*Welcome back! Just wanted to make a small note that this is Book 2. If you haven't read Book 1, STOP!! Back out and go read Speed of Lyght! http://www.movellas.com/story/201408210052359792-speed-of-lyght :D*
It would be raining, she thought as she somberly rang the doorbell. She didn’t know what to do, who else to turn to; for a brief moment, she had wished that she was a drinking woman. However, as welcoming as a stiff drink sounded to her, she knew that drinking wasn’t the solution. It felt like an eternity to her when the door finally swung open.
“Tabs! You’re soaked! Get in here before you catch cold!” the professor eyed her strangely as she actually had to drag her young friend inside the house. She blocked out whatever Jamila was talking about and dragged herself not into the kitchen as she always did but in the living room. She didn’t care about her wet clothes as she plopped down on the couch and stared straight ahead. She hadn’t stopped crying since she had left Watchtower and had become numb, “… Tabs…? Oh… oh, no…” Jamila sat down beside her friend and immediately embraced her. She knew what was wrong; Tabitha had been too late.
She had tried to talk to her friend, however sobs came out instead of words. The professor held in her own tears; someone had to be strong at this point! All she could do was attempt to soothe her.
“H-H-H-He’s… gone…” her lips quivered out. Jamila stopped rocking her friend and looked at her.
“What? Gone? What do you mean, ‘gone’? He… shit, he left the League?!” she had really hoped that was what the lightning woman had meant by “gone”; she didn’t want to think that the Martian Manhunter had actually passed away. Either way, it made no sense to her; why would he leave the Justice League? Was the Martian that upset with his former girlfriend?
Tabitha couldn’t understand much at that point. She knew that she may had overreacted when she found out that he had erased a memory, one that she fully admitted that she didn’t mind not remembering. She had been so upset with him that she didn’t even want to hear him out whenever he tried to explain himself; all she wanted to do was try to forget. But, she couldn’t; there was no denying that she not only couldn’t forget everything that the two had been through, she couldn’t get over him, overall. It was the woman who held her right then and there that made her come to her senses and she was more than willing to beg for his forgiveness.
But, he had left. Without even saying goodbye, she started to fume. Tabitha finally calmed down enough to take a deep breath and hug her best friend back.
“He… he didn’t even have… the gaddamn decency to tell me… goodbye…” more tears clouded her vision.
“Wait… what?! That… don’t sound like him at all… why wouldn’t he tell you goodbye?!” she really wanted to know. The professor had gotten to know the Martian over the years and knew his mannerisms; this was out of character for him.
“I don’t fucking know!” she angrily wiped at her tears, “A fucking leave of absence they call it…” she sniffed and shivered. Jamila simply held her tighter.
“You know what… it don’t matter. Nothing don’t matter, now. He made his decision… now, you gotta make yours. You a whole station to take care of now; you can’t dwell on this…”
“Doc…” she was surprised to hear her friend’s words. Jamila shook her head.
“You can sit here and cry your ass off all you want; I don’t care. But, the minute you step out that door… you can’t do it no more.”
“I don’t… understand. Why…”
“I know how you’re feeling right now. I’ve been through it. I had loved a man so much… I was willing to drop everything I ever planned just to be with him. And, we were happy; really happy: we had gotten engaged. He was military and so he went overseas for a while; came back and got stationed somewhere else. But, we made our plans, still. Then… he stopped calling me…”
“… J-Just like that…?”
“Yep. Oh, I was a nervous wreck; I thought something had happened to him! But, every time I called his job, they always told me that he was out or I had just missed him.”
“… What happened…?”
“Turned out that he married someone else. It took me so long to get over it… too long. I never wanted anyone to go through what I did… including you. I know you’re gonna miss him. But… you got other responsibilities to take care of. Just know this: if it was meant to be… he’ll be back.” she told her softly. Tabitha slowly nodded.
“Do you… do you really think he’ll come back?” she asked. Jamila thought about it and eventually sighed.
“I wish I could just say yeah to make you feel better. But… I don’t know. It’s outta our hands, now. It’s up to J’onn when or even if he’s coming back.” she explained. Tabitha slowly nodded once more. It was what she really needed to hear: honest advice. Anyone else would have probably told her everything that she wanted to hear; that J’onn would be back and everything would go back to normal. She knew that it would’ve made her feel much better but it would’ve also put her hopes up too high; if he didn’t return, it would be enough to ruin her.
Jamila tried to think of what else to tell her distraught friend. Maybe the breakup was too much for him and he needed to get away for a while, she reasoned. She tried to put herself in his situation: how would she have felt if she was dating a fellow professor for a few years and the two had broken up? Once she asked herself, it made her realize quickly that she would be itching for a transfer, just so she wouldn’t have to see his face, again. Then again, she didn’t like to guesstimate.
“What the hell, J’onn?! You could’ve at least told the girl goodbye; what were you thinking?! Aw, hell, it’s no use; you wouldn’t talk to her, you ain’t gonna tell me nothing!” she absentmindedly sent him a message.
“………… I’m so sorry…” his response surprised her. It was enough to make her perk up slightly, getting ready to ask him the questions that Tabitha desperately wanted to know the answers to. She quickly thought against it; why would he tell her if Tabitha was probably trying to ask him the same telepathically? Jamila sighed and kissed her friend on top of her head.
“So… what you gonna do?” she tried to break the silence. Tabitha slightly shook her head and took another deep breath.
“I think… I think I’m gonna sit here and cry a little more…”
She had finally passed out on the couch, curled up into a ball. The professor didn’t bother to wake her so that she could at least sleep in her old room; the only thing she did was give her a blanket and made sure that the children left her alone. As the drowsiness hit her, Tabitha made a mental promise to make it up to the triplets; she knew that they really wanted to spend time with her. Maybe she would finally take them up to Watchtower so that they could meet everyone, she thought.
She knew she was dreaming; there she was, guiding the three children on a tour of Metro Tower. The triplets were having the time of their lives as they finally met the superheroes they had idolized and heard about. Tabitha was glad that the League members were on their best behavior as well; even Bruce sat there and tolerated them for the most part! Seeing that Metro Tower was smaller than Watchtower, Tabitha let the three run off ahead of her, barely able to keep up with their pace! As they made their way back to the control room, she was startled to see who she thought was J’onn tending to the monitors. She studied his attire and gasped; she remembered with ease the dark blue hooded cloak.
“… T’ony?!” she looked into his brown eyes. He smiled as the triplets hugged him; they were too excited to tell the difference.
“It’s really shocking to be reminded that the Linz trio were once this little… and innocent.” he looked down at them.
“W-What… what are you doing here…?”
“Checking on you. And, I can’t give you any details of the future; just know that everything is fine.” he answered when she opened her mouth. Tabitha gave him a smirk.
“Can’t or won’t?”
“Figured!” she laughed lightly. She immediately hugged him, “I’m fine…”
“And, I’m still your mother so watch that tone… and stay outta my head! Hey… guys? Why don’t you see if you can catch up with Mr. Wally.” she looked down at the triplets. Not saying a word, they raced out of the room, “So… is this a sign or something…?”
“I’m not obligated to say…”
“God, you’re so formal… just like your father! Wait… this is a sign! Why would you be here if he wasn’t coming back? Unless… this is some sort of emotional-based dream…”
“It could be.”
“You’re not gonna give me any straight answers… are you…?”
“No.” he gave her a smirk.
“God, I have the weirdest damn dreams!” she sighed out.
“I’m sorry, mom. Whether this is just an emotional dream or a sign for something different is something that you’ll have to figure out on your own. How’s Mr. Parker and Mr. Stark?”
“Oh! They’re… fine… I think. I haven’t spoken to them since… wow; it’s been a minute… P’s gonna kill me for not talking to him! Hold on… I think I get it, now. This ain’t about J’onn… this is about me…” she looked dead at her son, “You’re tryna tell me what to do next…” she realized. T’ony smiled at her.
“I’m pretty sure that they wouldn’t mind seeing you…” he gave out a hint. She nodded and smiled back at him, “… You’re about to wake up…” were the last words she heard him speak. The entire scene slowly dimmed away and everything turned pitch black. Soon, Tabitha felt that she was lying on the couch. She slowly opened her eyes and focused; the lights were still on: she was back in the Lindsey living room. The closing of the refrigerator door made her slowly sit up and stretch before leaving the couch. Jamila gave her a warm smile as she made her way into the kitchen.
“How’d you sleep?”
“… Pretty decent, actually.”
“Go on and head upstairs; get some more rest. Pretty sure Metro Tower will be fine for a few hours…”
“Actually… I need to be heading out. Gotta make a couple of trips…”
When Peter opened the door, his eyes widened as he immediately embraced Tabitha.
“Tabby Cat! I’ve been so worried about you! Don’t you ever leave me in the dark like that again!” he scolded as he let her in. she gave him a weak smile and an eye roll.
“I didn’t come all this way to get lectured! If it makes ya feel better, I’ve been kinda busy…”
“Too busy for your best pal?” he asked with a hint of a smile; he was just glad to see her. Tabitha was about to answer until Mary Jane appeared and wrapped her arms around his neck.
“Good to see you again, Tabby!”
“Ooh… I see you’ve made yourself comfy…” she was about to say until she noticed the ring on her finger. Tabitha immediately grabbed her hand, examining the ring with wide eyes, “Son of a… bitch… when did this happen?!”
“A little before your… ordeal. Speaking of…”
“Ah! Only happy feelings, now! Congrats!” she took the opportunity to hug the couple, “When’s the wedding and I know I’m invited!”
“Of course, you are! You’re a bridesmaid so…” Mary Jane announced as the three sat down in the living room.
“Wait… say what, now?!” Tabitha gawked at her.
“How could I get married to Peter and not have you a part of it?” the redhead laughed, “Don’t tell me you won’t do it!”
“N-No! Aw, MJ… I’d be honored!”
The two crime fighters were on top of the Daily Bugle building, looking out into the brightly lit city. Peter put his mask on and looked over at Tabitha.
“Just like old times, huh…?”
“Yeah…” she sighed happily as she looked down at her mask. Constantly being on Watchtower, she had little opportunity to wear the black latex cover; it had been a while, she realized. Peter grabbed her hand before she could put it on.
“You’ve been away for so long; I think it’s safe to go without it…”
“I’m a Justice League member, P…”
“Doesn’t change the fact that no one will notice you. Who are you keeping a secret from, now?” he asked. She smirked at him.
“Thanks for the boost in my popularity! You know… someone could ask you the same thing! I guess… since Tee told the whole world…”
“Don’t compare yourself to him; he’s a pompous ass…”
“… In an iron suit; I’ve heard it way too many times!” a familiar voice was heard from behind the two. Tabitha swung around and smiled at the red and gold suit that hovered above them. Tony landed on the rooftop, his mask opening up as Tabitha ran and hugged him.
“Dawling! Let’s see… I recall that someone owed me a call back…” he eyed her.
“My bad! Things kinda went to hell and back after that; I’ll tell ya about it later. Hey; did you know Spider-Man’s getting hitched?” she tried to change the subject. Tony just looked at Peter and shrugged.
“Eh… sounds like something he’d do… we’re invited, of course…”
“Tabby’s a bridesmaid. You… I guess we can send you an invitation…”
“So, that means J’onn boy’s a groomsman?”
“Hey… I didn’t think about that! This is going to be a weird wedding party…”
“Um… I don’t think… he’ll be there…” Tabitha added lowly.
“What; he doesn’t do weddings? What kind of heartless Martian is he?” Tony asked.
“I… I don’t know where he is.” she turned away from them; it pained her to think about it all over again. Had Peter not had his mask on, she would be pretty sure that he was giving her the same surprised look that Tony was.
“What do you mean? Is he missing in action or…”
“He left. And, I don’t wanna talk about it…” she tried.
“Dawling… you two… broke up…?” Tony approached and hugged her tightly, “Oh… I’m so sorry…” he almost whispered. For some reason, it was enough to upset her as she pushed him away.
“And, I don’t need to be fucking babied about it! He chose to leave, he didn’t die! I’m just fine! I’m Monitor of Metro Tower now so… I ain’t got time to think about shit like that!”
“Dawling… you can’t just brush this off like that. I’ve seen how you two were with each other, remember? For you to just treat this like… like you lost five bucks isn’t healthy…”
“And, you’re an expert in this because…” she eyed Tony. He slightly sighed, “I don’t need any damn advice from someone who chases anything in a skirt! I did all the crying I plan on doing over him on doc’s couch; I ain’t crying no more! I done; I’m over it: I’m over him! The only thing I need to do is concentrate on my responsibilities! And… just because P found someone to spend the rest of his life with doesn’t mean I’m gonna sit here and sulk all because I ain’t got no one now!! We weren’t getting married; hell, he never told anyone about us in the first fucking place!! And, why are my feet fucking wet?!” she complained. Tabitha looked down and saw that there was a puddle growing underneath her feet, “Oh, what in the fuck is this shit?!” she asked when the puddle started to quickly take form. She was taken aback when it formed into a human male figure. She glanced over at Peter, “Uh… Spidey… you really need to check those spider senses of yours…”
“Hydro-Man…” it seemed as though he glared at the watery blob that now formed into a man. He ignored Tabitha and Tony as he stared at Peter with piercing blue eyes.
“How lucky am I? I’ve been looking for you for a long time, spider freak!” he almost growled. Peter shrugged.
“I’m the freak? Look in the mirror, pal!” he retaliated. The blond man growled and immediately threw a blast of water towards the webbed crusader, catching him off guard. As he was knocked to the ground, Tony immediately tried to hit Hydro-Man from behind with a proton blast. He immediately saw the problem as the man turned back into water; the blast went through him and almost hit Tabitha. She did a Lightning Cloud out of the way and threw a stream of lightning the man’s way, only for him to evade it quickly. Peter finally stood up and looked at Hydro-Man, upset at the cheap shot. He shot webbing from each hand towards the nearby buildings and used it to slingshot himself towards the villain, hitting him full force in the face. He was glad that the man had been distracted at how quickly Tabitha had moved!
The blow wasn’t enough to keep him down; it only angered him as he shouted his rage towards Peter. He called forth all the surrounding water in the area, caging Peter in the menacing liquid. Tabitha gasped as she saw what his plan was; he was going to drown her friend. Tony tried for another attack however Hydro-Man was ready for him yet again, making his body turn into liquid. When he reformed back into human, the lightning woman saw her chance for an attack. She did a Lightning Cloud and landed right behind the man, charging up with all of her might.
“You really picked the wrong night to piss me off…” she warned him and released all of her energy in his back. Once she did, she realized that she was the only one who could’ve truly stopped the blond man; lightning and water were a deadly combination. She knew that she had released way too much lightning as she watched him die, an uneasy feeling forming in the pit of her stomach. The last time she had killed someone, she was suffering from blind rage and therefore had no memory of it. However, the image of what laid at her feet was enough to make her turn away; the electricity was enough to drain away the man’s water powers, leaving him in a very charred human form. When the smell of burnt flesh entered her nostrils, Tabitha doubled over and vomited out the uneasiness that had quickly climbed from her stomach to her throat. Peter and Tony looked over at her with concern.
“Tabby…?” Peter approached her. He pulled her over to the ledge of the building, making her sit on the ground.
“Are you… okay?” Tony asked. She took a deep breath, wiping her mouth and nodded.
“What was that all about?”
“… That was… disgusting. I’ve…”
“… You’ve never been conscious to see when you killed someone…” Tony figured out. She could only nod.
“Let’s… let’s get the hell outta here…” she finally was stable enough to walk. Peter couldn’t help but to wonder about the mental state of his friend. He knew that she when she succumbed to her rage, she had become blind and had no memory of when it happened. He never imagined that it would bother her so much to see a dead body, one that was caused by her hands. He understood if it had disgusted her; it didn’t leave a good feeling in his soul to see someone killed as well. However, this was different; this made her sick to her stomach, literally. Maybe she really needed to talk about how she felt about everything; her battle with her blind rage… her recent breakup. She needed someone to tell her that it was something that she really needed.