5917/The Way Forward

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The Way Forward
Date of Scene: 12 April 2021
Location: Centennial Park - New Troy
Synopsis: How to celebrate the first year of the Titans' reunion? Terry gets a brilliant idea that in no way can possibly go wrong.
Cast of Characters: Terry O'Neil, Gar Logan, Kian

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    It's always nice to wind down on Sunday night.  It is becoming somewhat of a ritual for Terry and Gar—when they can take stock of the week that has gone by, and make plans for the week that is to come.  And then adapt when the crazy world they live in throws wrenches at almost every single one of those plans.
    The red-headed teen sips on his chai tea, sitting by the park bench and watching the activities wind down around them as the night gets on.  "…it's officially a year now, give or take a few days, that I had my transformation and went into Raven's soul-self with the others to fight off her… father's influence, I guess.  Kind of my one year anniversary in sort of becoming an actual Titan."  He glances over at Gar and raises an eyebrow.  "It's only been a year.  Can you believe it?"

Gar Logan has posed:
    "Time flies when you're having fun… or saving the world every few weeks and trying not to get killed by the random bad guy of the month, right?"
    Gar is taking up most of the space on the bench, arms spread across the back of it, legs stretched out ahead of him, crossed at the ankles.  Nearby is a liquid of his own, one of those sports drinks touted as great for replenishing electrolytes and stuff like that, with some attention-grabbing name like 'Magnificent Mango' that took a brainstorming team five seconds or five hours to come up with.
    Glancing toward the catboy, he asks, "Why, having second thoughts yet?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "In your dreams, Logan.  What, are you trying to get rid of me already?" Terry says playfully, setting his cup down on the corner of the bench.  "Done with the steady life and you're getting tempted to chase some pretty birds or something?"
    He nudges Gar's shoulder and grins, stretching a bit afterwards.  "Just reflecting on how crazy everything has been.  I was kind of content to look at things from the outside in, you know.  Reporting.  I never expected to be part of the story."

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan sends over a knowing look after the question of attractive avians is raised.  That's as far as it goes.
    "No, I know you're in this for the long haul now.  You kind of have to be, because it's too late to go back to normal."  He sizes Terry up and down, adding dryly, "Not that there's anything normal about the cat from Wonderland being part of you, but you know what I mean.  You can't just go write about mundane stuff like you aren't part of the bigger picture now."
    He sips at what's left of his bottle of juice, glancing toward the night sky.  "If I didn't come back last year, maybe none of this would have happened.  Or maybe it would have without us around.  Maybe you'd have ended up covering college sports at some school nobody's heard of."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "Oh god, college sports?  No, I would've been here.  I came following the cold case that was my father, remember?  Landing the internship at the planet was pure luck…."  He sips his tea and raises his eyebrows.  "Even if I did have to drop out of classes not long after that for lack of funds.  Getting involved with the Titans was a boon—a way to keep myself from getting axed because I had an in.  Little did I know!"
    He chuckles and looks straight ahead of him.  "Still.  I think that a year is something we should all mark with some sort of party.  By my reckoning, the first time the majority of the team did something again as a group was that fight with the mechanical spiders.  April… first.  So what do you think?"  He taps his chin.  "Maybe we should organize a little something for the team."

Gar Logan has posed:
    "Oh yeah, those things," Gar reminisces.  "When I almost got run through and saw this strange yet oddly interesting cat-thing help save me before I ate it.  And the rest is history."
    He finishes off the juice, looks behind him, and lobs the empty bottle into a trash can about ten feet away.  Swish.  "I guess starting to cover us while you were still finding out about yourself was a good excuse to stick around, because being a coffee go-fer doesn't get people very far."
    Drumming his fingers against the bench, he adds, "You know I don't need much of an excuse for a party.  Maybe that'd be a good thing."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry smiles at the memory, and raises an eyebrow.  "I saved your butt.  But by that time you had already saved mine… what, three, four times?"  It's then that he finishes his own drink and tosses it at the nearest receptacle.  And misses.  Which necessitates him getting up, picking it up, depositing it, and then sitting back down.
    "Tell you what.  Let's do it.  Let's have a party.  I can take care of the details and the logistics—but you get the challenge of convincing Raven to show up.  She has to be there or it's bad luck, and you don't want bad luck, do you, Gar?"  He winks.  " 'sides, it should be super easy for you to convince her."

Gar Logan has posed:
    "I stopped counting at some point," Gar deadpans, rolling his eyes at the sight of Terry having to get up to ensure the cup gets where it belongs.  "Gar 1, Terry 0," he remarks.
    As Terry returns, he takes up a position of balance along the back of the bench, crouching with his arms extended to steady himself.  "Super easy to talk Raven into coming to a party, huh?  You sure know how to raise the bar for difficulty," the green one adds, shaking his head.

Kian has posed:
    Kían had been just enjoying the early spring air.  Earthly winters suck; really, anything above 45° or so does nicely as far as the birdman is concerned.  He's been out enjoying what he calls the glass canyons—the wonderful winds between the tall buildings in downtown Metropolis—and is taking the lazy way back to the tower.
    Really, he's not even heading towards the tower.  Now it's just a matter of a lazy flight, prolonging his enjoyment of the spring air.
    Lazily coasting over an expanse of greenery—a 'park', is that what it's called here?  Something like that—he's not really paying attention until something below stands out.
    The green of Gar wouldn't necessarily, but the close juxtaposition to the rampaging red of Terry's hair certainly catches his attention.
    He spirals down… and then veers off at the last second to drop quietly into an evergreen (spring may be here, but it moves slowly), and chirps.
    He's in a playful mood.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "If anyone can do it, it's you, Gar!  You've got the winning smile, cute looks and—"  Terry's list of compliments is interrupted, however, by the Bird From Above.  It is probably better left unsaid that all of those charms are useless on Raven—they are almost not enough in Donna to be able to convince Raven!
    "Did you just hear…?"  Terry frowns, looking around.  "That didn't sound like an owl… are there other nocturnal birds?"
    The redhead suddenly looks at Gar again, and narrows his eyes with suspicion.  "…you didn't just chirp, did you?"

Gar Logan has posed:
    Gar Logan quips, "And here I thought you liked me," after Terry continues to push him on being the one to try to talk Raven into partying with the rest of them.  It really might have to come down to Donna convincing her.  Then again, he's been able to get Raven to respond a couple times before.
    The chirp leads to him glancing around.  No uniform for him out here, just some casual wear.  He'd almost fit in as normal, except for all that green.  "Who?" he asks, leaving it quite unclear whether he's asking the question or imitating said owl.

Kian has posed:
    Waiting until they're looking the wrong way, Kían flits to the cover of another evergreen, and chirps again.
    He's taking a definite impish joy in doing something he could never do at home—his mental presence would give him away instantly to his fellow telepaths, but on Earth that's generally not an issue.
    This time, he even stops to think that he should dim the light around himself, lest the reflection off a definitively non-evergreen bit of skin or kilt or feather give him away.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "Okay, that wasn't you…"  Terry frowns and stands up, looking around this way and that.  "I think there might be a bird around here… I heard it chirp."
    He takes advantage of his standing position to stretch his legs.  "Maybe it's injured?  We should check the grass to see if maybe it's fallen somewhere?  We could take it back to the tower…"  He reaches for his phone to turn the flashlight on and search the grass.  It doesn't even occur to him that he could go cat and use his night vision.

Gar Logan has posed:
    "Maybe if you find it, you can nurse it back to health. I know you have a habit of doing that with injured animals," Gar quips, then he hops off the bench and rolls his neck side to side, loosening it up.
    Then, he calls back with a chirp that perfectly mimics the one he heard.  That doesn't mean he's 'talking' in bird, but maybe… well, just maybe he can understand if there's a meaning behind what was heard.

Kian has posed:
    Kían wasn't actually 'saying' anything—or if he was, it was in an avian 'dialect' from his own planet, not anything by an Earth-born bird.
    In any case, he really hasn't much heart for teasing his friends, or maybe it's occurred to him that with the crazy stuff they have to deal with all the time, maybe mysterious chirpings in the dark aren't a good idea.
    He flits up and out of the tree, dropping the dimming of the light around himself, and touches down delicately on the back of the bench.  "Kié, tenár... tavárik'yw," he says, spreading his wings and shaking them out, then folding them neatly.  "I am sorry, I coul' not resis' teasin' you a little.  I saw you from above; I am not intrudin', I hope."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    Terry blinks and stares at Kian for a few seconds, and then he laughs.  "No, you're not intruding!  But it looks like Gar is rubbing off on you and is being a bad influence."  He crosses his arms and grins.  "Gar, see what you've done?  Kian is pulling pranks!"
    He walks over to the Akiar and leans in to kiss his cheek in greeting, and then he playfully tugs at his hair before stepping back.  "It's clear we need to help you overcome this corruption."
    Because it would totally be Gar who would corrupt Kian, not Terry.  No, not Terry at all.  "You were going out for a bit of a trip in the air?"

Gar Logan has posed:
    There follows an amused look from Gar when the reveal is made.  "Oh, so it's you," he says, putting on an accusing, chiding tone.  "And why are you acting like I made him do that?  Like I'm the only bad influence around here?"  Arms spread wide, not exactly like wings doing the same.
    "Hey, Kian.  No, we were just chatting and hanging out."  He moves closely enough to Terry to give him a definite nudge.  "Dork."

Kian has posed:
    Kían leans into the kiss, and giggles.  "Gar iss sweet an' gentle.  He would not haf me play a min' game like that."  He does not add who might have.
    "I was takin' the wind between the buildin's in the city," he explains, nodding in the general direction of downtown Metropolis.  "Even the canyons an' cliffs back home are not like that.  It iss wonderful.  An' very good exercise."
    Wings spread and re-fold.  He's quite proud of them, actually.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "Goof!" Terry answers, nudging Gar back and giving him a wink.  "Gar is not sweet and gentle.  You just haven't seen his other side.  He hides it.  In the closet.  It only comes out on the full moon."
    Terry suddenly stops, as if something Kian has said remind him of something, and then he snaps his fingers.  "You know, you've been here for a year, but you haven't really seen much of what the world has to offer, Kian.  You've either been here in the tri-city areas, or out in space.  Here I was trying to think of something we could do to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Titans coming together… and I just got it."
    He glances at Gar, and then at Kian, and then intones solemnly:
    "Road trip!"

Gar Logan has posed:
    "Yes I am!  I'm very sweet and gentle!" Gar exclaims, prior to poking at one of Terry's ears in retaliation.  "You make it sound like I'm some kind of werewolf!"  And, well, there's nothing really stopping him from being just that.
    Giving Kian a brief nod, he saves the 'hostilities' for Terry and Terry alone.  "Yeah, I'll go between those buildings when I'm flying, too.  Sometimes I'll try to see if anyone's having some big meeting up on one of the top floors of a place and try to distract them."
    Speaking of distractions, Terry's sudden idea does the job.  "What?  Road trip?  You realize we don't even technically need a car, and… Kian probably wouldn't even be comfortable in one."

Kian has posed:
    And there's another Earth reference that goes sailing sufficiently far over Kían's head that it doesn't even part his hair.  "Roads are for robots and transports," he says simply.
    Somehow, though, he seems to have gotten the basic idea of what Terry is talking about.  "I shoul' see more of this worl', especially if it iss going to be my home.  I haf been aroun' the tower, an' aroun' the school, an' in space.  An' from space I know there iss a lot of Eart' I haf not seen yet."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
    "We've got better vehicles than cramped cars, Gar!  And the beauty of traveling is… that we're traveling in leisure, not pressed to go save the world!  No no I think it's a great idea… we can reserve rest spots, and if there's an emergency we can always come back via Rabbit Hole, take care of it, and go back."
    Smacking his fist into an open hand, Terry grins.  "I am determined.  We shall celebrate our first year with a little road trip—Kian, just wait til you see the Grand Canyon.  Imagine the wind there… and the massive redwoods in—oh boy!"  He grins and starts walking.  "Okay, come on.  I need to plan.  And I need coffee.  To Common Grounds!" he points, mentioning a common late-night coffee shop.