A Night to Remember

Summary:
August 3, 2014: Garth hosts a party and everyone's invited.

Garth's Apartment

A loft apartment in New York City.


Characters

NPCs


Mood Music: Various throughout the log


"Te gusta el mueve mueve. Te gusta…mueve! Te gusta el mueve mueve. Te gusta…mueve!" The latin music could be heard from down the street, echoing into the night. It's been blaring out through the open door on the balcony of the penthouse apartment for the past half hour. Inside, there's a party going on. Everyone seems to be a hero, though the invitations suggested that you are free to come in or out of costume.

There are some party games going on, some people playing charades in one corner of the apartment, while dancing going on in another. The music isn't that bad inside. There must be some very positive acoustics going on for it to reverberate through the open doorway and into the surrounding area.

Garth is in the kitchen, wearing a funny red and white chickened chef's hat, like the one you might see in Europe at a football match, as he works on some finger foods, slaving over the stove. There are hors d'oeuvres scattered throughout the apartment, some punch, and everything else you might expect of a party.

Garth had been working on reconnecting with his old friends over the past few days and weeks, and it was time to celebrate the old times, and look forwards to the new ones.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSHr4m0SuHg

*

An actual party, attended by actual other young adults? Amara didn't take much convincing. Garth offered the invitation, so she arrives once the party is underway, in the interest of avoiding the most awkward moments. Wearing a simple, flower-printed sundress, she seems like any ordinary young woman. She's also brought a bottle of wine. Because that's just polite, after all. So once she arrives, so goes in search of the host, stepping into the kitchen when someone points her in that direction only to pause at the sight of the hat, smile quirking.

*

When Amara arrives, one of the guests opens the door for her. It's a party, there really isn't anything like an ordered host or anything. Too much going on, too many people. Someone knocks on the door, the closest person will open it. An African American twenty-something in a really expensive looking suit will open it for Amara, letting the Nova Roman in.

Garth is just putting the finishing touches on some jello shots, which he makes instantly to the amusement of anyone watching. Sometimes it's good to be a hero without a secret identity. Seeing Amara, he smiles and waves to his new friend, "Oh, hey, Amara, welcome, glad you could make it. Hey, do you want to try a jello shot?” Yes, Garth now makes jello shots. How they grow.

He’ll come around the island in the kitchen, passing a blonde guy in a blue suit with lots of different coloured circles on his uniform, "excuse me there," and he moves to greet Amara properly, thanking her for the wine and looking it over, “oh, this’ll go nice with the salmon."

*

"I should probably not start with jello shots," Amara laughs with a shake of her head as she passes the wine over. "And thank you, by the way, for the invitation. You have a lovely home." She half-turns to watch another guest in costume wander by, amusement flickering across her features. "And very interesting friends. It's…such a change from the Institute." The institute, where everyone is either a student or an adult professor.

*

Bobby can hear the bass out here. He hadn't known Garth had made it out this way, old friend from his UCLA days. And of course with things the way they've been he's quite happy to stop by and say hi, maybe take in the party a bit. Even if he does have to get back to the Farm eventually.

The young sandy haired man knocks, head already bobbing a bit in time with the music. Good lord, he hasn't been to a party that sounded like this in… geeze. It's been a long time. He wonders off handily if his business casual dress will be out of place but then decides it's really not worth worrying about. It's Garth's party. How bad can it be?

*

Garth laughs with Amara, thinking she has a good point. But, it's a party. He's not been to too many human parties, but he's seen them on television, so he's kind of winging it as he goes along. “You’re welcome, and you’re probably right on that one, Amara." At the mention of his home, he smiles, "thanks, I’d like to say I decorated it myself, but it came pre-furnished. All I’ve done is get the humidifier installed in the bedroom, since, Atlantean.” He needs it humid, very humid, to sleep as a human.

But then he spots another old friend, one from his California adventure. As Roy might say, the gillhead gets around. "Oh, heya Bobby, how's it going? Great to see you. Glad you could make it out this way.” As he speaks to Bobby, his voice seems to take on a bit of a valley accent. He's interrupted by a raven haired young woman, “oh, second door on the right.”

*

Amara's brows rise at that bit of information, curious. "That must be an interesting requirement for a home," she says politely, turning when Garth greets Bobby. "Bobby!" she exclaims with a flash of a smile, surprised. "I didn't expect to see you here. Not that it isn't a pleasant surprise, of course," she adds with a dip of her chin. She looks between the pair, gauging the relationship. "You two are friends, then?"

*

Bobby grins as he comes in. "Hey Garth. Nice Party you've got here. You seem to have made a lot of friends pretty quickly, but then… you always did."

Amara gets a wave and a grin. "Amara! Hey, what are the odds? Nice to see you too! Yeah, I met Garth here while I was studying at UCLA. He was pretty active on the West Coast for a hot mintue there." He pauses and grins. "Or should I say cool minute?"

*

While there seems to be no disturbance to any of the external entries or any notice from anyone else at the party, a sealed note appears where it will most likely be seen by the host. The stationery is rather nice, but is sans letterhead. The handwritten note reads:

Who are you and what have you done with Garth?

But seriously, I'm sure you will understand why I have to cordially decline your invitation to your party. The time I have to do my work is, now, incredibly precious, and it leaves me little time for social gatherings. While I appreciate that you are trying to create a community of like-minded folks of our generation, please take a moment to understand my situation and how I can't be a part of the revelry.

Just turn the music down some. You don't want the cops showing up at your door.

-N

*

"You should have seen what it was like before I figured out how to get the settings right. I dry out pretty quickly up here,” meaning on the surface, not up in the northeast. And when Amara greets Bobby, he asks, “Oh, how do you two know each other?” He only met Amara the other day, but already he’s found connections with her friends, since he and Bobby go way back.

Reaching out, Garth does some kind of trick with his fingers, a handshake that he and Bobby learned in California, though he forgets to wiggle his index finger in the gesture. Oh well, he was pretty close. With the iceman explaining, he just grins, and … what's this?

Garth sees a note stuck to the glass of his Ikea cabinet. He opens it up carefully, a little curious, a little cautious. It’s in Dick's handwriting. With a shrug of his shoulders, he looks around. He didn't see Dick put it there. How could he have gotten it there. With a smirk, he shakes his head, “one of these days, I’m going to have to ask him how he does that.”

*

"Bobby and I are sort of fellow alumni elsewhere," Amara explains to Garth with a small smile, watching the handshake with an amused expression. "And here I thought Bobby had stuck to professional applications while he was on the west coast. Perhaps you will have to tell me about your joint adventures sometime."

*

The ice nerd chuckles. "Well there's the occasional chilled drink party tricks, but if you mean the adventures that was mostly Garth. I knew even less about my ability then than I do now. I could get people to 'chill out' at last resort but, you know, not my go to move. Running, such a better option at the time." It's possible he's being modest. Or brutally honest. Bobby seems to favour both really. Really though, Bobby wasn't really doing the hero thing back then.

"Though Garth can tell you some stories I'm sure. How do you know him?"

*

Nodding, Garth asks, "is that right? Well, that’s cool.” Moving behind the island, he grabs himself a drink of water, pouring filtered water out of a container. “Bobby, Amara, can I get you anything?” With a knowing smile at the joint adventures remark, he shrugs his shoulders, “oh, we didn’t get up to anything that would interest you, Amara. Hardly anything at all. Just, getting some sun, he tanned, I fried.”

Which isn’t too far from the truth. He briefly had a job at a fast food restaurant as a fry cook. God, that was intolerable. So hot under the heat of the deep friar. He almost died. At Bobby’s explanation though, he adds, “Running is usually a good choice. But, you can’t always avoid confrontations. Sometimes, they come after you.” He seems thoughtful, but whatever it is, he’s not going into any more detail.

Instead, he says, “oh, we met at the opera. The Fiddler was having his fun, and Amara literally fell on me.” He rubs his back. It doesn’t hurt, but he did fall on the edge of a chair. He’s smiling at Amara as he mock pretends to be hurt. “Oh, my back!”

*

"Something odd happened," Amara adds to Garth's explanation. "There was a portal, a opened a fissure, and then a bolt of lightning, and whatever it was, it caused enough concussive force to throw me into Garth. Frankly," she adds with a brief smile for the Atlantean in question, "I was more concerned about his skin than his back, but I seem to have powered down quickly enough to keep from burning. And water sounds lovely, actually," she adds at the offer of a drink.

*

"Water for me too. I've got a long drive ahead of me tonight and the last thing I need is pulled over. Er, though something with flavour wouldn't go amiss either."

Bobby frowns. "Fiddler? I think that made the news but I've been…" Participating in a highly questionable commando operation and being briefed on an existential threat to a friend and reality as whole. "… busy. Between the two of you though I imagine you got it fairly well handled, right?"

*

"And there was a man who fell out of the portal. Flash ran him off to the UN to get checked out by a doctor.” He opens a cupboard and takes down a glass, which he fills with water for Amara. “There you go, Amara.” It’s pretty cold, but he offers, “if you want ice, I’m sure Bobby could help with that.” He can cool things down too, but this really is Bobby’s specialty.

“And I’m fine, though my shirt and tie didn’t fair quite so well.” Both had to be thrown out after being burnt by the not quite fast enough transformation. For Bobby, he cuts up an orange, making a spiral which he puts into the water and offers it up to his friend, “there you go, Bobby.”

“Oh yeah, the Fiddler was no match for us. There were half a dozen of us in the opera. Rachel, Roy, and I went together, while Amara was also there, and I think the Flash just ran when he heard about it on TV.”

*

Amara murmurs her thanks as she takes the water, taking a sip. "Don't tell Scott, please," she winces slightly when Garth explains what happened. "He'd probably deliver quite a lecture about how I should have called. And I'm…" She grimaces, drinking again as she chooses her words. "None of us are children anymore. It's time for us to look at becoming something more."

*

Bobby's not had quite that conversation with Amara, but he's familiar with the feeling. "Sounds like you have a plan. And knowing my friend here as I do, he's part of it. Or in on it. Or entirely too pleased with himself about it." Or all three. Bobby winks at Garth as he takes a sip of water. "Thanks."

*

Not knowing who Scott is, Garth smiles and mimes sealing his lips, “Scott won’t hear about it from me,” though she probably meant that for Bobby. “A lecture, huh? I know the type,” and he doesn’t like it. Anyone that high strung needs a vacation, or to have the rod surgically removed from their posterior.

“And that’s a good point Amara. Kind of why we’ve been working so hard. Oh, you should see the blueprints for the facility we’re having built.” But, it’s a party, who wants to talk about such things. Though he does wonder, “What about you Bobby? Are you, being all you can be?”

*

"Less of a plan and more of a…direction," Amara shrugs to Bobby. "I want to talk to my old classmates first, though. They are my friends, and I wouldn't want them to be hurt by my decisions. We're…family, in many ways." She drinks again, finding an out of the way spot to stand where she can watch the party around them. "But I would lying if I said this sort of thing wasn't a pleasant change of pace."

*

Bobby nods. Her classmates are not his, sadly, despite their joint 'alumni' status. "Well I'm sort of at a crossroads myself. But if there's one thing I do know I believe in, it's doing good wherever good can be done. So, y'know, you both have my number. I'm gonna be a bit busy, I think, taking care of some folks, but if it's important I'll make time."

*

Parties aren't exactly Raven's thing. Usually she would make up some excuse why she couldn't come, sometimes it would be believable and others not, then spend the night wondering whether it would have been good for her to get out while ultimately deciding it was a headache she didn't really need and certainly didn't want. She had spent the better part of a twenty minutes pacing just outside the apartment building, once going so far as to enter the building, then walking right back out, much to the chagrin of the other occupants who stare at her like some sort of mad woman for wearing a hoodie in the middle of summer.

Eventually, through force of will, she finds herself at Garth's door and again makes herself knock with the back of her pale, fishnet covered, hand. "ugh…" She shakes her head and starts walking quickly down the hall away from the door almost as soon as she's knocked.

*

Alumni, it’s a strange thing to Garth. He had no formal education. He was homeschooled, after a fashion, by the sorcerer Atlan. Still, he turned out all right. Not many other people with his kind of history could say the same. It’s a wonder he didn’t turn out to be feral, living out in the open seas.

But he listens to Amara and Bobby talk as the party rages around them. “That’s a great attitude Bobby. I’ll probably take you up on it. Just, have to work some things out.” Yes, he has much to do, and less time to do it in. And to Amara, he brushes his glass against hers, then to Bobby’s, “to a new beginning, and greater future?” And if they seem to agree, he’ll add in, “cheers.”

But then, Garth excuses himself, “I’ll be right back.” He heads over towards the door, to change the music CD. There’s been enough Latin, so he puts on something else, maybe some trendy pop music. Which is good, because he’s there when Raven knocks on the door.

He opens it, but no one’s there. Furrowing his brow, he looks perplexed, but sticks his head out the door, and looks around to see Raven heading away, “Oh, hey,” and he chases after her, “Raven, how’s it going?” He’s glad she came, but actually getting her into the apartment may prove difficult. She’s not the party type. But it’s important that she came.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g8BsrBr4mw0

*

"Taking care of some folks?" Amara echoes, arching a brow at Bobby. "You know that if that's anything you need help with, you've only to ask. I would certainly rather be doing something useful than wandering aimlessly in search of something useful to do. Besides," she adds with a brief smile, "You're also my friend, yes?"

*

Bobby chuckles. "I'd like to think so Amara. You should come down to the Farm sometime and see if it's something you want to help out with. We have a lot of broken people to look after and I know Nancy and I would welcoem the help." There'll be doctors and psychologists visiting too courtesy of Hank, but right now Nan, Bobby and a couple of the more put together relatives are it for supervision.

"Oh hey who's that at the door Garth? Friend of yours?"

*

Raven freezes in the hallway and glances back over her shoulder with a pensive sort of stare. She sighs softly and turns to face Gar with both hands shoved into the pockets of her hoodie, face hidden within the shadowy confines. "Hey." She says quietly distant, looking to the open door, "Seeya later…" She says, easing back slowly towards the stairs, glancing over her shoulder. Seriously, it took a lot of willpower to get this far…

*

Garth turns his head while standing in the hallway, nodding in the affirmative to Bobby, but he's hoping to coax Raven inside. It’s probably a futile effort, but he's for damn sure going to try. Following after her, he smiles, “Heya Raven, aren’t you going to come inside? Amara's there,” and dropping to a whisper, “Magma.” He doesn’t usually reveal that kind of thing, but he trusts Raven, he already called her Amara, and it was only then that he forgot Raven doesn’t know her name yet. “And there’s another friend I’d like to introduce you to?” He knows how hard this can be for her, but he has to try.

*

"The Farm?" Amara glances toward the open doorway, curious as to what's going on in the hallway but too polite to interfere just yet. "Where are you collecting broken people from, and why wouldn't you bring them to the Institute?" A faint frown furrows her brow, confused.

*

Raven turns, then stops, and looks back to Garth. "No, coming was a bad idea." She states flatly as her arms curl tight against her chest with both hands still in the pockets of her jacket. It creates a nice comfortable and protective shell for her, eyes staring down at the carpet. "…Alright, fine…" She says with only the very slightest grumble in her tone and starts back up the hallway with her forehead already furrowing.

The darkly clad woman slips into the apartment past Garth, staring up at him as she passes him with a look like she could take great pleasure from dipping him head first into a pile of sand. Once inside she presses her black lips together and slinks over towards a corner. Only glancing up long enough to observe faces, then looking back down at the ground.

*

Bobby copies down the address on a napkin and hands it to Amara. "Long story. People like Nancy." He murmurs. "They're all pretty… you know, messed up. So we're taking care of them. Scott and Hank didn't even want to bring up bringing them to the Institute to the Professor. They set up that safe house instead."

"They're all there already. It's gonna be a lot of work. I'm headed back there tonight."

Smiling he gives Raven a polite nod. "Hi there. I'm Bobby. Friend of Garth's?"

*

With Raven coaxed back into the party, grumbling and giving him a look that makes him feel uncomfortable, Garth heads back into the party as well. Of course, she immediately goes to a corner, being standoffish, giving those around her the unconscious signal to back off. But Garth is having none of it. He heads over to Amara and Bobby, “guys,” he uses the term loosely, “I’d like you two to meet a friend of mine.” Though Amara has already met her, he’ll lead them over to Rachel, joining her in the corner. “Rachel, you’ve already met Amara,” though she didn’t catch the name, “and this is Bobby.”

Meanwhile, there are a number of other people in attendance, some mingling, others dancing. Garth decided to throw a party for the heroes he’s come to meet and know, so while most are in their civilian attire, just about everyone here is a hero of some descript.

*

"That bad?" Amara murmurs to Bobby, looking concerned. Before she can say any more, though, Garth has returned, along with Raven's arrival. She follows toward the other girl, offering a small smile when she reaches her. "Hello, Rachel," she says politely, hanging back enough to provide at least some space in the conversation. "It's a pleasure to meet you."

*

"I can give you details if you want them la-" With a tug Bobby gets pulled over to the waiting Rachel. Quiet kind, but Bobby remembers the type. Not that he ever was one, though he came close freshman year. "Pleased to meet any friend of Garth's Rachel. I'm Bobby Drake,” as he said.

Hrm. She doesn't seem to be the hand shaking type. So instead he just offers what he hopes is an encouraging smile.

*

"Hey." Raven greets everyone in a lump, but at least she pulls one of her hands free of her pocket to give the pair a small wave, even if it does immediately go right back into that pocket. After a second she pulls her cell phone out and uses the glow of the screen as a very classy distraction to conversation. The little bit of light only serves to highlight a face destined to be hidden under a hood while both thumbs work slowly over the keys of the phone clutched in both hands.

Whatever she was sending, sent, Rachael looks up at the pair of Amara and Bobby with about as friendly an expression as a starving lion. "Uh…" Quietly, awkward, looking up to Garth hopefully. "I brought a CD." Do people even use CDs anymore? Raven does. She's holding it out to him.

*

Keith wondered, for a while, whether he should show up in his 'civilians' or not. For him, it meant giving away his identity- and since he was new to the game, he needed a little buffer between this strange, crazy new world and his downtime.

Just a month ago, he was loading boxes in a warehouse- being in a 'super team' is new to him, as is the society of other heroes.

So he strikes a compromise. Keith does come in his civvies- shirt, jeans, jacket- but he still comes in as the purple cat. Because, for all anyone knows, that's what he looks like 24/7 … and he'd like to keep his everyday self private. If for a little while.

Spotting his host, Keith walks up to him with a grin. He's good at grinning.

"Hey, thanks for the invite— sorry I'm late. Something happened along the way." He holds his hand out to Garth.

*

Garth smiles curiously, more of a grin at the CD that’s offered up to him. He wonders what it might have on it, but he’s game to try it out. “Thanks Rachel,” he’ll accept it, briefly brushing his fingers against her own. That might be one of the few times he’s ever come in physical contact with her.

He’ll politely excuse himself, “I’ll give this a try,” and he heads over to the sound system, intent on putting Raven’s CD on, and for the moment, leaving her with Amara and Bobby.

He catches Keith on his way towards the sound system, shaking his new friend’s hand, “Of course, I’m glad you could make it, and you’re not late, you’re fashionably late. That’s a thing, right?” While chatting, he’ll put the CD on. Uh oh, what could it be?

*

Amara seems content to give Raven some space, not pushing the conversation. She's just here. Listening to music. As Keith arrives, she quirks a brow curiously, offering a small smile in greeting. "Hello," she says with a wave. This whole idea of a party full of young people, full of young heroes, seems to be utterly fascinating to her.

*

Bobby is not a hugely social creature, but he's comfortable at a party. And he seems content to let Garth and Raven chat. If… that's what they're gonna do. The… purple cat catches his eye. Not like it was ever not going to. Garth gets a sly smile. "You just know all sorts, don't you Garth." Well, the Atlantean always was good at making friends.

*

Rachel, chews on her bottom lip, lowering her head a bit so that the hood keeps her more or less hidden even though she's standing conversationally close to Amara and Bobby. "I'm sorry." She says suddenly, maybe a little too loud since they're all so close. Opens her mouth to say something else and closes it, simply repeating 'sorry' again, this time a little quieter.

For what? She doesn't say. She shoves her hands back into her pockets and watches Garth stop to talk to the purple Vorpal, not at all taken aback by his appearance. Instead she waits for the music to start, visibly relaxing a little once it has.

*

Keith's ears twitch when the music comes on. Interesting selection.

"Hello, I'm Keith." Keith says, smiling at Amara and Bobby. No last name. "He does know all sorts. Even those of us who are unsorted, languishing in the 'Miscellaneous What The Hell Is This?' cubbyhole of the universe."
Having seen the CD exchange, he looks at Rachel, noticing the slight relaxation.

"Good selection.”

*

Yes, everyone’s welcome at Garth’s. Atlanteans, mutants, demons, anthropomorphic cat, humans, whether your eyes are blue, green, brown, red, or violet, there’s no party like an Atlantean party. He puts on the music, thinking that Raven’s choice is a bit different than what he would have picked, but nobody seems to be objecting to it so far, and if it puts Raven at ease, then it’s worth listening to.

Returning to Keith, Amara, Bobby, and Rachel, Garth makes a point of standing near Rachel. Not so much for himself, but he figures of this group, she’d be most comfortable having him dangerously close to invading her personal space. Had Roy been here, he probably would have been on the other flank.

“And this is Amara, Bobby,” he gestures to them, making sure that Keith knows them. So many people seem to know each other, and yet, there are still so many introductions to make. Everyone seems to know someone though.

*

"Nice to meet you Keith." Bobby nods with a smile, sipping on his orange water. "So is this just a social thing Garth or does this little bash have something to do with the 'direction' Amara was mentioning." He's goth is hands full but yes, he does seem interested both in whatever that is and in meeting all of Garth's friends. Any friend of Garth's, after all…

*

The next song is.. probably not what anyone is expecting from a CD Raven handed over to be played. Even those who don't know her, but even as Voltaire's lyrics start playing over a near Irish Folky beat, it is so out of character for the socially withdrawn Rachel. She just stands there beside Garth, hands in her pockets, staring at the floor until the chorus starts…

Then she sings, or rather, ''says'' in an off key robotic inflection like voice, "Bounce the graviton particle beam off the main deflector dish… that's the way we do things, lad; we're making shit up as we wish. The Klingons and the Romulans pose no threat to us.. because if we find, we're in a bind, we just make some shit up…"

Then silence. Clearing her throat. "I like this song." Totally unembarrassed and unapologetic for her ''singing''.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwhAq3F8NCE

*

Keith grins at Raven's monotone delivery, and in the blink of an eye he is the spitting image of Montgomery Scott. "Ya forgot ta reverse the polarity, Lass." And then the illusion vanishes and he's back to his old self. "It is nice to meet you all."

*

From the doorway there's a light 'knock-knock' and if it's unlocked it's soon opened. Standing with one hand on the knob and peeking in around the way is a face that some may recognize, others might not. Alexander Aaron's appearance is without fanfare, no trill of trumpets to sound his arrival, nor squeal of fans, yet there is something expectant about how he looks around the place for a time.

Having made sure the situation is not entirely a trap, he steps into the room and closes the door behind him. He must have been on his way to somewhere of some import as he's not in his usual jeans and t-shirt, but black dress pants and a white button down shirt with even a black tie in place. He's got a black jacket slung under his arm with both of his hands in his pockets now as he walks across the room looking for two people in particular. The text-messager, and the host of the party. First he sights one, then the other.

A hand is lifted from his pocket in the form of a small wave, "Atlantean." His gleaming red gaze rests on Garth, then shifts over towards Raven. "Conundrum."

*

“First and foremost, it’s a social thing Bobby.” Garth is pretty pleased with the way the night has gone. Everyone seems to be having fun, enjoying the music, the downtime, being able to mingle with their heroic brethren and whatever the sisterly version of brethren is.

"But…” he adds, “I have hopes for that direction, been doing a lot of work, making progress, but it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.” He hesitates, looking around, and with a shrug of his shoulders, “I thought it would be with the Titans, but… things happen.” He shrugs, looking like he’d rather not talk about it, “but with a new name, I’m sure that I’ll find some warriors willing to help me. Though, I figure that the new building will help with the recruitment drive. Everyone likes new toys…” and then the song begins to play. His mouth hangs agape. He knows Rachel, probably better than anyone else here, and this comes as a complete shock. Wow, just wow.

He’s so shocked by Raven’s choice in music that he barely registers the arrival of Alexander. He practically waits for the song to finish before waking from his stunned silence, and then notices the new arrival, “Alexander, glad you finally made it. Have you met everyone?” And he proceeds to introduce the various people standing near the Raven’s corner.

*

"A pleasure to meet you, Keith," Amara starts to say just as he changes shape. She blinks, startled, but doesn't seem upset. And then there's someone else new arriving, and she nods politely, watching the introductions fly.

*

Bobby turns to see the newcomer, this 'Alexander.' "Heya?" Garth's taken care of the introductions already and this seems really just like a relax and meet and greet kind of place. Nice to see a couple of familiar faces here, of course. Always nice to see Garth and Amara, but meeting new people has never been horrifying for him. For the moment he's content just to offer Alexander his hand to shake.

*

Raven just stares up at Garth for a second, which turns into two seconds, and so on. With his mouth hanging open like that her brow furrows in something that vaguely resembles frustration, "What?" She finally asks him, quietly, not snapping.. Just pointed and direct. "I like things…" She says defensively and encircles her chest with her arms, "No reason to make me feel weird about it…"

Then there's an Alex arrival and she perks her head up a bit to see who the new face is with only a slight muted interest, doing as the Roman's do and all that jazz. "Hey. Thanks for coming." She says to him as joyously as a funeral. "You missed it. Apparently my singing is so bad Garth is hoping to catch flies. See if I ever do ''that'' again."

*

Keith gives Garth a look, a little puzzle by the direction speech. That's funny, he would have never pinned him as a One Direction fan.

"I didn't think it was that bad." He interjects at Rachel's remark. "At least you don't get shoes thrown at you when you sing. I've got more dress shoes than I know what to do with…"

*

Polite nods are given around as Alexander looks to each individual in turn. There's a narrowed eyed glance there, a lift of his chin there, then Bobby offers his hand. The young deity takes the man's hand and gives a good firm shake, clasping his forearm and then meeting his eyes. A wry half-smile touches Alexander's star-trailed eyes as light flickers deep in those irises. "Mr. Drake," There's another nod, then he disengages. "A pleasure."

His attention shifts back towards Raven and he cocks an eyebrow, "Did the song suit you?" He asks this lightly, turning his attention between her and Garth. "Or was it the fact you gave voice to song at all?" As he speaks he casually puts his jacket over the back of the nearest chair.

*

Shaking his head, Garth looks off, staring into space, trying to clear his thoughts, but finally gives Raven a grin, “That was neat, just, unexpected. It’s nice to know that you can still surprise me.” He thought he had her down pat, knew what she was like, but that song, that threw him off. It makes sense in hindsight, but he didn’t see it coming, not for a minute.

But at her talk of how bad her singing was, he shakes his head profusely, “Oh, no, you sang right, it sounded good, I just, the music choice, I didn’t expect it. You surprised me. I like that.” He winks to her, nodding to Alexander, “it did, strangely enough, and you,” he looks to Raven, “did better than I would have.” will wonders never cease?

*

Amara's smile quirks at the reactions to Raven's choice in music. "I've been told karaoke at parties is a time-honoured tradition," she chimes in. "It's an entirely appropriate activity. Hello," she nods to Alexander as well. "I'm Amara. A pleasure to meet you, Alexander," she says politely.

*

"Pleasure's mine. I'm going to guess you're here too because of our resident swim champion? It's getting to be like a surprise birthday party."

Okay, Bobby knows Raven was off key, but her choice of music is pretty nice. Different. And she wasn't that bad. So he nods in agreement with Garth.

*

"I don't believe in labels." Raven says defiantly, if quiet. Her arms remain circled about her waist gripping the opposite pocket to hold them in place. "If I decided that Britney Spears was the sound track to my eternity, whose to say otherwise? Oops I did it again…" She almost sneers, hating herself for knowing the name of that song, "I'm a bright ray of freaking sunshine."

Now she just looks irritated. Not ''at'' Garth, so much as the fact that she, well.. "Oh please. I sounded like Wall-e having sex with a speak and spell.." Deadpan, staring up at him with a little frown. "But I like the song. I find it funny." Does she? Does she really?

Raven gives Amara a firm nod, motioning with her hands extending out from her waist for just a second, pointing in the other woman's direction.

Next song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeFezGJF7mA

*

Keith stares at Raven at the Wall-E/Speak and Spell quip. "Where have you been all my life?" he says, an eyebrow raised. And then he notices-

"Oh, hello, I'm Kropal. Veith. Vor-Keith. Nice to meet you." He says to Alexander. "I'm obviously a hallucination. Please carry on."

*

From across the way, Alexander gives Amara a wave, "And you," His gaze remains on her for a moment longer, but then he is drawn into the conversation swirling about. He takes his time, considering each person as they offer their insight, Garth and his compliments, Bobby inquiring as to his presence. "I received a plaintive cry and rushed to the aid of the supposedly stricken.

There's a curious cock of his eyebrows for a moment when he espies Keith and points at him, "The bank." As if placing him. He gives a nod, then hrms as he starts to cross the room towards the CD player and soundsystem. Over his shoulder he addresses Raven and her philosophy. "I've always been a touch confused at the significance placed upon individuals attaching their egos to the works of others. I enjoyed reading those vampire books. Am I diminished somehow if you don't care for them? No."

*

Nodding to Amara, Garth says, “Yeah, I’ve heard that, but never tried it myself. I guess I’ll have to add that to the plans for the new base. It needs a karaoke machine. And Bobby, my birthday isn’t for another few weeks.”

Raven, she’s grown a lot. Garth never thought he’d ever hear her say ‘freaking’ or talk about ‘sex’, even in a passing reference to the mating habits of Wall-E and a speak and spell. That one really cracks him up, he struggles to contain the laughter, enjoying the joke, but not wanting to unnerve Raven. At least Keith gave him some backup on that one.

Listening to this Alexander, Garth determines that he's a bit stuffy, overdressed for the party, a little cerebral. But he’d probably get along well with Raven. And then he notices that everyone’s drinks, those who have them, are getting low, and so he asks, “Can I get anyone something more to drink? There’s plenty of food on the tables too? Vegetarian for you Raven, and other stuff for the rest of us.”

*

"I think I'm actually going to mingle a bit," Amara replies to Garth's offer with a flash of a smile. "Nice meeting all of you," she nods to the group, before falling back to go and be…social.

*

Bobby checks his watch. "Mmmmm. I may have to get going here. I gotta be back at the Farm with this stuff and get it all unpacked. Moving in for twenty three people is a bit of an undertaking. Seriously though, Garth, you know how to get ahold of me. And Amara, if you wwant to know more about the Farm, we'll talk. In any case, you guys have fun. It was nice meeting you all!" And with a wave, Bobby slips out.

*

Raven looks pointedly to Vorpal, head tilting as tries to figure out what he's about. Whether he's having a go at her or being serious. She decides, ultimately, that it doesn't matter and shrugs. Then stares at Alex pensively, "Which vampire novels?" She asks, then "Nevermind, I know which ones you mean. I read them too." Still clutching her pockets with arms crossed over her chest, "They would have been better if it had a MacBethian ending." Mouth twitching to the side when Garth points them all to the refreshment table, relaxing how hungry she actually is.

"My favorite character in most vampire movies is the sun." Said as she separates herself from the group to slip over to the table where the food is spread out, furrowing her brow as she slips through the mingling groups. Offering quiet, 'excuse mes' to those she passes.

*

Two yellow-green eyes follow Raven as she passes, an eyebrow raised. "I like her style," Keith says to Garth, "Where do you know her from?"

No, Keith didn't get the memo yet. He was busy pulling hours at the warehouse.

At Alexander's recognition, he nods. "Right, the bank, that's where it was." He's hoping he doesn't put two and two together with the redhead running into the bathroom and Vorpal coming out.

If only because he wants to have a little corner of the world that he can retreat into, when he craves normalcy.

Which will probably last a day or so before he's bored out of his mind and back into tights and being shot at.

"What a coincidence to have met there." Coincidence shmincidence. The hand of Chaos kept thrusting him into good and bad 'coincidences' all the time. It was the price you paid.

*

Reaching the sound system and bending down to examine it, Alexander crinkles his nose faintly at something seen or something said. Whichever it may be he offers no insight into exactly what. Then he straightens up and turns back around to smile across the way towards the other party-goers as he casually tells Raven while she walks by, "Team Jacob for life, yo." Though with his usual rather laid back delivery, it might make those words sound terribly ridiculous.

He walks back towards Garth and he smiles easily enough, a smile that seems to light up his countenance and causes those red gleaming eyes to become all the more a focal point for his features. "Anything to drink, house specialty or all, whatever you have too much of. Thank you for allowing us to break bread in your home."

*

Though he’s sad to see Bobby go, Garth knows exactly what kind of a trek he has ahead of him. Last night he had to drive up to Westchester County, and then back to New York. Talk about a long trip. Sometimes, he wishes he never learned to drive. Shaking Bobby’s hand, “all right, Bobby, drive safe, and don’t be a stranger.” And with that, he lets his friend go, also watching Amara disappear into the crowd.

As Keith asks him about how far he goes back with Raven, “you know, I don’t think I remember that. It just feels like I’ve known her forever. And in all this time, she can still surprise me. I guess that’s a good thing.” But then Alexander returns, and is thirsty. He pauses to consider, since Alexander is being so easy going, whatever he’s trying to get rid of, Garth heads over towards a locked cabinet. He opens it and pulls out a bottle of lime green fluid. The cabinet is closed, locked, and he will return a moment later to pour a glass of the liquid for Alexander, one for himself, one for Keith, one for Raven, and all their other friends, even though some probably won’t partake, “Here you go, and one for you, and you, and you…” When asked what it is, he’ll explain that it’s from Atlantis.

*

Raven returns a little while later holding a plate of collected finger foods. Little spinach quiche cups, a little pile of cucumber salad, and other odds and ends which she munchs on as if she can't taste it. Eating purely for the need to do so rather than the enjoyment of it. She didn't say a word about Team Jacob, she just rolled her eyes and collected her food bits, then returned looking a little muted. "What's this?" She asks, taking the cup offered by Tempest.

*

Keith accepts the liquid and gives it a quick sniff- and then remembers that he can't smell any better than a human could due to the magic brand. So he sips it. "Interesting taste…" he looks a little puzzled, but is too polite to mention the brew has no taste whatsoever to him.

You see… cats can't taste sweet. We will leave you to contemplate that incredible cosmic justice… but Vorpal would be the first to say that even perfection comes with a price. Which is why cats are not usually awarded the Miss Congeniality award. "What is it?"

*

Accepting the glass of green liquid from Garth, Alexander lifts it up and considers it, gaze narrowing as he holds it to the light and turns it to the side slowly. Not recognizing it, he gives a small shrug and then extends the glass forward. "A special occasion, perhaps a toast?"

The young blonde man looks around the room and considers the crowd, then looks to Garth, "If I may?"

He then lifts his voice a smidge bit louder so as to carry. "To our host, and to the future. Where our friends are true, our loves well won, and our trials few." He gives a glance towards Garth, grins a bit and then clinks his glass faintly against those that meet his.

*

"It's called Elea’ie'dome,” Garth says of the lime green liquid. A human voice might not be able to reproduce the name, but they could do a reasonable facsimile. And then to explain it in terms they might understand, "sort of a sweet rice wine with a bit of a, I guess a subtle black current aftertaste.”

He nods eagerly to Alexander, raising his free hand, palm up, as if to say, by all means. He raises his glass, as do most of the others. And with the toast, he drowns his drink in one gulp.

Licking his lips afterwards, savouring the taste of home, of Poseidonis, he surveys those around him, the friends he's made, the ones who are absent, and considers Alexander’s words. What could that future hold? He could not say, but, it would be told, and time would tell.


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