Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Dating for Heroes
"You could help you know."
Diana looked up from the newspaper she had been reading and at the man wearing the "Kiss the Cook" apron. It was red, white with lilies and butterflies, and far, far too small for him. Gods, Clark looked as scrumptious as he did ridiculous.
"We've had this discussion before. I don't cook."
Clark opened the oven, grabbed the pan with the chicken, carrots, and potatoes, and slid it into the oven. It smelled delicious, and it wasn't even ready yet. Clark Kent really was an exceptional cook. She, on the other hand . . .
"So you've said every time I've cooked us dinner." He turned to her, all pouty lips and muscled man. He really did need to stop wearing his mother's apron. Diana was sure that Mrs. Kent wouldn't approve. But it did up his cute factor. Not that he needed it. And not that Diana needed to be reminded of how absolutely attractive she found this super man.
"We can always order out or fly somewhere nice." She folded her paper, knowing she wouldn't get any more reading done as long as he was glaring at her as if she was the laziest person in the Universe. "I told you my cousin, Eros, knows all the hot spots. You don't have to keep cooking for me."
He pulled out a chair and plopped down beside her, the kitchen table seeming suddenly small in comparison. "I still find it hard to believe that you can't cook. I mean, Diana, you nearly burned the house down when I asked you to boil water for the spaghetti."
She frowned. "How was I supposed to know that I had to watch it? Or that water boiled so damn fast?" That had been a month ago, and this was the third time Clark had seen fit to mention the now infamous boiling water incident. "And why can't you believe that I know nothing of cooking? Is there a particular reason why I should, Mr. Kent?"
He eyed her cautiously, and well he should, for Diana knew precisely why Clark found it so unusual that she couldn't perform even the most rudimentary cooking procedures. Like boiling stupid water or cutting up cucumbers for a stupid salad.
Clark leaned back in his chair, arms crossing over his chest. Then he scooted his chair back about ten inches before he said, "You were raised on an island full of women, for gods' sake, I would think you would've—"
"Do you think it wise to finish that sexist statement, Clark?"
"I'm just saying that—"
Diana stood, and the now crumpled newspaper fell to the floor.
Clark moved back another ten inches. But they both knew she could reach him in seconds, the distance of no significance to people like them.
"With an island full of women, clearly women did the cooking. What's so sexist about that?"
He was really asking for it, his smile telling her he knew exactly the flame he was stoking. And she knew Clark enjoyed niggling her, pushing her buttons in a way that would land any other man flat on his back. But, for reasons she was unwilling to explore, Diana didn't mind such games from Clark. But not minding and doing nothing about it . . . well, that wasn't the Amazon way.
"I have no skill in the art of food preparation," she said deliberately, calmly. "But you, on the other hand, would make for an excellent squire. Or," she said, turning away from him and heading toward the living room, "a stable boy."
Rich laughter met her ears. Clark Kent didn't laugh nearly enough, in her opinion.
"Where are you going, Princess?" She tensed. The words were spoken right next to her. She hadn't even felt him move. But Clark's amazing speed wasn't the cause for the sudden tightening in her gut.
Princess. He never called her that. Diana knew he was just teasing. But she was no princess. That would actually require a land, people, and a queen. The land was all she had of the three, and even that she could no longer bring herself to place foot upon.
Diana breathed deeply, not wanting to ruin this evening with her melancholy. She had enough of that in her life, her time with Clark rare moments of peace in an otherwise stressful existence.
"Did I say something wrong?" A hand came up to stroke hair, the touch comforting and gentle. She leaned into his touch, her back coming into contact with his chest. "Where did you go, Diana?"
"I'm right here."
The other hand wrapped around her stomach, holding her to him. It was a possessiveness Amazons were raised to abhor, to fear, to fight against. But Diana didn't abhor or fear his touch, the comfort he gave so freely. Nor did she intend to fight, him or herself. So she permitted the embrace, permitted Clark to wrap her in his masculine strength, claiming her in his own silent way.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
No, she didn't. What was there to say? That she once thought she was created from clay and need and love, but now knew she was conceived of sin and lust and infidelity? Must he know that she was raised on lies and deception and that her mother and sisters paid the ultimate price because of her existence? No, she would tell Clark none of that.
"Not yet." She wasn't ready to bleed in front of him, to lay open old scars that had yet to heal. To explain why she harbored and protected Hera, the very woman who had taken all that had ever mattered to her. Or why she had taken in a brother she didn't know and a girl who had no one but herself to rely on. A dysfunctional family, that's what humans would call what she had, what she went home to every night. No, she was in no rush to share that part of herself with Clark. For right now, she wanted it to be just the two of them.
"How about a race?"
"Not again." Diana turned in his arms and looked up at him. He was smiling down at her, dimple and all. "We raced two days ago and five before that."
"And you won."
Of course she did, which was why he kept asking her. She should just allow him to win. But what would be the fun in that? Yet Diana did blame herself for Clark's insistence on aerial games. Ever since that night they played Its and Horse, the man had turned into an ultra- competitive pain in her Amazonian hide.
"Come on, Diana," he whined. "The food won't be ready for a while. We have plenty of time. Just one race then we can do anything you want to do tonight."
"With no complaints?"
"Nope, not a one."
Diana almost laughed. Her Kryptonian had no sense of strategy at all. This was too easy. When would he ever learn not to bargain with or compete against an Amazon? Gods, this is going to be fun. Again.
"Fine," she said, sounding appropriately put-upon.
And off came the apron, Clark ready to begin.
She sighed, ran a hand through her loose curls, then glanced down at her clothes. They were staying in so she'd dressed down. Like Clark, Diana only wore jeans and a T-shirt. She really wasn't a fan of such clothing, but they seemed the most reasonable thing to wear on a farm.
"Where to this time?"
Diana pretended to give his question some thought, already knowing her destination. "What about Paris?"
"Paris it is then." Clark bent down and checked his well-worn boots, making sure they were tied. "No flying, just running. And the first person back wins. The loser," he said, giving her a devilish wink, "does the dishes."
"Yes, yes, I know the rules." Diana kicked off her shoes.
"Barefoot again, my little island girl?"
Oh, he was so going to pay for that one. Diana simply smiled and nodded.
They went outside and stood at the bottom of the steps, facing away from the farm, the horizon just beyond.
Diana didn't bother to look at Clark. She knew what she would see. He would be in "Superman mode," sans the suit and cape. It didn't matter. He wouldn't win. Not because he wasn't faster than Diana. He was. He would lose for the same reason he always lost to her. Clark Kent, Kal-el, the last son of Krypton, lacked imagination, seeing the world in too-simple patterns of black and white.
She winked at him this time, then said, "Ready, set, go!"
They went, eating up the grass and cornfield, nothing but two inhuman blurs.
Ten minutes later a gust of wind blew through the house.
Legs curled under her on the couch, Diana turned the page of her magazine and sipped from a large glass of iced tea. Putting the glass down, she glanced up at Clark.
He glared down at her, a bit of perspiration on his upper lip.
"I win," she said sweetly, then went back to her reading.
"I can see that." The words were a near growl. She ignored him. "Another race, Diana."
She did spare him a glance then. "No."
"What do you mean 'no'?"
"It means exactly that, Clark. No more racing. You lose. I win. Now get over it and don't forget to scrub all the pots and pans this time." She flipped another page, enjoying his quiet seething. Really, for as strong and smart as he was, Clark could learn a lesson or two from Batman. "Maybe you should check on the dinner."
He sat down beside her. "How do you keep doing it?"
"Keep doing what?"
His eyes were now suspiciously observant, and she gave him her best innocent smile, wondering when the critically-minded reporter in him would figure it out.
Clark slid nearer, one arm going to rest on the top of the couch. "Keep winning. How are you doing it?"
"Are you saying," –she put down her magazine— "that by default a superman is faster than a wonder woman?"
Blue eyes narrowed, and Diana swallowed her laughter. Dating Clark Kent was so much more than she thought it would be. She hadn't had this much fun in a very long while. Or been this attracted to a man.
"Where did you go when you left the farm?"
"Paris, of course."
His eyes narrowed even more.
"Paris, . . . Texas," she said, then burst into laughter.
"You little witch. What about when we raced to Cairo?"
Diana couldn't stop laughing. Doubled-over, sides aching, tears rolling down cheeks, she wailed.
Clark snarled, "All this time you've had me running all over the world and you went no further than the continental United States."
Landing in a heap on the floor, Clark attacked her again. Fingers went to sides, under arms, and to feet.
"You sneaky fiend."
He had her squirming, howling with laughter, fingers sure and unrepentant.
"I surrender. I surrender."
"You don't know the meaning of the word."
The tickling assault continued, and Diana had nowhere to go. Clark's big body was everywhere, hands everywhere, and his mouth . . . Gods, his lips had just claimed to her neck.
He didn't. He kissed, licked, and sucked.
So did he.
Then there was no laugher, just two bodies pressed intimately together. And it hadn't been until Clark had begun to explore her neck that Diana realized that he was lying on top of her, her legs on either side of his hips. The perfect position for—
"I don't want to be the rebound guy." Clark raised his head and looked at her, all trace of humor gone. "Am I, Diana?"
Rebound guy? She had no idea what he was talking about. "I don't know what you mean."
"You and Steve. He was the first man you met, and I'm sure that carries a lot of weight with you."
"I care deeply for him, yes."
Clark rolled off her but didn't rise. Instead, he lay on his back, staring at the ceiling.
She did the same, her body missing the feel of him, the heat he so easily created in her.
"Then why did you break up with him?"
It had taken him long enough to ask. But surely he had to already know the answer.
"Is that what you really want to know, Clark?"
He turned on his side, head resting on his right hand, eyes cast down to her. "No. I want to know whether you are over him. If you still love him. If I'm just a convenient diversion, a rebound for a woman who could have any man she desired."
Diana should be offended, insulted even. Perhaps a part of her was. But the eyes holding her own glistened with fear, vulnerability, and uncertainty. And who was she to deny the validity of those emotions, even if his lack of faith in her was a wound to her pride, her heart.
She raised a finger to his lips and tenderly stroked. He opened his mouth, drew it inside, and sucked. Diana closed her eyes, flames of desire bubbling deep within. "I—I do love Steve. I believe I always will." She pulled her finger from his mouth, then raised her hand to his cheek and caressed. "But I'm not in love with Steve Trevor. I don't think I ever was."
The relieved smile that followed her words was almost painful to see. Such little faith. But you will grow to understand, to trust the loyalty of an Amazon beyond the battlefield.
"And what of you, Clark? Is there some woman who holds your heart? A lost love or unrequited love?"
"There was one," he admitted. "I desired her, but she desired another."
"And is my company a replacement for the one you truly wish to be with?"
Blue eyes sparked with leashed indignation, but then it was gone.
"I wouldn't do that."
"And I wouldn't date you if I desired another. Games of the heart, Clark, are not ones I'm interested in engaging."
"Good, because I don't think I could deal with that."
"So what are we doing?"
"Dating." He scooted closer, body half on her. "Hero-style dating."
She laughed. "That's no answer at all."
He rolled all the way on top of her, his body once again between her legs. And she welcomed him, because, hell yes, this felt like so much more than simply dating.
He wiggled his hips. Let her feel him. His Man. Of. Steel. "Not as comfortable as I could be." He grazed her lips with his. "We still have plenty of time before the food is ready and we can eat." Clark kissed her—hard and deep.
His body moved over top of hers, a persistent rhythm that had them rocking back and forth. Breathless, he asked, "What do you want to do while we wait?" Clark leaned down and whispered in her ear, "I can hear the thudding of your heart, Diana." He placed her hand on his chest and over his heart. "Can you feel the thudding of mine?"
Oh, yes, yes she could.
Without waiting for a reply, Clark kissed her again. Mouth went to her neck, large, greedy hands to the button on her jeans. The button popped off, just when she ripped his shirt off him.
"I want you so much, Diana. So damn much."
By the gods, she wanted him to. And once they rid themselves of the cumbersome clothing, they would have each other.
Clark reached for her shirt, his hands pushing the garment up.
They both heard it.
"Cyborg to Superman and Wonder Woman. Superman, Flash needs your help in Moscow. Wonder Woman is needed in Brazil . . ."
Within seconds, they were dressed and ready for battle, standing at the bottom of the steps again, preparing to speed away.
Lifting off the ground, bodies poised to go in separate directions, Clark pulled Diana into an unexpected kiss. Quick and fierce. "Until next time," he said against her lips.
"Until our next heroic date," she murmured, then, because there was really nothing left to say and people in need of saving, she bolted away, lasso at her side, sword strapped to her thigh, and one hell of a smile on her lips. Until next time, Clark Kent. Until next time.
Author's Note: I want to personally thank everyone who read and/or commented on "Flying." That was the first time I had written a WW/SM fic, and your positive response was both unexpected and graciously appreciated. I rarely have time to write fanfics nowadays, but these two stories popped into my head and demanded to be fully formed, so I made the time. I hope to write more one-shots in the future, filling in gaps we all would love to have seen on-panel. Again, thank you for reading.