Princess of Themyscira: Part 4
AN:This chapter came fairly easy, I love how it turned out.
The only thoughts on your mind as you climb the steps up towards your grandmother’s palace are ones of sleep. Your body aches, your spirit is sore, and to be completely honest, you feel a bit hollow inside. All you want is to collapse on your bed and sleep. Of course, life isn’t that easy.
At the top of the stairs, you find your grandmother and your sisters waiting for you. You’re a bit surprised. Usually, by this time, they’ve drunk themselves into a stupor, having told each and every one of your mother’s battle stories. The hangovers typically last for days, and you’re usually the one to hold back your sisters’ hair in the morning.
You say nothing as you take a seat at the top of the stairs, and turn to face the horizon. The sun is just beginning to rise, and no one seems inclined to say anything, so you sit in silence until Io finally asks, “What was she like?”
You turn towards your sister and stare. You’d heard the stories, how Io had been madly in love with your mother, and how she had cried for days when she had been officially banished. After a moment you say, “You knew her longer, shouldn’t you know?”
Artemis’s hand lands roughly on your shoulder, “We knew Diana, Princess of Themyscira. Warrior of the Amazons. We did not know Diana, mother of Y/N, Warrior of Man’s World.”
You bite on your lip, “You don’t want to hear what I have to say.”
“And why not?” Euboea asks.
“Because it involves Man’s World. It involves my brothers. It involves my father, and however much love you have for my mother, and for me, you have just as much resentment for them.”
“Have we ever shown this resentment? Said bad things?” Hellene asks.
Your answer is swift and unforgiving, “Yes.” You can see the shock on the faces of your friends, of your grandmother, and from the rest of my sisters. “It didn’t take you long to accept me, despite being hesitant at first. But I remember the hushed whispers in those early days, what you all would say when you thought I wasn’t around.”
You swallow thickly, “You hate my father for having taken my mother away, but if you knew my mother as you claim, then you would know that no one could make her do anything. And to understand who my mother became when she left here, you’d first have to understand my family. And that starts with my father. And to be honest, I don’t know if it’s a story you’re going to like.”
There’s several long minutes of silence before Io finally says, “Diana was our sister. We wish to know her. You come from her, if you say we need to start with your sire, then that is where we shall start.”
You take a shaky breath before nodding once, “Well, to start, he wasn’t my sire. He was my father, and whatever your misgivings toward men are, he was a good man. He was born into wealth, to a loving mother and father. My grandmother, his mother, wanted a child desperately and it took several miscarriages before she was able to have my father. But he was her world. And my grandfather, Thomas, was a doctor. He turned away from corporate America to help people. To try and relate to those less fortunate than him.
“They were murdered in front of my father when he was eight. That one moment defined the rest of his life. He was left in the care of the family’s butler, Alfred.” You smile at the name, and pause for a moment as the memory of the older man takes center stage in your memory.
“Alfred was amazing. Managed to raise my dad, and my brothers and even helped raise me. He and mom got along so well. He took care of cleaning and cooking, and everything, and anytime one of us had a problem we would go to him.”
You pause to wipe away a tear, before continuing, “As my father grew up, he became obsessed with vengeance.”
“Of course.” Artemis’s voice is sure, understanding, as she says, “If any of us were in the same position we would do the same.”
You smile, “Except he didn’t.” You receive puzzled looks before saying, “He found the man who murdered his parents, only to find out he’d been hired to do the job. He had a gun in his hand, he could have killed the man but decided against it. Decided that he wouldn’t become the very thing his parents had tried so hard to fight.
“He went on a journey across the world. Trained under hundreds of masters in escape and martial arts. He was gone for nearly eight years, and when he returned, he took on the persona of Batman. He donned a mask and a cape, and worked to protect the city he loved. That’s how he met my brothers.
“Dick, Jason, and Tim all came to him in different ways. Each had their own journey with him, but they all were of the same mentality. To protect. It’s the same way he met Mom. The Justice League was formed out of need, not desire. Some Earth shattering crisis, where Mom first appeared. She thought dad was too broody. She worked so hard to get him out of his shell.
“The thing that did it was her almost dying. She took a hit for him. It would have killed him, but it only wounded her. Unlike most of the League, Dad didn’t have any powers. He was extremely smart, cunning, and a master of fighting. But he wasn’t invulnerable.
“Tim said that he never left her side after that. He refused to even eat until she woke up. And her first words to him were, ‘Your rules be damned, Bruce Wayne. I love you, and no matter how hard you push me away, I’ll fight even harder to get close.’ Jason said he just gave up after that.
“Dick said they became one of the most sappy couples ever after that. Only at home though. When they were in uniform they were all business. At least that’s what they claim. Dick said that a lot changed when he let Mom in. She didn’t let him isolate himself, or deny his feelings. She forced him to admit stuff, to become more open.
“My father, who apparently had a hard time admitting he cared, finally admitted that his number one fear was to lose those important to him; my brothers and my mother.”
You pause again to swipe at the tears running down your face. “I remember coming home from a night out with my brothers to find them dancing in the kitchen. We watched them for an hour. He was singing to her. Mom was the only one who could convince him to sing. He had such a pretty voice. He would have given her the sun and the stars if she had let him.
“My brother Damian came after they had been together for about two years. When my father had been traveling he met a woman named Talia. She was a smart woman. A strict woman. And a hell of a fighter. Unbeknownst to my father, a night together had created Damian.
“Damian resented Mom at first. Said there were months of snipes back and forth but my mother never backed away or coddled him. Any smart alec remark was met with one of equal standing until something happened that nobody would talk about. All I know is that Talia never came around again, and my parents were given full parental rights. I came about two years after that.”
“And?” Calyce asks.
You smile, “We were happy. We were a family. I grew up with four older brothers who meant the world to me. Who I could go to. My father wouldn’t go out on patrol without reading me a story before he left. Damian taught me fighting basics to defend myself. The others tried to coddle me too much, he said. But neither Mom nor Dad wanted me to join the family business.
“They wanted me to have a normal life, and I did. Or at least as normal as it can be in that situation. I grew up with the other league kids. I had chores and dance class. We had family trips and family dinners. Mom would tell me stories about her childhood. Dick taught me how to tumble, and Jason would taught me how to ride a bike. I’d spend hours playing video games with Tim. He made me my first cup of coffee for exams. Alfred nearly blew a gasket. Mom just took pictures.
“On weekends Mom would take me horseback riding, and we would race. My favorites memories are the ones of all of us together. Birthdays, galas, movie weekends. But my favorite is one of my mom and dad dancing.
“There was always something going on in the world. Some crisis, but I remember thinking I had never seen two people so at peace in that moment. I had never seen two people so in love. He used to call her ‘princess.’ And it wasn’t some in some condescending way either, it’s because that’s what she was, and she deserved that respect.”
You take a deep breath, “My dad died about three months before I came here. It sent Mom into a rage. She destroyed that incoming fleet. Despite his own resolve not to kill he never tried to persuade her otherwise. He knew she did what she thought was best, that it was a last resort.
“What she did to that fleet though, it was pure vengeance. They had taken the love of her life away, and she was going to kill them for it. She became a different person after that. She was very withdrawn, and when the invasion got worse, they decided as a family that I needed to be saved.
“Alfred drugged me. Slipped something into the coffee Tim had made. They were all there as my eyes closed. They all told me how much they loved me. When I woke up, my mother was carrying me on the beach here. She’d packed a trunk with things she said were important. Put the key around my neck, and well… you know the rest.”
This time, you let the tears come, you allow yourself to sob as you say, “She wasn’t so different from the woman you tell stories about.”
Artemis’s arms surround you, and she pulls you close, “She was very different, little one. She was a mother, not only to you but to your brothers. She was a wife. She was in love. She was a warrior.”
You swallow thickly, “She was Wonder Woman.”