Jog For Your Supper

Summary:
October 5, 2014: After some hard training, Gar and Keith meet with Danny Rand to discuss the Titans' potential future relationship with him.

Battery Park/Chinese Diner


Characters

NPCs

  • Diner Staff

Mood Music:
Eye Of The Tiger (because training montage)


Battery Park is popular for several reasons, but the reason Gar has dragged Keith here is that it has several running paths. He's provided some running clothes and a pair of those weird barefoot-style shoes, for a reason: Keith and his alter-ego like to be barefoot, and this is as close as it's a good idea to get for someone in human form running New York streets.

"So, for our first formal torture session, we start by running a half mile. I'm totally unfamiliar with your previous training, so if I'm making you do something that you can't do, yet, then let me know."

Black tank top and his usual spandex running shorts (Dark purple. Big surprise) are the closest things he has to his suit. He could run in that, for the practice, but that'd just draw too much attention. Green guy notwithstanding.

"That's fine with me… I do longer distances than that in Gotham, but that has a lot of starts and stops, jumps and rolls. You can't really do sustained while jumping across rooftops." He rests one foot at a bench to put his last shoe on, and wriggles his toes. "Tcha… this feels weird. It's look footgloves. Only rubbery. Ish."

"Yes, and extremely useful when you step on hot asphalt or sharp rocks or broken glass, if it's not too big," Gar says. "The hot asphalt is the main risk in summertime."

The run itself is a warm-up; while they're running, Gar explains that he doesn't do weights himself because he does animal isometrics, a la Charles Atlas, mostly… actually he chatters a bit too much while running. Clearly not running fast enough.

"So, once we warm up, we do some agility training. There's a playground that's usually empty about now, with a couple different kinds of monkey bars."

"Mokey bars? Will they serve my kind there?" Keith keeps up, a little sluggish at first but soon catching up. He always feels more energetic towards the nighttime than during the daytime, so he has to make an effort to rev up. "Sorry. That joke is awful and I should be penalized for that."

Some people look, of course. They'd look a lot more if he were in his feline shape- green and purple running down the road are definitely attention getters.

"Agility sounds good- I don't really have formal training in acrobatics… it all comes from the cat side of things. I could use some form drilled into me." As it is, the redhead simply waves at some of the people. Some of them wave back, others realize they've been caught staring and look away with embarrassment. "By the way, you look good when you run," Keith says with a slightly mischievous grin.

"Aww, gee, you're gonna make me blush," Gar says. "And half the people who are staring are staring at you because you're equally hot in that indefinable red-haired way."

They run for a while longer, heading northward from Battery Park along the waterfront until they come to a side path which leads in to a small neighborhood park. New York is lousy with these things, which is good because otherwise it would be horrible.

"Anyway. Monkey bars are over here," Gar says, deliberately ignoring the bad joke so he can steal it later, "and it's a good time."

He stops and walks over to the monkey bars, and reaches up, doing several repetitions of a sort of pull-up where you end up above the bar - he's handstanding - and back down to a full hang, with minimal swing.

"This is stuff they like for gymnastics, but I learned to do it as a chimp or something."

"Pff, please. At least one of us doesn't go up in flames when exposed to sunlight!" Keith smirks. He had put on sunscreen before coming out. He was very aware that his hair color made it so that the sun was his -krypt-weakness. Wiping some sweat from his brow, he looks at the monkey bars, and then stares at Gar doing his pull ups.

It's not impolite, because it's his boyfriend. "I wonder if I could do it. It sort of comes second nature when I'm Vorpal…" he walks over and reaches up, preparing to pull up. "… but I look at this as myself and go 'where the hell do I begin?'. I guess this is the purpose of this, eh?"

"Yep!" Gar says. "This is not an easy exercise. See how you do at regular pull-ups. If you can do ten without getting tired, then we can move on to the next step."

(Seriously this is NOT an easy exercise. It's a show-offy exercise.

Keith manages to pry his eyes away from Gar to focus, and takes a deep breath- not too deep, just enough, and pulls up as he exhales.

It's not easy, and it's clearly not his best performance. It's clear that although Keith is quite strong and agile, his focus has remained hand-to-hand. When he's Vorpal, he has all those other gifts- agility, speed, flexibility and ehnahced strength- are all bestowed upon him. As Vorpal, he's been able to pull himself from hanging from a building and into a handstand. As Keith? Well… He manages six, but by the seventh, he has to let go with a hiss.
"Jesus Jimminiy Cricket!" he says, panting. He's quite red, mostly from embarrassment.

"Yeah, that's something we're going to work on," Gar says. "My power gives me a little bit of an advantage in not getting too much out of shape. But I also have to work out. So, what you're doing is going to make your cat-side even more effective."

Gar hops down from where he's been perched on the bar, landing in a crouch, and says, "OK, into push-up position."

Gar is about to demonstrate a new and horrible evil. He looks at Keith's position, says "tighten your glutes, and tense your abs very slightly. Now try to twist your hands just a bit. OK, good, now, hold that position for as long as you can."

He gets into the position himself. He's wearing a watch, and it's got big fat digits reading off the time… and he keeps it going… and going…

"Cat side's fine, I want to make my me-side not be an embarrassment." Keith quips, and assumes the position. He does remember this exercise- it was something his Sifu insisted on. Though, to be truthful, he's been remiss. While he kept himself in shape during those years where he simply worked at the warehouse, a lot of things sort of slipped by the side with most of his life.

He begins to feel the burn and breathes through it. It's amazing, how time can slow down when you're doing nothing but physical training. It is as if your big monkey brain gets bored with repetitive motions or being stationary and tries to distract you. Or remark 'Gee, this sure is taking a lot of time, isn't it?'

The numbers change. Slowly.

~How long is this going to go on for?~

Forty-five seconds, and he has to give up, exhaling. "Gah… that thing is evil." He doesn't look at the watch. He remembers when he could hold it up to a minute back at the dojo.

"Yeah," Gar says, switching to a side-plank on his left elbow so he can talk.

"So we rest for thirty seconds, then back to the monkey bars, then back to the plank. Once we're done, we do pushups. Only one set because misery doesn't need that much company."

The pathetic thing about this? The Robins can probably do them all day long without any rest, even though they never get enough sleep. Really, there has to be some sort of Bat-Steroid involved.

"Is this your way of telling me you're breaking up with me?" Keith teases, taking his rest with a cherishing that can only come from what's coming up ahead. He takes his towel and wipes the sweat off his brow and face, "Thank you for this, though. I know I need it. I just hope I'm not too sore to move afterwards when we meet up with Rand."

"No no no. You need this so you can keep up," Gar says, waggling his eyebrows. "You won't be sore until tomorrow, and I'm going to hit you with a lighter version of the healing balm tonight."

He rolls up to his feet and jumps up to the monkey bars. "Pullups." He starts his one-handed, because even if he IS being the trainer (and yes, he's going to make Keith train fighting with him) he's still trying to work out for himself as well.

Keith smirks, looking up at Gar doing the one-harmed pullup. "Showoff…" he shakes his head, stands up and dusts himself, and proceeds with the pull-ups. He does a little better this time, but it's clear he's not going to make the goal today.

That's ok. That's what training is for. "That balm… is something… else…" Keith huffs and puffs. You'd think he was a wolf rather than a cat at heart. He's grateful for the training- for the opportunity to get time with Garfield as well as for improving himself. His inner voice chastises him for having let himself coast on for four years- losing some, but maintaining himself at an 'okay' level just out of sheer inertia. Bad decisions that he had to correct now.

"Incidentally, if your inside voice is giving you garbage, yeah, sometimes you have to heal emotionally, and that can take the energy you would be using on things like taking proper care of yourself," Gar says, switching to the other arm. "It's not always ideal, but you do what you have to, so don't beat yourself up TOO hard, please."

Drop, and time for planks… and then fifty push-ups. Gar seems to be doing that 'hearing the unspoken' thing with Keith a bit more often. Probably some kind of bonding thing, right?

And Gar was doing it again. The redhead drops down for the plank after brushing the sweat off his brow again.
"Are you sure Raven didn't teach you some of her tricks? Or did you pick them up from that chick on the show who always went 'Captain… I sense… conflict!'"

Funny, he thinks, he'd usually find it objectionable that someone could read him like that. But that isn't the case with Gar. Perhaps because he had basically left the door open and was more than thrilled that he walked in. He liked being known by him, and he liked the implications of what it could mean. So, to make his jest clear, he shoots Gar a grin before his face acquires that 'I Am Concentrating' frown that he gets when he focuses on an excercise. And theeere's the burn… ….

"Honestly, I can't really say. It's something I always did, but it's never been as strong as with you," Gar answers. "Most animals use something like it as part of their communication — except that humans are so verbal that I think they lose it. Anyway."

The exercises continue for another set, and then Gar looks around the park. There's a rock that's part of the landscaping by a tree, which he pulls up … and it's not very dirty underneath, which means he's not the only one to use it this way.

"Ad-hoc weight. Actually it's probably a 20 kilogram weight, painted to look like a rock, knowing some of the guys who work out here," the green guy says. "OK, this is the last exercise before we run back to my dorm."

He holds the rock in both hands, close to his chest in a 'cup' position, stands with his feet slightly pointed out, and starts doing squats to just below 'seated'. After 25 repetitions he hands over the rock to Keith, and wipes the sweat off his face with his shirt tail.

Keith's panting, and no matter how much he wipes, sweat is very profuse. His heart beats in his ears like a jungle drum, or some of the less memorable Ricky Ricardo performances. He catches the weight as Gar hands it to him, and he says "I don't mind that it happens. I like it." alluding to That Thing Gar Does. "Who camouflages a weight as a rock? What's next, a tree is actually a latrine in disguise?"

Keith takes a few breaths, trying to steady himself. He performs the repetitions, tiring as thery are. To his credit, he actually manages twenty two before having to give up. Maybe fueled a little bit by pride. "… wait… did you say 'run'?" he asks, in the same voice that those poor Welsh carvers who helped the Druids move the stones in Stonehenge used when they probably asked "Wait,we're taking these where?"

"Yep," Gar says way-too-cheerfully. "It's only a half mile from here. You'll be fine."

He returns the rock to its hiding place in the open, and claps Keith on the back, then gives him an impulsive hug.

"Come on, there's food when we get back. Also showers."

Keith laughs at this. "I'll be fine. Just pick me up if I fall and drag me down the street." He returns the hug tightly and holds it for a moment. "Showers? Together?" and there's that mischief back in his grin as he jokes, but he gives Gar a kiss on the cheek. Sweaty kiss, but a kiss nevertheless. "I can't wait for the food. I feel like I could eat Manhattan right now. Without relish."

The attack of the Fifty Foot Redhead. Raar.

"If you get back without hurling, we can shower together. Otherwise you have to watch from a distance," Gar says cruelly. Well, the dorm showers ARE set up like a locker room shower, after all.

The route back to the dorm goes through the park, along a neighborhood street for several blocks, and then across the park of the campus to the dorm. There's probably nothing that will induce hurling, except maybe an excess of lactic acid, but the run would actually help with that … and there's a couple small bottles of gatorade in Gar's in-room mini-fridge.

"You are a cruel taskmaster, Mister Logan," Keith comments, running just a little behind Gar because… well. But he does manage to make it without much of an issue, except for that one moment where he nearly stumbled over his feet due to being distracted. Gar does look good running, after all.




TWO HOURS LATER




Keith feels like he could positively eat the menu after that workout Gar gave him earlier. In fact, some of the napkins were probably not out of the question right now. Ditto the chopsticks. In fact, his voracious appetite makes him want to order everything in the menu, twice.

And they weren't even in the restaurant yet. "This man knows my heart," Keith comments to his green companion about the choice of venue for their meeting, "And my stomach." He grins at Gar, walking into the restaurant- your standard chinese restaurant in this particular area. Nothing fancy. But it doesn't have to be fancy to satisfy Keith, right now. His eyes look around for Rand. He hopes the man is here already… he couldn't possibly bear the wait. Or, rather, his stomach couldn't.

The green-skinned fellow is Garfield Logan, also called Changeling, sometimes Beast Boy (by people who can't give up the past) and even sometimes "Mr Tork" by people who REALLY can't give up the past - that TV show was YEARS ago.

Gar looks around as well. He sniffs, and smiles a slightly fangy smile. "I smell chicken feet in black bean sauce. Awesome."

He waits for them to be seated, or rather, for the inevitable host or hostess to return from delivering another guest to a table, and when that person returns, Gar says, "We're meeting with a Mr. Rand," hoping that he's already here as well. Because Keith is absolutely right. If he has to wait much longer, Gar will start eating the furnishings, starting with that very old and very lovely jade plant on the table by the door.

Danny is indeed already at the restuarant, having already gotten the table. And taking the time to order for his guests. Of course Danny just ordered some basic appetizers to start with, some Egg Rolls, Shrimp toast, chinese spare ribs, spring rolls and spinach wontons. He is of course already munching on an egg roll, cause well they are completely awesome.

Once he notices the people enter the restaurant he waves them on over to his table. He does the standard thing and raises to meet them, offering them both his hand, "Gentleman, please have a seat, I hope you don't mind took the liberty of ordering some appetizers for us."

"Not in the least!" Keith exclaims as he sits down once he has offered his hand to shake. He performs the necessary introductions, "Mr. Rand, this is Garfield Logan, my team-mate, also known as Changeling," he says, while savoring the look of those spring rolls with sparkling green eyes. He doesn't take one, though, until Gar is seated. Manners, after all.

Gar has a standard hand-clasp, neither too hard nor too flabby, not wet nor crunchy. This is a good thing.

"Good to meet you, Mr. Rand. I'm told you have a training facility that we might be able to use sometimes," Gar says. He sits at the indicated chair, asks for water as well as the tea, and then considers the appetizers, sipping the tea and visibly relaxing.

"Well I have a dojo in Harlem, but that is more of a public place plus a lot of kids around. I also have a smaller workout area located in my house. Which I'm sure can be suitable for most people." That is said as he sits down after the greetings. "Would like to meet more of you before I open up my house for training though."

Sure they're heroes, but he doesn't want them to stumble across the secret Iron Fist gear and stuff that he has. At least not until he's comfortable with them that is.

"We also have a place of our own, which is going to need some considerable work, but it had a big room that I think might make a good training area," Gar says. "In fact, I was going to bring that up later… we should eat and get to know one another first."

At which point Gar takes a spinach won-ton onto the small plate they've provided, and applies a bit more hot oil to it than is generally considered sane. When he takes a bite, the smile is blissful.

"Of course," Keith says, trying to control his hunger and taking small bites from the egg roll. "We've got the meet-and-greet coming up. There's been a slight change in our roster, as we lost one of our wizards, Wiccan, and brought in a witch, Rain." He turns to Gar, "I've also been telling Mr. Rand about how some of us can help with the kids, tutoring and whatnot." A heartbeat pause, "Only not Raven. She can… help with the kitchen." Making skull-shaped cupcakes, he imagines.

"We've got a meeting of the team coming up soon so we can set a date and all. It's not very efficient, using the iHop, but it's our de facto meeting place. For now."

He feels his phone vibrate and frowns. Oh no, please don't be…

He looks at it. Yes. The Museum. Crap.

Keith reads the text and sighs. "… it's the Museum. They're calling on me to live up to that promise of helping them with the repairs and they need to move that fallen statue out of the way. They think I could rabbit hole it."

He does the math in his head. New York to Gotham. Ten minutes by rabbit hole, and then hopefully ten to twenty minutes dealing with the statue, and ten minutes back… "I'll be back as soon as possible," he says. Are those tears in his eyes? No, it is the glistening sorrow that comes from being so close to food, and yet so far… "Please excuse my departure, but Gar here should be able to answer all of your questions."

He looks at Gar and reaches under the table to squeeze his hand as he gets up. "I love you," he whispers, "And I will continue to love you if you box me something for later, just in case I don't get to come back in time." he jokes.

He gives hasty waves and then slides out of his chair and towards the door. His stomach rumbles probably set off a few seismographs in the area at this point.

"Actually, Raven is very good with children. The innocent kind, anyway. They're generally much more peaceful to be around, so she doesn't have to put up such strong defenses against their emotional presence," Gar says, and frowns at the Museum. "Make them feed you something first."

He sighs. "Well. As part of the 'getting to know you' - by the way you move, and that you have several training facilities, it's pretty clear that you're a martial artist. And by what the webs say about you, you've given up overt operation of your company, but that's full of speculation about why."

"Hey needing work is never that bad. I know several construction firms that can help with that. I've worked with a lot of them, Advantage of being rich, and owning lots of buildings in manhattan." He shrugs at part of what Gar has asked, "Simple, I was missing for 10 years. My family went on an excursion with my Dad's business partner to the mountains of tibet. There was an avalanche, we all got seperated. I was found by some monks, and allowed to live among them. After 10 years I was able to return home. Sadly my parents didn't make it off the mountain. But after spending so much time away I decided I wasn't the right person to run a company I didn't know anything about."

"So I took some of the personal money and followed advice of a business advisor so I can learn how to be a business man before I can take control. My dad built that company, I didn't want to risk running it into the ground, it's in capable hands right now. And yes the Monks studied Kung Fu, I learned from them. Certified lethal weapon, and registered with the law to that regard."

"That's pretty amazing," Gar says. "I assume you left out the parts I don't need to know, and I appreciate that."

He considers the company information and compares it to his own experiences.

"I did a few business courses while I was working on my Bachelor's degree, so I'm not totally inept, and I picked up some from my stepdad. But honestly, it's not where my heart is. I try to keep things in balance. I kind of spent a bit more than I would like to get our current base, but honestly I'll be fine in a year or two. I'd prefer to find other sponsors for OTHER reasons, but that's my own karma to deal with. So. What do you want to know about me?"

Another egg roll disappears somewhere in the middle of that speech.

Well he did change the story a little, plus no dragon in this one, kinda sucks cause people totally love dragons. "How about we start with something simple. You're a hero right? Why?" Okay maybe it's not really simple, but a very important one at that. "I'm sure there are other things that you can do, but you risk your life for others."

"To be honest, it's what I am… Are you familiar with the Tao? In a large part, I am who I am because it's the path the Universe has selected for me. As far as my own choices and actions, the 'risking my life' part is actually only a small portion of what I do."

Gar drains his water-glass. The run earlier did deplete him more than he was letting on.

"Life is very precious. Human life is not only precious, but it's potent - we have the ability by the fact that we can know things in the abstract, to affect the world in a much more significant way than we think. I'm attuned to life, so I feel a need to nurture and protect it in its role."

That may open up more questions than it gives answers, of course.

Danny does smirk a little, "One does not spend 10 years in a monastery without learning a little bit about the Tao." But he does listen to to the guys reasoning as to the heroics. "That does make sense I guess. So you do it just because of the need to protect us all. Very noble of you to do that." He hmms trying to think of another question, "That really just covered the biggest one I wanted to know. So anything else you feel the need to share?"

"Noble? Not like I have a choice in the matter if I want to be someone I can live with being," Gar says. He pauses, thinking about the important things.

"I do have one thing. I'm going out on a limb here, trying to help recreate the team I was once a member of, because there's a need for it, but the way it formed it was kind of like a dysfunctional family. I'd like the family part to continue, but not so much the dysfunctional. You got any suggestions or advice?"

"Tough one there. All families are going to fight, they have different views on things, that's just the way they are. What makes a dysfunctional family different from a normal one, is that they usualy lack empathy with each other, or they are in denial that they are dysfunctional. So basically the best way would be to make sure you all kind of understand each other and where you come from." Well that is his understanding from dealing with kids from dysfunctional homes. "But not sure how to approach that, I have some psychologists that work at my outreach dojo, we can arrange time for you guys to talk to them."

"Yeah… the main problem with that, most psych people think that the hero thing is a mental disorder," Gar says, grinning. "They used to have a name for it, but I think it got renamed in the last couple of years."

Still. Having an on-tap shrink, that might be a really USEFUL thing. As long as they were flexible, and durable. Not every situation that the old team got into was nice, with a few 'go after the bystanders and connections' situations making things really ugly.

"I don't think most of the others really thought much about it. Robin was the tactical focus, I was the emotional balancer. I want to avoid the 'alpha male and female' trick that made the other teams fall apart too."

A hand rests on Gar's shoulder- it's not a fast touch, more affectionate than anything. While Keith doesn't have the natural sneakiness of his feline form, he does move with a certain feline quality. That, and the fact that Gar is pensive might have something to do with his being able to sneak up on his boyfriend like that. "We do have an alpha male wannabe in the group, alas. The Snarky Robin." the redhead smiles and sits down next to Gar again. "The Museum said they'll call on me in about two hours. Apparently something else needs to be cleared first. So I'm back." He grins.

"Yeah not sure how I can help with that one. Tough to keep things like that together." Hey him and Luke stayed together just cause they were just friends and partners. "Or you can just do friendly get together and hang out outings. Try and keep yourselves friends and family. Not sure what else I can recomend though. Well if those don't work, guess you can just chain them together until they get along?"

"I think, most of us are older than the teenagers who were trying to create families," Gar says. He smiles when Keith comes back, and waves for the waitress. "Are you guys having dim-sum or do you prefer family style?"

"Family style is good for me." Keith replies as he sits down, reaching for his glass of water. He was parched. "I'd say that on the whole, we're a pretty even crew. Except maybe for Robin Two. He may have some issues being… you know, human. Raven on the other hand has to keep her emotions under control, but she's not immature. As for the rest, we get along just fine. Bunker's an absolute sweetheart wrapped in a beam of optimism. Wonder Girl is spunky, Zatanna is classy, Zachary is funny, Robin One is great, and Rain is definitely a very nice girl. We had one rather psychotic team member, but he resigned fortunately." He looks at Gar. "Have I covered everyone? Oh, yeah… I'm a bit of a mess." He adds to Rand. "But that's just because dying kind of mixes you up a little. In my case, I got remixed. Meow mixed, even." A sidelong look "But Gar's been helping me with that."

"I enjoy family style. It's how we did it at the monastery." Hey that is totally awesome. "Well seems like you have an interesting group. But why do you have Robin One and Robin Two? Doesn't that get a little confusing. You should just name one of them to sparrow or something."

"Batman's got an interesting naming scheme for his experiments, I mean, his sidekicks," Gar says. "Which reminds me, I need to visit him to discuss the terms of his latest person being in our team. How much two-by-four I'm allowed."

Gar orders a bean-mushroom thing as a 'for the table' and a shrimp/pork/chicken spicy concoction that's not precisely on the menu as such.

"Visiting Batman? Now that's one visit I'd love to come along for," Keith muses. He's never seen the Bat, only the people he has created. More or less. "Will he eat my soul?"

Orders something very simple, the Moo Goo Gai Pan, "So you guys know Batman? I thought he was just like an urban legend or something. Now, since Keith asked me about training, when would we like to do a meeting? I'm sure you have team members that want to meet me before I start teaching them stuff." Plus they probably want to make sure he isn't some closet super villain.

"Hmm, well, let's see" Keith takes out his phone. It is, as Gar has observed, ancient enough that it could almost have a crank on it. "Let's compare schedules and I think we should be able to pinpoint something out."

He smiles as the food comes in. "But we can wait to the end of dinner for that. I, for one, am ready to feast…"


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