Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Steve/Diana, Jamie O’Reilly, Don Hegler
Genres: Romance, Drama, A Touch Of Mystery
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
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: The Amazon exhibit opens to the public, and Steve makes a security check.
Date Of Completion: March 16, 2008
Date Of Posting: May 3, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 994
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.
Fuel the fire
Aaron V. Rogers
“Love Not Lost, But Regretted”
Steve was impressed with the crowds waiting to get into the exhibit. He avoided the front entrance and went through a side door that led to Jamie’s office.
“Hey, Steve! What’s up?”
“Hi, Jamie. I’d just like to check on a few things.”
“What, my security isn’t good enough for you?” Jamie winked.
“I just…” Steve blushed.
“Oh, just want to be extra-certain for your Angel.”
Steve smiled. “Yes.”
Jamie laughed, “Oh, babe, you’ve got it bad.” At Steve’s nervous look around, Jamie said, “Relax, this office is soundproof.” Sympathy shone in sky-blue eyes. “I know your bisexuality can’t be known, considering your employer.”
Steve felt the old ambivalence: he loved being a test pilot and was happy to serve his country, but he felt like a hypocrite sometimes.
Serving a country that would despise me if they knew I’ve slept with men, and the military I serve would kick me out, decorated pilot or not.
“No problem.” Jamie headed for the door. “Now, you needn’t worry about outing me. I work in the art world! It’s practically required.”
Steve laughed as he followed his friend out into the hall. “I’d say you’re right.”
“Mmm, and that Selina Kyle…what a woman!”
“She is that.”
They both grinned, acknowledging Selina’s incredible sexuality.
They stopped at the monitor room, Steve going over camera security once more. He saw the rapt faces of the exhibit-goers and was pleased.
“It’s a record attendance so far.” Jamie watched the crowd. “Tell your Princess it’s a success.”
“She’ll be delighted.”
“Can you stay for lunch?”
They left the monitor room.
“I’m meeting artist Don Hegler. Speaking of old flames…” Jamie winked.
Steve was intrigued. Don Hegler was one of the hottest artists in Manhattan right now.
“What, he’s slumming in Boston?”
Jamie laughed. “He’s setting up a show with us. It’ll debut after the Amazon exhibit is done.”
The café was nearly empty as it was still early. Steve easily noticed the slender young man sitting at the corner table.
It was hard not to notice him. Dark-blond hair curled around his face, cheekbones prominent and lips pouty. As they approached, Steve saw how fine the man’s hands were, artist's hands with a delicate touch.
But the most stunning feature were his eyes as Don looked up, leaf-green color shimmering in the sunlight streaming down from the skylight.
How did Jamie let this one get away?
“Ah, you must be Major Trevor.” Don stood up, holding out his hand.
Steve shook hands. “You’re right.”
He and Jamie sat at the table.
“Donnie, Steve thinks you’re slumming.”
Don laughed. “A little. Boston’s interesting but not as up-to-the-minute.”
“Jamie says you’re setting up a show.” Steve sipped from his water glass.
“Yeah, a show of my latest sculpture right after your Amazon’s exhibit.”
Steve felt a jolt of pride. While Diana was no man’s, she was his Beloved, and that counted.
“Beautiful woman. I can appreciate her beauty without going ga-ga over it like a straight.” He winked. “Right, Jamie dear?”
Jamie laughed. “Right, luv.”
Steve envied them their freedom. He could never openly speak of past lovers like Jamie and Hal except as ‘old friends’.
“What do you think of this exhibit?” Jamie asked.
“Stunning. Preserved and historic.” Don waved his hand. “The Greeks worshipped beauty. I see the Amazons do as well.”
“The arts are very important to them.” Steve closed the menu.
“Does that mean the arts of war as well?”
“I suppose. Io, their blacksmith, forges exceptional weaponry.”
“Pretty ironic for a race that counts Aphrodite as their patron.”
“Athena is also their patron.”
The waitress came over and they ordered. After she left Don said, “Touche.” He drank lemon water and said, “Is it exciting or exhausting to be an Amazon’s boyfriend?”
“A little of both,” Steve said with a laugh.
“Jamie tells me you grew up together.”
“We were. Practically twins.”
Don laughed. “Yeah, you resemble twins. Bookends.”
Something in Don’s tone made Steve nervous. Did he know…?
“Relax, Major. I don’t out people. I figure your own conscience must eat away at you, serving a homophobic institution.”
Don waved a hand. “Sorry if I made you uncomfortable, Major.”
Steve doubted that, relieved from making a comment by the waitress bringing their food.
As they ate, Don regaled them with tales of the rich and famous, then said, “Security must be state-of-the-art around here.”
Jamie replied, “It is. I’ll give you a tour after lunch.”
“Good.” Don sipped his wine. “My agent is always harping on security.”
“Marv is always worrying about something.”
“True.” Don signaled for more wine. “I suppose that’s not a problem for the current show.”
“Why not?” Steve asked curiously.
“I saw the picture of that Amazon bodyguard Wonder Woman has. She looks like she could cheerfully chop your balls off.”
“Right on both counts,” Steve said ruefully.
Don smirked. “I doubt many crooks would want to go up against her.”
“Gentlemen, be glad that the Amazons are on our side.”
Steve’s companions laughed.
When lunch was over, Steve was escorted out while Don went to wait in Jamie’s office.
“What happened to break you two up?” Steve asked.
“Oh, you never stay hooked up to an artist for long. They’re all more than a little nuts.”
Steve grinned. “Try military types.”
“I did, once upon a time.”
Steve remembered the pain of their break-up. “Two different worlds, Jamie-luv.”
Jamie squeezed his hand. “I know.”
They threaded their way through the crowded lobby, and out on the steps a teenaged girl said, “Hey! It’s Wonder Woman’s boyfriend!”
“See, I’m just the escort,” Steve grinned.
“Oh, sure,” said Jamie as autograph-seekers descended.
& & & & & &
The exhibit continued to set records and was universally-praised, a smashing success.
Until Hera’s Chalice was stolen.