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self apart, A

by Te

A self apart
by Te
July 26, 2003

Disclaimers: Not mine, but I have nothing but love.

Spoilers: Vague ones through season one.

Summary: Diana is not a child.

Ratings Note: R.

Author's Note: For the Superhero Roulette challenge. Thanks Livia and Bex! Title from Rita Mae Brown.

Acknowledgments: Much love to Branwyn, who was here when no one else was.

Feedback: Adored. teland@teland.com

*

Diana knows they think she's naive, that there's something inherently limiting about living one's life surrounded by women, and only women. They forget her age, and her strength, and her education.

Somehow, none of these things matter against the fact that she'd never exchanged words with a man until leaving Themyscira. They treat her with 'kid gloves,' and joke, and tease, and even Flash -- a man with far more bravery than sense -- is far more likely to try his wiles on the utterly uninterested (and violent) Shayera than on her.

And it's not as though she particularly wants Flash's attentions -- Diana has played stones with little girls more mature than him -- but... but.

They are all of them aliens, orphans, and strangers, and so they try to make themselves into the families none of them can count on anymore, but still Diana is often alone. Even when they are all present.

"Are you all right?" Superman always finds a way to ask, to touch her when he thinks she's feeling low, but Superman is... strangely young. Not immature so much as innocent, and in truth Diana wants to protect him more than anything else.

Green Lantern keeps himself to himself, and even though he no longer views her as an amateur intruding on his territory, he is still deeply untouchable.

J'onn's loneliness is, at times, a palpable ache, and Diana wants to tell him that she understands, but there is something in those deep-set eyes that warns her away. J'onn wears his essential alien-ness like a cloak, even though he could easily make himself into something more familiar. J'onn doesn't want to be any farther away from his people than he already is.

Flash is, again, terribly young, and while Diana doesn't feel the need to smack him as often as Shayera seems to, the temptation is there.

Batman intrigues her, walking easily among those stronger and faster than he'll ever be, without a single doubt in his ability to hold his own. He is, she feels, a true hero in that, but he is the least approachable of any of them. Only Superman seems to feel bridges can be built between Batman and the rest of them, and only Superman has the patience to keep trying. It's almost laughable, really.

If it were up to her, she'd sit beside Batman and make him tell her everything about his life and his world. He seems to know so much, and seems so impatient with ignorance in general, but... he will never be a teacher. Diana isn't sure whether the ability is in him or not, but the desire is definitely not.

Right now, he is in his chosen (home?) city, and though Diana has no real idea what he might be doing, she is absolutely sure the man is alone. And that he prefers it that way.

Which leaves Shayera, and it's irritating, truly frustrating, that she's left with the only other woman in their group. Diana knows what it must look like to the rest of them that she keeps going back to her, that she seems so willing and even eager to befriend her.

The look in Flash's eyes suggests lurid fantasies, and as for the rest... they must think she's lonely for her sisters, that it could only be a woman that would make Diana reach out.

As if she is so bigoted.

Hera, if Aresia weren't already dead, Diana would beat her bloody for the image she has given the world about Amazons.

But.

She cannot always walk the world in search of understanding and companionship, and Shayera is the closest thing she has to possibility. Adult, practical right down to her flat-soled boots, and even if not particularly friendly, certainly willing to be questioned and bothered between missions and training.

She lets Diana call her 'sister,' and even though it's clear that she doesn't really see herself as such, it's comforting. Shayera, at least, understands the need for it.

Shayera, who goes out drinking with Flash and talks weaponry with Green Lantern and honestly enjoys breaking things into their component parts with that mace of hers -- a predilection that would undoubtedly endear her to the Flash if the boy ever chose to look beyond her physical attributes.

She... tolerates Diana more than honestly likes her, she thinks, and that is depressing, but from everything the woman has said about Thanagar, it's honestly unsurprising.

Diana doesn't doubt Shayera was a wonderful police officer on her world, but her anger, her violence and destructiveness, don't really seem like anything a hero ought to be proud of, or even acknowledge.

Still, she follows the rules of this world, and of every other they visit, and clearly isn't a bad person, but... but.

Diana likes to imagine a day in Shayera's company. They would goggle together at the amount of food the Flash would consume at breakfast, they would train together until they were both spent and sweating, and they would shower and change and go down to the world and enjoy it.

Shayera wouldn't give her any strange looks when she complained about the ridiculousness of the 'women's' shops with their paints and their frills and the utter lack of practicality.

They would eat lunch, and perhaps put a stop to some (relatively) minor crime or disaster.

They would enjoy each other's company. Diana would make her laugh, and Shayera would call her sister, and they would be friends.

She would like that, quite a lot.

But it doesn't seem like anything that could happen. Diana knows what it means that Shayera talks about men, and sex with men whenever Diana tries to get closer. She thinks Diana wants more from her than she would be willing to give, and while Diana does find her attractive (what would it be to touch those wings? To feel them brush her skin?), she has never been the sort to intrude where she was not wanted.

On Themyscira, many of the Amazons had lovers among themselves, and Diana's friends were very often more than that, but there were many women who lived long, happy lives quite satisfied to be alone.

Diana herself hadn't taken a lover since long before her team-mates (except, perhaps, for J'onn) had been born.

She is not so desperate for touch to long for a woman who, inexplicably, would prefer to limit her love affairs to males.

Though Diana suspects that Shayera could do with a lesson or two in the pleasure between women.

Mm.

She smiles to herself and stretches out on her bed, letting herself drift away for just a few moments from all the metal and raw, personality-free functionality of her rooms. She would like to find someone who could help her decorate, to soften the place into something more like... no.

It probably wouldn't be a good idea to make the rooms too much like her old ones in the palace. Diana doesn't particularly want to become another Justice League depressive, even though she probably already is one.

Still, a tapestry there, a few paintings over there, a woman there. Here. All soft curves and hard muscle and willing happiness.

It's been a long time.

And... beyond her personal morality and far beyond the realities of her situation here, she wants to see Shayera's hair spread on a pillow. Wants to tip that hard, beaky mask off her face and see if what's beneath is equally sharp. Wants to peel her out of her uniform once, just once, and count her scars.

In a perfect world, Shayera would offer a story for each one, but Diana would be satisfied if she only offered a smile.

A gasp when she traced them with her tongue.

Diana's favorite lovers have always been the ones who had a sense of humor about the whole thing, who were more likely to giggle than groan, and whose kisses were always messy because of the constant smiles.

She doesn't think Shayera would be like that at all. She thinks... she imagines Shayera rising above her, straddling her hips and holding her down and Diana gives up on propriety and slips a hand under her own uniform, down to her sex and oh, Shayera, Shayera would be like Athena herself.

Didn't the goddess have a fondness for birds? And while it was true that a hawk was more likely to endear itself to Diana's namesake, she has no use for confirmed virgins right now.

Mm, no, right now she needs, if not an Aphrodite (though that would be nice), then at least someone who accepts her womanhood, who revels in it and would enjoy Diana's own.

All right, no, right now she needs Shayera, and damn all her careful politesse and cautious dearth of propositions anyway. She wants to stop Shayera's protests with a kiss and shove a thigh between the woman's own and show her.

"You don't need a man," she would say, and give her a necklace of bites.

"Let me show you why," she'd say, and counter every scar with a rake of her nails.

"I'm not naive," she would whisper, and slip deep inside where Shayera was hottest and wettest and most alive, and she would, she would...

Diana rolls over onto her knees and gives up on subtlety, shoving two fingers inside and tossing her head back and working her hips into just the right position, just the way it would be if Shayera was under her, if she was inside her and watching and making love to her, and Diana wants to be beautiful for that.

Wants to toss her hair and offer her breasts and offer every slick drop of her pleasure.

"Taste this," she would say, and Shayera would always know how much she was desired. How much she was needed, in those moments just before Diana's orgasm, if at no other time.

Diana thrusts faster and closes her eyes, plunges her free hand into her hair and imagines it thicker, coarser, redder. Bites her lip and thinks of Shayera's snarl. Spreads her legs and imagines surrender and growls her pleasure to the sky.

Shayera.

"Mm."

She rolls onto her back and slips her fingers into her mouth, tasting only herself and perhaps the slightest tang of the sea around the home she'd never see again. The beat of her heart fades in her ears, replaced by the tick of the clock and the hum of mostly-hidden machinery.

Somewhere, there is a woman for her, one who'll share this moment with her and cover the sounds of solitude with panting breaths and laughter. But...

At times like these Diana is very tired of waiting for her.

At times like these, Diana wants to drag Shayera close and show her just how naive she isn't, and damn the consequences.

But for now, her body is languid and warm with lingering satisfaction, and Diana hasn't been young for many, many years.

She can be patient.

For now.

End.


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