Pairings/Characters: Steve/Diana, Aphrodite, Athena, Clark/Bruce, mention of Linda/Barbara
Summary: Immortality doesn’t suit everyone.
Date Of Completion: July 19, 2008
Date Of Posting: July 20, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1605
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: The immortality idea has been one I’ve been kicking around for awhile, and it’s just a happy coincidence that this story fits my 2008 DCU Fic/Art Endless Summer Challenge. :)
This story is dedicated to jen_in_japan , who has been feeling a little down lately.
Is like a beach,
Grains of sand
By the sea,
Is like grains of sand
A careless god’s fingers
A finite hourglass
To begin anew.
The beauty of Aphrodite always amazed Diana, even more so on this secluded hilltop outside of Athens. The Mediterranean sparkled in the sun as it had in the days of simple shepherds and when the Parthenon was new. The blond Goddess was dressed in white, the filmy material barely hiding her body, and why should it? Aphrodite was the Goddess of Love, after all.
Athena stood next to her, clad in shining golden armor, holding her spear and shield. While Aphrodite was smiling, Athena looked slightly regretful.
“Are you sure, Princess?”
Diana nodded. “I am sure.”
Athena sighed. “Ah, Love. Aphrodite, I lay this at your feet.”
Aphrodite laughed. “Poor Athena! Losing a Warrior in this way is always difficult, is it not?”
“Hmph,” Athena said, but Diana was certain that she saw a twinkle in her eye.
The sound of the waves crashing below them was soothing, mingling with the cries of birds wheeling overheard in a bright blue sky.
“So, this love is Forever…” Aphrodite asked softly, “…even though you will no longer be?”
Diana bowed her head slightly. “What I share with Steve is Destiny, my Lady.”
“Forever is a long time, Diana. If you lived for centuries, you would find others. You would be as the sea, timeless and eternal.”
“Perhaps, but not a love that fills my soul, my heart, my body.”
Aphrodite watched her closely as Diana lifted her head. “You have good instincts about this Love being Destiny. In other times and places, a silver jet with a white star crashes outside Paradise Island many, many times. And in other realms, you always find each other, whether as you are now, man and woman, or man and man, or woman and woman.”
Diana felt a surge of excitement. “Then we are truly what I feel!”
Aphrodite nodded. “Your Golden One is a fine choice. I have watched this Steve Trevor of yours, and he has courage and compassion, is an excellent Warrior, and has much love in his heart, especially for you.”
Diana laughed. “He does.”
“Now, you are aware, that even without your Immortality, you will most likely age slower than your mortal lover? He will more likely be the first to leave this mortal coil.”
“I do, but at least I will have hope of being reunited with him before ten thousand centuries times ten thousand pass.” Aphrodite smiled. “Goddess, please do not say anything for now to my mother.”
Athena and Aphrodite exchanged glances. “Diana, you are aware that the Queen’s hostility toward your Beloved is not just because of the disaster that befell your people because of Heracles?” At Diana’s frown, Aphrodite continued, “It is because she knows that he will draw you away from the Island, and she has probably envisioned this scenario, too.”
Diana sighed. “I am sorry for that, because I do love my mother and sisters deeply, but I cannot live for centuries without the other half of my soul.” Her sapphire-blue eyes grew bright with intensity. “My remaining soul’s-half would wither.”
Aphrodite clasped her hands in front of her golden belt. “Then it shall be so, Princess. You shall permanently renounce your Immortality, and cleave unto your Golden One in the mortal way.”
Diana bowed her head. “Thank you, my Lady.” She looked up once more. “Great Goddess, may I make another request?”
“Speak, Daughter of Hippolyta.”
“A dear friend of mine…he faces endless centuries…his heart and soul are not made for immortality.”
“Ah, you speak of Kal-El?”
The Goddesses smiled. “He is already close to godhood, Diana. He is slated for a long, long life.”
“He loves a mortal as I do.”
“He…I know Clark’s heart, Goddess. It already saddens him that he will outlive all his loved ones, but especially his mate. And even though he suspects he will live quite a long time, he has no conception of his true lifespan.”
Aphrodite nodded. “He will live until the stars turn to dust.”
Diana winced. “Goddess, can something be done?”
Athena cocked her head. “Diana, do you wish to rob this friend of his Immortality? He is Destined for great things. He will be a symbol of truth and justice until Time Immemorial.”
“Can he not do so after moving on to the afterlife?”
The Goddesses looked at each other, then Aphrodite spoke. “Is it fair to ask this without speaking to him first?”
“I shall speak to him.”
“Are you so certain that Kal-El will willingly embrace the loss of Immortality?”
“I know him, Goddess.”
“Very well.” Aphrodite crossed her arms. “And Kara?”
Diana blinked. “I am not as certain.”
“Find out, then we shall do what must be done.”
Diana bowed. “Thank you, Great Goddesses.”
She left the hilltop, the two Olympians watching her go.
“Is Immortality such a terrible thing?” murmured Athena.
“Perhaps, if one is mated with a mortal.”
“I wonder if Diana will regret her choice?”
Aphrodite smiled. “Somehow, I do not think so.”
& & & & & &
Diana threw herself into Steve’s arms.
“Whoa, Angel! Where’s the fire?”
She kissed him passionately, and the other heroes and auxiliaries in the Watchtower cafeteria clapped and whistled. Steve’s eyes sparkled as they broke apart and he escorted her to a chair at the corner table where Clark and Bruce sat.
“That’s some greeting!”
Diana laughed. “Will you get me some tea, my darling?”
He kissed her forehead. “Certainly.”
“I’ll come with you, Steve. Superman here needs more peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches,” Bruce said with a smirk and swirl of cape, heading over to the servers with the blond pilot.
“A favorite?” Diana asked.
Clark laughed. “Since Mom made them for me when I was just a tot.” His eyes followed Bruce with obvious affection.
“The view of the stars is always so beautiful here.”
Clark looked at the Amazon. “Oh, yes.” He gazed at the endless vista all around them through the windows. “It’s a little overwhelming at times.”
Diana laid a hand on his arm. “Clark, how do you feel about seeing new civilizations rise and fall?”
“Always interesting. I’ve been able to visit many planets. Some with Bruce…”
“What if you could see them for the next hundred billion years?”
Startled, Clark asked, “What? I don’t understand.”
Her eyes were intense. “You can regenerate endlessly via the Sun, Clark. And when Sol dies, there are other yellow suns out there. You are Destined to live for eons.”
She could plainly see the fear in his eyes, and he pulled his arm away. “I don’t like to think about that. I mean, I’m sure I’ll live for some centuries…” he swallowed “…but I don’t think it’ll be…”
“…until the stars turn to dust.”
Horror suffused his beautiful features, and Diana had her answer. She gently squeezed his hand.
“So some say, but I would not worry. I think you will be with Bruce much sooner than you think, when the time comes.”
Clark looked at her, then returned the squeeze.
As Steve and Bruce headed back to the table, Diana asked Clark, “Is Linda here?”
“She and Barbara arrived a few minutes ago.”
Diana nodded. “Good.”
“Hmm, serious talk here.” Steve set the teacup before Diana, setting a coffee mug in front of his seat as he slid into it. “Rumblings on Olympus, Angel?”
She laughed and covered his hand with her own. “No, my darling. All is as it should be.”
Bruce looked at her with discerning eyes as he set a plate with several sandwiches in front of Clark. He had snapped the lenses on his cowl back, but even if he had not, she would have felt his gaze. As he sat down and settled his cape, draping it over Clark’s, she knew that he sensed something.
And Steve turning his hand to grip hers communicated his own questions, but she smiled serenely and sipped her tea.
& & & & & &
Athena sighed after Diana’s departure from the hilltop a second time. She and Aphrodite were now in the Goddess of Love’s palace on Olympus. “Ah, these mortals! Or should I say, demi-gods? They have Immortality in their grasps and they let it go with a cavalier wave!”
Sitting at the crystal ball in her private chambers, Aphrodite smiled at her old friend as she watched three couples very much in love in the mortal realm. “It seems these mortals have much to recommend them. Blond, brunette, and redhead. A nice variety.”
Athena laughed. “Well, they will all still have Forever as they ascend to new planes.” A spindle appeared in her hand, symbol of the Goddess of Timeweaving.
“Just not separately.” Aphrodite made a sweeping gesture, and a round crystal jar with a yellow stopper appeared in her hand. Tiny golden pinpoints of light sparkled within the jar. “We shall meet with Destiny and Arachne upon the morn, and we shall see what must be done.” Her voice grew soft. “Diana is right, Athena. Her soul and that of her Kryptonian friends would crumble to dust long before the stars if forced to live on their current plane of existence without end.”
Athena touched the spindle to her breast. “Time will tell.”
Aphrodite smiled as she looked at her crystal ball and saw Diana and Steve walking a golden beach hand-in-hand.