An/ Against my better judgement I've decided to start this series, I've got a fair few other things I want to write as well but I couldn't keep this one under some control :)
This series will like 'Hearts and Minds' be dedicated solely to John and Shayera throughout, the difference between the two however will be that this is going to be a series of oneshots and not drabbles. I could post them all individually but the amount of them I get, well I figure it would be better and more practical to put them all in one place. The other thing I want to mention as well is that in this series I want to focus on the positives between them and not the angst and complications. For the most part they will more likely than not be based before 'Starcrossed' or after 'Destroyer'.
Well anyway I guess I better let you get reading. I can't say how fast or slow updates here will be, I've got assignments for college to do and loads of other things, I'm about four chapters into writing Advocacy as well and as you can imagine I really want to get that one done :D
Anyway, of course I don't own Justice League, Shayera Hol or John Stewart.
Hope you enjoy reading :)
Detroit had always been a quiet town, the people were nice, the crime was low and best of all you were granted your privacy should you have want of it. It was one of the reasons John lived there, not just because he had grown up there and not just because it was one of his favourite places on Earth with its familiarity, but because he was left in peace...even when his significant other was an alien. At the current time though John was unconcerned with the street life outside as the sounds of cars and the infrequent flash of lights indicated that Detroit was still very much awake even in the early hours, the Green Lantern of sector 2814 was much more concerned with sleep.
A siren flared in the distance and neither occupant in the room made much move in response but one however did open their eyes sleepily. Shayera hazily glanced at the clock, closed her eyes again and gently felt for John with one of her wings to draw comfort from his presence and to check that he was still there, he hadn't been sleeping well lately. Just as soon as she was comfortable and drifting back to sleep her eyes shot open unexpectedly. She had felt a twinge and she concentrated for a long moment as she tried to gauge whether or not she ought to be alarmed by it. Once is passed and she was comfortable that it was nothing to worry about she once again made an effort to go back to sleep, but something else was now on her mind. She was hungry. Grumbling quietly in annoyance she tried to move but her rather large stomach made such an attempt quite a challenge, not helped that she was facing towards the window to make sleep more comfortable. With her wings centred down the middle of the bed between her and John, she hardly had the manoeuvrability she would require without waking him in the process.
There was nothing but a mumbled response that frustrated her further, enough that she forgot all former ideas on trying not to wake him and started to try and get up. Heavily pregnant Shayera struggled into a barely sitting up position, one hand lying protectively on her stomach while the other pressed into her pillows supporting her. Letting out a choice expletive in her home language Shayera began attempting to shuffle backward on her bottom, awkwardly hitting her elbow on the bedside cabinet in the process which earned a sharp intake of breath followed by half a growl. Eventually after all of her efforts Shayera managed to sit against the headboard of the bed, her wings spread enough to either side that it was almost comfortable but it would later lead to cramp, another pain she would have to put up with along with her already continuous backache. Throughout all of this John had remained in blissful, uninterrupted slumber.
Scowling for a brief moment, Shayera balled her fist and punched her life-partner in the shoulder, hard.
"Wha? Ow!" John's voice was sleepy and disorientated as he groggily began absorbing the details of his surroundings. His back was to her and she watched him with growing impatience as he deduced that there was nothing to worry about and collapsed back against his pillows.
"Get up!" Shayera snapped, now shoving at him to encourage him up while still keeping a hand against her stomach.
Eventually she managed to get through John's sleep filled mind "Shayera? What's wrong?"
He turned and looked at her and before she could say a word he became a flurry of action. "It's going to be okay!" He yelled reassuringly as he launched out of the bed before running to the cabinet and grabbing a button up shirt and a pair of trousers.
Shayera watched with a combination of amazement, irritation and humour as John hastily grabbed at the emergency duffle bag by the bedroom door while at the same time tripping over the unassembled crib that was still in its packaging. At last after he was done frantically grabbing extra items and reaching for his communicator he took a moment to check her again and noticed that she hadn't moved from her position on the bed.
"Are you quite finished?" She asked amused now, a smile tugging at the corner of her mouth "Or are you going to carry on rushing around like an idiot?"
"I thought..." He stared at her, his shirt buttoned up wrong, one sock on, the duffle bag and a pillow under his arm "You're not in labour?"
"So...I don't need all this stuff?"
John let out a sigh "You could have said."
"I could," Shayera's smile was fully born then "But it was too much fun watching you."
He rolled his eyes, dropped the bag back by the door and gently tossed the pillow in Shayera's direction who caught it easily and set it back in its place beside her.
"So what did you wake me up for?" John asked while he moved the unmade crib somewhere more practical and stripped back to his boxers but left the still wrongly buttoned up shirt on.
Shayera shifted awkwardly in an attempt to rid the ache in her back and the one beginning in her wings "I'm hungry." She replied "I can barely move and-"
"What do you want to eat?" John cut across already stood by the doorway, "I'm not going to China this time to get you eel heads, so it better not be that." One morning, just as early as this one he had flown all the way to China because every local Chinese restaurant was closed. The things he did for the woman he loved.
She laughed "No not eel heads. Ice-cream?" Really she just fancied something cold and easy to eat; something that wouldn't give her indigestion like most other things seemed to lately.
John sighed in relief "Now ice-cream I can do." He smiled at her "I won't be long, just ice-cream right?"
She nodded in the affirmative and watched him leave. While he was gone she attempted to get more comfortable but found she just couldn't, almost resentful she glared at her swollen stomach even as her hand gently rubbed it with a maternal affection she was sure people didn't think she possessed.
"All this aggravation you're causing me." She felt herself smile again "And your father..."
In the kitchen John made his way over to the cupboards and selected a bowl, he probably should have switched a light on but he could navigate his way fine, besides he was still comfortably caught between sleep and awake and didn't want the sharp glare of the lights to ruin the pleasant atmosphere.
"Do you want a drink as well?" He called as he remained with the cupboard door held open and his head turned towards the bedroom.
"No, I'm fine."
"You're sure?" Even as he asked he pulled a glass out for her and opened up the fridge to retrieve the freshly squeezed fruit juice that she liked.
"Maybe just a glass of juice then."
He grinned to himself already pouring out the requested drink, he loved how in tune they were with one another, it was almost surreal at times but wonderfully reassuring, he really felt as though he was connected to her on some higher level. Setting the juice on the side he then procured the tub of ice-cream from the freezer, he wondered why she fancied some at this hour of the morning but it was probably the most normal craving she had gone through yet. Some of them he just wanted to forget like those weird slimy things she had sent him to the Omega quadrant for, he never wanted to lay eyes on those again.
Once he finished scooping out a generous portion of ice-cream into a bowl he gathered up everything along with a spoon and returned to their bedroom armed with his gifts. When he entered Shayera was impatiently fidgeting while she tried to get comfortable, a frustrated groan was all she had managed to accomplish. Dutifully he gave her the bowl of ice-cream and placed her drink on the side table.
"Here, let me." He sat down beside her on his side of the bed and grabbed the pillow he'd snatched up earlier. In his hands he folded it along its length before placing one hand on Shayera's furthest shoulder and gently leaning her forward. Slowly she obliged, holding the bowl of desert in her hands all the while. Once she was as far forward as comfortable, John slid the folded pillow down and in between her wings filling the space between them as well as the one between her back and the headboard. The idea had popped up in conversation sometime ago when Shayera complained about Earth chairs, Thanagarian chairs were designed with a very thin back that fit perfectly between their wings, or with an extra mound that accomplished the same as John's pillow was now.
"Better?" He asked, both hands on her shoulders as his thumbs absently circled as much to relax her as it was a display of his affection.
"Much." She replied and as he leaned away she brushed a kiss against his cheek "Thank-you."
"I aim to please." John settled down next to her and adjusted his remaining pillows so that he could sit up beside her without hurting his own back. The last thing they needed was both of them struggling with back pains.
"Didn't you get something?" She asked with a mouthful of the iced treat.
He smiled and shook his head "I'm fine, it's a little late for me...or early."
Shayera stopped then, the spoon hovering between her mouth and the bowl that was neatly balanced on her bump.
"I'm sorry for waking you." She apologised sincerely and John touched his fingers to her shoulder in a reassuring gesture.
"It's fine." He stretched his arms hearing a pop in his elbow.
"But you haven't been sleeping well as it is."
True, he hadn't but that was because of the false alarms she'd had a week ago. A few nights in a row she complained of stomach pains and despite J'onn giving the all clear, John couldn't get the worries out of his mind. They were being especially careful because of potential complications seeing as how their baby would be a cocktail of Human and Thanagarian physiology, he hadn't slept properly for days as he worried that something could go wrong and she would need him. Only the talk they'd had the previous day had finally soothed him enough to allow him to find some sleep, Shayera insisting that she needed him fully rested and not a walking zombie and he had agreed.
"I'm fine Shayera. Don't worry." He didn't want her worrying over anything... that was his job.
Her expression remained concerned for a few moments longer as she was clearly torn over the subject but she eventually relented and continued to eat her ice-cream. Once or twice she offered him a spoonful which he accepted at the same time as trying to keep himself awake without her noticing his fatigue, she saw right through him however.
Having finished her ice-cream and placing the bowl on the side, Shayera held her arm up "Come here Lantern." She said softly and the gentleness of her voice was hard for him to ignore.
Slowly he shifted and moved closer to her but stopped as she shook her head "Take that off first."
He looked down and realised he was still wearing the shirt he had grabbed in his haste earlier. Undoing the wrongly done up buttons, John slipped off the garment and chucked it somewhere not much caring where. Once again he moved closer to Shayera and she remained still as he started to curl up against her side, his head pillowed by her chest which she assumed was probably a lot more comfortable than normal thanks to her current condition. Once he seemed comfortable she put her arm around him bending it at the elbow so that she could gently caress the top of his head, ear and cheek to soothe him back to sleep, she was fairly comfortable now and probably wouldn't go back to sleep for a while, in the mean time though she could draw warmth from John while he snuggled with her.
Comfortable and warm Shayera reached out for the glass of juice sat on the side, grasping it she took a few sips and set it back, in the process of this action John had gently pushed her pyjama top higher to reveal her large baby bump. She was in the last trimester now and would soon be due at any time, Thanagarian pregnancies were naturally longer than human ones so it had been generally expected that she might go a little longer than nine months. A smile spread on her lips as John lay his warm hand a top her rounded stomach and lightly caressed, he seemed to snuggle closer to her as well and Shayera felt his other arm come around the base of her back providing her with additional support.
"Are you warm enough?" He asked in a hushed tone. He had been constantly fussing ever since she had told him she was pregnant, she at times found it irritating but other times like now she felt quite the opposite.
"Yes." It was hard not to be warm with John cuddled up against her. With a rustle of feathers Shayera's wing opened slightly and enveloped John down one side of his body keeping him covered but free to move should he want to. The soft pleased groan he emitted confirmed his approval as he enjoyed the soft down of her feathers against his skin. Settled and comfortable, Shayera gently kissed the top of his head affectionately. "You will be a wonderful Father, John."
"You think so?" He asked and she knew he had been worried or at least anxious about the responsibilities that were soon to be his.
"I know so." And she leaned her head against his, her mouth resting near his temple.
John nuzzled his face into the warm crook of her neck and gently breathed against the skin there, his hand still caressing her bump where their baby boy was growing and being protected by her. He found it awe-inspiring that they had created this life between them, a tiny person that would be the perfect combination of them both, something that would immortalise them. With their love for one another they had created the most precious thing in the universe, they had created life, had given life and it was John's hope that they could give their love as well. He knew they would.
In Shayera's arms and for now the one wing, John started to drift into a wonderful sense of peace and comfort, his heart rate slowing until he was sure that it beat in time with the one he could hear against his ear. For one amazing moment John was certain that the quiet but strong thud against the palm of his hand, the heartbeat of his son, also beat in time with his and Shayera's.
It was a perfect moment that John knew he would never forget.