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04 August 2009 @ 05:19 pm
Merciful Advice  
Title: Merciful Advice
Author: Aranel Took
Fandom: DC Comics - Green Lantern
Challenge/Prompt: dcu_freeforall : mixing work and pleasure
Claim: Hal Jordan/Kyle Rayner
Characters: Hal Jordan (The Spectre), Sister Clarice (The Radiant)
Rating: G
Words: 685
Summary: After initially telling him they wouldn't see each other again, why did the The Spectre help Kyle so much?
Author's Notes: Probably a bit of a stretch as far as the prompt is concerned, but this is what the Muses handed me. ;-) This is set some time after Green Lantern #119, after Hal becomes The Spectre and has his (supposedly) last meeting with Kyle. I don't remember if an actual date of death was given for Sister Clarice, so I'm using poetic license to set it around this time frame. Many thanks to my beta reader, satismagic!

Hal didn’t know why he was here again, sitting in the corner of the coffee shop. The last time he’d been here was to meet Kyle one last time after Hal became The Spectre, so Kyle would understand what had happened to him. And he’d thought that would be the end of it, that he’d never see Kyle Rayner again. But here he was, invisible to mortals and watching the young man across the room. Kyle was juggling portfolios and a mug of coffee, dark circles under his eyes from lack of sleep because he’d been out all night chasing down petty criminals and minor costumed villains. Hal had been watching him then, too. He’d been doing it a lot lately.

“You want to help him?” a voice asked as white light flared next to him. The brilliance faded away, leaving a pretty young woman in a nun’s habit sitting across from him. Hal looked around, but no one else in the coffee shop seemed to have noticed the glowing woman appearing out of nowhere. “I’m Sister Clarice,” the woman said with a cheery smile, sticking out her hand to him. "The Radiant.”

“The Spectre … Hal Jordan.” He didn’t accept her hand, only looked the woman up and down, then frowned. The Radiant was the Spirit of Mercy. “If you are one of His servants, why haven’t we met before?”

“I’m new to the job, so to speak,” the woman said, a hint of sadness in her voice. “Recently murdered.”

“I’m sorry.” Hal tried to remember if he had run across any murderers of a nun. “Did I … deal with them?”

“No. They are mine to ‘deal with’ when the time is right,” she said. “But I am not here about me.” She nodded over her shoulder towards Kyle. “Your guilt and anguish called to me. You want to help him.” This time it was a statement rather than a question.

“I’m not allowed to interfere in individual lives,” Hal said.

She smiled again, a smile that radiated kindness and compassion. “Being allowed to and needing to are two different things,” she said. “Did you know him in life?”

He shook his head. “He’s only known me as The Spectre. And Parallax.” He felt the familiar feeling of shame, then had to clamp down on the internal stirring of The Spectre’s need to punish Parallax. “I was once like Kyle, a Green Lantern.” Hal’s fingers twitched out of habit, but there was no longer a familiar weight of the ring. It hadn’t been there in a long time. “He got handed this job, all on his own without the Corps, because of me. Because I failed. And … I can’t stop thinking about that. I’m not supposed to concern myself with people’s lives, but I can’t get him out of my head. And I don’t know why.”

“Because the part of you that was Hal Jordan still feels,” the woman said. “And you feel guilty that he must do this alone. And you were not the type of man who can accept failure, and you feel this young man is paying the price of your failure.”

“The Spirit of Mercy can read minds?” Hal asked, uncomfortable that she hit so close to the mark.

“No, not exactly,” she said, her gentle laugh drifting on the air like a melody. “Sister Clarice had a degree in Psychology and Counseling.”

“You must have been good at it,” he mumbled, then looked at Kyle again. “Why do I need to help him, but not any of the other billion people on the planet?”

“Perhaps he is Hal Jordan’s path to redemption,” she said. “Perhaps you are meant to help him, to give you the means to find forgiveness for yourself.”

It made sense. If he could help others rather than just punish the dregs of society, it would help counteract his actions as Parallax. “But why him?”

“Because while The Spectre can judge souls, I can see into hearts.” The Radiant gave him an enigmatic smile. “And I can see that this man will fill the hole in yours.”

DCU Free-For-All Prompt Table

Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
AJdarthbatgirl on August 4th, 2009 11:19 pm (UTC)
awww That's so sweet. I like the idea of Spectre Hal being drawn to Kyle and not knowing why, but having Clarice understanding what they both feel for each other.
Aranel Took: Hal/Kyle - OTParanel_took on August 5th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
I always thought it was funny that Hal said he'd never see Kyle again after he became The Spectre ... then ended up essentially stalking him. XD Clarice knows why. ;-)
(Deleted comment)
Aranel Took: Hal/Kylearanel_took on August 5th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)

It's just been a very busy summer, but the kid goes back to school next week (yay!) so hopefully the Muses will be more cooperative.

I'm not sure where the Elseworld's RP is at right now, since I'm such a slacker. *sigh*
Nalan Linalanzu on August 5th, 2009 01:27 pm (UTC)
Very well-written. <3
Aranel Took: Hal/Kylearanel_took on August 5th, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)