Who's the lucky fellah?

July 31, 2018:

Fairchild and Stephanie Brown get lunch and catch up.

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Plot:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

With life getting hectic, as it is want to do, scheduling downtime is vital and best of said downtime is done with a friend. Thus do Caitlin and Stephanie meet up at this week's food place. Stephanie took mass transit simply because she liked her parking space near the office in Hell's Kitchen and wasn't keen to give it up so quickly. Thus, she is walking up to the door a solid two minute AFTER their schedule meeting time - post accounting for Caitlin's super power: Always Tardy.

A car pulls up— sleek, dark blue, but stylish— and Caitlin leaves the back seat. "Thanks Bill! I'll call you later," she tells the drive. He smiles and nods, and Caitlin heads to the door, spotting Stephanie en route. "Oh hey! Nice timing," she tells her friend. Cait's dressed in a new suit, salmon pink with a knee-length skirt, nude heels, and a matching jacket. Her athletic shoulders make the jacket's shoulders look a bit padded, but the upswept hair and careful hairband holding it up in a stylish bun add a classy touch. "I'm glad I left early. Traffic was terrible on the toll road," she apologizes, and holds the door for Stephanie before following her through.


She took an UBER? A LIFT? It makes the blonde giggle.

"Hey yourself," Stephanie greets, smiling and not really having to duck under ther taller woman's arm to get inside.

"Thanks. Ah, I'm hungry," she says, meaning she's likely going to order with her eyes and forget she can't eat a huge amount in one sitting.

"Long day?" Caitlin says sympathetically. She maneuvers a neat purse that matches her shoes with her left hand, and follows Stephanie into the restaurant. She flashes the hostess a smile. "Two please, and a booth," Caitlin requests. Her heels click on the floor as they walk and she looks over at Stephanie. "Is it work stuff or, uh, moonlighting that's got you worn out?"


"Yes?" Stephanie answers as she follows Caitlin on simple ballet flats that make the height difference between them even more apparent.

"It can be yes, can't it? God, I'm so glad that I took Summer 2 off from classes," she rambles, moving to settle into the booth and there she drops her forehead to the table.


Caitlin clucks her tongue and tousles the back of Stephanie's hair gently, raking blunt fingernails to scritch her head reassuringly. She looks up when the waitress arrives, smiling. "Could I get a Dr. Pepper? And maybe a Red Bull for my friend, if you've got it," she remarks.

When the waitress leaves, Caitlin looks back to Stephanie. "So what's up? You look like you just wanna go home and sleep."


"no! Nononono. Nooooo Red Bull. Just water, please," Stephanie quickly snaps up as Caitlin 'orders' for her. She gives the waiterss her best smile before looking back at Caitlin. Her blue eyes wide, she ducks her head out a bit before flopping back against the booth back.

"Cait! Ugh. I can't drink that much caffeeine and sugar all in one go," she laments. Because it would be delicious! In the worst kind of way.

"Just… long hours at the office. I'm doing some research and I have to scrub the files. Get Murdock enough information without getting him.. like ALL the information..?" Her words lilt up at the end, a question hoping her friend understands.

"I may have gone over board last time."


Caitlin gives Stephanie a blank look. "I'm sorry, I have no idea what you're saying," she admits finally. "I'm sorry work's not going well, though." She glances at her phone, then deliberately mutes it and puts it in her purse so it's not a temptation. The waitress returns with drinks and menus, and departs again, and Caitlin steers her straw to her lips carefuly so she doesn't mess her suit up. "Is it just too much work to do?"

Sitting up straight again, Stephanie collects her water to drink before opening her menu.

"No? I mean.. normally, I'd be done by now… but he managed that I grabbed an amazing amount of information for just an intern… and I don't know. It made me worry that I shouldn't use… like… ALL of my resources on tracking things down, but that lady is just so… ugh and she's after a friend whom I haven't seen in a while and I'm worried about her and I just.. I wanted to get everything he'd need to like put her away for good, ya know? But apparently, I'm not supposed to be able to DO that, and now I have this LIST of names and properties to look at and I've gotten plenty of information, and I'm getting it ready but I'm like.. do I include that? or leave this out? I mean, what's even reasonable amount of information for like… you knw… NOT me?" Stephanie says in a breathless rush of animated stress, over the fact that she's too good at her job, it seems like.


Caitlin reaches over and grabs both of Stephanies hands, and forces them flat on the table. "Stephanie, I got every third word of that," she tells her friend, speaking in the soothing voice used around young kids and crazy people. "I don't know what you're trying to say. Some pronouns would help. Maybe sit and sip your water, and we can kick it around and you can bring me up to speed?"


She hadn't realized that she was tossing out her words in a slush until Cait's warm firm hands were covering hers. Young.. crazy… basically Stephanie. She draws a breath to try to calm herself down before pulling a hand free to sip her water.

"Okay. I might be dating a mutant and a widnight oil colleague kissed me," cue head to table again. Stephanie, the Drama Llama.


Caitlin rolls her eyes a little and sits back with a huff. "I haven't been on a proper date in like a /month/, and it was almost six months before *that* one," she grumbles at Stephanie. "You keep getting randomly grabbed and kissed by people all the time. And you've got a new boyfriend?" She reaces for her soda and brings it up to her face, curling her tongue around the straw while she growls at the world and stares out the window, narrow-eyed.

"So… who's the new beau? And who kissed you?"


"Drake. I'll try to get an intro… someday," Stephanie said into the table, voice a bit muffled before sitting up.

"And I do -not- get randomly kissed by people! Just… one… and… what to do I DO, Cait? I don't even know if I like girls! And she just… and then she ran off. Training has been.. so awkward." Because when Steph needs dating advice she turns to Caitlin. This makes complete sense, right?!


"Drake. Oh! I met him, didn't I? The cute one you brought out for coffee, and then sprung me on him," Caitlin reminds Stephanie. She sucks the inside of her cheek, thinking, and then gives Steph's hand a little squeeze. "Look, one kiss doesn't make you gay, or bi, or whatever. Sometimes it's just a kiss. You don't *have* to react to it," she tells Stephanie. "It just is what it is. It's a rainbow, y'know? There are some guys I think are cute, but I don't know if I'd ever date someone really seriously like that. Though then again, my love life hasn't exactly been going great with the other team, either," she frowns. "I had one date and she was … I don't know. She grabbed me and kissed me in the restaurant. I was so surprised I didn't even really process it. Like I think she was trying to be spontaneous but … " she wiggles her shoulders. Relaizing she's still wearing her pink jacket, she undoes the blazer and shrugs out of it, revealing a cream-colored demisleeved blouse underneath. It's a strange contrast, Cait's athletic arms under the very conservative jacket cut. "I'm probably not the best person to be asking for romantic advise, anyway. But I know that a kiss is just a kiss, it only means something if you think it should."


"But what if SHE thinks it does? And by just standing there like-" steph pauses here and gives a very realistic impression of Bambi being twitterpated. "-I've hosed a team dynamic and now she hates me and we can't work well together and..!" the more she goes the faster her words get. Her hands drift toward her cheeks, eyes going wide again.


Caitlin grabs Stephanie's face. Not that anyone would make a crack to Caitlin's face about it, but being able to palm a basketball is also handy for muting chatty people. "Okay, so— pacify your mammaries," Caitlin tells Stephanie, speaking slow and evenly. "Nothing's happened that's irreversible. She's into you. That happens. I mean, Blackagar Boltagon kept pestering me in the gym the first few weeks he was at the Tower," she says, wryly.

Sensing Stephanie's calming down, she releases the clamp over Stephanie's mouth and sits back. "Look, just tell her you are sorry if you sent mixed signals. You like her, you want to be friends, but you're just not into girls. I mean, gosh, what would you do if Bart grabbed you and smooched you?"


'Did… she just tell me to calm my tits?' Stephanie falls silent out of pure shock. Her eyes wide in disbelief before they narrow in a grin. The blonde licks her lips, moving to bring her cup to her lips again when Cait asks about Bart.

"Bart…? Who? I don't know…? Is he cute? Am I into him? Do I even know him?" Stephanie rattles off all the questions the various possible scnearios in her head conjure up for that.


"Uh, yeah, sorry. I just outed a mask." Caitlin winces. "Doggoneit, I'm always doing that," she mutters, the closest she ever comes to cursing. "He's nice, you know him, uh, professionally."

Her lips tug in a grin at Stephanie. "Sooth your boobs? De-stress your breasts? Pacify the calamity that is your mammaries? I've got a ton of 'em," she laughs.


Stephanie laughs at the horrible breast puns and holds the conversation as the waitress returns for orders. Today, it's a big salad for Steph. With all the things on it, and chicken tenders, because of REASONS! After Cait's order is likewise placed and the waitress is gone, Steph resumes pondering the outted mask.

"I know him… and you know him…" She has to really think about team rosters, but since she's been a good batling and by good when really mean bad since she hasn't been doing her bat-stalking homework lately Stephanie ends up having to frown and shake her head.

"Sorry, Cait. No outting happening. iahve no idea who you're talkin gbaout."


Cait orders the 30 minute challenge burger. Apparently, they don't know her here. She does touch the waitresss' wrist to get her attention, and quietly murmurs that she'd very much appreciate no fanfare or celebration— just some food and privacy.

"Okay, I feel better, then," Caitlin says. "But anyway— I think you're just unsure of what to do because you're unsure how you feel about it. If it was a dude and he smooched you, you'd slap him, or at least be like 'no way', right?" she asks. "But I think you're a little uncertain how to act. And it's really flattering to have someone pay you that kind of attention, particularly someone you're close to, right?"


But now it's going to bug her! Oh well. Later. For now, Steph drinks her water as she thinks about Cait's words.

"Right. I mean… if YOU kissed me, I… yeah.. This is weird isn't? I made it weird?" Steph rambles a bit, shoulders drooping lightly.


Caitlin almost drops her drink, fumbles, almost drops it again, and recovers before she makes a mess. "Wh-what?" she asks, face turning a flaming shade of pink at Stephanie's offhand ramblings.

Fortunately, the wistful little Batling seems focused on her own issues, Caitlin fusses with a napkin on her lap to try and recover her aplomb.

"Uhmm… any way. Just, uh, it's not a *thing* unless you let it be a thing. But the best thing is just to be up front and honest," Caitlin tells Stephanie. "It's never let me down before, and everyone who's in a good relationship says the same thing. Platonic or professional. I know that's not how Batman rolls, but… y'know. When was the last time you saw him on a date, right?"


"Saw… HIM…. On a …date?" Stephanie replies, deadpan, voice flat. Unlike the one quirked eyebrow. She can't imagine Batman, or even Bruce, on an actual date-date, and this is a good excuse to let the awkward fall to the wayside AND not comment about being open and honest with any of the Batfam.


Caitlin just shakes her head, smiling. Mercifully, Stephanie seems to be distracted enough that the conversation short-circuits, and then food arrives minutes later. Stephanie's comes on a plate. Cait's is just loaded entirely onto a tray— a pound of burger, chili fries with all the toppings, and a quart-sized milkshake. She sets napkins out to protect her outfit, reaches for her fork and knife, and frowns at the food.

"Gosh, maybe I should have asked for a side of veggies," she remarks, before diving in.

"You know I'm not going to finish all this, right?" Stephanie says then, the smile back with all it's fondness. Granted, nothing really got sorted out, but at least Stephanie got to talk about it. Someimes that's all that needs to happen.

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