DISCLAIMER: Birds of Prey and its characters are the property of Miller/Tobin Productions, Warner Brothers and DC comics. No infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

How Does it Feel
By jaguarin


Part One

Helena jumped easily to the sidewalk. Putting her hands inside her pockets, she walked toward the Clock Tower. She was in a pretty good mood today. The last few months had been nice; things had returned to normal after Harley Quinn's assault on the Clock Tower. The months directly following that had been difficult for all of them. Barbara was smiling again.

She was off from work and just wanted an excellent night patrolling. She wanted action, adrenaline rushing through her veins. She pressed the security code at the elevator and stepped inside.

After a few seconds, the doors opened and she walked into the Clock Tower. "Hello, everybody!" The Delphi was vacant. Well, now that was weird. She looked around.


"Here, Helena." She heard Barbara's voice upstairs.

Knowing the redhead hated her to use her meta abilities inside the Clock Tower, she went to the stairs. "Why aren't you at the Delphi? No evil villains today?"

"No, it's not that, come here."

The brunette was up the stairs in a few seconds. She froze when she arrived in the living room. Dick Grayson was there; sitting on the couch next to Barbara, looking very comfortable, as if he lived there.

"Hey, Helena!" he greeted, standing up to meet her.

"Hi, Dick." She tried hide her discomfort; a fake smile plastered to her face.

He didn't seem to notice it and patted her back roughly as her hugged her. "You look great!"

"You too." The brunette looked at Barbara trying to figure out what he was doing there.

The redhead didn't notice her discomfort either; she was used to her bad moods; she put the cup of tea she had in her hand on the table. "He called me and I invited him to come."

"Great…" the young woman growled, "What are you doing here?"

"Well," Dick said, sitting close…very damn close….. to Barbara, who was also on the couch. "I came back to New Gotham and I thought it would be nice to see all my good friends again." He touched the redhead's hand.

Helena wanted to kick him. What was he doing? She fixed her eyes on their hands laced together. He was touching her very familiarly, and she… liked it?

"I think we can take the night off, Helena."

The words jerked the brunette out of her thoughts; she blinked. Did she hear that right? Barbara never cancelled sweeps. "What?"

"I invited her to dinner." He lifted Barbara's hand and kissed her knuckles. "We have a lot of things to talk about."

"Why don't you call Reese?" Barbara asked her, smiling. "We have been busy the last few weeks and you two haven't gone out in a long time for fun."

"Well…" Helena looked at her nails. "We broke up."

"Oh… I'm sorry to hear that."

"Not me." She shrugged her shoulders. "We are still friends, but our interests…" she raised her eyes and looked at her mentor, "…are different."


"Shall we go?" Dick asked, rubbing his hands, "We can get drinks first."

"Good idea." Barbara began to transfer herself to the wheelchair.

Helena watched them both, incredulously. "But," she mumbled, "Are you serious? No sweeps tonight?"

"No, Helena," Barbara waved her hands "Go have fun. You deserve it. You never have time for yourself."

"It doesn't bother me…"

"Come on, Helena." Dick stood up following the redhead. "Enjoy life."

"Have a good night, Helena," Barbara said.

They passed next to her. The young woman was speechless; she hadn't expected that. When the elevator doors closed behind them, the brunette remained motionless, feeling a great anger inside her. Great, the wonderful night she had been expecting was ruined.


Annoyed, she let herself fall on to the couch, putting her feet on the table. Why was he back? What did he want now? Was he thinking about coming back into Barbara's life again? Did he think she was some kind of toy? He appeared and disappeared from her life as if she were nothing. It was unfair.

It wasn't fair. Barbara was enjoying life; she was smiling again after… Wade's death. It had taken long time for both of them to recover after Harley's invasion of the Clock Tower. What if he hurt her? She didn't need that.

"Hey, Helena! What are you doing? Barbara didn't tell you?" Dinah appeared suddenly.

"Tell me what?"

"We have a free night."

"Yes." The brunette took the remote control and turned on the TV.

"Are you going to stay here?" Dinah crossed her arms and looked at her.

"What's he doing here?" Helena ignored her question and began to surf channels.

"Well, as far as I know," the blonde moved the brunette's feet to the side and sat next to her. Helena returned her feet to the table, "he has been calling her for the past two weeks."

The brunette turned to look at her in surprise. "What? She didn't tell me anything."

"I dunno why," she shrugged her shoulders and took the remote control from Helena's hand, "they've been talking every day. They went out for coffee last week."

"Coffee? When? Why didn't I know about it?"

"It was the day you had a double shift at the bar. Remember? Leonard punished you."

"Shit!" Helena growled, annoyed. "Why didn't Barbara tell me?"

"You know, she doesn't like to talk about her personal life. Remember the Bahamas trip with Wade? She didn't tell you about that either." Dinah started to change the channels on the TV.

"But she told you!"

"Maybe because I live here and I'm here all day; and you know, with Alfred around, it's impossible to keep a secret."

Helena stood up suddenly and walked toward the elevator.

"Where are you going?" Dinah asked.

"To get a drink. See you later."

The blonde shook her head and stopped her channel surfing on an old movie. "Hey, this one is good."

The next day, the brunette pounded the punching bag. Imagining that it was stupid Dick Grayson was making the exercise routine easier. A violent kick made the chains tremble. Her entire body was drenched in sweat. She'd been working out for almost two hours and she still didn't feel tired. Thinking about Barbara dating him had kept her awake last night. The same questions twirled around her mind over and over: Why had he come back? Why didn't he just leave Barbara alone? He always appeared for a few days and then he'd leave. Barbara didn't need that crap now. She was only just recovering from her last loss.


A loss for which she was responsible. Barbara had forgiven her, but she didn't know if she would ever forgive herself. Helena stopped, feeling a presence behind her. She turned. Barbara was there, watching her with those intense green eyes that seemed to penetrate her. The pale light of the sun that crossed through the round windows fell across her red hair, making it shine. It looked like an autumn afternoon. She was wearing her white workout outfit and those pants that hugged her legs like a second skin. Her abs were clearly visible on her exposed belly.

She swallowed.

"Hi," Barbara greeted. "Are you done?"


"Good." The redhead wheeled toward her exercise machine.

Helena followed her with her gaze and watched her get in position to hang upside down to do her sit ups. "So…," she tried to sound casual and picked up a big stick, "how was the date with Dick?"

"It was not a date… well… yes. But no."

"Very clear," the brunette mocked her and examined the stick.

Barbara shook her head while she secured the leather bands on her ankles. "I'm trying to say that we, well… we feel comfortable together, we have always felt comfortable together; and it's nice to be together again. He is fun, terribly fun. I don't notice the time when I'm with him."

"What does he want now?" Helena rotated the stick between her fingers.


"Well, he always appears after a few months and later disappears." The brunette walked toward her.

"We are not married." Barbara smiled.

"I don't understand, he seems very attentive to you, he spends a few nights here and then he leaves."

"Helena, this does not concern you."

"I don't like that he just uses you. How many weeks is he going to be here? He just wants to get you in bed and when he's finished, he leaves."

"Helena!" the redhead shouted in annoyance, feeling insulted.

"I hate that he uses you."

"My life is my life." She pointed at Helena with her finger. "Don't try to cross the line; if I want to take him or other man to my bed, it's my life! What makes you think that he is using me? Maybe I'm using him. Keep your nose in your business. Understand?"

The brunette nodded her head, she hadn't meant to offend her. "I'm sorry, I…"

"What you do or don't do with Reese is your problem. Fix your personal life first before trying to fix everyone else's." She hung upside down on the exercise machine. "It will take you years. Now, if you'll excuse me."

Helena knew she had screwed up again. Whatever she said now would be useless. She put the stick in its place and, putting the towel around her neck, she walked outside the training room.

Alfred was preparing lunch when she entered the kitchen.

"Hi, Alfred."

"Afternoon, Miss Helena."

She took a milk carton and sat at the dining room table with a leg over a chair. He noticed by her face that something was wrong. Years of working with the 'family' made him an expert at reading all of their gestures and expressions. He had learned to do it after realizing the women were not used to expressing their emotions, not talking about their feelings or fears. For him, now, it was easy to know when they were happy, sad or worried. Her expressions and movements were like an open book to him.

"Something happened?" He gave her a napkin.

Helena took a big swallow from the container, she licked her mouth and put the milk on the table. "No."

"Why is she angry with you now?" Alfred asked.

"How do you know she is angry with me?"

He smiled at her.

Helena knew she was cornered. She surrendered. "I opened my big mouth again."

"Is it about Master Dick?"

"I hate that he toys with her!"

He lifted his brow knowing he had hit the issue. "How do you know he is playing with her? They were a couple years ago."

"Alfred, please!" she said, exasperated. "When she was recovering, I never saw him here taking care of her. She was alone! She spent nights crying alone, she felt useless!"

"He was here sometimes, as I remember, but she didn't feel well. She was afraid of starting a relationship with someone."

"He gave up so easily. He should have kept trying! She needed to be pushed! And he just… just… just left her alone! It never bothered him if she was sick. It's unfair!" The brunette took another gulp of milk.

Alfred watched her curiously; he opened a cabinet and took out a box. "Unfair? May I ask you what is unfair?"

"I'm sure he is going to be with her for just a few days and then he'll leave, as always. That's unfair. Barbara doesn't deserve it."

"Have you considered that maybe she is happy with things this way?" The old butler opened the box of cookies and put some on a plate.

Helena looked at him incredulously. "She cried the last time he was here, before Wade, remember? She cried many nights after he was gone. She shouldn't have to cry again for him or for any one else. She deserves to be happy."

"And," he gave her the plate of cookies "according to you, who would be the perfect man for her?"

The brunette shrugged her shoulders, taking a cookie. "I don't know, anyone else."

"As I remember, you never liked Wade."

"He was dumb. Barbara was smarter than him."

"Oh, I see. So, Miss Barbara is angry with you because you told her this?"

"Yeah." Helena took another cookie.

"But in your 'own' words." Alfred emphasized 'own'.

The brunette sighed and took another sip of milk. "Yeah."

"I understand." He turned and started cutting an onion in slices. "You need to apologize."

"I tried, but she was very angry."

"She never is mad at you for too long, you know that."

"Whatever, I'm going to take a bath." She stood up.

"Pick up your clothes when you're finished. I'm a butler, not a nanny."

The answer was a soft grumble. He smiled.

The next day the brunette stretched after a long nap on the couch at the upper lever of Clock Tower. She stirred like a sleepy cat. Yawning, she sat and moved her head side to side until she heard her bones crack. That had been wonderful. She heard voices downstairs.

Barbara and… the stupid boy wonder again... She stood up and looked down. She couldn't hide her anger. Yes, they were talking at the Delphi. He sat on a desk next to the redhead, laughing. It would be great if the earth opened up and swallowed him suddenly, but unfortunately, she didn't have Dinah's mind powers.

Her eyes were fixed on all their movements. He was becoming very friendly with her. Not good. She didn't like seeing him there. Suddenly, he stood up. Instinctively, Helena took a step back, she didn't want them to notice she was there. Dick put his hands on the arms of Barbara's chair and leaned toward her. Helena felt her muscles tense.

"I'm really a great guy," he said playfully.

"I don't think so," she smirked.

"Girls say that I'm really a marvelous man."

The redhead raised her hand and touched his chin. "Can you prove it?"

He bent down and kissed her softly on her lips. Helena suppressed a growl and clenched her fist. Son of a bitch… How could he…? How could she…? Her knuckles turned white.

The tall man moved back enough to look into lovely green eyes. "You need more proof?" he asked breathlessly.

"I think so…" she whispered "You know, as a detective… I need to check all of the evidence."

"So… I'll need to stay." He kissed her nose softly. "I need time to show you all of it."

"Wonderful idea." Barbara wrapped her arms around his neck.

Blue eyes, watching from upstairs, tuned feral, as Helena felt anger burning inside.

Dick bent down and kissed her again. Barbara moved her arms around his neck and deepened the caress. She was lost in the wonderful feeling of feeling loved and… wanted.

The sound of the doors closing made Barbara break the kiss; she tilted her head up. Dick followed her gaze.

"Something wrong?" he asked.

"No… I thought…" She shook her head and smiled at him "Forget it. Where were we?"

Her eyes followed the movements of the cursor on the screen. She pressed a button. A map appeared. She pressed another button and a window opened on the screen next to her. She moved her wheelchair there and checked the files that appeared. After a few seconds, she chose one and a picture appeared, along with some information there.

"Okay, Huntress, the guy is very dangerous. An assassin. Be careful. He's an expert with knives."

<Good, I want action.>

"Be careful."

<I'm fine. I know what I'm doing."

"Your coat is new."

Silence over the comm. The redhead smiled, knowing that had worked better than her suggestion of taking care of herself.

<You're right, I'll have careful.> Helena said. <I'm in…>

Sounds of a fight echoed. Grunts and blows. Furniture breaking. Something crashing.

<That was a nice lamp, asshole…>

The sound of a fist against a face was unmistakable. Helena was being really rough.

"What lamp was that?" the redhead asked, scratching her chin.

<Century XV Chinese.>

"I see… how many guys there?"

<Two standing up again. Three down.>

"When you finish, go find Dinah, she is upstairs trying to find the books."

<Got it.>

"Dinah?..." Oracle turned to view her other screen "You in?"

<Yes. I'm in.> the blonde answered.

"Have you found the account book? It would be helpful to support the evidence against the fraud."

<I'm checking some here at the desk… wait… I found it.>

"Good, take it and get out."

<Isn't this illegal?>

<You always ask that. > Helena's voice was heard. <For your information, it isn't possible to get a super-hero license yet. We don't have a union either; all the things we do are illegal, as are we; so just work and shut up.>

"Be nice, Huntress."

<I am. Let's go, little bird.>

<Are you going somewhere?> a voice echoed in the place.

<Uh…oh...> Dinah mumbled.

"What's going on?" Oracle raised her head.

<Bad guys, big guns....> Helena mumbled.

"Dammit…" the red head growled.

<Hands up.>

<Stay back, kid.>

<No, Huntress!> the blonde shouted.

Guns firing. Glass breaking. Yells.

"What's going on?" The redhead almost shouted. "Huntress!!"

The noise of guns firing was the answer.

<Huntress! Be careful! Behind you!> Dinah's young voice called out.

Suddenly, an unexpected explosion and Dinah's cry made Oracle freeze in her chair. Something breaking was the last sound she heard before silence washed over the comms.

"Dinah?" Oracle looked at the two lights on the screen that signaled her protégées' location.


"Dinah? Helena?" the redhead asked again, feeling her heart beating so fast that she thought it would break her chest. Why hadn't she installed cameras in the necklaces of her protégées? "Are you okay?... Answer me, dammit!"

<Cough, cough>

"Dinah? Are you okay?"

<Cough, I think so… cough>

"What happened? Where is Huntress?"

<I'm here… cough.> the brunette answered.

Oracle felt a great relief and, resting her elbows on the desk, she let her head fall on her hands. "God… What happened?"

<Huntress is crazy!!> Dinah shouted.

<I saved your ass, shut up.>

"Easy! What happened?"

<She threw me through the window! We were on the third floor!>

<Did you want to die?>

"Huntress!" Oracle shouted <Let Dinah explain.>

<Three guys appeared with guns,> Dinah said, <Huntress jumped at them. They fired.>

<I knocked out two of them, but the third one had a bomb.> Huntress' voice interrupted, <He was going to blow us up. So I took Dinah's arm and jumped through the window.>

<We were on the third floor!> the blonde growled.

<I was not going to let you fall! Please!>

Huntress loved adrenaline; she was crazy. The redhead rubbed her temples. "Why did you attack the men? They had weapons! I have told you a million times not to do that."

<We're safe, we have the book.>

"Come back now, got it?"



Part Two

She was angry, she always was in control of herself, but now she felt she had lost it. She typed at her keyboard; she pressed the search button and pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose with her index finger. Huntress had never been cautious about fighting, she loved the adrenaline, the danger; but the problem wasn't that Huntress loved to live on the dark side, over the edge, the problem was that she was putting Dinah's life at risk, unnecessarily.

Leaning back, she hit her fist against the arm of her chair.

Damn girl.


"What?" she snapped out.

The blonde hesitated; her mentor was in a bad mood, nothing pleasant. She stepped back. "Uhm… sorry."

The redhead shook her head; she turned to see her, her clothes were covered in dust. "I'm sorry, are you okay?"

"Yes, I'm okay…" Dinah walked to the Delphi and gave her a big book. "Here is the account book."

"What happened?"

"You know how Huntress is," the blonde put her hands in her pockets, "she didn't like a gun pointing at her. She attacked them, but one of them had a bomb in his hands."

"I heard you screaming, I thought…" The redhead touched her arm and looked at her, worried.

"Sorry," the teen moved her hair nervously behind her ear. "Suddenly, she jumped over me and, the next second, I was falling out of the building."

The redhead shook her head in annoyance.

"Oracle… she protected me the whole time. She got the worst of the impact of the bomb and…"

"Is she okay?"

"Yes, she was coming behind me."

The elevator doors opened, Helena stepped out, cleaning the sleeves of her long coat with her hands. "Hi, superheroes."

Barbara glared at her, trying to remember the Zen thing to remain in control.

"Everything okay?" The brunette walked toward them.

"What the fuck do you think you were doing?" The Zen thing could wait. Barbara wanted to kick the young woman's ass.

"Huh…?" The reaction disconcerted the brunette. "…Kicking some bad guy's ass?"

"Don't try to be clever with me, not now. Are you crazy?"

"What? I was saving her!"

"Yes, but first you put both your lives at risk. You jumped on two men with guns!!" the redhead said, waving her hands, exasperated. "I have told you thousands of times…!"

"Nothing happened, Barbara." Helena tried to explain, "We're okay, we have the book."

"Thank God, you were lucky. I don't care if you want to kill yourself, but she is a kid!"

If those green eyes were knives, they would kill the brunette easily. Helena felt uncomfortable and avoided her look.

"Being a superhero is more than winning a good fight. It's avoiding them to protect innocents, and not putting people in danger unnecessarily; being a superhero means thinking of others first, and later of ourselves."

"Hi, everybody!" The elevators doors opened and an elegant Dick Grayson appeared with flowers in his hands.

Helena rolled her eyes, the last thing she needed: Dumb Grayson in her home.

The tall man looked at the girls. "Hey, what happened to you two? Were you cleaning the basement?"

"We were working on a mission," Dinah explained.

"Cleaning basements is a mission?" He leaned down and kissed Barbara on her lips.

Helena glared at him. What was he doing here?

"We had a situation…" Barbara cleared her throat, avoiding looking at the brunette, "But we already finished our conversation."

"Great," he gave her the flowers. "These are for you."

She couldn't avoid smiling. "They're wonderful, thanks…"

"Well, I'm going to bed," Dinah mumbled. "I have an exam tomorrow."

"Good night, Dinah," Barbara said.

"Good night." Dick kissed the girl's cheek.

Helena remained still, not knowing what to do. Dick rubbed his hands and looked at the redhead. "Well, I have a surprise for you."

"Yes?" Barbara asked.

"Yes, a wonderful dinner under the bright stars."

"Oh Dick, I'm sorry… I'm tired…"

"Oh, don't worry. I have it all ready… here." He pointed at the balcony.


"A table, candles…"

She smiled, that sounded nice. "How?"

"Alfred helps a lot."

She took the back of his head with her fingers and pulled him toward her. He was so sweet, and a great kisser too. She lost herself in the moment, the sensations… until a soft cough broke the spell. She turned, Helena was still there.

"Yes, Helena?" she asked with a cold voice.

"Well… I'm," the brunette pointed toward the elevator nervously, "I'm... going home… uhm… do you need anyhing else?"

"No, thanks."

"I'll get the wine, it's in the fridge," Dick said, kissing Barbara quickly on her lips.

Helena watched him go.

"You and I still need to talk tomorrow," Barbara said.

Helena sighed and lowered her head.

"Good night." The redhead put her glasses on her desk.

"I'm sorry," the young woman mumbled, "I didn't want…"

"I said, we'll talk tomorrow," Barbara cut her off.

Helena nodded, knowing it was useless to try to talk with her now; Barbara was always a rational person, except when she was really angry.

And right now she was really angry.

After a pleasant dinner, with the dark night of New Gotham covering them, Dick and Barbara made another toast. She laughed.

"I love your eyes," Dick said, leaning over the table in the middle of the balcony, illuminated with a single candle.

"I love these wonderful moments. You are a great friend." She touched his chin.

"I don't want to be just your friend." He leaned over and kissed her.

The redhead sighed, feeling a bit uncomfortable, she'd felt watched all night. She looked around. It was absurd; they were on the balcony of the Tower.

"Something wrong?" he asked.

"No, thanks, it's been a lovely night." It was nice to feel that someone was attracted to her again. Dick was a handsome guy, they always had felt something for each other, but it always had been like a game. Helena's words during their discussion in the gym echoed in her ears.

"I don't like that he just uses you. How many weeks is he going to be here? He just wants to get you in bed and when he's finished, he leaves."

He felt her hesitate. "What's wrong, Barbara?"

She took the cup of wine in her hands. "Why do you come back, Dick?"

He put the cup of wine that he was holding on the table and took her hands. He touched her long, elegant fingers. "I always remember you."

"Me too… but... why are you here?"

He kissed her knuckles and took a deep breath, smelling her soft perfume. "Because I want to try… and I would like for you to try too."


"Try something serious between us, stop the games." The tall man stood up and kneeled next to her.

She felt his lips on hers. He was gentle and she opened to him. He tasted wonderful. She moved her hands to his arms, big, strong.

He moved back breathlessly, lost in the sea of those beautiful green eyes. "I want to be with you…"

She looked at him and smiled, he was worth the risk; she would try. After all, he'd known her since she was a teen and they had shared wonderful, dangerous, and sad moments, they know each other very well. Wade was gone and she needed to keep going; she needed to move on. "I want to be with you too…" She finally said, kissing him again.

The fine hearing of a dark figure hidden in the shadows had heard, very clearly, the whispered words. She couldn't believe it. He was going to hurt her again. Blue eyes blinked back unshed tears. The dark woman, who sat on top of the Clock turned. It was best to leave before someone noticed she was there.

Helena had been silent almost all through lunch. The brunette's face was glazed over as she lost herself in her thoughts. She poked her dessert with the fork. She hadn't touched it. The redhead narrowed her eyes. Helena not eating dessert; that was weird. She seemed to be elsewhere ever since she'd arrived at noon.

Barbara put a piece of cake in her mouth and cleaned her mouth with a napkin before asking: "Something wrong?"

Helena took her time before answering. "No."



"All day you've been… in another world?… Tell me what's bothering you?" the redhead requested. "You haven't touched your cake. You love chocolate cake. When something is bothering you, you usually don't eat and just play with it."

The brunette looked into Barbara's eyes, feeling exasperated, "Do you always have to analyze everything?"

"I'm not analyzing, I know you," Barbara took a sip of her coffee "you always act the same way under certain circumstances."

Helena, annoyed, lowered her gaze and, after stabbing a piece of cake with her fork, she put it in her mouth. If she was so smart, why couldn't she see…. ? Damn. Stupid Dick Grayson had stayed in her room all night.


Big asshole.

No, not a big asshole. A son of a bitch.

"Trouble at the bar?" the redhead prodded, trying to help.

"Hey!" Dinah walked inside the kitchen with a big smile on her face "Am I in time to start sweeps?"

"You're in time," Barbara answered.

Dinah kissed her cheek, "Where's Dick?"

"Out of the city. He had to go to Metropolis."

"He is a really nice guy-- funny and smart." The blonde sat next to her.

Helena rolled her eyes. Yeah, yeah, keep encouraging her.

"He is." Barbara smiled.

Dinah leaned a bit towards her mentor. "And he is good?"

Helena stood up abruptly. "It's late, time to work."

"Don't worry. We have time." The older woman said with the cup of coffee in her hands.

"I'm tired." The brunette took her coat. "I want finish early today. Come on, kid."

"Dick will be back tomorrow," Barbara said. "Are you going to have dinner with us?" She was still annoyed with Helena, her behavior the last few days had been annoying, but they couldn't fight like children all her life. She was just impulsive, angry, she was just… very Helena.

"Oh thanks," the brunette said, "but I can't… I'm going to see Reese."

"Excuse me?" the redhead asked in surprise.

Helena waved her hands, "He wants… to get back together… and… well, we are going to talk about it."

Barbara felt a bit disappointed, she had expected had a nice dinner with them and… maybe filing harshness.

"He told me he'd come to the Dark Hose after my shift."

"Oh…" the redhead put her cup of coffee on the table, "I'm glad for you."

Silence filled the room. Dinah felt a strange tension there that could be cut with a knife. "Well…" she clapped her hands, "Let's go to work."

"Yeah." Helena sighed and walked toward the elevator.

Helena handed Reese a beer. He sat at a table next to the bar. He had been going to the Dark Horse everyday for the past week just to be near her. She had agreed to date him, but she wasn't yet convinced to be his girlfriend again. She was thinking about Barbara all the time; she couldn't avoid being worried about her relationship with Dick. She was afraid that he would hurt her again at any moment; and, this time, she would kill him for it.

Snapping his neck would be fast, but maybe not painful enough. Reese touched her hand, she smiled at him. They were trying to fix all their problems and he knew he needed to be very patient.

"You look wonderful tonight."

She winked at him. "You too."

"What time does your shift end?"

"Thirty minutes. Are you going to wait for me?"


"Hey, good evening…"

Both turned, surprised, Barbara and Dick were there. Helena smiled nervously.


"Hi," the detective smiled back.

Barbara looked at Reese's hand laced with Helena's. She cleared a knot in her throat. "I suggested to Dick that we come here. You've been so busy and we haven't seen you all week. You've just been working and on sweeps…."

"Oh, yeah…" the brunette said, "Reese, this is Dick, an old friend of Barbara. Dick, this is Reese."

"Detective Jesse Reese, it's a pleasure." He shook his hand.

"The pleasure is mine."

"Sit, please." Reese waved his hand, "I'm waiting for Helena to finish her shift."

"Want a drink?" Barbara asked Dick.

"Yeah, sure," the handsome man said.

"Okay, ask, I'm the Bartender here." Helena smiled at them. She observed him. Perhaps ripping his head off his shoulders seemed to be the best idea; but she needed to focus on the moment and be polite.

After two hours of nice chatting, Dick practically dragged the redhead to the dance floor. Helena sat next to Reese, watching them. They seemed to be having a lot of fun. She looked so happy, her eyes were only for him; her smile was perfect. Had she ever once smiled at Helena that way?

Her hair was beautiful, as was she. It fell gracefully over her shoulders. He leaned in and said something in her ear that made her laugh. She moved her head back and Helena could see her perfect neck. She was beautiful. Her hands wrapped around Dick's neck. She had felt her close so many times before – her softness, the firmness of her muscles.

"Helena? Are you okay?" Reese asked. They were standing up at the table, listening to the music in the bar.

She swallowed all her tequila in one shot. "Yeah." She took a bit of lemon and sucked it. At that moment, she wanted to be a normal human being, able to get drunk with just a few shots of liquor.

"Something wrong with Barbara?" The tall detective slipped an arm around her back.

"No, why?"

"Because I'm talking to you and you are in another world. All night you've been looking at her. Your eyes are glued to her."

"Well, we had an argument last week. That's all, but everything is fine now."

"You sure?"

"Yes." She smiled at him. She turned to see the couple on the dance floor. The redhead kissed him. It felt like a punch in her gut and she took another tequila shot. When she raised her head, green eyes were looking at her. She felt her skin burning. Without thinking, she turned and, surprising Reese, she put her hand behind his neck and pulled him down.

She kissed him fiercely; it was long, wild, desperate. It was an impulse, a way to run away… but, run away from what? After long seconds, he moved back breathlessly.

"Wow… what was that?"

She looked at him, trying to not think.

"I hope that was a yes." Reese smiled at her, touching her cheek.

"Give me time…" she whispered, hiding her eyes behind her dark bangs.

"Time for what? I'm pretty sure that I love you, you don't?"

She hesitated a few seconds before answering. "I don't want to hurt you… It's not that… it's… it's what I am."

"What about what you are?" He was not going to let her run away. He took her hand in his.

"I'm confused…" She chewed at her bottom lip; she needed to think fast to escape the mess she had built "…about what I was, what I am, and what I want to be…"

"I love what you are." Reese took her chin between his hands and pressed his lips to hers.

"You are having a good time too, eh?" Dick interrupted them.

Reese smiled and wrapped an arm around Helena's waist. "Always."

Barbara finished her cup of wine without saying a word; she put it on the table and licked her lips.

"We can call this a night," Dick said, looking for his wallet.

"My treat." Reese stopped his movement. "Please."

"Are you two celebrating something?" Barbara raised her brow.

"Maybe we will give you a surprise soon." The tall detective grinned toward Helena.

"Oh… good." The redhead nodded.

"Well, thanks." Dick shook his hand, "We need to go, Barbara has to be to work early tomorrow. It was a pleasure to meet you, Reese."

"You too." He shook his hand.

"Bye, Helena."

"Bye, Dick, see you, Barbara."

"Have a good night, Helena… Reese." The older woman smiled at them.

They watched them go and then Reese turned to Helena. "Want something else to drink?"

The brunette hugged herself and smiled at him. "No, I'm a bit tired, I would like to go to sleep. Would you excuse me?"

"Sure, let me get the bill." He raised his hand to the waitress while Helena, with her eyes hidden behind her rebellious hair, watched the door close behind Barbara and Dick .


Part Three

Barbara removed her glasses and put them on her night table with her book. She had been trying to concentrate on her book, but had been unsuccessful. She turned her torso and hit her pillow lightly, before lying down. Stretching her arm, she turned off the lamp and closed her eyes.

After a long two minutes, she opened her eyes and stared at the ceiling. Her mind was wandering; Helena had been distant, speaking to her only when necessary or when discussing work topics, nothing else. After the dark months that had followed Quinn's assault, things had been flowing so wonderfully. Helena had been very attentive to her, nice, in a word: lovely.

Sometimes the brunette had surprised her and Dinah with something small or would just lie on the couch watching TV and eating popcorn. Helena and her weird sense of humor made her laugh almost every day. She'd even been playful with Dinah. It made her feel so happy; her family was back.

But the last few weeks, Helena had turned distant, hostile, she had been… yes, she had been avoiding the ClockTower, since Dick had come back in her life. She was like a big jealous child, demanding attention all day. She needed to understand that she was trying to rebuild her life.

She knew Dick from years ago; he was an important part of her life. They had been friends from the beginning and, later, they had started a game of flirting that sometimes ended in furtive and unexpected lovemaking.

Later, things had changed, he had been trying to find himself without Batman, and she had been trying to find herself after the shooting and trying to help Helena survive her personal tragedy. In some way, saving Helena had saved her too. She had to give the girl long speeches about why they should keep going, keep living…

One night, she found the rebellious teenager standing on the edge of the balcony. Half of her feet were in the air and the other half on the slippery surface of the cold bricks. Seeing the thin brunette there, with her gaze lost on the lights of the city below her; ready to jump, had taken the air from her lungs.

She had called her name, softly, afraid that any sudden movement or loud noise would make her jump. Shyly, the dark head had turned to face her; blue eyes filed with tears; she could read in them that she was saying good bye.

She had been terrified. At that moment, she'd realized the girl was an important part of her life, a reason to wake up and to keep going, and she'd understood the meaning of all the speeches she'd given Helena.

"Please, don't leave me alone. I… I can't do this without you…" She had caught her attention; sad blue eyes were glued to her. "Help me," Barbara said softly, "you give me strength, courage… You are my reason to keep going. Please…" She extended her hand to the girl.

The brunette hesitated, her gaze lowered to the extended palm of her guardian.

"I need you, Helena." She wheeled slowly toward her. "I need you so much."

The young girl remained still. Barbara knew she was on the edge. She stopped and smiled at her. "Please, stay with me. I love you."

Helena jumped down and walked toward her silently. Suddenly, she collapsed and hugged her guardian desperately, sobbing. The older woman sighed with relief and hugged her back and cried; she had been seconds from losing her. The two shared the moment, needing each other.

Barbara closed her eyes, remembering that wonderful moment. It was so good to hug the girl, comfort her. Helena felt so vulnerable in her arms. She knew she loved her so much. She didn't need to be jealous; her place in her heart was unique, irreplaceable. They had shared so much pain, sadness, hope, triumph, failure. She was an important part of her life, of herself.

But Helena needed to understand that she needed Dick; that it was different. Love was a wonderful feeling and she was trying to find it again with him.

She sighed.

Sometimes she wondered if things would work really with him. He was nice, handsome; strong, but sweet; always doing the small things for her. A fantastic lover, but… she still felt something was missing. Dick was incredible; any woman would die for him. She didn't understand why, after all the attention and care he took with her, she still could feel…


A hard word, but, yes, she was unsatisfied.

She was selfish, what else could she ask of him? He was giving her everything.

"Damn," the redhead mumbled, brushing her hair back and fixing her eyes on the ceiling. Had the years in that chair made her cold?


Another difficult word.

"Relax, Barbara," she said to herself. Maybe she was stressed, things with Dick had moved too fast, plus Helena's tantrum. She just needed time and things would flow again.

The brunette would understand, it seemed that she was back with Reese. Barbara didn't like that idea very much, he was not the person that she expected for her; he was a bit… chauvinistic? Macho? Well, any one of the words would fit him perfectly. He was a really handsome man, educated and nice. But, there was something in him that she didn't like.

And her sixth sense never failed.

Helena and Reese together; no, definitely not good. Helena was full of life, loved the rush of adrenaline, the action. Reese was rigid, always thinking about rules.

No, he was definitely not for her.

She closed her eyes and tried to sleep, the next day would be hard.

The old butler cleaned the silver, with his sleeves pulled up to his elbows in the dining room. It was Tuesday. Tuesdays were typically ideal days to clean it because there was not much work.

Dinah appeared, after a long day in school, with her big smile and sat next to him.

"Hi, Alfred."

"Good afternoon, Miss Dinah," Alfred said. "Did you have a good day?"

"Yes. School isn't so bad after all." She crossed her arms on the table, "Where's Barbara?"

"She called and she told me she needed to stop by the book store."

"She really enjoys looking for new titles, eh?"

"Yes, it's her favorite sport."

She took an apple off the fruit plate and bit it. "Alfred, do you know what's going on?"

"Excuse me?" he raised his brow.

"Helena and Barbara, they've been acting weird the last few days."


"Oh, come on!" Dinah rolled her eyes. "You know, since a month ago, Helena doesn't come here often, and neither of them talk much. Barbara's been in a really bad mood. Those two have problems. Barbara always talks to you. What's going on?"

"You know, Miss Dinah, that Miss Barbara is very private and she never shares things about her personal life."

Dinah glared at him.

"Perhaps you should ask them."

"Barbara is in a pretty bad mood." The blonde said, "You know how Barbara is when she is in bad mood. And you know that no one can make Helena talk when she doesn't want to talk."

"Yes, I know." Alfred picked up a cup to clean it.

Dinah watched him and, after a few seconds of silence, she frowned. "And?"


"Alfred, please!" she pleaded.

"Miss Dinah, a crime fighter's life is a mystery. You must know that. Mysteries are hard to solve. And Miss Barbara and Miss Helena, are a big mystery."

"Mystery? What's a mystery?" Helena appeared in the kitchen.

"Life is a mystery." Dinah rested her head on her hands.

"And?" the brunette asked.


"Yes, and?"

"Forget it. I'll go change, we need to train." The blonde stood up giving Helena her apple and went to her room.

Helena watched her go and bit the apple. "What's going on?" she asked the old butler.

"Teenagers are a mystery," he responded, smiling to himself.

"Good fight Dinah." Helena smiled, patting the blonde's back in the training room. They were finishing a long, exhausting training session.

"This was great." The teen put a towel around her neck.

"Good movements," Alfred complimented, walking toward the furniture. He needed to clean it.

"Thanks," both girls responded.

"I'll go take a shower. I'm going with Gabby to the movies. Want to come with me?"

"Nah," Helena waved her hand toward the punching bag. "I want to practice a bit more."

The brunette arranged her gloves and walked to the punching bag. She began with fast punches and changes of movement. A few moments later, she was working on a combination of kicks and punches. The young woman rotated herself and sent a strong kick at the bag.

Dick walked down the corridor toward the kitchen and almost bumped into Dinah at the elevator.

"Oh, hi," she said, smiling.

"Hi, how are you?"

"Fine, I just finished my training with Helena."


"Sorry, I gotta go." She waved her hand and went toward her room.

"Bye." He watched her disappear behind her door and, an instant later, his gaze went to the elevator. Helena was downstairs. She had always been a temperamental girl and it pissed him off that she always seemed so arrogant. He hated that Barbara was always considerate with her, putting up with her bad moods and her rebelliousness. The brunette took advantage of her.

Helena thought she owned the house, well, in some way she did; but Barbara was in charge. He was thinking seriously about starting a new life with Barbara, maybe it would be good to talk with the impetuous girl about that. He was not like Barbara and he was not going to tolerate her impulsiveness or her tantrums. He was going to be the man of the house and he wanted order.

Helena jumped and launched a double kick at the punching bag.

"Impressive," a man's voice appraised behind her.

Helena turned, Dick was standing in the door frame, wearing pants and a thin shirt, His feet were bare. And his hair wet.


That was strange, had he taken a bath… in Barbara's shower? What the hell was he doing in her room?

"Hi… What are you doing here?" she asked.

"I was with Barbara… I took a shower and I left her sleeping. I came out to look for some coffee, but I heard you in here."

He had been with Barbara. In her room. The two of them. Alone. He had taken a bath and left her sleeping. Two plus two equals four. It didn't take a genius to figure out what they were doing. Blue eyes morphed as she turned and walked toward the weapons rack that Alfred was cleaning. She took two sticks and threw one to him.

"Wanna train with me?"

Alfred turned his head and looked at her.

"Sure," the tall man responded, moving the stick between his fingers.

They circled each other. Helena grinned at him.

"So… you had a good day?"


The brunette attacked, but Dick blocked by raising his stick.

"Barbara is a great woman," he commented.

"I know."

"She is sweet, kind, gentle… but… she has a lot of adrenaline inside."

Helena attacked with quick movements, making him step back.

"I want to talk with you."

"About?" She circled him.

"Barbara and I have been thinking about starting a life together."

It was like a punch on the girl's stomach. "She said that?"

He launched an offensive with his stick. Helena ducked and hit his knee.

"Good move…" He jumped back "Yes, we've been talking about that, and I would like to talk with you about how things are going to be."

"How things are going to be?" Now, that sounded really bad.

Alfred curiously turned his head to watch Dick.

"Well, I'll be around now and you better get used to it." He attacked her again. Helena avoided his blow and threw one of her own, but Dick was fast and stopped her. Their faces were inches apart.

"She wants you to come to live with her?" the brunette asked, incredulously.

"I'll ask her that… but I want you to know first. I know you don't like me very much."

"Clever." Helena pushed him back with her stick.

"I know you and Barbara are friends, but I'll be the man of the house, responsible for Barbara." He moved quickly and his stick flew toward her.

That 'man of the house' speech sounded like a load of shit. She barely stopped the blow and turned. "Responsible for Barbara?" She laughed. "What kind of crap is that? She can take care of herself, she doesn't need anyone, especially not you."

Alfred raised his brow. He didn't like this.

"Well," the tall man attacked her again with two fast movements, "you only worry about yourself, you are selfish. I've seen her dealing with you. Most of the time you give her headaches and trouble."

Furious, Helena answered his attack and hit him again. This time on his arm.

"Excellent…" he smirked. "As I was saying, Barbara has feelings."

"I know that," Helena growled. He was a fucking idiot.

"She needs someone who listens and…. she has needs. Needs that only a man can satisfy."

"What do you want?" the brunette glared at him and stepped back.

"I'm going to come live with her: I don't want trouble. I want you to respect this place as my home."

"Your home?" Yes, he was definitely crazy.

"Yes, this will be my home, and you need to respect our time and space."

Helena blinked. "What?"

"You are used to coming here any time you want, doing whatever you want. So… we need to…eh… establish a time?"

"Establish a time?" Had he lost his mind? He was going to tell her when she was allowed to come to the Tower?

"Yes, we need privacy. I don't want to walk out my room at midnight and find you lurking in the corridors."

"This is our home and you are not going to change it," she growled. That was enough. She used all her strength and smashed her stick against his.

"Things change, Helena, always." Dick smiled sweetly and answered her attack.

Helena raised her arms and blocked him. Crouching down, she swept the stick below his feet.

"Wow, that was a good move." He jumped and raised his stick.

The next crash of sticks echoed loudly in the training room. Alfred stood and watched them. Both of them were becoming too aggressive. He needed to stop it.

"How long have you been living with Barbara? Eight years?" Dick asked, hitting his stick against Helena's.

"Five. The other three in my place," the brunette answered, stopping another blow.

"Sometimes I just don't understand how she took care of you. No offense."

"Why? I don't have three legs." She stepped back.

"But you were a perfect candidate for Juvenile Hall," Dick mocked, finally hitting her on her thigh.

The comment angered the young woman so that she didn't feel the blow. "And I thought you were a candidate for the Old folks home."

"Good move, but not better than mine." He hit her again successfully on her hand "I'm not so old. I have a lot of energy, ask Barbara."

Feeling her blood burning, the brunette attacked him. "Barbara deserves a good man."

With six fast movements, she cornered him. Rolling on his side, he hit her. She stopped his blow and, with the sticks between them, their faces were once again inches from each other.

"I'm a good man." He smiled.

"Yeah? Where were you those first few months when she was healing after the shooting?" she hissed.

"I kept an eye on her."

"Sure, by phone every month. Great."

His face hardened.

"Where were you on the nights that she cried alone in her room, feeling miserable and lost? Watching TV? You are a great friend.."

Dick clenched his teeth; she was going too far.

Knowing she had hit a sore spot, Helena grinned. "Wait, I almost forgot," she said. "You weren't here when she was sick either. I spent my nights taking care of her, giving her medicine, lowering her fever." She pushed him back. "Where were you? Where were you when she laughed again for first time in months?"

"What's your problem?" he asked annoyed. "Me? That she is happy with me?"

"Happy with you for how long? You always leave without stopping to think if you hurt her or not."

In irritation, he used his stick to sweep her legs. The brunette fell back. He tried to hit her, but she rolled away in time, the stick hit the floor hard. She kicked him in his face. Alfred noticed, with concern, that the fight was now real…

"What about you, Helena?" Dick moved the sick from one hand to the other as he walked around the room, "She gave you her life, and you have only been rude and violent; always challenging her."

"You've always played with her feelings," Helena growled.

"Love is a mystery; it takes time, sometimes you don't want to, but you hurt… We have been learning. We learn from our mistakes, because we want to keep going, we want to be together." Dick stood up in front of her, smirking "What about you? You betrayed her…"

The brunette froze, biting her lip.

He knew he had her now. "You told Quinn all the secrets of the Clock Tower, all about Wade, didn't you?... He is dead because of you."

She pounced on him. He stopped her and tried to punch her, but Helena was faster. She kicked him hard.

"Master Dick! Stop it!" Alfred shouted.

His back crashed against a rack that held towels, breaking it. He moved to the side to avoid another kick he grabbed her leg. Helena flew to the other side of the room.

He stood up to find Alfred in front of him, raising his hand. "Don't!"

"Alfred…" he warned.

"Move away, Alfred!" Helena shouted.

"Someone here needs to think with their head," the old man said to Dick. "Think of Miss Barbara."

He grimaced and glared to the brunette. Alfred was right.

"Let me kick his ass!" Helena growled.

"Miss Helena, please, go back to your training." He extended his arm in front of her to stop her. He knew she was stronger than him, but he also knew that she respected him too much to disobey.

"Okay," Dick threw the stick to the floor, "Just keep Barbara's pet away from me." He walked out of the training room.

"Pet? Son of a bitch!" The young woman tried to hit him, but Alfred stood in front of her.

"Miss Helena, please!" the butler said with a firm voice noticing her eyes were feral. "Miss Barbara would be angry if she knew you two had been fighting."

The brunette remained motionless for a few seconds, glaring toward the door. She wanted to kill that asshole. Finally, she shook her head and stepped back.

"He is an asshole," she mumbled, walking toward the bench. "Who the fuck does he think he is? Now he is trying to make me follow a schedule to come to the Clock Tower. What's next? Giving us a visitation schedule to see Barbara? Just Mondays at five?"

"I think he is trying to clarify some things." Alfred said.

"This is not his home! He doesn't have the right to make rules! He just uses her! He was never with her when she was suffering, dealing with… with the… fact that she would never be what she was. I was here! You were here, but not him!"

His face remained passive, waiting for the brunette to finish.

"We were here for her," Helena continued and sat on the bench to remove her gloves, "He is an asshole, he appears suddenly, after years, and he thinks he is the lord of the house. He acts as if all this is his. What is happening to her? Is she so blind? She just has eyes for him. And us?" She started to remove the bandages that covered her hands, "This is so unfair…"

"What if he moves to live here, with her?"

Helena opened her eyes wide. "No way!"

"Why not."

"Alfred, no!" The brunette stood up and faced him, "He is not going to control my life here! He doesn't love her!"

"But she loves him," he explained softly.

"No!" Annoyed, Helena turned her back on him and began pacing.

"Why not?" Alfred was watching her carefully.

"Give me a break!" The brunette stormed toward the door. She was in a bad mood and she didn't want to keep listening to more stupid things.

He watched her go. Shaking his head, he smiled. He had opened a door that she didn't know existed in her heart.


Part Four

The redhead stretched her arms. Her headache had almost gone. She had called Alfred to tell him she would be at the library. Thankfully, Dick had been there because a strong headache hit her. She needed to be more careful to eat breakfast. Every time she went to work without eating, the headache came.

He'd driven her back to Clock Tower, but a mechanical problem had delayed them. He had fixed the car, but was filthy afterwards. When they arrived, Helena and Dinah were in the training room. She had wheeled toward her room and fallen asleep immediately while Dick showered in her bathroom.

She looked at her watch. She had slept almost two hours. Soft knocks at her door caught her attention.

"Come in."

The door slowly opened and Dick appeared. "Hi, how do you feel?"

"Fine," she smiled at him. "I'm sorry I was so rude and fell asleep, leaving you alone."

"Don't worry, I took a bath." He walked toward her. "Sorry, but I needed it."

"It's okay. Where were you? I thought you had gone."

"I went to the training room, I had an excellent match with Helena."

"Good." She rubbed her temples. "I'm feeling much better."

He sat next to her and touched her hand. "I want to talk to you."


"About us."

She suddenly felt uncomfortable.

"I've been thinking that… maybe we…"

"Don't you think it's too soon?" she interrupted him, lacing her fingers with his.

"Soon?" he smirked. "We've known each other for over ten years, we have lived together; we're comfortable with each other… I'm so happy whenever you are near to me; I love you... We have great sex… what else do you want?"

She kissed his knuckles, he was right. But, the truth was, she wasn't sure if she wanted it. "I know, but… I need time, Dick; the changes in my life over the last years have been so fast. I'm happy you are back, but… I need to organize my thoughts."

"Take all the time you need. I'll be here." He leaned down and kissed her.

Suddenly, the door opened.

"Barbara, I need…" Helena stopped in her tracks. Damn, he was there.

"Do you know how to knock?" he asked, irritated.

"I didn't know you were here." She glared at him. "This is not your house."

"I told you to get used to seeing me here," the tall man stood up to face her, "and learn to respect the space of others."

"Hey…Stop!" Barbara waved her hand. "What's going on?"

"I need to talk to you," Helena answered, locking her eyes on Dick..

"Knock first."

"I never knock on Barbara's door."

"Well, learn to do it."

"Dick! Helena! Please," the redhead sat up on the bed, "my headache is still lingering, I don't want it to get worse over your argument. What's wrong, Helena?"

"Later, you are busy now." The brunette growled and walked out of the room, closing the door with a big slam.

Dick crossed his arms and looked at her, "She needs to learn to respect our space."

The redhead closed her eyes "Dick please…"

"This is precisely what I want to talk about." He sat next to her. "About us, about our space and about the girls."

Barbara frowned "What about the girls?"

"Look at what just happened."

"This is their home."

"I know, I know, but we need our own space."

"We have it."

"What if we were... And she suddenly comes in?"

"Dick… this is our home. I can't ask them to leave. They are my family."

"I want to be your family too."

Barbara touched his arm "Dick, please… I need to think, I need time."

"How much time?" he asked gently.

"Just give me time, okay?" She leaned over and kissed his lips. "I need it."

He didn't like the idea, but he nodded. "Anything you want."

She typed at the keyboard. Stopping her work, she removed her glasses. It was useless, she couldn't concentrate. She looked at her watch, almost two o'clock in the morning. She moved her chair back. Dick had been on her mind all day, he was pressing her so much. She didn't like to feel pressured.

She needed to consider her feelings and think about the consequences of her decision. The ClockTower was the girls' home. Dick was right, if they chose to live together, it would affect the girls. And that was unfair for them, Dinah and… Helena.

Maybe Helena's mood over the last few weeks had been because she was afraid of that, of things changing in her home. Because even though she 'lived' at her own place, she spent the most of the day here. Barbara smiled to herself. Not to mention that half of the brunette's clothes were scattered about the Tower


The redhead jumped in her place.


Helena and her silent approaches would give her a heart attack one day.

"You're up late," the brunette said.

"I was finishing some work…" Barbara was glad to see her. The last couple of days they had been distant. They used to talk much, but things were changing and it bothered her. "What are you doing here? It's late. I thought you had gone home."

"I was on the balcony. I wasn't paying attention to the time. Sorry, I'll go now." She turned toward the elevator.

Barbara stopped her, taking her by her arm. "No, no… don't go. It's okay. What did you want to ask me this afternoon?"

"Nothing important." The brunette lowered her head.

"Nothing? Come on, tell me."

"Are you mad at me?"

"Excuse me?" Barbara blinked.

"You barely talk to me." Blue eyes locked in green.

"Oh… I'm sorry, I've just been so busy…"

"With him."

Barbara frowned slightly. She understood where this was going. She understood Helena. She took the girl's hand. "Things are changing, Helena…"

"Are you thinking about living with him? Marrying him?" she asked in a whisper.

"We… we've been talking about that…" A shiver ran through the redhead's body.

"So it's true, eh?" The brunette felt a knot in her throat. She was so afraid to lose her; he was taking her away.

"We've just had been talking." Barbara rubbed her hands together nervously. "We haven't made a decision yet."

"And what about us?" Helena turned her back to the redhead, her fingers touched the screen next to her. She was afraid to lose her. "Dinah… me."

"He is not going to change things between us."

"Are you sure?"


The lithe woman sighed before asking, "Do you think he will be okay with that?"

"Okay with what?" Barbara frowned.

"That things don't change between us."

"He is not going to dictate my life. This is our home, Dinah lives here, you can come here any time you want."

"I think you should ask him first."

"Ask him what? It's my decision. He is not going to make decisions for me."

"Maybe you've forgotten that you are going to be a couple, you won't be alone anymore. You need to think of him too, before making a decision." The girl lowered her lashes and walked toward the elevator.

"Helena, wait!" The redhead took her arm. Something was wrong. "What happened? He said something to you?"

The younger woman squeezed her eyes shut before opening them once again turning to face her partner. She didn't have the right to take away her happiness. That was selfish. "No. Why?" she finally said.

"Why are you saying all of this?"

"I'm just thinking. If you are with him, things can't be the same. Not because you don't want it to be the same…. but…you share your life with another person and you can't ignore what he wants. A couple is two people, not one."

The redhead stared at her in silence. She was right, but Dick would never try to separate her from them or…?

Helena lowered her face and touched Barbara's hand; she caressed the back of her hand with her thumb. Her fingers were delicate, her skin soft. Slowly, she raised her eyes, her firm abdomen, her perfect breasts, her delicate neck. She looked at her; the woman was so beautiful. Red hair, perfect nose; wonderful green eyes that make her knees tremble; her lips red. She was so perfect, so tempting. God! She wanted just lean down and kiss her.

Helena blinked and pulled back slightly.

Speechless, she stared at the other woman.

Kiss her?

"We haven't made a decision yet," the redhead said.

Helena tried to focus. Shit. Kiss her?

Barbara frowned; her protégée was looking at her with a mix of horror, fear and surprise. "Helena?"

Oh damn! She was in love! The brunette hadn't planned that. She was a free spirit. A woman who loved her independence.

"Helena, are you okay?"

The young woman released her hand as if she'd been shocked and stepped back.

"What?" Barbara asked, watching her protégée in confusion.

"I…. I gotta go." The young crime fighter avoided meeting her eyes.

"Are you okay?" her mentor asked, reaching for the younger woman's hand.

Helena jerked her hand away.

"Helena? What's wrong?"

"I'm sorry... I'm tired. I gotta… go, see you tomorrow." The brunette went to the elevator in a hurry.

Barbara wanted to stop her, to tell her not to go, but the words died in her throat. Helena disappeared behind the elevator's doors. Silence filled the ClockTower. Staring at the elevator, she found that she was suddenly feeling very empty.

The brunette looked at the city below her feet. With her hands in her pockets, she tried to understand what had happened. Maybe she was just a bit hormonal… but… every time she thought of seeing Barbara; butterflies filled in her stomach and her heart started to beat harder.

She was in love… with someone she never expected. With the person who had taken care of her for years. How could she not have realized…?. It was wrong. She would disappoint Barbara. She crouched down and grabbed her head in her hands. It was so confusing.

Now what was she supposed to do?

Barbara was worried. Helena was becoming more and more distant. Physically, she was avoiding the Clock Tower, and when she was there, she spoke few words.

She was clearly jealous of Dick, afraid that he would take her space. And, worse, she'd turned extremely aggressive in her fighting and that was dangerous.

She typed at her keyboard. They were trying to rescue a kidnapped girl, daughter of one of the most important businessmen in the city. She followed the clues to a place outside of New Gotham. "They are on your left. Careful."

<<Got it.> Dinah said. <I just knocked out two here.>

Green eyes followed the movement of her protégées on the screen. Helena was on the rooftop of the small building.

<I can see them.> the brunette responded. <Two playing cards at a table. One in front of a door and another two at the window… and two more around back.>

"Maybe the girl is behind the closed door."

<Must be…I can't see her.>

<Be ready.> Oracle's voice said.

Huntress looked through the skylight. "I am…" Her eyes turned feral. She turned to face a man, who was running toward her with a big axe in his hands. She ducked and the man stumbled, falling through the skylight.

"Shit," she growled. "Change of plans… Dinah, inside now!"

The brunette jumped through the hole that the criminal had created in the skylight. She dropped onto the table, surprising the men inside. Before they could react, she kicked two of them in the face, swinging her leg around, and jumped back.

The door opened and Dinah appeared. She raised her hand and pushed a big man back with her telekinesis.

Helena hit another man on his head. "The girl, Dinah! Get the girl!"

The blonde followed her instructions and ran toward the door. She opened it with a blast of her power. A small girl was curled up in a corner with her hands tied and her eyes blindfolded. "Bastards," she mumbled, running toward the child.

The kid moved back, scared. Dinah removed the cloth covering her eyes and talked to her softly. "It's okay, I'm gonna take you back to your mom. You're safe."


"Yes," Dinah hugged the girl and lifted her easily. "I've got her, Oracle."

<I'm calling the police now.>

<Get out of here! I'm covering you!> Huntress shouted over the mic.

The blonde ran out of the room toward the exit. Huntress was dealing with five big guys.

"She needs back up, Oracle," the blonde said, crossing the entrance door. "I'll get the girl somewhere safe and come back to help her."

<No! Stay with her! Keep her safe!> Huntress growled <I'm having fun.>

"There's too many, Oracle," Dinah insisted, holding the girl against her.

<Focus on your mission, Dinah,> Oracle instructed.

The brunette knocked out one of the thugs with her fist. "One down." She turned and kicked the other guy in his gut, "This will take some time to heal."

Strong arms wrapped around her from behind. She lifted her legs and kicked the guy in front of her. The brunette pushed herself back with her legs, knocking the man holding her against the wall. The old wall broke under their weight. They fell and crashed through the weak wood floor, falling to the floor below.

<Huntress? Are you okay?>

After a few seconds of silence, the men above picked up their guns.

"Kill her!" the boss shouted.

The men looked through the hole, trying to find the brunette.

"Can you see her?" asked one.


Suddenly, a shadow jumped from the hole and hit him. "Miss me?" Huntress grinned. She moved quickly and disarmed the guy next to him.

A man was going to punch her, when something fell on top of him. Huntress turned in annoyance, Nightwing was knocking out two of her bad guys. Another man charged at her, but she knocked him out easily. After a few seconds, all the criminals were unconscious on the floor.

The brunette glared at Nightwing. "What the hell are you doing here?"

"You're welcome." The tall man grinned.

<You needed back up.> Oracle said. <I asked him to stay close.>

"What? I don't need a nanny!"


"Okay, let's get something straight." The young crime fighter pointed at Nightwing. "This is my city. I do the fighting."

"This has always been my city, too." Nightwing crossed his arms. "You're going to see me here often."

"I see," Helena crossed her arms. "You exchanged your pink stockings for black ones, and after all these years, you come back to claim what you left behind, including Barbara…"

"Don't go there," Dick growled to her.

"What's wrong? The truth hurts?"

<Huntress, Nightwing, stop!> Oracle almost shouted. <Get out of there, the police are arriving.>

"Fine." The brunette clenched her teeth and turned, jumping through the skylight.

Barbara listened to the police report. The girl had been rescued after two long days. They'd picked her up from a safe place after a mysterious phone call. All the criminals had been caught and, strangely, all had been found beaten and unconscious.

The door of the elevator opened. Helena stormed out. Dinah followed her with quick steps.

"I know what you're going to say," Helena growled. "I was too hard on superhero boy, right? He swooped in out of nowhere, dropped into my fight. Who does Dick think he is?"

Barbara removed her glasses and watched Helena pace in agitation. "It was the kid's life. I needed to be sure the girl would be safe."

"Did you send him there as back up, without telling us?" Dinah asked, stunned.

Helena stood in front of her mentor, feeling her blood boil. "Why didn't you tell us?"

"You're stubborn! I wasn't sure how many guys were there. I wanted that kid safe."

"So now you don't trust us?" Helena shouted, raising her arms in exasperation. She resumed her pacing.

"I trust you two completely."

"So?" Dinah asked her, "Why did you send him?"

Barbara sighed and leaned back in her chair, looking at them. "It looks like we'll be working together."

"What?" the teen blinked.

"No way!!" Helena pointed at her. "I'm not going to work with him!"

"You should be grateful. I saved your ass today." Dick suddenly emerged from the elevator.

"I had everything under control."

"Sure." The dark haired man walked toward Delphi, removing his mask.

"Who the hell do you think you are?" Helena turned to face him.

"Exactly what I was going to ask you." Dick crossed his arms over his chest. "You're only thinking of yourself! Barbara was thinking about what was best for that child."

"Listen to me, wonder boy," the brunette faced him, "We've been working in this business for over five years, while you were hiding I don't know where."

"Be careful, Helena." The man clenched his jaw.

"We don't need any more people here. Why don't you go back to your place and let us work?"

"Stop!" Seeing a fight brewing, Barbara moved her chair between the two.

"You must tell us! We are a team."

"Yes, we are a team." Dick said ironically, "I'm glad you finally understand it. It's what's best for all of us."

"Shut up…" The young crime fighter wanted to smash his face. He just shows up after all these years and now he "knows" what's the best for them.

"Please!" Barbara pleaded. "I wanted what was best for the girl. Any help was useful."

"And your boyfriend is the best? Now we have to adopt all of your…?" Helena closed her mouth before finishing.

Dick stepped towards Helena, he was going to close her mouth for her. Barbara raised her arm and stopped him. This was not his problem and Helena had crossed the line again.

"She needs to learn to respect you!" Dick wanted to defend the redhead.

"I don't need any help. Could you please leave us alone?" Green eyes turned and glared at deep blue ones.

"But I…"

"Please." Barbara said firmly, without taking her eyes off of Helena.

In a bad mood, Dick walked toward the elevator. When the doors closed, Barbara spoke: "All my what Helena?"

The brunette remained silent and looked everywhere but at her mentor.

"My what, Helena? Finish it!"

Helena's lips trembled with anger.

"My lovers? Is that what you were going to say? Is that it? You know I would never do that! You disappoint me!"

"He doesn't have the right to be here now," the young woman spat out. "Why is he suddenly so important? Just because you need him, doesn't mean we need him too."

"What's wrong with you? He was helping."

"I don't need any help!"

Dinah interrupted, trying to calm things a bit. "You should have told us, Barbara, we always talk before making a decision. I think Helena is angry, not because he was there, but because you were going to bring him on the team without telling us."

"I haven't made a decision yet." Barbara took a deep breath. "I'm thinking about it."

"You said…"

"I said 'It looks like we'll be working together.' But I'm not sure yet, Dick has his own style and we have our own."

"Why did you send him without tell us?" Helena asked.

"He arrived here after you two had gone. I told him what was happening and he offered to go and be there just in case. I said yes, I was thinking of the child. What's wrong with that?"

"I'm not going to work with him. Forget it. This isn't his place." The brunette shook her head. She never expected the redhead's next words.

"And what if I decide to be with him indefinitely, Helena?"


Part Five

Dinah watched Helena's face pale.

"Tell me. What are you going to do?" Barbara insisted. "Are you going to choose? Because I don't want to choose. I won't do it."

It was worse than a punch directly to the young crime fighter's solar plexus.

"I'll be around." Dinah said in a soft voice and walked away, knowing they needed to talk alone.

The redhead played with her fingers. She took her time, she wasn't sure how to say everything that was on her mind. When Dinah disappeared upstairs, her voice was almost a whisper, but she was sure Helena's sensitive hearing could pick up her voice.

"I think I love him."

The brunette felt her knees buckle, tried to swallow the hard knot in her throat.

"I wish you two could have a good relationship," Barbara explained. "We are trying, I wish you were happy for me."

Helena looked at her, feeling as if the floor was swallowing her. How could she tell Barbara that she wanted her to be happy? How could tell her she loved her and would die for her? How could she tell her so many things that she felt, but that she'd never know?

"It would be much easier for me, that way." Barbara whispered "After Wade I… I thought…"

The brunette was ashamed. He was gone. Quinzel knew about him because of her. His death had been a terrible blow to her mentor. She kneeled in font of the redhead, resting her hands on her knees. "Barbara…"

"You're very special to me, Helena," the redhead took the slim hands in her own and caressed them with her thumbs: they were soft, perfectly manicured; hard to believe they could kill so easily. She raised their laced hands and surprising Helena, she gave her fingers a long and soft kiss.

"You will always be special to me," the redhead said. "Dick won't change the things between us."

The brunette stood and met Barbara eyes. She moved her hand between the redhead's fingers and cupped her cheek. She was so beautiful, she wanted to lose herself in that heavenly green, taste those red lips.

Barbara felt herself struggling for air. Helena's face, a few inches from her own, her incredible eyes changed in front of her from a deep blue to a powerful gold. She was a really sensual woman; her small nose, her perfect lips.

Helena leaned toward her, slowly, closing her eyes.

Barbara's heart beat harder, she thought, feared and… hoped? that the younger woman would kiss her? She closed her eyes and felt the fine hairs of the other woman's cheek against hers, listened to Helena's soft breathing. The young woman's smooth lips met her cheek.

"I'm sorry…" Helena whispered in her ear. "I didn't mean to hurt you."

The brunette slowly moved back, breaking the spell. Barbara opened her eyes; her breath was heavy. The young woman stepped away and departed without another word.

The redhead, speechless, remained motionless. She hadn't kiss her… she was a bit disappointed about that. She raised her hand and touched her cheek; she could still feel the warm touch of Helena's lips against her. Suddenly, the older woman blinked, what the hell she was thinking?


She shook her head, to clear it, and brushed her hair back. She wheeled toward the kitchen, she needed some strong coffee.

The brunette distractedly watched the people on the dance floor as she sat at a lonely table in a dark corner of the bar. Flashing colored lights morphed and swirled overhead. A tequila bottle next to her, a cup in her right hand, she moved her head to the rhythm of the music.

She swallowed the entire contents of the glass and poured another shot. Finally, after the third bottle, she was numbed a bit from the alcohol. This was one of those moments when it disgusted her to be meta; it was hard to get drunk. She'd been trying to forget her feelings for Barbara, unsuccessfully.

And now, Barbara told her that she was in love with Dick.

It was like have a burning knife buried in her heart.

It hurt like hell.

She swallowed another shot of alcohol in one gulp.

"What am I supposed to do?" The redhead put her cup of coffee on the table.

"Well, both have terrible tempers. I think they're going to have to learn not to see you as part of their territory." Alfred laced his hands behind his back.

"Excuse me?" She turned to see him.

"Master Dick is very possessive, he is a bit jealous of the time Miss Helena has spent with you. You and she are very close, and I'm sure he would like to be the one so close to you…. Miss Helena, well, you know her, she's always been glued to your side. It's natural that she feels he is trying to take you away from her."

"Helena has her own place, no one can replace her. We've grown together, supporting each other in the worst times of our lives… and Dick… well, Dick is different. Dick is… a man."

"Obviously," he smirked, cleaning the fridge with a cloth.

"I'm trying to say that my relationship with him shouldn't be some sort of rivalry for them. They're different feelings." The redhead rubbed her eyes.

"Yes, but both have possessive personalities and you need to deal with it before they kill each other." He moved toward the counter and, folding the cloth, he put it down.

"Maybe you're right." She stopped in front of him. "Dick is tense every time Helena is around and she's been acting so strangely the past few days. I think she is avoiding me."

"Maybe you need to talk with both of them about all of this."

"I'm trying. It's hard. Dick wants to start a serious relationship."

"That is good, no?" Alfred asked, pressing her.

The older woman sighed. "I don't know."

"Is Master Dick here?"

"I asked him to let me talk with the girls alone and he left. I'm glad, I need time alone. I never expected this, I mean, Dick and I now, all this is happening so fast…"

"Fast? After ten years?" he mocked. "You have a strange concept of speed.."

She picked up her coffee. "It's not an easy decision. Helena is right about one thing, it will affect them, she and Dinah."

"Miss Barbara, I can tell you that if they love you, they will do anything to make you happy. Master Dick knows you have a whole life around the girls, especially Miss Helena, and he must accept that. Miss Helena must accept that he is the love of your life, and you need to live your own life."

"Sounds good, but do you think those two will do it?"

"I doubt it."

"Me too."

Stupid Dick Grayson.

Helena poured herself another shot. The loud music in the bar made it impossible to think—something she was entirely grateful for at the present time.

When she was younger and felt sad or alone, just lying on the redhead's bed was comforting, like being in a warm cocoon. Barbara found her sleeping in her bedroom many times. The older woman had just climbed into bed without waking her. Every time Helena woke next to her, she'd felt an incredible joy inside.

Now she understood the feeling.

The discovery of her feelings toward the redhead had hit her like a big rock on the head, stunning her. She understood at that moment why she wasn't comfortable with Reese; she just wanted to be with Barbara; she understood why Dick annoyed her so much, he was touching, sleeping with her woman.

Fucking Dick Grayson.

Afterwards, there was guilt. She'd known Barbara since she was a child, she had been her mentor, her protector, her friend; she had comforted her, guided her, as her mother would do… she felt like a pervert.

Finally had come the acceptance, Barbara was a mature woman, and she was no longer a child. She was a strong young woman, with feelings, needs. In the years after her mother's death, she had been confused, rebellious, with so much anger. She had her first sexual experiences with men and women.

She remembered her first time with a woman; she had never thought of herself as bi, but the woman was gorgeous and Helena was young and still confused by her mother's death. The seduction had been easy. She was sure Barbara didn't know about it and she would never know.

After that, her experiences had been as nice and as pleasurable as with men. And now, the thought of being with Barbara had become a fantasy. In the last few months, since she had discovered her feelings for the redhead, the dreams had burned themselves into her mind.

And they were marvelous.

Barbara was incredibly smart and could talk about anything. Politics, history, even stupid things like old TV shows. She was perfect. Her skin was so soft. Her teeth so white, and every time she smiled, the room lit up.

The one thing that had always affected Helena the most was her smell. She smelled like orange and cinnamon, and that smell always made her feel relaxed, secure, safe or… excited, terribly excited. The redhead was unbelievably sexy… and there were those little things that turned her on, like when she wrinkled her nose just so….or her expression. Sometimes she looked at her and the only thing Helena wanted was jump on her and take her.

She closed her eyes and let her head fall to the table.

She dreamed about her confident touch, feeling her skin under her fingers, tasting those lips that seemed to be so soft. Losing herself in touches and feelings, smells and flavors, feeling Barbara's long, delicate fingers demanding, teasing.

Barbara stared vacantly at her bedroom ceiling. She couldn't get the image of Helena's eyes from hours before out of her mind. The soft brush of those lips against her cheek. Why were those images stuck in her mind?

She pinched the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes. She was worried, she didn't want a rift between them, after all they had been through together. She needed to find a way to settle things. She closed her eyes and tried to sleep.

Again the image of Helena's feral eyes looking at her so intensely appeared.


"Hi, beautiful."

The brunette lifted her head and opened her eyes slowly; who was bothering her?

"May I sit?" a tall blonde woman asked; she was holding a wine glass.

Helena looked her up and down; the woman had long hair. Her eyes were deep blue. She looked like a model out of a magazine. She was really stunning.

The brunette nodded and took another shot; after all, maybe she needed a bit of every day conversation.

"My name's Josie."

"Helena." She poured more tequila in her glass.

"I hope I'm not bothering you." The woman sipped her wine.

"No, it's okay, I'm just drinking."

"I know, I've been watching you."

Helena raised her brow and looked at the woman, smirking "Watching me?"

"Yes, I've never seen someone drink that much alcohol and still be standing."

"Well," the brunette laughed, "I don't know if I can stand up now."

"Are you trying to forget your boyfriend?" Josie smiled, winking at her and finished her glass of wine.

"Nah! I'm just killing time."

"Nice jacket."


"You have good taste."


"I've seen you here before." Josie crossed her arms on the table.

"I like this place." The brunette sipped her drink.

"I like this place too. It's cool and the music is great."

"Yes, the music is wonderful." Helena looked at the woman's empty glass and waved her hand toward her bottle, "Want some, Josie? Josie is your name, right?"

"Yes, sure."

Helena was comfortable with the strange woman. She needed something to distract her from the violence that surrounded her life and, more importantly, the source of her sadness: Barbara. The redhead was so straight.

After a few drinks, Josie stood up to dance; she invited the brunette, but Helena shook her head, she preferred to drink. Sipping a bit more of her tequila, she followed the other woman's movements.


Yes, definitely.

Helena had a better time than she ever imagined. Josie was fun. The two women laughed until the night club closed. The manager had to ask them both to leave. When Josie tried to stand up, everything around her moved.

"Whoa..." she mumbled.

"Hey, easy."

"I think I'm drunk… But I think I can go home."

Helena realized that the blonde could barely stay on her feet. It wasn't a good idea to leave her alone. She was drunk, but not as much as the other woman. Meta-genetics, of course.

"Maybe I can call a cab," Helena offered.

"No, no, no," Josie shook her head, smiling. "I live two blocks from here. I can make it."

"Okay, so I'll help you to go the right way, ok?" The brunette knew it was late and the neighborhood wasn't in the best part of the city.

Her new friend nodded. Helena helped her stand up. The woman rested her head on the brunette's shoulder as she was guided down the sidewalk.

When they arrived at Josie's apartment, it was locked as she had said. Her place was on the second floor. The young crime fighter looked for the keys inside Josie's bag and opened the lock.

"We're here."

Josie leaned and surprised the brunette by kissing the back of her neck softly. "Thank you."

"You're welcome."

"You are so nice." Another kiss to her neck made the brunette move her head lightly to the other side.

"Josie…" Helena hadn't planned on an adventure that night. She wasn't in the mood for it.

"Sorry, I was just trying to thank you." The next kiss was on her ear. Shit. That was her most sensitive spot.

"Listen…" A soft, warm tongue circled the inside of her ear. The brunette tried to move back, but the woman wrapped her arms around her and soft lips were on her neck.

"You are so beautiful." Josie's hand cupped the young woman's breast suddenly and kneaded it firmly. She didn't want to let her go. The touch worked, as she felt Helena's sharp intake of breath. Immediately, she pressed her lips against the brunette, her tongue pushing against soft lips.

Helena's knees trembled as she opened her mouth and lost herself in the sensation of the demanding strokes. The blonde pushed her gently inside the apartment and put her against the wall, closing the door.

"You smell so good…" Josie's free hand cupped the brunette's head, "and you are so sexy."

Helena had always been the aggressive one, but being passive was not so bad, she decided. It was just "different" and fun. Feeling wanted was arousing her. Fierce lips were on her mouth again, kissing her hungrily. Helena returned it with the same passion. Tongues played; she wrapped her arms around her new "friend".

"I've watched you for so long…" Josie mumbled, "thinking of a way to talk to you…" the hand on her breast moved down, "to be with you…"

"Yeah?" the brunettes asked in a hoarse voice. Suddenly, Josie's hand cupped her crotch and thrusted; she growled.

"I want you, Helena," the blonde whispered, licking the shell of her ear.


The tall woman placed her thigh against the back of her hand to thrust more forcefully. Helena cupped Josie's head with her hand and kissed her roughly while the other woman kept a firm, steady rhythm and flexed her own pelvic muscles.

Helena took the other woman's wrist, trying to stop her movement. She closed her eyes, trying to steady her breath and avoiding looking at the woman with eyes that now were feral.

Josie breathed heavily and buried her head in the brunette's neck, biting it softly. "Helena? What's wrong?... Don't you like this?" she thrust against the younger woman once more.

Helena couldn't avoid the moan that escaped.

The brunette swallowed before speaking in a hoarse voice: "Where's your room?"

The first thing that Helena did, upon arriving at the ClockTower, was to assault the fridge. She buried her head inside of it, looking for something to eat. It had been an unexpected and fantastic night. Maybe not much sleep, but she had burned a lot of energy and frustration.

"Rough night?" Alfred asked, walking in the kitchen.

"Fun. Where is the milk?"

"I just bought some." He lifted the grocery bag in his hand and pointed at the table. "I prepared pancakes. Sit, Miss Helena." Alfred showed her a covered plate on the table.

"Great! I'm starved." The brunette obeyed immediately.

"Rough night?" Barbara asked, wheeling into the room. She was happy to see her protégé there.

Helena rolled her eyes as she stabbed a pancake with her fork. "Why did you two ask if I had a rough night?"

"When you come here so early and hungry, you've usually had a rough night." Barbara smiled lightly, stopping her chair on the other side of the table. Alfred gave her a cup of coffee. "Thanks."

Helena bit an obscenely large piece of pancake off her fork. Alfred shook his head and gave her a plate.

"I'll be right back," he said, as Helena took another bite of her pancake.

Barbara took the cup of coffee in her hands and watched the brunette eat. When the butler was at a safe distance, she asked distractedly, "Was it Reese?"

"Huh?" Helena asked with her mouth full of pancake.

"Were you with Reese last night?"

The young woman coughed. "No… why?"

"So… who was he?" The redhead put her cup on the table.

"Well…." Helena cleared her throat, trying to figure out what to say.

"... or who was she?"

The brunette blinked. What?

Barbara smiled in amusement, crossing her arms on the table, "I know you are… open about your preferences."

Helena swallowed, feeling the pancake in her mouth turn to rock. "Did you know…?"


"Oh…" The brunette didn't know what to say. It was supposed to be one of her biggest secrets…. And Barbara knew!

"So…" Barbara picked up her coffee again and sipped it. "And how was it?"

"Oh… well…" This was one of those moments when the brunette wanted one of their enemies to strike her down with a laser and disintegrate her.

"Is that the reason you broke up with Reese?"

"Did you know…?" What a stupid question, Barbara knew everything; she was a detective, Oracle, master of all information…. Of course, she knew.

"You are so transparent sometimes," Barbara chuckled.

"Am I?" Another stupid question. Why did she always say stupid things when Barbara cornered her?

Barbara cleared her throat, "Is she your girlfriend?"

"No!" Helena blurted out quickly.

Barbara was relieved. "Oh… so…?"

Blue eyes locked on green. Well, now what, smart ass? She had a real problem. Was there an easy way to explain to Barbara that she sometimes picked up strange girls at bars and had great sex?

"Morning." Dinah smiled, wandering in.

This was the first time that Helena was happy to have Dinah interrupt a conversation with Barbara.

"Wow, Helena!" the blonde exclaimed, looking at her plate with four pancakes on it. "Rough night?"

Great. Now she fucked up everything again. "I just went to drink at a bar, okay?"

Barbara and Dinah exchanged a knowing look. The young crime fighter, annoyed, leaned back in her chair.

"We're off tonight, Helena." Dinah said, sitting at the table, "I told Barbara we could go to dinner."

"A new restaurant opened on 75th." Barbara wiped her mouth with a napkin. "I thought it would be a good idea to have some fun. We've been working so much the last few weeks."

"Uhm… sorry, I can't…" The brunette moved her fork towards another pancake.

Barbara frowned and took a few seconds before asking, "No?"

"I… I'm going to dinner with a friend."

"Ohhhhh… who is it?" Dinah asked curiously.

"A friend." Helena growled.

"Possible new boyfriend? Or girlfriend?"

The brunette coughed.

Shit. She knew, too? Her damn life couldn't have any secrets? Her appetite was suddenly gone.

Dinah winked at Barbara. "Definitely a new girlfriend."

The redhead glared at her. "Dinah!" She didn't like the idea of Helena having a girlfriend.

"She's coughing, I nailed it!"

Amused, the butler listened to the conversation as he cleaned the equipment in the lab.

Part 6

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