Tabitha took a while to weigh her options. The most important issue was out the way; her family, the professor and even her ex were more than willing to help out as much as they could with the baby. The entire situation of being pregnant scared her but the support that she already had would make it a bit easier.
The main problem now was: what was she going to do? Tabitha admitted that she was never the one to stay still. She always needed something to do. The only thing she had to fall on was being Monitor. Going back to being an electrician was a given as well. But she really enjoyed being Monitor. Would she go back to doing so?
Thinking about that, she also knew that it meant that she would have to tell the others that she was pregnant. She looked down at her almost flat stomach; Tabitha had been carrying for a year and still wasn’t showing. How long would it be before she would start to show, or even go into labor? Maybe she could get away with no one else knowing while she continued to participate in missions. Telling everyone would also mean that she would have to tell them who the father was. Tabitha was not in the mood to answer questions she didn’t want to answer; it was bad enough she had to tell her unborn child, reliving the times she had with J’onn! She didn’t want to lie and say that it was Bruce’s, or even lead the League into believing something like that. If Tabitha was to return, her decision was made: she wouldn’t tell anyone else about her pregnancy.
Now that she had a clearer picture of what to do next, Tabitha had to focus on the one thing she was truly avoiding: finding J’onn. Whether she liked it or not, she needed to find a way to at least get in contact with him. However, as soon as she thought about it, she knew that it was a lost cause. If the world’s greatest telepath didn’t want to be found… there was nothing anyone could do. The only thing she could do was send him telepathic messages, hoping that he was willing to receive them. Bruce was certain that he would return; Tabitha just hoped that it would be sooner rather than later.
It took her another month to make a full decision; Tabitha was back at Metro Tower. Bruce was not happy at all about her choice but knew that the only thing he could do was make suggestions. One of those was that she would at least take a leave of absence once she started to show; the one thing that he did agree with was not letting the other League members know that she was pregnant. At least not until someone got in contact with the Martian so that the two could discuss whatever plans that were needed. In the meantime, he pulled some strings so that Tabitha could get regular checkups without the medics reporting anything to the other founding members; while the serum was working just fine, her pregnancy still needed monitoring.
She looked around Metro Tower with a slightly exasperated look. Wally arched an eyebrow at the scene.
“Hey! What’s up? Lose something?” he asked. Tabitha huffed as she looked at him.
“Kinda. You seen Kara or Ollie or John? I actually need all three…”
“I haven’t but let me check.” he told her and sped off. Five seconds later, Wally returned, “Nope. They’re not here. Tried Watchtower?”
“Mike said he hadn’t seen ‘em either. They ain’t responding to their communicators…” she bit her lip. She refrained from mentioning that it seemed just like the time she went on that time travelling mission; they vowed not to mention it to anyone, “You busy? Wanna go on a quick mission?”
“Oh, so I’m the fourth choice here?” Wally asked with a feigned look of disappointment. Tabitha smirked and pushed him.
“I know how bored you get on smaller missions! Grab two more to go with you, smart ass!” she shook her head, laughing a bit.
“I’m lead? Sweet!”
“Yeah, yeah; I’ll debrief you once you get your team ready!”
After sending Wally’s team on a minor mission, Tabitha continued to attempt contact with the three missing members. After an hour, she concluded that they were warped either forwards or backwards in time. She wondered what type of adventures they were having and if whatever they were doing would alter the current timeline. Her thoughts were interrupted when Kal-El walked inside the room.
“Ollie and John want to speak with us.” he moved aside so the two men could walk in. Tabitha smirked as she saw what Ollie had in his hand, a blue glowing cube; her instincts on the three taking part of a time travelling mission was dead on! Her smile left as she noticed that they were missing one member.
“Where’s Kara?” she looked at the men with concern in her eyes. Ollie set the cube down on a table where it immediately projected an image of Kara. Obviously nervous, she cleared her throat and looked at everyone in the room.
“So… I didn’t feel right about my decision without telling you goodbye, Clark and Tabitha…”
“Wait, what? Goodbye? But… where are you…?”
“It’s a recording; she can’t hear you.” John explained to Tabitha.
“Figured I can wait until Tabby calms down…” Kara smirked from the holographic image. Tabitha narrowed her eyes.
“Smart ass! Ain’t even here and she got jokes!”
“… As you’ve figured out by now, I was warped to the future, about a thousand years. I won’t bore you with all the details! But, when we arrived, I was told that my history stopped a little after my twenty-first birthday. At first, I thought that it was because I died in this future. After our victory, I knew that it was because… I decided to stay here…”
“Oh… Kara… wow…” Tabitha blinked.
“I, I found a place where I’m able to make a big difference… and not just be Superman’s kid cousin. No worries about my happiness, though! I’m truly happy here. The technology is amazing; I love it! And plus… there’s this seriously cute guy…” she winked, making Tabitha giggle, “Anyway! I just wanted to say farewell. Clark, please give my love to Ma and Pa. Tabitha: I wish we would’ve hung out more. But, you’re an amazing Monitor and don’t let anyone tell you any differently! Oh! Remember that conversation we had? About you following in your mentor’s footsteps? Yeah; get to work on that!” she smiled brightly. Tabitha blushed slightly. Kara finished her goodbyes before the hologram disappeared into the cube. Tabitha looked over at Kal-El who had a smile on his face.
“You okay with this?”
“More than you think. I’m happy that she’s happy. I never meant for it to be a burden that she was labeled; that was something that couldn’t be helped, given the circumstances. I always wanted everyone to look beyond the fact that we’re related.”
“You’re right though; it couldn’t be helped. Well… as long as she’s happy. Glad that she found a place where she feels she belongs… along with a cute guy!”
“Speaking of: the boy Kara mentioned. Does he have a name?” Kal-El looked at John and Ollie. They exchanged looks and held in their laughs; Kara had fallen in love with the descendent of Brainiac: Brainiac 5.
“Clark, you ain’t her dad! All that matters is that she’s happy!” Tabitha interfered. Kal-El finally nodded and sighed.
“I want to change my costume!”
“… Oh… okay…”
“Doc! You ain’t gonna help?!”
“Why does everyone like to add these other professions to my résumé? Mother and physics professor; that’s it! Not a fashion designer or a wedding planner…”
“I just need your fucking input; I can make my own damn clothes!”
“What’s wrong with the one you got?” Jamila asked. Tabitha sighed through the phone and leaned back in her chair.
“… Kinda not working in Gotham no more. Bruce put his foot down on that!”
“Oh, well good for him!”
“Don’t start…” she groaned out, “I’ve been good! No major missions…”
“You know what? Forget it! I don’t need your help; I’ll go ask Wally…”
“Wait, damnit! God; you’re so fucking moody since you got preggo!”
“You would be too if you were carrying a child for a damn year!”
“… Touché. Alright; beam me up, ‘Scotty’!”
“Fucking smart ass…”
Jamila walked through the halls, heading to one of the recreation rooms until she was greeted by Wally.
“Doc! Hey!” he walked with her, throwing his arm around her shoulder, “So! Still married…”
“Yes, Wally…” she rolled her eyes and removed his arm.
“You know, I’m starting to think that you’ll flirt with anything that moves!”
“Um, nope! Vaginas only…”
“Why did I even bring this up…?”
“Because it’s hard to make you blush! Besides, you have to give me a try…”
“Why would I do that?”
“Because I’m a stud! Are you kidding me? You know what they say: once you try the Flash…”
“… It’s over in a blink of the eye…” Jamila gave him a smirk as she continued to walk. Wally hung his head in defeat.
“You’re a very cruel woman, doc…”
“Thank you!” she gave him a huge smile. The two met Tabitha in a recreation room where she was surrounded by various clothing. She looked up and smiled at the two.
“Good! Two opinions!”
“What’s all this?”
“She wants to change her outfit. You got a basic outline of what you want?”
“Yeah, kinda. I… I wanna make my outfit after J’onn’s…”
“Really, now?” Jamila’s eyes widened.
“O-Oh, what? You think people’ll get the wrong idea or…”
“I don’t think you could wear something like that. You have… boobs…” Wally pointed out, his hands showing an example against his chest.
“But the distractions she would cause, though…” Jamila tilted her head with the thought. Tabitha put her head in her hand and sighed heavily.
“Oh… my God; I don’t wanna copy his outfit exactly! Just something… like it.”
“Ah! You’re paying homage! That’s… pretty cool, actually. Seems only fair with you being Monitor and all.” Wally nodded. Tabitha gave a small smile and blushed.
“Alright. Then, why don’t you start with a shirt and a skirt, then?”
“Nope. No skirts…” Wally shook his head.
“Really? Why not? I think that’ll be cute; a blue skirt.”
“You plan on fighting, right?”
“… Oooh. He’s right, Tabs.”
“But… Kara wore a skirt…” Tabitha looked at the arrangement of clothes she had. Wally crossed his arms and smirked.
“… Panty shots…”
“I guess you’re right. Wait… you saw her panties?!”
“What?! I’m a guy; what was I supposed to do: look away?!”
“That would’ve been the decent thing to do…” Jamila mumbled.
“So, if J’onn was here and he just so happened to have lost his trunks in some freak accident… you would look away…?” Wally looked at Jamila. She thought for a moment.
“…… Point proven…”
“Thaaank yooou! Don’t go around thinking I’m the bad guy; your morals are just as bad!”
“A-Are you two done with your perv show…?” Tabitha huffed, “Alright; no skirts. End of discussion! Pants it is!” she searched through the pile of clothes. She found a blue pair of pants and examined them.
“You gonna make your cape as massive as his? Damn, that thing could wrap around me ‘bout four times, easy!” Jamila laughed.
“Yeeah; I’d tone down the cape…”
“Not doing a cape; I hate capes. They’re… pointless, really.”
“I’ll make sure to tell Bruce and Clark that!” Wally laughed.
“Go ahead! Bruce already knows how I feel!”
“Alright, fine. What about the shirt? Oh! You should definitely put in the red straps.”
“Yes! The straps are like his logo or something.” Wally agreed. Tabitha looked at a black shirt, examining it.
“Okay. What about… designing the straps into the shirt…?”
“That’s a good idea. Don’t have to worry about extra pieces weighing you down. Your mask!”
“Yeah; forgot about that. Well… what if I made it green? With red eye covers?”
“Huh, if that ain’t a tribute, I don’t know what is!”
Tabitha looked over her new outfit and smiled. She liked the end results although Wally talked her into a couple of modifications. For some odd reason, his ideas fit well into the making of the outfit. Running down the sides of her blue pants were a series of yellow lightning bolts. Her black top was slightly off her shoulders with the red straps designed within the shirt. Where the straps intersected, Wally felt that she should have on large yellow lightning bolt. She found it weird that he would try to incorporate something that symbolized him into her outfit. Then she realized that it was something she associated with! The lightning was who she was; it was only fitting that it was incorporated into her outfit.
It was rare that Tabitha would find herself aboard Watchtower but she knew that her work was never done up there! She was a bit nervous as she walked through the hallway to her destination; those who passed by her would stop and give her a thoughtful look over. The more she thought about it, the more she felt that it was a bad idea to listen to Kara!
“Oh… Tabitha!” Zatanna took notice of her; she began to walk with her.
“Hey, Z…” she tried to rush; maybe if she looked as though she was in a hurry, the woman wouldn’t say anything more!
“You changed your outfit… and cut your hair…” she noticed fully. For the life of her, Tabitha could not get her new mask to look right. At the suggestion of her best friend, she made the decision to go all out on the new look; she was now sporting bangs. The change worked; the bangs fell perfectly around the green mask whenever she wore it.
“Just a new hairstyle…”
“I like it. The whole thing. Oh… those straps… you’re paying homage to J’onn!”
“It’s about time! It still isn’t the same without him around, is it?”
“No… it’s not. S-So you don’t think this is too much?”
“Not at all. I love how you put both him and yourself into the whole thing! I would’ve went with a skirt…”
“Nuh uh; panty shots…” she slightly blushed as she remembered Wally’s statement. Zatanna laughed fully.
“You definitely hang around Wally too much! But I guess he has a point,” she continued to walk with Tabitha. “Call me crazy but I was a bit let down when you two didn’t end up together.”
“M-Me and Wally?!”
“No! You and J’onn! It just made sense to me that it would happen. But then you end up with Bruce… I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with him! Oh; I’m sorry…” she tried to apologize but Tabitha waved her off.
“He… it really wasn’t the right time for us to be together. We, uh, both denied it for a long time, though. ‘Specially me. I mean, we love each other. But just because you love someone don’t mean you need to be together. Timing and shit like that! So, I ain’t mad ‘bout anyone mentioning Bruce!”
“Hmm. That is one guy who’s unlucky in love!”
“Not really. He chooses not to love. I don’t blame him.”
“So, you’re saying that you’re done with love?” Zatanna widened her eyes at her. Tabitha gave her a small smirk.
“Let’s just say I ain’t in no rush! If it happens, it happens. Right now, being a superhero is more important,” she nodded. It was half the truth: she knew that she had higher priorities than falling in love. But Tabitha wondered when the next time she would fall in love… and with who. “Hey… you meant that? About J’onn and all? I mean, why’d you think that?”
“Like I said; it just made so much sense. You two were always together. And, I thought there were some chemistry there. I guess I was tired of seeing J’onn so… lonely. You know, you’re the only one I’ve ever seen him be around so much. You never thought about it?”
“W-W-W-Well… I… u-u-u-uh…” Tabitha stammered. Zatanna’s smile widened.
“You have! Did you tell him? What did he say? Was the feeling mutual? I think he would’ve appreciated the thought, at least.”
“S-S-Stop! I-I-I-It was just a thought, a long time ago! I… I took his kindness the wrong way. He told me that he only wanted to be friends…” she had to stop her smile from coming out. She hadn’t lied to the woman; she remembered it as though it happened yesterday: the talk the two had over a game of chess. She was overly nervous bringing the subject up… which shocked him more than she thought it would.
“… Oh. Maybe it’s you who’s unlucky in love…”
“Yeah, maybe.” the thought never occurred to her until that moment. Tabitha thought about the three relationships that she had. With Ethan, it was fast paced; she say that they clearly were attracted to each other. Instead of waiting for a moment or not saying anything, she dove right in! Maybe if she would’ve confessed about her being a super heroine sooner, Ethan would probably be normal. She would’ve decided to go back to Gotham instead of staying aboard Watchtower for her training.
Her relationship with Bruce; Tabitha was still in debate with herself if she only agreed to marry him so that she wouldn’t be lonely. She loved him, of course but she was now more comfortable loving him as a friend. She smirked; finding out she was pregnant may had been for the best!
She was about to analyze her relationship with J’onn until she saw Zatanna double over in obvious pain.
“…Z…?” she knelt beside the woman. She groaned loudly, holding her head.
“Gnorw si gnihtemos! Em pleh!!”
“Ecnalab eht! Detpursid neeb sah ecnalab eht!!”
“I don’t understand magic talk! Come on…” she picked the woman up and rushed to the infirmary. Tabitha saw that there were others writhing in pain as well. A civilian medic helped Tabitha with Zatanna.
“What’s going on?”
“Shit; I was hoping you’d tell me! She ain’t making no sense!” she explained. Zatanna grabbed at Tabitha’s shirt, a wild but pained look in her eyes.
“Tosl si lla! Lleh fo enorht eht no stis tsuaF!!”
“See? English, Zatanna!”
“She can’t…” Diana surprised her. She quickly led Tabitha out of the infirmary, “Someone’s messed with the balance.”
“The balance? Between what?”
“Olympus and Tartarus. I was just ordered to restore it… by Zeus himself.”
“Wait. Zeus. The god of lightning, Zeus.”
“The god of the gods, Zeus. Tabitha…” she finally took a good look at her and cracked a smile, “You’ve changed. Oooh…” her smile left as she remembered the conversation on the night of the woman’s engagement, “You were talking about J’onn.”
“You thought that I drove J’onn away. I only suggested for him to take a leave of absence. I never thought that it would affect your friendship…”
“I’m over it.” Tabitha rushed, mumbling. She still didn’t have a clue, Tabitha thought.
“This may not be the time but let me make it up to you.”
“Di, I said forget it…”
“Come with me.”
“W-What? To… right now?!”
“Yes. Consider this a major mission.” she hoped that would be convincing enough; Diana had other plans for the woman.
“I… I guess.” she clicked on her communicator, “Clark. I’ve been enlisted to help Diana on a mission.”
“Uh… where we going?” she looked at Diana as the two made their way down the hallway.
“I heard. Good luck.” he ended transmission. The two women were in Diana’s room. She looked over all of her weapons.
“None of these will do. I need something that will disrupt magic…” her eyes widened and then narrowed as she left the room, Tabitha following her.
“So, the balance being upset is what’s making Z act all crazy? I’m guessing it got something to do with magic…”
“… What would I be able to do? Kick a little ass and take names?”
“I have a feeling that this won’t be so easy. So… yes!”
“Won’t complain about that, then!” Tabitha smiled. She frowned slightly as Diana put in a code to Shayera’s room, “Whoa; what’s up with that?”
“I told you. I need something that can disrupt magic. Her mace does just that…”
“W-W-Wait, you’re gonna steal it?!”
“I’m just borrowing it. This shouldn’t take long; we’ll be back before she finds out that it’s missing…”
“That’s stealing, Di.”
“It’s not like we have time to ask for permission!”
“Oh… we become pals while I wasn’t looking…?” Shayera’s voice made both women jump.
“So you know, this wasn’t my idea! I ain’t lead on this mission…”
“And here I thought we were partners…” Diana rolled her eyes and glanced at Tabitha.
“In crime? Nah! You on your own, there!”
“Why are you two in my room, stealing my mace?” Shayera huffed.
“I need to borrow it. The balance between Olympus and Tartarus has broken.”
“Oh. I see. A mission that requires my assistance.”
“Maybe I should just stay here…”
“No. I invited you. Shayera can stay.” Diana glared at her.
“Look, she has a point. It’s her weapon which means she’d know how to handle it better. Plus… I don’t think she letting you ‘borrow’ it…” Tabitha tried to reason. Diana huffed.
“Let’s get going…”
The three arrived in Themyscira and were greeted by Amazons fighting off demons. Without a second thought, the three put themselves in the battle, trying to contain the situation. Some of the Amazons gave Diana a double take before getting back into the battle. Tabitha charged up and hit a group of demons, shocking them unconscious. She glanced over at Diana, who was taking care of a couple of demons.
“What’s up with these looks they giving you?”
“Ha! The princess hasn’t been so forthcoming with you. She’s supposed to be in exile.” Shayera volunteered before becoming airborne. Tabitha noticed that one of the warriors had her back towards an approaching demon. She was in front of the beast with a Lightning Cloud, surprising both the Amazon and the demon. Tabitha threw a punch to its stomach and then to its face, sending it flying through the air.
“… Thank you, young warrior…”
“No problem. So, uh… what’s going on here?”
“I’m sorry. Even though you possibly saved my life… and are somehow blessed with Zeus’s powers, I cannot speak to you.”
“Oh… okay…” she gave her a look as the Amazon continued to fight. The group took care of the rest of the demons as Tabitha stood beside Diana, “What the hell did you do?! Why am I getting snubbed?”
“Because you’re with me, you’re not welcome here. There is one rule that we lived by on the island: no men can step foot here. I… broke that rule when I asked for the Justice League’s help a long time ago.” Diana looked ahead at Hippolyta who was quickly approaching the three.
“My daughter. As much as I am happy to see you, I’m disappointed that you’ve broken your exile.” she lectured. She glanced at Tabitha, “And yet again, you bring outsiders with you. Demigoddess or not, you are not…”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa; you think I’m a god…? I’m flattered, your… highness…? Do I bow or what?” Tabitha switched glances from mother to daughter.
“Mother, I was ordered by the gods themselves to help restore the balance. It was my choice to bring outsiders for help. Shayera’s mace will be very helpful and Tabitha, as you’ve seen, will be helpful as a whole. We need to pass through the gate. Felix Faust has dethroned Hades.”
“That does explain a lot. If the gods sent for you, I will let you pass. However, I will let you deal with them as far as bringing outsiders.” Hippolyta gave a thoughtful look towards Tabitha.
“I’m sorry; hold that thought. Hades? You mean to tell me those gates lead to hell?!”
“What did you think when she said Tartarus?” Shayera smirked.
“When she said something about magic, I was thinking some wooded fantasy land!”
“Having second thoughts?” Diana looked at Tabitha. She studied the gates for a moment before shrugging.
“Are you kidding me?! So I can pass up on telling folks I’ve been to hell and back… literally?! Not on your life!”
“Diana. You will need more than the power of an nth metal mace and lightning. I will need to unlock the powers of your armor.” she approached her daughter and touched her golden tiara. All of Diana’s armor pieces glowed for a moment before dissipating. Hippolyta grabbed her daughter’s hands, looking over her bracelets, “That is strange. Not much was needed to unlock your bracelets.”
“That is why Tabitha is here.”
“You? You’re responsible for that?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I scratched ‘em when I first met her… and then I fixed ‘em. That’s it.”
“I see. It just may be a good idea to have her speak with Hephaestus afterwards. Go. May Hera be with you.”
After a long, hard fought battle, the three emerged from Tartarus making sure that Hades was back on the throne and that Felix Faust was properly dealt with. Tabitha got the answer she wanted for the longest; the Annihilator battlesuit that was stolen from Watchtower landed in the hands of Cadmus. The magic-wielding Tala was tricked by Faust into freeing him from his mirror prison where he took control of the suit. With the suit destroyed by Shayera’s mace and Faust’s soul in the hands of Hades, balance was finally restored.
She was a bit weary as they walked through the gates into Themyscira; Tabitha never expected that her first mission since coming out of a coma would be one in hell! She subconsciously patted her stomach; while the child gave her several warnings, she didn’t put too much strain on either of them. She was glad for the feast as well as confirmation that Diana and Shayera would rely on one another more as teammates in the very least.
“Tabitha, before we leave, there’s one place that I want to show you.” Diana looked at the woman as she started to leave the table.
“Yeah? What’s that?”
“Olympus.” she smiled. Tabitha gawked.
“F-For real…?” she couldn’t help herself. It was one of her favorite subjects: mythology. Before meeting Diana, it was something that she thought about for the longest; she never expected for the places and the gods to be real!
“Zeus would want to thank us personally. I figured that it would also give me a chance to explain myself for letting you two tag along. Besides, I’d like for you to at least talk to Hephaestus.”
“Alright. I guess… let’s go, then!”
The three Justice League women made the trek up Mt. Olympus, something the three had no problem with. Tabitha didn’t tell them about her pregnancy so she knew they wondered to themselves why she lagged slightly. She blamed it on the fact that she was the only actual human and wasn’t used to the high altitude. It was partly true so Tabitha didn’t feel too bad about it.
She was glad for the break on a platform in more ways than one. Tabitha looked behind them to see how far they climbed and was surprised. The lit pathway that was carved into the mountainside was no longer visible; a blanket of clouds covered everything as far as she could see. When she looked forward, her awe only doubled. The pathway started as golden stairs from the platform up a few hundred feet to a massive golden temple. There was no need for the torches that lined the stairs; the building’s shine was enough to light anything for miles! Tabitha forgot about her slight shortness of breath as she stared at the temple.
“They must know we’re here; if anyone makes it this far, they’re usually met with resistance…” Diana noted as she continued to walk. Tabitha could only nod.
“I just bet… kinda glad we ain’t gotta fight!”
“I don’t know; we’d be able to not only say we survived hell but tangoed with a god!” Shayera winked. Tabitha let out a small laugh.
“I’d call myself a demigod if that was to happen!”
It didn’t take long before the golden temple was right in front of them. Two large stone angels greeted them on each side of the staircase; Tabitha swore that they literally watched them as they continued to the front of the temple. The massive doors automatically opened, revealing several gods and goddesses lounging around. They immediately stopped and took notice of the three. Tabitha always imagined they would be a great deal larger but was surprised to see that the gods and goddesses were of average sizes and heights.
Before she could survey the room further, Tabitha noticed that everyone’s attention went to the back of the room. When everyone bowed, she did the same, not bothering to look at who had appeared in front of them. She already knew; there was only one that even the others had to bow to and that was Zeus.
“Princess Diana of Themyscira. Olympus and Tartarus are grateful. For your deeds, I will allow Hippolyta to lift your exile. That isn’t your most important request now, is it?” Zeus’s powerful voice echoed throughout the room.
“It’s not. While I appreciate the end of my exile… I would much rather if my friend was compensated instead.” her words made Tabitha accidentally glance at her in shock. What was she up to, she wondered. She would never ask anyone, particularly the god of gods for any type of favor; she was simply thrilled that she was able to experience something of this magnitude!
“And, what makes her so special?”
“She is one of the best warriors I have had the pleasure to fight alongside with. She is for the greater good and she…”
“Is a mortal.” Zeus interrupted with boredom in his voice. Diana made a face and finally looked up at him.
“She deserves every chance to better herself. She has proven to me that she is as good as Hephaestus!” Diana’s comment drew hushed gasps throughout the room. Tabitha tried not to shake in fear as she felt eyes on her; she closed her own and swallowed that all too familiar sickness down, “Not only did she scratch my bracelets, the same bracelets forged by him but she fixed them.”
“… Is that so? Rise, mortal.” her knees wanted to buckle as she stood. She didn’t know if she was glad that she did; Zeus looked nothing like she would had imagined. He was always depicted as older, with either a flowing white beard or full beard and a head of curly, white locks. There was some curl to his locks and he did have a full, kept beard but they were honey blond. His facial features showed a bit of roughness however he looked no older than fifty. Everyone she had encountered on the mission surprised her with their good looks. Particularly Hades, who had a rock star look to him with his long jet black hair; nothing she would had ever imagined in a million years.
“You are able to forge weapons to the likes of my son?” he asked. He was as tall as the Martian, Tabitha noticed and nearly as wide and muscular. She still felt like cowering in his presence for the simple fact of who he was.
“I… never tried. All I know is how to fix… things…” her stammering embarrassed her. She needed to sound more confident although she had no idea what compensation Diana had in mind for her.
“I would like for her to have access to your powers as well as apprentice under Hephaestus.” Diana hurried, causing Tabitha to gape at her. She put her attention back to Zeus, to protest Diana’s request but kept silent as his black eyes continued to study her.
“I see. You have the power of lightning in you. The princess seems to be confident in you. I am not so easily persuaded. However, since you aided in restoring the balance, I will grant your request… if… you are able to pass my trial.” he surprised everyone in the room. Tabitha looked at him in slight shock.
“Yes. Did you think that it would be so simple? That all the princess had to do was merely ask? Lifting an exile would be expected. However, one must earn the right to possess the power of a god!” he gave her a smirk and turned. Tabitha looked at Diana for a sign as to what to do next; the Amazon widened her eyes and gestured to follow the god. She was led to the back of the room where a massive throne sat at the head of a more massive white marble table along with other seats. Zeus took his place at his throne while the other gods and goddesses took their own seats. Tabitha stood at the end of the table, more confused than she was when they were bowing before the god!
“What… what would I have to do…?”
“Merely survive. There will be no outside interference.” Zeus looked at Shayera and Diana. The two stepped away from Tabitha, leaving her alone at the end of the table, “If you are unable to get up, then your request will be denied.”
“… Unable to get up…? I don’t… am I fighting someth…” she was caught completely off guard as it felt as though her body was ripped into several pieces. She barely heard the horrified gasps coming from Shayera and Diana. It was the most pain she had ever received in as long as she could remember. For a moment, Tabitha forgot all about the trial and was seconds from collapsing. At the last second, she remembered the last thing Zeus said. Instead, Tabitha grasped onto the edge of the table to keep from falling. She bit her lip to keep the scream from escaping, groaning loudly in agony.
“Diana said that you are a warrior. Well, if you are the warrior that she says you are… get up…” it sounded as though Zeus was taunting her. The pain throbbed through her entire body, making it hard to control her breathing. She didn’t understand it. True, she was just hit with lightning possibly a thousand times stronger than her own, even at its full potency. But wasn’t she made of lightning? She knew she would feel it. But, Tabitha was supposed to absorb the lightning, not succumb to it!
Although she hadn’t initially agreed to it, Tabitha knew that she had to prove the gods wrong. She briefly thought about the benefits of doing so, gripping the edge harder. Just as she started to fully rise, Zeus pointed at her. Another thick streak of lightning escaped his finger and engulfed her body, this one more painful than the last. He smirked and chuckled as she yelled out and fell to the ground on her hands and knees; the other gods and goddesses joined him in laughter.
“No... Tabitha!” Diana attempted to get her only to be stopped by Shayera. The Thanagarian switched glances from Tabitha to her and shook her head somberly.
“We can’t interfere…” her voice slightly above a whisper. Tabitha couldn’t take it any longer; her vision had started to blur. She mentally checked on her child.
“…… I am fine.”
“… I’m sorry…” she whispered. The pain never subsided; it was enough to make a lone tear escape from her. She couldn’t do it. The gods were laughing at her, the god of the gods was torturing her and her friends couldn’t stop it; they could only look on in horror, watching their fellow Justice League member fail her trial. She was weak, Tabitha finally admitted.
Why had the League kept her for so long, even making her a Monitor? She never saved anyone without help. Even when she tried to do things on her own, it didn’t end the way she imagined; someone had to bail her out. That wasn’t how it was supposed to be for her. She was supposed to be a super heroine, one that weathered many a storm to only stand proud beside the Earth’s mightiest superheroes. More tears flowed down her cheeks as she began to curl her body into a ball. No one else’s words resonated through her brain except Lex Luthor’s: she was indeed nothing but a glorified super electrician.
“With all of your supposed powers, you are not able to stand…?” Zeus laughed fully, “You see, it doesn’t matter what type of superhuman abilities you possess: you are still a human. A mere mortal! And a mortal’s purpose in life is to fail!” he continued to taunt her. She tried to forget about the pain coursing through her body but it was one of the reasons that she started to sob. The other? The god was absolutely right.
“Tabitha Lyght! Don’t you dare listen to him!”
“Quiet, winged one!” Artemis glared, gripping her bow tightly but Zeus shook his head.
“Let her attempt to encourage her friend; it will only fall on deaf ears…”
“Listen to me, Tabitha! You are stronger than this! Your purpose isn’t to fail! If that was true… you wouldn’t be in the League! Look: whether you pass or fail this doesn’t matter to us! It’s the fact that you tried; that’s what we’re all about! Damnit; don’t go out without a damn fight! Show him what being a Justice League member is about!!” Shayera glared at Tabitha.
She realized that Shayera was right. What Zeus was putting her through was definitely painful and his words were hurtful. But it was far from the truth. Tabitha was part of Earth’s finest heroes… and that had to mean something! She may not had physically assisted in saving the world a few times… but she was responsible for assigning the ones that could… and her decisions were never questioned. She was even the very reason why Watchtower and Metro Tower functioned at max capacity; that was all her doing! There was a reason aside from being his girlfriend that J’onn J’onzz trained her; he saw that she would be more than capable of being his successor. Tabitha Lyght was one of the most important members in the Justice League…
She had to ignore the pain; she willed herself to get back on her hands and knees. The gods stopped snickering at her own expense and watched as she glared at Zeus; she gritted her teeth as she pushed away from the ground. She continued to gather all of her strength as she slowly rose, shaking through the pain to make herself upright. Her breathing was heavy, simply standing nearly drained her. But she continued to glare at the lightning god through tear-stained eyes as gasps were heard throughout the entire room. Tabitha didn’t know how much longer she would be able to stand on her own. But she figured that her last act of defiance would be to proudly wipe away her tears and continue to stare him down. No one was going to call her a failure ever again… not even herself.
Zeus had since lost his smirk and held the woman’s glare. He narrowed his eyes at her as he left his seat to approach her. She was too tired to flinch or brace herself for another attack; whatever he was going to do to her, she was going to take it. Even if she had the strength to attack, Tabitha knew that her powers failed in comparison to his.
“Mortal… it seems as though I have underestimated your will. You’ve taken two of my thunder strikes and yet there you are… standing. Any other mortal would had perished. Are you that determined…?” he asked calmly. Tabitha stopped herself from wobbling; if she swayed any more, she knew that she would collapse. She just continued her angry glare at him.
“I… am not… a… failure…” she nearly growled. Zeus gave her words a thoughtful sound as he simply nodded.
“Very well. You have proven your worth. The purpose of the trial was to determine your will. You have shown that you will not bow down to the might of a god’s power.” he grabbed the amulet around her neck and studied it, “Your own power will no longer be suppressed. I will bestow unto you my powers…” Zeus placed his other hand on her forehead and Tabitha felt immediate warmth as light waves of lightning cascaded over her. Her crystal resonated in his hand; she couldn’t feel a difference but she knew that Zeus transferred the locked in power back to her. After a moment, the currents dissipated and she opened her eyes.
“Thank you… my… lord…” although she still felt pain and only wanted to pass out, Tabitha still found it in her to be respectful. She admitted that she had no idea how to address him and had hoped she had done right.
“No need to thank me; this was the princess’s request. My powers are now inside the amulet. So long as you wear it, you… and only you will have access. See to it that she gets rest; she will have a full day come morning.” Zeus glanced at Diana and Shayera before returning to his throne. They bowed before him before approaching Tabitha. The two immediately grabbed hold of her as Tabitha started to collapse, thankful that her friends were there to catch her.
“Don’t worry; we got you.” Diana reassured. Tabitha could only roll her eyes.
“I… don’t know if… I wanna thank you… or shock you…”
“I’ll be prepared for whichever one later…”
 Paraphrased from Justice League Unlimited episode, “Far From Home”.
 Taken from Justice League Unlimited episode, “Far From Home”.
 Phrase taken from Star Trek.
- Taken from Justice League Unlimited episode, “The Balance”.