4588/A Much Delayed Apology

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A Much Delayed Apology
Date of Scene: 03 January 2021
Location: Empire Glassworx
Synopsis: There is nothing foreshadowing in this scene
Cast of Characters: Terry O'Neil, Nick Lytton

Terry O'Neil has posed:
It has been a long, long time coming, but as the saying says, it is better late...

VIt is Vorpal who walks into the shop, not Terry, but at this point the distinction is pointless after his public reveal. Gar isn't by his side, which is uncharacteristic for a pair often described as 'joined at the hip', but there are a lot of things that are not as they should be, right now.

To avoid thinking about /those/, Terry has decided that it is finally time to deal with something he intended to rectify before he got so rudely distracted by being lost in space.

"Hi... er... is Nick here? Could you tell him... Terry O'Neil is here to see him?"

No, he did not call ahead. Of course.

Nick Lytton has posed:
    It takes Ginny a moment.  Working with Nick usually fulfills one's daily requirements of vitamins W, T and F -- but even then, having a bipedal cat come walking into the studio is not an everyday occurrance.  "Oh, wow... uh, I mean, hi, yeah, I remember you!  I was gonna email you about an upcoming show and see if you could ask the Planet's arts reporter to come around."  She glances to the back; Nick is dancing like he thinks no one's watching, and a handful of glowing glass that he's contorting into, into... well, who knows what it's going to be.  Right now it looks like a superheated one-man taffy pull conducted by the victim of an unfortunate whole-body nervous disorder.
    She hops off her stool and heads for the door.  "Lemme get him for you -- is he expecting you?"  Without waiting for an answer, she pulls open the door, and hopefully Terry remembers the volume at which Nick usually listens to his music while working.
    o/` -- FOR A WHILE AT THE CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER / PROUD WALKIN' JINGLE IN -- o/` *>BAM<* and there's quiet again.
    Through the window, the following events take place.
    First, Ginny turns the stereo down, which in and of itself gets Nick's attention.  He continues kneading the handful of glass while she tells him something.
    His eyes go wide and the glass hits the floor.
    Probably not hard to guess what she just told him.
    She heads back to the gallery area while he ducks out of sight, one assumes to clean up the glass he just dropped, although from the look on his face, making a crawl for the back door might not be out of the question.
    "He'll be up in a minute," she explains, coming through the door, and giving the cat a *most* quizzical look.  Whatever question she has, she does not ask.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Thank you."

Vorpal waits.

Waiting is not really his forte, as one might imagine. Cats are only patient when stalking and they are in control, not when they're being forced to wait for someone else.

His tail twitches. His ear twitches.

There is silence.

"I was... lost in space for three months," he tells Ginny, by way of explanation. It explains nothing.

Nick Lytton has posed:
    "I heard something about that, yeah," Ginny replies, in the tones of someone who has no idea how to respond to a statement like that, even knowing that it's true.
    Nick, as it turns out, did not make a break for the back door, although he does hesitate before opening the door into the gallery.  When he does, probably fortunately, it cuts off Ginny's, "So, uh, is there something betw-- oh, here he is."
    Nick waves Terry on into the studio with a civil "C'mon in," but otherwise silently leading the way to a conference room where they won't be disturbed.  He pours coffee, offers some to Terry, settles into a chair.
    Opens his mouth.
    Closes it again.
    Repeat twice more, before finally settling on, "Well, I think I know why my voicemails never got answered."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal sits down when offered a chair, but he doesn't do it like a normal person would. If it were possible to sit side-saddle on a chair, the Cheshire cat does it, with one leg crossed over the knee. This was the only comfortable way to make room for his tail, angled enough for it to be able to drape over the arm rest instead of squishing it.

"Yeah... I'm... really sorry about that." He raises his hands up to chest levelm "I really, really wanted to come and apologize... and then, well..." he gestures, " I kinda got lost. And then when we came back, there was a lot of crap to deal with right away."

He exhales, "So... about what happened... at the Embassy."

Nick Lytton has posed:
    "Yyyeah, about that," Nick begins, and just kind of leaves it there.
    Sip coffee.
    Study the tabletop.
    "I mean, I think I kinda figured out what happened since you were trying to do the secret identity thing at the time," he finally says, exhaling.  "But all you had to say was you were seeing someone already.  It would'a been true without blowing your cover, and a lot less shitty than just running out like that."
    He doesn't sound angry, and not even really hurt, at least not anymore.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"I... in hindsight, that's really what I should've done, but honestly at the time I was kind of panicking." He exhales, "Gar and I had had a big, big discussion about which of my 'identities' he would be dating, so that we would present a consistent front in public and help me keep my identity secret. The thing is.. I /didn't/ realize you were flirting with me. Nobody's ever actually flirted with me before." The cat spreads his hands, "And then when I realized it, and I saw Gar getting /that/ look, I kind of panicked."

He exhales again, "And it really sasy a lot about my inexperience in the subject that I didn't even think of saying I was seeing someone else. At the moment I thought that I either could follow along and piss Gar off, or cut you off and insult you." He rolls his eyes, "This is what critical thinking theorists call a false alternative. Turns out that you are prone to them when in a panic."

Nick Lytton has posed:
    "He didn't seem to need any help getting pissed off," Nick comments.  "I wondered why he kept giving me dirty looks.  That's really the part I'm still annoyed about.  He *had* to have known I *couldn't* have known you had a secret identity, and he's giving me this attitude like I did."
    He frowns, and sips his coffee some more.  "Besides the fact that I have a pretty useless power for superheroing, this is why I didn't screw around with trying to hide my meta.  Christ, it's hard enough keeping one life in one piece, let alone two."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Gar... has a endency to get ambushed by very strong emotions. And unless he's doing an acting gig, he's not very good at suppressing them. You have no idea how much he agonized about being attracted to me... about us having a relationship. It took him seven months to acknowledge his feelings for me, you know."

Vorpal chuckles, "He... is new to all of this. It wasn't really against you, you see... apparently he saw my replies as encouraging you to continue to flirt with me. In my cluelessness, I guess that's what I did..."

Nick Lytton has posed:
    Nick works on absorbing that.  "Yeah, well, he wasn't the only one who thought you were encouraging me.  Although maybe in my case that was rampaging optimism more than anything else.  Also, I thought you were older'n you apparently actually are.  You don't carry yourself like a teenager."
    This time it's Nick's turn to chuckle.  "Seven months?  Shit, it took me what, seven minutes?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal laughs, "I mean, your optimism is well founded. If I hadn't been in a relationship already, I definitely would have been interested in pursuing that avenue, so don't think too badly of yourself. Timing... is a thing."

"Seven months. Yeah. And then he spent one month thinking I was dead, and then two months thinking I might never come back. But... through and through, we're together. I know your experience with him was a difficult one, but i assure you he is one of the sweetest guys ever."

"So I need to make it up to you for a very awkward situation, and then three months of suspense. Ginny said there's a show coming up?"

Nick Lytton has posed:
    "Well, the invitation to model still stands," Nick says, without waggling his eyebrows.  "I really have been wanting to explore figural work rather than functional or abstract, that was a serious offer and /not/ an attempt to get some of your clothes off."
    He shakes his head.  "Poor kid, that must have been three months of hell," he mutters quietly, but doesn't follow that thought any further.  He's still a little annoyed with the green one.
    "Show, yeah, it's a joint project with the Museum of Natural History -- The Science of Art/The Art of Science," he explains, rapidly shifting gears.  "It's a couple months out yet, but you got to have the lead time, you know?  If I weren't the moral and upstanding person I am, I might dare to suggest that a little good press might help salve my wounded soul...."  Huge grin.  He's obviously teasing.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Vorpal laughs, "Touche... I'll let Lois know, she can schedule Linda Reichermann to come over, she's the top art critic. She loves stuff like yours, so you're guaranteed good press unless everything explodes, or something." The Cheshire cat raises an eyebrow and then adds, "Okay... modeling, sure, why not? Gar might want to come, too... heh, you could sculpt both of us. You could do him in Uranium glass," he grins, and starts to stand up, "But I need to go, there's some Titans stuff I need to take care of..."

Then,he pauses. "Actually, I need to tell you something. But... don't spread it around, okay? I want you to stay alert... if you see people you know suddenly acting strange. Very strange. If you were to witness something like that, will you give me a call and set it to urgent? There are some strange things going around... and I thought I'd warn you. Don't... rell anyone, but we may have a case of Doppelgangers around. And as crazy as that sounds..." he gestures to himself, as if providing evidence that the strange is commonplace now.

Nick Lytton has posed:
    "Uranium...."  Nick's eyes go wide and he grabs a blank sheet of paper and a handful of markers -- it's an art studio, they're around -- while muttering, "Ruby, cobalt, uranium, molybdenum..." and then looks up sharply at Vorpal with the faraway lack of focus of someone who's trying to get an idea down on paper before it escapes him.  "Who wears yellow on your team?  And blue?"
    Already he has sketched out a recognizable red Robin, orange Starfire, green Gar, purple Raven.  "You Titans can make up one hell of a rainbow flag for Pride Week if you all are up for it.  It'd send a serious message, wouldn't it?"
    The blaze of inspiration passes; he's got the important bits down on paper.  "Linda -- yes, that would be wonderful!  Although there are some explosions involved.  But they're planned and controlled."
    And then Nick has the unique experience of having an anthropomorphic Cheshire cat explain to him that there may be duplicates of people around, and he hasn't a good way to process that.  "I'm an artist, do you know the kinds of people I hang out with?  How the hell am I supposed to know if someone's acting strange, unless they start suddenly acting perfectly normal?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Yellow? Not that I know off.... Starfire is mostly golden-colored, so she could be yellow..." he laughs And that's funny, because Donna and Raven are dating, and I am dating Gar. And Robin had a very close male 'friend' at one point.. so we are already kind of a pride flag. I don't know of any other teams that have as many non-straight members as we do." Something worth telling Donna, because she'd find it funny.

The question has him pausing for a second, and then he says "Yeah... okay. So maybe watch out for any artists who suddenly talk about using spreadsheets and balancing their budget? All I'm saying is... keep your eyes out. And call me at any sign of something seriously fucky. Okay?"

Nick Lytton has posed:
    "I'll try to keep an eye out," Nick says dubiously.  "I mean, this is really kinda out of my league, y'know?  But I'll try to keep an eye out.  I don't know many of the rich and famous, despite my best efforts.  I mean, that's who would be getting replaced, wouldn't it?  No point in replacing someone like me."