The man with a child in his eyes

September 11, 2014: Garfield and Keith— It's complicated, okay?

Garfield's Dorm at ESU

It's a small room. Really small.



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Mood Music:
The man with a child in his eyes (Kate Bush)

Keith is in unusually high spirits this evening, having had a rather succesful interview with the club owners. It is a night-time job, which is not so bad for someone with feline inclinations. Sure, the middle of his week was essentially everybody else's weekend, but aside from that it was a welcome reprieve. It meant that now he was going to have an income again, and perhaps he'd be able to get a room with Miguel, eliminating their need to sleep in shelters once the tower came down.

Perhaps he could even do something nice for Gar. Not expensive… but nice.

He comes back to Gar's dorm after his interview… it was a long one, since once he was basically hired on the spot, he had to go through a good amount of preliminary info and training. By the time he comes out, it is already 10pm. Forty minutes later to get to the campus…

He decides to slink into one of the bathrooms to shower quickly, since he hasn't had one since the hospital. Just a quick one, and then he walks up to Gar's door and knocks. "Gar?" he whispers quietly. If Gar turns out to be asleep, he'll probably not hear and thus Keith will just head back to the Tower. If he's awake, he'll be bound to hear.

"Willkommen. Bienvenue. Welcome. C'mon in."

Gar's working on homework apparently, or lab work, or something. He's got a laptop out and is cross-referencing a bunch of different tables against a spreadsheet full of data. It'd be much easier if he had four screens or more.

"You would have made a cute Emcee," Keith comments as he comes in, shutting the door behind him. He approaches the green one as he works, resting his hands on Gar's shoulders to test his tesion. "Doing homework still?"

"You're happy. Did you get the job?" Gar asks. His shoulders aren't terribly tense, but his neck is a bit stiff from the position he's been in for hours.

"Yeah, still got some lab work to turn in. The overnight stay with the SRD didn't help a lot," Gar says, with the hands on his shoulders. "Hmm. I need to be a snake tonight or I'll be all kinked up in the morning."

Keith frowns. Overnight stay? That must have been where Gar was when he was in the hospital. "What's this overnight stay thing?" He lets his hands massage his shoulders and neck slowly, trying to find the points of tension. Well, if Gar had spent the night elsewhere doing something else, that would explain why he seemed to be behind on his homework. "Yeah, I got it."

"When I made the report on the stuff that happened when we found Phobos at the tower, I was asked to give a more detailed report," Gar says. "SRD from New York branch plus the federal coordinators. Nice people in general. It took several hours, they wanted me to talk about the stuff happening at the tower. I guess they hadn't been notified either, before the tower went down. They were afraid we might start a war or something, which I guess has happened sometimes. I told 'em we'd decided we had to undo the fix but we were figuring out how to do it without messing things up worse. That seemed to make 'em happy."

It's entirely possible that Gar has met an SRD from an alternate universe. Or it's the whole 'not a mutant' thing. One can never tell.

"Well, that's good…" Keith says it without much conviction, "That just leaves us with Waller to somehow mollify." His voice is still not back to normal, and he coughs occasionally due to the irritation. "But considering those guys at the lighthouse weren't Waller's… maybe Roy was right about this being someone else. Ungh. I hate conspiracy theories. It makes me feel as if I should be ordering mass quantities on foil."

He adds pressure to the massage, gently, trying to work on Gar's neck muscles as he looks on at the homework. As expected, it's entirely out of his depth.

Gar snickers. "S'truth. The NY SRDs might focus their attention on the 'gods' for a while, since they're even more offensive to the preachers than mutants."

He wonders what it would look like for Phobos to run into that Creed cult. Man. That would be … messy.

The tables apparently match the spreadsheet, because Gar checks all of them but one, which he marks and types "3 std dev. out of normal, double check result and controls."

"So now all we need to worry about is fixing the Tower. Or even if we'll have a Tower. Maybe choose something else, less conspicuous." Keith smiles a little, running his fingers through Gar's hair. "Hey, I'm distracting you. Want me to head back to the tower? You've got a lot to do."

"Nah. I'm just now done. Besides, you're doing nice things to my head and I don't want you to stop," Gar says, pushing his head against the fingers. He thinks about the Waller problem. Still need to call Roy, but can worry about that later. Right now, tired, head is being scritched, and homework is done, so all is well.

"Good." Keith smiles, "I like doing things to you." His smile is on the mischievous side. He continues to massage him, "Now just relax and don't think of anything at all." He leans forward and places a kiss on Gar's neck, because he's a butt sometimes. "If you want to go on the bed, I can give you a full backrub."

Gar is easily led tonight because he's tired. "bed," he says in a zombie-like voice. He flops on the dorm bed, and says, "I am at your mercy!"

"Don't tempt me, Garfield Logan." Keith says with a grin. He climbs onto the bed and straddles Gar's legs, easing himself into the best position to give him a good backrub.

His fingers slip under Gar's shirt, testing the muscles underneath for the right position. "I used to give these to mom. She really needed them towards the end," He was a little out of practice, but it was like falling off a bicycle. Taking a breath, he leans forward to put some of his weight into the first movement.

"I'm going to miss these nights," he comments. He's very aware of how often he has been staying here. Soon he's going to have to stop for a while before he can start coming again, lest he get Gar into truble.

"Me too," Gar says. He is thinking about what to do … If they don't have a tower, then what can they have. There's gotta be something… has to have room, has to have mobility so it won't be stuck… too bad zeppelins are so unsafe. And rare. They'd end up being too noticeable. Submarine? If Garth were still with the team, yah, that would be easy. That big T tower is so … iconic. But also such a big fat T for Target. Hm. … zzz wait no. Wake up…

Keith watches Gar for a few seconds as he leans into the massage. Looks like it has been super effective. "Hey. If you want to sleep, don't fight it." Keith whispers quietly. "You didn't sleep last night, remember?"

He does reach over to slip Gar's shirt off and gets off the bed to help him pull off his pants. It wouldn't do for him to sleep in clothes he has worn for two days. He kicks off his own jeans to stay in his undershorts, keeping the tank top because- well, he never takes it off in anyone's company.

Crawling up on the bed, he reaches over to spoon Gar, his arms around him. "Don't make me have to conk you out. I'll do it, you know. Big ol' purple mallet and everything."

Gar finds himself in a room full of cats, but he's not one of them. They're all walking across his back. Ooof. Oh that's nice, good kitty.

"Howcome you're here in my dream??" Red-Gar asks. Green-Gar looks up from under the pile of cats. "Hey. Dunno. We're gonna be taking the tower down soon as they figure out the best way to do it."

"Awesome. Where you gonna live?"

"Dunno. I'm thinking, but nothing comes to mind. Where do you guys live?"

"Red Robin got us a yacht. From Daddy." He's snickering.

"Awesome. We don't even have a Robin."

Keith smiles, hearing the snores. That's better.

It has been a long day, and he's still not fully recovered from the fire experience. His first fire rescue… and he got the Titans' name on the news for something positive. He didn't particularly cared about self-promotion, but promoting the good image of the team was important. It made things easier. His eyes are half-closed from sleep.

~It's an unusual life you have chosen to live.~

He hears the voice of the purple apparition at the very edge of his consciousness. "… yeah, maybe." He mumbles. "No complaints."

~I remember tricking kings and feasting on the wealth of kingdoms. With our powers, we could always return… the Cait Sidhe—~

"This is better."

~Yes?~ he has the impression of raised eyebrows ~If you say so. There's always the option, however.~

"My life, my choice."

And the purple image fades into the background again.


Mornings. It's something Keith doesn't do very well. The fact that for four years he kept an ungodly early schedule doesn't mean anything- it just meant that he was thoroughly miserable for the first half of his work shift. Being able to sleep in is something he's treasuring now more than anything, especially since he has a night job.

His eyes open slowly and he stifles a yawn. He's warm, but that's not a bad thing- he's always enjoyed warmth, even in summer…

His arms are closed around something warm. Eyes open more… green. Gar. That's right, he fell asleep spooning him. He was still in a bit of a sleep stupor, and the green wonder had missed a whole night's worth of sleep. So he decides not to wake him just yet.

Six in the morning is a terrible hour. It's when the green leopard wakes up to find he's curled up with Keith O'Neil, so he starts cleaning the guy's hair. Because that's what cats do to those they wake up next to. LICK LICK LICK. Hm. Salty.

Gar can't go onto the skin because his tongue is too raspy, so he has to stop. "Good morning."

"You might want to take a shower. You're starting to get spots," Keith grins. His hair, well, it takes a lot of effort to get styled and proper, and then it turns into its usual windblown self in less than a heartbeat. So getting licked by a leopard is not the worst that has happened to it. "Mornin'… what are you doing up? You missed a whole night of sleep."

"You might want to take a shower. You're starting to get spots," Keith grins. His hair, well, it takes a lot of effort to get styled and proper, and then it turns into its usual windblown self in less than a heartbeat. So getting licked by a leopard is not the worst that has happened to it. "Mornin'… what are you doing up? You missed a whole night of sleep."

He stretches a little, stroking the leopard's pelt with the tip of his fingers. "I had the weirdest dream ever."

"And we went to sleep at ten or eleven," Gar says, smoothly shifting to human form and pulling Keith into a hard hug before releasing him. "Sleeping as a cat is really pretty nice, but it makes me hungry sooner. What did you dream about?"

Gar tries to straighten out the mess he made of Keith's hair but that'll probably work better in the shower. Or a stylist… though Danny's friends did some nice work adjusting the artless, semi-random style into something that looks intentional.

Keith makes a small sound at the hug- if he were the cat, he probably would have purred- and he runs a hand up Gar's side in a gentle stroke. Gar's unusual skin color has grown on him, and the man's hairiness isn't something that would bother someone whos pent half the time wearing an integrated fur coat.

"You're going to laugh… it's probably traces of the LSD in my system or whatever. I dreamt you had a Talk with me to tell me that you were breaking things off with me to go and elope with the Joker and become the new Harley Quinn. And it all took place in this Jerry Springer-ish talk show, except Batman was hosting it."

"Joker? No. I don't really like clowns. That sounds like a really BAD alternate reality show."

He grins for a moment, "Alternate Reality TV, now there's a concept the world is ready for. Not."

Gar turns into a regular-sized housecat and steps over Keith so he can get to the floor, returning to human.

"We both need showers."

Keith stretches and then slowly sits up, moving his foot. The ankle was almost back to normal, good. Yawn. Stretch. Yawn. Gar says something about showers.

"Hmm? Yeah. I'll let you go first," he says, rubbing his head and brushing his hair out of his eyes. "Man, it's so good not having to wake up at the crack of dawn."

Gar is only gone for a few minutes, returning with towel wrapped and hair spiked all over the place. He opens the mirror-door on the built-in dresser/wardrobe and grabs a fat-tooth comb to straighten his hair, and starts looking for clean clothes. Only one tee-shirt left, a slightly too-tight black tee with an S logo on the front and a pair of white pants. Gar seems to own too many pairs of white pants.

"Breakfast in the cafeteria or you want to hit a real diner?"

"Well, I think a diner would be best- my treat. I don't want to get you in more trouble with the Uni for hosting a stray…" Keith stands up and walks up behind gar, slipping his arms around his waist from behind. "Hey… there's something I have to ask you," the redhead says, looking a little more serious.

"They don't really care about food, since I pay from my account," Gar says, adjusting his shirt a bit and leaning back into the grab. "Ask away."

"Well, I've been spending a lot of time here, and a lot of time with you. I'm new to this sort of thing and I'm not good at getting a clue…" He strokes Gar's chest with one hand. "If you want to see less of me, or less often… you just tell me. I don't want to crowd you." A pause, "Of course, when I get a place, you can come over anytime and stay for as long as you want."

A pause. "If you ever want to. I'll stop staying overnight this week so you don't get into trouble." He isn't looking forward to having to do that, but it's for Gar. And it's an incentive to save for that apartment.

"Really, I don't think anyone's bothered. I'm OK as long as you're not sleeping in shelters," Gar says. "And not spending your nights in Gotham tripping out on Joker Drugs."

He turns around, not trying to break the hold, and says, "You better shower, or at least rinse your hair. You have cat lick hair."

Keith smirks at that. He opens his mouth to say something, but then thinks better of it and just grins. Then, he says "Yeah, but the question is if you want me here. I'll go take a shower before I'm tempted to re-slobber you with your own cat drool by rubbing my head all over your face."

He squeezes Gar lightly and breaks the hold, "I'll go shower now," the redhead says, not before leaning over to kiss Gar's cheek. "Before you tell the whole world that I smell like a hairball."

He slips out of the room after grabbing a towel and his last pair of clean clothes. Laundry needed to happen tonight. "Oh, don't forget about that gathering at the tower," he calls out before he shuts the door, "Try to remind me, you know how awful my sense of timing is."

As he walks towards the shower, he hums to himself.

~What do you think of me, mister Logan?~ Gar wasn't good talking about feelings, he knew that. Keith was demonstrating a lot of restraint and simply letting things be… but he would be fooling himself if he denied that he hoped that he would eventually say…

And another part of him wondered whether it would ever…

"Showertime." He turns on the hot water and basks in it, letting his brain be lulled away from self-doubts.

Gar grins at Keith as he heads out, and leans against the door of the wardrobe. "Man. This is getting complicated. I better figure out how I feel about this guy. I mean, I like him a lot. He's a great friend. He's a teammate. And it's not fair to keep dragging him along as a pack buddy and hug toy. He wants more than that. He deserves more than that. I just don't know if I'm really there. But I don't want to … "

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