Love in the Clocktower
FANDOM: Birds of Prey TV
RATING: MA15+ area.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to Shell - who should always be thanked.
I watch as Barbara sits in front of her precious banks of computers. Lines and lines of confusing letters, number and symbols I’ve never seen before flow past her less than sharp eyes. Not only is she tired and grumpy, she gets mouthy when she’s tired and grumpy. Ten minutes ago she decided, very loudly, that sometimes being Super Woman/English Teacher at the same time was the most boring thing in all the world. Which I personally think is a bit of an over reaction. Being a postal worker must be much more boring.
Of course, her long boring job was made worse by the fact that no one seemed to have caught her boredom, leaving her to beat it all alone.
I wonder why she never bothered to try acting - Oracle can be such a drama queen.
Maybe I should be doing a friend a favour and creating conversation. I really don’t want to. Not that I don’t think I’m capable of making conversation. I’ve been told by people that I can be exceptionally charming when I want to be. This is true. However, am I supposed to be Barbara’s boredom breaking machine just because I’m here?
I suppose, just for a bored friend, I could pick an argument with the Kid it might just cure some of my own boredom – not that I would ever admit that. Barbara would have my head – on a stick over her precious computers.
Then again, I think I did see her wearing something that looked suspiciously like the old leather pants I might have left in the cupboard of my room – which now is kind of her room but that doesn’t make it right for her to go around taking my things out of her closet.
Uh. Think of the Devil.
I feel like screaming when I see her prance down the stairs.
Leather suits her in a big way – even if it does look slightly out of place. Her big innocent eyes kind of take the ‘naughty’ out of the pants but not so much that she doesn’t look like she could spank you if needed.
“Dinah?” I call sweetly as she makes it to the bottom step.
“Hi Helena,” she smiles back. Hero worship is such an ugly thing. Her face is bright and shiny in the mid morning light filtering through the Clocktower … if I wasn’t so bored I might just be nice to her.
“Do you know how long I have had those pants?” I stand up and step towards her in what I think should be an intimidating move. She blinks and smiles. Is she oblivious or just dumb?
“Those pants are like a sister to me … a sister who makes my ass look perfect!”
Its true, they do. So what if I never wear them anymore? It’s the principal of the situation.
I notice Barbara sit up a little straighter and twist her head slightly – oh yes, I know she can see us in the reflection of the biggest precious computer. Obviously this might curb her boredomness.
“I’m sorry, ok? They’ve been sitting in there so long I didn’t think you’d want them anymore!”
Barbara watches us very closely. We could be a new science project for her. Who knows how her scary genius brain works.
“Well maybe sorry isn’t good enough this time … Kid.”
The dumb expression on the Kid’s face instantly turns angry. I swear that she growls at me and bares her teeth, just like those monkeys at the zoo with the severe nappy rash.
“DO NOT call me that!”
Barbara turns her head slightly, obviously giving up all pretence of actually working and ignoring us and just blatantly staring instead. She watches while I'm backing the perpetually happy teenager into the kitchen … if I’m going to argue then I want to be close to food once I’m done.
She turns back to her computers and grins to herself.
“Sexual tension is a real bitch,” se mutters, finally brightening up just a little bit. Her hands start to fly across her keyboard again.
Well … that was rude. I cured her boredom after all. I get no respect sometimes.
“You smell good.”
I drop my spoon into the ice cream dish in front of me and regard the blonde woman sitting across the room. In the chair that happens to be my personal favourite.
“It’s your body lotion,” I tell her lightly. I smile at her mildly befuddled look.
I give her ten seconds to figure it out. She has become quite quick in the last few months, I suppose it is possible that she’ll figure it out sooner.
I reach for the remote, looking for something that might pass as interesting. One hundred and seventy eight channels and not one of them has anything close to quality entertainment. Nothing even remotely close to the entertainment one blue eyed blonde provides me at least 12 hours a day six days a week.
“My …” Dinah squints at me as realization suddenly dawns, “My $90 bottle of Michal Blue?! Gabby gave that to me!”
“Is that the one in the squiggly bottle?”
I shrug again and let the tiniest of smiles come to my lips. I might as well try to look innocent - even though I’m far from innocent. So far from innocent.
“I accidentally spilt a tiny bit. It was totally an accident and I’m really sorry Dinah.”
Dinah huffs loudly as she leaps from my seat and rushes towards her bathroom.
Stealthily I drop the television remote to the coffee table, grab my jacket and boots. I barely manage to stop myself from sprinting to the elevator. When Dinah is pissed things move around the room – forcefully - and for some reason they always fly straight towards my head.
A girl could get insecure.
I laugh evilly and very loudly as I enter the lift and hit the button for the ground floor.
“I said I was sorry!” I yell as the doors close, effectively cutting me off from the girl’s screaming rant.
Half a bottle is only a little accident, right?
>>Oracle, can you please tell Huntress that I’m going south and finishing the standard grid sweep and that it would save her time if she went north on Elm to meet me on 52nd.<<
>>Huntress, Canary sa … hang on a moment, why am I repeating that? Canary you know that we’re on open communications toni -<<
“Oracle, let Canary know that I’ll take Step and Main to go to North 78th and meet her at the subway entrance.”
I lean against a rather ugly gargoyle as I slurp at my squishy. It's very convenient that my last stop was right next to a convenience store. They’re usually convenient like that.
A short bark of angry laughter fills my ears through the communications link.
>>Please, Oracle, will you tell Huntress that if she skips over to Step and Main she’ll completely bi-pass the Wayne Tower entrance and back streets... with all the drug dealers and beatings we’ve been seeing around there lately ... skipping it tonight would be a really bad idea.<<
I grind my teeth together to stop any angry retorts. I absolutely hate it when the Kid happens to be right and I’m just a tad … ok, not concentrating enough to even bother to really think about … well, anything.
Barbara sighs loudly.
>>Huntress, Cana -<<
“I heard what the Kid said. Thank you Oracle,” I snap as I head north.
“Why do you always have to treat me like a kid?” Dinah screams as she picks up a bread roll and throws it across the room, smacking me solidly in the nose.
What a bitch!
“You little bitch!” I scream, having never really been one of those people who can keep things they’re thinking, feeling, mouth movements … generally anything to themselves. What can I say? I like to share.
She grabs up her plate of food and before I can so much as blink … she wouldn’t really throw her food like an actual child would she?
Potato splatters onto my face and peas become a tangle in my hair. A giant glob of gravy slowly seeps down the front of my brand new leather halter.
I’ll kill her.
Barbara wheels away from the table quickly leaving the dining area and retreating to the relative safety of the kitchen. The wimp.
“I can’t believe you just did that,” I whisper very softly. At least she has the brains to look a bit scared. She should be. I stand up, grab the gravy boat and neatly pour it over her perfectly straightened blonde hair.
She gapes at me with fury slowly building in her pretty blue eyes.
It's hot like mud wrestling, only with edible substances.
“Oh,” she says as she reaches up and touches the mess I have made.
“You are so going to pay for that.”
I know my eyes widen just a tiny bit. She sounds so demanding, so full of herself. I haven’t forgotten the last time I ticked her off past her point of composure – the stack of CD’s that flew at my head left all sorts of neat scars.
Have to take a mental note - beat stuck up out of teenager during next training session.
Dinah stands, her posture placid and calm. She’s very sexy … er … intimidating when she wants to be. She leans forward with her hands on the table and glares down at me.
“Watch your back. I’ll get you for this.”
One green eye slowly turns from the glowing computer screen to regard me. I’m the tall person standing next to the computer nerd … where I’ve been standing trying to get her attention for at least ten minutes.
I shake the box in my hands. I picked it up on the way in, curiosity being another one of those things that I just can’t stop.
“Don't do that," Barbara scolds me as she snatches the package away from me, "it could be my new parts."
No one ever lets me have any fun.
"Get sick of the old ones? I told you Babs, you don't need to replace them just get them some hot monkey loving. They’ll perk right up.”
The redhead grumbles as she reaches for her letter opener and slides it neatly through the plain brown tape holding the lid of the box together. Maybe it’s something that bounces. That’d be fun. I’ve never tried bouncing anything other than my head off the top of the Clocktower.
"Hi," Dinah cheerfully says as she hops up onto the Delphi platform and waves to Barbara. I don’t get the need for her to wave to practically everyone she says hello to.
I give her a once over, slowly raising my eyebrow as I get further down her tightly muscled and obvious very flexible body. She’s wearing my boots. My new boots.
"You stole my shoes?! I cannot believe you stole my shoes! You're two sizes bigger than me?! So help me if you've stretched the leather I will hog tie you and throw you off Wayne Tower!"
She laughs happily and looks over Barbara’s shoulder at the package in her lap.
I growl and take several quick steps towards her. She gamely glares back at me and the tiniest of smirks settles on her face. I am sure that is the only reason I falter. She really needs a good beating … I mean, training session.
I growl once more. All this inflated confidence is too much of a turn on and really damn annoying at the same time.
I think I should tackle her.
Thanks to poor impulse control, we’re on our backs in a huffing heap of long arms and legs in less than 2.3 seconds. I grab her flailing limbs to stop her from pulling on my hair and wrap my legs around hers to stop her from kicking or trying to scrape the heels of my new boots along my unprotected legs.
From the corner of my eye I see Barbara roll her eyes and move slightly to the left as a booted heel comes dangerously close to her eye. She turns back to her package quickly – probably dismissing our childish games just like she would in her classroom. I just have to learn that skill.
As she pulls open one side of the box I am struck by a very strange smell, one that I am sure isn’t coming from Dinah. Even though she does have a particularly strange teenaged smell.
A burst of purple tinged white smoke puffs out of the box flaps, engulfing all three of us in a strange almost magical haze of sparkling silver and blue.
Barbara looks around the room, blinking owlishly. A look of surprise, shock and stark terror mingles across her face as she processes what has just happened.
"What was that?" Dinah asks from beneath me.
Barbara grinds her teeth together.
"Decontamination room. Now.”
"What do you think it was?" I ask as I briskly rub myself with a fluffy towel, my arms and legs are shaking badly. If either of them asks I’m planning on blaming the cold of the room after my impromptu shower.
"I'm not sure. Alfred has contained the box and canister, I'll have to start analysing the contents as soon as I can," Barbara tries to suppress a cough as she pulls a thick rubber suit on over her legs and reaches for the matching jacket.
"Are we going to die?" a soft voice asks.
Dinah is curled in the corner of the room, her hair wet and stringy around her head. She’s pulled her knees up to her chest and wrapped her long arms around them. She’s petrified of dying - hell, so am I. I have a lot of stuff to get into trouble for.
Maybe it seems as though I have a death wish to others but, believe it or not, I actually enjoy breathing normally and on a regular basis.
"I'm not a child. If we're going to die then I want to know. You don't have to protect me you know, I'm going to college next semester so it’s not like I'm some childish high school teenager. Why won't you look at me?" The blonde practically flies to her feet, anger evident in her gaze as she surveys us.
On the positive side there isn’t anything she can throw in here so my head is relatively safe.
"Dinah, Sweetie," Barbara says as she drops her hazmat hat and slowly pushes herself closer to the scared girl and she does look just like a scared little girl. Her face screwed up so tight she looks as though she is bravely fighting off a temper tantrum simply because it’s almost bedtime.
"I promise you as soon as I know what this is ... and I will figure it out ... you will be the first to know. Ok?"
She looks suspiciously at Barbara. "Even before you tell Helena?"
I roll my eyes. Sure, treat me like an adult, I’m going to college, I’m a big girl now.
Barbara just smiles her biggest, brightest, most not-terrified-at-all smile.
"Before Helena, I promise."
Dinah slumps back down into the space created by the plastic bench seat of the room.
"Its a combination of hallucinogens, snake venom and common household chemicals ... the poisonous kind ... it all seems so familiar, I just can't remember ..." the redhead trails off as she starts to flip through computer screens faster than Dinah or myself could even keep up with.
I shrug at Dinah.
Barbara grumbles something that sounds like yes.
I wave for Dinah to follow me. I’m sure that if I give her the chance she’ll sit behind Barbara and watch every move she makes for the next 24 hours. Probably pissing off our only chance at living for the next seventy or so years. That’d be bad.
"Does that mean we aren't going to die?" Dinah asks from behind me.
I look at her and try my hardest to give a very confident smile. I suppose a tiny bit of normality right now would help her. If not it’ll help me, "Of course not D. No one is going to let you die a virgin."
"Hey!" the blonde squeaks as she punches me in the arm. "Who says I'm a virgin?"
Right. As if. This chick has virgin written all over her. Right down to her tiny unsucked toes.
"D," I say in a superior tone and raise one perfectly sculpted eyebrow.
The blonde folds her arms across her chest and puffs up her cheeks. She’s adorable when she does that.
"Just because I don't drag a parade of … of … of skanks and pimps through the Clocktower, doesn't mean that I haven't – or don’t for that matter - have sex. Thank you very much."
I grimace as I watch her leave the kitchen and storm through the Clocktower. I hear her bedroom door slam hard, rattling the top windows near the clock.
The thought of some greasy, acne covered, gross little boy with his hands on her makes me ten types of pissed off.
"What did you say this time?"
I spin on my heel, startled by the very tired voice coming from behind me. I watch as my oldest friend rolls through the kitchen door and makes a quick path towards the kettle.
Right, was supposed to be getting tea and not teasing the teenaged element.
But still …
"Nothing. Why do you always assume that I'm the one who said something?"
"Because usually it’s Dinah that storms off in a very pissed off mood while you hang around for three hours to gloat or storm off as well because you feel guilty. Keeping that in mind I'll repeat my question ... what did you say this time?"
She reaches for the tea but takes a second to look back at me as she does.
Damn. I hate being surrounded by smart women all the time.
I huff and cross my arms across my chest. I could of course, storm off just like Dinah and avoid the conversation that I know Barbara wants to have with me. Then again, having said conversation may lead to what could possibly be weeks confined with two very pissed off and scared women.
What the hell.
"Do you think it’s kinda perverted that I like her ... like ... really like her?"
Barbara stops mid stretch, forgets her tea and slowly rolls her chair to the opposite side of the table from me. I know my face shows my defeat, I know I just totally told my secret. A tiny little seed of fear is still inside me. This is the part in my ‘worst case scenario’ (also known as nightmares, though not one of the scariest) when she calls me a pervert, tells me to get out and never to come near Dinah again.
"Well, that depends on you, Helena. Do you think it’s perverted that you like her?" she asks, cautiously reaching out to place her hand over my fidgeting fingers.
"Yes. No. Maybe a little bit." I groan and rest my head against the startlingly cool surface of the table.
"That was very clear, Helena. Are you feeling ok? No side effect as of yet?" she gently teases.
"Barbara ... are you suggesting that a face full of white dust is making me feel kinda perverted things for a child that I have come to see as my sister?" I know I must look as disgusted as I feel.
Barbara sighs loudly, "Well obviously you haven't come to think of her as your sister Helena. If you had, then I would be worried about you both. I have been thinking about this actually, if you haven’t noticed the constant squabbling is rather distracting. Maybe you're taunting her simply because you like her? Like when Jimmy Robb used to pull your ponytail in elementary school, he wasn't being nasty to you because he didn’t like you - he was just showing you attention because he was rather enamoured by you."
Barbara pushes her chair away from the table, I'm startled and more than a little freaked out.
"And if I was you, I'd stop thinking of Dinah as a child. She's almost a grown woman, going to college soon, taking on the nightly sweeps. I think she deserves to be seen as a matured adult. Even if her sweeps partner still acts like a twelve year old every time she's around her. Think about it."
Barbara spins her wheels as she exits stage right.
She’s almost huffing.
"How much longer until we can get out of this joint?"
I’m not complaining - I realize we have a very large safety thing going on here. We could open the lock down and half of New Gotham could be suddenly swamped by some sort of weird Anthrax, or other miscellaneous poison. That’d be bad. Not to mention the apologies I’d have to make.
Barbara quickly blinks to clear the water from her eyes as she lets out a yawn and pushes away from the constantly moving computer data in front of her.
"I'd say ... another week at most," the redhead stretches her arms above her head and watches me as I sail from one side of the Clocktower to the other - trying to pace away my impatience. I’m frustrated, when I’m frustrated only one or two things work to calm me down, I move or I fuck.
"I've told you Barbara, I don't do cooped up well," I mumble.
She squints at me and tries her hardest to keep her temper - I can tell by the way the sides of her lips twitch into a frown and the worry lines between her eyes turn from tiny rivers into canyons.
"And I've told you Helena. Alfred, Dinah, the Delphi and I are all working our hardest to figure out what it is that has gone off in this place. Would you like to just open all the windows and see if whatever it was spreads and causes God knows what just so you can get outside and find some not-so-innocent bad guy to beat up ... just because you have needs that aren’t being fulfilled?!”
The redhead puffs her cheeks out and lets her breath blow long strands of red hair from her face. She continues to glare at me, more than willing to continue her tirade from the look in her eyes.
I take two quick steps back towards her and try to smile, although I’m sure it lacks any genuine feeling - aside from all that frustration.
"I'll just be ... in my room ... being very quiet and definitely not anywhere near your computer ... or your ward ... or any general area around you."
I turn tail and start to run but hear one of Barbara’s widely used, very colourful but very quiet cuss words.
"Helena ... I'm sorry, come back here. I'm just a little stressed out. I want to be here as much as you do! But with the noticeable lack of any real symptoms ... I can't understand why someone would send us -"
"Maybe that's just some paranoia talking ..."
Barbara rolls her eyes as she turns back to the computer in front of her, "Fine, if you can't play nice ..."
"Sorry Einstein ... what have you figured out?"
"Oh!" Barbara exclaims sarcastically, "What haven't I figured out?!"
I sit down next to my friend and stare at the computer ... I’m not really understanding any of the numbers, letters or graphs on the screen in front of me. So I settle for being the comedic relief.
"Don't be sarcastic, it makes you look old."
"What the fuck happened to her?" I ask frantically as I grab the portable oxygen tank and slip the mask over the flushed red face of my partner in crime fighting.
"She hyperventilated," Barbara barks at me as she grabs the blondes arm and inserts a long fluids needle into her hand. "She's dehydrated and her pressure is up ... her heart rate is up to ... it doesn't seem to be slowing down."
"Do you think this is about the powder?" I ask as I fix the dials on the oxygen tank.
"There isn't much I can do here ... if her pulse isn't down in a few minutes we're going to need to move her out of here, get her to a hospital. I'm going to get Alfred ready with the car. Helena four minutes, keep your eye on this monitor," she taps the blip in question.
As if I’m going to goof off while our partner is lying on a gurney barely breathing because now is a great time to make Doctor, Doctor jokes.
"If it starts to go any faster call me and we'll get her out of here. If it hasn't gone down in four minutes call me and we'll get her out of here."
I can practically feel the blood draining from my face, hospitals have always been bad to me. I really don’t want Dinah in a hospital right now … not to mention the whole quarantine issue.
I attach my eyes to the blip on the screen and watch it rise up and down quickly – far, far too quickly.
This probably isn’t good. I’m no Doctor, but I don’t think hearts are supposed to sit on 170 beats per minute for too long.
Her skin is flushed red. Is that what happens when blood is pumped around too fast?
I reach out, resting my hand on her feverish forehead. She jumps slightly - she’s burning up real bad.
“Hey D,” I lean forward just a little bit and rest my lips against the skin of her cheek. “Time to wake up now, don’t you think?”
I notice the blip starting to slow just a tiny bit.
“You can’t sleep all day Kid. You know how Barbara gets when you miss school. Even when it’s for a good reason,” I stroke the top of her head, leaning in just a tiny bit more - I can feel the heat of her skin even from this distance. That’s definitely not good.
From the corner of my eye I see her blip slow even more.
Her eyelids flutter open slowly, her breathing becomes more ragged but her heart blip begins to slow rapidly. I’m pretty sure that can’t be good either.
I’m not to sure exactly how close we came to losing her. Barbara pretty much shut up completely when she came back finding her wide awake and breathing normally. I have a sneaking suspicion that this time she won’t tell me even if there was a huge problem.
At least she’s sleeping … or unconscious, or passed out or something but her heart is strong and steady she doesn’t need the oxygen mask and she’s ok. She’s perfectly fine.
Huntresses don’t cry.
“She’ll be alright,” Barbara whispers softly from behind me, working from the laptop so she can keep trying to find a cure to a substance we have no name for and keep a watch on the two of us at the same time.
Sure, now she tells me.
“So, anyway, the guy got away and I was left in the alley with my boot caught in the trash can and about half the NGDP night shift standing smack bang in the middle of my escape route,” I grin at the blonde on the bed. She’s so cute when she’s laughing at me.
“I love hearing that you were as much of a fuck-up as I am."
“Aw, that’s the spirit. Every Superhero has a bad day.”
She laughs, almost chuckles. That’s cute too.
“You’re much more level headed than I am. You think before you act instead of rushing ahead and getting yourself in trouble or beaten or nearly arrested,” I gush. Why am I gushing? I know I’m going to make a bit of a fool of myself here.
I like it when she smiles so big and bright at me though. (Note to self: Flattery does work.)
Why is she leaning forward?
I lean forward too.
I reach out my hand, letting it hover over her hair for just a second. I slowly run my fingers through her long strands of silk. She likes this, it makes her calm. Secretly, or not so secretly, I like it too. It makes me calm.
Dinah giggles at me. I can’t help noticing the tiny amount of space between our lips.
“You aren’t so bad Hel. Maybe a tad impulsive but you have the strength, stamina and flexibility to keep yourself from physical harm,” Dinah points out as she reaches up and grasps my hand. When she’s nice, she’s very nice.
I smile at my patient, watch the rise and fall of her chest. I can’t help myself, my eyes are drawn to her slightly dry lips and the way she slips her tongue out to wet them.
My breath catches and Dinah turns her head towards me very slowly, leaning forward to bring us inches apart.
Remember that poor impulse control?
I surge forward colliding her lips with mine. She gasps into my mouth as if she is actually surprised.
Her hand grasps the back of my head firmly telling me she really was expecting this or really wanted to kiss me. She links her fingers into my hair, pushing my head forward and our lips together more firmly.
I groan loudly and gently push her hands away from their locked position behind my head. She insistently tries to keep hold and keep out mouths - and tongues - together. I don’t know why I’m even bothering to stop her but a small part of my brain is telling me to go slowly. Dumb brain.
“I should …” I mumble as I gently manage to disengage her death grip and lower her to the hospital grade bed beneath her. I uncomfortably shift from foot to foot, not really sure where I should be looking. I feel like a teenager again.
“You’ll be ok for a while … I should … are you hungry? I can …um -”
Dinah raises her eyebrows, I notice the tiniest of cocky smiles grace her lips as the always stunning, always wise crackling Huntress continues to stammer for words. Helena Kyle just happens to be a bit of a bumble under the leather. No big deal. I’m not exactly perfect.
“What I would really like Hel … is for you to sit back down,” Dinah says softly. She reaches one soft hand out lacing her fingers with my less than soft hands. What? The life of a crime fighter doesn’t leave much time for moisturizing.
She grabs my leather jacket and pulls me forward.
I huff, but sit back in the chair at her knees and lean forward.
“You don’t think this is a little weird?” I ask as she stares at our hands, linked and lying on the bed beside her hip.
“We practically bite each others heads off 90% of the time then there are … well … times like this … or close to this - maybe not exactly like this because I certainly don’t remember there being any times like this before now. Um … unless this is a once off thing, which I’d completely understand because obviously you’re a bit – stressed out with all the heart racing action and every-”
Dinah quickly swoops forward attaching her lips firmly to my mouth … apparently stuttering to explain actions that neither of us has any idea about is a turn on.
She grabs at my head plundering every inch of my mouth. Her groans are lost somewhere inside me as my ears shut down and all I can do is feel her softness and raw passion. She tries to sit up to bring our bodies into closer contact. Feels great.
It’s my turn to moan as we break apart, each gasping for breath.
Dinah grins at me, rapaciously, “Well … you can look at it this way Hel. If we’re arguing 90% of the time then the other 10% will probably be mind blowing make up sex. There’s something to look forward to.”
I can picture that so damn clearly. She’s trying to kill me, this is the plot. This whole situation is a dream and she’s trying to kill me. A multitude of sweaty writhing bodies firmly plants into my brain. I splutter, groan and throw out a few nonsense words that are nothing more than pathetic mewling sounds.
As I regain just a few of my senses I see her smiling at me. I bet she looks hot in that smile and nothing else with her hair spread across the sheets of my bed.
“I thought you were a virgin - what do you know about make up sex?” I manage to say at least this. Might as well tease her to try and make up for the fact that I’m seriously close to orgasm.
Dinah waggles her finger, “actually Helena. You’re the one who assumed I was a virgin. I seem to remember refuting that claim.”
Who knew spontaneous orgasm wasn’t just a myth … how about that.
Rain pours silently from the heavens as childish laughter echoes around the tall cement buildings of Gotham. One dark haired woman runs ahead of me, cat calling and laughing happily.
I dance just out of reach as the blonde tries to grab hold of my waist, darting down an alley and sending waves of water into the air from under her boots.
"Come on, catch me!" she yells as she runs to the opening of the alleyway.
Spinning in a tight circle I look the way she has just been in time to witness the bright glint of light reflecting from a sharp surface and to hear the dull thud and splash of a lifeless body hitting the water logged pavement.
"Mom!" I whisper as a masked figure turns to look at me before running from my mother's side, making his getaway from the scene of the crime.
"God, Mom, No!"
I run, faster than I thought was humanly possible - if only I could reach her, save her, help her, stop the bleeding just until the ambulance comes. I can save her if I just run a little faster.
I skid on my knees coming to rest just beside the still body on the ground. I reach out, tugging my mother’s head around softly just to make sure her beautiful eyes still shine with the near innocent and childish laughter that I’ve come to rely on so much.
Dinah's lifeless blue eyes stare back at me, a trickle of blood slowly falling from the side of her perfect strawberry coloured lips.
"Dinah," I moan, even to my own ears my voice is harsh with dread and pain.
"Not Dinah," I whisper as I throw my head back and scream to release the pain that grabs onto my heart and squeezes.
I open my mouth to howl - and sit straight up in bed. My heart is hammering unnaturally in my chest, my breath coming in uneven gasps making it hard for me to slow the wild pounding in my head.
I gurgle helplessly and let the darkness take me.
“Wa … come on now … sunnn …. Heeeleeenna.”
I slap at the tickle over my eye managing in my near sleep induced haze to smack myself squarely in the middle of my own head. I groan, rubbing the smacking hand over the slapped area.
Very slowly I start to open my left eye - quickly slamming it shut again as the light from the open curtains steams right into my face.
“Curtains,” I grumble past my parched throat.
The piercing light disappears from the outside of my eyelids. I try to push one eye lid open just a tiny bit to see the pretty face in front of me. This time I manage just far enough to see the worried face in front of me, staring down at me … she’s cute when she’s worried.
I groan. Talking causes head aches. Talking causes landslides inside my brain.
“Barbara’s figured it out Hel, wake up. She has the antidote.”
I suspiciously watch her hand reach out, she traces the worry marks between my eyes - I didn’t realize I was that tense. I lick my lips and open my other eye.
“Wakey, wakey,” Dinah sings as she lets her tracing finger slide down my face and tuck securely under my chin.
She comes closer to me having to lean over even more - so far that I’m sure I can feel her breasts pressing against my arm. She stares at me as she leans closer as if I’m the most satisfying thing she’s seen all day. I can be very satisfying.
With a mischievous grin she bites my chin. I growl softly and snap my teeth at her as she retreats to the relative safety of her chair.
“I’m awake now,” I grumble as I try to arrange myself more comfortably on the bed. Every muscle in my arms, stomach and torso completely refuse to move. Searing pain links from my head to my stomach right down to the tips of my toes. Ouch doesn’t even begin to describe what I’m feeling.
“Let me get Barbara, she’s figured this whole thing out. I was worried about you and I wasn’t really listening,” Dinah admits shyly as she stretches her arms, pushing her tired body forward to stand and find the ‘smart one’.
“Wait a minute,” I whisper softly. I stretch out one aching arm, ignoring all the sharp pains that lace through my fingers. I grab her wrist tightly and pull gently.
“You don’t expect me to get you into my bed - finally - and then let you go so fast?”
“I’ve been here all night,” Dinah teases as she slowly drops onto the bed and snuggles up to my side.
I do what any sane, sexually frustrated woman in my situation would do. I pout.
“It doesn’t count if I’m not awake to enjoy it.”
“Rules. Where did all these rules come from? And who’s to say that it doesn’t count … technically we just slept together,” she points out and snuffles her nose into my neck. I tangle our legs together to stop her from going anywhere. Can’t be too careful.
I scrunch my nose up and shake my head, pursing my lips together tightly. My sore arm wraps around her shoulder and I pull her closer. Much closer and we’ll be in the same skin. There’s an interesting option.
I close my eyes tightly and lean forward, hoping she’ll get the idea and not leave me hanging … her lips slip over mine instantly, her tongue eager and ready.
Her kisses are soft and innocent but very effective in helping to build a little fire in my belly. She tastes like tea and cream, not one of my favourite combinations but who could complain with such a beautiful woman willing to lavish this attention on me.
“Promise me something?” Dinah whispers as she breaks away from me her lips settling next to my chin, her hands softly stroking the hair at the base of my neck.
I purr lazily in response. She does have beautifully soft hands.
“Promise me you won’t regret this once we’re back in the real world. Promise me this isn’t just a reaction to being cooped up for so long.”
I take a deep breath; I think it sounds slightly suspicious. Can I really promise her that? Say something and mean it and not be able to take it back or excuse my behaviour?
Damn right I can.
“I promise. I promise D.”
“So let me just get this straight,” I say tiredly as I scrub my hand across my tired eyes.
“This whole thing … this quarantine, the smoke bomb thingy was all because of Quinn?”
I pause for dramatic effect.
“Well no,” Barbara says gently as she continues to type - her fingers blur slightly in front of me as she brings up screen after screen of information that I have no intention of ever reading.
“I suspect that Quinn was the main reason, the main cause. I believe that Doctor Crane was just looking for someone to take revenge on. Its no big secret that Oracle, or Huntress for that matter, are bi-products of the Bat.”
Dinah rolls her eyes at Barbara.
“According to his file at Bellevue he received counselling through an outside contract -”
“Quinn,” I immediately pipe up, it’s nice to be a part of the ’brain’ instead of the ’brawn’ for a change.
“Yes,” Barbara confirms.
“So Quinn probably set some ideas in his head … this … crap he created, what is it exactly?” I ask as I secretly sneak my thumb across Dinah’s lower back, tickling her and making her squirm. I can do ‘brain’ but I get bored really quickly.
“The part chemical that I was missing was a low dosage of slow acting snake venom, give me a few more days and I can tell you from exactly which snake and possibly from where it came from. Also a high dosage of ammonia and one hallucinogen that I have been unable to confirm so far but it’s probably something of Crane’s own creation.”
Barbara stopped typing and turned to us.
“God!” she suddenly yelled out. “I can’t believe I didn’t check the Bat-Cave computers earlier. All of this Bruce had on file. If I’d checked it would have come up in a simple search.”
“Hey, don’t stress yourself Barb,” I smile lazily as I feel Dinah shiver against me, “good things come to those who wait."
Barbara’s eyes just about roll out the back of her head.
“For the record … just because you’re sleeping with Dinah doesn’t mean I expect to have to check every room before I come into it. No sex in the public areas. Understand?”
I jump from my seat - guiltily keeping my hands to myself now. I’m no slouch when it comes to flirting with Barbara, or Alfred or really any object that happens to stand still long enough for me to get at it. This is just too weird.
I try to cover my … would you believe … embarrassment by putting my hands on my hips and looking evil and slightly affronted.
“We have NOT slept together!”
“Sure, sure,” Barbara says as she turns back to her computer, “just don’t forget who tends to your medical ails … I do have eyes, Helena.”
“Ugh. Ok. We slept together … as in sleeping, all we did was sleep. ‘Sleeping together’ in the biblical, consummation sense involves the exchange of bodily fluids.”
“But we did that too,” Dinah pipes up from behind me obviously she needs some lessons in proper bed etiquette … or a gag.
“Too much information,” Barbara groans as she puts her hands over her ears and starts to talk loudly about T3 lines.
The poor thing.
“Those dreams were pretty realistic Barbara.”
You don’t care what she dreamed about. You don’t care what she dreamed about.
“I swore I was back in that alley again. Except this time Dinah was lying on the floor instead of my Mother. I honestly don’t know what I would do without her. She’s pretty cool once you look past the annoying parts.”
Stop changing the subject! Stop changing the subject!
Barbara silently spoons her cereal as she let one of her eyebrows answer for her.
“And Dinah says that her dream about drowning was pretty damn scary … you got the worst face of dust than us though …”
You just can’t do subtle, can you?
“So I bet your dreams were pretty damn bad, huh? We’re sorry we didn’t come and help you … or something …”
Barbara smiles sadly at me, “My worst nightmare has already come true Helena.”
I stop mid chew. That sounds heavy.
She doesn’t look as though she’s terribly weighed down by her dreams.
“I’m sorry Barbara.”
She smiles cheekily, “nothing to worry about now Hel. With friends like you and Dinah even the bad stuff turns out to be great.”
“Barf, Red,” I grin at her and reach over to gently squeeze her hand.
Barbara smiles very softly at me, her green eyes twinkling just a little bit in the early morning sun streaming through the kitchen window. It’d be a perfect Mother/Daughter moment if I didn’t notice how great her butt looked every time she did a pull up while we’re training.
“Don’t let Dinah be late. If you’re keeping her up all night then you can wake her up and get her to school on time.”
She’s rolling towards the elevator before I can even think of a reasonably suitable come back to shut her up.
“We were TALKING!”
“Why, hello there Ms Kyle.”
This guy is creepy. Beyond anything Quinn could ever be. Quinn was at least crazy, crazy I totally get. But this guy … he seems calculated, well put together, not as though he would jump from his seat at any second and try to choke me.
He’s perfectly calm, his perfect manners even have him standing before I sit, and sitting after I’m comfortable. I’m sure given the chance he would kiss my hand and hold my chair for me. No thanks.
He laughs, even his laughter is carefully controlled and even. No where near evil cackling or psychotic hysteria.
“I spent several years at medical school Ms Kyle if you wouldn’t mind, please call me Doctor Crane,” he folds his hands in his lap and gives me a very stiff but almost sweet smile. He actually looks brainy … this guy and Barbara would make very pretty, very brainy babies.
Pity he’s a criminal.
“I’m here to ask you some questions,” I tell him needlessly, no doubt someone has already told him why I’m here. He doesn’t seem like one for pretence.
“I am aware,” he says quietly, if he talked to me as a psychiatrist I would have no problem with telling him all my deep dark secrets.
“Why did you try to poison us?” I ask him straight, trying to bore my eyes into his. I guess, trying to intimidate him with my presence.
“Try? I believe in giving credit where credit is due, there was no trying Ms Kyle. I succeeded, rather effectively I believe,” he smiles that self confident but elegant smile again.
I choose to ignore him.
“What did you have to gain by poisoning us, Doctor Crane,” I ask sternly.
Barbara is in my ear, Dinah is as well - except she’s in the car outside waiting to be the driver aspect of a swift getaway.
“I have a rather active imagination Ms Kyle. I find it very difficult to keep myself entertained in this … this … rat box. They won’t allow me my books, they won’t allow me to paint or have my experiments and they very rarely even allow me paper. I must rely on my family and friends to supply me with my entertainment … and I have many friends.”
I’m going to slap that smile off his face in a second.
“So you did this for friends? For Harley Quinn? That’s strange - I’d heard that you were better than a mere lackey,” I say calmly, trying to ruffle his feathers or get him angry enough to just spill his evil plan. They always do that when they’re ruffled.
He crosses his legs and a tiny frown flies across his face for less than a second.
“I owed the good Doctor a favour or two,” he chuckles softly, “although I must admit - after the things she shared with me about you and the young blonde woman, I was rather intrigued to see if I could … insert an outside influence to tip your relationship, one way or the other.”
I curse myself inside my own head. Thankfully Barbara can’t hear in there she might learn a few new words.
“I understand where you are coming from Ms Kyle. When I was 16 I was quite taken by my English teacher’s daughter she was a fair few years younger than I. Of course I never expressed a wish to share my body with her sexually; you’re quite interesting that way.”
Ok, so maybe I’ll slap the smile off his face and then rip his legs off... Those grow back, right?
“Do you think that your need for - shall we call it - younger female company arrives from the way your father abandoned you so early in your life?”
He crosses his legs again as I sit stiffly in my chair. I don’t want to breathe; I don’t want to move because when I do I’m going to snap something - most likely one or all of his bones.
I grind my teeth together and momentarily close my eyes.
“It’s a pity you’re just a lackey Doctor Crane. I’m sure you could have made a reasonably decent villain in some comic book … not terribly memorable though. I know that as soon as I leave this room I’m going to forget you ever existed. Just like Quinn will now that you’ve failed her.”
I stand just as his calm exterior fades. I suppose everyone has their on button.
He throws himself at the glass between us, smashing his cheek and snarling at me.
“I got you Helena, I got you. I hurt you didn’t I Helena?” he spat at the glass, throwing his body at it once more before the back doors open and two men in white coats carrying large syringes enter.
I watch as they inject him and he falls back into their arms laughing in a soft calm way once again.
As soon as I’m sure they have him in his straps where he can’t hurt me or anyone else around me I turn and walk out of the door, completely set on keeping my promise and forgetting he ever existed.
“Are you alright?” Dinah asks softly as I get back into the car with her.
I don’t really want to talk to her. Even thought the crazies are obviously crazy they still hold valuable points. Or at least hold points that I’m not entirely certain of myself.
“Fine,” I mumble towards her when she continues to stare at me expectantly. “Let’s just go home, ok?”
She turns to the front and starts the car without another word.
It is but I’d rather be sitting on top of the Clocktower freezing to death from the cool air than inside the Clocktower freezing to death by way of my cold heart while I break Dinah’s beautiful warm one.
I knew it would only be a matter of time before Barbara found me. She always has known when I needed my space and when I needed to be hounded into the ground until I relented. I have to admit that she has helped me to make some of the biggest and best decisions of my life - just like a parental figure should.
“What are you going to do?” she asks softly as she settles down, pulling her own jacket around her more tightly and throwing the fluffy blanket from her legs at my head.
“Don’t really know. Sit out here all night. At least that way I don’t have to face her but she can’t say I ran away.” Warped logic - I know.
“How about you try talking to her about how you feel? What your problems are?”
I huff out a breath into the cold air, looks like I’ve been smoking. I didn’t realize it was that cold.
“Can I run something past you first?”
Barbara shrugs and smiles at me. It’s her safe, friendly, caring smile that almost makes me smile, “Sure.”
I take a deep breath and let it out slowly.
“If Dinah loves me like she says she does, if she truly cares about us and about what is best for us … do you think she’d let me go? Do you think if I told her that I couldn’t take the … the … stress, the allegations, the strange looks we’d get, do you think she’d - I dunno - go out with that curly haired girl who’s always hanging out around the Hummer after school? Forget me and just move on to someone younger,” I ask weakly.
I look out over our city and sigh to myself. I was expecting that answer. I know I’m being a bit of a coward. I’ve never dated anyone younger than myself before, generally anything that I done with any person wouldn’t so much be called ‘dating’ as ‘having sex with a hot stranger before forgetting their name and sneaking out of their apartment at 3am’.
Even the thought of taking the time and trouble to build a relationship seems daunting.
“I don’t know if I can do it, Barbara. I don’t know if I can stop thinking of her as a child and love her as a woman.”
My friend sighs at me as if she is disappointed by my answer.
Dunno what makes her such a damn expert.
“Helena. You’re not sixteen anymore, you can’t run around sleeping with whomever happens to catch your fancy for the rest of your life. And I truly believe that you have very deep feelings for Dinah … ask yourself Helena. What do you see when you look at her?”
I shrug but I’m pretty sure she can’t see me through the dark.
“I see …” I purse my lips and consider my answer, “I see a girl who grew a pair suddenly and followed me home one night. I see a constant annoyance to my wardrobe and someone who will always defy me no matter what I tell them to do - and I see someone who has my back in a bad situation, a strong woman who won’t take no shit from anyone.”
I catch Barbara’s eye roll in my peripheral vision. She’s doing that a lot lately. It can’t be good for her eye balls.
“You said woman, not Kid.”
“What?” I hastily ask. I already realize what she’s saying.
“You said strong woman. Not strong kid. You said woman. You think of her as a mature adult who can make her own decisions, who won’t follow you around like a puppy because she’s smitten with you.”
She turns to me and smiles cockily.
“You answered your own question,” she sings loudly.
I scowl, “so what?”
“Is this the talk?”
The lonely, sad voice startles me just a tiny bit as I walk through the Clocktower towards Dinah’s room. I scan the general area but I can’t spy her anywhere, some Superhero I turned out to be.
I look up. She has made herself a nest next to the giant clock at least ten feet off the main Clocktower floor. She’s a bundle of flesh, legs and arms up behind two large support posts. It’s kind of weird that she’s up there and I’m down here.
“Talk?” I ask softly, flexing my legs and landing solidly on the beam she’s resting on. I crouch down next to her and pick at peeling paint.
“Don’t know what you’re talking about D,” I smile softly. I know my eyes are twinkling. I know I look happy, damn it I sure feel happy.
I wrap my arm around her shoulder to bring her closer to me and settle ourselves in an almost uncomfortable position that is extremely comfortable. She leans against my chest and I lean against the outside rim of the Clock.
“You’re a grown up now D. You get to make your own decisions. You were right and I was wrong to think that I knew what was best for you, what you wanted. I’m not going to take any of your decisions away from you … so … if you want to –”
I take a deep breath.
“To date me, then I want to date you.” Ok, that sounded lame even to my own ears.
Dinah stays perfectly still in my arms for just a second before her whole body starts to shake, for a millisecond I think she is crying.
Great barks of laughter finally make it to my ears.
Yeah, that’s what I need - pour my heart out and she laughs at me.
I scowl and start to push her away.
“I’m sorry,” she huffs around her laughter, “I’m so sorry; I thought you were going to tell me to get lost!”
I scowl some more but pull her back into my arms anyway. “I can’t believe you didn’t have faith in me.”
I pout despite the fact that not ten minutes ago I was ready to up and run.
“Its not that Helena,” she says softly, “I just thought it could get too difficult for you. I wouldn’t have hated you if you couldn’t handle this.”
“But I promised,” I remind her, though once again my brain reminds me that not ten minutes ago I was sitting on the roof contemplating the best way to run without running.
“For God’s sake,” she yells finally, grabbing onto my legs and squeezing hard to get my attention.
“I was giving you an out. I was being mature about this, its not like I ran away or anything like that!” she squeaks indignantly.
I laugh harshly, it’s a low blow. She probably knows to – touch telepath and all. But that was ten whole minutes ago and its not like I’m running now.
“Fine,” I grumble.
We both lapse into silence. I don’t want to anger her anymore than she already is.
Dinah sighs in my arms.
“Was that our first fight?”
I shrug, smile and leer just a tiny bit.
“I guess so. You know what happens now, right?”
“Hi Hot Stuff,” a chipper voice floats to me through the midday din of the bar.
I throw my glass towel down and spin around the throw a beaming smile at the tall blonde leaning over the bar towards me, lips puckered and waiting. Her cute little nose is scrunching up adorably, her eyebrow lifts as I obviously keep her waiting too long.
I lean over and give her lips a few quick pecks. Someone wolf whistles from the back of the room. I need to start hanging in classier joints.
She tilts her head and watches me silently for a few seconds. I might look a tad messy because I was late this morning I was given clean up duty in the storage room - 10 year old hotdog buns and two bottles of broken tequila will turn any head. Not in a good way.
Her pretty blue eyes are slightly hidden by her lust filled gaze, she’s thinking what I’m thinking - but we should really be having a talk. That’s what people do in relationships. They talk a lot, make sweet eyes at each other and have sex in beds instead of in the middle of a dance floor or a park bench. I won’t complain about the last part – those gaps between the benches really scratch.
We are supposed to go out to dinner with Barbara tonight to celebrate a job well done and I guess our relationship … but if I don’t stop thinking all the things that I’m thinking we aren’t going to make it out of the bedroom.
I shouldn’t be thinking about last night.
Shouldn’t be thinking about the way her skin felt like silk under my hands or how her body arched into my touch. Or how she tentatively danced her finger along me or used her super freaky powers to know just where I wanted to be stroked. It’s amazing what a touch telepath can pick up during love making. Very handy.
I really, really shouldn’t think about the way she gasped when I entered her. After all the cocky ‘make up sex’ talk. That just seemed to drive my hunger. I knew that no one had ever touched her so deep inside sent my arousal through the roof. I’m surprised that I woke up with the top of my head still attached.
I gag on my own saliva, I think I might have been drooling just a tiny bit.
Dinah tries unsuccessfully to hide the strange look she is giving me.
“Barbara wanted us for sweeps tonight but I convinced her to let us have the night off. I’m getting pretty good at this bargaining thing,” she looks proud of herself.
She sure should be.
“Still a bit sore,” I ask innocently.
The adorable blush is enough to make the teasing worth while. Her eyes almost go red, that can’t be healthy.
“Something like that,” she mumbles and shuffles her feet.
I vault over the bar, much to the Boss’ disgust, and envelop Dinah in a tight hug. She snuggles into my chest, hides her face in my shoulder. I should know better … that blush is just too damn cute.
“Come on, lets go take a nap and then I’ll show you a sure fire cure to what ails ya’,” I wink and kiss her cheek.
As we walk up to my apartment I have to admit to myself - I never expected this. To fall in love with someone I saw as such a nuisance, someone who drove me mad at every chance she got.
Of course, just lately I don’t mind sharing my shoes, my clothes, anything and she has no problem with me hopping into her shower to use her body lotion …
Just as long as she gets to wash my back.