Behind Closed Doors
FANDOM: Birds of Prey
RATING: NC-17 (Warning: BDSM AHEAD!)
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the Birds of Prey or the characters.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Quite simply, I was insane when I wrote this. And that was six months ago. Now my muse is gone and I seriously doubt I will ever be able to write again. So if my characterizations are too far off then don't hold it against me too badly. This is set after my other fic Pieces.
"Ah the delectable Helena Kyle!" He slid a drink in front of her and smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes.
Helena accepted the drink and rested her elbows on the bar. "Gibson. How's it going?" She made no mention of the fact that he had called her there in the first place.
Gibson leaned over the bar, his voice dropping. "I didn't want call you until I was sure of my facts. There's a meta in trouble."
Helena sipped the icy vodka and raised a dark brow. "I know you wouldn't ask me down here for something simple, Gibson. And that fact that you're trying so hard to be discreet makes me even more curious."
"I could say something about that and cats but you'd hit me."
Helena grimaced. "Nasty place."
"Worse now. It's changed hands. The new owner's name is Seraph. She has a girl with her. Maybe 20? Likes to beat her on stage."
"I thought that was the point of the place?"
Gibson slid a photo across the bar. Helena's face stilled. "Jesus..."
"She has to be meta. Healing super fast is the only explanation for why she's not dead."
"Okay this is sick, but if she's there willingly..."
"She's not. She's run away twice since they arrived in New Gotham 3 months ago. But Seraph has connections and they found her. Meta connections." Gibson tapped the photo. "The first time she was returned, Seraph ... skinned her."
The brunette paled. "Shit." Gulping the rest of her drink she slapped the empty glass back down and touched her ear. "Oracle? You get all that?"
- Yes. I'm running a search on Seraph now. -
Gibson caught Helena's hand. "Word on the street is that she was caught trying to escape again yesterday. Seraph has big plans for her punishment. Tonight. At Torment."
Helena smirked. "Not if I can help it." She stepped away from the bar and strode towards the elevator, ignoring the admiring glances sent her way. Once inside, she spoke. "Oracle? I need the layout of Torment."
Huntress sat in the steel rafters, watching the scene unfold before her with feral eyes.
The club was dark, which was to be expected and the crowd was an eclectic mix to say the least. Smells clashed together in a hazy pall that hung over the gathered throng like a shroud and Huntress wrinkled her nose in protest. Leather and latex, sweat and sex.
Normally it was a mix she didn't mind and in truth found stimulating in the extreme, but something about this place was tainting the scents. It was the irony tang of blood, both old and fresh. Huntress glared down at the stage.
Seraph was directing two thong-clad muscle boys to secure a struggling figure into a large frame. The stark terror on the girl's face hit every protective button in Huntress' body, but it was the twisted look of what she could only describe as anticipation on Seraph's face that made her stomach churn. Sick bitch. She shifted slightly, her slender frame rippling with the urge to act now. Instead she ran her hands over the armor she wore, touching each concealed weapon and device, making sure she was prepared incase this wasn't as easy as she was assuming.
Seraph moved to stand in front of the bound girl, her long blond hair glimmering in the spotlights. "Naughty little girls need to be punished, don't they Dash?" She dropped the long robe that had been covering her, revealing a triple X dream of red latex.
Huntress could make out the hilts of many blades secured in the outfit. Thighs, arms and back sported rows of small daggers. Seraph held out her hands and one of the muscle boys fitted long red gloves onto her hands. The light flared over the raised spikes across the knuckles. "Still, it does give me a reason to play with my new toys."
Dash raised her head and met her mistress's eyes. The black strands of her hair were damp with sweat and she blinked her dark eyes against the glare of the lights.
Seraph smiled and her hand whipped out. A vicious backhand that sent blood and sweat flying in an arc across the stage. The crowd cheered.
Dash's head rolled back and Helena could see the deep grooves now opening the flesh of her right cheek.
"Can't wait anymore. I'm going in."
- Be careful.-
Huntress dropped onto the stage and took out the muscle boys with two brutal blows to their most cherished possessions. She spun back, her kick catching Seraph dead in the face and sending her airborne. The blonde crashed into the crowd below.
"Well that was almost disappointing." Huntress turned to the girl and offered a reassuring grin. "Hi. I'm Huntress and I'll be your rescuer tonight." She freed Dash from the restraints and swept the girl up into her arms. "Hang on." Huntress leapt upwards, landing lightly on the catwalk. Dash looked down and saw Seraph staring up at her. Shivering, she buried her face in her savior's neck and let herself be carried out of the club.
On the rooftop, Huntress paused long into to slip the girl into her coat and then picked her up once again. Tiny little thing. Dinah weighs more. "I'm going to get us somewhere safe and then we can talk." She didn't wait for an answer, but moved, two quick strides to the edge of the roof and then they were falling.
Dash inhaled sharply, watching the next roof rush up to meet them with a dizzying speed. Expecting pain, she was pleasantly surprised when she felt Huntress' arms tighten around her and her body flex, absorbing the impact of their landing. As they jumped again, Dash raised her head and felt the wind rush across her face.
Helena spared the girl in her arms a glance and was relieved to see a small smile. Thank god she's not freaking out. Kinda hard to hail a cab dressed like this.
After several more jumps, Huntress stopped and let Dash stand. "Okay, we're safe here for the moment. Let me see your face."
Obediently Dash lifted her wounded check for Huntress' inspection.
"Well the bleeding seems to have stopped. Still it needs to be taken care of." She rested her hands on the shorter girl's shoulders. "Do you have anywhere safe you can go?"
Dash shook her head and wrapped her arms around herself.
Helena frowned. "Can't you talk?"
Dash ducked her head at the sharp question and Helena easily read her body language. She thinks I'm going to hit her. She's braced for a blow. Disgusted, she softened her tone and tried again. "It's okay. No one's going to hurt you now. Can you speak?"
The word was so low that even Huntress had to strain to hear it. Helena smiled. "Well that makes conversation easier." She started to ask Dash where she wanted to go now, but realized the answer before she even opened her mouth. This girl had been completely controlled by Seraph. She probably had no clue where to find a safe haven.
Indecision warred within her for only a moment and then she picked the girl up and was running again. There was only one place that the girl would be safe and Barbara would be able to tend to her wounds.
Her own hesitations about her decision were prodding her, but Huntress didn't see any other choice. Dash needed protection and the Clocktower had been remade into a fortress in the aftermath of Harlequin's takeover.
In truth they were lucky that they had been able to stay in the tower after that, but Harlequin had tried to escape on her way to Arkham and had been shot and killed by the police. It was so anti-climactic that it had taken months for the reality to sink in.
The Clocktower's true purpose was once again a secret. In essence, they were safe.
But they had all been changed by the madwoman's actions. Barbara had quit teaching and became the Oracle full time. Dinah had been almost overwhelmed by the feelings of guilt and grief that her friends were projecting and she'd withdrawn from them until she'd been able to gain control of her growing powers.
Helena felt a familiar ache in her chest and ignored it. She knew that she hadn't handled the aftermath any better. She'd forced Reese away and moved back into the tower, determined that she would not fail her family again. Her remorse over her betrayal and Wade's death had tempered her attitude to the point that she willingly let Barbara outfit her in body armor and a mask, even agreeing that the occasional weapon or tool would be handy to have in case of an emergency. Helena had kept the long leather coat though. She still had some sense of style left.
The Clocktower loomed on the horizon and Huntress began their descent.
"What were you thinking?!" Barbara scowled at Helena, then turned back to cleaning the long scratches across the girl's face. Contrary to the anger in her voice, her touch was gentle as she treated the rapidly healing wounds.
Helena glared right back at her former guardian, refusing to regret her decision. "Well what was I supposed to do with her? Seraph has found her every time she's escaped. Where else should I have taken her?" As she spoke, she peeled the black mask that had been covering the upper portion of her face away. She tossed it aside and rubbed at the traces of adhesive. Damn that itches.
Barbara didn't answer her. Instead she spoke to Dash. "I'm going to use butterfly bandages to close these. They're healing too fast for stitches." Dash's only response was a slight nod.
Truthfully Barbara was amazed that Helena had taken such a risk. After everything that had happened last year, the younger woman had become super vigilant in protecting their home. She spared a glance at her protégé, taking in the dark body armor she now wore and the discarded mask. That had been the biggest surprise, Helena's sudden agreement to hide her face. But perhaps not so shocking after Dr. Quinzel's betrayal. Helena had opened herself up to that woman, had trusted her and the consequences ... Barbara was very much afraid that Helena would never forgive herself.
Barbara finished the first aid and smiled at Dash. "All done. I would like to run a quick scan though to make sure that the blow didn't do any other damage." Her chair hummed quietly as she led the way to the scanner.
Dash didn't protest as the clear shied was dropped around her head and her easy compliance and lack of reactions was beginning to worry Barbara. The scan didn't take long and she announced that there were no other signs of injury. She saved the results to a new file for later study and picked up her previous conversation with Helena as if there had been no pause.
"What about No Man's land?"
"Not a chance. Seraph has several metas working for her and they snitch for her. That's how she's been able to keep finding her."
Barbara sighed heavily. "All right. She can stay here until we find a safe place for her."
Helena smirked, her expression triumphant. "I'll set her up in the spare room. There should be some clothes there that you can wear okay?"
Dash just nodded, smoothing the leather of Huntress' coat around her as she stood and followed.
It was well after lunch before their guest ventured from the bedroom and from the timid way she was moving, Barbara decided to let the girl make the first move.
She watched the girl out of the corner of her eye. She'd chosen a faded pair of jeans and a blue t-shirt from things Helena had given her. The pants were loose and the shirt hung on her frame. Her feet were bare and Barbara added that to the mental list she was compiling.
Dash had been slowly edging closer, until she had reached the bottom of the dais.
"So when was the last time you ate?"
Dash jumped at the sound of her voice. "Um ... a few days. I think."
Barbara turned to face her, her expression shocked. "You think?"
Nodding miserably, Dash stared at her feet. "T-Things move so fast for me that ... I lose track."
Barbara picked up the phone. "Chinese okay?"
Dash's stomach rumbled loudly in approval and Barbara chuckled as she placed an order. She switched off the phone and brought up the file she had created for Dash. "I have some questions if you don't mind?"
Dash shook her head. "I'll tell you anything you want to know, M-." She cleared her throat.
Barbara's eyes narrowed a moment and then she turned back to her keyboard. "Is Dash your real name?"
Dash slipped to a kneeling position just behind the redhead's chair. "Yes. It's short for Dashiell."
Smiling, Barbara added the new information. "And which parent was the mystery buff?"
Barbara looked over her shoulder and hid the scowl that wanted to form when she saw Dash's position. Deciding to act as if there was nothing wrong with the behavior, Barbara focused on the question. "I'm assuming that you were named after the author Dashiell Hammett. He wrote mystery novels about a private investigator named Sam Spade."
"Oh. I guess my mom. I don't think my dad read much."
You guess? "Last name?"
"Um. I don't ... I'm not sure. After mom died, dad and I moved around a lot. The name kept changing. I'm sorry." She ducked her head, as if waiting for a blow.
Idiot! Don't say 'um' Speak clearly or be silent! Seraph's voice rang in her mind.
The misery in the girl's voice sent a prickle of awareness across nerves. "It's okay. Don't feel bad if you can't answer some of my questions."
The dark head bobbed quickly. "Thank you."
Again the flicker of recognition. "How old are you and where were you born?"
"Twenty. I think. I don't know where I was born." Dash's body was as tense as a bowstring now. I'm disappointing her! Mistress is displeased!
"Okay." Barbara defined new parameters for a search bot and sent it off to hunt for female children who had been named Dashiell between 15-24 years ago. She turned to face the girl and glided closer. The marks on Dash's face had faded to faint scars. "So besides meta healing, are you aware of any other abilities?"
Dash blushed and stammered, "Y-yes, but ... I'm forbidden to use it."
Forbidden. The word was unsettling. "Can you tell me about it?" Barbara's voice was gentle and even. She was piecing the puzzle of this girl together and she didn't like what she was finding.
"I ... I can move really fast."
"Ah. That's what you meant about things moving so fast."
"It happens sometimes when I'm nervous. I'm sorry." Again the girl braced for a blow.
To say that this girl was submissive was a vast understatement. But that wasn't all that was bothering Barbara. It was what she wasn't seeing that actually frightened her.
Something beeped behind her and she swung around to see the delivery guy standing in entrance downstairs. Barbara smiled at the kneeling girl. "Dinner's ready."
Barbara waited until Dash had cleaned her plate before handing her another container. "Here. I think we need to set some rules."
Dash stiffened, her posture alert, waiting to be commanded.
Barbara recognized the position.
"First: When you're hungry I expect you to eat something and if the kitchen's bare then I expect you to let me know. Second: If you need something then I expect you to tell me. Understand?" Her voice was firm.
Dash nodded slowly. "Yes Mis- ... yes."
"Helena told me about Seraph. About what she was doing to you."
Though she said nothing, Dash began to fidget, her fingers twirling the chopsticks faster and faster until they were a blur.
"It's okay. She won't hurt you again. You're safe here. You're free."
"She owns me."
"No!" Barbara spoke sharply and Dash jumped, the chopsticks flying. "She doesn't. What she did was wrong. She didn't want a submissive, she wanted a slave. It's not supposed to be like that. A sub willingly submits themselves to a Domme but with the understanding that the Domme MUST observe the sub's limits. Seraph betrayed and abused your trust."
Dash shook her head. "But she ... she really does own me. She ... bought me ... when I was 10."
Barbara paled. "That's not ... what happened?"
"My dad owed a lot of money. Seraph paid it off and took me in exchange." Simple answer. Delivered in a resigned, matter of fact voice. But the look on Dash's face was anything but.
His own child!? Barbara waited silently, hoping the girl would continue.
"She took me with her, traveling all over the world and she taught me to be her bodyslave."
The terrible anger sweeping over Barbara made her shake. The bodyslave part didn't surprise her. But the age ... a child. What monsters. So many monsters. She drew a calming breath and forced a neutral expression onto her face.
Dash knew the older woman was angry, could feel the simmering tension. "I'm sorry."
"Don't apologize Dash. I'm angry at Seraph, not you. What she did was wrong, morally and legally."
"W-Why was it wrong?"
The question floored the redhead. Could she really not know? "Firstly because the buying and selling of human beings is illegal. Secondly because the legal age of consent in most states is seventeen. Any sexual interactions before that are considered to be rape."
My God. Barbara drew a ragged breath. "Forcing another person to submit to sex acts or sexual intercourse. It's a crime. And it's even more heinous when committed upon a child."
The girl's surprise was obvious. "It wasn't ... She didn't ... uh, you know, touch me until I turned sixteen."
"How generous of her." The bitterness in the redhead's voice was clear. "So what did she teach you in the six years before you turned 16?"
"Oh lots of stuff. I learned how to take care of her equipment, how to help her dress, how to bathe her," Dash was matter-of-fact, "And how to pleasure her of course."
Barbara's hands were clenched tightly in her lap. "She..."
"Seraph didn't touch me until I was sixteen. I never said I didn't touch her." Uncomfortable with Barbara's obvious distress, Dash tried to explain. "I was good too. One of her friends offered her a lot of money just for one night with me, but Seraph refused. She said that I was the one toy she wouldn't share no matter what."
Barbara felt her heart break at the earnest and proud look on the girl's face. That Dash had chosen this one memory as an example of her self worth ... that she saw nothing wrong in being considered a plaything ... Barbara exhaled and rubbed her eyes, knowing that this conversation was about to slip into the intensely personal realm. "What made you run before?"
Dash flinched and suddenly a gust of wind swept over Barbara as the meta disappeared. Barbara moved away from the table and turned, seeing the girl now standing in front of Delphi. "You weren't kidding about the nervous thing."
Dash hit her knees and assumed a common sub position, hands linked behind her back, waiting for Barbara's wrath to fall. Never use the powers! Never!
Barbara rolled up the ramp and stopped beside her. "I'm not angry with you Dash. It's okay to use your meta abilities here. Just as long as you're careful not to hurt anyone, alright?"
Dash started to cry, unable to grasp the fact that she wasn't going to be punished. "I ... Seraph ... it hurt so much!"
Dash trembled. "She called it a ... cattle prod. I failed! I couldn't stand the pain and I failed to hold position!" Ashamed, she bent forward until her head touched the floor.
Barbara gave serious consideration to throwing up but decided to fight the urge. "Dashiell you didn't fail. The very nature of your meta condition makes it impossible for you to withstand electric shocks. My scans of your physiology show a decided vulnerability. It's not your fault."
Reaching down, she touched the girl's shoulder and brought her back up into first position. "Is it possible that you could leave that world behind?"
Barbara knew the answer even as she asked it. But she had to ask. For her own conscience. She had studied the girl's behavior since being freed and realized that Dash had not demonstrated even the slightest capacity for self-determination. Even her previous escape attempts had been motivated by the instinctive urge to flee from harm and the shame of her perceived failure to please her mistress. Barbara was very much afraid that the girl wouldn't be able to survive on her own.
Dash's personality and Seraph's 'training' had formed the girl into a slave in every sense of the word.
"I can't ... and ... I don't want to. It's ... what I am. I tried to ... stop before ... but ... I need it." Dash's eyes filled, begging for understanding.
And Barbara did. Intimately. "I do understand. Could you accept another mistress other than Seraph?"
Dash bit her bottom lip. "I, I loved Seraph ... at first." She grimaced. "But now ... she's different ... she scares me."
"So you will find another mistress."
Dash sighed. "Seraph's connections are ... She'll find me wherever I go. I guess ... I should go back..."
Barbara scowled. Over my dead body "No, you won't. I can't let you go back. Especially knowing that I can prevent it." She moved closer to Dash and made a hand motion that had the girl rising to her feet obediently. Trained to hand signals. I should have known. Seraph is a thorough monster.
Barbara leaned closer and slipped her hand up to cup the back of Dash's neck, pulling her close. Their lips brushed and Barbara felt the tremor move through the younger girl. "You will stay here. With me."
Dash's eyes slid closed as Barbara's hand slid into her hair and tightened, holding her in place. "Thank you ... Mistress?"
Her voice was filled with longing and compassion gripped Barbara. "Yes. I am your Mistress now." The curl of heat that swept through Barbara's blood made her shift restlessly. "It's been a very long time since I've topped anyone, so we will move slowly to start."
Dash bit her lip and Barbara saw the unspoken question and asked it for her. "Why so long?" She waved at the chair she sat in. "Damn near impossible to top from this thing."
Dash didn't agree, but held her tongue.
"So be thinking of a safe word."
"Safe word? What's that, Mistress?"
Barbara stared at Dash completely flabbergasted. "You've never had a safe word?!"
Dash lowered her gaze. "No, Mistress." Shut up you idiot! Don't question your mistress!
The realization of what that meant made the older woman's head swim. Taking a calming breath, Barbara held out her hands drew Dash into her lap, needing the physical touch to reassure herself that the young woman was safe now.
Dash settled hesitantly into the embrace and Barbara stroked her back, again using touch to calm and sooth. "A safe word is like an off button. Once the word is spoken, everything stops."
The confusion on Dash's face made Barbara's heart ache. "It's how a sub says no."
Confusion turned into disbelief and maybe just a little hope. Says no? A sub can say no?
Barbara hugged her tighter. "Listen very closely Dash, I have very specific rules for a sub and you will follow them, understand?"
"Along with the two rules I gave you earlier, there is one more. If at anytime something makes you uncomfortable or hurts you beyond what you can stand, you WILL use your safe word. Understand?"
Dash nodded, but her face plainly showed her doubts. "Yes Mistress."
Barbara pressed a chaste kiss to her forehead. "You've been taught a lot of things that aren't true Dash. I suspect it will take time for you to get used to a healthy D/s relationship. But it's very important that you know you can ask me anything. If you are uncertain or unsure, ask me."
"There is a standard that all D/s play should be held to. Safe. Sane. Consensual."
"Con-sensual?" Her obvious unfamiliarity with the word sent off warning bells in the teacher's head.
"Dash, what kind of schooling have you had?"
The dark head bent and the body in her lap went rigid. "I ... the last time I was in school ... it was the second grade."
Understanding dawned and Barbara vowed to destroy Seraph. Her breath hissed out and she rubbed Dash's back again, reassuring her and perhaps, herself. "Well, I guess we need to decide on a study plan."
Barbara glided smoothly into the bedroom and to the side of her bed, watching the sleeping form. She eased the open book from unresisting hands and marking the place Dash stopped, laid it on the table beside the bed.
Dash had never been encouraged or allowed to read. Books, magazine's newspapers. All forbidden. She had not been allowed to speak to anyone but Seraph. Had not been allowed to even watch TV. What better way to control someone than to limit their knowledge? The teacher in Barbara practically howled at the crimes that had been committed against this girl.
When Barbara had offered her the small book, Dash's hands had shaken violently. It had taken almost twenty minutes to get the girl calm enough to accept the first book chronicling the adventures of the Grace children.
She was just glad that Dinah had had the books. Barbara fully intended to acquire more books for Dash but she'd felt that it was critical that the re-training of the slave start as soon as possible.
And that was what Dashiell was. A slave. Dark fury rose again and again Barbara fought it back. She had enjoyed the D/s scene when she was younger, had found it satisfied some very basic needs within herself. To see it perverted to this extent saddened her. It threatened to taint her memories and she wouldn't allow it. The time she spent submitting to her lover had helped make her what she was today. Shown her the importance of control and the value of trust.
Dash's hair was tousled and Barbara couldn't resist reaching out to brush the stray strands from her face. Dash murmured and shifted, the sheet falling from her shoulders to reveal the tattoo marking her as Seraph's.
She traced the dark, stylized S, her mind listing what would be needed to remove it. Barbara was determined that Dash be completely free from Seraph's hold. Her eyes slid to the spiked collar around the girl's throat and narrowed. First things first.
Dark eyes opened, filled with fear until they focused on her new mistress. She sat up and offered a small smile. "Mistress."
Barbara held up the cutters and pointed to the leather collar. "That has to come off."
Dash paled at the announcement and sat up.
"It's all right." Barbara placed something in the trembling hands and Dash glanced at it, and then froze.
The metal was cold, but warmed quickly in her hands. Two inches wide and lined with some kind of synthetic material, Dash could see that the lock was built into the closure. Tears filled her eyes when she saw the symbol etched into the metal and the inscription above the front ring. Property of Oracle.
"Is this all right?"
Dash nodded and lifted her chin, allowing Barbara access to the small padlock that she had worn for ten years. She couldn't help but flinch when the cutters snapped the metal.
But then Barbara was lifting the worn leather away and tossing it aside. She met Dash's eyes. "This is your choice."
Dash gripped the metal tightly, to hide the shaking of her hands. She'd never been offered a choice before and part of her was overwhelmed at the idea. What if I choose wrong? Her fingers traced the shape of the bird. Like the one the Huntress wears.
She looked up at Barbara and saw only caring. This woman had offered her a safe haven. Had expressed nothing more than the desire that Dash be free and happy. She raised the cool metal and encircled her throat. It snapped shut with a finality that made Dash sigh in relief. She was safe.
Barbara smiled and pulled the girl from the bed and into her lap. "Thank you for your trust."
Dash blinked, having never been thanked before. "Um. You're ... welcome?"
Laughing, Barbara ran her fingers over the collar. "There's a microphone built into the collar. Speak and I'll hear you." She handed Dash a small box. "These earrings will let you hear me no matter where you are."
Dash melted at the thought. She would never be alone. "Thank you, Mistress!"
Helena strode through the elevator doors and into the tower, her moves sure and lithe. She approached the Delphi core and faltered, actually stumbling for the first time since she was a child. Her mind tried to make sense of what she was seeing but was having a great deal of trouble.
Barbara sat in front of the monitors, fingers flying over the keys. That was normal. Helena stared at the kneeling figure beside her mentor's chair, wondering if she'd missed something. Like slipping into a different reality.
Dash was wearing a tight black tank top and snug shorts showcasing her runner's frame. She was reading a small book, but what drew Huntress' eyes was the thick band of silver metal now encircling the girl's throat. And the symbol it bore.
"There's no way I'm seeing what I think I'm seeing."
Barbara looked up from her keyboard and frowned at Helena. "What?"
Helena pointed at Dash. "What is she doing?"
Barbara smiled and stroked her hand over Dash's hair. "She's waiting."
Barbara took her new pet's hand and pulled her onto her lap. She wrapped her arm around Dash's waist and lifted her chin with her free hand. "For ... whatever I desire."
"Okay, who are you and what the hell have you done with Barbara?" The sight of Barbara touching this intruder was making it hard to keep the Huntress in check.
Barbara sighed and let Dash's head fall into the curve of her neck. "You don't know everything about me Helena. There was a time that you would have run into me at that club."
No way. "Um, Barbara? Can I talk to you a second?"
Barbara reversed, smiling down at Dash before looking at Helena. "Of course."
Dash was still on her lap and Helena frowned at her. "Alone?"
The redhead made a motion with her hand and Dash rose to her feet. "Yes Mistress." There was a blur of motion and Dash was gone. The door to Barbara's room clicking shut behind her.
Helena stared at Barbara, stunned. "Mistress?! I did not just hear her call you mistress!"
Barbara shrugged. "This isn't your concern Helena."
"The hell it isn't! I didn't save her from that bitch just to hand her over into the same situation!" It can't be the same! Barbara wouldn't ... she's not...
"It's not the same thing at all! But Dash needs a Domme to function. It's all she's ever known." I only hope I can change that.
"Look, I get the whole dom/sub thing but she's a grown woman Barbara. She's in her right mind and able to take care of herself."
Barbara shook her head. "No, She's not. She's not just a submissive, Helena. She's a slave.
"The only thing she does without permission is breathe. She cannot function without someone to run her life." Not yet anyway.
"And that has to be you?"
"She can't go back to Seraph and Seraph has put the word out that anyone who touches her will regret it." Barbara rubbed her forehead. "She needs someone to take care of her."
Helena glared. "So if you're just taking care of her then why the collar?"
"Do you really want a lesson in D/s psychology?"
"I want to know what's happening here and why." Somebody explain it because I'm lost here.
"The collar is a symbol. It shows her that I've taken her as mine and that as mine, I will protect and care for her. It comforts her."
Her quick reply made Helena wonder. "How do you know so much about this?"
I knew she was going to ask that. Barbara shook her head ruefully. "I was taught by my dominatrix when I was much younger."
Stunned, Helena could only stare at Barbara. "You were ... a sub?"
"Yes. A long time ago. She taught me everything I know about the D/s world."
She? But... Images filled her mind and Helena shook her head, trying in vain to dispel them. "I can't wrap my head around this."
"It's not important Helena. Just know that Dash is going to be part of our lives now." Until she can choose for herself.
"Have you told Dinah about this?" The third member of their group was still on vacation in Europe.
"Not yet, but she won't be that surprised. She's gotten glimpses of my past." And hadn't that led to some unsettling discussions!
Helena paced back and forth in front of Barbara. "I can't believe you would willingly sub to anyone." She stopped suddenly and looked at the older woman. "Do you still see her?"
Barbara hesitated. "...No."
Thank God! "Is she still doing the dominatrix thing? Maybe she could take Dash." And get her the hell away from you!
"Dash is not a thing that can be handed off to anyone willing to take her!"
"Isn't that what you're doing?"
"No! I care about her." How could I not care?
That hurt. "You care about me. You care about Dinah. But you didn't slap a collar around our necks!" Helena fought to hide her reactions to the images that wanted to overwhelm her. Barbara ... touching Barbara ... being held by her ... kissing her. She began to growl without realizing it.
"As if you could be collared." Barbara muttered, shaking her head. "I think we're straying from the point here."
"At least call your old Domme and see if she's interested."
The rumble in Helena's suggestion made Barbara shiver. "I can't. She's dead."
Helena stopped pacing, the grief in Barbara's voice distracting her. "Oh. I'm sorry."
Barbara swallowed back the unexpected tears. "It happened a long time ago." Please let it go, Helena.
Helena felt a frission of awareness skitter across her senses. "You miss her."
"Yes. She was a good friend." Barbara couldn't meet the younger woman's eyes.
Helena fell into the spare computer chair and stared at Barbara, her mind filling in the blanks. "Oh. My. God."
Barbara cursed the flood of color she felt rising in her cheeks. "I really didn't want you to find out like this."
"You...and ... mom?"
"What do you want me to say Helena?"
"How about the truth? Or is that too strange a concept for you?"
Irritated, Barbara snapped, "Fine. Selena and I were lovers. Happy now?"
"Nauseated maybe. But not happy."
"And you wonder why I didn't tell you?"
"Dammit Barbara! I had a right to know! She was my mother!" And you ... oh god. How could I have missed this?
"And my lover!" Barbara's fist struck the arm of her chair and she squeezed her eyes shut against the tears. "I knew ... I knew that she still loved him ... your father. But he wouldn't take the chance ... the risk. I did though. I gave her everything that I was and our time together was..."
Barbara moved away from her protégé, unwilling to let her see the tears she could no longer halt.
Helena didn't know what to do. Everything she thought she knew had been turned on its ear.
Dash's sudden appearance at Barbara's side was a welcome interruption for both of them.
She knelt beside the chair. "How may I serve you Mistress?"
Barbara forced a laugh. "I don't think you can help with this."
Dash glared at Helena. "You can't pass judgment on something you don't understand, haven't experienced." Inside she shook, amazed at her own audacity. I'll be punished for sure.
Barbara laid a hand on Dash's shoulder, sighing when the girl flinched. "Enough. Thank you, but you don't have to defend me." She shot a wry look at her pet. "I didn't give you permission to return, Dashiell."
Dash dropped her gaze and let her hands slide behind her back and link. "I'm sorry Mistress. I heard yelling."
The tenderness in Barbara's manner made snipe, "Going to beat her with a stick now?"
Barbara glared at Helena. "I prefer the whip actually."
Helena inhaled sharply, felt her eyes shift. "Remember, it's only fun until somebody loses an eye."
The scorn in Helena's comment set Barbara's temper alight. "Not to worry. I was taught to wield a whip by the best."
Helena flinched and Barbara was instantly remorseful. "I'm sorry. That was ... spiteful."
"You're serious. She really was your dominatrix." She was your lover... And inside of Helena a tiny voice was screaming. What about me?!
"Yes, she was."
"I'm trying to make this fit in my head, ya know? I remember her and I remember you. There was no sign of any of this." She waved at the kneeling Dash.
"Then we accomplished what we tried so hard to do. To keep our relationship with each other separate from our love for you." Because Selena was only using me to distract herself from Bruce. It never meant anything more to her than that.
Helena was silent for a long moment. "So when she was murdered..."
"I lost my lover as well as my best friend." Which made it all the worse, because she had been unable to hate Selena in the end. She had valued their friendship too much to make that break.
Barbara's hand had slid up to Dash's head and she stroked the short dark strands, unaware of her actions. "I had always thought that she was just humoring me, that our time together was just a diversion for her, but then I found out that she had entrusted me to take care of you..."
Helena nodded. "She did love you. I knew that. I just didn't know how much."
Barbara sighed and pulled Dash close, so that her head was lying on the redhead's unfeeling lap. "She taught me that to be a Domme was one of the greatest responsibilities that a person could ever take upon themselves. And that you did not betray the trust that your sub placed in you, under any circumstances."
Helena saw the blissful expression on Dash's face and realized that there was a lot to this whole D/s thing that she still didn't get. "How can you stand to give up control?"
Dash looked up at her mistress for permission to speak. Barbara nodded. She looked back at Helena. "It's what I am, what I've been taught."
Barbara knew that Dash's answer was not the view of a normal sub and that Helena was not going to understand. "Dash. Please go upstairs and wait for me. Take a nap or a bath. Read some more if you like. I'll be up in an hour."
Dash nodded and zipped off.
Helena was shaking her head. "I don't get it."
"I know. But Dash didn't choose to become what she is. She was made that way. It's different when you choose to be submissive to someone."
"You chose that though. You chose to hand over control. Why?" Why didn't you tell me this before? Why won't you see me like this?
"How do I explain?" Barbara thought for a moment. "When you're on sweeps and Dinah is with you, you have to make choices. You're the boss out there and she follows your lead. How does it make you feel?"
"Scared." Helena blinked as she realized that she had spoken out loud. "It ... scares the hell out of me." I don't want to fail ... again.
Barbara nodded. "You have control of the situation but it comes with the weight of responsibility. Now imagine that weight being removed from you. You're only task is to respond. To feel. To enjoy. You don't have to think. You don't have to choose."
"Sounds risky." It sounds... Helena gritted her teeth. Like something I could never have.
"That's where the trust comes in. I trusted that Selena would take care of me. That she would take me to the absolute edge of what I could stand, whether it be pleasure or pain, and keep me from falling over that edge."
Helena nodded, but her face still held doubt. I have to get out of here before I say something I can't take back. "I ... I need to take a walk. Think."
Barbara was unsurprised at the younger woman's desire to escape. "You know where to find me."
Barbara pushed the door shut behind her, studying the silent figure kneeling beside her bed. Dash's head was bowed as was proper but there was more to it than that. Her whole body seemed deflated and Barbara realized that the girl thought she was in trouble for her earlier actions.
Instantly on her feet, Dash kept her hands behind her back, left hand gripping her right wrist.
Barbara moved next to the bed and lifted herself out of her chair. She grabbed the bar at the head of the bed and pulled herself up until she was leaning back against the wall. "Undress me."
Dash began untying the pristine sneakers, her fingers trembling. Barbara swallowed hard. "Stop." She opened her arms wide and Dash wasted no time answering her unspoken request.
Barbara kissed the fading marks left by Seraph and let her hand slid under the edge of the dark top. "I am not angry with you for what you said, Dash. I'm proud of you. You spoke your mind."
Hot tears spilled and Barbara held the younger girl close, whispering soothing nonsense words as she stroked the dark head tucked under her chin.
Dash jerked hard against the restraints, her eyes flooding as the sensations rolled over her in almost continuous waves. "Mis-! Ahhhh!!!" She collapsed and over the pounding throb of blood in her ears she heard her mistress laugh.
Barbara slipped from inside her new pet's body and began to draw little patterns on the trembling stomach beside her with wet fingers. "I am so proud of you little one. You did so well."
Dash focused on the face hovering above her. "Mis-." She shook her head. No. Barbara was so much more than that. "Milady. Thank you."
Barbara's eyes narrowed. "Oh, I like that. I like that very much." She reached up and released Dash's hands. "You deserve a reward." Barbara brought the girl's hands to her breasts. "Touch me."
Dash's face filled with delighted surprise. "Yes Milady."
Later, as Dash slept, Barbara once again questioned the wisdom of letting their relationship progress to this level this fast. Part of the problem was that Barbara didn't feel that Dashiell was capable to make an informed choice and that bothered her greatly.
Not wanting to be compared to Seraph in even the slightest way, Barbara considered the night's events.
Dash had been so upset earlier. So much had happened so quickly and she was struggling to deal with entirely new concepts. What was once forbidden was now encouraged. Where there was once pain, now was kindness. The hesitant touch of Dash's lips against her throat had come as no surprise to the older woman.
Sex was what Dash knew. It was in a sense, the easy part. Given a choice Barbara would not have engaged in a sexual relationship with Dashiell but she understood that there was no real choice here.
Dash had been taught to define her own worth by the pleasure she gave. If Barbara refused her then she would be telling Dash that she was not worthy of being with her.
So Barbara had dug out a long ignored box from the back of her closet and once again stepped into the D/s world.
The relief on Dash's face when Barbara had fastened the cuffs almost undid her. She understood the perverse sense of safety that came with being bound and she had to admit that her own body was responding to scene.
Dash had obviously been expecting to be punished in some way but Barbara had wanted this first time to be only about pleasure.
She dropped a kiss on the head resting on her shoulder and let herself drift into sleep.
Helena stood in the shadows, watching the bed's occupants sleep. She could smell the heavy scent of sex in the room, could see the restraints that were now dangling from the headboard.
She could see the utter contentment on their faces.
They were sleeping soundly. They looked ... at peace. Inexplicably she felt herself grow angry.
Why couldn't she choose me?
Barbara's eyes snapped open as a low growl filled the room. "H-Helena? What's wrong?"
Helena said nothing. Just stood glaring. Barbara pulled herself into her chair and tugged the bottom of her sleep shirt down over her thighs. "What is it?"
Helena stared at Barbara, her expression unreadable. "Show me."
Barbara froze. "W-what?"
Helena moved to stand in front of the redhead. "Show me." She went to her knees and waited.
"This isn't funny Helena." But her mind helpfully gave her several suggestions for the kneeling woman that had Barbara almost gasping.
"I'm not laughing. I'm dead serious Barbara. There isn't anyone on this planet that I trust more than you. No one else that I could willingly hand my control to." Helena lowered her gaze and linked her hands behind her back.
"Show me ... Mistress."
Barbara stared down at the dark head before her and wondered what on earth she was supposed to do now. "Helena ... it's not that simple. And I'm pretty sure that it would damage our relationship."
Helena smirked. "How so? How different is it really? 'Huntress do this, Huntress do that.' Seems to me that you've got control of a lot of my life as it is."
"That's different." Isn't it? Oh God. It's not.
Seeing the slightly horrified expression, Helena realized she'd made her point. "So show me, Barbara." Her smile died and when she spoke her voice was weary. "Take the responsibility from my shoulders ... if only for a little while."
The tone of Helena's voice shook the older woman. The events of the last year had settled like a weight on her own shoulders, why had she not seen that Helena was still bearing it as well? She glanced at the bed and saw that Dash was awake and watching. Watching Helena to be exact. The look on her face was ... Barbara blinked. She feels sorry for Helena?
Looking back at Helena's feral gaze, she felt something shift inside her. If she wants this ... needs this ... Is it wrong to give it to her?
Barbara reached out and cupped the brunette's face in her hands. "Choose a safe word."
Helena's eyes slid closed and her exhale was ragged with relief. "Delphi."
Barbara couldn't help but smile at the choice. "Delphi it is." She dropped her hands and sat back. "Stand up."
Helena flowed to her feet, keeping her eyes on Barbara's hands.
"Take of all your clothes."
A shudder went through her, but she willing began to disrobe, tossing her clothes into the corner behind her. When she stood before Barbara, gloriously naked the redhead spoke again.
"Come here." Barbara pulled the brunette into her lap and slipped her hands into the dark tangle of hair. She scratched lightly, enchanted at the involuntary purr that escaped Helena. Barbara stroked the delicate lines of her face, her neck. She measured the breadth of the strong shoulders and swept her hands across the slim length of Helena's back.
Helena felt herself calming, her breathing evening out and a wonderful feeling of contentment enveloped her. The unique scent that was Barbara filled her nostrils and she inhaled deeply, wanting more.
Barbara saw the peaceful look on Helena's face, felt the utterly boneless body in her arms and moved to press her lips to the soft flesh of Helena's neck.
It took a second for the touch to register and when it did Helena's arms moved to embrace Barbara.
Barbara caught her hands and guided the younger woman until she was straddling her lap, facing her. Barbara pressed Helena's hands behind her back and clasped them together. "Don't let go."
Helena nodded and then stiffened when she saw Barbara duck her head. The tip of her breast was caught into the depth of a very warm mouth. Helena's head fell back and her eyes closed. "Oh god!"
Barbara smiled around the flesh she gripped in her teeth. She tugged gently and Helena cried out, squirming restlessly. Barbara sucked hard and felt hands suddenly grasping her upper arms. She let go of her breast and made two quick hand signals out of Helena's sight. Barbara stroked her hands down Helena's arms and caught her wrists behind her again. "Bad girl."
Dash slipped the cuffs around Helena's wrists, taking her by surprise.
Helena's head jerked around to stare at the girl as she tensed against the bonds. "What the fuck?"
Barbara caught her face in her hands and directed her attention back to her. "You asked me to show you Helena. If you want me to have control, then you must first surrender it." She began touching Helena's body, petting and stroking, claiming it. Helena's head fell back as fingernails raked lightly up the inside of her thighs.
"You gave yourself to me." Barbara spread her open, pressing her fingers just inside. "This is mine."
"Oh god! Barbara!" Helena tried to move closer, tried to bring those teasing digits into her more fully.
"No, Helena. Tonight I am your mistress." She reached up and grabbed a handful of Helena's hair, bringing her face down to meet her serious gaze. "Understand?"
Even as she started to agree, the side of her that was Huntress roared in protest. Growling, she tried to move away from Barbara, but couldn't get the leverage to do so.
Barbara's smile was pleased. "Ah, there you are. I wondered how far you'd let this go."
"Let me go!"
"I can't do that. You belong to me tonight and I intend enjoy you to the fullest."
Enraged, Huntress jerked away, falling from Barbara's lap and into the floor. She tried to straighten and realized that Dash had been busy. A second set of cuffs had been fastened around her ankles and length of chain now ran between the two sets, effectively hogtying her.
With Dash's help, they lifted the struggling woman onto the bed. Barbara kissed Dash thoroughly as reward and once again claimed the girl's body as she touched and petted her. "Very good Dashiell. I never even saw you move." She pressed her lips near her ear and whispered her next set of commands.
Huntress felt hands touching her but they were gone before she could react. In short order she found herself face down on the bed, her hands and feet stretched wide between the bedposts.
Barbara rummaged through her trunk, choosing several items and handing them to Dash. "Please take these into the bathroom and clean them. It's been a while since they've been used."
Dash blinked out of sight and was back by the time Barbara had repositioned herself beside the bed. "Thank you Dash. But you don't have to hurry." She took the items from the young meta and cupped her cheek. "I don't want you to wear yourself out ... yet."
Dash blushed, but her eyes glittered with arousal. "Yes, Milady."
Huntress strained against her bonds, hearing the bed frame creak under the pressure.
Barbara reached out and landed a hard smack to the bare ass. "Enough. Helena wants this. I agreed to give her what she wants and you are not going to stop me Huntress."
The implication that they were two different people intrigued Dash and she decided to ask Milady about it later.
Huntress' string of curses was interrupted by the sharp crack of the flogger landing across her buttocks. She hissed in surprise and pain.
"The proper way to accept punishment is to count the blows as they are delivered and thank me for them, understand?" When no reply was forthcoming, Barbara delivered another blow, angling it so that the tips of the leather struck the tender flesh between Huntress's legs.
Huntress cried out and her body began to shake. "I ... understand."
"Good girl, we'll start with ten. And I'll be very upset if you break my bed, Huntress." Barbara drew back and sent the next stroke landing across her ass, just above the first blow.
Huntress gasped out, "O-one. Thank you." She paused and added. "Mistress."
Barbara continued the punishment, and with the tenth stroke, she signaled Dash, who handed her the next item.
Huntress had thanked her and was trying to adjust to the waves of pain when she felt something smooth and solid touch her cunt. "M-Mistress?" Her question was answered as Barbara firmly pushed the dildo deep inside her captive.
Barbara reached out and gripped the dark head again. "These are the rules to this game, Huntress. You are not allowed to come until I tell you, understand?"
Huntress hesitated and was rewarded with another smack to her already flaming ass. The sensation shot straight to her clit and almost brought her to orgasm right then. "God ... I understand Mistress!"
Barbara smiled approvingly. "Excellent. Now I can play." She pulled herself onto the bed between the spread legs and laid her check against the red flesh of Huntress' backside. "You have no idea how many times I have wanted to spank you." She gripped the dildo and slid it almost completely from Huntress' body. "Every time you disobeyed orders." She thrust the shaft back home as she spoke and Huntress came up off the bed with a howl. Barbara shoved her back down and motioned for Dash. "Dashiell, please sit on her back. She won't stay still otherwise."
Dash climbed up onto the bed and settled herself in the small of Huntress' back, facing her mistress.
Huntress felt the damp heat suddenly pooling against her, smelled the dark scent of Dash's arousal and began to tremble again.
Barbara returned to plumbing the depths of her still-wild sub, thrilled when the low growls began to fill the room once again. "I love that sound. I want to hear more."
There was a snapping noise and both Barbara and Dash turned to see the broken bedpost now lying beside Huntress' curled fist. Barbara made a tsking sound. "I see we have a lot to work on."
Helena sat on the ledge outside the clock face and stared down at the city. The morning sun bathed everything in a forgiving light, not yet showing the city's scars. She looked down at her hands and traced the faint bruising that encircled her wrists. She'd had no idea when she'd asked Barbara to show her this world what it would really mean.
Helena shifted around, meeting the redhead's guarded smile with one of her own. "Regrets? No. I got what I asked for." She exhaled strongly. "And a lot that I didn't expect."
Barbara moved closer and placed a hand over Helena's. "Letting go is the hardest thing you can do. I'm amazed at your strength."
Helena knew she wasn't referring to the broken bed. It was what came after that. When the Huntress had retreated. Barbara had laid Helena over her lap and spanked her. This time with her hand. The position and the pain had opened something inside her. And what had poured out had left Helena weeping in her mentor's embrace. For her perceived betrayal. Guy. Wade. For everything that she still blamed herself for. And one more thing. She had finally let herself mourn the loss of her friend: Dr. Harleen Quinzel.
"Should I be feeling like this?"
"How do you feel?" Please don't hate me.
Helena thought about it for moment. "Lighter."
Relief made Barbara smile widely. "Yes Helena. You should feel lighter." She brought Helena's hand to her lips. "To allow me to share your burden ... there is no greater sign of trust. Thank you."
Helena snorted. "God Barbara. I should be thanking you. What happened last night..." She hesitated. "I've never felt like that before."
Barbara nodded, understanding completely.
Biting her bottom lip, Helena ducked her head and looked at Barbara through the strands of hair that fell forward. Shielded thusly, she asked the one question that had been burning in her mind since she had awoken. "Does ... Does it have to end?"
Fully aware of what she was asking, Barbara felt her body responding to the idea. "No. It doesn't." She took Helena's hand again and backed her chair up, leading the younger woman back inside.