2019-05-12 - Catching Up Over Drinks


A continuation of Jason and Bab's conversation

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun May 12 22:30:59 2019
Location: RP Room 3

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Theme Song



It hadn't been a bad day for Barbara. Work at the library went about as well as could be expected, which meant she thoroughly enjoyed herself as she reshelved books and audio/visual media. If anyone could read her mind, they'd likely be worried at how much enjoyment she drew from handling books and keeping track of checkout status and such. After her shift, she had gone over to the Staten Island Police Headquarters to give them a hand with some server and network upkeep - before returning to the library to finish more shelving after hours where she wouldn't be interrupted.

At 11:03pm the redhead emerged from the building, arming the security system and locking up. She turned, then, and began to unhurriedly walk down the many stone stairs of the grand, gothic styled entrance. Yes, it had been a very successful day.

Jason has not been having a good day. He hasn't been having a good several months, in fact. He had a failed encounter with his mother and little sister just the other day, and he's been beating himself up over it since. He helped himself get over it by going out earlier tonight and beating the snot out of several thugs in a back alleyway, but unlike the old days, he didn't kill them. One of them will never hold a gun again, though, and the other two might have a limp for the rest of their lives.

A little beaten up, but mostly just tired, Jason heads to one of the only sure things he knows of in this city : Barbara is going to be working late at the library. Some things never change. Jeans, boots, a faded Talking Heads t-shirt under a jean jacket with a baseball cap, someone would need to know who to look for to recognize Jason at first glance. He spots Barbara leaving the library from a few buildings up and takes a deep breath, beginning to follow her. She'll likely notice in a block or so. The lone figure keeping pace.

Barbara Gordon wasn't the kind of woman to go crazy over expensive purses or hand bags. Okay, she had a few Dooney and Bourke purses - which were more expensive than the things one would find at a Bullseye or L-Mart. But she only bought those because they had characters from some of her favorite movies and she could still rebel against High Society by attending Bruce's gala's and events dressed lavishly, while still repping nerds and geeks everywhere. No, in her day to day, Babs was a backpack sort of girl. Still not so removed from her college years, plus it was simply more practical. Tablets and laptops don't fit in purses.

When Barbara noticed her shadow, she was indeed a few blocks from the library, and still a little over four more to her apartment. Her hand instinctively tightened around the backpack strap but she continued her pace. Running wouldn't make it any better. And it could be a coincidence. After 11pm.

After another block he dips into a side-alley. He's been learning this area all day, and knows how to get where he is going. As she keeps the same pace, he picks his own up. He moves through the alleyways swiftly, hopping trash cans. He ends up between Barbara and her apartment…but only just.

As the redhead turns a corner and spots her apartment building, she finds the man sitting on the stoop in front of the building's door. He glances up and reaches up, pulling his baseball cap off. She'll probably recognize him immediatly, fresh black eye and all. "Uh. Hey, Barbara," he calls out to her. He lifts a brown paper back with a bottle in it. "Drinks?" Yeah, just like that. He is nervous as hell, but not showing it.

Barbara Gordon completely expected something was going to happen - and was convinced she was right when her shadow disappeared when it did. But she wasn't prepared for it, him, to return in front of her. On her apartment doorstep. Or that her shadow would turn out to be,


The surprise on her face was reflected in her eyes. She just did not see this coming. She had stoppped short of the stairway, still beyond arm's reach as she looked at someone who had disappeared two years prior and, if she was completely honest, may well have killed himself, or been killed, given the mental issues to be battled.

She looked at him in silence for almost a minute before looking to the sack with a bottle in it then back to his face.

"The last time I saw you? You broke three of my ribs. Two more were fractured and both of my kidneys were bruised."

She doesn't answer the offer for drinks as she waits to judge his response to her comment about that time where Red Hood attacked Batgirl.

He flinches as if struck, but does his best to keep a stoic face. To a person who didn't know him he'd seem uneffected. She pretty much grew up with Jason, though, and she can still read him like a book. The slight sag to his muscled shoulders. The nervous shift of a planted foot. She can read his profound regret in his body, even if he barely shows it in his face. Instead, he furrows his brow and glances down at the bag.

"I did a lot worse to a lot of other people, Babs. You don't need to forgive me for it. I don't deserve that. But I…" He trails off and glances away from her, to an unspecific space down the street. Anywhere but her eyes.

"…I didn't want to be alone tonight. I can't go to the Manor. I…don't know anybody else." Nobody that isn't some crooked contact. "I'm, uh…back in town, by the way…"

Back in town. Well that was going to go over well, wasn't it? Part of her really wanted to be there to see -those- fireworks. There are no family reunions like Bat Family reunions.

She watches his reaction. She sees the change in demeanor. the little movements she remembered so vividly.

"Yes. You murdered …. it doesn't matter how many. You did it." She still hasn't moved.

"But you know what? I almost could forgive you for those. Even if that isn't how we were trained, isn't how we did things, how we still do things. They were all among the worse criminals ever to exist on Staten Island. But /we/ were not strangers." She felt betrayed. She knew he had been brainwashed. But somewhere deep down she felt that he should have been able to fight it. Batman could have. Would have.

But no, that isn't fair to believe or to hold against anyone who is not Batman. Only the Batman could have the resolve to beat attempts at mind control.

She regretted her accusation the moment she said it. The moment she realized she was judging Jason against the Shadow of the Bat. Against that shadow? Who could be found equal? She wasn't certain it was possible to answer that question.

She looks to the man in front of her again. Lost. Afraid. Clearly in need.

"You can sleep on the couch. I wasn't expecting company so there isn't much to eat that isn't leftover Chinese."

She watches him, waiting for his response.

"I have a place of my own. It's just empty. I'll head back there before hitting the sack. I just needed someone to be with tonight." She wasn't far off when she earlier thought about him offing himself. He hasn't been fully right since waking up in his own coffin and having to dig his way out. He's had his gun in his own mouth on more then one night…this one included.

He clears his throat and rises, holding the back up. "Drinks, like I said. Company. Conversation. We have some catching up to do, right?"

Barbara Gordon nods, albeit curtly. She's tense. Expecting him to attack her at any moment, really.

Pushing past him, she moves to the door, unlocking it with her building ID - gone were the days of doormen. Now it was just an RFID pad that determined who could be let in or not. She held the door for him with her foot then began to climb the stairs. It would be three flights up but she was not about to risk being in an elevator with him, yet.

A final glance at him over her shoulder then she silently unlocked her door and let him enter first, following after.

Her place looked more like a college dorm than an apartment. A basket of unfolded laundry. Some dishes in need of washing. paperwork strewn all about the very fancy computer desk. And computers? There are at least seven of them. A few being server towers, a few laptops. And the array of wide screen displays looks like something out of a scifi or military movie where the good guys are fighting evil hackers or aliens. Everything on the computer desk is easily worth more than the rest of the items in her apartment combined.

Dropping her backpack near the computer desk, she turns to gesture toward the couch while she goes to get a couple glasses, asking finally, "what are we drinking?"


Jason stands a bit awkwardly near the door, glancing about the apartment for a long, quiet moment. He finally clears his throat and follows her towards the counter. "Nice place," he says, as he sets the bag on the counter. He reaches into it and withdraws a bottle of decent Vodka, and a six pack of Hero Energy. "I have a decent memory, sometimes," he offers with a small, lopsided smile.

He brushes his fingers back through his dark hair, the white streak in it something that came with his mysterious ressurrection.

Barbara Gordon gets out two glasses and smiles at the compliment of her place. "Thanks. I don't get to spend as much time here as I may like. But I'm happy with it's amenaties and location." She moves to the counter, setting the glasses down and taking out the bottle. She looks at the label and smiles faintly once again. "Well now you're just trying to appeal to College Coed Barbara aren't you?" She sets the bottle down with a laugh and turns to the 'fridge to take out two fruity punch flavored energy drinks. She opens each and fills the glasses about two thirds with the bright red liquid before opening the vodka and topping each off. It's a generous amount considering. It seems like it's going to be one of those evenings and conversations. She offers one glass to Jason, gesturing to the living space. "Have a seat if you like."

He nods a bit to that. "Well, you always kept yourself pretty busy. Got that from your dad, I figure." He smirks at her comment about college co-ed Babs and shrugs a muscled shoulder. "I was going to spend the night drinking alone at home, and figured this'd be better." He eyes the glass and then nods, taking it from her. He walks over to the living room and glances about it for a moment before he slides down to sit on the couch.

Barbara Gordon nods, agreeing with that assessment. "Probably. He's always at the precinct these days." She moves to take a seat on the other end from him. "You say that now. You might change your mind later" she says with a wry smile. "How long have you been back, Jason?" she asks it carefully; uncertain yet if this is going to be a stable and polite visit or if it's going to turn sour unexpectedly.

The man chuckles softly and leans back on the couch, trying to get comfortable. He's got a lot of nervous energy, though, and he shifts quite constantly. He brings the drink to his lips for a long sip before he glances over at her. "Uh, about a month, or so. Not too long. I've been keeping my head down, mostly. Establish myself. Setting up my own place and shit."

Barbara Gordon hasn't taken a sip of her drink yet, just holding it as she listens. She nods then pauses a moment. "Is this going to go - differently - than last time you came home?" She watches him carefully, studying his reaction and response.

He furrows his brow and is silent for a long moment, glancing down into his drink. "I hope it does. I'm…not the same as I was then. Just like I wasn't the same as I was…before." He lifts his drink for another sip. "…Maybe this was a mistake. People probably aren't ready for…me…yet."

Barbara Gordon finally sips her drink then shakes her head, "You're wrong, Jason. You're family. But one bitten…" she shrugs. "I think it's going to be hard for you to come to face the results of your actions. Even if you weren't fully responsible - and I understand that. But you still carried out the actions, unwillingly or not. That had a tremendous impact on everyone." She sighs and looks at him. "But you know how the Family is. If you show yourself to Him as genuinely focused on changing and getting better? He may make things hard on you for a while just to see if you'll crack. If you'll give up. But if you don't, if you remain determined to change for the better. He'll accept you back."

Jason brushes his hand over his face and back through his hair as he listens to her. "Bruce is…well. I haven't seen him yet. I bet Helena and Selina have told him I'm back, though. I don't really know how all of that is gonna go. My encounter with Helena and mom was…" He trails off and sits up a bit, before rising to his feet. He stays near the couch, though, just hesitating. "It went bad, but not as bad as it could have gone, considering I shot her before. She -did- hit me with a car, but…it was later on…"

Barbara Gordon watches him and remains seated. Cautious but not afraid. She nods. "I remember. It wasn't good. What you did. But if you recognize that, it's a big step toward making things right." She sip sher drink again and stands. "Listen.. whatever you want to talk about? You pick the subject and we'll go with it."

"I know it wasn't good. I shot my mom," he growls softly. Well, his adopted mom, but Selina was there for him WAY more then his real one ever was. He sighs and brings his glass to his lips, draining it. "I don't know what I want to talk about. I just didn't want to be alone tonight."

Barbara Gordon looks at him sharply. "And how many others, Jason. How many?" She shakes her head, "If you only regret shooting her..?" She shrugs and goes to refill both of their glasses and returns, offering his glass back. "Then we can just sit quietly. I'm not going to kick you out or chase you off." She looks to him, "I'm… glad.. you're back. The real you. Things have changed. But it doesn't mean things will be worse because you've come back. I think they'll be much better."

"186," he replies smoothly. "Killers, rapists, pedophiles, drug dealers. I put one hundred and eighty six in the ground. Each one was a piece of shit, Babs. Every single one." He glances over at her, his tone soft. "And even though they were walking garbage, I see -every- single face when I try to sleep at night."

Barbara Gordon looks at him as he talks. She nods quietly. "I can't imagine what it's like. Stopping them all was good." It was the method that caused such a rift in the 'Family' as it were. She sighs. "It wasn't easy seeing you that way." She moves to sit again whether he does or not. "… what happened before you came back here? I heard a report you'd escaped? Is that true?"

Jason Todd nods. He considers for a moment and then moves to the kitchen to refill his drink. "Bruce put me in this…institution. He paid for good help for me, to be fair. But being locked up like that was hard for me. I couldn't do it. I couldn't." He makes his way back over and slips back onto the couch, half-facing her. "I broke out eventually and left. Travelled Europe but settled in France. It's a really long story, but I got a job at a chateau. I mostly worked in the owner's garage on his cars, but eventually I got out into the garden, too. It was…good for me."

Barbara Gordon listens and nods. "Well then I'm glad you were able to find a way to work through things." She smiles and walks over, this time just filling her glass with the energy drink and none of the alcohol. "It's good to have you back, Jason." She offers another smile and then offers him a hug. If she doesn't show him she trusts him, how can he ever get past feeling at odds her?

He starts to say something about the life in France, but he hesitates and then trails off. "Yeah. Work through things." He pauses when she goes to hug him, but then leans in to take it. He rests his head on hers and holds her close. The hug lasts as long as she allows it. The man clearly, clearly needs it…and didn't even realise that he did.

Barbara Gordon hugs him and doesn't pull away. "I'm sure this isn't easy. Any of it. When you're ready to talk, if that time ever comes, you can always talk to me. It isn't exactly a Family strong point - admitting emotions or feelings." She laughs softly as she leans against him.

Jason Todd chuckles and holds her close. "It really isn't, no." After a moment he realises he is enjoying the closeness more then makes him comfortable, and the young man gentle releases her. She likely notices that he gives off a surprising amount of body heat. More then normal. "So…what have -you- been up to, huh?"

Barbara Gordon steps back when he does and she nods. "Well. I'm not going to make it any harder for you if I can help it." She glances back, "Well… Working with the New York Public Library system…" She smirks, "After all these years I really am a nerdy librarian like you used to tease me." Brushing her hair from her cheek she continues, "I've been working with the Staten Islend police department. Their records system looked like a hurricane hit it and their network was still making use of dialup modems. /Modems!/" she complains. "I've helped them get into the 21st century finally. But now all the old guard distrust the system. They think it's spying on them. Even my dad" she laughs.

The man nods a bit to that, chuckling softly. "Nice. All of that. I envy you a normal job, but…I don't think I could handle it, either way. I'd go a bit crazy. Are you still wearing the cowl, too? You always looked good in it." He sits back and sips his drink, watching her.

Barbara Gordon grins some. "Well… I did go to college to get my criminology and cyber terrorism degrees. Then i got my masters in Library and Information sciences.. so is it really any wonder?" She sets her half finished glass down on the side table then nods. "I am. Now that I've got a regular schedule, it's easier again to get out and help." She then comments, "Also, if you hadn't heard, Ivy has.. as it's said, turned over a new leaf. She was offered a chance to work for the government. She's helping recover the devestation. She's done an incredible job in bringing nature back to replace all the scars and scorched earth."

Jason Todd looks surprised at that, and he looks like he is about to say something snide, but he catches himself. "Eh. If I can look for a new start, so can she." He brushes his fingers back through his hair and sighs. "I'm proud of you, Babs. You've done well. You deserve that regularity and sense of accomplishment." He brings his drink back to his lips for another pull.

Barbara Gordon nods. "I've been checking in on her - Batgirl has rather - for a few weeks. She hasn't been sure what to do with herself when she isn't working. She's found she likes having friends. So I… think.. you could say that Batgirl and Ivy are friends now. More than acquaintances at least."

Jason Todd blinks at that and then chuckles. "Wow. Well, good for you two, then." He sets his glass aside for the moment. "I don't know if I really have friends. Well, not here. I did back in France but…that all went tits-up." He shrugs his well-muscled shoulders and glances back over at Barbars.

Barbara Gordon laughs some. "well no one can be completely alone. Even introverts need a few close trusted friends." She nods to him. "Well whether you considered it or not, Bruce and I were always there to consider ourselves friends of yours. Even if he shows it in the strangest of waves usually.

"Bruce never knew if he was my friend, my mentor or my dad," Jason grunts. "They are not all the same." Jason knows which one he considers him, even if he wrestles with it in the rougher times. "But…thanks."

Barbara Gordon nods. "I know." She then smiles. "You're welcome, Jason. You don't have to go through this alone. Just remember that. okay?"

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