Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Steve/Diana
Genres: Challenge, Romance
Rating (this chapter): G
General Summary: 1961 was a very good year.
Chapter Summary: Diana and Steve settle in for a comfortable couch potato evening after dinner.
Date Of Completion: August 7, 2008
Date Of Posting: September 20, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1541
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: This fic was written when I was having a pretty bad time of things in RL, and it relaxed me to write this at a leisurely pace, simply enjoying this little world I’d constructed for Steve and Diana and just being happy while I wrote it.
A scene in Chapter One: Mr. & Mrs. O’Reilly was inspired by the illustration, With You, by min_taiwan.
This story is for the 2008 DCU Fic/Art Endless Summer Challenge and the 2008 Wonder Woman Love Fic/Art Calendar Challenge (July). Prompt: Ocean.
This series is an umbrella title for various DC couples enjoying time by-the-sea. The entire series can be found here.
But when television is bad, nothing is worse…I can assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland.”
Newton D. Minow
Federal Communications Commission
The splash of the waves countered the distant sounds of cars and motorcycles, cool water tickling their toes as Diana and Steve walked the beach, hands tightly clasped. Dusk was falling rapidly, the sky turning violet and shading to a deeper purple and indigo as stars began to twinkle. The lighthouse on the promontory winked its light, sailboats heading into the harbor.
They smiled at each other, content in the beauty of the early evening and with each other’s company.
No words were spoken.
None were necessary.
Back at the cottage they changed into pajamas, Steve smirking, “Cotton jammies, Angel?”
She winked as she pulled on the bottom of her sleepwear. “Very comfortable.”
“Good.” He buttoned his pajama top. “The local TV station is running a ’61 marathon. Or would you rather read?” He knew how tired Diana had been at the beginning of this little vacation, and she was looking tired again. Even Amazons needed down time.
“Television sounds fine.”
“We still have time to read.”
They settled on the couch, Steve taking The Boston Globe and Atlantic Monthly out of the paper bag. Diana took the magazine and the bag to set aside.
“There is something else in here…” She reached in and pulled out “…Silver Screen!”
Steve laughed. “Some light reading after you devour the Cold War strategy in Laos.”
Diana hugged him. “Thank you, my darling.”
Steve smiled as he opened the newspaper.
He was transported to another world in this little cottage in a Cape Cod town by-the-sea. The blondwood paneling, comfortable furniture, and paintings of boats and the sea on the walls reminded him of his family’s cottage.
He read about Martin Luther King, Jr. praising the Freedom Riders and saber-rattling from Russian Premier Khruschev about Berlin, ominous as in August of ’61, the Berlin Wall had been built. Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hats were all the rage, and her husband was planning to join her and the children in Hyannisport for the weekend.
Steve was amused by the shockingly-low prices of everything: suits, dresses, TVs, cars. A skirt cost $5.00, a car anywhere from $1,769 (Volkswagen Beetle) to $2,368 (Ford Mustang 2-door hardtop). Restaurants advertised meals for less than a dollar, the more expensive establishments nudging the prices toward $5.00 for prime rib and steak and lobster.
Diana devoured The Atlantic Monthly, pleasure at the intellectual stimulation on her face.
A short while later she set aside the magazine and picked up Silver Screen, grinning at Steve.
Steve folded up the national section of the paper and opened the local section.
“Hmm, Marilyn was seen on the town with Rock Hudson.” Diana studied a glossy photograph of the famous actors.
“Guess she had a quiet night.”
Diana laughed. “I’m sure she appreciated the lack of groping.”
“Never a problem for you, my love.”
Considering that if anyone tried, they could be flung across the room.
They read in companionable silence, then Steve turned on the television.
“They’re carrying programming from ’61 for the next three nights. Ads, too.”
“They really have gone quite detailed on this weekend.”
“Very. Hmm, looks like classic episodes of The Andy Griffith Show and The Dick Van Dyke Show to start, then followed by Bonanza and The Twilight Zone.”
Diana shook her head. “It still amazes me, my darling, that so much of your culture is contained in the electronic media. When I grew up on Paradise Island, we read books and painted and sculpted. We had no films or television, just plays.”
Steve smiled. “Some would say that’s a good thing.”
“Yes, I am aware of the ‘vast wasteland’, as Newton D. Minow termed it, in this retroactive year, in fact, but truly I have seen some outstanding works.”
“That’s true.” Steve slipped the paper in the magazine rack next to the couch. “I can say with pride that my culture has come up with some cinematic gems.” On the TV screen, three cartoon apples dangling from a branch sang about Mott’s Apple Juice. “Angel?”
“This…” Steve waved his hand around at the cottage “…isn’t too tame for you? I mean, staying in, reading magazines and watching television, even though if you want to learn about postwar culture, TV is the way to go…” Blue eyes looked at her worriedly. “You aren’t bored? You lead such an exciting life, maybe this weekend…”
Diana put two fingers on his lips. “…is exactly what I need.” Her eyes shone with love. “My darling, I was weary, ‘worn out’, as you say. This weekend is one of peace while I learn more about your culture’s history in a charming way.” Her hand caressed the side of his face. “I am never bored with you, Beloved. Simply being with you is pure joy for me.” She smiled delightedly at his blush and shy duck of his head. “You give me peace, a serenity I feared that I would never find in Man’s World.”
Steve looked at her, a question still in his eyes.
“Ah, my darling. Fear not that serenity does not mean…stimulation…of a different sort. I can tell you truly that I feel the Fires of Eros in the bedchamber.”
Steve blushed again but covered her hand with his and smiled. “I feel joy with you, too, Angel.” He kissed her gently, and when they parted, Steve put his arm around her and Diana rested her head on his shoulder.
They enjoyed the first program, Diana commenting, “This Mayberry…a charming town, but a collecton of…”
Diana grinned. “Verily.”
During the next show, Diana asked, “Steve?”
“Why do Rob and Laura sleep in separate beds? Are they not married?”
Steve chuckled. “Yes, they are. It was the standard in those days in TV and the movies.”
Steve smirked. “They didn’t want the suggestion of sex to be so blatant.”
Astonished, Diana said, “How silly!”
“True. You must remember, dear, that American culture is heavily influenced by the Puritans of the Colonial era. Sex was not to be acknowledged publicly in any way, shape, or form.”
They both watched the curvaceous model drape herself over a gleaming, brand-new Chevy with prominent fins.
“…is used to sell everything from cars to toothpaste.” Steve smiled ruefully. “Afraid we’re very schizophrenic, darling.”
“I think this society could benefit from Amazon openness.”
“I think you’re right.”
Diana looked very determined, then yawned and put her head back on Steve’s shoulder as The Dick Van Dyke Show began.
Several minutes later: “Walnuts? Danny Thomas? The Twilo Zone?”
Steve laughed. “It’s a classic. They’re spoofing The Twilight Zone. Danny Thomas is one of the show’s producers. Pretty good inside joke.”
After The Dick Van Dyke Show finished, a familiar theme song played and a few minutes later Diana asked, “The Ponderosa is the size of Rhode Island?!”
Steve laughed again. “Takes three days to ride across the whole ranch.”
Diana watched quietly, then asked, “Adam reminds me of Bruce: serious, intelligent, a good planner and well-read. Blunt and confident.” She slipped her hand into Steve’s. “Hoss reminds me of Clark: an incredibly strong man with a heart as big as he is, with a sweetness and gentleness everyone loves.”
“Who does Little Joe match up with?”
Diana observed the youngest Cartwright for a minute. “Dick. Not the lightning temper. Dick can express anger, but he prefers persuasion of a sunny nature. Dick shares Little Joe’s energy and enthusiasm and charm.”
“So, am I anywhere in the cast?”
“Not as a single character. You, my darling, have Adam’s intelligence, Hoss’s heart, and Little Joe’s energetic charm.”
When the commercial came on (“Let Hertz put you in the driver’s seat” as a man floated down from the sky into a car), Steve said. “I’m hungry. Would you like a snack, Angel?”
Steve came back from the kitchen with a plate of honeydew melon, a bowl of cashews, and two glasses of ginger ale with lemon slices.
Diana was fascinated by The Twilight Zone that aired next. As the tale of beauty and ugliness spun out, Diana watched with rapt attention. Her eyes widened at the ending.
“Truly, wisdom of the Gods.”
“Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.”
By the time the second episode was over, Diana was ready for bed. She brushed her teeth and curled up in the big, comfortable bed.
When Steve emerged from the bathroom, she cooed, “Are we like Rob and Laura Petrie, darling? Our pajamas match.”
Steve smirked. “How early ‘60s.” He climbed into bed, pulling up the sheet and kissing Diana on the forehead. “Sleep well, my love.”
They spooned, Steve’s arms around Diana, and settled down.
A few minutes later she murmured. “It is abundant fields.”
“Television. It is not a ‘vast wasteland’. It is more like ‘abundant fields’.”
Steve smiled, kissing her shoulder, and they fell asleep to the sound of the sea.
* I agree with Diana. Certainly TV in 1961 could have poor quality airing, but that could be true of any era! And the programs I chose to showcase are favorites of mine and were not junk, IMO. ;)
** Oh, and the It May Look Like A Walnut! episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show is my favorite. ;)
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