Post by Hartley Rathaway on May 17, 2021 21:06:42 GMT -5
James reached out, grabbing his wrist and Hartley both didn't know and knew far too well what he wished the other man would do next. None of it happened, instead they both remained where they were, James' eyes already enough to tell him how serious he was. He didn't know how he'd earned such a reputation in the other man's eyes - or perhaps his grief, his guilt kept him from seeing what Trickster clearly saw in him. His face felt hot, though his hand soon turned cold without fingers wrapped around it. There was the urge to reach after James' hand but he managed to push past it.
He barely noticed Cocoa leaving his shoulder as if she'd finally realized she wasn't going to get any food from him right now. She hopped onto the counter before skittering off, leaving the two men truly alone with each other now.
A part of Hartley had forgotten he was still in his costume, despite feeling the weight of it - both figurative and literal. At that question, he couldn't meet James' eyes, lightly biting down on his lower lip. He didn't know how much he wanted to tell him. James had just, somehow, come back from the dead. He didn't want to drag him back into this life. James deserved as much of a normal, stress free life as he was capable of getting. Though he actually didn't know how long the blonde had been back for. He mentally added that to the list of questions he might one day have the strength to ask.
"Who says I ever stopped?" he settled for saying instead of the truth right now. It wasn't technically a lie but it was certainly a dodge. The last they'd seen each other, both alive, had been in costume. For all James knew, after that Hartley could have decided to keep going as the Pied Piper for whatever reason, perhaps fueled by James' death. But... Well considering how he'd been acting since the Trickster had shown up, that lie probably wasn't going to fly well. But he also didn't think a lot of the truth would either.
He sighed and reached up, running a hand through his hair. "I didn't... plan to," he admitted, eyes still anywhere except James again. "Believe me when I got back from-" He lightly bit his lip. He didn't think willingly turning himself over to the authorities was going to go over well. At least not right now. "It wasn't the plan. But... circumstances have changed." He managed to look at James now. If he mentioned that Evan had brought the Rogues back, would he want to join him in his crusade to stop them? He didn't want to risk that but there was a chance James would ask what those changes were.
He looked away again. "The Rogues are back. Evan's doing apparently. Found out when I ran into Axel and like usual he couldn't keep his mouth shut." He tapped the ground with a foot. James knew about how the Rogues had killed a Flash - after all, he'd been there. But after his death... He didn't know what they'd done after that. "They need to be stopped. I'm going to stop them. Alone." He wasn't going to risk James' life, not again - not after just getting him back.