Disclaimer: I own no one.
Rating: PG-13 for the usual stuff. (coughs)
Spoilers: Through "Initiation"
Pairings: Wouldn't you like to know?
It wasn't as if things had changed for Shayera Hol within the past year. She was alone, and she had been alone most of her life. Even when she was a respected and envied lieutenant in the Thanagarian Army and engaged to Hro Talak, she had been alone.
Although she had spent most of her last six years on Earth as a member of The Justice League, as a member of a family, Shayera had been alone. She had accepted her mission, knowing full well that she had to manipulate and use those who would come to trust her. She would know the truth, and she would have to single-handedly deal with the repercussions.
Shayera hadn't expected getting close to the League. Flash, Diana, J'onn, Superman, Batman... They had learned to care for her, and she had ended up caring for them as well.
Then there was John, The Green Lantern. She had let her guard down, and he had snuck right through her defenses. She hadn't wanted to slip up. She hadn't planned on falling for one of the people she had been sent to observe; she hadn't planned on making her betrayal so personal.
Shayera hadn't planned on waking beside him, making love to him, envisioning a future with him, picturing what their children might look like, acting like a teenager, betraying her homeland, loving him...
It all had just happened, and she had ended where she had begun.
Now, Hawkgirl didn't exist, and Shayera Hol spent her days hidden in the abandoned attic of the Midway City Museum. When the sun was down, she risked roaming the skies. If she stayed inside for the rest of her meaningless life, she'd go mad for sure.
It was four in the morning, and Shayera had called it a night. Her wings were tired, and she could barely keep her eyes open. When she got into her loft, she tore off her helmet and walked to the bathroom. After quickly washing her face, she made her way to the kitchen, found a Miller Light in the minni-fridge, and took a swig.
When she heard the rumple of his cape, she wiped her mouth with the back of her hand and asked, "What do you want?"
He watched the winged redhead light a candle but kept his distance from the small table she had taken a seat at.
The woman had changed quite a bit since the last time he had literally laid eyes on her. Her auburn hair hadn't been cut, and she had lost weight. Her skin looked paler, due to lack of exposure to the sun, and she looked exhausted. The candlelight barely revealed the circles beneath her eyes, but his eyes had been trained to notice small details in the dark.
"Can I get you a beer or something?"
He didn't answer her question. He just watched her with an intimidating gaze.
"Guess not." She ran a hand through her hair and let out a sigh. "So what is this all about?"
"I've come to ask a favor."
Shayera didn't move, but her expression spoke wonders. "Find someone else."
"I don't save the world anymore. I retired from that business, remember?"
"Don't you mean 'retreated?'" She sent him one of her famous Hawkgirl glares; Flash had claimed that they were almost as scary as his, but he didn't give up. Shayera Hol was coming with him whether she liked it or not.
She just didn't know it yet.
"Why me? You have a ton of other heroes you could go to. Green Arrow, Caption Atom, uhh..."
"I need a female."
She snapped her fingers. "Diana would be obliged to help you out. Or Supergirl. I'm sure Black Canary and Batgirl would both jump at the offer."
He resisted sneering at his former teammate and countered, "Diana and Black Canary are too recognizable, and Supergirl and Batgirl are too young."
"Recognizable?" Shayera stood from her seat with interest. "You need someone to go undercover, don't you?"
She crossed her arms over her chest and raised an eyebrow. "Well, I'd love to help. Unfortunately, there was this little invasion that took place just last year, and people now shun me and throw stones at me. If you've somehow managed to forget, I have wings that can't be hidden beneath a trench coat or in a backpack. I can't exactly take them off."
"What if I told you the wings wouldn't be an issue."
"I'd say you've got too many bats in your belfry."
Shayera lowered her eyes to the floor and brought her hands to rest on her hips. "What would this woman need to pose as?"
He almost chuckled. "Bruce Wayne's new girlfriend."
A month earlier...
"Yes, Alfred?" he answered as he reviewed a bank robbery's security tape.
"You've received a letter from Mr. Lex Luther."
"Yes. It seems as if he is having a banquet to 'kick off' his political campaign, as Master Tim would say." When the Batman didn't respond, Alfred questioned, "Should I toss the invitation and send your regrets?"
"Actually, no. I think I may want to attend."
"You can't be serious, Sir. I thought you loathed that ingrate."
"I do, but I want to investigate." Batman pressed one of the many keys on his main computer and called The Man of Steel's name. When Superman answered, Batman spoke again. "Did you, by any chance, receive an invitation to Luther's banquet?"
"Actually, no. Lois did, but I'm going as her date."
"Good. I'm going too."
"What's cooking in that Bat-brain of yours?"
"I'm willing to bet that there may be something illegal going on, and this political act just may be a hoax."
"I don't know. Lex loves power."
"Yes, and he's worked with the lot of power-hungry criminals. I just don't want our country to suffer if the public votes him into office, when it's too late."
"I have a plan, but I need a woman to help me."
"How about Diana?"
"No. Luther would suspect something."
That wasn't the only reason Batman didn't want Diana to get involved; the duo had experienced a quarrel just several weeks ago, and he didn't want to tread in perilous waters.
At least, not this soon.
"Let me thing about it. Just make sure you and Lois show."
"Got it. Good luck."
"Batman out." He rubbed his chin as he contemplated over which person would be suited for a job in espionage. No one came to mind, and Batman figured he was faced with a dead end.
"Master Bruce, if it's not too bold to say, I believe a particular Hawkgirl may be the woman for the occupation."
"Two words, Alfred: Winged and resigned."
"Oh, pish-tosh, Sir. You know full well that Miss Hol would be eager to assist you again."
"Perhaps, but she has wings. Luther wouldn't fall for some cheap trick."
The butler shrugged. "Maybe I'm wrong, Sir, but haven't Miss Barbara and Master Dick been experimenting on that interesting device?"
"The molecule manipulator?"
"Yes, but I believed that they called it a cell disrupter." Batman's loyal butler and friend pretended to dust off a few of the cave's shelves as he continued to try convincing his employer. "Wouldn't it be wonderful if their mentor could mend its glitches?"
"All right. I'll find her."
"Bravo, Sir. I'll prepare a room."
To be continued...