Primal Instinct II: 0.4 Seconds

A Birds of Prey (B/H) story
 by Enginerd

Synopsis:  After the frightening separation then remerging of Helena’s Meta and Human halves, Barbara’s happiness is marred by a nagging worry; the remerging had been cut short by 0.4 seconds.

Author’s Note:  This story takes place immediately after Primal Instinct, but can be read as a standalone.  However, to better understand (attempted) character development, it is recommended you try out the first story…well, first.  Happy reading! This story

Enginerd, February 2014

(Also posted to and

Chapter 1 - The Morning After


Barbara snuggled against the warm body in her bed as she took a deep, contented breath.  She had been awake for a few minutes but didn’t want to move.  It was the first morning she had woken up with Helena in her bed.  Well, technically, she had woken up with Helena in her bed a few times before; but it was because she had been recovering from a nightmare or a bad injury.  

The only thing Helena was recovering from now was a long night of passion, Barbara thought with amazement.  She had worried that she would not be able to satisfy her partner.  She had worried that when it came to sex, her best days were behind her – like Batgirl.  She had worried Helena would feel awkward about her paralysis and treat her like fine china as other lovers had.   

She didn’t have to worry.

Boy, she really didn’t have to worry, Barbara considered as a sly, satisfied smile emerged.  Slowly, she opened her eyes and found a pair of loving blue eyes looking at her.

Helena smiled and tenderly caressed Barbara’s cheek.  “Good morning,” she said softly.  

Barbara smiled.  “A very good morning,” she confirmed and propped herself up on an elbow, looking at Helena’s amazingly kissable lips.  Unable to resist, Barbara leaned in and took possession of them.  

Helena didn’t mind Barbara’s tendency for dominance.  In fact, she was thrilled that the woman knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to go after it.  As Barbara kissed her way down her chest, she couldn’t help but purr.  She could feel Barbara’s smile against her skin just before a moist mouth captured her nipple.

“God,” Helena hissed, breathing raggedly as an unrelenting tongue skillfully teased her sensitive flesh, re-igniting her arousal.  As Barbara’s hand slowly made its way down, caressing smooth skin, Helena was torn between enjoying the slow, sweet torture and wanting to be fucked now!  Her impatience winning, she opened her mouth to beg for NOW when suddenly, fingers filled her, provoking a strangled “yes!”  

There was no hesitation or timid motions – she was being fucked well and good.  Thank you GOD!

Barbara was amazed by the young woman’s responsiveness to her touch.  She had wondered if it had been a fluke last night, perhaps enhanced by a “first-time” haze.  But Helena was so wet and ready for her this morning.  The effect she had on the younger woman was a heady aphrodisiac.

Equally amazing to Barbara was her own responsiveness to Helena.  Every sound, every touch excited Barbara in a way she had never thought possible – even before the shooting.  Each trembling muscle, each strained cry of pleasure coaxed from her lover enflamed her own arousal, causing Barbara’s body to respond – even parts she thought would never respond again.

As she brought Helena closer to climax, her own body throbbed with anticipation.

“Barbara!”  Helena cried out as her body convulsed in delicious release.  

Barbara held on as she felt her own climax overtake her.  That had never happened with any other partner.  Ever.  Barbara’s stray thought of whether she should go to church to give thanks was interrupted when Helena’s arms encircled her and pulled her firmly against her.  “What a way to start the morning, Red,” Helena said approvingly with a warm chuckle.

“Indeed, Hel,” Barbara smiled, her fingers lazily tracing over the younger woman’s arm.

“How about I return the favor,” Helena said with a smirk.

“Uh, you already did,” Barbara said with some embarrassment, biting her lip.  She never was comfortable discussing orgasms with her sex partners.  And since the shooting, she never had anything to discuss – other than trying to appease her partner’s ego when they failed to bring her to climax.  She had even debated faking it to avoid the inevitable awkward discussions, but ultimately couldn’t bring herself to do that on principle.  She had come to accept that any intimacy she had with a lover would forever be physically limited.  But she had been wrong…blessedly wrong when she and Helena touched, she considered with amazement, her body still thrumming happily.

Helena blinked then smiled broadly.  “Damn I’m good!”      

“Well, I can’t argue with that,” Barbara said, chuckling.  

“But Barbara,” Helena said, looking deep into her eyes with such a seriousness, Barbara started to grow worried.  “I don’t want to be accused of being lazy,” Helena continued, slowly positioning herself above her lover, who started to feel like, well, prey. 

“No?” Barbara asked innocently, her body tingling with anticipation.

“No.  You can call me old-fashioned if you want,” Helena said seriously.

“I don’t think that is likely to happen, sweetie,” Barbara said with amusement, reaching up to brush a lock of hair off of Helena’s brow.

“But I do enjoy working for what I get,” she said, her eyes beginning to return to those cat-like slits as they focused on her object of desire.     

Barbara smiled happily; certain she would never tire of seeing Helena’s eyes change.  “Very commendable of . . . oooh,” Barbara said, relishing the feeling of Helena’s erect nipples as she lowered her body onto her.

Helena’s joy was apparent on her face.  Barbara raised her hand to Helena’s cheek and reverently caressed it. 

“I love you, Helena.”  The truth the normally perceptive woman had finally recognized only a day before, rolled off Barbara’s lips like the most natural and easy declaration in the world.

The powerful combination of the tremendous words and their intimate position washed over Helena, who blinked back tears that seemed to spring up out of nowhere.  

“You are everything to me, Barbara.  Everything,” Helena responded earnestly, looking into emerald eyes that were blinking back their own tears.   

“Well?” Barbara said after clearing her throat, continuing to caress her cheek.  There had been too many tears in their lives up until now, she considered, believing now was the time for joy and laughter.  “Are you going to demonstrate this amazing work ethic of yours or watch me spontaneously combust?” Barbara asked with challenge.

“Wow.  You could combust??”  Helena asked with great interest.

“Helen . . . ahhhh.”


“Are you sure you don’t want a pop tart or two?”  Helena asked as she placed hers in the toaster.

“I’m sure,” Barbara said, turning a page of her newspaper and sipping her coffee at the kitchen table.  


“No, thank you,” Barbara said, focused on the newspaper article on the furniture tycoon Harold Daley.

“Alfred bought some toasted oaty things, I could pour a bowl for you,” Helena said, causing Barbara to finally look up from the paper.

“Helena?  Is there a reason you feel compelled to feed me?”  Barbara asked with mild amusement for her persistence.

Helena sat down across from the redhead, looking at her very seriously.  “Yes.”

After a moment of silence, Barbara sighed.  “And that reason is?” Barbara asked, pulling her glasses off to look at her vague companion.

“It’s a fundamental of nature, Barbara.  You’ve got to eat,” Helena said earnestly.

“Of course, but . . ..”  Barbara sighed.

The toaster dinged.  “Hold that thought!”

Helena jumped up and retrieved her pop tarts.  Just as quickly, she returned to the table and her earnest look.  “Barbara, you need to eat.  Keep your strength up . . . and all,” she said, putting a pop tart on a plate and pushing it towards Barbara.

“Ah, so the real reason comes out.”

“You sure you don’t want some pop tarts?”  She said with a pout, eyeing the plate, then Barbara.

Withholding a grin, Barbara sighed and responded, “You know I don’t really care for pop tarts, Helena.”

A wounded look crossed the young woman’s face.  “I toasted them,” she said indignantly, as if that made them inordinately tastier.  

“And,” Barbara said, reaching out to trace her fingers over Helena’s brow and down her face.  “I think you better worry about keeping your strength up, Sweetie,” Barbara said with a smirk, grabbing Helena’s top and pulling her in for a heated kiss.  

Helena rose out of her chair, not breaking the kiss and abruptly pushed the newspaper and plate out of the way; the plate and the pop tarts on it sailed off the table and crashed to the ground.  In surprise, Barbara pulled back from the kiss.  She opened her mouth to ask what Helena thought she was doing but released a startled gasp, feeling the younger woman lift her easily out of the chair.

“Hel!” Barbara said with shock, finding herself on the kitchen table, looking into cat eyes that prompted a surprisingly strong surge of arousal.  Inundated with wet kisses on her neck that further fueled her excitement, she realized Helena’s hands were in the process of unbuttoning her jeans. 

“Hel, we’re in the kitchen!” Barbara hissed with panic, as an arousing thrill of danger passed through her.  “What if Dinah came in??  Or Alfred?!?”

“They’re not here now,” Helena said dismissively.

With a single focus, Helena continued to tease the older woman with nibbles and licks at her sensitive neck.  “Besides, it’s an ideal location - food is close by to keep my strength up,” Helena said, her hands now working to undo the buttons on Barbara’s blouse.  

Before the redhead knew it, her blouse was wide open, draped off her shoulders and her bra was torn open, exposing her full breasts to Helena’s appreciative gaze.  “Oh GOD,” Barbara moaned as Helena’s warm hand cupped her breast and squeezed the erect nipple.  Before she could protest, which she knew she was obligated to do, Helena’s mouth possessed a nipple and her fingers intimately caressed her sex.  Not having much time to savor Helena’s tactile skill, Barbara shuddered as an orgasm washed over her.  Her hands reached out roughly, one grabbed Helena’s shoulder, the other - an arm, where her nails dug painfully deep into muscle.  A sound, a mix of a growl and moan, erupted.  When her aftershocks stopped, she noticed Helena was shaking.

“Sweetie?” Barbara breathed, her curiosity piqued.  “Did you just . . .?”

“Oh yeah,” Helena breathed into Barbara’s neck, calming down from the intense high.

Barbara chuckled, stroking the back of Helena’s neck.  “Damn I’m good,” she said, repeating Helena’s earlier, very accurate, declaration.

Helena pulled back, her eyes now a beautiful blue, and gazed lovingly at Barbara.  “I can’t argue with that.”  Glancing down as Barbara slipped out of the torn bra, she winced.  “Sorry about the collateral damage.”

Barbara glanced down at her bra, then the floor where the broken plate and pop tart rested.  She eyed her wryly.  “You’d better clean that up before Alfred comes along,” she warned, prompting Helena to quickly clean up.  “I need another . . . ,” Barbara said, not finishing her sentence as she awkwardly motioned to the torn remnants of her bra.

“Geeze Barbara, we just had sex on the kitchen table and you can’t say bra??”  Helena teased as she picked up the plate pieces and threw them in the trash.  

“I can say bra,” Barbara said defensively as she rebuttoned her blouse as good manners dictated.  Helena didn’t understand the need, besides a couple buttons were missing.  “Bra.  Bra, bra, bra!”

Helena looked at her with amusement.  “My, what a potty mouth you have, Miss Gordon!”  

Barbara rolled her eyes as she rolled to her bedroom.

“Well, I think I’ve finally found something I’d like to spend the Wayne fortune on,” Helena said conversationally, trailing behind Barbara to the bedroom.

“Oh?” Barbara asked curiously as she opened her dresser drawer and pulled out another bra.  

“I can get you a lot of really great lingerie,” she said, then smiled with approval at the front clasp style Barbara chose.  

The older woman’s eyes narrowed.  “Don’t get any ideas.  I’ve got to get some work done today,” she warned, getting a smirk from Helena, who sat on the edge of her bed.

“You know, you used to encourage my independent thinking while I was growing up,” Helena offered innocently. 

“Well that’s because I underestimated how dangerous that was.  I know better now,” Barbara said as she started to unbutton her shirt.  She stopped, realizing how intently Helena was watching her.  “Promise me, you’ll stay right there,” Barbara said, her eyes narrowing at Helena, whose eyes sparkled with mischief.  “Promise,” she repeated with warning.  

“Ok!”  Helena capitulated, sighing heavily.

Barbara eyed her a moment, then resumed her unbuttoning.  Before she exposed herself, she stopped.  “Turn around.”

“What??”  Helena said with an incredulous laugh.

“Turn around,” Barbara said firmly.

“We’ve just had sex on the . . . .”

“Kitchen table, yes, I know.  Now turn around or leave,” Barbara said firmly.  

“You don’t trust me?”  Helena said in a weak voice, causing Barbara to look up and see her lover’s shoulders sag.

“Helena,” Barbara said explained gently, “I don’t trust myself.  I really would like to fit work in sometime today and I find you are a distraction - a wonderful distraction - but a distraction, none-the-less.”  

Helena nodded with a sigh and turned as requested.  After a moment, she peeked over her shoulder at Barbara to find her dressed again.  She hopped off the bed.

“I guess the honeymoon is over already, huh?” Helena said with a sigh, dejectedly glancing at Barbara then her feet.

“Helena,” Barbara said with concern, getting Helena to look up hopefully.  A little too hopefully, she noted.  “That’s not going to work,” she warned.

Helena looked at her with feigned surprise, then smirked.  “Damn.”

“You are incorrigible.”  Barbara rolled past her and headed towards Delphi with a small smile on her lips.  Helena was certainly good for her ego, she considered.

“Yeah,” Helena agreed with a chuckle.  “I was thinking . . ..” Helena offered as she walked up behind Barbara, who groaned.

“Helena, please tell me you have something other than sex on your mind,” she said, rolling up to the keyboard.

“Of course,” Helena said, looking at her with a wounded expression. 

“Hel, I’m so….”

“Lingerie.  Sex.  Food.  Sex.  Clothing.  Sex,” she said, crossing her arms as if she proved her point.  “And of course, kicking ass,” Helena said as an afterthought.

“Of course…” Barbara said flatly and typed on the keyboard.

Delphi alarmed. 

“Thank god,” Barbara muttered, making Helena chuckle.

“I was in the mood to kick some ass now anyway.”

Barbara shook her head and reviewed the information on the screen.  “I’m afraid you may not get to do that.  There was an explosion in the warehouse district.  Daley Imports.”

“What does Daley Imports import?”

“Furniture,” Barbara answered, recalling the newspaper article she almost finished this morning.

“Must be pretty ugly furniture if someone wants to blow it up,” Helena noted.

“Could you go check it out?”  Barbara looked up.

“On my way,” Helena said, taking a step towards the balcony.

“Helena,” Barbara called out firmly, causing the younger woman to stop and turn back towards her.

“Yeeees?” Helena asked playfully.

“Uh . . . be careful?” Barbara said uncomfortably, feeling a little foolish.  The big smile she received relieved her; Helena didn't mind her sudden and bout of over-protectiveness.

“I will,” Helena said with a wink and was gone in a blur.


Helena looked down from a building top, adjacent to the burned warehouse.  She normally preferred evening sweeps because she had the advantage of seeing in the dark and didn’t have to worry as much about being seen.  But now she was thinking that spending her nights indoors, with Barbara, would be far more fun.

“Oracle, the fire department has just left the scene.  I’m going to see if there is anything interesting left inside.”

“Understood,” Oracle said.

Helena jumped across the rooftops and landed on the edge of the burned building.  Peering down inside, she cringed and coughed at the acrid odor.  “Man it stinks!”  

“What does it smell like?” Oracle asked, knowing Helena’s olfactory sense was far more sensitive than a human’s.  

“A burned building??”  Helena said with a wince, looking at the mess.

“Can you smell any unusual chemicals?  Accelerants or . . . anything else?”

“Let me guess - you are thinking they are importing something more than just ugly furniture,” Helena said, her interest piqued.  Perhaps there would be some ass kicking after all.

“I don’t know, just a hunch.  There is an increase in drug trafficking and the police don’t know how they are getting into the city.”

“I’m gonna get closer to see if I smell something funky,” she said, glancing down the hole in the roof to the beam sticking out on the other side of the room, about half-way down.  Perfect, she thought and jumped down to the beam 20 feet below.  

“Whoa . . . ooff cra…” she said, as she hit the wall just above the beam and fell backwards towards the floor, her arms flailing. 

“Huntress??” Oracle called with concern, hearing a crash and a groan.

Huntress blinked, laying flat on her back, staring up at the hole.  That hurt.


She slowly stood on wobbly feet.  “I found . . . a quick way down,” Helena wheezed between coughs, her hands resting on her knees as she hunched over, trying to get her breath back.  She peered up with a frown at the beam that seemed to be mocking her.

“What happened??”

“I fell.  But I’m OK now.  I’ll get some samples and be back home before you know it” Huntress said, still coughing.  “I think I smell some accelerant.”  


“Training room.  Now!”  Barbara ordered when Helena entered from the balcony, surprising the younger crime fighter.  

“Yes, ma’am,” Helena said with curious amusement as she followed behind Barbara, who rolled into the training room with great purpose.  When Barbara got like that, Helena knew just to go along with it.  “I have the samples,” Helena offered, pulling the package of small vials from her dusty duster with a small cough.  Even duller human senses could tell she had been in a smoke-damaged building.

“Sit,” Barbara said, ignoring the vials offered to her.

“I don’t respond well to dog commands, Barbara,” Helena said tersely, placing the pack of vials on the first aid cart by the training table.

Barbara exhaled with irritation and tried again.  “Would you please sit so I can have a look at you?”

“Sure, you can always have a look at me, Red,” Helena said, wiggling her eyebrows as she pealed off her duster.

“You fell,” Barbara stated with unflappable focus as Helena hopped up on the table.

“Yeah.  Tore the blouse but . . . eh.  I really didn’t like it that much anyway,” she said dismissively, pulling at the garment in the torn area by her stomach absently.  “At least my duster is no worse for the wear.  Well, except for the smell,” she said, sniffing it with a frown.

“Helena, why did you fall?”  Barbara asked tensely.

Helena looked at her and shrugged.  “I jumped and misjudged the distance, pretty stupid I know,” she said with mild embarrassment.

“You don’t misjudge distances, Helena,” Barbara responded firmly.

“Why are you making a federal case out of it?  I jumped, went boom, and got up,” Helena said with a shrug.

“Are you feeling all right?  Any dizziness?”  Barbara said, shining a pen flashlight into Helena’s eyes.

She blinked and pushed the hand away.  “No,” she said with annoyance.  

“Did you feel dizzy before you jumped?” Barbara persisted.

“No, I didn’t.  Why are you so worked up over this, Barbara?”  Helena asked, causing Barbara to look at her with worry.  

“0.4 seconds, Hel,” Barbara said quietly, succinctly crystallizing the reason for her fear.  When Helena’s human side recombined with her meta side, the process was cut short by 0.4 seconds when the Metaphasic Z-particle Translocator, or “Meta-zapper thingy” as Helena called it, blew up. 

“I feel great, Barbara,” Helena countered with irritation, not willing to believe that after she finally got that brass ring, it was going to be stolen from her by a lousy 0.4 seconds.

The assertion did not remove the worried look on the redhead’s face.  

“Do you want a blood sample?”  Helena asked, but already knew the answer.  

“I . . . yes,” Barbara said uneasily.   


After several tests and retests, Barbara exhaled with some relief.  “The nucleotide bonds are stable,” Barbara finally announced.  She once again seriously thought about going to church to give thanks.  She didn’t know what she would do if Helena was unstable again, wishing she knew what that missing 0.4 seconds meant to Helena.

“And I feel good.  Really good,” Helena offered, pulling up a chair and straddling it.  She looked at Barbara with concern.

“You think I’m overreacting,” Barbara said with worry.

“I know the merging was cut short - but we can’t let those 0.4 seconds stop us from enjoying what we have right now.  I feel great and intend to live a long life with you, Barbara Gordon.  There are so many places we haven’t had sex yet.  We’re going to need a LOT of time,” Helena admitted with a twinkle in her eyes.  

Barbara couldn’t help but chuckle, oddly touched by Helena’s comment.

“Like . . . on Delphi here,” Helena continued conversationally as she stood and went towards the desk area next to the keyboard, pushing down to test the weight.

“Helena,” Barbara warned sternly.

“All right, all right.  We can have dinner first.  I’ll take you on a real, no kidding date tonight.  Then we can have sex here,” Helena said with enthusiasm, pointing to the spot.

“I hate to burst your bubble, sweetie, but we’re having dinner with Dad tonight,” Barbara said.

“When did that happen?” Helena asked with surprise.

“After you left for the warehouse, Dad called.  Uh, you don’t mind do you?” Barbara asked with sudden concern, eyeing Helena with a wince.  Being a couple was still new to her; well, begin with someone she actually worried about upsetting with her occasional tendency for unilateral decisions, was new to her.

“Nah.  I like your old man,” Helena said with a smile.  “And he does have a pretty nice, quiet library, doesn’t he?”  She asked waggling her eyebrows.

“Helena!  His house is off limits,” she warned.

“Party pooper.”

Chapter 2 - Dinner with Dad


“I can’t believe we are late,” Barbara said tersely as she pulled the Humvee into her father’s driveway.

Helena wisely kept quiet but nodded.  She didn’t think Jim was too concerned from the phone call she made to inform him they were running a bit behind.  In fact, he always seemed like an easy going fellow; contrary to his stressed daughter, who drove like a banshee down Gotham Parkway.  Of course, Helena knew better than to criticize her lover’s driving at the moment…or ever.

As they approached the front door, Barbara blurted “we are forty-five minutes late,” as if Helena needed to be reminded of their tardiness one more time.  

Once again exercising great wisdom, or just innate survival skills, Helena nodded and remained silent, suspecting any attempt to defend her innocence would not be well received.  But really, could she be blamed for wandering into Barbara’s shower and offering to help wash all her nooks and crannies??  Barbara could have said no….

Before Helena could ring the doorbell, the front door opened and a gray-haired man stepped out to greet them.  “Barbara!” Jim Gordon said with a smile and leaned down to kiss his daughter’s cheek.  

“Dad . . . sorry we’re late,” Barbara said uncomfortably, casting a sharp glance at Helena, who winced.

“No worries, Honey.  Helena, good to see you again,” he said with a genuine warmth that made Helena smile.  “Come inside and make yourselves at home.  Helena, you know where the bar is.  Help yourself to anything you want,” he said graciously, stepping back as Helena smirked with amusement and glanced at Barbara with mischief in her eyes, clearly communicating her want.

The narrow green eyes of warning wiped the smirk off Helena’s face.  Oh joy, Helena thought with a heavy sigh, suspecting it was going to be a long night.

“B…Barbara?”  A dark-haired man greeted her with a delighted smile as she rolled into the living room.

“Daniel?”  Barbara said with surprise.  “Oh my God!  How long has it been?” She asked with a smile.  An awfully friendly smile, Helena noted as she eyed Barbara, then the guest.

“S..Senior year in college, if I r…recall correctly,” Daniel said with a grin and quickly leaned down to kiss Barbara…on the lips.  Barbara tensed and gently patted his chest to push him away with an awkward smile, not needing to see Helena’s annoyed gaze.

“Anyone want a drink?” Helena suddenly blurted with a smile that didn’t reach her eyes.

“I wouldn’t . . . mind one,” Daniel said with a smile. 

“Sure thing, Danny boy,” Helena said, swiftly going to the bar, taking some small, entirely inappropriate pleasure in the man’s slight speech impediment.

“Uh, Helena Kyle, this is Dr. Curtis Daniel Connors, an old college friend,” Barbara formally introduced him with a weak smile as she glanced between the two.  “Daniel, Helena,” she said.

“A doctor?” Helena said with a tight smile, acting impressed.  Of course he was.

“Not just a doctor, but a surgeon and war hero,” Jim amplified helpfully, smiling at his daughter as Daniel blushed. 

“Hero is going a bit far, J…Jim.  I was just in the reserves,” Daniel countered self-consciously.

“Nonsense, you helped our boys over in Iraq, got wounded and kept going,” Jim said with admiration.

“Wow, Daniel.  I’m glad you’re all right.  Thank you for your service,” Barbara said with a warm smile.

He shrugged, embarrassed a bit by the attention.

“So, Doc, name your poison . . . or I could pick it for you,” Helena suggested with a glint in her eye, the fake smile still plastered on her face for the man that was not just a doctor, but a surgeon and war hero.  Of course he was, she considered, her irritation amplifying ten-fold.

“Surprise me,” Daniel said with a grin, placing a hand on Barbara’s shoulder.  “Do you want s…something, Babs?”

Barbara glanced at Daniel’s unwanted hand on her shoulder with a slight frown; for a man whose livelihood depended on his hands, he wasn’t very careful with them.  She eyed his hand more closely, noting he was in serious need of moisturizer.

“Yeah . . . Babs.  What would you like?” Helena said airily with a smile, considering taking Dr. Hero Lips up on his request.

An aspirin and world peace, Barbara considered.  Or at least no “accidents” in her father’s house this evening, she silently amended.  “Nothing, thank you, Hel.  You know I’m driving.” 

“Always the c…conscientious one, aren’t you Babs?” Daniel smiled as he accepted the drink from Barbara’s friend.  “Thanks,” he said and took a sip.  “This is good, what is it?”

“Suffering bastard,” Helena offered with a satisfied smile.  Barbara rolled her eyes.

“I’ve heard of them, never had one before.  It’s really good, th…thanks,” he said with a grateful smile and took another sip.

The doorbell rang.  “Ah!  There he is,” Jim said happily and winked at Helena, who eyed him curiously as he briskly went to the door.

“Mr. Gordon, I’m so sorry I’m late but …”

“Carl’s always late,” Daniel muttered with a disapproving sigh, looking at his watch.  Barbara eyed him curiously then focused on the door and the new arrival.

“Sorry, Commissioner, the time just…” Carl said apologetically.

“No need to apologize, son,” Jim quickly interjected.  “Come in, come in,” he said happily, placing a hand on the young man’s shoulder and ushered him into his home.

“Helena?” Jim said with a grin.  “I’d like you to meet someone.  Carl Tucker, this is Helena Kyle, a good friend of my daughter’s.”

A very handsome, blond-haired man approached her with clear interest.  His face had a boyish quality but this was no boy.

“I’m very pleased to meet you, Helena,” he smoothly said with an agreeable tenor, reaching out and taking Helena’s hand.  “Jim has told me all about you,” he said with a disarming grin.

“Oh?  That isn’t necessarily a good thing,” Helena warned with an amused smile.
“Trust me, it was all good,” he said with a chuckle.

“So Babs,’ve you been?”  Daniel said uncomfortably, noting how Barbara’s attention was now fixed on the blond Adonis as he pulled Helena’s hand to his lips and kissed it gallantly.

He didn’t even know her and was kissing her hand!  Barbara’s eyes narrowed. 

The night was turning out to be more and more interesting, Helena considered, feeling Barbara’s eyes on her.

“Barbara?” Daniel asked again with a slight frown.

“Uh…I’ve been . . . good,” Barbara said absently, finding the Adonis’ enthusiastic smile and Helena’s smirk very . . . annoying.

“Still teaching?” Daniel asked with a shy smile for his former college girlfriend.


“S...Still teaching?” he asked again, mildly annoyed that his handsome friend was once again stealing a beautiful woman’s attention away.

“I am,” she said firmly, forcing herself pay attention to her old friend.  But it was rather hard as Helena laughed at something Carl had said.

The maid came out and nodded to Jim.  “Dinner is ready, everyone,” Jim said happily.


The Gordon home was built from many years of hard work and with much love.  It exuded warmth, Helena had always thought.  Though at the moment, she felt a distinct chill in the air as she glanced over to Barbara, who would occasionally glance over the dining room table at her way with displeasure.  Helena frowned.  She wasn’t the one who let an old boyfriend kiss her on the lips in front of her new lover!  And she certainly wasn’t the one to invite the Brad Pitt wannabe….

“So, Jim tells me you are a bartender,” Carl said with a charming smile and sipped his wine.

“I am,” Helena said with a slight smile. 

“I’d go out clubbing a lot more if I knew there was someone as beautiful as you tending bar,” he said smoothly.

Barbara rolled her eyes as she took a sip of her tea.  

“Where do you work?” Carl asked.

“The Dark Horse,” Helena said and added with a smirk “. . . and wherever I’m needed.” Helena sipped her wine as Barbara sighed and tried to pay attention to Daniel, who was droning on about….  What was he droning on about?

Confusion briefly flickered across Carl’s face before he let the odd response pass and smiled.  “I’ll have to stop by sometime,” he said.

“It’s a public establishment,” Helena offered with a grin.  “So, you said you are a lawyer?  Must be fascinating work,” she said with an easy smile.

“Well, it’s a living and it pays well.  It allows me the means to give back to the community.  I work with troubled kids at the Tucker House.  That’s where Jim and I initially met.  Daniel also volunteers,” he said with a warm smile, glancing over to his friend, who smiled weakly, noting with disappointment how his former girlfriend kept looking at the striking blonde and his equally striking companion.

“You’re the Tucker of Tucker House??” Helena asked with genuine interest. 
The information also begrudgingly impressed Barbara, who glanced over at the two again and then curiously to her father, who winked at her and returned to listening to Carl and Helena. 

Jim seemed pleased, Barbara noted.

“Actually, that’s my grandfather,” Tucker said with a grin.

A bit too pleased, Barbara considered as her eyes narrowed suspiciously at her father, who had set them up – right after she told him it was over with Wade.  She hated being ambushed.  She hated the way Carl was practically drooling over Helena.  Although, she really couldn’t blame him; Helena did look really hot in that blue silk blouse and those tight leather pants.  Taking a sip of tea, Barbara absently calculated the trajectory and force needed to render the blond guest unconscious with her batarang.

Helena glanced over the handsome blonde, then to the amazing redhead, who was her life . . . and after tonight, possibly her death if the annoyance in those green eyes were any indication.  Didn’t Barbara know there is no competition?  Helena met those green eyes head on and made a barely perceptible face of irritation and questioning shrug at Barbara’s irritation.  The message of “what do you want me to do?” was received; irritation faded as Barbara’s gaze dropped with mild embarrassment for her insecurities.

“So are you…s…seeing anyone?” Daniel ventured awkwardly.  Barbara almost choked on her tea.  Helena’s gaze shifted to Daniel and narrowed as she wondered how high he’d bounce after she tossed him off the roof.

“Yes,” Barbara said and cleared her throat, getting a confused look from Jim and a look of disappointment from her old college friend.  Helena exhaled with relief but remained silent, knowing Barbara hadn’t told her father about them yet.  

“Honey, I thought it was finally over with you and Wade,” Jim said with confusion recalling her surprising, but not unwelcome phone call.  

Feeling all eyes on her, Barbara nodded and said uncomfortably “It is over with Wade.”

“I don’t understand.  Who are you seeing now?”  He asked, dumbfounded she would have found someone else so quickly.

“You know, Mr. Gordon, I don’t think Barbara was expecting an audience when she told you,” Helena quickly offered, seeing how uncomfortable her lover was.  Barbara looked at her gratefully, knowing Helena would always come to her rescue.

Jim Gordon blanched, looking even more uncomfortable than Barbara, or Daniel.  “I’m so sorry sweetheart, I didn’t mean, I mean, I never meant to embarrass you,” he sputtered, clearly distressed.  His daughter was always tight-lipped about her emotions.  He was relieved when she actually informed him she just broke up with Wade.  He always knew that man wasn’t a good match for his daughter; Wade never did bring that special sparkle to her eyes.  But Jim still worried his perfectionist daughter would be upset about a failed relationship, regardless how wrong it was.  He thought Daniel would be good distraction and good for her ego.  Apparently, her ego had bounced back quite nicely … and quickly, he frowned in confusion.

“It’s OK, Dad.  You couldn’t have known.  I’m just sorry Daniel and Carl came out here for nothing,” Barbara said sincerely, glancing over the two guests apologetically.

Jim’s brow rose curiously.

“I wouldn’t say for nothing, Barbara.  It’s always g…good to catch up with old friends and spending an evening in the c…company of beautiful women can hardly be a waste of time,” Daniel said, not so subtly glancing over at Helena with new interest.

Helena smirked at Barbara, who rolled her eyes, reminded of why their college fling never grew serious.  

Jim Gordon looked at his daughter then Helena curiously.  The former police commissioner seemed to be the only one to notice Barbara had said Carl was wasting his time too.  

“So Helena, are you also seeing someone?”  Jim ventured, unable to help himself.

“Dad,” Barbara interjected uncomfortably, realizing her slip, which was compounded by her faint blush as Jim glanced between the two women and comprehension filled his face.

“I am, Mr. Gordon, and it’s serious.  Sorry, Carl, but I’m not looking,” Helena said with an apologetic smile.

“Damn,” Carl said good-naturedly.  Daniel sighed.


In the family room after dinner, Carl, Helena, and Daniel were engrossed in a discussion as Helena and Daniel were playing billiards.  Barbara sat listening half-heartedly, feeling the gaze of her father on her.

“Barbara, would you mind joining me in the study for a moment?” Jim asked, getting a startled look from the redhead.

Helena looked up from her shot and eyed Barbara curiously, silently offering help.  Barbara smiled warmly, appreciating her support, but shook her head no.

“Sure, Dad,” she said.


Jim Gordon watched his daughter roll into the study and was surprised to see how nervous she was.

“Barbara, you are acting like you are guilty of something.  Are you ashamed you are seeing Helena?”  He bluntly asked.  

“Ashamed?!?” She sputtered incredulously, her nerves suddenly gone.  “I’m in love with her, Dad.”

“In love,” he said skeptically.

“Yes,” she said with a smile of amazement, then eyed him as she elaborated.  “A love that I never expected to experience - even before the shooting.  But somehow it happened, and it is so intense it . . . scares the hell out of me,” she offered honestly, surprising herself.  “But I’m not going to let my fear or anyone, even you, get in the way of what I have with Helena,” she announced to her father, who stood there silently looking at her, his face unreadable.  

Barbara wished he would say something but he just stared at her in challenge.  The stare contest was interrupted when Helena looked in on them.

“You OK in there, Red?” Helena called softly from the doorway.  Jim lifted his eyebrow, glancing at Helena then his daughter.

Barbara took a deep breath, comforted by Helena’s presence.  “I’m all right, Helena,” she said, looking at her with a small smile.  

Glancing between the stern-faced father and weakly smiling daughter, Helena wasn’t so sure.

“So if I disapproved, you would still see Helena and ignore my wishes?” Jim asked pointedly.

Helena felt like she had just been kicked in the gut, not having anticipated such a blunt question for Barbara.  She had a horrible relationship with her own father and wouldn’t give a rat’s ass for what Bruce Wayne thought.  But Barbara had a great respect and love for Jim.  Her intimate relationship with Barbara was so new; how could it survive Jim Gordon’s disapproval?  Helena felt sick with dread.

“Do you disapprove?” Barbara challenged, eyeing him.

Oh God.  Helena swallowed hard.

“You didn’t answer my question,” Jim said.  

Oh God, oh God.  Helena thought with panic.

“Helena is everything to me, Dad.  Your approval or disapproval wouldn’t change anything,” Barbara said boldly.

Helena let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding.  She started to wish she hadn’t had that second helping of cheesecake.

“Really?  How about other people who disapprove?  There are many out there who don’t approve of homosexuality and don’t have a problem saying so - or making things difficult for you two,” he said sternly.  “Is this,” he said, motioning to Helena, who frowned, “really worth it?”

Barbara’s tenseness suddenly evaporated and a big smile filled her face.  Helena looked between Jim and Barbara, wondering what she missed.  The man was still not smiling and apparently unhappy about this romantic development.

“Yes, Dad.  Helena’s worth it.” 

Jim looked at Helena, who looked around the room uncomfortably.  “Come here, Helena.”

Helena looked at Barbara, who was still smiling.  

“You look nervous, Helena,” Jim said, eyeing her as she stepped closer. 

Helena found Jim Gordon to be an intimidating figure, even for being just a human.  But then, Barbara was damn intimidating too.

“Uh . . . that would be because I am?” she said honestly, knowing there was no room for her cocky behavior when discussing her relationship with Barbara with her father.  She glanced at Barbara, who just looked at her with love clearly shining in those green eyes.  It was almost enough to calm her nerves.

“Why?  Because you know you are doing something wrong?” Jim said gruffly, startling her.

Helena winced at his tone.  

“Dad,” Barbara said with annoyance.

“I’m nervous because I don’t want to hurt Barbara.  And your disapproval would do that.”

“So you would walk away from her if I disapproved?” He asked, eyeing her closely.

Barbara frowned and started to object to her father’s interrogation but stopped herself, curious to hear the answer.

Helena grimaced, feeling ill.  

“I . . . If that is what Barbara wanted, I would,” Helena answered, clenching her sweating palms. “And it would kill me,” she added in a whisper.

Barbara looked at Helena, feeling horrible for letting her father grill her.  She turned to her father and took a breath to put a stop to it, but Helena continued.

“ . . . Because I love her, Mr. Gordon, with everything that I am,” she said more firmly, taking a fortifying breath.  “I know I am not the ideal partner for your daughter in your eyes, or to probably most of New Gotham . . . or anyone on Earth.  But loving Barbara is the one thing I know I’ve gotten right in my life,” Helena said with conviction.

Jim briefly glanced to his daughter, who was looking at Helena with a gaze he had never witnessed before - not for any of her past suitors, before or after the shooting.  Not even Dick Grayson, whom he really liked, had received that special gaze, reflecting joy and love that he had always prayed his daughter would experience.  And when he finally witnessed that special gaze, it was for Helena Kyle of all people. 

Though thinking about it, it was not that much of a surprise; Jim knew they had become close.  After all, they had gone through hell together, both dealing with significant personal losses.  They’ve seen each other at their bull-headed, temperamental, miserable worst - yet never gave up on each other.  That counted for a lot in his book, he considered.

“I want to make her happy,” Helena continued.  “As happy as I am being with her.  I’m just sorry you don’t see this as a good thing,” she said, glancing at Barbara, who looked at her with such love, it made her feel like she could take on the whole world…including Jim Gordon.  “Because I know we are right for each other and . . . ”

“You’re wrong, Helena,” Jim interjected firmly, crossing his arms over his chest, causing Helena to stand up a little taller; her relationship was being threatened and she was not going to stand idly by.   “I . . .” he said.

“Mr. Gordon, with all due respect . . .” Helena started to argue.

“Helena!” he interjected sternly.  “Don’t interrupt me.  Especially when I’m agreeing with you,” Jim scolded, making her forcefully exhale in confusion.  

Barbara bit her lip to not chuckle at Helena’s perplexed face.  She knew she was going to have to make this up to Helena.  Fortunately, she anticipated both of them would enjoy it.

“I happen think you are the ideal partner for my daughter,” he said gruffly, causing Helena to blink with surprise.  “I should get back to the young men and console them on their losses.  I wish I had known about you two before planning this dinner,” Jim Gordon groused, briefly eyeing Barbara before he promptly left the two women in the study.  

Barbara smiled, shaking her head.  She noticed Helena staring at the door, looking a bit shell-shocked.

“Helena?  Are you OK, sweetie?”  Barbara asked with concern, rolling up and taking her hand. 

“I don’t ever want to go through that ever again,” Helena said seriously, looking at Barbara, who had difficulty withholding an amused smile.

“You won’t have to.  We have his blessing, Hel,” Barbara offered happily, stroking the back of Helena’s hand with her thumb.

“He could have just said that,” Helena complained.

“He did,” Barbara said, smiling broadly.

“Great,” Helena said warily.  “I’m soooo looking forward to our family dinners together,” she grumbled sarcastically, causing Barbara to chuckle.

Barbara’s chuckling stopped when she saw Helena go to the sofa and look at her expectantly with desire in her eyes.  “No,” Barbara said firmly.

“But we’re alone,” Helena argued, pushing down on the cushion to test it, and nodded with satisfaction.

“Off.  Limits,” Barbara said crisply and turned around, rolling away to join the guests with a heavy sigh.

“But you said we had his blessing!” Helena called out innocently, watching Barbara roll away, shaking her head.  After a moment, she grinned and followed.  


When the elevator doors opened, Helena politely motioned for Barbara to precede her.  Without even a slight nod of acknowledgement, Barbara silently rolled out into the darkened Clock Tower.  Helena bit her lip and followed, feeling Barbara's quiet tension all the way home.  She knew it was her fault, having subtly teased Barbara with innuendo and "innocent" touches all night long - after the horrifying interrogation at her father's house.  She was probably in the doghouse for a while, she considered, but couldn't help the grin that formed as she recalled how amusing it was to watch the master of self-control squirm.  She had offered several times to take care of Barbara’s tension during the night and was met with a glare and an annoyed hiss that Jim’s house was “off limits.”

Watching Barbara silently roll up onto the dais and check on Delphi, Helena sighed.  Yep.  Definitely the doghouse, she considered, having endured her silent treatment since they left Jim's house.  She sighed and went to the kitchen to make them tea and get a pack of pop tarts for herself and some cookies for Barbara.  As she waited for the water to boil, she reviewed her actions with less and less amusement.  Barbara fell silent when she was angry with her.  She hated it when Barbara was angry with her.  Even after Barbara had made it clear she was uncomfortable, she still had to go and tease and tempt her all evening.  

Helena shut her eyes and let out an annoyed exhale. 

Barbara deserved to be with someone who wouldn't resort to childish games, she thought with a frown.  It wasn't Barbara's fault she had felt so . . . helpless and frightened.  She was actually frightened she could lose the best, most important thing in her life, she considered honestly, glancing back at Barbara, who typed in something on her keyboard and reviewed the screens.  But Barbara never gave her any reason to doubt her, especially when she saw the clear love in those green eyes - yet their intimate relationship was so new. 

If she was honest, she had to admit she enjoyed flaunting their relationship in front of their would-be dates; she was certain they had watched each touch and caress with envy, knowing Barbara was hers.  Well . . . until she screwed it up, she considered as her stomach tightened with worry.  

The piercing whistle erupting from the boiling kettle made Helena cringe and quickly turn off the heat.  She efficiently poured the water over the tea leaves and placed the teapot on a tray with two cups, two spoons, a bowl of lemon wedges, and container of honey, along with the pop tarts and cookies.  Quietly, she returned to Barbara's side and poured her a cup of tea, not even getting a nod of thanks from the redhead, who kept reviewing the screens full of information.

Helena nodded absently to herself, realizing that a cup of tea was not going to undo what she had done at her father's house.  She poured her own cup.  After a few quiet seconds and sips of her tea, she pondered ways to apologize that would remove that tense scowl off of Barbara's face.  Each idea was rejected as she concluded whatever she said would likely make her madder.  How do you apologize for being an insecure, emotional idiot?  Silence was probably the . . . .

Suddenly, Barbara rotated her chair to face Helena, whose eyes widened with surprise and hope . . . until the piercing green gaze captured her, making her uncertain.  Helena blinked and dropped her eyes guiltily.  "Look, Barbara, I'm . . .." Helena started but was interrupted when she was yanked into Barbara's lap and pulled into a rough, wet kiss.  Helena moaned when Barbara broke the kiss and possessively bit down on her neck, hard.

Between bites and licks, Barbara said "If you ever torment me like that again, I swear to GOD I won't be responsible for my actions," she growled menacingly as her hand tugged at Helena's blouse, pulling it free from her pants to allow her hands unfettered access to her smooth, bare skin. 

Helena wisely elected not to inform Barbara that her warning sounded more like a promise. 

"Sit there," Barbara husked, glancing at the open desk space next to her keyboard. 

Helena didn't have to be asked twice; she jumped up from her lap and sat down on the smooth, cool surface.  Barbara immediately positioned herself between her legs as her hands reached for Helena's zipper.  After several frantic and clumsy motions, Helena's shoes and pants were on the floor.  Barbara exhaled heavily, appreciating that Helena had gone commando as her hands slowly moved up and down the lean thighs.  

"Barbara, please," Helena hissed, the touch so close, yet so far.  Her hands gripped the edge of the table as touch became slower and more deliberate.  Deliberately teasing, which Helena had to admit was poetic justice . . . or perhaps just simple payback.

Barbara's thumbs moved to just outside her outer lips, which were so very wet. 

When Helena saw Barbara lean in, she shut her eyes in anticipation.  She heard Barbara inhale, taking in her strong scent of arousal before exhaling with satisfaction.  Her warm breath teased her sensitive flesh.  "Please," Helena whispered in growing desperation, rewarded with a warm tongue caressing the inside of her thigh.  "God," she hissed, feeling the nearly painful arousal increase.  The tongue was replaced by teeth, which gently nibbled her flesh, ignoring the particular bundle of nerves that was desperate for her attention.  Helena gripped the table harder.

"Do you know," Barbara said, moving her attention to the other thigh.  "How aroused," she said and gently bit the flesh "… you made me tonight?"  She trailed her tongue closer to Helena's apex.  "How much," she said, breathing over her bundle of nerves, causing a whimper from the younger woman.  "I wanted you?!?" Barbara said before her warm mouth finally took possession of her core.  Her tongue penetrated the drenched lips, lapping up the clear and abundant evidence of Helena's need.   

"Uh!" Helena blurted, her world becoming very small and focused on the expert mouth provoking sensation after sensation, getting so close.  "God," she whispered as she started to peak, the moisture continuing to flow from her.  When she felt her sex start to clench in orgasm, two fingers replaced the tongue, diving deeper within, stroking that perfect place with great purpose and prompting Helena to loudly moan.  

After the waves of release settled into a pleasant tingle, Helena released her grip on the table and tenderly caressed the red head, now resting her cheek against her thigh as she slowly and lovingly continued her intimate strokes.  "Jesus," Helena said incredulously as her arousal slowly grew again.  Barbara smiled and kissed her thigh and sat up, looking expectantly into Helena's golden eyes.  

Helena leaned down, slipping her hand behind Barbara's head and coaxing her into a slow, deliberate kiss that matched Barbara's deliberate motions within her.  As her second climax took her, their foreheads touched, Helena's hand slipped down to Barbara's neck, which she stroked tenderly.

Both women suddenly stopped all motion, except to glance at the elevator when they heard a “ding.”


About twenty minutes after the elevator ding, Barbara rolled into her bedroom and found Helena sitting on the bed in cutoff sweatpants and an oversized football shirt, her usual bed wear . . . when she actually wore pajamas.

“It was Dinah,” Barbara informed her, rolling into the bathroom.  Helena nodded and silently followed her.  “You OK?” Barbara asked the subdued woman with mild amusement, knowing there were many benefits to Helena’s meta-human abilities, including the one just demonstrated - her rapid exodus from Delphi with pants in hand.  

Helena nodded again. 

As she grabbed a toothbrush and put paste on it, she heard Helena sigh. 

“You sure?” Barbara asked curiously, noting the odd mood from her lover.  After a few moments of brushing her teeth, Helena finally blurted, “I keep screwing up, don’t I?”

Barbara stopped brushing and looked at her with surprise.  “What do you mean?” she mumbled, then spit out the toothpaste and wiped her mouth on a towel.

“I ruin your underwear . . . and the dishes, make us late for your father’s, embarrass you in front of your old college friend and his buddy,” Helena said softly, handing her a folded nightshirt.

“Hel…” Barbara said with concern, absently glancing down at the nightshirt.  Shaking her head, she started to comment but Helena continued.

“I promise, I’ll try to think before acting, think about more than instant gratification.  You deserve someone who can be mature…for more than five minutes,” Helena said self-consciously.

Barbara could not fathom where this sudden insecurity came from.  She was the one who almost got them caught by Dinah in a very compromising situation.  Granted the evening at her father’s with Helena’s constant . . . attention . . . was a challenge, but Helena was only doting on her and took every opportunity to flirt, which Helena had developed into a fine art.  She had to admit that it was rather amusing to see the envious look on the two dinner guests’ faces, knowing they had no chance with someone as amazing as Helena – even if her own lack of resistance to Helena’s charms got her so hot and bothered.  The subtle, knowing smirk on her father’s face was the only thing that enabled her to not violate her own rule that her father’s house was off limits.  

Thinking about earlier in the day, she realized guiltily that she had placed all the blame on Helena for them being late to her father’s; she could have declined Helena’s offer to wash all her nooks and crannies before they left.  Well, maybe, Barbara had to admit, biting her lip, knowing resisting Helena Kyle would always be difficult for her, which added to her irritation about her own lack of control. 

“I can do better.  I will do better,” Helena added firmly.

“Hel, would you stop?” Barbara said with frustration. 

“I can stop.  I will stop,” Helena added dejectedly, her eyes dropping.

“Sweetie,” Barbara said, rolling towards her and firmly taking her hand.  “I would agree that we need to be more careful when we . . . get amorous . . . but it takes two to tango…or mambo, as the case may be,” she said with a wry smile.  “You are not the only one who gets lost in the moment.  I could never have imagined that I could want someone so much I’d forget about everythingelse,” Barbara softly admitted with both amazement and irritation, greatly relieving Helena, who was afraid Barbara had been angry with her for not exercising better control.  “But we both need to be….”

“More careful,” Helena whispered, looking down at their hands as Barbara squeezed hers, then up into green eyes she would never tire of gazing into.  As unlikely as it was, this amazing, brilliant woman really loved her, Helena Kyle, a bartender, with only a high school diploma . . . barely. 

Barbara smiled and silently lifted her arms, requesting a rare lift to their bed.  A surprised Helena hesitated only a second before lifting her lover in her arms.

As Helena carried her, she knew she was the luckiest person on Earth.  They looked into each other’s eyes as Barbara’s hand lovingly caressing her cheek, the touch reaffirming their connection.  With great care, Helena lowered Barbara onto the bed and slowly helped her undress.  Their motions were unhurried, each enjoying the intimate task.  A button undone, a gentle caress, another button released, a tender kiss, a shoe and its partner removed, fingers leisurely raking through dark hair . . . .

Much later, happily spent and lying in a warm embrace, Barbara could not ignore the cool evening air on her exposed skin; she shivered slightly.  Helena shifted and pulled up the sheets, covering her back.  “Thank you, sweetie,” Barbara said, happily shifting back into her warm embrace.

“You’re welcome,” Helena said simply, kissing her temple and briefly hugging her more tightly.  Each woman sighed contentedly before settling into a deep sleep. 

Chapter 3 - Gravity

In the training room the next morning, Dinah glared at Helena, who had just dumped her on her ass for the third time.  “You know, I really don’t see what training value I’m getting out of this,” Dinah complained, finding Helena to be unusually annoying this sparring session.

Helena had been barraging her with trash talk during their entire session.  She looked at her opponent who was on the floor again and tilted her head curiously.  “Maybe we should rename you Matt.”

Dinah growled and got up on her feet.  She focused on her extremely annoying opponent and charged, her anger clouding her senses.  She was once again tossed on the floor.

“Dinah!  You know how to avoid that leg sweep.  You can’t let my taunting get to you!”  Helena said with disapproval.

“You are deliberately being annoying??”  Dinah asked with irritation.

“Well, duh.  I can’t believe you didn’t notice,” Helena said, walking over to the water cooler and taking a paper cup from the dispenser.

“Well, you are usually pretty annoying,” Dinah said thoughtfully.

“Careful, Blondie.  Let’s try it again,” Helena said, finishing her cup and tossing it into the wastebasket.  “You know, when we taunt the criminals, it’s not just to amuse ourselves; we want to distract them and make them mad so they make mistakes.  You can’t let yourself fall into the same trap.  You let yourself get emotional and that becomes a problem.”

“You get emotional sometimes,” Dinah countered, causing Helena to look at her sharply.

Helena exhaled with irritation.  “Yeah.  But I expect you to be better than me,” Helena said, surprising the younger crime fighter.


“Yeah.  You have way more control and experience than I did at your age.  And you have only just tapped into your powers.  And I don’t think you understand the full extent of them yet,” Helena said honestly.  “BUT….”

“There’s always a but,” the teen bemoaned.

“But, speaking from experience, emotions can give you unusual strength and focus - or be crippling.  Right now, you are letting them cripple you.”

Dinah looked at Helena thoughtfully.  “I understand but I’m not sure how to stop that,” she admitted.  

“Recognizing your opponent’s tactic is the first step,” Helena offered. “That’s for sure,” she grumbled, recalling her previous evening with Jim Gordon.  Barbara had sworn that Jim had always grilled her dates to see if they were worth his daughter’s attentions.  If they couldn’t stand up to a little grilling, then they were unsuitable.  Helena shivered at the memory of the uncomfortable encounter. 

“So how did dinner go with Mr. Gordon last night?”  Dinah said, going over to the weapons rack and picking up a staff.

“Are you reading me or something?!?” Helena accused uneasily.

Dinah’s eyes widened.  “NO!  And if I picked something up it would be by accident – I would never intentionally violate someone’s….” she blurted quickly.

“Chill, D.  Just asking; I was thinking about it and you asked…so,” Helena said with a shrug, getting a relieved nod from the teen.

“So, how’d the dinner go?”

“I think I’d rather dine with Arkham inmates.  I’d at least know where I stand.”


“Mr. Gordon was being . . . he didn’t seem happy about my relationship with Barbara.”

“Uh-oh.” Dinah bit her lip, knowing how close Barbara was to her father.

“He knew Barbara had just broken up with Wade, so he set us up with dates,” Helena said with a grimace.

“Oh. My. God,” Dinah said in horror, then eagerly asked “Were they cute??”

Helena crossed her arms and glared at her, prompting a wince and mumbled “sorry.”

“When her “date” asked her if she was seeing someone, Barbara said yes but didn’t want an audience when she told him about us.  But Mr. Gordon put the pieces together.  He was the police commissioner, you know,” Helena explained with a shrug.

“Well it’s not too hard, considering how you two look at each other,” Dinah countered, unimpressed.

“Barbara says we have his blessing,” Helena said with a skeptical frown, scratching the back of her head.

“She would know, right?”  

“That’s what she tells me.  OK, get into position,” Helena said.

Dinah held her staff at the ready.  Before Helena took her position, Dinah attacked, hoping to secure an advantage.  Helena quickly ducked and easily jumped over her, out of the way of the surprise attack.  

Helena’s eyes widened as she descended with flapping arms, squarely on top of the weapons rack, causing a loud crash.


“Owwww!  Jesus!!!”  Helena said, gingerly picking herself off the pointy objects.

“Are you all right?”  Dinah asked with concern, going to her side to help.

“What is going on?” Barbara asked, rolling into the training room having heard the commotion.  “Helena?” 

“You know D, that really wasn’t very sporting of you,” Helena grumbled, rubbing her sore backside.

“What happened?” Barbara asked again with a heavy sigh.  She did not like having to repeat herself.

“I ah…attacked before she got into position,” Dinah said guiltily.  Barbara frowned and looked between them, then at the weapons rack and weapons now scattered across the floor.

“It’s ok, D.  I’ve been egging you on the whole session.  I really can’t blame you for wanting an advantage,” Helena said, now rubbing her sore butt.

“I am sorry,” Dinah said with a wince.  

“It’s all right.  But you still need to learn better control,” Helena lectured, getting a quick nod from Dinah. 

“Uh, maybe I should take a shower now,” Dinah said, noting Barbara focused intently on Helena.  Not wanting to pick up on any more intimate thoughts from the two, like last night when she had returned home, she quickly left.

“Hel?”  Barbara asked hesitantly.

“She’s going to be really good,” Helena said softly, glancing where the young woman left.  “But don’t you dare tell her that; she’ll get a swelled head and she’s already an annoying teenager,” Helena complained.

“Hel, why did you crash into the weapons rack?” Barbara asked uneasily.

“She surprised me??” Helena responded slowly, knowing that Barbara had heard Dinah’s explanation.

“You just don’t misstep like that, Helena.  Even when surprised,” Barbara said emphatically.

“More blood?” Helena said with a sigh, hating needles.  Barbara nodded and rolled towards the medical station for syringes.


“The nucleotide bonds are stable,” Barbara announced once again, looking up from her console at Delphi as Helena pulled a rolling chair up next to her and straddled it.

“You really are worried about me,” Helena said softly.

“There are 0.4 seconds of remerging that did not occur,” Barbara blurted in frustration, pulling off her glasses with annoyance.  Glancing at Helena who nodded in understanding, she sighed guiltily; it wasn’t Helena’s fault.  “I’m sorry if I seem to be over . . ..”

Barbara was interrupted by a gentle kiss.   

“I’m not asking for an apology, Barbara.  But I feel fine and the genetic bonds seem to be stable, so, whatever the 0.4 seconds did to me, I don’t think it’s necessarily bad.”

“You’ve had balance issues twice now,” Barbara countered.  “And in our line of work….” She added gravely, not needing to finish the sentence.

Helena sighed wearily.

Barbara put a hand on Helena’s shoulder, looking at her intently.  “I can’t lose you,” she said with quiet desperation.

“Well if I have anything to say about that, you won’t,” Helena vowed, caressing Barbara’s cheek before giving her another kiss . . . and another, more sensual kiss Helena hoped adequately conveyed how much Barbara meant to her.

“What’s for . . . Whoa!?” Dinah said, halting her approach to Delphi when she observed the intimacy.  “Should I go to Gabby’s?”

“You are going to need to get used to seeing me kiss Barbara, D.  Cause I’m not going to stop just because you are here,” Helena announced, getting up from her chair and kissing Barbara chastely, making her smile.

“I’m not worried about that.  I just don’t want to be in the way . . . is all,” Dinah said awkwardly as Helena walked towards her.

“Trust me, kid.  If you were, I’d let you know,” Helena said, putting her arm around her shoulder.  “Let’s see what’s in the kitchen for dinner.”

 “Cool.  But if there are only pop tarts, I get to choose the take-out place,” Dinah said, looking at Barbara, who smiled and nodded. 

“Deal,” Helena said.


“You going to eat that?”  Helena asked Dinah, pointing with her chopsticks to the last steamed dumpling that looked terribly lonely, all there by itself, in the container.

“For the sake of my limbs, I suppose I should answer . . . no?” Dinah said hesitantly, getting Barbara to shake her head in mild amusement as Helena grinned and expertly plucked the lone dumpling up and shoved it in her mouth. 

After swallowing, Helena asked Barbara “Anything interesting from those warehouse samples?”

Barbara had almost forgotten about them.  “C4.”

“Ooooh.  Someone reaaaaly didn’t like that furniture,” Helena said with a smirk.

“Why would someone want to blow up furniture?” Dinah asked with a confused cringe.

“Because it’s ugly,” Helena readily offered as if obvious.  The teen frowned as Barbara rolled her eyes.

“I suppose Helena’s theory is possible,” Barbara offered, prompting a grin from Helena.  “Or there was an accident and the C4 unexpectedly blew,” she added.

“The warehouse being a hideout?”  Dinah asked.

“Possibly,” Barbara said with a shrug. 

“So we might have someone planning to blow another target up?” Dinah deduced.

“That’s my guess,” Barbara said.

“I’m sticking with the ugly furniture explanation,” Helena offered dryly.

An alarm sounded, drawing their attention towards Delphi.  Barbara immediately rolled back from the table and headed towards Delphi, closely followed by Dinah and Helena, who continued to eat out of the carton of fried rice with her chopsticks.

“There’s been an explosion at New Gotham Federal Reserve.” 

“So much for the ugly furniture theory,” Helena sighed with disappointment.

“The security cameras have been taken off line,” Barbara said with minor irritation, ignoring Helena’s comment as she proceeded to scan for the available feeds.

“The gold repository?” Dinah asked with interest.

“That is one function of the New Gotham Federal Reserve,” Barbara offered, trying to bring up the security cameras from adjacent buildings.

“Hey, isn’t bank furniture usually pretty ugly??” Helena asked with sudden interest, getting Dinah to glare at her.  “What??” she asked innocently as Barbara sighed and pulled her glasses off. 

“Come on, D.  Let’s go see if I’m right,” Helena said, placing her Chinese food on the desk and balancing her chopsticks on top of the carton.

“Be . . .” Barbara called out, getting a grin from Helena as she and Dinah headed to the elevator. 

“Careful,” Helena finished for her.  “Roger that, big O.  And we will be,” Helena said with a wink as she joined Dinah in the elevator.

“I’m driving,” Dinah ventured with forced confidence and glanced uncertainly at Helena, who just stared at her.  “Oh come on, Hel!” she complained as the doors shut.

Barbara chuckled to herself as she put her glasses on.  Noting the carton with interest, she picked it and the chopsticks up.  Grabbing the chopsticks off the top, she tapped the keyboard with a free finger, bringing up several more security cameras before opening the carton and nibbling on Helena’s fried rice as she watched and waited.


“Oracle, we are on scene,” Dinah announced softly, glancing over at Helena, who was scanning the adjacent rooftops and in particular, the Federal Reserve’s, whose silent alarm was tripped.  

“Understood, Canary,” Oracle acknowledged.

“I don’t see any activity on the street bel . . . holy crap,” Dinah said, seeing the seven-foot tall lizard-like creature emerge onto the bank building’s roof from the maintenance stairwell, smashing through the door with its girth.

“Canary, what do you see?” Oracle said tensely.  “The video I have is very grainy,” she said with a disapproving frown as she noted only a blurry form.

“A Godzilla wanna be,” Canary said as the lizard guy searched the sky.

“It’s ugly and it seems to have appropriated a few bars of gold,” Huntress said, noting the bag it held, which appeared to be weighed down by something very heavy.  Hearing a helicopter in the distance getting closer, she looked up and frowned, not seeing anything yet.  She knew it would be really hard to chase a crook that went airborne.

“I can’t improve the resolution.  Can you take a picture?  I’d like to get some intel before you en….” Oracle requested, but was interrupted.

“Huntress!” Canary hissed with annoyance.

“What’s going on?!?”

“She’s going after the big lizard without me,” Canary said, whining.

Barbara pinched the bridge of her nose. “Perhaps you might go after her and back her up?” Oracle suggested conversationally.

“Uh, roger, Oracle,” Dinah said uncomfortably before quickly following after Helena.


“Yo, Godzilla!” Huntress called out, landing next to the lizard man.  “I didn’t take you for a common thief,” she taunted.  “Aren’t you supposed to be protecting the city from giant moths??”

The lizard eyed her a long moment.  “Don’t get in my way,” he hissed in a gravelly voice, his tongue flicking out.

“Well, unfortunately for you, that’s what I do,” she countered, stepping towards him. “And may I just add, that tongue thing is pretty gross.”

He turned and aimed his long, thick tail at her.  She quickly jumped over it to avoid him.  As she landed, she found herself unnervingly off-balance and hit the roof a bit unsteadily.


Beginning to wonder if Barbara’s concern had real merit, she ducked the massive tail that swiftly flew in her direction, successfully avoiding the fleshy battering ram.  The large creature was surprisingly swift, she noted as the tail came at her again.  She jumped and avoided it, but again landed awkwardly.  Crap!  As Helena struggled to regain her balance, her eyes widened, surprised to see the tail swiftly coming towards her again.   

“Fuc. . . ooooffff,” she said as it hit her side, hard.

“Huntress!!” Canary cried out as she saw her friend soar off the roof.  As she started to run to the edge, the reptile criminal charged her.

“Canary, what happened?” Oracle asked anxiously.  “Huntress??”

Wind whooshed past her as she plummeted to the ground like a rock; Helena’s arms and legs flailed with no effect.  Frantically looking for something to grab onto and finding nothing, she quickly concluded this wasn’t good.  

Dinah cringed at the reptile running at her and suddenly created an electric blue protective field around herself.  The tail whipped through the air and batted the telekinetic bubble off the top of the roof, causing it and its occupant to plummet down the side of the building.  

“Ahhhhh,” Canary cried out as she struggled to keep focused on her bubble, knowing it would be the only thing protecting her from the hard concrete below.  But her thoughts of Helena and panic ruined her concentration and the bubble started to fade in and out.

“Canary!” Oracle called out.  “Huntress, what’s going on?!?”

As Dinah fell, she cringed, shutting her eyes, desperately trying to focus on her bubble, not her or Helena’s body getting splattered on the sidewalk.  But she couldn’t seem to keep her bubble solid as fear overwhelmed her thoughts.  Suddenly, she felt a jolt, far quicker and nowhere near the impact that she had expected from the ground.  Her bubble vanished and she opened her confused eyes and fell a little more, into two arms that wrapped tightly around her.  Before she could say anything, her eyes widened with concern, noticing the side of the building coming at them.  

“Aggh!” Helena growled, twisting them so she would take the brunt of the impact on her back.  

“Ooof!” Dinah expelled a pained breath when they collided into the wall and bounced off it, once again plummeting to the ground.

“Ugh,” Helena groaned.  

“Ahhh!”  Dinah squeaked, seeing the ground rapidly come up.  She closed her eyes and burrowed herself into Helena, willing a bubble to form around them.  It didn’t.

The wind swooshing past them slowed and Dinah felt them jerk to a stop.  A moment passed, then another.  Dinah hesitantly opened her eyes and saw that they were three feet above the ground. 


“Hel?” Dinah asked hesitantly, not understanding what was happening.

Suddenly, they fell to the ground.


“Is she going to be OK?” Dinah asked nervously, biting her thumbnail as she looked at the injured Helena, who was very still in Barbara’s bed.  Dinah’s left wrist was wrapped up; luckily it was only sprained.  She shuddered thinking of how bad it could have been for them.

“Of course she is,” Barbara said with a confidence she didn’t truly possess.  “She has a few broken ribs and a bad bruise on her back and shoulder and a minor concussion.  She will heal in no time,” she offered, looking at Dinah uncomfortably, not mentioning the elephant in the room.

“But . . ..” Dinah blurted, wanting to talk about it.

“Would you two keep down the racket?  My head is going to explode,” Helena complained groggily, raising her hand to her forehead and wincing at the painful pounding.

“How do you feel?” Barbara asked with forced calm.

“I would have thought that the comment about my head exploding covered that,” Helena said grumpily as she gingerly touched her bruised face and head.

“You hit it when you hit the building . . . and the ground,” Barbara said with a wince.

Recalling her fear for the kid, Helena quickly glanced to Dinah and frowned at the bandage on her wrist.  “D?  You OK?”

“You saved my life,” Dinah said with wonder.  “I don’t know how you did it, but you stopped me from falling when my TK bubble failed.”

“Do . . . do you know how you did it?”  Barbara asked hesitantly.

Helena blinked and thought about it.  “I . . . really didn’t want to hit the ground and . . . I didn’t,” she offered with surprise.  “Then I saw Dinah was falling and . . . I saw her bubble fading.  I had to do something,” Helena said with uneasy emotion, prompting Dinah to smile warmly.  “She was wearing my favorite top,” Helena added gruffly, prompting Dinah to roll her eyes.

Barbara rolled closer and took her hand.  

“I don’t know how, but I think this is because of the 0.4 seconds, Helena,” she said softly.  “I also think you were showing signs of this effect earlier when you fell at the warehouse and in the training room.” 

“I was having balance problems on the roof top when I was dodging lizard man’s tail.  I just was . . . off.  I just couldn’t get a sure footing,” Helena admitted, rubbing her eyes with her free hand.  She felt like crap.

“It makes sense that you would have balance problems as you learn to . . . fly, ” Barbara offered with pursed lips, not sure whether this . . . development would prove to be good or bad.  

“Are you saying Helena can fly?!?” Dinah blurted with enthusiasm.

“Whoa, hold on,” Helena said and added with a grimace “I hit a building.  And the ground.”

“As with anything, practice makes you better,” Barbara said gently, though her mind raced, wondering how one actually practices flying.  She didn’t think Helena would appreciate being pushed off a high building again.

“Come on, are you really telling me I really can fly?” Helena said incredulously.

“How could you have caught Dinah when you were knocked off the building first?” Barbara said, prompting a look of consternation from her lover.  “I thought you had always wanted to fly,” she said with a small smile, recalling how disappointed the human half of Helena was to learn she never had that power.

“Perhaps I should have clarified that I would prefer the flying where you don’t hit buildings or the ground,” Helena frowned.  Barbara smiled and brushed a stray lock of hair off Helena’s brow.

“Maybe it’s TK,” Dinah suggested, looking at Barbara, who shook her head.

“I don’t think so - that wouldn’t account for Helena’s balance problems,” she said to the teen.

“Barbara?”  Helena said with a soft voice.

“Yes, Hel?” 

“Did you check my blood?” She asked uneasily, her rare look of vulnerability pulled at Barbara’s heart, expanding her already notable protective streak.

Barbara squeezed Helena’s hand.  “I did and the nucleotides are still stable, even after your . . . flying episode.  Whatever changes that occurred because of the incomplete merging, I’m pretty confident now that they are stable,” Barbara said with a small smile of encouragement.  Helena exhaled with some relief.

“But we’ll need to run some tests,” Barbara continued, prompting Helena to frown.
“Tomorrow, we can test your balance and motor coord…”

“What about lizard guy?” Helena interrupted with irritation, wanting to catch the bastard who treated her as a human baseball.

“Don’t worry about him right now, Hel.”

“We lost him, didn’t we?” Helena said with displeasure.

“Yes.  But we will get him,” Barbara said with conviction.

“Kind of hard to hide looking like that,” Dinah chimed in with a smirk.

“As hard as it is to disappear looking like that?” Helena countered, wiping the smirk off of Dinah’s face.  Helena couldn’t help but yawn, the rooftop battle and collisions with the building and ground wore her down.

“The most important thing right now is for Helena to get some rest,” Barbara announced and held up a hand to forestall the expected argument, causing Helena’s breath of protest to exhale heavily.  She wanted to get that bastard.

Barbara reached forward with her raised hand and caressed Helena’s cheek “You will do that for me, won’t you, Sweetie?”  Barbara asked softly.

“You make it hard to argue with you,” Helena admitted, shutting her eyes and leaning into the caress.

“Apparently not too hard, you still manage quite well,” Barbara joked softly.

“It’s part of my charm,” Helena said with another yawn.

“Ah.  Thanks for clearing that up,” Barbara said dryly as she watched Helena lean back in the bed and nodded. 

“If you need anything else cleared up, just let me know,” Helena said tiredly, finally shutting her eyes, succumbing to her fatigue.  Shifting slightly under the covers to seek a more comfortable position, she added softly, “I’m your gal.”

A warmth spread through Barbara at that thought.  “Sweet dreams,” she whispered.

“Love you,” Helena exhaled and drifted into a deep slumber.

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