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Trial and Error

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Damp bricks lined the alleyway, stacked one upon another. Danielle tilted her head back, limp strands of hair clinging to her shoulders and worn hoodie pulled tight around her neck. She heaved a great sigh, wiping her eyes and standing, ignoring the stiff ache in her back.

She took in her surroundings, trash scattered on the ground, bits of glass, a chain fence and a large dumpster. Luckily, the dumpster seemed abandoned, cause if it weren’t, she was sure she’d be smelling it already. Dani bit her lip and shrugged. This would do. It would have to. All she really needed a quiet place to rest, and sure the alleyway was looking more and more disgusting by the second, but it was the best she could find.

She leaned over to dig through the contents of her backpack- purple spider themed, courtesy of Sam- and pulled out a sleeping bag. After a moment of cursing and struggling, she had it unrolled and tucked neatly into the corner, behind the dumpster, between the fence, and completely out of sight. The ground seemed drier here, sheltered by the overhang of the building. She lay on top of the chilled fabric and closed her eyes.

She had been traveling the world, as she’d been doing for the past year. She hadn’t planned to land in Gotham at all, but she started to run out of steam right as she was passing by. She’d only be here a night, anyway. Not like anything that drastic could happen in one night. Dani had fallen into a routine, arrive somewhere in the morning, explore, take off late afternoon, sleep and repeat.

Her stomach rumbled, interrupting her thoughts. She curled into a ball and bit her lip. She had seen a 24-hour grocery store down the street. She could swipe an apple or something and nobody would ever know, but it would feel so wrong. Dangit, she had gotten Danny’s moral compass after all.

Danny. The last time she had seen him was when she had flown by Amity Park, and stopped in for a quick visit. Danny had loaded her up with ecto weapons, a thermos and some food. She had, as per usual, flown dramatically into the sunset after that, with no intention of stopping in Gotham.

Ever.

She’d heard the stories. The clowns, the bats, all of it. Sure, just being in the city itself promised the kind of adventure that Dani craved, but damnit, she valued her life too much.

Not bothering to get into the sleeping bag, she closed her eyes and willed sleep to take her. Dani had just drifted off when she heard pounding footsteps. Her eyes started to glow and she shot up into a sitting position. As she watched, a lanky man wearing ripped jeans and a ragged scarf skidded to a stop, leaning over to catch his breath, hands on his knees. His eyes widened and his mouth dropped when his gaze settled upon the alley way’s fence.

“Where do you think you’re goin'?” In the mouth of the alleyway stood a man, easily over six feet in height, covered in tattoos and buff as fuck. The lanky man sucked in a breath, eyes widening comically.

“Listen, man, I’m sorry! I’ll have the money to you tomorrow! I swea-“ the smaller man cried. He was cut off by the other man pulling a gun. Dani covered her mouth with her hand to stifle a gasp and scrambled up, pushing herself flush against the cold wall and hoping the shadows would hide her. She couldn’t transform, as the light would draw too much attention… Could she transform while invisible? Alright, totally not the time to wonder, but something to tuck away for later.

“I’ve already given you a chance” The man with the gun grunted, leveling it with the other man’s head, right between his eyes. He smirked, pulled the trigger and- missed. Danielle had barreled into his side as he shot, successfully destroying his aim. The man reacted just as she thought he would, turning the gun to her.

“What the fuck?” He muttered, frowning when he caught sight of the ghost girl.

“This ain’t no time to be playin’ hero, girlie. Scram. Get outta here before I change my mind.”

“Like I’m gonna listen to you” Dani snorted. “Listen, why don’t you put down the gun? I’m sure you two can kiss and make up.”

The man scoffed, lifting the gun up, and pointing it right between Dani’s eyes. Oops.

“Three.” The man said, ghosting his finger over the trigger. Danielle crossed her arms.

“Two.” He said, now touching the trigger, and Dani went intangible.

“One.” He said, but hesitated, and that was all the invitation she needed. She dropped low, swiping her let out and hooking her foot behind his knees. As he fell, her hand shot up and whacked the gun away. It sailed into the wall and bounced behind a stack of boxes. Dani raised her hand to swing- one good super strength infused punch oughta knock him out- but was snagged around the wrist, a black glove clamped tight. Dani paused.

“Stop.” The voice behind her commanded, sending a chill down Dani’s spine. She gritted her teeth and attempted to yank her arm free. No use. Danielle have one last tug, surprised when the grip gave way. Slowly she turned herself around, and came face to face with the Dark Knight himself.

Well... looks she’d be getting that adventure after all.