Nuisance (n) - a person, thing, or circumstance causing an annoyance; a person or situation that causes problems or is a bother.
Dependent (adj) - relying on someone or thing for aid and support; a person who relies on another for assistance.
Useless (adj) - of no use; not serving a purpose or any purpose; of no practical good.
That's what Shayera felt like as she sat on the couch in hers and John's apartment. She felt like a useless, overly dependent nuisance. Asking for help or assistance was something Shayera was never known for or very willing to do. It was a foreign concept to her Thanagarian culture. Even in her current condition she still felt the need to do things on her own. Even if such activities were next to impossible for her to accomplish on her own.
Shayera had quickly learned of the many disadvantages of being heavily pregnant. The worst being the immobility and the second being the constant backache that had started during the fourth month as a dull annoyance but steadily progressed each month to what it was now. The pain wasn't just in her back but her wings as well. A set of wings that she hadn't been able to stretch out properly for the past four months.
Now that Shayera thought about it there was a third thing that was really bothering her. Her natural instinct to just simply fly had been screaming at her for the past four months. Thanagarians were creatures of the sky and, even though she had adopted and practiced more human behaviors nowadays, Shayera was still a full-blooded Thanagarian. Turning her head away from the television she wasn't even paying much attention to, Shayera looked at her right wing from over her shoulder. The appendage stretched by just a few inches but then settled back to its original position. Shayera sighed as she turned her head back around. There was no point in teasing herself. Flight was definitely not an option.
Shayera found human television programs asinine at best. It actually made her miss the monitor duty shifts she had to endure for roughly the past nine months. She especially could not stand reality shows that gave people, whom Shayera would classify as trashy, money to do idiotic or selfish activities. There were shows Shayera found that she liked, though those were few and far between.
The television was where Shayera's problem had started. The current program on was some ridiculous talk show that she could barely tolerate anymore. What made things worse was when the woman on the show was revealed to be married, something her apparent boyfriend knew nothing about, and was pleading with him to stay with her and that she promised to leave her husband, even if she had to kill him.
Feeling unpleasant memories creeping up, Shayera hastily reached her hand down to her side to find the remote that she was certain she had placed besides her. Not feeling the plastic device there, she peered down and confirmed that the item was absent. Shayera's eyes scanned the room until she spotted her target on the kitchen counter.
Shayera let out a low and feral growl. If the remote was on the kitchen counter, which she didn't even remember placing it there, that meant she would have to get up. Getting up wasn't too difficult...when John was there to help her but on her own the task proved to be quite bothersome. But Shayera didn't have much of a choice if she wanted to change the channel. That and on top of it all she realized she was hungry. Which proved to be another challenge as she was a disaster waiting to happen when in the kitchen.
Shayera had gotten up on her own before and she would freely admit it was quite difficult to do without any help. Though today, she knew, would be worse than most. It seemed as though her body was having a 'down-day' and didn't want to cooperate with her. She woke up in the morning feeling fine but once she took a shower everything went downhill from there. She didn't know why she was so fatigued when she had literally done nothing the entire day so far.
What made the process even more difficult were her wings. Shayera thought that her wings would have acted like a counter balance to the weight on her front yet they didn't. All they proved to do so far was to weigh her down more.
She thought over the best course of action. It seemed like her best shot was to use bother the couch and the small table that sat before the couch. So she leaned forward and placed her hand on the table and the other she pressed against the couch. Just as predicted her wings acted like dead weights and impeded her attempts in pushing herself forward and off the couch.
Though it took her a good three minutes Shayera was finally successful in hoisting herself up and into a standing position as she sighed. If there was one thing Shayera would never miss from this pregnancy would be the back pain. Shayera placed one hand on her lowered back and the other over her stomach. "You honestly need to get out of there. You're causing me a lot of problems. But don't worry, I still love you."
After making her way to the kitchen she grabbed the remote off the counter and immediately turned off the television. Next she turned her attention to the kitchen itself. Considering the complete absence of cooking skills of any kind on her part, she had a rather difficult choice in front of her. She could just tough it out and wait for when John came home of she could attempt to make something herself, hopefully without giving herself food poisoning.
Shayera peered into the refrigerator and looked at it content. There was nothing she could make without risking the chance of setting the stove on fire...again. Seeing the carton of milk in the frig reminded Shayera of a simple solution: a bowl of cereal. There was absolutely no way she could hurt or poison herself with cereal. Smiling triumphantly she opened the cabinet where the cereal was. Her smile instantly disappeared when she took in what was actually in there. All that was in there were those disgusting Wheaties and wholewheat Cheerios that John insisted on getting. She began to mutter choice words in Thanagarian as she slammed her fist down on the counter top.
Shayera could feel her temper slipping and she could hardly care. She reached up a literally started chucking the boxes over her shoulder, completely ignorant of the mess she was creating. John could clean it up later.
"Is it really that hard to have food I'll actually eat around here?" She muttered as she rummaged through the cabinet and tearing everything apart. There was nothing she wanted, absolutely nothing.
Shayera made a sound of frustration she she roughly slammed the door to the cabinet closed. Fed up, Shayera placed a finger to her commlink. There was going to be hell to pay.
"John!" She barked.
"Are you ok? What's wrong? Stay where you are, don't move!" Was John's frantic reply that caused her to roll her eyes.
"Oh would you shut the hell up and just stop fussing already? I'm fine!" she snapped as she heard him sign in relief. "Look, I'm hungry and there's literally nothing to eat."
"What do you want me to get?" He asked but then quickly added, "but nothing off world this time."
"Deal," she agreed. "Just get me something that I'll like and that won't give me heartburn."
"So you want a glass of water?" He quipped.
Forgetting her previous irritation Shayera chuckled. "Oh look who's trying to be funny. Stop being a smartass and get me some food Lantern."
"Well I got about another forty-five minutes left on monitor duty. It'll probably be about an hour until I get home. Can you tough it out that long?"
"Yeah I'm not going to die so take your time. Thank you John," she replied softly.
"Anything for you Shay. I'll see you in a bit. Remember, take it easy babe."
John closed the commline. Wally, who had originally come by John's monitor station to bug him, had a look of concern on his face.
"Shayera's ok right?" He asked as he swallowed, expecting the worst.
"Oh yeah she's fine," the Green Lantern said. "She just wanted me to get her something to eat that hopefully won't give her heartburn later."
Wally sighed, "As long as she's alright. Oh and could you um not tell anyone about...well you know."
"That you're obsessively checking up on her by annoying me?" He smirked at the speedster. "Are you embarrassed?"
"No!" Wally scratched the back of his head. "I mean siblings are supposed to tease each other and not worry about," he momentarily faltered, "well this kind of thing. I got a reputation to protect too. I can't let everyone know I'm a big worrywart softy."
John chuckled, "Don't worry hotshot, I'll only tell Shayera. She misses being around this place. She's going to be stir crazy by the time her maternity leave is over."
"J'onn only told her two weeks ago that she was being taken off monitor duty. It hasn't been that long."
"Yeah but Shay gets bored easily. There's not much for her to do at home except watch TV and she already read through every single parenting and baby book you got her. She really doesn't like any of the programs that are on. I can't bring her up to the Watchtower when I'm on monitor duty. Especially after what happened last time."
Being inactive somehow just made her go mad with boredom and there was nothing more dangerous than a bored Shayera. Both John and J'onn learned this lesson rather quickly.
John, feeling somewhat sorry for his wife, had brought her with him during his monitor duty shift. It had only been two days after J'onn had instructed her to stop working and to take it easy for the remainder of the pregnancy. Next thing the Martian and Green Lantern knew was that she had gone down to the core reactor and was beginning a systems and maintenance scan. Both he and J'onn ended up scolding her over the matter and it had become an unspoken rule that Shayera was banned from both the Watchtower and Metro Tower. With no way to access any work, Shayera had been forced to relax so far.
The speedster shrugged before he spoke, "You know she's a workaholic. What'd you and J'onn expect?"
"I know, we should have expected something like that to of happened," John stated as he turned his attention back to the monitor screen. "It wouldn't surprise me if she was up and about. Every single day, so far, I've been telling her to take it easy. She just won't listen."
Wally leaned against the station. "But remember we're talking about Shayera here. She's going to push herself to keep going until she actually has the kid."
"That's what I'm worried about," John said. "The past couple of days she's been completely wiped yet she still insists on doing everything she knows she shouldn't. It's been driving me crazy," he sighed. "It seems no matter what I do I always worry about her. I'm not even sleeping that much because I'm constantly watching over her."
Wally patted his shoulder sympathetically. "Feel better, got it all out now?"
John slouched in his seat. "I guess. I just get so nervous when my commlink goes off and she's on the other end. I always think there's something wrong."
"And here I thought I was the one being overly worried," Wally stated. "Shayera wasn't kidding when she said you were driving her crazy."
"She said that?"
"Yeah she complained before a couple of times that you were constantly up her ass and annoying her."
John scoffed at that. "Someone has to keep her in line. If I wasn't up her ass constantly than things would be a lot worse right now." He then smirked. "I guess it's only fair. She drives me crazy and I drive her crazy. I just hope she won't be in too bad of a mood today. She acted like she wanted to rip my head off yesterday."
Shayera had begun to flip through the television channels as she laid on the couch on her left side so the she could face the TV. She hated sitting or laying on the couch; her wings always got squished behind her and with her increased weight it was more uncomfortable than usual. Eventually she found a comedy movie that she was familiar with that she knew she liked and could get a few laughs from.
Forcing herself to relax, Shayera closed her eyes momentarily and listened to the dialogue from the movie. After a few minutes of blissful peace someone decided to start kicking...hard. Shayera's eyes flew open and she groaned. At first she had found it very endearing and captivating but the novelty had worn off quite some time ago, three and a half months ago to be exact.
"Stop assaulting me already. You don't need to remind me that you're still in there. Trust me I know," Shayera proclaimed loudly, directly her voice toward her stomach. The apparent response was a rather hard kick or punch to, what Shayera was certain was, her intestines. "Great you don't listen and you're openly defiant already. I think I know who you're taking after already. Look can we compromise? I'll spoil you to no end when you're born if you stop trying to rupture my vital organs. Think you can do that for Mommy?" When there were no further kickboxing moves, Shayera smirked. "At least you're not unreasonable."
Shayera turned her attention back to the movie though kept her right hand placed over her stomach. She chuckled a bit at one scene. The movie was one of those stupid funny comedies. Even though the movie itself was mediocre it was still good enough to keep her entertained for the time being. So for the next twenty minutes Shayera watched the movie undisturbed until someone wanted to make their presence known again.
"Hey," Shayera softly began as she caressed her stomach with a tenderness that the majority of people that knew her wouldn't believe that she could produce. "I thought we had a deal. Plus I already told you I know you're still in there. Just because you stop moving around doesn't mean I forget about you. So can we just sit here peacefully and watch the movie? Just tough it out with me, ok? You're half-Thanagarian so I know you can."
There seemed to be no argument and Shayera sighed in relief, turning her attention to the movie again. She once again closed her eyes in an attempt to relax. It felt like only seconds when she woke with start after a gloved hand placed itself on her shoulder. She looked up and saw John standing over her.
"When the hell did I fall asleep?" She asked herself in a mumble.
"At least you're relaxing," John commented as he knelt next to the side of the couch. "I was half expecting to find you up and about. How are you feeling?"
"Besides feeling like I haven't slept in a month, I'm fine," she said as she propped her elbow up and rest her chin on her hand. "Though my back and wings are really killing me today."
"I can massage your back if you want," he replied as he leaned in and kissed her cheek. "You're a real trooper. You know that right?"
She grinned, "Yeah but this isn't over yet. Let's get through childbirth and see if your theory holds. But yeah I would seriously appreciate a back massage. Anyway, what did you get me to eat?"
"Well since almost everything causes you heartburn I had to get something really plain. So I'm warning you, it's really boring and you won't really like it," he warned her.
"It can't be that bad. Lay it on me."
"Chicken and vegetable pasta salad."
Shayera grimaced, she would have been better off with the cereal after all. "Ew rabbit food, that's what I'm reduced to. Though knowing my luck I'll still get heartburn."
"You might not," John said. "Have a little hope Shayera."
She shrugged. "Alright fine, it's not like it matters though. I'm hungry enough to anything and not care what it is at this point."
"See, that's a somewhat better attitude," he commented. John turned his back to her and went to get the container of food off the kitchen counter. Walking back with food in hand, John noticed Shayera trying to get up. Putting the food down on the coffee table in front of her, he held his hand out to her. "Come on let me help you."
"I don't want any help," the Thanagarian shot back with a glare.
"You might not want it but you need it."
Giving him a look of defeat, Shayera reluctantly took hold of the Green Lantern's hand as he carefully pulled her up. Once she was in a more comfortable seated position John handed her the food.
"Thanks," she mumbled as she took the container.
Immediately noticed her tone, John looked at her with a raised eyebrow as he sat down besides her. "Shay what's wrong?"
She frowned as she replied quietly, "I know I'm being a burden to you. I can hardly do anything for myself right now."
"Shayera," John took hold of her hand. "I don't care what you say. You're not a burden to me and you never will be, pregnant or not. I know asking for and relying on help like this is still a foreign concept to you but you need to understand that getting some help, especially right now, doesn't make you a burden."
Shayera, though, did not look convinced in the least. Well at least she wasn't having one of her hormone-fueled sobbing episodes or murderous rage moments. John sigh. "You're too stubborn for your own good sometimes."
"Perhaps," she spoke, "but it's one of the reasons why you love me."
He smirked as he pulled her close and kissed the top of her head. "True, it is one of the reasons but you can be quite frustrating at times."
"To tell the truth, I sometimes act so stubborn to just simply annoy you," she admitted.
"You do a pretty damn good job of it," he said.
This time she smirked. "Then my mission is complete." She then pulled him down into a long and drawn out kiss. "I love you John."
"I love you too Shayera. Even if you made the kitchen look like a war zone."
"Sorry," she mumbled as her cheeks began to burn from embarrassment. "I actually tried to clean it up but my body held steadfast against the idea."
"Don't worry about it Shayera. I'd rather have you relaxing than cleaning," John stated. "By the way, Wally was asking about you again."
Shayera smirked as she began eating. "I miss being around Wally, well almost everybody as well for that matter."
"You're not going to ask again if you can go to the Watchtower or Metro Tower?"
She shook her head as she swallowed. "No because I know the answer. I also know that I'll end up working somehow and getting yelled at again. I just can't help it."
"Well maybe, if you promise to behave, I'll try to sneak you with me tomorrow to see Wally and everyone else. Though we might have to sneak you past J'onn. He really doesn't want you up there."
"Me behave?" Shayera snorted. "I feel somewhat insulted. I thought you knew me better than that. Me behaving is like our kid being born already literate. But if I have to behave so that I'm not banished from the Watchtower than I promise to be an angel and not even touch one monitor the entire time."
"Promise to not try to kill anyone if you get really cranky? You gave Static a black eye the last time you saw him. Poor kid, he's only been in the League for two months and this happened."
"That I can't do and it wasn't my fault; Virgil should've kept his mouth shut instead of cracking bird jokes about me 'laying eggs'. Next time, he won't getting off so lucky."