DISCLAIMER: These characters and situations do not belong to me in any way shape or form. I have borrowed them as part of my sanity maintenance.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: As always, thanks to Ann and L for the encouragement.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The wind whipped around Helena's legs and she shivered, not only from the chill but also from her destination. She looked up at the large gravestone standing high above her head. Now, it appeared ostentatious and too austere to be the memorial place for a young girl who'd lost her family to visit.
Shivering again, it crossed her mind that subconsciously that was one of the reasons she'd rarely visited this place. As soon as she was old enough, Helena Bertinelli had found other ways to honour her dead family than visit their resting place on a regular basis.
If truth were known, her chosen method held much less need for memorial than for revenge.
Once, she'd been intent on ridding this earth of the scum that had dared to deprive her of a childhood. It was only recently, that she'd come to realize that revenge only ate away at the person inside. Her crusade for revenge had literally stopped her heart from feeling.
Before, taking regular beatings from the people she was trying to destroy while refusing all offers of help, from anybody that failed to see death and pain as the only form of revenge open to like-minded vigilantes, her heart had remained closed. And even after that, as her teaching skills were ignored by the powers that be because of her regular need to take time off, either to fight or to heal, she'd forgotten just how much love she had hidden in her heart.
Now, Oracle had changed all that. Oracle had given her a teaching post that was genuinely on an ad-hoc basis; her principal, under no illusions that she would be a 5 days a week, 8 hours a day kind of girl, had been willing to accept that her ability to teach was more important than her 100% attendance. The love and respect she had from her regular group of sixth graders was proof of his support and enough to make Helena the happiest she'd been in a very long time.
The sable haired Huntress grinned evilly and whispered to the night, "That's not the only reason though, is it, Helena?"
Her work was truly a very important reason for her newfound comfort, but it wasn't the reason she'd finally found enough peace to visit her family's gravestone. No, that honour lay with the flame-haired alter ego of Oracle, one Barbara Gordon, the daughter of Jim Gordon, one time antithesis of all her family believed.
Barbara Gordon was the chief reason Helena Bertinelli was at peace with herself.
Years and years of being on the opposite side of good intentions to Barbara, and her friends, had resulted in an antagonistic relationship that served them well in their newfound crime-fighting duties but failed to bring them together as friends. Until, despite a recent estrangement, Oracle gave Huntress the way to get back at the drug lords that were making young Corey Campbell's life a misery.
Then, and only then, did Huntress understand that Oracle, and probably Batman for that matter, had to be the way they were to make things right. Helena's all-out angry revenge was one thing, but without a plan, without some back up, pain was all the villains suffered. She could now see that Oracle's way was to achieve total, appropriate retribution; pain was often involved, thank God, or how else could she get rid of her frustrations, but now it wasn't the only means of putting the villains where they were meant to be.
So, at last Helena understood; Oracle was Oracle for a reason, and Barbara was Barbara for another reason, Helena.
Helena allowed a laugh to rumble up from her belly at the absurdity of that statement. But, in a way, it was true. She still fought like crazy with the redhead when she was on the other end of their telecommunications link, but when she was with Barbara, her lover, it was soft, it was warm, it was right. The power and the passion they'd always had together were now directed towards much more enjoyable forms of release.
Another sly grin crossed Helena's face as she finally did what she had come to the graveyard to do in the first place. She bent down and placed a large bouquet of her mother's favourite flowers, the peace lilies, against the headstone. It was the first time she'd brought this special flower in ten years, and now she told her Mom why.
"Happy Mother's Day, Mom. Sorry, I've not been around in a while, but I haven't been in the right frame of mind to celebrate this day with you until recently. I miss you so much; I miss sharing things with you. We never got the chance to be mom and daughter, did we Mom? I would've shared so much with you, first love, first kiss, maybe even first sex, but we'll never know if we were close enough to do that, huh? First job, first everything, Mom. I've done all that and not been able to tell you any of it. Now, though, now, I need to tell you about her. I need to tell you about the woman that is changing my life around, I'm not there yet, but I will be soon."
Helena looked around her, ridiculously scared that someone else might be standing in such a godforsaken place at this time of night eavesdropping; she didn't want them to hear her confession.
"She's Barbara Gordon, Mom. Jim Gordon's daughter. She's a redhead with a temper, easily a match for me. She's in a wheelchair but you wouldn't know; she's so damn active she puts me to shame. She's hard as nails when she needs to be, but hell, I think she loves my kids more than I do sometimes. I love her, Mom, and you know something? I think she loves me, too. We haven't said anything, we don't need to."
A noise startled Helena from her ramblings, and she glanced around to see where the noise had come from. Suddenly, feeling the cold rip through her again, she quickly finished her tale. "I'm finally getting back to happiness, Mom, and maybe you'll see a little more of me now. That noise is her, you know; I can smell her from here. And that's her to a 'T', caring enough to make her way out here in the dead of night to make sure I'm okay, but you can bet your last dollar, I'll feel her wrath for scaring her with my disappearance."
"HELENA? IS THAT YOU?" Barbara's voice wafted across the night air.
The dark haired woman smiled again and reached down to pat the ground. "I've got to leave you all now, but I'll be back. This time, I promise."
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