2019-06-02 - Bedside Manner


Bruce, Selina and Cassandra check on Stephanie's wounds, and discuss the previous mission.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Jun 2 00:08:43 2019
Location: Wayne Manor - Batcave

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Theme Song



The trip back to the Batcave was a blur for Stephanie. She's not sure if she was taken somewhere else for treatment first, or who stitched her up. The bullet passed completely through her left upper arm, punching through the protection of her costume, before hitting the thicker protection on the side of her torso. Thankfully the armor piercing bullet was mostly stopped there, though it shattered the thin ceramic armor plate and only the kevlar cloth was left intact. A few ribs were broken, but nothing that shouldn't heal fully.

When she comes to, Stephanie is lying in bed in the Batcave. It's not often that one has a chance to wake up from an experience like that, and so one should make sure to have some memorable words ready. Stephanie is up to the task.

"Owwwwww…. what hit me?"

"A bullet, Miss Stephanie." That is Alfred's commentary on the matter. While the costume was already removed, Stephanie is still modest in her sports bra, the undershirt removed so that he could work on the injury. "It looks to have cleanly passed through, so this should be an easy patch job. Do please be still, I would rather not leave you with a scar, and I do pride myself on my work." he offers to the young woman.

He's already got her on an IV, and administered pain medication - the fact that Alfred is well-practiced at this speaks volumes of the sheer number of injuries that he has had to repair over the years. "The wound is bandaged.. and you have company." he points out as he pushes over a cart with a couple of domed trays on it along with a pitcher of ice water and glasses.

Strangely, perhaps, Cassandra had refused to leave Stephanie's side. Or even sleep. Though, reluctantly somewhat, she had eaten a little after the group got back. She was, almost, like a gargoyle, glooming and watching, protecting, and waiting with a seemingly endless reserve of patience.

When Stephanie comes to, Cassandra, still in the bat-costume, but with cowl removed, leans forward to lightly touch Stephanie's arm. She smiles.

"A bullet? Are we allowing them to use those now?" she asks, wincing and looking over at her wounded arm. "Thank you Alfred. I'd be good without a scar from it either. I'd probably have to get a tattoo to cover it. And no one would take me seriously with an Alf tattoo with a scar on her cheek."

Sense of humor survived, thankfully. Stephanie looks around, seeing Cassandra and smiling to her as the Asian girl moves over to touch her. "Hey, so did you do a better job of dodging bullets than I did?" Stephanie asks Cassandra. She slides her hand on her good arm over to touch Cassandra's shoulder fondly. "So how'd we do with the ship? Win? Lose? Draw? Is Bruce likely to add another bullet over the outcome?" she asks, glancing around for any sign of the family patriarch.

Alfred smirks slightly. "Yes. Because you are taken seriously now, Miss Stephanie." It's said with a dry tone - he's probably teasing the poor woman as she covalesces over her injury. "And I am not sure I would do you justice with a proper Alf." he responds. "Perhaps a pitted cherry." comes the suggestion as he glances towards Cassandra. "You can finally rest."

Cassandra accepts the touch, tilting her head to Stephanie. She nods once, and gestures to herself to show she has no bandages, or holes in her flesh. At the latter question, however, she shrugs some - the 'mission' as it was, was not quite a success, but neither was it a failure. The smile leaves her expression going into a thoughtful, furrowed one as she considers the finer points she hadn't thought about now that her friend is awake.

"Well, I'd give the bullet wound a few more days before I start asking criminals to take you seriously again." Selina's voice comes from the entrance of the cave as she walks down the stairs, a small smile on her face as she approaches in costume, subtle relief in her body language, though she's keeping her overt emotions a bit close to the chest now, giving Alfred's shoulder a brief squeeze before she addresses Stephanie again. "How're you holding up, kid?"

Stephanie gives a soft laugh at Alfred's gest. Those painkillers aren't hurting her sense of humor any. "So everyone's ok? Good to hear," she says, resting her head back against the pillow propped up against the headboard. "Sorry I missed getting to see you kick ass again," Stephanie tells Cassandra warmly and flashing a smile over at her. "We need to work out this communication thing so you can give me the blow by blow account," Stephanie says.

Selina is given a soft smile as Stephanie turns to see her arrival. "Oh, this. Flesh wound. Won't keep me down more than a day or two."


"Week or two," Stephanie says as Alfred corrects her, though flashing a flat look at him. Thanks for the support there, Alfred.

"Miss Selina." Alfred offers the woman a smile, but steps back as the matriarch of the Bat clan comes to check on one of the younger members. She's not alone. Following behind her is Bruce, as he has gotten the report from Selina on it all. "Stephanie." he offers to her with a brief bow of his head in concern.

Again, Cassandra shrugs about the communication issue. It certainly can be, as observed in the fight last night, to be a detriment to communicate over the comm systems with Cassandra. The words are heard, but they're not understood. At least, most of them aren't. Still, the socializing is doing her more good than anyone could know, including herself.

The young asian girl points to her eyes, and then points to Stephanie as if to communicate something to her, just then, even as Bruce walks into the room. Cassandra looks up at him, her expression flat. She looks between Bruce, Selina, and Stephanie then, literally reading the room. She seems to relax some, when Bruce's concern, rather than his anger, is apparent.

"A week or two." Catwoman repeats softly, and sighs. She regards Stephanie quietely for a long moment, and shakes her head, asking, "… Boss Man give you the talk yet, or do I have get grumpy now? I can wait, but…" Selina shrugs, and gives Bruce a bit of a smile, taking one step to the side to give him room to approach. That said, Cassandra can see a sort of anxious curiosity being aimed towards her. Her 'insubordination' last night wasn't something that can 'only' be explained by the inability to understand english; and 'she's understood up until now through body language' is a leap of logic, but she's clearly starting to wonder about the girl. She hasn't been disobeyed quite that badly since Jason Todd was active.

Stephanie Brown reaches over, slipping her hand into Cassandra's if allowed. Perhaps herself looking for that bit of support as she doesn't know what to expect from Bruce's arrival. Seeing his expression, Stephanie relaxes a little bit then as well. "I don't think anyone's give me a talk yet. Or, if so I wasn't quite in a state to hear it," she says with a soft chuckle towards Selina.

"I don't really remember much after… I blew up a robot with some electric and freeze batarangs. And… that's it." She lost those last fractions of a second probably when she went down. "What happened? There was some talk about supporting a guy?" she says, after recalling that much of the comms chatter about Red Hood.

Stephanie glances to Cassandra. "Soon as Alfred gets me patched up, we'll go through languages and see which one works for you. Old google translate is… well I don't know how good it is, but I get the right food at Mexican restaurants," she says.

Cassandra meets Selina's stare, and at least can sense or read the woman's curiousity and anxiousness within the older woman's posture. And, in a way she answers by standing up and, holding Stephanie's hand takes a defensive stance, over the wounded Batgirl as if to answer the unspoken question.

As Stephanie starts to speak, she looks down at the blonde girl and merely shakes her head in negation, and shrugs again. Again, she points at her eyes, and then at Stephanie, repeating the earlier gesture in hopes that her friend will further understand.

"She doesn't know how to speak. She's going to need to learn." Bruce has finally started to realize things, and is letting his facial features guide Cassandra, along with his tone of voice. "You will be fine, Stephanie. But we need to work on you finding a way to be far more stealthy in your motions." His hand settles on Selina's shoulder, he can feel the anxiousness from her.

"I know things are difficult at the moment." he says to them all as he looks between the others. He's not showing anger or fear. He's showing concern. It's always like this when things changed. "I know you're ready." he gestures to Cassandra. "To be out there, but I made the mistake of not supervising you and sending you out with Selina before the pair of you had a chance to know each other."

"I apologize." A bow of his head to both Cassandra and Selina.

Mark down this day.

Selina Kyle doesn't generally do 'guilty' but seeing Batman of all people apologise is surreal enough that she almost feels like she should be, the cowled felina blinking once and subtly recoiling in disbelief for a moment, to the point where she forgets to tease him about any implied incompetence on her part.

Selina knew Cassandra couldn't speak, it's the lack of understanding she didn't - and still doesn't fully grasp - although Cassandra pointed response to Catwoman's own body language comes off as surprising and slightly inexplicable to Selina, who doesn't realize that she might as well be broadcasting her thoughts to Cassandra on a megaphone. "… I'm sure we'll get along fine." Is all Selina can manage to say on the matter, between Bruce's apology and Cassandra's stance. "Soon as we figure out a system for…" Selina gesticulates vaguely, "This."

As for Stephanie, Selina sighs. "Well, the short version is a spooky lady in a gold mask shot you. The long version is you made enough of a spectacle of yourself to get thrown around and shot. It happens. It's just that you usually die when it happens, so." Selina presses her lips together tightly, "Don't do that." As for the other guy, Selina's shoulders… slump a little bit, subtle confusion and sorrow and anger in her body language on the subject of Jason. "He was… he's…" Catwoman looks away slightly, "… trouble. As far as we know. He's as dangerous as any of us, and he's tried to kill us before." Selina crosses her arms, "… and he tried to help us tonight." By a certain loose and explodey definition of help. "… So we don't know what's going through his mind right now. If you see him again, don't engage him, we have no idea what he'll do."

A squeeze is given to Cassandra's hand and Stephanie smiles and gives a nod as Bruce helps make apparent what is going on. Stephanie keeps up the smile as she motions to Cassandra and to herself jointly and then says, "I'll help you learn English." She points at a couple of things, the bed, the table, Alfred's needle, and gives the English word for each in a tone that stresses the word so Cassandra will hopefully pick up that she's offering to help her learn.

Stephanie looks back over to Bruce. "I don't remember everything, but that part I do. It wasn't me. The guy who was near me went on past without noticing me. Someone else must have got spotted. Everything came alive just as I was moving off to search the containers, and he came back out because of that." Stephanie looks over and listens to the talk of Red Hood. "Hrm, well maybe he's the one that got spotted?" she says. "I suppose it's good if he didn't attack us this time. Do we know why?"

Cassandra listens, watches, as Stephanie points to each item and provides the names for them. But, for all the efforts it at least seems to fall on deaf ears.

Yet, afterwards, Cassandra lets go of Stephanie's hand and for the first time since the other girl was brought in moves to leave her side. She first walks over to Bruce, standing just a few feet in front of him. She stares at him a few moments and then touches his chest, over his heart. She then points to Stephanie. She is clearly trying to communicate something. Or, show something.

Then, she purposefully walks over to Selina. She stares at Selina in the same fashion before she makes a 'helmet' over her head with her hands, perhaps trying to indicate the Red Hood/Jason? She takes up that defensive stance again, and then draws a circle pointing around to each of them - to Stephanie, to herself, to Bruce, to Selina. Finally, she thumps her own heart with the sort of fervor that's seen in movies or when people are swearing on the grave of their dead mother that they're telling the truth.

And, as if to prove she knows what she's talking about? She looks between Bruce, and Selina, finally. She takes Bruce's hand, and puts it in Selina's hand. Then, with her finger, she taps both of their own ringfingers. Where a wedding ring would go. It might be a secret to others, but Cassandra can see the level of the relationship having changed. And she's watched people, from afar.

Finally, she looks between them all, to see if they understand how she understands them.

There's a moment, as Cassandra carries out charades. Bruce considers the touch to his chest, and then he moves. Away from the others. As he walks across the catwalk, the metal plates rattle, before he comes to a display. He pulls a switch, and it illuminates. Various costumes are on display. "Red Hood." he says to Cassandra, "…was Robin." he moves to where the second costume is on display. "He perished… but then he returned. Somehow, he was trained.. like you." He points to Cassandra, and then the costume. "He wanted me to kill the man that killed him. I could not." It's not something he admits easily. Selina knows why. He can never cross that line. No matter how much he wants it.

Bruce's ring finger may not have a mark, but Selina's does perhaps, even if she does not wear a ring at a moment. And he can't help but to smile. "Yes. I am going to marry her." he says, before continuing - hopefully before Stephanie realizes what he said.

"We're all family. We all look out for each other. I do not agree with what some of Jason does.. but I will watch him when he's out there."

Selina, for her part, grows rapidly more confused as Cassandra's gestures advance in complexity and intimacy, her eyes finally widening when their ring fingers are indicated, something that Selina hasn't broadly shared, and certainly not with the new girl. "The…" Selina glances back and forth between Bruce and Cassandra, "… *hell*? How did you-?" Selina pauses. Okay. Is the girl psychic? She feels like she'd talk in her head if she were psychic. Could be a psychic that doesn't know english, but then her thoughts would still be worthless to her. So…

Catwoman leans forward, carelessly using Stephanie's recovery bed as a prop to put her face closer to Cassandra's. "… You know what I'm saying." It's not a question. "… But you don't… you don't know a damn word english, do you?"

Stephanie Brown watches Cassandra's motions. "Are you saying that Red Hood was trying to protect us, the same way that Bruce does?" Stephanie asks her Asian friend. "Or that you are? Because the latter I can believe easily enough," Stephanie adds with a smile to her new friend. "The other, well I have no clue, I never saw him," she says. "But she seems to have good instincts," Stephanie says of Cassandra, words directed to Bruce and Selina.

She does glance over at the gestures to the ring fingers, and at Bruce's words, but stays quiet as the conversation moves on.

There are two sharp nods from Cassandra.

The first is at Selina's query. Selina is on the mark with both observations, it would seem.

The second sharp nod is to Stephanie's observation about the Red Hood. There isn't the least amount of doubt in her about her convictions and what she observed in Hood's actions last night.

Finally she looks back to Bruce. She nods to him, and taps her own heart as if to say she will look out for Red Hood too, before returning to Stephanie's side, and sitting back down. But there's an intensity about her, now. She seems to have at least gotten through to some degree to them of how she can understand. It's a good start.

As Selina and Cassandra reach what he can only assume is an understanding as he moves to join the others. Yes, even Selina has one of the Catwoman suits in glass now. Bruce folds his arms gently over his chest as he moves to stand next to Selina, always backing her up and supporting her. "But his actions also prevented us from getting the evidence that we need to stop the Nefaria family. We don't have any idea of their plan or motives as we did a few days ago."

Catwoman stares at Cassandra, the gears turning in her head as she tries to figure out what the make of thus, only for her shoulders to slump a bit, her head lowering as Batman explains their history with Jason, the regrets of that time somehow mixing with a bit of embarrassment as he announces their impending marriage out loud. When Batman rejoins her, Catwoman worldless raises her hand to squeeze Batman's arm without looking up, nodding her head a bit before finally straightening up again. "We have a chunk of robot, and a super-criminal sighting. Not the haul we were looking for, but The Red Hood decided the evidence was better off at the bottom of the ocean than in a police lock up…" There's a pregnant frustrated pause before Catwoman blurts out a short… emotionally complicated little laugh and shakes her head. "The more things change, huh…?" she says, looking to Batman. Even as Robin, Jason was nothing if not a loose canon. It's just his rebellion didn't usually involve explosives and assault rifles. She doesn't know what to do with the information that Jason supposedly doesn't mean them any harm. It's like… it's like she wants to believe that so bad that she's suspicious of the impulse. In fairness, the last time she accepted him without question, he shot her.

Stephanie is looking over at the case holding the costume, looking thoughtful. Her good hand reaches over to gently touch at her side where the broken ribs are. She winces and then says, "Would my Robin costume have stopped the bullet?" she asks, glancing over to Alfred first, and then over to Bruce as he probably is the one better able to answer the question.

Stephanie settles back into the bed. She reaches over to rest her hand on Cassandra, a grateful look given, and sentiments felt, at the protectiveness of the other girl towards her. "Thank you," she says softly, smiling over to Cassandra.

Her eyes go back to Bruce and Selina. "So, congratulations," she says. "I should keep it quiet in the meantime?" She flashes then a grin, then looks more serious at the talk of the sunk evidence. "Well, I can go take a look around the docks, see if I can find anything else they are up to. Can turn something up in a matter of days I'm sure."

"Weeks, Miss Stephanie."

"Weeks, like I said…"

Cassandra looks to Bruce as he speaks, seeming to listen, but really watching his motions, his body. The frustration and confusion of the night translates slightly different in her brain from his body language versus the words, it's not an exact science in conversation, afterall.

There's a nod to Stephanie at the gratitude shown, and Cassandra smiles again before looking back up at Bruce. She shakes her head. Then frowns. Uncertain how to communicate.

After a bit of mulling, she points over to the 'chunk' of robot. Points to Stephanie's wound. Then, points to herself. To Bruce, and points over to where Bruce had first trained her on the batarangs and the grappling gun. Then, she repeats this. Finally, looking at all of them, including Alfred, to see if any of them understand what she's trying to tell them - that the entire affair was about testing them.

Cassandra had been through enough of those in her life to put the pieces together. The smugness of Madame Masque, the indifference to the loss of the dreadnoughts, and even the ship. It all spoke to one thing. It was just a test. Like half her life had been.

"… Thanks." Catwoman gives a short huff of a laugh at the offered congratulations. Emotional rollercoaster today. Hard to 'just' be grateful for the support like you're supposed to. "Yeah, I- we'd appreciate that." She answers in regards to keeping it quiet. "It's not a secret exactly, it's just… a little…" Catwoman shrugs, "Private. For now."

Well, it was actually a tad noisy, but that's neither here nor there.

Catwoman glances to the side briefly as that thought occurs to her.

"Weeks." She repeats again with a bemused smile. "We'll take your help when you can give it, Steph, just focus on recovering first." That all said, as Cassandra tries to explain, her previous dawning comprehension is countered with a dawning… *lack* of comprehension, as the sum total of the gestures goes over her head, and she gives a look to the leading detective in the room to hopefully make sense of it

Stephanie Brown watches as Bruce is called over by Alfred to deal with something, removing him from the conversation for the moment. Stephanie watches Cassandra's gestures, looks thoughtful for a moment and announces, "I got it. She wants us to train harder for fighting robots and to not get shot."

All it takes is one look at Cassandra for Stephanie to then announce. "I /don't/ got it. Apparently." The blond starts to move her arm to scratch her head and winces. "Other arm, dingbat," she tells herself, using the right hand to itch her head as she looks back at what all Cassandra was motioning to.

Stephanie looks over to Cassandra and says, "Do you think they were training against us?" she asks.

Oh! So close.

It's close enough, and the words and body language not being exactly precise, it seems to be agreeable enough to Cassandra that she nods, a little slowly as if to say, 'that's close enough, the judges say 'yes'.'

A glance to Selina, as Cassandra nods, and then gives her an apologetic look, gesturing between her and Bruce, and then touching her own heart and shaking her head as if to say she will not share the secret again either.

Catwoman arches an eyebrow. Doesn't want *us* to train. Madam Masque… *doubtfully* wanted them to train. So… hrm. Catwoman crosses her arms and- testing! It's testing!

… Oh. It's *testing*.

Selina grimaces, her brief foray into detective work reminding her why she doesn't devote a lot of time to persuing it. "… Well there's a happy thought." Selina mutters, then blinks with interest at Cassandra's new set of gestures, and smiles slightly. "Appreciated, kiddo."

Stephanie Brown understood the last one. "Yes, I won't say anything. I don't imagine Helena should hear that from any of us," Stephanie says. Alfred returns with a beverage, cold 7up with a straw. "Thank you, Alfred, but I'm good enough to-" Stephanie says, starting to rise and giving a groan. "Ok, arm… painful. Ribs… much more so. Maybe just lying. For a few more minutes," she says.

Stephanie winces. "I need to come up with a story for Mom. One that a nurse won't see through. I'm thinking, field trip. Something to just be away for awhile." She glances over to Cassandra. "Can show you my place if you like. It's early American poor college student chic," Stephanie says, not expecting the details to get through, but unable to resist the self-deprecating quip. "So what's our next step with these guys?" Stephanie asks Selina.

While not fully comprehending, Cassandra nevertheless nods to Stephanie at least getting the gist that Stephanie wants to show her something. And, apparently, anything the other girl is interested in showing her, Cassandra is interested in seeing.

She frowns, though, as Stephanie is in pain, and gently squeezes her hand to comfort her, while looking to Selina. Cassandra is not a plotter. At least, not yet. It's not what she was trained to do. And, she, just like Stephanie, looks to the other for some guidance in the matter.

Selina smirks a bit, despite herself, at Steph's optimist repeatedly running into the brick wall of reality in regards to her wound, and shakes her head. "Take it easy Steph. Just because Batman gets to ignore his own health doesn't mean it's actually a good idea." As for their next move, Selina sighs. "Well, thanks to 'The Red Hood', our next move is pretty much just 'wait and see', for now. If the chunk of robot we picked up doesn't tell us anything, it'll pretty much be up to them to screw up again and give us a lead."

She's a bit long-suffering in her tone, oddly enough. Somehow she's still used to Jason treating every fight like the explosive final showdown; and still exasperated by it. Pace yourself, kid! There's a whole investigation to get through.

Stephanie Brown relaxes back against the pillows. She sips from the straw then sets the 7up over on the bedside table. "Well. They planned on docking the ship. Do we know where they were planning to dock? Perhaps we could turn up something there?" she suggests. "Find out what trucks came through the gates in that area. You know, in a timely manner for the delivery. And that left without a load, after they'd have heard what happened to the ship. Do that and maybe we can track the truck and maybe it returned to somewhere interesting to check out?" she suggests.

If anyone is staring she glances back self-consciously. "What? I can think this stuff through too!" she protests. Before adding in a softer tone, "Just because I don't always doesn't mean I /can't/."

Cassandra has gone back to brooding it seems, at least a little, even while keeping Stephanie silent company. She hasn't slept in some time, and at least for now it seems like she still isn't going to allow herself to get any pillow-time. But, she's at least watching the two intently, even if she's not quite following everything.

Still, she's got them understanding her in part, now. So, that is progress she can be proud of.

Catwoman smirks slightly as Stephanie gets all self concious and nods, "We have people on the basics, trust me. Unfortunately, for now, we're on their time." She gives a stern look. "Until then, get some rest in. I'm serious. That goes for you too, Cassandra." She says, giving Cassandra a look that holds the carefully honed power of a Mom who has had to convince children to sleep often enough to harden her heart to cold steel.

The blond gives a little nod of her head. "Ok. I can get on board with the rest thing," she says. She glances over to Cassandra and then does the opposite of resting, reaching down with her good hand to help her scoot over despite slight winces from the ribs as she does. She makes room Cassandra can fit fully on the bed beside her, and passes her a pillow over. Stephanie just takes it for granted that Cassandra will be staying there. Which is not the same as taking Cassandra for granted. The opposite, she reaches over to squeeze the Asian young woman's hand. "Thank you," she says to her as Stephanie relaxes back on the pillow. "So I really need to work out how to talk better with you," Stephanie says to her new friend. She yawns a little bit.

Cassandra just smiles at Stephanie, nods once, and then she, too yawns. She looks up at Selina, and makes an expasperated sound, but, seems to relent. And after giving Stephanie a pat on the hand, she rises up to, quite reluctantly, move to the stairway to head back up to her room in Wayne Manor and get some very much needed shut-eye.

Oh yeah. Mothers always get what they want. Crossing her arms with a overly-satisfied look on her face, Selina just looks at Stephanie and says "At ease~" Before turning around and heading upstairs herself. It's most likely going to be a long day.

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