James was snapped back to reality by the pain caused by Delta when she smashed the butt of the gun on his shoulder. He made a quick yelp of pain, and clutched his shoulder as he stared at Delta in irritation, displeased that she dragged him away from his thoughts. And for what exactly? Oakley stood before him along with Delta, another man and another woman with bright blue eyes. He missed a good portion of the previous conversation, so he didn't know the circumstance behind their gathering. All he knew was, he wasn't really that interested. The people drew his curiosity. The topic of discussion most likely wouldn't, though he'd have to see.
"What, what?" James asked with a hint of annoyance in his voice, still rubbing his shoulder from the gun hit. It seemed to reawaken partially James' mind to his body, and to the great amount of stress and pain he was under. Slowly, he was beginning to get an idea of the extent of his injuries, which under normal circumstances before his Atlantean powers might have killed him.
"Okay!" Agnes suddenly spoke up with a slightly flustered smile and stepped forward from the background where she had previously lingered. She had had enough of Delta's paranoia. "Let's not kill each other to the right and left, okay? I mean, we just averted a terrorist attack where a... a golden glowing guy rained meteors down on a city. Unless any of you guys," she pointed at Oliver and James, "are pals with that guy, we don't need to go exchanging blows just yet, right?"
She held out her hands as if to manifest her friendly intentions and glanced at Oakley to try and get her or someone to agree. No point in trying to get the crystal witch to understand anymore.
"Y-yeah," Oakley said, unsure exactly what was going on, "let's not get hasty. We all have a... common enemy, don't we? Or we did... but he could still be here somewhere! Or those other Atlanteans who wanted to hurt people too!"
James looked first at the girl who stepped forward, then at Oakley as she spoke after. He shrugged, looking around to see their supposed enemies. Though the city was still messed up, it had significantly quieted down since they first arrived. James was pretty certain there wasn't much more action going around the city, which is why he was beginning to take to his habit of letting his mind wander. Though much as he'd like to go another round with anyone of these Atlanteans, he knew after the intense battle he had just had, his body probably wouldn't have been able to handle it. Yet even with that logical notion passing through his brain, he still had the urge in the pit of his stomach to do more, like a hunger he couldn't quite satisfy. He hated it, because he wanted to do more, and witness more, even though he knew his body probably could not. He made another passing glance around all the people around, from Delta to Oakley and to the other dude, then at the girl with the unique blue eyes. His own eyes lingered on hers for a moment longer than the others, finding them captivating.
He broke gaze, and gave a deep sigh, finally accepting that this was probably the end of the fun he would have for the day, though he couldn't complain while it lasted. The only problem was, now that he had a taste for this kind of action, he couldn't wait to try it again. Half to himself, and half to the others, he declared out loud, "So...what now?"
Agnes let out a breath of relief that Delta hadn't butted in yet. "Now, I want to go and see if my buddies in the AUP are still alive and well." She glanced at Oliver and James again. "You could come with us, you know. The AUP isn't looking for rivalry with other factions. We're about unification, see." She still didn't know if these guys were with the ARF or something else though. They might be too far into the Royal Family's claws already so see the light.
"Oakley, you will come, right?" She smiled in a genuinely friendly way towards the girl and motioned for her and Delta to come.
"Y-yes, of course," Oakley nodded, glancing back at James before taking a few steps towards Delta.
James recalled hearing about the AUP from the Librarian. It was one of the factions that was recruiting Atlanteans, and it appeared Oakley would be joining them. In fact, he assumed everyone there, besides the man, was going to be apart of them. The familiar face of Oakley, plus the intriguing Delta and this strange, blue-eyed girl tempted him to join as well. But there was another he didn't see among them, so he knew what his answer would be.
"Hmm...tempting," James began, as he eyed the group, setting his eyes on Agnes and then Oakley. "But...I'll have to pass. I don't think this'll be the right place for me."
"B-but James," Oakley turned back around, frowning. "He said we had to stick together, didn't he?"
"No offense, but I don't give two ****s what he said. We all have our own ways to go in the end." He glared intensely at Oakley, but, realizing she was a bit upset, he sighed, "Listen," He began, walking up to her, placing an arm on her shoulder and talking quietly, "If we don't end up seeing each other again, just remember: You don't have to follow anyone you don't want to. Go your own way. If it's with these people, then fine. But you should never had to do anything you don't want to do. Go your own way, and don't worry about anyone else. Just yourself." He looked back at the others, making sure they weren't eavesdropping, then looked back at Oakley.
"Don't ever let them control you, because in the end, they really can't. You're stronger than them. They might not know it," He said, pointing to the others. "I don't think Nate ever got it either. But I know it. Now you just have to know it."
"... Alright. Thanks James."
"Sure, kid," James replied. He playfully slapped her on the shoulder once more, then backed away. "Nice knowing you. Good luck. Don't die."
With that Oakley turned her back on her former companion... could he be considered her former officially now? Delta trailed behind Oakley and Agnes but not risking their safety by turning her back on Oliver and James, as they were officially the enemy. Untrusting per usual Delta kept her gun raised until they were a safe enough distance away. The trio of girls slowly disappeared into the smoke; Oakley and Delta carried the man, who had thankfully cooled down significantly since they found him on the ground, while Agnes led the way.
"Are you sure you don't want to join them?" Oliver asked.
"Hell if I know," James replied, his eyes observing the departing party. "Probably not. They don't seem to be my kinda crowd. Not entirely at least." He turned back to Oliver, and sighed. "Then again, I don't know if you're my type of crowd either."
"We're Atlantean," Oliver shrugged, "technically we're everyone's kinda crowd, people with abilities that is. But, y'know, you look like a man who craves power, and if it's anything the ARF are good at, it's training you to become powerful." Oliver reminisced on the first time he approached the mansion, knowing very little about his ability, much less controlling it. Fast forward a couple of years, and he was probably at the height of his ability. "You can't bunk it till you've tried it, right? Might as well come along for the ride, I'm sure you can leave at anytime you want."
James listened to the man as he spoke, in the same way he listened to the Librarian when he first made the proposition in the taxi cab in Hawaii. The difference between then and now was that he knew a lot more about the information regarding each Atlantean faction. He joined Henry in an impulse because of the predicament he got himself in, plus a bit of passive coercion from the man himself. Now, he knew the multiple factions as described by the Librarian. If he was to join any one of them, it would be for the right reasons, his reasons. This guy didn't give the worst offer, however. Besides, as he said, he technically could leave at any point. But before he would accept, he wanted to make sure of something.
"I have a friend, Nate," He began, crossing his arms. "He came with me here. If he joins, I'll join." He said plainly, giving Oliver his ultimatum. The rest, he'd figure out later. That would be enough.
"Then do you want to follow me? We have helicopters waiting over there," nodding his head in the direction from where the others had landed, "if he shows up, then I guess you guys join us, if he doesn't then feel free to leave."
James thought on this for a moment longer, taking one look back at the departing group through the smoke of Paris. He looked back at Oliver, and nodded in agreement. As unexpected as it all turned out, James appeared to be leaving the Librarian, and joining the Atlantean Royal Family.