A/N: I'm trying my hand at a HGGL one-shot. I'm trying to convey the confusion and chaos of their relationship and how they could possibly ever patch it up. All the lies and things that needed to be said are said. The question is, can they handle the ugly truth? Things begin slow but eventually become heated. Remember we're talking about John and Shayera; they're like cat and dogs when they argue.
John watched her take to the sky with grace and effortlessness that made her seem so powerful. He was pretty sure there was more going on in that woman's mind that she really doesn't want anyone to know, including him. Especially him. He always thought he knew what was best for other people. Apparently so did Mari. She seemed content to dump him, mentioning something about seeing it through like a book.
It had been enough of a roller coaster ride just dealing with the Thanagarian Invasion, her return, meeting their future son, and wrapping his mind around them being reincarnated from a time long forgotten. He was actually feeling a little bit of peace at the moment and too much introspection just might make him go a little unbalanced again. He didn't want that to happen again. That's what caused him to have problems with her and Mari in the first place.
"What are you doing?" He quickly turned to see the hotheaded Thanagarian stalking over to him rather intimidatingly. "Batman told us to get back to the Metro Tower pronto not lollygag around."
He just stared at her. He never really saw just how small she was; at least admit until the Invasion. He sized her up with the other female Thanagarians. She was like the runt; the spitfire runt that is. In action, she had a confidence that had been born from her experiences. It was even seen in the way that she moved.
He gave her a small, hopeful smile. "Shayera-"
"John don't start." She warningly stated. "I know where you're going to go with this."
He was surprised that she didn't want to get back together the second Mari dumped him. She turned the tables on him claiming that she wasn't going to be destiny's puppet. It had only been roughly a year ago when he saw the hope in her eyes when he said he saw their future son.
"Wait." He quickly grabbed her wrist to stop her but just as quickly let go. "Batman is probably in Gotham right now and won't even be there when we get back. So how about you and I grab a cup of coffee?" She blinked at him a couple of times. Then slowly contemplated it. "Or we could just go to the cafeteria in the Watchtower and just talk."
She smiled, a little shyly, but an honest smile. "It's a start. Give me fifteen minutes and I'll meet you there."
He smiled back. "Great."
Sure enough, fifteen minutes later, they were sitting across from each other in the Watchtower.
She glanced down and into the cup of mocha she was holding. "I am sorry about...Hro...everything really."
John's eyebrow twitched a bit at the mention of Hro but he kept his face placid. "It's okay. No need to apologize. I've forgiven you a long time ago. Actually I forgave you while it was happening believe it or not." She fiddled with her cup. "Shayera can I ask you something or well a couple of things?"
"When you smashed my double you answered likewise after I said you broke my heart. Did I really break your heart?"
A thousand thoughts and images rushed through her mind yet she settled for a quiet but simple, "Yes."
"How did you fall in love with me in the first place?" Then she bit her lip. He knew he screwed up. "Sorry, that was way out of line."
"It's okay. Did it hit me like a bolt of lightning? Did I know at first sight? Was it magic?" She snorted a laugh. "No. Originally I was assigned to spy on Earth and it's heroes. Throw you into the picture, plus we did become good friends." She shook her head. "No, it wasn't anything like love at first sight. In fact, there were several times I wanted to strangle and bludgeon you with my mace even after I fell in love with you."
John stared at her. "I take it there's a lot of stuff I'm going to hear about."
"Maybe. I can fill you in on some of it later. Sufficed to say, it took me a long time to figure it out. But, emotional ties aside, you were my teammate; the one person who stood beside me, even when I'd really screw something up. That's something you can't trade, and once you've had it, it's hard to live without."
John nodded as he asked another question. "I have been...well not obsessing but thinking about that whole Egypt mumbo jumbo. You think about it?"
"A little but not much. I know how Absorbacrons work and I still believe that some of the history was flawed. I finally convinced Carter to talk to J'onn eventually after the whole Darkseid debacle. He and Carter hit it right off. Though Carter was a little standoffish about going to see him. I had to play the diplomatic one."
"So you played good cop for once?" John asked bemusedly. "Though I heard from J'onn that you literally dragged a half beaten to death Carter to him. That sounds like bad cop."
Shayera grinned back. "Take it anyway you want to. He was actually a lot harder to persuade." Then she resumed to playing with the cup in her hands. "I didn't actually plan on starting a fight when we talked. I just really, really wanted to help him, since he's a friend albeit a creepy stalker but still a friend, and get him to stop obsessing over that Egypt garbage. I was getting so angry at him." She sighed. "It seemed like the perfect way to work out my anger and frustration." She shrugged. "Remember, I was not and never will be a diplomat by nature." John coughed back a laugh as though he agreed with her last statement.
She stared at him again, uncertain if she should be annoyed or just move on.
"Shayera you were always very..." John paused to look for a word that would not offend her.
"Direct. The word you're looking for is direct. Or arrogant. Brash. Pushy. Reckless. Hotheaded." She shrugged again. "They tend to fit a good chunk of the time though filthy Thanagarian and filthy hawk are becoming very close contenders to be added to the list according to some people." She shook her head as John was about to comment. "You have any other questions?"
"Oh well, just give me an honest answer. No matter how brutal." She slowly nodded with a confused look on her face. "How do I compare to him?"
Again right to the jugular. Shayera was beginning to wish this was a bar and not the Watchtower's cafeteria. "John, things are...were different on Thanagar. There was no love, not really true love. We based our decisions on intelligence and fighting capabilities. Hro and I worked well together. And by default we were thrust together. It was more of an arranged engagement because we were perfect together in Thanagarian standards." John slumped. "Hey, I'm not done yet. You were different. Compassionate, caring, loving, unselfishly loyal...besides someone needed to keep me in line." She added with a mutter. "You showed me want love meant on Earth. It wasn't about dominance but about passion. It was about our emotions not about what was best for the empire or anything. I was changed from Lieutenant Shayera Hol into a completely different person because of you."
They stared at each other. They were really going to have to work on their relationship issues.
John decided to break the uncomfortable silence. "Listen, all you can be is you. I don't know if what we're doing here is right, if the future will truly happen. We've been keeping each other in the dark for a while and I'm not really looking forward to that happening again. But, if you don't want to get back together then I accept that. We have to come back together on our own terms. No one can make us do that."
Well, he'd said the words. He was also pretty sure she wasn't buying anything he was selling but then again she rarely did.
He sighed as he continued. "Look, just live your life the way you want to Shay. The rest will work its way out, one way or another. It has a way of doing that."
"Are you mad?"
Now that took him by surprise. "Mad?"
"That I lied? That I betrayed-"
"Shayera I told you I was over it. You just have to forgive yourself instead of constantly putting yourself down. If I didn't forgive you do you think I'd be sitting here right now trying to reconcile our relationship, well what's left of it?" She just stared at him as though she didn't choose to agree or disagree. "So get over it already. You have the potential to...no you are a great person. Don't let anyone tell you differently. You're not a filthy hawk or Thanagarian. So act like the old Shayera already. I want to see that spunk Hawkgirl had. Be that same hotheaded and stubborn Shayera. Not this reflective one that can't move on from her mistakes."
"John I," She sighed as her head fell into her hands. "I can't John. You don't understand, no one does."
He took her hands into his own and their eyes locked. He saw the tears welled up and held back. He softly said, "Then explain so that I can understand. Please Shayera I'm just trying to help."
"I ruined the lives of so many people. The Thanagarians lost the war just because of me. I caused an entire race to be humiliated. I don't know what to do, what to think. Ever since I got back into the League everything has just gotten worse."
"It's ok Shayera just let it out." He moved his hand to her cheek.
"I can't do this," She said almost inaudibly, getting up, walking a few steps, and turning away. "I'm sorry...I...I just can't."
"Why not?" John finally had it. The Leaguers in the cafeteria had their eyes on the spectacle as neither the Green Lantern nor Thanagarian noticed or they just didn't care. "If you have a problem with me then just get it off your chest already."
"I waited for you John." She whipped around as tears were running down her face. "How do you think I felt when I found out you were going out with Mari? Then you tell me you met our future son and say you don't want to be destiny's puppet and leave me hanging! I had to go to Bruce, out of all people, to get a tiny piece of information. He refused to tell me anything besides his name. You know how much you've hurt me? That's why I kept everything bottled up. I have no one to talk to anymore. Wally doesn't understand, Diana still dislikes me, Bruce is an emotional void about these things, Clark's just Clark, I don't like talking with J'onn, and talking with you will only get me more irritated."
"So that's all I am, an irritation?" He questioned her. He knew this was about to get uglier.
"It's really about time you had a reality check, John. You're an adult, start acting like one. Which means, start dealing with your problems before dealing with other people's. You've never really dealt with what happened during the Invasion, have you? You just want to tell me everything's fine and that you forgive me so that we get back together. It's all twisted lies that you made yourself believe."
"I do not know what you are talking about." He said in a flat emotionless voice. "You're being ridiculous."
"Oh I think you do, John, I think you do." She was treading on dangerous ground but she had been holding this back for more than three years. "Maybe you should think about that for a while and then talk to me for real once you've come to an understanding." She turned and stalked out of the room, ignoring the looks that followed her.
A few hours later she heard a knock at the door. "Go away John!" She managed to yell as she was curled up on her bed and silently crying to herself. For a moment there was a deafening silence. Then the door started to open. "Go away!" He wanted to rush in, put his arms around her, comfort her. Hearing her like this made his brain go splat. Then again, he knew he was a major reason for why she was crying.
"What part of go away do you not understand?" She got off the bed but didn't turn around. There was no way she'd let anyone see her like this. If he didn't leave soon, she'd hit him. Despair could turn into anger so easily and her mace was ever so close to her.
"I'm not leaving until you listen to me."
She spun around and stared at him for what seemed like forever. He stared right back. He wasn't sure if it was wishful thinking or if her expression really held hope, not until she flung herself into his arms.
His arms tightened around her and he buried his face in her hair, "Shayera I am so sorry. I've done things that I have regretted in the past three years. Letting you fly off, not telling you about Rex, and most importantly lying to myself and telling myself that I had gotten over the Invasion. That's not even the most of it."
"It was all my fault too. As soon as I ran off I knew it was a mistake. And I am talking about the time at Wayne Manor and our little scene in the cafeteria. The Invasion, the secrets, the lies I-"
Tears began to run down her face again. John's gloved hands wiped them away. "Please don't start crying again." She buried her face against him and tried to stop crying. Everything was all right. He was here, wasn't here. Then why did she feel this horrible?
"Sorry it's just that lately I've felt like I'm going insane. I kept everything bottled up in a big blob of chaos and confusion." She managed a small wry laugh.
Then he leaned down and his mouth captured hers.
They weren't sure if this was that good of an idea but they honestly could hardly care, it felt right. The kiss went on for what seemed like an eternity until he lifted his mouth from hers.
"Shay, we need to talk about what happened. About where we're going." That was a big part of what went wrong. They never talked about anything until it was too late and all blown out of proportion.
"I know John." They still held each other tightly. Slowly they began to spill out their hearts.
They spent over four hours just talking, talking calmly like normal adults. It had been so long since they were able to do this.
"So are we going to make another go at this then? Try to learn and move on?" John asked, almost as if he were afraid of the answer.
"Of course." She stared into his eyes. He relaxed as soon as she spoke. "What happened between us?" She quietly spoke, more to herself than him.
"I'm pretty sure we agreed on that we were stubborn and stupid."
That got a small snort of laughter out of her. "Tell me something I don't know genius." Her hand traced his jawline. "So what now?" He hadn't heard her like this in ages.
"I thought we went over that already." They were sitting on the edge of her bed, giving each other a bit of space. Now though, she had drawn nearer. Things seemed like they were before the Thanagarian Invasion. No lies, no secrets, and they were close again, both emotionally and physically.
"I meant now, as in now, dummy." She was even closer. In fact, if she had gotten any closer she would have been on his lap. Not that he would have minded. In fact, he wanted that very much, just to sit there and kiss her.
"Shayera Hol, you should know that by now." There was more than a hint of a chuckle in his voice. "You, me, and a fully charged power ring. You're a smart girl, I think you can figure the rest out."
"Yeah, I think I can. Third Moon of Galtos?" She smirked at him.
He returned the smirk. "Third Moon of Galtos."
Maybe all they needed to do was just to talk it out right in the beginning. They could have resolved so much and avoided all of this heartache and torment. After all chaos and confusion can't be solved by even more chaos and confusion. It would take work but they had a feeling...no they knew this was going to work. It just had to, it was destiny.