Jason Todd, a.k.a. the Red Hood, crouched like a gargoyle at the edge of the parapet because of course he did. Seemed you could beat the life out of the boy, but not his penchant for for dramatic poses. His shoulders twitched as Stephanie landed on the roof behind him, but he was too cool to actually turn around. “Do you really think you can stop me?” he asked as she approached.
“From brooding over the city like a big old drama queen?” Jason whipped his head around, presumably to stare at her. The face-concealing helmet made it hard to tell. Either way, he tracked Stephanie’s movement as she sat down beside him. “I mean, I could try,” she continued with a shrug, “but what would be the point?”
“You must be Babs’ latest project.” The helmet muffled his voice, but his Gotham accent came through loud and clear. Steph had always imagined him with the same nothing news anchor accent as Bruce or Tim, but Jason sounded, well, like her. “What do you want, Batgirl Barbie?”
Wow, rude, and just when she’d been thinking about how connected they were. Still, it wasn’t like he didn’t have a point. What was she doing here? “First meeting of the Formerly Dead Robins Society. As founding member, I figured you’d want in.”
Jason stiffened, his hands clenching into fists. In retrospect, maybe just blurting that out to the psycho killer with a habit of attacking Bat-people wasn’t the best idea. See, Steph, that’s what happened when you spoke before you thought. At least he hadn’t gone all murder-bird on her. That was something. “You were Robin?” he asked in a strangled voice. “You died?”
Stephanie leaned back on her elbows with studied nonchalantness. “Yup and yup.” Getting used by Bruce and tortured to death by Black Mask were easily the worst experiences of her life, but Steph was a big believer in positive role modeling. Be the change you want to see and all that. If she could talk about her trauma without flipping out and killing people, then so could Jason.
“Looking pretty spry for a corpse,” Jason said dryly.
“Hi, Kettle. I’m Pot.” Stephanie offered her hand. He declined to take it and, after a long, awkward moment, she let it drop. Next time she ambushed the Red Hood she was bringing coffee. He’d have to take off his helmet if he wanted to drink it and then she’d know if he was at least smiling at her jokes. “So…what was it that I was supposed to stop?”
He snorted derisively and stood up, leaving Stephanie to scramble to her feet to keep him from looming. Man, he was big. Tim was still pretty short and wiry, but Jason was built like a really tall tank. “You’re not stoping me,” he said, “but you can certainly try.” He shot off a line and swung off into the night.
“Oh, it’s on,” Stephanie said, and took off after him.