“Tabitha… a word with you?” John approached her at her new control station. It had been two months since she was appointed Monitor of Metro Tower and she was glad that it wasn’t as complicated as she thought it would be. She had help from two people; Clark and the new Monitor of Watchtower, Mr. Terrific however it was rare that she asked for assistance. Clark and the other founding members showed no disdain towards her decisions so Tabitha figured that she was doing a good job. She was also glad that Metro Tower was almost half the size of Watchtower; it allowed for her to switch from assigning missions to making upgrades.
What surprised her wasn’t the formality of the Green Lantern’s tone; she knew that he was a former Marine and therefore his demeanor was embedded into him. It was the fact that he was in Metro Tower to begin with; he was hardly ever there. She turned and slightly smiled at him regardless.
“Sure. What’s up?” she asked. When he sighed and gently pulled her away from the console, it made her worry; something was wrong for him not to come out and say anything. She waited for him to speak however he showed her a newspaper instead, the Daily Bugle to be exact. She was confused at the gesture until she noticed who was on the front page: herself and Peter. As quickly as she had settled into her promotion, Tabitha was also moonlighting alongside Peter in New York. She didn’t do it often however she couldn’t hide the thrill she received from being back in crime fighting action; she told herself that she wouldn’t abuse her power as Monitor and constantly assign herself to missions.
“Care to explain this?” he looked at her. She shrugged, still slightly confused at how John was trying to treat the matter.
“Nothing really to explain. Is there a story…?” she grabbed the paper and flipped it open.
“This is no time to be a smart ass! Are you with another group, now?”
“W-What? No! I just help P out every now and then; what the hell is wrong with that?”
“Plenty… especially seeing that you’re not hiding your face, anymore.”
“Huh; this coming from someone who don’t hide his! You’re making something outta nothing. Have I slacked off here in Metro Tower?”
“That’s not the point. Just be glad Clark hasn’t seen this…”
“What the hell does Clark gotta do with this?! Damn; you make it sound like I teamed up with Luthor or some shit! This is my friend we’re talking about…”
“Who’s a superhero in another faction…”
“Actually, he works alone; well, with me. As does Tee…”
“We don’t go outside of the Justice League, Tabitha.”
“Really? Well… last time I checked, I’m grown so I can help whoever the hell I please!” she retaliated. John simply looked at her.
“You really want to do things your way? Fine. But so you know; you make that decision… and you step down as Monitor.”
“… What?! First off, you don’t get to boss me around! I was named Monitor for a reason!” she warned him.
“Let me remind you that I’m a founding member… and you’re not. And… the last time I checked… you’re not J’onn…” his green eyes glared at her. Her jaw twitched at the mention of the Martian’s name and she found herself glaring back. Her hands automatically clenched into fists and she was mere seconds from charging up, attacking him. John raised an eyebrow at her, not flinching, “You’re going to strike me, now?” it truly surprised him. Once again, too many emotions flooded her; it really angered her that the Green Lantern was standing there arguing with her over something so petty, throwing his weight around. The mere mention of J’onn’s name saddened her but the fact that John even tried to compare her to him infuriated her. Of course she knew she wasn’t J’onn; she was nowhere even close so she definitely didn’t need anyone to tell her that, let alone even make her think about him when she was trying not to. One of the main reasons why she volunteered her services to Peter was to keep herself from thinking about the absent Martian; she was a bit pleased that it seemed to work.
However, as she tried to calm down she realized that she was actually glad that he made her think about J’onn; it immediately brought back the memories of when they had first laid eyes on each other… as well as the reason for the meeting. How long had it been since she had felt that sensation, the one that happened right before she blacked out and yielded to her rage? Not since her last confrontation with Lex Luthor, she realized. That was a villain… but John wasn’t. Tabitha sadly grasped the fact that she was on the verge of losing control… and was about to attack an actual Justice League member. She closed her eyes, stretched her fingers out and sighed.
“No. I’m not gonna attack you. And… you’re right; I ain’t J’onn. I don’t agree with you so if I have to… I’m gonna take this up with Clark, myself.” she finally calmed down. John surprised her by gently grabbing her shoulders and sighing.
“I know that you miss him; we all do. And maybe I went over the line by insinuating that you were trying to copy him, or even take his place. I just know how close you two were. You were his prodigy… well… maybe more than that.” his words made her slightly anxious; did he know about the two, “Almost like his daughter…” his next words surprised her. A… daughter?! Was that how everyone saw them? She realized that the professor had been right; the whole League were idiots! Her eyes moistened at the realization of another fact: she and J’onn were really close and deep down, despite the tough act she was trying to pull, she did miss him… a lot.
Tabitha tore away from him and left the room as quickly as she could before he could see that she was on the verge of crying. No, she tried to scold herself; she wasn’t going to cry anymore! The more she tried to hold in her tears, however, the more they fought to free themselves. By the time she reached the door to the other room, she had bumped into Shayera; there was no hiding the single tear that ran down her cheek. The only thing she could do was hold in her sobs and rush out of the room, leaving a confused John standing in the middle of the room. Shayera had seen the tear and tried to stop her but the woman was already halfway down the hall. She swung around and looked at John.
“What happened? What did you do?!” she accused. He slowly shook his head.
“I… we were only talking…”
“What did you say to her?!”
“… It was only a dispute. She calmed down and then I mentioned how we all missed J’onn. And the fact that he was her mentor…” he tried to explain, still trying to figure out what made her so upset. Shayera looked back at where Tabitha fled to and her heart went out to the lightning woman.
“Oh, no…” she sighed. She had known about their relationship for a while and had always wondered why no one else had caught on or even seen the two sneak kisses when they thought no one else was looking. She had been taken by total surprise at the Martian’s announcement of his leave of absence but was even just as surprised as to why Tabitha was the only member not present at his farewell. Shayera had witnessed how odd they were treating each other beforehand but didn’t put two and two together until the farewell on Watchtower; the two had broken up.
She shook her head and looked back at John; the lightning woman was probably running on autopilot for the past two months: Green Lantern’s words were probably the last straw and Tabitha had finally broken down.
“What? Did I say something wrong?”
“J’onn was more than just her mentor… the two were dating…” she decided to confess. It didn’t mean anything now that they weren’t together; she saw no harm in at least telling John. He carefully took in what she said and smirked a little.
“This is no time for jokes!”
“I’m being serious! Was I the only one who even noticed? It never occurred to you the real reason why they were around each other so much? It was a dead giveaway to me! He gave her Oreos!”
“… It was her birthday…”
“Okay… once again… he gave her… Oreos! A whole package! When was the last time he shared Oreos with any of us…?” she asked. John thought about her question.
“… Never.” he continued to think about the possibility. The longer he thought about it… the more it started to make sense. The lightning woman, for as long as he could remember, was always restricted as far as going on missions. In the beginning, it seemed reasonable; she was a new recruit, a fairly new Metahuman for that matter. However, as time went by, the ordeal was quite puzzling to him. It had gotten to a point where John actually thought that the Martian didn’t like the human!
His green eyes suddenly widened as he remembered the secret time-traveling mission that himself, Diana, Bruce and Tabitha were involved in. going into the future, he had seen his son… and Tabitha’s. A spitting image of J’onn with the exception of brown eyes. Her act of disbelief he felt was genuine; she really was shocked at the fact she had a son. Why didn’t he think that there really was something between the two back then, even after she denied it? John had refused to believe that fate could be changed in particular cases; there was a reason why the two had a chance to see their future sons. Bruce may had prevented David Clinton from taking over in the future but there was serious doubt that his actions also prevented the birth of the two future Justice League members.
“What?” Shayera noticed that his eyes had widened.
“No, tell me. You finally realized it, didn’t you?”
“I did. But…” he didn’t know if he wanted to tell her about the trip and what he knew about the future. John sighed; even if he told her, he still believed that it wouldn’t make a difference in their relationship, “Tabitha, Bruce, Diana and I were warped into the future a while back. We… we saw her son… their son…” the hawk woman’s eyes widened in pure surprise, “… And ours…” he continued. Her expression changed quickly, from surprise to slight disappointment.
“… What…? W-Why would you tell me something like that…?”
“… I felt that it’s something that you needed to know…”
“No. Maybe about Tabitha’s son but… no. This is dangerous territory. Whatever you have to say about… that… keep to yourself. It doesn’t change anything…”
She angrily wiped at her tears and tried to calm down, taking deep breaths. Foolish; she felt foolish for breaking down like that, especially by the mention of his name.
“Hey… are you okay?” Clark actually scared her. She turned and looked at him, slowly shaking her head.
“I… I don’t know.” she at least admitted that. She knew that she couldn’t do her job if it was going to constantly remind her and others of the one who had trained her in the first place. She quickly made up her mind; this was something that needed to be done, “Clark… I need to resign as Monitor…”
“I… I don’t feel confident enough to do my job…” she turned away. She knew that the Kryptonian didn’t have the mind reading abilities the Martian had; however, she didn’t want her eyes to tell on her. He gave her a curious look.
“Are you sure that’s the truth?” he asked. He was there when she became temporary Monitor as well as when she gave her report in front of the President months prior; she had done a fine job keeping Watchtower under control alongside Supergirl.
“… It wasn’t like I was keeping it from you but… I’ve been helping P fight crime. Figured I can’t do that and be Monitor… right…?” she decided to tell part of the truth. She was caught off guard when he lightly chuckled.
“I know. And, from what I read, you’ve been doing a great job at it. You know… a lot of us do the same thing. Our lives don’t evolve around missions only. Bruce fights crime in Gotham, I do it here… separate from the Justice League. There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you’re doing what’s right; whoever told you differently is very wrong!”
“I… I just don’t wanna complicate things…”
“Do you feel like you’re complicating things?”
“… No…” she halfway lied. She had no problem going back and forth between her Monitor duties, helping Peter out and doing upgrades for both stations; it was the absence of the Martian that laid heavy on her heart. She admitted that he made everything seem so simple… and she definitely was no J’onn J’onzz!
“Well, you shouldn’t worry about it, then! I am absolutely positive that J’onn trained you to the best of his ability… and you’re doing an excellent job, so far. Do you remember that press conference we held after we defeated Luthor and Brainiac?” he looked at her. She gave him a puzzled look but nodded, “Do you remember how you and the others felt about us trying to disband the League? No one wanted to see us just… give up. The feeling is mutual right now. If you truly feel that you’re not capable of doing your job then, by all means, step down. If you think that you’re being overwhelmed, then downsize your workload. But, don’t quit just because one or two people don’t agree with what you’re doing…” he finished explaining. He gave her shoulder a quick squeeze, “So, think about that… and then come back to me about wanting to resign.” he said, lightly smiling at her. She quietly nodded and returned the smile.
“I guess… I guess I just needed to vent a little. I ain’t quitting! Thanks, Clark…”
“Anytime. Oh, one more thing; are you sure you’re okay exposing your face like that? You know, sometimes a superhero’s secret identity is sacred… and needed…” he tried. She shook her head.
“The one thing that P made me realize; I’d been away for so long, no one knows who I am! I got no one to hide from no more.”
“I don’t know; I’d rethink the not wearing the mask situation… but that’s just me. I’ll talk to you later, Tabitha.” he nodded and walked away. Before she could go back to her station, Shayera quickly approached her.
“First… I want to know more about your son and then… tell me about mine…” 
She felt better after talking to Clark about her moonlighting and was actually relieved to finally be able to talk to someone about her son. It saddened her slightly; now that J’onn was gone, Tabitha knew that the possibility of her having his children were slim to none. She tried not to think about that and tried to think about how to improve her mentality when she was fighting crime. Killing Hydro-Man had made her slightly afraid of her own lightning ability… as well as her mind. She knew that she didn’t mean to kill him but the combination of her lightning and his water body was fated to cause his death. A part of her knew this… and opted to use her lightning ability anyway. It was that little part that frightened her, especially after she continued to fight along with Peter and ended up causing more serious injuries to the villains… and that was her trying to tone down her powers. She knew that she would have to relearn how to control herself before she let the rage consume her yet again.
When her mediation methods weren’t working, she turned to the one person she could think of: Ted. She figured that he owed her more training sessions as it was and the two picked up where they left off; the former boxer was thrilled to train with her on an almost daily basis. To her surprise, he even started to teach her how to box and he was just as happy to see that she enjoyed learning as much as he enjoyed teaching the sport. The training was working; Tabitha was starting to rely more on her other Metahuman abilities than her main one.
She was in the Metro Tower gym, tying her shoe, awaiting for Ted to show up. She knew that the two weren’t the only ones who trained, however she perked up when she felt someone come in the room. What made her feign that she was ignoring the feeling was the fact that they didn’t make a sound; whoever came in was trying to pull a sneak attack: anyone else would’ve already greeted her. She tried to keep her smile to herself; she knew that it was Ted testing out her training. He probably thought that she would automatically use her lightning, she thought; she knew that the minute she released any type of energy, he would scold her for doing so. Tabitha had to admit that it was the perfect beginning to a training session; she continued to pretend to ignore the extra presence in the room. As soon as she felt a hand on her shoulder, she immediately caught him in the stomach with her elbow. She turned and did a backwards sweep, connecting hard on his ankle and was about to smile at her deed until she saw who she had attacked.
“Oh, shit… Bruce!” was all she could say as she watched him slightly writhe on the ground in obvious pain. She knelt down beside him, “Shit, shit, shit; sorry! Thought you were Ted!”
“This is how you greet him?!” he yelled out in pain. His ankle throbbed in agony and he groaned out in half anger, half pain, “I think you broke it…” he hissed out. She clasped her hands around her mouth and stared at his ankle, which was rapidly swelling up.
“Shut up; it ain’t broke! I barely touched it…” she went to touch his ankle. She quickly retracted her hand when he bit his lip and hissed out loudly, “Fuck; I didn’t mean to hurt you! What the hell were you doing tryna sneak up on me in the first damn place?!”
“Sure… get mad at me for something you did!” he grunted out. She sighed and tried to help him sit up, “And, I wasn’t sneaking up on you; you weren’t paying attention…”
“Hmm; started without me, eh?” Ted’s voice rang out before Tabitha could respond. When he noticed that Bruce was in obvious pain, he quickly went over to the two, “What happened?”
“She attacked me…”
“You attacked Bruce?” Ted stared wide-eyed at the woman.
“What; someone attacked Bruce?” Diana had joined the three inside the room. Tabitha slightly groaned as other Justice League members started to enter and immediately looked at the three on the ground. Diana gasped slightly at the scene and immediately helped Ted with Bruce. She looked at Tabitha with a confused expression, “Why… would you attack Bruce?”
“Whoa; looks like she did a number on your ankle, too…” Ted noticed that the caped crusader did not put any weight on his right ankle.
“Wow… she broke his ankle…?” someone from the small crowd asked. It was enough for her to throw her hands up in frustration.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake; I didn’t mean to!! I thought he was Ted; he snuck up on me!!” she followed the three out of the room. Ted looked back at her, raising his eyebrows.
“So… you were gonna break my ankle?!” he asked. Defeated, she threw her head down and let out a heavy sigh.
She had grown tired of pacing back and forth in the control room and finally made her way to the infirmary. She was saluted immediately by one of the guards and escorted into one of the rooms. Bruce looked up from his bed and smirked at the worried look on his friend’s face; he knew that she had injured him on accident. She looked him over and bit the side of her lip as her eyes stayed on the cast over his ankle.
“Thank you… for the flowers…” he decided to break the ice, tilting his head towards the colorful bouquet on the table. She slightly shrugged and sat down in the chair beside him.
“I, um… okay; it’s my fault, alright?” she looked at him.
“I’m not mad at you. Well… maybe a little…” he gave her a sly look. He knew that she would’ve laughed however it was obvious that she was truly worried about how he felt about the injury, “You know that you used all of your force for that one little move… right?” it had bothered him for the past couple of days. He knew that she was powerful but she usually suppressed her strength whenever she sparred with someone. He cringed slightly remembering the immediate pain he felt when her foot connected with his ankle. His observation only made her sigh and look down at her feet.
“… I didn’t mean to…”
“I’m just glad that it was me instead of Ted; not to discredit him but… you would’ve broken his whole leg!” he tried again to lighten the mood.
“I’m… I’m so sorry…” her lips quivered; she was definitely on the verge of crying and he took notice instantly. Bruce slowly got out of the bed and hobbled over to the chair beside her. She was taken by complete surprise when he suddenly grabbed her and made her hug him.
He knew that Tabitha was hurting still over the departure of J’onn; he wondered how long she would pretend that his absence didn’t bother her. He knew her; he had seen how devastated she was when she had broken up with the former Gotham detective, Ethan: what she was experiencing at the moment was probably eating her alive. Regardless of the fact, he knew that something else was bothering her.
“What’s really wrong with you…” he quietly asked. As much as she tried to fight it, her body trembled from keeping everything bottled up. He sighed as she said nothing still and held her tighter. After the first set of tears started to gush out, Tabitha finally hugged him back and sobbed a little.
What really was wrong with her? She admitted that she missed J’onn and would’ve felt a bit better had he stayed. As long as he was gone, she would always wonder if she was the actual reason why he left. Who was she kidding, she was; it was her idea for the break in the relationship. However, in the back of her mind, it scared her to think that she missed him so much, her once dormant rage was slowly trying to reappear.
She finally looked up at Bruce, not bothering to wipe her tears away. What was she supposed to tell him? She didn’t want to let him know about herself and J’onn; it was bad enough that Shayera had told John!
“I… I think my rage is tryna come back…” she told half the truth. Bruce simply sighed and smirked at her.
“Are you sure that’s the only thing bothering you?” he simply asked. She gave him a curious look.
“I don’t under…”
“Stop it, already; I knew about you two…” he confessed, looking deeply into her whiskey brown eyes. He watched as her pupils widened for a split second before she looked away.
“T-There’s nothing bottled up no more…”
“… That’s probably the reason why your rage is trying to come back. Maybe if you just talk and admit that…” he was stopped short when she suddenly jumped out of her seat and faced the door.
“Ain’t nothing to admit! He left; end of story! What am I supposed to say; that I’m pissed off that he left without saying a word?! That he told everyone but me bye?! That fighting was the only thing that kept my mind off of him and I can’t even do THAT right no more?!?! That…” the tears wouldn’t stop flowing from her eyes. She finally turned to him, “That… no matter what type of mind tricks he did to me… I still miss him…” her voice was shaky. She covered her mouth to keep the sobs from escaping yet again. Bruce got up and put his hands gently on her shoulders. She turned and buried her head in his chest, “I miss him so much, Bruce!! Why couldn’t he had waited a day; just one fucking day?! Why did he have to leave?!?!” her cries were muffled. He could do nothing but hug her back as she started to sob.
“Oh, Tabitha… I wish I had the answer to that. No one but J’onn knows that answer… well… maybe Diana does…” it suddenly dawned on him. Tabitha tried to stop herself from sobbing as she looked at him.
“W-W-W-Wait… what…” she eyed him. He simply looked at her; she didn’t know anything, he realized. It was no wonder she was devastated.
“It was… Diana’s idea for him to take a vacation. She didn’t know…” he quickly added when she let go of him completely, “She still doesn’t know…” he had hoped it was enough to calm her down; the last thing he needed was for her rage to appear, making her storm out in order to track down Diana.
She was in complete shock; the only thing that registered in her brain was that… it was Diana’s idea for him to leave. Why would she do something like that to me, Tabitha fumed. It wasn’t until she asked herself that question that she realized what else Bruce had said: she didn’t know. Diana was clueless about their relationship; she didn’t think that her suggestion would upset anyone.
“… W-What am I supposed to do now…?” she weakly asked.
“… You move on. You continue doing your job as Monitor. You continue to fight crime with Spider-Man. You continue with life… period.”
“You make it sound so easy…”
“I know it won’t be. It won’t happen overnight, I guarantee that. You will hurt, maybe for a long time. But life will not stop because you’re heartbroken.” he was glad that she had stopped sobbing and wiped the tears away from her face. He realized that this was the first time he had ever seen her so broken down… and he didn’t like it one bit. He couldn’t help that his feelings for her never left and he was actually a bit glad that he was there when she needed someone the most. It made him think of the one thing he really wanted the most, “I know one thing that might make it easier on you…” he slightly smirk.
“Yeah? What?” she sniffed; she was so glad that Bruce was her friend, one that simply gave her his shoulder to cry on.
“… Move back to Gotham…”
“Well… seeing that you attacked me…”
“No; you snuck up on me! How else was I gonna defend myself against a damn… bat ninja?!” her outburst made him actually laugh.
“Someone needs to take care of Gotham while Batman is out of commission…” he continued. She widened her eyes at him.
“First, you guys make me Monitor; now you wanna make me Batman… uh… Bat… lady…”
“You’re not going to replace Batman! Just come back as Nikki.”
“You want me to look over Gotham by myself?!”
“No… oh; you’ve been in your own little world these past few months: I have a couple of sidekicks, now; they can help…” he explained. She calmed down long enough to slowly nod.
“Wait…” she closed her eyes, remembering when she first met Batman, “I thought you said you didn’t need no sidekicks?”
“I found it funny that they shared one thing in common with you: they forced themselves on me…” he slightly smiled. She laughed a little.
“Huh… sounds like you did get ganged up on! Wow… so, Bruce Wayne is a softie!”
“There was no doubt that he was… it just bothers Batman…”
 Paraphrased from Justice League Unlimited episode, “Ancient History”