Jus Soli

October 30, 2017:

Black Bolt, recently a guest in Titans Tower, approaches Red Robin to ask if he can join the team. Iso meets her 'king'. Clawminator Destrucat Mk.II conquers a slipper.

Common Area - Titans Tower

The spacious and comfortable living area for the Titans.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Superboy, Wonder Girl, Impulse, Zatanna Zatara, Fairchild, Batman, Wonder Girl

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

It's been about a week since the battle with the Imperial Pigeon, and the subsequent invitation to let another world's King of the Inhumans crash on the Titans' proverbial couch.

You would think that would rate among one of the weirder things to happen to the group generally, but honestly that's probably not even the weirdest thing that's happened that week. It's just how things go once you decide to put on a costume and get into regular fights with the forces of evil.

Black Bolt would've been provided with a temporary ID that the Tower's security systems respond to, making it easy for him to get in and out of the building and to get around generally. Of course, he was given a dorm room, which as Red Robin had warned him previously wasn't exactly kingly in size and comfort, but it was still roomier than a lot of apartments in Manhattan.

Also, there was a cake in the common room. Marbled vanilla and chocolate, with 'CONGRATULATIONS, TITANS' written on it. Somehow, Impulse hadn't eaten the whole thing yet. Probably nobody had told him.

"No, hey, that is not a toy," protests the leader of the Titans, sitting in the spacious common room… On the floor, crosslegged, rather than on any of the comfortable sofas or chairs, with his laptop open. The case of it is red, and it has his stylised bird's head logo on the back, yellow on black: Branding is important.

His protests, fruitless as they are, are directed at a small kitten which is, for some reason that has never been adequately explained (because Impulse brought the cat), pink. Pink, and chewing on a batarang, which who even knows how it got.

"Seriously, what is wrong with you? Is this one of those 'pets taking after their owners' things?"

The kitten, one Clawminator Destrucat Mk. II (again, Impulse's fault) looks up at him with enormous kitteny eyes, like a thousand of those sad pet shelter commercials all at once.

And then - brazenly!! - it resumes chewing on the batarang.

It wasn't too difficult for Black Bolt to get into at least -some- of the swing of things, exiting his room with use of the card that he was definately figuring out. Though sounds of poor Red Robin attempting to diplomatically convince the kitten to not chew on his batarang reached the young king's ears, and he approaches the area with a single brow raised in possible confusion.

Though when he actually sees the creature, it does cause him to smirk a bit. Lockjaw might be able to eat this kitten, but regardless, he's seen much larger luxury animals. Who was he to judge on strange names? Though when he sees Red Robin, he knocks on the table that the cake is at with the hopes of getting his attention, a small smile awaiting him as he signed. «May I speak with you a moment? I think it important to you.»

He then clasps his hands behind his back and stood as if a noble would. Though his attire consisted of a black tailcoat with the sigil of the royal family on it (black bolt logo) black pants and combat boots, he simply smiled softly as he waited.

Iso's door swings open, and she emerges. One assumes it's Iso, at least, because of the way she's coming out of the room that belongs to Iso, and the fact that her visible physical parameters are identical to Iso's. The uncertainty is introduced only by the fact that she's got her nose almost literally in a book, so her face is not initially visible. (Of course, given the book is a biomedical text on implant interfaces, anyone with more than passing knowledge about her might just view that as further confirmation of her identity, anyway.)

She's dressed in a slightly loose, grey v-neck t-shirt and a pair of pale blue and pink boxers with a thin stripe, the waistband of which is rolled up. She has slippers, too. They look like rabbits. Because of the slippers, or possibly because of the way her hair appears to be tousled from being slept on, she's shuffling slowly in the general direction of the lounge, and the hand that isn't holding the book is brushing her teeth. Slowly. Lazily. She isn't awake yet.

If there's anything to be grateful for, at least it's not a trick batarang. Red Robin doesn't think anyone would be very happy if the kitten got tasered, or frozen in a solid block of ice, or something.

He'd feel bad about it, too. The kitten is cute, even if it's kind of bitey sometimes.

"Look, wouldn't you rather chew on something else?" he tries negotiating with the small pink animal. "I bet Superboy left some magazines laying around, or there's always the shoelaces on Impulse's sneakers." There's a considering pause from the young man - who is, of course, in full costume, his face obscured by that black domino mask - as he squints unseen eyes at the adorable beast. "Just… Don't chew on anything of Zatanna's. It might turn you into an invertebrate."

The cat mews at him.

"Yeah, like a mollusc, or maybe some other kind of shellfish. You don't want to get turned into a lobster, right?"

The rapping on the table does, of course, draw Red Robin's attention, his head turning towards the source of the noise. He sees Black Bolt, and sees the other young man's signing, and his initial response is a light shrug of his shoulders.

"Sure, what's up?"

The presence of someone else emerging from one of the dorm rooms doesn't go unnoticed, of course. Not by Red Robin… Nor by the kitten. While the former Boy Wonder doesn't do much about it, yet - you never know who might've decided to crash at the Tower, after all, even leaving aside the two people who're currently actually living there - Clawminator Destrucat Mk.II finds something more interesting than the batarang, which he leaves forgotten on the carpet as he begins to stalk Iso's bunny slippers.

Maybe the kitten really has started to take after Impulse, because it seems to get bored of carefully stalking the slippers after a few moments, and then pounces right at one of the young woman's feet.
Black Bolt turns his head to Iso as the mostly still asleep young woman passes by him to flop down on the couch, to which he simply offers her a small wave. Though, back to the attention at hand when he finally has Red Robin's attention, he nods to him apparently gratefully, before continuing in sign language.

«I have come to inform you of a decision I have made. Upon seeing the dedication to performing heroic acts of such nobility that you should be called heroes, I would like to make my intentions known that I would like to join this group…I believe you call yourselves 'Titans' if memory serves. I believe we would work well together.» he finishes signing then, his hands returning behind his back to clasp each other.

Though once that cat is visibly on the prowl again, Blackagar would turn to glance at the little pink cat, and perhaps amusedly watches it pounce at Iso.

The bunny slippers are white. They're cute. They're probably of Japanese make. They're a little strange as a wardrobe choice by a young woman who seems for the most part reserved and not especially frivolous, but perhaps she has layers, like an onion parfait, or however that goes.

They are also kitten bait, as it turns out.

Still sleepily oblivious to the presence of anyone but Robin — Black Bolt says nothing out loud, obviously, and Robin is admonishing someone in the background about chewing on inappropriate objects but there isn't any audible response, so maybe it's over a communicator? — she is unprepared to be assaulted by the kitten. It latches onto her foot, claws and all, and Xiaoyi utters a high-pitched sound of surprise (around the toothbrush in her mouth) and swings her foot outward, sending the kitten flying toward the wall, along with the slipper it's still very much attached to.

This might have come to a very tragic conclusion indeed if it weren't for the nature of the residents of this particular building. Dark eyes widen, the book she was reading thumping onto the floor splay-paged as she extends a hand and ignites with blue-white energy, swirls of which wreathe her extended arm. The little crystalline flakes blaze into existence along her visible limbs in lines and the occasional swirl, over certain parts of her face. Her eyes radiate a pale mist of that same energy.

All to create a cushion of pressurized air to catch the damn kitten.

It's a curious development.

"You want to join the team?" Red Robin repeats, a bit surprised by this particular turn of events. "What brought this on?"

He doesn't sound like he's against the idea, since he's already been reaching out to more people lately, to bolster their numbers and to be able to offer people the help they might need. Somehow, this has expanded to include a couple of people with spider-powers. Maybe there's just something about that particular ability set that puts you in situations where you need help but are also pathologically incapable of admitting it?

Not that Red Robin would know anything about that

"I mean, if it's about you being stranded here, we'll do what we can to help you whether you join the team or not. If you do want to, though…"

And then, a high-pitched noise from Xiaoyi, which nobody with any sense would describe as a 'shriek', because she's the sort of sensible and reserved young woman who does not do things like shrieking.

What happens next happens too quickly for even someone like Red Robin to do anything about it… But, fortunately, not too quickly for Iso herself. Clawminator Destrucat Mk.II seems remarkably unfazed by its unexpected flight towards the wall, and accepts the cushion of pressurized air that catches it as simply exactly what ought to happen, with the kind of adorable arrogance only a cat can manage.

"Heyyyyy, Iso," Red Robin offers by way of a greeting. "Just wake up?"

Black Bolt blinks a few times when the cat goes flying across the room towards the wall, but Iso catches the kitty, the nature of her powers apparently sparking the interest of Blackagar to a good extent, before his attention returns to Red Robin, shaking his head initially before he resumes.

«I simply wish to aid however I can. As it stands, I may be here for some time. I may as well do something productive…besides, being a part of a team will help me understand this world better, and help me fulfill one of the tasks I was set out with: learning more of humans and becoming familiar with how they actually act. In this way, I think the added reason of being able to help others reason enough to join. Do you accept my intent and offer to join your Titans?» he asks curiously, hands returning behind his back.

Though when Robin greets Iso, Blackagar smiles to her softly if she looked at the pair, and he would bow his head softly in greeting.

With the cat deposited safely on the ground, the light show winks out, and Iso lets her head drop and her hand come up to cup over her eyes, the line of her back changing as she draws a huge breath and expels it as a sigh. All of that drowsiness is gone, replaced with a sudden shock of adrenaline, and the zero-to-sixty transition has obviously not been ideal.

Just wake up?

Her head lifts. She rolls it over to the side, dark eyes lidded in a flat expression. It's a look he must be used to getting from her by now, whenever he's being 'clever.'

…The toothbrush handle sticking out of the purse of her lips does somewhat ruin the effect.

So does her sudden realization that there's someone else in the room. She straightens and turns to face them, gaze ticking over the unfamiliar figure, and then back to Red. There's no overt query written in her expression, but the air of expectation is there, anyway.

Upon getting that look from Iso, Red Robin just grins cheerily at her.

He'd put a lot of thought in when it came to leadership styles for the Titans. He'd weighed the pros and cons, and while he knew that he'd never be able to entirely shake the parts of him that were a bit too much like Batman for comfort he knew he didn't want to deal with his teammates the way the Dark Knight did the Justice League. Particularly since at least some of them had known him back when he was running around in the red, green and yellow costume of just regular ol' Robin, and were his friends outside of costume. That sort of attitude wouldn't cut it with Cassie, with Conner, with Bart. It definitely wouldn't cut it with Zatanna, either. She'd probably turn him into a newt.

So he'd made the conscious decision to draw a bit more on how Nightwing would do things. People liked Nightwing, where they generally levelled out at just 'respect' for the Batman.

Which includes being 'clever', and then being rather cheeky about it.

"Absolutely," he tells Black Bolt. "Welcome aboard." Well aware of the expectant air radiating off of Iso, he continues: "I guess we can start things off by introducing you to another one of your teammates. Black Bolt, this is Iso," he says, gesturing towards the young woman now wearing just one adorable fuzzy bunny slipper. "Iso, this is Black Bolt. He can't talk. Also, he's the king of the Inhumans."

A fact Red Robin just, you know, leaves there. No big deal, right?

When Robin fully agrees to his request and welcomes him aboard, that's when Blackagar genuinely smiles to him, bowing his head lightly and making the sign for 'thank you'. his hands return clasped behind his back as was his style.

Though he turns to look at Iso when she gives him a once-over, and he looks to Robin when he introduces him to the young Inhuman before him….though he realizes he left out the 'from another reality' kind of thing, to which he simply gives him a raised eyebrow. What mischief was he up to? though he recalls that Cassie told him that there was an Inhuman on the team other than him, and such does it occur to him that this woman may be her.

He shrugs though, smiling faintly to Iso.

Ironically, Iso is perfectly capable of speaking most of the time. It's only the toothbrush that's making it impossible for her to say anything by way of greeting to the newest and most deliberately mute member of the Titans. She's too polite to speak around the toothbrush, and far too polite to try talking through a mouth with toothpaste in it.

The little shift to the set of her brows might be sympathy, upon being told that Black Bolt isn't able to speak. If so that sympathy is short-lived, quickly dwarfed in importance (to her, at least) by the revelation that follows. He's so deft about it, Red — dropping that little fact into the conversation casually, offhand, where it has the best chance of sideswiping her. It does just that, too, the look on her face freezing, a mask that slides into place as she looks from one young man to the other. Twice. Three times. Waiting to see if Red is going to crack another grin, signal a joke.

He doesn't.

Eventually her focus returns to Black Bolt, and there it lingers for just long enough in silence to be uncomfortable for most people. It's impossible to say what she's thinking during that time, but she punctuates it thus:

Her brows slide together a little, and both of her hands come up abruptly, splayed out to the side, like: 'Seriously? What the hell?'

It's not mischief!

Okay, maybe it's a little bit of mischief.

Red Robin let it settle in there, lets the idea really work its way into Iso's own genius-level thought processes. He knows it will, from his psychological assessment of the young woman. Whatever being an Inhuman - or Nuhuman, he supposes, from what he's been able to learn of the nomenclature from Justice League files he is definitely, one hundred percent allowed to have - might mean to Iso, she certainly wouldn't have much attachment to a culture that she wasn't raised in, and which indeed there wasn't really much trace of by the time she'd been brought to the US by Reader, according to her own account.

"From another reality," he does, eventually, add. It would be unfair to both Black Bolt and Iso not to clarify, especially since the former isn't very chatty. "The version of him from here would be older, and apparently in space? Our Black Bolt," yes it's 'our' now, apparently, since he's on the team as of maybe a minute ago, "was stranded here. He helped me and Wonder Girl deal with a vengeful pigeon monster who was attacking New York, but he's a little lost with the whole 'world of humans' thing."

Black Bolt is fairly easily able to read what Iso's body language says, often having used it before. Thus does he simply let out a small breath, not a single sound though. Though as he attempts to try to explain things, Red Robin finally clarifies for him. to which he gives a subtle nod.

He did seem rather happy that he was able to help with that strange pidgeon creature, wherever it may be. Likely prison…or knocked out clean by that car he threw…..ahem, small things. Though he does seem pleased to meet Iso, extending a hand in greeting…since it's apparently how humans greet one another.

As Red explains, or at least clarifies, Iso lets her hands fall again, listening attentively. She even remembers to collect the book she dropped on the floor, though her eyes remain on the other two in the room, and she doesn't go so far as to try to wrestle her slipper back from the cat. Which is pink. And she is definitely going to ask about why there's a pink, slipper-eating kitten stalking the tower just as soon as she gets the chance which, if the procession of events thus far is anything to judge by, may not be for a while yet.

It must mitigate some of her initial wariness, because she glances down at the hand she's offered, and after a moment of hesitation reaches out to shake it. It feels ridiculous to do that now, standing there in the clothes she sleeps in, wearing one bunny slipper, hair tousled and a toothbrush jammed into her mouth, but: polite. She doesn't try to smile. She's pretty sure it wouldn't look like a smile, with the toothbrush involved.

When she lets go of his hand, she's just starting to turn and intends to gesture toward her room in that 'I need to get this thing out of my face so we can have a conversation like normal people' way when Red mentions a vengeful pigeon monster, and that stops her dead all over again. After another long silence she repeats her earlier gesture of 'what the hell?' but there's a little bit more emphasis to it this time, and her nose crinkles, too.

She's had better 'mornings.'

Sometimes, clarifications are about all you can expect from Red Robin.

Heck, there's plenty of people who would've considered getting any kind of explanation from the often cryptic young vigilante to be some kind of once-in-a-lifetime miracle. It's part of the whole mystique.

So when his explanation of how they ended up adopting Blackagar Boltagon is met with a renewed, and more emphatic, 'what the hell?' gesture, Red Robin - still sitting crosslegged on the floor, as he has been this whole time - is met with the most innocent shrug in the history of the world. It's a shrug that would get him convicted by any judge with any sense.

"You're the one who didn't want to keep living with the X-Men," he reminds her.

Black Bolt now returns his attention back to Iso as she appears to be flabberghasted once more by Red Robin's clarifications of how Blackagar was brought into the fold. Though he doesnt seem to mind this. Truthfully, he was happy to even get a handshake. He believes most people would simply stare at it and look at him like….why?

But! Black Bolt seems amused by the interactions between Red Robin and Iso, though the comments made by the former manage to confuse him a moment, turning to Tim with a tilt of his head, he would begin to sign again. «What is this…X-Men? Is it a faction like yourselves?»

Iso's hands fall, bouncing off of the outsides of her thighs. She stares at Tim for a long moment, then pivots and starts back the way she'd come from, presumably to sort out her toothbrush situation. Maybe she'll even run a brush through her hair and put on pants!

For now the kitten is allowed to retain ownership of her slipper, and as she disappears again she holds up one index finger in the universal gesture for 'I'll be back in just a minute.'

The door closes behind her.

"They're a group that advocates for the rights of mutants," Red Robin explains to Black Bolt's signed query, while Iso escapes to find some pants. Of course, he realises, if he'd grown up in such an isolated circumstance that he didn't know what cars were… "In this case, mutants are an offshoot of humans who've naturally developed metahuman abilities. A lot of them experience unusual physiological mutations as well, which hasn't made them very popular in some circles."

Though he himself is from Gotham, a place where most metahumans are… Let's go with 'unfriendly', he's more prone to keeping an open mind about that sort of thing than his mentor.

Probably at least in part because pretty much all of his friends are metahumans of some description.

"They were pretty busy trying to keep things contained, when the Terrigen Mists were loose, and when Iso was brought to the US she was initially left with them, I guess because of…" He trails off. He can understand that Black Bolt might not like to talk about the fate of this world's Attilan. "Anyway, don't worry, Iso is cool. I don't think she's had a lot of experience with other Inhumans, though," he adds.

Blackagar would giv a little wave to Iso as she walks off, though he does wonder why she left her room so casually. Humans are rather strange creatures, though when she returns to her room to fix herself, as humans say, Blackagar fixed his attention back on Red Robin.

the Inhuman King would give Red Robin a bit of an 'ah' kind of expression though without actually saying the 'ah' part…because once again, speaking would be bad. « I see. Perhaps sometime I may meet these X-Men. their physical mutations sound very similar to a process we call terrigenesis.» he nods a few times..and boy, was that a story for another time.

Regardless though, he nods to Red Robins advice, and he gives the kind of expression that if read properly could mean 'don't worry, I won't push'.

"Right, terrigenesis," Red Robin says. "Near as I can tell, the main difference is that with mutants it just sort of… Happens, around puberty. If you want to meet with them, Iso might have enough contacts there to introduce you, still," the vigilante says, engaging in every leader's favourite pastime, volunteering other people for things. Oh, sure, he'd call it 'delegating' and 'making the best use of his teammates' knowledge and abilities', but also it's volunteering her.

Besides, he figures it would probably be good for the both of them. Black Bolt might feel more comfortable with another Inhuman around, and Iso can meet an Inhuman who isn't trying to take over her brain or something.

Everybody wins!

"For the most part, it's just the two of you who mainly reside in the Tower. Fairchild usually spends a lot of time here too, but she hasn't been around much lately. You'd recognise her if you saw her, she's about six and a half feet tall, red hair. Since you're on the team now, I'll have to set you up with a permanent ID, get you trained on how to fly the T-Jet… Uh, it's a plane. It flies, since not all of us can under our own power."

Blackagar would smile faintly to Red Robin, listening to his every word…even when he nominates Iso to see if she can call upon old X-contacts and see if he can learn more about this standard mutation without th use of terrigenesis. «Intruging…I shall see if she would like to indulge in this act on my behalf. I would personally be most grateful."

Then talk of getting him a permanent ID card and teaching him how to fly a -plane-, he would simply smile big and warm. «I greatly appreciate the steps being taken on my behalf. Many thanks.» though he can fly through some sciencey goodness with his electron manipulation, he keeps that to himself…because it's always good to have a trick up your sleeve right?

The door to Iso's room reopens. She is sans toothbrush, mercifully, and she's exchanged the boxers for a pair of jean shorts, which — while they aren't pants, per se — are still better than sleepwear. The single bunny sleeper remaining in her possession is also gone, exchanged for below-ankle socks and a pair of shell-toe sneakers.

With her hair brushed and restored to a more orderly state, it's possible to tell that one side of her head was shaved in the not-so-distant past, long enough now to obscure any indication of her actual scalp, but not so long that it covers her ear.

"It's a plane and it flies?" That's the first thing out of her mouth, accompanied by a lift of one brow so subtle that it would be easy to miss. As a native speaker of Mandarin her words are still accented, but she seems fluent in English, at least. "Wonders never cease."

She hooks her thumbs into the back pockets of her shorts as she rejoins them, and studies the newest member of the team sidelong. "I guess I'm going to have to learn sign language," she muses. She doesn't sound as though that's any great inconvenience, though.

Wonders never cease.

"I remember when you seemed so sweet and innocent," is Red Robin's offhanded response to Iso's cruel sarcasm. "He didn't have any exposure to human civilisation before he wound up here, so I'm being thorough. You never can tell with alternate realities, either," the detective adds, sagely. "Even the modern world there might've been weird. Maybe they still had Blockbuster Video, and never developed Netflix."

The worst part is that he isn't even picking that example out of thin air. If Spider-Woman does end up deciding to join the team, even part time, there's bound to be some comparing of notes on alternate reality culture shock.

"Anyway, in the short term Black Bolt, just focus on getting acclimated. We can worry about piloting lessons later."

Clawminator Destrucat Mk. II, meanwhile, has fallen asleep on the fluffy slipper that Iso has currently surrendered, eyes closed as it dozes with the contentment of the conqueror.

Blackagar would smile warmly to Iso when she returns more readily clothed and joins the pair once more in their discussion. He simply gives her a small wave in greeting, looking amusedly between her and Red Robin at their exchange of sarcasm, something he knows quite well thanks to his combat teacher, Gorgon.

However, at Red Robin's words, he simply smiles to him, nodding a few times to show that he understood the task that was being given to him. though when Iso says she'll need to learn sign language…Blackagar seems to be considering something as he looks to the young Inhuman before him and taps his head a few times as if to simply ask a question. Red Robin could probably interpret.

"Do you?" Iso's brows rise, then smooth, and she tilts her head, manufacturing a look of thoughtfulness in response to Red's return quip — again, so subtle that the cues have to be watched. She's very rarely effusive. "Was I there at the time?" Also easy to miss: the slight upward turn at the corner of her mouth.

No contact with human civilization, Red says of Black Bolt, and this time when Iso looks at him her expression is a little bit more complicated. There's sympathy there of the type that seems grounded in personal experience — and should he ever get a gander at her Titans dossier, he'll probably discover all of the reasons why that's true. "What's a Blockbuster Video?"

Then the purported King of the Inhumans (still adjusting to that) taps his temple, and Iso, verified genius, completely misunderstands what he's after. She lifts a hand on reflex to slide her fingertips into the shorter hair on the one side of her head, silent for some moments. "It's a long story," she says eventually. As usual the words are polite, but they have a closed-door sound to them that suggests she isn't about to tell said story.

There's a chuff of amusement from Red Robin, well short of outright laughter but still a lot better than nothing, at Iso's reply to his quip about her previous sweetness and innocence. Even if she hadn't been with the Titans all that long either, it's still long enough that he's gotten accustomed to the subtle, barely there cues she gives, and the particular way she has about her. Maybe it helps that he's trained as a detective, schooled by the World's Greatest as a possible eventual successor. Maybe it helps just plain that he's spent so much time around other people who just plain don't give much away.

Though considering he's so often cryptic and mysterious, he probably doesn't have much room to talk. Speaking of which…

Red Robin does get what Black Bolt means when he taps his head, and that it's not a question about the harrowing origin of Iso's trendy undercut, some of which he's heard from the young woman herself, and more of which he's pieced together from what she did (and did not) say.

"Oh. No, Iso… Black Bolt can speak telepathically. He doesn't like to do it much because a lot of people might see it as intrusive. He's wondering if you'd give him permission, since you don't currently know sign language. I should… Make some kinda text to speech thing for him…"

for a moment, Blackagar looks between Red Robin and Iso, attempting to gauge what all they're talking about….words like 'Netflix' and..apparently Blackagar shares this with Iso, but neither of them apparently know what Blockbuster Video is. Shame really.

But when Iso thinks that he means something about her hair, he simply takes a small breath and shakes his head a moment, about to do sign language but then Robin speaks up for him and explains what he was trying to say, earning the former Boy Wonder a happy smile from the Inhuman King. Nodding a few times to Tim, Blackagar would give a small thumbs up when a text to speech like device is in the talks of being made.

With everything hopefully clearer, he looks back to Iso, as if silently asking the same question as he taps his temple once more.

"Oh." The dark glance back at Black Bolt is thoughtful. That she even considers whether or not to permit what he's asking is probably a good indication that she's on the way to recovering from — everything. In the end, though, she knits her brows just a little, and even sounds delicately apologetic about the slight shake of her head. "I'd…rather you didn't. Sorry. It's not personal, though." After a beat, she manages a little half-smile, and the sincerity of it carries it up into eyes that are so often otherwise serious. "Thanks for asking first. But welcome to the team. I'm sure Red can set you with something in no time. I don't think he actually sleeps." She shoots the costumed figure in the domino mask an almost pointed look, and then half-turns toward the elevator doors. "I on the other hand slept all day, and now I'm due to meet someone at the movies, so…" Two backward steps. "It was nice to meet you."

The truth is, even if it wasn't for what he knew about Iso's entirely too recent past experiences, Red Robin wouldn't blame her for not wanting to have someone speak directly into her mind. Everything about his training in being secretive, being closed off rebelled against the very idea… But he'd worked with other telepathic communicators in the past, like Miss Martian, and just 'talking' was fine, surely. It wasn't like the idea of having someone… Rummaging around in there.

The very thought of that had him running through the exercises he'd been taught to offer up some kind of protection, however limited, against mind reading: Reflexively, his surface thoughts become tied up in complicated, nearly arcane math problems.

"Hey, I slept four whole hours last night," the vigilante tells Iso, defensively. Is she collaborating with Zatanna to harass him about not sleeping? Is this some kind of Secret Girl Alliance thing? "You go and have fun at the movies. And have some of that cake before Impulse finds out it exists." Probably not right after having brushed her teeth, though. That would be a very unpleasant mingling of flavours.

His attention settles back on Black Bolt again, though the featureless white lenses of Red Robin's mask do make it kind of hard to tell at times.

"C'mon, I've got a few ideas about text to speech," he says, putting his now-closed laptop to one side, and getting smoothly to his feet. "First step is getting you a smartphone. I've got a few custom built ones down in the labs…"

It's practical, of course. It'll help Black Bolt acclimate to the society around him, and learn about Youtube and Netflix and why he should be careful about what he Googles. But the sudden move to activity is also meant to distract him from worrying about Iso. King or not, Black Bolt was a Titan now - and that meant he was Red Robin's responsibility.

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