It was Emma's first Christmas and one of the many parenting tiffs surfaced when John told Shayera he wanted their daughter to take pictures with the local mall's Santa.
Shayera was flipping through a magazine and snorted, not bothering to look up as she said, "That's a joke, right?"
"No, it's not."
She looked up and waited for the punch line, the laugh. Because she knew her smart, logical husband could not really be suggesting they go sit their seven-month-old child, their baby, on a stranger's lap. Several moments of silence and still no luck.
"You're not joking, are you?"
"I did it every year when I was a kid," He argued.
"Sat on Santa's lap."
"No, you sat on some strange man's lap, pretending to be some fat guy that doesn't even exist, who happened to be wearing a Santa suit John," Shayera argued, propping her elbow on the table and resting her head on her hand.
John sighed, "I don't see what the problem is. Nothing is going to happen Shay."
"Blame Thanagarian society for making your wonderful, paranoid wife. I don't want our kid on some stranger's lap," She said firmly.
"Think how nice the pictures would be," John said, trying to think of the best angle to use on his wife. "We could send them to the other founders. I bet they would love them."
"The only way you're getting those pictures is if you dress Wally in a Santa suit. Otherwise, tough luck."
When Shayera had quipped that the only way her daughter was taking a picture with Santa was if Wally was wearing the infamous suit, she had been joking. It had been one of her dry, sarcastic comments. It was not meant to be taken seriously. Instead, John had taken the comment and ran.
Shayera sat in the living room, Emma on her knee as they watched the Wiggles. Shayera thought the show was idiotic but her daughter was oddly entranced by the men dressed in primary colors so she really couldn't complain. She looked to the door when she heard it open and stared for a moment, not believing her eyes.
Why was Wally in her apartment? More importantly, why was he wearing a Santa suit? She recalled her earlier conversation with John and frowned. Dropping her mouth to her daughter's ear she murmured, "Mommy is very sorry for what is about to happen to you Emma." She looked up at John and said, "Alright, let's get this over with."
"You're not arguing?" He asked, surprised.
"I stay true to my word and I told you if you got Wally to dress up as Santa, Emma could take pictures with him." She rose from the couch, propping Emma on her hip as she walked into the kitchen to retrieve the camera.
"I cant' believe I'm doing this," Wally complained.
"Why exactly are you?" Shayera asked, handing John the camera as she looked at him and said, "Let me guess, Bruce refused and Clark was busy?"
"And I apparently wasn't," Wally said glumly. "It was this or taking both of your monitor duties for a week." A bit of the beard got caught in his mouth and he spit angrily, tugging at the beard as he snapped, "Alright, let's get this over with. This suit is flippin' hot."
"Sit down," John directed, pointing to the seat beside the Christmas tree.
Shayera watched Wally sit down, remembering how she and John had fought for a good week over that stupid tree. He had won and as she walked over to Wally and handed over her child, she thought that John was winning an awful lot lately.
"We'll just take a few," John said, adjusting the camera setting. "We can put this on the Christmas cards."
"Excuse me?" Shayera said, turning to him with her hands on her hips. "Christmas cards? And since when do we send out those?"
"Shayera, could you get our daughter to look at the camera?" John asked, ignoring her question. She frowned and turned toward Wally and Emma, unable to stop herself from smiling slightly when she saw Emma's small hands pulling at Wally's fake beard.
"Hey kid, no touching," He said, trying to tug the beard away. "What are you? Hey," He looked up at John and Shayera, "Make your kid behave!"
"Emma," Shayera called out, "Hands to yourself."
"Oh right, because that'll work," Wally sniped but his remark was proven invalid as the small child dropped her hand.
"Alright, Emma, look at the camera," Shayera said, her voice dangerously close to a coo. "Ignore Uncle Wally and look at the camera honey."
Despite their best efforts, their daughter was having none of it. She became entranced by Wally's fake beard again, pulling and tugging. It didn't help that Wally was as fussy as Emma, constantly complaining, "Have you got a good one yet?"
Miraculously, despite the two misbehaving, one acting her age and the other not, John managed to get one good picture. Wally's smile was a bit wonky but Emma was looking directly at the camera, smiling wide.
"Alright," John said, turning off the camera. "You're done hotshot."
"Finally," Wally sighed, getting up from the chair. As he carried Emma back to Shayera, the baby reached forward, taking a hold of his nose. He laughed despite his general irritation, twisting his face away from the little kid's grasp.
"That kid has your annoying persistence," Wally noted wryly, handing Emma over to her mother.
Shayera took Emma and kissed her cheek before proudly saying, "You bet she does."
"Thanks for suiting up man," John said with an easy grin. "I got your monitor duty covered for the week. Consider it like a mini vacation."
"It better be a good one," Wally grabbed his bag, tossing it over his shoulder, much like St. Nick, as he trudged out of their apartment.
Shayera chuckled, plopping back onto the couch as she said, "I can't believe you got him to go through with that."
"The picture is perfect Shay. Look at it." He sat next to her, showing her the picture on the camera. She wanted to tell him that it wasn't adorable. That their daughter did not look like the cutest baby she had laid eyes on but she couldn't lie. It was a good picture.
"Did you really blackmail him into it?" Shayera asked after a second.
"I learned from the best," He stated as she smirked. "I also figured it would be easier than trying to convince Bruce or waiting for Clark not to be dealing with a planetary disaster."
"You know, that was pretty genius."
He grinned and gave her a quick kiss. "Your husband is resourceful, remember?"