Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Steve/Diana, Etta Candy, Jamie O’Reilly, Medea, Laura McKinney, Marvin Roth, Andy
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 search is on for Hera’s Chalice, and Diana introduces Medea to the Food of the Gods. ;)
Date Of Completion: March 26, 2008
Date Of Posting: May 14, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1200 + 1130 (Total: 2330)
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.
FOOD OF THE GODS
The soul requires food,
Just like the body.
Is the soul’s food.
Etta nodded and asked, “Do you have any clues, Steve?”
Steve tapped the folder on his desk. “I have the names of the night shift here. It’s a start.”
Etta closed the door behind her, leaving Steve in the quiet of his office. He began flipping pages and stopped at the sign-in sheet for the night.
Steve scanned the list…then stopped.
A few minutes later, he picked up the phone.
& & & & & &
“Steve, you sounded so urgent.” Jamie stood up as Steve entered his office.
“Your sign-up sheet for the night of the robbery: Don Hegler was on it.”
“Yes, Donnie was here to discuss the set-up for his show.” Jamie’s smile faltered. “You don’t…surely you don’t suspect him!”
“You showed him the security system.”
“Yes, but, he’s an artist! A successful one, in fact. Why steal when he could just sell a sculpture?”
“A private collector would pay millions for the precious object that was stolen.”
“But…Stevie…he would never do such a thing!”
“Why, Jamie? Because you slept with him?” Steve asked gently.
Jamie looked flustered, then crestfallen. “I don’t want to believe it.”
“I’m sure the police will thoroughly investigate, but you have to be prepared for the worst.” Steve put a hand on his friend’s shoulder.
Jamie nodded. He looked up, a small smile on his face. Steve brushed his lips against Jamie’s cheek, and their foreheads touched as Steve drew him close.
“No matter what, I’ll have your back, Jamie,” Steve whispered.
“I know.” Jamie rested a hand on Steve’s hip.
Neither one saw Medea out in the hall.
& & & & & &
Medea stalked out to Diana, who was preparing for the day’s opening.
“What is it, my friend?”
“Your blond…paramour…is kissing that incompetent Security Chief.”
“Ah. No doubt reassuring Jamie.”
Medea blinked. “Surely you are not that naive, Princess!”
“Naïve? About two old lovers kissing? Our people know the easy ways of lovers, old and new.” Diana adjusted her gold circlet.
“But you know this culture! Men possessive, yet catting around!”
“Steve and I never talked about an exclusive bond.”
“Then he shouldn’t be…”
“Medea, please. Steve is not ‘cheating’ on me.”
“That’s right, I’m not.” Steve walked in and took Diana’s outstretched hand, entwining their fingers. “I kissed Jamie, my love. A kiss that old lovers use.” His eyes held Diana’s. “Nothing more.”
“You don’t have to explain…”
“Of course I do.” Steve turned to Medea. “Your concern for Diana is admirable.”
Medea bristled but read the warning in Diana’s eyes. “Princess,” she said stiffly, saluting and stalking out.
“I’m sorry, Steve.”
“Don’t be. If I was cheating, you would have a right to know.”
Diana touched his face. “Truly, I am blessed.”
Steve blushed and put his hand over hers. “I’m not perfect, Angel. Far from it.”
“I do not seek perfection, Beloved. Just the other half of my soul.”
Diana was delighted at the second blush, then they slipped apart after a kiss.
Diana settled at the table and Steve left, the Amazon nodding to Laura, who opened the exhibit.
& & & & & &
Diana spent two hours signing autographs. As she took a break, drinking pure spring water that Jamie had seen she received, she spoke to Laura. They were in the guards’ break room, and Diana asked, “Do you enjoy your job?”
“Very much. Of course, the pay could be better, but I like being surrounded by art instead of some corporate entity.” Laura picked up a tablet from the table. “Besides, it’s perfect for me. I’m hoping to go to art school someday.”
Diana was impressed by the drawing of an Amazon statue. “You have an eye for beauty.”
“So do you, Princess.”
Diana smiled. “I admire your strength and tenacity.”
Laura laughed. “Your Amazon friend called me a ‘stripling’.”
Diana smiled. “Medea is straightforward. Blunt, I believe is the term.”
“That she is!” Laura’s brown eyes sparkled. “She doesn’t much like men.”
“No. But judge her not too harshly. Amazon history is…not always pleasant.”
Laura’s eyes widened slightly but she nodded.
Diana sipped her water. The outside would didn’t know of the enslavement of the Amazons centuries ago except for a handful: Steve, certain members of the JLA, Etta.
Medea’s anger…Diana could understand its source. She just wished that her old friend could stop being so furious, at least some of the time.
“Did you say you were planning a new career?”
Laura nodded. “I’m going to get a degree in Art History. That’s why I’m working Security here. I’ve already made some invaluable contacts.”
“Excellent.” Diana set down her water bottle. “Back to the show.”
& & & & & &
Steve and Diana entered Pier 59, Steve spotting Jamie at a table by the window overlooking the harbor. Steve frowned. Don Hegler and another man were talking animatedly with him.
Heads turned at the sight of Wonder Woman, but Steve was so accustomed to this that he barely noticed. Jamie seemed upset.
Once at the table Steve was certain that Jamie was distressed.
“Steve, hello! Wonder Woman, please, have a seat.”
Steve took a chair from another table and sat at the end, Diana sitting beside Jamie.
“Steve, Wonder Woman, this is Marvin Roth, Don’s agent. Wonder Woman, this is Don Hegler, artist extraordinaire.”
Don smiled. “A pleasure, Princess.”
“Yes, Mr. Hegler, as it is for me.” She shook hands with Don. “I admire your work. Very Grecian-style.”
“Thank you.” He sighed. “Apparently my love of ancient objects has gotten me into trouble.”
“The police consider him a suspect!” huffed Marv, who pushed his glasses up his nose. In contrast to his casually-dressed client, he wore a gray suit and tie, graying hair combed back.
“If it makes you feel any better, Mr. Roth, Wonder Woman and I are considered suspects as well,” Steve said.
“Wonder Woman?” Don was astonished.
“Yes, even me,” Diana said with a smile.
“But the Chalice is your object.”
“No matter. The police have to look at everyone.”
“Stupid waste of time, if you ask me.” Marv’s eyes narrowed. “Wasn’t that jewel thief, Selina Kyle, at the reception?”
“She’s reformed,” Steve said.
“Ha! Once a thief, always a thief!”
“For some, perhaps, but Selina works with the law now, not against it.” Diana looked up as the waitress approached.
After giving their orders, conversation resumed.
“She works with that vigilante,” Marv complained.
“Batman? Yes, on occasion. Robin’s his steady partner, though, and Batgirl works with both on occasion. Selina likes her independence.”
Discussion turned to Don’s exhibit, and Steve casually observed him. He certainly did not seem nervous or uncertain, but then, a smooth thief would not.
Jamie was the most nervous one at the table. If Steve didn’t know better, his old friend could be pegged as the most likely suspect.
For a second, doubt crept into his mind, but he quickly vanquished it.
Jamie O’Reilly was innocent.
He would bet his life on it.
& & & & & &