4959/It's Not Spying If It's On TV

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It's Not Spying If It's On TV
Date of Scene: 31 January 2021
Location: Batcave
Synopsis: Jason stops by the Batcave before patrol, and finds Stephanie researching the demonic imps of Felix Faust whose wounds are now giving her trouble.
Cast of Characters: Stephanie Brown, Jason Todd

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown had headed back to her apartment after getting the medical exam from Alfred and Doctor Leslie Thompkins. She wasn't noticing the pain in her side from being clawed as acutely, but only because the lingering sensations of the twelve injections with The Big Ass Needle (or TBAN as Steph is now referring to it) that Doc Thompkins gave her were competing for Steph's attention.

Two hours of studying though were spent thinking about what had injured her more than they were spent on economic theories of the 1980s. So eventually she climbed into the Compact to drive back to the Batcave.

Another half hour has passed. Stephanie's shirt is off, leaving her in a sports bra. The bandages have been replaced after she took a few samples, the process of which resulted in a cry of pain that sent half the bats fleeing from the cave.

At the moment she's sitting slumped at the Batcomputer. Bruce's file on Felix Faust is open, and one on demonic entities. Though her attention is on a television feed. Coverage of a swank Gotham charity event. Bruce Wayne is in a tuxedo walking up the red carpet with DJ Vesper Fairchild on his arm. "They do make a nice looking couple. I hope he gives it a go," Stephanie comments as she watches the feed. "Ok I feel like I"m spying on him. But it's not spying if it's broadcast on TV, right?"

Jason Todd has posed:
The sound of a motorcycle engine announces the arrival of the prodigal bat, as he skids to a stop by the rest of the bikes, scuffs his boot against Tim's then walks his bike fully into his spot.

Yanking off his helmet after dismounting and as he walked into the cave, he frowns catching Steph in her sports bra, "Jeeze Blondie, hang a sock on the waterfall if you're going to be walking around in your skivvies," he says joking before looking up at the screen. "Who's Bruce seeing now?" he asks.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The sound of the approaching motorcycle got a glance from Stephanie towards the security cameras to see who it was. Then looking back to the TV feed. Jason has his motorcycle parked already by the time that Stephanie realizes, yes she's still sitting there in her sports bra.

She hurries to her feet to go get her shirt whic is in the medical bay, which involves a bit more twisting as she swivels the chair. "Ouch. Ouch ouch," she murmurs, a hand going overtop the bandaged area as she jogs quickly to retrieve the garment. See, she jogged, she totally could have patrolled tonight. As long as patrolling didn't involve rising quickly from a turning chair.

Stephanie pulls on her top, cheeks with just a bit of color. "Like you'd have stayed out if you seen the sock," she retorts as she walks back to the Batcomputer. "DJ Vesper Fairchild," she says. "I've seen a few videos of her on MyFaceTube. She's actually kind of nice. Well spoken. Not that Bruce asks my approval, but I'd say I approve on this one," she says. "What are you up to tonight?"

Jason Todd has posed:
"True," Jason admits freely about still coming in if there was a sock on the waterfall "But I'd have known there was a free show and been a little quicker getting in here." he says casually, still frowning up at the screen. "Seriously? A /DJ/ he's really dated his way down the celebrity foodchain hasn't he? What's next an Instagram model, or an "Influencer"?" forget Jason's last steady thing was with someone who was both.

Eying the bandage on Steph's side, he asks, "What the hell happened to you?"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie returns to the Batcomputer and takes a seat. Jason's reply about coming in more quickly tickles her enough to get a soft laugh from the young woman. "Yeah, well I'm not sure it's worse than some of the models he's dated," Stephanie says. "But then that's probably the point. Or, well, ok, spending an evening with some..." Stephanie says and then waves her hands in an overly hourglass figure, "... woman probably doesn't suck on its own. But I mean, the appearance of it for him."

As Jason's gaze turns to her and he questions her condition, Stephanie gives a sigh. She looks at the computer and at the keyboard, and taps a few keys. A video of Penguin fighting Tim and Dick comes up. "No, not that one..." she says with a frown, closing it and looking at the video index again.

A few more keytaps bring up security camera footage from one of the Gotham museums. They show Felix Faust walking through the halls, with three glowing objects surrounding him, a wheel and a bell, the third not easy to make out in this particular clip. He waves his hand and demonic imp creatures that are somewhere below waist high appear, one of them throwing fire at a pair of guards who confront Felix.

"Couple of those," she says. "Was protecting a teacher and some elementary school kids who got trapped between the fires and the demons. One of them clawed through my body armor," Stephanie explains. "It's kind of... festering a bit now. Doc Thompkins was in earlier to take a look. She stuck me a sword that she pretended was a needle, so many times that even Damian would have told her she was being excessive. And there's pills. Lots of pills," she says, leaning back in the chair and blowing out on exhalation that sends a stray wisp of blond hair flying. "Bruce said we might need to get Zatanna or Constantine to take a look."

Jason Todd has posed:
"So he says, but if he was only into women for the appearance of being a playboy we'd have one less Robin," he says before the screen turns to showing Faust. "Ugh. Magic," he says seeing the sorcerer though he does frown with evident concern about Steph's wound. "That's never good, haven't got tagged by a demon but can't imagine it's too much fun."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie swivels the chair back around to face Jason. Meanwhile the collection of worthwhile video footage from the museum continues to play. It's quickly evident it was a huge fight, with Superman, Wonder Woman, Donna Troy and Raven involved in the fight. At one point Wonder Woman saves Batgirl from the flaming ceiling caving in on her by catching it. And Batgirl returns the favor, taking out a demon lining Diana Prince up for a gigantic fireball while she is holding up those ceiling timbers. Faust seems to use the relics to summon three demons while his other minions occupy the Justice League, then departs. Superman and the others fly off rapidly, smashing through the ceiling in their haste. Later footage shows orbital angles of a meteor heading for Metropolis that Superman and the rest are able to deal with in time.

While all that is playing out though, Stephanie is just chatting. "It was just a few scratches at first, not much different than dog. Ok, really big dog," Stephanie says. "Didn't even hurt too much."

She sighs. "Anyway. So speaking of Half Pint. How's that going. The whole, having a brother thing. Or... I just realized I don't know, maybe you had other brothers already?" she asks, her lack of knowledge about Jason Todd's past showing.

Jason Todd has posed:
Frowning Jason watches the fight. "Looks like fun," he says dryly, before shaking his head. He didn't like magic much. "Not too bad then," he says of her wounds. The comments about Damian and brothers gets a shrug. "My parents didn't want one kid let alone two, but I suppose if we're being technical I did have Dick and, ugh, Tim. But D's not bad. I think we see eye to eye on a few things."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie rests her hands in her lap. "Yeah, I'm not too sure about my own parents when it comes to plans versus outcome," she says, giving a soft laugh meant to make light of that fact.

"Dick seems like a good guy. I mean, really, all of you do. I know you guys quarrel a bit," she says. "Tim... well, I'm never going to not vouch for him. He was there for me when no one else was, and he didn't need to be," she says, blue eyes drifting away with the memory, for a moment, before looking back to Jason. "Even if, you know, I've chewed him out a few times too." She rests a finger on the counter, rubs it back and forth. "Maybe not entirely deserved either," she says in an understatement.

"You going out on patrol tonight?" she asks.

Jason Todd has posed:
Jason leans against the computer, "Well I know for damn sure my parents didn't plan on me, my mom wasn't even the woman my dad was married to, just his side piece." he says with disgust. "Anyhow whatever, doesn't matter now. Dick's alright and Tim is annoying at times but," Jason sighs, "Okay I guess, what'd he do to get chewed out though?" he asks with a hint of a smirk.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Oh crap he would ask that. Stephanie draws a deep breath, the finger drawing designs upon the Batcomputer's counter pulled back to rest in her lap. "Well. He was sort of... friends with another girl. And I might - MIGHT mind you - might have misunderstood their friendship," she says with a soft sigh. "And chewed him out over it." She clears her throat. "Twice. And just maybe, I was the one who was wrong about it. And he had been a stand up guy the whole time."

Stephanie clears throat again. "Which, you know that's all in the past. The seeing each other and my... apparent lack of confidence when it comes to my dating life," she says, giving Jason a hopeful look which seems to want him to agree with this probably not-fully-accurate statement. "Anyway. Yeah. Good guy."

She glances around the Batcave. "I kind of like all this. I mean, not the expensive cars and jets and bikes. But, you guys," she says quietly.

Jason Todd has posed:
Jason snorts. "Well before he hooked up with Rose I'd say there's like zero chance he was going to step out on you but I guess I'm wrong about him and he does have at least a little game." He shrugs not having an opinion on her dating life despite the hopeful look.

"It's alright" he says of being part of the family. "Mostly just in it to kick the shit out of badguys myself," he lies.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
"Well, you do a pretty good job of that," she agrees of his shit-kicking, chuckling softly. "Barbara's training has been... eye-opening," she says. Stephanie's lips purse a little bit. "Made me realize I probably had quite a bit of luck to have gotten by as long as I did. I guess maybe now I understand a bit more why... well why things went how they did," she says, giving a tiny shake of her head.

"So you haven't given up the guns though. Do you and Bruce feud about that very much? I'm guessing so, I can't really imagine he's much a fan of it?" she asks. The blond's head tilts. "part of why you didn't give them up, then?" she asks.

Jason Todd has posed:
Jason nods, "Thanks, and hey, you lived, which means lucky or not you got the job done. And glad Barbie's looking out for you and giving you some training, she must think you're getting it or she wouldn't have given you her mantle like she did."

A slow smirk spreads across his lips. "All the time, mostly it's just that silent disapointment thing but I know he hates it, which, yeah is part of why I keep at it, besides, Kate uses guns, so it's not like I'm the only one."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Just mentioning Barbra trusting Stephanie with her legacy causes the blond coed's expression to brighten. "Yes. I never had really even hoped for that to happen," she says. It wasn't even something Stephanie had let herself dream about. "Pretty determined I not let her down," says the young woman whose primary attribute, after snark, seems to be stubbornness. Kind of like Barbara in that regard.

Stephanie nods slowly at Jason's revelation of that bit of his dynamic with Bruce. "Well hey, if you can manage it without Alfred guilting you out of it, then I need to take some lessons," she teases. Stephanie stands up, visibly using a hand to help herself up gently at that point when her torso is feeling the change in position. "Grabbing some juice, want one," she asks as she heads over to a cooler that Alfred keeps stocked. "How old were you, when you started up with Bruce, anyway?" she asks.

Jason Todd has posed:
"I'm sure you'll do fine," Jason says of Steph stepping into Bab's boots. "Got this far, just keep working and try not to get eaten by anymore demons."

As for the trick with Bruce, "Just don't care about what he thinks, he can't kick me out of the family since I don't really consider myself part of it and went toe to toe with Bruce enough times when I first came back to let him know I'm not an easy mark, so, basically just have to live with me as I am or waste the time and energy fighting me knowing I'm going to fight dirty."

"Sure, I'll take one, and I was thirteen when Bruce caught me trying to jack the hubcaps off the Batmobile which was sort of my audition for the gig."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie grabs two grape juices from the fridge. But she stops stock still for a second or two before finally turning on her feet to face him. "You tried to steal the hubcaps off the BATMOBILE?" she says in shock.

Stephanie closes the door finally before too much cold air is let out of the fridge, and she walks back over to Jason. "Did you not know whose car that was?" she asks, breaking out in warm laughter as she offers his juice over to him. Stephanie undoes the cap on hers. "What happened? I can't even imagine what the security was like at the time, as often as he upgrades it. An angry voice telling you to get away? Electric shock? Net?" she asks, breaking out in more warm, soft laughter.

Stephanie sits down on the edge of the computer console rather than lower herself back into the seat again, taking a sip of the juice.

Jason Todd has posed:
Nodding thanks Jason takes the juice. "Of course I did that was the whole point, I wanted to show off to my crew that I had the balls to jack the Batmobile's hubcaps. anyhow I got three out of four off before Bruce caught me, still not sure if he just came back at the right time or if I tripped a sensor, my theory is there wasn't any real security on it because who the hell would mess with the Bat for some hubcaps. Apparently just me,"he says with a shrug and a smile. "Anyhow he showed up, grabbed me then took me out for burgers..."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie starts shaking with laughter with is at first restrained. But then it reaches a point it bubbles out in soft giggles. Giggles, and one small snort that she tries to move on quickly from before Jason might notice it. "You actually stole /three/ tires," she repeats, shaking her head and laughing some more.

Her hand goes to her side and she winces slightly as the laughter shakes her belly enough to apparently impinge on the claw marks, and the remnant sensations of Leslie Thompkin's giant needle. Though Stpehanie still laughs, she just reins it back a little.

"Oh I wish we had security footage of that. That would never get old of seeing it," she says. The girl's blue eyes focus on Jason more directly. "So you were a bit of a hellion then? What kind of stuff did you and your crew get up to? Besides stealing tires from superheroes?"

Jason Todd has posed:
Jason grins broadly. "It was pretty great, I am sure Bruce has the footage somewhere he's like a packrat with that stuff," he says.

He shrugs about his crew, "Mostly we stole to live, but couldn't pass up that shot for some bragging rights," he says of the Batmoblie. "Mostly just car parts or anything else we could turn around easy and get paid. Flew steady, just high enough to make sure our stomachs were full, but just low enough not to be a priority for the GCPD, the Bat, or any of the costumed crooks outside the Sewer King," who was always gathering kids to be his minions. "It was rough but we did okay."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
"Glad that you stayed away from him," Stephanie says of the Sewer King, nodding her head slowly and watching Jason as he relates the tales about his past. "It had to be a tremendous culture shock for you. I still kind of reel sometimes when I walk in, upstairs. Just the kitchen is enough to make me stare. You could fit our whole house in that room," she says. "Well, used to be house. It burned down after the tidal wave. We were up north but on the island still, back in those days. Moved to Bristol after the bridges reopened. Like a lot of people who just, fled the city. Though glad people moved back eventually."

She takes another sip of her grape juice. "Do you keep in touch with those guys? Your old crew that is. Keep up with what they are up to?"

Jason Todd has posed:
Jason nods, "Guy's a creep," he says of the Sewer King before he moves to happier topics, "And yeah you can say that, was on the way to forgetting what a warm bed felt like when Bruce picked me up and then suddenly I'm one of the richest kids in America," he makes a face before he moves on to his crew. "I've seen one or two of them around. Gave them a bit of money when I first started with Bruce, felt I owed them but they started in on drugs and I stopped figured whatever cash they got was going to get shot up or snorted."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
A slight wince is given by Stephanie at the mention of his friends turning towards drugs. "There was a lot of that around me, growing up," she says. "I'm still not entirely sure how I didn't end up going that route. I think gymnastics probably had a lot to do with it. I was spending as much time at the community center as I could back then, anytime they'd have the room with the mats open. That whole... if you want to be a good gymnast you have to stay clean of that stuff, speech, probably helped quite a bit too," she says.

Stephanie glances at the computer screen, seeing the Faust video is still playing in a loop and she closes it, then turns back to Jason. "What part of town did you live in, back then?" she asks.

Jason Todd has posed:
"There was a lot of it around me too, hell sometimes my dad would take some money from a score and buy a package to see if he could turn it around make a few more bucks off of it, sometimes I helped him deal it. You know, like a look out or a runner," he shrugs. "But I stayed clean because my dad would kick the shit out of me if I started using our supply and because I had a front row seat to watching my mom shoot up that shit," he says teeth clenched at the memory. "Anyhow, we started out in Park Row but then my Dad went to prison and got killed and before long we were living in the Narrows. Got back to Park Row when she died, living with my crew and this lady that used to look out for me, she was our neighbour growing up, so guess she had a soft spot for me."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Those trained by Bruce, and Barbara, are rather adept at reading expressions. It is likely easy for Jason to sense that his comments strike chords with Stephanie. "I'm glad he kept you from it," she tells him. "Gymnastics helped keep me off the street. My mom was a bit like yours. Painkillers mostly. Managed to keep her job. Somehow. Had a supervisor who was soft on her. Think he had a crush on her," she says, Stephanie's eyes drifting away at that last part like maybe it's a somewhat new revelation, something the young girl hadn't really pieced together until looking back at it now.

She looks down at her juice and scoffs. "Heck, wouldn't be surprised if she was involved with him during one of dad's prison stints," she says. As soon as the words are out of her mouth, though the blond seems to visibly regret them. "Well. She's doing better now. Keeping off them. We made a pledge to each other. If she stays off them, I have to go to college, and stay until I graduate," she says. "I think both of us thought we won that particular exchange."

Jason Todd has posed:
Jason glances down at his juice for a moment as Stephanie puts things together, "She kept her job and she kept food on your table, can't really be mad at her for how she did it," he reasons. "My dad fucked around for fun, which is a piece of shit move on his part, what your mom did wasn't the same thing."

"Glad your mom is doing better," he says "And you're keeping each other honest, that's good."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The words are perfect in timing, tone and content. Stephanie nodding quickly as Jason refocuses her on the positives of the woman with whom Stephanie has been repairing her relationship over the last half dozen years. "She is better. I'm pretty proud of her. What she went through to get over it wasn't easy. And I know the temptation has to always be there for her," she says.

Stephanie pauses a moment, looking at her juice. "I really gave a lot of thought to staying at home while I go to college. For the extra support. Matter of fact we fought about it. Once I got the scholarships and there was enough money I could get a place. Well, mostly. It's tight, but, managing. She really wanted me to go have the college experience. She never had that opportunity, and wanted it for me. So I relented."

Stephanie glances off across the Batcave, though the direction is towards the poorer parts of Bristol. The mansion itself being in the far more ritzy part of the township, obviously. "That I'm up here so much also makes it easy to see her a lot though. So. I'm being the good daughter. Trying to," she says, smiling.

Stephanie refocuses on Jason more fully. "You did good, Jason," she tells him quietly. "Kind of nice, thinking about all the people we help, you know?"

Jason Todd has posed:
Jason takes a drink of his juice, "Takes a lot of willpower to quit, glad she made it out," he says earnestly, the voice of someone who's seen that struggle first hand. "And this is flipped backwards but I think you leaving the nest will let her grow. It's just going to be her, so it's going to be on her to not pop pills, there's nobody to keep an eye on her. She's going to sink or swim on her own," he says before softening things a little, "But you're just across town and phones exist, you can be there for her without needing to be up in her business all the time. Probably good for the both of you."

As for doing good? He shrugs "Just said what was on my mind glad it helped though."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The blond young woman grows still and looks thoughtful at Jason's observation. After moments spent in that thought she slowly nods. "I hadn't really thought about it like that. I suppose maybe it is good. And like you say, I'm around enough to give her support. Hopefully where or when it's needed. So, if she were going to slide, I'd have time to notice and help."

"Thanks Jason," Stephanie says, looking back over to him and flashing him a smile. "Oh, hey," she says, and moves back down into the chair before the Batcomputer. "If you have any idea to spice this up," she says. She pulls up the file on demons, which contains quite a bit of information. But no doubt it's barely even touching on the level of detail that Bruce Wayne would like.

Stephanie enters a few commands, and Jason likely knows enough about the computers from Bruce's tutelage to see that she's adding extra encryption to it, the lock kicking in only for Barbara. "When she opens it," Stephanie says, and then she opens the file again and a graphic of a blond haired Batgirl swings down across the front of the file, and does double finger guns out of the screen. "Figured I'd give her a little challenge. When she finds out about the Doc's diagnosis I figure she'll head straight for the file to check what we know about these imps. ANy ideas for jazzing it up further?"

Jason Todd has posed:
Jason shrugs, "No big deal," he says in response to her thanks. Which is as close as Jason gets to you're welcome. "Got to trust her sooner or later, might as well be now. Just remember if she succeeds it's on her not you, same if she fails, it's got to be her or it doesn't work."

Then he moves on to lighter subjecs smiling at the animation. "Nice," he says. "And looks good as is, too much more it might be annoying that right there is just about perfect if you're looking for a smile and a laugh out of Babs."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie grins up at him. It's not amazing animation, nor does it seem by design. It's more like a pixelated image from an old, old video game. "Thanks. I have to put those computer skills she's teaching me to use," she says with a grin full of mischief.

She seals the files back up and then yawns. "I was really looking forward to patrolling tonight. You'd thinking demons and stopping Joker from blowing up a Russian train and capturing Mister Freeze would be enough for one week. But really I'm just kind of jonesing to be out there."

She glances down at her side, covered by the t-shirt now. "Though, eh, they are right. I need to let this heal before, I don't even know how bad it could be. And besides, bikini season is around the corner. How am I supposed to make the boys feel all gooshy while I lay out on the quad, if I've got demon scars?"

Jason Todd has posed:
Jason grins, "That seems like Babs' sort of humour, she'll appreciate it," Jason offers.

"Nothing's ever enough," he says of her busy week. "But know it sucks to be on the bench, but you'll get there." As for the scars he smiles, "Maybe the magic types can help there, only fair if they're going to help with the demon part of it they go the extra mile and fix that too."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie gives a faint grin. "Long as they don't turn me into a real bat-girl," she says, that thought still stuck in her head. "I mean, you know if they could make me fly without giving me a hair bat face, that wouldn't be ALL horrible, but..."

She lets out a laugh. "Oh listen to me. Yeah. Best to avoid magic, isn't it? Though if they need to take a look, I'd rather that than the alternatives. I think Bruce felt that way too."

Her head turns to glance towards the med by. "Seriously, I didn't think we had needles that big. And she stuck me like a dozen times. I'm starting to think Doctor Leslie has a secret sadistic side. Dresses up in leather with a biker cap on weekends." She peeks back to Jason. "Try to keep that thought out of your head next time you see her now."

Jason Todd has posed:
Snorting Jason says, "Turning you into a real Bat Girl probably costs extra," he reasons with a grin. "And yeah, magic is one of those last resort type of things," he says with a nod before he groans. "Thanks, I am going to need therapy now," he says with a laugh. "Anyhow not to rub it in, but I've got to go out on patrol, but this was a good chat, here's hoping they let you back out soon."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie rises from the chair, going over to where she left her book bag over on the edge of the platform that holds the computer's equipment and terminals. She digs in it, pulling out a mini-sized bag of chocolates. "Here, something sweet to help with the image," she says with a laugh and tosses it over to him. "I should really get back to Reagan's economic theories," she says with a sigh, pulling her Econ book out of the bag.

"Trickle down economics my ass. Only thing that trickled down to us was views of the rich people," she says, thumping the book onto the counter. She looks back to Jason. "Hey. Be safe out there. But not too safe." She gives Jason a smile and then sits down and flips the book to the right chapter to study.