We All Fall Down
FANDOM: Birds of Prey TV
DISCLAIMER: I own none of the characters. No harm or infringement intended, and absolutely no profit was made.
SPECIAL THANKS: To SH (especially for the beta'ing), Bardly and Ash for the encouragement though they knew not what evil I was up to, except for SH who is my sistah in evil glee
"Quinzel!" The gruff voice violated her restful nap. "Lawyer's here to see you. Up and at 'em."
"It's Quinn." she informed the man. "Or Harley. Or Harley Quinn." She didn't even bother to open her eyes while addressing him from where she lay in her Orwellian theme room. That is, her cell. She didn't get visitors. And no lawyer would come near her with a ten foot pole. So.
"Whatever," the guard grunted. His name was Joe Nobody, Quinn decided long ago during her stay. Smiled at the thought and the thoughts that trailed after it, like what she would do to Joe Nobody, all the Joe Nobodys, if she got the chance.
"Listen Quinzel, I don't have all day. Either get your keister off your bunk and put yourself into position or I tell the pretty lady lawyer no dice."
Pretty lady lawyer?
Perhaps something interesting would happen today after all. Quinn opened her eyes and smiled engagingly at good guard Joe.
"Well, then, by all means let's not keep the lawyer waiting." She sat up and knelt on the floor, placing her hands on top of her head, facing away from the door, waiting.
She didn't stir a hair as he put the cuffs on her wrists. She stood under his careful supervision. And then they proceed down the maze of corridors that is Arkham Asylum until a series of security doors are all that stand between her and her visitor.
To Quinn's surprise, she wasn't taken to the usual clear octagonal cell to speak with her visitor safely outside and out of her reach. Instead, she was brought to the room for the less violent inmates. A room with a long table dividing it in two and a barrier of unbreakable glass further dividing the upper half. A single metal chair was on her side. Waiting.
The grey room was for the less violent, less psychotic and insane of the criminally insane members of Arkham. Quinn knew full well that this room was not meant for the likes of her. And she was proud of the fact. Pleased at her want for chaos and pain. A girl has to take pride in something after all.
She was pushed unceremoniously into the chair and Quinn got the first look at who has arranged this meeting. It was the very last person she expected.
"Thank you officer Strainmer," Dinah Redmond offered the man, face warm and friendly.
"No problem at all Mrs. Bertinelli. Glad to help the DA's office any way we can. Good luck with this one."
Quinn didn't watch him go, having eyes only for the young woman sitting across from her. "Mrs. Bertinelli?"
"He sees and believes what I want him to, that I'm an attractive woman in her thirties working for the DA, and have every right to speak privately to an inmate."
The voice was lower than Quinn remembered, the face thinner. She seemed older. Older than a normal eight months could account for. Quinn filed in her mind every thing Helena ever mentioned about the young woman, recalled what few times she saw her. The lines on her face were more prominent, a shadow to her expression that spoke of loss and leaving maturity that the sunshine complexion wouldn't warrant. But there it was. She was also wearing all black, black shirt and a long black coat over it, lying open. Quinn would bet there were black pants below the table where she couldn't see, and perhaps combat boots. No discernable scars, and Quinn would have heard if anything happened to Helena. Curious as to the changes, she decided she would see what this is about. See what came of all that sunny brilliance that used to shine from the girls' face. In the woman sat across from her now. Oh, she still had the long sunshine hair and the smile she had offered the guard had matched. But the smile had never reached those blue-grey eyes. And Dinah certainly wasn't smiling now.
Intriguing, Quinn thought. "Hypnosis?" she asked, referring to how Dinah had arranged this visit.
"During Helena's sessions with you, she never mentioned what my meta powers were?" Dinah enquired.
Quinn pressed her lips thoughtfully, "No, though I did see you shove a couple of my men around the clock tower without touching them. Telekinesis?"
"Yes, among other things," The young woman supplied, calm, casual even, except the intensity of her eyes. "Hypnosis isn't one of them."
Among other things. Quinn mused the words over. Then she laughed, "Well, hypnosis was one of mine. If only for a little while. Such a shame the power wore off, but at least I managed to have some fun with you all first."
She smiled maliciously, deliberately goading Sunshine to see what she would do. Instead, Sunshine was cold, her expression much cooler than Quinn would have expected her capable of. No discernable reaction to her mention of the night she hurt them all, violated their home, their lives.
"What do you want?" Quinn asked suddenly, disappointed by the lack of reaction.
Blue-grey eyes flash momentarily, more grey than blue, "There are some things I need to know, and only you can tell me."
Quinn frowns internally, that moment where her eyes changed ...there was something Quinn found familiar there, something close to her, but she couldn't place it. It had come and gone too fast.
"You've changed." Quinn said.
"You haven't," Dinah stated quietly, not letting her frustration of the physical barrier between them show. Her powers had grown to the point where she could influence others from a distance, but when she needed a deep reading meant she needed touch.
Quinn placed her elbows on the table, laced her fingers together and leaned her chin on top of them. She scrutinized Dinah while curling her lip up slyly.
"So how is my dear, sweet Helena? Lovely as usual I assume."
"As if Helena could be anything less," the young woman replied honestly.
"Indeed," dark eyes gleamed maliciously. "And how have they been, Barbara and Helena and you, after my little visit?"
"You're never far from our thoughts," also the truth. Dinah watched helplessly over the past months as they all tried to put back together the pieces of the clock tower and themselves. The tower was fixed, better than new. But Barbara and Helena were wasting away. Barbara had become even more isolated and remote, afraid to let anyone close. Afraid of another loved one becoming a victim. And Helena, out every night, more reckless than ever, her desperation fuelled by her guilt and her rage. And her despair at having hurt the one she loves like no other. Barbara was no better. The blame they each carried tearing them apart, making them mere ghosts of the vibrant people Dinah knew and loved. And longed to protect. The woman in front of her now, all she had done to them, had become a seething, festering presence in their lives. And as leaching the very heart of them away.
Dinah shut her eyes against it all. A brief illusory respite. She knew too much. And closing her eyes wouldn't make that knowledge go away. And yet she also knew too little.
She opened her eyes and regarded Quinn closely. "If I ask you some questions, will you answer them honestly?"
Quinn tilted her head, a little puzzled but intrigued. "Perhaps. If you make it worth my while."
The young woman didn't blink, "How?"
"Quid pro quo. I answer your questions," Quinn's smile twits up into a twisted evil thing, "and you answer mine."
This was too important to Dinah, she nodded once, "Fine."
Quinn leans forward eagerly, "Excellent. Murder and mayhem are fun but a girl does miss her hobbies. Like psychiatry. Getting into people's heads, tinkering with their minds."
"I've never enjoyed it." Dinah said quite. Again, some vague recognition in those eyes, like a far away siren, twinged in Quinn's head. Again, she couldn't place the reason for it. She did however discern Dinah's cryptic comment, if not the tone.
"You're a telepath," she breathed excitedly, "That and telekinesis. My, my, you area a surprising little girl."
"Hardly little. And hardly a girl."
Quinn waved her comment off, "Fine, fine. Now lets start. Go ahead, ask your first question."
She watched the young woman's jaw tense before speaking, "Why did you sleep with Helena?"
Astonished at the unexpected question, let alone Dinah's directness, Quinn blinked though her smile never faltered. "Helena and I never slept together." The words filled with the heat of things other than slumber.
Blue-grey eyes narrowed , "You know exactly what I'm asking. " Dinah's tone held a growing heat too, but of a very different nature.
"Do I? You know Dinah, if you don't ask me exactly what it is you want to know, then I can't answer you appropriately now can I?"
"Having sex with your patient is hardly appropriate." Dinah ground out.
With a sardonic toss of her head, Quinn gestures to herself, "I was the criminal mastermind of New Gotham. A thief. A murderer. And let's not forget criminally insane. The breaking of a few rules of propriety is hardly a matter I'd blink at."
Dinah shook her head in frustration, "This won't do." She stood up.
Quinn frowned. "You're not giving up already and leaving? Don't you have any stamina? Helena never lacked in that area." she leered gleefully.
Quinn jumped back as the see-through barrier suddenly cracked in front of her.
"You'll want to step back from the glass." Dinah told her emotionlessly from where she stood at the far end of the room on her side. Her hands were hidden in her long coat pockets, her face impassive.
Quinn scrambled back and not a moment too soon. One second, cracks formed and multiplied before her eyes, the next, she was shielding herself from the glass shattering everywhere in a spray of shards. The unbreakable broken.
Maybe she had focussed her efforts on the wrong damaged hero, Quinn thought.
The young woman walked back over to the table between them, her boots crunching over the broken glass. She dusted the glass off her jacket as she moved. With one hand, she easily leapt over the debris covered table to stand in front of the crouched form of Quinn.
Quinn stood, shaking glass out of her red prison garb and her short hair. There was some blood on her scalp from the glass but that didn't bother her. The sight of blood on her hands had an entirely different effect on Quinn, as did violence and destruction.
It amused her to discover that Dinah was taller than her. "I don't hear any alarms. And no guards are rushing to your rescue."
"The guards are sleeping after a telepathic nudge from me. The alarms I disabled with some fine telekinesis. As for rescuing," she glanced down at Quinn's handcuffs and they suddenly snapped apart, freeing the criminal's hands. "I think it's too late for either of us."
She told all this to Quinn while regarding her closely. Then she truly shocked Quinn when she exhaled and touched Quinn, running her hands through her hair.
"You missed some glass." Dinah explained but Quinn noticed how her hands lingered on her skin, brushing against her face, her neck, in their supposed search.
"How thoughtful of you," Quinn murmured, her face so close to Dinah's she couldn't see the younger woman's eyes. She wished fervently that she could. "You wanted to know if I had sex with Helena?" she lowered her voice, so close to a pink ear.
"I know you had sex. I want to know why."
The intensity of the woman was a vibrant, pulsing thing. Quinn liked it, guessed it's source. She pulled back just enough to stare up into that complicated gaze.
"What do you want to know Dinah?" her own fingers touched the other woman's face and she didn't flinch from the caress. "Why I fucked her? Or what it felt like when Helena fucked me?"
There it was, what Quinn was watching for. Dinah's pupils dilated, her breathing shallow. The hands in Quinn's hair convulsed once, sharply. "I didn't come here for this."
"On the contrary," Quinn husked, "I think that's exactly why you're here."
"I came here to find out-" Dinah started to protest but still did not draw back from Quinn's nor did she push her away.
"I don't care what pretences you came under. The truth is you, my dear telepath, can't get the real thing. So you came here to take what you could get. Second hand memories."
"I don't." she pulled back, at least she began to, but Quinn stopped her.
Heedless of the danger to herself, fully aware that Dinah could harm her, a fact which exited the older woman immensely, Quinn gripped Dinah's face, held it firmly between her hands. "You did. And you do. Quid pro quo remember? I'll tell you everything, even let you inside my mind. Tell me first, you want Helena don't you?"
A couple of ragged breaths caressed her Quinn's lips. The answer came out in a rush, "Yes, I want Helena."
"And she doesn't even know you exist, does she?" Quinn's tone was both sympathetic and mocking.
"No, she doesn't know I love her," Dinah reached up, grabbed Quinn's wrists and pulled her hands away from her face. She stepped back but kept a hold of Quinn's hands.
Quinn found Dinah's apparent need for constant physical contact intriguing, arousing, and possibly something to exploit. "You mean Helena doesn't know you want her."
It wasn't really a question, but Dinah answered her, "No, she doesn't. And I won't tell her."
Quinn looked up into eyes that held sadness like clouds hold rain. The sight killed her first desire to smirk at the young woman. Instead, she said quite compassionately, "You don't tell her because you know it wouldn't change anything. I should say, it wouldn't change it the way you want it to. She'd never accept that kind of love, such devotion and desire, from someone she views as a little kid, the sister she never had."
"That's right. Helena doesn't, couldn't want me the way I need." Every word spoken was a tear.
Quinn considered her. "It must gall you that she gave herself to me. Gave me what she will never give to you. You who loves her, who's kind and decent and all things good like sunshine and flowers."
"Did you?" Dinah asked, gaze hot.
"Love her? Did you honestly think I did?" Quinn laughed at her derisively.
"Why did you sleep with her?" Dinah persisted.
"Why? Because I could. Because she's beautiful and wild and had so much potential for violence."
The grip on Quinn's hands tightened painfully, "I can tell whether you're lying or not. You're not quite lying but there's more than you're saying. It's not the real reason you slept with her. The main one. Tell me."
Quinn did smirk now, "The real reason you already know. Helena loves Barbara. And Barbara's straighter than beam of light. I did it because I could, because I knew it would torment Helena, drive a wedge between them. Helena was Barbara's but I wanted Helena to be all mine to control."
After a moment, Dinah nodded, letting go of Quinn, "You're telling the truth."
Quinn shrugged, "The truth pains you more than any lie could. Now it's my turn. Did you know she's in love with Barbara?"
Wary eyes met hers, "Of course." The words came out rough with barely suppressed emotions.
"And how did you find out about me and Helena?" Quinn takes that one step that closes the distance between them again. "Did she tell you?"
Dinah glanced away, "No, she didn't tell me."
"So you invaded her mind, took what you wanted to know with your telepathy? Violated the woman you say you're in love with?"
"No!" Dinah cried out and shoved Quinn back. Quinn stumbled up against the wall and watched with growing excitement as Dinah began to pace amongst the broken glass.
Her back to Quinn, hands clenched at her sides, she spoke, anguished, "It wasn't like that. She was so sad all the time. And angry. She was in so much pain and I just wanted to comfort her... so I hugged her. I didn't mean to see her memories but that's when I saw you two together. She hates herself for it. I can't help what I see."
"No?" Quinn tapped her a finger to her lip thoughtfully. "How does our power work? Do you receive feelings? Thoughts?"
Dinah stared off at nothing. "I see what they see. Feel what they feel. When I touch someone, skin on skin, I can't block it out. I experience what they do fully as if I were that person."
"So what you received from Helena was the whole virtual experience of what she did to me, what I did to her..." Quinn's voice came from closer than before.
"Yes." Dinah confirmed, she closed her eyes and it washed over her again. Helena in Quinn's office, pushing her against the desk, kissing Quinn, caressing her, sliding down her body. Dinah recalled every sight, sound and scent as if she were there. She felt Helena's attraction to Quinn, her trust in her at that time. She felt Helena's rising need to quell the ache of wanting someone she could never have.
"She knew I wanted her," Quinn told Dinah softly by her ear. Dinah's eyes flew open at the shiver of heat coming from the nearness of Quinn's body right behind her. Quinn's hands squeezed her shoulders, rubbed her arms. "And she very much needed a woman to want her. It must pain you that she chose me over you. Me, who betrayed every trust she gave me and you being so noble and in love. It hurts, that she chose me over you, doesn't it?"
"Yes," Dinah squeezed out past a tightening throat.
"I can make that pain go away. I can give you what she won't." At those words, Quinn's hands moved down and clasped Dinah's clenched hands. And suddenly, Dinah was bombarded with the memories of Helena making love to her - no, making love to Quinn.
Dinah shuddered from the desired experience, tried to break Quinn's hold on her, stagger away. But Quinn released a hand to wrap an arm around Dinah's waist and pull her body back tightly up against Dinah's trembling length.
She pressed her cheek against the younger woman's neck. Her words when they came, were low and insistent. "I can give her to you. Let you be inside me, inside my body, inside my head. Feel what it's like to be fucked by Helena. That's what you want, it's all you want isn't it?"
"Yes!" Dinah cried out, wrenched herself free enough to twist around in Quinn's arms and grab Quinn's face in her hands. Mouths collided against each other in a searing kiss. The contact and her flaring telepathy washed a series of Quinn's memories over her.
She felt a strange triple play. There was the physical pleasure of kissing another woman, of the woman sliding her tongue in her mouth, entering her there, as well as her mind. Through the contact, she felt Quinn's desire. Desire for Dinah. For this. While feeling both their desires Dinah was also overcome with the strong echo of memories as Quinn actively recalled Helena kissing her, sending it to Dinah, causing Dinah to feel as if it was Helena kissing her. Dinah took in the way Helena smelled of leather, the texture of her lips as she caressed her mouth, the insistence of Helena's tongue in her mouth, and hands grabbing her, reaching under her clothes to tease over sensitized skin.
Dinah moaned against the mouth under hers, eyes shut tightly. A part of her cried inside but another part deep down inside was at last set free.
Quinn tore her mouth away, her hands sliding up Dinah's tense, trembling body. Just like Helena had done to Quinn. The double onslaught of physical contact and coveted memories washed over Dinah. Overwhelmed her.
"Helena," she breathed, had always longed to sigh just like this.
"Yes." A voice purred low and sickly sweet in her ears.
Dinah surrendered, letting Quinn push her up against the table just like Helena had done to Quinn. Let her kiss her, caress her breasts, kneed them painfully. Her need doubled as she felt aroused not only by the touches, but also by Quinn's memory of her own pleasure.
Through her telepathy and Quinn's mind's eye, it was easy to pretend it wasn't Quinn, but Helena unzipping her pants. Pretend it was an office and not an asylum. With eyes shut tight and through Quinn's memory she saw violet eyes staring up at her intimately. Watched as the dark head lowered and she felt the incredible silky rasp of a warm, demanding tongue. Quinn consciously moved it like Helena had, flooding Dinah with the memory. Dinah gripped short hair, imagining it was dark instead of blonde, and pressed the head closer to her aching sex, grinding herself against the woman kneeling between her legs. It's what she wanted for so very long, to have Helena take her like this. Feel her fingers pushing inside hr, filling her, stretching her. Feel Helena's tongue riding her, driving her up and over the edge of orgasm so fast and hard that Dinah shouted out Helena's name, convulsing, shaking, her whole body coming apart in crash after crash of sensation.
Dinah slowly became aware of her surroundings, of the way she held onto the woman holding her. Holding her so close, whispering sweet comforting lies in her ear. Running a hand through her long hair, letting Dinah weep softly into the shoulder that wore prison reds, not a leather duster and dark tee.
"That was beautiful Dinah," Quinn's voice floated into her. "So lovely. So breathtakingly lovely."
Dinah trembled in those arms, at the words said with such tenderness. Words she always dreamt Helena would say to her. If only.
If only it wasn't all a lie.
She pushed Quinn away and back but Dinah stays right in front of her. Following the script in Quinn's memory, she knew what happened next between Quinn and Helena. Knew it, wanted it. Wanted to believe in the lie a little longer, pretend she had her heart's desire. So she pressed Quinn up against the wall just like Quinn had done to Helena. She kissed her roughly, tasting herself on Quinn's lips, as well as the memory of Quinn's own taste from Quinn's memory of kissing Helena afterwards. Dinah felt the texture of Helena's lips thanks to Quinn's mind. Quinn and Helena were close enough to the same height and slender build, that it made it easier to pretend it was Helena' shirt Dinah ripped open, Helena's breast she bit and suckled at, Helena's moans that filled her ears.
Dinah knelt on the broken glass that covered the floor, ignoring the shards cutting into her knees. It was easy to ignore that pain when so much more than glass sliced into her soul. She drove three fingers up inside the woman, feeling both the sensation of being inside Quinn and Helena simultaneously. She thrust eagerly and licked the heated folds of the woman's sex, allowing Quinn's memories of Helena to superimpose dinah's reality. For Dinah, it was Helena she moved deeply inside, Helena's wetness coating her face, Helena's taste filling her mouth, Helena's sex trembling against her tongue. She felt Helena getting close to the brink, felt her start to come. And her words that tore at the remains of her heart.
"Barbara," Helena sighed as she came.
"Helena," Quinn gasped as she climaxed, pulsing around Dinah's hand, against her mouth.
In that moment of total abandon, the last of Quinn's mental walls collapsed and Dinah was finally able to see into Quinn's mind and heart completely. She saw it all. She saw who and what Quinn once was, is, and would be.
Dinah treated her gently, drawing out the orgasm, even letting her recover before withdrawing her hand. She stood up, eyes wide open, watching Quinn leaning hard against the wall, clothing askew, freshly fucked and looking pleased.
When Dinah caressed her face, Quinn's eyes fluttered open. "That's quite the gift you have."
"It's not a gift," Dinah told her, voice quiet and laden with hidden sorrows.
Puzzled by her tone, Quinn leaned into the gentle touch and asked, "Regrets already my love?"
"It's not me you love." Dinah smoothed Quinn's hair back from her face. "It's Helena."
Quinn's laugh trickled out like a trill of dissonant bells. "Are you sure you shouldn't be committed to an asylum as well? I'm not in love with her."
"Yes, you are," she informed the older woman, straightening Quinn's clothes for her as best she could. "That's the real reason why you had sex with her. And it's why you killed Wade and used Helena to betray Barbara. Destroy their friendship. Destroy Barbara. All so that Helena would be yours and yours alone."
Quinn regarded her warily, mindful of her tender ministrations. She noticed the blood on other woman's legs. "You're bleeding Dinah."
"In more ways that I care to say." Dinah sighed and stepped back. Quinn shivered at the sudden lack of body heat.
"I thought it would be easier if I could hate you," Dinah told Quinn. "But it's hard to hate someone when you know everything, everything there is, about them. Who they are, who they were, all their hurts and every thing from big to small that destroyed them and made them along the way."
That oddly familiar look crept back into those blue-grey eyes. Quinn shivered again, this time in apprehension.
"I don't understand," Quinn said.
"I know," Dinah's expression filled with compassion. "I saw that you love Helena and the way you love her. Absolute and without conscience. I saw how you can't express your love without violence. I saw how you plan to break out of here. And I saw what you planned to do to Barbara and Helena after you do."
Quinn peered into that solemn face, as sombre as death. And she feared. "What are you going to do?"
"What I have to do," Dinah explained calmly and terribly, awfully pained even amidst her resolve. "Because I love them. Because I'll do what's necessary to protect them."
Staring at her, Quinn at last recognized the look in those guileless eyes. She'd seen it before in other faces. Most especially in the mirror looking at herself. The look someone has as they descend into madness. The look they have before they kill.
"It doesn't have to be this way." Quinn's voice shook, her heart thundering in her ears.
Dinah shook her head slowly, "There's no other way to keep them safe. From either of us."
"They'll hate you for it." Quinn warned her, pleaded with her. Hoping it would stop what's coming.
"I know they will, but they'll be safe. And maybe having Helena hate me will be better than being invisible to her. Being nothing to her." Dinah regards the room in shambles around them, their bleeding legs, Quinn's trembling form. "Don't worry Harleen," Dinah assured her gently, "this won't hurt. Not even a little. I just reach in, and turn your mind off. It will be sudden. No fade to black. No swallowing darkness. Just off. No pain. I promise."
Harleen Quinzel, also known as Harley Quinn, tried to tear her eyes from the clear ones holding hers, tried to stall. "Wait! Why do this when you and I could get her together. Or I could change, prove myself to you. You don't need to do this to me. To yourself. I can change. Don't do this. Don't turn my mind, my life, off-