Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Steve/Diana, Queen Hippolyta, Ollie/Dinah, Clark/Bruce, Dick/Roy, Shayera, Linda/Barbara, Connor Hawk, Mia Dearden, Lex Luthor (past implied Clex), Hal Jordan (Also, see Author’s Notes below)
Rating (this chapter): R
Warnings (this chapter): Aftermath of war 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 rise from the ashes of the old?
Chapter Summary: The Final Battle commences.
Date Of Completion: February 26, 2008
Date Of Posting: March 7, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1920
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.
THE FINAL BATTLE
Two Weeks Ago
When the Final Battle came, it was a titanic struggle.
Diana waded through the smoke and fire and cleaved through the enemy like the classic knife through butter. Ashes of memories and feelings lay cold in her heart, and she felt its bitter taste in her mouth.
Some of the heroes had fallen in the months since that day at Rosewood when Clark had rejuvenated in the garden. Hawkman, the Flash and Robin were gone, and Barbara had taken a bad hit, but she had insisted upon fighting in this battle. Linda had given up arguing and instead stayed as close to her as possible.
Diana had fought in the sky at first with her invisible plane, but then the ground troops had needed her. She resolutely pushed the memory of her dream last night out of her mind (“Daughter, you must be true to your Amazonian heritage”) and allowed only a cold precision to guide her actions.
And yet the memory of that dream was so vivid…
& & & & & &
Diana slept fitfully, finally dropping into a troubled slumber.
& & & & & &
The waves lapped up on the beach and Diana shielded her eyes from the blinding sun. She saw the gold-topped buildings of her city, and then a figure in flowing white appeared.
“You compliment me, Daughter.”
“Yes.” The figure’s face could not be seen, backlit by the sun, and Diana could not move, only look and speak. “The Final Battle is on the morrow. You must gather up all your strength, for it will be difficult, very difficult.”
Bitterness flooded Diana’s tongue. “It already is, Mother.”
Sympathy laced Hippolyta’s voice. “I know, child.” She touched the belt she wore. “Know that sometimes Destiny is a bitter taste.”
“I am rather tired of Destiny, Mother.”
“Yes, I cannot blame you.”
Diana hesitated. “Mother, are you well? My sisters? And…?”
Diana thought she saw a smile. “All are well, Diana. The sadness you feel will continue, but you must endure it. There are losses to come, but from the ashes as the Phoenix was risen, you will see a new world born.”
“I…do not wish to lose the old one.”
“I know.” Sadness tinged Hippolyta’s voice. “But we can only deal with what is given us. Be strong, my daughter. Know that you are loved.” She held out her hand and turned. “Follow your heart.”
Diana saw the figure of the man she loved appear as he took Hippolyta’s hand, his face also shadowed, hair backlit by the sun. It glowed as brightly as her mother’s crown.
“Steve,” she breathed.
“Speak, my son.”
Steve’s head inclined respectfully, “Yes, my Queen.”
Hippolyta disappeared into the light, and Diana noticed that her Beloved was dressed in combat fatigues.
“I know it’s difficult, Angel. Final battles always are.” His voice was soft. “I know that your Warrior soul will see this through.”
“I miss you.”
“I know.” She could hear a sad smile in his voice. “Know that I will always love you, my Princess.”
She came forward and saw his face. He smiled and touched her Medal. Strong hands lightly gripped her shoulders and they kissed.
“I will always be with you, my love.”
& & & & & &
Diana awoke with a start, listening to the sound of the ocean outside her window here at Rosewood.
She drew her knees up and rested her head on both.
& & & & & &
Diana drove forward, wielding her Lasso and Sword as skillfully as possible. She saw Linda high in the sky, armored and smashing Davon planes left and right. Not too far away was Clark, doing the same thing, and on the ground were Bruce and Barbara, staying close. She saw Dick somersaulting over several soldiers and smashing into one, toppling him over, while Roy and Ollie let loose a barrage of arrows. Dinah opened her mouth and the Canary Cry reverberated over the battlefield.
There were more battles-within-the-battle, heroes and military dashing here and there in almost helter-skelter fashion, some of the U.S. Army and Marines in LexCorp and WayneTech armor.
Through it all, Diana fought, blocking out anything but her goal of victory.
Though she was sure that she had seen a flash of blond hair by her side more than once.
& & & & & &
The smoke was acrid, filling her lungs and she spat it out. The blue skies of spring were littered with black plumes, and she could smell the blood and oil of smashed soldiers and weapons that strewed the hard ground.
Bruised and bloodied, she quickly checked to see if she still had her Medal around her neck. Relieved when she felt the familiar metal, she allowed herself to gaze across the battlefield.
She heard the Canary Cry before she saw Dinah cradling her green-garbed lover. Further away a dark figure was huddled over a bright one, the armor blasted away and blood and green liquid mixed in a macabre splash. She saw Bruce’s head come up, his hand tear away his cowl, and an inhuman howl mix with the sonic Canary Cry.
Diana gripped her Sword harder, then started to join them.
A flash of red caught her eye. She turned and saw a scrap of red cloth flutter on the breeze, and then saw a red boot sticking out from behind a large boulder. She left Dinah and Bruce to their grieving, as every Warrior needed time to scream their pain, raw and elemental, before receiving sympathetic sorrow.
Diana’s boots crunched over the ground, and then she stopped.
They looked merely asleep, bodies close together, but it wasn’t the sleep of the living.
Dick was turned toward Roy, who was also facing him. Diana bent down and saw the wounds in the back of Dick’s head and back. She was puzzled for a moment as to how Roy had died, and then saw the hole in his chest under Dick’s hand.
She wondered who had been wounded first, and did they have a chance to say goodbye to each other? Her Beloved…nearly every bone in his body had been broken…but he had survived just long enough to speak his love to her. Had Dick and Roy been as fortunate?
Maybe it didn’t matter, because they were both gone. No broken-hearted partners left behind.
The flap of wings brought her head up. Shayera alighted.
“No,” said the redhead softly.
Diana stood. “We’ll have to tend to Dinah and Bruce. Perhaps it would be better if they didn’t see the bodies.”
It was too late. Dinah gently laid Ollie down and was running forward, terrible knowledge in her eyes.
“Not my boy-o,” she pleaded. “Not my boy-o, too!”
Shayera grabbed her but Dinah twisted away.
“No! Not him, too! Ollie’s gone and now Roy! And Dick! Both my boy-o’s! No! Nooo!!!”
Wild with grief, she fought Shayera and Diana, and Diana saw with a dawning sense of horror Bruce looking their way. She saw him copy Dinah’s gentle laying of the body he held down on the ground and stalk toward them.
“No, Bruce,” Diana whispered.
He reached her, the light in his eyes flickering. She blocked his way.
“Let me see,” he grated.
He pushed past her.
The flickering light died.
Bruce fell to his knees, a trembling hand reaching out to touch Dick’s hair. He laid the other hand on Roy’s arm.
“Not my beautiful boy,” he whispered. “Not my sunshine, my laughing child, my heart.” His voice was soft but trembling. “Momma and Daddy left me, and Tim did, and then Clark did, just a little while ago, and now you’ve left me, my Little Bird. You can’t leave me. Ever.”
Other heroes were either turning away or starting to approach hesitantly. Diana saw Barbara limping toward them.
Diana knelt beside Bruce. “I’m sorry, Bruce.” It was odd, this quiet while Dinah wailed in a raging fury only a few feet away. Bruce didn’t seem to hear her, just rocking slightly. He stilled.
Then he looked at her. “Oh, it’s fine.” He smiled. “Clark and I will invite all the Arrows to Smallville for some fresh country air. Clark always says that it’s the best thing for them. He loves the ocean by the Manor, but he loves his childhood home, too.” Diana’s blood chilled. “And Dick and Roy will be there with Lian. She’s such a beautiful child. She’s my first grandchild. Ahh, Barbara, good to see you. Where’s Linda?”
Barbara was staring down at Dick. “Um, she’s close by.” A tear slid down her cheek. “Come on, Bruce.” She looked sorrowfully at Roy.
“No.” He shook his head. “I have to stay here. Ollie and Clark and I have to host a big party, one where all the families will be together.” Bruce smiled at Diana. “Of course you must bring Steve, Diana.”
Diana nearly broke her Sword hilt but she managed a ghost of a smile. “Of course, Bruce.”
Bruce looked around. “Where’s Clark?”
Diana glanced at the battlefield. She saw Lex kneeling beside Clark’s body. “We’ll find him. Let Barbara help you.”
Bruce frowned. “Help me do what?”
“To leave this place for somewhere better.”
She saw that Lex was gone and now Linda was in his place, her face streaked with tears as she lightly touched her cousin’s face. Several feet away, Hal was kneeling next to Ollie, grief in the bow of his head.
“All right.” Bruce stood, almost placidly, and Barbara gripped his arm tightly. Dinah had collapsed on the ground, Shayera’s arm around her, and Connor and Mia had run up, faces white. Connor kept looking back at Ollie and Hal.
“Take care of your mother,” Diana said. “Shayera and I will take care of Dick and Roy.”
The stricken Arrows nodded, Mia hugging Dinah as Connor stood over them both.
Bruce suddenly gripped Diana’s arms and spoke, frantic. “They didn’t leave me, they can’t leave me, I have to tell Alfred to plan the party, I can’t…” A wild look came into his eyes as he shook her. “Please, Momma and Daddy left me, my Clark and Dick and Tim…Roy’s my boy, too…they can’t be gone…” Diana was stricken: she was looking into the eyes of a frightened eight-year-old.
Barbara gently took Bruce’s hand. “Come with me, Bruce.” He was trembling and Diana was afraid that he would shatter. “Please.”
Bruce shook his head and suddenly broke away, desperately crawling back toward the bodies as he avoided grasping hands with Bat-like skill. He reached out a shaking hand and touched Dick’s hair. “Please, Dick, please, wake up. Don’t leave me. You said that you would never leave me!” His voice rose to a hysterical pitch.
Diana laid a hand on his shoulder. “Bruce, please go with Barbara.”
Bruce looked at her, his tear-streaked face desolate. “All right,” he said brokenly, then took a deep breath, attempting a smile. “I have to consult with Alfred on the party plans.” He stood up with a dazed expression, allowing Barbara to lead him away.
Diana felt her body trembling. Lyssa had made her claim.
They had lost Bruce as surely as they had lost all his loved ones.
She turned and nodded to Shayera. Grimly, both women turned to their task.
A robin sang from the nearby trees, and Diana nearly collapsed.
“Goodbye,” she whispered, a tear trickling down her cheek.