The brother and sister stared at the woman beyond the glassed room of the infirmary. The professor was notified of what happened to her best friend and was immediately teleported aboard Watchtower to see her condition in person. She fought tears as she watched the civilian nurse check her blood pressure and temperature.
“She looks… so lost…” she observed. Ramil slightly nodded and sighed.
“I don’t think I could get used to seeing her like this…” he added. To keep from crying, Jamila let out a deep sigh and turned away only to face J’onn.
“Oh… how long you’ve been here…?”
“A few moments.” he simply looked at his girlfriend. The professor took notice and gave him a nod.
“How’s everyone else?” she wanted to change the subject, for both of their sakes. The Martian slightly smiled at her.
“They’ll be fine. We’re all just a little sore… and exhausted.” his attention went right back to Tabitha as she sat on the edge of the bed and looked around the room. With a little sigh, the lightning woman studied the white wristband, J’onn knew to try to familiarize herself with her own name. Jamila looked at her friend and bit her lip.
“Has she… even spoken to you since you guys got back?”
“… She doesn’t know any of us, anymore. She’s… afraid of me…” it saddened the siblings to hear the misery in his voice. As Jamila wiped at her eyes, Ramil laid a careful hand on J’onn’s shoulder.
“She’ll be back to normal soon enough; she’ll regain her memory.”
“What if she doesn’t…” it came out almost as a whisper. The Martian clenched his fists at his thoughts as well as hers; it pained him that she constantly tried to figure out who she was and why she had the powers that she did. He had blamed himself for her memory loss… and almost accepted that it was no wonder she was afraid of him.
“… Why don’t we go see her and talk to her?” Jamila suggested; she had sensed that he was getting upset. He started to shake his head slightly until she grabbed him tightly around his forearm, “J’onn… she needs to remember. She won’t be able to if you don’t want to talk to her…”
“She is afraid of me…” he reiterated.
“Then, make her not afraid of you!” she glared at him. She loosened her grip on him and sighed when he gave her a surprised look, “… Show her, again how much you really care about her…” her words made him widened his eyes.
“You… can tell…?” he asked and she let out a small laugh.
“I’ve been married for a long time; I know the looks! Let’s go see her…” she continued to look at him. Of course, the professor knew how much her best friend meant to him; it was obvious on his face every time they were together. The looks that they gave one another made the professor’s heart warm up.
“I’ll go and check on Ashley…” Ramil nodded and left the two. When the Martian finally nodded, the two made their way to her room. The infirmary was one of the heaviest guarded places aboard Watchtower, per Bruce’s and Clark’s request; the guards by her door stiffened when they caught sight of J’onn, immediately saluting and moving out of his way. He quickly glanced back at Jamila.
“She’s with me…” he informed the guards and they let her pass as well.
It had been a week since the group went on the rescue mission for Tabitha. Since she had lost all of her memory, she had no idea of what happened to her before and was slowly trying to get used to things. It was rough for her; she had powers that she didn’t understand and it seemed as though the people around her had abilities as well. She didn’t know anything about her former life and it made her a bit upset.
When the door to her room opened, she immediately looked at it; the head nurse had just finished with her routine vitals check: she had no clue what they would want so soon. Her eyes widened as she saw the Martian come in, followed by a woman in plain clothes; she immediately jumped out of her bed and tried to make herself disappear underneath it. The scene was enough to make J’onn and Jamila stop dead in their tracks.
“Tabitha…” the professor half-whispered. She noticed that Tabitha quickly motioned for her and went to her side, “What’s…”
“He’s here for me… again…” she panicked in a hushed tone. Jamila switched glances from J’onn and back to Tabitha, failing to hide her smirk.
“Don’t worry; I got this…” she patted Tabitha on the shoulder and stood up. In a dramatic fashion, Jamila threw her arms out towards J’onn, “Martian, be gone!!” she yelled at him but immediately laughed, “Sorry… I couldn’t help myself!” she put her attention back to her best friend, trying to help her up, “It’s okay; he’s the last person that would hurt you, trust me.” she tried to reassure. Tabitha uneasily got back on the bed, sneaking glances at J’onn.
“That was not funny, Jamila…”
“Yeah, it was and you know it!” she laughed even more when he let out an exasperated sigh, “I don’t want you to be afraid of him, that’s all…” she looked back at Tabitha.
“He… he speaks our language…”
“I’m very fluent in all Earth languages… as well as other planets’.” he explained. She timidly nodded but looked at the professor.
“So… I can trust him…?”
“Of course. He wouldn’t be here if you couldn’t.”
“… Jamila…?” she asked and her best friend nodded, “That’s… pretty. Why do I feel so… comfortable around you?”
“I guess… it’s because I’m your best friend.”
“Oh! I’m… I’m sorry that I can’t remember.”
“It’s not your fault, hon…”
“But… I don’t want you upset with me. We’re best friends… and I can’t even remember that…” she slightly sighed and stared absentmindedly towards the door. Tabitha looked back at Jamila, “You have powers, too?” her question made her laugh a bit.
“Nah. I’m just ordinary…”
“She underestimates herself. Had it not been for her, you would still be out there, clueless about your abilities.” J’onn smiled warmly at the two. Jamila shrugged as Tabitha finally gathered enough courage to look fully at him. She studied his features and slightly blushed; he looked quite human to be a Martian. She had jumped the gun when she had first laid eyes on him, becoming intimidated by the skin tone and eyes alone. Now that she was looking at him, she felt that there was no real need to be afraid of him; she saw that he was friendly… and very handsome.
J’onn read her thoughts and couldn’t help but to reveal a smile; even with amnesia, she thought that he was handsome.
“Are you okay…?” he made her realize that she was staring at him. Tabitha blushed more and slightly turned away.
“I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to stare…”
“Believe me, it’s fine.”
“… What’s your name?” she looked back at him.
“… Really? Not what I had expected for your name to be!” he was glad that she finally had a smile on her face, even if it was a small one. She nodded and her smile widened slowly, “That’s… really cute; J’onn… and Jamila…” she blushed at the fact that a giggle wanted to escape. The professor gave her a puzzled look as J’onn’s eyes immediately widened. He chuckled and looked at Jamila.
“She thinks we’re a couple…” he explained. Jamila’s eyes quickly widened as Tabitha looked at J’onn in shock.
“Wait, what?! No!!”
“How… how did you know what I was thinking…?”
“He can read minds; something that you always like to warn me about…”
“She had very good reason to…” J’onn’s mumbled comment made Jamila narrow her eyes at him.
“Anyway; no: we’re not the couple… the two of you are.” she tried to explain. It was enough to make Tabitha give the two a very shocked look.
“W-Wait… he’s my boyfriend?!” she asked and the two nodded. Her eyes misted over as she thought of how she had treated him, “No wonder you’ve been trying to be around me… I’m so sorry…”
“It’s… fine, really. Quite understandable, given your current state.”
“Oh; no one else knows that the two of you are dating…” Jamila added.
“Then… how do you know…?”
“I’m your best friend; duh! We tell each other everything!” she smiled, “You said that you feel comfortable around me; you didn’t feel anything at all around him?” Jamila wanted to know. Tabitha looked at the Martian once more, studying him in more detail.
“I… the only thing I wanted was for him to stay away at first; I thought he wanted to hurt me. But, now… I feel his concern for me…” she slightly blushed at the realization. Her reaction made the professor widen her smile.
“There it is; the blushing! I don’t think that will ever change!”
“I… blush a lot, I suppose…”
“Especially when…” Jamila received a slight warning glare from the Martian, “… Never mind; I’ll mention it later…”
“Maybe a small walk around will trigger something for you?” J’onn desperately wanted to change the subject. Tabitha looked at the Martian and then back at her wristband.
“I’m… allowed to…?”
“Who’s gonna tell the Martian Manhunter no?” Jamila smirked.
“Don’t listen to her… fully. I do not throw my weight around…”
“Look at him; he doesn’t have to!” Jamila finished. Tabitha simply looked at him and slowly nodded.
“I think I’ll agree with her on that…”
The three went through almost an entire wing of Watchtower however nothing triggered Tabitha’s memory, much to J’onn’s disappointment. When they approached a hallway with a view of outer space, she immediately stopped and looked outside.
“Oh, wow… are we in space? Cool…” she smiled a little. As she continued to look out of the panoramic window, Bruce and Wally approached her guides. The professor gave them a light smile.
“Mr. Wayne, Wally; good to see you two back on your feet!”
“It’s good to be back.” Bruce nodded. His attention immediately went towards Tabitha as she continued to marvel at the atmosphere, “How is she?”
“She’s completely healthy, aside from the memory loss.”
“She still doesn’t remember anything?” he wanted the question to stay inside of his head. He studied the Martian as he looked at Tabitha as well, “Is she still afraid of you?”
“I don’t believe so.” he was at least happy about that. Wally approached the young woman and looked into space with her.
“… Pretty neat, huh?”
“Yeah…” she breathed. She looked at him and immediately stuck her hand out, “I’m Tabitha.” she introduced. It was enough to produce a smile from Wally as he shook her hand.
“Oh; you… probably already knew who I was, huh?” she realized and he nodded, “I must be pretty important; everyone seems to know me around here.”
“You’ve been here for three years, now. Every day, you do something that impresses everyone, just about. You might’ve figured this out but the Martian? He’s pretty much the cream of the crop here but you’ve beaten him in chess and training!” he explained. It was enough for her to shoot a quick look at J’onn.
“Yep! You can make almost anything indestructible. You’ve even beaten me quite a few times when we race and I’m the fastest man alive!” he continued. She let out a snort and covered her mouth to keep her laugh from escaping, “… What’s so funny?”
“The fastest man alive? I wouldn’t brag too much about that…” she smirked. Bruce cleared his throat to keep from laughing as Jamila shared a snort with her best friend.
“Touché, Tabs! Why hadn’t I thought of that before?” she cheered. Wally shook his head in defeat.
“I believe she was referring to…”
“I know what she was referring to, J’onn!”
“I’m sorry…” Tabitha tried not to laugh.
“It’s okay; I get that a lot… just surprised that it was from you this time…” he sighed but finally let out a small laugh.
“Wally… you weren’t making that stuff up, were you? You know; just to make me feel better?” she decided to try to change the subject. She found it slightly unbelievable that she was capable of doing the things he mentioned.
“No way! Are you kidding me? You’re one of the best members we got! To be honest, now that I think about it… you’re the most important one!”
“… I’m not in charge… am I? Because that would be pretty hard to believe!”
“No. But you’re the reason Watchtower itself functions right. We used to have non-superhero guys come here and do the repairs, maintain Watchtower and all that. But, when you came along… you replaced all of them.” Wally kept his smile.
“Really?! Whoa! How many people did I replace…?”
“Roughly fifteen.” J’onn joined in. The woman just shook her head.
“Unbelievable…” she said and dwelled on that thought. She was important and powerful enough to take care of Watchtower without help; it was no wonder everyone was truly concerned about her memory loss, she figured. She had a feeling that it was actually a small part of their reason to be concerned; she did feel that the people who she’d come across so far genuinely cared for her, especially the Martian. She blushed at the thought and looked back out of the window, “Um… are we going to continue the tour or… can I stay here for a while?”
“Whatever you like, Tabitha.” J’onn told her. She nodded and glanced at the group.
“I’d like to stay here for a while, then.”
“Do you want to be alone?” Bruce asked. She immediately shook her head.
“This place is ginormous; I don’t want to get lost! Besides; I have a feeling that you all know me the best… and I have a lot of questions for you!”
The group stayed there and chatted for some time, answering all the questions that Tabitha had. However, as much as she wanted to know about herself, she was just fine being the dominant listener. She enjoyed hearing about the others and tried her best to get an understanding of the part she played in their lives. It didn’t surprise her that she became immediately comfortable around the small group as they talked; it made her all the more determined to get her memory back.
She was glad that J’onn escorted her back to the infirmary alone; she had seen that while he had spoken at regular intervals, he would be more at ease in her presence alone. He looked at her as she stopped in front of the door leading to the hospital ward.
“If anything, I hope that you enjoyed yourself.”
“I did; thank you.” she gave him a polite nod.
“What’s wrong?” he, of course noticed that she was a bit hesitant.
“… Do I have to go back in there?”
“Is there anywhere else you’d like to go? I had sensed that you were tired and so…”
“Yeah; I’m exhausted! It’s just that… I’ve been in that room for about a week and… I really don’t like being in there, anymore…”
“You said that I have my own room here. Can I… go there?”
“As Wally has told you: you’re an important member; you can go wherever you like. I see no need to keep you in the infirmary any longer.” he told her and they made their way towards her room. The two of them stopped in front of her door, “I hope this makes you more comfortable than the infirmary. I’ll check on you in the morning…” he stopped himself when she gave him a confused look.
“N-No… can you… stay the night with me…?” her question gave him mixed emotions of shock and warmth; for the first time in a while, he was at a loss for words as he simply gazed at her.
“… Is that what you really want?” he wanted to make sure, the words finally making their way out of his mouth. She shrugged, blushed and looked down at her fingers.
“The woman with the dreads… Jamila. She said that you’re my boyfriend. So… I figured… it’s what we usually do… right? I think I need to start doing things like that. I would rather for you to…” her eyes suddenly widened and she shot a look at him, “Uh… well, not do what we would normally do but, um… wait… do we…” she blushed furiously, “This is coming out all wrong…” she tried. J’onn couldn’t help but to laugh.
“I’ll stay as long as you’d like for me to.” he assured as he put in the code to enter her room. She looked around to try to get some sort of familiarity, slightly frowning when none came her way. The bed wasn’t made however everything else in the room seemed to be in place.
“I’m a neat freak?” she asked as she continued to look around.
“I’m really not quite sure if it was something taught to you at an early age or if the Army taught you. You do like to keep things orderly.”
“You don’t know? I would’ve guessed that you knew everything about me. How long have we been dating?” she found it curious that he wasn’t sure of something about her.
“Almost two years, now.”
“And no one else knows?! How do they not know after all this time?! Oh…” the thought finally occurred to her, “So, I guess this is something that we really don’t do often…”
“I care for you a lot, Tabitha…”
“Are you an important member as well?”
“Yes. I’m one of the founding members.”
“Okay. I understand now. So… if you don’t want to stay here with me, you don’t have to…”
“What would you like?” he asked. She looked down at her hands for a moment and then back up at him.
“… I’d like for you to stay…”
“… Anything for you…”
For the first time since the two started to date, J’onn had stayed the entire night in her room. It gave him a lot of time to think about a lot of things, including their relationship. He admitted that he was afraid to let the other League members know about them… because it would be admitting that he had a human trait inside of him after all. He knew that it was bound to happen; he had lived amongst the Earthlings for over fifty years. However, the Martian had expected to at least keep the romance trait as far away from his heart as possible. As she shifted and her head settled deeper into his chest, he blushed and smiled; he had to admit that her falling asleep to his heartbeat was something he wouldn’t trade for in the world.
A month had gone by since Tabitha Lyght had suffered complete memory loss and she was just as frustrated as the others who she had learned were her closest and dearest friends. She was even visited by her natural family however nothing triggered her memory. The only thing she knew were the stories and other information everyone else had told her. She at least was glad that she had control over her lightning abilities however she had no idea how to use them to their former potential. She knew that with time she would relearn everything but at the moment, she felt totally useless to the league of superheroes.
The only thing he wanted was his old girlfriend back; J’onn was at wit’s end as to how to go about doing so. He knew that there was no certain timetable for when she would regain her memory; the Watchtower medics had told him that it would happen on its own. He never expected that after a month, she would still be clueless about her life before becoming possessed. The Martian carried a terrible burden; he blamed himself for her accident. However, he felt that there was no other way to make the demon release its hold on her body and soul; it was far too powerful for Tala to control, as it was witnessed. He knew that what he had done was highly dangerous and painful, especially being done to a human; he had never expected for her to die from it.
He watched from behind the glass pane as Tabitha went through yet another CAT scan. He knew that nothing had changed but admired that she had taken it in stride and without complaint. J’onn had made up his mind that he would be the one to make sure Tabitha regained her memory. He was just stuck with how to go about doing so. He thought about two options; one: he could simply kiss her. It was only in theory however he felt that it could be possible that what she needed to trigger her memory was something that she was used to in the past. He had thought back to what she had mentioned when she was attacked by his twin brother; the only reason she knew that it wasn’t him was because the kiss was different. Maybe a kiss would indeed bring back some type of memory to her. However, he knew that she wasn’t that comfortable with him just yet; kissing her could very well alienate her from him altogether.
The other option that came to mind was for him to use one of his abilities to make her remember. J’onn sighed slightly; why hadn’t he thought of that earlier? He was capable of manipulating anyone’s mind into seeing, hearing and thinking whatever he deemed fit; he was sure that he could very well make her remember her lost memories.
He waited until the medics were nearly done with their examination before making his way into the room. Before he could move, however, he felt a gentle hand on his shoulder. He turned and was looking into Shayera’s green eyes.
“How are you holding up?” she simply asked him. It surprised him; he was used to people asking about Tabitha and not about himself. Seeing the lost look in her eyes had taken its toll on him but he didn’t want to admit it to anyone.
“You can try to hide it all you want but… you look as tired as she looks lost. What was on your mind?” she asked. J’onn wanted to actually break down and tell her everything; how much he loved her, how watching her struggle made his heart ache and especially how he constantly blamed himself for everything she was suffering through.
“I need to help her. I can’t shake the feeling that this is my fault…” he decided to keep it simple.
“You did what you thought was right. For as long as I’ve known you, that is the one thing I know for certain that you’ll do. Besides; there’s not much anyone can do for her right now.” she told him. J’onn continued to look at Tabitha, a small smile appearing on his lips as she took notice of the two and shyly waved at them.
“… I can make her remember…”
“J’onn… that won’t solve anything. You’ll be planting fake memories…”
“I know everything about her; how would they be fake?”
“Maybe not fake. More like… manufactured. It wouldn’t be natural. If you truly love her, you’ll let her regain her memories on her own.” she truly shocked the Martian. He gave her a surprised look as she laughed a bit, “I’ve seen how the two of you look at each other when you think no one’s looking…” she smirked. It was enough to make J’onn sigh out.
“Who else knows? Have I tried to hide this in vain?” he looked back at his girlfriend.
“Like I’ve told her; I don’t know why you’re trying to hide it! I think it’s really sweet. But, as far as I know, it’s just me. I still say just let it run its course; she’ll remember soon enough.”
The two were on one of their routinely walks around Watchtower. She had grown used to them and actually looked forward to spending time with the Martian. He was nothing but nice to her, as well as caring and she also saw hints of him wanting to be loving towards her. The actual thought of J’onn being her boyfriend was still a bit weird to her; she had expected for him to be with one of the non-human super heroines rather than herself. However, the more they spent time with each other, the more she saw how well-matched they were. It started to make sense to her why: the Monitor of Watchtower should date the one who made sure that Watchtower functioned properly.
He was glad that she started walking closer and closer to him with each walk; he was tempted to hold her hand on several occasions. However, the closest she ever gotten to him after getting amnesia was the night she fell asleep on him. While it warmed his heart to the fullest, J’onn knew that it wasn’t the most important thing at the moment.
“So… where are we going today?”
“The storage area.” he answered as they stopped in front of a large door. He entered his security code as Tabitha looked at him strangely.
“A security code for a storage area? Most be something pretty important in here…”
“A few items that were confiscated from our many missions.” J’onn told her as the door opened. She looked on at the various items in amazement.
“A few? Wow…” were the only words that came to mind. She immediately went towards the back; the one thing that caught her attention was the Annihilator battle suit. The black and silver suit barely fit inside the area with Tabitha looking up to marvel at its size. She wanted to touch it but something told her not to. She backed away and looked at J’onn.
“… I don’t know. I just had a feeling that… I didn’t need to touch this… or be near it for that matter…”
“Hmm… even though you should pay attention to that feeling, there’s nothing in here that should make you remember anything. Except for this…” J’onn motioned towards a shelf. Nothing occupied it except a lone copper container. Where a lock would be, in its place was an amulet with the Seal of Solomon engraved onto it.
“This looks like some old box. What is it…?”
“The actual container isn’t important; it’s what’s inside…”
“The Martian’s right, Tabitha. I’m so glad you finally came to visit me…” the container hissed. It was enough for her to immediately hide behind J’onn.
“Oooh; a talking box: I think I’ve seen it all, now…” she mentioned. J’onn narrowed his eyes at the container.
“There is no escaping for you…”
“Are you sure about that? Tabitha… release me…”
“W-What…? How… does it know me?”
“It’s a demon inside that container. It possessed you…”
“… Something evil…”
“Oh, don’t let him fool you! He’s the reason why you lost your memory; that would make him the evil one…”
“N-No. You’re wrong. I may have lost my memory but I can tell that you’re lying; he wouldn’t do that to me…”
“Ask him who extracted me from you. Did he think that he was only extracting me and not something that was a vital part of you?” it asked. The Martian widened his eyes at the demon’s words and immediately clenched his fists as he stepped closer to the container.
“You… you’re the real reason why she can’t remember anything?!” he fumed. His anger only made the demon laugh.
“All he had to do was let us be, Tabitha. But, because he had to interfere; because he wanted to save his beloved, your memories are stuck with me, now!” the demon hissed. Tabitha looked at J’onn.
“What is it talking about?”
“I… I didn’t know what else to do. I wanted that demon out of you. I went inside of you myself to get it out. It was very risky… and we lost you for a moment…” he remembered lowly, “I would have never thought that it would’ve taken your memory away…” he explained. Tabitha simply nodded.
“I’m not upset with you; I know how much you really care about me. I just would like to remember…”
“I have a solution. You only have to let a portion of myself merge with you; I will restore your memories…”
“No! Be quiet!!” J’onn snapped at the container.
“I’ll even throw in some immortality. Just to think; you’ll have all of your precious memories back and will live longer than the Martian.” it laughed. J’onn shook his head.
“I wish you could remember. All the pain that it caused you because it was trying to take your soul away. You were in so much agony… you asked me to kill you.” he looked at her. She let out a small gasp, “I don’t believe that the only way to get your memory back is through… that thing. We’ll find a way, I promise you.” he finished. She slowly nodded and looked back at the box.
“… I’m sorry talking-demon-box; I’m not letting you out…”
“Then I hope you enjoy living the rest of your life without your memories!!”
She had asked J’onn to gather everyone, including Jamila in the control room; she didn’t want to exclude anyone. She had weeks to think about her decision and knew that there would be no easy way to let everyone know. She looked at everyone and held her tears back. She knew that she had a special bond with everyone before so it didn’t surprise her that she had the urge to cry. Tabitha took in a deep breath.
“I, um… I wanted to thank everyone for trying to help me remember everything. I’m so sorry that it’s still taking so long…” she tried to explain.
“We completely understand; it’s okay…” Diana tried but Tabitha shook her head.
“No. It’s not. After hearing all the stories about everything that I’ve done and seeing what I am now, I feel… I don’t know. Useless, I guess. And now I know that I’ll never get my memory back…”
“How do you know this?” Bruce asked.
“J’onn showed me the box that has the demon inside of it. It took my memory when J’onn took it out of me. I’m not stupid; I’m not making a bargain with a demon! So, I’ve made the decision to… to leave. I just… wanted to tell everyone thank you… and goodbye.”
“Wait… what?!” Wally looked at her.
“Tabs…” Jamila bit her lip. The only emotion that J’onn showed was the shock that registered on everyone else’s faces; the rest of his emotions were kept at bay. Tabitha approached him, in her hands was her communicator.
“J’onn… I’m announcing my resignation from the Justice League…”
“You don’t have to this, Tabitha…” he quietly announced, shaking his head.
“I don’t know how to use my powers like I used to; I don’t… belong here. You guys are all really great people… and I appreciate everything that you’ve done to try to make me feel at home…” Tabitha continued.
“Well, at least we’ll be able to visit you at doc’s place, right?” Wally looked at the professor, who immediately nodded. However, Tabitha shook her head.
“I’m not moving in with Jamila. I… wouldn’t feel comfortable living there right now. It’s nothing against you but I don’t want to feel like a burden…” she looked at her best friend. She had let out a gasp and a couple of tears at the announcement.
“You were never a burden, ever! I took you in when I knew jack shit about you; I’ll be more than glad to take you in, now! I could even help you relearn your abilities, just like before!” she cried. A bit of a tinge coursed through her chest seeing the older woman in tears; the sight was enough to make her own tears finally appear.
“I’m so sorry, Jamila…”
“No, stop! Stop calling me that! Damnit, it’s doc; for as long as I’ve known you, it’s always been doc!!”
“Jamila…” Bruce tried to calm her down but Jamila immediately snatched away from him.
“She has to remember! How will she know if we don’t constantly tell her?! Tabs…” she cut herself short; she wanted to desperately tell her how her decision was very unfair to J’onn. Regardless of her memory loss, Jamila felt that Tabitha’s decision to leave was too sudden and drastic. How could she do this to J’onn knowing how he feels about her, she franticly thought.
“Jamila… this isn’t about me.” J’onn had read Jamila’s thoughts, “Trust me, I don’t like this as much as you do. But, in her mind, we’re still complete strangers to her. She isn’t doing this to purposely hurt anyone. We have to let her go.” he calmly told Jamila. She shot an angry look at him.
“No! How in the hell can you be so calm about this?! How can any of you let her leave like this?!”
“She’s not a child. If this is what she wants… we have to respect it.” Clark sadly agreed with the decision. Jamila wiped at her eyes and looked at her best friend.
“Where will you go; to your parents’ house?” she tried to calm herself down. She admitted that the thought didn’t occur to her until that moment; it may had been the reason why everyone was so calm about her decision.
“I don’t want to go somewhere where I’ll be babied all the time, either…” Tabitha surprised everyone.
“W-What?! Where will you go, then?! You can’t just roam the damn streets!! J’onn, please; stop her…” Jamila pleaded. The slow shaking of his head made more tears flow down her cheeks.
“… I can’t…” he told her. Jamila looked back at Tabitha, who wiped at the tears falling from her eyes. She bit her lip and looked down at her hands; she couldn’t bear to look at the professor crying any longer. She turned around to face J’onn, handing him her communicator, “If you ever change your mind…” he tried. J’onn wanted to plead right along with Jamila for her to stay however he knew that it was her decision to make; he couldn’t stop her. Tabitha simply shook her head, opening her mouth to speak but was abruptly interrupted by a sharp blow to the head. The blow was hard enough to knock her down to her knees, holding the side of her head in obvious pain.
“Jamila!” Diana, along with the rest of the members looked at her in complete shock; they were not prepared for the professor to attack her best friend with her clasped fists. She didn’t know what else to do; her best friend was leaving, willing to give up without much of a fight. She had a slight relapse in reality; the clichéd blows to the head had always worked in the movies…
Before anyone could apprehend Jamila or even question her, Tabitha slowly got up and glared at the woman.
“What… the… FUCK, doc?! You tryna give me a gaddamn concussion or something?! What the hell was that for?!” she immediately approached her. Her outburst made Jamila sob franticly.
“I-I-I’m sorry; I’m so sorry! I didn’t know what else to do! You were leaving us for no g……… did you just call me doc…?”
“I got plenty of other words to call your ass so you better be glad it’s the only thing I called you!”
“… What’s my favorite color…?”
“What the fuck… purple; I don’t know what the hell’s wrong with you but… wait…” she gave Jamila a strange look. After a few moments, her eyes widened and she grabbed her by the shoulders, “Doc!!”
“Holy fucking shit… it actually worked…” Jamila mused and hugged Tabitha with all of her might.
“I… remember, now. Everything. How…? That demon said…” she thought about the ordeal and shook her head, “It lied.”
“Makes sense; all it wanted to do was escape by any means necessary…” Bruce figured out. Tabitha nodded but slightly blushed as J’onn approached her.
“I take it that you will withdraw your resignation…?” he simply asked her, handing her communicator back. She smiled and took it back, “Thank you so very much…”
After another checkup, Tabitha was released to her room. When she opened the door and let J’onn in, the two immediately embraced and shared a long, passionate kiss. The only thing he could do was cup her face and look deeply into her eyes. No longer was the “lost” look there, he smiled widely at the familiarity of her whiskey brown eyes that seemed to dance with life. He closed his eyes, rested his forehead against hers and let out a long sigh, one that had been held in for nearly a month.
“… Why…” he wanted to know. The Martian had so many questions for her and really didn’t know which ones to ask first. He wanted to know why she had left without telling anyone, why she made the decision to go after Luthor on her own… and why she simply didn’t tell him her intentions, period.
“I’m so sorry…” she whispered. She knew what he wanted to know and had felt that the whole ordeal was entirely her fault; had she let him or anyone for that matter know what she was up to, she would’ve had backup. She had no idea that the egotistical man would do something that cruel to her.
“You’re safe now… as well as back to normal. I’m very relieved…” he admitted. Although he was a bit upset that she would do something like that on her own, he was happy that she was now safe in his arms. It wasn’t her fault that she wanted answers from the criminal mastermind; it was him who decided to go through with his elaborate scheme to grab her attention.
That thought suddenly angered J’onn; he had gone out of his way to draw her to him. The Martian could argue that the demon possession was not Luthor’s doing however he had done nothing to stop or even fix the error; both he and Tala were guilty of causing that much pain to his girlfriend. The notion had forced the Justice League to fight one of their own, something that he absolutely loathed. The icing on the cake, the one thought that made him start to seethe was that… she had asked for death. Tabitha was in so much pain, was so desperate for the demon to be defeated that she was willing to become sacrificed. He could’ve dealt with everything if Luthor would had simply kidnapped her, holding her against her will. But, this? This was unforgivable even for the Martian Manhunter.
She had actually felt his anger brewing inside of him and immediately let him go.
“… You okay…?” she tried. Without a word, he turned to leave. She had to run to catch up to him as he made his way to the control room, “J’onn!” she already knew what he was up to, what was on his mind.
“I need to have a talk with Luthor…” he confirmed. Before he could make his way to the teleportation pads, Tabitha did a Lightning Cloud and was facing him.
“I’m coming with you. And let me remind you that I can do Lightning Cloud all day…”
“… You know that I can phase through you…”
“I know. But it ain’t gonna stop me from trying…” she almost glared at him. He knew that she would keep her word and sighed slightly.
The two arrived at the LexCorp building in Metropolis with J’onn shifting into a human form. She cringed as she remembered what happened to her as the two walked inside. The same receptionist from before actually got up from her seat and smiled warmly at the two. Tabitha had a longing to shock the poor woman but reminded herself that she may not have known what happened to her.
“Miss Lyght! I’m so glad to see you, again! Mr. Luthor will be thrilled!”
“… I just bet. He’s here?”
“Yes. You know where his office is. B-But…” she went around the desk as the two made their way towards the elevators, “He has to be checked in…” she nodded towards J’onn. He stopped dead in his tracks, turned and glared at the woman. Before he could do anything, Tabitha stepped in between the two.
“If you knew what’s good for you, you’d get back behind that damn desk; you don’t want none of that…” she warned the receptionist. The woman took a noticeable gulp, nodded and meekly went back to her seat. As the two got on the elevator and the doors closed, J’onn shifted back to his normal form. Tabitha stared at him, wishing that she had his ability to read his mind. He slowly shook his head.
“You don’t want to know what I’m thinking right about now!”
“Maybe I should handle things from here…”
“It wouldn’t be as effective.” he told her. The elevator suddenly stopped on the eighth floor and the doors slowly opened to reveal Tala about to get on. Two things surprised Tabitha; J’onn hadn’t bothered to shift back to his human form and he immediately grabbed Tala by her neck, slamming her into one of the hallway walls.
“Shit; J’onn, no!!” Tabitha quickly approached the two. He had the woman pinned against the wall, glaring angrily at her, his red eyes glowing.
“You possessed her with that demon!!” he snarled and squeezed tighter around her neck. Tabitha was reminded of her initial dream of the Justice Lord J’onn and feared for Tala’s life as she struggled to even cough.
“Don’t do this, please; she ain’t worth it!”
“It’s because of her that you suffered…” he didn’t bother to look at his girlfriend; his attention stayed on Tala.
“I told you to let me handle it!” she tried, yet again. He slowly shook his head and continued to glare at Tala, lifting her off of her feet. Tabitha’s heart raced; she had never seen the Martian react in that way: he had every intention on killing her… and possibly whoever else got in his way, “Jesus fucking Christ… J’onn J’onzz, if you kill her… I’ll leave…” she panicked. She was glad that it was enough to make him finally look over at her, releasing some of the pressure he had around Tala’s neck.
“I mean it. I’ll leave you, I’ll leave the Justice League; I’ll fucking disappear! This ain’t the right way; this ain’t your way… and you know it…” she tried. As he calmed down, he knew that she was right. J’onn finally saw what Tabitha had to go through earlier in her Metahuman life, how easy it was for the rage to consume someone. It made him slightly ashamed that he, of all people, was about to succumb to an emotion he hadn’t had in quite some time.
As J’onn was about to release his hold completely on Tala, his eyes widened and then narrowed as he saw that she was about to conjure up her magic. He slammed her harder into the wall, making the magic that formed around her hands disappear. Tabitha widened her eyes at the woman.
“Really?! I’m tryna talk him down and you’re gonna provoke him like that?! Okay… as much as I’d now like to see you snap her neck… it ain’t gonna change what they did to me…” she glared at Tala. He had to agree yet again with his girlfriend; while he would feel much better for making her pay for her defiance, it wouldn’t change the fact that she was jealous enough to conjure a demon. If he had killed the woman, it would be something that he would have to live with and for what; he would still seethe over what they had done to the one he loved. And then there was the fact of her earlier threat: Tabitha would leave, altogether. J’onn shook his head; for that reason alone, it wasn’t worth it. He reluctantly released his hold on Tala, letting her drop to the ground and walked back towards the elevator. Tabitha glared down at the woman as she was finally able to cough and breathe normally, “The next time he loses it… I ain’t stopping him…” she said and joined her boyfriend back on the elevator. The Martian sighed heavily and looked at Tabitha.
“Did you mean that? You would leave…?”
“I meant every word. You don’t kill… ever…”
“I’m sorry…” he wanted to explain everything to her. Her own heavy sighing stopped him from doing so; he had a feeling that she knew.
“… I don’t know if I should say it’s okay or what; don’t know what I’d do if I was in your shoes…” she slightly mumbled. Probably the same thing, she concluded, “We really don’t need you flipping your shit at Luthor; would you please let me handle it?” she gave him a serious yet concerned face. The Martian could be menacing; one look at him in his irate stage and there was no telling what Lex Luthor would do!
“Fine… but I will be nearby…” he promised. As the doors opened to the top floor, J’onn made himself invisible. Tabitha immediately approached the desk where Luthor was sitting at. He turned around and smiled widely at her, his green eyes beaming.
“Oh, Miss Lyght! I have been worried sick about you…” he tried however a stream of lightning flew past him, barely missing his right side.
“You got two seconds to talk or I won’t miss next time…” she glared at him. He slightly smiled at her threat.
“Now, why would you threaten me? I’ve been nothing but nice to you…”
“‘Nice’?!?! You sick son-of-a-bitch…” waves of electricity flowed around her arms.
“Even with that cursed demon inside of you… which I did not approve of… I proved to be your most loyal… and obedient servant…” he slyly smiled, making his way towards her. She stopped charging up and gave him a confused look.
“You don’t remember, my dear? Hmm… looks like the demon lied to me; it said that you were able to hear… and feel… everything…” that sultry look of his came into play. Once she realized what he meant, she blushed furiously, “Maybe, I could remind you…” he tried to approach her however he felt as though he ran into a wall, “What’s this… a force field…” he tried. When J’onn made himself visible, it was enough to startle both Lex and Tabitha, especially the way he glared down at the human man. Tabitha widened her eyes towards him.
“I-I-I swear to God, I don’t remember none of that…” she quickly added.
“The Martian Manhunter in the flesh! I see that your overprotectiveness has no boundaries…” Luthor smiled. The smug grin quickly disappeared as J’onn started to stalk him.
“You… had sex with Tabitha…?” he started to fume.
“I don’t see how any of that is of your… concern…… oh… dear God…” he finally figured out once the Martian had him backed into a wall. Luthor shot Tabitha a shocked look, “You’re taken by him?!” he stumbled. It was her turn to have a smug smile on her face as she nodded; she had worried about how J’onn would react to everything however, seeing the look on Lex Luthor’s face was very well worth not stopping the Martian.
“If you ever invade her dreams again… the next time we meet, it will not be pleasant! No forms of force that you are able to manifest would be able to stop me! If you even come within a mile near her… I will not only telepathically assault you but erase everything that ever came to be in your mind… to the point where you won’t remember how to breathe!”
“… Shit…” Tabitha breathed out for Luthor. She gently grabbed J’onn by the arm, “Um…”
“Mark my words, Lex Luthor; touch her again and I will definitely show you the reason why I am the sole survivor of an entire planet!” he continued to glare at the man.
“I… really think he gets it! Seriously; you just literally scared the piss outta him! Let’s go…” she urged. The Martian reluctantly turned away.
“… Be thankful that she has been rehabilitated…” were the last words Luthor heard as the two left. He finally stopped shaking long enough to buzz his receptionist.
“Yes, Mr. Luthor?”
“…… I’m going to need a new pair of pants…”