FANDOM: Birds of Prey TV

PAIRING: Barbara/Helena

DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, but wish I did.


SUMMARY: As Helena and Barbara's relationship gets off the ground, will a secret Barbara's been keeping threaten it all?

SERIES: This is a sequel to my previous story, "I'll be Dreaming."

ARCHIVING: Only with author's permission.


Chapter 1

"Huntress, what do you see?" Barbara clicked away on the keyboard as she waited for Helena to respond.


"Excuse me?" Barbara asked, sure she had misheard.

<<You heard me right. Slinkies. They're hanging all over the ceiling. Don't know how they got up there, though.>>

"Any other signs of a disturbance?"

<<Well, if you count the fact that the vault is open and a couple of the night guards are unconscious, then yes.>> Barbara rolled her eyes at the sarcasm, but she wasn't too annoyed by it. Like every other thing about Helena that she had once found irritating, Barbara now thought of as endearing. Love can do that.

<<It looks like your everyday, run of the mill, middle of the night bank heist. Some calling card, though.>>

"Okay Huntress, get out of there. Cops are two minutes away."

<<Copy that Oracle.>> Barbara could hear the sound of movement and boots on gravel, a sign that Helena had already taken to the rooftops. <<Anything else going on?>>

"Negative," Barbara replied, looking at the monitors. "Why don't you come back in."

<<Ah, I need to run by my apartment first. I won't be long.>>

"Okay," Barbara said, disappointed.

<<Going off coms.>> And with that, Helena was gone. Barbara sighed, taking her glasses off and placing them next to the keyboard. Reaching over, she powered down the Delphi and made her way down the platform. It had been two weeks since the ordeal with Helena's nightmares, two weeks since they confessed their feelings for each other, and Barbara was getting anxious. They had said they were going to take things slowly, but this was ridiculous. Helena had asked her out on a date two weeks ago, and they had yet to go on it.

Barbara couldn't be sure, but it felt like the younger woman was pulling away. Considering what she'd recently been through, Barbara was going to cut Helena some slack. But, she was beginning to get concerned. Okay, not so much concerned as self conscious. Barbara had a deep seeded worry that Helena would change her mind about them, no matter how much she had been assured by the younger woman that her feelings were real.

As Barbara made her way into the kitchen to make some tea, she heard Dinah's bedroom door open and the blonde's footsteps as she made her way downstairs.

"How's the paper coming?" she asked as the teen entered the kitchen and began to rifle through the cupboards.

"Progress is being made," Dinah sighed. "Do you think Helena would be mad if I ate these?" she asked, holding up the last packet of pop tarts.

"You're on your own if she is," Barbara warned her as she turned on the burner and waited for the water to boil. Dinah tore into the pop tarts, deciding to throw caution to the wind. Besides, since they were practically family, it was her job as the little sister to aggravate the older sister. It simply had to be done. It was destiny.

"You okay, Barbara?" Dinah asked, trying to read the redhead's mood.

"I'm fine," Barbara said, turning to look at the teen. "I'm just..."

"Helena?" Dinah guessed. The older woman nodded.

"That obvious, huh?" Barbara said, coming to rest at the table as the teen took a seat to eat her snack.

"You guys have no clue how obvious you are," Dinah teased. "But, whatever it is, I can tell you this. Helena's got a thick skull, so patience will come in handy."

"You're right about that," the redhead said. Dinah stood and walked to the refrigerator. Pulling out a can of Mountain Dew, she popped the tab and sat back down.

"Mountain Dew at this time of night?" Barbara questioned the teen, sliding into her guardian role. When Dinah gave her a stern glare, Barbara put up her hands. "Okay. It's not a school night, I guess it's alright." Dinah smiled at her then took a big gulp.

"Dinah," Barbara began. "We haven't exactly had a chance to talk since Helena and I I...I hope you're okay with all of the changes."

"Of course I'm okay with it," the blonde said, dumbfounded. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"Well, some people can get a little funny about these things." Barbara thought that was putting it a little nicely.

"Well, not me. I already told Helena, I had been wondering what took you so long. I mean, like I said, you're not much on the being inconspicuous thing. I could tell by the way you looked at each other when I first met you." Dinah bit off another piece of the pop tart. "So, not that you need it or anything, but you have my blessing," she said, with a mouthful of food.

Barbara reached over and brushed a strand of blonde hair behind Dinah's ear. "That's good to hear."

"Well, I'd better get back to work. The Revolutionary War awaits," Dinah stood. "Um, if I finish the paper by tomorrow night, can I go to that party I told you about?"

"As long as Gabby goes with you and you call if you're going to be late."

"Cool!" Dinah said as she bounced back to her room. Barbara smiled and went back to making her tea.

Twenty minutes later, Barbara was sitting on the balcony, sipping her tea and contemplating her next move. The last thing she wanted to do was push Helena, but she was starting to think she would have to make the first move. True, they had made out on a handful of occasions, slept in the same bed nearly every night for the past two weeks and gotten the `I love you' part out of the way. If Barbara were honest with herself, she would realize it wasn't just Helena who was dragging her feet. They were both apprehensive and nervous. Not to mention busy. Barbara had spent the better part of the past two weeks figuring out how to undo what Harley Quinn had done. After several all-nighters, she finally had a breakthrough. She had figured out how to reverse the effects of the meta-ability transferring device. Harley Quinn's days of hypnotizing are, as they say, history. She then had the machine destroyed.

Barbara found that she still wrestled with the morality of it all. Was it right to build a machine to tamper with meta humans and their abilities? Certainly not. Was it right that she had to take advantage of that technology to make sure that the world would be safe from Harley Quinn? That was the question the cyber genius still wrestled with. Saving the world and keeping her family safe was the end result, so why was she struggling at all? Barbara reminded herself that it was Quinn who got this particular ball rolling. Plus, she hadn't come by her meta abilities honestly, so there had to be some leeway on the moral front. The whole situation was fucked up.

Barbara didn't turn her head when she heard the elevator doors open. She knew it was Helena, she could somehow feel her presence. Wrapping her hands around the warm mug, she brought it up to her lips for another sip. When she brought it back down, she felt soft lips attach to her neck.

"There you are," Barbara said, tilting her head back. When she felt Helena pull her lips away, she brought her head back down. Sitting in her lap was a single red rose.

"I know it's kind of cliché, to bring a beautiful woman a rose, but I couldn't help myself." Helena walked around to face Barbara, who brought the rose up to her face.

"It's beautiful," Barbara said shyly, a rosy blush creeping into her cheeks. "Thank you."

"Come with me. I want to show you something," Helena said, eyes sparkling as she spoke.

"Where are we going?" Barbara asked, confused.

"For a ride," Helena answered, extending her hand to Barbara. "You trust me?"

"With my life," Barbara answered, taking her hand.

Chapter 2

It was a brief car ride to their destination. Barbara recognized right away where they were going, but couldn't understand why. As Helena put the Hummer in park outside of the Dark Horse, Barbara decided to ask.

"You know, we have much better liquor at home."

"Oh, we're not going into the bar," Helena said, turning off the engine. "You ready?"

Barbara nodded as Helena exited the vehicle. The redhead's butterflies had returned. If they weren't going to the bar, then they were probably going to the apartment above the bar, which just so happened to be Helena's. Barbara thought she was being silly about all of this. There was no reason to be nervous. The two of them had spent plenty of time alone together. They'd shared the same bed, kissed for hours and knew each other better than anyone. So, what was it about going to Helena's apartment that made her so anxious?

Barbara silently pondered her feelings while they entered the elevator. Was this the night? Were they going to take the next step? The older woman was filled with excitement and anxiety over the thought. She was so preoccupied that she didn't notice when the elevator came to a stop three stories above Helena's apartment. The doors opened and Helena stepped out.

"You coming?" she asked, glancing at the redhead.

"Where are we going?" Barbara asked as she exited the elevator. She followed Helena down the hall to a steel door with a bolt lock. The brunette pulled out a key from her pocket and opened up the door, revealing a short staircase that led to the roof.

"Okay, this is where it gets tricky," Helena told her. "I know you don't like to be carried, but I need to get you up the stairs. There's another chair for you up there."

Barbara considered the younger woman for a moment. It was true she didn't like to be handled. It made her feel useless. It made her feel like a burden. But, if it were Helena carrying her, Barbara had a feeling she could put all of those knee-jerk feelings aside. Lifting her arms up slightly, Barbara just smiled. Helena smiled back and bent down to lift the redhead. Scooping her up, Helena swiftly and gently climbed the stairs to the roof.

Arriving at the top, Helena placed Barbara in the chair she had waiting for her. She pressed a brief kiss to the older woman's lips before releasing her and walking further onto the roof. Barbara followed.

Helena came to a stop next to a blanket that was laid out on the rooftop. There was a small picnic basket next to it and a bottle of wine, chilling. Helena quirked an eyebrow and looked at Barbara.

"Care to do some star gazing?" she asked her.

"I would love to," Barbara smiled. As Helena came toward her, the redhead lifted her arms once again, allowing the younger woman to lift her up and transfer her to the blanket. Helena then settled herself behind Barbara and wrapped her arms around her.

Inhaling the scent of the redhead's hair, Helena spoke softly. "I owe you an apology." Barbara leaned back into the younger woman.

"For what, sweetheart?" she asked.

"I've been distant. I'm sorry," Helena said, her lips just above Barbara's ear. The older woman hugged Helena's arms to her.

"Do you wanna talk about it?"

"I've never been very good at relationships," she admitted with a whisper. "I'm scared I'm gonna screw it up." Squeezing the redhead a little tighter, Helena inhaled deeply. "What's happening between you and I, it's too important." Barbara felt her heart constrict at Helena's admission.

"I'm afraid, too."

"Of me?" Helena asked, fear in her voice.

"No!" Barbara's response was immediate. She turned her head to get a look at Helena. Frowning at the panic-stricken look on the brunette's face, Barbara brought her hand up to cup Helena's cheek. "I'm not afraid of you, Helena, never of you." As the anxiety on the younger woman's face disappeared, Barbara smiled faintly and resumed their previous position.

"I'm scared for the same reasons you are. The way I feel about you Helena," Barbara paused. "I don't even have words for the way I feel about you. We lead a dangerous life, you lead a dangerous life. My heart is in my throat every time I hear you confront a criminal over coms, but it's like there's so much more on the line. You're right, this is too important."

"So, you want me to quit being the Huntress?" Helena asked, confused.

"No," Barbara replied, her head down. "What we do is important, too. I'm just having a hard time reconciling IT with us."

"Aren't we a pair," the brunette dead-panned.

"Indeed we are," Barbara said as she shivered slightly. She felt the younger woman move behind her, reaching for something. Another blanket appeared and Helena unfolded it and wrapped it around her from the front.

"You've thought of everything," Barbara said. "So, what's in the basket?"

"Just a little dessert," Helena smirked. "And tomorrow night, I'll take you to dinner. I know, it's a little backwards, but you're just going to have to deal with it."

"Helena, you know I don't expect you to take me out if you're not ready."

"Oh, I'm ready Barbara. I just needed to get the `making an ass of myself' part out of the way," Helena teased. "I do love you, Barbara."

"And I love you, Helena," Barbara said as she sank deeper into the blankets and the brunette.

* * * * *

"You are never going to believe this," Barbara said while looking at the Delphi's monitor.

<<I'm so bored I can't come up with anything clever to say to that.>> Helena was on sweeps, but it was a quiet night.

"Well, it just got a bit more interesting," Barbara told her. "Seems a shipment was hijacked down at the docks night before last. Pretty high class cargo, but it looks like there was only one crate taken," Barbara was clicking away on the keyboard.

<<Am I supposed to guess?>>

"The thief or thieves made off with a crate headed for NG Toys. One guess as to what was inside it," Barbara smirked.

<<Um, does it walk down stairs, alone or in pairs?>>

"Such a smart girl," the older woman teased.

<<Despite my veritable knowledge of slinkies, I'm pretty sure I'm a woman and not a girl, Oracle. Give me a chance, and I'll prove it to you.>>

"I'm counting on it, Huntress," Barbara had to admit that she loved the banter. Ever since they admitted their feelings, it had gotten a bit more flirty, and occasionally suggestive. It made her tremble in anticipation of what was still to come for them. It was strange, but the redhead felt that her anxiety over entering into an intimate relationship with Helena was subsiding. The younger woman had made it quite clear that her inability to feel anything below the waist, well almost anything, did not matter to her. In fact, Barbara was hard pressed to think of any time that the brunette made her feel inadequate. It had simply never happened.


"Oh, sorry," Barbara stammered, realizing she had been silent for nearly two minutes. "I'm afraid you've gotten me all flustered," she admitted.

<<I wish I was there to see that.>>

"Don't worry. I'm sure it'll happen again." Barbara straightened the glasses on her face and again focused on the screen in front of her. "The police already combed the area, but seeing as we have nothing else going on..."

<<I'll go see if there's anything they missed. But, don't think this means you can back out on our dinner later.>>

"I wouldn't dream of it."

* * * * *

"Eww, gross," Helena said as she regained her balance. She was on the deck of a cargo ship looking for clues in the big slinky theft. She had been wondering how someone managed to get a large crate of slinkies off of a ship without being noticed, but judging by how easy it was for her to sneak in, that was no longer a mystery. "I think I'm gonna be sick."


"Someone got sick on the last voyage...and I just stepped in it."

<<I hope that's not your subtle way of telling me you've lost your appetite and won't be taking me to dinner.>>

"Oh no," Helena insisted. "This dinner is as close to written in stone as it gets. You're not getting out of it that easy." She could hear Barbara's soft laugh as the redhead was typing away at the keyboard.

<<You still haven't told me where we're going.>>

"That, Oracle, is for me to know and you to find out." Helena moved around the deck. Nothing seemed unusual, aside from the puke, and even that didn't seem too odd. "Well Oracle, I've got a butt load of shipping containers, but they all appear to be secure. I don't really see anything unusual." As she spoke, something to her left caught her eye. There was a faint red glow coming from the outside corner of one of the containers. She changed direction and slowly moved toward whatever it was.

<<Okay, I guess you can call it a night and get ready for your big date.>>

Helena smiled at Barbara's teasing tone. "Don't make me blush. You know red isn't my color." Approaching the shipping container in question, the small red glow near the floor of the deck became brighter. Helena bent down to get a closer look. Her eyes widened as she realized what it was she was looking at. There, attached to the bottom corner of the shipping container, was a small black box. It was attached to something that looked like a block of clay, with wires coming out of it. The red glow was from the digital clock on the face of the little black box, only this clock was counting backwards. Helena had seen plenty of action movies to know that all of those things, by themselves were not very threatening, but together spelled trouble with a capital BOOM. "Oh shit," she breathed, her voice clearly in distress.

<<Huntress? What is it?>>

"Bomb," she said steadily, but clearly panicked. As the numbers on its face descended, Helena snapped out of the trance that had her frozen in place. Seven seconds. Turning on her heels, Helena entered into a flat out run. She was in the center of the deck, her sights set on its edge, which in the darkness looked like it dropped off into oblivion. Barbara was yelling something into her ear, but she couldn't make it out. All she could hear was the blood rushing past her ears. Even the sounds of her heavy footfalls were mute.

Different images flashed across her plane of vision. They were all of Barbara. Images of the redhead sitting in front of the Delphi with that serious contemplative look on her face. She saw Barbara laughing, saw her smile, the one that could light up a room. She saw Barbara in the training room, a sheen of sweat glowing off her skin as she went through her routine. Helena saw Barbara's face, as it looks when the redhead touches her and leans in for a kiss. She was running to her, running to Barbara. And then, she was falling. Falling into a bright white light, or maybe falling out of a bright white light, it was hard to say. Her back felt like it was on fire, but that was quickly replaced by something cold and wet. And the bright light she thought she was falling into became black.

Chapter 3

Barbara was literally going out of her mind. The sounds she had heard over the transceiver kept playing over and over again in her head. Helena had said "bomb." There was this rush of air, heavy breathing, the sound of someone running. Someone was screaming. Barbara was now certain that the screaming had been coming from her, though she has no recollection of the specific words that poured out of her mouth. It all happened so fast, yet so slow. At the end of it all, there was nothing but static.

Barbara wasn't sure how long she sat there, frozen in her chair. But, once the static turned to dead air, she moved in a flurry of activity. Dinah had been summoned away from her party and was now down at the docks looking for any sign of Helena all the while avoiding the police and firefighters that had set up shop. Barbara was listening to scanner chatter for any sign that the authorities had found…what? A body? A survivor? She didn't want to think about it, even though that's all she could do. The explosion knocked out the security cameras in the area, so she was literally flying blind.

<<Oracle, the fire's out.>>

"What do you see?" Barbara's heart was in her throat.

<<I'm sorry. There's no sign of her.>> Dinah's voice was full of regret and sadness. Barbara gripped the arms of her chair, as if holding on a little tighter would mean she was not letting go of Helena, not giving up hope.

"Canary, I need you to cover the entire area. She could have been thrown by the force of the blast."

<<I'm not coming in until I find something.>> The determination in Dinah's voice made Barbara smile sadly, but it also made her feel a little better. However, she still felt like she could jump out of her skin. Sitting there, listening to the scanners, she felt as helpless as she ever had. More. She needed to do something, had to keep her mind occupied. But, there was nothing to occupy it with. Tears finally fell from Barbara's eyes as she felt the weight of her emotions. She fought against the images in her head, images of Helena being overtaken by flames. Bending down, with her head in her hands, Barbara sobbed.

* * * * *

Seven seconds. What kinds of things can be done in seven seconds? I can fill a glass from the tap in seven seconds. I can make change in seven seconds. If I jump off the roof of the clock tower, I can land on me feet in seven seconds. It takes me seven seconds to go from zero to 60 miles on Batgirl's old Ducati. If I wanted to, I could polish off a pop tart in seven seconds.

Is seven seconds long enough to live, to breathe, to be a hero, to make a mistake? I'm pretty sure that it's long enough to feel pain, to feel love, to be scared. Sometimes, seven seconds can feel like an eternity. Sometimes, seven seconds is just seven seconds.

This time, seven seconds was a lifetime of Barbara's kisses, of waking up next to her every morning. It was thousands of dinner dates with me reaching across the table to steal a bite of her food. It was foot rubs and lazy Saturday mornings. It was Christmases..when did it become about Christmases? It was a holiday I never paid attention to before.

No. No, this was just seven seconds. It wasn't the end of the world. It wasn't the end of me. It wasn't the end of Barbara and me. I want kisses and mornings. I want dinners and foot rubs. I want Christmases, damn it!

* * * * *

The night air was cold on her skin, but Barbara hardly noticed. Sitting on the balcony, she was expressionless as she stared out over the city. Her lungs filled with the smell of New Gotham, a city she swore to protect above all else, a city she would gladly burn to the ground to find Helena safe and sound, if only that were possible.

<<Oracle, I found something.>> When Barbara had heard Dinah's transmission, she was thrown into a mix of fear and hope. The hope part didn't last long once she recognized the tone in the teen's voice. <<It's her jacket, it's…oh God, it's covered in blood.>>

Now, Dinah was sitting alone in her room, probably crying, and Barbara was sitting alone on the balcony completely void of any emotion. What was the point? If Helena had indeed survived the explosion, it would be a waste of time to drown in grief now. And, if Helena was gone, Barbara doubted she would ever feel anything again.

* * * * *

"There are no obvious signs of any victims, detective. I'll let you know if the crime scene unit finds anything," the scruffy haired officer said.

"Thanks Sam." Detective Jesse Reese had been on his way home when he heard the call come in about an explosion at the docks and decided to check it out. By the time he got there, the fire was nearly out. According to the officers on scene, no bodies had been found. Of course, had anyone been on the ship when it blew, they may never find them.

Realizing there was nothing he could do, Jesse made his way back to his car. The smell of smoke was thick and the detective wondered briefly if it would stay in his clothes. As he approached his car, Jesse hit the unlock button on his key chain. As the car chirped and his lights came on, the detective came to a sudden halt as he noticed the huddled form next to his head lights. Squinting, as though not believing his eyes, Jesse Reese instantly recognized the dark figure.


At the sound of her name, Helena lifted her head. She was soaking wet, with blood streaming down the left side of her face. "Jesse," she breathed as the detective approached and bent down next to her.

"My God, what happened to you?" Helena didn't respond, just nodded in the direction of the docks. "Helena, did you have anything to do with that?"

"No, just in the wrong place at the wrong time," she said, shaking her head. "Look, I know this is awkward, but I need your help getting back to the clock tower. I don't think I can make it on foot."

"Why don't I take you to the hospital instead," the detective suggested, taking in the Helena's pale features. Now that he was closer to her, he could see dozens of cuts and scrapes all over her face and arms. He still cared about her, no matter how badly it had ended between them.

"No, please," Helena insisted. "I just need to get back to Barbara." The detective winced, feeling that old jealousy starting to bubble up again. When he and Helena had been together, it was never a two person relationship. There had always been Barbara. Helena had always been running to Barbara or running to help Barbara. Even when they were alone, they weren't. The dark woman had never truly opened herself up to the detective. She had never really trusted him, not like she trusted Barbara. They had fought about it several times, but Jesse knew it was useless. He knew Helena loved Barbara, and there was nothing he could do about it.

Nodding, Jesse stood, but he leaned back down when he saw how much trouble Helena was having getting up on her own. As he put his arm around her back for support, she screamed in pain. Looking down, the detective saw the blood torn hole in the back of Helena's shirt.

"Shit," he stammered as he looked at the blood on his hand.

"Yeah, I took it in the back when the ship blew," Helena told him. "Don't worry, I heal fast. Just get me home."

Chapter 4

Four hours. It had been four hours since the explosion at the docks, four hours since Barbara had heard Helena's voice. It had been 90 minutes since Dinah found Helena's blood covered jacket, 45 minutes since the blonde came home and 44 minutes that Barbara had been sitting out on the balcony, the bloody jacket in her lap. Of course, the redhead had no idea how long it had been. Time stopped for Barbara the second Helena's transmission ended. It had to. If it hadn't, she would have to figure out what comes next, and that was something she was not ready to think about.

The wind whistled as it blew, carrying with it the smell of smoke and ashes. The whole city was covered in it. Barbara wanted to dispel it. The taste of the air in her lungs made her sick. Her stomach twisted and turned. She felt like she was on a rollercoaster, the mere thought making her dizzy. Putting her head down toward her knees, Barbara tried to fill her senses with clean, fresh air, but there wasn't any. There was only fire and smoke.

And an elevator. Someone was coming up in the elevator. With hope in her heart and desperation in her movements, Barbara wheeled herself inside as quickly as she could. She made it about six feet away from the elevator when the doors opened. What she saw inside the elevator made her heart drop into her stomach. With an audible gasp, she moved closer to Detective Jesse Reese, who was supporting Helena. She was standing, but her arm around his neck and his around her waist were the only things keeping her up. Helena's head bobbed as she tried to remain alert.

Barbara took in the blood, cuts and scrapes that had taken up residence on the brunette's body. She saw the pallor of Helena's face and briefly wondered how much blood loss there had been. "Get her into the training room," she directed the detective. Her insides were at war with her. The adrenaline that had begun wearing off just minutes ago had kicked back in. Eventually, the past four hours would catch up with her. Now, there was only Helena.

Dinah, who had gone directly to her room after returning home with nothing but Helena's jacket, came out when she heard the commotion. She had been sitting in complete silence, her senses on alert in case Helena came home. Still, she was surprised that she had.

Reese walked Helena into the training room and went directly to the treatment table. He set her down, but quickly realized she was not going to be able to keep herself up. She moaned in pain as he caught her before she fell back. Barbara's heart constricted at the sound.

"Lay her down on her back," she instructed. Jesse paused and looked at her, then over to Dinah, who was quietly standing nearby.

"That's probably not a good idea," he said, removing his hand from her back and showing Barbara the blood that covered it.

"On her side, then," Barbara felt herself losing control, but reined it in. Now was no time to get upset. "Dinah, grab a pair of scissors and some gauze," as Barbara said it, the teen was in motion. Barbara moved around to the side of the table where Jesse stood and winced in sympathy as he helped Helena onto her side, her back to them. The brunette was trying hard not to cry out in pain, but she was losing the battle.

"I don't feel right about this. We should get her to a hospital," Reese said.

"No," Helena choked out. All movement in the room ceased as three sets of eyes looked down at her. "No hospitals. Just Barbara," she said weakly. The redhead felt tears tracking down her cheeks. Brushing them away with the back of her hand, she grabbed the scissors from Dinah.

"Okay sweetheart. I need you to try to stay still. I know it hurts," her voice was soothing. Helena closed her eyes and took a ragged breath as Barbara used the scissors to cut her shirt away and reveal the wound in her lower back. The older woman stopped herself from gasping in shock at how ugly the wound was. Barbara cleared her throat before speaking. "What did this?"

"I don't know, something sharp. I was jumping off the ship when it blew," Helena paused, coughing slightly. "There was all of this debris going over my head…and something drove right into my back."

"I can't watch this," Jesse said. "She needs to go to a hospital. I should never have brought her here!"

"You can leave any time!" Barbara shouted as she turned to glare at the detective. "Look, I appreciate you helping her, but this is my show now. I will decide if and when she goes to a hospital." Barbara would never admit it, but her sudden anger was mostly about marking her territory. She would feel guilty about that later, though. Taking a deep breath to calm herself, she spoke again. "I would never put her in jeopardy, you got that?" Turning back around to Helena's wound, Barbara began to clean the area of blood so she could get a better look.

"It's deep, but not that deep," her voice was steady and serious. "I'm going to have to clean it out and sew it up. Your meta healing should help you fight off any infections." Barbara's words were comforting to Helena, even though they sounded like they were coming from a stranger. The redhead was in her "take control of the situation" mode, which meant she had shut off her emotions in order to focus. That also meant that once her emotions turned back on, there would be a flood of them.

"Dinah, grab me a syringe of novocaine," Barbara instructed the teen as she brought her a suture kit and everything that Barbara would need to stitch up Helena's back. "Unless you need something stronger," the redhead said, directing her question to the injured woman.

"No," Helena croaked. "Strong like bull," she said, sounding anything but. Barbara took the syringe from Dinah as the blonde returned with it, then carefully numbed the area around the wound.

"While I'm doing this, would you see to the cuts on her face?" Barbara asked Dinah, who nodded and grabbed a clean cloth and a bottle of water. The teen stood next to Helena, looking down at her, when she had a brief moment of apprehension. She had sparred with the brunette on many occasions, worked in tandem with her on sweeps, even got a couple of hugs out of her, but she had never touched the woman in the way she was about to. Dinah realized this would be the first time she's had to touch Helena as though she were something fragile. Since Helena was anything but fragile, it took Dinah a few seconds to process this. Then, she wondered, would Helena allow her to touch her face? The brunette's eyes lifted up to meet hers, and it was as though she were having the same thoughts. When Helena smiled a bit sympathetically, Dinah nodded. Using water from the water bottle to wet the cloth, Dinah put one hand on Helena's face and brought the cloth up with the other, cleaning away the blood and grime. The brunette's head wound had stopped bleeding, but the dried blood was caking the side of her face. The teen was surprised when the cut didn't appear to need stitches. Head wounds sure could bleed.

Reese stood back and watched the women work. He was torn between an instinct to get on the radio and report the incident and an instinct to just run. He was obviously not needed. Barbara and Dinah seemed more than capable, and the redhead appeared to be right about Helena not needing a hospital. What was keeping the detective there, frozen in place, was the confirmation of something he had suspected for a long time. He knew that Helena loved Barbara, but it was clear to him now that that love was returned. He saw it in the redhead's eyes when the elevator doors opened, heard it in her voice. Even now, as she worked in silence, he could feel it emanating off of her. It was palpable. It was overwhelming.

"I'm gonna wait outside," he said. Barbara was so engrossed, she didn't even acknowledge that he had spoken. Dinah, however, felt the turn in energy in the room and looked up at the detective.

"I'll go with you," Dinah told him. "If that's okay," she looked down at Helena, then over at Barbara. She had already cleaned the cuts on Helena's face and applied butterfly bandages to the worst one. It was a jagged cut that ran from her hairline down past her left eyebrow, narrowly missing her eye. It took three butterfly bandages to keep it closed. Barbara nodded at Dinah, but didn't speak.

Following Jesse out of the room, Dinah closed the door behind them. The detective stopped after a few steps and turned to look at the teen.

"Is that a recent development?" he asked her. Dinah knew what he was referring to and it had nothing to do with current situation Helena found herself in.

"Yes," the teen said in a hushed voice, sympathy on her face.

"I guess I shouldn't be surprised," he breathed as he pushed his back up against a wall and slumped at the revelation. "I always knew. It just…hurts to see it," he paused and looked at the blonde. "Will she be okay?"

"Barbara will take good care of her. Besides, she heals like it's going out of style," she joked. The detective recognized the humor, but couldn't find the will to smile. Instead, he straightened up and nodded his head.

"I'm gonna go. See ya around, kid," he said as he turned to leave.

"Thank you for helping her, Reese," Dinah called after him. The detective offered a wave and a nod as he left.

Chapter 5

Barbara was finishing up the stitching job on Helena's back. The younger woman had groaned in pain several times, but otherwise the room had been silent. Helena's entire body hurt. Every bone, every muscle was crying out. She was shivering, probably from her time in the water, and finding it took all of her concentration she could be still while Barbara worked.

Barbara gently applied antibiotic cream to the wound and then covered it with a bandage. She let her hand float over the bandage a few seconds longer than necessary, feeling all of the potential outcomes of the injury. Her hand burned as a sudden pain flooded through her. Helena could have died. Helena could have died.

The redhead gathered up her supplies and moved around the table to put them away. She was choking on a sob, trying not to let Helena hear it. Of course, the younger woman's hearing was superb. Watching Barbara from under heavy eyelids, the brunette could see the tension in her frame.

"Barbara," she said hoarsely.

"Hmmm?" Barbara responded, her back to Helena.

"Are you alright?" The question hung in the air for several seconds before Barbara turned her chair around. She looked at Helena, then down at her lap. Making up her mind, she wheeled the chair to the side of the table. Smiling sadly, Barbara took Helena's hand in hers.

"Shouldn't I be asking you that?"

"I'm sorry, Barbara," the brunette was visibly shivering.

"For what? Helena this wasn't your fault," she reached up to take Helena's face in hers. "I just thank God that you had the strength to come back to me."

"Come back to you? You saved my life," Helena tried to get up, but the pain kept her from completing the motion. Barbara gently put her hands on Helena's shoulders to keep her down. That's when she noticed just how cold the younger woman was.

"You're freezing," she exclaimed. "Let's get you into some clean clothes and into bed, sweetheart."

Helena nodded. "I don't think I can walk, Barbara." The older woman looked at her, contemplating the situation. She could call for Dinah, but chose not to.

"Can you sit up?" Helena nodded, indicating she would try. Barbara supported the brunette as best as she could, placing one hand on her knee and the other underneath her. Helena had been lying on her side, so the trip into a sitting position was easier than if she had been on her back. Still, it was painful. She hissed in a breath as she started to move, holding it in until she was sitting, legs dangling off the edge.

"Okay, now slide over here," Barbara said as she positioned her chair so that the brunette would be able to get into her lap. Helena looked at her questioningly, then took another deep breath. Again, Barbara helped in the transition as much as she could. Once Helena was in her lap, the redhead wrapped her arms around her shivering frame. Being careful not to squeeze too hard, Barbara pressed a kiss to Helena's head.

Helena was lying limply in Barbara's arms, head resting on her shoulder. She breathed in deeply, inhaling the redhead's scent. "God," she exhaled. "I thought I was never going to smell you again." Barbara chuckled softly as she wheeled them toward the door. "You laugh. But, I'm telling you, you could bottle this stuff and make enough money to keep me in high fashion and pop tarts for the rest of my life." Helena's voice was hoarse and weak, but her sense of humor was intact.

* * * * *

"I should get you something to eat," Barbara said as she pulled the covers up over a still shivering Helena. She had helped the brunette into sweats and a t-shirt and then into bed.

"Oh crap, our date!" Helena exclaimed. She was lying on her side because of the wound to her back, but still tried to sit up. Barbara's hand on her shoulder kept her down. "I'm sorry, Barbara. I really screwed this up," she said, letting her head fall back onto the pillow. The redhead reached up to run the back of her fingers over Helena's forehead.

"What happened was not your fault," she told her. "How were you supposed to know there'd be a bomb on that freighter," she put her head down. "I shouldn't have sent you over there."

"Okay," the younger woman said. "I'm not going to let you blame yourself and you're not going to let me blame myself. But, I'm still sorry that I ruined our date," Helena's voice sounded tired. Her eyes were droopy, but her body was shivering less and she was beginning to relax. The pain was still there, but it had turned into a dull, widespread ache.

"I'll take a rain check," Barbara told her as she reached up to rub the brunette's arm through the bed sheets. "So, how about it? You hungry?"

"Tired," she responded softly, eyes closing. She opened her eyes when she felt a soft kiss to her forehead. Looking up into Barbara's face, Helena could see all of the stress from the day around her eyes. She could only imagine what it had been like for the older woman, not knowing if she were dead or alive. She couldn't imagine the fear. When she thought about what she would have done had their situations been reversed, Helena was sure she would have gone mad. "I love you, Barbara. I'll always come back to you."

Barbara's eyes filled with tears as she looked down at the younger woman. Suddenly, she couldn't stop the tears from falling. "Shhh," Helena whispered, reaching up to cup Barbara's cheek. The move was too much for the redhead, who dropped her head down and leaned into the mattress from her chair. Helena ran her fingers through the red locks as Barbara sobbed, all of the stress and emotions of the day pouring out of her. They had been this close…this close to losing it all. Barbara had not been ready to admit it until now. Now, with Helena safe and, for the most part sound, those thoughts and fears had escaped from the lock box in the back of her mind where she had stowed them. It was all too overwhelming.

Helena's heart broke at the sounds of Barbara's sobs. "Hey," she said softly, wanting to put an end to Barbara's pain. "Look at me." As Barbara lifted her head, eyes swollen with tears, Helena cupped both sides of her face. Her thumbs brushed at the tears on the older woman's cheeks, her eyes softening and becoming a shade of gold. The energy passing between them became charged. Helena was finding that she wasn't all that tired anymore. She felt a surge of something travel up her body, a heat that began in the pit of her stomach. Barbara felt it, too. "Come here," Helena whispered. The redhead leaned up, bringing their mouths together. There was a spark of electricity as their lips met, an intensity that they hadn't felt before. Barbara took in the brunette's tongue, relishing in the feel of it against her own, how it moved inside her mouth. They stroked together for several minutes, lost in the sensations. When Helena's breathing became labored, Barbara pulled back, her hands cradling Helena's face.

"Don't stop," the younger woman said.

"We have to," Barbara told her. "You're hurt and exhausted. You need your rest."

"Barbara, what I need is to feel you and nothing else. I meant it when I said you saved my life tonight. All I could see was you. I was running to you, I was swimming to you, and somehow I managed to pull myself out of the water. To get to you," she punctuated the last line. "And, I'm not feeling very tired anymore. You know I heal fast." Barbara wasn't saying anything, just looking down at Helena, lost in the intensity of her eyes. "Come to bed, Barbara."

It took Barbara about one second to realize that, even if she wanted to, she could never deny Helena this or anything. It took her another second to realize that she needed this just as much as the brunette. By the third second, she was lifting herself up. With Helena's help, she was quickly on the bed sitting next to the younger woman. Sitting up, Helena winced slightly, but quickly forgot about her pain as she looked into Barbara's eyes and saw nothing but love and devotion.

Helena ran her hand down Barbara's arm, from her shoulder to her wrist. She smiled at the shiver that ran through the redhead's body. The younger woman looked up at Barbara as her hand reached the hem of her t-shirt. Barbara knew she should be feeling apprehensive and exposed. She knew she should be feeling inadequate and unsure. Those were the feelings she always had when a relationship became physical and intimate. But, she was surprised to find that those feelings weren't there. There was only Helena and the love they had for each other. She felt relieved and just a little silly for having worried about it at all. Under Helena's gaze, she was not exposed, she was admired. She wasn't inadequate, she was her equal. The sensation this realization caused her was overwhelming. Nodding her head, Barbara let Helena know that she was ready.

The younger woman pushed up the redhead's shirt, exposing smooth abs. Helena leaned down and pressed soft kisses to the area. Barbara's breath hitched, her heart pounding in her ears as her head fell back against the head board. She moaned when she felt the brunette's tongue run up her, lifting the t-shirt as she went. When Helena reached her bra, the younger woman moved to straddle her legs, knees on either side of her hips. Helena put her arm around the redhead and pulled her away from the head board. Keeping the arm around Barbara for support, Helena used her other arm to lift the t-shirt the rest of the way up and off. She kept Barbara pressed against her as her hands went for the bra clasp behind the older woman. When she found it, Helena tilted her head down and kissed Barbara's neck, then leaned back and freed the woman's breasts.

As she felt the cool air tighten her nipples, Barbara's hands flew to Helena's own shirt, the need to feel her skin taking over. Gently, she lifted the shirt, being careful of Helena's injuries. She looked up into the dark woman's eyes to make sure she wasn't hurting her. They were hazy and held a golden hue that was nearing the color of a flame. Helena lifted her arms and allowed the shirt to be removed from her. She had not been wearing a bra. As soon as she was free of the shirt, Helena brought Barbara's body against her own. They moaned at the first feeling of skin on skin, breast on breast. Helena was on fire, her injuries long forgotten. She brought her mouth down to Barbara's and ran her tongue over her bottom lip before sucking on it gently.

Just as Barbara thought she couldn't sit up any longer, she felt Helena pull away and move down her body. In one swift motion, the younger woman had her fully on her back. Barbara sucked in a breath when she felt a tongue circling her nipple and then a mouth pulling and sucking at it. She felt a hand run down her abdomen and then the sensation was gone. When she heard a zipper, she knew instantly where that hand had gone to. Helena moved down her body, kissing a trail all the way to the waist of her jeans. The younger woman then moved further down the bed. Gently but firmly, Helena pulled at the jeans until she had removed them entirely.

The brunette looked up at Barbara, making sure she had her attention as she stroked and kissed her way up her legs. She knew the redhead could not feel it, but was hoping that seeing it would be just as good. Reaching Barbara's waist, Helena hooked a finger under the band of her underwear.

"Will you feel this?" she asked her, hope in her voice. Barbara nodded. She did have some sensation there, though it was not what it used to be. But, judging by the feelings already being stirred in her by the younger woman, she was no longer worried. Helena removed her underwear, taking her time to run her hands up and down the redhead's legs as she did so. She smiled when she looked up and found that Barbara was indeed a natural redhead. Helena, who hadn't been able to walk without help just a short time ago, had intoxicating new energy flowing through her. She could feel the wound in her back, but the pain only drove her on. She felt alive.

Removing her own sweats and underwear, Helena crawled back up Barbara's body, pausing briefly at the apex of her legs to inhale her scent. Barbara shuddered when she felt Helena's breath on her. She hadn't felt like this since before the shooting. Barbara was now uncertain if she had ever felt like this. She had never made love with a woman, but she doubted it would have mattered. It wasn't about being with a man or a woman. It was Helena who stirred these feelings in her. It was Helena who made her body scream for contact. It was Helena whose hands were all over her, making her feel things she never thought she could.

Her thoughts drifted to earlier in the evening. Barbara's heart clenched as she remembered what it was like wondering if Helena were alive or dead. The fear and panic mingled with her arousal and relief, threatening to consume her. Barbara reached for Helena, pulling her up so the brunette's face was hovering above her own.

"Helena," she said in a ragged breath. "I need you…need to know that you're here, that you're alive." Helena smiled at that. She had come close to death tonight and she too needed to know that she was alive. Now was not the time for slow explorations. There would be plenty of time for that later. Bringing her lips down to Barbara's, Helena kissed her passionately, thoroughly. As she did so, she brought her left hand down. Taking a moment to run her fingers through the wet warmth that awaited her, Helena released Barbara's lips and nipped her way to the redhead's throat. Sucking gently at the skin she found there, she entered Barbara with two fingers.

"Oh, god," Barbara cried out. She lifted the upper half of her body off the mattress and into Helena, who was also moaning at the contact. Warm muscles gripped Helena's fingers and she slid them in, then out, then in again. She repeated the motions, fueled by Barbara's moans and her own passion. She licked and kissed every bit of exposed flesh that she could get to, biting gently on the woman's shoulder. Barbara's hands were clawing at Helena's back, urging her on.

When Barbara felt Helena's thumb brush over her clit, she nearly went over the edge. She removed one hand from the younger woman's back and brought it up to the back of her head, holding Helena in place against her neck. The brunette pressed her lips to Barbara's pulse point and sucked, just as the muscles gripping her fingers clamped down.

"Hel, oh Hel!" Head thrown back, Barbara was overwhelmed at the depth of her orgasm. She held Helena to her tightly as she rode the waves until they died down. The younger woman was raining kisses all over her neck, then over her jaw and up to her lips. When she felt something wet against her face, she stopped and looked up.

"You're crying," she said, a slight panic in her voice. "Did I hurt you?" Helena could have kicked herself. She had rushed things, gone too far. Barbara wasn't ready for this. The redhead's eyes were shut tightly, tears streaming down her face. She began gasping, trying to catch her breath and shaking her head.

"I love you, Helena," she managed to get out. "I just love you so much." The intensity of the moment brought tears to Helena's eyes as well. Regretfully, she removed her fingers, pulling out of the redhead. She then carefully moved herself off of Barbara and onto her side. As she turned, she hooked her leg under Barbara's, pulling her until the older woman was cradled in her arms, head in the crook of her neck. Barbara's tears were subsiding as she wrapped her arm around Helena's waist and hugged her tightly.

They lay there like that for several minutes. Helena on her back, Barbara tucked safely at her side. The redhead was half on top of her, her arm around her waist and her leg tangled in between Helena's. A thought occurred to Barbara and she shot her head up.

"Your back?" she said worriedly, suddenly remembering the younger woman's injury.

"I don't feel a thing," Helena responded, her eyes closed. She could feel herself sinking into the mattress, her fatigue returning. Barbara eyed her, concerned. Helena could feel her gaze. "Really, I feel wonderful," she smiled, opening her eyes. "That was incredible, Barbara."

The redhead smiled, shyly, letting her hair fall over her face in a sudden moment of modesty. "Yes, it was," she said, her hand tracing patterns on the brunette's stomach. "But, what about you?"

"What about me?" Helena said, smiling. "I just made love to the sexiest, most beautiful woman in the hemisphere. I'm all kinds of good," she teased. Looking at Barbara, her face became serious. "Honestly Babs, I don't have the strength. I think it might kill me. But, there's plenty of time for that later," Helena brought her fingers up to her mouth, the same fingers that were buried deep inside the redhead minutes earlier. Sucking them clean, she smiled as she let the taste roll over her tongue. Barbara watched the little display and felt her heart quicken. She found herself bringing her mouth down to kiss the younger woman, to taste herself on those lips. It was amazing.

"Okay," Barbara said, pulling back with a smile on her face. "But, you'd better rest up. I've waited too long for this and tomorrow…I'm going to taste you."

"Sweet talker," Helena said pulling Barbara back to her and holding her tight.

Chapter 6

Helena woke up to the feeling of soft lips on her shoulder. She moaned as she came to awareness, partly because of the aches in her bones and muscles, but mostly because of the images that flooded her mind. Memories of the night before brought a flush to her skin… Barbara lying underneath her, Barbara's moans of pleasure, Barbara's body in the throes of passion. The brunette smiled as she opened her eyes, turning her head to look the older woman in the eye. The sight that greeted her was by far the sexiest thing she had ever seen. Barbara was wrapped in a sheet, her hair tousled, her bottom lip sticking out slightly as though she were pouting and there was a hunger in her eyes.

"Morning beautiful," she told the redhead, sleepily. Barbara brought her hand up to trace the cut on Helena's face, which already seemed to be healing.

"Good morning," Barbara replied, her hand moving from Helena's face to follow a path across her jaw and down to her bare chest. When they had made love the previous evening, Barbara had not been able to explore Helena's body. Sure, she had seen Helena naked many times. Modesty was never the younger woman's strong suit. But, she had never been able to touch her like a lover would. Cupping one perfect breast in her hand, the redhead brushed her thumb over a taut nipple.

"Hmmm," Helena groaned. "I want to wake up like this every morning."

"That can be arranged," Barbara responded as she continued to tease the younger woman's nipple. She brought her lips back down to Helena's shoulder, kissing it softly. "How do you feel this morning?"

"Good as new, Red," Helena told her, distracted by the attention that was being given to her breasts.

"I'd like to take a look at your back, make sure you didn't do any further damage to it."

Helena laughed at that. "If I did, it was well worth it," she grinned. When the older woman frowned, Helena added, "Barbara, you know how fast I heal. It feels a lot better today, I promise."

"Well, that's good," Barbara said, her eyes holding a mischievous glow. She released Helena's breast and ran her hand across tight abs. "Because I'm hungry."

"Oh yeah," the brunette said, recognizing the tone in the redhead's voice. "What's for breakfast?" she asked, already knowing the answer. Barbara didn't respond, just captured her lips in a bruising kiss.

"Don't move," she instructed the younger woman as she pulled away from the kiss. Barbara reached over and placed her hand on the mattress on the other side of Helena's body. It was a good thing she works on her upper body strength every day, she certainly needed it now. The muscles in the redhead's arms tightened as she moved herself on top of a stunned Helena. When Barbara had arranged herself comfortably, she looked down into the younger woman's face. Helena had placed her hands behind her head against the pillow and was looking up at Barbara with a satisfied and amused smirk.

"That's better," Barbara told her, leaning down to once again capture Helena's lips. The brunette brought her arms up and wrapped them around the older woman's neck. When Barbara's tongue demanded entrance into her mouth, Helena welcomed her.

"There's something I've been wanting to do," Barbara said as she pulled back. Her eyes were smoky and confident, even though her voice seemed a bit shy. Helena found herself becoming increasingly excited.

"You can do whatever you want, Red," Helena found herself breathless as she tried to speak. Swallowing, she added, "please."

Barbara leaned down and kissed her again as her hand traveled further south, her finger dipping into warm, wet velvet. Helena's back arched at the touch, which was over far too quickly. The redhead brought her hand up to Helena's breast and painted first one, then another nipple. Releasing Helena's lips, Barbara's mouth traveled a path down her neck, nipping and licking her way down to her breasts. She moaned as she took a wet nipple into her mouth, rolling her tongue over it, tasting Helena's essence.

Helena lifted herself off the bed, pushing her breast into the redhead's mouth. "God, Barbara," she moaned. When the older woman was finished, she moved to the other nipple. Helena's head fell back as her hands moved to Barbara's head, tangling in red locks and holding her in place.

Barbara reached up and gently removed Helena's hands from her head. Looking up at the younger woman, she winked, her confidence returning. She placed Helena's hands at her sides, then slowly moved down the brunette's body, pausing to lick around her belly button. The redhead worked her way down until she was staring at dark, wet curls. Looking up at Helena, she was mesmerized by the eyes looking back at her.

"I've been really looking forward to this," the redhead said seductively, licking her lips and inhaling the scent before her. "God Helena," she breathed, "you are amazing." With one hand, Barbara lifted the brunette's leg and placed it over her shoulder. She then parted the folds with her fingers.

Helena was gripping the sheets under her hands. The anticipation of feeling Barbara's tongue on her was too much. She found herself holding her breath then panting at the lack of oxygen. When Barbara's tongue dipped into her, she let out a low moan. The redhead's tongue was not tentative, but confident. If Helena didn't know better, she would have thought Barbara had done this before. Her tongue was demanding on her as it explored and licked. Helena was crying out in pleasure at the sensations rushing through her. Her hips were bucking against Barbara's mouth.

Barbara found herself lost in Helena. The taste was intoxicating. The feeling of flesh under her tongue was exquisite. It was far better than she could have ever imagined, and she had imagined it many times. While her tongue worked above, her fingers dipped lower, entering Helena. Crying out at the pleasure coursing through her, Helena brought her arm up and draped it across her face, trying to muffle her excitement.

Being filled by Barbara while the redhead's tongue worked on her was too much. Helena felt a familiar warmth in the pit of her stomach. She knew she was close. "Ohh, Barbara," she screamed. "Don't stop, god don't stop."

Barbara had no intention of stopping. She moved her fingers in and out of the younger woman faster as she felt her orgasm near. Giving full attention to the bundle of nerves under her tongue, Barbara could feel herself rising and falling with the brunette. She could feel every cry, every moan, every thrust. Her entire body was tingling with anticipation as Helena neared orgasm. She could almost feel the tingle in her own legs, which was impossible.

"Oh, Barbara!" Helena cried out as her body exploded with pleasure. Waves that began at her center travelled up her abdomen and chest and exploded before her eyes. She covered her face with her arms, lost in the power of it all.

The next thing Helena knew, Barbara was removing her arms from her face and looking down at her. "How did she get up here so fast?" Helena wondered, not even realizing the redhead had moved. Her orgasm had played out its final note and she was now lost in its echo, and in Barbara's eyes, which were looking down at her with such love and devotion that she forgot to breathe.

Helena reached up and pulled the older woman to her. She wanted to hold her tightly, but found that her strength had been all used up. Instead, she wrapped her in a loose embrace, Barbara's head resting under her chin. After several minutes, Helena finally spoke.

"Oh…My…God," she said, her breathing finally returning to normal. Barbara lifted her head and eyed the younger woman.

"Was that okay?" she asked tentatively.

"Okay?" Helena's voice rose slightly. "That was 'colors exploding in front of my eyes' okay. That was 'now I know the meaning of life' okay. Yeah, that was okay."

Barbara wanted to give herself a pat on the back. She beamed with pride at the good job she had done. "Then that's what I call beginner's luck."

"That was no beginner's luck, Red. That was natural talent. You've got good reason to be cocky."

"Well," Barbara said as she leaned up and pressed a quick kiss to Helena's lips. "I'll keep that in mind. Now, roll over," Helena's eyes got big. "So I can check your back, dummy."

Barbara lifted herself off of the younger woman, allowing her to roll onto her stomach. She frowned when she saw that the white bandage was soaked with blood. "Meta healing my ass," she told her. "Looks like you ripped your stitches," Barbara gently removed the bandage to get a better look.

"Are you sure you're not the one who ripped them?" Helena teased, her head turning to the side. Barbara didn't think it was funny.

"We shouldn't have rushed things. I shouldn't have.." the redhead trailed off as she examined the wound.

"Hey," Helena said firmly to get Barbara's attention. When the older woman looked her in the eye, she continued. "What happened between us was amazing and beautiful. I don't want to ever hear you say we shouldn't have made love." Barbara's face fell. She reached out to brush Helena's hair off of her forehead.

"I'm sorry," she said softly. "I didn't mean it the way it sounded. For a while yesterday, I thought you were dead. It's going to take me a little while to get past that."

"You're forgiven," Helena smiled. "Do you smell coffee?" Barbara sniffed and tilted her head, then looked back down at Helena. They were both thinking the same thing.

"Um, Barbara, how thick are these walls?" Instead of answering, Barbara looked over at the clock on the night stand.

"Well, it is 9 o'clock, she could have just gotten up on her own," the redhead reasoned.

"On a Sunday?" Helena pointed out. There was no denying her logic. Barbara sighed.

"Let me change this bandage, then we'll go deal with that," she said, moving towards the edge of the bed so she could get to her chair. "Then I'm going to call Dr. Coleman. I want her to come over and take a look at that wound, maybe get you on some antibiotics."

"Oh man," Helena groaned.

As Barbara settled herself in her chair, still wrapped in a bed sheet, her face became serious. "Helena, I hope you know that I didn't mean that earlier. Making love with you was, was…oh, I can't find the words for what it was," she put her head down briefly. "It was beautiful," she said, echoing the younger woman's earlier words. Helena, still lying on her stomach, only smiled at her. Barbara turned around at that, headed for the bandages she kept in the bathroom. Both women had tears in their eyes.

* * * * *

"Okay, take a deep breath for me," Dr. Melanie Coleman said as she listened through a stethoscope. Helena, back on the table in the training room, obliged. "No punctured lung. That's good," she removed the device from her ears and looked Helena in the eye. "I know you're a fast healer, Helena, but the next time you get a wound this deep I want you to call me right away. This could have been really bad."

"That's my fault," Barbara said as she entered the room. "I should have insisted we go to the hospital."

"Hey, I'm fine, right doc? No permanent damage?" Helena at first felt like she was being scolded, then she just wanted to ease Barbara's guilt.

"No, no permanent damage," Dr. Coleman said. "I know you have meta healing abilities, but I'm still putting you on a round of antibiotics and I want you to take it easy for a couple of days."

"I'll see what I can do," Helena said, a hint of mischief in her voice. Barbara gave her a look. "Hey, I've got a slinky thief to apprehend," the brunette added.

Dr. Coleman, who was very familiar with Helena and Barbara's "muffin top" business, quirked her eyebrow. "I'm not even going to ask," she told them. "I get enough of that slinky business with my colleague," looking up into two sets of questioning eyes, she shook her head. "Nevermind," she began to put away her things in the traditional black doctor's bag. Helena and Barbara looked at each other, suspiciously.

"There's a doctor out there with a slinky obsession?" Helena asked, keeping her voice light and playful.

"It's funny, actually. Dr. Bates is a fertility specialist at the hospital. He keeps those slinkies all over his office," she laughed, looking at Helena.

Neither of them saw the brief look of panic that flashed across Barbara's face. The redhead felt her stomach drop at the mention of Dr. Bates. She suddenly felt her world come crashing down around her. Okay. Calm down. This doesn't mean anything. She put a smile on her face before either woman had noticed her change in mood.

"Okay," Dr. Coleman said as she stood up. "Call me if anything else comes up. I'll let myself out."

"Thanks doc," Helena called after her as she walked out of the room. Helena looked at Barbara. "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

"Huh?" Barbara's heart jumped into her throat.

"Could be a coincidence, but we should check out this Bates guy. What do you think?"

Barbara knew it couldn't be a coincidence, but she couldn't tell Helena that. Not yet, anyway. And, she couldn't ignore it either. "Good idea," she told the younger woman.

"Great. You wanna help me with my shirt?" Helena had been wearing nothing but a bra for her examination with Dr. Coleman. Barbara quirked an eyebrow.

"I'm thinking it may be too warm today for clothes," Barbara teased.

"Hmmm, Red, you should be careful what you wish for. I may just decide to run around here naked, Dinah be damned!"

"I'll take my chances," the redhead told her. Helena laughed as she grabbed her shirt and hopped off the table. She must have moved too fast because she was hit with a sudden dizzy spell.

"Whoa," Barbara said, moving to Helena's side as fast as she could. She got there just in time for the younger woman to catch herself on the armrest of her chair. "Easy, sweetheart," she said, her hand grabbing onto Helena's arm and the other reaching for her hip.

"I'm okay," Helena said as the dizziness passed. "Must have gotten up too fast."

"Yeah, well you're definitely taking it easy. No sweeps tonight," Barbara said, her voice tinged with worry. Helena straightened herself out once she was confident the dizziness was gone.

"No sweeps, huh?" Helena said in a playful voice. "Whatever will I do to keep myself occupied tonight?"

"I'm sure you'll think of something," Barbara winked at her and followed her out of the room.