274/Feb 14 - Valentitans Day

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Feb 14 - Valentitans Day
Date of Scene: 04 March 2020
Location: Titan's Tower - Lobby
Synopsis: Gar and Dick approach Raven in the T Tower. They don't end up in the ocean. And Raven may end up with the crusts of pizzas past to deal with.
Cast of Characters: Rachel Roth, Gar Logan, Dick Grayson

Rachel Roth has posed:
    To say that the island, and associated tower, had taken on an eerie tune would be... Wholly accurate. Time has not reclaimed much- the density of the vegetation has increased in most places, and yet oddly, the tower itself remains untouched, despite that it is clearly untended. It's this juxtaposition of just -how- the land and its one major building are untouched that gives it that lingering, ominous aura.

    The tower itself is still pristine. The paint hasn't chipped. The stone hasn't cracked. There are no leaves smattering the ground as there perhaps rightly should be, by this point. Yet, still, there is noone. The loudest sound on the island is the noise of the waves on its shore, and the wind running through the trees. The windows of the tower are dark. On its doors, hangs a simple sign. "Keep Out."

    A lot of horror movies start this way.

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan never was that good at following directions. Besides, this was his home, once. For a couple years, anyway, before...bad things. Very, very bad things.

Things that were bad enough, he spent a good two years on the West Coast focusing on acting first. Heroing? Maybe not even second on the list. It was something he did when he had to for a while, such as when a mugging was taking place and it was the right thing to do, but he had not actively sought out the heroing limelight for a very long time.

The start of the new year left him thinking that maybe it was worth seeing about changing that. A couple years or so had gone by, and he hadn't really heard from anyone. Nor had he reached out to anyone as a whole. It was sort of one of those things where one person might have been waiting for another to initiate. Well, it was time to do the initiating. Packing up some belongings, while keeping things back in Los Angeles just in case, Gar flew back to Metropolis, back to where it all happened.

And, he stood before the doors to Titan's Tower, looking up the vertical walls, then back down at the sign, then around at all the vegetation. "Talk about your fixer upper..." he murmured, lips drawing to a thin line. "But it doesn't look that bad, except for the jungle outside. Sort of reminds me of when I was a kid."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick was here the first day the tower opened. Even before that, he was involved in the construction, making sure it would fit the needs not only of the team at the time, but for what he had assumed would be the next generation and beyond.

He had been an idealistic fool.

Dick was here on the last day the tower was open. His arm still in a sling, it would be months before his injuries from Doomsday would heal. That was only the physical injuries. Hank's punch hurt -- but what he said hurt more. He was responsible for Dove's death. And Kole's. And everyone they failed to protect.

This was the spot that he finally realized he'd have to stop having hopoe at.

As he steps off the boat he chartered for the trip, his feet set on the dock and he looks up at the glistening tower. "Rachel's been taking care of it. I assume Victor left the automation with her to handle. But the vegetation makes sense. She wants to be in there. But she doesn't want anyone else in. "Come on, Gar."

With that, he steps up to the door, and reaches for the control panel to enter his codes to unlock the door.

Rachel Roth has posed:
    The heroes were supposed to win. They were supposed to save the day, and they were supposed to do it without crossing lines. Nobody ever told any of them that there were so damned many. In the end, it isn't that crossing one line makes you irredeemable; Rather it's that once you take that first step, it is so very hard not to break into a full-on /sprint./

    Rachel's first step was Pride. She'd been so in control. After all, it was just a gray thing that was really strong. They've fought those before. They'd fought armies of those before. The Titans. The next generation. So much potential. So much hubris. When things turned, they turned gloriously.

    The rage came swiftly. It got Doomsday away from them, at least. But who can say how much of Raven had been boiled away in the process? Everything was red, in those little moments. Who was the monster then? Who was the monster now?

    Raven hasn't been seen in two years. Rachel Roth, just a few minutes longer.

    The doors open to Dick's codes. Whether Raven could erase them if she wanted to or not isn't clear. Beyond them is... An unnatural darkness. As if within the tower dwells no light, despite its many windows. When the two step in, there is a voice- it comes from all directions, and the two would recognize it swiftly.

    "Why are you here? You have homes. Go to them. Let the bones rest."

Gar Logan has posed:
"Must be nice, having an entire base all to yourself. Nobody to tell you you can't stay up late, nobody to tell you that five slices of cake is too much, nobody to stop you from having food delivered every day, and...dude, you remembered your access code?"

Gar's already rambling. "Of course you did." The two had connected and decided to swing by to see what the state of things was. Maybe time would heal some wounds. Maybe it wouldn't. Maybe it would just reopen the scars and cause them to bleed anew.

Literally? Figuratively? Did it matter which?

When entry is gained and they move in, Gar murmurs, "I'm kinda getting gooseflesh right now." Leading, of course, to a green goose standing beside Dick, looking up and around at the lack of light. Soon as /that/ voice registers, he's back to normal and a step or two behind the older Titan.

He frowns. "On a scale of 'not scared at all to spooky as hell,' I'm gonna go with 'horror movie.'" Cupping a hand to his mouth, he calls out, "C'mon, Rae! Is that any way to welcome your old friends?"

Dick Grayson has posed:
While Raven's sin may have been Pride, Dick's downfall came in the form of Vainglory. He was sure his team could handle the threat. They they wouldn't need the help of the Justice League. His team was just as good as them. He'd prove it to them, they they had the abilities and skills that the 'adults' claimed they didn't. He was still hurting over choosing the Titans over Barbara. That had almost been mutual, her with the Birds, him with the Titans.

He was that Envious of what the Justice League had.

And now, he walks into Vainglory's tomb. The darkness is chilling, even to one who perpetually lives in such, but in the end, it's perhaps comforting that Raven made it so dark. He wouldn't want to be in the harsh spotling as he walks down the hallway and stops at a spot. "Tower." he announces. "Lights to ten percent power."

Not that he needs a light. He knows exactly where he is. Flicking on a light from his utility belt, he holds it up to the wall.

And there? A framed picture of the First Titans Team and the Dedication Plaque to the Tower.

He stares at the picture for a long moment, then he finally speaks. "We do have homes. But there's someone I know that does not. She's not from this dimension, and I know you could help."

Rachel Roth has posed:
    The voice doesn't respond much to Gar. At least that hasn't changed, right? The only statement that she responds to at all is the part at the end. "I don't have friends. Nobody is welcome here."

    If it could be felt for the shadows' attention to shift, it would be to the former Robin. The inky blackness is not quelled by the Tower's attempt at making light, though the floor below them does get bright enough that it's a dim gray amidst the dark. So, walking is safe, if you pay attention. There's that.

    "Help. What a funny concept. I wonder what Dove would say we did to help? We were -so- good at it before."

Gar Logan has posed:
A grimace from the green-skinned, younger Titan, whether former, current, or 'it's complicated.' Gar glances around and knows the place well enough that making his way along is somewhat like riding a bike, but he's still stepping carefully.

There's a sidelong look toward Dick as he rubs the back of his neck, having nothing witty or silly to say to Raven's words, be it the answer to him, or the harsher one to Grayson.

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step," he murmurs, "and this feels like it's gonna be every bit as long."

Dick Grayson has posed:
That escalated quickly.

Dick's hands tighten around the light that he holds, but they don't waver in the darkness.

"I thought we dealt with this then, Rachel." he responds. And he steps forward. Into the darkness. Perhaps it's that first step that Gar had just talked about.

It's more in defiance of Rachel's words. "You want to send me away, you can. We both know it. Just like you did with him."

He's not going to say that monster's name.

"Dove wasn't the only casualty that day. Kole. Tempo. Superman... god only knows who else."

But he continues. "Her name's Gwen Stacy. She goes by Ghost Spider, where she's from. Her dad's a police captain, she doesn't have a mother. She was about to go into college. She has a girlfriend." he rattles off. "She didn't come to this world because she wanted to. She's not on the run from her father or herself. She wants to go home. And you could do that."

Rachel Roth has posed:
    The reply to Gar comes swift as it is cutting. "Take a few steps and turn tail. It is a skill of yours. You were better off in Hollywood." Despite this, there is a... Crushing presence that seems to loom over the room. Raven's voice seems to be coming from simultaneously everywhere at once. All the same, though, when she speaks next, it almost seems... Closer? As if she's on the same floor.

    "Yes. We dealt with it then. The danger in the words 'I can fix this.' Except one of us is still playing pretend." There is a pause, when Grayson speaks next. Raven seems to contemplate from her spot within the clearly-supernatural shadow infesting the Tower.

    "I could. I -should.- Do to you what I did to him. The last time I 'helped' anyone. I wonder if you'd kill countless civilians and then the world's greatest hero?"

    Dick does manage to get out his proposal. Raven doesn't talk over him, quelling herself as he outlines the favor he'd like to ask. "I can't." she responds- and this somehow seems... Smaller. Her voice is less echoing. Less powerful. For half a moment, the shadow recedes. "I can send things away from the tower. I owe it that much. But I can't muster that much anymore. It would come back. He would speak to me again. I can't."

    She... Doesn't appear to be talking about Doomsday.

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan bites his lip, nearly enough to break the skin. The underbite shows, his eyes turn downcast, and his throat gets tighter. He even looks more pale, if there was enough light around them to truly show it. "I.."

Dick may feel a distance growing between the two. She's right, isn't she? He was never a good hero. He also failed, and people died. They all failed. Everyone left, retreating into their own lives for..well, up to this point, and then beyond for others. In Hollywood he could be whatever he needed to be for the cameras. He could hide from reality.

Reality has a way of coming back and biting you sooner or later. Reality will always catch up to you one way or another. Reality must be faced.

"Rae, this was../is/ my home as much as anyone else's, even if I wasn't a Titan as long as you, or Dick, or some of the others. We were a family." He pauses as that presence threatens to turn oppressive, as if gravity is pushing down on both of them.

He holds his ground. "We messed up big time. We thought we were ready and we weren't, and we lost people we cared about and we couldn't handle that either. Nobody should have to go through that. I'm still not even old enough to drink!"

Then, Gar takes a step forward, closer to Grayson, closer to wherever Raven is. Her voice is getting easier to pinpoint. "And if you want me gone, you're gonna have to get rid of me yourself. I came back because I thought I had to face the past, and now I'm more sure of it than when we were standing outside. I know I'm a screw-up most of the time but we can help each other heal. It sounds like you're still going through some things, too. Let me try to help? Let us try?"

Dick can talk about what he has to say about Gwen. Gar hasn't met her, but they both have their reasons for being here. "So..please don't send us away?" He spreads his palms away from his sides, an earnest look in his expression. This isn't acting. It's the real thing.

Dick Grayson has posed:
When Gar steps away, Nightwing notices it. His lips press into a thin line of a frown, and he lets the younger man speak his mind first. Because Gar was always, in many ways... the heart of the team. At least the lighthearted part of it. "We are still a family." he only corrects Gar on that one part, corrected the tense of that one sentence. When Gar returns to his side, he gives a nod firmly to the green Titan.

And while she may want to be omnipresent, he knows, somewhere in this darkness is a young woman that has placed herself in solitude. "One of us still wants to help those that are unable to do so. The other one is holding up a mirror to deflect her own worries." he responds, a flatness in his tone.

"I don't need to be him to kill countless numbers. Humanity did that to itself in Genosha, not two weeks ago. And don't tell me that here in your ivory 'T' tower, you didn't feel it." he responds to her angrilly. And after that outburst, he lets out a defeated breath that seems to deflate him.

"You're scared of your father. I know that. We all know that. It's one of the main reasons you became one of us, to protect you from him. We... no. I failed you in that, Raven." Not Rachel this time. His eyes search the darkness. There's no costumes. No bravado.

Just a guy talking to the girl that he let down. "I'm sorry it came to that, Raven. I'm sorry that you had to feel that hurt. And you did what none of us could have done. And made a sacrifice that noone other Kole and Don could come close to matching."

"And if I never said thank you for that... I apologize, Rachel."

He pulls up a picture on his phone of a girl, no more than 20, with blonde hair with frosted pink tips and a slight gap in her teeth. "...her name's Gwen Stacy, Raven."

"And she needs the Titans to help her."

Rachel Roth has posed:
    "Family." The word is said with something... Approaching disgust. There is this palpable contempt to how it comes out, how it echoes through the room. "Let me tell you about -my- family. My mother is dead. I killed her when I was thirteen. My father used to send me little messages. Small doubts. I always thought they'd be the problem. It turns out the problem was not listening in the first place. He doesn't speak to me anymore. Not since then. He's just waiting. For the inevitable."

    There is a pause, then, as Raven lets the statement sink in. Her tone just seems so -certain.- As if she's given up. "You think I'm secluding myself? That I have things to 'work through?' I'm giving myself what I -deserve.- And you want to -thank- me for what I became?" There is something approaching -anger- in those words.

    She doesn't speak again until Dick holds up the phone. The light of its screen illuminates a section of the darkness that contains one slightly disheveled looking woman, wearing a hoody that shrouds her face in pitch black. All that looks out from beneath it are a pair of deep-purple eyes, and a blood red gem.

    "The Titans are dead. Who cares what inhabits their haunted house?"

    With that, Raven turns away, and with a few steps, she will disappear into the retreating darkness.

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan's expression turns somewhat more..uncertain when the phone illuminates what little can be seen of Raven's face. It's about what he might have expected, but it's probably still more than he was prepared for. So, a short intake of breath follows. He was already on eggshells after her response about family, and bringing up what happened to his just doesn't feel like the time or place. They already know, anyway.

"Nobody deserves /this,/ Rae. Trust me. We're gonna have to get through it somehow, and I'm not giving up that easily. Not with this."

All the same, he grows eerily silent at her final words for the moment about the Titans and the tower itself. Only once he's sure he can't sense her presence does he whisper to Dick, "Well, I'll give it a couple days, then I'm moving some of my stuff back in and turning the lights on. Then, I'm ordering pizza and leaving some out for her. She didn't teleport us into the ocean."

Gar then starts into song: "This was a triumph. I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS. It's hard to overstate my satisfaction."

Still Alive.

They're Still Alive.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick lowers the phone, and glances aside to Gar. "I wish you luck with that, Gar." And his tone, he can hear it. Dick only came back to ask this favor. He doesn't plan to stay. Raven was right. He was guilty. For it all.

Putting away his phone, he turns towards the door. "Pizza doesn't fix everything. But I hope it starts with this. Let me know if she contacts you."

And with that, he's heading back out to return to shore. And Bludhaven.