DISCLAIMER: These characters and situations do not belong to me in any way shape or form. I have borrowed them as part of my sanity maintenance.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: 1: Written for December 9th of the FemSlash Advent Calendar: Dead of Winter 2006. 2: Once again I have used this wonderful Calendar to inspire my writing of this rare but gorgeous pairing in BOP comic-verse land. It's not a sequel as such to either my Dead of Winter 2005 or Dog Days of Summer 2006 entry but, if you wanted to read either one first, it could be *g*
SPOILERS: BOP comics, especially #'s 98 and 99 (Oh, I've shamelessly borrowed a few words from each of these to guide my story)
THANKS: Go to my beta readers and to all the authors that have helped fuel this passion of mine through 2006.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Words Not Needed
'You haven't had a date since that thing with Dick.
You're worse than Helena.
You guys have cobwebs in inappropriate areas.'
As Barbara's hand hovered tantalizingly, somewhere between Helena's chest and her navel, she couldn't help but chuckle out loud at the remembered comments. Dinah's words were wrong on so many levels.
Barbara and Helena had been seeing each other for over a year now. Quiet nights getting to know each other had slowly developed to stolen moments of passion. Usually, after Helena's teaching day had finished and before Huntress's crime-fighting nights started.
Like now, while Dinah took Sin to her sitters, Barbara was taking Helena to new heights.
The redhead couldn't hold in another laugh; who'd have thought that staid, old Oracle could be as daring as her previous alter ego, Batgirl.
Helena glanced down her body with a smile. "You've been doing that all too often lately. Laughing at odd moments; is my gorgeous body a thing of ridicule to you?"
Barbara smiled against the rock hard abdominals, nothing could be further from the truth; she kissed gently before answering. "I'm just wondering if the cobwebs are going to tickle," she teased.
Laughter rippled up from Helena. "No cobwebs on me, having a bat around helps somewhat on that score, don't you think."
"Uh-uh," was the only sound heard as the redhead began to finish what she'd started.
Helena lost all coherent thought as she struggled to determine whether it was Barbara, Oracle, or Batgirl driving her with such practiced ease. She didn't really care. All that mattered was this woman with infinite skills was loving her right now.
Suddenly, Barbara's voice broke through her stupor.
"Helena. Are you ok?"
The brunette smiled and looked down towards her lover. A slight raise of her eyebrow and a gentle nod from Barbara said all it had to say. Helena reached down and grabbed Barbara's offered hands, bodily pulling the spent woman upwards until they were lying chest to chest, and able to look into each other's eyes.
The two women kissed; for once, content to just be with each other.
Amazingly, Barbara's proud personality had begun to bend to allow Helena the pleasure of using her strength to help her lover. The surrender was infinitesimal, and still needed careful negotiation on Helena's part, but it was there; similarly, Helena had begun to allow her own softer side to surface in the face of Barbara's strength.
What the two women had found in each other was so very unexpected, but at the same time, increasingly becoming all they desired.
It wasn't a relationship built on intense declarations of love, and yet, Barbara allowed Helena to hold the handles of her chair.
'I could tutor her after class 'til she gets acclimated'.
'What? I can't believe you'd think this was a good idea.'
As she carefully scrolled her hand over the mouse to gain the highest resolution pictures she could find of the developing scene in front of her, Barbara couldn't help smiling softly as she remembered her own indignation at Helena's earlier comment regarding Sin.
The screen flickered clear, and she saw Dinah and Helena gazing down on Gypsy and Josh, acting out a simple mugging situation to lure the unknown Batgirl impostor into the open.
Momentarily satisfied all was going according to plan, she allowed her thoughts to linger on her what was Helena to her now - her girlfriend?
Barbara grinned at the banality of her thoughts.
Of course, she could believe Helena would think it was a good idea to school Sin. Huntress may appear to be a big, bad, ass-kicker with questionable moral beliefs, but Helena was nothing but soft with her children.
Out of the corner of her eye she noted the arrival of 'Batgirl' and called out sarcastically for the benefit of Dinah, "I told you it wasn't me."
Dinah's quick response made her chuckle before she concentrated on trying to identify the mysterious impostor.
Barbara could hear clearly all the words thrown around at a scene and startled at the exact time as Huntress when 'Batgirl' turned around and addressed her as 'Helena.'
Oracle was still driven crazy by the vigilante's methods, and Huntress was still driven crazy by the constant monitoring she endured from Oracle, but one thing they agreed on was Huntress's secret identity.
How did this girl know Huntress's real name?
Suddenly shots rang out, and Barbara looked up to see Batgirl diving to take a bullet meant for Huntress. Her heart skipped a beat at the thought of another young life being lost in the name of justice.
Desperate for information, Oracle's hand flew across her keyboard; a new necessity in her remote crime-fighting role was the need to know that her operatives were safe, a need to know that Helena was safe.
It wasn't a relationship built on intense declarations of love, and yet, Barbara worried about Helena.
'Oracle? Hey, boss lady. Little recon?'
'Huh? She's not answering.'
Helena carefully bathed the side of Barbara's mouth grinning at the irony of Huntress tending gently to Oracle's crime-fighting injuries. Remembering her words of earlier, her chest tightened once more at the feeling she'd had on realizing Barbara was too preoccupied to help her operatives.
Fear had gripped Helena at the thought she could do nothing to protect her what was Barbara to her now - her lover?
Huntress chuckled, and Barbara looked up sharply.
"Oh, nothing, I was just picturing you being given a beating by some whippersnapper of a girl. Maybe I need to teach you a few fighting tricks later, huh?" Huntress could tease Oracle now, but earlier it had been a different story.
Huntress and Canary had shared a look at the sounds of an Escrima stick hitting flesh and a wheelchair toppling over before getting on with their own problem, Yasemin. Neither Helena nor Barbara could help each other; as always, they just had to trust each other to do the right thing.
They had to trust each other to survive.
Suddenly, Barbara muttered a loud oath, "Gods that hurt. You sure you know what you're doing?"
The two women looked at each other intently, Helena sure that Barbara had a hidden question within her question, and Barbara sure that Helena knew her real meaning. Huntress knew that, while she'd been showering, Dinah had spoken to Barbara at length, probably mentioning the dangling of Yasemin over that parapet, but damn the woman had threatened her children.
Whatever the question, Helena's answer was the same.
A quiet chuckle rumbled up from deep within Barbara as she accepted Helena's certainty. The redhead reached up to stroke Helena's face and nodded her head.
"Good, just checking."
Surprisingly, the two women were becoming much more tolerant of each other's methods.
Some of that was due to Dinah keeping the peace; some of it was due to their slowly developing relationship.
It wasn't a relationship built on intense declarations of love, and yet, Helena worried about Barbara.
'And you have Helena now.
She'll make you proud, I know it.
Take care of her for me, would you?'
Gently caressing the thick book in her lap, Barbara read the words on the front with a smile, 'My Mother's Daughter', then lifted her head to watch as her best friend left without a backward glance.
Dinah was indeed her mother's daughter, and was leaving to try and be a little like a mother. They were Dinah's own words. Barbara didn't necessarily agree with the words or Dinah's decision, but she loved her friend enough to let go.
And she did have Helena now; that much was true.
Who'd have thought that Barbara Gordon, part of the so-called Bat family, with a leader who appeared to resent Helena's involvement in crime-fighting duties, would find both a working and a personal relationship with the woman in question that meant more to her than any other at this point in time?
One year of intense passion, both passive and aggressive, one year of building a solid foundation to a rocky start, and one year of never acknowledging just what they shared. As far as she knew, the only two people who knew that their tension filled partnership had different sorts of release valves, were herself and Helena.
The redhead watched as Dinah swung her legs over the tower's parapet to sit by the side of her lover, watched as they began to talk, and sighed as her best friend caressed Helena's hair with such tenderness.
Surprisingly, the redhead felt no jealousy at the action; Helena was hers. She didn't need any number of little words to know that; the woman proved it in so many other ways.
Grinning evilly, Barbara remembered the first night she knew Helena was hers; their first night of sex. Helena had taken her with such heat and need, holding nothing back until Barbara came as she'd never since the night of her shooting. Then, Helena had accepted Barbara's gentle caresses and feather light touches, until Barbara had felt a need to whisper her own form of endearment into Helena's ear, right now she couldn't remember whether she'd used real words or her breath, but she did remember just how hard Helena had fallen over the edge. That was the moment, right then, when Barbara realized just how much Helena cared. Helena was the only lover that had ever loved Barbara as the strong, healthy, unbroken woman she still was.
Helena was hers, and she was Helena's. Only with Helena did Barbara feel complete.
She sighed again at this turn of events; she and Helena were just beginning to forge a winning relationship in life, could they survive working closely together too?
Helena, the woman who fought with her constantly, and whose words could cut as deep as any; the hot Italian blooded woman whose aggressive passion was just what Barbara needed; it appeared, was now the woman to be her primary operative.
How would they manage without Dinah?
Until now, Dinah had always been their port in a storm, whenever Oracle or Huntress had a disagreement, Black Canary was always there to calm the waters and steady the rocking boat.
Barbara watched her lover pacing the parapet deep in thought and knew this was their test; survive this and they would make it through.
It wasn't a relationship built on intense declarations of love, and yet, Barbara knew this was it.
'Listen, about Babs, take care of her for me, would you?'
Helena wandered aimlessly, deep in thought. She looked over the side of the tower, expecting to see her friend diving into the traffic, but of course, she was nowhere to be seen. Dinah had made the decision to go, and was strong enough to make that decision stand.
Surprisingly, she missed Dinah already. And yet, she still had Barbara.
Who'd have thought that Helena Bertinelli, the woman who had lost her family years before, and who had wandered aimlessly through life searching for something to make her real, would find, not only a great friend, but a wonderful lover too, and all through leading the life of a vigilante?
One year of team building and learning to work together with both Oracle and the other Birds, one year of accepting that the passion she felt around Barbara wasn't only aggression, and one year of developing a relationship so good it was hidden from all except the two most important people, herself and Barbara.
Huntress had known earlier that day that something was brewing in Dinah's mind, and when the blonde had interrupted Helena's tending of Barbara's scrapes with a quiet request for a few words, she had made herself scarce.
The two other women had asked her to stay, but Helena had known that Dinah and Barbara needed to say their own goodbyes, and she needed to prepare herself for the hurt of once again losing a loved one.
Helena sighed; she just couldn't bear to lose another love. She and Barbara were just beginning to accept that this was a relationship worth keeping, how would they survive working so closely together?
She wasn't stupid, Dinah leaving the flock meant that Huntress would become Oracle's primary operative. Helena had finally accepted that she was Barbara's number one privately and wasn't sure she wanted to risk that by being her number one agent of crime-fighting too.
She looked over at the redhead, as always, sitting with her fingers hovering over the keyboard, and smiled inwardly as she remembered the first time those same fingers had proven that she was indeed Barbara's number one, their first night of sex. Helena had taken Barbara hard and fast; somehow knowing that Barbara needed to feel whole again. Then Barbara had used her fingers to sweep lightly, over and over Helena's body, so feather soft it was hard to know whether Barbara was indeed touching her, until finally the redhead had whispered words of god knew what language in Helena's ear, but words of such caring, Helena had flown over the edge harder than she'd ever fallen before. It was then, and only then, that she knew Barbara was in as deep as she was.
She was Barbara's and Barbara was hers.
Helena looked at the space between her and Barbara, it was empty; there was no Dinah to share the nights after sweeps, no Dinah to share the decision making on action plans, no Dinah to act as the buffer between the two of them. This was it.
How would they survive without Dinah?
Helena had long accepted that she and Barbara would always disagree, but, until now, Dinah had always been their point of refuge from each other. Five minutes kicking ass with Dinah, or more than likely chewing the cud, had always been enough.
Helena started to walk towards Barbara; this was their test. Survive this change in their working relationship and Helena was sure their personal relationship would just grow and solidify.
It wasn't a relationship built on intense declarations of love, and yet, Helena knew this was it.
'We made something great here, Helena, we're all going to be fine.'
'I know. I do believe that.'
Even without feeling a slight breeze as Helena opened the French windows to come in from the parapet, Barbara would have known her lover was approaching; she could feel the electrical charge that always appeared to tingle up her torso when Helena was nearby.
"Yeah. Are you ok?"
Both women shared a smile as they remembered those same words echoed from their earlier moments of enjoyment. Helena knelt to one side of Barbara's chair and rested her hand atop one of Barbara's.
"Can we talk?"
Barbara turned immediately, and then, thinking better of it, turned back to her consoles and flicked them to stand-by; they didn't need any interruptions to this conversation. She chuckled at Helena's upraised eyebrow.
"What? You're - we're - more important than that thing."
Helena was surprised at Barbara's words and yet she wasn't. Oracle, the great scrutinizer of information was bound to have spent as long as she thinking over the consequences of Dinah's action. Of course, Barbara would know that Helena needed to talk about this.
Transferring herself onto the couch, Barbara beckoned Helena to the seat beside her. Once Helena was sitting, and once she could see that Helena was close enough to be touching her thighs, she started to speak. As if reading Helena's mind of seconds before, her words soothed Helena.
"Hel, I know you're worried about how we'll mange without Dinah as our buffer; Hell, I'm worried too." She chuckled at her unintentional use of Helena's shortened name in the same sentence as her use of the underworld. Seeing Helena's look of befuddlement, she chuckled even harder.
"Look at us; we're happy. Dinah leaving is not going to change that." The redhead looked down at her knees, seeing that Helena was squeezing gently on her upper thigh, as if in need of the contact. "You are happy, aren't you?"
Helena looked up sharply. "Of course I am, don't you know that?" She smiled at Barbara's nod of understanding, then continued, "I haven't been as comfortable in a relationship in years maybe ever and I don't know what I'd do if we lost this. Barbara, you know that we argue like cat and dog; how are we going to manage without having Dinah to sound off against?"
"We'll find someone else. I trust you Helena; more now than ever before, and I know, you and me, we can do this " she indicated the space between them, " and I know we can do this as well." She raised her arm and pointed over towards the banks of computers.
Helena kissed Barbara. If Barbara believed in her, then it was true. Oracle knew everything. She knew that no more words were needed and yet, there were words that needed to be said.
"Babs, I need to say something to you; I need you to know this before our next fight. I need you to know, I lo "
Barbara leaned over and put her lips against Helena's, stopping the words with a gentle kiss.
"Shh, Hel, I know it. I feel it every time you love me; I feel it every time you argue with me. I feel it."
The redhead covered Helena's lips and deepened the kiss, allowing her tongue to say her words for her. Pulling away, she stared intently at her lover and whispered firmly, "Sometimes words just get in the way. Feel it."
Helena grinned and brought her hand to Barbara's cheek, rubbing her thumb gently to and fro before answering just as assuredly, "I do, Barbara, I do."
It wasn't a relationship built on intense declarations of love, and yet, each woman knew they were loved.
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