Title: this is mine you can't take it
Author: K
E-mail: cliokat@obsessivetendencies.net
LJ name: smartlikejustin
Website: www.obsessivetendencies.net/am
Recipient: Lilacsigil
Featured character: Zora (Powers)
Summary: wedding planning isn't all it's cracked up to be
Author's notes: Set during the "Supergroup" arc. Thanks to LiviaPenn & Sarah T. for organizing.

The fact that Zora's getting married is completely ridiculous. She's still not particularly sure it's true, but when she checks her voice mail, there are two messages from two different event planners, three from a DJ named "SuperSonic" who seems to specialize in Powers weddings and one from Melvin the florist. She doesn't have to be a detective to understand that this probably means it is true, she's planning a wedding.

There's also a message from Christian, just calling to say hi and see if she wanted to grab dinner. Zora smiles at that one and forces herself to return the other calls before she lets herself call Christian.

"Walker." His voice is gruff, tired and Zora wonders why the phones at the station don't have caller i.d.

"It's me," she's sitting in a coffee shop, facing the street. She's wearing 'street clothes,' jeans and a t-shirt and there are two college-age guys sitting to her left and staring at her. She smiles and they turn away. "What's new?"

"Murder, death, violence, mayhem and murder. Also, I think there's a cat in a tree over on Elm." Christian's laugh has changed and she tries to remember if it changed after the accident (which is how she thinks of when he lost his powers) or after (she doesn't like to think of the death at all, so she just stops there, just 'after'). Zora can't figure it out and if she really lets herself think about it, it might be because it didn't change at all. "You?" he asks.

"No, nothing today. Just some guys trying to pick me up." The boys at the next table look away and she grins. "Dinner sounds good, when will you be finished?"

**

Zora has a hard time remember a mother or a father or any of those things. She isn't interested in why and she doesn't need those things, so it's fine. But as she's sitting on Christian's couch, the fabric rough against her bare shoulders, she thinks that her mother would tell her that a mumbled question barely qualifies as a proposal. Someone's mother would, anyway, so why not hers?

"You wanna repeat that?" she asks after a few seconds, trying for light and maybe achieving it.

Christian sighs, scrubs a hand through his hair and over his face, obscuring everything but his eyes and they look amused, sad as always, but amused and she smiles in response.

He uncovers his face and rests his hand on the couch just beside her leg. "Not really?" He smiles up and her and she blinks realizing again that he really did get down on one knee. She never would have expected that. A few more seconds pass and Christian rolls his eyes, "You're going to make me."

She laughs, then, finally and years flake away from her memory, leaving gilded edges and scraping away all the missed potential. She shakes her head no, wraps her fingers around Christian's hand and nods.

"Okay," she answers and when he smiles, she remembers when his hair was longer and his eyes lighter.

**

Dinner gets postponed, pushed back to the next night because Zora has to take down some small-time disaster of a super-villain. Something like 'The Clash' or 'Flashpoint.' She wishes they'd come up with better names. They all start to blend together like watching The Powers That Be on a fast-forward loop.

She gets to Christian's house, comes in through an open window because it's easier than carrying keys in this outfit. She strips and throws her costume over a rack in the bathroom. In Christian's room, the bed is empty, neatly made and a sheet of paper on the pillow. 'On a case. Dinner tomorrow?'

Zora smiles and sets the paper on the nightstand next to a case file and a worn copy of a novel she's never seen Christian read. For a moment, she thinks about getting dressed and heading home. Christian won't be back for hours. But the bed is there and there's a stinging sensation telling her she might have a small cut on the top of her thigh, so she climbs under Christian's sheets and breathes against his pillow.

She's unconscious almost immediately, but laughs in her sleep when the bed moves next to her and fingers brush gentle circles below her hip.

**

A wedding to plan and she's on the verge of phoning up Colleen McDaniel just so someone might make a show of breathless excitement. Of course, Zora won't, because it would only be a show and the evening tabloids would be screaming about tragic love stories and mysterious pasts, but still. The temptation is there.

Zora gets a few details from Christian about what he would like, so she imagines he really meant it and she's going to do this. There are a few other married Powers, but Zora doesn't really know any of them. More importantly, marriage isn't something she ever imagined or wanted, but now it makes sense. As much sense as anything else, anyway.

In the park, there's a gazebo, near a stand of oak trees and they have weddings there sometimes. The event planner assures Zora that it's lovely, blue skies and songbirds, flowers in bloom and a bride with the sun in her hair. Zora nods, listening intently and then stops short near the statue.

She forgot it was here, all glittering stone and the shadow of a leaf is traced across the carved face. Zora feels guilty and briefly angry before it's all replaced with a familiar sadness. Time passes in her mind, moments playing out like time release photography until the small woman steps into her field of vision.

"Miss? Did you want to see the--?"

Zora doesn't wait to hear the rest of the question, just shakes her head. "We'll have it here. This is great. Just call me with the details." Zora's gone before an answer can be given.

**

Three aborted dinners and tonight was absolutely going to be it, but now Zora is flying across the city, blood rushing against her ears and the sounds of the city faint below her. She didn't call, she should have called, but she didn't and hopefully Christian won't be waiting because the phone is tucked in her purse in the bridal shop dressing room.

She's already halfway to the scene when she remembers all this, remembers the dinner, remembers her phone, remembers Christian and wonders where he is. She doesn't wonder, really, she never does, but it's easier not to know these things, not to know when danger is looming like a flicker of pain in the back of her neck. It's not her power, but she doesn't remember a time when she couldn't sense this kind of thing. So now she remembers that they were going to a Chinese place she likes, quiet where no one notices her and she pictures Christian waiting there.

The streets are chaos and there's a fight. Zora recognizes Deena right away, shudders against a gust of wind and wonders if the wedding dress tore when she pulled it off so quickly. She stops in mid-air and takes a deep breath. Just before she moves in to get involved and do what she came to do, she inhales and remembers that she needs to ask Christian about cakes.

When everything is always so outside the ordinary, it's natural to crave normal things like mocha cake and white lace, she thinks, smiling again at the absurdity of it, before she lets all the thoughts go as she flies towards the bad guy of the day.