AN/Disclaimer: I have no legal rights over any DC Comics content. Holla at Heph for beta-reading this story.


I

As the dusk settled, the buildings of downtown Dhaka were bathed in a pink hue that struggled towards violet. The heavy monsoon rainfall had subsided an hour ago, and the concrete roads were drenched with its scent. For a bustling metropolis it was oddly tranquil; the only sound was of palm trees rustling in the breeze caused by passing traffic. On the eighth floor balcony of an apartment overlooking the main road, Diana of Themyscira leaned back in a wicker chair as she surveyed the scene.

She had been in Dhaka for four months now, nearly concluding her semester-long tenure as a visiting lecturer at the University of Dhaka. Her students were bright and her colleagues were interesting, but what she loved most was the view from her balcony. Every evening after returning from campus, she sat on her wicker chair and rested her feet in the gaps between the balcony balusters – sometimes reflecting on the day's events, sometimes meditating, sometimes staring languidly. It had become a ritual that she would give up with great difficulty when she left the city.

Earlier that week, she had secured a visiting lectureship at the Collège de France for the upcoming academic year. It was a prestigious position, yet the prospect of Paris diminished in its allure as Diana sat in her balcony. She would miss her life in Dhaka – all of it.

For the last eight years, she had tirelessly thrown herself into the worlds of academia and "being" Wonder Woman. She wondered, though, if they were reason enough for her to resign from the Justice League as she had. As she traveled the globe from one university to the next, she realized just how isolated she had been from people and ideas throughout the years she had spent living in the Watchtower. Many times, it was disheartening – how could she, as one person, fight a global framework that perpetuated the conditions for the kinds of wrongdoings she confronted?

Those were the times when thoughts of the Justice League stole into her mind, and with great difficulty she would force them away. But once she had arrived in Dhaka, the view from her balcony reassured her that her resignation had not been without reason – she needed her autonomy, her selfhood. Ever since she had left Themyscira, she had worked with a team, worked for a cause. She needed to understand exactly what that cause was.

The apartment building she was living in now was part of the city skyline – a jumble of skyscrapers, billboards, and carefully planted trees. In close proximity there were government buildings overlooking a brilliantly blue river. And there were people everywhere – driving cars, strolling down the street, ducking in and out of steel-and-glass buildings. Here was humanity spilled out before her in all its glory. Had Gaia meant for it to be so achingly beautiful?

This was why Diana sat in her wicker chair, day after day, studying the same view.

But on this particular evening, the scene of life before her did not captivate her as it did normally. She was distracted by a heavy heart, although she had trouble understanding why she felt the way she did. Perhaps her apprehension of a drug cartel the night before had jarred her more than she had realized, or perhaps she was beginning to mourn her departure from Dhaka. Her restlessness was becoming intrusive enough to provoke her infamous anger, but when the call to prayer rang from a nearby mosque, she reflexively forced herself to relax and collect her thoughts; in doing so her eyes traveled to the entrance of the apartment complex.

It was a welcome sight. Even in the twilight, Zari's teeth, which he had displayed in a smile, shone brilliantly. When he saw that Diana had noticed him, he held up a bouquet of flowers and brandished it with a wink.

Diana was thankful that it was dark, because she was certain of the blush pinching at her cheeks. It was unseemly for a princess to blush so deeply. She nodded at him to indicate that she would come down to greet him, and with a gentle sigh she rose from her seat in the balcony and entered the apartment in search of her shoes. Zari's arrival was just what she needed at that moment.

As she left to meet him, she took one last look at Cat Grant's society column in the Daily Planet, which she subscribed to in order to stay in touch with Clark and Lois. She reread the headline she had been met with earlier that day without removing the paper from its position on the coffee table: "Billionaires Bruce Wayne and Talia Head Announce Engagement."

Her jaw clenched – slightly enough for her to be able to deny herself her reaction. She snatched the copy of the paper from the table and gracefully flung it into the trash.