Lingering Rage

May 27, 2018:

J'onn and Diana speak in the halls of the Justice League HQ about the lingering effects of the Martian Manhunter's dangerous mission against the Red Lanterns.

Hall of Justice

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

As is his newly formed habit since returning to the JLA two weeks ago, J'onn is given to striding through the halls when little else garners his attention. Today, he wears the visage of a familiar face, perhaps — human, anyway — expression neutral and hands clasped behind his back as he moves with a pace that is even enough to be meditative. He nods to the familiar — and unfamiliar — faces that he passes with equal welcome — though no verbal greeting.

He slows — stops — without thought when he comes abreast of the medbay, like some subconscious thought triggers him to a halt, only belatedly glancing sidewards as if realizing. There's not trace of awkwardness in his expression though — something distant, maybe — as he turns, waits like something's going to happen.

It doesn't.

Diana Prince is at the Hall today, and she has been all week. It was a scheduled week of training for anyone in the League who wanted to train with she and two others of the Amazon people. Close quarters melee weapon training, hand to hand combat and the like… the sorts of things that the Amazon women were almost constantly doing for so very many years now.

Diana is moving through the hallways on her way toward the training center when she pauses at the sight of of the man near the medbay. She puts her blue eyes onto him and stares for a moment before she turns her course in his direction.

"J'onn?" Diana speaks softly when getting close. "Is everything all right?" She asks him then. Diana's dressed in a deep dark blue robe that covers her armored from beneath it, her hair is undone and laying across the shoulders of the blue robe.

A familiar and also not voice. J'onn turns, dark brown gaze settling on the approaching woman.

There is recognition in his gaze when he sees her; it would be hard not to recognize the all-too-well-known face of Wonder Woman — but it lacks the familiarity their long-term association with each other might be expected to hold. Granted, the Martian Manhunter's never been that physically expressive — his kind just isn't given to it — and the gracious nod of head might serve to hide it well all the same.

As does the way he takes his cue from her greeting of him: "Princess Diana," he states. A few beats of silence follow, while he considers her statement, answering truthfully: "I find myself vexed, and it is troubling." The emotion itself, presumably, rather than the cause, although he's non-specific as to that.

Diana's gaze is even toned and mostly without expression while she listens to the man's response to her. She does blink her eyelids though, but its more of an expression of processing what the man just responded to her with and then she tilts her head gently toward her right shoulder. "Vexxed?" Diana asks in that thick near-Greek accent of hers.

"What precisely is vexxing you?" She further inquires. "I am more than willing to help you overcome whatever it is. Having you back here with us, and… not vexxed, is a priority." Diana shows the hints of a smile tugging at the corner of her lips.

"That is kind of you," J'onn says, as much through habit as genuine sentiment, since it takes him a moment of pause afterwards to observe the twitch of her lips that puts an air of amusement to the words. "Would you walk with me?" he invites, gesturing with the intention of resuming his path, should she consent.

Either way, it doesn't take long for him to follow up with a quiet thought. "We are friends," he states it like a given. And yet, though his tone lacks the upward inflection that turns it into a question, there's something in the intent way he regards her for a moment that might make it seem less statement and more a point of clarification.

Diana does indeed start to walk with J'onn as he goes about whatever original course he was on within the halls of the Hall. Diana's hands come up out from beneath the robe she wears and her fingers interlace together in front of her lap, she's got a pair of fingerless leather gloves on that are tucked up inside the shining bracers of her armor set.

"We are friends indeed." Diana replies to the man, looking over to him and showing him a larger and more open smile. "You have done a great deal for this League and we are all very grateful for it. We are here for one another and if one of ours is in need of assistance, then… they need but ask for it." She takes a light breath then and lets her eyes look forward in the direction that they're strolling.

He doesn't seem to have a destination in mind. At least, J'onn's path seems to take them out past the desk, and on a winding path through the inner halls — some way away from the training center that had been her original destination. It is largely quiet, the hushed footsteps of their passing echoing in the hall.

Any other person might response to that friendly smile in kind — it would be difficult not to — but instead J'onn gives another nod as if of acknowledgement of her words as much as her smile. He, too, focuses his expression forward as he speaks. "I find that my memories are not what they once were. I feel that we are friends, on an emotional level — but I have little memories of such. It is like… walking into the midst of a party of your friends, knowing they know you, but remembering nothing of them." Despite his apparent consternation, only the restlessness, borne about by his need to walk, seems to physically convey his emotional reaction to such.

Added, after a pause of thought: "I do not believe this is something that requires the summoning of the league to my aid." It is merely a statement, and yet and half tilt of his head and faint twitch of lip might give the impression he is trying to convey amusement, in a mimic of her earlier gesture.

Diana continues to just walk on his left side and listen closely to him with her hands together in front of her lap. She looks over at him after hearing his spoken words and she shows a hint of a grin at that last part, but it fades. "You have had memory issues. Since the events of the Red Lanterns." She says at him. "I have heard." She adds, her eyes looking away again… now down a few feet ahead of where they are walking.

"I am very sorry about all of it, J'onn." She says next. "I never wanted you to go on that mission, and it is why I refrained from even voting when the vote to decide was issued out." She exhales heavily and lets her blue eyes go back over to him. "There are many potential ways to have your memories recovered, there are a lot of powerful telepaths within our circle of contacts. It may be a… lot more tricky than I realize, but one never knows unless they seek out and ask."

As if a mirror to her all unintentionally, J'onn's own hands remain clasped behind his back as they walk. "I do not regret the choice," the Martian declares, immediately and without any hesitation. "From what I have read, they were a dangerous foe, and it was well worth sacrificing memories to see them undone."

And yet… he remains vexed.

"A telepath," it makes him grimace. Even though he, himself, has that ability, it is a power he uses with restraint, well aware of the intrusive nature of such things. "I am not sure that would be wise, Princess Diana. There are many memories — unpleasant ones — that I fear would unseat even the most capable of telepaths. Things that are best buried." He exhales, another very human gesture, then says, "Perhaps we can start simple. Maybe you can tell me of some memory, and I can work to try and recover it."

Diana softly nods her head two quick times to J'onn's words. "I know that the thought of having someone else pry around in your head is not a pleasing one, but I know that there are some who are capable of it who are very reputable people and quite skillful no less." Another glance to her right to his face is given and she shows another faint smile. "But I am only tossing that option out so that it is 'there' and does not have to be spoken around. If it truly is not a desire of yours, then we will simply have to build new memories."

And with that she looks forward again and her small pointed chin rises up as she releases a light laugh at a memory. "I do recall, shortly before you left for your mission, that we were all aboard the Watchtower… that cold and strange space station… and you gave me an Oreo cookie. You said you were quite fond of them." She looks back over at him, grinning. "I liked that."

Her laughter earns a lightening of the Martian's dark gaze, though his expression remains otherwise unchanged. "Oreo cookie?" he echoes. "I don't recall such a fondness. It seems a strange action to undertake," the Martian, if anything, seems more troubled by the memory that humored by it, since it doesn't seem to fit into his view of himself. "There is… much that I am missing, it seems."

It prompts a moment of silence and thought. And then: "My worry is not for the safety of the things in my head, but for the safety of those who would step into it," J'onn states, though there's something thoughtful in the timbre of his voice as he keeps up his even pace, matching to hers. "Still, I will consider it on your advice. Perhaps you can introduce me to those you think capable of?" There might be an air of reluctance about the suggestion, but he seems to trust the woman walking with him enough to consider it.

And Diana just continues to grin as she hears his response but the grin fades when she realizes he has lost his taste for the Oreos. "Perhaps you were just experiencing something new with them and have lost that memory and now you need to try them again to rekindle the realization that they are a potential weakness in your willpower." She glides her eyes back over to him and shows another mischievous grin. "LIke vanilla ice cream is for me, covered in chocolate syrup." The grin remains for a moment longer before she thinks of those who she knows with telepathic powers.

"I will see what I can do." She says on that subject. "I will speak to them and get their take on all of it. But… you might be right, this could be a side effect of the Red Lantern mission you went on." She looks back at him now with a more serious expression. "Perhaps there are memories from it that you purposefully have sealed away and for us to pull them back out… would be what you were trying to prevent all along?"

Surprise registers in the depths of J'onn's gaze, considering her words carefully. "Perhaps you are right. If this is so, I should approach any cookie-related weaknesses cautiously indeed." A beat, as he adds, "Though it is good to know even a Princess of Themyscira has a weakness to food as well." One could definitely get the impression he's tucking that particular bit of knowledge away for future use.

He hesitates, obviously — causing a brief mis-step in his otherwise smooth footing. "Perhaps," he admits, reluctantly. "When… when the Enchantress Amora came to the Hall a couple of weeks back looking for sanctuary, the thing that tried to break through after her… I felt, something I haven't felt in a long time. Something that scared me, something that I may not have been able to control without the Enchantress' help."

He exhales, then murmurs the words as if not willing to speak them aloud in a normal tone: "I felt rage."

Diana just grins about the food weakness. "I like food… I just… do not think about it too terribly often until I am reminded that it is time to eat. I do not really feel hunger pains that a typical person on this planet does." She glances back at him. "Something I have had to explain to others, some of who just roll their eyes when I say it." The grin remains there for a moment before she looks ahead again.

Diana pauses their walking when she hears that last part and she turns to her right to face him fully now. "Rage is the essence of the Red Lanterns." She says, even though she's well aware that he already knows this. "Perhaps you are experiencing some residual side effects of your mission yet still." And this gets a slight exhale from her. "Do you feel anger right now?" She asks, eyeing him closely.

The Martian gives a little nod. "I have no need to eat either, though sometimes it is nice to be part of it — for the social aspect." That is something he learned in his years on Earth, even before joining the JLA.

J'onn is aware — all too aware — of Diana's latter words. Certainly, there's no surprise, and it's not news to him. He, too, stops when she does, turning to face her — not trying to hide anything. His hands remain clasped behind his back, and his expression looks neutral as ever — which doesn't really help, since any anger as much as any amusement shows little on his face. "I am hopeful that is merely what it is," he states. "After… after I was able to get control again, I have not felt it. I do not feel anger now," he answers her question, meeting her gaze. "Yet that is no guarantee I won't feel it again."

"Should I… should the anger overcome me, I would trust in you, Princess Diana, to do whatever you felt necessary to ensure I hurt no one." J'onn's gaze is steady on hers.

Diana listens to all of this and just softly nods her head a pair of times. She lets a silence linger after he speaks his last words and after a handful of passed moments she speaks up again. "Let us hope that it does not ever come to a place where I have to decide on what to do about any of it, yes?" She tells him then before she turns once more and starts to walk again, though she's taking a right turn now down another hallway that leads ultimately back to the lobby of the Hall but there are several doorways between here and there also to various rooms.

"I appreciate your honesty about all of this as well, J'onn." She tells him. "If you feel you need to tell anyone anything, then please just seek me out and do so. You know that I will not jump to any rash decisions or ill-advised conclusions. I am here to help, and I am concerned for you now. But… my hope is that these feelings of anger or rage will lessen the further away from the Red Lantern events, we get now…"

"Let us hope," J'onn agrees, "Yet it behooves us to consider it while my mind is rational. I can recover from nearly anything. Yet if I lost control…" he trails off, undoubtedly not needing to paint that particular picture. Instead, he falls back into step with her, content to let her guide the way.

"Thank you." He half glances at her, sidelong, as they move. "I can see why we are friends. You are level-headed and good-hearted, Princess Diana, and I am honored by that friendship. I can only trust that I will be able to return the favor in kind."

"I hope for that, too," is uttered, tonelessly.

Diana gently nods her head to his words two soft times and then looks over to him after he speaks about her and she gives him a sly grin. "I am definitely a lot of things… And always very happy to receive such wonderful compliments about myself." And her grin widens some as she shows that she's got a bit of a silly side to her, when in the right mood or moment she can make little jokes like the rest of them around here… Barry or Hal, though not nearly as much as those two!

"What I would like you to do for me is… if you are willing." She glances ahead of them where they're walking, then back over to him. "Any time you feel the rage come up inside you, or peaks of anger — log it down, with a time and description of what brought those emotions up inside of you. I would very much like to hear or read such a log, to better understand the nature of what might be causing said feelings."

Though, once again, there is no grin from J'onn to meet her own, there is still the sense that he is amused within the glint of his gaze as he regards Diana. "That too, I shall remember," he states, though hard to tell whether that's a joke or merely statement of fact.

"That… is utterly rational, and I approve of such a proposal. I will begin to do so." He keeps his hands clasped behind his back as they walk, though he takes note of Diana's look up and down the hall. "I delayed you from your original destination, and as much as I have enjoyed the chat, I shall not take advantage of it. I appreciate your advice and assistance, Princess Diana." He gives a half-bow to her, slowing as if preparing to part ways once their conversation is done.

"Utterly Rational is the motto that I live my life by." Diana replies then with a big grin toward the Martian Manhunter. "Or… strive toward living my life by, at the very least." Once they reach the edge of the lobby there are two other Amazon women in similar dress that Diana is wearing, she glances toward them and then back to J'onn to whom she nods toward.

"And the next time we speak, I will have an Oreo waiting for you. Juuuust to make sure that its not something that we can rekindle inside of you. Perhaps it is the reason you are feeling these anger issues, you have not had enough of the creamy chocolate cookies." Diana shows the man another smile and then reaches her right hand out to tough the side of his left arm, its a gesture of showing care and affection toward one who is important to you.

And with that she turns to her left to stride out toward her sisters.

For a moment, the Martian looks after the Amazonian, watching her join her brethren with his usual neutral expression, before J'onn turns to resume his walking tour of the halls.

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