|A Grief Observed
Author: Geeky BMWW Fan PM
My take on how Diana and the rest of the Justice League react to the aftermath of the events in Paradise Lost Parts I and II.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Angst - Diana of Themyscira/Wonder Woman - Chapters: 3 - Words: 9,136 - Reviews: 22 - Favs: 30 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 07-27-07 - Published: 07-08-07 - Status: Complete - id: 3643016
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I do not own these characters, nor am I making any money off of this story.
Before you read:
The lines in bold are taken from the 2005 adaption of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley.
This chapter makes reference to and takes place after Paradise Lost, The Brave and the Bold, and Fury.
The chapter title comes from a Beatles's song.
I have been told (and I agree) that maybe I went into too much detail/was too introspective. I try not to write things that are boring, and I hope this isn't, but it might be too slow for some people. I just couldn't write about her becoming whole again without delving into what is going on in her mind. So, I'm sorry if there isn't enough action.
If you like it, please review. If you don't, please tell me why, so I can improve. I appreciate any and all reviews. Thanks!
Thanks Kipling-Nori for helping me with this story. You're the bomb shizzle. (Pssst. I hear she has some new stuff coming soon. Make sure to bug her about it.)
A Grief Observed
Here Comes the Sun
Finally, brethren, rejoice, be made complete, be comforted, be like-minded, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
-II Corinthians 13:11
The night is almost gone, and the day is near.
"I can't believe girls actually fall for this stuff. No one even talks like that."
"Flash." Wonder Woman's low voice and narrowed eyes cautioned the movie critic.
Undeterred, the Scarlet Speedster proceeded to make fun of her film selection in a poor imitation of an English accent. "Wilt thou takest my hand in holiest matrimony, my loveliest dainty blossom."
She paused the film. "I watched your movie." Diana inwardly shuddered as she remembered the cheerleaders washing cars in their bikinis. What that had to do with supporting an athletic team was beyond her, but still she had watched. Silently. "Now it's my turn."
"But this is so lame."
"You're the one who gave me the movie in the first place."
"I only did that because you said you liked Jane Austen."
"And now I'm returning the favor. I thought you wanted to make a good impression on women. Trust me, you will get farther watching my movies than-" she lifted up the DVD case and read its title disdainfully "Bring it On."
"No woman really wants a guy in ruffles and tights."
Diana looked pointedly at his scarlet spandex unitard.
"What?! It's a uniform. A superhero uniform. Besides, all this guy does is brood or offend people."
Hawkgirl, who had been listening at the door way, decided to make her presence known.
"Some women go for the silent, arrogant type. Right, Diana?"
Choosing not to dignify the question with a response, Diana hit the remote's play button.
"Your arrogance and conceit, your selfish disdain for the feelings of others made me realize you were the last man in the world I could ever be prevailed upon to marry."
Flash snorted and shot Diana a look that said, "I told you so."
Refusing to let him ruin one of her favorite scenes, she ignored him.
Diana tried to hide her smile as the rain soaked characters stared longingly at each other, with their lips mere inches apart. She knew they wouldn't kiss, but every time she watched she hoped they would.
"All that, and he doesn't even kiss her?!"
In a more agitated manner, Diana punched the stop button on the remote, though it was Shayera who fired off the verbal warning. "Look, Flash. You are never going to get a girl if you can't sit through a girlie movie with your mouth shut."
"What's wrong with movies like Die Hard, Braveheart, Gladiator, or Lethal Weapon?"
Diana decided to try reasoning with him. "Absolutely nothing. But sometimes a woman wants a little romance every now and then."
Shayera looked at Diana approvingly. "See, I told you not to knock it till you've tried it."
Flash chimed in. "Looks like the Princess found her prince."
"I think you mean kni-"
"There is no one." Diana interrupted Hawkgirl, feeling a little flustered, though outwardly she remained calm. "I just happen to like Mr. Darcy."
"What's he got that I don't?"
Diana's and Shayera's heads turned on Flash, and from the looks on their faces, one would have thought that he was talking to them from a second head that was growing out of his stomach. After the initial shock of the question wore off, the girls answered in rapid fire, alternating back and forth with their answers.
"He has an English accent."
"He has manners."
"He doesn't call every woman he meets a chick or a babe."
"He doesn't say the first thing that comes to his mind."
Having tried to interrupt them many times, Flash finally got a word in. "Ok, so I'm not your cup of tea. But does he have my sense of humor and charm?"
Shayera and Diana weren't given the chance to answer. Seeing Batman and Green Lantern walking by, Flash waved them over.
"Hey guys, tell these two that I would make a better boyfriend than Mr. Darcy."
Even though John had no idea who Mr. Darcy was, he wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to put Flash in his place, "I know better than to argue with a woman about her taste in men."
"C'mon Bats. Back me up."
The only back Wally received was the sight of Batman's as he turned and walked out of the room.
Finally admitting defeat, Flash sank onto the couch, his posture mirroring his inner dejection.
Feeling sorry for her friend, Shayera leaned in and gave him a playful peck on the cheek. "It's OK Wally. Just stick with me and Diana and you'll have to beat the girls off with a stick."
His hopes revived, Wally turned an opportunistic cheek towards Diana only to be shot down with a look and, "Perhaps next time you will be quiet when I show you one of my movies."
"Fine," he grumbled, "I'll be quiet."
Shayera turned to John. "Care to join us?"
"Uh, I think Batman needed some help in the monitor womb." And with that Green Lantern left the room with a velocity that made Wally proud.
Wally looked at his two female coworkers. "So, same time next week?"
"And we'll provide the movie."
Winking secretively at Diana, Hawkgirl gave her suggestions for next week. "I'm thinking Beaches or Steel Magnolias."
Knowing that if he groaned he would never hear the end of it, Flash left the room as quickly as possible.
"I've never seen those movies, Shayera. Are they any good?"
"They're awful. I just wanted to scare him."
Shayera stretched her feet out and put them on a nearby coffee table. Once she felt comfortable, she turned to Diana. "So, how have you been?"
Diana paused before giving her answer. "It still hurts, but I think I've gotten through the worst part."
Shayera squeezed her hand for a brief second before patting her on the shoulder. "Good. You want some ice cream?"
"Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough?"
"Or Mint Chocolate Chip. Take your pick."
"Tough choice." After mulling it over for a minute, Diana finally decided that she would have both.
Gotham Art Gallery
Presents the Special Exhibition
The Future Through the Past:
It's All Greek to Me
The second in a five part series
December 17 – January 10
This collection features paintings, sculptures, and other artifacts focusing on the subject of Greek mythology and includes the works of the finest artists throughout the ages, beginning with the Greco-Romans and ending with the Pre-Raphaelites.
Today being the tenth, it was Diana's last day to see this exhibition. She resolved to go as soon as her shift was over.
Even with all her caution, she could not escape detection from one man. Bruce Wayne had recognized her as soon as she had entered the museum, though, to be fair, he had been expecting her. While the others checked up on Diana's emotional health in their own way, he favored his own tried and tested methods.
He was pleased to see that she had dressed the part. It wasn't that long ago that she had been walking around department stores and other public places in her uniform. Still, it didn't stop most of the museum's male population from watching her as she took in the main attractions.
Bruce made sure she couldn't see him as she leisurely moved from work to work, always pausing to read any informational plaque, if one was available, and listening to the information provided by her audio guide.
Her face had been schooled in a look of mild interest, until she came upon a painting of Artemis and the hunter Orion. The artist was unknown, but it was done in the bright colors and style of a Pre-Raphaelite. The goddess and demigod were in the foreground of the painting, and to their right, some distance off, was a herd of grazing deer. Their hands were touching because Orion was handing Artemis an arrow for her bow. Her eyes held a touch of thanks, and there were small smiles on the faces of both as they were closing in on their prey.
Knowing that Diana's head had been filled with romance from her books and movies, Bruce was not surprised to see the curiosity and smiles that spread over her beautiful face. But he wasn't given too much time to think about the painting or her reaction, as she walked on to the next painting.
The next works that elicited some kind of emotional response from her were two paintings placed side by side: The Departure of the Amazons and Triumph of the Amazons. They were from a Baroque artist named Claude Deruet. She knit her eyebrows down in what looked like contemplation, but Bruce knew it was a tactic to keep her eyes dry. He saw her shoulders rise and fall, as she let out a sigh before walking slowly on.
It wasn't until near closing time that Diana's attention was transfixed by another painting. Not paying much attention to the painting, he scrutinized her face, catching its thoughtfulness, melancholy, realization, and finally, resolution. Then she turned abruptly and walked towards the exit. Being a smaller painting, he had to move in closer to see what had caused her to leave so quickly. Watts's Orpheus and Eurydice. It was a much darker painting than the others, and as he considered the subject matter, the color scheme struck him as appropriate.
The musician Orpheus had lost his wife after only a year of marriage. Driven by his terrible grief, he traveled to the underworld, charming monsters with his music as he went. Finally, before the god of death, Hades, and his bride Persephone, Orpheus pleaded with them for Eurydice. Touched by his music and sorrow, Persephone took pity on him, and asked Hades to grant the man his request. Hades finally relented, but only under one condition: Orpheus must never look back. If at any time he turned around before he had escaped hell, Eurydice would be taken from him.
On the threshold of hell, not having heard a sound from his wife, Orpheus had fearfully looked back to see if she was still behind him. Watts had captured the aftermath of that moment. Orpheus was reaching for Eurydice, as she fell back into the land of the dead.
Bruce turned to leave, and saw Diana's back as she exited the building.
He reached for his cell phone and dialed the number of an old friend.
After a pleasurable two hours, she walked out of the theater, and paused to enjoy the feel of the wind on her face. As she stood there, she noticed a very handsome man coming out of a restaurant directly opposite of the multiplex. He was accompanied by a pretty bespectacled red head in a wheelchair. Diana smiled as he kissed the woman on the cheek, and helped her into the back of her car. As he leaned on the top of her car, to speak with the lady further, he happened to look across the street. Diana blushed and quickly diverted her eyes when the man who had caught her staring smiled and winked at her.
"No problem, B. But answer me one question. Why?"
"Just checking up on a friend." He looked over at the theater again, but she had already left.
When he returned his attention to Barbara, he saw the mischievous sparkle behind her eyes. "And the gorgeous woman across the street? She had nothing to do with it, right?"
Rather than waste time explaining that she had completely misunderstood, he played along. Flashing his trademark grin, he uttered, "You know me."
As he started to close the car door, Barbara couldn't help herself. "I'll give Dick your regards if you say "hi" to Wonder Woman for me."
"Goodnight, Barbara." He closed the door, and then walked to the car that was waiting for him.
She glanced downwards and watched the friends, families, and couples that streamed out of the theater in their various states of happiness. Friends and family she already had (thanks to the Justice League), but as she watched the couples laughing and kissing and as she remembered the man and woman from across the street, she started to wonder what it would be like to have a special someone of her own to hold hands with.
Diana laughed at the thought. She never would have considered it had it not been for the events of the past few months. She needed no man, but her feelings of curiosity about the opposite sex had grown.
The Jane Austen books had begun the initial interest in the male species, and then there was the onslaught of movie adaptations and other romantic comedies that Flash had given her to pass the time between missions and meetings. It's where she had gotten the idea to kiss Batman after his actions in Gorilla City.
It came as no surprise to her that Batman was her first crush in Man's World. His intelligence, self-discipline, his sense of duty and sacrifice had initially drawn her to him. But her respect had not turned romantic until she had experienced his kindness in the wake of her exile.She had seen glimpses of it, but until that night of shared sadness, she had never experienced it personally. Though he hadn't said anything as she cried, she felt he understood what she was going through, and he responded in a way that she could accept. She had found strength and peace in his arms. And that had allowed her to finally open up and accept help from the rest of her friends.
And then the events of Gorilla City occurred, followed swiftly by his courageous actions that day he became sick from Aresia's poisons. They both knew that if Diana had been hit by that bus, she would have been fine, but that hadn't stopped him from risking his life to help her.
She had been thinking of Batman when she had stopped in front of that painting of Artemis and Orion. It stood in stark contrast to the one that had formerly hung in her room—Artemis pursuing a stag. The stag had actually been a man who had angered her, so she had turned him into an animal and hunted him like a beast. It had been Diana's favorite painting, but it had lost some of its luster after Aresia's planned genocide of the male species nearly occurred.
But in this new painting, Diana saw that man had been elevated from beast to woman's equal. Artemis and Orion were, literally, working hand in hand. And it didn't hurt that Diana saw a little interest shared between the two as they made physical contact. It had been her favorite painting of the entire exhibit.
There were others paintings that had affected her, though in a much different way. Seeing the Amazons preparing for war, and then returning victorious from combat, naturally brought her sisters and mother to mind. She missed them terribly. As she continued to walk past the other features of the exhibit, a cloud of sadness had hung about her, and try as she might, she could not shake it off. None of the other paintings could catch her attention, until she had seen the one that resonated with her grief and sorrow.
The comparisons between Orpheus' and her situation were easy enough to find. Both had lost a loved one and had been through hell because of it. Diana understood what it must have felt like for Orpheus to lose the thing he loved most. It wasn't something you could just walk away from.
But when Diana realized that he lost his chance at happiness because he was unable to look forward, she became convinced that a choice was being set before her. Diana could look behind her, staying caught up in the past, and lose the happiness available to her in Man's World. Or, she could walk forward, trusting that though she couldn't visibly see them, the Amazons would always be with her as she began to embrace and love her new life and family. She could have nothing or gain everything.
Having chosen the latter option, Diana had exited the museum to experience a little of what Man's World had to offer in the form of a romantic comedy. Besides, she had hoped to find something in the movie that would help Flash find favor with the opposite sex. He was certainly very funny and sweet, but he still had some edges that needed to be smoothed.
As she continued processing the events of her day, she sensed someone behind her. Turning around, Diana found the person who had been foremost in her thoughts.
She unconsciously touched the black Batman logo that stood out against the gray fabric of the hat, as she let him in on her secret. "I thought I could get on your good side, in case you caught me in your city. Did it work?"
Ignoring her question, he dispensed some advice. "Next time you go incognito, stick to the ground. Most people don't brood on the tops of buildings."
"I wasn't brooding."
Though she couldn't see it, she felt the arched eyebrow he was giving her under the cowl.
"I was just thinking about the paintings I saw at the exhibit."
"Find anything you liked?"
"Yes. I even bought a print of one of the paintings."
As he turned to go, Diana reached for his arm. She held her hand in his as she spoke. "I know we haven't really talked about that night, but I want you to know how much you helped me. Thank you."
She moved closer to him, and placed a light kiss on the corner of his mouth. Her lips tingled where they made contact with his, and she was surprised by how soft they were. She smiled up at him as she continued, "I think I've found the resolution that I needed to get past this, but I never would have without your help from that night and from today. Thanks for the flier. It was really sweet of you."
She kissed him once more, then released his hand. "Goodnight, Batman. I'll see you tomorrow?"
He nodded his head slightly in affirmation before she took off.
She placed it on top of her bed, before opening it and spreading its contents on the mattress.
The first thing she had removed was the rug woven for her by one of her friends, Pallas. It depicted a scene of women weaving together, and Pallas had been skilled enough to make two of the ladies look like her and Diana. She smiled as she laid it and another rug across the floor. It would make a nice place to read her books when she got sick of sitting in a chair or lying on her bed.
Next she had pulled out five shields of different sizes and weights. The first one had been given to her when she had begun training at the age of eight. The shields had grown bigger and bigger as she had aged, until she had reached her current size at the age of 18. Every time she had wanted to move up a size, she had to convince Antiope that she was ready, which had been a battle in itself. She hung them in increasing size over her bed, and added the spear and sword she had received on her coronation day underneath them.
She had next removed two medium sized vases that she and her mom had sculpted together out of clay. Before they had occupied two large, bare shelves, but once she had removed them to her closet, she had started placing her growing collection of literature on the shelves. The pottery, she decided, would make excellent bookends.
Lastly, she removed the painting of Artemis and the stag. She opened the frame to replace it with her new favorite, putting the old one in the poster tube, and finally, back into the chest.
She hung that and some other paintings on the wall, putting the one of Artemis and Orion in between two pictures of her with the Justice League, both gifts from Flash. How he had managed to capture Batman on film was a bit of a mystery, but she imagined his enhanced speed had something to do with it.
She sat back on her bed to admire her hard work. Satisfied with the way she combined the artifacts of her past and present, she put the chest back in the closet and made her way over to the altar to offer thanks to her gods--thanks that they had let her see her mother again, for giving her such wonderful friends that loved her, and, finally, for her new life.
Feeling tired, she lied down on her bed, and quickly fell asleep.
I try to stay away from movies that are designed to make you cry, so I've never really seen Beaches or Steel Magnolias. If those are one of your favorite movies, I apologize. They just happened to top the list of worst chick flicks.
I made up that painting of Orion and Artemis. The other three actually exist.
If Diana's reactions to/thoughts about kissing Batman seem a bit over the top or unrealistic, I ask you to remember your first kisses and how you felt then. ;-)
Most importantly...I don't want it to seem like the way out of emotional turmoil is to find a boyfriend or romantic interest. I was hoping to show that it is through love and kindness (friendship, romantic, charity) that pain is overcome. Maybe Diana will never figure out why certain things had to happen, but she accepts it and has learned new things because of her suffering that she couldn't have before. So in my story, Diana starts hanging out with her friends more, looks for ways to love Man's World, begins to appreciate men as comrades/equals, and starts to crush on Batman.