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Wonder Woman and Superman, A Valentine's Day Fic
Letters of Life, of Love
February 14, 2414
Nina stared from her husband Brian, to the gold-and-black bag between them, and back to her husband. An hour ago, he'd arrived home, barely missing the snowstorm the meteorologist had forecast was coming. They'd eaten the dinner of chili and garlic bread Nina had cooked, one of her husband's favorite winter meals. By other folk standards, a home cooked meal for two may not have been the most romantic way for a newly married couple to spend their first Valentine's Day together, but Nina and Brian were saving their pennies for a down payment on a house. Besides, on a stormy winter night, what woman wouldn't rather be in a toasty, albeit tiny apartment, with her sexy husband?
None she knew of.
But really, was it too much to expect that her husband, of six months, would remember Valentine's Day? Apparently it was, for why else had Brian just given her a bag from his place of employment, with a boyish grin and a, "Happy Valentine's Day, sweetie."?
"You forgot. I can't believe you forgot our first Valentine's Day as a married couple."
Dark-brown brows, thick with a natural arch, started the frown that traveled to matching brown eyes Nina had fallen in love with the moment they'd met in their Introduction to Art History class at Howard University, to his regal nose and full lips. He was so gorgeous, she almost forgot why she was annoyed with him, until he said, "I didn't forget," and looked at the bag then at her expectantly.
"It's from the museum."
"I know. What of it?"
Nina crossed her arms and just stared at Brian. He'd never been the romantic type, and, to be honest, neither was she. But a woman did like to think that her new husband would do a little something special for her on their first Valentine. Well, it wasn't technically their first as a couple. They'd celebrated the holiday while they dated . . . sometimes. Okay, maybe they'd only done the Valentine thing once or twice over the course of the seven years they'd known each other.
But they were now married, dammit. A little post-wedding wooing wasn't too much for a woman to ask for, was it? True, money was tight, but Brian had just landed a new job as curator at the National Museum of Superheroes and Nina had a decent tenure track position at Howard's Department of Art. Flowers and candy hearts wouldn't break the bank.
"Stop looking at me like that. I told you I didn't forget."
His voice was indignant, and she'd never known Brian to lie to her. When he was wrapped up in an old book or artifact, he was known to be forgetful, which was what Nina had thought happened when he'd first given her the bag. She assumed he'd gotten caught up in his work and simply let the day slip by without thought that today was Valentine's Day. And, on his way home, he'd dropped by the museum's gift shop and picked something up, anything, to appease his wife.
But the way he was staring back at Nina, said she both hurt and offended him. That wasn't how she wanted to spend this evening.
She uncrossed her arms, feeling ashamed and ungrateful.
"I'm sorry. I just assumed . . ."
"That I had forgotten. I know." He shrugged. "I have been known to forget a birthday, even my own. I guess I can't really blame you for thinking I'd forgotten that it was Valentine's Day." He pushed the bag across the small dining room table. "Honestly, I didn't know what to get you. The only chocolate you nibble on is me."
She blushed, but didn't deny the truth of his words. Hershey chocolates had nothing on Brian Douglass, Ph.D.
"Anyway, we have this new exhibit at the museum called 'Heroic Love.'"
She'd heard. When the traveling exhibit had come to the nation's capital, two weeks ago, it was all the talk. With work and house hunting, Nina hadn't gotten around to going herself, although she thought it would make a great trip for her freshman Superheroes in Art History class.
"You haven't talked much about that particular exhibit."
"That's because I've been swamped with other donations from the Wayne Foundation. My assistant spearheaded the 'Heroic Love,' exhibit. She ran her ideas past me, which were all very good, and I approved them."
He stood, gathered their dishes, and loaded them into the cleaning unit. When Brian returned to the table, it was to grab the gift bag and Nina's hand. A minute later, they were reclining on their living room couch with the light set to 70%, the gift on Nina's lap.
"I had seen everything, of course, but I hadn't known about the letters."
"The love letters."
Nina had no idea what Brian was talking about. The exhibit featured artifacts from the romantic relationships of some of the most famous superheroes – Batman and Catwoman, Black Canary and Green Arrow, Storm and Black Panther, and, of course, Wonder Woman and Superman. But love letters . . .?
"What love letters, Brian?"
"The letters from Superman and Wonder Woman, or rather from Clark Kent and Diana of Themyscria."
That had Nina almost squealing. What her husband had just said couldn't be true. Nina had completed her dissertation on the "Power Couple," as they'd once been dubbed, comparing their courtship and heroic legacy to that of Queen Ororo and King T'Challa. The similarities between the two couples were astounding, making for an intriguing dissertation.
Yet primary source data on Superman and Wonder Woman's relationship was much harder to track down than it was for the King and Queen of Wakanda. Much of their early courting had been done in private until the world had found out. A picture of them kissing had forever changed how the world thought of them – some afraid, some in awe, others undecided.
But all agreed, they were a "Power Couple," with all the pleasure, pain, and tragedy that came with being an alien and an Amazon, as well as a man and a woman in love.
Now her husband had just told her he had love letters from them. Nina briefly wondered if fainting from such news would be grounds for divorce, because, hell yes, Brian Douglass had married the biggest Supes/Wondy fan of the 25th century. And if his little museum bag contained the letters he'd just spoken of, as her Valentine's Day gift, he was so getting lucky tonight. Nina would probably allow him to do that thing to her she normally reserved for his birthday and Christmas.
Brian laughed. "I've never seen your eyes so wide, sweetie, or hear you breathe so heavy outside of bed play."
She was breathing as if they'd just gone two rounds in bed, and her damn heart wouldn't stop racing.
"It's just a preview copy, mind you. But the museum was given one to review. The Wayne Foundation plans to announce the book in another month or two. All proceeds will go to various charities – national and international. From what I've read so far, it's bound to be a bestseller."
Nina didn't doubt that it would, especially since no one knew precisely what happened to the superheroes. One day people realized that Wonder Woman was no longer around. All thought she had went home for a visit, as she often did, but that last time she never returned. Speculations abounded – like she was pregnant and in hiding – but no one knew, or those who did weren't talking.
Then there was Superman. He'd remained in the public eye years after Wonder Woman had gone. But from all reports, it wasn't the same Superman the people had known and loved who continued to save them. He was just as powerful and fast as ever, helping all that he could, but the pictures Nina had seen of him during that time revealed a man devoid of light, a man who needed someone to save him.
And for all that had transpired between Storm and Black Panther, including a divorce, the couple, after years of separation and other relationships, had managed to find their way back to each other – a happy ending instead of the tragedy that seemed to have befallen Superman and Wonder Woman.
Digging into the bag, with trembling hands, Nina wondered if the love letters held the answers that millions wanted to know: What happened to Wonder Woman and Superman?
She pulled out the book. On the cover was the infamous picture of the two caught in an intimate embrace. Superman's left hand possessively cradled Wonder Woman's face, keeping her close for his kiss, Wonder Woman's hands on his chest, palms open. For all of Superman's intensity and passion, it was Wonder Woman's calm acceptance of his kiss that had most intrigued Nina when she'd first seen the picture in a middle school textbook.
Even now, as she gazed at the iconic image, she couldn't imagine how two people who ever kissed each other like this wouldn't have stayed together forever. If given the chance, Nina knew she would never leave her husband's side. So why did you leave Wonder Woman?
"This is the best gift ever." Her sincere words wobbled out of her, and tears threatened. Brian knew her so well. How could she have ever thought him unromantic and forgetful? Book in hand, she snuggled against her husband, head going to his broad, sturdy chest. "Will you read it to me, please?"
With deft fingers, he lifted the book from her hand. While the snow fell in silent specks of white, bathing the East Coast in its beauty and danger, Nina closed her eyes, hearing the sure thumps of her husband's beating heart and the melodic way his words flowed from his mouth and to her waiting ears.
And as he read one letter after the other, Nina recalled that beautiful and dangerous were two words that had popped up time and again during the course of her dissertation research, so much so that she'd had to tag them as themes, oft cited descriptors of Wonder Woman and Superman.
TO BE CONTINUED