John stood by the window staring into the black skies, thinking of nothing in particular. These days he felt numb, lifeless…like everything has lost its meaning.
"I can't believe it. That stupid man!" He heard a voice behind him complain. He turned. It was the Black Canary. She seemed to be talking to herself. Then she looked up and saw him.
"Problem?" He asked.
"Tell me about it!"
Half an hour later, they were sitting side by side, staring out into the darkness, sharing a bag of popcorn.
"Men are stupid creatures!" Dinah exclaimed.
John Stewart raised an eyebrow. "I beg to differ."
She turned back at him. "Oh really? If you're so smart then why do you pretend to be happy?"
He looked incredulous. "What makes you think I pretend to be happy? I am very happy."
"Well wise guy..if you're so happy what are you doing here this late, staring into nothing?"
He looked down. He didn't have an answer to that.
"That's the problem with Oliver too. He doesn't share his feelings. He doesn't want to bother me with them. But the thing is…I hate to see him upset and not be able to do anything about it. If only he'll let me in. He probably thinks that carrying his own cross is the manly thing to do…but it's too late for that now. When he chose to be with me, he should already have realized that it wouldn't always be good times….that we would go through bad times too..together."
"Why can't he see that I'm miserable? Why won't he acknowledge that he's miserable too? It's so frustrating."
John turned to her. "Maybe that's his nature. Maybe he has other things to consider. Maybe he just wants to protect you."
"You know John. That's the problem with men. They think they know what's best for us. But they don't. The truth is..women know exactly what they want. Men don't."
She sighed again.
"They are all about the greater good..and sparing feelings and bullshit. But love isn't supposed to be this way. Love is being true to yourself..listening to your heart. Sharing your joy and your pain. No one is perfect. There's no guarantee that you won't make mistakes, but love is about looking past that. If you really love someone…you would let them know how you feel, even if it shows that you're completely vulnerable. You would be able to trust the person enough to strip down and bare your soul."
Dinah stood up and turned to John. "Well I guess I just have to try again."
John sat alone and pondered. She was right. What did he want? Did he want Mari or Shayera? The answer came back to him loud and clear.
He wanted Shayera. He always did.
Then why? That came back to him too…he was afraid. Mari was the safe choice. He was afraid of being hurt again. He was afraid to let his guard down with Shayera because she had hurt him before. The pain was so poignant that although he could forgive her, he could not forget.
But that's not what love is about.
Everyone makes mistakes. Love is looking past them.
He knew Shayera loved him. She made it clear. But she didn't want to intrude in his relationship with Vixen.
What about Mari? He was fond of her. He had thought she could replace Shayera in his heart.
But he had already given away his heart.
He had to face it all now..he had to be true to himself. He refused to think about this because of his fears but a true soldier faces his deepest fears head on.
He didn't want Mari. He wanted Shayera. His pretense would just hurt all three of them. He had to right his wrongs.
John stood up. His head clearer.
Shayera too was staring into the sky. She was in the monitor room but wasn't really monitoring anything.
"You ok? I could take over you know." The Green Arrow walked up beside her.
"What? Oh…I'm sorry. I didn't realize…"Shayera quickly stood and turned back to the monitor.
Oliver Queen laid a hand on her shoulder. "I know you must be having a tough time with the comeback and all. But you know what..i've heard a lot about you. And from what I know…you're truly a warrior. Take heart."
Shayera turned, and smiled at him, her eyes liquid with tears. Words failed her. She felt a pain in her heart and turmoil. He hugged her then.
"The Green Lantern is a fool. You know..men have never been good at expressing their feelings. It's a ..flaw of nature. Sometimes, all they need is a woman to pound them on the head before they come to their senses. Everyone knows you love him…he needs to know it too. You have nothing to lose Shayera. But don't give up. You know what they say…a true warrior never goes down without a fight. I'll take over here. Go get him." He winked at her.
She smiled back at him and nodded.
Walking along the corridor, Shayera started to get cold feet. What if he rejects her? Will she be able to take the humiliation? The answer came to her.
I have nothing more to lose. I have already lost everything.
Then she knew she had to do it. He was the only chance she had for a future. He was all she knew in this new world where everyone looked at her with skepticism, with anger, with hatred, with mistrust. She needed him.
Her steps led her to the viewing gallery. He was there. It surprised her how she just knew he'd be there and he was. He turned and looked at her…equally surprised.
They looked at each other for a long moment.
"We need to talk Shayera." He said quietly.
"Yes we do." She took a seat and looked up at him.
He paced a few times before stopping in front of her.
"I love you Shayera. I always have. I never got with Mari to hurt you. I'd never do that. I wanted to get over the pain. I thought you left me forever. When you came back, I was afraid to tell you this. I didn't want to hurt Mari and I tried to hold on to the relationship. It's all futile. My heart doesn't agree. I love you Shayera and if love is about second chances…I want another chance. I'm sorry I couldn't let go of my hurt to let you back into my heart." His tears flowed and he dropped to his knees.
"I knew that it hurt you to see me with her. It ate away at my heart everytime I saw the pain in your eyes but my courage failed me. But I learnt a valuable lesson today. Love is about letting go of your fears and just taking a leap of faith. I want to forget everything that happened between us. I can't believe all this time I held onto the past and almost lost my future."
He looked into her beautiful face..now teary.
"There it is..i'm baring my soul to you. I am trusting you with my feeling again. This is it…it is my innermost feelings. Give me another chance."
She threw her arms around his neck then. "John. I love you so much. I should be the one begging for another chance. I never lied about my feelings for you. You are all I have."
They cried together…cleansing tears which washed away the hurts of the past…bringing forth new life.
She looked up at him..he kissed her. Suddenly, it felt like everything jarred back into place. For the past few months, it felt like they were floating around in limbo but now for the first time, they actually felt the ground beneath their feet. It felt right.
Shayera and John walked into the cafeteria hand in hand. They spotted Mari immediately. She threw them a dirty look. She didn't take the breakup well at all. She had shouted and begged and cried but to no avail. Then she started giving them both the cold shoulder.
Now, she turned to the Flash, seated beside her and brought him close, pressing her lips against him.
Shayera turned to John and chuckled. He shook his head in amusement. "Amateur. Even Diana does a better job of making Bruce jealous." He turned and caught Dinah's eyes and nodded his silent thanks. She winked back and turned to peck her lover on the cheek.