Everyone had a go to comfort food.
Something to eat when they weren't feeling well, or were feeling down.
For Stephanie Brown, that was mashed potatoes.
A little bit basic? Maybe.
But she was a simple girl, really, and she could get mashed potatoes anywhere. Dehydrated mashed potatoes were always stashed in the pantry at home, just in case. Diners always had mash. It was never not available. If she ever wanted it, it was there.
Instant comfort. Right in her stomach.
And right now, she could use some.
It wasn't a good day for Steph.
She didn't go home last night after patrol. She had several missed calls on her phone, not just from her mother. But she just couldn't be there right now. Not today. She would try to explain later.
Standing outside Dr Thompkins clinic, hands deep in her pockets, staring at the scuffed toes of her sneakers, she heard Leslie coming, only raising her head when she was in front of her.
"How you doing, Steph?"
"Oh, you know. Alive."
She says flatly, smiling wryly, as Leslie scowls at her, letting out a sigh.
"Joking about it should mean progress, but with you, I feel like it's repression."
"Leslie, unless I'm screaming in someone's face about something, it's always repression… let's get food. I need my potatoes…"
"Everything doesn't have to be about fear. There's room in our line of work for hope, too."
Slipping into the booth at the diner, and ordering french toast and coffee for Leslie, and a massive plate of mashed potatoes for Stephanie, the blonde looked at the calls on her phone, frowning slightly.
"You know, people care about you, Stephanie-"
She internally flinched at her full name being used. It meant some form of lecture was coming, she could tell.
"-you can let them in on your rituals, and coping mechanisms. I'm sure they know what today is to you. Surely you can't think that little of yourself that you'd think they'd forget. At least Alfred is aware of what today is. What do you think he's going to do? Make it harder for you?"p> Stephanie stopped to give a small smile to the waitress as her potatoes arrived, starting to poke at them.
"Well, I don't expect a Happy Death Day cake, if that's what you mean…"
Before shovelling a forkful of the starchy goodness into her mouth.
"I think, knowing your sense of humor, and his, he would do exactly that. Something completely inappropriate, and morbid. Like a lava cake with red food colouring in it. I can hear Bruce tutting at him for it now."
Leslie was slowly scowling as she spoke, Steph, however, started grinning.
"That only works if he covers it with purple marzipan though. And I get to cut it with a scalpel."
"Oh my god, Stephanie Brown. You've hit your head too many times…"
"Nah, I think it might have been the gunshot that did it."
She shrugs nonchalantly, packing in another mouthful of potato.
"WHAT?! When did that happen?! Why did nobody tell me about this?"
Steph started to laugh. Sometimes that was all you could do when things were bad.
Comfort food and laughter.