4968/What is teamwork

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What is teamwork
Date of Scene: 01 February 2021
Location: Batcave
Synopsis: Damian and Bruce have a little father/son moment while suiting up for a night of busting heads and whipping ass.
Cast of Characters: Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian had been focusing his time to Gotham as of late, spending time cleaning up Gotham's streets. He hadn't said anything to Bruce about this, but it was obvious that he was deciding not to go to Titans Tower.

  It was evening, past training time, and getting into prepping for night patrol, Damian had been suiting up, right now donning the black armored suit that he wore under the red and gold tunic. He had started prepping his utility belt as he palmed his T-comm in his hand, and while maskless, looked it over, there was a distance there, a pain that Damian would not normally show.

Bruce Wayne has posed:
It can usually be counted on that there are at least one or two others in the Cave at this time of night, sundown long past with these shorter winter days. Gotham is always at it's most dangerous after dark. When the sun goes down the threats that seem to shy away during the day, that seem to avoid the light, are no longer so inhibited. Which is why so many of those he's trained, so many of those in this unique 'family' find themselves out on the streets at this time.

Of course it has always been Bruce's way as well. The dark, the shadows are their ally. Humans have always been afraid of the dark. Thousands, even hundreds of years ago they would be huddling around their fires, hoping for the light and warmth to push back the terrors of the night. And while modern humanity might have filled their cities with artificial lights to do the same, some things have no changed at all. So like Damian he too is in the cave, going through that nightly ritual as he suits up and makes sure that he is fully girded for the crusade he is about to wage on the criminals of his city.

He is not the best with emotion. For someone who is probably equal to any psychologist in the world he is much better at dealing with the emotional state of others, besides himself and those closest to him. He's tried to get better about it. Certainly he has been called out on enough occasions by Dick or Barbara or others willing to stand up to him. He's certainly not blind. Indeed, there are few more perceptive people around.

That doesn't mean that he is entirely comfortable with it. Maybe he never will be.

"Is everything alright Damian?" comes that quiet voice from behind.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     The T-comm stared at him, circular gold and blue T glinting in the scant accent lighting of the Cave.

  Then comes the question, he didn't really believe who had asked him. But Damian turns himself around, holding the T-comm in his ungloved hand. "How do you work with people you cannot stand? I mean, you can't like everyone in the JL, right?" He's felt shunted out of his own team as of late. "You command respect out of others. The Titans...are dysfunctional. Out of all of them, I would say two are people I would take into battle with me." Of course, that was the litmus test for anyone in Damian's eyes. Who would he trust with his life in the thick of battle?

Bruce Wayne has posed:
It is an interesting question isn't it? The dynamics of the Justice League and the Titans are very different. For one there is the age group. There are few members of the League who are not experienced and battle harden. Few who don't carry themselves with a degree of maturity that few teenagers and young adults can be expected to match. And that might be the other difference. The League are peers. Colleagues. He might like some of them. He might even call a few his friend. But that is secondary. With the Titans friendship is perhaps the defining relationship. They expect to be teammates, collegues second.

"You've had a very different life then most of them Damian. Even those that are well trained and serious," he says quietly. "Putting yourself into the view point of another person, seeing the world from their perspective can be a challenge but it is an important skill for us to master. In some respects being able combatants are the least of our skills," he adds, still clearly lingering in the archway. "If you do not feel ready to put your life in their hands try to see what else they bring to the team. If you can do that, perhaps they can start to understand and respect what you bring as well," he offers up. "There are always going to be those that aren't as serious," -- Ted Kord, perhaps? -- "or perhaps others that you trust more highly then someone else on the team," -- like say his opinion of Zatanna versus Constantine -- "but it is important to find ways to make it function. Like it or not, there are times when we need to work well with others. It is a skill that we need to hone every bit as much as how we physically fight our foes."

Damian Wayne has posed:
     "Perhaps." Damian comments, before putting back the T-Comm in his locker. "Some are just fucking unbearable. But three of them...those three are good." But then again, even Bruce would know just how acerbic his son could be.

  "It is different with others in the Bats...Todd, Drake, Gordon. I can respect their contributions."

  Empathy is not exactly Damian's strong suite. With animals probably, but other humans, it was a serious crapshoot. "I thought myself and Hawkeye did well together, leading the team. Then they came back from outer space and everyone acted as if they never left. They didn't respect the inroads we carved to keep the team together and not crumble again. I hope this extended period away shows them just how it is with us gone." He sounds spiteful, and he was. Angry and honestly, ready to fight people. "I was considering just sending that T-Comm back and not going back at all."

Bruce Wayne has posed:
It is not always easy. They are only human at the end of the day. No powers, no magic, no fatastically advanced technology from centuries in the future, or from alien cultures. Just human beings that have trained their minds and bodies to a razor's edge, that have develped skills that let them walk amongst space gods and amazons as equals. What they do takes constant work, constant training. The same is not necessarily true for their allies. It comes easier. And so not all of them necessarily properly respect what they are capable of. They don't neccesarily take it quite so serious. And that is not, will not, ever be easy to accept.

"You ultimately have to decide if it's worth it," Bruce says quietly. He's not going to order him to stay somewhere that seems to be causing so much frustration. "I would not recommend you make any hasty decisions," he adds. "It's not your combat skills that you need to develop Damian, it's your people skills," he adds, direct and honest. "Our weaknesses are normally those things that we are not comfortable with and do not particularly want to do. Which is exactly why we should do it," he adds. Like say this conversation here. "But sometimes we need to know where our resources are best spent too," he adds, his voice finally no longer in the archway across the chamber, but right behind his son, one hand coming to rest on the young man's shoulder. "You know best what you need. If you need time away, then maybe take that time and return to them later when you are ready to take up that challenge again."

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian's body is a roadmap of scars and old injuries that are a testament to the childhood he had. Bruce had seen it firsthand, same as most of the clan. They all had their battle scars, but Damian's were all earned so early, the other Robins at the same age weren't even close to that level.

  When Damian made it to Gotham, he'd already been leading scores of assassins and performing said assassinations himself. He gave that all up when he got beat trying to take over the Gotham underworld in Ra's' name.

  "I haven't made a decision. But I do know I have not wanted to be there recently." Damian sighs, and looks up to meet Bruce's eyes, al Ghul green and Wayne blue, both have that piercing quality that put some in a bit of unease. "For now at least, I am keeping my distance." At least Robin is comfortable in Gotham now. "I am relieved that I did not have a doppelganger show up, he'd probably would have destroyed the Titans."

Bruce Wayne has posed:
It was certainly not a childhood that Bruce would not have wished on anyone, let alone a child of his. And while it might have provided him with far more preparation for certain aspects of the life they lead then even the Dark Knight could have managed, it has left him woefully behind in other life skills that the rest of the 'Family' take for granted, no matter how difficult or tragic their own upbringing. They are not the sort of skills easily gained, at least not by someone who has no interest in them which is at least part of the reason perhaps that he doesn't try to simply order Damian back.

Experience might also have a little something to do with that. He rarely makes the same mistake twice and he has had a couple of kicks at the can at this by now. "Fair enough. Decide when you're ready," he says simply, meeting Damian's gaze and giving a faint nod, clearly willing to accept his decision. "It's not as if we do not have trouble enough around here. Sticking closer to home will almost surely work out from that perspective," he agrees before reaching back to pull up the cowl and slide it into place, the last vestiges of Bruce Wayne vanishing as the stony expression of the Dark Knight takes up it's place. Between a building gang war and doppels -- even demons and renegade mages -- there's no shortage of problems in Gotham these days.

Damian Wayne has posed:
     Damian reached into the locker and pulled out his tunic, pulling it over him, finally looking like a Robin should, even without the cape right now. He grasped his mask and affixed it to his face, HUD lighting up his eyes, giving that hint of white glean through the eyelets. "Father..." He hesitates a little, before coming out and saying it. "Thank you." It's a rare thing to get that out of Damian. But to most, it's notable. "I will be ready in three minutes." He announces, already filling up his utility belt back with the various gadgets they would need tonight, preparing for nearly every eventuality.