Eyes turned out the window of the empty classroom, the day of learning having ended probably hours ago, at this point, Stephanie only shifted to recross her ankles on the desk in front of her, moving so her feet wouldn’t fall asleep.
She never understood why philosophy was required for her major, but today's lecture hit her hard. About Dreams and Reality. It wasn’t all that long ago, really, that she was hit with Black Mercy, an alien spore that put you in a coma, and killed you by trapping you in dreams so perfect that you wished to never wake up.
Unfortunately for the Black Mercy, and her father, the one who dosed her with it to begin with, Steph may be a dreamer, but she knows when things are too good to be true. Even in dreams. She broke out of the spores grip on her before Doctor Midnite’s treatment was finished (a full blood transfusion).
Stubborn is as stubborn does, right?
She’s a real pain in the ass like that, as she told Barbara afterwards.
"Everything doesn't have to be about fear. There's room in our line of work for hope, too."
The truth was, while she may have hope for Gotham, and pushes on to save the city, its people, the spore made a mistake in showing her what it did.
She didn’t really feel like she had friends, teams, or partners. She did most of her work alone. Team Batgirl didn’t work out. And that was ok. Steph pushed on. Steph did Steph. A Lantern Ring for hope? Not likely. Not with how much self doubt she was filled with. She knew O did get a Green Lantern Ring during the Black Lantern issues though. Good job pulling memories in, spores.
A dark haired son, while living her best doctor lady life in a swanky high rise apartment by day, Nightwing by night? That was possible. Mantle stealing was kinda her thing. As were dark haired men. That one can’t be ruled out entirely.
But the point was. Black Mercy tried too hard with her.
It should have just shown her being herself, and being good at it.
Not much of a dream, sure, but sometimes the best dreams are realistic.
Watching as the sun went down over the city, her city, Stephanie slowly got to her feet, stretching up, cracking her joints with a slow twist of her shoulders and hips, and moved out to the parking lot, to the lonely Compact in the student lot, she slipped into the vehicle, making use of its heavily tinted windows to slip from street clothes to batsuit, and got to work.
The thing she did best.
Being Stephanie Brown, one of the Batgirls.