Disclaimer: I do not own Justice League or any of the character involved. They are all products of DC Comics owned by Time Warner.
Fandom: Justice League
Author: Gotham's Princess
Summary: John is visited by a ghostly spectre who gives him insight about his relationship with Shayera and with Vixen.
Pairing: GL/HG, GL/V
Characters: John Stewart, The Spectre
As boy, John wanted nothing more than to go fly in the stars, and shoot for the moon. But that was the dream of every little boy. How amazing would it be to be in space? And now, years later, it still was amazing, but different. Not how he imagined. He never imaged he's be a Green Lantern. He never knew what one was. He never truly thought he'd fly among the stars. And here he was. But it was different. Lonely. Cold.
Space was a place that left you alone to your thoughts. And that was the last place John wanted to be. Images of Rex, Shayera, and Mari would could his mind, distracting him. Making him question and over think himself. John didn't like it.
"It isn't as hard as you make it out to be, John."
"Who's there?" John readied his ring. A voice had appeared from out of nowhere. He was alone. But someone spoke? Maybe he was too stressed out.
"I'm right behind you."
John whirled around, eyes wide. That had not be there before. He knew that for sure. Standing before him was man, his body a ghostly silver, a green cloak draped around him, with a domino mask covering his face. John had no recognition of the visitor, and neither did his ring.
"What are you?"
"A friend." The man was spoke quietly, but the voice had a hint of strength behind it.
"Who are you?"
"Vengeance." The man's answer was simple, though John could tell the visitor himself wasn't too happy about his answer, himself.
"You're not Batman."
"Nor do I want to be." John was beginning to tire of the man's responses. The Green Lantern was about to voice his opinion, but the visitor spoke again. "I never believed in vengeance. I guess that's why Bruce and I never saw eye to eye at times. And yes, I know Bruce Wayne is Batman. We were actually friends, believe it or not."
John raised an eyebrow. "You expect me to believe you? That you and Batman used to be friends? That you know who he is? You," he pointed a finger in accusation, "haven't even told me who you are."
The man sighed, and rubbed the bridge of his nose. "We were actually friends once, as well, John. Well, not you, but a different you. I don't know if you consider me a friend now. Very few people do." The man's shoulder's fell, and his voice got quiet. "I don't blame them…"
John's ring began to spark. "I repeat: WHO ARE YOU?"
"Vengeance. A sinner." The man looked up into John's eyes. Green clashed brown. "I am The Spectre."
The name…The Spectre. It sounded familiar. John knew he heard it before. But from who?
"You may of heard of me from Zatanna. Or Dr. Fate. They should have the most experience with me. Or…the man before me." The Spectre answered, as if reading John's mind. "I am God's spirit of Vengeance."
"You said you don't believe in vengeance. Why is it your mission to carry out vengeance, then?" John asked, suprising himself. He wanted nothing more than to get away. Not because he was afraid. He was a Green Lantern, they don't do fear. But he felt as if his soul was being bared. Every thought, every feeling, every memory seemed to be out in the open. John wasn't sure if he liked that or not.
The Spectre laughed self-depreciatingly. "I am host of the Spectre to atone for my sins. I did many horrible things. I turned my back on everything I believed. And now, I must pay."
"What could you have possibly done to…"
"They called me the Greatest of the Green Lanterns, John. Did you know when Abin Sur gave me my ring, he laughed. He never thought there'd be a day when he would give his ring to an Earthman. Many of my fellow Lanterns laughed at that. You should know Earth is considered the Alabama of the Universe. But somehow…an Earthman managed to become the Greatest. Surpassing any good Sinestro had done himself. I was their brightest light. And then…" The Spectre's voice broke off, as if he couldn't bear to speak any more.
John's mind began to whirl. The Spectre, a former Green Lantern? And one from Earth? It was impossible. There had only been two Earth Lanterns: himself and Kyle Rayner. Now this ghost was claiming to be one of them, and the greatest at that? "That's impossible."
"Is it, John? Is it truly impossible?" The Spectre asked. "I'm not from here. I'm not from this Earth, John. You should by now. Remember your adventures with the Justice Guild? Or even the Justice Lords? Yes, I know about them. You'd be surprised about the all different worlds I know about, dead and alive."
John stepped backwards, glaring at the Spectre. "So why are you here? To cry to me about how much you screwed up and now your God's whipping boy? Don't you have your other me to do that to?"
"That's what I've always liked about you, John. You stood up for you thought and wouldn't take what you thought was other's bull. I'm glad you're like that here." The Spectre was actually smiling. "And no, I did not come here to whine. I'm here to help you. You sound like Abin."
John decided to let that pass. "So why help me? What have I done to deserve this?"
"You worry me." The answer was short and simple, but loaded with meaning.
"Why? You think that I'll do whatever you did?" John demanded an answer.
The Spectre shook his head. "No…no I do not. However, you are conflicted about your future. Ever since you traveled back from—"
"How do you know about that?"
"I'm God's Wrath. I know many things. Some things, I wish could be forgotten…" The Spectre answered cryptically. "But this is not about me. This is about you and your situation with Vixen and Hawkgirl."
John rolled his eyes. "Flash would kill over if he knew I was getting advice on my love life from a ghost. Can't you go bother Bruce, instead?"
"I'm not just a ghost. And even though Bat baiting can be fun at times, I'd rather not having two Bruces hate me," The Spirit of Vengeance answered with a grin. "But this is not about me or Bruce. This is about your future. The future that you are running away from."
"I'm not going to be destiny's sock puppet." John's voice rang out.
"Time travel is not a good thing, John. People find out their future and what to change it. Or they like their future, and screw it up trying to keep it the same. It's not supposed to work that way."
"I'm sorry I got pulled through the time stream."
"So why don't you want to be destiny' puppet?"
"I want to make my own future."
"And I wanted to remake the past. Sometimes we don't always get what we want, John." The Spectre crossed his arms, his thunderous in the deep recesses of space. "Besides, why are you complaining? You have a son. You have a son with the woman who you love."
"You wanted to remake the past?"
"Do not change the subject, John. There are many things I regret in my life. I don't want you to, either." The ghost's voice was dependent and cool.
"What? Are you telling me to end my relationship with Vixen? To reunite with Shayera? Is that what it was like wherever you come from?" John asked.
There was a brief flash of pain across the Spectre's face, but it disappeared as soon as it came. "No…no….It was actually Katma Tui, the Green Lantern, from Korugar."
"Katma?" John's eyes widened in surprise. They had been a couple, but they had ended their relationship long ago. It was true at a time John entertained the fantasy of having a family with her, but that was so long ago. "Wait…you said 'was'."
"It does not matter now. Not to you." The Spectre's voice was quick and broken, as if masking emotion behind it. "Katma Tui and you…would have never worked here. A brief flirtation, romance, but nothing more. With Shayera, you have something stronger. You have a future. A bond."
"What happened to Katma?" John demanded, anger bubbling within him. "Look, I don't give a damn about what universe she is from? What happened to her."
The Spectre looked down, as if ashamed. "She…she is dead….She was killed by the Star Sapphire."
Despite it being a different Katman Tui from the one that he knew, he still felt a pain in his chest. She had been murdered. Even in a world where they had married, they had never had a chance to be happy. But John also noticed something else. It seemed as if the Spectre was keeping something, he was not sure what, but something, from him. "Was her death…one of your sins?"
The Spectre turned from him, as if he couldn't bear to look at John. "No…though I am at fault. Maybe that's why I'm helping you. Maybe not. But I know you need it. You need happiness, John."
"Even in the future Shayera was dead…"
"The timeline was tampered, John. I assure you, she will live. You will have a family. This I promise you." The Spectre still had his back turned, and the green cloak whirled around him. "And do not worry about harming Vixen. True…it will hurt at first. But she will move on. She will be happy."
John remained silent, thoughts churning in his head. The Spectre was telling him about his a future. One where he had a family. A son. Shayera. Vixen could move on. But could he bear to hurt her still? John loved Vixen, in a way. In his way, nothing compared to what he felt, and still felt, for Shayera. But still…
"I'm trying to help you, John. Take that as you will." The Spectre turned to afce him, a slight chuckled leaving his lips. "Maybe Bruce was right…I do try and 'fix' things too much."
"So what do I do now?"
"Follow your heart, John. You know the truth. You know what is there. I cannot help you any more. You are on your own now." The Spectre smiled sadly. "You were always a good friend, John. Never forget that."
And in a puff of gray smoke, the Spectre was gone. Leaving John to his thoughts. And while he looked out into space, into the stars, he knew what he had to do.
Author's Note: Truthfully, this was just an excuse to write John talking to the Spectre. Which one? Figure it out. But for those who know me, it shouldn't be that hard.