I don't own. There's a big surprise.

It Ain't the Flu


Kyle woke up from his marathon nap when the door to the apartment opened, then slammed hastily. "So?" he asked, trying to keep his cool. Jenny, girlfriend extraordinaire did NOT look like a happy camper. "Did the doctor give a name to your disease? And is it contagious?" Whatever it was—he didn't want it.

"The good news is, it's not contagious," she said sarcastically.

Kyle started sitting up. That had been some hardcore, damned fine napping. First time in a week he'd slept that much. "Good. He give you antibiotics or something?"

"The OTHER news, thank you for asking, is that I'm pregnant."

Kyle's head slammed against the thread-bare arm of the chair. "It's not the flu?"

"It's not the flu, you creep."

"I'm a creep?"

"You're a creep." Marching past him, she went into the bedroom and slammed the door. She was really getting into this slamming doors thing today.

"You're not pregnant!" he hollered.

"You're a creep!" she hollered back through the closed door.

"You CANT be pregnant!" Boy did his head hurt. He wasn't sure if it was slamming it off the arm of the couch, or if it was all of … this. Whatever it was, it felt like a dream. A really weird, bizarre dream, from which he'd wake up and find he wasn't a creep.

"I don't know, Kyle, CAN I be?"

"No you can't!" Kyle wasn't READY to be a dad! He wasn't even ready to be an adult, much less in charge of some other person. "We're not even married!"

"Which presents a problem for you," a deep voice said behind him… at the window. This had officially gone from weird dream to nightmare. Obsidian, Jenny's brother, wasn't the most stable guy in the universe. Their somewhat psychic link must have tipped him off.

"WHAAAT!? I gave her a ring! She gave it back!"

"Todd, go away!" Jenny screamed from the bedroom.

"I'm just here to--"

Without waiting to see how the overprotective brother routine went down, Kyle made a mad dash for the window in the kitchen, and Green Lantern hit the sky.

This was so not happening. This wasn't happening, because he could barely get his work done for Feast magazine and be in the Justice League, and be the yucky end of New York's insanely good-looking protector. This wasn't happening because he just plain couldn't deal with it. Therefore—well, it wasn't happening.

* * *

Two hours later found Kyle sitting at his kitchen table, starting on his second box of Krispee Kreme doughnuts. The licorice hadn't made it home. He couldn't remember ever eating his way through stress, but now seemed like an OK time to start. Obsidian wanted to kill him. Jade was pregnant. He was the dad. The only thing that could make this worse was if—


If Allen showed up.

"It's open!" he hollered.

"Do you want to tell me WHY you walked out on my daughter?" Yup. Allen. And he was "destroy the interloping boyfriend" angry.

"Technically, I didn't walk out on her," Kyle answered, quickly swallowing another doughnut. "I decided I'd rather NOT destroy another wall fighting with Todd. And she called me a creep." He tore into another doughnut.

Allen Scott, otherwise known as Sentinal, stopped at the table and placed his hands upon it, leaning over Kyle and his stash. "I demand to know what your intentions are towards my daughter."

Kyle laughed bitterly. "I was thinking of moving to Alaska, and not leaving a forwarding address, actually." He looked up at his mentor and friend. "Give me a break, Allen. I have no idea WHAT the hell I'm doing, but when the hell did that ever stop me?"

"And when the hell have you ever known what you were doing. Good point." Allen's neck muscles seemed to relax, just a little. His forehead stopped throbbing as well. "And you sure screwed the hell up in the beginning, but you never backed down. This is your ONE token screw up—flying away from my daughter. Now I want you to go to Gotham and talk to her."

Kyle shook his head. "Batman'll kill me." There you go. Add that to your list of problems—trespassing on Bat-territory.

"Batman doesn't cover the 'Burbs. Now get over to my house and straighten this out."

Kyle nodded and rose. "Doughnut?" When he stood, all the contents of his stomach settled, and he felt he was going to be sick. His heart was racing from the sudden sugar rush.

"No," Allen said patiently, then smiled. "And Kyle… if I am going to be stuck with someone as a family member… you're an all right person to be stuck with."

Well, THAT was pretty telling of what Allen expected of him. Still—he wasn't in the least opposed. "Thanks… grandpa."

"Grandpa…" Allen mused. "You'd better quit calling me that. People'll think I'm old."

"No, Allen, we wouldn't want that, now would we?" The man had lived TWO lifetimes. Kyle grinned at the irony of the situation, then took off out the window. He was sure Allen could let himself out.

* * *

"So what I'm trying to say is, I won't fly away ever again when you're talking to me." Even if your brother is ready to pound me into the ground, Kyle silently added.

Jenny continued scraping ice cream out of the bottom of the second tub she'd conquered since retreating to her father's house. She'd arrived, complained thoroughly and cried herself out over Todd and Kyle, then sojourned to the freezer.

"'S ok," Jenny muttered. "Didn't expect you to understand."

Be rational, Kyle. "And I guess we should get married or something." Like I wanted to do in the first place, but you turned me down, but took the Green Lantern ring. Life is cruel.

"Or something."

He ventured to put an arm around her. "Look, Jen… I have never gotten an instruction book for anything. Not this ring, not life…nothing. So I'm going to mess up now and again. But for as long as you're willing to put up with me… I'm yours. I won't stand down. Just cause I'm too dumb, and I love you too much." So can we please get hitched, already?

"Fine. But you're still a creep."

"Jen, you're mad about? Still?" Kyle panicked suddenly. He hadn't anticipated that Jenny might not want…

"You're just a creep."

Kyle looked at her with wide, horror-filled eyes. "You're gonna keep the baby, right?"

"Of course I am," Jenny responded angrily, pushing away the empty container. "But you're still a creep."

"I'm a creep," Kyle reaffirmed. "I take full responsibility." Inside, he breathed a sigh of relief. "So… what're we going to do about it?" Read: when can we set a date?


"WHAT?" She was killing him. Jade was going to be the end of Kyle Rayner.

She folded her arms over her chest. "You heard me. Nothing."

"We're not going to get married?" he asked in a panic. "I mean… you said eventually…" He didn't know if it was the sugar overdose, or the situation that was causing his heart to palpitate.

She tucked her green hair behind her adorable green ears. Didn't she know how perfect she was? "I'm not going to marry you just because I'm pregnant. What's wrong with the way things are right now?" Ok, so she wasn't infallible.

"Todd and your dad. Trying to kill me. Those're two perfectly good reasons to get married. And things aren't going to be the way they are now. Not at two am feeding time." Oh God. Kyle was going to get less sleep than he got now.

"Look, Can we just not talk about 'wedding' right now? I mean… it's important, and I know we'll have to deal with it eventually, but I can't handle everything right now."

Even though it sounded kind of foreboding about actually getting her down the aisle, he could respect that she was overwhelmed. He'd been overwhelmed. He'd been overwhelmed three pounds of candy and two-dozen doughnuts ago.

"You can handle ANYTHING, Jen," he informed her. "But I won't bug you." Sometimes it was a lot easier to handle giant monsters and slimy aliens. In those cases, you knew what to do. You kicked ass, and that was the end of it. "We'll take it slow and stuff."

Cautiously, he put his arm around her. "So… we gonna get a bigger apartment, or what?" He'd gotten a three-room, and it had gotten crowded with the addition of his 'roommate'. He didn't know what would happen to the space once they had a permanent boarder taking up residence in some oversized crib.

Crib. Car seat. Baby. "Dude. We're going to be parents."

She slapped his arm. "I already told you that, stupid."

"TES-TY," he pointed out. Man, and he thought HE was freaking out over this. "I just mean… think about it. This is gonna be cool. You'll see. If it's a girl, we can dress her up all cute and stuff. And if it's a boy, we'll get him a little baseball cap…"

"We're having a baby, not a tea party. You don't play with them like dolls."

"Sure you can," he told her. "It'll be fun."

"LOTS of fun," she grumbled.

He gave her a hug. It wasn't just the shock of this. "Jen… something else is up, isn't it?"

At least she didn't push him away or smack him again. She was a pretty girl, but she threw a mean punch. "Just… I don't know. My childhood wasn't that brilliant."

"So? We'll have a chance to give a kid all the stuff we didn't have."

Jenny's head rested upon his shoulder unhappily. "What if it ends up in an orphanage?"

"It won't. Say we both kick it? There's still your dad. And your brother. I guess." Kyle decided he'd better not die any time soon. Like before the kid was out of college. COLLEGE. He was still paying on his own student loans. Don't panic, he ordered himself.

"Oh yeah, Todd with a kid." But a smile did begin to slowly spread across her lips. "That'd be as funny as it would be sad."

"DO you know how much I'm going to be laughed at by the Justice League? 'YOU? A FATHER?' that's about as funny as Plastic Man as a parent. Look." He squeezed her shoulders. "We may not get through this gracefully, but we WILL survive."

"No one ever died from being a parent, huh?"

"Well, it didn't do good things for Darth Vader. But WE are going to get through this."

"But first we have to talk to my brother…"

Kyle rolled his eyes, disengaging himself from her embrace. "He still wants to kill me, doesn't he?"

"Well… no. Not exactly…" Jenny trailed off.

Kyle sighed. "He just wants to make me wish I were dead." Wondering when life would get normal, he picked up the cordless phone off the kitchen counter.