Collision Protocol

August 15, 2017:

Stephanie and Bart run into each other. Literally.

Lower Manhattan, NYC


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Eleven in the morning, Lower Manhattan, New York.

Stephanie was tired. The only thing she was grateful for was that she had a break in classes before the fall semester started up. With the Trial of Two Centuries all wrapped up, she managed to get copies of some of the court documents that were being made available to the general public, and a few that weren't on account that she's a Pre-Law student and could make it look like a professor send her for them.

Also, she wanted to look at how the clean up was going on the whole East River craziness from days back. Yes, the world was moving on, but there were still tests to run on the chemical spill. It any of it is related to the Terrigan Mists that were creating meta humans, she'd like to know before there was a repeat of that mess.

Her hair is left loose, hanging down her back and hidden by a pink back pack with My Little Pony charms. One is a Rainbow Dash, the other is Pinkie Pie. Her head is bowed as she passes a too familiar building, one she used to live in. A hand on a strap of her backpack, Stephanie starts for a crosswalk.

It's getting someone like Bart to be productive at home. Mostly it's the fact that he will (eventually) get to chores and help around the house but no matter how many times Max tries to press upon him the urge to do things at a normal pace, the teenaged speedster slips and the garbage is carried out, his room's been straightened up, and the dishes have been done. It leaves more than enough free time for Bart to spend however and wherever he will, and he's been using the excuse of team headquarters being out in New York to hang out in somewhere busier than Manchester, Alabama.

Of course, the Titans Tower isn't his first stop, but it's on the list of things to do. It's no surprise that one of the first things he does is grab a bite to eat. Half of a loaded chili dog cradled in one hand, Bart leans forward to take another bite while trying to avoid dripping anything all over his shirt and hoodie. With a shrug of his shoulders and a tug of his free hand, he readjusts the position of his backpack as he approaches the corner, head craning to look at the buildings that flank the streets, stretching up and up. It's not that he's unused to being in a busy city, but it's always a reminder of just how much of an opposite that the place is compared to where he lives.

Aaand it's another distraction that keeps him from watching where he's going as he nears the crosswalk.

Admittedly, if she hadn't been so tired or frazzled or trying NOT to look at the building's facade, Stephanie probably would have seen the chili dog munching young man, been more than able to smoothly side step, and both would have gone about their merry ways.

Alas. Stephanie Brown is le tired. (Fire the missiles! And then take a nap.)

No sooner does Stephanie turn for the crosswalk than Bart turns for the crosswalk and WHAM!

Alright, it was more like just bonking into another person, but Stephanie was not braced for impact and it sends her sprawling backwards, set to land on her rump on the sidewalk while a girly, teenaged sounding squeak escapes her natural pink lips.

For one of the fastest things alive, Bart has more than his fair share of running into things. He registers someone within his peripheral a split second before he actually bumps into them. The slightly less than a half of chili dog yet left leaves his hand with the sudden jerk he makes of his whole body in reaction, plucked out of the air not an eyeblink later before gravity can get its greedy mitts on it.

Amber eyes wide and blinking, Bart stares down almost dumbly at the poor girl on the floor. "Aw grife! Sorry about that," he blurts, stepping forward to hold a hand out to her- his free hand, not the chili dog one, of course. "You okay?"

"Aiee-oof!" The fall was jarring but not horrible. As tired as she was, it stunned for a moment before Stephanie looks up at the hand being offered. Left hand down on the cement, Stephanie reaches up with her right to accept the help.

"Yeah. I'm okay. I'm really sorry. I didn't see you," she's saying, words tumbling from her while she dusts herself off with her now free left hand before it tucks blonde locks behind an ear. She tracks her gaze to the chili dog and her cheeks suddenly dust a faint rose.

"OhmygodIdidn'tmakeyouspillyourlunchdid I?" It's not speedster level crazy fast, but for a normal human, it's verbal cursive.

"Didn't see you either. Guess I should've been paying more attention." He's just glad Max isn't there to hear it.

Oh hey she's speaking his language! Okay no, but at least he doesn't stare at her when she rambles. Pulling her up, Bart only blinks at her outburst of panic. He grins, shaking his head. "Oh, nah. Still good, see?"

Holding it up to prove the point, he eyes it a moment for himself before popping the rest into his mouth. There, at least that would solve any other potential upsets. He digs into a pocket for the napkins he'd stuffed in them earlier, wiping off his hand and mouth. "Yup. Still good," he says after swallowing down that last bit.

With everything alright, Stephanie relaxes enough to smile. It's soft and girly and sweet.

"I'm glad to hear it. Thank you.. for helping me up… and again. I'm really sorry," Stephanie says, pushing her hair back behind her other ear. A heartbeat and she holds out her right hand.

"I'm Stephanie."

"Least I could do for knocking you down in the first place, right?" At least it looks like she's all right, and that's always a relief. "But you're welcome, Stephanie. Name's Bart."

He reaches out to shake her hand, glad it's no longer full of chili dog, because that would have made things a little more awkward. Do people shake with their left hands? What if they only have one hand and it's their left? He manages not to try experimenting with his left hand once the introductions are done with, going only so far as to twist his left wrist back and forth before he grins lopsidedly, shoving both hands into his pockets.

"Nice to meet you, Bart," Stephanie says politely, voice pleasant and light into a soft giggle.

"I guess? I mean.. I'm not sure if there is a knocked-you-down etiquette? I … I don't know. It might actually BE a thing," she says, actually seeming to think about it. The adrenaline of falling has woken her up, clearly, for her blue-green eyes are bright and quick.

Is there? That's sure not one of the things Max ever mentioned. Bart actually looks a bit blank on that as Stephanie seems to be considering it as well. He offers a very unhelpful shrug. "More like reflex or out of general expectation, maybe? It'd be kind of a jerk move otherwise. -unless someone purposely meant to knock someone off their feet."

Gosh, what a weird thing to be thinking about. Helping someone up after an accidental bump shouldn't be nearly so complicated. Bart runs a hand through his shaggy brown hair, scratching his head. "Aaaanyway, nice to meet you too. Sorry it had to be from a minor collision, but hey, no one hurt, no chili dog casualties." Win, win.

Stephanie really is thinking about it, the social implications of knocking someone down and NOT pausing tohelp them up to their feet. In a rush… Running for your life or running away from authorities (Or Batman, which falls back into the former). A tackle sport. You wouldn't stop to help an opponent up after laying them out, since that was the goal. The thoughts and Bart's words have the blonde nodding, a thoughtful little smile on her face.

"Yeah. That soumds reasonable," she says, because yes, Stephanie does have a knack for making simple things complicated. She's an Avril Lavigne song.

"Yeah. It was good to meet you, and I'm glad your hot dog didn't take a tumble," she says, glancing toward the walk signal and noting that it's telling her NOT to cross the road.

"Well, I should probably," her words fade out as she thumbs over her shoulder and across the street.

Even if he'd lost his snack he still wouldn't have been too upset by it. People are more important than a quarter of a chili dog. He wonders if he should have made a grab for Stephanie too, before she'd gone and toppled over. Whoops. Kind of obvious where his attention had been, there.

"Huh? Oh- yeah. Gotcha." Bart gives her a nod, taking a step to the side in an exaggerated effort to be out of her way. "Um, have a good day an' stuff," he says, figuring it'd be weird to say something like 'see you around.' What would the chances of that be anyway?

That exaggerated movement has Stephanie's cheeks dusting light pink again, a light smile on her face. She gives a nod and a mumbled thankyouhaveagooday, while she turns to push the button. The rainbow lightning bolt of her charm twists at her motion, flashing the gold back for an eternal heartbeat before going rainbow enamel and back again before settling on something half way between. The balloons of Pinkie Pie are stuck in the zipper, rigid and unmoving while Stephanie pulls out a bedazzled Hello Kitty cased phone.

Bart arches a brow as she blushes and moves closer to the edge of the curb to await the crossing signal. He'll never understand what's so great about giant-eyed ponies or big-headed cats either, but he supposes girls will be girls. However that worked. Did Cassie like that sort of stuff?

Shrugging to himself, he repockets his hands and turns to start towards the adjacent crosswalk. With it still being lit to walk, Bart picks up the pace, jogging across just as the red hands up and starts flashing in countdown like some ominous threat. Which is of course ignored, because who's going to stop in the middle of the street once you've started?

Across with time to spare, he continues along the sidewalk, but not without throwing a brief glance over his shoulder back towards the corner he'd just departed from as the lights change.

Leaving Bart behind, Stephanie starts across after Bart's on the other side of the street. She walks briskly with the flow of foot traffic, making it to the other side and starting on her way to wherever she is going, putting the nice boy with the mostly eaten chili dog out of mind… while giving Google a quick keyword search on the etiquette of running into someone.

No dice. Hmm… a potential new How-To Video for her channel..?

Stephanie pauses, having been uploading crap stock videos for a while. After all, the last several are… hard for her to watch still. Maybe she should just pull them down. And the sullen fatigue returns as Stephanie continues on toward the parking garage where her car is so she can drive back to Gotham.

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