Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Diana, Clark/Bruce (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 rise from the ashes of the old?
Chapter Summary: Reflections in rain-streaked glass.
Date Of Completion: February 25, 2008
Date Of Posting: March 4, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1057
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.
Diana affixed her Lasso to her belt and walked down the hall to Clark’s room. He looked up with a smile and she ran a practiced eye over him: wan color, still weak, but slowly getting better.
The day was rainy, with little sunlight to heal Clark. Lex would have provided sunlamps, but Clark had gently said he needed the real thing.
She wondered about that. In the past, sunlamps had always been beneficial and an adequate substitute.
“Good morning, Clark.” She looked around. “Where’s your Bat-shadow?”
Clark laughed. “Lex took him to the cafeteria. Insisted, actually.”
“Well, Bruce needs to eat.”
“He’s the most stubborn man I’ve ever met.”
“And you wouldn’t have him any other way.”
Clark grinned and she took a seat in the chair that Bruce had vacated. She crossed her legs and said, “So, how are you feeling today?”
“Better.” He looked out the window. “The ocean seems rather tempest-tossed today.”
“It is.” She might go for a swim later. “Clark, why won’t the sunlamps work for you?”
He shrugged. “They just don’t, anymore. I don’t know why. I need the real thing.”
She wondered if it was a Kryptonian physiology thing. Everyone had just assumed that Clark’s body would absorb sunlight in the same way for the rest of his life. Perhaps that wasn’t so.
“Dick and Roy told your parents about your improvement.”
Clark smiled. “I’m glad. I called Mom and Dad but I’m really happy that Dick and Roy are staying with them for awhile. Lian’s with them.” He sounded a little tired. “She’s a real angel.”
Diana stiffened but answered, “Yes, she is a wonderful little girl.”
“I suspect Mom’s apple pie might have urged them to give the news in person.”
Diana laughed a genuine laugh. “I agree! Still, it’s good for the boys to have some R&R. This war has gone on for only six months but it seems like a lifetime.”
Clark’s sympathetic eyes were on her. “How are you doing, Diana?”
She kept the smile plastered on her face. “Fine, Clark. I’m accustomed to a Warrior’s duty.”
“But not to quite this high price?”
“Oh, we all have to pay a price. This invasion is something out of The War Of The Worlds. Pity these aliens aren’t susceptible to the common cold.” She twisted the chain of her Medal.
Sadness tinged Clark’s eyes but he said, “Have there been any major attacks lately?”
“No, and that worries me.” At his puzzled look she continued, “The Davons have not given us any indication that they intend to give up. Why should they? They’ve killed millions already and laid waste to several major cities. Why should they stop now? We fight them, but we can’t drive them off.” The rain drummed on the roof. “If they’ve pulled back, that could mean major trouble.”
“I agree.” His mouth set in a grim line. “I need to get out of this bed and back into action pronto.”
“Well, there’s no use fretting. You’ll get your strength back soon. Perhaps it’s for the best that you’re at such a low ebb now while the Davons have pulled back.”
“Maybe.” Clark sighed. They listened to the rain plinking on the windows.
Diana saw the look of sympathy again and probably should have been angry or sad. Instead, she felt the hollowness that had been carved out of her since Steve’s death, and then from the deaths of her mother and sisters. She kept getting up every day because she had to. If she allowed herself to feel…
“Please don’t.” She stood up, her fist clenched around the Medal. The scalloped edges cut into her skin. “I can’t think about them, about any of them, Clark. The dreams are bad enough.” She started pacing. “Do you know how I can face the rest of my life? Because I’m not sure I can. Steve was my heart, my soul. He and I were destined to be together.” She thought bitterly of Destiny and wondered if the Goddess could have warned her, but of course not. The curse of Destiny was to See but not to Speak unless commanded. “When you and Bruce were arguing over letting Lex work with the JLA, he looked at me and abruptly stopped. I knew what he was thinking: time was too short to waste arguing with you. I felt like…I feel like…I’m walking around with half my limbs amputated. There’s a big hole inside of me, Clark. It’ll never be filled.” Her voice dropped to a whisper. “I…I should have been there on the Island. I should have died with my people.” Her hand tightened around the Medal. “There’s nothing left for me here anymore.”
She saw his sad reflection in the window’s glass.
Please don’t say you know how I feel. You don’t! You have your parents, healthy and alive. You have your Beloved constantly at your side! You’re not even the last of your race anymore with Linda and Kon.
Shame swept over her at her sudden anger, and as quickly drained out of her. All that was left was the emptiness.
“I see him in my dreams, when I can sleep, that is, and my mother is there in other dreams. I see the plane crash, over and over, and I hear my mother’s final cries as she’s cut down…”
Diana stopped at the window, looking out at the storm-tossed sea. “If I let myself think of them too much, Lyssa will have me.”
“The Goddess of Madness.”
The windowpane rattled slightly as a gust of wind blew up from the ocean. Raindrops spattered the window, streaking down like tears.
Diana tightened her fist, blood running down her palm as she fought to push down a terrible, black surge of emotion, of grief welling up in her like a Fury, screaming to be let out as the foghorn blew sadly in the distance.
Fingers trailing down the glass, Diana slid to the floor, head bowed and body shaking. Clark struggled out of bed and knelt next to her, his strong arms sliding around her as she buried her face in his chest.
Clark quickly shook his head and Bruce set aside the tray, then joined his lover and friend on the floor.
The rain came down harder.