bradygirl_12 (bradygirl_12) wrote,
bradygirl_12
bradygirl_12

Fic: Apollonian Rose (1/1)

Title: Apollonian Rose (1/1)
Author: BradyGirl
Pairings/Characters: Steve/Diana, Queen Hippolyta, Hal Jordan, Dinah Lance, Clark/Bruce, Dick/Roy, Donna Troy
Genre: Drama
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Major character death
Spoilers: None
Summary: Yellow roses and broken hearts.
Date Of Completion: June 1, 2008
Date Of Posting: June 8, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 2198
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Written for my 2008 DCU Mood Ring Fic Request Meme for jen_in_japan . Pairing: Steve/Diana. Prompt: Grieving. :(
Also written for the 2008 Wonder Woman Fic/Art Calendar Challenge (June).
I’d written this before Jen’s birthday fic, Precious Jewels, so this is going to seem ironic, as you’ll see. 

Destiny calls,

Its siren song,

Destiny calls,

Time so long.

 

May the glory

Of the sun,

Shine down

Upon you.

 

May the stars

Fall like petals

With your love

Everlasting.

 

Elysia

“Laurel Leaves

And Other

 Amazonian Poems”

326 B.C.E.

 

 

It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

 

She lay on a bed of yellow roses, as beautiful as she’d ever been.  Her skin was flawless, body clad in a diaphanous chiton with gold sunburst clasps at the shoulders.  Her tiara and belt from her costume glittered in the sun, her iron bracelets sheathed in gold.  Her long, dark hair flowed over her shoulders, entwined with yellow roses.

 

Steve’s heart was not breaking.

 

It was already broken.

 

Aphrodite had promised that Diana’s beauty would be eternal.  She would rest forever surrounded by her favorite flowers.

 

& & & & & &

 

“I love the color.  They always remind me of you, Beloved.”

 

“Oh?”

 

Diana reached out and touched his hair.

 

Steve smiled.

 

“They give me pleasure, as do you.”

 

He blushed and pulled her to him.

 

& & & & & &

 

I always expected it would be who would go first, Angel.  Even with your immortality gone, you would still age far slower than me.  And I’m so much more vulnerable than you.

 

How did this happen?

 

Steve clamped down on the wail building within him.  He had to retain his dignity.  He could do no less for the woman he loved. 

 

So he stood in his dress blues, flanked by Hal and Dinah, who were in turn flanked by Clark and Bruce.  The Justice League of America and the Teen Titans were present, all colorful on this bright day.  Dick and Roy flanked Donna, who was dressed in her Amazon garb and had participated in the early part of the ceremony.  

 

With Superman and Batman, Wonder Woman had been part of the Trinity.  In the early days, Steve had worried that a mortal like Batman would appeal to his Beloved with his keen intelligence (“The World’s Greatest Detective”), exceptional combat skills, and brooding good looks.

 

Or Superman, a match they all said was made in heaven…or on Olympus.

 

& & & & & &

 

Amusement sparkled in her eyes. “Beloved, I consider them my comrades-in-arms, my friends, my brothers.” She took his hand and brushed her lips over his fingers. “Neither one is the other half of my soul.”

 

& & & & & &

 

Also, he later he learned the truth of the World’s Finest relationship.

 

The sun was so bright on this tropical island, the sand so white, the water so blue.

 

Queen Hippolyta stood at the head of the bier, golden crown dazzling in the sun, dressed in ceremonial Priestess robes.  She was flanked by the Themysciran Guard, resplendent in their golden armor, their faces impassive, though perhaps one held the glint of a tear. 

 

The sound of the waves lapping on the shore carried through the silence, the occasional cry of a bird the only noise as Hippolyta had ceased chanting in lilting Greek.  Incense carried its pungent scent from the braziers ringing the grove.

 

Steve considered himself lucky he was this close to his Angel.  The superhero world was here, shock reverberating around its enclaves (“Wonder Woman has gone down!”) that of  the world community, as ambassadors and other representatives attended the funeral of the Crown Princess of Themyscira.

 

Steve had made certain that he had shaved, combed his hair, and that his dress uniform was crisp.  He wore a single yellow rose in his lapel.  His Angel had always been proud of his looks.  He would not come disheveled, not come looking less than his best.

 

The outside world acknowledged his place here, on this small island that was not Paradise so that Diana’s male friends could attend.  He wasn’t even her official mate, though the Amazons did not recognize opposite-sex marriages when they involved one of their own, anyway.

 

He and his Angel had talked about marriage in the past year, seeing how successful their counterparts on Earth-2 were.  Neither one could envision a life without the other on either world.

 

How am I supposed to live my life without you, Angel?  If I live to be a hundred or a thousand, this hole in me will never be filled.

 

Hippolyta began to chant again, Steve’s gaze on his Beloved’s face.  She looked so peaceful.

 

Where are you now, Angel? Olympus?  Will I see you again? I have to believe there’s an afterlife where we’ll be happy.

 

You said it was our Destiny to be together, and I always believed that.

 

The strains of a harp and tiny bells punctuated the Queen’s words.  He could make out some of the words, having learned Greek from Diana.

 

“Beloved daughter…may the Goddesses and Gods welcome thee…my love goes with you…”

 

My love goes with you, too, Beloved.

 

Steve stumbled slightly as a wave of dizziness overtook him, Dinah grasping his hand.  The smell of incense was strong, mingling with the roses.  He couldn’t remember the last time he ate.

 

He caught Hippolyta looking at him as another Amazon took up the chant.

 

Anger, resentment…she blamed him.

 

The Amazon who had won the special contest to go back to America with him after he had crashed off the shores of Paradise years ago had been required to give up her immortality until she returned to live on the Island permanently.

 

Diana had never intended to reclaim it.

 

Steve met Hippolyta’s gaze, finally breaking away.  He wanted to keep focused on Diana.

 

& & & & & &

 

“Steve…”

 

Hal’s voice was agonized as he flew to his old friend.  The battlefield was wreathed in smoke, littered with bodies…Steve broke away from Hal and ran to the star-spangled figure crumpled on the ground.

 

He saw the blood and the twisted limbs and bit back a sob.

 

“Angel,” he pleaded.

 

She opened her eyes. “Beloved,” she breathed.

 

Joy surged through him. “You’ll be fine, love, they’ll fix you up at the Watchtower.”

 

She shook her head painfully. “No, take me in your arms.”

 

“You might have a spinal injury.”

 

“Steve…”

 

He heard the unspoken ‘please’ and did as she asked, trying to ignore her gasps of pain.  She grasped his hand in a shockingly-weak grip.

 

“I love you, Steve.  From the moment I laid eyes upon you, I knew you were mine.”

 

“I know, Angel.  It was that way for me, too, when I first opened my eyes after the crash and saw you.”

 

Her beautiful blue eyes were clouded with pain. “We are Destined to be together, my love.  Always remember that.”

 

Fear seeped coldly into his bones. “Don’t leave me, Angel,” he pleased. “Please!”

 

Love shone in her eyes. “I am sorry, Beloved,” she murmured.

 

She struggled to reach into her bodice.

 

“What is it?”

 

She indicated that he should slip his hand in.  Her flesh was already starting to lose its warmth.

 

He drew out a small jewelled locket shaped like a star, the colors of the rainbow sparkling with each gem: sapphires, rubies, emeralds, topazes, amethysts, diamonds, onyx.

 

“Keep it with you always, Beloved.”

 

“I already have my Medal of Athena you gave me.”

 

“Yes, and this is also special.” She closed his hand around the locket and kissed it. “Promise me you will always keep it.”

 

“Always,” he said in a choked voice.

 

Her eyes met his. “Know that in my long life I never felt complete until I gazed upon your face.” A smile curved her lips.

 

“For me, too.”

 

The light began to fade in her eyes and her hand touched his cheek. “My beautiful Apollonian Love,” she murmured, a small chuckle escaping him as the old endearment lilted from her tongue.  Her hand trembled slightly as she slid her fingers through his hair with a small smile. “My Apollonian Rose.”

 

Steve grasped her hand. “My beautiful Angel.  I will always love you.” Tears slipped down his cheeks.

 

He kissed her, the fragrance of her hair tinged with smoke but still carrying that faint jasmine scent that always said ‘Angel’ to him.

 

When they parted, he held on to her tightly, caressing her hair as she sighed, “I will always love you.”

 

& & & & & &

 

He had rocked back-and-forth, clutching her body until finally only the strength of Superman could part him from her.

 

Steve squeezed Dinah’s hand, feeling faint as the heat suddenly pressed down and his memories drained the life from him.  Hal gently placed a hand on his back.

 

He couldn’t collapse, not in front of the superheroes, not in front of the world…not in front of the Amazons.

 

He would make his Angel proud.

 

The sound of the ocean could be heard in the silence.  It had always delighted him, and it always made him think of their first meeting…

 

& & & & & &

 

Steve drifted on the waves, clinging to the silver wing of his broken jet.  Delirious and head throbbing with pain, he listened to the sound of the waves, and thought he heard voices.  The sun beat down mercilessly.

 

He slid into blackness.

 

& & & & & &

 

He could hear the waves and wondered if he was still out in the water for a brief second, then realized he was stretched out on his back and dry.  He was naked except for a light covering.  He heard voices again, and his eyes fluttered open.

 

The face of an Angel filled his vision.

 

Dark hair cascaded around a perfect face, her sapphire-blue eyes sparkling, concern shading them.  He nearly gasped at her beauty, and in that moment, his heart was filled.

 

“An Angel,” he whispered. “A beautiful Angel.”

 

A smile spread across her face, and she said, “Hello, Major.” She touched his hair. “Welcome back.”

 

& & & & & &

 

He gazed upon her, his beautiful Princess who would stay beautiful forever.

 

And he would never see her again.

 

& & & & & &

 

Hippolyta coldly informed him that her daughter would be laid to rest on Paradise Island.

 

“But…I’ll never be able to visit her resting place!”

 

“I am sorry…”

 

“Are you really?”

 

Her eyes narrowed. “By Aphrodite’s Law, the daughter of an Amazon Queen must be buried in Paradise.”

 

“Can’t you ask for a special dispensation?  Place her on soil where I can set foot?”

 

“I am sorry.” Her face was like stone. “However, in deference to all of my daughter’s male colleagues, the funeral will take place off the Island.” Her hand rested on her golden belt. “Did you see a locket on the battlefield by her…body?”

 

“Promise me you will always keep it.”

 

“No, I didn’t.”

 

Hippolyta sighed. “Very well.  I shall see you on the morn, Major.”

 

& & & & & &

 

Female voices rose in a Greek chorus, heartbreak in clear, ringing tones.  They sounded like angels from heaven.  He winced.

 

As the last notes drifted away, Queen Hippolyta said, “Thank you for your presence here.  Now it is time to bring my…my daughter…home.”

 

She signaled her Guard.

 

Steve moved.

 

He was at the bier, gently touching soft hair as he gazed down at her, ignoring gasps of surprise or outrage.  He leaned down and kissed her, the only sound that of the waves lapping at the shore. 

 

& & & & & &

 

“Apollo is the God of the Sun, and your hair is as brilliant as the sun.”

 

Diana touched his hair and he smiled. “It’s one of my most endearing features,” he winked as she ran her fingers through his locks.

 

“Your beauty rivals Apollo’s,” she purred as her hand cupped his face.

 

This time he blushed and she laughed, leaning in for a kiss.

 

& & & & & &

 

“I will always love you,” he whispered, pulling back and willing his hand to stop trembling as he stood, a single rose cupped in his hand taken from her hair, unseen by the observers.  The glint of a silver-and-ruby rosary hidden in her belt was brief, his final gift to her.

 

“Mother never did understand why I called yellow roses Apollonian.”

 

 He remembered her mischievous look, stepping back to his place beside Hal and Dinah.

 

Queen Hippolyta signaled the Guard again.  A dozen Amazons lifted the glass bier, a few roses falling to the ground, and carried their fallen Princess to the waiting barge, the royal blue ship festooned in yellow roses.

 

Steve wanted to scream, Don’t take her away from me!, to throw himself on the bier and wail his pain, but instead he stood motionless, growing emptier with each step the Amazons took on the sand.

 

They laid his Angel in the barge, the Queen regally sweeping down the beach to take her place at the prow, the Guard lifting the oars.

 

With each stroke, the numbness grew inside Steve, the hand holding the rose beginning to shake as the barge sailed further and further away until it disappeared from view, a single tear sliding down his cheek.

 

He clutched the rose tightly, the thorns piercing his skin as the rose-strewn waves erased the footsteps of the Amazons on the beach.

 

 




Tags: 2008 dcu mood ring fic request, black canary, clark kent/bruce wayne, dcu fic request, dick grayson/roy harper, dinah lance, donna troy, green lantern, hal jordan, jla, queen hippolyta, robin/speedy, steve trevor/diana prince, steve trevor/wonder woman, superman/batman, teen titans, wonder girl
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