Time After Time: The Past 1.1Mature

After the ordeal with J’onn’s twin brother, everything seemed to go on as normal to an extent. Tabitha knew that the Martian was now more wary of letting her leave Watchtower, especially if she was going by herself. If Ma’alefa’ak was capable of finding her, there was no telling who else would be able to do her harm (although to be fair, he was an exact copy of J’onn minus telepathic powers). It only made the Martian even more overprotective of his girlfriend, to the point where he debated on stepping down as Monitor and letting her take over; after a few months, she had been trained well enough to do so. He had never thought extensively who would ever replace him as Monitor when the time approached; all he knew was that whoever it was would be someone he trusted with his own life. He slowly realized that in order for him to do that, he would have deep feelings for that person. It was starting to be more complex as being overprotective: J’onn J’onzz loved Tabitha Lyght.

She couldn’t blame him for being overprotective of her; the one time she decided to be completely alone, she was attacked. She had to admit that the experience was quite frightening however, there was something else that was bothering her. She couldn’t help replaying the day over in her head ever so often; Ma’alefa’ak proved to be a force to reckon with. But, she knew that she would’ve at least continued to fight back; she wondered why she couldn’t remember the exact detail that made her stop fighting.

She found herself yet again thinking about it as Shayera took a seat across from her in the cafeteria. Tabitha finally figured out who the seventh founding member was: Shayera Hol, better known as Hawkgirl. She also found out the reason why it had taken her so long to find out; no one wanted to speak about Shayera’s betrayal to the League: she was actually tricked into choosing loyalty to her own people, the Thangarians instead of the Justice League. J’onn had told her all about the invasion as well as how close Shayera and Diana were; the betrayal had hurt her the most. Shayera had resigned from the League on her own before any judgment was passed. A chance battle with the zombie Solomon Grundy brought her back into the League however the damage had been; it was a slow process for everyone to trust her fully again.

“Deep in thought?” the hawk woman asked with a slight smile on her face, her green eyes shining. Tabitha returned the smile and shrugged.

“Kinda; sorry…”

“It’s okay. I can… sit somewhere else…”

“No; you can sit here. Why would I want you to leave?”

“Haven’t you heard what I did…?”

“In the past. It just shows that you’ve got some human in you; we make mistakes all the damn time! Don’t matter if you’re a superhero or not. Only thing that matters is if you learn from ‘em. Figure that you’re not all that bad if they let you come back!” she said. She knew that it was Shayera’s choice to leave and possibly return however she also saw that the founding six almost always voted on major decisions; her returning was more likely voted on.

“I think J’onn’s rubbing off on you…” Shayera said with a slight laugh. It was enough to make Tabitha slightly blush; if there was anything she knew about her boyfriend, it was his mannerisms.

“W-Well… after training me for over…”

“And you may be able to fool everyone else but… you’re not fooling me…” she surprised Tabitha. She was about to argue with her until Shayera leaned towards her, “I’ve seen you two when you thought no one else was watching so there’s no denying it. I’m just wondering why you’re trying to keep it a secret.” she said lowly. Tabitha sighed and looked down at her food.

“… I… could care less if everyone knew; not like I’m ashamed of him…”

“Hmm… definitely no reason to be…” Shayera commented. Tabitha was about to nod in agreement but gave her a look.

“What’s that supposed to mean…?”

“One: he’s Martian Manhunter. Two… he’s Martian Manhunter!” she pointed out. It made both women giggle; she had a valid point, Tabitha thought. At the mention of his name, almost everyone knew who he was and what he was capable of; not too many people had been bold enough to cross him: Tabitha knew that she had nothing to be ashamed of on that end! He had incredibly attractive traits, both physically and mentally; any species of woman would have to be either blind or a lesbian to not even glance his way! And, to make matters better, he was an exceptional lover, Tabitha thought with a coy smile. The very thought made her cheeks immediately ache.

“A-Anyway… he don’t think anyone would be ready to accept our relationship just yet…”

“… Really? I think it’s… cute. But… if he wants to keep it quiet... then I’m pretty sure it’s for a good reason. Don’t worry; your secret’s safe with me!” she winked and Tabitha laughed. Shayera opened her mouth to say something else until she looked at who was walking towards the table. Tabitha noticed the mood change as Shayera gathered her tray and stood, “Well, thank you for letting me talk to you. We should do it, again.” she left.

“Wait…” Tabitha tried. She watched, still confused even as Bruce and John sat down at her table. John’s sigh made her turn back and look at the two men, “Okay… what the hell did you two do to her? She was obviously just fine until you two walked in!” she asked the two. Bruce shook his head but looked at her.

“You mean, you don’t know?”

“I know that she betrayed the League but was welcome back. Wait… were you two the ones who voted against her coming back…?” she asked lowly.

“Wow… you really don’t know. Shayera and John use…”

“It’s none of her concern.” John quickly snapped and started eating his food. She gave him a confused look for a moment until she realized that Bruce was snickering. Her eyes suddenly widened at John and she shot a look at Bruce.

“Hold up… they used to date? Shut up!!”

“Go ahead; I don’t think Earth heard you…” John narrowed his eyes at her.

“So, you’re just working your way through the League, huh? Am I next…?” she couldn’t contain her laughter any longer. John seethed as Bruce joined her. His green eyes glared at the lightning woman.

“It was a long time ago…”

“Not that long ago…” Bruce loudly mumbled, making the woman snicker. John took his attention away from Tabitha and looked at Bruce.

“Anyway; why are we always talking about my love life; let’s talk about yours for a change!”

“You put yours out in the open; easy conversation starter…” Bruce smirked. He knew that his comment was meant for John however he noticed that Tabitha flinched slightly.

“What’s going on between you and Diana?”[1] John coolly asked. It was enough to make Bruce’s expression change and make Tabitha eye him with a big smile.

“Yeah; I wanna hear about you and Diana!”

“There’s nothing there; she’s simply a respected colleague.”[2]

“Uh huh…” John responded, making Tabitha snort out a laugh. Bruce sighed.

“I don’t have time to pursue a relationship. My work, my job is too important to allow for any distractions…”

“Oh? A relationship is a distraction?” Tabitha tried, taking a sip from her cup. Bruce smirked at her. He knew that it definitely was; falling in love in general was a distraction in a whole. He saw what it did to his fellow League members, especially the two who he was sitting with at the moment.

While Tabitha waited for his answer, she slightly looked up and saw Diana approaching the table, almost right behind Bruce. Her smile widened.

“To some people, yes. Relationships and falling in love are distractions. But, it’s nothing against her. Diana is a remarkable woman. She’s a valued friend. She’s…… standing right behind me, isn’t she?”[3] he noticed that Tabitha was fighting really hard to keep her laughter in.

“Don’t let that stop you; keep digging!”[4] Diana told him seductively as John and Tabitha laughed. She sat down besides Tabitha and slightly laughed, “I don’t really want to know what you three were talking about!”

“Good!” Tabitha stuffed her mouth with French fries.

“Do you ever eat anything that’s healthy for you…?” John asked Tabitha. She gave him a look and made a show of chewing her fries, bringing more laughter to the table. Her childish act was abruptly interrupted by the sound of a weird alarm throughout the room.

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[1]-[4] Dialogue taken from Justice League Unlimited episode: The Once and Future Thing Part 1

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