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.
SEQUEL/SERIES: This story is a sequel to Here's the Rub, Surely, Tomorrow Will Be Better, Slowly, But Surely, As Sure As Sure Can Be, Surely a Fail-Safe Plan, Tomorrow Surely Comes And So Does Helena and Surety of a Mother's Love.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
And Then... The Sureness of a Father's Love
James Gordon watched out of his brownstone's large front window and, as was usual, sighed as he saw the ramp that now adorned his front garden. It wasn't that he resented the ramp; he knew it was a necessity if his daughter was to visit. It was that he still, even though he knew his daughter had a wonderful life, he still resented the fact that it was his own moral values that had helped place the ramp leading to his front door. If only he'd been able to kill a madman for once in his life, his daughter might not be paralyzed for the rest of hers.
The ex-commissioner laughed out loud; God help him if his daughter knew where his thoughts went in his moments of solitude. Barbara Gordon was one of the most attractive women in Gotham City, whether sitting in her wheelchair or not. She was also one of the most active women in the city.
Jim knew that she held down her teaching role with aplomb, he'd heard enough ex-students sing her praises in his time. He also knew that she was a wonderful guardian to Dinah Lance and that she'd single handedly kept the young Helena Kyle on track through her turbulent teenage years. He also had an inkling that she'd never stopped her crime-fighting activities of years ago. He knew Barbara believed he knew nothing of her extra-curricular activities as Batman's ally, but Jim had known and admired his own daughter from afar even back then. Now, he wasn't sure how she still fulfilled her crime fighting duties, but he'd be willing to bet that Helena and computers had a huge part to play.
Standing to pace around his living room, he hated it when she was late for family gatherings, and yet, lateness was Barbara's forte, which was another reason he knew she had some other activities in her life. Pre- Batgirl days, plain Barbara Gordon, was so organised she'd never be late; post-Batgirl days, she was rarely on time despite being annoyingly fastidious in most everything else.
In the past, he'd hoped her lateness was a sign of her being distracted by romance, but after meeting her idea of a partner over the years, he knew that had been a fruitless hope. More recently, his hopes had risen again. Barbara's recent request to visit a favourite place of her mother's, and her refusal to say why, made him think his daughter was finally having the 'daughter-mom' chat that meant true love had been found. On top of that, he'd noticed a twinkle in her eyes that had been missing for too many years. He wasn't too old to recognise that smug satisfied look she wore so often these days. Again, he laughed out loud.
From the day his young orphaned niece entered his home, there was one thing Barbara had always brought him; joy. Today, on his day, he had no doubts she would eventually arrive, it was just a matter of waiting, and, like Barbara, he hated to wait.
He was so lost in his memories he nearly missed her arrival. It was the happy whoop of an unexpected voice that brought his attention to his daughter's arrival. He watched as she wheeled up his path with Helena in tow, saw the moment Helena touched her shoulder in silent support, and grinned at the way Barbara placed her hand atop Helena's in thanks.
He rushed to open the door for his visitors. Bending down to kiss his daughter's cheek, he teasingly moaned, "Barbara, thank God, I thought you'd been abducted by little green aliens."
Barbara glanced at the time and sighed.
"Har har, Dad, I'm not that late; it was all her fault anyway." She pointed over her shoulder to a sheepish looking Helena and smiled as her father pulled the dark haired woman into a fierce hug that lifted the unsuspecting Helena off her feet.
"Helena dear, what a lovely surprise, I've missed your enlightening company just lately. What was so important to stop Babs here from visiting her old dad?"
Helena shrugged, unsure if his sarcasm was serious or not. She looked towards Barbara for help.
"Dad, leave her alone. We had a little problem that only Helena could handle. Let's get inside and wish you the Father's Day you deserve."
Sharing a smile as they followed Jim into his home, neither woman alerted him to the fact that Helena had single-handedly tied up six hefty bank-robbers before they'd had a chance to break into Gotham Central, and had then happily dumped them on GCPD's front steps before running back to the Clock Tower to change into her visiting clothes.
As soon as they entered the living room, Barbara grabbed hold of her dad and pulled him into a hug. "Happy Father's Day, Dad; I love you."
She handed him a parcel that was so obviously a bottle that he whipped the paper off, grabbed three glasses, and had them all drinking a toast of pure malt before the two women could blink.
"To families and to daughters," Jim cried.
Helena glanced shyly towards Barbara as they raised their glasses in response, surely he didn't suspect anything.
"Um, Dad, Helena has something for you, too."
Jim spun around, surprised to find Helena holding out a large envelope. "Happy Father's Day, Jim."
He raised his eyebrows at her chosen name for him; inwardly pleased she'd remembered to drop the Sir.
Opening her gift, he was stunned to find a photograph of his great friend, Batman. It was a picture of the man standing on the roofs of Gotham City, silhouetted against a night-sky, immense in his cape. It was a perfect replication of how, back then, Commissioner Gordon had often first sighted the man on a busy crime-filled night. It was, in its own way, beautiful.
He looked up, a tear in his eye, wanting to offer his thanks, but Helena turned the photograph over, and he saw there were words written in her unmistakeable handwriting.
You've been the father he could never be. Thank you.
The hardened, former figurehead of the city couldn't help the tear that managed to escape down his cheek. Locking eyes with Helena, he whispered his gratitude; then chuckled as she pulled out of her pocket, first, a large tissue, and second, a large cigar.
He accepted both gratefully, and then barely heard the words she mumbled in return, "I trust you. I love your daughter. I need your help."
Jim heard the words in a daze; he'd never heard Helena say words with such meaning, it was a shock. And then, then, he heard the words.
"What did you say?"
"Um, I need your help, Sir."
"Yes, yes, not that, you have that; the other, you love my daughter?"
Helena's eyes dropped away from the searching gaze of Jim Gordon, yet unerringly reached behind to clasp Barbara's hand.
"Yes Sir, I do."
Helena and Barbara watched as the words sank in, anxious to hear his reaction to their changed relationship. Both looked on in astonishment as he threw his head back in laughter, stunned at his shout of excitement.
"At last, thank God for that."
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