The Moon Can't Speak

March 27, 2018:

Stephanie tries to teach Cassandra her first word.

A Gotham Cafe

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions: None.

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

*

Midmorning in Gotham and it's between classes for Stephanie. Is it luck or was it planning that had the blonde meeting up with Cassandra at an eatery near campus. Stephanie buys brunch for them both and settles two the table with Cassandra, plenty of food between them. A light smile is given as a fresh spiral notebook is offered, along with a pen.

"Pen," she says, offering the writing utensil.

*

Finding Cass isn't too hard. She is always about. The girl is relentless at night but during the day —- she visits Stephanie fairly often, if only to greet her wih a nod while exploring the area surrounding the campus.

Right now Cassandra stares at the pen and then nods slowly. She accepts it from Stephanie and slowly looks up. Their hands touch briefy and Cass returns the smile with a brief one of her own. With her free hand Cassandra takes one of the sandwiches and draws it closer to herself. She pauses, then slowly pulls the pen away.

*

Stephanie doesn't let go of the pen when it's reached for. Fingers may have to linger as Stephanie repeats the word, head canted slightly in expectation. Say the word, Stephanie thinks to herself.

*

Cass bows her head deferentially for a second. She waits. A slight tug follows but the pen stays firm between them. Dark brows furrow. The girl meets Stephanie's eyes again and shifts her hand against her friends. She frowns. "P… Puh…" She watches dubiously for Stephanie's reaction. Then she pulls a bit harder on the pen. Despite being small for her rather average height Cass is actually pretty strong.

*

"Pen," Stephanie repeats, though the struggle to keep a hold of it is clear in her voice. Stephanie is not as small at Cass, but she's likely not as physically impressive either. After all, she takes time once a week to have her nails manicured. Her pink glossed lips press together in her effort to keep the pen in her grip.

Come on..

*

Cass gives Stephanie an exasperated glower but then she shakes her head. The tension is released all at once. Stephanie wins, the pen is hers. Now the young woma ncrosses her arms over her chest and stares into Stephanie's eyes. She continues to stare. She stares for several long seconds, in fact, as silent as the grave and just as grim. Someone clearly imbued Cass with a dire sort of gravity when she was trained. Stephanie might remember that sort of intensity in another masked, distant person she knows.

Cassandra exhales softly, her shoulders hunched slightly forward. Then she pauses. "Puh-eh…" A beat. "Peh…n?"

This might take awhile.

*

Stephanie does know the brood well, and so she holds that gaze as Cass 'pouts'. Stubborn Stephanie aims to out wait and when Cass gives in and gets out something like the word 'pen', Stephanie smiles.

The expression on her face is like a beam of sunlight breaking through the clouds after a long gloomy winter. Sure, Stephanie has smiles, but the smiles had been soft and reserved, gentle and mostly calm. This one is bright and beaming, brightening her eyes to something so youthful and energentic. It's something Stephanie hasn't been in too long. The pen is given over, placed on the spiral.

"Here's the pen," says the blonde happily, moving to tuck into her sandwich now.

*

Cassandra looks at the pen. She cocks her head slightly to the left, then to the right, and briefly bites her botom lip while she stares at it. Then the young woman begins to nwrap her sandwich slowly. The smile doesn't get a response in kind from Cass, who is much to reserved for such gestures the majority of the time, but she does relax visibly. Moreso when her food is revealed and she begins to eat. As always Cassandra is far hungrier than her size and weight would suggest.

Once the first sandwich is done Cassandra tkaes up the fateful pen and slowly begin to open the notebook. she is starting one of those sketches gain. Ser movements are certain and unhurried, quickly outlining… Stephanie. She's drawn Stephanie a few timess so it is no surprise but it seems that she's been practicing.
Shetephanie. Beautiful, vibrant, smiling. Stabbing Cass with a pen.

*

Stephanie eats, watching the sketch take shape. Glad that Cass relaxed, Steph makes a mental note that the bright smile was what helped. She's sipping her drink when she spots the stabbing Cass with a pen.

"Ohmygod, no. Cassandra, no no. I won't do that!" Stephanie exclaims, head shaking and clearly distraught.

*

"…" Cass quickly glances between Stephanie and the new drawing, then she shakes her head slowly. She immediately tears the picture in half, making it the only missing page in her entire notebook. She glowers at the page for a second, then glances at the pen, then back to Stephanie.

A second passes then Cassandra picks up the pen, lays it across both of her palms, and bows her head until she is staring at the table as she offers it to Stephanie. If she's worried about being stabbed with it then she has a funny way of showing it.

*

Confused, but willing to go with it, Stephanie reaches out for the pen, sandwich set down for the moment.

*

Once the pen's been handed over Cass keeps her head down for a few seconds and then looks upa at Stephanie slowly. Her expression is at least contrite asshe straightens herself and then gauges the blonde's reaction for a moment. Finally, Cassandra takes a deep breath and holds it for a couple beats. She slowly opens the notebok and flips through a couple of pages until she comes to a picture of herself with Stephanie standing next to her looking up at the moon. In the original Stephanie was probably in her Spoiler costume but —- no identity revealing materials here. Cass understands that much.

*

Pen taken, Stephanie looks at it, then at the contrite Cassandra, then back to the pen, then back to Cass.

"I'm not offended by teh picture, Cassandra. I just.. I don't know why you think I'd… You know what, nevermind. Here," Stephanie says, holding out the pen again only to pull it back a bit as Cass dives into the notebook again. Looking at the picture is just.. whoa. So glad tht's not he rin her get up.

"Umm… you want to… meet up to look at the moon again, tonight?"

*

Cassandra pauses then looks up and nods slowly in response to the question. After a moment she reaches toward the pen Stephanie is offering her and keeps the blonde's eyes as she states clearly, "P-eh-n. Pen?" as she takes it from Stephanie's hand.

*

The nod has Stephanie nodding back, though it's with a bit of resignation Not becuase she doen't want to but because she'll have to work around some patrol scheduling. Pulling double as a Batling and an Avenger is trying some days. Pen reached for and gaze held, Stephanie smiles again - that bright smile - as Cassandra says the word and takes the item.

"I'm giving you the pen. You have the pen. I no longer have the pen," Stephanie narrates, smiling and pleased.

*

"The pen," Cassandra replies slowly. "You." She points at Stephanie. "Cassandra." She tilts her thumb toward herself. Then she pauses for a second and looks down at the notebook before glancing outside. She's tapping the pen against the picture of the two of them standing on a rooftop beneath the moon's soft light.

*

That's right," Stephanie sayign nodding as Cassandra talks about the pen and the two of them, but the frown of confusion returns with Cassandra's tapping of the picture.

"Um… picture?"

*

Cassandra frowns, then tilts her hed asshe regards Stephanie like she may have grown a second head. "Pi…" She quickly gives up. After a second the girl points more clearly at the picture of the moon between them. Then she shrugs and reaches for a sandwich.

*

A quick gasp. "OH! The moon. Moonlight? Nighttime. The moon is out at night." Oh goodness, now Steph's confused again.

*

When the flurry of words comes Cassandra briefly crosses her eyes. She squints, shakes her head, and then looks down at her food again.

Cassandra has officially opted out of this lesson.

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