2019-09-05 - Three Bats In The Belfry


Three bats meet in the belfry …. er Clocktower.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Thu Sep 5 19:08:23 2019
Location: Clocktower

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Theme Song



Early morning in Staten Island is an interesting time. It is the time the Bats are generally returning to their belfry's all over the city. Today, it's no different for Batgirl as she enters the Clocktower through the rooftop access and lets herself into the monitoring room.

It's changed in recent times. The track mounted chair still exists - a mostly unused monument from when Oracle used to monitor the city personally. The screens are currently dim but as the black clad redhead wanders in, they slowly to flicker to life, the rotating mask - the avatar of Oracle - brightening slowly.

Welcome home, Batgirl.

Removing her her hood and laying it on the console, Batgirl loosens the braid that falls down her back and shakes her hair out.

Good morning, Oracle. I have something for you. What's the report on the others activities for the night?

A thumbdrive is inserted into one of the standalone machines, letting Oracle start the process on that as the all seeing eye starts to list the nighttime activities, intoning the highlights that have occured.

While the computer's droning voice means little to Cassandra, it does *tell* her something. Mainly than Barbara is home. The smaller woman beat the redhead home tonight, which isn't a regular occurrence, but Cass had too much Thinking going on in her head. That can get blamed on the gods. Or at least, a god. Ling.

Having changed out of her costume, Cassandra comes into the room in bare feet, shorts and tank top. Her hair is always something of a mess, cut short and kept under a mask most of the time. The casual clothes leave a lot more skin exposed than usual, which means a fair number of the old scars she has shows up when the light hits just right like some patchwork quilt of flesh.

The short woman's manner is a bit broody, which is a change from the last few days where it's been a bit lighter.

Dick Grayson slips through the door with a recycled paper drink holder laden down with large paper cups wrapped in cardboard sleeves from one of the coffee joints between his precinct and the tower. He makes sure the door closes and locks behind him before waltzing the rest of the way inside, "Morning Hot-" he pauses when he spots Cass and grins, "Ladies." he finishes, sticking the landing smoothly. "I have pumpkin lattees, chai, and black coffee here. Pick your poison." he slides the drink carrier onto a flat surface and lets a sack of doughnuts join it. There's a chance he's taking to the whole cop thing a bit to easily, then again, the bag is also steaming which means they're fresh so… some habits are good?

He shrugs out of his coat which leaves his armor in plain view as he tosses the coat over the countertop and hops up to sit next to the discarded jacket. He starts digging in the doughnut bag, "So what's going on with you two these days?" he asks, selecting something covered in still gooey chocolate and oozing a beige cream from it's interior somewhere.

Babs turns as Cass wanders in, removing her jacket and hanging on the back of that chair. Underneath is a moisture wicking shirt that clings to her skin - it's been a busy night for the redheaded Batgirl. "Morning. I see you had an interesting evening. Want to talk about what happened?" The words are spoken, slowly and clearly backed up by the ASL the two use.

There's a urge, Cass can read it easily enough, to step to the younger woman and offer her a hug. One that is suppressed - until the younger woman feels up to it.

The moment is broken by Dicks voice, it's enough to bring a smile to the redheads face "My hero… I'll take the chai." All translated with ASL as Dick becomes the recipient of the hug instead. "It's been too long. You're working too hard…"

"Take a seat and I'll bring you up to speed and you can grill Cass on her admirer."

Cassandra Cain's shoulders climb upwards a bit as Barbara speaks to her and that Urge To Hug starts to creep into the redhead's body language. Quiet and broody on good days, the offer of warmth and caring on the heels of Alex's profession leaves her especially uncomfortable.

When Cassandra replies, her ASL tends towards clipped movements, the words out of order, like someone thought they were a salad and tossed them. Luckily Barbara has had some practice with it. "« Nothing to talk about. »"

When Dick the Saviour enters, bearing food no less, Cassandra's bare feet has her moving quickly over to him. She waits for him to take his pick of the doughnuts before poking around for one herself. She's not terribly picky. She also ends up with the pumpkin latte, saving Dick from the froufrou drink.

Barbara gets a flat sort of look as she mentions Alex as an 'admirer', and she shifts uncomfortably.

Dick Grayson takes the hug with an arm and narrowly avoids chocolate dipping Babs scarlet locks with a deft twist of his wrist, "Yeah yeah, I'm awesome." he says with a mocking tone, "Working to hard," he barks a laugh and grins at her warmly, "someone's got jokes this morning." He was raised by Batman before Batman got all Familized and happy. /This/ isn't working hard, it's just working.

He quirks a brow at Cass, notes the shiftyfeet, and grins wider, "Thank god." he says flatly, pulling the coffee out and popping the lid off so it can cool a bit faster, instantly filling the room with the smell of dark roasted beans, "I hope he's tough, otherwise he's in for a rude conversation one day." he winks at Cass.

Dick isn't the sort to treat Cass like she can't understand him, he doesn't talk slower or louder or gesticulate wildly. He talks with her the same way he talks with Babs, like himself to an ordinary person. If pushed he's likely say it was training, by not making it /super/ easy he's helping Cass to hone her ability to communicate. Or something. He could spin up a yarn. Reality of it is he doesn't think she needs him to, so he doesn't.

Babs relents a little at Cass' discomfit but it's hard to keep the slight smile from her lips. "OK, maybe we won't grill you." The 'accent' on Cass' ASL goes without comment. That she's using it is enough. "And yes, I think he might be, Dick. From what I've seen, he's more than up to the task." She'll leave it at that.

As to jokes, the redhead rolls her eyes "Someone has to look after the family. When it's more than a couple of weeks between visits, I know that you've got things on your plate. Sue me, I miss your visits."

It's all translated so Cass can follow, Babs had set the tone early on when Cass had come to her. Life would be normal - or as normal as possible with the Bats and this is part of it. The banter, the teasing, the discussions.

"Let me start from the beginning. Apart from the bands of Ninja's - The Hand - that are plagueing us with drugs, there's a new threat hitting our streets. Something that has Fenris seeking myself and the Greek God of Fear out to work together on and put an end too." There's a look to Cass at that. Does she know who Alex is? Dick might know who Phobos is - he was registered after all.

Cassandra Cain flashes Dick a quick, brief smile as she saves him from that worst of the Spice Girls. Pumpkin. She takes a drink before having to set it aside to be 'heard'. "« He hasn't slept yet. Going to work now. »" Dick will have to teach her that you don't rat the guy that brings you goodies! While Dick may be amazing at running on minimal sleep, Cassandra can pick up the telltale signs of someone that hasn't rested yet.

At Dick's comment on Alex, she gives a thoughtful little frown. At least it has her mind on something other than her brooding. Apparently the subject of Alex isn't enough to tank her mood in and of itself. "« He's too strong. And heals. Metahuman, maybe? »" While Cassandra hasn't had much contact with metas, she's aware of them.

Nibbling on her sugary confection, she 'listens' to Barbara without batting an eye much. While the redhead may *say* 'God of Fear', Cassandra just gets the sense that she's talking about Alex. The words don't mean anything to her. She does look between them at the mention of Fenris, someone that feels like they're important but doesn't match up with anyone she knows.

Dick Grayson sighs, "Welp. You have fun with your gods then, I'm dealing with three homocides this week, a super model, Wakandan Royalty, and a homeless amnesiac homeless woman who's either running the most phenominal con job ever or simply doesn't remember that she's really a multi-felony player working her way up in, get this, Tobias Whale's organization. Or she was. Or is. Hard to say currently. Oh." he rubs at his face, "And Gibbs is starting to pick up on my weird hours. May have to lay low for a bit." which is to say lay off the more visible Nightwing sightings for a time.

He stuffs a bite of creamy doughnut into his face, "Phuds gud doh." he mutters through bulding cheeks.

"Want me to help get Gibbs off your back? I can modify records, scrub feeds and what not." Babs offer quickly enough "We can pick up some of your patrols as well. Not on a long term basis, but spread the load a little." She gets it, the need to maintain the facade. "Would you like that, Cass?"

The redhead is serious as she watches the younger woman "Alex isn't meta human, Cass, but he is special. It's why he was asked to work with us, to help us out." Anything more, Cass might want to go and pester the youth for. Babs would rather let the young folk work this out themselves.

"I might need your help on this, Dick. Organised Crime that's bringing antiquities out of Greece - for what purposes I don't know yet. We're seeing the smaller gangs being organised into bigger ones - if that happens, we might end up with a war on our streets."

Which is going to affect the Police no end.

With Cass's tattling though, the redhead just laughs. "Can't fool her, Dick but Cass, do you want him to continue bringing you treats? You shouldn't tell on him like that."

Bribe him instead.

Cassandra Cain's gaze continues to flick back and forth between them, focus changing as one or the other talks to try to get a better read on what they mean. Barbara's suggestion on not tattling gets that puzzled, furrowed brow as she points at Dick and signs, "« Tired! »" Like, duh! It's obvious! "« He would bring treats anyhow. For you. »" And he's all polite and stuff, so he'd never leave her out!

The quiet woman doesn't press for details on Alex, just gives a nod. That will likely be a difficult conversation. Mostly because it involves concepts that don't translate into the physical world Cassandra lives in very well.

As to Nightwing's patrols? There's a bare hint of a smirk as she answers, the cocky 'tone' clear in her movements. "« Sure. Will take me half the time it does him. »" Yes, she says that while in arm's reach.

Dick Grayson smirks a bit at Cass, "Snitch." he accuses playfully, but sleepless nights are more the norm for him then those filled with hours of blissful unconciousness, so he's not worried about it. Barbara knows, better then most. He then shakes his head, "Don't worry to much about Gibbs, he's a slob, lazy, corrupt, greedy, hollow, but he's also very very smart. He makes it easy to underestimate him, should see him in an interrogation, he's got It. I dunno." he seems to trail off for a moment or two, "There's good police in there, and so help me, one day I'm gonna drag it out of that man kicking and screaming." he makes a pulling motion with a hand that slowly curls into a fist as if he were dragging soemone out from inside a burning car or something.

"You know me Babs, whatever you need. Just lemme know." he sips from his still scalding coffee but to many NYPD gigs have made him immune to the burn, so he just hisses slightly and quirks a brow at Cassandra, "Of course. Twice as fast and half as well." he quips back, "Ask Babs, getting done quickly is less important then getting done properly." he turns an expression on Barbara that's entirely to innocent, "Wouldn't you agree? Rather get done properly then quickly?" Babs encourages this sort of behavior and she should know better. She's playing with a guy who grew up an orphan named Dick. This is home territory for him.

Cassandra Cain's smirk doesn't flag as Dick strikes back. She makes a shoo-ing motion with one hand before she follows it up. "« Old man. Slow. Hits like little boy. »" Then she pauses and waggles her hand in a 'maybe' manner. "« Would have to hit me for me to know. »"

Having polished off the first doughnut, she goes rooting around for a second and then hops up to sit right next to Dick, despite her teasing a moment earlier. She looks between the other two before asking, "« You want her to blush? »"

Those concepts with Alex may not translate well and it's possible that Babs might need to provide some … insight. But not yet. They need to work this out themselves and to be honest, the redhead isn't entirely certain she understands it herself.

"Will you work with Alex, Cass? I can do some but I can't cover everywhere. There'll be some buildings to raid, gangs to look in on, while we work out what's happening." beat "And if you have ideas, I want to hear them. You have a different feel for the street than I do."

Some of that comes from Babs sitting in her Ivory Tower for six years. More comes from their differences in experiences.

"Touche" Babs chortles at Cass' rejoinder, nodding in agreement with Dick "She is a snitch, but she's right. You need more than you're getting and I'm going to keep nagging till you do." There's a fondness there, one borne from many years of knowing each other.

The blush comes, just as the Detective hopes it would. "He does and in *some* things, he's right. It's a shame it's a lesson he never really learned."

Dick Grayson shrugs at Cass, "Not a matter of wanting, she's going to blush anyway. She can't help herself." he says in a mock whisper as if imparting a great secret onto Cass. "I mean, you'd think she'd be used to it by now. Patrols weren't /always/ the things that stole sleep from me you know." he continues to Cassandra, "Was a time theives of that nature wore more form fitting garb and had wicked snap kicks." he sways a bit as if he were going to nudge Cass gently, but he doesn't do it hard enough to put himself off balance, knowing it'll never touch her.

"Careful what games you play Babs, we have a human lie detector sitting in the room, might wanna keep the fibs to a minimum." he beams confidently and then hops down off of the countertop, "And with that playfully fun trip down double entendre lane, I think it's time I start to head off. Joking aside I could use a couple hours sleep before I hit the desk today. Gotta make a lot of inquiries to Missouri and see if I can't shake loose a name on that gang shooting out by the Narrows. If you need my help with anything, lemme know, and if you," he shoots Cass a look, "wanna pick up a patrol or two of mine I'm not against the idea. I'm all for being the lone wolf of the family and all, but frankly it's fucking exhausting." he stuffs the last of his doughnut into his face and licks his chocolatey fingertips.

Cassandra Cain's chewing slows to a stop as Babs asks about her working with Alex, and then she nods once. The redhead might have expected a more chipper reply given the quiet young woman's interest in the God of Fear, but not after their encounter last night. Despite that, Cassandra clearly isn't having any sort of 'zomg, i can't be around him!!' moments. It's not his fault, after all. That's sort of the point. She's the problem. Or so she keeps telling herself.

Licking at her own fingers, it takes a moment before Cassandra can 'talk'. "« Can sleep here. Less travel. More sleep. »" Not that Babs has a spare *bed*. Maybe Cass is volunteering hers.

As to Dick's patrols, Cass gives him a thumbs-up. "OK." He even gets one of the handful of words she knows well enough to use.

The blush still colours Bab's cheeks and she casts a look to Cas "He's right. He was younger though and much better able to keep up with me." The grin is there and for a moment Cass might be treated to a glimpse of the girl Babs had once been.

Those brilliant green eyes though fix on the young woman when the response is so muted. Three months is long enough for her to pick up the nuance. "We'll talk, Cass. In a moment." It's that gentle insistence that Orphan has come to associate when Babs won't be moved.

"Take some time and use one of our beds, Dick. I'm not getting sleep anytime soon and you'll be out to before I do. Really. You need it and Cass is right, less travel."

"And Dick? Be careful out there."

Dick Grayson walks over and slips an arm around Babs shoulders and gives her a snug, "You drive a hard bargain." he says setting his coffee aside half finished, "I'll crash out here, be gone in a couple hours." he squeezes before letting her go, "And no one could have kept up with you Babs, you were voracious in your appetites." hey, she started this she has only herself to blame. He skips out of the way before she can swat him and heads for the nearest spare bed like space, couches will suffice, or floors really, he's not picky. "You two stay out of trouble. Well. One of you stay out of trouble," he points at Cass, "you go find trouble in my neck of the woods, then punch it a bunch. Throw in a kick or something for spice."

The grin that Cass gives Dick isn't huge, but it's genuine and she nods, punching one hand into the other. That, she can do.

The small woman watches Dick wander off to find a quiet, hopefully soft, spot before she rolls her attention back over to Barbara. She arches a brow upwards before signing. "« Am I in trouble? »" The quirk at one corner of her mouth says she's mostly joking. It doesn't *seem* like she's in trouble, but clearly Babs has Important Words.

The snug is returned. Whatever happens with these two, Cass can read the affection for each other. "Maybe I was. It was a long time ago, though. Much water has passed under that bridge." Babs does try to swat him "Take my bed." If she was going to say anything else, she thinks better of it.

Stay out of trouble. Really.

Then her attention is back to Cass and she shakes her head. "Of course not!" there's a moment silence as she tries to read the young woman "Something's up. Regarding Alex. I saw the reserve you responded with. Tell me." beat "Please."

Cassandra Cain draws a breath and lets it out in a huffing sigh. She sits there on the counter, silent and frowning for a bit ass he works to come up with *words* to try to explain.

When she starts, her movements are slow, with pauses. Her ASL even more broken than usual. "« I asked. Alex with me not like Alex with others. He said…" And there she frowns, another 'hitch' in her words before she presses on. "« I'm his all. Everything? »" She frowns. "« More than his friends. Family? »" And that clearly bothers her.

Babs is quiet, watching Cass as she struggles in her way. Watching as the young woman tries to put words to concepts. "He told you that? That you are his … all?" the red head lets out a long breath and considers before continuing.

Cass will read the hesitation in Babs response. Not one borne from wanting to lie but one connected to finding the right words. She'll also read mild frustration or annoyance, not directed at at her but it might well confuse her.

"And it bothers you that he … puts so much on you? Or is it something else?" Funny how Babs doesn't launch straight into advice giving, instead drawing Cass out.

Cassandra Cain's head turns to the side, gaze sliding away for a long, quite moment. Her forearms rest on her knees and her hands hang quietly interlinked.

Finally, she straightens enough to talk again. "« He deserves better, to be something that big. »" He's obviously struggling here. It's not that she's trying to hedge or avoid the subject. It's just so *hard* to talk about things like feelings. It's only made worse by the fact she's not sure what her feelings *are*.

"Ah." Babs says quietly watching the dark haired woman as she … fidgets. Well, fidgetting for Cass. "I see." She leans across and brushes the hair from Cass's forehead. The only sign of affection or comfort she'll allow herself.

There's going to be more questions, Cass knows this or at least she can tell from the way Babs is. "And you don't think you're good enough to be something that big? Cassandra, let me ask you, who gets to decide that? You or Alexander?" There's a green eyed gaze to the door that Dick that used, Babs thoughts moving there for just a moment.

Cassandra Cain pulls away just a bit as Babs offer that comforting touch, shoulders hunching up a bit and she looks away as well. That's one of the most significant things she can do, given if she can't see someone she has no idea what they're saying.

It doesn't let her run from the things that she's already heard though.

When she finally turns back, her signing is harsh. "« He doesn't know me. He still sees that moment from the party. »" Where he stood transfixed. Amazed.

Which hasn't answered Barbara's question at all.

Barbara draws back, not wanting to force Cass away, looking at the young woman with compassion.

It's the steady green gaze that hopefully helps Cass relax, to channel the frustration, the anger?, she's feeling. "Ah, yes. Sometimes young men are like that. Young women too. Acting of their impulses and those icky, sticky feelings." She's teasing a little but still very serious. "Is it because he hasn't known you long enough, Cass? Have you thought perhaps that you've shown him more than you've shown others, that he's seen the real you - the woman who puts her soul into her fights, the woman who refuses to kill because she can refuse to kill - and he didn't run or hide?"

It's an interesting question, isn't it, to ask.

Cassandra Cain hasn't told the Bats about the one hit her father had her do, the reason for running away. Of course, they haven't *asked*, right? But it's not something she wants to volunteer. It's the thing that haunts her. Normally just nights, dreams an endless torture. But with Alex's innocent proclamation, it's nipping at her heels *now*.

The quiet woman hops down from the counter and her hand makes a definitive cutting motion. "« No. »" When she raises her dark eyes to Barbara's green ones, there's hurt and apology and *guilt* there before she turns and runs away.

Running from her father. Running from Alex. Running from Barbara.

Eventually, she'll have to stop running.

"Cass…." Babs sighs as the young woman runs. She saw the pain, the anguish "… I love you, no matter what. Stay, talk to me. Tell me what it is that's eating you up…"

The redhead rises, wincing just a little at the ache in her back, but doesn't move to stop the brunette.

"There is nothing you could have done that will make me love you less, Cass. Nothing that will not make me proud of the woman you are now. When you're ready, we'll talk again." That's if Cass doesn't disappear now.

"Oracle, send that message to Orphans phone. I'm sure she didn't see any of that."

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