Worthy
Roleplaying Log: Worthy
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Cassandra Cain locates Barbara Gordon in hospital

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: November 23, 2019
IC Location: Gotham Hospital
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 23 Nov 2019 06:08
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

* OOC Time: Fri Nov 22 22:41:00 2019 *

* * *

Her room is in the longterm recovery ward, tucked in the middle of the floor with a view of Robinson Park. At this hour, most all of the rooms are dark, including hers. Barbara is asleep on the semi-inclined bed with her glasses in her lap on top of an opened book. A nurse must have come in and turned off the reading light, leaving the redhead barely illuminated by the glow of the medical equipment still tracking her vitals.

All around her are delivered bouquets of flowers and a few gifts of books. At least she's been spared balloons or giant stuffed animals.

* * *

With news of the shot heard 'round the city, it's really hard to miss that people are talking about it. While violence in Gotham is nothing new, this particular newsworthy instance had featured prominently and the continued buzz that surrounded it has reached the awareness of Cassandra, spying the image of the woman she made a very strong connection with over a matter of fathers. One trying to kill the other, which was prevented by the two daughters. The image and the talk about severe, life-threatening injury, gunshot, bad. Very bad. Even with what little she can gather, Cassandra understands enough about the situation to necessitate finding and being present. First, she stops by the Belfry, searching for several things, packing them away. They can help. She doesn't know how but they seem to make everyone who has them better, more ready to act and rush in with less regard to one's safety. Something maybe about the cowl, maybe the bodysuit, maybe the symbol. She's seen the same symbol on two people who have now connected themselves to her teacher.
Next, finding her. It's not easy, but she lives for not easy. Finding people is something she knows very well, and this person is going to be a lot less challenging than some of the training searches she went through. They weren't thorough, but she knows enough. Very hurt people end up at those large buildings filled with beds where people recover. She must be at one of them. Cassandra knows where those are. She's been in the city longer than anyone realizes. She knows every street. From there, the picture shown to people, and seeing how they react. The ones who know where her target is, they glance in a particular way. They tell her without saying anything how to find.

It's a kind of tradition, when one associated with or is Batman shows up in a hospital room. It's always dark, and they're always dressed in black and wearing a mask. Somehow Cassandra figured that out too. Her mask is painted on, covering the upper part of her face like a cowl, matching the look of many associated with the dark knight. Cassandra gazes a long while at Barbara, seeing a lot about the damage done. Seeing gaps that tell her information that everyone else already knows from reading charts and being told by doctors. A sort of denial mindset seeps through her for a few moments. She steps into light, dressed in all black.

* * *

Even in that quiet sleep, something tugs at the back of Barbara's instincts that tells her that something isn't quite right around her. She doesn't start awake, but rouses slowly to let her other senses track the motions. Perhaps she risks a guess, or perhaps she goes with a general greeting, because there's only so many people who would sneak into her room.

"You're pretty good at that," Barbara murmurs under her breath before she lets out a hard, tight exhale. She slowly opens her eyes, turning her head toward Cassandra as she takes in the dark silhouette of the girl illuminated by the monitor lights. For her, the redhead looks tired — wearied. She closes her eyes briefly as she shifts in the bed, digging her knuckles into the mattress to haul herself upright despite the pain that rips through her from the surgical wounds. Then she settles back, breathing out a short breath again.

"Something we didn't do all that well was setting up a way for us to communicate," she says quietly to Cassandra. "I mean, so I could have told you where I was."

* * *

For the second time in the presence of this woman, Cassandra sheds tears. Not that they are visible, but she knows they are present. She dabs with her sleeve, giving their presence away to Barbara too. Like with really every other thing, she is silent about it. Backpack she wears, slides off and slings around, gently set on the bed beside its occupant. From within, she draws out three bat-shaped throwing weapons, swingline, and the spare uniform, still folded up as it was stored. Backpack is moved to the floor as the objects are left on the bed.
Cassandra's posture gives a sense of resignation. She's aware the items won't be much good. She changes to a crouch, taking Barbara's hand with both of her own. A firm squeeze. In her way, this conveys strength. Cassandra is ready to be there for as long as she needs to be.

* * *

Barbara spots the brush of the girl's hand across her cheek, dabbing away the tears. Her smile becomes watery, and she starts to shake her head. Her lips part to offer the girl concessions — the same words she's given to so many others. She will be okay. The pain isn't bad. There's always some hope.

Her words are lost when Cassandra starts to unpack the backpack, and she reaches to touch the edge of the bat-shaped razor, gently taking it between her fingers. The metal is cool, sharp; her smile takes on a sadder edge. Then her hand slides out to the suit, curling her fingers into the synthweave that has only been improved with her job at Stark Unlimited. Tears roll freely down her own cheeks now, too, curling up under her jaw. She takes in a deep, sharp breath.

It is only after a few long minutes of tears does she get her voice back, steady. "These aren't mine anymore," she says quietly. Cass's strong grip on her other hand is returned, and she squeezes the girl's fingers. Then, very gingerly, she hands the batarang to Cass. "I need you out there, Cassandra. You're ready for that." She squeezes her hand again.

* * *

The words that don't come out, Cassandra understands anyway. Or at least, the sentiment behind them, or rather, what is really meant. This is not an end. There will be more fighting. It will be realized. Cassandra does not understand how. She just knows that the bed-bound woman will not give up. Neither of them will.
The items bring out more sorrow, but they are needed, on some level. At least in Cassandra's mind. She leaves them in place and lets Barbara at them. Then one of the throwing weapons is placed in her own hand.
Cassandra stares at it for a long moment. The dark conceals the look on her face to some degree. Unworthiness. With some people, that sense of unworthiness comes from disbelief that they can measure up in terms of ability. Cassandra has done nothing if not have given the opposite of that idea. But then there is more to what she is being tasked with. She doesn't want to ask the question she has on her mind. Instead she gazes, and she holds the batarang between both of their hands, no danger of cutting, held flat between palms. She won't accept it yet. She needs to understand more. To be sure.

* * *

The redhead looks down at the sharp weapon, at the shape and its razor-edges. She brushes her fingertip along the safe edge. Then she looks up into that expression, tracing the words in the girl's face — the ones unspoken. She offers a sad, tight smile.

"Batgirl needs to be seen out there, Cassandra. She needs to be out there, keeping her neighborhoods safe, watching over those who need watching and safety." Barbara's words are soft. "I cannot ask Black Canary or Huntress to do this for me — they have their own responsibilities." She nods slightly toward the couch where a sealed suitcase sits on the cushions. "My prototype." She hesitates, and then revises quietly, "Batgirl's prototype. Someone needs to be her, because I… I can't." She unconsciously starts to rub at the side of her leg, knowing she can't feel it.

* * *

That expression hinting at belief of unworthiness, it melts. The message is clearer now. The reason, the purpose. She's not taking Barbara's place. She's taking the symbol's place. Becoming the symbol. The ideal. That, she is confident she can do. She clasps the throwing razor with the sort of natural ease one can show when throwing sharp things is something they have been doing longer than they can remember. She takes a standing posture.
Her attention turns as Barbara's does to the couch, walking to it, opening the suitcase there as Barbara does not mean to have it brought to her. The opening is barely heard, and with the lighting of the room, barely seen. Cassandra's ability to see in the dark is exceptional, where movement is concerned. For other things, she has a light. It's attached to a cheap phone handset, and its illumination cracks the darkness asunder, illuminating much of the room a little and the suitcase's contents a lot, without being overly visible if one were looking toward the window from outside.

* * *

Inside the case is Barbara Gordon's most recent prototype of the Batgirl suit. It is made of strong synthweave, flexible and almost featherweight armored plating to guard the vitals, and a perfect cowl with its high-pointed ears and matching scalloped cape. It's black instead of the normal purples and yellows that Batgirl has favored, but there is dark gray as an accent color.

Barbara watches Cassandra with a half tilt of her head. Her head rests back into the pillows. "It's connected to ALTHENE, and we will be there to help you, Cassandra. There's lots to learn, and… now it has to be all out there. Field training." She presses a little smile at her mouth. "We're going to need to get over the language hump… but one step at a time."

* * *

Most of the differences from Barbara's favoured colour scheme and the prototype are not immediately apparent to Cassandra. But she does see a number of them. The similarities, too. Armour… she's worn armour before. It's been almost long enough that she forgot how it feels. Almost. Still, it's from a new source. One that doesn't demand the most terrible of price. She turns her head to look at Barbara again, and in the light the bed-ridden and broken seeming features are more illuminated. But then so are the others. The ones most people overlook.
The phone light clicks off, and there is a sound of changing clothes. Cassandra is thinner than Barbara by far. Years of simply not eating right only recently given some correction, but she is still swimming practically in the girth of the suit. Similar height however, athletic body. It reveals her rather muscular frame despite the looseness when the light is back on, a glimpse of it before hand when she operates the handset.
Communication is not a new subject. As Barbara makes it clear that needs to change, Cassandra agrees, in a hoarse, whispered, "Yeah." Someone, it seems, has been practicing behind Barbara's back.

* * *

Barbara pulls herself more upright again, and she wordlessly curses the fact that the doctors say she is still days off from being able to manage a wheelchair. She's going to be asking Stark to help her with that one. For now, she relies on pulling her body upright so she can look at the silhouette of Cassandra.

"We will get it better fit," Babs promises her. But then she blinks at the utterance of English. Then she starts to smile. "That's a start." She then reaches for her phone on the tabletop, and she swipes the OS over to vOS and she taps in a code. Then a soft, maternal voice murmurs to Cassandra through the cowl, "Batgirl, this is ALTHENE. I am here to assist."

"She will help you navigate when I can't, and can at least provide information if you need it," Babs offers quietly. "And once I'm out of here, I'll be there, too."

* * *

The head of the Batgirl costume turns when ALTHENE makes itself heard, the motion just enough to show she heard it, but her posture tells Barbara the one crucial detail: It didn't register as meaningful. At least it's somewhat quiet, so it probably won't become a nuisance. Even if it does, the girl is a champion at ignoring things and shutting out distractions. Still, she tries out the suit, and the sound of rapidly moving lightly armoured limbs is heard as the shadow that she becomes in very dim lighting moves faster than the eye can follow for a few punches, then the one kick that follows remains in the air a long moment as she hears something. Out goes the phone light, into the shadows she ducks, sliding objects from bed that should not be there into backpack, and she is gone when the nurse opens Barbara's door to check on her. She's not back when the door closes again.

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