AN/This is my first Justice League fiction, I've rediscovered the series and well...I just fell in love with it again. Hawkgirl has always been my favourite character so I thought it would be a good start to a Fiction. I wrote this after I finished watching 'Starcrossed', I would say this is set just after the events of 'Wake the Dead'
Anyway all comments are welcome especially for any improvements, or if you just like it or not :) Hope you like it :D
EDIT: I've edited some big pieces in and some other out of this piece making it a little longer and elaborating on other parts, I hope its an improvement :)
All characters belong to Justice League the animated Series and DC comics
Why was she here?
Shayera didn't know why, but what she did know was that she had to get out of the Watchtower, had to find some space away from glaring eyes and judgemental minds, had to breathe, she tried to ignore them but the whispers confirmed everything she feared...no-one trusted her and she couldn't blame them. J'onn had reluctantly agreed to allow her to go to Earth on her own and his reluctance was understandable she'd been back only a few months now and that was only after she had had to euthanize the Chaos magic animated Grundy...her friend, another betrayal, another heart break, another piece of herself she wanted to rip out and cast to the hounds of hell.
The wind whipped up at her hair and tossed the red tresses backwards out of her face and slowly her eyes closed letting the feel of the air overwhelm her for a moment, it didn't matter where she was J'onn had just beamed her down to somewhere that matched what she had described. All Shayera knew was that she was standing on a cliff in the middle of nowhere with not another soul around her, her description must have been pretty good and she smiled bitterly to herself that it was so easy to find solitude now, not that she didn't think for a single moment that she deserved any better.
Shayera sighed softly to herself, not for the first time thoughts of hate wafted across her conscious, self loathing and contempt at the forefront, but closely followed by heart break and an aching deep down inside of her that made it hard to breathe. She remembered Hro Talak's words to her, that simple sentence that had muted her senses, deafened her so that all she could hear was the unbearably loud beat of her heart pounding against her ribcage.
'For Thanagar to live, Earth must die'
That was her ultimatum Hro hadn't realised it at the time, but he had handed her an impossible choice. A choice between her home world and her adoptive home, either way thousands of innocent would perish and even though the choice might have been obvious in the favour of Thanagar, her mind...no, her heart wavered. Thanagar was the logical choice it was her native world, her origin and birth place, but Earth had a different impact on her something she couldn't quite put her finger on. Earth had become something more to her, a home in every sense of the word and she had found a life here, found friends that she trusted with that life, found love so unexpected but yet undoubtedly needed, a love that ached dully in her heart its counterpart so distant. Earth was where her heart belonged and she couldn't stand idly by in blind loyalty to Thanagar and a promised one she didn't know anymore, she had to save her adoptive home, save her life. Save it she did but the price had been high, she was exiled and alone never to be trusted again.
There was a deep breath as the silence of the peaceful cliff top didn't threaten to interrupt her thoughts as much as she hoped it would, all she had was a fragile world where she didn't belong anywhere and she was regarded with prejudice and mistrust. The strange thing was the world that hated her so didn't understand that she had in actual fact saved it, if she hadn't of taken the bypass information to Batman and the others they wouldn't have been able to devise a plan to destroy the machine that would seal the Earth's fate. It made no difference though she still nursed contempt, it had been her who had subjected the Earth and its people to that danger in the first place, the fact she'd saved it in the end made no difference, not in her eyes anyway.
Slowly her wings spread out on either side of her and stretched out into an eight foot wingspan, she tilted her head to examine the feather bound extensions of her body, a little reminder of her home world and what she was. As she analysed them she realised for a moment that she hated what they symbolised, in this world they used to mean that help was on its way, now they just screamed Thanagarian, danger and betrayal, and she distantly wondered how different her life would be without them.
Closing her eyes once more she leapt from the cliff in one fluid motion, throwing herself off of the edge and allowing herself to fall; wings closed tight against her body as the thrill of falling without bounds filled her entire being. The wind billowed up against and around her bending around her streamlined form and giving her speed as she plummeted; it was liberating and overwhelming all thoughts roughly shoved out of her mind as she finally opened her eyes to witness the terrifying free fall. As the ground neared the magnificent wings were thrown open and altitude was quickly gained as the air was caught in the embrace of her feathered appendages and forced her upwards. The feeling of falling freely was something she couldn't explain although she often placed it next to how John Stewart made her feel...breathless and free.
Swooping low over the water that resided in a lake beneath her, Shayera allowed her fingers to touch the surface of the water, breaking it slightly as the water rippled from the downdrafts of her beating wings. As she peered into the waters reflection she saw her own face and it wasn't the first time she wondered just who it was that was looking back at her, but just then her eyes caught something in her peripheral the object in question rising above her and out of her line of vision. Scanning the water's surface to try and find its reflection her green eyes finally found what it was she had seen, the green aura of her companion triggering a little flutter in her heart as she realised it was Green Lantern, without hesitation she twisted her wings and flipped herself upside down to look up at him, but he wasn't there, he hadn't been there at all.
Turning back over to face the water once again she remained long enough to see one of her tears drop from her cheek and land in the clear water, mingling and becoming one with it, it seemed so simple and she wished that returning to the League had been as easy. As she glided along the lake she spotted where it broke off into a more rapidly moving pathway and the path of her flight was altered by small unnoticeable changes in the angle of her wings as she followed it. In the distance there was a loud and continuous roaring sound and Shayera knew it to be the sound of a waterfall and she quickened her pace slightly eager to see what must be a beautiful sight.
Once again as she peered into the water the silhouette of her former lover appeared to her and disappeared, it was her heart she knew and her need to be with him, the need of his strength and warmth to protect her from the harshness of the world and her own self hatred. Water sprayed her face and woke her from her reverie the river's edge drew close and with one bound of her elegant wings she thrust herself over the edge, as before tightening her wings to her frame and plummeting the fifty feet to the bottom and only just pulling up at the very last moment.
'I see a Man and a Woman'
Nothing could compete with how weightless and exhilarated she had felt at that moment back in the Watchtower, not even her plummet to the base of the waterfall compared to it. Shayera softly landed on the bank beside the tumbling waters and she knelt there splashing cool water onto her features trying to clear her mind, and felt the absence of her Hawkgirl mask. John had been the only person to see her without it, the mask itself a cultural symbol amongst her people no Thanagarian showed their true unhidden face to anyone except their family or the person they loved, it was one of the reasons she had felt awkward when Hro had almost slipped it from her. She had never been so relieved to see the snivelling pest she considered Kragger to be, it made her realise that the love she had for Hro had faded or at least reformed into something that didn't have the same strength of love she had for John Stewart, she was never able to tell Hro that she didn't love the Green Lantern.
Slowly Shayera sat back on her heels and glanced up at the tumbling waterfall, it really was beautiful with the spectrum of colours being revealed as the water sparkled, it drew a modest smile from the corners of her mouth. The moment in time seemed to freeze as she watched the sight before her feeling a little ebb of peace inside of herself but there was still an ache there left behind from her thoughts of John, she'd broken his heart she knew it because she had broken her own at the same time, and now she knew he wasn't hers anymore he belonged to Vixen. Although it seemed that she could never be with him again in his warm embrace she resided herself to the belief that she didn't deserve him, and he deserved far better than her. There was a loud chirp behind her and she turned to see the source of the sound, above her in the tree was a small bird busy she saw with the chore of nest building for his partner, Shayera smiled a little at the sight of the little bird's busy and demanding work.
'Building his home' She thought to herself distantly realising that it was about time she started rebuilding her own 'you want some help there little guy?'
Carefully Shayera stretched out her right wing and curled it in front of her, scanning her wing she found a few loose feathers and she plucked them out without hesitation. Walking slowly over to the nesting little bird Shayera reached up and placed her feathers inside the partially built nest, the little bird was startled at first and had made to peck her in defence but she quickly fulfilled her task and stepped back.
'From me to you, one being of the air to the other, and one sorrow into hope'
She smiled softly as she watched the bird decide that the feathers were not dangerous and began to eagerly work them into the scaffolding of his home. Suddenly she wanted to fly again feeling emotions deep and buried within herself shriek through want of escape. This had to come to an end she had to get this out of her system, had to feel the pain had to release it.
Beating her wings hard she lifted back up into the air allowing herself to turn in a tight circle as she gained height, going faster and faster until she broke free of the clouds puffs of white vapour billowing about her as she pushed through them. There was silence as she hovered there, moisture on her face a combination of her furious and heartbroken tears with the fresh dew of the clouds, suddenly she broke a smile a bright smile that soon doubled into laughter, laughter that shook her entire body and stole her breath until she started crying uncontrollably tears streaming and unrelenting. She needed this, needed this release, needed to pour her emotional frustration and confusion out, to release it through an outlet that violence just couldn't provide anymore, she had to break before she could be fixed.
Wiping her face and pushing her hair out of her eyes she began to let herself descend slowly back down to the ground, her wings outstretched and wide giving her a grace that no other League members had in flight. There was a voice in her ear, it was J'onn.
"Are you ready to come back now, Hawkgirl?"
Shayera shuddered inwardly at being called Hawkgirl, she wouldn't be tied to her Thanagarian origins anymore and the prejudice that it brought with it. She was Shayera Hol, plain and simple, neither the Lieutenant of the Thanagarian army or the masked heroine of the Justice League. And was she ready? Ready to rejoin her place amongst the guardians of the Earth, to protect it regardless of her own safety, she had sacrificed so much to protect it from her own people; she could hardly neglect it now.
"Yes J'onn, I'm ready...and my name is...Shayera Hol" She replied softly
There was silence and she waited patiently a small smile etched on her features, the sorrow was still in her eyes but it would take more than a simple flight to cure it, and she didn't want to cure it, she would keep it to remind herself never to forget what she had done and never to forget who her friends were and where her heart resided.
"I'll beam you back up then...Shayera"
She couldn't help the expression on her face at that moment; she could practically hear the smile in J'onn's voice. It seemed he understood what her predicament had been, the others maybe she could earn their trust again she wanted that more than anything.
The familiar energy field surrounded her and she decided that this was her fresh start, she would prove her loyalties, earn their trust, and bring herself back to life. As the energy became that which would beam her back up to the Watchtower, Shayera took another deep breath. Here on the cliffs Hawkgirl had died and Shayera was taking her place, the Shayera that had been screaming for release as she became closer to her adoptive family, finally she could be herself no longer bound by mission orders, be the person she had become with the League before the Thanagarian's had turned her world upside down.
She was free.
AN: I have another piece in mind for Shayera which I'll be starting work on soon, I hope you'll like that one too once its finished, oh and I hope you liked the little scene with the nesting bird...symbolism much?