Pairings/Characters (this chapter): Steve/Diana, Jamie O’Reilly, Ann Lee, Caroline Alcott, Lee McCain
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: Battle lines are drawn at the Exhibit.
Date Of Completion: September 5, 2010
Date Of Posting: August 14, 2011
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1161
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.
Of those whose minds are narrow,
Is what those who love in different shades
Must endure, as human nature parades.
"The Mists Of Mystery"
(Discovered September 27, 2011 C.E.)
Diana greeted the eager throngs as they filed into the exhibit hall. She was dressed in her regular costume, pleased at the eagerness to view the poem.
Outside, museum security and the police were keeping the patrons and protesters separated. Inside, the line was watched closely.
Suddenly, a man in his twenties shouted, “We shouldn’t be exhibiting such filth!” and pulled out a small hammer from his jacket pocket, ready to smash the glass case surrounding the tablet.
Wonder Woman moved as swiftly as Hermes, grabbing the man’s arm and yanking her Golden Lasso free from her belt, pushing the vandal down and trussing him up neatly as the man sputtered, “Get your hands off me, man-hating Amazon bitch!”
“Truly, I do not hate men, though sometimes I pity those like you whose hearts are filled with hate.”
He sneered at her but one of the visitors cried, “You’re a pig! Trying to destroy the poem and dissin’ Wonder Woman!”
The crowd agreed as the security guards grabbed the vandal, handing over the scuffling man to the police, who had run in from outside when one of the staff had alerted them.
“Sorry about that, Wonder Woman,” Jamie said as he ran up, distress on his handsome features.
“It is not your fault, Jamie.”
“I know, but…”
Wonder Woman put a hand on her friend’s shoulder. “It is the way of some men that they harbor hatred in their hearts.” She shook her head sadly.
Once the attacker had been hauled out away, the line began moving again. The security guards watched everyone like a hawk, Wonder Woman also keeping an eye on the visitors as she smiled and answered questions.
There was a commotion outside. Several visitors turned and frowned. The door was opened for a returning guard and chants of “Down with Sappho!” “Down with sinners!”
A middle-aged woman close to the tablet rolled her eyes. “Give it a rest,” she muttered.
“Is Sappho one of your heroes, Wonder Woman?” asked a teenage girl.
“Oh, yes. Her beautiful poems and insights into love are much treasured.”
“Because she’s a lesbian?” asked another girl, frowning as she folded her arms.
“That is part of it.”
The girl’s frown increased. Her friend rolled her eyes. “Don’t mind her, Princess. Her father’s a real homophobe.”
“Will, it isn’t natural,” huffed the other girl, pushing back a strand of chestnut hair from her eyes.
“Of course it is,” Diana said. “All things in nature are natural.”
The frowning girl looked unconvinced. “If it’s so natural, then why can’t two men or two women make babies?”
Her friend put her hands on her hips. “Plenty of heterosexual couples don’t have kids, Ann.”
“Doesn’t mean they shouldn’t.”
The other girl threw her hands up. Several people were frowning at her friend.
“It’s useless,” declared the exasperated girl.
Wonder Woman smiled gently. Addressing the frowning teenager, she said, “You should open you mind to life’s possibilities, my young friend.”
“I’m not your friend,” Ann muttered.
“Be that as it may, life is full of wonders. Leave yourself the opportunity to enjoy them.”
“I don’t consider depravity to be a ‘wonder’.”
“C’mon, grumpy, let’s go,” said her friend, dragging the girl away, who protested, “Caroline! Quit it!”
“Twit,” said a thirtysomething woman as she drew closer to the exhibit.
Wonder Woman looked over at the retreating teenagers, sadness flickering over her lovely features. “Intolerance is a blight,” she murmured, too soft for anyone to hear.
When Wonder Woman left the museum a few hours later, she was bombarded by hisses and catcalls from The Church Of the Word protesters. Shaking her head slightly, she approached Lee McCain, the tall preacher looking smug as he said, “Good afternoon, Wonder Woman.”
People waiting in line on the front steps watched the confrontation with avid interest.
Wonder Woman studied the patrician face of the Reverend. He was dressed in a charcoal-gray suit with a gray silk tie against a white shirt. His followers brandished their hateful signs, the Amazon wondering how their souls did not shrivel under such a burden.
“So, Amazon, are you here to preach?”
“No, I believe that is your purview, Reverend.”
“Come now, Wonder Woman, you preach all the time. Don’t you oppose good Christian folk?”
“Not at all. Many tenets of Christianity are worthy of respect.”
“But not all?”
“Of course not. No religion is perfect.” She smiled. “Neither are the Gods.”
Her smile remained serene.
“Why don’t you go back to your Lesbos Island, Wonder Whore!” sneered a neatly-dressed young man.
“Now, Carl, no need to be insulting,” said McCain.
Wonder Woman crossed her arms, her full height as an Amazon impressive. Her stars-and-striped cape fluttered gently in the breeze.
“I respect your right to a different opinion, Reverend, but your aggressiveness is not welcome.”
“We’re only exercising our constitutional rights, Princess.”
His constant smug expression grated on Wonder Woman, but she kept her face impassive. She had faced down Gods. A smug preacher would not get to her.
“Sappho was well-respected in the Ancient World.”
“No doubt. The world of the Greeks and Romans was Pagan in nature.”
McCain cocked his head to one side. “You seem pleased with that notion.”
“Why would I not be?”
“Paganism is a corrupt way of life. When Christianity came to us, the world knew salvation.”
Wonder Woman kept her irritation from showing as she said, “That, of course, is your opinion.”
“Oh, yes.” He smiled. “Would you care to be saved?”
“Saved?” Wonder Woman smiled. “I am in no need of saving, Reverend. Aphrodite has been good to me.”
“A Pagan Goddess?”
McCain waved his hand dismissively. “There is only one true God, and only one way to live a good, moral life.”
The Amazon crossed her arms. “There is room for all beliefs, Reverend, preferably not fueled by hate.” She nodded toward the protest signs and walked away.
“You tell ‘im, Wonder Woman!”
“What a stuck-up prig!”
“Wouldn’t mind if you showed him some Amazon discipline!”
Diana remained in deep thought as she made her way to meet Steve, who had just arrived.
“I heard about what happened,” Steve said softly. He frowned. “Hard to believe there are people with attitudes like that.”
“Yes, I know, my darling.”
Steve looked at her, speaking gently. “What is it, Angel?”
Her pensive expression turned into a small smile. “You know me well, Beloved.” She faced him. “I wish to go to Alexandria." At his quirked eyebrow, she elaborated, “I must see where they discovered Sappho’s poems.”
Steve took her hand. “I’ll go with you.”
She raised their joined hands and kissed his fingers. “I shall be honored, my love.”