Older, But Wiser?
FANDOM: Birds of Prey (comics)
PAIRING: Oracle/Huntress, past Black Canary/Oracle
DISCLAIMERS: DC Comics owns these characters.
ADVERTISEMENT: Part of the The FemSlash Advent Calendar :: Dead of Winter 2007 - http://fsac.shatterstorm.net/yule2007/.
Date in Calendar/Word Count: November 23rd, 2007 - 860 words.
SUMMARY: Following the death of Commissioner Gordon, three women have to reevaluate where they stand in the world they've made.
CONTINUITY: Comic Verse, about five years in the future, follows At Life's Crossroad.
The lives of superheroes didn't get miraculously easier with time. If anything, each loss grieved made it a little harder to go out each night, when aches and pains of old injuries crowded in on top of soul-weariness. It didn't mean they stopped doing what they felt was right, though.
Oracle, being Oracle, didn't let her father's funeral stop her night activity. So, that same night, she was as live as she had been over the ten days since his shooting, death, and autopsy. As her chief operative, Huntress roamed the streets of Gotham, glad that at least the man's killer had been apprehended and was securely in prison. And for the first time in nearly six years, Black Canary ran the rooftops of Gotham, once more taking her orders from Oracle.
None of the three women would conscience letting the criminal element rejoice in the death of a good man. None of them would think to leave the police force out there unchecked, as emotions ran high. They were all about justice having a chance, even Huntress, now that she had years of experience tempered with compassion.
The only thing none of them knew was just where they stood once they came in off the streets. Helena and Barbara had made a life for themselves, partners in the hero world, committed in private to one another. When they had found themselves caught up in one another so personally, Barbara had allowed herself to be coaxed back to Gotham, knowing good and well that Helena had the city too deep in her blood to live in Metropolis permanently.
Now, Dinah had shown up in their lives, the wild card that Helena knew Barbara still loved in some way. Married and divorced, successful chair of the League for two years before she stepped down to let others lead, and currently at odd ends. She'd done many things before coming back to Gotham and yet it was quite clear in Helena's mind that the woman had no intention of leaving the city. Her worry now: how was that going to affect the relationship Helena had with Barbara?
Helena watched the woman she loved, and the one she respected, as they laughed softly, telling cop's-kid stories to one another over the bottle of wine Dinah had brought with her. Helena had cooked; which Dinah had teased her over and cooed at the results of. Barbara was relaxed, ready to start her night's work, even if she had insisted it would be better to let Huntress and Canary have a night off. A full week of running hard, together, getting to know each other's styles once again had taken a toll on their reserves. They just weren't as young as they once had been.
"I'll clean," Dinah offered, as Barbara pushed away from the table. She smiled to herself as she saw the discrete brush of Barbara's hand over Helena's as she passed by, as if she was giving her lover permission to talk with her ex-lover.
"I'll help, or Babs will fuss that nothing is where it belongs." Helena's tone was light, and she laughed at Barbara's protest of not being that obsessive compulsive…even as Barbara was taking her very particular path into the Oracle's Nest.
Between them, the two brunettes got everything from the table to the kitchen, where Dinah began washing dishes by hand.
As soon as she was sure Barbara was immersed in what Robin and Batwoman were doing for the night, Dinah spoke softly, initiating a conversation she knew had to come.
"You're worried why I'm here."
"You're her friend, have been for a long time," Helena said evenly, biting back any suspicious tones by force of will.
"That's all I am, Helena. All I can ever be, now." Dinah met the other woman's eyes clearly. "I am behind you and Barbara one hundred percent of the way. I have been this whole time."
"You are?" Helena had felt the carpet come out from under her feet because of Dick Grayson, once. She had long suspected Dinah had been more than an operative before Barbara finally admitted the truth, that almost from the first meeting face-to-face, Babs and Dinah had been lovers.
"Remember what I said when I left? I told you to take care of her. I meant it then, I mean it now…and I think you and she are better for each other than she and I ever were."
"So where does that leave us?" Helena asked.
Dinah smiled, scrubbing the platter she had in the water. "Well, I'm the odd girl out in a lot of ways."
"How so?" Helena wanted to hear just what the line of reasoning was, because if they were secure in who was sleeping with Barbara, things should be just fine and tight.
"I've never slept with Dick Grayson."
Their laughter was enough to distract Oracle into demanding they keep it down or she was sending them out anyway. And the shared laughter allowed the two brunettes to quickly settle back into a solid friendship, cornered by a shared love, no matter how different, of the woman behind their team.
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