[Wonder Woman] into the fire

Rating: Gen
Pairing: Diana/Steve
Word count: 562
Summary: That night in Veld, side by side, they had thought they’d saved the day.
Tags: Post-movie; spoilers; drabble.
Disclaimer: never read the comic / seen any DC EU films before (Nolan's Batman doesn't count, right?), but I just saw the film and Steve's face right before he pulled the trigger kills me.
Originally posted here.

Sounds are everywhere: she closes her eyes, hearing every sound with clarity, people cheering and shouting, singing at the top of their lungs, laughing and laughing—there’s so much laughter, waves and waves of it that even the air smells joyous, the sharp, metallic scent of the unfamiliar streets temporarily overran.

Diana stands there, in the utmost centre of the crowd, her eyes shut tight, people are coming and going around her but she stands, stock-still amidst all the cheerful noises, and she sees it on her eyelids that picture of a man leaning on his fighter, his face carefree and bright and astonishingly young.

She had no use of photographs before—there wasn't need and there wasn't tool—but she gets it, now. She understands why the townsman had insisted on taking their photo, and she feels utterly grateful to whoever took this one all those years ago, because this version of him she'd never have the chance to see, because the one from Veld is gone, along with the many, many lives lost in that town.

That night in Veld, side by side, they had thought they’d saved the day.

She’d been wanting to fight, longing for it, all her life, and she’d felt proud when she grew stronger and stronger, but she had never won a war. Not until Veld. And it had been glorious. She remembers that final leap, the way he instinctively took up her—their—way of fighting and pushed her to the sky, his timing perfect, in that moment she was fearless, unstoppable and invincible, and she felt like she could win anything.

She couldn’t. Now she knows.

The watch sits in her right pocket, the weight of it unfamiliar yet comforting all the same, and she smiles. She smiles at the face in the photo on the monument; she smiles at that other face, dusty and bruised and so very sincere, that last day on the battlefield. She smiles at that pair of blue eyes, clear and almost translucent like the sea of Themyscira, electric and warm like the water in the caves. She smiles at those eyes from that night in Veld, in the small inn, faintly lit by the bedside oil lamp as if the night sky lit by stars, exhilarating yet somehow calming, deep and vast that she could get lost in—she had wanted to get lost in them, too. He'd looked at her as if they could stay like that forever, as if they had stayed like that forever.

I wish we had more time. She sees explosion igniting that foreign sky, her vision aflame, everything burns, and thinks, so do I.

Then she takes a deep breath, and opens her eyes.

The bustling crowd is still there, the celebration ongoing, seemingly endless. She can’t win every war, but for this scene in front of her, beautiful and captivatingly alive, she can still try. For that pair of piercing blue eyes, she will try.

She feels a tug at her sleeve. Etta looks up at her, her bright red hair windswept. “So, what do you want to do now?”

“Yeah, what’s next, now that the world’s all saved?”

This is what peace feels like, Diana thinks, a dullness in her chest expanding, settling in. Ache, she realises. What do people do when there's no war?

“Breakfast. Let’s get breakfast.”