How long it had been, he couldn’t say, but what Connor knew was that he was growing comfortable with the darkness he had found himself in no matter what scenarios, falsified in almost every sense of the word, his brain had come up with to keep his mind active and his blood pumping; but in those moments where something akin to sleep had been found or there was a pang in his chest, he knew there was something coming unraveled - be it the very likelihood of his survival as his psyche shuffled further off the mortal plane or, on the hopeful side to those who had spent some time out of their day to visit someone as unresponsive as he was, the possibility he was finally coming out of it and would open his eyes again.
Something was going on as outside factors were falling together, his mind slow on the uptake to the distortions until he found himself in moments like this where Jack Napier from down the street, the same kid who painted the white picket fence of his and Tabitha’s house while putting explosive gift boxes in the mailboxes of others, was painted in a much more problematic light than a troubled youth; where cookies intended to be a circular shape took the form of futuristic bats found more purpose; and an identity found lost in the utterance of a single name had been recognized not necessarily as his own, but as a part of him all the same. Even giant robot penguins crashing through the rafters, painted up like treacherous clowns due to the intrusion of Jokerz into what he could only assume was the old man’s penthouse ‘Bat-suite’ - and here they were with the stupid names again, but he would have to thank Matt for that one - could have had such a place in legitimate existence -
- had they been real.
The Batcave might not have been the most picturesque or calming stage to set himself in, but with familiarities on both sides - and equally stupid names, if he had to be honest with himself and Oliver Queen - he found it a more neutral ground to station himself once he had spun his head back on straight. There had been no intrusions, no alarms going off, no vital machines beeping in what many believed deaf ears while his mind focused more readily on keeping him alive, and there was no company save for the standing totems of who he had been and who he now was when the tables turned and humble existence was turned in for super heroics.
There was an equation to be found here, bridges to be built over gaps and canyons that separated time and space and faction, readily represented by wiles of the mind that felt natural until they didn’t; and it didn’t take a genius, no matter Terry’s higher I.Q. than most, to link them together in a way that made sense. They had the skill, the intelligence, the gadgetry at their fingertips, and the allies to help improve where need be to take things a notch, no longer operating as separate thoughts and memories, but a cohesive unit.
Why be one when one could be both?
No one ever said convergence had to be an easy feat, varied from person to person depending on how readily able they were to wrap their minds around the intrusion of another entity into their lives - temporarily at first, but with growing permanence as memories melded and thoughts became one, as the power struggle between one side and the other stopped being so difficult to balance; and that had just been one inclusion. While the presence of Connor Hawke had been washed away, leaving only Terry McGinnis in his place, it didn’t mean the memories behind wouldn’t come in handy once they layered themselves in a way that was more cohesive to shared survival.
But therein lay a problem: What survival was being stuck on medical machinery? What survival was being stuck in bed? What survival was there when a grander sense of living couldn’t be achieved?
There was an answer found to such questions in the mind of Connor Hawke, one which didn’t rely on science as much as it did magic and unseen forces that he had once been in contact with despite the disastrous outcome that was as explosive as a hundred bomb-tipped arrows. It wasn’t one that, in his gut, he felt entirely sure about, welcoming such a presence in his life again, but where medical intervention was keeping him stagnant, perhaps it was the only way…
After all, what were bats without a little darkness?