In a series of balletic and deadly moves Diana managed to knock Clark against the wall then to his knees. Clark shook his head in order to get the cobwebs out. In terms of power, Diana was impressive, really impressive, but it was her skills as a warrior that really made her a difficult challenge. Too often he used his brute strength to deal with an opponent. He didn't want to go strength against strength with her because she didn't know how to back down and he wasn't sure just how strong he was when he was pushed, as he had yet to really find his limits, except for the ones he put on himself. No, he'd use his speed against her.
Diana prepared to bring winning punch down on Clark's head when he moved so fast that she ended up punching the floor of the training room so hard she left a deep dent. Before she could recover and turn, Clark came up behind her knocked her legs out from underneath her. She fell to the floor, but as she did she kicked out catching Clark in the abdomen and sending him across the room.
Again he was caught off guard by her skills and strength. Clark recovered quickly and moved at a speed that only Flash could appreciate. Grabbing Diana's wrist, he spun her around making her spin like a top and then he relieved her of her golden lasso. As she did an enforced pirouette, he quickly bound her arms to her torso. When she stopped spinning Diana was angry and Clark was smiling having avoided getting his ass kicked by the Amazonian princess.
"Kal, untie me now!" she demanded.
"Calm down, Princess, and I will," he said, "though something tells me I should wait until you calm down."
"Do it now!" she demanded.
Here was the Amazon princess. This Diana wasn't used to having her demands ignored but acted upon in seconds.
"Calm down, Princess, and I'll untie you," said Clark.
She took a deep breath and attempted a smile. Clark had to hide a smirk, as Diana's smile was so forced it was amusing to see.
"I did not calculate your speed," she growled.
"And I'm glad for that," he replied. "You were about to hit me on the head very hard."
"Now unbind me, Kal," she told him. "Next time, I will anticipate your speed and defeat you."
"Yes, Princess," Clark smiled, as he unbound her.
Once he handed the lasso back to Diana, she looped it back on its place on her belt then swiftly and cleanly she hit Clark with a left hook to the jaw causing him to stagger backwards. Shaking his head, he looked at her with his eyes turning red as a sign of his anger.
"Why did you do that?" he growled.
"You mock me with my title. The way you call me princess is insolent," she answered him.
Clark closed his eyes and took a deep breath then he opened them when he knew they had returned to their normal blue color. He didn't want to fight with her anymore.
"I merely used your title. I was not mocking you, Princess," he said.
There was something about the way he said princess that irritated her. She wanted him to stop, so he would stop. It was as simple as that.
"Call me Diana, Kal," she stated.
"Okay, I'll call you Diana. NO more hitting me when I'm not expecting it," he said. "Okay?"
"No more hitting you when you aren't expecting it," she agreed.
Clark smiled. His jaw still hurt from her punch. They headed to the door.
"I need to shower," stated Clark.
"As do I," added Diana.
"Shall I meet you at the embassy?" he asked her.
"That would be excellent. I can change and shower and check up on the dinner. Shall we say in forty minutes?" said Diana.
Clark nodded and watched as she opened the door and exited.
Diana had showered and changed into a sky blue Grecian style dress. She was looking forward to getting to know this Superman better. As much as she found him rude at times, he was challenging and she loved a challenge. Mala entered her private chambers.
"A guest is here to see you," she said.
"Excellent," said Diana, who rushed past Mala and headed down the steps to the front hall.
Standing just inside the front door was Colonel Steve Trevor. He was dressed in his service uniform and smiled as he saw Diana coming down the steps.
"You look beautiful," he said, "but then again you always do look beautiful, Diana."
Diana smiled and offered him her right hand to shake. He took it and shook hands.
"What are you doing here, Steve?" she asked him. "I was expecting you."
"I thought I'd surprise you and invite you out to dinner," he said. "It's been some time since we had dinner together."
Someone rang the front doorbell. An Amazon dressed in battle armor, who stood beside the door, turned and opened it. Diana expected to see Superman standing there, but instead there was a dark haired man with glasses on. She examined the man for a moment. Judging by his disheveled style of loose fitting dress, the mussed up hair, and slopped shoulders he was hiding his actual height and built. She analyzed his look and after a moment she saw right through it. This was Kal in disguise.
"Um, Princess Diana," Clark said, "I'm Clark Kent. I'm here for our interview."
Clark Kent. She had read his work. He was a journalist and blogger. Cark Kent was Kal-El. This was how he lived among regular human beings. Kal-El was Superman and Superman was Clark Kent. He lived a very complicated life. Diana smiled.
"I'm sorry I didn't know you had an interview scheduled," said Trevor.
"Steve, can we do dinner some other day? I have a busy schedule tonight. After the interview I have paperwork and a speech to prepare for tomorrow," she said.
"Sure, Princess," he said. "I understand. I should have called ahead of time."
He started to leave when he stopped and shook Clark's hand.
"I expect you to take it easy on the princess, Kent," said Trevor. "I've read your stuff and you can be a real bastard when you want to be."
Steve left. Once the door was shut, Clark stood up straight and ran his hand through his hair making it neater and more like the style he wore when Superman. He then took off his glasses and put them away in his coat. Diana was impressed with the transformation. He grew three inches and he now radiated confidence where before he seemed hesitant and a less confident man.
"Do you have any other tricks you'd like to show me, Kal?" she asked.
"None that I'm willing to do on an empty stomach, Diana," Clark said with a smirk.
"Let's eat then," said Diana.
The private dining room was much like the rest of the embassy in style. It was tasteful, definitely Greek in influence, and comfortable, though it was formal. Diana sat at the head of the table and Clark sat across from her. An Amazon dressed in a chiton came into the room carrying a bottle of wine. She opened it while standing beside Diana and poured some into her glass. It was a white wine.
Diana tasted it and nodded her approval .
"Do you drink Cla… I mean Kal. Do you drink Kal?" she asked.
"Yes. Alcohol has no effect on my physiology but I drink. I actually like the taste of wine," he said.
She nodded and the Amazon poured Clark a glass also. Clark sampled it.
"I can taste melon, spice and minerals in it. Excellent wine," he said.
"Gerovassiliou Malagousia," the amazon named the wine.
"You can bring us the appetizer," said Diana.
The appetizer was apple and goat cheese bruschetta. Clark sampled it and nodded his approval.
"I expected Superman and you showed up as Clark Kent. This was surprising," said Diana.
"I thought Superman showing up at your door might be a little too much attention. Te last thing we need are journalists speculating why Superman is visiting Wonder Woman," said Clark.
"You don't want to be linked to Wonder Woman, Superman?" she asked with a smile.
"You are a ambassador and world figure, Princess. Superman is still not completely trusted by people," he said.
Princess. He called her princess again. Why did she hate it so much? Maybe because he used it as a way to distant himself from her. She didn't like that.
"Tell me about Clark Kent. Who is he?" she asked.
Over appetizer and wine then the main course of grilled stripped bass with heirloom tomatoes and horta, he told her his story in complete. When he finished Diana offered him a sympathetic smile.
"I wish I had met the Kents. They sounds like truly extraordinary and lovely people," she said.
"They were," he agreed.
"Would you like an update on Kara?" asked Diana.
"She is less then happy with her schedule and exercises, but she is working hard regardless," said Diana. "General Phillipus believes she would be a fine warrior, except for the fact that Kara has told her that she comes from the Science Class."
"Both Kara's parents and my parents were scientists," said Clark.
Diana ordered them coffee along with melomakarona, honey and spice cookies. When they arrived Clark himself eating cookie after cookie to Diana's amusement.
"You like them, Kal," she said.
He nodded yes.
"I'll have to remember that you have a sweet tooth," said Diana.
"Do you like sweets, Diana?" he asked her.
"Ice cream. Chocolate ice cream," she answered.
"I'll have to remember that," smiled Clark.
Clark took a sip of his coffee. He had to admit that the food was delicious and the company was better than he anticipated.
"We done nothing but talk about me," Clark said, "what about you? Tell me about you, Diana."
"Since I've been to the patriarch's world, I've been written about so much that I feel like I don't have to talk about myself," she said.
"Give the reality behind the facts," he said. "It can't be easy being an ambassador for your people, as well as part of the Justice League. If nothing else, it's a busy life."
Diana looked at Clark and smiled. It was a busy life she lived. Sometimes she missed just being able to fly about without a destination or a crisis. And she missed her sisters.
"As the champion of my people I have no choice," she said.
"Diana, we always have a choice," said Clark. "Instead of exposing myself to the world as Superman, I could have remained just Clark Kent."
"But you aren't just Clark Kent, you are also Kal-El," she said.
"True, but I did have to let Kal-El define me."
"There are obligations and responsibilities," she offered.
"Obligations and responsibilities only exist if you accept them. I've come to accept my because both my biological and adoptive parents wanted me to be a beacon of hope and justice in their world," Clark stated. "I'd like to think that they would have accepted me also if I decided just to be a farmer or a journalist."
"We both carry a burden, Kal, but you seem to carry yours lightly. I admire that. There are times that I let my burden overwhelm me," Diana said.
"Let people help you, Diana," said Clark. "If you ever need my assistance, I offer it freely and without a price."
Diana felt herself blush. She tried to cover it with a smile. Clark returned her smile with one of his own. He looked at his wristwatch.
"I should go. I like to patrol Metropolis before I call it a night," he said.
"I hope we can do this again, Kal," Diana said.
"I would like that. I would like that a lot," he replied.
Clark stood up as did Diana. He remembered that he neeed to fly home on his own under his own power. Looking at Diana with curiosity, he asked, "Do you have someplace quiet and hidden away where I can change?"
Diana chuckled and remarked, "You want to change into Superman."
He stood there feeling slightly embarrassed and scratching the back of his head.
"Yeah," was his answer.
"Let me show you our gardens. In winter like this no one uses them or pays much attention to them," she said.
"Thank you, Diana."