Things Best Left Unsaid
Roleplaying Log: Things Best Left Unsaid
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

After experiencing his first Ladies' Night shift, Impulse has many questions. Raven cannot answer them.

Other Characters Referenced: Owen Mercer, Atli, Luke Cage, Zatanna Zatara
IC Date: December 12, 2018
IC Location: Titans HQ, New York
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 12 Dec 2018 23:32
Rating & Warnings:
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

For what it's worth, it's been a pleasant night.

A quiet night — one that has been spent mostly by Raven's lonesome within the walls of the newly acquired yet old, abandoned mall without incident. And she has no complaints to give.

Her down time previously included trying to resettle one of the numerous shops into something more comfortable for her own needs; privacy and some peace away from the other Titans are a must, but she sort of gave up trying to fix the area to her liking. Instead, she decides to spend the rest of her time in the empty food court, the lone figure in casual gray and purple sitting among all of the tables, chairs, and benches fit for a larger population that could have been repeating the course of holiday seasons past.

The simple meal she made for herself has since been finished, set to the side now that she reads the next chapter of a book she's only picked up recently.

The new layout of their currently acting headquarters still takes some getting used to, even if one's remembered where things are and who's laid claim to what. It's a lot of space in a different direction, and it's not the Tower. But he supposes now it's kind of home away from home. Or it will be.

Bart wanders into the open area, still wearing his 'hero costume' from the work event over at Luke's bar consisting of his Flash hoodie, red pants and yellow galoshes. He carries a couple of pizza boxes between both hands.

So empty and lonely when you compare it to the populated malls one might be more familiar with. Every time he explores the place he can't help but look up and around, staring at everything in wonder like the place is some kind of museum. In a way it can be considered such; a modern relic of the present past.

It finally occurs to him that someone else is here, and blinking, Bart looks over and across the court to the figure nearly blending in the shadows and dim lights and empty spaces. He gravitates over towards his teammate, smiling easily enough, albeit with a lingering weariness hanging off of him. It's been a long night. Long, busy night filled with strangely outfitted people, space goats and Dorito nachos.

"This spot taken?" he asks when he nears, gesturing to the seat and table beside Raven's.

Detecting feelings serves as an early warning system for Raven, telling her immediately that someone is near. It goes even quicker since she hasn't really been in contact with anyone for a while now; the emptiness isn't filled with the weariness, but it slowly creeps in, clinging to the shape of a certain speedster who…isn't speeding about.

For some reason, it's strange. She's seen him handling normal speeds, but this is somehow different.

She doesn't look up from the book. Not yet, anyway, letting her brow crease slightly as Bart approaches. "All yours," Raven replies, not even bothering to scoot over since there's enough space for the both of them. Once she finishes another page, she then glances over at the other Titan, leaning back in her own seat now that her attention is on him.

A beat passes. "…You look awful."

With a nod he sets his food down and then drops into the chair once he's pulled it out, dropping his face against the pizza box cover. He stays that way for a moment, letting the warmth thaw out his face from the chill of the trip through the city at night.

Raven's comment elicits a tired laugh from him, muffled against the cardboard until he turns his head in her direction. "Do I? Kinda funny how doing things at normal speeds is more exhausting than not. Or maybe it's just a mental exhaustion? I'm not sure."

Pushing himself up, he tugs his chair in a bit before opening his food boxes, prying a slice of pizza free so he can nibble.

"Long night at work. They were having some kinda ladies' night thing going on. Oh." It occurs to him that Raven probably doesn't know where he works. "-it's at a bar out in Harlem. It was fun though..! Just…a lotta stuff going on."

She doesn't mean to say it so frankly, but it's hard not to. Especially when the feeling is obvious and all.

"Usually it is," Raven says after watching him go through the motions. Pizza boxes don't look like great pillows, but this seems to be the exception when warmth comes into play. But that isn't important. When he mentions mental exhaustion, she has to agree. "Maybe it's a bit of both?"

Curiosity. It subtly colors her words as she closes the book, placing it in front of her as Bart starts going through his procured food. She does get an answer for the next question she means to ask, nodding once prior to giving him a look.

Ladies' night. A bar. It all falls into place.

"-Ah." Her aloof tone makes it difficult to express surprise, but her brow lifts to show something of a reaction to his explanation. "I never pegged you as someone who would work as a bartender." The corner of her mouth then pulls into a low-key smirk. "Or someone who would attend Ladies' Night, for that matter."

"Barback, really," Bart replies around another mouthful of his second piece of pizza. "I don't handle drinks. Just help clean up and stock stuff. Run errands." He shrugs, glancing over at her, brow arching at the expression on Raven's face.

"I saw a sign saying they were looking for help one day and thought I'd try it. With how big Clawmy was growing at the time- okay, so she's still growing I guess- but I figured I'd be needing to pay for stuff for her." He reaches for another pizza, hesitating a moment before he picks up the box and holds it out to offer Raven some of she wants.

"Won't say it hasn't been weird. It's also where I met my half-brother. You know, Owen?" He's pretty sure Raven can remember Owen. "Is ladies' night usually a weird thing? I mean, this one was themed and the guys were supposed to dress up as heroes but Owen was wearing this short net top and these tiny shorts…" He shakes his head as though to shake the image out of his mind.

Unlike some of the other Titans, Raven isn't very good at lighthearted teasing. The attempt is a start, but she ends up listening more than ribbing him for his experiences in getting a job in the first place.

"You were being responsible," she comments, holding up a hand to politely decline the pizza. "Not many people willingly do that on their own time. And by the way— last I saw her, Clawmy nested in the the other half of the curtains I was about to put up."

Which is honestly part of the reason why she stopped decorating. Pink cat got in the way. She shakes her head, muttering more to herself than to the speedster. "Pink fur everywhere."

Again, she dismisses the thought with another small wave of her hand. Just in time to hear Owen's name and recall the few memories she has of the man. The speedo. Despite her neutral facade, her nose twitches, refraining from scrunching altogether. "I…remember him." All too well, unfortunately. That description doesn't help. The image is slowly searing into her brain forever. "I guess? I'm not exactly sure what ladies' night is supposed to intend, either, but it sounds…wild. Which isn't really my thing, but so long as people have fun with it…"

She trails off for a bit, letting her friend eat as she reassesses his mental state. His emotional state. Not really prying, but shifting around while also trying to rid herself of the Owen-related imagery.

"Is everything okay?" she asks, careful as she parses things. "You seem…confused."

Wince. "Ooh… Sorry about that," Bart apologizes after learning what his oversized cat's been up to of late. "I'll get you new ones! …or an industrial-sized lint remover. If there's such a thing…"

Retracting the box he sets it down, chewing on his next slice pizza before plucking up another one. He leans back against the chair, hearing it creak. How long has this place been abandoned, he wonders.

Watching Raven's reaction to Owen he can't help but chuckle a bit. Yeah, it's kind of like that.

"Muh?" Her calling him at being confused certainly prompts the expression to surface on his face. "Oh. I…well, I guess? I mean, I'm okay- yeah, super confused, definitely. I'm not really sure how parties work. Or how dressing up as a hooker works as a hero- Or how you're able to bake someone into a cake without them getting toasted in the process."

Wait, what.

"…but everyone was mostly enjoying themselves, even though Atli brought in the space goat eventually, even with Luke's sign specifically saying no goats were allowed…"

Raven offers Bart a lopsided frown. "Don't worry about it. They're salvageable. I think." Although an industrial-sized lint remover would be wonderful to have on hand. Still, she'd settle for the smaller ones since they're always available.

If only it removed more than just cat hair.

Everything that Bart brings up leaves her to sit in silence. How can someone sound so naive while relaying the crazy he's seen firsthand? Because she doesn't have an answer for the 'hooker as hero' thought. Baking someone into a cake seems like the easier choice in trying to make sense of it all.

"…I don't think anyone gets baked into a cake," she answers, not even sure of the words that leave her lips as soon as she says them. "And…wait." Her hands go up again as her brain does an abrupt stop. "Space goat??"

She sounds — and definitely looks — incredulous.

It's just a relief knowing that Clawmy hasn't lived up to her name and decided to destroy Raven's curtains. Bart nods, sighing a bit as he makes a mental note to add a lint remover to…well, probably everybody's Christmas present.

Bart recounts the night's events easily enough. He's pretty used to bizarre things due to his virtual upbringing that when they do happen in the real world he doesn't try to put much thought into the why's. But when he does let himself think about things the questions asked are from a very childlike perspective. Then again his mentality is that of a person so much younger than he even looks at current.

"Then how'd she get inside of it?" he asks. It seems he's more curious about that then why the woman in the cake was hardly wearing anything. Maybe because it got too warm in there? "…why would you want to be in a cake anyway?"

Cracking open his second box of pizza, Bart toys with a string of cheese as he tries to pull another slice free, winding it around his finger in an effort to cut it loose. "Mf? Yeah, space goat. I think it's an Asgardian thing? Atli was at the bar too and she summoned it from a rainbow warp- it was awesome. …except not, because Luke wasn't too happy about having a big goat on his bar counter," he explains, as though of all the things witnessed earlier in the evening, that had been the most normal thing.

Brow knitting, Raven tentatively extends an arm toward Bart, fingers hesitant as they linger near his hair. They stay there, hovering as she mentally debates trying to get to the bottom of the whole cake problem. At the same time, she gets the gist of what he's seen with the context clues he gives.

If she actually tried to delve into the confusion, she would have gotten a clearer picture. But something is telling her not to do it.

After a handful of seconds, she wisely heeds that unspoken advice.

"Perhaps," she starts as she withdraws her hand, resting her elbows on the table, "they built the cake around her. Like how they normally stack cakes in the bakery. For big events." She's assuming, she knows too much for her own good, she's probably on the nose and she tries to ignore that. She would rather preserve her friend's young mind than shatter that protective shield. So she shrugs, downplaying it the way she always does. "Maybe a cake wasn't enough."

Space goats seem a lot safer now that they get past the cake. Still mind-boggling, but not so bad in comparison. "I can see how that can be a problem," Raven agrees, feeling a little bad for Luke and his property.

Spying that hovering hand out of his peripheral, amber eyes twitch towards it, watching curiously as his brow knits. Was she trying to pet him or be condescending for all the strange things he was asking that seemed otherwise known to the rest of the world? Bart doubts it somehow, but he never finds out either way for certain as Raven pulls back her hand, and so he resumes demolishing his pizza.

"Huh~~ Yeah, I guess that'd make more sense," he says as he slowly nods. At least the how makes sense. The why still receives an unsatisfying answer, but the speedster shrugs. Perhaps thankfully he doesn't think to ask Raven what the difference between hookers and strippers are and what the relation was between Owen's outfit and the cake girl.

"I think Luke asked Atli to cover for any damage anyway, at least." Things petered out without much more excitement thereafter, and all things considered, the event had been a success, more or less, at least so it seemed to Bart.

"Zee came by too, a little later. Didn't expect that. But I guess she didn't expect me to be there either," he laughs, shrugging as he starts stacking empty boxes. He looks about for napkins to wipe his greasy fingers on, scowling. Knew he forgot something.

Being asked would lean heavily toward the risk of brain breakage. Anything of that nature needing explanation she can leave to Owen. Or, Azar-willing, hopefully he never gets around to it. Never. She is, however, relieved that Bart accepts the roundabout answer to ease his curious mind.

As she nods about the payment for damages, she blinks. "She did?" Raven also feels it's unexpected, but she figures Zatanna is more outgoing. The social butterfly type who's good with people. Seeing that Bart is in need of a napkin, she looks through her discarded foodstuffs. "Does she normally go out to bars?"

For the moment Bart resorts to licking off his fingers before interrupting himself with a yawn that he barely manages to cover.

"Mm-hm," he says, nodding. "Oh, but I dunno if that's a normal thing for her. She seems to know lots of people though, so I guess I'm not all that surprised." She even knows Max! It's still mind-boggling to him. That also makes him think about just how little he actually knows about most of his other teammates outside of their Tower lives.

"That sounds about right for Zatanna," Raven agrees with his sentiment. She hardly knows anything more than what she's seen from the rest of her teammates. All of the fight and bravado and not so much of the depth of their personalities aside from the vulnerable moments during previous battles.

And speaking of vulnerable, each member has been showing something of that with all of the recent moving due to the new law. Those feelings can't be denied.

Bart, although tired, seems to be doing all right, just as he says he is. She feels the need to check on the others at some point soon, if just to help clear the air for a while.

"Still, it's nice to see that she's out and about," she adds, holding out a clean napkin she finds under her plate. "The others must be doing the same, but I'm assuming you're ready to get some sleep."

"Thanks." Bart grins a bit as he takes the napkin Raven offers. His earlier confusion seems to have cleared up thanks to their little chat, and his mood overall remains in the positive, even if he still feels a bit worn out.

The mention of sleep has him nodding as he slips the wadded up napkin into one of the boxes. "It's pretty late, huh? Guess sleep should be a thing," he admits, just barely finishing his sentence before another yawn escapes him. Pushing out of his seat, he gets to his feet and picks up his trash. "Hm. I'll take the garbage out tomorrow." No point in letting it build up when the place is supposed to be officially deserted.

Rolling his shoulders, Bart looks back at Raven. "You gonna go too? I can walk with you," he offers. Everyone was so spread out in their new facilities that going anywhere around here was pretty lonely, or at least he felt it to be so.

"You're welcome." During the pause, Raven looks down at her book. It's still sitting there on the table, but she really doesn't feel like picking up where she left off. And after glancing back at Bart to see him yawn again, talk of sleep sounds like the better option.

"Yes. That's a good idea," she replies, getting up from her seat as well to collect her things. Although she doesn't mind the loneliness of the building, having some company to walk with is nice. "And you can pick up your cat," she adds with a small smile as she starts to walk. "If she's still there, that is."

The reminder has him wince again, Bart looking at her sheepishly as he nudges his chair in with a foot. "Riiiight. Sorry about that, again," he says, smiling guiltily as he falls in step beside Raven.

Dragging a big, sleepy pink cat back to his room. Thaaat'll be fun.

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