4524/Enjoy The Silence

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Enjoy The Silence
Date of Scene: 29 December 2020
Location: E05 - Kian's Dorm - Titan's Tower
Synopsis: Words are very unnecessary. They can only do harm
Cast of Characters: Kian, Gar Logan, Terry O'Neil

Kian has posed:
    Kían appreciates Colette's gift, even if he's still trying to figure out how to use it correctly.  Alas, the tablet does not have a mindport, so the birdman has to struggle with the pure evil that is QWERTY.
    Really, and this planet dares to call itself civilized and technologically advanced despite that.
    The most sensible thing to do is to nestle himself into one of the cushions along the low table on the upper level of his room, and take periodic nips at the bottle Harley sent him.  That at least is something he's familiar with.
    He pours out a small libation… and just leaves the glass there on the table, rolling back a little and closing his eyes.  It's been a long day.

Gar Logan has posed:
    It's been a long few days for one Garfield Logan, for that matter.
    It started out kind of silly, the aftermath of the party leading to annoyances over his glitter-bombed bedroom, and he had to play that up by getting a real doghouse for Vorpal over at Colette's place in Happy Harbor, where Vorpal was temporarily staying.
    Sidenote: of course this had to involve Colette in some way, didn't it?
    The laughs soon led to a tense few moments when Gar learned that Terry had been off with Harley Quinn trying to do something nice for kids, only for it to involve toys with contraband inside them, and a little problem with the gang that wanted the goods.  Gar was… opinionated about Harley, and it did not go over well.  He left irritated, but his last words, unbeknownst to him, were taken in a very different way than he'd intended.
    The first day, he gave Terry his space.  Gar needed to cool off a little as well.  Soon after that, he sent off a few texts to Terry:

    <Yo, what's up, dude?>
    <Did the last one go through?  Phone says it did.>
    <Hey, you there?>
    <Seriously, at least say something.>
    <Come on, man.>
    <Gonna go try to see Harley.  Hope you let her know.>

    There'd been no answer to any of them.  Nothing positive, nothing negative, nothing neutral, just… nothing.
    The conversation itself with Harley left him feeling like he'd screwed up.  By the time he returned to the Tower, he sent off a couple more texts trying to apologize, even leaving an actual message too:

    "Hey, it's me.  I talked to Harley like I said, and I need to tell you a couple things.  Just text me back, or call, or something.  I hope you're all right.  You're starting to worry me again."

    Still not a peep.  The old Simon and Garfunkel song was ringing in his head.  The sound of silence was getting louder in his thoughts, and a day later?
    There is a rapid knock at Kian's door.  "Bird?  It's Gar.  You in there?  Can we talk?"

Kian has posed:
    Kían flicks his mind out to order the door opened.  He only remembers after a little frustration has built up that there is no mindport-controlled house system to respond to his every whim.
    That's not Gar's fault of course, so when he calls back, "Yis, come in, Gar tavár'h!" there is no indication of that brief bout of annoyance.  In fact, he's pleased to have the distraction.
    At the very least he sounds happy to invite Gar in.  Certainly he counts Gar among his closest friends here.

Gar Logan has posed:
    "Thanks."  Gar enters with distraction in his expression, and fortunately by now the glitter is gone.
    No, check that.  Still a little in his hair if he stands the right way in the light.  It's a good thing he was in his new costume at the time, so it couldn't get literally everywhere.
    Right now it's civvies, and he pauses after shutting the door behind him.  "How's it going?  You haven't heard from Terry in the last couple days, have you?  I… well, we kind of had our first real fight about something, and I think I may have screwed up everything."
    Hands fidget with each other, then he rubs the back of his neck rapidly.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    It has been a few marathonic days at the Planet where he not only has met his content quota, but actually exceeded it by creating a decent backlog.  Interns aren't really supposed to burn the midnight oil, and yet there Terry was, several nights in a row after Christmas day, only to Rabbit Hole over to his mother's house and crash in his old bedroom.  It was a little… hard, considering whose poster looked over him at night, but the idea was that if you are too tired to drive, you're too tired to care anyways.
    That's why Sunday, his day off, was the problem.  There was nothing to do.  But.  That's the day he remembered he had left some things at Colette's apartment—by then he was convinced that his phone must have fallen out during the Toy heist, and so it was an enormous surprise when he found it on the floor, on top of a cushion, at Colette's apartment.
    Deader than a doornail, the battery depleted.
    After some lunch and a nap, he finally wakes up to the blue light of the phone, indicating it fully charged on the nightstand by his childhood bed.  He sits up, bleraily rubbing at his eyes, and then he turns it on properly by pressing the power buttons.
    After bootup, there is a veritable deluge of *dings* and messages.  All of them coming from—
    He stares at his phone in his hand, emotions threatening to come up again… but it was clear the Titan had been trying to reach him.  What for?
    He quickly starts going through all of the textsm just to make sure he knows what's happening before he texts back.
    What?  Him?  Call?  My god, WHO on earth CALLS people nowadays?

Kian has posed:
    "I am well," Kían answers, waving Gar to one of the other floor cushions.  "An' no, I haf not hear' from him.  He iss not los' again, I hope!  Here, please, sit!"
    And then there is something said that simply does not compute.
    "You haf fought?  Wit' your tenár?" he asks, baffled.  That's like saying you had a violent argument with yourself, in his mind—it's really not possible.
    Unless, of course, one does not have a telepathic link with one's partner.
    "Nnh, I am sorry.  I hope I am not the cause of the fight," he finally says, quietly.

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan considers the cushions, but he gives them a slight wave of the hand and remains standing for now.  In fact, he takes to pacing.  "Sorry.  I can't sit still right now.  And it's not your fault.  He hasn't answered his phone for a couple days.  I'm about to go see if his mother has talked to him, but I don't want to worry her."
    Kian's question about fighting draws a somewhat confused expression from him.  "Welllll… yeah.  People argue about things all the time, but this thing happened with him and Harley and a bunch of toys with, like, gems and stuff hidden inside, and they were gonna give them to a bunch of kids but they didn't know what was in them until a gang got involved, and they had to deal with that because apparently Harley doesn't think about things like this before she gets help from the people she knows."
    Pause.  Breath.  Continue.
    "So I told Terry I was worried about him because he seemed proud that he didn't get hurt or shot or, you know, dead because of her, and I may have kind of said I thought it'd be better if he didn't hang out with her, then I left to come back here and I haven't heard from him since.  I talked to her myself, and she… ahh, I still don't really trust her but she said a couple things that made me think twice about it and…."
    He throws up his hands, looking toward the high ceiling.  "And this is why I could never stay in a relationship.  Because I always screw it up somehow."
    Gar is the kind of person to leave a voicemail if it's important enough.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry has gone through the texts by now, and finally notices that there's also a voicemail.
    "Damn, did something happen at the Tower?"
    He plays the voicemail and his lip twists a little listening to Gar's voice.  Guiltily, though, he looks at the phone and realizes he should have tried to send a message to the Tower that his phone was missing.  He'd even left his T-Comm at the apartment.
    He takes a deep breath.  Yeah, of course Gar would be worried about him.  He was the kind of guy to worry about an ex's whereabouts.  They were still team-mates, and arguably friends.  Which was a situation he wasn't really quite ready to switch to, but nevertheless….
    He steels himself and send a text back.
    <I just got this.  Where are you?  I can come over>

Kian has posed:
    "I haf met Har-lee.  She iss… more differen' than mos'."  Yes, well, trying to describe Harley is going to be a challenge for someone like Kían, who has scant experience with people like her.
    He considers what Gar says.  "I haf been hurt, an' shot at, from bein' here wit' you, wit' all the Titans," he finally says, slowly.  "Woul' it be better if I were to not be here wit' you, all of you, because of that?"
    Before Gar has any chance to answer, he adds, "Because I woul' not abandon here, an' you, for anythin' less than goin' home."

Gar Logan has posed:
    "It's… that's not what I meant," Gar tries to say, waiting until after Kian's finished to proceed with the explanation.
    He's still in motion.  Give him enough time and he'll leave a track in the floor, maybe even no matter what surface it is.  "It's just that, I know what we do is dangerous, and trouble could be around any corner.  But we…."
    There's a tone from something in his pocket, and he digs out his phone.  "If this is another marketing thing, I swear I'm…."
    Except it's not.  "Oh.  Uh, it's Terry.  I'm gonna invite him over."
    <I just went to talk to Kian.  If you're thinking it's something else, it's not.  Come over.  Please?>

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry frowns.  "Kian?"
    He pauses and looks at the phone.  "…my god if this is to tell me they're dating, I might just go bananas."
    It wasn't because he necessarily opposed the idea of the two of them being together.  But, again, this soon?  That would be incredibly insensitive.
    "Nah.  He wouldn't do it…."
    He takes a deep breath and performs the change that comes second nature to him by now, and visualizes Kian's room.  He would gird his loins, but he's never actually read instructions anywhere on how you exactly are supposed to do that, so instead the Cheshire cat takes another deep breath and steps through the Rabbit Hole that opens, leading him into Kian's room.
    "…hey," he says quietly after the Rabbit Hole has closed behind him.

Kian has posed:
    Naturally, Kían has no objection to Gar's invite of Terry.
    And inasmuch as Gar is pacing and Kían is stretched out on one of his floor cushions and no one's clothes are anywhere other than being worn, if they're up to anything, it isn't much.  That's obvious even from a cursory glance when Terry rabbit-holes his way in.
    Kían greets him with a smile.  "Kié, Terry tavár'h.  Gar has tol' me you haf had a fight an' I am not under-standin' why.  Leas' of all over Harley."
    Apparently the birds don't try to ease their way into conversations….

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan grimaces after Vorpal has appeared and Kian's touched on that right away, leaving Gar to rub a hand over his face.  "Hey…" he returns, and it's Kian's words that get him talking again.
    "It was because I get doing things to help people and I'm totally in favor of that, but she didn't make sure the stuff she was getting was clean and maybe she should know better and you shouldn't have to think that a toy would have jewels and stuff in it, but she trusted someone she shouldn't have and people got put in danger when they didn't need to be and I started worrying about Vorpal because I didn't want to lose him again so soon and…."
    Barely a breath, but there's a quick one.
    "And I started in on Harley like I never wanted her to have anything to do with any of us again and she wasn't exactly sorry but she said, uh, that I guess the two of you just sort of get each other, and you're the one looking after her and… oh, right.  She thinks you see yourself in her."
    One more breath.
    "But I didn't hear back from you and I thought I ruined everything because I was being overprotective and maybe I shouldn't be, and I should try to trust you to take care of yourself."
    He's eyeing the wall as if it's more interesting than either of the other two in the room, or anything else nearby.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Vorpal doesn't even get to say 'hi' before Kian has breached the subject of their dispute.  And then he is figuratively buried by a Gar Logan run-on sentence that could have easily set a new Olympic record in several running events.  The result of this, is that the Cheshire Cat is absolutely speechless for a few seconds.
    Not entirely sure how to find the thread of the conversation, he gropes for something that is familiar—at least familiar at the beginning of this exchange.  A fact.
    "Wait… but…."  He raises a hand.  "But you broke up with me… why tell me all of this now?"

Kian has posed:
    Two things are certain to confuse Kían, and that's English at high speed, and idioms, so both Gar and Terry have left the birdman feeling on the outside looking in while he tries to process what exactly has been said.  "Well," he says quietly, "if this iss a fight, it iss a civil one.  Terry tavár'h, I thin' Gar tavár'h iss say he shoul' trus' you better?"  He glances to Gar for confirmation, then continues, "I do not under-stan' needin' to trus' your tenár.  I am use to knowin' wit'out doubt."  He taps his temple.
    "An' Gar tavár'h, I think Terry tavár'h iss say… nnh.  I do not under-stan' what Terry tavár'h iss say.  But that iss normal, yis?"

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan got a lot off his chest, rapid-fire, mainly because he thought he needed to before any serious interruptions could take place.
    But, as much as he just went on and on, Vorpal's response leaves him looking flabbergasted, whomperjawed, confuzzled to the extreme.
    "I… what?  When did I ever say I was doing that?"
    He stares, mostly at Vorpal, then at Kian as well, and he sees there isn't much comprehension coming from the alien birdman.  "Kian, if you haven't figured out by now that nothing around here is normal, I dunno what else to say.  But I never wanted to break up with him."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Poor Kian.  Because he's about to get more incomprehensibility.  "But… but you said it.  You walked away, turned around, and fricking Whitney Houstoned me.  I will always love you."  He raises a hand in the Vulcan salute.  "I will always be your friend.  That.  There's stuff you say on your way out to signfity things are pretty much over!"
    He crosses his arms.  "Kian, I had no intention of breaking up with him—the way he said goodbye to me, it sure sounded like he was…."  He glances over at Gar.

Kian has posed:
    "Yis, not-normal iss the normal here," Kían says, shaking his head.  "I thin' break, broke, breaking up means that you are not tenár'yw any-more?  That iss not right an' mus' not happen."
    He slowly gets to his feet and stands between them, holding out his hands.  "I haf idea.  Sometimes words, they are in the way.  Take my han's, an' look in each other's eyes.  I will connec' you.  Bein' tenár, you mus' know each other, not trus' each other, yis.  This is why the ki'thar, the min'-touch iss called a gif', an' I offer the gif' for you bot' to use.  I thin' you need it right now."

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan rubs both temples.  "Maaaan… I was literally saying I loved you the same as ever and I wanted you to be careful," he explains weakly, like this whole thing turned into a massive misunderstanding, "because with Harley being Harley I was getting worried about you and I… thought it was important that I told you what was on my mind instead of keeping it inside, and the way she said it's like you're trying to help her and be someone who believes in her, I didn't really know what to say after that because that's what we should be doing, I guess."
    Lest he start rambling even more, he lets Kian insert himself into the mix.  "But we didn't—" he starts to protest, only to give in and allow the Akiar to play the role he wishes to.  Quietly, he takes the hand and looks toward Vorpal, his eyes flickering briefly before settling on his.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Vorpal exhales at Gar's words, as if an enormous weight had been lifted off his chest.  What follows is embarrassment, embarrassment at remembering that Colette had told him that they were BAD at communicating.
    Kian's eager mediating spares him the embarrassment of saying something just yet, and the cat simply takes his friend's hand and nods, looking at Gar.
    "So… what do we do again?"

Kian has posed:
    {Just… look each other directly in the eyes.  That seems to always make a deep connection, although nobody knows why for sure,} Kían sends to both.  {I'll be here only as the connection… and filtering out some of the, uh, Vorpalness of Terry's mind.  I remember you found it overwhelming, Gar.  I won't change any of it, I'll just make it less intense.  I'm going to try very hard to not 'listen' to it either, since it's between you two, but I won't be able to help 'overhearing' at least some.  This is a technique we trained on in Imperial Emergency Services.  It's usually used to help filter out someone's pain until we can administer a sedative… or facilitate a final communication if someone's too injured to concentrate on their own.  But it has other, more upbeat uses.  And in any case, both of you have been in mindtouch with me before, so this shouldn't be too weird for you, other than that you should sense very little of me.}
    Externally, Kían closes his eyes, takes a slow, steadying breath, and concentrates.  {Whenever you're ready.  Just look into each other's eyes.}

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan clears his throat, his green eyes centered on Vorpal's.  It's a focus Terry has probably thought about dozens, if not hundreds of times before, but this time around it's going to be that much sharper, that much intense.  Whether it's necessary or not, there can't be a major issue with them reaffirming things this way.  There shouldn't be.
    {I didn't follow all of that, but I think I'm ready.}  There were things that needed to be done to create that mental beacon for the Titans, the one Vorpal felt and used to steer them home, but this is much more direct.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    {I am ready….}
    Vorpal's green eyes focus on Gar's.  He takes a few breath and tries to focus on not being so weird so as to overwhelm Gar.  Then he remembers that Kian will be their coffee filter, so to speak, to keep out all of his interesting… granularity, and relaxes.
    He senses the opening of the connection and tentatively moves towards it, wondering how exactly this will play out.

Kian has posed:
    Kían seems to sort of take a step back, mentally.  He's still there, a telepathic USB hub adding very little of his own thoughts to the mix—of course, he's much more used to this sort of thing.
    There is a phenomenon sometimes called on Earth the "purple cow" effect—if one is told not to think of a purple cow, they can't help thinking of a purple cow.  There's a similar thing on Kían's world, the "dancing duhón".  It's a strange ground-dwelling bird that is best described as a combination of the sillier aspects of penguins and kiwis, and it looks even sillier imagined dancing.
    The fleeting image of one flits across Kían's thoughts as he suddenly injects, {So what do you need to tell each other?} into the shared mental space and just as suddenly withdraws to the telepathic shadows again.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    The landscape is strange, as far as it comes to Vorpal's inner life.  Terry is there, but the presence of the Cheshire Cat brings certain things into contrast—by their very nature incompatible with who the cat is, but very much a part of what Terry carries on his shoulders.
    The fear of always being the one who doesn't fit in, the one who is unloveable—the one who, if anybody got to know them for real, would be abandoned.  It's so much easier to step back and be the observer, the one telling other people's stories—because then nobody tells stories about you.  You can disappear, then.  Nobody needs to know you, or love you… so that they can reject you later.
    There's a big sensation that this was Terry's plan, to remain on the outskirts, the chronicler, the journalist, with his own life story on pause, loving from afar.
    And then Gar happened.
    And then the Cheshire Cat happened to him and kicked him into the spotlight, and now he can't go back.  But he's still afraid.  But he can't help but reach out to people like Harley—those who are forgotten, like he was, those who need someone to believe in them.  And he's afraid—Gar rejects Harley… well, what does that say about Vorpal?
    He blinks for a second, realizing that instead of a trickle, he's letting the floodgates open.  Not by design, the Cheshire side is forcing things.
    {I'm… more afraid than I let you know.  I think you are wonderful… but I don't know if you can ever learn to live with my… with what I am.}
    There is a strong sense of love, Terry's love for Gar is just as strong as the green Titan's shared emotion through the probe.  But there's also the fear component, and the self doubt.  There are images, too… Terry in Catholic school, hearing about the sinfulness of things, of all people, of the unworthiness.  And the memory of blood running down his nose that somehow didn't hurt nearly as much as the figurative broken heart.

Gar Logan has posed:
    One thing in this moment is cemented: there will come a time when Gar surprises Kian with a 'dancing duhon.'
    But, it's secondary to what crosses through from Vorpal, and what also comes through from his end:
    Fear of loss.  Repeating, over and over.  It starts with something from what appears to be his own perspective.  Your perspective.  A river.  A boat.  A deadly storm.  A waterfall.  A mother and a father.  The boat going over the edge.  There is no sound, but the urgency in the expressions of the adults as they look at him/you, shouting in silence, gesturing for him/you to get away.
    Then, soaring above the waterfall, green wings in the periphery, a beak visible in the first-person.  Landing on the branch of a tree by the river's edge, watching the boat battered to pieces on the rocks, the last sight his/your parents going under.  Immense loss and sorrow.
    Then, there are other flashes.  An African village.  A King.  A mean Witch Doctor.  Two ne'er-do-wells who took him/you back to America, forced him/you to commit crimes, but he/you saw them get into an argument and kill each other.
    Then, Nicholas Galtry, who only wanted his/your inheritance, mistreating him/you, looking for ways to get rid of him/you for good.
    Then, the Doom Patrol.  Hope.  Fun.  A new family.
    Then, the Titans, an earlier incarnation of the squad.  Feeling like he/you fit in.
    Then, Doomsday.  Death.  Separation.
    Then, Los Angeles.  Hollywood.  Partying while feeling empty inside.  Relationships that were doomed from the start, never lasting more than a date or two.  People just wanting his/your money because of a little fame.
    Then, Metropolis.  Recording outside the Hall of Justice.  Bumping, literally, into a familiar face: Terry's, but from Gar's perspective.  A blur from there, but events that would be more familiar by now, including the first encounter with Kian, an intimidating one with a reclusive Raven that led to her, essentially, accepting others back into the Tower.  More people around.  Terry and Vorpal.  A growing interest that turned into more, into actual love with the hope that it might blossom into something more than just another fling.  Confused thoughts about it being with another boy, but acceptance that maybe it was meant to be.
    Then, the incident in space.  The sense of loss, of despair, of wanting to give up on everything and die.  A dream with a field and a place that seemed out of The Lord of the Rings, then a court scene in Wonderland, Vorpal at the center of it all, fading away as if gone forever.  A sliver of hope regained after visions of April's place, with her and Donatello there.  The home Terry grew up in, and yes, things there that Gar saw in the bedroom.  Battles with the Fearsome Five when they attacked Titans Tower and the team found their base to retaliate.
    Finally, everyone returned safe and sound.  Relief that the one Gar wanted to be with was back, but mixed with fear and worry over losing him again, no matter the reason, be it Harley Quinn and her irresponsible, chaotic nature, or just some battle.  Annoyance toward Colette over the matter of dealing with Terry's stuff being taken out of his apartment when his landlord decided to evict.  Even the meeting with Harley from just the day before, giving insight into how it went, how his thought process shifted, how he realized the way he handled himself.
    Amid all this, there is Vorpal's own side coming through.  It is tainted to some extent by the Cheshire Cat's own chaotic nature, but it's not the first time Gar has felt it.  This time, with Kian's assistance in blunting it, he can withstand the strange thoughts and feelings enough to read what comes from both of them.  The worry over abandonment, rejection, of being damaged, meant to be cast aside.  All of it changed when Gar entered the picture, as someone whose life Terry had followed from afar, yes, but then much closer.  Some of it makes more sense, shows Gar where he has mishandled some things, doesn't assure he won't make mistakes again in the future, but at least now there is a deeper understanding.
    {I do believe in you.  I'm afraid to lose you.  Both of you, Terry and Vorpal.  I don't want to let you go.  I'll find a way.  We'll find a way.  Together.}
    There is warmth, and it extends toward Kian as well.  All along, Gar's eyes remain sharply on Vorpal's, even if they glisten more than they did at the start.

Kian has posed:
    That was more than Kían had expected, and although he's the one with experience in this kind of sharing, some of it strikes home for him—the sense of separation, loneliness, isolation.  He tries to betray no more than just tightening his grip on the others' hands.
    Also, he wasn't prepared for the intensity.  He had thought to kick aside a pebble or two and let the flow start gently… but apparently Earth people don't do 'gently', and it's a wild emotional hurricane from both directions.  He does his best to keep his own thoughts and feelings out of it: this is for Gar and Terry's healing, not his.
    But telepathy is a funny thing, and except in the most skilled and powerful minds, it's never just one way, so there's going to be a little backwash of his own feelings of loss and loneliness… and lately, of belonging and of having a new home.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Yes, he had suspected what may have happened with Gar's parents but… seeing it in his own.  The loss hits him hard, augmented by Kian's own, and he takes a very deep breath, because it just doesn't do to cry on fur, right?
    {I'm sorry I assumed the worst.  We… we will make it work… no matter what….}
    He squeezes Kian's hand, and then nods slowly without losing sight of Gar's eyes.
    {It's… going to take a while for… these things….}  He waves, as if he could gesture to the ideas and memories.  And yet, in a way, he does, as the cavalcade of memories comes in and out into focus, the solitary kid often walking alone, to become a solitary teenager in the shadow of other's regard—with the only bright spots in his memory being Cousin April, whom Gar sees as a little girl wearing a cape and running around with Terry on the O'Neil farmstead in the summers, and his mother.  The mother who raised him and worked hard to keep a roof over their heads… often, she didn't have as much time for him as both would have wanted, which is also an absence of sorts… all the more bittersweet because it's not from rejection.
    {I… I'm going to try to get past… so much of this.}  The idea of therapy comes up as well.  As a possiblity.  But that's for later.
    {I love you.  If you can take me with my baggage… we can travel together.}  He smiles, tears streaming down his face and he winces at the bad joke.  And then there's an outpouring of warmth for Kian, for helping them with this… who knows if they could have said everything the way they needed?  Words sometimes do get in the way, the bird-man is right.

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan returns the grip, gently while also firmly, and while eye contact remains, he is bringing the three closer together.
    He has already felt Kian's own sense of loss, of who was left behind, of being alone in an unfamiliar world, and he has probably felt and understood it better than anyone else on the planet.  That's what being able to turn into an Akiar can help bring.  It also means Kian is tied to them in some way beyond just friend or teammate.  How far that bond goes and how it exists is not fully developed yet, but there is a sense of welcoming in Gar's thoughts that cross over through the telepathic link.
    {You know what I feel.  Maybe I can even learn to accept Harley, or make sure I keep a closer eye on you,} he says, trying to convey a smile through the thoughts and adding one in for real.  {And I have more baggage than an airport carousel.  But enough talking for now.  Let's just be together.  And if you ever say I Whitney Houstoned you again, I'm going to bite you.}

Kian has posed:
    Kían breathes a mental sigh of relief.  Of course, once the floodwaters pass, the calm returns, with a few interesting things revealed by the torrential flow.  He feels a little better himself, even though he deliberately did his best to remain on the periphery.
    Without warning, he pulls Gar and Terry close, wrapping his wings around them.  {You're my closest friends on this world.  I would not see you hurting.  And remember, any time you don't have the words or feel uncertainty lurking in the back of your mind, Gar can turn into one of my people and you can do this for yourselves.}
    He looks between the two of them.  {And what is a 'wit-nee-hyus-ton', or is that some Earth thing I won't understand?}

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry laughs loudly blinking back tears and gladly joins the three-way embrace, exhaling a little bit.
    {Thank you, Kian… I don't know what I'd do if I lost this green troublemaker….}  He sniffles and winks at Gar.
    The question surprises him, and the notion that Kian is not of this earth and doesn't know many things resurfaces.  And, for a moment, there is a melange of images—Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton, Carol Channing, Lady Gaga—
    If there had ever been any doubt that Terry was gay, he just dismembered it and stuffed it in a trunk.  His thoughts quickly reorganize.
    {She was a singer who died tragically, she starred in a dramatic representation called 'The Bodyguard' where she has a relationship with a man entrusted to protect her, and the most famous song from that drama is a song called 'I Will Always Love You' in which she tells him that she loves him, will always love him, but can't be with him….}
    He blinks, and suddenly speaks, "…you're right, this telepathy thing is a lot clearer…."  He got that thought out without a single detour, even as the Cheshire cat.