Distractions
Roleplaying Log: Distractions
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

The Titans discuss murder and mayhem, while Bart tries to avoid any uncomfortable questions.

Other Characters Referenced: Crush, Ghost Spider, Misfit
IC Date: February 16, 2020
IC Location: Titans Hideout, NYC
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 25 Feb 2020 05:05
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [*\# None]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

Though it was originally intended to be a short-term hideout, because surely that whole metahuman registration thing was going to blow over in no time, the Mall has become a pretty effective home-away-from-home for the sadly Tower-less Titans. Over the past few months, things that were meant to just be temporary have been replaced with more permanent versions, as the inhabitants have settled in more and continued to make their own modifications. There's even actual food in the food court-turned-kitchen, instead of whatever was left behind in the Big Belly Burger (patties so stuffed with preservatives and artificial ingredients that they'd remain technically edible long after civilisation fell); of course, that still means they have to cook for themselves.

Results remain mixed, but Red Robin is staunchly against any sort of delivery to the secret, cloaked, illegal base for some reason.

Today there is, instead, a frankly insane amount of Chinese takeout. It looks to have been picked up from several different restaurants, actually, possibly by somebody with superspeed or maybe just somebody with a really cool and fast car. As for why it's an insane amount: 1) Imagine trying to get the Titans to agree on anything, even which kind of fried rice to get, and 2) Bart's appetite. Maybe also Starfire's a little. But mostly Bart.

Sitting at one of the food court tables, the leader of the Titans has actually barely touched the food, instead typing away on his laptop (the case is, unsurprisingly, red and black with yellow detailing, and has the Red Robin logo on the back where you'd normally see the manufacturer's, Batman having instilled the importance of branding on him at an early age) about something probably important.

But, you know, he didn't squirrel himself away to do it, so that's progress, right?

***

Hopefully there are some vegetarian options - Zatanna's go-to for chinese takeout usually involved some kind of fish or incredibly spicy mapo-tofu, as well as the stir-fried green beans. But Red Robin would never forget these, given his painstaking attention to detail - so these smells are like a siren song to one starving young magician when she ventures down the food court for the appropriate dinner hour, espying a familiar red-and-black outfit before she even glimpses the young man's half-hidden face. There's a smile.

…followed by a frown when she realizes that in spite of not hiding out in his incredibly spartan room in their newly-made headquarters, he's still working instead of stuffing his face like a growing vigilante should.

So she wanders over, clad in yoga shorts, thigh-high black knit socks, and a loose sleeveless shirt with a wide neck that keeps dropping off the shoulder; dressed down, but still fashionable, and after surreptitiously looking left and right to make sure nobody is looking, she ventures over behind where Red Robin is sitting. Gentle fingers find the top of his head, tugging at unruly black locks gently to coax him to tip his head backwards. Her mouth finds his briefly.

Pulling back with a quick grin, ice-blue eyes nosily turn to the screen open near him. "What are you working on?" she asks, easing around his seat to drop on the one next to him.

***

Isn't it great? The place has to be virtually spotless of any incriminating evidence of gem-intruders from a couple of nights past. Not a speck of crystal dust to be seen! …hopefully Red Robin doesn't religiously check the trash bins. …also hopefully no one thinks Bart's playing a practical joke when he labeled a jar of shimmering green dust as 'DO NOT EAT! NOT GREEN JELL-O MIX. SERIOUSLY, DON'T'

It's probably not something to go amiss given the Titans do have a resident speedster, so being one or two less a carton of orange chicken might just be normal, even though the culprit himself doesn't linger long enough to be seen. That's only because he has to check on his cat, who is predictably in her usual place, which just makes the task shorter as Impulse plops into a chair adjacent to Red Robin's and Zatanna's, already reaching for a carton of beef and veggies as he swallows the last of a previous.

"Heya Zee!" he greets, figuring that Robin's well aware he's been about and fully engaged in his work as usual.

***

Nico Minoru has been, more or less, building a life. This isn't the first ruin she's lived in. The mattress store that is now her chambers would require you to look closely to realize it was a mattress store… it helps, of course, that at this point most of the mattresses have already been pieced out.

Nico has done design work for web storefronts. She would like to say it has all been high concept pieces that daringly threaten the boundaries of the conventional. It has in fact been approximately sixty percent replicas of Tifa Lockhart's new leather pleated skirt.

She has done some other things, mysteriously and quietly. There were skeletons out on the far reaches of Montauk once. Now, there ain't!

Right now Nico is meandering down towards the Chinese food. She is wearing a pair of leggings with the same purple 'shallow.' print that SOMEBODY (Kori) has seen in another context, along with cheesey blue legwarmers and some fuzzy slippers. On top is a shirt, presumably, underneath a hooded sweatshirt with a picture of Wynona Ryder silkscreened on the front. Nico doesn't have the hood up.

"Hey," Nico says around, as she goes to get

A. bowl

and then put

B. fried rice
C. hot mustard
D. a couple dumplings
E. a whole thing of dumpling sauce

into A.

Then obtain

F. ork

She has literally no makeup on. As she drifts over towards the tables, she asks Red Robin, "Is that case handmade?"

***

Food is always a way of gathering people together. Despite how different each of their lives are outside of the vigilante business, this is how they're able to catch up every once in a while.

Even if she doesn't always see a reason to venture past her room to socialize with the others, Raven accepts the practice as it is. It's a change of scenery. Of pace.

And, most importantly, it helps her get her mind off of things.

So she drifts in, this time from the direction of the medbay. Although she acts pretty much the same, swathed in a powder blue narwhal hoodie (thank Bart) over a knee-length black dress, black tights and fuzzy slippers (thank Bart again), she's been going at a slower rate, sometimes bobbing listlessly on the straight path toward food. And friends. With her body screaming at her, she ignores all of the recent pains she's been taking on from a long-lost Charlotte AKA Misfit; the freshness of the wounds the poor girl bore are terrible reminders of what it's like to be mortal and she really just needs to have a good, long break.

Or another day spent sleeping and waking up at odd hours. It's an option.

But…she doesn't take any food. Or say hello. Not yet. She just slips in, sinking down into a chair so that she's mostly fuzzy hooded sweatshirt.

***

They may have given up on the Big Belly Burgers, but all those industrial-size… drums? of mustard are still going to get used. Although in this case, Kori will (thankfully) default to the packets the Chinese comes with, rather than engaging in condiment miscegenation. She does put it on everything, though.

This peculiarity aside, Starfire is actually not too picky of an eater, so she is quite happy to sample items from many if not all the open cartons, her very approach to the meal bringing her swooping in from above to stop hovering over the table with a plate in one hand and chopsticks in the other. From there, she can reach everything at once, even if she's doing some of it upside-down. She wields the wooden implements quite expertly for an alien, perhaps because they approximate something weapon-like.

As usual when hanging around inside the not-tower, she wears the typical 'oversized t-shirt from an ex' that is in fact not oversized on her. At least she has some shorts like Zee, perhaps a nod to the formality of meal time, or she's just been yelled at about wandering around in her underwear one too many times.

Once the haul of food is loaded, she floats over to where the others are congregating, the fact that she remains naturally airborn alleviating any concern over awkward seating. "Hello everyone! This all looks most delicious!" She adjusts to a cross-legged pose in the air, balances the plate there, and starts to eat. Lets just hope no one gets mustarded from above.

***

Unfortunately for Bartholomew Henry Allen the Second, whether or not Red Robin religiously checks the garbage is a concern that languishes behind the fact that the Mall's interior is, like the grounds outside, extremely surveilled.

Obviously not anybody's rooms though, or other spaces that ought to be private. The vigilante is paranoid, but he's not Batman paranoid.

Despite his distraction with his work, Red Robin is able to pick up from a number of other context cues that someone is coming up behind him, and that someone is Zatanna, so the tug at his dark hair does get his head to lean back, a faint grin tugging at the corners of his mouth before the Princess of Prestidigitation manages her illicit kiss. This might work out well for Impulse too, at least in the short run, because now the Red Knight is at least temporarily distracted from asking any pointed questions about the suspiciously good cleaning job that's been done.

"Investigating murders," he replies to Zatanna once she's back to her best behaviour and asking him about what he's working on. It's a fun segue, right?

Right?

Luckily, they're not alone for long. That's the nature of things around the Titans, given their nature as a found family sort of group, and the tendency to recruit members where at least half of them live at headquarters full time or close enough. So maybe he won't keep talking about murders, possibly grisly murders, while other people are trying to eat?

"Kory knows about them," Red Robin continues, gesturing vaguely up at the floating model. "She was there when that designer was killed during Fashion Week. I guess that was just the start of things… Ghost Spider," a rarely-seen Titan, perhaps even more secretive than their other spider, but nevertheless part of the team, "brought me some info she found with a friend of hers among the X-Men. So I've been going over things." Things like crime scene photos and probably autopsy reports. Just be glad he's not working in holographics at the dinner table.

"It's 3D printed," he answers Nico's question. "Though the metal parts I had to machine myself, and…"

Wait, is Raven wearing something pastel? Is that a sign of the apocalypse?!

***

Murder. "Sounds grim, what do you think happened?" Zatanna wonders after said covert kiss that in no way distracts Red Robin from Impulse's meticulous clean-up job. But Bart gets a quick smile once she's settled over next to the Titans' fearless leader and magics her mapo-tofu bowl towards her with a flick of her wrist and a muttered word. She's already settled after all, before obtaining any food; had John been around, he would be chastizing her for treating magic like water, but at the moment, she can't be arsed to get up again especially when there's something interesting to talk about, not to mention Red Robin is right there.

The question is phrased deliberately also because she knows him. Chances are, he's probably looked at the forensic reports and relevant, related information already, putting the puzzle together in his memoriae regis while the rest of the plebes in the appropriate law enforcement department are still squinting at fingerprints. But that's simply one of the great things of working a genius - one gets insight right away on a mystery.

With the rest of the group piling in for dinner, she lifts pale fingers in a wave. "Hey, guys. There's plenty." A pause. "…though I don't know how long that's going to last." A flash of a grin at Impulse.

And then, she starts digging into her mapo-tofu, chopsticks held deftly in one hand. She peers at Red's screen now and then; if there are crime scene photos, she doesn't seem to care that she's eating while doing it - years being her father's second in tangling with the Weird has given her a strong stomach out of necessity.

***

Thankfully Bart is under the impression that he's done absolutely nothing wrong because he didn't! Honest! Although how he cleaned up that fast has to be a record, even for him. At least he's only using one of him to eat, not that it makes too much of a difference, but it makes things slightly more fair for the others.

His feet kick back and forth beneath his chair as he nudges the growing stack of empty cartons to the side so he can reach for some kung pao chicken. He waves cheerfully to Kori and Nico and Raven as they join the rest of them. However when Tim pens up with a murder investigation the speedster nearly sputters fried rice as he chokes and pounds at his chest between coughs. Thankfully that keeps him from blurting out anything that might cast further suspicion on him, which at least gives Red Robin time to clarify.

That's great. Also, he's fine. Really. He's got this.

***

Nico moves to set down, not far from Raven. Raven gets a worried look. She doesn't comment on the narwhal hoodie. Sometimes you do what you must, and that includes being the Jedi of the Sea.

"Nice," Nico says about the computer. She then breaks up her dumplings and eats. Her expression is grave. Her brow furrows for a moment, at the topic of murders. Ghost Spider. She doesn't try to peek at the screen.

"Yeah," Nico says, pausing to glance up at Kori for a moment, nod, and then finish while her mouth is empty. "Is there any evidence of a motive or is it just… like… 'oh, a horrible thing happened again, no moral'?"

***

Raven's pastel choice of hoodie could very well be one, much to Tim's (or anyone else's) mild chagrin. But there's still black involved, so they're still pretty safe.

Mostly.

Her senses are still finely tuned into each Titans' current mood, picking up tics in responses but not bothering to zone in on any of it since she's in the process of re-centering herself. Still, the mass of powder blue finally gives a halfhearted wave to everyone - a sign that tells them that she's open for conversation, more or less.

"It sounds like a boatload of fun," she comments in regards to Tim's nonchalant topic-dropping, her own lack of tone still managing to convey some degree of concern over the matter. Feeling the worry from Nico's direction, she grants her a small smile and a nod. "But yes, I'll get to food in a moment. I still don't feel like moving a lot."

***

"Oh, yes. I gave the police report. Unfortunately, it is all that I really saw." Which is to say, that there's no secret information she had to hold back from the authorities and can now dramatically reveal. Starfire is just as much in the dark on the whole thing. "I was out on stage when it happened, and even when I was backstage for outfit changes… well, those shows are very chaotic."

A pause, and then Kori adds: "But I do not believe it was the assistant. She did not seem the type."

This assertion is made despite her own proclaimed lack of information of evidence. But the Tamaranean does always tend to trust her gut feelings more than not, and trust in other people, for good or ill. In the latter part, she also glances toward Nico, as perhaps it reflects on the cosmic moral balance that might be at stake.

"So if we can find another culprit, that would be a relief." She is now looking down at Tim. Because detectiving is his department. "The only other thing is that some reporter came to speak with me later. Which is not so strange, however he suggested I attend a television broadcast on the subject… with some suggestion that I might speak ill of Mr. Arany, or perhaps of his assistant? I do not know. It was strange."

***

For people who don't have empathic powers, it can be kind of hard to read someone like Red Robin, who has of course been rigorously schooled to control even unconscious expressions of emotion and also is wearing a mask that completely hides his eyes.

There's times when he wonders if that's still worth the effort, of course: Half the people currently present already know exactly who's behind the domino mask and all the rest, and given her abilities Raven would recognise Tim Drake instantly in any situation that didn't involve convenient distractions like them getting shot at by crazy people. Nico had surely earned his trust by now if any of the newer Titans had, besides.

But that was something to worry about later. Old habits die hard, and all that.

"It wasn't," the vigilante agrees with Stafire's assertion. "Going by Ghost Spider's information, Ms. Orlie is a scapegoat, and the probable culprit is a former model by the name of Miranda. Badly injured in an accident, scarred for life." Honestly it would be weirder if she didn't become a deranged villain out to get revenge on her perceived tormentors. "Might be a cyborg, or have some kind of robot she uses to kill with? There's still a lot of unknowns. Ghost Spider and her associate are looking into another angle with some missing journalists, and I'm going to do some on-site recon."

He means he's going to break into this lady's house and snoop around, but you know, semantics.

"There was also a meta with some kind of electrical powers who dropped in on the conversation, so I guess we're going to see if he can make the cut. But I'll need some of you guys on standby in case everything goes pear-shaped." He'd really rather avoid any kind of superpowered brawl especially if it's anywhere in the vicinity of Gotham, but it beats the alternative of 'getting murdered by a robot(?)'. "Who was the reporter, Kory? It might be useful to know, if you've got a name for him."

***

As usual, Red doesn't disappoint. Zatanna is quiet throughout the litany and dissection, taking a swallow of her spicy tofu dish as she listens. Much of this is outside of her wheelhouse - murder by non-supernatural means and human motivations are typically subjects that she leaves to the rest of the gang, but that doesn't mean that she doesn't try to catch up. She can at least follow what Red is saying, though ice-blue eyes bounce between speakers as the group slowly clusters together to pick apart the latest happening.

She seems to agree that Miranda is definitely a viable person of interest, if not just because of her description. That and she lives part-time in Gotham; she knows how this goes, demonstrating a sort of resigned genre-savviness necessary to fulfill this sort of work. "I'm fine with being standby, though an eavesdropper?" A brow arches at Red at that, but chances are he's doing background checks already so she doesn't question it overly-much.

With the question posed to Kory, her gaze swivels towards her with open interest.

***

Meanwhile Bart's getting a handle on breathing again. Pay no attention to the fact that for a moment there are several Barts hovering around the coughing one at the table, another patting him(self?) on the back as he listens to the murder case talk and another vanishing before setting a glass of water in front of the first, and the last filching a fortune cookie or two from the opposite end of the table by Nico. They're all gone when one next looks, although if it's just in time, the last will grin and wave before appearing to vanish into the seated Bart who takes a swallow of water.

"Oh crazy, a cyborg model with a taste for vengeance? That totally sounds like a comic book plot," he says after a big sigh as he leans back in his seat. He tears open the plastic wrapping on a fortune cookie and munches away.

***

Nico finishes off her dinner as other people lay out their story of what happened. She glances at Kory as it turns out that Kory is something nearer to a witness than just someone in the same industry. She pauses, halfway done, and says, "Do you mean like the cut for the squad or like, is he a suspect or something." (Nico has had to watch CSI at times.)

"I heard about some dude with two katanas throwing grenades at starlets the other night, Bart, this world's pretty f- messed up," Nico then asides to the fastest boy alive. Back to Tim, "So do you think these are… people stumbling on some kind of secret, maybe? If it's reporters, and a model… Do you know where she went, the last, uh, few days or so? Maybe she stumbled on something accidentally."

***

Even with her abilities to read and figure out who's who within the room - and even if almost all of them make themselves obvious because they're practically family - Raven still respects Red's hero-business code. The hunches are there, but she never tries prying into personal matters unless she somehow gets sucked into the mix. This is a thing she doesn't want happening frequently, but there's not much else she can do to stop it if it does occur.

"Standby it is," Raven echoes faintly, letting food become a priority as she fixes herself a plate…via abusing her dark magic. Don't mind if there are cartons being magically shifted and carefully scooped onto a dish before floating back her way. "I don't know if it would be of any use, but it may be easier to narrow down some of the suspects if we can get a better read on them. Like, emotionally…"

It sounds like being hungry is making her crazy-talk, but she casts a casual glance to Kory and Red, wondering if that would actually help at all. She's not sure.

Bart still manages to make her arch a brow no matter how tired she is, quietly beginning her meal while listening as Nico asks a few questions.

***

"Oh! Wonderful. You are all 'on the case'! I am glad the Spider-Woman who is not actually related to the Spider-Man and who is also from another dimension is fitting in well." There is some obvious pride there, as she was Kori's recruit! Kinda! Or at least her 'stopped her from breaking into the tower.' "It does not sound like the kind of situation that requires heavy firepower, but if you require backup I will assist." That's a recipe for said lady's house to quickly end up not a house anymore. "Raven, I imagine you would be far more useful. If there is more to the situation than simple revenge, you might see it?"

Then she answers Tim: "John Caison. I believe he said he was with the Gotham Times." Spending a moment on her noodles, which are slurped up with unapologetic zeal, she wonders, "Do you think they could be in the cahoots?"

Nico's mention of the OTHER ridiculous entertainment attempted murder/terrorism incident draws a subsequent frown. "There is no mystery there, but it is troubling. A deranged mutant is a huge risk to everyone."

Then she changes back to the other topic, of potentially-new Titans, where it seems she has yet another rapidly-accumulating stray to recommend: "Speaking of new members. I was investigating meta trafficking at some underground fight-clubs," a very Kori thing to do in her spare time, "And met a young half-Czarnian woman."

And just in case anyone's knowledge of near-extinct alien species ends with 'Kryptonian,' she quickly adds: "She is Lobo's daughter." Oh good. "But /much/ better behaved." Better not to pry for the story, there.

***

Again, it's hard to read Red Robin, because when he looks silently at Bart for several seconds it looks just flat and expressionless, because nobody can see the way his eyes narrow behind those white lenses. Raven, at least, can sense that brief, jagged pulse of suspicion as it becomes increasingly clear to the vigilante that something is up.

"Hm," he says, a single nonverbal syllable that contains within it whole universes of meaning.

"I doubt he's connected to the case," he says of the surprise entrant into his rooftop conversation with Gwen and Carolus. "He's a young metahuman who seems to have recently moved to Gotham and taken up cape work. Nothing big enough for Batman to step in, but we've already got a file on him," because of course they do. "Something like the Titans might help keep him out of trouble." Which in this case can be read as 'doing something that would get Batman to step in'. "Still, we'll see. I'll make sure my suit is properly insulated, just in case." Doubly useful in case he has to fight an evil robot, also.

"Could be useful, yeah," he agrees with Starfire about the potential applications of Raven's empathic abilities, as odd as it is to hear the Daughter of Darkness volunteer like that. "As it stands, this Miranda is officially confined to her house, as far as I can tell. She has a caretaker and a very protective, very litigious brother looking after her. I'm not sure if there's a larger coverup, but it does seem like there's pressure to let Ms. Orlie take the fall. We'll see what I can turn up at her house."

But then.

Then…

"Was… She being trafficked?" he supposes is the most obvious question to ask.

***

The fact that said young, unknown metahuman has a file already in the Batcomputer does not surprise her at all. In fact, Zatanna's face at the moment is very emphatically 'Jack's Lack of Surprise' that the letters are practically spelled out across her features. After another few bites of her mapo-tofu bowl, she sets it aside, empty. One may not know it by looking at her, but the magician eats like a horse - it's honestly no wonder why she spends so much time in Red Robin's training simulations (especially since he's the one who gets to hear about it when she gains a single pound, or weeps over post-Rocky-Road remorse during those certain times of the month that turn the Titans headquarters into a veritable pit of death, destruction and The Apocalypse with how cycles tend to sych up among ladies). But there's no sugar bomb in sight today that she's reaching for, so perhaps everyone is safe.

"So long as you're careful," she tells him simply. "Especially if you're breaking into a place controlled by people who are potentially deranged. If you need backup, let me know?"

The last question though? That causes her to blink. Trafficked? She swings her gaze to the rest with a furrowed brow.

***

"…yeah, true," Bart has to admit as he nods at Nico, peeling another fortune cookie out of its wrapper. He is trying very hard not to look at Tim, so engrossed in this cookie oh yes, it is so very interesting! Just look at the way it curves and bends. It's a work of— Okay, it's gone now.

Wait, why's he have to feel like he's being put on the spot? He didn't do anything wrong! (So maybe it's his imagination that he's being put on the spot but he's known Tim long enough that he probably just expects something.) Also, it's not like he or Raven have gone and said anything about his um. Speed multiples. That news was bound to come out sooner or later.

The shift in subjects makes him blink, and he looks very lost at the question of trafficking, probably because the first thing that comes to mind are New York's notorious road stand-stills. Although that does remind him that they have something to report too- not that he doesn't figure Tim at the very least isn't already aware of because camera footage of the food court from Valentine's Day evening would have shown the violent return of a prodigal teammate.

"Misfit's back!" he blurts, sounding like there's more there than he's stating but so long as no one asks about the questionable JELL-O jar it's all fine. Just fine. Everything's fine.

***

For Koriand'r, there's a nod. "Something to that effect, yes," Raven replies, poking at her food.

In a way, doing the thing she tries to avoid doing to keep her from focusing on other emotionally-tied things will at least keep her mostly sane. It may not sound that way, but it makes sense to some extent. She also nods at Red's original suggestion of breaking and entering, knowing by now that he can pull it off.

But Bart goes on ahead after the small spike of suspicion from the Red Robin flits by Raven, his own burst of emotion shifting the scales just as quickly as that fortune cookie is gone. All she can do is manage a subtle facepalm.

***

"No, she was not a victim herself. She is apparently a regular of the underground fighting circuit, where it is easy for her to earn money." See 'half-Czarnian.' "Many of these places merely profit on the spectacle of combat and associated wagers, but the organizations behind them can be involved in trafficking or related vices. It is a way to procure valuable fighters, and the fights a way to show them off for would-be buyers, your usual paramilitary groups, secret government programs, and dictators looking for super-soldiers."

Kori does talk about this topic as if it is… more commonplace than it ought be. Then again, if every Titan no doubt has a cause or two they consider personal beyond general hero-ing, and no one would be surprised to imagine that slavery is hers.

"Sometimes there is even alien involvement." She quickly glance at Bart, for some reason. "In any case, it is an ongoing problem, which I monitor for more significant developments. The young woman was quite angered when I explained the situation so I will enlist her in breaking up a few more places." Now she nabs a dumpling. "The only barrier to her joining is her anger, which is dangerous considering her strength. A full Czarnian is on par with the strongest beings on this world. Even half-blooded, fully trained and matured, I believe she would exceed mine, which is not inconsiderable."

… and from all of this Bart readily distracts her with his announcement. "Oh, wonderful! We must soon have the far-away waffles again."

***

"I'm always careful," Red Robin assures Zatanna. Which is true! For certain values of 'careful'. Definitely not the kind of careful where you don't deliberately sneak into the lair of a possible superpowered serial killer. "But believe me, if things go haywire you'll be the first person I call."

It even makes sense from a logical, practical perspective: She can, after all, teleport help to him if he suddenly needs Starfire to knock the villain's house down, for example.

Unfortunately for Bart, none of this has completely banished Tim's suspicion from that keen mind of his, it's just put those questions on a backburner, especially because he's not about to interrogate the speedster in front of literally everybody. Later, though. Later.

Indeed, the Fastest Young Adult Alive's attempt to bring up Misfit's return as a distraction just elicits another 'hm' from Red Robin.

"Well, anyway… Part of the point of the Titans is to help young metahumans who might be at risk. If you think we can help her, Kory, we should at least try. Especially since things are already tense enough as it is."

***

She can teleport to him, just as he can teleport to her - the sigil on his wrist remains, painstakingly cut into his skin, an indelible mark that is as certain and sure as whatever bonds they've cultivated outside of the public eye. It's strange as to just how willing Tim had been to place something so permanent on him (or at least, for as long as Zatanna lives). But his assertions that he's always careful does get him a playful, skeptical squint, followed by the turning up of her scarlet-rimmed mouth.

"I'll hold you to that," she tells him simply, before her attention falls on Bart and his news. "Where's she been?" she wonders, furrowing her brows before turning to Raven at her half-intact state. She knows the two of them have been working on some things together, but the other had been gone for a few months.

Reaching out for her bottle water, she takes a quiet sip, this time leaving her focus to Kori when she's addressed.

***

But it wasn't! A! Distraction! Flying fortune cookie in Tim's direction! A distraction! Reporting Misfit's return? That's duty! Or something.

…also is anyone eating that chow mein because it's going to disappear very soon.

He tries not to fidget at that 'hm' from Red Robin, even as he gets sidetracked by his empty food containers and starts closing up the tops to see how tall he can stack them. He gets about ten high before it starts to wobble. Then it starts to change into something more of a pyramid.

"Wherever those crystal gem people were, I figure. You know, the ones that kept popping up in Manhattan here and there last year? And here cuz they were after her-" he includes, even as he works on making a container fort. "We didn't get to ask what happened 'cuz she was in bad shape when she arrived. She still out, Raven?"

***

Meeting Zatanna's gaze, Raven sighs. It has been obvious she's been working together with Bart more often than not. Not like she means to mixed into some of the hi-jinks he gets into, but that's how it is. "Another dimension, apparently," she adds onto Bart's answer, her brow knitting now that she's thinking about Misfit again.

Her eyes then look over to Red, then to Bart. "Yes," she replies softly. "Since she arrived with a dagger in her side, her injuries could have taken a turn for the worse. I had to heal her most of the way before I could remove it - which, by the way, isn't a pleasant experience." Which explains why the Daughter of Darkness is out of it and not caring if the chow mein disappears. "…She's been in the medbay since then. I went to check on her earlier to see if she needed any more healing, but she's mostly stabilized since then."

***

"Yes, I agree very much." How could Kory NOT want to bring a young, angry, alien refugee into the fold? Indeed, it is a way to pass on the very same kindness she was shown years ago. "I am working to establish more of the trust with her, so she will feel comfortable. She is cautions of new people and not very open. But I am sure she will come around in time. Her heart is good." Again, her emotional instincts lead the way.

Her enthusiasm (for the far away waffles, presumably) dampens somewhat as Raven explains their returned teammate's condition. "That is most troubling. Is there any chance of the people who did this to her following beyond that other realm?" There is RENEWED enthusiasm there, but more of the 'I would be very excited to vaporize these people' variety.

Bart's feasting draws no objections on her part. One overloaded and mustard-drizzled plate shall suffice to satisfy the nine stomachs of Tamaran!

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