It took almost two hours for her to calm down. During their sessions, J’onn had never asked how she had felt knowing that she killed her best friend; he figured that it was something that she really didn’t want to confront at the moment. She had felt awful, almost like a part of herself had died as well. Not only because he was her best friend… but because she didn’t remember it. She didn’t remember what her mind was going through when she electrocuted Tony or the teenagers; all she felt was remorse whenever she thought about it. Going through that program brought it all out to the surface… and she had to admit that after breaking down like she had, she felt a lot better.
Bruce went alone to get Tabitha from her room. When she opened the door and the two left, she could barely look at him.
“… I feel like an ass…” she finally admitted. She was supposed to be tough super heroine and they weren’t supposed to show any kind of weakness. He looked at her and sighed.
“It wasn’t your fault.” he told her. He was upset still that J’onn made her go through a program like that.
“Don’t be mad at J’onn; he was just trying to make me forget that it was a program…”
“It was too extreme. He could’ve left a few things out. It was like he was trying to make you black out.”
“… He had to push a few buttons…” she had this urge to defend him. What sense would it had made to make her go through a regular program, she wondered. The Martian had to come up with something creative and extreme to make her face her bottled up emotions.
Bruce sighed when he realized that regardless of how he felt about it, what was done was done… and Tabitha didn’t put any fault on J’onn.
“How do you feel?” he decided to change the subject somewhat. She slightly smiled and looked at him.
“Better.” she admitted. They made their way to the control room and joined J’onn and Diana by the transporter pads. She glanced at the golden gauntlets around her forearms and noticed a slight scratch; she at first thought that it was just how the light shined on them. When she moved, Tabitha knew that it was definitely a scratch, probably where she had blocked her lightning attack, “I… can fix that if you want, Diana…” she almost mumbled. She gave the white-haired woman a strange look but then looked at the scratch. She looked back at Tabitha and laughed.
“While it’s just a tiny scratch and I’m not worried about it but these were hand crafted by Hephaestus…”
“Blacksmith to the gods.”
“Oh.” Tabitha slightly nodded. She continued to stare at the imperfection, “… I can fix it…”
“Are you saying that you’re better than Hephaestus?” she slightly raised her eyebrows. Tabitha shrugged.
“I ain’t saying all that; just saying that I can fix ‘em…”
“You’d be surprised at what all she can do…” Bruce smirked at Diana. She gave her a thoughtful look.
“Are you ready for the final part of your treatment?” J’onn asked. He wanted to ask if she was okay after what he had put her through but seeing that she smiled gave him that answer.
“Cocked, locked and ready to rock!”
The only thing that she was told was that they were going down to Earth and so she should wear her head wrap. She was surprised to see that they were transported to New York, in front of what looked like a massive office building. She tensed up when she noticed the sign on the tan building: Bellevue Hospital Center.
“What’s this…?” she firmly asked. Bruce and Diana shrugged.
“I don’t know. We were only told that we were accompanying you here for the final phase of your treatment.” Bruce said as J’onn shape shifted into a human form. They went inside and spoke to one of the receptionists. She pointed them to an elevator and the four got off on the fourth floor, Tabitha nervously noticed the sign that stated Mental Health. J’onn spoke with another receptionist and she clearly heard him when he told the older woman that they were there to “visit Gary First”. It wasn’t fair, the thought thundered in her head. She was willing to face what she had done to Tony and the White Hairs; she was not ready to face Alpha: not now and probably not ever.
They were escorted to a visiting room by a guard; it was more like a containment room to Tabitha. She was in too much shock to protest this visit; she sat in silence as she saw two guards escort someone inside; Alpha. Gary First, she corrected herself as she could do nothing but glare at the pitiful sight in front of them. His hair was no longer a jet black, his skin no longer shone with a metallic glow. He definitely was not the dominating Alpha that had paralyzed her with his ionization. His salt and pepper hair was almost fully grey and unruly. He had a beard and his once beautifully sculptured features had eroded, making him appear older, much older than what he really was.
The former general slowly looked up as the guards actually confined him to the chair across from the four. At first, his eyes were dull and lifeless. But as they set on Tabitha, a small shine started to appear. Her heart raced as the feelings of betrayal and revenge swept through her all over again. She wanted to react; she wanted to attack him but she stayed in her seat and stared coldly at the man.
“Sergeant…” he started to smile. How could he even smile at her, she angrily thought. It was enough to make her narrow her eyes at him.
“Not in the military no more…” she continued to give him a hard stare. It was enough to make him look back down. She wondered if that was remorse that made him not look at her. she remembered vividly how he taunted and teased her, staring at her with those hazel eyes, mocking the fact that he had her dumped in that alley in Memphis.
Now, he was quiet. He couldn’t even look at her, didn’t dare to open his mouth. It made her fume as she leaned in closer to him; it was her turn to mock and intimidate, “Got nothing to say? Do you even care what you put me through; what you put Tony through? I deserve an apology…” she told him through half-clenched teeth. She didn’t know whether she actually wanted an apology; it wouldn’t bring Tony back or even make her back normal, she sadly realized. It would’ve been the thought that counted but even then, it made her blood boil that she even had to ask for one; it should’ve been the first thing that came out of his mouth when he laid eyes on her.
He was numb, just as he was when he was first brought into the institution a couple of years ago. So, it was fitting that he had nothing to say to her, didn’t want to acknowledge that she was there; maybe if he ignored her long enough, she would leave. He didn’t want to say anything to her; he knew that whatever he had to say would not make any sense to her, wouldn’t bring her closer to understanding why he did what he did.
It angered her more that he wouldn’t say anything; hot tears rolled out of her eyes.
“You… bastard; you fucking bastard! Everything that you fucking put me through and you won’t say shit?! You left me for dead… in a fucking alley… three hundred miles away from my gaddamn home!! You didn’t even have the fucking decency to dump me in Chattanooga?!?!” it surprised everyone when she started to yell. He finally looked at her, a hint of tears in his eyes. He had seen something as he tried to look at her; the usual light from her eyes was quickly starting to fade.
“No; don’t you fucking dare!! You don’t give a fuck; you never did!! You’re powerless; what’s stopping me from taking you out right now?!?!” she started to rage and stood up. She didn’t care who saw it; lightning started to form around her clenched hands. The guards were taken aback at first but started to move in. J’onn signaled for them not to move, all the time using his ability to control their minds. She banged her fists into the table, nearly bending it in half and glared at Gary, “I… should fucking kill you right here… right now!!!” she started to charge up. Bruce and Diana prepared to take her down; it was getting out of hand quick. She had felt the rage coming on and had blanked out for a second. Tabitha didn’t care anymore; he had to pay. As soon as she thought it, something else happened. She started to think about the program she had just gone through hours before. She thought about what all she and J’onn had talked about for the month that she had been on Watchtower; there was a reason for her presence there. What was she really to gain if she let her ability fly loose right then and there? Sure, Gary First would be dead… but she would have to face the consequences… and the looks she would receive from not only Bruce but the Martian as well. All of his work would be in vain… and it would be unfair to him. As she started to come out of her rage, she started to take deep breaths, trying to calm herself down. If she killed him, she wouldn’t be able to see Jamila or the triplets, her family... or Ethan again. A few more breaths and she stopped charging up, “No. No. I can’t. I won’t. I won’t stoop to your level. Not no more. I’m done…” although she still glared at him, she calmed down enough to turn to leave. J’onn released his hold on the guards’ minds and they looked as if nothing happened. The three Justice League members had silently sighed out of relief as Bruce guided Tabitha towards the door.
“T-Tabitha…” Gary shook. She stopped dead in her tracks.
“Go to hell…” she didn’t want to hear whatever he had to say.