5673/A Chance To Have a Childhood

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A Chance To Have a Childhood
Date of Scene: 22 March 2021
Location: Family Wing - Wayne Manor
Synopsis: Plans finally come to fruition. The most amazing toy room and immense dollhouse give Cassandra Cain a chance to find a bit of the childhood that she never was allowed to have.
Cast of Characters: Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie worked with Alfred to pick out a room in the Mansion, and get it set up in line with what the blond coed had discussed with Bruce Wayne. It took a little time to gather everything, but eventually it was ready.

Next, Stephanie spent awhile practicing in front of the mirror. "I'm probably not going to be able to fool her anyway, I don't know why I'm trying," Stephanie says as she tries to read her own body language, and figure out how to not let Cassandra know she has a purpose in mind. Though she spends awhile practicing, Stephanie has no idea if it is going to do any good.

So finally Stephanie returns to the manor. She sends Cass a picture of it, and then one of the kitchen, where a dish of Alfred's that Cassandra likes is sitting out on the counter, with Stephanie beside it, a hand on her own plate of it as she grins at the camera.

Then Stephanie waits to see if Cassandra shows up after the invitation.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Cassandra ducks underneath a swing from another of the guys she's playing with as her phone beeps. She glances at it, then at the guy with the baseball bat. Scratching her nose, she leans back and lets him swing past again, giving him some help with his aim.

"You're mine, bitch!" the guy yells, bringing it down hard and missing again. The bat bounces off a rock and hits him in the face, as the girl he's targeting pulls out her celphone and opens it, glancing at some pictures.

The man makes some other noises, not all of them intentional, as Cass flicks through some pictures in the message app. She glances back to him then shrugs, patting him on the shoulder. If 'better luck next time' could be expressed by body language, this guy would now know it.

The young lady leaves him behind, cursing her family's name, and fires a grapple into the sky. Moments later she's lost from sight, instead appearing at a window. A kitchen window. A specific kitchen window.

She doesn't wait to be invited in, cracking it open with a tool. She waves, framed by the frame. But guilty of the breaking, if not yet the entry.


Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown looks up, not particularly surprised to see Cassandra enter by unorthodox means. "Carefully you don't get dirt on Alfred's windowsill," she tells Cass with a grin as she moves to get a glass and pour her Asian friend whatever her favorite beverage is from the fridge.

Stephanie brings the glass and both plates over to the table to take a seat. There's already silverware there, as well as Stephanie's glass of raspberry lemonade. "Missed you at Dick's party," she says. But there's a big smile on Stephanie's face, and her eyes are warm. It's easy enough for Cassandra to read that Stephanie is really glad to see her. "Hungry?" she asks, before digging into the food. She's hungry herself.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Easily enough, Cass gracefully drops down. She pauses as she puts her hands on the countertop, then lifts one of her feet to glance at it. Then she hops over to land on the tiled floor, no issue at all with balance, and her feet are a little dirty after all. Seems she got the idea.

Whether or not Alfred was watching is up to the imagination, but he'd likely approve at least; she has learned not to leave footprints on the tables.

Sliding into her place, she bumps against Stephanie gently with her hip, then smiles and picks up a fork. Rice, perfectly done, meets her mouth without hesitation. She chews quietly then leans over and puts a small kiss on the blonde's cheek.

She continues to eat, the fish joining the rice shortly, but her eyes keep flicking to Steph. She's curious.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown grins at the contact and the warm smooch, leaning over to wrap an arm around her friend's shoulders and give her a tight side hug. She lets go to continue eating then.

"There were fireworks," Stephanie says. "Really nice. Though I think Dick would have rather just done something quiet. Not a lot of hope in that after the paper article about him coming back to Gotham though," Stephanie says. Even though she knows a lot of it might be lost on Cassandra, Stephanie has never stopped talking to her.

Some would wager that's just because Stephanie talks a lot. They wouldn't be all wrong. But it's intentional as well. The more Cassandra has an opportunity to hear, and pick up words, the better, Stephanie figures. On top of the studying the two are doing together, teaching Cass words.

She makes her way through her food. Conscious of the practice she did in the mirror to try to stay casual. Though Cassandra might pick up there's something on Stephanie's mind. "You should have seen Dick's date. She... ah... wow. I mean. She had a Janet van Dyne original dress on. Made just for her. Dick took her there. And... and it's no wonder he was with her. She just looked... incredible."

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Cassandra is nomming some of Alfred's homecooked salmon when Steph starts talking about the party again. She turns in her chair so she can watch Steph more directly, since she seems to need that in order to catch the gist of things. It's a measure of respect; she turns away from you if she wants to ignore you.

Cassandra's hands start to lift from her plate for a moment, but they halt when Stephanie starts to talk about 'Dick's date'. She visibly falters in her own motion, and her eyebrows draw inward. A very slight motion to the left, and she eyes Steph from the corner of her eye skeptically.

She purses her lips a little, then puts her elbows on the table with a 'klunk'. Folding her fingers together she looks over the hands, almost militantly. Steph has her attention now.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
The change in posture from Cassandra draws Stephanie's attention. The girl's blue eyes flit away. "I mean, it's good. She'll make him happy. She's a detective too I think. So... so they have that in common," Stephanie says. She may not have the acting chops to be able to fool Cassandra, but hey, self-delusion has a much lower bar to clear.

Stephanie focuses back on her food. Her plate is steadily clearing, and it isn't long before she's washing down the last of the meal with the last of her raspberry-lemonade.

"Hey, heard about one of the balconies that has a great view. I was going to go hunt for it. Want to come with?" Stephanie asks, giving Cass a smile and rising to her feet. She takes her dishes to the sink. And washes them. Even though Alfred will do them, and indeed might give her a hard time for washing them herself, she always does when she can get away with it. One of the few ways she can pay Alfred back. She finishes up and checks to see if Cassandra is ready to come with her.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Cassandra stares at Stephanie for much longer than is entirely necessary, rather like that one friend who isn't fooled by your bullshit and is waiting for you to get to that point yourself. Her lips however tell a different story.

They have a harsh line when Steph is talking about Dick's date. Something in her has a very real worry while Steph talks about the woman, the woman's dress, and she stares just like that til Steph finishes her food. It's only when Steph tries, repeat tries, to change the topic that her lips seem to relax.

She watches her friend get up, wash dishes, and glances down at her half-eaten meal for a bare moment when Steph checks to see if she's done. She hasn't moved a millimeter, her folded hands still in front of her chin.

Then she allows herself to smile a little, her eyes flickering to the left. In the direction of 'the room'.

Then she sighs, stands up, and grins openly before waving Steph towards...whatever it is she's talking about.

Words she at bad. But she is apparently up for an adventure, or a mystery.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown grins at Cassandra as she rises. She's still working out for herself how she felt at the party on the docked passenger liner. Well, more like, trying to suppress what she worked out.

But this is a WELCOME diversion from those thoughts. Stephanie grabs a cookie from a tin, she'd get one for Cassandra but doesn't think she'd eat it given her simple diet she tends to stick to that doesn't include baked goods. "Come on, let's go exploring. There's so many rooms I have never seen. I mean, the vast majority, now I think about it," she says.

Stephanie grabs Cassandra's hand if allowed, and leads her through the mansion. They travel through the family wing, but past the rooms of their friends. Stephanie opens a door here and there to peek in, but nothing too exciting. Many guest bedrooms. Other doors are just open and they can look inside.

Eventually they come to a white door that has a small carving of a dolphin on it. Not many doors are adorned so, but a few have something on them. Stephanie opens it up and steps inside as she looks at the contents.

The room is rectangular, a little deeper then wide. At the back of it is a dollhouse. A giant dollhouse that takes up nearly the entire back of the room. It's only a little shorter than the two girls are. On both sides of the room are shelves that hold dolls of all sorts. Action figures. Puppets and marionettes. It's a giant toy room. There are also some toy chests along the walls.

Stephanie steps forward towards the dollhouse. "Wow," she says. She walks over to it, looking at it and finding hinges on one side. She walks to the other and opens it. The entire wall open, giving access to the interior. "That's just amazing," Stephanie says. Doing her best to not let on that she's seen this before. She closes it and turns to head back out. "Oh hey, there's my old toy box." The one that Cassandra saw on her table in her apartment back in September, the night that Stephanie and Roberto had broken up. "I guess this is where Alfred stored it for me."

Cassandra Cain has posed:
The mind inside of Cassandra's thick skull has been called a lot of things, most of them bad, but she's actually pretty quick on the uptake. Cass takes on another air as she's dragged, almost bodily, past Alfred as he attempts to enter the kitchen, to check on his charges.

The man is left spinning as the two giggling girls WHOOSH past him, one of them giggling enough for two most likely. Though it is possible that Cassandra, against all odds, was doing some of her own. If they see him smile, that's up to him.

As expected, no cookie joins Cassandra on her quest. She does have a moutful of fish she grabbed as she's yoinked, but it vanishes fast enough. She peeks into a room that Steph misses, a grin on her face and a piece of rice on her cheek, then gets paused at the dolphin room.

A moment's body language suggests that she thinks it might be a bathing room, but she waits with anticipation, even to the point of covering her own eyes while Stephanie does the reveal. She's good for a bit of drama!

Then her face goes slack, staring around the room. She is framed in the doorway as she stares, almost blankly, her eyes trying to take in everything at once. The way she's reacting, it's clear that Stephanie did not give away the secret. She may actually have caused Cassandra to have a minor stroke.

She steps into the room, completely missing Stephanie's attempt to hide her having premeditated this, and almost stumbles to the closest section of toys. She reaches out, hesitates visibly, and pulls back her hand from touching. A small porcelain doll, on a shelf. With wide eyes.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Stephanie Brown was ready to depart, not knowing if she would get a reaction of Cassandra. Given how Cass played with the ones at Stephanie's apartment primarily while Stephanie wasn't there to see it, she's not quite sure if Cassandra would feel comfortable doing so in front of her.

Also though Stephanie was in tears when she came in, so that was likely to disrupt what Cassandra was doing regardless.

As Cass moves over to look at the doll, Stephanie gives her a few moments alone, before moving over to join her. "It's a beautiful one," she says quietly, reaching up a hand to rest on Cassandra's shoulder gently. When Cass might look her way, Stephanie gives her an encouraging smile. "Go ahead" she says, her body language enough anyone could read it with that little head movement towards the doll. "It's ok," she says.

Stephanie reaches out to pick up a different doll. One that appeals to her. It's a doll of a girl with blond hair. And blue eyes. And she has a rather happy smile on her. One can probably make easy guesses why it appeals to her.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Cassandra leans toward Steph just a bit when she's touched. It feels automatic though. Cass has never been quite this distracted in Steph's presence. This might actually be too much for her to process.

She reaches out and touches the doll. Just a fingertip, and the doll does not break. She looks surprised, her eyes widening. What was she told as a child, to keep her from being allowed to play?

David Cain has a lot of pain to answer for, one day.

Still, Cassandra's eyes turn to Stephanie as the young woman picks up a doll of her own. She glances back to the one she's touched, then lowers her hand from it, almost as if scared. She bends her head and looks into another cubbyhole, the doll house almost as complex as her own home. She comes up with an action figure in her hand, her face screwing up with concentration. She turns an arm on the doll with a twist, and there's a cracking noise. The wince on her features is eloquent.

But she turns back, holding the doll carefully, and forces herself to smile. Then she more carefully moves the OTHER arm, making the doll wave to Stephanie?

How she can make that seem to be a question is amazing. Even her doll has a story, it seems.

Stephanie Brown has posed:
Even as Cassandra has learned words from Stephanie, so too has Stephanie gotten better at reading body language from having that be the only way to communicate with her good friend. She doesn't know exactly what is going through Cassandra's mind. But Stephanie can see that the dolls themselves are turning out to be not whatever preconceived notions that Cassandra had about them.

As the doll waves to her, Cassandra's action brings out a beautiful, glowing smile from Stephanie. She had no idea how this would go. But this is definitely better than she'd ever hoped for.

Stephanie holds up her doll and has it wave back to Casandra. She has it give a wave as if to come with her, and then Stephanie takes it over to the dollhouse. It's enormous, with so many different rooms, not to mention and outdoors that has a garage and a swimming pool, tennis court. It might as well be the mansion.

But Stephanie picks a simple enough spot, a kitchen. There's room for the doll to fit within. Stephanie opens up the toy refrigerator's door. She lets out a warm laugh and reaches in, pulling out a plate of rice, and also a fish. It's not salmon, but close enough. She puts them on the table than seats her doll there in front of the little meal.

Cassandra Cain has posed:
Food is eaten by the people in the mansion. At some point battles are fought, dishes washed, and rice is picked off of Cassandra's cheek, with a smile on both involved parties. Someone in the hallway passes, looks into the room, and moves on. Who it was or how many may be noted, or forgotten.

A car is driven out of the driveway, and the space given to some form of game, something, something...and there comes a time when Stephanie notices how Cassandra's eyes droop towards closed. She denies any such thing, her little doll actually saying, "I Okay!" as she forces her eyes open, her smile and nod saying lies.

A short time later, another looks in from the hallway. It has to be them who put the blanket on the girls, curled up as they are, fast asleep. Stephanie looks as if she was watching Cass, a doll spilled from her hands as if only laying down, just for a moment mommy. But Cass has curled up next to Stephanie in her sleep and is completely out cold.

But she has a small porcelain doll clutched to her chest, her hands soft and careful even in her sleep. And the doll has its eyes facing outward, keeping its eyes watchful. On guard, on duty.

And those, are the only open eyes in the room.