The sun was just beginning to rise to start the day but the sky was still shrouded in the darkness of the night. The two siblings returning to the Metro Tower were silent. Neither uttered a word as they trudged into the building they called home.
Inside the headquarters an eerie silence had settled throughout the building; usually at this time the hustle and bustle of Leaguers would be heard as they rose and got ready for the day. Today, however, not a soul could be seen. Everyone seemed to be tucked quietly away in their respective rooms.
"Look, I know this isn't what you wanted to hear when you just got back," Rex said gruffly. He had been trying to keep up a brave front, as long as he was still with Emma. However his dreary face showed he was failing miserably. Emma's head remained down, as she stared intently at the floor.
At this point, Mareena walked into the room. "Hey Rex, why don't you and I..." Hers words faltered as the Red Lantern simply strode past the Atlantean and down into the hallway. "I didn't know your sister was back."
As he heard the electronic hiss of the door opening and closing, Rex ran a hand through his hair, now staring at the door Emma had disappeared through. "She got here about three hours ago. I told her what happened."
"Rex, she needs you. Why don't you go talk to her? And if you need any help, I'll be sticking around the Metro Tower today," Mareena patted him reassuringly on the back and watched as her boyfriend walked away in the direction his sister went.
The door to her old room slid open slowly, or at least it seemed to open slower than it used to. Stepping inside, she leaned against the wall and lowered herself onto the floor, not caring she was still dressed in her Red Lantern uniform.
Finally alone. Her legs pulled up towards her chest, Emma's forehead rested on her knees. She inhaled a slow breath, the thoughts and emotions of the last few hours brimming in her head. She had left Earth for ten years. She had selfishly left her family for ten years. She knew people didn't live forever but she wasn't there when it happened six years ago. And it wasn't like she had left on a good note either.
The thought echoed in her mind as a slow tear rolled down her face. All the regrets and guilt she'd been harvesting over the years came flooding to her and, as if a barrier had been broken, more tears quickly followed and soon she was watching as they fell to the ground. A choked, silent sob left her mouth as the reality of her loss sunk in.
A knock on the door caused Emma's head to quickly swivel up in its direction. "I'm getting changed! Leave me alone!" She called, keeping her voice to as normal a tone as possible while she furiously wiped at her face and attempted to dry her eyes.
"Em, I know you're not ok in there. We need to talk," Rex's voice was softer than usual, nothing to do with the metal door between them. "We're the only family Mom has left now. It doesn't matter how long it's been; we both have to be there for her," He rested his head on the door as he spoke, "Especially you, she's always worried about you. You're all she talks about. You can't shut yourself out like this." Rex jolted forward as the door slid open.
Emma cleared her throat before daring to speak, "I'm fine, Rex," Her eyes didn't meet her younger brother's as she spoke. "And I'm sure she doesn't want to see me. Especially after everything that I did over the years. I should go before Mom even hears that I'm back."
"Emma, she needs us, she needs you," Rex stated as she looked up. His eyes widened slightly as he took in her appearance: her bloodshot and downcast eyes, her clenched fists, and the fact that she was still decked out in uniform. Rex fell silent.
Yes, he had an inclination of how Emma felt. But he hadn't expected this. Not from the stoic woman who had mastered the art of pushing emotions out of the way long ago. Before Emma had a chance to protest, Rex's arms encircled her, forcing her chin to rest on the taller man's shoulder. Rex didn't care that Emma's arms remained firmly down or that he was breaching her closely guarded privacy or even that he may be pushed away any second. They both needed some outlet of emotion and dammit he would give it if he could.
A few moments passed, their calm breathing was the only thing to be heard. There was a soft sound of a throat being cleared and sniffling, before Emma's arms slowly raised to awkwardly encircle her brother. She didn't care about her reputation as a badass Red Lantern at that moment. All Emma could focus on was the slight weight off of her chest she could feel as she stood with Rex.
Emma sighed. One day. It would just take one day and then she'd be back to being the callous and self-righteous Red Lantern she was purported to be, notorious for beating intergalactic criminals to near death with one of her many constructs. But for today, and that day only, she was not going to be a Red Lantern but the daughter her mother needed and deserved.
A/N: For those that may have not been reading from the beginning, I had two chapters up about Emma becoming a Red Lantern. The chapters are now down due to the fact that I'm trying to make a story surrounding Emma's life and what lead her to becoming a Red Lantern in the first place. I'm hoping to get the first two or three chapters out by New Years.