Pairings/Characters: Steve/Diana, Robert/Ivan
Rating: (this chapter): R
General Summary: In June of 1968, Steve and Diana struggle with violence in-country and back home.
Summary: The shooting of Bobby Kennedy brings a strong sense of déjà vu.
Date Of Completion: August 3, 2007
Date Of Posting: August 8, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1041
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: jen_in_japan requested "Steve/Diana in Vietnam, sometime in the mid-to-late '60s" from my DCU GSB Fic Request Meme. All chapters can be found here.
“THE WORLD WILL BREAK OUR HEARTS EVENTUALLY”
(June 5, 1968)
Steve went down to the lobby to get breakfast to bring back up to the room. He passed a group of soldiers and reporters huddled around a radio.
“…and Senator Kennedy had just finished his victory speech in the lobby of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles when he exited through the kitchen. Shots were fired, and he is now being given the Last Rites of the Catholic Church…”
Stunned, Steve stopped as he heard the Armed Forces Radio announcer continue with details of the shooting: a man named Sirhan Sirhan had been arrested, and Robert Kennedy lay in Good Samaritan Hospital with a bullet in his head.
“Damn, they shot another Kennedy,” said one of the young soldiers.
Steve felt sick to this stomach. He turned around and went back to his room.
He entered the small room, Wonder Woman yawning as she stretched. She opened her eyes and was about to greet him when she saw his face. “Steve?”
“Bobby Kennedy’s been shot.”
“Oh, Goddess, no!”
Steve sat on the edge of the bed, his Angel wrapping her arms around him. He rested his head on her shoulder.
The whap-whap-whap of the fan was the only sound for a few minutes, then she asked, “How bad?”
“Bullet in his brain.”
Silence again, then Steve said bitterly, “I’m not sure if this time half the head was blown off, but I’d say he won’t have much of a life if he does survive.”
Wonder Woman’s arms tightened around him. “I’m so sorry, Steve.”
“I know.” He kissed her hair. “We Irish know that the world will break our hearts eventually.”
& & & & & &
The news spread like wildfire. Steve and Diana hung around the hotel, getting information as the reporters worked on the story back home.
Diana was sorrowed by the news. She had liked and admired Jack Kennedy and those feelings were the same for his younger brother. She thought he would have made a good President.
Now it was all over once again, this time before it had even begun.
She was worried about Steve. He had seemed more pensive on this visit, his usual quiet optimism turning more to a cynicism that was clinging to him like the heat on his skin.
He turned to her now and said, “I’m going for a walk.”
She nodded. “I’ll be here.” She sensed he needed to be alone.
He kissed her, then left the lobby.
The female reporter from last night was standing next to her.
“Do you think there’s hope for our country?”
Diana looked at the doors to the hotel through which Steve had just exited.
“I don’t know.”
& & & & & &
Steve stood in front of St. Cecilia’s, then made a decision. Walking into the darkened interior, he felt the temperature drop at least a few degrees. He went up the aisle and to the candles in the small alcove before the statue of the Virgin Mary, dropping in some money in the slot, then lighting three candles, their blue flames flickering on the walls, joining the others already lit. One for the fallen today, one for the older brother taken away five years ago, and one for the man taken away just a few months ago.
He went to an empty pew and knelt. There were about thirty people scattered about the church. Some were Vietnamese but most were Americans, the stunned look on their faces recalling another day five years ago in Dallas.
Steve took out his rosary. He doubted that his prayers would change anything, but he touched the crucifix to his lips and began the decades of the rosary as the candles quietly burned and the other people in the church prayed.
& & & & & &
That night they met Robert and Ivan for dinner in the hotel restaurant. It was a somber meal, Robert finally saying, “Hmm, not much of an Irish wake. Still, Bobby’s hanging on.”
“Tough as his brother, Robert?” Wonder Woman asked.
“Oh, yes. He and I went out for football when we were at Harvard, you know. We were both undersized to play but we made the team on sheer grit and guts. Unfortunately, Jack injured his back and it would plague him for the rest of his life.”
Robert began telling tales of his time with Jack, then other memories of Bobby, and Steve knew that despite Robert’s words this was a wake. True, they needed more booze and more laughter to make it a real Irish wake, but they were already gearing up for another Kennedy gone, and more hope winking out.
After dinner, he and Wonder Woman retired to their room.
As soon as they shut the door behind them, they kissed desperately. Steve felt driven to taste every inch of his beloved, life’s tragedies hovering over them. People were dying every day over here in futility, and he wanted an affirmation of life, of the deeply-felt love he shared with this woman.
As he tumbled to the bed, her body on top of his, he thought of the first moment he had laid eyes upon her. Waking up from the Purple Healing Ray’s sleep after his plane crash in the ocean, he had seen the vision of an Angel that had never left him.
My heart to your heart...
Her lips were on his and he cupped her hips, pulling off her golden belt and star-spangled panties, her hands unbuttoning his shirt and they were raw and naked in moments, her movements as frantic as his, her strength pinning him to the bed but instead of fear he felt exhilaration. He wanted this, wanted her, and his weary heart needed a joining.
They came together, two bodies colliding as sweat and ardor sealed them, and Steve knew that he needed his Angel, because Earth was like ashes in his mouth, bitter and desperate, and violence would rip apart any man’s soul if he didn’t have his salvation with him…
My soul to your soul…
As he lost himself in her, he wished that his heartsick soul would be healed…