Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Steve/Diana, Etta Candy (cameo appearance)
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
General Summary: Diana treats Steve to a romantic weekend at a special place.
Chapter Summary: Snow begins to fall as Diana and Steve enjoy Colonial life. ;)
Date Of Completion: December 8, 2008
Date Of Posting: December 10, 2008
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1457
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Happy Birthday, stinglikeabee! Sorry it took so long to post, but better late than never, right? ;) Your request of "Diana sweeping Steve off his feet!" is fulfilled. :) I tried to evoke a romantic mood, and definitely used all five senses! :)
My family tradition was to travel to The Wayside Inn once a year for a meal, usually around December because they always decorate so prettily at this time of year. I knew the history of the Inn but was glad to see so many facts gathered into one place on their website. If you’d like to see what The Wayside Inn looks like, read the history, and see the menu, you can find all the info here.
Also fits the 2008 Wonder Woman Love Fic/Art Calendar Challenge (January): Prompt: Snow and (December): Prompt: Gift.
All chapters can be found here.
Steve leaned back in his chair and sighed, rubbing his eyes.
He was sore all over, bruised and stiff in places he wasn’t sure could hurt. The fight he had been a part of at Wonder Woman’s side had been swift, brutal and bloody. He had been pleasantly surprised to be a survivor.
Though maybe I’m dying the death of a thousand paper cuts.
The paperwork in his office had piled up to a mountain. Diana and Etta were helping him with it, but it was like trying to scoop water out of a bucket with a spoon.
Etta poked her head in. “Wonder Woman’s coming in for a landing.”
Steve snatched up his cap and hurried up the stairs to the roof, allowing himself a wince.
Up on the roof the day sparkled in the early December sunshine, the cold of 36 degrees not uncomfortable. Steve could see the sunlight glinting off Wonder Woman’s invisible plane, briefly outlining its shape, then disappearing quickly.
The Amazon piloted her plane right over the roof.
“Hey, Angel, good to see…oof!”
Diana swooped down and swept Steve right off his feet into her plane.
“Wow, what’s up, Princess?” Diana grinned at him. He glanced over her shoulder. “What’s with the luggage?”
“Now, darling, a woman must have a few secrets, hmm?”
Steve settled back in his seat. “I’m in good hands.”
Diana looked at her lover slyly. “Oh, yes.”
Steve grinned and Let Diana take the lead, relaxing his aching bones.
Steve stirred awake, Diana’s hand on his knee. “Are we there yet?” he asked, rubbing his eyes as a lock of hair tumbled over his forehead.
Diana looked at him affectionately. “Yes, little boy.”
Steve smiled and looked down, seeing a small town that turned to fields and woods. The plane flew over a sparkling waterfall.
“Hey, that’s a grist mill next to that waterfall!”
“We’re in Sudbury, aren’t we?” Steve sat up, eyes scanning the countryside. “There’s the Martha-Mary Chapel.”
“Correct, my love.”
Steve watched as they flew over another building, the centerpiece of this place, and landed in a nearby field. They alighted from the plane with their luggage, Diana sending the plane away.
“Here, Steve, we should change.”
They were shaded by trees, Steve exchanging his uniform for a cobalt-blue turtleneck sweater, jeans and comfortable sneakers, shrugging into a heavy red lumberjack coat.
Diana had swiftly changed into jeans, a low-cut red sweater, and sneakers. She put on a dark-blue coat, picking up her suitcase.
“It should not be a long walk, my darling.”
Steve took her hand. “Let’s go.” His smile was eager as they walked through the woods, emerging onto a quiet country road.
Very soon, they saw their destination: Longfellow’s Wayside Inn: Food, Drink and Lodging for Man and Beast, the handpainted sign swinging in the wind. The Colonial building was painted dark-red, fronted by a typical New England stone wall, wreaths with red bows at every small-paned window, a large wreath on the door with gold-painted fruits and berries decorating the greenery, topped off by a gilt-edged pink bow. Diana went inside, followed by Steve.
Blessed warmth curled around Steve, delicious smells of roast beef, apple pie, and pumpkin bread wafting through the tavern.
“Welcome to The Wayside Inn,” said a young woman in starched white cap and apron over a brown muslin dress. “Please sign the guestbook.”
Diana signed, then handed the pen that resembled a quill to Steve, who paused for a moment as he looked down at the book, then signed.
Another costumed woman appeared and said, “Please come this way.”
They followed her up the stairs, walking past private dining rooms and entering another section of corridor with the bedrooms.
“Here is your room.”
Steve and Diana entered the room, impressed by the canopied bed and bright cheerfulness of the pale yellow walls and the hooked handmade rug in rainbow colors in front of the bed. A maple dresser, endtable, and rocking chair were the remaining pieces of furniture in the room, and prints of birds and herbs were hung on the walls.
“This is lovely,” Diana said.
“Enjoy your stay.”
As the woman exited, Steve’s eyes sparkled as they set down their luggage and he drew Diana into his arms.
“Have you been talking to Mom and Dad?”
Diana smiled. “They are veritable founts of information.”
“We had this family tradition of coming here for a meal in December every year. It was always decorated really prettily, and still is.” Sprigs of holly decorated the canopy and Steve could smell Balsam fir from the potpourri jar on the dresser.
Diana slid her arms around Steve. “Are you ready for lunch?”
“I’m definitely hungry.” Steve nuzzled her hair. “Though maybe not for food.”
Diana’s eyes sparkled as Steve kicked the door shut.
The Old Bar, a small room that was part of the original tavern, was filled with chattering diners, some of whom pointed and whispered upon seeing Diana and Steve. Diana’s statuesque beauty was impressive in either costume or jeans.
They sat at a corner table and ordered a turkey club wrap with cranberry sauce, kettle chips and homemade pickles (Steve) and a salad with dried cranberries, toasted pecans, grilled chicken breast, and crushed cranberry vinaigrette with crumbled blue cheese (Diana).
“This place holds so much history,” Steve said. “The Howe family were the original owners from 1716 until 1861. Longfellow visited the following year and wrote Tales Of A Wayside Inn, which was published in 1863, really putting this place on the map.” He looked admiringly at the wooden floors and the sturdy beams over their heads.
Diana studied the architecture. “This tavern is very old, at least by American standards. A good place to bring together all manners of folk.”
“Yes, says the woman who signed the guestbook as ‘Diana, Princess of Themyscira’.”
“It is who I am,” Diana said primly.
Steve smiled. He could feel himself relaxing, not quite as sore as he had felt in his office. He put his hand on the beam by their table. “If only these walls could talk.” The small room held a large hearth with a crackling fire, and the windows were small-paned and narrow, making the room darker than modern rooms.
“This building has seen many epochs of your country’s history.”
Steve nodded. “It was a pretty exciting time, going against the Crown.”
Diana winked as she adjusted her imaginary tiara and Steve laughed.
“You would have been part of the Rebellion. Women played important parts in the Revolution. Even aside from the famous ones like Molly Pitcher and Abigail Adams, women were vital to the movement.”
Diana looked thoughtful. “I do believe you are right.” She looked around the tavern. “Liberty was such a wonderful idea in the time of kings.”
Their lunch arrived, Steve enjoying the tart flavor of the cranberry sauce with the fresh turkey, and Diana pleased with the crisp greens and flavorful ingredients of her salad.
“Cranberry is often on the menu,” she observed as she ate lettuce covered in cranberry vinaigrette.
“It’s a New England dish, like clam chowder, crab cakes, or pumpkin pie.”
Diana loved experiencing all the different foods of Man’s World, scoffing at women who ate like birds. “Of course one must be careful at the amount of food one ingests, but surely one can eat something besides rice cakes! Everyone should delight in food, savor it, taste its textures and smell its savory goodness.”
“You could get a job as an ad copywriter,” Steve teased.
“Food is strength,” Diana said as she stole a piece of turkey off Steve’s plate.
After lunch they went walking in the woods, their pace brisk as the temperature began to drop.
“It’s so beautiful here,” Diana murmured. “So quiet.”
“Mmm.” Steve watched a hawk circling overhead. “This time of year is like that, especially when it snows.”
“The cold is not like home, but the peacefulness is.”
They stood hand-in-hand in the woods, a cardinal flying through the trees, alighting on a bramble bush that sprouted red berries. The sweet/acrid smell of chimney smoke carried through the clear air.
Steve suddenly pulled Diana into a tight hug, his love spilling out to encompass them both. He didn’t say a word. He didn’t have to.
Diana could read his heart.
Her arms were tight around him, and he kissed her hair. As they parted, Diana exclaimed, “It’s snowing!”
Steve stuck his tongue out, snowflakes melting-cold as he laughed.
Diana joined in, the snow coming down faster, frosting their hair and lashes and making them giddy all the way back to the inn.