Don’t panic. I’m not actually going to send this to you. I mean, I was planning to, rather than just composing it in my head, but then I remembered that you’re not so hot on reading, and that I don’t actually know where you are anyway. So, not one of my greatest plans, but then what ever was one of my greatest plans, am I right?
Dressing up in your Batgirl costume, for e.g.? Definitely not a good plan. I mean, yeah, it’s more practical than my Spoiler suit, even if your choice in colours is a little dull, but I think that every hero in Gotham now officially hates me. Like, I’m pretty sure a memo went out, probably on stationary headed “From the Desk of the Bat”, just gently reminding everyone that I’m the latest in a long line of screw-ups named Brown, and I’m not about the buck that trend.
Don’t worry, C. I’m not self-pitying. (Well, I am a bit, but instead of waffles this morning I had Barbara Gordon yelling at me, which was neither delicious nor satisfying.) I’m just reminding myself what I’ve got to prove… to them. To me.
Did I ever tell you I used to pretend that you were standing next to me, encouraging me, when I wasn’t sure if I could do something? Probably not, that shit’s embarrassing. Any way, I just changed my mind. Dressing up in your Batgirl costume is a great plan. Cos it really is like you’re there with me, telling me I can do it.
I thought I saw you tonight.
I didn’t, obviously, because I’m pretty sure if you were in Gotham you’d be kicking my ass over the whole getting shot thing. Don’t worry. I mean, I only got a little shot. But if I hadn’t been shot, I wouldn’t have lost consciousness and had a few moments there where I thought I was at the airport seeing you off. And I definitely wouldn’t have been having a few moments where I wondered if I was actually psychic, and that you had flown to Europe.
As I stumbled hazily out of the ambulance, (how great is my prose getting, by the way? It’s the college education) I realised that I was somehow just getting it all jumbled – me all doped up at the airport with Lesley when she flew me out, Tim taking off to Italy or wherever on his Catcher in the Rye thing, you leaving… that’s all it really was. Besides, in my dream you looked kind of like Jordanna.
Anyway, I don’t really need to be psychic to know what people are thinking. You, if you were reading this, would be thinking “Stephanie Brown, what you need is more punching people and less getting shot”. Thank you, Cass, that is excellent advice. And I have totally already followed it! I did a lot of punching today, and also some kicking, with a side of driving a car shaped like a purple tampon into a whole bunch of bad guys.
No, I’m not going to mention to Babs it looks like a purple tampon.
Who’s got two thumbs and totally just kicked the ass of a Legion assassin? This lady!
Also, apparently you lead the legion or something for a while when I was gone? By “gone” I mean “kidnapped to Africa while in a coma and then spending serious time re-evaluating my life choices”. Today some stuff (and by “some stuff” I mean “Tim”) got me really thinking about the then that was before – well, you know, me being Robin and everything – and about how, for a while, he was a pretty awesome boyfriend. And how you were a pretty awesome friend. And how maybe I could have done more to be a better friend to you. About how maybe if I’d been a better friend, you wouldn’t have left. But then, everyone leaves in the end, right? I know that as well as you do.
On the other hand, Tim says Daddy Bat isn’t dead, and Dick believes him so apparently he’s not just going through some massively weird denial thing.
I wonder if he told you.
Remember me telling you how I always used to envy the rich girls at school? Like, the ones who would go away to Aspen or wherever skiing while I was at home wearing extra jumpers cos we’d forgotten to pay the heating again. And then they’d come back being all tan and gorgeous and I’d have a runny nose and hair that looked like I should just shave it off and start again. There was this one girl – I can’t even remember her name, now, so let’s just call her “Jordanna” – who I overheard in the bathrooms once, talking about how she’d had this amazing mud bath, how it made her skin all soft and was so relaxing and it only cost her a couple of hundred dollars. I don’t know why, but something about that – I made it some kind of goal. Like, one day I’d have enough money to have a mud bath, and be all relaxed and smooth skinned.
Not after today. I never want to see mud again as long as I live. Or clay. Or earth. Or just dirt in general, really. Strictly rooftops for this vigilante.
PS: There’s a new cop in town. I think you’d like him.
PPS: Actually, that would make all three Batgirls into him. It’s probably better that you don’t.
Lately I’ve been thinking about team-ups. Are they actually even called that? Whatever, I’m running with that. So: team-ups. It’s kind of a new thing for me. I never really felt that when I was with you or Tim it was a real team-up, cos half the time I’d be pestering you to let me join you and you always seemed, like, you were happy to see me but just worried all the time that I’d get hurt and that’s not really a team-up. A team-up is when two people in costumes, who may or may not like each other very much, but are ultimately able to work in a complementary manner, come together to achieve a common goal which may or may not involve taking out a third person also in costume and cackling maniacally. Sometimes after achieving their goal they each decide the other person is totally awesome (see: teaming up with Supergirl), and sometimes they hope that they never see the other person again (see: teaming up with Klarion, and also every single time I have to work with Damian).
So you and me, I don’t think that was ever really a team-up. But I think that’s OK. Because the last time we fought together – that night you left – before you dropped that bombshell that meant my whole life was going to change, again – I was thinking to myself that Batgirl and Spoiler was a pretty great partnership. And being partners beats an ordinary team-up every single time.
Maybe you’ve been gone too long for us to be partners, now. It’s been over a year, you know. But you have to admit that “Batgirl and Blackbat” sounds even better than “Batgirl and Spoiler”. I’m just, you know, throwing that out there.
PS: We could also be “Blackbat and Batgirl” if that’s what you prefer.
PPS: So apparently I’m going to England. On a scale of one to ten, how dorky will it be if I get my photo taken with the guy in red outside Buckingham Palace?
How are you? I am well. Please give my regards
at to Alfred and Barbara. I was sorry to have missed you when I was in Gotham last week. I hope you are working on your right uppercut. Bruce has says I may have another mission in Gotham again soon. Perhaps then we will have a chance to meet then.
I can’t believe you were in Gotham last week. I can’t believe that was the week that I was in England. I can’t believe that Bruce just happened to pick those weeks coincidentally. I can’t believe you found the time to leave me a note while you were here. I can’t believe you pinned it to my pillow. I can’t believe that, all this time, I never really considered writing to you.
I mean, I wrote to you a lot – letters and letters – but all in my head. It was easier than actually writing to you, even after I found you were in Hong Kong, cos I was so sure that you wouldn’t write back. And now, after all those letters I could have written, you’re the one to write to me.
So now I am writing to you, and thinking of everything that I wanted to say to you all year, and realising that there’s only one thing I can say, and that’s thank you. Thank you, for giving me the chance to be Batgirl. I’m still not anywhere near the fighter you are – I’m nothing like the thinker Babs is – but that doesn’t seem to matter anymore. I’m me, and I’m Batgirl, and I’m proud to be both those things. Thank you, Cass.
PS: So when are you coming back to Gotham, exactly?