Luring Spoiler from retirement

November 21, 2014: Damian finds Spoiler, and gets her to come out of hiding

Outside School

Outside the school Stephanie attends.



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Mood Music:

After school, Stephanie is walking home, her backpack over her shoulder. She truly does look like any blonde teenager from any US city, her jeans a brandless type, a t-shirt cut in a reasonably flattering babydoll cut, pink and black, and her hair tugged into a ponytail that almost bounces with each step. Her head in a book, she is walking with half her attention on the route in front, heading towards a park, instead of towards her home.

"You need to talk to your boyfriend," Robin says as he walks up behind her. Only it's not Robin as you might expect. He's wearing a black hood, a drab olive jacket and large aviator glasses. You can tell it's him because of his hair and size. Plus, that Arabic accent he has. "And the Batman does not believe you are fit for duty. I find that laughable. What say you?"

The book jumps in her hand, as she spins on her heel, her hands freeing themselves to defend, an instinctive movement before she narrows her eyes, her hands moving to her hips. "No I don't." The tone is definitely angry, and she adds, bending to grab the book, "And I don't care what he thinks. I gave it up." The book gets hugged to her, her chin lifting, a mix of defensiveness and anger in her body, written across her face. "What are you doing here?"

Robin chuckles derisively, "You did not. Shut your face. You're allowing your emotions to get the better of you. Stop shaming yourself, you are better than that." He turns more towards her now, not seeming to flinch at her machinations, "You need to talk to him because people are worried. Apparently he's being reckless. He's getting injured. A lot. I don't know the fool from a hole in the wall, but you could talk some sense into him before he gets himself killed."
Shadows gather, returning old paths to darkness.

Her eyes narrow and she takes a step backwards, shaking her head, "I haven't worn that cape since I told him it was over. He hasn't been near me." As far as she knows, anyway. "I can't do that anymore, I don't want to." The quiet assertion has less emotion in it though, harder somehow, and she adds, "I have to give it up, my mother needs me there." A reason at least. "Besides, he has Harley." Another reason.

Robin stands back a step, "I…I didn't know. I didn't realize you two had broken up. I'm sorry." He changes the subject, back over to her and how she can't do it anymore. "Why can you not do that anymore? Why do you no longer want to? That's ridiculous—no one who takes the time to create a persona, make their costume, and fight for justice…people don't just give up."

"Sure, you must be one of the few people on earth that didn't see him and Harley in that video." The anger and bitterness in her voice is striking, her face tightening. "Because the person I did it to catch is in prison, behind bars, and … my mother asked me to stop." She lifts one shoulder, returning his look steadily. "Doing it alone is too dangerous, and I get that."

"Well, I'd figure you had made an excuse for him like you did before." Damian shrugs his shoulders. He tried to tell her. "So you're done, then. Your mother says stop, and you stop." How different their lives have turned out in the past few months. Damian has recently decided to do the exact opposite of what his own parent wanted, and couldn't be happier.

"I told him before, he only gets one." The words are soft and she turns, beginning to walk towards home, "Yeah, well, she needs me. She just got out of rehab.. and my dad is… well, he is in prison." The quietly made confession is not common knowledge, and she glances at him, a moment's heartbeat before she adds, "He is the Cluemaster."

"Really?" Damian says rocking on his feet. "Cluemaster?" His head tilts as he processes the information, "Well that is truly interesting." Like everything else, he begins to formulate a plan to twist this in some way, "You mean to tell me then that your original intent was only based on vengeance? I doubt you are that selfish."

The look he gets over her shoulder is scornful, "No, I wanted him in prison so he would stop ruining our lives. Have you any idea what it is like growing up with a … a manic for a father, someone who makes your house into a den full of …" Her words fail her and she shakes her head, "My plan was to put him away, to spoil his plans. He tried to kill me."

"And you won, so you are done." Damian chuckles, "I know very well what it is like to have a maniac in the family. I have several." Damian makes no move to follow her. If she wants to go, she can go. "I don't know if you'll take advice from me, or if you do not care. But I will tell you this: At the end, every woman must decide for herself what she wants and what compels her to act as a human being. If your heart was never in this business of ours, then perhaps you're making the right decision. If that's not true, then someone or something is holding you back. And if that's the case, you have a higher responsibility than to any mother or even to yourself. If Batman taught me anything, it's that."

Her steps slow, and then stop, but she listens with her back to him. The tension in her back is obvious, a long moment before she turns, the book hugged against her. "What if, the next time, I don't get home in time to save her from herself? What if the next time I'm out saving the world, she takes more drugs and …." The concern is definitely the teenager speaking, her face tight. "Vorpal got her into a rehab, she's clean for the moment but…He'll get out again." She sighs, her shoulders slumping, as she turns to sit on a bench, the book still hugged.

"Is she more important than anyone else? Or just more important to you?" Damian asks, his hands in his pockets as he walks slowly towards her, taking each step and then sort of swinging to look out over everything.

"She should be important to someone. I've only got her." The snark is lacking in this one today, the fight taken out of Stephanie. "The minute he gets out, he'll give her drugs and…" The wince on her face is obvious enough, her headshake quick, "Besides, Robin has Harley."

"The Facsimilie has what he deserves. As for you, who you have and what you need are two different things. You started this because you were independent. You dont need him," Damian reasons. "You don't /need/ anybody."

Stephanie hesitates, before she puts the book down, resting her elbows on it, her face thoughtful. "Maybe. I started this because he was trying to kill me and I had to do something." The lack of correction for his name for Tim is possibly marked, the first time ever. "Maybe."

"I tried to warn you," Damian says defiantly. "Take this, this business with the Facsimilie, as a sign to prove to yourself that you are all you need. I recently had the same epiphany. I've left Gotham."
He definitely startled her, her eyes widening as she looks up at him. "You left Gotham? Why? Where?" She puts the book aside, bending a knee to hug her leg, watching him with wide blue eyes.
"To New York. I needed to leave the coil of my father and the drama of the Facsimile. I realized that they weren't helping me in the life that I wanted—the life that I needed to have. I left, perhaps a month ago. I've been drifting there ever since. Spending some of my days out at the Titans camp. Other days I spend wandering the city, trying to do good by it in ways I can, staying at hostels. I'm free."

Stephanie nods, a slow movement, her face thoughtful. "Vorpal invited me to join them. I never said either way." That, right there, is a temptation. She rests her cheek against her knee, her face thoughtful. "What life did you want?" The question is soft, her voice low. "Freedom would be good."

"A life for…for once in it, I could decide for myself what I wanted to do. I came to some of the same conclusions of some mentors I've had. And the same conclusions of others. But the mix is my own, and for once in my life I am happy." And despite Tim being on the team, Damian hasn't run into him once.

Steph gives him a steady look, thoughtful and then she nods, rising to her feet abruptly. "Come on." Her steps this time are not towards the park, where she hides from home, but towards her lockup, where her Spoiler stuff is kept, her steps purposeful. "I think I'll tell Vorpal yes. Tim can… do whatever. But mum'll do whatever she wants when he gets out again and if I'm not ready…"

"The matter of when your father gets out is public record. I imagine you don't need to sit around here and wait with that book in this park for it to happen. Give yourself a bit more credit," Damian says with a wry grin.

The snort is less than ladylike, "Like when he gets out will be the date on his parole? He is plotting to get out of there now, …" She shakes her head, "I can't call you Robin, it is too weird. What should I call you?"

"Robin," Damian replies offhandedly. "It's my rightful name. He's wasted it on his self pity and debauchery." Damian grins, "You mean to tell me that the bonds of the Gotham justice system are less than secure?"

Stephanie wrinkles her nose, "I called him that, I don't want to…" Be reminded she means but she trails off, shaking her head. "Amazing, isn't it. He has this plan to get out, he always has a plan." Her steps take them swiftly to the lock up, sliding the door shut behind them before she unlocks the hidden part, her purple cape there, waiting for her. The cobwebs and dust does tell its own tale.

Damian stands by and waits as Steph gets her things, "I have a motorcycle I'm borrowing from the second Hawkeye. If you need a ride, I can bring you up there. It's two hours."
Another door opened, as she quickly packs up her stuff. That reveals the bike Tim had boosted for her. "I have my ride. I'll just have to take more care of her, if he isn't around…" The lightness of her movements hints that maybe she missed this. There is a moment where she hesitates by the bike, before she pulls the mask up over her lips and nose, shooting him a look. "Lead on, then." The grin shows in her eyes.

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