Go Fish and the Other Family

(Paradise Lost)

On the walk back to the Javelin, she reminds herself that an Amazon must keep pride even in defeat and loss. Even as her heart is breaking, she tells herself that she must keep her posture strong if she wants to remain the Amazon she wa–is. The shoulders must remain back, the spine kept straight and the chin held high. It is pivotal to keep the outer shell strong or else the mind will collapse even more heavily upon itself

Diana tries to reassure herself by saying that this is not a funeral. She is not dead. Her sisters and mother–not dead, either. No one has died except the damnable Faust, and for him the death was righteously deserved.

This is not a funeral.

This is not execution.

It is simply exile.

But exile is no simple thing. For those who hated their motherland in the first place, maybe, but Diana has nothing but love for her homeland. She feels no ill-will towards it, no hatred towards her sister and the woman who banished her in the first place. She loves her home.

And now she must leave it.

When they are in the air, the cabin of the aircraft is silent. Flash opens his mouth once or twice to speak, but at the stone-cracking glare from the Bat he snaps his jaw shut. J'onn remains up front most of the time with Superman, speaking privately about what Diana can only assume is probably Themyscira.

It is painfully quiet. Halfway into the atmosphere, the Flash finally snaps and says something.

"This might not be a real help–" Batman glares from his seat nearby– "but when we get back, do you want to play Go Fish?"

Diana has heard of this game before. Superman calls it a fun game for kids, J'onn shrugs and says that cards didn't exist on his home plant and Hawkgirl frowns, mystified. The other two–Green Lantern and Batman–haven't been around during the discussion, but Diana isn't sure they'd answer positively, anyway.

However, her interest has been mildly piqued. Now drawn away from her earlier sadness, Wonder Woman is now curious.

"Go Fish?"

Flash knows when an audience is hooked–pun intended--and abruptly becomes very animated. "Oh, yeah...it's a great game to get your mind off bad stuff."

The Bat snorts. Flash ignores him and continues, "There's no thinking involved. Just get a deck of cards, seven people and a round table and you're set."

"Is there any gambling?"

Flash's smile grows. "Of sorts. It all depends on who's up for spending money."

Diana watches him for a moment, thinking. "If you can get all of us to play, I'd be glad to try this game of 'Go Fish.'"

Flash beams, and within an eye blink he's suddenly seated in the chair in front of her, holding out a deck of cards and looking around for a hard surface to play on.

Batman simply stares.

Back at the Watchtower, the game begins. Flash deals out the cards in a blur of red on red, and more than once flips a card face-up as it flies to a hand. Superman vocalizes irritation–"Flash, deal slower or don't deal at all"–while Hawkgirl picks up five of her cards and frowns in confusion.

The Green Lantern simply keeps his cards flat on the table and raises an eyebrow.

"Poker is better,"he rumbles quietly. "More money involved."

Flash looks up from dealing. "What, are you broke or something?"

The Lantern smiles slowly and shakes his head. "Oh, no...I just happen to win more with cash."

"It is unfortunate, then," J'onn says from his seat, voice mildly amused, " that some of us don't have money."

Batman's jaw twitches, but otherwise he remains silent.

Hawkgirl leans over towards Green Lantern.

"So, wait--I do what with this card...?"

Over the long and painful course of an hour, as Superman guides her through her hand and the Bat finally speaks pointedly towards the Man of Steel–"I hope you're not looking at my cards–"the realization finally comes that Diana is not alone.

Though her sisters on the island would frown at the suggestion, Diana understands now why Flash brought up this card game. Maybe he knew what he was doing, maybe he didn't, but the man has somehow made Diana realize that the people in front of her–from the confused and bewildered Hawkgirl to the glowering Batman–are her family.

The Green Lantern would say that she's being corny. Flash would say something stupid. Superman would smile. Hawkgirl would scoff at the mere suggestion of relation and J'onn would glance at Diana and give a nearly imperceptible nod that he understands exactly what she means.

The Bat would frown.

...but he always does, so it doesn't matter.

It is the family away from family, she realizes. So widely different in their personalities, their powers, their beliefs and their lives and yet they all connect when it comes to being there for good. They don't entirely agree, and it's very rare to have a moment where there's not a tiny dispute somewhere, but the fact exists that they're still here. Helping. Always there.

No, Diana reflects. They're not her sisters on Themyscira.

But as family, they're something Diana would never give up for the world.