“Tabitha, do you mind going to Watchtower? Wait… why did I have to ask you; haven’t you been hearing Wally?” Clark asked. Tabitha rolled her eyes, pulling her communicator out of her ear.
“… Turned it off; he’s been bugging the shit outta me since I sat down.”
“It could’ve been an emergency…” the man of steel folded his arms. She shrugged and picked up her soda.
“If it was, Mike would’ve called in… not Wally. Which means… it’s something minor… and Wally just wants to bug me!”
“I’m going, I’m going!” she slightly laughed and started to leave the room.
“Are you okay…?”
“… Yeah; why you ask?”
“The soda. You don’t drink sodas…”
“Oh! Sprite; my stomach’s kinda queasy. Think there’s something going around…”
“Do you need a couple of days off? I could get…”
“I’m fine; I’m good! It’s just… well… I can’t expect you to understand; you’ve probably never been sick before…”
“Once.” he surprised her. Tabitha gave him a smirk.
“A sick that didn’t have to do with Kryptonite exposure…”
“As I said… it happened once. It’s… a long story. But, to shorten it: I gave up my powers for a brief moment; I came down with a nasty flu bug shortly afterwards.” he explained. Tabitha simply looked at him.
“Wait… why did you give up your powers?”
“Huh. Kinda crazy, you gotta admit…”
“What, that I would give up my powers for love?”
“Nah; that’s actually romantic… in a sappy way! That the moment you became one of us… you came down with the flu! Learned your lesson?”
“You’re telling me that you wouldn’t give up your powers for Bruce; to be normal… like him?” his question surprised her.
“Well, first off… Bruce ain’t normal! Maybe for your standards! But, I guess… I guess I would.” she softly said. She knew that he would never ask her to give up her abilities unless they had become hazardous to her health. However, Tabitha had always longed to be normal; although she had grown so used to being a Metahuman, the thought still lingered.
“A lot of times… I feel that I would definitely do it again. So, yes; I understand.” he finished. Tabitha simply nodded.
“I’m good. It’s just a little stomachache; I can work through that…”
Before she could materialize onto the teleportation pads, Tabitha rolled her eyes; she knew for certain that a disgruntled Wally would be waiting on her in the control room. As the usual dizzy spell hit her as the room came into focus, she took a few deep breaths to clear her head. She found it odd that the spell had lingered for as long as it did, actually making her even sicker to her stomach.
“You know; I shouldn’t even say anything to you! I know that you were ignoring me on purpose!” Wally immediately scolded. Tabitha hadn’t heard a word as she bent down to stop the room from spinning, “… Tabby? You okay…?” he rushed over to his friend. She knew that it was inevitable and managed to pull off a Lightning Cloud to the nearest restroom. The queasiness had increased tenfold, climbing up into her throat. Tabitha barely made it inside one of the stalls before she started to retch.
Diana looked curiously at Wally as he stood by the women’s restroom, attempting to listen through the door.
“Do I really want to know why you’re lurking by the women’s restroom?”
“It’s… it’s Tabby. She’s throwing up…” at the first mention of her name, Diana started to roll her eyes. However, she had a quick change of heart hearing that she had become suddenly ill, “I know that teleporting still bothers her but… she’s never thrown up from it…” Wally finished. Diana gave him a quick nod and made the decision to check up on the woman. The moment she entered the restroom, her ears were bombarded by the awful sounds of Tabitha vomiting coupled with failed attempts to cover up sobs. It was the crying that actually bothered Diana enough to make her want to help out.
“… Tabitha…? Are you okay?” her voice made Tabitha cringe; she was the last person she wanted to talk to as well as let see her in that pitiful state. Her vision was still blurred and the stall seemed to spin as she tried to gather her composure.
“… I-I-I’m fine… fucking… stomach virus…” she sniffed. She had become frustrated at her sudden illness; the only other thing her body let her do to vent was cry.
“…… I’m sorry that you’re ill…” Diana had to admit that while she was still highly upset over the announcement of the engagement, a part of her still cared for Tabitha. She let out a sigh, “… I’m right here if you need me…” she made up her mind. After the gala, Diana had time to think about what Tabitha had said as well as reanalyze her reaction to the news. She didn’t think that she would ever get over what she felt was a slight betrayal; it wasn’t as though she had never told Bruce how she had felt about him. She didn’t know how to react or how to even feel; for as long as she could remember, he had been adamant about not dating colleagues. So, why did he start dating Tabitha; what made her so special to make the Dark Knight break his strict credence?
There were two things Tabitha mentioned that had stayed with Diana since that night; she highly doubted that she would ever stop thinking about them. She knew that Tabitha was absolutely right, albeit she had a cruel way of saying it: if Bruce really and truly wanted to be with her, he would’ve broke his code for her a long time ago. Whatever he saw in Tabitha was something that Diana couldn’t hold a grudge against, not anymore.
What Diana had said almost made her forget that she was sick; Tabitha fought to hold in the little contents that remained in her stomach to make a puzzled face.
“W-Wha… why would you… do that…”
“… Because I still consider you my friend.” she surprised her even more. Tabitha willed herself to get up and open the stall door. Diana saw that she leaned on the frame for support and helped her.
“You’re supposed to… hate me…”
“… I did. And I can’t take back how I feel about Bruce. But, I will let you know that… you were right. If Bruce wanted a romantic relationship with me… it would’ve already happened by now. I was wrong to snap at either of you the way that I did. It was just… Bruce knew how I felt about him. But, instead he chose you. I felt… cheated, so to say. And that bothered me… a lot.” she led the lightning woman to the sinks so she could wash up. When she was finished, Tabitha looked up at the Amazon.
“I ain’t special… I don’t know why he chose me over you…”
“That’s something only he knows. You can’t fault me for hating him, Tabitha. I figured that I would rather feel that way than to be mad at you; what were you supposed to do, not fall in love with Bruce?”
“… I could’ve… cuz I knew that…”
“No; that’s not fair to you. Now, don’t count on me to be super excited about the two of you getting married; I’m not signing up to be a bridesmaid! But as a colleague… and a friend… I will respect your happiness.” she continued to explain. Tabitha could only look at her with a mix of relief and amusement.
“… Thank you…” it was her turn to surprise the Amazon as she gave her a hug.
“Oh… you’re burning up! Come on; let’s take you to the infirmary…”
“The what? No… I’m good; I already know what I got. They ain’t gonna do nothing but tell me to get some rest and fluids!”
“That’s a good idea, then…” Diana hoisted her friend over her shoulders.
“W-What the hell; hey! Put me down! What the hell you doing?!”
“I know you, Tabitha Lyght; you’d leave here and go back to work!” she made her way out of the restrooms. Wally quickly backed away and stared at the two.
“Wally; help! This bitch is fucking kidnapping me!!”
“I am not kidnapping her and… did you just call me a bitch…? Anyway; she’s being put under quarantine: she has a stomach virus. Go to the infirmary for some fever reducer and meet me in her old room…” she ordered Wally.
“This ain’t helping my stomach being upside down like this!!”
“Well, maybe if you’d stop squirming, this wouldn’t be so unpleasant! And if you throw up on me, I will drop you!”
“Barb, I need you…”
“… W-W-What…?” the redhead blushed furiously as Tabitha grabbed her by the hand.
“I need your help…” she sighed out and sat Barbara down in front of the Batcomputer, “Wait… why you blushing?”
“Oh! It’s… n-n-nothing…”
“Nuh uh; tell me…”
“I… I can’t…”
“What? Why not?”
“… You’d look at me funny… and… I don’t want things weird…” she tried to explain. Tabitha leaned against the console and eyed the teen strangely.
“I don’t get it; why would it make things……… oh… wait… oh, shit; Barb!”
“I-I know that we’re a team and I really, really respect you so I never wanted things to be…”
“Just, shut up for a minute…” she had to take a moment to analyze things, “… You like me…? Like, like me, like me…? But, I thought you and Robin…”
“And, he’s really hot, you know? B-But… so are you…”
“W-Wait… stop. Barbara…… I like men; Bruce in particular!”
“… I know…”
“I mean… I’m flattered but… wait… you know that you’re underage… right…?”
“… I know… so… things are weird, now?”
“… No. Cuz nothing will happen. I’m sorry. You’re too young for me… and I’m taken…”
“So… if I was older and you weren’t with anyone…”
“Maybe…” she answered before she thought. Although Barbara continued to blush, the idea made her smile, “W-Wait… that’s not what I… uh… y-you… things ain’t weird, alright?! Just… would you just do me a favor?!”
“What do you need for me to do?”
“I need you to find out who Catwoman is; she knows who I am…”
“Yeah; think she saw my ring… well, I know that she saw my ring! I’m just saying; she could be anyone but… I gotta feeling she was at that gala. Think you could get a list of all the women that were there…?”
“… I could but… I won’t need to…”
“… You know who she is, already… don’t you…?” Tabitha slightly glared at Barbara. She shied away from her glance and looked down at her hands, “Barbara… who is she…?”
“Okay… once I tell you, you have to promise me that you won’t…”
“It’s Selina Kyle.”
“…… What…?” Tabitha stared at her in disbelief before slowly shaking her head, “No… you’re kidding me…”
“Afraid not. Now, Tabitha..."
"Son-of-a-bitch!" she stormed out of the Batcave. Barbara hopped out of the chair to follow her inside the manor. She had hoped that Bruce wasn't at home however she cringed when she saw him in one of his dens.
"Tabitha, you promised!" Barbara yelled after her. As Bruce looked up at his fiancée , he was met with a fierce slap to the face. He held his cheek in half shock and half pain, staring at Tabitha.
"You... you fucking knew!" she glared at him, attempting to control her breathing.
“… Tabitha… what…?”
“Bruce, this isn’t my fault; she was going to find out, anyway…” Barbara tried to hurriedly explain.
“I don’t even know where to fucking begin! You know what; take back the car, take back the fucking ring: take back every-fucking-thing!!” she ranted. Tabitha removed her engagement ring and flung it towards a confused Bruce.
“W-Wait… what happened…? Tabitha…”
“I am so sick and tired of folks keeping shit from me!! You thought that you’d keep me quiet and happy by giving me a fucking car; a car that I didn’t want in the first fucking place?! You thought that you could just buy me off?!?!”
“Sweetheart, I seriously don’t know what you’re talking about; I never thought that I could buy…”
“Don’t! You lost that right to call me ‘sweetheart’! I know who she is, Bruce! And, fuck you; fuck you, fuck you, fuck you for making her a part of our lives!! I tell you what; she can stay a part of yours: I don’t want her a part of mine’s!!” she continued to fume. When she turned to storm away, Bruce quickly… and unwisely grabbed her by the wrist; he received a painful shock for his insolence.
“Would you please just stop for a moment?! I don’t know who you’re talking about; no one’s a part of our…”
“You put Catwoman in our lives… on purpose! Oh, I’m sorry; I meant Selina-fucking-Kyle!!” her outburst made his eyes widen, “Yeah; how long were you gonna keep that from me?! She fucking knows who I am!! Guess you’re gonna tell me that’s what I get for wearing that ring, huh?! Cuz, oh yeah; she was here when you gave it to me!! Well, you ain’t got to worry ‘bout that no more; I’m done!!” she turned to angrily wipe at her fresh tears. Bruce could do nothing but stand there and look at her.
“Tabitha… I know that you’re upset right now… and I don’t blame you for it. But, you’re saying things that you probably don’t mean so maybe you just need some time to cool off. Hopefully, after you calm down, we can talk about this…”
“No! I don’t need no time to think about nothing; ain’t nothing you can say to make this better!! That bitch was right; I was just another name on your list of women!”
“Wait; she said that to you…? Why would she… Tabitha… that isn’t true at al…”
“Go to hell, Bruce Wayne!! Go to fucking hell for making me a fucking… statistic!! You can keep your pie and eat it, too!!”
“It’s actually… wait… Tabitha… damnit, woman; I’m not sleeping with Selina Kyle! Is that what you really… Tabitha!” he called after her however it was too late; the lightning woman had stormed out of the room, nearly tearing the doors off of their hinges as she slammed them. Barbara carefully picked up the engagement ring, holding it for Bruce to snatch out of her hands.
“Aren’t you… going to go… after her…?” she asked meekly as he angrily plopped back down in his chair.
“Stubborn, stubborn ass fuc…” he let out an exasperating sigh, “She’s fine. Just… let her cool off; she’ll come back and want to talk…”
Diana knew that the situation at hand called for some sort of intervention. Any other woman in her position would had jumped at the opportunity to attempt to reel Bruce in. However, she knew that no matter what her feelings were, they were both her friends; she couldn’t bring herself to stoop to such levels.
She didn’t believe the slight rumors that were floating around both Metro Tower and Watchtower; that the caped crusader and his fiancée had called it quits. It wasn’t until she spotted Tabitha making herself comfortable in one of the rooms in Metro Tower; Wally confirmed all that she needed to know a couple of days later. For almost a month afterwards, the signs of the breakup started to show slowly but surely; the looks that they gave each other whenever they were around (or the slight sneer that Tabitha gave out and the reluctant glance from Bruce) and especially the fact that Tabitha would assign Bruce to more and more missions, almost making sure that he wasn’t around her as much.
Diana had actually had enough of whatever games the two humans played; she simply wanted things back to normal, even if it meant for the two to get back together. Although she still carried feelings for Bruce, she admitted that it wasn’t worth to see either of them as unhappy as they were at the moment. For all that she knew (or actually highly suspected), the two wouldn’t even speak to one another; she knew that she had to do something to at least get them to talking once more.
Tabitha looked up from her plate and gave Diana a forced small smile; Wally and Jamila’s badgering had taken its toll on the lightning woman however she didn’t want to show it.
“I’m glad you’re here. I wanted to ask you for a favor…” Diana surprised her; Tabitha was sure that she was going to ask about the rumors of the breakup.
“… I want to surprise Clark… for his birthday…”
“Oh… oh, shit; his birthday is coming up!” she had been too busy trying to avoid Bruce that she had nearly forgotten.
“Just something small. I figured we could set up something at the Fortress of Solitude. Give him a few gifts, make him give you a tour…” she continued to smile. Tabitha thought about it and gave her a slight nod.
“Sounds good, actually. I’ve always wanted to see that fortress of his. Huh… that’ll give me an excuse to finish working on his gift. When we doing this?”
“Next week. Thanks, Tabitha; this will mean a lot for him.”
“He gets somewhat depressed around his birthday. Sure, he has his Earth parents but… we’re actually his only friends. Seeing us doing something nice for him… he always cherishes those moments.” she explained. Tabitha could do nothing but nod.
“Ah… okay. Well, then count me in, of course! I’ll have his gift ready by next week!”
Tabitha was surprised the next week to find that she would finally get on board Diana’s invisible plane (dubbed for its cloaking device) to travel to the Fortress of Solitude instead of teleporting there; something that she was actually glad for. Her joy was short lived as she saw who was approaching the two.
“… Aren’t you supposed to be on a mission?” she didn’t hide her disdain. Bruce let out a sigh and slightly narrowed his eyes at her.
“Wally is more capable for the mission…”
“That ain’t your decision; it’s mine!”
“Seems to me that you’re suffering from a lack of good judgment these past few weeks… as well as a level head…”
“What… the hell did you say to me?!”
“Um, guys: Clark’s birthday…?” Diana stepped in between the two. Tabitha glared at her.
“I don’t appreciate that he undermined my decisions!”
“Founding member, Tabitha; if you would stop being such a child and pay attention to reason…”
“No one said nothing to you!”
“You know what; let’s just go! I thought that you two would at least be civil for Clark’s birthday!” Diana mumbled as she climbed into her plane. She looked at the two League members who just stood there, “Sometime today…?”
“Nope; ain’t happening!”
“Tabitha… do I have to remind you that I’m stronger… and can carry you over my shoulder… again?” the Amazon narrowed her eyes at the woman. Bruce shot a curious look over at Diana.
“… You had to carry her over your shoulder…?”
“She got sick; I wanted to make sure that she would behave.” Diana shrugged but continued to look at Tabitha. Bruce looked at her.
“You were sick? When were you sick? Why didn’t you tell me?”
“Oh, we’re gonna act like I’m the only one keeping secrets?”
“That isn’t something that you should keep from me!”
“I didn’t know you were a doctor…”
“Could you two just continue this on the way to Clark’s…?”
After five more minutes of bickering, the three finally were on their way to the Fortress of Solitude. Diana took notice of the gifts.
“That’s a nice sculpture. Of course, you made it yourself?” she asked Tabitha, who beamed.
“Yep! Didn’t take me as long as I thought it would. The hardest part was tryna figure out what type of steel to use. Tee suggested an alloy steel; he said that it was easier to work with. Gotta like being friends with a physicist!” she studied her own sculpture; an abstract figure of twisting steel rods. Bruce turned to study the piece; he had always admired her work and gave it a small smile of approval. Diana warmed up at the sight; she had hoped that one of them came to their senses! She huffed and rolled her eyes at the envelope he was holding in his hand.
“… You gave him money… didn’t you…?”
“What? He’s hard to shop for! Besides, what do you give the man who has everything?”
“Maybe you could’ve gotten Selina to give him a lap dance…” Tabitha spitefully mumbled. It was enough for Bruce to widen his eyes and shoot a look behind him while Diana held her head in her hand and sighed heavily.
“You… infuriating, stubborn woman; how many times do I have to tell you that I haven’t slept with Selina?! Do you want to know the last time?!”
“Nope; pretty sure I can read it somewhere… probably a book all about Bruce Wayne and the women he’s fucked! What chapter am I; twenty-three?”
“Tabitha… never in my life have I ever hit a woman… but don’t make me come back there and shake you!”
“Bring it, ‘batboy’! You step a fucking pinkie toe back here and this statue’ll go so far up your ass…”
“STOP!! That’s ENOUGH! That’s it; no more words, from either of you! For the love of Hera; and I thought I was doing a good thing by trying to put you two back… it’s not worth it…”
“Wait, you tricked us…”
“I meant it, Bruce; no more speaking! Not to me, definitely not to her! Both of you are being childish and stubborn and I’m not going to sit here and listen to it!”
“How am I being…” Tabitha started however she received a hard glare from the Amazon. She leaned back into her seat, crossed her arms and huffed.
Diana’s plane emerged from underwater and Tabitha was awed at the sight in front of her; the start of a white crystal cavern. The three made their way through a tunnel and found themselves in the main room of Clark’s Fortress of Solitude.
“Happy birthday… what the fuck is that?!” Tabitha stopped dead in her tracks as she noticed Clark in the middle of the room. A seemingly happy expression was plastered on his face however he stood as if he was paralyzed, unaware of his surroundings. What drew Tabitha’s immediate attention was the purple plant-like object affixed in the middle of his chest, its tentacles slightly wrapped around his torso and neck.
“There’s been a breach…” Diana almost gasped as the three quickly approached Clark. Bruce immediately started to pry the object off. He looked at the women.
“You two go and investigate…”
“No; I think I can get this thing off of him…” Tabitha shook her head and started to charge up.
“Tabitha!” Bruce glared at her. She narrowed her eyes back at him but before she could open her mouth, Diana grabbed her and the two went to investigate. Diana glanced at her and shook her head.
“Why won’t you be reasonable with him? He cares so much about you…”
“If he cared, he wouldn’t have lied!”
“He technically didn’t lie; he just kept something from you: something that he felt wasn’t important.”
“Telling me that his ex, who knows who I am by the way, is Catwoman ain’t important?! He invited her to that fucking gala; how else am I supposed to react?!”
“You’re supposed to trust his judgment. Besides; who said that she was invited? She’s Catwoman; she finds ways to get inside a building!” she explained. Tabitha could only give out a small huff; Diana had a point, she realized. Yet again, she had been too quick to pass judgment instead of hearing what the man had to say.
Her thoughts were interrupted as a blast shattered the side wall, hitting both women with large chunks of debris. Tabitha groaned out in slight pain, her vision half blurred from the impact. She forced herself to move and focus only to feel a heavy hand wrap around her throat and lift her from the ground. Without looking, she quickly retaliated, giving whoever it was a powerful shock.
“I’m surprised you still have some fight in you.” the unfamiliar voice stated. Tabitha’s vision finally came back and she was looking into the red eyes of Mongul’s. She remembered his image from the simulator machine however she tried for another attack. It only made him flinch and wrap his hand around her throat even tighter, “You are starting to annoy me…” he glared at her. Tabitha glanced over to her right and saw that Diana was limp in Mongul’s other hand; so much for backup, she thought. It was then that it dawned on Tabitha; they were both knocked around by the debris… and she recovered quickly. She knew that Diana was stronger than her, able to endure much more force than she could… Diana was playing possum. Tabitha half pretended to struggle (this version of Mongul was far more potent than the one from the simulator machine; his grip around her throat was starting to cut off her air supply) and finally passed out, “Hmph; just as I thought… weak…” he mumbled as he carried the women away.
Bruce continued to study the plant embedded onto Clark’s chest; he had long since stopped trying to pry the thing off. Whatever it was, he deducted that it was indeed a parasite, the way that it had the Man of Steel locked in place. He had no idea what it was sapping out of him or even how it came to be; all Bruce wanted to do was to save Clark.
He looked up from the current scan he was doing as he heard thunderous footsteps approach the two. He narrowed his eyes at the figure but then gasped when he saw who he had hoisted over both shoulders: Diana and Tabitha.
“… You!” he slightly backed away from Clark, trying to make sense of the scene.
“If this is what Earth’s mightiest heroes have to offer… then my quest for world domination will be easy! Even with your… ‘super powers’, you are an inferior species!” Mongul gloated. Tabitha opened her eyes slightly to see if Diana would give her some sort of sign. She was glad that Diana indeed had her eyes open, giving her a slight nod. A smile crept on her face as Diana gave Mongul a swift kick to his face. He yelled out in slight pain as Tabitha charged up with all of her might and struck him; the move was enough for him to release both women.
“The last time someone called us inferior, they got their ass whipped!”
“… Actually, they just underestimated us because we’re women…”
“Eh; still got their asses handed to ‘em!” Tabitha shrugged and charged up yet again. Bruce stepping in between the three stopped her from releasing her lightning, “Move, ‘Bats’…” she grumbled.
“How did you get in here?!” he really wanted to stall; he needed to find out more about the parasite that was planted on Clark.
“That was oddly simple enough; Superman’s time spent on this puny planet has lowered his awareness: I simply… followed him…”
“What’s that on his chest…?” Tabitha nodded towards the plant.
“It’s called the Black Mercy, a very… interesting plant. Once it attaches itself to you, you’re put into a dreamland of whatever your heart truly desires…”
“So, he’s dreaming…?”
“Oh, it is far more sinister than you think!”
“I’ve heard enough…” Diana surprised everyone in the room as she went on the immediate attack. Tabitha charged up and hit Mongul with a series of lightning strikes, attempting to keep the villain distracted long enough for Diana to do some damage to him. As the three crashed into another wall of the fortress, Tabitha sadly realizes that their attempts to subdue the monster were futile; even with the two women together, they were no match for him.
Bruce grumbled but put his attention back on the Black Mercy; he knew that even at full power, neither Diana nor Tabitha were a match to Mongul. He had a vague memory of the first time that Tabitha had ran through their simulation program aboard Watchtower; the “Mongul” there was an estimation of his powers on a level twelve programming: she was battling the real, unpredictable deal. He wanted to help out but knew that someone had to be there to help Kal-El; Bruce had no idea of the limitations of the plant but figured that if it was to keep itself attached to its victim, it would sap the very life out of them.
He knew that Clark was stuck in some sort of dream world but had no idea exactly what. However, he was envisioning a place where he wasn’t known as Clark Kent but simply Kal-El, from the House of El. A simple farmer on Krypton, he had awaken in the arms of his beautiful wife, Loana. She had resembled someone from elsewhere however, he put that thought in the back of his mind as she greeted him with a simple kiss. Kal-El debated on not getting up to tend to his daily chores; he had this simple yearning to stay in her arms longer. However, his home AI attendant, Brainiac humbly interfered with that notion, reminding him, as it always did of what he had planned for the day.
Bruce continued the effort of prying the parasitic plant off; his hopes peaked slightly when he felt it trying to give way. It was slighter than an inch however it was more than what it was giving him before. He strained and tried to talk Superman out of his dream trance, telling him that whatever he was seeing wasn’t real; all the while, he cringed at the sounds of the destruction going on deeper into the Fortress. His thoughts went back to Tabitha; she was being irrational and stubborn but that didn’t change the fact that he was worried about her. He understood her anger towards him; he should’ve told her that Selina Kyle was also Catwoman. However, he never imagined that she would figure out that Tabitha was Nikki; it didn’t even dawn on him that the two would cross paths without him being present! But, he couldn’t undo the past; his problem now was how to resolve the present.
Diana wanted to check on her younger friend, who Mongul easily slammed into another wall, leaving her dazed and injured. He smirked and shrugged at the sight of Tabitha’s bruised and bloodied body.
“I admit, she packs quite a punch for a human…” his attention suddenly went towards Diana, who found herself in Superman’s weapon room. Mongul simply smirked at the weapon in her hands, “Oh, dear. Is that a neural impactor? I didn’t know that they were still making those. I’d advise you to try the plasma disruptor; it’s more of a woman’s weapon…”
“That son-of-a-bitch…” Tabitha found the strength to get up.
“Go… to… he…” Diana fired the weapon before she could finish her sentence. The blast sent him through another wall back into the main room where Bruce was making more progress with the Black Mercy. Clark’s face expression changed with every attempt, with the sounds of destruction transferred over to his “dream” in the forms of earthquake-like tremors. He had even started to hear Bruce’s pleas and finally realized that what he was seeing… was indeed a dream. He held his son, Van-El in his arms as he watched his planet slowly die in front of him, letting him know that he would never forget.
With one more forceful pull and grunt, the Black Mercy finally released its hold on the Man of Steel and he became fully aware of his surroundings. Tears in his eyes and hate written across his face, he turned to face Mongul, who had recovered and was about to go after Diana yet again. With lightning fast reflexes, Clark rammed into Mongul, forcing him back into the other room. The others were about to join him until Diana noticed the Black Mercy quickly picking its next victim; Bruce. Tabitha gasped and made her way towards him.
“B-Bruce!!” she tried however it was too late. His face went from a registered look of shock to one of slight joy, his dream world immediately unfolding. He watched as his father, Thomas Wayne, turned the tables that fateful night, getting the courage to beat up the man whose intent was to murder the Wayne parents, Joe Chill. He happily lived out the scenes as he grew up, not to become Batman but the illustrious businessman that is Bruce Wayne.
Her fears climbed into her throat as she watched the Black Mercy writhe against his chest. She charged up, determined to get the plant off but quickly thought against it. Superman would be able to take the full force of her lightning, Bruce Wayne would not; she would end up killing both the plant and him. She grabbed at one end of the plant while Diana busied herself with the other half, as they both attempted to pull it away. Bruce was unaware of anything wrong… until he came across a woman who seemed so oddly familiar to him. Immediately smitten by her, he watched as she worked her magic on one of his security towers, strands of her medium brown hair always getting in her light brown eyes. Everything from there was a whirlwind; the two dated, got engaged, got married and made Thomas and Martha Wayne the proudest grandparents Gotham City had to offer. It wasn’t until one day, he woke up and saw that Tabitha’s hair had changed. It was no longer the silky brown that he had fell in love with but snow-white. The more he studied it, the more things started to change. It had dawned on him that… her hair had always been white, for as long as he had known her. Where were her lightning powers? Where was… the Justice League? Why was his parents still alive?
The two women finally pulled the Black Mercy off of Bruce’s chest. As he collapsed on the ground, Tabitha wrapped him in her arms. Diana rushed over to where Mongul was getting the upper hand on Superman, with the Black Mercy in tow. Before he could finish him off, Diana grabbed his attention, throwing the plant towards him. As it attached itself to Mongul, Diana helped Clark out of the rummage.
Tabitha simply looked at Bruce, tears forming in her eyes.
“… That you lost me…? It’s going to take more than just a plant to kill me…” he faintly smirked. He remembered the dream state that the Black Mercy put him in and it pained him. He couldn’t do anything as far as the loss of his parents… but he was certain that he could do something about the other half that he had seen, “Tabitha… I’m so sorry that I never told you who Selina was. I’m just… so used to keeping secrets… and keeping to myself for the most part…”
“N-No. Well… yeah, you should’ve told me! But… I kinda overreacted…”
“Look, Wayne; you want my apology or not? Cuz I can just leave you here on the fucking floor…” she smiled when she saw the glint in his eyes. She straightened her face and looked at him, “What did you see?”
“I saw… you. There was no Selina, there was no Diana… or any of the fifty million other women that everyone claims I’ve slept with. It was just… you. That’s what my heart really wants.”
“So… do we… start from the beginning or pick up where we left off…?” he asked. Tabitha could do nothing but smile as she leaned down and gave him a lingering kiss, “Hmm… picking up where we left off; I have no problem with that!”
“So… does that mean they’re back together…?”
“Thank Hera!” Diana rolled her eyes. Clark let out a slight laugh. He watched as the two walked over towards them.
“Ah… guess a tour is outta the question, now…”
“I have no problem with that. Don’t mind the mess, however…” Clark wearily smiled at Tabitha. The four looked over at where Mongul was frozen in his place, a light smile playing on his face.
“Huh… I wonder what he’s seeing.”
“Whatever it is… it’s too good for him…” Bruce told Diana.
- Paraphrased from Justice League Unlimited episode, “For the Man Who Has Everything”
- Taken from Justice League Unlimited episode, “For the Man Who Has Everything”