no but imagine Spoiler becoming a legacy
a legacy of hard work and brutal doubt and fighting for yourself and rising above origins
a legacy of laughing at pain and smiling even though it hurts and not taking shit and never giving up
a legacy of second chances and finding hope and beauty in the worst of the world
a legacy born of little girls in Crime Alley who want to make a difference and of children who are rough around the edges, and who aren’t as skilled as the others maybe, but they never give up
a legacy of eggplant capes and bricks, of bad puns and silly jokes
imagine Steph, retired, making waffles for her younger counterparts, silver in her hair and her face covered in laugh lines, telling them about her adventures, while all of the younger Spoilers grin at her and eat their waffles and pass each other the maple syrup.
Stephanie left the name Spoiler behind her a long time ago. She never expected to see someone else pick it up.
It’s a girl from her own neighbourhood, too. It was Batgirl who spotted her first; Nell always makes an effort to scan the suburbs. It didn’t take Proxy long to find a name.
Ana Perez is fifteen years old, a star in track, and an aspiring chef. She lives with her dad, who’s too busy working his hands to the bone to catch on to what his little girl’s up to.
It’s not hard to figure motive; her mother, and her big brother, were gunned down a few months before.
She should be responsible, probably. Tell Ana that she should wait until she graduates, at least, before putting her life on the line. That her father shouldn’t lose any more of his family.
But Stephanie knows how it burns inside you, that need to make a difference; to know you’re not just another victim, another statistic.
So, instead, she invites Ana to her clinic. She’s been running it for a few years, now - everyone knows Dr. Brown’s place is the safest in Crime Alley. That no one is judged and everyone is seen. Ana is suspicious, of course; generosity usually comes with a price.
But she relaxes, as Stephanie gives her the tour, broad shoulders easing and crooked smile brightening. Her costume, such as it is, consists of a purple hoodie, black track pants, and a plastic domino mask.
Steph keeps a cache of spare supplies in the back. Nightingale might not go out as much as she used to, but most of the newer vigilantes end up in here sooner or later. Ana clamps a hand on her squeal of surprise.
"You’re just - gonna give this to me?” There’s that suspicion again, dimming the delight. Stephanie shakes her head, and Ana’s shoulders droop - resigned, more than disappointed.
"I need you to do some things."
A grimace, one Stephanie knows too well. The girl is expecting the worst, because it’s what the world has always offered her.
"First, and important - I need you to be careful. Don’t go running into anything you can’t handle. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t take risks you don’t have to take.”
She wasn’t expecting that, and Steph starts to smile.
"Second, training. I’ve got some people lined up - Batgirl, Speedy, Canary." Nell, Lian and Sin all have very different techniques. Eventually she’ll move up to Cass, Damian and Dinah. "Third…."
She sidesteps, pulling the neatly folded garment from under her desk. She sewed it herself, just like she did all those years ago.
"This stuff is resistant to bullets, heat, electricity, you name it. Just throw it in the washer."
Ana just stares, for a second, before dashing forward and throwing her arms around her.
It feels good, she thinks, being a legacy.
HAHA SO THIS REALLY SNOWBALLED AND I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER ABOUT IT. Hope you enjoy, ma chérie!
"D, this isn’t going to work unless you give me your hand," Stephanie deadpans, because honestly. He hides it well, but his neck and the tips of his ears are just beginning to flush with embarrassment, or, quite possibly, irritation.
He doesn’t move toward her.
"I-" he starts, feeling very much the fool, a little bit flustered, a little bit exasperated. Palms raised at his waist level in hesitation, and Stephanie seizes this opportunity to snatch his wrists and position him correctly: One hand grasped gently in hers, the other arm twined around her waist, hand on her lower back. Damian’s cheeks are in real danger of catching fire entirely.
Stephanie struggles to hold in a small smile.
"Never danced with a girl before, have you?" she asks.
"Don’t be ridiculous. Of course I have," Damian snaps, but with a little less vitriol than she might have expected.
His grip on her waist tightens, nearly imperceptibly, and she dives into the first step. During the hour or two of instructions that follow she watches his face, trying to get a feel for how much he doesn’t want to be there. Testing the waters, of sorts, but Damian’s outer demeanor has reclaimed its stoicism and she can’t really begin to puzzle him out just yet. A semester abroad kept her out of Gotham for lengthy stretches, and falling back into the Batgirl-and-Robin dynamic has not been as smooth as she would have hoped.
In between steps, he darts his head up suddenly and catches her eyes on him.
"What?" he asks, immediately. Brassily, off-kilter and overcompensating.
"Nothing," Steph replies easily. "You’re taller, that’s all."
"I grew several inches when you were away," he informs her flatly, but there’s a curious inflection under away.
She hums in agreement, and their mouths go still, bodies moving through the motions in the quiet. Every small step twists the scent of lilacs toward Damian -some kind of flowery deoderant, maybe?- and it’s faint but punches him in the chest with recognition nonetheless. He would have recognized it anywhere, but it’s particularly potent when she’s standing so close. He feels his chest knitting itself together, thoughts roiling, and suddenly it’s too much. The proximity, the smell, the clear-color in her eyes when she laughs him through the next dance step.
"I must go," Damian says, all of a sudden. Breaking eye contact and dropping her hand. "I have forgotten- I have a meeting with Father."
Steph’s brows draw together. “I- Okay,” she says, perplexed, and her eyes follow his back out of the room. He’s practically running, but she knows for a fact that Bruce is out of the city today. She also knows, however, that pressing Damian will only push him farther into himself.
So all she says when she folds her arms -right hand a little bit warm- and calls after him is,
"Same time tomorrow?"
Damian hesitates. “Tomorrow,” he agrees, and doesn’t look back.
I suddenly intensely want an au fic based on Roman Holiday where Stephanie Brown is Gregory Peck’s character, and Damian is Audrey Hepburn.
Watching the sibling interaction in The Lizzie Bennett Diaries has made me realize how much I totally want a Batsib vlog in my life.
Can’t you just imagine?
Tim: My name is Tim Drake, and this is my-
Damian: Really, Drake? Your life isn’t even compelling enough to be of interest to those of us unfortunate enough to be part of it.
Tim: Will you stop ruining my video?!
Dick: Okay guys, break it up…
oh my God. I would kill to see Damian’s impression of Stephanie.
I could see Cass being like Darcy, in that she doesn’t show her face until late in the series, but the entire fandom flips their shit out of joy when she does.
It doesn’t matter which universe they come from, they all have a soft spot for musicals.
Artemis has a special super secret place in her heart for Rogers and Hammerstein. One of her only good memories of her family being together involves them watching a Rogers and Hammerstein marathon on tv. She hopes that no one ever finds out, because she’s a little embarrassed that it doesn’t fit the image she projects, but even more because she’s ambivalent about how her love of R&H relates to her relationship with her family.
Of course, Dick found out about it, and did his damnedest to con Artemis into being part of Gotham Academy’s production of Oklahoma! He failed, but in the process he did manage to find out that Artemis practically swoons when she hears “Some Enchanted Evening”.
Now, Jason knows every single word and lyric to Singin’ in the Rain. It was Catherine’s favorite movie, and they wore out their vhs watching it over and over again while she was sick. Sometimes he’ll start whistling songs from it without realizing what he’s doing, and (thanks to A Clockwork Orange) people get really nervous when he whistles the title song.
When Bruce took him in, Jason was secretly disappointed that his life didn’t turn out more like Annie.
It’s a well known fact that Stephanie loves Disney movies, but those were just her gateway musicals. The fact is, she’s a full blown drama geek. Her Spoiler costume? She used skills and materials she got from drama club to make that thing (which really explains a lot, when you think about it). Her superhero gig ate up all of her time (and resources), so she has never really pursued theater.
Still, she has an extensive library of movie musicals and cast soundtracks that she’s built over the years. Her favorite shows are My Fair Lady and Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, but “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha is her jam, y’all.