Politics and Coffee

April 16, 2016:

Superman and Meggan talk about politics and motives and hope, over coffee.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Oliver Queen, Batman

Plot:

Mood Music: None.


Fade In…

Look, up in the sky, it's —

Meggan!!

That's not particularly weird. Meggan has gotten hold of loose money in her budget, probably from some sort of tax refund. (That's the wonder of having a stunt-woman job, after a fashion.) She had been to Metropolis only rarely, and why should she pay for a cab if she doesn't have to? Department stores have roofs, right?

Well, less than might be thought, but it's not /untrue/. At this precise moment Meggan is sailing down Centennial Avenue at about the 40th floor level, mildly distracted by the need to somehow wedge her bags shut so they don't work like a pair of square drag chutes.

Of some note is her spring outfit, apparently - which is a green body stocking, much like her typical 'adventuring clothes,' but with the arm covering removed.

"Fsmghth - I wish I had a /stapler,/" Meggan says, pausing to look forlornly into an office window where one rests. Red. Flexible. Gently mocking her.

A Bird. A plane, No, it's… Superman! …Actually, yeah. It is. No joke.

For other fliers in Metropolis, there's a particular sound that usually accompanies one of the most prominent — okay, the most prominent — hero in that area, at least when he's going at very high speeds. In this case, there's a warp in the air overhead, which has with it the usual red blur. It's high enough to where those on the ground wouldn't even notice, but up on the higher floors? Possibly. Superman is returning from a 'fire'. In this case, it was actually a literal one, in a downtown building.

The usual thing is to listen and sift for raised voices as he passes: just in case someone below is in trouble. Certain sounds or cues that could require his attention. A particular one comes in: Meggan's voice, which isn't in trouble of course, but a familiar voice. He hasn't seen her in quite a while!

It's an easy move to loop back instantly, slowing radically, before gliding down next to where she is at the window. He doesn't pop up out of nowhere, she has… well, a few seconds of warning as he drifts down, not wishing to startle her. But that can often happen anyway, despite the best intentions! He's in his full Superman regalia today (Blue. Red. S. Cape.). Which can inspire or intimidate. Or both. Or something entirely different…

"Hello, Meggan," Superman says, with a confident and relaxed smile. As if she showed up at his house and he's greeting her, evidently glad she came by.

Meggan blinks a few times. She is not familiar with that sound, but a blue and red presence… She looks upwards.

"Oh! Superman!" she says, beaming like a searchlight. "Hello! I hope I'm not startling anyone or anything." She rises up then, her hair spiralling slightly beneath her as she comes up to approximate eye level. "Just doing a bit of shopping—" The bags are held up as if proof.

"I didn't expect to run into you or I'd have - I suppose I couldn't just phone, could I," Meggan says with a thoughtful frown. "But I could have called out an invitation or something!"

Superman gives her a sort of puzzled look. "No, you aren't startling anyone. It's fine," Superman says, a bit more gently, surprised by her worry and need to prove that she was shopping and not up to mischief.

"I heard you and thought I'd say hello, and see how you are doing. It's been a busy few weeks," He adds, with a slight lift of hands but his smile is serene: nothing that can't be handled, it says. To the empath, she may sense that a great deal of this is just a very well-practiced front that he has to put on when dressed this way and serving the city as Superman.

"Do you need help with those?" He asks, with a nod to her bags that are trying to come open and spill her new finds onto the street. Of COURSE he'd offer to help. But then again, a person below getting hit by a falling spike heel isn't a good thing in particular.

"Oh, no, I'm fine," Meggan says. She then pauses to correct herself, holding them up. "If you can figure out a way to get them to keep /shut/ so they stop catching the wind without me having to clutch them to my chest, though, I can't manage it myself. I'll be bringing a stapler if I fly around the shops again, I can tell you that much."

But it's not an issue now. She twirls the bags once on the finger and asks, "What've you been up to, yourself? - I smell smoke, were you putting out a fire??"

Superman nods once, with an apologetic half-smile, and one hand briefly passing over his slicked back hair, "Ah, my apologies— I haven't had time to clean up, I probably smell of it. Yes, a fire rescue. Everyone is fine and healthy," Superman says. He looks at her bags, then down, and considers just a moment before he suddenly drops to street level near a dumpster and then is suddenly back again, gliding right up to her with a slight gesture for her to extend the bags towards him.

He's got a few little pieces of metal — which he'll clamp onto the edge of each bag. Since, well. Strong, able to bend the metal. He doesn't make a show of it, just neatly will do it and give her a shining smile. He likes to help!

Meggan's head looks downwards. She is making a perfect little 'oh!' of astonishment on her face. It's like one of those 1950s pinup pictures. She might as well be carrying a grocery bag with celery in it. She proffers the bags forwards as the bit of scrap is used to seal them shut.

"Oh that's /brilliant/, thank you so much — but I meant in general, I mean I've mostly been training, getting work done - I hadn't ever gone shopping in Metropolis so I thought I'd swing by today…"

"There's a lot of great stores here," Superman agrees, turning his head thoughtfully and then gesturing down and to one side: "Such as the Cain Street Mall, just there. But sometimes the shops in Midtown have more interesting things. Depends. I'm not much for shopping personally, but I know a few that definitely /are/ all about the shopping. We have a little group of them in the JLA." He gives a brief long-suffering sigh, but it doesn't last.
"Training, though? Great. In what area, if I can ask?" Superman inquires, in a friendly tone.

"Oh, mostly maneuvers," Meggan says, "that kind of thing. I mean that's really the big thing, isn't it, when everyone's doing their backflips and throwing their shields and everything, you have to kind of feel things out, know what to expect. Do you have to do that much up with the Justice League…?"

"Team coordination? Yes. Very important," Superman agrees, "And developing the trust between the teammates, to know when you may need help, or when you are fully able to do it on your own." He nods briefly. "I have not recently trained others— other things have been in the way of that—, but there are often sessions where the JLA members do exactly that. I should do more," Superman adds, with some mild guilt or dismay in the statement. But he shifts the topic. "How is your team working together so far?"

"Oh, it's quite good I'd say," Meggan says, after a thoughtful pause. "I mean it's hard to really know how to judge these things. D'you want to land somewhere or get coffee, by the way? I don't think I've ever had a conversation like this…"

At street levels there are a few stray phone photos, but there's nothing all that interesting. Looking down for a moment, Meggan is also reminded - "What do you think of the summer outfit, though? I had the spare one modified, but I hope I don't look absurd waving my arms around all /bared/ and everything!"

"I was about to offer to help … but based on the reaction the last time I came by, I think I would be more of a distraction and hindrance to focus than I would be a benefit," Superman says, with some sadness. It is not his intention to be a problem - but the last time he pretty much ended the poker game due to the distraction he caused, just by being present. And a training session where those people are trying to impress or fear letting him down? No, that's a terrible idea.

And yes, this is a weird situation for her probably, hanging in mind-air talking to Superman. No doubt the wind is pulling his cloak iconically to the side in a magestic flutter. "Yes, sure. We can also go to headquarters if you'd like to see it, as well. But either way— I'll change my clothes, if you don't mind. Doesn't take long," he assures her. But if he lands to get coffee… "This attracts a lot of attention." So focusing on talking to her would be challenging.

"Oo! Yes I'd LOVE to see," Meggan says when the topic of Headquarters comes up. "Do you have coffee there? I mean I'm sure Batman must drink a lot of coffee."

In this, Meggan is quite likely right.

As for the topic of clothes, Meggan says, "Oh certainly— D'you need to pop over somewhere? I mean I don't know where you change."

"As for helping, I'm sure Steve would love your remarks, but he was in the war and everything — Oh, I'm just rambling now." She clutches the bags closer to her chest, and then raises them up as if to hide her face. "OK, quick, go change, I can't see." (She mimes as if to peek round the corner of the bags, but does not, in fact, actually unveil her eye from behind the baleful logo of MACY'S.)

Superman laughs softly, "It's fine, I can change my clothes there," he adds, and gestures below, towards where the Avenue is located. "And I don't think Batman drinks OUR coffee, he has his own specially brewed paranoia coffee," Superman adds in a whisper, leaning in to deliver it, and raises his brows with obvious 'meaning.' He then offers an arm to her, as if to escort her. Because he suspects she'd enjoy the offer, even if she declines!

Meggan laughs. "What, does he grow it in a cave or something?" BUT! A proffered arm.

Meggan takes it after some bag shuffling and seems to be quite pleased at the prospect. She also does that odd mix of relaxation and tension, like a braced sailing mast, as if anticipating that she's about to get hauled faster than she usually goes.

He doesn't haul her. He'll respectfully figure her speed out, and do zero pushing. He's accompanying, not carrying. There's a big difference. And aside from unless she directly tries to like, claw his arm, he'll feel just like a normal person. …Aside from the flight anyway. And the costume. And muscle, and —okay, not much normal, but anyway.

In any event, Superman will guide her to the JLA building. "It wouldn't surprise me, but it's none of my business," Superman adds in amusement.

Fortunately, there's no clawing, and after a little bit of the subtle 'gearshifting' which doubtless both of them have bumped into, Meggan reaches a steady pace. Her hair keeps doing that twinkle thing as she flies. She takes a deep breath and lets it out.

"You know, I've been trying to get faster on this, but it's hard since it's not a muscle or anything," Meggan says conversationally. Then, "Oh! There it is. I think that's it. It's not the opera house, is it."

Naturally, with her escort, Meggan is not exactly questioned, when brought into the Hall. She is very very politely asked to sign in, with a check of a look from Superman. He doesn't resist or whichever, he'll let Meggan decide if she'll do that, or if he'll speak up for her for some reason.

"I found flight to be more linked to will, for me," Superman shares with her, thoughtful. "Not like you would work out a muscle, but in something deeper than that. But yours is very likely entirely different," he concludes. "But sometimes great need can bring it out, in both types."

Meggan signs in. She takes great care to do it. Almost enough that it's weird, but she might just be trying to make her signature very pretty. She even uses what appears to be her real last name, but, well, she doubtless has reasons.

"For me it was always like using your hand as a water squirt," Meggan says while moving inwards. "I don't know quite how to put it better than that."

That… didn't make sense to him, and she gets a puzzled look, but doesn't seem bothered. "I'd like to see your water squirt ability," Superman admits. "…But not indoors, if it's what it sounds like," he adds with a lift of one hand and brief grin. He'll guide her right inside, into the front areas of the JLA headquarters, and gesture to a lounge area. No doubt there have been some big meetings there, and interesting people have waited there to discuss the fate of the world. "I'll be right back," he promises. If she seems fine to wait, he'll be gone in a blur.

Meggan laughs again. "No I mean — Have you ever put your hand in the water and you squeezed it to squirt water out? It's a bit like that but I'm /inside/ my hand. I think that makes sense," she concludes, before -

The lounge! "Oh, cer—" FWOOSH.

By the time Superman is back she's found her way into a chair. She did /not/ put her feet up on the table at least, though she seems to be wondering at the gravity of the place.

It's Superman. So. It's really fast. Not as fast as it would be if he had skipped a quick shower, but he didn't skip it. He's dry when he reappears, but clearly cleaned the smoke off and changed into something roughly casual. It's still obnoxiously branded and snug, but it isn't a suit with a cape for crime-fighting.
"Sorry about that," As if she'd waited long? —"We have a kitchen through here, and it smells like some of the best type was made recently. If you like you can leave the bags here? No one will touch them."

"Not even Batman?" Meggan says, but it's a clear joke. She sets the bags down with a gingerly hesitance, because they seem quite small and mundane on that table, but then she rises back upwards and smiles.

"You can tell that from here, though? I can't smell anything like that…"

"I don't think he'll be interested in your shopping selections, and besides, he probably has footage of you shopping in the first place to refer to," Superman teases in return. He kind of shifts his weight and smiles a little at her surprise at him smelling that. There's a kind of quiet humility about it: he generally doesn't prefer to discuss what he can (or cannot) do, power-wise. More interested in: "Are you hungry at all, as well?" before leading her to said kitchen.

Meggan frowns for a moment, though not deeply, before she folds her arms loosely in front of herself, hands cupping her elbows. It's more playful than closed off. "Oh, no, I'm fine - might put some cream in that coffee, though." Walking, she looks around, asking as she does, "How old is this building…? It looks like something out of an old movie. But I mean in a good way, of course, it's almost like a dream!"

"I'm not really sure," Superman answers about the building, looking about briefly, as if taking the building in with an attempt to see it how she must see it. He doesn't think about the building that often. "Most of the functions of the building are very modern, now. Or beyond modern. I'd rather see it this way, and not what's inside the walls," he admits. He'll work on the coffee: and doesn't super-speed it, or any of that. Sometimes just doing things in a relaxed, simple way, is… just how it's done. The simple acts of pouring the coffee into cups is a very human thing. Not everything has to be at hyper speed and efficiency. He recalls her cream request and brings that and the cup over, so she can add to her preference, with a smile that is genuine up into blue eyes.

Meggan goes pretty heavy on the cream but does it with a bit of a flourish, looking down at the coffee intently for several long seconds after.

"It's supposed to show your fortune," Meggan asides as the cream dissipates into the black coffee. "But I never thought it did much." After this she leans herself back against the nearest table, raising the cup to her lips and taking a small sip. "… Well, goodness, I don't know what to say - this is very good though. Oh. Ummm— did you hear about Mr. Queen in Gotham?"

"Does not using cream mean I'll lack in fortune?" Superman says with a sort of playful false 'worry'. He then adds a bit with a smile, as if to be sure he'll get a fortune, but merely drinks it without studying it. Not knowing his future is fine by him - so long as there is one. "You don't need to feel like you need to entertain me. It's perfectly all right," Superman says, in mild dismay. Pressuring her or making her feel awkward was the last thing he wanted. "Yes, Mayor…. and Gotham, no less. That's quite a responsibility," he says, thoughtfully. "What do you think?"

"Oh no! It's just superstitious stuff. I had aunts and uncles who did a bit of that, but less than you'd think," Meggan says as she takes another sip.

She seems about to say something in response to the Super-calming, then thinks better of it, and instead has /more/ coffee. After a deep breath, she says, "Well I mean, of course I love that he's making mutant rights a big platform, but I worry a bit since he owns such a big company. I mean — alright, I don't want to get too opinionated, but…" She trails off slightly, giggling again, though this time it's probably entirely 'I'm telling Superman my feelings about a candidate.'

Which she proceeds to do. "I'm a bit worried if everything with us just ends up the issue of the day. There's all sorts of problems mutants have to deal with and I don't know just how deep his support would go. I'm sure he's a perfectly nice man, but is he going to be willing to pay for special suits or diet supplements for the less lucky sorts of mutant?"

Yep, she's telling Superman what she feels about a political viewpoint, while he's staring directly at her with apparent full attention. Some lesser people wilt under that scrutiny, it's a bit … high powered for some. But it isn't deliberate, either. Comes with the territory, and the name, more than what he's actually physically doing, perhaps.

"You're concerned he's using the issue to divide and get attention in the news, but his actual intentions aren't going to be quite as good for the people he says he wants to help," Superman concludes. "Politicians are not my favorite people generally…" he begins, in a sort of …censored way. His words often can have big impact if he's quoted. Showing up next to a candidate can swing polls wildly.

Superman considers his coffee, and seats himself at the table more properly, setting elbows on the surface of it, raising the mug cupped gently in both hands. His gaze drifts to it, very thoughtful, and back to her. "It is the nature of that job to need to manipulate. Some do it for good reasons, others not. Direct truth does not work…. sadly." He is sad about it, but his smile is gentle. "If he does help a portion of the metas… it is better than the opposite stance, I think. Which, well. It falls to us, even more, to try to reach the less lucky."

Meggan bears up underneath that scrutiny without wavering. Blame the liberal education of Charles Xavier! But she doesn't look angry about it.

"Well you're right of course," she says then, with a nod. "Anything's better than nothing. I mean I had to be in a bloody lockup for -" She stops herself audibly and laughs, raising a hand as if to cover her mouth. "Oh, I just had a bit of a childhood. Anyway, I don't mean to say he means ill, but let's say he does a few things but not, you know, quite enough. You understand what I mean, though, by enough, right? I don't mean just, everything, but if some poor child's going to catch fire if he's not in an oxygen-sealed suit, he ought to be helped."

Meggan sips her coffee to gather her thoughts. "But you could also get a situation where now it means if he's helping them, the other side's going to fight them, and now there's no reason to be /good/, just less worse than the other fellow. I hope that made sense."

Superman nods slowly. "It does make sense. And forces the other side to… pick a side they might not have had to before." A pause. "And it could be very bad, if they then get elected. …so, Yes, it could turn against the meta and mutants very severely. Or, if Queen turns out to have some dark, shady past, for example … then it could spread that onto the community, and cause difficulties for them … beyond what they already have. Involving them in a political stance is… risky for all parties. I don't know his reason for doing it, though. But…I will be optimistic. Cautiously so. And hope that he could be good for Gotham," Superman says. "If it is good, it could have the potential to spread elsewhere. An example of how a positive meta political view can change us for the better."

Superman's being overly positive, and knows it, he flashes a quick smile, perhaps knowing he sounds… naive. "I can hope, eh?" he asks, softly. And closes his eyes for a slow breath, a sad expression. A brief bleed for people in general, and a moment of weakness he appears to trust her with seeing.

Meggan reaches out without thinking much about it to put a hand on Superman's arm. It's a reflex. A comforting one.

"No, you're right. I don't like it much since I'm used to expecting the worst about it. You get things like that in Mutant Town sometimes too, everyone expecting the worst. But the thing about the worst is it's pretty rare, isn't it?"

"I think it makes it hurt less, for those that are so often let down. For those that have been let down so often, that hope is difficult to have," Superman answers with a sigh. "If they don't anticipate something better, they cannot be injured by it not happening. And they're exhausted by their few hopes being destroyed." Oh, he understands hope very well. And the fragile quality of it. He's not offended at all by her hand, doesn't flinch or anything, but moves his other to pat her hand and squeeze her fingers gently: very willing to share comfort here.

"It's an ongoing fight, every day. Trying to raise that bar. That there is light. Have to give light a chance, though. A chance to let you down, but." Superman's smile is subtle.

"Exactly! I mean you were at that fire," Meggan says, tilting the cup forwards, "and I know it was awful, but it isn't like…"

Meggan trails off.

"I can't think of a super-villain off hand," she says apologetically. "Actually I should probably — read about that, d'you have a spotter's guide or anything I could borrow? This is just now occuring to me. It must seem /super/ unprofessional!" Her eyes widen. This is at least half a joke.

But not 100% a joke.

She then takes a deep breath and lets it out. "But I mean, there /is/ a Mutant Town, and people aren't laughing at Mr. Queen for caring about the weirdos or anything, so /that's/ progress too."

A lift of brows and a laugh. A real one, it came from a deeper place than some of the more surface laughs he sometimes does. "I kind of wish I could go back to a time when I couldn't name a super-villain, Meggan," Superman says, honestly, with a friendly squint of blue eyes. "But we do have some materials for you if you're interested in the history - and current state - of threats. I'll get that for you before you go," he promises. "I know the Avengers have a similar resource for you, but I'm happy to share it." He realizes he still had his hand on her fingers and draws his hand back with a little bit of an awkward smile and brief check of her eyes.

"I think it's very interesting that it /is/ being taken seriously. And that a candidate can be positive for metas and mutants… while also still being a serious contender? That's a good sign."

Meggan looks down at her coffee for a moment, possibly embarrassed that the prospect never occured to her before this moment. But with a look up, she nods again. Her eyes are bright, smiling even if her lips aren't pulled back for the full megawatt grin right now. But that's probably from comfort, not a lack of pleasure.

"I have to wonder how the Bugle's going to take it," Meggan then says. Another sip of her coffee, which is /swiftly diminishing./ "I mean since Spider-Man and everything…"

"I'm sure both the Bugle and the Planet are fired up all over it. Good news for them to sink their teeth into… but hard to know which way they'll decide to spin things. If they decide to declare him crazy, or what," Superman says, tentatively. He seems to recall his own coffee and has a big drink of it that pretty much polishes it off. Perhaps if for no other reason than to catch up with her rate. He seems to be enjoying it though. "Sometimes it's whatever will sell, with the media," he remarks, with some annoyance that's possibly a little strangely pointed.

"It was so weird to see commercials for everything when I first came here," Meggan muses. "I mean on television of course. I like the Bugle other than that, though, I wonder if Spider-man's secretly the publisher's estranged son or something. Is the Planet good to read? I don't know if the deli near the base gets that one…"

Superman laughs softly, "Wouldn't be a surprise, would it?" He doesn't say more to it than that, though. He gestures to her coffee, with a little bit of hidden anxiety about the Planet. Perhaps it wrote bad things about him. …Which, in truth, it has certainly written a variety of things about Superman over the years, that's for sure. Some great, some awful. "I think the Planet often has that kind of relationship with me. Hard to know which direction that will fly." He indicates her coffee, "refill?" with a gesture and move of head.

"Oh I'll take a splash," Meggan says, turning her cup towards for easy refilling. "And do they really? But how - I mean -"

Meggan stops, goggling. Finally, she finds some kind of answer: "I mean you're not even spooky looking. I can understand people being a bit nervous about Spider-Man, he's got that Mexican wrestling mask and he's calling himself Spider-Man, not… Gecko-Man or Koala-Man or something comfortable like that. It's not /nice/ but it makes a little sense, you know?"

Superman picks up her cup, moving back over to get a refill. He does it with his back to her — so heating her coffee with heat vision isn't something that's obviously broadcast, but he does do it. He still has a splash in his own cup. He chuckles some as he comes back, setting it down in easy reach by her arm, and sitting back down himself.

"I appreciate the sentiment that I'm not spooky, I have never tried to be," Superman grins, with a … mild blush, rubbing a hand through his hair a little self-consciously. It gets slightly askew with that embarrassed motion, which… messes with his Perfect Look. Since, as you know, Superman has no flaws, of course. "But I have a power level that is worrying to some. And sometimes," he says, lifting a hand as if anticipating interruption, "They're right. If mind control comes into play, for example, I am a very, very big problem. It isn't wrong to be skeptical of me. I don't, and have never, discouraged that. I don't want the media to lie about me for their agendas, true— but I don't want it to mask reality either."

"Oh, but, I mean," Meggan says, faltering a little.

"That's so strange, isn't it? To think about that. I mean, just to say, 'if mind control comes into play,' that's a little spooky." Meggan accepts the coffee once it's returned, though, and looks up at those big blue eyes. "But that's why I'd trust you so much, though: You thought about it, you're being reasonable about it. I don't think most people would. I don't think /I/ would do it to be honest, though I mean, I'd try."

Superman releases a low, long breath. "Well, it has happened. It isn't an if," Superman says, but gently. He has no wish to scare her with this reality. "It's very very rare, if that helps, and we have precautions in place. It was an example. There's a way to get to every hero, just as the opposite is true - to get through to a villain." He considers her words about being able to be realistic and reasonable, and a warm compassion flows into his eyes and smile. He mimics the action she did earlier, which is to reach over, though he goes for her hands, not her arm, intending to hold both her hands in his for a direct message. "To gain trust I extend it. Always. And sometimes it does backfire - but I don't regret it, even then. It feels right to me. And if nothing else, I want to inspire others to do what's right for them. And so I think you don't have to do that. Or anything," he smiles, meeting her eyes with his natural, charismatic hope. "I suppose it sounds silly, but… if I can help someone be the best version of themselves?… that's really the best thing to me." He flushes a bit more obviously.

Meggan's hands are taken. This makes her cheeks color again.

She swallows for a moment, giggling again as she glances to the side, then meeting those eyes.

"… That's brave of you," she says, staring ahead, and not… saying anything for a few longer seconds, before her fingers curl a bit round her coffee cup and she says, more breathlessly now, "I…" Then she trails off. And then a second later she breaks the eye contact, shoulders drawing up as she lets out another half-giggle and brings the coffee to her lips.

Superman isn't good at this stuff when it turns … awkward and kind of … well. His confidence sort of faulters into a chuckle and blush, and he draws back to his own coffee mug, moving it into a few more locations, aware he caused her to stumble verbally. Oops. He withdraws a little, internally berating himself. "Brave? I'm not sure. What about it is brave?" he asks, trying to draw conversation to.. wherever she's directing it.

"Well, I mean — even if you're invincible, you can still be hurt," Meggan kind of blurts. "You could just do good things and never even talk to anyone, I mean. Nobody could blame you, but it sounds like you're doing more than that, and it's just… I mean I know - I can tell you're -"

She trails off with another of those laughs again. "Oh I'm gabbling — I told you about my empathy, didn't I?" Meggan smiles again now, wider, more meaningfully. "I can tell you mean it, that's all."

"Well. Yes. I mean what I say," Superman says, with a sort of brief surprise. And, well. All right. Here we go…

"I do Like you, Meggan," Superman tells her gently, with all that 'like' implies for an awkward type. Brave, in a different way. To extend the trust, and allow her access to harm him via rejection. "I know that you may need me to be…. Superman, though. Which is not really the same as a man you could like." He's aware, and there's a kind of sad realism to this. His alter-ego can have relationships, but Superman is a whole other different persona that people need to look at a certain way. "And we can keep it that way." His following smile is more reserved, and the intensity is toned back from his gaze. Which may be… a little interesting to watch, that he's particularly skilled at adjusting his expression. To be what people need? "It's getting late, though; should I show you out?" Superman offers kindly.

Meggan's eyes go wide.

She doesn't giggle this time.

Her eyes turn down to her feet as her cheeks flush. "Oh—! W, well. I…"

Her cheeks puff slightly as she makes her back stiffen. FORGE AHEAD, she tells herself internally. "I think I need to think but I want to be very clear!" she says, perhaps over emphatically. Her tone softens though as she reaches out to touch his arm again for a moment. "That's not saying 'no.'"

"I watch a lot of those sorts of shows," Meggan concludes, in smaller tones. "I don't want to be misunderstood." After that she smiles again.

"But… please, yes, thank you very much. D'you want to… go somewhere sometime, then, just sort of…" Meggan trails off, with a vague gesture that probably encompasses 'the entire scope of dating'

Superman isn't hurt, even initially. And she'll sense that he's not. He's strong. Even a laugh in his face and a 'no' probably would sting, but it would be forgiven and things would move on. But it seems it isn't a no!

"I'd /rather/ you think about it," Superman adds to her firmly, fully accepting the request for time. "I don't want to be an impulse buy." A chuckle, a bit on the nervous end. He's not as 'open' as initially when he admitted he liked her, but that's just… an automatic self defense thing. However, the surge of … excited, giddy reaction? — it's there, he's just cloaking it well. She'll sense it no problem, of course. He doesn't do this much!

"Yes, I'd like to go somewhere, sometime. So after you think it over… you can find me here, for that…" he offers, with a somewhat general indication of the headquarters—, which lets her determine… if it changes to a no.

Meggan nods firmly enough to make her hair bounce. "Of course! Right here? Should I mail or drop in or - I mean do you have a - oh god," she laughs again, "I must sound ridiculous. Um!! Well, I'll definitely try to look for somewhere or something to do too, d'you have a kind of music you like best, or a kind of food or…"

If nothing else, she doesn't seem anxious now. /Exhilarated/ maybe.

Superman isn't an empath, but can pick up on her emotion even without powers or anything else. "The desk in the front can get in touch with me. You don't HAVE to stand out on a ledge and scream for help," Superman says, using the humor to try to buffer himself, too. But he talked a LITTLE fast. "I… would prefer something on the private end. I'm somewhat recognizable at concerts or…." No kidding.

"But a quick flight for a picnic to —-Hawaii or something is easy?" he suggests. Because this is Superman. And that's not an insane idea. Because Superman.

"Hawaii's a bit far unless you carry me," Meggan says.

"I mean," she adds, "I'm alright with that. To go to Hawaii, I mean."

"That was the thought," Superman admits, flushing in return. Well. Gee.

"Yes, just to travel there," Superman fumbles back a little bit, with a renewed firm expression of seriousness that he doesn't feel. Right, quite, yes.

"I've never been to Hawaii," Meggan admits. "Do you know anyone there?"

She giggles again, but this time it's an 'I know that's kind of an absurd thing to ask' sort of giggle.

"Yes," Superman nods, thinking about that for only a moment. "But I wasn't really thinking of going there to say hi to them," he adds, with a chuckle that's… similar to her giggle. "—-But there's one other thing," he says, pausing, clearly some other topic or item came to mind, here. He looks at her empty mug, reaching out to pick it up, sort of a restless-cleaning thing to have something to do with his hand, maybe. "That's important to me," he adds.

"Oh, the mug?" Meggan asks, handing it back immediately and looking up with wide eyes. "(It's not the mug is it.)"

Superman looks at the mug, baffled, and shakes his head no. No, not the mug. He laughs softly. "Eh? No." He sets it aside, as if to shove it out of the conversation. It can think about what it's done over on the edge of the table away from them.

"I'd prefer Kal-El, or Kal, please. Superman is more— a title." He gives her a warm smile. "…Even if you decide Hawaii isn't for you," he says, meaning… if she decides to call it all off, he's still offering the name preference.

"Oh!! Kal, certainly," Meggan says. To herself, she thinks: That sounds Middle Eastern. How funny! He doesn't look like it.

But she beams. "I'm sorry I can't return the favor. - About names I mean," she adds in haste.

Superman frowns a bit — but more that she feels sorry, not anything else. He didn't mean for that. "Hmmm? No need. I'm the one with the strange names," he says, with a quick smile, hoping she'll pick up on that he… was not searching for some deeper name in return from her. He's a little restless, and stands to clear the mugs to the sink, put the cream away.

Meggan clasps her hands together out of a lack of anything better to do with them afterwards.

Good gravy, she tells herself once more: I'm doing this aren't I. Well I can't just come right back and do it, I'll look desperate. I'll do it after I drop my tax forms off. Yes, that's a good plan.

Hopefully, Metropolis will not be hit by a meteor.

Superman used the time (which felt longer to him than to her, possibly, due to how his mind works) of putting the things away to compose a little more, for when he turns back around and gives her a smile — and blush still. The blushing is going to keep happening, isn't it. Oh well. "Let's make sure Batman didn't take your stuff," he offers, with a slight careful playful quality that… he hasn't really shown her much of before. It's still low key, because he's not a particularly playful sort on his own — but he's reaching out. It's a start.

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