When Diana thinks back later she will say that it all began the night they took Barry out after his honeymoon to celebrate his wedding to Iris West. Iris herself was busy with her father, a prior engagement that she hadn't been able to get out of, but Diana and the rest of their little group have met her a number of times before and congratulated both members of the couple profusely, so she doesn't think Iris will miss too much.
She thinks tonight will end up being a drinking competition between Arthur and Bruce, an event she is sure she, Clark and Lois will end up leaving early from. Poor Victor and Barry will undoubtedly stay to help Bruce get somewhere semi-clean for him to sleep the drink off. Arthur will, like always, be completely unfazed and head back to Atlantis without any hint of when he would be back.
Diana wonders if he is so connected with water that he is just always hydrated, a handy trick in staving off a hangover and keeping the drink from affecting anything too much. Either that or his alcohol tolerance has reached superhuman levels from the centuries he's spent building it up.
This is what she's thinking when the first, second and third rounds have all come and gone and now they're all somewhere between the fifth and ninth beverage, depending on who it is. Lois stopped after five and is now nursing a glass of water as she laughs at something Clark has just said to Bruce who is almost pouting in response. Both men are on their eighth beer and handling it fine. Arthur is explaining something seriously to Victor, who watches the merman's ninth drink go down in three large gulps with a furrowed brow.
Then there is Barry, delightful, excited and beaming Barry who is so happy it seems to radiate from him throughout the room. He is carrying back their orders with the help of the waitress who Diana thanks as she places another round of shots in front of the men and a orange juice with vodka down for her. Luckily this bar is deserted and nobody is clamouring around them trying to get autographs or pictures from the members of the Justice League, as the media have begun calling them (courtesy of Lois, of course).
Lois herself accepts her new glass of water gratefully and shoots Diana a quick smile before turning back to Bruce to continue arguing over whether marriage is a worthwhile institution or an antique ritual that is glorified by society. Lois argues the former.
Diana sighs as Bruce brings up his same point. "That doesn't change the fact that 50% of marriages end in divorce, Lane."
"Marriage is a choice," Lois says in response calmly. "Every day you choose to stay with the person you love and work through the hard times. Some people just… choose to give up."
Barry slides in the booth beside Diana. "Why are we talking about this after I just got married? Is this some bad play at dropping a hint?"
Clark smiles at him and shakes his head reassuringly. Victor and Arthur are still lost in their own discussion across the table and Diana takes a small sip of her drink. "You're wedding is what led to this actually. But no, neither of them are talking about you, Barry. Bruce is just being a pessimist."
"I heard that," Bruce says to Clark before going back to Lois.
Barry sighs. "Well I'm happy being married, if that counts for anything."
"Kid, you haven't even been married a month. Give it ten more years and then get back to us."
"Do not be rude, Bruce." Diana frowns at him, chastising. "Anybody can see Iris and Barry are very happy and in love."
Arthur smacks an empty shot glass down on the table, calling to the waitress for another and effectively halting the discussion for a moment. "You're not keeping up tonight man, come on."
Bruce takes his drink quickly before replying. "I can't outdrink you and win an argument with Lois at the same time, Arthur."
"That's alright, best to just accept defeat now." Lois says sweetly.
Clark nods sagely. "It's what I do."
The billionaire shakes his head. "No way. It's statistically proven-"
Barry sighs. "Seriously guys, can we talk about how great my honeymoon was instead? Or the latest threat to humanity? Those topics sound much more fun than this."
Diana pats him on the shoulder sympathetically as she takes another drink and Lois asks Bruce, "Come on, hasn't there been anybody that you wanted to be with? Nobody who ever made you even think of getting married?"
Silence falls across the table so quickly that the waitress looks over to see what's happened. Diana gives her a reassuring smile and watches as Bruce visibly shuts down, so thoroughly that where before he had seemed faintly amused now he appeared nothing at all, only tense and defensive.
Victor and Arthur are watching him curiously while Barry looks ready to bolt. Clark is eyeing him closely, but Lois only looks regretful and inquiring. "Bruce I- I'm sorry. You don't have to answer that, of course."
The man takes a sip of his scotch. "If that's the case," he says, moving on and completely ignoring the last few moments, "why haven't the two of you…" He waves a hand between Clark and Lois, eyes moving to Clark.
Both men watch each other closely and Diana looks between them, feeling the tension rise. Lois, thankfully, breaks it by smiling softly and leaning against Clark's shoulder. He snaps out of his staring match and looks down at her, a softness crossing his face that makes Diana swallow and glance down at her drink for a moment.
She remembered receiving looks like that. She knew what it felt like to be met with that stare and feel the warmth from it fill your bones and quicken your heart.
"Well with all of the world saving it's been hard to find a moment for that." Lois says. "We've been close though. Once or twice."
Clark is still watching her, adoration all over his face. "Once or twice." He echoes and Diana thinks she is the only one to see Bruce's fingers tighten around his glass.
She wonders when he last saw Selina Kyle and whether the Catwoman would be able to ease his hurt over this conversation.
"What about you guys?" Barry asks Arthur and Victor suddenly. "Would you ever get married?"
Victor is shaking his head before the question's even out. "I don't think marriage is for me. Not… like this." He gestures to himself.
"Victor." Diana speaks softly. "There is more to love than appearances."
He smiles at her, but it's cracked. Fractured. "I never really wanted to get married anyway. Now it's just one of those things I'll never have. It's not the biggest loss, honestly."
"Many people would be lucky to marry you," Diana says quietly. "Love overcomes all."
Victor looks at her curiously. "Do you really believe that?"
"I do." Diana hums, thinking back. Reminiscence seems to be the theme of tonight. "I believe in love."
He smiles again, this time happier and gentle. "Thank you," he says. "But I really never found anyone I could imagine marrying."
She shrugs. "It is always a possibility," she says, and then they fall into silence.
Barry looks at Arthur. "What about you? Don't you have some royal title to pass down to your children? Does that mean you have to get married?"
Arthur raises an unimpressed eyebrow at him. "Kid, I don't have to do anything." He takes another drink of his beer. "But yeah, I'll probably get married. Pop out a couple of kids."
"Really?" The question seems to slip from Bruce's mouth without his permission, given how he grimaces after. Everyone turns to look at him and Diana and Clark are both holding back laughs.
"Something weird about that, Bat Boy?"
"No, it's just… you don't strike me as the marriage type." Bruce says carefully. "Seems a bit- traditional, for you."
Arthur snorts. "Yeah, well." He takes another sip and that seems to be the end of his argument.
It almost seems like the end of the entire conversation when Lois looks over at her. "What about you, Diana? Have you ever…?"
She trails off and Diana watches Clark squeezes her leg lightly in warning and Bruce shoot her a look. Both Victor and Barry turn to look at Diana immediately, trying to gauge a reaction at the question and Arthur only raises both of his eyebrows and shakes his head into his newly appeared drink before taking another swallow.
Diana hasn't been in the world of man for 100 years without being asked that question more than a few times. She has always laughed and made a joke about never finding the right man, quickly changing the subject after. It used to hurt but at this point it is just a reminder.
Yet she's never been around people who know about Steve Trevor and who he was to her. Never before has she had friends who she chooses not to lie to about him.
"I would have married Steve," she says carefully. "If we had had more time together." She swallows, forcing a small and pained smile before taking a careful sip of her orange juice. It was almost gone already. "Now I cannot imagine ever loving another in such a way."
When she looks back up she sees Barry looking at her sadly, pitying. A shift in her glance shows her Victor, who watches her back intensely, and Arthur, who just nods at her gaze. Bruce is looking down, not meeting her eyes, while Clark is whispering something to Lois whose eyes widen before looking at her.
"We are not all as lucky as you two." Diana says to them, seeing Clark's eyes move from Lois to her. "And some are not given enough time to even say I love you back."
"I'm so sorry." Lois says in a hushed voice while Clark looks at her in pity, just as Barry is.
She downs her drink and Barry gets the hint, standing up to allow her to slide out of the booth. "It was a long time ago," she says, and it's not acceptance or forgiveness or anything of the kind, but it sounds enough like moving on that her friends seem to believe it, even though it isn't true. "And now I must go. Not all of us care for drinking until we cannot stand." She shoots a pointed look at Arthur and Bruce. "Be careful," she says to them before looking at Barry again. "Congratulations, give my love to Iris."
He nods and she looks at Lois and Clark. "Good night, you two, Victor," she shoots the three of them a quick smile before turning and walking out of the deserted bar into the dark and cold night.
It's beginning to snow, she notes, and the slumbering pain in her chest wakes up, radiating through her as she remembers dancing in the snow and a warm night in the highest room after a day full of victory.
She's only taken a couple of steps when Bruce's voice cuts through the quiet. "Diana."
After debating for half a second she decides not to try and smile, instead turning and meeting his stare from where he stands in the awning of the bar, returning it with a somber look of her own. "Yes, Bruce?"
"I-" He snaps his mouth shut. "Did you really love him that much?" He asks finally. "Even now?"
She pauses, deciding. If it were anybody else she would tell them to mind their own business. Warn them that this was too personal and while she might be rejoining humanity slowly, in baby steps, this crosses the careful boundary she's built.
But this is Bruce, and for once, in this moment, Diana just wants somebody else to know about Steve and to understand why she mourns. To realize how good he was, that he is worth remembering and caring for and loving even after ten decades.
She remembers a night on a boat, staring up at the stars, hearing Steve breathing beside her. Talk of babies and marriage leading to discussion throughout the night. She can't remember the last time she was that vulnerable.
"Marriage is a promise to love someone until death." She says and the only sign she's stunned him is the slight widening of his eyes. She ignores the familiar twinge of pain her own words cause. She and Steve had never even had the option of marriage, but forever in her mind that is who he was to her. Diana made a commitment and there was no inclination in her whatsoever to break it. "I have not died yet."
Bruce is quiet, just watching her, and she wonders what he sees on her face. He knows they weren't actually married, she had just admitted it to everybody minutes ago, but she hopes he sees that a mere piece of paper didn't stop her soul from joining Steve's, or have a hope in Hades in stopping her from loving him with everything she has. If death hasn't been enough to erase it then it would be silly to think that lacking the words of a priest and two signatures could.
But Bruce watches her and she feels achingly bare. Are thoughts of love and grief plain to see, or has a century helped her mask it all? Are Steve's last words to her, forever left unanswered, an open book for everyone to read?
She closes her eyes briefly, blue eyes appearing beneath her eyelids along with a shy schoolboy smile. After so long the memories still bring a fresh wave of grief.
You brought me out here into the world, she thinks. And when I hid in seclusion it was you that brought me back again when man needed my help once more. Even now you are encouraging me, though you're so long gone.
(A stolen photograph may seem trivial to some, but to Diana it was worth declaring war for. That and the name that Steve had given her were all she had left, and fighting for those memories was justified to her. Luckily it hadn't quite come to that. Her reunion with mankind and meeting Bruce and Clark were simpler prices to pay.)
"I'm sorry we can't bring him back too." Bruce finally says, and she hears the pain in his voice and wonders why all of them, her friends and herself, have all had to suffer so much loss in their lives.
"I would give anything to have him with me, Bruce." She admits in a rare moment of complete honesty and he blinks at the emotion in her voice. It makes her wonder if she has ever really opened up and bared her soul to anybody since Steve and then chides herself. The answer is obvious. "Anything to have what Lois and Clark were given back."
The snow is getting in her hair and she looks up for a second to let it fall on her face, feeling the now familiar cold on her skin and smiling quickly to herself as it melts.
Still magical, even after all this time. That much, at least, has not changed. Even if most other things have.
"But I cannot." She looks at Bruce again, the same steady expression on her face, voice calm. "I accepted that long ago. I am not Lois Lane and the love of my life is not Clark Kent. Steve Trevor is gone, Bruce, and if you will excuse me I think I will go home."
Bruce only watches her leave, unable to come up with a response to all of the emotion shared between them and she's almost sorry for that. Any other night, after any other conversation, she would be.
Tonight, she is tired and lonely and hurting and it is an anniversary of a death and Wonder Woman turns away from Batman to walk home alone, footsteps echoing on the sidewalk.
When she glances back through the window she sees them all talking furiously before catching a sight of Clark sweeping Lois' hair behind her ear.
Diana turns away and continues walking home.
There are several things that go unspoken between them all after that night in the months that follow.
The first is the unspoken and unaddressed tension between Bruce and Clark. Hurt, guilt and longing fill the pauses after their words to one another and it is easier to pretend nobody hears it and drink after each victory than address that problem.
The second is the subject of marriage, which is never brought up again. Marriage and past loves are forgotten and buried beneath villains threatening humanity and the possible destruction of the world.
Which makes the third unspoken thing an obvious one. Steve Trevor is never so much as whispered of in her presence and that makes Diana feel both grateful and guilty.
So when Bruce comes up to where she's sitting on the couch in his living room and slaps a photo down on the table in front of her, quickly following the action by saying "Steve Trevor is alive and being held captive," the entire room seems to freeze. Victor, Barry, Arthur and Clark, who were all mulling around the room on phones or talking quietly, are suddenly watching the two of them, looking like they're trying to figure out where the first punch will come from.
Diana handles it much calmer than she would have expected herself to. She is no longer the innocent woman who left Themiscyra with Steve. Now she is a war veteran who has saved humanity more times than she can count. She is not young and guiltless, as she once was, and she knows how to handle herself in perilous situations.
This does not stop her from grabbing the photo immediately, barely letting Bruce's hand get away from it before she is looking down at the image.
And she gasps.
Because this is a photo of Steve. A coloured photo of Steve. Something she has never been able to see, no matter how much she wished it.
It is Steve and he is being tortured.
There are marks on his face, blood and bruises, and his wrists are bound above where he's sprawled out, the rope tying his hands pinned above him against a wooden pole. As she takes in the surroundings (a tent, it seems, on a sandy plain) she cannot resist glancing every few seconds at the blue of his eyes or the blonde of his hair.
It is Steve. In colour and in modern times. She sees a cell phone in the corner of the picture, laying on a desk several feet away from him, which proves it. If the coloured photo hadn't been enough, the sight of a cell phone beside Steve would be.
He is wearing only a white t shirt and jeans. Both items are filthy and torn in places. Other than that he is completely bare. She sees his eyes, peeking up at the camera through his hair and he looks angry and defensive.
And he is hurt.
"How," she breathes, not even sparing a flick of eyes to look up at Bruce or the others, only lifting a trembling finger to trace Steve's image.
"I don't know." Bruce says, voice gravelly. "But this is who sent me the picture
She had forgotten the precise colour of blue his eyes were. How had she forgotten that?
Finally, she manages to tear her eyes away from the picture to see a picture of a woman on Bruce's phone. The woman is beautiful, with dark skin and sharp cheekbones, and her hair is a shocking shade of purple, the same colour she has painted her lips. Her eyes are dark as well, a deep and rich brown, and she is dressed in a green dress of armour, edged in gold, a design similar to Diana's own.
She looks up at Bruce. "Who is this?"
"I-" He swallows. "All I know is that her name is Circe. She was last spotted near Dubai. She sent a note."
Diana almost rips the paper taking it from Bruce's hand but she doesn't care. She unfolds it and stares at the looping cursive, reading quickly.
Tell Diana that if she wants Steve back, alive or dead, she will meet me tomorrow morning.
All my love,
Diana reads it out loud and then looks up at Bruce. "Where do these coordinates lead?"
Arthur grimaces. "Diana, it's obviously a trap-"
She is already getting up, grabbing her sword and moving to where she shed her armour. The boys follow her, all of them, and she is both thankful that they were here and annoyed by it. "Where, Bruce?" She repeats while walking ahead of him.
"Somewhere in the desert of Al Qudra, an hour out of Dubai."
She turns to face them all. "I cannot ask you to come with me."
"Hell yeah we're going," Barry says before glancing around in the silence that follows. Diana smiles at him gently. "Um, I mean…"
"Diana-" Both Bruce and Clark start to protest.
"I am going no matter what. I would ask that none of you dare try to stop me." She says, meeting each of her friends' eyes.
"It could be a trick." Clark says. "Lois works with doctored photos all the time-"
"It's him. I know it." Her voice is so firm, brooking no argument, that all of the men go quiet. "May I use your jet?" She asks Bruce.
He sighs. "I'll go and tell Alfred."
"Deserts are kind of a long way from the ocean-" Arthur stops at the looks he receives. "But yeah, of course, I'm there."
She looks at Victor who nods and Clark who is watching her with understanding. "If it were Lois I would do the same." He says, and only Diana sees Bruce's steps falter on his way to speak to his butler.
And that is the end of the discussion.
"You should have followed your plan," Circe hisses at her, stroking a hand down Clark's cheek. Diana shudders as he does nothing, not seeming to notice Circe at all as he stares straight ahead.
Her sorcery, her whispered words to the man, seems to have taken complete control of Clark. Clark who she had sent in first to scout the area. Clark who had come back and taken her from the others against her will while they'd searched the tents. She had struggled the entire time before being thrown down at Circe's feet.
Diana can't fight both Circe and Clark and rescue Steve at the same time.
Steve, who is somewhere in this camp. She must find him. She hopes the others are still trying to, instead of coming to rescue her.
"If you had not rushed in here like a love-struck fool then you may have beaten me. Your plan was a good one. Clark told me all of it and I admit, you may have won. But you broke formation and doomed your friends…. For what, exactly?" Circe hisses.
"For love," Diana chokes out, unsheathing her sword, hoping that Victor and Bruce are almost done with the guards while Arthur and Barry are getting out any civilians. Hopefully that includes Steve. It is hard for her to speak against Circe's enchantments, but she is not easily bewitched, especially not by the woman who has taken Steve and held him ransom.
"Love," Circe sneers. "I had love once. You are lucky yours was ended so quickly. Loved ones don't have a chance to betray you once they are dead." She stops circling Clark and whispers something in his ear and before Diana can think he is rushing towards her and her sword is swinging up with no thought of stopping.
"Clark!" She cries, keeping him back with her blade, ducking and dodging quickly after. He is too strong for her, but he is also being mind controlled. Unable to think for himself.
She doesn't have to beat Clark, she just has to beat Circe.
"Do you remember when I came to your island, Diana?" Circe croons, voice sickeningly sweet. "I was young, as were you. We all were. Your mother included. But you were just a child, barely running at the time. And your mother," for a second Diana thinks her voice turns wistful. "She was so happy and full of love for you. Beautiful. I thought I knew what love was on that island, surrounded by women who cared for one another and for you, their child."
"You know nothing of Themiscyra," Diana says, rushing towards her but being thrown by Clark half way there.
Circe's laugh follows her as she crashed through the wall and into the surrounding sand dunes, a hard fall that causes the breath to leave her lungs. "Oh, darling, I lived there for years," Circe calls as she slinks towards her. "I helped raise you. Your mother and I were inseparable. And when a group of men showed up I was the one who got rid of them. For all of us. I turned them into pigs, their true natures were revealed. Disgusting, selfish pigs who only look out for themselves, they had no business on our island. But what did your mother do?"
Diana swung her sword wide, making Clark hover back.
"She called me a plight, a demon to mankind. She didn't understand, I was only trying to preserve our sanctuary, she would have done the same after many years, once the males had revealed what they truly were. I only did it first."
"She would never!" Diana bites out, reeling from the idea that neither her mother or anyone else had told her. "My mother is kind-"
"Hippolyta is just as selfish as man." Circe snarls. "And jealous and cruel. What I did out of love, she punished me for, sending me down to the depths of Hades, deep into Tartarus. I suffered for eons and did she bat an eye? Did she ever speak of me again? No." Her voice is powerful, falling in waves and Diana's movements slow for a moment, turning sluggish, enough for Clark to hit her hard, making her crumple to the ground. But when Diana listens, truly listens, she hears heartbreak there, a pain so old that it reverberates from Circe's voice. "I was abandoned," the sorceress whispers. "Love did that."
Diana stands and she looks into Circe's eyes. Clark is floating a few yards away but either Circe is in too much pain to order him to do anything or he is fighting her, because he does not move.
"You did that." Diana moves forward so quickly she manages to scratch Circe, a thin shallow cut of blood appears starting from her right shoulder to end above her left breast just as Clark grabs Diana in the air, arm around her to pull her away and throw her again.
She screams and Circe screams and Clark is yelling and then, before she can move, Bruce is there catching her and Barry is running circles around Circe, too fast for the sorceress to see or even attempt to speak to.
"Clark!" Bruce calls hoarsely, and Clark freezes in response, his head turning a fraction towards the sound. Diana takes her chance and rushes Circe, sword back in her hand.
And then they fight.
Clark snaps out of whatever had been holding him back and moves towards her as Bruce leaps for him. She avoids lasers and punches, parrying them with slashes and strikes all while ducking and running. It is exhausting and Clark doesn't stay still long enough for her to get her arms in front of her but then it all ends as suddenly as it began.
Circe moves forward, either too cocky or wanting to get nearer to Clark. No matter the reason, Barry moves to trip her in time for Diana to knock the hilt of her sword to the sorceress' head, stopping the words from leaving her mouth. Bruce is laying on the ground, the corner of his mouth bleeding from where Clark seems to have punched him.
Barry is standing over an unconscious Circe, her hair spread and writhing from the wind, looking almost like purple snakes in the sand. Clark freezes and Diana punches him, bringing him down to the ground and holding him there, just in case.
"Clark?" She asks quickly.
His eyes blink open and he glances around, disoriented. "Bruce? Diana? What happened?"
She lets him go in satisfaction and he immediately flies over to Bruce just before she leaves the ruined building. Barry yells her name but she ignores it and she ducks into the nearest tent to look around quickly before moving on.
She has to find Steve.
She catches sight of Victor as she runs through the camp. Watching she sees him take out several armed soldiers before she runs past, seeing that he has it under control.
When she finally stops it is to the sound of Arthur speaking softly (for him) to somebody inside of a tent.
"-you're not listening, I told you, I'm with Diana, we're here to rescue you-" comes a growl belonging to Arthur from inside a tent and Diana pushes it's flap aside and steps in, sunlight shining from behind her, making the two men squint.
She barely takes in the ten bodies lying on the ground or the cup Arthur is trying to get Steve to drink from. All she sees is Steve, the way his eyes adjust to the sudden brightness only to widen at the sight of her.
His mouth falls open and there is a stunned, frozen moment of silence where they just stare at one another. Then he whispers her name like a prayer of wonder, desperate and hopeful, and she is striding towards him, Arthur quickly backing away as she breathes his name out right before getting within arms range. "Steve."
Reaching him takes barely a second, her steps long and determined, and then she is falling to her knees and holding him in her arms and he is alive and breathing and warm and bright and here and Steve.
Her head buries itself in his neck and his grip on her is tight, making her note that Arthur had untied him. She feels him relax into her, his forehead touches the exposed area of skin at her collarbone where her neck meets her shoulder and he breathes in deep.
"Diana," he whispers again and then she is pulling back, his hands gripping her shoulders and hers holding his face as she meets his eyes steadily and without allowing him to say anything else she speaks with no hesitation or doubt.
"I love you too."
His smile is the greatest thing she's seen in 100 years and when the others finally find them she is laughing happily through her tears.
"Wait a second, you guys ended World War I?" Barry asks them both eagerly, leaning across the bar table their group is sequestered in once more.
Steve hesitates. "Well…"
"No," Diana says, shaking her head. "The armistice would have done that. We only prevented more innocent people being killed."
Barry leans back nodding. "So you ended the war."
"I mean technically we did help," Steve looks at her, eyebrows raised. "I for one, feel like we played a very significant part."
Diana's smile falters, remembering the part Steve had played. It had been over a month since she'd gotten him back but she suspected it was going to take much longer than that to remember the years without him and not feel any pain. After the last month of hiding themselves away in Paris and reintroducing him to the world she had finally proposed they go out with the rest of the League.
He had agreed eagerly. Steve, in true character, had been more than enthusiastic in learning about the place he had been brought back to.
Some things he had especially taken to. Lingerie was a big favourite of Steve's. More so when it was on their apartment floor.
"Hey," he murmured, squeezing her hand and making her come back to the present.
She blinked and smiled at him softly. "You are right," she said. "Our part was very significant."
He smiled back, softer this time, and they only broke eye contact when Barry shot off another round of questions at the rate of rapid fire.
Arthur gave them a reprieve. "Calm down kid, you have years to ask them about this stuff. I doubt any of them are going anywhere."
Diana looks to Steve again to find him already watching her. "Yes," she murmurs in answer. "We are both staying right here."
He grins, lifting her hand to kiss the knuckles. "Sounds good to me."
Victor raises his glass. "To loved ones," he says, and the table's occupants go quiet.
Diana raises her glass quickly after Steve, and then everybody else is following. "To loved ones."
The words are spoken softly and Diana sees that Bruce doesn't speak them at all, only throwing back his drink and getting up. "Another round?" He asks gruffly.
There are several nods around the table and Diana stands. "I'll help you."
Bruce's eyes flicker to Steve. "That's-"
"Perfect." She moves to walk to the bar and hears him sigh just before his footsteps follow.
She quickly lists the drinks they need to the bartender and then turns to Bruce who's standing with his shoulders hunched behind her. He's not meeting her eyes, instead looking to the ground, and she looks back at their group of friends sitting in the corner.
"I am sorry, Bruce."
She knows if things had been different then she and Bruce may have ended up becoming something more than they were. If Steve had stayed lost to her forever then she thinks the two of them could have taken comfort from one another, both wanting people they could never have. She knows exactly how he feels because it is the way she felt every day after Steve's death.
Bruce meets her eyes, consciously relaxing his shoulders. "You have nothing to apologize for."
She murmurs her thanks to the barkeep as he sets down a couple of drinks.
"No," she admits after several seconds of silence. "But I know what it is to feel alone. And I know crushed hope is a terrible thing. I wish," she pauses, debating whether to say it before deciding. "I wish there was some way for me to help."
He grabs some of the drinks from the bar top, leaving the rest for her.
"Selina Kyle is coming to visit for a few days." He says abruptly, just before they reach the others and Diana smiles to herself beside him. "So I guess we'll see what happens."
She nods and sits back down beside Steve, accepting his thank you by grabbing his hand and squeezing it, trying to convey the happiness she feels.
It isn't a perfect fairytale ending. There will be more bad guys to fight and the question of Steve's role in this century. They will both have to see whether whatever Circe did to bring him back will prevent him from aging.
But even with all of that, the uncertainty and hurt and hope… it all makes it better. Because it means it's real.
"I love you," Steve whispers as he leans towards her, mouth hidden from the others as she turns to listen.
Her grin might be blinding, given the way it makes the others look away and grumble.
"I love you too." She whispers seriously.
And for now, in that moment, it is enough.
It is everything.