DISCLAIMER: I do not own the characters. They are the property of DC comics and the WB network. I'm just borrowing them for a short period of time.
MUSIC DISCLAIMER: Song lyrics don't belong to me either; no profit gained or infringement intended.
ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMER: I've made several references to a baddie (Crimson Claw) from another work of fanfiction -- The most-excellent "Feral" by Barb/Pink Rabbit Productions. No infringement intended; rather, consider it an homage to a breath-taking work of fanfic (and another plea that Feral be completed??).
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

The Way We Were

Ch. 27

Even as she whispered the words to her companion and pulled them into a maintenance closet, Helena wondered if she'd made the right choice.

Oh, well. Sometimes, you just had to go with your gut. But Barbara was probably having a shit-fit.

"A trap? For me? You shouldn't have, Tiger." Quinn batted her lashes playfully, her voice almost sounding genuinely pleased.

Okay, now she was definitely wondering about the wisdom of her choice. And, right on cue...

<"Huntress, what's going on? Where are you?">

Oracle was trying to sound calm, but the brunette easily picked up on the note of, well, not quite panic, but there was some strong concern there. Unfortunately, Helena wasn't in a position to get into a conversation with the woman just now.

For one thing, Quinn was still nattering on.

"And, of course, how utterly predictable. I assume that Barbara knows everything, wants to stop me from killing my Mr. J -- so shortsighted, as always -- and plans to lock me away for all eternity, yadda-yadda-yadda?"

"Yeah, something like th--"

Uncanny reflexes at work, Helena was wrestling the gun from the blonde as soon as she saw it.

Un-fuckin-believable. Here she was, really putting her ass on the line for the other woman, and Quinn was waving a freakin' gun... well, not directly at her, but the threat was implied.

She pinned the other woman with a distinctly unamused look and hissed, "What the fuck, Quinn?! Wouldja just put that away, damnit? It could go off, and all hell's gonna break loose."

Handing the weapon back to her current partner, Helena heard a slow exhalation from the other end of the comm set. Good thing the gun hadn't gone off; that would have freaked Red out to no end.

"Well, darling, if danger's afoot, it pays to be prepared doesn't it?" the petite woman lilted as she returned the weapon to concealment.

Helena tracked Quinn as she stepped forward, bringing her well into the younger woman's personal space.

'Housecat, meet cobra'.

The words whispered through the brunette's mind. Why was she doing this again?

A pale hand touched the other woman's tan face, traced down her throat, one sharp nail pausing over the brunette's jugular.

"So, why are you tipping me off, Tiger? Finally realize how... fond of me you've become? Beginning to fully embrace the idea of Paris and our new life together?"

She heard a sharp intake of breath over the comms. Crap, why'd Quinn have to say 'Paris'?

Cobalt eyes locked on pale blue, and Helena struggled to mask her surprise. While Quinn's actions and words were taunting, threatening, there was only a desperate, sincere hope in her eyes.

"I always knew you were a romantic at heart, Tiger..."

Of course, sincerity aside, Helena couldn't help but notice that the blonde hadn't moved her hand -- that wickedly sharp fingernail -- away from the younger woman's neck. The brunette wondered how that would look on her tombstone: 'The Huntress -- A Manicure Got Her'...

Quinn stretched on tiptoe, bringing her mouth to Helena's ear. The dark woman shivered as the blonde traced her tongue around the outside, then husked, "Is it time for Plan B? It's always so much fun when things don't go according to plan, isn't it, darling?"

The dark woman doubted that that was how Barbara would be describing it, wished she could have tried to explain. But, she hadn't really *planned* not to go with the plan; it just kinda happened.

Stuff like that drove Red crazy.

<"What 'Plan B', Huntress? I can't pick you up on any of the monitors. Are you alright?">

Shit. The rapid-fire questions made Oracle sound distinctly jumpy, like she really wanted to do something. If they hadn't shipped a willing Dinah off to Gabby's again, Red would probably have *her* on the way by now. The brunette figured that it was a fifty-fifty chance: Oracle would decide that her partner was in trouble and set off some alarms to help her out; or... or Barbara would decide that it was now Helena's game, her choice, and let things play out.

Helena wished she knew which version was the truth. It had seemed pretty simple earlier, as the two women got closer and closer to the madman's cell. She just couldn't go through with Barbara's plan; it wasn't going to make the redhead any safer. So she'd gone with her instincts, instincts which were rapidly being overwhelmed under Quinn's teasing, taunting touches.

Sometimes it really, really sucked being a slave to your animal desires, Helena decided. It wasn't the first time she'd had that particular insight, but it was sure ringing with a resounding note of truth tonight.

"Uhhgghh..." Oh, fuck, that must have sounded good over the comms.

Quinn had just dragged her hand down Helena's chest, cupping a breast, teasing. Now she brought her other hand to the waist of the brunette's pants, running a teasing finger beneath the leather as she whispered, "I *was* able to verify that there are no alarms, no cameras in that access tunnel you found in the schematics, darling."

<"Which access tunnel? Can you give me some..."> Helena heard the tiny break in Barbara's voice. <"...indication of what's going on, Huntress?">

Well aware that her eyes had augmented under Quinn's teasing, Helena struggled to keep her breathing light and steady. Tried to think of something she could say to the redhead without tipping Quinn off to the microphone.

"Not now," she growled, as much to Quinn as to the voice in her head. "I've gotta stay focused, damnit."

The young woman peeled the blonde's hands off of her and then, still fully in her feral mode, slipped back into the hallway, careful to avoid areas with security cameras. After this all went down, she wasn't positive that Oracle would be cleaning those tapes afterward.

Quinn trailed behind, merrily chattering. Did the woman never shut up?

"Is this the right way, Tiger? I'm so terribly non-spatial in this awful asylum..."

<"Huntress, what are you doing? Please, think about it; let me help you...">

The brunette snorted softly. Maybe the redhead could trigger some false alarms somewhere and send the guards off on a wild goose chase. Well, maybe that wasn't the kind of help that she'd had in mind.

Helena wished that she could talk with the older woman, explain what she was doing. She absolutely hated having Barbara worried about her...

"...and while I'll simply hate getting my new beret covered in cobwebs in some filthy access tunnel... Well, darling Helena, anything for you! We'll just skip in, kill Mr. J, and be out of here before anyone's the wiser."

Helena swallowed. Hard.

"We're so close, Tiger; close to finally being rid of him, no longer in fear. I'll just pull the trigger, and Mr. J will never be a threat to anyone again."

<"Hel? Please talk to me, Sweetheart...">

No code name over the comm set? Didn't think she ever remembered...

God, she hoped she was doing the right thing. Okay, maybe not the right thing; but, at least, the best thing.

That hypnotic, sing-song voice just kept talking.

"Remember, Tiger, you get to keep your hands clean *and* protect your precious Barbara. And, then, away we go, darling, to our new life."

The brunette stopped short, causing the practically-prancing blonde to plow into her. Ignoring Quinn's startled 'Oof', Helena breathed deeply, raggedly as a warm voice wrapped around her heart.

<"Listen to me, Helena. Remember that I'm here, loving you. Nothing will change that. But, please Sweetheart, don't... don't do anything that's going to hurt you more.">

"Fuck. Let's go."

The young woman's voice was ragged, suffused with anger and hurt.

The dark woman blew out a deep breath, then decided to give her own sanity a break.

"It's gonna be okay. But... would everybody just keep fuckin' quiet?!"

Helena saw pale blue eyes roll broadly from right to left, taking in the empty hallway pointedly, before Quinn raised a platinum brow knowingly and responded archly, "This place gets to everyone, doesn't it?"

Well, that was just swell. Now her former shrink, who was definitely a few bricks shy of a load herself, thought that Helena had more than 'anger management issues' to deal with.

Deciding that she really didn't care what Quinn might think, the brunette swiped at the receiver, cutting off that warm, loving voice. She did care what Barbara thought, and that pain-filled voice was a distraction she didn't need.

It was time to get back to the plan. Her plan.

Grabbing one of Quinn's small hands in hers, Helena set off down the hallway, no longer concerned about security cameras. In a matter of moments, she'd dragged the small woman back through the second security checkpoint, then the first.

"Helena darling, aren't we going the wrong w...."

"Just. Be. Quiet." For once...

In a helluva lot less time than it had taken to get into the depths of Arkham, Helena stepped through the exterior door, still firmly holding Quinn's hand. She flattened them against the wall, then spoke rapidly.

"Sorry, Quinn. I can't let this go down Barbara's way; I just can't lock you up in a cage."

It was that freakin' need to protect the weak, comfort the hurt, she figured. Quinn was both of those. And, she *had* gone almost cold-turkey, crime-free for two years, while also helping protect Barbara. Sure, it hadn't been all altruism and roses, but, still, if that didn't show rehabilitation potential, well then...

Looking into wide, pale eyes, the brunette continued.

"But I can't do it your way either. Killing him's not gonna help any of us."

The look of patent disbelief, accompanied by -- of all things -- head-shaking and eye-rolling, was impossible to ignore. Helena blew out an exasperated breath, one ear cocked for the return of the security guard on his rounds, and ran a hand through her hair.

It wasn't fair. Moral compass was *not* in her job description. Wasn't it enough that she'd weighed the options and temptations herself? Why did she have to be the one to explain... nuances to, of all people, Harley Quinn?

Well aware of the petulant note in her voice, the young woman kept things short.

"Well, let's just say it'll hurt us more than help us. We've gotta let the... situation go."

Helena hadn't deactivated the transmitter. She figured that Barbara would understand the layered meanings in the word 'situation.' She wasn't so positive that Quinn was getting it.

"Helena, while -- as your former therapist -- I'd normally be thrilled with this sudden leap in your personal growth, I simply can't imagine what you have in mind."

"It's simple, Quinzel."

The brunette deliberately emphasized the second syllable slightly.

"I'm going to take you back over this wall; you're going to get in that over-priced car of yours; then you're going to drive like hell to the nearest airport and use 'our' tickets to hop a flight to happiness."

Those pale, pale blue eyes were blinking rapidly, regarding the younger woman speculatively.

"Quinzel, we've gotta stop letting him control us. You've gotta let it go. You've gotta..." Aware of someone listening at the other end of the comm set, even more aware of the woman in front of her, Helena gentled her voice. "let *us* go."

Helena knew that it spoke volumes about Quinzel's level of surprise that the normally verbose woman seemed incapable of speaking. Pushing away her impatience, Helena stood quietly -- as patiently as she could with the rain pouring down her collar again, watching a tremendous range of emotions flash across the older woman's face: puzzlement, anger, hope, disbelief, then -- finally -- something that looked like sadness, loneliness.

With genuine affection in her voice, the dark woman spoke softly.

"I know you're more than the Joker's harlequin. You've proven that to me over and over."

Even as Helena gathered the blonde in her arms, Quinzel spoke, voice subdued.

"Are you so sure you can trust me, Helena?"


Helena grunted softly as she landed outside the walls of Arkham, fighting back the urge to curse volubly. Not at the impact of their landing, but at Quinzel's question.

She set the small woman down gently, then splashed quietly up the road with her, towards the blonde's hidden car. Helena gave the question the consideration it deserved.

Could she trust her? The woman had been as good as her word for two years... But, the price if Helena was wrong could be devastating. Maybe she shoulda just stayed with Barbara's plan, locked the blonde up for the rest of her life... in a cell... next to the madman who'd hurt them all...

Helena waited until the older woman was inside her car, the engine purring to life, before she answered the haunting question.

"Well, Quinzel, if you mean, have I wondered if we'll learn that Interpol is asking 'Who is killing the great chefs of Europe?'... I guess the thought's crossed my mind."

Quinn laughed delightedly, and the brunette grinned crookedly.

She figured Barbara was probably baffled by her reference to the late-70s cult movie. Probably wearing that vaguely puzzled, slightly miffed look, too. Helena really wanted to see that look for herself. Soon.

Closing the car door and bending to the cracked window, the young woman spoke softly, regretfully.

"But, yeah, Harleen. I'm sure."

She hoped.

"Just, I dunno, send me a postcard from paradise some time, okay?"

Helena watched the taillights fade before she turned her steps into New Gotham, towards the clock tower. Well aware of the riot of butterflies in her stomach, the brunette re-activated the comm set receiver and spoke quietly.

"You copy, Oracle?"

<"I'm here, Huntress.">

The response sounded a little breathless, but Helena didn't detect any anger. That was good. The young woman knew she'd done the right thing -- okay, she was pretty sure. She just wasn't so positive that Barbara would share that opinion. However, the next words, laced with warm concern, went a long way towards further reducing the brunette's anxiety.

<"Are you alright, Sweetheart?">

Not 'Where's Quinn now?'. Not, 'What were you thinking?'. Not even a well-deserved chewing out for abandoning the plan without warning.

God, she loved this woman.

Ignoring the fact that she was probably pissing Barbara off by not providing the answer, the reassurance, that the older woman needed, Helena exhaled slowly and sought her own reassurances.

"Are you... about, uh, that... are you upset?"

The response was immediate, filled with love and warmth and something else. Pride?

<"Not in the least, Huntress. If you felt that was the right thing, I trust you. I'm happy.">


Red was just, totally... super.

The brunette decided that it was past time to get back and show the other woman everything she meant to her.

"I'm on my way in."

Helena paused, debated briefly. What the hell, subtlety wasn't supposed to be her thing.

"I remember a promise to help with my leathers, then I've gotta get a hot shower."

The throaty reply almost made the young heroine miss her landing on a rooftop. She windmilled her arms rapidly, skidding on the slick surface, totally glad that nobody had seen *that* little maneuver.

<"Oh, definitely help with your pants, Huntress. But, instead of that shower, I think, tonight, I'll run a bath for two.">

Oh, yeah. Helena was definitely gonna make record time tonight.

Ch. 28

As she wheeled briskly into the bathroom -- it appeared that Helena was making really good time -- and turned the taps on the claw-foot tub, Barbara realized she was softly singing. Was this running-water/singing tendency contagious?

Shrugging cheerfully, she started the Johnny Nash classic again.

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,

I can see all obstacles in my way

Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind

It's gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)

Sun-Shiny day.

Undoubtedly, an over-optimistic sentiment, the redhead admitted as she left the tub to fill and headed to the bedroom. No telling how Helena would deal with her choice tonight: would she perceive it as a betrayal of Barbara and beat herself up over it? would she wrap herself in attitude and proclaim that it was No Big Deal? Of course, issues stemming from the younger woman's years under Quinn's thumb couldn't be overlooked. Then, there was the little matter of the relatively sudden shift in their relationship -- although, Barbara smiled, it had been a long time coming.

Tugging her shoes off, the redhead blew out an impatient breath.

'Just let it go, Gordon. For tonight, let it all go. All of the... obstacles will still be there tomorrow.'

The only thing -- person worth thinking about was currently swimming her way back to the clock tower, and the older woman was damned well going to welcome her properly. It was enough -- more than enough, after listening helplessly over the comm set while Helena had clearly been staring into the eyes of a hellish temptation -- that, right now, this particular dark and stormy night felt bright and sun-shiny indeed.

Rolling her socks neatly together and tossing them into the hamper -- two points -- the older woman did allow herself a moment's irritation with her younger partner. While she certainly respected the dark woman's intuition, her gift of knowing when to abandon a plan, would it have been too much to ask for the brunette at least to clue her partner in that there might just be an alternate plan?

Of course, knowing Helena, there probably hadn't been an alternate plan two minutes before the young woman started acting on it. And, it certainly could have turned out much worse -- which was something, Barbara realized, she often found herself thinking after the brunette abandoned their carefully plotted plans.

Che sara, sara.

Having worked through that little mental tantrum, Barbara tugged her tee-shirt over her head and decided to let the issue go. After all, for fourteen years, Helena had been maddening, and impulsive, and reckless, and... and the older woman was just going to grab her and kiss her senseless.

My goodness. She was completely... whipped, wasn't she?

Somehow, that thought further lightened her mood. Barbara laughed aloud, and then immediately almost gave herself whiplash at the sound of a throat being cleared softly. The older woman rotated her chair and attempted to look as collected as possible after just having had the wits scared out of her while clad only in jeans and a bra.

Helena stood in the doorway, appearing a bit hesitant. She'd obviously entered the clock tower a few minutes before since she'd managed to divest herself of her duster, boots, and leather shirt. Clad in dripping leather pants and a thin tank top, which was plastered so tightly to her that it left nothing to the imagination, with water still running out of her hair, the woman looked absolutely gorgeous.

Barbara smiled, widely, and gave the wheels of her chair a single push. Letting the momentum do the work, she held both hands out towards the younger woman.

"Welcome home, Sweetheart."

Bright blue eyes peeked through wet bangs as Helena moved slowly into the room to tangle her fingers with the redhead's. Barbara scanned the lithe form quickly; no signs of injury, not that she'd anticipated any. But, some sort of... tension was still rolling off the brunette, despite the light tone of the younger woman's first words.

"Y'know what they say about women who sit around half-naked, laughing to themselves, don'tcha Red?"

"That they'd laugh more if they were completely naked, next to a sexy brunette?" the older woman shot back.

She saw the blue eyes widen, briefly flicker to gold, before the younger woman laughed.

"Well, yeah, I guess you're right about that, Barbara."

Good, definitely more relaxed. The redhead released Helena's hands to move back into the bedroom. The brunette squelched after her, coming to a stop several feet away. Seeming to consider for a moment, Helena stepped forward and dropped to her knees on Barbara's right side.

Face down turned, the young woman cautiously raised a hand, bringing it to rest on the arm of the chair.

"I... I'm really glad to see you, Barbara. It was... just. I'm sorry if I disappointed you or something. I couldn't let her suffer any more 'cuz of him."

Barbara lifted the slender hand and brought it to her face. Pressing her lips fully to the still-damp skin, she murmured, "There's nothing to apologize for, Hel. I meant it when I said I trust you."

Aware of a need to tread lightly, at least for the moment, the redhead added, "I can't begin to imagine how difficult tonight must have been for you, Sweetheart. But, I do know how very, very happy I am that you're here now."

The dark head raised slowly, blue eyes twinkling.

"Yeah, nothing like having rainwater puddling on your hardwood floor, huh?"

Barbara smiled fondly, then allowed the smile to transform itself into something else.

"Well, let's take care of that right now, shall we? I seem to recall promising my assistance with these pants, Helena."

Emerald eyes raked over the sodden figure; breathing shallowed; something low inside the redhead twisted sharply. Releasing the slim hand, the older woman reached out to thread her fingers through the dark hair, cupping the back of the younger woman's skull firmly.

"Make no mistake, I intend to keep that promise."

Yes, the transformation was incredibly sexy, Barbara decided.

This time, the eyes remained augmented as the younger woman rocked forward on her knees, ducked her head, and looked up again through dark bangs. Barbara licked her lips, watching that burning gaze move to her mouth, down her neck, across her chest. The brunette tilted her head slightly towards the hand tangled in her hair, then parted her lips to scent the redhead's wrist. Barbara shivered when the younger woman pressed her open mouth to the inside of her wrist, tongue washing against tendons and veins. The low purr was barely audible; however, when Helena gently tugged the hand in her hair down to rest over her strongly beating heart, it was unmistakable.

The planes in Barbara Gordon's face locked in a hard line while she breathed deeply through flared nostrils. She fought the desire to tangle her fingers in that barely-there tank top and yank Helena to her, to ravish that beautiful mouth, to drink in her moans of pleasure.

Calming herself, she consciously allowed her rough desire to be replaced with tenderness as she absorbed the sight of the younger woman kneeling beside her, her heart under the redhead's hand.

Russet brows briefly furrowed. How had the young woman managed to squeak by with only a C- in Barbara's Romantic poetry class when she so clearly had mastered romantic symbolism? Perhaps she could arrange to have the grade retroactively changed...

Seeing something else in Helena's pose, her gesture, Barbara gave herself a mental shake. *This* was not what she wanted, not what she wanted Helena to offer. At least, not now.

She extricated her hand from the brunette's chest and brushed her fingers along Helena's jaw, across those full lips.

"Stand up, Hel."

The dark woman rose gracefully, the movement stretching the wet shirt in a manner that left the redhead struggling to breathe for a moment. Helena's shallow breathing -- panting really -- was stretching the sheer material tight against the young woman's chest. Seeing taut nipples straining against the tank, Barbara licked her lips, began to lean towards the brunette... and then swore forcefully.


Helena visibly jumped at Barbara's curse. Gold eyes blinked and a dark brow raised.

"Barbara...?" The question "What the hell?" was clear enough.

"I'm sorry, Hel. Would you check the tub? I left it running."

Helena's eyes remained augmented as she turned and moved into the adjoining bathroom. Hearing the water shut off, the older woman started to follow the brunette. Perhaps a soak together, a symbolic cleansing, would help the younger woman relax.

"All full? Why don't we take that bath n..."

The words died in Barbara's throat as Helena re-emerged.

The young woman's desire was clear -- eyes still blazing, upper lip pulled back from even white teeth, a flush creeping up her chest and face as she panted shallowly. Watching her...flow back into the bedroom, the older woman experienced a sudden visceral understanding -- something at the molecular level, she suspected -- of the overwhelming forces consuming the dark woman when she was in her feral state.

Oh. Mercy.

"It's only about half-full, Barbara."

The words were deep, rolling. Not quite a growl, but something very close.

"I, uh, maybe we could top it off with hot water later? Right now," Barbara tilted her head back as the brunette came to a stop directly in front of her, "I don't really want a bath. I think I got wet enough out there."

Those phenomenal eyes locked on the redhead, robbing her of air, of language, of reason and free will. It wasn't the overwhelming desire in those golden eyes that undid the older woman; rather, it was the open, desperate need in the burning gaze.

Barbara felt the heat all the way to her toes.

"Yes," she husked in response.

Had there been a question, she wondered distantly, as her hands moved by themselves, reaching for the other woman. She mastered her reflexes at the last moment, barely brushing those tempting breasts. Instead, she gripped slim tan arms to pull Helena closer even as she leaned towards the other woman.


God, yes.

The feel of Helena's breast in her mouth, even through the thin cotton, was heaven. Moving one hand to the small of the brunette's back to keep her near, Barbara Gordon abandoned herself momentarily to feast on that succulent flesh. It was not, by any means, a gentle seduction, not the feathery worshipful caresses that Helena had bestowed on her; it was a much darker worship. Moving from one breast to the other, the redhead consumed the woman in front of her with lips and tongue and teeth.

Sound and movement gradually drew Barbara back to herself.

The movement was from that lithe figure, jerking minutely against the strong hand which held her in place. Shivering in sympathy, the redhead immediately moved both hands to the buttons of Helena's pants.

The leather garment, always form-fitting, was absolutely soaked and almost cemented to the younger woman. As Barbara wrestled tight wet leather down those long damp legs -- all-the-while mentally revisiting the blowtorch idea, the nature of the sound which had drawn her back to herself gradually permeated her awareness.

It was, of course, Helena. Whispering through panted breaths, words soft, almost obscured by the rumbling in her chest. A repeated refrain to a deep-seeded need.

"F-f-f-fuck. Bar...ba...ra. Need... Make... make me..."

Emerald eyes flew wide open -- sprained eyelids might be a possibility -- and the older woman stopped herself just short of ripping the pants at the seams. At this moment, she was quite certain that she could have done it. Restraining herself, Barbara instead chose to give the material a decidedly hard yank, jerking it down those long legs forcefully and caring quite-a-bit-less than she usually might about chafing the tan skin.

The brunette continued to tremble under the older woman's hands, continued to whisper her plea, but otherwise remained still, passive.

Even as she moved her hands to her own back, unhooking her bra and shrugging out of it, Barbara returned her mouth to the younger woman.

This time, her lips touched the bare flesh revealed between the bottom of the tank top and the top of the pale yellow underwear. The older woman pressed a hard kiss to the velvet-soft skin, suctioning against the firm muscles of Helena's abdomen. There would be a mark later, of that she was sure.

Ducking her head, the redhead buried her face in the juncture of the younger woman's thighs and breathed deeply. Although her nose was nowhere near as sensitive as Helena's, the younger woman's need couldn't be missed. Barbara opened her mouth widely, engulfing as much of the area as possible, breathing warmly against the damp material. The sensation of almost-tasting was torture; the redhead brought both hands to clasp the other woman's hips and groaned against her.


Well, that had gotten Helena's attention, hadn't it?


Helena's eyes were still augmented, no surprise there, but now seemed able to focus again on the older woman. Barbara gave a quick tug at the yellow panties and gestured at the tank as she sat up. She watched those eyes flicker briefly towards her bare chest.

"Help me onto the bed, Love..." The redhead had had no idea that her voice could drop that low. "then get those off."

In an instant, Barbara found herself gently positioned against an absurdly huge stack of pillows, with the younger woman above her, straddling her hips. Unblinking, she watched the dark head lower slowly until Helena's lips brushed hers and a slim hand delicately cupped her breast. Absorbing the astonishing heat in that soft touch against her lips, the unbelievable feeling of completion of that hand on her breast, the older woman accepted the soft caresses until she heard the low growl, felt damp cotton brush her stomach.

She dropped both hands to her own jeans, unfastening them and beginning to push them down. The redhead then gently shifted her head to one side.

Hungry emerald locked with vaguely puzzled gold.

"I mean it, Hel. Get those off."

The wicked smile which flashed across gamine features was almost reward enough. Almost.

As soon as the exquisitely naked Helena Kyle crawled back up the bed, the older woman roughly pulled her down, on top of her, into a deep and hungry kiss.


Hazily, Barbara wondered how she had lived, if she had truly been living, without the sensation of the other woman's breasts pressed tightly to hers, those gentle hands moving to knead and caress. Without the feeling of that talented mouth exploring hers, whispering thickly of love and need. Without the rhythm of the younger woman's increasingly urgent thrusting against her belly. Without the sound of that raggedly whispered want, need.

"Oh, fuck. Please, Barbara. Fucking, yeah, just... Uhh..."

The redhead fought her way up through the delirious fog to place her hands firmly on the younger woman's hips. Stilling the frantic motion, she watched the expressive face lock -- almost in pain?

"What do you want, Hel? What do you need?"

The whimper almost undid her, but Barbara remained resolute.

"Tell me, Helena. I'll do it. Anything..."

The redhead actually heard the sound of the younger woman swallowing; she certainly heard the ragged inhalation.

"Yours, Barbara. Please... Make me yours?"

This time, there had been a question, of sorts.

The response was the same.


Barbara smoothed her hands down the long thighs which were straddling her. She reached up by her shoulders and picked up the slim hands, dusted them with feather-light kisses. Resisting the urge to pull the young woman into another deep kiss -- well, honestly, she knew what happened to her focus and resolve when Helena kissed her -- she stretched the hands over her head, placing them on the headboard.

The redhead thought her heart would simply break at the brunette's slightly puzzled but achingly eager-to-please expression.

"Move up here, Love." She tugged lightly at the slim hips. "I'm going to taste you, and I want my hands free to touch you."

And, finally, Barbara discovered the taste of the other woman; something sweet, something wild. Perfectly Helena.

For long minutes, the older woman drank from the other woman, dragging her hands across that slim torso, cupping and kneading roughly at Helena's breasts, stroking through the dark silk of her hair, rubbing fiercely at the muscles of her back. Throughout, she was aware of lean thighs trembling near her chin, abdominal muscles fluttering and jumping just above her eyes, ribs expanding and contracting in shallow bursts. However, until her fingers traced the smooth planes of the younger woman's cheek and felt moisture, Barbara had not been aware of Helena's tears.

Green eyes flew open even as the brunette's soft words again filtered through her.

"Please, please. Barbara... I need it, I need you. Please, just, just fuckin' do it. C'mon... please, please..."

The redhead regretfully pulled away from Helena, then firmly lifted the younger woman's hips and gently coaxed her back, down towards her waist. She moved one hand, fingers extended and held tightly together, to her young lover's entrance. Keeping her gaze steady, she brushed sensitized skin, the touch feather-light, and waited until wet golden eyes opened and locked with hers. Then, and only then, did she thrust.

Barbara's hiss -- "Yessss" -- was completely drowned out by the brunette's shouts...

Funny how the same short, one-syllable word could carry so many different nuances, the redhead mused dreamily, long glorious minutes later. The brunette's final exclamation of the word, coinciding with a climax which left the redhead's stomach absolutely drenched, had been a particularly appealing inflection.

Barbara hoped, planned, to hear it again soon.

The older woman sifted her hand through dark hair and pressed a kiss to the cheek resting by her face as she waited for the younger woman to, well, come back. In the meantime she was completely content, filled with a delicious lassitude, with the young woman sprawled on top of her, exactly where she'd collapsed.

Minutes later -- Helena's recuperative abilities always had been amazing -- that slender body stirred, dark lashes fluttered, and cobalt eyes regarded Barbara somewhat blearily.

Pressing another soft kiss to the dark brow, the redhead inquired, "Are you okay, Hel?"

A ten-thousand watt smile split the brunette's face as she pulled herself -- impossibly, it seemed -- closer to Barbara. Helena turned her head enough to press her lips to the redhead's collar bone before whispering, tone clear and light, "I'm great".

The End

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