Dearly Beloved

Fandom: Justice League

Category/Rated: Het, K+

Year/Length: 2004/ ~1135 words

Pairing: Shay/Jay

Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit, only having fun.

Warning: While I have never lost a child, pregnancies in my family are typically very rough, and several of my cousins were stillborn. I don't pretend to understand how it must feel, and I wrote both this and its prequel in an attempt to try. If I hurt or offended anyone with the ending then I am deeply sorry.

Summary: On her wedding day, Shay goes to talk to someone that's always there to listen.

Series: The Months

Author's Notes: This is the same continuum as 'The Months'. I suppose it could be considered a sequel, but I wrote it more as just happening in the same 'verse as 'The Months' rather than directly related to it.


The earth under her bare feet was cold, the blades of spring grass covered with dew. Not enough to make the rich brown earth moist, but enough to raise goose bumps on her legs. The sun was still weak, just starting the day's long climb. It cast a pink-yellow hue to the gravestones, pastel death. She reached out, pressed her palm against the heart engraved into the cold gray stone.

There was only one date, for the baby's hour of birth and death had been the same. There was a sharp pain in her chest, but years had blunted the full force of her sadness and lose. Her daughter would have been four in a few months. Shay smiled sadly, and sank into a crouch, one hand still resting on her daughter's gravestone.

She was wearing only a baggy shirt and panties, and doubtless if anyone found her here she'd be chided for all different things, including her present state of undress. The smile fell from her face, and she shoved her long, cinnamon hued hair back. The humidity made it heavy, like it made her wings heavy.

"So..." she shifted her weight, her toes starting to go numb from the chill of the earth.

"How long do you think it'll take them to figure out where I am?" her conversations with her daughter almost always started with a question. No matter that there were never any answers. She chewed thoughtfully on her lip, withdrawing her hand from the cold stone and tucking it close to her body. "I should have worn something heavier, but..." she sighed.

"I would have brought you some more candy, but the bugs ate it all last time, so..." She was stalling, and she had already put off this conversation for a long time. Taking a deep breath, she steeled herself, and pressed on.

"Jay asked me to marry him, you know," she smiled softly, remembering the surprisingly subtle question. So subtle, in fact, that it had taken her almost a minute of staring at him in surprise to realize exactly what he meant, the entire time watching his face grow paler and paler as he held his breath. The memory warmed her in the sun's place.

"I said yes, of course." Her smile grew broader as she remembered him jumping from his chair and grabbing her in less than half a second. She'd still had to remind him to breath, afraid that he would pass out from lack of oxygen while holding her aloft. When he had finally breathed again it had been with deep shuddering breaths that brushed across her neck like a hot wind.

"That was six months ago, and I should have told you sooner, but there's been so much planning to do..." Planning that Diana, and sometimes that woman really did seem to be a goddess, had mostly taken care of. "I did try to help, but I really don't know anything about weddings. Do you have any idea how many possible dresses, seating arrangements, and food options there are? It's insane, love."

Just the thought of it made her wince, and she privately thought that there was way too much fuss over the entire thing. But Jay seemed almost as excited about it as Diana Shay had suffered threw hour after hour of trying on dresses, and calling caterers, and looking at plates. "We're going to have an Oreo cake, and there's a pool on how much of it J'onn will eat. Want me to put you in at eight pieces?"

Abruptly her mood soured as memories of green skinned J'onn brought memories of green-eyed John to the forefront of her mind. She wondered if she would ever see him without the beaten down cast to his shoulders, and the sad shadows in his eyes. "No one knows if your father is coming. After..." she cleared her throat. "After he asked to be reassigned he hasn't really kept in touch."

And she missed him. The team missed him.

"Bruce is going to give me away," she chuckled, banishing the darker thoughts from her mind. "I know, I didn't believe it at first myself. But with Diana playing surrogate mother I guess it makes sense for him to play daddy, hm?"

The cold was slowly but surely climbing up her legs, and her breath was still coming out as puffs of steam before wafting heavenward. She could just imagine Diana's horror if the other woman found her out here. At least she wasn't soiling her wedding dress in the early morning dampness.

"I'm going to have to get going soon, getting hitched at noon," she sighed and cast her eyes skyward. The sky was painted crimson and orange, just hints of pink and yellow left on the fringes. The first rays of true warmth touched her face, and sent shivers down her spine. She smiled softly, and soaked everything in. When she had first arrived here never had she suspected that years later she would be marrying a man that she had originally thought to be immature and conceited.

"He would have been a good father," her voice was rough, and she could feel the burn of tears behind her eyelids.

Her daughter would have been almost four today, no doubt a flower girl or some such thing. But that would only happen in Shay's dreams, and she swallowed past the lump in her throat, brushed her fingertips across the rough engravings. 'A Beloved Daughter'. She felt her lips quiver, and swallowed again, jerking to her feet.

"You must think all I do is cry," she rubbed, irritated, at her eyes.

Her feet were sinking into the cool, wet earth; she could feel the beginnings of mud squeezing up between her toes. She sighed, tugged self- consciously on her shirt. "I love him," the words fell from her lips, wistful. Of course she loved him, how couldn't she?

"And...he loves me." Those words were so hard to believe sometimes, but after a relationship that had lasted almost four years, and weathered all manner of calamities and problems, she was fairly confident in their truth. She chewed on her lip some more, before leaning down and brushing her fingers against the stone one last time.

She turned to leave; feeling reassured for a reason that she couldn't understand.

The morning air was still as biting as ever, but she felt warm inside, and there was a faint smile on her lips. She was going to get married. To Jay. Today at least, nothing else really mattered. The world with its insanity and cruelty could wait a few hours.

At the edge of the cemetery she paused, cast one final look over her shoulder at her daughter's small grave.

The memories could wait.

She hurried away.

::back to index::

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional