Retail Therapy

Summary:
September 9, 2014: Miguel decides to take Keith out for a shopping trip to get things off their minds.

The Mall

Just one of many malls in the New York area.


Characters

NPCs
*None


Mood Music:
Shopping - Pet Shop Boys


After the horrendous sights of last night, the Purple One needs some more time to get his head on straight and the best way to do that is to distract himself with all the ammenities the city has to offer. So after draggin Keith along, Miguel is hitting the higher-end shops on the East Side, meaning that there's lots of window shopping and trying on of things, and little actual purchasing. Since that's not the point of it, really. The Mexican boy tugs on a shirt, holds it up, gives it the critical one eye and looks to Keith for a thumbs-up or -down.

Keith's eyes seema little onfocused. It isn't until Miguel tries on the garment and looks at him expectantly that he snaps out of it. "Uh… um, it looks nice," the redhead says, tryig to come back to the present. "Sorry… it looks really good on you." He says, hands in his jean pockets. "You should buy that one, it compliments you."

Miguel flashes a smile. "Mi amigo, this shirt is $400. I can barely afford to sniff it," he says as he folds it up for the salesperson to return to a hanger later. He holds up another. "You're doing the same thing I am doing, yes? Seeing last night over and over again?" he says quietly, so the other patrons will not hear.

"Not… exactly." Keith says, reaching for a shirt that looks like it could fit around his wrist. Pure spandex. "Why on earth would you…" he mutters, and then he realizes what he wears every day on the field.

"No. I'm just thinking. And I am afraid," Keith confides quietly, reaching for another shirt absentmindedly.

Miguel nudges Keith with his elbow as they move through the racks. "About what the repurcussions will be?" he says, trying to concentrate on the patterned shirt in front of him.

"Yes." Keith exhales a little. Yellow. Yellow clothing with red hair, that would just be horrrible. He puts the shirt back.

"About… well. We're going to be branded by Waller as killers. Good excuse to put her paws on us…"

He grabs another shirt, more forcefully than he intended. "—the thought of you, or Zee… or Gar in her hands…" he closes his eyes again.

Miguel reaches and puts a hand on Keith's shoulder, squeezes the redhead's deltoid firmly. "She will not. She cannot operate so boldly for so long, or she will trigger retribution. The thing we must do is be visible. She cannot do that, cannot stand the light of scrutiny. We have people like her in Mexico as well, you know, people who think they are above the law because they are behind closed doors. We must fling her doors wide open," the boy says.

The redhead doesn't answer immediately, but he looks over some other garments. His eyes, though, indicate that he is listening.

"I'm a little thirsty," Keith says, "How about you?"

Miguel nods ands lets go of the other boy. "I could do with something, yes; where to?" he says, putting up the latest shirt he was looking at, flashing a simple smile to the salesclerk who has been wondering when they would be heading for the register.

Miguel nods ands lets go of the other boy. "I could do with something, yes; where to?" he says, putting up the latest shirt he was looking at, flashing a simple smile to the salesclerk who has been wondering when they would be heading for the register.

Truly, Keith feels like something alcoholic… but Miguel is not of 'that' age-group just yet. "Aything comforting and sweet, really."

Keith is the first to walk out of the store. Miguel might notice that he looks both ways as he walks out, the way you would when crossing the street… but of course that was nonsensical, they were in a mall."How about you, what do you like to drink?"

Miguel ponders for a bit. Coffee, yes, but that might make things more tense. "As long as we're out and about, how about ice cream? Shakes, something like that," he says, pointing to a sign.

"Done deal." Keith starts heading for the stand. Come to think of it, he was craving something chocolatey. It was hard to focus on one thing or another, the whole affair felt decidedly surreal still. He reaches out and puts an arm around Miguel's shoulders. "Have you had any luck finding an apartment yet?" it's like he's jumping from one topic to another.

Miguel sighs and shakes his head. "Only temp stuff; I have to be out of where I'm at by the end of the week. I can try a shelter for a bit. It's not like I brought a lot of stuff, but it's getting tiring."

Keith looks at Miguel, "Yeah… I've got to do the shelter thing too. Can't stay in Gar's dorm much longer or he'll get in trouble. With the tower coming down any day…" He leans on the counter. "Milkshake, please. Darkest chocolate you've got."

"It's going to be shelters too. Maybe we should both go to the same shelters. You know… stick together and watch out for each other." Keith says to Miguel.

Miguel smiles at the other man. "I'd like that, but wouldn't that kind of cramp your style with Gar? I mean, I don't want to come home to a sock on the door every night and have to sleep in a bathtub," he chuckles as his smile goes to a grin. "Dolce de leche," he says to the counterman. "Extra shot of caramel."

Keith leans on the counter, his distracted expression still present. "We're barely at the kissing stage. It'll be a long time before any socks will need to be put on doorknobs. Besides, Gar has his dorm room, there's no reason he'd come to a shelter." He pushes off the counter to sit at one of the tables. "I may break it off with him…"

Miguel gawps. "Why? You just got to kiss him." He joins Keith, and looks to the napkins first, taking a couple. "You both seem sweet together," he says, "And I see how you look at each other."

"Because it makes me someone Waller can use to get to him," green eyes look anywhere except at Miguel. "I'm not sure I could bear it, being the means through which she could hurt him. Or worse."

He extends a finger and traces it along the table, making imaginary lines, connecting the 'dots' in the faux marble top. "Being near him is wonderful. But until yesterday I had some hope that this would somehow blow away. Today? Well… I can do nothing except worry about his well being. And that's how I realized I'm a liability to him now."

Miguel ppphhhppttt goes the Mexican boy. "Nonesense. That just means you'll pine for him and be miserable, mi amigo. Go, be with him, love him! You will protect each other, support each other." He leans back in the chair, tugging his shirt closed. "We are in a dangerous business, of our own choosing. Be with him, and be special to each other. Alternative is being alone and miserable and STILL getting shot by a government sniper here in this very public place, no?" He grins.

At the mention of snipers, Keith's eyes dart to the upper levels. Anyone suspicious? Hard to tell. Everybody seemed suspicious all of a sudden. Like that man staring at them from two levels higher—-

No, he was looking at a girl who is waving at him and pointing at a store.

"I don't know what to think, Miguel. I just feel… fear. You're stubbornly optimistic, you know?"

Miguel reaches to get his shake as it's brought over, and takes a long drink from it. "Aaaahhhh. Yes, I have been told this," he smiles. "But I beleive it will work out, and sooner than later. You are a good man, and you are with a good man, and so good things will come, eh?"

"Bad things happen to good people all of the time, Miguel." Keith takes his shake and takes a sip from it. "If you don't believe it, ask my mother."

Miguel nods slowly. "I know they do, Keith, but that doesn't mean we have to expect everything to be bad. You have to be careful that it doesn't come to define you," the youth says, sipping his shake.

"It's a little hard, Miguel. It's a good chunk of what I've known." He sips his milkshake. Hmmm. Dark chocolate. "It gets to ya."

"I know," the younger boy says. "That is why you have to fight it. Look to the good and let it fill you, because.. what is it that the Green Lantern used to say? ' 'For the dark things cannot stand the light'? You are that light, my friend."

Keith looks at Miguel and tries to smile, but it only comes out with half the feeling behind it.

"The natural state of the universe is darkness, Miguel. Light is only a short-lived phenomenon. Even the brightest star will go out, and at one point, there will be no more stars left."

Highschool science class— it makes you depressed.

Miguel shakes his head. "There are many theories as to what will happen. Not even the Monitors have been to the end of the universe. And beside, it might all collapse back and end in light, as the universe renews itself, eh?" he says, tipping his shake glass, then taking a long sip from it. "The point is, you try and you do what you can now, today, and you make light or the dark, she come even faster, no? You want that to happen, the universe to end 50 years before it should, because you give up?" he says, flashing his eyebrows. Humorous, but with a point.

The redhead looks at Miguel and deflates a little, resting his chin on his hands and looking at the food court. "I'm just… exhausted and burned out. I wish I could just… tune out for a day, recharge my batteries and forget about the world. But I can't seem to get to that point." He does look rather tired, the hint of bags under his eyes, and there's a little bit of pallor. "It's the problem of having three people on board of one mind, you know?"

Miguel raises an eyebrow. "Three?" he says.

"I've got… echoes inside me. Of the two people I used to be before I was me." Keith sips his chocolate. "They're always on, advising me, criticizing me. I guess I have a fractured soul of sorts. Aren't I special?" He smirks.

Miguel gives the redhead a worried look. "Is there something Zatanna can do, maybe?" he says. "But… do not give them power, my friend? Sit down, talk with them, somehow. Or.. have someone silence them." Then he looks embarassed. "Pardon, I pry," he repents quickly. "I am still the new guy, eh?"

Keith smiles a little. "Nah, you're fine, Miguel." Keith leans in and gives Miguel a nuzzle, like a cat would, on the cheek."You may be right. About Gar. Maybe it's best if we protect each other."

He finishes his shake with a loud slurp, and says "You may be the new guy, but you're a welcome addition. C'mon… let's go back to infuriating store clerks, what do you say?" The smile is a little brighter. Not much, but it's a start.

Miguel will take it. It is, as it might be said, a start. "Of course, mi amigo," he grins.


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