Ceremony for the Soul

March 11, 2016:

Hal meets Reese at a small resort near the Grand Canyon for a little bit of a break.

Havasupai Reservation


NPCs: Chieftan Hokomata and reservation inhabitants

Mentions: Fenris, JLA, Kilowag


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

It is no secret that Takeda Seikatsu and Hal Jordan have been off the grid for some time. Off the grid in their own way.

Hal Jordan as the Green Lantern fighting intergalactic battles next to his comrades the Green Lantern Corps, saving the world and galaxy from unknown threats, while Takeda Seikatsu healed the world in her own little special way. The promise was, that no matter what happened and where they ended up, somehow they would find each other. Even if Hal had to create a little beacon of his own light and will that she carries upon her person every now and then without knowing, he could probably find her.

Though this time it's a question as to whether he did pin something on her, for it's been a few weeks since they've actually kissed each other goodbye. After.. admittedly, packing Hal a bag lunch of sushi, hibachi meats and yes. A box of juices.

Where she ended up, was somewhere she had long hoped to visit. The Havasupai Indian Reservation.

The night set upon the reservation that sits close to the Grand Canyon, which skies stretch on forever in the absence of clouds, the stars slowly start their glitter of the sky as the half-moon hangs in the backdrop to set a glow across the landscape. Even though the reservation itself was commercialized, it still held it's secret spots for the people native to the land and tribe itself to worship their past with little seeds of the present.

Reese had her room, special of course. The Chief of the Supai tribe catered to her just as she often times catered to his ancestors before him. At one point in her life, quite possibly nearly hundreds of years ago, Takeda Seikatsu ushered in a life that was nearly lost through sickness and lack of health, screaming and kicking into the world. A woman who lived nearly one hundred and thirty years, which was damn close to their version of Methuselah, by giving her own life force in turn.

And with that gift, imparted knowledge and wisdom that was passed from mother, to daughter, to brother, to son, so on and so forth. And it was her birthday as well as the day of her death a few years back. A quiet celebration reserved for only the two who knew the truth.

Hal's journey off-world had been long and arduous. He'd fought and fought hard, facing down a creature that seemed capable of shattering space-time itself, a fractal roiling void known only as the Beholder. They'd lost a few good Corps members in the battle, before the Guardians had finally found a way for them to use their Lantern abilities to re-stabilize the space around the creature and make of it a cage. The Corps would keep guard over that cage for the rest of time, keeping that consuming presence contained, an outpost between galaxies, in the fathomless emptiness of space.

Hal felt kind of bad for the Corps members assigned to the job. It would have to rotate. A year spent alone, guarding that thing, would be enough to drive anyone mad.

He detected Reese's location as he approached Earth, after a couple of days spent on Oa resting, reviving and, of course, getting debriefed pointlessly by the little blue jerks. He appears as an emerald comet in the sky, descending towards the reservation, but one that slowed until it landed at the outside of her lodging.

A few of the Havasupai who are still awake begin to approach, but he raises a hand, his voice coming out in their native tongue, the ring translating for Hal. "Hold on, stop. Collaborate. Listen. I'm a friend of the lady. She's my ladyfriend. Savvy?"

It was the trustle and rustle of the noises that draws Reese to rise. She remained in bed most of the night, attempting to catch sleep that would not come, but there was a little smile that touches her cheeks because she knew, she felt just who it was. With a slow rise and a grasp of her cane, she tip-taps her way towards the balcony window, hearing the hushed whispers and voices of those who actually follow the news of the one and fabled Green Lantern. From the JL:A. Here! Of all places.

Some of the hushed whispers were worrisome, the blind woman who remained in the room was in trouble!
No, she was trouble! She brought demons afoot among their treasured passed on leaders birth and death!
She was cursed!
No, she's blessed!
Then why was the Green Lantern here?!

It was a special occasion no doubt, and his presence caused a little upset. But as she emerged and remained upon her balcony, the Chieftan stepped out of the lodgings to raise his hand to still the voices surrounding Hal.

"Calm." He ordered, his weathered old voice ringing. "He is a guest. There is no ill here on this blessed night."

"But Chief Hoko.. if the Green Lantern is here, it spells trouble!"

"Not on this night, my brother." The weathered old man smiles towards Hal, taking a step aside as is his due towards his guest, his long, braided white and greying hair resting upon his shoulders as his big hand gestures and shows the way.

"Green Lantern." He states, as if he held authority over man. "I am Chieftain Hokomata. Your ladyfriend awaits. The ceremony shall begin as soon as you are settled."

Hal Jordan regards the Chief respectfully, bowing his head. He is not prone to being sober or serious, but he gives the man his due. For all his irreverence, Hal is also a military man and, in weird ways, almost old-fashioned. He regards the chief with a soft smile, "I'm quite settled already, sir," he says.

"Is there anything I can do to ease the minds of your people?" he asks. He can sense Reese, of course, knows how close she is and must restrain the urge to go directly to her, bypassing anything like decorum. He hates being away this long, even if it's part of his responsibility.

It is little to no secret that Hokomata was a soldier himself. He's fought alongside men whom he's considered his brothers outside of the tribe, tooth and blood and bore the wounds of doing battle from afar and up close. The way he carries himself is a man uneven, a slight limp that carries a stubbed leg upon titanium but the way he carries himself is with pride.

"Oh no." Hokomata murmurs quietly, a hand reaching out to place upon Hal's shoulder to lead him inside of the lodge. "My people are cautious but they know a good man when they see it. The thing that scares them more than your arrival is the likeness of one seen in the pictures of old that are passed down from generation to generation." He muses at that, it was easy to say that Reese was the main reason for their terror. But the stories of her show that .. or at least attempted to show that she was a kind and gentle soul. Even if she may not have been all of her long life.

"But go. She has been long waiting. I will see you two soon."

Hal Jordan smiles and nods, patting the Chief on his shoulder and then making his way to Reese. He enters her lodging, ducking down to pass through the flap at the opening, making his way in. "Sorry it took me so long," he smiles. "I'm afraid giant intergalactic space gobblers aren't always particularly caring about my schedule. I mean, I texted him my itinerary and everything, but still, he just wouldn't play along," he sighs.

And then he has her, pulling her into his arms and kissing her, his hand cupping the back of her neck and getting the welcome home he'd been waiting for. "Hi."

Reese could hear his footsteps, and stands ready to greet him once he enters the threshold. There was a smile upon her face, a rather weird one, one that says.. 'Hello honey!' and the other that says.. 'Oh god I don't want to laugh', but it was broken down with a set of giggles at the end of the sigh, stopping only to accept the kiss as he bends to meet her height. Her hands reach up to grasp his cheeks, dropping her cane all the while, even lifting upon the tips of her toes, her eyes closing and lowering herself again as she sighs. "Hello."

"I would have called sooner but, I think I fought a dragon a week ago and I'm tired.." There was still traces of grey within her hair, and the area around her eyes nearly seemed old and hollow. But her youthfulness was coming back, by each passing moment. "I missed you."

Hal Jordan never cared about such matters. Her soul was hers and that was what he loved, above and beyond her body. As much as Hal plays the shallow cad, for his own amusement, he's actually a lot deeper than most would guess of him. He simply keeps it to himself, rarely sharing of himself with others. Reese is one of the few people on this Earth who knew Hal truly well - her, his mother, and probably Kilowog who was a thousand light years away at the moment, back on Oa.

"I'm sure the dragon regretted its mistake," he says, stroking her hair for a moment and then hugging her against his broad, powerful chest. "I missed you, too. I think I've done my bit for the Corps for now, though, so I should be back on Earth for a long while. Barring any universe-wide Crisis."

"It seems to happen a lot." Reese comments, of both of their instances. As he pulls her against his chest, she remains against him for just a few moments, her eyes closing, hand reaching out to lightly feel against his chest. "You're in uniform aren't you.." She lets out a sigh, shaking her head. "You're going to have to stay that way until we leave. I was hoping you'd actually come in as a regular person but.." Ah well. It was cool to be the girlfriend of Green Lantern. "..I think it's a nice touch." She pulls away from him, but uses his hand as she crouches, her other reaching out to feel along the floor to where her cane was.

"Do we want to go back to New York? Or should we take an extended vacation with.. after all that's happened.." She lets go of his hand, nearly wobbling to the floor as she tries to gesture up towards the stars.

Hal Jordan takes her hand, "I think it's time I stopped worrying so much about my identity. I don't think anyone here is going to go running off to the tabloids anyway," he smiles. His uniform dissipates, replaced with soft, comfortable clothes as he lets her find her cane, "I think a bit of time away would do us both good. If they need me, the JL:A knows how to contact me. And your friends have never had difficulty, in times of trouble. I'm sure old wolfy would sniff us out," he says.

"Unless we went off-world, of course. I know of a couple of very nice resort planets…"

She could feel the cool breeze that comes with his uniform disappearing, her head shaking as she finally finds her cane and uses him as leverage to pull herself to a stand. "They're a very private and trusting sort. I mean, I suppose they may tell their children about who you are and always say to watch the stars for the great Hal Jordan.. but that's just who they are." She pulls away from him then, using the cane to find her way towards the bed, her knee knocking against the softness which has her leaning forward to press her hand against the surface, turning to settle down upon the bed with a slight sigh.

She shakes her head slowly, a serious look crossing her face. "I can't do that. Like.. go .. there. I'm scared." It was a hard thing to admit to, really. "I.. I'm just afraid. I don't know why and I can't place it but.." It could be a reason as to why she's never brought it up.

Hal Jordan nods softly, "I wouldn't ever make you go if you didn't want," he says. "Just leaving it there as an option," he says. He moves to sit on the bed with her, propping himself up and sliding a hand around to stroke her back. "But you never have to be scared. I will always protect you," he says, kissing the top of her head.

"I know but.." She just lets it drop. So much that she scoots back upon the bed, leaning just enough to use him as a pillow as she settles against his side. It was like a perfect fit, even if he was much larger than her. She seemed almost created to fill that small space. "..one day." She finally murmurs out, leaning up just a little to nurse a little kiss upon his chin.

"We have a few hours yet." But there was a little after thought. "Did your little friends enjoy the juice boxes I packed for you?"

Hal Jordan smiles, "They did, although Kilowog had a very difficult time managing the little straws. His giant squid mouth isn't exactly built for that sort of thing,"he smiles. "He also couldn't believe any humans could drink such a small size - apparently his people have an insatiable appetite from hatching. They were a good reminder of home, too."

He nuzzles against her and kisses her again tenderly, liking the way she fits against him. "So, other than dragons, anything going on here I need to know about?"

Reese smiles at that. She was actually glad they've enjoyed her little treat. It was the least she could do, especially knowing that he was going to be away from home. She didn't feel like his wife, his girlfriend, his mother. But she wanted to protect him the best way she knew how, by gentle reminders that she'd always be there. "Good. Next time we should try giving him Coca Cola." She grins at the prospect.

As he kisses her again, she inches up a little bit higher, her fingers slightly drawing against his hair, messing it just a little as the kiss was broken. "Oh! The ceremony."

"So, I'm going to shorten it the best way I know how. But.." She rolls away from him to lay upon the pillows. "I want to say close to nearly one hundred years ago I traveled here.. I don't remember why. It alludes me. But, there was a woman, named Atma. She was pregnant but she was ill. In a way, I didn't want to save her, I was adamant at letting history go as is. But I just couldn't bring myself to let a mother die with her child. So I rescued them, gave them a bit of my life. And the boy was born. He actually became the chief of this tribe here, matter of fact." She pauses just a little. "Anyways, I cared for them and their family for a while until it was time to move on. And they made me promise to return in my travels, just to rest. And I've done that every now and then, making sure the mother.. who was later a great, great grandmother was happy, until she died just five years ago."

She rolls over onto her side, then closes her eyes. "So, here I am. Chief Hoko wanted to host a private celebration in honor of her. I was /sort of/ expecting you and asked to allow you along. I figured we could honor her together. I didn't want to be alone in this."

Hal Jordan nods. He isn't surprised that such stories are a part of Reese's history - she's been around for a while and has obviously been impacting the world probably more than even she truly realizes. He's just glad that the tribe here has remembered and will recognize it. Yes, it's a celebration of the woman, but it's a celebration of Seikatsu as well, even if the humble healer won't allow herself to see it that way.

"Of course. Wouldn't be anywhere else," he says, taking her hand and squeezing, letting her feel the pride in her that she won't permit herself to feel, the ring building a connection between them stronger over time.

"Good." She says with a little bit of finality.

She was quiet for a moment there after, until she breaks out into a little fit of giggles. It was ironic, all of it. Her celebrating someone who's she's saved, it never used to be that way. "Did you know she pretty much shaped who I was?" She asks. "I mean, a long time ago. I wasn't a nice person. I even considered killing her and the baby to put them out of their misery. But, when the boy turned fifteen and I came to celebrate his coming of age, she told me.. to never touch the world again. That since I seem to be a permenant fixture that I need to learn how to blend. How to become invisible and to never interfere. It was like she felt me moving through her, and she knew that she was going to live a long life. And she felt that.. I wrongly extended hers when the gods had something else in store for her."

She laces her fingers with his after he was done squeezing. "Every now and then I fell off. I gave in to that /side/ of me that just didn't care. That wanted to hurt and harm because I was lonely. I think.. in the 70's is when I actually quit living. I did something so horrible that.." She shakes her head. "I regret it. And I stayed invisible until I met you."

Hal Jordan kisses the top of her head again, his strong arm pulling her close, "It's strange the things that determine our path. I wasn't the only one the ring deemed worthy - just the one closest when the Lantern who preceded me fell to Earth. And I just happened to come across you at a party for someone I barely knew. You were the only interesting person there, though, which is why I followed you out into the night…"

"You have a dark side, but I'm not afraid of it, because it's a part of you. We all have that. I know I do," he says. "Before I met you, I hid it in drinking and…living on the edge. Getting right up close to spit in death's face…"

Reese snugs in tightly against him, her feet kicking slightly against his as she tries to find a best place to put them. "Happenstance, is that what they call it?" She smiles just a little. "Kismet, or something or other." Her fingers brush along the ring for a brief moment, then twists it into a circle upon his finger, never taking it off, however. "And look where we are?"

She lifts her hand to draw circles in the air. "Somewhere in between the Grand Canyon and a lot of water. And people we barely know but yet can speak the language." She wrinkles her nose at that. "Vacation." She was, actually happy with this. And at peace.

"Let's get some rest before the ceremony. I still have some internal healing to do, and I think we should be at our best." She lifts up to kiss his cheek lightly. "And spitting in Death's face is kind of gross."

Hal Jordan smiles and strokes her back, "Well, I wasn't doing it 'cause I liked death," he teases. "Being gross was the point. But yeah, let's get some rest. I'm sure they get up at the ass-crack of dawn around here," he says.

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