It might be movie night

Summary:
August 31, 2014: Raven is trying to watch a movie and people keep pestering her.

Titans Tower

There is an Under Construction sign around the big sinkhole in realities, and inside that sinkhole, a Tower stands, a T-shaped Tower filled with Titans. Sometimes, more of them than even they know are there.


Characters

NPCs

  • The hairy-limbed fractaloculus behind the fridge

Mood Music:
The Lake (The Notebook soundtrack)


After a night of very weird dreams, Keith hasn't done much today except think over stuff and to put his life into perspective, all six months of it so far.

It dawns on him that the night after the bombing, he conducted himself in an overly-emotional manner, and that he was less than kind to one of his teammates. Granted, one of his teammates who scared him somewhat…

But she was a woman about his own age, and someone upon whom his life would depend at one moment or another in their career. Provided he survived.

*Knock Knock Knock* his knuckles rap at her door quietly, followed by a "Raven? …" that sounds way more timid than he intended.

*

It would be the very definition of overstating the truth if it were ever suggested that Raven had given that night more than a passing second thought. It isn't that she does not like Keith, it's that she doesn't let things like that bother her. She doesn't let much of anything bother her.

She has taken to staying at the Tower more often than usual, but she keeps to herself. She has the kind of presence that really might suggest that she could be in the same room for an extended period of time and somehow manage to keep to her own self despite it.

Right now she is in her room. Legs folded up beneath her with the lights off. Only the soft glow of a small television to light her already pale features in an ominous white-blue. "What do you want?" She replies in her usual cool tone. Hoping that the question has all the indication she will need that she does not want to be bothered.

*

Garfield Logan, Esquire, is testing a hypothesis. Yes. Scientifically and stuff. Since Billy made the tower come back, by somehow finding echoes and shadows of it in adjacent realities and … copying? gluing? stealing outright? Nobody knows. It's here. And Gar is here. And the ever-charming verdant features of Changeling are just as charming as before, but in a lovely red. He's like his own Christmas decoration, almost. Red Changeling.

The other problem: he noticed, when he slept here the first time, that when he was dreaming, he was Green and this OTHER him was Red and they could talk to each other in words. It was kind of awesome. Well. Until the dream-things started crawling out from under his bed the day he had to be something impossible … just being two dragons should NOT be seen as an invitation for half-nightmare circuses to set up under one's bed, and bother the roommates.

Anyway. Gar's spent the entire day without transforming once (except that he changed back from being a Liger to his charming self, back in his dorm room, before sunrise) to see if it will keep his dreams from leaking, and he's just now driven up in his Smrt Cr, and breezed through the entry looking for Keef, who had the sucking-chest-wound luck of being called in to work on a holiday. They really better pay him overtime. Anyway.

"You there? Keith? Vorrrrpaalllll? I know you're here, I can smell you."

*

"Sorry, I know you're busy but… could we talk?" Keith sounds like the worst student in Mrs. Ottovordemgentschenfelde's1 class who is trying to ask her if maybe she would consider giving him some extra credit. There's something about Raven's demeanor that turns Keith into a walking apology.

Gar's voice, though, makes him smile all of a sudden.

"I'm over here, Gar, by the dorms!"

*

Raven has escaped most of the weirdness of this newly returned Tower by dismissing all of the weirdness outright. She saw some interesting things in her mirror this morning while brushing her teeth and there was the dream she had where she mystically impregnanted with her father's demon child. That this doesn't bother her as much as it probably should is a testiment to her resolve.

Right now, the most annoying thing happening the tower is the tone of Keith's apologetic voice.

"What do we have to talk about?" she calls out rather than invite him in. Because she is almost certain she just heard Gar and if she lets Keith in, she will no doubt have to let Gar in as well. Even if, deep down in the cold place where her heart should be, she kind of wants to say hello to Gar.

"Is that Gar?" she asks, without moving from her seat nor looking away from her program. "Tell him I said hello."

*

Ears perk forward. Hey, Gar's always a little bit animal, more so than ordinary people. You know, the fangs, the ears, the occasional monkey tail. He hears a voice. That's Raven's 'go away, I vant to be alone' voice. Hmm. But he hasn't seen her in … well, at least three years because he was in San Diego getting his BS in Bio. His heart makes this happy little 'friend!' squeak that he knows will probably annoy her if she's in her I am dooooooom. Do not talk to me I will eat your soul and then regret it because it will leave stringy bits in my teeth sort of mood. But she's here, not hanging out in Azarath, so maybe she needs her other family for a while.

All this musing takes just the amount of time it takes Gar to come up the stair and down the hall and to wrap an arm over Keith's shoulder.

"Raven? I heard you. Hi back. Do you need to be alone right now?" There's a difference between want and need with Raven, so at least some of the Titans learned to ask that question.

*

"What the green one said," Keith says following Gar's cue. These two have history, so he's happy to be the little tugboat that floats behind the larger ship's wake.

This was all a figure of speech, it wasn't because he wanted to stare at Gar's ass.

Okay, maybe a little.

"You haven't seen him since he came back. I'll…" he pauses. "I'll make food for us? I make good food. We can sit around the table."

What did Raven eat? Was she a vegetarian? He could do vegetarian. He had an app for that.

*

Inwardly she is already regretting acknowledging Gar's presence. It invites questions. Questions that are difficult to answer. Because she really wants to finish this movie.

"I do not… need… to be alone.." Which does not mean that she wants them to come in. More that she is willing to vocalize the difference.

"I also do not ne- no, I could use some popcorn." She corrects… staring at the door now.

"Fine. Come in."

It is, as stated, very dark in the room excluding the glow of her small television. The room itself is very spartan in decorations, as well, though there is a yoga mat in one corner and more than a dozen candles spread around on various flat surfaces.

*

Keith gives Gar's hair a quick ruffle, "You go in, I'll go fetch the popcorn." And with that, he puts his hands on Gar's lower back and pushes him forward as he opens the door. Sort of like the sacrifice tossed into the volcano while he goes and gets the offerings.

Though in truth he is just glad to let Gar go in first because he's someone they both know. He can be the social lubricant, and maybe Keith thinks he can learn how to deal with Raven by observing how Gar deals with her.

So he heads towards the kitchen not at a fast clip, but at a moderate one due to his sprained ankle.

*

"Hey, Raven. Good to see you again. Keith will bring popcorn, if Flash hasn't eaten it all," Gar says, pressing the door open.

"What's the movie?"

He looks for a clear spot on the floor near but not too close to where Raven's sitting, where he can see the movie if she wants, and waits, not demanding anything but to be there quietly. He's seen it before, the thing where she doesn't want to remind herself of what she's dealing with, or it gets harder to deal with, so. If she wants to say anything, she can. If she wants to ask anything, she can. No pressure needed.

Note, last time, he wasn't quite this smart about it.

*

The movie, it will be noted, is The Notebook.

When Gar sits and looks at the small screen, the glow off of it probably does well to highlight the glare Raven turns his way. A glare that screams, 'make fun of it and I'll hurt you'. Once she has promised violence without uttering a word…

She leans over and touches her shoulder to her friend's. It's sort of like a hug, only not really.

"Nothing is wrong. I am trying to figure out what everyone sees in this Ryan Gosling."

Pale lips flat across her pale face, unimpressed.

*

And kitty brings the popcorn. When Keith walks in, being extra careful not to trip due to the brace, he says "I also brought some water in case anyone's thirsty." He sets down the pitcher, and sets down the massive bowl of popcorn. His next move is to find a place to sit that's neither intrusive nor too far off- and where he can keep his leg stretched. Since the room is so sparsely decorated…
"Hey, I never got to see this movie," Keith says. And then immediately regrets admitting it. Gar is not going to forget that.

*

Gar leans back lightly against the pressure on the shoulder, and grins at the movie.

"Don't tell anyone, but I cried at the end the first time I watched this," he says. Hey, it's true. He was depressed and missing his friends and he went out alone to see a chick-flick. Also, he just admitted that he saw a chick-flick. Is this the same Garfield Logan? The red fur and skin might mean he's a … no, a skrull replacement would be green, nevermind.

Gar just takes a handful of popcorn and eats it quietly.

*

Raven regards Keith as he finds his place of comfort within view of the screen, then turns to look at Gar beside her. Her violet eyes take in this new look and slightly… matured? Matured, demeanor with tightly pressed lips as if she's not at all certain who it is she's talking to.

She is not the kind to call it out, however, instead turning to stare at the screen. Her hands cross lightly atop her knees, hair loose and long down her back and across the front of her shoulders, and chakra for once sits bland within her forehead.

"What do you want to talk about?" she asks Keith without looking at him. Instead taking a handful of the offered popcorn and eating one piece at a time from her palm.

*

"I wanted to apologize," Keith says, once Raven's addressed him. "That night. I was sort of an ass to you… and that other day, when I didn't tell you it was me and I tried to chat you up. That wasn't right." He is about to say more- why he did those things, but he gets the impression that the best way is to leave some things unsaid.

Because she's not dim. Quite the opposite- intelligence AND contempt are often part of that glare. It suddenly dawns on him that by overexplicating things he might come across as condescending.

~And you thought cats were complicated~
~… to be fair, I am not entirely sure that she's not half cat somewhere~
~Careful, she might read thoughts~

*

So, supposedly the Titan Tower blew up, but is now fixed due to magic. Or at least that seems to be all the news of the event that Zachary Zatara has been hearing. Of course Zach was a bit skeptical, not being too familiar with reality warping magic. And so he is here! Probably as more of a bother than anything, but he's here, floating a good distance over the tower.

After noting the area looks mostly normal, the young man decides to descend and lands softly at the front of the tower. Hopefully close enough to be detected if this place has a security system.

*

There is in fact a security system, and it hates Amanda Waller, but, it doesn't hate anyone else in particular. It seems to like the Titans, former and current, and to be neutral otherwise. Of course, the defensive systems still haven't been hooked up, so it's not like it could do anything mean anyway, other than locking the door. It does, however, ping when it detects Zachary Zatara.

Gar sighs. "I guess it's still visitor week. I hear the security system pinging at someone. I'll be back." He moves quietly to the door before sprinting out, down, and to the door.

"Hi, welcome to Titans Tower After Hours, how can we help you," he says through the intercom thingy.

*

Raven considers Keith for several seconds after he blurts out what is on his mind. Then shakes her head, "You were emotionally in turmoil. Your reaction was understandable and appropriate to the situation, if a bit misdirected." Pausing only a second, then looking back to Ryan Gosling kissing Rachel McAdams in the rain. "If it makes you feel better, I have not given it a second thought since that night." Cool, though not out right dismissive.

An appropriate time for the security system to alert them to a late night vistor. Along with Gar, Rachel stands and holds her hand out to open a one way portal through which she can view the guest from a similiarly created window down on the grounds of the Tower and a dozen steps behind him.

"It is too late in the evening to be taking visitors wearing top hats," she says with just a small bit of exasperation to her tone. Shared, in this case, with Keith. Since Gar has run off.

*

Zatanna Zatara hadn't quite met many people yet - but she had become a Titan just a couple of weeks ago. Being the busy sort of young woman, she had hardly popped into the tower except for a brief hello - how do you do, that sort of thing. So she probably wouldn't be a total stranger. Probably.

In fact…

Zatanna was in the kitchen with a little carryout thing of Chinese food when the doorbell rang. Slurping lo mein with chopsticks handled semi-deftly…

She kinda wanders out of the kitchen into the entryway, wearing a blue blouse, dark knee-length skirt, and flats.

"Hey - um. Is someone at the door?" she calls out to Gar. "I'm Zatanna, by the way!"

*

"I know that boy," Keith says after Raven explains. "That's Zachary Zatara. I fought a demon with him a couple of nights ago," he adds. "… I wonder what he wants here? I think I've only seen his cousin once for that one time… " He looks at Raven for a second and adds, "Maybe I should get more popcorn?" He tries a very slight smile.

*

Gar jumps like a cat. He manages, barely, not to turn into a cat in the process. Zatanna may notice that Changeling is a red, not green, at least since he got close to the tower. Otherwise, he seems to be normal enough, at least for him. He opens the door for Zachary, shrugging.

"I … didn't realize you were a Titan," Gar says to Zatanna, scratching his head in puzzlement. "Come on in," he says to Zachary.

*

"Titans Tower After Hours…." The boy mutters to himself. "That's a thing?"

He shakes his head and clears his throat to speak into the intercom.

"Greetings! I am none other than Zachary Zatara. The greatest magician in the world!"

He's an arrogant one isn't he. He might have continued speaking, but then his magical senses are 'tingling'. There's most definitely magic in the house which is somewhat unexpected. The door opens which is a good sign.

"Thank you." He enters the tower with a slight smile, but stops as he notices his cousin. "Titan? When did you plan to tell me you were a Titan?"

He sighs and offers the rest of the team a brief smile.

"Hello." He takes off his top hat and bows. "I am Zachary."

*

Raven nods once to Keith, though it may be as much to do with him knowing Zachary as to offering to make more popcorn. She does not seem at all inclined to invite an entire group of people into her room, however. Her fist closes along with the portal and she walks out of the dorms and down to the lowest level with her arms hanging down at her sides.

As she comes upon Zatanna, Zachary, and Gar she offers the two she is unfamiliar with a nod and crosses he arms. Eyes switching between the cousins curiously, quietly, and more than a little distractedly. She will never admit it and nobody would ever be able to force it out of her, but she is interested in seeing how the movie ends. Love stories are one of her favorites, if only because it is the most odd of all the emotions and the one she understands the least.

"I am Raven," she greets with a nod.

*

"Yes, I…" Zatanna says to Gar, her eyes kinda rolling as Zach asks her too.

"Well, you never asked when we were hanging out earlier," she says, chopsticking another bit into her mouth, kinda nibbling on the noodles a moment before she looks to Zach.
"And you probably saw me while I was all fancy and in stage clothes. Um. Sorry?" she says. A little moment further, and she kinda… glances between Gar and Zach proper.

"Plus, I kinda get the heebie jeebies when I'm hanging around here, so um. I have kinda been doing that awkward new person thing?" she says, smile kinda perking when Raven comes down as well - and the others, no doubt. "Raven, hi!" she calls.

*

Keith hits stop and turns the television off- in order to preserve the spot in the movie. With a little difficulty he makes his way out to the entrance.

"Well, Zachary, unexpected visit- are you dropping by to see if you can borrow a cup of mandragora?" the young man smiles… and then realizes that Zachary has not seen him in his human guise.

And neither has Zatanna, either.

"… #$&*@!" Keith says, uttering an expletive that miraculously does not turn the air in front of him green. "… I really, really suck at this secret identity thing, don't I?" he asks to the universe in General, but coming up next to Raven and Gar.

*

"Hmm…" He eyes his cousin for a moment before shaking his head.

"Apology accepted," he smiles at Zatanna. "It's just the idea of being a Titan sounded really cool actually."

The boy then turns to look at Keith rather suspiciously.

"Well, you don't see me trying so hard to keep a 'secret' identity." He shrugs and considers Keith. "Um….Who are you?"

*

"At least you can TRY," Gar points out, prodding Keith on the shoulder. "So, am I just missing something, is this another reality bend?"

An eyeball peeks from behind the refrigerator and pulls back in, probably unnoticed. The hairy-limbed fractaloculus is roused by the noise of these three-dimensional creatures, and finds to its annoyance that there are still no mice to eat.

"So… yeah, what's going on, folks?"

*

"You could have pretended to know him from his great and powerful abilities," Raven indicates to Keith, turning just enough that cutting her eyes towards him puts him fully in her sights. "I do not think you suck at secret identity, I think you do it intentionally for attention."

That might be what counts for Raven-jokes.

The world may never know because she does not smile. Rather, she looks to the cousins, Zatanna specifically, and nods a singular greeting. To Gar, then, she simply shrugs and motions to their visitors.

*

Zatanna gets that feeling rising up at the back of her neck. You know? When your little hairs stand up? Regardless of such things, Zatanna, well… she steps forward a little further into the entryway proper, pursing her lips a moment as she almost glances back into the kitchen… but she kinda turns her eyes back to the group when Raven nods at her.

It was Zachary that draws Zee's attention first.

"Dad thought it was a good idea, at least. I thought you'd be too busy with your stage stuff to really do it," she says, considering pushing more noodles into her mouth, but, after a moment, she lowers the dish regardless.

"Well, I don't know who you are," says Zee to Keith, kinda grinning roguishly. "So you're still secret to me?"

But it was Gar that her attention goes to last, and she cants her head towards the usually-green dynamo.

"Well, you know. Just hanging out?" she says, injecting an air of casualness into her tone. "What about you guys?"

*

"We were wat— Raven was watching a movie. Gar was catching up with her and I was just in the way." Keith responds, the slightest hints of a smirk as he looks at Raven. If that was a joke, it worked… and if it wasn't, it totally backfired.

"I try, Gar!" Keith says, "But none of you have secret identities outside of Flash and Wiccan… and you know, all I have in my life is my crappy job. Why on earth is a secret identity that important?" he quips, skirting around Zachary's question.

He really did wonder, though. He leans on Gar a little to take the weight off his ankle.

"Oh, what the hell. Since the cat's already out of the bag, both of you have seen me. As the proverbial cat."

-

The usually-green dynamo is, in the current regime of questionable reality, the red dynamo, but he's still quite dynamic! Yes! He glances over to Raven, because it is in fact her copy of The Notebook they've been watching. In her room, in the dark, with popcorn. He's pretty sure that Zatanna would be cool with watching the movie. Not quite so sure of Zachary Zatara, the Worlds Greatest Magician. (tm). Is he the kind of guy who can watch a rather far-fetched chick-flick, without incurring the wrath of Raven with snarky remarking?

"Raven? What'd'you think?" Her movie, her choice. Besides, they can split up and leave her in peace if she'd rather watch alone. In the dark. With popcorn.

*

"You are not all welcome in my room," Raven states rather flatly, "But I have no problem with us moving it to the lounge."

Two people is two people too many, four is completely and totally out of the question. There isn't enough space for that to be okay.

"Keith, go get the dvd." Because she's still getting use to technology and streaming movies rather than buying hardcopies. "And the popcorn."

*

At first the male Zatara looks confused at what Keith says, but only for brief moment.

"Ah…You're that cheshire cat. Well, it's nice to meet you in your…human form." Then he glances over at Zatanna. "Nah, I'm never really busy with that. That's more of part-time job/hobby really."

He then looks around the room looking at all the Titans present.

"So…how would you guys like another Zatara on the team."

*

Zatanna would actually be cool with watching the Notebook, come to think of it.
"Sure! I'd love to see a movie," she chimes in before the whole process is really vetted, looking to Gar, and Raven, and back again - she might not be a stage magician, but her smile was certainly bright enough to work as one.

*

"Yes'm," Keith says, giving Gar a somewhat surprised look, but he goes to fetch the DVD. He's still not quite sure what to make of Raven, but perhaps asking Gar non-invasive questions when the two of them are back at his dorm might help him understand a little bit better. Or perhaps just teach him how to talk to her.

"Everybody get your butts on the seats, I'll come by bearing DVD and popcorn. And save me a seat, I'm grieviously injured and should not be standing about at my time of life."

He smirks and heads that-a-way. Soon he is back with the Mountain of Popcorn and the Notebook, which he goes to set up after he leaves the popcorn on the table.

*

Gar grins at the idea. "I'm really here to see if I can sleep here without my dreams leaking out. With four magical people around, it's entirely possible that if they do, you guys could stop them from getting loose."

Not that he'd fall asleep during the movie. Oh no. Well maybe. He has seen it before. But it would still be awesome. Lounge, it is. Gar heads that way to get the big screen set up and the hookups ready. Also the giant Couch System. Flash will buy anything.

*

Zachary grins slightly. Even though he'd probably never admit he actually wants to watch the Notebook. "Sure! I'd like to watch as well." Smiling, he looks between the everyone and takes a seat on one of the lounge chairs.

*

Well that settles that. With the decision made, Raven turns and starts towards the lounge and takes a seat in one of the single occupant chairs around the big screen television. One that puts her in close proximity to the big bowl of popcorn. She grabs a fist full of the kernels and sits back to slowly put one at a time into her mouth, periodically glancing around at those with her with a flat, even stare.

*

Zatanna, for her part, kinda goes to the lounge herself to see where she can help out. Chewing on her lower lip, this mostly consists of moving a chair from one end of the room to the other. Not with magic - actually, but kinda by… pushing the thing one armed.

She put a little hip into it as well.

"Your… dreams leaking out? I… how long has that been going on? Is it the tower doing it?" she asks Gar, curiousity - and was that a tinge of excitement(?) coloring her voice?

In fact, Zee was kinda selecting the lounge chair she brought over, setting her half-eaten dish on the little accent table next to it. "Um. What about you, Raven? Are you noticing anything weird going on around here?" asks Zee of the gothic cloaked one.

*

"It hasn't been much for me- I always have strange dreams, it comes from having a fractured soul or somesuch," Keith smirks, sitting down on the floor by the couch so he can stretch his leg out.

"And yeah… Gar's dreams have been hounding him. A few nights ago we heard a whole circus under his bed, and a klezmer band for some reason," he says, handing over the remote to Raven so she can do the honors. "That's why we headed over to his dorm instead…"

He pauses and wonders if he should clarify why he was in Gar's bed, or why he went to the dorm room since Gar was the one having the dreams and not himself.

"Does anyone want anything to drink? I can get sodas. Or water."

*

"Oh yeah. It started the other day," Gar says. "So the Corvinus ran into a reality warp at the edge of the tower rewrite zone, where he was some sort of messiah for cheap enlightenment, and, well, I turned into a luck dragon to get me and Keith over to where this random cult swarm was going on around the Big Bird, and I had to turn into Smaug to protect him from an assassin, and then when we got back I was really tired, and fell asleep, and like he said. Circus. Peanut butter and jelly fish. Mouse on Motorcycle."

He nods toward the kitchen. "The mouse-eating Fractal Oculegs thing in the kitchen was there before any of this started though."

*

Zachary glances at Gar curiously.

"Leaking out dreams? I'm no doctor, but that doesn't sound healthy."

He smirks and then nods at Keith, "I'll just take a bottle of water… So, there's weird things going on around this tower? Zatanna, I strongly suggest sleeping at the Shadowcrest."

*

Weird? Is there anything weird going on here? Raven looks to Gar, then Keith, then the pair of magicians that are cousins. If there were a mirror, she might look into that as well, but there's not. Only the reflection in the windows behind her, which she does not look back on.

"There are plenty of weird things going on around here," said flat with a little shrug, "if you mean, in the same manner as Gar's dreams coming to life… I have had odd dreams, yes. And I saw something rather interesting in the mirror this morning." That said, "I did, however, battle a group of demons on the roof of the tower shortly before it was destroyed. These new oddities did not seem out of place at the time."

*

"Wait a second," Zatanna says, "There was a… mouse-eating Fractal Oculegs in the kitchen?" she pauses a moment further. "Where I was eating?" Another bit. "…that's… well, that's kinda cool," says Zatanna, grinning a little goofily.

"Do you think it started it, or… the whole thing broke down when you did this thing with the cult?" she asks Gar.

A beat, and she kinda looks towards Zachary.

"Well, everyone can sleep at Shadowcrest if they want. I mean there's plenty of room. As long as you are careful of the imps. And that one creepy room that dad put the chains on. Well. And the artifact room. I remember there was a missionary or something that managed to get in there, we didn't find him for months, and… uh," Zatanna blinks twice, grinning kinda roguishly.

"I'm kinda curious, actually. You don't wanna see what happens?" she asks Zach.

"I'd love like… a cola or something, Keith? If you're getting some?"

It was to Raven that her attention draws last.

"You know… there's a lot more demons around lately than I remember there ever being. I was at the amusement park with friends earlier, and they, well. There was this flying girl with bad English who was fighting one - do you think they cursed the tower?"

*

"Cola, water… stuff coming right up!" Keith scrambles and makes his way to the kitchen. When he comes back, it is at the tail end of Zatanna's question.

"Actually what started all this was Wiccan— you remember Wiccan? He's the other magician… Jesus, we have a shit-ton of magic people here— bringing the tower back. Apparently the way Gar tells me, he sort of borrowed or copied a version of the tower from a dimension where it didn't get destroyed by the scum-sucking hellion that is Amanda Waller. From the way things have been behaving around here, I think that reality is resenting that."

He hands the drinks around, plus a pitcher of water with ice cubes inside on the table, and finally sits down again close to Gar.

"And yes… demons seem to be very active as of late. Zachary and I fought one of them just a few nights ago— actually, I got to slingshot him across the city like Wiley E. Coyote- it was so much fun!" Keith grins.

*

"I'll get drinks and stuff, Keith, you need to rest your ankle," Gar says, too late stop the guy. He grins at Zatanna.

"It seems to live behind the refrigerator. Looks like the biggest spider you ever saw until you see the eyeballs at every one of its leg joints. Of course, the first time I saw it I was being a mouse and it tried to eat me."

He considers the question as he goes in to help get the drinks and ice water.

"I had driven by the neighborhood the week before and there wasn't anything weird. When I heard about the Tower being rebuilt and came here to see if I could rejoin, it was in fact there, and from just across the water at the parking lot by the beach, standing in the right place, one hand was green and the other was red. And when I got closer I went all-red all-the-time."

The popcorn is clearly not going to be enough so he also brings some chips - a half-bag of something that has survived the Flash's most recent visit.

"The overlay idea came from when I described things to one of my physics profs at ESU. He thinks it's a reality remap of some kind. He got into probability physics and multiple universes theory. I thought it all sounded like magic."

*

Zachary glances at Zatanna.

"Well, I won't deny that I'm curious to see that effects of the spell, maybe even more interested to see if it could be fixed."

He sort of just blinks at Keith.

"So the tower did blow up! And this Wiccan managed to warp reality to bring it back. Wouldn't it be easier to just fix the tower with magic instead of borrowing a new one?"

*

"If you are asking my opinion on the cause of these happenings, I would wager that it has something to do with the manner in which the Tower was restored," Raven begins quietly, motioning with a turn of her hands where they sit in her lap. "I am not a student of reality shifting magics, nor do I pretend to be well versed in many of the peculiarities that are transpiring here, but it is safe to assume that any magic that would restore a building of the size would create ripple effects in the area around it."

Her lips press for a moment, expression remains distantly thoughtful.

"In this case, the pond is reality and the stone is the newly reformed tower. Something of this magnitude would create an immense magical ripple, but given the nature of that magic, it does not surprise me that reality is being bent in this manner."

Glancing back and forth and all around, "Or it could be demons. They did not strike me as the overly subtle type and it would be very unorthodox for them to create this amount of chaos and then foolishly attack any number of us directly."

*

"You know, the more magic people the better. We could have like a… coven or a circle or something," says Zatanna to what Keith says, the young woman kinda waggling a chopstick at him as she gathers her stuff unto her lap, kinda folding one leg over the other. Zatanna's eyes kinda widen at the explanation, though, at the moment where her chopsticks had a handful of lo mein past her lips.

"…wow. That sounds pretty… I don't think I've ever really messed with that kinda dimensional stuff, before. You know, like sciency things. You know, you hop into other realms all the time, I mean. We were looking into the realm of the Creeping Darkness or something the other night, right, Zach? Abekthan or something. No, Ungoiliant," she says.

What Gar says though? It sounded kinda cute - Zatanna smiles brighter at hearing it.

"Well, I, for one, am glad that thing didn't eat you, Gar," she says. "And I'm okay with borrowing. What if they were like… devil Titans or something?" she asks.

Raven's words were considered as well, Zee taking another bite of lo mein. She nods.

"So… why don't we stop the ripple by giving them the ruins of our tower? Or did we do that? I mean, so long as there is a tower in both dimensions, right…?"

*

"I'm not enturely sure what the reasoning was," Keith says, leaning his head against Gar's knees and closing his eyes for a moment. He thinks he saw something move out of the corner of his eye… but when he opens his eyes again, it turns out it was just an empty glass he knocked over. Whew.

"I came in when Wiccan had brought the tower back… it was a good stroke for me, though. I had just moved in all of my worldly possessions when Amanda Waller bombed us. I lost everything, now I've got it back."

And then a thought hits him "…which means that, if we have to undo Wiccan's spell somehow…"

He goes quiet and his mind goes over to the room where his mother's last remaining things are. If the spell is broken, not only will he be homeless again, but it'll be like losing those things all over again.

Damn.

*

Gar is also glad it didn't eat him. But he's settled down and is leaning back and suddenly remembers that he woke up at 4:45 in the morning and then after he got to sleep he was awakened again when his overnight guest was dragged off to work on a day off to substitute for someone who allegedly broke his leg, yeah, it better be broken or it will be. Gar is slumped sideways in his spot on the couch, ever so slightly asleep.

Red Gar says, "You fell asleep." Green Gar looks at his other-self and says, "What you mean I fell asleep, isn't the red one your body?" Red shugs, "Does it matter? We're the same person, sorta. Where are we?" Green looks around. "I hear something. This is bad. You smell that?" Red nods. "It's not bat country. It's worse. It's lemming country." A swarm of furry small animals pours from under the sofa and towards the kitchen. Mr. Oculegs will, finally, get something to eat, it seems.

*

The mention of that portal Zatanna talks about draws Zachary's attention.

"Oh, I don't remember. It was bad, that's all I know. We should probably close that thing at some point, Zee."

The young man then considers Keith.

"If we dispell Wiccan's magic the tower would go with it. There must be some way to get rid of all these side-effects though."

Zach shrugs and becomes silent. And then there's rats! And lemmings! Lots of them. At first the young magician is startled, but then he just sighs.

"Hopefully there's a way."

*

Raven's knowledge on the subject is just conjecture at best so she offers little else in the way of suggestions. Though she does nod agreeably to any notion of reversing the oddity that has taken root in their Tower.

"Perhaps a brain storming session would not be out of the question." She is, however, pressing to her feet. "Enjoy the movie."

This must serve as her farewell as she turns towards the dorms and starts heading in that direction without another look back.

An odd thought has just occured to her, something she thought she saw out of one of the windows. While she could have vocalized it to those here, she felt certain that it was another trick of the weirdness of the Tower and would much rather handle it alone in her room.

*

"It'll keep for a little while longer. I mean. We did shroud it - and it's not like you or I know of any way to close it. Yet," says Zatanna to Zachary, around a mouthful of noodles. The kinda grim undertone to what Vorpal says? Zatanna kinda remains silent to that, picking up that there were probably more than just leftover XBox games in Vorpal's room.

What it was, though, she couldn't say.

"Hey - we'll find a way to make it work," says Zatanna gently. "You'll see," she adds, with a wink.

Gar, however? Zatanna was kinda giving him an odd look. Doubly so when the… lemmings kinda spring out from under the sofa, Zatanna bringing up her legs to the chair she was on more properly.

"Are those rats?" she exclaims, her voice rising in a tone that promised the beginning of hysterics.

"O-oh, um. Have a good night Raven!" calls Zee after her.

*

Rats??

"HUH? Oh crud, I fell asleep," Gar says, waking up suddenly. The source flow of lemming stops as the last ones make their way to the kitchen. There's a strange scrabbling noise followed by a prolonged, 'uuuurp. ahh.' sound, only nothing actually like that.

One or two lemmings are different, having little bat-wings as well as their usual lemming legs, and they fly up the stairs.

"Lemmings," Gar says, groggily. "We were in lemming country."

*

"Raven?" Keith blinks as Raven gets up and leaves. But then he thinks better of asking questions.

Turning to the two Zataras, he quips "… sometimes it'd be nice if Gar dreamt of ice cream." He was not surprised when the lemmings appeared. "Actually… no, I don't. We'd probably be buried in it." He gives Zatanna a little smile in thanks for her encouragement, and then climbs onto the couch proper, adjusting Gar so his legs are resting on Keith's lap, and he takes off his jacket and drapes it over the Red one.

"Don't worry, Zanna, they were just lemmings. Cute but dumb." He looks at Gar. "… I think we can watch the rest of the movie safely. If he starts having… bad dre— " and Gar wakes up, startling Keith and sending his glass of water right into his own chin. Drip. drip.

"That's okay, I wanted to shower anyways," he hehs, and wipes water from his face. "I think the tower doesn't like you sleeping here, Gar."

*

"Goodnight Raven!" Zachary calls out. Tired as he was, he figured it might be time for him to leave as well.

"Goodnight Titans. It was a pleasure. Ot eht Tsercwodahs!" He exclaims and with that, poof, he's gone.

*

"Right. No sleep here for you," Keith says to Gar. "Gimme a minute to grab a change of clothes and I'll drive us over to your dorm."

He ruffles Gar's hair again and slides off the couch… and then he remembers Zee. Blushing a little, he smiles at the magicienne.

"I need to drive him to his place so he doesn't have his, y'know. Dreams. Guess I'll be staying over there since it's his car."

He looks towards the screen. "I sort of hate to leave you here all by yourself while watching this movie."

*

"All by myself in a spooky old tower that may or may not be trying to kill me, but at least is trying just to screw with me?" Zatanna gives a wink.

"It's just like Shadowcrest. I'll be right at home," she says, the magicienne kinda giving a wry grin towards the other.

"You need help with him?"

*

"Nah, I can carry him." Keith says, and looks over at Gar who is not so much asleep as just… well, pre-sleep. Yeah, he's got the ankle, but that's what the brace was for, right? Keith does have a rather bad sense of self-preservation.

"I'll be right back."

It's only a minute or so before he has packed a change of clothes and his toothbrush/paste combo into a little bag.

"I'll have to see this Shadowcrest you speak of sometime… well… sleep well when you do. And don't worry about Raven… she's not rude. She's just… distant. Very distant. I'll find out why at some point."

Like in the morning, when Gar wakes up and he can ask him.

"Alright… here we go," He says, bending over the couch, strong ankle forward, and reaching for Gar. It takes a few attempts, but soon he is walking away with the sleepy titan, car keys in his hand and saying goodbye to Zee as he walks out of the front door.


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