5425/Kitchen Pit Stop

From Heroes Assemble MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Kitchen Pit Stop
Date of Scene: 03 March 2021
Location: Kitchens - Wayne Manor
Synopsis: Dick makes a mean burger in a pinch, while Stephanie steals his awesomely soft sweatshirt. The garment is traded for help moving his things from Bludhaven.
Cast of Characters: Dick Grayson, Stephanie Brown

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson is in the kitchen currently making what looks like one hell of a mess, but also appears to be enjoying himself. Ingredients of various types are laid out on the counters, and a couple pans are heating on the stove. He's wearing simple sweatpants, a Bludhaven PD t-shirt and sneakers as he putters around in the kitchen.

The smells of sauteeing onions and mushrooms currently fill the kitchen, along with cooking meat. It's possible that he's made this mess simply to make himself a burger.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
There is an absence of the sound of footfall, at least until just before someone arrives at the door. The faint sound of bare feet on the hard floors can be heard then, just ahead of a girl's voice. "Alfred, I don't know what you're cooking, but I hope you'll let me mooch a plate. Because," Stephanie Brown says as she rounds the corner into the kitchen, "that smells- oh. Ah, figured you were Alfred," Stephanie says as she spots Dick. Her expression of surprise gives way to an easy smile that shows the gleam of white teeth.

Stephanie is wearing a pair of workout tights and is barefoot, though is carrying socks and shoes in one hand. Her upper body is currently clad in a sweatshirt which is clearly too big for her, hanging down far on one shoulder leaving it bare. The sweatshirt is dark grey and big and soft and warm. And she found it in the locker room and it was so soft, and freshly laundered from the smell, that she couldn't resist.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson looks over as Steph speaks and gives her a grin, "Well, no, I'm not. But mooching is not a problem." He goes over to the nearest fridge and pulls out another hamburger patty, slapping it into the pan his is already cooking in. "It'll just take an extra minute, and I've got plenty of the stuff to go on it."

He flips his burger and stirs the mushrooms and onions before adding, "Dunno if you heard, but I transferred to the GCPD. Tired of being out in Bludhaven on my own all the time when there's still so much happening here. So I'll be around to torment everyone more often. But I got used to cooking for myself while I was there, so just couldn't see bothering Alfred just because I wanted a burger."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The young woman's eyes cast a brilliant blue towards Dick as he gets the extra hamburger patty and gets it cooking for her. "You are an absolute lifesaver. I think my stomach would have eaten me alive if I'd had to drive home first," she says. Not that she would have. But she'd have probably ended up eating something out the fridge to hold her over is all.

She moves over to the fridge, opening it to peer inside. She lists the beverage choices, which includes just about anything someone could wish for. Alfred being Alfred. Stephanie gets a carton of grape juice and a glass for herself, asking Dick, "Want something to drink?"

She ruffles her fingers through her hair. It's good it tends to look ok a little tousled, but it usually ends up that way soon enough. "Was running one of Bruce's obstacle courses," she says. "And I did hear about that. Coming back Gotham. Well good. Jason and Tim and Damian need all the tormenting you have time for," she says.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson laughs, "Especially Damian. Boy has got to learn to smile now and then when he isn't beating people up." He glances over when you ask and says, "Grab me a Coke, will you?" He goes back to his burger flipping and sautee stirring before gesturing at the somewhat cluttered counter. "If you want to grab a plate, you can start building your burger. As you can see I've got about anything you could put on one sitting on the counter somewhere."

The counters are indeed loaded, lettuce, tomato, pickles, cooked bacon... you name it, if it goes on a burger it's probably there. "Oh, you want cheese on yours? I've got like 5 different choices here if you do." He waves at a different part of the counter that has packages of sliced cheeses sitting on it.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie retrieves a 20oz bottle of coke from the fridge, opening it and passing it over to Dick while he mans the stove. She takes a long drink of her grape juice then, letting out a deep, contented sigh as if really hit the spot. She tops her glass back off and then returns the grape juice to the fridge.

"Oh yes!" she says exuberantly as Stephanie moves over to get a plate and start preparing the burger. "Hmm, some sharp cheddar if it's not too much effort?" she asks Dick with a smile.

She goes to work then, setting out the bun and a layer of bacon. Then some bbq sauce. Over on the other side she adds some cooked onions. But only a tiny amount. She gets a knife and dices one of the cooked onion rings, getting six tiny cubes and carefully placing on them on bun to spread them out.

The blond coed gets out the pickles, and then glances up at Dick after she went to all that effort for six tiny bites of onion. "I don't like my breath to be all oniony," she says as if that explains it all. And then she applies a few pickles, helping hold the onions cubes in their perfect places.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson chuckles, "Hot date tonight?" He takes a slice of sharp cheddar as requested and drops it on the second patty, next to the swiss that is on his. "Should just be another minute. And yeah, Bruce's courses can be a heck of a workout. How did you do?"

He slides his burger onto the bun that he already had prepared, giving it a generous helping of the sauteed mushrooms and onions. "I can always brush if I need to, these are too good to stint on." He's already got all the rest on there, lettuce, tomato, pickles, bacon and ketchup. "About thirty more seconds.... there we go." He slips the burger onto the bun Steph prepared with a little flourish, "There we go, all set."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The laughter that breaks out when Dick asks if she has a hot date tonight is the perfect mix of enthusiastic and manic. As if the question doesn't intersect anywhere close to her real life that it could be taken as a serious question. "I haven't had a date since September," she says, "Let alone a hot one."

She'd been seeing a Brazilian about her age who lived up north of New York. There had been a necklace with a compass charm, gold with diamonds on the cardinal points. She stopped wearing it around the end of September.

But the question just results in laughter, it doesn't get her down in the slightest. "I did pretty well. One I could use the gliding cape in a couple of places, though I did it both with and without," she says.

When he puts the cooked patty on her bun, Stephanie gives Dick a huge smile. "Oh thank you thank you thank you," she tells him. "Where is Alfred anyway? And do you have a place or are you staying at the Mansion? Need any help moving stuff? Because if so," Stephanie says, lifting one arm to flex it and show off her muscles. They aren't big but she is very nicely toned, the over-sized sweatshirt showing enough upper arm to see the muscle definition before the little flex. "I know someone who is willing to help."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson turns of the stove, picks up his plate and soda and heads over to the table in the morning room, waving Steph into the chair beside him. "Geez, you're starting to sound like Jason, all work, no play. Gotta get out once in a while, or God help you, you end up all dark and brooding like Bruce. I love the man, but he really needs a girlfriend or something, hell, a boyfriend, I don't know, whatever floats his boat besides perching on gargoyles." He shrugs and takes a bite of his burger, then snaps his fingers and hops back up, going over to a cabinet and pulling out 3 different bags of type of chips and bringing them back over to the table. "Can't forget the chips. When you're eating unhealthy, you have to do it right."

He settles back into his chair and looks back to you, "As for Alfred, who knows? I'm sure he's around, but as I said, didn't want to bother him for this. And I will happily accept help with my stuff. I'm planning on moving back into my room here, no real reason to move back and then get my own place when so much of the mansion is empty anyway." He smiles warmly at you, "Like I see you're already helping move my laundry around. It's soft, isn't it?"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie brings her plate and her grape juice over to the table and takes a seat. "Yeah, well," Stephanie says in a grumble that sounds mostly put on, "Not all of us have fashion models slipping their numbers into our pockets on a regular basis that that's an easy thing," she tells him. "Besides. I get out. Just the other day I met THREE people on a rooftop. And only one of them was affiliated with people who tried to kill me."

The burger is carefully cut in half to be easier to handle. She squooshes the bun down a bit to make it smaller so it fits in her mouth easier, and then takes a bite. "Oh," she murmurs, mouth still full. Then after she swallows, "Heaven." She takes a sip of her grape juice. "Well, Bruce was taking that DJ lady to some of the charity stuff. Looked on TV like he was actually having a good time with her. I'm kind of hopeful maybe there's something actually there."

She takes another bite, and is in mid-chew when Dick makes the mention about moving his laundry. At first an eyebrow goes up as if the blond doesn't understand. Then a revelation seems to hit her, and Stephanie glances down at the awesome, soft, warm, big sweatshirt she's wearing, pulling it out with her hand a little bit. "Ah..." she says, mouth still full, and finishes chewing. "So, this would be yours then? Ah, heh heh. Sorry about that. It just looked so much warmer than what I brought. And yes it is soft. What, is it made from puppy fur?"

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson laughs, "Yeah, I was there for that. I don't think costumed meetups count as social occasions. But it's good to hear about Bruce, anyway. He needs to enjoy things a little, I worry about him sometimes. Yes, he's been at this a while and hasn't snapped or anything, but only seeing the bad isn't healthy."

He takes a bit of his burger and swallows before continuing with a smile, "It is, but don't worry too much about it, I have others. And I have no idea exactly what it is, but yeah, I fell in love with it the minute I felt it. It's one of those, 'I've had a hell of a day' types of things you have to treat yourself with now and then."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie rubs her fingers on the sleeve. "Well I hate to take it from you," she tells him slowly. Her head then bobs a bit from side to side, "Which, obviously I did when I... took it from you," she says, following up the words with what's meant to be a cute smile, sort of puppy dog eyes asking for forgiveness. "Though, in all seriousness, was just going to wear it for awhile, either change before I left, or at the most, wash it and bring it back," she says. Her blue eyes settle over on Dick's. "I can change into something else before I go."

She takes another bite of her burger. Not wolfing it down, but the college student is burning through thousands of calories a day with the workouts plus patrolling. And since Barbara passed on the Batgirl mantle, Stephanie's training has seemed to only intensify, not let up.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson shrugs, "I'm not too worried about it Steph. If you find it comfy, call it your gift for helping me move my stuff back in. If I really, really miss it I can always go buy another." He breaks into a bag of potato chips and crunches a few. "We should spar one of these days, I'm interested to see how your training is coming along. I mean, I know you're doing well or you wouldn't have the suit, just kind of curious _how_ well, you know?"

He takes a long drink of his Coke, then another bite of burger, "But on a less dark and flappy note, how are you doing in general? I know you said you weren't dating recently, but do you at least have friends you hang out with or anything where the conversation doesn't always turn to crimefighting?"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stirs in her seat excitedly as Dick names the sweatshirt as her help for helping him move back into the Mansion. "Alright, if you're going to drive such a hard bargain," she says. Her smile expresses her gratitude better than words ever could.

"Absolutely, I could use someone else to practice against. I keep expecting Damian to pull out real swords mid-fight. To make sure I'm prepared. Someone a little..." she hesitates, gesturing with a finger as if trying to find a word. "Sane? Nah, now quite that. Less intense? Yes, let's go with that. That would be good," she tells him.

Stephanie is almost done with her burger. "Oh sure, why just the other day I got together with this group. They reacted really excited when I showed up. And we, you know. We kind of... fun-housed around. And then GCPD came and picked them up," she tells him, putting a big smile on which seems meant to gloss on past the actual question. "I do have a lab partner that's nice," she says. "One of Tim's friends, would like me to introduce him. His name is Conner. Pretty sure he's that young Kryptonian guy in the database."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson takes another bite of his burger, then considers for a moment, "Actually, if you want, once we finish eating we could take care of that move. I've actually got a truck parked outside. We should be able to take care of it in one trip, and then you've got your sweatshirt free and clear." He grins at you and takes another chip.

"That is, if you don't mind spending a couple hours with me. Shouldn't be too bad on the traffic at this hour, but it's still a little ways there and back, plus the loading."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie finishes her burger, and sucks a bit of barbeque sauce left over on her finger. "Tonight is a good night for it," she tells him. "Just finished a lot of midterm tests so kind of a light load the rest of the week."

The coed grins over to Dick, a half dozen years her elder, running a hand over the sleeve of the sweatshirt. "You're pretty good at the bribing department," she tells him. Stephanie finishes off her grape juice, and then gets up and begins taking dishes to the sink, where she washes them. If Dick tries to help, she will try to wave him off with, "You cooked, least I can do is clean." And she's not going to leave them for Alfred to do.

Once the dishes are taken care of, Stephanie grabs two Cokes from the fridge, and then goes over to grab the remaining chips to take with them. "No time like the present," she says, ready to follow him out to the truck.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson has taken the time to finish his burger and deliver his plate to be washed before she finished washing. Once the dishes are done, he grabs keys off the counter and leads the way out to a large pickup truck with a rental company logo on the door. "Here we go, hop in." He climbs into the driver's seat and starts the truck, heading down the drive once Steph is in and belted. "It was an easy bribe, considering you were already wearing and liking it. Kind of takes the guesswork out of it." He pulls onto the road and turns for Bludhaven.

"So tell me about you Steph. What have you been doing for fun when you're not training or patrolling. You've told me about lots of business and school, but not relaxation. Just like Bruce, you need to make sure you have a little balance in your life. I don't want you ending up all dark and broody."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The day was a bit warmer than it has been, but now that the sun is down the temperature is plunging again, at least threatening to get them within sight of freezing tonight. Stephanie grabs a jacket but doesn't wear it for now, taking it with her to the car and setting it on the seat beside her as she puts on her seat belt.

She turns on the radio, checking to see what Dick had it turned to on the drive over, if anything. "Well I was laid up for a little bit while I was hurt. The demon that Felix Faust summoned, that clawed me at the museum. Took Zatanna's magic to get me back to normal," she says.

"Since then... ah... well. I patrol a lot. And homework and... that doesn't leave a ton of time for other stuff," she says. "Damn Steph, you sound like a pretty boring girl," her internal voice says as it goes external as it sometimes does. "Um, I'm doing some stuff with a green group at school. Seeing what we can do to fight pollution and climate change, that kind of stuff. And I went to the Winter Festival on campus. That was on my birthday," she says, which was about two weeks ago. "To be honest, Dick, I've been training my ass off." She shifts in her seat, and if he looks over she is leaning onto one side so she can peer down at her ass. "Ok, some of it's still there," she kids. She looks out the window, elbow resting on the door and finger fidgeting at her lips. "I don't want to Barbara down. Don't want to let any of you guys down."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson reaches over without taking his eyes off the road and pats Stephanie's shoulder, then returns his hand to the wheel. "Well, trust me, I understand that very well, I busted my ass when I first started out. But I realized pretty early on that, well... doing nothing else would make me end up like Bruce."

He holds up his hand to forestall you from saying anything. "Don't get me wrong, I love the man, and I respect the hell out of him, but he's.. very dark. He's devoted to fighting evil, but a lot of the time I think the evil is all he sees when he looks at the world. There's a lot of good, but he's focused on the next problem rather than seeing the good he's already done."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The pat on her shoulder draws a grateful smile from Stephanie, should Dick see it while he's driving. Her demeanor is a bit serious and introspective overall though after the question. "I don't know that there is a lot of danger of me going that route," she tells Dick. "I probably do have a pretty strong desire to see justice done. When I see someone hurting another it just makes me..." Stephanie says, her words trailing off but her voice could be heard to tighten even saying the words before they cut off. One of her hands clenches into a fist, briefly, before she straightens her fingers, resting them on the workout tights she's wearing on her legs.

She rides in silence for a little bit, the truck crossing a bridge towards the northernmost island. Though after that, another bridge awaits, taking them west back to the mainland, and an overland route to Bludhaven then being the fastest way to get there. The bride is lit up nicely, and looks quite beautiful. Part of the government trying to make up for leaving the city lawless after the tidal wave took the bridges out. The truck drives past one thick supporting cable after another.

"You asked about friends," Stephanie says quietly. "I've had a few good friends over the years. But you guys are the first group like that," she says. Stephanie chews on her lip as she looks out at the lights of the island up ahead, reflecting on the water below. "But, it's more than that. You guys are," Stephanie says, before a little emotion tightens her throat again. "You're a family. Together. And you've let me in. And I want to be around that. Be around all of you," she says, keeping her eyes away from Dick, out on the water.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson smiles, "We are a family Steph. And you're a part of it. Even if not before, the minute you were given the suit, you were adopted. As I said the other day, we don't give those to just everybody. You earned it, which means you earned our respect and a place in the family.

He switches lanes to be ready to exit to city streets. "And part of that means that if you need anything, and I mean anything, you call me, or whichever of us you're most comfortable with." He grins, "Just like I asked you to help me move tonight. We do things for each other."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie had been keeping her face turned away from Dick during that little stretch he could hear emotions in there. But she looks back over to him finally about the time he's taking the exit off into Bludhaven. "Thanks, I appreciate that," she tells him.

She continues looking at Dick for a few moments, looking thoughtful while his attention is on driving. "It will be nice to have you around more. You've seemed like you have been like everyone's big brother. Who could help balance out Bruce's brooding. If only by... well, Dick made it through it all and turned into his own man. So I think maybe the rest of your brothers sort of see that too. Even if, you know, they'd never actually /say/ that," she says, grinning a bit at the last part.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson smirks, "Especially Damien. That little dude needs a lot of work. I swear the only time he's happy is when he's fighting. I have got to find something to lighten him up." He shrugs a little, "I think I kind of fell into the big brother role by virtue of being the first one Bruce brought in. And I think the rest is just my personality. Yeah, I went through something really bad, but it doesn't make the whole world a terrible place."

He pulls up in front of an apartment building and turns off the truck, "Here we are. Fortunately, there's an elevator, so we won't be dragging my boxes down the stairs. Comon, let's get to it and then we can be done that much sooner." He hops out and leads Steph into the building and up to his apartment.

The apartment is mostly empty of personal belongings, just basic furniture left, the front room piled with boxes. "As you can see, I'm pretty much ready to go. Once we get everything into the truck, we'll be all set. Fortunately, I know that I don't have to worry if you can handle the boxes, you're probably almost in as good a shape as I am, even if you're a little smaller."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie looks around the inside of the apartment. From the way she's looking at everything, Dick might remember she hasn't ever been to his place before. "Wow, Dick, this is pretty amazing," she says. Someone with Bruce Wayne's trust fund at his back can do an awful lot when it comes to decorating. And it's a beautiful space to work in.

The young woman moves in further, wearing tennis shoes which she wiped carefully at the door, but didn't remove given they'll be carrying boxes back out in a moment. Stephanie's hair swings across her shoulders as she turns towards Dick. "A little smaller? What do you run there, muscles? About two bills?" she asks. Stephanie walks over and gives Dick's chest a little poke with her hand just below the shoulder. "Like a linebacker. I'll have you know that I'm... dainty. And delicate. By comparison," she tells him, the girl's blue eyes twinkling a bit with their own light. "Alright, let's get to this," she says, moving over to pick up a pair of boxes and carrying them out. Beginning the process of trips up and down to transfer the boxes.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson looks around, "It's pretty nice, I'll admit that freely. I'm going to hang onto it, so if you ever need a place to crash or hide out for some reason, it's here to be used."

He chuckles, "You're maybe 3 inches shorter than me, though I admit..." He watches her for a moment, sizing her up, "You are slimmer, sure, but you're a girl, so that's to be expected. And I'll have you know I'm a trim 180 or so." He snorts, "Linebacker, indeed. You're thinking of Jason." He picks up a couple of boxes also and heads down to the truck.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie's lips twist up in a lopsided smile and she says, "No no. I don't think you and Jason are very easy to confuse," she tells Dick. She pauses a moment with her boxes in hand, looks back at Dick. "Hmm. You sure that your scale is working right? I know how the desserts from that Bludhaven take out can be," she tells him.

And then scurries out the door rapidly with a laugh before he can take any kind of revenge.

The first set of boxes are loaded into the truck and Stephanie heads back up, jogging up the stairs rather than waiting on the elevator. She reaches the room before Dick, swinging the door back open and going inside. She walks over to look at some of the paintings and prints on the wall. The whole place just goes together so well. The art on the wall and the style of the furniture and the colors and... just all of it.

"It's really not fair. He decorates better than I do. He's freaking prettier than I am. In the good way," Stephanie's inner voice complains aloud as Stephanie puts her hands on her hips. "/And/ he can outfight me? I mean, I should at least get one of the three, amirite? Universe isn't doing a whole lot to fuel my belief in a just higher being here."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson comes back in a minute later for the next load, collecting the next two boxes. "Taking a break already? Gonna have to have a little more staying power than that, Steph." He grins and heads out the door to bring the boxes down to the truck.

Dick Grayson has posed:
On the way down the stairs, Dick thinks about what he overheard as he was coming to the door. *Should I tell her I hired a decorator? Like I have an idea how to accessorize wood tones, I wore an orange and green suit for years.* More central to his thoughts is her second statement, *And she thinks I'm pretty in a good way. Well, that's not a bad thing, even if she is too young for me. Pity, really, cause I like spending time with her.* He drops the boxes in the truck and starts back up.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie loads herself up with more boxes, but then pauses, setting the box down to pop the top open and look inside. Just some clothing and electronics accessories on top, chargers and converters and the like. She closes it back up after her snooping and then picks them up and carries them down.

It doesn't take long to get the stacks down to the truck. True to Dick's assessment, the younger girl is able to manage the weight of the boxes readily enough, even if she is smaller.

She grabs a last box and then waits for Dick to lock up. "Good to know it's there if needed," she agrees of the apartment. She takes a few steps away and then pauses there in the hallway. "You own the whole building," she asks, as if having just divined that. "Don't you?"

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson chuckles, "Guilty. It just seemed easier, especially given that there's a secret lair in the basement. Less tenants poking around, the better." He shrugs, "It was Bruce's idea, actually. He figured you buy the building, you can do what you want with it without having to worry about other people." He locks the door and looks to her. "Want me to take that, or have you got it?"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown chuckles as she shakes her head. "I'm just surprised it took me that long to consider it," she says. "It really is like living under a completely different set of rules," the young woman tells Dick. She gives a little wave of a hand to indicate she's fine with the box. "It's not a heavy one," she says.

They ride the elevator down together, Stephanie leaning against the elevator's wall, one foot moving to rest on the wall, knee bent as she rests the box on it. "So, growing up with Bruce as a teen like that. And now, being out on there, and, well like the blurb in the paper about your transfer. They don't do that for most detectives. I just have to wonder," Stephanie says, hesitating, maybe leaving Dick wondering where she's going with it.

She seems to pick her wording. "How does it affect you? I mean, how do you know if people around you are genuine? Or if they are there because you're the guy in the paper and with the multi-billionaire father?" Stephanie asks Dick. Her foot taps on the elevator wall, but they reach the ground floor and the doors open, Stephanie lifting the box fully again to walk out to the truck with Dick. "I mean, do you end up kind of jaded about people you meet?"

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson shrugs, "There's a lot who do want to know me for the name and the money. Especially women. I mean, not to be crass, but I could get laid a whole lot if I was just looking for a pretty face and fake boobs. And I'll admit.. I've taken advantage of that a few times when I was younger and less worried about actual personalities. But it gets old having people around that you know are just there because you're rich. I want to find someone I really like, and who likes me for me, not for dollar signs and social standing, you know?

After Steph puts the last box in back, he closes the gate and goes around to the driver's seat, hopping in and starting the truck while he waits for her to get in and buckle up. Once she does, he pulls out and starts the drive back to Gotham. "That's why I like hanging out with you. You're real. You put yourself on the line before you ever met us. You're not one of the hangers on looking for a handout. Hell, you even complain when I pay for dumplings, though I don't know why. We already know you're not here for the money, silly woman."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie pats the last box once it's in place, and then moves around to the passenger door of the truck. She pulls it open, the door giving a little creak as if it could use some lubricant. What do you expect of a rental though? It is in good shape otherwise.

She climbs inside and gets her seatbelt back on. "Thanks for that," Stephanie says quietly, glancing over to Dick to give him a small, quick smile. "You know I was surprised as could be when I found out he was Bruce. I mean I guess it makes sense. Just he really sells that whole non-serious playboy thing so well in the press."

Stephanie rolls down her window just a little bit, despite the cold. Just enough she can dangle her hand out the window. Letting the breeze cause her hand to dart up when she angles it upwards, and back down again when she angles it down. She gives a soft little chuckle about her complaining when the pay. "I guess I'm kind of self-conscious about it. I have seen the kind of people that try to attach themselves to Tim. And you." Jason was dead and Damian too young apparently for her to have seen quite the same with them. "I just don't want you to ever doubt that about me. Not that, it's not that I think you would. I just... ah I don't know. I don't make much sense sometimes."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson laughs, shaking his head, "No, I think I get it. You grew up in a totally different situation, and now you're around people who.. well, people who buy whole buildings so they have a private apartment to live in. You're worried we might see you as looking to get a piece of the Wayne fortune." He reaches over and pokes her in the side, "But as I said, anyone who puts on a costume at 15 and helps us catch her own father, then keeps heroing when Batman himself tells her to stop... that's not someone I see as trying to sponge off of us. That's someone worthy of whatever help we can give."

He smirks, looking at you sidelong for a moment, "You do realize the suit you wear could buy a building like my apartment back there, right? Like it or not, we're bankrolling you one way or another, and there's nothing you can do about it. So stop stressing so much. I promise if you ask me for a Ferrari, I'll say no, ok?"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie does give a soft little chuckle as Dick points out how much her costume alone costs. And there's multiple of them, at that. "Yeah, I don't know. I mean maybe that shouldn't be different. But it is. There I'm part of a team, and yes Bruce bankrolls it all. But at the same time... it's just... just different," she says with a frustrated sigh at not finding the words.

"If I invite you guys to show up and I'm not able to pay for myself, then that means I'm expecting you to pay," Stephanie says quietly. She grasps a smal lock of her blond hair by her cheek, spinning it in her fingers as she looks out the windshield at Bludhaven. "And if that's the case... I mean you wouldn't know if I wanted you there because I wanted -you- there. Or if it was because I was looking for a handout for a meal. And..." she says, trailing off quietly. "And I don't want you guys to ever doubt that." She turns away, mumbling, but maybe not quietly enough Dick won't catch it. "You all mean too much for that."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson smiles and shakes his head, "Steph, you never have to worry about that with me. As I said, you've already proved yourself to be way more than some hanger-on. I mean, for God's sake, you're Batgirl. You earned your way into the family, which means you're here because you want to be, and you want to be around us. You're not big-breasted bimbo number 26 looking for a handout. Bruce is stupidly rich. I get to share in that because he adopted me. You are a college student who spends her spare time risking her life to help us clean up Gotham. I think we can foot the bill for a few meals without thinking you're only here for the food."

He grins and glances over at you, "I know it's not easy because you didn't grow up with money, but honestly, I don't even think about it. Invite away, and feel free to assume I'll pay, because I will. And I won't ever think any less of you. I actually wish you'd let me take you somewhere nice now and then, not just for dumplings. You're fun to be around, and you're always keeping positive. That's not easy doing the job we do. Even I get a little dark now and then."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie brings that twisted up lock of golden hair to the corner of her lips, but doesn't chew on it. Childhood habit she kicked. It does make her recognize what she's doing and she lets it go, tucking the hairs back in amongst the rest. Something Dick says makes her break out in soft laughter. "Wait. 'Number 26'?" she asks. "You don't actually have them numbered do you? That's a you and Jason thing isn't it?"

She turns on the radio, but turns the volume down low. It's playing 'Afternoon Delight' by the Starland Vocal Band. As soon as the lyrics start up, Stephanie's head begins bopping slowly in time with it from one side to the other. "Yeah, I know I just. I can't get past it. Not when I'm asking you guys there," she says, sighing. Though she usually relents and lets them pay, they have to endure her offering anywhere from one to three times depending on her stubborn quota for the day.

Stephanie glances back over to Dick. "Now if you want to ask me out somewhere nice, I'd be happy to go. And yes I don't mind you treating if someone asks me somewhere. I just... I don't want you to think it's expected when we get together. I respect you all too much."


Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson laughs, "Well, the numbering system isn't official or anything, but I could see him taking it up, yeah. I was more using it as an example, really." He considers, tilting his head a little, "Maybe we should start a file, make it easier to avoid known golddiggers if we all share it." He shrugs. "But it still doesn't apply to you. Batgirl's gotta eat to keep her strength up, and I don't mind contributing to that, even if you're the one inviting."

He pulls onto the on ramp for the bridge, "But I'm not going to spend the ride trying to convince you. I'll just say this.. we know you Steph. You belong. So deep breath and realize that in general, we are all incredibly stubborn and driven, and it's very, very hard to get us to change our minds. We probably wouldn't be weird costumed vigilantes otherwise. And you're just as weird as the rest of us, so welcome to the insanity." He curls one corner of his mouth up in a lopsided grin and peers over at you, eyes twinkling with mirth, "There, better?"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
A warm giggle of delight comes from the passenger side of the pickup truck. "Weird as the rest of you? Oh you truly have no idea," Stephanie tells Dick, flashing a grin over at him. If there was any doubt, that smile would make it clear she's sure that she exceeds their weirdness. Probably by a healthy margin.

"Ok, yeah. It's just, tough you know," she says, but the blond coed seems content with letting the matter rest there. As the song comes around to the chorus, Stephanie belts out, "Sky rockets in flight! Afternoon delight. Aaaaaaa-after noon delight!"

She looks over at the radio. "Is this one of those songs that you learned as a kid, but if you listen to the actual lyrics you realize it was about sex the whole time, but you never realized it?" she asks. "Oh god it is, isn't it? Afternoon delight. Unless they are talking about pot brownies or something. Man the 70s must have been a trip. Good thing Bruce is younger than that. Could you imagine him if he'd gotten caught up with the hippies instead?" she asks.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson blinks, "Good God, could you imagine a tiedyed batsuit? I just don't think it would have the same impact." He pauses, then breaks out into laugher, snorting out "And a turbocharged VW bus."

He takes a minute to get over the giggles, then takes a deep breath and nods to her, "But yeah, it's about sex, I'm fairly sure. There was quite a bit of that going on. Well, still is, we just tend to be a little more blatant about it than they were back then." He shrugs, "I'm not sure if it's better hiding it in skyrockets or just throwing it out there with "I like big butts" or something."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The young woman in the passenger seat turns slowly over to stare at Dick Grayson with wide eyes. "Oh my god. Dick Grayson giggles," she says, and breaks out in delighted laughter. "I'm going to have hide that bit of knowledge away for appropriate blackmail use someday," she tells him, flashing one of her bright grins over at Dick.

She rests her head against her seats headrest, still gently swaying it back and forth in time to the music. "I don't know, I think I kind of like the allusions a bit more. That way at least little 6 year old Stephanie Brown won't go ask her mother why people like big butts but not little ones," she says with a small grin.

The bridge has even less traffic now, allowing more opportunity to enjoy the view without worrying about other cars. The lights reflecting on the water are far more numerous with Gotham City being their provider. "It's nice out tonight. I mean a little chilly outside, but with a truck's heater? Perfect," she says with a soft laugh. "When we were in school, some of the girls from the gymnastics team and I tried to climb to the top of one of these towers. I made it higher than the rest. Got about halfway and then saw cars were slowing down as they went past. Figured the police would be showing up so I got back down. Just in time too. Just think, I could have had a record. Gone to jail. I would have gotten a tattoo. You know, neck tattoo. Probably on my knuckles too. Because nothing says success like knuckle tattoos and neck tattoos."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson snorts, "If you tell anyone, I will deny it vehemently." He shakes his head a little, perhaps trying to picture that. "Yeah, somehow I don't think that would be a great look for you. At the same time, I'm also not surprised you were the one who went the furthest up, that sounds like you. You, young lady, are the finest kind of trouble." He reaches over and again pokes Steph lightly in the ribs.

He then raises his hand up to one of the heater vents, "Yeah, this thing does a pretty good job. Much nicer that the drafty old cave." He swerves around a slowmoving driver, heading for the second bridge. "So have you had many chances to talk to Damien?"

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The blond girl casts a small smile over at Dick, before undoing her seat belt and leaning forward to look up from the windshield towards one of the two towers supporting the suspension bridge. "It was windy up there. Was summer so not as cold, but I think the wind was what scared everyone else," she comments before leaning back in her seat and refastening the safety device.

"Not as much as I'd like. A few. He's definitely had a pretty complicated childhood," Stephanie says at first, before appearing to think and then amending, "Actually, I'm not even sure if we can say he had a childhood. I mean not in the normal sense. Getting raised by the League of Assassins? Oof."

Stephanie reaches for the radio, changing it to another station. "The way he and Cassandra both are. When she stabbed in the shoulder at dinner on his birthday, and he just thanked her?" Stephanie says, drawing a deep breath and letting it out. "I think I understand what it was. Reminding him not to let down his guard, just because he'd ended up enjoying getting the presents he did and every thing. Still. I love Cassandra with all my heart, but I wish she'd had some of the normal kind of childhood experiences."

For a moment Stephanie finds herself about to add something else on that, but then changes her mind and stays quiet.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson shrugs, "Sorry to change the subject so suddenly, he's just on my mind. I don't know him as well as I'd like, which is no surprise considering he's not exactly social. And I guess you know he was working with the Titans, but he walked away from them a couple months ago, and I'm going to need to talk to him and find out if I can get him back there. He _really_ needs to spend time with people around his age and learn a few social skills. So I'm kind of wracking my brain trying to think up things that might persuade him to give them a chance."

He grins over at the young woman beside him, "Join the family, deal with the dysfunction, it's all part and parcel of the weirdness. Can you think of anything that might soften him up a little? There's got to be a way to get through to him." He considers, "And from the sound of it, maybe Cass could use some help too. Wonder if we could get them into some kind of 'be a normal kid' classes."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The question causes Stephanie to shift in her seat a little bit. "I wasn't going to mention this, as I don't know if she'd want it shared. But, I trust you not to say anything. And if maybe it helps Damian too..." Stephanie tells Dick, though sounding even as she says it like she's trying to talk herself into it being ok to bring up.

"I had picked up some old toys of mine from my mom's house. To drop off at a charity, see if they could get some use out of them," Stephanie says. She gets a small smile. "It was kind of nice seeing them again. Things I hadn't seen in a dozen years, some of them," the coed tells Dick.

"Well, I came home... this was the end of September, incidentally. I came home from a patrol and slipped in from my balcony. And Cass was in my place, and she had a bunch of the toys out. She had dolls and dinosaurs and was playing with them. I kind of wonder if she'd ever done that before, you know?" Stephanie says.

She pauses then in thought. "I don't know that Damian would react the same to those kind of toys. Maybe, but part of me just can't envision that from him as much. But, he definitely has a soft spot for animals. So that might be one thing you could try. That, and just... playing with him. I imagine he might enjoy a water balloon fight more than playing with dinosaur toys."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson nods, "My lips are sealed Steph, no worries there. But it is a thought, maybe get him into sports or something like that, where it's play but also competition. Lord knows he's athletic enough to excel at it. Probably need to start with non-team sports though, get him playing something before trying to get him to play with people, cause he'd probably put them down for not being as skilled as he is, and that would be the end of that."

He's silent a minute, then adds, "Maybe Cassie would like one of those big, ornate dollhouses to mess with? We could poke it in one of the unused rooms at the mansion for when she wanted to mess with it. Maybe something you could try to relay to her, since I, of course, know nothing about it."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
A slow nod results at Dick's idea with Damian. "He may be kind of martial, but if you could get the point across it's for enjoying and not actually beating someone else down. That and the pets are about the only things I can think of. He did get the dog for his birthday, but maybe more could be done there too," Stephanie comments.

The bridge gives way to Gotham, and then the shorter bridge up to Bristol. The main part of town there is a normal sort of area, unlike the high affluent part of town that Wayne Manor is in. The buildings and apartments and houses give way to woods and fields before the wall surrounding the estate comes into view.

"I think that dollhouse," Stephanie says, "Sounds like a good idea. Could just put it in a room and let her think it had always been there, not something put there for her. Stock it with a bunch of stuff and let her discover it. Go in when she wants and no one is looking. I don't know for sure if she'd get into it. But not a bad thing to try. She's such a sweetheart. I feel for her on how alone she must feel at times, not understanding others in the way we do."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson nods, "I'll have Alfred order one and find a place for it, put it with a bunch of dolls and such in a room. I'll have him let you know which room he stuck it in, and you can" he air quotes with one hand " 'discover' it with Cass on a wander around the mansion or something."

"I wonder how he'd do training the dog, like for one of those doggy obstacle courses. That would be something that isn't just violence and crime, _and_ he'd be kind of learning to communicate, even if it is with an animal rather than a person. Would just have to keep an eye on him and make sure he didn't get too frustrated if the dog doesn't pick it right up."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie turns sideways in her seat, listening to Dick. She rubs the sleeve of her sweatshirt against her cheek. How the heck did they get it so soft? And just how much does it cost for a sweatshirt this soft?

Though her eyes are focused on Dick as he talks. When he's done she says softly, "You look out for them. Your brothers I mean. Well, for all of us. Just, it's nice getting to see this. The thought you're putting into them," Stephanie tells Dick, a warm little smile on her face. "I can't imagine it was the easiest family to bond with. The age differences between you all, and just... well the whole nature of one taking over as Robin after the other. And not necessarily all around each other for very long. Yet, I can tell how much you care."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson smiles and shrugs a little, "Bruce took me in when my family died, gave me a purpose and in a way another family. I think it helped keep me sane, not just being shuffled into the system as an orphan. The others may all need slightly different things, but what they really need is to know they aren't alone. I love Bruce, but let's face it, he's great for training you to fight your parent's killers... he's not quite as good when you need a hug. It's who he is, so if I need to be the softer face of Bruce, I'll do what I can. They all need different handling, so I do what I can."

He looks to her as he pulls up in front of the mansion, "If we don't take care of each other, who will? Not like anyone else really knows who we are and the things we go through, you need someone with the same kind of experiences to be able to relate. Same reason none of us really seem to have serious relationships... when you can't talk about over half your life to the other person, how can there be a real connection?" He shuts off the engine and opens the door. "Let's get this stuff into my room, then I can set you free with your new snuggly sweatshirt." He winks at Steph and hops out of the truck.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The younger girl grins over to Dick and nods. "I'm never going to take this off. Well, not until it's too hot out for it," she says with a warm laugh. She climbs out of the truck and moves around to the back to load up with some boxes. "Not that I've had a lot of experience there, but I think you're right. About relationships and the problems with them. I wanted to say something to Roberto when I was seeing him. Just, so he'd understand that part of me."

Stephanie gets two boxes and starts for the mansion's front door. "I knew it was necessary to keep our secrets, for his safety and all of ours. But that didn't stop me from feeling like I wasn't being honest with him," she says with a soft sigh. "Not to a level that he deserved, anyway."

Alfred is waiting at the door. "I have the two wheel dolly here," he tells Stephanie, getting a smile from her. "Thanks Alfred, that will be a big help," she says, heading upstairs to put the boxes in Dick's room.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson follows Alfred to get the dolly, then piles several boxes on it and gives it to Steph when she comes back out, picking up a couple boxes to carry in himself. He waves Alfred off from boxes, saying "We've got it, you'll have enough to do cleaning up after me, least I can do is carry my own stuff in." He glances sidelong at Steph as she comes out on a trip and mentions, "I bet Steph would like one of those sundaes you make once we're done though."

Alfred heads for the kitchens as Dick and Steph unload the truck, carrying the boxes up to his room. Once they are all there he starts opening a few, trying to remember what is packed where. After a moment, he pulls out a silver bound album and smiles, eyes moving over to Steph who's probably still in the room as well. "Remember this?" He holds the Flying Greysons scrapbook up. "Still the best gift I've ever gotten."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown takes the two wheel hand truck and tilts it back, making sure the boxes on it are staying put. "Sundaes?" she asks. "You... probably have hot fudge don't you? Not Hershey's syrup, but the real stuff?"

Alfred gives the coed a smile and says, "I believe that we do have some, now that you speak of it. Should I take that as a vote of confidence on hot fudge sundaes then?"

The young woman gives him a huge smile with puppy dog eyes of pleading. "Yes, consider that a vote cast and blue ink on my finger," she tells him. She glances over to Dick. "They said in my history class they mark people's fingers like that in other countries so they can tell they voted already. Ah, you probably knew that already though." She smiles over to the eldest Wayne ward.

Soon she's wheeled the boxes up and into Dick's room, though she went to take a small elevator so she didn't scuff the stairs with the tires. So Dick is already in his room when she rolls them in, going through the first box. She sees the album and she looks down, getting a soft smile. Still remembering the look on Dick's face when he first saw it. "I guess I kind of figured, on some level, I could relate to what you probably feel. I mean it's not the same, but. Anyway," she says, stammering and shifting her weight about. "I'm glad you like it. Alfred probably deserves all the credit, he had a lot of it already, and gave me suggestions on where to dig up the rest."

Stephanie moves over, standing by Dick and looking down at the page he has it open to. "Do you have many memories of them still? Or have the years faded them too much?" she asks.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson chuckles and adds, "Two please, hot fudge sounds like a wonderful idea. I'll take my finger ink as well." He looks over at Steph, "For shame, Hershey's syrup in Alfred's kitchen? Heretic." He winks at her with a grin.

Looking back to the album after her question, he smiles down at the picture, "No, I remember. I mean, some of it's a little hazy, I was only eight when I lost them, but that's old enough to have a good number of memories pretty well ingrained. And this" he holds up the album "helps a lot whenever a detail starts to fade." He slips an arm around her waist and gives a quick side hug of appreciation. "Maybe, but you thought to do it."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Hearing that Dick has managed to hold onto some of his memories brings a gentle smile to Stephanie's face. The young woman is expressive, and those smiles have a way of reaching the blue eyes. Often goofy smiles, but this one is reflecting the heartwarming feelings she has inside on this topic of family.

As Dick slides his arm around her waist, she grins and does the same, side-hugging him back. "I'm glad if it can help with that. I know how precious those memories have to be," she tells him. Stephanie moves her hand up to his back between his shoulder blades, patting softly.

"Have you kept in touch with anyone from the circus? Haley's Circus wasn't it?" she asks him quietly. She stays there by his side as she looks down at the album, showing a flyer from it. "If it's still around that is. I don't know how long shows like that tend to last, even."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson shakes his head, "I honestly haven't. After Bruce took me in, I was too busy training to really pay attention to anything else for a long while. I don't know if they still exist, though to be truthful, I'd be surprised. With the loss of the Graysons, they probably had to cancel a bunch of shows, and most of those circuses run pretty close to bankrupt as it is. That would be a hard hit to recover from." He flips a few pages, coming to a flyer for the circus, "But now I want to find out."

He closes the album and places it carefully on a dresser, "I can unpack stuff later. Let's go find a computer and see, you made me curious." Without even thinking about it, he takes Steph's hand and leads her out of the room, heading for the nearest room with a computer in it. He waves her into the chair in front of the computer, "Ok, you're the college student, you get to do the searching. Let's see if they made it or not."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
One of Stephanie's eyebrows goes up overtop her smile as Dick expresses his curiosity about his old circus. "Well, seriously if we can't figure if they are still around, Bruce is going to disown us. Well, disown you and kick me out anyway," she says with a soft, warm laugh.

She lets Dick lead her over to one of the other rooms, and at his urging she takes the seat in front of the keyboard. "Let's see," she says, but doesn't get any further as Alfred shows up with the sundaes, having managed to track them down in there somehow. He always seems to know where everyone is.

"Thank you!" Stephanie says, her eyes widening at the frozen treat. Ice cream and hot fudge, whipped cream and cherries, and artfully put together in a way that a restaurant would envy. She takes the offered treat and the spoon, getting a bite first so Alfred can see her enjoyment before she turns to the keyboard. She works the computer, with frequent pauses for ice cream.

"Ok, let's start simple, before we start hacking the IRS to get at their tax records," she says. Barbara's student! "Wikipedia has an entry. Looks like... they made it until 2012 and then they merged with another circus, called Bingham's Greatest Show On Earth, and the show kept the Bingham's name."

Stephanie searches for that circus. "Looks like they are still going. Spent awhile in the Midwest, a lot around Iowa and Illinois and Indiana, but makes trips out to the East Coast."

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson accepts his sundae with a quiet, "Thank you, Alfred." and digs in as well before Alfred leaves. After a couple bites, he offhandedly murmers, "I'm gonna have to work out more living around Alfred's cooking. Least I've also got all the facilities handy here too."

He nods, "Ok, I can live with that. At least what happened didn't ruin them. There were good people there, I'm glad they were able to keep going. If they made it to 2012 it wasn't the loss of the Grayson's, it was probably just regular economics that made them join Bingham's, I imagine. Maybe the next time they come out we'll go see the show, just for old times sake."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie pulls up some images of both Haley's Circus, and Bingham's Circus. There are even a couple of faces from the first that are recognizable in the second, a few acts that are the same in their listing.

Her ice cream sundae is picked up and Stephanie gets another spoonful. Making sure to get at the hot fudge while it's still hot. She swivels in her chair a bit to face Dick more directly and watch his reaction. "That'd be great. If you'd like someone to go with you, I'd be happy to accompany you," she offers. "I wouldn't be surprised if everyone would like to go. Though if you wanted some alone time there too, I think we'd all understand," she says. She gives Dick a gentle smile.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson nods, taking another spoonful of hot fudge too. "I'd love to have you along, and anyone else who wanted to go too. Going to a circus is supposed to be a fun family event. Going alone just seems a little sad somehow." He considers, "You know, we might even interest Damien, I mean animals, skilled acrobats, it's got stuff that might catch even his attention. Definitely take Cass as well, if she's unbending enough to try playing with dolls, this might catch her attention too."

He smiles and drops a hand lightly on Steph's shoulder, then gently rubs her back, "Thanks again Steph. Looks like you're determined to keep me grounded in my past, and that's not a bad thing when you don't let it dominate your present." He lifts his hand from her back to take up his spoon again and enjoy a little more of the sundae. "So after sundaes I'm not going to suggest working out, but I do want to spar with you soon. I haven't been around to see how far you've come, but I'd like to get an idea." Yep, he changed gears again. Apparently he does that, maybe just so much on his mind that it sometimes jumps around.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie works her way slowly through her sundae. She has a bit of a sweet tooth, and Alfred did a masterful job, and the ingredients far better than you'd get at some Dairy Queen or whatever that chain is that paid Mr. Freeze for his likeness.

Another small spoonful of hot fudge and ice cream is enjoyed and the younger woman smiles up at Dick. "You're welcome. It would be nice to see get to see them, even if it's years later, that connection to you," she tells him.

The girl's blue eyes light up at the mention of sparring. "That sounds good, but yes, between the obstacle course work earlier, and moving the boxes, I think I'm going to be ready to crash tonight by the time I get home. But you're on, another day," she offers of sparring with him.

Dick Grayson has posed:
Dick Grayson isn't far behind the young woman on sundae consumption, "It's a date then, next time they're nearby. We'll load up a car, or a plane depending where they are, and off we go." He scrapes some of the hot fudge off the bottom of the dish, not willing to let any of it escape. "But yeah, no question we don't do it tonight, but what say we meet up here tomorrow and see how we match up? I know you've got to be good or you wouldn't have the suit, but I want to see how good you've gotten."

He considers her a moment, "Now if I recall.. you favor a staff, right? I mean, with Barbara and Bruce training you, I know you know a lot of different styles, but I swear I remember that being a favorite for you."

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie gets down to the bottom of her dish as well. The last of the hot fudge is fastidiously scraped up for consumption. One does not just waste real hot fudge.

"Yes, still using the staff," she tells him. "I could comment how useful it is in scaling things or being able to parry even weapons like swords, or the ability to stroke with both ends of it in quick order. But really? I just like thumping bad guys in the head, pretty much," she says, giving a simplistic nod. Though no doubt she's at least partially making light of the matter there.

But yes, she does enjoy thumping bad guys on the head.

Stephanie turns off the computer to save power, and rises. "I'll take these down to the kitchen and wash them, then head back home," she tells him. She rubs the arm of her sweatshirt and says, "Thank you for this. I have no idea what it cost, but you probably could have hired movers for that much, I'm guessing," she says.

If Dick allows her, Stephanie gives him a quick hug and a pat on the shoulder as she lets him go. "Enjoy your new room. Or, old room. Your new, old room," she says, giving Dick a goofy, warm grin and then a little wave as she turns to head out.