Titanic Conversations
Rplog-icon Who: Magik and Nightwing
Where: Titans Tower, Metropolis
When: August 14, 2012
Tone: Angsty
What: Nightwing catches Magik for the talk she'd asked him for and they talk about the past and future of the team.

Magik may not live at the Tower, but she is in and out of it a lot. Sometimes for things that are obviously 'work' related, checking in and replying to any messages and sometimes just for tea. Or so it seems. She's in the meeting room now, the hood of her costume down as she sits in one of the chairs around the table. Her feet are up and her fingers are steepled as she watches the monitors. Well, mostly she's watching one monitor that's not tuned to the various news feeds. The sound on the others is turned down so she can hear the one. On the screen, a number of figures shuffle across the screen under a bright sun. Some might recognize the movie. The Dark Crystal.

Nightwing steps in when he finds out that Magik is in the Tower. He got the message that she wanted to talk, but their paths haven't crossed easily. He steps into the Meeting Room and notes that she's watching a movie in the Meeting Room. There's a tic of his jaw before he takes a few breaths and clears his throat. "You wanted to see me?"

Magik's head turns at the clearing of the throat. She doesn't look nervous or guilty, she just nods over to him. "Nightwing." There's a slight smirk. "You seem like a guy that needs more hours in a day." She says, bringing her feet down and leaning forward to tap the controls to pause the movie before turning her chair towards him. "I figured I'd have to ask you to pencil me in. You haven't been the sort one just runs into." She arches a brow at him. "Have a seat?"

Nightwing slides into a seat nearby, "I could say the same of you. You're a difficult one to pin down. I hear you met Arsenal...I'm sorry about that." He then laces his fingers before him on the table, waiting.

Magik leans back in the chair, her manner casual as she chuckles. "Well, I don't keep regular hours, no." She admits. "But I try to be around. And Arsenal was..." The corner of her mouth kicks up again. "Interesting. I've had much worse meetings." She assures him. "I wanted to pick your brain about the training session, if you're cool with that."

Nightwing grunts some, but whether it's about the hours, Arsenal, or discussing the training session isn't clear. "I am definitely 'cool' with it. You're the first person who asked." He pauses a moment before continuing, "Although I thought this was going to have to do with Wildebeest. Since you discussed him with Colossus."

Magik's brows go up with some surprise and then squints down in a bit of confusion. "Why would I need to talk to you about Wildebeest? Hell, he was back with the group before I even asked to talk to you." Her lips purse a bit. "I did ask Colossus to see about working with him on his strength. He could use a bit more finesse. He's good at hitting hard, and the targets can be fragile. I know Colossus has both had to learn to temper his strength and he's taught others to. I asked him as a favor. I also figured Wilde might appreciate having someone in a kind of mentor role that has a similar power set, and possibly someone to talk to outside of the immediate team." Her head cocks over to the side a bit. "Did you feel that I was undercutting your authority?"

"That's not how he presented it to me," Nightwing begins. "I was chastised and told that -I- need to provide Wildebeest with better venues for control. That -I- was doing him a disservice. That it was -my- fault that he was having the tantrums." It's said calmly and matter-of-factly. "It was never presented that Colossus was offering to be a mentor."

Magik's blue eyes rest on him as he talks, listening to the stress he puts on his words. "Careful. I might start to think you're being petulant." She says with a mocking lilt before shaking her head. "All I asked was if he could see about helping Wilde with his finesse. My *hope* was it might end up as more. How Colossus interpreted the situation is his own. Both what I was asking *and* Wilde's situation. Because I'm sure that he talked to the kid. Trust me." Her tone turns wry at that. "I'm betting Colossus also felt he was making suggestions. Which you sound like you've taken as criticism." She raises her hands then, palms facing outward. "But, not what I wanted to talk about. Though if you want, I'll continue to hash this out with you, though I know little beyond me asking Colossus to meet and possibly work with Wilde."

"I was reamed a new asshole by Superman. You're damn right I'm taking this as criticism," Nightwing stands quickly, pounding a hand on the table. "If you all don't like how I lead, someone needs to say something other than 'I just want to have more fun.' Think about that." The last is growled as he remains standing, his arms crossed at his chest. "We'll talk about that later. What did you want to speak about."

Magik rests her elbows on the armrests of her chair and steeples her fingers before her and resting her forefingers against her lips as she watches Nightwing's fit of temper. She doesn't flinch at his tone, nor at his actions. After a moment, instead of going on to her oringal topic she asks, "What have you done to lead?" Her head tilts to the side a bit. "You called folks together for the one training session, yes. And you did give us direction in the other one, again yes. This isn't a job where we punch in for the day, take directions from our boss and move on Nightwing. Have you talked to these people? Do you know why each are here? Why they're doing this? I think that maybe, your idea of leadership could be different from others. Perhaps you should be clear in what you want from us. And then we'll know what we want from you."

"Yes, I actually have. I know why many of you are here but I also know that some are here because they thought it would be 'fun'. How do you want me to be leading you? Am I to give you instructions on how to eat your breakfast? Watch your movie? I don't want to be a dictator, but when the first exercise I try it gets destroyed by a temper tantrum, what am I supposed to think? What do you want me to do. How about that? How do -you- want me to be a leader, since yes, very obviously we all have different ideas."

Nightwing's tone pricks Magik's temper, and she rises up to her feet. The mocking, sarcastic air to her most of the time melts away as she says flatly, "Don't talk to me like I'm an idiot." Her lips pull back in something like a grin, but there's way too much teeth to it. "Because you really do not want to piss me off." She says, letting her words end in a growl. "At the training mission the other day, I gave you the benifit of the doubt. Because that's what you do with a new team, right? See, I had questions on why you chose which targets and which people for them. Because I wanted to know how you think. So that I could work with you. But that doesn't mean that I trust you yet. That meant you got a shot at it. I meant that I'm willing to try to gain trust and give you mine in return. But I'll I've *seen* so far? Is a you whining because you got in trouble with daddy. So we can talk about this like adults and shelve the damned attitude, or I'll go back to watching my movie because it happens to be a classic."

Nightwing slides a glance at the movie, "Labyrinth was better." He doesn't seem too taken aback by the threats either. "You want to know why I chose who I chose? Aqualad is great with water and there were 'enemies' on those boats. Who better to take care of them? Supergirl can fly and is also powered with...a lot of things and she needs to be kept busy or she'd just take over everything...and that's not much of a team effort, is it? So since she can fly, I had her take care of the sentries at the tower since she was immune to bullets. You and me for the hostages since stealth was needed and I felt that you and I were the strongest and most experienced with that. You could teleport the hostages out...although I didn't thik about any magical blocks. I'm still new to this magic stuff. I figured you could get them out while I distracted the robot. Those who were the toughest physically, also need to learn how to pull their punches so I put them against the 'super-powered' enemies who were human so that they might think before slamming them to the moon. It also gave Wildebeest something to smash. That's why."

Magik stands there as she listens, expression unmoving and those cold, hard eyes fixed on Nightwing. As he finishes, one corner of her mouth quirks upwards a bit in the shadow of a familiar smirk. "Was that so hard?" Is it beeter with or without the mocking? Hard to tell. She turns so she can lean against the table, crossing her arms before her. "And I watched Labyrinth before this." Just a little side FYI. She gives a nod. "So you primarily did it to accomplish the objectives. I was curious as to if it were to see how any of them worked in combination, for their powersets or their personalities. Knowing what you wanted out of the scenario tells me a lot." There's that damned smirk again.

"Do not patronize me, Magik," Nightwing issues his own threat then. "Of course it was to accomplish the objective. I didn't know what the Army had planned, I didn't know what offensive tactics they were using. It's one thing to try and team up different groupings on our own exercises, but when it's unknown...and we're still largely unknown to each other, it's better to go with what will meet the objectives with the least amount of injury. Do you not approve?"

Magik does grin at that question, but it has that dark air to it. Not the humor that sparks that expression on most people. "Do you care?" She counters, before shaking her head. "It wasn't about approval or disapproval, Nightwing. We were on the job, so I didn't ask questions or try to suss out your logic in the field. But I did want to know what and how you were thinking. That's all. There were other equally good ways of accomplishing it. I also wanted to see if you were going to take the lead out of the gate or let them talk. Let them decide or just give orders. None of it is *wrong*. Stop thinking that I'm criticizing you at every turn. And when I ask to talk it might not be to bitch at you, and it might not be so we can have pillow fights. There's a middle ground, you know."

Nightwing's fists clench but they don't move from his side. Not yet. "About your approval? Not really." Let Superman throttle him for that one too. "We don't know if they would have started the offense if we didn't act immediately. I was designated the leader. My job is to lead. When I tried giving folks turns at leading, it was not appreciated. What do you want, Magik? What do you want to see in a leader?"

Magik's gaze flicks down, watching his hands clench. The way it tightens the muscles up his forearms all the way to his shoulders. She leans forward a bit, even as that puts him into his reach. "That's alright. You know why? I don't really care about your approval either." It's said honestly, and then she leans back. "Someone that treats me like I'm part of a team. Not like a soldier or an asset. You didn't pick me, or invite me. So I'm gonna make it your choice if you want to ask me to stay. It's fine if you say no. I'm known for having a fairly caustic attitude and I creep people out. But if you ask me to stay, then you're not going to get a solider. You're gonna get someone that feels she has every right to be here as you and that it's my team as much as yours."

"I don't want soldiers," Nightwing offers quickly. "I never wanted soldiers. Do you know anything about the Bats of Gotham? We're not soldiers." They're not equals either, but they're not soldiers. "Do you even know how desperately I want to make this team work? How I want to see us all working together with our strengths and covering each other’s weaknesses? But I will remind you that most of us never knew each other until we were thrown together. We have to figure each other out. I am trying to figure people out, to learn who they are and what makes them tick and I know others are too. I -want- to be a team. I don't want to be a dictator or a sergeant, but until we figure things out, someone has to take charge, no? If someone else wants to do it, they are more than welcome to try." Nightwing's hands finally relax, albeit through willpower alone, "I want you to stay. But how do you suggest we figure each other out if we're not doing training scenarios?"

Before she can speak though, he adds more. "When I am in costume, this is -work-. When I'm here, in costume, this is -work-. I take my work very, very seriously. I also don't mix it with my non-work. When the mask is off, things are different, but with the Army downstairs," and the fact that he doesn't trust some people not to blab things, "The mask stays on here. Traditional 'hanging out' is awkward."

There's a flicker of a smile again. It's like she doesn't have the full range of emotions. At least, not the happy ones. They're all slightly twisted. "I don't know much about the Bats or Gotham." She admits. "Some stuff on the TV... but I learned a long time ago not to trust that even slightly. "And no. I didn't know. Until right now. Because you actually told me." She gives a nod as she goes on. "And if we're in the field on a mission I'll trust that you were picked for the job because you're the best guy for the job and save my questions and arguments and confrontations," She emphasizes the word a bit, "For times off the field. Like now." Now she is apparently all too willing to mix it up. "The whole thing with cooking and.." There's a sigh and a roll of her eyes. "Sleepovers and whatever. That's *their* attempt to get to know each other. They're kids Nightwing. They should get a chance to have fun and *be* kids. That's why they're not in the JLA. *You're* probably not in the JLA so you can lead them, but you're our special case. So let them have them. Drop in to say hi and spend a few minutes with them. Hell, drop in and scare the hell out of them or something. It's the little things, the little gestures. Know the *people* and the rest will follow." She pushes away from the table, reaching out to try and rest a white-gloved hand on his dark shoulder. "I understand about the mask. Hence, me wearing one." She points out. "But maybe you need to remember than your real job is less about telling us how to fight the bad guys and more about how to make them a team." If her hand is on his shoulder she gives a slight squeeze. "Keep the primary objective in sight."

"Batman in Gotham...Robin..." the many of them, "That's the teamwork I know. However, it can be a little detrimental at times because we all know each other -too- well. We think alike. It's great for some times, but really difficult in others." Nightwing say that before quieting. "Thank you. I would appreciate if those arguments and confrontations are kept for times when we're not in dangerous situations." He looks at the white-gloved hand on his shoulder. "Why do you think I bought those video games? At this point, I don't really care if there are dinners or sleepovers anymore. Whatever works. Basically, I was told to let you all do whatever you want. I'm not going to show up to a slumber party." He's quiet for another long moment before he turns to look at Magik, "Do you want to know one of my greatest fears right now? That we will go on a mission and we will be unprepared. That someone will get seriously injured or killed. Someone -I- am responsible for and someone I care for could be lost because I didn't prepare the team well enough."

Magik breaths out a quiet breath, not quite a sigh as she watches him. There's a hint of that smirk again, but this one's sad. "Don't tell someone like *me* your greatest fear," She chides. It sounds *mostly* joking, but there's a sadness underlying it that might make it less so. "I told you, I've been on a team before." She points out of the confrontations. "But now that you foolishly decided to ask me to stay," A short grin there that fades to a faint smile quickly. "I *will* ask questions. And I *will* critique. Note, I said 'critique', not 'criticize'. Because that's how we get better. But if you're going to pare this all down to the training and the missions..." She shakes her head and steps back away, giving him his personal space. "You can keep the mask, but they're only gonna trust a person. Not just a name, Nightwing. That means being involved with their lives on something more than a 'purely professional' level."

"It's not my only greatest fear. It's one of my current ones," Nightwing points out. He still has memories of their last 'heart-to-heart'. "Please ask questions and please critique. I know my methods aren't working and I'm willing to try others as long as certain things aren't sacrificed." He gives a brief shake of his head, "I don't approve of the slumber parties and the video game parties. But I'm not doing to stomp my foot and disallow them. However." He turns to face Magik, "If the team wants to be treated as such, there needs to be a level of maturity. I'm not going to demand it at all times because that's just plain stupid and ridiculous and if I were to do that, I fully deserve the temper-tantrums. However. There should be no more tantrums, especially tantrums that threaten the structure of the Tower." His lips twist in his own wry smirk, "Does it count that Supergirl has dating my adopted brother?" Seems to be the best way to describe the current Robin.

"Well, yeah. I think we can call agree that temper tantrums are bad." Magik grimaces a bit. "Maybe I should try to teach that boy meditation..." Since she'd wager that it was Wildebeest. She gives him another glance. "You know he's like, eight, right? Just telling him 'stop that' isn't going to work." The news about Supergirl dating his 'brother'? She smirks. "That must be awkward." She says dryly before nodding. "Yeah, they signed up and need to be able to come up to the level we need." After a thoughtful pause, she suggests, "Why don't you try to meet with each of them. Individually, small groups, something. Go over the last training. Get their input. What they might have done different. Suggestions in hindsight. It's all important, will let you see how they think and maybe they'll see that you value their input."

"Yeah, I'm trying not to think about it too much," Nightwing sighs, a hand running through his hair. "I just don't want to be babysitting. I'll ask about suggestions and for assistance. Maybe someone like Mend, Supergirl, or Wondergirl can also help him with that control since they could take his beatings and tantrums. I can't. I'm squishy...if you can catch me." And on that, he looks at the monitor, "I'll let you get back to the movie. I should get back to work. Please don't hesitate to grab me to talk."

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