Friends Don't Kill Each Other

<December 4, 2014>: Raven informs Keith that Friendship is Murderless Magic.


A Diner in New York



  • Diner patrons

Mood Music:

Darkness falls on the city of New York and Raven takes to the streets with her usual attire: A black hoodie pulled up over her head, bundled up against the chill, skinny black jeans and a pair of ear buds running down into the pocket of coat.

With both hands nestled beside her Ipod and no particular destination in mind, she traverses the alleys and byways until a light appears in yonder window promising hot coffee and the 'best omelet in the city'. Who could pass up that combination? Not Rachel Roth. Soon enough she finds herself sitting up against the window watching people pass her by through the frosted glass beside her.

Eventually, a certain young man walks into the diner. He's planning to meet Gar up at his lab over at ESU, and he's bringing dinner along. The best omelet in town? Who could pass that up, indeed. He's hungry, though, so he goes to a booth to get himself something light to eat, and as he waits for the waitress to come his way… he notices.

Over there… is that? wait…

~Oh, dear…~

Rachel is rarely lax in people watching and she spies Keith come through the doors long before he actually spies him sitting in her booth. When he looks up, in fact, she's staring at him over the rim of her coffee mug so there's no real hope that she 'didn't see him'. He could pretend like he doesn't recognize her or something?

Who knows how that will go over.

She does not look offensively towards him… Of course, she always sort of has this blaise expression on her pale face no matter the situation or circumstances, so it is ultimately impossible to tell now isn't it?

"Er… fancy meeting you here," Keith says as a means of a friendly overture. He gives her a little smile. "How are you doing? I haven't seen you in a while. I was in the neighborhood so I thought I'd grab something for Gar to eat after he comes out of the lab. He forgets to eat when he gets too focused on his projects."

Raven's people-watching would have let her notice that Keith is walking with a pronounced limp. He does have a brace around his right ankle, and there is the occasional stab of pain (lessened by painkillers) from his ribs.

The little details are all in the emapthic bond she shares with the world. The people in it giving off their pains and sorrows, like now when she can sense Keith's feelings for Gar when he mentions bringing their friend food. Next to what she feels others feeling, her own awkward emotions feel so hollow and impossible.

"I do not want to kill you." She blurts out while never lowering her eyes away from staring at him like some child in a carnival freak show.

The waitress, the other diners, even the cook.. they all sort of whistle quietly and go about their business. Raven notes it and leans forward towards Keith and says, more quietly, "I do not want to kill you." Just incase he didn't hear her the first time.

For a few moments Keith is a little stunned by what Raven says. It's… well, it's odd. But then again, she is an odd girl. Eventually he gives her an awkward smile, which then turns into his trademark cheshire grin (albeit in human form.)

"That's good, I like not being killed. Except when, you know, I have to get stabbed through the chest by a glass word in order to not die for real. Thank you for that, by the way. It hurt like hell-" understatement of the century "-but it had to be done. I'm glad you were there to do it."

For whatever reason, Raven seems relieved. There's really no telling with her exactly what caused the relief or even if it's relief at all. Instead she juts her chin to the seat across from her, but does not vocalize any invitation.

It very well could be a trap.

"I talked to a friend of mine." She says ultimately, conversationally hushed. "He does not think I am in love with Gar." It ''was'' Keith that teased her about that, right? Someone did. "I think he is wrong. I think we should duel one another for Garfield's hand."

At this point she pointedly unzips her hoodie and slips her hand inside…

One red eyebrow shoots up. Is she for real, or is she joking? Hard to tell, with that deadpan delivery… so he lets his first instinct take him to humor.

"Fair enough," Keith concedes with a serious face, playing it very well so as not to let a rogue smile get away. "I call lightsabers. You get the blue one, I get the purple one because color affinity. We need to find a proper place to duel, though… ideally a place with vents that randomly spew steam for no good reason."

The young man scratches his chin thoughtfully, and hmmms. "Although upon reflection… you can keep Gar's hand, as long as I get the rest of him."

Raven pauses in retrieving whatever it is she was initially intent on producing to stare at Keith. Humor is such an alien thing to her, but she knows him well enough now, "This is not one of the two percent of the time you are being serious." Which means, "You are making fun of me."

That being said, she pulls out a switch blade and lays it down in the center of the table. "This one is not made of glass." If she's joking, she is really horrible at it.

She is joking, by the way. Just so the players are clear on what's going on here.

Not the part where she says it's not made of glass, though. That part is serious. It's a real switch blade. Just fyi.

She's joking about the part where she'll use it.

Also about the whole Garfield thing.

Keith looks at the switchblade, and then up at Raven again. She is mostly accurate about the percentage of the time that he's serious. He looks at the switchblade again.

"Would you believe me if I told you that the only way I know how to use one of those is while dancing and singing? I don't think this place is big enough for coreography…" he looks over his shoulder to assess the size of the restaurant. "And I'd need a leather jacket." And leather pants. But he doesn't say that.

Rachel just stares at him. Then opens her mouth to say something, closes it, and stares at him some more.

Then she looks at the switchblade with a look of muted, Raven level, frustration. Why hadn't this worked? Clearly she needs to up her game.

For a half second she considers stabbing him in the arm just to sell her teasing him, but thinks better of it given that it will no doubt frighten everyone in the diner and she would have to heal him.

So instead she just pockets her knife and sips her coffee, "I have ruined the element of surprise." Glaring over the rim of her cup, "But mark my words, I will tease you. I will tease you and you will fall for it." She's good at making that sound like it is a threat.

"Is that a promise?" Keith says, looking interested now. Was Raven actually interested in… interacting with him? "I wouldn't be too hard on yourself, Rachel. I'm on pain medications for the ribs… right now everything is slightly amusing to me. I made puns about a dam, for crying out loud, earlier today at a meeting with one of the X-Men. I promise you that when I'm not as high as a kite, you will have plenty of opportunities to tease me."

It's why he's not driving Gar's smrt cr.

Raven drains the rest of her coffee and nods thanks to the waitress when she hastily appears to refill it, then returns to staring across the table at Keith. "Why are you in pain?"

Keith fiddles with his cup of coffee. He's ordered a small quesadilla appetizer to tie him over until he eats with Gar. Of course, it isn't a real quesadilla, it's the diner's closest approximation… which is damned good, for what it is.

"I got punched by a werewolf. Well, a magically-augmented uber werewolf created by the Circle. Sent me flying clear across the room and slammed into some crates containing Egyptian artefacts, fractured a couple of ribs and sprained an ankle."

"Did you learn anything?" Raven asks after what is probably an uncomfortable length of silence. Both hands wrapped around the exterior of her newly topped off coffee mug while a 'world famous' omlet with mushrooms, onions, and peppers is set down infront of her.

"Not really. I was knocked out. There was a huge red man called 'Hellboy'. Works for some paranormal bureau or another according to Fenris, he's the one that brought me to the hospital." Keith sighs a little and sips his coffee. "What I do know is that the Circle is now kidnapping lycanthropes and using their magic on them to turn them into… something extremely monstruous. Like what punched me."

Rachel looks down into the swirling brown ripples of her coffee and tilts her head ever so slightly to one side as if there's something ultimately curious within the depths. Then she is again looking up at Keith, "Never a dull moment."

"Yeah… it comes with the chaos territory," Keith says somewhat miserably. "I took Gar to a seafood date the other night…the Walrus and the Carpenter crashed the restaurant." He sighs.

Rachel doesn't seem to take that as overly strange, but given who she is it probably isn't. Or it is and she's just really that good at hiding her thoughts… or isn't good at hiding them at all. All pretty perspective. "Next time you run into one of these creatures created by the Circle, you should get me some hair."

"… I should have thought of that!" Keith snaps his fingers and groans. It was obvious- oh so obvious, and he totally blew it. "Next time… I promise."

And then something makes his memory jump for a second, rewinding back to the beginning of their conversation. "Hey, you said you talked to a friend about Gar?"

"I do not fault you for not thinking." Raven chides, perhaps good natured, perhaps honestly. Perhaps she is an ice queen, a very pretty princess.

"I did say that." She agrees with a nod, finally lifting her coffee for a sip.

"Anyone I might know?" Keith asks. He's curious… what can he say? He time-shares his soul with a cat. It's one of the things that just… happens. He, too, sips his coffee.

"Nightwing." Raven name drops because who in the heroing community hasn't at least HEARD of Nightwing?

"Oh, right, first Robin, buns of steel." Keith observes, his eyes getting that little sparkle. "You two were team-mates in the previous team, if I recall?"

Raven nods once to the question or the first… she nods. He does have buns of steel, but it is unlikely that she's noticed that.

"We were."

"And you discussed… the possibility of you being in love with Gar…" Keith ponders for a moment, and huhs, "Man, I hope you didn't misunderstand why I asked what I asked that one time, heh."

"I discussed feelings with a person I trust." Raven corrects, lifting a finger to vaguely point across at Keith, "I felt it was fair to you and Gar that I understand whether you were correct in your assessment."

"That's very kind of you. Actually the reason I asked you about that, way back, was because I didn't want to be in the way if… there was something going on." Considering how absolutely taken Keith was with Gar, it's hard to imagine what he would have done, if Raven had asked him to step aside.

"It seems that under all circumstances there is no cause for concern. My feelings are plutonic." Raven assures him, though it is unlikely that he needed this assurance.

"You mean they are radioactive?" Keith says, doing the Groucho Marx eyebrow waggle. "Does that mean you're easy to find in the dark because you glow?"

In retrospect, it might be easy to see how Gar and Keith fit together, at least in one aspect. A good amount of Keith's humor wasn't too far from the loud-mouthed jokester that Gar used to be when he was younger and far more insecure. Keith isn't as loud, and he does seem to know when to stop.

Raven presses her lips together, "Clever." Said quietly, twirling her mug enough to cause small ripples to roll across the surface of her coffee. "How is Gar?"

"He's… a little tired. He's been taking care of my injuries and that's been eating into his university time. But I'm trying to heal up as fast as I can so he doesn't have to deal with this crap. Though the way he says it, people used to get injured in the old team old the team and it isn't a big deal." Keith shrugs, and winces ever so slightly. "Outside of that, he is fine. You two should go somewhere sometime, you know, catch up. Maybe if you go to dinner to that nice vegetarian restaurant they've opened near campus your dinner won't be interrupted by supervillains. Every date we've had so far has had that happening."

Raven up nods once and looks down at her untouched omlet. "That sounds like a good idea." Quietly, then she fishes around in her pocket and produces a few crumpled bills which she tosses down onto the table top and starts to slide out of the booth. "I am going now." Flatly, but not impolitely. "If you want to be healed, I can heal you." Letting the offer hang there a moment before she actually leaves.

Keith opens his mouth at this, and then closes it, and thinks for one moment.

He remembers Raven healing Gar of the curse the Circle had put on him. "Does it hurt you? To heal other people, I mean."

"Hurt is a loose term that hardly defines anything. I take a lot of the 'feeling' onto myself, yes, but I know that it is not my pain." Raven explains, reaching up to flip her hood back onto her head. "I am aware of what it does and what it causes, however. So it should not be a determining point in whether you allow me to heal you."

"Only if you are sure it'll be okay for you," Keith says. He knows Raven has to fight the influence of her demon father. He remembers how she looked- like hell warmed over- when she was trying to cleanse herself. "If it won't put you at risk for anything… then yes, could you please help me? That'll relieve Gar, and you'll also need to tell me if I can make it up to you. Like bring you something from that restaurant you like? You know the place."

"Healing some broken ribs and a bruised knee is not the same thing as cleansing a curse." Rachel seems to know where he is drawing his inspirations for these questions, "I think that I can handle this if I can handle that."

"Okay, then that would be lovely, Raven," Keith says sincerely. It'd also mean no more painkillers to cloud his judgement. That was a BIG plus- since last night he had spent fifteen minutes talking to Gar, only to realize that he was addressing the coat rack and Gar hadn't gotten home just yet.

"Come by my room after you deliver Garfield his dinner." Rachel says with a nod, "I will get everything ready while you are gone." Both hands slip into her pockets and she glances towards the door.

"Thanks, Rachel, I will." He glances at the uneaten omelet. Well, he might box it and bring it to her, too. Just in case. "Get back safe…" it's his customary farewell, but this IS Raven. He changes that to, "Try not to happen to too many criminals. Leave some for Robin." He grins.

"I will give it my best attempt." Raven assures without looking back. The bell rings on the door as she pushes back out into the welcoming chill, instantly fogging her breath as she closes her eyes to take in a deep lungful of the night air. Then she's headed back in the direction of the Tower. Her demeanor, while demure to the casual passer by, has a way of turning ''criminals'' away.

Here there be monsters.

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