Pairings/Characters: Steve/Diana, Clark/Bruce, Queen Hippolyta, Dinah Lance, Hal Jordan, Donna Troy, Dick Grayson, J'onn J'onzz
Genres: Challenge, Drama
Claim: For the dcu_freeforall Challenge (Diana/Steve)
Prompt: T 12; P 51: Blood
Prompt Count: (4/15)
Summary: So fragile these mortals be.
Date Of Completion: March 5, 2009
Date Of Posting: March 7, 2009
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1368
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: Occasionally I like to write a stream-of-consciousness type of thing. This one is layered with shock and told from Diana’s POV.
How could the human body possibly hold so much?
Blood was on her arms, her legs, soaking her costume, her skirt, her cape, staining her bracelets, sinking into the ground.
With the strength of Heracles, she presses on Steve’s chest wound, frantic to staunch the flow of unending crimson.
His skin is pale under the noontime sun, dress blues turning dark from his blood, bright gold buttons winking ruby-red in the light.
The screams are all around her, flowers broken and spilling out of vases as the garden party’s beauty is strewn across the lawn, bright red apples and tomatoes rolling away in the grass from overturned tables, ice sculptures smashed as shards rain down, she’d been too late, what good were Bullets ‘n’ Bracelets if she couldn’t get to him, the sniper cold and efficient, bullet tearing into her handsome escort and other half of her soul…
A battlefield of flowers and pastels, but the blood always smelled the same…
Eyes that burn as bright as sapphires look up at her, sunlit hair streaked with scarlet ribbons.
“Don’t leave me,” she pleads, “you can’t leave me, oh, Aphrodite, Athena, Hera, please hear me!”
He cannot speak, the light beginning to die in his eyes, each gasp for breath spurting warm wetness through her fingers.
“No! Beloved, please!”
She would crawl over broken glass or fight the Minotaur in the Labyrinth if only he would live…!
The whisper is so faint that she almost misses it.
“Love you always…”
The words have taken so much out of him as he gasps that he moans, his eyes beginning to close.
“Steve, you promised to fight to always be by my side! Great Hera, do not leave me, my heart, my Beloved!”
Tears run down her cheeks, hair hanging in her eyes, tiara askew, heart pounding as she prays, she screams, she exhorts Steve and the Goddesses to hear her as his life essence seeps through her fingers, staining her skin, her heart, her soul...
The sun beats down and the blood still comes, and she grows dizzy with the cloying smell of it as she sobs Steve’s name, the taste of ashes in her mouth.
Suddenly, capes rustle and hands flutter, or was it capes fluttering and hands rustling, and she was watching those old Westerns that Steve enjoyed, his arm around her on the couch as they watched Stagecoach and High Noon, and 3:10 To Yuma, and how much could a mortal body hold of blood?!!
She rages, then wearies, bewildered.
So fragile these mortals be!
She was of Warrior blood; has been surrounded by the dead and dying on the battlefield; she should know what to do, not be frantic, lose her head, lose her mind…
“It’s all right, Diana. We’ll take care of him.” Warm voice in her ear, silk cape brushing against her trembling arms as she pressed…
The Sun was warm beside her, his shadow right there, the Moon circling, calm yet compassionate…
The sun blazes, coming down out of the sky, surrounding Steve’s head, his hair sun-yellow, burning with the heat of the sun…
Strong arms hold her, mouth whispers in her ear, finally wrenching her hands away, the blood a fountain, screams ripping from her throat, lifting her Beloved from the ground into the sky while the other strong arms held her tightly as she rages and the blood still comes, scarlet ribbons gently unfurling from the sky…
“You are a Princess of the Blood.”
The voice echoes in her head.
“Mother, I don’t care right now.”
“Daughter, mortals die.”
“Not this mortal, Mother, if I have anything to say about it.”
She can smell the blood-iron scent, long skirt drenched, the stars and stripes red, the eagle dead…
The other two-thirds of the Trinity, light and dark, sit on each side of her, capes draped around her, a cascade of shimmering blood and ebony ash, then blond hair and Canary chirping, pushing back strands of red-tipped hair, It’s all right, hon, Pretty Bird, warm and sweet, kneeling at her feet…
Dizzy sparkles, resting her head against the wall as her ears buzz, voices far away, sounds and sights at the end of a long tunnel…
“He’s strong, Diana.”
Warm voice, green eyes, green mask, green eggs and ham, Sam I am, I do not wish to eat them on a boat, I do not wish to eat them in a moat…
“Stevie’s a fighter, Princess.”
Her heart trembles, and cries, and feels a terrible aching. Loneliness eons long stretches out before her, a yawning chasm that hollows out her bones and grinds them to dust…
I am but clay, malleable in my mother’s hands.
“Steve,” she whispers.
The breeze is warm, the sun bright and the grass sweet. The ocean sparkles and Diana curls up against her naked lover, feeling his hardness as she rolls on top of him.
He smiles, grasping her shoulders, and she is happy, laughing as they meld together in sunlight and sunwarmth, ripe with love and belonging.
She moves, rocking back and forth, clutching her middle, the smell of blood strong, too strong, making her dizzy, despairing, death be not proud…
“It’ll be all right, Princess,” Hal says, but his voice is worried, uncertain, and she feels the panic seize her, shouting her Beloved’s name, rising from the bench and trying to get to him, green bands of energy slipping around her, banding her arms, her Warrior rage boiling…
I am a Warrior of the Blood!
Fear fuels her, panic prickling along her limbs as the endless sea stretches before her, restless and sparkling under the morning sun, blond hair glinting on silver wing, blood in the water…
She collapses on the bench, limbs trembling as the green band dissolves, otherworldly blue eyes worriedly looking at her, Pretty Bird eyes, eyes behind a cowl…
Her precious girl arrives, worry in every movement, Little Bird grown tall beside her, sunshine fluttering out behind him, Robin Redbreast, red chest…
Hal puts his arm around her.
Strange calm settles over her like Clark’s cape as he sits beside Bruce, Hal in his place, Earth Mother serenity outwardly calm while she waits.
“What red-blooded American male wouldn’t love Wonder Woman?”
“The blood of your ancestors runs true in you, Steve Trevor. Your blood is in the soil, as all Irish know.”
“Your bloodline stretches back to the Goddesses themselves, Princess.”
She opens her eyes.
Dinah kneels before her, tears in her eyes.
The yawning chasm opens.
Cerberus, no need any longer to guard Hades’ gates.
I have descended into hell.
“It’s all right, Diana.”
J’onn’s calm voice.
The Canary smiles through her tears and takes her hand, Donna hugging her legs, Dick smiling gently at her feet. Hal whispers relief, tightens his arm around her, Clark kissing her temple, Bruce leaning over and touching her arm.
Relief sweeps through her so hard that she nearly collapses. After a moment, she stands, determined to go to her Beloved as a proud Warrior.
She hears the beeps and hisses of medical machinery but only has eyes for the man in the bed, chest bandaged and wires and tubes bruising pale starlit skin.
“Beloved,” she whispers.
Her hand caresses sun-bright hair as tears run down her cheeks.
His eyes flutter open.
He whispers on the wind, barely speaking, but she hears him.
She always will.
It is like the first moment their eyes met as he lay recovering after crashing outside the Island, their connection true and strong, the moment they had fallen in love.
At first sight.
“I am here, Beloved.”
She leans down and kisses his brow, her heart full and her limbs shaking.
“Never leave me,” she whispers.
“Never,” he breathes.
They are in each other’s blood.
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