Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Justice League
Character/Pairing: Green Lantern/Hawkgirl
Challenge/Prompt: beattheblackdog 79: Clash and prompt_in_a_box: Shelter
Warning(s): Slight AU in that it completely ignores the last three episodes of the cartoon
Word Count: 1,374
Date Written: 6 September 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to DC Comics, not the author, and are used without permission.
She wakes to a different sound. She stills at first, part of her subconscious still expecting to hear the explosions of war, but there are no explosions. Slowly, she reminds herself that that time has passed. Her people are no longer at war but defeated, gone from her forever. She is the last of their kind. She is the last Thangarian warrior left alive.
But she wasn’t fighting last night. Shayera’s lips curve up into a smile as she remembers. Usually, the best thing about any night here on Earth is the battle that she fights, the most reassuring feeling that of her fingers gripping her trusty mace, but right now, she’s not entirely sure where her mace is -- and she couldn’t care less.
She’s not hearing a drumming. What she’s hearing, she realizes, is the soft beating of a very human heart accompanied by a human’s soft breathing. It’s John’s heart beating soundly and calmly as he sleeps, as he slumbers after what they just shared.
Shayera’s smile grows. She cuddles closer to his still, warm body and is rewarded with his arms coming closer together around her body. For a moment, she thinks he’s awakening. Then, she realizes that he’s not awakening; this is simply how his body responds in his sleep to hers. Even in his subconscious, he’s not trying to push her away but pull her closer to him.
So this must be what the humans talk about falling in love is like. Her thought surprises her. She almost pushes away from John, but she doesn’t dislike the feeling. Oh, no, just the opposite -- she likes it a lot, far more than any warrior is supposed to like anything that doesn’t have to do with fighting. But he’s always trying to get her to be something more than a warrior.
Everybody around her is more than a warrior, she thinks, and she’s come to like the people with whom she now fights. Superman’s heroicness and high morales surpass anybody else she’s ever known; yet, he has a human life with a girlfriend and parents who he loves dearly. He doesn’t fight for the people because he has to; he fights for them because he loves them, too, because he loves Earth. It’s the same reason most members of the Justice League fight. She knows it’s the reason her John fights.
Shayera realizes she must be grinning like an idiot; her smile feels wider than any she’s ever witnessed before even on Flash. But John has that effect on her. He makes her smile. He makes her feel warm, safe, loved. His arms are a shelter in which she could easily spend the rest of her life.
She doesn’t have to fight. She’s the last Thangarian left, and if she doesn’t spend all her time fighting, no one will be the wiser. None of her people will ever know. Her character will not be impaired. Even Batman has people for whom he cares deeply, or so she’s heard from Wonder Woman. There’s something about a kid he’s taken under his wing and a woman on the wrong side of the law who he keeps arresting but for whom he also keeps falling.
At least, when she fell, she fell for a hero. She know John still doubts himself sometimes. He worries his ring will take him over. He worries he’s no longer of Earth, but there is nothing alien about this man whose heart she’s now listening to, at least nothing alien from his people. He is one of the best men she has ever known, and much like Superman, he will always fight for the people he loves.
“You’re thinking too much.” His deep voice surprises her. She looks up, startled, her wings arching with her instinct to flee, but he runs a large, soothing hand down her bare back. He caresses her wings even, and Shayera feels the need to fly ease out of her. “Just enjoy it.”
“I was never taught to love,” she admits. “These emotions . . . They are all new to me. They’re all alien to me.”
She can hear his wide smile in his voice as he answers her, “They may be new to you, and you may never have been taught that they were okay although it’s a sad thing you people never experienced such joy and love, but I can not believe they are alien. The rights to love as we choose and to be happy, as long as the things it takes to make us happy, are inalienable. They are God-given rights,” he explains, “to every man, woman, and child.”
“God given, huh?” Her smiling lips twitch with sarcasm.
“Yes,” he answers deeply, and she realizes she likes the feeling of listening to how his voice starts deep within his chest. He strokes her back again, strokes her wings again. “I know your people did not believe in our God. I know you do not, but you will learn to.”
If he likes Him, Shayera thinks for the first time, He can not be all bad. She knows the god her people chose to worship was the wrong one. It wasn’t that long ago that they fought him, after all, and she bested him. She turns her head and kisses his chest, right beneath where her cheek has been lying, but she says nothing of his God.
“And even if you don’t,” John continues, hugging her, “it won’t change the way I feel about you. Nothing will ever change that, Shayera.”
“Nothing can ever change the way I feel about you too, John,” she says, realizing, with no small amount of surprise, how true those words are. She’s not only speaking them because he’s telling her that; she means it. No matter how hard she has tried to only be a warrior and to keep things between them strictly professional, she has been, as the humans call it, in love with this great man for a long time now. Nothing’s going to change it, and she doesn’t want to fight it any longer, not when it feels this wonderful to actually experience acting on and sharing their mutual feelings.
Alarms ring through the ship. Shayera looks up with a half-grin, half-frown. “I find myself,” she admits, “tempted not to answer the call. Nothing has ever made me happier than the clash of weapons until now.”
John hugs her tightly to him once more. “We have to answer,” he tells her. They sit up and start quickly getting dressed. He waits until she’s slid her mask back into place above her beautiful face to take her hands in his. “We have to help whoever needs our help,” he explains, his smile growing large again, “but afterward, we can come back here.”
Shayera’s smile matches his, though he thinks it’s so much more beautiful. “I’d like that,” she answers truthfully, “very much.”
“Then it’s agreed.” Still grinning, he leans down and kisses first her forehead and then her lips with a gentility she’s never known from any other person save him. Then, releasing one hand but not letting go of her other, he starts flying toward Command Central. She goes with him, both not bothering to take her hand from his and liking the fact that neither of them -- not him or herself -- pulled away. They’ll answer this call and whatever follows it, but when they’re not fighting, when they’re not playing the parts of heroes saving some life or another, she’ll like very much to not be a warrior, Shayera realizes. She’ll like to just be a woman in love.
Their friends look up as John and Shayera enter. Several of them burst into wide grins. Superman and Batman tuck their heads. J’onn looks away, missing his wife and children.
“What?” Shayera asks, puzzled.
Flash starts to speak, but John warns him in a low voice that offers near a growl, “Flash -- “
He hushes immediately, but Wonder Woman moves forward instead. “You’re happy,” Diana explains with a smile, touching Shayera’s shoulder in a gesture of friendship, “and that makes us happy too.” Her words are touching; Shayera, not knowing what else to do, just smiles back.