Sinestro's hideaway needed a good dusting. If there was one thing that irked him every time he returned to his "Batcave"--as Jordan had so named--it was that despite the airtight walls and ceiling, there was always a layer of filth on things, especially those things from his old life that he had yet to part with. There had been a number of times when Sinestro had thought his secret place should be purged of anything sentimental, but he could never bring himself to do so.
It was the littlest things that stood out to him. He reached out and picked a floating picture frame from a Korugarian display of photos, a gently and slowly whirling collage of memories suspended over a pedestal. The frame was as simple as the moment had been, but it remained one of Sinestro's most beloved memories. The carefree smiles upon his family's faces, the spontaneity that had caused him to take the photo, and the laughter he could hear in the back of his mind took him back to that day.
"Arin," he called to his wife, and when she looked at him with that curious smile of hers he snapped a photo with the little silver camera she kept on the bookcase.
Her peel of laughter was gorgeous, and she bounced their laughing baby on her lap. "Thaal, my hair is a mess." It was true. The unruly black curls she normally kept tightly braided were free and forming a kind of mane about her face.
"It most definitely is," he agreed, kneeling down next to her on Soranik's soft blanket and moving one of the toys to the side. He reached out to touch that wild hair, his fingers brushing across her cheek. She turned her face into his hand and kissed his palm. He smiled at her as she made devious eyes at him. While he needed to have everything neat and controlled in his surroundings, her kind of chaos was intoxicating.
"I'm going to get ready," she said, before she gave their daughter a playfully exaggerated kiss on the cheek and set her in his arms. "I should look less crazed for your sponsors." She pushed herself up and went to their bedroom.
Ah yes, the banquet. He could hardly wait. While being a politician was a matter of duty and he would do anything for the betterment of Korugar, he loathed parties.
Soranik gave a squeal as he lifted her up over his head, and he chuckled as he set her down. He willed tendrils of light to pluck her toys from around her and stack them in an orderly pyramid before her. She laughed, clapping her little hands, before she flopped onto her back and used her soft booties to destroy the pile. She looked all too pleased with herself as she giggled, catching her toes with her fingers and rolling from side to side.
Sinestro rolled his eyes and sighed, hoping he had the patience for when she learned to scale the bookcases. He tickled her tummy anyway, and she grasped his fingers to lift his hand so she could look at his ring. The look of innocent wonderment on her face brought a smile to his lips. "Fascinating, isn't it, little one?" He picked her up and set her in his lap, taking off his ring and setting it in her tiny fingers. The ring was nearly the size of her palm.
His suit faded away, and he was left in plain clothes, but he didn't mind when he was around his loved ones. "The power I'm able to access with this ring gives me the ability to protect this planet, to protect the people, to protect your mother and you." He leaned over her as she turned the ring this way and that. "I will always protect you both."
He pressed his lips against her forehead, and she looked up at him, grinning. "Perhaps one day, a long time from now, you will replace me as the guardian of this sector. I can feel such greatness in you."
She burbled, before she put the ring in her mouth and promptly swallowed it.
His face fell, and he immediately saw the error of his ways. "Arin!"
They didn't end up going to the banquet after all. Family emergency.
Several hours later Sinestro held the ring with a set of long handled medical tongs, dropping it in a pot of boiling water. After that it would go in sanitizer and then jewelry cleaner before he would dare touch it with his bare hands or even think about slipping it on his finger.
The Guardians had not been sympathetic to his plight and had denied his request for a new ring. Through the comm screen, he could have sworn he saw the corners of Ganthet's lips twitch up.
He looked at Arin as she held their daughter, only half of her hair restrained and an expression on her face like she was trying so hard not to burst into laughter. Soranik giggled as if she'd done a magic trick.
"We will never speak of this," he said, refusing to smile as his wife laughed, though he had to admit the humor of the situation was a little infectious.
Sinestro moved his thumb over the photo, lingering over his wife's frozen smile and his daughter's plump cheeks. He ignored the tightness in his chest as he returned the frame to the photo mobile, releasing it back into the cloud of memories and turning away from them. Those moments were best left where they were, in the dust of his past.