Summary: This is for the HG/GL Ficathon in general and Athena Phoenix specifically. The requested fic: Shayera and Vixen have a conversation.
Author's Notes: This story is heavily based on Nancy Brown and Terry Winder's "R 'Verse" stories "Solving for R" and "Bookends." Just so you know, Nancy has advised me that the "R 'Verse" isn't fully in continuity to itself, so don't get too worked up. Thanks guys for letting me borrow your universe!
Well over three decades had passed since the Thanagarian invasion, since Metamorpho, Green Lantern and Shayera Hol were buried after an attack by Toyman, since one of those damned dirty hawks had been seen on Earth. So, when one smashed her way into Metropolis a week ago, taking down a heavily armed gang of bank robbers, everybody in the League was shocked. They were even more shocked when Superman invited her to join the League that same day and Wonder Woman gave her quarters in the Metropolis Embassy next door to the new Green Lantern.
This new bird called herself Warhawk. She wore an armored suit and helmet and the Thanagarian crest on her chest. Though the armor was silver, not gold in color, she bore too much of a resemblance to the invaders from years ago for the liking of some of the old-timers who still remembered the incursion. They, in particular, scowled or gave icy stares when she passed.
The younger League members, the ones who were too young or hadn't even been born at the time, were just afraid of her. They gave her a wide space, because they'd heard the rumors. Warhawk wasn't just some random chick pushed from the Thanagarian nest. No, people knew, just knew, she was the spawn of the traitor Hol and that invasion commander Talak. She was the right age, after all -- though no one liked to admit just how hard it was to judge age by an exposed chin alone.
In what had quickly become a normal routine, Warhawk sat at an isolated table near the back of the commissary, picking at her food. She watched from under the frown of her mask as two young heroes changed their path, walking well away from where she sat, on their way to the tray return. She shook her head.
Amazing how much everything can change, yet remain exactly the same, she thought, smashing a small pasta tube flat with her fork.
Warhawk sighed and wadded up her napkin. There was no point in hanging out in crowded areas any more than necessary.
"This seat taken?"
Warhawk startled and looked up, then blinked when she saw Vixen standing next to the table. To say Warhawk hadn't expected to see her was true enough, but also not quite accurate.
"Aren't you supposed to be retired?" Warhawk asked.
Mari placed her lunch tray on the table and slid a chair closer to the winged woman. She leaned down close to Warhawk's ear. "Aren't you supposed to be dead?"
Warhawk's eyes widened and Mari sat down. "I talked with Green Lantern," she explained.
Oh. It made sense. Warhawk -- who definitely was not the daughter of Shayera Hol and Hro Talak -- knew John would eventually go to Mari. Once they found out Vixen was still alive, they knew she had a right to know that they weren't dead either, no matter how...strange...that news would sound.
Because thirty-three years ago, when Toyman blasted Metamorpho to bits and everybody in the world thought John Stewart and Shayera Hol had gone right along with him to the Great Beyond, they were actually thrown into the future. Only the original members of the League knew, as well as Vixen for personal reasons and Static for technical reasons. It was agreed that it would be kept secret from the rest of the League and the world.
John had quickly contacted the Guardians and had made arrangements to take over his old position. A mask on his face now, he slipped right back into the League with no trouble as just another Green Lantern in a long line of Green Lanterns.
Shayera, on the other hand, had more issues to deal with and took longer to assume a new identity. No longer could she be Shayera Hol, and Hawkgirl was out of the question. Warhawk was born out of necessity and hours of hard work to change her fighting style.
"How are your injuries healing?" Mari asked as she unfolded her napkin to her lap.
Injuries? Then she remembered. From when we got here. Shayera and John both had some serious internal and external injuries from the battle and the time-shift. "I'm fine," she said. "Thanagarian physiology. I heal quickly."
"That's good." Mari reached for her cup of skim milk.
Shayera stared at Mari's food. The former model had never been one to eat much, but she doubted a steady diet of fruits and vegetables could keep thirty years from etching a person's features. And Mari looked exactly as she had the last time she'd seen her three decades before. Only J'onn with his shape-shifting ability and Diana with her immortality had remained unchanged by time.
"You doing okay?" Mari asked, jolting Shayera again.
"Yeah. Injuries are all healed." Didn't I just say that?
"I mean mentally."
Oh, right. "Well...sure. I suppose."
Mari scrutinized her and she knew the lie had been obvious. Fortunately, Mari nodded and smiled and took a tiny bite of her salad.
When she finished chewing, she said, "John seems to be doing fine, too." She laughed the phony laugh perfected by so many famous people. "But you know that already."
"Actually, no, I didn't. We haven't seen all that much of each other." She looked at Mari. "You know John. Not much for talking. He'd rather brood."
Mari's lips quirked upward. "You're right."
Shayera glanced down at her lunch tray and decided icy conversation was better than cold pasta. "So how have you been?"
"In the last thirty-odd years, you mean?"
Shayera winced, but nodded.
"Not bad. I mean, it wasn't a happy time when you three were killed. And we lost a lot of good people over the years between then and now."
Again, Shayera nodded, her green eyes slipping downward.
"Of course, it's not all been gloom and doom," Mari added. "There are new League members. And there have been lots of weddings and births. Did you know Vigilante is a grandfather?"
"I didn't know that." She hadn't read up on all the old members' full life stories. Mostly she'd just checked to see who was dead and who was alive. "I'm still hung up on the fact that somebody actually married Flash. Apparently his wife doesn't mind that he's so...fast."
Mari laughed, legitimately this time. "I guess not since they've got kids."
When the giggles died down and they both sobered, Shayera asked what she really wanted to know. "And you?"
Mari shrugged. "I did good. Had my own line of clothing for a while, but it was a flop. Got married...he's a plastic surgeon." And that answers the age-defying question. "We live in Paris and we've got three kids. Overall, I've got a great life."
Shayera looked in her eyes. The pride and love sparkling there for her husband and children told her Mari wasn't lying. "I'm happy for you."
"Which leaves John all for you."
She held up her hand. "No, I'm perfectly fine with it. I did my mourning years ago. Life moved on and so did I." She sighed, "I do wish it hadn't been because you two were killed, though. Having John just gone was difficult. But I knew it was over for us when we heard what he said to you on the comm."
Shayera blinked. The entire team heard our last moments together?
"I must admit, it's a little embarrassing to get publicly dumped and have your ex-boyfriend die all in the same minute. It left me...cold. For a very long time."
"John said the same thing." Mari's lips pursed for a moment then relaxed. "I don't blame you. I mean, I did at first, but as time passed I realized you didn't really do anything to deserve my anger. In fact, you stayed away from John."
Sure, except for that dress...
"You gave us the space we needed for things to take their course. It's not your fault that course led him away from me."
At least one of us believes that.
"So, you won, Shayera. Just as we both knew you would. Defying the laws of physics was an unexpected twist, but you did win. Besides," Mari said, straightening her back, "once I met Cleavon, I forgot all about John." She smirked and Shayera's eyes widened.
"Folds your socks, huh?"
Mari grinned devilishly, "Honey, it's some of the best sock-folding I've had in my entire life."