|Cain and Unstable|
|What: Stalking leads to Vigilante Justice. Vigilante Justice leads to Partnership. Partnership leads to the Dark Side?|
It's well into evening. Smart people are home, behind locked doors where they're safe. The slight figure that walks the Chinatown streets must not be all that smart. With short-cropped hair and lean build, it's easy to mistake her for a boy at first. She's got on cargo pants and combat boots, a tank top with a hoodie on over it left open. Chinatown has less crime than a lot of areas and for once, the girl that has no name isn't looking to save the poor and unexpecting of Gotham. Tonight she's... window shopping? The shops themselves, with their brick-a-brac are closed, but she stands in front of one, fingertips touching the glass lightly as she looks at the wares within. Memories. Of earlier days.
Jason Todd has been watching this girl for a while. Mostly because she's been popping in and out of the Clocktower. Which is probably not the best thing to be doing when someone like Jason is keeping an eye on the place. Especially, well, considering the different reasons that Jason could even be watching the place in the first place. Right now, though, he's taken to following the girl and seeing just what else she gets up to. And it turns out to be window shopping. Lame.
Still, though, he's more than happy leaning up against the storefront across the street from his mark, keeping an eye on her from a distance. Stealth Mode.
Most of her nights she heads into the bad parts of town, and usually pitches in to help save people that are being accosted. But she has no mask. No costume. No gadgets. Just her. Her finger taps lightly against the glass, and then her hand slides down, back to her side. She pushes her hands into her pockets and turns away, starting down the cracked and dirty sidewalk again. Further down, in the direction she's heading there are loud, boisterous voices that chatter back and forth to each other in Mandarin.
When she moves, Jason moves. And he's across the street and at the store where she just was in moments. He takes a second to look through the window and memorizes a few possible objects she could've been looking at for later reference and then he's looking up when he hears boistrous voices in Mandarin. Which he happens to speak. This is good. He keeps his distance, though, as he follows after her. His own hands going into his pockets to make sure he looks like nothing more than another random patron headed down the street. All the while deciphering the Mandarin loudness.
The chatter is mostly some crude, drunken teasing of each other. At least, until they spot the petite girl walking towards her. Given the cast of her features, it's not surprising that they assume she might speak the language.
"<Hey, lookie here!>"
"<Oh, now there's a girl that wants to spend some time with me!>"
The third elbows the second, making grabbing his pants suggestively. "<No way, she's looking for what I've got. What do you say, girly?>" The girl's steps come to a stop as the trio's attention turns to her. Dark eyes watch them even as their words, so much useless sound, rolls by. Unheard. But their intentions are clear and... disturbing. She frowns at them, and then shakes her head.
"<Aw girl, don't be like that.>" The first says, and he sounds a lot less jovial now, an air of meanace entering his tone.
Eyes are narrowing. There's a line. A line these dudes are about to cross. And this line is not one that makes Jason happy. In fact, he's already pulling his hands out of his pockets as he sticks close... though his lips are already curled up into a smirk. He's been watching her. So he kinda' knows some of the things she can do. He's willing to bet these assholes have no idea what they are about to get themselves into. And he's not about to let them miss out on this opportunity.
Besides, if he's lucky, maybe he can get himself involved in the action and make his move on this girl. Finally. After all, there's a reason he's been stalking her like this. There has to be.
Number Two wipes at his mouth with the back of his hand as he gives the girl a slow look up and down that almost feels like he's touching her. The girl's eyes narrow, and still she doesn't say a word, though her hands slowly curl into fists and the set of her weight shifts. Her feet turn just so. While she's stopped the three haven't. Number Three is grinning wide, oblivious to what her body language says to him. Deaf to it.
"<You and us girl, we're gonna have a good time.>" Then he laughs. "<Well. WE will, anyhow.>" One hand comes up, and a blade flips out as he grabs for her, but she started moving even as he was making that decision to pull the blade. Step. She moves out of the way of the guy with the knife. Turn. One elbow comes up to hit One in the face with enough force to break his nose and send him sprawling back. Lean. The knife misses her by solid inches. One of her hands closes on that wrist in a joint lock, twisting his arm even as one foot comes up to slam into the last guy's torso, driving the wind from him with the crack of ribs.
That would be the sound of Jason's huge gun being cocked and aimed as he decides he better intervene before these guys get themselves killed. His gun is held up and out at them, as he moves closer and closer. "I think maybe you three need to take those warning shots and get the fuck outta' here. Because I don't think you wanna' see what she's going to do to you next."
Jason's got a huge smile on his face, even though he knows he's not making any sort of rescue. It's more one of those weirdly proud smiles at how she has managed to handle herself with such ease. Hey, at least he's giving them a chance to run before he pumps them fulla lead.
It's a sound that she knows well, and there's no hesitation, just reaction as she uses that hold on the one guy's arm to move their positions while still keeping him restrained. To put herself between Jason and the three that were attacking her. The two on the ground are still reeling, drunk brains slow to process but when they finally do catch up they're scrambling and running as best they can. Which leaves the one the girl has hold of whose eyes go wide with a fear he didn't have for the diminuative girl. He starts trying to pull free, feet slipping out from under him and making him stumble. A sharp twist from the girl and he screams, high and sharp as she breaks his wrist, the knife clattering to the ground. Then she lets him go and he starts to run away. the girl never turned away from Jason as he entered the equation, staring him down. Staring down the barrel of his gun.
"You move like magic." comes from Jason as he shoves the gun back into his jacket as if he were some sort of undercover GCPD officer or something. He's even got the swagger in his step to make it clear that he's not about to try and hurt her. Or anything like that. He's got to play this game nice and careful like. "I guess you're pretty good at handling yourself. Where'd you learn those moves?" He sounds more like an impressed onlooker than someone fishing for information at this point. Which may just be part of his plan.
The words, even his tone just flow through her. It doesn't mean anything to her. It's what his body says to her. Her dark eyes flicker over him and as he puts the gun away her stance relaxes. It might look like she's just trusting, but to her it's clear he's not going to shoot her. That he doesn't have a violent intent. At this moment, anyhow. There's a small flicker of a smile at the praise, there and gone. At the question, there's hesitation. A pause. Something she didn't have when he put the gun away. Not even a moment. Then she uses the ASL sign for 'Father.'
Jason can handle some of this ASL stuff. It's part of his Bat Training. He knows all kinds of stuff. "Nice. I've got one of those too. Kinda'." Jason keeps a smile on his own face and continues approaching at her like there's nothing wrong with what he's doing. He's clearly keeping his hands where they can be seen. Just in case. "He taught me how to do a few things too." He shrugs at this point, not really wanting to give too much information away. "You like to help people, huh? Y'know, kick some ass?"
The girl's attention is an almost tangible thing. That feeling that she's really *watching* you, and not just looking your way, mind on something else. She stays relaxed as he approches, not tensing or looking nervous though she seems to have a relaxed readiness to her all of the time. That's probably very familiar to Jason. There's that brief pause again as he asks the question before she gives a short nod. He's taller than she is, and so her head tilts back as he gets closer. She's clean, and her clothes are fairly new, but she has the look of someone that's been malnourished and underfed for a long time. The dark circles and a certain hollowness to her cheeks that still lingers.
"Me too. It's kinda' like a hobby of mine. Okay, that's a lie. More like a passion." Jason shrugs and is already going into his pocket again. "Listen. I'm gonna' give you something. And I want you to use it if you, y'know, ever want to go out and kick some ass together. I'm assuming you can't really talk, thus the sign language. But you can text, right?" His hand comes out of his pocket with a burner smartphone, basically. "The only number programmed in is mine." And the phone is offered to Cassandra. "I think the two of us can make great music together. Or at least have a lot of fun." Wink.
The girl gives another short flicker of a smile as Jason says it's a passion of his, this time a little longer than before. Hey, Jason hasn't tried to hurt her, right? Though she could tell he could have easily pulled the trigger earlier, even if he hadn't planned to. When he offers her the phone her head does a slightly quizzical tilt. It doesn't look like the one that Barbara had used that could make pictures for her to follow, but she remembers the incomprehensible marks, the useless sound. She signs again, each movement seeming to flow into the next, making it a little hard to pick into component 'words'. 'Read no. Talk no. Words no.'
Wince. "Ah. Okay, this is kinda' embarassing then." And the phone is flipped back towards himself and motioned back off near his pocket. "Hrm. Well, what about this instead then? What if we meet uh..." Jason looks around and then thumbs over towards the Red Lotus. "... there. Say uh... I dunno. A couple times a week? We can eat, go out, fight the good fight and who knows, maybe save a few lives or two?" He's hoping this will be a good enough compromise to fix his failure to give her his number.
The girl has to squint at him a bit, and he can tell that she's concentrating but on what might be confusing. There's a lot of concepts that don't translate well for her in what Jason says, and time is particularly slippery for her. How did Cain think that she'd be able to do jobs without some of these concepts, like days of the week?? As he finishes she's silent (big surprise) and looks thoughtful. Then there's a brightening to her demeanor and she holds out a hand, motioning for him to give her the phone again and she points at it, then at the Red Lotus and signs 'Sound. Meet.'
Jason realizes what's being asked. Kind of. It takes him a minute. "Shit. Genius." He smirks a bit and grabs the phone back out of his pocket, making some quick motions on it with his finger and setting the alarm. "There. Alarm set. When it goes off, I'll meet you there?" And he's nodding back off in the direction of the Red Lotus. "Bring um..." And then he's motioning with his hand to cover his eyes. "Like a mask or something." is added, just in case she's doing the whole lip-reading thing or something. And then the phone is once more offered in her direction.
The mute girl accepts the phone with a nod, tucking it into her pocket. At the suggestion of a mask, something touches her face, like a soundless laugh. More than the short, brief smiles he's seen from her before. She nods again and makes the sign for it as well. If only he knew about her 'conversation' with Damian just the other night!
Jason is good with the laugh. He managed to make someone laugh. Or something. That means he's got some skills and he's not too bad with this being a people person thing. When he's trying. "Good. See you then. And stay out of trouble, young lady." He wags his finger in this weird playful style, before turning around and deciding it is time to make with the disappearing. Besides, he's got Red Hooding left to do tonight.
The playful teasing make her eyes glitter with amusement and she sketches a very serious salute. Aside from the laughing eyes. Then she gives him a small, brief wave without trying to get him to linger and watches him head off for a few moments before she turns away as well. She's got some uh... Who The Hell Was That Girling left to do tonight.