Title: Day After Day
Disclaimer: I do not own DC Comics or any of their characters.
Betaed by LG! And yes, thanks to her, I am considering a 15th chapter, but I'm going to need sufficient push from all of you!
"Looking out of my lonely room, day after day; Bring it home, baby, make it soon; I give my love to you…" – Badfinger
He only regretted that it had taken the death of her beloved sister in order to bring them to this point, that it had been the loss of someone Diana loved so dearly that had served as the catalyst for them coming together. He knew that she still missed her, that sometimes she woke to a tearstained pillow, her dreams filled with memories of her sister and the bond that they'd shared, one not only rare but unlike any other he'd ever known. A part of him realized that she still did not believe that her sister was gone, but who was he to douse that wish of hers – he had felt that way in the past and somehow he knew that if anyone could make that sort of thing true, it was Diana. She had a faith steeped in the gods and her own beliefs – she continued to fight even when others deemed it hopeless.
And standing there in the darkness that night, things changed and hope was reborn once again as he realized that faith was something that simply couldn't be analyzed or measured but felt in the heart, in the soul.
They stood there, facing the shadows and the night sky, and Diana turned back to him, a smile on her face and tears in her eyes as she glanced back, calmly stating, "Donna has returned."
A shock lanced through him quickly followed by disbelief and softly, gently, not wanting to question her beliefs or dispel the feeling, he asked, "Are you sure?" Pulling her into his arms, he wrapped her in his warmth and protection, unsure if Diana simply wanted to believe in her sister and her gods so badly that she was imagining things. And yet, he also knew that Diana wasn't one for fantasy or fairy tales, she stood on solid ground in life, firmly rooted in the everyday and the fantastic, in her mission and in her gods.
It wasn't something that Bruce could even begin to understand, that kind of blind faith and devotion, but he knew that Diana believed whole-heartedly and that she saw evidence that her gods existed in everything around her. And now, she believed that her sister had returned from a death that they had all witnessed through video and those who had been there that fateful day.
It had been that day that had rocked Dick's life, forever changing his son, and Bruce couldn't help but wonder that perhaps if so many people wanted Donna back then she would indeed return. Dick seemed to have so many regrets, so many wishes, and so many of them now focused on Diana and the place that he felt that she should have had in his life.
Pulling Diana closer, he realized that he understood regrets now and that it had taken his son to point out to him the fallacy of trying to kick Diana out of his heart and his life. And if it would take faith in Donna's return, even just a sliver, to help pull Dick out of the sadness and misery that had shrouded him since Donna's death, then he couldn't help but want that, want Dick to find that same happiness that he himself had found, in the arms of an Amazon Princess. She had taught him about faith, about peace, and about love in a way that he hadn't understood before, perhaps hadn't been able to appreciate with any of the other women that had entered his life.
Then he felt a caress along his jaw and looked down in Diana's smiling face, her eyes still wet with unshed tears as she whispered, "I just know it, Bruce. She's alive, she's returned."
And it was hard to doubt that kind of faith, that kind of quiet strength and belief. He brushed his cheek along hers and whispered in her ear, "Go be with her."
She leaned back and, her lips quivering with a mixture of dawning joy and utter relief, murmured, "Go with me?"
"This is a sister moment," he returned, his voice gruff and gravelly. "I don't belong."
She kissed him gently on the lips, the passion between them flaring instantly but each of them clamped down on the wave of lust and emotions, letting the kiss remain one of gratitude and of love.
And then, with a last smile, she took to the skies in search of her sister.
Her first thought when recognition finally filtered through was that of her friends, the others that she'd fought beside, grown up with, and loved throughout so many years of her life. She could sense the truth, sense the reality behind the situation that she was trapped in and see what she truly had been forced to become – a match lit to stoke the fire of the Titan of Myth and bring about the gateway to all worlds, bring about their domination throughout all worlds.
She had been used.
And to stop it, she had to face what had been, what she had done since she had been killed and reborn, how many innocents had been killed in the Titan of Myth's search for complete and utter power. And then she had to overcome it.
The first step had been understanding, the second had been apologies.
And all the while, he watched, he wondered what would happen now that Donna had reentered his life. He watched her with Roy, watched as she cried, as she bandaged the archer's wound, and she broke into pieces because of what she had done. And as much as he wished it were him, he knew that things were unstable right now and that the Titans and Outsiders needed a leader, someone to help figure out how they were all going to survive this. There were few resources, few to help, and even fewer of the Teen Titans and those with them to fight.
Rather than wonder and worry, he decided to focus on the battle ahead, to make sure there would be another day, a tomorrow where he could tell Donna of the feelings that she evoked in him, of the regrets and of what he wished could have been…and now, perhaps, could be.
As for Donna, she needed that, she needed Nightwing to step up and lead, to rally the troops and solve the mystery of how they were going to survive. With him, leadership was innate, inborn, and he rose to the position as if it were as natural as breathing. It was a trait that she admired and had earned her respect and appreciation countless times and she needed it now more than ever – she needed to know that he would lead because she trusted him to do it as she trusted no other.
And so the battle ensued. They were outnumbered as they had never been before, fighting against men and women of power, of royalty – fighting against the Titans of Myth.
Donna's quick thinking doomed them to eternity in Tartarus, tricking those that she had called husband and family into believing that she had opened the gateway to all worlds, that she was going to let them proceed with their reign of terror for time without end. And instead, they were imprisoned in the one place that they feared, given eternal punishment and torture.
And Donna was free and back in the midst of those who had always loved her, who had always been friends and family.
He watched as she rushed first towards Roy, wrapping him in a tight hug before kissing his cheek, whispering, "Thanks for coming after me. I love you."
And Roy, in return, gave her a rakish smile before answering with a crushing embrace, "The feeling's mutual, kiddo."
Pulling out of his arms, Donna dashed over to Cassie, giving the Wonder Girl a joyous hug and a smile that glowed as brightly as the stars that lit her costume. They clung for a moment, Cassie tearfully whispering, "I missed you!"
Then she eased away from Cassie and looked directly over at Dick. She could see something in the lines of his body, could see that his reaction was not simply one of happiness, but of question. And before she knew what she was doing, she was answering that question, a growing smile on her face as Donna went striding straight into his arms, wrapping her arms around his neck and placing her lips on his. And in that kiss, he told her exactly how much he had missed her, all the regrets flooding out of his system to be replaced with a quiet contentment that he had only ever found with Donna.
He pulled her close and their embrace continued for long moments, each of them taking comfort in the presence of the other, letting their spirits heal after so much time apart, letting everyone, including themselves, know that things had changed from friendship into more and that was the way that it was going to be from here on in.
Dick and Donna.
They pulled back, their lips clinging for one last second before they looked at one another, smiles on each of their faces that echoed the ones in their hearts. And they turned to their friends and, without another word, began to figure out what came after this battle and what needed to be done.
In the end, Donna sent her friends back to Earth, choosing to remain on New Cronus, to make it her home, a move that simply felt right to her, something that she needed to do.
But she wasn't alone. Looking over, she watched as the boy she had known forever scraped a fallen lock back over his tousled black hair, sending her a sexy smile that just about melted her. Things had indeed changed and she liked the way things were going, that they were finally looking up and in the right direction, Dick at her side.
And then she felt another presence and looked up with a smile, knowing that her sister was descending. Before she could even say a word of welcome, Diana had wrapped Donna in her arms, a smile on her lips and her embrace saying everything, re-forging the bond between the two sisters. "Somehow," Diana whispered into Donna's hair, "I knew – I knew you were still alive."
They pulled back, holding hands, still linked, and Donna couldn't help but marvel at the joy on her sister's face, a joy that spoke of love and of true happiness. Obviously, Donna decided, something had happened to Diana during their separation and she intended to find out exactly what it was as soon as the moment felt right. But for right now, she was content to simply bask in the glow that was her older sister, to revel in the rightness that surrounded all of them – herself, Dick, and Donna.
The End. I was planning to do another chapter, but it's simply not in me right now. So I hope you liked it and thanks for all the support during this story! And so ends my first foray into the comic world of DC.
To Reviewer T – Thanks! I'm glad that you liked the sweetness of the last chapter. I was hoping it would turn out well. It was one of those chapters I wasn't particularly a fan of, but I had a feeling that others wouldn't mind anyway. And everyone loves Alfred! He's the father figure that everyone wants and somehow, Bruce gets and maybe doesn't always appreciate.
If I make my own characters, they tend to become little clones of me and that's no fun. But with these two, I have to make sure that I'm staying within the confines of the episode, of how they acted and reacted to things. Which is still fun.
See, I'm not used to people getting holidays from work. Particularly not long ones. I get my week long vacation and that's it. But school I'd get a month or so during the winter, so I assumed big break school. Silly me. That's what time I get up too – 6:30 usually. You have to get everyone else out of bed? Really?
I'll let you in on a secret – sometimes I write these at work! No telling though! Hehe.