Chapter 14 –Shoftak
Batman sat in the batcave looking through all the files that he had recently found. He wished to not be disturbed until he heard someone come into the cave and he knew that it wasn't Alfred, so he figured it could be, "Diana," he kept his eyes glued to the screen.
"Hello Bruce," Diana landed and walked up to his computer screens. "What are you doing?" she asked quietly.
A few moments passed and he answered, "I am just researching your friend, Clark Kent."
"Researching him? He is not a science project Bruce." Diana folded her arms a little annoyed at her friend. "By the way, where did you send Darkseid? I have never seen a portal like that before."
"That is what I was researching. During that first incident in Algeria while you were hurt, I decided to do some research on his home planet. He is from Krypton, but there isn't much information about it. I am pretty sure that 95% of the world does not know about it."
"But you researched it without his consent? Is that it?" Diana becoming angrier with the Batman.
"No, princess. I asked him for his help. He knows more about his culture than anyone here, obviously. He helped me with this so-called phantom zone."
Diana eyed him carefully. "You both were able to orchestrate this in that short amount of time?"
"Of course," he finally turned to look at her, "Where are you going?" he noticed she was dressed in civilian clothes and had her hair pulled up in a high pony tail.
She sighed, "I'm going home for a while."
"Back into seclusion again?" he raised an eyebrow. His face was emotionless, but he knew that Diana was going back to hide again even if she wouldn't admit it.
Diana quickly denied, "No. I'm not. My mother thinks it is best that I go back to Themyscira for the time being."
Bruce crossed his left leg over the right and sat back in his chair. "Safe journey princess." He turned back to his computer screens. Just as Diana was about to head out Bruce asked a quiet question, "What about him?"
Diana didn't turn to answer, but slowly lifted off the ground of the batcave, "We decided not to see each other anymore." With those last words she left the cave through one of his many secret entrances.
Two Days Ago
Diana invited Clark over to the embassy to discuss what was going to happen to their relationship. She was going back to Themyscira to see her mother. She didn't want to, but she knew that her mother needed her there and she wanted to see her sisters. She figured she would have to face Athena's wrath very soon for breaking her oath. Without her breaking her oath she wouldn't have been able to save the world or those children. Perhaps the war goddess would go easy on her.
Clark sat opposite her on a couch in Diana's office. This wasn't a very good place to have this conversation, she thought to herself.
"Will you fly with me?" she asked holding out her hand. Clark smiled sadly and took her hand as they took to the air. A few minutes later they landed on a secluded beach in France. She figured this would be a better place away from prying ears and eyes.
Many awkward minutes passed as they watched the waves in the ocean splashing against rocks. She sat with her knees close to her and sighed. Clark had said nothing, waiting for her to say something but she didn't.
"I don't think I can see you anymore, Clark," Diana said quietly, not having the strength to look at him.
Ouch, she called you Clark, man. He was really getting used to her calling him Kal he almost forgot about his human name. For a while he didn't respond to her. "Why is that, Diana?" he answered finally and calmly.
She breathed in deeply, "I…we are too different. I just…I don't think it is best, especially right now."
"We are not so different. We share the same ideals, the same likes, we even have similar abilities."
Diana stayed quiet.
"Are you going back to your island to hide?"
"No!" she snapped back defensively. "Why does everyone think I am going to hide? I cannot just go see my mother and sisters?"
Clark looked out at the sunset, "You disappeared as Wonder Woman for a long time. Many people were rather disappointed with you. They needed you, but you were hiding."
"My sister died."
"Everybody dies, Diana. You can't save everyone." He looked at her and she sighed despondently.
She knew that he was right, but didn't want to admit the facts to herself. This was true, she couldn't save everyone. She couldn't save Alia, or all those children, or Diya, her mother or her sister. She grew angry thinking the way her sister died all because of Darkseid. She could have died for her sister, but she couldn't do anything about it now.
"I know, I just wish I could do more. I don't want to disappoint anyone, but I really think this is best that I go away for a while."
Clark shrugged his shoulders. "Okay."
Diana looked at him confused with raised eyebrows. "Okay?"
"Yeah, okay," he said once more.
"You're not going to say anything?" she was still a bit baffled.
He huffed a little annoyed at her now, "What do you want me to say Diana? I can't change your mind. You have your mind set on what you want to do. I can't do anything about it. If you want to never see each other again I'll be okay with it. If you want to go back to Themyscira I'll be okay with it. I am okay with everything you say. I just want you to be happy, that's all." He got up from the sandy beach and started walking the opposite way, heading to the vegetation.
Diana got up, "Kal, wait," she saw that he stopped at the call of his alien name. "I am sorry I lied to you."
He looked over his shoulder, "I forgive you for that, Diana." he took to the skies and didn't look at her.
Finally reaching high enough in the skies he looked down at Diana still standing on the beach confused and in a daze. She had tears in her eyes and he shook his head and went back to America.
One Year Later
Diana was tending to her stallion when Mala came to join her in the stables. She had been on Themyscira for a year with no outside contact, seeking peace and refuge there. She often went to the healing isle or temples to pray and many of her sisters heard her talking to her ghost sister. They were starting to think she was going mad, but never approached her about the subject.
"Hello, Diana," Mala smiled, petting the horse.
"Good afternoon, Mala. How are you?" Diana brushed the horse's mane.
"I am well and you look very lovely," Mala pointed out that Diana looked well rested and finally at peace with herself. She even cut off a good six inches of her hair, which used to be down her mid-back was now a little passed her shoulders. Her soft waves evened out, reminding many of the amazons of princess Donna's hair.
The hair symbolizes many things of a woman, and one of them symbolizes the tragedies of a woman's past. Cutting the hair releases those damaged memories and it is easier for the woman to move on in their life and that is exactly what Diana was doing. Moving on.
"Your mother wishes to see you. She has news," Mala put her hands behind her back in an orderly manner.
"News?" Diana wondered what it could be? She handed the brush to her Amazonian sister and flew to the palace.
She found her mother sitting at her desk in her private study. She must have been looking at documents from the Senate. She hated to interrupt her mother when she was in these work-modes.
"You called for me, mother?" Diana knocked on the wall before entering. Her mother glanced up and smiled.
"Yes, child. Come sit here," she gestured to a chair in front of her desk.
"Mala said you had news. What might it be?" She laced her hands together nervously.
Hippolyta sat back in her chair and crossed one leg over the other. "I do believe that you haven't seen the news of man's world lately have you?"
"No, of course not. I have been in seclusion here."
"Well," she began slowly, "I have word that a new hero has emerged in man's world. I thought you would like to see. I had Mala and others go to the embassy and retrieve a newspaper for you." She slapped the newspaper on her desk.
Diana's heart stopped for a split second. Her stomach turned in knots. She couldn't believe what she was seeing. "How can this be?" she stood up in shock. Her mother just staring unfazed at her daughter's reaction. "When did you get this?"
"A few days ago. I was not sure if I should show you or not."
"Not sure? Why didn't you show me earlier?!" Diana was getting a little annoyed now. She couldn't believe her mother kept this newspaper from her for days.
"You're the one who didn't want any contact from the outside world. I see it is different if the news is about him, is it not?"
Diana was floored by her mother's words. She didn't know what to say except stare at the newspaper. "Superman saves the day once again…"
"Super-man…" Diana said quietly to herself.
"I'm sorry?" Hippolyta asked, not understanding what Diana just mumbled.
Her mother smiled, "So what now, Diana?"
Diana looked down at her mother who was still sitting at her desk. She wasn't sure what to say, was this a trick of her mother's games? She wasn't sure. She wasn't even sure if she could face the outside world again. She felt like a little fish in a big ocean again when she left Themyscira for the first time. Staring back at the newspaper she wasn't prepared for this. She saw Kal on the front page and he wasn't wearing civilian clothing, but a skin tight blue suit with a giant S on the front of it. He didn't wear a cape like Batman, but he looked very powerful. He finally listened to her words about doing something good with his powers, she thought. A faint smile came to her lips as she thought of this.
"I think…I will go to America to see this new hero," she sounded really determined and left her mother's study and retreated to her room to pack instantly.
"Of course," Hippolyta said finally, sighing.
Four Days Later
Diana reached the embassy safely and unnoticed, thankfully. She had been away for a year and she did not want to be seen by reporters, at least not yet. She transported herself to the watchtower and the monitor womb was quite empty. She could hear some people chatting in the cafeteria and then she heard a loud, but stern voice coming from down the hall. Diana, being curious, followed this voice and heard it was coming from the conference room. She opened the door and saw Clark was instructing the Justice League on their next attack if one was to happen. It was an escape plan.
Everyone heard the door open and saw Diana standing there in black pants, a red jacket and a green scarf wrapped around her hair. Some had their mouths open and others just smiled, knowing that she might return.
Diana stood there motionless and then realized everyone was looking at her, her cheeks reddened at all the eyes on her. She wished she had sunglasses on right now. Clark stood at the head of the table just looking at her.
He cleared his throat, "Well…ah…meeting adjourned until later." With that he gathered up all papers on the table and others started filing out, not even bothering to ask her any questions. Batman gave her a faint smile. She would have that image burned into her brain.
Clark looked up at the stunned Diana. He noticed she was thinner, less toned and her hair was shorter. Her skin was more olive than he had remembered. Perhaps she loved to stay out in the sun on that island of hers.
"Hello, Diana," he smiled at her.
"Ah…hello, Clark. I didn't know you were working with the Justice League now."
He gathered all papers in hand and put them in a filing system near the table. "It was you who told me to use my abilities for something. I have been doing nothing my whole life. I figured if you were going to leave, I'd do something."
"To take my place?" she felt a bit hurt.
"No, I could never take your place, Diana. I was just filling in until you decided to come back."
Diana paused, "What if I decided never to return?"
"You would return. You can't hide forever, besides you're here right now aren't you?" he smiled walking passed her down the hall to the cafeteria.
Diana's jaw opened and she quickly followed putting a hand on his shoulder, turning him to face her. "What is that supposed to mean? Hide forever? You think I was hiding?"
Others started to stare at them. He took her by the arm and led her into his private room in the next hallway.
"Good. Away from prying eyes. Now, I didn't mean hiding exactly. Maybe that was the wrong word." He pondered for a few moments.
"Is there a right word? What is wrong with you and Bruce thinking I went to Themyscira to hide? I am no coward!"
"Then why did you leave? You refuse to face your problems. You're Wonder Woman, Ambassador of Themyscira, and Princess of the Amazons. You have no room to be a coward. Why do you run, Diana?"
"I no longer am able to use those titles. I am not worthy of those titles."
He groaned and sat in a chair, "Diana, stop, right now." He put his hands on his head letting out a deep breath. "Are you alright?" he asked sincerely.
"What?" confused by his question.
"Are you alright?" he repeated.
"We –of course I am alright, Kal, why would you say that?" she folded her arms looking around his barren room.
"If you are not worthy of any of those titles why would they be given to you? Not anyone can be Wonder Woman, you know. I can't," he gave a boyish smile. Diana tried to hide her smile. She didn't like to be teased when she was irritated. "Besides, we know you would have come back otherwise you wouldn't have access to the watchtower anymore."
"How did Bruce get you to join the league anyway?" Diana asked, taking a seat on the bed.
"Simply he asked me, that is all. He is a bit odd, but we all have our problems."
Diana realized that he had changed so much and she went back home to do what? Hide, yeah that's what she did. After a year of staying there she finally admitted it to herself that she was hiding.
"…I was hiding." Diana mumbled.
"What?" Kal knowing fully what she had said, he wanted to hear her say it out loud so she could hear it herself.
"I was hiding. I was hiding from everyone. From myself. From my fears of failing, again." Diana rubbed her arms together and sighed.
He came to sit next to her and he held her close to him. He missed being next to her. No longer was he mad at her for leaving, but simply trying to comfort her. Clark smiled as Diana leaned closer into him. She looked up at him and he saw she was staring at him.
Still wearing that green scarf he smiled, "You look like Diana Al Wahhab with that thing on," he laughed.
Diana laughed, "I am not Diana Al Wahhab, not anymore. I am Diana."
She came closer to him, leaning her head against his chest.
AN: ohmygod it's been too long! I have been doing school and working on that other story. Sorry this is really short compared to my other chapters in this story. I didn't want this to carry on and on, just because simply…the tasks are completed. Although I think two more chapters would be good or maybe just one, like an epilogue or something! No two is good I think...anyway,
If it's rushed I'm so sorry D:
Shoftak = See you