Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Jay/Joan, Ma Hunkel, Dinah Lance, Steve/Diana, Various JSAers
Genres: Angst, Drama, Historical, Holiday, Romance, Slice-Of-Life
Rating (this chapter): G
General Summary: Diana and Steve do their best to enjoy the holidays before Steve ships out to England.
Chapter Summary: Diana and Steve enjoy the JSA Christmas party.
Date Of Completion: January 22, 2019
Date Of Posting: February 10, 2019
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1271
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
The entire series can be found here.
In the fireplace,
As snow falls
And our world
Home And Hearth"
The joyous greetings resounded throughout the house. Snow dusted guests who laughed and hugged and offered presents and food. Earlier, Joan Garrick had arrived to help with party set-up and was busy setting up the buffet table in the dining room. Ma happily took the armload of presents that Bruce and Ollie had brought.
Tonight, the members of the Justice Society of America were not superheroes, but people celebrating Christmas Eve.
The Justice Society members enjoyed socializing together outside of meetings and missions. Christmas carols played on an old phonograph and Ma directed people to the buffet table. There were cold cuts, fresh bread, pickles, olives, haddock, lutefisk, baked beans, finger rolls of tuna, egg salad, and turkey, Swedish meatballs, tuna casserole, platters of macaroni and tomato sauce, red pepper soup, beef stew, julienned carrots, steamed broccoli, stewed tomatoes, and an assortment of nuts. The desserts were Ma’s pies (two apple, one cherry, and one mince), Christmas cookies, a chocolate layer cake, vanilla pudding with cinnamon sprinkles, and cranberry bread. Drinks flowed freely: 7-Up, Coke, lemonade, coffee, and beer. It was simple but hearty fare, just the way Ma liked it.
“Everything is delicious, Ma,” said Dinah, enjoying a plate of vegetables and meatballs.
“I’m glad you could come. Where’s your fine husband?”
“Larry had to work.”
“On Christmas Eve?”
“Private investigators know no holidays. But Larry says he’ll be home later.”
“I should hope so!” Ma leaned toward Dinah. “We mystery men don't keep regular hours."
“Right.” Dinah smiled.
Ma as Red Tornado was strictly homemade costume and more enthusiasm than skill, but her heart was in the right place. The neighborhood had its own guardian angel.
“Where is that boy Johnny Thunder?” asked Ma. “He needs some fattening up.” She went off in search of the young man.
Dinah’s eyes met Diana’s and they laughed. Dinah shook her head fondly. “Ma’s a sweetheart.”
“She certainly is.” Diana sipper lemonade, its cold tartness exactly what she needed. Though perhaps a meatball or two could be added?
“She always has the right touch. Just look at this spread. Some Italian traditions, Swedish, just plain American. Good food.”
“Delicious food.” Diana picked up a plate and loaded it with meatballs, macaroni, and bread.
“Good winter food,” Dinah approved.
“With a summer drink?”
Dinah laughed. “Lemonade, yep.” She eyed the pitcher. “Nice touch by Ma to have it during the winter.”
Joan came out of the kitchen with a pitcher of ruby lemonade. She placed it on the dining room table.
“Ooh, pretty.” Dinah immediately poured herself a cup. “Nice, cherry flavor. With lemon tartness.”
“Clark flew in the lemons. Isn’t he a doll?”
“Hey, what’s all this doll talk?” asked Jay, kissing Joan on the cheek. “How’s a husband supposed to compete with a guy who flies in lemons in December?”
Joan patted his shoulder. “Bet he can’t beat you in a footrace.”
Jay laughed. “You know just what to say, Beautiful.”
Diana took her plate and cup and went into the living room to sit on the old couch. It was snowing again this evening, creating a lovely picture as the tree glowed with multicolored lights and silver and gold garlands. A fire crackled merrily in the fireplace while laughter and conversation filled the room with warmth.
Even in the midst of war, joy can be found.
Such a thing heartened her. She ate and drank with relish, enjoying the fellowship of good people.
The Christmas carols were a perfect undercurrent to the joviality. Every time a record finished, someone would change it.
Diana listened to Al Pratt (the Atom) talking to Wesley Dodds (the Sandman) as they discussed the Guadalcanal campaign in the Pacific. Sandra Knight (Phantom Lady) was charming Bruce Wayne. Sandra was a wealthy socialite whose picture could often be found on the Society Pages of the newspapers. Tonight she was wearing a dark-green dress with gold sequins that glittered every time she moved. She wore an emerald necklace that was ‘the real deal’, as Steve would say. Her dark hair was set in the latest fashion with waves and rolls with a gold clip in the back of her hair.
Diana glanced down at her wine-red silk dress. It was a good dress, and her shoes were stylish, too. She touched her throat. She had forgotten to put on some jewelry. Oh, well, she was wearing her red earrings.
The vestibule door opened and Steve breezed in. “Hey, Angel!”
“Wow, that food looks great. You want any refills?”
He went over to the buffet table and came back with a plate similar to hers and a cup of ruby lemonade. He sat next to her on the couch and they enjoyed their meals.
“Mmm, this sure beats Army chow.” Steve cut a meatball in two and ate one half.
“I’m dreaming of a White Christmas…” Bing Crosby crooned as a burst of laughter came from a group standing by the mantel.
Diana put her fork down. “It is very warm in here.”
“Yeah, the fireplace is pretty hot.” Steve took a long draught of lemonade. “Listen, let’s finish up our plates and go outside for some fresh air before we hit the desserts.”
“A good idea.”
It was quiet outside on the street in front of the brownstone. On Christmas Eve, most people were at home or attending parties. Last-minute shopping was being done downtown, but this neighborhood was residential.
The welcoming glow of candles in the windows and the muted noise of the party created a cozy scene. Coming from an island where the buildings were open because of the weather, Diana liked the snug coziness of American houses. She liked both types of architecture now.
“I love the way the snow muffles noise,” Steve said, taking Diana’s hands. “And it looks pretty on your hair.”
Diana smiled. “And on yours.”
His eyes sparkled. “I have something for you. Here, let’s stand under the awning.” He reached into his coat and produced a present wrapped in shiny red paper topped by a gold bow.
“You already gave me a Yule gift.”
“So? This is a Christmas gift.” He put it in her hands. “Go on, open it.”
Diana carefully unwrapped the box, opening it and gasping. “It is beautiful! Oh, Steve, I love it!”
Steve smiled. “I found it in an antique shop on Bayberry. I’m glad you like it.”
“I love it,” she repeated.
Inside the box nestled on a bed of blue velvet, a necklace was made of beaten gold, solid and ancient. Jewels of every color sparkled in the setting: a sapphire, emerald, ruby, amethyst, topaz and diamond. Were they real or fake? If they were real, it would be unlikely that a military man, officer or not, could afford such jewelry. Maybe the antique quality had lowered the price? Whatever the case, she loved this piece of her heritage.
“This is of Greek design.”
“Is it? I thought it might be.”
“It is perfect, my love.”
Diana’s eyes sparkled as Steve lifted up the necklace. He put it around her neck and clasped it shut. He stood back to admire her.
“You are absolutely gorgeous, Angel. You’ll outshine Sandra’s sparklers for sure.”
Diana smiled, put her arms around Steve’s neck, and kissed him as the snow fell gently. The candles in the windows glowed as the tree twinkled and the heroes partied.
Merry Christmas to all! :)
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