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AT DAWN THEY SLEEP > gotham cathedral and historic cemetery > Past Lives


Title: Past Lives
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KORY ANDERS - February 21, 2012 03:02 PM (GMT)
She knew she had to get over the feeling of not-belonging. It wasn't an unfamiliar feeling, but normally when she felt it it was because she didn't want to be somewhere, rather than the other way around. Oh, she had been places where her help was not wanted, as a Titan that was inevitable, but in Gotham she wasn't here to help. Well, as far as anyone knew. Somehow she doubted if they would warm up to her anymore if she tried to help. She was an unwanted beacon of light, rather literally, and even those who wanted the help didn't want a light to be shed on all the dark corners of the city. She found it difficult to be sympathetic. She understood humans were nothing like the beings of her home, but still...could they not understand what they were doing? To each other, to their world? No, of course not, else they wouldn't be doing it, she had to remind herself. Only few truly believed, and even fewer of those acted upon that belief, and all were twisted out of the generic human mold for better or worse. It wasn't a coincidence that most of Earth's heroes weren't human, as far as she was concerned. And when they were...well, look at Gotham. It was nothing against the Bat, but it just seemed as though nothing changed, nor would ever change. As much as he tried to change the city, he was still fixated on his past, forever living in crime alley in his head and now his whole city reflected it. Just look at the villains of the city--they were like a child's nightmare. A clown. A riddler. Storybook characters.

It didn't make the pain everyone suffered any less real, however. Standing in the graveyard, she knew that very well. Somehow these humans latched onto suffering so well, she didn't understand why that emotion when they had the whole spectrum. Knowing that, she knew she shouldn't be in a place so sacred to humans, either, but she had been here before. She sat in front of the familiar gravestones, unable to care less if any dirt got on her dress. She secured a vase of tiger lilies before the two graves. There were already a couple graves that had a single orange lily on them--the Waynes, the Drakes--but these received the rest. She hoped it still counted, even though she didn't quite understand the sentiment. In Tamaran, the dead were disposed of quickly, the only concern how to do so the most environmentally-friendly way. The body meant nothing once the being moved on, according to Kory's people. Graves didn't exist on her world. Memorials, on occasion, but not even the royal family kept a grave site of any sort. She almost wished they did. No doubt her parents were long dead--the Gordanians no doubt killed them to suppress and prevent any notion of rebellion. Or Kommand'r did it herself. Her stomach twisted and she let the thoughts leave. When she didn't come alone, she never reflected. She wondered if her present did the same to the one she visited with, and, thinking in a human perspective, wasn't sure if that was a good thing.

For a while she just sat in front of the markers, trying to think of what else she was supposed to do. Once she pushed thoughts of Kommand'r away, her mind hardly wandered. It wasn't the nature of her people, and she had been specially trained to keep control over her mind. She thought of the bright orange flowers, happy that the orange brought some color to this dreary place. Lilies were the flowers for graves, so she had been told--it surprised her more people didn't use the orange, or did she misunderstand something again?

Tentatively, she touched the gravestone, finding herself almost surprised it was just cold stone. No shock, no burning, nothing making her leap away in sudden pain. She gently pressed her lips together before speaking. "You must be so proud of him," she murmured. Wasn't this was humans did, speak to this stones, as though the presence of those below were still here? "But...sad for him, too. I don't think Bruce ever gave him the chance to grieve." Even her people did that--just because they did not host funerals did not mean they didn't grieve. "And I don't think he wanted to, not at the time. And now...it's never too late, but I believe it should have been sooner." She pressed her lips together again. The words felt just as cold as the stones, void of any actual meaning.

As far as Kory was concerned, she was talking to a rock.

She let out a small sigh and shook her head, looking up to the gray sky. Weren't they supposed to be somewhere up there, far, far away, anyhow? Had her mind been allowed to wander, had her mind been human, she might have thought about these humans as surrogate parents, possible in-laws even, had they been alive. Perhaps that was too much of a delusion for her to consider. Regardless, it didn't occur to her. She just saw the stones she visited on the anniversary of their death every year since she had been on Earth.

Footsteps alerted her of the presence of another being. She slid her hand off the stone and placed it in her lap, suddenly feeling guilty for ever having touched it. No sound followed--the being had stopped moving, for whatever reason. Maybe he was trying to sneak up on her. Her muscles tightened, prepared for an onslaught, but to the human eye she sat just as relaxed as before. "Whoever's there, come out, please. I'm aware of your presence."

CASSANDRA CAIN - February 22, 2012 12:14 AM (GMT)
[doHTML]<center><div style="width: 300px; font-size: 9px; line-height: 14px; font-family: verdana; text-transform:; color: #color; text-align: justify; ">Cassandra didn't like walking alone through graveyards. They were cold and unfeeling, and reminded her of a time before everything she did was pure justice. Before she had the chance to experiance what was right and what was wrong. Back during a time when she only knew murder. And every time Cass entered a graveyard, that was what she thought about. How many of these graves she'd filled on her own. It used to make her sad, make her cry, make her feel like some kind of monster. Yet here she was, all on her lonesome, walking around the graveyard in dark clothes in the middle of the night. <p>

She heard a voice, and decided it might be best to investigate. After all, sleuthing was kind of her thing. And as a photographer for the Gotham Gazette, she was slowly but steadily learning about journalism and "fishing for clues" as well. Tucking a lock of hair behind her ear, the ex-assassin crept as stealthily as possible to the site where she knew Dick's parents were buried. Bruce's own parents were here too, closer to the mansion. Cassandra had been here twice, once for Dick, once for Bruce. Tim had taken Steph here once too, but Cass wasn't there for that particular occasion. She had been in Hong-Kong, trying to put the pieces together about who her family was. She knew her father, David Cain, an assassin like herself. She regretted having a father like him. Someone who killed for fun, or out of greed. Murder. <p>

And her mother. Cassandra spent years, desperately clinging to the hope that maybe her mother was a good person who fell for the wrong fellow. But boy, was she wrong. Cassandra came face-to-face with her mother on several occasions, both were life-and-death situations. She faced off against the skilled Lady Shiva, only to be defeated and nearly left for dead the first time. Her own mother had tried to kill her. But to be fair, Cassandra did the very same the last time they met. Monsters. Her mother and her father were fools. Did they really think killing was the answer to everything? It almost reduced the poor girl to tears just thinking about the possibility of her killing a criminal on accident, but to kill on purpose 24/7? It was a very, very scary thought. <p>

Trying not to make any noise was incredibly difficult when leaves beneath the ground crunched, dry and curling in the winter. Ugh. Cass would've preferred to go from tree to tree, but the options for those were limited here. And she had no intention of leaping atop mausoleums. Suddenly, the voice was closer, stronger. "Whoever's there, please come out, I'm aware of your prescence." Cover blown, Cassandra stuck her hands in her pockets, not in a sheepish manner but more of a curious way. Dark eyes narrowed in surprise as she saw one of Dick's past flames, Kory, she thought her name was. Pretty girl, with red hair and bright eyes. Unsure of what to say, Cassandra took a breath and spoke. "Hello, there. You must think me strange, walking around a place so morbid at this hour." What else could she say? She 'came to clear her head?'<p>

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KORY ANDERS - March 3, 2012 05:26 PM (GMT)
Kory didn't think of those she killed. The dead were dead, and the concept of not killing her adversaries was something she had to learn upon coming to Earth. Murder among her people was not unheard of, but generally limited to the deranged, like her sister. She lived in paradise, how could murder survive in such a place? Anyone who tried ruining that paradise, however...it was only natural to fight back with everything she had. They all did. It was how she had been taught. How to hate an enemy came as naturally to her as how to love a friend. It was Earth that kept everything mixed up, and look what happened. It was a mess. A mess with beautiful, unimaginable things her people could never know for they had no reason to know them, but a mess all the same. Whatever help she could give here would mean more than ruling over her kingdom back home--if it still survived.

She turned to look at Cassandra, her head tilted to the side as she took her in with mild curiosity. Kory didn't keep track of all the Bats--she didn't think it was her place to pry into their identities, although if she actually met one it was difficult not to put two and two together at times. Still, she understood they wore masks for a reason. After all, even she kept on a glamor, although if she couldn't even dress for the weather it showed how useful a glamor on her was. Clothes frustrated Kory to begin with, so she wore whatever she thought was pretty and was put in her closet for her job, but that also meant she tended to be a season ahead of everything--and since she preferred the simplicity of a dress to begin with, it meant pretty much she wore light dresses all year round since the cold did nothing to her. No doubt Raven or Donna would have raced after her with a coat this morning and advise her to change her clothes, but left on her own, Kory tended to forget such things.

"No, not really. Isn't that what these places are for?" She said. She took in the girl's narrowed gaze, but did not match it. She didn't entirely understand what was strange and what was not, so she really had just wanted to confirm she was just paranoid and it was another visitor at the grave site, but Cassandra's comment made her wonder if she hadn't actually been paranoid. "Who are you here to visit?"

CASSANDRA CAIN - March 8, 2012 09:59 PM (GMT)
[doHTML]<center><div style="width: 300px; font-size: 9px; line-height: 14px; font-family: verdana; text-transform:; color: #color; text-align: justify; ">Taken aback slightly, she thought for a moment. Who was she here to visit? Dick's parents was the obvious choice, but Cassandra surprised herself when she said "The Drake grave, over a few rows." Tim's father. She smiled a little this time, relaxed. Cass wasn't used to having company, and Kory was obviously no threat. After all, she'd noted the flaming red hair and almost glowing eyes and decided that the redhead might be a little more than she appeared to be. But that was her secret to keep. <p>
Shifting from foot to foot, the Asian blinked before remembering what she'd wanted to say. "Who are you here to visit?" Cassandra asked, although it was a silly question, with Kory standing near the graves of Mrs. and Mr. Grayson. Nice one, Cass. She moved behind the redhead to a cluster of graves that were newer, less weather-beaten. Crouching, Cass hesitantly reached out to touch the one marked with Tim's dad's name. She remembered when they took him to be buried, but she was unavailible. Cassandra had, surprisingly, wanted to be there, but Stephanie went instead. Cass helped Barbara with a mission that day, but she could never forget the look on Tim's face. <p>
The stone was cold, and Cassandra withdrew her fingers, shuddering slightly. Gotham was so depressing, she realized. Hopeless. It's a good thing the heroes were there to make the darkness a little more light. Frowning slightly, she twisted her mouth into a grim smile. The heroes of Gotham made the darkness light enough to realize you'd stumbled into Hell, as ironic as it was. Gotham was full of irony, too.
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KORY ANDERS - March 11, 2012 03:17 PM (GMT)
Kory gave a little nod. She had already visited the Drake grave today, to show her respects. She didn't know the new Robin, but when you knew about one of the Batfamily sometimes it was difficult not to connect the dots. And Dick seemed to like this Robin...well, he was Red Robin now, wasn't he? Branching off, just like the first, but still unable to give it all up. She never quite understood when people said Tim was Robin, for she had first known Dick under that mantle, but perhaps she would just have to wait and see for herself one day. Nevertheless, there was one thing she knew: he was born in his fullest from tragedy, and for that loss and pain, a bright lily sat upon each of his parents' graves.

"The Graysons," she replied. "They're parents of a friend. Every time I've been to Gotham we would visit, and now that I'm here on my own it seems...strange, not to." Not wrong, no, if anything it was wrong for her to be here without him. What right did she have to visit her ex-boyfriend's parents' graves? Perhaps if he was just that, it would be wrong, but he was so much more--a teammate, a friend, a confidante, and, as far as she was concerned, the love of her life. It was an illusion most women who met the man had, but perhaps only one came as close as Kory, and even then that was at a different time with arguably a different man. As much as she considered Dick the love of her life, though, that didn't mean they were meant to live happily ever after. There was a time in her life where the idea of happiness never occurred to her, and living for tomorrow was all she could imagine, and sometimes not even that.

"I apologize for disrupting your reflection," she said, knowing she was being more disruptive for apologizing but she was more accustomed to noise than silence. "But I am glad I am not here alone. It's a lonely place. Beautiful, but lonely."

CASSANDRA CAIN - March 11, 2012 08:37 PM (GMT)
[doHTML]<center><div style="width: 300px; font-size: 9px; line-height: 14px; font-family: verdana; text-transform:; color: #color; text-align: justify; ">Cass stood, eyes lingering for a moment on the grave but then turning to meet Kory's. "I understand how you feel. The silence can be almost eerie here. Especially at night." Silence was almost second nature to Cassandra, who was previously only able to read the body language of others. But while silence was one thing, silence in a graveyard was another. Gotham did have a select amount of beauty still left with the darker times, and most of it was in the large and ancient cemetary. <p>

"So, Miss...I don't believe I caught your name." Cass said, realizing it was true. Normally she didn't wander about like this, not introducing herself and hiding in shadows. It was more like creeping about, wearing dark clothing and purposefully hiding in shadows. The Bat instincts felt second nature now, strangely enough. Funny how they set in like that. Deciding it was best to introduce herself, Cass plucked up her courage and stuck out her hand. "Cassandra Cain. I've lived in Gotham for a while, and I haven't seen you around before. Are you staying here for a while?" She tipped her head to the side ever so slightly, curious. Normally, not a lot of people flocked to Gotham. Unless they knew someone or had a death wish, of course. Gotham City was one of those that not a lot of people tended to give a good reputation these days, especially with all the current murders and strange happenings. <p>

Once, at a Titans meeting, Cass had mentioned to a friend that she lived in Gotham, and her friend had been surprised. That was, until her friend saw her don the cowl she prized above all other possessions. Then, the reason for being in Gotham seemed more apparent. Cassandra actually missed being with a large group of superkids, just a tiny bit. Batman taught her that solitary work was best, but Barbara encouraged her to have a social life. The New Teen Titans had formed a while back, but she remembered her friends. Bart and Rose and Cassie and Cissie and Greta and Tim..Tim had stuck with her, being Red Robin, but the rest were memories of the past. Not so much the past with Rose, who seemed to be visiting in Gotham for a while, but the others she rarely heard of since. It was almost as if Gotham was separated by the rest of the cities by an unseen force, cutting them off from the rest of the hero world. Or perhaps that was simply the way Bruce preferred it to be.
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