the memories are a tangled thing in her head no matter what the day of the week, no matter what she takes at night, no matter how many times she tries to get things straight.
there she is a little girl. she is diana, daughter of the hippolyta tenth queen of the amazons. she is a little girl and she wants to get out of her mother's thumb. she runs past guards, past buildings spiraling into the sky. she breathes in the air that is so clean and fresh and her heart yearns and yearns.
she is also penny dupree and she wants to be more than a stupid little wallflower. she feels taller, gawkier and more out of place among the people in her school. the girl who sneers at her has bright green eyes and freckles that make her stare at her over and over again and penny wants to know why she's so cruel to her when all she wants is to be her friend. later, when she is older she understands that she wanted to be more than just her friend, and maybe that's why they never got along. maybe that girl knew what penny did not at that age.
in her memories, steve trevor has eyes that are so bright, so wanting for her that she aches. she has never met a man before -- and she never will meet one like him at all. even when she can't understand him, even when she isn't able to wrap her mouth around his tongue, she understands when he mourns his fallen comrades. she reaches out for him, puts her arm around his shoulders, and she holds him when he cries. there is something there that she has never felt before, never seen before. being with him means that sh would leave home.
in penny's memories, she is in a marriage that she didn't want. her husband comes and goes on his own, and so does she. she leaves him notes on his sermons, and in her own time, teaches at any school that will take her. she feels herself wilting here, beneath his thumb and his expectations. she feels nothing when eventually, she realizes that he hasn't been home in months. only opens up a bottle, and places a call to change the locks.
the memories swirl, fold in on themselves. she is penny, experiencing high school. she is diana, who takes in the shore of man's world, her heart heavy with the knowledge she will never see home again. she is penny, who discovers real love with a woman who is a foot shorter than her and so much braver, who tastes like peppermint when she kisses her. she is diana who kisses mala when she's fourteen under an eternal sun.
penny wipes at her face, and she tries to focus on a thread. tries to do this with diana, to find a way to make this headache recede, and work together. focuses on running down a hill--remembers that it should be mostly red clay, not a flowering green. remembers that she wasn't without blemishes; a scar on her thigh from sixteen, a scabbed knee. they materialize, like an overlay, on the unblemished skin that she knows is diana's.
penny breathes. she breathes.
she can feel diana reaching out, in that strange way. and diana breathes with her, over and over.
"i am here with you. together," diana says in that way she always does: calming, assured, good.
penny bristles beneath it, still unsure of what to do with someone so full of good, of interest, of genuine kindness. she chews her lip, and after a moment, she nods in the dark, coolness of her house. "together."