Disclaimer: I am not making any money out of this and copyright infringement is not intended.
Author's Note: I am not at all familiar with the comics' version of the JLA. I only know of the animated version (and is inspired by other people's fan fiction) so I apologize, in advance, if I portray anyone out of character.
This story is based from the start (Secret Origins) to This Little Piggy (sorry again. The shipper in me likes that episode a lot. And I am still waiting for newer episodes to air…)
Once Upon A Time
It was truly an enchanting sight, as the proud and dominant sun acknowledged his departure to humbly give way to the calm moon and the luminescent stars of the night, creating a symphony of colors, the last specks of the golden rays almost disappearing in a backdrop of warm red-orange glow that was gradually being muted by the slowly enveloping dark hue of the night sky.
A lady watching the spectacle was quite a vision herself, in an immaculately white toga that was carefully handmade only for royalty from the finest of fabrics, so delicate that it flowed with the gentlest tug of the wind, embracing her silhouette, outlining her enchanting feminine curves as her long, raven hair glistened where the last of the light kissed while dancing with the gentle song of the wind. She stood alone, yet majestically, towering over all the other creatures on the ornate balcony, like a queen diligently watching over her subjects.
A soft gust that kissed her made her momentarily close her eyes to appreciate the comforting breeze around her as she breathed in the fresh and cool scent of the evening mist feeling the cold, smooth surface of the marble balustrade under her hands.
When she opened her eyes again her eyes were distant, looking past the blue ocean to another world.
The world beyond this island.
The island of Themyscira had been her whole world. It was the only place she ever knew as her home ever since she was born, when life was breathed into the clay form molded by the loving hands of her mother with their patron gods as witnesses. And as time molded her even more from an infant to a young adult, it was here where she was taught to enhance the gifts that her deities had bestowed upon her during her birth, as she embraced her proud heritage as an Amazon. With her queen mother and sisters as mentors, she grew up to be a powerful warrior.
But with the long life she was blessed with, little by little, curiosity about the world beyond the wide ocean that guarded and surrounded their sanctuary slowly entered her questioning mind. This interest, though, had always been answered by a strict advice that their people did not need to look beyond the borders of their home, the world ruled by man.
And as princess, she had learned to respect the orders of her queen, however stern, to never interfere with the affairs of the outside world. It was a subtle reminder that this island was her only home, the only place where no one needed to sweat, nor bleed, to put food on the table, where there was no urge to steal or covet what her neighbor owned, no reason to malign, nor speak lies about another to gain the favor of others. Here, there was no room for injustice, for suffering, for hate.
This place was truly paradise.
She should be thankful for this life, the privilege to be born and raised in this sheltered part of the world.
It was unfair to yearn for more than what she already had for she was blessed with so many already. And she did not.Until…
She abruptly closed her eyes again, but this time it was done in a futile attempt to shield her mind from images, memories that she should have buried in the recesses of her mind by this time. But…Hera help her, she could not let go of them…would not let herself let go of them.
She could never and would never erase the memory of his voice, his face, his kiss. They were the only reminders left of what she had once, of whom she loved once. And, more importantly, who loved her just as much in return.
She knew of love, from her mother, from her sisters.
And, though very forbidden, she learned about friendship…
From two men.
His eyes were the most open and trusting eyes she had ever seen. It was as if those bright blues always smiled, as if he never had a reason to be…sad.
He was the first man she met and the first ever to make her laugh.
The first and the last man that she was supposed to meet.
But curiosity, and fate, had other plans for her.
She met another, a very different one from the first. And in him, with him, she felt something that she had never felt before, in such a short time.
She took a deep breath at the silent admission of her feelings before gazing once more at the wide expanse of the horizon with a deep longing. Darkness now almost consumed the last remnants of golden light. And as the last streak faded from her view, so did the warmth from her blue eyes.Night has come…
She used to be brimming with enthusiasm, filled with youthful spirit, bright eyed with ideals. Never like this, with a yearning so strong that she was starting to doubt the teachings during her youth, with a feeling that she was still incomplete.
She never thought herself capable of deceit. But what she was doing was something not so very unlike when she disguised what she truly felt from her own mother and her sisters. No one could ever know the turmoil, the longing, the sadness, the emptiness she felt every time she watched the day turn into night on this very same spot, every single day, since that day, many years ago…when her duty as champion, as the hope of her people, brought her outside to the very same place that her mother had constantly warned her against.
It was as if those few days never happened. But in her heart, it did.
And it was a depressing thought to know that the only chance she ever had of going back to the other world was…the threat of it ending. Again.
But lately, there was this strange, sad and tired voice calling to her in her thoughts. And it was getting more insistent, stronger each passing day. And when her mind could not ignore it any more, she tried telling her mother about this voice, in a vain attempt to change the queen's mind.
"It feels as if, it's calling me," she had said earlier that day, on this same balcony, as they watched the sunrise. "Now the voice is getting louder, more…desperate."
"Don't let it bother you."
If only it was that easy. "But it is bothering me."
"We do not have anything to do with their world," the queen replied firmly.
"That was not the way…before." Her voice held utmost respect but there was a hint of defiance.
"That was different."
The queen gazed at the horizon. "Gaea called upon us…we prevented a natural disaster, the end of the earth."
"We needed their help. What if they need us now?"
The queen regarded her daughter. "The they you speak of was one man…and he does not even belong here, in this world. It was only his help we required."
Sometimes, she knew that her mother could be hurtful though she did not mean to be. But her words…they had the power to make her flinch inside.
"Have you ever thought, mother…what would have happened…" It was hard to say the words that she knew would hurt her mother. "If he did not help us?"
"He did…" Hippolyta paused for a while. "There is no use in thinking of something that did not happen."
She continued as though she did not hear the voice of her queen. "I would not be here…with you right now."
Her eyes tried gazing at the bright yellow sun, the orb of fire. Inwardly there was a faint shiver as she thought. Fire…the bird of fire…
She would have done everything for her mother, for her people, at that time. It was the sacrifice she was willing to make, in the likelihood that her plea for help be rejected by the man from the stars. It was up to her…to give up her immortality, her life, as offering, to summon the power, their last hope.
"Mother…" Her eyes were pleading. "But what about the voice?"
"Whatever the reason it's calling to us…"
"Then you feel the voice too."
There was silence as both women stared at each other. "It does not matter," the queen replied before turning away again to avoid her daughter's pleading look. "As queen, I can't allow you to go back. I forbid you to set foot on that world again."
"My queen…" she almost gasped at the statement that held so much authority, that echoed such finality.
"If I knew you will be this affected…I never would have sent you out there."
But you did. She desperately wanted to say.
But she knew her mother well. Any further attempt to reason out would be futile.
The princess in her understood that her queen was doing this out of duty, to ensure that the laws were strictly followed, that the rules were adhered to by every Amazon. Her daughter's heart felt the conflict within her mother, the truth that her mother knew of her pain but she could not be queen and mother at the same time. But the woman in her was in doubt if all of this was fair. Was it fair to bear the punishment of a sin committed by someone else? Was it fair for her mother to hate all men because she was hurt by one?
Without another word, she bowed in respect and turned on her heel to walk slowly away, not bothering to turn back. If she did, she would have seen the rueful smile that came upon her mother's face. It was the smile that understood.
A mother knew.
If she could only tell her daughter the unbearable pain that tugged at her very soul each time she looked in the young blue eyes. Yes, Hippolyta knew, a mother knew of these things, most of all a mother that has lived so many years.
She knew that her daughter was only feigning happiness from the moment she came back from her mission for her eyes tried desperately to hide something. She waited for the time of confession, the time when Diana would confide in her the experience. But never did her daughter open up.
She would just catch her, from time to time, when the young eyes would stare far away, lost in her own thoughts of a place she visited in the secluded part of her mind. Of course, she also knew of the late afternoon walks along the beach. And as every year passed, she prayed a silent prayer that her daughter would forget and be happy again. But all those years, they changed nothing if not only make her lonelier.
What can I do?
If she were just a mother, she would have given in and consoled her daughter's aching heart. But her duty as queen came first.
That night, after supper, Diana went straight to her quarters, just like the obedient princess that she should be. But just like the other nights before, when she quieted her emotions within, she would hear again this voice, almost begging her. She stood up from the bed and went outside the balcony, feeling the coldness of the night against her skin. She hugged her arms to herself as the wind played with her raven tresses and closed her eyes, trying to block out the silent alien cries that haunted her.Help me…please
I'm tired…save me…
In her mind, she finally answered, I am sorry, I can't.
The world needs you…
Yes…they need you…
"No…I'm sorry…I can't leave."You must…please help me…
The desperation in the voice and the emotions she was feeling were all too overwhelming. And suddenly, in her confusion, the voice changed to that voice she knew. And the face, his face stared at her in her mind, his eyes begging her.Help me…I need you…why did you leave?
"I am sorry."
Come back to me. Please…
"I want to. But I must not."
Then her mother's face loomed before her. "You cannot leave this island…ever."
"No," she protested.
"There will be a curse. A curse on every Amazon who leaves the island for a man."
"I'm not leaving because of a man."
"Yes…you are Diana."
"You left us…for a man."
"No…I did not leave…"
Her eyes flew open, her heartbeat faster than normal, her chest heaving as her lungs took in gulps of air. Quiet darkness greeted her senses. For a moment, she was dazed by what she had experienced a few seconds ago, thinking that she was again in the cold stone confines of her lonely bedroom in Themyscira. But as she stared in the dark, she acknowledged the familiarity of modern, high-tech furnishings. She was at the Watchtower.
As a hand stretched out to search for the blankets that she had managed to misplace at the lower part of the bed because of her tossing and turning, she felt a soft drop on her hand. Lifting her right hand to her face, she felt her cheeks damp from tears and remembered her dream.
"It was only a dream…Diana," she tried to console herself.
It was true. It was just a dream. But it was exactly the way it happened many years ago.