Death of Dreams
Metropolis. The City of Tomorrow.
It had been aptly named, a sprawling mega city home to over ten million people and birthplace of pioneering technologies that had changed the world in their own unique and subtle ways. Amongst the shining skyscrapers that were so iconic of the city, Diana, Princess of Themyscira, could see one shining brighter than most. The Globe of the Daily Planet still shone brilliantly in the mid day sunlight.
That in of itself was remarkable under the circumstances.
She ignored the agony in her chest and sucked in another breath as she looked around the city she had come to call a second home. It wasn't the energy of the city that had first attracted her or the wondrously strange architecture. In fact when she was still new to Man's world she had considered Metropolis and other cities like it to be incredibly alien.
With time had come acceptance and understanding. More people flocked to the city every year and not just because of technological advances, the job opportunities, the efficiency of the police or because of the tourist attractions.
They came because of one man. They came for the same reason she had flown its skies more and more often.
Metropolis was the home of Superman.
Diana's lips quirked as she recalled numerous instances in which Kal had complained about his incredible fame in Metropolis and beyond. It was as if he couldn't understand their reaction to him or their love for him. All he had wanted, so he said, was simply to help people. To help them from harm, from corruption and from evil and then to quietly disappear into the background. Even he knew that was an unrealistic wish.
He didn't understand that it wasn't his powers, his iconic costume or his physique that had made him so beloved. He failed to comprehend that it was his very nature, his innocence and unshakable morals that had so endeared him to the world. Although she supposed the revealing costume hadn't hurt either.
Perhaps that was partly why the city, normally so full of life, sound and activity was now deathly silent.
It was unnerving and Diana was all too aware that it would always be that way now. She shifted her weight slightly and leaned back against the jagged piece of concrete that was sticking up out of the road and acting as a resting place. Her body protested even that slight movement, sending tendrils of sharp pain up and down her limbs and her back.
She was sitting in the middle of the street in a deep depression, a crater really, of jagged concrete and ruined building debris. A large slab of broken tarmac acted as a backrest.
There were no other people about that she could see beyond the lip of the crater, only the slight distant sounds of despair and those few fighting to push through the rubble and debris to aid those in need. Thick black smoke clouded the normally serene blue sky. The crackling noise of sporadic fires came at her from all around. The scent of both mixed with the scent of blood and curled an invisible hand around her throat, threatening to choke her while making her distinctly nauseas. But she felt divorced from it, separated by a far more agonising pain that was lying still against her heart.
"I had such dreams, you know," she said softly. Her voice was unrecognisable to her ears. Broken. Hopeless. Blaming it on the smoke and fires from the battle would merely have been a futile attempt at self deception. That wasn't the reason at all. "Such wild and fantastic flights of fancy." A smile came to her lips as she marvelled at her past foolishness, her fear of those dreams and what they represented. She adjusted the weight against her chest again but refused point blank to look down. "My Amazon upbringing kept them from becoming reality." She frowned into the distance then shook her head. "No. No, it wasn't that at all. I was afraid."
She waited for an answer or any kind of comment but none came.
"You would have teased me for that," Diana continued despite the pain and the gentle breeze that was chilling her cheeks despite its warmth. "The big, brave Amazon Princess afraid of something so simple and yet so profound. You always made it easier for me to become more. At times it was because of some wise words, others because you simply infuriated me into changing." She looked off into the distance for a brief moment then continued. "I think I stopped being an Amazon warrior a long time ago. You showed me how to be a woman and a friend. You showed me a world beyond duty. And yet still I wanted more." She took a breath of the smoke filled air then coughed, an act that filled her chest with a burning pain. It faded after a few long moments. "My dreams had progressed of late, so much so that I would surely be exiled from Themyscira if my people were to know my thoughts." She moved her hand back and forth across the weight in her arms, tracing every line and curve and burning the sensations into her mind.
She looked off into the distance, seeing past the wreckage of a calamitous battle and into the tormenting land of missed opportunity.
"There is a house, a simple building of white stone in a quiet neighbourhood. We know all the names of those that live next to us, our friends. There is a small garden out front." She smiled suddenly but couldn't quite manage to laugh. "No picket fence I'm afraid." The pain in her throat became overwhelming and she swallowed several times before she could continue. "It is a haven, a place we can live in peace away from the harsh realities of a world that calls for our attention so often. I dreamt of children, a boy and a girl. They... they had your eyes."
Her brow crinkled in pain and again she tried to swallow the painful lump in her throat. The wind had died down but the cold against her cheeks had increased. It felt like it was raining and yet the sky was clear.
She was crying.
"Amazons don't cry." Her hand fisted in the scraps of material surrounding his body. "I used to say that all the time, do you remember?" Her hand wanted to reach up and wipe away the moisture on her face but she forced it to stay on his chest. "But I know now I will be crying for a long time to come. Your fault." Another shaky breath that made her ribs feel as if they'd caught fire.
"For me it was always, 'perhaps tomorrow'. Perhaps tomorrow I will give voice to these feelings I am experiencing. Perhaps tomorrow I will tell you what you mean to me. Perhaps tomorrow my dreams will come true." Her vision blurred as the tears got worse. "I was such a coward and a fool. We both were. Though it brings little comfort to me now, I know how you felt for me just as I'm sure you knew of my feelings. In the end we weren't very good at deceiving the other despite all the effort we went to."
It had become clear to her just before the end. Before he'd saved the world one last time.
He'd looked into her eyes and for one brief moment in those cerulean depths she had seen all those marvellous possibilities staring back at her. And then he had torn them all away from her to give the world another chance.
Part of her hated that he'd had to make that sacrifice. Why couldn't have it been someone else for a change?
The sound of a siren broke the silence and Diana sluggishly moved her head and looked out of the lip of the crater towards its source. She was unsurprised to see several news crews lined up along its edge, their cameras inscribing her despair and the world's grief into the history books.
All those that weren't still in shock were crying as well.
"For all the times you have saved them, they could not do the same when their chance to repay that debt came. I think they will bear even more guilt than you would if you were in their place." She knew she would feel that way for some time to come. After all, she was the second most powerful member of the League and yet she'd not been able to do anything but watch him die. She pulled him closer to her and took a moment to fight away the urge to completely surrender to despair. He was still so warm. She could almost fool herself into believing he was asleep, that he was still with her which was the main reason she hadn't yet looked down at his face. A fool's hope. "What would you have me say?" she asked brokenly. "Would you have me to tell them they bear no blame? That you met your fate gladly because that was why you were sent to us?" She shook her head. "It's not right. Every cell in my body knows it. This world isn't right without you and... and I... I don't know..."
She finally looked down and couldn't go on. Only scraps of his royal blue suit remained, the rest having been torn and shredded. The shining sigil of his house, the symbol of hope to so many, her included, had been ripped apart. His beautiful body was covered in horrible mottled purple bruises. His skin had been torn open and rapidly congealing blood was splattered everywhere.
Her hand traced over his unmoving chest and gently up his neck. She heard herself whimper as she took in his face. She had hoped the tears would obscure the horrible sight from her but it was not to be. She was granted no mercy.
His hair was unkempt, his left eye swollen shut. He was covered in blood and bruises. It was strange that the most disturbing thing of all to her wasn't the vicious wounds he had sustained but rather that his rebellious forelock was nowhere to be seen. That above all told her it was over.
Many a time since she had come to know him had she wished to simply reach up and brush that errant lock of hair back into place. She had never understood the urge or how overwhelming it could be at times. She had never given in of course. The act would have been far too intimate. But now that his forelock had finally been subdued she wished nothing more for than it to be back in its proper place, taunting her with its temptation, with its lack of order and because she knew that Kal was greatly amused by how much it bothered her even if she'd never said as much.
She stared at his face for a long time, her body and soul numb to the world while feelings of desperation, despair and remorse churned deep inside of her.
"I love you, Kal," she said simply as she smoothed his broken skin with the tenderness of a lover. Even growing up amongst her immortal sisters she was no stranger to death. But this was so much more devastating, so much more final and so much more horrifying for a reason she was only just coming to understand. "I'm so sorry. I will make sure everyone honours your memory. I will keep your city safe and I will look after your friends and family. No one will ever forget you. I swear on my life that you will live on, in memory if not in fact." She couldn't say another word, the lump in her throat had grown so painful that all she could do was silently weep.
She cared nothing for the news cameras anymore. She cared nothing that they were witnessing her confession of love and her vow to honour him. She ignored the footsteps approaching. She ignored the EMT's.
Her world had constricted so that it encompassed just to the two of them. Nothing else mattered. And so she slowly moved her head down and touched her lips to his. Their first kiss. Their only kiss. Her tears fell onto his cheeks as she pulled back. Then as the despair overwhelmed her she moved her lips to his ear and whispered.
"Goodnight, my beloved. Sweet dreams."
Author's Note: I've read several Superman vs Doomsday fics but I wanted to see what Wonder Woman's reaction might be. Let me know if you think its any good! Hope you liked it!