After the ordeal with J’onn’s twin brother, everything seemed to go on as normal to an extent. Tabitha knew that the Martian was now more wary of letting her leave Watchtower, especially if she was going by herself. If Ma’alefa’ak was capable of finding her, there was no telling who else would be able to do her harm (although to be fair, he was an exact copy of J’onn minus telepathic powers). It only made the Martian even more overprotective of his girlfriend, to the point where he debated on stepping down as Monitor and letting her take over; after a few months, she had been trained well enough to do so. He had never thought extensively who would ever replace him as Monitor when the time approached; all he knew was that whoever it was would be someone he trusted with his own life. He slowly realized that in order for him to do that, he would have deep feelings for that person. It was starting to be more complex as being overprotective: J’onn J’onzz loved Tabitha Lyght.
She couldn’t blame him for being overprotective of her; the one time she decided to be completely alone, she was attacked. She had to admit that the experience was quite frightening however, there was something else that was bothering her. She couldn’t help replaying the day over in her head ever so often; Ma’alefa’ak proved to be a force to reckon with. But, she knew that she would’ve at least continued to fight back; she wondered why she couldn’t remember the exact detail that made her stop fighting.
She found herself yet again thinking about it as Shayera took a seat across from her in the cafeteria. Tabitha finally figured out who the seventh founding member was: Shayera Hol, better known as Hawkgirl. She also found out the reason why it had taken her so long to find out; no one wanted to speak about Shayera’s betrayal to the League: she was actually tricked into choosing loyalty to her own people, the Thangarians instead of the Justice League. J’onn had told her all about the invasion as well as how close Shayera and Diana were; the betrayal had hurt her the most. Shayera had resigned from the League on her own before any judgment was passed. A chance battle with the zombie Solomon Grundy brought her back into the League however the damage had been; it was a slow process for everyone to trust her fully again.
“Deep in thought?” the hawk woman asked with a slight smile on her face, her green eyes shining. Tabitha returned the smile and shrugged.
“It’s okay. I can… sit somewhere else…”
“No; you can sit here. Why would I want you to leave?”
“Haven’t you heard what I did…?”
“In the past. It just shows that you’ve got some human in you; we make mistakes all the damn time! Don’t matter if you’re a superhero or not. Only thing that matters is if you learn from ‘em. Figure that you’re not all that bad if they let you come back!” she said. She knew that it was Shayera’s choice to leave and possibly return however she also saw that the founding six almost always voted on major decisions; her returning was more likely voted on.
“I think J’onn’s rubbing off on you…” Shayera said with a slight laugh. It was enough to make Tabitha slightly blush; if there was anything she knew about her boyfriend, it was his mannerisms.
“W-Well… after training me for over…”
“And you may be able to fool everyone else but… you’re not fooling me…” she surprised Tabitha. She was about to argue with her until Shayera leaned towards her, “I’ve seen you two when you thought no one else was watching so there’s no denying it. I’m just wondering why you’re trying to keep it a secret.” she said lowly. Tabitha sighed and looked down at her food.
“… I… could care less if everyone knew; not like I’m ashamed of him…”
“Hmm… definitely no reason to be…” Shayera commented. Tabitha was about to nod in agreement but gave her a look.
“What’s that supposed to mean…?”
“One: he’s Martian Manhunter. Two… he’s Martian Manhunter!” she pointed out. It made both women giggle; she had a valid point, Tabitha thought. At the mention of his name, almost everyone knew who he was and what he was capable of; not too many people had been bold enough to cross him: Tabitha knew that she had nothing to be ashamed of on that end! He had incredibly attractive traits, both physically and mentally; any species of woman would have to be either blind or a lesbian to not even glance his way! And, to make matters better, he was an exceptional lover, Tabitha thought with a coy smile. The very thought made her cheeks immediately ache.
“A-Anyway… he don’t think anyone would be ready to accept our relationship just yet…”
“… Really? I think it’s… cute. But… if he wants to keep it quiet... then I’m pretty sure it’s for a good reason. Don’t worry; your secret’s safe with me!” she winked and Tabitha laughed. Shayera opened her mouth to say something else until she looked at who was walking towards the table. Tabitha noticed the mood change as Shayera gathered her tray and stood, “Well, thank you for letting me talk to you. We should do it, again.” she left.
“Wait…” Tabitha tried. She watched, still confused even as Bruce and John sat down at her table. John’s sigh made her turn back and look at the two men, “Okay… what the hell did you two do to her? She was obviously just fine until you two walked in!” she asked the two. Bruce shook his head but looked at her.
“You mean, you don’t know?”
“I know that she betrayed the League but was welcome back. Wait… were you two the ones who voted against her coming back…?” she asked lowly.
“Wow… you really don’t know. Shayera and John use…”
“It’s none of her concern.” John quickly snapped and started eating his food. She gave him a confused look for a moment until she realized that Bruce was snickering. Her eyes suddenly widened at John and she shot a look at Bruce.
“Hold up… they used to date? Shut up!!”
“Go ahead; I don’t think Earth heard you…” John narrowed his eyes at her.
“So, you’re just working your way through the League, huh? Am I next…?” she couldn’t contain her laughter any longer. John seethed as Bruce joined her. His green eyes glared at the lightning woman.
“It was a long time ago…”
“Not that long ago…” Bruce loudly mumbled, making the woman snicker. John took his attention away from Tabitha and looked at Bruce.
“Anyway; why are we always talking about my love life; let’s talk about yours for a change!”
“You put yours out in the open; easy conversation starter…” Bruce smirked. He knew that his comment was meant for John however he noticed that Tabitha flinched slightly.
“What’s going on between you and Diana?” John coolly asked. It was enough to make Bruce’s expression change and make Tabitha eye him with a big smile.
“Yeah; I wanna hear about you and Diana!”
“There’s nothing there; she’s simply a respected colleague.”
“Uh huh…” John responded, making Tabitha snort out a laugh. Bruce sighed.
“I don’t have time to pursue a relationship. My work, my job is too important to allow for any distractions…”
“Oh? A relationship is a distraction?” Tabitha tried, taking a sip from her cup. Bruce smirked at her. He knew that it definitely was; falling in love in general was a distraction in a whole. He saw what it did to his fellow League members, especially the two who he was sitting with at the moment.
While Tabitha waited for his answer, she slightly looked up and saw Diana approaching the table, almost right behind Bruce. Her smile widened.
“To some people, yes. Relationships and falling in love are distractions. But, it’s nothing against her. Diana is a remarkable woman. She’s a valued friend. She’s…… standing right behind me, isn’t she?” he noticed that Tabitha was fighting really hard to keep her laughter in.
“Don’t let that stop you; keep digging!” Diana told him seductively as John and Tabitha laughed. She sat down besides Tabitha and slightly laughed, “I don’t really want to know what you three were talking about!”
“Good!” Tabitha stuffed her mouth with French fries.
“Do you ever eat anything that’s healthy for you…?” John asked Tabitha. She gave him a look and made a show of chewing her fries, bringing more laughter to the table. Her childish act was abruptly interrupted by the sound of a weird alarm throughout the room.
“Intruder alert?” Bruce asked no one in particular. It prompted the four to leave the room and make their way to the bridge and control room. On their way there, they all noticed that someone was in the armory.
“Think we found our intruder…” Tabitha pointed out. There was a thin man in what appeared to be a jumpsuit stealing Bruce’s utility belt, “Hey; you couldn’t wait ‘til after lunch to steal, ya thief!!” her voice startled him. Instead of dropping everything and simply fleeing, he simply looked at the four and put on goggles as a portal opened in front of him.
“Oh…” Diana’s eyes widened.
“What the hell…” Tabitha voiced her opinion. Bruce narrowed his eyes at the intruder as he went through and immediately followed him, “H-Hey; wait!” Tabitha yelled after the two. She knew that they had to make a decision quick as the portal started to close. The three followed their colleague through the portal, catching up to Bruce. John used the power of his green ring to form a protective bubble around the four.
“What is this?” Diana asked.
“Why am I surprised that it exists?” Tabitha mumbled to herself.
“I have no idea where we’ll end up. Let’s just be on our toes when we do land.” John continued. They stayed silent as they waited out the ride through the wormhole. Moments later, they finally landed in the middle of what seemed to be a desert. Tabitha looked around along with the others.
“The west?” she asked no one in particular. There was no way to tell what time era they were in until a group of masked men on horses approached them.
“… Looks like the old west…” Bruce confirmed.
“Well, would you look at them fancy clothes!” one of the men noticed, aiming his gun at the four.
“Don’t look now but… I think we’re getting robbed…” Diana smirked at Tabitha.
“Shut your mouth, woman!” another man’s remark made both women raise their eyebrows at him. He nodded to one of his accomplices, “Take care of the women, first!” he continued to bark.
“You’re gonna pay for telling her to shut up…” Tabitha smirked at the three men who dismounted their horses. She concentrated and threw out four thin streaks of lightning towards the guns, knocking them out of their hands. She charged up as the men looked at her and shook her head slowly as they tried to flee, “Don’t make me hit you…” she threatened.
“Well… that’ll be the last time they’ll underestimate a woman!” Diana thought aloud with a smile on her face. The other League members wasted no time in tying the would-be robbers. Bruce looked at their clothes.
“They’re right; we stick out with our outfits on.” he realized. He studied the four masked men, “Well… at least it’s four of them…” he noted. Tabitha switched glances from the robbers to Bruce.
“… We’re gonna take their clothes…?”
“We have no other choice. It’s not the most pleasurable idea but how else are we going to explore the town?” John stood by Bruce’s decision.
After taking the clothes and trying them on, the three founding members mounted their horses. Tabitha just looked at hers.
“Tabitha…?” Diana noticed.
“What’s the matter?” John asked. She slowly shook her head.
“I’ve… never ridden a horse before…” she admitted. Bruce smirked, getting off his horse and helping her mount hers.
“Don’t worry; it’s almost like riding a bike…” he assured, giving her the reins. She continued to look at her horse.
“… So… what if I told you I never rode a bike, either?” she asked seriously. The three members laughed.
“Impossible!” John laughed.
“You’re telling me that you can drive a car but can’t ride a bike?! Okay, okay…” Bruce gave in as Tabitha gave him a look, “I’ll ride beside you and we’ll go slow…” he decided. The four rode through the desert until they came upon a sign: Elkhorn. The four found a hitching post near the saloon. Tabitha lit up as she looked around.
“Oh! We should definitely hit up the saloon!”
“Why there?” Diana asked.
“Seriously?! You’ve never watched any westerns, have you?”
“Um, Tabitha…” Bruce tried.
“Everything always goes down at the saloon in the movies! The showdowns are agreed on in there…”
“I really don’t think it’s how it went in real life…” John tried to interrupt the woman.
“The bad guys always go in there… looking for information…” she eyed the men.
“We’re playing the bad guys, now?” Bruce smirked at her. She huffed but Diana nodded.
“It wouldn’t hurt to go in there first.” she shrugged and walked towards the saloon. The others followed suit and entered the building. A few pairs of eyes looked at the quartet for a moment but continued with whatever they were doing. John looked at Tabitha.
“Seen enough movies to know where to go from here…?” he lowly asked her. She smiled and nodded towards the bar.
“Bartenders know a lot…”
“Yes; let’s go ask him if he’s seen a time-traveling thief…” Bruce couldn’t help but to roll his eyes. Tabitha narrowed her eyes at him but her attention wandered towards one of the tables where a few men were gambling. Poker, she realized; had it not been for her best friend’s husband, she would have not known what they were playing.
She caught the game towards the end of the hand as one man called; another man sitting across from him smiled evilly and showed his hand: four kings with an ace. The other guy studied his hand and raised an eyebrow.
“Either you’re cheatin’ or we’ve been playing with a crooked deck…” he smiled and showed off his four of a kind with aces. Tabitha quickly tapped Bruce on his arm, making him pay attention to the card game.
“Something ain’t right…” she whispered. Bruce studied both hands and slowly nodded. The caller’s aces had their symbols in the upper left and lower right corners while the other man’s ace was the opposite. The accused cheater stood up from the table and aimed his gun at the other man, “This won’t end well…” Tabitha murmured. She also noticed that the man standing wore a badge; he was the sheriff of the town.
“No one calls me a cheat! You’ll hang for that!” the sheriff proclaimed. The other man raised his hands with a slight smirk.
“Now, wait a minute! Seems like a waste of a good sized pot; how ‘bout we split it and both walk away…?” the card player asked. Bruce’s and Tabitha’s eyes widened as the sheriff’s pistol extended, exposing six extra barrels.
“How ‘bout I keep it all?”
“… Sounds fair the way you explain it…”
“Don’t think that gun’s from this period…” Bruce noticed. Tabitha smirked slightly; the weapon wasn’t even from their century, she realized. The sheriff’s men immediately grabbed the man and the group left the saloon. Diana looked at the scene and then looked at the other League members.
“We have to help that man.”
“I second that…” Tabitha backed Diana up.
“That’s not what we’re here for. Obviously, someone’s tampering with history; the stakes are much higher than the life of one card shark.” Bruce stated calmly. Tabitha sighed at him.
“Information…” she almost sang out, “Did you not see that gun the sheriff had? He clearly has something to do with that weirdo thief!”
“It’s settled; we’ll break him out after sundown.” Diana said. John snickered and looked at Bruce.
“Never argue with a woman…”
They waited until sundown to approach the small jail. Talking to the bartender (and Bruce knew that Tabitha wouldn’t let him live it down because she was absolutely right), they learned that the cheating sheriff was Tobias Manning and the other gambler was Bartholomew Aloysius Lash, better known as Bat Lash. The only other thing that the bartender was willing to tell was that everything was normal in the town for the longest however something “changed” and Tobias was the new sheriff.
The four League members casually walked inside the jail. As a deputy got up from his seat, Tabitha flashed him a smile, placing her hand on his shoulder.
“Excuse me but…” she finished her sentence with a small jolt, knocking the man unconscious. They went to the back where the cells were and spotted Bat Lash and an older man in one of the cells. Tabitha pointed at the older man.
“Heey… it’s him; it’s the thief!” she realized. Bruce approached the cell and glared at the thief. It was the man that they chased through the portal however he seemed much older.
“Who are you? And, where’s my belt?” he almost growled, making the man smile nervously.
“And, what happened to you? We’ve only been here for, what, half a day? You look… older…” Tabitha noticed. The man scoffed.
“Do you realize what you’ve caused by going through the time portal with me? I’ve been stuck here for twenty-two years!” he explained. Tabitha gave him a confused look and shook her head.
“I’m not even gonna try to figure that one out; I’ll just take your word for it!” her words made the man scoff louder.
“Anyway! That, that, that… idiot took my belt and has been going into the future, bringing weapons and other things back to this time!”
“Must be talking about the sheriff… which would explain the gun…” Bruce commented.
“And, how that weasel took over the town. Ran the real sheriff off with all those fancy weapons. Took over this town and it’s been…”
“Hell in a hand basket?” Tabitha finished for Bat Lash. He gave her a smile and a tip of his hat.
“Couldn’t have said it any better, myself! Bat Lash.” he introduced himself, “Now… any of you know how to get us outta here?” he kept his smile. Tabitha smiled back and gave a show of cracking her knuckles. Before she could do anything, Diana grabbed the cell door and pulled it off with ease.
“You’re with us.” she said to Bat Lash.
“… That’s a healthy gal…” Lash mused.
“Yeah… a heroic moment stealing gal!” Tabitha yelled at Diana. Bruce approached the thief.
“You’re coming with us, too. Once we get my belt back, I’m throwing you back in here!”
“B-But… what about…” the thief tried. Tabitha grabbed him by the shirt and charged up, making sure that he saw the electrical currents flowing around her clenched fist.
“Let’s try this again; who are you…?”
“D-D-David. David Clinton.”
“Good, David Clinton! Now, you listen and you listen good! Number one: I don’t wanna hear a peep outta you! Number two: you’re using that belt and sending us back to where we belong. And, number three: fuck up on rules one or two and I’ll shock you back to your time period! We clear?”
“I like her…” Lash raised his eyebrows at Tabitha. Diana smiled.
“And, that’s her calm!”
As the group was making their way out of the jail, they were ambushed by Tobias and his men. The Justice League members prepared to fight the group until a trio of men joined them. They learned that the trio was with Lash: Jonah Hex, El Diablo and Ohiyesa Smith, the former sheriff of Elkhorn. Seeing that they were outnumbered, the new sheriff gave an order to retreat, riding back to their ranch. The League members and their new allies gave chase on their horses and were told the full story of how Manning came into power: the “change” was when David Clinton suddenly appeared and was quickly ambushed by Tobias and his men.
“Gonna need to be careful; there are some of the strangest things down at that ranch…” Smith tried to warn the League members. Tabitha held in her laughter as John looked at him.
“Don’t worry; we got a lot of experie…” he was about to say until they all heard a screech from above. Looking up, they saw a pterodactyl flying towards them, “I’m sorry… what were you saying…?”
“This has got to be the weirdest shit I’ve ever seen…” Tabitha’s eyes were fixated on the prehistoric bird coming near them. Diana immediately grabbed it by its neck and flung it away from the others. As it landed, its neck snapped in half, exposing wires and circuits, “Huh… a machine… yep; weirdest shit I’ve ever seen!”
As the group neared the ranch, they were greeted by other bizarre futuristic weapons. The League members jumped off of their horses and started attacking the various robotic dinosaurs, androids and military tanks.
“We’ll take care of this; the rest of you go after Tobias!” John ordered but looked at Tabitha. She nodded at him, hiding her smile and charged up, making quick work of the weapons. Before long, John was using the power of his ring to clear up the mess of mangled and malfunctioning robots and joined the others who were closing in on Tobias and his men. Tobias drew his weapon on the six but Tabitha smiled and shook her head.
“Let’s even this out!” she said and sent a small streak of lightning towards him, shocking the gun out of his hand. Ohiyesa approached him and punched him in the face. Before his men could retaliate, Tabitha charged up yet again, “I’ve been dying to shock someone… you really gonna test me…?” she asked. Defeated, they let Lash’s men take them into custody.
“I’ll say that’s a job well done. Now… to our little thief…” Bruce mentioned. Tabitha turned and saw that David was running inside of the ranch.
“Aw, fuck!” she yelled as the four League members went after him. Inside, Bruce found his utility belt while David grabbed his own belt, quickly activating it. Tabitha was about to shock him until she saw another portal open and David going through it. Just like before, they gave chase with John forming the protective bubble around them. Tabitha sighed and shook her head, “My bad… that was… my fault…”
“It’s okay. You had to fight alongside with us.” Bruce tried to comfort her.
“When this is all over, we’re going to have a talk with J’onn about your lack of experience…” Diana looked forward.
“No… I’ve gotten used to it; it’s no biggie…”
“You’re actually fine with staying on Watchtower all the time?” John eyed her. She shrugged.
“I’m more useful there than anywhere else…” she left it at that. She knew that the two had a point; they actually wanted to see her in action more. However, they didn’t know that there was a deeper reason for her not going on major missions; a reason that always made her smile.
Moments later, the group reached their destination and looked around. Tabitha and Bruce looked around for a moment and then looked at each other.
“Are we… back in the present…?”
“This is Gotham but… something’s different…” Bruce told Tabitha. Before they could say anything else, a group of fiendish clown-like villains confronted them. The League members readied themselves to fight.
“Five against four… not good odds but I’ll take ‘em!” Tabitha smiled, letting electricity flow over her body.
“Look, Dee; she has lightning powers like that Martian man!” one of the females in the group noticed. Tabitha gave her a confused look.
“Wha…” she was about to wonder until she saw a black figure come out of the sky. Others appeared and she studied the four, “Whoa… um… Batman? Someone’s taken your style… and made it better!” she half-smiled at the all-black outfitted Batman. Unlike the man he was emulating, this Batman’s face was completely covered with the black mask, white slits in place for his eyes and mouth. His Batman symbol was red as well and instead of a cape, he donned red wings. The others that were with him came into clear view as they stood beside the League members: a man in steel armor whose wings resembled Shayera’s, a much older Virgil and a Martian. His attire was completely different: a dark blue bodysuit instead of the simple blue trunks. The red straps remained however his massive blue cape was replaced with a flowing dark blue hooded cloak; Tabitha knew who it was, “… J’onn…?” she wanted to make sure; there was something about him that was a bit off to her.
He stared at her for a moment, just as the hawk man did at John. He removed the hood and his eyes lit up while the hawk man gave John a surprised look.
“… Mom…?” the Martian asked. Diana, Bruce and John looked at Tabitha with widened eyes.
“‘Mom’?!?!” they all reacted. She, on the other hand was absolutely speechless, staring in disbelief.
“Dad?” the hawk man continued to look at John. All of the attention left Tabitha and went straight to the Green Lantern who in turn was just as shocked and speechless as the lightning woman.
 - Dialogue taken from Justice League Unlimited episode: The Once and Future Thing Part 1