Disclaimer: they all belong to DC, ok?

Summary: I really hate the BMWW ship. I just do. She's way too soppy for him. I do approve of HGGL, but I think that everyone needs a little walk on the dark side. So here's Shayera's thoughts on a certain dark teammate. Enjoy!

Hunters

My heart in hiding stirred for a bird - the achieve of, the mastery of the thing! Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume here.'

Exerpt from 'The Windhover', by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Exhausted, bloodied, with the thrill of battle still flowing in her veins, Shayera staggered into the Watchtower hangar, followed by her teammates. She rolled her injured shoulder, testing its range of movement, and was satisfied. Most of the blood that stained her shirt and wings wasn't hers either, so she felt absolutely no need to be cooped up in medical until her neurotically careful lover decided she was fit.

'I'm going back down,' she announced, striding determinedly away from the hangar and towards the teleports. Predictably, John moved to stop her, but she shrugged him gently off, wiping some blood away to show it wasn't hers. 'I'm fine. I need some air,' she cautioned him, smiling slightly to take the edge off. 'You're the one who needs medical attention.' And that was true. The ex-marine had taken a heavy hit to the chest, and she knew his ribs needed tending to. He knew it too, and backed off.

Before she could move, another neurotic teammate stepped up. Batman this time. She squared her shoulders, ready to declare her fitness once again, when he simply motioned for her to lead the way.

'I'm heading down also. I have work to take care of, in Gotham. If you're coming, get a move on.' Abrupt and impolite as always, he strode past her, cape billowing behind him, reminding her of the leather wings it emulated. Shaking her head at his antisocial attitude, she followed.

As usual, she found herself considering him, his ... power, as he moved confidently ahead of her. Of all her teammates, he was the one that intriuged her most. The others she could understand. They were warriors, defenders, plain and simple. Her mate and the amazon were warriors trained, J'onn a being who had fought the race who invaded his world to the death, Superman and Flash people with extra abilities who had chosen to use them to defend their people. But Batman, though he was these things too, was also something more. He was a hunter.

The hawk in her knew this, as one predator knows another. This was a creature who bent all of his considerable will to hunting down those who stepped outside the lines he had drawn. His prey were the criminals and psychopaths of his, and other, worlds. Rather than depending on abilities granted him by fate, he sought to maximise his chances through training, expanding his limits, as any efficient hunter must.

But there was more to it than that, for her. The hawk inside recognised something else about this man. He knew how to fly.

The others would laugh at this. Batman was one of the two Leaguers who couldn't fly, and the only who was forced to depend on mechanical means to travel with any speed, let alone altitude. But she knew better. What the others did, that effortless glide, was not flying. With them, it was magic or willpower or alternate density that held them up, let them move through the air. That wasn't flying. That was floating.

Batman knew how to fly properly. She'd seen him, leaping from buildings in persuit of enemies, soaring through the streets of a city battle, using wind and air movement to direct his. That was flying. The thrill of fear as one leapt into the unknown, counting only on wings or line to bear one up, the instinctive calculation of wind sheer and crossvectors, the use of momentum and opposing forces to change direction, the mechanics of lift and fall, all these were flying. The others, who simply stepped out into the air, practically walking on it, knew nothing of this.

But Batman did. He knew that elemental thrill, that rush of fear and adrenalin as you trusted yourself to the skies, relying on fragile wings or lines to carry you. If those things broke, were damaged in any way, then death rose up with the earth to claim you. He knew that, the only one besides she who did. And the hawk wanted that. It wanted a mate to feel the thrill of flight with it, wanted that hunter to soar through the skies with it. She loved John, loved him with everything in her that was human, but that was the problem. Not all she was was human. The hawk wanted what the hawk wanted. It was elemental, and quite beyond her control.

'Are you coming or not?' He demanded impatiently, interupting her considerations. He stood by the control panel, glaring at her, fingers poised. 'Destination?' he asked brusquely. She opened her mouth to reply, then paused.

'Gotham,' she exclaimed, on impulse. He stared. 'I want ... to fly with you,' she clarified, unhelpfully perhaps. He looked at her as if she'd been struck on the head, and suffering with a concusion. Maybe she was. They all knew that his city was off limits, yet still she asked.

'You do, of course, realise that I can't fly. I am not John. You left him back there.' He didn't sound impressed with her, hardly surprisingly. 'Perhaps you should join him in medical after all.'

She shook her head determinedly. 'It's you I meant. John can't fly, not really. Floating on the power of the ring isn't flying. I want the thrill, the hunt. I want to fly with you, to take to the air in your city streets, and hunt with you. I need to. It's ... a hawk thing. I need this.'

He looked at her consideringly, in that way he had, as if he was weighing your every motive and thought. Perhaps he was. 'What brought this on?' he asked slowly. She shrugged.

'I've wanted it for a long time. You ... you're the only one who can fly among them. You're the only one who knows what I mean. But if you do not wish to, I understand.'

He stared at her for a long moment. Then: 'Gotham it is.'

Later, returning after a night spent among the rooftops and alleyways of the darkest city in America, a night spent with a hunter and his clan, seeking out the worst of criminals for their prey, she wondered if perhaps he had known. One hunter knows another, and one mate knows another also. He was a hunter inside, and he understood in some way the instinctive need for another to join you in that hunt. He felt it the way her hawk did, without undue thought.

There was nothing she could do. She loved John, and Batman defied all claims to him, even Diana's. If he refused the amazon, then what chance had she? But he had flown with her. He had taken her to his eyrie, his city, and hunted with her. He offered what he had to give, and she should be content. However, what the hawk wants, it strives to get. Instinctively. She wasn't human. She was a hawk, a hunter, a being born to fly, to soar. So was he.

Her tender human heart belonged to John, but her predator's blood would always beat for the creatures of air and night, the hunters of the world. John was her love. Bruce was her mate. She had but to convince them of that.

What the hawk wants, it gets.

Well? What do you think? It's weird, I know, but it seems right to me. Diana just doesn't cut the biscuit. He deserves someone fierce, like Selina or Shayera. So I wrote this. Tell me what you think, please. R&R.