continued from A Whole New World part 1

Chapter 14

Tite Squeeze (Rainbow)

New Gotham, Some Alleyway
sometime after 2:00am

"Shit," Helena said, trying to dodge the scrap metal thrown at her. Feeling it hit her shoulder, Helena managed to recover, immediately launched herself at the guy. "That's enough!"

Jarold just managed to close the container as he felt himself hit from behind. He twisted roughly crying out at the pain in order to move their falling bodies away from the specimen. He reached up grappling with the woman as they traded blows. Rolling to his side, he freed his tail so he could use that as well trying to gain the upper hand.

"What?" Barbara tried to clarify the garbled words as she waited for the computer to find a connection to the camera feed.

"I said, this fucker has a tail." Helena spit out blood from where the man had slapped her hard with the tail as she had grabbed his hands and had been about to head butt him to oblivion.

Swinging hard at his face Helena growled at him. She knew that Barbara was still listening and didn't want to terrorize the woman, but she did want to scare the shit out of this guy.

Unable to move fast enough, Jarold fumbled, swinging at empty air as he tried to recover from the pain shooting through his jaw where Helena's punch had landed. He twisted his hips then and managed to scramble away across the ground his hands searching for anything to use as a weapon. His hand closed around a bar of some sort he swung it behind him hoping to land a blow.

"Now that's just pathetic," Helena chuckled, easily catching the bar and twisting it until he was forced to release. Rolling her eyes Helena took a few steps and jumped, her foot heading for his head.

"You know that's just rude," a female voice hissed near Hel's ear a moment before the owner of the voice sent a hard kick connecting with the small of Helena's back.

Barbara had resisted asking her question again when she had received no reply from Helena, she knew not to distract the young woman when she was "working" but the change suddenly in the fight dynamic forced a comment from the red-head.

"Where did she come from?" Barbara asked as the camera feed blinked into life. A green, fuzzy image showed some general structures and three strong heat images as well as a faint fourth. She worked to try and get a better visual.

"Fuck if I know," Helena groaned, pushing herself up from where she'd landed on the pavement. "And that's not?" she growled at the woman.

"Of course it is but at least I can carry off rude and still look sexy, you just look pathetic and needy." Jem took a step back so Hel's punch swept through empty air.

"That's what you think," Helena said, launching herself forward with a jump.

The two traded blows as the blonde backed up. Feeling her back dig into a crate, Jem smiled then and reached back pulling something out as she allowed herself to be hit to give Helena confidence. Turning her head back after it had been rocked by the blow, she let her smile grow. "No honey that's what I know." She lashed out then swinging the scalpel she had pried out of the crate at Hel's face.

Jarold had crawled back to the body and his bag. He new She would be angered if they came back without the needed materials. "Sssso much delay already..." He hissed as he moved to finish the collection. His attention however was drawn to the fight and he gripped another cutting instrument poised to throw it if he could get a clear shot.

Oracle sat in her chair watching the moving figures on the screen as her fingers hovered over the keyboard. Unable to do anything, she sat, listening and watching, willing Helena to be alright. She hated this part of the patrols, the never ending feeling that she might not see Helena again.

Hissing Helena took a few steps back, feeling the blood already sliding down her face. "Now that was just uncalled for," she growled, ducking to try a more direct tackle.

Trying to set her body, Jem rolled with the metahuman losing the scalpel as they crashed into a dumpster. She cried out a little as she felt a jarring blow to her ribs setting off a wave of pain. Using the momentum from the impact, she managed to disengage herself from Helena's hold on her body.

Inhaling a deep, exaggerated breath, Jem pushed down her pain as she stood to face Helena. "Ah, urine, rotting food, dying bodies and blood. All the comforts of home. Looks like someone will need a band-aid." She said holding up a finger covered in blood before slowly sucking her finger into her mouth, "Hmm, what are you A positive?"

Trying to ignore the taunts and focus, Helena moved swiftly closing the distance between them.

"Fuck," Jem gasped out as she side-stepped the first wave of punches but got caught off guard by a sweeping kick from Helena. "Not one for small talk I see," she grunted out through her clenched jaw as she set to counter Hel's attack. "Not really my style," Helena agreed, her body refusing to stop.

She was unable to respond as she struggled against the vice grip Helena had on her. The raven-haired woman had managed to twist Jem's arm behind her back and had snaked her other arm around the blonde's shoulders containing her struggles for the most part.

As the two women focused on fighting each other, Jarold had completed his task and gripping his bladed instrument he crept up behind Helena and darting his arm out managed to stab deep into Hel's side.

Feeling the distraction, Jem took the advantage to grind a boot heel on Hel's instep as she thrust an elbow hard into Hel's midsection.

Jarold had moved back and when Helena doubled over from the attacks, he stepped near, his tail wrapping tight around Hel's neck. He held her tight so his sister could work on the woman that had intruded into their business.

Coughing for a moment Helena started struggling for breath, squeezing at what was around her neck. "Ba..." she tried to get out.

"Begging are we?" Jem leered as she punched rapidly at the woman's midsection moving closer. "See what happens when the little girl tries to play in the big kids' playground?"

"Huntress!" she called hearing the gasped voice of Helena cut short. Barbara gripped the handles of her chair tighter and tighter. She watched the images continue their surreal dance across her screen; the three main signatures had suddenly coalesced into a tight group. "Huntress?" She called again breaking her usual reserve and code of keeping comm communication to a minimum during a fight.

"Love you," Helena choked, working her fingers between the tail and her neck to get some breathing space. Her eyes were closed tight against the barrage of hits, and all she could think of was Barbara.

"What?" Barbara's word was a whisper as she could not take her eyes away from the fuzzy image on her monitor. "Helena?" Her voice clogged with confusion and fear as she continued to hear nothing more than odd sounds, grunts and ragged breathing.

"Get out of there, Huntress, please, get out of there." Her voice was rising and the tense fear she felt as she still heard no reply suddenly focused in a fit of futility and frustration causing Barbara to slam her fists down.

Hitting her keyboard hard enough to cause it to fall to the ground, the images on her monitors blinked and fuzzed out. "No!" the red-head shouted as her visual link to Helena went dark. "Come back to me Helena." She cried again trying to reach for her keyboard and finding she could not grasp it from her position in the chair.

"Sorry," Huntress managed to say before losing consciousness, watching the world fade to black.

Chapter 15

Out of the Blue (Jack the Lass)

A dark alleyway in New Gotham
the darkest time (just before dawn)

"Huntress?" Barbara called again and then almost screamed as a voice purred across the comms.

"Listen sexy voice, Huntress is currently not available may I take a message?"

Jem was crouched speaking to the ethereal voice having taking the device from the unconscious brunette. Something about the voice on the other end had sent shivers down Jem's spine and right then and there she knew she wanted that woman. Wanted to take her, break her, make her scream and plead to the metahuman using that same sexy voice.

She looked down at the brunette and thought how lucky she was to have this voice whispering in her ear. The blonde breathed in deeply letting out a slow growl into the comm piece. "Whatever she's got, I can give you ten times and then some. She teases you, denies you. I'll dominate you. Fulfill your burning, hidden, suppressed sexual desire."

The woman shifted watching Jarold go to work on the victim retrieving what he had been commanded to find. Her grin widened as she toyed with her nipple while she imagined the woman that owned the voice lying naked and broken beneath her begging not for the pain to stop but for Jem to continue, to take her completely.

"Her touch, whatever she makes you feel, will pale and fade when compared to the voracious appetite I can feed. Your voice tells me what you need, want, crave. The dark, pure erotic fuck you long for but have been afraid to voice. I'll slide inside your warm, tight channel with my fingers and tongue and give you the fuck that you call for each time you speak."

The killer licked her lips loudly knowing the sound would carry over the comm system as Jem heard what she'd been listening for, a slip on the other end. A quick, sharply inhaled, ragged breath. So soft most would miss, yet just enough that Jem knew she was touching the woman; sliding over and into Oracle's psyche with her words, dragging the other woman at least for a moment into Jem's dark, psychotic world. That thought tore a shiver from the blonde causing her to groan.

"I'll take you to places you can only imagine and then when you can't breath, comprehend or even whimper." Her voice was low, husky, and sensual. "I'll continue to ravage you feeling your silky wetness coating my throat and.." Jem's words were cut off as a hand shot straight up strangling her words.

"Shut... your fucking... mouth," Helena ordered, squeezing as she spoke. She'd heard bits of things, but all she really knew was that the woman had been threatening Barbara.

Caught totally by surprise, Jem dropped the comm link as her hands shot up to pull at the hand around her throat. She fell back some as she struggled against the tight grip.

Blinking, Helena couldn't clear her eyes that much, but refused to let go as she struggled to get up from the ground. "Oracle. Back-up would be good."

"Hel..." the raspy voice came through the comm signaling what ever hold the blonde's voice had over the computer hacker, the spell seemed to have been broken.

"Bro, Jarold..." Jem gasped out still trying to regain her equilibrium and upper hand. "A little help here."

Jarold was tempted to leave her, as he had been waiting patiently by the front of the alley for his sister to finish her fun. He had heard her conversation and sighed knowing she had found a new game to focus her cruel desires. Watching the awakening brunette, Jarold wondered if Jem chose to chase after her new choice for a playmate if it would be more than his sister bargained for. Coming up still holding the container, he began kicking at Helena.

Trying to keep the bartender's instructions straight in her head, Scully had managed to make it to the location. Checking the street names once more. She staggered out of the car holding the gun as well as a flashlight. Keeping the light off for the moment, she used the dim street lighting to pick out her path. She waited a moment more as she again heard the noises coming from a nearby alleyway and then hurried towards the sounds.

Trying not to cry out, Helena couldn't help the groans that came with the violence against her. "Oracle... now," she said as she curled up.

"Hang on," Barbara whispered her fingers already pulling up her 911 call program and starting to enter the override to bypass the operators and dispatch help. "I've got you." she shook her head, "I mean help is coming."

Jem's cruel smile swallowed her other facial features as she pulled back gulping in air watching Helena retreat under the pounding boot of her brother. She saw a hand placed on the ground for support and managed to dart in crushing the fingers below her own boot. She'd retrieved a wooden beam from the dumpster and moved forward tapping Jarold on the shoulder.

The metahuman paused his assault his tail twitching as he had been using it whip like to lash the woman as well as deflect Helena's attempted blocks.

Raising the beam she froze, blinded by a light and hearing a new voice.

She could barely make out the dim figures in the shadows. Turning on her light, she swept the powerful beam into the fray and was not really surprised to find her quarry. What did cause the FBI agent to pause was the sight of the other two and the ravaged body nearby, all caught in the sweeping motions of her light.

~Pull yourself together Dana, with what you have seen...~ She hardened her face, "FBI, freeze now or I will shoot." She stared at the brother and sister, her mind telling her something Her medical instincts kicking in, she noted the facial features and body structures seemed... wrong...

Knowing that she wasn't really in her usual bullet-dodging shape Helena didn't move, just made sure that she was curled up tight. "Be careful, there's more to them than meets the eye," she called out.

"We sssshould go," Jarold squinted in the light, blinded. He gripped the container tighter sensing his sister's caginess he willed her not to do something stupid. He was so tired.

"Dana?" Barbara said quietly as she sent the dispatch instructions, her eyes searching over the monitors which had started to come back.

Trying to assess the situation, Scully crouched some, the flashlight acting like a sight as she chose to target the blonde as Jem held the beam still raised over her head. "Drop it now and everyone move back along the wall, I said drop it." She shouted suddenly having picked up on a slight adjustment by the blonde.

"Nope gotta finish what I started." She let her eyes wander down to find Helena's, "Besides I don't want any obstacles popping up as I hunt down my new friend." She let her tongue dart out to lick slowly along her lips as her smile turned to a thin leer.

Hearing the voice and knowing what the woman probably had in mind Helena pushed to her feet enough to start stumbling to one side of the alley, shakily getting to her feet when she wasn't so close to the crazy woman.

Helena's movement triggered a domino series of events. Jem sensing Helena was moving started to swing the beam almost catching her as the woman stumbled away. Scully's shot rang out hitting Jem in the upper shoulder causing her to jerk and thus swing wide missing her target.

Jarold had started to move seeing the women react. He noted the agent had aimed again and was going to score a more direct hit on his sister. He lashed out with his tail wrapping it around Scully's arm holding the gun and pulled.

He'd meant to just deter her. The agent however had not frozen in surprise as he'd expected instead she let her body be pulled along and struck out using a flat palm karate move to strike at Jarold's nose and face.

Screaming in pain, he ripped his tail away causing the agent to slam against the side of the building as he managed to stagger away. Clutching the container he headed out of the alley, "Jem, we musssst get to Her," he whimpered feeling blood trickling down his face. "Pleasssssssse," his tongue flicked out trying to reach and sooth his aching face.

Seeing the gun Helena gave it a kick in the redhead's direction before moving to throw herself at Jem's legs, hoping to tangle her up enough to take her down.

Finding it hard to get her vision clear, Scully reached out and retrieved her flashlight and swept the alleyway trying to assess her situation. She used her shoulder to push up along the wall as she watched Helena purposely send the gun her way.

The blonde was furious. "Bitch, you need to stay down and learn to play dead. And I'm going to be the one to teach you your proper place." The blonde began a series of punches letting her anger and frustration over ride the pain and find a focus, Helena.

Jarold almost cried at his sister's refusal to come. "Jem, behind you." He spat as the red head had gotten her gun and drawing a bead on the two began to squeeze the trigger.

Taking the hits Helena returned a few of her own, trying to drag the woman down.

Scully hesitated pulling the trigger as the brunette's earlier words and actions cast doubt on her actual role in everything. Scully had too few answers to make a good decision and held her shot.

She drew closer, her focus wavering for a moment to note that the man had not entered the fray. Her gaze was held though as her mind saw something she could not comprehend, the man had... an appendage???

A sudden cry from the fighters drew Dana's eyes away from Jarold and his tail which had appeared over his shoulder twitching nervously as he watched his sister fighting.

Scully turned to try and get a shot when she was surprised as Helena was thrown clear across the alleyway to hit against the wall high above Scully's head. Fixing the blonde who was wiping at a bleeding lip in her sights preparing to fire, Scully cried out as something pushed roughly against her. The agent was thrown, crashing hard against Helena.

Dazed as she flew through the air Helena was reminded of some of Dinah's old antics, but found herself more concerned with her sudden meeting with a brick wall, followed by another connection with the pavement. Between the two hits, everything was blurrier than it had been all evening, not to mention spinning as well.

"Next time sweetie, we dance to the death." Jem called lightly trying to keep the irritation out of her voice, her shoulder throbbing with pain. Jarold began pulling his sister out of the alleyway. "And send my regards to your lusty friend, I'll be with her soon enough." Jem called before the two disappeared.

Breathing hard, Scully started pushing against Helena trying to disengage herself and focus on the others. She managed to push up enough to watch as the two slipped out of the alleyway entrance. Groaning as she felt a jolt of pain in her knee she dropped back down resting against the other woman.

"You're under arrest." Scully managed in-between heavy breaths.

"I might have broken some ribs, you want to get off?" Helena asked, her own breathing heavy.

"Do I want to get off? Yes. Can I? That is another question altogether." She gritted her teeth trying to contain the groans as she felt her knee protest again as she shifted. Managing to use her hands and good knee, the red-head crawled to retrieve her gun. Turning she started moving back to Helena's side.

Barbara had heard static cut across the comm. She could tell from the way the sounds had started coming through, the comm had been dropped. Pieces of conversation and the struggle had filtered through the speakers adding to the tense atmosphere. Barbara had little choice but to stare off into space, her knuckles white where they held onto the arm rests.

Careful not to let the FBI agent close enough to pull her handcuffs Helena moved to find the comm link, tapping it a few times as she put it back around her neck. "Listen, about earlier... Think we can forget that? I mean, I'm on your side."

Scully was still trying to piece what had happened together, her mind fighting the images and impossible things she had seen. Whether the brunette was telling the truth or not, she was the only link Dana currently had right now. "I can't let you go, there's too much I need..." She pulled up, a siren cutting through her admission of how lost she felt. "You need to see a doctor, you're hurt. Besides I don't think you can make the fire escape this time and any decision is about to be taken out of my hands." She waved in the direction of the sirens.

"I have someone who can take care of me," Helena said, suddenly rethinking the phrasing. "And this is a no on the arrest question, right?"

"I wasn't aware there was any other question being considered." She paused hearing the sirens draw nearer. Her thoughts from her plane ride and the sense of thinking outside the box warred with her normal procedural routine. "Although I might point out how it could be to your advantage to perhaps answer my questions not Lieutenant McDonald's." she made a face thinking how much the police officer had disgusted her as she struggled to her feet.

"Huntress, if she is offering even a possible alternate to not revealing ourselves to the NGPD, take it. I'll explain later." Barbara said letting out the breath she had been holding listening to the conversation between the two women.

"So let's get out of here," Helena said before glancing at the body. "And for the record, it was too late when I got here."

Scully said nothing in reply instead waving at Helena to move out of the alley. The agent stopped by the body and looked down at it frowning. She continued taking in the body picking up on the similarity to wounds from crime scene photos.

With a sigh Helena pushed to her feet, making sure to space herself from the redhead for the time being. "Oracle. What do you want me to tell her?"

"As little as possible, but she..." Her eyes trailed again to where she had brought up the journals knowing as soon as Helena was safe she would bury herself in them once again. ~She may be more of an ally then we have had in a long time... or more of a threat...~

"How badly are you hurt?" Barbara's voice softened as she asked that trying not to think over how many nights she had spent going over every inch of the delicate skin; searching out any wound or injury her intent to take care of Helena. Closing her eyes it did not surprise her how easily she was able to call up images. How well she knew that body and yet... and yet how little she felt she truly knew. Oh how she longed to explore and be allowed to touch the skin in a very different way. She leaned her elbow on the desk rubbing at her eyes pushing back in the longing and her wants.

Scully's frown deepened as she stared at the body, there was something, a pattern... She jumped hearing the approaching vehicles and started moving towards her car still focused on the crime scene.

"Might have cracked some ribs. I'll be over when I'm free," Helena said, cutting the conversation short as the agent approached where she was waiting at the end of the alley.

"I'll be waiting, I have some... questions to ask you." Hel's words from earlier still rang loudly in the teacher's mind.

Considering the woman could have gotten away when Scully was distracted by the body, the agent had to admit at least the woman was not running. "It's unlocked," she waved at the car and opened her door. Gingerly getting in, feeling her aches and bruises. Scully waited until Helena was settled noting that Helena had made a wincing motion as she appeared to be listening once again to her communications device. "So where is this person that can take care of you? Where are we headed?"

"You can just drop me at the Dark Horse," Helena said, not about to give up any locations. Barbara had taught her much better than that.

Hitting the automatic lock as she managed to get her car going and around the corner before the units arrived, Scully shot Helena a look that said 'yeah right'. "I did not know your bartender was schooled in the field of medicine." She said sarcastically.

"Now we can head to the hospital and explain why a federal agent who is bruised and battered is bringing in an equally injured woman, or you can tell me where I can take you to get help." Scully focused back on the road driving slowly, "Is it the person you talk to?" She asked casually.

"Your gun; it's the back-up, right? I'll give you your usual one back, but I'm not dragging anyone else into this," Helena shrugged, shifting in her seat and immediately wincing.

Oracle worked her hand under her leg trying to keep silent as she listened to the conversation knowing the brunette was trying to keep her identity secret.

The words back-up triggered a wave of loneliness to run through Scully's thoughts. Trying not to think of how she was isolated and alone, Dana pulled the car over to the shoulder. She turned to face Helena. "What or should I say who is your back up Helena? I suspect they are probably much further "in this" than you are willing to admit."

She leaned over then probing at the woman's side and her fingers worked to move to the back of the woman's shirt, "If you continue to lose blood you will need a hospital regardless of what you or I want. You need to be looked at. Luckily the cut seems not to have hit anything major, I think. Hard to see from this angle. Now where to?"

"Fuck," Helena said, pushing the probing hand away, despite how much it felt like one that belonged to another redhead. "It's really not that bad. I've had worse. So I can get out here, or you can take me to the Dark Horse," Helena said, one of her hands moving to put and maintain some pressure on the cut.

Determined, Scully narrowed her eyes and put the car back into drive. "When a human loses over a quart of blood they stand the risk of dying from hypovolemic shock. You will lose consciousness before that however and then the choice is taken out of your hands." She rattled off the words using her medical voice. "Do you have medical supplies at your place?" She had turned the car to head towards her field office as she waited to hear the reply.

"Huntress, if you are hurt. She is a certified doctor." Barbara kept her voice controlled and emotionless.

"Yeah," Helena nodded answering both women. This definitely wasn't good. Although it wasn't as if the woman didn't know where she lived already. "You didn't happen to leave my place through the fire escape, did you?" Helena asked.

Scully turned shooting Helena a disbelieving look as a snort of laughter came through hel's comm. "I actually gave up that method of travel for Lent." She tried not to let the corner of her mouth turn up at her reply as she made a turn. "And no, I left the way I came stopping to have a nice chat with Steve the bartender. IS there a reason behind this question?"

"Trying to find a reason behind a Helena line of questions is like trying to listen to a Beatles record backwards and derive meaning." Barbara added trying to calm down now that Helena seemed out of danger.

"I was just wondering if the door would be locked," Helena said, shaking her head. "So glad you found that so funny."

"Sorry," was the simultaneous reply from both Scully and Barbara. "You did set yourself up there," followed the apology again in eerie stereo.

" I did not lock it as I was in a bit of a hurry." Scully added, "I take it you are set on going back to your place, do you have gauze and bandages by any chance?"

"I've even got stitches, just don't think that you'll be putting them in me," Helena muttered. "So, let's see. Dana Scully. New Director of the local FBI Office... Anything I'm leaving out?"

Arching an eyebrow at the comment, the red-head could not help correcting Helena even though she was reluctant to use her earned title. "Dr. Dana Scully. And if you can stitch your back that is a technique I'd love to see." she replied sarcastically as she pulled up in front of the bar. "And since you know my full name and affiliation, may I know yours?" she asked as she shut off the car engine.

"Helena Kyle. Bartender," the brunette said, opening her door and taking her time getting out. "There's a door in back," she said, starting her way around the building.

"Bartender? That's what they call vigilantes in New Gotham is it?" Scully bit off the rest of her retort as she slowly got out of the car. She paused a moment before reaching back in to grab her gun. She placed it in the holster she was still wearing in a show of trust. An act she hoped she would not pay for later.

Pulling ahead, Helena whispered into her comm, "Oracle. I'm going silent for awhile. I really am not hurt too bad, I swear. Just a few bruises. And after the so called doctor is done butchering the patch job, I'll be over to have someone I trust look at me." She paused almost able to see the deep frown of concern forming on Bab's face. "I swear, things will work out just fine. I'm not a little girl anymore. Huntress out."

Barbara saw the message snap up that Hel had turned off the comm link cutting off any reply the teacher might have made. Sighing, she rubbed at her forehead a moment before covering her face with her hands, her shoulders drooping. A single, deep sob tearing at her body causing it to flinch and rock in the chair. After a moment another and then another followed.

Chapter 16

Consequence Free (Great Big Sea)

Helena's Apartment
Thursday early morning

Wanting to lean against the wall for support Helena resisted the urge; she didn't want to have to clean blood from the walls again. It never came out all the way. "I think it's in the bathroom," she murmured in response to Scully's question about the first aid kit. Making her way in and flipping on a couple of lights Helena started making her way through the cabinets.

Watching the woman disappear, Scully took off her jacket and placed it over the back of a chair. Again doubting her wisdom, she took off the holster placing it under her jacket. She looked around the apartment and then moved to the kitchen.

The agent started looking around trying to locate some soap. Finally finding a small bottle, she started washing her hands as her mind ran over exactly what she was doing here again and exactly what she hoped to accomplish. "Actually I have no idea why I agreed to this," she mumbled shutting off the water and looking around trying to locate a towel.

"You might want to bring a couple of towels," she called out noting the stack of dishes and other signs that the woman did not take much time to tend to chores. "Clean towels." she added emphasizing the word clean.

Rolling her eyes at the fact that this redhead seemed in some ways identical to the other in her life Helena grabbed the box that held Barbara's version of a first aid kit, setting some old, but clean, towels on top. "It's all here," she said, emerging from the bathroom, everything in her arms.

Watching the brunette for signs of fatigue or other indications her injuries were starting to worsen, Scully nodded and grabbed one of the towels to dry her hands. "Where should we set up?" She asked looking around the apartment.

"Anywhere but the couch," Helena said, "just tell me where you want me so I can put this shit down."

"Yes saving the furniture is a good thing, perhaps in the kitchen near the sink." Scully commented knowing she'd have to have the car cleaned. But then she'd had to do that many times before when working with Mulder and even with Doggett and Reyes... She paused and ran her hand through her hair thinking of the agents and wondering how they were.

"Right," Helena said, moving across the room and dropping the box onto the counter before moving to drop her coat to the floor.

Scully moved to stand first in front of Helena taking in the woman's appearance.

Switching to a clinical mode, she began noting the various wounds assessing them for the level of damage. Firmly locked in her assessment, she stepped in close as she started touching and pulling slightly on the different cuts she noted trying to determine if stitches would be needed. "Alright let me check the back." She ordered as her eyes focused on the cut on Hel's cheek, her fingers moving to assess the depth of the wound.

"That does hurt," Helena said, used to at least a warning from Barbara. Not thinking too much about it as she took a step back Helena pulled what was left of her shirt off and dropped it by her coat before turning around, putting her hands on the counter. This one was really going to hurt.

The agent had let her gaze take in the newly exposed skin as Helena removed her shirt. ~Just looking for injuries,~ Scully thought and then paused wondering why she had thought that, the idea almost coming across as an excuse... but for what...

"Of course it does, I would have thought your partners would have pulled their punches a little better." She said knowing this was probably not the right track to take but wanting to get the conversation going. It was faint, but she hoped Helena would slip and give her something to use to break through the charade.

Scully frowned then seeing the bruises spread across the woman's shoulders, midsection and lower back. "I'm amazed you are not in more pain." She said faintly surprised at the amount of damage. She also found that the bruises were different colors and some were yellowing indicating she'd had previous encounters. She could also see traces of scars.

"I'm good at hiding it," Helena said, turning back around to stare the redhead down. "And if you seriously think that I'm one of the whack jobs behind this shit then get the fuck out now," she said, her tone low, hard, and completely serious.

"You are good at hiding many things," Scully returned the gaze calmly not moving.

"Why should I seriously consider you are not a whack job?" The woman's tone had impressed Scully, but she had seen so much during the last few years that she found her cynical side usually more in command than her trusting side. Trusting had gotten her almost killed and hurt so much in the past. "Besides, a doctor does not leave an injured person. Also an agent does not leave a suspect."

"I told you I've got someone to take care of me. And the only time I laid a hand on you was in self-defense," Helena growled. "And don't you want the gun back tonight?"

She stared at Hel a moment the silence stretching before she finally broke the stand-off. "I need you to turn around so I can see your back."

"First tell me if you really think that I'd take a beating like this for show," Helena said, crossing her arms.

"You seem very angry and defensive for someone claiming innocence. People sometimes go to incredible lengths to perpetuate a reality. Or to protect someone. Who is it that you had planned on going to to take care of you and they know about these crimes as well?" She started to move behind Hel as she spoke since the young woman still was not turning around.

Scully also found herself needing to move from in front of the woman as her eyes had begun wandering from the woman's face and had started to take a path that left the agent feeling uncomfortable and also aroused... she focused on a bruise forcing her self to regain her clinical mentality.

Turning to stay facing the woman Helena shook her head. "I'm the only one who was out there. Just me. And my problems with authority figures have nothing to do with this.

Scully paused as the woman again twisted keeping her front to the red-head. "You were the only one physically out there. I think someone else was listening in on us." She averted her gaze then looking for a moment at the first aid kit, not at the woman standing in front of her.

~The half naked woman and... What is wrong with you, how many times have you worked on people, just a simple patch job. Get the information and take Ms. Kyle and whomever she is protecting to the police and let them sort things out...~ Dana thought struggling to understand why she was reacting this way.

"And so you consider me an authority figure do you? Have you been in trouble with authority figures much in the past? Is this a pattern? Criminals often follow certain habits." She darted then suddenly trying to get behind Helena.

"I don't hurt people," Helena said, turning again. "Unless they're hurting someone else. Got it?"

"Damn it, stay still and let me look at your back." Dana practically shouted as she caught Hel's eyes. "And I was not hurting you earlier when you decided to hit me."

"You were trying to arrest me. Besides, it's not like I did this to you," Helena fired back, waving a hand at her bruises.

"I was trying to bring in a suspect who was at the scene of a crime bent over a dead body and who resisted arrest and ran away." Scully said calmly. "And fine if you are not one of the Dissection Killers or helping them, why were you at the two different crime scenes? Why did you run?" As she said this she tried once more to slowly move behind Helena.

Relenting Helena faced the counter. "The cops have been called off of each of the crime scenes before they find the work in progress. I've been doing my own investigating to find what it is they don't want found," Helena said, it was true enough, and Scully would even be able to confirm most of it herself.

Scully looked at the back of Hel's head, taking in that information. "They have been called off?" She puzzled over that as she drew herself back to tending to the wounds. She could tell already that the stab wound was long and deep enough it would need stitches. "Why are you investigating this?" She kept to the pronoun the woman had used even though she suspected there were others working with Helena.

"I don't like people dying in my city. Especially not like these people have," Helena said, leaving out the bit about meta-humans. "And it's a new code, 534 I think? Got added about a month or two ago and it's popped up before the discovery of each crime scene in the same area.

"I have to stitch this wound. The others can be cleaned; maybe a few should have a butterfly or two. I don't think your ribs are broken, but maybe bruised." As she said this she moved her fingers gently to the woman's side trying to probe carefully. "I do not like the idea of people dying either. Kind of goes against the whole Hippocratic Oath I seem to remember reciting somewhere along the way."

"I don't need stitches," Helena said, "just do the butterfly thing. It'll be fine."

"I am starting to almost believe you do work alone considering how stubborn and obstinate you are," Scully retorted, her frustration creeping out as she moved to wet a towel so she could clean the woman's back.

"How do you know about this new code?" She was planning on checking into that later, but again the odd glimpses she was getting from Helena seemed to leave her more confused and only created more questions.

"There might be an authority figure or two I haven't driven away," Helena shrugged, reaching up to rub at one shoulder as she felt a muscle cramp up.

"So you have a contact inside the police force then. Was he the one you were talking to during the fight?" She paused watching Hel's hand as it worked on her shoulder. "And please tell me it is not the dear Lieutenant from the other night." She added absently her focus drifting as she continued to watch.

"Definitely not, but I'm not going to give up my sources. How stupid do you think I am?" Helena asked, rolling her shoulder some as she continued to massage the muscle.

"Do you really want me to answer that question? Besides from the few pieces you are dangling in front of me, if you are not a criminal, you sound a lot like a vigilante, which is just as bad and even more dangerous to me." Scully sighed and set the cloth down a minute.

"Stop, where is it hurting? Here? Is this better?" As she had talked she had moved to knead deeply into the muscle and shoulder blade in a few places.

"Yeah. Thanks," Helena said, letting out a sigh. "And I helped you earlier. I'm also helping you now, so how am I a threat to you?" Helena said, relaxing as she closed her eyes, trying not to think about the soft, warm hands on her skin.

"Helped me earlier? Um exactly how did you help me?" Scully shook her head in disbelief stilling her hands as she tried to work through the meaning of that statement. "And helping now, I am still not too sure of that."

"Then why are you still here?" Helena asked, turning to face the redhead. "I'm pretty sure that if I'm really a suspect what you're doing now would be considered aiding and abetting, right?"

She dropped her hands to her side and took a half step back as the change in position had put Helena too close to her. "I'm still here because someone keeps turning around and keeping me from finishing. And you are still a suspect. You are linked to this somehow plus you continue to hide information," Scully retorted trying to regain the upper hand which she felt like she had lost once again.

"I seem to remember owning up to everything I've done. You're just mad that I won't share the name of some cop who keeps me up to date on procedure?" Helena asked. "Besides, I said I'd be fine," she added, reaching for gauze to cover the cut herself.

The agent reacted quickly, grabbing Hel's hand, "No you will not." She said forcefully. "And mad, yes I suppose I am becoming irked at the dodging game you are playing, both physically and with words. I doubt very much you have owned up to even a fraction of how involved you are with this case. And if we are going to talk about sharing, we could begin with what in the hell I saw tonight. Both at the first crime scene and your escape and then the fight at the second scene." She paused taking in a breath attempting to calm herself.

"Well, generally I'm better at not getting my ass handed to me," Helena said, wondering why the contact of their hands made her feel like she'd previously been missing something.

"Better? So you engage in your particular style of talking often then? Was tonight a normal occurrence for you? And again you are twisting what I am asking. Maybe I should just let the police take over, I am breaking protocol." She tried not to think about how she had learned working the X-Files that playing outside the rules was sometimes the only way to get things done.

"Fine. Ask away. What is it that you really want to know?" Helena asked.

"First turn around and let me finish." She wanted to finish not just to make sure the woman was alright but because she wanted Helena to put her shirt back on, there were enough distractions from the woman's behavior.

"I know I am new here," ~and alone...~ "Immediately I am drawn into a case with multiple homicides performed in some sort of ritualistic manner. Then I find someone at two crime scenes, what else would you expect me to think? Add to that the person runs, then assaults me, seems to know more about the case than the police, and will not give me a straight answer about any thing..."

"What do you want me to tell you?" Helena asked, turning around. "Fix if you must, but no stitches."

"Yes stitches," she replied as she began again to clean the cuts, preparing to close the stab wound. "For now why don't we start with the most current interaction we had as I am still trying to catch up on the case myself. Why were you at the two crime scenes?"

"I heard the 534 calls and went to make sure that it was really nothing. Obviously, it wasn't nothing. Those two are killing people and someone is calling the cops off," Helena said. "Bandage it; I'd rather have someone I knew do the stitching."

"I am a trained doctor. I can take care of it." She replied wondering why the woman was so adamant not to let her close the wound. She didn't think it was a pain issue based on the beating the woman had taken. "So you just happened to receive these calls and arrived to try and stop the others. Are you a trained law official?"

"I'm trained, and a lot of that training is from what you could call a former law official, but no, I don't have a badge. That's not the point though. The guys with the badges didn't show, did they?" Helena said, resting her arms on the counter.

"No one was in time for any of the victims." She remarked quietly. "All you have accomplished is to disrupt a crime scene, which could interfere with the police working on the case." She paused as she placed a hand on Hel's back near the deep cut.

"Former? Are you a licensed private investigator or a bounty hunter? Or is there a more personal reason you are involved? Was one of the victims close to you?" Scully continued to pry trying to understand how Helena had become involved hoping it would reveal the true intent of the young woman.

"Call me an indirect victim of past crimes. I'm sure you can figure out the rest with some research of your own," Helena said, her eyes flashing as she tried to relax.

"I will check. I'm going to begin and this should not take too long, I promise." As gently as possible, Scully began stitching up the wound.

"So you have some training from someone, perhaps the same someone you continue to protect and keep anonymous. You look into crimes not for profit or because you are working a case but because, as you said earlier, you do not like people dying in your city. I am finding it hard to understand why you would put yourself at risk and why you feel you have the right to intrude." She quieted trying to comprehend what would be the woman's motivation to place herself in dangerous situations. The normal reasons the agent had encountered in the past did not seem to be involved.

"Someone's got to do it, right? I'm a good fighter, I can take a beating, and I like the shadows, guess that makes this my kind of gig," Helena said, careful to keep her breathing and speaking even.

Manipulating the skin carefully and with a light touch, she worked to keep the stitches small trying not to pull too much. Scully focused on the task not the body she was touching. "You make it sound like a game. That is why I said earlier that vigilantes are dangerous. The law applies to you equally Helena."

The agent was fairly convinced Helena had not murdered the victims. She was however becoming concerned Helena might pose as much a problem as the killers. "And maybe you got lucky tonight and the injuries are not too severe, but the human body can only take so much damage and stress. And those p-people tonight..." She faltered on the word people as her mind was still trying to reason logically what her eyes had seen.

"You e--never mind," Helena said, about to drop a word that had a tendency to get her into even more trouble.

"I what?" She prompted as she tied off the final stitch.

"Sorry, little distracted," Helena said, moving a little, but not enough to interrupt the doctor's work.

"Was tonight the first time you had gotten that close?" The agent decided not to pursue the other even though she wondered what had been cut short. "What do you know about the two you fought?" She hoped her carefully constructed questions conveyed to the woman she believed at least part of her story.

"Last time they were already gone. Guess that makes tonight first blood. I know that they're killers. I caught the names Jem and Jarold, and the guy seemed rushed," Helena said, trying to tell enough to gain the woman's trust, but she wasn't sure just how far to trust the agent.

"I'm finished," she moved back. "With the stitches." She added feeling still as if every answer seemed to create two questions in its wake. "They also have some sort of odd weapons," Scully again faltered still trying to figure out how they had managed some of the moves they had during the fight.

"We should share this information with the local police. I know I made a spectacle the other evening pulling federal jurisdiction, but it is much easier to go through the local department and if I have their co-operation." She thought out loud as she paced a little. "I do not have any inside contacts. And to answer your earlier question, I was not breaking any law as I am the investigating lead on this case now."

She paused, a slight trace of a smile in her next statement, "I'm the leading authority figure you might say."

"Right. Then I'll be sure to step back when I see New Gotham's finest stepping up to the task," Helena said, turning around.

"Any police department has its good and bad points. Is it police officers you do not trust or depend on or is that just a general trait of yours?" she replied absently looking at the floor. She ran a hand through her hair trying to figure out the next step to take. "I'm tired, bruised and very achy and you need to put a shirt on." She announced out loud as her mind jumped between taking a risk and erring on the side of caution.

"Well, I was going to make sure the wound dries out a little first..." Helena said, finally picking up on the fact that tension in the room was running both directions. "Unless you're... uncomfortable with something?" she couldn't help but tease, her hands moving to rest on her hips.

The agent paused mid-step her fingers still snarled in her hair, which she gripped tighter as she looked up to see the pose Helena had adopted coupled with a smirk growing on her face. "No, no I was just concerned you might be cold or, or something." She finished as she moved her hand down through her hair to rub at her neck. She made sure her eyes stayed focused on the woman's face, "What were you going to do if you had managed to gain the upper hand and caught them tonight?"

"Generally unconsciousness and/or restraints paired with a 911 call get the job done," Helena said, taking a few steps forward.

Scully's breathing hitched slightly as Helena neared but she held her ground trying to appear unconcerned by the movement. "You don't feel a need to retaliate for what they have done?" The answer Helena had given had brought some relief as Scully was afraid Hel was a true vigilante in the sense of judge, jury and executioner.

"Unlike them, I'm no killer," Helena said. "Now, if we're done with that, I seem to remember owing you a drink..." the brunette smiled, unable to help herself. She was finally back on ground she found comfortable, and after her earlier admission to Barbara, well, she wasn't about to turn away some comfort.

"I hope you're not." Scully replied quietly contemplating the offer. "You're still under investigation Ms. Kyle and I would recommend you do not leave town without notifying the authorities." She said seriously. She then paused a moment and decided to jump.

Mulder had always been the one to jump and sometimes he landed them in hot water as he misstepped. But sometimes, sometimes he found answers. She needed answers. If she had any hope of solving this case and thus gaining respect and confidence enough to stay afloat here, she needed answers and realized she might have to kick protocol to the curb to get them. ~God help me if I am wrong...~

"Now that I am off duty, yes I think a drink would be very good right now."

Chapter 17

The Rules of the Road (Nat King Cole)

Helena's Apartment
Thursday early morning

"What's your poison?" Helena asked, pausing as she opened the freezer; remember that the gun was hidden. Reaching in, she pulled it out, handing it to the redhead. "I suppose you want that back."

Scully tentatively accepted the gun shifting it between her hands as the chilled metal was uncomfortable to hold for very long. She looked from the weapon to the brunette, "You hid my gun in your freezer?"

"You didn't look for it there, did you?" Helena smirked. "Now," she said, turning back to the freezer, "What's your drink?"

"Whatever is fine and no, I would not have looked for it there." She replied having made sure the safety was on before walking into the small living room and placing it out of the way. She still had heavy reservations about this woman and especially about being here.

Although the reason for being here was easy enough for Scully to justify; she was simply trying to assess and make sure Helena Kyle really was not a threat. She let her eyes roam around the living room taking in the fact is was fairly bare. Helena did not really live here, Scully felt as if this was more a place she visited.

"Whiskey with a beer chaser, unless you'd prefer the vodka?" Helena asked beers in one hand, a mostly full bottle of Jack in the other.

Scully looked up as Helena entered the room pausing slightly before answering. "That will be fine. Do you need help? Need me to get glasses?" She shifted some feeling her legs bump up against the couch. She resisted looking down at it as she started rubbing at her neck some.

"I don't have any," Helena said. "Have a seat," she added, taking a seat on one side of the couch. Opening the first beer, she set it in front of where she'd indicated for Scully to sit before taking a deep swallow of the whiskey and opening her own beer to chase it.

"You don't have any?" Somehow this did not surprise the agent as much as she thought it might. Sitting she kept her eyes on Helena. "Did you just move in?" That might explain the threadbare look and feel of the apartment.

"I keep myself pretty busy. Besides, there's a bar downstairs," Helena said, setting the bottle of Jack between their beers.

"So you appropriate what you need when you need?" She smiled a little as she tried to relax. Something she had not really done in quite a while. "What keeps you busy? Obviously you are not into the Martha Stewart mentality."

"I like to keep active, and I work a lot," Helena said, swallowing more beer. She could see what the agent was doing, continuing the interrogation despite the alcohol.

"You seemed at home behind the bar, so I assume you work there, correct? Do you work somewhere else as well? Well I guess I should say officially work somewhere else." She added the last trying not to let her slight annoyance through. Leaning forward she picked up her beer and took a drink noting it had a good flavor.

"Just the bar," Helena said. "You sure this isn't still an interrogation?"

"Do you feel like it is?" Scully replied. "I'm just trying to find out a little more about you. I like to know a little bit about strange women who jump me and then take me to their place." She covered her frown at how that came out by taking another drink.

"Helena Kyle. Resident of New Gotham since I was... 14. Born in Paris, France... Ask away, just don't act like it's nothing," Helena smirked, throwing down a little more whiskey.

"Well now that I have your name, rank and serial number everything is just peachy." For some reason the smirk on the brunette's face irritated Scully as well as making her feel like laughing out loud. Perhaps the irritation was in part that much like Mulder, Helena seemed more relaxed and easily slipping into a casual attitude while Scully felt herself forcing the feeling and struggling to not tense up. "And what do you mean act like it is nothing?"

"Just ask the questions, don't try to mask them as getting to know me," Helena smiled, leaning back and suddenly being reminded the cut on her back by a sharp pain. She proceeded to shift, leaning her side against the back of the couch again.

The meta's actions drew her from her self assessment and the agent looked over at Helena. "You don't want me to get to know you then?" She inwardly winced at how she thought she sounded. Starting, she forced her eyes up from where they had automatically landed as she realized where or more what she had been staring at the last few moments. "Is your back alright?"

"I would love to get to know you, but that's not what you're doing. And my back is fine, just forgot about it there for a moment."

"That's right, this is an interrogation as you pointed out. Seems to be the only thing I know how to do well." She retorted. Catching any other remarks, she sighed exasperated as much with herself as with how things had been progressing since arriving in New Gotham.

She wondered how her son was doing. Trying to force her mind from where those thoughts would take her, Scully found herself staring again at Helena.

"Where'd you go just then?" Helena asked, drinking her beer and hoping to move past the interrogation.

"To the past, another life." She looked down at the empty space between them as she twisted the beer in her hand. "A place really I should not go anymore. So what else besides tending bar and creeping around in the night at crime scenes fills your busy schedule?" She asked as she took another drink her mind and eyes still focused elsewhere.

"I enjoy the art of seduction, but work and watching the city do keep me fairly busy. And I know what you mean about the past. It's best left behind you," Helena said, finishing off the last of her beer. Holding up the empty bottle she stood, "You up for another?"

Looking up at the young woman, Scully smiled at the reply. "Thank you that would be fine. And do you enjoy being seduced or being the one to seduce?"

Smirking Helena returned to the couch, popping open both bottles. "I have a tendency to be the one on top," she replied.

Dana found herself drawn again to the smirk although this time her thoughts roamed less to irritation and more to mapping the woman's facial features. "That does not really answer my question, someone who is good can easily seduce from any position. Although I will file that away for future reference."

"It's been a very long time since I had someone who could do the seducing better than me," Helena smiled. "What about you?"

"You seem very confident, some might say confident to a point of being full of oneself. And it's been a very long time since I was..." Scully caught herself from completing that thought leaning forward suddenly to place her empty bottle down and retrieve the new bottle.

"...seduced?" Helena said, unable to help a momentary grin. "Now, you're a doctor, you should know that it's not a good idea to repress those urges."

"Are you saying I'm repressed?" Scully's eyebrow shot up as she leaned back against the couch. "And now you remember I am a doctor. Earlier when I was trying to help you, you seemed to think I was not capable of putting on a simple band aid..." She trailed off as her eyes had automatically started moving back over the bruises and cuts. Her eyes however continued to wander over the woman's midsection and the exposed skin, both injured and unmarred.

"I take a little while to warm up," Helena said, her smirk firmly in place. "Remember that issue with authority figures that I mentioned earlier?"

"Well when trying to make sure you do not bleed to death maybe you should warm up a little faster?" She shook her head and took a drink considering the second part of the woman's comment. "Actually yes I do remember," She looked up meeting Helena's eyes. "Why do you have a problem?"

"I was raised... in a very liberal home. I don't like being told what to do," Helena said, leaving out the bit about her brief stint with the child protection services.

"I can tell you have a problem playing by the rules. You can get into a lot of trouble always questioning authority." She frowned then thinking how many times the X-files had been closed down, or she and Mulder had been reprimanded. Sometimes her adherence to the rules had been the only sane light in some very dark times.

"I can, and I do, but it's worth it for the freedom," Helena admitted. "Do you always obey the rules?" she asked, her face serious as she leaned forward.

"Freedom? What do you mean by freedom? Freedom from respecting others and doing what you want regardless of the consequences? All actions leave ripples." She still could not understand all the twists and turns that had occurred changing her life.

Feeling the frustration rise again, she ignored the woman's question instead finishing her beer. "I don't ignore the rules, I just push some of the lines," Helena said, not leaning forward anymore.

Curious, Dana followed the woman's slight retreat with a question as well as shifting forward some on the couch. "Why? Why do you push the lines? And you didn't ignore the rules Helena, you flat out broke them. I wonder what other rules you bend and break during your "watching"?"

"I only break rules to protect people. Someone had to step up after Batman left. It'd be different if I were doing this to make money or something. The rules I break are only broken to allow me to help others. You need to wake up and realize that the law doesn't get everyone," Helena said, glaring now.

Returning the hard stare, Dana didn't budge. "So it's okay to hurt some people as long as you are protecting others? How do you decide which rules are ok to break? A spinner, dice maybe? And maybe the law does not get everyone because people like you interfere. Did you ever consider working with others, bringing your insight to good use instead of vigilante waste?" The name Batman triggered a memory but Dana was unable to follow it through her focus pulled by the woman across from her.

"I defend the people who can't do it for themselves," Helena said. "You know, I liked this conversation a lot more before we got to the part where you pick apart my life."

"I'm not picking apart your life. But maybe you need to reconsider just where your life is if a simple twist in a conversation like this appears to be picking." Dana rested her hands on the couch, "I defend those same people Helena. There are just other methods besides beating and being beat up. But then that would mean playing by someone else's rules. And you don't do that do you? Can't be tied to rules or people or anything except what you see as the way to go?"

"I can't follow rules that allow murders to walk my streets. When the law becomes more effective, then I'll step down, but I can't stand by," Helena said.

She could see the woman was very adamant and believed strongly in what she was saying. Scully pulled back then chuckling a little as Hel's attitude brought to mind another driven individual whom she had grown to admire watching his approach to cases and life. "If everyone is so focused on chasing the conspiracy, who works to change the gears that put it into play?"

"Conspiracy? I usually just stop muggers..." Helena said, completely confused now. ~I didn't have that much to drink yet, did I?~

"Sorry, another life. Spent too much time looking over my shoulders and seeing shadows." She rubbed at her face some feeling the weight of the last few days and the last few years. "I just... if you always walk along your own lines and work to fight the system that leaves no time or energy for changing it, making it more effective. Who'll fix the system if everyone is too busy fighting it?" She scooted towards the edge of the couch. "And somehow I can tell you are not one to stand by, you'd get the fidgets."

"I am not the one to change the system. That's someone else's role," Helena said, trying not to lose herself again.

"Why not? What's keeping you from trying?"

"I know plenty of people who are better at that than I am," Helena said.

"IS that really the reason? Or is it safer for you to walk along your own path and not have to follow the rules or follow along someone else's path?" Scully toyed with her empty bottle.

"I don't have the self-control for that," Helena shrugged,. "Another beer?" she asked.

"A shame, you would be an even more amazing woman. Perhaps someone can teach. Although I pity the poor soul who ends up with that task." She smiled some then and put the bottle down. "I would like another one, but I shouldn't. I have to drive and it has been a very long day. There are also some properly obtained crime scene files and photos I need to review tomorrow."

"You sure? What if I pull some stitches in my sleep and you're not here in the morning to fix them again?" Helena asked, leaning forward with a smirk, painfully aware of the compliment.

"What you don't have someone to take care of you?" Scully managed to reply surprised at the tease and also surprised at how she felt her mind and even body reacting to the comment. ~That's all it is Dana, just this woman's approach to the world...~. "Do you want me to be here in the morning to look at them?"

Dana had started to smile but then stopped, "I mean stop by to look..." She trailed off hoping she was not blushing at her slip.

"I wouldn't mind a sleep-over Agent Scully," Helena grinned, "the bedroom is one of only two rooms that are furnished in this apartment."

"I, I didn't mean..." she trailed off trying to convince herself this was just Helena's way of getting back at the agent for earlier teasing and her probing questions. "Besides the idea is to make sure you don't pull any stitches not promote activities that would put undue stress on your injured body." She looked down surprised to find she was toying with the empty beer bottle again.

"Well, if you're so keen on protecting my injuries then why don't you do the seducing? Let me lay back and enjoy myself?"

"I..." Scully froze as she knew the simple tease had become an offer. For some reason she found her eyes watching the rise and fall of Helena's chest. "Can't." She tried to move but found the conflicting thoughts running through her mind held her to the spot.

"You can't deny that some rules were meant to be broken, can you?" Helena asked, her face inching closer.

"If you will admit sometimes rules need to be followed." Scully replied trying to turn Hel's tease back as she struggled not to sink into the violet-blue eyes that seemed to be drawing her in further and further.

Watching the redhead's eyes Helena couldn't help but lick her lips. "What if something happens? I really think you should stick around, keep an eye on me."

Her eyes darting down to follow the pathway the woman's tongue traced, Dana found the idea that it was too brief of an appearance consuming her thoughts. She snapped her eyes away from Helena's lips and found that any place she rested her gaze, her thoughts immediately incorporated the bartender.

Giving in she drifted back to the woman's face. "Something happen? I thought you were finished looking for trouble for the night."

"If you were here I wouldn't have a reason to leave," Helena said, unable to help herself, her face getting even closer while one hand moved to the agent's thigh.

She took a breath in jumping slightly at the touch but found herself not pulling away, "Are you saying you might actually consider letting someone else watch the city for a night? I wouldn't want to keep you from that." Her mind began counting trying to pull her breathing back from the ragged rhythm the continued pressure of Hel's hand was causing.

"Besides I'm not sure I could... I'm not..." She stopped then and frowned as she realized what she'd been trying to explain and the fact that she'd even been considering Helena's offer. Considering had she ever... She looked down at the beer bottle she still held letting her mind jump through the questions and possibilities. Ideas she never had let her self think about... She froze at that thought... let...

"I've done enough out there for tonight," Helena said. Seeing that Scully wasn't quite ready to take the plunge herself Helena leaned in the rest of the way, gently placing her lips on the redhead's.

Gripping the bottle tightly, Scully found her other hand moving to lie over the younger woman's hand squeezing it as she found her body's want fighting her mind's rationale.

Finally grabbing hold of her reason, she pulled back breathing hard finding the air was not helping to clear her mind. "I think I misjudged my assessment of your seduction abilities." She stared at Hel, the woman's words about breaking rules wearing on her reason.

"That mean I get to prove you wrong now?" Helena asked, a completely mischievous grin covering her face.

"I'm not sure you could but it could be interesting to watch you try." Scully said regaining finally some of her equilibrium. "Helena, this is not the arena I imagined when we were discussing rules and lines and bending those lines."

"Shh..." Helena said, moving in again. Her lips worked a little more to make their presence known as her hand moved up, though she resisted the urge to let it move very far.

She pushed down hard against the hand moving up her thigh trapping it against her leg trying not to be swept away with the rush of feeling flowing through her body. The beer bottle dropped to the couch as Scully brought her other hand up catching Hel's shoulder.

Taking a moment to reflect how smooth the lips sliding across hers felt, she closed her eyes and pushed on the woman's shoulder breaking the kiss. "Does everything have to move as fast as you do?"

"Unless you want to show me how the slow part works? It's not really my usual area of expertise," Helena said, smiling while her fingers kneaded the muscles in Scully's thigh.

Opening her eyes, Dana's reply was lost as she found the intense violet-blue eyes directly in front of her once again. The soft, gentle pressure on her leg worked like a beating drum pounding on her attempts to stay logical and approach this using her normal concise methods.

She started moving her thumb in a circular pattern where she held Helena trying to not let her desire control the moment. "Maybe it's time you started looking beyond your usual area." She cocked her head then wondering if she had said that for Hel's benefit or her own.

"Like this?" Helena asked, leaning in again, only this time slowly working and pulling back to tease, her teeth every so often catching Scully's lower lip.

Dana pulled back away from the kiss. "No like this," daring a forward move, something the agent had spent a lifetime hiding from, she reached her hand up slowly laying it on Hel's cheek.

She allowed herself to not think about this as kissing another woman, or someone stimulating her senses or that she had not felt like this for a very long time, but to think and do a simple action. An action that came from her desires, not the logical, clinical thought out process she had learned to hold her personal life to as well as her professional. She did nothing more, leaving her hand there a moment feeling the soft skin warm against her hand. "I should go."

"Are you sure?" Helena asked, searching the agent's eyes for a chance that the choice hadn't already been made. Her hand still moved on the woman's thigh, hoping to keep her around.

"You asked if you would get to prove me wrong now." Scully took a deep breath trying to calm her thoughts and body down enough to do what she wanted. "Now, no..." She gently slid her hand along the woman's cheek before dropping it to her side. "But if you think you're really that good, I'd like to see you try and prove me wrong." She took a breath in a smile gracing her lips.

Helena nodded, not sure how she felt about this. Part of her knew she was using the woman for her resemblance to another redhead, but another part of her was intrigued (not to mention somewhat frustrated) with the woman. "I'd ask for your number, but I have a feeling you'll be around. And you can always look mine up, but I usual forget the bill..."

"You are still at the top of my list of suspects. You better believe I'll be around. In fact I was hoping you and perhaps your silent partner could," Scully hesitated once again teetering on the edge of doing something she was not use to or had ever considered. She focused back on Hel, "Perhaps you could come by the FBI office late tomorrow? I'd like to show you what I have and ask you some questions about the crime scenes."

Helena ignored the silent partner bit. She'd talk to Barbara later. "I'll be there," Helena nodded, "But am I really the suspect? You watched the other two run."

She squeezed the woman's hand once as she slowly stood, "You ran the first time as well. And there are details I have to... some of the things I've seen tonight need... clarification."

"Tomorrow then," Helena said, barely keeping her annoyance hidden. "Don't forget your gun."

She walked over to pick it up, "Tomorrow and thank you." She started moving towards the door, running a hand through her hair.

Standing herself, Helena followed Scully to the door. "What for?" she asked.

Opening the door she paused, "Keeping my gun safe, showing me a side of New Gotham I'd not yet seen." She smiled shaking her head slightly. "For being willing to break your own rules and perhaps, for starting me on the way to learning how to bend a few of mine. We'll see which happens first; you learning slow and patient can be just as remarkable or my clinical side actually not rearing its ugly head for once reminding me of the rules. Thank you for the challenge." She turned then to leave.

"Goodnight, Dana," Helena said, watching the redhead for a moment before shutting and locking her door.

Chapter 18

Sing It Again (Beck)

Helena's Apartment
Thursday early, early morning

Helena had watched Scully's car disappear before turning from the window beginning to pace. She was feeling her usual hunger, but didn't have an appetite, not to mention the lack of food at her place anyway. Instead she went for another beer.

Once she was on her third one, she flipped her comm back on. "Oracle. You there? It's Huntress."

Barbara heard a voice in her ear and raised her head from her arms where she'd been dozing at her computer station. Disoriented she frowned, "Who's there? Hello?" She replied her voice raspy.

"Wake up. It's me," Helena said before taking another swig of her beer. She was already pretty sure how she'd be finishing her night, but also knew that Barbara would want to know how it'd gone.

"Of course it's you who else would it be on our..." She stopped mid-sentence as up until tonight it should only ever have been Helena on the link. Clearing her throat some trying to shake the memories of the earlier intrusive conversation, she ran a hand through her hair trying to straighten it out some.

"And what do you mean wake up? I was not sleeping just..." She frowned half way through the action not sure why she was bothering to try and tame her sleep-tangled hair.

"Otherwise you would have answered immediately," Helena said, still managing to roll her eyes, despite the ever increasing effects of the alcohol.

"Of course I would answer immediately. I don't turn the comms off like some..." She placed two fingers in the center of her forehead and began moving them in small, tight circles trying to relieve the building tension.

"How are you and Agent Scully?" She asked as her eyes traveled briefly to the journals she had called up again after Helena had turned off her comms. "Did you manage to keep yourself from federal prison?"

"Yeah, but unfortunately I have a meeting to look at some crime scene photos with her tomorrow. I have a feeling if I don't go she'll actually use the handcuffs on me," Helena sighed, dropping to the couch.

"Crime scene photos?" Barbara's curiosity was piqued and she began calling up the index of all of the images she had acquired both through Helena and other means.

"And why the sigh? I seem to remember someone going on in detail about the wonderful world of handcuffs and 1001 ways to use them." She hoped the tease would lift the tension she could hear seeping in over the comms.

"It's different when they're on you for jail," Helena said, draining the last of her beer. The brunette worked to not think of what she'd almost done with Scully, what she now imagined doing with Barbara. Pushing to her feet she headed to the kitchen. "But it's to view some photos she has, guess she thinks there's something I can tell her about them. We'll see."

"We'll see? Try to hide your enthusiasm a little more there Huntress." She busied her mind and began typing up a list for Helena to ask.

She hoped this meeting could begin to supply missing information. Besides, keeping her mind occupied with analytical activities was the key to not thinking about other topics, such as the intrusive voice, and the way Helena's actions seemed so uncharacteristic of late.

As the silence stretched she realized the brunette was waiting for her to talk. The red head began pulling on her bottom lip as the wish list grew. "Did she say what she wanted exactly? And do you think there is something you can tell her?" She asked, her voice growing distant as she continued pushing thoughts of Scully and Helena further from her mind.

"She's on the right side, but I doubt that she could handle herself if she got close enough to the truth. Wouldn't want anyone else to get hurt," Helena said, pulling out another beer from the fridge. Pausing, she decided to just grab the rest of the six-pack and returned to the couch.

"I'd be careful dishing out that doubt so easily, especially where Agent Scully is involved." She looked away then from the monitor her concern about the raven haired woman interfering with her list making. In the silence she heard a clinking sound confirming what she thought she had picked up on earlier. She frowned wondering just what state of mind Helena was in right now.

"And no, I don't want anyone else hurt either." Her voice softened as she pushed out her next thought quickly. Rushing to speak before her logical side could stop her, as it usually did when she dared become personal instead of staying professional, "What exactly happened earlier?" She let the question out that had been plaguing her on so many levels.

"One of them caught me with a knife, or a scalpel, but the rest is just bruises."

"Is that all that happened? You make it sound like it was a walk in the park, yet they escaped and left behind..." she paused the throbbing starting up again as Helena chose the most obvious and easy answer to her question; not the one she had hoped would come.

"I'm talking to you now, aren't I?" Helena asked, popping open another beer.

"Talking and saying something that means anything are two entirely different things." Barbara closed her eyes.

"Do you want to try and describe what happened and what you saw like this or do you want to come by and help me type up a more formal report? Well if you're able to stand and walk in a straight line..." She added having heard the sound of something metal hitting a surface. A sound that combined with the ever so slight changes in Hel's speech as well changes in the young woman's monitored vital signs had prompted the biting comment.

"There something wrong with waiting until later this afternoon?" Helena asked. "I'm not up to rooftops and the Clocktower is further than I'm willing to walk tonight."

She let go a humorless laugh that sounded almost condescending, "We've waited so long, what's another dark night?" She moved back to finishing the list that she had started. Trying to recover her control, she made sure to assume a more clipped, precise tone.

"That is fine Huntress, why waste your time or mine? I do need your report as you and Agent Scully seem to be the only people that have seen the killers and are still alive. I have a feeling anything you'd say tonight would need to be corrected in the morning. Just as I am sure anything you said earlier over the comms was wrong as well."

"Excuse me? Why don't you just say whatever it is you're thinking?" Helena growled.

"Why don't you?" she shot back.

"I'm tired. I'm frustrated. I want to go to sleep. I wanted to let you know I was alright, that's all," Helena roared.

She was not sure how long she was silent, only that she could taste blood in her mouth having bit down hard on her lip so she would not retort. Alright? Who was Helena trying to fool? If the way things were right now could be described as just fine, then Barbara shuddered to think of what Hel's definition of really bad would be like.

Maybe it was alright... Maybe that is why Helena acted the way she did and never...

Barbara rubbed her hand across the smooth desk surface. Why she never said the things Barbara wanted to hear. Maybe it was because what Barbara wanted to hear was something Helena would never say.

Those words were something Barbara would only hear in the dreams that swept her away most nights. A place she wished more and more were a reality she could linger in. But if this Helena would never say those things, then had Barbara been dreaming earlier when the words she so desperately needed and wanted had hit her like a cold slap in the face?

Had she wanted for the young woman to say those words so badly that she had fallen into convincing herself that a choked grunt or retort during a fight had been the simply words Barbara craved? Wouldn't this Helena have said something if she had uttered those words earlier?

She continued running her hands along the desk. Helena could have any one she wanted.

She was not blind. She knew Helena had been with others. What could a young, vibrant, beautiful, passionate woman like Helena see in an older, logical, washed-up superhero, such as herself? ~Too many barriers, you have too many weights holding you down, a free spirit like Helena doesn't carry around excess baggage...~

Defeated, Barbara held her voice tight willing it not to break, "Please stop by before you see Agent Scully if you can. I have some questions for you to ask. Some items to look for in the photos and other reports she might share. If you have nothing else to report at this time..."

"Later, Oracle. Goodnight. Huntress out," the brunette said before turning off her comms.

Chapter 19

Locking It All Down Tight

Helena's Apartment
Thursday afternoon

"Fuck," Helena said, scratching at her hair. Her movements were slow, but sleek, as she rolled onto her stomach, stretching like a cat. With a sigh she slowly moved from the bed, stretching her arms toward the ceiling until she was on her toes. Remembering all that had been said to Barbara the night before, both at the alley and when she'd gotten home, she closed her eyes, "Fuck times two."

Running a hand through her hair the brunette sighed before feeling to check the stitches at her back. She hoped she hadn't bled on the sheets too much, but at least they were black, it wouldn't show. It was pretty well scabbed over, but Helena didn't want to risk any water making it bleed again. Padding into the bathroom she started with her hair, bending over the sink to wash it, careful of the cut on her face.

Next, the wash-cloth, Helena would have much preferred a shower, but she knew that it might have reopened too many of the cuts. It took a while, but at least she felt clean. Clean of the blood, the grime from the alley, the killers she'd fought, and the thoughts and feelings of the previous night.

Now she could push it down and resume her usual attitude.

Chapter 20

My December (Linkin Park)

New Gotham High School
Thursday afternoon

Barbara pushed the door to the faculty lounge open and breathed a sigh a relief as it was not packed. She rolled over to refill her coffee cup glad she had only one more session and set of exams to give before she could leave.

She'd been having a hard time focusing today having barely slept any before having to get back up and get ready for school. If it had not been the end of the summer school session, the teacher would have decided not to grace the halls today.

It actually had been touch-and-go for awhile there as she lay in bed trying to convince herself she should get up and make her way into school. It was the last day and after grading finals it would mean freedom from her teaching duties for a blissful few months.

Her work ethics and stubborn dedication to completing things she started helped to prod her tired body from the bed. She knew better than to expect Helena before she left for school and had been able to prepare for work in relative quiet.

Letting herself into the school building Helena made her way straight to the teacher's lounge. It was on the way to Barbara's room and the brunette knew she'd be in one of the two places. "Hey there," she said, slipping through the door as she recognized the red hair.

"Good afternoon." Barbara nodded as she finished filling her cup. "Coffee?"

"Sure. Some more wouldn't hurt," Helena nodded, moving closer.

Grabbing a clean mug, Barbara handed it over to Helena as she moved out of the way. "How are you feeling?" Her eyes had already started roving over any exposed skin noting every little cut, scratch and injury.

She'd started with the hands and arms before moving to the very noticeable cut that marred the woman's cheek. Her frown deepened as she noted the size and shape of some fading bruising as well.

"Not too bad," Helena admitted. She'd had a little of a hangover, but as usual her body had processed most of it in her sleep.

Her eyes continued to linger on the cut as she gripped the mug with both hands to keep from reaching out. "That's good. As long as things are... in order." Her eyes moved down to look at her coffee mug.

"I'll go with the guess you are just quickly stopping by on your way to other places. I have that shopping list you wanted to... pickup." She breathed in then having managed to get all of that out, struggling to find the right words. She made a face at that thought, an English teacher struggling to link together a few simple sentences.

"You going to tell me what all you put together?" Helena asked, pouring some coffee.

"If you come back to the classroom, I can print out the list. If you have any questions, I will clarify what I listed." Securing her coffee, she turned her chair to start heading back to the room.

The faculty room felt too open to discuss what she wanted. Barbara didn't like mixing her two lives. The last time that had happened... she missed her wheel and tried to recover as the memory of Wade and what that series of events had done to their lives crashed against her mind.

"Alright," Helena agreed, following Barbara through the hallways. She felt a little awkward, but then again she usual did when she had to return to the high school. Not to mention it was rare when she woke up having to deal with the consequences of alcohol.

"Please close the door behind you Helena." She called over her shoulder as she made her way to the laptop. She clicked the keys in silence not daring to start any conversation afraid it might spiral into areas similar to last night's conversation. And that was a place she knew she could not afford to head, her control precariously balanced right now.

Helena nodded, closing the door before taking a seat on the desk nearest Barbara's. "When do you get done here?" she asked.

The hum of the printer confirmed her request had gone through as she looked up at Helena. "I have one more exam. I'll be finished here in a couple of hours. I just have to submit final grades and then I am free for the summer."

She tried to smile a little. "You know I usually remind my students of the difference between a chair and a desk and the proper use of each. But I'll let you slide this time."

"I already paid my dues," Helena said, returning the smile as she went to pick up the papers from the printer.

"In triplicate," She agreed thinking of how many times she'd had to dig Helena out of trouble or stop by to talk to a teacher or school official. "I'm actually amazed you dared set foot in the school. And you are holding a list of some things to keep in mind as you speak to Agent Scully. Are you meeting as soon as you leave here?"

It wasn't that she didn't think Helena was capable per se... but it always helped to have two pairs of ears listening in, even better would have been two sets of eyes. "I wish there was an easy way I could 'be at the meeting' as well."

"Yeah, I'm headed there next," the brunette replied, looking over the papers. "I'll see if I can get copies of what she has so that you can see them too. Then, I'll meet you back at your place later on."

"At this point anything new may throw light on what we are dealing with. I hope between what she might provide and what you can report from last night, we might be able to start connecting some of the pieces. She closed her eyes as she ran a hand over her face. "I'm tired of being led in circles."

"And I'd like to know more before I get into it with them again," Helena agreed. "I should, ah, let you get back to your break," she added, drinking more of the coffee.

"I, I am not sure you should engage whomever it was you encountered last night again until we know more." The teacher did not add that she was worried they were more than Helena could handle.

"I'll be by after my... 'meeting,'" Helena said, the closest thing she'd give to an agreement.

"I began typing up a recap of the events from last night. Perhaps we can use that to construct a more detailed report. Begin to find out who we are dealing with and what they could possibly want." ~And not end up snapping at each other or worse...~

"I'll see you later then." "Later, thanks for the coffee." Helena tossed over her shoulder as she left the classroom.

Barbara sat in her chair staring at the doorway for a long time after Helena exited. The voice from last night on the other end of the comm link had gotten to the red head more than she dared admit.

It was not just the things the woman had said. It was also the fact that she had managed to take out Helena. Even if it had been for a few moments, Barbara had been left alone.

That idea was more terrifying than she'd imagined when trying to prepare for the possibility. She had almost lost Helena before; she was not sure she could handle it if that possibility became a gruesome reality.

Chapter 21

My December (Linkin Park)

F.B.I offices, New Gotham Division
Thursday afternoon

Still not a huge fan of the meeting Helena sighed, glancing up at the building before adjusting the camera ring she wore on her thumb. Once in the building she found her way to the right office and frowned when Scully's name didn't appear anywhere. Knocking anyway, she waited.

Hearing a noise, Scully looked up from the file cabinet she was currently sifting through. She had been slowly trying to go through the case files and other materials left by previous agents and directors. She'd found everything from incomplete and sloppy work to meticulously detailed reports that took three pages of reading to find one piece of useful information.

"Hello, come in?" She called out not sure if that had been someone knocking out front. She banged the drawer shut with a sigh as she headed to the front of the field office.

Hearing the voice Helena opened the door and stepped in, glancing around as she did so. "Ah... Dana?" Helena called.

Scully hesitated in the doorway to the front reception area hearing her first name, something she was not use to when working. She briefly realized much of what she had become use to in her previous work assignments might not work in New Gotham.

"Good afternoon Ms. Kyle. Did you have trouble finding the office?" The red-head answered inserting a little formality into the atmosphere. She felt a need to keep her thoughts focused on work and not what had happened the night before.

"It's Helena. Or even just Hel," the brunette smiled briefly. "I'm here. Nothing in this city is that hard to find." For a moment she just stood there, one arm hanging, the other hand resting on a hip as she tried to read the redhead.

"Helena," she paused slightly after saying the name as she considered the rest of the woman's response. "I guess my question comes from my newness here and how everything seems hard to find right now." She waved for the woman to follow as she turned to head towards the office she had selected. "And I would venture that some things seem to have found a very good way to stay hidden." She called over her shoulder.

"Then I suppose I just happen to know all the right people," Helena shrugged, following the redhead.

"I'll keep that in mind. Watch the stacks." She waved at the assorted piles in the office as she moved to sit behind the desk that was the only clean and neatly arranged surface in the office. "The previous Director left in a bit of a hurry and seems to have not understood the concept of a file cabinet." She offered trying to explain the disorganized feel to the office.

"Right," Helena said, moving to one of the other chairs where she sat on the back rest, her feet moving to the seat itself. "You know, you did leave in a hurry last night, hope I didn't scare you off..." the brunette said, relaxing some because she knew that Barbara wasn't listening in, although other parts of her tensed up at the same thought.

Scully raised an eyebrow, her gaze falling for a moment on the position the young woman had adopted. Rather than comment, she let a small smile creep on her face as she went ahead and sat down. "It takes a little more than that to scare me Ms... Helena. It had been a very long night and I am sure our thoughts were cloudy due to the earlier events."

"Right, of course," Helena nodded, fighting off a smirk. "So I take you are more of a let's-get-down-to-business-kind-of-woman?"

"I would not have used that exact phrase, but yes I did ask you to stop by to look at a few items." She had started to turn to retrieve a folder but paused and looked back making sure to catch Helena's eyes, "Thank you for coming." she said her voice heavy with sincerity.

"What can I say? After the stitches and the ride I figured I still owed you," Helena smiled, not about to admit that she had been looking forward to seeing Scully again.

"I'll send you my bill." Scully let go a small laugh, Helena's reply helping to lighten the agent's mood and thoughts. She completed the action she had started earlier and grabbed a few files she had laid aside.

Her hands next to her sides Helena watched the redhead. She couldn't help but smile at the laugh as she relaxed a little more.

"I've started trying to pull together the random files and information I believe to be linked with these murders. Not an easy task between the state of things here in this office and the wonderful cooperation I have received since arriving." She explained as she opened the folders and set them on the edge near Helena.

"Not sure if you can see things from your perch up there." She shook her head at her comment before continuing, "But I wanted to find out how familiar some of these images and facts might be to you."

Getting back to her feet Helena stepped forward, bending over the files and looking at the photographs. As she reviewed the photos and reports she used the ring camera to take pictures. "Last night was only the third crime scene I've been to with this case." Glancing over some of the typed reports she looked up again. "Do these make note of the extremely clinical and professional appearances of the... organ removals?"

The agent frowned as she worked through the various pieces of information Helena had offered. "You only have records of three killings? Or have only recently started showing up at the aftermath? And removal?"

"I've only been able to investigate three of the crime scenes myself. Took a bit to connect the crimes," Helena explained. "Removal," she repeated, looking up at the redhead. "When that bastard cut them open and took out the organs."

"Hmmm," she made a non-committal noise as her eyes focused back on the photos, her mind trying to recall an image that she had seen earlier. Maybe that was what had seemed out of place last night. Scully started looking again at the bodies with this new possibility in mind. Her finger tracing cuts and injuries on the photos as her mind filled in the names of the incisions and procedures from her medical training.

"I noted the few autopsy reports I could find mentioned the possible missing organs. However I noted that autopsy reports are just one of many things missing from a number of the case files." She was silent a moment as she moved the photos around some more.

"Although many of the bodies were so badly mutilated it was hard for the coroner to accurately identify the extent of damage to specific organs or even if material was missing." She'd noticed many of the reports she had found were simplified and inaccurate. Something she had seen many times during her time on the X-Files. A feel to a report she'd learned to note indicating either doctored reports or rushed reports signaling an unprofessional level of care given to an examination.

"That's what they're doing. Just haven't figured out why yet. There's nothing to suggest that the victims are really good... donors, or anything like that. Different blood types, different backgrounds..."

Scully looked up at Helena her attention drawn for the moment from the images, "You have a background in medicine?" she asked trying to determine where the woman was drawing her information from.

"I have lots of friends. In lots of fields. They help me out when I need it," Helena said, hands on her hips.

Noting the young woman's position, Dana stood up facing Helena fully, "Is your silent partner a doctor?" She asked bluntly.

"You seem to be stuck on this silent partner thing. Can't a girl have friends?" Helena asked, her hands moving to the desk as she leaned over it, looking through the papers.

"I'm stuck on the fact that you and others know quite a bit about this case and yet you insist you and your associates only wish to help." Dana folded her arms over her chest watching carefully to see what items would grab the woman's attention. "And friends are one thing, people who aid in criminal activity," she held up a hand to try and stem objections, "or activities of any sort or connection to crime are not always the best friends for someone to have. Do they have some sort of hold over you?" Scully asked suddenly.

"No one's making me do this," Helena sighed, shaking her head. Looking up from the desk she stood. "Have you researched crime levels in New Gotham's past? And Old Gotham's? Maybe found mention of Batman?"

"I've not had a lot of time to look into the most recent activity here never mind old cases." She admitted. "Although I have read over some of the last Director's reports. He noted a high level of unusual cases associated with interference from vigilantes and individuals claiming to act on behalf of law enforcement."

"'Unusual, huh? What kind of unusual?" Helena asked.

"Unusual in that most of the cases were marked unsolved, transferred to Gotham's local law enforcement, or the fact that often the suspects brought in were admitted to a local asylum, I forget the name right now." Dana moved to the doorway of her office and waved across the small hall at another room.

"There are a couple of file cabinets in the corner filled with names like Pamela Isley, Jonathan Crane, Harvey Dent, Victor Fries, Selena Ky..." Dana broke off looking back over at Helena...

"Does it tell you what makes those names special?" Helena asked, leaning back to sit on the edge of the desk.

"Other than they were all suspected criminals I don't know. As I said I've not been able to really go through any of them in detail... yet." Scully frowned some unable to think it mere coincidence regarding the similarity of last names. "Why are those names so special?"

Helena laughed, a smirk showing on her face. "If I told you, you wouldn't believe me."

"I see. Thank you for assuming you know me well enough to dictate what my belief system allows regarding my job." Dana replied coolly moving back over to the desk, her eyes keeping to the photos. "You do enjoy your games, don't you Ms. Kyle?" She accentuated the last name as she stared at the photos, frustrated both from the lack of information regarding the case and how this woman was involved.

"Promise at least not to send me to Arkham? You know, the asylum you mentioned earlier?" Helena asked, completely serious now.

"I may not agree with the way people interpret events. I may also find the things some believe in are paths I can not possibly understand or travel." The red-head paused as she searched for and met Helena's gaze. "But I can assure you I do not toss people into an institution just because they believe something I might not. Not after what I have seen." She smiled a little trying to break the tension, "So there will be no sending."

"There are people with abilities that are beyond human. Like in the alley the other night? They were meta-human. Along with the people on your list," Helena explained.

"I've not heard that term before." Her thoughts immediately went to the super soldiers and other alien hybrids she had encountered. She sighed, thinking over the fight last night,

"So the people in the alley are these meta-humans who have..." She paused trying to vocalize the image she had of the man from the other night. "Are they medical experiments or altered in some way?" She asked trying to understand what she had seen last night.

"I think it has more to do with evolution. Too wide-spread to have been an experiment. Meta's are born that way, and it often does get passed down to their children," Helena replied.

Rubbing at her forehead, Scully kept quiet a moment mulling over what Helena was telling her as she tried to align it with what she had seen and read. "So there are meta-humans, who have abnormal abilities, running around. And many of the cases that are referenced in those files, including this one," She tapped on the photos, "Are unresolved because these unusual characteristics were not properly explained or accounted for?"

"Right. These abilities also make it more difficult for some of these people to be tracked down. Just don't go thinking they're all criminals. There may be a lot of these people in your files, but there are even more that aren't," Helena said.

"But the ones in those files, they are criminals." Her comment a statement not a question.

"Yes," Helena said after a moment. "Some reformed, and some of them are or were incredibly sick."

"Am I going to find your name in there? Is that why you are here, to make sure I don't or haven't already?" Dana didn't really suspect Helena having sensed the woman could have run or harmed the agent many times over at this point. However, dealing with all of the lies, conspiracies and half-truths thrown at her over the years had led to a hefty dose of suspicion always at the forefront of her mind.

"I've gotten into trouble. Nothing serious though. I had problems driving, so I stopped. The rest is just little stuff. Things that you'd expect from a vigilante..."

Chuckling slightly at that, Dana just stared at Helena. She had hoped the young woman would have taken the opening and given Scully at least a hint of what she might encounter. "You paint an interesting profile Helena; the small glimpses and light games you offer are somehow hiding a much deeper story. One I will look for and find."

She picked up one of the reports. "So, we are dealing with these meta-humans who are killing people for some unknown reason and possibly removing organs or other material from the bodies."

"Right. First they were killing all kinds of people. More recently they've been going after other meta-humans, at least as far as I can tell," Helena admitted.

"So there may be a method to their seeming madness." The agent looked back at the photos knowing they were a poor substitute for the real thing. "What are you doing tomorrow night?" She asked absently as she picked up her cell phone and hit a speed dial number.

"I'm working the early shift. Get off around 10. Why?" Helena asked, curious as to who the redhead was talking to.

"Ah hello Dr. Juruz? Yes, this is Agent Scully, we spoke in the hospital the other day." She was quiet, listening to the man, "Yes, I received the reports and images. Thank you." She did not add she had to have an official form special delivered to the man before he reluctantly had turned over the autopsy reports and files.

"I believe you still have the last two bodies in your morgue." She nodded at the phone as she waited. "I'd like to look over the bodies tomorrow night."

Helena frowned, wondering what the dead bodies had to do with her.

"No doctor, I just need to verify some findings I stumbled upon." She puckered her lips trying to remain calm. "I understand you can not be around and have other things to attend to. I am capable of performing the examination myself and will have help if an extra pair of hands is needed. As the papers you had me send earlier indicate, I have extensive training in the medical field and have trained others as well in medical forensics. I would not want to trouble you over a simple reexamination, I just need to make sure your facilities are available." She listened again to the man and this time felt herself wince, her face crinkling in mock pain.

Rolling her shoulders, Helena was almost relieved to hear that whoever was on the other end of the line wasn't so keen on whatever it was that Scully had in mind.

"Well if your lab is not available, I can arrange to have the bodies transported to another fac..." she stopped as she smirked, the man's words cutting in. "Yes tomorrow after 9 would be perfect. I thank you for your help and cooperation." She hung up the phone before muttering, "What an ass. Probably has a... ego... the size of a pencil..." She cut off then sighing. "So you are free after your shift ends?"

"I don't play with dead bodies," Helena said, right off the bat.

"Excuse me? First, I find you playing with a dead body in an alleyway. Second, I don't play with bodies or people either. These photos don't provide enough information. Perhaps if we can actually conduct a proper examination we might find something others missed." She paused a beat, "If you won't do this, perhaps you could have your friend come in your place?"

"Listen. All the stuff I do, there's this one part that I hate. I protest every time that it comes up. You're a doctor. So obviously this is something you can handle. You even said you teach this stuff. What the hell do you need me for?" Helena asked.

"I had someone tell me once to keep your friends close and your enemies closer." Scully replied looking Helena in the eyes. "Which ever you turn out to be, it would seem keeping you in sight is the best solution for now. Besides, a second pair of eyes, one that has pre-knowledge of this case would help. A lot of people have died already, I want to stop these people, now. If you won't do this, fine, tell me how to contact someone else who will." She challenged moving closer to Helena as her voice remained firm.

"Doesn't anyone work under you? You're an FBI director, right? Isn't someone paid to do what you want them to do?" Helena asked.

"It seems right now this is a one woman show," She replied frustrated at that truth. She had thought there would be help but had found even that aspect to be in disarray when she arrived. Mysteriously all of the office personnel had left or been transferred, even the secretarial staff.

"I help people. The people you're talking about? It's too late for them. I do what I can, but dead people? I know they're dead, that's all," Helena admitted.

"Alright fine, you can't handle the idea and are unwilling to provide me with a contact to someone who could help. It looks like I am the one assuming things now, I am sorry. "If you have any more information, please send it to me." She turned then to head back around the desk.

Helena bit her lower lip. "Let me talk to some people. What's the best way for me to contact you?" she asked, already knowing that Barbara would want her to go and that she'd give in.

"Thank you," She wrote down her cell number and handed it to Helena. "If nothing else, is there someone you can put me in touch with who has a good working knowledge of metahuman physiology? If I don't know what should be there, how can I tell if something has been disturbed?"

"That's why I need to talk to some people," Helena admitted. "I should get started so I can figure something out before my shift starts. Anything else before I go?"

The agent started to say something but bit off her words and just shook her head no. "I'll be at the morgue at the New Gotham hospital tomorrow after 9. Try not to get into any more trouble."

"What did you almost say?" Helena asked, raising an eyebrow.

"It's not really important." Dana smiled a little then sitting back down in her chair. "Besides, what kind of woman would you think I am if I revealed all of my inner thoughts when we really don't know one another?"

"Yet. We've just gotten started, right?" Helena smiled.

"Oh I can assure you I am very interested in you." Scully paused then and felt her cheeks warm slightly. "Interested in finding out about you. About what happens when you take a moment and stop hiding behind the games and teasing that is."

"Good luck with that," Helena grinned. "I'll give you a call later on. Bye, Dana."

Chapter 22

Reluctant Messiah (Immolation)

Clocktower, Thursday evening

Running her hand through her hair again Helena looked to check the time. She wasn't sure how long she'd been pacing, just that she'd been expecting Barbara back much earlier. She wasn't sure how to feel about Scully's suggestion about checking on the dead bodies. And while she was fairly certain of the outcome of the evening, she just wanted to get it over with.

Barbara waited for the elevator doors to open and she slowly wheeled out pausing as the doors closed behind her. She looked around for the "intruder" her pager had alerted her to earlier at school. After the Harley incident, she'd installed a system to alert her anytime someone accessed the Clock tower, it had been one of the many things she had done to try and convince herself it was still a secure place to be.

She'd ignored the fact the intruder was Helena and had not bothered trying to contact her. Instead the teacher had remained focused on finishing up grades and other final paperwork so she could be finished with her "day job" allowing her more time to focus on the strange twists the case had taken the last few weeks.

"Did you wear a hole in the floor yet?" She called out leaning an elbow on the arm of her chair as she located the restless bobbing brunette head.

"Where have you been? I mean, doesn't school end at like 3 or something?" Helena asked, moving in Barbara's direction.

"The instructional portion ends. Teachers continue to work long past when students decide they have had enough." She rolled a little further into the room. "But look who I am talking to; one of Gotham High's Hall of Fame record holders for ways to beat the system and champ for finding a loophole."

"She wants me to go check out the dead bodies in the morgue tomorrow night." Helena blurted out, not up for banter about her high school days.

Barbara looked at Hel a moment gathering her thoughts. No matter how long she worked with the young woman, the teacher still found she could easily be pulled into one of Hel's tailspins and manic approaches to a problem. "I see. Is Alfred in?" She asked casually starting to move down the ramp and heading towards the kitchen.

"He's around. She's a medical examiner herself, but she thinks I'll be able to help. Me or someone who knows what metas are supposed to look like on the inside," Helena ranted, following Barbara.

"Did he fix anything for dinner before being chased away?" Barbara tried not to smirk guessing Alfred had stopped by and met a similar treatment from Hel. She could almost see the polite, yet hidden smile the older man would have worn while nodding and listening to the deluge.

"She is a doctor with training specializing in forensics. Although her bachelor's is in physics." Barbara added as she shifted to take her bag off the back of her chair. The redhead had started going through the files on Agent Scully in more depth last night. "She has received a number of commendations and is regarded one of the best in the FBI, even with the other marks in her record.

"So why the hell would she think that I could help her? Or that I would actually put anyone else at risk like that?" Helena demanded. "And why aren't you concerned about this!"

"I did not say I was not concerned." Barbara corrected. "Did she tell you why she wants you to help and what do you mean put at risk?

"I don't know. Something about identifying victims as meta-human, but I think it's more just that she wants to find out who I'm working with. I might have convinced her that I just have 'friends', but I don't know if she bought that," Helena said.

"This is what happens when I let you go somewhere comm-less. This will teach me to not just permanently have the comm. buzzing in my ear." Barbara went to open the refrigerator. "Something to drink?"

"I didn't have a choice. She's stuck on this silent partner thing, and there's not much I can do about that. No drink. Just help me figure this out."

Opening a bottle of juice, Barbara wheeled up to the table and leaned her arms on the surface watching Helena. "Well from her perspective, she did find you associated with two dead bodies. One time you ran, another you assaulted her . I personally am glad you are sitting here with me and not in some jail cell."

She took a drink of juice to hide her concern and relief that Hel was here. Barbara had replayed the recording from the encounter last night trying to pull more clues from the meeting. She could still could feel the chill and fright hearing Hel's struggles.

And that voice.....

"What can I say? I'm a sweet talker," Helena replied. "Now back to suggestions about showing tomorrow? I told her I'd look into it. Maybe I should I just blow it off?" Helena asked, hoping Barbara would go for the last option.

"Sweet-talker, bullshitter two sides of the same coin wouldn't you say?" Barbara said quickly but chased her candid remark with a smile. "Listen, sit. Your pacing and body language is worse than watching a caged animal. Which you are not Hel," she waved at a chair next to her.

She paused, her eyes focused on the young woman. "You do have some choices here and we can sweet talk or bullshit, let's see which the situation calls for, alright?"

Under the glare Helena finally settled in a chair across from Barbara.

"Now tell me again, a little more succinctly, if that word even exists in your vocabulary, what happened at your meeting and what exactly does Agent Scully want?"

"She showed me the pictures. Nothing new there. Started listing off metas that Batman fought. Including my mother, not sure how long until she puts me together with mom. Then wanted me to go along on her outing to the morgue tomorrow. Thinks I can notice something she won't. Or that I'll set her up with one of my 'friends' who can," Helena said, not really calming as her rapid delivery of the meeting emphasized her demeanor.

Barbara ran her hand through her hair leaving her fingers tangled as she thought. "I'll check what access I have to the FBI files and see if there are any references to you or other information that could link back to us." She frowned thoughtfully at her juice.

"Why was she interested in metas? And did she say why she wants to go to the morgue? I've seen copies of those reports the so called Coroner is churning out and they are lacking. But did she mention anything specific she was looking for?"

"Something about meta physiology, I think." Helena paused; her eyes wandering over the redhead. "And let her find information on me, I don't want her getting more suspicious. Just cover your own tracks, okay?"

Barbara raised an eyebrow at Hel's statement, her fingers still playing with her hair. "Let her find information on you?" Not sure what Helena was thinking or why she made that distinction, she let any further probing of that topic go, for now.

"You mentioned, how did you phrase it, me or what I look like inside? Does she have any experience working with metahumans? I was going through some of her cases. I searched a few terms to start with to see if anything jumped out. There was not a single mention of the word metahuman. Although she does have experience it seems with altered physiology, I think. I am still trying to follow exactly how some of her journals and cases are linked. It is... convoluted."

"She knows about people with abnormal abilities. I'm pretty sure she's on our side, but I don't really want to show her all our cards yet. Not until I know more about her anyway," Helena said.

"Our side... I would be more likely at this point to say she wants to reach the same conclusion we do." She pulled her fingers through her hair and rested her hand on the table. "I know you have an aversion to certain aspects of investigation."

The redhead looked up; it had not been lost on her how Helena reacted when asked to do certain things. Tasks if Barbara could, she would have gladly spared Hel from having to complete. "Her examination might provide a key or at least rule out certain possibilities. And I believe her reports will be accurate and thorough. Would you be willing at least to go and set up a camera link for me? Explain you have someone on the other end that can provide some details and in exchange we get a recording of what she finds."

Helena nodded. "If she says no?"

"I believe that is where you area of expertise in sweet-talking comes into play."

"Right," Helena nodded, relieved that Barbara had not tried talking her into doing it. "You think we can trust her?" the brunette added as an after-thought.

She leaned her head on her hand, "At this point we may have to take a few risks in order to find these killers." She took in a breath letting it out slowly. "And I think the question is more will she trust us?"

"I'm working on that," Helena said softly. "I should get going. I have to work. Do you have a camera I can take?"

Puzzled slightly by the working comment, Barbara nodded. "I have a camera and can explain how you feed it through her system to record both video and also provide a straight transfer of any report she types. I'll tell you how to set it up. Make sure she knows Helena exactly what it will be recording. If you can't sweet talk, I don't want to go behind her back. She's had too many people do that to her in the past, alright?"

"Yeah, I don't want to push the trust issue. Too many questions can lead to a very bad headache." Helena stood and headed out of the kitchen. "I'll be by tomorrow."

Barbara watched the young meta. ~Trust... what a dirty five letter word. Could we ever deeply trust one another Helena?~

Chapter 22b

Barbara Gordon's Caesura

Barbara Gordon's Bedroom
Thursday late night

Propped up in bed, reading, Barbara was trying to settle down for the night. She needed to catch some rest before tomorrow's planned activities. So the redhead had done a little more work on her database cataloguing the crime scene details before heading to bed.

An old T-shirt and a simple pair of shorts had been her choice of nightwear as she worked through the latest recommendation from her Internet book club. She'd shivered a little as the room was turning chilly. Twisting to put the book to the side she gave a small startled gasp and curse; someone was standing at the foot of her bed.

"Helena," she admonished trying to recover from her fright. "I know how much you miss doing that to Detective Reese but I thought we had agreed no more sneaking."

"We didn't pinky swear Barbara."

Her breath caught in her throat as the tone Helena had used was far from casual, light or friendly. It was throaty, lusty and oozing with sexual arousal.

For the second time in as many minutes, Barbara shivered. This time it was from anticipation, not because of the chill. In fact, the teacher absently noted, the temperature had seemed to reverse course and was suddenly blazing hot.

"Well try to give me a little warning."

"Would you like me to wear a bell Barbara? Maybe a leather collar around my neck?" Helena sauntered to the bed's edge, her leer raking over Barbara as she let the older woman consider her words.

And consider she did. As well as imagining Helena wearing a collar and nothing else... Barbara stifled a half-gasp and half moan as the images poured and slithered through her brain. "I don't think anyone could put a collar on you Helena." She managed. She was startled to hear her voice had begun to match the brunette's in tone and intensity.

"Not unless I wanted them to."

Barbara licked her dry lips trying to wet the warm skin. Even as she worked to moisten them, she laughed at the irony this action produced. As one body part felt parched and dry, she knew another body part was damp and growing wetter with every word, look, and movement.

She was sure she stopped breathing as Helena bent over placing her arms on the side of the bed. She leaned in, her face hovering just above Barbara's. "Do you want to put a collar on me Barbara?"

Her sultry question sent a rush of feeling through Barbara. Belated she realized her head, taking a cue from other parts of her body, had answered the brunette shaking out a languid answer of yes.

Smirking then, Helena gracefully changed her position. Straddling Barbara now, her smirk morphed into a hungry leer as she closed her eyes and breathed in deep. "Someone's having naughty thoughts. And getting all hot, bothered and wet from them."

~Oh god yes I am.~

As Helena opened her eyes, Barbara's hands shot out grasping the woman's thighs as the meta bent down, golden predatory eyes locking onto intense green.

Swallowed up by the rapacious look, Barbara slid her hands up along bronze skin. Encouraged by hisses and moans from the younger woman's lips, Barbara worked her way up under the thin silk blouse. Her fingernails scratched over satiny flesh.

She pushed up then as Helena's hands had busied themselves as well. Removing first her T-shirt followed by teasing, twisting, pinching and kneading the redhead's hardened nipples and firm breasts.

Nirvana, delectation, rapture and euphoric bliss were some of the words that flitted through Barbara's mind as Helena leaned in commandeering her lips. Nibbles and licks soon gave way to dueling pleasure. The tastes and sensations as Helena's tongue stroked and danced with hers were more than she had ever imagined.

She was barely aware that a hand pushed her head to the side. Her mind and body stuck more on trying to comprehend how the brunette had removed the rest of her clothes. It was the moist tongue licking and lips sucking on her earlobe that pulled her attention from the fingers tangoing their way south.

She felt moist kisses against her ear then cheek and jaw. Sliding down, the hot, wet mouth nuzzled deep into her neck finding the rapidly beating pulse point. Her mind let go as the biting and sucking matching the rhythm Helena's finger's had set up as they again played and tweaked her stiff rosy peaks.

Afloat in an erotic and enraptured wave of sensation and fire, Barbara knew she had not felt like this since... since before the shooting. All of her senses were being overwhelmed and she wanted, desired, craved... more.

More... the sight, taste and scent of the brunette blazed through Barbara's being like an aphrodisiac. Years of loneliness and exile from feeling like this were forgotten as the fervid touches from the metahuman continued to release Barbara's hesitation and apprehension.

Pushing up against the crushing lips, Barbara could just feel the ghost of a touch across her midsection. Her limited sensation was heightened by the erotic buzz flowing through her body.

She was sure she could feel the fingers trailing over her lower abdomen. She gasped out loud feeling the pressure as one, no two, she could make out two separate pressure points; two fingers pushed deeply into her.

Her hand shot out grasping the meta's shoulder, her nails digging in deep enough to break the skin. A hiss and growl reached Barbara's ears and added to the pleasure she was experiencing. It had been so long since she had felt this way. Yet now, now her dreams were taking form. What and who she had always secretly wanted was here, touching her, and wanting her back.

"So long Helena," she whispered as she twisted to kiss the arm she was holding. "I've want this, craved you for so long." Her admission was stopped as lips again consumed hers even as the trusting motions increased bringing the woman closer and closer to her peak.

She blinked her eyes then wanting to see her lover's face as she pushed back into the bed. The thousand caresses and touches and kisses had kept the redhead in a lusty fog; her mind and vision blurred as the meta had seemed to be everywhere.

Needing to see Helena as she could tell she was close to release, she opened her eyes and captured the... She frowned focusing on the intense eyes staring down at her. They should be violet, blue or even gold and yet... the color seemed... Barbara groaned then as the fingers twisted deeper and faster.

Her hand slid from its position on the shoulder into brunette... no blonde... blonde hair. Barbara's eyes opened wide even as her upper body jerked, the sexual tension releasing in a powerful, orgasmic wave.

"So was it good for you too? Told ya I'd make you writhe." Jem pushed down against the gasping redhead as she ripped another kiss from the lips cutting off any protest.

"You don't need Helena. She never wanted you anyway. If she had, she would have taken you just like she has taken all the others. Nope honey she left you behind. I mean really. Why would someone as vivacious and free as her want something old and cloying like you?"

Again Barbara's protests were cut off as the woman lavished her lips and breasts with kisses and stokes aimed at keeping the computer hacker off center.

Struggling against the aroused feeling, Barbara pushed Jem away. "NO! Helena is who I want not anyone else, not... I'm not..." Jem's words rolled over her again. "She hasn't taken me... has she..."

The blonde shook her head and leaned in close, her lips brushing Barbara's. "But no worries because I'm here. I'll take good care of you. I'll do for you what she won't." Jem started laughing then even as she roughly grabbed Barbara.

Screaming, Barbara swung her arms and felt a jolt go through her hand bringing her painfully aware. Her chest heaving as the pressure of the blonde was suddenly gone. She looked around the darkened room.

Covering her face with her hands, Barbara tried to remove the lingering traces of the dream as her breathing slowly began to settle. She sank back against the bed even as she wrapped her arms around a pillow. Trying hard to let go of the suffocating emotions, Barbara let her analytical mind begin to deconstruct the dream and thoughts.

Piece by piece through the rest of the night she worked to destroy or at least obscure the images and feelings. Satisfied finally as light began to filter into the room, Barbara drifted towards a fitful sleep, the images of Jem and Helena locked away.

Her wants and desires for the brunette nicely sanitized and rationalized. The dream had been right about some things, Helena couldn't possibly want her. She'd have said something or done something by now... right?

"Right." She whispered even as she drifted off.

Chapter 23

Calm Before The Storm (Kane's River)

New Gotham Hospital parking Lot
Friday, 10:07pm

Drumming on the steering wheel, Scully reread the passage she was on trying to catch the intent behind the words. After Helena had left, she had revisited many of the file cabinets in the office and selected any files she could find referencing Selena Kyle. She'd spent the rest of yesterday and much of today reviewing those files.

She had a small stack of files for now. The field office's filling system was very similar to another system she had encountered in a basement in what seemed like a lifetime ago. She shook her head smiling as she recalled what she had thought about that system and also what those files had held and dragged her into. Dana sighed then wondering if these files would enlighten her or simply drag her into another set of X-files.

It had taken a few blocks to get used to the backpack with Barbara's camera equipment, but after that Helena easily got to her usual pace.

Arriving at the hospital Helena quickly picked out Scully's car and made her way over to tap on the window, smile ready for when the director looked her way.

Dana tensed at the sound, her hand moving down automatically before she realized who it was outside her car. She closed the file as she rolled down the window. "Good evening Helena. I'm glad you decided to come. I wasn't sure if you would show up."

"Figured I'd share the game plan before I got distracted by work," Helena smiled, bending to rest her arms on the door, her face nearly even with Scully's. "So I have some stuff to set up. One of my friends wants to help, but, ah, he's kinda shy. I have some stuff he sent me with, so he can see what you're doing and you can talk to each other. It sounded like you'd take whatever help I could get, so that's cool, right?" Helena asked, though she acted like it had already been agreed upon, not wanting Scully to see that saying 'No' was even an option.

Distracted by the sudden close proximity of Helena, Dana just stared at the woman trying to get past the way her face looked in the dim light. "Help is good."

She was silent again just staring at Helena. "You have another person meeting us?" She finally managed to say trying to cover the extended silence.

"Just through voice. He'll see what you're doing and let you know if anything's off. But like I said, he's shy, plus he doesn't get out much. I was hoping to get you more help, but it was all I could get without more notice, sorry," Helena shrugged. "I'll kinda hang around, but, ah, I barely passed high school bio, and this stuff makes me kinda queasy."

"Voice?" Dana blinked a little and then nodded as she caught on to the intended setup. "Ah, a video conference. Well, any help at this point is welcome. Especially if he has experience with metahuman physiology. I take it he is one of your mentioned sources and familiar with the case?"

"Somewhat familiar. But probably one of the best people to talk to about meta psy... well, what metas look like on the inside," Helena said.

"So, ready to get this going?"

"Sure, although it is a shame you will not be joining in." Dana teased as she leaned forward a little towards Helena. "A person who works to keep the streets safe gets a little ill at the sight of blood? Next you will be telling me that you leave a light on to make sure the monsters stay under the bed."

"It's more the dead thing than the blood thing. And I'll stick around, hopefully in the room and not the hall. We'll see," Helena admitted with a small smile. "How long does this usually take anyway?"

Scully's smile slipped at Helena's admission. "It really varies and if possible I'd like to look over both." She gently laid a hand over one of Helena's. "And if your friend will have a link for questions, you really do not need to stay at all. I do appreciate the fact you set up the meeting, well distance meeting."

"I'll be here. Just in case, but thank you, for the thought," Helena replied.

"Just in case? I'm not too bad with technology. Or is there something I should know about your friend?" Scully moved her head a little trying to catch the younger woman's eyes.

"I don't know. I just want to know that everything goes smoothly. If you really need help with something here and there I well help, okay?" Helena asked, returning Scully's gaze.

"Curiosity and cats." Dana remarked and then pulled back a little not sure why that image and saying had come to mind. "If I need your help, I'll ask. But I do understand. Sometimes... Sometimes we are forced to go places we never dreamed, never wanted and might end up in a place from which we can not return. I don't want to force you to one of those places Helena." She sighed, "I need to get my bag from the trunk."

"I'll do what I can. Pop your trunk," Helena smiled, moving back from the window to retrieve the bag.

Dana shook her head slightly as she released the trunk. Placing the files on the passenger seat, the agent got out and locked the car, adjusting her blazer as she walked around to the back of the car. She noted the bag the brunette was carrying as well the ease with which she moved as she retrieved Dana's bag.

"So, from our few conversations and your activity the other night, your involvement in things tends to be more of the physical?" She asked still trying to understand exactly who Helena was and what she did.

"I like to think of it as 'hands on'," Helena smirked. "So what did you bring? I mean, don't they keep what you need around here?"

"I'm not counting one hundred percent on the cooperation of the staff here." Dana moved to take the bag from Helena. "It seems the same cheer and good will held by many of the local authorities has infected the good doctor and his staff. But then going in on cases as a federal agent I am unfortunately accustomed to the territoriality many hold."

"Right. And I'm fine with this. The heavy lifting I can handle," Helena grinned, shifting the bag to her other hand, out of Scully's reach. "Lead the way, doc."

Scully paused considering her replies before finally just nodding and starting to head towards the building. "Alright, fine, and it's Dana. Doc is a title better left for Elmer Fudd."

"Dana. That's more like it," Helena smirked, following the redhead.

Chapter 24A

Oooo Baby, Baby It's a Wild Life

New Gotham Hospital, an examining room adjacent to the morgue
Friday night

"Testing..." Helena said, waving a hand in front of the camera, trying to see if Barbara was getting the signal. "You there?"

Looking up over the top of her glasses, Barbara momentarily forgot what she was reading as Hel's face blinked onto the main screen in front of her. She smiled again watching as Helena began shaking the camera a little.

"No I am not. I decided to hit the local Friday night party scene and leave you to do all the work, surprise. This is a recording, leave a succinct message after the tone." She had not yet switched on the voice modification program instead speaking to Hel through her comm link.

"Well, I thought I set it up right..." Helena said, glaring at the camera, not about to start talking to invisible friends again.

Catching the glare, Barbara laughed and switched off Hel's comm link while activating the audio feed Helena had set up. Taking off her glasses, Barbara twirled them some as she looked over the monitoring programs making sure she had set up the signal feeds properly.

She should be able to see and record the proceedings using the video link. Patching in through that, she'd have audio communication with Agent Scully in the lab rather than trying to use Helena as a third party. Add one voice modulation program and you had all the makings for a perfect disguise and untraceable link.

"Yes it is set up correctly. So please do not shake the equipment. It is fragile and should be treated tenderly." She bit off any other remark as Agent Scully should now be able to hear them.

Scully was almost finished setting up the lab having finally found most of the equipment she would need. As expected the coroner had not left anything set up for her examination. Just the two gurneys in the corner containing the bodies she was interested in examining. She looked up having heard Helena muttering and then heard a new voice.

"Looks like we're good to go," Helena smiled, before turning to Scully. "And the next step is...?"

Scully looked over at the bodies, "The next step is to take a look at the victims. We'll see how accurate the reports we have are and if there is anything else that can shed some light on what happened and why. If you need to leave, I can manage on my own. Well with the aid of..." She let her sentence hang not sure how to address the person on the other end of the camera.

"Bar--t. His name's Bart," Helena said, not sure that Barbara knew she was a man now. "I'll be in the hallway. Call if you need me?" She asked.

"Bart?" The masked voice cut across the room. Barbara had noted the way Agent Scully had offered for Helena to leave. Now the computer operator had two things to discuss later with Hel. One was her obvious discomfort and the second was a nice reminder on code name development.

Trying to hide the developing smirk, Dana nodded at the young woman. "Certainly. And I thank you... Bart, for agreeing to help me. I would appreciate any help or knowledge you can offer and I know you will not discuss our findings with anyone else."

"I'm sure you two will hit it off," Helena said before ducking into the hallway.

"Let's get started then," Scully said, rolling one of the bodies from the side of the room. "What differences should I be looking for?"

"Well, that is the 64,000 dollar question isn't." Barbara turned her focus to a database she had created cataloguing metahuman anatomy and abilities. "Realistically the differences are not always that easy to pick out. Some metas actually are very similar to non-metas internally as well as on the surface. Others may have quite a large range of... differences."

"Excuse me a moment." She spoke softly into a recording device near the body detailing her first observations. "I am going to just leave my recorder running to make the examination more fluid, is that alright?"

"Of course."

"So basically we're looking for abnormalities that we can link to meta-human abilities, but how do we link them?" Dana asked after a moment as she prepared to reopen the chest cavity.

"Not a lot of research, well I should say published research, has been done on that subject. We can see differences but why they are there is something that has not been closely studied. Metahumans tend to keep their abilities and thus differences to themselves and within a very closed community. Something I know you are familiar with."

"So if I had a contact into that community and could find out about the victim's abilities I might have a chance to try and make those connections," Dana nodded, making her way into the chest cavity noting certain features for her report.

"It is also hard to determine what exactly might have been the focus. The human victims often did not have anything missing, at least nothing removed. Although a few of the later bodies, human and metahuman had extensive damage done to several areas such as the..."

Barbara paused her eyes scanning through the reports hoping to spark that one link that could be what they needed. "Hmmm, can you see if there is any damage in the area of the neck, armpit or near the back of the kidneys?"

Out in the hallway Helena was already bored. Not really surprised by the fact, but still bored. She didn't even have Barbara to keep her company this time. Wondering if there was a snack machine close by, she had started to move down the hallway but stopped hearing something.

It was probably nothing, an employee down the hall, but it would at least give her something to do. Wrinkling her brow in concentration, she headed toward the sound, trying to figure out exactly where it was coming from.

Barbara noted a frown appearing on the agent's face as Dana started examining the areas she had mentioned. "The Pancreas was missing from one human victim. And the area near the kidneys of a metahuman as well as the throat area had shown signs of numerous incisions. There also seems to be enlarged cavities indicating maybe something should have been there that was not. I am not sure about the other areas in terms of details, just those areas seemed to have the most extensive damage reported."

Scully simply nodded at the information as she explored the areas and continued making detailed notes of her observations.

Banging the large metal gas can against the wall, Chubby turned the last corner grinning over at his fellow partner. They'd been told to make some noise as they approached the lab. They had also been told to make sure nothing and no one was left standing by the time they finished with the lab.

"Hey there guys, I think you have the wrong address. This isn't the party," Helena said, already walking toward them having pinpointed the source of the noises she'd heard.

"Really?" Chubby said slowly as he let his eyes rake over the woman's figure. "I'd say Baldy and I just scored a very nice party favor." As he spoke he set the gas can down and snapped his arm some letting the steel rod he had hidden there slide out into his hand. "And wrong address? Nah... I find I can party anywhere." He said pressing a button so the rod extended. "This is going to kick ass... yours that is."

Chapter 24B

Danger Zone (Kenny Loggins)

New Gotham Hospital
an examining room adjacent to the morgue
Friday night

Helena sighed, coming to a stop. "Last chance to change your minds boys," she said, arms crossing over her chest as she shifted her gaze between the two.

Both men called out "No" at the same time as the rushed the woman.

Shaking her head as she fought off a laugh, she easily jumped and dodged their rush. "Fine. One more chance, but that's it. You got me?" Helena asked, a smirk appearing.

"Not yet, but we will." Chubby replied swinging his arm back and nodding at his partner. As he aimed his rod for Hel's shoulder, he knew Baldy was pulling out some of his favorite toys and would go low.

Scully had found there was damage in two of the areas Bart had mentioned. She'd brought the camera in and had started discussing the possible pattern and reason. The agent also had noted a few structures she did not recognize that Bart had confirmed as being a metahuman feature.

"Let me check the other body." Scully said moving out of range of the camera's view.

Barbara absently nodded at the response, her focus on the metahuman database.

"Stupid boys," Helena said, jumping and pushing herself off of the wall and over their heads, wanting to act as a buffer between them and the morgue so she could warn Scully.

"I told you, take the party somewhere else!" Helena yelled, accenting her point by planting a foot in the back of Baldy's knee. ~Hope they heard me.~

Using the woman's focus on taking down his partner, Chubby quickly altered his swing connecting this time.

Both redheads jerked at the shout, Barbara looking at the screen as Scully looked up at the door.

"What's going... what is that?" The alteration in Barbara's question was brought about by the sudden falling of a metal grate from the ceiling in front of the camera. This was followed by the appearance of pair of legs wearing knee high black leather boots which then began idly swinging back and forth.

Wincing as the hit caught her across the cheek Helena rolled with it, letting the momentum propel her into the examination room. "Dana. Grab your gun. I think our time's about up," she said, pushing to a crouch, waiting for the doors to swing open again.

"Where'd she go," Baldy said scrambling to his feet. Chubby yanked him back up as they headed toward the lab pulling on the smaller man's collar at the last instant.

"Wait, use one of your little giftboxes Baldy, I want to make an entrance. I mean why use the door when there is a perfectly good wall just begging to be transformed?" He smirked watching Baldly set something on the wall near the door.

Dana started trying to yank off her borrowed lab coat so she could get to her gun. Her movements delayed as her focus had been drawn first to the comment from Bart followed by the sudden appearance of Helena.

"Time's already up babe. In fact you've been on borrowed time." Jem said as jumped down from the vent heading straight for Helena.

"Helena!" Barbara called as she watched the owner of the legs, a lithe blonde woman, head towards Helena

"What?" Helena said, turning just in time to catch blondie head on. Swinging before contact was made Helena was no longer so confident about the skirmish.

Taking the punch, Jem staggered back only enough to give her room to swing returning the favor. "You've been a very bad girl. Messing in places you do not belong."

Jem kicked out and deflected Helena's second punch enough so she could grab the metahuman by the collar pulling to try and throw her across the room.

Dana had finally managed to pull her gun but she could not sight a clear shot. She kept her gun ready as she moved closer to the door of the room.

"Oh god it's you." Barbara breathed out, her gaze now riveted to the monitor and the blonde as she recognized the voice from the other night and felt her entire body tense.

As the timer had finished counting down there was not only debris, but dust and fire. All of this was immediately followed by the goons lumbering through the still flaming hole. "Looks like fun," grinned Baldy.

Distracted by the explosion Helena couldn't deflect the blonde's action, but did manage to plant a hand in the woman's hair to drag her along.

Jem had heard the distorted voice and looked around the room trying to see who else was here and missed Hel's reaction. Barely adjusting, she rolled some screaming in pain as she felt some of her hair ripped from her head. "You bitch, I just had that cut."

With that she flew at Helena, her anger causing the tray holding the implements Scully had been using to shake as her metahuman powrer revved up.

Coughing, Dana pulled herself up some from where she had landed from the explosion. She noted the a new arrival as she retrieved her gun. Getting to her knees, she drew a line as he made for Helena. Firing, she watched him recoil as her shot hit his shoulder.

Wiping at her eyes, Dana cried out then drawing her arm towards her body as she dropped her gun, pain flaring through her shoulder. She barely registered the fact it was a knife embedded in her shoulder causing the pain as a shadow fell across her and she looked up to see Baldy advancing on her.

Sending one of the gurneys in the blonde's direction Helena was on her feet. Catching sight of Dana, but not close enough to intervene directly, the brunette grabbed what had been part of the wall and flung it at the man.

Grabbing his head with one hand Baldy groaned but kept advancing on the redhead.

Dana scrambled back trying to gain some space between her and the thug as she winced when she jarred her injured shoulder. She looked over searching for her gun and noted Helena was once again fighting the blonde woman.

Distracted by Hel's struggles with the blonde, she almost missed Baldy as he lunged again. Rolling on the floor she kicked out trying to get away. Dana yelled again as the knife pushed into her shoulder as she rolled. Her fingers reached up trying to pull it out.

"Helena, behind you!" Barbara called out as Helena, busy going back towards Jem had not realized Chubby, after being shot, had gone to retrieve the large gas can and was now swinging it at Hel's back.

"Someone has a guardian angel." Jem cooed as she heard the warning. The blonde spotted the camera then. Pushing off the wall, she shoved the gurney back at Helena sending the tray of implements towards the brunette as well.

Dodging the gas can Helena wasn't prepared for what Jem sent her way. She managed to avoid most of the sharp implements cursing as other hit her. Wiping at a cut, she stepped up to face off with the woman. "You already killed them, what else do you want?" she asked, standing in a position that left her ready to move.

"As I said, someone's been a very naughty girl and needs to be punished. I would like to make it a slow death, so much more fun." Jem moved languidly towards the brunette making sure she was in front of the camera.

"Although I am thinking I'd like more to punish and tease your friend from the other night. Hearing her screams I think would be so much more pleasurable than listening to yours. It is you my scrumptious darling, isn't it." Jem looked at the camera winking. Her eyes then slipped to where Chubby had dropped the can, she watched the clear liquid as it spilled from the container.

"Let's just get this over with," Helena said, making a move in Jem's direction.

"Stop twitching so much bitch. Just let me get this over with," Baldy said, his free hand wrapping around Scully's neck.

Struggling, Scully kicked out as she gasped for breath, her head and shoulder hurting. She swung her hand holding the knife she'd retrieved from her shoulder down hard trying to break the man's grip.

"It'll be over soon," Baldy smiled easily disarming the agent as he continued to squeeze.

Trying to summon energy from her deepest reserve, Scully tried again to punch at Baldy as her hand closed around something on the floor. Picking up the fallen medical tool, she jabbed at Baldy and was relieved to hear him cry out and release her.

Scully could barely see, the pain so bad she didn't want to move. She curled up some trying just to keep from passing out. The agent could hear other sounds but knew she needed to get up; that Helena was in trouble. Trying to clear her hazy vision she thought she spied her gun and started sliding across the floor.

Jem shook her head at Helena and waggled a finger making a tsking noise. She took out a gold plated Zippo and opened it watching the flame appear. "This was a gift." Well I like to think of it as a gift. I'm sure she would have given it to me if she had not died first. Humans have such a low stamina and pain threshold. Ah well easy come."

With that she took off not going for Helena directly but sliding across the floor she kicked at Hel's legs as she reached her goal and let the lighter fall into the puddle of gas. "Easy go up in flames." She laughed watching the liquid ignite as she continued to slide across the floor.

As Jem had moved. Chubby had adopted a tackle position and had run straight at Helena as well swinging his rod as he moved.

"Helena, Scully's in trouble." Barbara had been trying to keep silent but watched as the agent had crawled into view only to be dragged back by Baldy.

"Fuck," Helena yelled as the fire quickly spread. Turning toward Scully the brunette didn't notice Chubby until he hit, his rod creating a large gash where it tore into the meta.

Dropping to her knees Helena bit her lip, grabbing one of the medical tools that had hit the ground earlier and flung it at Baldy as she pushed to her feet.

Air flooding back into her system as Baldy was pulled away from her, Dana coughed and rolled onto her stomach willing herself to get to her knees. She struggled to stand up watching the fighting.

"Blondie. Come on, afraid to fight me yourself? And here I thought it'd be fun," Helena yelled

"I may be blonde but I am not dumb. Whoever said diamonds were a girl's best friend sorely underestimated the wearing-down value of your enemy by a good goon." Jem replied watching the thugs advance on Helena. She turned then and began pulling down some bottles of liquid from the shelves, tossing them at the burning flames. Her eyes glazed over with elation as the flames burst higher.

"Ow," Helena said, landing a kick at the man's throat. The brunette immediately swiveled and slid across the lab. "Your turn," she said, going back after the blonde. "Aren't I worth something to you?" Helena demanded as she tried to land a kick at the woman's lower back.

"Helena, you need to get out of there, I can't trigger the fire suppression system, something is blocking the main system. I've rerouted the call to the fire department it was blocked at first as well. Someone planned this." Barbara managed to find her voice struggling not to let the images from her dream the other night paralyze her actions.

Scully retrieved her gun even as she looked around trying to find a fire extinguisher. "Shit," Dana muttered having located the object, in the hands Jem who had grabbed it after being tossed against the wall by Helena. The blonde had started spraying the foam, trying to keep the brunette at bay.

The agent felt a hand then wrap around her ankle. Determined she twisted her body using the pain to actually clear her head as she fired a shot straight down at the man. Pulled off balance though, Dana lost her gun as she fell again to the floor.

"Who's the person on the other end of the camera?" Jem taunted, "Think you could fix me up with her?"

"Fuck you!" Helena yelled, struggling against the foam as the floor grew slippery. "Dana! Get out of here!" she yelled, throwing whatever she could reach at the blonde.

"Is that a promise? Although I think you I just want to gut you, her I'll fuck." Jem taunted again loving the way Helena reacted, feeding off the brunette's rage. With a cheery laugh, Jem threw the extinguisher at Helena and then took a running start sliding on her stomach along the slippery floor.

Her hands wrapped around an object as she twisted. Finishing her slide she ended behind Helena and flipped to her feet.

"Both of you get out now. Leave the fight Helena, back off. You don't always have to take them down. The fire is spreading and will soon cut off the main exit." Barbara replied the voice modulator not hiding the fear and pleading in her tone.

Scully rested her forehead on the cool floor but did not move. She heard her name and knew she should do what the voice was telling her. She could trust the voice. But she felt too tired. "Where's my gun?" she mumbled knowing for some reason she needed it.

"Why it's right here." Jem barked out a deep laugh casually waving the agent's gun that she had picked up as she slid.

* * * * *

continued in A Whole New World part 3