Past and Present Skeletons

April 14, 2017:

Starfire meets up with Kyle, and past are exchanged, vaguely… And half a sammich is stolen

Queensland Park - Metropolis

Originally, this land was set aside by King George III for his
consort Queen Charlotte, though after the Revolution those who wanted to
live like 'Kings' quickly set up their farms and became the shining welcome
to newcomers to Metropolis.
This area is home to the bulk of the immigrant population and while
in other areas, like New York and Gotham, would say that members of these
diverse ethnic cultures cannot live in close proximity, the residents of
Queensland Park prove it untrue, especially after the Apokolips invasion as
most of the surviving residents sought home here and helped rebuild the part
of this island that also suffered from the blast.
Welcome to the melting pot of humanity.


NPCs: None.

Mentions: Hal Jordan


Mood Music: [*\# None.]

Fade In…

Since arriving over Earth, Kyle Rayner can be seen in the nighttime sky making a large circle. From the skies of Metropolis, to over New York City, then off to space, the circuit has been repeated for days now. Always at night, always at the same times, and it's been quiet. Too quiet. Boring-quiet. While there's no telling just where that green comet has flown to when it strikes off into space, it always returns later that evening to finish its orbit.

It's past one in the morning on the Eastern seaboard this time. The skies above flash with a green light as Kyle Rayner returns to Earth's atmosphere. The punch of his ring's energy through the atmosphere is clean, simple, and effortless. On a slow, downward angle, almost as if to show Earth that he's returned and it's not some alien death ray, Kyle Rayner flies through the skyline of Metropolis and lands in the relative peace and quiet of Queensland Park.

With lunch.

The black-and-green clad Lantern moves to sit on a park bench and sets down a boxed lunch from a takeout joint, and lifts a cup of soda to his lips, sucking quietly at the straw.

1am is easily quiet on the Borough Island of Metropolis, but not when the atmosphere is broken through by flight. It's uttered among the people here that they are protected, harboring alien denizens, not too loudly after the rise of G. Godfrey into Mayorship. Protect to keep Protected.

Kyle's signature had been read and watched. The first time Starfire was about to disembark from her ship and pursue while her crew readied weapons and tracers. But when she recognized the man from the night where they battled his pursuant, so instead - Watch they did.

Tonight though when he arrives to the empty park the green comet of Kyle settles in and then in a flare of comet's light above him Starfire descends before him and just to the side. Purple metallic boots touching down upon the ground lightly as the emanating hue of fire dissipates around her and falls to the low burning hue of hair that curls and barely scathes the surface of the ground behind her.

"Good to see you doing well, again. Kyle."

As Starfire approaches, Kyle is already setting his cup aside. The cardboard carton filled with a meager deli sandwich and a bag of chips is brushed aside, as well. Nearly six feet of ancient, cosmic energy enhanced human is pushing to his feet before her legs touch the ground, as if someone, or something, alerted the man to her coming arrival before she did.

Kyle's white eyes, a pupil-lacking match for Koriand'r's own, lift to stare with little indication of where his eyes truly are looking. He lifts a hand in greeting and brushes back a few locks of his black hair. His lips part, baring teeth in a friendly enough smile, though some unspoken exhaustion lies in the corner of his smile, the quirk of his lips fails to form that hard line.

"Starfire Koriand'r," Kyle cuts his fingers off to the side in the end of his wave, ring trailing a wisp of emerald green energy as he does so. "It's always good to be in one piece. Thanks. And you?" Kyle motions to her. "You seem to be doing well, too." A beat. "Unless…you're here because you need a helping hand with something?"

Starfire closes the gap between them, but remains on her side of the pic-a-nick bench (Yogi Voice)! Feet plant on the seat and she seats herself on the table, pushing his food back to him with one hand while the other accepts the hand of greeting in a light shake. Pupiless emerald eyes reflect back only his entirety like a mirror with no akin indication save the light rise of brow at his own eyes' appearance.

Kori's own smile is brief, a flash of ivory behind a frame of plum stained lips, although her entirety is not-human, down to the tawny skin hue. "With as much travelling to and fro you have been doing, you need to eat."

A pause as she shift to corner her claim on the bench-top and still keep him in periphery. "I am well, but what concerns me is your nightly search. Is all well with you, truly?" His path and course is repetitive, set, and like someone searching for something lost or left behind. Even his demeanor seems tired from it.

Those stray locks of black hair fall back over the front of his domino-shaped mask when Kyle looks down to the re-shifted mealbox, back to his side. The mask on his face, pliant and expressive, quirks with his brows beneath in response, merely a tick of his brow and one more final tug of his lip in a smirk. Kyle Rayner looks to Koriand'r's face one last time, then his hunger wins him over.

"I'm kind of a twenty-four hours a day person," Kyle slips one leg over his bench and then the other, lowering himself to sit. He looks up to Kori, hands finding the sandwich to peel back the butcher's paper. "I never really know when I'm going to get a call, so sometimes eating is a scheduled thing. If I don't remind myself to do it, sometimes, I might find myself having to fly out to Athmoora on an empty stomach."

The young man laughs under his breath and holds up the sandwich, saluting her with it, then prepares to take a bite.

"I'm not searching for so much as I am just…keeping busy." Kyle says after he swallows, reaching for a napkin in the cardboard box. His tongue lashes out to collect a crumb off of his lips, which curl into a momentarily apologetic frown. "I don't want to TMI-you and I'm not a negative guy, so please-" Kyle shakes his head. "-don't paint me as that dark cloud, but sometimes it's better to keep busy than to get stuck in an empty apartment going through old skeletons, old closets." Kyle looks up, brows hopeful. "Does that make sense?"

Starfire watches Kyle, a silent study that even brings a tip of her head as he reclaims his seat and eats. Its placid, contemplative, and unreadable for a moment. Until he takes a bite and she then removed the abrupt and intrusive study to resume just a casual watch over the park and their conversation. "Athmoora?"

The more he speaks the more Kori seems to kind of ease and the smile returns, although somewhat bridled for the time being. "Keeping busy is the best way to avoid some skeletons, but not when they're in your head and tethered to possessions." A sigh and Kori crosses her legs, arms propped upon up-most thigh, crossed at vembraced wrists that are clad in bracers of that purple metal.

"I do not think it dark for you to try and move on and be happy, but that does not move you out of the old and into the new."

Kyle draws one knee up on the bench, pressing it against his chest. Tired muscles, he winces and then stretches the leg out once more beneath the table. Before he can catch it, he's nodding in agreement with Koriand'r, head cocking to one side with the nod, brows wafting up and down in a vague display of knowing her negative territory.

"Some things you can't run from." Kyle looks up, eyes falling onto Kori's shoulder, then down to her wrists. His lower lip buttons up, then a tiny breath escapes him.

"The last time I was on Earth was for a funeral. My mother's. The time before that was for another funeral, someone close to me. Now I'm back and this is where I'll be working for the foreseeable, so," Kyle stretches out a shoulder, his long, black-and-green arm reaching out for his cup of soda. "I'll settle in eventually, make some friends, have a few good times, but right away coming home is like opening an old moving box in some old storage unit."

Kyle quiets while his adam's apple bobs, sipping from his cup of soda. It's set down once more, and he's taking up his sandwich, finishing the first half of it.

"I travel space, but I've got responsibilities, Starfire Koriand'r." Kyle pauses, lifting an eye her way. "Earth. Mars. Jupitor. Athmoora. Over a dozen other planets, but flying out there frees my head. It's the best thing, ever."

"Just one name." Now Kori smiles to him as she catches on he is repeating the name she gave him, without the pause between to differentiate. "Koriand'r is my Tamaranean name. When I came here the first time, friends I had made… Called me Starfire." His look to her wrists and the expression piques a small curiosity, but she does not ask, looking at her own hands and then back with a tilt of her head that spills part of the mane of flame over a shoulder in the split over bare shoulder.

"What are your responsibilities? I know somewhat, what the other Greens is." Meaning Hal. A small wave of hand and she dismisses the question in gesture to not make it seemed forced for a response.

"You still have home, Kyle. But you have to remodel it. Until you figure it out, I now understand your flight." Her words lower, as if she does get it, now her smile appears, a finger rising then dropping to his other half.

"Going to eat that? Need it before I fly."

"Oh." Kyle's scratchy laugh is unbidden, ears darkening a shade with his widening smile. One green, gloved hand brushes over a light dusting of scruff on his chin as he leans back, taking in Kori at a new angle. If his white, glowing eyes could roll, they would. "Right, you said both, thanks. I'm glad you cleared that up, because the two names together didn't seem like they fit, but it was what you said, so I rolled with it."

Laughing once more, Kyle bites down on his lower lip and flops it back into place. The butcher paper crackles in his hands as he balls it up and drops it into the cardboard box. His leg lifts slowly from beneath the bench and flops sideways, bidding the Green Lantern to lean back on one fist, marking his eyes on hers.

"Peace, safety, security?" Kyle offers with a tightening of his jaw that makes him look, for a passing second, ten years older. "Honestly, I've got a lot of responsibilities, but it would be easier if you thought of me as a police officer; the person that they call to help who has sworn to run -towards- the problems and not away from them."

A soft breath escapes Kyle's nose and he grins once more, tongue sticking out of the side of his teeth.

"Which is ironic, I know, with the patrolling and not really going home until I need to crash out for the night with maybe enough time to sketch something or catch up on a show before bed." Kyle adds, no doubt recognizing the faux-pas of not applying his vows to face troubles to his personal life. Lanterns. Personal lives. As if.

"Please," Kyle motions to the box with an offered hand, flourishing over it. "Be my guest, but a question, first?" Kyle pauses for two seconds of dramatic flair. "Which do you prefer?" Kyle straightens his back and lifts his chin, eyes seeming to focus more on Kori's face. "Koriand'r or Starfire? You seem a really nice person and…" One shoulder lifts. "…I think I'd like to make sure I'm calling you by the one you like more."

Starfire plucks the half from the box, her other hand shedding the paper from it, into the box, but as she lifts it to her lips and is about to take a bite when his words make her pause and draw back and inspect him anew, almost."
Swallow, and the red gem inset within the high-posturing collar along her neck works lightly in a sheen of metal and precious inset red centerpiece stone.

"Starfire, now." A light shift and the sandwich is gone in a fold-and-shove into her mouth.

"Koriand'r is my skeleton, but one I have come to love, because it is a skeleton."
… That does not die. Ever. Home

"Be what you want, or who you want, Kyle of Lanterns. Travel with me if you like?" A hand extends his way in a light gesture as she moves from the bench towards the sandbox within the Park, but as she moves into darkness that figure starts to glow with a light that is solarly harbored and ushered in the form of a trail…

A burning that starts at the tips f that long fall of tresses to the ground now razed in a black of the burn of heat before she starts to rise into the air. Kori offered, smiled his way with his own refraction showing in those eyes prior to her sudden burst of speed into the air and towards the stars!

…Leaving behind a comet-trail of light and an empty wrapper.

For shame!

"Starfire, it is." Kyle replies, eyes dropping from hers to the stone at her collar. Curiosity can't be hidden, not in such close proximity, but the question doesn't come. Instead, the Lantern is sliding off of the bench as she's moving, beckoning him to follow, should he choose.

In that moment, Kyle thinks to the empty apartment, the receipt for flowers for two gravestones, and he takes his first step forward after Starfire.

"What I am right now is off-duty," Kyle smirks and bends his muscular arm. The ring, shaped like the emblem on his chest, flashes a bright green that pools over his knuckles, past his wrist, and begins to envelop his body in a glowing field. "So yeah, yeah," Kyle stretches his calves as she glows, preparing for flight. "Let's do this."

And then? She's gone. Woosh. Kyle snaps his head up with two rows of sharp teeth in a grin as she disappears high into the sky. Bending one leg, he kicks up, exploding in a flash of green light to take flight. In his own burst of speed, soundless, there is no sonic boom. Kyle Rayner simply rockets away.

…and then seconds later he strafes back over the park, reaching out with an extension of hardened, green light in the shape of a shovel. The empty food wrappers are scooped up, dumped into a trashcan, and THEN…Kyle Rayner bursts off a second time after Starfire, out towards the sky.

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