"It was incredible, Stephanie," Harper gushes, practically bouncing around their tiny apartment. "I mean, I'd seen Batwoman in action before, at the ballpark, and the night she saved the Waynes, but seeing her up close like that..."
"Reckless is what it was," Stephanie says. She takes two pins out of her hair and turns to Harper. "You shouldn't have been there in the first place."
"That guy stole a car from our shop! And he turned out to be a Nazi spy-"
"So call the police!" Stephanie shouts."They're trained to do stuff like swing on chains and punch bad guys! You aren't." Her voice softens and she moves over to Harper, wrapping both arms around her waist. "And I don't wanna lose you, okay?"
"You won't lose me," Harper says, leaning up to give Stephanie a quick kiss. "Plus, Batwoman's going overseas anyways. I heard the detective talking about it."
"That's for the best. I don't want you mixed up in any of that nonsense, promise?"
Harper thinks of the uniform designs she and Nell had been putting together, modified overalls from the shop and bats with BATGIRL written on them in swirly letters. Then she thinks about Stephanie, the one thing that's kept her from going insane since Cullen got drafted, and she nods. "Promise," she says, punctuating it with another kiss.
"Good," Stephanie says, face breaking into a smile. "Now get dressed. The Cobblepots are doing fireworks for the Fourth down at the boardwalk, and I need a night out on the town."
"You promised you'd win me a teddy bear!" Stephanie whines, dragging Harper towards the milk bottle toss. "You promised!" She pouts, and even with the ridiculous look on her face, she still looks too beautiful in her purple dress. Harper still isn't quite sure how she got that lucky. "We did all the rides you said it would be too big to take on, so now you have no excuse."
Harper sighs, defeated. "Fine. But I'm only winning you one, okay?"
"Deal!" Stephanie says, linking her arm through Harper's and practically skipping towards the booth.
There are two women there already, and Harper recognizes one of them immediately- the detective from earlier, the one who knew Batwoman. The other woman is throwing, and when she punches the air in excitement after knocking down all the bottles at once, Harper realizes it's her- Batwoman, in the flesh.
"That's her!" Harper whispers to Stephanie.
"Who?" She whispers back. "Detective Sawyer? Ms. Vale did that piece on her right when I started at the Gazette, it was... well, let's just hope she doesn't recognize me."
Harper shakes her head. "No- I mean, yes, that's Detective Sawyer, but the woman with her... that's Batwoman!"
Stephanie's eyes widen in recognition. "Oh, wow, Harp-"
Detective Sawyer smiles warmly at them, and everything about Vicki Vale's article came roaring back to Harper. The allegations the detective had confirmed about her "long time companion" Kate Kane, the ones that had Stephanie pacing back and forth across their apartment wondering if she should move out now before Ms. Vale wrote about her next.
It was always nice knowing someone as powerful as Detective Sawyer would probably have their back if it came down to it, but knowing that Batwoman was as queer as she was made Harper idolize her even more. She thinks back to the designs Nell was working on, wonders how long it'll take her and Kathy to put something together.
"Evening, ladies," Detective Sawyer says, still smiling. "I know you from somewhere, don't I?" Harper freezes, wondering if Batwoman told her girlfriend how she'd interfered today, then realizes she was looking at Stephanie.
Stephanie blushes. "I, uh. I work for Ms. Vale at the Gotham Gazette... sorry again for that article, Detective."
"Please, it's Maggie," she says, placing a comforting hand on Stephanie's shoulder. "And Vicki Vale has been a thorn in my side since we were five, so no need to worry about me. C'mon, Katydid, let's leave these girls something to win."
Kate turns to look at them, and when her eyes meet Harper's, she can see the spark of recognition. She nods at Harper and smiles before grabbing a big pink stuffed animal and handing it to Maggie.
Maggie hugs the stuffed animal, then Kate. "Thanks, beautiful." She presses a quick kiss to Kate's cheek before letting Kate drape an arm over her shoulder. "Have a good night, ladies."
Kate turns and smiles at them. "Don't do anything I wouldn't do," she says, meeting Harper's gaze and winking. Harper's jaw drops a little, because that honestly sounded like Batwoman was giving her permission to keep fighting her fight.
"That doesn't rule out much of anything, Katydid," Maggie says as they walk off.
"She knows what I mean," Kate murmurs.
Harper stares at them until they're lost in the crowd, until Stephanie tugs at her elbow. "Harp, c'mon, win me a teddy bear!" She realizes Harper's still a little shell shocked from her run-in with Batwoman and smiles, lacing her fingers through Harper's and squeezing. "What'd she mean, don't do anything I wouldn't do?"
Harper takes a deep breath, hoping it doesn't sound too ridiculous when she says it out loud. "I think... I think she wants me to keep fighting Batwoman's fight, once she's gone."
"I know, we talked about this, and I know I promised." She takes both of Stephanie's hands in her own, looking up at her. "But now, knowing who she is... knowing she's like us... I've gotta do it, Steph. Nell and Kathy, they're puttin' together uniforms for us-"
"Batgirls?" Stephanie guesses, and she knows Harper too well.
Harper nods. "Yeah. If you still don't want me to, I won't, 'cause you mean the world to me, but..." She trails off and looks up at Stephanie hopefully.
Stephanie takes a moment, studying Harper. "This is what you really want, isn't it?"
Harper nods. "Only thing I want more is you."
Stephanie laughs loudly and wraps Harper in a hug. "Then go for it, Harper. I just want you to be happy."
Harper grins, then glances around the area before giving Stephanie a quick peck on the cheek. "Just for that, I'm gonna win you the biggest teddy bear they've got!"
Stephanie smiles. "Oh, you better."