A Jordyverse fanfic
By Kimberly T. email: kimbertow at yahoo dot com
Rating: PG-13, and I really mean it. Not erotic, but very graphic; don't read this if you haven't had Sex Ed in school yet.
Disclaimer: I don't own nothin', folks! DC Comics and associates own all the characters except Jordy and Mara, and those two are the creation and property of the inestimable Tammy Reichenbach. I'm just borrowing them for a bit, is all…
Moonlight shone down upon the small forest clearing, giving faint illumination to the couple snuggled together into the large sleeping bag. One of the pair stared up into the night sky with unfocused eyes, as the moonlight seemingly bathed his face with a greenish tinge… But in reality, his skin was already a light mint green.
Jordan Raynor supposed it was ironic, in a way; for days he'd been all but begging for a break from his and Mara's combined super-heroing and business duties, enough time for both some "quality time" with each other and, at least for himself, a chance to catch up on his sleep. Now, finally, the two of them were alone on a camping trip, with no trackers or communicators to call them back to duty, and they had sent away Arsenal (geez, didn't it just figure that he'd be the one to find them? That man had a genuine talent for interrupting intimate moments!) with instructions for everyone to leave them alone for a few days. Finally, he and Mara had enjoyed some "quality time", and yes it had been very good, thank you very much… But now he couldn't sleep.
Mara was already sound asleep, curled up alongside him with her left arm draped across his chest, still clinging to him even in her sleep… a trait he secretly treasured, considering how, as Robin, she tended to keep herself cold and aloof, apparently needing no one. Jordy loved it when she privately admitted how much she needed him; as much as he needed her. He gently caressed her hand as it lay on his chest… and felt the slight, almost unnoticeable catch as her wedding ring momentarily snagged on his power ring.
He pulled his hand out of the sleeping bag, to stare at his ring as it glinted in reflected moonlight. The one aspect of their costumed personas that they hadn't left behind; he hadn't volunteered to take it off, and she hadn't asked it of him. It was tacitly understood by the entire superhero community that a Green Lantern might take his or her costume off, but never took off the ring. He'd packed the power lantern, too, though it was still in the bag with the first aid kit and would stay packed away whenever he wasn't actively recharging. He'd recharged before they'd left on their camping trip, and he'd already decided to do a quick recharge the next morning while Mara was away to answer the call of nature; not exactly hiding it, but not making it blatant either. But this was why he couldn't sleep… Not just the fact that he was wearing his power ring, but what he was thinking of doing with it.
Just before Arsenal had poked his nose into their private time, they'd been joking that Mara's mom, the Oracle, would probably tear strips off of them for depriving her of any way to track or communicate with them, unless they presented her with another grandchild as a result of the trip. But behind the joking was their mutual desire, so sharp and strong it was almost painful, for a baby of their own; a desire that had been growing with every passing month since they'd deliberately stopped using birth control. The problem was, not only did their busy schedules leave them with little time for baby-making, but Mara's stress-filled and extremely athletic lifestyle meant her body's menstrual cycle was anything but regular; she could go over two months between periods. There was no way to tell when she was fertile, short of daily testing for hormone levels, and while they could certainly afford that, their combined civilian and superhero duties sometimes kept them apart for days anyway. So, they'd more-or-less agreed to just keep having sex whenever they had time for it, and leave the rest up to God or chance.
But God hadn't been very nice to them lately… Their first child, the one they'd conceived without conscious intent, had been taken from them before they'd even become aware that Mara was pregnant. Lex Luthor had killed their baby, in his attempt to kill Mara in retaliation for her corporate attacks on Lexcorp. They'd made him pay for that, but it hadn't eased the ache in their hearts, filled the void in their lives that their baby had left behind. That was why, as soon as the doctors had said it should be safe for her to conceive again, they'd made a silly little ceremony of tossing all the condoms and other birth control devices in the trash, and started intentionally working on conceiving another child.
Three months later, their efforts had paid off; he would always remember the sparkle in Mara's eyes on that winter morning when she'd woken him up by bouncing onto the bed and waving the telltale stick in front of his blinking eyes. That had been probably the happiest morning of their lives… which made what had happened three days later all the more crushing. On the very morning before the doctor's appointment to confirm the pregnancy, he'd awoken to hear her sobbing in the bathroom… and when he'd gone in to check on her, the blood in the toilet and spattered on the bathroom rug and the bleak look in her tear-reddened eyes told him what had happened. She had miscarried again… and this time, there was no handy villain to blame for it. No one to hate, which left only grief… and self-doubt, as they wondered what had gone wrong.
Though she never said it aloud, Jordy knew that Mara blamed herself for the miscarriage; blamed the dangerous life she had chosen, though she hadn't experienced any life-or-death situations as Robin and had hardly even put the costume on in the three days between discovery and miscarriage. He'd tried to take the blame from her by speculating aloud about the meta factor in his genes, wondering if that had caused the fetus to be unviable, but she'd refused to accept that. Meta-superheroes right and left were having kids with no ill effects, and he'd inherited his meta gene straight from his mother, who'd certainly had no problem carrying him to term. No, she blamed herself… but Jordy quietly blamed God for doing this to them, and especially to her.
Now, months later, they'd come to terms with their loss enough that they were trying again, even joking about it. And trusting to luck, or God, that this time it would all work out well… but Jordy didn't want to just trust luck or God anymore.
His ring glowed green, ever-so-faintly. A Green Lantern's ring was virtually the most powerful device in the known universe; its uses were basically limited to its wearer's imagination, and said wearer's ethical code. And GL's were generally chosen for their high ethical standards, among other psychological traits. It wasn't stated aloud in the oath that one renewed every day when recharging, but every GL knew that the ring was not to be used for true personal gain, and promised not to do so upon receiving a ring. Jordy had promised that years ago, upon receiving his mother's ring after her death in combat, and had meant every word of that oath despite his soul-crushing grief at the time. And he'd done his best to keep that promise ever since that day. But now…
The ring was basically limited only by his imagination. And both he and Mara had done a lot of reading over the past year, about the female reproductive system and how new life was conceived and developed; he figured he could picture the process pretty well by now. He was almost sure he could do it: use the ring to help them conceive a baby, and help keep it safe within her until it was mature enough for birth. But he was also sure that doing so would violate his oath not to use the ring for personal gain… and going way beyond that; manipulating the forces of Life and Death. Playing God. Nearly a Parallax-level violation. He'd be drummed out of the GL Corps, no doubt about it, and probably disowned by the Titans and JLA as well… but only if somebody found out about it.
He lifted his eyes from the ring, staring up at the cold moon overhead, but not really seeing it. Instead, he was seeing in his mind's eye a sort of cosmic balancing scale, and weighing all the reasons for and against using the ring. On one side, there was the weight of his oath and his ethics, and the possible censure of the Corps, the Titans, the JLA and maybe even his own father. On the other side, there was an empty cradle, his own desire to see it filled… and the look in Mara's eyes.
It was remembering that bleak look of despair in her eyes that finally tipped the scale. He loved his wife more than Life itself, and he'd give damn near anything to see that joyous sparkle in them again.
He glanced down at Mara's face… still sleeping. Good. If she was awake, she might protest that he shouldn't violate his oath and ethics on her behalf… but she never really understood, even after all this time, how very much he needed her in his life, and how important she was to him. He brought his hand down inside the sleeping bag, and eased it down to rest lightly on her hip. Then he began to concentrate…
He envisioned an arrangement similar to a surgeon's fiber optic micro-camera probe, hooked up to a video monitor. Underneath the layers of synthetic fabric, a beam of green energy poured out of his ring and arced around to painlessly enter her abdomen, while another shot up through the sleeping bag and formed a small TV in midair. He mentally turned it on and focused it, while the probe ran through his wife's pelvic anatomy.
Colon, lower intestine… he was pretty sure that was the bladder… okay, the next organ was definitely the uterus. He sent the probe inside, willing it to register any non-uterine tissue, even down to the cellular level. He found a mass of cells that got his heart to beating faster for a few moments, until he realized it was just an amorphous cloud of his own sperm, left in there from their lovemaking a few hours before. He focused in closer. There were a lot of the little guys wriggling their tails and swimming around, but no sign of an egg. Which meant that he had some very delicate work to do now…
The probe left the uterus and began moving upwards and outwards, following the nearest Fallopian tube. He took a careful look at one ovary, then backtracked to follow the other tube to find the other one. And the ovary on the left seemed to be just a wee bit larger than the other one; he guessed/hoped that meant it was closer to being 'ripe' for producing an egg cell, and set to work. A third beam of energy shot out of his ring, and followed the microcam probe inside. It enveloped the ovary, and he began ever-so-gently palpating and stimulating it. Gently… so very slowly and carefully… such delicate work, and God only knew what could happen if he screwed it up… Nothing yet. Keep it up, keep stimulating…
…There! An egg was emerging from the ovary, traveling towards the Fallopian tube. He breathed a sigh of relief, and only then realized he was sweating from such intense and prolonged concentration. But his work wasn't finished yet; the egg wasn't even properly in the Fallopian tube, and he remembered reading that it sometimes took days for that microscopic specialized cell to make its way through the tube to the uterus. They were only going to be out here for two more days before heading back to their usual frenetic, Gotta-go-save-the-world, see-you-next-Tuesday-I-hope sort of lifestyle. The best time for baby-making was right now… He began very carefully nudging the egg cell along, guiding it through the Fallopian tube on the same path it would have normally taken, but at what was probably the equivalent of a breakneck pace. This also had to be done with extreme care and delicacy, for fear of damaging either the egg or his wife's fragile tissues. He was so very tired now, not just from his earlier efforts but from all the days without enough sleep before this trip and from all the hours spent lying awake while debating this course of action, but he refused to stop. He'd heard of ectopic pregnancies, where the egg was fertilized while still en route and became lodged in the Fallopian tube; those always ended in miscarriages, and sometimes killed the mother as well. C'mon, just another inch or so, though at this microscopic scale it seemed to be another mile or so…
…Made it! The egg was poised at the edge of the tube, about to descend into the uterus. Far enough along that he could let it go, in confidence that it would soon descend the rest of the way on its own… and probably encounter some company along the way. Go get 'er, guys, he thought tiredly as he let all his constructs dissolve back into his ring. First one there gets the prize. And if none of you are up to the task, tomorrow I'm sending in reinforcements… Those were his last tired but highly satisfied thoughts as he cuddled Mara just a little bit closer and finally dropped off to sleep.
'Reinforcements' were sent in the next morning, after Mara woke him up by nibbling on his ear. For the rest of the day, they relaxed and played; they went canoeing together in the morning, and once they were on the other side of the lake they hiked along one of the trails until they found a field of wild blueberries, perfectly ripe and ready for munching. And more 'reinforcements' were sent in during their 'nooner' in the middle of the blueberry field, which left Jordy spattered with splotches of purplish blue here and there on his mint-green skin. That called for a brief swim in the icy-cold waters of the lake, to wash off before canoeing back to their campsite. And when Jordy jokingly whined about how he still hadn't properly warmed up from that icy-cold swim, Mara had the perfect idea for getting warm again…
By nightfall, they were both a little tired and deliciously sated from their day of intimacy. Okay, Jordy was a lot more tired than Mara, but he wasn't complaining; not when he saw the way she almost glowed in the firelight, as they made s'mores by the campfire. Of course, one's fingers can get very sticky when making s'mores, and so they had to lick their fingers clean quite often… and it really was more fun to lick each other's fingers clean… And oh dear, they got chocolate and melted marshmallow on their clothing, so those would have to come off…
Once he'd finished 'sending in reinforcements' for the fifth time in 24 hours, Jordy was so tired he just couldn't keep his eyes open any longer. He had only a vague impression of Mara chuckling gently as she zipped them both up inside the giant sleeping bag before oblivion claimed him and sent him into dreamless sleep.
Sometime in the middle of the night, Jordy groggily stirred awake with an urgent mission; his bladder was announcing that it was filled to capacity, and he really, really had to go find a bush right away. He squirmed out of the sleeping bag, waking up Mara in the process, but she only grumbled at him incoherently before rolling over and going back to sleep.
He found his sneakers and did his business in the bushes several yards away from their campsite, and once he'd stumbled back he just stood next to their sleeping bag for a few moments, staring down at Mara's sleeping form. She was so beautiful, even with her hair tousled in sleep… no, especially then. He very quietly sat down on a cooler next to the sleeping bag, wrapping a constructed green blanket around himself to ward off the night chill; mildly afraid that if he put any of his regular clothing on, the rustle of clothing might wake her up. Then he just gazed at his wife for a little while longer. She was so beautiful… and was she also…?
He knew it was probably too soon to tell, and there was a risk of waking her up, and there were probably a dozen more reasons why he shouldn't do it, but he did it anyway. Just as he had the night before, he created an internal probe-camera and sent it to peek inside her womb, setting it to register and highlight on the monitor all non-uterine tissue. He nodded to himself as the monitor immediately picked up on an amorphous cloud, undoubtedly the last wave of 'reinforcements' he'd sent in. And right at the edge of that cloud was the egg…
Waitaminnit… there was something different about the egg now. He focused on it more closely…
Just in time to catch the mitosis; cells dividing into halves, in order to grow and multiply. There were already four cells in the microscopic cluster, and as he stared wide-eyed at the monitor, they divided into eight.
"My God," he breathed reverently, as fervent as he was near-silent, as the realization hit him like a freight train. That wasn't an egg anymore, that was an embryo… "It worked. It worked…" He was staring at the new life they had just created together. Their child… It wasn't until the monitor blurred in his vision that he realized he was crying.
He was suddenly seized by the impulse to wake her up and tell her, let her share in the wonder and joy of it all. And he almost did it, too, until he realized that he couldn't tell her how he knew without revealing what he'd done the night before; Mara always knew when he wasn't telling her everything, trying to hold something back, and she'd give him the 3rd degree until he spilled all.
And he wouldn't burden her with the knowledge of what he'd done, using his ring in such a blatant violation of the GL code of ethics; she'd probably find a way to blame herself for his decision, just as she still blamed herself for dragging him into her battle with Lex Luthor the year before. He sighed heavily, knowing that he was going to have to keep his cookie-trap shut about the whole business until she discovered her pregnancy for herself.
Well, at least he was pretty sure that once she did find out, he'd be the first one to know. She wouldn't just drop subtle hints to him and wait for him to figure it out, like Cassie had done to poor Tim when she'd gotten pregnant; they both knew he couldn't 'detect' his way out of a wet paper bag. But how long did he have to wait? The first time she'd gotten pregnant, Mara still hadn't realized when she'd been over two months along, and the last time…
The last time, they'd never had the opportunity to find out how far along she was, before she miscarried.
That was NOT going to happen this time. His eyes narrowed in determination as he stared at her silhouette under the sleeping bag cover. He'd already screwed over his ethics one time on this trip, and that was just for the mere possibility of making a baby. Now that she actually had new life developing inside her, not only would he chuck the GL Code out the window, but he'd cheerfully piss in the whole Corps', JLA's and Titans' collective eyes if that would help her carry this baby to term.
It wasn't a widely-known fact, but a Green Lantern ring was actually, though not alive, something close to sentient; it had to be, in order to link with its wearer, receive telepathic commands and carry them out with green energy and constructs. It had no will of its own, as the Guardians had been very careful to leave that out of the design; the last thing a GL needed in the middle of a firefight was a ring giving him/her/it backtalk about the best combat strategies. The ring Kyle Rayner wore was a little bit different, but Jordy's ring was a kind-of-clone of Hal Jordan's ring, and he'd once heard the old-timers in the League reminiscing about how Hal used to talk to his ring sometimes, and would even swear it answered back. Jordy had never tried it before, but there's always a first time for everything…
He made a fist and stared down at his ring, while thinking at it as hard as he could: Okay, Ring, I'm about to give you Standing Orders. You will form a protective bubble around that baby, to keep it safe inside her womb no matter what happens, until it's ready to be born. A nurturing bubble, to make sure it always receives the right nutrients it needs to grow and be healthy, but none of the bad stuff. Even if Mara gets sick or injured, the baby is kept safe and healthy and growing, and you will divert as much ring energy as is needed for that, at all times. I don't care if I'm in the middle of a firefight half a galaxy away; you will keep the baby safe and healthy FIRST, and then use whatever energy's left over to make whatever I need right then. Is that clear? Um… if you understand, and you can do this, give me a little flash of light.
And the ring… winked at him, before a shimmering beam of emerald energy arced out of it and down into Mara's sleeping form. The glowing emerald stream lasted only for about five seconds, before it faded away… but Jordy somehow sensed that it hadn't stopped, not really; the link between the ring and the baby was still there, just invisible to human eyes.
He felt both wonderful and terrible at the same time; so many strong emotions bubbling up that he was getting a headache from sheer stress. In the past 24 hours, he'd violated his oath and his ethics six ways from Sunday… but it was for a good cause, and in nine months' time, he'd be a father. That was the most important thing, and he'd take whatever punishment he had coming to him if only he and Mara could have and keep their baby.
But who said he had to be punished for it at all? So far, even Mara didn't know what he'd done and was continuing to do. He just had to keep quiet about it, and tell the feelings of guilt that were already welling up inside him to go the Hell away and bother somebody else; somebody like that Mustard, who could use a conscience transplant anyway.
He was going to be a father, and that was what mattered most. He held onto that thought with all his might as he slipped back into the sleeping bag beside his wife, cuddled her close protectively and told himself to go back to sleep. But he couldn't sleep; instead, he spent several long hours staring up at the stars…