Clark Kent brings a woman home to meet his mother. As usual, I don't own the rights to any of the characters herein.

He'd only ever brought one other woman home to meet his mother. And she had broken his heart.

Mortality and happily ever after rarely go hand-in-hand.

He glanced at the woman seated next to him in his utterly unflashy pickup truck and smiled. Who wouldn't at seeing such loveliness? And, no, this wasn't the rose-tinted view of a man in love.

She simply was lovely. It was the adjective most often used to describe her and while there were others – adjectives that is – such as pretty, striking, gorgeous, and beautiful. None of those other words hit the mark in defining something as ineffable and simple as 'lovely'.

And, she was lovely.

The world agreed that such was the case, and yes, she was famous. One of the most famous women in the world.

She was also tense. It was obvious in the slight frown that marred the line of her jaw to the worry in her depthless, blue eyes.

He reached over and took her hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze.

"It'll be alright," he said.

She flicked a glance at him before returning to stare at the surrounding farmland. "What if she doesn't like me?"

"I like you," he said, and in his mind, if he liked someone, that person was, be definition, likeable. Even Bruce, who no one could stand. Respect and admire and even fear, but like…Not likely.

But he did. There was a core to Bruce, hidden deep, maybe even from himself, but it was as gentle as a spring rain to make the May flowers bloom. What could he have been if not for that early tragedy in his life?

She looked at him and smiled hesitantly. "You think I'm being silly don't you."

He considered her question carefully before finally answering. "I think you just want to make a good impression."

She rolled her eyes. "Which is a very chivalrous way of say 'you're being silly'."

He kept quiet, and for a moment, she thought he wouldn't have a response, but he surprised, as he still did so many times.

"She'll love you." He said it with quiet assurance.

And she believed him, or at least she felt some of her nervousness fade away. It wasn't the first time he had told her that his mother would love her, but it helped to hear it again.

That and the certainty with which he said it.

His was a strength that didn't require boasting or braggadocio, and it had nothing to do with the power he wielded, a wrecking ball of unstoppable force enough to give pause to the most arrogant Olympian. The world saw the flash and bang of his talents, but that wasn't from whence his strength stemmed. No. It came from some place deeper, rising from that same rich mother lode that allowed a man to always seek to do what was good and true and right.

In his case, this demi-god, he also sought to inspire Humanity to his mission of bringing about a better a kinder and more just world.

She studied his profile as he concentrated on the road. His strong jaw, as square and blunt as the farm life with which he'd been raised, was tempered by his blue eyes, so innocent and still able to see the world with a child's hope. And of course, there was his smile, enough to soften the heart of even the most hard-hearted.

How such a man – someone who inspired the fevered dreams of a million women – had wound his way into her warrior soul, so stealthily that she hadn't even seen the signs of her love for him, was a tale that still made her shake her head in disbelief.

She had always confessed to her friends and even her family that she saw him as a brother. It had never been true. Not from the first time she had met him and was dazzled by that winsome, boyish smile.

Her heart had melted, but there had never been the opportunity to act upon her feelings. His love had been for another, and even if such was not the case, her warrior spirit had fought tooth and nail against her, blinding her to what she truly felt.

It had taken her mother to point out the obvious.

She loved him, and he loved her.

She worried at her lip, though, still unsure sometimes. The other woman, long dead now, had been his first true love. She wondered if she would always live within the shadow cast by that other woman.

He smiled as he glanced at her out of the corner of his eye.

When she was deep in thought, she tended to bite at her lower lip.

It was enchanting, the way it changed the lines of her face. The immaculate beauty was still there, but softened by such a fragile and human expression. Despite what the world perceived as a fierce persona and boundless talents, her generosity of spirit and desire to serve had always been her greatest gifts. And despite her regal birth, she had a way of reaching out and inspiring those around her, even the most common of folk. All it took was a kind word here or a gentle touch there and people fell in love with her.

Such was her grace.

He wondered anew at the ways of the world and life. How such a lovely woman had wound her way into his soul and rekindled the burnt out husk that had once been his heart was an altogether different and longer tale.

It was a story he loved remembering, just as he would always remember the first woman he had brought to meet his mother. But, their time together had been brief, even as mortals measured it. Once he had feared that with her passing, a pall would be cast over all the days of his possibly endless life. Such hadn't happened, and he was grateful that time stretched on, and in the end, he had found the love of his life.

This lovely woman seated quietly next to him.

She had been in front of him all along.

Roads and fields from his childhood hove into view, and he travelled along them, reminiscing days past. Soon he would be home, back to the farm where he'd been raised.

He held in a melancholy sigh. He wished his father were alive still. He would have loved this woman he was bringing home.

He turned into a gravel drive, flat and winding through fields with the corn standing tall. Harvest was only a few weeks away.

"Here we are," he said.

She took a few moments to make sure her hair was still straight. With a tight smile, she nodded to him. "I'm ready."

He grinned. "Do you remember how nervous I was when I met your mother?" he asked.

She laughed. "I feared you might faint."

"Well, my mom wants to love you. She'll make it easy."

He always knew the right thing to say. "I love you," she said, cupping his cheek.

He kissed her fingers. "I love you, too."

The front door opened, and she saw a woman, small and middle-aged and unassuming. None would have given her a second look. But it had been this matronly woman who had been the mother to this man, helping shape him, with her love and guidance, into the champion the world knew.

The older woman hobbled down the stairs and threw her arms around her son. "Clark, it's so good to see you," she said.

Clark held his mother close, careful with her as he always had to be. Her scent carried him back to his childhood. He set her down and turned her to face the woman he had brought homt. "Ma, I'd like you to meet Diana," he said.

Diana smiled shyly. "It's a pleasure meeting you, Mrs. Kent."