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D is for Doctor Leslie Thompkins

DC has helpfully retconned at least *that* horrible, stupid, OOC nightmare, so this is PG13, but not AU.



She has treated dying soldiers being literally carried by the cartful from dusty villages that barely deserved the name but were too full of innocents to be called battlefields. She has performed delicate life-saving surgeries on stoned gang members while a boy barely of fifteen and very high on meth was pushing a gun barrel against her temple. She has pulled enough knifes from his dear friend's son to forge swords, extracted enough fragments of swords to forge an armor, cut away enough kevlar armor to make shrouds for entire families, seen a man who as a boy lost his family to the violence of the streets pull around himself a new family, only to send them to face that same violence.

Yet this is the first time her hands have ever shook. She has opened Brown's too-young body, and the internal damage chills her trained mind even more than the more visible abuse. Whoever did this knew what he or she was doing, and Leslie's mind recoils from the image of knowledge and skill applied in this way.

She knows that even if she survives it, there is a lot of pain waiting for Stephanie Brown. Her recovery would be long and painful, and only the experiences of regular miracles of will performed by Bruce and his "troops" make Leslie consider that it could be anything close to complete. If it were, of course, it'd only mean that she'd be back in this clinic weeks or months afterward, with another knife or bullet or venom in her body.

For a second, there is an horrible temptation shaking her hand. Save Stephanie from the pain. Let her go away in the relative peace of the drugs she gave her, let her rest. Then maybe even Bruce would see what he was doing. Maybe Stephanie's death would prevent further pain not only for her, but for many other brave, deluded boys. Including Bruce.

Shaking her head to erase the horrible vision of what she had almost contemplated doing, Leslie noticed that her hands had continued her job while her soul had been momentarily led astray by her heart. Grinning at her own weakness, she focused on completing the job.

Stephanie died anyway a few hours later.

.finis.

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
__marcelo
Aug. 9th, 2006 08:46 pm (UTC)
I keep thinking up so many stories about her and reading her old issues that I think she's alive. *g* Happens to me, too.
rubynye
Aug. 9th, 2006 12:41 pm (UTC)
That's our Dr. Leslie.

*sends her lots of love and admiration*

The end is a gutpunch, but it's life. As opposed to that horrible OOC nightmare, as you put it.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the LSU. ;)
__marcelo
Aug. 9th, 2006 08:47 pm (UTC)
The end is a gutpunch, but it's life. Thanks! I didn't want to necessarily change the outcome (alright, I do want Steph to be alive, but...), just to take away the Leslie-stomping.
mtgat
Aug. 9th, 2006 04:05 pm (UTC)
*sniff* That's our Leslie.
__marcelo
Aug. 9th, 2006 08:47 pm (UTC)
*g* Thanks!
arch_schatten
Aug. 9th, 2006 07:42 pm (UTC)
Damn right! That's Leslie. And life. This is sad, but it's not a character rape. This is what it should have been, your grasp on what really was canon is great!

Bare with me, but you've seen Reign of Fire? when the.. blokes are telling the story of star Wars to the kids, like a tale? Only way to explain how I see your grasp of storytelling: you're one of those blokes. I love how you do that.
__marcelo
Aug. 9th, 2006 08:47 pm (UTC)
*blushes a lot* Thanks SO much! I loved that scene!
chevauchee
Aug. 10th, 2006 01:06 am (UTC)
Oh, Leslie, oh. Marcelo, you've made me remember what I love about Leslie. Oh. It's hope and hopelessness all in one.

Shacking her head to erase -- you want 'Shaking' there.</nitpick>
__marcelo
Aug. 10th, 2006 09:43 pm (UTC)
Fixed the typo, thanks!

It's hope and hopelessness all in one. That's a very good way to put it. She never gives up, but at some level she must look at Bruce and... I don't know. The mixture of pride and guilt Leslie and Alfred probably feel with regard to Bruce (and how much of each) fascinates and scares me.
katarik
Aug. 10th, 2006 05:49 am (UTC)
Oh, LESLIE.

Yes. That's her. And I am wincing for Steph, but it's an IC wince. Thank you for fixing canon.
__marcelo
Aug. 10th, 2006 09:44 pm (UTC)
*g* Glad you liked it!
petronelle
Aug. 10th, 2006 01:45 pm (UTC)
Amazing how you can have exactly the same practical implications with the deep canonical wrongness.

*hugs your Leslie*
__marcelo
Aug. 10th, 2006 09:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks, she needs it. *g* Who is Alfred's Alfred or Leslie's Leslie, after all?

Granted, in RL there are many people who are everybody's rock without having themselves a lifeline on their own... I kind of wonder how it works for them, how that feels like.
onfireforhigher
Aug. 14th, 2006 07:42 am (UTC)
They retconned Leslie's part in War Crimes? When?

Oh, and this is a great piece of character. I remember when I first heard about what had been written about Dr. Thompkins, how she had let Steph die, I couldn't believe it. It just couldn't have been that same nice woman who comforted Bruce after his parents' murder and who was so committed to life and compassion. And this only from the DCAU depiction.
__marcelo
Aug. 14th, 2006 03:00 pm (UTC)
They retconned Leslie's part in War Crimes? When?

IIRC, the "History of the DCU" that they are running as backup in "52" implied that Leslie wasn't responsible for Steph's death, and -again, according to my unreliable memory- a DC editor confirmed it as an answer to a question in a panel somewhere.

Now, I don't recall seing Leslie in OYL Gotham issues. That's troubling, because if she didn't kill Steph, there was no reason for Bruce to bannish her from the city, and thereby no reason for her to leave.
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