She couldn’t stop thinking about it. Who was Wally hinting towards? Every time she tried to ask, he would either immediately change the subject or simply tell her that he wasn’t saying another word. “Think great white”. It only made her think about the founding members; she knew that it had to be one of them. Bruce and Wally were out of the equation; they both told her how they really felt about her. That left Superman (he told her that she was allowed to call him Clark or Kal-El, whichever one made her feel more comfortable), Diana, Green Lantern (who preferred for her to call him John) and J’onn (she wasn’t worried about the last member; seeing that she didn’t know who it was, they were a non-factor).
Diana was out because she was obviously in love with Bruce (plus Tabitha didn’t think that she was bisexual). Clark was in love with Lois Lane, a fellow reporter at The Daily Planet; she wasn’t even around him much for him to grow some sort of infatuation towards her. She and John had a couple of things in common; both were in the military. However, he was dating Vixen, another Justice League member. The only one left… was J’onn.
Tabitha shook her head at the thought. No way; J’onn J’onzz was not in love with her! There was absolutely no way, she tried to reason. They were the total opposite of each other; they were two different species (that thought only made her slightly giggle, thinking about what the professor had to say on that matter)! He was super intelligent; he always helped her with any problem she had with a computer system (she found out that most of the technology onboard was Martian technology as it was): she had to have a lot of things broken down to layman’s terms for her to understand it! She had never seen him get mad or even confused whereas before her rehabilitation, she was quick to lose her temper, not caring who was in her path. She was pretty sure that she had changed drastically since her treatment but the fact still remained that she was capable of losing her temper.
She thought about the other qualities the Martian had and couldn’t help but to blush. He was indeed very handsome; that was obvious from her earlier bouts of blushing whenever he looked at her! He was always calm, even when she felt that she worked his last nerves; that was a quality that she admired. While there had been no indications on who was the clear leader of the Justice League, everyone respected J’onn and took his word as gold, no matter what. If she thought about it, even his voice could send shivers up and down her spine! She didn’t know if she was actually in love with him but Tabitha had to be fair and not shoot down the idea. It made her realize what Wally meant when he mentioned the benefits she would have; being the girlfriend of the Monitor of Watchtower was nothing to shake a stick at!
She tried to push her thoughts to the side as she took a long awaited break from upgrading one of the recreation rooms. She had a lot on her plate that day and didn’t see the harm in kicking her feet up on the loveseat. As she stretched and decided to turn the TV on, she saw that she wasn’t alone; looking into the eyes of J’onn made her immediately straighten up.
“Oh! J’onn! I… I was just taking a small break…” her stumbling made him smile.
“You’re not a part of the civilian staff; there’s no need to be on a set schedule. You’re allowed to take breaks!” he smiled down at her, “Which, I’m glad that you’re doing; I have a small training session for you.”
“Oh… okay…” she slightly shrugged, following him to one of the tables. It was then that she noticed he had a box with him. As he sat down and opened it, she slightly smirked, “Oh… I don’t know how to play chess…”
“I know. This is why I’m going to teach you.” he announced as he started to set the pieces up. She gave him a look but sat down across from him, anyway.
“It’s good to exercise your brain as well as your body.”
“Oh.” she had to admit that it made sense. Her eyes suddenly widened and then narrowed at the Martian, “It won’t be fair…” she realized. He stopped setting up the pieces and returned the look which made her laugh and point to her head, “Mind reader, remember?” she pointed out. It was enough to make him laugh.
“It’s not fun if I have to cheat.”
“Oh? So, this ain’t fully business…”
“Hmm… I guess not…” he gave her a small smirk. It made her blush heavily but she returned the smirk, being warmed at the fact that the two were spending time together, “First things first: let me explain the pieces…”
An hour later, the two were engaged in a practice game. Tabitha stared at her knight, trying to remember how it moved. She tried to pay as much attention as possible while he explained the moves of each piece however she knew that she wouldn’t grasp everything in one sitting. She slightly bit her lip as she attempted to move the piece but became flustered as J’onn laid a gentle hand over hers.
“No. Remember; the knight moves two paces up and one pace to the left or right.” he corrected. She frowned up at her blunder but nodded.
“Right, right! See; I told you I was a rock!” she mentioned and he laughed.
“It takes some getting used to; I never expected for you to master chess in an hour! You’re not a rock!” he reassured and she smiled. She tried to figure out the consequences of her move as well as thought of something else that had been on her mind since meeting him.
“Can I… ask you something?”
“… Why are you called a ‘Manhunter’?”
“It’s what detectives were called on Mars.”
“You were a detective?”
“… Cool…” she wondered how ironic that was; it didn’t guarantee that the two would be together but Tabitha couldn’t shake the coincidence. She finally made her move and put her head in her hands, hoping that it was a right one, “Can I ask you something else?”
“Of course. Whatever you want to know.” it slightly surprised him that she was interested in learning more about him.
“H-How do you feel about… Justice League members dating?” she made the decision to semi beat around the bush; she couldn’t bring herself to asking him outright if he found her attractive or even if he liked her in the way that Wally thought that he did. J’onn analyzed her move and question at the same time; he could feel that the question made her nervous and wondered why.
“I don’t have anything against it. This isn’t the military so there’s no need to worry about fraternization here. I’ve seen that it’s a personal preference; some feel that being in love complicates things while others don’t.” he explained. She nodded and finally looked at him.
“G-Given the chance… w-would you…” she felt her cheeks ache as she asked. The question took his attention away from the game completely; no one ever wanted to know these things about him. He looked dead at her.
“Do you know if someone is attracted to me, Tabitha?” he usually didn’t let curiosity get the best of him. However, this was a special circumstance; this was a matter of love. When he saw that she turned a slight shade of red from his question, even attempting to shy away from him, J’onn didn’t have to use his ability to figure out the answer, “I see. I’m quite flattered that you’re attracted to me. To say that this is unexpected may be an understatement; I assumed that you were attracted to Wally…”
“Why does everyone think that?! Me and Wally are just friends!” she sighed out heavily, “Don’t get me wrong; I… do find you attractive. But… Wally was the one who kinda pointed it out that… you’re attracted to me.”
“Wally told you that I was attracted to you?” it surprised him.
“Not in so many words…”
“I should apologize; he was under the wrong impression. Maybe he looked too much into the two of us being around each other so much. I would like to be considered your friend. It never dawned on me to attempt a relationship with you…”
“You don’t have to explain anymore; I get it. I knew it was a silly thought…” she couldn’t look at him. He didn’t know what it was; was it sympathy that he felt for her? J’onn gave her a warm smile and made her look at him, gently tipping her head up by her chin.
“It was not silly at all. You have a warm personality and you’re very attractive; it was highly possible for anyone here to be attracted to you, including myself. You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself. I believe that Wally was only trying to cheer you up.” he tried to reassure. She thought about it and nodded.
“I guess so.”
“So, you’re fine with the two of us being friends?” he really wanted to know. She slowly smiled and nodded.
“I’ll accept that. Now… you gonna make a move or what?” her brashness took him off guard. He narrowed his eyes at her but couldn’t help finally smiling at her.