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.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Here's the Rub
The sounds of silky laughter filled the hallway as Helena quietly let herself back into the Clocktower. She'd recognize that laugh anywhere.
Smiling to herself she wondered just what had got Barbara so relaxed. Usually, the only people who could make Barbara open up like that were Helena herself, or more often these days, Dinah. If Barbara was laughing it had to be a good thing.
Reaching the work-out room Helena swiftly changed her mind. Barbara was lying on the floor with some hot blonde straddling her hips; the blonde appeared to be caressing Barbara's feet, so it certainly wasn't being ticklish that was causing the laughter, it must have been the words Helena could see being shared.
She cleared her throat and Barbara looked up; immediately a bright smile crossed the redhead's face.
"Helena, come here. Come meet Darcy. She's the therapist I've hired to help work the kinks out of this damn shoulder."
Darcy held her hand out towards Helena, who barely held the finger-tips in greeting. Turning her head away from the beautiful therapist and avoiding the clear blue eyes alight with mischief; she spoke to Barbara in a firm tone.
"A word, please?" Then indicating the living room, she turned and left. As she exited the work-out room she couldn't help but see the blonde lean over and offer Barbara a lift. Surprisingly, the redhead took the offer. Helena seethed at the way the beautiful blonde cradled Barbara, and the way Barbara stared into her eyes, apparently in a stupor.
"So, Babs, coffee after school tomorrow?"
Darcy's words were not missed by Helena; neither was the way her hand trailed down Barbara's arm as she lowered her into the chair.
Barbara chuckled again. "Now, Darcy, you know it's improper for a therapist to date one of her clients," she teased the woman.
"Ah, but who said I was offering you a date, all I'm saying is, can't I take my beautiful client for a coffee before our next treatment session." The tall therapist leaned forward to whisper her next words in Barbara's ear, "The date comes later, Babe."
Helena sighed; Darcy was nothing but a flirt, and Barbara was falling for it like a, like a bimbo.
As soon as Barbara had said her goodbyes, she wheeled into the living room, and Helena laid straight into her.
"What the hell are you doing?"
"Treating your shoulder, my ass, I don't think playing with your feet will make that shoulder better, do you?"
Barbara cast an incredulous look over towards the brunette.
"Darcy. She's playing you like a fool; can't you see what she's doing?"
"Babs, she's flirting with you, trying to get you to give in, she's just playing."
Helena's jealousy reared its ugly head and Barbara could only stare.
"What? You don't think a beautiful woman could be interested in me, huh? A cripple?"
Barbara spun her chair away, and allowed her words to soften.
"Thought you knew better than that, Hel?"
"Oh shit, Barbara. I didn't mean that, you know, I didn't."
Helena rushed to face Barbara, dropping to her knees and grasping hold of her friend's hands.
"I know that you're beautiful, that anybody would be lucky to go out with you, and I do mean anybody, but she's she's gorgeous; she's so not right for you."
Helena was desperate to add the clichéd, 'but I am,' but knew this was the wrong time.
Still angry, Barbara wrenched her hands free, spinning away from Helena who, immediately, followed.
"It's coffee, Hel. I couldn't date Darcy; she's a woman."
"What's that got to do with it? It's never bothered you before, has it?"
"What do you mean?"
"Oh, come on, Barbara, I know that's how you and mom got so close, and don't tell me that Carolyn came back here to see the Clocktower one more time."
Barbara shrugged, unaware that Helena had known so much about her, and still unwilling to give.
"Yeah, well, there's Dinah to consider now and you."
Helena couldn't understand the quietly added last two words, why would it matter what she thought? Wanting to make things right with her friend, she dropped to her knees again.
"Dinah wouldn't care who you went out with, and me, I just want you to be happy. After Wade, Dick, and those other guys, I sometimes wonder if you'd be better off with a woman."
Again the thought went through her head, 'like me.'
"Barbara, you should just do what you want. You're all that matters in all this. Just remember that."
Barbara reached out to tuck Helena's hair behind her ear and finally allowed a grin to surface.
"Yeah, well, it's only coffee."
The following afternoon, Helena waited eagerly for Barbara's return from school. During the day she'd considered all that had happened yesterday, about how she'd known that Barbara had dated women in the past, and that there'd been no denial from the redhead. She'd also thought about her jealousy, and how she wasn't going to let it get in the way of her friendship. Whatever Barbara decided, Helena was going to support her.
Then, when Barbara realized that Helena really did only have the redhead's best interests at heart, she was going to ask Barbara on a date herself. This was something that had been coming for years; the attraction, the connection between the two of them had become too strong to ignore.
It was a shame that it had taken the death of Wade to allow Barbara to be really free once more, but Helena wasn't going to regret again. This time she was ready.
The door opened and a glowing Barbara entered the living room.
"Hel, I didn't expect to see you here today."
"Yeah, I just wanted to apologize for my behavior yesterday. I "
Barbara smiled as she pulled up alongside her friend.
"No need to apologize, Hel, you're already forgiven. In fact, I need to thank you."
"Yeah, I do, you made me consider myself for the first time since Wade's death; I'm going to do what I want to do from now on."
Helena smiled back, pleased her words had gotten through. Watching Barbara head towards the kitchen, she saw the redhead turn to say something more. The smile disappeared immediately at Barbara's hastily muttered words.
"Darcy asked me to dinner. I said yes; I'm going to see where things lead."
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