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09 February 2012 @ 02:10 pm
[fic: white collar] The Never We've Been Told Before  
I really had to write this after the latest episode of White Collar. Because, oh, Diana. So this is maybe a little rushed, but I just had to get it out.

Title: The Never We've Been Told Before
Characters/Pairing: Diana; Gen, mentions of Diana/OFC
Genre/Rating: Angst, PG
Word count: 700
Warnings: Homophobia
Notes: Mild spoiler for episode 3x14, 'Pulling Strings'. Title is from 'City Hall' by Vienna Teng, because.

Summary: "They wouldn't let me go to Prom."

- o -

She has already bought her dress.

That's the thought which keeps rising up in her mind while she nods through the Principle's talk, "We need to have a private chat in my office, Diana," through all the trite, condescending phrases. "Inappropriate", "Wouldn't be fair", "Unsuitable", "Disruptive".

She nods, and even smiles politely, because there's no way in hell that she's going to cry.

"I'm sure you understand," he says, finally. And what she understands is that her beautiful green dress won't be worn after all and that she is apparently now something others have to be protected from (and she saw the petition, after all). As an afterthought he adds, "You can't expect special treatment, you know."

"Sir," she says, and thinks, special. And she nods, because although she's been brought up as a diplomat's daughter knowing how to fight for herself, this is different. This is the weight of a world she's barely entered yet crushing down on her and she's so small, in the end. This is a binary where punishment and special treatment are the only two responses to her existence.

It would be special treatment to allow her to go to Prom with everyone else, even unescorted and alone. She's unsuitable.

She doesn't tell her father (she would have to start at the very beginning and, no). She would have told Charlie, but he's dead (and she could have been dead too by now, aren't there so many more important things to be upset and angry about than the loss of one evening?). She wants to tell Becca but she's gone, abruptly taken up-State by her parents (and don't you dare contact our daughter again).

Becca, with her blonde braid and brown eyes and low, sweet laugh, and fear of Hell.

News spreads fast. By the next day the whole school is aware, even those who didn't know her name or face before, and she's the target of sidelong glances and hasty steps back.

"I'm not contagious," she snaps, eventually, but no one laughs.

Not that it's everyone, of course. She's only been here a short while but she has friends — only not Becca, not anymore — and they stick by her but don't speak out in her defence (she can't really blame them). She gets what she thinks are sympathetic looks from a couple of the teachers and an awkward speech about how God loves her anyway from a girl in the year below whom she barely recognises. And David in her form, who's usually painfully shy, finds her when she's alone by her locker and tells her earnestly that she could go as his date, if that might make a difference. "I mean, I'm not asking you to date me. Really, really not. But we could pretend…"

The realisation startles her, although at the same time she isn't terribly surprised. "You too?"

He smiles nervously, clearly afraid to incriminate himself further. "You're so brave," he says.

It doesn't feel like she's being brave. Brave would be having outed herself, it would be fighting against this — this unfairness, rather than allowing herself to be overruled.

Her dress is green satin and she resists putting it on, even just to see what might have been.

On the night when David's going to Prom alone and Becca's desperately trying to renounce her soul, Diana reads. She finds her old books, her favourites from childhood (when everything was simpler, and happier, and possibly a lie) and takes them under her duvet. There are princes and princesses, and knights who slay monsters and fight against evil which is huge and frightening and obvious and doesn't look like her at all. And there's a hard, painful knot inside her, and maybe fighting was what she was born to do, after all.

The next day she returns the dress to the store. "Has it been worn?" the saleswoman asks.

"No," Diana says, and doesn't cry.

- o -

Posted at http://frith-in-thorns.dreamwidth.org/42754.html with comment count unavailable comments.
Rumrouzrumrouz on February 9th, 2012 02:34 pm (UTC)
So sad(

Thank you
Frith: White Collar - Diana - happyfrith_in_thorns on February 9th, 2012 03:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much :)
helle_dhelle_d on February 9th, 2012 02:51 pm (UTC)
Oh, Diana. Dianadianadiana. This is heartbreaking and lovely, and I may or may not be crying slightly.
Frith: White Collar - El - happy phonefrith_in_thorns on February 9th, 2012 03:52 pm (UTC)
♥ I know, I just, Diana. I sat down and wrote this right after you'd left, actually, I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep until I had! Am so glad you liked :)
A Figment of My Own Imagination: White Collar: Diana & Nealveleda_k on February 9th, 2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
Oh man, Diana. This is is so well done. Dian's pain and anger really come through. The details are so evocative and painful.

maybe fighting was what she was born to do, after all

Damn right.
Frith: White Collar - Diana - reflectionfrith_in_thorns on February 9th, 2012 03:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. I was tearing up at her line in the episode, and I really had to write this. I'm glad you liked it :)
pipiljpipilj on February 9th, 2012 03:58 pm (UTC)
Fantastic story, u portrayed Diana hurt really well.
Frith: White Collar - Diana - happyfrith_in_thorns on February 9th, 2012 03:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I love Diana, utterly :)
shakespeares-katektrn_lucas88 on February 9th, 2012 04:46 pm (UTC)
Fantastic! I'm so glad you wrote this.
Frith: White Collar - Neal - worried shirtfrith_in_thorns on February 12th, 2012 04:46 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
Lithyhalcyon_shift on February 9th, 2012 05:06 pm (UTC)
Really lovely (and really not lovely, but in a fantastically well done sort of way)

Killer last lines.
Frith: Zundry - raining heartsfrith_in_thorns on February 12th, 2012 04:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I hate it that this sort of thing happens :(
a rearranger of the proverbial bookshelf: Tree - green & leaningembroiderama on February 9th, 2012 05:17 pm (UTC)
Oh, gah, teenage Diana broke my heart here.

And I seriously need a Diana icon.
Frith: White Collar - Diana - reflectionfrith_in_thorns on February 12th, 2012 05:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)
Sholio: WhiteCollar-Dianasholio on February 9th, 2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
Oh wee Diana! *hugs her* This is really wonderfully done.
Frith: Zundry - raining heartsfrith_in_thorns on February 12th, 2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you :) Diana should have all the hugs.
RabidChild's Fic: Diana - eyesrabidchild on February 9th, 2012 05:47 pm (UTC)

And it's breaking my heart!

I love this A LOT. Thank you for doing it - it's absolutely beautiful.
Frith: White Collar - Diana - reflectionfrith_in_thorns on February 12th, 2012 05:13 pm (UTC)
I absolutely couldn't *not* write it, once I'd thought of it! And thank you :)
(no subject) - rabidchild on February 12th, 2012 05:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Winterwinterstar95 on February 9th, 2012 06:20 pm (UTC)
Perfectly written. Thank you for the beautiful insight.
Frith: White Collar - Diana - reflectionfrith_in_thorns on February 12th, 2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you, very much :)
doctor_fangeek: The Czardoctor_fangeek on February 9th, 2012 09:36 pm (UTC)
This is amazing! Um...that's all I've got right now. Well, also that the first and last lines are utterly perfect. Brava!
Frith: Zundry - raining heartsfrith_in_thorns on February 12th, 2012 08:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you ♥
gekkoryugekkoryu on February 9th, 2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
This just makes me So Angry. There are not even words.
Frith: Zundry - rainbow jellyfrith_in_thorns on February 12th, 2012 08:17 pm (UTC)
I'm angry too. Thank you ♥
iamhere23iamhere23 on February 9th, 2012 10:04 pm (UTC)
This was awesome and heartbreaking - and I just love Diana!
I was glad they included Neal's perfect line after she mentioned this: "Well, they can't stop you from getting married." <3 <3
Doesn't WC have some of the greatest supporting characters? :D
Frith: White Collar - Diana - happyfrith_in_thorns on February 12th, 2012 08:20 pm (UTC)
Neal's response was perfect, and may have made me cry slightly. I'm really glad you liked this, thank you :)
oh these heroes come and go;: [wc] diana & neal;;micheleeeex on February 10th, 2012 01:02 am (UTC)
:((((( I love this, but it makes me so sad for Diana!
Frith: White Collar - Diana - reflectionfrith_in_thorns on February 12th, 2012 10:11 pm (UTC)
I love Diana so much. Thank you.
aelfgyfu_mead: Dianaaelfgyfu_mead on February 10th, 2012 01:23 am (UTC)
Thank you. I had a horrible moment of "What?" and then "Oh. Of course" when Diana said they wouldn't let her go.

Well done. It makes me sad, but glad that Diana stays strong and true to herself.
Frith: Zundry - rainbow jellyfrith_in_thorns on February 12th, 2012 10:17 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad that the writers put that in, because it's something that happens too much and too many people don't think about it.

Thank you ♥