Chief of Staff to not disturb you until you leave the room."
"Oh." Lex vaguely recalled saying that to his Chief of Staff before he left last night. He pushed his long legs to the floor and slid himself from his chair to Dinah's bed. "I have to get going but I have to say this." Dinah noticed his voice wavered. His voice last quivered when he proposed to her. "I was never so scared in my life until I saw you on the floor, bleeding from your throat. I thought I was going to lose you."
Lex's shaky voice nearly moved Dinah to tears. She quickly typed, "It's okay, Lex. I'm going to be fine."
"I know and all this time I worried I may die first. I never thought I would lose you and your job is riskier than mine. I've been so selfish, not giving you what you want, what you deserve."
Dinah was puzzled. What was he saying?
Lex took Dinah's hands away from her pad and gently gripped them in his own. "I kept putting off children and you hated that I did." Dinah's eyes watered. She knew what Lex was suggesting. "As soon as you are well, I want us to try having children."
Dinah didn't need her pad to speak. She threw her arms around Lex to hug and kiss him.
The door unexpectedly opened. Lex and Dinah turned from their celebration to see Chief of Staff Gushen at the door. "Mr. President, I know you wished to not be disturbed but Superman is here."
"Send him in." Lex cheerfully said. He could share the news with his friend as well give Dinah a personal check up with his superior eyes. Superman stepped in the room as the Chief of Staff closed the door behind him. "Clark…" Lex saw his friend wasn't happy. He thought after last night things would be back on track with him and Diana, but Lex got the feeling it didn't go that way. "What happened?"
"Diana went home."
Dinah shook her head in confusion.
"Wha…." Lex didn't understand. Diana wanted to work things out with him. She told him so. Why would she go back to her world? "She left?"
Pain etched across Clark's face as he explained. "Her sister and another hero from her world took her back. Diana is gone and she is not coming back."
Clark wanted nothing more than to stay home and mourn Diana leaving him but he couldn't. The world was recovering from Darkseid's attack. He needed to help in the repairs, in the search for more people who may be missing or trap somewhere. His presence was needed to give people hope, to motivate them to move on from their loss and fear.
I've been selfish for too long. I won't let my feelings, my personal turmoil hold me back from doing what is right. I will never again think of myself when others are suffering.
"Home at last."
Donna was pleased to be back but Diana's feelings were mixed. She felt indifferent being back on her home world she was away from for months. She was also surprised to be in the Watchtower and not the Fortress. She thought she would return to the same spot she was in when she left.
In the room with Diana, Donna and J'onn were Mr. Terrific and Batman. The two were in discussion of another matter when they arrived. Both men stood silent for a moment, shocked at their arrival, shocked at Diana's return no doubt.
"Diana, you're back." Michael crossed the room and hugged Diana. "What happened? Where did you go?"
Donna intervened saving Diana from explaining herself. "Michael, it's been a long trip. We'll debrief you later. Right now, we have to see our mother."
Michael stepped away from Diana. "We can catch up later."
"I'll debrief them," J'onn volunteered to stay back while Diana and Donna go home.
"Fine with me." Donna grabbed Diana's arm. "Come on. Mother has been waiting a long time for you."
Bruce blocked the exit. He had to ask. He had to know. "Was I right?" he asked the question to Donna.
Should've known he would want to know. "Yes, Bruce. You were right." She pushed him aside and pulled Diana out of the room.
"Whoo!" Michael shivered. "Donna looks pissed. Why? I thought she would be happy to have Diana back."
"If circumstances were different, she would be happy," J'onn stated and proceeded to tell Michael and Bruce about his trip.
Once they departed the Watchtower, the sisters flew in the direction of Themyscira. Diana was hesitant to go home. She wanted to make a stop first. "Donna, I want to go to the Fortress."
"If you think I'm gonna let you lock yourself in the Fortress again…" Donna warned.
"No. I want to see Kalex. It's been months and I…I missed my friend."
Donna felt as if Diana slapped her. "You missed him?" He's a robot! I'm your sister and you didn't miss me. "Why? Because he looks like Kal?"
Diana expected Donna to say that. "He was a dear friend to me."
"He's a robot!"
"It doesn't matter!" Diana raised her voice. "He was kind to me. He was there for me."
By your own doing since you shut everyone else out. "He was a replacement Kal until you went to that other world. After that, you didn't give Kalex much thought."
She deserved that for Diana knew that was true. "You can come with me," Diana offered. "After I see Mother, I may not be allowed to leave Themyscira." If Donna was furious with her, Diana couldn't imagine her mother's wrath once she knew everything. "I want to see Kalex and say goodbye to him."
Donna thought Diana was being overdramatic but as long as she came with her…. "Fine."
The Fortress of Solitude
Diana's eyes mist when she saw the home her beloved Kal built. So long. It's been so long. Even though she didn't think about it, she did miss this place. As if knowing its Mistress has returned, the shield around the Fortress of Solitude fell.
Diana didn't miss Donna's snarky retort, "Did you forget telling Kalex to do that?"
Diana's cheeks heated as shame flood her. No, she didn't forget. "I'm sorry, Donna. I was a different person. It must've been difficult trying to access this place once the shield was up."
Donna's response was silence as she flew ahead of Diana to the Fortress.
How long do you plan to stay mad at me, sister? Will you let your anger control you as I let my grief control me?
Upon entering the Fortress, Diana was greeted by Kalex. The robot had no commands to express happiness but Diana knew he was glad to see her. She embraced her friendly robot.
"I've missed you, my friend."
Kalex stood with his arms to his side while Diana embraced him, unsure how to respond. He witness his master Kal-El embraced his wife Princess Diana this way. He never thought he would receive such a response. "Princess, where did you go?"
"Another world, my friend." She broke the hug. "I'm sorry for any mistreatment I gave you in my grief. You didn't deserve it."
Kalex was puzzled. "I received no mistreatment from you, Princess Diana. You gave orders and I followed them. It is in the commands of my Master Kal-El."
"Thank you, my friend. Disregard my previous order and let down the force field whenever my sister or our friends from the Justice League arrive."
"Yes, Princess Diana. You never ate your lunch. I had to get rid of it but I can prepare another lunch for you."
Kalex was too sweet for his own good. "No, thank you. I hate to leave you so soon but I must see my mother."
"Shall I prepare dinner for you, Princess?" Kalex offered, expecting her later.
"No, Kalex. Keep about your duties."
Diana left Kalex's side and rejoined Donna to leave.
"When shall I expect your return?" Kalex called out to her.
Diana turned to Kalex, wondering. Was it possible Kalex had emotions, too? Perhaps he did miss her. She wondered if Kalex was lonely in this Fortress. He was built by Kal to serve him and take care of the Fortress and her, but without them, Kalex had no one. "I don't know, Kalex, but I will try to make it back here as soon as I can."
Hippolyta rushed to her throne room from her office. The skirt of her gown was raised slightly to quicken her pace. Even as she made her way to the throne room, she still couldn't believe the words from Phillipus.
Diana has returned.
What to say to her daughter? What to do? Hug? Keep her distance? Hippolyta last saw her daughter over a year ago at the Feast of Five. The momentous day of creation did nothing to lift her daughter's spirits. She still grieved heavily for Kal-El. Hippolyta never thought confronting her daughter that day would be the last she saw of her.
Hippolyta found Diana sitting alone on dais at Athena's temple. Celebrations of the Feast of Five were going far into the night but Diana's participation ended hours ago. She left the party to take solace in Athena's Temple. Hippolyta stared at her daughter gazing at the bright, full moon in the night sky. The tears on her face weren't discreet.
"I wish I could see you more often, my daughter."
Hippolyta sat beside Diana and studied her. Diana was beautiful as always but there was no mistaken the heartbreak in her eyes.
Why couldn't you have resisted him? You would not be in this pain if you did.
"I'm glad you've returned to attend the Feast of Five, Diana."
"It's my duty."
"Duty?" A sharp eyebrow rose from the queen. "Now see it as a duty to attend the Feast of Five instead a celebration you happily wanted to be a part of since your first memory?" Disappointed, Hippolyta couldn't hold back her criticism. "I must admit surprise you remember the Feast of Five. You've abandoned everything since Kal-El died."
Hippolyta expected an immediate response but didn't get one. Two minutes passed before Diana quietly spoke, "I need some time alone to deal with my lost."
"You've been alone almost two years, Diana. How much more time do you need?"
"Please, Mother," Diana pleaded. "I've not been through anything like this before."
"I've failed you as a parent and as your Queen."
Diana didn't expect that admission from her mother. "Why do you say that?"
"If I taught you better, you wouldn't be mourning so long over a man."
Fire flashed in Diana's eyes. The tone her mother used to describe her late husband was insulting. "That man," she gritted her teeth, "was my husband."
Finally showing some spark. It's better than this pitiful display I've seen of you as of late, daughter.
"Be that as it may but you are my daughter, you are princess of the Amazons. It shouldn't take you this long to get over his death."
"How long did it take you to get over the pain Heracles did to you, Mother?" Diana fired back. "Don't answer. I know. Centuries, Mother. Centuries you and the Amazons let the pain of what men did affect you from revealing yourself to the outside world. At least give me a little more time to get over the death of a man who actually cared for me."
Diana flew away after that and it was the last time Hippolyta saw her daughter.
Hippolyta pushed the gold, marbled doors open. Time moved slowly as Diana turned to the opening doors and froze at her mother's arrival. Hippolyta no doubt mirrored her daughter's expression as the doors fell shut behind her. She vaguely recalled Donna in the room but Hippolyta only focused on Diana.
Diana held her breath. "Mother."
Mother and daughter didn't move as they stared at one another; both were hesitant in stepping forward, afraid of what the other would say, afraid of rejection. Neither was sure who took the first step but soon they were walking to each other and embracing in the middle of the room.
Hippolyta gripped her daughter tightly, not wanting to let go. She held back her tears while Diana freely shed them.
"Welcome home, Diana."
Home. In a sense, she was home. This world was her home. She grew up on this island and yet, she felt being with Clark was home.
Hippolyta parted from Diana to study her. She touched her hair, her face, her arms, making sure her daughter was really standing before her. She looked different. Her eyes no longer look of death and sorrow but of life, renewal. Did that other world do what Themyscira could not, Diana? "It's so good to have you back. Where have you been? You look different. As if life has returned to you."
Diana was pleased the first words from her mother weren't a cutting remark. "It's what you told J'onn and Donna. I had to find myself again."
Hippolyta embraced Diana again. "And so you have." She finally took notice of Donna, not looking pleased at the reunion. "Donna," Hippolyta parted from Diana again, "What's the matter? You appear angry. Aren't you happy Diana is back with us?"
"No, she's not," Diana interceded. "It's my fault."
"Why do you say that?"
"While Donna was on different Earths looking for me, I forgot about everyone and started a new life with a man name Clark."
"Clark?" Hippolyta faltered. The mention of Clark's name was symbolic to that of a knell. "But wasn't that….
"Yes, Mother." Hippolyta's ashen face took Diana by surprise. "He looks like Kal but he is not him." Diana braced herself for her mother's reaction. "And I fell in love with him."
Hippolyta's heart dropped. "You fell in love with him and you left him?"
"Yes." As painful as it was, she admitted it. "I had to leave. I had to return to my world. Leaving Clark, his world, was one of the biggest challenges I've faced and I succeeded."
The worry Hippolyta felt building in her, wilted away. This news pleased Hippolyta. "And so you have. You have grown up, my daughter. You are a true Amazon."
"Thank you, Mother, and now that I am back, I think it's time I return to the world as Wonder Woman again."
"So soon?" Hippolyta had trouble accepting that announcement. "But you've just returned to us."
"I know and it's time I resume my duties again. I've learned so much about myself in my time away and I should share that knowledge with the rest of the world."
Three Years Later
The people of Earth were pleased to see Wonder Woman return. Males and some females were even more pleased to see Wonder Woman returning to her patriotic swimsuit uniform. Her appearances weren't on the battlefield as many expected but behind the scenes. Wonder Woman became teacher to the newest and current members in the Justice League. She sharpened the fighting skills of the younger members and taught how to work through violent situations with words and not fists. She shared her diplomacy skills with nations and worlds without mistakenly inciting a war. As ambassador, she dove into humanitarian work: rebuilding cities and homes wiped out in natural disasters, teaching the Amazon peaceful ways and sisterhood to women in rural, uneducated countries.
While the work was rewarding and fulfilling to her soul, a part of Diana still wondered and thought of Clark. How was he handling the world on his shoulders? Was he going on space missions? Was Earth attacked again? Did he have someone else? When she lingered on Clark too much, Diana pushed the thoughts aside and continued with her work. Thinking of Clark wouldn't change anything. They couldn't see each other again.
Diana touched down at the Embassy. She spent the day helping a Chilean village that was nearly wiped out by mudslides. She didn't stop by the Watchtower to shower. She decided to do that at the Embassy since she had to get ready for a dinner her sister Mara was hosting that evening.
Greta, her advisor, greeted Diana when she arrived. "Cutting it close, Princess," Julia teased. "Mara's dinner doesn't start until an hour from now."
Diana stepped into her bedroom. "I'll be fashionably late."
Greta chuckled, "It's good to see you have your sense of humor back." She studied the blue even gown that hung on a mannequin. Diana would look beautiful in it as she always did in anything she wore but she didn't have anyone to show their appreciation of her in her gown.
"Diana, have you thought of attending these social functions with a date?"
Diana stood at her bathroom door. She wondered when Greta would ask that question. Diana noticed the looks in Greta's eyes and many guests whenever she attended a social function.
She gave the answer she always gave. "I don't need the company of a man when I go out, Greta, and I'm not solo. I have my sisters."
"I know but you were once married to a man. You don't miss that company? Superman has been gone for five years."
No one other than Hippolyta, Donna, the Amazons and a few select members of the Justice League knew of Clark and Diana intended to keep it that way. Diana was happy with her work and didn't need a man to keep her company. Besides, she had two great loves in her life with Kal and Clark. Many women had one great love. Some had none. The fact she had two was enough for Diana.
"No, Greta. I'm happy with my life now."
Greta accepted that answer even if she didn't entirely believe it. "Oh, your mother contacted the Embassy while you were out. She wants to see you after the dinner."
Diana and her mother were on better terms now but Diana couldn't help but wonder why her mother urgently requested to see her when she saw her yesterday. Something was up.
"You wish to see me, Mother."
Hippolyta took note of her daughter in her evening gown as she left the library. "Yes, but I didn't expect you to come after your dinner."
"I was told it was urgent."
And it was but Hippolyta thought she had another day before speaking with Diana. "I was going to retire for the night. We'll talk in my room."
Diana followed her mother to her bedroom. Going to her bedroom instead of talking in the hall indicate to Diana her mother wanted to keep the conversation private. Diana wondered if her mother wanted to speak of her relationship with Donna.
In their own way, the sisters made up but they weren't as close as they used to be. Diana wondered if her mother wanted to intervene in that.
However, as mother and daughter sat on the divan, Diana learned that was not the case.
"I've come to a decision, Diana. It was something I thought long and hard on. I even discussed this with Donna and she wasn't pleased with my decision."
"Decision on what?"
"Diana, you have to go back."
Diana knew what her mother was saying. There was only one place Diana would go back to. "Back to Clark's world?"
"Yes. When you were gone, I told Donna you need to be away from us to find yourself again and you will return to us. I was wrong again."
"But you weren't wrong, Mother. I did find myself again and came back."
Hippolyta shook her head. "Yes, because of that world, because of Clark. I think you need to see him again."
"I don't understand why you are saying this."
"I can't deny the fact you've changed for the better because of Clark and I also can't deny how wrong you two were pulled away from each other." The Queen of Themyscira sighed. "Perhaps, I am trying to make up for my own behavior towards Kal-El." When Diana returned, Hippolyta confessed her thoughts on Diana's marriage to Kal. She expected her daughter to hate her and yet she didn't. Diana forgave her but Hippolyta couldn't shake the guilt. "Your relationship should have ended on your own terms. It didn't. You need to see Clark one more time. See if anything is still there. If not, then come home. If there is something, then you should pursue it."
"Mother, I….." Diana was at a loss for words. Could she really see Clark again? She squelched her excitement. "No, I can't. As much as I want to see Clark again, I can't. I have responsibilities here."
"Responsibilities you can easily handover to someone else. You're already doing so. You're teaching the newest heroes. You're sharing humanitarian work with other Amazons who are ambassadors. You haven't been active in years. Not in the way you were before Kal-El's death." Hippolyta slid closer to her daughter to put a sympathetic arm around her daughter. "You still have unresolved feelings for Clark." It was a statement. Not a question. "You want to see him again."
"Yes, I do," Diana freely admit, "But it's been three years. Clark's moved on."
"You don't know that for sure. I know you don't want to open these emotions for Clark again but you have to just this once." Diana found this difficult but so did Hippolyta for it meant she risk losing her daughter. "If there's a chance, go for it. If not, then you have your closure. I rather you know than have you wondering forever."
"And if there is a chance for Clark and I…" Diana knew this wasn't a decision to make lightly. "What about you?"
The answer was simple for Hippolyta. "Then it will take me longer to see you."
Diana embraced her mother, grateful for her blessing. "Mother. Thank you."
"So, you are going back?"
It was the following morning when Donna confronted her sister. Donna knew of the conversation Hippolyta had with Diana beforehand and she wasn't pleased.
Diana turned from her packing to see Donna standing in the doorway. She turned back and resumed packing her small traveling bag. She wasn't bringing much; just enough for two days. "Yes. My intent is to visit Clark and see how he is doing."
"Mother told me what she is doing for you."
Diana placed a shirt in her bag, waiting for Donna's sharp tongue. "Are you going to give me a lecture on what I'm about to do, Donna?"
Diana was glad for that. Things have been strained between the sisters. They talked mostly about their work, hardly about anything personal. Diana extended the olive branch but Donna would resist. This time, Donna wouldn't.
Diana turned to Donna again. "It's time we resolve this. It's gone on too long. Can you ever forgive me for what I did?"
"You did the one thing I never thought you would do, Diana. You disappointed me. I was disappointed you crippled yourself after Kal's death. You shut everyone out. Including me." That bothered Donna more than anything. How could Diana shut her out? "We've always been close. Nothing got between us but Kal did."
"You mean his death."
Donna shook her head. "Not just his death. Him. For as long as I can remember it's always been us together. Then you left for Patriarch's world." She paced as she gathered her thoughts. "I didn't see you as much because mother thought I was too young to leave. I was only fourteen when you left. Mother said, 'I have one daughter out there. I didn't need another.' You always came home often but when you started a relationship with Kal, everything changed. You were spending more time with him and less time here on Themyscira.
"I know how this sounds, Diana. I wasn't jealous." She wanted to make that clear. "I was happy for you but I still missed my sister. When I was allowed to come to Patriarch's world, I thought I would see you more but I didn't. Any free time you had, you spent with Kal and it got worse when you married him. I hardly saw you and when he died, you shut us all out, including me." Donna stopped pacing. She stood her ground in front of Diana. "How could you do that?"
For a moment, Diana didn't answer. She soaked in what Donna told her. Donna was right in everything. They were very close sisters. They were always together growing up. She shared her intimate thoughts of Patriarch's world, shared her crush of Kal only with Donna, but when she started her relationship with Kal, going home, spending time with her sister wasn't as important. "I was blind. Selfish."
"You turned into a person I didn't recognize or admire. I thought you'd change with Kal's death but when I found you in Clark's arms, I saw that you hadn't and I couldn't take it anymore."
Diana wanted nothing more at that moment than to embrace Donna and apologize over and over for her behavior but she wasn't sure of her sister's reception. So, she kept her arms to herself. "I'm sorry. I don't know how many ways I can say it for you to believe me but I truly am. Is there any way for us to get past this? Hasn't these three years prove I've changed?"
"It has," Donna admitted. Seeing her sister as mentor to the newest Justice League members, comforting women who lost their husbands and family members through war and sickness, her humble behavior to her and the Amazons were among many cases in Diana's favor that proved she grew up. "But I think mother is wrong. You don't have to go back to that world."
"The chances of Clark and I having a relationship now is next to impossible. It's been three years. I'm sure Clark has moved on. I'm going back for closure, Donna."
"Some relationships don't end in closure. You deal with how it ends and move on. You don't have to see Clark again."
There was something in Donna's voice. Desperation perhaps? Pleading? It made Diana suspicious. "You're afraid of me going back. Why?"
Silenced passed between the sisters. Diana stared at Donna, waiting for an answer. Donna's face was masked of any emotion but Diana was a sharper poker player and whenever the two had staring contests as children, Diana always won. Donna wasn't going to beat her at this.
"Hmph," Donna cracked a smile. "You have returned. I wonder if you were this sharp five years ago."
"My heart was broken but my instincts have always been sharp."
"I suppose it was." With Diana seeing through her, Donna thought it was time to fess up her fears. "What if Clark is waiting for you?"
"Is that what you're afraid of? That I will go back and forget you all again?"
Donna's voices wavered, "And never return."
There was a chink in Donna's tough armor. Diana understood now and her heart went out to her sister. She approached her sister and placed a gentle hand on Donna's shoulder. "Oh, Donna, that's not possible. Even by some slim chance, Clark and I reunite, I won't be gone forever. The transit device allows me to return whenever I like. Thanks to the Kal you and J'onn met, more transit devices can be built. I can come back anytime and you can see me anytime."
"But it won't be the same."
Diana braced her sister. It was the first time in years the sisters have done so. To her relief, Diana felt Donna relax and embraced the hug. "Some things change but you are getting ahead of yourself. I'm only going to visit. I'll be gone a day or two tops. No matter what happens, this Diana before you is here to stay."
"I hope so because I love my sister and I never want to lose her again."
Diana stroke Donna's hair in sister affection. "I love you, too, Donna."
Diana stood in the middle of a corn field. She had her bag slung over her shoulder and the transit device in her hand. She realized she was back in the same spot when she arrived three years ago.
She saw the familiar Kent home in the distance. The barn was a few yards away from the home.
Is he home?
It was possible. Clark rose at dawn to get started on his farm work and the sun was peeking over the horizon. Diana's heart pounded in anticipation. Was Clark home? Was someone living with him? A girlfriend? A wife? A child?
If it is, so be it. I only want Clark to be happy.
Diana chose not to fly. She didn't want to rush. She wanted to savor every moment here and so took her time walking through the field.
Something triggered his alarm.
Even in his fields where the food grew, alarms were hidden, triggering the presence of any unrecognizable individuals. The hidden sensors scanned the intruder and sent the image to a computer on a wall in his home and barn. Clark was in the latter. Nowadays he couldn't take a chance and ignore the alarm, thinking it was a stray animal or nosy paparazzi.
Clark opted not to look at the image on the wall but through the steel doors of his barn to see who his unwelcomed intruder was. The pail in his hand slipped from his fingers. The chicken feed spilled on the ground. The chickens at his feet scrambled to the feed while Clark walked out of the barn as if in a trance.
It couldn't be. He had to be mistaken.
Clark went to the edges of his cornfield. He saw through the thick ears of corn, his heart bumping wildly when he saw her.
Diana was walking through his field, wearing a white Grecian gown, looking like an angel in the morning light.
He blinked, then rubbed his eyes. He still didn't believe what he was seeing. "Diana."
Diana's gaze met his as she stepped out of the field. She smiled as she stopped only at arm's length from him. "Hello, Clark."
Clark extended a hand to touch her face but stopped himself, afraid Diana would disappear and fade into the wind. Diana grasped his hand in hers and he knew in that moment it wasn't a mirage but really Diana.
As if reading his mind, she said, "I'm real, Clark."
Clark looked at their joined hands astonished and then at her face. "Diana. How?"
"My mother has allowed me to return…..for a visit." She added the last not wanting to get her hopes up.
He sounded hopeful but Diana couldn't think that meant anything positive for them. He could be happy to see a friend again. "I told her I would return in a two days." Unable to help herself, Diana threw herself into his arms and hugged him. "It's so good to see you."
Diana felt Clark slowly enclosed his arms around her. "I feel the same way."
"There's so much to say…" they both said together.
"You first," Clark insisted.
"I'm on your world. You first."
"Okay. It's my world and I am the host and I insist tell you me what you've been up to then I'll share my life here."
Diana knew Clark's game. He wanted to know what she has been doing before he shared what he has been doing. "You win."
Clark took Diana's bag. He noticed the transit device in her hand. "You… did you know you forgot the transit device you brought here?"
Clark turned away going to his home. Diana followed him. "Yes. I didn't realize it until after I was back. What did you do with it?"
"Hal and I tinkered with it to see if we can get it working properly. We did."
Diana grasped his wrist, stopping him in his tracks. She stared at him. "It's working?"
"Yeah," he said as if it wasn't a big deal. "Hal found extra parts for it off world. We have it configured to access the other Earths." Diana's eyes widened slightly. "No, we didn't travel to your Earth. We haven't been to many Earths honestly. Just three to test the device. We agreed it should be used when necessary."
Clark went to his door and held it open for her. "It'll be safer to talk inside. I still get visits from nosy tourists and paparazzi. I have an image distorter around my home but the cameras are getting more advanced that I am only one step ahead of them for so long. I'm studying the crystals for some Kryptonian technology to permanently deal with the problem."
If she had more time, Diana could help Clark. She knew a lot about Kryptonian technology thanks to Kal.
In his home, Diana was subtle as she looked for feminine touches in the living room, pictures on the fireplace mantle, the walls, and the coffee table. Nothing stood out except for a yellow blanket she spotted on the couch. Children toys, a stuffed bear and children books cluttered the couch. On an end table besides the couch was a framed photo of Clark holding a little girl in his arms. Who was she?
"Sorry for the mess," Clark apologized as he placed Diana's bag on the sofa. He sat next to it and patted an empty spot for Diana. "So, tell me what you have been doing?"
Diana preferred to talk about the child in the picture but put her wants on hold. She told Clark of her three years on her world; her job as Ambassador, being mentor to Justice League members and reconnecting with the people she cut off in her grief.
"I can vouch for your job as mentor, Diana. You were a great one for me." He paused as if choosing his words carefully. "I think it's great you have returned to the world. I'm sure Kal would've wanted that. I'm sure the people like that to. You must be very happy with the work you are doing." He teased her. "Did you bring your uniform?" he peeked in her bag. "I wouldn't mind seeing that."
Diana shoved him, laughing. "No. You've seen me naked. Why would you want to see me in my original uniform?"
"It sounds like a sexy uniform. Swimsuit and boots."
"Enough about me." Diana wanted to divert the conversation from her uniform. She wanted to know about Clark and the girl in the picture. "Tell me what's going with you and the Justice League?"
"Uncle Clark, I'm hungry."
Clark turned his head while Diana's eyes gazed behind him to the girl in the photo. She was sitting on top of the stairs with her chubby hands on the bars of the stairs.
Clark left his seat and went to the bottom of the stairs. He rest a hand on the banister and kindly looked up at the little girl smiling down at him. "Good morning. What is the proper greeting you give when you wake up?"
The little girl smiled shyly. "Good morning, Uncle Clark."
Clark returned the smile. "You're up early. How did you sleep?"
"Good. Can you make me breaffast?"
"Breakfast. Yes, I will, but I want you to meet a friend of mine first. Come on down."
The little girl stood. She placed her hands on the staircase and took her time coming down the stairs. Diana studied Clark. His eyes were soft and very loving as he stared at the little girl. Diana wondered if she was his child. If she was, who was the mother?
When the little girl reached the bottom of the stairs, Clark took the little girl's hand and walked her to the sofa where Diana waited. The girl looked cute in her sleeping gown. She pushed back a lock of sleep tousled shoulder length brown hair that fell over her face. Her hazel eyes bore into Diana's as she stared at the Amazon curiously while clinging to Clark.
"This is the biggest change in my life, Diana," he said so proudly. "Meet Alexis. She is two years old, Lex and Dinah's daughter and my goddaughter. Alexis, say hello to my friend, Diana."
"Hi," Alexis shyly smiled at Diana.
"Oh, Clark. That's wonderful." Clark was a godfather. That was amazing. What was even more amazing, Lex had a child with Dinah!
Clark ruffled Alexis' hair. "I love spending time with her. We had the whole day together yesterday, but I have to take her back to her parents later this morning."
"Breaffast?" Alexis requested.
"Yes, I will make you breakfast." Together, they walked to the kitchen. He stopped to turn back to Diana. "Do you want anything?"
Diana got up and followed them. "I ate before I got here."
Diana sat at the kitchen table while Clark stood close to Alexis as she climbed into her chair. When she was safely in her chair, he went about the pantry and refrigerator gathering food for breakfast.
"Will you blur?" Alexis asked Clark.
"You want me to blur breakfast?" Clark laughed, knowing she loves that.
Alexis threw her hands up. "I love the blur!"
"You know what you have to do before I blur."
Alexis recited her alphabets from A to Z. It was something she was taught by her Daddy and her Uncle Clark. She always said it in the morning before breakfast.
"Perfect." And as promised, Clark blurred around the kitchen. Alexis giggled in delight at Clark's fast movements. Diana noticed Clark wasn't moving at top speed but slowing down enough for her and Alexis to see what he was doing.
It took him ten minutes in what it would take a human over an hour to prepare. On the table were two juice cups. One with freshly squeezed orange juice and the other with milk, a bowl of handmade oatmeal with smashed bananas and nuts and an apple cinnamon muffin cut into four smaller pieces.
"Thank you," Alexis smiled at Clark.
Clark kissed Alexis on top her head. "You're welcome. Enjoy breakfast while my friend and I talk."
Alexis nodded as she put a spoonful of oatmeal in her mouth. Diana rose from the table and joined Clark at the sink. "She's a very mature child. Very well mannered. How old is she?"
"Two and with her parents, it's expected. Lex was a bright child and Alexis inherited that. Lex started on Alexis education after she turned one. Dinah prefers not to push her learning skills but Alexis is adapting very easily."
"And you?" Diana teased with an elbow to his ribs. "You're not educating her?"
Clark smiled bashfully. "I may have had some influence. It's fun teaching her. Having Alexis around is like having my own child."
Diana knew what Clark was thinking. She thought the same thing. Could they have children of their own? She and Kal never got a chance to find out. Was there a chance for her and Clark.
Noticing she was dwelling on the topic too long, Diana cleared her throat. "How are Lex and Dinah balancing parenthood?"
"Pretty good. Lex won reelection. It was a landslide again. Dinah has taken a backseat from her heroics until Alexis is older but she still sits in on the meetings."
"How about Bruce, Selina and Helena?" Before she left, she found out about Helena's injuries and wondered how she was faring.
Thinking of what the three went through these years was sobering. He kept his voice low so Alexis didn't hear them. "Helena's wounds have healed and with the plastic surgery she's had, you wouldn't think she every suffered third degree burns but she's not in top physical form as before. She's still part of the Justice League but stays at the base, coordinating the jobs. I know she wants to be back in the field but she's not physically there yet. Bruce rather Helena quit heroics altogether but he knows Helena won't quit."
"I hope Bruce isn't blaming himself for what happened to his sister."
Clark stared surprised Diana would say that. "He is. How did you know?" Then he knew the answer. "Bruce in your world?" Diana nodded. "Bruce has become darker. He fights crime more seriously. Sometimes I think he goes too far when he interrogates criminals from skyscrapers. At one point, he and Selina separated because he was more focused on criminals than his marriage but they reconciled."
It saddened Diana to see Bruce turning more into the Bruce from her world. Some things don't change.
Clark grinned as he thought of his friend. "He's still Hal and he's a lot of fun. We go on space missions together. I've seen a lot of places thanks to him."
Diana noted Clark, Hal and Lex were good friends while Clark and Bruce were more of an acquaintance than best friends as Kal and Bruce were. Having Hal as close friend instead of Bruce was an interesting dynamic. Diana couldn't help but wonder how much of an influence Hal had on Clark.
"Dick, Zatanna's husband is a part time member of the Justice League," Clark added. "After tangling with parademons, he was inspired to fight alongside his wife. His hero name is Nightwing."
"Any other changes?"
Diana expected Clark to talk about himself now but he did not.
"Well, not long after you left, Lex ordered Kalibak off Earth to Oa. He didn't want to take another chance bringing Darkseid's forces back. On route, Kalibak was taken and captured by Darkseid's forces."
Diana wasn't surprised. "So, Darkseid took Kalibak back and abandoned Orion."
Clark nodded. "I guess he was running out of forces or maybe he thought Kalibak would be easier to control than Orion. He didn't take it well."
"Orion?" Diana guessed.
Clark confirmed with another nod. "Orion knew his days were numbered and Darkseid would be gunning for him so he turned to me for help."
Diana's mouth fell open. "He…what?"
"Orion wanted to cut a deal with the Justice League. He will help us defeat Darkseid and in return we leave him alone."
"But Orion attacked this planet. He murdered John, the guards on Devil's Island, broke out his brother who is as dangerous as he and is responsible for so much death, pain and suffering on Earth and other worlds."
Clark knew that and it bothered him as much as Lex on their decision in dealing with Orion. "It wasn't an easy choice but Lex agreed."
Diana recalled the anger on Hal's face whenever he mentioned Orion. "I can't imagine Hal being too happy about that."
"He wasn't but Orion's the lesser of two evils. Darkseid was a bigger threat and when he struck last year, Orion held up his part of the deal. Darkseid was ruthless. He released a virus that sickened half the world before Orion, Mr. Perfect and I could create a cure. Three-fourth of the Legate was put out of commission by the virus. I wasn't affected because I am Kryptonian. Darkseid's next wave came from his parademons, his soldiers and himself. We fought back and won but we lost one-fourth of the world's population because of him."
"Did Kalibak return to the fight?"
"Yes. He was killed by Orion."
"Was Darkseid killed by Orion, too?"
Clark shook his head. "No. Orion and I put Darkseid in the Source Wall. Hopefully, he will remain there."
"And what is Orion doing now?"
"Orion rules Apokolips. So far he is a man of his word and he hasn't invaded Earth or other worlds. I hope he is changing for the better but I'm no fool. I am keeping an eye on him."
A sense of pride rose in Diana. Clark matured so much, even greater than she imagined in their time apart. The pull to him was magnetic. She wanted to tell him how she felt, what her mother told her but she held back. She didn't know about his personal life. If he met someone else. If….
"Uncle Clark, I'm finish."
Alexis startled Diana. While Diana shook her head, clearing her thoughts, Clark was at Alexis side. "You ate all your food. Good." He took her dishes and carried them to the sink. "I'll take you upstairs for your bath and back home to your parents."
"But I want to stay," Alexis whined.
Clark chuckled. "I know I'm fun to be around but your parents miss you."
"I'll clean up," Diana volunteered. "Take care of Alexis."
Clark appreciated that. "Thank you." Clark went back to Alexis and plucked her from her seat. "Come on. Let's get you clean up."
It didn't take long for Clark to give Alexis her bath, dress her and pack her things. When they returned downstairs, Diana cleaned up the kitchen and tidy up the living room where Alexis' books and toys were.
Clark came downstairs with Alexis in his arms. She was dressed neatly in jeans, shirt and a light jacket with a hood to keep her warm during the flight. Diana noticed Clark had changed as well. He was dressed in his working uniform with Alexi's night bag slung over a shoulder.
Diana saw the love and closeness in Clark and Alexis. She held him tightly with her arms around his neck and her head resting against him. Clark held her as if she was his most precious cargo. To share a child with him would be the most wonderful thing. "Looks like you're ready to go. I didn't interrupt your time with her with my sudden arrival, did I?"
"Oh, no," Clark assured her. "Alexis was only staying for a day. I'll drop her back home and be back as soon as I can."
"I can come with you," Diana offered. "We can talk on the way back."
Clark stopped at the door. "No. You're only here for a short time and if anyone catch a glimpse of you…"'
"I understand." Diana couldn't help feeling a little disappointment. "I'll wait for your return."
"Say goodbye to Diana, Alexis."
Alexis waved, "Bye, Di…ana." She pronounced the name carefully. Saying her alphabets were easy. Putting them together as words and saying it was a little tougher for the two-year-old.
"Bye, Alexis." Diana stood by the door, watching Clark take flight with Alexis gently cradled in his arms. She eagerly waited for his return.
"There's my little girl!" Lex greeted his daughter with open arms as Clark handed her daughter to father.
With Dinah busy hosting a White House luncheon, Lex was the one to greet Clark and Alexis in the Rose Garden. Lex kissed his daughter's cheek in greeting. "I've missed you. Did you have fun with your Uncle Clark?"
Alexis eyes sparkled. "We played games. I rode a horse. I fed the animals in the barn. Uncle Clark read me stories. I met Uncle Clark's friend. She's pretty."
"She?" Lex was amused. He looked to Clark to explain. "I didn't know you had a lady over. Helladia?"
Clark shook his head. "No, it wasn't Helladia. Diana. Diana's back."
The smile faded from Lex's face. "Diana?" He knew the pain his friend felt when Diana left. The hurt. He couldn't imagine what was going through his mind now. "When did she come back?"
"She was walking in the corn fields this morning." Lex could see Diana's arrival rattled Clark. "I couldn't believe it. I still can't believe it."
"Is she back for good?"
Clark shook his head. "Only for two days. She's waiting for me."
As serious as the situation was, Lex found humor in his friend's dilemma. "You're afraid to go back?"
"No!" Clark answered quickly. "I'm not sure what to do. I know she's anxious to know what I've been doing."
"Then tell her. Diana's only back for two days, Clark. Enjoy the time you have and guard your heart. No sense getting close to Diana only to have your heart ripped out again."
"That's the problem," Clark muttered under his breath.
Lex studied his friend for a moment. He then signaled one of his Secret Service agents to him. He handed Alexis and her overnight bag to him. "Ben, take Alexis in the house. I need to talk to my friend. Alexis," he tapped his daughter's nose. "Be good until I get back."
Lex kissed Alexis forehead and she was off with Agent Ben to the White House. Lex turned back to his friend. "Okay. What's going on?"
With the two alone, Clark held released the feelings he was holding in since he saw Diana. "I'm still attracted to her, Lex."
Lex saw nothing wrong in that. "Well, that's to be expected, Clark. Diana is a very beautiful woman. You were in love with her."
"I know," he closed his eyes remembering Diana's face, the touch of her hand on his. "When I saw her, when she touched me, the feelings came back. It's maddening. I wanted nothing more than to make love to her again. If Alexis wasn't there, it might've happened." He sighed heavily, frustrated with himself. "I thought I was over her. I dated other women on Earth and beyond. When I met Helladia, I fell in love again. I was so happy. For a while, I was worried I couldn't get pass Diana and when Helladia came along, I did."
Clark shoulders slumped, "It's like Diana never left. It's like the other women didn't matter. It's as if it was only Diana."
"Diana made a big impact on your life, Clark. Bigger than any woman you've encountered. You can't forget that. You can't ignore that. You can only embrace it."
"You're right. That's all I can do." He chuckled. "I guess I needed to hear that."
"So, what are you going to do?"
"Let the chips fall where they may."
And with that, Clark departed the White House and flew home to Diana.
Clark was gone longer than Diana expected. She killed time in Clark's barn feeding the animals in an attempt to keep busy. "Maybe I shouldn't have come back. I know I shocked him but he seemed distant with me. I thought he would be happy to see me."
Diana rubbed the mane of a horse with one hand while feeding him three big carrots from a bucket of carrots and chopped lettuce. Diana chuckled at how quickly the horse was eating. "Oh, you're very hungry, aren't you?" She picked up two more carrots. "You rather eat than listen to my thoughts." She got her answer when the horse ate the other carrots. "If I were you, I would think the same thing."
A gust of wind breezed into the room, ruffling Diana's hair and the skirt of her dress. She turned away from the horse and saw Clark entering the barn. "I thought I'd find you here. Sorry I was gone longer than expected. I take extra care when flying with Alexis and Lex and I were talking…"
"I understand. No need to explain."
Silence again. Neither was sure who should speak first.
Clark did. "So, you wanted to know what I've been doing."
Diana smiled shyly as she brushed a lock of hair behind her ear. "Yes."
Clark picked up the bucket and fed the remaining vegetables to his horse. "I'm still a farmer here. Living more comfortably than usual."
"I've gotten more business. The White House buys my crops. So do some members of Congress. Even celebrities." Clark took the empty bucket and placed it on a hook on the wall. He went over to the sink and cleaned his hands. "I still serve local restaurants and grocery stores in Smallville but it's fun to broaden my services. As crazy as this sounds, I'm getting so busy as Superman, I almost don't have time for my farm work. I may have to build a robot." He turned off the sink and dried his hands with a hand towel. "Crazy, right?"
"Not really. Kal has Kalex to keep watch of the Fortress."
"Really? You have to tell me more about that. Anyway, I have been elected leader of the Justice League. I'm kind of uncomfortable with the role as leader but it's a job I have to do. I've travelled to other worlds, too." Clark scratched the back of his head curious of Diana's reaction. "I met the Maxima of this universe." Clark wished he could take a picture of Diana's face. It was priceless. "Initially, she was sweet."
Diana was dumbfounded. "Maxima sweet? Clark, those two words don't go together."
"Well, it did for her. After our third date, she became forceful and grew angry when I resisted her sexual advances."
"I've no qualms of you dating, Clark, but Maxima?"
Clark shrugged. "She wasn't the only one. I've dated women on Earth: models, actresses, ambassadors. Dinah even set me on a blind date with Lois Lane. None of them panned out but we all ended on good terms. Hal introduced me to a few alien women. We got along well."
"You slept with them," she said bluntly. Clark squirmed. "It's been three years, Clark. We agreed to move on."
Clark nodded but still felt uncomfortable talking about it and he had to. "I know, but there's only been one other woman. Helladia. She's a physician on the world Trinidia. Hal was called in from Oa to assist in a cataclysmic disaster. I volunteered my services and we met. She's very beautiful, smart, and very sweet with a fiery temper."
"We dated for a year and we both wanted to make our relationship permanent." Clark wistfully thought of Helladia. If only…. "Helladia couldn't leave her world and I couldn't leave mine so we ended it."
Diana laid a hand on his back. "I'm sorry." Though she wanted Clark, she didn't want him to suffer heartbreak.
"It was a good lesson for me." He gazed at Diana. "I won't be crippled by relationships that end."
And Diana was grateful for that. She didn't want Clark to fall in the pit she did when she lost Kal. "So, there's no one now? What about Lila? She was very persistent with you."
"Lila finally gave up on me thankfully. She remarried a year ago and moved from Smallville. I'm glad for her but there isn't anyone else. You?"
Diana shook her head. "No. I am content being with myself now."
"As long as you are happy," Clark told her. "Um, I told Lex you are here. Do you want to meet the others?"
"No. I'm here to spend time with you." Diana hoped she was making herself clear as she gazed at Clark. "I only came back to see you. Not them."
Clark swallowed. It was going to be a long two days.
Throughout the day, Clark and Diana swapped stories of their lives over the past three years. Clark kept his physical distance from Diana, knowing what a touch from her would do to him. It was an inner battle he fought but found himself losing as the day went on.
It felt as if Diana never left. The chemistry between them only grew stronger in their time apart. Clark wondered if it had to do with them being more confident in each other. Diana was back to the woman she was before she lost Kal, which Clark found even more desirable and Clark gained more confidence in himself and his abilities over the three years.
Enjoy the time together but guard your heart Lex told him. Clark couldn't do both. It was impossible. He would lose his heart to Diana again. When evening came, they flew to the Fortress for dinner and tour of the new additions to his home. However, Clark knew the moment he and Diana arrived at the Fortress, there was no turning back. Clark fought his desires, but when he took Diana to her room at the end of the night, the last of his resolve disappeared. He wanted Diana.
Diana entered her room unaware of Clark's inner turmoil. "Wow. You kept it the… Ah. You added a window."
Clark grinned. "Not just any window." While Diana marveled at the view of a clear night in the Arctic, he marveled her. "I've made some modifications. You can see the outside but anyone flying over will see Arctic ice."
"I see you took a second look at those crystals," she quipped. "It's so pretty tonight."
He stood behind her, not touching but desperately wanting to. "It is my heritage." The fragrance of her hair, her voluptuous figure seduced him to touch her. "You… you're still look very beautiful, Diana."
Diana's breath locked in her lungs when Clark touched her. He had one arm wrapped around her waist while his hand ran lazy lines up and down her waist. She could feel heat radiate his body and wrap itself around her like a blanket.
Her hand touched his arm as her eyes closed. Her body molded against his. His touch said it all to her. He wanted her and she wanted him.
"You want the same thing I want," he whispered huskily against her.
Diana savored his meticulous touch. "Yes."
Diana felt the hand on her waist cup a breast. In response, she placed her own hand on his. Clark massaged the tender flesh while his lips skated over her neck. A delicious sensation rushed over her.
"We shouldn't," Clark said though that didn't stop him from touching her. A thumb stroked her nipple and Diana thrust her chest forward in response. "But I don't want to stop."
Diana spun around; her sea blue eyes darkened with desire. "Then don't."
He couldn't. He wouldn't. He was gentle as he ran his mouth over hers. He meant to tease her as he took his time kissing her but felt he was only teasing himself.
Diana's soft moan killed whatever control he had left in him. He claimed her mouth forcefully, parting her lips and slipping his tongue inside. Her body sagged against his and Clark molded her to his chest as he pushed her against the window. His body was hot and hungry for her.
So was Diana's for Clark. She returned his kisses, matching his ardor. Diana knew she missed Clark and didn't push her hopes up, but this…this ravenous response to him, the craving for his touch, his body was something she didn't anticipate.
Clark picked up Diana and carried her to bed, a place he wanted to keep her until she left. Once at the bed, he dropped her feet to the floor. He undressed Diana at his leisure. He broke the kiss at her lips to kiss and licked expanse of soft skin he exposed. His hands caressed her silky skin, relearning the curves and contours of Diana's enchanting body. He inhaled the clean, exotic scent of her and groaned as he felt his sex tightening.
Desire burned through him like lava. Not even Helladia made him feel this way. His hunger for Diana overwhelmed him, making his hands shake as he pulled her dress over her head and tossed it aside. When her nude body was bared to him, Clark sat on the bed and let his gaze rake over her.
"You haven't changed at all."
"Should I have?" Diana teased as she put one knee between his legs, leaned forward and ripped his shirt open.
Clark chastised her, "I'm gonna run out of shirts with you."
"Would that be a bad thing?"
It was a struggle to rein in his lust. He wanted to take his time but his body wanted to toss Diana on the bed and drive himself in her fast and hard. He maintained his control by leisurely moving his hands down her sides, enjoying the feel of her body. Diana's eyes were closed with her lips parted as Clark cupped her breasts and skimmed her nipples with his thumbs.
Diana sucked in a breath and braced her hands on his shoulders to stay upright. A soft moan escaped her sensuous lips as her head fell back. Clark bit back his own moan as Diana's nipples hardened before his eyes. Unable to wait, he covered one with his lips, swirling his tongue over the sensitive flesh and suckling it deep in her mouth.
Diana gave a breathy cry and dropped against him. Clark steadied her, not willing to release her. He moved to the other nipple and glanced upward at Diana's now opened eyes, watching him while her nails dug into his shoulders.
She couldn't breathe as Clark's mouth feasted on her breasts and his hands stroke her back and bottom. His touch made her crave more. When he gently bit down on her nipple, her sex throbbed in response. She moved her hands into his thick, black hair, holding him close so he didn't stop his wondrous torture. Her back arched and she ground her hips into his rock solid chest.
Suddenly, Diana was off her feet again as Clark wrapped his arms around her waist, lifted her and place her on the bed. As she lay on the bed, she hungrily watched him stand to undress. He kicked off his shoes first and when he pulled off the tattered remains of his shirt and slipped off his pants, Diana rose up on her elbows. His body rippled with muscles and Diana licked her lips. She couldn't wait to run her hands over his broad shoulders, solid arms and chest. More importantly she thought as her eyes drifted south, she couldn't wait to have him inside her.
Clark placed his hands on the bed near her feet and crawled over her until he was even with her face. He settled his weight on top of her and took her lips in a slow, sensual kiss. His hands were everywhere, touching every inch of her skin. Diana let her own hands roamed over his wide back and shoulders.
The feel of Clark's sex against her stomach spiked her desire. She wanted him inside her to sate her ravenous hunger for him but she knew from Clark's leisure kisses, he had other plans.
His mouth moved to her throat, her breasts again, making a sensuous trail down her body. She grind her hips against him as her need grew. He kissed down her stomach then a little lower to nip the skin over her hip bone. When his hand covered her sex, she grind against his palm and hissed, "Stop teasing me."
Clark wickedly grinned back, "Can't help it. Torturing you is fun."
Diana sucked in a breath. "Torturing me is sadistic. Oh!" Diana cried out. Her hands dug into the sheets as Clark slipped a finger inside her, stroking her with rapid expertise, pushing her to her peak and slipping out before she could achieve it.
She wanted to hit him but the passionate gaze in his eyes stilled her. Clark was through playing. He rose over her again and rubbed his hard sex against her sensitive sex. Her back arched as ripples of pleasure washed over her. His tip found her entrance. Diana lifted her legs and he slipped inside. Clark moved her legs to wrap around his waist. As he thrust faster and deeper in her, Diana dug her fingers into his back and arms. With each thrust, Diana felt the bed groan.
"I'm glad….. oooh… we're in the Fortress," Diana panted. "Smallville….. couldn't handle these quakes."
Clark quipped, "I'm just…. glad we're not… in the barn."
Diana laughed recalling how that turned out. Her laughing was short lived as Clark grasped her hips and plunged deeper in her, convulsing her body as her climax washed over her. He gave his final thrust and threw his head back as he spilled himself inside her.
Her arms wrapped around his shoulders when he fell atop her. His breathing ragged as hers. For several moments, they stayed as they were. Diana's body was sated as her eyes drift closed. Sleep would be so good now.
Clark rose on his hands and stared down at her. His brows furrowed as he regarded her, as if he wanted to speak. He rolled on his back with a heavy sigh.
"We shouldn't have done that."
But it felt so good to do so. In fact, Clark felt stirrings in him that wanted to do it again.
Diana's eyes popped up. She turned her head to his. "What?"
"You are leaving again."
A smile curved her lips as she rolled to her side. Her fingers playfully danced across his muscled chest. "Not really."
Clark turned his head to her. "What do you mean?"
She kissed his shoulder and snuggled against him. "My mother has allowed me to stay however long I like."
He rolled on his side. "But you said you were here for two days?"
"Mother said our relationship should've ended on our terms and not the way it did. She sent me back for closure and if there is something between us, Mother has allowed me to pursue it." Diana slipped a leg between Clark's. "I think there is still something."
Clark tried to focus on Diana's words and not what her body was doing to him. "She did? But your world?"
"As my mother said, I can return whenever I like. We can build an even bigger device for transport."
Diana giggled. Clark's confusion was adorable. "I thought if I were moving here, I would bring my things with me. My weapons, some of Kal's weapons," Diana rattled off. "Not all. Some should stay at his Fortress unless we need it. I can bring materials that can help in your studying Kryptonian science. Kalex would be a great help to you. He can help watch your Fortress or your farm while another robot is caretaker to Kal's Fortress. We can be together if you feel the same as I."
"If I feel the same?" Clark cupped the back of Diana's neck and pulled her lips to his for a searing kiss. "It's as you told me. It's you I want. Only you."
One Year Later
It wasn't odd to see people visiting Superman's mausoleum. It was the most popular attraction in Metropolis. Since his death, over two billion visitors came by the mausoleum to pay their respects to Superman after he so valiantly saved their lives in his final battle against Doomsday.
However, it was odd for Clark to visit the tomb of a man who looked like him. Who was him. Despite his nerves, Clark felt it was only right to pay respects to the man who was so dearly loved by Diana.
Upon Clark and Diana's decision to give their relationship another try, Clark and Diana dated, traveling incognito to each other's worlds. Clark secretly revealed Diana to Justice League members who knew her before she left and her announcement she would be returning. It would be a delicate process as Diana had to gradually fade from her world again.
During their courtship, Clark met Hippolyta and Donna on Themyscira. Only they were allowed to meet Clark and no one else for it would've created a panic on the planet and give the false sense that Superman has returned. Though they knew they were meeting Clark, Hippolyta and Donna were initially shocked by his presence. Seeing Clark was like seeing a ghost but once conversations began they realized Clark looked like Kal but he was not him.
Hippolyta was more receptive to Clark than she was to Kal as she saw him as her chance to redeem herself for her earlier misgivings of Diana and Kal. Donna was Clark's biggest challenge. He understood Donna's closeness to Diana. He welcomed Donna to his world even becoming friends with her and going out of his way to make sure Donna wouldn't be left out. Diana made sure she always had time for her. Donna soften towards Clark and gave her approval of him even if it meant losing her sister again.
With Clark on good terms with Hippolyta and Donna, there was one more thing to do.
Clark arrived at the mausoleum after hours, concealed in dark clothes, a hat and glasses. He used a special key Diana had to access the mausoleum after hours when she wanted to be alone with Kal. Kryptonian, Themysciran and Martian science concealed Kal's tomb. It was a safety precaution for the Justice League knew criminals and enemies would do anything to get Superman's body to study, abuse for their pleasure or worse clone.
Clark walked to the room's center where a life size model of the El crest stood. Clark placed the key, a hand held size of the El crest, in the center. The emblem illuminated and the floor beneath Clark opened, lowering him several feet below the surface. When it reached the bottom, the underground shaft opened and Clark stepped into Kal's tomb.
Directly ahead, the El family crest colored in black decorated the wall of the softly lit room. Clark knew Kal was entombed in the wall behind the crest. He stepped forward noticing holograms of Kal on the other three corners of the room replaying heroics through different points in Kal's life.
Clark stood before the crypt and discarded the hat and glasses. "This is strange," Clark confessed. "Being in a tomb where someone who is literally me rests, but I had to come here. I had to pay my respects."
Clark sighed wishing he wrote what he wanted to say instead of winging it. "When I learned of you, I was jealous of you. At some foolish point, I probably hated you. I was competing with a ghost for the woman I love and I was losing." Clark shook his head at his heady emotions. "I was stupid for I was competing with myself. You and I are alike in many ways but we are very different, too.
"I've spent time in your Fortress and before I did I was angry you disowned your Earth heritage. You preferred to be called Kal and not Clark. You sold the Kent Farm and built a home in the Arctic. After learning more about you, I understand you didn't disown your heritage. If you did, you would've left Earth and never came back. You embraced Earth and your Kryptonian heritage. You used your abilities to become protector of Earth while I was the one to disown my heritage. I let my fear hold me back from helping the people of Earth. I abandoned my Kryptonian heritage after Ma and Pa were killed . You…." he praised, "I bet you feared nothing. You lived life to the fullest. You were confident. You never had any doubts on what you were doing. It was probably that confidence, the pride you had in yourself that helped you win Diana's heart."
Probably? Who was he kidding? Clark knew it did.
"I have to admit, Kal. I really envy you. You had no fear, even in death. You only wanted to protect the ones you love: the people of Earth. Diana. Diana will never forget you. She can't forget you. She shouldn't forget you. You've been a part of her since the day I met her. I fell in love with her while she was still in love with you. A lesser man would be bitter and jealous. I'm proud to say I am no longer that man. I welcome the memories of you in my life.
"Rest in peace, Kal. Diana will be taken care of. I will accompany Diana on the long journey you foresaw in her. She will be protected, happy. She will live."
Diana stood outside the mausoleum waiting. Thirty minutes passed since Clark stepped inside and Diana wondered what he could be saying to Kal. They traveled between this world and his over the past two years but this was Clark's first time here. Whenever Clark traveled to this world, he would stay at the Fortress or Themyscira. He didn't risk traveling to more public places except now. Diana was surprised when Clark confessed he wanted to come to Kal's tomb but deeply touched as well.
Finally, Diana thought as the doors opened and Clark stepped outside. He looked like a man who removed a heavy burden off his shoulders. Smiling, he placed the key back in Diana's hands. "Here you go."
Diana kissed his cheek.
Clark touched his cheek. "Not that I am complaining but why?"
"Whatever you said to Kal, thank you."
Clark gave Diana a proper kiss on her lips. "Ready to go home?"
"Yes." Diana put her hands on her slightly swollen stomach. "We both are."
AN: Well, that's it. Sorry it took longer than I wanted. I hope enjoyed you it. Thanks for the reviews everyone. It was greatly appreciated. I'm taking a break before I get to the next story. Hopefully the updates will be quicker and it's not a serious story like Only You. Some of you already know what it is so stay tune for The Bounty Hunter. I know some are ready for it already. :looks at Hellacre and Unoaranya:
Tony-El: Eh, you might not be too pleased with the ending then since Clark and Diana did get back together. I did toy with the idea of Kal's body being stolen and a clone of him returning but I thought that would create too much drama.
Hellacre: There's a first time for everything. Hopefully you forgave Donna in this chapter and yes The Bounty Hunter is next. I know you are anxious to see Kal in that one. LOL!
Kal and Diana: Lol! Like I told Tony, I did think about bringing a clone back but changed my mind. Clark would still be lonely since Diana never existed in that world.
Unoaranya: Thanks. Yeah those two alternate characters finally found their way to each other and thanks for the compliment I know you are ready for The Bounty Hunter. I can't wait to post that, too.
Battousai: I don't think anything can top Brave New World. That is my favorite story but I think writing Kal in The Bounty Hunter will be just as much fun.
Joe: Thanks. Donna was angry at her sister. Clark was the innocent one here.
Wonderbee: Yeah I had to add humor to such a serious chapter. Can never go wrong with J'onn and his Oreo cookies. Hope you like the ending.