It started with wanting to be saved.
Wanting to be anywhere but where her family was.
All kids liked superheroes.
She used to like Superman a lot, (And Superboy more, but she would rather die again before ever admitting that now, after meeting him. That poster is ash, thank you very much.) running around with a towel as a cape.
She used to dream that Batman would swoop in, take her dirtbag father, the Cluemaster, away, this time for good, and things would finally be good. Things would finally be happy
She would go with her mother, to visit Arthur in Blackgate, to hear him bitch and complain about the Bat, and for some reason, she liked it. She liked it a lot.
Stephanie would sit on the roof of her house at night, watching for the Bat Signal, to see the Dark Knight across the sky. And often she would. In hindsight, the Bat had the opposite effect on her. He didn't scare her at all. Quite the opposite. The Bat, the Bat Signal, hell, even Robin, had become beacons of hope for her.
That someone, somewhere, was watching, taking care of the little guy.
As dangerous, and bleak a place Gotham could be, especially for a girl in Steph's situation, she never really felt unsafe. Maybe it was the fact she had to fend for herself for such a long time already. Maybe it was The Bat.
Maybe it was both.
But by the time she was fourteen, she had enough of her father.
Enough of his in and out of prisonm ruining everything bullsh*t.
She was going to stop him herself.
By any means necessary.
Thus, The Spoiler was born.
And The Spoiler met the Bat. Boy,
did that not go how she planned.
She thought her clever clues, and foiling the plan would impress him.
Instead, she was talked out of making maybe the biggest mistake in her life, in ending her fathers and lectured about the dangers of taking things into her own hands. About being too young, and unskilled, all while Robin, the same kid she had just flattened, stood next to him, nodding liked a trained monkey.
Now she had a job to do. Forget her dad. He was done.
Next job was prove the Bat wrong. So wrong.
"Everything doesn't have to be about fear. There's room in our line of work for hope, too."
Five and a bit years later, Robin, Batgirl, death, rebirth and a smack to the face later, laying in his bed, she thinks she proved her point.
Rolling to her side, to look at his sleeping face, a small smile on her lips, she resisted the urge to reach over to caress his cheek.
He looked so peaceful. She didn't want to wake him.
Instead, curling her hands under her chin, she chewed her lip slightly, trying to pinpoint when, exactly, she fell in love with him.
Frowning lightly, she thought back, as far as she could.
She had always loved the Bat, in some way. Alright, fine.
But when did she fall in love with Bruce Wayne then.
She didn't know anymore. She had tried to tell herself that she didn't for the longest time. Before she died, surely. When he had been accused of murder? That felt about right.
She had so many memories that probably meant nothing to him, but filled her with stupid school girl crush butterflies. And there was no way in hell she was ever going to tell him. Not even if he smiled and asked nicely.
She shivered slightly, a smile of her own crossing her face, thinking about his. She was so grateful to have seen it so often lately.
God she loved him.
Rolling onto her back she ran her hands through her hair, before getting up, leaving him to his much deserved rest, knowing if she stayed in bed with him any longer, she would start touching him, and wake him.
Lord knows the man needed sleep.