FANDOM: Birds of Prey TV
PAIRING: It's pre-relationship sort of, but it's headed twaords Barbara/Helena.
RATING: R (for language I'm sure).
DISCLAIMER: Don't own em, WB owns them (the company that loves to cancel series in their prime, still bitter about Birds of Prey and Angel), and some other people. I don't make money off writing, I merely do it to keep my sanity so the voices will shut the hell up for a few minutes.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Ok, I didn't beta this at all or really reread it, I was VERY bored at work, so I'm not even entirely sure this story will make any sense what so ever. I probably completely missed the characters voices, so in other words, expect utter crap, and maybe it'll be surprising? Other than that, I guess you could say this fic is both a little dark and a little cheesy, story of my life.
FEEDBACK: of course, it's what makes the muse happy, even the bad stuff, just send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARCHIVING: Ripley's Head. if you want it, just ask for it, though I'm not sure it's even archive worthy.
She had to wonder, would it hurt? If she let herself fall, flail helpless in the air, to return silently to the darkness she was sure that had spawned her, would she be missed? Helena Kyle stood on the edge of the building, poised to jump, pondering all these thoughts, knowing that everyone's pain inside the clock tower was all her doing. There was no denying, all of it was all her fault, so how could they miss her if she just flung herself off the edge of the building to never return to their lives?
Every time she turned around she was hurting someone. She constantly hurt Barbara, it was an inevitability that Helena accepted a long time ago, and it was the one thing that forced her to keep Barbara at arms length. She couldn't let Barbara know how deep her love went, because Helena knew, without a doubt, one day she'd do something stupid and fuck everything up; it was like her calling card. It ate her up inside to know how much pain she had caused Barbara, and this time willingly.
Helena couldn't kid herself, deep down, she was happy that Wade died, and it was that thought that drove her to the edge. That and the constant sound and smell of pain. No one in the clock tower was sleeping tonight, Helena could hear it, she could feel it, and the air was palpable with unrest, fear, and pain. She could smell the light salty tang to the air that was suggestive of tears, tears she was sure came from Barbara who was sleeping in the guest bedroom...Helena's old bedroom.
The brunette had to still herself from wanting to run back into the clock tower, to throw her arms around the red head, to kiss away all her pain, to tell her everything was ok and that she wasn't alone, that she was loved. That she was loved by Helena. But there was no way she could divulge that secret, there was no way Barbara could accept her after knowing that all the time the red head had been with Wade, Helena had stood in the background wishing for his death. Maybe that's why she had found it so easy to cave in under Harleen, or better yet, Harley Quinn's questions. Or maybe it was also she had been so frustrated at not being able to have Barbara she was hoping to score with the next willing subject, and that had been her psychiatrist.
Helena had lost the contents of her stomach once she realized the utter madness of Quinn. That had been the real reason she was in the bar taking shots, she wanted to cover the smell, numb the pain, make the words, confirming her single greatest wish to be now a fact, disappear. But Reese had followed her, her little lost puppy dog of an admirer, who liked to think he knew her so well. What would he think of her if he had known that the pain she was numbing wasn't over the fact that Wade Brixton was dead? No, that would have been far too easy. Helena was too complicated for a nice neat little answer like that. Instead she had been numbing the pain of how Wade Brixton's death had affected Barbara.
She had watched Barbara during that phone call, watched as the woman she loved started to show a chink in her well built armor, and Helena couldn't take it. She couldn't take that the pain Barbara felt was her fault, her doing, and she definitely couldn't take the relief she felt at the death of an innocent man.
The look on Reese's face when he had thought he'd gotten through to her, he was actually pleased with himself. Helena didn't have the heart to let him know that it wasn't him she was responding to, it was only the thought that if she didn't fight along side Barbara, then the red head could end up loosing more than she had already sacrificed to the city of New Gotham.
Helena had been there to watch as the depression seeped over Barbara when the woman finally realized what her true limitations were. The red head had been convinced for months that if she just worked hard enough then she'd get better. She had watched as Barbara worked to utter exhaustion on rebuilding her strengths, on seeking out as many doctors as possible for second, third, fourth, twenty sixth opinions. And then Helena had been out at a party one night, stoned out of her mind, making out with some nameless face, and the cops stormed the party. Barbara picked her up that night, and Helena smelled it, the irony tang of blood, and that's when she noticed a small trace of blood where the surgery wounds were. Even stoned Helena knew the risks of overworking to the point of tearing the wounds open, so she had confronted Barbara, and that had been the only time Helena had gotten the woman to admit how lost she truly felt.
It was that moment that she had cleaned herself up, vowing to never let Barbara feel alone, or without a cause, because during that fight, Helena had found that, as independent as she was, Barbara felt like no one if she didn't have anyone to protect or take care of. Barbara's flaw was she was always looking at the big picture and never saw how important she was to those closest to her. The red head without a doubt thought Helena stuck around out of obligation, out of pity, but Barbara had far too much strength for Helena to ever think of her in pity.
The situation had reminded Helena then of how negatively she seemed to affect the people around her. If she hadn't been so concerned about losing herself, and numbing her own pain, maybe she would have seen Barbara's more clearly. She had dropped the ball and had inadvertently hurt Barbara, but hurt her none the less.
It was a vicious cycle, one that was never ending. She had hurt Dinah more than enough for a lifetime in the few short months she had been at the clock tower. Jealousy had driven her to be snarky towards Dinah, but the kid had an unbreakable spirit, and just always seemed to smile and understand what exactly was going on behind Helena's violet eyes. It had been an infuriating trait, but one that had allowed Dinah to work her way into Helena's heart. She'd die for the kid, and that just added another reason why she was here. She had walked by the blonde's room, and heard the soft sounds of whimpering, of tossing and turning; she was lost in the throes of a nightmare.
Nightmares that Helena wished she could take away. Nightmares that had seemed to get worse when they had been unable to save Carolyn Lance. Something she had constantly wished she could go back and redo. If she had just made it to the warehouse earlier, had concentrated more on getting the older Lance out of the chains, maybe...
There always seemed to be a maybe. Maybe if she hadn't flirted so strongly with Reese to get a rise out of Barbara, she wouldn't have had to pretend she enjoyed kissing him. It wasn't as though Reese was anything close to her type, the man would be lucky to think his way out of a paper box. It had always amazed Helena, how a man so insistent on getting her name was so oblivious that he never thought to search for police records. Helena had known for a fact there were still some records lying around about her, a tactic the older woman had once used to corner her into using a mask. It was idiots like Reese that fired her argument that the mask was too constrictive and unnecessary.
But maybe...maybe if she had worn a mask, found another way in to corner Clayface and his son, maybe Quinn wouldn't have seen her. And if the psychopath didn't see her, maybe she wouldn't have targeted the clock tower as her base of operations.
Maybe...maybe if she just took one more step she could stop the pain she caused everyone else, stop the pain that threatened to eat her away every time she saw a tear make its way out of clear green eyes. If she could stop the pain, she could consider it her last great act for New Gotham, though she would have opted for a more fitting blaze of glory. She leaned over, imagining the feel of the wind as it rushed by, howling in her ears beating away any other noise that might be near for her to hear. No more cries for help, no more tears of pain, no more ruined lives, and no more caused by Helena.
"It won't be as painless as you think it will be." The voice caused the brunette to start; having been so deep in her own thoughts someone had managed to sneak up on her, someone who she wasn't entirely sure she could face right now.
Without facing Barbara she just shrugged a single shoulder. "Doesn't matter, I would end up landing on my feet anyway."
Wheels slowly crunched on the small bits of pebbles on the rooftop, something that Helena idly wondered how exactly small pebbles made it on top of one of the tallest buildings in New Gotham, and she'd have to ask Barbara sometime. As the woman spoke, she knew now wouldn't be the time, the red heads voice was thick with sorrow, pain, and something else, was it fear? "It's not exactly a joking matter, Helena."
Sighing, Helena hopped backwards off the tall ledge, and turned in the same motion, leaning carelessly against the ledge she just left empty. "Who said I was kidding? The first time I found out about my metahuman skills is because I fell off a rooftop, and you know me, I had to find the limits of that skill. I always land on my feet; it's just how it works."
She moved, trying to walk uncaringly by Barbara, wanting to end this conversation, knowing there was no way it would end in a good way, and there was just no way she could continue to look at Barbara and keep her resolve about ending everyone's pain that she caused. As she got beside Barbara, a hand snaked out and grabbed her wrist, secure, but gentle. "Don't go."
The words made her waver, the helplessness in them, and the pain. Without looking into the eyes she once wished she could drown in, Helena answered. "I have to, there's nothing left here for me to do," Destroy more like it, "I have to go back to the bar and clean some things up."
Taking a step away, Helena realized Barbara's hand was still firmly wound around her wrist. "Don't. Go."
How was it fair that this woman could cause the great Huntress to wilt with just two words? How is it fair that this woman could be so close to her, but so far away? Sighing, Helena relented. "Fine, I needed to catch up on some cable shows anyway, I've heard The L Word is a kick ass series."
Again, she went to move and the vice grip on her arm held her fast. "The TV got broken during the fight. I think Gibson might have knocked it over doing his tribute to King Kong."
Despite herself, she smiled, and stealed a glance at Barbara, that was all it took to suck her in. God she was so easy. "For such a small man, he sure did have a large presence. How's the TV in the guest room?"
Was that relief that flitted across that concerned brow at the suggestion? Helena had thought it was, and was sure of it when the tightness that had been in Barbara's voice before was now gone when she spoke. "It's good; I think there's some silent warning that goes out for people to stay far away from Helena Kyle's things."
So why is it that everyone got Barbara Gordon except for Helena Kyle? It was a thought that drifted through her mind as she turned to lead the red head back to her room, the wheel chair bound woman never once loosing her grip on Helena's wrist. It was as though the red head feared letting her go, but Helena couldn't really blame her, the woman had caught her leaning over a ledge wondering about death.
As Helena pushed the door open to the guest room and entered, Barbara released her death grip and followed behind, maneuvering expertly out of the way so the hacker could shut the door. Silently Helena crossed the room and plopped down heavily in the oversized chair that Helena had once insisted on buying at an auction. It was comfortable, and soft enough that when sat in, the chair felt as though it was wrapping it's occupant in a hug. Tonight, however, it felt almost suffocating.
Just as silently, Barbara maneuvered herself back in the bed, with a small amount of difficulty. No doubt left over pain from the neuro transponder, something Helena was definitely going to hide before she left. After Barbara had positioned her legs comfortably in the bed, she lay back on the pillows, turning to face away from Helena, and she couldn't help but wonder if Barbara did it purposely, knowing Helena's meta skills allowed her to see as easily in the dark as in daylight.
A soft sigh made its way to sensitive ears, and Helena couldn't help but notice the stiff setting to the red heads shoulders. "I thought you were going to watch TV."
It wasn't what Barbara had wanted to say, it was obvious in the other woman's body language, but Helena wasn't sure what the woman was getting at. But something told her whatever conversation Barbara was leading her into wasn't going to be an easy one; she just wasn't sure who it was going to be harder for. "I was going to wait till you feel asleep; I didn't want to disturb you."
Silence. That's all she was met with for a few long moments, then a softly sighed, "Oh." It was unnerving, and making her want to jump out of her skin. Helena was just about to make up an excuse to leave when Barbara's soft tones cut the silence like a knife. "I know what you are planning to do."
A simple statement, said in a voice thick with tears, and it griped at her heart. Helena left her suffocating chair and sat gingerly on the bed, momentarily wondering which seating arrangement was more constricting, at least on the chair she was just suffocated, on the bed she was drowning in terror. Something that didn't ease when Barbara didn't acknowledge that Helena had moved closer. She reached out, wanting to hold Barbara, to cry the pain away with her, but she knew her darkness would end up hurting Barbara again, so she stilled her hand, and did her best to remove all emotion from her voice. "I don't know what you are talking about, Barbara. I plan to watch TV when I know you are getting sleep, not exactly a grand master plan to take over the world or anything."
The red head finally turned, and Helena wished she hadn't. If her heart hadn't been breaking prior to the anguished and lost look on Barbara's face, now it was being stomped on by a stampede of elephants. Very heavy elephants. "If you leave, you'll be just like him; you'll become the one thing you've hated for the last 7 years."
It was the one thing that she had hoped wouldn't be brought out into the light. But there it was, out in the middle of the room, the big pink elephant helping to stomp on her heart with the rest of the elephants. She sighed and leaned back, banging her head not too softly on the headboard. The red head finally turned and was staring at her, occasionally reaching up to wipe away a few errant tears. The chair was definitely a better place to be sitting. "Maybe I will be like him, but I can at least understand his reasoning why now."
If Barbara hadn't been hurting before, Helena knew she was now as she watched the older woman fall back on the bed as though exhaustion finally took her over. She also caught the glistening of tears that were flowing more freely. It wasn't until the silence had become deafening that Barbara spoke. "Haven't I lost enough?"
The words hit her like a brick, everything she had previously had on a tight leash she let go of now. "Why the hell do you think I want to leave, Barbara?! It's like all I can manage to do by staying is hurting everyone I get close to. Everyone gets hurt and in some way it can come back to me. Maybe if I had worn a mask Harley wouldn't have found us. Maybe if I hadn't insisted that my mother return to New Gotham so I could see where she lived and grew up the Joker wouldn't have found her. Maybe if I hadn't been so hard on the kid she would have learned her powers quicker and she could have saved her mom. Maybe if I hadn't been so jea-." No, there was no way she could say that, there was no way she could finish that sentence.
Barbara sat up again, trying to look Helena in the eye, but she refused to turn to see whatever was going on behind the woman's eyes. So instead she stared hard at the wall as the red head spoke. "Maybe if I had been content with being a gold medalist I wouldn't have become batgirl. Maybe if I had been less proud I wouldn't have created the monster that Lady Shiva became. Maybe if I had come clean about Clayface sooner you wouldn't have been found out. Maybe if I-." Barbara paused, obviously working herself up to her next statement. "Maybe if I had been honest with Wade from the beginning he wouldn't have been here on that night."
It wasn't what she expected, and she couldn't help but turn and face Barbara. The red head couldn't possibly mean what she thought she meant, couldn't she? "What are you talking about Barbara?"
Now it was the red head's turn to look away. "I was lonely, Helena. And Wade was...convenient. He wanted far more from me than I had ever wanted from him, I had just thought, that like with anything else, if I ignored it, it would just go away. But I lost the choice of having it go away when Alfred let him in the clock tower, then I just resigned myself to make the best of it. It was better than being alone, or wanting something that would never be in my reach."
"Wait...Barbara...what are you-?" Strong fingers stopped her words, and Helena was suddenly feeling unsure of just how the conversation was going to go from here.
The red head sat up, moving her hand to cup Helena's cheek. "I'm saying that that is a lot of maybes. And instead of living in the 'what if's' of life, maybe we should live in the now with less fear. I'm tired of losing everything I hold dear, Helena. If it's one thing I learned from Harley Quinn, it's that time isn't always on your side."
With the last Barbara leaned in, and it took Helena a good ten seconds to realize that soft lips were kissing hers. And not just any soft lips, Barbara's lips, lips that tasted of strawberries and toothpaste, a taste that was completely Barbara. Helena didn't remember closing her eyes to the kiss, she only remembered opening them, and looking into amused green eyes. "Bar-Barbara, what are you doing?" It was the only thing she could think to say, and she found it hard not to smile as the red head laughed.
"Well, Helena, I was kissing you, now I know I'm out of practice, but give a girl a break." The crystal green eyes continued to twinkle in amusement.
It was so perfect, the moment was so perfect, it was everything she had ever dreamed of, and it was hers, but she couldn't let it happen. Helena leaned back again, trying to distance herself from the woman who she just wanted to grab and hold all night long. The woman who was sitting close enough that she could feel the heat radiating very distractingly off the red heads body. "Look, Barbara, you can't want this. You said it yourself, I'm like him. All I'll do in the long run is end up hurting you, and haven't I done that enough? You deserve so much more than I could ever give you." The chuckle from Barbara wasn't exactly the response she had been expecting. "Did I miss something funny in what I said?"
A soft hand reached up and moved unruly hair out of Helena's eyes, and then gently traced its way down to her chin, gently moving it to face a very amused gaze. "You just said every single thing I thought this afternoon when I had a talk with Reese as he was leaving."
Helena couldn't stop the groan, but she saw her opening to see if Barbara really wanted the same thing she did. "Ugh, Reese. What a bad kisser, however compared to you everyone is a bad kisser."
With that, Barbara smiled. And not just any smile, she smiled the one smile that Helena knew to be her genuine one, one seen so very rarely, the one smile that happened when the woman let her walls down for a while. "Why, Helena Kyle, are you flirting with me?"
She couldn't help the smile that worked its way across her face anymore than she could help the cocking of her eyebrow as she responded to the playful banter. "That all depends on you, Barbara Gordon. So does this mean you want to be my sugar momma?"
"I am not now, nor will I ever be a sugar momma. However I'd be more than happy to play human pillow to your version of a human blanket." Barbara scooted down in the bed and opened up the covers invitingly.
She paused, knowing without a doubt that lying draped across Barbara was the one thing she wanted more than anything. But something was stopping her. "I love you, Barbara, more than anything, I always have, but I can't promise that I won't ever hurt you. Hell, Barbara, if you only knew how I felt about Wade's death, you'd never be able to look at me again. My darkness can be so consuming at times, it's- it's-."
"It's the same as mine." Short. Simple. So Barbara, and so matter of fact that she couldn't help but find some comfort in it. "The only difference is, you tend to wear everything on that sexy leather sleeve of yours. And knowing you as well as I do, I would guess you felt both torn and relief, which is only natural when you are jealous of someone. I understand Helena, and I still love you for it. Now get your ass in this bed!"
I still love you for it. The words rang in her ears as she threw her jacket over the once suffocating chair, and slid down beside Barbara, basking in the heat and closeness. Maybe they could make this work, and Barbara could live with her darkness. Maybe, just maybe...of course with Barbara's wandering hands, maybe would have to wait for later.