Shadows Of A Past Life
FANDOM: Birds of Prey TV
PAIRINGS: D/H B/H
DISCLAIMER: Not mine.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I hate to be annoying but I'm reposting because I thought up a Barbara and a Helena part for the end of this. Plus I wanted to fix all the tense stuff. It was pretty bad.
Thanks to very valid comments. I think I've done better this time. Or at least I hope I've done better. I still haven't got around to actually finding a beta yet. So it's still all my fault.
The sun sinks slowly over New Gotham. Brilliant yellows, oranges and red sprayed out across a cloudless sky. The sounds of the city slowly winding down and the Darkness coming out to play wraps itself around my head. It's quiet.
Another person to rescue and I'm not even on the clock. Then again, I'm never on the clock and I always am.
I don't have to do this, I could walk the other way and I could pretend not to hear what I hear. I could ignore the screaming and the torment that rings in my ears.
I never do.
I'll always follow the ear-splitting torture that is the people who live in New Gotham.
I'll always hear the screaming and I'll always take the leap of faith over the edge to go and help someone I don't know, I don't care about. A person who will never know my name, my face and they'll never thank me.
Just like she did.
My hero, my protector. Even now, she protects me from above. She's there waiting for me, and watching me, smiling down, my guardian angel.
"Rough night?" she asks from behind me just like every other night.
I turn around and grin. She's gracefully sprawled out on the same statue she's been possessing during all my delusions over the last four months.
"Same old," I mutter, staring at her. Just so I know that I *can* remember every line and curve of her body.
"You feelin' alright?"
I sigh, grinning at her one more time before wrenching my eyes back to the dark city in front of me and dropping down to kneel on damp grass.
"I dunno, Hel, maybe I just need to give it up." I steal another quick glace to see her inertly staring at my back. "I chose this life because it's what I do. I live this life because I can't do anything else," I say softly.
I can feel her start to disagree, her body language tightening up and her mouth slightly open.
"No, Helena, listen." I say quickly.
She laughs at me, the throaty, deep laugh that could possibly have been a friendly growl.
"Hey," she says as she holds up her hands, surrendering. "I definitely don't believe that D."
"Of course you don't. You think I'm wonderful because you're a figment of my imagination, and I want you to think I'm wonderful," I spurt out quickly.
She laughs again, "Can't beat that logic. But seriously, Dinah," I feel her standing right behind me. "I believe that you're a beautiful, charismatic, smart human being who just happens to kick ass along with the best of them."
I spin around quickly and narrow my eyes at her, "hang on just a second. Is this me trying to think how you would think, me thinking what I'm thinking or me just hoping that I think I know what you think."
Helena stares at me before shaking her head, "D, I'm in your mind and I didn't even understand that."
I turn away from her again, hoping that she finally goes away. But I don't want her to go away. I want her to stay forever.
I grin to myself, not even bothering to sort out that flawed logic; instead I curl up into a tighter ball.
"I complain about it so much, but I don't really mean it. You know?"
She doesn't answer me.
I spin around, almost panicking, hoping I would still see her, sprawled out on the statue. She smiles at me. Yep, still there.
"I know," Helena agrees her voice low and dangerous, "you get off on it."
I laugh at her, "Exactly."
"Gerdy not keeping you happy, D? Cos I could beat her up if you want?"
"Gabby's..." I looked at her, "she's great Hel and she really helps me."
"You know I'm jealous right?"
"Of course you are Hel, you aren't real and I want you to be jealous, so you are."
We sit in silence, listening for the next scream when I'd have to sign back on and leave her alone again, squirrel her away in the back of my head and hope like hell that the next night she'd be back again, all sexy and exotic, hanging off her statue.
>>Canary, this is Oracle, do you copy?<<
"Guess that's it then Big D," she says as she jumps up from her position and steps toward me.
"Same time tomorrow?" I ask.
She looks at me and I know what's coming.
"I'm sorry D, but I gotta go. There's so much to do and so little time."
A flash of blood fills my eyes.
"Do you have to Hel? Can't we just have this?"
"... Manifestation of stress," I hear an unfamiliar voice saying softly into my ear.
"What is that?" I ask as I look towards Helena. She's smiling but what I see makes my blood run cold.
The red spot on her beautiful white t-shirt grows bigger and bigger.
I rush forwards and grab her shoulders; she's solid and real under my hands.
"... HOLD HER DOWN!" someone else screams at me.
There's beeping, and screaming and it takes me a full fifteen seconds to realise that Helena's gone, the cemetery's gone, the plain marble headstone with 'HELENA KYLE'... it's all gone.
And Barbara's by my side, she's crying and I want to comfort her but I can't get my wrists off the soft bed underneath me.
"Dinah!" the mystery voice from before says softly, "You need to calm down... I'm going to give you something to calm down."
I feel a thick, sharp pain at the crook of my left arm and I gasp.
As my eyes start to close I look over to my right. She's there.
Beautiful blue eyes staring at me with such sadness, worry and guilt.
Just before I feel the warmth of sleep start to seep up to my head I smile at her and whisper, "my angel."
God, the screaming, she never stops screaming. It's so high pitched and unnatural. I don't know how Helena can stand to be sitting beside the young girl, holding her hand.
I can't help it. I have to leave the room, watching her tiny little body thrusting against off-white sheets with such powerful convulsions... it's just too much.
She's hardly blonde anymore her hair is almost an unnatural shade of grey and her face... so white.
I can't help myself I have to look. Helena's still in there. I watch her through the glass -- she's so strong -- holding down Dinah's arms and not crying, hardly even blinking. She's watching them as they pump our little superhero full of drugs and tie her down to that little bed that wouldn't have been big enough if it weren't for the fact that she had lost so much weight.
They told us she wasn't eating when she was acting rationally. When she knew what her name is and even laughed at the doctor when he asked who the president was. That happened twice last week and we missed both times.
Instead, when we visited, we watched through the glass window as she talked to her mother in the corner. Having conversations about living with the Redmonds' and all times she went down the creek and caught tadpoles. She seems to talk a lot about tadpoles.
Of course her mother isn't there, Carolyn is dead, but Dinah doesn't know that. Dinah sees her mother and we watch as she talks to herself.
Helena only goes home when I tell her to -- or beg her too. She's going to stop listening to me soon and I'll lose both of them. I've already failed Dinah. I won't let myself fail Helena as well.
I spin around, my hands hurt from the chair they provided me with on the way in. The wheels are to rough.
I try and smile up at the dark haired doctor looking down at me, but it accidentally comes out as more of a grimace. Well, it's not like he's ever smiled at me. I guess spending time in places like these would take away all the reasons to smile.
"I'd like to talk to you about Dinah's condition," he says, his voice dull and completely lacking emotion.
"We've been giving her extra sedatives but it doesn't seem to be working as well as we would have hoped, with you permission I'd like to start shock..."
I won't allow it. I won't let Dinah be electrocuted by a mad man.
"Ms. Gordon, you must understand that Dinah has schizophrenia and she isn't responding to any of the treatments we've tried. If we don't do something she could be like this for a very long time, possibly forever. She'd need constant sedation and care," he continues, and I notice just the slightest bit of defensiveness creeping into his tone. Good, he does have emotions.
"Dinah doesn't have schizophrenia," I insist.
The doctor sighs and takes Dinah's chart from the door of her room, "Ms. Gordon, I don't know how many times I have to tell you this. You declining Dinah's treatment isn't going to help her."
"Dinah isn't mentally ill," I insist again, gritting my teeth as I watch Helena brush a stray hair from Dinah's face.
"I'm sorry Ms. Gordon, I understand you're upset but I really must get on with my rounds. Please, think about what I've said."
Then he left, leaving me in the bare hallway to stare in at my two protégés.
I sigh, this is all my fault.
If only I had... .If only I had... what? If only I had turned away a helpless homeless little girl with dreams to be a superhero? If only I had never become Batgirl, met Selena Kyle, fell head over heels in... something... with her daughter... if only, if only, if only.
I sigh again at least she's stopped screaming.
A sudden flurry of movement inside Dinah's room makes me stop and look harder. Helena's smiling at me through the glass. She shouldn't be able to see me, it's a one way mirror, but then again Helena has always been special.
I rush towards the heavy door of Dinah's room, shoving it open and wheel myself inside. "Is she awake?" I ask excitedly.
"NO! Don't kill the tadpoles, I'll take them back," she screams at me again. Her eyes are wide and frightened. She can't see me. Who ever she thinks is yelling at her, it isn't me.
"Dinah! Calm down! I won't take the tadpoles anywhere. I won't let anyone hurt the tadpoles, ok?" I whisper softly, grabbing her arms as an orderly injects her again with more sedatives. I don't know if it's the sedative or my words but suddenly Dinah's calming down again, smiling softly and nuzzling her head into the mattress behind her head.
It will last no more than ten seconds -- I know it.
I turn my eyes towards Barbara and share just a tiny little smile with her, she needs it more than I do. Then, sure enough, barely ten seconds later Dinah starts screaming.
"I'm sorry," Barbara mumbles at me before she's wheeling towards the door quickly with her chin buried in her chest.
"Dinah, please, stop," I moan as she tries to claw at my hands. She hasn't had a manicure in a long time and her nails are sharp, digging into my skin, leaving long red marks.
"Let go of me! Let go of me you bitch," she screams, her nails are digging in even harder.
I pull my hands away and step backwards. Instantly her screams turn to whimpers and tears fall from her closed eyes.
Letting out a long breath I exhaustedly drop into the metal chair at the side of her bed. I want to move it closer but the chairs bolted to the floor. I hate this place.
I turn my head just to make sure that Barbara is still in the hallway and hasn't given up and gone home without me. She's there talking to Dr. I'm-so-happy. Oh great, another 'YAY-electro-shock- treatment' speech. She'll tell him to get lost, I can feel it. Seconds later the great Doc walks away grumpily, yep I knew it. Go Barbara, it's ya birthday.
A soft whimper draws my attention back to the girl laying on the bed in front of me. She's whimpering in pain and smiling at the same time. Her eyes are open -- she has such beautiful eyes -- and she's staring at the ceiling.
"Dinah, honey," I say softly into her ear, "it's me, Helena, can you hear me."
"Angel," she mutters stupidly, her eyes glazing over slightly.
"Dinah, listen it's Helena, tell me you can hear me Big D?"
"Helena?" she asks, shaking her blonde head slightly, "you're in my head. Are we in my head?"
"No D, we're in New Gotham, in the real world, not your head," I said softly and I can't help the giant smile that's spreading across my face. She understands me.
"She's just outside," I say quickly and turn my back to glare through the glass, hoping Barbara gets the idea.
Seconds later the door slams open against the white washed wall and Barbara wheels through, "is she awake?"
"Barbara?" Dinah mutters.
"Hey sweetheart, I'm right here," Barbara says so softly and with so much love in her voice that I almost started to cry. I remember that voice, months after my mother died that voice was in my ear telling me everything would be alright.
"I don't understand," Dinah whispered, "Helena. You're dead? Am I dead? Is Barbara dead? I don't want to be dead Hel and I don't want you to be dead either? Oh no, is Alfred dead?"
I see the panic filling her big blue eyes. I run my hands over her face to try and calm her down. "It's ok D, Alfred's English, he'll never die."
Suddenly Dinah smiles brightly, "yeah! Have you see the Queen of England lately? She's hardly even started to get wrinkles." Her eyes glazed again and she seems to be thinking, finally she whispers softly, "The tadpoles do that you know, the make everyone live."
I risk a quick glance at Barbara, who stares straight down at her hands, nope not going to get any help there. "Dinah, sweetie," I say softly, taking her hand in mine, "think about it for a second. How could tadpoles help someone live?"
"Well gee Helena, I don't know," she snaps angrily, ripping my hand from hers.
I stare at her possibly in shock maybe just a little bit surprised but I'm not sure why. During her rants over the last four months I've seen her swear, scream, yell, spit, bite and vomit a hundred times. By now none of this should surprise me -- but sadly -- it still does.
"Barbara, you cut your hair," a soft angelic voice says from inside the young blonde, who just seconds ago was ready to take my head off. Barbara's head snaps up quickly and she grimaces, was that supposed to be a smile?
"Just a trim," my friend says with another one of those grimace/smiles.
Dinah smiles happily and reaches out to run her fingers through the dark fiery locks but stops when Barbara flinches. The hand returns to the top of her stomach and twitches a few times. "Did I hit you?" she asks.
Barbara grimaces again and I can't help but mirror the look on her face. "Of course not Dinah," Barbara assures the young girl.
"Just before... why were you trying to hold my... where am I? Why am I here?"
"Dinah," I say softly as the young girl suddenly becomes aware of her surroundings. The giant white walls, barred windows, giant viewing widows, the monitors hooked up to her heart, breathing, pulse. The crisp white sheets underneath her, the fact that there was no natural light anywhere in the room. I could almost see it through her eyes and I saw how utterly terrifying it really was.
She tries to sit up but I won't let her. I grab her shoulders forcing her back onto the bed a little more roughly than I really meant to. "Please, Dinah listen."
She stares up at me and her eyes brim with tears, "you're hurting me."
"I'm sorry Dinah but you have to stay on the bed or they're going to inject you with something else or put the straps on and I don't think you want that right now, so just stay still ok?" I say softly, resting my cheek on her shoulder.
"Ok, Helena I won't be bad," she whimpers softly and immediately I let go of her.
"You aren't bad, ok? You're just not well at the moment but you'll get better, I promise."
Dinah smiles again, that's two giant happy smiles from Dinah in the space of twenty minutes. Plus she's been coherent, this must mean something. She has to be getting better there can't be a worse.
"Look, Helena," Dinah says pointedly gripping my clammy hand, "I know you and my mother didn't really get along last time but I think that now, under the circumstances, you could at least say hello. She's been standing in that corner all morning waiting to see you!"
I look up to where Dinah's pointing and smiling, then she looks at me expectantly, "Well?"
"I'm sorry Dinah, I... I don't see her."
Suddenly she's grumpy again, shaking her head restlessly and frowning. "Really Helena! I know you're supposed to be all bad ass chick and all that but couldn't you just at least be nice to my mother! For me?"
"What?..." spurts from Dinah's plump red lips before I can defend myself, "oh, what? Mom I can't hear you, you'll have to come closer... OH! Of course, why didn't I think of that!"
Dinah turns from her imaginary mother in the corner to me and smiles again, "she wants to know, and I do to, what happened to Harley Quinn?"
"Bet you didn't expect to see me here."
My eyes split open terribly slowly. I feel sluggish and soft, they must have drugged me again. Barbara said she would take care of that. Bastards. How could they just ignore what she says?
I'm here voluntarily and I wasn't acting out. They shouldn't be able to do this.
"At least I told you that you are here voluntarily... I may have just got sick of you and decided to check you in myself."
She's never been in my room before.
"You wouldn't do that," I stutter through dry lips and a swollen, dry mouth. "You wouldn't do that."
"I dunno, *Big D*." Oh great, now she's mocking me. "I'm capable of a lot of things, even if people don't expect me to be. You know that."
"No," I insist quickly.
"Well I'm here aren't I? In this mental institution... with you... the mental patient. Obviously there are doctors and orderlies all down the halls. I couldn't have just strolled on in, visiting hours finished hours and hours ago. You know, when the sun goes down and all the Mommy's and daddy's go home so they don't have to hear their little babies screaming for help."
She's being so callous, this isn't like her.
"You aren't my mother," I snap.
"No, Dinah, I'm not. And for that," she grins evilly and steps towards my bed, then crawls up my body so that our faces are just inches apart, "I am extremely grateful."
Why am I strapped to this bed again? This can't be happening.
"Stop," I cry out.
Her face twists into a sneer, "Oh. No. Don't. Stop. Always fucking whining aren't you? Ever wondered that maybe that's the reason your mother left you... Mom, I'm hungry. Mom, I'm cold. Mommy feed me. Mommy hug me. Shit Dinah, is it all really surprising that the Redmonds thought you were evil?"
I've never seen her like this before. I mean that in every way. Her attitude, her body language, even her body pressed so seductively up against mine.
She grabs my shoulders and presses down. I sink into the bed just where she wants me.
Her mouth attaches itself to my neck and sucks roughly. "Really, Dinah. Did you ever think about it? Oh, I'm such a poor baby girl. I saw a pretty lady murdered and a redhead shot. Oh boo hoo. Poor baby Dinah no one believes her."
Her hands run down my shoulders and press into my stomach, it hurts like hell but I realise that I can hardly move or speak.
"Now Mommy's dead, Daddy's a no-show and the woman you love is sleeping with me tonight. How's it feel D? Losing everything within the space of a ten minute hallucination?"
"Barbara please," I say softly as she stands up again.
"Oh Barbara please, there it is again. Always fucking whining. Well I've said it before D, and I'll say it again... I can't help you with that, sorry."
The first thing I notice as I walk into Dinah's room is that she's sitting up. The second thing is the colour in her cheeks. She doesn't smell anymore and her hair seems to have been washed and brushed properly for once.
"You're up," Helena says with a giant grin as she practically skips over to the girl and wraps her in a bone breaking hug.
Dinah smiles brightly, "They haven't drugged me this morning. The Doctor... oh what's his name? Philips? Yes, that's it. He says I've shown great improvement. I haven't been talking to anyone -- that isn't actually real -- at all today. He said that if this keeps up I could come home soon."
"That's great Dinah. We can't wait for you to come home. The Clocktower's been so quiet and..."
Helena quickly interrupts me, "yeah, the Clocktower's been blessedly quiet." She's teasing the girl. I don't know wether that's a positive thing or not until Dinah's laugh echoes around us.
"Thanks Hel. Nice to feel wanted," she says but she's still smiling so I guess it's ok.
"As I was saying," I say louder this time, giving Helena an obvious death glare, "the Clocktower's been so quiet and I'm very sure that Alfred has no idea what to do with himself. There's no one to clean up after."
She's laughing again and for a second I wonder if the Doctor's just hooked her up to the laughing gas instead of the sedatives.
"Well Barbara, I'll see what I can do for poor Alfred when I get back. Maybe I'll try to cook or something. That should keep him busy for a month or so."
I can't help the indignant snort that quickly filters through my nose. Dinah starts laughing even harder, this time at me.
When Dinah finally manages to control her laughter she turns to us expectantly. "So is someone going to fill me in on what's been happening? You left rather quickly after I mentioned Harley Quinn."
"We're sorry about that Dinah but you were... digressing again and we didn't want to make it worse," I explain quickly. "Dr Philips thinks that it would be better if you remember how you got here by yourself. Do you remember anything sweetheart?"
She purses her lips and stares at the ceiling for a few minutes. "I remember a few bits and pieces... I... uh. I mean, I remember having dinner with Reese and you guys and Gibson. But it wasn't in the Clocktower? Is that right?"
"Yes, sweetheart. We all went to dinner." I have to fight hard not to grimace at the memory of the dinner.
She grins then becomes serious again, "I remember that you and Helena were... Actually I'm not sure about this and it would be very embarrassing if I'm wrong..."
"Just go ahead Kid. Nothing you say could be taken the wrong way. Not around us," Helena reassures her.
"Well," she says softly and tucks a long strand of blonde hair behind her ear. It's been months since I last saw her do that. "I think... I mean, I'm reasonably sure that you guys are... um, together? Dating, I mean?"
I gulp. Not good, not good.
"That's... true sweetheart and we both hope that you're ok with it," I decide to say. Very suave Gordon, could you have sounded any sadder about it?
"It's cool. Of course... my friend Gabby's... yeah, it's cool," she gushes.
"What else do you remember?" Helena says quickly. She's just as happy to change the subject as I am.
"Um, actually not a lot. I know I've been here four months -- Dr Philips told me that. I have some memories from a while ago about a big green room that he says sounds a lot like the cafeteria here. So he says I must have memories of actually coming here. He also said that I was here and I knew why before... well I'm not sure what happened but he says it should all come back to me when I start sessions with the shrink."
"Yes he told us there wouldn't be any lasting amnesia. It's just a matter of getting the memories back," I say softly. "And when you do, sweetheart, I want you to come to us for anything. Nothing you've done has made us care about you any less. I just hope that you feel the same... that anything we might have done has made you love us any less."
Dinah giggles, "Oh Barbara, what could you have possibly done!?"
I watch through the small glass window of Dr-No-Emotions office as Barbara nods eagerly and smiles. Even Dr-No... uh, Dr Philips, is smiling just a tiny little bit. I'm sure that slight up turn of his lips is a smile.
She's shaking his hand now and turning towards me with a giant smile. As I hold the door open for her I ask, "Good news then?"
We start the long trip down the white halls to the outside world.
"He said that if this keeps up. Dinah should be ready to come home in a week, maybe two. She'll have to keep up her weekly sessions with the Doctors and stay on very mild sedatives... .and we have to bring her in if anything at all changes but... she'll be home Hel."
Barbara's smiling again. I think I like that.
"That's good Babs but..." I sigh. I can't help it, a hundred different things are rushing through my head and none of them are good.
"But what Helly?" she asks softly as she rests her hands on my hips and stares up at me with big eyes.
"What if she gets worse again? I don't know how much longer I can keep this up. I don't know if I can... what if when she gets home she gets worse? I won't send her back here. I won't Barbara. I'll kill myself trying to get her better but once she's outta this hell hole I'm never letting her come back."
"I know Hel. I know exactly how you feel. If we have to install a padded room in the basement I won't let her back here either. We can figure this all out later, ok? She's getting better Helena and that's all that matters." "Yeah," I agree as we get to the Hummer and Barbara settles herself in front of the steering wheel. "But what if... telling her about us? Wasn't that what started this whole thing to begin with?"
Barbara stops with her hand half way to the ignition, "It could be Helena but I believe that Dinah has had a lot of hardship in her life and I think that what Dr Philips first said is right. This is all a manifestation of stress."
"Yeah! I'm the one with voices in my head! As if Dinah..." I cut myself off as Barbara glares at me. "Ok, so maybe she had voices in her head but I mean... well you know what I mean... I have more crazy in my middle finger than Dinah has in her entire body."
"She's lost a lot of weight," Barbara mumbles as she turns the hummer on.
"So we should stock up the pop tarts and the M&M's?" I ask happily.
The lake is still tonight. I can just see ripples hitting the shore beside me from far out in the water where the birds are perched on a big yellow pontoon. It's getting colder and my leg is starting to complain.
The dull ache in my hip and calf is enough to make me wish I had started heading back to the old cottage and farm where my Grandma will be waiting with hot chocolate, scones and a warm hug hours ago. But I just had to make it further today.
The nightly ritual of walking further and further around the lake has been a valuable part of my therapy but I know I shouldn't push myself. I do anyway.
That's a hard one. Maybe because I'm trying to punish myself, maybe because the pain makes me think of cornflower blue eyes, bright pink cheeks and long strands of perfect blonde hair. Yeah. I think it might be the second one. I'm creative when it comes to my own personal, internal torture.
I'm never going to be able to walk without a limp again. My physical therapist has made that clear. If I'd stayed down and waited for someone to get me an ambulance. If I hadn't have followed Dinah as she regained consciousness and sprinted from the Clocktower. I would be able to walk like any other person.
But this is Dinah we're talking about. If she decided to walk off the end of the world I'd follow.
So what if I followed her half way across New Gotham with a *mildly* dislocated knee. So what if I'll limp. So what if she decided that she wasn't safe to be around. So what if she actually felt better locked up in a giant concrete block with seven hundred crazies?
This is nuts! I miss the way she smiles. I miss the way she hugged me. I miss the way she kissed me... that one time.
I'm in love with the woman who tried to kill me. Wait till Dr. Weis hears about this. He'll never let it go.
A sharp vibration in my pocket makes me jump. I grab my cell phone and hit the answer button.
>>Gabby, didn't your mother ever teach you to answer the telephone like a lady?<<
I laugh jovially and sit down on a rotting tree stump to give my leg a rest before I force it to walk all the way back to the cottage.
"Ms. Gordon! It's great to hear your voice. How's Dinah?"
>>She's amazing Gabby. We went in last week and she's... well its strange really she's just like before. She seems completely reasonable and calm. They're letting us bring her home tomorrow.<<
"What do you mean strange? Why is it strange?" I worriedly ask as I rub my knee and sigh softly at the buzzing mosquitos around my head.
>>I don't mean to scare you or anything. It's ok. She's going to be fine and we're going to keep her fine. Just her miraculous recovery is a little surprising.<<
"But it's a good thing, right? Her getting better?"
>>Oh certainly it is. It's really wonderful. I shouldn't have said anything, it doesn't matter. Do you have any idea when you're going to be coming back?<<
"I promise I'll be back soon. I just need a few more days to... get my head back together. Then I'm getting the next bus back. No matter what. Come hail, rain, Jehovah's Witnesses or my parents."
The throaty laugh over the phone line sends happy chills down my spine.
>>Jehovah's Witnesses? Do you have those there?<<
"Well no," I say shyly.
>>Well I for one will be looking forward to seeing you again... ah, Helena just got home I'll have to get my behind into gear if I want to be at my station when she wants to go on sweeps. I'll ring you tomorrow night when she's home.<<
"Ok Oracle. Over and out," I joke quickly.
The phone line goes dead. I put the phone back in my pocket and suddenly realise I have a goofy grin on my face. Being let in on secrets was always one of my favourite things in elementary school, apparently it hasn't gone away.
"I'm ready," I whisper to myself.
I get up and my muscles twitch tiredly. For a second I consider just walking back and getting it out of the way. Nah. I reach into my pocket and pull out my phone again.
Seconds later a male voice comes over the line.
"Poppy? Could you do me a favour?"
The Clocktower smells like strawberries.
I shake my head. That can't be right. Doctor Fisher, the psychiatrist, told me I might see things still, I might smell or hear things that weren't really there. "It's up to you," she'd said. I have to know though; does the Clocktower really smell like strawberries? Or has Dinah just digressed even more, next on 'when telepaths lose control.'
"It smells like..." I start to observe but Helena's there beside me in seconds with my bag in her hands. "Strawberries," she says happily and points to an air freshener hanging from each of the Delphi monitors, several from open windows and a few from the doorways.
"Guys," I say softly, "I thought I was the one here who was supposed to be certifiable."
Helena grins again and I notice her checking to see where Barbara is. She leans down and whispers in my ear, "Barbara got all excited that you could come home and she tried to bake a cake... seriously we had to have all the windows open last night to get all the smoke out... and there's still a little smoke damage on the walls in the bathroom."
I can't help it, I giggle.
"What's so funny?" Barbara asks from behind us where she's wheeling out of the elevator followed close behind by Reese, Gibson and Alfred.
"Helena's just catching me up a little," I say with a sly wink in the brunette's direction. She blinks quickly, her eyes wide.
Before I can think of some fun comment to throw at her, like old times, Alfred is rushing at me and wrapping me in deceptively strong arms. "Miss Dinah it's absolutely wonderful to have you back and feeling better."
"Thanks Alfred," I say as he pulls away from me and stands straight in front of me. "It's good to be back. Even if this place does smell like a giant strawberry bomb has exploded." I wink at Barbara, who blushes spectacularly.
"I'll be in the kitchen if anyone needs anything," Alfred says as he turns away. I notice that he looks at me one more time before disappearing into the kitchen and starts to pull out pots to make lunch.
"So," I say as I clap my hands together and address the others standing in front of me. Gibson smiles shyly and takes a tentative step forward. "Can I hug you?" he asks.
He sounds scared and I want to know why.
"Of course Gibson, why would you think you couldn't?" I laugh lightly, trying to put him at ease.
He steps forward again and wraps his arms around me lightly and quickly I can hear him almost sigh with relief as he steps back.
"Honestly!" I huff as I drop into a seat, "you're all acting as though I might jump up at any second and attack you!"
Apparently that wasn't the right thing to say.
"Could they have been any more obvious," I say to Barbara as she gets ready for bed. "Why didn't they all just go to the other side of the Clocktower and shout to her to put her hands on the table and not to move!"
I drop into our bed and sprawl my arms across it. "We're trying to make her homecoming as fun and carefree as possible and Jesse and Gibson are practically holding guns to her head waiting for her to start screaming or something."
"Well Hel," Barbara's reasonable tone comes through the door, "she did... you know."
"I know but..."
"We're just going to have to be patient with her... with all of them. Now get your pants off I want to check your leg."
"Ah! I've been waiting to hear you say that all night," I grin and waggle my eyebrows as she rolls her eyes at me and slides onto the bed.
"Pants!" she commands. I salute and rip them off my legs.
She crawls down the bed and takes my ankle in her hands. Her fingers run along the scar wrapping around my pale skin and she stretches my entire leg out. I wince at the stiffness of my toes and the ankle joint.
"Is it feeling better?"
I nod and wince again as she pulls on the joint then massages it softly.
"You won't have to wear the brace anymore. It's almost completely healed," she tells me softly then leans down and kisses my toes.
"More physical therapy?" I ask stupidly, already knowing the answer.
"Few more months Hel, it was a big injury. Even your meta abilities couldn't heal from something like this super fast."
"Super fast?" I ask with a giant grin.
"Nothing. I just think it's cute when you get all geeky on me. Super fast. That's so rad."
"Hey! I don't say rad!"
"Sure you do," I tease as she pulls her body over me. "But it's cute... really."
"I thought you said I was sexy?"
"Yeah, yeah, that to," I assure her as I grab the back of her head and pull her lips towards mine.
I leave Helena asleep, sprawled gracefully across the bed, taking up most of the room. She looks so beautiful and peaceful when she sleeps. I smile to myself as I head towards the Delphi and log it out of standby. A little mindless organization would help me sleep.
"Nothing's changed that much I see," came the soft chuckle from behind me. I spin around.
"Dinah you scared the jeepers out of me. I've got to get use to you being around here again!" I say as my hand rests over my fast beating heart.
"Sorry." She walks across the room and settles herself on the table next to me and swings her legs. "Is there something you wanted to talk about Dinah?" I end up asking as I pull up the summary of a search through one of many databases.
"Nah, not really. I was just trying to sleep but I couldn't then I heard you out here and I thought 'hey, if I'm gonna be up I might as well be up in good company'."
"I was just thinking about school and stuff. I've missed the first three months of senior year. How am I going to catch up?"
I type as I talk, "its ok. I'm going to help you catch up while you're getting well enough to go to school. Then if we work through the holidays and maybe you go to summer school... things should be alright before it's time for college."
Dinah nods and smiles at me. "Good. I can't wait to see Gabby."
"Ah," I say softly and turn from the computers; I have no idea how I'm going to explain this one without giving any details. "Gabby isn't in New Gotham at the moment. Her parents took her to her grandparents' house a few months ago..." I see the abject fear on the young girls face and I quickly add, "I've been assured that she'll be back and she can't wait to see you well again."
I look up into cornflower blue eyes, "We didn't... I mean after... uh, that is..." I can't see a way around this one. "Dinah," I whisper, "In a way Gabby was... involved."
"I don't rem..."
"I know Sweetheart but you will and when you do we'll be here for you."
"I'm scared Barbara." "I know sweetie." I drop my glasses to the keyboard and lean upwards so that I can wrap the blonde in a hug. She's so skinny I can feel her bones even through the layers of jumper.
It's a dream but it's not. It's a dream about a memory, I'm sure.
The tall white door in front of me is stylish and obviously expensive. 'Dr. H .Quinzel' is engraved in gold lettering in the middle. I wish I knew what I was doing here. Or what I had been doing here.
"Only one way to find out," I mutter to myself as I turn the knob on the door and walk into a large room with twin couches, low tables and a large oak desk.
"Hello there," the smooth voice of Harley Quinn comes from behind the oak desk. She's so... small and well groomed nothing you'd ever expect a criminal to be. "How can I help you today?"
"Oh hi," I hear myself saying. "I'm Dinah Redmond. I actually have an appointment. You're secretary said to come on in... so I did." Wow, that sounded lame even to my own ears.
"Of course Ms Redmond. I believe you're Helena Kyle's friend yes?"
"Well I must say it's always nice to have someone recommend me to family and friends."
"Oh she didn't... what I mean is that she talks about you a lot but she didn't think I should... I just wanted to talk to someone is all."
She smiles at me and I wonder how a woman as beautiful as her could possibly be as ugly as I would soon find out.
"Have a seat Ms Redmond."
"Just call me Dinah, that's fine."
"Then I guess you should call me Dr. Quinzel." She smiles again and I can't help smiling back.
She comes out from behind her desk and I can feel her watching me as I sit down in one of the caramel coloured chairs. She sits across from me, crossing her legs, leaning forwards and intently staring at me. "Dinah," she says softly.
I stare at her wide eyed.
"Dinah, look into my eyes..."
How could I not.
"Tell me Dinah... tell me all your secrets."
Well, since you asked so nicely...
"Hey Sunshine, nice night tonight."
"Yeah, it's pretty... the full moon I mean," I grin at my friend and take her hand.
"Oh trust me Dinah, the moon is nothing compared to the company."
We walk quietly along the streets, listening to the far off sounds of the cars going home and the shops closing up. Suddenly she stops.
"What's going on?" I ask as I spin around in a circle and smirk at her. She's wearing a formal dress, long and slinky and blue. I think I should be wearing one as well but I'm not sure why. I'm just wearing a cotton gown, its fluttering open in the back and I know I'm cold but I don't really feel it.
"You're ignoring the obvious here Di and that's not what to do, you know that," she says softly, taking my hand.
"I can't help it Gabby, I don't know what to do. I don't know what I've done," I say softly as her soft hands work their way up my sides and wrap me in a tight hug.
"You're hiding, it's never good to do that," she whispers into my ear.
"Sometimes it's survival to do that," I snap and push her away.
"Survival from what D? You're running away from something you can't even remember," she laughs at me. I walk away from her, I have no idea where I'm going but it seems like the right thing to do.
"Dinah Redmond, I've known you for a whole year now and I know you well enough to know that you would never walk away from something as important as this," she yells.
I spin around to scream back at her but she's gone. I don't know where to go now. I've never been to this part of Gotham before. It's dark and cold. Not like the cemetery, at least Helena's at the cemetery.
How could Gabby do this to me?
A sharp high pitched scream wakes me up. *Very* quickly.
As I rush out of the bedroom into the hall and head for Dinah's room I can't help but thank god it was just one scream and not the continuos piercing screams that I had grown accustomed to hearing out of Dinah's mouth.
Barbara's grabbing Dinah's arm when I smash through the door. The young girl is sprawled on her bed, her eyes wide and skin so white it's almost translucent.
"I think I remembered something," she gasps.
"What?" I ask sharply. I should be more caring and take more time but what ever she's remembered it's eating her up inside already and there's so much she could have remembered. Horrible, bad things.
"I went to see Harley Quinn," she says softly, "As a patient... I think? Is that right?"
Barbara looks at me before she turns to the girl and nods slowly, "Yes it's true. We found files with your medical records... and notes. We aren't exactly sure why you went though."
"I was... sad, lonely... and I wanted someone to talk to and Helena was always going on about how great her shrink was... I just thought... oh god, she hypnotised me didn't she?"
"It was a little while before she... attacked. You might have missed Helena leaving by no more than five minutes... but the hypnotism didn't kick in for weeks afterwards. You had a... um, control word of sorts." Barbara explains softly. She did it so much better than I could have.
"What kind of control word?"
"It was more of a sentence," I say as I shuffle my feet together and stare at them.
"I don't love you."
"What?" I ask as she whispers. Barbara's head even snaps up quickly. "What did you say?" I try again but she's closing off, rolling onto her side and trying to stand up.
"Nothing Hel," she says gladly, "Obviously I'm getting some of it back that's a good thing right? Now... Barb, I think yesterday you said you'd take me out to the hairdressers... I'm starting to look like my foster cousins Barbie dolls after a trip to her 'beauty salon'."
As Dinah heads out of the room and into the bathroom I turn to Barbara. "Do you think she knows?" I ask.
"She knows something that's for sure... wether she remembers the control words or what happened after they were activated, well I'm not so sure Helena. We'll have to keep an eye on her. Make sure she doesn't start acting funny."
"Babs, she's been doing the Exorcist gig for four months... her acting funny? That jokes not even funny anymore," I giggle.
Barbara rolls her eyes at me.
"Oh bite me Babs," I say stupidly as she rolls out of the room.
"I did last night, check your back."
Well that did it. I spin around in a tight circle to see what she is talking about. Seconds later I'm in a small heap on the floor blushing hard.
"Well hush my mouth if it isn't little Barbara Gordon! Come back for another 'trim'."
Oh jeez, did he have to use his finger to make the quotation marks. Why am I here again? Why *this* hairdresser? Oh of course because *Helena* says he's the best.
"Not me this time Tim, just my friend here," I wave a hand at Dinah and blush slightly.
"Oh no," Tim exaggerates, "You didn't set her head on fire as well did you? Honestly, if I have to cut one more head of singed hair... well let's just say, I might be handing you over to the intern."
Dinah looks at Helena who just shrugs.
"It is looking better now though. Such a waste, such a waste. All that hair just because you're a fire bug in the kitchen!"
"Ok Tim, thanks for the torment. Will you cut her hair now," I crack. His head snaps back and he looks a little bit offended. Well so be it. What an ass.
"Hey D, we'll just be outside when you're done," Helena says quickly and drags me from the shop. Outside she turns on me and snaps, "What do we tell her now?"
"But Barbara she's going to want to know..."
"Yes," I agree swiftly, "she is but we'll tell her the same as every other time... she'll remember when she's ready."
"Well," Helena says as she brushes her hair from her eyes, "When she remembers this one she's gonna blow a gasket or something!"
"Gabby honey, telephone!"
I sigh, probably mom again. I drop my book and slowly roll off my bed. My leg is better today, not so much limping, less pain. That's always a plus. Apparently all that walking I've been doing around the lake is really paying off. Not to mention I'm down a dress size.
"Who is it?" I ask my grandma as I take the cordless phone and sit down to take the call.
"Ms. Gordon again," she says with a smile, wipes her hands on her tea towel and heads back into the kitchen to give me some privacy.
"Ms. Gordon," I say happily into the receiver. "Is Dinah ok? Is she home? Last time you said she'd be home? She came home right?"
There's a bright laugh and I shut up immediately to let her talk.
"She's fine Gabby. She know who she is, the date and the president. She's eating better, seeing her psychiatrist and taking less medication," is the doctor like opinion that comes as a reply.
"And now tell me what Barbara Gordon's opinion of Dinah's health is and not what Dr. Philips said," I say with my own giggle.
"She's doing really well Gabby. She's asked for you."
"She has? Does she know what happened yet?" I ask.
"Not all of it. It seems to be coming back."
"Good. I'll be home in a week or so... schools been calling around looking for me. They want me to do work while I recover. What kind of inhumane torture is that?"
The bright laugh on the other end of the line is foreign to me. Even when she was teaching me the finer points of Hamlet I never heard Ms. Gordon laugh like that.
"You're feeling better to?" I ask.
"Of course Gabby, having her at home has really helped. How about you? How's your therapy going?"
"Really great, the legs doing really well..."
"That's not what I meant."
I stand and switch legs a few times, I know exactly what she means.
"I'm glad your leg is getting better but I meant your other therapy... that is, if you don't mind me asking."
"Of course not. You go through something as terrible as what happened to us and you form a family bond with the other people involved... you have something in common, a familiar ground to.."
"Dr. Weis is doing well then?"
I think for a second then laugh, "Yes, Dr. Weis is getting through to me... Grandma's home cooking is as well."
There's a silence on the other end of the line then I hear a thin voice, "who's that?"
"No one Dinah, Alfred left dinner in the kitchen," is the muffled reply.
"I'm sorry, I have to go," Ms. Gordon says as she comes back onto the line.
"Maybe I could just speak to her for a second?" I ask softly. I have the sinking feeling that she's going to tell me to get lost, that I'd just make things worse then she clears her throat. "Ok, just a second."
The phone is muffled again and I can hear nothing except for the wild erratic beating of my own heart and breath. There's more muffled sounds then a slightly squeaky, tinny voice is on the line.
"Gabby? Gabby oh my god! Gabby are you there?"
She sounds so happy...
"Hey D," I say as I clear my throat and try to stop the tears welling in my eyes.
"Oh Gabby it's so good to hear your voice."
"Yours too D."
I can hardly control what I'm saying. That's probably why it sounds so stupid, like I don't want to talk to her. But god do I want to talk to her and hold her and kiss her.
"Look D, I'm sorry I gotta split... I'll catch ya up later. Bye." I slam the phone down into it's cradle a little to hard and my Grandma appears in the doorway.
"What's going..." she starts to say but when she sees my face she stops. She reaches down and uses the corner of her dish cloth to wipe away tears.
"Oh Gabby," she says softly as she helps me to my bed, "What has this girl done to you?"
For a second I wonder why she's asking. Then *what* she's asking.
I turn my face up to face her and a tiny grin trails along my lips. "She didn't do anything. It's my fault... I accidentally fell in love with her."
That old face convulsed for a second before a single tear drops from her eye. "Oh Gabby Andrews how could you love someone who has done such terrible things."
"You know, when I told you that I fall in love with girls and not boys you told me that it didn't matter what gender it was, love was love and there was nothing I could do about it. I'm in love with her and there's nothing I, or she, can do about it. It's that simple."
Tears fell down both our faces as we sat on my bed and hugged tightly.
"There's a bus heading out in half an hour you could be back in New Gotham in an hour and a half," she whispers to me, "I think she's going to need someone who loves her."
"How did you...?"
"You aren't the only one with something extra... special about them you know kiddy. Oh honey, what you do when you sleep, it's completely normal and a gene that's passed down from me to your mother and now to you."
I blink slowly, information overload.
"But how did you know?"
She ruffles my hair affectionately, "I'm your grandmother, it's my job to know."
"She hung up on me," I whisper into the empty clocktower.
"What was that Kid?" Helena asks from the balcony as she sweeps in shaking her coat and stripping it off at the same time.
"Gabby just hung up on me," I repeat.
Helena stops suddenly and drops her jacket. "You were talking to Gabby?" she asks but doesn't turn around.
"Well, no. She hung up on me," I snap.
Helena suddenly relaxes and keeps walking towards the couch and the sanctuary of the television. "How'd you get Gabby's number, I thought she was at her Grandmothers?"
"Barbara was talking to her I think," I say, still staring at the phone as if it might jump up and bite me at any second.
"Why'd she hang up on me?" I ask.
"Dinah, I wanted to scream, 'Dinah Redmond I love you..." Gabby's voice filtered around in my head. "I'm in love with you Dinah Redmond, Zipper Girl. I've been standing here waving my arms and screaming..."
A roof top, I think.
Some place old.
"Helena I'm going out," I say quickly as I grab my coat from the rack and head for the elevator.
"Barrr-ba-bra said... curfew," Helena mumbles in her sleep.
I shrug. Barbara's gone god knows where and Helena's asleep. They'll never know I'm gone.
This is exactly where I'm supposed to be.
The last standing building after the earthquake that shook down Old Gotham.
The Gotham West Street Cinema.
There's a large red patch on the pavement to the left and I know it's blood. I don't need to look at it. I can remember how it got there. I remember why I was bleeding. Helena.
Bright lights flash. I remember why Helena hit me. I remember why Gabby had to go away and I remember how I ended up in that 'rest home.'
"Come on Gabs, you'd look beautiful in a paper bag, would you hurry up already," I call through the wooden door. "Please Gabby. We're gonna be late."
"Alright already!" she yells back as she pulls open the door and stands proudly in front of me wearing a dark blue formal dress. "Does it look ok?"
OK! I want to scream. You look like a freakin' goddess.
"Wow," I manage to mumble out, "You clean up ok Andrews."
"Clean up ok?" she squeaks indignantly, "I get all dressed up just so I can be your date to this stupid family dinner and all you can give a girl is 'clean up ok'. You sure know how to flatter!"
"Are you done? Cos Alfred's waiting in the car downstairs and he gets grouchy when you make him wait to long."
"Huh! Yeah, let's go."
The restaurant is busy, packed with people all celebrating something. I knew that tonight we would be celebrating surviving even if no one made a toast to it. We would be celebrating the man we lost and his valuable contribution to the final fight. We were family now and family celebrate when they survive.
"We're with the Gordon reservation," I tell the man at the front and he smiles then leads us to the back of the restaurant. Reese, Helena, Barbara and Gibson are already there. They stand up as we get closer. Looks of astonishment and pride fill their faces.
"What?" Gabby says to them, "Did we clean up ok?" she asks sarcastically, leering towards me. I slap her on the upper arm and let Gibson hold my seat for me.
I have to be careful how I sit because I know if I get any wrinkles in this beautiful dress they'll be really hard to get out.
"So," I say as Gibson hands me a menu, "What's good?"
Gabby's staring at me again. I can feel her eyes roaming over my body. It's a little frightening really. I don't know what to do. I don't want to embarrass her by yelling, "Quit perving." I don't think I would anyway. I love the way her eyes savour my hips and long legs encased in the purple silk of the dress.
"I say drinks at the Clocktower," Barbara suggests as she gets into the hummer and motions for Reese and Gibson to join her. "Sounds good," Reese agrees.
"Fine with me," Helena grins, "But if anyone tries to take my job as unofficial bartender I'm gonna start ripping out kneecaps."
"You're so charming," Barbara says with a laugh, "Will you marry me?"
Helena snorts, "As if I haven't heard that one before!"
"Hey Hel, can you leave your drinks for a minute I want to talk to you," I say softly, gripping one strong arm in my hands.
"Yeah sure D, let's head outside," she says over loud beating music.
As I walk across the Clocktower with Helena trailing behind me. I catch sight of Gabby trying to dance with Barbara, who is more than a little drunk, so Gabby is left with just trying to get out from under Barbara's wheels.
I grin to myself and shut the balcony doors. The music inside is abruptly cut off. "Thank god for sound proofing hey," Helena says with a lazy smile.
I grin back at her. The nerves start to bubble up inside me.
"What did you wanna talk about Kid?"
"I just wanted to tell you, that is try and explain that... I um... well, ever since I first dreamt about you I've..."
"Just spit it out already D, you're making me a little nervous," she says with her normal Huntress cocky grin.
"Sorry what was that?"
"I said... I'm... I'm in love with you Helena."
Wow I did actually just yell that. Judging by her eyes she's not to happy about it either.
"I'm sorry I didn't mean to..." I start to say, but who am I kidding. I meant it. I've been meaning it ever since I met her.
"Don't apologise Ki... uh Dinah. I'm, I'm really flattered," she says slowly.
Oh great, flattered. I can almost feel my heart breaking and something primal building up inside me.
"It's just that I'm not in love with you. I'm in love with Barbara."
There it was. The control sentence. I'm not in love with you.
She wasn't stupid; she knew I could never keep my feelings to myself. She knew Helena was in love with Barbara and could never love anyone else.
"That's a real pity Helena," I say softly, much more calmly than I actually feel on the inside. "You know, she said you'd say that. She's really a smart woman."
"What? Who D?"
"Quinn. She said you'd never love me the way I love you. She said Barbara would always have you and really the only way I could have you was if Barbara weren't around."
"Quinn said what? I don't understand D. When did you speak to Doctor Quinzel?"
I stand up from my seat on the side of the balcony.
"Really, she's smart for a psychopathic killer. So when I asked her to tell me what I could do to get you she told me how..."
Helena's getting guarded, she's stepping backwards trying to lean towards the balcony doors. "What did she tell you to do D?"
"It's simple really..."
I take a deep breath and smile because for the first time ever I'm going to get what I want.
"I just have to kill Barbara."
Before Helena can even get a swing in I use my telekinesis to shove her against the wall and she screams. Thank god for sound proofing.
I open the balcony doors and step inside just in time to see Barbara smack into Gibson and send his drink flying into her lap. She laughs as she tries to clean it up. It's surprising how fast straight liquor will burn if you telekinetically knock a burning candle into it.
For a split second I realise why Helena always described Barbara's hair as fiery red. Wow, if only she could see it now.
Gabby is screaming at me to help but I don't. Gibson grabs a giant silver bowl full of ice water and dumps it over Barbara's chair and body. The flames are partially extinguished but some still burn. Her frightened screams make me angry. She isn't dead. Apparently Quinn was right; I can't do anything properly the first time.
With an inhumane howl I dart forward throwing myself at my mentor and guardian. I attach my hands around her neck and squeeze. She's coughing and spluttering. Her eyes are fully open, staring at me with such horror and pain. How could someone be that scared? I'm just a girl.
I let go just a little bit when her hands grab onto mine and I can feel the fear coursing through her, all because of my hands around her neck. Her entire life is playing through her mind, all the things she'll miss out on or all the things she's wanted to do again.
She's been sleeping with Helena.
My hands got tighter again.
She doesn't love her.
She doesn't love her.
A sharp hit to the back of my head gets my attention. I roll away from the badly burnt redhead and look up to see wild blonde hair and a bright red fire extinguisher.
"Dinah please," Gabby begs.
With a simple wave of my hand she's thrown against a wall with a deadly crack.
Gibson is trying to pull a now unconscious Barbara away from me but I stop him with a heavy silver serving tray to the head. I don't need to hurt him but if he stops me from getting to Barbara then I will.
My hands return to her neck.
"Dinah stop! If you love me you'll stop!" Helena's loud voice rings around the Clocktower, over the pounding music. She shouldn't have been able to get away from the wall where I pinned her.
That single moment of hesitation is enough for her to grab one of the Delphi monitors and throw it at me with a huge cry of anger. It slams into my head before I can even get a hand up in defence.
Something snaps again.
I drop onto my back. The music is getting duller now. Barbara's lying beside me and Helena's desperately trying to get her heart beating. I smile at the beautiful woman screaming. I can't hear what she's saying but I doubt it's very nice.
Reese is suddenly beside Helena helping her with the CPR.
I reach out one hand and rest it on Barbara's chest. With the tiniest amount of strength I have left I send a wave of energy from my hand into Barbara's heart.
Just as the music dies completely, the screaming stops and the pain gets to me I feel darkness surrounding me.
"What?" Helena mumbles from her position on the couch, stifling a huge yawn with her hand.
"I can't find her!" I scream at Helena as she rushes towards the balcony and looks over. With a relieved sigh she comes back to my side at the Delphi. "She's not Dinah splat on the sidewalk."
"What? It's a probable thing, I had to check!"
"Ok... ok," I say softly. I take a deep breath.
"We have to think where she might have gone..." I try to control the panic welling up inside me.
"How about you check the security cameras?"
I look up at Helena as if she's a creature from some other planet. "What?" she asks as she eyes me, "What did I say?"
"Why didn't I think of that," I mutter to myself. I log into the computer and drag the security system on to the monitor.
"Comms!" I say to myself happily.
"As if! Dinah wouldn't wear her comms to run away," Helena scoffs.
Deep breathing suddenly fills the Clocktower. I grin. "She's always been my favourite."
"Yeah, yeah. I'll run some rooftops to find her," Helena says as she grabs her jacket and pulls her arms into the sleeves.
I watch her closely as she limps towards her boots. I make sure she watches me as I look her up and down and settle my eyes on the long scar on her bare foot. "Helena, you're still recovering from an injury."
She just snorts at me as she puts on her boot. "A partially severed achillis tendon didn't stop me from getting to you and her when she did it to me. What makes you think it will stop me now... when my foot isn't half hanging off."
I can't help but wince. The thought of all the blood, the slice of leather that was Helena's boot ripped open, revealing flesh and bone. It was one of the most disgusting wounds I had ever seen. When I realised that Dinah had accidentally done it while restraining Helena against the wall outside the Clocktower I felt sick. My own burns and bruises were nothing compared to the damage my young ward had done to Helena's leg and back.
"Ok. Stay on comms. I'll patch you her coordinates when I get them."
"Hey Kid, what you doing out here so late. Looks like it might rain."
The sun is sinking slowly over the city. I can see Wayne Tower backlit by sprays of gold, yellow and red.
"Having a rough night D?" Helena asks from behind me.
>>Rough night Kid?<<
I sigh. This is real. I'm sure of it.
"How you feeling? Do you remember?"
>>You feelin' alright?<<
"Talk to me Dinah, Barbara's worried."
"Why is she worried?" I ask bitterly, "I thought after I tried to kill her... oh and burn all her hair off she might not mind if I disappeared."
Helena sighs again and I turn my head just enough to see her sitting on an air conditioning unit and rubbing her ankle. "And you," I remind her, "I did that to you."
"Honestly kid, I thought you were supposed to be the smart one out of the two of us. Do you really think Barbara and I would have you at home if we really thought you'd hurt us?"
I turn back to the quickly setting sun and cross my arms. "You're a superhero Helena. You'll always help the weak people."
Another sigh, this one is more exasperated. "Maybe that's true Kid but if you haven't noticed you aren't exactly weak."
I throw my arms into the air and spin around. "I burnt off Barbara's hair."
"It'll grow back."
"I hurt you," I remind her and point to her ankle.
"What about Gabby?" I tell her and I know I've won.
"What about Gabby?" I ask as I take the final two steps up to the top of the movie theatre.
"Gabby!" Helena exclaims and suddenly she's in motion grabbing my arms and helping me to stand. "I'm fine Helena," I tell her as I gently shoo her away with my hands.
"Gabby's fine, see D. Everyone's here and we're all fine," Helena says quietly to my blonde friend.
"She's right D. Everything is going to be fine."
"How can you say that!" she exclaims, "I tried to kill you all. I hurt you. I'm no better than the people I swore to stop."
"Do you think there haven't been times when the Huntress or even Batgirl have accidentally hurt someone who doesn't deserve it," I say to her softly, "Accidents happen. People lose control sometimes. You have to learn from those mistakes and keep moving on D."
"How do you..."
"Gabby's meta D, like us. She's got this whole dream walking deal going for her." Helena explains for me.
"You were in my dreams," Dinah whispers as she turns away from us again and stares at the dark city.
"Some of them," I admit.
Dinah takes a step towards the edge of the building and looks over it. For a second I think she'll jump. Then I realise, that's why she's here.
"Dinah, wait," I say quickly and take a step forward. Helena is tensed by my side.
"What do you remember about after you left the Clocktower... that night? When you saved Barbara's life and ran away."
She's very quiet, just staring out at the city concentrating on Wayne Tower for some reason. She doesn't reply so I decide to keep going. I have to save her.
"I found you up here bleeding and sweating and fighting off some sort of mental session. You were sitting on the floor rocking back and forth, crying. I took you in my arms and I told you everything would be alright."
A fat drop of rain hits my head. Momentarily I look up at the sky. It begins to rain heavily as I try to put what I am feeling -- what I felt -- into words.
"I hugged you and I said, 'don't you see Dinah? I'm right here in front of you. Dinah Redmond, Zipper Girl. I've been standing here waving my arms in the air, screaming. I've been screaming for you Dinah. Every time I opened my mouth Dinah, I wanted to scream 'Dinah Redmond, I'm in love with you... '"
"You whispered, 'but' and I said, 'you're in love with Helena.' And you turned your beautiful eyes to me and you whispered, 'you're in love with me.' Then I said, 'You're in love with Helena, you don't want me. But maybe if you're really in love with Helena you should let her go. She's happy with Barbara."
I glance at Helena and she looks at her feet. Obviously she is uncomfortable talking about this. She feels responsible, I know that much.
"You weren't listening to me though, Dinah but I kept trying and I said, 'Now I want you to be happy Di. I think that I can make you happy'... You screamed at me and jumped up onto the ledge. Just like you are now. You're exact words were, 'I don't deserve to be happy I almost killed Barbara.'"
I think tears are falling down her cheeks but I'm not sure the rain is washing them away. The ledge must be slippery. She needs to get down.
"I turned to you and I said, 'Get off the ledge D. You're worth keeping.'"
"You got off the ledge."
I take another step towards her and Helena follows me.
"You know what happened then D?"
She shakes her head, her wet blonde hair slapping around like wild snakes.
"You kissed me D. You told me you loved me. You'd get help and you'd love me. I want you to love me D."
"I can't," she chokes out.
"Why not? You seemed to want to then. What changed?"
"I'm a terrible person, you deserve better."
I sigh, "I don't want better D. I want you. Just the way you are."
She's looking over the edge again and the question is clear on her face. To jump or not to jump.
"Please don't do this Dinah. You're a good person you can make a difference in this world. You have to let go of your past."
"It's a shadow now," Helena says from beside me. "Can't you see it? Gabby is your sun, she'll chase those shadows away for you."
"I will," I promise her.
"I don't deserve friends like you guys," she mutters.
I laugh lightly, "Ok. So maybe we deserve a friend like you."
"Come on D. Get off the ledge, we'll go to Joey's. We'll have pancakes," I suggest with a smile.
"With syrup?" she asks uncertainly.
I grin, "As much syrup as you can eat."
I can see the grin spread across her face and she turns. She holds her arm out to Helena for a hand down. Helena smiles and steps forwards.
A sharp crack echoes around us as the heel of Dinah's boot slips off a loose piece of tile. Helena screams and throws herself over the side of the building, trying to catch her.
Without realising it I run to the side and watch as Dinah's small body is smashed into the concrete of the side walk.
My head hurts a lot. It's cold and wet too.
"Barbara we need an ambulance. She fell off the building. NO! It was an accident, she slipped. Dinah, Dinah can you hear me?"
"Oh god Dinah. Hang on. Barbara, there's blood. I think her leg is broken. I don't know! I DON'T KNOW! Please Barbara just do something... not again. No. Dinah goddamn it kid! Hold on."
She looks so sad. I don't feel... anything really. There's not much, just a little twinge here and there. There's a strange taste in my mouth.
"It's alright D. Everything will be alright." She leans down and wipes my mouth for me then her hand finds mine.
I stop trying to move and look straight up. Through all the rain I can see Gabby, still on top of the building. She's leaning over the edge staring down at me. I want to tell her to be careful. It's slippery.
The moon is shining down on her, casting her in an eerie light. She looks like she has a halo. My angel, I think. I giggle. She is very beautiful.
I feel Helena grasp my hand tightly again, her lips are moving but I hear nothing.
"I always wondered," I manage to choke out past the bad tastes and swelling of my mouth.
"Wondered what D?" I see her lips say.
"How it would end."