Disclaimer: Bruce Timm, can I have a job?
It had been two days since Mari had broken up with John. It had been the most miserable two days of her life. The problem, unfortunately, was that she still loved the Green Lantern.
It had become blatantly obvious that while John loved her, he loved Shayera more. The eventual knowledge that he had stayed with her not only out of a sense of loyalty, but also as an attempt to dodge fate, stung. Rather than have the love of her life agonizing over his love life, she took the decision out of his hands.
Shayera had won.
Mari had cried herself to sleep.
Vixen idly flipped through the television channels in her room. She was still dressed in her pajamas, having requested a three day leave from Justice League duties. Mari hadn't quite felt like returning home, but yet she didn't feel like running into any Leaguers, so she had barricaded herself within her Metrotower quarters.
She was trying to, at any rate. Vigilante and Shining Knight had made it their chivalric duty to drop in on her at every available opportunity. They had been mysteriously absent the last few hours though, so the heart broke woman moped on her couch.
When a woman suffered heartbreak in stories, her female friends would all show up to comfort the poor soul.
Someone rang the buzzer on her door. Mari barely heard it.
Wonder Woman, while acting sympathetic to her, was much closer friends with Shayera. It was obvious who she had wanted to end up with John. Supergirl was in the future. Stargirl was frankly too young for Vixen to bawl her eyes out to, not that Kara would have been much older.
The buzzer rang again.
She barely knew Huntress and Batgirl. Zatanna was only an acquaintance, not a close friend. Black Canary was currently down with the flu.
"Dammit Mari! What in tarnation are you doin' in there!?" Vigilante finally bellowed. "We've got business ta attend to!"
"Greg!" The scandalized voice of Sir Justin also floated through.
Well, this should at least keep her mind temporarily occupied. She opened the door to stare bleary eyed at her intruders.
Sir Justin locked his hands onto her left arm. Greg Saunders held her other arm in a deathgrip.
"Damn it, what the hell are you two doing!?" Mari finally yelled. They were dragging her towards the elevator. "I'm not even dressed!"
"Not to worry, Pretty Lady," Vigilante said soothingly. "Where we're going, it won't matter a lick."
Oh Great. When other women suffer heartbreak, their female friends are there to comfort. When Mari suffers heartbreak, she gets abducted by a crazed cowboy and a knight.
"Don't let her touch that amulet!" Greg warned. As if she could, the two men were holding on to her arms pretty tight.
"I assure you, I will not allow that," Sir Justin said evenly.
"This isn't chivalrous," Mari muttered. "You're not supposed to manhandle a lady."
The knight at least had the courtesy to blush. The cowboy, on the other hand, merely whistled cheerfully as they dragged her towards the teleporters.
It was at this moment that she realized they were both dressed in civilian clothing. Shining Knight seemed out of place in a pair of faded blue jeans and a George Strait t-shirt. Vigilante, of course, still wore his beloved cowboy boots and hat, even off duty.
And what was she wearing? Fuzzy purple slippers and Bugs Bunny sleepwear.
Mari considered threatening them, but her heart wasn't in it. Their surroundings blurred and were replaced with luscious greenery. She and her two kidnappers stood in a small wooded area, near a small stream.
Okay, where the hell was she?
"Finally! It took you guys long enough!"
And why were Booster Gold and Blue Beetle here?
"We were…delayed," Sir Justin answered, an ancient British accent coloring his words.
"She was being ah stubborn mule," Vigilante offered helpfully.
"Couldn't you guys have at least let her get dressed?" Beetle asked.
"This makes it more interesting," the cowboy answered.
"Interesting!? What the hell are we doing here!?" Mari shouted. She finally struggled free of the dynamic duo, crossed her arms, and glared at the four men.
"I think the lady's a might bit embarrassed to be seen her jammies," Greg continued. Jammies? You're dead cowboy, Mari silently swore.
"A bit?" she snapped. A smirk widened on Vigilante's face. Oh crap, what was he…?
"Alright boys!" Greg shouted. "Time to skivvy down to our boxers!"
Uh oh. Sir Justin did not like that one bit.
Mari bit back a small smile as Greg Saunders and Sir Justin had an epic stare down. For whatever reason, Michael Carter and Ted Kord had stripped down to their underwear without arguing.
"Yah heard me, yah great…"
"It is not suitable for a man, let alone a knight, to undress himself in the presence of a lady."
"It's your chivalric duty, Sir Justin," Vigilante explained patiently, trying a different tact. "You see here buddy, this young woman is a bit embarrassed at her predicament."
"It's your fault!" Mari shouted. Ignoring her, the cowboy continued.
"As gentlemen, it is our duty to embarrass ourselves so that she is no longer herself embarrassed."
Sir Justin stared at his friend, dumbfounded by his twisted logic. With a heavy sigh, the reluctant knight stripped off his pants and t-shirt.
Mari felt a real smile grow on her face. When other women break up with their boyfriends, they eat ice cream and watch TV. She gets four male Justice Leaguers dressed in nothing but their boxers. Well, except for Sir Justin, he had on briefs.
"You're a cruel, twisted man Greg," Mari smirked.
"And you're enjoying every minute of it," the cowboy replied. Clad only in his Howdy Doody boxers and his cowboy hat, the ringleader motioned to his appointed 'deputies.'
"Alright boys, let 'er rip!"
Booster Gold and Blue Beetle tugged a taut line of rope and down dropped a very strange thing indeed. What appeared to be an effigy of John Stewart landed in front of Mari. Several brown paper bags, stuffed with who knew what, were glued together. A Green Lantern uniform had been painted on the 'body.' Two blown up rubber gloves had been attached for hands. Two feet, cut out of cardboard, completed the image.
"Why does he have a pink beard?" Vixen questioned.
"It's a target, Ma'am," Beetle answered helpfully.
"A target for what?" she asked. The four men shared a conspiratorial smile. Even Sir Justin had a glint of mischief in his eyes.
"A target for you, Pretty Lady," Vigilante answered. The cowboy turned towards his best friend. "Sir Justin, would yah do the honors?"
"Gladly," the other man answered. Sir Justin bowed to her deeply. Acting as if he wasn't barely dressed, the former knight of the Round Table gallantly led her to a large, cardboard box.
It was full of tomatoes.
"These here be 'heartbreak tomatoes'," Greg answered proudly. "You just throw them darned things 'til the lonesome feeling in your heart is gone."
Mari stared at the tomatoes, quite shocked at the circumstances she was in: four nearly nude men, she in her pajamas, a paperbag effigy of John, and a box of tomatoes. All this even, at a still undisclosed location that was unknown to her.
An unlady like snort escaped her lips, followed by a roar of laughter.
After perhaps two minutes of laughing her ass off, tears of laughter turned to sobbing. There was silence as Mari sat next to her box, crying her eyes out. A strong hand squeezed her shoulder.
"It's alright Mari, let it out," Greg said softly. "We're all here for you."
Touched, the usually strong woman soon found herself crying into Vigilante's bare chest, while Shining Knight held one of her hands. Booster Gold and Blue Beetle stayed a respectful distance away, as neither were as close to Vixen as were the other two men.
"Thank you," she finally whispered.
"It was nothing, my lady," Sir Justin answered honestly, even if a bit stiffly. "We are your friends and your comrades in arms."
"He's right," Booster finally piped up. The blonde sheepishly scratched the back of his head. "Look, I know how the rest of the League views me. You though…you've been one of the few who've been willing to give me a chance. You even told GL to lay off me once."
That was because, as Mari could see even more clearly now, Booster Gold was quite capable of having a heart of gold. The hard point was making him see that he didn't need the admiration of others to be a hero.
At the moment, he was one of her four, new heroes.
Blue Beetle, for his part, merely plucked a particularly fat tomato out of the box and held it out to Mari.
"We take care of each other in the League," he said. He smiled charmingly at her as he placed the tomato in her hands.
Mari wiped away her tears as she studied the tomato. Who needed a female group therapy session anyway? She had her boys.
"It's not going ta throw i'self," Vigilante pointed out.
With a determined look, Vixen jumped up and pivoted gracefully on her left foot. She lifted her right arm and threw the tomato as hard as she could.
It landed with an ungraceful 'splat' on the dummy's face. The wooded clearing was filled with loud, male cheering.
The next few minutes were filled with vigorous tomato throwing. At first, Mari took the initiative of doing the dirty work herself. However, her four loyal compatriots soon joined in. Each of them found some reason, so matter how small or petty, to lob a tomato at John Stewart.
At least, until, Mari initiated a tomato war. When they eventually returned to the Metrotower, shocked gazes and a stunned silence met the sight of five Justice Leaguers walking calmly through the compound, barely dressed and covered in tomato pulp.
Even Mari had stripped off her pajamas, as she couldn't bear to have them stained.
To make the day even more complete, she looped her arms through Vigilante's and Shining Knight's arms. Giving Booster and Beetle a wide grin, she led the four towards the cafeteria.
"Boys, I think we need ice cream. Lots and lots of ice cream."
"Can I put on pants yet?" Sir Justin asked politely.