FANDOM: Birds of Prey (comic)
PAIRING: Huntress/Oracle, Black Canary/Oracle
DISCLAIMERS: Birds of Prey belongs to DC and is currently in the creative hands of Gail Simone.
RATING: R/NC-17 for adult situations.
WORD COUNT: 1960
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is kind of... dark. Inspired by listening to too much of Sarah McLachlan's "Sweet Surrender" (DJ Tiesto mix, I believe). Dashed out really quickly, but if I decide I like it enough, I might edit it--I'm sure there are typos. D:
FEEDBACK: at greywing LJ .
"What is that?" Barbara asked, eying her agent with confusion-and what she carried in her hands with unease and wariness.
Helena shifted her weight to her other foot. A slight twist of her lips transformed the smile she had been wearing into something closer to a smirk. "An offer."
"A bottle of wine and a strap-on?"
Helena hung her head, smile widening into a mocking grin. "Your powers of observation never cease to astound, oh mighty Oracle."
Barbara stared at the objects and found her mouth dry. She swallowed. "What are you doing, Helena?"
The brunette raised her head and said, very quietly, "I think you can guess, Barbara."
"No, I don't think I can," the hacker quipped, steel in her voice.
The Italian pressed her lips together. They gazed evenly into each other's eyes, trying to divine the other's thoughts. Then Helena stepped close to her, towering over her, and lifted one hand, the hand holding the bottle of wine, and brushed her knuckles across Barbara's cheek.
"I'm offering you what you want," Helena said softly. She leaned down, her voice dropping lower, "I'm offering what he couldn't give you and what-and what no one else has."
Barbara could have-should have-smacked her, hit her, yelled at her, smacked her hand away, smashed the bottle of wine.
Helena's eyes roamed her face, watching her reaction carefully. She touched her again, grazing her with her knuckles, tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, and then leaned in, as if to kiss her, but turned her face aside at the last moment so that they were pressed cheek to cheek. Her breath was hot on Barbara's ear.
"I want to hear you beg me not to stop."
Barbara found herself barely breathing. She gazed over Helena's shoulder, feeling each slow, heavy breath, and found herself gazing at the pictures she kept within sight. She closed her eyes.
"Do you want that?" Helena asked.
Without a word, Barbara reached up and wrapped her hand around Helena's and slowly, lingeringly, took the bottle of wine from her grasp. When Helena pulled back, eyes intently searching hers, Barbara said, "The bottle opener's in the kitchen."
Helena watched her over the rim of her wineglass. They had drunk the bottle in near silence and now, pouring the last of it into Barbara's cup, the brunette hid behind her own. Barbara gazed into the depths of the blood-blushed liquid as if debating if she should drink it. Compromising, feeling the weight of Helena's gaze, she sipped at it, slowly, as if trying to extend time.
But Helena caught her eye and, with a gentleness that was almost absurd, caught the bottom of the glass on the tips of her fingers and carefully, slowly, raised it, forcing Barbara to drink. Warm, it slid down her throat. Hot, it settled in her middle, sending up a riot of nerves.
Helena gently took the glass from her hands and set it and her own aside. Barbara watched her every moment. Helena watched her watch her.
When she leaned over Barbara, pushing her into the cushions of the couch, the redhead reached for the buttons of her shirt, but the brunette caught her hands in a gentle, but firm grip.
"No," she said softly, speaking for the first time in what felt like forever-or maybe for what felt like the first time-, "let me."
A part of Barbara wanted-needed-to say no.
Which was why she stopped resisting.
And she yearned.
Her hands went limp in Helena's grasp. And Helena lifted them and pressed them to her lips and then pressed her lips to Barbara's.
She tasted like wine.
Hands slipped over her, under her, slid down the length of her, down, down past the point where she could feel and then right back up again, heat and fire igniting under their paths, re-treading where lips had traveled and marked her, where teeth had nipped-gently, roughly, sometimes almost painfully-at her flesh, and where Helena had enjoyed the taste of her, dipping her tongue into the hollows of bone and skin and muscle.
And it was slow. And it was methodical.
"Do you like that?" Helena whispered into her skin and Barbara nodded or gasped or moaned and still it went on. Slow. Methodical.
"Do you want me to stop?"
Almost delirious, Barbara shook her head. She had been afraid, at first, afraid of what Helena planned to do, afraid of not being able to respond, afraid of not responding at all, but Helena seemed to understand, seemed to have a patience that Oracle rarely ever saw. She plied her with care, attention, and time-so much time, minute melting into minute with her touch, and still she went on, slow, methodical.
"Do you want me to stop?" she asked again.
Barbara shook her head again.
"What?" Helena said, lifting her head.
Barbara listened to her pounding heart, each panting breath. She swallowed.
Helena worked her way lower, deliberate in her slow trek, until she had gone well beyond Barbara's limit. Barbara closed her eyes, bit her lip.
"Helena," she whispered, the words burning through her throat, "I can't-"
"Do you want me to stop?" Helena cut her off, words even and calm.
Barbara's hands balled into fists, jaw clenching, small muscles in her cheeks jumping.
"No," she said. It was barely a sigh.
But Helena heard her and slid herself up along the length of her body, levering herself up on her elbows.
She gazed down at Barbara and asked, "Are you ready?"
Barbara bit back a laugh that might have come out hysterical. They stared at each other for a long time and then suddenly Barbara wrapped her arms around Helena's neck, clinging. She put her lips next to Helena's ear, inhaling the scent of her agent, of herself on Helena's skin.
She didn't feel anything.
She knew she wouldn't.
But Helena didn't know that.
And Barbara wouldn't tell Helena, wouldn't hold back the gasps that she knew she wanted to hear, the quiet mewlings from deep in throat, the pants of pleasure she remembered once being genuine.
Helena laughed in her hair, labored breath blowing strands of red hair, and whispered, harsh, "You don't think I know how to fake it? You don't think I can't tell?"
Barbara pulled back, stared at her in shock, and then gasped when Helena thrust against her, hard.
She felt that.
"Don't stop," Barbara gasped into a shoulder, hands splayed across Helena's back, now gripping, now curling in deep scratches across the brunette's back. She bit into the finely muscled shoulder to keep back a load moan. "Don't stop."
It was... nothing like she remembered and yet exactly how she wanted to remember it. She lay still, Helena atop her, nose buried against her clavicle, trying to catch her breath. Beneath Barbara's hands, she felt the small movements of Helena's muscles, could feel in her own body the small electric twinges, maybe even in her legs-phantom spasms.
Barbara passed her hand over Helena's hair, as much to feel the softness of it as to keep Helena's head bowed. Like that, she couldn't see the tears in Barbara's eyes.
When Barbara woke up, she was alone. When Barbara next saw Helena, they didn't speak of what happened that night.
Barbara never asked Helena why she did it. Helena never made Barbara the offer again.
Neither ever knew how Dinah found out about it.
"Do you love her?" Dinah asked quietly, arms crossed. She was leaning against the counter in what should have been a casual manner, but tension inhabited every muscle of her body, unhidden by fishnets and leather.
Huntress glanced at her and then wearily reached up and removed her mask. "Does it matter?"
"Jesus, Helena, you just-you just-"
"It had nothing to do with love," the brunette said quietly.
Dinah stared at her uncomprehendingly. "Nothing to do with love? Then why...? Was it lust?"
"No," Helena said, meeting her gaze squarely.
"I gave Barbara what she needed."
"What she needed? What-" Dinah gestured helplessly. "A good-"
"Fuck?" Helena supplied bluntly. "Yes."
Dinah stared at her friend-her friend, whom she had trusted-her friend, to whom she had entrusted her best friend.
"Did you rape her?" she asked, barely above a whisper.
Helena lifted one perfectly sculpted eyebrow. "You think I forced myself on her? Because I brought the strap-on?" For a second she looked thoughtful and a feeling of dread filled Dinah's stomach. Then the brunette shook her head and shrugged. "No, she consented. Like the adult she is." She looked into Dinah's eyes searchingly. "Do you really think me capable of something like that?"
Dinah shook her head and put her head in her hands. "I don't know what to think."
Helena gazed at her, pity in her eyes. She placed a hand on the blonde's shoulder. "I'll tell you what I don't understand."
Dinah waited but Helena didn't continue. She raised her eyes until they met Helena's.
"I don't understand why you've never done what I did."
Dinah stared at her.
Helena smiled, grim and somber. "I think she would have wanted it to be you."
Dinah shook her head, not understanding. In an eye blink, a mess of emotions passed through those gray-blue eyes; then Helena squeezed her shoulder, smile turning somehow both sad and encouraging.
"She's not afraid now, Dinah." Then, walking past Dinah, "I did what she had to do."
"I'm sorry it has to be this way, Helena."
"We both know this is the best thing for all of us."
They gazed at each other.
"You did a lot of good here," Barbara said quietly.
Helena nodded. "Thanks. You didn't turn out so bad yourself."
"We'll... this team will miss you. If you ever want to come back-"
"I don't think that'll happen, Barbara. I think it's time that we both move on."
They lapsed into silence.
"You're welcome here anytime."
Helena said nothing.
Barbara closed her eyes. In a whisper: "Thank you."
Helena smiled and kissed her cheek, lips lingering, and then, as if simply saying goodbye, she kissed the other, quick and perfunctory. She had put her hand on Barbara's shoulder for balance but now found it hovering close to the redhead's cheek. She pulled it back.
"Take care," Helena said softly.
Barbara smiled and it might have been sad. "You, too."
Of all people, Barbara wasn't expecting her.
She looked uncertain, small in the doorway of the elevator, guarded in the way her eyes never seemed to settle on the hacker. Barbara turned her chair around slowly to face her, but she didn't go to her. Maybe before she would have, but not tonight.
The figure stepped into the room, quiet, arms crossed. Barbara watched her every step, trying to convey warmth in her gaze, encouragement in her smile. She stopped before her, silent, eyes shimmering in the green glow, liquid and pained.
"I'm sorry," Dinah whispered.
Barbara smiled up at her, feeling tears prick at her own eyes. "Don't be."
"I didn't know."
Barbara reached out and took Dinah's hand between her own. "How could you have known?" She pressed Dinah's hand to her cheek, gazed up at the woman who had once been her partner.
Dinah bit her lip, which trembled. Then she burst into sobs and Barbara opened up her arms, pulled the blonde close, murmured in her ear.
They held each other close and wept.
"I'm ready now," Dinah whispered.
Barbara closed her eyes. "I am, too." She breathed in deeply.
"Welcome home, Dinah."