When a girl's seen as much of the world as Nessie has, it's pretty hard to actually decide upon a major in college. When a girl has as much to make up for as Nessie does, it's even harder to pin down. Living up to Wonder Woman was a challenge. Living beyond the Silver Swan was an even harder challenge.
But by her second year of college, Nessie settled on social work. Her mother was thrilled, and the pride in Diana's eyes went a long way to confirming that Nessie had made the right choice.
When the internship came through, Nessie honestly thought that Diana and her mother would be thrilled for her, as well.
Her mother was terrified and called on Diana for backup to try to convince Nessie not to accept the internship.
"You don't understand what kind of city that is, until you live there," Diana told her.
"I've read the news reports, Diana."
"The newspapers don't even begin to explain that city's problems. It ... it can eat away at even the very best. That city specializes in doing so - especially with children."
"It's a good thing I'm not a child any more, then," Nessie answered defiantly. "And if Gotham is as bad as you say, then no place needs my help more."
Diana just pulled her into a hug. "I can't force you not to go. But I wish you'd reconsider."
Nessie thought about it, but the free room and board was too great to pass up, as was the fact that this was actually a paid internship that would look fantastic on her resume when it came time for grad school.
But on the day that Diana left her in Gotham, Diana looked sadder than Nessie had ever remembered seeing her before, even during the time that Nessie had been the Silver Swan.
It took exactly one week in Gotham for Nessie to find out why Gotham disturbed Wonder Woman so much. On her way home from her internship, two would-be muggers jumped out of an alley that Nessie didn't even see.
The thugs might have been a match for anyone else. But Nessie had fought against and been trained by Amazons.
She kind of majorly kicked their asses.
"Not bad," a smoky voice said from the shadows, and Nessie tried not to jump.
Better to be annoyed than scared. "You again. Still stalking me?"
"I wouldn't call it stalking."
"Yeah, I bet no one in your family does," Nessie scoffed. "But following someone around in the dark without their permission? Is absolutely stalking."
Red Hood chuckled and stepped out of the shadows long enough for Nessie to get a better look at his face. His face was covered in a red hood so actually that didn't give her much of a better look at all. "Well, I was trying to protect you. I'd heard the Wonders dropped the ball in training you. Guess the grape vine was wrong."
Diana had warned her about Red Hood. Nessie knew the back story, and she understood how Red Hood knew so much about her. That didn't make it any less disturbing. But it was better to be annoyed than show fear, right? "Please. You think the daughter of Hippolyta wouldn't look at the world's rape statistics the minute she arrived? I might never have been in the running to be Wonder Girl, but Wonder Woman sure as hell made certain that I could defend myself."
"So I see. What a good little behaved Wonder you seem to be. Left the criminal activity all behind, did we?"
"Not a wonder," Nessie retorted, bristling slightly at the mention of her past. "That why you're stalking me? Hoping we can hook up and be evil together?"
"No, actually. You seem to actually want to help people in this city. That's pretty damn rare. I want to make sure you don't get your ass kicked on the way."
"Seems like there are a lot of people trying to help."
"Nah, you're just confused. You'll figure it out, eventually. See you around, Wonder."
"See you around, Bat."
A startled laugh was the Red Hood's only reply.