Cutscene: Aggression
IC Details

Barbara comes home from a long night of being on the streets with bloodied knuckles and a wearied heart.

IC Date: January 02, 2019
IC Location: Cobble Hill, Gotham City
OOC Notes & Details
Posted: 02 Jan 2019 07:09
Rating & Warnings: PG
Associated Plots

It is only two hours before dawn when Barbara Gordon wearily climbs the steps of the Lance family home to the upstairs landing. It had been another long night in the Narrows where the New Year has already brought quiet terrors and brutal hardships. She was a fierce avenger, a terror in her own right; the truest bearer of the name Bat.

Ever since New Years Eve, her restraint against the simple cruelties has slipped. Her bloodied, bruised knuckles tell stories of the punches she didn't pull; the nicks between her fingers are evidence of using her batarangs as claws so fiercely, the edges cut through her reinforced gloves. She left each a bit worse for wear than she would have days before. But at least you didn't kill anyone, a voice in the back of her head reminds her.

That rage has left her empty, and wasted, and she follows memorized steps through the house while her thoughts blur tonight's events together. She has learned to not hit that creaking step, nor the floorboard that leads to her bedroom door. The hinges though… she's not gotten those oiled, and they creak softly as she pushes into the quiet, dark room.

There is no one in her bed, and her shoulders drop that final breath. Patterns, habits have been formed over the course of the last month and a half; they always try to check-in, to reconnect each night but, tonight is one of the rare occasions where Constantine will not find his way to her bed. It happens, but tonight's emptiness is felt like the resonant keel in a hollow. Wearied, the vigilante drops her duffel bearing her suit and weapons by the overloaded bookshelf — paperbacks double-stacked and piled on each other, and another pile of hardbacks climbing like a ladder toward the top shelf.

In the quiet solitude of her room, she sits on the edge of the still-made bed and turns on the lamp; dim light shines from the simple white paper shade, and sharpens the shadows of the furniture that populates her room. She toes out of her shoes, kicking them idly away with light thumps. She tugs the band free of her hair, letting the long waves of red cascade loose around her shoulders and down her spine.

Her fingers trace the bruises on the opposite knuckles. He had been stalking a woman for several blocks, cornered her in an alley. She'd seen it time and time again. But tonight, she went for the extreme. She didn't tip off the police — the woman had. She's sure now that the call had been to stop Barbara from killing the guy. She wouldn't have, though. She would have stopped. She would have.

Her eyes clench shut, hand tightening into a fist that stretches the dull ache from the bruises. It takes her several slow breaths before she feels the weight settle around her again, anchoring her down into herself. She opens her eyes, looking anywhere but her bruised hands. Instead, she skims the items on her bedside table: a carved wooden bat that holds her reading glasses, the bookmarked Scarlet Pimpernel, a framed photo of her and her dad with a tinier photo of her and Dinah tucked into the corner of the frame. Beside the bat that Frank had gifted her is a slender bottle that bears the naked stem of a perfect rose. The petals of the rose are the most unusual blue; the color though is strangely natural in its hue and gradient. In fact, a simple touch would make it clear that this rose lives — and lives vibrantly.

She had known the moment John slipped the bloom in her fingers that it was unique. It's enchantment was easily tangible, the way the rose radiated with continual life despite its cut stem. A rose that will never die. There is something else to that enchantment, something he didn't tell her. John said to keep it safe, as if to neglect it might have dire consequences.

The rose has neither bloomed further nor wilted despite the lack of water in its vase. She traces the smooth edge of the stem between two thorns; then she leans in, her lips settling into the petals. She intakes the scent — it is pleasant, sweet, but blissfully mild.

Releasing the bloom, she then drops back, thudding softly into the quilt and mattress. She settles the heel of her hand into her forehead, closing her eyes on the dim light and long shadows that stretch along the ceiling. She is drifting in that moment, and before she can really track her own movements, she curls onto her side, knees drawn to her chest… and she sleeps.

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