Leaning her head against the cool tiles, eyes closing as the biting sting of hot water hit her skin, Stephanie let out a slow groan, trying to forget about the aches for a moment. The bathroom, dark, filling with steam, lit only by a flickering candle, the blonde in no mood for harsh lighting right now, tried to focus on the water, and the music blaring from her phone, sat on the vanity counter, attempting to unwind a little from her, let's call it, less than stellar, night on the town.
Absently humming along to the Sia song playing, shifting her weight slowly, mentally assessing her condition, coming back with 'bruised and oh dear god why did you think that was a good idea'
, Steph turned, facing the spray, folding her arms and using them as a form of pillow to lean her head on the wall over the taps, water hitting the top of her back, neck and shoulders, hissing slightly at her left shoulder.
“Note to self. See about that before bed…”
Muttering to herself, closing her eyes, she lowered her left arm, and just tried to stand still.
She probably should have seen Leslie when she was in the field when she felt it pull out of place to begin with, but Leslie liked to lecture her, and on top of everything else tonight, Steph wasn’t feeling a lecture. Nothing went wrong, per say.
But nothing went right either. Which was about right, in Stephanie Brown’s book.
No one died.
It’s just that sometimes, grapple points aren’t the most secure, and don’t like it when you’re swinging through with two fully grown men also on your line, trying to cut you out of the sky.
If it really was another dislocated shoulder she could deal with that. Even work with that.
"Everything doesn't have to be about fear. There's room in our line of work for hope, too."
Shifting and tilting her head back, putting her face under the almost biting spray, holding her breath until her lungs started to ache, Stephanie slowly leaning back, blinking water from her eyes, she thought about how much things had changed since she started this.
How much she
It used to be about saving herself. Stopping her dad. Seeing Tim. Proving people wrong about her.
Now? Well, she was still always trying to prove people they were wrong about her. That was probably going to be a constant in her life. But it wasn’t about seeking approval, or validation anymore. It wasn’t about her. Or even Them (‘Them’ being the other vigilantes and heroes in Gotham, and anywhere, really, that dared to say she couldn’t).
It was about Gotham. The people that couldn’t help themselves. The people being told no one cared, and that believed it. Because it wasn’t true.
Helping them, helping anyone, made this, her current, bruised, achy predicament worth every sleepless minute of it.
But she was going to need some form of rest. Batgirl might rule the night, but Stephanie Brown was barely functional during the day, and still had class in the morning.
Reluctantly turning off the spray, and wrapping herself in a towel, she cracked open the bathroom door, Elton John and steam creeping out into the hall, calling out.
“Hey Mom? You available for a shoulder relocation? It’s been a long night…”