Pairings/Characters: Steve/Diana, Clark/Bruce/Dick, Hal
Warnings: Character deaths.
General Summary: The weight of Immortality is finally crushing Diana.
Summary (this chapter): Diana is so very tired...
Date Of Completion: September 23, 2007
Date Of Posting: September 23, 2007
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, DC does, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 1470
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: This tale was was inspired by damo_in_japan’s story Memory and jen_in_japan's All We Are, And All That We Will Be.
All chapters can be found here.
ASHES TO ASHES…
Diana sat down on the boulder, feeling every one of her thousands of years.
She shaded her eyes against the sun. It was a weak sunlight, but bright enough to disturb her eyes. She reached down and scooped up a handful of dust, its fine grains slipping through her fingers.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust…
The beautiful, blue-green world of her youth was long gone. As the sun weakened, so did Earth, and Gaia was gently preparing her for the end.
Not that the end would come for another few million years, but Diana could wait. She would chronicle the end of Earth as she had chronicled so many other civilizations, her task of Watcher overshadowing Warrior.
Diana was dressed in her old costume. She hadn’t worn it in centuries, instead figuring that the white filmy silk would be more befitting a Watcher. Star-spangled panties and a golden eagle on one’s bodice tended to attract attention.
She didn’t know why she had donned the old costume. Using a gift from Athena, she had been able to preserve the fabric and accessories from crumbling to dust.
But she couldn’t prevent Earth from doing the same.
Her old home was gray and lifeless, sparkling water now more clouded than clear, greenery brittle and dull. The once-white buildings were crumbling unto dust.
The sky was a hazy blue, the day overcast due to the fading sun. No more sun as gold as blond hair…
She was weary, so very weary. The optimism that had kept her going for so many years was fading away like the sun. The loneliness that broke her heart was slipping away, too, leaving her with a dull, hollow feeling.
She had lived too long, seen too many loved ones die, seen too many civilizations rise and fall. How many battles had she fought, how much blood had she spilled, how many memories were starting to dissolve like an ancient book’s pages at a mere touch?
Immortality wasn’t a blessing.
It was a curse.
She had no tears left to shed. She had cried when her old friends and comrades had fallen in battle or died of old age peacefully in their sleep. Bruce and Clark, the other two of the Trinity, had been among the first. Dick had been with them, fitting for the relationship they had shared, and their deaths had stunned the superhero community and the world. She missed Clark’s gentle heart, Bruce’s keen intelligence, and Dick’s brilliant smile. In the course of life and crimefighting, she had lost many others.
Diana watched as a scraggly bird flew across the leaden sky. The living creatures left on the planet would die off eventually as their food sources became more and more scarce.
The Human creatures had died off long ago.
It wasn’t the end of everything, of course. Humans had seeded their race across the galaxies, planting new civilizations as they took a bold, prominent role in galactic politics.
There were races more savage, races more tolerant and accepting, races more creative.
No race had ever been as deep a wellspring of Love.
Throughout their evolution, Humans had discarded the negative forms of love: obsessive, hurtful, or suffocating. Love and its positives had gradually helped Humans to evolve into calm, cerebral beings who practiced the emotion in its purest form, leaving the messy passions behind.
Diana missed those messy passions.
When she had lost her mother and sister Amazons, she had felt the despair creeping around the edges. They had fought bravely, but magical means had taken their lives, and the Gods and Goddesses had welcomed them to Olympus.
All the losses had hurt, and the one loss that had nearly broken her had come very early in the long litany of loss.
Steve Trevor, the man she had loved at first sight, had died in her arms, shaking fingers touching her face as he smiled at his Angel, the final battle at her side taking him away from her.
She had loved in the centuries since his death. She had even made love with others, as eternal celibacy had not suited her.
But she had never been in love ever again.
She dreamed of him. She thought she heard his voice now and again. She remembered a strong, perfect body, a mouth that curved in a lovely smile, blue eyes the color of clear sapphires, and the shining blond hair. She remembered a wry sense of humor and courage and tenderness. She remembered a man considerate of her Amazon heritage and hurt that the same heritage forbade him from stepping foot in the home of her birth, or made him a target of her mother’s scorn, but he welcomed her, bringing her home to meet his family, and loving her with body and soul on long, lazy nights or days of simple happiness.
Clark, Dick, and Bruce had found soulmates among the three of them.
She had only one, but he had been more than enough…
& & & & & &
“So, Diana, are you going out with Steve to the movies tonight?”
Diana finished rolling up her golden lasso. “I am.”
Dick grinned. “Are you going to make out up in the balcony?”
She grinned back. “Is that all you think about, Dick? Groping and making out in the dark?”
Dick’s eyes sparkled as he slid his lenses back in his mask. “I’m a healthy, 19-year-old man, Diana. What do you think I’m going to think about?”
“Yeah, and he beds the two most famous heroes of them all,” Hal said as his lantern materialized for re-charging. “How’d you get so lucky, kid?”
“I eat right and sleep well.”
“Sleep is right,” Hal snorted.
The JLA headquarters was quiet, no missions pending and everyone going about their business. Dick had come up to the satellite station with Bruce, who was talking to Clark while the Kryptonian was on monitor duty. Diana could see why the two greatest heroes of this generation had fallen so hard for this young man, his energy and spirit rivaling the Gods themselves.
“Lucky guy,” Dick said with a smile as he winked at Diana.
“I consider myself fortunate as well.” Soulmates don’t grow on trees.
Bruce’s call turned Dick around. Clark was at Bruce’s side, and they were arguing over the tactics used in the last JLA battle. Dick walked over to both, listened intently, and then laughed. “Please, just kiss and make up, will you? And include me in that!”
Clark and Bruce stopped, looked at each other, then smirked and with a wink, both men swept out their capes and enfolded Dick, whose bright costume disappeared as he walked off with his lovers.
He has the strength to handle such two strong personalities, Diana thought, and Hal said, “When you find a soulmate, one or two, ya gotta hold on.”
Diana nodded. She decided to give Steve a call before lunch.
& & & & & &
The memory faded, but a tiny tendril of affection slid through Diana’s mind like a glittering gold strand.
Long after those days of happiness, she had thrown herself into spreading the Word of the Amazons, as the Universe needed more Love. She had even been a Green Lantern at one point, and had reigned as Queen on more than one world. As the centuries passed she had pulled away from direct participation, preferring to observe, pursuing her creative impulses and trying to live a contented life if not a happy one, becoming more Legend than flesh-and-blood.
She knew grief far too well.
And now, she had returned to the planet of her birth, recording its final days, and a tiny thread of fear ran through her as she tried to recall the voices and faces of her loved ones.
Had she lived so long that she couldn’t remember those gone for so many years?
The emptiness hollowed her from the inside out, the millenia scooping out memories and feelings and casting them on the winds as stars were born, died, and were born again.
She closed her eyes…
& & & & & &
“C’mon, Angel, race you to the water!”
Diana laughed and flew over the sand, following the well-sculpted body of her boyfriend as Steve ran to the ocean, plunging in with abandon as he laughed, too.
She hit the water and chased after him with powerful strokes, catching his leg and pulling him toward her. She noticed his blue eyes sparkling as he allowed her to reel him in, tangling them together and kissing her with a sweet contentment. Diana’s arms encircled his neck and they floated, diamond droplets on bare skin and Diana had never felt freer or happier in her life…
& & & & & &