She had been purposely laying low, trying to avoid everyone she knew, her phone, it's perma-silenced state a blessing as the few observant people sent messages she could pretend to ignore.
You see, August 11th was the day she was brought, she assumes, kicking and screaming into the world.
Her mother never actually spoke about her birth. Steph assumed it must have been reasonable enough, no complications. Or maybe Crystal was too off her face to remember it. It was hard to say, really.
There was a reason Steph didn't talk to her mother about anything.
No. Her plans for this most glorious
of days, was to hide out.
Not be expected to be excited about a day she didn't care about.
The point of celebrating birthdays were to celebrate another year of not dying anyway, right? A bit late for that one, for her. She had done that. So it seemed… pointless. Hollow. Almost mocking.
Every time her phone buzzed, she would pick it up to look, to make sure it wasn't a call out, but promptly set it back down upon seeing it wasn't.
Laying on her stomach, sprawled across her bed, study materials scattered around her, chewing the end of a pen, absently bobbing her foot to the music playing from her phone it was around 10:30pm when the angsty vocals of Haley Williams cut out, and the phone continued to vibrate across the text book it sat on.
Frowning slightly, picking it up, she frowned further, seeing who was calling her. Jordanna
Answering the call, Steph spoke wearily.
It was definitely Jordanna on the other end of the line, and she seemed to be intoxicated.
"Oh good, I knew you wouldn't have anything better to do. Listen, I really need your help.
There was a pause, in which Steph was considering hanging up on her, but sighed slowly.
She says slowly, shifting, swinging her legs off the bed.
"Listen, I came out on a date with a guy I met. And after I told him I wasn't going to go home with him he's totally ditched me here and-"
Stephanie was already pulling on her shoes and jacket
"Where are you?"
"Uh. Some place Downtown… I wasn't really paying a lot of attention. He was really charming, and good looking, and we were talking a lot…"
"Don't worry about it, Jor. Go wait in the ladies room, and I’ll come find you."
"How are you-"
"Don't worry about how. I’ll be there soon. Keep your phone on you, ok? I've gotta get off the phone now. I’ll be there."
"...ok… thank you…"
"...don't worry about it."
Ending the call, she started another one.
"Hey Babs? Can you do something for me real quick?"
"Hello to you too, Stephanie… I suppose, what is it?"
"I said Hey! Can you find someone based on their cell phone number?"
"Technically? Who are you trying to stalk?"
"Woman, one of my classmates just called me asking for help. Her date got her drunk and ditched her. She doesn't know where she is. Can you help or not."
After a brief moment of silence, in which Steph was already on her way out the door, Babs speaks again.
"What was the number?"
"Everything doesn't have to be about fear. There's room in our line of work for hope, too."
Storming into the ladies room, Stephanie stands in the door way for a moment, looking around.
The back stall unlocks slowly, a head of dark hair pokes out, looking at her, before the rest of Jordanna Spence rushes in Steph's direction, to throw a relieved hug around her shoulders. Awkwardly patting her back, Stephanie clears her throat slightly.
"I was worried you wouldn't come because I'm always such a jerk to you…"
Jordanna mutters, almost tearily. Steph can't help but laugh.
"Oh, sweetie. Don't even worry about it. If someone needs help, I help. C'mon. Let's get you some coffee…"
Offering her arm to her classmate, which Jordanna took, and lead her outside, and down the block.
"I know how you found me…"
Jordanna says softly, as they walk. Steph says nothing, just raising a brow at her. Jordanna leant in to excitedly whisper.
"I googled you, while I was waiting, just to do something. Stuff came up that didn't while I was searching for that mystery boyfriend of yours. You were a vigilante! A purple one, named Spoiler, to stop your dad, Cluemaster. And the you were Robin! Actually Robin! With Batman! That explains so much! But it also said you died. Had an obituary and everything. Look!"
Jordanna pulled out her phone and started showing a screenshot of it.
August 11 1999 - April 19 2014
Steph looked away. She had managed to avoid reading it this long, she wasn't gonna do it now.
"Don't believe everything you read on the internet, Jor. Obviously I'm not dead. I'm flesh and blood. You're holding my arm."
"But the other stuff. It all makes so much sense now, it's why you're so weird. Wait… the new Batgirl is blonde and wears purple too…"
Putting on her best exasperatedly exhausted face, which wasn't hard at this point, she looked at Jordanna.
"Girl, if I were Batgirl, wouldn't I have been out beating up bad guys and not picking up your call?"
She froze, frowning, thinking hard.
"C'mon. You're drunk, and frazzled. Let's get you that coffee, and get you home safe. I'm sure I'll be back to freak status by morning."
Taking off her jacket and giving it to Jordanna, before leading her into the diner, guiding her into a booth and paying for coffee, she sat back.
Raising her brows over her mug in acknowledgement while sipping, Jordanna continued, holding her mug in both hands.
"Assuming that obituary was true, it's your birthday… what were you even doing that you could just run out of to come get me?"
Pausing, trying to work out how, if, she wanted to answer the question, she frowned slightly, lowering her mug.
"I was studying."
"...on your birthday."
"I don't celebrate my birthday. Just reminds me of childhood."
"....oh. I'm sorry. I know I've teased you about your dad before but… must be rough."
Half smiling, Steph shrugged a shoulder and turned her head to look out the window, lightly tapping a chipped pink manicured nail on the coffee mug.
"I honestly don't know if I'd change anything. The journey gets you to where you are, y'know?"
Jordanna snorted a laugh.
"Girl, that was corny. I was almost willing to believe you were cool enough to be a hero. Not after that."
"I told you! I'm not!"
"Yeah, well, whatever. Happy birthday anyway, you dweeb."