FANDOM: Birds of Prey TV
RATING/PAIRING: None - Helena
RATING: General readership.
DISCLAIMERS: Copyright violations occur, and I get descriptive with body fluids.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Don't get all excited, it's a bitty one-shot. More of a mood piece than anything. I was always a big fan of Jackie Chan movies, so here we are - an outtake from the grand yarn I put to bed in May. Because I like it, and I think it should play with other fics and learn to be social.
CATEGORY: Angst (what else?).
FEEDBACK: Hit me, I'm tough.
Blood drips on the cold marble in silent plops, crowning the black boots with each ruby spatter in the growing pool. Slowly, she lifts her head and blinks to clear the fuzziness from the earlier blow to her head. She stares at the place her body has brought her to on auto pilot; the place that her body knows to go to even when her mind is not functioning - like a lemming, or a salmon, this is where the animal in her brings her. And the human inside shakes its head in exasperation and starts to turn away. There is no quiet way to enter the clock tower anymore. Everyone has a code to punch in now - a code that needs to be manually verified by whoever is manning Delphi. And at this time she's sure there's no one manning Delphi who is awake. If she arrives at the clock tower now, she will surely wake Barbara who is sure to have gone to bed. But before she moves away, absently smudging the railing with dark streaks that the owners of the balcony will find the next morning and spend the next three nights losing sleep over, she glances back at the one place to which she always returns.
When the wind rushes over her face at eye-searing speed, she blinks the moisture out of her eyes, careful not to irritate the tired humour by smearing blood into the sensitive membrane. The uplifting burst of adrenaline hides the hollow pang of hitching hurt that comes from knowing that even though there is one place that she will always come back to; that she can always all home, she now needs permission every time she comes home; that she will never ever have free rein of it like she once did, and that it's her own fault.
The flesh is hot around her fingers, and pulsing; the liquid gushes, thick and saltily. Her finger fits neatly into the tightness causing a resurgence of liquid warmth, and she discovers why the bleeding hasn't stopped - the cut is half an inch deep, not a shallow laceration. Well, she thinks, that explains the dizziness. Her hand falls languidly against the counter as the spoon clatters in the sink and she abandons the carton of Chunky Monkey to go find the first aid kit.
The fabric irritates the wound when she lifts her hand. Annoyed, she rips the tight shirt without dropping the haemostatic applicator. Once free from the restriction, she pumps the chemical into the wound and presses the towel onto the cut and waits for five minutes, counting each stinging rush of blood past the traumatised flesh - three hundred and eighty. Seventy-six painful beats of her heart for each throbbing minute.
When she removes the towel there is still one large white corner left. She wonders if she should trash the towel the towel or just leave it in the cold water. The pristine white stain marring the deep red convinces her that she should keep the towel. After all why throw the poor thing away just because it got a little bloody, she asks herself as she rips the sterile packaging from the bandage. She has no patience for a careful dressing tonight so she wraps her entire chest to keep the pressure on the cut.
Once she starts to clean the ugly splashes of rusting clots, she cannot stop. She scrubs the counter tiles, the sink, the first aid box, the cabinet, the cabinet handles, the microwave oven where she steamed the towels, the large pasta bowl in which she soaked the cold towels. And by the time she returns to the pint of ice-cream she had set aside, it's splashed in blood and blood-pink water, and is too goopy to be eaten anyway. With a sigh she tosses the tub into the sink and reminds herself to eat a real breakfast in the morning.
She strips the sheet from the bed and lays it on the floor. She has no wish to invest in a new mattress on her limited budget just because she bled on her old one. Besides, this is something she's been doing for five years anyway.
She can't help thinking of her mom - her mom used to kiss it and make it go away; her mom used to hold her when she was sick. She knows that thinking about her mom is counter productive. So she tries to think of someone else, but she knows that's counter productive too. They've all moved on now - Barbara's no longer in mourning for Batgirl, and she herself has grown up. Adults aren't supposed to cry for their mommies just because they're alone in the night and they hurt.
She curls tighter 'round herself as the fever-chill takes over. The shiver rattles her bones until her teeth chatter and her breath comes in gasps. But, as she tucks herself into the corner next to the bed, she hugs the clean smelling pillow and allows herself this moment of indulgent self-pity - because her head hurts and her back is bruised; and she has a deep cut on her shoulder blade where she cannot reach to put in stitches and she knows, just knows that this one's going to leave a scar; and it stings so much, she can't really get comfortable on the floor; and, mostly, because she knows this feeling won't last.
In the morning, the fever will be gone and the gash on her back will be a thin healing weal of red that will only be an itchy annoyance; and she'll be back at her ass-kickingest meta-human, super-hero best. Goooo, meta! Putting the 'ta' back in ta da!