Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Steve/Diana, Etta Candy, Greg Tolliver, Del Rayner
Genres: Challenge, Drama
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
Claim: For the dcu_freeforall Challenge (Diana/Steve)
Prompt: T 8; P 44: Pilot
Prompt Count: (3/15)
General Summary: Steve is a member of the elite fighter pilot fraternity...or has he sacrificed that membership to become Wonder Woman’s lover?
Chapter Summary: Diana overhears a disturbing conversation.
Date Of Completion: February 12, 2009
Date Of Posting: February 19, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1036
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: All chapters can be found here.
One who performs at the pinnacle of professional ability; one who is the best at what one does.
Diana efficiently typed in information on her computer, amazed at the amount of paperwork generated in Man’s World. They really seemed quite obsessed with it.
She placed a stray lock of hair back into her bun, glancing over at Etta, who was on the phone arguing with a government employee. They ordered their office supplies from this department, and it was all about ‘red tape’, Etta said, Man’s World second obsession.
Diana shook her head fondly, listening to Etta’s tirade. If matters weren’t resolved soon, things would be reaching Christian Bale proportions.
Diana smiled as the door opened and Steve walked in.
“Good morning, Diana.”
“Good morning, Steve. How did the meeting go?”
They grinned, the word ‘boring’ hanging in the air between them. He went into his office.
Diana watched as he laid his briefcase on his desk with a sigh. Truly, so many of these meetings were sleep-inducing, but a job in military intelligence required it. Diana sympathized, as she had attended such excruciating gatherings on more than one occasion.
Etta slammed the phone down. “Jeez Louise, how stupid can a guy be?”
The redhead snorted. “A little. I’m going to check our copier paper supplies. We may need to stretch things out for awhile.”
Etta left and Diana listened to Steve making calls. She gathered up some papers and entered his office, adjusting her glasses.
“I’ll get you some coffee,” she whispered.
He nodded gratefully. “Yes, but, Mitch, we can’t be certain of those specs.”
Diana quietly left and went down the hall to the kitchenette. This old building here on the M.I.T. campus had small rooms like this tucked away on each floor, the décor late ‘50s/early ‘60s, according to Steve. The sunburst wall clock and bakelite Art Deco radio were antiques, but they did have modern conveniences such as microwaves.
She passed the lounge and paused when she heard Steve’s name. Two Air Force pilots were sitting at a table drinking coffee.
“Interesting to see him again in the flesh instead of just a photo in the paper or on a website.”
“He’s almost too pretty to be an Air Force major.”
The first man snorted. “Wonder Woman still beats him out.”
“She is gorgeous.”
“You know, I thought he was a lucky dog for the longest time.”
“What do you mean?”
“Hooked up with a beautiful Amazon? What’s not to love? Then I got to thinking…what real man would want to hang out with a woman as strong as Superman?”
“She sure helps him get out of jams.”
“A crackerjack pilot should take care of himself, not hide behind star-spangled skirts, even if they belong to Wonder Woman.”
Laughter. “Pretty old-fashioned thinking, Greg.”
Diana could hear the grin in Greg’s voice. “So? C’mon, Del, you know what it’s like to be a Top Gun. You have to be bold, confident, and independent, not coasting on your woman’s cape.”
“She doesn’t wear a cape.”
“Sometimes she does.” A pause while Greg sipped his coffee. “Besides, what kind of man enjoys being in the sack with a woman who could break him in half?”
“Are you kidding? Making out with Wonder Woman wouldn’t be a great experience?”
“The first few times, but I wouldn’t be comfortable with a dominant woman calling the shots in bed. Where’s Trevor’s pride?”
“I guess it’s not the relationship a fighter pilot should have.”
“Flyboys are supposed to command respect. We’re the top of the heap.”
“I never really thought of it that way.”
“Other guys have noticed. When the Amazon saves his bacon again, he’ll be a pretty damsel-in-distress.”
Both men laughed.
Distressed, Diana quickly went to the kitchenette and started the coffee. As it brewed, she thought about the conversation she had just overhead.
Did Steve’s fellow pilots really see him that way? A man emasculated by an Amazon? Without his own courage and independence?
But that was Man’s World thinking.
She and Steve had an equal relationship without need of Man’s World games.
A thread of worry remained as she poured three cups of coffee and returned to the office.
“Diana, are you okay?”
“Hmm? Oh, yes, Etta.”
“You’re pretty quiet.”
“Just busy.” Diana glanced into Steve’s office. He was on the phone with General Darnell. “Did you bring Steve the Halvorsen file?”
“Not yet.” Etta’s phone rang.
“I’ll do it.”
Diana brought it in, Steve smiling his thanks while he listened to Darnell.
Diana placed the file on his desk. She saw a happy, confident man. He would probably scoff at those pilots’ assertions.
“Thanks, Diana.” Steve hung up the phone.
“Another meeting!” Steve sighed. “We have to be in Washington next week.”
“I’ll make the arrangements.”
He rubbed his eyes, suddenly looking tired.
“Greg! Del!”’ Steve stood and came from around the desk and shook hands, back-slapping his friends. “I didn’t know you were in town.”
“We came in early for tomorrow’s meeting.” Greg glanced at Diana.
“Gentlemen, this is Lieutenant Diana Prince. Diana, this is Major Greg Tolliver and Captain Del Rayner.”
Diana inclined her head, disguising her displeasure at meeting the two men who had disparaged Steve.
Greg was the stockier of the two, brown eyes sharp in a ruddy face, chestnut hair close-cropped. Del was taller and thinner, hazel eyes bright and inquisitive, his uniform slightly rumpled while Greg’s was crisp.
“Let’s say we get caught up, huh? How about lunch?” Steve asked.
“Great.” Greg put his cap on. “How’s your lady?”
Steve smiled. “Wonder Woman’s great.”
Del’s face shone, “Can we get an intro?” He looked very young.
Steve laughed while Greg grinned. “She’s pretty busy.”
“That’s okay. We’re more interested in your doings, my friend,” Greg said. He was shorter than Steve and Del but held himself with a cockiness that Diana easily recognized as fighter pilot body language …or an Amazon Warrior’s.
“Let’s go. Diana, if anyone needs me, I’ll be with the guys at Rossetti’s.”
Diana nodded, watching them go.
Hypocrisy, thy name is man.
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