Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Steve/Diana, Medea, Jamie O’Reilly
Genres: Romance, Drama, A Touch Of Mystery
Rating (this chapter): G
General Summary: When Queen Hippolyta sends a precious Amazon artifact to America with an Amazon guard, both cause Diana and Steve no end of trouble.
Chapter Summary: Diana and Medea check the security for the Amazon exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
Date Of Completion: March 6, 2008
Date Of Posting: April 19, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1462
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Dedicated to our hardy band of Steve/Diana fans! :)
Special thanks to jen_in_japan , whose enthusiasm for this project kept me going with a smile on my face. :)
All chapters can be found here.
THE ATHENS OF AMERICA
“Boston is the Hub of the Universe.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
It was quiet on the residential street at this hour. Steve had rented one of the small houses, the neighborhood on the very outskirts of Boston and nearly in Brookline, a posh suburb.
As Diana and Medea left Rosebriar Lane, the dwellings merged into the more common brownstones made of brick. Trees had been planted along the sidewalks, a nice touch in a big city.
“So you have based yourself here?”
Diana nodded. “Well, it is the Athens of America.”
Medea laughed. “It has Greek-style buildings.”
“In some places, yes. Though Washington has many more.”
“Ah, where the White Palace is.”
Diana grinned. “Steve was made liaison officer between the U.S. and Themyscira. He and the museum will be in charge of security.
“Steve’s main assignment here is overseeing projects at MIT, Government-related. He and I shuttle back-and-forth between Boston and Washington.”
“You follow this man?”
“I do, as Diana Prince.”
Medea’s mouth twisted slightly. But she asked, “Are there no women to handle security?”
“There might be some on the museum’s security staff.”
“Have you requested women be included?”
Diana looked at her friend. “The men are more than competent. Have no fears, Medea.”
Medea looked unconvinced but said nothing further.
Diana admired the figure that Medea cut in the golden breastplate and leg armor sheathed over golden laced-up sandals. Armbands matched her bracelets, and her sword was at her side. Diana had not lost her appreciation of the female form.
“Wonder Woman!” A young girl ran toward her, pigtails flying. “I’m your biggest fan!”
Diana laughed. “On your way to school early, little one?”
The girl nodded eagerly. “Could you sign my notebook? See, it’s got your picture on it!”
“That it does.” Diana noticed a small boy standing several feet away, eyes round in awe. “Would your friend like an autograph, too?”
“That’s my brother!” The girl beamed. She ran back, grabbed his hand, and pulled him forward. “This is Bobby. I’m Emma.”
“Hello, Emma, Bobby.” Diana took the pen Emma handed her and wrote her name on the cover. “Now your brother’s.” The little boy smiled shyly and handed her his notebook. “Ahh, Superman. A very good choice.” The children giggled and Bobby said, “Thank you,” in a small voice when Diana handed back his notebook.
“You’re an Amazon, too!” Emma said to Medea. “Can I have your autograph?”
Bemused, Medea nevertheless wrote her name on the cover.
“Medea. That’s a pretty name. Oh, Bobby’s, too?”
Medea looked down at the little boy and Bobby trembled slightly as he offered his notebook.
Medea took the notebook and scribbled her name, giving it back quickly.
“Off to school with you now,” Diana said.
The children scurried off hand-in-hand.
“What is this custom of writing one’s name on objects of people I do not know?”
Diana laughed. “It’s called giving an autograph and is a peculiarity of the culture.”
The women walked through the Fens, passing the ‘lyrical little bandbox’, Fenway Park, the light towers looming up high over the left-field Wall.
“Careful of the Green Monster,” Diana said.
Medea looked around quickly. “What Green Monster?”
Diana laughed. “The nickname for the Wall.” She tapped the structure and Medea huffed her annoyance while Diana’s eyes sparkled.
They continued on past more brownstones, and several colleges and medical buildings. They walked through the busy intersection filled with morning commuters, people delighted to see Wonder Woman and a new Amazon. Diana waved to everyone, then escorted Medea to the street right off the intersection.
Shaded from trees growing in the Emerald Necklace park on one side of the street, the women walked past Simmons College, students hurrying to snag some library time before the first classes, past the ivy-covered walls surrounding the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and on to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
Jamie O’Reilly was waiting for them. Sky-blue eyes sparkled as he held out his hand to Diana. “Welcome, Wonder Woman. Steve said he’d be over at ten.”
“Thank you, Jamie.”
Jamie turned to Medea. He could be Steve’s twin: same build, blond hair, and blue eyes, though Steve’s tended more toward a deeper sapphire. He was Diana’s height. Medea towered over both of them.
“Medea, not Ms.”
“Sorry.” Jamie’s smile was charming but lost on Medea. “I can show you all the security features and then escort you to Director Pendleton’s office.”
Jamie first showed them the exhibit hall that had been prepared for the Chalice. He kept glancing at the bag that Medea carried.
Diana paid attention to the security arrangements; alarms, light beams and cameras. There would be guards stationed strategically around the room during the time that the exhibit would be open to the public and a full schedule of rounds at night.
“So, do you have women on your staff?” Medea asked.
“I have one.”
“Will she be assigned to this exhibit?”
“She will probably be on one of the shifts.”
“I am not sure if you realize the significance of this object. Hera’s Chalice was given to our Queen as a symbol of her reign and right to rule when she assumed the throne.”
“It’s not the only symbol, her crown and sceptor are, but this is very important,” Diana added.
Jamie nodded. “The curator will also feature Amazon pieces you’ve so generously donated in the past, Wonder Woman, but the star of the show is Hera’s Chalice.”
“This treasure and exhibit interests my mother greatly, Jamie. She requested that part of the proceeds be donated to Hera’s Havens.”
“Yes, that’s wonderful, Princess.”
“Medea, please show Jamie our treasure.”
Medea put the bag down and took the Chalice out. Jamie’s eyes widened, a reverent look shining from blue depths. He took the cup from Medea, who appeared unhappy to give it up.
“Beautiful,” Jamie said softly. He turned the heavy artifact around, its inlaid jewels sparkling. The face of Hera was beautifully-crafted on one side, and a depiction of Hippolyta as serene ruler was fashioned on the other side. The jewels were every color of the rainbow adorning crowns, bracelets, belts, and necklaces. The handles were elaborately-curved and elegant, strong enough to hold the heavy gold of the Chalice.
“In the days of old, precious jewels would fill the Chalice,” Medea said. “They were said to offer a constant supply: once scooped out, the Chalice would still contain jewels to the brim. A gift from Hera to her loyal subjects.” Her hand rested on the hilt of her sword. “It was lost during the Bondage Times, but found and returned.”
Diana could see that Jamie understood the Bondage Times reference. While the darkest saga of the Amazons was not well-known, some scholars had dug it out. There were two camps: one that thought it a myth, the other believing it to be real. Diana had never spoken in public of the enslavement and defilement of her people, trusting only a few with the knowledge, but the story was out there.
“Jamie is not only Security Chief but Assistant Curator.” Diana smiled as Jamie beamed with pride.
Medea’s eyebrow rose. “A man of many talents.”
“We are very proud to be part of Boston’s cultural heritage,” Diana said. “The Museum of Fine Arts is one of the finest in the country.” Jamie beamed with pride. “There are so much intellectual pursuits here.”
“True. And it’s also the neighborhood of Fenway Park, our baseball team.”
Diana laughed at Jamie’s wink while Medea looked puzzled. “A jewel in the Emerald Necklace to be certain.”
Jamie chuckled and placed the Chalice on the table that had been prepared for it. His cellphone rang. “Excuse me.” Jamie flipped open the phone and said, “O’Reilly here. Uh huh. Okay. Thanks.” He put his phone back on his belt and said, “Curator Pendleton is going to be a little delayed and I have to check on another exhibit. Please feel free to look around, ladies. I should be back soon.”
“All right, Jamie.”
After the Security Chief left, Medea muttered, “Arrogant, condescending bastard.”
“You heard me. ‘You ladies’. Dismissing us like children!” Medea stalked over to a glass case filled with jewelry. “And he seems quite cavalier about the lone female on his staff.”
“He can’t assign people just because of their gender.”
“And why not?” Medea turned, her eyes blazing. “He assigns the men to an exhibit honoring our people.”
“That’s because most of his guards are men.” Diana admired the jewelry as she came up to her friend and put a hand on her back. “You have to make allowances, Medea. This isn’t home.”
“No, it is not.”
Medea’s voice was distinctively displeased.