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 Six

A few days later, Barbara looked in her drawer for her t-shirt; Dick had asked her to stay last night, but she wasn't in the mood, so she'd excused herself with a headache. Helena's new 'acquisition' in her love life had her worried. She had seen her kissing Reese like she wanted to eat him –and she had wanted to kill him because Helena was a bit exhibitionist and he didn't stop her. Otherwise, he seemed to enjoy it, like that night at the bar. She would prefer them to be more discreet.

However, now it seemed she was dating a girl. She found a T-shirt and put it on.

A girl.

She shook her head, she just didn't get it. She'd never been attracted to women. She'd never thought about it. She knew that Helena was.. open minded.. about her sexual preferences and wasn't known for long relationships, but… How could a woman be with a woman? She just didn't get it.

Helena was a wonderful girl, but she could be the complete opposite of Barbara herself: she smoked, wore leather, she loved to drink, party, listen to loud music… girls. She shook her head, she needed to focus on work before starting her workout. She was thinking about her protégée too much lately.

"Are you ready?" Helena asked Dinah, wrapping her hands for their session.

"Let me change.. two minutes," the blonde called out, running to her room.

"Hurry up, kid." The brunette finished bandaging her hands and closed her fingers to test it. Yes, the wrap was perfect. She heard the familiar 'humm' of Barbara's electric chair; she looked down. The redhead was wheeling to the Delphi. She looked great, she was wearing that top that made her look verrrry sexy. She smirked.

The sun was setting, the last rays filled the interior of the Clock Tower with a marvelous orange color that made Barbara's hair bright; and she looked dammed sexy in that tank top. The contours of her face were delicate, elegant. She wondered how it would feel to touch her breast that looked so soft, but firm.

Kiss her.

The sound of the elevator door opening, broke the spell. Dick walked in. She stepped back so he wouldn't see her.

"Hi, love." Dick hugged Barbara, crossing his arms around her neck.

"Hi," she said, forcing a smile. She wasn't in the mood. Dick was nice, but sometimes she felt he didn't let her breathe.

He rubbed his cheek against hers. "I missed you."

"Me too."

He took her chin in his fingers and kissed her.

Upstairs, Helena bit her lip; she clenched her fist and angrily walked toward the training room.

"Okay! I get it!! Now let me go!" Dinah growled, face down in the training room. Helena was on her.

The brunette laughed and jumped back. They had been practicing for almost two hours. The exercise helped her burn lots of energy.

Hands clapped at the entrance of the gym. Both girls turned. Barbara was there. Helena opened her mouth in surprise. Damn, the woman looked gorgeous, she was wearing bike shorts. She never wore bike shorts.

"Excellent, Dinah. You're improving," the redhead complimented.

The blonde snapped her fingers in front of Helena, the brunette blinked.

"She almost broke my arm." Dinah moved her shoulder. "Where is the improvement?"

"You prevented her from breaking it." Barbara furrowed her brow and looked at the brunette. "Something wrong, Helena?"

"Uh… well… Nice shorts."

"Yeah, I bought them last week. I knew you would like them." The redhead smiled, wheeling toward the other side of the gym. "It's time for my workout, are you coming?"

The young woman nodded and followed her.

"I'm gonna go take a shower," Dinah called as she left the room.

Barbara transferred herself from her wheelchair to the mat; it was time for her therapy, to keep her legs strong. She leaned back.

Helena dried herself with a towel before starting. Barbara laid back, her eyes on Helena, while the brunette was distracted. She had pretty good abs, lovely figure... and sweaty, well, her body looked spectacular.

Helena turned and rested a knee on the bottom of the mat, taking one of Barbara's legs. She began to flex it back and forth slowly. This was her favorite time in the gym. She could touch her secret love, the muscles and skin under her hands for a long hour; touching and feeling soft, firm skin, feet, ankles, thighs.

"Is she beautiful?" A soft voice pulled her from her thoughts.

"What?" Blue eyes blinked.

"Your new girlfriend, is she beautiful?" Barbara asked curiously, watching the younger woman's hands move. She wished she could spontaneously acquire some sensation below her waist to know those agile fingers felt working on her.

Helena blushed. "She's not my girlfriend."

"No? You're dating her."

"Well… she is nice. I've seen her only a few times." She took the other leg.

Barbara raised her brow. Helena dating the same person more than one day? It could only mean a new romance. She was a beautiful, wild and sexy woman. It was normal that she closed one door and another one opened immediately. She could choose her next lover, female or male; she didn't have to look for it.

"That's a record for you." She said ironic. "Are you thinking about marrying her?"

The brunette rolled her eyes. "Barbara!"

"You sleep with her, no?"

Helena was uncomfortable. How was she supposed to talk about how she had fucked a strange girl to the woman she loved? How was she supposed to tell her she was trying to kill the feelings that were inside her? She lowered her head, ashamed; she was drowning in her own pain and had tried to calm the fire burning her heart with another woman, to escape from her feelings. She resumed her motions on her mentor's thigh. "Can we change the subject?"

"Have you thought about having a real relationship, Helena?" Barbara softened her voice "Maybe that's what you need."

"Sometimes you can't have the things you want."

The older woman took the deceptively strong hand, stopping her motions. She stared into blue eyes. "What do you want?"

"Something I can never have," Helena said, almost in a whisper, rubbing her thigh.

Barbara sat up. The brunette felt a shiver run through her body. Those green eyes were piercing her. Shit. What if she could read what she was feeling?

Her knees weakened at the next question. "What is that, Helena?"

"Hi!" Dick said, walking inside the training room in his black exercise suit.

Helena closed her eyes. At least the big asshole rescued her this time.

"Hi." Barbara smiled "Did you get your research done on the Delphi?"

"Yes, it was easy."

"Are you going to workout?"

"No, I came here to help you with your therapy."

Helena narrowed her eyes, glaring at him. Now what did the wonder ass have in mind?

The redhead blinked in surprise. "What?"

"I want to help you," he explained, putting his towel on a bench. "Helena's done this for years. If I'm going to be with you, I want to help you. Helena is not going to be here all her life."

Barbara looked at the brunette.

"She needs a trained person," Helena said, not bothering to hide her annoyance.

He smirked and walked toward them. He waved his hand. "Excuse me. Let the expert work."

The brunette took a deep breath and moved back. He stood up between Barbara's legs and took her left ankle in his hands.

"This is personal work." He smiled and started moving his hands.

To Barbara's surprise and Helena's, he was doing correct the routine.

"You know how…?" Barbara asked.

"I've been taking private classes. I wanted to surprise you."

Helena suppressed an angry growl.

Dick turned to look at Helena. "You can go, if you want, and don't worry about her therapy. I'll do it now."

"Dick, I…" Barbara said, reading the brunette's face. She knew Helena had been feeling rejected lately; she didn't want to push her further away.

He leaned over and took her hand, kissing it. "I want to do it, Babs. I want to be with you forever."

"Fine, she's yours," the brunette growled and picked up her towel in irritation.

"Helena, wait!" the redhead said.

"You don't need me, he's here." She cut her off. "Maybe, if he wants it, Dinah can move to my place and we'll make our own team since it seems we are off of yours."

"Listen to me, that is the last time you speak to her so disrespectfully!" Dick faced her. "If you don't want to respect her, I'll show you…"

"Show me! Come on!" Helena threw the towel to the floor, ready to fight. "You were only my dad's puppy dog."

"Son of…!" He walked threateningly toward her.

"Dick, no!" Barbara grabbed his wrist.

"Someone needs to teach this kid some manners."

"Kid, my ass."

"Helena, stop right now!"

The brunette glared at her. "You can keep your wonder boy." She picked up her towel from the floor. "It's clear that you don't need us anymore."

"You're right, she doesn't need you!" Dick shouted, watching her leave the room.

"Dick, shut up!" Barbara pulled his arm to get his attention.


"You don't have any right to say those things to her! She's always been there for me." She released his arm and looked for her wheelchair.

"I'm here now," the tall man exclaimed. "You don't need her and her bad moods."

She glared at him. "And that means I should forget my family?"

"She is not family!"

"She is my family, Dinah is my family and Alfred is my family. And if you don't like it, the door is open. Got it?" Barbara moved herself to the chair.

"She is always challenging you!"

"I can handle my problems with her by myself, I've always done it and I don't need any help. Understand? I don't want you interfering in my life."

"I'm part of your life now!" Dick said exasperated.

"So respect it, and don't try to change it." She wheeled furiously out of the gym to look for Helena.

Josie swallowed the last of her beer. She was seated on a comfortable couch in a far, dark corner of the bar, listening to the loud music. Few people were in the place. She put the empty glass on the table. A hand took hers. She lifted her eyes and found deep blue orbs regarding her.

After her discussion with stupid Dick 'Ass' Grayson, Helena had flown from the Clock Tower. Barbara had tried to stop her. She heard her calling, but she didn't want to talk anymore. Surely, she would lecture her for calling Dick a "puppy dog." She needed to burn energy, anger, frustration, and loneliness.

"Helena, what a…" Before Josie could finish, lips crashed against her, demanding. Helena moved and straddled her; one hand to the back of her head and the other moved below the blonde's skirt.

Josie laughed, moving back and catching Helena's wrist. "Are you in a hurry?"

The young woman grinned and kissed her again. The other woman kissed her back, wrapping her arms around her; she was wild and terribly sexy. Tongues danced until the brunette's fingers found their target. She growled.

"Oh my…" Josie gasped.

Helena trapped her lips again and pushed her against the couch, keeping the movement of her hand steady.

"Helena," Josie moved back, trying to focus "We're in public."

"Mmm…" The young woman lowered her head and bit her neck.

The blonde felt trapped under the ministrations of those wonderful fingers and talented mouth. Helena seemed to be in heat, and the idea pleased her. She took dark hair in her fingers and lifted the brunette's head. "Do you wanna fuck?"

The young woman nodded with enthusiasm, grinning.

"All right, little one," Josie kissed her lips softly, "but not here. Can we go to my place?"


Helena was on her bed, staring at the wall. She didn't like Dick. He thought that Barbara was his property; things had changed since she'd been with him. She had said it wouldn't happen, but it had.

Barbara seemed to be so happy with him. She was smiling again, after the loss of Wade. She didn't have the right to take away her happiness. Maybe it would be best to move away. Look for new opportunities, and forget that stupid feeling of love for her.

Knocks on her door interrupted her thoughts. She turned her head and checked the clock on her night table. Three AM, who the hell…? The bar had closed an hour ago. She stood up, wearing her pajama shorts and a small black tank top, and walked toward the door when the knocks sounded again.

"I'm coming," she said, "Who is it?"

"Barbara. I know it's late, but I need to talk to you."

The brunette closed her eyes. The thought of a lecture at midnight was not a pleasant one. Surely she was still angry because she had called wonder ass a 'puppy dog.' She took a breath and, turning on the light, she unlocked the door.

"Come in. Don't look around. I haven't cleaned yet, it's a bit early, you know?" The brunette opened the door and turned to her couch. She fell on it, sitting on her left leg. She crossed her arms. "What's wrong?"

The redhead looked around, the place was very Helena, clothes everywhere, empty glasses. An open bottle.

"Come in, the house won't bite."

"Looks like it might..." Barbara wheeled inside, closing the door behind her.

The brunette looked around. "Doesn't look so bad."

Barbara stopped her chair a few inches from Helena's knees, surprising her. The young woman nervously brushed her hair back.

"Listen," she said, "I'm sorry. I didn't want to bother you or insult Dick, I know that…"

Helena started to speak, but found Barbara's fingers on her lips.

"Shh… don't talk…" the older woman said.


Barbara took the brunette's hands and caressed them with her thumbs. "Your hands are always soft."


"I want to apologize for Dick's attitude."

The words eased the young woman; at least she wasn't here to kick her ass for bad behavior. She lifted her eyes to see her mentor; she looked gorgeous in that black sweater.

"He doesn't have the right to speak to you that way." Barbara lowered her gaze. "I talked to him."

"You talked to him?"

"I asked him not to touch you again…" Whispering, she lifted her face and looked at the brunette. "You are important to me. If he can't understand, that is his problem, not mine."

"I don't want be a problem for you."

"Don't you understand, Helena? I don't want to lose you, you are more important to me than he is."

Pinned by Barbara's eyes, the young woman swallowed.

"I asked him to leave and not come back…"

Helena was hypnotized by intense green eyes and the soft rubbing of the redhead's thumbs against her hands.

Barbara remained silent long seconds. "I told him I didn't love him."

Blue eyes blinked.



"I told him I love you."

The brunette eye's opened wide, trying to understand.

"I love you." Taking advantage, and not giving her opportunity to think, Barbara pulled her hands gently against her to close the distance between their faces.

Soft lips touched Helena's. The brunette closed her eyes, shocked. Barbara's mouth caressed her softly. She didn't want to move, afraid she was dreaming. Her heart began to beat faster. Shyly, she let the tip of her tongue move out to touch those lips that she had dreamed of tasting for so long.

Barbara moved back and lowered her head, ashamed. Helena, still in shock, opened her eyes trying to understand what was happening.

"I'm sorry," the older woman said. "I know you might never love me, but… I needed to kiss you."

Helena moved forward and cupping Barbara's head, she captured her lips, silencing her. "I love you, too. I wanted to kiss you, too…" she whispered, kissing gently; she didn't want to scare the redhead. After a few seconds, she felt the redhead's tongue touching her lips, teasing. She opened her mouth and, in a moment, Barbara was in her. She moaned at the heavenly feeling.

She wrapped an arm around Barbara's waist and the other supported her head. She lifted the older woman, pulling her against her gently. She leaned back over the couch slowly, with Barbara on top of her.

"You love me?" Barbara asked in a husky voice, between kisses.

"You have no idea…"

"I want you."

Barbara's demanding hands left her in a haze of arousal. She was aware of nothing else. Her mouth was all over her. She had dreamed of this for so long--- having the other woman in her arms and loving her. She felt the redhead's hand cupping her breast through her bra. When had she lifted her shirt?

She moaned. The redhead moved to her neck and bit her pulse point. Helena moved her head to the side; it was marvelous.

She took Barbara's head in her hands and pulled her up, to kiss her again. The soft strokes turned her on. With incredible agility, the older woman unclasped her bra and touched the firm flesh with her palm. Helena growled. She closed her eyes hard, trying to recover her senses. Maybe they were moving too far, too fast.

"Barbara…" she cleared her throat, "I… I…"

Barbara grinned, pulling back slightly and kneading Helena's breast firmly. "You talk too much," she whispered, kissing the brunette again. "Give me a second, I'll be right back." The older woman lowered her head. Before the brunette realized what was happening, that marvelous mouth was taking possession of her breast.

"Oh my…" Golden cat eyes snapped open. The cyber genius was fast.

Helena moved her hand trying to remove the redhead's sweater, but her wrist was trapped by a strong hand.

"Not yet…" Barbara smiled at her, "I want you naked first..." The fingers of her right hand moved down the lithe body, slowly. "I want to touch you." She insinuated her hand under Helena's underwear. "I want to taste you…" Agile fingers moved under her underwear toward her…

Helena woke up abruptly, sitting up on her bed. Disconcerted, she looked around. She was in her room; in complete darkness. Shaking her head, she turned, looking for Barbara, where was she?


"No…" she growled, letting herself fall back on her pillow. It was all a dream, she had been dreaming.


She closed her eyes a few seconds, trying to catch her breath. It had been so real. The sensations, the caresses, the touches, she was still aroused.

"Dammit!" Annoyed, she threw off her blankets and went toward her bathroom. She needed a cold shower.

Barbara wheeled down the sidewalk to the school parking lot, followed closely by Dinah. She had been calling Helena, unsuccessfully, since the incident yesterday. Dick had crossed the line. She was upset.

The blonde had never seen her mentor so irritated.

"I don't think this is going to work," the redhead said. "He's trying to control my life and I hate that!"

"Maybe you need to talk to him."

"I already did. He doesn't understand, he is possessive and jealous. He tries to manage my life."


"Helena and I had a hard life. We lived through some bad things, really bad things. We helped each other survive. Nothing can change that, not even him; and he doesn't understand that. He wants to be my everything and is trying to push Helena away."

"Helena is not stupid. She knows that." Dinah opened the Hummer door. "She thinks he is stealing you. I saw it in her eyes; if she could, she'd kill him."

"I understand her." Barbara transferred herself to the car, "But I don't agree with her way of showing her discomfort. She's pretty rude."

"Tell me about it."

Dinah climbed in the passenger's seat and put on her seat belt. Barbara maneuvered the Hummer out of the parking lot.

"I'm trying to figure out how to solve this. I don't want to hurt either of them." The redhead pulled out onto the road.

"Maybe you need to lecture them both."

"I don't know, Dinah…" the older woman sighed.

The blonde turned to look at her guardian. "You don't know?"

"Sometimes I want to be alone."

The teen hesitated before speaking. "Alone?"

Barbara opened her mouth and then shut it. She bit her lower lip and sighed. "I feel that… something is missing."


Barbara stopped the car at a red light. "I'm not sure… I feel like I lose my privacy when he's around. Maybe I just have to learn to live with someone again. I've been alone for years."

"You love him."

"I don't know now, Dinah, I'm confused." The older woman took a deep breath

Dinah lowered her head. "Take your time, he will understand, and Helena, too… and if they love you, they will accept whatever you choose."

The light changed.

"Alfred said the same thing. But they are really stubborn." Barbara smiled and hit the accelerator.

"Yes." Dinah laughed and turned her head. She saw a big truck next to Barbara's side ready to slam into them. "Watch out!" she shouted.

Barbara saw the truck, but before she could turn the steering wheel, it slammed into her side of the Hummer.

The sound of crushing metal and breaking glass filled the intersection. The truck pushed the Hummer several yards before the vehicle overturned and fell on its side.

Then there was nothing but silence.


Part Seven

"Alfred, where is she?" Helena rushed in to the waiting room of New Gotham Hospital. She was working at the Dark Horse Bar when Alfred called her about the car accident.

The young woman had practically flown over the rooftops and arrived at the Hospital in less than fifteen minutes.

The old butler stood up and took her hand. The girl was upset and her eyes reflected her panic.

"Easy, Miss Helena, easy… She is in intensive care now."

The brunette put her hands on her head and brushed her hair back. She tried to think straight.

"What happened?"

"A truck didn't stop at the red light, she couldn't prevent the impact. It hit Miss Barbara´s side… She got the full impact. She had several bruises, her left leg is broken, as well as some ribs." He took a deep breath. "I'm not going to lie to you, the doctors are worried, she has a severe concussion."

"Shit…" Helena paced nervously.

"I'm sure she will be okay."


"Still in the emergency room, the doctor is bandaging her arm, as I told you, it's broken."

"Dammit…" Helena sat on a couch, her face in her hands. She couldn't even imagine a world without Barbara. She'd lost her mother already. Her heart was broken. The pain had been terrible. It still hurt her, even after eight years.

Barbara was her refuge, her home, her best friend.

Barbara saved her when she was drowning. If she hadn't been there, she would have killed her self. After her mother's death, she'd wished to sleep and never awake again.

Just die.

She didn't want to experience the cold feeling of solitude, emptiness again. She didn't want to lose the woman that she most loved in the world.

A tear ran down her cheek.

Alfred sat next to her and wrapped an arm around her, rubbing her back. She rested her head on his shoulder, crying.

"She'll be okay…" he comforted. "Don't worry."

The young woman sat in a corner of the room watching the redhead sleep. She hadn't moved from her side the two long days that she'd been unconscious. Alfred had tried to convince her go to rest, unsuccessfully. Dinah was at home, resting per doctor's orders. Dick, annoyed, needed to accept that the brunette was not going to leave the redhead alone.

Finally, the doctors removed the breather and announced she was recovering. The brunette felt a heavy weight lifted off of her shoulders. She fell asleep, exhausted, sitting on a small couch.

One of the nurses, opening the door to check Barbara's vitals, woke the brunette. It was sunrise.

The nurse smiled at her before leaving the room. Helena yawned, stretching her arms. She let herself fall back onto the single couch and looked at her mentor. Her left eye was black, her leg was in a cast, her ribs bandaged. She stood up and walked toward her.

Sitting next to her on the bed, she took the limp hand and, gently, she lifted it to her lips, kissing her fingers. With her other hand, she gently brushed some hair off of Barbara's forehead. She sadly looked at the bruised face. Her left eye was almost completely swollen shut. She swallowed some bile, recalling the twisted wreckage of the unsalvageable Hummer.

"I don't want to lose... Please stay with me…" she said in a low voice. She traced a russet brow with her thumb. "We need you… I need you. You don't have any idea how much I need you."

Her eyes fixed on her red lips. She had dreamed about her for so long. She looked like a sleeping angel, a beautiful sleeping angel.

"I love you." Without thinking, she slowly leaned down and pressed her lips against Barbara. It was a soft touch. She wanted to confess so many things to her and she couldn't. She lightly brushed her mouth against the redhead. "God…" she mumbled, "I'm in love with you."

Suddenly, she was grabbed and pulled back by the collar of her jacket.

"Stupid bitch!" Dick's yell surprised her. She'd been so lost in the moment that she hadn't heard him walk into the room.

He backhanded her forcefully; strong fingers hit her hard. The full impact hit the left side of her face and nose, it made her see stars. She crashed against the wall and, almost knocked out, slipped down to the floor. Her face was burning and her ears buzzed.

"You damn pervert!!" he yelled, lifting her by her lapel. "I don't want to see you near her ever again! Do you hear me?" He lifted her and slammed her into the wall, raising his hand to strike her again.

"Dick, stop!" Dinah shouted, grabbing his wrist. She walked inside the room, following him and she too, had witnessed the brunette's confession. He had surprised the usually alert brunette because she hadn't even tried to defend herself and now, just his hand on her jacket was holding her up; she was totally stunned and limp.

"I'll kick her ass!" Dick shouted.

"I said, let her go!" the teen shouted back.

He released the brunette and the young woman fell heavily to the ground. Dinah immediately kneeled next to her.

"You are an asshole!" the teen shouted, holding Helena's head. She was bleeding from her nose and she took out a tissue to stop the hemorrhaging.

"She was kissing my girlfriend! Didn't you hear her? She is in love with her!!"

"Shut up! Barbara is resting!"

Helena growled and moved Dinah's hand away from her nose. Shit. She felt like a brick wall had hit her.

"Are you okay?" the blonde asked worriedly, helping her sit up.

"Yeah…" She shook her head.

"Listen to me," Dick growled, pointing at Helena, "I don't want to see you near Barbara again, do you understand me?"

The young crime fighter glared at him. "Go to hell."

"Dick!" Dinah said, whispering. "This is a hospital! Barbara is resting, no fighting here!"

"Stay away from my woman," he shouted again at the daughter of his best friend. At that moment, he didn't care. He was really pissed off. He had seen her kissing his girlfriend, confessing her love. Jealously was consuming him.

"You can't tell me what to do," Helena hissed, standing up a few inches from him.

"Okay." He fixed his eyes on hers, his fists clenched, "Let me put it this way, Helena, if you come near my Barbara again, I'll tell her that I saw you kissing her while she was unconscious; I'll tell her that you are in love with her; I'll tell her that's why you hate me." He grinned. "Let's see what she says when she knows you were taking advantage of her situation."

The brunette's face paled. Barbara would kill her; she would ask to go away and never come back. She would never forgive her if she knew she was in love with her.

"It's your choice."

"Fuck you." The brunette narrowed her eyes defiantly.

"No, you are fucked, not me."

"What's going on here?" James Gordon suddenly appeared in the doorway, angry. "I heard your yelling outside! Barbara is recovering!" The old man noticed Dinah was helping Helena stay on her feet. Her face still had the red marks of fingers and her nose was bleeding. He turned and glared at Dick. Annoyed, he grabbed him by his shirt and pushed him outside the room. "Get out of here!"

"Mr. Gordon, she….!"

"Shut up. Get out and wait for me outside!" He closed the door behind him. There was no excuse for hitting a woman.

He walked toward the girls, taking out his handkerchief.

"Are you okay?" He placed the handkerchief under Helena's nose.

"Yes, thanks…" the brunette mumbled.

"What are you doing fighting in here?" James whispered in annoyance. "Barbara is resting."

"I'm sorry…" Helena apologized, ashamed. "I didn't…"

Gordon looked worriedly at his daughter. "How is she?"

"Stable." Dinah brushed her hair back, "Sorry, Mr. Gordon, it wasn't Helena's fault. He surprised her."

"He surprised you?" Now he was really angry. "I'll be right back."

"I'll check Helena's nose," Dinah said.

"I'm okay." The brunette tilted her head back, with the handkerchief below her nose.

"Go with her. No arguing." Gordon opened the door. "It's an order," he said, perfectly aware of Helena's stubbornness.

"You heard the boss." Dinah nodded her head toward the door. "Come on, we need to get your nose checked out."

Dick was pacing outside the room in the corridor, rubbing his chin with his hand.

Helena loved her.

She loved her. That's why she was always arguing with him. Inside, he was insecure about Barbara, and now that he knew Helena loved her, it was like a flashing neon sign.

He was sure that Barbara could never love her back, but…

They were very close. They were close in a way that he never could be because they were bound by pain, loss.

He'd always been jealous of Helena, she'd been with Barbara in her most difficult times.

He had failed.

And that was difficult to accept.

"Dick!" Gordon appeared in the corridor, furious. "What the hell is wrong with you?"

"Commissioner, she…" he tried to explain.

"There is no excuse for hitting a woman! And you say you are a man?"

"But sir, she…"

"No excuse, Dick! You disappoint me!" He didn't let him finish, pointing his finger at him. "A gentleman never strikes a woman!"


"Barbara is healing! She needs rest, silence, and you hit her best friend while she is unconscious! It's the first and last time that you touch Helena! Do you hear me?"

Dick put his hands on his waist and lowered his head, annoyed. He respected this man so much; he was right, whatever the reason, it was not right to hit a woman… and besides, this was Barbara's father.

"Did you hear me, Grayson?" Gordon almost shouted at him.

"Yes, sir…"

"Now go!"

"But Sir."

"Go, I said, I'm very angry right now."

The dark haired man nodded and turned. He couldn't do anything. It was useless to try to explain.

"Dick," Gordon growled, glaring at him.

"Yes, sir?"

"If you ever lay a hand on my Babs, you are a dead man."

A doctor in the same hospital checked Helena's nose. Usually, she would refuse it, but the fact that Dick had discovered her feelings had left her broken and numb.

The only daughter of Selina Kyle had kept her eyes fixed on the floor since she had arrived at the doctor's office. She hadn't said a word. Her nose was okay. The doctor left the room and Dinah appeared with an ice pack.

"Put this on your face or you will have a big bruise tomorrow."

The young woman accepted it without protest.

Dinah crossed her arms and looked at her friend, worried. "He's such an asshole, don't worry."

Helena winced a bit when she put the cold pack on her face. Shit, her face was really stinging.

"Are you really in love with her?" Dinah asked shyly.

The brunette didn't answer, angry with herself, why had she been so stupid and opened her big mouth?

Dinah knew her silence and the silence with Dick was a confirmation of a truth that she couldn't deny. "…When?" she asked gently, crossing her arms.

"I don't know..." Helena said after long seconds of silence, avoiding the blonde's eyes. "Maybe it was after my mom died… but I only realized it a few months ago… Now I understand so many things. I didn't know what I was feeling was love."

"She really doesn't know?"

The brunette shook her head.

Dinah sat next to her and touched her hand. Helena never let anyone touch her hand, but this time she was so lost. She accepted the support.

"Tell her…"

"She'll hate me."

"She could never hate you."

"She will… I don't want her to know. I can't disappoint her anymore."

"You won't disappoint her. She deserves to know, she'll understand."

"No! She'll feel uncomfortable if she knows…. It's best this way." She stood up to pick up her coat.

"What are you going to do?"

"I can't let him tell her."

"He's blackmailing you!" Dinah took her arm, causing the brunette to turn and face her. "You can't do what he says! You and Barbara are friends, you two have been together too long!"

"Dinah, don't you understand? I screwed up!!" She waved her hands "I'm in love with her! When she finds out, it'll break her heart! I don't want that…"

"She'll understand."

"Dinah… She is happy with him. She loves him! She wants me to accept him and I can't!" Blue eyes teared up. "I can't be next to her, waking up every day seeing her love him. She would never be completely happy knowing that each time she touches his hand, it hurts me."

The brunette lowered her head and sighed.

"You can't go," the teen mumbled.

"I can't put her against the wall. She would suffer so much if she knew that her happiness is my unhappiness. She has suffered so much and I don't have the right to ruin her life. I owe it to her."

Dinah didn't know what to say. A tear fell from her eye.

"I'm sorry, kid." Helena took her hand and squeezed it gently. "I'm going to my place, I need a shower."



"You forgot this." She raised the ice pack and threw it at her. She knew she couldn't help so much now, but she wanted to let Helena know that she supported her.

Helena caught it and lowered her head. "Dinah?"


"Please don't tell her."

The teen nodded sadly.

Helena put the ice pack on her face and closed the door behind her.

Dinah understood Helena's distress. Picking up her backpack, she returned to Barbara's room.

"Can you help me?" Barbara asked softly. "I need another pillow behind my back."

Her face was swollen and bruised and her body hurt like hell. After three long days of unconsciousness, she finally opened her eyes. She hated hospitals -- the smells and sounds of machines, the cold rooms; but her condition wasn't good and she was going to have to stay there a week. The trauma to her head had been rather serious and the doctors wanted to keep her under observation.

Dick helped her and kissed her temple. "Better?"

"Yes, thanks."

Dinah sat on a small couch, reading a book. She lifted her head. "Feeling better?"

"Yes, thanks…" The redhead smiled slightly. "How is your arm?"

"Better, I'm collecting signatures on it. I have thirty five."

"The doctor says you can go home on Monday," Dick said, holding the redhead's hand.

"Thank God! I hate this place."

He laughed. "Want anything else?"

"Where's Helena?"

"Maybe working," he sat on the bed next to her, "I told you she was here the entire time you were unconscious; I think she's trying to make up the time she lost at work."

Barbara had the nagging sensation that something was wrong since yesterday, when she'd returned to consciousness. Knowing Helena, she'd never move from her side until she'd seen her awake. She studied the teen, who lowered her head. Well, now she was certain something was wrong.

"The truth, Dick. Where is she?"

The tall man sighed and turned to the teen. "Could you excuse us a moment, Dinah?"

The teen, in a rotten mood, nodded and walked out of the room.

Barbara fixed her eyes on him. She could tell she wasn't going like what he had to say. "Well?"

"We fought…" Dick said.


"She doesn't like us together." He took her hand in his.

The redhead frowned. Helena what?

"She is violent towards me because of that. She told me." He shook his head.

"What did she say?"

"She told me she doesn't like me. She is never going to accept us and I'm not going to leave you. I love you. I told her and she was pissed off. We fought… and she left."

Barbara took a deep breath. Great. She was out for three days and everything was a mess.

"I love you, Barbara." Dick looked at her. "And I'll fight everything and everyone for you."

"I need to talk to her." The redhead lowered her eyes to the blankets.

"Barbara, she is selfish, she'd rather see you alone than happy. She knows I'm here, she doesn't want to see me. She's not going to come here."

"I said I'm going to talk with her." Her voice was firm.

"All right, if you want. But it'll be useless."

The redhead woke at midnight. Her room was dark. Her ribs were bothering her. Thankfully, she couldn't feel any pain from her broken leg. She stared at the ceiling. Dick was driving her crazy with all his attention. He didn't seem to want to leave her alone for a moment. Luckily, no one could stay overnight in the hospital and it gave her the time she needed to be alone and think.

"Why don't you come and sit? The couch is comfortable," she said suddenly, in a weak voice.

A soft sigh was heard.


She was there.

"I've been asking for you." Barbara looked at a far corner of the room.

"Working. Leonard was pissed at me," the young woman said softly, leaving her hideout. How did she know when she was near? She always did that.

"Yes, and I can walk and I'll kick your ass as soon as my leg heals." The redhead pressed a button and a small lamp turned on.

Helena smiled lightly and stood next to her bed. "You don't need to stand up to kick my ass. You always do it. How do you feel?"

"Like shit?" the older woman joked.

"I figured." The brunette's fingers played with the blanket. She was happy to see her awake; she'd thought that maybe a night visit, while she was sleeping, would be good, but she never expected the redhead to wake. "I'm glad that you're okay. You scared me."

"Was a bad accident, huh?" Barbara asked.

"Yeah, pretty bad." Deep blue eyes met green. "You scared me."

"I know you didn't move from my side, thank you."

The brunette shrugged her shoulders.

"Why did you leave? Why didn't you come back?"

"Sorry… I was… busy…"

"Don't lie to me, Helena, I know you." Barbara took slim fingers between her own. "Dick told me you two fought…"

"It was just a stupid fight."

"I don't think so. You came back hiding in the shadows. You didn't want me to know you were here, right? You've been avoiding me. What happened?"

"Can we talk about this tomorrow?"

"No." Barbara's voice was firm. "I want to know."

The brunette stood up and brushed her hair back. She needed to find a way to avoid this.

"You don't like him," the redhead pushed her.

"It's not that…" Helena responded quietly, looking everywhere but at Barbara.

"So, why the argument? What did he say that kept you away from me?"

Helena didn't know how to answer, she was cornered. And she hated feeling cornered.

"Is it true that you don't want me to be with him?" Barbara asking insistently, she wanted the younger woman to open up to her. "Do you want him to leave?"

"Who told you that?" the brunette turned in annoyance, glaring at her.

"Dick." The redhead remained cold.

"It's not true! I want you to be happy. You deserve a good man like him."

"Bullshit. Why were you two fighting?"

"Because he doesn't like me, I hurt his ego!" The brunette waved her arms. "He and I have conflicting ideas, conflicting personalities. He can't control me and it pisses him off! But I don't want you to leave him. I never said that!"

"Why did you leave?"

"Because I needed to be alone. I needed time to think!"

"Thinking about what?"

Helena lowered her head, hands in her pockets. This was going to be hard.

The redhead waited in silence.

"You and Dick need to be alone; you are always surrounded by people, Alfred, Dinah, me." She began to pace. "We are always there and I need my own space, to be independent. I need a change… I…. I need it…"

Barbara frowned. Where was she going?

Helena ran her fingers through her shaggy hair and stared at the picture on the wall. A copy of The starry Night by Van Gogh. Her mother told her that Van Gogh had painted it furiously; the paint vibrated with rockets of burning yellow, while planets gyrated like cartwheels. She never liked that picture, it was like chaos at midnight. But, at that moment, it fit perfectly with her soul.

"You rescued me so many times, Barbara," the brunette continued with a whisper, finally looking at her, "in many ways. I'm very grateful. I owe you my life."


"It's true. But I think it's time…"

"Time?" The redhead blinked. She didn't understand what was happening.

"To move on." Helena finished quietly. She knew this was the only way to convince her mentor that her words were true. "You trained me very well. It's time to work on my own."

"What are you talking about?"

Helena needed all her courage to keep going. She couldn't hurt her. She couldn't take her happiness. "I'm moving."


Part Eight

"I don't want you to move," the cyber genius said incredulously. This was insane.

"But I want to," Helena interrupted her.

"It's absurd!"

"I want to try things on my own. You always worked alone."

The older woman massaged her temples. She felt a headache coming. "Where did you get that ridiculous idea?"

"I've always been under your wing. I need to fly alone."

"What?" What in the hell was Helena thinking? Had she completely lost her mind?

The brunette stood up next to her. She kneeled next to the bed and held her hand, giving it a long, soft kiss. "I love you, Barbara."

The redhead shivered at the contact of the young woman's lips.

"But I need my own life as you need yours," Helena whispered, her eyes on the older woman, lovingly. "I'll still come see you and Dinah and Alfred…. But now is the perfect time to try to do something on my own… Please."

Barbara looked her at speechlessly, she felt her heart shatter. She never expected it. In fact, it never even occurred to her that Helena would ever leave.

"It's Dick? Is that why?" she finally managed to ask.

Helena laughed lightly, trying to hide the tears in her eyes. Barbara's pained expression broke her heart. "No, it's me." She tried to joke. "I'm a wild cat, remember?"

"I don't like this idea." Her former mentor lowered her head.

The click of the door opening made the redhead turn her head. The door opened, a nurse walked inside with a tray. She turned again to the place where Helena was, but she was gone. She looked around the room. She'd left through the open window.

"Hello, Miss Gordon. Problems sleeping?" the nurse asked.

"A bit."

"I brought your pills." The nurse put the tray next to her and gave her a glass of water and two pills. "Oh, we need to close that window, it's a cold night."

"No… it's okay."

"Sorry, hospital policy, for your own safety," the old woman said, walking toward the window.

Barbara stared at her pills, still stunned by Helena's confession. She couldn't believe what had just transpired.

"Miss Gordon."

The redhead hated being treated like a child. She swallowed the pills.

"Excellent." The nurse took the glass of water and turned off the light. "Now try to rest."


The door closed. Barbara looked through the window in silence. Something was wrong, she didn't believe her. Helena was stubborn and cranky, but she knew she would never abandon them. She was going to have to find out what was really going on. After a few minutes, she began to feel her eyes closing. The pills were working. She looked again toward the window, she knew she was somewhere outside. She knew Helena.

Tired and drained, she let sleep overwhelm her and closed her eyes. "Good night, Helena," she mumbled before falling into a sound sleep.

Deep in the shadows, a dark figure stood on an emergency stairway maintaining her vigil on the small room. "Good night, Barbara."

How does it feel.

I'm not afraid of anything
I just need to know that I can breathe
I don't need much of anything
But suddenly, suddenly
I am small and the world is big
All around me is fast moving
Surrounded by so many things
But suddenly, suddenly

How does it feel to be
Different from me
Are we the same How does it feel to be
Different from me
Are we the same
How does it feel

I am young and I am free
But I get tired and I get weak
I get lost and I can't sleep
But suddenly, suddenly


Would you comfort me?
Would you cry with me?

Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah
Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah

I am small and the world is big
But I'm not afraid of anything


How does it feel, how does it feel…

Barbara wasn't in a good mood the next day. She wanted to talk with Dinah or Alfred, but Dick didn't give them an opportunity to be alone. He was overwhelming her and it was pissing her off. It was as if he didn't want her to talk to Dinah and it seemed as though the teen was avoiding being alone with her too.

"Dinah, can you hand me the phone?" she asked, in the middle of a boring movie they were watching.

"What do you need?" Dick asked hurriedly.

"I'm going to call Helena."

He couldn't hide his disappointment. "Barbara…"

"I'm going to call her, I want to see her," the redhead said firmly. "Dinah?"

The teen gave her mobile phone to her guardian. The older woman dialed Helena's apartment. The brunette hated cell phones, so her only option was calling the Dark. The click of the answering machine disappointed her. "Helena, I want to see you, please come to the Tower." She pressed the off button and dialed another phone number.

Dick glared at her. Dinah scratched her head, pretending to watch the movie.

"Leonard? Hi, it's Barbara Gordon… yes, I'm much better now, thanks… I can go home in three days…. Thank you very much… Is Helena there? I need to talk to her…. No? Oh… Can you please tell her to call me?... yes, thanks… bye…" she gave the cell phone back to Dinah.



"Try to find her, I need to see her."

Dick sighed, "Barbara, I don't think…"

"Dick…" she cut him off, "Stay out of this."

"I can't!" He stood up. "She is trying to keep you away from me!"

"Dick, I'm old enough to make my own decisions. I do not need help."

"That's not the point…"

The redhead took a deep breath. He was definitely testing her limits, and that was not good. "What is the point, then?"

He pinched the bridge of his nose. Barbara observed him in silence. Suddenly, he kneeled next to her and took her hand.

"Will you marry me?"

A loud night at Dark Horse Bar. The place was filled with customers. Helena had asked Leonard is she could have double shifts for the next two weeks. It would keep her distracted. She gave two beers to a man, another one put an empty pitcher on the counter. She wore a black outfit that was practically glued to her skin.

"Hey, baby. How about a refill?" the drunk man asked.

"Call me "baby" one more time and you will regret it." She turned around and put her hands on the counter.


"Because she's my girlfriend and she likes to be the man." Dinah appeared suddenly, sitting on a chair next to the man, smiling.


"Maybe you should ask him if he wants to be the woman." Helena grinned.

"Hey, I'm just trying to get a refill."

The brunette reached behind the counter and put a fresh pitcher on the counter. "Now you have it. Scram."

The man hurriedly walked back to his table. Both women laughed.

"That was good," Helena said. "Want a coke?"

"A coke?" Dinah frowned.

"You're underage and still healing."

"My arm is okay… Maybe a drink of something?"

"No way." Helena opened a coke can and gave it to her. "And, besides, my shift is over." The brunette poured a shot of tequila for herself. "Bart, see you later."

"Bye, Helena."

"What are you doing here?" Helena took her glass and walked toward an empty table in the corner.

"She's been looking for you all day." Dinah followed her.

"Yeah, I heard all the messages."

"You need to talk to her." Dinah sat down.

"I already did….yesterday." The brunette took a seat next to her.

"You were at the hospital yesterday? I didn't see you."

"At night…"

"What happened? Did you tell her?"

"No," she took a sip of her drink, "I told her I need my own space and need to be independent… That I want to work alone."

"That's a lie." The blonde tried to understand.

"Much better than the truth," the young woman sighed. "I told her I'm moving and that I want to work alone."

"This is stupid! He's blackmailing you! It's not fair!"

"Life sometimes isn't. And life has been more than unfair to her."

"She deserves to know the truth." The teen wanted to smash the brunette's head against the wall, but it wasn't the wall's fault that Helena has a hard head..

Helena crossed her arms on the table, "Tell me something. How would it help her to know the truth?"

"If you leave, you'll break her heart, she loves you so much."

"How do you think she'd feel if she found out that the kid, that she promised her best friend to take care of, is in love with her?" Helena clenched her teeth, angry with herself. "Don't you understand? I screwed up her good job, all her good intentions."

"He asked her to marry him," Dinah blurted out, cutting her off.

The brunette's face paled. The room was suddenly swimming and her mouth was dry.

"He did it." The teen reiterated.

Helena downed a tequila shot. She needed a bottle. "I'm happy for her."

"What?" Dinah blinked in confusion.

"Good for her." Helena felt a knot in her throat. She cleared it, staring at the empty glass between in her hand. "Did she accept?"

"She said that she needed to think about it. It wasn't a good time for her. So he told her everything was your fault." Dinah looked at her. "And I told him that wasn't true, that it was his fault too because he is impulsive and selfish. He is an asshole! He tries to control her life… first it's you and then he will try to get rid of me and Alfred! He is insecure and jealous. We started arguing, then Barbara asked me to leave." She shrugged her shoulders. "And… I'm here."

"She kicked you out?" Helena smirked.

"Yeah, she was angry with Dick, she told him her decisions were hers to make and that she was tired of him just blaming you." Dinah took a sip of her coke.


"And that was when she asked me to leave because they needed to talk alone. Talk to her, she's asking for you. I told you, she's been looking for you all day."

"Dinah," the brunette fixed her eyes on her. "This is not about what you and I want. It's about what she wants."

"She is going to keep asking for you. You can't hide forever."

"Tell her I need time alone to think."

"Think about what?"

Helena sighed "I just need to think, ok? Give me a few days."

"Okay, but just a few days."

The brunette smiled and hit her arm playfully.

Barbara looked into the night, sitting on the balcony of her room. Finally, she'd been moved out the hospital. Her leg was in a cast, resting on a small bench. She had told Dinah she was going to be there a few minutes, she was tired of being closed in.

Dick asked her the question she had hoped to hear when she was young. She always thought the day she heard it she would become crazy with happiness, but things were completely different. She was more worried than happy. Maybe it was because of the tension between Helena and Dick.

The night was cold, but not as much as her soul. Helena was still missing. She hadn't seen or talked to her in days.

Dinah told her that she'd seen her at the Dark Horse. Dinah disagreed with her partner's intention to leave the team and the brunette had asked for time to be alone, to think. But she was sure Helena was close, she was sure Helena had been keeping an eye on her at night during her stay at the hospital; a silent and constant vigil hidden in an unseen place.

She looked to the stars. She loved New Gotham nights.

"A penny for your thoughts," a voice said behind her.

"Dad!" She turned and smiled, finding her father standing a few meters away.

"Hi, honey," the older man leaned down and kissed her cheek, covering her shoulders with a sweater. "It's cold out here."

"I needed fresh air."

"How do you feel?" He examined the bruise on her face. It was nasty, but she looked much better than last week.

"I can't feel my legs," the redhead joked. "Weird."

Jim laughed. He loved her sense of humor. He kissed her forehead. "I'm glad you're okay."


He looked down at the city covered in lights. "Hey, nice view."

"Yeah, Helena loves to be out here at night." She smiled lightly.

"Where is she? I haven't seen her. It's strange."

Barbara sighed. "She said she needs time to think."

"Think? Think about what?"

James Gordon knew about his daughter's night activities, she had confessed it to him years before. He'd discovered that she was Batgirl, so she knew he would also discover that she was the Oracle, and she thought it a much better idea to tell to him first. Of course, it had also involved a discussion about Helena and her meta-abilities, as well as her work as a super-hero.

He had understood.

But he still thought being a crime fighter was a risky profession, even for Helena.

"Dick thinks we can try again… "

"You and Dick again?"

The redhead nodded. "He's jealous of Helena and Helena is jealous of him… It's not easy. He asked me to marry him."

Gordon raised his brow. "Wow!!" He reached down to hug her. "Congratulations. I'm so happy for you." He sensed something was wrong. Moving back a bit, he tried to find her eyes, but she avoided it. "What's wrong?" he asked.

"I'm not sure..."

"You're not sure? You two have been flirting for as long as I can remember:"

"Yes, I know but…" Why was this so hard? She always thought it would be easy. She felt a knot in her throat.

"He's a nice man. He knows you, he loves you. What more can you ask for?" He cupped her cheek with his hand.

She finally met his eyes. "Helena. They fight so much, I don't want her to feel pushed out of my life. She is my family too, I can't choose between them."

"They need to understand that." He smiled. "Talk to them; I'm sure that if they love you they'll do it."

"Yes… I've heard that, but it's not that easy."

"Happiness is in your hands. You must choose. It's not easy? I'm sure it's not. But things are never easy."

"Tell me about it." She smiled lightly.

He kissed her cheek. "I love you."

"I love you, too." He was a wonderful man; she was so lucky to have him as a father.

"Good evening," a voice interrupted.

The old man looked up. Dick Grayson was standing at the balcony doors with a red rose in his hand.

"Good evening, Dick." James Gordon said standing up.

"Hi…" Barbara smiled at him. He looked really good dressed in black.

"Hi, love." He leaned in and kissed her softly on her lips.

"How are you?" Gordon asked, sitting back on the balcony.

"I'm glad to see you here, sir," the dark haired man said. He looked at Barbara a second and rubbed his palms nervously to turn to see him. "I've been dating Barbara for few months. We are having a great time and… I love her."

"I'm happy for you two," Gordon said.

Dick took Barbara's hand. "I want to ask for your daughter's hand. It would honor me so much."

The redhead looked at him, speechless. The question surprised the Commissioner, too.

"Ohh…" he mumbled, looking at his daughter, trying to figure out what to do.

Barbara pulled him down gently. "Dick…"

Then the tall man immediately kneeled in front of her and kissed her fingers. "Please marry me."


"Yes? You said yes?"

"What was I supposed to do?" Barbara sighed, taking a sip of her coffee. "My father was there, he was being so nice… and…"

Dinah sat next to her, fixing her eyes on her and crossing her arms. Alfred gave Dinah a glass of milk and looked at the redhead raising his brow.

"What?" Barbara waved her hands. "Why does no one say 'Congratulations, Barbara' or something like that?"

"Maybe because I don't see you jumping up and down with happiness.?" Dinah poured some cereal in her bowl.

Barbara pointed to her left leg. "Broken leg."

Dinah rolled her eyes. "You know what I mean."

"Look, he is a nice guy, handsome, fun, he loves me and I love him! I think that I'm just afraid to take the next step." Shifting uncomfortably, she wet her suddenly dry lips.

"Interesting theory." Alfred opened his cook book.

"I have lived so many years alone. It's natural that I feel… well, afraid to live with someone."

"Yeah, Helena was a piece of cake." The teen poured the milk on her cereal.

"You know that's different." Barbara glared at her.

"They're both arrogant, they wear cool clothes, they vanish, they have strong personalities, they're impatient, they love sweeps, they're heroes, they dress in black, both of them are like big kids and neither of them follow your instructions. I don't know why it's so complicated for you to make a decision. Helena is just like him and you've lived with her for years."

"She does have a point," Alfred said.

"The 'difference' is big." Barbara pointed to her crotch.

Alfred chuckled.

"Look, I don't like him so much." Dinah took a spoonful of cereal "He is nice, fun, but I don't like him so much as your 'husband.' I don't know why, maybe because he tries to control your life. But this isn't about what Helena or I want. It's about what you want."

Barbara raised her brow and looked at the blonde.

"Okay, that last bit was Helena." Dinah put the spoon in her mouth.

"Helena told you that?" The redhead frowned.

The blonde head bobbed. She swallowed her cereal. "She said that she respects what you choose and she supports you."

"When did she tell you that?"

"The day she told me she needed time to think."

"She is ducking my calls. This is something I need to solve immediately. I just need to be firm with Helena and Dick. They need to respect each other and understand that I'm not anyone's property. I can think on my own. And… I need to tell her I'm going to marry him and she will understand."

The soft ding of the elevator make all three heads turn. A familiar lithe woman appeared.

"Hi folks." The brunette's hair jutted out of her head in shaggy clumps that, somehow, Helena made look stylish.

Alfred put the book on the table. "This is going to be interesting."

Barbara felt her heart jump. She couldn't hide a big smile. "Helena!"

The brunette looked at her, feeling a great happiness. She had missed her like hell. Her face was still bruised and her leg was still in a cast. She leaned and bussed the redhead's cheek. Closing her eyes, she smelled her shampoo. She moved back and smiled.

"You look much better." Blue eyes met green.

"I'm glad to see you." The redhead touched her arm and squeezed it gently.

The touch sent a shiver through her spine. She turned and removed her coat. "Hi Alfred, hi kid."

"I'm not a kid." The teen grumbled.

Barbara followed her protégée's movements. Helena moved with such grace. She had missed her… so very much.

"Good morning, Miss Helena. Would you like something for breakfast?"

"Please!" The brunette sat down at the table.

"You arrived just in time," Alfred said.

Dinah stared at Helena's face, worried. This was not going to be easy for her.

"Yeah? Why?" the brunette asked.

"Barbara was telling us the good news," Alfred explained, giving Helena some waffles.

"Yeah? What? Did you buy a new computer?" the young woman laughed.

Barbara smiled shyly. "No."


"I'm getting married."

Eyes clouded with confusion and lips pursed as if just waiting for the right words. "Oh."


She was officially mortally wounded.

"Master Dick proposed to her last night," Alfred elaborated.

Suddenly, the brunette's appetite was gone. She stared at her plate in silence. Every touch Dick and Barbara exchanged was like a nail in her flesh.

"You don't have anything to say?" Barbara moved forward curiously, trying to get a glimpse of Helena's face - trying to gauge her emotions.

"It's… You surprised me… I'm happy for you." Helena took the honey and poured it on her waffles, hoping that they didn't notice her confusion. "He's a good guy. He'll make you happy."

There was a definite note of disbelief in her tone, Barbara analyzed. "Helena, what's going on?"

"Nothing, why?" She put a piece of waffle in her mouth.

Alfred must have lost his touch. The waffle had turned stiff and was next to impossible to swallow. What would he be without her? What was she without her? She just wanted go out, run and scream. Hide. But was it broad daylight and there was nowhere to hide. There was nowhere to hide, even in the dark of the night when you were trying to hide from yourself.

Dinah bit her lip, knowing the brunette's feelings. She was upset for her. This would be terribly hard for her friend.

Barbara watched her. She was pretending to be busy with her breakfast, but she knew she was hiding something. Her last comment caused her more pain and she just didn't know why. Helena needed to understand that she could have a life and, at the same time, they could be friends.

After Wade's death, Helena had avoided her. It had hurt. The redhead had felt that she had lost her then. Every time she reached out, the younger woman would dart off, hiding from her – leaving her behind. Now she was hurt, fighting her own pain – again pushing her away. But this time she wouldn't let it happen.

"You and I need to talk," Barbara finally said to the brunette, looking pointedly at the elderly butler and her other protégée.

"I'm finished," Dinah said, standing up.

"I just remembered that I need to polish the silver." The butler smiled gently, "I'll be right back."

Helena glared at them both.

"What is this?" She sighed and took another bite of her waffle. This was going to be a lecture and she wasn't in the mood.


Part Nine

Barbara knew Helena never liked her friendship with Wade and now with Dick. She'd had her alone for such a long time before they came into her life and suddenly she had to share with someone else. She knew it wasn't easy for her. She tried to be gentle.

"Why didn't you come back to the hospital?" she asked with a soft voice, her eyes searching for Helena's.

"I told you, I needed time to think."

The red head tilted her head. She needed to try again. "Why haven't you called me? Why have you been ducking my calls?" The brunette was going to open her mouth, but Barbara raised her index finger "Don't give me the 'I needed to think' crap again."

"Because it was a hard decision. You and Dick need your own space, even more now that you are getting married. I want my own space. I want to work by myself."

"Why are you pushing me away?"

"I'm not pushing you away." The tension in the brunette's slender shoulders was evident.

"I know you. What is going on?"

She hated feeling cornered. She hated it. It made her turn violent. She took a deep breath and turned her head. Before Dinah came, there was only Barbara and her. Only the two of them. She liked the kid, it had been difficult at the beginning, but now, she'd grown to care for her like a sister. But with Barbara, there was something else, something she couldn't explain. Not until they weren't alone anymore. First Wade, now Dick.

Dick fucking Grayson had discovered that she loved Barbara. It threw her world out of balance.

And now, knowing that they were going to get married simply… broke her soul, her everything.

How could she explain that to the person that saved her life? That took care of her since she was a kid? How could she explain that she'd failed her? Barbara would think she had failed if she knew that with all her attention, care and help, that Helena had fallen in love with her.

"Helena?" Barbara's voice pulled her from her thoughts.

"I told you," she said again "I want to work alone. I'm ready to do it."

"I don't believe you."

"I'm a wild cat, Barbara. You know that." The brunette lifted her eyes, fixing them on the older woman with a predatory look. "You know wild cats can never be tamed. You knew some day I would fly by myself. You always knew it. I'm flying now. It's the perfect time, you have someone with you who loves you and can take care of you. You are not going to be alone. You don't need me anymore."

Barbara held her gaze, feeling a knot in her throat. "Who told you I don't need you anymore?"

"I…I just know it." Helena cursed herself for her words when she met green eyes and saw the reaction. She paled slightly and was speechless. She'd hurt her, but it was much better than the truth. "Barbara… we've been together for so long, we've learned a lot from each other. I've learn a lot from you. I really appreciate it, but… it's time to choose our own road."

"What are you talking about?" Barbara's heart skipped a beat, not only due to her words, but also to the look in her eyes. She was talking seriously, she couldn't detect the slightest hesitation in her face or words.

The brunette stood up and walked toward her. She kneeled by her chair and took her hand. She held her gaze, marveling at the feel of her fingers around her hand, at the tenderness in her eyes.

"I love you." Helena whispered, lost in green eyes. Drowning. "This doesn't mean I'm not going to see you anymore. But you need to have your life with Dick and I need to have my life too…" She extended her hand.

Barbara blinked trying to understand. She was giving back her earrings and her necklace.

"I have to fly," the brunette said, taking the redhead's hand and placing her comms in it.

"No." The redhead moved her hand back, feeling a knot in her throat. Her protégée wasn't joking. She never could have imagined it would hurt as it was hurting her now. But she was right, she couldn't keep her at her side forever. She was young, wild, she had a whole life outside the ClockTower.


"Keep it… as a gift."

Helena bit her lip. Fuck. This was so damn difficult and Barbara wasn't helping with that look in her eyes. She began to hate herself.

"We will always be a family, right?" she finally whispered.

"Always." Barbara cupped her cheek with her palm. Her eyes started watering.

The young woman leaned into the caress, enjoying the warm fingers against her skin. Heavenly. She wanted time to stop forever. But she couldn't. She stood up and leaned to kiss her secret love's cheek. She lingered by her side, maybe longer than necessary, with her mouth to her skin. Barbara held her breath.

The dark head ducked and moved back. "Thanks…"

"You're leaving?" the redhead asked, disappointed.

"Yeah… we have inventory at the bar today. I promised Leonard I'd help him," Helena said, stepping back toward the elevator. "See you."

Barbara nodded, following her with her gaze.

When the doors closed, she felt her heart break.

Tears fell from her eyes.

There was a gaping hole in her soul.

Dinah, with her arms crossed over the rail in the upper level of the ClockTower, watched her mentor work. She had been immersed in work the last two weeks. Dinah asked her to rest, but Barbara didn't hear her or… Dick. He waited for her until after midnight and she always finished too exhausted to talk.

In the mornings, she woke very early to go to school where she stayed late, just to come back and work at the Delphi again. She didn't talk very much. Dinah knew she was sad.

The redhead worked at her computer. Suddenly aware of things being out of place, she stopped her work and looked behind her. Whenever Helena was near, the energy was different. The ClockTower brightened with her presence… Now it all seemed so dark, lonely… cold.

She missed her partner, the moments when seated at the computer, she could feel the younger woman's presence, knowing she was close, watching her work, and Barbara would pretend not to know she was there. Sometimes over the past few weeks, she could say Helena was near, she could feel it in her skin, but it was absurd.

Dick was being nice. Attentive. But she still felt empty.

She returned her focus to her work.

Work or a search?

Recent news spoke of some burglars found tied up in the street, a bank robbery stopped by an unknown person. All the facts and details fit perfectly with Huntress' style. She had been following her activities through those reports and, in a way it, it made her feel better, at least she knew where Helena was. And that she was okay.

Helena couldn't tear herself from the sight of the redhead's smile, her long fingers, elegant hands; how could she forget the movement of her red hair under the sun's last breaths in the evening. She closed her eyes, she could almost smell her soft perfume and her shampoo, the smell of home. The sound of her laughter echoed in her ears.

Helena opened her eyes. She knew she shouldn't watch the older woman like this, but she couldn't avoid crouching outside the ClockTower at night and just watching her.

It hurt, watching from a distance. Even more when he was near, when he touched her or kissed her.

Suddenly, he appeared. He was smiling and she hadn't seen him. She couldn't deny the man was good looking. Barbara was lost in her work. He touched her shoulder and Barbara jumped. He laughed and she smiled at him.

She wished the redhead would look at her the way she looked at him.

Dick gave her a flower hidden behind his back. By her expression and smile, she liked it. He leaned down and kissed her. She wrapped her arms around his neck.

Her eyes morphed. Jealousy were driving her mad with rage and frustration. She growled and ran like a wild animal through the night, trying to escape her feelings, her pain.

She ran and jumped between buildings and alleys. Finally, Gotham Bay stopped her. No more road, no more buildings. She couldn't keep running.

She screamed. It was more a howl.

The howl of a wounded animal.

The tears won this time.

She surrendered to the pain and crouched down, head in her hands, sobbing.

Sexy, wearing a black outfit. Her dance partner was a stunning woman, really beautiful… who really, in Barbara's opinion, needed to cover her body with some clothes, she was almost nude. The skirt was the shortest thing she ever had seen and her blouse was… well, there were no words to describe it, but it appeared to be just two small pieces of cloth barely covering the essential.

So Helena really liked women? They had joked and talked about it, but she'd never actually seen it. The woman was deliberately moving into the brunette's personal space. Suddenly, Helena closed the distance and kissed her.

Barbara didn't like that one bit.

That was a fact.

She took Dick's glass of scotch and swallowed it in one gulp.

"Hey, what's that for?" he asked, surprised.

"I'll be right back." The redhead excused herself and wheeled through the room full of people.

Helena was enjoying the night. She'd been avoiding Josie the last few days, she didn't want a long relationship right now. But the woman had been looking for her insistently and finally she had invited her to the opening and it definitely had been an excellent decision. The place was cool and the music excellent.


Barbara was there, with Dick.

Her heart sunk. What was she doing there?

Whatever, it was the perfect moment.

The tall blonde closed the distance between them. Helena smirked, their faces inches apart; then she leaned in and kissed Josie softly. After a few seconds, she moved back and looked upstairs.

Barbara was gone.

She sighed with relief.

"You had been avoiding me." Josie took her chin in her fingers.

"I had problems."

"May I help?"

"You already did." The dark woman smiled.

"Glad to help." Josie kept dancing.

Helena followed her and, after a few movements, she saw her.

Blue eyes pinned by intense green.


She was staring at her and she was not happy. She had definitely seen the kiss. Dick was behind her with an unfriendly look on his face.

"What's wrong, Helena?" Josie asked, noticing the expression on her partner's face.

"I… I'll be right back." The brunette moved off the dance floor and walked toward the redhead with confident grace. She took the glass of wine from her table and stood in front of her mentor.

"Hi Barbara, nice to see you." She smiled.

The older woman stared at her. Her face was expressionless.

"You look great." The brunette looked at her leg, still in a cast, "How's your leg?"

"Fine. The doctor is going remove the cast next week," Barbara answered coldly, glaring toward Josie. "You seem to be having a lot of fun."

"Well…" the brunette took a sip of her wine. "A friend invited me… What are you doing here? Want to sit at my table?"

The redhead's look was still icy. "You never called me back. I left you messages."

"Oh, well, I've been busy."

"I see… very busy." Barbara nodded, biting her lower lip. "What's going on, Helena?"



"Nothing." The brunette shrugged her shoulders, trying to keep still. Her mentor looked hurt, really hurt, and it broke her heart.

"All right, I've been trying to stay close and you've been running away from us, from me. If you don't want to talk," Barbara said, her voice bitter, "if you don't want to tell me what's wrong, okay, it's your choice. I understand now, you were right. You don't need us anymore. I don't know why you want us to continue being a family, if you're just going to push us away."

The redhead wheeled around, turning her back to the younger woman.

Helena looked at Dick, who was still glaring angrily at her.

"Let's go, Dick," Barbara said.

He stepped toward Helena and stood a few inches from her.

"I warned you," he growled, "Keep away from my woman or…"

"I disappointed her, ok?" Helena said, clenching her teeth and balling her fists. She was fighting the temptation of hitting his stupid face. "Don't worry, I disappointed her already. She'll never want to see me again."

"I hope not." He turned and followed the redhead.


It was done.

Now she just needed a heart transplant. Hers was crushed. Long arms wrapped around her shoulders.

"What happened, Helena?"

"Nothing." She lifted her eyes and looked at the blonde, "Can we go?"

"Are you angry?"

"No, I just want to go somewhere else… with you."

"Private?" Josie bit her earlobe softly.


Green eyes were focused on the brunette when she exited the place in the company of the blonde woman.

Hands moved over her. She wanted to forget, she wanted to stop thinking. To just be lost in the moment. Slowly, a hand brushed against her waist. Josie had her against the big bed, and when the blonde's mouth found her own, she kissed her desperately, with hard, demanding strokes.

The hands on her slid up her abdomen and skillfully cupped her breast, kneading her. When had she taken off her clothes? She was nude; she never felt her blouse removed. Wow, Josie was good at this. Her hands moved to caress the skin of the other woman, it was firm and delicate.

The pressure of Josie's fingers against her soft flesh was delicious. She moaned. That soft mouth moved to her neck, biting her pulse point. The brunette took Josie's head and moved it down, toward her breast. She growled when a warm tongue circled her nipple.

Helena buried her nose in the soft hair below her. She had just one weakness and she'd just discovered it a few months ago; but her weakness had always been there, it was her green-eyed beauty, her lovely Barbara.

She took a deep breath, wishing the woman in her arms was the redhead. But it was an impossible dream. She could only wonder when it had happened. When had she fallen in love with her? Maybe if she'd seen it coming, she could have stopped it in time.

But now it was too late.

Helena parted her lips to speak and Josie hushed her with addictive kisses, a finger delicately moved down and caressed her most sensitive part. The brunette growled again and moved her hand down toward the other woman's center, but her wrist was caught in a strong grip.

"No," Josie whispered, kissing her again "tonight you are my dessert." Her fingers pushed deep into her aching insides.

Helena gasped, her hands moved against the slope of Josie's back, trying to follow the rhythm.

Her eyes fell shut and a shudder ran through her as Josie pushed faster into her.

Helena found the rhythm and closed her eyes. Her imagination and her deep desires filled all her senses and suddenly she was there, with her. The blond hair was no longer blonde, it was red. She was there, moving with her.

She took the head and raised it toward her. The perfect mouth was there; green eyes regarding her. She trapped the lips, but not roughly. The touch was soft, delicate, exploring. Soft kisses ghosted the older woman's jaw, lobe, neck. Yes, she was there.

The movement of fingers inside her increased, carrying her to another world. She buried her face in the woman's neck and held her thigh against her, trapped on the whirlwind of lust and love that consumed her.

Everything spun around.

She climaxed.

Her cry was not of pleasure; it was more about pain and release. It was mostly about loneliness and frustration, for the woman that could never be hers…

She tried to recover her breath, her nose still buried in a long, firm neck while Josie stroked the fine, damp hair on her head.

"Helena?" Josie whispered.


"You are different, no?"

"Different?" The brunette lifted her head, still breathless, and peered at her through shaggy bangs.

"You are like them, aren't you?"

"What are you talking about?"

"I saw your eyes… They were like a cat's…"

Helena laughed lightly. "You're joking."

"No, I saw you when I was touching you… you're a meta human. Your eyes were…"

The thin woman closed her eyes and rolled to the other side, climbing off of Josie. She stared at the ceiling.

"I don't care." The blonde turned to look at her, resting on her elbow. "I like you. I think we can still have a lot of fun together."

"What do you know about metas?"

"That they are like humans, but they have special abilities. I have some friends like you, but… I never had a lover." Josie moved and, in a second, was on top of the brunette, "And it's fantastic." She kissed her.


"Don't think." Josie moved her lips toward Helena's neck, ghosting kisses. "I prefer you when you are not thinking."

"Yeah?" Helena panted, feeling her eyes change again.


"She's giving you space."

"She told me that… but I don't believe her."

"What do you want?"

Barbara sighed. "I'm not sure… I love Dick, but I don't want to change my life. I'm happy now with the girls around. Dick is possessive sometimes and doesn't let me breathe. I wish he'd give me more space."

The old man took a sip from his glass before putting it on the table. He wondered if she was listening to herself. "Barbara…"


"Are you sure you want to marry him?"

The question startled her, she remained silent a few seconds, considering her father's question and how to answer it. That was an odd question. Of course she wanted to marry him. They had some differences, but they had so much in common. Yes, sometimes she wasn't satisfied with him, but… no relationship was perfect. She was sure they would work out their small differences and everything would be okay.

"Yes…" she finally said.

He looked at his watch, "Took you twenty seconds to answer me… You are not sure." He took out his pipe.

"Dad! Don't analyze me as if I were one of your cases." She rolled her eyes.

"I'm not. It's just that your reactions tell me something different than your words." He lighted the pipe. "I need to tell you something, I didn't do it before because you were recovering and I didn't want… well…"

"Tell me what?" She looked at him curiously.

"About Dick and Helena."

"You know what's happening? Please tell me…"

"Did you know that Dick hit Helena?"

Green eyes opened wide. She was speechless.

"I see from your reaction that you didn't know." The old man continued, "I don't know exactly what happened. I arrived at your room when you were recovering, Dick was standing over her, I pushed him out. Dinah went to check Helena, we thought he had broken her nose… later Dinah came back alone. Helena left."

"What happened, why did they fight? What did Dinah say?"

"No, no, they didn't fight, something happened and he hit her, she didn't defend herself or hit him back. When Dinah returned to the room, she told me they had argued and he had become angry."

"That's all? And him? What did he say?"

"He didn't say anything. Whatever his reason, it doesn't justify hitting a woman. I haven't seen Helena since then."

Barbara bit her lower lip. She needed to talk to someone. She took her father's hand.

"Thanks, Dad."


Part Ten

Barbara worked at the Delphi. Well, she was trying to work. Her father's revelation was… shocking. She never expected such a violent reaction from Dick. How dare he hit a woman? Especially Helena. She always thought he was a gentleman. Why hadn't Helena responded to his attack? She was far from being a pacifist. And why hadn't Dinah said anything about the incident? Why was everybody hiding the incident from her?

That pissed her off. She wasn't a child, and they'd been hiding everything. Many questions twirled around in her head. She needed to know what the argument had been that day at the hospital.

The redhead was so absorbed in her thoughts that she didn't hear the ding of the elevator, announcing that someone had arrived.

She felt a hand on her shoulder.


He leaned in to kiss her cheek, but she moved her face to the side to avoid him.

"Hey, what's wrong?" he asked.

She turned to face him. Her look was not friendly.

"Why did you hit Helena?" she asked, her voice icy.

The tall man was surprised by the question. "Excuse me?"

"Why did you hit Helena at the hospital?"

He shook his head and crossed his arms. Surely Helena was trying to separate them again.

"Who told you?" he asked, annoyed "Her? I imagine so… and I imagine she told you that she was the victim, no? What lie did she tell you now to break us up?"

"It doesn't matter who told me," he was not going to distract her from the point, "I'm asking why you hit her."

"She doesn't want us to be together."

"She don't want us to be together!" Barbara said in a hard voice. "Please stop it!"

"I'm telling you the truth! I'm not lying, she's lying, she always lies!!"

"Dick! I asked you why you hit her!"

"She was kissing you! She loves you!!"

The redhead blinked, trying to understand.

"She was kissing you, Barbara! I saw her!" he said in exasperation. "It made me crazy and I hit her! She is ungrateful! She was taking advantage of you! She…"

"Stop!" Dinah's voice called. The teen walked onto the platform, visibly angry.

"What?" Dick growled, facing her "Tell her I'm lying, tell her we didn't see Helena kissing her, taking advantage of her!!"

"That's not true, you are always trying to talk bad about her, she would never try to take advantage of her! She respects Barbara too much!"

"We saw her kissing her!"

"Yes, but she was not raping her as you keep implying!"

"Wait a minute!" Barbara raised her hand; everything was out of control. "What is going on here?"

"She loves you Barbara and not as a friend," Dick said, his fists clenched as he gazed at her. "That's why she keeps trying to separate us."

"Shut up, Dick." Dinah rolled her eyes, "She has never said that or done anything, please!"

"Hold it!" Barbara almost shouted. She closed her eyes for a few seconds and tried to organize her thoughts. She took a breath and opened her eyes slowly, looking at Dinah. "What is that about Helena loving me?"

Dinah brushed her hair back nervously. "It's true…" she said with a low voice. "I asked her, she loves you, but…"

"See?? I told you!!" the tall man yelled.

"Dick, please!" Barbara glared at him. She sighed and turned back to her young ward; she needed to know what was happening. "I'm listening, Dinah."

"She didn't know she loved you until a few months ago," the teen explained softly, "she was trying to deny it at first, from herself, and when she saw it was stronger than she was, she tried to hide it from you. She's afraid that you will be ashamed of her. She said you've done so much for her and this will disappoint you… She doesn't want you to stay away from Dick. She knows you love him, but when she saw you almost dying in that hospital bed she couldn't avoid kissing you. It was a gentle kiss, she was not ravaging you… That was when we walked in…" She locked her eyes on Dick "and he attacked her without warning, he surprised her and he would have hit her again, if I hadn't stopped him."

"She was kissing her!" Grayson growled.

"Dick!!" The redhead clenched her teeth.

"Why don't you tell her that you have been blackmailing Helena?" Dinah spit at him. The blonde was finding that she really didn't like Dick at all. She couldn't imagine him living here…

Green eyes locked on the dark man. She lifted her brow. Things were becoming most interesting and she was extremely pissed off.

"Dick told her that if he saw her near you, he would tell you that she loves you. Helena didn't want you to know because she's afraid. That's why Helena doesn't want to come here!"

The redhead squeezed her eyes shut and rubbed her forehead with the palm of her hand, trying vainly to organize her thoughts.

"Barbara…" Dick kneeled next to her and held her hand in his.

"Are you blackmailing her?" Barbara asked him.

"I'm sorry, it was the only way to keep her away from us…" he explained. "But I love you, I don't want anyone interfering in our relationship."

Barbara touched Dinah's arm "Could you please leave us alone, Dinah?"



The teen nodded and, crossing her arms, she walked toward her room.

"Your girlfriend?"

The brunette blushed and avoided Barbara's eyes. "She isn't my girlfriend…"

"She kissed you. You broke up with Reese for her?"

Helena wanted to scream, no, that it had all been for her, but she couldn't. "She's just a friend." She turned and waved to a familiar customer at a table a few meters away.

"Very friendly, your friend." The redhead raised her brow. "Why are you hiding from me?"

"I'm not hiding," Helena laughed, smiling at a handsome guy at the bar, "Who told you that? I've been busy."

Helena felt Barbara's eyes on her. It made her nervous. Her green eyes stopped on her neck.

"I see you still have the necklace," the older woman noted. "What are you afraid of?" Barbara taunted her.

"Nothing, why?."

The redhead knew it was the perfect moment to formulate her question: "My father told me he saw you and Dick arguing while I was unconscious at the hospital." The trick worked, she noticed how the girl's face lost color. She smirked and took a sip of her juice.

"Breathe, Hel." She put her glass on the table.

"What… did he tell you?"

"Something that Dinah, Dick and you should have told me before."

Helena wondered if she could be so lucky as to have an earthquake strike New Gotham at that moment; the land could open up and swallow her.

"You are avoiding us because of Dick." The redhead crossed her arms on the table.

"No…" She was definitely caged.

"No? So tell me why, and don't give me that bullshit about you wanting to work on your own."

The young crime fighter found herself pinned by deep green eyes.


"I talked to Dick..." the older woman said, not giving her an opportunity to answer.

Helena held her breath. Damn… she was dead.

"This is not easy for me, but… I needed to do it." Barbara noticed the other woman was close to fainting, maybe it was a bad idea to push her too far, it would be good to give her a break. "Dick has been manipulating you. I know, I'm not stupid, and he went too far… I didn't stop him in time. It's my fault and I'm sorry."

"Don't worry, Barbara, we…"

"Let me finish, please," the red head raised her hand, "He's changed, I've changed… We're different."

"Are you kidding?" the brunette frowned.

Barbara shook her head. "Something happened between us over the years… My environment and his environment are very different. I need my own space." She lifted her eyes, Helena's were glued to her, listening, trying to understand where she was going. "He's terribly jealous. He can't accept that you and I have a life together. We survived the Joker, our personality differences, our frustrations. We fought against our demons… We fought together, we won, and he wasn't there… he can't accept that."

"I'm sorry…" the brunette lowered her head, she didn't want be the cause of problems between her and Dick "I didn't…"

"Helena, don't feel bad, this is not about you or about me…" The redhead took her hand.

The touch of those long fingers electrified the young woman. She couldn't believe how powerful the contact with a hand could be.

"Are you listening to me?" Barbara asked, noticing Helena seemed to be in another world.

"Yes, sorry… It's just that I don't want…"

"Hel, I've been thinking so much the last few days, and I discovered that Dick and I were together mostly because we are used to being together. It's a fine line that separates it from love. I don't love him… and if I did love him, I would never let him break my family apart as he has done now… I asked him to leave."

Blue eyes blinked. "But, Barbara, you love him, you can't!"

"I can, I know what I'm doing."

"Did he tell you?"

"Did he tell me what?"

Helena remained silent. She didn't know what to do. Why did she fall in love with a person she could never have? Oracle was the straightest of all the straight women in the world.

The older woman read the confusion in her eyes. She knew it wouldn't be a good idea to push her too much or tell her what she knew, if she wanted her back. She kept her eyes on Helena's; she knew she could read her protégée's feelings in them.

"Listen, he was completely unfair to you. I apologize for that. I know your speech was an excuse because you didn't want to cause me any problems. I know it's a lie, and I want you back. We have worked too hard for this… Helena, please, come back; we need you."


"Yes, we… Dinah, Alfred, me…"

"Wait, wait…" the brunette waved her hands, "He isn't going to like this. Did you discuss this with him?"

"Don't you understand? I don't care what he thinks, I broke it off, we are not going to get married."

"Helena!" a guy called her. "Leonard is asking for you."

"A minute!" she said, leaning back in her chair.

"I don't want to interfere with your job," the redhead said. "I just came here to ask you to come back. I know you didn't want to interfere with us and that you did this out of love… I appreciate it, but I don't want you to sacrifice your \self for me. And even more so if it's for something that doesn't exist."


"Besides… I need my former physical therapist back." The redhead smiled "We'll wait for you tomorrow for dinner. And after that we can do some sweeps. A nasty drug band is infiltrating the schools." She wheeled back.

The brunette followed her with her eyes. She was confused and afraid. What if Dick had opened his big mouth?

Barbara stopped and turned to see her. "Alfred told me that he will make lasagna for you." She winked before wheeling toward the exit.

"Kyle!" Leonard shouted.

"I'm coming!" she shouted back. "I'm coming!"

Dinah looked at her watch. It had been more than three hours since she had left Barbara alone with Dick, the place was silent. It was one o'clock in the morning. She was nervous; she didn't know how her mentor would react to the revelation. She might be really angry with her for not telling her what had happened at the hospital. She opened the door of her room and looked outside. The lights were off. She walked toward Barbara's room.


She went toward the Delphi. It was in its usual mode. The screens were on, but her mentor was not there either. The teen looked upstairs. Her steps took her toward the balcony. The redhead was there, engulfed in the dark night. Her elbows and upper arms rested on her legs while she stared at her laced fingers.

She stood there in silence, thinking, what should she do? Say something or leave her alone? Maybe ask her how she felt? No… that was stupid.

"Why didn't you tell me?" Barbara asked suddenly.

Dinah was speechless as she tried to figure out how to answer.

"I'd like to know, maybe I could understand this better," the redhead whispered, looking toward the city below her.

"I'm sorry…" the teen stood next to her. "Helena didn't want you to know."

"But I deserved to know." The redhead raised her head to meet her young ward's eyes. "He wasn't fair to her. That was low. He blackmailed her with her feelings."

The teen lowered her head.

"Helena is not guilty for her feelings; she didn't want to hurt anyone. And he used it to hurt her and to keep her away from us, he broke up our team because of his stupid jealousy," the older woman said with a soft voice, trying to not sound annoyed. None of this was Dinah's fault.

"I'm sorry…. She was sad and afraid."

"Don't worry…" Barbara touched her hand. "It's not your fault or Helena's. I'm just tired of all his jealousy. We are not going to get married."

"What?" the teen responded, surprised.

"Dinah, we can't… he wants me to be something I'm not, he wants to control my life and, worst of all, her tried to separate me from the people that I love. I don't recognize him; he hit her, he tried to make me hate her and he played with her feelings."

Dinah looked her at speechless.

"I slapped him." Barbara said.

"What?" The teen grinned. God! How she wished she could have seen that. She'd wanted to kick his ass so badly.

"I couldn't stop myself… He was so unfair with her and he tried to make me hate her, he tried to separate us. I will never forgive him for that. I broke it off. I asked him to leave." The older woman met Dinah's blue eyes.

"But Barbara…" the young woman was concerned. Was she serious?

"Don't worry, I'm okay. I should have done it long ago." She smiled softly. "I didn't feel comfortable with him; I felt something was wrong."

"You love him…"

"No, I don't think so… I was really relieved when he left," she admitted. "It was like a big burden had lifted from my shoulders… I think I was just accustomed to him. We had been friends so long, when he returned a few months ago… well, you know how women are..." she laughed lightly, "We are vain, we like to know that men like us. He made me feel desired… attractive. But… I don't love him."

"I'm sorry." Dinah sat in front of her guardian. She was still concerned, she didn't expect this… but inside she really wanted them to break up. Dick was an asshole. "Are you okay?"

"Yes. I'm okay, really," Barbara said. "And it was an incredible feeling when he left the Tower."

Dinah hesitated before asking, "And Helena?"

"I just talked to her…"

"You did…?" The teen blinked. "When?"

"I just came back. After Dick left, I went to see her. I needed to apologize, he was unfair to her. I asked her to come back."

"Did you tell her?"


The teen fixed her pale blue eyes on her mentor. "You know what I mean."

Barbara shook her head. "I know… she would feel ashamed and refuse to come back with us. Don't tell her that I know it."


"Dinah, I can't love her," the redhead said, feeling tears in her eyes "I can't… but I want her back with us. Please, I'm sure she will find someone else. She will find someone who loves her totally; she's a wonderful girl. But it will be easier for her if she still believes I don't know her secret."

The teen knew she was right. If Helena knew that Barbara knew her secret, she would not come back. The teen nodded. She wanted Helena to come back, too. "All right."

"Can I tell you a secret?" Barbara asked.


"It felt really good when I hit him."

The redhead stared at the city below her feet. It was day break, she couldn't sleep all night thinking. She wondered if Helena would return to the Tower. She was unpredictable, stubborn, grumpy… She'd always been like that.

Simply Helena.

And she missed her anyway.

"You doubt she will come back," Alfred said from behind her.

"Yes," the redhead nodded.


"It's something you wouldn't understand…"

"Do you think that the fact that she is in love with you will affect her decision?"

Green eyes turned and blinked at him. He knew? "What?"

"She will be back, you know. She can't be far from you for long You are her only refuge. She doesn't have any safer home than with you."

"I don't like that responsibility. I don't want her to be in love with me."

"Why not? Are you afraid of accepting something that you never think about?"

"I'm not afraid of anything," Barbara said.

"You have always lived by rules and old habits." Alfred smiled, walking inside the Tower, "Maybe it is time to think that a life exists beyond rules and habits. Dinner is ready, Miss Barbara."

She shook her head. Alfred always was so Alfred. She sighed and looked back to the city. She could only wait.

Wait for her to return.

"It's very expensive when you're meta."


"Do you know how much money it costs me to get drunk? I have to drink way more alcohol than normal to be drunk."

He laughed. "That's true. Let me get you the next one." He raised his hand, calling the waiter "Another tequila here, please."

"Good choice."

"She looks happy." Gordon looked at his daughter.

"She is…" Helena sipped a bit of her drink.

"I thought she would be depressed because of Dick."

"She said they had big differences, that they had changed."

"Why did he hit you, Helena? I never had an opportunity to ask."

"He was jealous." She hid her eyes behind her bangs.

"Just for that? I don't think it was a good reason, you two were in a hospital room." Gordon lit his cigarette.

"He is explosive…"

"It doesn't surprise me, it surprises me that you didn't hit him back."

"As you said, we were in a hospital. He asked me to leave and I didn't want to… He was upset for her. I think it was the stress."

"And it's very strange to hear you defending him."

Helena smiled. "Yeah… but, well, she was sick, I didn't want to upset her."

"Yes, that's true," he agreed. "Smart decision. Now," he lifted his hand, "we need another other bottle here."

"Huh?" Helena was confused.

"I'm going to finance your drinking tonight. We need to celebrate having Barbara back."

She smirked. "Are you sure?"


"I'm going to kill my father," Barbara grumbled.

"Hey, it was a fun party," Helena giggled.

"Which was the most fun part? You throwing up?" Dinah smirked, pushing the brunette toward the shower.

"You are a big kid." Barbara rolled her eyes.

Helena stumbled and then stood back up. "No cold shower."

"Of course not! Come on!" Dinah pushed her again.

"Why can't I go back to my place?" The brunette looked at the blonde.

"Because you want to go there to keep drinking and you'll be in trouble."

"I don't want her to bathe me, I can bathe alone!" Helena pointed at Dinah.

"All right, just go shower or I'll kick your ass," Barbara growled.

"All right." Singing, but walking hesitantly, the brunette went toward the bathroom.

Dinah crossed her arms and grinned.

The redhead turned toward the kitchen "I'll make some strong coffee."

"I'm going to bed." Dinah smiled. "Can you deal with your big baby alone?"

"I always do it, don't worry."

She heard her name far away. Very far. Soft claps on her cheeks made her open her eyes. Where the hell was she? Barbara was in front of her? What was Barbara doing…? Wait, what was she doing in Barbara's bathroom?

"Come on Helena." The red head put a dry towel around her. "Up."

The brunette looked at the towel, what was…? Damn... she was nude. Oh, now she remembered, she had been taking a shower and she sat on the small bench, she must have fallen asleep. She held the towel around herself and stood up, but everything was spinning.

"Here, put your hands here." Barbara noticed her movements were erratic and patted the back of her wheelchair.


Barbara took her hands and put them on the back of her wheelchair. "Here… Just follow me. Jesus, you are really drunk. I'm going to kill him."

"Why? He's nice."

"He got you drunk. What were you two thinking?" The redhead wheeled toward her bedroom, Helena following her.

"He told me he could get me drunk," Helena slurred her words, raising her finger, "I told him not possible, not possible."

"Yes, I see how impossible it was."

"He cheated…"

"Yes, sure, come on. Sit down."

"We're here?" The brunette didn't know how they got there, but they were in Barbara's bedroom.


Helena obeyed and closed her eyes. Barbara gave her the coffee and she drank it all. Afterwards, she felt soft hands toweling her hair dry. When the marvelous hands moved to her face and neck, she shivered. Barbara made her bend forward; long fingers were on her back, stroking softly. The young woman closed her eyes and surrendered to the heavenly feeling. She had dreamed of this so many nights, feeling Barbara's fingers touching her.

Part 11

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