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The Lucky Ones

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i.

"I like your outfit," is the first thing he says to her, but there's none of the leering she's come to expect from a certain type of man, just admiration and an eagerness that reminds her of a puppy.

Diana is still getting used to reading men, but she thinks this one is younger and less certain than he wants to appear. So she says, "Thank you," instead of scolding him for making her an object instead of a person. "Are you sure you'll be all right?" she asks as he uses his shield to deflect gunfire, the way she uses her bracelets.

"I'll be fine," he assures her, his mouth quirked in a rueful half-grin. "I'm Captain America." Before she can ask what that means, he's vaulted the fence. "Steve Rogers," he calls back to her over his shoulder. "Look me up when you get back to the States."

*

ii.

But the Fates are not done with them yet. She runs into him again before the mission is over, tall and broad and wearing a star upon his chest, the same as the one on his shield, the same as the ones on her uniform.

"Fancy meeting you here," she says, landing beside him and protecting his back as he uses his shield to break into the house.

He gives her a bright smile. "Couldn't let you have all the fun now, could I?"

The man Ernst is there, and between them, she and Steve get him and the communicator safely out of enemy territory.

Steve holds her gaze for a long moment before he swings himself up into the plane. "Come to Brooklyn," he shouts as he flies away. "I'll take you to a Dodgers game."

Diana wishes she could take him up on it.

*

iii.

They defeat Savage and return to the present. The Watchtower is where it's supposed to be, and Batman is on it. Diana spares a moment to wonder what tragedy made him here, and how firmly his choices are wedded to his fate, so much so that to some they would seem no choice at all.

When Superman has done hugging him, she says, "Can you tell me where I might find Captain America?"

"Captain America?" Batman asks, sounding surprised. He looks a little grumpier than usual, and she's secretly amused. Two surprises are two too many for him, especially in such quick succession.

"Yes. He was--One of the agents I helped called himself that. I wasn't sure if he was joking." She glances around at her teammates; the ones who grew up on Earth seem as surprised as Batman. "He carried a shield with a star upon it."

"He wasn't," Batman says.

"You met Cap?" John asks, surprising her with the tinge of awe in his tone.

"That is so awesome," Flash says.

"I'm sorry," Superman says. He puts a gentle hand on her arm and squeezes it comfortingly. "He didn't survive the war."

"Oh," she says, blinking back a sudden swell of tears. "I see."

Later, when she comes to relieve Batman on monitor duty, he sits beside her and shows her Captain America's films and newsreels, and she feels the tightness of sorrow in her chest for a man she barely knew. She would have liked to have known him better, and she's sad for that lost chance, as well.

"He was a brave warrior," she says finally, her voice a little hoarse. "A true hero."

"Yes," Batman agrees. "He was."

*

iii.

The team returns from Apokolips to find a new crop of superheroes have fought off an alien invasion while they were gone.

"Hmm," Batman says as they watch the footage of the group the news is calling the Avengers.

"Ha," Flash says, handing her a mocha and leaning his hip against the console. "Tony Stark wishes he was as cool as me." He rushes away and comes back with another mocha. "Who's the redheaded babe? Think she'd go out with me?"

Batman makes another grumbling noise, and Diana is going to ask why he dislikes Tony Stark so much when she catches sight of the man with the shield.

"Is that really him?" she asks, tapping the screen with her index finger, though she knows it will annoy Batman. (Maybe because she knows it will annoy him.)

"It might be," he admits grudgingly. "The government did unearth something recently in the arctic, but my sources have been unable to confirm what it was."

"Well," she says, crossing her arms over her chest and raising her chin in challenge, "are you or are you not the world's greatest detective?"

He gives her a sour look, but two hours later, she has an address in hand.

"Princess," he says as she's prepping the javelin to return to earth. She stops and turns, unsure whether she wants him to stop her or wish her luck. "Be careful," he says finally, after the silence has stretched uncomfortably. "And wear civilian clothes."

Diana nods regally and swallows down her disappointment.

*

iv.

Despite her disappointment, Diana takes Batman's advice and changes into a pair of jeans and a sweater before she reaches the Brooklyn address he provided. The clothes still feel strange to her, but it's probably wise not to draw too much attention to Captain Rogers, since his return still seems to be a mystery.

She takes a deep breath to settle the fluttering in her belly and rings the doorbell marked Rogers in blocky black letters.

She can hear someone running down the steps yelling, "Coming!" but she's still surprised when the door opens and she's face to face with him.

"Captain Rogers," she says, her voice a little breathless, though she wasn't the one running down the stairs. "Steve. I believe you owe me a baseball game."

"Wonder Woman," he says, his eyes widening and his mouth curving in a bright smile. "I mean, Princess Diana. Please come in."

She returns the smile and follows him up the stairs.

*

v.

"Did you know?" he asks. "When we met, I mean."

"That you were," she pauses and searches for the right word, "lost?" He nods and she shakes her head. "No. I was still new to Man's World. I didn't even know who Captain America was until the others explained."

"Oh. Okay."

"They were quite impressed," she says, taking his hand and squeezing it. His hand is warm and large and slightly callused, and she feels a flash of heat at the touch.

He ducks his head. "I can't imagine that. I mean, Superman and Batman."

"You're a hero," she says. "As much as any of us are." She shuffles through the papers littering his kitchen table, portraits of his teammates, pictures of the New York City skyline. There's one of her, in her uniform, spinning her lasso. "You're an artist."

"I draw a little," he says. "I haven't had much time to do more."

"But you will."

"I hope so."

She laughs. "I'm sorry this is so awkward. I don't know what I expected."

"No, no, that's my fault. I've never been much good with dames. I mean, girls. Women."

"Well, I grew up on an island with nothing but. Men are still strange to me sometimes, I must admit." She squeezes his hand again. "Perhaps we can learn together."

His smile now is brilliant. "I'd like that."

*

vi.

Their relationship is not without its difficulties. Their teams are wary of each other at first, and they often don't see each other for weeks because of one crisis or another. But on a beautiful day late in May, he takes her to a Mets game and explains baseball to her while they lose to the Pirates. Diana's not sure she could tell anyone what happened during the game, but she enjoys the weight of Steve's arm across her shoulders, and the malty, salty taste of beer and French fries on his tongue when he kisses her after his team scores a run.

He takes her to art galleries and soup kitchens, and she brings him to women's shelters and clinics. They visit group homes and safe spaces for homeless teens, and he takes her to meet Peggy Carter before they all three appear at a press conference for the Margaret Carter Foundation, which provides job training for disadvantaged young women across the globe. Diana still wants to change the world, and she's found a fitting partner for that.

"I wanted to teach him to dance," Peggy tells her with a wistful smile. "But we never quite had the time."

"And I have two left feet," Steve says, abashed.

"How hard can it be?" Diana answers. "Please, show me."

Steve takes Peggy in his arms and she rests her cheek upon his chest and they shuffle in a slow circle. It is nothing like the dance Diana shared with Bruce, and yet it bears the same weight of feeling and missed chances, and she resolves to not let that happen again to either of them.

Later, she dances Steve around his apartment to Sarah Vaughan, and when they fall into bed afterwards, he keeps his eyes open and repeats her name as she rides him, as if he wants her to know he's thinking of her now.

"Steve," she says when she comes. "Oh, Steve." Because she's fully aware of every inch of him pressed against her and inside her, and she wants him to know that, too.

*

vii.

Together, they make the rounds of charity galas during the holiday season. The press calls them a power couple and gives them a cute nickname that Tony Stark makes fun of, but Diana doesn't care. They're happy and she wants to share it with the whole world.

Tonight, she lets Steve guide her across the ballroom at the Metropolis Grand Hotel, and then out the doors into the chilly December night. The moon is bright and full and the city shines like a star.

"I've already gotten the best gift," Steve murmurs as he nuzzles her hair, his lips pressing gently to the curve of her ear and then her temple. "I'm the luckiest man in the world."

She turns in his arms and captures his lips with hers. He tastes of champagne and heat when she licks into his mouth, and heat wells up inside her in response. "We make our own luck," she whispers against his jaw. "And we deserve it."

He opens his mouth to argue, and she kisses him again, because over this, she wants no debate. She knows it to be true.

end