The ordeal that Tabitha had gone through with Lex Luthor prompted Bruce to conduct an investigation on the man; he knew that Luthor was always attempting to make the Justice League look rogue to the public eye. As one of the rare members with no super abilities whatsoever, he couldn’t help but to slightly see his point of view; the rest of the world could see them as a threat because of their powers, alone. What or who would stop Clark, for example, if he wanted to suppress the people on Earth, save some Kryptonite? A regular human like himself really didn’t pose a threat to other humans; he could easily be stopped by bullets and force by numbers. But how would someone stop a superhuman… a group of them? Bruce was glad that the others wouldn’t go rogue… however, he had means to stop every last one of them, just in case.
It was long overdue however J’onn insisted for Tabitha to invite Ramil and Ashley aboard Watchtower; they were to receive special recognition from the Martian himself for what they had done for his girlfriend. As the three made their way to the large conference room, Ashley shrugged at the idea.
“All he had to say was thanks; this isn’t necessary…”
“That ain’t him. You’ve saved my life twice… that means a lot to him…” she smiled, “Plus, it wasn’t all his idea. The council…”
“The other founding members; I call ‘em the council.” she told Ramil, “Anyway; they wanted to thank you, too.”
“Oh… still… a thank you would’ve been more than enough…” Ashley cut herself short as Tabitha escorted them inside. The six founding members stayed seated but looked brightly at the husband and wife. They both shot glances at Tabitha, who only stepped to the side and kept her smile.
“Ramil and Ashley Jones. There aren’t many who can say that they’ve saved a Justice League member’s life, let alone twice. I’ve spoken with the others and we all came to this decision: because of your heroic actions, we will like to extend membership to you both.” J’onn announced. The two gave everyone shocked looks and finally turned to look at Tabitha. She laughed.
“He’s asking you to become a part of the Justice…”
“We know what he meant!” Ramil laughed, shaking his head. He put his attention back to the founding members and nodded, “We’d be honored…” he said. The group smiled at the two and gave them a round of applause. Tabitha put her arms around both of their shoulders.
“Good; welcome to the Justice League! As our newest members, you’ll have to go through some series of required training. If you wanna go back to Earth, just make sure you’re here on time for training. While J’onn’s getting you communicators, I’ll take you on a tour!” she escorted the two out of the room. Bruce looked at the Martian.
“You told her to do that…?”
“Hmm…” he couldn’t help but to smirk towards the door.
It was rare for the Justice League members to have a break, especially during the holidays. However, as they found that no missions were being issued, everyone took it to their advantage and made plans.
“Are you spending time with your family for the holiday, too?” Clark asked Tabitha as she made her way towards the control room. She smiled brightly and nodded.
“Just feels kinda weird leaving Watchtower for a while…”
“J’onn will be here so if something comes up, I’m pretty sure he can handle it…” he nodded.
“Oh…” she realized that he had no family. She felt slightly guilty that there she was, making plans on spending Christmas on Earth when her boyfriend had no one to celebrate with… except with her, “Well… there’s no need for him to be alone!”
“You’re changing your plans so that he won’t be here alone…?” it puzzled him. He knew that the two had bonded over the years but he never would had guessed that he meant that much to her. She gave him a smirk and shook her head.
“No; I’m gonna invite him to spend the holidays with me!” she smiled. She shot the man a look as he slightly snickered, “What?”
“Good luck with that…”
“What you tryna say… he wouldn’t?”
“I don’t think he’ll be that comfortable around your family. Maybe the Lindseys…”
“Hmph… we’ll see. Happy holidays, Clark!”
“Same to you… and do let me know how that goes when you get back!” he lightly laughed as he walked away. She refrained from sticking her tongue out at him; he didn’t know that the Martian would have no choice but to spend the holidays with his girlfriend! She pressed a button on her communicator, calling her family.
“Tabitha! Tell me you’re coming home for the holidays…” her mother didn’t even bother to say “hello”!
“How’d you know it was me?”
“The caller ID; a whole bunch of zeroes come up whenever you call!” she laughed.
“Yeah, I’ll be there in a few. Mom… I’m bringing J’onn with me…” she tried. She knew that there would be silence on the other end; her family was still trying to get used to the fact that the two were dating, “Mooom…”
“I’m sorry, honey…”
“Wait; you’re telling me no…?”
“No! O-Of course, you can bring him; he’s your boyfriend, now…” her voice trailed off. It prompted Tabitha to huff.
“I know that he’s… different, but so am I, now. I just want y’all to get to know him better… please?”
“Alright, dear. We’ll see you two in a few minutes, then…”
“Thank you, mom!” she ended the call. She smiled and strolled over towards J’onn, who was at his usual spot over the controls of Watchtower. He turned and smiled at her, “So… whatcha doing for the holidays…?” she smiled back.
“What I always do; stay he… why are you shaking your head…?”
“Seriously? You’re gonna let your girlfriend spend the holidays alone?! No way; come on…” she tried to shove him away from the control panel.
“I can’t just… leave…”
“You said it yourself, J’onn J’onzz; you’re always in contact with Watchtower so no problems there! You got no excuses now, let’s go!” she was now attempting to pull him away by his arm.
“Well… it has been a while since I’ve seen the Lindseys…”
“Nuh uh; my folks’ house…” her words made him stop dead in his tracks.
“Tabitha…” he widened his eyes at her. She stopped trying to push him towards the teleportation pads and huffed loudly at him.
“What, now? Look, I already told ‘em we were coming; don’t make me out to be a liar!”
“You expect for me to go… like this…?”
“Oh, my God; it ain’t like they ain’t seen you like this before!” she rolled her eyes and laughed, “Don’t make me use force now, come on!” she tried pushing him from behind.
“You’re going to continue to try to get me to leave… aren’t you?”
“So… there’s no way I’m going to win this battle… am I…?”
She was surprised as well as excited to see the snowfall that happened in Chattanooga. It had been a while since she’d seen any precipitation, let alone snow; she felt like a kid all over again. The trees that lined the street were covered however the driveways and streets had been cleared; the current snowfall was threatening to undo the hard work. The Martian looked on in slight amazement as his girlfriend stuck her tongue out to catch a few of the falling flakes.
“Why would you do that; do you know what snow is made of…”
“Don’t spoil it for me, Martian…”
“I will never understand you, human…” he actually smiled at her childish behavior as she squinted and stuck her tongue out at him. Her playful mood was interrupted as she stopped to study her parents’ home, “What’s wrong?” he noticed quickly. She studied the yard more and narrowed her eyes. Usually, the snow removed from the streets, sidewalks and driveways were shoveled into large piles on the side or towards the curbs; she saw that someone had clearly made what looked like a wall in the yard. When she saw that the driveway was occupied by more cars than usual, her eyes widened.
“Ambush!” she quickly pulled J’onn with her as they headed for the nearest car. No sooner had the two ducked behind it, they heard the thumps of snowballs hitting the vehicle, “Shit; start making snowballs!”
“… What…” he noticed that she had already made a few.
“If you wanna go to war, I’ll take your asses to war!!” she launched a snowball grenade-styled over the car towards the makeshift fort, “You gotta be my eyes; how many of ‘em are there…?” she went back to making snowballs. Confused, J’onn stood up from their hiding spot, to make sense of what was going on. Before he could, he was hit with a snowball.
“OOH!! Tango down, men!!”
“What…? Oh, J’onn; did you get hit?! Damnit…”
“He’s out; you’re on your own, now, Tabby!!”
“Good one, Ty; we got the important one out the w… oh, shit…”
“Tabby, tell him he ain’t supposed to move!!”
“Wha…” she got up from her hiding spot in time to see the Martian walking towards her brothers, “Oh… J’onn, stop!!” she did a Lightning Cloud to face him, “We’re just playing around…” she tried to explain. She wiped the remainder of the snowball from his chest as he looked down at her.
“Throwing snowballs… is some sort of a game…?”
“You’ve never seen a snowball fight before…?”
“No…” he shook his head. She opened her mouth to say something but was quickly interrupted as a snowball hit her in the back.
“You’re out!” Terry snickered. Tabitha sighed and rolled her eyes.
“And now, we’ve lost… revenge will be cold… and in a bowl!!” she shook her fists at her brothers who erupted into laughter.
“… Revenge is a dish best served cold…” J’onn corrected, a smile playing on his lips. Before she could retaliate, the oldest of the Lyght siblings approached the two.
“Sorry ‘bout that; we kinda get carried away when we get together. The Martian Manhunter, huh? Thomas…” he introduced himself. The man was as tall and muscular as their father however he was an even mixture of the parents. The Martian shook his hand.
“You can call me J’onn.”
“J’onn? I like that. Kinda French.”
“It’s as close as humans can pronounce my real name.”
“Ah. Yeah; our names are pretty easy: Tyler, Tim and I think you’ve already met Terry. Mom was on a roll after she named me and Tim; figured she give the rest of us T names!” he introduced the other brothers. Tyler was the second youngest; J’onn saw that he and Tabitha could’ve easily passed for twins. Tim favored the Lyght siblings’ mother more than any of them and was the second oldest.
The Lyght children had settled down in the living room while the Martian talked to the parents; Tabitha figured that the only way for the three to get to know one another was for it to be in private.
“How long you guys gonna be here?” Tabitha took a sip of her hot chocolate.
“I’m leaving day after Christmas; gotta work to pay the bills…” Thomas shrugged.
“School ain’t starting back until second week of January. Then, it’s back to Tuscaloosa!”
“Me and Ty staying ‘til after New Year’s.” Tim explained. She curled up in the chair and nodded.
“So… you and J’onn dating?” Thomas looked at his sister. She blushed and nodded.
“I knew it…” Terry eyed her.
“Y’all okay with that…?”
“Are you shitting me?! You know you’re set for life, right?” Tyler pointed out. She gave him a weird look.
“You’re with the Martian Manhunter; who’s gonna fuck with you?!”
“Yeah… so much for your brothers having your back, threatening your boyfriends to treat you right or else!” Tim huffed out.
“Yeah; go ahead and make that threat to him and see what happens!” Thomas pointed out and the men laughed. Tabitha blushed furiously.
“Well… n-no one knows that we’re dating…”
“Whaaat…?” Thomas eyed her in amusement. She didn’t want to explain everything to them; she knew that they wouldn’t understand. She was happy that her brothers accepted him without question.
“Only people who can keep their big mouths shut know…”
“Why…?” Terry asked.
“It’s a… superhero thing. Folks find out that we’re together and guess what; villains gonna come out and harass either me or him. That’s why a lot of us have secret identities.”
“Oh. That makes sense…” Tyler nodded.
“So, wait… does that mean you know who Batman is…?” Terry lit up. Tabitha sighed and nodded, “Who is he…?”
“He’s a detective on the Gotham police force…” she looked at him.
“No shit? For real?!”
“No; why in the hell would I tell you who Batman really is?!” she laughed at her brother’s disappointed face.
“… I’m feeling really uncomfortable with your father…” J’onn’s voice almost echoed in her brain. She suddenly sat straight up and looked at her brothers.
“Oh… he’s… ‘interviewing’ J’onn…” Thomas smiled. She widened her eyes and then narrowed them towards the hallway.
He sat across from Curtis Lyght and waited for the man to speak. He felt slightly uneasy that the human only looked at him as if he was studying him. The Martian knew that his girlfriend got his telepathic message and wondered what was taking her so long to either reply or come “rescue” him. He wasn’t used to this, being stared down by the father of the one that he loved. He wanted to go through his mind, to see what exactly he was thinking about but opted not to out of respect. Maybe this was a human tradition? He had a slightly painful thought; how would he react to someone that was courting his daughter? J’onn started to understand the human man…
“What are your intentions with my baby girl?” the man finally decided to speak. The question actually shocked him. His intentions with Tabitha? He only wanted to love her; wouldn’t that be anyone’s intention with one another? He was sadly reminded that human ways were vastly different from his. He was living on a planet where money and sex were huge factors in a relationship; it was as if everyone had given up on true love. He kept his smile to himself; he knew that their relationship was based on more, much more and he wouldn’t do anything to hurt her.
He was about to respond until Tabitha rushed into the room, glaring at her father.
“Daddy!” she warned.
“Go back in there and help your mother cook, honey; this is men folk business…” he said without looking at her. Her eyes widened.
“Really?! This ain’t the… the…”
“Thank you! I didn’t invite him over for you to make him uncomfortable! J’onn… could you go and talk to my brothers; they won’t give you the fifth…”
“… Third degree! How is it that you have no clue what a snowball fight is but you know our sayings?” she eyed J’onn. She shook her head, “Never mind! Just… leave me and daddy alone for a minute, please…” she asked. J’onn nodded and got up from his seat. Before he left, he looked at her father.
“I have every intention on treating your daughter how she deserves to be treated. Our relationship is not based on lust, as I’ve seen that is the case with the majority of human relationships. The way I treat her is definitely not by human standards… she is worth more than that to me…” he nodded and left, leaving Tabitha completely red. She watched him as he left the room and finally put her attention towards her father, who had a wide smile on his face.
“… S-Stop… d-don’t look at me like that!” she stuttered and sighed, “Daddy… I’m not a teenager no more…”
“I know.” he sighed almost sadly. Curtis slowly nodded and looked at his daughter, “… I like him…” he surprised her, “He may be a Martian but he got a lot of heart… and that’s all that matter. How much does he mean to you?” he looked at her seriously. She continued to blush.
“A… he means a lot, daddy…”
“So, you love him…”
“I… I don’t feel comfortable talking…”
“Thought you said you were grown…” he gave her a sly look. She narrowed her eyes at her father.
“Yeah. I do.” her words made him smile warmly.
“That’s good. He’s gonna make a good father…”
“Don’t think I ain’t noticed that you gaining a little weight there…”
“Oh… my… GOD; daddy!!!!”
“So… you’re not…”
“Well, he better start making you hit the gym; don’t want a pudgy, lazy superhero in this house…” he smirked. She could only sigh and hold her head in her hand.
“Are you done…?”
“So, how do you two… well… do you…” he tried. Tabitha widened her eyes and immediately turned to leave.
He had never spent the holidays with anyone, seeing that he was one of the only ones without family. He was thankful for the friends that he had made within the Justice League however he knew that the majority of them had their own families to spend time with; he didn’t want to feel as though he was intruding. This was the first time that J’onn was able to witness a family celebrate the Christmas holiday and learned a lot about the Lyght family traditions. He learned a lot about the family as a whole; how hard work was instilled in the children at an early age, along with numerous other values. J’onn was glad that he was “forced” to spend time with Tabitha’s family.
The Lyght family believed in the true meaning of Christmas, however it didn’t stop them from celebrating the commercial meaning as well. The family members sat in the living room and exchanged Christmas presents with one another. Olivia glanced at J’onn, who seemed to have taken a slight joy into watching the others open their presents.
“I’m so sorry, J’onn; we didn’t find out that you were coming until the last moment…”
“That is fine. The fact that you have welcomed me into your home is more than enough.” he smiled at her.
“Well… what do you give a Martian for a present, anyway…?” Tim shrugged.
“I got something for him!” Tabitha smiled as she quickly went upstairs.
“If you come back down here half-naked, I’m gonna throw up!” Tyler yelled at her.
“Do they… always act like that among each other…?” J’onn asked Olivia. She slightly sighed and nodded.
“My boys will be boys… and my Tabby will always be conservative…” she shook her head. Tabitha returned carrying a reddish abstract sculpture.
“Pretty nice artwork! Where’d you get it from?” Thomas asked. She smiled as she handed the piece to J’onn.
“I made it! One of my Metahuman talents…” she boasted. It took the Martian a moment to examine it and then quickly look at her with slightly widened eyes.
“This… this is Martian rock…”
“You… sculpted me something made from my home planet…”
“I wanted to make you something that you associate with. I tried Oreos but yeah… no; I didn’t want you to eat it! Besides; you ever try to make something out of Oreos besides food? I don’t recommend it…” she continued to smile.
“Tabitha… where did you get Martian rock from…?”
“… From Mars…”
“Rimshot!” Terry exclaimed and everyone laughed.
“Seriously, Cl… Superman got it for me; kinda sent him on a scavenger hunt for rare rocks! When he came back with a chunk of it, I knew I had to make you something…” she continued to smile. He was absolutely speechless as he studied the sculpture. He knew that he had wanted her to start back sculpting; J’onn had never thought that she would ever make him anything, especially something this personal. The idea touched him deeply as he traced the contours of the sculpture, “… You don’t like it…”
“… This is the kindest thing anyone has done for me… in quite some time. I love it…” he actually blushed as she planted a kiss on his cheek.
“Merry Christmas, Martian…”
After they returned to Watchtower, everything went back to normal. Tabitha was surprised yet happy that she was going on more missions. However, she had become so used to staying aboard, she almost rejected the opportunities. She was just fine being in the Martian’s presence, completing upgrades. Now that he received the approval of her family, she patiently waited for the day when they would tell the other League members. Although they had talked about the situation, she couldn’t help thinking about what was really stopping them from coming out about their true relationship.
She was heading into the control room to make a small report when she overheard J’onn strictly talking to someone. She tilted her head to the side and sighed; Tony, she shook her head. For a multibillionaire genius, he could be very childish and annoying!
When she got into closer range, she noticed that he actually looked upset as he performed an emergency teleport. Her eyebrows lifted slightly as a man and a woman appeared on the pads; the woman in purple and black helping the faceless man walk. She had never seen the two before and shot a look at the Martian.
“… Who are they…?”
“… Huntress and Question.”
“I take it they’re not supposed to be here…”
“Question, yes. Huntress is no longer affiliated with us…” he slightly narrowed his eyes as he went over to help. Tabitha just looked at Huntress, who was more concerned about Question than how the Martian was looking at her.
“What… happened…?” she decided to break the ice; although Question had no face, it was obvious to Tabitha that he had been beaten up. When the masked woman scoffed, it was enough to make Tabitha widen her eyes. She tried to follow the men towards the infirmary but was quickly stopped as Tabitha appeared in front of her, “Maybe you didn’t hear me; what happened?” she glared at her. Huntress was slightly surprised at her quickness but still didn’t say a word, “Look, lady: you don’t belong here so I ain’t got a problem shocking you… you don’t start talking, you’re gonna regret it…” she threatened.
“I was unaware that the Justice League needed a bodyguard…” the woman smirked.
“Ooh… you’re testing me! I’ve never attacked a League member… but you ain’t one so… I’m gonna enjoy this…” Tabitha charged up. Huntress slightly backed away, getting ready to strike.
“Tabitha, Helena!” as quickly as the two women were about to battle, J’onn put himself in the middle of the two. He chose to glare at the non-member first, “Just because you don’t recognize her doesn’t make her a non-important member; when she asks a question, you need to answer her…” he warned. Tabitha narrowed her eyes and smirked, “And, you will not provoke anyone, regardless if they’re a member or not…” her smug look turned to one of surprise.
“Wait… she disrespected me and I get lectured?!”
“Being a bully won’t get you any answers…”
“You better be glad J’onn’s right here; I’d shock you back down to Earth! You don’t want none for real…”
“Enough!!” the Martian’s voice echoed through the room, “Go and check on Question, Tabitha; I will handle this…” he sighed. She continued to narrow her eyes at the woman before she turned to leave.
“I swear, she says one more word and I’ll…”
“Fine, fine; it’s dropped!” she mumbled in her head. She made her way to the infirmary, where the guards saluted her in. There wasn’t much to study on Question however Tabitha looked at him regardless as he laid in the bed. He slowly looked at her.
“Geez; I have a name!” she rolled her eyes.
“I know. Sorry that we’ve met… under these circumstances…”
“What happened?” she sat down in the chair beside the bed. He slightly huffed.
“Batman found out about the neurotoxins in your oils. He wanted me to find a connection between Luthor and Cadmus…”
“I’ve had my theories about them for a while. A top secret agency out to keep the real super humans and Metahumans in check.” he told her. Tabitha sat back in her seat, thinking about what he had just said. If Luthor was connected to Cadmus… what did he truly want with her…?
“Well… is he…?”
“He is. I found out a lot of things; simulation programs predicting a war…”
“A… civil war…?”
“If you want to put it that way; a couple of members have already deflected to the government…” he explained. She slightly gasped and looked away.
“Amanda Waller…” she mumbled. Her impromptu trip into the future came back to light; she know knew the real source of the start of the civil war.
“You’re good…” if she could see his face, she knew that he was smirking at her, “I found out about the Justice Lords, too; how the Justice Lord Superman killed their universe’s Luthor.”
“Wow… they really were ruthless…” she shuddered.
“It… was going to happen in this universe…” Question stated quietly, “Similar events have already started to unfold…”
“He… the Superman that I know wouldn’t do that…”
“Well… I wanted to make sure that he didn’t. So… I tried to kill Luthor…”
“W-What?! Justice League members don’t kill!”
“Who would’ve known I was Justice League… besides the Justice League…?” he asked. She shook her head slightly, “He was… stronger than I would’ve imagined. Almost… Metahuman strong…”
“Luthor’s a Metahuman?”
“It’s something to look up. Cadmus wanted to know how I knew so much; they had a feeling that I had stolen some files.”
“You got tortured…” Tabitha realized, “I’m sorry…”
“All in a day’s work; I got the information that I wanted, that Batman wanted…”
“How did Huntress find you?”
“She… was with me… almost the entire time. I told her to go back and help Superman back at the facility… but she wanted to make sure I was taken care of here.” he finished explaining. Tabitha nodded and got out of her seat; the two were lovers, she made another realization.
“Why isn’t she with us anymore?”
“You’re right about one thing: Justice League members don’t kill. She was intent on doing so…” he explained. Tabitha slightly nodded.
“I’ll… send her here, then. I have to report all this to J’onn… anything else you wanna tell me?”
“… Cadmus cloned Supergirl…” he mentioned. As Tabitha made her way back to the control room, she was shocked about everything that she had learned. She had known that Luthor wanted her to leave the Justice League and be by his side; she would have never thought that he was connected to a government faction that looked forward to the superheroes going rogue, pitting them against those who were on “their” side. From what Question had told her, it sounded as though Cadmus was already preparing for everything, already convincing members to join their forces and even going so far as to clone Kara, Superman’s adopted cousin.
Another thing that bothered her was what Question briefly mentioned about Luthor. How was it possible for someone to purposely become the one thing that they had despised? It was one thing to try to fool the public, getting a few superheroes on your side; it was another to make yourself into one.
 Paraphrased from “Scarface”; real saying is: You wanna go to war, we take you to war, okay?