Shayera was angry. The other founders wouldn't let her back in the room. No instead she was pacing around her room up in the Watchtower. She couldn't currently get to Batman and kill him slowly. Oh she just wanted to pound his head in with her mace so bad. Watch the life drain out of his eyes after each strike. Watch as...
That's when she stopped pacing and frowned. She did it again. She let Lieutenant Shayera Hol take over; she let her inner killer out. Really she didn't want to kill Batman. No she wanted to kill John. Ok maybe not him either. She was just so angry at the two and killing them off seemed so easy. She certainly wouldn't have to deal with them anymore.
"Don't think like that." She said to herself. "You don't kill, not anymore. You have no reason to kill them."
She had taken her anger out when she first walked into the room. She ended up punching and leaving a small hole in the wall. Bruce could pay for the repair, she thought. He had the money. It was his fault anyway.
She began to pace about again as she clenched and unclenched her fists repeatedly. She needed to go somewhere peaceful. A place where she could think clearly.
The park rang with the sounds of rambunctious children. School was still out for summer vacation and the children were taking advantage of it. Children were playing Frisbee with each other or their parents. Other children crawled all over the monkey bars, some dangling from the top by hands or feet while there were young children playing in the sandbox building castles and strange sculptures; all were being supervised by their parents. There were even children playing a game of what looked like soccer, using makeshift goal posts. One set appeared to be made of picnic baskets and lunch-bags while the other set was made of an orange traffic cone on one side and a trash barrel on the other.
Along one of the paths near where the children were playing Frisbee, were several benches. Sitting quietly on one of those benches was Shayera. She had promised herself to come back here one day since the first time she laid eyes on the park. It just seemed like the right place. Hearing and seeing the children playing was very relaxing for her.
A group of boys and girls appeared to be playing Cowboys and Indians, with all the resultant screams of "You're dead" and "No, I'm not. You missed" echoing through the distance as well as some parents telling them to "Play nice". She watched the children playing with a smile. They were so exuberant, so full of life. Their imaginations were boundless at this age. She was amused and intrigued by just watching them race around pretending to be cowboys and Indians.
Both sides had toy weapons, in bright colors and hues, of course, so that they couldn't be mistaken for real weapons. As she looked closer, she noticed that a couple of the children were running around with small branches, clearly intended to spears or daggers. She still wasn't certain which side was the good guys but the game was definitely not Cowboys and Indians.
Sighing, Shayera got up from the bench. She'd been in the park almost two hours, far longer than she intended, but after everything that had occurred recently, she had needed to relax. She was able to think through everything rationally.
She was in the wrong. She knew that keeping her pregnancy a secret wasn't right. She should have listened to Bruce when he told her to tell John. She also knew that she had to try to talk to John again about her past. But would he listen? That's what she wasn't sure about. He clearly hated her heritage and everything related to it. Maybe this argument got through that thick skull of his and made him see that he was in the wrong too. Though, she couldn't blame him for calling her a filthy hawk; he did it out of anger. Just like how she attacked him out of anger and claimed that she wanted to go back to Thanagar.
Shayera was lost in thought and therefore didn't notice the two kids heading straight for her. The girl was furiously running from a boy, who was trying to catch her, and didn't see the Thanagarian at all. They went down in a tangle of limbs. The breath knocked out of her, Shayera lay sprawled in an undignified heap on the walkway, with the girl and boy lying atop her. They slowly rolled off of her dazed. Trying to get her lungs to remember how to function, Shayera attempted to pull in a preparatory breath to verbally flay the person who had crashed into her. That idea came to a sudden halt when she realized her attackers were two children, who both looked to be around nine-years-old or so, with terrified looks in their eyes.
The boy was a bit bigger than the girl and heavier. The girl was a bit smaller and, from what Shayera could tell, lighter in weight than the boy. Shayera wasn't sure but they looked as though they could be siblings. They both had the same crystal clear blue eyes and dark brown hair.
Stuttering, the boy started, "I'm s-s-sorry. We d-d-didn't mean to hit you. We w-w-weren't looking w-w-where we were going." He looked scared, like he expected Shayera to yell at him.
This time the girl spoke, "P-p-p-please, Hawkgirl. We'd d-d-didn't mean to knock you over. W-we're sorry."
"I'm not going to hurt you," Shayera softly replied. "It wasn't your fault. I wasn't looking where I was going." She saw the fear in the children's eyes begin to dissipate and continued quietly, "I know you didn't mean it." She smiled lightly. "Now why don't you guys let me make sure you're both ok."
Shayera stood up and brushed herself off. She turned her attention to the two children in front of her. They were shuffling around nervously as they looked up at her.
"Now why don't we head over to that bench there to make sure you're both all right?" Shayera pointed to the bench she had been sitting on earlier. She offered her hand, not reaching out to either child, but rather motioning to the bench. Shayera was surprised when the little girl grabbed her hand and started leading her over to the bench. "Um so what's your name?"
"Elizabeth but everyone calls me Lizzie or Liz. That's my big brother Mason. He's a poop head." The little girl rambled as she then pointed to her brother. "He was chasing me cause he was the good guy and I was a bad guy. We see you on TV a lot. You save people right Hawkgirl?"
"Yeah I do with the Justice League. You can call me Shayera or Shay, whatever you want." Shayera said. "That's what my friends call me. No one really calls me Hawkgirl anymore."
The trio reached the bench; Elizabeth and Mason sat down next to each, as she looked them over. "I think you're both fine. You just got the wind knocked out of you mostly. Maybe a few bumps and bruises too. Why don't you two go back to playing? I'm sure you'll have a better time doing that than hanging around with me." Shayera said quietly, almost hoping they would run off. She believed that she was terrible with kids.
"Why?" Mason demanded, as if he expected to be told anything he wanted to know. Shayera almost succumbed to the desire to laugh. Children could be such cute little creatures sometimes.
Instead of answering the boy's question Shayera asked, "Why are you out here alone? Shouldn't you be with your parents? You guys are what, eight or nine at best?"
"I'm ten and she's eight!" The boy exclaimed, all outrage and temper. He reminded Shayera, abruptly, of herself. Get mad first, make sense of it later. "Our parents are on the other side of the park but we don't need them. I'm planning to be in the Justice League and can take care of anyone that messes with us, thank you very much!"
Shayera grinned. "Course you are," She agreed. "How could I have missed it?"
"How indeed," He replied as his sister pushed him.
"Hey don't hit your brother." Shayera scolded the girl but then froze. These weren't her own kids to discipline. She had no right to tell them what to do.
"Mommy always told us not to be rude!" Elizabeth told her brother as she frowned at him. "Be nice to Shayera!"
"Look, I'll just wait with you until someone comes to get you, all right?" Shayera said to them. She really wanted to get out of there. All the same, she couldn't just leave the kids alone. It just wasn't happening.
The kids blinked at her, confused, then finally nodded. "But you have to tell us a story," The little girl decided.
Shayera stared at them as they looked at her expectantly. "Oh I don't um..." She didn't tell stories, she didn't mend boo-boos, she didn't know anything about how to handle children at all. She sat down on the bench next to the siblings. She might have a way with words but that was only with adults.
"Tell us about you beating up bad guys!" Mason excitedly exclaimed as Elizabeth vigorously shook her head.
"No tell us something romantic," She insisted as Shayera bit her lower lip. "A love story."
"Um sure?" She uncertainly said as she shrugged. "So uh there was um two Justice League members. Basically it started out with them as teammates, becoming best friends, and ultimately falling in love."
"How did they fall in love?" Elizabeth asked.
"Well they just completed each other. You can't have one without the other with these two. It's like they were made for each other. Of course they don't always agree but they love each other nonetheless." She explained. "But the woman made a mistake and kept a secret from the man she loved. In the end she left and broke his heart."
"Why would she leave?" Mason asked. "If the guy still loved her, what was the point?"
Shayera was taken back. Why did she leave? "Because she didn't know that he still loved her. She believed that he hated her. When she came back though the man found a new love. She was heartbroken but made herself believe that he was better off without her. The man than traveled to the future and met their future son. He kept this from her for over a year but eventually told her."
"Then they got back together and lived happily ever after right?" The little girl asked happily.
Shayera chuckled as she shook her head. "Not exactly. The man said he didn't want destiny to control him so he didn't get back together with the woman he loved. A few months later the woman he was with left him. Now the other woman had become friends with his ex-girlfriend and wanted to see them back together like they were supposed to be. But the ex-girlfriend was angry at the man and refused to get back together with him for awhile."
"That was stupid of her." Mason muttered. "He wanted to be with her."
Shayera rolled her eyes. "You're telling me. Now finally they did get back together and things were great for two years. Unfortunately the woman made a stupid mistake and kept another secret that caused the two of them to split up again. That's sorta it for now."
"That wasn't a happy ending! Did they get back together?" Elizabeth asked. "It always works like that in the movies."
"Well most likely they will get back together. I mean," Shayera faltered. "They will. They just have to."
"Why?" The two asked.
Why? Because she simply needed John there because she loved him and couldn't live a day without him. Shayera also knew that she couldn't raise a child on her own. The two of them were supposed to do that together.
She settled for, "Because how else will they live happily ever after as a family?"
"So the stork is gonna bring 'em a baby and they'll live happily ever after?" Elizabeth asked.
Shayera smiled at her, "Yeah that's how it'll end."
"Mason! Elizabeth! How many times do I have to tell you not to run off?" The children's mother appeared as marched towards them. "And how many times do I have to tell you not to bother people?"
"But Mommy," Elizabeth whined. "We were only talking to Shayera. She even told us a story."
"Yeah we got to meet a member of the Justice League Mom!" Mason enthused. "She's cool!"
Shayera expected the woman to snap at her to stay away from her children but was surprised to see that the woman made no attempt to.
"I'm sorry they bothered you. Hopefully they didn't cause any trouble." The woman said to Shayera.
"Oh they were fine. They didn't cause any trouble at all." She replied shyly.
"Alright we have to go." The woman said to her two children. "Say goodbye to Shayera."
Shayera was caught by surprise when Elizabeth tackled her with a hug. The little girl just as quickly released her. "Bye and thanks for the story." She looked over at her brother. "Well?"
"Oh yeah um bye." He muttered. "Next time I want to hear a story about you beating up the bad guys."
Shayera nodded, "Deal." She then continued. "Mason, Liz, I really enjoyed hanging around with you guys. I'll see you guys later ok?" They nodded as Shayera smiled slightly. "Bye," She gave them a small wave and flew off.