Scene From An Italian Restaurant

August 03, 2015:

Keith invites Tigra and Kate to dinner as a show of appreciation for helping rescue Gar, Miguel joining them as well.

Di Angelo's, NYC

Take a guess.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: Scenes From An Italian Restaurant


Fade In…

In the whole book of etiquette there is no clear entry for 'How to say thank you for helping me break into a mad scientist lab and rescue my lost boyfriend.' In the prescient catalogue of Miss Manners, nobody ever came up with that scenario, so a quaint Italian restaurant will have to do.

Keith O'Neil is in his human form and quite well-dressed. Well, better-dressed than he usually is. Showing up early to make sure your reservations are in place is part of good etiquette, and he now waits for Kate and Tigra, as well as Miguel- because it has been a long while since he has had time to be ''social'' with his best friends.

And he figures Tigra should at least see him once when they're not fighting someone or being attacked by other things. Plus, he still owes Kate a catch-up on the whole engagement thing… something he hasn't told Miguel yet, either.


Kate is grateful for a chance to take a break from League duties, even if just for a night. She even got dressed up, pulling out a versatile little black dress and a pair of low-slung heels, since Keith picked out a place that might even involve some menus that aren't pre-lit behind a counter. "Hey," she calls over as she comes up, the car parked a block and a half away. "Should I bring in the big bag?" she teases, looking over her shoulder. "Or do you think this place is clear?"


Miguel hops off a bus a half-block away and quickly hoofs it to the restaurant, arriving just in time. He's dressed up, with a better shirt and vest and coat than anyone has seen him in before - he comes in soon after Kate, and waves to the others from behind her.


Tigra made sure to check on who's planning to pay for dinner, if this is truly meant to be a dinner of appreciation sort of thing. It's good to be certain. Arriving in her own way, which does not include a vehicle of any kind, she enters and it's plainly obvious she's decided not to hide what she is, something she did do at the place where the robotic craziness went down.

As such, Tigra will no doubt draw eyes, especially given her attire. The black top and shorts have been left behind. Instead, she's dressed in a green dress that dips down in front, climbing up to wrap around the back of her neck with most of her back visible. It's just shy of floor-length, with open-toed shoes that look more like sandals. There's even a spot for her tail to poke out of freely to act as it will. She approaches and waits for their reactions.


Keith grins at the arrivals, especially at Kate's quip. "It's cool, Katie, this place is cleaner than Superman's dental record." He gets up to pull Kate's chair for her, because the dress-up merits it. "Aaand Miguel, looking sharp buddy. C'mon, have a seat and…"

Keith trails off and he might be staring, because gay though he might be, there are few sights quite as impressive as a tiger dressed to the nines.

"Wow… . Tigra. I'm sort of feeling underdressed here…" what with just the black turtleneck and slacks. Miguel and Kate were well-dressed, but Tigra looked like a glamour shot.


Kate slides into the chair, smoothing her skirt beneath herself and smiling around. "That is a great dress," she says warmly to Tigra, as if the whole tail part is entirely normal. Then again, Kate's pretty good at dealing with the less normal parts of her life, so, tails are pretty minor in the grand scheme of things.


Miguel's eyes widen and he slows as he sees the stunning cat-woman, then he forces himself forward and takes a chair for Tigra, offering it to her as he pulls it out. He gives a thumbs-up to Keith as he makes to take his own seat. "Good to meet you," he says to Tigra.


It's not actually a deliberate 'be late to dinner' for Gar — there were headwinds. But, the pterodactyl that lands outside the restaurant turns into a Gar Logan, in the neo-classical 'dinner jacket' — and he has the right one, because he's secretly a clothes horse, although not usually when he's an actual horse of some sort. His only concession to the costume color scheme is that the cuff buttons are the same red as his usual red costume; otherwise, black tie all the way. Raw silk everything, of course, with different weaves to fool the eye. It handles the shapeshifting much better than any kind of unnatural material.

He finds his way by following the path to the Tigra, notable by the whiplash and glaring wives. And he breaks into a wide smile when he sees Keith dressed up.


Tigra basks in the attention for a few moments. Of course she does. "I was looking for something nice and this all but jumped out at me, so I bought it. Thought I'd see how many jaws I can make drop tonight. So far, so good," she grins, gesturing toward the dress before she makes her greetings, one person after the other including Miguel, who she's seeing for the first time. "Thanks. So, I think it'll be the lasagna for me." Right to the point, she is.


"Jumped at you? That's the kind of dress that does the Lambada at you, geez," Keith says in admiration. "Tiger Tiger burning bright indeed. Of course you've met Kate- my best friend ever, and this handsome young man is my other best friend ever, Miguel-" he doesn't mention his secret identity, because Mickey has to worry about those things "-he works at a restaurant the Titans frequent often after our adventures, and we were roomates in Gotham for a while."

A red eyebrow raises and Keith grins wide, "And there's my fiance. Fashionably late as always and totally dressed to make me look under-dressed, too."


"Hey, Gar," Kate waves as the green one arrives, smiling amiably to Miguel. Dinner party. No crisis. Communicator shoved in her purse. Life is - briefly - good. "I have no idea what I want to eat," she admits with a look to Tigra, reaching for one of the menus. "Honestly, I can't even remember what I eat anymore. It's whatever I can shove down between training and crises. And…weirdness. So much weirdness." She shudders, then looks back up at Keith and Gar. "Yeah, so, I seem to remember being completely interrupted when I heard this whole fiance news."


The dress gets an admiring glance, but not a long stare. There are proprieties, and his guy is already sitting at the table with cutlery in front of him, so it would be a Bad Idea to be too ogle-y.

"Hey, Miguel-san. Hi Kate. You're working too hard. We all know your natural diet, as a socialite, is vodka sours, no more than three hors d'ouvres, and the reputations of your enemies," Gar says, seating himself.

"You never heard? Well, at some point, since it's basically legal now, Keith is going to make an honest man of me."

Yes, that's the invitation for ALL the snarky lines.


Miguel beams as he hears the news. "Congratulations!" he grins, and takes his own seat. "That's great news." He smiles, and picks up the menu but doesn't look at it right away. "Wow."


Tigra notes, "When you have a layer of fur, you don't dress up very often. It's not always that comfortable, so I decided I'd try something new. Guess it's a shame I'm single." In a stage-whisper sort of way, she suggests to Kate, "I'd start with anything that's edible if I was you." Not forgetting about Miguel, she wonders, "What kind of restaurant?"

As the future wedding talk comes up, she focuses on that for a few moments, thinking about it. She's already seen their public displays of affection for each other. "Hey, if you two feel that way about each other, that's nobody else's business but yours. I just hope you don't end up stuck figuring out who to hold the door open for, or who's going to pull out the chair first." That tail dances in a playful manner behind her, then she blinks and asks both Gar and Keith, "By the way, you haven't heard anything more about that guy with the weird hat fetish, have you?"


"Oh, Gar pulls out the chair for me all the time. He just always forgets to push it back in…" Keith quips. He leans into Miguel "Penne All'arrabiata Mikey. Penne ALl'arrabiata. Trust me. It'll make you weep." He pauses. "In a good way, I mean. Not like Notebook weep. It's been a few days since I've seen you around, Mickey, everything okay with you?"

He smirks at Kate, "Yeah, we never really told you, did I? I proposed to Gar, finally. After, you know, trolling Zatanna so hard." The incident of the Chinese Restaurant made its rounds all over, after all. "I expect you and Miguel to be my Best People, y'know. I promise not to pick unflattering colors for the dresses," he grins, and pauses. "How are you and your lollipop doing, by the way? It's been too long since we've actually talked instead of shouting over a battlefield."

Tigra gets a special knowing glance, "Geez, I know exactly what you mean with the fur thing. My first uniform was just a pair of shorts, but Booster reminded me that branding was important and whatnoit… so I went with something that was relatively light- ballet clothes tend to be designed to breathe, which is very important. You know, I really do want to thank you profusely for helping Kate and I get Gar back, Tigra. I know we actually haven't had time to talk more than encounter weird stuff…"


"Please don't ever use that phrase to refer to…anything that is not actually a lollipop," Kate drawls to Keith with a dry look over her menu. "Clint's…" She must be trying to translate Italian, because she's quiet for a very long moment. "Things are a little complicated right now. Which is so not a topic for the moment, because we're going to celebrate you two," she concludes, looking up with a tight smile. "Congratulations, and of course I'll be there, Keith," she reaches a hand for his to give it a squeeze. "Wouldn't miss it for the world."


Miguel flashes a smile at Tigra. "An IHOP," he says. "The Titans are in there all the time, and even saved us from being stepped on by a giant robot. And the monkey invasion." He shakes his head, smiling. The things you do for a secret identity.

"Si," he says to Keith. "And I am honored, mi amigo especial; as far as my time? Work, mostly; taking back to back shifts so a couple others can have some time off with their kids before they start back to school." He opens the menu, notes what Keith suggests, and puts his thumb on the place so he can rattle it off to the waiter later.


Tigra knows nothing of the past things between these people, having only met them a couple times and, in Miguel's case, the first time tonight. So, she listens quietly and spends some time looking through the rest of the menu even after already declaring what she'd be having. That is, until Keith comes back to her. "Branding? Kiddo, this is my branding." She gestures toward an arm, palm up as a couple fingers point along the stripes and her tigery coloring. "Hey, after that craziness with the guy I mentioned, that makes things a little more personal in some ways."

She returns Miguel's smile with one of her own. "IHOP? Used to go there more often. Why am I not surprised the strange things follow these guys around?" A thumb is jerked toward the two obvious Titans.


"Don't make me think of pancakes," Gar says, not looking up from the menu, "I'll stop wanting to eat the… oooh, they have that. OK. Ossobuco, definitely. And they have the peperoni ripieni di funghi parmigiano con granchio as a side, we definitely need at least three orders of that."

Food decided, Gar looks up and smiles at the rest of the people here. "So, you're still telling people about the monkeys? We're gonna get a reputation."


"Well, you did wear the monkey look for a while, Gar," Keith teases. He's decided on the same thing he recommended to Miguel, because he loves spicy things. "Yeah, I guess the fur is the branding… but I'm not sure I'm as comfortable with a smaller outfit. They sort of look ridiculous on guys…"

He peers at Miguel, "Raven hasn't been coming over to glare at you guys over the lack of vegetarian entries, hasn't she?" Because that's what she does sometimes, because she can. He reaches for his glass of water and gives Gar's hand a little squeeze, "Of course, we'll have to tell you the dates and all that," he tells Kate and Miguel, "We actually haven't set a date yet. Things have been sort of crazy as you can see."

"So, Tigra… you're the lady of the hour- you used to be over in Chicago, right?" Because he totally does not have newspaper clippings of that, and he totally did not go fanboy on his social account after meeting her, "What made you decide to come to Disaster Central- the tri-cities?"


"Things are always crazy," Kate points out ruefully. "Don't put it off for too long waiting for them to get normal. Ooh, octopus." Of course Kate eats the weird stuff. The talk of branding gets a flicker of a smile as she sets her menu aside, looking between the others and focusing on Tigra as Keith asks his question.


Miguel mock-shivers at Gar. "I will never forget the monkeys. Consuela, she still cannot watch Animal Planet." He shakes his head at Keith. "No, she's been fine; she just gets the salads." He cants his head to listen to Tigra's response.


"Monkeys?" Tigra asks. "That's not why they had you down in that secret lab, is it?" She's looking directly at Gar when the question is raised, then she squints at Keith. "Yeah, you probably shouldn't go around in the things I wear." A brow arches when she hears 'octopus,' but that's it as she's put on the spot.

Nodding, the tigress confirms. "I did a bit of the hero thing in Chicago, yeah. Had an actual costume before I became, well, me. Maybe I'll show you a picture sometime. Spent a little while in California after that, but some of it wasn't the kind of stuff you can really get away with when you're going solo. I knew there was more going on out here, so that was part of it." Sipping quickly from her own water, she adds, "I do miss parts of Chicago sometimes, though. Used to love the omelettes at Lou Mitchell's."


Gar shakes his head. "No, that was last year. I actually do the monkey-boy look sometimes for grins, because it bugs certain people. So, you wanted to know about Jarvis Tetch? The short story is that he's apparently still quite safely locked up in Arkham Asylum. Which means either he's got a way to communicate out, or he's managed to put a copy in place, or someone else has stolen his schtick, or his minions are operating on their own. In order of decreasing probability and not necessarily a complete list, just the ones that are most possible."

Breadsticks and antipasti appear. They always bring them even before you order, at the good places. Alas, the trouble with antipasti is that they never feel quite like enough, but if you eat too much of them you get too full for the dinner, and nobody's actually ordered, yet, because they expect you to take three to five hours to eat dinner, like you would in Italy. Well, not really true for most customers, just the special ones. The ones who bribe the maitre d' to ensure a great evening.

"Anyone else want wine? They've got a better-than-usual table wine."


"You know I can't have wine. I get drunk easily and then you make fun of me," Keith grins. To Gar's explanation, Keith enlightens Miguel- "The Titans have been dealing with issues from the Wonderland Gang. A few months ago it was the March Hare, a week or two ago Gar, Tigra and I were captured by someone who was clearly operating under Mad Hatter protocols… but as Gar says, the dude's still in Arkham Asylum. HOWEVER-"

Keith makes a point with his knife in the air, "That place has a revolving door, I swear. I put the Joker away, and he got out. Nobody stays there for good."

There is a brief interruption so that everybody can place their orders, and Keith picks right back up, "I've been to California with Kate. We got involved in a shoot-" PAUSE. BACKTRACK. "-a movie shoot. Kate had friends in tinsel town and we got to take a peek in. Yeah. That's it." Panicked look at Gar, then look back at Kate. And then, "You know, you are welcome to come take a look at the Titans' installations at any point if you're looking for people to back you up. You don't have to join us if you don't want to, either, we're always helping our allies. Kate here's an honorary Titan, even though she gave all her love to those other guys," He grins and winks, "They're cool too. Probably," he says with a twinkle in his eye, "But not as cool as the Titans. They've got a satellite, we've got a pool."


"That's because the bats don't follow anything resembling police protocol," Kate shrugs to Vorpal's mention of Arkham. "They're great at picking up and following evidence for themselves, but they're not leaving any for the legal system to use to actually convict these people- dear God I sound old, I'm sorry," she winces, rubbing a hand at her brow. "Too much time with the lawyers and dealing with everyone at the Deadzone."

She clears her throat, going back to the topic at hand. "We also have a pool," she points out with a smirk. "Just, you know. At the lake house, not at the Hall of Justice, because for some reason, people get touchy about that sort of thing."


Miguel ponders this after he orders what Keith suggested, and takes a little bit of the bread to munch on, frowning slightly as he tries to remember his Carrol. "So you'd be looking for.. what, a Walrus and a Carpenter next? Or a, um, two really fat guys. Tweedledum and Tweedledee?"


"Arkham Asylum? I've heard.." Tigra begins as Gar goes into his explanation about the Mad Hatter, then she points at Keith. "What he said. Maybe someone else was acting for him or something, but for all we know he got out. I'm still having weird dreams about that whole thing." With some of the appetizers and such showing up, she waits curiously to see how the server reacts to her, if at all, flashing a smile if there's more than a moment's glance when she puts the order in for the lasagna. The meat lasagna, not the vegetarian lasagna, because ew.

Tigra sniffs in amusement at Miguel, offers a slow nod to Kate's complaint about evidence, then her tail curls upward and back down a few times when certain amenities are brought up as if to entice her. "So you guys have a pool," she points to Keith, "but you guys have a pool at a lakehouse," as she then notes Kate, and it's back to Keith. "Can you top that?"


"We already had a Walrus and Carpenter. We also had …what was that other one, Keef?"

Gar will happily drink wine with dinner, even if Keith is a total lightweight who cannot hold any liquor at all. Very strange, for a half-fey, since they're immune to the stuff, but get plastered on certain kinds of mint.

"We have a castle," Gar smiles. "AND we have a fifth-dimensional … would you say the oculeggis is more like a cat or a strangler vine?"


"It looks like something Doctor Seuss dreamt up," Keith adds. "We also have a totally cool underground base and magic doors. But Miguel is right- the Tweedles are the only ones we haven't encountered yet. On my first date with Gar, we encountered March Harriett. The Walrus and the Carpenter was on the second date. We haven't gone on official dates since," he grins.


"I'm pretty sure something that isn't for sure a cat or a strangler vine is a selling point," Kate laughs to Gar. "But if we're doing the competition thing, I'm pretty sure the Titans have better selling points in general. They probably still get to sleep at nights or something crazy like that. Also, none of them have had to testify at congressional hearings."


Miguel points with his breadstick. "Maybe you should do so, to draw them out? Maybe it's crazy cat magic at work?" he says. Apparently he overhears a lot at the IHOP.


When the wine is offered to her, Tigra shakes her head and holds up a hand to keep it moving. "Oh, an actual castle now? I see how it is." Brows furrow at the..whatever they called it, causing her to blink a couple times. "That's different." With a clearing of her throat, she remarks, "Not having to go deal with congressional anythings is big for me. But, you're really living this 'Alice in Wonderland' thing out to the fullest, aren't you?" Tigra asks Keith. "If people start losing their heads, I'm gone."


Gar gets that odd expression he's sometimes gotten since the Tower was re-destroyed — the one where he's half-remembering one of the alternate lives that intersected with him there. "No, we didn't have to do hearings, here. Didn't have to go to work for Herself, either."

Because, yes, when they were being underwritten by Stormwatch in that other world, their inevitable boss was that same scary woman … Anyway. Back to this reality.

"I prefer to avoid capital crimes, yes," Gar replies.


At the mention of the hearings, Keith's grin sort of disappears and a somber mood creeps up on him. "Yeah, that's not something you ever want to go through," he says. Traverstein's suicide… that thing comes back to haunt him every time.

He tries to make an effort of it, though, and tries to rekindle the grin, "Well… I am a cheshire cat. That sort of thing kind of… follows, you know?"


"My dear, mad friend," Kate chuckles to Keith. "Well. Let me know if you need help with anything. I'm still pretty busy in Metropolis, but I can find the time to get back here for the things that matter. Like congratulatory engagement dinners," she adds, raising her water glass in salute to the table.


Miguel hmms as he considers wine, but shakes his head. "Nada," he says to the wine, and then opens his mouth to comment further on the Wonderland goings-on, realizes he cannot, and shuts it slowly. "Indeed," he says, raising his water glass as well. "Congratulations!"


Tigra says flatly, "I hope it doesn't follow too much. I'd rather not end up a tiger-lily." She's up on her Alice in Wonderland knowledge, yes. Holding her glass up, she states, "I vote we let the rest of this stuff go for one night and just try to do something normal for a little while." So says the woman who came here in her stripes and a dress to turn heads.


What's the etiquette again? Oh yes. You never toast yourself. So, Gar just blushes (green) and grab's Keith's hand, to squeeze and also in case he never had someone drill him with that particular bit of How It Works — Mom was very thorough.

"Thank you all."

And of course, they can toast their friends afterwards, which is safe.


Keith smiles and squeezes Gar's hand back, "Thank you," yes, he was about to follow suit, having not been raised to observe some of the finer points of etiquette. He blushes, half because of the faux pas he was about to do, and half because of the situation.

"You know, you guys are totally invited for a lounge in the pool anytime. Summer's going to end soon, after all."


"We should have a pool party," Kate agrees with a flash of a smile. "That'd be nice. Get some people together. Relax for a little bit. Remember…" She quiets a bit, taking a drink. "Well. Keep up with connections and all that. So what else have you guys been doing? Getting engaged, falling down rabbit holes. Anything else?"


"Aiy, don't remind me…" Miguel says. "The thought of the New York winter closing in again is depressing enough… so a visit to the pool sounds good," he says with a quirked smile, as if he hadn't been swimming in it just hours before.


Tigra samples some of the food that's been brought out in advance of the main dishes, glancing from one person to the next as Kate asks about some of what the rest of them have been up to. "I..probably need to find some new ways to unwind, to be honest. Haven't been doing enough of that lately. Maybe a pool party would be a good way to do that."


"Pool parties are awesome things. We have our training pool, but that's not as cool as the one under the tree. That one was broken when we got the castle, but I eventually figured out what was wrong by crawling through all the pipes and," better not describe that in detail. "… Well, we fixed it," Gar says. Of course, he wasn't alone, but he can't name the other people who helped.

"We did do that Tokyo trip. It was less eventful than it could have been." Which is to say, Godzilla didn't bring friends along to stomp them, or anything like that.


"Pool party it is, I agree," Keith agrees, "Actually, the Titans have just turned a year old from their founding. We need to celebrate… hard. Heck, we'd love to invite the league and the X-Reds. And you too, Tigra and Miguel- pending of course your work schedule." A good wiggle-room for 'Miguel' not to be there but Bunker showing up.

"And… behold." The smile returns full to keith as the food arrives, creating a certain level of anticipation in the redhead. "I'm having tiramisu after this. I've already decided. Gar, love, you get to carry me to the castle if I suffer a food coma, won't you?"


"I heard Red was having some…re-organization going on," Kate chimes in, taking another drink. "But I'm sure they'd all still be in for it. Actually, there've been a lot of people who're unaffiliated I've been wanting to get together, just to give them a chance to meet other people and…you know, make connections. But that's-" She chuckles, scrubbing a hand over her face again. "All right, food. Everyone has permission to kick me if I bring up work again!" she declares.


Miguel brightens up - he has gotten pretty good at the minimal acting required of the whole 'secret ID' thing over the last year - and nods. "Hey, that sounds amazing. And, yeah, depending on my schedule. The boss man won't be impressed by 'Hey, I got an invite to go party with a superhero team', he'll be all 'who's going to fix the ice machine if it breaks!?'.


Tigra ahs, perking as the main course arrives, her tail curling toward the tip. "Smells gooooood," she says, going back to part of why she showed up the way she did. "And maybe I'll show up to this thing, whenever it is, but I don't do nametags." She really doesn't need one if it's based on appearances alone.


Ossobuco on a lovely rissoto… Gar is in heaven. AND very happy that the "vegetarian" thing was purely an invention of that television show. Animals eat other animals all the time y'know. Anyway.

"I expected to do that anyway," he says to Keith, and "Should we ask some of the former members if we can find them? Our Flash, for instance?"

And as the night winds on, strangely enough, nobody attacks them. ((They're all probably afraid of Kate.))

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