The Task Done Together
FANDOM: Birds of Prey TV
PAIRING: Selena Kyle/Carolyn Lance (Catwoman/Black Canary), talk of Helena/Dinah
DISCLAIMERS: Still nothing.
SUMMARY: " I turned to Carolyn and took her hand. 'Let's roll,' "Together, Carolyn and Selena go down to Earth to finish their final task, which is to help patch things up with their family after Harley Quinn's attack on the Clocktower.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: If I got paid five bucks for every fanfic I ever wrote, I would still need a job, but I would be like 'Whoo-hoo, I finished this fic, AND I got five bucks!' Also, I know know KNOW the Black Canary/Catwoman history is so off base, and it is so wrong, but be good, and let it be. Sixth in the Afterlife series starting with starting with Love Afterlife, Apartment Upgrade, Finding His Way, Selena's Task and Carolyn's Task.
"Before you go down to Earth for your last task, I must tell you both something. As you may or may not know, these tasks were not just designed for the living. Angels, too, must learn as well. I hope you keep in mind everything that was said to you tonight as well as everything you've said to the living. That and only that will help you through this last task. I believe you already know where to go, and this right here is the only hint you get. I wish you both luck. You're both amazing women," Elizabeth said, and I nodded. I turned to Carolyn and took her hand.
"Let's roll." She too nodded, and kissed me as we orbed to the New Gotham Clocktower. "Go to Helena. I've got to go to Barbara."
"What about Dinah?"
"She's confused, but she's not as bad off as the other two. We'll get to her, but there's only two of us and we need to get through the worst of it first." We kissed again, just for the heck of it really, and I watched her walk from that middle room where the broken Delphi system was and into the training room before I transported to a deserted building, torn apart by the madness of the city. In the middle of the ruins was Barbara Gordon, and her head was in her hands as she cried. "Well, shine the light on me, for I am an angel," I looked into deep green as Barbara's head rose at my voice, "and you, Baby Bat, are a coward."
I could run into Dinah's room screaming and she wouldn't have heard me. No matter then. I wasn't there for her just yet. I didn't need for her to hear me, though I silently wished it. I knew that only Helena could hear or see me then, as that was who I was there for. When I got to the doorway of the training room, I remembered the last time I was in that area, looking up at my daughter, who looked down at me with disbelief and a little bit of disgust. I could hear the rapid pounding on the punching bag, which brought back other memories going further back. There was rhythmic breathing and the occasional grunt of frustration and pain. Then it suddenly stopped. "Dinah?" At that, I entered the room, and Helena took a step back. "Carolyn?"
"Did you forget the promise you made to both your mother and me?"
"Promise?" I could see her searching her mind for a time when she might have made a promise, for surely she wouldn't have gone back on it. She was her mother's daughter, after all.
"You said you'd take care of Dinah, but right now, she's lost and alone in her room, wondering why you won't talk to her. What did she do to make you mad?" Carolyn asked, and it startled Helena.
"It was nothing she did. Its- Its me. I've been so messed up lately. Especially after last night. Barbara's gone, we're both scared, and I can't seem to sort all of these thoughts out anymore." Helena seemed surprised that she was able to tell me, a spirit, that much. I was surprised that she hadn't questioned my presence, the hows and whys of it all. Maybe she didn't need to know, or maybe she just didn't care. I felt no anger towards me, and I felt as if our truce was already there, but I was still unsure if Helena's reaction to me was a right one. Who was I to judge what reaction of hers was right or wrong? It just felt odd to me that she was so calm about meeting a spirit.
"Want to talk about it?"
"Why not? Everyone else around here has gone crazy. Why not me?" Ah, that's better. "If you're real, and I don't know how you could be, then you probably hate me more now than you did when you were alive. She was prey that night. I saw fear in her eyes and I loved it. I was playing with them, knowing that I'd hunt them down soon enough, and rattled the cage they trapped themselves into. She was SCARED of me! Besides, I..." Her sentence got lower and lower; I couldn't hear what she'd said.
"Excuse me?" Helena took in a deep breath.
"I said, 'Besides, I can't seem to breathe when I'm near her anymore, let alone speak to her.' " That was all I really needed to hear. At least then, I knew we were getting somewhere.
"If I had known that you were going to leave Helena-"
"I wasn't going to leave like Bruce did, I was going to come back in a few hours-"
"That doesn't matter because she doesn't know that. Neither does Dinah. They think they're screwed with you gone and neither of them knowing as much about the Delphi," I told her, which may or may not have been a lie. Who knows?
"I was coming back," she said again. "I just needed to think. I needed to be a lone for a moment." I just stood there stupidly. I hadn't felt that way since Helena would ask me all of those stumper questions that I just couldn't answer. For some reason, I couldn't talk to her. I left my one prize possession, a very important part of me in her care, and I couldn't for the afterlife of me speak to her. So much irony, so little time.
"I know that there's something going on in the Clocktower soon that you will need to be a part of. This is a gut feeling more than it is fact, but when an angel gets sudden 'I have a feeling' notions, its best not to ignore them."
"I'll be there soon."
"Please! Just let me be. Please..." The more she resisted me, the more at loss I felt. Would things have been this way had I still been alive talking to her? Of course not. I doubt even Dinah would be there if I was alive. In such ways, I don't wish my death hadn't happened. How was I supposed to help- It was then I remember the words of the Messenger. It was then that I knew exactly what to do.
Helena watched me to see if I might hate her now. I only smiled at her, which caught her even more off guard than I thought she would have been just at the mere sight of me. "I figured as much. It really isn't that big of a secret. I see a bit in my new home, Helena. I know."
"And how I feel for her...?"
"No, it doesn't bother me. I... Well, not to sound like a South Park character here, but I learned something today. I was so scared in life. Sure, giving up Dinah was what I'd do over again, but if I had to do it over, I'd have gone back to see her. At least once a year for a few hours. There were so many times in that decade that I could have done it. I was just so paranoid that I'd do something that would lead my pursuers to her. The thing is, I don't want you two to lose a decade to fear. In your line of work, every moment is precious. So is she." Helena nodded in agreement. "Come on, let's go see if she's okay at least."
"Not yet, I mean, I know she is, but I need a minute to gather my courage to speak to her." I nodded, but felt a little bit impatient. Did she not hear the 'every moment is precious' portion of my little speech? 'Come on, Helena, hurry up.' I thought. "So um..." Helena hesitated. "When did you and my mom start dating? Well, superheroes and supervillians don't exactly date eachother, do they? They just come together."
"As did we, your mother and I. The truth is, I didn't know she was Catwoman when we got together, and I hadn't yet become Black Canary. She was closing in on thirty within a month, and I was twenty-one. We met at some party or another. I forget now. We were together for over six months. In that time, I had just started to show some signs here and there of what is now the Canary Cry, my throat would burn really badly, and sometimes when I spoke the walls would shake. I guess I was presumptuous in believing that Dinah would show signs of her abilities at a younger age than I had, at age six. Every metahuman I'd met had gotten their powers that early."
"Except me. I figured that with Dinah's personality, she would have developed that early as well, but it is too late for all that now." I stayed silent for a moment. There I was, again telling my story to someone other than my daughter. What was the deal? But a thought occurred to me as I thought about both stories, and the lesson that should have been learned earlier with Molly but wasn't, the lesson that was learned better late than never. I went on with me story. "Anyway... our relationship, or whatever it was we had, lasted six months, like I said. She was the only woman I ever fell in love with, and I think I was the only woman Selena ever loved. But she started to have feelings for Batman, and then, when she found out his identity, Bruce Wayne. It was through your mother that I found out the identity. She thought his team could help me with my powers and maybe use it for good, even though it meant fighting against the likes of her. It was not long after that I knew she was Catwoman.
"Selena was torn between me and your father. She- uh- went to him one night after some battle over something she stole and later returned, and that was how you happened. Sorry, that came out completely wrong."
"But it was true."
"Sorry." Helena shrugged. "You mother came to me afterwards and told me what had happened, a heat of the moment sort of thing, she'd said. She hoped it would have gotten Bruce out of her system, and for a while, I wanted to believe so badly. But then she found out that she was pregnant and I knew then that I wouldn't be able to handle it. Bruce wouldn't be out of her system, he'd be there every time we looked at the child- You. It didn't help that I was so young myself... Thinking it over, I think that was why I lashed out at you, and I am so sorry. At first glance at you, I knew exactly who your parents were. At second glance, I knew how you were starting to feel for my daughter, and I didn't want history to repeat itself, but there is this unknown destiny involving you two, and whether or not I want it to happen, it will happen if I try to intervene... don't matter. The same is to be said about Dinah. She was meant to be a superhero, and you're meant to be together. If it's to happen it's to happen no matter what, and that was what I was supposed to learn. Don't wait until you're dead to figure it out, okay?"
"I think... I'm ready to talk to her now." I gave a small smile at that, and watched her leave the training room.
I looked up at the ceiling, thinking back on my own words to Donnie. 'Everyone needs a little help here and there, you just need to know how to ask for it.' I realized that those words weren't just for him. They were for me as well. In life, I was always too proud to ask for help, often times financial, which was how I'd become a thief (and Catwoman) in the first place. I hoped this lesson learned will carry on with me into my next life. "Please, if you can, I need your approval. I need Wade's help." I was surprised by how quickly he came out of the shadows, as if he'd been there the whole time waiting for me to figure everything out.
"Took you long enough," he said to me with a wink before he knelt before Barbara like King Arthur to Guinevere. He looked up into her eyes, and the redhead couldn't believe what she was seeing. I found it odd that she could so easily converse with me, yet she was shocked into silence by the sight of Wade. No matter. I was the same way towards her. Maybe she just wasn't in love with me. "I'm here, Barbara. Things really are okay."
"You were an innocent."
"Which is why I am where I am. I'm at peace there. Selena and Carolyn helped me find it." We didn't, but he was sweet for saying that. "And the Messenger. Barbara, Heaven is such a beautiful place."
"Of course. It's anything you want it to be. For Selena, it is a large condo in, like, the best part of town. That was where I stayed at first. For me, its the old country house I grew up in. I told you about that, remember? When I'm on the porch in a comfy lawn chair, the sunset or moon rise lasts as long as I want it to. And when I'm inside, I can look out the attic window. It's like being up in a helicopter with hawk vision. I can see everything in New Gotham- Anywhere."
"It sounds... beautiful, like you said." There were fresh tears in Barbara's eyes.
"Better than any sunset, your smile is the most beautiful thing Heaven cannot offer. I've got a lawn chair there for you. Or we can walk together on the trails my grandfather made and maintained before he passed. They're still there... if you want."
"Yes." Wade continued to talk to Barbara, and I slowly faded into an orb to go to the Clocktower loft, where Dinah sat at its kitchen. When she saw me, she jumped to her feet. Her eyes were wide, and she looked surprised and scared at the same time.
"You're okay," I said in a soothing voice, much like the one I used when Helena woke up from a bad dream. Dinah said nothing to that, but she watched me and gave a grimace of a smile to show that she heard me. Such a pretty girl. The sadness in her eyes made her look more like her mother than she ever really had before, and maybe it was just in the Kyle blood to fall in love with Lance women. "I'm sorry all this has happened." She looked so strong, but she was breaking, and she only needed one thing to get her through this, but it was unavailable at the moment. I hoped that Care would hurry with Helena.
"You're not... Her. You've got nothing to be sorry for."
"No, but my family is hurting now. I can't stand it. It is destiny, and I cannot control what is meant to be."
"Wha-" she looked almost angry. "What kind of DESTINY leaves a whole city shattered?"
"A great one. One that will save or destroy the entire world. From the ashes a phoenix rises. Two people will come together and create a child. The two will fall, leaving the child orphaned. This child will grow to be the most powerful metahuman ever known. Anything his heart desired will be his. Anything his mind can think of will be his creation. With only a pen and paper, he could destroy the world with a single sentence." Dinah's eyes were focused on me and all I had to say. She looked horrified, almost as if she couldn't take anymore destruction and prophecies of more doom to come.
"How do we stop someone like that?!"
"By raising him." Everything froze. Dinah's face, which was going from horrified back to surprised, stilled, and I looked around. Before me stood an angry seven year old.
"We warned you about revealing their destiny-"
"You said only that I couldn't tell Carolyn, and I haven't. You never said I couldn't tell Helena or Dinah. She had to know that things will be alright. Just those words alone would have meant nothing to her. She's so lost and she needed something." I said, and Elizabeth said nothing to that. "You know," I dared to say, "I think you wanted me to tell her, otherwise you would have stopped me earlier."
"It would have confused her if you stopped in midsentence."
"You know you could have erased her memory of it all. You're making up excuses, Elizabeth."
"If I erase her memory, part of her will always know, be it deja vu, her dreams, or anything."
"She'll be okay. I have great faith in her."
"So does He, but she's not ready for it yet." Elizabeth looked up, then back to me. "You got lucky. He's going to keep the dreams of this conversation at bay for another year. By then all of this will have settled down some. Until then, I've to to erase this, rewind the moment, and you've got to play as a guardian of comfort, alright?" I nodded, feeling stupid for being chastised by a girl half my height. Elizabeth grabbed Dinah's hand and I walked to the spot I started from, and the scene went backwards. "And... once more with feeling. Selena, be good."
"Yes Mother," I said as Dinah unfroze. When she saw me, she jumped to her feet with the same surprise/fear she had before. "You're okay," I said again. "I've just come by to say that you're okay." Dinah looked hesitant, but felt she had to ask her question.
"Do you know where Barbara is? We can't find her."
"Maybe you don't have to look too far for her," I said. "She's coming back. She just had to think." Dinah nodded. "If my hands didn't go through stuff I'd play you a few hands of Rummy to pass the time."
"And I don't know if you've got a deck of cards around here. If you ever do though, get Helena to teach to you play. It's her favorite card game." Dinah was silent for a moment more.
"I never thought, you know, that I would ever get to meet you."
"I know you've seen me before," I said with a small nod.
"I've always wanted to meet you so that I could say I'm sorry... I'm sorry I couldn't save you."
"Oh hush now. You were just a young cub. No one would have believed you, Dinah, and you didn't know exactly if the dream was real or not. I was supposed to go when I did, Helena was meant to stay and train with Barbara, and you were meant to come here. Everything is going exactly the way it should."
"Destiny, then." Dinah said, not in a question.
"I suppose so, yeah." There was the sound of Helena's boots, and Carolyn materialized next to me.
"She's your daughter alright, sheesh," Carolyn said, and I laughed as I watched Dinah look from the three of us, Helena, Carolyn, and me. When her gaze went back to Helena, her eyes softened, and I knew we had become invisible to her.
I don't think either of our daughters knew we were there anymore. "You okay, Dinah?" Helena asked.
"Eh- yeah, considering." Helena stood watching her.
"You're not hurt or nothin'?" Dinah smirked.
"Be glad Barbara wasn't here to hear that sentence. She'd scold you for the bad grammar."
"Yeah, she would."
"But physically, I am fine. My wounds from the fight are almost nonexistent."
"What about emotional?" Helena asked as if she was afraid to know. Dinah made a slicing motion from her neck outward.
"Whole different story."
"Yeah." Helena agreed in a low voice. "Look, Dinah, I'm sorry I've been avoiding you."
"You don't have to apologize-"
"Yeah, I do. I need to. I've well- uh.... I've been having troubles with- uh- the things I've been feeling lately- uh... for you." Dinah looked confused, but her eyes stayed on Helena. Slowly her lips smirked. "I-It's hard to- well- explain-"
"I'm in love with you too."
"She was always blunt as a kid. No doubt the Redmonds took that trait from her." I murmured, and Selena took my hand. When I looked at her, I was surprised to see that we were back in our neighborhood in Heaven. When I looked back at our two daughters, Helena looked flustered, and Dinah reached out for her hand. Helena took it.
"I think things are going to turn out okay. Good things just have to come from all of this. Come on, we've got to find Barbara," Dinah said, and Helena nodded. They shared a kiss, but it was clumsy. Dinah didn't know how to position her head, and Helena found out too late that Dinah was even leaning in. Together, after a giggle, the two of them went down to the Delphi, where Barbara had left a note.
"Okay, the three main places to ever find her are here, school, and New Gotham Park. Here, and there she's got her apartment, but ever since you got here, she's been staying here. Those are the obvious places, and she wouldn't want to go there if she doesn't want to be found." Helena looked at the note while she said all this.
"Yeah, she'd know we'd look for her there first, so where else do we go about looking for her?"
"Good question. It's pretty late, and not many places where you can be alone would be open at this point."
"Well, she's grieving. What about the places she and Wade had gone to together?" Helena thought this over for a moment.
"Got it, let's go." I watched as Helena and Dinah hurried hand in hand to the sidewalk where their jeep was and they climbed in. They sped off into the night and went to a restaurant I had gone by a couple of times right before I died, once on my way to the Clocktower where I'd heard from Alfred that Barbara was, so I could ask for her help in locating Dinah, and once on my way to No Man's Land where I needed to talk to Dinah. It had a beautiful flower garden for people who wanted to dine outside. I wondered when Wade and Barbara had gone there, since it was the first couple of weeks of winter, and I was sure the flowers had been dead for a while. At any rate, they were right. She was there.
"How did you two find me?" Barbara asked, looking between the two, then down at their joined hands.
"That doesn't matter now, Barbara. We just want you to come home," Helena said.
"I was going to. I just needed some time to figure things out."
"I understand that but..."
"Hey," Dinah cut in, and both Helena and Barbara looked at her. "This? Yeah, it sucked. It really did. None of us will ever heal from it, and there will be reminders of it everyday. But us three... and Alfred of course, we're all we've got. We've got to figure it out together, 'cause that's what families do. Was I wrong in assuming we were a family?"
"No you weren't wrong," Barbara said quickly, then smirked. "Moving speech, Dinah."
"Yes. Let's go home, make some coffee, and figure this out. Together."
"All for one and one for all, catch your pants before they fall." Helena added in.
"No more Casper for you," Barbara murmured as they left the restaurant.
"No even that one with Wendy?"
"Ew, no young Lizzy McGuire!" Dinah said a little loudly with a look of disgust on her face.
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