Bedtime Stories - Green Lantern
Disclaimers etc posted previously.
"Sorry," came a whisper from above her head, and she opened her eyes.
"Don't be," she answered, staring at the television past the foot of the bed. It was blinking from channel to channel, pausing briefly here and there for global news. Nothing was happening, of course. How could it? Who could possibly have the energy or the will to wish for anything but sleep and companionship after ... after all that?
She raised her head to look up at Kyle's face. He was staring at the screen, his brow furrowed. She dropped a kiss to his chest. "Couldn't sleep?" she asked sympathetically.
His eyes left the television screen for a moment. "Superman called. It was Mars."
She nodded. "And J'onn and Batman?"
"They're back." His fingers continued working the remote, flipping through the channels.
Jen ran a hand gently, soothingly, down his chest. "They're okay?"
Kyle nodded, his eyes still riveted on the TV.
Jen reached out and gently closed her hand over his on the remote. "Hey," she said. "How about you talk about it?"
Kyle's body went tense for a moment, then he sighed and snapped the television off, tossing the remote to one side. "You're right."
Jen slid up in the bed to kiss his cheek. "Of course I'm right," she noted, shifting so they were face to face, so she could see his eyes. She reached out to trace his jaw. "What's wrong?"
Kyle dropped his eyes and stared down at his hands, bare of the ring in case he fell asleep. He traced the space on his finger where he usually wore it. "The world doesn't need any superheroes right now," he said quietly.
"That's probably a good thing, given..." She trailed off. No need to finish the sentence.
"I know. It is a good thing. But it won't last."
"Probably not," Jen acknowledged.
"Don't you wish it could, though?" Kyle pleaded, his eyes meeting hers with sudden intensity. "I mean really wish - don't you feel like you got a glimpse, there toward the end, of what -"
He broke off as if words could never hope to be adequate, and Jen gathered his hands into her own. "Yes, Kyle," she whispered. "Yes, I do. Even as much as I missed my powers before, I'd trade them back if it meant that the world would never need them again.
"The world's not there yet, Kyle. I know what you mean about getting a glimpse of what it could be, but at what cost?"
Kyle sighed and turned his face away. "I know. It's just-"
She squeezed his hands slightly. "Kyle." He turned back to her, his eyes still haunted. She offered him a little smile.
"I love you, you know."
He blinked at her, then a slow smile started on his face. "Yeah?"
She nodded. "Yeah. Even when you're being a giant angst ball."
He raised an eyebrow. "Angst ball?"
She shrugged. "First thing that came to mind?"
He chuckled and pulled her toward him, wrapping his arms around her tightly. "I love you, too, Jen," he breathed into her hair.
She kissed his collarbone in response, urging him to settle back into the bed and cuddling up to him. He stayed awake a while longer, staring at the ceiling, but then she felt his body relaxing and his breathing deepening into sleep. She smiled slightly to herself and pressed another soft kiss into his chest.
"You're a good man, Kyle Rayner," she whispered. Then she closed her eyes and joined him in sleep.