A Quiet Day

January 10, 2015: Hal and Reese take a day to admire some art that children made.

// The Bronx River Art Center //

The Bronx River Art Center is a nonprofit organization offering art classes
in various media, exhibitions and studio space to artists of the Bronx and
surrounding areas. The classes center mostly on fine arts and digital media.
Artistic events of various flavors are offered throughout the year.



  • Students
  • Crowds of people

Mood Music:

Reese thought it would be a great idea to return for the vehicle that was left in Metropolis, and actually drive. It wasn't that she was afraid of heights, she just enjoyed sitting down while in motion, like in a car. A real car. Made with real nuts and bolts as she attempts to wrap her head around the fact that he's a Green Lantern. And they kissed! She kissed a.. was he an alien?

She wasn't going to question it, however. She was picking her brain to see how or if she's ever met one in her lifetime. Her very long lifetimes. But you know what? If they're kissing each other, relationships need to be defined and what better way to do that than to get freshened up to visit the Bronx River Art Center?

The younger class of children, ages 5 to 12, created various works of art; media, painted pieces, sculptures, and had it all on display for the denizens of New York.

Even a newspaper rep came in to take pictures to talk to some of the kids about their inspiration for pieces. And Reese, she had a love for the kids even though she couldn't see the art. But, the conversation that boils within the back of her brain had her blurting out almost immediately.

"Cereal. What type of cereal do you like?"

Hal had always more or less intended to keep his identity secret. The Guardians didn't care about that sort of thing - most Lanterns, actually, were acknowledged and respected by the governments of their world. Earth was weird that way, still not open or advanced in extraterrestrial contact. A backwater, as Sinestro always called it.

Man, that guy really steamed Hal's buns. Pink-faced weenie. And that mustache! Gah!

He'd been driving with all of that in the back of his brain. And yes, the kissing, too, although kissing was less unusual for him. Reese definitely wasn't like the girls he usually kissed, though. She was more…

Just more.

He doesn't get the art stuff, probably managed to appreciate it even less than Reese despite her lack of sight. He just wasn't an art kind of guy. Not a kids kind of guy, either, although he managed to smile and give a wink that sends a few elementary school girls into giggle fits. The question gets his attention.

"Bacon and eggs. I haven't eaten cereal since I was a kid, I don't think."
Hal Jordan says, "Then it was Count Chocula."

Hearing the giggles made her smile, even though she really didn't know what in the world they were giggling about. She did hang on to Hal's arm, and soon his hand, and soon, they mingled with the rest of the people to view the art the kids put out just like the rest of them. Fitting in.

"Well, you should be able to enjoy cereal once in a while. Except for Count Chocula. I understand chocolate cereal, I do. And the way it makes chocolate milk but some things should be left separate."

She allows him to lead, he can see. And he could follow the crowd. "Bacon and eggs are great though. Can't beat anything like it. What's your favorite color?" This was a getting to know you gig, he probably should have picked up on that when she asked her first question.

Hal Jordan hasn't done much of this comfortable dating stuff in a while. Not much of it at all, really. When he was young, they just went to school stuff - games, dances, parties, then they'd make out (or more) in the car. When he was in the Air Force, he had quick affairs, fumbling kisses (and more) stolen in hangars. And since then…well, he occasionally met women at a bar or wherever and they'd end up…making out in the car.

He had a pattern.

"I think I'm contractually obligate to say green," he laughs. "Blue isn't bad, though. It's partly green, too, so it sort of counts."

"Green." She says with a little bit of a nod. His laugh made her smile, and though it fades into a serious look, the light hearted tone still kept going on. "I like blue too. The sharp blue, the one that seems almost metallic. I doubt it has a name though."

As the crowd stops at the booth, they begin to oo' and ah'. The young ones art project flares to life, the little dolls dancing on a string by her own hand. It was a miniature puppet show, and the little girl laughed as she controlled her dolls by a string.

"Do you have any? Kids. Do you want kids?"

Hal Jordan considers her response. He didn't know how she became blind, although having a memory of blue must mean that she once had. He figured it was probably better to be born blind - can't miss something you didn't have. Although that didn't seem to stop virgins.

"I wore a lot of blue jeans. And my Air Force uniform was blue," he says. He looked good in a uniform. The girl with the puppets does catch his attention for a moment, just because it's creative and different.

"Said honestly and not joking, not so far as I know. I can't say I've always been safe or discreet enough to guarantee that I know. If I had gotten pregnant by me, I'm not sure I would've bothered to call. I…haven't always been the best guy. Especially not to the women in my life," he admits.

The crowd moves on to a science experiment, the typical too tall volcano, instead of acting agents to make it explode, it shoots tiny little fireworks that were safe and also pretty. The crowd oo's again, and with a turned ear of silence, she listens.

"It wouldn't hurt to find out, no?" It wasn't as if she were going to make him go back and apologize to the women. Chances are, they were after the same thing. A night of fun.

"You're being the best guy now, though. You're indulging me and this art fair. Giving us a break."

Hal Jordan runs a hand through his hair, "Since I'm being honest, I'll admit that there are a certain percentage whose names I don't actually remember," he says. "I sowed my share of wild oats. And wheat. All kinds of grains, really. Brown sugar."

Mmmmm, brown sugar.

"Well, you've thrown me for a loop. You're very mysterious and confusing. You get chased by shadow things. You show up barefoot to rich people parties. You look very cute sleeping with your face pressed against a car window," he says. "You're not exactly like the girls I've usually chased. Which is the kind of girl who chased me. I liked…" he sighs, "Like I said, not always the best guy. I have been trying to be better, all around. Being given the responsibility of protecting several solar systems all by yourself by weird aliens will do that to a guy. Which is a story I'll have to tell you sometime," he says. "I think we both probably have our share of stories."

He isn't asking many questions, it's true. He isn't really sure what's okay to ask and what isn't. He's never had to ask questions before, because he never cared to know. Now he does, but he doesn't know how to begin.

Reese couldn't help but shrug. But the mention about the oats? It had her giggling to the point that she was burying her face into his arm. After a moment though, she stops, drawing in a deep breath and wiping away at her tears, her brows lowering all the while. This time, she doesn't let him follow the crowd, she only stops where she stands. No one is paying attention to them, that's ultimately the best part.

"I know, I'm trying to get yours out of you. See?" She tugs on his arm. "I'll get the most shocking out of the way. I'm three hundred and ninety seven years old. I had my birthday a while ago." She then continues to walk, tugging him just a little so he could keep up the lead. "And I can actually cook on a full working stove. But I only do it if I know that someone else is there with me and would help me eat it."

Hal Jordan blinks at the revelation. Okay. Almost four hundred years old. That's…that's…wow. Holy shit. Keep cool, Jordan. "You don't look a day over three hundred," he manages with a bit of a grin, leaning in and kissing the top of her head, given their height difference.

"I guess it's kind of karma for all the younger girls I've been out with. Balances the ledger. And I can definitely help you eat anything you cook. I have a healthy appetite." he says. "But I can't cook at all. I'm really good at finding take-out, though. Once you've tried to find a good cheeseburger in Pakistan…"

She laughs again, she didn't realize that his mind was blown. Being one of those protector of the universe types, he has probably met all of the weird and strange.

"Not karma, bad luck." She gives him a nudge. "Though, are you sure that it was actually cow meat in that burger that you ate in Pakistan?" It was a bad joke, really. "It would be kind of silly to say that I only know how to cook authentic Japanese dishes, but I've honestly learned how to grill a mean steak in my day. And lasagna. But everyone likes lasagna different. I've even made it with chili beans once, that was /not/ my favorite. But .. they ate them up all the same."

She tries to think of something else. "I can heal people. Just by touch. So if you ever get cancer from staying out in space for too long, I'm the girl you go to see."

Hal Jordan considers, "I'm not sure beans would be the wisest choice. Don't blind people have extra good sense of smell?" he chuckles. "I'm not picky about food. Cars, planes, watches and women, but not food. I haven't eaten a lot of Japanese food, just a bit of sushi and not exactly exotic even then. Some of it did come from a gas station, which is exotic in its own way,' he says. California's a weird place.

"That sounds like a pretty handy trick, all right. I can heal a little bit, myself and other people, but it's usuall not much more than first aid. Just enough to hold a body together until I could get them to someone like you," he says.

"Ugh. Yes. Legumes are really not the best to pair with random sauces and the like. And we can also tell when someone doesn't drink enough water." She shudders a little, but her face remains disgusted. But, she really couldn't blame him. "I've had gas station hotdogs once. The one that I actually liked, that I was so surprised by, was a cheeseburger dog. I guess it's a cheeseburger in the shape of a hot dog." Gas stations? They're a weird frickin place.

By the way that they're walking, they're away from the crowds now, venturing into the hallways where empty classrooms were.

"You have to tell me how that works. You say a Green Lantern.. and I made a joke about space.. which means you actually can fly in outer space, right? You.. didn't really say you couldn't."

Hal Jordan nods as they walk along, "That's the best translation, I guess, to English. I'm sure it means something a little different regardless. I can actually understand any language, no matter how alien, thanks to the ring. Oh, that's where my power comes from - you get a ring and a sort of battery to charge it with energy. The battery looks like a lantern," he says. He's not going to tell her about the oath. God no. Sometimes he couldn't even say it with a straight face.

The weird thing was, though, it worked. And sometimes, when things got rough, he used it. It was a military thing, like a Marine's "HOO-AH" - it focused you, rallied you, reminded you of just what you were and what your job was.

"I can fly in space. I spent most of a year on another planet, learning how to use the thing. Alongside aliens from all over the universe, all training to do the same thing."

Hearing him speak allowed her to check the acoustics. She wanted to sit down and learn about him, walking was a welcome distraction but this was important. Hearing that a class was empty just by the sound of his voice was difficult, and really, if it wasn't, she was sure he'd pull her out of the room and change subjects. But there they were, inside a lone classroom, and if no one was inside? The door would be closed behind them.

She disengages from him to find a seat, fingers feeling along desk and wood, grasping the back of the chair as soon as she felt to tug it outwards so that she could sit. Finally.

"So aliens are real." In a way, she had always known. Look at how she came to be. But then, like a normal human person, she had her doubts yet took that information well. "So the ring is made of energy? Or it's charged by energy? What do you do with it?"

Hal Jordan could sense if any other life forms were immediately nearby. The ring could do just about anything he could imagine, of course, so it was easy for him to just decide it could do something and, woo, it would do it. Some people called it the most powerful weapon in the universe, although he thought there an awful lot of them around to quite fit that definition. It sounded nice, though.

"Basically, yeah. There's a big lantern, a giant one, out in space, that makes the lanterns and the rings. You just put it on and…think. Decide what you want it to do and it does it. Just about anything you want. I can make things out of energy, fly, blast the crap out of stuff…the language thing…it's nifty, I'm not gonna lie." he grins.

"Whaaat.." Reese, okay. If she didn't knew that he could fly, because she experienced it first hand, she would have immediately called bullshit. But she didn't. Just imagining it seemed a little absured and completely in their realm of possibility. There were.. things chasing them. Demons possibly? Kida, her friend, came from another dimension.

"So if I were to wear it, and think that I would want.. an emerald pendant or something to hang from my nec.." And then it hits her. How he was able to find her so quickly.

She pulls the phone.. or pager from her pocket to show it to him, the device held cupped beneath both hands as if it were a jewel. "Did you make this with the ring? And, if I speak to you in my native tongue, you'd understand me completely?"

Hal Jordan looks a bit sheepish, but she can't tell, for which he's glad. One of the things about the whole identity thing - he didn't like lying to people. He just wasn't a liar by nature, and he had no respect for people who did. Even the light fudging of "here's a phone" when, really, it's an energy construct, even that left a bad taste in his mouth. But he thought of Mom and his brothers and sister in Coast City. He thought about some freak monster deciding to get revenge on the hero who punched him in the mouth by making mincemeat of his family. It wasn't impossible - he knew Lanterns who'd lost family as a result of their roles. Some who'd even seen their whole planets attacked for it. Lanterns made enemies.

"Guilty on both counts. And, if you didn't speak English, it would translate for me so you could understand what I said. The simpler the thing, the easier it is to make, though. I have to kind of believe in it, put some of myself into something, for it to last beyond the moment I create it. So, I had to make sure…"

There's a soft pause. "Your phone worked because I thought about you often enough for it to keep working."

"So basically, you're in a crowded room full of people who speak a language that you naturally don't, and.. you just do." She had to laugh a little bit, that ring was just fantastic. Though, his last words? It causes her face to drop, fingers to curl around the device and to set right back into her pocket again. At least she'll know when he doesn't want her around anymore, the device, it would just disappear. And now? She was left completely speechless. She didn't even know what to ask anymore.

Hal Jordan moves over and sits down next to her on the bench and takes her hand in his, lacing fingers. He leans into her and smells her hair. He's okay with not talking. A lot of time, he talked too much. He didn't think that phone was going anywhere anytime soon. Not for lack of will, that's for sure. Hal Jordan had plenty of will to go around - now he just had someone to use it on besides himself.

She squeezes his hand tightly, then leans her head against his shoulder. She's pretty sure he smelled her hair, and that didn't weird her out at all. In fact, it all made her sad, really. By the time he left this world she would still be here. And she thinks.. no, she knows.

"I'm going to miss you when you're gone."

Hal Jordan considers for a moment. At first, he's puzzled, brow crinkling, but eventually he works it out. If she's that old, she probably had a lot longer to go. He's probably not the first guy to be in this position, in fact, looking at her profile and wanting to kiss her and wondering what would happen next. What would it be like, knowing that, no matter what, the other person would always be a ship in the night? He'd never imagined otherwise and, now that he was looking at it differently, he saw it from the other side.

"Don't count me out yet. I haven't got any plans to go anywhere - and I'm a stubborn son of a bitch."

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