Author's note: Editing took a while this time around because I have been a little under the weather. If there are mistakes I missed, I'll get to them eventually. But hope you enjoy this one. I did my best to stick to the T rating I set for this story, even though I kind of wished at times I hadn't. Thanks for the reviews. Much appreciated.

Chapter 26

Steve stared after Lois and Diana, lost in thought. He found himself drifting to one of the windows to watch them as they walked out onto the balcony. It felt like déjà vu. The feeling that he'd seen this woman before seemed to niggle at him from the time she'd walked in.

When she had spoken to him, he couldn't help but begin to wonder how familiar she looked and sounded. But, no. Surely not. It made no sense. It couldn't be Diana. It did not look like her...yet Miss Prince seemed so familiar. Diana wouldn't be that bold to just stroll around like that. On top of that, why would she be with Clark Kent?

Lois turned to chat to a male acquaintance on the balcony for a couple of minutes while Diana gazed at the city's skyline. Steve moved closer to the window and watched her.

There were things a person could do to hide his or her face, body shape, eyes, accent and even behavior. The latter required the most effort. If one was among strangers, it was a breeze. But around those that knew one for a prolonged period, it was not easy. Family and friends knew the little quirks and nuances that defined a loved one. From the way a person gestured with their hands to the way they stood or sat.

Diana had not been doing the alter ego act as long as Clark and while the Kryptonian lenses did enough to create an illusion effect, she was smart enough to try to make her accent less lilting and formal. And she tried to stand in a more casual manner. She usually had a ramrod straight spine and head held high. The results of being trained to walk and stand like a princess and warrior.

Lois turned to her and gestured. "Diana, come and meet Bob. He's a lecturer at one of our best private colleges. Maybe he can give you some tips on how to get your applications noticed."

Diana nodded and walked over.

Steve turned away from the window, brows still knitted, and went back to the bar to get someone a cocktail. He was handing over a daiquiri when he heard the doorbell.

Jimmy Olsen shouted, "I'll get it!"

Steve scowled a little to see Clark Kent enter.

"C.K.! You're late, dude!"

Clark had a bottle of wine in his hand. "I know. Got held back with a source who ran late. Where's Lois?"

"Out on the balcony."

"Where can I put this?"

Jimmy gestured to Steve. "The bartender is over there."

Clark's eyes met Steve's. The Colonel did not look too pleased to see him but he walked over anyway.

"Trevor," he greeted and put the bottle down on the counter.

"Kent." Steve looked at him a little sardonically. Clark actually looked different. Neat. Put together. Like he had made the effort. "Glad you could make it."

"I'm sure." Clark did not expect to see much joy on Steve's face because he knew he'd pissed him off while he was dating Diana.

"You want a drink?" Steve knew he had to be civil for Lois' sake.

"What do you have?"

"Beer, wine, spirits...What do Kansas farm boys drink? I have lemonade or milk if you prefer."


"Diet or normal?"

"Oh, sugar all the way."

Steve picked up a can, poured it into a glass with ice, put a lime wedge and straw. "There."

Clark took it. "Thanks. Very pretty."

"So, I see you've moved on from the blond gossip columnist. Miss Prince seems quite...interesting."

"I think so. Where is she?" Clark looked around.

"With Lois." He pointed to the balcony.

"It's funny," Steve went on. "I get you and Heather. But you and this's like royalty with a commoner."

Clark stiffened. Steve was looking at him with an odd expression. Did he...? But the perplexed frown in Steve's eyes made Clark breathe easier. It was clear he was questioning himself as much as Clark.

So Clark said calmly, "You know the old saying, opposites attract? But Diana and I go way back...just like you and Lois. Friendship is the best foundation for a relationship you would agree, right? They have seen you at your best and worst. I guess, I got lucky Diana knew me before she judged me. Now excuse me. I have an apology to make to both Diana and Lois."

"Huh," Steve sniffed as he walked away.

Diana was discussing with Bob the delights of London. It was fortunate as an Ambassador she had been to the city several times and did know some of the best spots to eat and had done her share of sightseeing.

"I really want to take the wife and kids and go next summer."

"You should. There are a lot of great spots for kids. The Tower of London, London Dungeon, Planetarium, Madame Tussauds, the Embankment with the London Eye and Aquarium, the British Museum..."

Lois' voice sounded behind them. "Well, it's about time you show up!"

Diana turned to see her date standing there with a half wry, half sheepish grin.

"Sorry, Lois, but you know how interviews can go," he apologized.

"I know but your date shouldn't be subjected to it."

He looked over Lois' shoulder and met Diana's eyes. They exchanged a nod and smile but he did not go over so she was allowed to continued her conversation with Bob.

Clark conceded, "Yeah, I know. So, this is the new place? It's fancy. Great view and you took up gardening?" He stared at the potted plants, though one could see some needed some attention and suffered from a lack of watering.

She said wryly, "They were sent by mom and sister. They think I have a green thumb like they do. I barely have the time to remember to water them. Thank goodness for Steve when he comes. Did you meet him?"

Clark said dryly, "Oh, I sure did. He's not a fan of mine, is he?"

Lois sighed. "He'll come around. He doesn't know you as well as I do. Give him some time. Clark, he's been really great."

Clark studied her. "So this is serious, huh? Not just some fun after Carroll?"

"No. I really really think Steve and I have something here. While Jon and I had good chemistry, we kept drifting. Long distance romances can be trying. Steve and just feels so easy and natural with each other. We connect, you know?"

He looked at Diana's profile. "I can guess."

Lois followed his eyes and smiled. "She's really nice. I will admit I was a little surprised to see her though. She's like..."

"Like what, Lois?"

"Don't glare at me. It's just she didn't seem like someone you'd be..."

"You mean, I don't seem her type," he retorted. "You and your boyfriend think the same too."

"Oh, come on, Clark, I'm not being mean. I'd like to think I helped bring you two together. Remember, I was the one who told you to grovel. Diana is simply very graceful and charming, sort of the opposite to you. I'm happy for you. Don't mess it up like you did with Heather, okay?"

"I'm trying not to," he answered quietly.

Lois scanned him from head to toe. "I can see that. Nice jacket. And the shirt is ironed and you're not in jeans and low tops. Seems you're making some changes for this girl, Smallville, and that's a great start!" She patted his shoulder in maternal-like approval.

He smiled and said, "Thanks. I think I need to go talk to my girl now."

Lois smiled at his unabashed use of the words "my girl".

He politely interrupted Bob and Diana. Bob beamed in a rather benevolent way as Diana excused herself. She swiftly put her beer down on a table, slipped her arm in Clark's and they went inside.

The next couple of hours was a pleasing experience for Clark. For the first time since Sally he was not looked upon as the smart but awkward loner who stood around girl-friendless. He wasn't being pitied, no one was trying to set him up or ask him if he was batting for the other team. Yes, he'd even gotten that once from Lombard.

It was so much nicer to have someone who knew all about him, whom he could turn to or just look across the room and smile at in an intimate way. He was pestered by Jimmy, who constantly asked if Diana had a sister, cousin or single friends and of course, Lombard cracked his sly jokes. It gave Clark a feeling of pride and comfort. Even Lombard's stupid innuendo.

Diana had not even held it against him for being late either. The moment he'd opened his mouth to apologize, she put her finger to his lips and had said, " You were late because you were saving lives. You're here now. I'd rather have you late, and the world a better place, than always on time or never."

He'd kissed her right there for that. It had earned him a few wolf whistles but he didn't care. Diana Prince gave Clark Kent a courage and recklessness he never knew he had.

Some time later Jimmy insisted on music. The couch, chairs and coffee table were pushed back and they found Lois had a party mix in her CD collection.

Jimmy whistled. "Wow, Lane, talk about retro. When last did you visit a music store or downloaded some tunes?"

"Shut up, Jimmy, and just put it on."

Clark was dragged onto the floor by Diana when Mambo No. 5 started. Music and dancing were part of her culture and she loved all forms of music. She might not know the most contemporary moves but she knew how to move to a beat.

"Diana...Diana.. ! I...Hold on...You know, I can't dance too well!" he protested.

"You can dance anything once you've seen it."

"Yes, but Clark can't."

She turned to him with a smile. "You don't have to dance well. Just dance with me."

So Clark did it for her.

He was still a little awkward because he needed to be very careful about preserving his identity but damn, if he didn't have fun especially when Jimmy and Lois joined them to "Jump Around".

The pace was eventually cooled down by Perry insisting they put on something that he and his wife could at least move to without breaking a hip or leg.

Jimmy obliged and found an eighties CD full of love songs that Lois insisted belonged to her sister Lucy. The couples came onto the floor as the sounds of the Bangles' Eternal Flame coming on.

Clark drew Diana closer into a slow dance. She wound her arms around his neck and looked into his eyes. "I thought you said you couldn't dance. You seem comfortable with this."

"Oh, this is easy. You're propping me up. But I'll have you know I can waltz."

"You can?"

"Yep. Learned when I was ten. My Ma taught me."

"Only the waltz?"

"I can square dance. I never knew you liked dancing so much."

"It's part of my culture. The Amazons are not only warriors but known for our music and rituals. One day I might show you what we do to celebrate the coming of Spring."

"Oh, I'll look forward to that. So, are you having a good time?"

"I am. Your friends seem really nice."

"You've impressed them and made me seem less of a nerd. I've attended so many of these things sort of forgets how nice it is to be with someone."

She put her fingers to his nape and gently played with the curling hair there. "It must be so hard for you to hide who you really are."

"The price I pay for peace and some semblance of normality. I need this as I need Superman. I could no more give up Superman to be Clark as I would give up Clark to be Superman."

Diana rested her temple against his chin. "I understand it so much better now. There are so many things as Princess Diana and Wonder Woman I have not seen. Sometimes I think I am missing out on seeing things that you do. Or at least from this perspective."

"Well, there are things you've seen I'm pretty sure that would teach me something."

She laughed softly. "Yes, but...I've never really had to do what you do. Deal with bills, public transport, lost luggage, pushing people, long lines, economy class, rent...I think I need to do a little more as Diana Prince to understand what that feels like."

"Diana, this is not about what I said before in my blogs?" He looked a little guilty.

"No, It's me. I found myself thinking of it more since using this ID. I don't apologize for what I am and I work as hard as anyone else but I do concede being an Ambassador has more perks than being...a single mother who works in a factory."

"The perspective from the sky is wonderful but sometimes it's good to look up and see how they see us too. I don't apologize for my ability to fly or what I am either. How could I? It's enriched me and led me to you."

She smiled. Against his ear she whispered, "I've been meaning to ask you, Clark, were you successful in the lab?"

He chuckled but held her tighter. She did not know how impatient he'd been all night wanting to blurt it out to her but it would seem a little desperate. He at least had to show he could have some control.

"Success, " he murmured softly and triumphantly, causing her heart to do a flip flop. "We can do whatever you want."

Diana drew back to look at him, her hand reached down and took his and she led him away from the dancing couples to stand at the side, nearer the food table, where the music wasn't so loud.

She asked hopefully, "It's safe?"

"I believe it is. In all the simulations I've done it's worked. It's chemistry is similar to what my people used on Krypton."

"What is it?"

"It's a polymer that's injected into me. It coats the lumen of the vas deferens and negates the electrical charge of the sperm thereby rendering them unable to fertilize a female's eggs."

"You injected it into yourself?"


"How long does it last?"

Before Clark could reply someone backed into Diana.


It was a rather inebriated Steve Lombard carrying a plate of food. He spun around and the chicken wings slathered with ketchup and mustard fell on the back of Diana's dress and the down her calf along with blue cheese dip.

"Damn it, Lombard!" snapped Clark.

Diana gasped and turned around to see the back of her dress ruined and feel the wetness of the condiments on the back of her leg and shoes.

"Wha...? Whooops...Sorry, Kent...Sorry there, Miss Prince. I really didn't mean..." Lombard tried to pick up some napkins from the nearby table and wipe Diana's skirt but ended up patting her bottom, much to her annoyance and Clark's.

Clark grabbed the napkins off him and said, "That'll do! She can see about herself. Honestly, Lombard, you need ease down on the scotch."

He slurred, "Hey, a guy is just trying to unwind and have a little fun. I never meant to offend. Sorry again..."

Lois came up. "What's going on?"

Clark explained, "He's drunk."

Lois saw Diana's soiled dress and Clark trying to help by wiping the yellow and red streaks from the back of her legs. "Oh, I'm sorry, Diana." Lois gave the offender a stern look. "You need to go home now, Steve. I'll get call you a cab."

Lombard protested, "But the night is young, Lane! All I need to do is eat..."

She grabbed his arm and hauled him away. "But nothing! You drink any more and you'll end up passing out or worse: throwing up; and I have no desire to clean anyone's vomit in my new digs."

Diana sighed. "I think I'll go to the bathroom and clean up. Where is it?"

Clark scanned quickly and pointed her down a corridor.

Diana said, with a slight smile, "Give me a a few minutes and then we'll leave?"

Clark nodded happily. "You bet."

Steve had continued to observe Diana. He noticed the beer she'd left on the table outside and something prompted him to very subtly move towards the balcony to check it out. As he suspected she'd not drunk any more than a few sips.

Diana seemed to relax once Clark arrived. They both stood in a corner and chatted quietly. Steve saw gestures that seemed very familiar. From the unconscious way she would blow a loose curling tendril away from her over her eye to the way she put her finger to Kent's lips.

Steve turned away when the reporter bent to kiss her but he couldn't help but touch his own lips. Seeing it brought back that sense of déjà vu.

While he had moved on from Diana and was happy and more secure with Lois, he was man and flawed enough to feel a little annoyed that during their courtship Diana had not been as invested emotionally as he had been. For a time he'd been jealous of her growing closeness to Superman. He suspected she was only with him because she was young, curious and perhaps lonely. But he was in love with her...or least the idea of her perfection and thought he could make her love him. But it didn't work out as he'd dreamed and being with her left him tired and resentful. It wasn't great to think that he was not measuring up and she was staying with him out of gratitude. So he'd left. He had no doubt it was the best thing for both of them but...this woman...this Diana Prince...she couldn't be...his ex?!

It was when Lois brought out the ice-cream cups and Diana asked for strawberry he found himself swearing under his breath. Diana had a specific way she ate ice cream. In between scooping and lifting it to her lips like most people, she would hold the spoon vertically and placed the end between her lips and absently suck whatever was left on the spoon.

You have got to be kidding me. No way!

He watched them dance and Lombard make a fool of himself. When Diana made her way to the bathroom he was tempted to follow her but decided against it. The chance came when Diana came out and headed for the balcony.

Diana left the bathroom and headed down the corridor to look for Clark. She looked around and saw he was chatting with Perry and Lois. From what she could deduce it seemed work related. Clark looked at her apologetically.

"Five minutes," he mouthed.

She nodded.

The slow music was still playing and there were couples still swaying. Diana went to the balcony take some air. She took a deep breath as she lifted her eyes to the night sky. In a short time she and Clark would be leaving and they would go back to his place.

"Tonight," she said out loud.

"Tonight you really pulled a number on us."

Diana spun around to see Steve glaring at her.

"Colonel Trevor."

"Princess," he replied sarcastically.

Diana blinked. "What?"

He came closer and whispered fiercely, "Don't pull the innocent face. I know it's you."

Diana could have tried to argue or pretend but instead she lifted her chin and her back became as straight as a flagpole. Facing him as a warrior and princess would.

"I suppose my disguise isn't as effective as I thought it would be."

"Oh, it's effective. They know you from TV, and public appearances. I dated you. We nearly had sex. Of course, I'm going to to know you. What are you doing? Is this some game?" he asked irritably.

She shook her head. "No. It's not a game. I'm simply trying to have a life where my every move isn't under the lens of the media. You should appreciate that, Steve; you know how hard it was for us. I'm sure being with Lois is much easier than being with me."

Her eyes looked, even behind the glasses, earnest. It was the olive branch. But for some reason Steve couldn't accept it just yet. He had a few things to get off his chest.

"Does Kent know the truth or is he being duped while you play at being normal?"

"He knows who I am."

"So when did you two become an item?"

"We've been together for some weeks."

"I see. And here I thought you would hook up with Superman," he remarked ironically.

Diana's brows drew together. "Why would I want to hook up with Superman?"

Steve snorted. "Oh, come on! I mean, Kent? You would date him before Superman?"

Diana found herself getting a little annoyed now. "I don't want to date Superman. I want to date Clark Kent."

"Why would you want to date him? The guy ridiculed us for months on end!"

"Are you still angry at that? He's a reporter and blogger. It's his job to voice his opinion. One can agree or disagree. He is intellectually honest and insightful. He wants a fair and just world. He's not written on me for a while."

"Oh yeah, no doubt your dating him fixes that," he replied sarcastically.

Diana's fingers curled into her palms. "Are you implying because I am dating him he is nice to me? Clark happens to accept me for who I am."

"Sure why wouldn't he? Look at you and look at him! What has he got to offer you after White House galas, five star hotels, magazine covers and an island paradise? Come on, Diana, don't be fooled. He's just an angry nerd who thinks his "all men are created equal" rants means he gets to be some moral adjudicator! Don't tell me you're duped by that?"

The moment Steve uttered those words was the moment he knew he made a big mistake. The sudden rage in her expression made him put his hand up at once.

"How dare you?"

"Diana...wait...I..." He knew she had a bit of a temper as he had gotten a taste of it when he'd landed on Themyscira years ago and it was something she tried to rein in since coming out and becoming Ambassador and League member.

But the open palm slap was coming. It connected with Steve's cheek and he went flying and landed heavily against Lois' plant stand. The stand toppled backwards and fell with a crash. Steve sprawled awkwardly over it.

He tried to get up but he fell back down. Diana did not move to help him.

" nearly broke my jaw..." He touched his split lip and pulled himself up gingerly by holding onto the iron railings of the balusters.

She snapped. "Consider yourself lucky I did not break that thick skull of yours. You know, I can forgive you might think me incapable of being anything but Wonder Woman and Princess...but to assume Clark has nothing as a man to offer me? It is arrogant and even more judgmental! I would rather date a man who has a social conscience and the will to challenge the status quo to try to make the world more equal, even if all he owns is a pen... than a narrow minded man who is rich or one decorated with medals!"

Before Steve could respond, they heard Lois' voice.

"What's going on out here? We heard the noise. Steve! Good heavens what happened? Your lip...!" Lois gasped. Clark , Perry and Jimmy were behind her.

Lois hurried over and put her arm around her boyfriend. He grimaced, "I fell."

"On your face?" asked Jimmy.

"Yeah. The floor was wet. I slipped."

Lois glanced at Diana as if to confirm his statement but she was just standing there, looking tight lipped and tense.

Clark stepped forward. He'd heard it all from inside. He had wanted to interrupt but knew Diana needed to handle this herself and, damn, if he didn't want to beam with pride at the way she defended him. But her impulsive slap could have outed her identity to all and that could have led to questions about him.

He knew Steve did not like him but he did not think Trevor would be so stupid as to rile Diana up like that. In fact, Trevor looked a little befuddled himself as if he hadn't count on her to react so angrily.

Steve watched Clark as he took Diana's hand in his. He sighed wearily and stumbled away from Lois. "I need an ice pack and some pain killers."

Diana expelled a breath as he headed inside and asked, "Can we leave now, please?"

"Yeah, sure. Lois, Diana and I are going to head off now."

Lois looked at Diana to Clark, a little confused. "Oh. Okay."

Diana gave her a nod. "I had a nice time,Lois. Thank you for your hospitality."

"Oh, anytime, Diana. You're welcome to come hang here anytime."

They headed out, said goodnight to the other guests and were gone.

Lois cornered Steve in the bathroom as he was about to pop some pain-killers.

She slammed the door shut and demanded, "What the hell was that about?"

Clark called a taxi and he and Diana were driven back to his apartment. During the ride Diana was every quiet. Clark cursed Trevor in his mind. What should have been an anticipatory ride home was tainted with Diana looking guilty and upset.

Her first words to him when they were dropped off were, "Gods, I could have made things worse for you tonight."

Clark put his arm around her shoulders and gave a little squeeze. "You didn't though."

"My temper, "she lamented. "I could have broken his jaw. It's just what he was saying..."

Clark pulled out keys and opened the door to the building.

"Yeah, well, I heard him and he was out of order."

"How could he say those things to me? Surely he doesn't think I could be so shallow? I thought Steve would be happy for me. I am happy for him. We were friends before we dated and I did value that...I don't understand how he can be so unkind."

"Sometimes people can be selfish. Though he seemed to have the problem most with me."

They headed toward the elevator. Diana said fretfully, "The worst is what he said about you. How could he?"

Clark shrugged. "Well, some might wonder at it. Clark Kent is no Superman, war hero or billionaire."

"It's a horrible way of judging people because of they way they look, their job or financial status," she fumed as the elevator doors closed.

"It is. But it's a real part of life. If the press knew you were dating me...they'd wonder too and have a field day. They would probably call me a gold-digger. Let's face it, no one is good enough for Wonder Woman."

"It's not fair! How can anyone label you as not good enough? And the person that is good enough for Wonder Woman is the one she chooses! Not who they think is good enough."

"Diana, I know. There's no point getting so upset over it. At least he didn't out you. He could have but he didn't. He seems to have some sense...even if it took a slap from you."

Diana folded her arms across her chest. "He wasn't the only one. That Lombard...and some others...they seem to think it some miracle you could have Diana Prince as your date. It is absurd! You're a prize winning journalist! What is the matter with these people?"

He smiled. Her anger on his behalf was so cute and he longed to sweep her into an embrace and kiss her it away. But he knew he shouldn't. This was important for Diana to get off her chest as it was part of what being with Clark Kent would be like. "Well, to be honest for years I've been responsible for polishing the image of the awkward loner. It helps keeps my heroic identity. I'm used to it now."

They stepped out of the elevator onto his floor and headed for his door. Clark opened it. "Welcome to my humble abode."

Diana stepped in as Clark flicked the lights on. She looked around. It was small but clean and she could see touches that shouted who he was from the books on the shelves, magazines on the coffee table, to the pictures, diplomas and degrees on the wall. He did not have too many extras in the way of ornaments or collectibles but there were souvenirs he obviously picked up from various places he'd visited as a journalist and, of course, his Peabody award and other plaques commemorating his excellence at writing.

"Not very grand, "he said, as he shrugged off his jacket and kicked off his shoes. He took off his glasses and placed them on the computer desk.

"It's cosy. I like it. You have a nice view of the park." She peeped out his window. "How long have you been here?"

"Two years. I was in a slightly dingier place before that when I first came to town. I'm hoping, maybe, by next year to move somewhere bigger. If you still think me boyfriend material, maybe you can help me choose a place."

She smiled at him; the first smile since she smacked Trevor. "Okay."

"Have a seat. You want a something to drink?" he asked.

She put her purse and glasses down on the coffee table, slipped off her strapped heels and sank upon the sofa. She shook her head and patted the place next to her. "No. Just sit with me."

Clark obliged. He put his arm around her and she leaned into him with a relieved expression. It hadn't gone passed her that if Steve had been vindictive she wouldn't be sitting so comfortably with Clark.

She needed to ask again."Are you really used to it?"


"It really doesn't bother you? At all?"

Time to just clear the last of the cobwebs. He wanted nothing hanging over them. "Honestly? It used to. It was hard when I first came to town, all green and fired up, to change the world. It was one thing being Superman and getting noticed...even if some were negative and suspicious at first but I was never ignored. As Clark I was pretty much invisible. Even when my articles got recognition, people couldn't believe I was Clark Kent. I was passed over so many times. Even by Lois." He admitted, "I had a bit of a crush on her when I arrived but she was never interested in me."

"Lois?" Diana titled her head at him with a curious and surprised look.

"I was twenty-two and she seemed amazing to someone like me just coming into the Daily Planet. She was glamorous, prize winning, high profile, and brave. She treated me like a younger brother who she could tease and order about. But it was what it was : a crush that fizzled out with time the more I got to know her and realized we would never work. In any case, being Superman complicated things. I could tell she sort of fancied Superman. I could have gotten my date with her as him but...that would have been dishonest to both of us. Then you came along and sort of tossed a curve ball at me. You showed an interest in both Superman and Clark. That was a first for me."

She confessed ruefully, "For a while I didn't know who I was attracted to more...Clark or Superman."

"Yeah?" He chuckled.

She elbowed him. "Don't laugh. Yes. It wasn't funny at the time. But I don't see how anyone can not see how interesting and smart and dynamic and sexy you are, Clark Kent."

Clark kissed her temple softly. "And that's all that matters to me. I don't care if they don't see what's so special about me. You do."

Her fingers reached up to comb his careless locks back and they all stayed except for the errant curling strands. "I had a good time tonight despite it all. Thank you for inviting me to meet your friends. I liked...most of them."

"Good. I'm glad. I don't want what happened at the end to ruin tonight." He took her left hand in his right and laced their fingers together. The friction of his fingers sliding against hers made her skin prickle with sensation.

She cleared her throat and looked into his blue eyes and began softly, "So...?"

"So...?" His voice became a little bit husky.

"You were going to tell me how long the contraceptive lasts."

"Three months."

"Oh." She sat up, looking very relieved and happy. "That's...wonderful."

To his surprise and delight, Diana moved to straddle him. "I knew you could do it." Her skirt shifted up her thighs, leaving a fair bit of toned flesh on either side of his. She put her hands on his shoulders and whispered, "I'm ready to go all the way if you are, Clark Kent."

Clark was more than ready. But he didn't want to rush. He'd waited a long time for something like this. Never expecting he'd ever find a woman like Diana. He simply wanted to savor it. To savor her.

With a breath of satisfaction he reached his fingers up to undo her hair from the confines of it's high bun and drew her head down to capture her mouth with his. He kissed her slowly, deeply, passionately.

Diana gave a little purring sound in the back of her throat when his lips moved to the long column of her neck. "Is to do it this apartment?"

He nibbled and sucked, coming to stop at the soft swells of her cleavage. "I sleep on a bed that's made of...a very strong off-world alloy. I think it can take our collective weight...and some."

It was something as Superman he had to build shortly after coming to Metropolis. Nightmares had plagued him for a time and when he moved and trashed around, he had broken every normal, metal frame bed he'd bought. It baffled his then landlady and nosy neighbors and to avoid questions being asked, he'd set to work in the Fortress. The mattress was covered in a Kryptonian fabric capable of absorbing and dissipating energy. He had a larger version in the Fortress. Granted he'd never tested it with a demi-goddess but he was hopeful it would cope with the inevitable stress of a meta-human coupling.

"You think?"

"I believe," he amended. Nimble fingers moved around to her left side to pull down the zipper of her dress. Together they reached down and helped pull it over her head. It was tossed aside rather unceremoniously. Clark drank in the glorious sight of Diana sitting above him. Clad in a black bra and underwear with pink trim and ribbons; her hair like an ebony halo around her shoulders; her smooth and supple skin flushed; eyes gleaming like jewels; smelling of honey and orchids; her expression open, expectant and willing.

The circle around his irises began to glow. By now Diana knew when that happened, Clark was as aroused as she was.

"If it does not?" Her fingers worked at the buttons on his shirt. Impatiently she tore at the last three. "Sorry," she muttered as they popped and rolled onto the floor. She bent to nuzzle and kiss his neck and chest.

"It's okay. I can sew." He grunted," Besides, there's always...above the bed."

Steve looked at Lois and shook his head wryly, "Nothing."

"Nothing? Steve Trevor, don't try to lie to me! I know when something does not add up. What the heck was going out out there? Diana looked pissed." She folded her arms and blocked the door. "What did you do?"

"I...It's complicated," he muttered and touched his bleeding lip with a wet towel and winced.

"Is it? I'm all ears."

"It's...not really something I should tell..."

"Did you make a pass at Diana Prince?" Lois was beginning to look angry and disappointed.

"No. Jesus. No!" he cried, appalled.

"Then what is it, Steve?" She came to touch his shoulder. She could see that he was not lying and that was such a relief. But she couldn't just accept that he could not tell her. "I'm your girlfriend. We agreed to be there for each other now that we're exclusive. That means we share. I share my stuff with you. So what is it about this that's so hard to share with me?"

He sat wearily on the edge of the bathtub and reached his hand out to her.

Lois came and sat next to him. "I'm waiting."

"It's about Diana. But not what you think."

"What is it?"

In a low tone, he told her. Lois's eyes widened and her jaw dropped.

She jerked to her feet. "Diana Prince is Wonder Woman?!"

"Shhhhh! We still have some guests outside."

Lois put her hand to her mouth. "But how...? She looks nothing like her...She's...come on, Steve, you're pulling my leg!"

"I'm not. I'm thinking maybe magic. Diana is a demi-goddess. There's no telling what she has access to. But she says she's doing it so she can have a so called normal relationship with Clark Kent."

Lois looked baffled. "I don't know which is crazier. Wonder Woman pretending to be normal or dating Clark. How did she even hook up with him?"

"He wrote articles on her and, as you know, they met at the Peabody Awards and then worked together at M.A.D. It seems she was intrigued by him and, of course, who wouldn't be taken with her."

"So, Clark knows he's dating Princess Diana?!" Lois sank back down on the bathtub.

"Yes. She told him the truth."

Lois' lips opened and closed like a fish. Smallville got in with Wonder Woman?! Farmboy with a princess? She remembered how irritated he used to be about Wonder Woman and how he used to ridicule her. Lois suddenly laughed like a crazy woman.

"Oh my god! He so had the hots for her back then! I should have know it! All that soap boxing about her when he was falling hard. Typical man. A pretty face and body and he's a goner," Lois snorted. "So he lied to me about her going to University with him?"

"Probably. It's her cover."

"The sly dog. I'll choke him for not telling me!"

"Lois, it's not his secret to tell."

Lois put her fist to her mouth pensively. "Wonder Woman dating, that is a scoop and a half."

"It's not your story to break either. I'm serious." Steve gave her a warning glance. "The least I could do for her is preserve her ID. I was a bit of an asshole back there to her."

" tell and what did you do?"

Steve told her. Lois punched his arm.

"Owwww! Hey, I'm in pain already, you know."

"You were a jerk. Why would you insult her to her face like that? And sure, it's crazy she wants to date Clark but I put it down to the fact she's always been a little weird herself. Clark is a good guy, Steve. With all his flaws, he's got a kind heart and a sharp mind. It's her choice. Not yours."

"I know. I know...It's just Kent rubs me the wrong way..."

"Lombard rubs me the wrong way. I don't go insulting his girlfriends." Lois looked at him a little warily. "Why are you so angry? I thought you were over her? Please, don't tell me this is jealousy on your part."

Steve took her hand. "No. No. I am not jealous. I don't regret leaving Diana. Not anymore. I guess I was just being small minded and petty because I can't believe it's Kent who is the one she was drifting towards...away from our relationship...I mean, here I thought she's working with these charismatic men up in the Satellite...Superman, Batman, Green Lantern...heck even the King of Atlantis..."

"He's married," Lois pointed out dryly.

"I know that. My point is, they are so much larger than life. Women drool over them. You even drool over Superman a bit, "he sniffed.

Lois shrugged. "Yeah, well, we all have our little fantasies. Doesn't mean we spend our lives thinking we'll marry Superman or Brad Pitt and forgo actual living."

"I never dreamed she'd go for someone like him..."

"So it's your little ego taking a battering, huh? You're being a bit of a dick, Steve."

"I know. I didn't even think it was serious. I thought maybe she was just doing it to rub it in my face a little. I mean what are the odds my ex girlfriend would become Kent's current one? It felt like I was being punked or something."

"But she is serious. Anyone can see that when she is with him. He is smitten by her as well. Steve, I'm actually happy and anxious for Clark. I know dating her isn't going to be easy. Heck, I might be wanting to warn him a bit. She's freaking Wonder Woman. How will he fit into her crazy life is beyond me but that's their choice. You need to respect that."

He sighed. "I know."

She squeezed his hand. "So what you going to do, Colonel?"

"I'll go see her at the Embassy on Monday and apologize."

Lois leaned in and kissed him.

He winced. "Owww."

She smiled. "Sorry. Come on, let's go get some ice on that."

Fingers entwined on the pillow above them.

Eyes locked.

Sky blue tinged with fire.

Ocean blue darkening with desire.

Thighs trembling.

Heart pounding.


Delaying the inevitable.

Just for precious seconds.

Before that moment of surrender.

To measure.

To remember.

Her beautiful face.

The way her lips parted and her lids closed at the intensity of the sensations and emotions tearing through her as their flesh became one.

His majestic body.

As it sank down and succumbed to hers.

His shuddering intake of breath.

The awe in his eyes as he felt totally captive by her and yet freed from every shackle that bound him in the past.

"Diana," he whispered on a soft plea.

He wanted to see her.

For her to see him.

Her long lashes lifted and he saw wonder and passion sparking in their shimmering depths.

He needed her to know he felt the same.

Her first was as much as his.

He'd never felt anything like this.

He didn't have to think.

Just feel.

"Clark," she gasped and her mouth parted under his own as they shared a devouring kiss.

He let her hands go and she wound her arms around his neck tightly and her long, lithe legs locked around his hips.

He gently rolled with her.

She was on top.

Her eyes widened at the power she was suddenly given .

She'd never been given such free rein before.

It had been too dangerous with Steve. She had always been mindful to take care she did not break him.

Clark was giving her that freedom to just let go.

And she did.


He needed to keep it.

He could so easily just lose it in the powerful urge for completion that was consuming him.

He was fast realizing that Diana's body was like the ultimate battleground. She could undo him without even trying. Just looking at her was torture. When she laid her lips against his neck or let her nails glide over his chest or move her hips instinctively in that erotically sinuous motion he groaned and held on by the skin of his teeth.

Diana was on the verge of cresting that wave of pleasure that they'd both been riding for the last hour. She was reaching, grasping, desperate for it now.

"Diana...sweetheart...wait...wait!" he grunted, his hands stilling her hips.

The endearment fell so naturally from his lips. Diana gasped and her forehead touched his. Her glorious hair covered them like a silken canopy.

She was waiting.

Clark eased upright so she was sitting facing him. She gulped a lungful of air as he cupped her cheeks and kissed her ever so slowly, sweetly and deeply. Calming her impatience for a while.

His hips then moved.

Short and sharp.

Long and languorous.

She let out a sound that seemed split between a moan of delight and a pleading whimper. Her nails dug into his shoulders.

He gently tilted her backwards. Lips moved down to the taut, damask rose buds that tipped her aching breasts.

She cried, feeling her body beginning to coil and splinter with pleasure,"αχ θεοί...I...Clark...ναί...Είμαι δικοί σας...Clark...!

He pulled her in closer. Moving harder and faster.

Control. Whatever little he had, he now lost it.

Her body tensed and arched as she finally reached her peak.

The sight of her and the feel of her compelled him to follow.

He groaned and surrendered.


They laid together. Her head on his chest. His arms surrounding her.

Their bodies still hummed with sensation and the look on their both faces was of the utmost happiness and awe.

Diana sighed. "That was...amazing."

Clark dropped a tender kiss on her hair. "It sure was."

"The bed held up."


"The contraceptive as well?"

He smiled. "Yes."

"How can you be sure?"

He pointed to his eyes. "I can see on a cellular level. My, erm, boys kind of flopped in exhaustion before they could reach your Fallopian tubes. They have no chances of meeting, much less doing anything, to that egg of yours."

Diana crinkled her nose but looked relieved. It was useful but a bit unsettling to know that there was so little she could hide from her alien boyfriend. "Okay. But you won't be looking at my reproductive organs all the time, will you?"

"I think for the first three months every time we have sex I need to, just to make sure. Then only unless you want me to check."

She nodded. "That sounds sensible. Alright." She was caressing the hairs on his chest when she noticed fading scratches on his biceps and shoulders. She colored a little as she recalled raking her nails across his skin. "Clark?"


"When we...I didn't hurt you, did I?"

Clark chuckled aloud. How many times he had worried about his partners and now he finally had one who worried for him! Life was full of pleasant surprises! He gave her a grateful kiss. "Nope and for your information, it's the first time I felt a woman's nails on my skin and got to say, I like it a lot."

"Good. I was always so aware of taking care with Steve. I've never been able to just be myself," she explained.

"I know. You won't have to hold back with me. Ever." He ran a hand down her spine and paused at her rounded posterior and gave it an appreciative squeeze. "In fact, I'm holding you to a very high standard, Princess."

Diana's lips curled into an alluring smile. " Are you now?"

"Uh-huh. I've heard a lot about the famous Amazon stamina."


"Well, I know you can handle powerful foes but I have yet to see if you can go the distance with a Kryptonian." Oh, that smug little smile of his. Clark knew how to dangle the bait before her so well.

She raised up on her elbows. "Is that a challenge?"

He said innocently, "Unless you want to sleep..."

Diana did not want to sleep.