Clark and Diana were dumbfounded. Somehow, someway they were standing before their adult daughter. Seconds ago they had been embracing a four month old, and now she was grown. She her mother's height and build, and her soft demeanor, but they could see that behind that calm was a fierce Amazon. Clark looked back and forth between Diana and Clara, looking for similarities in their faces which he could see, but she most reminded him of his mother Lara. Diana thought she still looked just like Clark.
"Where? How?" Clark stammered, the feeling he had whenever he was near Clara was stronger than ever.
"We are in between time." Clara explained.
"But how?" Diana asked, she was just as confused as Clark was.
"It's just something I can do."
"Did you bring us here? Why?"
"Yes. I brought you here to warn you. Darkseid is not dead."
Clara was not prepared for the myriad of emotions that overcame her parents. It occurred to her that even she didn't understand the magnitude of what they had just done. Despite the fact that she'd been there, she was only a baby. She watched her parents look at each other and saw every emotion they could ever feel wash over them all at once. She had to continue before this became too difficult.
"A being like him cannot simply be killed. If you go home now, he'll return, perhaps even more powerful."
Diana was dejected beyond belief, after all of that the monster still wasn't gone. "Is there nothing we can do then?"
"There is only one way. But is highly dangerous."
"There is no danger that I wouldn't risk to keep my loved ones safe." Diana said defiantly.
"How do we end it?" Clark asked.
Clara felt the need to explain herself. "The timeline of my life is forever changing. I have traveled the universe learning everything I can. I have been to Olympus, I have been to Krypton, and I've battled beings far more evil and more powerful than Darkseid on each. There's only one way to end it, you must take his power from him totally."
"How do we do that?" Diana asked.
"On Almerac it's called the Eternal Void, on Olympus it's called the Tomb of the Titans, and on Krypton…. It's called the Phantom Zone." Clara looked directly into her father's eyes and saw the recognition in them.
"The Phantom Zone? I don't know how to open that."
"Yes, I'm aware of that. But I do."
"You're going back with us?" Clark asked.
"How do we open it?" Diana asked simultaneously.
"I can't go back with you, I'm already there, and I've already opened it."
Realization hit Diana. "The explosion."
"I am made from love and war. Your love." Clara reached down and intertwined her parents hands. "And the war that you fight to protect your love. And that is all that can protect you from what will happen next."
"What's happening next?" Clark asked, seeing a tear fall from Clara's eye. She looked terrified.
"Just remember how much you love each other."
Suddenly Clara began to fade away, the white light began to fade and was replaced with the half destroyed throne room on Apokolips. The wind was cutting and both Clark and Diana were aware of the pain their bodies had been in before Clara came to them.
They were new exactly where they had been minutes ago before the explosion. The red beam of light that had engulfed Darkseid's body had doubled in size. Not only that but it was pulling them towards it. Threatening to swallow them as well.
Hal's ring told him immediately that they were facing an anomaly similar to a black hole, a singularity that turned all matter into nothingness. Acting quickly he constructed restraints for himself, Flash, Batman and Zatanna. He tried to grab Clark, Diana and Clara but he was too late, they were too far away, and the ring wasn't letting him get any closer.
Clark tried to lock his feet down to the floor but he couldn't get any traction. Diana had a strong grip across his shoulders pulling him towards her pinning Clara in between them. The portal had almost a selective gravity, it was only pulling in lifeforms. Either fully alive or recently deceased, and it was pulling with a gravity that was far stronger than any sun Clark had encountered. Both he and Diana were exhausted from the battle and they feared that they wouldn't be strong enough to escape.
Diana locked eyes with Clark, she had reserved herself to what now seemed inevitable. As they were pulled closer and closer, she began to pray that whatever laid before them they could be together. Any life with her love and her daughter couldn't be so bad. The look in Clark's eyes said that he felt the same way.
But baby Clara was having none of it. As Clark's cape touched the edge of the hole her eyes glowed brightly. That monster had hurt her mommy and daddy more than enough, they loved her so much they were willing to do anything to protect her. She needed to protect them.
Clara's eyes glowed brighter and brighter and a field was formed around them, a field that was resistant to the pull of the hole. Neither Clark nor Diana could see, and they gripped each other tightly, despite the fact that both could feel themselves being pulled away from the hole where Darkseid had long been swallowed.
The others watched in awe, they could see everything. Baby Clara's eyes glowed, flooding the room with light, and she was moving away from the singularity which was now beginning to reseal itself. They shouldn't have been surprised, that the child of Clark and Diana would have such abilities even at such a young age, but this was amazing.
Once the Phantom zone closed Hal let loose the restraints he constructed to keep them safe and approached Clark and Diana who were still huddled together to protect Clara.
"Hey, it's over." He briefly touched Clark's shoulder, who turned quickly.
Clara had essentially been pinned between her parents chests nearly fell when Clark stepped back, but he caught her arms and Diana caught her around the middle.
"Whoa look." Hal noticed Clara, as did her parents.
Clara's eyes were slowly returning to normal from their glowing white state, it had been her protecting them from right here, not from the future.
"She said the timeline of her life was always changing. Maybe she can see the future." Diana speculated, hugging Clara close finally able to relax knowing it was truly over.
"Maybe, that would explain a lot."
"It would, but for right now, I want to go home." Diana sighed.
"Say no more."
Clark finally was able to activate the motherbox on his belt, opening a portal to earth. He walked through it confident that he'd never again have to return to his nightmare of a planet. Which now had it's second in command lying headless in a corner and it's ruler sealed in a tomb for all eternity.
2 YEARS LATER
A lot had changed for Clark in the last two years. The Justice League had become an official publicly recognized organization, which he had been elected chairman. They joined together several more times to stop threats against the people. Whether it be alien attacks, natural disasters or even the people themselves. While some disliked and distrusted them, they still did what was right.
Themyscira was a totally different place now, the Amazons had crafted totally new laws and there had been a shift in the mindset of the younger Amazons who had been far removed from the abuse of the past. They entered Man's world now with new ideals. Some came to explore, educate themselves or possibly even live now. There were still those who only came for children, in which case they simply left the guy alone the next morning to never be seen again by him. There were still no boys born among them, but it was a start. Even Donna had found happiness as a princess. In just a few short years her development had gone from a small child to a teenager. All Amazons celebrated her as one of them.
Clark's work situation had changed a bit, it took Lois a long time to come around again. Even then it wasn't the same, it couldn't be. Their writing team was ended immediately, and it took her months to speak to him again, or even look at him for that matter. All their co-workers simply assumed that the two of them hooked up at some point and somehow Clark did something stupid, but as to keep from getting on Lois' bad side they kept their mouths shut.
Eventually Lois forgave him, informing him that she did it for her own sake and not his. She also recognized her own missteps in their relationship too. They could work together amicably again, she even covered for him so he could be Superman when necessary. He may have broken her heart, but she did like staying alive, so she gave him that courtesy. Also whenever she needed help he was always there, which made perfect sense now, before she was clueless to how Superman always knew when she needed help.
Also Clark's knowledge of Krypton had grown dramatically. Thanks in large part to Clara, as she grew older her ability to figure things out was incredible. She was able to interpret things Clark had no concept of, and help him put it into some sort of context. He had a Phantom Zone device in the fortress the whole time but didn't know how to use it. But Clara had shown the ability to open it herself, and somehow that helped Clark figure out how to use the machine. Along with several other devices he had. Diana suggested that Clara was a time traveller, and that her older self had gone back in time to Krypton and learned it's technology and was somehow able to pass that on to them. It was the only explanation given that Diana had sung to her in Kryptonian since she was a newborn. Who knew? Clara had never had to use her powers in such a dramatic way since Apokalypse, in many ways she was a mystery to them. All they knew for sure was that her powers were derived from Love & War.
Of course there was the best part of his life, which was being at home with his family. Clark arranged the plastic tablecloth across a picnic table beyond his home in anticipation for a family lunch under the sun. He'd placed the table near a tree so it could get some shade under Diana's direction, then spread the cloth. Then he looked towards the house waiting for Diana to join him.
The golf house was now their official home. Diana had derailed many a renovation day by insisting they make love in it over and over. When he was finished renovating Diana had basically moved them in without a second thought. It wasn't a hard sell for Clark, it was a beautiful home that also happened to have a very sexy memory attached to every room in it.
He waited several minutes before Clara and his now wife Diana exited from the back door. He smiled proudly at seeing them.
"Clara Antiope Kent, do not run by the pool!" Diana commanded as she opened the sliding door to the outside. Unfortunately it was to no avail because Clara took off seconds after she stopped talking. She watched her defiant 2 year old make a beeline towards the pool.
"Catch me daddy!" Clara shouted.
Clark knew what Clara would do the second she started running, and what she wanted him to do. He got himself into position quickly.
Clara couldn't fly yet, but she could jump very high and very far, right over the pool, she was significantly stronger than Clark was at that age. While she could leap with the best of them, landings weren't a particularly pretty sight which meant someone had to catch her still. Clark positioned himself right underneath her, and outstretched his arms. Clara laughed happily as she fell into her father's arms.
The moment Clark caught her he fell backwards. "Ow! My neck, my back! My neck and my back!" He feigned being in pain.
"You're not hurt. Nothing can hurt you daddy!" Clara called him out hugging him around the neck.
"I need you to listen to your mommy ok? She tells you all those things because she loves you and wants to keep you safe. So do I. Because I can be hurt, if something bad ever happened to you it would hurt me more than anything in the world. And mommy too."
"Sorry daddy. I'll listen from now on." Clara insisted.
Clark half smiled. He knew how defiant and curious his daughter was. She would be going against Diana's or his wishes and be into something before long and he knew it. According to Hippolyta, Diana was the same way as a child.
Diana watched her daughter and husband fall and roll in the grass as she made her way towards them. Clara was lucky she'd landed on Clark and not her. She would have gotten a stern talking to for disobeying like that, while Clark explained the situation much more calmly. Then again Diana's patience was worn thin, mostly due to her condition.
She was very pregnant, about 8 months along. However if you asked her, she'd been pregnant for several terms over. This pregnancy was a bit more uncomfortable than the last one, she couldn't move quickly at all. Walking was difficult, as was flying sometimes she cursed her own stubbornness because Clark had simply stopped asking if she needed help these days.
So she waddled over to the picnic table and sat down, immediately going for the food that was in the covered plates. Soon after, Clark and Clara joined her.
"Selina called. She asked how we were." Diana started. "And to ask me for my advice on a few things."
"I see." Clark preferred not to know the particulars about Bruce and Selina's relationship, but Bruce had quietly informed him that Selina was in the early stages of her own pregnancy a few days ago. "What about?"
"Permanent things." Diana's fingers almost absently went to the diamond ring on her hand, a ring that symbolized the lifetime they promised to each other.
Clark cringed, "Good luck with that." He didn't expect Bruce to get married ever.
"That's what I told her."
"Selina and Mr. Bruce are getting married?" Clara jumped in.
Both parents were a bit surprised Clara was so observant. Diana's gesture towards her own ring had been rather subtle.
"No Clara, they're just having a baby. They don't know if they'll get married." Diana answered.
"Oh." Clara went back to her sandwich as if she'd been given every bit of information she needed.
"Speaking of having a baby. I think I want to know now." Diana informed Clark.
"Really?" Clark asked skeptically, they'd been down this road before. She was asking him what the sex of the baby is again.
"Yes Clark, don't give me that look!" Diana warned.
"What look? You've told me you wanted to know several times before and stopped me every time. I don't even believe you anymore."
"Well this time I'm serious. I want to know."
Clark laughed. "Do you know how much I love you?"
"As much as I love you, now spit it out Clark! I'm serious this time."
"Are you sure?"
"You're absolutely, positively, no turning back now sure?"
"Yes." She was getting mad now.
"Alright. I will tell you." He paused to give her plenty of time to change her mind.
"I'm waiting." She said impatiently.
"Alright I'll tell you. Are you ready?"
Diana nodded. "Boy or girl?"
"We're having… both."
And there you have it. I hope you have enjoyed reading this story as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I can't thank the readers and reviewers enough for your kind words. I wish you all the best.