Zatanna Returns

December 8, 2014: Zatanna returns to find a lot has happened to the Titans in her absence.

Titans' Castle

We even have a courtyard!



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Mood Music:

It's an unusually sunny day, for a December in the 'Jersey area. The castle of the Titans has, of course, internal heating, but the courtyard isn't very hospitable during most of the winter. Even if it hasn't snowed yet. Today, though, it is warm enough to read outside, which is what Keith is doing as a means of occupying his mind and focus it on something other than the current death. He hasn't been sleeping well, and Garfield has noticed that.

He's wearing one of Garfield's uniform shirts, actually- a gift from him, it's one of the old red-and-white ones from when he was in the previous team, and it fits quite well. It also looks appropriately seasonal for December, whe you take the green jeans into account.

He's trying to get through one of Gar's introductory books on biology. It's a strange choice for reading… but there you go.

Zatanna has returned to the Castle after being on tour. She'd arrived late last night and headed straight for her room and fallen asleep and slept for hours, catching up on the lost hours that tours normally entail.

Fixing herself something to eat, sugary cereal with lots of milk, she wanders out to the courtyard holding bowl and spooning food into her mouth. "Oh hey, Keith" and she flops into one of the chairs, careful not to spill the cereal everywhere.

Keith looks up from the book (which is a welcome thing, it was beginning to make him cross-eyed) when he hears a very familiar voice he hasn't heard in a while. His face lights up as he closes the book with a 'pop'. "As I live and breathe… Miss Zatara herself. When on earth did you get back?" He grins, putting the book aside on the bench.

A slow grin appears on Zatanna face, around the cereal she's eating of course "Late last night, I just came in and went straight to bed" Putting the bowl down, she yawns covering her mouth with her hand "Still a bit tired, I guess…" Glancing at the book Keith had been reading, Zatanna frowns "What's with the book?"

"Just something from Gar's library. He thought it'd be a good idea for me to read something to take my mind off…" Keith stops, and looks at Zatanna slowly. "… oh crap you don't know…" what with everything, he hadn't managed to send out an email to the absent members about what had happened to one of their members. Crap…

The grin disappears and Zatanna sits forward… intent on Keith now. "Don't know what…?" she asks quietly… it doesn't look like good news ….

"Robin's dead, Zatanna." Keith says quietly, and then clarifies, "The second Robin. The mean one. He was killed by a supervillainess the other day… who walks through mirrors."

Zatanna looks momentarily shocked and then confused "The second Robin…" she says slowly, working it out in her head "the mean one…. oh!" Now that she's placed who it is Keiths' talking about she looks sad and worried. "I'm sorry Keith, I know he was a member of the team… How are you coping?" The young woman chews on her lip as she thinks, sorrow for the Titans loss on her face

Keith exhales for a moment, looking at the leafless tree in the center of the courtyard, and then at Zatanna. "… Do you want my honest answer, Zee?"

Tilting her head, Zee's frown deepens "I wouldn't ask if I didn't want the truth and honesty, Keith" the tone the Magician uses is very dry… "Yes, I want your honest answer, Keith" she clarifies quietly.

"Well… it's… it's weird. All he ever did, all he ever said was snark. He constantly insulted and talked rot about the other Robin, he didn't open to anyone in the team. I think it's awful that he's been killed but… I can't really mourn him. I can't mourn someone I've never really known and who was nothing but tart to everybody, and I get the impression that I'm a horrible person."

He shudders and sighs. "Because… because instead of thinking about him being dead, I'm starting to think about, you know, what if you are next. Or the other Robin, or…" He grows very quiet.

"Or Gar. Robin's dead and I can't mourn him, but I spend nights not being able to sleep because I'm afraid that…" he trails off.

Zee listens to Keith speak in silence, a look of compassion and understanding crossing her face. Nodding slowly she gives a small, what she hopes is reassuring smile "If it's any consolation, I know exactly how you feel." she sighs "I can't remember if I ever got to meet him, and I don't think I can mourn the actual person… but I am afraid, and for the same reasons you are" Her cereal bowl is on the table, the cereals become a soggy mess.

The young man exhales, "I'm sorry, it's a crappy way to welcome you back… but now that you're back, maybe you can help. I called on Constantine about maybe helping us, warding the castle against mirror magic. He wanted… something of value from Bunker and I. A treasured memory, that sort of thing. I was going to wait to talk to Gar about it first, though I know what he'd say. He hates the man. ANd between us, I can't blame him."

"The treasured memory was the payment for the ward?" Zee clarifies and looks thoughtful. "Mirror magic, is pretty powerful stuff… but warding against it should be possible…. " Looking at the now gluggy mess of cereal in the bowl, she looks a little mournful before looking back up at Keith, "I can certainly look into it." Gazing off into the distance, Zee appears to be thinking "What do you know of this woman and how the mirror thing works for her?"

Her name is Veruca, that is as much as I know about her personally. Some searches online showed that she's wanted internationally for assorted crimes. Murder being the top one. I don't know how her powers work, I only know that she can create duplicates of herself using mirrors and reflections. The duplicates are apparently made of glass, but they look exactly like her. And she can teleport in and out of reflections, that's how she killed Robin. Stabbed him through the back." Keith says, making a face. The cowardice of the woman is disgusting to him. Sure, he susprises enemies from behind very often. But he doesn't kill them.

Zee nods at Keiths explanation "Well, she sounds like a lovely sort" the young woman looks grim "I'll take a look and see what I can come up with, if you like… We might still need Constantines help." Shrugging, she peers at Keith "Won't know till I take a look though"

"Let's… not talk of him right now. I'm sure his name sours wine into vinegar." The redhead smirks. "I'm sorry you're back and all you get is woe woe woe. How did your tour go? I want to hear all about it!"

Zee smirks back at Keith "I'm sure." Stretching, the raven haired woman brightens visibly "The tour was amazing Keith! So many places, so many people, so much Magic!"

Keith leans forward, listening, "And Zack? I notice he didn't come back… did he decide to do that extended tour like he decided? Did you guys get good press? Tell! Tell!"

Nodding happily, Zee stands and pacing she gestures expansively "Yeah, Zack's extended the tour… I felt it was time to come home…" she pauses there "home… this is home Keith!" the young woman looks at the red head and grins! "The press absolutely loved us…. but then again" she strikes a dramatic pose, which would look far better if she was in stage clothes and not track pants and t-shirt "Why wouldn't they?"

"That's because you're ~fabulous~" Keith says, doing the Doug Henning hands, grinning. "I still don't know how you do it, going in front of all those people and performing. I'd choke up. I mean… I dunno. I run around town in spandex and fight people, sometimes in front of cameras… but that's different, you know?"

Zatanna laughs at Keiths impersonation and then looks perplexed "It's not so different… you're performing you know, but in a far more hostile environment than I do… People pay to see me perform… "

"See, that would be nice. While you were gone, I got punched by an uber-werewolf and broke a few ribs. I had to call in to job and tell them I needed time off to recover… well. They let me know they wouldn't be needing me for a while, what with having to take time off because of dying due to the Druids, and then the ribs. I totally understand why they don't want an unreliable bouncer… but," he shrugs, "I need to find some way to make a living. Maybe Booster Gold has the right idea, you know?"

Sitting back down, Zee looks at Keith and shrugs "I dunno… whilst it has it's benefits, it also has it's issues. Imagine what happens the first time Booster does something his ''sponsors'' don't agree with… what happens then?"

"He finds better sponsors?" Keith grins. "I mean, it's a thing, right? besides, I might discuss it with you and Gar… with his acting background and your showbiz experience, I'm sure you know your share of agents who aren't scumbags. Or… aren't total scumbags. Mostly. Ideally?"

He looks from left to right, to make sure Gar hasn't come in through the door yet. "Are you planning to stay here through christmas?"

"Mmmm, sometimes you get better sponsors and sometimes…." Zee flourishes her hands in a 'disappearing' gesture "poof… everything dries up. But happy to discuss it with you, I'm sure we can come up with something." The young woman looks thoughtful at the question "Yeah, I think so… the family's pretty scattered at the moment, if you guys are going to be around it would be nice to be with others… why?"

Keith gets a somewhat mischievous grin on his face. "I've got a surprise planned for him." He leans forward to speak to Zee, still looking around the courtyard to make sure Gar hasn't come home yet. That cereal bowl is now a soggy mess, alas. But Keith will cook her something up to make up for the brave flakes that fell in the line of duty. "… I got him something that belonged to his stepmother, the actress? A necklace. Oh god, you won't believe all the stuff Kate and I had to go through to get it. There were mobsters, a fire, a mafia hit…" he shakes his head, lighting up as he relives the memories and the thrill of that adventure.

GAME: Vorpal has set the pose order to Keef/Zatarf/Garf

Zee grins conspiratorially at Keith "Really," she too glances around "a necklace that belonged to his stepmother! Then I'll definitely be here!" As she listens to Keith regailing her of his adventures, the young woman stretches and looks extremely happy to be back in the Castle…

A wild Changeling appears! Specifically, a little green sparrow (not a Robin, because that'd be tasteless and morbid) flies into the courtyard, when there are no sparrows currently around because they've moved somewhat further south. And it proves it's not a sparrow, nor a robin, when it turns into a green-skinned young man in a purple and white form-fitting outfit that could just be someone's idea of street-wear if they weren't green. He walks up to the kitchen door and enters that way.

"Zee! You're back! How were the wilds of outer Canadia?"

Or at least that's what the tour promoter had claimed on the website.

Keith lights up when Garfield arrives- he also SHUTS UP immediately in the middle of recounting his adventures with Kate, and instead says "Hon! How was your day?"

He gets up to greet Gar, giving him a tight hug and a kiss. The hug's a little tighter than usual. "We've got Zee back, magic is afoot in the castle again. Afoot. A arm, and all that stuff."

That tears it, Zee is definitely happy to be home in the Castle. Bouncing to her feet, she smiles brightly "Gar!" and moving to the hugging couple, she simply joins in! "Canada" she corrects "was totally awesome… I was just telling Keith all about it!" she sobers a little "Keith told me about Robin and the current trouble, but I'm going to help…"

"Yes, and not a moment too soon," Gar says. "Wait, unless Keef hired that elf-touched girl to be the cleaning staff."

He looks a bit solemn at the mention of Angry Bird. That's going to be messing up any plans for holiday sanity point restoration. Maybe the Mouse Castle isn't really the best place for that anyway. Speaking of sanity points, Gar remembers something.

"Hey Keith? I have a friend in New York I'd like you to talk with. She's a grief counselor, totally trustworthy. She worked in San D when I was in school there, helped me deal with some stuff about Mom."

He puts a business card on the table. "No pressure, but I think it'll help. I talked to her for a while after classes today. Also, my last classes to teach are tomorrow and Thursday, finals in two weeks. Unless they demand my help next year."

The green guy returns the hug because hugs are always good, and then he goes to the kitchen because there needs to be fresh fruit salad and the food coop delivery was earlier.

LOG NOTE: On the table -> Into Keith's pocket.

"Oh crap! Gar, you have to call Jay and finalize the contract. I'm sorry, I should have remembered but I forgot because of—"

Keith pauses, listening to Gar. Of course, Gar would have noticed that something was up with him. He gives Zatanna 'the eye' that says 'let's go in', and follows Gar into the kitchen, taking the card.

"… If you think this will help, hon," Keith says quietly, looking down at his card. And then he looks up, a thought coming to his mind. "… but you've got to promise me you'll be here when I come back. Don't… don't go hunting for her alone. Don't let her…"

Okay. There it is, the fear in his voice. He tries to hide it, but it's transparent when it comes out like that.

Zee links her arm through Keiths as they walk in… "It'll be o.k, Keith" she murmurs "Gar's smart… he won't do anything silly." Looking between Gar and Keith, she frowns a little "Will you Gar?" she says a little louder.

Looking at the card in Keiths hand, she nods at it… "It's a good idea though Keith, sometimes… talking to someone helps a lot… someone who isn't us, that is."

"Far as we know, she doesn't even have us on her radar. That was all due to the Egypt thing that he signed up to do behind our backs. Anyway you need to remember, I'm really hard to kill. I've survived worse than having a sword stuck through me, even without shapeshifting," Gar says. "And I have no intention of going after her alone. Been there, done that, remember?"

He goes through the kitchen looking for ingredients - bowl to mix in, check, cherries frozen in cherry brandy, frozen blueberries, late sweet crisp apples, some tangerines. Oh yeah, and a honey-flavored greek yogurt. Cinnamon. Maybe a bit of thin-sliced candied ginger? Yeah.

"So, did you pick up the synthesizer set yet?"

"Yeah, they're in the library. I'll work with them tonight…" Keith looks at Zatanna. "Because this woman can create doubles out of herself and they are made of glass… I figured that if I can create a sound at the right resonant frequency, loud enough… so I'll be working with a sine-wave generator to get the hold of how the signs go."

He looks down at the card, and then up at Gar as he whirlwinds through the kitchen. "… okay. I'll go. This week if you want, even. As long as you promise." Zatanna and Gar were right about this sort of thing. There was something he just couldn't get over- the fear of death. Namely, of people about whom he cared. "… you probably figured it all out back when Robin got hospitalized by the Joker and I went after him, huh?" he asks Gar softly. Gar noticed things, even when others didn't know he was noticing them.

Zatanna stops moving, if her arm is still linked through Keiths she'll drag him to a stop too. "Robin got what?" her tone is very sharp and full of shock… "I go away for a few weeks and … the world looks like it's falling apart!"

"He was still on his 'must be the BAT!' kick, you know, that was all his attempt to prove himself a better Robin than Angry Bird. Well, it didn't do much good for either of them, trying to be the Bat." Green hands get washed for food-prep, as Gar chats on.

"Yeah. I also figured you'd be recruiting help, like talking to Midnighter and that self-inflated Magus." Gar is referring to Constantine, someone he is forced to be grateful to for his help getting Keith back from the brink of death, but the man still hasn't made up for other things. Not completely.

The fruit salad goes together quickly enough, only a fast rinse and dry for the blueberries, some dicing and coring for the apples, an aggressive dash of cinnamon and a less aggressive shot of turmeric because, and then the yogurt to bind it. The mix is quickly dished into some parfait glasses, with three small dishes to try now while those go into the fridge to meld flavors.

"…" It's not a good thing for redheads to blush. SO much red, all over the place. This Keith does now, "Should I just stop talking forever and let you guess everything I do?" he says to Gar. Not angrily, he's just stating the fact that his boyfriend knows him to a tee. Better than he knows himself.

"I… did talk to Midnighter. And Constantine. He said he could ward the castle in exchange for a precious memory and…" his voice grows quieter at that, and then looks at Zatanna. "Yyyeah… Rob got beat up pretty bad. And then I went after the Joker. People weren't happy."

Oracle must have gotten a new ulcer, Miguel stared at him with those saucer-sized eyes he got when he was shocked, and he had caused Gar to cry when he thought he'd gotten blown up with the industrial yard. The glory of bagging the Joker sort of didn't make up for the amount of pain his thoughtlessness caused.

But he's learned. He didn't go after Veruca by himself.

Zee looks between Gar and Keith "And…" the raven haired woman crosses her arms and taps her foot "How is Robin now? Neither of you have said…" then she blinks and the foot tap becomes more pronounced as she looks at Keith "On your own… yeah, lucky I wasn't here… " the fruit salad mix gets an interested look but the severe look between the two men continues.

"Do not give anything of your self in any trade with John Constantine. Ask the Cait Sith about what it means to do that," Gar says. Green Animal Changing Man had reason to investigate, and the general consensus (slander? Probably) was that the Brit Who Would Be Merlin On The Cheap was in hock for his own soul, and he'd pay off the interest with bits of other peoples' souls. If it wasn't true, it probably would be.

"Robin's been recovering well, but he's also been hard to contact. I think he's probably being herded by someone competent." Alfred, most likely.

"Yeah, I already spanked him for that," Gar says. "He tried to sneak in and pretend nothing had happened. But he's all better now."

Keith doesn't add anything to that, getting busy instead by grabbing a glass of water. Yeah. Water is good. Fire bad. He looks at Gar out of the corner of his eye, with a slight smile on his lips. His mind goes to the necklace mentioned to Zatanna earlier.

~I'll make it up to you. I can't wait to see the look on your face…~

It was a good thing Gar was good at reading people, not actually reading minds. "Zee, we've got prune juice, would you like some?"

Smirking a little at the spanking comment, Zee wisely maintains her silence. It's Gars response to Constantine that has her interested… but then Keith offers prune juice and she smiles "Yes please… sounds great."

Gar offers the small bowls to the others, with spoons even. Prune juice will probably go well.

"I need to train and shower before dinner, folks. I'm heading for the gym — you should check out what we've done with the gym downstairs, Zee. It's kinda awesome even if I do have to brag about it myself."

Gar takes a packet from the fridge - a small baggie containing a bit of raw meat mixed with cheese.

"Also if I don't feed Leggy his snack, he makes whimpering noises," Gar grins. Leggy being the weird fourth-dimensional predatory thing that they rescued before the Tower was taken down. Every team needs a mascot, right?

"Oh… right, the gym. I guess that now that I'm not injured I should probably join in." Keith gives Gar a grin. "Zee, why don't you join us? Maybe conjure up some crazy 80's exercise clothes? I've always wanted to do Maniac." He puts the card in his pocket, "I'll set the plane reservations after the workout." he reassures Gar.

Accepting the fruit salad plate, Zee gobbles it down hungrily… "Gym… well that's a good step forward" she laughs "Got to keep in shape if I'm on stage! Lead the way, but there's no way I'm conjuring 80's style clothing… It's so good to be home!"

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