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.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
The Simple Life
An apple landing squarely on her desk caused Ms. Bertinelli to look up sharply, only to be met by the earnest eyes of young Corey Campbell.
"Um, Miss Bertinelli, the apple's from me, this is from someone else." The young boy dropped his head and held out a black leather notebook.
Helena smiled, knowing immediately where the book had come from. Her business partner and lover had developed an interesting rapport with the young boy standing before her ever since she, the Huntress, had tried to go up against the local mafia and had called on Oracle to get things back on a successful track.
"Thank you, Corey, especially for my apple. If she asks, tell her, 'you done good'." The smile that lit up the boy's features was enough to get Helena through the rest of her day.
As Corey left the room, she turned the book over expecting something unusual in a gift from Oracle. She and Barbara were not the type of people to just go gift giving, there had to be something behind this.
Pulling on the page marker she guessed denoted something of interest, she wasn't surprised when the book opened to show a small cut-away compartment housing a small transceiver.
Helena sighed. She'd decided a few weeks before that it was quite nice to be at Barbara's beck and call; at least she knew she was needed. But this, this might be taking things too far. It appeared even her working hours weren't sacred.
As if by magic, Barbara's ring-tone called out from her cell-phone. Thumbing the button, the unmistakable voice of her lover spoke out. "Don't be mad. I just thought you might like to keep our contact nearby. You don't have to switch it on; in fact, you can leave it at home and just use the notebook."
Helena chuckled at just how well Barbara appeared to know her, and she allowed herself to admit that it might be good to have instant access to her girl should danger arise.
"Hmm. Thank you, Babs I think."
This time it was Barbara that chuckled as she murmured, "Don't sound so thankful, damn you. It's just I miss you, sometimes."
Before Helena could respond, Barbara went on as if she'd not admitted anything.
"So, I take it Corey's at school today. I've wired some money into his mom's account; she should be able to get some care for Grammy now."
Helena smiled at the statement. Until becoming intimate with the tough-as-nails information broker, she'd not known of Oracle's softer side, now she saw it often around her kids.
"You didn't have to do that."
"I know I didn't, I just wanted to, you know?"
"Yeah, I do."
"Anyway, shouldn't you be teaching, I didn't get you this gig for you to sit talking all afternoon."
"Ok, ok, slave driver. See you later?"
The question in her words was answered immediately by Barbara, "You'd better. Come as soon as, huh."
Of course, like every good superhero relationship, as soon as turned into something not as soon enough.
Within three hours of the conversation, as Helena was preparing to leave the school, her transceiver sparked into life and Oracle's synthetic voice rang out.
"Huntress, Huntress, you available? There's a bank heist going down on first and eleven, the police are men down, and there's hostages involved. ETA ten minutes. Go."
And that was it, their professional relationship once again took center stage.
"Huntress? Gang warfare has broken out down by Gotham wharf, a group of schoolchildren are caught up in the cross-fire."
Sometimes, it was Huntress that needed Oracle.
"Oracle, you there? Get me some data on a tall blonde Adonis. He appears to be throwing fireballs towards the Gotham FD; can I just take him out?"
"Oracle, Oracle, they're firing from all sides. Can you spot me a way to get behind them?"
More often than not, Oracle picked something up on her array of satellite feeds and computer banks.
"Rape attempt on the university grounds. Can you be there now? NOW!"
Occasionally, the two strong personalities still clashed.
"Hey! Don't you tell me what to do. I'm on the ground, I'm here. I can feel it, O, I can feel it."
"Huntress, watch out, behind you."
Sometimes, they managed to tease.
"That's him all tied up with a pretty bow, your Dad's friends will be pretty pleased to see him trussed up, I can tell you that for sure."
Usually, it all ended as fast as it began.
"Hey Huntress, it seems pretty quiet out there now, you coming up?"
So, eight hours, twenty goons, three gashes, and one slightly twisted right thumb later, Ms. Helena Bertinelli finally swung into her girlfriend's apartment carrying two large bags of take-out. She spotted her girl immediately and crossed the room to bend over and nuzzle her cheek. Without any words, she indicated the bags and the kitchen, and left to prepare their impromptu supper.
Barbara watched her leave and then turned to switch her bank of computers to stand-by, enough alarms would sing if trouble flared.
Entering the kitchen, she saw the tired sag of Helena's shoulders. "Why don't you take a quick shower while I set this out in the living room?"
"Yeah, I will. Thanks."
The redhead puttered about in her kitchen, something she rarely did, but something she was starting to do more often. As she shuffled around, she hummed. At one point, as she hummed, she canted her head to the side as if surprised to hear her own voice.
Before Helena reappeared, Barbara had transferred herself onto the couch, making sure she left enough room for Helena to join her, had laid the dishes out on the coffee table, and had poured them both a glass of wine as well as setting out a bottle of iced water for Helena.
Suddenly, feeling the presence of Helena behind her, she turned to lock eyes with the grinning woman, pleased to see the tiredness seemed to have lifted.
"You're just so domesticated, Barbara. Who'd have thought it?" Helena smiled towards the redhead, crossed to the coffee table, and drank the bottle of water in one long swig. Placing the bottle on the table, she sighed.
"Thanks, Hun, I needed that. Now, where was I?" She leaned over and kissed Barbara a little more thoroughly than before. "Oh yeah, starving, that's where. Let's eat."
The two women shared a leisurely meal with lots of quiet, mundane chatter about the normal side of their day. Gradually, the simple evening brought them back to Barbara and Helena; Oracle and Huntress long forgotten.
As today turned into tomorrow, Helena squeezed Barbara's hand and whispered, "I've got to go."
Barbara smiled and, with a twinkle, answered. "You don't have to go, you know?"
"Yeah, I do. It's Phys. Ed. tomorrow, and you know how much that takes out of me. I need to sleep."
Barbara laughed, and she was soon joined in her pleasure by Helena.
The dark haired woman watched as her lover transferred safely to her chair, and then took her hand to be escorted out the door. After a long sweet kiss, the two women parted company for the day, Barbara's words ringing in Helena's ears.
"See you tomorrow."
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