Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Jamie O’Reilly, Steve/Diana, Allie O’Shea, Lee McCain, Erin Andrews, Alia Cassadine, Albert Brenner
Genres: Angst, Challenge, Drama, Mystery, Romance
Rating (this chapter): PG-13
Claim: For the dcu_freeforall Challenge (Diana/Steve)
Prompt: T 10; P 26: Library Of Alexandria
Prompt Count: (14/15)
Warnings: Homophobic slurs
General Summary: An important archeological discovery leads Diana and Steve to the Library of Alexandria site in Egypt.
Chapter Summary: The exhibit opens and protesters flock to the Boston Museum Of Fine Arts.
Date Of Completion: July 6, 2010
Date Of Posting: August 8, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 991
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Notes: Also written for my 2011 Wonder Woman Love Fic/Art 70th Anniversary Celebration Challenge and my 2011 DCU Fic/Art Steve/Diana Challenge.
This series deals with Diana’s Amazon heritage and can be found here.
Shine down upon thee,
As love’s shining ribbons
Entwine thy heart
"The Mists Of Mystery"
(Discovered September 27, 2011 C.E.)
The announcement about the newly-discovered Sappho poem created a huge stir in the literary and art worlds and beyond. It was one of the hottest searches on the Internet, and ticket sales for the exhibit increased. The buzz was exactly what the museum had hoped for…though the backlash was not entirely unexpected.
Anti-gay spokesmen and groups denounced the new addition to the exhibit, and more than a few fundamentalist churches strenuously objected, railing against ‘Pagan lesbians’ and their ‘godless immorality’. One reverend vowed to picket the museum.
Jamie increased security, mindful of past incidents. The tablet was placed behind glass and alarms set all around it, a guard placed on each side.
Ignorance was on the prowl.
After a long day, Diana and Steve ordered in Chinese food and sat on the couch, the television volume on low.
“The chicken is delicious.” Diana speared a peapod with her chopsticks.
“It sure was a helluva day.” Steve picked up his beer bottle and took a swig. “Let’s hope there isn’t a crime wave in Boston tonight.”
“It certainly is not Gotham.”
“Thank the Goddesses for small favors.”
Diana laughed and ate another piece of chicken.
“Hey, the museum’s on the news.” Steve turned up the sound. A pretty red-haired reporter dressed in a green suit began to speak.
“We’re here outside the Boston Museum Of Fine Arts as members of The Church Of The Word, protesting the newly-discovered poem by Sappho. Reverend McCain, can you tell us what the protest’s about?”
The Reverend Lee McCain was a tall, slender man with raven hair and piercing brown eyes. His suit was expensive, silver cufflinks winking in the sunlight.
“Well, Miss O’Shea, it’s fairly obvious. My fellow congregants and I object to that homosexual harlot as the centerpiece of this exhibit.”
“You speak rather harshly about Sappho, Reverend.”
“The harlot’s very name is representative of the heinous sin of lesbianism.”
“So you intend to picket during the length of the exhibit?”
“We certainly are. Someone has to take a stand. My congregation can’t stand by while this filth is permitted to be freely exhibited.”
Chants of “God hates homos!” and “Close the exhibit!” could be heard in the background as signs were brandished: Sapphic Love = Filth, The MFA Are Homo Lovers, and Send The Homosexual Harlot Back To Greece!
Steve muted the sound. “I’m sorry, Angel.”
“You are not at fault, Steve.” She sighed. “It appears that ignorance lives on.”
Steve nodded sadly.
The protesters were just as vicious in person. Wonder Woman swept past them in her long star-spangled skirt and cape, Steve at her side in his blue dress uniform. A party and special preview was being given for elite members of the museum.
They did their best to ignore the hate-contorted faces and words, Wonder Woman coolly serene, and Steve putting on his best professional face despite his seething emotions. He could tell that Diana was angry, too, but she always maintained that persuasion had to be calm.
You’re a wonder, Angel.
Inside the cool interior of the museum, a young red-haired guide greeted them.
“Welcome, Wonder Woman, Major Trevor. This way, please.”
“Thank you, Erin,” the Amazon said.
Pleased that Wonder Woman knew her name (she probably read the name tag), Erin walked with an extra bounce in her step.
The room in which the reception was held was beautifully-decorated with flowers and plants, a small fountain bubbling merrily in the center. Waiters circulated with trays of champagne and hors d’oeuvres, and a chamber trio from the New England Conservatory of Music played softly in a corner.
Heads turned immediately, Steve proud of his beautiful Angel, and he escorted her to greet Jamie and Alia. She needed no escort, of course, but Diana had once said, ”And why would I not want a beautiful man by my side?”
Steve smiled. Leave it to his Angel to make him feel good.
Jamie played escort next, introducing them to the members attending the party. Some were familiar, as Wonder Woman and Steve had met them before at similar functions.
The couple separated to mingle, and one matron said, “Dreadful, those protesters out there.”
Most of the museum’s patrons agreed with the women, disdainful of the protesters as they sipped their champagne and ate assorted tidbits of ‘healthy’ food: vegetables and crackers and other clever concoctions.
“Typical of the uneducated,” a Boston University professor sneered. His brown hair was disheveled but his beard was neat. Gold-rimmed glasses framed hazel eyes that brimmed with contempt.
“Perhaps, Professor…?” Wonder Woman asked.
"Brenner, Albert Brenner. My specialty is Ancient History.”
“So you appreciate Sappho?”
“Very much.” Brenner took a sip of champagne. “I’m surprised you aren’t angry, Wonder Woman. Don’t the Amazons revere Sappho?”
“And yet you’re in a relationship with a man?”
“Love knows no gender, Professor.” Diana’s smile was serene as she walked away.
“Quite a party, eh, Angel?” Steve murmured as they met by the entrance to the solarium.
“Yes.” Wonder Woman glanced behind her. “I wish to go to the exhibit hall before the others.” Steve nodded, and they left to walk down the corridor.
The exhibit’s objects glittered under the muted lightning. Busts, statues, armor, weaponry, vases, and jewelry were all arranged to their best effect, with some of the most intriguing objects being Egyptian stele, the colors still distinguishable after centuries, though faded.
The Sappho poem rested on a red velvet-draped stand under glass. Wonder Woman stood before it, Steve at her shoulder.
“’May the Light of Olympus/Shine down upon thee/As love’s shining ribbons/Entwine thy heart/And soul.’”
“She was a talented poet,” Steve murmured.
“Truly. Her work will live on.” Diana’s head inclined toward the museum entrance. “Despite the hate.”
Steve squeezed her shoulder.