Crashing Against The Wall

September 20,2014: Sometimes new terrors awaken half-forgotten fears. Someone needs to deal with the ghosts in his attic.

Keith and Miguel's Apartment

A small apartment in the Gotham Arms building.



  • None

Mood Music:
Being Alive

After the meeting with Waller, Keith essentially became a tomb. On the ride to Gar's signing, on the ride back to his new apartment, nothing at all outside of simple answers. It wasn't a cold or an angry silence, it was the silence that happens when there's too much happening to form words.

The Gotham arms is not exactly a luxury apartment building. It does, to be fair, have some of the lovely old architecture of the city, but it is long past its heyday and in a few years it will need some cosmetic attention before the facade starts to show some very unsightly traces of its age.

When Keith unlocks the door and swings it open, it's clear that the apartment itself is unsurprisingly small. Enough for Keith and Miguel to live, especially with the fact that they have no furniture outside of the built-in counters, a dresser and the two futons. More cozy than cramped, really. And it does have a lovely window… unfortunately the view is of the wall across the alleyway.

The young man stands at the entrance for a few seconds, then looks at Gar. "This is the place," he says, and walks all the way in now.

The whole '30 minutes or less' transit guarantee for the new Metropolis/Gotham/NYC line has kind of messed up the standard for expensive housing in NYC and Metropolis, but really, not much different than the trains to Connecticut did. So. Keef and Migs are sharing an apartment in Gotham, in one of the less expensive but not trashy areas. Huh.

"Hey, look," Gar says. "It's got the same view as my dorm room!"

Bricks, lovely bricks. At least it's not the bedroom window of a bordello or something sleazy like that. He reaches over to Keith and pulls him into a hug.

"First things first. No freaking out about Waller please. She's not the devil, but she does do things that nobody else wants. She'll ask US, not just me or you, but US, and maybe the whole team, to do something important, but even if she can't promise, I'm pretty sure she'll try to avoid sending us to kill someone. And if we do get something that bad, well, it'll be for a reason. She might even tell us what that reason is, so we won't hesitate."

Or she might lie. Honestly, the woman isn't stupid and the Titans are a very special resource, and not one she'll waste … because she might want to come to them again.

"Gar—" Keith says, putting his arms around Garfield. He starts, and then stops again, trying to think and get a good hold of the tempest. There were a lot of emotions and it was hard to grab onto one of them. It's like trying to shoot smoke.

"There's. The thing is."

It was rather clumsy navigating around all the voices and the thoughts. So many things that wanted to be said. "… I don't want to talk. About what I'm thinking. I feel like a coward." he speaks quietly, keeping his hold on Garfield.

"Yeah. I know. I don't want to lose you either. And I don't want to see you hurt. But I also don't want you to hurt yourself out of fear," and that's the weird uncanny trick Gar has sometimes of perfect-reading an emotional turmoil. Well. Mostly-perfect. It's actually a skill rather than a superpower, as far as Gar can tell. It's pretty clear that Keef needs to work through it but Gar is trying to let him know, silently and in his outside voice, that he's not happy either, but that bad things haven't happened yet. Maybe they never will.

Having your thoughts outed like that was a way to get you off balance. "I feel like an idiot," the redhead shakes his head lightly, "I go out there every night and I could get killed. So could you. I guess it's just that I haven't really thought about it. Like I thought about it just now…"

He disengages from Gar to walk over and open the window, to let some air into the room and sit on the windowsill. "And I remember what it feels like to lose."

Now it's Gar's turn to be silent. He just watches Keith, idly analyzing his movements the way he does when he looks at animals moving. It's possibly a disturbing thing if it's noticed; it's not predatory, but far too intimate.

Vulnerability. Fear. Regret. His breathing is shallow, which indicates underlying anxiety. "— I don't want to be a coward, Gar. But I'm afraid…" being a dimension-tripping cheshire was all fun and games, but the deeper implications most likely had not sunk in. But it doesn't make any sense- he must have been doing this for months. He's had close brushes with death, and he's died before, so it can't simply be that he's not come to terms with his own mortality.

He puts a foot up on the windowsill and looks over at Gar. There's definitely fear in his eyes, fear of something.

Gar could be a nerd … he could quote, off hand, the lines from Dune. Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind crippler. But that would be smarmy and kind of rude. Besides, what he feels right now? The guy needs touch. So he walks over and simply holds Keith.

"I'm here. Tell me when you know what you're feeling, if you want to. I love you either way."

There's the L word. How very imprecise that word is, in English. It covers everything from affection to lust to soul-mating to obsession to being a fan of a silly sports team… But something says it's needed very much at this moment. Let Keith pick the things out of it that he needs to hear. They're all true to some degree.

Keith's not so far gone as to notice it. His attention turns to Gar completely as he says that word, and as he feels the comfort of his arms around him. "You…"

Yeah, Gar doesn't talk about emotions. He does express them in his body language, in his actions. And most of the time, Keith is perfectly fine with that, because everybody expresses themselves differently. He's not demanded the word from Gar- it wasn't something he would do. But when Gar gives it freely it hits home.

He blinks back tears, but isn't very successful. The dam starts to break. "My mother… when it happened I felt like…" he tries to form coherent words, but the sounds that come out are more eloquent than the words that they form. They're intense, and they've been a long time coming. "… For years, I just spent, I didn't do anything…"

And back to no words, so that the accepting silence will lead Keith into letting go of this pain he's carried for too long. Gar is familiar with pain and rage so intense that they're crippling, that demands response from a universe that can't respond.

And he's familiar with the answer given by thing that makes him different - life is. Death is. Everything that happens, happens, and it doesn't matter if there's a reason for it or not, because part of being a thinking creature, part of being made from the Red, is that reasons will be seen, invented, discovered, and if they work to make it bearable, then they survive, and if they don't they die. The dance of Red and Green and Black and Gray, the elements of being alive. It's not something he can talk about. It simply IS.

So listening will help. Being quiet, not moving, helps until it's time to move, to speak.

The young man clings to Garfield, his hands sometimes clenching too hard, but he's not really thinking of that. He's not thinking, really. Grief is not something that can be done away with without facing it. It can fester and become bitter when held on for too long, corrupting from within and making the world a corroded and unhallowed place through the eyes of the person.

Fortunately, it hasn't been too long. Only four years. But that means that the grief is still white-hot and it hurts when it moves. Four years of being alone- of lying to himself that he didn't have time to make friends because he had to work and put food on his table. Four years of playing at being dead, preventing any link from forming to never again feel the pain of that link severing.

That was just the risk of losing friends. In a short time, something had formed that was stronger than a casual friendship. It wasn't exactly like the bond he had with his mother, but it was very important to him. The risk of that severance has finally awakened the ghosts in the attic that Keith has held shut hard and fast.

The hard work of life is living when everything eventually dies. But everything is also reborn in one way or another. Gar's memories of Red have mostly faded, but that was one of the lessons they shared and reinforced.

He strokes Keith's hair, and makes that faint continuous thrumming sound that cats make when they're meditating… purring is just one version of the sound, it's their form of finding the resonant frequency of the universe and flowing with it. Humans try to use "om" and then blow it by throwing more ape-babble on the primal vibration. Cats just purr, quietly.

It's ten, fifteen minutes, but finally the crying dies down as it exhausts the young man. The grief is not exhausted- it'll require a lot of work to get to that point. Red-eyed and tear-stricken, and unfortunately the unsightly leaky nose (crying is not sexy, has never been sexy, will never be sexy, no matter what Soap Operas tell you), Keith has slowly wound down, echoing the sound with his own throat without really realizing it. He's no longer grasping at Gar, and perhaps a part of him realizes he may have been hurting him, because he rubs softly at him with the palms of his hands, his face against the green man.

It's some more minutes before the comes back to himself enough to say, between those interrupted sighs that are common after crying too hard: "… oh god… y-your shirt. I'm sorry," he says quietly.

"It washes out," Gar says with a faint laugh. "Besides, you've taken the second step. You're starting to be alive again."

That's what Gar's been actually afraid of. Something was always held back, fearful, and he could feel Keith withdrawing when the slightest hint of mortality was broached… and that's why he kisses Keith on the forehead now. Not romantic, not sexual, just love, because it's to seal the emotions so they can heal up a bit. His Mom always did that when he was a kid, and his adoptive Mom did it too, though in a different way. His adoptive Dad never even tried, because while the love is there, the man is very strange.

Keith returns the faint laugh, and looks up after his forehead is kissed. There are still some shuddering breaths in there, and he hehs. "… someone to hold me too close. Someone… to hurt me too deep… Someone to pull you up short, to put you through hell and give you support…"

He moves one hand away from Gar's back and rests is on his cheek. "… being alive is scary… isn't it?"

Gar just smiles, and with a fast movement, licks the tip of Keith's nose with a faintly raspy tongue. Comes with the purr. He's way too much in the 'feelings' place to use words. But he will, eventually. He might have to turn into something else first to get there. Probably a monkey. Monkeys are always making noises.

Keith laughs at the lick and gives Garfield a look that is full of meaning. He slips into the silent space with Gar and takes the green man's hands in his and slowly falls off the window sill. It isn't a fall so much as a controlled descent onto the futon below, and he pulls at Gar to join him. He doesn't need words right now, and it may be because the bond is stronger. He simply slides up onto the futon to provide room for Gar.

He knows he loves him, but he doesn't feel the need to tell him. He trusts that Gar knows. But his eyes do say come to me. Let me hold you.

Being alive, but not alone.

Back to: RP Logs

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License