"Course it 's looking to be married," The official grumbled. He switched to a businesslike tone. "Either of you been married before?" He asked, eying the woman with malcontent.
"No," Was the joint answer.
"Well, at least that'll cut out some time on the record searches."
"Record searches?" The woman frowned as she bit her bottom lip.
"Obviously we conduct searches on records of people who want to marry. Aside from certain essential rules, careful scrutiny is necessary for special cases. People are in such a rush nowadays, they don't even really know who they're marrying. Their future spouses don't tell them things, marrying untrustworthy people. Changes the relationship somewhat, you know, especially in these times."
The official put on a pair of glasses and handed the man a pen. "Print your full legal name in the little box. Any information the government has on you will come up on my side."
"Hmm," He looked at the records. "John Stewart, the Green Lantern that is in the Justice League, should of kept a secret identity but your choice. Served in the US Marines. Looks like you're all right." He glanced at the woman. "Now you..."
The woman cast a somewhat worried look at the man with her, who gave a slight shrug, and she wrote her name. The state official glanced at the words from government records appearing on his computer screen. "Shayera Hol...you honestly believe that you, of all people, can get a marriage license?" He asked suddenly, peering at her over his spectacles.
"Yes," She answered bluntly. Shayera bit her lip and looked as though she was about to say something but changed her mind.
"Let's see what the records say about you. Former Hawkgirl that helped the Thanagarians invade Earth which caused the deaths of hundreds. That's not even the beginning." Read the official. "You're one of those filthy Thanagarians correct?"
"Yes, I am." Shayera stated. "So what?"
"Are you telling me," The state official turned to John. "That you know she is a Thanagarian and have agreed to marry her?"
John frowned. "Yes, I have."
The official moistened his lips and eyed the Thanagarian. "I can't let some traitorous, filthy Thanagarian-"
John made a noise like a snarl and seemed about to blast the man with his power ring but, luckily for the state official, Shayera restrained him. He looked steadily at the official, although the anger in his eyes was evident. "She's not a traitor or a filthy Thanagarian!" He said firmly. "She's been vouched for by many respected people, namely Superman himself."
"Well Superman's not here to defend her, is he?" Asked the official, staring at him. "How do I know that he even-"
"I'm sure you can call up someone in Metropolis so that you can talk to him personally."
"Listen, I can't just let someone marry a Thanagarian, it's just not right!"
"Isn't that my decision?" John said swiftly, cutting him off and speaking in a furious rush. "If you and the other officials are so dense as to think like ignorant fools, fine, but there are people who know that Thanagarians aren't all bad. I'm a Green Lantern, I've met some of the worst aliens in the universe. Believe me Thanagarians are like docile kittens." John shot him a piercing glare. "I love her and that should be enough for anyone."
"I assure you he made this decision willingly," Shayera said quietly. "If you will refuse to believe me, at least believe him. And if you would look at the rest of the records the Government has on me," She motioned at the computer in front of him. "You will find little else to justify your fears. We came for a marriage license, not an interrogation. Will you give us one or not?"
"Listen," The official looked uncomfortable. "Even if I wanted to, which I clearly don't, I can't. It just can't be done."
"Why not?" She asked heatedly.
He looked nervously at the woman standing before him, her eyes flashed dangerously at him. "You're not a citizen of any country on this planet. The marriage would be invalid. You need proof of some type of citizenship somewhere on Earth, not that alien planet full of hawk-people that you came from." The official swallowed. "I can't do anything about it. Perhaps, if the Thanagarian can get some type of citizenship, you two can come back." He looked away from the couple. "Next!"
"You were expecting that to happen, weren't you?" John asked in a low voice as they were walking down the streets of Detroit.
Shayera shrugged. "That's the way it has been since the Invasion; I had little reason to hope."
"Well, I wasn't expecting them to cave in easily either." John admitted quickly. "I mean, I knew there would be some trouble getting it but I didn't think they would humiliate you like that."
She smiled wryly at him. "Now do you see what it'll be like?"
He looked back at her stubbornly as they stopped walking and faced each other. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"John, you know perfectly well what I'm talking about," She said, eying him intensely. "This is only the beginning; I'll end up making life difficult for you if you marry me."
"I agreed to be a Green Lantern, Shayera. Do you think I wanted an easy life?" He rhetorically asked her.
She ignored that and went on. "You have time to reverse your decision about this, if you want to."
He stared at her. "Jeez Shay, you're nearly as dense as those state officials." He seized her suddenly above the elbows and seemed on the verge of shaking her. "When are you ever going to get it into that stubborn skull of yours that I don't care? I've been saying it for years. Don't you think I mean it by now?"
"Of course I know you mean it John." She grabbed his wrists and lowered his arms, her hands shaking slightly with suppressed emotion. "I know you do, it's just that-"
"Let's discuss this rationally like adults before we start some stupid argument." He said firmly. "And none of this garbage about me changing my mind because I haven't thought once about doing so and I'm not planning to in future."
Shayera gave him a resigned half-smile. "Alright then."
"It doesn't really matter to me." John said after a few moments of silence. "What's in a little piece of paper anyway?"
"No, it doesn't mean a whole lot to you." She said with a slight frown. "But it matters to me. I want to be more human since I now live on Earth. But you have to think about this, I have little reputation to lose; but you," She took his hand in her own. "You have the Green Lantern Corps. I don't want something happening that can get you expelled. The Guardians don't like Thanagarians and they made their point quite clear that they disapprove of us and really dislike me."
"I know." John became serious too. "As for the Corps...well..." He frowned and sighed. "I don't know. I'm gonna have to have a long talk with the Guardians."
"And it's not just about that either." She added. "It's about the rights I can't get otherwise without a citizenship. Joint property, things like that. If...if something were to happen to one of us, which could very well happen in our line of work..." She trailed off as though she didn't want to think of the possibilities.
They were silent for a while. Finally John said with a smirk, "What if I just happened to go in there brandishing a Nth metal mace and threatened them to give you citizenship and marry us?"
She snorted as she rolled her eyes. "That's an original idea."
"Seriously though," He added after a moment. "We have to get you a citizenship here on Earth first. I'm sure Bruce could help. He knows people."
"I don't want him getting into some kind of trouble for our sake."
"He won't; he's just asking some people he knows for help. It's not illegal to ask for help."
"That certainly is true." They were silent again; Shayera watched John thoughtfully for a moment.
"It's Bruce after all. He'll help." He retorted, kissing her.
"I know." She said, kissing him back.