As they drained their glasses and put them down, Shayera stood up to take her leave. "Mari, this was nice."
Mari smirked. "It was. I thought that I'd have to beat the fact that I'm with john into your head. But now, I think it'd be safe to call us friends."
"Friends." Shayera gave a small chuckle. "Friends who want the same man."
"Honey, without competition, life's no fun. Relationships aren't fun."
Silently agreeing, Shayera smiled and started to leave. Behind her, Mari watched as she left.
As the doors to the cafeteria closed behind her, Shayera let out the breath she had been holding since John's feelings, and hers, came up in their conversation. Their friendship had just started and already Shayera knew it'd be too much. There'd be too many fake smiles as she saw Mari and John together. Too many fake laughs with Mari. Too many unwanted feelings for a man who was no longer hers. She reached her room after a couple of minutes. Inside, she put her mace on its special hook on the wall and lay on her bed. She closed her eyes and let a tear fall.
She killed him. Hro. She may have saved earth, but Thanagar and Hro were gone forever, and it was all her fault. Even though he changed near the end, he was still in her heart. As her first true love. Or what she thought was true love. Sitting up, she reached over to her bedside table, she opened the drawer. Inside lay a candle and a match. The candle was a gift from Fate. He had told her to light it in memory of someone. And now, that someone was Hro. The candle was slim and long. It was blue. 'Hro's favorite.' Shayera thought as she lit the candle.
As she lit it, she watched the flame flicker. Soon, memories began to blur her vision and all she saw was Hro. Hro had been so kind, so caring, and so strong. On Thanagar he was a commander, on earth he could've been a hero. Shayera lay back on her bed. She made no move to cover herself with her sheets, but instead used her wings. More memories assaulted her vision.
The first time she met Hro. She was red and wheezing from trying to complete a course. She finished it of course, but she was the only one. She was bent over with her hands on her knees when he came up to her. "I've never seen a new recruit pass it the first time." She looked up at she continued wheezing. "Well now you have." After a few more wheeze she stood up. "How many tries did it take you?"
He smiled at her and it would've taken her breath away if she could spare it. "Two."
She looked him up and down. He was taller than her. He caught her staring and laughed. "Like what you see?"
Slowly a smile appeared on her lips. "If I find something I like, I'll let you know."
He looked down laughing again. "You're a feisty one aren't you?" He started to walk away. "Don't worry about me. I've seen everything and I like it so far. I would ask if I'll ever see you again, but I have a feeling we will." With a last wink and smile, he walked away. "Wait!" Shayera called out. "What's your name?"
He continued walking but looked over his shoulder. "Hro. Hro Talak."
And from there, it all started. He'd sneak glances at her and she'd pretend to not notice. She'd watch as he worked out. He'd taken the first step and began by being her friend. They'd eat lunch together and spar. He told her his dreams of saving Thanagar from the Gordanians and winning the war as a commander, she told him of her dreams of seeing the rest of the universe. Soon, their friendship started to change. Shayera felt herself going week at her knees when he looked at her. Her heart would race and time would stop. He felt the same. It was a mission that showed her it was time to become more.
It was a simple mission. Find the small Gordanian camp that was rumored to be hidden. What they didn't know was that it was a trap. Shayera had been excited. It was her, Hro, Paran, and 3 others.
It was an ambush. Shayera led the team. At the last minute, she heard ticking. She shouted a warning to the others. But it was too late. The campground exploded. Shrapnel went everywhere. Shayera was hit. As the dust cleared everyone shouted out that they were ok, all but Shayera. Hro was frantic. After a few minutes of searching, he found her on her stomach. She was bleeding and unconscious. She was the one who was hit by the shrapnel. Pieces of metal were lodged in her back. The scariest piece was the one that stuck right between her wings. Hro knelt. "Shayera." He whispered. Then he started to bark out orders. "Paran! Call the Commander! Tell him it was a trap and we have a man down. The rest of you, help me with Shayera. She needs help." He said the last part softly.
Weeks later, she was good as new. As soon as she was able to walk by herself, Hro declared his love. And the two became an item. For 3 years. He went on to become a commander, and she was trained in espionage and became a lieutenant. He asked her to marry her. She said yes, but a week later she was chosen to go to earth.
She came crashing back to the present when soft knocks came from her door. Shayera merely looked at the door and chose to ignore whoever it was. After a few moments of silence, she figured the person who knocked had left. She was proven wrong when the knocks continued again, this time more insistent. "Shayera. It's me."
She squeezed her eyes shut and willed him to go away. "I just want to talk. Mari... Mari told me about Hro." At this, she covered her ears. "I'm sorry. I... " He paused and she imagined him rubbing the back of his neck as he struggled to speak. "I'm here for you if you want to talk. It doesn't have to be today, it can be anytime you want. I'll always be here for you."
He stood there awkwardly. Maybe he shouldn't have come. Shayera needed to grieve. Just as he was about to turn away, John was greeted by the sight of his angel. The door was open slightly and he could only see half of her. "Why are you here john?" She asked tiredly.
"I wanted to see if you were ok."
Without her expression changing, she replied "I'm fine." She began to close her door, but John's foot stopped it. "Let me in." He pleaded. "I'm worried about you."
She narrowed her eyes at him and pursed her lips in annoyance. "John, I don't want company, I don't need help, and I don't care if you're worried because I. Am. Fine."
He met her gaze. "And I don't care what you say. I know when you're lying."
They glared at one another and slowly, Shayera looked down. Silently she stepped aside and let John in. He stepped behind her as she closed her door. "Shayera." his voice dropping to a soft whisper, but he was cut off as she thrust herself into his chest. His arms surrounded her at once. John felt the soft sobs that shook her shoulders. "Shhhh. It's all right. I've got you." He murmured softly into her hair. After a few minutes, Shayera composed herself and let go of John and stepped away. His arms dropped.
"Don't be. I'm always her for you no matter what."
And so the two of them talked. Mostly she did. She told him of her time on Thanagar growing up, which he already knew. And the real stories about her adulthood. When Hro came up Shayera closed her eyes and looked away. John would rub her shoulders and just be there for her. Soon they sat close together. He was sitting on her bed with his back to the headboard and Shayera leaned against him.
Shayera leaned her head back laying it on his shoulder. "I loved him. I truly, truly did. But in the end he changed. The man I loved became a stranger the longer I was away from home." She sat up and looked at him. "I became happy here. On earth. Instead of fighting a war, I fought for justice."
Shayera looked down. "Thank you John. For talking to me."
John lifted her face to his, "I said that I'd always be there for you. And I meant it." He kissed her forehead.
A tear slipped out as she was reminded of something else she could mourn, had mourned ever since her return to the league.
"I think you should go now."
He looked at her in surprise. "Why?"
She stood up and walked towards the window in her room. "It hurts. My heart, my head, this friendship."
John stood as well and walked to her. He stood behind her and watched space. "How can I help?"
At this Shayera turned to face him. "Leave me in peace. Be happy. I won't take away your happiness. You deserve it."
He watched her carefully. Putting a hand on her cheek he whispered, "The only thing you could take from me is my love. I deserve that, and so do you. I never stopped loving you. You should know that."
"How can I John? You're with Mari. Not me."
"Who said that it would last forever between us? I never said it. Neither has she."
Shayera put her hand to the one John had put to her cheek. She closed her eyes and leaned into his touch.
"John, will you tell me about the best times we had together? I'd like to hear them in your perspective."
John led Shayera back to her bed. There, the two of them sat. He would talk and she would listen. With every word he said, her eyes remained closed as she watched the memories fly by her as in time with his words. As the two talked, Shayera never noticed that the candle had gotten smaller and smaller, until it finally went out.
Ok Quick note about this. I thought about putting it in the drabble series I've got going on...but I thought I'd leave it as a one shot. This way you guys have something to read while I'm working on Desire.
I hope you all like it. Remember, I love reviews and I'd love to get requests.
You guys are awesome!