the argument
may, 2019

today is a bad day for penny.

mother's day is everywhere now from the sappy commercials to the social media posts everywhere to even the ads on her phone in the little games she plays to try and keep it off of her mind.

every year she expects that she has hardened to it all: the sadness, the emptiness, the fact that she's run so far that she cannot even talk to luke's grave. sometimes she tortures herself thinking of going back to that tiny oppressive little town and seeing him. sometimes she conisders picking up the phone to call her husband, to speak to him in memories only to remember that they've never remembered luke the same.

every year it hurts her. every year she wants the drawings he'd given her or to sit back and watch movies with him until they were exhausted or stuffed. and every year she finds that she's just a raw, unhappy nerve.

to top it all off... the headache sets in, right after a distressing message from tabitha.

as soon as the headache starts, penny's mood plummets even further. she bites into her cheek as if it could counter the pain in her head and what it symbolizes, resentment and anger coursing through her. she can feel her hands shake on the wheel, not exactly knowing what to do now.

sure as a storm, diana of themyscira, in all her perfectness was going to descend on her. she was going to swallow up another week of her life, and possibly end up with penny in an entirely different set of circumstances that she'd have to wrestle with.

she doesn't even bother trying to find a quiet place outside of the apartment to deal with this. penny locks herself in her bedroom, shutting her eyes tightly, trying to pull herself into that place she had seen the first time diana had come to her.

it takes more than a few moments to get there, that place--full of green trees and a blue sky. waiting for her there was diana, the way she had looked the first time they had met, when it had been new and strange and perhaps thrilling.

it's not that anymore.

penny shoves diana back roughly with her palms, startling the much taller woman. to her fury, diana doesn't budge, her fingers catching penny's wrists with a firm gentleness that only makes her madder. "get out of here! get out of me! i don't want you here--!"

diana keeps a firm grip on her wrists, the expression on her face turning not to anger but to a distinct expression of guilt and regret. neeither of which makes mpenny happy; she wanted diana to be angry with her too, not to continually be so--

"i am sorry, penny," diana's voice is steady, regretful, infuriating. "i cannot-- i still don't know why this happens. i still am not sure of what i can do--"

"leave!" penny bursts out, striving to wrench her wrists away from diana's grip. "you can fucking leave! you can't just keep taking over my body! i don't want you here!"

diana let's go of her wrists, her expression so openly hurting and full of guilt that penny almost regrets what she said. "i am sorry. i am-- i am truly sorry for what is happening to the both of us, penny. i'm not able to control this--"

penny glares at her, "have you ever really tried? have you really fought back or did you just think i'd buckle under you every time?" she steps forward again, lashing out more, "why can't you just let me have-- let me have--"

penny doesn't want diana to be good, to comfort her. she wants to scream and rage at her, take out all of her frustrations. she doesn't know how diana can be what she is, how diana can stand it, and diana still has compassion for her. diana still wraps her arms around penny, still takes the brunt of her anger and still holds penny closer to her.

"i am sorry for what i've done to you. to what i keep doing to you," diana's words have no right to be soothing, "i think you're right. i haven't been trying hard enough for you or-- or anyone else. i haven't considered your feelings in this as much as i should have." diana can't meet her face when penny looks up at her, the shame so evident. "i still do not understand how this works, i still don't have a grip on things. i do admit that i haven't tried hard enough for you."

penny wipes at her face, her anger starting to cool off. resentment flares in her that diana is listening to her, and turns into confusion that she even trusts diana. that she could trust her.

of everyone, penny is resolute in not bowing to diana's guile, and she shakes her head, determined. "no, you haven't. maybe you should start. even if the world is falling down, i still have to be here to pick up the pieces. i still have to deal with everything else--and you don't respect that or me, diana." it feels good to drive the words into diana, to hold her accountable. "this is your last time doing this. i'm going-- i need to see my sister. i want to make sure she's okay. after that-- you and i are going to figure this out."

diana looks like she desperately wants to say something, anything. penny doesn't want to hear an apology or an offer or an admission. she just wants the oblivion for now, away from herself, away from diana, away from everyone else.

but she doesn't. not yet. there's tabitha to take care of, and when she resumes control of her body, she breathes hard through her nose, through the pain, and through the fact that by the end of the day, she'd get what she wanted, however temporarily.