Title: The Age Of Heroes (2/4) (Fading Away…)
Pairings/Characters: Superman/Batman/Robin (See Notes)
Warnings: Character deaths
Summary: What happens to heroes, like the Old Gods and Goddesses, when they begin to
Date Of Completion: December 13, 2006
Date Of Posting: January 11, 2007
Word Count: 756Notes: The ménage a trois in the pairings is not necessarily so. The love spoken of in this story is ambiguous, and the slash pairings (if any), can be Superman/Batman, Batman/Robin, Superman/Robin, or all three. I had originally intended some specific pairing info but the characters, perhaps still protecting their secrets, insisted on doing it this way. :)
All chapters can be found here.
THE AGE OF HEROES
Note: there are two versions of this manuscript. This first version contains secret identities and other details that are not in the second version. This first version will be encased in a special vault deep in (whited out) which may or may not be revealed a thousand years in the future, when everyone who might be affected by these revelations are long gone, and their descendents hundreds of generations removed. The second version will be opened in a century, to pay tribute to the brave heroes who were here for such little time on this
At first the heroes continued, including Batgirl. The others tried to take up the slack left by the trio who had so tragically met their ends: Supergirl, Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, Hawkman and Hawkgirl, and a multitude of others. A new generation was coming up, too, and for a time it looked as if superheroes were going to continue in Earth history.
Then heroes began to fall by the wayside, whether through death, disability, or retirement. Wonder Woman was badly injured during a mission and then announced she was retiring and marrying Steve Trevor. Zatanna disappeared in another dimension, Martian Manhunter and the Hawks returned to their home planets, Supergirl disappeared on a deep space mission, Green Arrow was killed by a criminal’s lucky shot, Black Canary retired soon after, and Green Lantern quietly asked to be relieved of his ring. Other heroes gradually dropped out for various reasons, and the younger sidekicks turned to other ways to help mankind, becoming doctors or statesmen or scientists. Some ran homeless shelters or worked for charitable foundations. Princess Diana says her mother, Queen Hippolyta, says that it was probably inevitable. On Earth-Two, heroes had appeared earlier in history than here on Earth-One, but they had already faded from public view there. The Earth-Two Superman, for instance, was gradually growing older and his powers diminishing. He had married his Lois Lane and was leading a fairly quiet life now. It was similar for the other heroes on his world.
As I was preparing this manuscript, Diana visited one day and imparted several interesting observations. She and Mom and I had tea, a very civilized custom that Mom had picked up from the Amazon Princess, who said it wasn’t anti-feminist to sit around and talk amongst sisters. Here is what was said, Diana’s words first:
“We never knew if Clark would live for hundreds, maybe thousands of years, or would he age gradually as Kal-L of Earth-Two? I think the thought of living that long terrified him.” She became contemplative. “I had known immortality. It never distressed me to live as long as I did before my life changed forever the day Steve’s plane crashed off Paradise Island. I had many friendships, some even of the physical variety, but no one ever touched my heart. And even if I had stayed on the island, my mother and all my friends would live as long as I did. I would not outlive them, as Clark would. Of course that changed when I won the contest to leave the island and go to Man’s World. The price for bringing Amazonian love and justice to the world was giving up my immortality. That was an easy decision to make. I loved Steve Trevor and without immortality, I would age, too. Perhaps I would outlive him if I aged slower, but it wouldn’t be for thousands of years, just a handful. It allowed me to love without fear.”
I was surprised at these revelations. I hadn’t known that the Princess had given up her birthright for love. She smiled at me, but then sadness shadowed her face. If it seemed odd to her that we were discussing the end of the Heroic Age over something as mundane as tea and cookies, neither she nor my mother showed it.
“I knew Clark feared outliving everyone he loved. He still was willing to take that chance. He told those he loved that he couldn’t afford to waste time. Of course, he meant that his loved ones had no time to waste. He would live on long after they had left him. Yet he still had so much love to give.”
We were quiet for several minutes, then she spoke again. “When Dick and Bruce died…” her voice was nearly a whisper “…we’d never thought of him dying of a broken heart.”
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