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.


Author's Note: This one-shot is based, in part, on a "What Would Diana Do?" question posed on the Superman and Wonder Woman Yahoo Group site.

The prompt: Diana returns home after a day of dealing with Gods and Orion. Diana is tired and hungry. She finds Clark in a hot bathtub and he asks her to join him.

Diana

Questions why Clark is having a bath.

Strips and joins Clark. He gives the best bath massage.

Imagines it's Orion in the bathtub and gets in.

Walks out of the room and makes her own dinner.

Plays with Krypto instead.

Joins Clark but have no intention of bathing together.

Other.

I liked the question, so decided to use the basic premise but added my own twist by also making it a gapfiller for the evening directly following the events of Wonder Woman #23 where she kills War, thereby, taking on his mantle.


Comforting War

London

Clark's red cape billowed in the London evening wind, snapping and whipping, an angry, disgruntled sound that echoed Clark's emotions. Hard, blue eyes shifted and scanned, looking for signs of life. But there were none. He'd known that truth already, his keen ears picking up not a single heartbeat from within the destroyed building.

He floated closer to the destruction, his mind reeling at the sight of the broken and ruined upper half of Diana's home. What happened here? Clearly a battle had taken place. The thought of an enemy so bold as to attack Diana in her home had Clark balling his mighty fists and swallowing the bile of fear the sight of the wreckage rose within him.

This place had been Diana's sanctuary. The only home she'd known since leaving Themyscira, and now someone had cruelly deigned to wrench that small piece of solitude and comfort from her. The taste of leashed retribution saturated his tongue, as did the bitter tang of regret.

Clark hadn't been here to save Diana's home, to aid her in fighting whatever foe had done this. No, Clark had been away on Justice League business, fighting a natural disaster that had left hundreds homeless and dozens dead. He'd saved lives, fed the hungry, and helped bury the dead, typical superhero stuff that tugged at his heart, reminding Clark why he donned the red-and-blue.

For those four days in Paraguay and Uruguay, it was as if the rest of the world ceased to exist, his only communication isolated to Batman and Cyborg. And they didn't tell me.

No, they hadn't, which now angered Clark. They had known, known what was going on in London. They were aware that some crazed god had taken over, unleashing hyena men on the populace. And they'd known about Diana's disappearance. Three days. That's how long Batman said she'd been out of touch, out of communication range.

"Wonder Woman can take care of herself. London is her city, she'll see to its protection." Batman's stoic words ripped at Clark. What did the Dark Knight know? Diana wasn't him and London wasn't Gotham. Batman grappled with street-level criminals whereas Diana battled gods who had the power to destroy cities and countries. Or a demigoddess hell bent on protecting an innocent baby.

Superman closed his eyes and listened. The familiar rumblings of battle tore his attention away from Diana's ruined home and to the south where the sounds emanated. So engrossed in his earlier thoughts, Superman hadn't consciously picked up the sounds. But now he did. And a heartbeat, a strong, pulsing beat that raced and raged. Diana.

With only one thought—get to her—Superman cast his body forcefully against the sky, pummeling air currents stupid enough to get in his way. Nothing so meager as space and wind could halt him, curb his need to reach Diana before whatever befell her home claimed her as well.

As the seconds ticked by, the familiar heartbeat grew fainter and fainter. Superman flew faster, more an optical illusion than a visual blur.

The heartbeat stopped. Disappeared. Gone.

Superman barreled forward. The sound of battle no more, but the building below him told the tale of war and destruction. Rubble dotted what was once a lovely landscape of old. Cracked bricks and shattered wood lay in piles of devastation and wrath. Superman swooped down, eyes searching for the one person he sought. Instead, he found—

"Superman!" The petite blonde, face as pale as snow, waved at him from the other end of the building. "Superman."

Flying to her, Superman reached Zola in a mere second. "Where's Diana?"

She held her son in her arms. The baby was awake and surprisingly calm in the aftermath of a battle scene. But there was no evidence of the child having shed a single tear. Instead of wailing like any normal baby should, this child simply stared up at Clark, his eyes far too wise and knowing for his tender age.

"Where's Diana? I saw what was done to your home. Where is she?" He should've asked after Zola and her son, even Hera who stood behind and to the left of the young woman, appearing as rattled and dazed as Zola. Suddenly feeling guilty, Superman scanned the women and child quickly, assessing them for injuries. There were none, at least not physically.

Superman forced himself to calm, to think rationally. Clearly, Diana had been here, and she'd protected her three charges. He also didn't think Diana was harmed or worse, because, despite the glassy way Zola was staring up at him, he was sure she'd be an emotional wreck if Diana was in danger or something awful had happened to her.

Taking a deep breath, he said, "Tell me where Diana is. I need to find her, make sure she's okay."

A harsh, provoking laugh sounded to his left. Superman turned. There, sitting on a pile of rubble was yet another blonde, a smirk on his face, red jacket torn and face bruised. Orion, the jerk.

Orion laughed again, but this time it was more of a snarl. But there was no humor in the sound, just mocking contempt. He stood, and then jumped from the pile, landing nimbly on his feet.

Superman stood his ground. Orion's disdain for him obvious, which was fine because Superman had no love for Orion either.

"So the big, bad Superman sweeps in three days and five minutes too late." Orion snorted, then spat blood from his mouth. "Where were you when Diana could've used the backup?"

Orion moved closer.

Superman stayed where he was. Whatever fight Orion was building up to wouldn't be one of words. He had no intention of answering Orion's questions. The guy didn't understand how things worked in the League. But that's not what he's talking about.

"Do you know where Diana is, Orion? If you do, just tell me."

Orion shook his head, a reproachful response but not an answer to his question. "I have no idea what Diana sees in you. You're never around when she needs you. But I am. I've fought by her side. Hell, I've saved her life more than once." He crossed arms over his chest. "She nearly died three days ago. And do you know who saved her, who took her to New Genesis so she could heal in order to fight another day?"

Superman's face showed blank. It was the only response he would grant the jerk and his news of Diana's near death. But the truth of it was kryptonite to his heart, poisoning Superman with his own guilt—irrational as it may be. Yet he would reveal none of his internal turmoil to Orion and the others who watched on, stunned into silence.

"Now you show up after she's been forced to do the unthinkable. I should kick your—"

The punch had been thrown and landed before Superman had registered the attack. Orion went flying back into the pile of rubble. Just as quickly, Orion was up, fist crashing into Superman's jaw.

The fight was on. Fists, knees, and feet flew, landing and missing, adding to the destruction already wrought. More bricks crumbled, neither of the combatants caring. The only thing Superman cared about was smashing his fist repeatedly into Orion's big, fat mouth. The jerk knew nothing of Clark and Diana's relationship. Who in the hell was he to judge him? But he saved Diana. Shouldn't that count for something? Orion fought by her side when you were too far away to do the same.

Orion's knee caught Superman in the stomach, sending him back but not down.

Superman lunged at Orion, both fists in front of him, eyes glowing red, the center of Orion's chest his target.

Impact.

Explosion.

The building shook as Superman drove Orion into the ground. His rage boiled – a rage on a fault line just under Superman's insecure Kryptonian skin. Three days ago, apparently, Diana had suffered such a severe injury that it had nearly killed her. An injury that took her three days to heal from? And Orion had taken her to his home to have her wounds tended to. Was that the reason she was gone for three days? Was she with Orion? Did he truly save her?

Forcing himself to let the man go, Superman levitated off him then slowly put distance between them. He glanced down and saw three sets of horrified and disapproving eyes staring between the men.

Hera was the one who spoke, her words all for Superman and Orion. "There's been enough bloodshed this day." Her eyes settled on a pool of blood near a cracked pillar before shifting back to the men. "Zola, Zeke and I have seen enough. If you two wish to rip each other's heads off then kindly take your battle elsewhere. The last thing Diana needs is to return to see the two of you trying to kill each other."

The former goddess was right. From the looks of things, Diana had had her share of violence today. She didn't need him adding to what had to have been an awful day for her.

"Truce," he yelled down to Orion.

Orion staggered to his feet, lifting himself from the hole they'd made in the floor. Their eyes met and Clark knew whatever truce they formed would be a temporary one. The man nodded.

Superman lowered himself to the ground, right next to Hera. Obviously, everyone was waiting in the demolished building for Diana's return. "Would you please tell me what's going on? Where's Diana and who" —he gestured to the war zone around them—"was she fighting?"

Hera appeared on the verge of tears. Her voice thick with suppressed sobs when she finally spoke. "Diana battled her brother, my first born. He's the one who's responsible for all this destruction." She glanced at the pool of blood again then back to Superman. "He's the one responsible for all of this." Silently and gracefully, Hera turned her back to Clark and walked away, shoulders hunched but shaking as she let the tears fall.

Clark was absolutely lost. Diana's family dynamics was so beyond anything he'd ever experienced. He looked around for Lennox. He'd only met the guy a few times, but he was down to earth and easy to talk to, if not a bit overprotective of Diana. Surely, Lennox would be able to shed light on this strange set of events. But the stoned man, like Diana, wasn't here.

A soft, small hand touched his. Clark looked down. Zola stood beside him, sympathy and sadness in her eyes. "While we wait for Diana to return from Hades, I'll explain." Finding a relatively clean spot on the ground, Zola settled herself, her son in her lap, now asleep. "It all started three days ago when Moon came for Zeke . . ."

Clark listened; amazed at the story the woman weaved. A tale of gods and myths that was all too real and dangerous. Orion had indeed saved not only Diana's life but Hera, Zola, and the child's as well. And, as he'd said, he'd fought alongside Diana again today. Then there was Lennox. The one brother Diana could actually trust had been murdered by another brother—the firstborn son of Hera and Zeus. But it was the last part of the story that left, even the reporter in him, shocked, his mouth open in disbelief.

"She's what?"

"The god of war. Well, I guess goddess of war."

Clark's mouth snapped closed. Diana had killed one brother in order to prevent another from claiming the mantle and taking over the world. Now, she was . . .? Clark really didn't know what any of this meant. Did Diana have to live on Olympus now? Was she a full-fledged god? And, if so, what did that even mean? Was she more powerful, capable of only—shit—god knows what?

There were too many questions crowding out sane thought, too many unknowns for Clark to begin grappling with them all, so he didn't. Clark stopped thinking, stopped trying to make sense of something he didn't understand and had no control over. He just stopped and, like everyone else, fell into a depressing silence, and waited for Diana, goddess of war, to return.

An hour later, a bright light shone at the far end of the building. From that improbable illumination, a figure emerged. Beautiful and battle-weary, Diana stepped from the wall turned light. Once through, the light disappeared and the wall was there once more.

Zola went to Diana and threw an arm around the much taller woman's waist. With unmasked love and affection, Diana returned the embrace; one hand going to the baby's head and caressing. Clark smiled. No matter her new title, Wonder Woman still remained.

Hera followed Zola. The three women, for long minutes, stood in silence, taking note of no one but each other and the violence that had formed a peculiar bond between them. Then Orion was there, standing far too close to Diana for Clark's liking. This time, unlike when Diana had come upon Clark and Orion fighting in the park when Hector Hammond had taken control of his mind and Orion thought Superman a threat, she was not surprised by his presence. Nor was there the same annoyed dislike she'd displayed. This time, the way she looked at him was decidedly different. Warmer. Grateful.

Another bond formed.

For a moment, for timeless, jealous seconds, Clark felt like an outsider, as if Orion were the one with whom Diana belonged and Clark nothing more than a colleague and friend. That was until Diana scanned the building and saw him staring back at her. Where only warrior strength had been in her eyes when she'd held Zola and spoke in soft tones to Orion and Hera, when their eyes met a flicker of vulnerability and womanly need flashed.

The fifty feet between them shrank as Clark drank in Diana. The heat of the forest fires Clark had battled were back, licking, this time, at his heart instead of his cape. Would it always be this way when he saw her? Would Superman forever burn when in Wonder Woman's presence? He hoped so, goddess of war he hoped so.

"I need to get the three of you someplace safe. We can't go home, not until I've had someone take care of the repairs." Diana talked of her ruined home as if the destruction didn't matter, but Clark heard the tremor of anger and sorrow in her voice. "I guess we'll stay at a hotel, at least for the night."

"Or," Clark heard himself say, "you all could stay at the Fortress of Solitude. There's plenty of room, and it's the safest place for Zola and Zeke." When Clark had seen the state of Diana's home, the idea had come to him. Diana couldn't take care of having her home rebuilt while also worrying about keeping her family safe. But if they were at the Fortress, that would be one less thing for Diana to concern herself with.

The selfish part of Clark also recognized the invitation for what it was. The thought of having Diana so close would tempt even the most saintly and noble of men. And while Clark was a man of honor, he was no damn saint.

Orion skewered Clark with a look he happily ignored. The jerk may have saved Diana's life, and, for that, Clark would always owe him a debt of gratitude, but Diana wouldn't be going home to New Genesis with Orion. Hell no, she's coming home to the Fortress of Solitude with me.

That was exactly what she did. Diana cradled Zola in her arms and lifted up and into the sky, Zeke still asleep in his mother's arms. Clark carried Hera.

The flight was taken in silence and much slower due to the passengers they both ferried. Every now and again, Clark would glance at Diana. She flew with such ease and fluid grace, and Zola was totally relaxed in Diana's arms. Trust. Faith. That wasn't hard to see. Nor was the exhaustion in Diana's focused gaze. She's on autopilot. Yes, she was, the route to the Fortress one Diana could fly with her eyes closed.

Once landing, Clark helped Hera and Zola settle in. He showed them to the rooms they would use. Tomorrow, he and Diana could fly out and pick up a few supplies for everyone. But right now, the women were dead on their feet. He'd offered to cook for them but none had an appetite. Not surprising, Clark thought, after what they'd been through.

Within an hour of arriving, Hera, Zola and Zeke had turned in for the night. Clark could hear the soft cries of the former queen. He understood them now. Her son was dead. By Diana's hand.

Clark stared at Diana. She sat on the couch, hands stained with dried blood, the blood of her mentor and brother. From what Zola had told him, Diana had little choice but to kill War first. But what did she give of herself in order to save the world from London's fate? The jury was still out on that question. Only time would tell.

Leaving the quiet Diana where she sat, face awash with inner turmoil, Clark made his way to the master suite. Once there, he stripped out of his uniform, slipped into a robe, and then went to the adjoining bathroom. Turning on the faucets in the deep bathtub, Clark allowed the hot water to run, pouring a cap full of lavender into the tub of water.

He'd purchased the oil after the first time he and Diana had taken a bath together. They'd made love and he'd convinced her to bathe with him before returning home. Normally she'd take a quick shower and be off, rushing home to stay with Zola. But that one night, after the ordeal with Hector Hammond, they'd flown to the Fortress, talked, laughed, made love, and then bathed together. And Clark had dreamt of having Diana in his tub every day since. But first, he needed to retrieve his solemn goddess.

Back in the living room, Clark stood in front of Diana. He thought of drawing her into a conversation first; ask what she wanted to do or if she just wanted to be left alone. In the end, however, Clark rejected those options and simply scooped her up in his arms. Testament to her fatigue and melancholic state, Diana said nothing, permitting Clark to take charge of the situation, seeing to her needs as he saw fit.

And he would take care of his Diana. Not just tonight, but for however long she would allow him. The poor woman was in need of comforting. Only lunatics and fanatics found comfort in war. How the thought of that must unsettle Diana, the brutality of war anathema to everything Wonder Woman stands for.

With care, Clark divested Diana of her clothing. He set her tiara and lasso on a shelf next to fluffy towels, her boots under the vanity. When he reached her bracers, he asked, "May I remove these?"

Diana nodded.

The bracers joined the lasso on the shelf. Diana stood before Clark gloriously naked, secure and unashamed of being nude in front of him. Her eyes were blue, not the white they'd become other times she'd removed her bracers in his presence. Perhaps they only turned colors when she was upset or experiencing another overwhelming emotion like lust and desire. Whatever the reason, Diana's eyes showed a lackluster shade of dull blue.

Helping her into the tub, Clark pulled Diana down until she sat between his legs. Leaning her back against his chest, Clark felt Diana relax into him. Wrapping his arms around her waist, Clark held her tightly, her head against a shoulder, her legs stretched out in front.

She sighed, a contented sound that went straight to Clark's heart. But the words that followed were even better. "I missed you."

Clark pulled back Diana's hair and kissed the long column of her neck. "I missed you, too."

He wanted to say more, to apologize for not being there when she needed him, to ask what she intended to do now that she was the god of war. But now wasn't the time for such heavy discussions. Tonight was about Diana, the woman, and comforting that woman.

"Let me wash your hair."

Reaching for the bottle of shampoo he'd left on the edge of the tub, Clark removed the cap and poured a healthy amount into the palm of a hand. Sitting up, Diana sat quietly as Clark washed her hair. Fingers digging in and massaging, Clark worked the shampoo through her luscious, dark black mane.

Diana sighed again, this time with a sensual purr.

Clark held her back and shoulders as he leaned her over his forearm and dipped her long hair in the water, rinsing out the soapsuds. Beautiful, large breasts wade in the water, nipples dark, pert, and perfect for sucking, licking.

Clark finished rinsing the shampoo from Diana's hair. She'd had a long day. She'd fought a brother and killed another, claiming a prize she would never view as such. Diana did not need an aroused boyfriend putting the moves on her. Sex now would be more for Clark's comfort than Diana's, because Clark needed to know that Diana still wanted to be with him, that Orion was nothing more to her than a friend, and that she'd agreed to stay at the Fortress out of want and not from exhausted need.

After washing her hair, Clark washed her body, forcing down his desire. Difficult that when all he wanted to do was haul Diana onto his lap, hold her hips to him and drive deep and hard into her. The thought of that had him so damn hard that he ached, needing release and wanting to find it between Diana's strong thighs.

Gritting his teeth, Clark scrubbed Diana's neck, back, and lower. Her plump bottom fit so nicely in his large hands, and the cheeks were soft and exquisitely rounded for hours of sensual pleasure.

"Clark," she moaned, her voice low, sleepy but aware.

Yet it was he who was unaware, unaware that he'd been stroking Diana's bottom, moving closer to her center, his other hand on a breast, thumb teasing a nipple. Just when he would've stopped, compel himself to be the comforting gentleman she needed, Diana's right hand came up to cover the one Clark had on her breast, holding it there.

"Don't stop. I need you." A ragged demand and request rolled into an offer as luscious as Diana's body rubbing against Clark. "I—oh yes. Touch me just like that."

Clark couldn't have stopped stroking Diana even if the Fortress came crumbling down around their heads. She simply felt too good. Her sighs of pleasure even better.

Then she was facing him, her lips locked on his, kissing Clark with a fervor and energy that wouldn't last, couldn't last. Diana burned bright and hot, suddenly running on sensual currents of lust and need and want.

Clark knew the feeling, for he was no less hot, no less needy for her touch as she was for his.

Tongue claimed and took, dipping into his mouth with relentless ease. He loved it, the primal, possessive way Diana kissed him, twining tongue, legs and arms around him, owning all of Clark.

He kissed her back. The urgency to join their bodies before Diana collapsed, from sheer exhaustion, had Clark twisting and tilting until . . . yes, he slipped inside. And she was wet, ready, and deliciously tight.

Clark closed his eyes and savored the feel of her throbbing around him. The slick slide of her sex moved up and down as she took him in deep, over and over. And still, they kissed, never once stopping, their tongues and sex in erotic unison.

The tension built.

Clark gripped Diana tighter.

She moaned into his mouth, grinding herself against him with fierce, short movements. Then she barely moved at all, just rocked back and forth while holding him deep inside, her mouth now on his neck, sucking and biting and sealing their fate.

Diana lifted her head. Lightning white eyes bored into him. Sparks flew from the corners just when Diana's head dropped back and she opened her mouth on a guttural moan of anguish and pleasure.

Thrusting hard and fast, meeting Diana's orgasm with his own, Clark came, his orgasm rocketing through him, Diana's clenching inner muscles milking him until he could do nothing but succumb to her.

They held each other through the tingling aftershocks, kissing and nipping until the last waves of decadence was no more. Then, as expected, Diana's body melted into his, going limp and weak. By the time he'd carried her from the tub, dried them off, and settled her under the covers, Diana had fallen asleep.

Snuggling in next to her, Clark wrapped an arm around Diana. Tonight would be the first time they would share a bed overnight, and while the situation that brought them to this point was a horrible set of events Clark wished he could undo, he couldn't help but smile at having Diana here with him. She was soft and warm and his. Tonight was supposed to be about comforting her, and he had. But Diana had also comforted Clark. In seeking passion, in her need for closeness and assurance, it was Clark she'd turned to, Clark Diana had wanted, Clark she'd desired. Clark who held her while she slept. Trust. Faith.

She'd placed both in his keeping. And they'll be forever safe with me.

Clark closed his eyes and began to drift off to sleep.

"Thank you."

"I thought you were asleep."

Diana turned in his arms. Her face inches away from his, her mouth closer still.

Close enough to kiss, so he did – a soft, short peck.

"There's so much I need to tell you, but I assume Zola and Hera already told you most of it."

"They did but I'd like to hear it from you."

"And I want to tell you, but not tonight."

Of course not tonight, Clark surprised Diana was awake and talking now.

She raised one hand between them and stared at the lovely appendage before letting it fall to the mattress. "War's bare feet were forever covered in blood. A symbol, I guess, of his ungodly power." She glanced down at her clean hand again. "I don't want blood on my feet. I already have it on my hands."

Clark said nothing, remembering how many times he'd had to wash Diana's hands to get all the blood off, her fingernails the hardest to clean. Now, he wondered, as he watched her stare at her hands again, if they appeared clean or blood-stained to Diana.

"So much blood, Clark, so much ghastly blood." She tucked her hands under the covers. "I'm not War. I don't make war. I try to stop it, prevent it. I'm not . . ."

"I know, Diana. I know." He kissed her worried forehead. "We'll figure this out. In the morning, after you've had a good night's sleep and a filling breakfast, we'll talk and work this out."

A good plan said with steely conviction. A needed comfort for a woman frightened of becoming the very thing she abhorred. Yet they both knew her predicament held no easy answers, that, most likely, Diana would be saddled with the godhood for an indefinite amount of time.

He stroked her damp hair and watched as her eyes drooped then closed. Then Clark kissed her forehead again, knowing, this time, Diana was truly asleep.

Watching his lover with admirable eyes, Clark understood something Diana did not. She wasn't Wonder Woman because she flew, wielded a magical lasso, or was an Amazon. No, she was Wonder Woman because of her fiery spirit, warm heart, and forgiving and loving nature. All the other things were just aspects of the woman, parts of the whole but not the full, high definition picture. And she would be no different as the war goddess. She would make it hers; it would not turn her into it.

Come morning, Diana would work her way through this morass, channeling her inner Wonder Woman into the new god she now was. Clark would be there for her, comforting and loving the goddess of war, and accepting her own comfort in return.

"I love you," he murmured into the quiet, dark room, his eyes cast down to the sleeping goddess beside him. "I love you, Diana. Wonder Woman. Goddess of War."

The silence remained unbroken, Clark's confession his for another night.


THE END