Title: Big Brother Hal Explains it All – Chaper 2
Characters/Pairings: Hal Jordan, Razer/Aya
Summary: It had been nearly a week since 'The Incident'. Now, it was time for 'The Talk'
Spoiler Warning: This takes place after the season one finale "Homecoming". Minor spoilers.
It had been nearly a week since 'The Incident'.
It had been quite a shock to Hal and Kilowog. They both knew that Aya had been evolving since they took her out for a 'joy ride' less than a year ago. Her development had been rather rapid, but neither had realized she had progressed so far.
Immediately following 'The Incident', they were attacked by some rogue Red Lanterns who didn't like the idea of cooperating with The Guardians. They were able to fight them off easily enough, but afterward Razer sequestered himself in his quarters and hadn't been out since.
At first, Hal thought he was hiding from Aya. He knew Razer was fond of Aya, as they all were, but that had to have been unnerving. Of course, hiding from Aya on The Interceptor was an exercise in futility but Hal couldn't really blame Razer. He'd probably have done the same in his shoes.
But one day, Hal woke up earlier than usual and found Aya coming out of Razer's quarters.
"Good morning, Green Lantern Hal," Aya greeted as she headed for the bridge.
"Ah, good morning, Aya," Hal replied. He hesitated slightly then pressed on. "I see Razer is speaking to you again."
"Razer speaks to me regularly," Aya replied, not missing a step.
"Wait, regularly?" Hal said, quickly following Aya. "As in the past week, regularly?"
"Yes, and prior."
Hal didn't reply. He went to his usual seat at the command console and thought. Hal had often been accused of not thinking enough. This wasn't entirely true – he just preferred to think on his feet. But he found sitting down and thinking to be useful on occasion.
Razer was obviously not hiding from Aya, which means he was hiding from who? Him? Kilowog? Was he afraid they say something about 'The Incident'? Well, Hal hadn't planned on it, but given recent discoveries...
Yes, a talk was needed and a talk would be had. It was his duty as Aya's surrogate big brother.
They landed later that day on Mogo. At first, Hal was afraid that Razer would remain on board, but when Aya exited The Interceptor, Razer was close behind. Hal noticed the Red Lantern was taking great care not to look at either him or Kilowog.
Hal 'casually' walked over to them.
"I think I'm going to take a quick fly around while we wait for Saint Walker," he said. Then, before anybody could react, he grabbed Razer firmly by his upper arm. "Let's go, Razer," he said has he launched into the air.
Hal dragged Razer along with with him, The Interceptor quickly disappearing from view.
"I can fly by myself, Hal Jordan," Razer said, annoyance thick in his voice. But then, that wasn't unusual for Razer.
Hal released him without comment and the flew together in silence for a while.
"Well," Razer said, finally.
"Well, what?" Hal countered.
"I doubt you dragged me along because you enjoy my company. What do you want?"
"You don't yourself enough credit, Razer," Hal replied. "I'd like to think we've become friends."
Razer didn't respond, but he also didn't scoff as he would have just a few months earlier. That was progress.
"Aya certainly seems to enjoys your company." That got a reaction. It was subtle and Hal probably would have missed it if he hadn't been looking for it, but Razer definitely tensed.
Razer sighed. "There is no way I'm going to get out of this, is there?"
"Absolutely not," Hal said, firmly.
Razer was silent for a while and Hal was beginning to wonder if he just going to clam up. But, finally, Razer took a deep breath then spoke.
"I never told you how I was able to get to Oa so quickly," Razer began.
"No," Hal replied. "Every time I asked we got conveniently interrupted so I just gave up. I figured it didn't matter in the long run."
Razer paused again. "The Star Sapphires were able to send me to The Interceptor."
"Ah," Hal said automatically. It took a few seconds for the implications to sink in. "Aaaahhh..."
"I didn't tell Aya," Razer continued. "I didn't know if she felt the same, or if she was even able to."
"Judging by 'The Incident' she can and she does."
"'The Incident'?" Razer repeated.
"Never mind, go on."
"I realize that now, but it just makes it more difficult."
Instead of answering, Razer descended toward a large ledge on one of Mogo's many mountains and landed. Hal followed.
Razer took another deep breath. "I had a wife. Her name was Ilana."
Hal was not expecting that revelation. He knew very little about Razer's life before he became a Red Lantern. But, it didn't really matter in the end. Hal knew Razer's character well enough that he was comfortable with him watching his back.
Hal didn't say anything, waiting for Razer to continue.
"She was killed," Razer said softly. "Murdered, but Atrocitus to push me into becoming a Red Lantern. I didn't know until after I had already left the Red Lantern Corps."
Hal let out a low whistle at that. "Does Aya know?"
"Do you feel like you're being unfaithful? Is that the problem? I'm sure your wife would have wanted you to be happy."
"That's only part of it," Razer replied. "The truth is, I'm confused."
"Because Aya's an artificial life form?"
"Because Aya looks like Ilana."
Hal let out another whistle. The ship's navigational AI program gaining emotions and crushing on a shipmate? He could handle that. A lost love and a look-alike? This had become way more complicated than Hal had anticipated.
"She saw Ilana in my memories when I was in prison and used her as a model for her new body. I was angry at first."
"Understandable," Hal commented.
"But now I don't know if what I feel for Aya is genuine of if it's because she looks like Ilana."
That was quite a conundrum. Hal really wanted to help, but while he had plenty of experience in love and loss, this was a new one.
"Tell me Razer," Hal said after a while. "What do you think about when you're with Aya? Rather, who do you think about?"
"I beg your pardon," Razer replied.
"When you and Aya are alone in your quarters doing whatever it is you do when you're alone in your quarters – I don't need details, by the way – who are you thinking about? Aya or Ilana?"
Razer's eyes widened slightly and he broke eye contact. He didn't reply immediately – Hal hadn't expected him to. "A-Aya," Razer answered, finally. "I think about Aya."
"Well, I think that answers that."
Razer didn't reply and Hal wondered what he was thinking? Was he relieved that he wasn't just using Aya as a replacement for his late wife? What he feeling guilty for falling for another? What he thinking that Hal Jordan is the biggest idiot in the sector? All of the above?
"Look," Hal said after a while. "Ultimately, you and Aya are going to have to work things out for yourselves. 'It's not going to be easy' is an understatement, all things considered. But if you manage those hurdles, your relationship will be that much stronger for it. If it doesn't work out? Well, sometimes it happens. But you shouldn't be afraid to try."
Razer's face grew thoughtful at this and Hal let think in silence for a while before giving the younger Lantern a sharp pat on the back.
"Now, go on back before Aya gets mad at me for monopolizing your time. I'm going to fly around a bit longer."
Razer rose a few feet off the ground before stopping. "Thank you, Hal Jordan," he said.
"It was my pleasure. If you ever need to talk about anything, feel free to come find me."
Razer nodded and rose higher into the air.
"Oh, and if you hurt her, I'll skin you alive," Hal called after him.
"I would expect nothing less," Razer called back.
Hal waited until Razer was out of sight. "I'm sure I can trust you to keep this conversation confidential, Mogo."
"Of course, Green Lantern Hal Jordan."
It had been nearly a week since 'The Talk'.
Hal strode onto the bridge early to find Aya sitting at her usual station.
"Good morning, Green Lantern Hal," she greeted.
"Good morning, Aya. How are you doing?"
"I am fine," Aya replied.
"Good." Hal sat at the command console and wondered if he should voice the other question that was sitting right on the tip of his tongue.
Eh, why not?
"And, how are you and Razer?"
Aya turned to face him, the corner of her lips turned up slightly in a light smile. "We are fine, as well."
Hal returned her smile. "Good."
This was originally going to be a one-shot fic but then I ended up writing this follow-up (and changing the title). This should be it.
Thanks for reading!