The young speedster had even insisted on giving Alfred a day off, claiming that he could handle it. Though when it was time to actually make the food, Alfred had been called in. Once the food had been made, Alfred had left the manor for his day off. Despite Wally's attempt at having him stay, the butler insisted that it was a moment meant to be shared between the seven Justice League members alone.
For the first few hours the engagement party had gone without a hitch. Though this quickly changed when Shayera had invented her own fun. She had decided that, since she couldn't drink, she was going to have the others drink in her place. Shayera had strongly urged that she make the drinks. The problem with that was her Thanagarian physiology made it nearly impossible for her to get drunk on those "weak, human alcoholic beverages", as she put it, and the others did not have that advantage. She had them drinking what she normally would and it was quite potent to a non-Thanagarian as she mixed several different, most times the strongest, liquors together. Her concoctions could give her buzz but it was so far working wonders on the others.
Currently Wally was the most plastered with Diana not too far behind him and Clark was slowly but surely feeling the effects of his alcohol consumption. J'onn had politely, and quite wisely, declined the drinks while Bruce and John were beginning to feel buzzed as they had moderated what they drank. Bruce did this mainly because he did not want to look or act like a fool, which Wally currently was doing, in front of the group and John knew from experience not to gulp things down that were made by Shayera, not unless he wanted to be passed out within an hour.
"I bet I could beat ya at arm wrestling," Wally slurred out as Shayera laughed. "Cuz you're a girl."
"Oh this is fantastic," She mumbled in delight. "Ok Wally I'll bite. If you teach me what arm wrestling is, I'll do it."
"Alrighty then!" Wally nodded as he slowly began to explain the mechanics of arm wrestling to her.
"Shayera is going to beat him hands down," Clark stated to the group.
"He is too inebriated and Shayera is at least five times stronger than him," J'onn casually mentioned. "Logically speaking it is impossible for him to win, intoxicated or not."
"Now that's not fair," Diana sputtered out as she wagged a scolding finger at them. "Wally isn't that gone yet and I think he stands a chance. I drank as much as he did after all."
"We can tell," Bruce mentioned as Diana gave him a flustered look.
"I warned you guys to watch out," John said in a 'I-told-you-so' tone. "I learned that if Shayera ever makes drinks, only have half of it because it'll be way too strong. That woman can hold her liquor and a lot of it."
"You're cheating!" The five other founders heard Wally complain. They looked over to see the young man desperately trying to move the Thanagarian's arm by even a millimeter. He was very unsuccessful at doing so.
Shayera chuckled merrily at the comment without so much as faltering in strength, even for a moment. "Why, Wally, how can someone like me cheat in a game like this? This is my first time ever doing this you know."
"You're still cheating," He growled through clenched teeth.
She was making it impossible for him to get the upper hand and unfairly too; he didn't know how but he just knew she was somehow. It wasn't like Wally wanted to lose, especially to a girl at arm wrestling, but the damn Thanagarian was sure making it difficult for him to win. The physical exertion and his fast metabolism was making Wally sober up by just a bit though he was still not close to being lucid.
Shayera remained silent, merely inspecting the game with calculating, emerald eyes. John rolled his eyes. She was going to have fun with this before beating the young speedster, he could tell by the look in her eyes.
"Don't think I can't tell you're cheating," Wally continued.
John decided to humor the young speedster. "Your wrist is locked. You're using his strength to your advantage when it's suppose to be a measure of your own strength against his. It's technically not fair." Shayera rolled her eyes but in good nature. She knew John was just trying to make Wally feel better; she might as well too.
"You can use both hands if you want to Wally," She offered as he quickly clamped his other hand on top of hers.
Between them, Wally's hands were locked with her one in an outrageously unfair arm wrestling match. Shayera took her eyes off it for a moment to catch a glimpse of John's expression. An innocent smile decorated his carefully masked features, but knowing him, she could tell he was one breath away from bursting into laughter.
John walked next to her and whispered in her ear, "Go easy on the poor kid Shay."
"I'm not going to lose at this muscle game," She replied as Wally resorted to standing up and trying to pull down her arm with one hand clutched in hers and his other pulling at her arm.
"This is a game of muscle, Shayera, like you said. It is not a game of skill which rules out cheating," Bruce said as Wally frowned. "You obviously have more physical strength than he does which makes me wonder. Are you going easy on him?"
If just saying that to annoy the Flash wasn't enough, the light giggle from Diana and the small grin appearing upon J'onn's face was surely enough to quicken the rush of heat to Wally's face.
He cast them a halfhearted glare as he commented, "This isn't fair. I don't want anyone going easy on me."
Suddenly Shayera started to exert a little force and Wally found his arms gradually being shoved down and regretted his words. This meant she hadn't even been trying since the beginning. Wally wanted to yell at one of them now but if he lost focus for even one second he would lose.
"Cheater," He muttered.
At a hair away from losing, literally, his arms was suddenly down at the other side, her side. Wally began to wonder what had happened. Then when his tense muscles began to twitch from using too much force on too little a task, he realized.
She had let him win out of pity.
"You let me win," He muttered quietly. "I might be a bit toasted right now but I can still see that."
An impenetrable smile filled her expression instantly. "I have no idea what you're talking about Wally. I simply got fatigued. I am pregnant after all."
"I want a rematch! You che-" Wally was cut off by Clark.
"Why don't you take on someone else instead," The Kryptonian suggested. "It'll be more fair than taking her on again."
"Alright Boy Scout," Wally stated as he smirked. "You're on. I'm so taking you down."
Shayera stood as Clark took her place across from the speedster. Clark gave Wally a small, sympathetic look.
"This is going to be good," Shayera stated as John wrapped an arm around her waist. "He can't even beat me and he thinks he can beat Superman of all people."
"So you did go easy on him?" John asked even though he knew the answer. The sound of an arm hitting the table was heard as Wally demanded another try. Obviously Clark wasn't going easy on him.
She shook her head in amusement at the spectacle, "Wally is like a little brother. He annoys you to no end but you still have to love him." She shrugged but looked at John rather slyly. "So, you feeling those drinks yet? Please say yes."
"A little," He admitted as he kissed the crook of her neck which made her giggle like a school girl. "I've known you long enough to know not to drink what you offer. Remember our trip two years ago to the Third Moon of Galtos?"
"Yeah I got you so drunk that I had to call the Watchtower so that they could send someone to pick us up with one of the Javelins," She smirked as turned her head to look up at him. "You know, I'm pretty sure that's the last time I got really, really drunk."
"That's because I learned how to tame a Thanagarian warrior," He kissed her.
She broke the kiss momentarily, "And at the same time I spiced up the life of a hard-nosed Green Lantern."
John held her for awhile as they watched Wally continuously get beat in arm wrestling by Clark. Shayera shook her head and chuckled as he then challenged Bruce.
The Green Lantern looked down at his pocket as he fingered the ring and looked back up at Shayera. Her smile was breath taking and John felt his chest tighten with love as he looked at the amazing woman that he was lucky enough to have; especially after everything that happened between them. He hesitated as he nudged her arm.
She looked over at him confused, her dazzling smile disappearing, as she cocked her head to the side, "What's wrong?"
He shook his head and gave her a small smile, "Nothing, everything's fine. Just come with me for a bit."
Her expression just became more confused looking but she complied and followed him. Less than thirty seconds later they were on one of the balconies of the manor. Shayera looked around the balcony, looking even more confused if possible.
"Why in the world did you want to come out here?" She asked him as she motioned back to the doors. "We should be in there with the others."
"I uh just wanted um," He scratched the back of his head, clearly nervous. He honestly didn't know why he was nervous. John figured that it was probably due to the fact that he didn't know if this was acceptable or not in Thanagarian culture and was afraid of offending her in anyway. Nevertheless he took hold of her left hand as she raised an eyebrow at him.
"I don't see what you're so nervous about," Shayera stated as she failed to notice him taking the ring out of his pocket and slowly moving it towards her left hand. "Obviously you're up to-" She stopped abruptly as she felt the small metal band slide on her ring finger.
She opened her mouth to speak but nothing came out. She was actually speechless for once. Her eyes went down to the ring on her finger, back up to John, down to the ring again, and finally back up to John.
"Oh John," She finally said, sounding breathless. "You didn't need...I mean...I don't deserve...why did you?"
"Shay, you don't have to wear the ring if you don't like it or don't feel comfortable wearing it. I mean-" She put a finger to his lips and gently shook her head.
"I love the ring John; honestly I do. It's a part of us, a part of our history and our history has made us who we are. If we like it or not," She stated as she wrapped her arms around him. "I wouldn't trade this ring for any other ring in the world. I'm more than happy to wear it everyday for the rest of my life."
He sighed in relief. He was happy that Shayera felt that way because her ring was always special to him. One hand pressed against the small of her back and the other lightly gripping her shoulder, John leaned in to kiss her softly knowing that tonight and Shayera's ring brought their past and future together. Tonight was the beginning of their family and the rest of their lives together.