AN/ Okay so this is a quick Oneshot I typed up while having a break from working on 'The Balance'. I was inspired to write this after watching 'Hearts and Minds' the scene with Flash and Kilowog in John's apartment is responsible for this :) Anyway its just a short oneshot between Shayera and John, nothing too heavy, just light conversation and a little fluffiness. It's actually helped me practice writing dialogue :)
Hope you like it anyway.
Of course neither Justice League or its characters belong to me
John didn't often stay in the Watchtower, more often he went to his apartment in Detroit to sleep however this evening the idea of his apartment was rather depressing. As he walked down the halls he knew that Mari would be there clearing out her things, their relationship had drawn to its end. John was saddened by it knowing that Mari was hurt and that for a long time he hadn't been what he should have been to her. Ever since Carter, Shayera and himself had seen the memories of the Absorbacron his relationship with Mari had become strained, and no thanks to him had ended.
He sighed heavily as he rounded a corner; he was currently on his way to the cafeteria to grab a cup of coffee he didn't much fancy going to sleep just yet. As he walked he remembered when he had last seen Shayera, about a week ago he had bumped into her in the Metro Tower and she hadn't been in the best of moods. He hadn't exactly helped either by asking if she knew where Mari was.
Finally reaching his destination he entered past the sliding doors and stopped dead in the doorway, the cafeteria was empty save for one occupant, a red head with wings wearing a teal nightgown. Out of nowhere there she was, sometimes he hated how she could just appear when he least expected it, but her ability had helped him out in the past when he'd gotten himself into jams. As he stood gawking at her she turned on her stool having heard the doors, a spoon in one hand and a tub of ice-cream in the other, he recognised the ice-cream immediately as it was the same brand and flavour he kept in his apartment.
"Can't sleep either huh?" Shayera asked casually as she swirled on the stool again so that she had her back and wings facing him.
John scratched the back of his neck absently "...Yeah...just, not sleepy"
If he could see her face he would have seen the way her eyes became downcast and the colour faded just a little, his choice of wording had taken her to a distant but cherished memory, but the memory made her heart ache.
As he neared her she waved her spoon in the air concealing any indication that she might have been affected by his wording "There's another tub in the freezer if you're feeling adventurous"
John nodded and went to the freezer pulling out a second tub of ice-cream and grabbed a spoon out of one of the trays nearby, after this he returned to her. John wasn't sure why he had decided to join her in late night ice-cream but he didn't have much else to do; besides he hadn't really sat down with Shayera for a long time. She was seated at one of the higher tables, likely because she found stools more comfortable than chairs as they allowed her wings to hang naturally rather than have her sit on them. John sat on the stool opposite hers and placed his tub of dessert on the table, Shayera watched with concealed amusement as he turned the tub so that the label faced inward before he opened the lid and set it to one side.
"So" John began as he poked his spoon into the ice-cream "What are you doing up?"
Shayera shrugged as she put another spoonful of ice-cream into her mouth "Already told you...couldn't sleep"
"Any particular reason?" John queried.
She was about to ask him why he cared but decided that she wanted to keep her moderately good mood, instead she examined her spoon with keen eyes before she answered without looking up at him.
"No reason...I just don't sleep well"
Slowly she chiselled another chunk of ice-cream out of the centre of her tub, John winced upon seeing that she was just eating from the centre, he himself ate his ice-cream equally all the way around. Watching her attack her ice-cream he was reminded of when they had first started seeing each other, they would often watch movies together at night and it would usually end in an argument about how Shayera would mess up the ice-cream they were sharing.
The expression on his face didn't go unnoticed by his company and she deliberately wriggled her spoon deeper down the centre.
"Something bothering you John?" She asked with a smirk.
He narrowed his eyes before concentrating on his own ice-cream "No...Fine"
Her smirk still hadn't disappeared as she opened up the conversation again "How come you're not planet-side?"
There was silence as John ate some of his dessert and contemplated what to say; he didn't really want to tell Shayera of his break-up with Vixen just yet, he didn't want to end up in another conversation about destiny and the future.
"Didn't feel like it...besides I used to stay in the old Watchtower" He reminded her, it wasn't like he never stayed in the satellite.
Shayera nodded "Just you spend more time planet-side now than you used to...its normal for me to be up here but its weird seeing you" She licked her spoon and changed the subject knowing that it could end up on Mari soon "I'll have to get Wally to get some more of this"
"Wally supplies you with ice-cream?" John asked with a raised eyebrow allowing the subject to change.
"Yeah...I can't exactly walk into a supermarket and buy it myself can I? What's a girl supposed to do?"
"Just I'm surprised he didn't eat it on his way"
Shayera smiled at that moment and John found that he smiled with her despite himself.
"Oh is that a smile?" Shayera mocked playfully.
"I smile" John groused in reply as he scooped another layer of ice-cream "You can hardly talk"
She huffed "I smile when I have a reason to"
"Well then" John stated matter of factly.
"Besides" Shayera continued not wanting their conversation to end so soon "I maintain past threats"
John furrowed his brow before he smirked "Fastest man alive with a limp? You still using that one?"
The Thanagarian shrugged "If it works why break it?"
John snorted into his ice-cream "I think you'll find the term is: if it's not broken why fix it?"
There was a pause as Shayera pondered and dug her spoon thoughtfully into her ice-cream, then she looked up and shot him a light glare "Yeah, that's what I said"
"No you didn't...You would have thought that being here for seven years you would know the phrases by now" John pointed out with a light smile as he ate some more ice-cream.
Shayera frowned "Hey, I have two languages to contend with...translation gets a little lost sometimes"
"Translation?" John asked curious "You mean you think in Thanagarian?"
The frown deepened as she pointed at him with her spoon, he was thankful it wasn't her usual metal companion.
"Why wouldn't I? You don't think in French do you?"
"I don't even speak French" John pointed out as he shoved another spoonful of dessert into his mouth.
"Point taken...but even if you could speak French, you'd still think in your first language"
"Okay, okay" John surrendered "I can see I'm not going to win this argument"
There was a snort "You never win any arguments"
Suddenly there was silence between them as they were both unceremoniously dragged into their memories by the statement, John remembered the many arguments he had had with her and how many he had won. Out of the many arguments he could count his victories on one hand.
Shayera sighed suddenly and John looked up noticing that she was just playing with her ice-cream now rather than eating it.
"You okay?" John asked not concealing the concern in his voice.
"Mmm?"Shayera replied distracted "Fine, just thinking"
"Ha, ha" She responded dryly.
"What were you thinking about?"
Her emerald eyes focused on him intently for a moment as if she was looking for something "Why do you care?"
There was a pause between them as John held her gaze carefully "Why wouldn't I?"
Shayera narrowed her eyes "You tell me"
"Shayera...I don't want to get on the merry-go-round tonight, you can answer the question or not, I'm not twisting your arm" John replied keeping eye contact with her.
She stared back at him for a long moment, John assumed she must be working out whether she wanted to tell him or not, he wouldn't be surprised if she didn't.
"I was thinking about Thanagar" She stated suddenly, before he could reply she was getting up "I've...uh...I should be getting back to bed"
He saw the hurt in her eyes, recognised that she was leaving because she wanted to avoid the conversation, she had revealed something that was bothering her against her better judgement and now she was trying to cover it up.
"Shayera don't go" He reached out to her but changed his mind and took his hand back "You can talk to me"
Slowly she sat back down on her stool and ruffled her feathers slightly; the movement filled the surrounding air with the fresh breezy scent of her feathers which John tried to ignore and failed. He missed the way she smelt.
"I can't John, you know I can't" She replied at last picking up her spoon again and tapping it nervously against the table.
"Well why not?"
There was an aggravated sound from her "Things are different John, we're not the same as we once were...and somehow I'm pretty sure you don't want to listen to me talking about Thanagar" She finished and folded her arms over her chest.
John studied her for a long moment "I know things are different and I know we're not the same people we used to be...but that shouldn't mean that you can't talk and I can't listen" He gave her a half smile "If you want to talk about Thanagar...then I'll listen"
His heart rose a little in his chest as he saw her eyes light up with appreciation and she offered him a small smile. Shayera unfolded her arms and placed them on the table, one hand grasping her discarded spoon and fiddling with it as she considered where to begin.
"I miss Thanagar, John" She confessed softly "I think I miss it more now than I ever did...maybe because I'm the reason it's fallen, or maybe it's because I know I can never go back even if I wanted to"
"Do you want to?" John asked quietly, not sure if he wanted to know the answer.
Shayera shook her head "No...My people have changed John, they aren't the noble, honourable warriors they used to be...they proved that when they were willing to sacrifice billions of lives for one slim opportunity of victory against the Gordanians"
"Maybe things became desperate, maybe they didn't have a choice" John inputted thoughtfully.
Once again she shook her head "The fact is John, they must have had plans for the Hyperspace Bypass before they sent me, they told me I was just gathering Intel to see if the planet could survive a Gordanian invasion" She sighed "I just can't work out when they became so...cold"
"Shayera...you were here for five years...a lot changes in five years...people change"
"Tell me about it" She took a mouthful of ice-cream "Maybe that's the problem, maybe my people didn't change at all...maybe I'm the one that changed"
"Is that a bad thing?" John asked with a mingle of seriousness and light heartedness.
She looked up into his face and concentrated on him for a long moment, John almost wanted to look away from the intensity of her gaze, but the other part of him never wanted to tear his eyes away.
"I don't think so" She replied at last "Other people might dispute that but it doesn't matter anymore"
"I thought things were going okay for you now? I see you with more people these days" John informed her.
"Keep watch on me do you?" She asked playfully before becoming serious "No...I've spent the last two years back in the League trying to find myself and regain trust and for the most part people are giving me a second chance...that's all I can ask for"
John nodded "I think you deserve a chance to show people who you are"
At his words she smiled softly before returning to her ice-cream. John watched her as she mixed her melting ice-cream to make it smoother "Anyway, enough about me" She started suddenly chipper again "You still haven't told me what your problem is"
"I don't have a problem" He replied defensively.
"Right" Shayera answered with a touch of sarcasm.
John decided just not to answer her and carried on with his ice-cream, the silence wasn't uncomfortable and Shayera didn't seem to want to press the conversation further.
"We're okay aren't we Shayera?" John asked suddenly.
Shayera looked up surprised by the question before she shrugged "I guess so...under the circumstances"
John grunted and it triggered a smirk out of her.
After that they didn't say much else just remained in comfortable silence as they ate their desserts together, John pondered on why he had decided to join her eating antics in the first place, but it was nice just to relax a little. He realised as he looked up at her every now and then how much he was actually enjoying himself, how nice it was to talk to her without dragging the conversation to the confusing aspects of their relationship. The best thing he decided was seeing her smile, seeing her at ease, it had been such a long time since he had seen her as relaxed as she was now, he missed that...he missed her.
Suddenly the silence was disrupted by something he hadn't heard for a very long time, Shayera was laughing.
"What's funny?" He questioned trying not to smile at her amusement.
"You've got ice-cream around your mouth" She said in between more laughter.
John raised an eyebrow but wiped his mouth with the back of his hand; Shayera glanced up and shook her head.
"Nope, still there"
Again he wiped his mouth but apparently to no avail as she shook her head again, the auburn bangs swinging loosely in front of her eyes.
"Are you just messing around?" John asked slightly agitated with her.
"For someone who can wield a power ring without batting an eye" She mocked rolling her green eyes as she stretched her hand out absently.
The movement was unexpected apparently even to her as her palm held his jaw, he sat unmoving as she stared at her own hand for a moment before focusing on his mouth and using her thumb to wipe the ice-cream from his lower lip. Carefully she removed her hand again and momentarily dipped her thumb into her mouth to rid it of the offending ice-cream; she then grabbed her spoon and returned to her own tub of dessert.
John cleared his throat awkwardly as he brought himself back to his senses; he wanted to ask her what had just happened but knew he didn't have to ask. What bothered him most was how his heart had quickened, how the simple touch of her hand had made him feel.
"John...I'm going to go back to bed soon, I really should get some sleep...I have an assignment tomorrow" Shayera spoke quietly as she poked at her practically empty tub of dessert.
"Okay...I should probably get some sleep too; I'm on the standby list tomorrow"
Shayera nodded and stood up pushing the stool behind her as she did so, being the way she was she didn't bother to put the lid on her ice-cream or put the spoon away but instead had every intention of leaving it. Casually she stretched her wings and her arms before cracking her neck and smirking at John's grimace at the sound of her bones clicking. She turned around and started for the door and John dipped his head down to stare at the table rather than watch her leave, he realised in that moment that in almost all of their interactions he was always the one that walked away rather than her, and he was starting to wonder why.
While he remained focused on the table he hadn't noticed Shayera return, she stood beside him with a soft smile and lifted his face up with her fingers under his chin. Before he could ask her what she was doing, she planted a soft kiss on his cheek.
Then she turned and made her way towards the door, this time with the intention of leaving, before she did however John called out to her.
She stopped but didn't turn around, just turned her head and peered past her folded wing to look at him and wait to see what he had to say.
"You want to meet me for coffee tomorrow before your assignment?"
For a moment she didn't say anything until she smiled softly "I'd like that...seven?"
"Seven" John confirmed "Goodnight Shayera"
He smiled as she waved her hand without looking back once she was completely gone John cleared up their mess and made his way to his own room, the one that was reserved for him should he wish to use it. As he lay waiting to fall asleep he realised how much he was looking forward to coffee tomorrow, he had told her that he didn't want to be destiny's puppet but he decided that if he wanted to take the time to get to know her again...well that was his choice.
Hope you liked it :)