The senior healer at the Temple of Asclepius. tried hard not to stare. Like all Amazons,
Epione was not accustomed to male visitors to the Island. That is not say that she had
never seen one before. After all Steve Trevor was once an extended guest of the
Temple while he recovered from his crash related injuries.
But this man, this so called Superman, was another matter. Beyond his obvious physical
attributes, he radiated an aura of authority that made Epione want to defer to him. Even
though he had only said a few words to her in greeting and went on to explain that he was
here as a result of strict instructions from Queen Hippolyta.
In the deepest parts of her mind, Epione could easily imagine seeing this man sitting on a
throne next to an Amazonian Queen.
= The Reunion =
Several days pass. Clark has since changed out of his cape and tights to rest and bathe.
Without any orders to the contrary, the Temple Acolytes proceed to not only take away
the strange outfit to be washed, but provide their guest with a simple white tunic, belt
and sandals. So even as a man he might look out of place among the women that dwell
here, his clothing has begun to finally fit in.
Clark turned quickly when a voice speaks to him from the doorway of the room he has been
assigned in the temple.
"You look like Hercules himself Clark."
Diana's statement causes the two female guards that accompany her to frown and grasp their
spears tighter in response. "Please guard the doorway my sisters and see that none disturb
us as we talk." One guard begins to protest, but Diana quickly sets her to ease. "I am the
champion of Olympus dear sister. No harm will come to me. And besides, you would find that
only weapons of the strongest enchantments would hurt this man."
Both guards move outside the room, but refuse to turn their back on their Princess.
"Diana, I wasn't sure you would see me."
"I had considered denying your request at first. But because I have always respected you and
due to the fact that you did put yourself in considerable danger to see me - I could not ignore
your visit." Although Diana kept her body relaxed, Clark could tell that her eyes were not in
fact as friendly as they once were.
"I came to apology Diana. It has been many years since our last conversation. And since you
have left your post as an Ambassador to the United Nations and withdrawn your membership
to the League, I can not help but feel responsible."
Diana cocks her head slightly as she listens to Clark speak. Her response is measured and
worded in just the very diplomatic tone that she had perfected while living as a guest in Man's
World. "You had to do what you felt is right. Since I was once your friend, I had to respect
your choice. Even if I did not agree with it."
"So you do not consider yourself my friend any longer?"
Diana takes in involuntary step forward. "I still respect what you once represented Clark.
The ideals you set as Superman were very much my own. I know you were hurting at
the time, and would have given you support and space. But instead your chose to slam the
door closed on our friendship. If the man I lov..admired above all else could do this to me,
what place did I have in your world?"
Diana's near admission rocks Clark back on his heels. He was always close to her and
knew he could count on her above all others. And certainly there was an affection there
due to the fact that they were both in essence alone in the world even if they were
accepted and adored by the general public.
"Why didn't you ever tell me you felt this way?"
Diana's brow furrows slightly and her tone becomes sharp. "You were married Clark.
And despite what you might think, I admired Lois greatly. We Amazons value and
respect vows. Yours were to your wife." With an effort to calm herself, she breaths in
deeply and continues.
"Once Lois died, I knew that being your friend would serve a better purpose then telling
you that I had loved you for a very long time. I served the cause of the Justice League
not only because what we stood for was right, but because I would stride into Hades
itself to be by your side. But what kind of woman would the world see me as if I were
to suddenly become more then your right hand.. Especially since the passing of your
wife was so fresh in the minds of the people."
Clark sits on a marble bench and contemplates this revelation. His hand rakes his
hair and his eyes stare down at his sandals. After a few long moments, he looks back
"I was wrong Diana. And for that I apologize. I hope you understand and forgive my
selfishness to a point. But please believe me, I had never wanted to drive you away
from your duties or from the League. Both need you now more then ever. And truth
be told, I will need you again once I return to active duty with the League."
Diana's immortal heart nearly stops. "Superman is returning?"
Clark nods with a slight grin. "I had made the choice to return upon my arrival here.
When I first learned from Bruce that you left, I made it a priority to try and convince
you to come back with me. Please Diana, consider coming back. If not for me then
for those very ideals that you have agreed to uphold."
Diana smiles slightly and approaches Clark. To the Amazon guards that watch, it
seems like they might embrace. But instead, she places a hand on his broad chest.
"Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever considered following a man
anywhere. But where you lead, I find myself compelled to follow."
A deep chuckle rumbles deep with Clark's chest and he returns Diana's smile with
one of his own. "If it helps, please forget that I am a man at all."
With a raised eyebrow, Diana looks Clark over and then returns her eyes to his face.
"Dressed as you are, it is hard to see you as anything else but a man. I can see why
Mother distrusts men. It would be easy to allow myself to become distracted."
Clark reaches out takes Diana's hand in his own. His voice becomes a little deeper as
he tries to convey his sincerity "I will make sure to never adopt this as a costume then."
Both friends laugh long and hard. It is as if a boil has been lanced and the poison held
within is allowed to drain free. Each knows that rebuilding their close bond will take a
great deal of patience and time. But for now, even if they don't realize it yet - Diana was
solely responsible for saving Superman.