1087/Operation: Reach Out and Text Someone

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Operation: Reach Out and Text Someone
Date of Scene: 10 April 2020
Location: Fairchild's condo, Queens NYC
Synopsis: Gar finally visits Caitlin Fairchild, and reminds her of what the Titans meant to the survivors.
Cast of Characters: Caitlin Fairchild, Gar Logan

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
The Titans may have disbanded, but the band hadn't really broken up. Just drifted in different directions, looking for different things. New goals. Careers. Hobbies.


In truth some had run, some had walked. A few had stayed nearby but it was hard to get the old band back together casually; too many bittersweet memories and old traumas, looking for faces in the crowd that either wouldn't-- or couldn't-- be present.

But that didn't mean that Caitlin, at least, didn't still care for them all.

Her face hovers in the glass pane covering her oven. The redhead's eyes narrow and then she opens it carefully and reaches inside to pick up a tray of baked goods. The heat doesn't seem to bother her as she checks their scent, pokes one with a toothpick, and then puts them back in and sets the timer for five minutes longer.

Caitlin turns away and wipes her fingers on her baker's apron. It's suspiciously clean, but in the sense that it's frequently laundered rather than under-used. The heavy cotton looks a little threadbare in spots.

"Okay, food's ready, got drinks, desserts almost done..."

She brightens at the sound of the door buzzer ringing, and steps over to admit her visitor with a beaming smile fixed in place.

Gar Logan has posed:
Operation: Reach Out And Text Someone had commenced.

One would have thought Gar Logan, otherwise known as Beast Boy, would have got in touch with Caitlin Fairchild, otherwise known as Caitlin Fairchild, sooner. Sometimes, life has a tendency to get in the way. There was a lot going on with trying to reconnect with people and see if there was anything to attempt with getting the Titans up and running again, and there had actually been some progress there!

But, Gar had not spoken to or met with everyone yet. There had been interruptions, distractions, but after realizing he had some peace and quiet to do something with, he'd sent that text. One thing led to another, in this case him ringing the bell, and as it opens there he is, the same green teenager from over a couple years ago, if a little older now, but still possessing those impish, boyish looks, dressed down in a casual manner.

At first he hesitates, as though he might be expecting someone else there, or thinking he'd got the address wrong, but the one in the doorway can only be one person. "Cait..!"

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin flashes a megawatt grin at Gar, clearly thrilled to see him. She does indeed fill the door, built on a scale with Asgardians and small passenger cars. She stoops to offer the (much shorter) Garfrield a warm and welcome hug.

"Oh my gosh, Gar, I'm so glad to see you! It's been ages!" she declares. "You look great," she declares, and clears the doorway so he can come inside with the beckoning wave.

"You're right on time, too, dinner's all ready," she tells him. "I figure being a big Hollywood star now, you probably haven't had a good home-cooked meal in a while."

There's quite a spread laid out. A large salad, lasagna to feed a family of five, fresh-cooked homemade garlic bread... and a familiar-smelling recipe for homemade brownies in the oven.

"C'mon in and get comfy," she invites, and gestures at the stools around the kitchen's center island. The condo looks like it's been recently remodelled, with clean lines, new appliances and little wear-and-tear. The furniture looks new but there are decorations and pictures around the apartment that are definitely familiar to Gar from their time in the Titans.

"I thought you might like something hearty, so I made a bit of everything. Tried to remember what you used to like." She flashes a dimpled smile. "Can I get you a drink?"

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan could be forgiven for forgetting just how tall Caitlin is. And, well, how built she is, too. He quickly corrects the level of his eyes to find her face before he blushes, and he slips into the embrace readily. It's almost like engulfing him in it, even with him 'only' a little more than half a foot shorter.

"I missed you! I'm totally sorry I didn't do this sooner. I thought I had everyone when I tried sending something out a few weeks ago, but maybe I didn't and a lot has been going on," he says, a few of the words muffled before the hug is finished.

Looking around at what he can see, he whistles low under his breath. "You have moved up in the world. This is really cool." Titans Tower is well-stocked with all the amenities, then and now, but a personal condo like this seems to impress him, even as someone who has lived in even fancier places before through those he was under the guardianship of.

There's a short laugh. "You said 'big Hollywood star.' That's a good one." He knows he's only got marginal fame, but there is the fact he is 'out' in the sense of being an actor who's also a metahuman. "Everything smells great, too. It looks like you made enough for the whole, ah, group." He's wandering on his way to the kitchen island, attention everywhere.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
"Oh gosh, thanks," Caitlin says, and pinks modestly at the praise. "My brother helped me get it after I got the job at Stark Engineering. It's uh, I mean--" she gestures vaguely. "It was one of the last buildings to get repaired after the Frost Giant invasion. So my brother got it for cheap and sold me the unit. I'm not sure I could afford to have it without a roommate otherwise," she explains. "But it's kind of nice having a place to myself."

The apartment does seem to be decorated around the kitchen area. It's clearly where Caitlin spends the majority of her time while at home. An open-concept room and floor-to-ceiling windows admit a lot of natural light even late in the evening and put on spectacular views of the city.

"And don't worry about how long it took to get together!" she admonishes him. "You're here, now. I figured you'd have an appetite, so I made some extra over what I'd have for dinner," Caitlin clarifies. "If you wanna take leftovers home after, I'll box you some up."

She sets out plates and serving spoons so Gar can ladle his own meal up to his preferences; there's milk, juice, and soda on the counter, and she inquires with a pointed finger which he'd like.

"So who all have you seen since you've been back?"

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan is also taking note of some of the old stuff that could have been seen around the Tower before everything that happened. It's not something he goes into any conversation about, not yet. Just settling in and getting to the food would be a good start to more.

"Whatever it took to get, it's a cool place. You must be happy with it," he says, hopping into the spot offered for him. "All that alone must cost a small fortune," the green teen adds, gesturing toward the window view. "Still, there have been a few things actually happening and you were one of the first people there and I feel a little bad about waiting on this. I /did/ fly over and feel like I could eat about half of this right now." The appetite hasn't suffered.

After making a show of not seeming sure of what he wants to drink, he settles for pointing at the soda in the end. "Ahh, well, it kind of started with Nightwing and I seeing Raven was still at the Tower, and that didn't go very well. I think I got through to her a little a little while ago, because she's not really haunting the place now. But Starfire came by and I think she's interested in returning, and there are a few new people around too."

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
"I talked to him a little while back. Nightwing," Caitlin amends. She finds her own stool and perches on it across from Gar. She looks comfortable in grey leggings and a pink, well-loved Columbia U hoodie. "I haven't seen much of the others. I mean, as a group," she clarifies. "I keep thinking it'd be nice to..."

Caitlin trails off and elects to take a few bites of her food instead. "Anyway. How's, um... Raven doing?" she says, delicately. Caitlin always tiptoes around mentions of the terrifying gothling. She's seen Raven do scary things. "Is she holding up all right? I worry about her up in the tower alone. I've sent cookies once or twice, but I doubt she appreciated it. I haven't seen her since moving day."

Gar Logan has posed:
"I think he's probably had some stuff of his own going on," Gar says of Nightwing, leaving it at that as he rubs the back of his neck for a few seconds. "..yeah, I know what you mean," he remarks, regarding her unfinished thought. Seems as good a time as any to start getting food onto a plate or two.

Then, he hesitates. "Cait, I don't think she really left the Tower the whole time after we all went our own ways. She was in a really dangerous place up here," he says, tapping the side of his head. "I'm not sure she thinks trying to start things back up somehow is a good idea at all, but I feel like I coaxed her into giving it a try. Maybe. I still don't see her very often." It's an uncomfortable topic, clearly.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin pauses, mid bite, then hesitates and sets the laden fork down. "Raven's never been the most social of critters," she reminds Gar, quietly. "She never liked me much, anyway. You and Nightwing were really the only ones who could talk to her. You most of all," she reminds him.

Caitlin glances down at her meal then starts eating again, mechanically and without much enthusiasm. "I wish I could help her, but I don't know how," she admits. "I got that psychology minor with her in mind, even. All I learned is that she needs some major therapy. She's always felt like relying on other people was weakness. Some days I never understood why she stayed with the Titans at all. Or why she chose to remain there. I've been by the Tower a time or two, just... looking after the place. It looks abandoned. I imagine she likes it that way, but it's hard to feel any pride for the place anymore. Not if the only person who lives there is... I don't know. Haunting a ... a headstone," she says, lamely.

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan doesn't seem to have a whole lot to say about the situation other than, "I think she felt like the rest of us left and abandoned her, and it's sort of hard not to see it that way. I ran away and tried to hide behind acting, like I thought that was going to make everything better, but it didn't." He can't speak for what others did in order to try to cope with what happened.

"But I got to a point where I knew I had to come back and try to deal with all of it. I've been starting to. I feel like I'm mostly ready to try again. There are people that need help with who they are, or need a group that understands them. I think there's still a place for the Titans." He, at least, has enough of an appetite for food that he'll be leaving an empty plate before long. "But, man, I was there with Colette and Terry," one name she may know, one she may not, "and I felt like she was this close to just ending all of us right there. All I could do was apologize for leaving her, and she kind of backed down instead of trying to keep everyone out."

He's avoiding direct eye contact, as if he doesn't want to let Caitlin see how difficult that was through his expression.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
There's a little silence then, as they both mull that over, and then Caitlin reaches over with the knuckles of her empty left hand resting on the counter. Offering Gar a hand to hold, briefly, and a firmly reassuring squeeze.

"That was brave of you," she says gently. "You were always brave, Gar. That hasn't changed. I'm just embarassed that you were the first one of us to really have the guts to go back there."

Caitlin relaxes back to her seat and examines her food, then looks up at Gar curiously. "So-- Colette." Her eyes widen slightly. "Colette O'Connail?" Caitlin says, looking surprised. "What on Earth-- is she a meta?" Caitlin says, her head ducking slightly in disbelief. "Holy smokes. She's one of my TAs at Happy Harbor," the redhead says. She looks thunderstruck by that notion. "She was the one who told me I should get a hold of you."

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan's hand is accepted, returning a gentle squeeze that may come off as weak or half-hearted before he repeats it with more to it a second time.

"I just tried to trust that she'd get some control back, and I guess a part of me figured if that was the end for me, I'd rather go out trying to help someone I cared about." There is a reason he was and may still be considered the 'heart' of the Titans. "I still think some things are going to take time, but there's been some good stuff so far."

However, he pauses mid-bite after a moment as Colette's identity is confirmed and a question is asked. He quickly answers, "Ahh..she just has this strong interest in the Titans existing again. She's trying to push some things that way." And it's been working. He does /not/ confirm or deny the meta question. "I met her through Terry, who's an intern for Lois Lane. Colette also saw one of the people I was telling you about that's staying at the Tower now, the one from, ah, space."

While he may be a decent actor, it isn't as though his answers here have been completely normal. He seemed to rush through the explanation of who Terry was, too. What for?

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin blinks. Then again. Surprise is write large on her earnest features. "Someone's /living/ at the Tower?" Caitlin repeats. "I thought Raven was going to like... zap any trespassers away. When we left," she reminds Gar. "No one was welcome there anymore."

Caitlin considers her meal, then presses her lips into a thin line and *pushes her food away* so she can focus on Gar.

It's that serious.

"Garfield," Caitlin begins, with all the looming presence of an irate mother at an Iowa Sunday school. "You're not telling me something. Someone's living at the Tower? You're bringing strangers there? You're talking to Raven-- and I haven't talked to you in... months, at least. Then you pop up in New York all of a sudden and you're visiting all the old gang."

"Why did you really come back here?" she asks, with a worried suspicion in her voice.

Gar Logan has posed:
"I told you," Gar tries to handwave some of it away. "Raven kind of..backed down. I told her she could do whatever she wanted to us but I wasn't going to run away this time, and she was being all big and scary and I mean /really/ scary and threatening, but for a second or two she let me close enough to hug her before she took off back to her room. I've been staying there again when I haven't been at Terry's place and the guy I'm talking about is named Kian and he's from some other world, like bird-people, and you should have seen how happy he was when I made myself look like one of his people and flew with him. I wasn't even sure I could do that, but it worked."

He takes a short breath, now that Caitlin is staring directly at him. He ducks his eyes, then looks back up toward her. "I tried to be a hero out in Hollywood when someone needed help, but after I got back here I was afraid to even act when there was trouble going on, because I kept thinking back to Doomsday and Dove and Kole and..and it was killing me inside. I'm not just saying that. I felt like a part of me was dying and I was afraid I'd never have anyone around me again that I could really trust to have my back and I'd have theirs, and we could laugh with each other and just be silly and stupid and know it was okay. Cait, the world needs the Titans. /I/ need the Titans."

He's baring a deeper part of him to Caitlin, maybe deeper than she's ever seen from him before.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin falls back at Gar's words and sits heavily. A long, heavy silence sits, and then she gets to her feet. No great hurry or rush; Caitlin steps away from the kitchen with her usual heavy tread and goes to a wall of framed pictures. Shyness aside, the redhead is photogenic enough and many of the photos are framed selfies of herself with a myriad of costumed heroes. She picks up one and examines it, then hugs it against her chest and walks back to Gar.

"I tried to run away from it," Caitlin admits, sharing her story as well. "I tried to tell myself 'You're just gonna go see Donna', that I was just there to help her get through it." Donna had been absent from the grand melee; posted as guard on Themyscira, a secret kept even from many of the Titans.

The photo is one of the last ones taken of the Titans. One of their press conferences, a little over two years previously. All of them are there. The first picture snapped was a formal one, each in posture and pose; the second, in Caitlin's hand is the goofy version, with everyone laughing and clowning with one another. Including the deceased Titans.

"Then I came back and it wasn't better, so I ran away to college again. And then it still wasn't better, so I got a job, and it's still not better."

Caitlin rubs her arms as if cold. "I've talked about it with my therapist a lot. She says it's PTSD. But it's ... I'm not scared, Gar," she confesses, quietly. Embarassed.

"I'm ashamed. Me 'n Nightwing, we ... I mean I know Nightwing was the guy in charge. I was the one who was supposed to help make everyone feel better, and help y'all get through it, and I broke down just like everyone else did."

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan picks at his food a little more now, but he does not stop eating. Maybe that's a testament to the cooking, or his appetite, or him already having dealt with a lot of what he's laying out for her. It's clear to see he's gone through his own form of PTSD, and it's not fully gone yet, but there has been some coping. There have been things that have started putting him back in a better place.

He looks toward the photo selected, if she is revealing it to him at some point, and he rubs this time at one of his pointed ears. "We all ran away from it, because we didn't know how to deal with it. I was sixteen or whatever, then. We thought we could handle anything. You didn't know. Nightwing didn't know. None of us knew until it was too late. And.." He brings his hands together, then spreads them apart to simulate an explosion or, more accurately, a spreading apart of everyone. "And I ran away to Hollywood and tried to dive into my acting, and it was fine but at the same time it wasn't because I wasn't dealing with it. I was just trying to pretend it didn't happen, and that built and got worse and that's when I finally knew I had to come back and try to start over."

Clearing his throat, he reveals, "I'm done running away from what happened, and I'm starting to feel better. Some of us still need to heal."

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin reaches out with one arm, then both, and hugs Gar with a reassuring, sisterly embrace. She can't make it all right with one gesture, but as far as hugs go, it's a good one. Caitlin can't do much to fix her own problems; in fact that's probably part of her issue. Surgeon, heal thyself, is not something the statuesque redhead can really process.

But for her friends? Caitlin would do anything for them. And though no question was asked, it's clear she's reading Gar's words as a cry for help.

So a hug, for starters.

"Okay." She breaks from Gar. "Then I guess it's time for me to get off my duff and get back to work," she tells him, and breaks with a gentle squeeze to his tricep. "First things first-- finish dinner. Then, I need to find that recipe for eclaires," she remarks, moving back to her plate. Caitlin starts eating with a purpose now, as fast as manners permit. "Then I'm gonna bake a batch, wait until the moon's up, and go see Raven. Rip the bandaid off, so to speak," she tells Gar.

"And if she doesn't banish me to Hell, then... well, I guess I'm gonna take that as a sign, and fire up the communicators again."

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan has always been quick with offering a hug, just as quick to accept one, but at a time like this where that kind of physical and emotional support is even more important, he slips back into it in no time. She can feel his body shift like he /wants/ to have a good cry, but he's holding that inside right now, seeking to present a stronger exterior front.

"Thanks. I..look. I need to be there to try to help. It makes me feel like I'm making a difference, and I think we all need something like that right now." The words are partly muffled given their positions. "And I dunno about ripping a bandaid off as a way of trying to get through more to Raven, but what's the worst that could...no, no, I'm not gonna finish that question." He quiets for a few seconds, then says, "I'm thinking I should be there for that, but..we can make things work again. I know it."