Intended for Each Other

Chapter 6

The ceremony was simple; a hall filled with couples who had been destined to be together from birth, standing together, joined by one hand or two. Jor-El and Lara stood side by side, no one knowing that they were defying one of the most basic traditions of their planet in their union.

The ceremony's superior stood upon the gilded dais at the far end of the chamber, amplification droids hovering about the perimeter of the building to reflect his voice as he read the commitments each would make to their spouse.

Jor-El smiled as he promised to love and protect Lara, and tears shone in Lara's eyes as she promised to respect and obey Jor-El. She let go of his hand for a moment to dash the tears away, and then they rejoined hands, Jor-El smiling at the dampness on her hand as the entire room was pronounced officially wed, and they were dismissed. Not many spectators were there, as this was a matter of custom and not the joyous occasion it should be, but Jor-El smiled and tugged Lara's hand when he spotted Lor-Van beating his hasty retreat out of the doors of the hall. Lara laughed, and they embraced among the hundreds of others, before leaving and going to the El tower.

Lara followed him through the library into the lift and they stepped forth onto the tall platform which overlooked all the planetary levels.

"We are so blessed to live in such a place," Jor-El said quietly, putting his arm around Lara and drawing her close. "I only hope that it can be saved."

"If passion is any measurement, then I am sure that all of Krypton will see the truth in time," Lara replied.

"I hope you are right."

Lara looked up at him. "What do you mean?"

"I mean that if you are not, that means we are two lunatics spending our lives annoying the sane world with our lunacy," Jor-El laughed. "But I'm fairly sure that is not the case."

"I know it is not." Lara spoke with conviction. "We are together, and we have hope."

Jor-El looked down at her, at the woman who believed in him so implicitly. Her bright mind had allied itself with his, and he knew this was no small tribute to the work he had done and the beliefs that he held. She was a strong, and confident woman, but suddenly she seemed so small and fragile. He held her tighter. "Come, let's go inside."

After partaking together of an enhanced daily nutritional tablets, Jor-El showed Lara their room – it was very much like any other Kryptonian bedchamber, but instead of there being simply a bed and storing capsules for armored suits, there was a partially finished machine in the corner.

"What is that?" Lara asked, but Jor-El lowered a panel to block it from view.

"I haven't decided. It's an experiment."

"So secretive," Lara shook her head.

"Not secretive," he smiled. "Just indecisive."

It was late, and Lara knew that they likely should have retired right away instead of talking on the platform, but she was strangely shy, and hesitated as she undressed from her ceremonial robe and stood in her underdress. Jor-El had removed his robe and armor, even his armored suit beneath his clothing, and slipped into a loose-fitting tunic. Then he met Lara's eyes.

"Are you frightened?"

She lifted her chin, too noble to lie. "Yes."

Jor-El looked away for a long moment, love burning in his eyes when they at last met and held hers. "Husbands sleep with their wives every night all over this planet. But we will be doing something that hasn't been done for ages." He seated himself on the edge of the high, hard bed, and Lara followed his example.

Suddenly, a cloud passed over her face. Jor-El saw this. "What is it?"

Lara looked at him for a long moment, her lips trembling ever so slightly. Her husband took her hand and gave it a reassuring squeeze. "Tell me."

"This... is this a grand experiment to you?" she whispered. "Because I am a bleeder?"

Shock registered itself on his face. "No!" Jor-El exclaimed, taking in a quick breath. "No, Lara, how could you think such a thing? Don't you trust me?"

She shook her head, tears filling her eyes. "Never mind, I just... I suddenly had the thought–"

"I married you because I love and admire you, and I know you did the same for me." He drew her into his arms, and Lara closed her eyes, hearing the thud of his heart and feeling the warmth of his chest againsts her face.

"Forgive me. I spoke too quickly. I did not truly doubt you."

"And I hope you never will."

Lara pulled back so that they could look into each others eyes and laid her hand shyly against his cheek, beginning to stroke his beard. He smiled, and covered her hand with his. And very slowly, for the very first time, they connected their lips in a kiss.

Jor-El lay her down gently on the bed, and Lara gasped as his weight pressed down upon her, first clinging to his back, then entwining her fingers through his hair. Together they lay upon the high bed in the huge chamber, two people, so deeply connected through love and mutual respect, that their deeds were glorious though they had not occurred for thousands of years.

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