Shayera woke up to the crackling sound of the bone knitter repairing her broken rib.
"How ya feelin', champ?"
Looking up to her right John was standing by her side holding her hand and smiling.
"I've felt better," she said groggily. She winced as another fragment of bone was adhered back into its place.
It was warm penetrating sensation as J'onn worked the stick of the bone knitter slowly along the length of her 18th rib. Ultrasonically vibrating, the wand straightened the break of her calcium and marrow back into correct alignment.
"Is Katma all right?" Shayera tried to sit up, but John held her with a firm hand on her shoulder. She was a little startled at her sudden recollection of the end of the sparring match. Hawkgirl had left Katma unconscious on the floor.
"Easy, Shayera," John said soothingly. He had to keep her from moving in order for J'onn to do his work accurately. "Katma is okay. She's comatose."
Shayera turned her head to glance over at the other table of the medical bay. There, just as John had said, lay Katma Tui. She was rested unmoving under the blinking watch of a several machines that monitored her heart and other organic activity.
"It's okay, Shay." John reassured her. "Korugaran physiology is a little bit complex. Her brain conks out easily if you strike her precisely on the forehead. It's a sort of defense. The brain sort of shuts down and contracts to protect itself from further damage."
Hawkgirl looked back into his eyes. She wondered how he must have felt betraying Katma like that.
"Thanks, John," she said softly. She moved her hand to the side of his face. "I didn't want to really hurt her. I..."
"Finished," J'onn interrupted as he completed the work on Shayera's ribcage. "You need to rest for a while, Hawkgirl. The internal marrow of your rib bone needs to self-repair. You will be quite sore."
"Okay," Shayera agreed. "Thanks, J'onn"
John sat down on the examination table next to her gently. He leaned down close to her and stroked her hair.
"Shay," he began. "I have to leave you for a little bit to take Katma back to Korugar."
"What?" The announcement had taken Hawkgirl by surprise.
"Kat can be brought out of her coma safer and quicker with the help of her home planet's technology," John explained. "Besides I won't be long. Don't worry I haven't forgotten my promise. I will just drop her off and return. I won't talk to her."
John bent over Shayera. With his fingers he gently brushed back the forelocks of her red hair, and then tenderly kissed her on the forehead.
"Don't worry, Love," he said softly. "I will be back soon and then we can celebrate our victory. Then you can tell me what you needed to. The trip is fairly short by 'ring' speed. I will be back way before the Kaznian peace conference that Batman wants us to protect. Okay?"
John straightened back up before standing up but Shayera followed him up until she was sitting upright on the bed. She took off her hawk mask.
John found it harder to leave now. He looked back into her light green eyes. He wrapped an arm around her to hold her weakened torso up. Shayera wrapped a hand around his head and pulled him close. Once again they kissed in the medical bay with the shining blue earth as witness to their embrace.
"Hurry back to me...love," Shayera said breathlessly when they parted. "I'll be waiting for you."
Hawkgirl watched as John enveloped Katma in the green glow of his power ring's energy. When they had left the medical bay Shayera put her mask back on and slipped on a hospital robe. She stood at the large panoramic window that overlooked the earth. A glowing green globe encapsulated John and the sleeping Katma emerged into her view. John waved as green translucent ball receded into the distance.
Shayera placed her hand on the cold surface of the glass. She pressed her forehead against the transparent window. The condensation from her breath left two misty circles. Her lips narrowly brushed the glass as she spoke.
"Hurry back to me, John...because I love you."