Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Steve/Diana
Genres: Angst, Drama, Hurt/Comfort
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
Warnings (this chapter): None
Spoilers: References in various chapters to events in "Until The Yellow Sun Blesses You Again...".
General Summary: Diana and Steve’s love has always been strong, and they have always had each other’s back. Now they need that strength and teamwork when they are captured during a war on an alien planet.
Summary: Diana is determined to get Steve to safety.
Date Of Completion: January 25, 2008
Date Of Posting: January 31, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1550
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Further Notes here.
All chapters can be found here.
I decided to use the aliens from "Until The Yellow Sun Blesses You Again...". Why waste good bad guys and their vicious winged pets? ;)
Yeah, I labelled this "One" as in first-in-a-series, because I think a sequel might be in order. If I don’t write one, I’ll just knock off the Roman numeral.
In an aside, I’m glad that we were taught Roman numerals in grade school, otherwise how could we know which Super Bowl it is? ;)
“The human mind
Is a wondrous thing.
It can live in shadows
Bright and shiny.
It can protect itself
In soft cotton
Ringed by steel.”
Dr. Annette Melfi
“Secrets Of The Mind”
Diana’s senses were all on high alert: listening, watching, smelling smoke and the other smells of the battlefield. This was Toronian territory, but the population was most likely refugees by now as the G’darran army advanced.
The weather was pleasant, spring-like as the breezes blew and the sun was warm but not hot. The ground was hard and mud-free, but she was hoping to find a stream. Dusky purple hills rose in the distance, and only a few scrub trees appeared now and then.
She stumbled, dizziness assailing her again. When she had tried to speed up or even to test out her flying abilities, she had failed. She had some of her strength but she feared the drug’s side effects were showing up.
After her adrenaline rush.
Doggedly she pushed on.
She hurried forward, then gently laid Steve under one of the straggly trees as she drew her blaster and cautiously entered the house.
The occupants had grabbed what they could and had taken off. She brought Steve in out of the sun and laid him on a couch.
The food was still fresh so Diana took what she could fit into the saddlebag and a rucksack she found in a dresser. She filled their canteens with fresh water from a tap and searched the rooms.
She brought out the two pairs of boots, slipping on one pair and stashing the larger pair into the rucksack.
She knelt by the couch and smoothed Steve’s hair as she anxiously looked for signs of revival, but he was in a deep state of unconsciousness.
Perhaps he had a head injury?
She carefully felt around his head, slipping her fingers through silk. She found a large bump at the back of his head.
Diana hoped that Steve hadn’t slipped into a coma.
She made another sweep of the bedrooms, taking two blankets and a fresh change of clothes for both of them.
“Come, love, let’s continue our journey.”
& & & & & &
As dusk began to fall Diana found an outcropping of rocks that would keep them concealed for the night. She set Steve down and was removing her saddlebag and rucksack when Steve began to move his head. She immediately turned her attention to him as his eyes fluttered open.
Diana smiled. “Yes, it’s me.”
Steve was groggy for a second, then joy lit his eyes and he flung his arms around her.
“You’re not drugged anymore!”
“No, I’m not.” She hugged him.
When they broke apart he smoothed the hair back from her face. “So glad to have you back, Angel. I missed you!”
She laughed a little. “I wasn’t much companionship, eh?”
He grinned, then frowned as he looked around. “Where are we? We were in the G’darrans’ camp the last I remember.”
Diana kept her face neutral. “We escaped.”
The frown deepened. “Why can’t I remember?”
She touched the back of his head. “You have a head injury.”
“Oh!” He grasped her hand and kissed her fingers. “That explains it. I’ll probably get the memory back soon.”
I hope not.
But Steve didn’t see the sorrow in her eyes. He was looking down at the silk he wore.
“Wow, this is much better than what we had before…nothing!”
“Yes, much better.”
He frowned as he noticed her bandage. “What happened to your hand?”
“I cut it freeing myself from the chains.”
A spot of blood marred the cloth, and Steve looked worried. She squeezed his hand in reassurance. He pulled his hand away.
“It’s getting dark. Are we settled in for the night?”
Diana nodded. “I have some food and water.”
“Great. My stomach’s rumbling.” Steve shifted on the ground and gasped.
“What is it?” Diana’s heart triphammered.
“I’m…sore.” He moved gingerly. “You’ve got boots!”
”I have a pair for you, too.”
She touched his feet and he gently wiggled them out of her grasp.
“Our captors weren’t too concerned about giving me proper footwear during the forced marches.”
Diana handed Steve the boots and while he tried them on her mind was racing.
Sore? She was certain there was pain, and a lot of it. Diana had studied the Human mind and, considering her Amazon history, that of rape victims.
The Human, and Amazon, mind could deny with incredible force when it wanted to. Steve was undoubtedly feeling more than just soreness, but his mind was telling him that was all it was right now.
Diana didn’t know whether to be relieved or scared to death.
“A perfect fit!” Steve’s smile pierced Diana’s heart. “Angel, you okay?”
“Oh, yes. I’m…just a little dizzy.”
Immediately he gripped her shoulders. “You should lie down.”
“We should eat first.”
Steve nodded. “Let me take care of dinner, such as it is.”
Diana nearly cried at the grin he sported, and while he quickly pulled out food packets she shivered.
This was her Steve, her gentle, considerate lover.
But not quite.
Steve touched his throat. “Oh, thank Athena. I still have my Medal.”
“Yes, thank Athena,” Diana said faintly.
They ate a simple dinner and drank the water sparingly. Diana had memorized the map of the battlefields at the Toronian headquarters and knew they were very far away from civilization.
“Ow.” Steve touched his lip. “It’s split.” Diana couldn’t allow herself to speak. “Guess I’d better be careful eating.”
When they finished, Diana said, “We’d better get some rest.”
“Your powers are still dampened?”
She nodded, then winced at the sudden pain in her head. Great! A stress headache!
Steve shot her a sympathetic look. He pulled out the blankets and they settled down to sleep.
It was then that Diana noticed that Steve did not curl up around her.
She heard him get as comfortable as he could on the rocky ground. Her heart beat a little faster as she realized that he was leaving a space between them instead of wrapping his arms around her.
She blinked back tears as she tried to get some sleep.
& & & & & &
Diana awoke, swiftly sitting up. Steve was already in the same position, breathing heavily. She dearly wanted to touch him but refrained, asking, “Are you all right, Beloved?”
He was staring off into the distance, eyes glassy in the moonlight. “I, uh…yes, I think so.” He shivered. “I think I was having a bad dream. I…came awake so fast…I don’t remember.”
She heard the edge of panic in his voice and said soothingly, “It’s all right. We’ve been through a lot this past week.”
His breathing calmed and he nodded. “You’re right, of course.” He smiled a little at her. “Sorry to wake you.”
“It’s all right.”
They settled back down again, Diana brushing her arm against Steve’s chest and felt him stiffen. She quickly removed her arm and curled up, her back to him. He fell asleep in a few minutes, Diana mentally cursing savage barbarians.
& & & & & &
The next morning found them out on the road bright and early, Diana pleased at the chiton-like garments they were wearing today. The Toronians were humanoid in appearance, and their clothes fit rather well. Gold clasps at their shoulders and the gold belts accented the white silk of these fresh clothes. Their boots were of a soft calfskin-like material, Steve still wore the gold manacles/bracelets, and Diana could have imagined them on Paradise Island instead of on an alien planet at war.
Steve was placid, blond hair tumbling into his eyes but he made no move to brush it back. He kept up with her but winced every now and then. Diana threw worried glances his way when he wasn’t looking. He had insisted upon carrying the saddlebag while she carried the rucksack, and a blaster and sword were attached to his belt, too.
Equal division of labor.
Diana ached to hold him in her arms but every time her hand or leg touched his, he backed away, not exactly flinching, but keeping a small distance.
It broke her heart.
& & & & & &
They crept quietly through the rocks, blasters out and soft boots making no sound. Diana nodded at Steve and she leaped up onto the biggest boulder while he covered her with his blaster.
She burst out laughing.
She jumped down and said, “Just a fox.”
Diana giggled. “Yes, but a noisy one.”
“Damn.” He smiled at her and leaned back against the rock. “Well, looks like we’re still out here all alone.”
“Maybe that’s a good thing, considering.”
Steve smiled wryly. “You may be right, Angel.” He sighed. “At least we have good weather. And eventually we’ll get to the city.”
Diana nodded. “We’re going to get home, Steve.”
He smiled. “I never doubted it once you were with me again.”
Diana started to reach out to touch sun-bright locks, then stopped as Steve reached down and picked up his rucksack.
She nodded, her eyes sad as she followed Steve back to the road.