4341/Knock Knock: Who's Bird

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Knock Knock: Who's Bird
Date of Scene: 08 December 2020
Location: E05 - Kian's Dorm - Titan's Tower
Synopsis: In which The Talk is had.
Cast of Characters: Terry O'Neil, Kian

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry O'Neil has been wandering the corridors for a while now.  Gar needed to do something regarding an agent call or another, and so Terry said he would go ahead and have The Chat with their friend.
    The Chat.  It sounds so casual, but it's also so… awkward.  Or, at least, in his human form.  There's a lot more that is inhibited in that shape.
    Nevertheless, Terry finally girds his loins and walks up to Kian's room and knocks on the door.  "Kian? It's Teeerryy…. are you in?"

Kian has posed:
    The door slides open, not revealing a mere entryway, but the birdman himself… who promptly flings his arms around Terry, burying his face in the Earthman's shoulder.  {Friend Terry!  Gods, I barely dared hope you'd all come back but you did!}  Inextricable from the mental contact is Kían's sheer joy that everyone's back safe and sound.
    He breaks away abruptly, waving Terry into his room.  "Please, yis, come in, I haf missed you—I woul' haf welcome you back already, but Gar tavár'h has missed you more, he mus' haf firs' greeting wit' you.  You mus' tell me every'thin' that happen!  An' where you fin' that ship you return on—iss not the one you lef' on!"
    Whatever hesitation or uncertainty Terry may be feeling, Kían missed it entirely in his obvious relief and happiness to see his friend back.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    His choice to come as his human self was a good one—the subject was awkward enough to broach without a stoned bird-man.  However apprehensive he might be about having the talk, he eagerly hugs Kian back.  "I'm so glad to see you too, Kian—you have no idea of the insanity this all has been…."  The tale of their return is definitely an epic one, but it would be foolish to launch into it before other things are out of the way.
    Walking into Kian's room, he looks somewhat apologetic.  "Kian… did you, um.  I wanted to ask you something…."
    He is about to open his outh to form the question, his lips move… and then suddenly he chickens out by saying instead: "I wanted to know if you… er… did you receive a message… from me, while I was gone?"
    That is not it, Terry.  Get it together.
    But he was also curious about it, he admitted….

Kian has posed:
    Kían starts to answer as cheerily as he greeted Terry, but the question itself causes him to falter mid-statement.  "I—I d-did, yis.  I shoul' tell you that I haf not under-stood the book you lef' me.  It iss like it want to make sense, but I am missin' somethin' because I am not Terran an' come to math an' logic from a differen' way."  He pauses, and tilts his head inquisitively.  "An' what iss a Jubjub bird?  I can not fin' them in any of the reference books."
    It takes him a moment to mention the second bequest in Terry's message, because he still finds it scary.  Finally, he just blurts out, "I tried to deliver your book to Rae.  She threw me into a wall."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    And Terry looks absolutely guilty, and he moves over to give Kian another hug.  "Oh Kian, I'm so sorry!  I should've thought—see I never imagined that Donna would also be missing.  I should've thought about it and told you not to if that was the case.  She must have been in some foul mood… can you forgive me?"
    He reaches over to pat Kian's head.  "At least she didn't break anythi—did she break something?  I know she can heal injuries so… how hurt were you?"
    He feels two inches tall right now.  He thought it would've been a nice gesture, but it's been established that he can plan ahead, he is still not that good at it.

Kian has posed:
    "I was… more surprise than hurt," Kían says.  "Nothing I have not done to myself on a bad pass in qihár—you saw how those can go.  I am, I was surprise because I thought she was one of us, but I am not sure any more.  I do not think she likes any of us much.  Excep' Donna."  He sighs heavily.  "An' I do not know if she has your book or not.  I lef' it for her at her door."
    He genuinely smirks, just a little.  "I will let you ask her for it back."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry smirks back.  "I deserve that.  I'll just wait until she's spent more time with Donna and she's a little… more agreeable.  You musn't be too harsh with her, Kian.  She does care about us, but she has… there are things about her you don't know.  She bears a heavy burden and she is heir to a lot of darkness… against which she must constantly fight."
    Terry disengages from Kian and starts walking around, not realizing that he's starting to pace a little.  "…the probe was a success, by the way.  I know you and Gar worked closely with the others to get it working.  It was the thing that basically saved us from being lost in Hyperspace.  We had been actually moving away from it, if you can believe it."
    He looks for a place to sit down, because sitting down is something that is required by the conversation he wants to have with his friend.  "You two must have done a lot of telepathic training to get that working."

Kian has posed:
    "It was a team effor'," Kían replies.  "You would respon' bes' to Gar's mind, an' so woul' the others.  They haf known him longer, an' you are closes' to him.  I know telepathic circuits.  An' Nadia iss very good with inventin'.  And we did it wrong the firs' time anyway," he adds with a chuckle.  "Put it in the wrong place in space.  That was my mistake; we were distrac-ted by more aliens.  They… we?… do seem drawn to this planet."
    He sighs heavily.  "I did not belief as much as the others did that you were all still alife.  I thought the probe was going to be like a a sand grain on a beach.  Did not really think the chance was good it would reach you.  I am happy to be wrong."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "One thing I have learned, Kian… is that very few things are actually impossible.  I am basically a character out of a story… that basically was real all the time.  But I get the impression that your world doesn't have a lot of…"
    He crosses his legs and smiles.  "Chaos, am I right?  I met a fellow Akiar in one of the planets, and she was… very discombobulated by the Rabbit Holes.  But I get that reaction wherever I go, sooo…."  He shrugs.
    Good segue?  He can't think of one.  "So I heard you and Gar talked a lot while this was going on.  You've gotten to know each other better?"

Kian has posed:
    Remember Kían's reflexes in that mental replay of a qihár match?  Here comes the live demonstration.  Somewhere between the phrases "I met a fellow Akiar" and "in one of the planets", Kían has Terry by the shoulders, and in a weird way, it feels like the birdman is exerting all of his will to not plunge straight into his friend's mind, even avoiding Terry's eyes, to the extent of keeping his own closed.  "Akiár—where—who?"
    Kían is not given to making demands.
    That was probably the closest to a demand anyone on any world has ever heard him make.
    Somehow he makes himself let go of Terry and backs up a couple steps, breathing hard.  "I… haf almost force myself into your mind.  That woul' be wrong.  But c'Rhys'yw, please, I must know!"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry is surprised—but he really should not be, to be honest.  As Kian takes him by the shoulders, he blinks a couple of times until he realizes how important this is to the bird-man.
    "Of course… of course, go ahead.  I'm not the cat right now, so you should be fine…."
    The information, however, will be disappointing.  Terry was Vorpal at the time, and he did try to talk to the Akiar, get some information… but unfortunately, she was as helpless as Kian was in establishing some sort of astrogation reference.  Terry tried, but they didn't really have much time, what with trying to revive the Beating Heart and then extracting the pertinent data.  But she told Terry that astrogation and navigation hadn't been her specialty—she was a botanical engineer.

Kian has posed:
    Kían takes a moment to absorb that and… kind of deflates a little, wings sagging slightly, but he has enough dignity to not let them touch the floor.  "I… need to sit.  That is… nnh.  I will carry you, come on."
    Barely waiting for acquiescence, Kían has Terry in that safety carry, and flits up to the upper level of his room, landing on a platform that has a small shelf with his language texts, a low table, and a pair of large cushions on the floor.  Kían promptly slumps into one of them, stretching out on his side, and motions for Terry to get comfortable.
    He busies himself with a tumbler, and the pitcher of water on the table.  Even after draining the glass, it takes him a moment to speak.  "I… am sad that is all you learn from her.  But that is not your fault, or hers.  c'Rhys'yw, if I had been there with you.  I… later, you mus' tell me every-thin' about her.  Later.  Not now."
    Yes, he sounds disappointed.
    Another glass of water, then, "You… I am sorry, my mind is still unsettle.  You ask me some-thin' about Gar?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "Oh… Kian."  Terry doesn't get comfortable, but rather he kneels down by Kian's cushion and places a hand on the bird-man's side.  "I'm sorry.  I know how hard it is but… listen.  Think about what just happened.  We have come back from the impossible.  Do you really think we won't be able to find a way to get you back home?"
    The hand goes up to touch Kian's temple.  "Read it in my mind, Kian.  I promise you that we're going to find your road home.  We are the Titans, and there is more brain, talent and courage in this tower and its associated friends than in many planets alone.  We're family.  And we watch out for each other.  Like it or not, you are saddled with us, and we'll do anything we can for you.  Just like you basically worked on something you thought you knew was pointless, for the sheer chance of getting us back, however slim it was."

Kian has posed:
    {I still wish I could've talked to her.  I would have known what to ask to at least make a start, however small.}  Yes, there's disappointment in Kían's mind but… he's a scientist, by nature and by training.  Reality is what it is.  {So close.  Gods, even just to have seen one of my people again, even briefly.  But, you're right.  That was the only thing that kept my spirits up sometimes—everyone I know at home must think I am dead, but I am not.  So maybe you four weren't dead either.  I just found it hard to understand the reasons that everyone else thought you were alive, the prophecy, or Gar looking into your family and not finding another cat, or whatever it is Rae did.  Faith is for the Gods, not for us physical beings—and if it was data, it was data I couldn't understand.}

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Not faith, my friend.  Trust.  As someone I know used to say, it is our purview to believe seven different things before breakfast.  You've seen us pull a few of those… what's one more?  He smiles and leans back a little.  "I know you wish you could see another Akiar… but… at least Gar can turn into one, right?  That makes things a little easier?  I mean, he's not really from your world, but…"
    Good segue, Terry!

Kian has posed:
    {Well, it's a little soon to ask for another miracle, you have only just come back to us.}  That, Kían sends with a little amusement; the initial sting has worn off and he is, at least, in no worse a position than he was before.
    There's a flicker of an image of 'Garkiár' in Kían's mind, nearly wing-tip to wing-tip, somewhere out over the Atlantic in the moonlight.  {Yes, that does help.  We went flying together a few times while you were away.  It helped me feel normal for a little while, and I think it helped him hold it together waiting for you to come back.  I wondered sometimes if he was so adamant about you still being alive just because he couldn't even admit the possibility you weren't.}
    He looks up with that little smirk again.  {Maybe sometime when you're together, he could take on the Akiár form.  The mindtouch with your tenár can be…}  Well, some things don't really have good descriptive words, and Kían struggles a moment for the right one.  {…intense,} he finally finishes, a little lamely.
    Wait, did Kían just offer advice on their sex life?

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry blinks a couple of times, and he struggles for words for a few seconds.
    Well, he is also making a mental note to ask Gar precisely that, too.  He also has the burning question of what exactly do they do with their wings so they don't get in the way—but there is pressing business.
    Right… about that.  You and Gar were… intimate, then?  I remember that at one point you mentioned to me that physical liaisons were pretty free back home, and the important part was the emotional commitment, right?
    He is trying to keep a clear mind, and not trying to feel awkward or nervous, nothing that would make Kian feel uncomfortable.

Kian has posed:
    {Yes, we were,} Kían answers casually.  {He was terribly lonely without you… and I was terribly lonely without Raká.  I think you saw him in my memory of that qihár match.  And if I know Gar, he said he did it to comfort me and said nothing about himself… he needs to put himself first sometimes.  He deserves it.}
    He gives Terry a smile.  {I don't know what Earth customs are, but I know this: he is still your tenár.  I hope I haven't broken some rule or custom… I think we both just desperately needed someone to hold onto.}
    He grins, and nestles a little deeper into his cushion.  {He's very giving.  You're quite fortunate.}

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry exhales a little.  Welllll… Normally on Earth, that is kind of taboo.  Most societies here tend to veer towards monogamy in body and emotion.  To be honest, I would probably have felt pretty bad… if it hadn't been for that probe.  Here on Earth, we never really know how the other feels, we have to take their words for granted.  It's probably why we have those insecurities… because we don't know.  You guys know each other with a touch of the mind, so… I guess, of course it wouldn't bother you if your, er, tenar has a tender moment with somebody else… because you can just know where their heart lies.
    He ponders for a few seconds.  Maybe it's why I felt surprised, but not really… hurt?

Kian has posed:
    Kían bites his lower lip.  {I have broken an Earth rule, then.  I would be shocked if I got back to Kyshán and found that Raká had had no one in my absence.  That's not healthy… well, our people don't consider it healthy.  If an apology is appropriate, Terry tavár'h, I offer you one without reservation.}
    And then, the mental connection deepens, like when he showed Terry the game, but on a different level.  It's not images, but emotions now.  {And you're exactly right about us.  We do just know where we stand with our friends and lovers.  I would like you to know, too.}
    There are no words.  Quite literally.  It's a gentle flow of Kían's feelings, for Terry and for Gar.  Friendship.  Affection, no, more than that.  Not love, not quite, but wanting to be with minds that are fun and souls that are gentle… and on a less elevated level, he does think both are quite good looking.
    The mental connection relaxes, moves to something shallower, more conversational.  {Does that help explain any?}

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry is momentarily taken aback by the deep dive.  He blinks a few times, and then finally finds his mental voice.  {You really don't owe me any apologies, Kian.  Like I said… I knew then.  But… feeling it deeper did help understand more.  I knew neither of you meant harm, quite the opposite.}
    The redhead smiles a little, {I do envy your kind.  That ability to just know would solve… a lot of problems on this world.  But I digress…}  He shakes his head.  {I don't begrudge you what happened.  Nor Gar.  Really.  I had never really thought about how lonely you would be feeling.  Despite everything we've done to help, we can't make this place your home.}
    A hand reaches over and brushes Kian's hair.  Terry wishes he had hair like Kian's, instead of the red haystack in a gale that hes saddled with.  {And who knows, maybe I feel secure enough in Gar's love that I don't mind the idea of him having such moments with you.  Or someone else he's close to, because I know he's my tenar as you said.  I'll talk to him because… I mean, I don't see a reason why you two can't be close, if it helps you feel less lonely.}
    The redhead smirks a little.  {Who knows?  I might be curious too.  Especially since I can't figure out where the wings go!}  That last thought ends with mischief, as he's clearly trying to lighten the mood.

Kian has posed:
    {I've often thought the same thing, this would be a much calmer world if you all had the mind-touch… but then, I suppose it really wouldn't be Earth anymore, would it?}  Kían comments, {It's not my homeworld, no… but for the foreseeable future, it is my home.  Maybe the people who brought you back, maybe there's something in their ship's logs that I might find familiar.  I'll have to ask them while they're here.  But I dare not count on them having anything, or else I'm just setting myself up for a disappointment.  Even if an Akiár ship showed up tomorrow, I couldn't take it home—my rhy'thar interacted with the tachyon drive, that's how I ended up here.  Goddess only knows where I'd end up next time.  So I might even be trapped on this world, for fear of another random fall through space that for all I know would end in the core of a star or on an event horizon.  Until there's a way to move me through space safely, this has to be home.}
    Impulsively, he leans forward and kisses the tip of Terry's nose.  {At least I have a place to be, with people I like, where I can even do some good for a world that desperately needs more good, yes?  Just… don't ask of Gar anything he doesn't want, and you don't want.}
    Despite that last comment, Kían smirks back, and not a little.  {And as for where the wings go, I'm sure Gar, or I, or both of us could show you.}

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    That's a good way of looking at it, I think.  You know… I don't think your ry'thar will affect my Rabbit Holes… but alas….
    When Kian kisses his nose, Terry crinkles it and grins.  {Don't worry, I will talk to Gar.  I would never ask him to do anything he wouldn't want to do.  Or you.}
    He does redden at Kian's answer, though, and chuckles a little self-consciously.  {Okay, well… I'll keep that in mind and I'll let you know after I talk to Gar.  Until then, though…}  He leans forward and returns the gesture, on the nose.  {I am afraid I should go.  I've got to go to the Planet and find out if I am fired after missing work for… you know, three months.  And if I'm not, whether or not I might be fired if I decide to make my secret identity public.  And then I have to figure out… I won't bore you.  A lot of things.}
    He stands up and, after giving Kian a quick ruffle on the hair, proceeds to head down and out.  "I'll see you later, Kian.  And… thank you."
    He flashes a grin before he heads out.
    One thing down.  Now… into the lion's den and see what kind of welcome awaited him at the Daily Planet.