DISCLAIMER: Birds of Prey is not my copyright. This story is not-for-prophet, no money is being made from it and access to it should not be bought or sold.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: (Story:) it's loosely based on the show's storyline, but there will be some differences of course – also, I did try to make it as reader friendly as possible, so if you haven't watched the show, you should hopefully still be able to read this without any problems (Beta Reader:) many thanks to Wolfe for her help (Spoilers:) there are a few; primarily draws from episodes 8 and 9, 'Lady Shiva' and 'Nature of the Beast' (Key:) "speaking" ~ [thoughts] ~ //voice on the phone// ~ accent on the word (Warnings:) some violence as the story requires; crime scene related, including an instance that shows the fallout of domestic violence, as well as a few scenes involving gun violence and hand-to-hand fighting – the story is not very violence prevalent though, so I don't imagine you'll see these things terribly often.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Murder, Said The Killer
By Jessica Knight


Part 2

"I'm going to bed." Barbara Gordon spoke.

Helena, lounging on the couch and seemingly deep in thought, gave no reply.

Barbara shook her head, her sense of reality still blown; she powered her chair in the direction of her bed chambers.

It took a while of course, and the troubling thoughts going through her head were no help, but Barbara finally got herself set for the night, into bed and under the covers.

She lay there and thought of Helena Kyle. In high school, Helena had been a lot different than she was now. Before her mother died. Anyone who knew her now would have hardly recognized her. They'd always been friends though, even then, but she'd had to admit, things had changed so much with Selena's death. Not just Helena, not just the loss of her ability to use her legs, but their world and their relationship to one another. They'd lived together for a good while after it happened, and they still saw each other and talked just about every day. Logically speaking, for a young woman who had feelings for... people of their same gender, it wouldn't be a stretch for such vast amounts of time spent together and such interdependence to breed feelings of a romantic nature... but God, she'd never even seen it coming.

Helena obviously wasn't faking it though. That last kiss, and perhaps even more the one before that, were volumes of evidence on that. They were testaments of sincerity burned into her uncomfortably vivid recollections. They were a sense memory on her lips and in her body that would not part gracefully.

She worried. Where was this leading? She'd kissed Helena back, both times. She'd called a halt to it the first time, but not the second. Helena had been right, she was interested. Or part of her was at least, and for some reason it made her feel guilty... like Helena was still that grieving teenage girl she'd taken in all those years ago and she was some how taking advantage of her. That was ridiculous of course, just perceptions mired in the past. But she wondered, did Helena know just what an effect she'd had on her?

There was a rustling at the door, and Barbara looked over in the darkness and caught a reflection of light, like... from a cat's eyes.

"Helena?" She spoke softly, with a good deal of trepidation.

"I'm here." She heard a voice say softly from the dark.

"What..." She felt the bed next to her depress with new weight, and felt a soft touch through her hair, wiping a stray strand of it to the side.

"Can't we just be together tonight?" She heard the voice, soft and inscrutable, speak.

"Helena... We can't... I..."

"Why not? We've known each other forever. It's not like we're strangers... And we love each other, I know we do."

Barbara felt a soft finger trace over her lips, feather light. [I guess that answers my question.] Barbara's nervous thoughts commented. [She definitely knows.]

She couldn't help it. The touch was just so erotic... The intense intimacy like a magnetic force, like a circuit closing somewhere in her soul... a soft moan came from somewhere inside her and she felt her body come alive and respond in all sorts of appealing ways. [This is so wrong.] Barbara told herself. But she found that she wanted to know... Wanted to keep feeling like this... Wanted to just say yes and see what happened... The things Helena had said to her? The way she touched her? It felt so exciting, and she felt so naked before her, more than just in body... It was an almost completely new experience, but one that seemed to call to her... or a part of her anyway. She was brave enough to admit that to herself. She was also brave enough to admit that another part of her felt terrified of this, of letting go and... and risking herself so much. Of making a mistake, of seeing something in herself or in Helena that maybe wasn't even really there.

"No, we're not strangers. And I do love you." Barbara heard herself say. "But we..."

"Mmn." It was a slightly whining sound of an objection and Helena's lips were on hers again, passionate and confidant, and that was enough... she felt something slip loose inside her and she just couldn't find it in her heart to care about thinking things through anymore. Barbara returned the kiss and actually found herself taking the initiative when their lips parted to start the next one. Bringing her hands to Helena's sides. Feeling the bare skin there. The sheets pulled back and admitted another body beneath them, more gentile yet insistent kisses passing between them, more experimental touches as they both tentatively got used to the closeness.

"This is completely insane, you do realize that?" Barbara said, a smile tinged with heady passion on her lips, one that only a cat's eyes could see in the dark. She looked up and saw those so familiar eyes reflecting dimly down at her and a thrill of excitement and raw desire went rushing through her. There was such love and desire in those eyes, she felt like she'd just been paid the best complement of her life. She reached up with one hand and touched Helena's cheek reverently before moving up to kiss her, gently at first, then more intensely.

Helena lost herself in the feelings of that kiss. Only when it was over and Barbara laid back down on her back and looked up into her dazed eyes did she come back to her senses enough to be able to think again. Her heart was going fast in her chest and she felt warm all over. Finally, she broke eye contact and began to start a string of kisses and licking on her lover's neck before she reached down to lift the other woman's sleep shirt away over her head. "Yes..." She heard Barbara's soft praise reach her.

Now with nothing in their way at all, Barbara felt the full body skin to skin contact between them and welcomed it greedily. "I love you..." She heard the words Helena whispered in her ear and a thrill of emotion went though her. It, all of this, it made her feel sexy and powerful, loved and alive, and damn if it didn't turn her on so much more than she could remember being turned on in a long while, maybe ever... and when it came right down to it, she'd known Helena had been right. She had known her for so long. She trusted her. She loved her with all her heart. Was this really so strange?

Helena woke early that next morning, and found herself curled up along side a very naked Barbara Gordon. Her thigh resting over the woman's legs under the covers, Barbara's hands holding her passively in sleep. The scent of the other woman so close to her was so amazing to her. She'd known that scent from long years of familiarity, but now she could feel it imprinted on her in that way that only happened from making love with someone you really cared about. She felt warm and content and loved and it was a very nice feeling to feel.

She looked down at the peacefully sleeping face and smiled, brushing wisps of hair away from Barbara's eyes. Randomly, she wondered what her lover would look like with shorter hair. The thought kind of made her laugh nervously in her head. A soft contented moan escaped the woman's lips and a pang of some hollow guilt and regret welled up inside her and Helena turned her gaze away and lay back down next to her lover, snuggling her head into the crook of her neck and holding herself to the other woman, not wanting to let go. That was it after all, wasn't it? She loved her so much and she didn't want to lose her. Didn't want her to see what she'd done and call her a monster or a killer and look at her like she was someone else... Didn't want to disappoint her, to lose her faith.

It was based on a lie... but the love and attraction was true... so she felt... the part of it that was a lie, she could live with it. Whatever Barbara thought when she woke up, whatever she thought of what they'd been to one another or what they could be to one another in the future, it had to be better than the alternative, didn't it?

She lay there for a while just stewing in her own woes and worries, while somewhat guiltily enjoying the simple warmth and comfort of having this other woman so close to her. Holding her. Trusting her so much.

...Still and all, it was likely going to be a disaster. Whether or not Barbara found out about the man she'd killed. Because Barbara wasn't a lesbian, she just wasn't. Bisexual? Obviously and blessedly that... But had she ever been with a woman? Or even seriously thought about it before last night? It didn't seem all that likely to her... Had she just came on to her, sent the right signals, used the right body language, flattered and confounded the woman enough to let this happen between them? When her new lover woke up, would she regret what had happened? Would she hate her? Would she start avoiding her?

She groaned to herself and finally opened her eyes again.

She was an idiot and had to face it, that's all there was to it. And she was feeling too guilty and upset with herself to keep laying where she was anyway... Besides, the kid would be waking up soon and she shouldn't be alone when that happened.

So, groaning a little at the loss of warmth and contact, Helena pulled herself out of bed, careful not to disturb her still slumbering lover. Sparing the woman a last longing backwards glance, her heart tugging at her, she turned and quietly padded out into the main complex of the clock tower. Her clothing was laying on a chair off to the side and she went over to grab her shirt and underwear to tide her over, not liking the look of the pants that she'd worn when out and about last night and figuring on raiding the stash of back-up clothes that was stored here later on anyway.

First, Dinah. Down another hallway and to the right was the way to her room. She inched open the door and saw their young charge still laying there on her side in bed. She seemed almost at peace... and Helena couldn't help the smile that came to her face at seeing that. It was a feeling tinged with sadness though, knowing that the world the young woman would awake to would still be one in which her mother was dead and the man that killed her was free from jail and out there doing God knows what to God knows who.

A sigh and Helena closed the door again and headed back to the main room and to Delphi.

Another transgression against Barbara, messing with her sacred fountain of all knowledge... She was probably going to hell, she considered.

But by this point, there wasn't really a choice about it was there? Not a good one anyway.

She rolled the mouse and the screen came to life, requesting a password to re-activate the now dormant human interface. Guiltily, she punched in Barbara's pass code instead of her own and logged on. The system was still in stand down mode; muting all alerts, passively gathering data, and acting on pre-existing requests only. Helena quickly checked the logs and confirmed that no serious flags had gone up during the night. A sigh of relief for that at any rate. Getting down to her mission though, she quickly found the entry she was looking for. As she'd thought, Barbara had set a query running for information on the incident last night. It took all of her admittedly only barely adequate knowledge of high-end information technology, but she managed to get in and erase any mention of a death. Instead finding a similar report and copying in the information that would indicate that the perpetrator was still at large, no leads forthcoming.

That would match her story after all. If the man had simply gotten away because Helena had stayed to help the injured woman, it would all add up. Unless Barbara looked too closely at it, or re-queried the police department's records (which, she was sure were probably changeable from here, but damn if she knew how, or what trouble doing so would stir up).

Closing her eyes for a moment, she once again told herself she was just doing what she had to do, and that it was all for the best. Set in that resolution, she made sure to un-check the query's auto-update feature, then carefully cleared her session and made sure to leave things just as they had been on the screen. She set Delphi to active scanning again, now sure that no incriminating messages would be shown regarding what had occurred, and clicked the shut down key, selecting 'hibernate'. With that, Helena let loose an uneasy breath, relieved that it was now over and she could rest a little easier.

Barbara wouldn't find out.

The morning sun shone in brightly through the clock-face window of the tower, and Helena stood looking out over the city with a cup of coffee in her hands. She stood there silently, her mind wandering to everything that was now different in her world.

She would have to face it, she knew.

Turning, she padded her way back into the kitchen and picked up the bagels and fixings she'd prepared and made her way down the hallway to Barbara's room. The least she could do for her was a little breakfast, right? Maybe this would all turn out all right after all? She tried to keep good thoughts anyway.

Tentatively she poked her head in the room and saw Barbara sitting on the edge of her bed, her sleep shirt now pulled back on over her body.

"Good morning." She said, a little hopeful apprehension in her voice. "I brought coffee and bagels. Want?"

"Helena..." Barbara looked at her with an unreadable look on her face as she stepped into the room with her offerings. "Yeah, sure... That would be really nice." She gave a smile and pushed her sleep-befuddled hair out of her face. It was a wildly sexy image, and Helena licked her lips a little.

"H-hm, uh, right." She looked oddly at the painting of the bay that hung over the bed for just a moment before looking back. Set in her 'everything is fine, normal, and good' attitude, she parked herself next to Barbara on the bed. She gave the redhead an affectionate kiss on the cheek and indulged in a desire to run her fingers through the very tempting strands of hair that hung before her. Barbara leaned into the caress automatically. Helena smiled, feeling calmer now. She handed her the coffee first, which the other woman took with an almost pathetic level of gratefulness.

"Mm... I need this." Barbara sighed placidly as that first blessed drink of hot coffee ran down through her body.

Helena, nervous on the inside but not showing it, munched on a sour-cream and raspberry jam covered bagel  "How are you, this morning?" She asked. "I mean, about everything... Are we o'kay?"

Barbara looked at her, then back down at her coffee cup. "Helena I... I don't know... I think I just need some time to think about things. Alright? I don't know why I... We shouldn't have done that last night."

It hit her hard and out of the blue and she had to force herself not to let it show too much. "But... You liked it right? Us? I mean, it very much seemed like you..." She asked worriedly, wondering if... if she'd done something wrong or if... She knew it had all happened kind of fast...

"No, I did, it was... It, you are an... amazing, really amazing lover. Being with you... I don't even... I've never felt like that before. Not with anyone..." Barbara admitted, her body feeling all the sudden ten degrees warmer inside, she wasn't quite able to bring herself to meet Helena's eyes.

Helena closed her eyes, an insane amount of relief taking her down from the edges of panic her mind had been racing her towards. "It's o'kay... I get it..." Helena looked at Barbara's coffee cup now too. Deciding something in her mind, Helena went over and deposited the tray with her black tea and the bagels on the dresser and climbed into bed behind Barbara, who was giving her a decidedly questioning look.

"Helena, what are you... We're not going to have sex again right now if that's what you're..." Her words trailed off as Helena took her coffee cup from her and set it on the night stand.

"It's o'kay." Helena said softly, wrapping her arms around Barbara from behind. "Just a hug." She said, and felt Barbara involuntarily melt back against her. "I really do love you, you know. I don't expect anything more, if you'd rather not... And if you need time, I'm o'kay with that to... More than o'kay with that."

"Good, because you know... I've never..."

"You've never slept with a woman before." Helena stated it.

"Right. And I-"

"And you're not sure. I get it. I know... I knew you probably wouldn't... I mean you're going out with someone else for God's sake. It was probably a really shitty thing for me to do, the way I went about it. I'm sorry." The last part said softly.

Barbara breathed a heavy breath. "Thank you... I... You know I love you too, right? It's not that I..."

"I know." Helena said, kissing Barbara's cheek lightly. "It's o'kay, really." She got up and sat next to her again. "You um, you want a bagel?" She asked.

"I'd love one." Barbara said, letting out a breath, seemingly relieved beyond words that the talk seemed to be over... and that it had been so easy on her. That was amazing really.

Helena nodded and went to climb out of bed and retrieve the tray.

"Your choice of jam and two kinds of sour cream." Helena presented the tray to her lover. Barbara graciously took the tray and began assembling her bagel. Helena retrieved her own bagel and munched on it.

"Is Dinah up yet, do you suppose?" Barbara asked a bit awkwardly as she spread the jam on her bagel, fumbling to find something to say next. She was feeling very unsure of herself and it was annoying.

Helena swallowed. "I checked in on her earlier, she was still asleep..." She took a sip of tea and worry came over her - maybe Dinah was up by now? "I'll just go check on her." She hurriedly got up and retrieved her tea and bagel from the bed and went to leave the room in a hurry.

Barbara laughed indulgently at Helena's antics. "She really has gotten under your skin, hasn't she?" She asked, finding herself completely charmed by that fact.

Helena looked back at her, a slightly embarrassed smile on her lips. "Yeah, I guess she has..."

"It's alright, really. We can talk later." Barbara reassured her friend, feeling better at this demonstration of normalcy.

"Count on it." Came Helena's easy reply.

"And thanks, for bringing me breakfast I mean." Barbara spoke a little haltingly.

"Any time." Helena flashed her a charming smile and was gone.

Barbara watched her go and a hand rubbed her face. "I need to get drunk." She told herself mockingly, not being able to help the feelings or trepidation and rampant uncertainty. The memories of last night playing over again in her mind kind of made her want to hide in her bed all day. [That was really me. I seriously did that with her...] She seemed to fully realize the obvious. [Scary.]

Dropping by to pick up her change of clothes from a hallway closet and slipping on a pair of shorts, Helena made her way again to her old room, which Dinah now claimed as her own. The door was left open.

"Dinah?" She called after her young friend.

No answer. She went through the door and looked around to confirm that indeed Dinah was not there.

Heading down the hall again towards Delphi, Helena kept her senses alert for any signs. As she came into the main room, muffled sounds she immediately recognized caught her attention. Trailing after her query, she soon found herself standing at the door to the workout room. Dinah was there industriously pounding away at a punching bag with gloved hands. Her focus seemingly fully committed to the task.

Deciding better of interrupting her, Helena instead prudently decided a shower and change was in order. She could check in on Dinah after that was done.

On her way there though, she would poke her head in Barbara's room and let her know where Dinah was and where she herself was headed.

That had taken little enough time and the easy, if still slightly unsteady, smile Barbara had graced her with as she left to go to the shower still danced in her minds eyes and made her smile with some satisfaction in response.

She padded her way down the hall to the shower and set about her making her preparations.

It didn't take very long, well used to the space as she was.

The water now set to running and things set out as she wished them to be, Helena shucked her clothing off in into a pile on the ground and stepped under the flowing water, grateful for the comfort of it.

Music from the radio she'd turned on played and she absently hummed along with it as she focused on just getting clean. She hadn't really let herself dwell over much on the events on 38th street the previous day, but now those events seemed to play again though her mind, almost as if she were watching it happen all over. Her memory recall abilities had always been a little too well developed for her complete comfort, rarely more so than today.

She let out a breath and leaned against the wall of the shower.

No, honestly... Killing him hadn't been intentional, but if she looked at it with honesty, she wasn't sad that she'd done it. He was scum, and that boy would have at the very least watched his mother bleed to death in front of him had she not been there to deal with her attacker and call for an ambulance. And at the worst? He could very well have been the second victim. She could have only wished someone had done what she had done yesterday for her back when her own mother had been killed. Spared her all those sleepless nights wondering if maybe the man in shadows would come for her next...

Barbara of course wouldn't ever see it that way. She'd say it was wrong to take a life when you had any choice in the matter, no matter what. Just like her father. Let the Joker live. Spend your life in a wheelchair. It was so messed up. All of it. No easy answers.

"Do not be sad. You do not deserve to be sad." That little boy's words came back to her and she felt a little better. She wished it hadn't happened like that... but what she'd done, she was o'kay with it.

Now if only she could bring herself to feel so accepting of her actions in regards to Barbara, then everything would be well with the world.

[Like that would ever happen.] She mocked herself as she shut off the water and pulled the curtain back. But she'd made her choices, and now she knew she had to live with them, come what may.

The airport was busy and alive around her, a light hum of background noise from conversations and the bustle of people in motion settling around her like a cloak. It was sometime around noon and the sun cast everything and everyone in the well lit waiting area in a warm dusting of light. That light saying to her 'you are free'. It was a freedom tinged with sadness though. And loss.

Sandra Woosan looked down at her charges. Little five and a half year old Namiko sleeping on Carolyn's lap as they waited for their connecting flight from Los Angelus to New Gotham. Carolyn was her daughter, and by this point, Namiko may as well be considered so as well. She'd told Carolyn that that's how it would be from now on, in fact. They certainly looked the part anyway; Carolyn was like a little mini-her and Namiko had similar enough features to them that no one would think to doubt it to look at them.

The call came, their flight was ready to be boarded. Sandra sighed and drank the last of her peach latte and got up to take it, as well as the remains of the snack she'd gotten for herself and her children to partake of while they wanted, to deposit in the trash bin. As she stood, a glare of sunlight hit her from the floor-to-ceiling glass window to the right. She heard a faint high-pitched rumble from a jet making it's approach run overhead and a chill of dread shot down her spine.

"Make no sudden moves." A man's well mannered voice spoke in Japanese.

She felt the deadly end of a hand gun pressed to her ribcage from behind. "What do you want?" She spoke in a whispered yet clipped tone, her Japanese broken and unrefined.

"You will accompany us without incident, if you wish your daughter to live." He spoke in reply.

Sandra shifted position enough to see that three other men, dressed in nearly identical black suits, were standing around Carolyn and Namiko. The threat in that clear. Onlookers spared them inquiring glances as they passed, but did not see the gun - or if they did, they did not intercede.

"Aunt Sandy?" Namiko questioned in Japanese, huddling to her daughter for protection. Carolyn, for her part, simply glared at the intruders. If looks could kill, Sandra mused, they would have nothing to fear from these men. The sight of her daughter's bravery gave her hope and some small amount of comfort, the kind only a parent may feel in seeing evidence that they've done their job well.

"It will be alright Nami. The men will not harm you." Sandy spoke calmly. Giving her daughter a meaningful look, she turned and faced forward. "Where shall we go?" She asked the man calmly, setting her shoulders. She didn't know these men, but she knew their sort. A bland but vicious type of trained killer that Japan seemed to mass produce like TVs and cell phones. In her mind she labeled the man at her back as 'Mack with a gun' and the other three as 'Larry', 'Curly', and 'Moe' because they were playing the parts of Mack's stooges for the day. She only hoped she'd get the chance to knock them around like the stooges from the old black and white TV program before they did their damage.

Mack with a gun shifted slightly, not addressing Sandra's question directly. "Proceed us." He spoke to the stooges. One nodded and picked up Namiko in his arms, another indicated to Carolyn to move along. "Follow them." Mack instructed Sandra, who complied when he nudged the gun into her back.

She began walking, all the while knowing that once they were in private, she would most likely end up dead if she were still at these men's likely non-existent mercy. And likewise, her daughter would either be killed outright or sold and made to only wish she were dead. Those options not acceptable, the best alternative she had left to her was one she very much did not wish to employ. And yet...

Mack's eyes widened as he saw Sandra move forward, silent and quick, between the men in front of her, taking up her daughter in her arms before he could react. He hissed for her to stop, but she did not and he fired, shooting her in the back. She fell...

Mack's gun had had a silencer on it, but even so, people could not help but notice. A woman on the floor, her back showing blood. A scream was heard, then another. Mack and the stooges quickly assessed things. People rushing to get away from the shooters, airport security would be on them in moments, and Sandra was dead. The woman's daughter, alive or dead, was inconsequential to them. Mack quickly realized all this and ordered a hasty retreat, their primary objective, at least, still obtained.

Shouts and loud commotion could be heard as the crowd shrank from the men with guns as they made their escape. A man in a business suit, his son not far behind, came forward to check on the fallen woman and her child. "I'm a doctor, let me have some space!" He called out to the crowd that was beginning to form now that the threat of gunfire had moved on to elsewhere in the airport.

"Is she all right?" A woman asked.

"What happened here?" This from a female security guard.

"I..." The doctor began to say, but fell silent as the dead woman groaned and began to struggle to her feet.

"Thrice dammed offspring of disease ridden rodents!" Sandra cursed under her breath in Japanese. Curses, in those her Japanese was excellent you see.

"Miss, you've been shot. You probably shouldn't move." The doctor spoke.

"Which way did they go?" Sandra looked around, trying to find where the men went.

She saw the security guard look in what she guessed was the correct direction, though the guard did not speak it. Looking down at her seven year old daughter, she took her hand and led her over to the security guard. "Look after her, Terri Winslow." She instructed the guard, reading her nametag. "If she is hurt, you will pay the price."

After a moment Terri called out to her to stop, but Sandra was lost in the crowd by that point.

Terri looked down at the girl she had been left with. "The dark men stole my little sister from us. My mother will save her, you will see." The girl spoke quietly to her, her voice filled with a child's absolute faith in a parent.

Having finished her shower, Helena had gotten herself in order and in a fresh change of clothes. Just jeans and a suitably stylish short sleeve tee-shirt mind you, but that was the mood she was in.

Dinah, soaked with sweat and grumbling from the beginnings of a stomach ache from working out so hard on an empty stomach, had staked unequivocal claim to the bathroom and it's shower shortly after Helena had gotten through with it. She'd offered the younger woman what comforting words she'd been able to edge in, but was not at all sure they had been heard or appreciated by her in the state she had been in.

So it was now, that Helena was busily preparing a light breakfast of some of Dinah's favorite foods for her to have once she immerged from her shower and finished with her morning necessities. A modest size bowl of Total cereal with brown sugar (Dinah's compromise with the training regimen she'd agreed to undertake), a half grapefruit, a package of heat-to-serve sausages from the freezer, and a choice of juice or chocolate milk. She'd set some more tea on too, but that was mostly for herself - she having developed a taste for the stuff in the mornings thanks to the corrupting influence of Alfred, their resident English gentleman and tea addict.

She was busy with the final touches of the meal, when she caught sight of Dinah emerging from the hallway into the main room of Delphi center. Barbara was there as well, seemingly going over the data that had been collected last night. Helena, saying a silent prayer that she'd done her job right and left nothing to raise the woman's suspicions, went over to the railing and waved to Dinah.

"Hey, kid! Want some breakfast?" She shouted down to her in a mildly teasing way. It got a little of a disgruntled yet thankful look from the teenager, and a momentary amused smirk look from Barbara, who gazed at them a moment then shook her head slightly and went back to her work.

"Don't call me kid!" Came the expected reply from Dinah as she briefly disappeared from sight and went to ascend the flight of stairs that would lead her up to the kitchen area.

"Goon morning, Dinah, my love. Who is by no means a kid. Breakfast is served." Helena said it all in such a way that it couldn't help but get a reluctant yet very genuine smile from her younger friend.

"Thanks Helena, it really looks great." She said thankfully as she went to sit down at the table, her place having been prepared for her.

Helena took the seat opposite her and gave her a comforting smile. "My pleasure. Listen, how are you feeling this morning?"

"I feel lousy. You saw." Dinah took a healthy spoonful of cereal and hummed in contentment at the sweet taste. "But I think I'm feeling a lot better now. God this tastes good." She said as she took another spoonful.

"Of course it does. My cereal making skills are legendary after all." Helena took a sip of tea and munched on a bit of trail mix that she'd taken the liberty of mixing in some chocolate chips with. Dinah graced her with a small chuckle at that and went about demolishing her sausage.

She graciously let the teenager eat without comment for a while, in deference to her obviously food-deprived state, and just watched her with that same mild curiosity she seemed to be so good at. She could see easily that Dinah was still very troubled, in all the ways she should be troubled when something like this happened. It didn't stop Helena from wanting badly to be able to make it better for her though... "Got any big plans today?" She asked, it being Saturday morning and the teenager not having school.

"Hm?" Dinah looked up. "No, not really I guess... I thought I'd just hang around here today. Do some training or something... Did... Did she find anything last night? I mean, you'd tell me if-"

"Hell yes I would. And no... No she didn't find anything useful on Hawke. She will though. Or I will." Helena reassured her.

Dinah gave her an appreciative yet sober smile at that. "Thank you."

Helena gave her a charming smile in response. "So you wan'a go out with me for a while then? Have some fun?" She challenged. "I promise, I'll have Barbara page us the second she finds anything."

Dinah looked at her appraisingly for a moment. "All right. Yeah. I think I'd like that." She admitted, having seen no ulterior motives in her guardian's face or eyes. "Where should we go?"

"Anywhere you want." Helena put forward.

Dinah looked speculative for a moment. "The mall?" She asked.

"You wan'a go to a mall?" Helena questioned, not being able to keep 'aw, how cute!' from going through her mind. "God, you really are a teenage girl, aren't you?" She teased.

"And that's a bad thing?"

" 'course not. I'd love to go to the mall with you." Helena moved to get up from her chair, flashing Dinah another of her disarmingly charming smiles. "I'll go get my coat."

Part 3

Return to Bird of Prey Fiction

Return to Main Page