A Whole New World

Docwho2100 and ellie no name

FANDOM: Birds of Prey TV

PAIRING: Barbara/Helena - Dana/? (crossover with X-Files).


DISCLAIMER: Birds of Prey and all its characters still belong to DC Comics and Warner Brothers. Chris Carter and the crew own X-Files. No ill intent meant just bringing the characters further to life.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Character thoughts appear between ~ ~ symbols. Text quoted by Barbara from Christopher Marlowe's Doctor Faustus

Consensual relationship depicted between adult women in this story. If you have a problem with that or are under 18 please do not read.

FEEDBACK: - Oh Yes Please -You can email us docwho2000@hotmail.com

ARCHIVING: DocWho2100's Page @ http://mywebpages.comcast.net/jstratton1/.

E-MAIL: docwho2000@hotmail.com.

A Whole New World part 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Chapter 1

"Welcome To My Life" (Simple Plan)

Quantico Saturday Night, 11:00pm

Sighing the red-head took off her glasses and half-heartedly tossed them on the desk. She watched them land on the manila envelope that had been waiting for her when she got back to her office and was the cause, among other things, for the sigh. It'd been almost four months since the last envelope and she had just about forgotten what had happened as a result of the last one.

She stared at her small desk lamp, the only illumination on the office. She preferred the dim light as her eyes had been overtaxed during the last two hours from the harsh lights in the autopsy lab. She'd been so engrossed in detailing the new procedures and testing new equipment that her muscles' protests had gone unheard as her mind took over allowing her to continue on past normal limits.

Of course that meant now she was going to pay and she could feel her calf muscles along with her upper back and neck muscles almost shaking with tension and tautness from having been standing for so long not moving much except to retrieve an implement, make a change in the tape recording or lean further in to examine a detail.

Anyone who worked with her, especially the last four years knew this was her style. To throw herself into the case, autopsy, lecture, whatever might be the current focus always received the full 110% of her attention. Rarely did she let her mind or mannerisms waver or appear uncontrolled. She could not afford to as rumors and gossip still followed her as did that slight air of being a freak and being on the outside.

She tapped her fingers on the envelope at this thought as she realized those biting words and whispered conversations always would surround her. No matter how hard she tried, no matter what she did, no matter how many awards and special recognitions she had received in the last four years, she would always have that large X hanging over her head.

Scully peered at the clock and shook her head making a tsking noise at herself. She'd actually the last year or so come to accept the X, somewhat. She knew it would be there forever, even if her reputation managed to outrun it or somehow found a way to erase it from her record. Her own personal traits, character and mind would never shed what had happened to her. And frankly she was coming to a point where she actually did not mind that she could not climb out from under the shadow. Unsolved puzzles always did stimulate her imagination.

Her laughter rang through the office, "Good god I've become Mulder." As the words echoed and were swallowed by the stillness of the Bureau, she stopped her tapping finger when the enormity and truthfulness of those words hit her.

The FBI agent had changed Dana Scully; her beliefs, approach to life, even her physical chemisty, all had been touched deeply and permanently once she had been partnered with Mulder. Never could what she had gone through be redone, taken away or made 'better'. What did that mean anyway... made better.

At first, those first few years, she fought the changes. Dana had a clear sense of better and knew honestly that working on X-Files, with Fox Mulder was not better. It was so far from who she was at that point, the path she planned to travel and even what she was capable of at that juncture of her life.

But now... now she was a whole new woman. That fact was something she had slowly accepted. Along with the realization that alone, with out the X-Files she never would have gotten to the place she was today.

The X-Files had molded her, shaped her and very literally rebirthed her. She'd died, she was certain of that now. And although she didn't believe in reincarnation, she had been trained through her X-File experiences not to discount anything. She could not afford to waste any more time denying the existence of more than her mind understood, to continue trying to hide, run away or even rationalize things out. The agent had come to understand some truths would find a way to drag you down whether you were kicking and screaming or calmly watching the show as you went.

The key to remaining somewhat sane was saving your energy. Not fighting the inevitable, inevitable because as the song goes, nowhere to run to baby, nowhere to hide. She had learned through trial by fire, and trial by water, mutants, aliens, chemicals, you name it she'd gone through it, but Scully'd learned that energy could be better spent on finding the backdoor way out of the situation.

To not waste energy running from something that would grab you, use you and spit you back out but rather focus on keeping some semblance of sanity as the weirdness processed you, mutated you and then spit you out naked and bare in front of the world. That way you could find your feet at the end and walk away.

Sure you might be limping, crawling or the way her life had gone you might have an extra leg by the end. The secret was you were still moving. Might be in a different place, with a new mindset or even suddenly seeing the world for the first time, but you were still around to enjoy the fireworks. Seeing the world... She chuckled at that as she turned the envelope over seeing only a small X in the corner. Time dealing with the X-Files had given her a new vision. One might say an x-ray vision to the soul.

So now, almost four years after her last physical contact with her former partner, she found he still could get to her. She was sure if she checked the cameras, both the official FBI and the ones she had personally installed, the year Mulder disappeared had taught her a lot about surveillance and she now employed many non-traditional methods, there would be no indication of who had delivered the envelope. But the red-head knew and it still brought the ghost of a smile to her lips.

She pursed her lips at that thought as she realized she actually had come full circle in some ways. She still held tightly to her science, her medical profession, her determined thoroughness in attacking a problem, in finding an answer. But she had relaxed that scientific method and code quite a bit. She'd become the one to suggest a non-traditional, a not by the book, in fact so far away from the book you might as well use the book for something more useful, like wiping your butt, possible solution.

So yes, the last few years instead of running away from the X, she'd come to ignore it and carried on. The forensic specialist still felt the stares, the initiation of new agents that included a trip by her office or lab and the explanation that always had people making those quote marks in the air or doing the little finger spin around their temple, universal signals for something about Agent Scully was a little off kilter.

"And I am," she sighed out loud admitting that. As shocked as she'd been at her partner's unprofessional manners, and Mulder was very unprofessional, the woman realized how much she had become just like that which had at one time made her go to her superiors requesting transfer or at least public reprimands. But Scully was not Mulder. Although she continued his research she at least kept a firm sense of professionalism associated with her mannerisms, reports and cases. It kept her slightly ahead of the total joke game that had befallen Mulder.

That sense of authority that hugged her like a well worn mantle kept her in a regular office and lab and not some basement. And that sense of getting the job done and using the most efficient methods (although her superiors talked about the fact her efficient methods sometimes were not the most sane, expected or requested but they did get the job done) had brought her to the fork in the road that lay before her.

She'd been offered a promotion, of sorts. In one way it was a tip of the hat to her abilities and the fact she was not, well not officially, working on the X-files and bringing shame to the FBI name. But in another way she had a feeling it was a move to further isolate her, further bury the Bureau's dirty secrets. New administrations had come into the division in the last year and once again Operation Clean Slate was in effect. And this last offer seemed to be part of that ritual.

Sure being a Director was a promotion and for once it meant at least right above her on the chain she'd not have to answer to some one or explain her report no matter how meticulous she had been in preparing it.

But she'd started checking out the two offices she'd been given to choose from and as suspected the position was more a title to entice her to take the one way ticket to Obscurityville. Dr. Dana Scully, trained medical doctor and FBI agent, could spend her days in Siding, South Dakota over 300 miles from any town with a population of more than 200 or take the New Gotham office. An office that for some reason was harder to find out about than her former partner's X-files.

In fact from the small gossip and few reports she'd found she was beginning to think she should be researching New Gotham using the X-files. "Damned if I do..." she let the rest of the quote go, she knew she was dammed. Had been so many years ago when the words, "Your new partner, Fox Mulder," had echoed through the office.

Tucking the mysterious envelope in her briefcase along with a stack of other reports to be reviewed and finished up, Dana stood and switched off the desk lamp. She was tired, had been tired for quite awhile now. She picked up another folder and headed down the empty halls. She stopped and placed the folder with her acceptance of the Directorship for the New Gotham field office in her superior's bin.

With one last look at the folder, she headed out already thinking about packing and what she would need to do to clean out her office here. "Ready or not here I come." She sang out hoping this new direction would provide the change she needed to lift her spirits and her life from where it had fallen.

Chapter 2

"All That You Wanted" (Michelle Branch)

New Gotham, Saturday 11:00pm

Anyone observing the scene might think nothing too much was out of the ordinary. A lone woman sitting in front of a number of computer terminals seemingly watching as information scrolled across the screen. And for most people that activity with no other movement might have passed for normal.

But the fact Barbara Gordon had remained motionless for the last ten minutes just staring was not normal. Especially since her eyes were not moving either, were not focused on the screens but on an object on the top of one of the screens. She had missed two alarms and had just sat there. Her thoughts scrolling through her mind almost in sync with the information passing across her computer monitors.

Barbara Gordon was not prone to fits of listlessness. Yet her motivation to do nothing other than contemplate the small object on top of her monitor pronounced the fact she was just not feeling much like Oracle tonight. In fact it had been this way for the last three nights. And if she was honest the last year or so.

The only difference was tonight she was staring at something she had found an hour ago. She had, in a fit of restlessness, wheeled out to the balcony landing and had noted something in the shadows. Picking it up she realized it had not been there before. The item was dry even though it had been raining earlier in the evening.

This item, she reasoned, proved her growing suspicions and created almost more questions than it answered. The computer wiz had thought perhaps some evenings she was not alone. Some sixth sense assuring her for one little moment in time she was not the solitary computer genius monitoring New Gotham and the world from her confined world. Well physically confined, with the increases in technology she was finding herself able to open more doors then she would have been able to if... if he...

Her eyes dropped down suddenly as she gripped the handles of her chair tightly. An image of a green-haired man standing above her laughing as he pulled the trigger another time filled her world, swarmed her senses.

She gasped loudly, her heart rate and breathing pulsing in a non-synchronous beat that threatened to overload her sanity. This time it was taste. The taste of blood, the dusty dryness of gunpowder. Followed by a trace of garlic from her earlier meal, the bit of face paint smeared on her lips as he had leaned down and traced her lips, lips torqued in agony and confusion.

Every attack generated more than just memories or a dream or remembrance. These attacks actually brought her back to that horrible moment. The sensations were very real. If you could test for those sensations, taste, smell, sound, they would have come back positive. Somehow she was forced to relive those moments in exact replication. Barbara knew that sounded crazy. In fact, she was certain her sanity was being chipped away. But sensors she had set up a few months ago had registered some odd readings.

During one attack that involved smell, the odors she experienced yet again had been recorded by her device. If someone had been with Barbara, they would have smelled gunpowder, the decaying breath of the Joker as he reached in to trace the lips and then kiss them gently before leaving.

The readings had helped slightly. They had kept her from going completely over the brink but she knew it was still a balancing act. She continued fighting. Trying to heal her mind, spirit and soul hoping to appease whatever entity had started visiting her with these attacks. Even worse was the new set that had begun to alternate with the episodes from further in her past.

The ones of Helena and Harley and... No matter how hard she tried, she still suffered from these attacks and... and they had been getting worse.

She'd not told her father, Dinah, Helena or anyone that a side effect of the fallout from Harley's tricks and that night when everything had changed a few years ago for her, Helena and Dinah was the resurfacing of these mind attacks.

The attacks were becoming more crippling than the bullets that took her legs. This was because the attacks were slowly taking her mind. Panic attacks are commonly associated with many phobias, agoraphobia attacks for instance. It was cruel how much control the mind could hold over the body. But this was something more than a phobia.

Yes Barbara possessed some fear of the Joker, Harley and the fact she was at a disadvantage no matter how independent she had worked to become. But it had never been the fear of singularity focus that had become increasingly threatening.

A war waged between what common logic would show to be unfounded feelings and the fact that something was claiming her soul and spirit. She was being forced away from the present to cower in the past.

A war Barbara Gordon was losing. The attacks were mentally and physically trying. She found it harder to do some of her exercise routines. Her eating was worse and her general thought patterns more erratic. Signs she managed to hide and disguise from the others.

It helped that Dinah was away more and more and that Helena mentally seemed more and more distant. The slight notices the young woman would make and then question Barbara about were easily denied, turned away or explained. Barbara found it very easy to shift awareness from her to other things.

All her life she'd let others take credit, stayed out of the limelight and the eye of the public. Even before the Joker's great gag she'd often shied away from pomp and circumstance. The role of librarian and teacher even allowed for this dichotomy. There was the public interaction in the classroom but she did not have to work much with others outside of that atmosphere.

The attacks of late had given her more and more reason to make only a brief appearance at school functions. She kept other activities to a minimum as well. Such as being a consultant to the police department. A job she had taken only when her father had come close to guessing the attacks were back. He'd actually teamed up with Helena for a period of two weeks and managed to trap his daughter into accepting this duty.

So now once a week she met for a committee meeting to hear about all of the programs that existed outside of the normal routines. From basketball sponsored camps or Guardian Angel programs, to liaisons between different law enforcement units and modifications in computer technology to improve the rate of solved cases, she sat through the meetings.

She would attempt to appear interested. Occasionally latching onto a topic that did make for some thoughtful side conversation, she'd offer her one or two pertinent comments. Then the teacher would wheel herself away not going out to lunch with the others.

It was the feel of the object in her hand that brought her back from this last attack. The soft yet strong texture. She must have grabbed it during the attack from the top of the monitor where she had deposited it after finding it earlier.

She brought it to her nose and picked up the final piece of information she needed to confirm that there was indeed more to the shadows sometimes than darkness.

That frightened Barbara. Worried her and made her heart ache more than anything else in the world, even more than over the loss of her mobility. She knew that the owner of this object had become almost indistinguishable from the darkness her partner inhabited. And the English teacher was certain she had helped to push the woman into the darkness. She was sure that even now it was partially her doing that kept Helena trapped in the shadows.

"Voice activate, Gordon personal log - attack entry." She continued with the time and a very thorough description of the attack noting the sensation this time was taste and what she had experienced. Focused on the screen as the journal entry completed, she brushed awkwardly at the few tears slipping down her face, "Oh Helena I am so sorry, if I could change my..." She stopped then and hung her head for a moment composing herself.

As she finished she rubbed the piece of cloth across her cheek and then put it on the monitor. She turned to focus once more on the screen this time logging in the information as she forced her brain away from any more thoughts of her inadequacies and her desires. There was no place for that in her life now.

Engrossed in her work Barbara failed to note the owner of the cape that the piece of cloth had been torn from had come back. Had been once again immersed in the shadows in her customary position and had seen everything, the attack, the journal and the self-flagellation. The last an act she recognized very well as she practiced it on a daily basis as well.

Her face a passive mask, Huntress reached out a hand toward the woman in the wheelchair miming the motions of Barbara so she too could wipe the tears from the teacher's face. How she wished that she could actually do that activity, take the tears away for the red-head.

With a start Helena recognized the item in the woman's hand as Barbara placed it back on the monitor top. The meta-human tilted her head curious at the red-head's actions as her eyes sought and found the place the piece of cloth had been ripped from on her cape. Again transforming her mind and face into a neutral mask, the young woman turned and stepped to the edge.

Helena glanced backwards to rest her gaze deeply on the woman inside who had bent over the terminal. Her heart heavy, she jumped off and sailed into the darkness once more.

Chapter 3

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper)

New Gotham, Sunday 12:00am

Rolling the paper carefully making sure none of the herb leaked out, the figure leaned up against the wall and lit the cigarette listening for signs of any unwelcome intruders. The unconscious man at her feet the only other occupant in the alleyway. She paced up and down restless as she worked through her smoke, the chemicals released from the special blend helping to reduce the pain, somewhat.

She had waited too long this time. She'd been so enjoying herself that she really had not wanted to go through the process quite yet. Since coming to New Gotham a few months ago she'd found her ability to last longer was getting better. And she so enjoyed the fun.

Sighing she came back to stand over the body and knelt down starting the ritual of going through the man's personal effects. They would need cash and of course he was hopefully carrying the next piece of the puzzle. Be a shame if she actually had goofed and hit the wrong man. She would never hear the end of it.

"I'm the brain, you're the brawn." She mimicked in a child's sing song voice. "Of course you are, that's why I keep you around." She retorted knowing that was the farthest thing from the truth.

She kept him around because she had to, her life depended on it. A snarl was ripped from her throat at that thought and the name of her captor followed quickly behind. Captor, lover, creator... all words she disdained and all the things she loved and worshiped. People joked about a love hate relationship usually in a metaphorical sense.

There was no metaphor here. Jem loved and hated equally the position she was in and the persons who had put her here, kept here, was always waiting for when she came crawling back to them. Love... hate... devotion... loathing... ah all the good things that make the world go round.

Realistically she knew she was a little cog in the big machine of life and in the big plans of her lover. Hell she personally preferred that, to run free and not be tied to thinking past basic needs. Well free as her lover defined it, on a very long lease was what Jem had come to find was the true reality.

She found the small leather journal in the man's inner coat pocket. As she opened the jacket and reached for the desired book, the man groaned and twitched some. Startled Jem shot straight up hovering about 15 feet off the ground as she curled into a defensive position. Trying to pull in her run-away heart, the woman watched the man on the ground as he slid back towards unconsciousness.

Lowering herself, the lithe woman hauled back with her booted foot and kicked the man in the temple hard. "Shithole scaring me like that." She watched the skin rip and the pressure cut start to bleed as the man's head drooped to the side. Her master had been very specific about retrieval and the needed item this time was in the chest cavity. Jem could do whatever she wanted to the rest of the body.

Leery, the blonde crouched down and quickly grabbed the book. Leafing through it she matched one of the drawings to a bigger schematic she had seen on one of the tables back at the lab verifying this was the next puzzle piece. Still paging through the book she grunted as most of it was in some foreign language, no wonder she had been trusted to bring this back and not stray. It was useless to her.

"But I'll soon know what it means, I will have to sit there and listen to the blah, blah, blah as they work. Always talking through things out loud, what a bitch to listen to." She said casually looking back down at the body. Jem often would strike up a conversation as she carried out the second part of her retrieval mission. For some reason she liked it when the other person could not talk back, could not interrupt, throw her off her groove. She'd hurt people in the past for just coughing and messing up her conversation.

The blonde did so like them subservient; of course she had to watch her tongue when she was in the presence of The Others. Jarold had not and now his tongue was in a jar for everyone to see. Her laugh rang out as she went over to the wall and picked up a small black bag.

The only down side was missing the screams as she went to work. But every job had its sticking points. She took out the medical kit and started going through the various blades and instruments as she knelt beside the man. Running her fingers up and down the white button-up shirt, Jem stared off into space recalling her precise instructions. Besides her ability to counteract gravity in a limited space around her, she also had been tweaked to have what had been dubbed 24 hour recall. Her mind was like a large memory dump.

Jarold had made her watch this Johnnie Mnemonic movie which had thrilled her and bored her, she had enjoyed watching the characters get beat up. At the end she'd finally pried a reason from him why she had been made to sit through the movie.

Her mind was a bit like the main character, only instead of a computer, she just had the ability to take in vast amounts of information and then regurgitate it back out exactly. Of course it had a habit of dissipating over time, a biochemical response to her metahuman metabolism or some shit, she hated the medical mumbo-jumbo crap.

"Whatever, let's just get this over with shall we, I want some pasta." With that she stared at the wall across the way a moment bringing to her mind's view the slides she had been shown and making note of the cuts she needed and what she was to bring back.

Whistling as she worked she ripped the man's shirt open and pulled out a tazer-like device sinking the leads into precise areas of the skin and turned on the machine. She smiled seeing the body start to twitch. She had no idea why this part worked and fucking did not care but the machine would basically keep the person sedated while she worked. Eventually blood loss and all that cutting would cause death, but stuff needed to be fresh so the process had been designed to keep the person alive as long as possible without pesky drugs.

Getting to work and glad she had decided to have her smoke first, human blood was not a favorite taste of hers and her hands were rapidly becoming slippery, she hurried through the initial incisions trying not to be too messy, she liked her outfit.

Pausing, the woman wondered what would happen if one time the person woke up. They always had to be careful as some metahumans were tricky to work with, they were never sure what some of their bodily limits really were. "Shit man can you imagine seeing like half your body parts spilled all over, what a trip." The thought distracted the woman as she let her mind wander pursuing just what it might feel like before a muscle twitch and groan from the body brought her back, the man had just died.

"Hey now, that is like so rude. Now I gotta hurry or I will get royally beat for bringing back spoiled goods." She made a face at the imaginary scolding. "Humans, always going too damn quickly, why can't I get more metas, have a little fun." She stabbed angrily up and down the man's arm with the scalpel as she spoke.

Bringing herself back under control, barely, she reviewed the procedure again using her vivid recall before plunging back in. "Besides with this job finished I get to ditch the pain for awhile, let Jarold have a turn at fun." Humming she focused on the body and her task.

Chapter 4

Feel (Robbie Williams)

New Gotham, Sunday 2:00am

"Sitting on the dock above this bay. I'm watching the idiots go sailing away."

"Ok, my altered lyrics leave a little to be desired, but can you blame me? It is a bit chilly and damp up here and the idiots down there are just now starting to mosey around the crime scene looking semi-interested." I start talking to the stone statue that is my partner on this ledge as we both peer down.

I already had sent in observations, gotten samples and let Oracle boss me around so she could observe the crime scene through her borrowed eyes and ears to the world, cue slow building crescendoing music... ta-da that'd be me the sidekick of the team.

Yes the sarcasm is being laid on just a little thick as I watch another squad car arrive and the investigation picks up speed. I chose this vantage point so I could hear and see everything. I'd gone comm silent after making my report, but I did want to see what the boys in blue would do and maybe just maybe they'd pick up something Barbara hadn't... although I doubted that.

We do make a pretty thorough team, or use to. The genius Oracle and the mighty Huntress prowling the night. Oh yeah mighty Huntress I like that. I decide to let loose a roar but at the last moment remember that there are people down below so I bite off the noise and it comes out strangled... Oh yeah baby, I am Huntress hear me...


Laughing I waver on the ledge. "Oh man that was a sorry excuse for a call of the wild... anyone hear that they'd tell me I need Viagra for my roar." Holding on to the stone statue for support I continue laughing. Have not laughed in awhile, feels strange, almost forbidden.

I try to keep the heady, light mood even though I am starting to hear the whispers of thoughts, the thoughts that have haunted me for the last two years.

"Yes Helena you need to practice your roar. We have a reputation to uphold." I have placed my hand in the customary sock puppet mimic pose creating the Oracle hand puppet.

Next I hold up my other hand creating the bitchin' Huntress hand puppet to reply and begin flapping my fingers together.

"Why Barbara do you think I would really go and dirty our good name?" I am trying for a southern belle accent, I think I am sounding like one of the Spice Girls with a cold.

"Of course not Huntress," My nifty Oracle hand replies and it would be tapping its cheek thoughtfully if it could. "But we must keep a stiff upper lip and always be diligent on the job."

"Diligent," the Huntress puppet bats its eyelashes. "Why Oracle, sweetness, modesty, diligence and stick-to-it-tiveness are my middle name. Not to mention the fact that you can always count on me, what ever word describes that characteristic."

Hell of a long middle name and one that is so far from the truth... I drop my hands as my spirits plummet to the concrete below.

I rub my hands suddenly, taking away the last traces of my attempt at humor and force myself to not think instead watching as finally the Coroner has arrived.

"Another Dissection Killer victim."

"Yeah, sucks to be him."

I shake my head wondering once again at the selection methods for the NGPD as I continue listening to the conversation as it rolls along at about the same pace and level. Bobby brings out his tools after walking around the scene and gets ready to do his thing, make his report and leave.

That's what I should be doing, leaving. Why I am sticking around... especially after what I saw... what I saw earlier... actually maybe that's why I am here instead of... instead of where Helena? Instead of where I normally sit watching her.

I whack hard at the stone statue. Oops... hey it still looks good without that ear. Ears are highly overrated...

Fuck it... stupid statue, stupid crime scene, stupid mood, stupid Barb... I reign in that last thought, never would I think she was... I should... should watch my impulses.

Isn't that what she is always lecturing me on? Control, mind on the mission... shit here comes that sarcasm again.

"Hey this is the sloppy side of the killer. You think it is two different people or something?"


"No shit Sherlock, Barbara had that figured out by the third body you bozos." My face is pulling down... Barbara always figures shit out, so why can't she figure this... us... me...

I gotta move, standing I start pacing the ledge still keeping an ear out below. I think I'll go, I never learn much from this part of the investigation and Barbara always hacks in and pulls out their reports anyway.

I am about to leap when I hear it, the CD Bobby has chosen and I am frozen, all of the will, blood, motivation drained from me by the strands of the song. Bobby always likes to play music as he plays at being the Coroner and tonight's choice hits me hard.

No, no, no, no... I can't breath, stop associating Helena, just walk away. Isn't that what Barbara thinks about you - that you are so good at walking away - here show her another fine demonstration of your abilities to walk, no run away as she has accused in the past and probably will in the future, especially that one look, the look that says you failed Helena and I failed you Helena.

I continue to beat up on myself as I walk... back to the ledge as the song begins

Come and hold my hand
I wanna contact the living
Not sure I understand
This role I've been given
I sit and talk to God
And he just laughs at my plans
My head speaks a language
I don't understand

I don't anymore, understand myself that is. I think that is why the darkness is so inviting. Darkness hides a lot of shit. Takes away the need to focus on making out details, understanding why I am here and what I should be doing.

I just wanna feel
Real love feel the home that I live in
Cos I got too much life
Running through my veins
Going to waste
I don't wanna die
But I ain't keen on living either
Before I fall in love
I'm preparing to leave her

Oops there went the other ear... a casualty to my anger which is a direct result of the fact I am..... leaving her that is. Been doing that slowly and painfully.... is there any other way?

But been doing that the last two years and baby I am almost out the door. Almost... just need the courage... yeah imagine that the mighty Huntress...

Scare myself to death
That's why I keep on running
Before I've arrived
I can see myself coming
I just wanna feel
Real love feel the home that I live in

I can't touch her, hold her or let myself believe she'd want me to... Robbie I think your song got that part wrong. Why even fool myself into thinking we could be toget... so much time has passed and nothing from her, no indication... just the frustrating looks, the pain, the irritation...

If home is where the heart is... well I must be homeless.

Cos I got too much life
Running through my veins
Going to waste
And I need to feel
Real love and the love ever after
I can not get enough

"Looks like the perp made a right mess this time, what were they doing to the arm, tapping out Morse code?"

"Don't know or really care Jonny." I hear Bobby reply.

Can I have some of that don't care attitude Bobby? Can you just pull the plug for me? See I want to die. Well not really, suicide is something for cowards and I'm not a coward. Well I use to believe that. But I just... feels like someone put me on life support a while ago and it's just letting me limp along. I gotta pull the plug, can't take this coma like existence anymore... it hurts too damn bad...

I just wanna feel
Real love feel the home that I live in
I got too much love
Running through my veins
To go to waste

See that's the problem, I keep pushing myself, going back and drinking up that life support trying to hang on and for what? So I can keep fucking things up? Keep having her fuck things up? I can feel something alright, every time another piece gets ripped away. I thought you were supposed to go all numb after awhile? I want my numbness damn it, I deserve it. Just let me fight and prowl and...

I just wanna feel
Real love and the love ever after
There's a hole in my soul
You can see it in my face
It's a real big place

"You missed something Mr. Coroner" I want to call down as he overlooks the placement of the body parts. That was something Barbara made her go over three times. Good ole Oracle always catching things.

So how'd she miss that big old hole I have? The one that was ripped out by Harley and then made bigger by the way Barbara reacted and just keeps growing like one of those damn black holes Dinah did a report on last year.

Robbie babe you wanna talk big holes and places in your song, try walking around my shadows for awhile. Amazing what a little chip here, a little yank there, a carefully constructed conversation meant to tear down love and build up walls can do.

I've become the master of my fragmenting domain. And you know, I have this bad feeling Babs has too. Damn we team coordinate being nut cases too, yeah we make a great team.

Come and hold my hand
I wanna contact the living
Not sure I understand
This role I've been given
Not sure I understand
Not sure I understand
Not sure I understand
Not sure I understand

No that's the only damn thing I am sure of, I do understand. Understand that life is a bowl of muck and I am just one of the poor saps diving in day after day. Like I'm really going to find a hand to help me out, hold onto a hand that can unplug the damn life support that is doing nothing more than keeping me chained to the darkness. Latch onto a hand that can pull me to a place I can see something else, to help me contact...

It hurts so bad and I understand why, because its suppose to.

Chapter 5

Missing Person (Michael W. Smith)

Somewhere between Virginia and New Gotham
Monday 4pm

She heard the person next to her sigh and shift some in the seat. Turning her head slightly and pausing her typing she could see that the man appeared to be sleeping and was dreaming or something.

Pushing her glasses back up her nose, she scooted a little in her seat and tried to focus back on the screen. She was currently going back and forth between two documents, one a final report typing up all cases and projects she had been working through and the other a review of what had been the previous New Gotham Director's final report.

She scratched idly at her brow then as she thought about that final report and the little she had learned about the previous Director. It seems a case he had been working on had become too personal, or at least that is what the reports indicated. A lot of the file had been blacked out or removed for only very high level clearance. Something that puzzled her to no end as the case had seemed to be very run of the mill.

Some company in New Gotham was bringing in illegal goods from overseas and using New Gotham as a distribution point. A simple smuggling case that barely registered most times on the FBI list of cases. Usually unless drugs, a prominent criminal or a very large amount of product was in question the case was left to local officials and monitored on a need to know basis.

More curious was the fact the Director was now in some place called Arkham Asylum, the other field agent reassigned to out West somewhere and up for early retirement and even the office staff member was now working somewhere else. "No escaping it is there Mulder?" She said softly still staring at the screen.

"Huh, wha?" a raspy voice said from the seat next to her drawing Scully's gaze. She watched as the older man blinked rapidly and wiped at his face as he pushed up.

"Oh, sorry I did not mean to..."

She was cut off by a smile and a raised hand, "Actually glad you did interrupt that little session. I hate that one in particular." He grimaced and turned to the aisle to flag a flight attendant down cutting off any response Scully might have offered. Not that she would have, she had plenty to keep her curiosity busy without prying into some stranger's life.

That was more Mulder's style.

"Mulder's style," she murmured looking at her computer. She then turned and looked out the window.

Maybe... this was a new path in her life, a totally new direction and start in a way.

Maybe... maybe she should try... try to do things just a little different. Be something a little more than the person and walls she had hidden behind the last three years, the walls that kept her from getting hurt by keeping everything and everyone out.

That was something Mulder had taught her, a different, more personal approach to the job and to life in general. The X-files was not just about freaks and mystery and darkness, it was that whole thinking outside the box mentality. Of course Mulder didn't think outside the box. He took the box and smashed it, using the pieces to build a whole new box.

"Maybe I should try a little smashing myself, even the Berlin Wall fell in time..." She let loose a small laugh and turned back to her screen trying to read through the report.

"And it started with just one small chink, one small hammer tap." The voice startled her and she turned to see the man smiling while sipping from his plastic glass of soda. "Sorry, you keep mumbling and it is hard not to listen, we are kinda forced into close quarters here." He waved his hands around the cabin and chuckled. "Good thing I used the extra-strength deodorant this morning."

"We are aren't we? And yes, I thank you as does the rest of plane for your thoughtfulness." She could not help but smile at his cheery manner.

"I'll not keep you from your work," He pointed a finger at the computer screen. "Besides I am always being told my comments are rather..," He paused, "Well either not as funny as I think they are or are, how does she say, so far in left field I am two fields over... or is it lanes?" He bunched up his brows, "I am afraid I am not much into sports so the sayings tend to be totally lost on me." He held up his hand in a helpless gesture as Scully's smile widened.

"Baseball and it is left field," she said keying in the command for save. "And I think I need to take a break from this. I will have all day tomorrow and the next and probably the evening. Might as well give myself some time off. Besides I think we will be touching down soon."

"Ah home sweet home." He said fondly before taking another drink of his soda and clearing his throat, "Darn cold. Although I am not contagious, I was cleared before getting on the plane. Cross my heart."

"No worries, there are so many germs on say the food stuffs and even the items such as the towels in the bathroom that even if your cold was in the first stages I am sure I'd stand an equal chance catching something from drying my hands using one of those towels as I would sitting here next to you." Scully paused. "Yes well, so, not to worry." She finished feeling a little foolish at having gone on.

His laugh was warm and friendly, "I won't then, worry that is. Well about infecting you. Now using those towels..." He broke off and smiled before finishing his drink.

"Well one of the first things I always covered with new agents was the hidden places germs live. Mulder always teased me about using some 70s school health movie to scare the rookies." Dana stopped thinking about those many conversations she and Mulder had during stakeouts or other down periods and wait times. She'd kept a fairly reserved attitude on the exterior but she always enjoyed those conversations, no matter how disturbing sometimes Mulder's psyche and thoughts seemed.

The older man nodded, "Pardon my prying but are you a teacher then or a doctor, Doctor.. um, Ms...?" He was curious about a couple of references the red-head had made in her last statement.

"Dana Scully and oh, well, I have taught. Probably not quite the same image as a teacher." She hesitated not sure how much she really wanted to reveal about herself. "I, I would teach medicine and forensics for new agents at Quantico sometimes. Plus I would instruct the new hires that were placed in my lab."

"Well you answered a few of my puzzles. You are a doctor then? And you must be a good one for the FBI to bring you in. They usually keep most jobs internally." He said staring past Scully out the small window as he plowed through his thoughts.

"Well yes," Scully replied not confirming or denying any of the information even though parts of his statement were not quite right. She really had wanted to keep a low profile. "And if I may return the favor and ask..."

He nodded as if expecting her question, "Of course...". He held out his hand again as was the proper and gentlemanly thing to do when introducing oneself to someone, especially an incredibly good-looking and obviously classy lady. "Jim Gorden. I'm,"

"The former Commissioner of New Gotham Police Department and now consultant and Director of Special Programs and Liaison for Global Affairs" Dana murmured the impressive title, her mind snapping back to the little she had been reading since hearing about the possibility of a new position in the city. She had to smile at her reading.

When most people were thinking about moving to a new place they would tend to research things like neighborhoods to live, employment, census type statistics, where to walk and not walk, the best rib-joint, normal life things people cared about.

Dana researched the medical facilities, research centers and the law enforcement structure. In fact she still was working through that, it would be awhile before she got to the other. She could suddenly almost feel Mulder nudging her and shaking his head. "Try something different," leaking from his lips.

"Very nice to meet you, don't supposed you know the location of a good place to get ribs?" She could hear Mulder's laugh as she had dared to ask that ~different enough for you Mulder?~ she thought and had to laugh at the puzzled expression on the older man's face.

"I must say Dr. Scully that your last two statements have me at a distinct disadvantage and have made a normally reserved and quiet man even more quiet and speechless."

He smiled a little and chuckled, "You remind me of another red-head who tends to catch me totally off-guard with the odd divergence in conversations. What is it about red-heads that demands one keep on one's toes when trying to have a conversation?" He enjoyed a deeper laugh seeing Scully blush.

"I'm sorry, just a new place and trying to follow the advice of a friend and be a little more, well I guess you could say normal and not so focused on my work and..." She trailed off.

"And being a doctor or teacher focused on the problem at hand and letting the world slip by?" He interjected to fill the silence. He saw Dana's face pull down and knew he had hit at least one of the thoughts in her mind directly.

"Again, I have had a little practice with your," He paused and seemed to blush a little himself, "Shall we say approach to life. I have seen it in action first hand with my daughter." He turned then and went to sip from his glass trying to get a little bit of the melted ice water to break his thoughts which had suddenly turned down as he thought about what Barbara had become in the last year or so and how he missed his daughter and wondered idly if he'd ever really see her again.

He'd lost part of her so many years ago as he was focused on his job and trying to save the city. The arrival of new players such as Batman and his associates had made his life complicated and he'd let his daughter slip away some then. He knew something had happened to her those years, the change had been noticeable, but he kept quiet.

The confidence, grace, poise and criminal law knowledge that she seemed to acquire during that time supported his idea that she was doing something more than pushing books at the local library. He'd been a proud man to see his daughter grow up and always wondered what or who he should thank for that. Some part of this crazy world had accepted and been accepted by his Barbara.

Then his world had crashed hard and fast into a brick wall erected from a single night and action performed by a man, no a demon. He had to twist those thoughts and part of his life into a dark corner of his mind. Because if he let that demon out, really let himself feel, he knew he'd do something that would be counter to every other thing that Jim Gordon believed in, fought for and was proud to hear his daughter had adopted the same code. How could he be a good father if he did not practice what he preached?

Although there was the whole twisting, torturing, knife in his gut that daily he pushed on keeping the pain in the background, how was he a good father indeed...

He let the man that had destroyed his daughter's life, destroyed because of his choices, not hers, live and enjoy some semblance of life. He set his glass down bitterly knowing in a way Barbara was more caged than the Joker. That demon had put his daughter into a cell even worse than the one the Joker now occupied.

So how could he be a good father letting something like that happen to his daughter.

And now, with the events and fallout from Harley, it was as if it was happening all over again. Just as he had watched his daughter build up and gain confidence all those years again, now it was like someone had put the movie in reverse. He was watching his daughter slide down that mountain she had so gloriously conquered so long ago.

His daughter was slipping away from him even more and being conquered by the fears, frustrations, disappointments and pain he thought she had left behind. She was a good one at hiding, but recently he had started getting better at seeking.

He had to be better. He knew if something did not upset their world, did not disrupt the course his daughter and those around her were on, then soon there would be nothing left for him to find. Status quo in the Gordon household had become a bitter pill and one he wished they could stop.

He felt his eye starting to moisten slightly as the thought of losing his daughter bubbled up and once again it would be to that demon and his bitch. Fuck it fathers should be protectors from, not contributors to, the bad things that their sons and daughters had to wade through.

A gentle hand on his arm caught him off guard and he jumped looking at the concerned woman whose hand was just resting on his arm. "Mr. Gorden, are you alright?" Her voice was quiet but the concern and caring came through comforting immediately the police officer.

"Thank you," he said, his voice gravelly as it was still thick with emotion. He cleared his throat and looked at his empty glass. "I've been away for a long time, too long." He said softly referring both to the fact he had been away for three months overseeing the development of a special forces unit in another precinct and that in a way he'd been away since that night.

"Than coming home should be all the more heartening. Yes?" She quizzed not sure what had happened to totally change the demeanor of her seat mate in such a short span of time. But something had happened, she could read the sorrow in the lines etching his face.

Flinching then, Gordon was once again amazed and startled as for a moment the look on her face and tone in her voice caused him to see not Dana Scully but Barbara Gordon sitting next to him. He smiled then knowing his daughter would have displayed the same concern and compassion that flowed from this woman. He was glad to be coming back to New Gotham and he could tell the woman next to him was genuinely concerned. He also caught something else. A glimmer in her green eyes that reminded him of another woman's eyes, his Barbara's.

"You understand don't you?" He whispered somehow knowing what he was about to say was true. "You've been through great pain too, lost something and someone. Watched as they fell further and further away and been trapped in your own circumstances, forced to become a different person and trying to cope with who you are now and what you were then."

It was Scully's turn to start, she gasped a little overwhelmed by his statement more because it hit so close to home than by the fact a complete stranger had the audacity to assume something that intimate about her. She started to withdraw her hand and felt a warm, calloused hand close over hers.

"I'm sorry, you just remind me... you seem so much like her. Not that I'd wish for anyone to feel as she does. You just understood me so well and, I'm sorry." He turned then releasing her hand and halted any reply Dana was going to make as he flagged a passing flight attendant requesting another drink. He looked at Dana and she nodded she too would like one as her throat had gotten very dry as well.

"Her, your daughter?" Scully pried a little after a long silence. She was still trying to recover from his earlier words; they had been like a warm glove of understanding and a cold slap of reality both hitting her hard. Trying to slip back into a little more professional zone might help still her thoughts before they consumed her. That was what those endless nights staring at the ceiling lying in bed were for. Plenty of time to berate her self, reexamine how things should have, might have, why the fuck didn't they play out.

He just nodded not trusting his voice until he could drink something.

"Well she must be extra special because I can tell you love her. Does she live in New Gotham?"

He finally had his drink and watched as the flight attendant handed Scully hers. Draining about half the glass he cleared his throat before replying, "Yes, one of the reasons I keep coming back here I suppose." He tried to smile then sensing the woman next to him needed a topic change or else she might lose her emotional foothold as well. "And thank you."

She looked puzzled as she sipped her drink.

"For the topic change, I think we both are right now to near the edge of that emotional ledge and almost did a fine thing in pushing each other over. So I'll offer my hand." He actually stuck out his hand and was warmed when the woman smiled and nodding took his hand. "And we can now reverse what we did and pull each other back. At least back to our precarious balance." He smiled hopeful.

"I think that is a very good thing." She replied her voice still a little lower and tinged with the traces of emotional overload.

"Precarious," he suddenly laughed a little. "If my daughter was listening she'd either be impressed or telling me how wrong my word usage was." He saw Scully's unasked question and continued. "She teaches English at the local high school."

Nodding Scully smiled a few of the remarks and observations the man had made clicking into place. "Well they must be lucky students, or at least they'll realize how lucky they are in a few years. I seem to remember not appreciating my teachers until after I had graduated and finished the appropriate number of grumbling hours."

The both laughed at that. Jim then held up his glass as if to toast. Catching his gesture, Scully lifted hers. "To underappreciated teachers, doctors and..."

"And law enforcement officials and fathers." Scully finished and was rewarded with a warm smile and nod from the man as they clicked their glasses.

Seeing the seat belt sign come on and hearing the announcement they had reached New Gotham airspace, Jim finished his drink and turned to Scully. "It was a pleasure to meet you." He thought a moment and then retrieved his wallet and handed the woman a business card. "Please give me a call anytime. At very least let me make an offer to a new arrival to New Gotham." He said an idea forming in his head.

She took the card and stowed it in her bag as she was securing her laptop. Taking one of her cards out, she had added her new number and information on back as a temporary solution until she could get some new ones printed, she handed it over deciding suddenly she did not mind letting him know why she was coming to New Gotham.

It was always good to have contacts in the different agencies, she had a feeling New Gotham would spit things at her that would force her to look to others for help. She bit her lip some realizing yet again just how alone she was and how isolated she was going to be taking this new job.

"You asked about, I believe it was a rib joint." He chuckled hoping to draw her back from the place he could see she had started going again. "Maybe we can extend the arm of hospitality and show you New Gotham properly." He was about to put the card up but stopped to read it and felt his eyebrows arch as he read the handwritten information first and then flipped it over taking in that information.

"We?" She asked noting his reaction. She held back a sigh knowing this would not be the first nor last time someone found it hard to believe what she did for a living.

"Well forgive an old man for wanting to create a stir but I was thinking if I showed up around town with two red-heads I might get a little respect and stir up some jealous feelings among my co-workers." He teased lightly thinking maybe it would be good to get his daughter out and he could use this as an excuse, tell Barbara it was public relations considering why this woman was coming to New Gotham.

"And wow, welcome to New Gotham Agent..." he flipped the card, "No, sorry Director Scully." He barked out a laugh seeing her make a face. "I hate titles too, always flinched when I heard Lieutenant, Director, and then the dreaded Commissioner. Of course the new title they have sic'ed on me is even worse."

"Hmm, why do I get the feeling I am being used here." She remarked a double meaning to her words as she knew the superficial interpretation would be directed at the statement of an old man with two women but suspecting his offer had a lot to do with his daughter and possibly pulling her out as much as being a nice gesture. "And perhaps we can forgo the titles, at least when not interacting on a professional level."

"I think I can easily leave the titles behind and I am glad you are not too concerned with titles either." He expressed his honest thoughts his first impression of this woman a very favorable one. He was glad she was not another stiff suit or stuck-up pretentious official. New Gotham needed people who cared, it still was a city in need of saving and people like Dana Scully was a step in the right direction.

Feeling the landing gear drop down, he smiled once more at Scully and then relaxed back into his seat. She had mentioned being glad to be home and Jim Gordon realized he was. He had some things to do, events to set in motion based on meetings that had occurred over the last few months, but they could wait. For now he would just sit back and be happy he was home.

Chapter 6

Black Velvet (Alannah Myles)

New Gotham, Dark Horse Bar
Tuesday 11:00pm

Turning off the headlights, she let the car settle while gazing at the building in front of her. Watching as people entered and left the establishment, Scully noted their general attire and appearance trying to gauge the atmosphere of the place she was about to enter.

"Guess your description, albeit brief, was not too off Sam." She muttered.

The Dark Horse appeared to be a typical bar and club. Of course she was still trying to figure out what New Gotham citizens meant by typical. The fact she was at a bar, doing business, at night, signaled that typical might have a slightly different definition within New Gotham town borders.

The agent was still having trouble with the concept that the head of the NGPD Night Division was located within the club and that was a very normal place to find him. She frowned at this thought. Mixing business with pleasure, especially the type of pleasure that most likely went on inside seemed wrong to Scully.

She was here to conduct an investigation and to make an impression. The new Director knew as she got out of the car that being one of the good ole boys was not the impression she would probably leave. Cold Ass Bitch swam to the surface of her mind, a title she'd earned last year. A title she had overheard passed back and forth in the coffee room when her presence was not noticed. Or maybe it had, agent Taccteno was a bit of a loudmouth and bigot.

She smiled as she pulled down her dark blue blazer and silk blouse before running a hand through her hair, glad it was short. She had heard worse than that during her academy training and even back home growing up. High school was not the kindest place to Dana Scully.

This visit tonight was important, her first official act as the Director. She'd been learning in the last day or so since landing in New Gotham that the FBI office here was treated as a joke among other law enforcement agencies. This meant the departments rarely if ever worked in tandem or even veiled cooperation on cases.

And then there were the reports of vigilante and avenging angel activity; all leading to create a fragmented approach to law enforcement and protection. "So basically the overall shape and effectiveness of the FBI field office looks only slightly better than something a cat might hack up after a long day." She muttered moving toward the front door. "Three cases..." That was the number of solved cases the FBI office had reported in the last seven years while going through six directors in that same time.

Obscurityville was actually to tame a classification for this job Scully was coming to realize. Dana was sure now she had been sentenced to Dante's ninth level of hell. What had she done to deserve this twist in her life?

"Okay, introduce yourself, get the files and go." She repeated her simple game plan out loud to calm her nerves. Schooling her actions, she pulled into place the neutral, professional attitude. In an oft-practiced move, she felt for her gun under her blazer and headed into the Dark Horse.

Helena was observing. She had decided to so something owner-like and evaluate her employees. They had laughed at the semblance of a staff meeting she had held. Pouting, Helena had pushed ahead even having Barbara print up an official form for her to use. The look on Babs face as the brunette made her request had been a thing of beauty.

Now the bar owner was sitting at the bar fending off another semi-drunk advance from Lieutenant McDonald and his partner Detective Michelletia. She usually did not mind the fact that various cops and other officials rotated through her doors, she just didn't appreciate being bothered tonight. Helena had an important task to complete. She was going to pretend she was just a normal business owner doing normal business owner things.

Luckily their focus was shifted to another patron and Hel was able to retreat to the end of the bar counter putting a few empty seats in between her and the duo. Shifting her position quickly, her mind locked into watching the lieutenant make an ass of himself, she overcompensated. The normally balanced Helena missed the stool completely.

Surprise flooded her system as her reflexes stuttered and seemed to fail. So sure her butt was going to hit the floor, she gasped as she felt something catch her fall helping her keep her balance.

~Not what, who.~ She amended. "Hey thanks for saving my ass, literally." Hel said putting a little sass in her voice as her eyes roamed, no, raked over her savior.

Dana kept her face neutral picking up on the fact she was being checked out. Releasing her hold on Hel's arm she nodded stiffly, "Might want to consider water for your next order." She said curtly then moved to an empty space at the counter.

Helena opened and then closed her mouth as the woman had managed to make her attempt at humor seem foolish and school-girlish with just a few simple words. She tapped Scully's shoulder before the FBI agent could get the bartender's attention.

"Hey, I was trying to say thank you not sign up for the 'holier-than-thou' lecture series."

Raising an eyebrow, Dana pursed her lips slightly. "Your thanks is noted. It is curious that you felt that was what I was trying to do. Something on your mind you feel guilty about?" Turning then Dana tried waving at the bartender.

She felt a tapping on her shoulder again and turned back, "Yes?"

"Who gave you the right to go Dear Abby on me?"

"I'm what?" Dana turned fully to face the woman finally taking in her appearance for the first time. She noted the tight black leather pants. Her eyes lingered for a long moment on the bare midriff. Her gaze traveled higher taking in Hel's dark purple, sleeveless, silk blouse that seemed to form fit the woman accentuating every curve and toned muscle.

Moving her eyes back to the woman's face, Scully just caught the beginning of a smirk before the brunette caught herself and let her face fall back into a mask of indignation.

"You're staring." Helena said smugly.

Non-plused, Dana jumped slightly at that idea and started telling herself she was just assessing the woman to make sure the scene was secure. Taking a deep breath, Scully decided to forgo a retort and turned back to the counter. Her body relaxed slightly as she caught the attention of a bartender at the other end of the counter.

The familiar tap on the shoulder caused the agent to close her eyes as 'persistent little booger' floated through her mind. Not facing the woman, she tried to mentally will the bartender to move faster as she began tapping her fingers on the countertop.

"It's considered rude to ignore someone when they are trying to get your attention. Some people might take offense." A voice purred low in Dana's ear. The warm breath tickling her lobe as the seductive tone bore past her brain and tickled straight to her center.

Only years of training kept Dana from turning and lashing out at the owner of the voice. She made a face though knowing she had flinched having not expected the action. It took all of her control and past experience staring down the unusual suspect or stuffy FBI superior to not move. She managed not to turn or rise to the challenge thus playing straight into the woman's hands.

"Good thing for you I don't take offense easily then, isn't it?" Dana finally replied her tone lower and slower as well but tinged with an air of superiority instead of sex; the feel of an adult talking to a small child.

Stevie came over then laughing at the sight of this stranger looking his way as his boss was practically draped over the stranger's shoulder. Hel's mouth centimeters from the red-head's ear, the bartender half expected Hel to lean in and start nibbling or more as she teased.

The tone and controlled manner of the other woman impressed Stevie. Most given the Helena treatment by now would have fled, been appalled or turned sucking tongue with the brunette. He'd not seen many that could hold their own with Helena.

"Did you need something?" He asked trying to keep from smirking.

"I'm looking for Lieutenant McDonald. He is expecting me." She replied trying to ignore the sounds coming from over her shoulder. She stilled her body telling herself she had imagined the casual brush of a body against her back and leg.

Helena's mood soured drastically hearing the request. Moving back to her stool, Helena warily watched Scully. What would a classy, professional woman like her want with a low-brow cop?

Smiling at the space she felt as the other woman retreated, Scully tried to pull her mind back to being in control. Somehow the brief encounter had thrown the normally reserved agent into a slight tailspin. Pulling down on her blazer and blouse, Dana stood up straight as she watched the bartender speaking to a man and woman a few stools down.

Pulling out her ID badge, she waited for the two to come to her. Smiling she watched the officers lean close to begin talking rapidly while looking her way; they were surprised. As they continued looking, Scully remained in her spot having no intention of going to them. She wanted to control the meeting as much as possible.

"Nice move," Helena admitted to herself watching the little power play taking place. She watched the lieutenant say something to Stevie who shrugged and then began pouring a shot. Stevie then brought the glass down to Scully, "From the Lieutenant."

Helena could smell the drink and had seen the bottle; this was the best stuff they had in the place, which meant top line.

"I'm on duty." Dana said crisply. "May I suggest you," Dana paused and smiled as a Mulder idea crossed her mind and she decided to try his more relaxed approach this time. "Send it to the lady at the end of the bar." She pointed at Helena. "It is a shame to waste a fine drink. And I do owe her an apology for my earlier," Dana paused a slight edge creeping back in her voice... ~not too relaxed Dana...~ "Rudeness."

With that she nodded at Helena and then turned back to wait for the lieutenant.

Frowning at the turn of events, the two cops finally got off the stools and headed towards Dana. Helena waited and raised her glass when Dana glanced her way. She mouthed the word classy and was treated to the smallest of smiles from Dana before the red-head's face slipped back into her professional mask.

"How may I help you?" The detective's voice brought Dana fully back from Hel's sharp gaze.

"Agent Scully, FBI. I am the new Director." She offered her badge to the man, her tone crisp with authority.

FBI? Director? Helena's eyebrow's shot up as high as they could go mirroring the surprise of all listening in the bar.

"FBI? Riiiggghhhtttt. And I am the head of the tooth fairy division." He sneered sarcastically.

"Funny, I thought you were head of the NGPD night crime unit. My mistake." With that Dana turned her back on the man keeping her face blank. "Enjoying the drink?" She asked casually noting the woman's eyes trained on the show. ~Hope everyone else is enjoying this, I'm not...~

Smirking, Helena raised the glass and tossed back the rest of the contents as Dana felt a finger tapping her shoulder. "Seems like New Gotham citizens have a thing for tapping on shoulders." She remarked turning to face the lieutenant, "Yes?"

He handed her ID back, "Agent." He bit down hard on the word, "Scully. I was expecting..."

"A man? Someone a little more lax in protocol?" She finished his sentence. "You are not the first to make that assumption and I suspect not the last. Now I believe you have some files for me?"

Grinding his teeth, the man felt his partner's hand on his arm stilling any retorts he had planned on making. His hopes of keeping the Feds out of the Dissection Killer case, and his department in general, evaporated. Grudgingly he took the folders from his partner and handed them over.

Sensing no or little help would come, at least for now, from the officer and his department, Scully decided to not make that a two-way street. Her father would never have forgiven her if she treated a fellow officer rudely. "Thank you. And I'll make sure I send copies of any reports or information I find directly to you as head investigator, if that is acceptable? Two heads on any case is always better than one."

~Diplomacy and classiness.~ Helena thought listening to the exchange. Maybe this director wouldn't be such a dick.

Nodding, Lieutenant McDonald stood and moved off waving at the bartender and Helena.

Keeping her posture straight until the officers were out of sight, Dana didn't move. Not until the door swung shut behind the cops did her shoulders sag some. Her only other action was the release of a deep breath that disturbed her bangs slightly. With a slight shake of her head, she too headed toward the door.

Silently watching the agent go, Helena tapped her chin thoughtfully, her thoughts lingering on the red-head for awhile longer before letting her mind drift back to the bar.

Chapter 7

Colour Red (One Dollar Short)

New Gotham
Sir Sip Alot's Coffee Stop in the New Gotham Hospital
Wednesday 2pm

Now with time to kill before the test results came back Scully found herself with a hot cup of coffee and a lack of empty tables. Noticing another redhead she shrugged and headed that direction. The routine exam had been just what she'd been expecting, and now she just wanted to get back to work.

Barbara stared at the empty seat across from her as she used her finger to push her muffin back and forth across her plate. She really did not see the chair, muffin or even the shop around her as her mind was sunk into a rut thinking about things she really should not be thinking about.

For starters she really did not want to be sitting here. She'd finally made an appointment to talk to the doctor about possible side effects from using the spinal coupler a few weeks ago. Alfred had caught her one afternoon in the training room curled up on the floor in pain.

Somehow Alfred had mentioned something in passing when Dinah had called one evening.

Dinah had somehow mentioned something to Helena having called her.

Helena had somehow managed to mention something to the Barbara's principal.

Barbara had found she had a substitute scheduled for her so she could take a personal day and have some tests done.

"And this is the house that Jack built..." she muttered glumly as she made a face at the coordinated attack that had forced her to visit yet another doctor. Hospitals held too many unpleasant memories.

Reaching the table Scully nodded to the empty chair as she spoke, "Do you mind if I join you?"

Startled from her thoughts, Barbara stabbed extra hard at the muffin as she looked up at the speaker. "Oh. No. I mean no that would be fine. Wait, trying again. I do not mind, the seat is not taken." She shook her head at her butchered attempt as she withdrew her finger from the muffin and reached for a napkin.

"Thanks," Scully smiled not sure what to think. "Just here to kill some time," she explained.

Wiping her hand, Barbara returned the stranger's smile. "Those running the show seem to have an odd set of ideals.. Anyone entering the doors to this place has nothing better to do than while away countless hours reading backdated, odd topic magazines or other pointless activities. Counting the number of dots in the ceiling tiles is one of my personal favorites."

Scully smiled, "Exactly, I really should have known better, brought some work with me, or at least a book, right?"

"Well most people do not end up here by choice negating the ability to preplan. Those that do put some forethought into a visit tend to have people to see or keep them busy. Although I find something about this place tends to suck dry the motivation for producing anything of quality. I brought a stack of papers to grade. The thought of trying to focus on the reasons for the Great Depression and the dustbowl migration just do not seem too appealing given this setting."

"You're a teacher?" Scully asked, taking a sip of her coffee as she tried to make herself comfortable.

"That's one possible title for what I do. Task master, and professional torturer are other titles I have been given. Sadistic demon of cruel and unusual punishment disguised as an English teacher is a personal favorite of mine." She chuckled a little thinking of other names she had heard.

"At least you students are creative, right?" Scully smiled.

Barbara raised an eyebrow slightly, "Creative? Are you a guidance counselor by any chance?" She laughed before continuing. "But yes they are, especially when a major project comes due. Suddenly my classroom is a hotbed of creative thought. Of course most of that is directed at being creative regarding why the project is not finished."

"No not a counselor, but my former partner did require constant supervision," Scully explained.

"Ah the wonderful world of I get to make sure the work gets done as my co-worker gets to be..." She paused slightly, "Creative. You have my sympathies. Working with creative people can be challenging." She quieted some thinking of a very challenging person she had to work with.

"Despite his rather eccentric 'creativity' Mulder was probably the best agent I've ever worked with," Scully admitted.

Tilting her head a little at the mention of agent, Barbara simply nodded. She worked to keep her mind from reading anything into what should be a simple, banal conversation between two strangers. "Challenges are not always bad, but they are rarely welcome and usually end up producing results far from where you had predicted they would take you."

"That's right, but I'm sure you're familiar with challenges, one of the parts of a job in education, if you don't mind my asking, what level do you teach?" Scully asked.

Barbara's thoughts had started to drift as she thought about how challenging things had been lately. How those challenges were taking her very far from where she wanted to be. She raised her eyes back to the other woman's face as she answered, "High school. And yes, education seems to have more than its fair share of challenges, but so to do a number of other occupations. Guess it is a matter of perspective."

"From the time I've spent teaching I'd have to say that it's pretty far up there," Scully said, "I'm Dana Scully," she added, extending her hand.

She hesitated slightly. The conversation on the verge of moving from a simple idle chat between nameless people to a slightly more personal level, Barbara gave in and took the offered hand. "Barbara Gordon, and a pleasure to meet another teacher. Are you also addicted to the joys and challenges of high school?" The mannerisms of the woman didn't seem to fit with the general feeling elementary teachers gave off so she guessed at secondary. ~But why use the word agent if she is a teacher?~

"Actually I helped with some medical forensics courses through Quantico," Scully said, hating to come off as someone a little too full of herself and also slightly preoccupied with the woman's name, it seemed familiar.

The little words and references suddenly clicked and forced Barbara to subtlety readjust her assessment of the woman across from her, "Ah, well partner and agent makes more sense now." She admitted out loud then blushed ever so slightly as she grinned slightly chagrined.

"Sorry, my mind tends to like to put pieces together in an attempt to form a bigger picture. Irritating habit as I have been told a number of times." Deciding to make another jump as she was doing oh so well so far, "So are you here to teach then?" The woman had not used a title in front of her name. Barbara was not sure if she was a full doctor and had no pretense about titles, or if she was not fully licensed and assisted in teaching.

"I was actually just transferred out here to be the Director of the local FBI office," Scully said, almost blushing.

~Really?~ Barbara tried to contain her amazement as her assessment of Dana Scully again had to be altered. She'd been trying to follow the odd quirks in the FBI field office as part of her routine monitoring of anything related to law enforcement in New Gotham. However, she had let detailed tracking of the office and the changes there go the last year and slip past her monitoring more and more.

She knew she'd been getting sloppy. The notice she'd intercepted a few weeks ago about the dismissal of the Director and the search for a new Director and field staff had been barely noted before being filed away.

"FBI? And Director, congratulations and welcome to New Gotham." Barbara said pulling herself from her reverie. "I must admit you do not seem like..."

Scully smiled, "You're not the first person to think so, there was a man on the plane... Wait, you said you're Barbara Gordon?" she asked, wondering if she'd just heard what she wanted to.

"You mentioned teaching forensics, I just assumed you were a doctor or medical consultant. I should have caught the references earlier and noted the timing..." She bit her lip slightly berating herself for being caught so unawares and being so far off on her assessment. Why hadn't she anticipated and determined this earlier. Oracle did not seem so all-knowing suddenly. Looking up, the teacher realizing the last had been more of a question, "Yes still Barbara Gordon." She smiled trying to focus; she'd worry about her shoddy practices later.

"I met your father on the plane here," Scully said with a laugh, trying to figure out just how the odds had worked out that way.

"My father?" Her mind made the quick jump from the last topic. "He did get back from a consultant job a few days ago."

~She's been here a few days and I did not catch that. Tonight I run a complete track on all agencies. If we have new people to worry about trying to get around, Helena needs to be prepared...~

"I hope he did not talk your ear off about this program or that." ~Or talk about his daughter too much.~

"No, he was actually quite helpful," Scully smiled, knowing that everyone must feel the same way about their parents. "I'm sorry if I made things awkward, just surprised."

"That makes two of us in the surprised column. Although, please at least save me from turning redder than our combined hair color and tell me he did not pull out any pictures." ~If there is anyone up there still looking out for me please say the baby pictures remained buried in the deep recesses of his wallet.~

"No pictures," Scully grinned, "Though I don't know why that would be so embarrassing." She added without thinking.

"Thank goodness, it must have been a short flight or else he was distracted." She joked some as she poked at her muffin again. "And you don't? You try having your bare behind flashed to strangers because you look so cute as you are caught painting tiger stripes on your body with a marker. Then attempt to make a formal speech or bring up a serious topic." She still caught certain people giving her growls on occasion.

"You wanted to be a tiger when you grew up?" Scully asked with a grin, unable to keep a smile from her face.

"Well," she hesitated a little not having expected to follow through with her story. The warm tone though to the question helped to ease her hesitation and Barbara went against her normal routine of not being drawn into conversation. "That was one of the many phases. It also happened to be at a time when my father was trying out a new toy and I was the lucky guinea pig."

She picked up her coffee to take a sip. "Didn't you go through the 'I want to be this when I grow up' rotating list of people and things?"

"My dad turned me into a bit of a tomboy, but I think I always knew that medicine would be part of it," Scully replied.

"I tended to jump right into the thick of things myself," Barbara said childhood memories flitting through her mind as she swirled her cup some. "I really didn't have an idea of where I would end up. Certainly not here."

She set her cup back down. "Did you intend on being a practicing doctor or you had the law enforcement pathway pretty much in mind as you went through school?"

"I thought I'd practice, but I found the criminology to be too interesting," Scully admitted.

"The two fields are actually very similar. Both are designed to help people who can not help themselves and to protect people. You tend to have a mystery to solve using the clues and cues that you pick up. The subject is just different." Barbara leaned forward on the table stretching her back some.

"And both often are portrayed on television as being very glamorous and full of excitement. The truth is often a little glamour and many hours of patient research and piecing together odd facts and a lot of waiting. Of course there is the awesome adrenaline rush when you solve the case."

~When you are high on the excitement of pursuing and chasing down a criminal or speeding along hot and heavy into the chase...~ She looked down at the table trying to clamp down on those thoughts. She was not allowed those thoughts anymore.

"I don't think that my partner ever really believed in that assessment," Scully admitted. She generally didn't think about Mulder quite so much, but there was something that Barbara seemed to have in common with him, even if Dana couldn't put her finger on just what it was.

"What do you mean? What did your partner believe in if not that?" She asked watching Scully's face.

"He liked to find the strangest cases possible and then drag me out to listen to the most insane theories," Scully shrugged.

"Strange is a very relative word. Its definition tends to be very malleable given the circumstances and environment." Barbara replied after a few moments of silence. "Sometimes people need to do something a little different to break up those long periods of normality." She paused before asking, "And you use words like drag and insane... I take it you did not share his fascination with these cases?"

"They grew on me, but still not what I'd really choose for myself," Scully smirked.

Barbara was about to ask if that was because the cases were just that strange or if Dana considered herself too sane to deal with them but she heard Dana's name called over the loud speaker system. "Well looks like that question can wait for another day. I believe Dr. Scully you are being summoned, lucky you."

"If you father follows through I'm sure we'll be seeing each other again," Scully smiled as she got to her feet. "Enjoy your day off."

Not sure about the comment regarding her father, Barbara watched the woman stand. "I will enjoy the break from the school, not the reason for the break." She answered truthfully She wheeled around the table some and reached out a hand towards the agent, "It was nice to meet you and enjoy your day as well."

"I'll do what I can," Scully smirked, shaking Barbara's hand before turning to head back to the lab.

Watching the woman leave, Barbara thought back to something Dana had said about speaking to her father... ~I'm glad he was helpful, he believes very deeply in what he does and goes out of his way to do what he can to support his convictions. If he believes in a person or a cause, than that person is a very lucky individual. He is a good judge of character...~

She had found it fairly easy to talk to this woman and could see why her father might have talked with her. Barbara had been so careful to keep the walls of reserve and isolation tight around her for so long she had forgotten what it felt like to let go a little. How it felt just to have a normal conversation that was not related to work, her life as Oracle or the stilted discussions she and Helena had.

She twitched a little as a thought popped up in her brain, she was hungry for this type of interaction. She'd always cut everyone off or out quickly, not wanting to let go or too busy to be bothered.

This time she'd been off because of the tests and the setting and had lingered a little more, conversed longer than planned. No that was not right, there had been no plan. For the first time in a long time, Barbara Gordon had done something totally spontaneous and unscripted. It was exhilarating and disturbing.

She stared in the direction the red head had exited for a very long time replaying the conversation in her mind.

Chapter 8

Kid Fears (Indigo Girls)

New Gotham, Alleyway
Wednesday 11:00pm

The way the last few nights had been going with the recent crime streak coupled with her low level of interest, Helena was in no rush to get to her current destination. Instead of the usual sprints she took her time traveling from one rooftop to the next. She knew that she didn't really have a choice to back out of one of these missions. It wasn't like she could suggest Barbara take the initiative.

Last time Helena had suggested such a thing her mentor had risked her life on that junk that plugged into her spinal cord. And Helena refused to risk anything of the sort ever again. She was carrying around enough guilt for two lifetimes as it was.

Even after the damage from fighting during the whole Harley thing, the red-head had been determined, working on the setup to try and make it work better. A few weeks ago Helena had made a wise-crack and dropped a hint she might want to take a break. This had lead to Barbara trying the stupid machine again. The red-had had thought she could cover things if Helena did leave. That attempt had ended badly.

The young woman knew Barbara had gone to the doctor earlier today as the failed attempt still causing problems. For the great 'I can make it on my own Ms. Gordon' to go to the doctor, Hel was starting to figure out something serious was wrong. She briefly wondered if the red-head would confide in her. She also wondered if Barbara didn't, if she should even try to pry it from her.

Reaching the right alley she sighed before dropping down and turning on her comms.

"Oracle. I'm here. Same MO, and... God, she was just a kid," Huntress said softly, pushing back an image of Dinah, the girl she'd somehow come to see as a sort of sister. At least what qualified as a sister in her strange idea of family.

Barbara heard Hel's initial report and felt her stomach twist her face mirroring her stomach's action. It was never fun to be the one to try and take care of the messes others left behind. It was even worse when the victims were so innocent.

"Copy Huntress. You should have plenty of time to get the information I... we need. So far no call has gone into the police."

An anonymous tip had alerted Oracle to the killing giving them a first glimpse at the body with a greater amount of time to study the scene. She was still running a tracker program to determine where the tip had come from.

"But try to start moving a little faster." She had noted, using the GPS tracking system, Huntress' lagging pace getting to the scene. It had taken all of her patient reserve not to snap at the woman to increase her speed.

Pulling out the digital camera thing that Barbara had sent with her, Helena tried to get it to work. When it didn't do what she wanted the dark haired woman started hitting it.

"Hey, your video thing won't go," she said.

"What?" Oracle could hear Helena making what sounded like exasperated grunts and then she thought she heard the sound of something striking concrete.

"Huntress..." she drew the name out slowly, "What are you doing to the nice camera? You can not bully it into working. It is not like one of the criminals you like to throw around. That is why we do not have a visual right now. Someone had a little problem with the equipment last time." She struggled to keep the scolding tone out of her voice even as it crept in.

"It wasn't working. You made it sound so easy. I just press the right buttons. Or whatever. It doesn't work. So what do you want me to do?" Helena said, getting frustrated again.

It wasn't her fault Barbara's equipment wasn't up to the movement standards for one Helena Kyle.

The red-head released a larger sigh and wiped at her eyes. Patrols had been like this more and more for the last few months. Barely more than strained exchanges that consisted of little more than instructions.

And God help Barbara if they were not exact as Helena would let her know how wrong they were. Or, she would have to redo efforts as the young woman had followed Barbara's instructions to the letter. Instructions worded incorrectly thus leading to wrong information.

Add to that distractions from their daily lives on both of their parts and it was a wonder anything had been accomplished lately.

"Huntress." she kept her voice rigid and professional. "The button on the side turns on the power and then the button on the top takes the pictures. I believe the settings I programmed in should take care of everything else. But as I have no visual right now..." she trailed off.

"Right," Helena said, following the directions, but still not wanting to look at the body.

The victim was young, blonde... and Helena didn't want to think about it.

"IS that a right it is working or one of your sarcastic yeah right whatever Oracle?" Barbara really wanted Helena to get the needed information and get out.

She tried to school her voice though hoping her frustration was not coming through. Especially since deep down the teacher knew her frustration was not with Helena directly but at her own inabilities.

Pushing down the button Helena sighed, "I'm doing what you said, you getting anything now?"

A static filled image popped up on a corner of one of her monitors. Sighing she attempted to tweak the resolution and clear the electronic noise. Oracle would have preferred the better signal from the video equipment she had originally sent out with Helena. That was not going to happen due to the little tech problem from a few nights ago. She bit her lip as she struggled to work with this inferior signal until her ordered equipment arrived.

Barbara hoped Huntress would refrain from taking up a criminal's taunt of stick it where the sun don't shine next time. Or at least not use the expensive video equipment to do the sticking.

"I have some visual Huntress, go ahead and move around the scene and we'll try to gather what we need and call in the police." She responded having ignored the audible sigh that had come across the comms.

Helena didn't say anything, just moved around the body, getting different angles and views. She lived for what she did, but that was because of the fight, not this type of work.

Typing out her thoughts and comments as Helena captured the gruesome scene, Barbara noted this killing had been committed by the more precise persona. She and Helena had come to regard the killer as either two people working somehow in tandem or someone with a split personality. There were similarities between this and the other bodies that had been collecting over the last three or four months but also distinct differences.

She let her mind focus on the scene trying hard not to let personal feeling or emotion clutter her thoughts. There would be time for emotions later, wasn't that always the case. Yes she could feel, but later not now.

Going into an analytical, almost cold zone, she pulled her mind back to the crime scene. She worked in silence, breaking it only with short commands to Huntress to aid in the collection of images.

After a few minutes she added a question to her commands. "So what do you see Huntress?"

Scanning the alley Huntress frowned. "Hard to say. There's a bit of a mess, definitely a fight..." she said, moving to see what she could find. "But I don't see anything that could help us."

"Good on noticing the fight." She smiled knowing that would be one of the first things the woman would pick up on. "So what does that tell you?" Oracle replied trying to pull more out of her charge.

"Our killer, at least part of the team or whatever, can handle themself. Wait, look at this," Helena said, snapping a shot of a scratch on one of the body's upper arms.

"Yes they can, although the bodies that have a cleaner, more clinical approach to the mutilation also tend to be associated with more of a pre-killing struggle." She said absently as she zoomed in on what Helena had focused on, she kept speaking even while her attention was diverted.

"Remember the last body. A much larger man and also one who had been on an exercise program for quite awhile. There was not as much sign of a fight. And yet here, this person obviously put up a struggle. Thoughts?"

"Maybe the fight didn't have to do with muscle, maybe it had to do with meta-powers," Helena said, fully aware of the differences those powers could make. "This injury seems different from the others on the body."

"Oh, that's intriguing..." Barbara wheeled her chair to the other end of her bank of computers and rummaged through a stack of papers and pulled out a chart looking it over.

"Listen can you collect some samples? Maybe there is more of a link between the human/metahuman aspect than I previously thought." She drifted off staring at the chart.

"Samples... What kind of samples?" Helena asked, already knowing the answer and wishing that she didn't.

"What do you mean what kind of samples? I need you to go over the body as you always do and then draw..." she looked up from the monitors finally having caught the slight tone difference in Hel's voice. "Huntress is everything ok?"

"It's fine," Helena said, already getting to work, wanting to get it over with. She tried not to wonder why Barbara had to ask, didn't she remember that this was Helena's least favorite part of the job?

"Fine?" She sighed disappointed that Helena continued to stay distant and closed off. She suspected it was far from fine, she could tell from the voice and the slight jumps in the woman's heart rate and other vitals she was monitoring that she was upset.

She wished for once Helena would confide in her, not push everything back. Ever since being betrayed by Harley the teacher suspected the brunette had stopped talking to anyone. Barbara could understand the logic behind that. Helena had confided in Harley and had that openness used and twisted.

But it still hurt, hurt that Helena no longer came to her and hurt to know that she was probably hurting herself more and more everyday as the young woman kept it locked away. ~However, takes one to know one...~ She thought bitterly as she had not talked to anyone really since those events as well.

"Very well Huntress, please continue and do not forget to be mindful of contamination. The NGPD have had problems with their samples because of careless collecting."

"Don't worry Oracle, I've done this before," Helena said simply, already pulling out the right tools as she delicately knelt down next to the body, trying to think of it as only that.

~I always worry, just not about that but about you...~ She wheeled back to her place in front of the monitors still holding the chart. She'd go over the chart later hoping something might jump out at her.

"I have the highest confidence in your abilities. It is your focus that has been lacking." Barbara stopped speaking but realized it was a little too late.

The slight push she'd wanted to give Helena had accidentally come flying out of her mouth against her better judgment.

"I think I could focus better if you weren't distracting me," Helena said, not sure how to respond.

"Distracting... how could I possibly be... you are the one who has been showing up later and later and from doing God knows what." Actually she had a very good idea sometimes what the woman was doing, or more appropriately who.

And the red-head's very active imagination always was very willing to fill in some of the activities the brunette might be engaged in. Her mind was always very willing.

"But not a very willing body or..." she muttered angrily frustrated at her losing her temper and also frustrated at the reason behind the loss. She started tapping out a command to run the images against previous crime scenes.

Helena took a breath to say something, but didn't. Instead she closed her eyes, took a calming breath, and focused only on collecting the samples. The other details could wait.

Scully pulled her car to a halt a block down and peered out at the dark street. She was still trying to figure out why she was doing this. Her meeting last night with the Lieutenant had been almost as expected although she had been hoping for more support.

Being alone in a strange place was never fun for anyone.

The tip had come in as she was about to head out for the night. Nothing more than an address and a reference to one of the current cases that had been sitting on her desk and filling her mind since getting the files from the Lieutenant. Someone knew the FBI had started looking into these, what had the media and police nicknamed them, the Dissection Killings...

She took a deep breath and then got out. She immediately snapped on her flashlight and headed to the mouth of the alleyway alert for any sound. She unholstered her gun but kept it loosely at her side.

The smell hit her. It had been awhile since she had been out like this but she could just faintly pick up the odors of the alleyway and the faint smell of something sterile... she recognized it from so many hours in the lab and working on bodies.

The agent barely made out the figure a moment before her flashlight hit the edges of someone kneeling over something. She slowly brought her gun up resting it in the oft practiced position to provide a clear shot using the flashlight as a sight.

"FBI freeze," she said loudly as she tensed on the balls of her feet. She had not expected to catch the person in the act, how had the informant known...

Slipping gadgets into her pockets even as she stood Helena shot to her feet remaining crouched just enough to be able to move. "Fuck," she said, wondering if Oracle had heard the arrival.

I'll second that explicative," Barbara's voice floated over the comms.

"Huntress, I don't think I have to tell you, leave now." Barbara frowned pulling up a map and looking at the layout of the surrounding area. The voice sounded... familiar. She furrowed her brows in thought trying to place the voice.

Already moving Helena jumped to the fire escape, using it to push herself up faster and landed on the roof before sprinting.

"I thought no one had called the cops yet!" Huntress demanded, recognizing the red head from the bar.

Amazed at the athletic display, Scully held her shot not able to determine if anyone else might be in the area and unwilling to just randomly start shooting. Knowing she could not catch up going the same route, she ran back to the street in time to see a figure running along and jumping to the next building's roof to disappear.

Frustrated Scully headed back towards the body and then paused as the image of the woman she'd caught in the glare of the flashlight before she had gone up the fire escape suddenly hit her.

She'd seen the woman the other night. Taking out her cell phone, she placed a call to the police after determining the woman in the alley was dead.

"Huntress, Huntress are you clear?" Barbara's voice came quickly over the comm as the silence had begun to stretch. While waiting for a report, the computer expert had checked and verified no call had been placed to the police until about 30 seconds ago.

She recorded the cell number for future reference but had a good idea who had made the call as they had just been discovered.

"Clear. I don't think she saw my face, I was moving fast," Helena said, already knowing what Oracle would ask next.

"I thought the plan was to wait and call the cops after I was done."

"I stuck to the plan." She replied defensively. "If someone had not delayed in the collection." She rapped her knuckles on the edge of the desk.

"I have no idea what the FBI or any law enforcement was doing there. Did you get everything?"

"I got it, on my way back to you. And I know she was FBI, but how do you know?" Helena asked, her mind clearing as she practically flew over the rooftops.

"Well there was her little announcement. One that seemed to catch you totally by surprise." Oracle said not wanting to needle the woman but still going back to the fact Helena's focus had been slipping.

"But her voice sounded very familiar. I think she might be involved, or have been called in by them or something. I need to check a few things." Barbara frowned trying to tease back all of the conversation from earlier even as she started her normal hack procedures to get into the NGPD database.

Having made a once over of the crime scene and seeing no direct personal effects left behind. Scully moved out hearing sirens in the distance and got in her car.

She decided to go back to the bar she'd been at last night. Maybe someone could point her in the right direction for finding this woman. She had not gotten a great look, but she thought it was the same person. And it was all she had.

"Wasn't sure you'd heard it," Helena mumbled, leaving out her earlier run in, and the fact that if Helena recognized the red head it could have easily been a two way street.

"And I seem to recall someone causing a bit of a distraction..." she muttered, nearing the rebuilt clock tower.

"I hear a lot," Oracle snapped and then caught herself. "And the distraction was..." She bit down her retort and watched as the computer began the information transfer.

She wheeled into the kitchen as she noted the general direction Huntress was heading. "Maybe this is the time when we should bring up the whole mask issue once again?"

"Wearing a mask is like announcing I'm guilty. That I have something to hide, and I'm old enough to make my own decisions," Helena growled, already pissed that she'd been surprised.

"Yes Hel... Huntress you have something to hide. But hiding here is equated with safety." Barbara felt herself slip on the name almost breaking the protocol she tried hard to maintain.

"And as to making decisions, I do not question your ability to make them, it is the thought behind the choice and where the choice will lead that concerns me. You are not some vigilante running alone on the streets."

"If your person is compromised, it makes you a target. I don't want to put you at risk. You may enjoy taking the dangerous route but I don't want to see you..." Barbara reigned in then belatedly realizing she had again gone beyond a simple discussion.

Helena sighed, rolling her eyes as she reached the clock tower. "You're samples are on the balcony," she said coldly, more so than she'd intended. The raven-haired woman paused, her gaze flitting inside daring to catch a glimpse of the woman who frustrated her, pissed her off and captured her heart with ever word she uttered.

Clenching her fist at those thoughts, Helena moved back, turning off her comms. She fled back into the night deciding to head for the Dark Horse.

Barbara did not even bother coming out of the kitchen right away knowing Helena was already gone.

Wondering how much of the young woman's recent behavior and actions were her fault, she threw the cup back on the table and slowly rolled out to get the samples. Might as well focus on work and not that once again she'd let the conversation and Helena somehow slip away from her.

Chapter 9

Obsession (Animotion)

New Gotham, Downtown business district - 35th floor
Thursday 12:00 am

"Happy, sad, elated, mad..."

"Horny, mild, optimistic, wild..."

"All the emotions under the rainbow can be found below. All of them present in some form in the city as the moronic little robots go about their business oblivious to most of what carries on around them." She continued watching the twinkling lights down below through the large glass window as she clasped her hands behind her back.

Jarold quietly crept into the board room and waited at the end of the long black marble table that was positioned in the middle of the room. He automatically counted the chairs as he always did when he entered. It was soothing to him to find the 22 black leather chairs were all still present and accounted for. Jarold loved numbers, loved precision, loved patterns. She had gifted him with that.

She'd given him so much, it humbled him. He knew without a doubt he would do anything for Her and had since his birth, well rebirth, ten months ago. He bowed his head and waited patiently glad his sister was not with him. His sister often would upset Her. He made a face and felt his regenerated tongue flicker out as he felt apprehension run through his body.

The materials he had retrieved during his earlier run were secure in the cooling device She had provided. Jarold knew She had not built that particular device, it was technology from the same source that preserved Her daughter. His eyes flickered in the direction of the hidden lab as his thoughts were pulled to the reason for their activity the last ten months. The reason he and his sister existed.

"You are upset?" Her voice startled him so that he lost control of his body for a moment causing a nearby a chair to flip over.

"I am sssorry," his voice hissed some as he bowed lower if that was possible.

"Were you not successful?" The older woman continued to stare at the city below, her body not moving save for a tiny shimmer in her shoulders whenever she spoke.

"I have what you desire." He replied keeping his tone subservient as he knew he should. His sister might enjoy back-talking and being punished for her sins, but he did not. Of course his sister fulfilled many needs of Her in that way.

Her shoulders rolled forward slightly then. "Thank you, it is her birthday in three days."

The deep sadness and strong hatred in that simple statement hit Jarold physically and he stepped back dropping to his knees. "I know, I, I feel..."

"What my little cutter, my counter... What do you feel?"

"Your pain is deep, she was rrripppped from you. Your search the last two years has been long and hard." His speech was slipping more from him as he struggled to remain honest. "Each ssssmall ssstep brings joy and sssorrow as it remindssss you sssshe is not in your life." He was nervous; afraid he would anger Her. Or even worse, drive Her to that fearful insanity, the dark place She was receding to more and more often.

"You are the wise one Jarold. I knew you would reason it out. Your sister, she pushes me providing the physical release I need. But you... You provide the logic and conversation." The laugh that followed that statement was bitter.

"I hear you and your sister talk. I know you wonder why I have not brought any others to play or help in our search." Her voice was suddenly void of any feeling and that frightened Jarold. He started counting the blue speckled dots mixed in amongst the silver, gray and black dots in the carpet where he knelt.

"Too many liabilities."

He sighed, the hissing sound filling the room.

She felt a smile creep along her face in response to the sound. She knew the sound was one of relief, not one of sorrow or rage at being nothing more than a liability to her. She knew even that much was a gift for those two.

The businesswoman took a step forward then almost pressing against the glass as she followed the cars below. Her mind continued to follow the cars even as they left her sight as her imagination played out where they were going and why. She spent countless hours here playing that game. It was one of the few activities that kept her from the darkest corners. The places that were incredibly hard to get back from, the places her daughter had always saved her from in the past.

She raised a hand flattening her palm against the cold glass. "I will perfect the method little one."

Jarold started towards the lab then as She was no longer here, at least her mind had taken leave of this place for the moment. He could hear the distance growing in her voice. His tongue flickered in and out quickly, scenting the air and tasting her edginess. As it filled him, he too became restless. His eyes dropped to count the black dots on the carpet as he went through the motions to open the lab door.

He hiccupped then keeping from crying out as a face swam into view as the door opened to reveal a wickedly cruel face that bore a harsh grin. His sister had been playing again. Whenever she was near the pain threshold she became cruel and dallied much in distractions.

"Heyo Bro. I see you were perfect as usually." She waved at the container he clasped.

"I sssuceeded although there were people nearby... ssssomeone knew..."

The blonde cut him off not even listening, "Whatevaher..." she brushed past him pausing only to reach a foot backwards to kick at his butt playfully as she barged into the board room bringing her own brand of frenzied energy to the space.

Jarold bowed his head but glanced to see his sister come up behind Her wrapping her arms about the older woman, the hands already gliding up under the front of Her blouse. He hissed in relief hoping maybe Jem could pull their teetering Master from the edge. The work needed Her guidance and brilliance.

And perhaps She could punish his sister and tame her recent surge in spitefulness and maliciousness. Her collection was getting sloppy and he had to do more work to make up for her untrained ways. He hated taking away time from his matchstick models and sleep periods. In fact the metahuman was happy Jem could please Her, it left him free to play his own games.

Trailing soft feathery kisses along the silk covered shoulder blade, the young metahuman's hands found their goals and began massaging gently, her palms rubbing over the already hardening nipples. Her kisses became deeper, slower and more fervent as she reached up on her toes some, her lips heading towards exposed flesh.

Reaching the crook of Her neck, Jem sighed as her hands shifted, the feel of silk across her own skin something she found stimulating. Just as her feather kisses and lips reached the exposed, creamy flesh, she bared her teeth then biting into Her shoulder blade and neck as her fingers turned to pulling and pinching the stiff peaks.

It happened so fast the blonde barely had time to register the action as she had already started sinking into a euphoric haze. But as her teeth bit into flesh and she desired to suck and pull the tension from her partner's body, the older woman turned and shifted slapping Jem hard across the face.

Clasping her stinging face, the chastised woman barely had time to catch her equilibrium before feeling strong hands clasping at shoulders pushing her roughly across the room. She blinked as she felt the marble table dig deep into her back and Jem laughed as she knew a bruise was already forming.

Moist lips met in a passionate kiss fueled by raw hunger not compassionate desire. Jem growled in delight as she recognized Her mood. The younger woman then pushed her knee up roughly thrusting it hard against Her silk dress skirt pushing deep into Her center. Breathing deep Jem could smell the lust and arousal thick in the air and knew it came as much from the woman shoving her onto the table as from her own flushed sex.

She tried to wrap her arms around her master wanting to feel the taut skin and sweat stained silk but found her arms roughly slapped away, one arm pinned behind her back somehow as she was finally laid out on the table. She snarled then looking up into Her face. A face alternating between angry lust and blank acceptance.

The woman's tongue pushed in to the metahuman's mouth: filling it, stroking, dancing, commanding. Moans filled the air as a free hand made its way to tear at the silk skirt even as Jem felt her pants being pulled down. The blonde's stomach muscles tightened in anticipation even as the stroking, searching fingers made their way lower and lower.

The metahuman thrust her body up, letting her lips and teeth dance over skin. She managed to turn some so she could lick lower. Maneuvering, Jem was just able to suck on a nipple through the silk as it came within reach of her moist tongue. She sucked harder feeling the cold digits slide gracefully into her moist, warm channel. Her master's hands could be so gentle.

"You have been a bad girl Jem, but then so have I. Punish me little one." Her voice husked out then as she rubbed her body fully against Jem's feeling the curves and toned muscles sliding over her own body as she thrust deeper, harder and faster. Wonderful muscles she had worked to create and shape. Flesh she now could command and take; to love and worship or to dominate and destroy.

Jarold had transferred the items he had collected to the proper place. He could hear the grunts and smell the thickening musky scent permeating the air. He heard a scream and some words exchanged and knew it would not be a long session.

He patiently finished setting the tests and chemicals in place. He felt the ache growing and knew the processed drugs could not come too soon. But it had been longer since needing a transfusion. And the process had not hurt quite as bad the last time. All positive results, all things that made Her happy he thought.

He did not look up as She entered. He noted the 52 bolts that kept the tables and chairs together as She checked the progress of the tests he had started. "Perfect as always Jarold," She said.

He had heard Her scream at the end and knew that was the cause of Her raspy voice. He went to get her a drink as he noted his sister wobbling in looking sated and cocky. ~Damn...~ he thought as he got the drink. He had hoped She might take the edge off his sister.

"Now little ones," She began accepting the drink as she pushed aside her bangs. "I have a second run." She held up a hand seeing Jarold's head snap up, fright evident in his large eyes as Jem even looked a little uncertain.

"I have made a break-through, something from the book has given me hope. The others found some new molecules and I have decoded the next to last DaVinci piece. We will be able to reconstruct his alchemy process, I am sure. But I need raw materials." She walked over trailing a still moist finger across Jem's cheek smiling as the young girl caught the finger in her mouth sucking it in and then slowly releasing it.

"Whatever you need, I will give." Jarold replied averting his eyes from the touches and then kisses the two women exchanged.

Nodding at Jarold's statement, she began given them instructions, keeping her mind focused on the two, not the special device in the far corner of the room. The device that was her world and all that mattered. Well, no, not the device but who it held. Who someday she would save. ~Someday me dear... someday soon......~

Chapter 10

Games People Play (Tesla)

New Gotham, Dark Horse Bar
Thursday 12:08 am

Helena had made it back to her apartment rather quickly once she left the clock tower. After shedding her coat and taking a few to calm her nerves, she realized that what she really needed was alcohol. There was no way that she'd been seen clearly, right?

Scully was sitting at a small table in a corner of the bar watching the crowd. The place was maybe half full and she had been here for only about 10 minutes. She'd hesitated going up and asking the staff about the brunette. She wanted to wait and establish a better feeling for the setting. There was also the matter of trying to calm herself a little to make sure she was focused. She was still trying to figure out how the woman had managed to get to the roof top so easily and quickly.

Helena had easily shrugged off the incident when dropping the samples with Barbara, but now that she was alone the brunette was a bit more worried. Quickly bouncing down the stairs Helena slipped into the bar through a back door and headed straight for the bar counter.

Tapping her fingers on the table, Scully started to pull her body up from her seat deciding to ask about the woman from last night. She quickly froze and sat back down, her arm resting on the table as she caught the entrance of the suspect. Not only was she here, but she'd come in via a private entrance. Scully was glad now she had not automatically gone to the staff. Perhaps the woman had an accomplice.

Serving herself some whiskey as the night's staff looked busy enough Helena sighed, finally taking a moment to scan the room. When she noticed a certain redhead she was careful to keep any reaction from her face, wondering just what was going to happen next.

~She knows her way around behind the bar very well.~ Scully observed just as the brunette noticed and locked her gaze on the agent. Catching the fact that the brunette's facial expressions remained unchanged, she slowly stood and casually walked to the bar. Pausing slightly, Scully decided to head to a position located on the opposite end of where Helena was standing. She continued to watch the brunette as she leaned on the counter.

Taking a deep breath Helena threw back some more of the Jack Daniels in her hand before slipping through the crowd and back out the door she'd come in through. While she was tempted to go straight to her apartment the brunette waited, wondering if her concern was warranted.

Dana bit her lip and decided to take a moment, she might have lost the woman already but information was always a good thing. She flagged down the bartender and waited until there was no one else in earshot.

"What do you need... hey you're the cop from last night." Stevie had come up putting a napkin on the counter before looking at the customer.

"Agent," Scully automatically replied, "And I need a drink, later, but maybe an answer to a question now. I, I couldn't stop thinking about that woman from last night." Scully mixed a little truth with a little embellishment hoping this was the right tact.

Stevie grinned widely, "Most people react that way to Hel. Especially when they're gifted with her playful side."

Scully took in this information and nodded, "Yes well... I was just hoping to maybe find out a little more but before I could get here she..."

"She rarely sits still," Stevie laughed and plucked a couple bottles off the shelf having seen a regular approaching. "Helena was born to be wild and active. She might just be going to the bathroom. I saw her heading that way. Or she might have been going home for the night." He shrugged.

Scully pushed away from the counter. "Thanks, if you see her." Scully paused, "Tell her I'd really like to see her again. She owes me a thank you for the drink."

The bartender barked out a sharp laugh, "Wow someone almost as saucy as she is. I'll tell her... Agent."

Scully nodded and headed then towards the door, opening it and going through. At least now she had a name.

Helena had been about ready to jog back up the stairs to her apartment when the door opened to reveal the redhead. Hoping to play things casually, and pray, for once in her life that the woman hadn't actually seen her earlier Helena smirked, "I was wondering when you'd be back."

She quickly assessed no one was here, but she could see a set of stairs and signs for the bathrooms both meant someone could come in here at anytime. She had to get to a secure location. "Why is that? You felt like playing me again?" Scully let her hand rest so she could easily grab her gun.

"I was thinking more that I owed you a drink," Helena said, smirk still in place as she tried to read the other woman.

Her face still and passive, Scully kept her eyes focused on the woman as she had been trained to do in case the brunette decided to try and run. "That really was from the Lieutenant. I tend to set my sights a little higher than he does. Perhaps you should go and thank him personally."

Helena shrugged, her head tipping to one side, "He's not really my type," she admitted, her fight or flight instinct still urging her body to move.

"Are blondes more your type?"

"I like redheads," Helena grinned. "What about you?"

"That's information I don't give up easily." Scully replied taking a step towards the brunette. "I really don't think we should continue this discussion here. I don't want anyone else to get hurt."

"Hurt?" Helena asked, all too used to the acting dumb routine. "I didn't break your heart already, did I?"

"You would have had to have my heart to break it." The red-head replied falling into the easy give and take for a moment. Peeved at her slip, Dana's face hardened then. "I don't want to hurt you or involve anyone else. There's no fire escape here."

"See, now you're losing me. What's going on?" Helena asked, fully throwing herself into the confused mode.

"What?" Scully's face drew down taken back by Helena's replies. For someone who had committed the level of crimes she had read about, she had not associated this particular personality with the killer. "I would like to find out the answer to the same question." Scully relaxed her face, "Would you be willing to come with me to try and find the answers?" Two could play this game.

"Answers to what?" Helena asked, practically daring the redhead to come out and accuse her.

Her hand continued to hover close to her weapon. "Helena, is this just part of the game? Is this the reason you do it? You like playing and manipulating people?"

"Look, I don't know what you're thinking, but I didn't do anything, I'm just trying to stop it from happening again," Helena said, finally admitting to what the redhead clearly already knew.

"Oh you obviously know exactly what I am thinking." Scully replied. "And stop what? Why did you do it?"

"Are you deaf? I didn't do it. I was collecting evidence, probably the same reason you showed up," Helena shot back, crossing her arms over her chest.

"Deaf?" Scully's eyebrow raised slightly as her arm tensed at Hel's motion her hand now resting on the handle of her weapon. "I'm not deaf, blind or dumb. Now, turn around, keeping your hands where I can see them."

Waiting for the woman to comply, Scully heard sirens and they seemed to be growing louder indicating they were hopefully headed this way. She'd placed an anonymous call into the police right before Helena had come in telling them there was a crime in progress at the bar and an officer needed backup. Fortunately someone had decided to follow through.

With a sigh and a roll of her eyes Helena shot out a fist aimed right at the woman's temple.

Scully had let her focus waver as she was glad to hear the sirens and almost missed the incoming punch.

If she had not actually been turning slightly towards the sound of the siren, the fist probably would have hit her hard and taken her out then. As it was the blow glanced across her forehead and she staggered against the wall.

As she slid down, she managed to somehow keep her hand steady enough to pull her gun. Sitting on the floor, her head hurting she braced her back against the wall trying to draw a line on Helena. "Stop now or I will shoot," she said loudly managing to push back up using the wall to support her.

Already in full on fight mode Helena kicked at the gun while almost simultaneously throwing another fist at the redhead's jaw. "Like to see you try," the younger woman said.

Feeling the sharp pain as the gun was wrenched from her grasp. She automatically moved trying to follow after it. Pain exploded in her jaw and head sending her to the floor again.

"Trust me you'll see me succeed." She mumbled spotting the gun, barely, through the hazy cloud of pain. She tensed her body ready to gather strength to lunge for the gun but made no other movement hoping the woman would settle or pause her attack just long enough for the uniforms to arrive or even the unlikely possibility she might make it to her gun.

Not wanting to cause any serious injuries Helena let her forearm come down just hard enough on the space between Scully's neck and shoulder to leave the agent unconscious.

The sirens had already put Helena over the edge. Trying not to think ahead, an action that came all too easily, the brunette scooped up the redhead and her gun before sprinting up the stairs and into the safety of her apartment.

After lying the redhead down on her couch Helena started swearing. After getting that out she flipped on her comm, "Oracle? There seems to be a bit of a complication...

Chapter 11

Don't Ever Think Too Much - (The Zoltons)

New Gotham
Helena's apartment above the dark horse Bar
Thursday 12:46 am

Pacing, the brunette laid the gun on the lamp table as she watched the redhead slowly breathing. Turning she started a new lap waiting for Oracle to respond.

Breathing heavily, Barbara managed to make it to her comms and placed them back in position, "Helena? Are you alright." Her fingers flying over her keyboard already checking the status. "I am registering a police call into the bar. What's going on?" Barbara tried to calm her breathing and not let her worry for Helena appear in her voice.

"Cops? Shit, ok I thought I heard sirens." She glanced briefly at the redhead, her gaze lingering over the still form. "Um what did you say Oracle?"

Barbara frowned as she heard the slight stutter in Hel's voice. "I am trying to find out if you had anything to do with the call. I am trying to track the number that made the call into the police."

"Well, I might have had a little something to do with the call..." Helena began her voice getting a little high and vague.

"Huntress..." Barbara drew out the name staring at the computer as she paused her typing... "What exactly are you not telling me?" She had known Helena long enough to know what that tone meant. It was the Hel got caught with her hand in the cookie jar voice.

"Well, there may have been a... complication with the evidence collection..." Helena said, still pacing, her eyes on the redhead.

Barbara rolled back over to the other side of the console and looked at the bag and items Hel had left before leaving... ~No, before running... why is she always running...~

Barbara caught herself and focused back on the items trying to see what might have contaminated the samples. "Why would the evidence be faulty?" She asked gently trying to keep her patience and pry the needed information from the young woman.

"The evidence is fine!" Helena shot back, she'd long since mastered that part of the job. "I said getting the evidence, not the shit itself."

Making a face at the computer screens, Barbara bit back her retort picking up on Hel's tension through the terse reply. "Alright, fine." she said a slight patronizing tone developing, "How exactly did you complicate picking up the shi... uh evidence?" ~One, two, three, Lord help me...~

"And the unit has arrived at the bar." She added picking up the report from the police monitor. "You're not out in the open are you?"

"No," Helena said, unable to help herself from glancing down to the street from a window. "Fuck," she muttered. "Someone saw me. That same someone happened to be an FBI agent. An agent who recognized me and who is currently unconscious on my couch."

Barbara tilted her head slightly to the side hearing a slight snap of static over the line. That served to jolt her out of her amazed daze she'd sunk into trying to process what Helena had finally revealed. Leave it to the woman to wander around the topic for ever and a day and then dump a load and a half right on top of you.

~All or none... can't you ever just take the middle road and not continue to tax my nerves and heart...~ For some reason this thought made the red-head smile as she realized how much she liked that quality about Helena; even though it often lead to frustration and a large amount of time learning how to pull things from the woman. If only she could figure out if it was all or none or even middle regarding how Helena felt about...

She pulled her glasses off and began pinching at the bridge of her nose as she closed her eyes and closed down those thoughts. "Alright Huntress, let me make sure I have this. The complication is you just happen to have an agent who works for the federal government unconscious on your couch. And why oh why do I get the feeling the number that placed the call is her number?" She paused trying to keep her voice even and emotionless.

"Well..." the voice drawled across the comms.

"And why oh double why... no this deserves a triple. Triple why do I suspect you somehow had a hand in her current state?" Barbara closed her eyes somehow already knowing the answer to her asked question. ~Please tell me no, please, just say... "No Oracle, I did not do anything to the nice agent, no Oracle I did not just assault a federal officer and could be facing a felony charge... I was just walking along minding my own business..."~

"She was pulling a gun on me, what was I supposed to do?" Helena shot back, frowning down at her couch and glancing at the gun on the table next to it. After a moment she moved to pick up the gun, looked around for a place to hide it, and ended up putting it in the freezer.

Moving to rub at her eyebrow, which had begun to throb, Barbara followed the activity coming through the police scanner a moment trying to remain calm. "Is she badly hurt, are you hurt?" She pulled up the 911 access program she had written to send in anonymous tips and began formulating a call if either needed medical attention. She paused waiting for Hel's reply as well as hoping for divine inspiration as to how to report the need for aid while keeping the young woman from jail and trouble.

"I'm fine. And I just knocked her out. How stupid do you think I am? Just tell me what to do with her now," Helena said, wanting more of the whiskey she'd left downstairs.

"Do you really want me to answer that?" Barbara said her exasperation and uncertainty finally leaking out some. "I should say you got yourself into this, you work it out. Why does your solution often carry some physical answer? Perhaps a little practice thinking things out would do you good."

"She had a gun!" Helena yelled.

Flinching at the tone and also the word, Barbara grabbed at the armrest and fought to remain calm. "Alright, so she had a gun and followed you to the bar. What exactly did she want and why would she pull a gun on you Hel? Did she come in guns blazing?"

"She started dancing around the point, I played dumb, then I guess she didn't believe me and went for the gun. I stopped her, no excessive force, I swear," Helena explained.

"No excessive... you have an unconscious woman on your couch." Her voice rose in tone as she spoke. "And dancing around the point... that sounds like standard procedure for someone else I know. Perhaps you two are a match made in heaven." She muttered canceling the 911 call and trying to figure a way out of this one.

"So do you have any ideas how to find a way out of this situation? One preferably that does not have you locked in a prison cell for 5 to 10." ~Think Barbara... how do we get out of this... I can't lose Helena.~ She started cracking into the local FBI field office computer hoping she could see something in the agent's profile that might help.

"Well, now that she doesn't have the gun I'm waiting for her to wake up so I can try to talk some sense into her..." Helena shrugged.

"Now you're going to try talking?" she asked incredulously. "I think the world just stopped spinning." She found a few files and started reading them over. "Are you sure you can handle this?" She asked absently focused on the background reports her brow furrowing as she became more engrossed in what she was reading.

"Do I have a choice?" Helena replied, not about to consider putting Barbara at risk.

"You did and this is where your choice lead you." ~And now once again we find a way to deal with the consequences. Why do I keep doing this?~ She paused then her eyes wandering from the computer screen to the small piece of cloth she had left on the top of her main monitor, ~That's why...~

A groan from the comms broke across her thoughts and forced her eyes away from the piece of cloth. "Huntress?"

Chapter 12

Choice in the Matter (Aimee Mann)

New Gotham
Helena's apartment above the Dark Horse Bar
Thursday 1:19 am


"Chill out Oracle, she moved some but didn't come to." Helena replied having knelt beside Scully watching as the agent's breathing seemed to even out. "I just hate the standing-here-and-waiting-thing,"

Breathing a sigh of relief hearing Hel's voice, Barbara stared off into space working over Hel's comment. "Huntress, there is this little saying, patience is a virtue..."

"Virtue is highly over-rated oracle." Resuming her pacing, the young woman glanced at the agent, "Know of any ways to just wake her up totally?"

"Wake her up... are you sure she is alright?" She hesitated before adding the next sentence already hearing Hel's protests, "Maybe you should take her to a hospital?" As she said this, a blinking light from another monitor caught her eye and she turned to take a look.

"I told you that I didn't hit her that hard, besides, she's breathing just fine and if we can keep doctors out of this. They'll ask questions and isn't that what got me into this lovely mess in the first place?" Helena huffed.

Rubbing wearily at her eyes, Barbara typed in a few lines to call up what had set off one of her alerts. "Breathing is a good thing. The acting before thinking we need to work on along with a number of your other magnificent social skills." Barbara glanced over at the monitor where she had started reading through some of the back cases. She'd been calling up reports and journal entries from the division Agent Scully had been assigned to, something called the X-Files.

"We need to find out exactly what she..." her voice trailed off as she refocused on the monitor in front of her and read the report that had set off her alarm.

"She's fine Oracle, I already told you that," Helena said, rolling her eyes as she dropped into the chair across from the couch, staring at the FBI agent and wondering what all of this was going to lead to, or at least how Barbara was going to fix it.

"Mmmm," was the absent reply as her eyes flitted over the report. "Huntress... there are reports of disturbances in a location not too far from where you are. Strange, the police response is a 534." Barbara pulled at her lip as she continued to stare absently at the police call and the reply.

"534?" Helena asked, not recognizing the code. "And are you sure I should leave? I mean, leaving someone on my couch, unconscious, alone in my apartment? Seems harsh, especially for a special agent or whatever, right?"

"Seems someone did not take to heart the list of police codes we reviewed last month. I am sure you got the memo..." Barbara said, a slight ring of sarcasm to her voice. She tapped at her brow as she contemplated the report as well as Hel's words.

Another call from the same area broke through the red-head's indecision and spurred her to action - especially since this one had been also labeled as a 534. "Huntress, I agree this is not a very sane idea. But at this point she already knows who you are and where you live. Another report just came in, this one had the reporting officer's recorded reply as tracking an individual who just seemingly disappeared at the end of an alley. I think this might be related to the earlier call. If someone is in trouble..."

She closed her eyes hoping her shifting of priorities was correct and wondering why her normal calm and collected approach to problems was so much harder to grasp and maintain these last few weeks. ~Distracted, I've just been distracted and tired and...~ A brief thought to her hospital visit tried to work its way into the thought monologue but was swept aside as she hear a sigh from Helena ring across the comm. link.

"A 534 is a new code I brought to your attention last month, it means to disregard and break off any further investigation on the matter."

"So why I should I be worried about it if New Gotham's finest don't care?" Helena ask, leaning forward to rest her arms on her knees.

"Because people slip through the cracks and those are the people someone needs to care about." She replied quietly, her thoughts suddenly dragged back to a night so long ago and yet so fresh in her mind. She shook her head trying to break free of those thoughts... there would be plenty of time tonight to curl into a ball in her own bed away from the world as those thoughts came back to consume her.

"Two of the Dissection Killers last four victims were found in areas where disturbance calls came in and were ignored as a 534." she did not add her own growing suspicion at what the 534 meant and who was pushing calls into that label.

"So I get to chase them down and leave the red head alone in my apartment. You know, I'm questioning this, and that never happens," Helena admitted, standing and pulling on her jacket.

"What never happens?" Her voice was distant as her eyes wandered back to another monitor where Dana Scully journals still filled the screen. The few entries she had read had alternated between clinical and thorough to others tinted with a hint of personality and experiences that piqued Barbara's interest. "Did you check her pulse and are you sure her breathing is steady? If you are concerned, you should take her to the hospital and I can monitor the calls and see if there is any further activity."

"I know she's fine, I'm just concerned about the location," Helena sighed.

Barbara was leaning in toward the monitor engrossed in a more personal journal entry she had just found. Her eyes widened slightly as she reached the line about cancer. A bleeping sound from another computer broke into her reading and pulled her back to the current situation. She saved the pathway she had found to get to these journals and then snapped off the monitor as a way to force herself to focus.

"Sorry Huntress, location? And I do not like the idea of leaving Dana alone as well but if there is even a remote possibility of this being connected..." She trailed off her eyes wandering back to the darkened monitor.

"Right. So are you going to tell me the address or should I start guessing?" Helena said, getting annoyed. "And why the hell am I telling you to focus and not the other way around?"

Her eyes snapped back to front and center and she could almost feel herself blushing at Hel's comment; now who felt like they had been caught with their hand in the cookie jar?

Wiping at her warming cheeks, Barbara moved and pulled up the address of the different calls. "Maybe I decided to give you a little taste of what I have to deal with on a fairly daily basis." She snapped back trying to cover her chagrin at being caught distracted even as a small part of her wondered the same thing Hel had voiced.

"Yeah, but you have patience and I'm impulsive. So, about the address...?" Helena said, trying not to start jumping up and down. She could already feel the adrenaline starting and she wasn't even outside yet.

"And that impulsiveness is what I love about you Huntress although it continually tests said patience." She read off the two locations. "Did you copy that?"

Repeating the addresses and an intersection between them, Helena nodded to herself as Oracle confirmed she had the right information. "I'm off," she added, glancing at the redhead before slipping out the window and climbing up to the roof, heading toward the address.

Chapter 13

The Heat Is On (Glenn Frey)

The rooftops of New Gotham 2:00am

"Should have tied her up or something," Helena muttered as she landed on another rooftop heading towards the address Oracle had given her.

"You clocked a federal officer which is a felony. I think that is enough without bringing bondage into the picture as well."

Helena barked out a laugh hearing that word from Barbara's lips. For some reason the way the red-head had said that made her shiver. "Say it again Oracle."

Frowning at the request, Barbara shrugged as she continued calling up city plans of the alleyway Helena was headed towards and repeated her words. "Let me know if it does not come through clear this time. I said I think that is enough without bringing bondage in..."

"Oooh Oracle I love it when you talk dirty like that to me. Can you say whips and chains this time?" Helena teased and then frowned as there was no reply from the comm.. Pulling up in her movement she hesitated and then felt her eyes widen as she could hear over the comms a change in the breathing of the red-head.

"Ba... um Oracle, you ok?"

"Fi-fi-fine Huntress. Are you there yet?" The voice came through obviously trying hard to change the topic.

Cocking her head to one side Helena realized she had gotten to Barbara. She had... she pulled up on that thought and instead focused on making another jump. The idea of being able to turn the older woman on was actually starting to turn Helena on. While she liked to feel the warm rush and electric flow through her body, one reason why she flirted and prowled so much, she knew she needed to focus in case this was an honest tip.

~Bondage... tying Helena up and...~ she thumped her hand hard on the arm of the wheelchair gripping the metal in an attempt to grip her own run-away emotion. She focused on pulling up the schematics she'd been researching to see if there were any cameras she could hijack in the area.

Dropping down, Huntress could make out two figures struggling. She heard a gurgle and swore. "No, not this time." Both she and Barbara said at the same time. Helena blinked at the shared words but tensed as she stood up. "Hey is there room for one more?" She called out hoping to take the element of surprise.

"Huntress what's going on? I can't get a visual."

The figure had already let the second body go and stepped back as it folded silently to the ground. She was not positive but from the boneless way the second person seemed to collapse Helena thought she might be too late. "Listen sicko, I'm here to make sure you never get the urge to be a Ginsu wizard again."

"No one appreciates work ethicsssss these days." A voice hissed. He'd not been happy She wanted two collections in one night and this only proved his point. "I take pride,"

Helena had been drawn in by the odd speech impediment and almost didn't hear the change in his voice. Almost didn't see the slight flash. Almost was impaled by the scalpel that came flying from the shadow.

She growled in pain as she reared up, her hand managing to deflect the projectile but suffering a large cut across her palm as the ultra-sharp implement stuck in the crate behind her having been thrown with such force.

The distraction of pain was just enough that she was plowing into the crates, fists raining down on her unprotected temples and ribs for a full 10 seconds before she even realized the shadow had followed the scalpel and was now kicking the shit out of the metahuman.

"Okay I was going easy," she kicked up with her knees catching...it...no... him... catching him in the gut and was rewarded with a lessening of the blows as the air whooshed from his lungs.

Barbara could hear the fight and grunts of pain but kept silent, knowing that misplaced words here would only distract. She cheered silently as she finally found a surveillance camera and began hacking in, it might give her a little something to help.

The older woman hated being bound, bound by the rules and settings put in place by others only able to be a passenger. Only able to borrow what someone else had put in play. She wished for once she could be the one taking charge, designing the rules... being the one to take the leap, the chance, to be bold, brash, to go after the woman she...~What Barbara, what does Helena mean to you?~

Jarold staggered back but caught himself before he plowed into the collected materials. He looked down distracted as he noted he had not properly covered the container. He reached turned to close the container and as he did, he snaked out his tail to grab a piece of metal and flung it at the other metahuman.

She caught herself about to clap as she was watching the show below. No need to let the interfering bitch know she was being watched. Surprises were something the blonde enjoyed so much. She riveted her gaze to the struggle below.

* * * * *

Dark Horse Bar 2:00am

Scully had been working hard not to groan or move even though her head pounded and she felt stiff. She'd woken somewhat earlier but had drifted off feeling dazed. The fact she had not moved or made much noise since her initial groan when she regained awareness earlier seemed to have convinced the bar owner she was still out.

After Helena had left, Scully pushed herself of the couch trying to collect her thoughts amid the pounding ache in her head and neck.

She staggered to the door pausing to grip the doorjamb as a wave of dizziness passed. Mentally repeated the address Helena had recited earlier, Scully headed down the stairs. She pulled on her clothes knowing they were disheveled and her hair tousled.

Pausing to adjust to the noises as she entered the bar she started to the front door but stopped realizing she was still too new to New Gotham and had little idea where the address was located. Knowing time was crucial, she made it to the bar and flagged the helpful bartender down.

She winced inwardly at the shit-eating grin on the man's face as he took in her appearance. "I see you found Hel," he practically purred and she could easily guess his thoughts on what their meeting had been like.

"Yes, we found each other." She said coolly not giving any information one way or another. She really did not have time for this. "I need directions."

"Ooo a secret rendezvous, she does like the exotic. Probably what attracted her to you."

Scully's eyebrow shot up, "Attracted?"

Wiping his hands on a towel he shook his head laughing. "I've seen her in action and in heat and in lust. She's definitely gunning for you. Now those directions?"

Non-plused by the frank words Scully just stared at the man.

"And Helena leaves yet another shell-shocked victim behind." He teased as he leaned on the bar. "Although the way you handled the lieutenant, I'm willing to bet Helena may have met her match this time. I won't be surprised if you are the one that ends up making her scream and beg for more. I mean the way you turned down her initial advances. She was zoned out for the next two days. I think you might be good for her actually. Making her think with something other than her sexual desire and charm."

Scully could feel her cheeks heating and coloring to match her hair and rubbed at her face trying to collect her stray thoughts and stop the pounding in her head which now seemed to match a warm pounding in another part of her body that had started when the man was describing what she had done to Helena. "Listen, what is the fastest way to get to this place." She gave him the address trying to do the equivalent of taking a mental cold shower.

~It must be the fight, she knocked me pretty hard. Has my whole body thrown off...~ She reasoned trying to explain away the thoughts and reactions her body was having to thinking about the brunette.

She was in her car quickly, the directions barely passing from the man's lips. She had to stop the woman, no matter what she was thinking or feeling, Helena Kyle needed to be kept from murdering again, at any cost.

As these thoughts passed through her brain, Scully leaned over and retrieved her backup gun from the glove compartment. "Any cost Dana."

* * * * *

continued in A Whole New World part 2