1402/Eye of The Cheshire

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Eye of The Cheshire
Date of Scene: 27 April 2020
Location: Gymnasium - Titan's Tower
Synopsis: What happens when a cat falls? Does pride hurt more than bruises?
Cast of Characters: Terry O'Neil, Gar Logan

Terry O'Neil has posed:
The Cheshire cat leans against one of the poles holding up one of the aerial equipment rigs. He's in his usual workout clothes- tank top and shorts. He has done his stretches and warm-ups. It has been a difficult weekend, he has been working overtime at the Planet to get some deadlines just under the door, so he has not been around much. At the moment, he is looking at his phone, aware that Gar must be on his way, and sending a text in reply to his mother.

<<Sure, I can drop by for lunch tomorrow! See if April wants to drop by?>> because his mother hasn't found out about cousin April's room-mate. It should prove to be... interesting.

Gar Logan has posed:
When Gar makes his grand entrance, it's not as himself but rather...as a mouse.

Is it a test of Terry's feline side? Just Gar being Gar? It might not even be obvious yet as the little guy skitters in amidst some of the exercise machines, going around them, over a weight or two, and so on before reaching the the edge of the area.

He gets up on his hind legs, the little 'hands' in that cute but begging position, as if asking for cheese or some other delicacy.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
The Cheshire puts his phone aside and glances around the room for a few seconds, noticing Gar is not here yet- and then his nose twitches, followed soon after by his ears. There's something... somewhere...

Green eyes quickly dart down, and then he jumps back a little, startled at finding something that he hadn't accounted for before. His claws are out in a second and then-

He stops. "Garfield!" he says in reproach, brows furrowed, "Don't you dare sneak up like that on me!"

Gar Logan has posed:
In the time it takes for those claws to make an appearance, the Garmouse is behind a few weights again, not even needing to crouch behind it.

"Well, at least we know your cat senses aren't bad, even if it took you a while to notice me. Are you actually..afraid of mice?" he asks after making his observation, hopping up onto the weights afterward now that he's more certain he's safe.

"And just to be sure," Gar adds, "you're not having any 'eat me' instincts right now, are you? Because that would be kinda bad for me."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry narrows his eyes, "I was started. Nothing more. Rest assured I have no pressing urge to eat you." He grabs his water bottle and takes a long swig from it, looking back down at Gar after that. "I am not afraid of mice. I am, however, startled by green ankle sharks that weren't there a second ago, thank you very much." He pushes away fom the machines and turns to face Gar, arms crossed over his chest.

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan goes from mouse to cat, making a batting motion with a paw. "Whoa, claws are still out!" But then, cat becomes Gar just after hopping onto one of the benches, and he wraps his arms around both legs, drawn in toward his chest. "Sorry, you seem a little, uh..well." Fumbling over a few of the words, he eyes the rest of the gym for a few seconds before finding Vorpal's again. "Are you all right?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
His fur /had/ puffed out. Terry looks down at his chest and arms, and hastily smooths out the salmon-and-red fur. "Sorry," he mutters, and then he looks at Gar, and some of his dander seems to be deflated. Claws out? They get sheathed, figuratively and literally. The cat takes a few tentative steps towards the bench and stops a few feet short from getting there.

"I guess I'm not, and it's really just my fault."

He finds a nearby bench to sit at, facing Gar. "I'm sorry, I got testy..."

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan doesn't move, even after watching the way Vorpal settles down some of that fur, the claws, and everything else.

"What's your fault?" he asks, signs of confusion in the question and his expression, leaving his head tilting just so. "If you want to talk about anything, I'm here for you."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry frowns, and then he lets out a quiet sigh. "I thought-- I expected something, but I obviously misread some things and I read too much into others." He starts putting on his fingerless gloves, slowly. "Sort of made a fool of myself."

Gloves in place, the Cheshire rises. He's already wrapped his feet in athletic tape, lacking adequate footwear due to the claws. "In any case, you wanted to see what I can do."

Gar Logan has posed:
That confusion lingers. "I'm gonna need you to be a little more specific. You know I'm not the brightest bulb sometimes. Did I do something?" Gar's holding steady with his position, even if Vorpal is already gearing up further for a workout. "Because when things are like this I start to think I missed something I should have seen or known."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry frowns for a second, and then he sits back down. "I think I'm the one who's missed something. Gar... I'm going to ask you a question, and it's probably going to be embarrassing."

To prepare himself, he takes a sip from his bottle, and after he has drank a bit, he wies his muzzle and says, "Are you... embarrassed of me? Embarrassed that you... spent the night with me? That one time?"

"Would you rather pretend it never happened?" His green eyes search in the green Titan's for a reaction.

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan's brows scrunch together and he gets up from the bench to pace in the direction of the gymnastics floor. "Dude, if I felt like that, don't you think I would have left or stopped talking to you and stuff?" There's a look toward the feline that suggests some level of disbelief at the question. "Of course it happened and, you know, we enjoyed it. You sure seemed to, didn't you?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Of course I did," the feline Titan answers, a little defensively, "That's... that's not what I mean. Nevermind," he shakes his head and stands up himself, "I think I was under the impression that... that it meant more." He stops and looks awkwardly down at his feet. Then he looks up, an straightens himself. "I'm sorry. I'm being a fool. I had these grand ideas..." he shakes his head and starts padding towards the gymnastic rings, "So..."

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan rubs the top of his head. "That didn't come out right," he attempts to explain, turning back toward the cat afterward. "I mean..of course it meant a lot. I like you, dude. At first I didn't know what to think because I've never really had a fanboy, but I started getting to know you and yeah, you're a dork, but you're funny and you have some interesting stuff going on too, and I didn't want to see you get hurt by whatever you were trying to chase after. And now, look at everything here. It's kind of been overwhelming, so let's take things a day at a time, all right? But I want you here as part of everything."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Fair," Terry says, quietly. He frowns one last time, thinking to himself as he walks over to the rings. In a few heartbeats' worth of silence, he seems to reach a decision and it is almost as if a physical change takes place in him. As he grasps the rings, his facial expression is not dubitative but calm and collected, almost sphynx-like, his spine is straight and chest expanded.

"Well, you wanted to experiment and see what it is I can do, so I think you should get your money's worth. How exactly does this work?" he says, his tone casual, "I've never done anything remotely like this."

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan watches curiously, taking note of Terry's expression and how his body language shifts. "I also want you as part of my life, but how are we supposed to do that when I don't even know what your codename is all about? I mean, I've seen Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but you're a cat, not a vicious little bunny."

Sudden Halloween costume idea? Check.

Now he meanders closer for a look at what Terry can do. "What, you mean the rings? You do all that parkour, though."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"You wouldn't get it from context- most of you earth people took the term and made it into something it was not. In Wonderland, Vorpal is a word that means 'someone or something that will play an important but unexpected role in the narrative.' Over here, they seem to think it means something like sharp or deadly." Terry's tone is pretty didactic, as if he were lecturing a class. Whatever personal emotions he had been displaying earlier are now replaced by Cheshire savoir faire. "Oh, so perhaps an obstacle course? I was trying the rings earlier and it seems I have some instinctive reflexes that make me very acrobatic. That raised running track would work, if it had obstacles." He looks up and frowns, "I wonder if there's a setting for that. You know this place better than I."

Gar Logan has posed:
"You're right. I wouldn't have got it," Gar remarks. "'Beast Boy' is so much more simple in comparison."

He finds he's not quite sure what Vorpal/Terry is feeling right now, having trouble reading his body language as talk shifts over toward the obstacle course. "Hmm, how much of a challenge do you want?" he wonders. The answer will dictacte the next steps.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Beast Boy is to the point. Unfortunately my nature forbids me such a benefit, so I make do with what is at hand." He starts heading towards the elevated track, his movements graceful and his body language relaxed, as if he had not been speaking about deeply personal things just a few instants ago. As he finishes ascending the steps to the raised platform, he says, "I have work in the morning, so how about a moderate challenge without leaving me unable to walk?"

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan quips, "We could call you Kid Cat, or Punchy, or Rosie, or..ooh, Raymond. He's a popular one right now," he says, reeling off a few of the Animal Crossing felines.

Moving closer to the track, he rubs his chin almost like a villain might when he's coming up with a dastardly plan. "I have just the thing, and it'll leave you...aww, I can't. I'll just give you something basic to start."

Clearing his throat, he calls out, "Marvin! Would you kindly run Program Obstacle Course 1.21?"

A male's voice registers, sounding like a certain martian character from popular media. "Proceeding, Beast Boy, and I might remind you, you are not Andrew Ryan."

Gar flashes Vorpal as innocent a look as he can. "What can I say? He knows his pop culture." The track begins to reshape, obstacles of varying height and design popping up at different intervals. Some require hurdling, vaulting over like a steeplechase, ducking through, climbing over, and so on.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
The Cheshire cat hmms and looks at the track. "Ok, this will require focus." He watches the course for a few seconds, and then reaches over and pulls on the drawstring to his shorts to make sure they are fastened tightly, and nods. "Alright. Time me."

The cat crouches down for one final stretch, takes a deep breath and focuses on the course ahead.

And then, he is off like a shot. At once, the difference between his reaction time as Terry and his time as Vorpal- while Terry is a competent parkourist, Vorpal almost looks like he handles the obstacles with little effort- flowing from a cat vault to a roll and ready to leap over and climb the higher obstacles. His beginning is quite excellent.

Gar Logan has posed:
"Marvin, begin timer on my mark," Gar says, following up with, "Mark!" as soon as Vorpal moves. Funny, given his middle name is also Mark. The course is stationary, no moving parts to contend with. Vorpal /did/ ask for something that wasn't too difficult.

While the cat is doing his thing, the shifter is studying this very closely. His speed, his agility, his reactions, the way he looks in that outfit...ahem.

On the wall, a clock ticks up the seconds.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal is quite adept at this, but it should be no surprise- an obstacle course for a cat is essentially an everyday route. At times, it's almost as if his feet and hands aren't being directly controlled so much as moving from instinct alone. His figure sails through the air like the man on the flying trapeze. At the very height of the steeple he pauses and, just purely to show off, does a handstand at the most precarious point, with an all-too confident grin on his face. "Piece of cake..."

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan muses to himself, "Definitely got more than just the looks," as he notes the rapid way Vorpal deals with what's in front of him. Big or small, needing a leap or a crouch, it doesn't seem to matter. At the handstand moment, he pinches his nose as if to describe it as bad, but it's really anything but. Vorpal might just be one of the most nimble of the Titans already, if not the most.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal smirks at Gar's gesture, and his eyes narrow ever so slightly. Goodness knows what inspires his decision- but he wants to visibly awe Gar, and his eyes immediately see the way he can do it. If he can swing out of the handstand with enough momentum, he could vault and somersault over the next set of obstacles, completely avoiding through sheer grace. Deciding that this is the perfect course of action to take, he lets his legs lead the momentum, letting his body follow in afterwards and using the momentum to carry him into the air.

It works like a charm. In a moment, he is sailing... wait. His heart suddenly stops for an instant as he realizes he has overshot his target... and misjudged the angle. In an instant, the Cheshire is flying over the edge of the raised track, and looks too surprised to think about engaging a Rabbit Hole-

Gar Logan has posed:
See what showing off or not paying attention gets you? Gar found out the other day when he went smack into the front of the Tower's windows. "Hey, look--!" He grimaces, momentarily fearing the worst. Too far away to go grab him in time, so it may be time for that old adage to be put to the test about cats always landing on their feet.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
It isn't a /perfect/ landing, as Terry was clearly too startled to start voluntarily. By the time his body starts twisting on its own, it's clear he's not going to land gracefully at all. His feet touch the ground, but it is at an unfavorable angle and so what should have been a solid landing on his feet propels him forward and *CLANG* right into some of the equipment. Fortunately the impact is not enough to dislodge some of the heavier equipment, so nothing comes crashing down on Vorpal, but he does stand up rubbing his head, the point of impact, and groaning.

"... so much for that..." he mutters, wincing.

Gar Logan has posed:
There's another grimace but from what Gar can tell, Vorpal doesn't look too worse for wear. "Ahh, yeah, that wasn't very graceful, but this is your first time on the course and I know you were just showing off for me. I thought it was kind of cute," he calls over.

Then he adds, "Clock's still going, though!"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Yeah... well," Vorpal mutters, "I think I'm going to call it a day and do a rain check." He is glad that the fur hides the fact that he is deeply, totally embarrassed. Fortunately his manner helps hide a good amount of that fact, "Marvin, rain check, please."

He grabs for his water and his phone, "Must've been the hit, but I just remembered Lois needs me to send her the final draft on the America interview so it can go live this week... but we'll do this again."

"I'll just head home and take a shower and get that done before going to bed. I'll be back tomorrow, or Tuesday at the latest if I need to stay over at the Planet."

The haste with which the Rabbit Hole opens is the only indicator that something is amiss, but it shouldn't be too hard to sniff out the scent of wounded pride. "I'll have my phone with me," he says, and hastily makes his departure, snapping the Rabbit Hole close behind him almost to the point of catching his tail.

On the other end, Terry O'Neil raises his hands to his face and stays still for what seems to him like a long while. Then, he sniffs and rubs at his eye for a second. "Right... shower."

He's about to find out if his shower drain can survive fur.

Gar Logan has posed:
"Okay, but you were doing really good and making it look easy, so..try not to get down about it, okay? You don't even want to know how bad my first time was," Gar offers, trying to look at the bright side before Vorpal makes his grand escape under the guise of needing to work and doing a few more things that are tied to his job.

Only after the feline is gone does he add, "Marvin, end Obstacle Course 1.21. Erase the time." However, his voice is a little on the flat side as he eyes the way back out as the track returns to normal, Marvin's voice confirming the request.

If he was thinking like a cat, he'd remember that whatever happens, they /always/ meant to do that. Instead, he shuffles out with his shoulders slumped slightly, asking himself, "What am I supposed to do?" Everything about this is still foreign to him, feeling what he does for someone else of the same sex as him. It's all uncharted, and there's no Nathan Drake to bail him out with a witty one-liner.