Who Put the “I” in “Team”? Part II (T’Chantem & Niko)

OOC: JP between Blitzen and GrayGladiator, continued.

Niko kicked a stone, watching it sail down the road. Standing and talking was near as bad as sitting and talking, and he was tired of faking patience. "Theo, tomorrow I'll ask her how long we'll be angry for. But I think you're wrong. I think a leader is needed because that's what brings a team together. What would happen to your country if there were no one leading it? Look at Sokovia, before the murder bots there was constant fighting because everyone wanted to be in charge, and then something from the outside came in and now it's gone. That's what will happen to us. Either SHIELD or someone will swoop in and it'll be as bad as I read about in the Accords! I'm sorry, you're a good prince guy, but I used all the patience I had for today."

Perhaps Niko wasn't listening as intently as T'Chantem had hoped, but he wasn't surprised or offended, when you could move fast enough to challenge, if not break, the sound barrier, patience was not a virtue that came easily. "I said we don't need a leader in title, and that was besides my point. It was simply something I mentioned to ensure you realized your options. As I did say however, I do not know what our team needs, but you claim that Theodosia would be dissatisfied with calling someone that wasn't herself the leader, correct? If so, than she needs to either move past it, or be willing to at the very least accept someone as the head of the operation, and not necessarily in title, if she is truly unfit to lead. That was my point regarding that. If you believe that the best course of action is to call someone your leader, than do so, however you can't expect everyone to fall in line immediately behind that, for reasons I have already stated. I do not believe someone needs to be called a leader as of now, because based on what you have told me, you are forcing someone into the position, and the compliance of that action onto the others. Leaders lead naturally, not because someone gave them a name. My country is different, it's a matter of law and tradition. Whether there is a king or not, someone will always be leading, and to govern over an entire country of people, that needs to be clearly stated and officially positioned. Otherwise, our personal traditions are susceptible to fall apart," T'Chantem clarified, and he was currently living it. The monarchy was suffering because his country agreed to temporarily remove his family from direct power, and while at the time it was the best decision for Wakanda's previous state, they were now starting to pay the consequences of such a decision.

"I'm not saying we don't need a leader to properly operate, but not every team needs one, and I also don't know what you consider a leader. I have already clarified what I would consider one given our cause and circumstance. I don't think anyone is fit to lead right now, they may be qualified, but that doesn't mean they are fit for the role. Not only am I not familiar with everyone, but I also don't feel that it is the best decision to fall in line behind one person immediately without probable cause. So, if I may ask, why do you expect me to follow someone that I don't know? Why should anyone expect others to follow themselves upon first impression? One half of a quote I was raised on that I believe applies here recites as follows: 'To be a leader, you have to make people want to follow you.' Do you believe anyone has fully accomplished that, Nikolai? Because the answer is no, they have not, because not only am I not convinced, but neither is Theodosia, and these are probably for different reasons, but it still relates to the fact that if someone wants to lead on their lonesome, than they need a team behind them to do so. How do the others feel, have you considered them when you went around in search for this leader? You can't sporadically appoint someone a leader and expect everyone to immediately follow, it's not sensible. I do not believe that a leader is what makes a team, it is the team that makes one. There's not 'I' in team, correct? A leader can serve different purposes, they can bring a team together, but Theodosia has already done that. What are we looking for now? Someone to organize us? Someone to keep us together, because if we need someone to hold us together, than that isn't a leader, that is glue on a puzzle that doesn't have matching pieces, and we will fail. I believe that the most logical thing that you may be looking for is someone who can teach us to work together, and that comes with time, experience, trust, and practice as well. This won't happen overnight, and this may not be what you are exactly in search for. However, I do want to offer a suggestion. Instead of trying to appoint someone as leader now, allow us to get familiar with each other, that was part of the other point I was attempting to preach, our leader will come, and whether that is a single person doing a job that's needed, or that's all of us working coherently, only time will tell. We do need someone able to direct us in the midst of combat, that was proven when we first arrived at the compound, but we also need the right person to do it, and a team willing to cooperate. That doesn't make someone more of a leader than it does a field operator, but it's a role that must be fulfilled, and it's the closest thing that I would consider a necessary leader for us at this time… I do not believe that you prefer to always resolve your difficulties with conversation--"

"Why are we STILL talking?" Niko interrupted with a dramatic eye roll.

With Niko's interruption, T'Chantem came to an immediate pause in his conversation. He should have expected that Niko would be one of the ones least likely to listen, but he had preoccupied himself with trying to untangle the situation, and didn't think to thoroughly consider it. The prince remained silent, this time allowing his eyes to narrow into a glare before he turned around, and headed back to the borrowed Stark vehicle. He didn't take kindly to being interrupted, especially when he was trying to offer a solution to an issue that affected the team, but it was a solution Niko never asked for, even if the problem did span larger than one specific person. "I won't further engage in civilized conversation with you if it's too much for you to handle Nikolai," T'Chantem finished before entering the car and driving towards the Compound. He was mindful to keep his tone the same that it had been throughout the entirety of their conversation, hiding is offense well behind a calm demeanor to avoid any added hostility.

"I appreciate that." Niko replied honestly, potentially misreading the situation. Niko watched the prince "speed" off in the sports car, which being a prince he probably bought and owned it. "Great," he grumbled as the sun finally came up. He fought with Theo and Sam. He near killed Ghost Spider Girl and Thorson, and he convinced T'Chantem not to speak to him. He was nailing this leadership shit. Nailing it.

While T'Chantem had felt disrespected, there were certain things that he had to understand about his colleagues, and people in general, if he ever wanted to work with them. It was easy for him to feel catered to, as he had been his whole life, even when he was under the guidance of others. He was used to people listening to him wherever he went, and he expected it, not only because he was a prince, but because he did the same in return, and it was the respectable thing to do. He hadn't appreciated being interrupted in an especially rude and dramatic manner, but it was logical given who Niko was and what Niko had been dealing with. He was a speedster living in a world that was significantly slower than him, and while that was something T'Chantem could not empathize with directly, he could realize it, even if he failed to do so in the moment of engaging in conversation with Niko. Going into the conversation, T'Chantem knew and had even made a personal mental note to himself that Niko was agitated, and likely to lash out in some form. However, T'Chantem hadn't fully prepared himself to be on the receiving end of such negative and juvenile behavior, especially when he had been trying to delicately avoid poking the bear, but if you kept playing with fire, it was inevitable that you got burned.

Given the weight of the issues with the team, T'Chantem figured that Niko's response could have been much worse, and that it wasn't nearly as harmful as it could have possibly been. Even so, he figured that Niko, and more than likely the others as well, would need some time to pull themselves together, and the more he thought about it, the more it became clear that he was driving towards a burning hell.

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