Alterra Blues

September 20th, 2014: Amanda, Gar, and Keith meet for a chat.

Alterra Coffee House

It's a coffee house, what more do you want?!

  • A Barista named Shug.

[*<http://insert.video.or.music.link.here>]

Gotham, perpetual night. If there were a sunlight that rises and sets upon the city, The Wall misses it.

Annoying as shit.

Thankfully, cafes stay open as late for her to get a bit of late night cup'a joe. Something to pour a little liquor into since she was officially off the job. But to Stormwatch, that doesn't mean a damn thing.

She could have her coms off, dress down in civvies, but they'd still follow her around until she picks up on the trail of guards and loses them, which she does this night.

The Wall was alone. Without backup. Sometimes, she preferred it this way.

The cafe was entered and a table picked out, her face neutral as the barista drops by to take her order.

Hot, black and nasty. Almost like herself. She needed the strongest of the strong to pull an all nighter.

There were reasons as to why she chose this particular city to partake in the black brew, but the first reason was neither here nor there. The truth is? She kept watch upon her targets like a hawk, following their moves, listening to reports of sightings and hacking into cameras, gathering more information than NSA which would make those poor fools dangerous.

Yeah, there was a point to this. Paths were going to converge tonight in more ways than one. It could be called the luck of the draw, really, even though it was somewhat orchestrated. But, there she was. Dressed down in a leather jacket, pair of jeans, combat boots to boot. Tank top hidden beneath leather, white of course, halter flack jacket underneath because from her experience? Gut shots.

Once the coffee was delivered she sits and waits, sipping upon the hot brew with a slight lean to keep the guns strapped to her back in place. And there, she waits.

Coincidence or plan? Gar was driving that silly little vehicle to Gotham because he had to sign papers at an office there, something to do with his adoptive father's business needing him to sign off on something that was part of his trust. It wasn't time yet, and there was a cafe … he nudged Vorpal-Keith to make sure he was awake, and said, "Coffee. They also have good pie. Not Twin Peaks Cafe good, but still good."

Entering the restaurant, the young green man in the well-tailored business casual and his much more traditional-looking companion are easily and immediately noticed and waved to a table by the harried hostess.

Keith was not snoring, he would argue, he was simply trying resonance exercises. He's not dressed as well as Garfield is, mostly because it has been only a few hours since he came out of his bouncer shift - the club having to close early due to a meta altercation that left a sizable hole in a wall- and had decided to accompany Garfield to the signing. He's wearing the standard bouncer getup, which by requirement includes a black T-shirt that is almost too tight and jeans. In tall bouncers, the getup is usually intimidating. In Keith, though, since he's relatively short, the effect is not quite the same.

"I could use the coffee. I'm running on an average of four hours of sleep per day right now." Yawn.

Fingers lightly tap against the table, the nails creating an audible click as she brings the coffee cup to her lips to sip. A glance at her watch, the clock on the wall, back towards the cup which was set back upon it's tray and pushed to the side. Hands lower from the table, reaching down to tug at her jacket, and with a slow lean backward, she rests against the chair, one denim clad thigh laced over the other, as her foot bobs and bounces to an unheard beat.

The bell rings as the door opens, noticing Gar first. And then Vorpal..

Teeth grit and grind for half a second, but she does not stand nor make herself noticed. She was in clear view, table in the middle of the room, all sides of her exposed yet carefully considered by her own paranoid mind. She was a woman of few words, really. So to her? It wasn't customary to be the one to speak first.

The hostess, naturally enough, sent Gar and Keith to the two-person table next to Waller, because for some reason the bus-boy was running slow tonight and there wasn't a clean, unused booth. Gar blinks when he sees the woman at the next table. Awkward silence or awkward greeting? Which is least likely to trigger a disaster. He's not supposed to know who she is, but he does, and not just because of the video.

Sometimes it really sucks when the guy you want to spend time with is actually a sentient magical knot of chaos and disruption pretending to human form. The coincidence cannot be ignored. So Gar nods to the woman, "Ma'am." And sits in the chair waiting for the menus and obligatory ice-water to be delivered.

The aforementioned ball of chaos, which currently is in the form of a distinctive-looking redhead, freezes in his seat.

Amanda Waller at Hate O'Clock.

A lot of people tend to underestimate Keith because he spends half the time walking around as a purple cheshire cat, and some people have a hard time taking that seriously. That's the way he likes it, too, because underestimation is a chance a friend grants you to surprise them, and a chance an enemy gives you to one-up them. Any of those people would be surprised at the fact that Keith doesn't, in fact, jump across the tables to strangle Amanda, because he has always seemed so hot-headed every time the woman has come up in conversation.

That's because Keith isn't really a fool, he just plays one to keep foes off their toes, and he knows Amanda is no fool, either.

Even then, though, most people would choke on their donuts at the words that come out of the redhead after he has had a little time to do some quick mental Yoga and reminding himself that The Universe Is Expanding and that it was very important to remember that this woman could do some terrible things to the people he loved. The guy sitting across from him to start with.

"Miss Waller." Keith says. Man, his throat feels like Arizona in July. "… I believe I owe you an apology."

Somewhere, Satan just went 'Is it getting cold in here?' In all honesty, this would not have been the first thing he would have said, had he not had a conversation with a certain Partner a few days ago and some Enlightening Things had been said.

In truth?

Somewhere, deep down inside, Waller held no ill will towards Vorpal or the Teen Titans. Would she ever admit to that in a public setting? Probably not. She took Gar's Ma'am and Vorpal's words of apology as a means to slowly rise from her seat, leather creaking and lifting which was soon held down by the grip of slender fingers. Coffee up and small saucer picked up, chair pushed in by the boot of her feet, and she successfully trades one table for the other, intending to plant herself right in front of Gar and Keith, like so.

But first? Servicing the customer servicer! She moved back to her table to withdraw a napkin from it's holder, carefully wiping away the surface in case something was spilled. And prints. Can't forget prints.

The chair followed soon after, quickly wiped down with a brush of ruined napkin which was soon deposited into the garbage nearby.

It was then and only then that settled into her new found seat, teeth clenched, jaw tensed and worked upon shown by the movement beneath her cheeks. She too, has met with the strange bird man, and found it best to get her ducks in a row.. just in case.

Just in case things were about to go tits up in New York.

With a lean backward as usual, arms suddenly lift to fold over her chest. She was waiting, and watching the clock. This wouldn't be her only encounter here this night.

"You do." A nod was given to Gar, a belated greeting in return.

Gar orders pie and coffee; the coffee is not truly battery acid, but some of the older cups are slightly pitted and rough on the inside. He adds the powdered and the liquid creamers for the chemical neutralization effect and waits for the slight fizzing to stop before adding sugar.

"Hot ice cream. Yay. So, we're planning to re-locate to a less out-in-the-public's-face site. I'd like to borrow Arsenal for training, if he has time and is willing. We need to get some of our newer members up on the rules. The ones who are left are likely to listen."

He leans back then, as the coffee neutralizes, and waits for Keith to continue his apology.

After Gar's addition, Keith's hand moves under the table to take one of Gar's, as subtle as he can make it. It's for moral support, as well as something to steer him into making the right words come out of his mouth. Even if he is in human form, Keith still has the partial soul of a cat. Do you know what apologies do to cats? Every time a cat apologizes, Voldemort makes a Horcrux.

"I spoke and acted hastily in the spur of the moment, and I flung accusations that I had no hard evidence to support at the time. I would ask to like for forgiveness. And I'm ready to make a public retraction. To hopefully get this mess on the path to being sorted out."

The Winter Olympics committee is now considering relocating to the Avernum for this year. While it is not likely at all, the potential for chaos in the world has now increased to such a point that maybe, maybe it might be likely for Deathstroke to have a pink Teddy Bear safely tucked under his pillow. Not likely, but…

Watching Gar nearly made her stomach upset; she couldn't fathom adding all those extra unneeded flavors to her coffee. Low the day that were to happen, she'd be a ball of crazy that no one would want to contend with.

His words however, strike a bit of interest. Was he speaking to her? She wasn't sure.. but either way, his request would be granted. Wordlessly of course.

Back to Vorpal, there was a little twitch that occurred at the corner of her mouth, a slight smile nearly formed yet melted away as soon as her cup was gripped and a sip taken. She was nearly out.

"Absolutely not."

Her words cut through butter, brows knitting briefly to cause her features to appear too harsh for words. "You will not get on camera and use my name ever again. Ever." And she meant it. "That, and only that, will be the only time you ever mention me and my dealings ever again. Is that clear?" She shifts a little in her seat, the guns at her back making her just a little bit uncomfortable. A little bit.

"We are already sorted. I bear no ill will to the current members in standing, that much, I owe you two. Face to face."

There was a breath of silence, a moment of thought pushed in, in favor of awkwardness.

"We appreciate your forbearance," Gar says. "Have you tried the pie here? I hear it's not bad."

He squeezes Keith's hand under the table and relaxes ever so slightly. It's usually easy to read what Gar's feeling and thinking; his body language is normally an open book, and few people think that it might be deliberate. The whole 'acting' thing, well, being a shapeshifter is all about being something else. It's probably in his file somewhere that he's not always what meets the eye. Nevertheless, the smile he gives Waller is both relieved and mildly friendly.

"Sorry, yessir, I mean ma'am I'll just shut up now-" Oh look, water! Keith proceeds to grab his glass with the hand not currently squeezing Garfield's and then proceeds to basically drink the whole glass. Slowly, because it means fewer chances of his mouth being otherwise open and prone to say absolutely the wrong thing.

This is because he's not in his feline form. Vorpal? He'd have this covered, he'd be smooth as a baby's butt and cooler than Bobby Drake ignoring you. Or that's what he likes to think, at least. The truth is that while he is, indeed, extremely confident in his other form, Keith is a Rookie and currently sitting across a woman whose authority and power are frightening. To be honest, he'd probably be all thumbs were he ever to meet Wonder Woman, too. So he just keeps his hand in Gar's and his mouth occupied with drinking or eating. Politely, but occupied.

A nod is given to Gar, and then.. her features soften.

"I have. I'm a fan of cherry pie myself." Wait.. what?

"What I don't appreciate about most of the pies that they do serve here is the crusted sugar that they leave on top. It offsets everything and makes it even more sweeter than necessary. So I avoid. I'm getting to that age where I do have to take care of what I eat; where food turns into the devil and I'm stuck tired after eating a silly little snack."

Wait. What? Did she just say more than a few words at a time and talk about her likes and dislikes? Weight and health over all?

Da fuq?

And then the shoe drops.

"In any case, if Arsenal is agreeable to what you want, then I see no problems with it overall. It's ultimately up to him. In return, I.. me alone am owed a favor." And when someone owes Amanda a favor? Watch out. She'll collect and it would possibly not be pleasant. "Are we understood on this?"

"I agree. I'd prefer it if nobody dies as a direct result, but I trust your discretion," Gar says, and that declaration might cause angels to weep and the aforementioned hypothetical pink-teddybear Deathstroke to do a fist-pump of joy, but Gar's been doing this "vigilante hero" thing since he was a child. Being kidnapped and having an insane international terrorist pretending badly to be your adoptive mother, tring to brainwash you into the perfect murder machine when you're fourteen, and managing to hold out against it, well, it's possible that you learn a few things about how the black-ops world works. Gar's used to the Doom.

The waitress delivers the cherry pie that Gar ordered, and he notices the sugar-crust. It cracks as he pokes it with the fork, a scoop of slightly melting hard vanilla ice-cream next to it on the plate.

"I see what you mean. Delicious but you have to have a hummingbird metabolism," he says. "I can do that, or I'd end up in a happy sugar coma from this."

Bait and switch. In the back of his mind, that part of his identity that used to belong to the Cait Sidhe before the great merger (you thought the Time Warner thing was complicated? hah!) points out that it's a common tactic to lead in with a harmless subject before springing the trap. And the trap, she 'as been sprung.

He puts the glass down, because he might spill it when his pulse does that thing it does when a party is winding down and you think it's downhill from there and the DJ suddenly springs 'Dancing Queen' on you and suddenly you are on top of a table with your best friend ever and suddenly your shirt has turned into a lasso? Like that, but the total opposite in the enjoyment scale. His blood is ice and his eyes, which are unusually green for most humans, cloud noticeably but he doesn't say anything. He takes some of the cherry pie, but he doesn't actually eat it as much as uses it to keep his mouth shut for the aforementioned reasons.

This was something they had talked about as a possibility. He remembers his own words: You are an adult and can make your own decisions, I have no right to demand that you don't. He keeps a good outer face, all things considered, and it might seem that he has become very interested in pie. Inside him, there's turmoil, which is never good for chaos. A few miles away, someone finds out that they have won the lottery, while at the same time receiving a notice for audit from he IRS because her dead husband turned out to have twenty years of undeclared taxes and also, apparently, had stumbled upon a pirate treasure he forgot to list as income. Somehow.

~Whatever she asks, it's going to twist Gar~
~Whatever she asks, it's not going to be good~
And then, that third part of him that seldom participates in his internal discourse speaks up: ~Chaos can't be predicted. Unless…~
~Unless you are one in charge of chaos~
~Unless you are a god~
~The Liesmith~
~Loki~

Loki, whom The Partner had described as a 'nuke ready to go off any minute', the god who had stood not five feet away from him that night at Moontree Manor.

He sips his water. One of the ice cubes has changed shape subtly into that of a shamrock ice cube. He ignores it and crunches it between his teeth.

"You agreed. However, there are no guarantees. While I do not know what I need from the both of you, or the Titan's as a whole, just know that what and when I ask for it, there may or may not be casualties involved. You and your team included." Truth, laid bare out onto the table, fingers splay upon the counter top as her eyes watch the time upon her wrist. Theirs was almost up.

Once the cherry pie was delivered to the both of them, she lets her shoulders slump momentarily, her hand snaking out to grip the idle fork that was not used by the either of them to pull apart a piece upon Gar's plate, absent sugar coated crusting.

"This looks delicious."

The gall of the woman scoops that little bit up to take a bite, savoring the guilty pleasure like so, fork soon placed upon the napkin as a slight nod is given.

"You two need to leave."

This was said as she leans to the side, withdrawing a twenty dollar bill to place upon the table with a snap of her wrist.

"Someone dangerous is coming. Very dangerous. And I cannot have him seeing me in the same vicinity as you two." She stands from her chair, gesturing towards the barista to box up the pie if they need it, and to refill her cup of coffee. She was obviously, staying behind.

"And when you're done, shug.." She says to the woman, pulling out a badge that was obviously fashioned just for her, a figure of authority, for the woman's eyes only. "Clear the shop. You're closed."

"Good luck," Gar says. His own twenty goes onto the table - this is gonna cost that poor waitress so an over-tip is not a bad thing.

"C'mon, Keef. It's about to be strange here, and if she doesn't want him seeing us together, it's not good for us either."

He nods to the woman with no powers and way too much power, and heads for the door.

Keith looks like he was the last remaining man at the battle of Baden Hill and a moribund Arthur expired shortly after telling him to dump excalibur in a lake, and because he had been smashed repeatedly on the side of his head with several blunt implements, found himself saying to the now-cold monarch "'oy, wha' was that, Art?" only to realize that there was no answer coming forth. Or something along those lines. He slides out of the booth, not trusting himself to speak but giving Amanda a nod.

He stands up and brushes any stray crumbs off his shirt- he's always very careful when he eats, yet somehow with pie there's always a stray crumb that ends here or there. Ninja crumbs, probably, jumping from his fork.

He heads out behind Garfield, a frown etched on his forehead.

~So, to the Liesmith?~
~No. Not unless there's no other way.~
~Shall we allow our team-mates to die in battle?~

Battle. Glorious battle. The young man's eyes harden as, in the eye of his mind, he sees the other Robin, speaking about glorious combat. 'You do not know now, but you need me, badly.' The young man's words come back to haunt him. Yes. Yes, we do need him now, more than ever. It looks as if he is going to have to eat more crow tonight, if he can find the Bad Robin. And… why not? Ask the Good Robin to join them as well… because when Waller came calling, they were going to need everything they could to keep them alive.

And even then? There were no guarantees.

~What if it's Garfied?~
The Cait Sidhe, always unafraid to ask the questions he himself wants to avoid. As the door closes behind him, his fists clench, hard.
~There won't be a chance for that. I'll be there.~
~You do realize that it is unlikely that we actually have nine lives~
~Tough titties~

With that snap, all the voices go quiet. He's not in the mood for debate. He has to see his team-mates tonight with the knowledge that any of them could die when Waller came calling. It was one thing knowing that the possibility of death was there… but it was different with a suicide mission.

Himself, though? He's died before. He knows how it goes.

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