Summary: A rogue Amazon, jealous of Hippolyta, steals baby Diana from Themyscira, fleeing to Man's World. She decides to raise baby Diana in a place no proud Amazon will think to look: the corrupted Gotham City. AU BMWW.
A/N: Thanks to Hepburn for making me realize my mistakes about Phillipus. And yes, I realize that the prologue was a bit choppy. But the rest of the story won't be like that (hopefully). I'll do my best. If I get choppy again, let me know. I appreciate your input. :)
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters. They belong to their rightful owners - Gail Simone, DC, etc.
Journal Entry 1
I've refrained from using the typical "Dear Diary" like before. I've decided it's time for a change, and Mom agrees. She says she likes that I don't to be the same as everyone else; and at the same time, she really wants me to fit in.
Shouldn't be hard.
Well, at least, that's what I thought. But it's kind of hard when you're the most sought-after in school. I don't want to brag or anything like that. I mean, I can't help the way I look. It's how I was made, and I'm proud of it. I don't flaunt my looks or wear revealing clothes – actually I try to wear more baggy clothes so guys will just LEAVE ME ALONE. But most of the girls at Gotham High are really, really mean to me.
I almost got beat up by a bunch of girls angry with me for supposedly "stealing their boyfriends." I told them it wasn't my fault their boyfriends were too shallow to stick with them. And I didn't even like any of their boyfriends. All of the guys were jerks.
Mom says guys aren't ready to date until they're twenty-five and gainfully employed. Even though I'd like a boyfriend, I think she's right. She's always been right, although can get pretty scary when I've done something bad. She's a lot tougher than most moms these days, but it's hard when you're living on a single person's income in one of the worst sections of Gotham City.
Mom works really hard to support us. But I think she's worried about me. I wonder if it's because I accidentally broke the oven the other day. I didn't mean to pull the handle so hard – it must've come loose after years of use. I also didn't mean to slam the door right off its hinges the week before. That was probably old, too. At least that's what Mom said.
Still… there's something. Something she's not telling me. I think I pulled that handle just a little too easily. I think I slammed that door just a little too softly. I'm probably imagining things.
Oh, wait, Mom's calling.
I flipped the journal shut and slipped it onto my nightstand. Hopping off my bed, I called, "Coming, Mom!" I hurried into the kitchen to find Mom stirring a batch of chocolate chip cookie cough. "Mmm," I said, grinning. "You're making cookies?" Before she could stop me, I snitched a chunk and slipped it into my mouth.
Mom gave me a stern look but ended up smiling. "Actually, it's your cake. But if you keep eating it, it won't be anything."
"All right, I won't touch another bite," I promised. "Can I help frost?"
"Absolutely," she said warmly. "Now grab me the cake pan, little wonder."
I did as she asked, making a face in the process. "Aren't I a little old for that? I'm fourteen now. I should have a better nickname."
"No matter how old you are, you'll always be my little wonder," Mom answered with a smile in my direction. Running a hand over her bald head, she added, "Would you get the spray, too?"
"Certainly," I said with a salute. Reaching up into a cabinet, I grabbed the spray and set it on the scratched grey countertop. "Oh," I added, "the toaster's not working again. I tried to use it today, but it practically blew up on me. I had to unplug it." I bit my lip, knowing that we were barely getting by. Another toaster would be expensive.
Mom sighed and dumped the batter into the pan. "Hera," she muttered, shaking her head. "I'll have to see if we can find another one. We might just have to get a regular toaster and use the microwave or the oven to reheat things."
I nodded. "All right." I'd miss that toaster oven.
While Mom put the cake in the oven, she asked, "Could you put the clothes in the wash for me, Diana? I need to clean up in here."
"Sure, Mom." I entered the bathroom/ laundry room and dumped a batch of colors in the wash. But when I tried to start the machine, it spluttered and wouldn't go. Frustrated, I turned it off and on again, but it still wouldn't go. "Great," I sighed. Fed up with machine, I rammed my hand into its door. My mouth fell open as I pulled back my hand.
I used that Greek Goddess's name only because Mom did, especially when I was upset. Like now. I stared at the door of the machine in shock. There was a palm-shaped dent in the door. I swallowed and curled my hand into a fist. What would Mom say? I couldn't hide this from her. Dreading the confrontation, especially on my birthday, I glumly entered the kitchen. "Uh… Mom?"
"Yes, Diana?" Pausing with the Windex in her hand, she regarded me curiously.
"Um… I… the washing machine. It's… not working."
Mom looked down and shook her head. "All right," she said heavily, trying to retain a strong front. "Let me see."
Inwardly panicking, I led her into the bathroom. When she saw the machine, her sharp blue eyes narrowed. Looking at me, she said in a low voice, "Diana. Did you do that?" She pointed to the dent.
I swallowed again. "Um… yes. I'm so sorry, it was an accident. I really didn't mean to," I babbled. "I just got so mad because I didn't want to stress you out by telling you the washing machine's broken, especially on my birthday, and - "
"Diana," Mom interrupted me firmly. "Stop slouching and look at me."
I did so hesitantly.
"It's all right." She put a hand on my shoulder. "You just need to control your temper a little bit more. Remember what we talked about? A warrior never loses control."
"But I'm not a warrior, Mom."
Her eyes flickered with something unreadable. "Maybe not. But you're still going to act like one. In this city, Diana, women are killed, raped, and beaten up every day. You need to know how to protect yourself. Why do you think I'm teaching you self-defense? Who knows? Maybe someday you'll end up working for the CIA or the FBI – everything I'm teaching you will help you. One of things I'm teaching you is self control." She squeezed my shoulder warmly.
I nodded. She was right.
"Just try to control it next time, all right?" she asked in a more gentle tone.
Mom had softened over the years. I remembered she used to be a lot stricter when I was a little girl. She still was – but she'd mellowed out, much to my relief. "Yes, Mom," I said.
She smiled and pulled me into a hug. Kissing my head, she murmured, "I love you, my Little Wonder. Never forget that."
I smiled into her shirt and snuggled into her embrace. Despite our poor situation, despite the fact that the washing machine nor the toaster oven worked, despite the fact that I hated school with a passion, despite the fact that we barely had enough to live on and resided in the worst section of Gotham, I had my Mom. And that was all that mattered.
"Di! Hey, wait up!"
I scowled and walked faster down the school hall.
"Hey! Wait!" A hand reached out from behind and grabbed my arm, whirling me around.
I glared viciously at the blonde-haired boy and looked down where his hand touched my arm. "Get your hand off my arm or so help me I'll make sure you never have kids," I uttered in a deadly voice.
Seeing that I meant business, Danny released my arm and looked a bit scared. "Hey, Di, I was just wondering if you'd like to go out Saturday. My dad's got tickets to see the Gotham Knights."
"Don't call me Di," I snapped. "And I've told you a thousand times, I'm not going out with you. Any of you. So get that through your thick little brain and leave me alone."
Control, Diana. Control.
I inhaled and exhaled deeply, turning away from him.
"But - "
Ignoring him completely, I strode down the hall towards the cafeteria. As I paused to search the table for my friends, someone bumped me in the arm. I didn't stumble but turned to look at my arch-nemesis, Kathy Bartlett. She was the quintessential Queen Bee, with a minion on either side. Currently she was dating (or supposedly dating) the Captain of the football team, Tyler. She was blonde, gorgeous, and evil.
Luckily I could be just as evil.
"Watch where you're going, freak," Kathy hissed.
My eyes narrowed. "Kathy. Lovely to see you. How's Tyler these days? Still lip-locking with Sandy?"
Sandy was another girl involved with Tyler. I don't know if they ever really broke up or not.
Kathy's eyes widened. "You little - "
I turned to see my best friends hurrying towards me. Helena Bertinelli was a dark-haired daughter of an Italian mafia leader. She'd had a tragic past, most of which she'd related to me in strict confidence. She was a wild child, but I loved her to death. She had a "take-no-prisoners" attitude I admired. The other the much more cheerful one of the small group, Etta Candy. She was slightly overweight from a love of candy, for which she was mercilessly teased. I'd immediately felt a need to bond with her and struck up a close friendship with her.
I smiled at my friends. "Hey guys. Which table?"
"Over here," Helena said, shooting a glare to Kathy. "C'mon. Let's leave these losers to their gossiping."
I pushed past Kathy and followed my friends to an empty table. Pulling out a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I started to eat.
"What's up, sourpuss?" Etta asked while chewing on a pop tart.
I shrugged. "Nothing."
"Didn't you have a good b'day?" Helena asked. "I hope you liked what I got you."
I forced a smile and lifted up my sweatshirt to reveal a black T-shirt that read, 'Girls can kick butt, too. Women for Justice.' "Yes, Helena, I love it. See? I'm wearing it," I said.
Helena nodded, satisfied, and resumed eating.
"Did you like the gummy worms I got?" Etta asked.
I really smiled this time. "Loved them. Thanks, Etta. You guys are seriously the best friends ever."
"We do try," Helena drawled, shooting me a half-smile.
Only I knew the pain she was hiding behind that face.
As school ended that day, Helena sidled up to me. "Hey, Diana. Mind if I come with?"
I shrugged. "Sure. Mom gets home early from work today, so I don't think she'll have a problem with it. We can have some leftover cookie cake."
"While we slave away with the oodles and oodles of homework," Helena groaned as we got on our bikes. My home wasn't far from school, so I rarely took the bus. I hated the bus in any case, and I preferred riding my bike, so it worked out that way.
"It's a lot, yeah," I said, starting down the street. "But it isn't that bad. Wait until we're juniors or seniors. That'll be a killer."
"I'm content with waiting, thank you," Helena laughed.
I laughed in return and crossed the street, pulling my jacket closer to repel the soft, muggy drizzle sweeping through Gotham. I didn't get cold often, and the rain didn't usually bother me, but this was polluted drizzle that smelled and dripped down my clothes uncomfortably.
So wrapped up in my own thoughts, I didn't notice the giant black truck slowly pulling away behind us, pausing just a little too long.