Curiosity Drew a Bat
Roleplaying Log: Curiosity Drew a Bat
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Batgirl comes across someone unusual during her patrol on a quiet winter evening.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: February 12, 2019
IC Location: The Narrows, Gotham City
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 22 Feb 2019 01:31
Rating & Warnings: G
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

It's a dull, chilly evening in Gotham, the snow-dusted streets and frost-encrusted eaves making for perhaps a more melancholy than usual atmosphere, discouraging people to be out unless needs absolutely be, with but a puff of an occasional but cutting breeze to send flurries of snow back into the air, scattering brief, localized blizzards from rooftops.

No snow is displaced by the passing of hooves despite the casual walk of one down the sidewalks, no sound to match, save for the snort of an errant steed otherwise remaining unseen. Her rider goes equally so, invisible to most eyes save those so attuned or those whom he might wish to be seen, and if they were partial to such they would see the man, dressed from head to toe in white, much out of place for his way of style, from the tall hat atop his head to the white cloak, suit and shoes he wears, a vision from the past.

The cold does not bother him, but he bears in himself a coldness that has clung to him since he'd breathed his last hanging from the gallows, centuries past in London, and even in the worst of winter seasons, he'd be the first to say that there be nothing colder than the grave.

***

There is no dissuasion for Batgirl even when the snows settle in. The air can be cold and crisp, but that's what the warmer layer beneath the suit and fluttering cape. She is quiet as she rests on the edge of a roof in the darkest corners of Gotham, watching the snow fall and the city become softened by its white light.

Then there's hooves in the snow, and something accompanying the horse, and then she blinks as things come into focus. She tilts her cowled head, and then quietly, she drops… down, down…

Batgirl lands quietly in the softened snow, and then she is stepping forward to leave footsteps in the drifts. She approaches the rider quietly, almost apprehensively, and then she tilts her head slightly with a curious cant to her chin.

***

There's a stillness in the air, and even with the winter chill there's just something extra to it that sets it apart, as though Batgirl had entered a clear box that enhances the cold in that one area.

The hoofprints have ceased, and despite the nearest streetlamp there are no shadows cast where the horse and rider should have been. Or rather, still are. If she strains for it she can hear it, the snort of a horse, but no jet of steam expelled as one might expect from the heat of breath making contact with the air. There's a jingle of metal as though the horse might've shook its head and bridle. And then as though it had just taken a few moments to focus, there indeed stands a horse, ghostly pale, and eerily translucent.

So too, its rider, who sits tall and turns just enough to glance to the side, perhaps not enough to see the costumed woman, but it seems he must be aware of her presence.

If the transparency of this vision isn't unsettling enough, perhaps more so the lack of a face, of even a head as the hat floats in the air, a monocle hovering equally so where one might figure an eyeline to be.

***

The chill moves deeper into her bones, through her skin and sinew, and it leaves her a little breathless. She turns slowly, taking in each detail as her foggy breath comes out in a slow exhale of vapor. She advances forward slowly, cautiously, hearing the silence surround her. Her ears are perked to the noise, and then she hears the snort, and she stalls slightly with a tightness in her spine.

Then she sees the horse, and her breath catches in her chest and she feels a little fearful tremble move through her body. She takes a step back slightly, and she takes in each detail that seems to be given to her — presented to her through that clarity.

"Who are you?" The question is whispered.

***

A gloved hand lifts, tugging the reins to bring the horse about. The whinny is otherworldly, echoing between hearing and existence itself. Now the figure faces her, and there can be no doubt that his gaze rests upon her, even with no visible eyes to make contact with. With his other hand he gives the slightest tip of his hat.

"Even when I've not done a thing, I run into a Bat," he chuckles, his words bearing a British accent, hinting at something just a touch more northern. "Ah, but that doesn't answer the question asked, and surely this meeting be but happenstance." And not say, because he might have filched a few pieces of heirloom jewelry from one of the older homes up by Cobble Hill.

"You can call me the Gentleman Ghost, Miss Bat. I must admire your tenacity, at work e'en in this." Gloved hand gestures around them.

***

Batgirl's mouth tightens slightly. "You know, we really have an unfair reputation." That's said with a bit of ire — it isn't her fault that Batman is who he is, but honestly! But then she takes in a breath and fully takes in what of the Gentleman Ghost that he lets her see, and she straightens up slightly. She has seen much in her last few months. So, what is a ghost?

She advances forward several steps, and then — in some weird instinct — she gives him a slight bow of her head. "Duties never done, and all that," she murmurs quietly. Then she takes a glance around uncertain and then she steps forward, head tilting again to one side.

"So… are you… a ghost, or a poltergeist?" Important differentiation.

***

"So do the undead," Craddock notes, a smirk audible in his tone. "But what can be done? Your Batman casts a long shadow, especially here in this city." He bows his head, or so seems to as his hat and monocle bow forward slightly. "Of course you are your own person, even though you wear his crest. Batgirl, is it?"

As she moves closer he watches, casually positioned, or as casual as one can while saddled upon a ghostly steed.

"Duties. Needs. One does what one must, even if one may not quite understand it." Her question calls a tilt of his head and a faint chuckle. "Long have I been a ghost before even being familiar with the term of a poltergeist. I have endless time enough and yet why would I waste it causing noisy disturbances?"

***

"Well, you are only my second undead meeting, and the first was a zombie woman, so… I really have a bare minimum of experience." There's a bit of a quip there — something a bit amused in the undertones of the young vigilante. But then she is stepping forward again, and her eyes skimming over the ghostly horse. "Is your horse… a ghost?" Fair question.

Then Batgirl nods her head slightly. "Yes. That one." Her lips quirk. "Nice to meet you." She hopes. After demons attacked Dinah's house, really this could go either way. Then she breathes out a slow exhale that slowly trails into a little chuckle. "I don't question what most folks do in their free time. Maybe ghosts do that all for entertainment."

***

The Gentleman Ghost's shoulders rise and fall in a shrug. "A rare phenomena indeed, although I assure you- if an assurance it can ever be taken for- that spirits of those who've passed on exist everywhere in plain sight, at least t'those who've an eye or a sense for it." By the way he leans forward one might imagine him to be winking with that said.

With the question of his horse brought up, he lays a gloved hand upon the side of the beast's neck, giving it a fond pat. "Just as much as m'self," he confirms with a nod. "Bess has been with me a long time, and I'm glad to have her e'en now."

An amused sort of sound is his response to the question of what one does in their free-time. Craddock imagines his particular activities might not be well approved by one of the city's vigilantes.

"For entertainment, for frustration. It varies, I imagine. I don't usually ask."

***

Batgirl's lips press into a thin, thoughtful frown. "Everywhere?" Her eyes drift around her now, as if given this insight might given her the power to see the ghosts that may loom and hover near by. She steps forward a bit more, though she keeps a good distance even with that next advance. Her blue eyes consider the horse, and then the rider. There's a quirk of a smile at her lips.

"Hi Bess," she says to the horse, not at all feeling odd at that. Then she is straightening up once more to consider the ghostly rider. Her eyes narrow thoughtfully.

"And what are you doing out here, Gentleman Ghost?" She glances around the Narrows almost cautiously.

***

There's something amusing to be found in how so many find a ghostly horse so approachable. Perhaps she is, when she's not breathing hellfire and her eyes are like blazing coals. Bess snorts in response to Batgirl's greeting, a normal horsie response if ever there was one.

"Can not a gentleman enjoy a quiet evening ride?" the Ghost replies, straightening at her questioning. He chuckles. "Seems interesting times in the city these days. Be the evening so slow that you have time to converse with the dead? Stranger still, I find, that people be so open to such cause. Ah, but I s'ppose 'tis more preferred than being screamed at, or, heaven forbid, attacked at first sight."

***

Batgirl is also a woman under the age of thirty and Bess is a horse. There's a lot of natural pairing happening here, ghost horse or not. There's definitely some resistance happening here that involves offering her hand out for Bess to sniff, and trying to give the horse a nose rub. Batgirl is doing a fabulous job at not trying to touch the ex-horse.

"This is Gotham, Mr. Ghost. No one goes out for a quiet evening anything, particularly in the Narrows." Her brow arches slightly, though it is more expressed by the slight way she tilts her head. "The snow quiets the night sometimes, but that really means it only drives the trouble deeper, the crime quieter." She narrows her eyes thoughtfully. "Can everyone see you just now?"

***

She wouldn't be the first to want to pet the ghost horse. Phil Coulson's been quite fond of Bess and ghostly joyrides. Probably not a healthy practice when you've already been brought back from the grave.

"Oh, I suppose that's true enough," Craddock concedes, a smirk in his words. "But then would ye not say that places like these would be a natural draw for such as m'self? Not for want of what people may have in these parts. I was poor in my youth, I know the difficulties that go with it."

He casts a glance back where Batgirl had looked earlier.

"Who might everyone be, my dear? But if I so wished everyone to see me, then so they would. Why? Afraid that one might take you as mad?" he asks, a brief laugh in amusement following his query.

***

"Are you saying that ghosts are drawn toward the worst possible corners of the world?" That judgment is more for the Narrows than for the Ghost. She reaches out to gently offer her hand to Bess now that she's close enough, her gloved fingers just barely beneath the horse's nose.

Then her eyes lift back to the faceless rider, and her head tilts slightly to one side in that curious motion. "Are you trying to provide help to those who need it then?" Beat. "A vigilante ghost?" She's met Dead Girl, so this wouldn't be the first time.

Then her smile takes on a slightly bemused edge. "And why can I see you?"

***

"Not so much drawn, no," Craddock says, shaking his head. "But rather ghosts may be more present in such because of what might make them such worst possible corners." People suffering in some form or another often leaves the strongest imprints, emotions the tightest bonds.

Perhaps surprisingly Batgirl's hand will find it makes contact despite the translucency of the horse. Bess nudges the hand, but no breath can be felt even as the horse snorts.

"Are you trying to provide help to those who need it then? A vigilante ghost?" The Gentleman Ghost laughs, quietly at first so that it's only noticeable in the subtle shake of his cloaked shoulders. "If I turned over any riches I so obtained, to the needy, would ye turn a blind eye? Perhaps if I had found a role model in Robin of Loxley over Dick Turpin, then things would've gone differently." He shrugs. "Or would they? 'tis too late to wonder such things, certainly too late for me." There's… a wistful air to his echoey words.

His monocle turns towards the masked girl again, his invisible head tilting as so indicates the hat on his head. "I've allowed you to see me. What sort of gentleman would I be were I to let a young woman poke about for invisible horses, potentially questioning her sanity?" She might hear the smile hidden in his words. "Curiosity is a double-edged blade, but as a protege of the Bat, I imagine 'tis something you're well aware of."

***

"The Narrows matches that definition." Batgirl frowns. "The worst possible corners." Then she is distracted by the horse, and her fingers can't help but follow the line of its jaw and down its neck. She marvels at the fact she can touch it, feel its presence beneath her fingers. "Incredible," she says in a hush.

Then she looks up toward the Ghost. "I'm not Batman. If you are here to protect Gotham, it is not my job to question how you do it." Though, that is a relatively new stance for her — and perhaps a bit contradictory, because she has easily targeted Huntress with that ire.

"I'm often told I'm too curious for my own good, Gentleman Ghost." She gives him a little smirk. "After all, how am I supposed to learn new things if I'm not curious?" Then she continues to rub along the line of Bess's neck, close enough to easily look up at the man. "So, the next question is why have you let me see you?"

***

"And if I am not here to protect?" The Ghost asks the question out of genuine curiosity of his own. But then he doesn't particularly behave out of malice either, despite how his actions might paint him whenever he falls prey to the draw of shining valuables.

Batgirl's response warrants a nod. It was only natural to be curious about things, whether it be good for you or not. It's the precursor to many a decision. "Why," he repeats after she speaks up again. "A good question. And why must I answer it? What would it gain you to know?" He leans forward a bit, resting his arm over the pommel of the saddle. "Perhaps there be no reason at'all."

***

"Then I'll have to ask about that, too… but if you were here to hurt, to torture, to torment… you wouldn't let yourself be seen by a Bat." There's something amused in those words, and Batgirl does not seem terribly concerned — yet.

"You don't have to answer it… but it is definitely something that I'll be thinking about." She finishes musing at the tangible ghost horse before she steps back. "It was nice meeting you, Gentleman Ghost… and you Bess."

***

"Maybe I like a challenge. Or maybe there's no sense in living on the edge when one's already deceased." He grins to himself, back straightening once again as he seems satisfied that she's not pushed for a more straight-forward answer.

Bess shakes her mane out, pawing at the snowy ground despite leaving no trace of it disturbed. The Gentleman Ghost pats the side of his mount's neck, grasping the reins tighter in preparation to make his own departure as Batgirl steps back.

"A pleasure likewise, Batgirl, strange as it might be to say." He sweeps his hat off with his free hand before replacing it upon his head. With a tug of the reins he wheels his horse about, Bess rising on her hind legs with an echoing shriek of a spine-chilling whinny before returning to all fours, ghostly form gathering in anticipation of a gallop.

"And do be careful," the ghostly highwayman offers in parting before the pair surges off, vanishing well before even reaching the street's end.

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