DISCLAIMER: These characters and situations do not belong to me in any way shape or form. I have borrowed them as part of my sanity maintenance.
SEQUEL/SERIES: This story is a sequel to Here's the Rub, Surely, Tomorrow Will Be Better and Slowly, But Surely.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
As Sure As Sure Can Be
"I don't want to be your friend either."
The two women stared at each other, one a fiery redhead, one a self-assured brunette, both as stubborn as the other.
"I don't want to be your friend either."
"What do you mean?"
"I want to try and be something so much more." The speaker's hands gestured wildly between the two of them.
"Oh, for Heaven's sake, Hel, I know you're not that obtuse."
Barbara Gordon indicated more deliberately between her and Helena with an angry glare.
"I want to address this, this connection between the two of us. What do you say?"
Helena stared at the redhead; she wasn't deliberately being evasive, she really couldn't get her head around Barbara's words.
It'd been seven long years since she'd come of age, seven years since she'd been available to Barbara, and seven long years that she'd loved and wanted Barbara from afar; now that the moment was here, she couldn't speak.
"Oh, for crying out loud, will you go out with me?" Barbara enunciated her words so clearly that Helena had to answer, almost.
"You mean on a date? Me and you?"
Barbara smiled. "Yes, Helena, me and you. Tomorrow, the fourteenth?"
The meal had been superb, and the conversation, as always between the two women, easy and flowing. Tonight though, there was a different undercurrent to their interactions; tonight, there was a hint of romance.
Once she'd made the decision to cross the romance bridge with Helena, Valentine's Day had been the perfect choice for Barbara's offer of a date. Despite all her rigorous preparations, the pre-booked table, the black cocktail dress bought on the sly, the flowers delivered to Helena's apartment exactly 30 minutes before their date, and the use of a private chauffer for the evening, Barbara had panicked when Helena agreed to the date.
Four long years she'd planned this night in minute detail, and four long years she'd rejected it as pie in the sky. Never for one minute had she believed Helena would still desire a cripple as a girlfriend. Yes, Barbara had long ago declared that word blasphemy in her life, but on the nights when she'd allowed herself to contemplate a life with Helena; she'd had to remind herself that to some extent it was true. She could never be the woman Helena deserved.
It wasn't until her dates with Darcy that the reality had sunk in; she was still desirable to a woman. Darcy had plied her with enough love and kisses to last a few months but had never come close to replacing the woman opposite her in her dreams and her desires.
Helena's 'acceptance' of her relationship with Darcy, albeit a strained acceptance fueled she hoped by jealousy, had been the catalyst for Barbara's willingness to try this out. She allowed a smile to cross her features.
A hand immediately covered hers, and a voice filtered through her subconscious.
"Hey, Babs, you in there?"
Barbara's head flew up as her eidetic memory recalled the last night those words had been spoken to her.
"Hmm, just thinking."
"Honestly?" Seeing Helena's nod, she continued. "About my last date, with Darcy."
The dark haired woman couldn't hide her emotions as the jealousy reared its head immediately.
Barbara laughed and twined her fingers with Helena's. "You really have no need to be jealous you know. As I said the other night, she really couldn't compare with this. With me and you. She knew it, Hel; she even told me in her own way that you were there waiting. So, don't be jealous; without Darcy, I might not be sitting here."
"Why, Barbara? Why has it taken us so long to get to this point?"
The evening suddenly turned serious. The redhead sighed, knowing that she needed to broach a few issues before she could be totally comfortable in this new direction their relationship was heading.
"It was me. I think I knew that you were open to a relationship, and probably before it would've even been legal. But I couldn't do that Helena; your mom trusted me to care for you until you were an adult, and I could never betray that trust."
"But mom knew we were good together. She wasn't a fool, you know."
"Yeah, your mom was a sly devil. I know that. Probably, in her way, this was her plan all along. But I needed time to accept that the attraction I had for you was real and not just some notion I had because I cared for you as a friend. And, because you were there for me as a caregiver."
"Barbara, this magnetism is real. Believe me."
"But I'm a cripple, Hel, a broken woman; you deserve something so much more. You "
The younger woman jumped in quickly, unwilling to let Barbara play the disability clause. "Don't go there, Babs, you're a woman, period. A beautiful, desirable, fit, active woman that I've wanted for years. Don't tell me what I deserve, because what I deserve are the things I want, and I want you; I want to see how this plays out. So, just stop with the cripple card, it won't wash."
Helena reached out a steady hand and caressed Barbara's cheek. "You have to remember, I know you; all of you. So please, no more, no more cripple card, no more recriminations, no more avoidance, let's do this."
Barbara covered the hand on her cheek with one of her own and murmured, "Okay," so low that only Helena could have heard.
Decision made, the two women fell back into some easy banter, and soon, they were heading back to the Clocktower.
On leaving the elevator, Barbara turned to her girlfriend and grasped hold of her hand, saying, "Thanks for taking me up on my invite, Helena. It's been wonderful."
"More than wonderful, Babs; it's been just how I knew it would be. We are doing it again, right?"
"Are you asking?"
"Yeah." Helena had never been shy with her other partners, but somehow she didn't want to change the magical aspect of the night by pushing too much.
"Then I'm accepting. Now, come here, have you forgotten it's Valentine's Day?"
"In case you have the wrong impression of me, I'm telling you now, I haven't had a Valentine kiss " Barbara tugged on their joined hands, pulling Helena's lips towards her own, before twisting away to whisper in Helena's ear, " yet!"
The redhead turned her head to brush her lips lightly over Helena's slightly parted pair.
Helena sighed and, before Barbara could pull away, deepened the kiss to something much more meaningful.
It was everything a first kiss should be, and Helena wanted more, but not tonight. She lifted her head and grinned before turning to leave, her words resounding in Barbara's mind for long moments after her departure.
"It's a good thing I don't want to be your friend."
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