Epilogue: The Boy Who Is

Summary:
November 7, 2014: On the tail of The boy who never was, Keith is relieved to see that he has managed to return to existence.

The Titans' Castle

Keith and Gar's bedroom.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
Enjoy The Silence


After a somewhat frustrating afternoon and evening during which Gar practiced a form of what some people might call 'faith' — although his evidence for the alleged Keith O'Neil really existing is slightly more concrete than that which most people have for believing in God … well, in fact, that was a part of the discussion Gar had with the thin air that presumably was occupied by the unreal Mr. O'Neil. There was good, solid, ineluctable evidence for the existence of Demons, Angels, and all sorts of Hells and Purgatories and Limbos. But apparently that wasn't proof that there was an Opposite Number. And the philosophies of skepticism and realism and pragmatism were all at war.

At midnight, Gar finally went to sleep, fitfully, shifting from human to tailed-monkey-oid, to tiger, to liger, to flying squirrel, and back to Gar Logan, only to drift awake at 7:45 in the morning, lying there with the pillow over his head, trying to remember why he slept so badly. Something about a guy. But he's pretty sure it's real-ish, right? Because… wait, he can always open that box.

Nah. Sleep longer. The tossing and turning and turning-into, kept him from sleeping well.

There's something about being UnReal, you don't feel hungry as often, and you certainly don't need to sleep so much. Perhaps it is because the tenuous hold of your self on the world means that, in a way, you are also out of it? Keith has thought about this before, during previous spaces of nonexistence, and it has never really driven him to a satisfactory conclusion. He just is, while he isn't, and that is all he knows.

He kept Gar company, but he refrained from 'manifesting' things- as he had done with the shoes and the pendant- because he didn't want to freak him out more. In a way, it felt… wrong. Because Gar couldn't see him and could only assume he was there, while at the same time not knowing if it was really true but clearly making an effort.

In that manner, he got to catch a glimpse of what Garfield was like when he wasn't around. Or, rather, when the whole memory of himself had been wiped from his mind. It was voyeuristic, almost, but Keith couldn't exactly do much about it— how cruel would it have been to walk away and leave him talking to the air without a means to tell him he was walking out of the door? Sure, he could scribble it somewhere… but that would probably have been too freaky- disembodied hands writing?

Keith slept very little. Mostly because he didn't need to when UnReal, but also because Garfield slept so fitfully, and it gave Keith pangs of guilt to guess the cause. Occasionally he would brush Gar's fur, or hair, with his fingers, lightly enough to try to comfort him in his sleep, but not enough to wake him. He resisted the urge to hold him, because the last thing poor Gar needed was to wake up to the sensation of someone holding him, and there being nobody there. That was a recipe for a heart attack, or a tiger claw to the face.

As morning comes, and 7:59 hits, Keith is laying on the bed next to Garfield, staring at the ceiling.

"What if I don't come back? What am I going to do?" he mutters to himself, a few seconds before the clock strikes eight. He closes his eyes, practicing breathing exercises in order to keep himself calm. Soon, he would find out.

Of course, at 7:59, Gar flops over in his sleep and pulls the thing that isn't there closer… and at 8:00, he opens his eyes.

"Don't ever do that again," he says, kissing Keith on the nose. "But if you do, at least keep reminding me. I'll probably cope with it better."

There's a sort of a sigh of relief, but probably nothing at all to what Keith went through.

Keith is startled by the kiss, he turns to face Gar and reaches for him, his heart-rate going up. "You can see me? You can see me! — you can, right?" He asks, moving in closer, but cautiously, as if he were sneaking up on prey.

"Of course I can see you. It's the next day. You told me about this stupid curse thing, but I somehow didn't expect it to be real. You have your whole other side back, right?"

Gar grins at Keith, "Oh, and you didn't have to work last night. But if you did I would've probably gone in for you."

And confused the HELL out of the manager, as to why there's a gorilla bouncer filling in for someone who isn't on the schedule, but who says 'no' to a 600 pound gorilla bouncer?

Keith grins back, "Except you didn't know where I work, so that would have been interesting- I guess I could've dug up a Ouija board and done the answers that way… yeah. I can feel the Cait waking up."

"Hey," he finishes his approach, arms wrapped around Gar tightly. "I'm sorry I freaked you out. I didn't really believe it was happening again. If I had known, I would've let you be-" he leans in and kisses Gar's nose, "I shouldn't have caused you distress…" and his voice grows tiny "…and oh my god you saw the video. I should have removed that thing right after… I forgot." He says, eyes closed shut and color coming to his cheeks.

"I demand an updated, current version of that video if you don't mind. Two versions. One for should you ever be gone, and one for should you ever disappear again. And I'll do one for you too," Gar says. He starts purring — it's a simple partial-shift, and it feels good and necessary right now.

"You should keep a copy of your current schedule there too… I bet if we had a wireless synch fob in there… Hm."

Time for that later. Time now is for purring. Also for wondering, "Are you hungrier or sleepier?"

"I don't know, actually." He's only been 'synched' for a few minutes. Time will tell what his body will demand first, "I'm hungrier for you than for any of the other two," he says, touching his nose to Gar's. He hums low, since he can't purr in this shape. "… I don't like the idea of making one for if I'm gone. " He pauses for a moment and considers the things he said in the video. "While I completely stand by what I said, I sort of plan on being the one that sticks. Unless you find something about me that becomes an instant deal breaker and then, yeah. But…"

"It sounds silly to say that at twenty two, doesn't it?" He was young, very young by some standards. He also didn't feel as young as others saw him. He'd done a lot of growing up during high-school… even if four years were spent growing in instead of growing out.

"Silly Keef. I mean in case one of us dies for real," Gar says. "So we can see and hear the other one. It's a thing. Lots of people wish they had that kind of a thing but you can't really get one when it's happened and it's too late."

Like that locket Keith has of his Mom. Gar's got nothing like that for his birth parents who raised him to age six and a half. Or his second foster father. And (moping will ensue if Gar doesn't stop thinking about this.)

He whispers into Keith's ear, and grins.

Keith's eyes grow wide for a few seconds and then he looks at Gar.

"… I think I can stay in bed for a little while longer…"


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