DISCLAIMER: Birds of Prey and its characters are the property of Miller/Tobin Productions, Warner Brothers and DC comics. No infringement intended.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a blend of TV, Batman movie franchise and a wee bit of comics. This is how it could have been with just a few changes of fate. Or at least, my interpretation of what could have been. So, yes this is my first actual fan fiction. To be honest the reason I wrote it was because I couldn't stand Barbara Gordon being in a wheelchair.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Twist of Fate
By Darkenedkarma


Chapter 6

Barbara reached for the vibrating pager attached to her utility belt. She frowned slightly as she read the message sent from Delphi. "I thought you said that Sarah was free this evening," Batgirl said after she activated her comm.

"She is," Helena replied. She was annoyed. It seemed like every time she was enjoying the feeling of flying, or as close as she could get to flying, she was interrupted by Batgirl's voice in her ear.

"I have an alarm at a pharmacy six blocks from here on Kingston Street."

"On it," Helena replied turning in that direction then turning on the speed.

"She can't be free if she's out committing a crime."

Helena could hear the sound of air rushing by through the comm. Batgirl was on the move too. From the sound of it she was moving pretty fast. Helena figured she must be on her motorcycle. "You don't know it's her. You don't even know if she's really involved," Helena replied trying to hide how invested she was in that theory.

"I know."

"How? Because you're little computer tells you so?" Helena asked sarcastically.

"Huntress, there were four of them at that job." Batgirl's voice was dispassionate. She was clearly in cyber geek information gatherer mode. "Two of them were identifiable. It doesn't take a genius to extrapolate who the other two are."

"It could have been anybody," Helena insisted stubbornly.

"We'll see," Batgirl said under her breath as she brought the motorcycle to a halt in the alley just around the corner from the pharmacy.

"I'm here." She jumped down into the alley landing easily.

"Show off."

"Jealous?" Huntress asked as they silently approached the pharmacy door. They had no plans to arrest the group, merely to stop them from taking the drugs. They still needed them free to track down who ever was calling the shots.

Batgirl just ignored the teen. Maybe she was just the tiniest bit envious but certainly not jealous. "Would you like to go first?" She offered.

"Oh sure, make me the target," Helena said even as she reached for the door to enter. She did heal faster than Barbara after all. Besides, she didn't want the redhead to get hurt.

She was through the door and deep into the interior darkness of the store before Batgirl could blink. If not for the night vision feature of her mask she would never have been able to locate Helena when she entered after the brunette. "They're in the back," Batgirl said softly while moving in that direction. The burglars weren't making much of an effort to be quiet. The derisive 'duh' barely breathed over the comm. made her roll her eyes. Helena never appreciated being told the obvious. Regardless of that, Batgirl knew that Huntress was the one person who didn't need to be told where someone was at any time. She always seemed to know.

Helena counted three of them. She drew in a breath, looking for Sarah's familiar scent. The woman wasn't there. Barbara had been wrong. Sarah obviously wasn't involved. Though, Helena was willing to admit she likely knew what was happening with her friends. Knowledge of criminal activity and failing to report it was bad but it wasn't the same as being a part of a drug ring.

"Will that be cash or credit?" Batgirl asked as she stepped into the small circle of light made by the flashlights.

Huntress laughed softly. Batgirl was learning to quip a bit. She must be rubbing off on the woman. She stayed in the shadows waiting to join the game. The plan was to let them escape through the back door and chase them for a few minutes so it would seem like the crime fighters tried to apprehend them.

The startled shout and the sudden appearance of a gun pretty much blew that plan out of the water. Huntress was on the gunman before he could level the barrel on Batgirl. The guy was Jordan. Helena knew who he was even under the stocking her wore. But that didn't stop her from pounding on him. He'd drawn a gun on them, well technically on Batgirl since they obviously had no idea she was there. As far as she was concerned that was reason enough to hurt him.

She knew from the commotion going on around her that Batgirl was sticking to the plan as best she could. The other two had deserted their comrade. Huntress shrugged it off. This was probably better. Getting at least one of them was more likely than all of them escaping unscathed. She flipped Jordan over easily since the man was now unconscious. By the time Batgirl returned she had him secured and the police were on their way.

"Let's go," Batgirl said tersely.

"Is there a problem?" Helena asked lazily from her reclined position on Barbara's couch.

"You beat that guy unconscious," Barbara accused, glaring at the teen as she continued to pace.

"I didn't beat him," Helena defended herself. "I only hit him four times."

"Hard enough to knock him out."

"That was just a happy side effect of subduing him," she replied, giving Barbara a smirk. "Did you also happen to notice who was missing?" She asked, changing the subject from her arrest technique.

"It doesn't mean anything."

"Sure it does," Helena disagreed finally interested in the conversation.

"Helena, just because she wasn't there this time doesn't mean that she's not involved."

Helena held up her hands in a conciliatory manner. "I'm not saying she doesn't know something. I'm just saying she might not be as involved as you think. She's not a criminal. Nothing about her is criminal like."

Barbara shook her head. "There were four that night, she might not have been with them tonight but that doesn't mean that she wasn't before."

"You only got a look at two of them," Helena pointed out again.

Barbara hid her angry sigh. Helena had said that at least a dozen times. She was worried that the teen was getting too involved with Sarah. But, whenever Helena was with her, Barbara monitored their interaction. Nothing the teen had said or done supported that worry.

"It doesn't matter," Barbara replied, letting the argument go. "We're still sticking to the plan."

"Fine," Helena responded. She knew she was right. She also knew that Barbara would never admit she was wrong, but the redhead might admit she could be mistaken, once Helena proved Sarah wasn't involved.

"Spending the night?" Barbara asked unnecessarily, Helena had been staying over quite a bit since they'd started patrolling together. Though that wasn't the reason everyone thought she was staying with her so often. Bruce and Selena were away on another mission and Alfred was still giving Dick some assistance off and on in Bludhaven setting up operation there. They thought she was just keeping an eye on Helena, taking care of the teen while everyone else was away on important business.

"Where else would I go?" Helena asked, trying not to sound as bitter as she felt about being left behind by her family. She could go back to the manor but she was lonely there. Everyone was gone working on something. Maybe Barbara hadn't been in her life very long but she was almost beginning to seem like family, or at least a tremendously good friend.

"Hang up your towel after your shower," Barbara told her. She didn't like finding a wet towel on the guest bathroom floor. More than once a towel had sat for a few days and she had to scrub mold away.

"You bet."

Helena glanced over at Barbara for the hundredth time in two minutes. The redhead was playing with her super computer again. When Helena had first seen it she'd practically fallen all over herself in her haste to get to it. Visions of interactive Halo ran through her brain. It was seriously one freakin' huge computer. There were more screens and buttons than something NASA might have. She even had a holographic display! It was so cool! Before she could press a button Barbara, displaying an amazing amount of strength, picked her up then tossed her out of the chair in front of the monster. She finished the indignity by telling her that she didn't develop Deli, Dopey or whatever, so it could be used as a toy or glorified game system. Who named their computer anyway? Anal much?

So with no computer to play with or TV to watch she was bored. Who doesn't have a TV, she thought for the hundredth time? What kind of sick psycho can entertain themselves without cable? She glanced over at Barbara again. Oh yeah, that kind of psycho. All the quiet left her with too much time to think. Thinking was something she'd been avoiding for some time now. Because when she started thinking her mind wandered to Sarah.

Sarah. It was getting progressively harder and harder to think about her as a mission. The more she got to know her, the more Helena liked her. She didn't believe what Barbara said about her was true. In all the time they'd been 'seeing' each other Sarah never once said she was busy. Every night was free. How could every night be free when she was supposed to be out robbing pharmacies and selling drugs? Not to mention, they hadn't seen her at any of the robberies they'd managed to break-up over the last couple of months. It was obvious that Sarah was just hanging out with a bad crowd. She had poor taste in friends, that wasn't a crime.

The street race had gone really well. She'd barely won but everything still went well. Helena probably would have easily won by a bigger lead if Barbara hadn't insisted on competing in order to keep an eye on her. Privately she thought Barbara was really competitive and wanted to go up against her. The redhead gave her a run for her money. In the end it was the two of them. It was clear to the teen that she'd been underestimating Barbara Gordon, underestimating her in almost every way. The group had been impressed with the display but it hadn't gotten her inside yet. They were still plodding away at that.

She shifted on the couch restlessly. She was irritated that she had to wait to talk to Barbara. It probably wouldn't have been so bad if she had something to do but that wasn't the case, so she was irritated. Actually what was most irritating was the real reason she was here, it was because she was alone at the manor, again. She had spent more time with Barbara in the last several months than she'd spent with her family since she'd turned seventeen!

The first time they'd spent 'quality time' together, as Helena called it, she'd been absolutely shocked that a teacher could afford the place. Then she found out that Barbara was also an employee of Wayne Corp. How nice for her! She wondered if they actually posted 'Vigilante' in the career section of the company website.

When her parents had finally come back from that big mission, Helena had been sullen to the point of hostility. Why wouldn't she be? She'd been left behind, again. They'd asked Barbara to draw her out. It was completely unnecessary; Barbara knew exactly what was bothering her. But, it wasn't Barbara's place to tell them. She'd told Barbara that if she wanted to talk to her parents about things she'd do it in her own time and her own way. So Barbara had come up with a somewhat plausible story. Barbara reported back to the couple that all was well on the teenage front. She told her parents that Helena was simply dating someone. She made up some malarkey about the teen being confused about the relationship without specifying why. Helena had quite convincingly told her concerned family that she wasn't ready to talk about things. She let them think she would talk to Barbara though. They gave every appearance of growing closer. Her mother had even teased her about her best friend being a teacher. Helena hadn't minded the description of Barbara as her best friend so much. Mostly because the more she thought about it, the more she realized that essentially it was true. She talked to Barbara more than anyone else in her life, except maybe Sarah but that didn't count since she was lying to her. The redhead knew all her secrets and kept them. She was supportive. She would even admit, only to herself, that she loved Barbara. Hell, Barbara even helped her with her math homework. Good thing too, she was beginning to be afraid she was going to fail miserably in the class.

Since she did consider Barbara to be her best friend she flirted with the idea of talking to the woman about how confused she was about…everything. But, that would mean admitting that she was thinking about Sarah as more than an assignment. Helena knew that their investigation would be finished if she told. Then the last several months would be a complete waste. She also figured she'd be told to stay away from Sarah. Helena wasn't sure she wanted to do that. This is what confused her. She wanted Sarah. It didn't matter that she had never quite gotten that far in a relationship before despite what she'd suggested to Sarah that first night. It didn't matter that Sarah was a woman. She wanted Sarah in a way she'd wanted very few of the guys she'd dated. When they kissed, Helena could barely stop herself from ripping the clothes off her. She wanted to do more than just kiss Sarah. In fact, she very nearly did just that. She was also seeing her without telling Barbara which was another problem. In fact, that very night she was supposed to see the woman. She knew that Sarah was planning something.

Honestly Helena had never looked at another girl that way. She'd never considered it. Sure there were gay kids at school. A few were even in her circle of friends. But really, wouldn't she have thought about it if she was into it? Wouldn't just being friends with them make her consider it? It wasn't as if it wasn't talked about. She'd sat with her friend Christine when she'd rate the girls as they walked by. It never interested her before. So, where was this coming from all of a sudden? Why was she looking at the women around her in an entirely different light? Even Barbara! It was baffling. She glanced at Barbara again wondering if she had any intention of leaving the computer in the next century.

Helena thought the loud dramatic sighs and shifting should have gotten Barbara's attention an hour ago. For someone who was supposed to be aware of her surroundings at all times the redhead could be totally oblivious to things around her when she was at that stupid computer.

She ran an irritated hand through her hair, tugging on the short locks. Her parents were coming home tomorrow; another thing to worry about. It was also another thing she wanted to talk to Barbara about. Her mother had all but told Helena that they expected to meet this person she was dating. From the brief phone call she had with them two nights ago she knew that if she didn't introduce them to somebody in the next couple of days they would likely start investigating who it could be. They'd been extremely patient. Her mother wasn't known for patience so she was shocked that they hadn't demanded to meet Sarah long ago. She didn't know what was worse, introducing them to Sarah then waiting for the bombs to drop or to have them find out on their own. Really there wasn't any option at all. She wasn't going to just drop Sarah in their laps. She couldn't just wrangle some guy from school to bring home either. That was just too cowardly for her tastes. She supposed she could just tell the truth. But, that would get her and Barbara grounded. Well, they probably wouldn't ground Barbara, but certainly make her very miserable. Maybe lock her out of the Batcave for a week. The problem was that if she were really to tell the truth then she would have to introduce Sarah as her girlfriend. That was how she thought of her, so it was the truth. No, she would have to talk to them. Well, she'd talk to her mother. No way was she going to talk to her Dad about it. No way!

She glanced at the clock again. It was almost ten. She had told Sarah that she would meet her at ten-thirty at a coffee shop a few blocks from the Clock Tower. That meant that she'd have to tell Barbara that she was leaving, so the redhead could question her incessantly about why she was leaving early. Usually, on nights she wasn't seeing Sarah, Helena went on patrol with Batgirl. Now that they were a team, sort of, it was fun. They joked around a lot. Even their sparring had become something of a team thing rather than an all out war. Barbara was teaching her more control, while she was helping Barbara hone her reflexes. So, the teen knew that the third degree was coming when she stepped up to the computer to lean against Barbara's desk.

"Think I'm gonna head out B," Helena said with forced casualness.

Barbara glared at the girl. She'd told Helena a thousand times not to call her 'B', 'BG', 'Babs' or any number of nicknames the brunette had come up with. She glanced at the time on the computer screen with a frown. It was early still. Helena never left early. If they weren't working on their undercover project they patrolled together. So, this change in behavior worried her. It didn't have anything to do with the fact that Barbara enjoyed the time they spent on the rooftops together. "It's still early," she replied after the few seconds that those thoughts took to run through her mind.

"Yeah, the parents are coming home tomorrow." Helena shrugged apologetically. "If they come home early I don't want to be out running around, you know? " She was finally glad that her parents rarely stuck to an itinerary. It was a valid excuse.

Barbara sighed, doing her best to hide her slight disappointment. She really did enjoy going on patrol with Helena to back her up. But, she figured this was probably a good thing since she was supposed to meet Dick afterwards. Since he'd been in Bludhaven they'd had very little time together. Their relationship wasn't serious but they both anticipated the time they spent together. It was very satisfying. "That sounds like a good idea," Barbara agreed. "No need to make them suspicious."

Helena knew she really needed to mention that other thing to Barbara. She didn't want to surprise the redhead or have her parents ask the woman about it without any forewarning. "Umm, there's one other small thing," Helena said hesitantly holding her thumb and forefinger apart just a smidge. She really didn't want to do this. "They, umm, they kind of expect to meet Sarah."

"Excuse me?" Barbara's eyebrow marched up her forehead as her eyes pinned the teen in place.

"Look," Helena replied defensively. "You're the one that told them I was seeing someone. Now they expect to meet this person. It's been over two months Barbara. What did you expect?"

A defensive Helena wasn't going to get them anywhere except in an argument. "I know," Barbara's voice was placating. "Common wisdom is to stick as close to the truth as possible. I guess I made a small error in judgment when I told them you were dating someone." She leaned away from the computer tilting back in her chair slightly. "When?"

"I can put them off for a couple of days, tops," Helena said worriedly. This really wasn't good. Barbara admitting to an error was bad, very bad.

Barbara stared at Helena not really seeing the teen at all. Her mind was running through the problems as she saw them. They had to keep their investigation secret, they had to keep Helena's secrets and they had to handle telling Helena's parents that she was dating a woman. The first two things didn't concern her too much. They'd been keeping those secrets for a while. She wasn't certain of how Helena's parents would react to their daughter in a lesbian relationship. She knew that both Selena and Bruce were very supportive of the gay community. But, when it came to their own kids even the most liberal parent could be…unsupportive.

"I'll go with you," Barbara said firmly. She'd be there to help the teen any way she could. After all, Helena wouldn't even need to do this if she hadn't encouraged her to approach Sarah. It seemed so natural to have her do it. She'd never given it a second thought. It was so common place that it didn't occur to Barbara that the teen would be reluctant. Well, that wasn't necessarily true. She had known Helena was a bit disinclined to go that route. She just couldn't help pushing the girl towards it.

"You don't have to," Helena offered. "I'm going to talk to my Mom as soon as I can get her alone. If I tell her about Sarah then they should be fine. You know, have a couple of days to process it before they meet her."

Barbara nodded her support of the plan. "I'm still going with you." She almost smiled at the relief that washed over Helena's face. It wasn't so long ago that the girl would rather have walked on broken glass than have her around.

"Oh, yeah, if you want," Helena said trying to sound cool. Just the thought of the older woman there to back her up made the whole thing seem better. She should have interrupted Barbara sooner. She wouldn't have worried for the last two hours if she had. At least not about that.

"You're going straight home?" Barbara asked as she looked back at the computer screen.

"What?" Helena was so caught up in their previous conversation and all the anxiety it provoked she almost slipped. "Oh, yeah! I'm headed straight home."

"Goodnight Hel," Barbara said as she smiled at the teen. Helena was amusing when she was flustered. Normally the teen was completely confident in any situation, almost to the point of being cocky. Occasionally she would suddenly seem her age, like now.

"Night," Helena yelled back as she took a leap from the balcony. It was the only way to travel.


Chapter 7

"I want you to meet someone later," Sarah's low tones washed down Helena's spine leaving behind pleasant tingles.

Helena nearly moaned in frustration. Sarah was running her hands under her shirt while she nibbled on her neck and shoulders. But, just when she started to think things were going to heat up, Sarah would say something to her. "Okay," Helena breathed as she shifted her position to drape herself over half of Sarah's body. Obviously she was going to have to escalate things to a point where Sarah would quit wanting to talk. Up until this point she'd been more of a passive participant. She'd been hesitant, not sure what to do or where to touch Sarah. She didn't want to seem inept to the other woman. She was afraid that Sarah would change her mind if she knew just how inexperienced she was at this. She started to unbutton Sarah's shirt slowly. She had to restrain herself from just ripping the shirt apart. Very deliberately she worked on each button, rewarded by the sight of soft skin that seemed to glow in the moonlight shinning into the room.

When Sarah first brought her to this apartment she wasn't sure what was going on. She knew where Sarah lived and this place was not it. In fact, Helena's parents kept the penthouse in this very building. It was an extremely affluent building, not one remotely affordable for an eighteen year old with no job. She'd accepted the explanation of the apartment belonging to a friend too easily. She had been too focused on being alone with Sarah to truly care where they were.

She finally managed to work all the buttons loose, displaying patience that Helena didn't know she possessed. Seeing herself in the mirror wasn't quite the same as seeing Sarah's bra clad breasts. She ran a finger over the curve of Sarah's cleavage amazed at the softness of her skin. Her eyes flew up to Sarah's when she heard the woman gasp. Reassured by the look in her eyes, Helena continued her exploration. Her fingers finally came to rest on the front snap of the laced garment. She fiddled with it for a minute trying to figure out how to get it open. Patience finally at an end, she broke the plastic clasp with a quick flick of her wrists then pulled the ends apart. Even as she tentatively rasped her tongue over Sarah's skin, she acknowledged that a long wondered question was finally being answered. Women definitely tasted different than men. Not that she had a ton of experience with guys, but she'd had an opportunity to taste the odd boyfriend's skin now and then. Sarah's skin was by far, better than theirs. She took a pink nipple into her mouth sucking gently. The moaned 'harder' from Sarah prompted her to increase the suction. She used her teeth gently not wanting to hurt her. The hiss of pleasure that move caused spurred her on. She bit down a little harder then ran her tongue over the abused nipple. Her efforts were rewarded by a slight rocking of Sarah's hips. Helena trailed her hands down her torso lightly, learning the shape of her body. She paused to caress the little dips and curves she discovered in her explorations. Sarah was trembling under her. Helena couldn't be sure but she thought she might be trembling too.

She paused at the top of Sarah's jeans. She wasn't sure what to do at this point. She wanted to take them off but then again, she didn't want to take them off. All of a sudden it seemed like a really big step, to big for her to take when she had no idea what to do once she got them off. Luckily Sarah seemed to decide that it was her turn to do some exploring again.

Helena helped Sarah remove her barely there blouse. She'd worn it on purpose remembering that her Mother had told her that the boys wouldn't be able to keep their hands off Helena when she wore it. She hoped the same held true for Sarah. Selena had been right. Helena was so caught up in her thoughts she missed the removal of her bra. It was only when she felt the warm mouth enveloping her breast that she came rushing back to the moment. She arched her back helplessly. She'd never felt anything like that before. One hand worked its way to the back of Sarah's neck holding her in place. Helena had no intention of letting this sensation stop any time soon. The feel of the buttons of her pants being popped made her breath hitch in her throat. It was really going to happen. Sarah's hand was pushing down until she was cupping Helena's mound. Her hips jerked as she pressed into the hand. Everything felt hot and heavy. Her stomach was clenching and her body was sort of tingling making it impossible not to move. When a finger pressed against her clit she surged up then she pushed Sarah flat onto the bed. She had her pants off after a few moments of awkward struggle. She even managed to help Sarah remove her jeans. Finally completely naked she stopped. The desperation she felt earlier was gone now that Sarah wasn't touching her so intimately, now she felt completely out of her depth.

Sarah pulled Helena down so that she covered her body. Helena shuddered at her first full body skin to skin contact with Sarah, hell with anyone. Then Sarah started touching her, driving the teen's anxiety away completely. The only thing she felt was arousal. The blonde spread her legs letting Helena settle intimately against her. Unable to help herself the brunette ground her hips against Sarah's. She wanted something. She wanted the touch of the blonde's hand against her again. Not completely aware of what she was doing she took Sarah's hand pulling it down between them to her center. She closed her eyes as she arched up at the first touch of fingers sliding against her. It was practically over before it started. Her entire body clenched before she started to spasm. It ended in just a couple of seconds but left Helena breathless and still extremely aroused. There weren't any fire works or anything. It wasn't at all like they described in books. But, it had been very good. Very, very good. She wanted to do it again…and again…and again.

But first she wanted to feel Sarah. She wanted to touch the slippery softness she'd felt against her stomach moments ago. Helena placed one knee on the bed while she propped herself up on her right arm. She stroked her hand down Sarah's body, exploring but with a definite destination in mind. She brushed her hand over the soft skin. She liked the feeling of soft skin as opposed to the wiry hair like her own. She decided from now on she was going to follow the blonde's example. Helena ran a finger down the crease of Sarah's mound. She slowly slid back and forth until she pushed her finger into the wetness. She moaned at the feel of the satiny skin. The smell of Sarah's arousal was almost overwhelming. She ran her entire hand through the moisture escaping from the other woman's body. Helena strummed her fingers over the bundle of nerves that were so engorged. She couldn't believe that it could get that swollen. She'd never been able to do that to herself.

Helena ran her fingers around Sarah's clit, amazed as it grew even more distended. Sarah's constant moaning pushed Helena on. She tried to pinch it between her fingers only to have it slip out again and again. Sarah's next panted command made Helena's heart tip hammer.

"Inside," Sarah panted heavily. Sarah seemed like she was going out of her mind. Helena was experiencing everything for the first time, she wanted to savor this. She didn't want to rush but she didn't want to make Sarah wait either.

Very slowly Helena did as she was asked. She slid a single finger inside Sarah experimentally; unsure of what she was doing. The breathily moaned 'more' encouraged her to add a second finger then a third. The feel of her fingers being surrounded by soft warmth was amazing. The sounds coming out of Sarah as she moved in and out of the woman were even more amazing. She watched her hand move between Sarah's legs. Then she looked at her face. Sarah was flushed. Her body was moving under Helena as she tried to get the teen to move faster. Helena sped up, doing what she thought would make Sarah feel good. She rubbed against Sarah's clit while pushing into her faster and faster. She tried to temper the strength of her thrusts but the blonde seemed to want her to do it harder. Then the body under her tensed. Helena watched amazed as she came. Wow. She'd done that to her. Helena Wayne had done that to her. For the first time in her life Helena felt what it was like to have sexual power.

Three exhausting hours later Helena lay in a boneless heap against Sarah's back. She felt as if the itch she'd been trying to scratch for months but couldn't reach was finally gone. It felt wonderful, all four times. The sound of someone in the outer rooms brought Helena out of her blissful thoughts

"Who's that?" Helena asked softly. Were they about to have the police called on them?

Sarah rolled over towards Helena then leaned in giving her a very long arousing kiss. "I told you I wanted you to meet someone," she replied after pulling away.

Helena really didn't think kissing her like that was the way to get her out of bed to meet someone. "Who?" She asked feeling disappointed when Sarah rolled out of bed to look for her clothes.

"You'll see."

It hadn't taken long for Helena to dress but it did take Sarah a little while since she tried to fix her bra. It was a lost cause, but the brunette couldn't find it in herself to feel bad about it. She was actually feeling kind of smug at the moment.

"Come on," Sarah said as she grasped Helena's hand to pull her out of the bedroom. Apparently she'd finally given up on her bra.

Before she knew it Helena was standing in front of a woman whom Sarah introduced as Harley Quinn. As conversations went Helena was kind of confused. The woman jumped from one thing to the next like a schizophrenic auctioneer on speed. Then she said something that made the teen's stomach drop to the floor. "I'd like to offer you a position in my…organization. Sarah has been telling me wonderful things about you. I've been very impressed by the information."

"What organization?" Helena asked trying to keep the sinking feeling from engulfing her. She also attempted to seem interested but wary. This is what Barbara had been waiting for. She didn't want to screw it up no matter how uneasy she was feeling at the dawning realization that Sarah could truly be involved.

"I have a small business procuring much needed pharmaceuticals to provide to the more unfortunate citizens of New Gotham who are unable to easily obtain them," she replied as if she were actually a philanthropist instead of the insane criminal that Helena knew her to be.

She'd come to that uncomfortable realization after twenty minutes in the woman's company. There was something creepy about the woman's eyes. She seemed to stare at Helena as if she were trying to see something or maybe do something to her. Whatever it was Quinn was trying to accomplish it wasn't working. That seemed to impress her, which was probably good for the investigation. What was really bothering Helena though was that Barbara had been right. Sarah was involved; deeply involved from what she'd heard so far. Sarah was involved in a criminal organization that Helena knew she had to bring down. She tried to keep from throwing up.

"I'd," Helena hesitated working to get the words out in a normal voice. "I'd like to think it over," she finally managed to get out in her normal tone.

Quinn nodded. "I can understand your desire to consider employment," she said brightly. "I can assure you this offer is too good to turn down."

Helena smiled weakly. "It does seem too good to be true," she agreed flatly. The offer probably would have been good if she'd been other than who she was. She might have accepted if she were in Sarah's shoes. Though truthfully, she couldn't really imagine ever doing anything that this woman suggested.

"You'll think about it and get back to me." Quinn stated, her eyes seemed to become a black hole but with blinking stars.

"Of course," Helena agreed breaking eye contact. She knew that Quinn was about to go down hard. She glanced at Sarah giving her a smile. The last smile she would give her as her girlfriend.

Helena made her way to where she'd left her motorcycle. She had to be in shock. What she was feeling must be shock. She felt numb, almost as if she weren't even inside her body, which was why she had no reaction at all when someone stepped out of the shadows next to her bike.

"Where were you?" Batgirl asked angrily. When Alfred had called her on the comm. over an hour after she started her patrol asking if Miss Helena had gone back to the Clock Tower she had experienced an immediate overwhelming sense of dread. She had called the manor after Helena left, letting Alfred know that the girl was on her way home but that was at least an hour and a half before Alfred had contacted her when the teen didn't show up. She was sure the girl had finally crashed her motorcycle from hot dogging. She was in a ditch somewhere dead, Barbara knew it. But, her search of all the possible routes Helena could take home turned up nothing. So she'd started searching her neighborhood block by block. She'd almost missed the motorcycle since it was covered in the camouflage cloth. She had looked around the immediate area for the girl. When that came up empty she decided to wait with the motorcycle for two hours before she would call her father to get extra help to look for Helena. Just as she was going to activate her comm. she heard foot falls on the side walk then saw Helena as she turned down the alley towards her.

"I asked you a question," the masked vigilante snapped when Helena just stared at her.

"I was with Sarah," Helena replied woodenly. Even the fact that Batgirl had busted her didn't penetrate the wall around her emotions.

"Alone!" She barked at the girl. "Have you lost your mind? Do you realize what could have happened? I told you that it was more than just a drug ring, there was more going on. You could have gotten into serious trouble without back up!"

Batgirl's voice hammered at her. There were cracks in her wall now, cracks that were fracturing and spreading like veins making the wall fragile.

"Do you have any idea how worried I've been?" The redhead railed on without noticing Helena's demeanor. "Or how worried Alfred's been? How could you be so irresponsible?"

Then the wall crumbled.

Batgirl knew the only thing that kept her from a broken nose or worse was that she'd been sparring so often with Helena. The work on improving her reflexes kept her from a prolonged convalescence, she was sure. She managed to block Helena then twist around to wrap the girl up in a tight hug, pressing her against the wall of the building so she couldn't move. She expected anger. She expected more fighting. She didn't expect to suddenly be holding an emotionally distraught teenager as she cried.

"What happened?" Barbara whispered as she shifted her hold on Helena. Instead of holding her in a bear hug to keep her calm she was pulling the girl into her body to give comfort.

"You were right," Helena said sadly when she finally was able to control the sobs. There were still tears but they were silent. "I found your master mind tonight. Harley Quinn."

The redhead was elated. They finally knew who was behind everything. She had begun to suspect as much. She had interrogated a suspect not long ago who had mentioned someone named Quinn had hired him for the job. Barbara had begun to realize, through extensive research, that Quinn's business was more extensive than a simple drug ring. Luckily, with all the evidence they'd managed to collect all they needed was a name they could tie it too. Now they had one. What she was having trouble understanding was why Helena was so upset and why she went off alone. "What's going on Hel?"

"I," Helena stopped. The words were getting stuck in her throat, the lump keeping them from escaping. "I trusted her."

Helena's whispered admission made a sliver of dread shoot through Barbara. The teen's next words horrified her.

"I slept with her. I...it…it was my first..." Helena trailed off when she felt Barbara's arms convulse around her. "I'm sorry," she said faintly.

This was her fault! Barbara couldn't believe how blind she'd been. The signs had been there. Now that she knew she could easily see the signs. She should have recognized what was going on. How could she have such a high IQ and be too stupid to live at the same time? Now she had a traumatized young woman in her arms that she had no idea how to help. She'd failed Helena. She refused to fail her again. She'd let all this go too far for too long.

"I'm taking you home," Batgirl said as she led Helena over to her motorcycle. She looked at the teen realizing she was in no shape to ride as the driver or passenger. She removed her cape and cowl then retrieved the long coat she kept in the storage compartment on the motorcycle. She couldn't stroll down the sidewalk as Batgirl without drawing attention. She decided the only recourse was to walk back to the Clock Tower before she called the manor. Alfred had mentioned that Bruce and Selena were on their way back when he'd contacted her. She secretly hoped that they weren't home yet. She had a lot of explaining to do and didn't want to do it. Barbara could only hope that if they were there, Bruce and Selena wouldn't kill her.

When they got back Barbara sent Helena to her room to lie down. She paced the length of the Clock Tower for almost half an hour before she worked up the nerve to call the manor. It was almost four in the morning but she knew Alfred wouldn't have gone to bed without knowing if Helena was alright. When the phone was answered it wasn't Alfred, it was Selena, a very worried and anxious Selena from the sound of her voice.

"She's here," Barbara said by way of greeting.

"Thank god," she sighed with relief. Then the angry mother voice came out. "What was she doing? She better have a really good explanation," Selena said angrily. The worry she'd felt since she walked through the door to find Alfred pacing in front of the phone came racing back. Helena knew better than to stay out all night. She had no business on the streets this late. Too many things could happen.

"I need to talk to you about that," Barbara replied wearily. "Both of you."

"Does this have something to do with that boy she's been seeing?" Selena asked. If that boy did anything to Helena, so help her God she'd kill him herself. "We're coming over," Selena's tone brooked no argument.

"Of course," Barbara said to the dial tone. She had hung up.

She waited for their reaction. Bruce was looking out into the darkness through the balcony doors while Selena prowled around the room. Every so often she would look at Barbara, making the redhead think of a tiger who was about to attack. So far, neither of them had said anything. They didn't say anything when she told them about Helena's meta abilities, not when she told them about Helena's night time excursions, not when she told them she'd been patrolling with Helena and had involved her in a dangerous operation. They didn't say anything when she told them about Sarah or about what Helena had told her tonight. She couldn't blame them, faced with that amount of overwhelming information all at once she wouldn't be able to say anything either.

No one noticed the glittering golden eyes watching them from the shadowy hallway. No one noticed the audible rumble coming from the tightly coiled body that housed those disturbing eyes. It wasn't until her father finally reacted to what Barbara had told them that Helena moved. He had Barbara pinned against the wall. The anger rolling off him was frightening. While Helena was pissed with Barbara for telling them everything, she wasn't going to let them hurt her. Barbara hadn't hurt them. She'd hurt Helena, so she was the one who would deal with Barbara. Her sudden appearance caught everyone's attention, though her father didn't release his hold on Barbara. She walked calmly up to them then gripped her father's wrist. She squeezed until he had to release the redhead then stepped in between them.

Bruce stared at his daughter, amazed. He rubbed his wrist, it would bruise for sure. He barely believed it when Barbara had told them. He readily believed that she'd been following them at night. He believed that Barbara had stupidly allowed Helena to patrol with her. He could even see Helena enthusiastically helping Barbara with her plan to bring down Harley Quinn. What he couldn't believe was that Helena had hidden part of herself from them. That she was too scared to tell them.

He stepped back a pace giving Helena some room. Obviously she'd chosen to protect Barbara. He couldn't feel the same way. Barbara had lied to them. She'd placed Helena in danger and in the process had let the girl be devastated from what she'd told them.

"Helena," Selena said drawing her daughter's attention over to her. She walked closer holding the girl's gaze. Her eyes were beautiful, mesmerizing. But, they also gave the girl an inhuman quality that was disconcerting. She partially recognized those eyes. While her eyes didn't glow golden they did contract into cat eyes. They had thought Helena hadn't inherited that particular characteristic from Selena. Sure they noticed the child's speed and strength but they hadn't thought it was as pronounced as it obviously was. It was apparent that Helena had been very successfully hiding it for a while.

"It's alright Helena," Selena said gently. She gave Bruce a look that clearly said to back off. It wouldn't do any good to antagonize the situation even more by maintaining his proximity to Barbara when they could all tell he was still seething.

"Nothing is going to happen to Barbara," she promised. "We just want to take you home."

Helena nodded her head slowly. She wasn't sure what was going to happen but she knew it was best to leave the Clock Tower. She didn't want her parents acting rashly towards Barbara because Helena had hurt them with her lies. "I need to talk to Barbara," Helena said not recognizing the rumble of her own voice. It apparently startled everyone else in the room too.

Selena looked between the two, studying them critically. She didn't know what was going on between them but she knew that Barbara had become an important part of Helena's life. She didn't like anything that the redhead had done but she was grateful that Barbara had been there for Helena. She felt guilty for not noticing everything her child had been going through. She could barely stand the thought that Helena had felt abandoned by them since they started accepting missions from the Justice League again. They'd refused any missions that would take them away from Helena for more than a day until she'd turned seventeen. Then thinking that she was mature enough to be left alone and that Helena had her own life and friends they had thought she would barely miss them when they were gone. "We'll wait outside," Selena offered. She waited for Bruce by the elevator. She could clearly see he didn't want to leave his child in Barbara's care again for even a second. He'd always been overprotective.

Helena watched them until the doors of the elevator shut leaving her and Barbara alone. She turned around aware that mere inches separated them. She stepped back slowly keeping her eyes trained on Barbara.

"I had to tell them," Barbara said finally breaking the charged silence.

"I know." Helena did know. If she had been in Barbara's position she would have done the same thing. Helena probably wouldn't have been so calm about all this if she didn't still feel the numbness that had enveloped her earlier when she'd left Sarah. But, being calm didn't change the fact that the redhead should have told her what she was going to do. It was Helena's life. She should have been a part of the decision. That was what pissed her off. Barbara had treated her like a child instead of an equal. They had formed a partnership and Barbara had cut her from the decision making. She realized she'd done the same thing with the redhead. By not telling her about seeing Sarah she was keeping things from her. She was making all the decisions. But, Helena hadn't hurt Barbara emotionally.

"Are you okay?" Barbara asked tentatively. Helena was too calm. The teen was a lot of things but she was rarely calm. Normally she was a tornado, fast, furious and full of power.

Okay? Helena was far from okay. She wanted to laugh at such a stupid question. "I trusted you," Helena said instead of laughing.

"I had to tell them," she repeated her earlier statement. She was sorry she hurt the teen but not because she'd told them. Helena needed help. She needed her parents.

"I'm pissed at you," the brunette replied. She felt tears forming in her eyes but she refused to let them fall.

"I know," Barbara said. She could tell the moment Helena stepped into the room she was angry. It had surprised her tremendously when Helena had forced her father to let her go.

"You're the closest friend I've ever had," Helena whispered as she looked away from Barbara. She turned back to the redhead, landing a solid punch against the older woman's jaw.

Barbara lay sprawled on the floor holding her aching jaw as Helena stared down at her. The teen nodded her head as if answering a question only she could hear. Then she walked out of the Clock Tower. Barbara closed her eyes against the hurt. It wasn't only her jaw that hurt. It was the instantaneous and horrifying knowledge that she probably had just broken their friendship beyond repair.


Chapter 8

Five years later

Helena stood on the balcony at Wayne Tower. It was so different from Cambridge. It was different from Paris too. She was happy to finally be home after so many years; after they had raided Quinn's apartment and rounded up her 'organization' the Wayne family, without an explanation to anyone, had moved to Paris. Bruce and Selena decided that Helena needed a new start. She needed to get away from New Gotham. At first Helena had been angry. They were running her life, taking her away from everything and everyone she knew. But after the confrontation with Quinn and seeing Sarah being cuffed she started to agree with them.

Quinn wasn't as easy to bring down as Barbara had thought it would be. Not that they didn't have enough evidence, she just didn't go down easily. Harley Quinn was a psycho with access to a lot of guns and a lot of muscle. That wasn't all, as they all discovered she was a meta-human too. It took all of them to do what Helena originally thought she and Barbara could handle alone. Quinn had a hold over the people in her organization that no one could have predicted. They were willing to kill for her. Even more disturbing was that they were willing to die for her.

When the dust finally settled most of the muscle bound goons were unconscious while others were cuffed. Quinn was ranting at the top of her lungs about revenge and retribution. Helena couldn't help looking at Sarah and her group of friends, which turned out to be more than just the four of them, with pity. They hadn't been a real threat. They'd been in more danger of shooting themselves with the guns they were wielding than actually hitting the vigilantes. Helena had taken care of them easily, trying to do a minimum amount of damage; when she had moved to disarm Sarah the idea of possibly hurting her made Helena freeze. She wasn't surprised when Batgirl came out of no where to handle Sarah. Helena even noted that she was as gentle as was possible considering the situation. When Barbara turned around the teen had to look away from the compassion in those intense green eyes. She just threw herself back into the fray, unwilling to think about Barbara or what she'd lost anymore.

That night had cinched it for her. She'd packed her bags more than ready to put distance between her and New Gotham. She'd spent the last year of high school with a private tutor since she didn't really speak the language. When she was accepted into Cambridge the family moved again. They spent the next four years building the trust between them again. The last year of college Helena even moved into her own apartment. She also started prowling the streets at night again, only this time with her parents' knowledge and help. During that first year she'd shown them everything she was capable of doing. It seemed to upset them at first then she realized it was the fact that they hadn't noticed what was so obvious now rather than her abilities themselves.

After her disastrous relationship with Sarah, Helena purposely stuck to strictly casual dating until she met Megan her third year at Cambridge. It wasn't as intense as it had been with Sarah but her relationship with Megan made it clear that she didn't want to limit herself anymore.

After Helena graduated Bruce and Selena decided to move to Metropolis. New Gotham had been fine without their presence. Batgirl and Nightwing, Dick's new identity, were effectively keeping the criminal element under control, so much so that they had both been invited to join the Justice League. Helena had thought that was the coolest thing in the world. She'd called Dick as soon as she heard. She'd listened with rapt attention as he described one exciting encounter after another. She always asked about Barbara when they talked, though not in a way that she was asking directly. Every time they spoke she subtly led Dick to talk about the redhead.

When Selena and Bruce suggested that Helena come with them to Metropolis, Helena knew she wouldn't go. Her father had tried to cajole, bribe and pressure Helena into going with them. In the end, faced with his own stubbornness, he gave in. He offered her some choices, though she knew there was only one choice she would make. Bruce hadn't found a replacement for the Vice President position of Wayne Corp in Paris or New Gotham since he'd left five years ago. Dick hadn't wanted the job, he was happy with the police department. The job had remained empty with Bruce making infrequent trips to New Gotham to take care of business that couldn't be done over the phone or internet.

Helena sighed as she leaned against the giant gargoyle that decorated the penthouse balcony. She was the new Vice President of Wayne Corp. in New Gotham. Since she'd only been working for two weeks, the shine was still on her job. Being somewhat settled in, she was now prepared to resume the mantle of Huntress. She smiled thinking about the night Barbara had come up with the name. Time had dulled the pain of those memories. Now she could look back fondly on that adventure with only a small pang of sadness.

Helena turned at the sound of quiet foot steps in the penthouse. Alfred was busy getting everything ready for her dinner guests. She'd been encouraged to stay at the manor but she decided that she would very likely feel like a child if she lived there. Instead, Helena had moved into Wayne Tower. The penthouse turned into a graduation gift from her parents.

"Thank you, Alfred," Helena said giving him an appreciative smile. She had told Alfred that she could take care of herself but he wouldn't hear of it. In all honesty, she was grateful. She could take care of herself but her skills in the kitchen and laundry room left something to be desired. The idea of eating microwave dinners in pink socks and underwear was very inappropriate for a woman who had just been made a vice president in a major corporation.

"Of course, Miss Helena," he replied formally, though the twinkle in his eye gave away his happiness at having at least one member of the Wayne family home. She shook her head as she entered her bedroom. She changed quickly into something a bit less informal than track pants and a tank top. She wanted to look more grown up, but why it should matter when it was just Dick and Barbara coming for dinner she wasn't sure.

"Master Dick has arrived," Alfred said as Helena came back into the living room. He was just hanging up the phone that was specifically used by the security guard in the lobby.

"Alfred, you've changed my diapers. You've taken care of Dick and Barbara's injuries for years. I think you can just call us by our names. In fact," Helena continued with amused exasperation. "I think you should join us for dinner."

The horrified look Alfred directed her way for the suggested breach of protocol made her stifle laughter. He'd never change. "I think not," Alfred replied stiffly.

"Take it easy big guy," Helena said as she backed towards the door with her hands up in a conciliatory gesture. "It was just a suggestion." She turned away letting the huge smile spread across her face as she pulled open the door to wait impatiently for Dick. For two weeks she'd been dying to see them both again. Unfortunately, Dick had been incredibly busy with some hush, hush thing and it was necessary for her to establish herself at her day job before she could get on with the fun stuff. How long did it take the elevator to get up here? She'd only used it once so far. Most of the time she preferred to use the back door, so to speak.

She turned to look at Alfred when he asked her a question. She barely noticed the sound of the elevator arriving while she answered the butler but the weight of a grown man on her back definitely registered. Helena was finally able to appreciate how hard it was for Dick to stay upright when she would jump on his back with no warning. Even though she could easily bear his weight he still sent her stumbling a little. It was definitely different being on this end of the ride, she decided as she spun in circles as fast as she could. She only stopped when she felt herself teetering dangerously. She released her grip on Dick's legs letting him drop to the floor so they could both stagger around unfettered.

"Don't you two ever get tired of doing that?"

Helena's heart jumped when she heard Barbara's voice from the doorway. It had been five years. She'd missed her but she hadn't been able to talk to the redhead. Helena knew some of it stemmed from her embarrassment and regret for having punched her. But, she was ready to do whatever it took to get over the past. When Helena had invited Barbara to this dinner she'd been worried that the woman wouldn't come. She was still amazed at the warmth and happiness in Barbara's voice when she'd said yes.

"Not like I got to do it that often these last few years," Dick responded as the room swirled around him at an alarming rate. Good lord Helena could move fast!

"Yeah, besides, it's fun," Helena told Barbara as the redhead spun around her crazily. "You should try it."

"Looks like you're in no shape to give me a ride," Barbara noted with amusement heavy in her voice.

Helena smirked inwardly then replied quite seductively, "Just give me a few seconds and you can ride me all you want." It was quite a statement considering she was still trying to keep herself from falling in a heap on the ground while the room continued to spin, albeit slower.

When the room seemed to have calmed down Helena arched a playful eyebrow at the redhead as she looked at her over her shoulder. "Well," Helena prompted when Barbara just stared at her. "Are you getting on?"

Barbara raked her eyes over the body in front of her. Helena looked very grown up. "I think I'll save that ride for another time."

"That's too bad. I was really looking forward to having your legs wrapped around me." Helena wasn't quite sure who or what had taken over her mouth. She had to admit that she liked how it felt though.

"Good God Hellion, you grew up good," Dick interrupted them, giving Helena a salacious grin when he finally recovered enough to get a good look at her.

Helena scrunched up her face. "That is so wrong," she said slowly. The ick factor of that observation was off the scale.

"Hey, it's not like we're blood relatives," Dick defended himself.

"I'm going to pretend you didn't say any of that," Helena told him seriously.

She ignored him completely as she walked over to Barbara. She didn't know how she should greet the other woman. She didn't know how receptive the redhead would be. Yes, she'd made suggestive comments while Barbara stared at her but that didn't necessarily mean that all was forgiven. Giving a mental shrug she took the first step. If she wanted her relationship with Barbara back she'd have to make an effort. She stepped closer to her then pulled her into a hug. The first hug they'd shared since that night in the alley. Everything felt almost right again. She brushed her lips across the redhead's cheek before stepping back. "It's really good to see you again," Helena said with quiet sincerity. Had Barbara always been this beautiful, Helena wondered as her eyes roved over the other woman?

Barbara smiled crookedly. "I missed you too." The redhead leaned back further to take in all of Helena. "He's right, you know," Barbara said softly. "You really did grow up good."

"Do you two need a room or are we gonna eat soon? I'm starving," Dick said bringing their attention back to him. He felt like they didn't even know he was in the room anymore.

Helena gave him the 'annoyed sister' look that she hadn't used in years. "When did you get so whiny?"

"Bite me."

"And witty," Helena added sarcastically.

Barbara smiled as she followed the two of them into the dining room as they bickered with each other. It was really good to have Helena home again. She hadn't seen Dick this happy in months. She wasn't feeling so bad herself. Helena had hugged and kissed her. She was beginning to think they could somehow build their friendship again. After all this time she realized more than anything, she wanted Helena's friendship. She wanted Helena in her life. For some reason, after the teen had left with her parents, Barbara felt like things were wrong somehow. More wrong than just Helena leaving. It was like everything that happened wasn't how things should have been.

"So where's the new boy toy tonight, B?" Dick teased the redhead when they'd finally stopped talking about the years they'd been away from each other.

"Don't call me that," Barbara's tone was surly. It was bad enough when Helena had called her that, then Dick had started to do it too. After Helena left it only served as a reminder of how she'd hurt the teen, which made her even more snappish when he did it. Now it was only mildly annoying but she still didn't like it. "He's not my boy toy," Barbara continued feeling harassed. "We're just dating."

"When did you guys break up?" Helena asked curiously, gesturing between them. When she'd talked to Dick he'd never mentioned they weren't seeing each other anymore.

"We were never really dating," Dick said with a dismissive wave. "Just kind of seeing each other occasionally."

"Better friends than lovers," Barbara added.

"Booty call." Helena nodded her head. She'd been there. "You dating anyone Dick?" She asked before Barbara could yell at her. Helena had recognized Barbara's look instantly though it had been years since she'd seen it. The woman definitely wanted to yell at her. The redhead had to settle for glowering instead. Helena just smiled sweetly then winked at her.

"Uh, not really," Dick said casually. Usually when he was asked that by a woman she either wanted to date him or set him up with her ugly sister. Helena didn't have an ugly sister and no matter what his earlier comment might have insinuated, he really didn't even like to think about Helena that way.

"Still playing the busy bachelor," Helena said nodding with approval. She used to be rather fond of that herself.

"No more than you, or so I've heard."

Helena just smiled at him

"Okay, enough of the teasing and catching up," Helena said as she sat forward in her chair. "You guys need a third?" She didn't bother to elaborate. Everyone at the table knew what she was asking.

"Actually, I'm glad you brought that up," Dick said, relieved that he didn't have to start the conversation. He wasn't sure how either woman would feel about his plan. "Now that you're back I was planning to go back to Bludhaven. We don't really need all three of us and there's been a lot of trouble there."

Both women looked at him with identical expressions of surprise. "What you expected me to stay? I only agreed to come here until Helena came back," Dick rushed to explain.

"What?" Helena asked frowning. "What would make you think I was coming back?"

Dick looked at his sister as if she were from another planet. "Selena told me you were."

"What? When?" She'd only just told her parents she was going home.

"Just after you left," Dick shrugged. "She said she didn't think you would want anyone else doing your job. She also thought you'd want someone you could trust to watch her back," he finished jerking his thumb at Barbara.

Well this was awkward. Helena had told her mother those things when she'd heard her father talking about getting someone from the league to cover Batgirl. It wasn't that she didn't think they were incapable. It's just that she trusted Dick more. She knew he was good and that he cared about Barbara. She just wanted to make sure that both Barbara and Dick had someone they could trust with them. It wasn't so strange really, Dick knew the city and he knew Barbara. Barbara knew the city and she knew Dick. It was common sense.

Helena was saved from coming up with something to say when Dick spoke again. "Yeah, well I thought I'd let you take over. I need to start moving. I also need to tie up some loose ends here before I leave," he said breaking the silence that had descended over the group.

"What do you want?" Helena asked Barbara, aware that she couldn't just force herself onto the redhead. She wanted a real partnership not a forced one.

"Do you need help moving?" Barbara asked Dick, answering Helena's question and giving her blessing to Dick.

Helena smiled, feeling yet again like things were finally starting to be as they should be.

"How about I just hire someone to move him," she offered. "I really don't want to know what he might have in his apartment."

"As if it would be anything you haven't seen before," Dick shot back.

Barbara rolled her eyes. She wondered if these two ever did anything but talk trash and bicker. Not that she minded listening to them. She'd always thought their interaction was kind of sweet in an antagonistic way. Plus, now that she knew that Helena wanted to work with her, she could just enjoy watching them verbally punch and poke at each other. Helena wanted to work with her. They'd have a chance to fix things between them. It was more than she hoped for when she had left the Clock Tower earlier this evening.

Two weeks later

Helena cut her eyes towards Dick, who was standing next to her. They were all waiting for Barbara's boyfriend to arrive. Somehow this little get together had just come about; she wasn't really sure who suggested it, maybe Dick, evil bastard. This was Dick's last night in New Gotham, he was leaving for Bludhaven in the morning, and she supposed he wanted to spend it with them. But, how had a going away dinner at the Clock Tower translated into an introduction to Barbara's boyfriend?

"That's him," Dick whispered when a man stepped off the elevator.

"No?" Helena replied sarcastically. Like she couldn't figure that out on her own. He was fairly attractive in a plain suburban yuppie kind of way. But, he wasn't what she thought Barbara would go for.

"Shut up," he grumbled back.

"What's his name again?" Helena asked as the couple walked towards them.

"Wade," Dick greeted, smiling pleasantly.

"Dick, good to see you again," Wade responded amicably. "I was sorry to hear you're leaving. I know Barbara will miss you a lot." He wasn't at all sorry to hear it. Something about Dick always made him feel threatened. Maybe it was because he and Barbara spent so much time together. It was just strange for his girlfriend to spend more time with another man that she did with him.

"Yeah, I'll miss her too but this is a good move for me," he replied.

"Wade," Barbara cut in, drawing attention away from Dick and his pending departure. "This is Helena Wayne. Helena, Wade Brixton."

"Barbara's told me a lot about you," Helena said smiling at Wade as she shook his hand.

"Oh, really," he said, pleased that Barbara had talked about him. He never really knew where he stood with her. She was a hard woman to read.

"No," Helena replied, trying not to laugh at the stunned expression on Wade's face or the poorly stifled snort of laughter from Dick.

"Helena." Barbara sounded extremely annoyed.

"Sorry," she offered Wade. "My sense of humor is a bit off sometimes. She's said nothing but good things about you." If you considered 'he's not my boy toy' good things.

"That's alright. No harm done," he said. "Barbara tells me you've just moved back to New Gotham," he went on trying to get a conversation going. He was starting to feel uncomfortable.

"Yes," Helena replied without elaborating.

"What brings you here?" He asked, not realizing that Helena deliberately didn't catch the conversation ball.

"My car," Helena said. Then she looked at Barbara meaningfully for just a second. "But technically it was Barbara."

"Excuse me?" Wade stammered. He wasn't sure if Helena had misunderstood or was mocking him.

She looked at him like he was a particularly slow child. "Barbara invited me," she said patiently.

"I actually meant what brings you to New Gotham," Wade clarified.

"She knows what you meant," Barbara stepped in again. She should have known Helena would be just as difficult as Dick when it came to Wade. Why that was so was a mystery to her. Helena didn't even know Wade. "Just ignore her. She's too much like her brother," she told him.

"Who's her brother?" He asked, looking at Barbara first then over to Helena.

Helena pointed at Dick.

He glanced at Dick then back at Helena. He could believe they were related. They were very much alike in their obviously mutual fondness for mockery. Mostly aimed at him.

"Wade, could you give me a hand in the kitchen?" Barbara asked. She needed to separate them.

"The kitchen? You don't cook," Helena accused, completely horrified at the thought of Barbara preparing something she was expected to eat.

"It's catered," Barbara replied, not trying to hide her annoyance at the implication she couldn't cook and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near an oven. "I've cooked for you before," she reminded Helena.

"Putting a pop tart into the toaster isn't really cooking, despite what I told you at the time." Helena shook her head sadly at Barbara.

"Please remind me why I invited you again?" Barbara asked.

"Oh, I think we both know why," she purred, giving Barbara a smile that was pure sex.

Helena and Dick watched Barbara lead Wade away without another word. "Nice," Dick laughed.

"What?" Helena asked innocently.

"Nothing," he said, shaking his head as he tried to keep from laughing. It was so good to have Helena back. "It usually takes almost an hour before she drags him away from me. I have much to learn," he said in a Yoda like voice. This dinner might actually turn out to be one of the best ideas he'd ever had.

Dick smiled at his plate. Dinner so far had consisted of flirtation, sarcasm and some very tasty Italian food. It was one of the best dinners he'd ever had with Barbara and Wade. Helena had been in rare form this evening. Dick had never considered flirting with Barbara in front of Wade; much less to the extent Helena had been flirting. Hell, she was even flirting with Wade.

Wade could feel the heat lingering on his face. He was trying to hold up his end of the conversation, despite the fact that he was obviously woefully out of his depth with this level of innuendo.

"So you didn't leave anyone behind when you came back?" He asked.

"No," Helena replied smirking at Wade's discomfiture. "I was more of a serial dater."

"I guess you were into bad boys?" Wade guessed. She looked like she would go for that type. She looked like she would chew that type up and spit them out in little quivering pieces.

"Bad boys, bad girls, either one." Helena gave Barbara and Wade a smoldering look. "Or both," she said lowering her voice provocatively.

"Are you taking anyone to the Gala tomorrow night?" Barbara asked, trying unobtrusively to steer the conversation away from where it was headed.

"I made other arrangements since you were otherwise occupied," Helena replied silkily, sliding her eyes over to Wade briefly before she brought her eyes back to Barbara.

"Gala?" Wade's voice attracted three sets of eyes.

"Helena has to make an appearance," Dick explained. He almost felt sorry for Wade. Almost.

"Date?" Barbara prodded once Dick finished.

"Of course," Helena said as if were a silly question. When no one said anything she looked at Dick then at Barbara. "What? You think I can't get a date?"

"When did you find the time?" Dick asked curiously. As far as he knew all she'd been doing was working, patrolling and getting caught up on what was going on in New Gotham.

"The break-in last week."

"Oh, really," Dick drew out the word.

"Who?" Barbara asked at the same time.

"One of New Gotham's finest." Helena smiled to herself. He was sexy, very sexy.

"Who?" Dick asked, echoing Barbara's earlier question.

"Detective Reese," Helena replied, looking at Dick to see if he knew him.

Dick nodded his approval. Reese was a good man and a good, honest cop. "Have fun," he said, giving his okay.

Helena smirked at Dick's protectiveness. "I plan to." Everyone at the table knew what she meant by that.


Chapter 9

Three days later

"A little to the left."


"Is this your first time? Right here," Helena said as she guided Barbara's hand.

Helena groaned as she squeezed her eyes closed tightly. "Yeah, right there."

"Try to hold still for a minute," Barbara replied.

"Christ it hurts!"

"You'll be okay, just give it a minute."

"Are you sure you've done this before?"

"I'm sure I've had a lot more experience than you have," Barbara said indignantly. "Now just relax, I'm going to push."

"Damn it, Barbara! You didn't wait long enough for the anesthetic to take effect!" Helena nearly shouted when Barbara pushed the suture needle through the flesh of her side.

"It starts working immediately," the redhead informed her. "You're just being a baby."

"It's not working! How would you like me to shove a needle through you with no pain killer?" She asked through gritted teeth.

Barbara gave Helena an annoyed look that quickly turned into concern. Sweat was beading on Helena's forehead. She really looked like she was in pain. "I'm sorry, maybe I should've given you more," Barbara replied. She realized she hadn't taken into account that Helena's system might burn off the anesthetic so quickly.

"Ya think?"

"Hold on," Barbara said, ignoring Helena's fit of temper. She grabbed another prepared needle then injected the brunette again.

"Any better?" Barbara asked a few seconds later.

"Yes," Helena said with a sigh of relief. "Sorry B.," she continued when the redhead started stitching. She really did feel bad about snapping at her. This was her damn fault anyway. If she hadn't been so distracted by the…improvements made to Batgirl's costume this never would have happened. But before this evening she hadn't been out with Batgirl so she had no idea of the…upgrades to the costume. How could she have possibly ignored such anatomical correctness? My god, it looked like they were as hard as rocks. Everything was molded to Barbara's body like a second skin. It was…distracting.

"It's okay," Barbara said. "I know it hurts. Just a little while longer." It was a lie of course. She'd only done a few stitches so far. It was a very long, deep cut. She was just glad she was able to stop the guy before he could do any more to the brunette. Otherwise it could have easily been more than just stitches that were needed.

"Want to tell me what had you so distracted out there?" Barbara's voice was completely neutral.

Helena tried not to shift uncomfortably at the question. She sure wasn't going to tell the truth. God, how embarrassing would that be? "Don't know," she mumbled turning her head away.

"If something's wrong, you can talk to me about it."

"I…I'm fine," she replied looking over at Barbara again. She tried not to let her gaze stray below her neck. At least not until she got out of the Batgirl gear.

The suturing went on for ten minutes before Barbara spoke. "You should wear your armored suit," Barbara said. If Helena had been wearing it this cut wouldn't have been more than a scratch if anything at all.

Helena looked at her in surprise. "I have one of those?" She asked, taking a quick glance down at Batgirl's armor.

"Yes, I thought you knew."

"How would I know? I didn't have one before," Helena said reasonably. The most protection she'd had before was the leather duster she'd started wearing. It kept her warm and added a little extra protection. Though not so much tonight.

"Is it just like yours?" She asked curiously when Barbara didn't answer.

Barbara shook her head as she tied off the final stitch. "It doesn't have the bat design on the front but it's the same armor." Wayne Corp. had developed a light weight polymer that was virtually impenetrable. It turned out to be extremely effective. Bruce had quickly realized that it would aid them all considerably. Now they were all very well protected when they went out at night.

"Does it have…I mean…is it as…realistic as yours?" Helena gestured vaguely at Barbara's body.

"What?" She asked looking down at herself. "Oh, that," she laughed. "That was Dick's doing. Kind of a joke I guess. It's actually very useful. I find it distracts the opposition." That thought made her pause for a moment. She looked at Helena speculatively until she noticed the flush that was working its way up her neck and face. Ah, the distraction.

Helena blushed even harder when she realized Barbara had caught onto what had distracted her earlier. She wanted to groan. It was just as embarrassing as she thought it would be.

She finished taping the bandage on Helena's side before she finally answered the question. "Yours is pretty similar in that regard. But," she said quickly, seeing the protest on Helena's face. "You still need to wear it." Barbara looked at her significantly. "Especially if you're feeling distracted."

Yes she was feeling a little distracted, even now as a matter of fact. Of their own accord, her eyes had begun to alternate between the redhead's face and her bat emblem, which was conveniently located right above her…

"Helena? Helena!" Barbara snapped her fingers in front of the woman's face. "Helena!" She nearly yelled.

"What?" The tone was a mixture of embarrassment and irritation.

"Were you listening to me?"

"Of course I was," she replied testily. She didn't like being caught staring. The staring wasn't bad, but the being caught sucked. "I need to wear my armor. I heard you."

"You do," Barbara insisted. Helena had only said she'd heard the redhead not that she'd do it. Barbara knew, after dealing with Helena when she was younger, she actually had to hear the brunette agree to do it.



"Great," Helena said. She let her gaze drop again. She couldn't help picturing Barbara naked with the outline of her body so clearly displayed. Now, with her own body armor, she was going to imagine them both naked. Together. Not an unpleasant thought.

"You should stay here tonight," Barbara said as she put the first aid kit back in order.

Helena made a sour face. "I don't like sleeping on couches, they're too small and uncomfortable," she complained. "I'll just go home. I'll be fine." Barbara had two spare rooms but both of them were full of computer parts, boxes of teaching materials and any equipment they might need for their night time activities. If she wanted someone to stay the night she should have cleaned one out.

"I wasn't going to put you on the couch." She wasn't that poor a hostess.

A seductive smile slid onto Helena's face with those words. Barbara only had one bed, if she wasn't going to be on the couch…"Up close personal attention? Are we going to play nurse?" She purred suddenly over her embarrassment. "I think I might like how you treat your patients."

"Nurse?" Barbara questioned bemusedly. "I thought it was supposed to be 'play doctor'."

She smirked at Barbara, shaking her head emphatically. "We just played doctor and you sucked at it. We'll give 'nurse' a try."

Barbara shook her head at the brunette. Honestly, from the first moment she'd seen Helena the woman had been throwing suggestive comments and innuendo at her. It was almost as if she were interested in her, though she knew better. Even so, she didn't mind it at all. In fact, it was exciting. But, when she thought of how exciting and fun it was to be with Helena on patrol or any other time, she couldn't stop herself from thinking how utterly bored she was when she spent time with Wade. She knew she was doing extremely different activities with each of them but she still compared the time she spent with them. Simply flirting with Helena was more exciting than intimacy with Wade. Barbara considered that it was probably time to break it off with the other teacher. "I was planning to take the couch," Barbara said once her internal dialogue came to an end.

"Well, there's an offer I can refuse," Helena said lazily, feeling mildly disappointed.

"Hoping for something different?" Barbara asked deciding that flirtation would probably get her what she wanted better than logic or fighting.

Helena smiled. "Actually I was. Though, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that you'd rather have the couch," Helena said with disappointment. "You do seem to like the boring, staid types," she finished clearly referring to Wade.

"That's not true." Barbara was irritated by the characterization.

"What's not true? That you prefer boring or I shouldn't be surprised you prefer boring?" Helena asked innocently.

"Neither," she replied, now completely offended. She didn't like boring at all. She really wasn't sure why she'd even agreed to go out with Wade in the first place. Maybe because she hadn't met anyone that really sparked an interest in quite a while. None of that really mattered. She'd already decided to break up with Wade anyway.

"Great! Front or back?" Helena asked as she gingerly got to her feet.


Helena smiled at Barbara. The redhead was quite cute when she had that puzzled look on her face. "Never mind, it'll have to be back. I can't lie on this side," she said gesturing at her injury.

"What?' Barbara asked, still not understanding. The rapid shift in conversation had thrown her off.

"I'll have to spoon you," Helena said patiently as if Barbara were simple. "It'll hurt too much for you to spoon me. Unless you're one of those people that don't claim one side of the bed as their own, kind of an ambidextrous sleeper?"

"You think you need that much personal attention? I suppose it is a very serious injury. I should stay close," Barbara mused aloud.

Helena's heart started to pick up speed. The look on the redhead's face made parts of her absolutely throb. "Really?"

Barbara didn't miss the interested look directed towards her. She would bet from that look that the brunette didn't think she preferred boring anymore. "No," she replied as she grabbed Helena's hand to lead her to the bedroom. "I think we can both comfortably sleep on the bed without spooning. It's a king not a twin."

"True," Helena replied. When they entered the bedroom, she watched Barbara pull off the upper half of her armor as she headed for the bathroom. "You know," she said, causing the redhead to stop and turn towards her. "Maybe I should look you over for injuries too, just to be safe." It was just harmless flirting. It didn't matter that she couldn't take her eyes off of Barbara at the moment. It didn't mean anything that her hands were itching to feel all that delectable skin that was right in front of her.

"Maybe you're right," Barbara said, giving a small wince when she rubbed her rib.

"Really?" Suddenly her side didn't hurt at all.


Helena couldn't help laughing as the bathroom door shut behind the redhead. Sure she could probably use a cold shower but Barbara's playfulness was extremely fun.

Two months later

"What the hell are you supposed to be?"

Huntress smirked at the police detective holding a gun on her. "Well, let's see, I'm wearing a costume, a mask and chasing a criminal. What does that make me?"

"I don't know who or what you think you are but as far as I'm concerned you could be working with that guy." He'd followed the bank robber for a couple of blocks but lost him a little bit ago. Finding this masked woman in an alley where the guy went couldn't be just a coincidence.

"Do I look like I'm working with him?" Huntress asked, holding out her arms. "No money, no weapon, no criminal."

"I think the mask pretty much says it all," Detective Reese replied as he reached for his cuffs.

"Yes, it says 'super-hero', a super-hero who's trying to catch your criminal." She'd arrived on scene to find a bunch of cops and no suspect. She'd managed to follow his distinctive scent to this alley. He wasn't here anymore but she knew she'd catch up to him soon.

"You're going to catch him?" Reese asked sarcastically. "Like that?"

"What?" Huntress replied, looking down at herself. "Does it make me look fat?"

"Turn around," Reese ordered the woman as he stepped closer. He kept his weapon trained on her.

One eyebrow quirked. "Hand cuffs on the first date? I'm shocked," she drawled acting completely scandalized.

"You're under arrest," he said.

"My being under arrest would imply that you could effectively stop someone. And, since your bank robber is getting away…" She let the sentence hang meaningfully. It wasn't her fault that practically the entire police force wasn't able to stop one guy. Personally, she thought things might be getting a little slack in the NGPD. They might have been helping too much. Maybe she'd talk to Barbara about it.

"Don't move," Reese ordered when the masked woman started to leave.

"You're kind of bossy," Huntress noted, as she started walking away. "I like that," she tossed over her shoulder. He sure hadn't been this bossy or confident when they went out. If he had they might have gone on another date.

"I said freeze!" He pulled the hammer back on his weapon.

Huntress turned to face the detective again. "Actually, you said 'don't move'," she corrected genially. "Still, I'm afraid I can't do either. See ya around." With that, she took a leap up to the roof. She had a suspect to catch.

"Fuck!" Huntress shook her hand hoping that she hadn't broken it.

"Huntress! Status?" Batgirl's voice was worried.

Huntress glared at the man in front of her, if he could even be considered a man. She knew he was a meta-human. She had figured that out the moment he became some type of metal just before her fist connected with his jaw. That had hurt like hell! Now she wasn't sure what to do but figured even a guy made of metal could be hurt eventually. She lashed out, kicking the guy in the head. He didn't even move. But, her entire leg vibrated with pain for a few seconds. She was beginning to figure out why all those cops couldn't stop this guy when he walked out of the bank vault.

She slammed her boot heel into his face, trying to knock him down. Nothing, he didn't even acknowledge the blow. She put her arm up to block the punch for what little good it did her. It was like a sledge hammer against her face.

"Damn it!" She cursed, spitting the blood out of her mouth. That was going to bruise for sure.

"Huntress! What's your status?" Batgirl yelled into the comm. It was just like Huntress to ignore her. It sounded like it wasn't going very well, it worried her. Barbara had a little more trouble than Helena getting away from her day job. It wasn't like she could just run off when she had a class full of kids. She had to wait for the Vice Principle to come then she'd gone to the Clock Tower to change, which is where she was at that moment. Helena, however, was only minutes away from the bank and had easy access to spare armor in the hidden room in her office that Bruce had built long ago. Helena even had a convenient and secret access point to the roof.

"I'm getting my ass handed to me! That's my status!" Helena snarled. She attacked metal man with a series of kicks with such force that they would have killed anyone else.

"By what?" Batgirl's voice was genuinely shocked. She truly doubted anyone could beat Huntress.

"Guy's metal." Helena was breathing a little heavier now.

"Metal?" Batgirl asked perplexed. She hadn't discovered any new meta-humans in the city. She kept close watch for any who entered New Gotham. Barbara had Delphi monitoring for any information about them. She had informants in the meta community as well. "Are you sure?"

"I'm going to pretend you didn't ask me that," Helena said angrily. Her legs were beginning to get numb from kicking something with no give at all. "Any suggestions?" She asked as she danced away from Metal Guy when he tried to hit her.

"I think I may have something," Batgirl said. "ETA twenty minutes."

"Twenty minutes," Huntress huffed. "Where are you, Metropolis?"

"Don't be snippy," Batgirl responded.

"Well?" Huntress prompted Batgirl impatiently when she finally joined her. She was really pissed. This guy was making her look really bad. It was all she could do to stop him from getting away. As it was, they were a few blocks from where she'd originally caught up to him.

"Watch and learn," Batgirl said softly. She brought the small white gun up making both Helena and Metal Guy smirk. They'd already tried guns. Helena wasn't even sure she'd classify what Batgirl was holding as a real gun. It looked more like a flare gun. What came out surprised both Huntress and Metal Guy. A few seconds after the trigger was squeezed Metal Guy became frozen Metal Guy, frozen Metal Guy who was completely immobilized.

Huntress walked up to him, giving him a poke. Yep, frozen. "If I kick him, he'll break right?" She asked. She thought she remembered something about this on TV, maybe the show with that science guy.

"Yes," Batgirl responded. She maneuvered between a very angry Huntress and the immobile meta-human.

Huntress gave Batgirl a hurt look. "Just because I asked doesn't mean I'll do it."

Batgirl gave her a look.

"Fine! I was thinking about it." Huntress stepped back a few more steps. No sense being in temptations way. "We need to get this guy to Arkham."

"Transport will be here shortly," Batgirl informed her. She'd connected with the Delphi long enough to have an automated voice tell the police their location and that a criminal had been apprehended.

"Okay." She looked at the little gun that Barbara was holding. "Where'd you get that?"

"It's a smaller version of the weapon that Freeze used."

"No kidding?" Helena moved closer to get a good look. She'd heard about Freeze but had never seen him. She took the gun when Batgirl held it out to her. It didn't seem like much. "Where'd you have it on you?" She asked, eyeing the skin tight bat suit.

"It's called a utility belt," Barbara explained as if Helena were a little slow. "If you used yours you could have stuff like this too."

"It doesn't go with the coat," Helena said dismissively. She'd gone with the armor but the duster had stayed. It was too cool to leave behind. "If I shoot him again will it hurt him?" She asked.

"No, but why would you shoot him again?"

"I can't kick him," Huntress replied. She wanted to do something to him. Shooting him with the freeze gun again would have to do. She didn't wait for a reply.

She smiled a little. It did kind of make her feel better. She shot him again.

Huntress considered metal man for a moment. She turned to Batgirl. "Maybe we should go over what you have stored on Dippy about meta-humans."

"Delphi," Batgirl enunciated clearly.

"Yeah, that one too."

"How is it," Helena inquired as she sank into the tub of hot water. "Than I end up bruised and battered while you manage to come away without a scratch?"

Barbara smiled as she turned away so Helena wouldn't be able to see her face when she replied, "You have to admit your approach to crime fighting is somewhat…zealous."

"Zealous? Zealous," Helena repeated. "Fanatical, rabid, raging, is that what you're trying to say?" She asked.

"No," the redhead replied as she leaned against the wall. "More like passionate, enthusiastic or maybe fervent. Those others seem to imply a negative connotation. Negative was the furthest thing from my mind."

"Right," Helena decided to accept the answer. "Passionate huh?" She gave Barbara a long look. "I can be a lot more passionate, would you care to join me?" She splashed some water playfully. "I could show you."

"I would," Barbara replied as if she were giving the invitation serious thought. "But, I don't think you'd be able to live up to the hype right now. I don't really like boring despite what you might have heard."

"I'm hurt," the brunette said despondently. "Does that mean Wilbur is out of the picture?" Helena asked, perking up at the thought.

"Yes, I broke up with Wade a while ago," she replied stressing his name. "Honestly Helena, why is it so hard for you to get names correct?" In her opinion it was one of Helena's less than endearing idiosyncrasies.

"I remember names just fine. I just like irritating you." Helena was too busy appreciating her own humor to pay attention to the other woman, until she poked her bruised jaw. "Ow, shit! Why the hell did you do that?"

"I like irritating you," Barbara responded easily.

Helena pouted for a moment. "Now you have to kiss it and make it better. In fact, I have a few injuries that could use that treatment," she pretended to wince as she shifted in the tub. "There's one place in particular that's needs attention immediately."

"I suppose I should try to make you feel better," Barbara agreed as she walked over to kneel beside the tub. She leaned over kissing Helena's jaw softly then ran her tongue lightly up the brunette's jaw line until she reached her ear. She nipped at the ear lobe before she sat back on her heels. "The other parts?" She asked, arching her eyebrow at the stupefied woman.

"Really," Helena breathed out as she started to lift herself up. All of a sudden she was really hot.


"I hate you."

Barbara just laughed then went back to lounging against the wall.

"At least it'll be gone by Friday," Helena said as she rubbed her jaw. She'd really liked the feel of the redhead's lips and tongue. She sighed; feeling mildly disappointed there wasn't going to be more of them.

"Why's that?"

"My official welcome cocktail party," Helena reminded her. "Pretty much every key member of Wayne corp. will be there. Even my parents are attending." Of course, since it was her welcome party and everyone wanted to attend they had to schedule it well into the future when they first decided to have it. She looked at Barbara curiously, surely she should have remembered about the party. "I thought you were supposed to remember everything?"

"It's difficult to remember something you're not told about it," Barbara pointed out.

"You weren't invited?"

She looked at Helena as if she was mentally deficient. "Obviously."

"Why not!"

Barbara realized it wasn't really a question when she kept going.

"You're an upper level employee in Wayne Corporation, or at least a key consultant. You should have been invited. This is exactly the type of thing I pointed out to them at the last staff meeting. The division managers have no idea who works where or what they do," Helena ranted.

Barbara was somewhat surprised. She'd never seen Helena like she was now. Normally she was Huntress around her. She was playful and flirtatious with her, while menacing with criminals. She bantered, she quipped, even taunted people. This was the fist time she'd seen the business woman. Helena was right too. She's been a consultant for the technology division for years yet had never met the division head.

"Well, you're definitely going," Helena said, dragging Barbara's attention back to the conversation.

"I'm afraid I really can't go. I have too much grading to catch up on. It's been rather busy these last few weeks out there; I haven't had much time for my day job," Barbara said apologetically.

"Yeah, I wanted to talk to you about that too," Helena replied giving the redhead a calculating look. "Why are you still teaching?"

Barbara frowned at her. "It's my job."

"You're wrong," Helena replied. "This is your job," she gestured to Barbara who was still in her Batgirl suit. "That is just your cover, an inconvenient cover at that."

"I enjoy teaching."

"I know you do," she agreed. "You're a wonderful teacher too. But, look what happened today. We had an emergency and you were stuck there. What if I'd really been in trouble? What if I needed back up immediately instead of whenever you could get someone to cover your class?"

"We rarely have emergencies during the day," Barbara protested.

"Maybe not, but it would only take one."

"It would be the same with any job."

Helena shook her head. "No it wouldn't. I need a division manager for Technical. I was going to work on you slowly to take the position but today changed my mind about my approach."

"What happened to Jennings?" she asked, referring to the man who had run Technology for almost seven years.

"He couldn't handle the change in management."

"I can't just leave in the middle of the school year," Barbara said, still reluctant even in the face of Helena's sudden logic.

"That's just an excuse and you know it," Helena said impatiently. "You know I'm right."

Barbara stared at Helena without really seeing her. The brunette was right. She had thought the same thing several times. But, until today no one had hammered home the realization that her responsibility to the school and her students could get someone killed. It could get Helena killed. Something Barbara found totally unacceptable.

"Yes, you are," Barbara said finally. "Okay."

"So you'll do it? You'll take the job?" Helena wanted clarification. Barbara could wiggle out of things pretty good if you didn't pin her down.

"Yes, I'll do it. I accept your kind job offer." She almost laughed at the satisfied look that crossed Helena's face.

Helena smiled. That was way easier than she thought it would be. "Great! I'll pick you up at seven on Friday for the cocktail party," she said, already mentally making plans. "I'll make the announcement at the staff meeting tomorrow. You'll start on Monday." Helena nearly jumped out of the tub, she was so excited at the prospect of not only having Barbara run her problem division but to also have the redhead close by. "You're going to have a lot of work to do at first. Those egg heads haven't had anyone to rein them in for a while. Did you know they've been working on things without having any practical application in mind?"

Barbara opened her mouth to reply but Helena kept talking.

"I realize that research is important and they need the opportunity to explore different avenues but there's a certain point that the research shouldn't be continued. Getting them to abandon their work when it's been determined a failure has been almost impossible," she said as she toweled off. She saw Barbara staring at her or more specifically her body. She looked down at herself. There were several bruises on her torso but most of them where on her legs and arms from trying to block the punches and kicks that metal man had landed.

"It's a good thing you were wearing the armor," Barbara said, pulling her eyes away from the brunette's body. She really hadn't even registered the bruises. She was actually admiring her. Helena had a very nice body. It was amazing that it housed so much strength. The vision of small femininity was deceptive.

"Yeah, you were right," Helena admitted. "It saved me some major damage."

"You do know I need to give a bit more notice than two days to the principle," Barbara said, changing the subject from Helena's body. This was a much safer subject.

"No you don't. They have substitute teachers for just this purpose," she said dismissing Barbara's concern. She'd make sure it wasn't a problem. Maybe the school needed a new gym or something? That should make the loss less painful for the principle and the school.

"I'm staying if they need me," the redhead warned.

"Of course," Helena agreed, deciding to call the principle at home tonight.

"I still don't think I'll have time to go to the cocktail party." She had to get things done even more now. She couldn't leave a mess for whoever they would get to replace her.

"Sorry, I need a date and you're it," Helena told her. "Besides, I look hot in my little black dress. You really don't want to miss it."

"You're not seeing anyone? There's no one else you can take?" Barbara asked.

"Why would I want to be with anyone but you?" Helena drawled, giving Barbara a sexy smile.

"What about that cop you're going out with?"

"What?" Helena scrunched her brow in confusion. Then it dawned on her who the redhead was referring to. "Oh, him," she said smirking. "Been there, done that," she replied, shrugging with indifference. She'd liked Reese just fine but he was kind of tame. Besides, given the choice she'd take Barbara.

"You don't think it would make a bad impression to show up with your newest division manager as your date?" Barbara asked, rolling her eyes as she followed Helena out of the bathroom. She leaned against the door jam to the brunette's bedroom watching as Helena threw the clothes she was going to wear onto the bed.

"Actually, one of the great things about being the heir is that I don't have to give a rat's ass about what other people think," Helena replied. She pulled the t-shirt on then tossed her head in Barbara's direction. "You should get changed too. You can't run around like that, it's a little conspicuous. I can just see some industrious reporter peeing himself if he had the opportunity to follow Batgirl to her lair. Not to mention how happy it would make a criminal."

"I don't have any clothes here." She hadn't expected to come out this afternoon and she hadn't considered the possibility that she would need to make sure Helena got home okay. She'd just wait until night fall then head home.

"Alfred has some stuff in the spare bedroom for you." She shrugged at Barbara's questioning look. "He's Alfred."

"It might not look good for me to come as your date to the cocktail party," Barbara said getting back to their earlier conversation before Helena side tracked them. She didn't want anyone to think she was in the position because she was dating the boss.

"Might not look good to whom? I'm the only one that you need to be concerned about making a good impression on," Helena said giving the redhead a thorough once over. "I doubt it's something you'll need to worry about."

"You know what I mean," she said, glaring at the brunette.

"Relax B, you worry too much. It'll only take two seconds in your presence for anyone to see why you got the job." Barbara was a genius. It was glaringly obvious to anyone who had ever met her.

"Fine, but you're buying me dinner first," Barbara said gruffly to hide her embarrassment at the compliment. "I can't stand the pretentious, yet inedible appetizers they call food."

"Happy to," Helena said, completely agreeing with her. "You know that me buying dinner means you'll have to put out." Helena decided to go back to flirting to make Barbara more comfortable.

"I guess I'll buy."

Helena winked at her. "You don't have to buy me dinner to get me to put out." She patted the bed. "This is a new mattress, you know," she said giving Barbara a come hither look.

"I'm going to get changed," she said ignoring Helena's comments.

Part 10

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