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.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: (1) This was written for June 19th of the Dog Days of Summer Femslash Advent Calendar. (2) Thanks to Rysler and Merfilly for a little late night chat to set my mind at rest and, as always, to a triad of beta reader/supporters (especially this time to Ann and the comma lesson!)
SPOILERS: I guess Books #56-68 of the Birds of Prey Comic Series
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
I'm sitting beside Oracle in a Gotham City minicab. Dinah's escorting Shiva to the airport. That was her story, anyway. Something tells me they'll be taking some sort of detour; you could feel the energy radiating between the two of them from across the room." I guess there's just something about the thrill of a fight to get the adrenaline flowing, if you get my drift.
To be truthful, there's a similar sort of energy flowing between me and Oracle at this moment too; the only thing is, I can't decide if it's anger or a semblance of something else.
Watching her from the corner of my eye I let my mind wander back a few hours to the feel of her in my arms.
Even before that, it had been a couple of hours since I'd climbed furtively into the clock tower: Oracle's lair.
For some reason, the voice of Oracle fascinated me. I had my ideas just who the body behind the voice belonged to, and I was intent on proving my suspicions. If truth be known, I wanted to prove to her that I, too, could steal my way into her life in exactly the same way she was forever stealing into mine.
Sometimes I resented these intrusions; sometimes I was pleased she respected me enough to want my assistance; and sometimes I hoped it was because she cared for me.
Today, I just needed to prove that the great and mysterious Oracle was actually Batgirl of old; the Batgirl, who had mysteriously disappeared off the streets of Gotham five years ago. The streets lost a champion, and I lost a dream. There was something about Batgirl that had just crept under my skin; her voice, her posture, her command of the fight, and even more, her command of herself.
Yes, Batgirl was under the skin of Huntress back then, just like Oracle is under the skin of Huntress in the here and now; her voice haunts my dreams in exactly the same way that Batgirl's had years ago. There was just something in the intonation and timbre that felt so right.
So, there I was, skulking around Oracle's lair when it happened. Well, two things actually, her voice shattered the silence at the same time I spotted a small Batgirl doll watching sentinel over her workstation. Bingo.
"Canary, Canary, are you there? This is an emergency, Dinah, *please* respond."
The urgency in her voice stopped my wandering mind immediately. For some reason, I chose to reply, letting her know I was in her domain.
"Oracle um, Dinah's not here. Can I help?"
Actually, I replied for one reason only; the most obvious reason out there, she was in trouble.
"Huntress, why in God's name are you in my clock tower?"
The indignation in her voice grated on me, I was offering to help for pity's sake, so I snapped just like I always did.
"Hey, don't you yell at me, this is what it feels like to have your privacy violated and your "
Surprisingly, she gave in immediately, though the air crackled with the antagonism that always lived between us, that undeniable spark of energy, that connection.
After listening intently to her instructions on how to locate her position, I heard a male voice in the distance, obviously angry, obviously heading towards her. A loud clunk signalled the end of Oracle's connection with me, and I was horrified to hear the distant sounds of her groans and what appeared to be a beating taking place, which didn't make sense because if Oracle really was Batgirl she would know how to handle herself.
While I waited for the location to appear on the screens, I spotted a photograph of a stunning, vaguely familiar, red-head, kissing Nightwing of all people. At least that answered some of my questions, it appears her honey and I had a brief fling. It must be killing her. She'd certainly picked a dark-horse in having to trust me to come and help her. Unfortunately, I was all she had right then and I *was* going to save her, have no doubt of that.
As I raced towards the abandoned prison holding Oracle, I pondered the fact I had no idea what I was going to do when I arrived. Oh, how that would please the almighty Oracle; Huntress rushing headlong to her rescue with no plans whatsoever. Allowing a smirk to cross my face, I really didn't care; I was finally going to put a face to the woman behind Batgirl and now, Oracle.
By pounding a few imbecilic guards, I freed some of the aggression that had built up after listening to Oracle's apparent beating. Afterwards, I swaggered jauntily towards the holding area. On the edge of my mind there was something tickling at my memory; a deeply buried picture of beauty, triggered by that photograph.
Calling her name, I heard her voice, strong and clear, in return, beckoning me on, "Here, Huntress."
And there she was, sitting on the floor, leaning up against the cell wall, a trickle of blood at the corner of her mouth, and God was she beautiful. As we exchanged inane greetings, I recognised her.
Barbara Gordon, the ex-commissioners daughter, was Oracle, and if I was indeed right, was Batgirl. Stunned at the realization, my mouth rambled away of its own accord.
"The guards and I got together and brought you a couple little presents "
She smiled, my heart tripped, she grimaced, my heart stammered and at her warning, I turned swiftly to find the man mountain, Savant, bearing down on me. Hell, can't a girl have a few minutes to appreciate her luck.
Barbara Gordon, the woman who years before had crept under the skin of the real me, Helena Bertinelli. Oh, Huntress lusted after Batgirl, the cool to my impassioned fighter, but the real me adored Barbara, the shy librarian to my feisty teacher. And yes, both of them had disappeared from my radar screen around the same time, so it all made a sad kind of sense.
Bickering angrily with Savant, it suddenly hit me; if that was Barbara Gordon, she was
A solid baton thudded across my shoulders as I lost concentration momentarily. The pain burned and I turned in a blind rage. Luckily for me, my beautiful red-head was no shrinking violet.
Savant visibly paled as he turned at her softly called, "Hey!"
There she was looking fierce and determined, pointing a gun without any trace of a tremor towards his ghastly head, and, did I mention she was gorgeous?
"I don't like guns, Savant. But I know how to use them."
Did I say, hot?
"I have a proposal for you "
I couldn't hear a word they were saying, but she had that great hulk of a man wrapped around her finger in minutes. He hunkered down at the side of her and dared to touch her knee; I was ready to clobber him once more, but she just shuddered and looked pointedly at him. He moved his hand immediately.
Eventually, he stood and turned, directing her towards the end of a long corridor. She nodded and Savant just left without another word. I looked at her and asked what was next on the agenda; it's kind of nice when someone else makes the decisions.
"I'm going to hack into a computer, and you're going to lead my troops. Come on, I've got some people to contact."
She pointed in the direction Savant had indicated, and I began to leave. Her hesitant voice called me back.
Her use of my name stopped me in my tracks, and I turned to see her indicating her legs with such a look of pained resignation. Giving myself a mental slap on the head, I remembered again; five years ago, Barbara Gordon was paralyzed by that sick bastard, The Joker.
Sheepishly, I approached her to find her raising her arms in silent request. Bending over, I was surprised when she automatically wrapped her arms behind my head, allowing them to relax about my shoulders as I easily hefted her weight into my arms.
The feel of her resting in my arms was exquisite; so light, yet so firm; warm and smelling of faint hints of citrus; her breath gently caressing my neck; and her voice so soft as it outlines the plan. I was in my own private Heaven.
Too soon, we were at a largish computer bank and Oracle's eyes lit up; we were in her domain once more. Putting her safely down, I watched a few moments more before leaving to await help; the coldness I felt at the loss surprising me in its intensity.
There it was, the first feel of her in my arms; a feeling I had every intention of repeating.
And I had repeated it, ten minutes ago when I carried her to this cab. The cab she'd called after finally handing everything over to GCPD. I'd insisted on escorting her back to the clock tower, ostensibly to help her out the cab at the other end but, what was it I said about Canary and Shiva? I guess there's just something about the thrill of a fight to get the adrenaline flowing.
Not that I'd done that much fighting after seeing off Savant, you see Oracle has a very deep Rolodex. When you can call on Catwoman, Gypsy, and Katana, not to mention Black Canary running in with all guns blazing, one extra little vigilante only needs to pick up the pieces. Mind you, I did have the pleasure of flattening the so-called agent who'd instigated the abduction of Oracle in the first place. He'll have one hell of a headache tomorrow, no doubt.
Oh, I'd also had the pleasure of taking the antidote to Senator Pullman with Oracle's deal or no deal offer behind its administration. Needless to say he dealt. Senator Pullman agreed to resign and offered to testify against his murderous father. Everything was falling in to place; Dinah was dealing with Shiva and Cheshire, which left me to offer Oracle's thanks to the allies we had acquired.
Grinning at Catwoman as she joked about breaking into prison, I watched the way Gypsy and Katana were controlling the prisoners. Suddenly, I realised just what a hold this remarkable young woman had over a large number of people. If Oracle calls, I guess there are a lot of superheroes willing to jump.
"Oracle wanted me to give you three her card, her number's on the back. Don't lose it. She says she owes you one, and believe me, having Oracle owe you a favour that's a marker worth keeping."
And it was; surprised to hear myself say the words, I knew that I meant it. It was almost as if knowing who the woman was, made following her orders much easier to bear. I hated following orders of any kind, hated any sort of plan; that sort of life filled my daytime hours, as a vigilante I wanted the freedom to just be. For Barbara Gordon, and I guess, therefore, for Oracle too, I'd be willing to do whatever she asked. Don't get me wrong, I'd argue like anything if I didn't agree but still
The sound of police sirens brought our little group meeting to a close as Catwoman muttered, "I think that's my cue to leave, Huntress."
My reply was out before my brain had chance to catch up with my mouth, once again my words surprising me.
"Yeah, turns out Oracle has some honest friends in the GPD, my girl's got the full hook up."
My girl, huh? Hell, where did that come from?
Luckily for me, Catwoman hurried off without making any kind of comment and Katana and Gypsy weren't the sort of girls to say much at all. I just wondered if Oracle had caught my slip up or if I'd got away with it.
Moments later, I decided she hadn't heard because I could almost hear the smile in her voice as she offered me the chance to be one of her full-time agents; as if I was going to refuse that one after the realizations I'd just had.
We pull up to the clock tower, and I see her shift nervously. She turns to me and asks that I go first to collect her chair and bring it back to the curb.
I start to do as she asks before that damn adrenaline gets the better of me. Hell, if this is the last time I see her vulnerable and needing me, I'm going to milk it to the bone. I reach over to tap the driver's shoulder and ask if this is all accounted for. He nods his head as Oracle starts to protest.
Ignoring her words, I climb out of the car and wander slowly around to her side. What I'm about to do will either cause a rescinding of my job offer or lead to something promising; not allowing myself to worry about the result I bend down to pick her up.
As we walk over to the clock-tower doors, she mutters constantly in my ear.
"Helena, for crying out loud, get my chair. I'm more than capable of getting myself into the tower if you'd only get my chair. Hell, don't you know how much I hate this? Please, Hel "
The shortening of my name was my undoing, and I know I shouldn't, but I did. I leaned forward, and whispered, "I know. Now shut up and l and let me look after you for once." Then, I kissed her. A slow gentle kiss; just to shut her words off you understand.
Barbara gasped and basically just let me. She didn't join in, yet she didn't pull back. Me? I fully enjoyed the softness, the sweet sensation of her lips against mine. Bliss.
Pulling back as the elevator pings, its destination reached, I look into her eyes. Quietly smug when all I could see was stunned disbelief. I smiled and finally lowered her into a waiting chair. Oracle immediately turned away from me and went off towards another room. The sound of running water told me she was probably washing her face. I took the opportunity to walk around her bank of computers, marvelling at the state-of-art set-up; no wonder she was such an effective information broker.
My stomach began to perform somersaults when I realized just what I'd done with Oracle; I'd kissed her, without her permission for fuck's sake, what the hell was she going to do now? I waited.
Eventually, she returned and beckoned me across to her computers. She pulled up a screen and showed me where her abduction had taken place; and then reached into the side of her chair and pulled out a set of car-keys. She smirked deliciously.
"If you really want to help me, take the Hummer and fetch your bike. I take it you did come roaring in on your 'charger.' After you're completed those tasks, fetch my electric chair from here." She tapped the screen once again.
I began to mutter something about how, once I was a full-time agent, I became her full-time slave, and gave a few angry stomps to emphasize my point. As I reached the door, I heard her call my name. Turning, I saw her beckon me back to her side.
She motioned for me to lean forward as if she was going to whisper in my ear, but before I could register what was happening, she had her hands wrapped almost painfully deep in my hair and had pulled my lips to hers in a forceful, bruising kiss. I couldn't help the groan at the intensity and that was the only invitation she needed to insinuate her very active tongue between my parted lips. Hell, this woman could kiss; if I wasn't enraptured before I sure as hell was now.
As suddenly as the kiss had started, it stopped just as suddenly. She pushed me away gently, murmuring against my lips, "Don't ever do that to me again, you hear?"
I straightened and watched the smirk forming on her lips. She grabbed my hand and turned me around to face the elevator doors and then gave me a forceful push on the ass, pushing me toward them.
"Now get the hell out of here and fetch my chair."
After that kiss, I couldn't believe I was being thrown out. After that kiss, I wanted to stay here forever; I wanted to find out all there was to know about this amazing woman, but it looked like I was going to miss out on that pleasure. I felt my shoulders droop at the realization I'd blown it.
Reaching the elevator doors, I heard her voice laughingly call out to me.
"Oh, while you're there call into Rob Fieri's, tell Suzy I'm okay, and pick up two portions of their Scallopini. Then get back here pronto, I'm famished."
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