FANDOM: Birds of Prey (TV)

PAIRING: Barbara/Helena

AUTHOR'S NOTE:Thanks to Trusty for proofing.


"Th th that's IT! I'm d.d.d.done!" Helena blurted, coming into the Tower from the ledge covered in snow.

"Hey! You're tracking in snow," Barbara complained.

"No d.d.d duh!" Helena said, shutting the door against the blast of cold air. Her teeth chattered as she shook herself and dusted the snow off her coat to the floor.

"Helena!" Barbara growled at her friend, who didn't seem to appreciate the mess she was making.

"W.w.w.what?!?" Helena countered with irritation, unable to stop shivering.

Her concern for the floor quickly changed to concern for her friend, whose lips were a disturbing blue. Rolling up to her, she grabbed Helena's hands, which were ice. "Hel, what happened to your gloves?" she hissed with worry.

"C.c.c.ouldn't g.grip...took them," Helena responded glancing down at their hands.

"Take a warm shower right now - but not too hot or you'll burn yourself, understand?" Barbara asked, getting a sluggish nod. "You can change into some of my sweats," she said, getting a grunt before Helena went towards Barbara's room instead of the guest room; Barbara had the nicer bathroom and Helena considered she had earned it after the miserable night she had on sweeps. Sweeps that were totally unnecessary as "The Storm of the Century" kept even New Gotham's criminally insane inside! Which made her reconsider, who was truly insane? She was the one outside in a blizzard, responding to an alarm that was across the city, that the police could not get to due to the 10-foot snowdrifts that turned out to be a stupid short circuit!

"I'll make some hot cocoa to help warm you up," Barbara called out, rolling to the kitchen with purpose.

Entering Barbara's bedroom, Helena clumsily started to remove her clothing, her fingers still numb from the harsh weather. Not bothering to hang them up, her cloths fell to the floor haphazardly, in a trail to the bathroom. She turned on the radiant heat lamp that always made her think of French fries. It gave her some relief from her shivering as she turned on the water and waited for the water to heat up. Thankfully, it wasn't long and she stepped under the shower, releasing a sigh of relief.

Barbara rolled about the kitchen to make hot cocoa, efficiently heating the water and getting the packages of cocoa mix. While not known for her culinary prowess, she did know some basic kitchen survival skills. She reached up and retrieved a box of pop tarts, Helena's favorite food for some unfathomable reason. Though, she considered it fortunate because she could easily toast pop tarts without disaster, having learned from a horrified Helena years ago - never, ever microwave them. She paused, staring at the box as a curious thought entered her mind - were pop tarts Helena's favorite because it was one of the few things she could make? Not sure what to do with that thought, she proceeded to toast them.

With the comfort foods placed on the tray in her lap, which also included Oreo cookies, which both she and Helena enjoyed, Barbara rolled back into the living room and placed the tray on the coffee table. She looked up to find Helena emerging from her bedroom, looking less stiff and miserable, sporting her University sweatshirt and pants with a comforter wrapped around her. A surprising feeling of satisfaction washed over her seeing Helena in her clothes, one she did not want to analyze too closely.

"How are you feeling?" Barbara asked tentatively, feeling guilty for not listening to Helena's complaints. Though, in her defense, Helena complained a lot.

"Better. Good call on the shower," Helena said tiredly, plopping down on the couch ungracefully. Barbara winced; Helena was innately graceful, unless she was exhausted or injured.

"Pop tarts!" Helena suddenly perked up, taking one and quickly biting into it with a pleased hum. Barbara had to smile at how quickly Helena's mood could change and how easy it was to please her. Thank God for pop tarts, she considered wryly.

"I'm sorry for making you go out in the storm for a false alarm," Barbara offered softly with an apologetic grimace. Helena snorted as she handed Barbara a cup of cocoa.

"What?" Barbara said defensively. She hated not understanding things - like Helena's reaction to her sincere comment.

"I told you it was a false alarm," Helena complained, rolling her eyes. "You know, for someone so intelligent, the obvious seems to elude you," Helena offered with a thin smile, taking a large gulp of cocoa. Her eyes immediately widened as she spit out the cocoa into her cup, alarming Barbara, who was sure she hadn't done anything to ruin the drink. "Hot, hot, hot!" she said, fanning her mouth and gasping.

Now Barbara rolled her eyes. "How's the HOT cocoa?"

Helena frowned. "I'm sure I'll love it once my taste buds are healed. Good thing for meta healing, huh?"

Barbara reached out and took Helena's hand and looked her over for lingering signs of hypothermia.

"I'm ok, Barbara," Helena offered softly, looking into critical green eyes and squeezing her hand gently before letting go.

Barbara frowned but nodded, apparently satisfied.

"Where's the kid?" Helena asked, looking around the Tower.

"Staying at Gabby's until the blizzard is over. She called saying she was going to be late getting home. But I told her she shouldn't risk being out in this...," she said sagely, then winced and added weakly "weather."

Helena looked at her incredulously.

"Sorry," Barbara said, biting her lip.

Helena sighed and blew on her cocoa before taking a careful sip. "Join me?" She asked, patting the couch cushion next to her. "We can watch something stupid on the Tube," Helena said.

Barbara smiled, fondly recalling their TV nights when they were adjusting to their new living arrangements. During that short TV break, they could forget the tragedy that brought them together and just enjoy being together. It had been too long since they had uninterrupted time together, she considered.

"I'd like that," Barbara said warmly, getting a smile in return. "I want to check Delphi first, then I'm all yours," she said happily.

Helena silently watched her roll towards the computer that was like a black hole at times, sucking enormous time away from the redhead. Leaving little time for anything else, she considered, having routinely witnessed how easily Barbara got lost in her data and quest for justice. She made it her personal mission to get her to stop and smell the roses, even if for but a moment...even if to spend time with Wade. She couldn't prevent the slight wince at just how wrong he was for the amazing woman. But however ill suited she thought he was, he was Barbara's choice. And whatever made Barbara happy...

"UGH!" Barbara blurted helplessly as she got to the console and the many impressive screens suddenly went black as the Tower was plunged into darkness. "Don't we have a backup generator?" Helena asked curiously as she got up from the couch.

"Yes!" Barbara said with aggravation, glaring at the still-dark screens in the still-dark room.

"Oh," Helena said with a wince. "I'll get the candles," she said. Thanks to her meta-enhanced vision, she was able to move around the dark with ease, until she slipped.

The crashing sound startled Barbara. "Helena?!?"

"I'm fine," Helena said with irritation and muttered "slipped on the wet spot."

Barbara snorted.

"Don't you dare say I told you so!" Helena growled, rubbing her knee that collided with the cabinet.

"Wouldn't think of it," Barbara said; the amusement clear in her voice.

"Uh huh," Helena blurted as she gathered the candles, grabbed some matches, and started to light them. Soon the room was filled with a soft glow.

"I guess I could go check on the generator, it's in the basement right?" Helena suggested, knowing a Barbara without electricity was an unhappy Barbara.

"Do you know anything about fixing generators?" Barbara asked skeptically.

" hard could it be?" Helena responded with a shrug.

"Just what we need - you to electrocute yourself. Never mind," Barbara said with a heavy sigh.

"Hey, I might be a natural!" Helena said, needing to defend her honor.

"Helena, I've already put you through enough tonight. I don't want to worry about you poking around high voltage equipment," Barbara explained, appeasing Helena, who considered that Barbara was probably right to worry.

"I'd go, but I need the elevator," she grumbled.

"I could take y...," Helena quickly offered, eager to help in anyway.

"Not necessary," Barbara automatically snapped, then exhaled with frustration at her continued sensitivity.

Helena didn't respond, knowing that Barbara still hated to be handled.

"Sorry. I..." Barbara said apologetically, knowing Helena was only trying to help. Like usual.

"Well, we have a few choices," Helena said thoughtfully, ignoring Barbara's apology, which she considered unnecessary.

Barbara looked at her, thankful for Helena's tolerance. After all these years and what they had been through together, Helena had come to know her better than anyone - even her father. As she waited for her to continue, she looked into her eyes curiously, noting how the glow of the candles seemed to make her eyes sparkle more than usual. She was always intrigued by what that sparkle meant. The reason for it wasn't always a good thing, she considered wryly, knowing Helena had a wicked devilish streak; but she knew she could always count on that sparkle being interesting. She watched as Helena lifted one candle up.

"Since my plan to veg out watching TV is out, I could...," Helena said with a dramatic pause, "...entertain you with shadow puppets!" She suggested enthusiastically, making an awkward hand gesture in front of the candle flame, which made an unidentifiable shadow on the wall.

"Okaaay," Barbara said, squinting at the blob. "So...when does the entertainment part come in?"

"Cards it is!" Helena, undeterred, answered brightly, quickly placing the candle down before retrieving the cards that were in the kitchen.

"Cards?" Barbara asked curiously, rolling to the couch.

"Sure!" Helena said, rumbling around the kitchen. "There's no way I'm playing scrabble with you again."

"You almost won...," Barbara offered in consolation. The game was surprisingly close, not that she thought Helena incapable of playing a respectable game. The younger woman was far more intelligent than she let on, or her grades in high school would indicate. But Barbara was truly surprised how expansive her vocabulary was.

"Uh huh. I still don't know why you don't like Monopoly," Helena called back over her shoulder as she gathered up her booty.

"It's the principle - striving for a monopoly to control everything is just...wrong," Barbara explained defensively as Helena returned, chuckling at Barbara's sense of justice extending to a board game.

"Where did you get all that?" Barbara asked, eyeing the various bags of junk food in Helena's arms.

"Kitchen," Helena said, plopping the food down on the coffee table.

"I know that, but...," Barbara said, glancing at the large pile of decidedly unhealthy food. "Alfred must have bought it," she added absently.

"Hey, you want something stronger than cocoa?" Helena asked, swiftly going to the small bar.

"Helena, you are giving me whiplash," Barbara complained, looking at the surprisingly energetic woman buzzing about. "I thought you were exhausted from the blizzard."

"As you know, I recover fast, which has multiple benefits," Helena said silkily with a smirk and wink as she returned to the couch with a bottle of white wine, corkscrew, and two glasses.

"Hmmm," Barbara replied with the unwanted thoughts of what those benefits were. Helena was not shy about her sexuality. It had been a source of concern for her as the teen grew into a gorgeous young woman. She knew Helena "partied" and had her pick of partners. She had tried to warn her to be careful and slow down a bit but Helena just smirked and said "I dodge bullets for a living, Barbara. I think I can handle a social life." Barbara had to learn to ignore the fact she had a very active social life; it was necessary to avoid going crazy. To think of Helena intimate with someone else, or several someone elses was pure torture. Helena was an adult and if that made her happy, so be it. Helena deserved to be happy...

"So? What do you want to play?" Helena said as Barbara started to shift from her chair to the couch.

"I...haven't...played cards in a while," Barbara admitted with a grimace, and grunted softly as she moved onto the couch. As Helena poured them two glasses, she surreptitiously watched Barbara with appreciation as she moved with great grace and strength. Anyone could tell Barbara had worked hard to achieve that fluidity. And beneath that lovely sweater was impressive muscle tone she had the pleasure of appreciating during their workouts...

"Then strip poker it is!" Helena offered with enthusiasm, earning a glare.

"No," Barbara said with a frown, before adding with a smirk "besides, you just got warm."

"I thought you hadn't played in a while," Helena countered.

"That doesn't mean you wouldn't be sitting there in your birthday suit after a few hands," Barbara said confidently with a raised brow of challenge; she raised her glass in salute towards Helena and sipped her wine.

"Well, I don't need to be losing at strip poker for that to happen, Red," Helena said silkily with a soft chuckle, causing Barbara to pause a brief moment, thankful she didn't choke had happened before, when unprepared for Helena's flirtatious comments.

Trying to ignore that vivid image in her head and the surprising flush that came with it, she attempted to joke. "I think you spent too much time out in the storm, Hel. It appears to have affected your brain."

"Some people don't happen to like the confines of clothing, Barbara," Helena said breezily with an easy smile, sipping her wine.

"How about Old Maid?" Barbara blurted, trying to ignore Helena's comment and the image of a naked Helena on the couch as she grabbed the cards from the coffee table.

"Old Maid??"


"That seems a rather simplistic game for you, Red. Is there something Freudian going on here that I should know about?"


"Yeah, a subconscious belief coming out in an unexpected way," Helena explained, then smiled slyly. "Like...through the suggestion of a card game perhaps?"

"Technically, the phenomenon involves a slip or mistake. I merely suggested a card game I was sure you would know how to play," Barbara countered with a smirk.

"Oh. My mistake," Helena responded graciously. "I'm pretty sure neither of us will end up old maids anyway. You've found a dependable guy and I'm not likely to get old. What about Go Fish?? I'm sure my simple mind can handle that game too," she said dryly, grabbing a handful of pretzels.

"Hel, do you really think that?" Barbara asked with alarm.

"I've played Go Fish before, Barbara. Quite successfully I might add," Helena said, crunching into a pretzel.

"No, I mean about not living long enough to get old," Barbara said with persistence.

Helena looked at her and sipped her wine. After a moment, she shrugged. "To assume otherwise would be foolish."

Barbara blinked, not expecting that answer. The fatalistic attitude was...disturbing. "Hel, if I thought I was sending you out into a situation you couldn't handle..."

"Like a snowstorm of the century?" Helena joked, causing a stricken look on Barbara's face before her eyes dropped. "Whoa, that was a joke, Red. Obviously a bad joke..."

"In humor, there's truth, Hel," Barbara said weakly, glancing at her uncomfortably before her eyes dropped again.

"You do everything you can to keep me safe, Barbara," Helena said, taking Barbara's hand. " spite of my impatience to get on with the ass-kicking most nights. I know that, Red. I count on it," she added firmly, squeezing her hand.

Barbara looked up curiously into sincere eyes, noting how the candlelight cast interesting shadows across her beautiful face. Helena seemed to just know what to say to appease her worries, she considered with appreciation. But then, Helena was the one person she could really relax around and No pressure to be anyone but herself. She was relieved Helena knew she would do everything she could to keep her safe; but she wondered if Helena understood that she made her feel safe and...loved. Barbara blinked at that unexpected last thought...that truth.

"And I don't have a death wish. On the contrary, I try to live life each day as if it were my last - so I don't waste it," Helena continued seriously as Barbara listened with rapt attention to the rare personal disclosure. It was hard to get Helena to open herself up. She was quite adept at humor and sarcasm to avoid any serious discussions. "Life is too important to waste - you've taught me that. I know you don't always agree with my choices but...I do the best I can with what I've got," Helena said with a self-conscious laugh, shrugging as she retracted her hand and started to withdraw; a familiar response when emotions became too intense.

But instead of appreciating that reprieve Helena offered her from examining her own feelings, a surprisingly intense and pure emotion washed over her - loss. She blinked at the startling weight upon her heart as the realization struck; Helena was the one. The one who had always made her feel special, loved...whole.

Helena's words overwhelmed her thoughts, drowning all others; she grew distressed, realizing she was not really living life, that she was wasting it. She had not allowed her heart to soar. And she just knew, with Helena, her heart would soar.

Not pausing to think through the ramifications of what her emotions compelled her to do, Barbara reached out and pulled Helena into a kiss. The kiss grew in intensity once Helena's surprise faded and her heart opened to what was being offered. To Helena, the gift she received was...everything.

Lost in the sensations of Helena's mouth and those firm hands, that quickly pulled her into Helena's lap and held her possessively, Barbara was not inclined to start thinking of anything but her need for Helena. "Bedroom," Barbara husked between wet and wonderful kisses. "Now," she growled.

Never in her wildest imagination would Barbara have believed Helena, of all people, would hesitate when it came to sex. When Helena pulled back and she saw uncertainty in those augmented eyes, insidious doubt bubbled up and Barbara's deep-seated fear of rejection quickly dampened her arousal.

"Is this...only for now?" Helena asked with difficulty, her breathing labored. "I need to know," she said, searching Barbara's eyes as if the fate of the world depended on her answer. At the very least, the fate of Helena's heart did.

It was as if her brain had short-circuited from their kiss; she drew a disturbing blank as her heart raced with panic, instinctively knowing how important her answer was. All her life she used her considerable intellect and logic to foil the most complex problems. And now, holding Helena's heart clearly in her hands...her mind desperately sought out coherent thoughts, tripping over a few stray ones that vaguely told her she shouldn't seriously entertain a relationship with Helena, but they made no sense now.

Helena swallowed and nodded reluctantly, then she suddenly offered a bit too brightly "I can do now." With a plastered-on grin, Helena leaned in for a kiss. Two strong hands and a concerned look stopped her, causing Helena to sigh and nod in understanding, breathing uneasily as her augmented eyes returned to normal. "Sorry. I really didn't mean to ruin the moment. Trust me," she added with a humorless laugh.

Before she could respond, Barbara found herself on the couch, watching Helena grab the last pop tart as if nothing unusual had just happened. Her emotions once again getting the better of her, Barbara snapped "what the hell?" Granted, it wasn't the most eloquent response, but it reflected her annoyance adequately.

"Did you want this?" Helena asked, holding up the half-eaten pop tart.

"I don't want the goddamn pop tart. can you possibly kiss me like that and just brush it off a piece of lint?!?" Barbara blurted with frustration, her annoyance and lingering arousal trumping her rational thinking.

"Barbara, the moment passed," Helena said with a heavy sigh, pouring herself another glass of wine. "Perhaps it's for the best," she added quietly and took a sip.

Barbara had never felt so out of control. "Do you...really think that?" Barbara said uneasily, feeling like she was breaking up from a long-time loving relationship. Of course, thinking about it, they had been in a long-time loving relationship, only without the ultimate, intimate physical expression. Sure, there were very good reasons there had been no physical intimacy, Helena's age, learning to live with her paralysis, Helena learning to get past her mother's death...then later, Dick, then Helena's string of conquests, Wade...

"I thought I could do "friends with benefits" with you, but I was wrong. You'd end up breaking my heart," Helena admitted with surprising vulnerability.

The admission caught Barbara off guard.

A wry smile filled Helena's face. "And I'm pretty sure Wade wouldn't appreciate it either," she joked weakly, lifting up the now empty bottle and inspecting it. "Now look at that," she said with feigned surprise. "Good thing Alfred keeps you well stocked."

"Helena...," Barbara interjected with concern.

"Look, Red. A night with you would ruin me for anyone else," she offered with a small smirk but Barbara could see past it. She finally understood Helena's actions and feelings, which ran deeper than she had ever imagined...or could have hoped. "And that's not very fair for...," Helena said wryly.

"I want to ruin it for you!" Barbara interrupted anxiously, then winced and shook her head with a frustrated exhale at how that sounded and how bad she was at this. "I mean, I don't want there to be anyone else," she quickly amended and looked at Helena, noting she had her undivided attention. Helena stared at her with an unreadable intensity. Her brain catching up to what she had just said, Barbara clarified awkwardly "...for either of us."

Barbara concluded she had finally said the right thing when Helena blinked and her tenseness slowly faded. Reclining back on the couch, Helena looked at her a thoughtful moment.

"So. Just you, and me?" Helena asked hesitantly, not ready to believe this was really happening.

"Just you and me," Barbara responded firmly, looking into Helena's eyes that filled with happiness. She couldn't help but smile.

"Together," Helena asked cautiously, ever-so-slowly leaning towards her.

"Together," Barbara affirmed firmly, also helping to close the distance between them.

" want to ruin me for anyone else?" Helena whispered as her warm breath caressed Barbara's lips.

"If I'm lucky," Barbara husked, waiting, wanting Helena to make the final move to eliminate the distance between them.

Knowing what Barbara wanted, Helena smiled, delaying that final move. "I'm pretty sure you'll get...," she said playfully, interrupted by Barbara, who had to acknowledge her patience was only so great as she quieted Helena with a kiss.

* * * * *

After they lay in Barbara's bed, sated and wrapped in each other's arms, the lights came back on. As they both listened to the sounds of equipment returning to life throughout the Tower, including Delphi rebooting, Helena sighed at the loss of a distraction-free tower. "What now?" Helena asked softly, worried Barbara might change her mind now that things were back to normal.

Barbara shifted to look at Helena, seeing the poorly hidden concern in the younger woman's eyes. Reaching up, she caressed her partner's cheek affectionately. "We take what comes to us, together," she vowed.

The answer appeared to appease Helena, who nodded, then blurted with an enthusiastic grin "And afterwards, we can have sex!"

Barbara laughed.

"You did it, you know," Helena offered, shifting her arms more tightly around Barbara, who shifted closer to her.

"Many times, thank you," Barbara chuckled.

"Nooooo...," Helena said then acknowledged with satisfaction "although you did, four times."

"Five, but who's counting," Barbara said with a smile as Helena laughed. "So exactly what did I do, if not that?"

Helena's laughter subsided as she shifted to look Barbara in the eyes.

"Ruin me for anyone else," Helena said softly, tracing her fingers reverently over Barbara's brow and down her face before placing a soft kiss on her lips.

Barbara's eyes shut, savoring the gentle gift. When their lips parted, Barbara caressed Helena's face and her heart soared, as she knew it would. "I love you, Helena."

~ The End ~