Roleplaying Log: Reasons
IC Details

Barbara is "saved" from would-be muggers at Battery Park, and meets Firestorm (again).

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: December 17, 2018
IC Location: Battery Park, NYC
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 18 Dec 2018 22:26
Rating & Warnings: PG
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

You know, Barbara Gordon should know better. She's out past midnight in a dark city park; she's out past midnight in a dark city park alone. She walks down the sidewalks at a middling pace — not too fast, not too slow. Her hands are buried so deep in her pockets, she can twist her fingers around the seams of the lining.

Behind her, some fifty feet away, two men track behind her with a pace that seems to be meant at first to match, but then to overcome.

Barbara should also be more alert to her surroundings, but she's wearing a pair of over-the-ear headphones, and she appears to have lost herself to her own thoughts. Maybe some of that is because deep down inside, Barbara can handle herself. That's not what it looks like to an outsider though.

She's almost at a picnic table before the two behind her are down to just a mere ten feet, and one is starting to reach out for her…

* * *

It's cold out, but with winter officially around the corner and otherwise having moved in since earlier this month, foot traffic this late at night is expectedly a lot more sparse. Sparse, but not completely empty. It's the choice time of night for ne'er-do-wells to ply their trade.

Thankfully someone's on patrol out here this evening! No homework, no school night- it's great! of course there are other problems going into that but currently Firestorm isn't dwelling on those. Right now, it's all about the heroing business. And if he- or they, rather, are going to get serious about this then he needed to make a name for himself. At least that's how he's figured.

His route practically hugs the coast of the island, is flight path not all that high to avoid any close calls, as well as to make it easier on himself to spot trouble. Although speaking of trouble…

Ronald, do you see..?

"Right in my sights, Prof. Looks like some people don't care for the holiday spirit. I'm taking us down!" The fiery-headed youth redirects himself, zipping downwards with light flickering in his wake. "Flame on!"

…I think that one's taken already…

"Aw man, really?"

The lower he descends the clearer the situation looks- at least to him. Eyes narrowing, he picks up speed.

"Looks like some people're just hurting to be on the naughty list!" With that, Firestorm is swooping in, angling to tackle like he would in one of his football games.

* * *

"Hey there, pretty thing," is the verbal warning before a hand closes hard on her elbow. It actually surprises her, which speaks to the depth of her thoughts and absolute lack of attention. The man wrenches Barbara around, the redhead is reacting out of instinct instead of actual assessment of the situation.

But she barely has time to slam her heel into the offender's foot before there's a bright fireball slamming into the first offender. She's surprised, gasping as she stumbles back.

She ends up on her back in the grass, rolling into a graceful kip-up that has her headphones left dangling off its cord.

There's a literal scream of surprise as the fireball slams into the first, and the second starts to take off in a dead run, trusting his flight-or-fight instincts and choosing FIGHT. Loudly.

* * *

"Woo! First down!"

Ronald, we're not through here yet—

"Huh? Oh hey!" Springing up from the first man, Firestorm turns about to see the other charging him. He leaps back, his feet skimming the ground as he keeps afloat. Barbara will have to forgive him for not checking in on her right away.

"Slow down there, speedy!" His hands swinging out in front of him, he clenches them into fists as light spirals about them. Similarly, the ground just in front of the runner glows and suddenly extrudes into…a speed bump?

Firestorm flinches a little as he can just sense Professor Stein's flat-eyed look. "What! It was the first thing I could think of!"

* * *

Oh, Barbara forgives him. She's on her feet, squatting low in the snowy grass. She immediately starts to stand, stepping forward cautiously to watch Firestorm. She recognizes him, instantly, but she realizes she is not wearing the right attire to recognize him.

The second mugger trips over the speed bump, staggering several steps until he lands heavily into the snow. He's scrambling up, trying to get to his feet while also flashing a look back behind him toward Firestorm. "Fucking goddamn meta-humans," he snarls before he tries to back-up, covered in snow and a bit lamed by the trip.

* * *

"Heeey, language!" He wags a finger at the man, a smirk hiding the sting of the comment that he knows isn't the first he'll get by way of sentiment directed at him. "Know what, I think you just need to chill out."

Feet setting down upon the ground again, Firestorm casts his hand in the fallen would-be mugger's direction, the snowy coating thickening from tufts shifting from the ground and pulled into being from the very frigid air for a makeshift if very squatty snowman.

Two down! Hopefully. He kinda forgot about the first guy after the tackle, glancing over at Barbara finally. "You all right Miss?" he calls over towards her, waving a hand.

* * *

The language comment has her laughing softly — if only because of the nice parallel to the chiding remark she often gives John Constantine. It's an inappropriate time to laugh, but then she is sobering a bit when the Firestorm turns toward her.

She's getting herself up to her feet, brushing the snow from her rump after being tossed into the snow. She looks at the two muggers, and actually admires his quick and efficient work. "You're pretty good at this."

Her blue eyes glance back toward him, and she takes a slow breath as she carefully steps out of the snow and back onto the pavement. She grabs up her headphones, and actually sighs a bit at the snow that soaks the surface. She tries to wipe it away a bit, and then looks back up to Firestorm.

"I'm alright," she finally reassures him.

* * *

At least she looks like she's all right, despite the rough treatment from the two men earlier. Her comment has Firestorm puffing out his chest a bit as he sets his hands at his hips. "Thanks! I like to think I'm getting the hang of this," he replies, beaming.

"Good to hear though. It's not exactly a great place to be wandering alone." He looks back over at her after checking the two muggers himself, and then at her wet headphones. Minor casualty? "Uh. So what were you doing out here, anyway…?"

A look around tells him it'd probably be a great place for a view of the bay…in the daytime.

* * *

The chest-puffing is quite endearing, but she's found Firestorm to be quite endearing. She laughs gently at the gratitude, and she nods a bit. She shakes out her headphones, tilts one earcup to press against her ear. Her phone is still playing the music that had been filling her ears. She lets the headphones encircle her neck, resting heavily against her collarbones.

"I know…" The words are bit sheepish, a casual confession. "It was… I was just lost in thought. I'm usually a little more… attentive." She tilts her head slightly, blue eyes taking him in. She's already wondering if the Professor is in his head, if he can hear the advice from that other voice — whatever it is.

"So, what do you call yourself?"

* * *

"I get that, sure. Though this is kiiind of a bad place to not be attentive. Case in point," Firestorm says, thumbing back at the two men. He tilts his head. "…think we should call the police or something? Is that what people do? Or do they just leave 'em- I know they're jerks but it's kinda cold out."

Turning back to face her, he blinks before smiling again. "Oh! I'm Firestorm! Because… Okay, so I don't really got nothing on that, I just thought it sounded cool," he admits, scratching the back of his head, his smile turning sheepish.

* * *

"I know." Barbara actually grimaces a bit at that, and though the adorable Firestorm gave the admonishment, she hears it in her own father's voice. Bad place not be attentive. She tucks a bit of red hair back behind her ear, the sheepish expression impossible to miss.

Then she exhales a breath, and she kicks at the snow briefly. Then she glances to the two, and she shakes her head. "You should, but give it long enough for you to get clear. My guess is that NYPD isn't all that fond of vigilantes. Or is that only Gotham?" Pleasant, disparaging remarks about her hometurf are probably a bit too on the nose.

Firestorm's eager presentation of his name has a warm smile pulling up her lips into an ease grin. "It does sound cool, and that's what's important." She takes a step forward, pauses just a few heartbeats, and then offers out a hand to him. "I'm Barbara. Barbara Gordon."

* * *

"Ooh, right. Good call." The fiery-headed hero-sort smiles a little wearily. "To be honest, I'm not really sure. I mean, between that new law and everything, I guess it's not exactly a great time to decide to be doing this sorta thing. But what else can you do?" he shrugs.

Her comment about Gotham does have him raise an eyebrow. "So the police isn't too hot about having help outside of their forces there? I'll be honest, I've only been to Gotham once, and it was a really short trip." Not to mention accidental. He just has no idea that the woman he's speaking to knows all about that.

He hardly needs the encouragement but her comment has him smiling brightly again, and even the professor has to smile a little, even as he shakes his head internally.

"Nice to meet you Barbara! Er, I mean, well, in spite of circumstances," Firestorm says as he takes her hand in his to shake. "Need anyone to watch your back heading to…wherever?"

* * *

"Well." Barbara considers the vigilante with a half-tilt of her head. In the same motion, she's tucking a bit of hair back behind her ear. "Why do you want to be out here to begin with? Like, why do you do what you… do?" Really eloquently spoken… but it provides the right question. Why do you want to be a vigilante?

His offer to be her escort back through the park has her laughing, and then she gestures. "Alright, come on. You can tell me a bit more about yourself, Firestorm."

* * *

"Like, why do you do what you… do?"

It's one of those questions one can't just answer right off the back. Thankfully Ronnie's given some time to consider it.

His expression floods with relief at her acceptance of his awkward offer, but he wouldn't have felt all right just letting her go off by herself again. "Oh sure, yeah." With a grin, Firestorm starts along after her, falling in step.

"…so back to that other question… I guess…because it feels like the right thing to do? Oh wow, that sounds super cheesy but I mean- well, that's how we feel about it. Er, I do."

He sighs, shoulders slumping. "I'm really new at this. I hope it's not obvious, but I'm getting the hang of well…everything. And it's not like I planned this all out- but I guess no one really does."

Careful Ronald. You don't have to tell her your life story.

"Ugh, I know, Prof, but between you and mom, who else have I really gotten to talk to about this?" he groans, rolling his eyes as he addresses the air.

* * *

Having a flaming superhero walking beside you as casually as it is day is strange to Barbara, as if she had never actually walked side-by-side with a caped crusader. She slides her hands back into the pockets of her jacket, tilting her head slightly as they walk along together. It's a comfortable stride now, not as distracted as her earlier pace.

"It's just a little obvious," Barbara admits by pinching her forefinger and thumb together slightly. Then she reaches out, and her hand gently touched the edge of his shoulder. "No one does." She smiles gently. "You're doing just fine, and you will get better at this." She then tucks her hands back into her pockets, continuing along at an ease pace.

"It isn't that cheesy, though — why you're doing this. It's a good reason… to do what's right." Her eyes narrow slightly. "But there should be more than that. More than just doing what's right."

* * *

It's kind of weird walking like this when he's gotten a bit used to floating and flying (clearly one of the most awesome things about getting nuclear fused), but Firestorm doesn't think too much about it as he accompanies Barbara. He's actually kind of glad that there's finally some semblance of normal, even if it's in the form of an unusual conversation in the middle of the night.

Barbara's admission of his newbieness draws the tiniest of a wince from him, even as he has to smile for it. At least he didn't go crashing into any dumpsters or anything today. Her gesture, brief and simple as it is, is still quite the bolster of confidence for him. Even Professor Stein has to smile.

"More than just doing what's right?" Firestorm echoes, frowning a bit as he looks down at his hands, getting them to emit a brief flare of nuclear heat. "What else do you do with superhuman powers you suddenly find yourself stuck with? …aside from terrible stuff." His brow furrows. "I already saw people do terrible stuff, and that was without powers. They could've hurt a lot of people, or even worse."

It doesn't take much for him to recall that day at the nuclear plant. He was sure he and Professor Stein should've been dead once those explosions had gone off, and with no way to get out of the reactor core chamber.

"…for whatever reason, I got this second chance, and these abilities. So…if I can help people somehow, then…maybe it's worth it."

* * *

"I more mean… there's lots of ways to do what's right." She tilts her head toward him, those blue eyes watching him with an earnest curiosity. She has heard those words before: the choice between the good and the evil ways of the world.

Her smile softens a bit, and Barbara is just watching the fire-shrouded man as they walk through Battery Park. "See, that's a much better reason that just doing what's right. Powerful, personal, and it will be the little nugget that keeps you going when you don't think you can anymore."

* * *

It's different to admit it aloud, to actually talk it through to explain it to someone. It brings about more clarity to the decision he's made, and even Martin Stein agrees to it in that light. But then he'd already understood Ronnie's reasoning, even if at first Ronnie himself couldn't properly put it into words.

Lifting his head Firestorm glances at Barbara again, his own expression slowly mirroring hers then. He nods.

"…thanks Barbara," he says warmly. It was a good piece of advice. He has the feeling that she speaks from something of experience, but then that only makes it all the more meaningful.

* * *

"You're welcome, Firestorm." Those words are returned with the same warmth. It can be good to help a new vigilante find their footing. She tilts her head as they near the exit to the park, looking behind her with a little pivot on her soles. Then she looks back up at him, and she gives him a thankful bob of her head. "You might be a little green, Firestorm… but you did great work with those guys back there." She thumbs back behind her. Then she starts to backward step. "Take care of yourself."

Then she turns, and walks onward to get herself back to her hotel room, glancing over her shoulder only once to consider the fiery man.

* * *

"You too!" Firestorm calls out after Barbara, raising a hand after her to wave.

Well, I suppose things didn't go so badly after all, Professor Stein considers, and Ronnie smiles wryly along with him.

He watches Barbara continue on for a while before finally taking back to the skies. "One last sweep before we head back?" he asks his invisible passenger.

Very well. -and don't forget about notifying the police about those two men in the park.

"Right. …think we'll see her again?"

The city's a big place, Ronald. But I suppose anything's possible.

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