Staring at the massive holographic interface that was the monitor for the system in the Firewall, Stephanie shifted her weight for what felt like the millionth time that night, putting her elbows on the console, chin in her hands as she stared up at the open case files, on Cluemaster, Riddler, and the one started on Spoiler.
Behind her, Wendy Harris - Proxy - gently nudged her calves with the foot wells of her wheelchair.
"If you're not going to actually be using anything else there, pull your files and move it, you're in my spot."
With a few deft flicks of her hand, the files were closed, and she moved away from the station, but not before flicking her cape over the former Titans head, letting her flail momentarily as her dragged it away as she walked to her 'rang station, absently fiddling with cartridges.
"My bad. Just trying to look into some stuff."
Wendy snorted a laugh, shaking her head, busy swiping through the caseload they had to finish, trying to track people, all that Oracle-y goodness.
"Blondie, you should know that stuff inside and out."
Frowning as she started stacking a flame, goop and shock cartridge together, Stephanie sighed.
"I guess. I just thought maybe someone else's perspective would help, maybe."
"Help with what, though? Has your dad escaped or something, and you just haven't told anyone?"
"NO! God no. I'm pretty sure Bats would know before me anyway if he did. No I was-"
She pauses to sigh dejectedly, putting the mega 'rang cartridge down for mass reproduction by the table in a minute.
"-trying to find out a way to write my damn philosophy paper. Why is philosophy even a requirement?!"
Throwing her hands up in frustration, as Wendy looks over her shoulder at her.
"You were using one of the most high tech supercomputers in existence, and the private case files of the worlds greatest detective to try to help you with your homework."
"Listen. When you put it that way-"
"Stephanie… what is the paper even meant to be about?"
"I-oh. 'What makes you, you'. It's so damn stupid."
"And when is it due?"
Wendy sighed heavily and rolled her eyes slowly, turning back to the monitor, returning to the swiping.
"How have you not flunked out yet?"
"Your guess is as good as mine. I just honestly have no idea how to attack this one. I hate philosophy so much."
"You only hate it because it makes you think about you, instead of everyone else, which is what you'd prefer to do."
"No sh*t, Sherlock, if it was an elective, I would have transferred to humanities or something. I’ll figure it out."
"How about. You actually think about what you would say to someone else in your exact position to build them up, and go from there."
Frowning at Proxys words, Batgirl made her leave from the Firewall, to do the thing all college kids do at one point or another.
Last minute assessment work.
Changing from her suit to some sweats and a shirt she didn't immediately recognise, probably one of Tim's that she stole at some point or another, he could get it back later, she splayed across her bed on her stomach, flipped open the laptop that had definitely seen better days, and began to type.
"Everything doesn't have to be about fear. There's room in our line of work for hope, too." Asking people to define themselves is a difficult task.
Not everyone wants to answer that they're a good person, even. Especially in a city like Gotham.
There are people in this city that relish the fact they can answer 'Are you a good person' with a resounding 'No', and will walk away with their chests out, heads held high.
My very own father is one of these people.
For the longest time, I was terrified him not being a good person was going to mean I couldn't be a good person. That being a bad person was some sort of genetic condition.
Then I learnt my uncle was a bad person, as well as my dad's friends, and I began to think that it was the city. That Gotham made people bad.
When bad things happened to me, and I was filled with nothing but fear and anger almost all the time, I was so convinced I was going to be a bad person, like my dad, like my uncle, like their friends.
Then all it took was a few good people to show me that it's not genetic, or the city. It's choices.
I have since realised that people in Gotham just make made choices, for some reasons often out of their control.
Your choices define whether you're a good or bad person.
You aren't the mistakes you make along the way. The only variable you can control is yourself.
You can try to run from your past and start fresh, try to forget who you are, or you can be who you want to be.
Ultimately, you cannot simply be defined.
You are who you choose to be.
But since this is about asking for what makes me, me;
I am Stephanie Brown, daughter of Arthur and Crystal, mother at fourteen, died at sixteen, premed student, mistake maker, consequence taker, a get knocked down, keep getting back up, always see the silver lining kind of gal.
My father may answer the question with a proud 'No', but I can drown his 'No' out with a louder, prouder, 'Yes'.
What defines me, is my less than stellar birth family, my upbringing, my experiences, my choices, and my new family, whether we like it or not.