1965-02-11 - The Ghost said Hang it Higher!
Summary: Ghosts, gatherings, and how to look after a Ghsot Rider. This is what families do
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
kai reno 


Reno was back and making a concerted effort to make the Pop's barber shop look really nice. There was a lot of history here, and sadly too too much in recent days. Still it was rearranged a bit and Reno was hanging picture frams on the wall. He seemed to talk to absolutely no one, "What do you mean higher? I'm short man this is as high as this one is gonna hang."


Kai has been working all day, and it's time to slack off. For a ne'er-do-well who lives a life of leisure, he manages to stay busy. He ambles into the barber shop, hoping to find Reno. And there he is! "Hey, Reno," he says. "What's up?" He's got a paper cup of coffee in hand, and it's gone cold.


Reno was like a feathery good luck charm some days. A few of them anyways. "Oye, Kai. Just helpin Pop's out." As if there were anyone here? Maybe it's a metaphor. Reno's met a few of those. "Tryin to put the palce back together but I still want it to feel like Pop's ya know? He's like… hmmm… you got someone in your people who is like a hero? Someone gives people hope? Someoen t'look up to?"


"Sure," Kai says. "The Mighty Thor. Everyone looks up to Thor. He's our golden child. For the most part, he lives up to the hype." He sets his coffee aside and offers, "You want me to hold that up higher? Anyway, battle is honored in Asgard, so most of the heroes are warriors. In Alfheim, we're more focused on the arts, but even we honor Thor."


Reno chuckled and climbed down off the ladder handing the artist the hammer and the nail that was going to go into the wall. "Yeah I saw him on the news. And you know, he lived on in goat form in the apartment. But yeah like that. Pops when he was alive was a real hero to these people. Ya know a lot of us had problems. He tried to give us another way." He looked at a blank space and said offhandedly, "Awww don't blush man you know you can't do that no more."


Kai takes the hammer and nail and tacks the latter to the wall with the former. He's been doing construction all day for lack of a better word, so what's a little more? "I'm sorry I didn't get to meet him," Kai says. "There's so few options in neighborhoods like this. That's social injustice for you. You're lucky when you find someone who can transcend it and make things better."


Reno turned to the blank space folding his arms across his chest and nodded slowly. Had he not actually disclosed to Kai that he could speak withthe dead he might've looked like a crazy person, but Kai knew of Hungin and Mungin and that made things considerably less weird. "Yeah it's why I'm tryin hard to keep it goin… Hey, can um… Pops said a lil to teh left oif you could and thanks. You think you could like..> Tell Loki thanks for me?" Don't drop teh picture Kai.


Kai moves the picture a little to the left. "Pop's here?" He looks around, sees no one, but adjusts the picture all the same. He smiles crookedly. "Tell him I said hello." Just like that, he accepts it. He knows the ways of ravens and crows. "Sure thing, I'll tell Lok thanks for you. Any particular reason why?" Nosy elf is nosy.


Reno chuckled and conveyed, "He says no problem. He's too humbble for his own good but like is helpful to gimme ideas. Someday I think Luke could be that guy for the neighbourhood. Maybe RObbie, ya know? But until then we cna work together and I think maybe that's the point." On the note of Loki the bird man paused. "Remember that really scary evil thing he made me go see? I found out why. Turns out is about my family and that's somethin I needed to know." He was *not* happy about that but it was what it was. "Robbie's in trouble man."


"I'll let him know," Kai says. With the picture hung, he turns to face Reno, and he claps him on the shoulder. "It seems sometimes that the stuff he does is just randomly cruel or tricky, but I think he's wiser than anyone will give him credit for, and there's a method to his madness." Of course he'd look for the positive spin on Loki's shenanigans. Love tints things with rose-colored glasses. "What's up with Robbie? Going to Hell doesn't sound great."


Reno took a deep breath and had to agree, "Yeaaaaaah eh's not excited. You talked to em. That wizard guy I told you I know? He helped him come up with an idea. Turn out? Robbie's being extorted by that super-evil dude. That's why he is like he is. So until he gets out of that I told em I'll look after Gabe for him. I mean… can't fight his fight, but we can give em fewer things to worry about so he ain't distracted. Still…" He fell quiet and rather thoughtful, "I htink Loki maybe had me meet that thing so I could get some… I dunno idea? SOme idea of what my primo's dealin with."


"Who's Gabe?" Kai asks. He leans against one of the barber's chairs, his coffee long abandoned. He smiles faintly. "Just don't tell Loki he's a helper, he'll never live it down." Still, when Loki gets home, there's going to be an extra cuddly Kai to greet him. "So this super-evil dude, is he on this plane of existance? Or is this why he's got to go to Hell?"


Reno shook his head, "Naw he aint here. I guess someone was like Meffy-dude, go to hell. And he was like well, okay. GOt his keys and took off. but naw he is in his realm." He paused and looked palpably distressed, "He and Gabe was in a bad car accident. That's his lil brother, also mi primo. He was dyin and these gang dudes was wailin on Gabe. and this voice ya know say hey you wanna protect your lil brother? You want justice man and he all dude what do you think? and then like POW! he the Rider. Then he's all fire and chains and the whoopin of all the asses. All of em. Every last ass there." He paused and offered as an aside, "Cept Gabe of course. Gabriel's fmaily."


"If I had a little brother, I'd do anything to protect him," Kai says. "So this Meffy's got him by the spiritual short-hairs, and he wants to go to Hell to shake him off? What happens to him then? Is he not gonna be the Rider anymore? Or does he want to keep the power but lose the dead weight?"


Reno grinned to Kai and shrugged, "Eh you don't have a lil brother, but you got us right now. As for RObbie?? I dunno man. Anyhting's really a step up but whatever happens? Eh we look out for him too. I know he'd prolly like to just get back to his girl and try ot manage normal. Luke too, but… ya know, wometimes maybe our job bein a team is just lookin after one another or the things they can't so.. I'm tryin to work with that idea. it's helping."


"Trust me, I wish I had a brother," Kai says. "But he wouldn't be the same as having you guys. We're a family, and that's something I've never really had before. I mean I have family, but mum and da are in prison and my gran hates me. This is better." Then he shakes his head ruefully and says, "The thing is, this is our normal. I don't think we get to have any other kind. But we make the best of it, and I think we should embrace what makes us different."


Reno slung an arm around Kai's shoulders. "well if it helps? At least a couple of us was in prison too?" Not helping Reno. "You know I got this…thing in me when I was 8. Aaaaand I knew I got it cause my dad couldn't." His tongue ran over his lower lip and he offered, "Hard being 8 and knowin somewhere on another land your dad jsut died and he gave you something you don't understand. But we take care of the things they do give us. It was theirs and now ours. Someday we teach someone else and find a way to make things better and find peopel to care about. There are different ways to lose family, but there's different ways to gain it too."


Kai grins and leans into the arm slung around him. "You've had my back before, and I've got yours," he says. "That makes us family. I don't know Robbie all that well, but I know he fights for what's right, and that puts him on my side, too. Luke, I like him. And Danny, of course. Couldn't ask for a better group of people to do what we do with. It's an honor to be welcomed into it."


Reno says, "T'challa is… pretty amazing. He doesn't talk much about it, but I like him, eeeeh, evenn if he a cat ya know? Robbie? Ya know he's a good guy. Someitmes the right thing is hard and sometimes he gets carried away doin teh right thing. Like… I get we don't want bad guys to go on bein bad guys, but I don't want him sliding from vigilante to killer like that Punisher guy. There's like limits. Besides, not all teh guys I was in jail with? Sometimes they need a chance to change. he siad he knows the difference but… ya know… I dunno" His head thunked the side of Kai's, "It means there ain't no hope left when that happens. That's the scary part I think. For me.""


"Yeah, I got a hangup about killing people," Kai says. "If it's something like a dragon where destruction is in its nature, that's one thing, but a human being can change." He grins as he leans his head against Reno's in turn. The grin fades though as he says, "Yeah, not everyone gets to come back from death. Most don't, in fact. It's not something you can take back once it's done."


Reno nodded slowly, "Believe me, of all people? I hear about it. The dead lose that potential and a lot of em just ain't happy about it. I can't blame them. But really it's all we can do to try I guess. Just… Wish I could do more. But here we go listenin to me get all down and stuff. We're doing a good thing and that's the important part. Ooh I heard about your exhibit that you're doin. I wanna get fliers up. Here, Luke's place, and we know some other folks around here. Mutants need the support as much as we do and other, ya know, monorities and stuff. Might as well give em the opportunity to support that."


Kai shakes his head ad claps Reno on the arm. "Don't get down, pal. You're good people, and you help people." Then he perks up and says, "I'll give you some fliers when I get them printed. It's going to be a great show. I've got some security set up in case there's trouble, but I think more people are going to like it than hate it. Couldn't do it without Danny, though. Man it's nice to have friends with deep pockets."


Reno grinned and said, alternatly, "Well it's nice to have friends who use means they have oto help one another out. It is pretty good. I um… Can I ask you a quetion?" Now he was curious and Kai may or may not be a good person to poll for information. "If you like… man I don't even know what to say to this. LIke someone told me I'm going to go out with them to do a thing… how you handle that man? This is weird for me. I'm used to figurin out how to be the one doin the askin."


Kai's brows lift as he regards Reno for a moment. At first, it's clear on his face he has no idea what Reno is talking about. Slowly, he susses it out. "Someone asked you out?" he says. "I mean I guess the important question is: do you want to go out with them? These days I say no thanks, I'm taken. If you're interested, though, go for it. Say yes."


Reno shrugged, "I don't wanna lie to someone. They're nice. Lying's for cops, not people you like." Good bird. "But they seem super interesting and… It's… been a lil while since I actually went out with anyone or took anyone out and it's like 1965 man. We're livin in the future. They sent a rocketship up and everything and lil blue men walked around on the planet." He paused leaned off Kai offering a genuine, "I didn't mean to make that sound Earthcentric. It's just a big change."


Kai nods in agreement; lying's for cops. He grins as he says, "Don't worry about it, man. We're on Earth. It's okay to be Earthcentric. I mean this is your history, man, unfolding even now. You're right, we're living in a changing age, and who knows what the future's going to be like? But it's coming. Times are changing." He shoulder-nudges Reno. "So who is this mystery fellow? Anyone I might know?"


Reno blushed and looked around. Coast clear and admitted, "Actually this one? Not a guy, but thanks for not talkin too loud about that stuff. So, kinda different? She's a mutant. Dancer actually! Well not professionally I don't think. But she sees things a lil differently too. Weeee had a pretty good talk and she told me I wasn't an asshole and she wanted to take me to dinner." Women paying for stuff? Still mindblowing in 65.


Kai snorts and says, "There's no one here." He claps Reno on the shoulder and says, "Be a modern-minded man. Tell her yes if you want to go. She sounds like a firecracker. "If her paying is too much, offer to pick up the bill for the next meal. Or dessert, or whatever." This part is lost on Kai, who never has an issue spending other people's money.


Reno shifted from one foot to the other and was, oh god he was nervous and blushing. "Thanks. I'll do that then. That seems like it'd be okay, right? I mean I don't really know them all that well but she seems nice. I jsut don't like that part where they like find out about stuff and get mad or feel bad… Step up from taht pigeon that gave me a fake phone number." He sighed and rubbed his face, "Oye, Dio mio… so how long it be before I end up hookin her up with Luke?" Because that was ALWAYS his pattern wasn't it? Start getting interested in someone and hook em up with someone else. "I mean I'm 0 for 2 on that front man."


"Think of it this way," Kai says, "you'll run out of friends soon, then the next woman you talk to, she'll be all yours." He smiles sunnily at Reno. "You won't have to worry about me. I'm all set. Robbie's with Gidget, right? Luke, he'll be easy to set up. Then voila, a woman of your own."


Reno shrugged, "Well … person. I like havin someone to talk to but like… I dunno. Nothin's happened and coffee is coffee. But like someday. I mean if someone like Strange can find someone there's gotta be hope right. He's way more weird than I am." Looking around he paused as if Stephen were in teh room. "Hey, all love man, but you know is troo. That job of yours makes lifestyle a hard fit.


"Oh, he's a fine enough man," Kai says of Strange. "But yes, there's someone for everyone. Sometimes several someones, depending on what you're like." He laughs then and says, "He's delightfully weird. We're good friends, and I've never had a dull conversation with him."


Reno shook his head, "Yeah I read about communes and stuff. That's cool. We crows by nature tend to find one thing and stick by it. it's like a nesting thing. We build one for someone to sit in and then tell predators to go away. It's a thing. I guess as a people I'm not really all that different I guess."


"Hey, whatever works for you, man," Kai says. "I'm a one-man man, myself. It's funny, when I'm not attached I'm free-wheeling, you dig me? A new face every night. But when I feel it, when it's real? I've got eyes for no one else. They all just remind me of what I've got at home. But I know a guy who's dating someone who's seeing, like, half of Manhattan. They make it work."


Reno chuckled and nodded, "See? You get it. Someday though. First? Art gallery, Ooh and if you got single friends I'm hosting an un-valentine's day party. Bar trivia. Bunch of us all bein single togehter having fun and distracting from the ennui and stuff. Thats like French for 'dear god, not this shit again, ugh.' but shorter. I'm kinda diggin it."


Kai says, "Oh! That sounds brilliant! I wish I could come. I don't know if Loki and I are going to do anything for it or not. Anyway, I'll direct people your way." He thinks for a moment, then mentions, "You realize it's just a holiday made up to sell cards and chocolate. There's nothing to feel ennui about, but it'll be fun to get together anyway."


Reno says, "Yeah btu it don't not make people feel bad. It doesn't mean to I don't think. I jsut wanna make sure those people know that you don't have to be alone when you are in fact painfully single. It's a thing." He paused and cheerfully added, "Think of it as a crazy American affectation.""


Kai says brightly, "I love crazy American affectations. They're my favorite." He sweeps a hand through his hair, brushing some of the blond strands from his eyes. "Maybe people will meet that special someone while they're there trying not to think about special someones. I like that kind of thing."


Reno actually had emotional momentium there, "Hey that's the idea. I ain't so great at gettin a date but i'm like a total good luck charm for other people. And ya know, it's a lil disappointing but the rest is pretty damn good."" It is super hard to keep a good bird down.


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