5475/A Quick Talk

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A Quick Talk
Date of Scene: 07 March 2021
Location: Main Room - Titan's Tower
Synopsis: Nightwing and Terry talk about Robin and current events. Arkham comes up as a possible problem.
Cast of Characters: Dick Grayson, Terry O'Neil

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing is sitting on the couch with a soda in front of him on the table, kind of absently watching TV as he waits for Terry to arrive after asking him to stop by over the T-Comm. When he indeed comes into the room, Dick waves him over to the couch, "Hey there, glad I could catch you, I needed to talk to you about something."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Satchel over his shoulder (it's a satchel, not a man-purse, no matter what filthy lies Garfield Logan says), Terry waves back at Nightwing with a grin. He's in human form for a change, probably because he needs to keep that precarious balance between his inner order and chaos.

"No prob, 'wing-- I've got a couple of hours of downtime before I have to impersonate Superman in Singapore, so..." As the resident illusionist (among other things), it has fallen to him to keep the illusion that the Kryptonians were still on Earth going. So far, it had gone fairly smoothly...

He scampers up onto the couch and sits on the arm-rest, legs crossed, "What can I do ya for?"

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing grins as Terry settles onto the arm of the couch, asking, "How's that going, anyway? Hit any snags along the way, or are we good?"

His expression goes a little more serious and he goes right to his point. "I wanted to talk to you about Robin. I know I haven't been around a lot and some things have gone pear shaped. I talked to Troia a couple times and heard about him walking away. I also know that you and he have some problems, and and I wanted to find out a little about what might be done to help there."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Well, so far it's going smoothly, but I know it's only going to be a matter of time before some dork out there wants to have a go at Superman and then I'll have to figure out what the hell to do." The redhead strokes his chin, "Caitlin could pass for Power Girl with the right wig, so..."

His ruminations are interrupted when the topic of Robin is brought up. Terry lets out a long exhale and bites his lip, looking at the screen instead of Nightwing for a few seconds.

"Here's the thing, Enn Dubya" - he's resolved to initials, as the Batlings' identities are all unknown to him, and using the full codename in informal conversation can get a little stilted, "What can I tell you? If you're asking me what can be done to help, my /gut/ reaction- and this is me speaking from emotional knee-jerk without engaging the think-box here- is to say 'get another Robin.' But you're not here to ask me for my reaction but for my appraisal of things."

He leans back on the arm rest and drapes an arm over the back, turning his head to look at the ex-Robin.

"But before I say anything, I need to tell you that whatever info I give you is going to be heavily tinted by my personal experience and bias." He pauses, and then adds "And because Lois reminds me to put a disclaimer like that every time I write about the Titans." Because, as the only superhero with a public identity working in the news wirld, that's something he kind of has to do.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing chuckles a little, "Trust me, you're not the first person to make that suggestion. I know he's not exactly friendly. But he's still family, and I want to try and help him. And I mean, let's face it, he's good at what he does, it's his people skills that suck."

He shrugs and slicks his hair back with one hand, "I just wanted to see if you had any thoughts on why he might have walked away from the Titans."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry frowns and remains quiet for a few seconds, while he arranges his inner scrapbook. Once things seem to be in order, he speaks. "Well, let me see if I can paint a portrait here. The first time I saw Robin, and this may have been the first time any of us saw him, was after he had defaced the tower with vandalism. He had some friend with him, and the two of them essentially proceeded to tell us that they were going to run the Titans."

"And, no offense to you- you were in The City With The Umlaut dealing with all sorts of things, but by that point we had gone through a lot reforming the Titans. Ocean mutant turtle attacks, We stopped rampaging metallic spiders through downtown Metropolis, survived going inside Raven's soulscape to rescue her... I started hunting down people like Vic and Kori to try to convince them to come back. Except for Donna, Donna found me but that's another story. An embarrassing story. But the point is..." he gestures with one hand, "that in comes this pint-sized Robin acting with supreme arrogance. We tell him that the Titans are /not/ his child soldiers and that if he wants to lead, he has to earn that place, and he essentially implies that such a position belongs to him by default."

His mouth twists into a rictus, "And then comes the disrespect. From day one, he dismissed me... so of course I am not going to give him the respect that he has not seen fit to give to me. And when we were presumed dead..." he shakes his head, "He referred to me as 'the crazy cat thing.'"

He adjusts his satchel, "When we thought Gar's doppelganger had killed Gar, he refused to listen to me. He was dead set on jumping in and going for the kill, for the direct murder, and he mocked me for saying that that is what Gar wouldn't have wanted. And then he got in the way of me ambushing that Doppelganger. Because he simply can't accept that there is any other way of doing things than his own. And then he disappears into the dark for days or weeks on end without ever apologizing or ever admitting the slightest mistake."

Terry finally crosses his arms and huffs. "This is the point where you tell me 'now tell me how you REALLY feel', right?"

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing shakes his head, "Nope, this is the part where I thank you for being honest with me and not whitewashing it because he's family. Because I can't say I'll be able to fix it, but I know I can't if I don't know exactly what's going on."

He considers Terry as the young man lists Robin's faults, nodding slightly along with things he's heard already. "I know a lot of it comes from his upbringing, which I don't know how much you've been told about. But it's something I'm going to _try_ to work with him on. How much he'll listen, I can't say."

He reaches out and picks up his soda, taking a drink, "He's got a long way to go, I know that, but what I'm really hoping is that if I can get him to try, that you'll at least give him a chance. If I get him back here and he's trying to improve, can I count on you to give him a little slack? I really think he can help the team, and if he can unbend enough to maybe make a friend or two, I think you guys can really help him."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry nods slowly. "I'll cut him some slack. But I went to Catholic school, 'Wing- I have already taken all of the demeaning comments and the Holier Than Thou attitudes that I plan to take for the rest of my life. There's a difference between the ribbing I get from Donna and the others- I know it comes from a place of love. Or, occasionally, as a verbal alternative to grabbing a pillow and smothering me with it."

He smirks. "I'm not perfect. I've screwed up. Majorly. I mean, I ended up making out with my own doppelganger, got my powers stolen from me... went off and made many stupid decisions. I'll admit that. But I hope that by the end of the day I can show that I can listen, admit I've fucked up and try to do better. I mean... not every crazy decision I've made has turned out poorly. Harley's walking a straighter path because of one of my crazy ideas. But the thing is... Harley wanted the help." He reaches into his satchel and takes out a protein bar, peels the wrapper off and munches on it.

"You can't help someone who don't want to be helped."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing chuckles, "Yeah, that's the main thing. If he doesn't want my help, then there's nothing to be done. I'm hoping though, that something in him sees that the team would be good for him, and he's willing to work on it. But it's why I needed to talk to folks here first, so I know what the biggest issues are that need to be addressed."

He looks over to Terry, then shrugs and just asks it flat out, "Can I get one big favor from you? I know you're going to joke and be a general wiseass, I get that. It's you. But please, can you lay off his height? I know that really, really hits him hard, even if he won't admit it. I know it's something that is a pretty easy target, but look at it as a challenge if you have to... it's too easy a target."

He sighs a little, "This is not going to be especially easy to begin with, in any aspect of it. He really was raised to expect to be obeyed, breaking his entire upbringing is going to take a lot of work. I'm just hoping we can all work together on it."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Fiiine, fiiine, I won't reach for the particularly low-hanging fruit. I know how to stay my tongue. Although Diplomacy is the thing Donna does when she's not punching the universe, I can be capable of it as well. As far as upbringings go... Wing, you can tell him that part of me was raised as a mostly-omnipotent being in front of whom all the rulers of the land trembled. If I can get over /that/ much of a power trip, he can. Unless he's ready to admit that he's the weaker one," he raises an eyebrow, "And knowing him, that might be just enough of a motivational challenge to put all available elbo grease towards being an actual team player."

"Either that, or it'll motivate him to murder me and dump my body in the bay. But... I mean. Donna is a princess. So is Kori. Raven is the daughter of Practically Satan. Our team is chock-full of people who were raised to command, but who don't impose themselves. I mean, you were the first Robin..." he pauses, and then there are the hints of a smile trying to break through, "And you managed to be a respected leader despite the shorts..."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing rolls his eyes, "Why, why does it always come back to the shorts? They are the bane of my existence. Thank God I finally developed some actual fashion sense. And a butt that doesn't quit. Or so they tell me, anyway." He grins at Terry, then nods.

"But yeah, I agree. A lot of the Titans were also raised like royalty, or more. And I'll be honest... I'm going to keep that challenge in reserve when I talk to him. Pointing out that someone he claims is weaker than him was able to have the willpower to change when he hasn't may be the kind of thing to motivate him.

He smirks a little, and adds, "And I promise to intervene if he does try to kill you instead of emulate you. I'm trying to improve the team, not get bits of it chopped off."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry laughs, "Hey, don't knock the shorts. I had posters in my room, you know," he smirks, "Aaaand I know you haven't seen my new uniform, but I'm wearing something like that too. Difference is, when your other form is covered in fur, wearing extraneous clothing is inviting heat exhaustion, so I have an excuse. I have /no/ idea how your legs just didn't fall off during Gotham winters. Bat Frostbite Repellent? You could market that."

"I will very much appreciate you sparing me from being murdered, Nightwing. For one, Lois would be very pissed because they can't get interns at the Planet who last longer than three months... except for those who apparently have super powers." And then there's Gary The Intern. But nobody talks about Gary The Intern.

"But I appreciate you coming to talk to me about this. I know it can't be easy... with family dynamics. I know how that goes somewhat- grandma O'Neil disowned my mom and I grew up navigating all sorts of family drama."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing nods, "Well, it wasn't always that comfortable, I'll admit. I did a lot of jogging in place and keeping moving in the winter, I'll tell you that much." He takes another drink from his soda before putting it back on the table.

"So how's the job there going, anyway? Setting yourself up to follow Lois' Pulitzer track? We could use someone with an inside view telling the world about some of the things we do, maybe make us a little less distant and scary to them."

When the young man expresses his appreciation, he shakes his head, "Look, I'm just glad you're willing to give Robin a chance. I know that he didn't really make friends here, even if he did some good work in between pissing people off. I just really think the team and Robin can both improve from working together, and I'm trying to make that happen."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"Man. I can't even imagine. I could technically go out butt-naked as the Cheshire and not feel terribly cold in the middle of winter because of the fur. But that is how certain websites on the internet lose their shit- and it's a bad idea overall. ALso, what's a blessing in winter is a curse in summer- hence the reduced costume. Last summer I almost passed out from dehydration during a patrol. Man, it was /not/ pretty."

The redhead shakes his head, then answers, "Well... Lois seems happy. Having a superhero at the Planet who can write from this perspective is definitely a new thing. If the Bugle were smart they'd invite Spidey to do the same to stifle the competition, but they'll never do that. I've been banking on the Cape Scene, but eventually I want to start diversifying and take on more investigative journalist gigs..." he lowers his voice and looks around, "It's kind of an idea I want to float to Lois. See Harley told me about some stuff... rampant mistreatment and abuse inside Arkham Asylum. Stuff 've dug so far doesn't smell good... at all. But I am suspecting there's some thick layers of corruption keeping outside investigators from catching the scent. I am going to propose an undercover assignment. Get myself committed to Arkham under an assumed villain identity. Harl will give me all the info I need about the layout, Gar would be there as my inside man- disguised so small that he wouldn't be seen. So I can try and get to the bottom... of course," he says, rather innocently, "I think the best thing would be to also have a Bat-Someone on the outside coordinating things. Potentially being the one to get me committed since they have so much clout in apprehending the criminally insane." Green eyes flit over to Dick, "Just food for thought. You know, Robin could work on that under your supervision. Nothing says 'teamwork' more than 'Don't let the Cheshire Cat get murdered inside Arkham.'"

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing nods, "Yeah, better to have something on even if you do have fur, just to keep everyone happy. We get enough flack as it is."

He listens to your idea then nods, "It wouldn't surprise me. I mean, there's gotta be a reason that all the guys we put in there, one, keep getting out, and two, never get better. I mean, zero percent is a really bad cure rate. You'd think they could maybe help a few of the people we put in there. When I talk to Robin, I'll bring it up as a possible re-entry to the team. Can't hurt to have something for him to do right away."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"I mean, you are right there," Terry says, "Considering Harley's ongoing reformation, we are looking at a situation where /I/ have had more success in this than Arkham Asylum,"

He lets that hang in the air for a second, "It just sort of... lays there when I say it, doesn't it? Something's rotten' in the state of Arkham, and it might just take the Titans to root out the rot."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing just stops and thinks about that for a long minute. Then he shakes his head, "No offense meant, but that actually is a pretty scary thought. If Robin won't do it, I will. We need to look into this, because you're right, that kind of does say something, and it's not a good thing."

He smiles at Terry, "That really sounds worse than I meant it to, but really, if any of us had more success than supposed professionals whose job it is to help these folks, something isn't right. Keep me updated on your plans, and for that matter on Harley's progress. I always hoped we'd be able to turn her around."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
"No offense taken. I'm not a shrink, I'm just a concerned person... although sometimes knowing that someone believes in you can do wonders." He pauses, and glances at Nightwing. Recurring themes were a thing, after all.

"Alright. If Robin isn't in, we'll work on this. Titans together and all of that." He grins, and pushes off the couch to stand up. "I should take a nap before my next round of impersonating the Supers. I sure hope they come back to Earth soon. Not having them around is... positively scary. You know what I mean?"

Dick Grayson has posed:
Nightwing nods, "Yeah, I do. I mean, we've got a lot of strong people if something happens between all the groups in the world these days, but the Kryptonians are a pretty serious safety net. I mean, we can handle a lot, but some things, I really want those guys around for."

He smiles at Terry, "Thanks for talking to me on this, and being so honest. I really appreciate it. Now I think I just need to talk to Gar and I'll have a wide enough view to track Robin down and start the fun."

Terry O'Neil has posed:
Terry nods, "I'll tell him you're looking for him. I think he's checking in on Lois' apartment- we're taking turns watching it while she's off gallivanting with Superman among the stars. I'll have at least two weeks worth of teasing to do when she gets back." He grins and waves, turning to head off to the dorms and take a nap, "I'll keep you up to date, promised!"