Chapter 3: Morning After

Darkness surrounded the Princess of Themyscira. There had once been light, sparks of brilliance that dared share its grace with the small island nation. But now there was only darkness, only a pitch black ache of loneliness and heartache. And the void of ugly despair only grew the longer she stayed, the longer her soul remained rooted to this lost paradise.

But she couldn't yet force the separation, yield to self-preservation. A part of her thought she deserved this torture, the inky sludge of mourning that had attached to her heart and refused to let go.

She slumped further to the floor, her hand gripping the spoil of her emotional war, the reason for the pilgrimage home. Tears fell. But hadn't they fallen already? Had they ever truly stopped?

Curling into a fetal position, she wedged herself between the cold, hard wall and an even colder prostrated stone. Lifeless and beseeching forgiveness, arms outstretched, the stone spoke volumes in its mocking silence. She curled closer, pressing into it, searching for the motherly warmth she once knew. The warmth she had taken for granted. The warmth she feared would never be hers again.

And out of the still darkness came the slithering. They too had found the queen. Indeed, they had always been here, here when she had not. Here when hurt and anger and confusion had driven her away. Too far away.

Then the hissing came, not from all but some. She did not shrink from the sound or the reptilian sentiment, the threat, the accusation. She deserved the scorn, the distrust, the sadness in the scales slithering over and around her. But they didn't strike, didn't rear back and set fangs to flesh. No, that wasn't necessary. Their chilling presence struck deeper and with more venom than if they had actually attacked.

And the toxin coursed through her shaking form, but it was no match for what already lie within. A heart split in two. One half slowly, desperately pumping, coated in debilitating darkness. The other half was stomping at a jovial rhythmic pace, shining and bright with possibility, with new love.

Latching onto that possibility, onto that shining light, Princess Diana of Themyscria lifted herself into the air. The snakes fell away but their pain did not. But she kept lifting, kept moving farther and farther away until she was away from the Great Hall.

Away from an island that was only paradise because of its people.

Away from the child once called "clay."

Away from lies and secrets and revenge made manifest.

Away. Away. Away.

And towards . . .

Diana opened her eyes, no longer caught in the familiar nightmare. They began after she discovered what Hera had done to her family. Over the months, they'd scaled down to only two or three a week. But since returning home, she'd had one every night. Last night had been no different, although so much had changed.

Glancing to her side, Diana realized she wasn't the only one awake. Blue eyes watched her.

"Bad dream?"

She briefly closed her eyes then nodded. This wasn't how she wanted to begin her morning, her first with Clark. She reached out and touched the cheek of the face hovering above her. "Good morning."

He smiled, lazy and knowing.

"Good morning, Wonder Woman."

She groaned. He'd called her that a lot last night, but with none of the reverence people normally said it with. No, Clark's new emphasis now had a decidedly wicked, sensual meaning. A meaning, that, yes, she earned by the sheer number of times they made love. And, she sheepishly admitted to herself, by her unbridled enthusiasm.

"You're not nearly as cute as you think you are, Clark."

He batted his ridiculously long dark lashes at her, his smile as beautiful as the sun making its appearance in the early-morning sky.

"That wasn't what you said last night."

Diana refused to blush, because once she started she knew she wouldn't be able to stop. Because, yes, she remembered everything she had said to him last night. Or rather moaned, swiftly followed by yet another full-body orgasm.

"I distinctly recall you saying my body was like Mount Olympus—majestic, matchless, magnificent."

"You know, Clark, a little bit of humility goes a long way."

"Speaking of 'long way,' you also said—"

She smacked him with his pillow, then did it again and again and again until the pillow fight was on and they were rolling around on the bed. The bed, which was actually just a mattress now, had collapsed somewhere between their first and second coupling. Or maybe it was when Clark had told her to, "ride me like a Kryptonian stallion," that had done the poor wooden frame in.

Pillow feathers were now everywhere, floating above them like some poor sacrifice to a disapproving pillow god. They tussled outright now, naked bodies pushing and pulling and scratching and tugging. And she was giggling. Actually giggling like a . . . like a . . . woman in love for the first time?

Diana stopped, halted by her own realization. Am I in love with Clark Kent . . . Superman? She looked up at him, his massive body perched above her, his hair wonderfully messy, his eyes glowing with desire. Yes, I am. Then she couldn't help but wonder if the feeling was mutual. If nothing else, he made her feel loved when they were intimate. She didn't know if that was one in the same. For her it was, but for Clark . . . well, Diana simply didn't know.

"I got you now, Amazon."

Yes, yes he did. More than he knew.

Diana mock struggled, just as Clark mock held her down, hands gently twined with her own. Their palms pressed firmly together, as close as the rest of them, Diana aware of her own and Clark's arousal.

They kissed, and the feel of his lips and tongue obliterated whatever lingered from her nightmare, smashing the memory into bits of unwanted guilt, uninvited sorrow. And when he slipped inside of her, claiming Diana with possessive familiarity, she relished the sensation of fullness, the filling of an ache too long denied, even the ebbing soreness of being deliciously stretched.

Clark released her hands then rolled them over until she was on top. Sitting up, Diana felt powerful, in control, as if she could do anything, be anyone. Be myself. Trusting the man she'd given her body and heart to, Diana slowly discarded her bracers, slipping them off her wrists and onto the floor.

She watched Clark watch her. His gaze intensified but his passion-filled expression never changed. He sat up, shifting her more firmly onto him, ripping a soft moan from them both.

His hands found a hip and her back, fitting them together perfectly. And he said nothing as he began to move inside of her, their eyes locked, his blue, hers lightning white. So she said nothing either, just matched his rhythm, accepting his silent acceptance of her.

"You truly are the daughter of Zeus, aren't you, sweetheart?" His words were but a husky whisper in her ear.

She nodded, holding him even closer to her, his thighs hard and strong under her.

"Don't close them," he said, when she went to shut her eyes. "I want to see all of you. I need to see all of you."

He increased the pace, going faster and faster, slamming into her with an intensity that was as much a challenge as it was a demand for her to let go completely. Clark's steel words of "Show me, Diana," almost undid her. But it was his sensuous growl of "Claim me properly, Amazon," that set her ablaze.

Lightning skidded through every pore of her body, skating over muscles and sinews and bursting from fingertips, eyes, and hair. On his back Clark went, the mattress reduced to inconsequential shards of cotton, Diana a nimbus cloud of unleashed demigoddess above him. And with an untamed roughness that shocked her but pleased Clark, the Amazon did indeed claim her Kryptonian.

Over and over.

Loud and relentless.

Wild and free.

And when they finished, when there was not an ounce of energy left between them, they collapsed . . . and fell . . . and fell . . . and fell. And when they finally landed, they were in the basement of Clark's apartment building, naked and staring up into the faces of shocked neighbors.

Mortified, all Diana could think to say was "I can never show my face in Metropolis again."

Clark chuckled. "It's not exactly your face that people will remember." He smacked her bottom. "Not when you've given them so much more to look at."

She groaned and buried her face in his sweaty chest, ignoring the hoots and applauses from the men above and the disapproving tsks from the older women.

"What are you complaining about, I'm the one who has to live with these people. Besides," he said, looking up at the gaping hole above them, "I have to explain to Jimmy that I lost our security deposit."

"You're right." Diana looked around. "So, ah, maybe we can move now before one of those frat boys takes a picture and we find ourselves on News 52."

He smacked her bottom again, and then winked when she glared at him.

Ten minutes later, they were back in his apartment, looking down into a hole that went several stories. Diana snapped her second bracer back into place. "That's the last time—"

Clark spun her around to face him, his mouth swallowing the nonsense she was about to spout. "Fortress of Solitude."

"What?"

"Fortress of Solitude. This weekend. Just the two of us. Bring lots and lots of that herbal tea of yours."

He shooed her away from the hole and the destruction they'd wrought, thankful the damage was only wood and beams and not people. Yeah, not exactly the way she wanted to spend her morning after. Not that she liked the idea of having met Clark's neighbors in the form of the forever-nude Aphrodite.

Clark grabbed her hand. "I have to be at work soon, so we need to shower."

Ah, yeah, they really, really did. They smelled exactly like what they'd been doing for hours. But showering together? "I don't think that's a good idea."

Clark led her into the bathroom, turned on the water, and slipped inside the shower. "It's the best-worst idea I've ever had." He reached out a hand to her. "Are you coming?"

If Diana joined him, she knew she would be soon . . . and repeatedly.

Diana glanced at the perfect white tiles of the shower, all even and unblemished. Then she looked at Clark, his body wet and sexy, eyes twinkling, hand still outstretched. With a shrug, Diana eased out of her bracers and into the shower.

Clark immediately pinned her to the shower wall.

"You're going to be late for work."

"I know."

Diana wrapped her legs around his waist.

"We're going to wreck this shower."

"Already calculating the cost of repair."

He joined them.

They moaned.

And when that first tile cracked, Diana barely noticed. No, all she could hear was the thumping of her heart, racing by leaps and bounds to a place she has never been but might be, toward a destiny yet revealed.

THE END

Author's Note: Okay, there's my "What If" gapfiller. Thank you for reading, and a special thanks to those who've taken the time to leave a comment. I enjoy reading your thoughts and appreciate the feedback.