Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Steve/Diana, Clark/Bruce, Dick/Roy, Hal Jordan, James Trevor/Cecilia Trevor (Also, see Author’s Notes below)
Rating (this chapter): R
Warnings: Aftermath of battlefield violence. There will be character deaths in various chapters.
Continuity: Comicsverse (mix of pre-COIE with current canon) and a dash of Smallville.
General Summary: Can a new world arise from the ashes of the old?
Chapter Summary: In the early days of the War, Diana suffers a crushing blow.
Date Of Completion: February 25, 2008
Date Of Posting: February 28, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1172
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: While this was written from Diana’s POV, this story is structured like Strange Brew and The Family Series with multiple characters and pairings. The prominent pairings are Clark/Bruce, Dick/Roy, Ollie/Dinah, and Steve/Diana, and there are other pairings and characters included as well. Each chapter will list those who appear in that particular segment.
All chapters can be found here.
This is a story of loss, grace under fire, and hope.
In The Early Days Of The Davon War (One Year Ago, Two Months After Invasion Day)
Diana whirled her Lasso over her head, throwing it to capture a Davon soldier. The armored alien fell, and she quickly knocked him out. There was a knot of soldiers up ahead that she must take care of, nodding to Dinah as the Canary and Green Arrow moved forward.
Nightwing and Red Arrow were right behind them. Diana searched for Clark and Bruce. She saw Clark high above in the sky, fending off a fleet of planes, and on the ground, Bruce was plying his special skills.
Diana pushed forward, dispatching the Davons with ease, but she was worried.
Two months, and still the invaders came, in wave after wave. The JLA had not been able to handle them by themselves. Now the military had been called into service, and as the most powerful nation, the United States had answered the call with the most pilots and soldiers. Other nations were fighting over their own homelands and Diana knew that her sister Amazons had prepared Paradise Island for possible attack.
The U.S. planes were fighting high above her in the sky alongside Superman, who started to forge ahead.
A silver plane broke through the clouds, the sun glinting off its metal skin, and then a massive swarm of enemy craft surrounded it. The pilot fought skillfully, and Diana’s attention returned to Clark as she heard Bruce’s cry. She saw Clark stagger after being hit by a missile, then drop to the ground. Kryptonite, or something else?
She began to run, then noticed the lone American plane banking away after scoring several hits.
The plane took a direct hit.
Diana’s soul screamed.
The plane crashed, the earth shaking as Bruce and Dick grabbed Clark and dragged him to cover.
Diana ran for the plane, panic seizing every nerve.
Black smoke billowed up from the wreckage, which was strewn all over the landscape. Diana saw a glint of blond hair and frantically threw off the pieces of twisted metal from the pilot.
“Steve…!” She knelt beside him.
Blood, a body twisted at impossible angles, pain-filled eyes opening as Steve struggled for breath. She gently brushed the hair back from his eyes.
“It’s all right. I’ll get you to a hospital.” Her hand was shaking as she grasped his shoulder. Broken.
“No…no time…” Agony laced every breath. “Diana…”
Diana leaned down closer. “Yes, Beloved?”
“Always…be with you…always love you…my Angel…”
She kissed him, and when she lifted her head up, his eyes looked directly into her soul.
The next instant, he was gone.
Diana stared down at him, feelings draining away. Numbness spread out along her limbs and she ignored the sounds of battle around her. Her hand gently caressed the sun-bright hair.
Several minutes later, she returned to the battle.
& & & & & &
Diana fought without feeling, her movements powerful and precise. She gave no quarter or mercy, and the Davons on the ground began to run from her.
The battle slowly went the Terrans’ way, the JLA and the military pushing back the Davons.
When peace finally settled over the battlefield, Diana approached the small clearing where Clark was slowly soaking up the sun and recovering, Bruce close by his side. Dick parted from Roy and went to her, a sad smile on his face.
“It was a tough one, but you were magnificent out there…Diana?”
He saw the Medal around her neck and the dead look in her eyes. “Di…Diana? Steve…?”
A small whimper escaped his lips when she nodded, and he carefully approached her, putting his arms around her. She could see the stricken looks on her colleagues’ faces and saw Green Lantern alight, his costume torn and his body slumped with exhaustion. He took one look at her and seemed to collapse into himself, Roy quickly grabbing hold of him.
“I have to take his body back to his family,” Diana said.
“We’ll help you.” Dick turned. “Hal, you’d better stay here with Clark and Bruce. Roy and I can…”
“No.” Hal shook his head. “Steve was my friend. I want to help.” He looked mutely at Diana, who knew the history between her Beloved and this man. She nodded her permission.
Hal had lost a lover, too.
She looked at Clark for a frightening moment, violent jealousy surging up in her.
Why is he alive for Bruce and my Beloved is dead?
But the feeling subsided, her chest heaving, and she felt dead again. She really could not begrudge Bruce his good fortune. He still had a life ahead of him.
Hers was now much, much less.
The small group returned to the site of the plane crash. She saw how Dick and Roy held each other’s hands tightly, as if afraid to let go.
A small part of her cried when she wouldn’t cry.
& & & & & &
The funeral was very proper, very military. There were representatives from the military and superhero community there, some having known Steve personally and others supporting her. She was grateful for the support but didn’t need it.
She only needed Steve.
She watched as the flag was ceremoniously folded after taken off the coffin, the military escort very precise. Taps played mournfully on the lone bugle, echoing in the crisp spring air. A gentle breeze brought a shower of apple blossoms and Diana carefully quashed the memory of walking in the nearby orchard with her hand in her lover’s grasp. The officer in charge handed the flag to Steve’s mother, his father and sister standing on her right, Diana to her left. The headstone was flanked by stone angels kneeling, crowns of flowers around their heads.
Diana looked down at the coffin. A wail began to build up in her and she once again carefully quashed it.
The time to scream at the Gods was not now.
It was after the funeral that Cecilia Trevor came up to her while people were mingling at the reception and hugged her.
“He loved you so much, my dear. Never doubt that.”
Diana looked at Cecilia when they parted, seeing the suffering in the woman’s eyes. She wondered how long Steve’s father would last. He had not been well recently.
Jim Trevor came up to her, arms slightly shaky as he hugged her, too.
“I wonder at this war,” he said sadly. “Reminds me of Korea.”
“The U.S. troops thought they had everything under control, were convinced their technology was superior, and then the Chinese entered the war. Wave after wave came, and drove back and stalemated everything for three years.” He closed his eyes briefly. When he opened them, he said, “We’ll be praying for you and your friends, Diana.”
Diana nodded, her cape and long skirt blowing in the breeze, the Medal of Athena cold on her skin.
An Amazon must never give up.
Even when she wanted to.