Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Steve/Diana, Queen Hippolyta, Clark/Bruce, Lex Luthor (implied past Clex) (Also, see Author’s Notes below)
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
Warnings: 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: At a special facility built by Lex, Clark recovers from serious wounds while Bruce and Diana keep vigil.
Date Of Completion: February 25, 2008
Date Of Posting: March 3, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1079
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.
RIBBONS OF SUNLIGHT
Six Months Ago
& & & & & &
Diana opened her eyes. She was on the beach on Paradise Island, the sun sparkling on the waves. A silver plane burst through the clouds and fell, fell, fell to the ocean, breaking apart.
Diana stood up and dove into the sea, swimming quickly out to the wreckage.
Steve lifted his head from the plane’s wing, blond hair tumbling into his eyes like strands of sunlight. “Angel.”
She kissed him, and they laughed together. She didn’t think it odd that he was garbed in a Greek chiton, gold bracelets around his wrists as they played in the ocean. All she knew was that she was happy, no longer hollow inside. The gold-topped white buildings of the city glinted in the sun high up on the hill.
They swam in unison, Diana playfully splashing her lover and he grinned, grabbing her shoulders and pulling them both down below the waves, breaking back up wrapped in a kiss.
“Beloved,” Diana breathed.
“I told you that I would always be with you.”
“I’ve felt so empty without you.” Diana glanced up and saw her mother and her court walking along the edge of the cliff, enjoying the day.
“You’ve done so well, love.” Pride shone in blue eyes. He reached out and touched the Medal. “I will always love you.”
He began to fade, Diana frantically grasping his shoulders but he was like mist slipping through her fingers, ribbons of sunlight shimmering in the air.
“No! Don’t leave me!” The buildings up on the hill began to shimmer, the figures fading.
& & & & & &
Diana shot up in bed, her heart racing. Her shaking fingers touched the Medal around her throat. She threw off her blankets and yanked on a robe, hurrying out of her room and down to the infirmary.
She paused at the glass to the room where Clark lay, Bruce’s head bent and resting on his lover’s arm. He was still in costume, but only for the strictest of security reasons. There was staff here that made unmasking impossible. His hands were ungloved, one holding on tightly to Clark’s.
Lex was pacing up and down the corridor, dressed in a rumpled shirt and jeans. She had never seen him dressed so casually before.
“How is he?”
Lex turned. “Still fighting.”
Her fist curled against the glass. “The lead-reinforced armor did well. Until they brought out the cannon.”
“Yeah.” Lex’s voice was ragged. “Those armor-piercing projectiles sure did a number on him.” He rubbed his face. “Want some coffee?”
Diana shrugged. “Why not?”
She and Lex went down to the cafeteria.
This was a secret facility, built to care for very special patients. There were guest rooms and Diana had taken up residence in one of them, spelling Bruce when he was too exhausted to protest, and Linda, Barbara, Dick, Roy, Ollie and Dinah were frequent visitors as well.
The cafeteria was very quiet, only one worker on duty. Lex poured out two cups of coffee and he and Diana sat at a window table.
Diana liked looking out at the woods surrounding the hospital on three sides. The heat of summer was long gone, the leaves in full autumn color. The ocean stretched out to the horizon, a lighthouse horn sounding its mournful song.
“It’s so peaceful here,” she murmured.
“It is.” Lex glanced at the TV that was set at the end of the room from the ceiling. “There seems to be a lull in the fighting.”
Diana sipped the strong coffee. “Don’t let it fool you. The Davons are nothing what they seem.”
Lex nodded, pushing the mug around-and-around. “They’re a strange race. There doesn’t seem to be anything special about them, and yet they’ve already laid waste to half the Earth.”
Diana suppressed a shudder. She had no desire to think about the ruined cities that she had flown over or seen on the JLA’s monitors. Even the regular TV carried pictures of death and destruction.
“Bruce seems to be in a pretty bad way.” As she jerked her head up he smiled sardonically. “Yes, I know their identities, but you already guessed that.”
“Nothing much gets by you, Lex.”
“Nope, nothing much does.” He sipped his coffee. “I knew Clark long before Bruce ever did.”
Suspicions confirmed, Diana said nothing. Let Lex steer the course of this conversation.
“But then, I knew Bruce long before Clark ever did.”
She tilted her head. “Is that important to you?”
“You never forget people from your past, Princess.” He took a longer sip. “Bruce and I connected because we were two-of-a-kind at school, and we lived the same kind of life. We knew who and what each other was from the beginning, because we were seeing mirror images.”
“Bruce might disagree with that.”
Lex’s mouth quirked. “He would, because he’s a Caped Crusader for Justice.” A shadow passed across Lex’s face. “He lost his parents, and I lost my mother, both at early ages. We lived in absolute luxury and were hollow inside. At least he had Alfred.”
Diana allowed herself to indulge her curiosity. “And Clark?”
Lex’s smile grew softer. “Clark was…different.” He drank again. “And I don’t mean the alien part. He was open, honest, shy…everything I wasn’t.” His fingers tightened around the mug’s handle. “He wasn’t completely honest, of course. And all the deceptions and misunderstandings took a toll. We drifted apart, and he met Bruce.” He finished his coffee. “End of story.”
Diana doubted that but said, “And what about you, Lex? Bruce thinks your ambition will be the end of you.”
Lex barked his laughter. “He’s probably right! But he’s just as obsessed and ambitious as I am. He just channels it differently.”
And he won the pretty Kryptonian.
Diana sipped her own coffee, pleased that Lex had noticed her preference for strong and black.
“Will you try to rule the world when we’ve driven off the Davons?”
Lex leaned back. “Who says we ever will?”
Diana’s stomach tightened. It had been a fear of her own recently. “I don’t know. But we have to keep trying.”
Shrewd eyes looked at her. “And what about you, Princess? Are you interested in continuing to try?”
Images of all she had lost paraded before her eyes. She took a long drink.
“I am an Amazon, Lex. I must never give up.”
Even when she wanted to.