925/'Twas Brillig

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'Twas Brillig
Date of Scene: 01 April 2020
Location: Titan's Tower - Lobby
Synopsis: Terry and Colette catch up after a day full of a metric-ton of crazy
Cast of Characters: Terry O'Neil, Gar Logan, Colette O'Connail

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry managed to return to the Metropolis area just this very day*, and after some viscissitudes** he was able to regain his prior appearance... for now.

So the first thing he did after going to April (because family is family), he realizes that he needs to contact a shit-ton of people to let them know he is okay. And what he is going to tell them.

Fortunately, he knows Colette's cell phone number by memory, so he dials her from his landline. It goes to voicemail, of course.

"Colette, it's me, Terry. I'll explain everything soon. Meet me at the tower in twenty. I lost my phone!"

The fact that he managed not to get a speeding ticket driving back to the tower is a miracle. By the time he gets out of the car, the dust of the road is still ten seconds away from catching up. He doesn't bother to lock the car, he sprints to the front entrance.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
* See "A very merry unbirthday", true believers!
** Especially learning how to spell viscissitude.

Gar Logan has posed:
What a day. It was very taxing, both mentally and physically. The first day of the unofficial Titans restart, for lack of a better word, had been going well. People were hanging out, getting to know each other, and then as is so often the case with these kinds of things, trouble found them. Rather, they found it by going to the source, but there was danger, people in need of help.

The mechanical spiders, though? Almost more than they could handle by themselves. Sure, they got a number of people to safety, but there were too many of the things. Gar was using as much as he could to battle them, but he got zapped, flipped over, and everything went kind of hazy after that. Dreams took over.

Seeing Nightwing. Starfire. Raven. Dove. But also Kian. Hawkeye. Colette. And..what happened to Terry? There was some catty person who appeared overhead and did something weird to the spider and the person atop it, but everything went black after that.

This is the state he's in as he begins to come around in his room, groaning. "Oh God, sore everywhere, and my head is..ow." He tucks his head beneath an arm and elbow, turning over on his bed. How did he get back there? And..there's a sudden realization. "If I hurt this much, I must be alive."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    Meanwhile, in Colette's apartment:

    Ten minutes after her phone rang and she let it go to voicemail, Colette gives a deep sigh. She stands up from where she had been sitting, cross-legged, in the corner of the room, and paces over to the small coffee table in front of the TV her phone had been placed. She stares down at it a few moments, then hits the button to call voicemail. She listens for a few moments, then ends the call and dials a contact.

    From the next room, a ringtone can be heard. Colette ends the call, and sighs again. She stands there silently for a moment, then yells "FUCK!" and hurls her phone onto the sofa. She stalks back to the corner and sits down again.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry knows the code, so getting in isn't an issue. It hasn't even occurred to him how awesome it is that he *knows the code*- it's like knowing the ultimate codeword for the coolest tree-house in the world. Right now, he runs through the lobby and to the elevators. Within a few more moments he is running to the dorms.

If Garfield were badly injured, he'd be in the infirmary. If he is not in his room... he will check there next.

"Gar?" he calls out, knocking on the door. "Gar? Are you in there?" Please be in there...

Gar Logan has posed:
Tired. Sore. Just need some more sleep and things will be good again, right? That zap took more out of Gar than he expected, and a couple years of only occasionally doing anything like this - and none of it on yesterday's level - left Gar pretty out of it.

He closes his eyes, content to just sleep it off a while longer. A few hours. A day or two. A couple weeks. He could wake up again like Gar Van Winkle and not really care right now. He'd have hair and a beard to make Hagrid jealous.

Not when someone keeps rapping at the door to his room, though. That's one code Terry doesn't have yet. "Whaaaaaat?" he calls out from the other side.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Gar's voice gets him to let go of the breath he was holding. He stops the knocking and simply says "Gar, it's me, Terry. Can you let me in? I've been worried," he steps back a little from the door. He wonders if Gar has been out since yesterday. He might not know Terry went missing... That's a best case scenario.

Gar Logan has posed:
"..hang on." Whether Terry can hear it or not, there's a shuffling around inside the room for a few moments before steps reveal an approach toward the door, a click, and it swinging open a few inches.

Gar definitely looks on the 'worn out' side of tired, and there are still signs of some of the slices he took from the spiders at some point, but they've scabbed over and are already healing. "Hey," he says with a grimace, hair a mess, just in a pair of boxer shorts for some reason he's yet to notice.

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    With a sigh, Colette gets to her feet again. She fetches her phone from the sofa, checking she hasn't broken it. It's fine, but that wouldn't be a first. She heads into her hallway to grab her jacket, the one with Terry's phone in the pocket, and slips it on. She picks up her keys from the hall table, then stands staring at the front door for a few moments. A brief shiver passes through her. She takes her jacket off again, puts it down tidily on the hall table and disappears into the bathroom to neaten up a bit.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry's eyebrows raise and he leans in. Gar looks like hell, but he doesn't look bad enugh to be worrysome.

"Hey..." he replies quietly. Without thinking about it a hand reaches out to touch the doorjamb. "You can tell me to fuck off if you're too hurt. But I wanted to check in. But.... can I come in?" he says.

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan rubs 'round his eyes with the back of a hand. "Dude, what day is it? Just let me go back to sleep for the next month or so." Which, of course, isn't happening. He might not even progress past whatever that peachfuzz is that he's already got going on, anyway.

"You're back," he realizes, then his eyes briefly sharpen. "You're back! I saw, uh..that is, you were...and.." Rub those eyes again, take a couple steps back into the room.

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    After a few minutes, Colette exits the bathroom, looking a little more presentable. She grabs her jacket again, and exits the door. A minute later she's in her car. Five minutes after that, she's pulling into the lot at the tower. She stands outside a few more minutes, staring at the bell, before ringing it.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
It's now that Terry nottices that Gar is just in his underwear. Cue flush of red to the cheeks, and for a moment he looks like he is debating whether to come into the room, or whether it would be wiser not to in order to avoid embarrassment, when Gar says-

"W-wait, you saw what? he asks.

And then the doorbell rings.

"Someone's at the door!" he says, turning around and making for the elevator like a ba out of hell.

Gar Logan has posed:
"I saw you, and you.." Gar begins, squinting at the color that shows up suddenly in Terry's face.

Cue doorbell. Cue wide yawn.

"Yeah, if you could go take care of that. If it's a supervillain, tell them we're busy and to come back next week..yeah. Or tell Raven it's a telemarketer." Ignore the fact telemarketers don't exactly go door-to-door. He'll just..chill in the bedroom a little longer.

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    It is, as it happens, a pleasant day. The sky is a particularly pleasing shade of blue. The clouds are white, fluffy, and spread across the vault of heavens in a pattern that is uncommonly aesthetic in form.

    The spring birds bring color and song to the day, filling the sky with wheeling flocks. Insects buzz, and in the foliage surrounding the lot, a pair of raccoon frolic.

    Outside the door to the tower, Colette awaits impatiently. Her face a-frown, her foot tapping, her mind not paying these things one iota of attention.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry doesn't pay them any heed, either. Mostly becaue his mind is occupied by the double image of Gar in hi underwear, and the abstract terror of what it was that he saw.

His lushed face is the first thing Colette sees, and then the rest of him emerges from behind the door.

"Oh Colettte!"

The hug that he assaults her with has more than its fair share of panic and desperation. "Thank god you're here! You're not going to believe what's happening to me..."

Gar Logan has posed:
Up in his bedroom, Gar eyes his bed and finds it preferable to stumbling his way down to the lobby. If explosions start going on around the place, he'll know it was the bad guys. If not, it can wait. "Mmm, Terry's safe, but where did that cat guy go?" he wonders. Life's great mysteries.

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    Colette is hugged. It is correct to say that Colette is hugged, because it describes the action in a precise and accurate fashion. Terry hugs Colette; thus Colette is hugged. It is important to note the use of passive voice here. Colette is hugged; it is something that happens to her. She does not resist, fortunately, but nor can she in any way be said to participate in the hug, beyond being its target. She is accepting of this state of affairs, as one might accept the wind blowing against one's face. It would be foolish to object to the wind, but most of the time it is just something a person accepts is happening without really giving it much thought. This is very much the case with Colette and the hug.

    "Terry. You are alive. Apparently you are unhurt. I can stop bugging the hospitals." Colette's voice is unusually flat. She reaches into the pocket of her jacket and pulls Terry's phone out, handing it to him. "I recommend you edit the footage to delete everything beyond two seconds after the explosion."

    Colette looks at Terry with a slightly arched eyebrow. "I would believe most things."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
The redhead takes a step back, and looks down. "Right... the explosion."

He looks up again. "There's... there's some heavy shit. I know things now that I didn't know before. I also couldn't contact you until today beccause I ended up somewhere in the goddamnedd Caribbean. I think. It looked like that, anyways."

He ehxales, "I just had to ee Gar. I'm sorry. Lastt I saw of him he wasn't getting up... and you look like you're thinking about what I'd look like dissected on a table."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    Colette blinks at Terry a couple of time. "No actually. I was thinking I have a pretty good idea of what your father's monster looks like, though. How much do you remember?"

    Colette pushes past Terry and into the lobby, holding the door open for him to follow. "Gar was pretty out of it, but I think it was more psychological than physical. More PTSD than spider. Kian and BetterHawk brought him back here. I kept an eye on them, but... at a distance. Not sure what happened then. Is he okay?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"He's sleeping it off," Terry answers, following after Colette. "I was so worried I woke him up, apparently. He was in his underwear. I need something to drink right now. Cold, preferably."

He smirks a little, but then the smirk fades. "How much. I remember? You mean aside from turning into, apparently, snagglepuss and clocking out a guy in a hood? A lot. In fact, I rememberr things that /haven't/ happened to me." Cryptic Terry is cryptic.

Colette O'Connail has posed:
"Really. Welcome to the club." Finally something cracks the shell of Colette's demeanor, and she smirks. She lets go the door, letting it swing shut behind Terry, and stalks towards the bar. She calls back over her shoulder "I have no idea whether the drinks in this thing are three years old or not, but there were some bottles in the fridge here, lemme see if anything is in date."

    Colette goes behind the bar and starts poking about in the fridge. "So. On the plus side, your worry that your final form would want to tear your friends to ribbons seems to be a bust. Snagglepuss seemed pretty eager to help Garfield out. Aha."

    Colette returns from rummaging with a couple of cans of Coke. "These seem to be new. I guess Gar has been restocking." She slides one can to Terry, and takes a seat. "Go on then. Tell me everything."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry takes the can and sits down. Passing the can from hand to hand, unaware that he's creating a would-be explosion. "So. The explosion. Bunch of debris flew at me. I thought I was gonna die, 'cause I was gonna. And then I just /fell/ through the floor. There was this tunnel, and I was falling, and then a huge grin with eyes swallowed me. Next thing I know I get spat out of the ground and I look like gay Mister Mistoffelees."


"gayER Mister Mistoffelees. You saw what happened there. I saw Gar about to get killed and I just /lost/ it. I don't know /exactly/ how I crossed the distance between me and the hooded creep, I just wanted it and it was like someone hole-punched reality in a way that I could step through it and land behind him. And then when I fell... I panicked, I guess. I wished very, very hard to be somewhere else. I ended up in some island in the Caribbean and passed out. Fortunately there were no three-headed monkeys when I woke up."

He leans back and opens the can- and splashes all over the front of his shirt. "Yaugh!"

Gar Logan has posed:
Gar Logan slips back into a nice nap, dreams drifting toward Cats. The musical, not the movie.

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    Colette listens to Terry's explanation. She watches Terry's explosion. She picks her can up, points it at Terry, and cracks hers open. Nothing sprays out, so she gives a shrug and takes a sip.

    "What?" Colette replies to the unasked question, the unexpressed outrage. "You were already covered in cola, it wouldn't have made a difference. Also, McCavity. Ginger. Good at not being there. And the gloves, Terry. Clearly the Hidden Paw. Also, Gar's going to freak out when he's awake enough to remember what happened. Or see the news, if he was too out of it."

    Leaning back casually agains the bar and crossing her legs, Colette stares in the direction of the elevator, as if expecting Gar to come through it at any moment. "You want to tell me the stuff you remember which hasn't happened to you?" She asks. "No pressure. If you want to."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry looks towards the elevator, and sets his jaw. "I'll be here when he wakes up. When I thought he was going to..."

He shudders, and instead focuses on drinking his sodea for a few seconds, gathering his thoughts.

"There's a girl in a yellow pinafore asking me which way to go. There's a woman turning red with fury because she doesn't know how to cut off my head." He gives Colette a look.

"I know it sounds fucking crazy."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    "Doesn't sound crazy," Colette says reassuringly. "It sounds meaningless. No context. I mean you probably are crazy, but I will refrain from being definite until you've explained yourself," she adds less reassuringly.

    "Still, no pressure. If you want."

     Colette takes a gulp of cola and looks at Terry with a resigned expression. "So, you're going to tell Gar now, right? Now that your reason for not telling him just vanished? I mean that whole thing about not stressing him because you didn't know what was happening. Now you know. Or at least I assume you do and you're just babbling because you're Terry."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry frowns. He leans forward. "What kind of a childhood did /you/ have?" he aks, tapping the bar. "Okay, here's another one. I remember a tea party that never ends, with a dormouse . Please don't force me to have to say it, because it's still sounding crazy after I said it to April." He puts the coke down and rubs his forehead. "I'm pretty sure that I know now who my father was."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
"If you're lucky, I'll never answer that question." Colette gives a small shake of her head, and takes another sip of cola. She sets the can down on the bar and turns to face Terry, looking him right in the eyes.

    "Terry. Listen." Colette has the expression of some Mafia godfather, laying down how it's going to be. "Listen carefully. You walked through a hole in reality, threw a punch that knocked a bad guy flying, then you punched a spider so hard you made it glow purple. Then you vanished through another hole in reality. These are the fact. There are witnesses. That sounds crazy, but it's a known fact. So cut to the chase and talk. I'm not going to waste my time thinking you're any crazier than reality is, just because you sound crazy. If you /didn't/ sound crazy, I'd know you were crazy."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"That all makes sense and it really shouldn't," the redhead crosses his arms and leans back on his seat. He taps the stool with his foot, thinking of how to best say what he wants to say. But it's like one of those uneven frames they sell in novelty shops- no matter which way you twist it, it always looks terribly askew.

"Okay then." He uncrosses his arms. "My dad was probably the Cheshire cat. Wonderland is real. Somehow. And now I'm apparently a Cheshire cat."

Colette O'Connail has posed:

    As responses go, it's deeply unsatisfying. Colette might have laughed disbelievingly, assuming he was joking. She might have leant forwards, eyes shining, asking for more. She might have shaken her head sadly, thinking Terry was insane.

    Okay. It tells you nothing. She could have said 'Okay!' or 'O-kay?' or 'Oooohkaaay...'. She could have expressed /something/ with that word. None of that is there. It doesn't sound disbelieving, but nor does it sound particularly accepting.

     Colette falls silent for a few moments. She places a finger-tip on the rim of her can, and spins the can dangerously, risking spillage. "It seems unlikely," she says after a while. "But then lots of things do, so I'll refrain from judgement. I mean clearly something is true that's weird. So. What does this mean? What changes? /Are you going to tell Gar/?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry weighs this question and gives it a good amount of thought.

"I don't know yet. I have a lot of things to process. What it means, what it means /for me/, and how it might affect me. I'm going to need some time."

He reaches for his can again, and takes a sip. "And I do plan on telling Gar. Just... not yet. You said it yourself, he's going to freak when he sees the news. Let's wait until the group is established and things are more rote. And hopefully I'll have more of a clue of what it means to be... me."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    "So you're going to leave him guessing about the mysterious cat-guy who rescued him," Colette says slowly. "And you're not going to help him out by..." Colette raises her hands, holding them out palms forwards, and stops talking.

    "Nope. Nope. Not gonna. I promised. He asked, I promised. Let the pair of you work it out yourselves. No interfering."

    Colette turns away from Terry, picks up her can and drains it. Then she turns back to him, tilts her head, and says "Not gonna. You do your thing. I won't interfere. I won't hit you over the head with an out-of-date bottle of soda. All good."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Colette... just tell me what you think. I'm not going to help him out by-?" Terry leans forward, "/I'm/ asking. I know you know what it's like to suddenly wake up to a whole new side of you that wasn't there before. I'm kind of scared and also a little bit not. And then there's ... well."

He pauses. "You tell me first. Then I'll tell you."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
"I... it didn't..." Colette shakes her head, a look of annoyance flashing momentarily across her features. "It wasn't really like that for me, Terry. I just meant..." she looks around the lobby, then opens her hands out wide, and shrugs.

    "This, Terry. This. The Titans. I mean you can't tell me it hasn't occured to you. I mean I still think you should be documenting this shit, because people are going to need to know. That's important. In some ways it's more important than what the individuals here are actually going to do. Uh..." Colette reigns it in a little, slowing herself down before she starts on another weird crypto-prophetic rant. "I mean you must have been thinking about it. You punched a spider-robot purple. You don't have to be the civilian addendum any more. You could be a Titan."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Shut up." It's not said in the tone that is used to actually shut somebody up, but in the tone of someone expressing disbelief. Also see 'Get outta here' not being an actual eviction notice. "Me. Terry O'Neil. A Titan."

He slowly shakes his head, as if trying to come to terms with a world in which that proposition is to be entertained seriously at all. Green eyes dart to Colette.

"And what about you? You did stuff out there, don't deny it 'cause I know you couldn't help it. Are /you/ going to be a Titan too? This is just as much your drive as it's been mine, you can't back away from that reality."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
"You were already on my list," Colette admits. "I mean when you first showed me your hands. I added you to the 'wildcard' category. Think about it, Terry. We knew what was coming. Not exactly what the shape of it was. Or rather yes, what the shape of it was, just not what it meant. Remember what Sabatini said? Something that could tear a bunch of mobsters apart. The only question was whether it was going to turn you into some raging psychopath or not. Well we have the answer. It turns you into... well. Something close enough to you that your strongest instict was to protect the guy you lo... to protect Gar. Not interfering, not interfering."

    "What's more, you even got a bonus you weren't expecting." Colette taps a finger lightly on Terry's forehead. "You turned back. Is it controllable? If not, you're going to have to figure that out before you could become a Titan. But yeah. You. Terry O'Neil, a Titan. Why not?"

    Terry's efforts to turn that around on her are roundly ignored.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Love." Terry says it for her, and pauses for a moment. He looks at his hands, human hands. He plays with his can a bit. "... isn't it too soon to call it that? I mean." He passes the can to the other hand, "And yet, I have to tell you that I think of any excuse to come to see him. I think of him a lot. But he's so carefree, I don't think he feels the same way about me. Or, I don't know."

Can to the other hand, "I guess I do. Yeah. I do love him and his silly, brave heart."

He looks up and turns around, looking at the bar. There is a mirror against the wall.

"We're all mad here."

And then there is a flash of purple as light coruscates over Terry's body, sparkling a dozen different colors before leaving the Cheshire cat behind. All he's wearing is that pair of cargo shorts, his clothing and everything else having vanished completely. "Yeah. It's controllable."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
"So you can be a Titan." Colette looks away. "Be there for the guy you love. And I'm not going to give you any more pep talks. Not going to tell you to open your eyes and look what's in front of your face. Because I promised."

    With a sigh, Colette hops to her feet and returns to the fridge. She pulls out another coke, pops the tab and drinks. She settles on the other side of the bar, resting her elbows on it.

    "Correction. You're not ready to be a Titan yet." Colette raises an eyebrow, looking at the fur-covered version of Terry with a look of amusement. "You're gonna have to work on a uniform. Because the cargo shorts? It's not a great heroing look. Not saying you should get a cape, 'cos you shouldn't get a cape. But for fuck's sake, Terry."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry looks at himself in the mirror and repeats the phrase. The lights subside and he is, once again, his human self. He swivels back to face Colette. "Whoa there. We don't even know what I can /do./ Maybe you, April and Harley can help me figure that out, but until then let's not make grand plans here. And..." he tilts his head and looks at Colette, "I notice that you keep evading my question about you being a Titan."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    "You can tear holes in reality and hop through them, Terry. You can punch things pretty well. And when you really get your angry on, you can punch them purple."

    Colette tilts her head from side to side, giving her neck as stretch, and stands straight again. "Yeah, figuring out what you can do is important. And if you want to be on a team, you should be doing that with members of the team. Because /they/ need to know what you can do just as much as you do. But that... what we saw you do... that's enough, Terry. That's enough to be doing this crap. It's not a matter of grand plans, it's fucking /obvious/."

    Colette looks away. "And I'm not evading your question. I'm ignoring it. I've told you before. I'm helping you guys get things together, but I'm not a fucking superhero. "

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"I think there are people whose lives you helped save yesterday who would disagree," Terry says, fingers steepled. He looks at Colette for a long while, before finally speaking.

"You dread what the darkness would do if you had to use your powers on a regular basis? Of what you might become?"

He stays very still, and his voice is very quiet. "Which is why you were waiting to see what I'd become."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
Colette snarls the words "And there are people who..." but cuts herself off there. She gives a slight shake of her head. "No. I helped you guys. Because you're my friends, and you needed my help. But I can't. I can't be too involved, and I can't explain why to you precisely. It's just... it's important that you guys do this yourselves. That you shape this. Not me. I... my ideas... I mean it's just important that the shape of this whole things comes from... other people."

    Colette looks away, folding her arms defensively. "Yeah. I had to know what you'd become. I was hoping you'd become... this. I mean not exactly this. You're probably going to shed in the summer, and that's not exactly ideal." Her voice gets quiet to. "Yeah. I was kind of hoping I wasn't going to have to kill you," she says.

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Thatwould have been inconvenient," Terry says with a raised eyebrow, "I signed a one year lease at that apartment."

He watches Colette. "You can be part of this without guiding the shape, you know. Let Gar and the others do that. You can just be the Titan who hangs out, makes snarky remarks, eats all the pizza, and then kicks major ass when the time calls for it." He tilts his head, "I don't know. If there's anything I've learned in the last couple of days is that not facing your trauma when you've got a pretty devastating power can lead to it taking control over you."

He points a thumb. His meaning is plain. Raven.

"These guys can be how you don't succumb to the dark."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    Colette picks up her can of soda and walks a distance away, her back to Terry. She takes a sip, then mutters something that Terry shouldn't have been able to make out, but for that new acuteness of hearing. Sharp ears don't help him make any sense of it, though. It sounds something like <<Preyk H'ronmeer! Bey't tak Per'elandr'an vas.>>

    She turns, and takes a few steps back, standing in front of Terry. "You've got it the wrong way around, Terry. I'm not running away from a trauma. I'm fixing a problem. I'm the problem, and I'm also the solution. Me. Being me is the solution. Being... " she waves an arm around, a gesture taking in the room around them. "Being this, that's not the solution. That's going /backwards/."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Come again?" Terry tilts his head, watching Colette. Since he is in his human form, his hearing isn't that much sharper, but the muttering does get him to wonder. "You know, I think it'd help us both in this conversation if I got a little more than a snippet of meaning, because I've got a puzzle piece but I can only see the corner of the board."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    Colette covers her eyes with her hand and sighs deeply. "I don't want you to see even the corner, Terry. I don't want you to know there's a puzzle. I'm trying hard... really hard... to be me. Because the alternative is a lot worse." The hand covering her eyes drops. "And this... these 'powers'... they're not me. They're what I used to be."

    Colette walks back to the bar and hops up on a stool. She leans her back against the bar, and looks out into space. "Okay. Let me tell you my first memory. The first thing I remember. I'm in a... chamber. Vast, vaulted. A... cathredral. The ceiling is so high, the walls so far away you can barely make them out, but even in the dim light they shine. A thousand voices and more sing out a perfect harmony, a song that rises up in chords so beautiful it lifts me up and shapes me, and wakes my consciousness..."

    Colette turns to look at Terry again, her expression bleak. "It took me a long time to understand that memory. To challenge it. To see it for what it was. I don't want to go back to thinking that way again, Terry. I had to find a new path. There are so many roads I can go down, but this is the one that... this is me."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"And right now you're sort of doing that all on your own. Like Raven. I am sure Raven at one point thought she was doing the right thing and fighting... whatever it is. But sometimes you need another pair of eyes to keep watch and sound the alarm when you're about to set foot on the wrong road."

He finishes his coke. "It's your call, and I'm not going to prod. You'll tell me if you want, at some point." The redhead stands up, stretching a bit.

Colette O'Connail has posed:
"I didn't mention the chains," Colette whispers.

    "The chamber was vaulted with ribs of bone. The walls shone wetly, like flesh, and tooth. The singers were hung upside-down from chains stretching into the deep darkness above, and the song was their fading screams as they bled slowly, their lives emptying out into a great pool of blood on the floor."

    Colette gets to her feet, placing her can back down on the bar with a studied, almost obsessive-seeming precision. "That wasn't me. I'm me. I'm not fighting it, because I don't have to. It's not who I am. I am Colette. As long as I am Colette, none of that matters. I just... I don't want to not be Colette."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Yes," Terry says quietly after a while. "You are Colette. What does Colette /do/" he asks, tossing the can into the recycle bin, "That lets her stay Colette?"

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    "Be Colette. That's all."

    Colette stands, grabs the can up and tosses it away after Terry's, standing next to him. Suddenly there's a spring in her step again, as if a cloud had briefly covered the sun and moved away. "It's the first thing I remember, Terry. But it's not /my/ memory. Not Colette's memory. It's something that happened long before I was born. But it's there, inside me. And it's why I can do the things I do. I'm not really a meta. It's... something else. And yes, I'm scared of using my powers. That's the truth. It scares me because the more I use them, the stronger those memories get, and I'm scared that if I use them regularly, if I rely on them, those memories will overtake who I am. I don't know exactly what it was that had those memories, Terry. But it's not something nice."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry nods slowly and his expression changes to an introspective look. He starts pacing around the bar with slow, measured steps, hands behind his back.

"You remember how you told me that you thought I was fated to chronicle this? The return of the Titans, all of that?"

Colette O'Connail has posed:
"Well, more like ideally positioned than actually fated, but yeah," Colette says. "It's important that it gets written down, because there isn't... because future generations will need to see how it developed. The decisions that were made, the mistakes. What worked, what didn't. "

    Colette nods her head, then frowns slightly, then looks up at Terry wryly. "Not this bit though. Not this conversation."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"So what do you make of Raven, then?" Terry says, tilting his head. "Where does she fit in this puzzle?" He doesn't ask the question. But he is tempted to- when she fears, does she look in the mirror and see Raven, as they saw her that night? "Because we can't ignore her. Right now we are getting busy with things, but the more time that passes, the more she becomes the boogeyman in the basement, and that can end pretty badly if it only gets worse."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    "I don't trust her." The response seems too rapid, too visceral, to be anything other than a gut reaction. "She's wrong. I mean there's something wrong about her. Everyone makes a... a shape in the darkness. The shape she makes... I don't understand it, but I haven't seen anything like it. It's like... like she's standing behind herself. Or someone else is. Honestly, I'd..."

Colette draws herself short with a shake of the head. "No. That's what I shouldn't be doing. I mean... she's dangerous. You saw that yourself. I'm sure you /felt/ that yourself. But Gar is the one who knows her. And she /used/ to be a Titan. You're right that she shouldn't be ignored. Someone needs to talk to her, to get through to her. And then a decision needs to be made, but not by me."

    "You know..." Colette chews her lip. "I'm not saying... look, you guys are my friends. I can't just ignore that. Like yesterday. You needed my help, so I helped. I can't... I'm not saying I'm going to walk away, okay? I'll be around if I'm needed."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Well, I would be very disappointed if you walked away. And I wager that in feline form, I could probably master the pitiful stare enough that you could feel my disappointment clear across the bay," he smirks and crosses his arms.

"I need to head out for a bit. It's April's birthday and I promised her food, but..." He raises an eyebrow, "To be continued?" meaning, the conversation.

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    There is a look. It's not exactly a look that says 'you're not listening' so much as it's a look that says 'I'm aware I didn't tell you enough to understand'.

    The look gives way to a smile, and Colette gives Terry one of her not very punchy punches. "I'm not gonna walk away. I need to keep an eye on you guys and make sure you don't fuck up too much." She gives Terry a wink.

    "Don't think I have much to contribute on the question of Raven," Colette says, walking to the door and holding it open for Terry. "But you got my number. I'll always listen, at least! Want a ride to April's, or you planning to see if your own car is good for another few miles?"

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry shakes his head, "I'm good. That car should last me at least another year. Provided it doesn't get pulverized by a mechanical spider. Or something." The redhead takes the not-punch good-naturedly and says "I'll be back after April's party. You know, to check on Gar. I'll let you know how he's doing... but I think he just needs the rest."

He pauses. "Harley's going to be at April's, so just in case I get kidnapped by a haunted limo... I'll turn my FriendFinder on."

Colette O'Connail has posed:
    Colette sees Terry through the door and walks towards her car. She stops to lean on it and call back to him. "You'll be okay, Terry. Harley got herself a pet Kryptonian to punch out any possessed limos. Tell the reformed murderclown 'ex oh ex oh' from me too."

    Colette gets into her car, closes the door, and starts driving. She stops by Terry's car, winds down the window and calls out "Oh Terry? Be careful what you say when you're looking in the rear view mirror, 'kay? Don't want to shock April and Harls by showing them your... cargo shorts."