Fandom: Justice League
Year/Length: 2004/ ~10,640 words
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit, only having fun.
Warning: Violence, romance, possibly bad language.
Author's Notes: This is a series of vignettes based on a Flash/Shay/John love triangle. Also, my characters tend to know who they really are, and they don't run around in their uniforms all that often. Flash goes by Flash because I don't like the name Wally. Ages are: Shay, 23; Flash, 26; John, 37.
"Shaaaaaaay!" the young woman straightened, only to be swept up into Flash's strong arms, spun in a circle, and sat down again. She glared half- heartedly at the tall man, unable to hold her irritation in the face of his smiling green eyes. "Whatcha doin?" he finally removed his hands from her hips, darting across the room to straighten a picture, and then darting back.
His light brown hair swirled around his head for a moment, before settling haphazardly. She fought the urge to straighten it.
"I'm preening," she unfolded her left wing to demonstrate what she had just finished before opening her right, which was still disheveled. " The feathers get all out of order, it takes me hours to-" she was cut off when Flash leaned forward, his tongue stuck out the side of his mouth as his hands moved in a blur over the surface of her right wing.
She blinked, twice, and then he leaned back, grinning. She ran her fingers over the feathers, surprised to find each one returned to its place. After a moment she refolded her wings, attempting to conceal her surprise.
"Whatcha wanna do now?" he was bouncing up and down on the balls of his feet, the blue jeans he was wearing stretching with each movement of his long legs.
"Well, you just finished what I'd been planning on doing for the next hour or so," she arched an eyebrow, crossing her arms.
He grinned, and his teeth were very white. " No need to thank me, really," he paused for a moment, and then sobered. " I was thinking-"
"Oh no," she drawled flatly.
"Hey!" he frowned, but only managed it for a moment before his usual smile broke threw, "As I was saying, have you ever been clubbin', Shay?" Apparently her blank look told him all he needed to know because he sighed dramatically, and pulled her to her feet.
"You've been on Earth how long now? Never mind, it doesn't matter. You're gonna go tonight," he began dragging her down the hall. The press of his very warm skin around her wrist distracted her for a moment, but then her mind cleared.
"What is this clubbing? You've left my hammer behind, if that's necessary. Where are we going?" He stopped, turned to face her, and rested his hands on her shoulders. He was so warm.
"First, we're gonna go get your clothes, then I'm gonna show you what clubbin' is," he resumed dragging her along, humming discordantly to himself as he did so.
"But I'm dressed," she glanced down, just to make sure. Yes, she was still wearing the yellow tank top, and her jeans.
"Believe me, Shay, clubbin' has it's own kinda clothes."
"I'm not sure that I possess clothes that would be appropriate for this clubbing," she attempted to pull free from his grip, but he was to strong, and she continued to be dragged away from her room.
"Oh, I made you some, don't worry. You know, I could carry you, we'd get there faster," before she could agree or disagree he had scooped her up, and shot off. By the time she was forming an objection she was on her feet again, inside Flash's room. She blinked.
He was no longer in front of her, and she turned to find him just as he appeared in front of her. He pushed a bundle of cloth into her arms, shoved her into a bathroom, and called threw the door, "Get dressed, I'm waiting."
She blinked again, before looking at the clothes that she held. Carefully laying out the outfit she finally managed to wrap her mind around the fact that Flash had made them. She was overwhelmed, but this clubbing thing did sound like it would be a break, something she desperately needed.
Removing her tank top was a task that took her a minute or two, due her wings. The shift she found was barely more than a piece of triangular green cloth, which had chords to be tied around her neck and under her wings. She tied it on, glad that she was relatively small busted. On Wonder Woman the shirt would most likely have not even covered half of one breast.
When she slipped out of her jeans she found an almost identical pair waiting for her. As she pulled the second pair on, she found that they had been slashed horizontally all the way down the front and backs of her legs. There were no shoes for her, so she pulled her sneakers back on before looking at herself in the mirror.
She did not recognize herself for a moment, and sighed. She'd been working too much; she had fully expected to see herself in her uniform. Starting for the door one more thing caught her attention. She still wore her mask, she bit her lip for a moment, and then carefully removed it, dragging her fingers threw her thick, cinnamon hued hair.
Flash was in front of her the moment she stepped threw the door, and he opened his mouth to speak only to have no sound issue from his throat. He stared, green eyes wide, down at her. She shifted uncomfortably under his gaze, and pushed past him.
Flash found he couldn't breathe. She was gorgeous, but he'd known that already. He'd seen her face only once or twice in the past, and she hadn't been aware that he'd seen, never had he been able to look down into her eyes. Her eyes were pale gray, like the sky during a storm, and set perfectly in her round face.
His chest felt tight at just the memory of her body dressed as she was, and he had to shake himself before he could move. She was watching him, her head cocked to the side, he sped over to her, wrapped his large hand around her wrist, before reconsidering. He scooped her up, pleased, as always, with her lightness in his arms. Due to her hollow bones he could run with her almost as easily as though he was by himself.
He drew to a stop in front of the newly rebuilt plane, set her down carefully. He seized her wrist and drug her into the plane. " You wanna drive?" She smiled, and he thought his heart might explode it was pounding so hard.
They could not very well land the plane on top of the club they were going to, so Flash had Shay land on the outskirts of the city. To get to the club without a car meant one thing, he would be carrying her again. He scooped her up, and darted off.
He gazed hopefully down at her face after he set her down, hoping he'd see happiness there. For a moment she seemed surprised, her gray eyes wide, and then the corners of her mouth turned up into a smile. " Ready?" She nodded, and he led the way into the club.
The music was pounding, a song he didn't recognize with a fast beat. The lights flickered and throbbed, at least a dozen colors of light streamed from around the room. "Wanna drink?" he had to yell to be heard, and she nodded, her cinnamon hair bouncing around her shoulders. " Wait here," he sprinted to the bar, retrieved two beers, and sped back.
He knew from past experience that she didn't like fancy drinks, and, fortunately, neither did he. She tipped the bottle up, and he watched her throat work.
Three beers later and he'd finally wrestled with his nervousness enough to drag her onto the dance floor. It had taken three beers to get her to loosen up, but he decided immediately that it had been worth it. The music was low and throbbing, and she moved with it like nothing he'd seen before.
More wonderful than watching her move was the way they moved together. Four songs later they were moving like one being, her back pressed against his chest, one of his hands splayed across her stomach, tracing the bunch and release of her muscles there. His other hand rested on her thigh, long fingers brushing across the skin bared by the slashes.
Her head was thrown back against his shoulder, one of her cool arms pressed against his face, her fingers wound in his hair. Her other arm was draped over his that rested on her stomach. The music pounded threw them, around them, and they moved in it.
She was pleasantly buzzed, quite possibly drunk, but that fact wasn't enough to explain the electricity that shot threw her each time Flash moved. Every bit of him seemed to be touching her, and she marveled in the warmth of his body. Was he always this hot?
Her mind skipped around erratically, to the thrum of the music, to the solidness of Flash's chest, to the rainbow hued lights, to his long fingers dancing across her stomach. Her heart was pounding; she worked her fingers further into his hair in an attempt to steady herself.
The world had faded away, as though nothing existed past the circle of Flash's presence. Except. She gasped, cut to the bone by a sudden intrusion into her reckless abandon. A face, a voice, echoed in her mind.
Flash bowed his head, pressed his lips gently against her throat, the vein that was pumping there.
To his surprise she twisted away from him, ran from the club.
He ran after her, but she must have taken to the sky, because he could see no sign of her. Sighing, he drug his fingers threw his hair and raced back to the plane to wait for her. When he arrived she was already there, in the pilot's seat, her face a blank mask.
As they rose threw the atmosphere Shay found it almost impossible to pay attention to what she was doing. In her mind there was a face that refused to fade or dissipate.
John, his smile easy instead of forced, his eyes aglow with their faint emerald light. She bit her lip thoughtfully, but he refused to fade, even in the fierce memory of Flash's lips on her neck.
" Damnit, they've been gone to long and you know it!"
All the members of the Justice League had gotten angry at some point or another. They all responded to their anger in very different ways. Batman had added mental notes to each of his comrade's profiles on exactly what to expect when each got angry.
With Superman it was a quiet tightness, that when further enflamed became a quick outburst of pure fury quickly apologized for.
Wonder Woman funneled all of her energy into the destruction of whatever was standing in her way. This often led to tears and sputtered apologies that sometimes went on for hours on end. Batman had long ago decided that he didn't want to be 'gifted' with superstrength, which seemed to have more drawbacks than advantages.
J'onn, who was very good at leaving the impression that he didn't get angry, well, he pretty much didn't. Slightly annoyed, maybe. J'onn would have been a welcome cool head in the present situation.
Flash became even more hyper than usual, often unwilling or unable to sit still for more than a second. Currently he was running around on the ceiling, if the vague red blur was anything to go by.
Hawkgirl yelled, screamed, and threatened, but Hawkgirl wasn't here right now and that was the problem.
John was very often the worst as far as anger control went. He was currently more enraged than Bruce had seen him in a long time. The large man was pacing, fists clenched at his sides, green-fire streaming from his eyes.
"John, listen-" Superman took a step towards the man, only to have the former Marine whirl on him.
"You listen, you asshole! What were you thinking sending two of us against Ivy, the Joker, Harlequin, and Salamander? What did J'onn and Hawkgirl do to you, you son of a bitch!" Superman was a larger man than John by far, but the Green Lantern seemed taller suddenly.
"We don't know that anything has went wrong yet," Superman replied after a moment, turning away from John only to find Flash standing in front of him, hands planted on his hips.
"Oh yeaaaa, nothingswrongatall, J'onndoesn'treportinforhoursafterhe'ssuposedtoallthetime!" Batman made a note of Flash's speech running together when angry, and filed it away for later consideration.
"Flash, you need to take a deep breath-"
" Ohshutup, WW, weallknowyou'dexpectusalltoactthesamewayifsomethinghappenedtoyou." Wonder Woman opened her mouth; shut it, as color turned her pale cheeks crimson. She hadn't been able to tell exactly what Flash had said, but she'd caught the underlying implication, and his tone was sharp and bitter.
"Where did you send them, how long have they been m.i.a. while you neglected to tell anyone?" John's voice had gone very soft, and Superman turned to find that man's arms crossed tightly across his chest. Batman picked up on the soft-tone and warning lights immediately went off in his head. Uh-oh.
"I'll check the mission log," Superman said after a moment, pushing past John to get to the computer terminal.
"Flash, you check the log," before the words were out of Batman's mouth the red-clad man was in front of the terminal, fingers flying across the keys. Superman turned to look at him, an angry frown on his lips. He could moan about the undermining of his leadership later, if something wasn't done soon John was going to explode, and Flash seemed likely to be planning to go with him.
A second later Flash straightened, turned to look at Superman with a shocked expression on his face. For a moment his mouth worked up and down but there was no sound. "You didn't. You wouldn't."
"Where are they, Flash, where is she?" John was pushing past Flash to look at the screen for himself. When he saw the results he did more than just stare. "You bastard," there was no inflection in his voice, and Batman felt a chill ascend his spine. Uh-oh.
Fortunately any violence was averted when J'onn suddenly came shooting up threw the floor. His uniform was torn, and he wavered in midair before plummeting. Batman caught him; found the Martian covered with wounds. " What happened?"
"Too... to get.. made me.. couldn't they." J'onn's eyes slipped closed, only to burst open again. " Boxes, boxes! Water.I could fear." J'onn groaned once, and when his eyes slipped closed they didn't open again.
"Wake up! C'mon J'onn, wakeupwakeupwakeup!" Flash lightly slapped the green skinned man, and having no luck ran a lap around the ceiling before stopping, pulling with frustration at his head. " John, where are you going?"
The dark-skinned man paused, already enveloped by a green bubble. " I'm going to go find Shay," he paused, "Aren't you coming?" John allowed the bubble to fall, and Flash sped to his side. Batman deposited J'onn in Superman's arms, walked to stand beside John.
" We should wait for him to wake up," Wonder Woman said after a moment, shifting uncomfortably.
The green bubble reformed around the three men, and as they began to leave the satellite Flash called angrily, " You do that, call us when he wakes up and tells you where they're torturing Shay! We'll be finding her!"
Arkham was quiet, most of the prisoners were docile or the soundproof walls were actually working for a change. Glass was broken; though John couldn't understand where it had came from. Batman and Flash had each went a different direction, exploring the huge compound to the best of their considerable abilities.
What if they'd left? They could be miles away; there was every chance that Hawkgirl was beyond their reach. Every chance that she was suffering, and they wouldn't find her, couldn't find her. He gritted his teeth, pushed the thoughts from his mind. That way laid madness.
He wanted to call for her, but it would do far more damage than it would do good. She could be anywhere, he growled in frustration, and laughter broke his concentration.
The giggles were directly ahead of him, and he found his breath caught up in his throat as he approached. Harlequin was standing outside a closed door, talking amiably with herself. He backtracked, and paged Batman and Flash. In an afterthought he alerted Superman and Wonder Woman, his anger towards them still in the forefront of his mind.
Shay might not even be in the room, but someone that was going to give him answers sure as hell was.
Harlequin had gone down surprisingly quietly. That should have perhaps been a sure sign that something was going to go wrong. Harlequin was never quiet, and the sudden lack of her chatter must have alerted the others that something was wrong. As soon as she was safely knocked out and out of the way the Joker sprang from the room, closely followed by Salamander and Ivy.
Green Lantern was standing, waiting, and as they three villains charged towards him Batman dropped from above, and Flash ran in .
Superman was on his way; Wonder Woman had stayed behind to watch over J'onn.
Salamander was currently suffering from the effects of being hit by someone almost three times larger than he was, and Ivy was hidden somewhere in the midst of a swirl of red. The Joker was charging, and then slowly drew to a halt, his head cocked to the side.
"No ring, Tinker Bell?" he grinned, stepped closer to John, reached out a hand to tap him on the shoulder before stumbling backwards, surprise written all over his face. John seized him by the collar, and drew his arm back again.
"Where is she?"
"Could you be a little more clear? OW!" John left the man fall to the ground, and formed a large green mallet.
They were interrupted when Flash went hurtling by, stopping only when he slammed into a wall. John jerked his head to the side just in time to watch Harlequin's foot slam into his face. John blinked, decided he'd been hit with worse, and batted the young woman aside with the Green Lantern's version of a mallet.
Joker had regained his feet, and disappeared from the immediate vicinity. John swore, and flew into the room Harlequin had been guarding, hoping to find either the Joker or Hawkgirl.
He found a box only six foot long, lying horizontally on the ground, Hawkgirl's hammer leaning against one side of it. Its sides were smooth, flawless, but he could see the seam around the top. Damnit.
Outside the room he heard Ivy screech, and the constant sound of Flash moving. He hesitated, for a moment, knowing he was needed in the fight. Two against four was what had led to this situation in the first place.
He growled in frustration, and sliced the top off the box, lifted the lid and hurled it away with unconscious force. He hesitated again before daring to look into the box, he knew what was there, what had to be there.
Flash screamed, and John turned, and would have ran to the speed-demon's aid had not a pained whimper floated up out of the box. He found himself bent over the container, pulling Shay up and out of it. He refused to look at her, it would be too much.
She was shaking.
The tips of her wings were almost dragging on the ground, and she was mumbling, so low as to be almost inaudible, " So dark, so cold, so small."
Shay's claustrophobia had never been truly discussed among the team. In his opinion, it didn't need to be. It was enough to hear her screams when she was trapped in an enclosed space, to watch her throw herself and any available weapons at the walls of her encasement, to see the panicked look in her eyes.
He looked at her; involuntarily it seemed, just to check on her eyes. They were shut; just the jumpy movement of her eyeballs beneath the lids was visible. He tried to look away, but now that he had started it seemed that he could not tear his eyes away.
The building shook and all that he noticed were Shay's arms and hands; bloody and bruised where they weren't torn. He did not want to believe the wounds came from banging on that damned box, but he couldn't convince himself otherwise. She had a few light burns littered across her pale flesh, and her feathers had been slightly singed. The bruise that seemed to cover most of the left side of her body he refused to contemplate.
"Lantern! We need you, buddy!" Flash's voice was strained, and John shook his head to dispel the slow fury he could feel building there. Anger only distracts, and he could not afford distraction. He flew to the doorway, unsurprised to find that most of the room had been decimated.
Batman spotted him first, and the man's face was, if such a thing were possible, grimmer than it usually was. " Flash, evac Hawkgirl now," Flash darted over from where he had been dancing around bursts of fire in an attempt to get to Salamander.
Grimly, John handed her small body over, to angry to notice the gentle way Flash adjusted his hold on her, or the horror written all over the younger man's face. "Keep her safe," he murmured, but Flash was already gone, replaced by Harlequin, armed with a steel rod.
John roared, and slammed the girl aside with enough force to send her tumbling backwards and leave a dent in the wall she finally came to rest against.
"Say something, c'mon, I know you're in there. Don't make me sing, Shay. I'll do it, I swear." Nothing.
Flash bit the inside of his cheeks, and drew to a stop. He didn't know exactly where he was, he had ran without having a clear destination in mind and that usually resulted in him getting lost, but he had other things to worry about. Besides, if he didn't know where he was, the bad guys couldn't know either.
For a moment he considered, Shay dead weight in his arms, terribly quiet save for her occasional whimpers. She need a hospital, she needed to wake up. He stood, undecided for another moment, and then laid her on the ground, arranging her wings in what he hoped was a comfortable manner.
Burnt feathers smelt far worse than burnt hair.
"Shay," he shook her, "I will sing, this is your last warning," She whimpered, her hands opened and closed into fists, and he grasped one, tried to ignore the bloody mess it was. He cleared his throat, took a deep breath, "We all live in a yellow sub-aw, screw it. Open your eyes, and tell me to shut up already," she whimpered, and a shudder ran threw her body.
Cold seeped into his spine. She never missed an opportunity to tell him to be quiet.
"Dark." For a moment he didn't believe she'd actually spoken, some of the tightness in his chest eased.
"Shay?" he was stooped beside her, one hand hovering worriedly by her face, unsure whether or not to touch her.
He looked up to the bright sky, momentarily confused. " It's noon, look, there's not even a cloud up there." Her eyes remained stubbornly closed, another shudder went threw her. What had happened, what had those bastards done to her?
"The sky is so blue, you have to see it, its almost white. C'mon, we're in the middle of." he looked around, and found he still didn't know where he was, "somewhere, nothing around but trees and the big, bright sun. Just open your eyes,"
"Lies." she mumbled, trying to roll onto her side, he grabbed her, stilled her. "It's dark, I know it is."
"It's not dark, trust me,"
For a moment she was very still, and very quiet, and then she slowly opened one eye. A grin spread across her face, as her other eye slipped open. "There is no box." She said, shakily, after a moment, and pushed herself into a sitting position. She leaned against him, and he could feel the faint tremor running threw her.
And in his mind he saw John's face as the older man whispered, " Keep her safe." Every nuance of fear seemed etched into his memory, the thickness of John's voice, the indescribable look in his green-tinted eyes.
Flash wrapped his arms around Shay, whispered softly comforting words to her, and suddenly understood the glares he'd been receiving from John.
"You should be resting, Hawkgirl," Shay was sure that Superman had meant only to be helpful with his suggestion, but it came off as an order. She narrowed her eyes, an expression that was not hidden due to the fact that she wasn't wearing her mask. It was just weighty enough to irritate the bruise that covered the left side of her face.
Another sip of tea swallowed, and her irritation at being treated like a cripple was forced down.
"I'm not tired,"
"It is almost one in the morning," J'onn contributed from where he was bent over a computer console. Though he was the only one with any medical training of any kind he wasn't treating her as though she might crack if placed under any stress.
"I'm not tired," she ground out, setting her glass down before the urge to use it as a weapon overwhelmed her.
"Good, you can watch 'Return of the Balloon Man III, IV, and V' with me! I've been planning a marathon for days, but no one is ever available," Jay was suddenly in front of her, juggling the three movies, a broad grin on his face. She raised an eyebrow. "C'mon, Balloon Man is the best, in IV they defeat him by filling him with helium and making him float up threw the atmosphere where he freezes solid only to thaw as he plummets back to earth in the beginning of V!"
"Flash, you're not helping." Superman was scowling, arms crossed firmly over his chest.
"You're invited too, Supes, bring beer!" Jay was in front of the DVD player now, and didn't witness Superman exasperated sigh.
"Maybe another time, call me if there's trouble," and the big man left. Jay looked around, planning on extending the invitation to J'onn, but the green-skinned man was gone.
For a moment, silence, and then Shay dropped onto the couch, a six-pack in her one hand, and a jumbo pack of chips in the other. "You have learned the earth-ways well, grasshopper," Jay declared as he plopped down beside her, flicking the movie on.
"Shut up," she said as he grinned, picking the six-pack up and examining it.
"Hey, this is the good stuff!"
She grinned, "Of course."
She beat on the invisible walls that held her, screamed in frustration when they refused to give even after she threw herself at them. Outside, out of her reach, her friends were fighting a force of formless enemies. She rammed her shoulder against the wall of her confinement again, but nothing changed save a splitting pain in her side.
She took a deep breath, tried to still the wild beating of her heart. It was ok, everything was ok. She was trapped, but she could see, there was still light. The others were beating on the outside of her box, pleading for her help, and she brought her hammer to bear, slamming it into the walls over and over as frustrated tears fell from her eyes.
And as she watched, horrified, the colorless walls became opaque; the color denser and denser till darkness swallowed her. She screamed, and jerked into wakefulness, her heart pounding in her chest. For a moment she couldn't place where she was, in this dark room, the buzz of white noise off to her left and a rumbling sound behind her.
She pushed to her feet, turned on a light and sighed.
She had fallen asleep midway threw the second movie, and apparently Jay had too, because it had never been replaced with the third. She turned the television off, drug her hands threw her hair, and turned to look at Jay.
He was snoring, head tilted to the side. Along her back and side she could feel the heat of where she must have been resting against him. The air seemed unnaturally cold without him to warm her, and she shook herself before draping a blanket across him, and turning out the light.
The nightmare had left her shaken, and she fidgeted with the loose Philadelphia Eagles shirt she wore, before walking down the hall. She wasn't sure where she was going, just trying to put the terror from the dream somewhere that she didn't have to feel it.
Her heart rate was finally slowly, and she rubbing thoughtfully on her stomach, which radiated the warmth of Jay's removed arm. She was half asleep, and wondered absently what time it was, and how long she'd been wandering around. Her eyes drifted closed, and she opened them just as she walked into a broad, warm, something.
"Shay?" John sounded surprised, but he caught her as she started to sink to the floor anyway. His hands on her elbows were large and strong, and she grinned sleepily. " What are you doing all the way back here?" She shrugged, wondering, again, where she had managed to get to. He sighed, and she watched the way it caused his bare chest to expand with exhausted fascination.
He must have just showered, her mind informed her, and she wondered why he had been showering at this ungodly hour. " Let's get you to bed, if you're not sleeping already," he left her go, and she glared indignantly at him.
"I'm not tired," she didn't want to sleep, not again. He arched an eyebrow, and reached out to lightly push her shoulder, she bated him away. "I'm not."
He reached past her bating arms, tilted her chin up so he could look into her face. " You're right, you're not tired, you're exhausted." He was only aware that his hand had lingered to long on her chin, his gaze searched her face too long, when she licked her lips and it sent a sharp thrill threw him.
She moved suddenly closer to him, slid her arms around his neck, and rested her face against his neck. Involuntarily he wrapped his arms around her, and she pulled her legs up to latch them around his waist. He bit his cheek, swore under his breath. "Fine then, take me to bed," the rough purr of her voice danced across his chin.
He started down the hall, desperate now to get her safely into her bed and away from him. Oh, yes, he'd thought about having her this close, but not like this. She was as good as drunk from exhaustion. The walk to her room was one of the most deliciously painful things he'd had to do in a long time.
Carefully, he slid her into her bed, and made it to the door before her soft whimper made him turn.
"Please, it's so dark," she was sitting up, and he couldn't resist the almost-plea in her gray eyes. He took a step closer to her, against every rational thought in his head. " Don't leave me alone in the dark." His will broke, in a few quick steps he had crossed the room, and then stopped himself at the side of her bed.
"I'll make a light," he forced out; moved to her nightstand and carefully formed a globe of light that he hoped would last till morning. He forced himself to turn, to ignore the other implication of her plea.
"John," he didn't turn, he wouldn't allow himself to. "John, don't leave me alone," he swore under his breath even as he felt himself turn, sit on the side of her bed. She seemed to relax, and lay down. A few minutes later he heard her breathing level out, and ran a broad hand threw her hair, across her finely boned face.
After what felt like hours he finally lay down awkwardly on top of the covers, propped up on one elbow to watch her sleep. It was even sweeter, more painful, than carrying her down the hall had been.
"John." she murmured in her sleep, and he smiled faintly.
.Flash." And suddenly he was sitting upright, his eyes wide. He stared down at her and refused to believe.
"Whatcha doin?" Jay sat down in the chair beside her, two cups of coffee in his hands, one which he offered to her. She accepted, grateful. Coffee had to be one of the human race's more noble achievements.
"Thinking." John hadn't been in her room when she awoke, and she had been wondering if the entire thing hadn't been an elaborate dream. If so them her subconscious was working overtime. She looked into her coffee cup, finding her stomach suddenly sour.
"Done yet?" he asked after a moment or two, and she raised her head, meeting his green eyes and feeling a thrum of electricity down her spine. She raised an eyebrow, but had already decided that sitting here wondering whether or not she'd behaved like a child in front of John or if it had been a dream was not going to solve anything.
"Yes, actually." He grinned, placed his empty cup on the table, and then frowned thoughtfully at hers, still mostly full. She rolled her eyes, lifted the mug, and chugged it. She slammed the mug onto the table, and grinned at the shocked look on his face.
"I've got to take you to a drinking contest sometime," he mumbled as she wiped the coffee off her upper lip. He thought of Wonder Woman's face after finding the recreation room filled with beer bottles, and decided that if he did take Shay to anything involving that much alcohol, he should probably keep it to himself. Greece must have been big on alcohol being evil, though he didn't remember ever learning that in school.
"What do you want, Flash?" she stood, stretching her arms and her wings. Her bruise was really aching today, and she grimaced and rubbed part of the purple mark.
"I've got a plan to cheer you up!" She arched an eyebrow, and he shot to his feet, dragging her in the general direction of the plane.
"I don't need to be cheered up." He turned to look at her, and did a surprisingly accurate imitation of her raising an eyebrow.
"Suuure, anyway, how would you like to go around the world somewhere around five minutes?" before she could answer they were at the plane, and he left the pilot's seat for her.
"You're going to have to be on my back," he had been staring for almost a minute, while she completed the landing procedures. They were somewhere in Smallville, which had plenty of field's to land the rather large plane in.
He pulled her from the plane, and then stood with his back to her, waiting. She sighed, and then jumped onto his back, arms around his neck, and legs around his waist. It reminded her of last night, and she forced the memory of John's body from her mind.
Relax. This was supposed to be fun. " Ready?" She arranged her wings to cut wind resistance, and nodded.
And then he took off. Laughter tore from her throat even as she tightened her hold on him for dear life. He'd run with her before, but it had never been all out. Everything passed by in a blur, the rush of air was cold, almost frigid, but the heat that radiated from his body kept her warm.
She couldn't track the time, she didn't even attempt to. After a while the salty air of the ocean surrounded them, and she grinned, moved her mouth close to his ears. " Hey Flash, hold on,"
She unfurled her wings, and it was nothing like any other take off she'd ever experienced. The speed she was moving at propelled her upward like a bullet, and she was almost a hundred feet from where she'd been before she had to flap her wings for the first time.
Jay had twisted in her arms, till she held up under the arms, able to carry him due to his light body. She flew up the coast, hanging easily on the thermals that spiraled up from the water.
"It's beautiful, don't you think?" she loved flying over the ocean. The beat of the waves against the sand awed her. The music of an entire world could be heard if one listened. They didn't talk any after that, simply absorbed. Finally, she grew tired, and landed, somewhat awkwardly.
They tumbled, and she pulled her wings close so they wouldn't be damaged. The sand was soft and cushioning, and she was glad she hadn't attempted a water landing.
After regaining her equilibrium she carefully opened on eye, to find Jay staring down at her, his face only inches from his. He lay over her, hands planted on either side of her shoulders, and expression she couldn't read in his liquid green eyes.
She couldn't breathe, and she knew her cheeks were no longer red simply from the exertion of flying and laughter.
It seemed as though hours passed, and the hammering of her heart seemed to have drowned out the beat of the waves. He dipped his face closer to hers, glorious eyes half-lidded. She raised her head to meet him, brushing her lips softly against his.
He pushed against her, the kiss surprisingly slow.
Gulls cawed above them, and the heat that seeped from his body had warmed her all the way threw.
She pushed him off, scrambled away, nausea thick and heavy in her throat. Her body remembered to well John's hard chest, Jay's soft lips, both of their smiling eyes.
She stumbled into a standing position, her chest to tight for breath. Jay was in front of her, worried hands on face, in her hair. He was asking if she was all right, but the words wouldn't seem to form in her mouth.
"Flash," He stilled, looked at her, his hair a mess, his green eyes desperate. She shook her head, the pain in her chest blossoming.
" John," his face fell, and he half-turned, his hands falling away from her.
"Damnit," he swore, and before she could stop him sped away, kicking up a trail of sand that she couldn't bear to look at. She sank to her knees, and fought tears.
Any other time Shay wouldn't have been caught dead asking Wonder Woman for advice. They were simply to different, different races, different personalities. But at some point during the last week Shay had come up at a complete lose as to her next choice of action.
She'd considered taking it up with all of the other members of the team, but besides Diana the only two she would have felt remotely comfortable discussing her current problem with were Jay and John. And, well, they were the problem.
"Yes, what do you need Hawkgirl?"
Shay winced; she was dressed as a civilian, and was most certainly not wearing her mask. Sometime she worried for the sanity of the team, they spent so much time fighting that they almost lost touch with what else life offered them. Like names that didn't sound like something out of a B-movie.
"I have.a problem," the words tasted sour, and felt wrong on her tongue. Whatever Jay and John were to her, whatever she did or did not want them to be, they deserved more than characterization as a problem.
"I gathered." Shay shifted her wings, uncomfortable.
"If a human woman between two men, what is her course of action?"
Diana finally looked up from the book that she was reading, her blue eyes wide and a crooked grin on her face. "Shay, why didn't you tell me this was girl talk!" The winged woman found herself pulled down onto the couch beside Diana, the much taller woman staring at her eagerly.
"So tell me, who has the better body?"
Shay blinked, open and closed her mouth several times before finally managing to speak, "Don't you want to know who they are, first?"
Diana waved a hand dismissively, laughing softly, "Sweetie, everybody knows John has a thing for you, and , that I picked up threw womanly intuition," Diana grinned, her blue eyes sparkling, "And, well, maybe I happened to catch him staring at your butt, and you staring at his a few times."
Shay found she could only stare, surprised.
"Ok, so, returning to the body question. I've always figured Flash for sort of lean and defined, and John as just a little more built, am I right?"
"They are both, well, hot." Shay managed after a moment, and Diana nodded her head vigorously in agreement.
"Flash has the boyish charm definitely in his favor, but there's something to be said for dark and serious too," Diana paused, leveled a piercing stare on Shay, " I don't suppose you know what they're like in bed?"
Shay could imagine, and the thought was enough to bring faint color to her cheeks. "Nevermind that, then. Are you in love with either of them, or is it pure lust we're discussing here?"
Shay was silent for a moment, shifting her wings and biting her bottom lip. " That's my problem, you see. I think I love them both," Diana leaned back, a surprised look on her face. She played with her long black hair as she considered.
"That is a problem," Diana mumbled after a moment, Shay nodded her head numbly in agreement.
She could remember being pressed against John's hard chest, the haunted, wanting look in his eyes when he stood by her bed the night prior. She could remember being trapped beneath Jay; his kiss like liquid fire shooting threw her.
For a long time the two women sat beside each other in silence.
There was no easy answer, no matter how badly Shay wanted there to be.
"So you'll tell me when you find out how good either one of them is in bed, right? I'm especially curious about Flash," Diana kept a perfectly serious face for all of two seconds, before bursting into a fit of giggles. Shay sighed.
John found Flash running a circuit around the ship, and threw up a wall, knowing it was the only way to stop the speed-demon once he got moving. Flash came to a stop only a second before he would have ran into the wall, and flashed John a dirty look.
Jay had stripped to only a pair of raggedy blue jeans, and sweat was dripping off of him. John wondered absently how long Flash had been running.
"We need to talk," John said after a moment, letting the wall fall and turning to face Flash.
"Damn right we do," Jay pushed his damp brown curls out of his face, and John noticed the anger that was shining in Jay's green eyes. " Leave Shay alone."
"Funny, I was about to tell you the same thing," John uncrossed his arms, took a step towards Flash.
"Don't try to intimidate me, old man, and don't think that I'll just bend over and let you dictate to me who I can and can't want!" Jay was angry, and suddenly he was right up in John's face, glaring up at the taller man.
"You don't understand," John's voice was low, dark.
"Oh, I understand, there's something you'd like to have, and you can't stand the thought that she might not throw herself into your arms cause of a little twerp like me!" Jay was poking him in the shoulder to emphasize each word, and John reached out and grabbed his hand.
"Don't put your issues on me, Flash, just because you can't take it that she'd choose an old man over you doesn't mean I have the same insecurities," he ground out the words, growing more and more frustrated with each passing moment.
"You're so full of shit! You know what would happen if she did choose you? You wouldn't be interested anymore, and she'd be left with a broken heart because of your goddamn ego!"
John drew back, and slammed his fist into Flash's chin, sending the smaller man sprawling backwards. He strode forward, caught Flash by the hair and started to pull him up only to be kicked and punched several times in rapid succession in the general area of his kidneys.
He growled, punched Flash twice before pushing the man against the nearest wall, pulling his arm back. Before he got the chance to deliver Flash was gone, behind him, and a sweeping kick from the speed-demon sprawled John on his back. He sprang to his feet and threw a kick of his own at Flash only to have it not connect.
"Flash!" Bruce was suddenly sprinting down the hallway towards them, grabbing John in one hand and Flash in the other.
"John, what is going on here?" Neither of the two men spoke up, simply silently glaring at one another.
"Damnit!" Bruce hissed, his lips pressed into a thin, unhappy line.
Shay leaned her forehead against the cool door of the fridge, a gallon of milk held limply in her hand. The universe was being perversely cruel to her. There were two things she wanted and the universe decided to make sure that she could have either.
Choosing was an absolute cruelty; she would rather have never been offered either. It would have made everything so much simpler.
That was how John found her, her shoulder hunched, one hand holding the milk jug, the other hanging limply by her side. For a moment he couldn't move, could only look at her and wish that something, anything was different so that she wouldn't have to look so distressed.
"Shay?" he asked softly, taking a step towards her and leaning against the counter. She jerked her head up, looking at him with wide startled eyes before quickly replacing the milk in the fridge. It was still a novelty to she her without her mask, and for a long moment all he could do was stare, and absorb her.
"John?" she shifted towards him, looked up at him with her storm-tossed eyes and her windblown hair.
"Tell me if I should even bother, Shay. Has Flash already won, should I just go lick my wounds?" he spoke while looking into her eyes, desperate to know the answer. For to long he had chased shadows and dreams, he wanted to know he was trying to get something solid this time.
"John, I." she trailed off, walked back to the fridge and pulled the milk out again. "It's complicated." She didn't see any point in denying that there was no competition, there had been one for a long time, even if the three of them had been oblivious to it.
She looked down at the milk, trying to remember why she had gotten it out. Her thoughts were in disarray, and John's close proximity wasn't helping matters at all.
He stepped closer to her, till she could almost feel his breath on her hair. She turned to look at him, found his faintly glowing eyes showing the same haunted, wanting look she'd seen in her room.
"I need to know Shay," he slid one thumb across her cheek, winding his fingers into her hair till his palm rested on the soft skin below her ear. Her quick breathing danced across his face, mingled with his own. He gently pressed her back till she was trapped between the fridge and himself.
"No one has won," she murmured after a moment, her eyes slipping from his eyes to his lips, and slowly back again.
Some of the pressure in his chest dissipated, and before he could change his mind, talk himself out of his current course of action, he bent his head and captured her lips. For a moment she was still, and then she pressed against him, her mouth soft and sweet against his.
His other hand found its way to her hip, and he pressed her closer against the fridge with his body. He could feel the reverberation of her heart against his chest. Her mouth moved against his, till he slowly pulled away, littering kisses down the column of her neck.
Shay's eyes shot open, and she shoved him away before first sprinting away and then taking to the air. Two sets of phantom lips sucked on her neck, and she felt as though she'd lost her mind. The universe hated her.
John growled, slammed one fist into the fridge. It was moments later when he finally realized that he was standing in the middle of a puddle of milk, which apparently Shay had dropped. He leaned his head against the fridge, and pounded it once more for good measure.
She didn't have any clear idea where she was going, except away.
Away from John, away from Jay, away from the confusing mess that was smothering her.
Her mind was a mess, a complete jumble, and she could make no sense of it. Each time she thought she got some kind of grip on what she was doing something happened to change the entire dynamic.
Diana had been no help at all, and John and Jay were certainly not making it any easier on her. Her head was throbbing, and her encounter with John replayed itself over and over in her mind. Everything was so perfect, except for the fact that there was another man who made her feel that everything was perfect also.
None of this was fair, not to John or Jay, not to her, not to the other members of the Justice League who had to deal with this insanity.
She sighed, and landed to discover that she had found her way into the landing bay.
Leaving forever would solve nothing, but a brief break from Flash and John might very well be what she needed. Her mind made up she started for the plane, climbed in, and left, pleased to finally be doing something.
The ocean calmed her, as it always had. She watched the eternal rhythm of the blue-green waves against the yellow-white of the sand, the steady march of the white tops to bubbling form. The advance and ebb of a thing so immense that it covered much more than fifty percent of the Earth.
Before coming to this planet such things as love had seemed frivolous, pointless. It was simpler to have short flings with no emotional attachments. Less painful.
Even as an adolescent she had never had aspirations to find someone to fall head over heels in love with. It wasn't something she wanted to complicate her life with. Let the other girls dream about matrimony and babies.
It all came back to haunt her now. If she had been more concerned in such passing trivialities and sweethearts would it have better prepared her for her current situation? If she'd had more than casual love affairs would this choice even exist?
She chewed her bottom lip thoughtfully, and watched the waves some more.
There was no way to compare the two men, they were complete opposites, and they both called to her soul. She rubbed her arms against the chill of the air, which tossed her cinnamon hair around her head. Trying to answer this question with her head was getting her all other options seemed strange and unlikely.
She closed her eyes, intending on some soul searching, and missed Flash's appearance below her, his quick look around before darting off again.
She didn't know what to do.
Yes she did.
Flash had given up. Shay was, apparently, extremely good at hiding, especially when given someplace as large as Earth to disappear into. He was frustrated, and darted around the kitchens, cleaning in an attempt to distract himself.
The air felt thick, and the only way he could seem to breathe was to keep moving. He was worried and heart-sore. He'd had his share of women, sure, but none of them were anything like Shay.
"Jay?" John had stepped into the room to find Flash staring into space, a bottle of off-brand glass cleaner in one hand, and a wad of paper towels in the other. The younger man blinked his green eyes several times, and turned to face John.
Jay's black-eye had become rather pronounced during the last few hours, and John would have felt guilty if he didn't feel like a car had ran over his lower back.
"That's what they call me," Jay had turned back to washing the wall, and John bit his cheek and decided not to comment. He had often wondered how the walls stayed so clean, and now he knew. He supposed when one moved as fast as Flash did they had to come up with something to do with their time.
"I love her, you know," John's voice was rough, low, the words escaped without him planning to say them. It seemed somehow wrong that he would admit that first to Flash than Shay, but it was too late, he could not take them back. Jay had paused in his scrubbing, turned to face the taller, broader, man.
"You and me both, see, otherwise there wouldn't be a problem, ya know?" Jay was smiling crookedly, but there was a curious darkness in his eyes. John winced.
"Don't mock me," he hissed, green fire leaping from his eyes.
"Don't order me," Jay turned back to the wall, and John could see the tenseness in the other man's jaw.
"This doesn't have destroy us," the words felt strange in John's throat, as though suggesting peace meant he was giving up.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Jay's voice had an edge to it, a sharp bitterness that surprised John. The older man shifted, wondered if he should even bother.
"It means I don't want teamwork compromised because of this mess," John managed to grind out, before turning and walking away. The frustration of the last few days, coupled with the searing memory of Shay's kiss was getting to him. His nerves felt utterly and totally decimated.
"John!" He paused, but didn't turn back to Jay, there were to many emotions swelling in his chest. After a moment Flash cleared his throat, and went on, "We'll still be friends, man. Whatever it is that happens."
John nodded, and flew from the room, the anger and frustration and want boiling inside him. He needed something to hit. He needed this mess to be over. He needed. God, he needed Shay.
He jerked his head to the side when alarms suddenly began blaring threw the station, accompanied by J'onn's voice and the information that they were under attack.
" RAHH!" Superman was clobbering the last of the attacking ships out of orbit, the rest of the League, minus Shay, was dealing with the invaders on the ground. There were only two per ship, and there had only been six ships, but the blue-skinned men were hard to subdue. Two had been subdued, but the other ten were causing all manner of chaos.
Wonder Woman grabbed two of the attackers by their arms, and spun them several times in a circle before leaving them go to slam with considerable force into the sand. The aliens got back up. Diana growled in frustration, and charged towards the two.
The sand wasn't providing the best traction Flash had ever had, and he tripped during an attempt to tackle one of the aliens. A gun barrel leveled on him only to be knocked away when Batman jumped on the back of little blue-man. Flash scrambled to his feet.
John was using the ring as a sledgehammer; knocking foes to and fro only to have the aliens jump back to their feet, and resume charging.
J'onn was the only one having any luck at all, transforming himself into a long snake like creature, and suffocating the aliens till they passed out. Three down, nine to go.
One of the curiously strong aliens backhanded Flash, sending him sprawling backwards into a volleyball net. He grinned, and tore the net down before charging into the midst of the aliens and wrapping one firmly up. Things were looking up, and he sped down the beach to find more nets, returning seconds later with an armful.
Wonder Woman slugged one of the aliens, and Flash caught him, bound him, and dumped him unceremoniously onto the ground before pumping his arms into the air for a celebration.
" Get down!" Batman tackled him just as a beam of energy shot threw the space his head had been occupying. Another group of six ships swept low across the beach, and Lantern swore and swung a hammer at one of the ships only to have it dodge easily.
" We're screwed," Flash grumbled, making a mental note to avoid being tackled by Batman at all costs.
" Just get the ones on the ground," Batman hissed out, as Wonder Woman and J'onn rose to deal with the ships. One beam caught Wonder Woman in the middle of her shoulder blades and sent her spiraling back to the ground.
Flash sighed, and sped over to catch the Amazon before catching another of the aliens in his second-to-last net. John hammered one ship into the sea, and for his troubles got the combined firepower of three ships focused on him. J'onn phased into one of the ships, and a moment later it slammed into the soft sand.
Two ships down, but Wonder Woman wasn't getting up, and J'onn had not appeared from the wreckage of the ship he had crashed. One of the aliens grabbed Flash's ankle, and he went sprawling into a pair of suspiciously familiar legs. Mmm, black tights.
He lifted his head; found Shay smirking down at him, her club resting on one shoulder. " Having fun without me, I see," she grinned before flapping her wings, throwing herself towards the nearest ship as her club charged. She positioned herself like a batter, and as he watched, scrambling to his feet, she swung into the rapidly approaching ship.
The aliens were heaped in a large pile, and the ones still in their crashed ships were being bound and led out. John cracked his neck, rubbed tiredly at his eyes. They still didn't know whom the blue-skinned men were, where they had come from, what they had wanted.
A sudden surprised shout drew his attention, and he jerked his head up in time to see one of the crashed ships finish charging it's weapons and fire a single shot upwards into the sky. He sighed in relief, only to feel panic swell anew in his chest at a rough scream he knew to well.
The shot had torn threw Hawkgirl's left wing, and she flapped violently in an attempt to stay in the air. Feathers and blood fell from the sky, and he flew up, grabbed her firmly from behind. For a moment she thrashed, before slowly going limp, her left wing quivering pitifully.
" J'onn, could I talk to Lantern alone for a moment?" John looked up from the floor, which he'd been studying while J'onn carefully set the bones in her wing, and then bandaged it. The pain must have been exquisite, and he could see it reflected in her eyes, but there was none in her voice.
After a moment of consideration the Martian strode from the room.
She was silent, so he stepped over to her, sitting on the edge of the bed beside her. For a moment more, silence, and then she tilted her face towards his, and pressed a soft kiss into his cheek. Now there were tears in her eyes, and he rubbed them numbly away.
She pulled away, stood. Something in his chest was burning, and the sear of it set fire to his lungs. He drug in deep breathes, but it didn't help.
"I'm sorry John," she slid a hand over her mouth, and took quick steps to exit the room. He watched her go, but there was a curious blur in his eyes, his vision seemed twisted a fractured. Warm rivers of tears slipped from his eyes, he couldn't breath.
She woke to a warm kiss being pressed into her shoulder. She stretched, one hand snaking around Jay to run up and down his spine. He grinned into her shoulder, before propping himself up on his elbows and winking at her.
"Have to change the bandages on your wing," he said after a moment, before standing and collecting the new bandages. She groaned and rolled over, grasping for the clock.
"It's four in the morning," she grumbled when she felt his weight sink into the bed again. His hands were warm, dancing across her back, and she smiled involuntarily. "Four, Jay, as in five hours before any sane person should be up and about," she managed to get a slight tone of irritation into her voice, but betrayed herself by purring contentedly when he kneaded her lower back.
He leaned over her, his voice warm and soft in her hair, "It's our day off, we can sleep later," She could hear the grin in his voice, and turned carefully in his arms. She slid one arm around his neck, pulled his face down to hers and sucked thoughtfully on his lower lip. "Hey, don't try to stop me from changing the bandages, J'onn told me-" She slipped her lips to his neck, eliciting a pleased groan from the back of his throat.
"I'm serious Shay, I need to-" She slid one hand down his back, the other down his chest, and knew he'd given in the moment he directed her lips to his. "You're right," he murmured hungrily, his lips everywhere on her face, her neck, dancing across her collarbone, "we can do bandages later," She grinned.
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