Author name: Ang Griffen -- author LiveJournal, author email, author website
Recipient name: Caia
Requested character: Tora Olafsdotter
Story title: A Single Streak of Green
Rating: suitable for all ages
Spoiler warnings: vague ones for various Justice League America v2 storylines
Author's Note: Takes place during an AU version of GREEN LANTERN: REBIRTH.
Acknowledgments: Thanks to LC (lcsbanana) & Jori (plainsong_x) for audiencing.
Summary: Resurrection and reflection.
A Single Streak of Green
Fifteen minutes ago, Tora opened her eyes again for the first time in whatcould have been days or could have been decades. A flash of green--sofamiliar, but unplaceable--danced across the inside of her eyelids, and whenshe opened her eyes she was here: standing on a platform in the middle of acavern.
Ice sculptures of twirling, dancing figures lay scattered at her feet alongwith the crisp brown remains of what had once been flowers. Flowers-- thesoft, velvety petals warm-bodies left in remembrance. Tora crouched down onthe slightly raised platform to touch the papery remains of the petals. Nota cavern, then, a burial ground.
She didn't remember being dead.
She didn't remember dying, for that matter.
It wasn't as though she'd had to dig herself out of a grave; maybe she'dmerely blacked out while visiting her brother's grave. Her powers had beenso strange lately; these sorts of things should be expected, right?
Then again, she couldn't remember much at all. There was the nagging feelingin the back of her mind that there were so many things she should know, andso little that was just-- just barely out of her grasp. It was strange, shethought, as she sat on what seemed to be a pedestal for a statue that hadsince been taken down, she could still recite old poems she'd learned in heryouth, but she couldn't place times or names or that haunting green that hadflickered across her vision.
She rested her chin on her hand, and began wracking her brain for answers,for anything that would help her to map out her past-- to map out heridentity.
The early memories were, surprisingly, the easiest things to recall. Maybeit was because there just wasn't as much there. How much effort should ittake to remember her father's stern admonishments, her mother somehow bothshrinking and regal at once; to remember burying herself in studies in thehopes she'd stop wanting to use her forbidden ice powers? It was anseemingly endless cycle alternating between ritual and dissatisfaction.
The brightness of being discovered by the men from the outside world, shonein her mind like nothing else previous. Tora wasn't sure she'd known howunhappy she really was until she'd had the opportunity for something more.
And then there were the Global Guardians, and there was-- green.
There was Green Flame. Fire. Bea. It was... strange that they had becomefriends, and yet not strange at all. The others had said things aboutopposites attracting, which was some sort of adage of their people, and anunfamiliar one at that, but Bea-- loud, flirtatious, aggressive Bea-- wasn'texactly her opposite. Just because Tora was quiet and retiring and Bea was,well, Bea hardly meant they had nothing to talk about. Otherwise they neverwould have been friends.
And although Bea might have said things that shocked Tora, although she mayhave been a little over-the-top and in-your-face, there was certainly a partof Tora that had found being friends with someone like that freeing.
Even after the Guardians were disbanded, even when they were poor and out ofwork, even when there was a new team, with new people, Tora couldn't thinkof a time after they'd met that they weren't friends. Sure, sometimes Beaentertained the wrong pursuits, just as Bea believed Tora did the same, butfrom the first flash in her mind of Bea's firey green breath so many yearsbefore, there had been something...
As Tora's thoughts narrowed to the second team, the Justice League, thememories grew more clouded. A businessman who made her nervous, a Martian,an escape artist, and blue, and gold, and-- green.
His name eluded her, although the others' (Max, J'onn, Ted) came back. Shecould see him in her mind's eye, but it was as though through fogged glass.A shock of orange hair, and anger, and will. Bea had been unhappy with him.With... them? And, in retrospect, Tora was unable blame her because shecould remember how one day his green was gone, and soon replaced withyellow. She trembled at the thought now, although she did not know why thevery concept made her shiver with sickly fear.
The rest was a blur: the greatest man on Earth perished, powers were gone,and the world shifted and changed, but Tora could not stop focusing on themoment that green turned--
Her powers had changed right before the last of her memories; she could flyand twist iron in her bare hands. And yet, if she was so strong, why was itwhen she grew closer to that last battle her brain fogged and she could notsee what happened?
There had been a change.
There had been a list.
Tora shook herself from her reverie. It had helped somewhat, but mostly onlyraised more questions. Had she been dead? Why had she returned? What shouldshe do now? Were any of those she cared about still around?
As she pulled herself up to stand, she caught a glimpse of her own hand.Even in the dim light of the cavern her stomach flipped at the sight;something wasn't right. Her fingers, her entire body, translucent andshimmering.
And when Tora laughed, it sounded like snow being crushed beneath boots.
Of course she hadn't had to climb out of her coffin, pry herself out of thevault. Why should she have? She wasn't in her body; she was inside thefigure of the ice sculpture that had once stood proudly over her own grave.
As Tora laughed in the voice that wasn't hers, the walls of the caverntrembled and shuddered around her, and it was only the sight of the greenlight (the yellow imperfection) shining into the cavern pulled her from anintrospection nearing hysteria. She clenched her fists, ice cracking as shetightened her grip. If someone (something) had felt it so important to bringher back, it was the least she could do.
The walk to the entrance of the cavern was short, and the refraction of theshining lights in the night sky blurred and sparked at her vision.Instinctively, Tora raised a hand to shield her eyes from the light, but thesharp yellow shone easily through the smooth, clean ice there. When shebreathed harsh, cool, ice over her fingers, they whitened, diluting theharsh (heart-beating, terrifying) yellow light.
Across the night sky, there was a patch of green, slowly encroaching on theever-present yellow.
Tora-- Ice, though still uncertain about so many things, knew exactly whereshe needed to be.
Reference images taken from GREEN LANTERN v.3 #25.
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