Don't Hurt Him

Summary:
September 25, 2014: Raven has three words for Keith.

Chinese Restaurant

Raven's territory. Shoo.


Characters

NPCs

  • <Name of NPC or "None">
  • <Use same pattern for all npcs>

Mood Music:
My Girlfriend's Girlfriend


Keith O'Neil has had a mostly uneventful day. His nightly patrol ended without any significant incidents, except perhaps for embarrassing poor Robin and infuriating Spoiler. Miguel had to go to the iHop for his waiter shift (poor boy), and Keith had the day off at the nightclub.

So it was Chinese food time. It was affordable, it was good, and the place was nice and had its own level of intimacy. He likes it there and he feels he needs to get something to refuel before heading back to his apartment and taking a shower.

Or maybe he could head over to Gar's dorm and showering there? No. Not a good idea- Gar had some sort of exam coming up and Keith didn't want to distract him from his studying, which is whyhe had not come over for a few days.

He has often wondered what he would have studied, had he had the opportunity to go to college. "Not likely to find out," he mutters to himself with a smirk as he bites down on his spring roll.

If asked directly Raven would no doubt say that this resteurant belonged to her. Not because her name was on any lease, nor that the people paid some kickback to the dark gothy woman, simply that she was here first and this was her quiet place in an otherwise unquiet city.

Which is largely the reason that tracking Keith down to this very establishment already has her a little on edge. She knew other people ate here, but she was almost positive that she had laid claim rather obviously their first outing.

She does not walk through the doors as would a normal person, rather she just appears in the booth across from Keith. Her hands crossed upon the top of the tables smooth surface and her violet eyes flaring ever so gently as she watches him bite down into his spring roll. "Hello Keith."

Thank goodness the water's there, that's all, because otherwise Keith would have choked to death right there and then. Overall, it's a waste of a good spring roll, but Keith manages to regain his composure after moderately coughing with a rough cough that almost sounds like a dog barking.

"Rav'n!" another drink. Throat clearing. "Raven, hello, hi- I haven't seen you in a long time." He gives himself a point for recovering that quickly. Was she there when he walked in? Why didn't he see her? Because of the hour, he thought the place was pretty much empty, or at least that the area was empty. How could he have missed her?

Raven's clipped nails drum across the surface of the table, perhaps the only outward sign that she's even remotely feeling anything, as she stares across at Keith. The distance in her eyes is obvious enough, but it isn't a look of contempt or anything, simply one devoid.

"Hello." She greets, nodding to his plate of food. "Do not let me interrupt." How polite. "Why are you here?" A little defensive? Maybe. Maybe just a little.

It's a little puzzling, that question. At first he considers answering 'to eat, obviously.' But that'd be flippant… and ever since Gar partially revealed the reason why Raven was always so distant, Keith tried to see his interactions with her with a different perspective.

"Ah, eh… well, it's quiet. I like it and the food is good. I sometimes come here when I need to think. About stuff. In my life. It's either this or the waterfront, and right now there's some sort of music festival blasting away over there. I didn't see you when I came in." He gives her a little smile.

"I wasn't here when you came in." Raven indicates as if this should have been completely obvious. She seems to have zero concern with being flappant, for what that's worth. Instead she presses her lips together and grabs one of the menus to look over the selection as if she could not quote most of it by heart.

Or her order would ever change.

To highlight this fact, she lays the menu right back down and stares at Keith, "You have a great deal of chaotic energy within you." She's quiet, conversational, but very accusatory. Which is a hypocracy if what Gar told Keith about Raven is true.

Keith blinks a couple of times and sets his eggroll down. Well, he's heard all sorts of conversation openers… except that one. He looks at the woman and brushes his red hair back from his face. "Er… yeah. I'm sorry- is it doing anything weird?"

It's not something he himself causes, really, but Raven could probably sense it- it caused itself because he existed. All around him, events and coincidences happened as the center of his being, infused and a conduit for chaos magic, asserted its presence in the world. Nothing exceedingly significant happens, at least for now, but the incidence of coincidences in the area has risen dramatically simply by having Keith there.

"No. Other than being in my favorite restaurant." Raven starts, then corrects with a sour expression, "But I understand your reasoning, so I can forgive that." For now, it isn't spoken out loud, but does it have to be? When it is written so clearly in her stare.

"What is the nature of your relationship with Garfield?" Her body tenses. Like an older sister who is stepping in to make sure a potential suiter knows she has lots of knives and knows how to use them all.

Keith blinks. Several times. He's blinking a lot lately. Raven does this to him. Was she really that blind? Anyone in the Tower and—

Oh, wait. Raven had gone away. Gar had said she probably needed to meditate at 'home' or something like that, while being incredibly unspecific (it was her prerogative to reveal what it meant, not Gar's, so he simply left it at that, and Keith respected it). Raven had not been there at all for the unwinding farce that had been the development of their relationship.

Her stare makes him uncomfortable, and for a moment he bristles. Why does she want to know? What right does she have to ask?

Then she remembers when Gar came around to the tower and visited Raven in her room, probably seeing her for the first time in a long time. She touched Gar. She put her hand on his shoulder, which was more affection than Keith had ever seen her display in… well, the entire time that he has known her.

Wait… did she also have a thing for Garfield?

Keith tenses as well at the thought. He isn't quite sure how to approach this. "Um… I'm sorry, Raven, can you tell me what exactly do you mean by the question?"

"You know exactly what I mean by the question." Raven doesn't have to sound accusing, she's matter of fact. It isn't an attack. Not overtly anyways, there's no telling how people will view the straight forwardness of her discourse.

Did 'she' have a thing for Garfield?

Nobody has ever asked her and, to the point, she probably wouldn't tell anyone who did. Right now she sounds more like an older sister rather than someone with 'feelings', but there's a hardness to her stare that is new. Even for her, when something grows colder, it should be glaringly obvious.

Keith backs away into the cushion of his booth at that stare. His palms feel a little sweaty, so he reaches for a napkin. Keith doesn't know the entire truth about Raven, only enough to understand her distance. But something tells him, deep in his astral gut, that she could do things to him that he probably wouldn't like, if he was stupid.

"I… me… I mean." He tries again. "Gar and I are… dating."

"Ah."

Raven closes her eyes and nods flatly at what she had gathered from small hints. True, she had not been around them in some time, but she can feel things coming off those with whom she converses. Things she may or may not actually attempt to feel. The way little pangs of emotion curl out of the hiding places when they think about a person. She's alien to these feelings, some have stated, but she really isn't. She knows what they are and she's felt them.

Without another word she slides out of the booth and reaches to slip her hood up, "Do not hurt him."

"Wait- wait wait," Keith holds up a hand. "Where are you going? Giving me that ultimatum and just walking off?" He looks somewhat annoyed, but then his expression softens. "Can we talk?"

"Yes…" Raven glances back with her head tilted, "I did not believe it was an ultimatum, it was a statement of fact. You would not hurt him and I do not want you too, but it is how things are said right? Friend comes in and instructs you that you should not hurt the other?" Lips pressed together.

Both hands slip into the pockets of her hoodie, "I really do not think we have anything else to discuss… unless you have something? I am done."

Patience. Breath. "Okay… look, you shouldn't come and just say -" Keith pauses. "No, sorry, I'm letting myself get angry. What I meant to say, Raven… is that you and Gar obviously go a way back. He considers you a friend, and you obviously consider him one to bother to do this. Yet I don't know anything about you." Not exactly true, but almost nothing anyways.

"… and I know there is this sword of damocles hanging over Gar's past. He's told me women have used him for status while thinking he was a freak. And that there was one team-mate psycho who…" he drinks from the glass. "I know the outline. I've never asked him about the details because I honestly would rather he not have to dig up something painful. He says he's gotten over it… but it can't be pleasant, still."

The young man looks at Raven. "And you brought up the chaos thing."

"You are too sheepish to be the embodiment of ''her''." Raven indicates with both hands hanging from her pockets, head half turned to regard him where he sits. "You are misunderstanding me… or I am misrepresenting what I mean by what I am saying. I want Garfield to find some happiness, certainly you are goofy enough that you could provide that for him."

Whether she meant to insult him or not.

She does not smile nor offer apologies for what she has said. "Knowing as much as you do know about his past, you have to appreciate that I would take something like this very seriously. If you think that I will suddenly divulge myself, however, you do not know me very well at all." Such a cold woman, but one that is not without some level of understanding. "You will, one day, I am sure… for now, enjoy your spring rolls. The pho is expectionally good here." She has invited him to stay, that has to count for something right?

Keith ponders this, and nods slowly. "Right… I understand." A few heartbeats pass. "But… Raven?"

Again Raven is paused from her departure, turning just enough that one violet eye can be seen around the seam of her hood.

Keith hasn't spoken about Garfield to other people. Oh, he's said that he likes him to Bunker and Wiccan, yes. But he hasn't talked.

"I know he has been hurt. A lot. And I know he has recovered. But it's never that hard to hurt someone who's been hurt before. Even if they're stronger."

He looks up to meet her violet eye with this two green ones. They're unusually green, certainly stronger than most green eyes are in humans- almost as green as Gar's, but with flecks of yellow.

"… Gar and I are… similar, in some ways." Now that the thought is stroked, there's a pang of grief as the memory wakes up. There is a large amount of repressed grief, but an ocean that has begun to drain. There's still pain there, but it's moving through him, being worked through after being neglected for years. It's the pain of loss and solitude. "On my word, I would rather die before hurting him voluntarily. And you will come for me if I am ever remiss on my word- and I would deserve it. But I would like to think that unlike them… I like to think that I understand how much he is worth. I don't really have the right words to state how much—-."

There is a sense of embarrassment that comes from revealing something personal to strangers. Even if nothing that explicit was shared, but much was implicit. "That… that's all. I didn't mean to pester you. I'm sorry."

"You did not pester me. I came to speak with you about this." Raven states, then dips her head in a farewell and turns back towards the door. Whatever it is she thinks, whatever it is that goes through the cloaked, goth woman's mind, she keeps it held tight to her chest and buried deep within the cold exterior of pale distance.

"Good night Keith."


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