Small Gifts

August 30, 2016:

Bluebird and Batman spar, he gives her a gift through Cullen. Spoiler gets a Spoiler Phone!

Batcave

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: Nightwing, Red Robin, Red Hood andIron Guard

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Bluebird's a competent martial artist— scrappy and tough, two key skills. But it's only been recently that she's started training with earnest with the Bat Family.

Needless to say, Batman doesn't intend for her to stay untrained for long. The two of them are sparring on the mats— Batman in ancient, greying gi and with a cloth belt on his hips— and Bluebird in full armor and with access to any and all gear she could want for.

It's not even remotely an even match. For the third time in a row, Batman steps into Bluebird, sweeps her leg, and upends her like a flipped pancake, to hit the ground with chest-rattling force.

He leans over the prostrate woman, hands clasped behind her back. "Need to take a break?" he says, with a cock of one eyebrow.

Being stubborn and going at it alone for a little bit out of sheer defiance really, really did not have it's perks. Not to mention a diet that consists of whatever was found in a brown bag that nearly split open because of the amount of grease of the crap that she manages to scrap up when she cooks dinner for Cullen isn't the best thing she should be eating while being a.. well, vigilante.

But she had heart, right? An angry swing of the bo staff later and she's upon her back with it tossed into the air towards the wall due to the projection. The smack upon her back has her curling, one leg lifting to brace herself from any and all hits as her arms clutch her stomach as if she caught a ball. And then a whees. A rock and a roll from one side to the next, her eyes wincing shut as she gives a shake of her head.

It sounded like a smokers wheeze.. but no.. she was just recovering from a fight that she barely won (which is usual) and hardly healed from. "Nope!" She squeezes out, uncurling her gloved hand to give him a thumbs up. "I'm good!"

Batman steps back a few paces to the center of the mat, calm, and barely even breathing hard despite the prolonged fight. Bluebird's getting exhausted, but Batman seems barely winded.

"You've got the basics of combat down— aggression, speed, violence of action," Batman tells Bluebird. "But at the cost of technique or strategy. You are swinging wildly or fighting completely defensively— thinking one move ahead, not five or six. Plan the fight. Anticipate not where your opponent will move, but /can/ move. Again," he says, beckoning her to arm herself and advance.

Another slight roll and rock to both of her sides and a lean upon her hip, her hand smacks against the mat as she slowly drives herself to her feet, stumbling just a little, remaining hunched as she tries to breath out the shock of falling upon her back. She listens, her head nodding quickly, hand lifting to wipe away the sweat along her brow. "Alright.." She says. A couple of steps ahead. How can she do that when he's possibly years in front of her?

Slowly, she stands upright, rolling her shoulders, fingers curled into a fist as she drops into the proposed stance. No weapons this time, the bo staff was tossed back behind her and discarded. She was going to use her hands for this, if she could keep them up.

So she dashes forward, not an outright attack, stopping short and testing the waters with a few teasing jabs. Left foot behind, right at the front, a light hop to lean forward at a swiping boxers jab with her left to the chin. Half hearted. Then a lean in with the right, a little bit strongly swung then the first, and a lean back with a raking kick towards the shin.

"Hesitated." Batman bats the jabs aside with his left and right wrists, then snaps his hand and steps /into/ her, jabbing her bicep with a palm and checking her right cross. He turns his leg into hers, his knee bouncing off of hers and he lands with his lead foot extended between her legs. He turns it into a horse stance, and with a 'hmph!' of effort, shoves her with elbow and palm, the power exploding from his hips as he shoves her away from him with a subtle but terrific amount of force.

"Jukes need to look sincere or they're recognize as bait by the attacker. I can see in your face that you don't meant to hit me with that blow, so I can safely ignore it."

Movements were quick, no less. Each one countered with a specific sort of ease that throws her off of her center. Her feet catch with a slight of a misstep that has her leaning in to accept the push back that nearly kicks her up off of her feet only to send her skidding back. Thankfully, being prepared and ready to fall gives her the choice of not to, but she does wind up a few paces away with hands dropping and raising up again.

In truth, it just felt weird to try and hit the Batman.

He was the frickin Batman!

His words were clearly heard and taken in, and with a slight, subtle squint of her eye told of her resolve. Hands up again as she dashes forward, feet drawn towards 'cat' with the front most foot tilted downward, lightening her steps so that she could strafe foward with hands flat and uncurled. Instead of a proper juke, there was a quick snap forward of her left with the /intent/ to hit yet again, followed by a right which was hidden by the drawback. That same right was brought back in an attempted of an uppercut with a follow through turn of her body to snap the elbow upright to aim towards the rib, fist immediately curled soon after to jut right up with the intent to smash against the bridge of his nose. And if she's really lucky? A shove against his chest with a push of her shoulder.

Batman's parries are just as fast, but— she gets a good hit in. One clean one, the uppercut, and though it glances off his abdomen, there's a moment of triumph for Bluebird. Her first strikes were snapped away but their serious delivery left a gap open for the unexpected maneuver, and it earns Bluebird her first real 'point' in quite some time as a Batling.

Then she tries to shove Batman, but he stops her by pressing his thumb against her eyelid and then pushing against the underside of her septum until her head goes back, and a moment later, the rest of her follows as he dumps her flat on her rear!

"Good hit," Batman says, rubbing his ribs. "But don't try that push unless your center of gravity is lower than your adversary's."

Harper knows damn well to not celebrate or gloat, she was treating this fight as if it were a real deal so she knows that she made the hit. And she aimed to keep going. That lean in was going to serve two purposes: One, it would have knocked him back and off of his center of gravity, and two, to allow her to pounce. THEN she would gloat. It was a mathematical order of operations and a show that she was at least slightly capable of being two steps ahead.

But nope, she wasn't. The press to her eye was jarring enough for her to let out a loud squawk, her hands totally breaking formation and foot attempting to snap forward to instinctively kick him dirty. It threw her off enough for her to fall flat down and bounce just a little, hands immediately shooting upright to grasp at her face as she lets out another cry in frustration.

"Goddamn it!" She snaps out, eye closed, one hand smacking against the mat, feet even kicking like she was a toddler due for a tantrum.

"Is the swearing helping?" Batman lifts a brow at Harper. "Then stop losing your temper. It doesn't make much sense, does it?" he inquires. "You're losing the match, now you're losing control? I'll win for sure next round, I think."

He waits for her to get back to her feet, standing off a few paces. "The punch was well thrown," he tells her. "Unpredictable, good use of balance. However, your aim wasn't very good. Uppercuts have to impact between the interstitial spaces in the abdominal wall to have really effective impact— most adult males have enough muscle or stomach fat that the blow is difficult to deliver without precision."

"YES!" Harper snaps out, her hand smacking against the ground again as she quickly rushes to her feet. Thankfully there was no dizzying spout, she was rip and ready to go just like she would have if she were on the streets of the Narrows. Never let them keep you down for too long, else it would be all over. There wasn't just pure rage, no. It was frustration, her inability to get the moves down quick and to at least score another three points in one fashion.

But there was no stopping this time, strafing forward during his speech about uppercuts, the information melding into her brain as she begins to unleash the full drought of what she was taught. Two quick jabs aimed for the chin, both swiping arcs with a kick added towards the middle. There was no stopping, she attempted to drive him back from the circle he created and just out on the perimeter. A quick hop upright and a hurdled kick, and down again upon two feet with a turn and a cresecent kick aimed at the sensitive part of the shoulder to disorient.

Batman ducks left, then right, the blows missing by mere inches— goading her, with the near misses. He steps four inches into the kick, partially spoiling her blow by turning his ribs to take the hard kick to the hardest part of his torso, and moves predictably away from the blow—

—too predictably. The crescent kick is big, and flashy, and delivered perfectly. Mid-turn, then, she'd be shocked to find that Batman… is not where she left him, and is, in fact, nowhere in view.

Then someone grabs the back of her head, her belt, and stomps on her heel while just… pulling her over backwards.

Batman stares down at her. "Never turn your back and eyes from your opponent. I ghosted through your blind spot. You lost track of me for a full second."

Each swing had her thoughts going. One was a swear word. The other was the time. The last one was a quick 'oh shit', and a glance to her left. She jerks forward, the catch to her head a surprise but the immobility of her belt being captured has her hands flailing to grasp at the air until she was tugged down upon her backside with a loud 'oof'! Again.

Her eyes roll, the one that was jabbed moreso, the stinging enough to make her want to cry but she stuffs it down with a quick cut of her eyes towards Bruce. No, she wasn't going to get mad. Not again. Her eyes close as her lips purse, her breath easily heard as she draws in, slowly blows out, her hips rocking upward as she curls her legs, rolling upon her shoulders with a kick outright to land upon her feet and snap her body upright.

"I give for now.." She finally groans out, positively hurting. She was winded, sore and tired. And it was a miracle that she even drew her hand behind herself to place at the small of her back.

"A short break. Then we go again." Batman steps away and picks up a bottle of water, uncapping it and taking a quick sip. "We've only been training for fifteen minutes. You might need to fight off and on for an hour or more at a time, in a worst-case scenario, against fresh and ready opponents. We're not just developing your skills here, we're building up your endurance and stamina. Important for long battles. Nothing takes it out of you like a few bruised ribs."

"I usually bank on every fight I have being over in five.." At least she was telling the truth. Jesus, the sweat does pour from this one. "Hit them hard, hit them fast, get the job done for the police to clean up.." Her fingers peel away her gloves, and soon her mask there after. Each was tossed upon the table as she slides out of her jacket, her variant armor soon unzipped and tossed upon the ground. Her arms were covered in bruises that were near fading, but she still operated like there was no pain. Her blue hair damp, swiped back with a grip of her fingers and the bottle of water taken for her to drink.

"Been there.. done that.. but.. highly, highly true." She winces as she presses against her side. "Broke three of them a month ago, still not right." Her hand lifts to rub her palm against her slightly swollen eye. "So. Someones assembling some Avengers team over in Metropolis. Guy asked if I could join."

"Keep doing your yoga. The routines will help prevent scar tissues from building up," Batman suggests. His face grows a little cool when she mentions the Avengers, and he lifts one brow at Harper. "'some' Avengers team? 'some guy'? You're pretty vague on details, Bluebird. Last I heard, the Avengers had disbanded after Captain America stepped down. Who's attempting to round the new team up?"

Ugh, blasted yoga. Harper finishes removing the heaviest part of her gear as she begins to lift her arms into the air. The suggestion meant to do it, and she was doing it, slowly bending over to the point her fingers touch upon her boots to grip the edges to hold that position like a folded knife.

"He's odd." She admits. "Goes by the name Iron Guard. Apparently he's gotten the go ahead from SHIELD and is attempting to set up shop there along with a few others that I haven't met yet. Falcon. I like that guy." Her shoulders roll from that position, popping ever so slightly follwed by an added grunt. Her hands soon plant flush upon the ground, walking forward until she was at a tilted ninety degree angle, then lifts up upon her toes.

"Hmph." Batman moves to a nearby workstation and swings a monitor terminal, the screen flickering and then throwing a profile of Iron Guard up on the monitor. "The Avengers have been struggling almost as much as the League did," Batman remarks, rasping. "They did some good work. But the government inevitably insisted on taking over once they did. At times I suspect our leaders are more interested in being in charge of operations than making them run well."

He looks at Bluebird. "I don't think you're ready for two teams," he says, bluntly. "But I'm not your chaperone or father. Do what you like with your free time, but remember there are patrols and work in Gotham that we'll have to pick up the slack on if you do. If your side-job takes too much of your attention from Gotham, then you'll need to pick one or the other to pursue full time."

Once up upon the tips of her toes, she pushes back to close the fold, then leans forward into a downward facing dog, her shoulders jutting upright as she arches her back with a shaking of her hands. She holds this position, her face turning a beet red, her head bobbing slightly with the need to lift a hand to wave it off. "Yes." She confirmed. "From what I've read, Justice League was disbanded, right? Sold to the public, especially after you pulled your backing."

She lifts herself up again, letting out a little huff, one foot striking forward at a bend as she stretches, then extends it into a full on split that seemed almost impossible to do. Ow. Even hearing that she wasn't ready. Ow. It was all the more reason for her to regret taking up Red Hood up on his offer. Take the money and run. Thankfully she left it here.

"I understand. I didn't say yes. I didn't say no either, Bruce. It's just.." She lifts up, shifting her weight so that she could perform a split from the other side, settling into it with a grunt. "..Cullen. I don't mind helping, if I can and if Gotham is alright for now. But.. he's my primary concern. I want him to get out. Go to college. Come back and do some real good if he chooses. I don't think I want to make any big decisions unless he's safe and well on to a good education."

"That's something I was meaning to mention to you," Batman says, turning to Bluebird and fixing her with that unreadable gaze. "I made some inquiries as Bruce Wayne. There's an opening at Gotham Academy," he explains, his voice a level rasp that's oddly out of place without the cowl on. "I know Cullen's had some behavioural trouble. The Academy is prepared to take him on, full time, and let him live in student housing. He'd get some freedom from home, but have authorities looking after him and structure to keep him on track. And he'd still be in town, but fairly well protected."

He certainly had her attention. Where her brother was involved, she was like a mama hen waiting on him to pounce if he had bad news. No amount of training in the world would save her, but damn, she was going to give it a good heave ho if what he had to say didn't fit with her ideal, wants, and needs for her baby bro.

The little homo, he was such a doll.

But.. those splits were soon crawled out of, settling upon her bottom as her knees draw up and her arms clasp around them, watching him with clear.. well, her expression was blank as she tries to process the information that was given. There was no sense in her saying no. Nor rejecting his money. Nor even rejecting the use of his name because.. well, he was Bruce Wayne. "Wow." It was really all she ever wanted for the kid. And without him there..

"When?" Her voice cracked when she asked. It so totally did.

"Fall semester. You've got a week or so to make up your mind, but the sooner would be better," Batman advises Harper. He watches her stunned by the idea, then walks up and hunkers down in front of her, fingers loosely clapsed between his knees. "Family's important, Bluebird," he gravels. "We need to keep a reason to do this— a drive. For me, it was justice. For Dick… it was me. Jason, the boys— even Cass and Stephanie. They all have their own motivations. Part of relying on those motivations is knowing to protect them carefully. If I can do this to protect Cullen, then it's money well spent for keeping your mind off of the fear for him."

+MEET: Stephanie Brown has arrived via +meet.

"I don't need a week." She says quietly. This was after all that was said and done, where Harper would make some snide remark or some piss poor joke to get a laugh out of herself and a stare from Bruce. It was all aces. "I'll do it." She pauses a little, then lifts a hand to clarify. "He'll do it." And then, her eyes begin to water faintly as she sniffs and bats at her lids. "I need to wash my face. Sweats getting into my eyes."

With a slide back and a quick push to a stand, she takes the bottom of her shirt to lift and wipe away at her face, approaching the table where her gear was in silence. This was awkward. Completely awkward. But she was happy. But she couldn't be happy. Usually, whenever there was something good going on, there was something bad to happen there after.

Life in the Bat Family. Even an act of kindness was only a reminder of how cruel the world could be. Batman leaves Harper to manage her tears and fetches more water for himself, and heaves the other bottle at Harper's head. It'll miss by mere inches— and he whistles as it leaves his hands, to give her the slightest bit of warning to catch it.

He returns to the monitor at the edge of the mats and brings up the camera footage, examining Harper's performance on the mats and gauging what the next step in training her will entail. The Batcave's a bit warm from the perspiration in the air, but the cool rock walls behind the faux siding and floor are wicking away the heat, along with the cool air from deeper in the cavern.

No closer to cracking the cypher has Stephanie a touch cranky. But she'll channel that into her next attempt. For now, it was time to check in with Batman. By way of the upstairs entrance. She had actually arrived a little bit ago, but paused to chat with Alfred. School is okay. No, I ate alreay, but thanks. No, I really don't think I should have dessert yet. Just heading downstairs. Night Alfred. Bounce in her step, Steph makes her way in. Her blonder hair is up in a high-pony, upon which an over-large highly starched bow would not look out of place. Small shiney gold clips hold some of the finer hair from the back of her neck up off her shoulders. Her bangs dance at her eyebrows. Jeans with a nice button down blouse and sneakers, Steph looks almost highschool with a backpack over her shoulder.

There's company? Headtiltling and a light smile on her face, Stephanie makes her way further into the area, blue-green eyes skimming about and settling on the new to her fixture: Harper. A warm smile blooms. Because being friendly is important.

"Good evening," she says, eyes sweeping now toward Batman.

Her back remained turned towards the entrance of Stephanie, Harper was fiddling around with her gear at the sound of the soft footsteps, the happy good evening met with a slight look of bewilderment and a wide smile. "HIiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii…. Gollldiiieee…" She couldn't resist. It was the blonde hair, a far cry from her usual dark brown now blue. "Goolldie that.. " Yeah, that name sucks. She'll figure out a different nickname for the poor woman.

Where as Nightwing was often times affectionally called Dickhead, Fox Creepy McCreeperson, Oracle Johnny Five, she was going to have to step her game up in the nickname department.

"Not staying long." She comments, hitching her gear on with a few quick motions, swiping her fingers along the top of her blue hair to create a back sway so that her mask to fit atop. She was due for a haircut, that was for certain, but was totally rocking the long look. "Stay sharp kids. Got stuff to do." And with that, she was up and out. There was no sense in being a blubbering idiot with those two around! Bad for business. No crying in Gotham, is her mantra.

"Spoiler," Batman rasps, turning away from his computer, as Bluebird makes her instant goodbyes. He doesn't seem bothered by her sudden apology, nor does he excuse it— Batman's not one to mediate or broker relationships. They'll fix it or kill one another.

"Glad you're being punctual. Did you do the homework I gave you?" he inquires, tilting a brow. It hadn't been terribly much, thankfully— a primer on the theory of deductive reasoning and observation. Batman was, after all, the World's Greatest Detective, and he and Tim both had proved many times that their attention to detail was far and away their greatest ally in the field.

Stephanie smiles brightly, giggling at the nickname. Not the first time she's heard it. She would have said something too, but the blue-haired girl is gone, and so Steph makes a note to get to know her next time, and just conintues on her way in. As she's asked about her homework, Stephanie smiles at Batman. The smile of the overachieveing student ready with the report the teacher requested and all too confident that it will have exactly what was asked. WIthout a word, Stephanie sets her backpack down on a work surface, opens it, pulls out a composition book, and hands it over.

"Did you need it APA or MLA?" she asks, still smiling. "Because I'm better with APA."

"I don't do grades. Either you did the homework and internalized it, or you did the homework and you didn't. I'll know if you didn't, and then we'll have a much less pleasant discussion." Batman cocks a brow at Spoiler. "This isn't for accreditation. This is your life on the line. Fancy degrees are only good for impressing academics, but villains don't care how many doctorates you have. You either know it, or you don't."

He turns off the monitor and faces Stephanie again. "Any questions about the assignment?"

That was not what Stephanie was expecting or used to. Urked, she brings the book back toward herself and swallows down the startings of 'fail fail fail fail fail'. WIth it fought down, Stephanie takes a moment to really think through his question. In her seriousness, she stills and grows quiet.

"No. I don't think so. Not yet anyway," says she, voice almost having an uncertain quality to it. Almost. "The concept felt familiar from high school math, so I went back to look at it, and… I'm pretty sure I remember how they wanted us to do it then. But, it's about applying it to now that I think I'm most interested in seeing."

"That's called mathmatical logic," Batman explains to Spoiler. He activates the monitor and expands the size several times, turning it into a small chalkboard, and draws with his fingertip on a digital canvas. "Boolean logic is full of statements like, IF, OR, AND. Regular logic follows similar contraints. If all apples are fruits, and all fruits are food, then all apples are food. IF, AND, THEN," he says, making curious little symbols to represent the logic.

"It's a fairly simple concept, but, dangerous to rely on too much— starting with a fundamentally flawed premise can lead you to a flawed deduction."

Stephanite steps closer, up to Batman's side, to have a better view of the 'whiteboard'. She leaves her backpack on the work surface. As he draws symbols, Stephanie pulls out her Spoiler Phone to take a picture of the finished drawing so she can study it more later, just to be 300,000 certain she understood it all. That's the plan anyway.

"That makes sense," Stephanie says, pausing a bit to frown… at herself. "Like the tweet. The premise being that it was completely reliable," she says, because it's all about making connections.

"If you know that your source of information is unreliable, and they send you information, then you can safely plan that the information might be inaccurate," Batman agrees, nodding. "Logic's useful, but don't necessarily take it to an extreme— it's a problem solving process that has merits and drawbacks, like any other," he explains, leaving the monitor where she can study it.

"Phone," he adds, extending a hand towards Stephanie's phone and not budging until she gives it to him. "Batgirl sent over a care package. If you're going to use it, then we need to make it secure." He moves to the workbench area, still in his battered grey martial arts gi, and cracks it open, reaching for soldering iron and various electronics tools. "I'm going to replace your GPS module and a few other components, and install a custom SIM card," he tells her in that low rasp. "As well as arm it with a few other gadgets. You'll get it back in a day or so," he tells her, rapidly turning her phone into a bunch of silicone and metal bits on his workbench. "I don't trust the new sPhones, not with Stark's connections. Too easy for the League to tap and trace."

Stephanie purses her lips at the agreement from Batman, turning it over in her mind, examining it, picking at it. WIth Batman letting her have and unblocked view of hte monitor, Stephanie takes her picture. Out of habit she turns off the screen, eyes still on the monitor. The picture was really just giving herself photographic memory, a way to perfectly recall the screen later, whenever she wanted, from that device. Ordered to hand over the phone, Stephanie hesitates for a heartbeat before turning it over. It's the heartbeat of a student caught with a phone in class and being forced to turn it over to the teacher. It's the heartbeat of weighing options: the odds of getting it back at the end of class if it's turned over without a fuss vs the odds of the phone ending up in the principal's office for weeks if she balks. In the end, Stephanie is a good student and so she gives up the phone.

As she watches him start to break open her device, she inhales, mouth opening to argue when he explains what he's up to and she calms.

"Oh. Okay. It's a SAMSUNG though," Stephanie says, as if that were any better. There's something intimately irrationally emotionally intriguing about watching him tinker with her phone. Something, a little too close to home and unsettling. So she turns away to look at the 'whiteboard' again. Those symbols!

"What are these symbols?" she asks while pulling out her notebook and copying them down.

"Boolean logic. Look it up," Batman suggests. "They're all online. If, And, Then, Or— some interesting variations, like NAND, NOR, XOR," he continues. "You can create a fairly complex series of statements using just Boolean logic— it's the basis for much in terms of coding and computer design."

"Ask Tim about it if you want a more in-depth explanation. He enjoys code design."

Batman holds up the phone's guts and removes the GPS module, flicking it into the trash. "I'm installing a stronger battery, too. It'll charge quite a bit faster and it'll hold a full charge for longer. Some other useful components— hacker, knockout gas module, and a microcharge explosive in case you need to destroy it in a hurry."

Stephanie writes down 'Booleanne Logic' and then 'ask Tim: computer/code design'.

"Nand, nor, ksor… It's like you're just making up words now," she complains faintly, confused by it and disliking that fact.

"Can I use the computer?" she asks moving to perch on the edge of the chair as she writes, finding it awkward to stand and write, and wanting to use the internet to look it up right now. And then the rest of what he said registers and she looks up, eyes wide.

"Do what now?"

"Help yourself." Batman doesn't mention that the computer's semi-intelligent security measures will prevent Spoiler from downloading anything dangerous, and everything she does online is logged, keystroked and captured for future reference.

"Planning ahead, Spoiler. Everything you ever do, you should do it after you've planned for every possible contingency. If someone steals your phone and tries to use it, the knockout gas can stun them. The microexplosives guarantee you'll always have a enough force to blow apart a lock or completely destroy the phone in case of capture. I'd like to harden it against EMPs as well, but all I can do with this model is provide shorts and create a small Faraday effect to neutralize it as much as possible."

Such fore-thought clearly hadn't been done by Stephanie for safety measures with her phone, and so the list is a bit mind boggling. Her lips part before she has the sense to stop gaping like a goldfish (Gus 'n Goldie!).

"Oh….kay. Thank you," she says, the overwhelmedness ringing loud and clear. Turning to the computer, Stephanie turns to Google, types in 'booleanne logic', clicks the 'Boolean logic' link, then scrolls past the Wikipedia links and selects 'Tutorial - Boolean Logic - Controlling The Real World With Computers'.

Batman works in silence while Stephanie studies, and answers her questions with sort monosyllables— 'yes', 'no', 'look it up', or a sound she's coming to recognize meaning that he acknowledges she's speaking, but he has no desire to offer anything like a thoughtful response to her.

After a while he finishes his work and sits back from the counter, leaving the phone partially assembled. "Needs to cool for a while. What have you learned?" he asks, dusting his palms on a workrag and moving to look over Spoiler's shoulder.

The webpage she tried first has her frowning, leaning toward the computer as if physical proximity could help. Studying, Stephanie talks outloud to herself, reading bits of the text, grumbling at bits of the text, reading it again. The sounds of Batman behind her, being that second voice in teh back of her head is actually helpful! Especially the reminder to 'look it up'. Because stubborn Stephanie would otherwise force herself to conitnue on a page that wasn't making sense because she couldn't understand a part of it. A few tabs later, she's quietly writing in her book. Her notes are the perfect Cornell Note Taking system and as Batman asks for what she learned, she straightens up to acknowledge that she heard hi, but keeps writing to signal that she's not done with processing yet and thus not quite ready to share. Minutes later, after writing the pausign to flip back through her now four pages of notes on boolean logic then back to more writing, Stephanie has a quarter page of tiny tidy print in a box at the bottom of a page, titled on the left with the word 'Summary'. She reads it quickly to herself once, then nods and reads it aloud. It's a clear, concise, rather thoughtful summary of the basics of Boolean logic, what it's used for, the major logic gates, with a leap toward the potential nesting of these gates for something more complicated. The last part seemign to have been added by Stephanie herself, since none of the pages she got to really went in depth with nesting logic.

When she's done reading, Stephanie looks up at Batman, eyebrows up into her bangs, expression open, waiting, anxious, hopeful: I did okay; is it right?; is it enough?; ohgod! I missed soemthing, didn't I? I totally did! I'm the worst!

Batman reviews Spoiler's notes. "Acceptable," he declares, finally. "Your homework is Aristotle. He wrote a series of six books under the Organon, and I think you'll find the Prior Analytices most interesting. Should only take you a few days to get through it," Batman gravels.

"Don't memorize it. Just absorb what he's talkign about— ideas about logic and substance and progressive inference," he tells her. "If you're too overwhelmed, there are Cliff's notes for reference. It's a good basis for being a detective, understanding logical cause and effect and being able to observe fallacies in other people's thinking and arguments."

At that single word the tension Stephanie had building up melts; a bit of polar ice-cap falling into the ocean. Her breath let out, Stephanie's smile could brighten the darkest part of the Batcave. It softens with seriousness as Batman assigns the next bit and she turns to the desk in front of her to quickly write the assignment on the top of the next blank page in her book. There are spelling errors that hint that she's never seen some of the words he says in print, but that she forges ahead with a mostly phonetic spelling that ought to get her close enough for Google to get her the rest of the way there. She even includes a due date three days from now, and then dives for her personal phone to add to her Jorte To-Do app: 'HW-BM: PuBk pg 15' And then programs the app to trigger reminders every 12 hours and to show the task on her homescreen. The girl has TWO phones. Stephanie Phone and Spoiler Phone. She looks up, head canted expectantly: more? done? next?

Batman stares at Stephanie's other phone. He doesn't ever look surprised, so… nonplussed it is.

"Phone," he says. Again. "No tracking devices in the Batcave," he explains, reaching for the soldering iron. "I need to disable the GPS device. You'll turn it off, too, before you come into the cave again— preferably before you even get near the Manor. We need to find a new cover to establish you being here more often, one that doesn't involve Tim," he adds.

Stephanie gawks at this, having to hand over a SECOND phone. But she shuts her mouth with a click of her teeth and hands it over.

"What about Google Maps?" she asks, because she does not like getting lost and the location was turned off… btu Stephanie doesn't realize that sometimes phone GPS transmits in the background. All this while said with a nod of agreeing to comply and the pressing of lips together to unsuccessfully fight the blush of having a cover to be here that doesn't involve Tim. She hadn't thought about it THAT way yet, even if their 'conversation' in the laundry had left more than one awkward unanswered question in her mind as to the status of That particular interplay between them. Nothing had been stated but… Stephanie was ever optimistic. After all, why CAN'T it involve Tim? Ignore the fact that Tim doesn't live here any more, but in the dorms at Gotham U just like she does…

"Umm…. intern?" Yeah. No. How long did Stephanie study logic tonight and /that's/ her best suggestion?

"Your SIM card has maps of Gotham loaded into it, and the GPS unit I'm loading into your .. Spoiler phone is military-grade-plus. It's virtually untrackable and there's software on board to inform you if anyone tampers with your phone or signal. Once you've trained enough, we can integrate that into an on-board system— you're familiar with the HUD in a Bat Suit," he reminds her. "But you need to learn Gothams' streets by heart. Every road, every alleyway— you should know perfectly where you are and how to get somewhere else by heart. The maps software is useful, but it's dangerous to rely on something that can be disabled or hacked offline and not have a fallback."

'ohmygod….he called my phone the Spoiler Phone! I can die happy now!' Stephanie bites the tip of her tongue to try to keep from grinning hugely at that. She fails, for the grin dimples her cheeks anyway, her shoulders hitch, and her eyes sparkle. But, at least she tried!

"Yes, sir," is her polite and respectful reply. And there's the smile. 'ohmygod he called it the Spoiler Phone! #BestDayEver'

"I'll work out a cover story for you," Batman tells Spoiler, handing her both phones, reassembled and running. "The dorms aren't ideal for much, but it's a rare opponent who'll attack you there— too much light, witnsses, and so on. Still, be careful. Don't get caught in costume anywhere near campus, just to be safe. And make sure you work out a meal plan. Fried foods and pizza aren't good substitutes for proper nutrition."

Stephanie takes her phones back. The Spoile Phone is in a purple and black case, utilitarian and non-descript aside from the color though that could be any purple and black case. The Stephanie Phone is in a white and sparkly aquarium case with little 'Dori' fish and orange startfish and a tiny peral. She puts the Spoiler Phone in a 'false' pocket in the backpack and her personal phone into the back pocket of her jeans, then her notebook goes into her bag along with the grand total of ten different colored pens she ended up with while taking notes, all before she gets to her feet.

"I haven't changed my diet since high school, except to trade a few protein bars to lower calorie ones between meals," she says, the overconfident overacheiver in her making it clear that she made eating right from food choices to proportion sizes to timing a high priority habit back in high school when she started cheering. She even made adjustments to accomodate the lifestyle shift from highly active teenager to not quite as active young adult. She shoulders her backpack.

"The cookies were in my calorie limit for the day," she adds, with an undercurrent of having forced herself to eat a certain number of them and absolutely no more.

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