AN/ So here's another oneshot, I've been a little preoccupied lately and have been neglecting both of my drabble series' which I'm very sorry for, hopefully I can update them soon. For now though I present this to you and hope you like it, it's an idea that came to mind a few days ago and I finally got a chance to get it down.
***Episode References 'Hearts and Minds', 'Wild Cards'***
The apartment was clean and tidy of that he was certain, he had after all just blitzed through it entirely for the third time, funny how she made him nervous enough to invoke that reaction in him, then again it wasn't like she visited his home that often. No, more often he would stay with her in her quarters at the Watchtower, which was fine, it was the closest thing she had to a home but he missed the more intimate, personal level that his own apartment could provide, there would be no potential interruptions from the other Leaguers here.
Yeah, like Flash for one.
Quickly after glancing at the simple clock on the wall and realising that she would arrive any minute after her monitor duty, he ducked into his bedroom and quickly changed, slipping his ring off in the process and putting it somewhere safe. Right on cue he heard the window in the main room click before he heard the grating sound of wood sliding with loud complaint against wood. In less than a breath he was in the room and caught sight of her as she shifted the window further open and began to clamber inside, it was he'd admit a bizarre sight and he wondered how she managed to fit through the small gap, she was naturally petite but her wings almost doubled as an extra person.
Eventually after a grunt from her in annoyance, she slipped through and straightened up flapping her wings slightly before turning and shutting the window.
"You could have just knocked you know." He said with amusement as he approached her.
He really meant it as well; everyone already knew that John Stewart and the Green Lantern were one of the same which meant that everyone automatically knew where he lived. A member of the Justice League visiting his house would hardly seem odd.
Strange how normal I think that sounds.
She scowled at him and the frown of her mask accentuated the emotion and made her look positively enraged.
"Not after last time." She responded as she unclipped her mace and set it on the table, she didn't dump it or toss it, she always placed it. It had become obvious to him that the weapon meant more to her than others might imagine and he made a mental note to ask her about it sometime. "Your housekeeper is hardly pleasant."
A chuckle escaped him at her remark; yes he'd heard the story from Flash about how his housekeeper had beat him and Kilowog out of his apartment. The same had happened with Hawkgirl but the difference was she wasn't afraid to give as good as she got...there wasn't much contest between a wooden broom and a heavy, metal Thanagarian mace.
Still, he didn't like the idea of her scrambling through the window every time she visited.
"Well," He began just as he leaned towards her and snatched a quick kiss. He was still afraid that she might punch him out for such a gesture "I'll talk to her and explain that you're a friend."
Her eyes twinkled in that strange way he had started to notice more and more as time had gone on, a part of his mind couldn't help but wonder how much more dazzling it would be if he could see her eyes properly.
"Just a friend, huh?" She asked with a wry smile "I thought we'd gotten past that?"
John smiled at her before he reached his hands out to her helmet, but he paused before he touched it and looked into her eyes "May I?"
They hadn't been together for very long, it had been just over a week since their first kiss but he had learnt very quickly that her mask was more than just protection for her non-existent secret identity. A few days after they had finally sorted out their feelings he had taken a quiet opportunity in the Watchtower with her to try and take her helmet off, regardless of the fact that anyone could have walked in at anytime. She'd snapped at him and shoved the mask back on before stalking off. It had taken him three days to get her to talk to him again and to explain what it was he had done wrong.
Got to make sure I don't upset her like that again, I'm not going through the silent 'angry glare' treatment again.
He'd learnt some important things in that conversation. For one, no-one was allowed to see her face accept him, a notion that still made him feel exhilarated when he did get to see her knowing that he was the only one who could lay eyes on her.
And God is she beautiful.
John's mind returned to the present as Hawkgirl tilted her chin and let her eyes close. Ever-so slowly he removed the last barrier that separated them and finally as it was completely free of her, he saw the woman underneath. He saw Shayera.
"That's better." He said with a smirk as he put the helmet down on the table and returned his focus to her "You know, I don't think I'll ever get used to that."
Shayera tilted her head with a raised eyebrow "Used to what?"
"How different you look without it."
A smile lit her features and he felt himself melt at the knees. No...He could never get used to it and he didn't want to either.
Relationships were funny things, it took a lot of time, patience and tolerance to learn about the other person and become in tune with them. The process was harder still when you considered that your girlfriend was an alien from a war-like planet. As he sat down on the couch and gestured for her to join him, he wondered why it seemed more challenging with Shayera, after all he had dated other species before, Katma Tui for one, but before he could put much stake in the thought he shrugged it off.
Shayera isn't Katma, I can't keep comparing the two.
There really wasn't much comparison, not to him anyway...Shayera was something so different and refreshing, captivating on a level he couldn't explain.
He glanced at her having realised that he'd zoned out for a moment in his own thoughts "Sorry, Shayera." That name is so beautiful "I was somewhere else." Everything about her is beautiful...even that temper of hers...
"Somewhere nice I hope." She said amused as she sat a little closer "I was saying about the changes in monitor duty, Superman wants us to share it more equally."
John frowned "He'll never get Batman to do it."
She shrugged "Probably not."
In a brief moment she suddenly moved closer still, she was in a surprisingly good mood today and he secretly hoped that he was the reason for it. Nothing would make him happier.
"I missed you today." She said looking at him closely but with a slight hesitation that made him worry.
"I missed you too." He replied and didn't move away as her face became close to his, so close he could feel her breath on his lips. It took him a second to realise his own breath had gotten trapped in his lungs.
A moment longer and he felt her nose touch his as she trailed it down the side of his own, their foreheads touching lightly and he instinctively made to kiss her. Apparently this had been a mistake as she yanked away from him and sat facing forward, obviously trying not to pick up her helmet as he watched her fold her arms tightly over her chest.
Great...what did I do wrong this time?
Getting to understand Thanagarian culture and their perspective on relationships was like a minefield, he'd do something instinctual and upset her, finding that he apologised way more than he managed to get her to smile sometimes.
As he looked at her feeling guilty, embarrassed and slightly annoyed at himself he watched as the temptation to grab her helmet overwhelmed her and she picked it up. He still didn't quite understand why when she became upset she wanted it back on, another question for another time he decided.
Right now I need to find out how to make this better...whatever it is.
She was raising the helmet up ready to put it on and slam him out of the intimacy she had granted and he really didn't want that. Carefully he reached out with a hand and snagged her elbow halting her actions and leaving her mask suspended midway towards its target.
"I don't understand." He stated.
Something else I'm saying a lot at the moment. He thought, but he was determined to make this work between them because there was something, and he wanted to find out what the something could be.
Eventually after what felt like hours she relaxed her arms and lowered the helmet into her lap, but she didn't look at him, instead choosing to focus on a spot somewhere in the distance.
"...Shayera." He prompted after he became impatient.
Her emerald eyes came up and she looked at him with a degree of understanding but also what he thought was embarrassment.
This isn't just difficult and irritating for me.
She sighed thickly before putting her mask back on the table "It doesn't matter."
"It matters to you," He said moving slightly closer but not too much, she was still upset "So it matters to me."
And then she glanced at him stealing his breath in the weird way her eyes did when they fixed on his. All too soon she looked away again.
"Humans touch all the time," She said still looking into the distance "I've seen how open you all are, always touching in one way or another." She paused but still made no move to look at him "Handshakes, hugs, reassurances, kisses..."
He still didn't understand and he said so, determined to get to the bottom of this new landmine and defuse it as quickly as possible.
"Thanagarians cover their faces at all times, and we don't touch." She looked at him then biting on her lip slightly and he understood that this was hard for her to explain because back on Thanagar she wouldn't have to, the same way he wouldn't have to explain why humans shook hands when they met each other.
"Touching is considered..." He watched her frown, this frown he recognised as the one she adopted when she was struggling to find the correct English word for what she wanted to say, he'd also learned to be patient and wait rather than offer her unhelpful suggestions. While she thought he mused how sometimes she would just give up and spit out the Thanagarian word before stalking off, but he could see that she wanted to find this word, or at least a close alternative. "...sacred. It's considered sacred."
"Special?" He offered and nearly bit off his own tongue knowing that she didn't want to have a discussion about the various words she could have chosen.
"Yes." She surprisingly agreed.
John raised his eyebrows before lowering them in thought, he'd kissed her when she came in but it didn't seem to upset her...had he interrupted something earlier?
"But I kissed you earlier?" He said out loud, he was starting to realise that touching might mean more to her than a kiss would.
"It's not the same." Shayera sounded frustrated now "Look, it doesn't matter." And then she was about to get up, he could tell by the way she shifted her wings.
"Wait." He said "Wait, we need to figure this out."
"There's nothing to figure out, John. It doesn't matter."
That tears it.
He moved and turned his body to face her, his shin coming into contact with the side of her thigh as he slid an arm through the space between her wing and side so he could touch her back. Against his hand he could only feel the base of her yellow top and the belt of her uniform but it didn't matter.
"It matters." He said softly "Show me what I did wrong."
Shayera turned her head slowly and focused on him, to his delight she moved closer but her eyes were nervous and unsure as if she wasn't completely comfortable with what was happening. John knew she hated feeling like she didn't know what was happening and he recognised that he surprised her on a regular basis just by the way she looked at him sometimes. It wasn't the first time he wondered how Thanagarian males were in a relationship, somehow he thought he was much nicer than they might be.
Although she didn't like the flowers I bought her yesterday...I'll just have to make sure I don't get roses next time...she hadn't liked the colour.
In a few minutes they were much the same as they had been earlier before all this awkwardness had blossomed, her face lingered close to his and he made the connection that this was about her face being rarely uncovered. John was proved right as she touched her nose to his again and moved it along his face nuzzling him.
Touching faces is important. He noted as he returned the gesture, hesitant at first but he slowly became more confident and gently caressed her cheek with his own nose.
In time he noticed her eyes start to lull and become closed as she relaxed and pressed her forehead against his, he likewise found that his own eyes closed at the soft affection. It felt strange but also very intimate, he almost kissed her again but held back the instinct to do so, this was more compelling for her.
Eventually she pulled away but not before briefly brushing her lips over his. When he opened his eyes he found her looking at him apprehensively.
He smirked at her, fully converted to this strange affection they had just shared.
"It's like an Eskimo kiss." He almost exclaimed proudly with familiarity before he realised how ridiculous he had just sounded.
Way to go, John...sound like a total fool.
Once again to his surprise she grinned broadly, a bright smile that shone with happiness and something he hoped he might discover to be love, but he was getting ahead of himself.
"Yes, I guess it is." Shayera agreed obviously relieved and easing his earlier embarrassment.
John looked at her for a long moment before he chuckled "See, I told you it mattered. What's important to you is important to me. We can make this work."
At his last words he noticed a shimmer of something across her face, some emotion he hadn't yet pinpointed but it disturbed him a little, something else for another time.
"I don't suppose you like ice-cream?" He asked suddenly having realised it was getting late and he wasn't all that hungry, besides what could be better than sitting with Shayera with a tub of ice-cream?
Better dig out a decent movie to watch as well...I wonder what she'd like...
"Yes," She nodded before grabbing him and pressing their foreheads together "But I don't want to watch any sappy movies."
Sometimes I swear J'onn isn't the only mind reader.
"Okay, okay...you can pick then." John offered as he rubbed their noses together and she seemed to enjoy the motion. Funny how much difference a simple gesture could make to their relationship, he knew it boded good things as she gifted him with a lingering kiss and a grin.
I love this woman...I really need to tell her.
"I'll pick then...but I need to get changed first...I won't be able to get comfortable in this uniform."
Unconsciously he raised an eyebrow, the male in him wondering what she intended to get changed into...she hadn't brought anything with her and she didn't have anything here. Before he could ask however she'd already abandoned him at the sofa and sauntered off into his bedroom.
Ten minutes later he plopped back down on his couch armed with two tubs of ice-cream and spoons, finally his Thanagarian appeared and he couldn't help the expression on his face.
She was wearing one of his Marine t-shirts, she'd taken a pair of scissors to them for needed modifications and it seemed to drown her but she looked gorgeous.
I really do love her.
"Oh 'Bob and Terry's'," Shayera grinned as she took one of the tubs, he couldn't take his eyes off of her, even when she slung a box into his lap which was her choice of movie for the night. "Well don't just sit there...put the film on."
AN/ So I hoped you like it and this concept might be something that pops up in some of my other stories involving these two :)