3296/A candy-colored clown they call the sandman

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A candy-colored clown they call the sandman
Date of Scene: 09 September 2020
Location: A moment of Dreaming.
Synopsis: Who knows what strange country passes through the land of dreams?
Cast of Characters: Gar Logan, Terry O'Neil

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan desperately needed sleep, barely getting more than a handful of hours of it since the T-Jet landed back on Earth and he left to take up in the safehouse. Though some of the Titans were surely resourceful enough to figure out where he was - he used their account to have food delivered - they must have been giving him his space, or were busy dealing with things of their own, for Colette was the first to actually track him down. Once she did, and they had a briefly heated conversation that gave way to other things, surprises Gar was in no condition to process mentally, he fell asleep on her. Oops. At least she was nice enough to deposit him on the couch before leaving.

For the first time, he dreamt without immediately facing nightmares. His subconscious took him to a place he and Terry had talked about more than once: Middle-earth from the Lord of the Rings stories. To be more specific, Rohan, the expansive grasslands looked after by the horsemen that lived there. It was home to Helm's Deep and Edoras, the capital, but those were well off in the distance. Gar found himself in the middle of nowhere, open distance as far as the eye could see. Though he found himself dressed like one of the natives, there was no horse nearby. Perhaps he had lost it somewhere. That would not do.


Terry O'Neil has posed:
The grasslands make it very difficult for anyone to sneak up on you. Open sky and waving grass as far as the eye could see, nary a tree to hide behind or sneak. And yet, with all of that in mind, someone has managed to remain almost imperceptible until just now.

On closer inspection, it's probably because of those damned cloaks. Finely woven in ways that are beyond the skill of men, weaving light and shadow as much as they weave fabric, so that their wearers often seem to fade into the greenery.

He was sitting there, just a few feet away, cross-legged with the blades of grass waving around him, green hood drawn over his head so that his face was completely obscured.

"Now that is a sight to see," comes a sing-song voice that is as light as the breeze, "A horseless rider. Somewhere there must be a riderless horse. How careless of you to lose each other."

Gar Logan has posed:
In a land without good cover, one must learn to make good cover or suffer the consequences. Gar trails a hand through some of the tall grass, feeling the way it parts after his palm passes over it, and his attention shifts that way long enough that he is unaware of the presence nearby until the voice comes his way, seemingly floating along and reaching him only because the air current willed it to be so.

"Who goes?" he challenges, immediately reaching to his side for a one-handed sword. "You mock me, and yet you sound like someone I should know!" There is no excuse given for lack of horse, for he has not thought of one yet. He notices, as an afterthought, his hand is green. That should not be, for one of the Rohirrim, though they call themselves the Eorlingas instead. Surely his father did not bed an orc...!

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"What a strange way of speaking you have, to ask me whether I am someone you should know, instead of asking yourself. Aren't you the final arbiter of whom you know?"

The voice is slightly mocking as the figure draws itself up. Most of it is hidden by the green cloak, of clear elven design as evidenced by the leaf-shaped clasp.

"The question might actually be, am I someone who wanted to know you? Now there's a thought."

He turns around and starts walking down the grassland, his cloak caressing the waving grass. "Will you walk with me?"

The figure didn't react to Gar's gesture of going for his blade.

Gar Logan has posed:
The apparent green horseman has no answer to this, but there is an additional pause as he shifts the position of his sword to catch a glimpse of his own reflection. Green face as well. Snaggletooth. He..might be an orc after all, pretending to be a horseman!

No, that's not right. He stares at his own confused expression, then he looks ahead. "It seems I do not even know myself," he confesses, and the breeze comes to the rescue of his words this time, sending them over toward the other one in the elven cloak.

"We must have fought some battle on the same side, or crossed paths in some other fashion," he supposes. The blade is put away once more, but he studies his hands afterward, legs, safely within long riding boots, moving him along to indeed walk with the other.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"I suppose that is as safe an assumption as can be made." The owner of the voice replies, and his steps slow down until the green rider has caught up with him before he resumes. As he walks, he draws his hood back to reveal a face that is... unexpected. Everything about the figure's garb suggests an Elf, and one wearing a cloak bewitched by the witch of Lorien. And yet, the face that greets the green rider is not beautiful in that cold and unusual beauty that elves are rumored to have. It is handsome, in its own right, but in the way that men are handsome. And no Elf ever had freckles. The deciding clue would be the ears, but the mass of unruly red hair covers them well.

"It sounds like you've lost more than your horse, rider of the Mark." There is something about the green eyes that betrays they may know more than he's letting on.

He watches over the curvature of the grasslands, and points in a direction, westward. "Far to the north-west there is the port of Lindon, called Ossiriand in other times. It is there that they say you can find the final resting place of Beren and Luthien." He glances at Gar, as they walk. "You must have heard the story?"

Gar Logan has posed:
The moment Gar sees that face, something in his dream state shifts. The scene remains the same, but his awareness changes. It is immediately recognized, and it's enough to send a single shiver down the spine of the green one, so named by way of Mark.

"Terry.." he whispers, his steps faltering briefly before he begins to recover them. For the moment, his gaze follows the direction indicated. "I find myself..forgetting," comes a confession. "Did it have to do with..cats?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
The redhead smiles a little. "There is not a big role that cats play here. Beren was mortal born. Luthien was the daughter of a Maia and destined for immortality- which she gave up to be by his side."

He stops walking for a second and looks at Gar again, "What was that that you whispered?"

Gar Logan has posed:
"I must be remembering my tales incorrectly. I mean, my tails." They sound the same, so which is it?

Gar takes a measure of silence so the other one that is so familiar to him, also not exactly of this realm. Were either of them to come across a native, it could prove...interesting.

"It was..nothing. Go on, please." He looks ahead, though his eyes keep coming back to the not-elf.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"There are those who say that Luthien was foolish- why should one born to the splendor of the eternal West ever cast her lot aside, turn her back on dwelling among the powers of this world, to join a man in the uncertain doom of men, of whom no-one knows what becomes after their death?" The redhead takes something out from under his cloak. A wineskin. He offers it to Gar.

"What do you make of that? "

Gar Logan has posed:
There is something about this that rings familiar to the not-rider, enough that he nearly does a double-take. "I..well, that is..I mean, who can truly say, if..if the love is true?" Gar stumbles over the words, a chill felt by the time the wineskin has found its way into his hand.

Upon looking down at it, the stopper has a piece of something tied to it. Turning it over reveals two words: 'Drink Me.'

"No more foolish than her lover." He drinks.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Was the grass always this color? All aroun them, the Rohan grasslands become tinted with blues and purples. The sky acquires a certain greenish tint to it, and the clouds seem to glow with their own light, instead of reflecting that of the sun.

"If the love is true," says the red-headed man by Gar's side, "Is it to be cast aside when the beloved isn't around?"

Those green eyes have a strange shape The pupil is... slitted. The young man's features are slightly different, but the change is subtle and hard to place at first.

"Oh, you poor wounded lion," he says in a voice that is almost barely above the hearing threshold.

Gar Logan has posed:
Whoa, is someone playing with the color balance in here? Negative effect? Palette swap? Groovy, maaaan!

Gar stops after a healthy sip of the drink, the taste not one he can immediately place. They don't seem to be in Kansas any more, Toto, nor does it look like the same Rohan as before.

He finds himself in need of a seat, and there is a wooden chair behind him that satisfies that requirement, so he claims it and rubs the sides of his head, at the temples. "One would think it should not be," he declares, and upon looking back up he centers on the change in those eyes. It's almost more..feline, if he had to say.

The 'lion' admits, "I am broken." There seems an understanding at being called that, lion.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"I am sorry," the young man's voice is honest, "I sought to heal, but look what I've done."

He kneels before Gar, both hands reaching out to clasp one of Gar's. "You're not broken, only bruised."

He looks up, his feline green eyes looking for Gar's, "Nothing so broken that can't be mended. But there's yet more..."

The grassland falls away and Gar's chair grows a little more stately. He is now sitting in judgement of a court, a gavel on the bench in front of him. Down there, in a near stand boxed in on all sides, is Terry.

"It is the intent of this court," says a white Rabbit ,wearing the tabard of the house of hearts, "To demonstrate how the defendant maliciously and with intention broke Your Honor's heart."

A red-faced woman, dressed in a gown replete with hearts, and red and blac patterns, screams from one of the stands: "Sentence now! Sentence now!"

The rabbit nods, assenting, "Sentence now, judgement later. How do you find the defendan, your honor?" he says, turning deferentially towards Gar.

Meanwhile, Terry remains perfectly still in the box, glancing at Gar.

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar's hand is easily held, though he is initially silent. Silent, in fact, that he has no words until he finds himself at the center of a Wonderland court, the gavel before him, the Rabbit seeking to lay out the case to seek the appropriate sentence, the Queen of Hearts, so familiar as to be unmistakable, saying something that is not quite as expected.

Looking down at himself, Gar is now attired as a judge of the court, a caricature of the old English magistrate. He looks from Rabbit to Queen to Terry, then down at himself before he speaks.

"The court finds the defendant guilty, but not of breaking his..my..heart, with malice or intent otherwise. The court /does/ find the defendant guilty, instead, of claiming my heart, and my love, and I cannot judge him for that, for I freely gave these things to him of my own accord."

While this is sure to generate an uproar of reactions, Judge Gar holds his head in his hands, voice still carrying across the court. "And I have realized another thing. Not just you," he reaches for the gavel and points it toward the Rabbit, "or you," then the Queen, "or even you," now Terry, then finally himself. "I have realized we are all mad here."

The gavel strikes down upon the hardwood block.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
And the block shatters, like the world does. Everything is flying around, like shrapnel from an explosion.

But then it's leaves. Just simple, colorful autumn leaves falling around them in a swirl of color before coating the ground.

A forest clearing. The sky is still the same, strange color, and the grass is red. But the leaves are orange, and red, and they are falling from the trees around them.

Terry is there now, but looking like the Cheshire cat, in his dark wine suit.

He's looking at Gar with a look that is both sad and caring. "Much madness is divinest sense to a discerning eye," he says, quoting a poem Gar probably has never even heard of (and yet how does he know it?) and comes close to him.


Gar Logan has posed:
Shrapnel, or broken glass from a shattered mirror. Who can say? It swirls, as if light enough to be caught up by the breeze and taken to different places, strewn about to land as it will.

Leaves. Woods. The colors that are not right, though the leaves themselves are.

Terry is Vorpal, is the way he was at the ball. Such a powerful, positive memory. Such a recent one. Gar is in his white suit with the Wonder Woman color accents. The Dickinson poem is surely not one he ever read, but there is indeed something that rings true about it. The meaning goes unspoken, but Gar's focus is sharp on his target, the expression the same. It is a longing.

"Vorpal..Terry...I need you. I'm lost without you, and I've found you. You make me whole." He gets up, dusting off some of the leaves that cling to him, and he moves closer with watery eyes, arms outstretched to reach for him. "Let me hold you again, just for a little while."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal walks forth and quickly envelops Gar with his arms.

"Oh Garfield. I can't make you something you already are. My only job was to remind you."

He holds Gar close. Tight. "You are whole." the Cheshire murmurs quietly.

A hand caresses the back of Gar's head. There is a long moment where there's nothing but the sensation of being held, and then Vorpal speaks again. "When you remember that well, the world can tear me from you and you'll still never lose me."

Gar Logan has posed:
In dreams, one can be anything. In this sense, Gar becomes nearly a facsimile of Vorpal himself, only still in his white outfit, but green all over instead of mostly salmon and pink. There is a purr, a rubbing of cheeks, a joyful little shiver felt.

"It just hurt so bad, and I couldn't do anything, and I need you back and Vic and Cait and Donna and I'd do anything to make that happen."

Sometimes, there is an awareness in dreams that extends beyond the subconscious, and in this case it is as if he is speaking directly to the one he has given his heart to.

There are ears atop his head, just like Vorpal's, and he reaches to rub between the Cheshire's. "I remember something you told me. If..if it's what I hope it is, I'll find a way to bring you back, all of you. I won't give up until it works."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal purrs in return, and also returns the caress. "There's a good boy," he says with a quiet voice, one hand on Gar's cheek, "The hours are short and the road is so long, but in the end you always find your way to where you need to be. You always do."

There is a kiss on Gar's cheek. The world around them has started to change again- the half where Gar is is still the forest, but the other half, Terry's side, is strange. It is darkness, punctuated with metallic walls here and there. Occasionally a blinking light illuminates a tiny section, before blinking out again. There's the acrid smell of smoke in the air.

"The hours are short," Vorpal laments, sighing softly and pressing his forehead against Gar's, "I have to go."

With visible reluctance, he disengages himself from Gar, and start walking backwards, away from him while still facing him.

It's curious. No matter how much Gar may want to walk towards Terry, he will find he makes no headway as Terry grows more and more distant. In fact, it's almost as if a gulf of enormous darkness opens up between them and pushes their respective halves of the world away from each other.

The last thing Gar hears is Terry's voice, floating to him as his figure is swallowed up by the darkness of that other side,

"If recollecting were forgetting,
Then I remember not;
And if forgetting, recollecting,
How near I had forgot..."

And then there is the leaden darkness of a dreamless expanse.

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar says nothing more at first, but there is a smile at the caress and the words, like something positive has been reinforced within him. He returns that kiss, a ghost of one passing over the lips before his eyes reopen, awareness of a strange backdrop seen past Vorpal's shoulder and head. It could be something he saw while with the infiltration group. Or, a remnant from one of the shows he once acted in. How else could he get a visual like that?

How else, indeed? Dreams can be strange, but does anyone truly understand how they work? Can anyone really get the impact a connection, a bond, can have on them? Is it possible for a part of one's self to cross over through unknown means? A part of a part of a part?

"I..I know," Gar answers, holding on for as long as he can, forehead to forehead, fighting to hold back the tears, for he just /knows/ that once they disengage from each other, he will not be able to follow.

It bears out as true. He moves to meet Vorpal's steps back, but no matter how much he tries to keep pace, the distance between them grows, and grows, and finally Vorpal, Terry, whoever it is by that point, disappears. Not before the last words are shared and everything around him goes blank.

And yet, Gar's sleep is peaceful rather than restless. It is hours-long instead of an hour, if that. It is what he needed, and when he awakens he will do so refreshed, if not completely well. There are two people he must visit before he can make that determination: April and Agatha O'Neil. If neither of them have suddenly developed a feline side...