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: Written for June 17th of the Femslash Advent Calendar: Dog Days of Summer 2007 Thanks as always to Ann and L.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Thank God for Helena
Thank God for Helena.
Barbara Gordon was staring out of the Dalten Tower complex towards the large globe of the Metropolis' Daily Planet building. It wasn't Gotham, but it was, now, her home.
She was happy here.
Especially, since moving her base to Metropolis, she'd formed a rock-solid relationship with Helena Bertinelli. As lovers, they were a strong, effective couple; and as crime-fighters, with Helena's alter-ego, Huntress, she'd perfected, despite the loss of Black Canary, a strong and effective team everybody now knew as the Birds of Prey.
So, why did she feel in such turmoil, as if all her hard work was being put asunder?
Katarina Armstrong, of all people, that was why.
She'd once considered the woman a friend. Now, looking back, she could see that was all just a façade for her really being Barbara's young arch nemesis. It appeared she was still the enemy. Katarina Armstrong, aka Spy-Smasher, was intent on closing her operation down.
Over the years, she'd known that Katarina was keeping an eye on her, and vice versa. Oracle had had one of her special bots detailing every move Katarina had made over the last fifteen years, or so she'd thought. The last few hours had proved that something had gone wrong with that particular research.
Spy-Smasher had found one of the chinks in her armour. Until this thing with Helena, it was probably the only chink she had, her dad. Katarina's very real threat against Jim Gordon was enough to make Oracle admit her into the operation as the new top dog; it was very much against her better judgement but, at times like this, it was a must.
Barbara dropped her head into her hands and sighed deeply.
Thank God for Helena.
When she was down like this, all she had to do was look back a day or so to the last time she'd seen that beautiful smile and those telling blue eyes and things always looked better.
Damn this most recent mission keeping the woman from her now when she was most needed. Oracle's vision of a simple little mission against a set of corrupt prison officials holding a mafia boss' daughter in official imprisonment was a mistake from the start; used by Manhunter to get at a rogue group of DEO officers trafficking in metahumans, losing the Mafia boss to the same group of rogue officers and, now with Spy-Smasher's intervention, Oracle could say with utmost certainty the mission had gone ugly.
All she needed now was for something to go wrong on her lover's flight back to Gotham, and, with a slightly ditzy teenager trying to force her way into missions, she couldn't be certain it wouldn't, and things would be very bleak indeed.
Suddenly, Zinda's voice rang out in the silence. "Fair weather skipper, E.T.A. roughly thirty-ought minutes, give or take a smidge."
At last a smile creased Barbara's face, at least she still had one endlessly chipper blonde in her operation, and Helena would soon be here, only for a short time but that was all she'd need to recharge her batteries.
In the background, she could hear an excited Zinda ranting about wounded and needing medical care and could also hear Barda correcting that assumption.
Of course, Oracle knew that a bullet in Barda wouldn't need a hospital visit, but it gave her an opportunity to talk with Helena without appearing needy.
And there it was the calm, reassuring voice of Huntress.
Thank God for Helena.
She really wasn't convinced that without her, she could make it through these next few missions. But for now, she needed to share, needed to say something so that when Huntress came home, they could be Barbara and Helena, not Oracle and Huntress for awhile at least anyway.
"Helena, listen, some events have taken place while you guys were dealing with those crooked feds."
Helena could tell that Barbara was worried. She'd learned over the past couple of years to read every nuance of Barbara's voice; it was important for all the times they were on missions and, more recently, for when they were simply apart. These days she could read her body even better but, at times like this, the voice said enough and so she probed; what could have gotten Barbara so worried?
"Events? Like how serious were these events?"
For Barbara to be worried it must be something important and yet, despite knowing that, her answer still shocked Helena to the core.
"Potentially catastrophic. At the very least ," Oracle's words stumbled, "... there's been an addendum to the management structure. She's got some leverage on me, Helena. She says she can get at my dad, ruin his career, and maybe even his health."
Helena's breath hitched at Barbara's words; she'd only met Jim Gordon a few times, her relationship with Barbara still under wraps really, but she knew his daughter intimately and knew any harm to his person would knock Barbara for a loop.
"Sounds like a real bad piece of fruit." Helena probed further, it was the only thing she could do at the moment, recourse to Barbara's brain. "Tell me you have a plan to lose this witch."
"You don't know this woman. She won't go down like that."
Helena hated to hear the sound of defeat in her lover's voice; this wasn't Barbara at all. For now, all she could do was offer her encouragement but, later, Barbara would certainly know that she was loved.
"You'll think of a way out, Oracle. It's what you're good at."
"Hope so, and thanks." Barbara managed another smile at Helena's quiet, firm, encouragement; at least, she had the support of her favoured one.
Thank God for Helena.
Barbara didn't want to lose the contact with her rock and so continued mumbling, "In the meantime, we're going to have to complete a mission for her."
And then, then she remembered; although her dad had been the most important reason for giving in to Katarina, there was the small incentive of getting something out of it for her lover.
Huntress smiled as she heard a slightly more positive tone to Oracle's voice. "Oh, and just to show she's not all taskmaster, she says if we complete this first gig successfully, your obligation to checkmate is gone. She'll wipe the slate clean, and they can't touch you ever."
The words stunned her. "What? Wait. She can do that?"
"I told you she's scary as hell." Desperate to see Helena before she disappeared on another mission, yet conscious of just who might be listening in to this conversation - the last thing she needed now was for Spy-Smasher to realize that damaging Helena would kill Barbara she kept her next words as light and as jovial as she could make them. "Anyway, you'll stop in Metropolis to pick up supplies and a couple of specialists, deal?"
All she could do was hope that Helena knew to come to the tower rather than to her own place.
Luckily, Helena easily read the hidden message. In fact, her need was as great as Barbara's; even without the invite, she would have gone directly to the Tower on their return to the city.
Barbara pondered the new, possibly cataclysmic, mission for her team. She'd already decided on the operatives for this dangerous run into Baku, the Capitol city of Azerbaijani. Of course, unfortunately, Helena was first on her list; Barda had just proven herself more than capable and was another immediate choice and, this time, with some discussion between herself and Katarina, she'd decided on Hawkgirl as some effective back-up.
Although she knew Helena was very capable of taking care of herself and would never dare say otherwise to her face, Barbara couldn't help needing to believe, in her own mind, that she had covered all possible danger angles. For this reason, among others, she had managed to convince Katarina that Creote, the massive Russian, was an able ally on this trip.
For now, all the cyber genius could do was plan, plan, and then plan again.
It used to be her taking all the risks. This? This was much harder.
Her concentration was broken by the sound of Zinda's voice crackling over the airwaves.
"The Bird's have landed, Boss. If it's okay with you, I'm going to grab a quick nap before you give me the course for today."
"Yeah, fine, Zinda. Go easy on the drink, huh, the set-go is three hours from now. Oh, where are the others?"
"Barda's popped to her base and Huntress has gone home for a change of outfit; said she'd see you in thirty."
"Ok, Zee. Go enjoy for a few hours."
Barbara glanced at her watch and, once again, waited for her lover to come home, these days that was all she could do.
Her internal chronometer counted down, 27-28-29
And sure enough, Helena strolled into view on the Dalton Tower doorway webcam, just as her inner clock said thirty minutes had passed. Barbara gasped; Helena had changed into the black jeans that she adored and was carrying her over-night bag with, Barbara assumed, her Huntress garb.
Without preamble, she buzzed her lover through; there was no time to wait for Helena's usual fumbling with her door pass and code.
Moments later, Helena came through the door calling out, "Lucy, I'm home!"
The two women locked eyes; Helena's dark and worried, Barbara's flashing and hungry.
She groaned inwardly; more than dancing, more than sunrise walks in the park, more than running, more even than flying, she missed
God, how she wanted to throw Helena up against the wall and take out all her frustrations on the strong willing body; she wanted to fuck Helena senseless.
Another of the pleasures she'd lost to that damn bullet.
Helena watched Barbara's gaze as she crossed the room, stunned and a little wary of the hunger she saw in her lover's lust-filled eyes. Bending over to kiss Barbara's lips, she continued into the kitchen area, desperate for a drink, and desperate to regain her bearings.
Barbara remained still, also taking a moment to get her feelings under control. Her eyes drifted towards the kitchen doorway, and she remembered perfectly the strength and the power she always had when Helena was laying under her, over her, beside her; it didn't matter where Helena let go, it always, always, brought Barbara back to her superhero mind-set.
Today, that was her need; damn Katarina, damn the threat to her father, damn it all, she needed Helena, and needed her now.
There would be a way.
In the kitchen, Helena smiled. She'd recognised the look on her lover's face the moment she'd locked eyes. As far as she was concerned, if that was what Barbara needed that was what Barbara would get, but she sure as hell wasn't going to make it easy. Where would be her pleasure in that?
She sipped a cold beer and leaned against the counter top, quickly glancing around to make sure there was enough room for Barbara to manoeuvre her wheelchair.
The rolling of the chair's wheels on the tiled floor carried to Helena's ears, and she watched the door for Barbara's entrance.
So far, the two women had not said a word to each other than the words their eyes conveyed. The dark green of Barbara's eyes hinted that there wouldn't be a need for many words even now.
Barbara wheeled herself towards her partner, cursing her continued use of this old, inadequate, manual wheelchair; sometimes she was too stubborn for her own good. If Helena returned safely from this next excursion, she promised herself she would invest in the most up-to-date electronic chair.
Grazing her knees against Helena's, effectively locking her in place against the counter, she tried her voice again. "Helena?"
"Barbara?" Helena's voice was deep; her body understanding Barbara's needs at the most base level.
"I want "
The huntress in Helena took pity on the huntress in Barbara as she caressed the red hair and murmured, "I know." Holding Barbara's gaze she leaned over and allowed herself the pleasure of at least demanding the first kiss.
The kiss lasted on and on until Barbara's need took over, and she silently positioned her chair just far enough away that her arms had the leverage to hold Helena in place while her body had the room to lean forwards and nuzzle wantonly at the soft denim of Helena's jean front.
The heat from Helena's body roared through Barbara's soul, and she was unable to hold back; opening the jeans quickly she gasped as she realized her lover was going commando. Even in her haste to taste Helena, her mind took a moment to recognize that Helena really did appear to understand Barbara like no one before.
Physically hefting Helena upwards slightly, she was pleased when her lover took some of the strain by leaning back slightly over the counter top, one hand firm and in control, the other hand loose and grabbing at Barbara's head.
Needing no other invitation, Barbara took her fill, revelling in the heat, the taste, the smell; all of it overpowering as it surrounded her, drawing her senses tight like wildfire, until all she could feel, all she could think was Helena. Katarina could go fuck herself for all Barbara cared, she had Helena.
Then, with a low growl ringing in her ears and Helena's shaking and cursing surrounding her, she had it all; she had her reality.
Thank God for Helena.
Hugging the hot, sweating body of her lover close, for the first time in hours, she smiled. She pulled Helena onto her lap and slowly, with difficulty, wheeled the two of them through into her bedroom for time together.
Long moments later, Barbara lay with the weight of Helena against her shoulder, lulling her into a sense of comfort with the heavy, deep breathing of her sleep. She stroked the dark hair and drew Helena's face up, gently shaking her to wakefulness.
"Helena, come on, hon, it's time to get moving. Hel?"
The dark eyes slowly opened, and a peaceful smile lit up her face. "Hey Babs, where'd that come from, huh? Not that I'm complaining but, hell, Katarina can come around anytime she damn well pleases if that's the result."
Barbara chuckled even though she couldn't stop the negation of Helena's comment. "Oh no, Hel, once she's gone, I'll be so much happier. It's just, I "
"I know, Babs, I know."
They shared a deep, unhurried kiss before Barbara pushed Helena off firmly, muttering, "Come on, it's time to plan."
"Huh? But you haven't, you know ," mumbled Helena as she lazily ran her fingers across Barbara's chest.
"Yeah, I know; the sooner you get back here, the sooner we'll you know." Barbara smiled and added gently, "I'm okay, Hel, I'm good."
"Yes, you are. Come on then, let's get this over with."
And with that, Helena jumped out of bed, showered quickly and, before Barbara had even rebooted her scan of Baku, was back, ready and willing, as Huntress.
Barbara looked up and smiled, then reached over and gently took the mask from Huntress' eyes. A kiss ensured Helena that she, too, was loved and then, reverently, she replaced the mask.
The two women nodded imperceptibly to each other before Oracle looked at the time, looked at her schedule and, carefully, but succinctly, laid the plan on the table for her operative.
Once more cocooned within her realm, Oracle bid Huntress a safe mission and received a sardonic salute in return. Professional now, the synchronicity was still paramount, their partnership rock solid.
Katarina Armstrong be damned, Oracle would always have her Birds of Prey.
Thank God for Helena.
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