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Knives Out



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Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:47 pm
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TheMulticoloredCyr says...



She didn't take the offered hand. Her eyes flicked over him. It was so tempting just to brush past. Leave Damian to his friend while she found a window to slip out of or something.

But this kid could fly. There was no telling what he would do if she tried that. Then again...

"I'm not a 'family acquaintance', I'm just someone who would very much like to get back to my own world without running into any of Damian's other friends. If either of us is lucky we'll never meet again, goodbye." She walked past him and continued down the hall.
  





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Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:25 pm
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Jaybird says...



Noah looked back at his best friend.

"Someone's in a bad mood," he commented. Then he saw how Damian - who was really named Alex and was a girl, but that was a long story - was watching her go, and started to realize that Megara wasn't the only with some kind of emotional thing going on.

"What happened?" he asked.

Alex shrugged. "I got kidnapped by my mom's assassins again."

"Not that," Noah said. "I could guess that much. What happened with her and you?"

Alex shook her head. "It's not my place to say."

Noah knew that meant something had happened between Megara and someone else, and that Alex didn't want to intrude on whatever that something was. But letting Megara wander around with no plan seemed like a horrible idea, so he improvised.

He grabbed Alex by the arm, pulled her down after Megara with some super strength and a little bit of flight, and flew ever so slightly in front of her. Alex kept trying to break free, but Noah refused to budge - even when she was trying to push his hand back and kick him away with her feet.

"You should come up with us on the ship," Noah said, peeking over at Megara. "Usually the league goes back to its base, but I think they're planning on dropping the heroes off in their cities today. Gotham isn't one of the spots, but I could make the ship malfunction and stop there just long enough for you two to sneak off."
stop trying.
take long walks. look at scenery. doze off at noon.
don’t even think about flying.
and then, pretty soon,
you’ll be flying again.
  





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Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:36 pm
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TheMulticoloredCyr says...



Megara crossed her arms. "I'm not going to Gotham," she said flatly. And she wasn't. It was, decidedly, the most likely place for her to run into Jason, and she really didn't like that idea.

What she'd done to Jason, what she'd said, that wasn't repairable damage. She couldn't just say she was sorry and expect anything to change. What was done was done, and she wasn't going to be able to recover their friendship from that. With that being the case, there was really no point in apologizing. Especially if any of his other friends and family felt the way Damian did. She wasn't sure she'd make it out alive if that was the case.
  





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Mon Feb 10, 2020 11:43 am
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Jaybird says...



Noah faltered.

He knew there was some kind of issue, but it looked like the problem was a lot more serious than he had expected. He glanced over at Alex. Alex was the only one out of the two of them that really knew what had happened, and was the only one who could salvage Noah's plan. Noah had the feeling that Megara had nowhere else to go, and that someone in Alex's strange little family would know how to get her back home. It just made sense for her to go to Gotham.

Alex let out a sigh and stopped attempting to get away from Noah.

"...I hate how I'm about to say this," she said, "but you need to come to Gotham with me. We have the tech to get you back to your world. And before you go off about everything with, you know..."

There was a pause. Noah tried imagining what name Alex would have said.

"He didn't tell anyone," she said. "I didn't tell anyone. I wanted to. I wanted to go marching right on over to your world after he told me, but he said he was alright with no one knowing. That it was better if no one knew."

Her posture slumped.

"He's probably not even going to be there when you get there," she said. "I can't remember the last time I saw him in the cave or manor. We'll go to James or Tim instead. They got you back the last time you were here, right?"
stop trying.
take long walks. look at scenery. doze off at noon.
don’t even think about flying.
and then, pretty soon,
you’ll be flying again.
  





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Tue Feb 11, 2020 2:01 am
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TheMulticoloredCyr says...



She looked him over skeptically. "Right. This is the part where I trust you even after you've expressed rather clearly that you don't like me very much. The part where I go with you even after I've stated very clearly that I have no interest in being near you or your family. The part where I'm either all tearful apologies or some other bullshit reaction you want from me. Am I getting close?"

There was one person and one person only who deserved an apology from her, and there was a damn good chance the glaring non-child before her would expect what she didn't owe him if she took his offer. And then there was the idea of being in his debt.

That wasn't happening.
  





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Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:32 am
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Jaybird says...



Alex let out a groan.

"A little bit!" she admitted, straightening. "I know you're not going to give an apology unless someone forces you to, so I know I can't expect you to do the last one."

She took a deep breath.

"I'm not a bad person," she said. "I can put my grudges aside to do the right thing. And that's what he would want, anyways. Even if you're not going to apologize, I'll help you get home. You know how upset he'd be if I just let you wander around here without knowing where here actually is."

Her posture slumped again.

"...Besides," she said. "I know what you're doing. You're trying to run away from your problems. I...I've done it plenty of times before. Back before all of this. It seems like a great idea at the time, but it only causes more problems later on."
stop trying.
take long walks. look at scenery. doze off at noon.
don’t even think about flying.
and then, pretty soon,
you’ll be flying again.
  





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Tue Feb 11, 2020 6:59 pm
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TheMulticoloredCyr says...



"Thanks for the lecture, but I don't owe you an apology. I don't owe you anything, actually, and I don't give a damn how Jason will feel if you leave me to my own devices. I can take care of myself just fine, love, so if you would like to crawl on back to your cave and let me get myself home, that would be great."

Her rant over, she turned to leave. As she was walking, she considered the offer. If she was honest, she would admit that she didn't have the first clue as to how to get home. That if she wanted to do so quickly, she'd need their help.

But she wasn't going to turn around and admit that.

Instead, she planned. She plotted out how she would stay out of sight, follow the kids back to the ship or whatever that had been mentioned, and stow away without the help of a stranger. From there, her plan was mostly more sneaking around and borrowing what she needed to get home, without permission, if all went well.
  





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Wed Feb 12, 2020 12:58 pm
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Jaybird says...



Alex made a move to follow Megara, but then Noah got in her way.

"You know that argument isn't going to get you anywhere," he said. She did know, but that didn't make her want to change her mind. "Come on. Let's head back to the ship."

She gave Megara one last look.

And then she did as requested, following Noah through a series of corridors that she knew but didn't want to really process. When they were a good distance away from Megara, Noah finally turned to her.

"She's totally going to sneak onto the ship," he whispered.

She raised an eyebrow. "She's stubborn."

"But the ship is her only way out of here," Noah pointed out. "If I was in her shoes, I'd go on the ship, too. She'll probably follow us to it - that's why I'm talking so quietly right now."
stop trying.
take long walks. look at scenery. doze off at noon.
don’t even think about flying.
and then, pretty soon,
you’ll be flying again.
  





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Wed Feb 12, 2020 1:08 pm
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TheMulticoloredCyr says...



Megara was good at following people without being seen, though the corridors of this place did make it a challenge. Still, she managed to keep within a fair distance of the pair.

She couldn't hear what they were saying, only that they were saying something. That was never good.

She kept following anyway, against her better judgment, though. She really had to get on that ship.
  





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Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:31 pm
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Jaybird says...



It wasn't long before they had slipped onto the ship, and it took just as little time for them to arrive in Gotham. Alex slipped off the ship the first chance she got - making sure to avoid anyone dangerous this time around. By the time she got back to the Batcave, a good hour had passed.

And the moment she opened the door, she was pulled into a tight embrace by Ben.

xXx

Elsewhere in the city, a hooded teenager slipped through the crime-ridden streets of Gotham's darkest area. He avoided the criminals lurking in the shadows with ease. He knew the streets well - or, at the very least, he knew this one path.

After a few minutes, he arrived at his destination.

He knocked on the front door.

There was a pause.

The door opened just a crack before he was pulled inside the tiny, forgotten apartment.

"Hi, Steph," he said.

He pushed back his hood and gave her a smile.

"Hi, Jay," she replied. "Want something to drink?"
stop trying.
take long walks. look at scenery. doze off at noon.
don’t even think about flying.
and then, pretty soon,
you’ll be flying again.
  





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Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:49 pm
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TheMulticoloredCyr says...



Megara snuck out of the ship as soon as it reached Gotham. She didn't follow Damian to the cave, or whatever they called that dingy lair of theirs. Instead, she headed...somewhere. Somewhere else. As far from there as she could manage.

She found herself walking the streets of what was clearly the 'bad' part of town. A bit of shoplifting later, she looked like a local. Those stiff, uncomfortable canvas pants that clung too tight and two sets of coats over her own tunic did a fairly good job of getting her to blend in. Even her satchel managed not to look too conspicuous. Most of her weapons had to be hidden in there, much to her chagrin.

The first coat she took was made of a thinner, softer material, and had strange steel teeth instead of a closure in the front. There didn't appear to be a practical purpose to that, but fashion couldn't be expected to be consistent world to world if it wasn't even so from town to town where she was from.

The second jacket also had the weird strips on either side of the closure, but there were buttons as well. That coat was black and came down just past her knees - yet more proof that her proportions weren't meant for real people - and was made of a much thicker material. She wore that one closed.

She cut through and alley, not sure where she was going but walking like she was in a hurry to get there. She saw the guy out of the corner of her eye a split second before the weapon was revealed.

"Gimme your money!" he said, and Megara debated the difference between cliche and classic as she held up her hands as though she was surrendering. She knew that kind of weapon - Jason had shot her with it when they first met - but she wasn't completely familiar with how it worked.

She decided to play a game. It was a great deal like her old self to make something like that out of a situation like this, but, right now, she was able to admit she missed her old self.

"I said hand it over!" the man said, irritable and in a hurry.

"I don't have any on me," she said calmly.

"Give me your bag then!" he snapped, gesturing with his odd bit of metal at the satchel.

"You don't want my bag."

There was a kind of growl from the back of the man's throat as he said, "I decide what I want. Hand it over!"

She sighed, "If you insist."

In an instant, the man was pinned against the wall and there was a bang as she pinned the hand that held the weapon against the wall by his wrist. The knife she'd tucked into the strap of her pants - previously hidden by her layers of clothes - was now pressed just hard enough against his neck to sting. Just a little harder and she'd cut something important.

"Let's have a little chat," she said in that almost flirty tone she used to use at every given opportunity. He started to speak and she hushed him, "Oh, no no, darling, I wasn't finished." He tried to wrench himself free of her grip but it was absolute. She chuckled, "You won't get free that way," she cooed, shifting the blade so he was forced to press himself harder against the wall. "Now," she continued with what used to be her signature smile, "how about you tell me about your weapon there."

He managed something like, "-crazy bitch-" before he was cut off by a sudden change in position. In a single moment, she wrenched the weapon free from his hand, plunged the knife into his shoulder, and pressed the gun to his ribs. The hand that once held the knife now stifled his scream of pain.

"Hush hush now," she said, as soothing as a viper's hiss. Oh, it felt good to be herself again, just for a little while. To stop caring about every little thing and just enjoy the job. "Don't reach for that," she said in reference to his attempt to remove the knife. He froze. His hand went slowly back to his side as he whimpered in pain against her hand.

This little weapon had to be a lot scarier than she thought. Good.
  





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Sat Feb 15, 2020 1:12 pm
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Jaybird says...



Visiting Steph wasn't anything new.

He had been doing it for the past few weeks. He had found her a few weeks ago, back when he first ran down an alleyway he couldn't have possibly known while wearing his Red Hood clothes. He had thought he was alone when he took the helmet off and had a mini panic attack, but she had been watching the entire time.

Steph said they were best friends. Jason was confused - the original Jason had never had close friends in Crime Alley. But Steph was adamant, and Jason went along with it - concocting an entire story about how he had lost his memory, and was only beginning to remember bits and pieces.

Steph felt nice. It was something almost normal. And with everyone else busy at home - especially with Alex getting kidnapped - he really needed a break from the chaos. Jason was the only one who seemed to realize just how capable Alex really was. He wouldn't be surprised if he returned to the cave that afternoon and found her sitting in the chair there.

"Where are we going today?" he asked.

"A party," Steph replied, grinning. "I thought seeing a bunch of familiar faces would jog your memory. Everyone you went to school with should be there."

He faltered. "Aren't they going to hate me?"

She stared. "Why would they hate you?"

"I left Crime Alley," he said. "And I live with one of the richest guys in all of Gotham. Wouldn't they hate me for that? I left them."

Steph thought for a moment. "...You don't know, do you?"

"Know what?"

She grinned. "Jay, you're like the cryptid of Crime Alley. No one knew where you went years ago until we heard you died, and now everyone keeps hearing rumors of you coming back to life. They don't hate you. If anything, they'll ask you for a selfie or two to throw up on Instagram."

"...Oh."

Steph's smile softened. "Don't worry, Jay. I won't let anything happen to you."

And with that, they entered the warehouse where the party was. Jason was surprised with how normal the party looked. It was something out of a movie - music throbbing in the background, people dancing and mingling, and an array of snacks and drinks on an old table.

Out of habit, Jason pulled his hood down to hide his face. Despite Steph's reassurances, he really wasn't sure it was a good idea to be recognized here.
stop trying.
take long walks. look at scenery. doze off at noon.
don’t even think about flying.
and then, pretty soon,
you’ll be flying again.
  





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Sat Feb 15, 2020 3:15 pm
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TheMulticoloredCyr says...



It didn't take long for Megara to realize that the man was completely useless to her. She hesitated, the easiest solution fighting with the morals she'd dedicated herself to for Eddie's sake.

But Eddie wasn't here.

The man's eyes bulged as he dropped to the ground, a sickeningly garbled choking replacing the sound of his breathing.

Voices, a moment later, sounded from down the alley. A name was called out, but it didn't take long for the quizzical tones to turn threatening. One of them, a hulking figure, easily twice Megara's size, pointed a weapon not dissimilar to the one she'd just acquired at her, and she decided that between him and his friend, and not knowing very much about the weapons they used, now was the time to leave.

Pulling the hood of the thinner jacket out from under the collar of the coat and over her head, she dashed down the alley. The heavy footsteps of the man's friends followed her.

Even after she thought she'd lost them, she kept moving. It was easy enough to make someone think they were in the clear. She would know.

Eventually, she slowed her pace to a brisk walk. There were quite a lot more people out after dark then she would have guessed. That did nothing to ease her nerves.

A sound, like a loud thumping, undercut by a metallic whine, drew her attention to a warehouse in one of the slightly more abandoned parts of the city. There were lights, and the sound of a crowd mixed in with the sounds. All of it together looked like a very good way to get the mother of all headaches, but it also looked like a good place to hide from anyone who might still be following her.

So, she slipped into the crowd.
  





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Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:32 pm
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Jaybird says...



Jason had been to his fair share of parties growing up with Ben, but he hadn't ever been to a party like this.

For the first few minutes, he had been in awe of how similar it was to the movies. After that, however, the introverted side of him kicked in - he hated how chaotic and loud this place was. He had never liked the fancy galas and parties that the Wayne Manor hosted, but those had at least been quiet.

"Let's get something to drink," Steph suggested. Jason didn't get a chance to suggest an alternative - she was dragging him over to the food and drink table. He didn't even get to pick what drink. A second after they had arrived, Steph was thrusting a can of Sprite in his direction.

"Here," she said.

He looked down at it. He couldn't remember the last time he had one. Alfred was good about inspiring a healthy mindset when it came to food and drinks. Jason hadn't even gotten soda after living on his own.

After a moment of hesitation, he popped open the can and took a sip.

His face immediately lit up.

"I knew you'd like it," Steph said. "It was your favorite growing up."

He studied the can. "Really?"

She nodded. "We'd always get it together. Well, you'd always get it. I'd get a coke instead."

She popped her own can open and took a chug.

Wiping her lip with her arm, she gave him a big grin. "Let me show you what else I know," she said. She eyed the vast array of food. "Hm..."

A second later, she returned with a plate full of miniature hot dogs. Jason didn't question who had heated them up and decided to bring them in the first place - he just couldn't help but smile. "I love those!"

"One time we found some after someone got mugged," she said. "Batman saved the day, of course, but the victim left her groceries behind. We tried returning them to her, but we were never able to find her - so we had a feast instead."

The beginning of a memory flickered back into his mind.

"...We ate so many we got sick the next day," he slowly said. "...Right?"

Jason didn't know how to describe the look on her face, but it was a look that he didn't want her to ever lose. "We did," she said - her smile warm and gentle. "We ate so much we got sick."

A little laugh escaped his lips. "I can't remember where I lived, but I can remember stuffing my face with mini hot dogs..."

Steph gave the same kind of melancholic laugh.

"It's okay, Jay," she softly said. "It's still a start."

He gave a tiny smile. "Yeah," he quietly said. "I guess it is."

He went to take another sip of his soda, but quickly found it was empty. He eyed the rest of the party for some kind of recycling bin - it was a short distance away.

"I'll be right back," he said. He held up his can. "I just need to throw this in the recycling."

No one seemed to notice him as he slipped by. He couldn't help but accidentally rely on the skills honed by his time as Robin and Red Hood. But while he almost managed to outmaneuver everyone, there was still one person he bumped into.

"Sorry," he apologized to a girl with her back turned - all he got was a glimpse of blond hair before someone pushed through them.

He threw the can out and returned to Steph's side.
stop trying.
take long walks. look at scenery. doze off at noon.
don’t even think about flying.
and then, pretty soon,
you’ll be flying again.
  





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Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:15 pm
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TheMulticoloredCyr says...



Megara's eyes tracked Jason back to..someone. A friend of his. There was a pang of jealousy in her chest. Unjustified, stupid, jealousy.

She ducked her head and let herself vanish into the crowd.

He can hang out with whoever he wants, she chastised herself, After what I did, there's no way I deserve anything from him, most certainly not his attention.

He didn't even know she was here.

For a moment, just a moment, she thought about going up to him. Giving him that apology she most definitely owed. But then she looked again at him and his friend, and she decided to leave him alone. He'd probably already found peace with what happened, who was she to mess that up?

There were kids everywhere, that intense, headache-inducing sound that she decided much be some version of music sounded like it was getting louder, and there was a table of food shoved off to the side. Fighting through the crowd, she went there.

She didn't grab much, just enough to make it look like she was too busy with her snacks to join what could be generously described as a dance floor.

With her excuse in hand, she leaned against a wall a distance away from Jason and stared out into the void, content to sulk until an idea came to her about how to get home without running into anyone else she knew popped into her head.
  








I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.
— Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights