|What: Damian encounters the Nameless Girl and learns that they share a hobby ...|
It's early evening, but the girl with no name is something of a night owl. Barbara sees her briefly on a regular basis, and her vocabulary is getting larger though she still seems to have trouble putting together sentances in anything easy to follow.
But her 'mornings' are rather the same. She wakes up finds a good spot, often a rooftop, to go through her regular routine. It's like coffee for some, the rolls and kicks and martial maneuvers that keep her body limber and practiced. She's got on a tank top and cargo pants, and it's almost odd to see her clean on a regular basis. She's found a long stick, and uses it to fend off imaginary foes in a type of kata. Except it's never exactly the same from day to day.
As she finishes, the sun sets over Gotham city, turning the horizon to blood. Probably a portent of the evening to come.
Damian probably shouldn't be doing what he's doing. There are a lot of rules about going out without costume and they all follow the same party line of not drawing any suspicion. But the sun hasn't set yet and the idea of being Darkwing when it is still light out is kind of ridiculous. And on top of that, there's studying to be done at home and he'd rather avoid it.
So, Damian idly leaps from rooftop to rooftop with a gym bag (full of his gear) strung over his shoulder. Once again, fate seems to have put him in the same area as the Nameless Girl. In fact, when he lands on the neighboring rooftop he crouches on the parapet and whistles down to get her attention.
The girl's head turns at the sound, and she spots him across the way. She can definitely hear, which was one thing that Barbara wondered about originally. She flashes him a brief smile and an arm comes up to wave and she heads toward the edge of the building she's on over towards him. From walking, she moves into a brief run seamlessly. Enough to give her momentum so when she plants the stick and uses it to vault across the distance between buildings, catching hold of the fire escape there, it looks easy. She pulls herself easily up towards Damian all without making much noise.
Damian nods his head, he's impressed by how quickly she ascends the building but he doesn't see much reason to tell her that since she doesn't speak English (or any spoken language, for that matter). He sits down, putting his bag down next to him and dangling his feet over the edge as he watches her climb. When she arrives, he gestures to her the sign language for 'how are you?'
That's one of those phrases that's hard for her to understand the sign for, but luckily she can still read Damian himself. His interest in her. She smiles at hime and signs back 'smile'. Which is, well, the best noun she's got. Feelings are hard for her stunted language skills. She sort of plops down next to him, her feet dangling down as well and then peers over at the bag with some interest. 'food big?' Barbara's been working on getting her to keep the signs sepereate, instead of running things into one intricate motion.
Damian shakes his head in reply, signing 'work clothes' to her before placing a hand to rest it on the bag. Given that the Girl lives with Oracle, he's rather certain that she already knows something about the extracurricular of Mister Wayne and his ilk but he knows better than to just go right out and show her.
Cassandra Cain only lives on the first floor, and is blissfully unaware of what goes on above. Not that she's run into many of the costumed sorts herself. She must not get into enough trouble. His answer has her head tilting to the side, and then she gives him another brief grin, signing 'big'. Then there's a slight frown and she signs again with a questioning look. 'lots?' Quantity. Another thing she has trouble with.
“Yes,” Damian says while he nods his head, squinting a little in the direction of the setting sun and then looking back at her. A few signs are offered, asking 'why here'? His own sign language is a little limited, too. The League of Assassins didn't see much use for flowery language, after all.
There's that toughtful look, as she tries to answer. 'Big?' she signs again, and then makes an expansive gesture with her arms. 'People no.' Then she points to her eyes and then away to mime watching something.
“You don't want people to see you?” Damian asks, nodding his head in appreciation of the answer, “That makes sense.” He pauses a moment and then signs 'you fight' and then the sign for 'now', tilting his head to one side, “Do you still fight or did you give it up?”
Cassandra Cain squints a bit, trying to follow. Trying to figure out what part of Damian's 'words' that she reads go with the signs he makes. She points to the setting sun, and then signs, 'Dark.' Then she looks around to get her bearings, and points off towards one of the worse parts of town and then signs again, 'Help.' Leaning forward a bit, she looks up and down the visible street, and then points to one of the homelss shuffling along.
“You go out at night and help people?” Damian grins a little to himself, taking something of a liberty in his assumption that she can't understand what he's saying, “I guess we have more in common, then.” He looks down towards the street and then back at her, signing 'you need' and then covering his face as he tries to approximate the sign for 'mask', “A disguise.”
Cassandra Cain's head tilts over to the side, and she signs something that Barbara probably wishes at times she'd never explained, for it has seen far too much use. 'Why?'
"For camouflage," Damian explains, while signing 'to hide' by way of an explanation. He wrinkles his nose, trying to find a way to explain himself in a manner she'll understand, "And to protect people you care about, I suppose. But mostly because you can better strike when they don't know who you are or where you'll come from. The element of surprise." He signs the last word to her.
Cassandra Cain gives Damian a sort of dubious look. 'Shadow hide?' She starts to sign something else, but then pauses. She's not used to having anyone to protect specifically, but Barbara's been taking care of her. 'Sleep man no see follow.' He should get extra credit trying to follow her 'talking'.
“But he'd recognize you,” Damian answers, making the sign for 'face' as he squints to try and follow along with the Girl's brand of conversation, “If you don't kill him, he might want revenge.” He shakes his head a little at the shadow comment, attempting to sign something along the lines of 'hide in light'.
Cassandra Cain's expression seems to close down as he mentions kill them and she shakes her head emphatically, hand making a chopping motion. 'No.' That it seems, is not on the table. She shrugs at the idea of revenge and makes a cocky sort of 'bring it' gesture.
"You can fight them," Damian says, nodding his head in understanding when she states her aversion to killing, "But what about Barbara?" He spells out the older woman's name. "If you wear a mask, they can't know who you are." He shared her position on masks once upon a time but he's since learned their value.
Cassandra Cain seems briefly surprised. 'You know Barbara?' There's more than she could try to argue, but she lacks the words for it. And in the end, if he thinks she should... Well, aside from Barbara, he's the closest thing she has to a friend in Gotham. 'Mask. OK.'
“A bit,” Damian says, holding his finger and thumb a small distance apart. When she ascents to the idea of a mask he cannot help but smile a little, pleased at the idea of possibly converting someone to the Cause. He looks at his bag once again, obviously wrestling with the idea of something in his head.
There's a glimmer of amusement to her eyes as he makes that claim, but she nods. At least now she knows Barbara will know who she's talking about if she mentions him. 'OK?' She signs questioningly, looking at him with some concern as he has that inner wrestling match that's so loud to her own brand of 'hearing'.
Damian simply sighs, nodding his head to her and signing 'OK' right back, “I suppose I can tell you. I trust you not to tell anyone.” He signs 'secret' to her, the sign for 'big' and then 'secret' again. As he reaches down to unzip his gym bag he laughs a little at himself, “It's not like you could tell anybody.” That said, he takes a deep breath and defies the Bat's Rule by taking his domino mask out of the depths of the bag and holding it up to his face to show her. “Mask.”
Cassandra Cain must not have come across the word 'secret', as she copies it as he does it, and then does it again with the air of someone trying to get something right. She nods as he adds the 'big', which seems to be both quantity and emphasis for her. There's another of those quick grins and she signs 'secret' again and then covers her mouth and shakes her head, to let him know she has the gist of the sign's meaning. His seriousness, the way his body language screams that it's such a big deal to him, has her watching him carefully. But she still can't help leaning in a bit as he opens the bag. As he holds the mask up to her face, she reaches out to touch it lightly and then signs it. 'Mask.' Then making the connection, 'Fight you help?'
Damian nods his head, letting her touch the mask and then handing it to her – he's not afraid of her taking it, obviously, “I do.” It is strange for him to have such a casual conversation with someone that doesn't involve him posturing and it shows in his body language. He reaches into the bag, pulling out the tunic of his outfit to show her that there is more to it.
Cassandra Cain takes the mask when he offers it over to her, turning it around to hold up to her face and peer at him through it, holding it with both hands. There's another of those brief, flashing smiles and then she lowers it to look at the tunic. She scrunches her nose a bit and then sets the mask in her lap so she can sign 'Light.' Which seems to be as close as she gets to 'bright'.
“Well, it isn't only about camouflage,” Damian answers, watching her as she looks through the mask – an act that would make her privy, briefly, to the low-light vision and heads-up display it provides, “It's about sending a message.” He holds out his hands to take the mask, putting it on so she can see how it looks and then signing 'you' and 'mask'.
Well, the HUD was unexpected, even if a lot of the information it would provide doesn't mean much to her. It still looks neat! She gives it back to him without hesitation and leans a little left and right to get a look at him with it. She seems to consider him for a thoughtful moment before she signs, 'Help I you?'
“You want to help me?” Damian asks, raising an eyebrow at her before nodding his head, “Or you want me to help you?” He looks at her a moment before nodding his head and signing back 'you help' to let her know that he agrees, “We need to make you a mask though.” So he signs 'what mask you'.
Cassandra Cain bobs her head in a nod of easy agreement. The sun has finally gone down, even the smears of pink having faded into twilight. She hops up to her feet and offers him a hand. Mask or no mask, night's come to Gotham. People need help.