Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Steve/Diana
Genres: Angst, Drama, Hurt/Comfort
Rating (this chapter): R
Warnings (this chapter): Violence
Spoilers: References 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: As Steve’s fever rises, he and Diana find themselves as prey once again.
Date Of Completion: January 26, 2008
Date Of Posting: February 6, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1467
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? ;)
Yet our love
The best of us.
And Other Poems”
They were in trouble.
Steve had insisted upon cooking breakfast, then he trotted beside her as they walked down the road, pausing to pick fresh fruit off the apple trees.
The first time Steve stumbled, she caught him and he smiled at her gratefully.
The second time, he apologized profusely.
The third time, he bent over as he knelt on the hard ground, arms trembling as he tried to hold himself up.
Diana knelt beside him and gently lifted his chin, brushing the hair out of his eyes.
His skin was no longer just hot.
It was burning-hot.
“It’s all right.” Diana brushed her lips across his brow, grateful that he didn’t flinch. “The fever is too high and is sapping your strength. You don’t object to me carrying you?”
He looked at her with wry suffering. “Have I ever objected to you carrying me when it was necessary?”
Her smile was gentle. “No. One of the many reasons why I love you.”
He laughed a little and struggled to his feet with Diana’s help. The saddlebag and weapons were transferred to her and she put her hands in position.
“You’re not at full strength yourself. Are you sure…?”
She nodded. “I can’t ride the wind currents and forget speed, but I can lift and carry. And you’re not exactly a heavy weight, my darling.”
He smiled but grasped her shoulder. “The dizziness?”
Diana looked at him with steady eyes. “If I feel a dizzy spell coming on, I’ll stop immediately and put you down.”
He nodded slowly and allowed her to lift him up. He sighed as his head rested against her shoulder, fevered skin touching hers, heat radiating even through the white silk.
“I shall get you home, Beloved,” Diana murmured.
He looked at her. “As I will you, Angel.”
& & & & & &
Diana rested more than once, Steve falling into an exhausted sleep. He mumbled in his fevered sleep, but rarely moved and roused enough to drink water during the rest breaks.
As she walked, keeping her senses alert for any signs of the enemy, she reflected back on her nightmare.
The memory of the battle in which they had been captured was vivid, especially since her memories after that were hazy due to the drug, and then the shock of coming back to the world and to Steve’s pain.
She looked down at him and felt an aching tenderness. He carried around a fighter pilot’s cockiness but was far more low-key than men of that profession. He loved being her partner, but never minded staying in the background.
It had been her experience since arriving in Man’s World that there was no shortage of male arrogance and shortsightedness. While women were not free of such shortcomings, the male gender had more than an abundance of foolishness.
Steve wasn’t perfect. Neither was she. They both had to work on their shortcomings, but Diana was certain that she had one of the best men as a partner. She worked with exceptional men in the Justice League and her personal partner was a man to be treasured.
She didn’t want to lose him.
Diana sighed and wished that she had an army of Amazons with her. A handful of her sisters could defeat the G’darrans and she could get Steve to safety.
She couldn’t lose him.
Diana stopped as she heard a sound. Quickly she looked up and saw the unmistakable shape of a m’kattra winging its way from miles away.
Its hawk-like eyes would see her and Steve immediately.
She ran into the forest, going deep inside and hoping that the creature would bypass them.
No such luck.
She heard the bird’s cry as it searched for prey, giant wings flapping and creating a breeze that swept into the forest.
Diana gently put Steve down and he roused, eyes fever-bright as he whispered, “What?”
She put a finger to her lips and he followed it as she pointed upward. He heard the shriek and shivered slightly, then looked back at her, gesturing for his blaster. Diana hesitated but then gave it to him.
The shadows of the thickly-canopied forest hid them from sight, but Diana knew the m’kattra had excellent hearing and sense of smell. If it caught any scent or heard a single movement, it would attack.
Diana and Steve looked up and saw the tree cover shake as the m’kattra flew over. Diana was in battle stance and Steve clutched his blaster tightly. They didn’t move a muscle.
Quiet descended on the forest as the birds and small animals hunkered down or had already fled.
Minutes ticked by but they heard no more cries and the leaves were still. Finally they lowered their blasters.
Diana whispered, “That was close…”
A loud crash sounded as the leaves overhead exploded, a large body descending as the great wings tore off branches and more leaves. Claws reached out and Diana and Steve aimed for its underbelly, Diana’s previous experience with the beasts coming in handy.
Wonder Woman snatched up her sword as the beast swiped a wing at her and Steve, howling in pain at the close energy blasts. The m’kattra staggered back, then reared up and started to bring its great beak down when Diana hurled her sword at its heart.
The death throes were terrible to see, Diana and Steve scrambling to get away, Diana holding her companion up as they ran, Steve running on pure adrenaline.
The m’kattra screamed its final rage and crashed to the forest floor, the earth trembling beneath their feet as its prospective prey stopped and leaned against a huge tree trunk, gasping for breath.
Diana irksomely noted her respiratory distress, cursing the drug that was still in her system to some extent, and she breathed out, “Are you all right?”
Steve nodded, also trying to catch his breath. His eyes were nearly incandescent as he gasped, “Wow…we got lucky there…those things are pretty…nasty…!”
She nodded, then suddenly put a finger to his mouth. He heard the voices, too.
“Let’s see what the beast killed. Maybe it’s fresh meat!”
“Must be somethin’ good…oh, hell!”
The G’darran voices were close. Diana could feel Steve tremble next to her, his eyes shadowed.
“Get the boys. Let’s roll this thing over and see what’s underneath.”
The sword! They would see her sword! Diana looked at Steve who realized the same thing in the same second. Clamping down on his fear, he whispered, “We have to get further away!”
She nodded and they took off, wincing at the sound of the crunching leaves.
The sound of crashing brush behind them spurred them on further. Steve was running on pure adrenaline, fear driving him forward as he tightly clutched Diana’s hand.
She spotted a huge hollow tree. “There!” she hissed, and she grabbed some brush and followed Steve inside. She covered up the entrance with the thorny brush and they sat together, listening to the sounds of heavy feet smashing through the leaves.
“They gotta be around here somewhere!” The soldier’s voice was close to the tree. Steve’s grip tightened on Diana’s hand, his breathing harsh in the darkness.
“So somebody killed a stinkin’ m’kattra. Let’s go!”
Diana knew she could take them, Steve at her back, but unless she slit their throats, they would revive and hunt them down.
She didn’t like to kill except when necessary in battle. She hadn’t even killed Steve’s…
“That sword was one of ours. Why didn’t the guy stay? Why’d he run?”
“Who the hell knows? C’mon, if we don’t get back, Gavin will have our heads!”
Grumbling, the G’darran turned and left.
After several minutes of silence, Diana peeked out.
“Safe,” she breathed, then she saw Steve smiling as she pushed away the brush. “What?”
“I never thought I’d be like the Keebler Elves and wind up in a tree!”
Diana laughed in sheer relief. “What kind of cookies are we making in here, sir?”
“Something dark and chocolate-y and filled with creamy goodness.”
She was amazed at her lover’s resiliency. She knew how terrified he had been as the G’darrans had come closer, and after seeing what had been done to him in that clearing, she couldn’t blame him.
Don’t worry, Steve, I’ll protect you. They won’t touch you ever again, by Hera!
Her thoughts were fierce, just like her vow.
She helped him out of the tree and he straightened up.
Suddenly his eyes rolled up in his head and he pitched forward.
Diana caught him before he fell to the ground.