Apologies and Brownies

October 18, 2018:

Caitlin and Charlotte talk things over

Titan Tower - Habitation Level

The topmost level of Titans Tower is where the living and
recreation facilities are found, giving the Titans someplace to stay and
relax while they're at the base.
Much of the level is taken up by the large common room area, which
takes advantage of the large windows giving excellent views of the river and
the city beyond, and the balconies outside are a popular spot when the
weather is nice. The common room has plenty of seating available, with
couches and chairs arranged in groups for better socialization; a large
section of sofa makes for a sunken area in front of a very large flat screen
television, which has an excellent sound system and pretty much all the home
theater touches anyone might want. Of course, it can also be overridden as a
communication screen in an emergency.
The common area also has a substantial, well-stocked kitchen and
dining room, available at all hours. Since the Tower doesn't have any
civilian support staff, though, it falls to the Titans themselves to prepare
meals if they're so inclined, and to clean up after themselves.
Steps to either side of the common room lead the short distance up
to the residential wings, in the arms of the tower's T-shape. These wings
have a number of rooms available for the Titans, each one a small suite
about the size of a college dormitory room: Essentially, a glorified bedroom
with an attached bathroom. Each Titan's room is decorated according to their
taste and discretion, and some seem definitely more 'lived in' than others.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Red Robin, Bart, Nico, Zatanna

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

*

The demon threat has not ceased or waned, and therefore Caitlin— like most of the Titans— hasn't had a lick of sleep in days. A few hours, here or there. Naps brought on by exhaustion or convenience rather than schedule or routine.

Caitlin's working in the common area, which of late is growing untidy and more scattered than the Titans are accustomed to. Parts, machines, spare emergency supplies, clothing— the cleaners aren't around and the Titans themselves don't have time to tidy up much.

Caitlin's working in the kitchen. Fresh baking fills the hab area, chocolate and butter and rising flour. She's wearing her grey bodysleeve but no armor, the sleeves pulled back to expose her forearms. A holo display floats over the large island she's using as a prep area, Manhattan island's landmarks fighting with bowls and cooking supplies.

Caitlin reaches through a virtual representation of Central Park and starts counting eggs into her a bowl, mixing them furiously with a whisk. "SIRIN, run the latest overlay and see if we can extract any new predictive models. There's another variable in here, I just -know- it," she mutters.

*

Charlie didn't spend the day out there on the streets fighting demons. She wasn't napping. She was sleeping hard. Well if you discount the nightmares that kept waking her up. Night terrors perhaps. Day terrors since after breakfast she went back to bed and slept most of the day away.

Night fallen though draws her back into the common space of the habitation level. Charlie pads softly barefoot to the kitchen area and leans against a counter watching Caitlin work for a time. She has bat training after all, damn bat ninjas.

She is wearing loose blue cotton pants, very comfortable looking, as well as a baggy avengers themed t-shirt. When you finish talking to SIRIN well Charlie will speak up. "Can I have ROVR back, I think I am having trouble sleeping without him." she pauses a beat "Also… thank you for bringing me home Caitlin."

The demonic appearance is actually lessened in Charlie, the glow of her left eye is almost gone, though the ruby red color and the serpentine pupil remain. The dusting of scales seems lessened as well. Something has definitely changed with Charlie… for the better since the immediacy after the rescue.

*

Caitlin startles at the sight of Charlie sneaking into the room. Well— sneaking. Not really. Caitlin's so engrossed in her work that it'd take a small nuclear explosion to roust her from it. Still, she gives Misfit a look that's equal parts worry and guilt, and nods once at the gratitude.

"I… it was nothing, really," she mumbles, weakly. "I'm just amazed you survived so long. I've been going over ROVR's video logs. You had a really he— bad ordeal," Caitlin says, amending her words.

She whistles twice and ROVR lurches over, humming happily, and she directs the drone towards Charlotte. "If you want, you can have him," Caitlin offers. She seems a little apologetic, likely over her reaction to Charlie's appearance when Bart rescued her. "He's been your drone longer than mine, at this point. I can build another one."

*

Charlie brightens when Caitlin offers her ROVR. "Thank you.. he uh.. stood guard when I had to sleep a lot. That place was pretty… exhausting. Also I got lucky a lot.. though whenver it got bad I'd have to teleport and that would just draw a lot more demons…" that is a word for it. The word Caitlin almost said is way more accurate.

She plucks at her shirt a bit before touching her cheek and peers at the oven before looking back to Caitlin. "So you were right. Rachel was able to help. She got rid of a lot of the taint that Limbo saturated me with. Not all of it yet but she is really good at magic."

*

"I'm glad he was of some help," Caitlin says, sincerely. "He's a good little drone. I was pretty happy with how his heuristics came out. Training a new drone won't be hard, though, and if he's really helping, I can't really take away your nightlight. Right?"

She adds the ingredients to the bowl and mixes them briskly, bowl resting on her hip for leverage as she flicks a heavy whisk through the batter. It gets poured into a muffin tin, promising easily accessible brownies for everyone. Immediately, she starts making a second batch.

"Listen, Charlie, I— I owe you an apology," she says, unable to meet Misfit's eyes. "I really didn't mean to terrify you like I did. I got scared and I panicked. I tried to think 'What would Robin do?'" she says, glancing skywards as she cracks a few eggs into a bowl. "And Bart pointed out that— it's not my job to be Robin. It's my job to be me. And that means trusting my friends. I shouldn't have locked you in like that, and— I'm sorry," she gets out, finally.

*

There is a wan smile from Charlie, not quite her usual wild smile. "I think we all have Robin moments… and sometimes we all need reminders to trust our friends." there is a slow pause "Also it's okay, I forgive you. I'm just glad you got me out of there before it was too late."

"Raven.. uh… she said if I had stayed much longer I might have been corrupted and … I think she is right. It was starting to feel really good killing demons and being there. The place is pretty messed up." Charlie rolls her shoulders. "so yeah… it's okay and thank you Cait.. really."

*

"Raven's the expert on these things," Caitlin agrees, wryly. "I'm glad we got you out of there in time, though," she tells Charlie. "I don't know much about the demon stuff. I mean, aside from what I learn in Church. My pastor, Father Patrick— I think he knows a bit more about it than I do, but even then, his whole mentality is 'kill 'em all, let God sort them out'," she quips.

She hesitates. "Listen, Charlotte, if— if you want to come with me to Mass somtime, you're welcome to," she says quietly, tucking a bit of red hair behind one ear. "I know it's not for everyone. But maybe some time in prayer might help you with this… chaos and demon stuff. Give you some perspective. Father Pat's not one of those fire and brimstone types," she adds, hurridly. "He's a really swell person."

*

There is attentive watching of the baking in progress, yeah she has been pretty ravenous since she got back from Limbo. Charlie considers it all. "Well we should make sure I am not going to burst into flames and all…. more treatment from Raven or Zee or someone if so." it is said with a bit of light heartedness, trying for a joke and maybe missing the target.

"It wasn't hell.. I don't think. They called it Limbo… I mean it definitely is full of demons one way or another though. No like monster manual christian or dante stuff… no circles of hell.. no Satan referenced… Just Darkchylde and Limbo." a roll of a shrug. "but.. maybe I should sometime yeah."

*

"I'm not sure I understand it either," Caitlin admits. "It falls into the category of things that the magical types seem to 'get' and I don't. I really wish someone wrote a 'Magic for Dummies' book," she mutters, with a fervent request for intercession sent skywards.

Seeing Misfit eying the goods, Caitlin decants the next batch of brownies and hands the mixing bowl— and whisk— over to Charlie to enjoy. Brownies go into the over, and she sets it to start baking.

"I don't think you'll literally burst into flames, though. The demons seem to hate holy water and icons of faith. I wish I could understand -why- holy water works. Maybe that's a faith thing— just accepting *that* it works, right??

*

"Well my mom never really took us to church and the Batman I think might be an athiest…. no crosses back home." Charlie accepts the bowl and whisk eyes lighting up, figuratively, the glow still gone from her left eye.

"I think most of us could use a demon slaying for dummies book right now. Maybe lessons from Raven will do in a pinch." Charlie smiles, a bit more like her old self as she sets to clean the whisk licking it. "I'll be so glad when this is over and no more demons." optimism it seems is still there. "That said… there are unlimited demons in Limbo.. we need to find a way to stop Darkchylde and keep the portals closed."

*

"Same here," Caitlin says, fervently. "I am tired of going to sleep exhausted and waking up -even more exhausted-." She sighs heavily, and reaches into the fridge for a protein drink. They're disgusting by most standards— soy and synthetic additives— but they're a thousand calories each and a couple a day can easily sustain a person. Caitlin inhales it in three swallows and throws the bottle in the disposal bag.

"I'm just tired of this. All of this. Six months on the Bilskirnir. Then I come home and New York's burning down. Demons. I'm going nuts," she sighs. "It's exhausting. I just… I can't keep this up. I don't know how anyone does." She rubs her face blearily; admittedly Caitlin's been going harder than almost anyone else, forgoing sleep and rest alike in order to be constantly updating the algorithims that predict demon portals and equipping people to deal with the monsters. "I just want it to be done. You were in Limbo— I imagine Darkchylde's their Big Bad. Any ideas?"

*

"Trust me if we don't stop this it will be never ending. Months was bad enough I don't think I can do forever… and that is the thing. Why just New York. There are literally endless armies of demons in Limbo but this is just happening right now in New York. Not like we are stopping enough of them to keep them penned into New York either." with that Charlie frowns.

"As for Darkchylde.. well might seems to make right. So she has to be incredibly mighty… what happened after she chucked me into Limbo anyhow Cait?" More bowl licking.

*

"It was… a day? Maybe?" Caitlin says, tenatively. "Someone showed up to save her right before we were gonna turn her into demon-paste. Someone fast. Maybe fast as Bart, even," she says, worridly. "Which is not okay, because I don't know how to deal with someone who can move so fast you can't even hit them. Or grab them, or shoot them. I'll have to think of something, but man he was quick," she says.

"Anyway, I ran back to the tower and started dialing in on ROVR's remote signal. Between that and your Bat-Tech, I knew where to start so I started messing with a subatomic reciever that was tuned to pick you up. Once I could extrapolate your locaiton…" She shrugs. "It was downhill after that."

*

"Other realm time… evidently it works like fairy tales because trust me it was more than a day in Limbo. Maybe that is how they do unlimited demons.. time differences… immortal but they can produce more and more faster than we can pop them." Charlie is theorizing.

"I'm glad you a genius.. also a good baker…" she licks her finger clean after getting some more batter. Charlie points the finger at you. "Maybe you can invent a portal blocking zone thingee.. repeaters?"

*

"I'm not really a genius," Caitlin demures, blushing. "There's a lotta research on collapsing stable wormholes. Richards did a lot of work on it; I just built on previous understanding," she tells Charlie.

"The thing is, I can stop individual portals. But it took a machine that cost most of half a million bucks and was made of very delicate, rare components. And I'd need to be present when -every- portal opens to make that work on that scale. Anything bigger would probably have some serious effects on spacetime around New York. I don't know how to shut them -all- down, yet," she hedges.

*

"Yet." she considers "Could we maybe give the collapser to Bart and have him race around closing portals super fast and leaving before crazy lady and her crazy fast friend show up." she knows it isn't likely to work but right now she has cake batter and zanny planning with a friend. So why not push it a bit.

"Seriously though I think we will figure it out.. we are the good guys after all and We are Titans as Bart would put it… we can do it." Charlie smiles.

*

"For how long?" Caitlin presses. "He'd need to do that almost indefinitely. And that's /if/ it works, I don't know how effective it'd be. For all I know, she could adjust her magical effects and make the collapsing mechanism totaly ineffective." Caitlin sighs heavily.

"It's a good idea, Charlie. It'd just take… I dont' know. This is gonna take a lot more than I've got in my pocket, short of… I don't know. Chucking a nuke into Limbo."

*

"I wonder what would happen if we chucked some nukes into limbo…. maybe we could chuck a magical nuke into one of the portals… do you think they make magical nukes?" Charlie considers it and sets a very licked clean bowl down on the counter now. "I could probably steal a magical nuke if one exists…"

*

"You'll need to talk to Raven about that," Caitlin says wryly. "But if she comes up with one, let me know. I'm reasonably sure I could -open- a portal to Limbo— though Heaven knows -where- in Limbo it'd happen."

She sighs heavily. "Anyway— listen. I'm glad you're back, Charlie. Just… try not to get kidnapped anytime soon, huh?" she asks, wryly. "I don't know if I can rescue you -again-."

*

There is a laugh at that "I am pretty sure I am full up on my quota of being kidnapped for the year… it sucks I had to blow the full allowance in one month though .. shesh… I could have saved it for the Christmas Episode or something…" Charlie grins and then hesitates before stepping over and offering Caitlin a hug. "Deal though… no more being kidnapped." pause "this year."

*

Caitlin picks Charlie up and hugs her tight. Not hard, fortunately— Caitlin's arms could crack an I-beam. But she is careful not to hurt the other woman, and hugs her quite thoroughly. "I'm glad you're back, Charlotte," she tells Misfit, and sets her down and pats her cheek gently with a beatific smile on her face. "Get some sleep, huh? I promise to save you some brownies."

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