Chapter 4 - Discovery


Barbara sat at Delphi and stared at the screen, which showed Helena’s latest blood test results.  She pondered, not for the first time, how the 0.4 seconds had affected Helena.  Now that she had some insight, she felt a bit more at ease knowing what they had to face.  But it was not going to be easy, she considered worriedly.  Helena still needed to learn to control this power; if she didn’t, she would have a very difficult life. 

“You’re still worried,” Dinah said softly, appearing by Barbara’s side. 

Barbara looked up at her young ward.  The expression on the redhead’s face clearly conveyed concern. 

“This could be a good thing,” Dinah offered with a shrug, not as concerned as her mentor.

“It could be.  Her nucleotides are still stable after her…flight,” Barbara offered uncomfortably.  “That’s encouraging,” she added hesitantly, unconvincingly.

Dinah nodded weakly and looked at the screen.  “So there’s no information on lizard guy?  Or the helicopter that came to pick him up?”

“No.  It would seem lizard guy, the gold, and his helicopter have all disappeared,” Barbara said with irritation.


After a few hours, Barbara returned to her . . . their room, she thought with wonder as she began her routine for bed.  She brushed her teeth and washed her face, glancing back into the bedroom with a warm smile as she considered the large changes to their lives in a few short days.  Having Helena in her bed, as a lover, and being truly and completely committed to her was nothing short of . . . amazing.  The woman brought her so much joy it was almost criminal.  Even before the change in their relationship, Barbara knew without a doubt, that her life had been richer for having Helena Kyle in it.  And during her darkest hours after the shooting, when Helena had been by her side, she honestly couldn’t say whether she would have survived without her.

Reflecting back, she didn’t know why she had been so blind to seeing just how much Helena really meant to her - and how much she meant to Helena.  The veil over her normally perceptive eyes finally disintegrated as she worked desperately to understand what had happened to Helena, who had essentially been torn in two – a Meta half and a human half.  Barbara rolled up to their bed and stared at the sleeping form, knowing she had never felt more helpless.  Time had been running out for Helena’s Meta side, whose cells were unstable.  She was going to die before their eyes if something wasn’t done.  But every piece of information, every bit of logic screamed for her to wait, to better understand the process before making a remerging attempt that would very likely destroy them both. 

Yet, for the first time in her life, she acted solely on faith.  Not a faith that things would work out, for she certainly did not have that.  Instead, she desperately clung onto her faith in Helena, who for some unfathomable reason had a surprising, highly questionable, and aggravatingly unsubstantiated conviction that remerging was the right thing at that time and that things would work out as they were meant to be.  

Faith.  She had nothing else to hold on to. 
Careful not to disturb Helena, she quietly shifted into bed, reflecting, not for the first time, that Helena had been right; the remerging didn’t kill her.  Yet, her relief was not complete.  She still worried about the missing 0.4 seconds.  At least that nagging worry changed from fear of the unknown to uncertainty about the known, which was a little less stressful, she considered, trying to be a bit more optimistic.  As she exhaled and shifted to get comfortable, Helena gravitated towards her.

“Hel?” Barbara said quietly, wondering if she had disturbed her. 

Greeted with silence, Barbara smiled warmly and indulged in a long look at the beautiful woman.  Save for the purple bruises marring her cheek and forehead, she looked almost angelic, Barbara thought with a warm smile that faded as Helena’s hand drifted underneath her nightshirt, up her stomach, and to her breast. 

Looks can certainly be deceiving, she considered wryly.

“Hel?  I refuse to have sleep sex with you.”

One blue eye opened.  “Sleep sex?  Innnnnteresting.”

“You really should rest,” Barbara said.

“Why is it that you just assume that I want to have sex?” Helena said, feigning irritation as she stroked Barbara’s breast.

Barbara sucked in an uneasy breath from the arousing caresses.  “It is not an assumption but a conclusion, based on empirical ev . . . idence.  Intimate caresses are usually a good indicator,” she said with a raised brow, though she made no effort to stop those caresses.

“Hmmm.  What other indicators are there that would make you think that I want to touch you . . . taste you,” she said softly, leaning closer to Barbara’s neck, her warm breath provoking chills.  “And feel you inside me as I fill you, stroking, slowly . . . firmly,” Helena said as she caressed Barbara’s breast and squeezed her nipple.

“Uh,” Barbara moaned. 

“. . . and look into your beautiful eyes as our arousal grows . . . almost painfully as we crave more, harder . . . faster,” Helena husked then sucked on Barbara’s pulse point, which was rapidly beating.

“Until we both finally . . . climax and collapse, tangled, sweaty, spent and . . . very satisfied.”

Barbara shut her eyes as Helena’s hand slipped down and found the wetness both knew was waiting for her.  “I . . . trouble thinking . . . other . . . examples . . . at . . . moment,” Barbara said, as Helena entered her and began to stroke her firmly.

“Don’t think.  Feel,” Helena whispered and gently kissed Barbara’s lips, caressing them with her warm tongue. 

Barbara’s hand quickly slipped behind Helena’s head and pulled her into a deeper kiss.


After collapsing together in a tangled, sweaty heap, exhausted, spent, and very satisfied,
Helena smiled lazily.  “I can’t believe you would so easily jump to conclusions, Red.”

“What was I thinking?” Barbara said with a soft chuckle.

Helena jumped up on the balance beam in the training room, wobbled uncontrollably, and fell off, for the fifth time. “GODDAMNIT!  This is a fucking waste of time!”  She cried out to the ceiling with her back on the floor.

“Helena, you need to relearn how to keep your balance with your new power,” Barbara said patiently, wincing sympathetically when Helena pulled herself up off the floor, and steadied herself uneasily, still having some balance issues.

“What if I can’t learn?  What if I am doomed to fall down the rest of my life?!?”  Helena blurted angrily.  

“Then we will deal with that problem together,” Barbara answered confidently. 

“Fuck!  I feel like it’s getting worse,” Helena ran her hand through her hair and blew out a frustrated exhale.

“You have to keep trying, Helena.  Please don’t give up,” Barbara said, unable to hide the worry clouding her face. 

Helena glanced at Barbara, who had always been her rock.  Guilt replaced anger as she recalled how hard Barbara had worked to become mobile after the shooting.  “Good thing I heal quickly, huh?”  Helena offered, shaking her head, prompting a small smile of relief.

“Not to mention having a hard head,” Barbara added helpfully.

Helena eyed Barbara with a soft, playful growl before she approached the beam once again.  With a deep breath, she jumped up and landed, wobbling a little, but staying in place.  “Ha!” Helena said triumphantly, prompting Barbara’s hopeful smile. “Fuck!”  She flapped her arms and fell off.

Barbara winced. 

“How’s it . . . ?” Dinah said brightly as she entered the gym and saw Helena sprawled out on the floor.  


Dinah did an about-face.  “Going!”

“Chicken,” Helena groused at the fleeing teen’s back.  With a heavy sigh, she picked herself up off the floor…again.

“You’ve been at it a while, maybe we could take a break,” Barbara said, getting a very intrigued look.  “Oh for heaven’s sake, Hel.  I’m not talking about that!”

Helena frowned.

“I was thinking just going out and enjoying the day…together,” Barbara said a bit awkwardly. 

“A lunch date?”  Helena asked, interested.

“Yeah,” Barbara answered with a smile, knowing getting out of the tower would be good for both of them.  “What do you think?”

“Are you going to woo me?” Helena asked curiously.

“Woo . . . you?” Barbara responded, perplexed.

“If it’s a date, I want to be wooed,” Helena said stubbornly, crossing her arms over her chest.

Barbara stared at her.  


“So…any leads on the lizard guy?” Helena asked before biting into her club sandwich. 

Barbara glanced around the restaurant uneasily, not used to discussing business in public.  The couple closest to them at a nearby table . . . a married couple, she amended, noting their rings…didn’t seem to hear them.  With a small sigh of relief, she acknowledged it had been a long time since she had been social with anyone who knew about her extracurricular activities. 

“Unfortunately no,” Barbara said apologetically, poking her Cobb salad, really wanting to catch that guy, who so easily batted Helena off a roof.  It was a nice change to be able to share all of herself with someone who understood and just…got her, Barbara considered with a smile.  She couldn’t help but feel extremely lucky.

“Uh Barbara?  Usually people don’t smile when they’re at a dead end,” Helena said.

“No, I suppose they don’t,” Barbara said, reconsidering that Helena didn’t always get her.

Helena looked at her a moment then smiled.  “I feel lucky too, Red,” she said softly, surprising Barbara.  “Soooo, there’s no connection between the explosive residue from the warehouse and the Federal Reserve?” Helena asked, drinking her iced tea.

“Why would you think…?” Barbara asked, intrigued Helena seemed to have the same suspicion that she couldn’t currently substantiate.

“Barbara, honey?” Jim Gordon said, coming up to their table, happy to run into his daughter.

“Dad,” Barbara said, a smile lighting up her face.  Helena absently wondered what it was like to actually like your Dad.

“Mr. Gordon,” Helena said, starting to get up from her seat out of respect.

“As you were,” Jim said with mild amusement, though pleased with the woman’s deference.

“Would you like to join us?” Barbara asked then cringed, realizing this had been a rare day out for them.  Having your Dad tag along wasn’t exactly a great lunch date plan.

“Yeah!  Barbara’s buying!  You don’t want to miss out on that,” Helena said enthusiastically, clearly receptive to the idea. 

“You make me sound cheap,” Barbara complained, making Jim smirk.

Helena looked at her in challenge.  “Generic pop tarts, Red?” she gravely reminded Barbara of one horrific example of frugality. 

Barbara sighed, recalling when Helena found the plain grey box in the kitchen.  The rebellious teen wasn’t even going to try them and when she finally did, made dramatic gagging sounds.  Barbara couldn’t understand her theatrics, personally unable to tell the difference in taste; both tasted like sweet, preservative-laden pieces of cardboard.

Helena smiled with satisfaction for making her point, then looked up at the silver-haired man.  “Sure you don’t want to join us, Mr. Gordon?”

“Actually, I was meeting Carl Tucker for lunch.  You remember him, don’t you?” Jim said with amusement. 

“The more the merrier,” Helena offered with a smile, getting a frown from Barbara.

“Actually, we were going to discuss business.  But I’ll take a rain check with you two, if that’s all right?”

“That’s fine, Dad,” Barbara said and received a kiss on her cheek.

“Barbara?  Helena!” Carl Tucker said with a big smile as he found Jim at their table. 

“Hey, Carl,” Helena said with a smile.

“Carl,” Barbara said politely, her posture stiffening.

Jim withheld a grin at his daughter’s displeasure, wondering if she actually didn’t see the clear adoration in Helena’s eyes when she looked at her.

“Is that a club?” Carl asked, eyeing Helena’s selection then Helena, with interest. 

Barbara stared at the man who seemed to forget that Helena was with her.


“Looks good.  Is it?”

“It is pretty good,” she said and looked at him oddly.

Carl smiled uneasily when Helena took a surprising sniff of air.  “Interesting cologne,” she said, looking at him curiously. 

“Polo,” he said with a shrug.

“Our table is ready,” Jim said, glancing over to the waitress with two menus in her hand.  “Have a nice lunch you two.”

“You too, Dad,” Barbara said, noticing Helena’s preoccupied look as she stared at Carl.

“Ladies,” he said before leaving with Jim.

After they left, Barbara grew annoyed at Helena’s gaze, which was still focused on Carl.  “If you’d rather have lunch with them, just say the word,” Barbara said with irritation.

“Huh?” Helena said, her gaze returning to her lover.

“I’ll admit he’s easy on the eyes,” Barbara said tightly unable to help herself; for some unpleasant reason she was very jealous.  “…and apparently smells good.”

“You think . . . ??  How could you think THAT,” Helena said, insulted Barbara would think she would ever stray. 

Seeing the surprise and hurt in Helena’s eyes, Barbara immediately felt embarrassed for her ugly emotion and cringed.  “I’m sorry, Hel.  I . . . I don’t know why I just . . . I’m sorry.”

Helena sighed, knowing Barbara occasionally let her insecurities about her physical limitations express themselves at surprising times, like now.  But Barbara and she belonged together and Helena was prepared to spend a lifetime reminding her.  Placing a hand over Barbara’s, Helena said “You certainly pegged a big fat zero on the woo meter.”  She shook her head sadly, patting Barbara’s hand.

“I have been remiss in properly wooing you,” Barbara admitted, relieved Helena was so forgiving of her jealous stupidity. “I suppose there is only one thing I can do now. . . ,” Barbara said gravely, gaining Helena’s interest.  Looking over to their server, Barbara nodded.  Other waiters and waitresses came over to their table with a small cake that had a candle in it.  Helena eyed Barbara in confusion, noting the mischief in her green eyes.

“Happy anniversary, happy anniversary, happy anniversary HAAAAPY anniversary,” the staff sang, getting the restaurant to all look in their direction.  Helena shook her head with a smile, but was still confused.  “Congratulations, ladies,” their waitress said with a big smile before the group left them to their small cake and two forks.

“And what anniversary are we celebrating, Red?”  Helena asked with an amused smile.

“You don’t know?” Barbara said with disappointment.

Panic started to rise as Helena slowly shook her head no as she racked her memory, wondering if she had missed something anniversary worthy, like when they first moved in together or when they first joined forces to battle crime…

“I can’t believe you don’t remember,” she said, sounding slightly hurt, making Helena wince at her clear gaff.  “It’s our four-day anniversary, Helena,” Barbara explained, withholding a smile as she enjoyed the expressions emerging on Helena’s confused face.

“Four . . . ??  Oh!” she blurted, realizing they had become intimate four days ago.  The realization was quickly followed by a frown; even SHE knew people didn’t usually celebrate a four-day anniversary…of even a life-altering development. 

Helena’s eyes quickly narrowed in suspicion.  “That was just to get free cake, wasn’t it?” 

“I’m not going to even dignify that with an answer,” Barbara said briskly, picking up a fork and taking a small piece.  Well aware Helena’s eyes were watching her every move, Barbara took a bite and moaned with enjoyment.  Not quite finished, she deliberately and thoroughly licked the fork clean. 

There could have been a holdup at the restaurant and Helena wouldn’t have noticed, her focus was the only person who had the ability to make her wish she was a fork.

“It’s very good,” Barbara offered innocently with a sparkle in her eyes.

“So it would seem,” Helena said with an amused chuckle at the clear challenge.  God she loved that woman.


“And Jamie came home from soccer yesterday, informing me she’s in love with wolf boy and running away with him to the circus,” a wife said flatly as she grabbed a roll from the breadbasket, getting an absent nod from her husband, who said “that’s nice dear” while his gaze was still glued to the two beautiful women at the adjacent table clearly enjoying each other and the lucky dessert.

At the surprising tap against his forehead from the tossed roll, the husband’s gaze finally broke from the attractive women.  “Huh?” the husband said dumbly, glancing at the roll then to his wife to see a sour look.

She shook her head.

“The cake . . . looks good,” he said, smiling weakly.


“You should try it,” Barbara said, pushing the cake closer to her companion.

Focused on Barbara’s eyes, Helena reached out and gently traced her fingers over Barbara’s before landing on the fork.  Barbara took in a slight breath at the electrifying touch, then silently cursed the ease with which Helena could undo her.

As Helena took the fork from Barbara, she leaned in and briefly took possession of the Redhead’s sensuous lips.  “Mmm.  Chocolate.”

“Good?” Barbara whispered, their lips a breath apart. 

“No,” Helena answered, getting a perplexed, bordering annoyed, look from Barbara. 

“The best,” Helena honestly explained, enabling Barbara to understand how someone could actually swoon.

“For heaven’s sake, would you two get a room!?!” the annoyed wife hissed, startling Helena and Barbara apart from another kiss.  They found the wife with purse in hand hovering at their table, glaring at them before stomping out of the restaurant.

Her husband awkwardly followed, pausing briefly at their table with an apologetic look.  “Uh, sorry…migraines,” the husband lamely blurted, uncomfortably motioning to his head then his wife before quickly chasing after her.

Barbara and Helena looked at each other a stunned moment.  Barbara felt the flush of embarrassment wash over her; she hadn’t even noticed them, too preoccupied with Helena’s sensuous lips.  “Oh dear,” she whispered, looking around the restaurant wondering if anyone else had been witness to the spectacle.  With an uneasy glance to her father’s table, it appeared that at least he and Carl were not.

“I feel bad for the man,” Helena said conversationally and took a bite of cake, unfazed by the scene.

“Why?” Barbara asked, her curiosity overcoming embarrassment.

“Can you imagine your wife always having a headache?”  Helena said with distaste.

“He never…,” Barbara automatically began to correct Helena but noted her amused grin and exhaled with exasperation instead.

Helena chuckled.  Barbara rolled her eyes and picked up a fork.  When she reached for the cake, Helena pulled the plate closer to herself.  “Get your own,” she said, taking a bite.


“You could tell them it’s your birthday,” Helena suggested helpfully with a shrug and chuckled as she started to take another bite.   “Mmmm.  This is good,” Helena spoke with her mouth full.

“I had thought you’d want to share with me,” Barbara said dejectedly, glancing up to see Helena frown …as she had hoped.

“I...,” Helena started, but hesitated, looking at the dessert.  “Nope.  We’re talking chocolate cake, Barbara,” Helena explained seriously, taking another bite.  “Mmmmm.”

Barbara stared at her a moment and said flatly “You hedonist.”

Helena smiled unrepentantly.  “This is news?”

“I suppose not,” Barbara admitted with a chuckle as she shook her head, surprised when Helena slowly slid back the plate towards her in offering.

“I have a question for you,” Helena said, looking over to Carl Tucker.

“What?” Barbara glanced his way with pursed lips.

“Why would a lawyer and volunteer in a children’s home have traces of accelerant on him?”


“Helena, I’m not so sure . . . ,” Barbara started with a grimace, rolling back from Delphi to look at her teammates.

“Come on, Red!  I can’t stay cooped up forever,” Helena argued, then declared “I’m going with Dinah.  She can’t smell accelerant like I can.”

“True, but she doesn’t have balance problems either,” Barbara countered.

“This is just a surveillance, Barbara,” Helena responded with exasperation.  “Tell her, Dinah,” she said, getting wide eyes of concern from the teen, who did NOT want to get in the middle.

“Uh,” Dinah blurted, looking uncomfortably between her mentors. 

Helena rolled her eyes.  Barbara pinched the bridge of her nose, knowing she was not going to stop Helena with common sense or logic.

“Promise me . . . you won’t engage and get into any fights.  Just surveillance,” Barbara stressed firmly.

“No problem,” Helena said with a smile.


“Huntress?  What’s your status?”

“In a minute, Oracle,” Helena said, dodging a fist from a large goon as Dinah threw a TK punch at another.  Three other goons ran into the warehouse hearing the commotion.

“More company!” Dinah said with concern as the guy she was fighting came after her again.

“Company? Huntress, I thought you agreed this was only going to be a surveillance!”

“Kind of . . . ,” Helena said, punching the large goon out cold.  “…busy right now, Oracle,” she added just before another thug got a solid punch to her face, making her head snap back. 

“FUCK!”  She hissed, grabbing her nose before dodging another attack.  She jumped out of the way and landed uneasily.  With a growl of frustration, she headed back towards her attacker.  


“Dinah, are you all right?” Barbara asked as the teen emerged from the elevator with Helena.

“I’m fine,” she said uncertainly, feeling the thick wave of tension rolling off her mentor.

“Good,” Barbara said with a relieved exhale.

“You did good tonight, Kid,” Helena said softly, surprising the teen, who smiled weakly.

“Please go to your room, Dinah,” Barbara said firmly, getting an uneasy nod from Dinah, who knew not to argue from the glare Barbara was giving Helena.  As requested, the teen fled to the safety of her room.

Helena gingerly touched her nose, thankful that at least the bleeding stopped; she looked down at her shirt with a frown, noting a few crimson drops marring the silky cream surface.

“Is your nose broken?”  Barbara asked tightly.


“Let’s get you cleaned up,” Barbara said, rolling to their bathroom with Helena quietly following.

Helena silently put the lid down and sat on the commode as Barbara took a warm washcloth and gently cleaned up the blood. 

“Let me see if I can understand what happened,” Barbara said calmly, inspecting the nose.  “I asked you not to go because of your balance problems . . . and you did.  I asked you to stay out of any confrontational situations . . . and you didn’t,” Barbara said, looking into her eyes.

“Pretty much,” Helena said, getting a glare for her answer. 

“I can’t believe this!”  Barbara snapped, staring at the ugly bruise marring Helena’s beautiful face.

“We handled it just fine!”  Helena blurted and marched out of the bathroom.

“But you weren’t supposed to have to handle it!” Barbara said heatedly as she rolled behind Helena.  “Look at your face, Helena!  They were just thugs and they got past your defenses!  What if you came across the lizard guy again?  You can’t be sure you wouldn’t have become a liability!”

The words stung.  Hard.  Helena frowned.

“It’s bad enough that I have to worry about you risking yourself all the time.  But now with your . . . condition, you are determined to place Dinah at risk too!”  Barbara continued angrily.

“I would never place Dinah in danger,” Helena hissed.

“But you did by going on sweeps in your . . . condition,” Barbara shot back.  “How can she concentrate if she sees you having trouble?!?”

“We handled it!  GOD!!” Helena spat in angry frustration.

“And the next time??  Will you be able to handle it then?!?” Barbara argued heatedly.

“I am not going to stop living my life because . . . .” Helena argued.

“That’s right!  You are not going to listen because it doesn’t suit you,” Barbara interrupted with frustration.  “For God’s sake, Helena, it’s not just about you anymore!”

After a tense, silent moment, Helena spoke quietly.  “All right,” she said and removed her necklace and earrings.  “I won’t go on sweeps with Dinah,” she said with eerie calm, placing her coms on the nightstand. 

Barbara eyed the abandoned jewelry with alarm.  “Helena…”

“I’m going out to clear my head.  I’ll be back after I calm down,” Helena said neutrally and left the bedroom, heading to the elevator.

Barbara almost called out to her; instead she pinched the bridge of her nose in frustration.


“Is she back yet?” Dinah asked, glancing around the Clock Tower curiously. 

“No,” Barbara said, typing on the keyboard without looking at her.

Dinah bit her lip.  “So…any leads on why we followed a lawyer to a supposedly abandoned warehouse and ran into five thugs moving explosives?”

“There are a few.  I’m also finding some interesting connections with Carl Tucker.”

“Oh,” Dinah said, tucking a blond strand behind her ear.  “He didn’t happen to have a client named Mr. Lizard Guy, did he?” Dinah joked.

Barbara looked up at her neutrally, causing Dinah’s smirk to fade.  “I haven’t found anything on the Lizard Guy yet.  But that doesn’t mean it’s not out there.”


Barbara sat on her bed, rubbing the back of her neck as she tried to focus on the paragraph that she had re-read several times.  Even before this balance issue, she always had trouble focusing when Helena was off coms, fearing the worst.  The air shifted, causing her to look up curiously from her book.

“Hel?” Barbara called out, glancing around the darkened bedroom.  She almost missed the figure lurking in the dark corner.

“Yeah,” Helena said softly, staying in the shadows.

“I’m sorry I was so short with you,” Barbara offered, taking off her glasses and closing her book, putting both on the nightstand by the lamp.  “I just want you and Dinah safe.”

“You were right,” Helena said gravely, ignoring the apology.

“About what?” Barbara asked, growing concerned with Helena’s mood and continued distance.

“I’m . . . a liability,” Helena said with difficulty.  The defeatist tone in her voice scared Barbara.

“Helena, come here,” Barbara said firmly.  After a moment without Helena responding, she added, “Don’t make me come after you.  You know I will.”

With a heavy exhale, Helena slowly emerged from the shadows and approached the bed. 

“Hel,” Barbara said with alarm, seeing the new scrapes on her face and the injured arm that Helena was cradling.

“I can’t even run the rooftops like I used to,” Helena said miserably.  “I’d never do anything to hurt Dinah, you know that, right?” she blurted anxiously.

“Hel, I know.  Oh sweetie, I know that.  So does Dinah.  Did you break it?”  She asked as she started to move from the bed to her chair.

“I . . . yeah.  Barbara you don’t need to….” Helena said, not feeling worthy of any sympathy or help at the moment.

“Helena, I am going to set it so it heals right,” she said firmly, settling into her chair.  “THAT is not up for negotiation,” she announced, rolling towards her lover.

“I’m sorry I let you down, I…” Helena said weakly, knowing Dinah could have been seriously hurt because of her stubbornness.

“Hel!  You did not let me down,” Barbara said firmly.  “We need go to the training room.  No arguments.”

Helena looked at her uneasily but nodded.

With a firm nod, Barbara rolled out of the room with Helena in tow.

As they entered the training room, Barbara rolled to the medical supplies.  “Sit down on the examining table,” she softly instructed Helena, who sluggishly did as told.

Barbara rolled back to Helena’s side and took a long look at her.  “I know you are confused and worried.  I am too.  But we’ll get through, Hel.  Trust me,” she said earnestly.

“How . . . do you know?” Helena asked softly, wanting to believe Barbara.  “How do you know this isn’t the way it will be from now on?”

“Because I said so.  And we’re both too damn stubborn to accept defeat,” Barbara said with surprisingly illogical conviction, earning a small snort from Helena.

“Let’s see about your arm,” Barbara said warmly, reaching out for the injured limb.

“I’m sorry, Barbara,” Helena said guiltily as her arm was inspected.

“You’re human, Helena, whether you like it or not.  I know this is …” Barbara said feeling around the injury.


“Sorry,” Barbara quickly blurted with a sympathetic cringe.  “. . . difficult,” she continued.  “But we’ve had “difficult” before,” she noted, pulling out a slender rubber looking cylinder and holding it out for Helena, who eyed it curiously.

“Kinky,” Helena blurted with a smirk, unable to help herself.

“I want you to bite down on this,” Barbara said, glaring at her with exasperation.  Was there ever a time Helena wasn’t thinking about sex?  “I need to set your arm.  And it will hurt,” Barbara said bluntly, not one to pull punches.  She held out the cylinder until Helena hesitantly nodded and took it with a frown.

“Great.  A chew toy,” Helena muttered.

“I’m going to pull your arm so the bone aligns,” she said, gently bracing one hand on Helena’s shoulder as she lifted up Helena’s arm and grabbed the forearm.  Even that motion caused a wince of pain from her lover.  “You ready?”  She asked.

Helena winced with a reluctant nod, placing the slender cylinder in her mouth.

“Ok.  Here we go,” Barbara said and with a swift yank, she pulled.

“Muggghh!” Helena’s cry was muffled as tears filled her eyes.

“The bones are aligned now and will heal properly.  I’m so sorry, sweetie,” Barbara said guiltily, brushing the hair off of Helena’s tear-stained face.

Taking the cylinder out of her mouth, she responded hoarsely “It’s not your fault.”

“It’s not yours either,” Barbara said, wiping off a tear from her cheek before gathering the materials for a cast.

Helena disagreed but remained silent as Barbara diligently tended her throbbing arm.

Chapter 5 - Connections

“Dinah says you found some interesting connections to Carl Tucker,” Helena noted, sitting down on a rolling chair next to Barbara, who sorted through several databases Delphi had accessed.

“I thought you were sleeping.  You should rest – your arm will heal faster,” Barbara scolded her gently as she turned to face her, glancing at the clock which read 2:43 AM.

“And you should sleep now because you never get enough rest,” Helena countered, tilting her head, daring Barbara to argue.

Barbara eyed her a moment and adjusted her glasses before answering the original question.  “I have found that Carl Tucker was hired by Peter Fry to deal with various legal issues, business contracts and such which all appear to be on the up-and-up.”


“Peter Fry is a convicted arsonist.”

“Nice name for an arsonist,” Helena snorted.  “So Carl is either turning a blind eye to Mr. Fry’s activities, or . . . ,” she offered.

“Or, he is working with him,” Barbara noted.

“And if so, what is he up to?” Helena said.

“Excellent question.”

“Any other info of note?”

“Well, since you asked,” Barbara said with a smirk turning towards her computer as she pushed up her glasses.  Her fingers flew over the keyboard, brining up a few windows of information.

“Carl Tucker has not had the best attendance record at his last two New Gotham law firms, which had caused him to be “released” from the last one just over a year ago.”

“You mean “fired.”  I can’t believe your Dad thought he was a good match for me!” Helena blurted, clearly insulted.

“I don’t think he knew, Hel,” Barbara said patiently, pushing up her glasses.
“So Carl-boy doesn’t feel secure in his future with a billionaire grandfather and is knocking off Federal Reserves to continue with the lifestyle he has become accustomed to?” Helena frowned.

“Interesting…,” Barbara responded and rapidly typed a few search strings on the keyboard.


“Look,” Barbara turned the screen slightly for Helena to see it better.

She leaned in and read.  “Whoa.  Now that would piss him off,” Helena said.  “Gramps leaving his billions to the Tucker house.”

“Something tells me he’s not done with one heist,” Barbara said.

“So $10 Million isn’t enough for a good life and cushy retirement anymore, huh?” Helena said shaking her head.  “So where does lizard guy come in?”

“I’m not sure yet.”

“A meta who’s helping him?”

“Could be, but I have no record of any lizard metas matching the description you and Dinah provided.”

“Barbara?  Does Carl have a pilot’s license?” Helena asked curiously.

Intrigued, Barbara’s brow rose as she typed in another search string.  “As a matter of fact, he does,” she said with surprise.  “He’s licensed for instrument flying and . . . helicopters.  I can’t believe I missed that….”

“You missed it because you were worried about me and have not had a good night’s sleep in a while.  Come on,” Helena said, standing up and holding out her uninjured hand.

“Helena, you go in,” Barbara said, now mulling over this new information.  “I have a few more….”

“No,” Helena said firmly.


“NO, Barbara.  You’ll think better after a good night’s sleep,” Helena persisted.

“And how many nights have we slept together with either of us getting a good night’s sleep?”  Barbara challenged, eyeing her pointedly.

Helena rolled her eyes.  “I will be on my best behavior.  Come on, Red.  You have dark rings under those beautiful eyes.  I know you will try to push yourself more - but don’t.  Let those little neurons of yours get a small break for once.”

Barbara looked at Helena, reluctant to admit she was exhausted.  “Please?  Do it for me?”  Helena said softly, batting her eyelashes with a small pout to her lips.

“Ugh!  Fine, and don’t look at me like that,” Barbara complained, putting Delphi in stand-by.

“Like what?”  Helena said innocently, fighting the smile of victory that wanted to emerge.

Barbara eyed her warily.  “Like …that,” she said, motioning absently towards Helena’s pouty face. 

Helena chuckled. 

“Gloating is unbecoming, you know,” Barbara groused as she rolled down the platform towards their bedroom.

“Gloating?  I am just happy your hard-working brain cells will get a little rest.  You know, they’ll thank you for it later and probably come up with all the pieces to this lizard guy puzzle.”

“Uh huh.”

They went into their bathroom and started with their nightly ablutions.  Helena pulled out her toothbrush and stared at the toothpaste a moment, wondering how to best attack it with one hand.  “Here,” Barbara said simply, picking up the tube and applying a glob on Helena’s toothbrush.

“Thanks,” Helena said with a soft smile and started to brush her teeth.

Barbara looked at her a long moment before chuckling to herself, shaking her head.

“What?” Helena softly asked, with a mouth full of toothpaste.  She quickly spit it out and wiped her mouth on a hand towel.  “What?”

“I guess, I never really expected to have . . . this,” she said, motioning between them then to the bathroom.

“Me neither.  I’m glad you finally caved in,” she said conversationally, glancing into the vanity mirror, inspecting her latest collection of bruises and scrapes.  They were healing well, she noted, though her cast was starting to itch like a….

“Caved in?”

“To my irresistibility-ness,” Helena said with a cocky smile.

“Which, of course, is only surpassed by your unparalleled mastery of the English language,” Barbara said dryly.

Helena grinned.  “Indubitably.”


As they settled beneath the covers, Helena leaned over and kissed Barbara on the lips.  “Good night, Red,” she said softly and returned back to her pillow.

“Good night, Hel,” Barbara said, reaching out to caress Helena’s face.

Feeling her ever-present desire begin to bubble up, Helena took Barbara’s hand and tenderly kissed her palm as she shut her eyes.  Taking a fortifying breath, she had to remind herself of her promise to be on good behavior.  “Sleep,” she reminded herself firmly.

Barbara chuckled weakly, her eyelids heavy.  “Love you, Hel,” she said softly as her eyes finally shut and she drifted off into long overdue slumber.

Helena exhaled slowly and stared at the ceiling, unable to drift off as easily as the woman next to her; she glanced at her injured arm, unable to shake the unnerving feeling of dread for what the future held.


Barbara slowly roused from a deep sleep, feeling a chill.  She reached out to Helena, who was no longer in bed.  Her hand migrated around the bed for the sheets.  With a frown, she propped herself up and found the sheets pooled around her feet.  She blinked and glanced over to the digital clock on her nightstand, which read 4:12 am.  Must be in the bathroom, Barbara’s sleep-fogged mind considered as she pulled up the sheet, and leaned back in bed, shutting her eyes.  She sighed, recalling it wasn’t long ago when she had trouble sleeping with someone in her bed.  Now, with Helena, she had difficulty sleeping without her. 

Listening for Helena, she didn’t hear any of the usual sounds of running water, or footfalls, which wasn’t exactly surprising; Helena was very quiet.

Hearing a faint exhale, Barbara’s eyes immediately popped open.  She blinked and looked around the room a few moments before noting a shadow above her, which seemed to be drifting towards their bedroom door.  Barbara curiously focused on the odd shadow and suddenly sat up as her brain finally processed the incredible sight she was seeing, just as Helena thumped against the ceiling.

“Huh?” The groggy shadow blurted before moving awkwardly, reaching out.  Feeling nothing beneath her, Helena woke with a start.  “What the…?  Shit!!”  Helena suddenly fell like a rock, hitting the floor hard.  “Ugh!”

“Helena!” Barbara gasped, adding worriedly “Helena, are you OK?”

“What the…?”  Helena said nervously as she felt herself become buoyant again.  Grabbing the foot of the bed, Helena desperately held on with both her good and injured arms.  “God!”

“Talk to me, Helena!” Barbara said as she quickly shifted out of bed, to her chair.

“I . . . I can’t control this,” Helena said in a panicked voice as Barbara turned on the room lights and rolled to Helena’s side of the bed.

“Control wha . . . ,” Barbara asked but abruptly stopped, immediately seeing for herself.  The only thing keeping Helena Kyle from floating above her was the desperate grip she had on the bed.

“Is everything all right?” Dinah said, bursting into the room with concern, then looked with wide eyes at Helena.  “Oh.”


Tying Helena on the bed wasn’t exactly the most elegant solution to this buoyancy problem but it worked; Barbara was satisfied Helena would not have to waste any energy holding on and once she calmed down, might be able to get some rest.  After tightening the rope, Barbara looked at Helena, who was too worried to joke about the position she was in or tease her about an S&M obsession.  And the absence of those typical comments just added to Barbara’s worry.

“It will be OK, Hel,” Barbara said with as much confidence as she could muster. 

Helena looked between her restraints and her lover incredulously, clearly not believing her.  “Try to rest,” Barbara said with forced authority. 

“I’m tied to a fucking bed because I can’t control this levitation …thing.  And you want me to just rest?!?”  Helena snapped.

“Uh . . . you lost control when you slept.  It would make sense that sleeping might . . . change that state back and return control to you,” Barbara suggested weakly, grasping for an explanation to help calm Helena.

Helena didn’t answer except for a glare, clearly conveying how much she believed that little theory.

Barbara shifted uncomfortably.  “I need to take a blood sample,” she said, knowing how much Helena loathed being a pincushion.

Helena nodded in resignation and lay back to stare at the ceiling, her body barely touching the bedding.


After examining and reexamining Helena’s blood, Barbara leaned on the desk and rubbed her eyes.  She was no closer to understanding how this was happening.  The latest development of uncontrollable buoyancy was disturbing to say the least.  She frowned and shook her head, annoyed she had not anticipated it.  But what annoyed her more was that she had no idea what to do about it.  Tying Helena to the bed was clearly not a long-term solution.  A tendril of doubt wormed its way into her heart.  Would Helena be forever incapacitated by this... condition?  She couldn’t live like that, Barbara thought worriedly.

“Barbara, is there someone we could call to help with this?” Dinah said softly, startling Barbara, who suddenly sat up, erect.  “Sorry,” Dinah winced.

Barbara waved off the apology and took a long breath, shaking her head no, at a loss for whom to call. 

“What about Dr. Turner?” Dinah suggested.  “Gwen would try to help.”

Barbara frowned at the distasteful idea, then sighed, knowing her surprising flash of jealousy of the woman, who had helped before and had gotten close to Helena in such a short period of time, wasn’t helping Helena now.

“I know she would try to help, Dinah.  But I’m really not sure what good that would do.  She was struggling like me to understand the basic physics of the MZT, which we never did fully grasp,” Barbara said honestly, wishing there was someone she could turn to who had the answers, or could find them.

A frightened cry filled the Clock Tower.  “Barbara!” 

Dinah and Barbara looked at each other with alarm before rushing to the bedroom.  Dinah gasped, seeing Helena pressed against the ceiling, with the bed still tied to her.  Barbara finally caught up to Dinah, rolling next to her and stared at her lover, her jaw dropping.  With great difficulty, she struggled to school her features.

“Barbara!  Do something!  Please!” Helena called out frantically.  “Do something . . . please,” she blurted, her plea weakening into whimpers of fear.

Barbara swallowed hard, knowing how much Helena hated not being in control.  “It will be ok, Helena,” she said, mustering all her willpower not to sound just as afraid as Helena; but she had no clue if anything would be ok anymore.

Dinah remained silent, though her heart pounded as the tremendous desperation from both women swept over her.


Helena was quiet with a tense look marring her face as Alfred efficiently buckled the harness around her while Dinah held her in place with TK.  “All set, Miss Helena,” he said with certainty when finished and stepped back. 

Dinah released the TK hold and bit her lip; Barbara held her breath.

Helena could feel herself float up but was held in place by the harness . . . that was attached by steel cables to a metal plate that had just been bolted into to the training room floor by Alfred.

“Thank you,” Helena barely managed to whisper, staring at the floor, a floor only her toes were touching.  Dinah cringed uncomfortably, feeling the fear radiating from her unexpectedly buoyant friend.

Not knowing what words would have been appropriate, the unflappable butler simply nodded, having learned that silence was usually the safest response.

“I’ll be preparing breakfast now, unless there is anything else?” Alfred looked at Barbara, who weakly shook her head no as she focused on the metal plate which she calculated should hold over 50,000 pounds of force.  “Ladies,” he said politely, collected the tools, and departed.

“I’ll go help,” Dinah said uneasily, frowning as she glanced at Helena, who continued to stare at the floor.  She looked to Barbara, who looked her in the eye and gave her a confident nod.  Dinah smiled weakly, feeling Barbara’s fear too, though her mentor was more successful at burying it; without another word, she left them alone.

After an awkward moment, Barbara rolled up to Helena.  She slowly reached out for her hand but Helena recoiled.

“Don’t you dare pull away from me,” Barbara hissed, swiftly grabbing Helena’s hand.  “You are not alone in this,” she said vehemently, squeezing.  “I have no idea what is going on but I will.  We will get through this.  Together,” Barbara vowed, hating to see Helena look so defeated.

“I can’t . . . live like this,” Helena said with quiet, brutal honesty, unable to look her in the eye.

The implication struck dread into Barbara’s heart.  That dread quickly manifested itself into anger.  “You. Will. Not. Give. Up!!  Do you hear me?!?” Barbara growled; they had been through too much together to just give up!

Helena finally looked at Barbara, defeated.  “I . . . ,” she said weakly, then fell into silence, unable to explain to a woman who would not hear.  Her gaze returned to the floor; the floor her toes no longer touched.  She knew her limits.  This was not something she could overcome…no matter how much Barbara might wish it.

“Helena,” Barbara tried but Helena would not look at her.  “We will get through this,” she said firmly again but Helena didn’t respond and continued to stare down in defeat.

With a frustrated exhale, Barbara angrily spun her chair around and left Helena alone, in her harness, hovering a half-inch above the floor.


“Barbara! This is a nice . . . ,” Jim Gordon said happily upon seeing his daughter at his front door.  His smile faded when he noted her face.  “. . . surprise?” 

“Daddy,” she said miserably.


Helena looked at the floor she had hovered above for over a half hour and continued to glare at the metal plate - the only thing able to hold her down.  She knew she could not live her life this, like a helpless balloon, haplessly floating at the whim of the wind; she’d go crazy.  If only she was as strong as….

Tears stung her eyes as she growled in guilty frustration, knowing she had disappointed and more importantly, hurt Barbara by pushing her away; the one person who could understand a life-altering change in her physical ability.  After a highly active life of crime fighting and flying across the Gotham rooftops, Barbara had to face the brutal fact - whatever life she intended on living, it would have to be from a wheelchair.  And in spite of that crushing limitation, Barbara chose to live.  Not just live, Helena silently amended with profound admiration - Barbara chose to continue what she was doing, battling crime, though from a different and even more successful vantage point, from behind Delphi.  Of course the overachiever, Barbara even took on the duties of being a guardian for a troubled teen, who mourned the loss of her mother and cursed the absent hero father she had just learned she had.  Barbara literally saved her, she knew, even as a troubled teen.  Had Barbara not taken on that monumental burden, she would have likely wound up on the other side of the law . . . and certainly not become her lover.

Lovers.  Tears started to spill from her eyes as tremendous guilt and depression weighed upon her.  Helena never had a real relationship before.  So why did she ever think it was a good idea to have one with Barbara, she thought derisively.  She had let Barbara down so many times before…and now was no different.  The amazing woman, who overcame so much heartbreak and disappointment in her life, took a risk and opened herself up to her.

And what does she do with that precious gift?  She pushed Barbara away at the first sign of trouble and practically said she’d kill herself!  Was a fucking idiot!! 

She growled angrily at herself, knowing exactly how would she have felt if Barbara had implied death was better than life with her.

If only she had just some of Barbara’s strength, she considered with warring emotions, desperately wanting this frightening change to just…stop...yet … desperately wanting to prove she was worthy of Barbara’s love…to prove how much her love meant to her.

Her gaze shot up to the ceiling, almost as if a silent plea for help from a higher being.  Suddenly, her harness tightened around her; the cables attaching her to the floor creaked, becoming very taut.  Startled, Helena quickly glanced around uneasily, and felt the harness and cables slacken.

Curious about the response, she looked up at the ceiling again, wishing she could be free of this uncertainty and worthy of the best thing that ever happened to her; once again, the harness and cables strained under the tension as her body lifted and tried to go up.  She looked around again, surprised and a bit uncomfortable; the cables began to slacken.  Looking at the floor, wishing she could just put her feet down like a normal person, her body started to slowly sink towards the floor.

Her toes touched, followed by both feet.  When her feet were firmly planted on the ground, she exhaled with happy surprise before tears overwhelmed her.  She couldn’t help but feel tremendous relief or ignore that wonderful feeling of normalcy of just standing. 

“Heh,” she snorted at the thought of being normal.  She certainly wasn’t it, she considered as she wiped her eyes before her gaze curiously drifted to the ceiling again.  She wondered if her ability to stand normally was just a temporary aberration or something she could actually control.

Needing to find out, she reached towards the ceiling, wanting to go up.  Quickly, the cables became taught and creaked as the fasteners groaned.  Before she could stop and ease the pain from the harness that bit painfully into her shoulders, the strain popped the metal plate from the floor, unexpectedly launching her up. 

“Shi…!” she cried, just before crashing loudly into the ceiling.  “Ooof!”

Quickly losing her buoyancy, she fell to the ground with a heavy thud, accompanied by debris raining down from the newly dented ceiling. 

After an aggravated moan, she sat up and hissed “God damnit,” as she dusted off the debris and coughed.


“What’s wrong, Barbara?” Jim Gordon asked his daughter, who buried herself in his warm embrace as they sat on the couch.  “Did Helena do something stupid?” He asked bluntly.

“No!” she answered with surprise.  Why did he automatically assume that, she wondered with irritation.  “It’s just…she’s . . . she’s . . .” Barbara blurted pulling back from his hug, not having thought through what she’d actually say to her father.  All she knew was that she needed his comforting hug.  Now she was stuck.  “Uh….”

“In trouble?” He guessed gently, almost amused by his daughter’s unusually inarticulate response.

Barbara looked at him uneasily. 

“I can’t help if I don’t know what’s wrong, honey,” he said, searching her eyes, wanting to help more than anything.  It was truly a rare event for his fiercely independent and capable daughter to seek anyone’s help, let alone his – especially after her shooting; he was damned sure he was going to do everything in his power to help her.

“You . . . can’t help her.  I’m not sure I can help her,” she blurted with frustration.  “And she’s giving up,” Barbara admitted miserably, rare tears stinging her eyes as she fell silent, wishing she could just tell him everything. 

“Oh…” he said with some insight.  “There was a time I thought you were going to give up.  You remember refusing to go to physical therapy?”

Barbara sucked in a breath to answer, but just nodded remembering those dark days. 

“There was nothing anyone could say to you to get you to change your mind.  Not even Helena, the first few dozen times,” he said with a chuckle.

“She didn’t give up on me,” Barbara said softly, knowing she had nearly given up on herself if it wasn’t for Helena.

“I thought you finally agreed because she was so damned annoying and you were tired of hearing her harass you about it,” he said with a smirk.

“She did wear me down.  She has that way about her,” Barbara said with a small smile that faded.  “But even if she doesn’t give up…I’m not sure there’s anything that can be done to help her,” she admitted worriedly.

The only other time Jim had seen her so troubled was after she learned she’d never regain the use of her legs.  He sighed, knowing she wasn’t going to elaborate.  Scratching the back of his neck, he uncomfortably guessed a vague why.  “Barbara, perhaps . . . Bruce could help??”

She looked at him with surprise, seeing his encouraging smile.  “W…Why would you think he could help?” Barbara asked guardedly.

“Well, besides having impressive resources and being Helena’s father . . . I know he has solved difficult and unusual . . . situations . . . in the past,” Jim said hesitantly.

Barbara looked at him with great curiosity but couldn’t bring herself to ask what else her father knew.

“Barbara, I have been a friend to Bruce for many years and know about his extra-curricular activities,” Jim finally offered, carefully adding “and yours.”

Barbara blinked.  “Oh?” she said uncertainly.

“I can put two and two together, you know,” he said wryly.  “And I know there are others helping the citizens of New Gotham who are not the Police . . . like Batman and you . . . and I believe, Helena now.”

“You . . . never said anything,” Barbara said uneasily, not knowing if she should be relieved or worried.

“Neither did you,” Jim countered with mild irritation. 

“That would have gone over well.  Hey Dad, guess what new hobby I have?” Barbara countered drolly.

“I suppose there are some secrets that are best to keep.  And what father wants to think about his baby girl is fighting crime outside the law and risking her life?” Jim offered honestly, looking down at her paralyzed legs with a sad frown.

“I made a difference,” she said defensively and firmly adding with conviction “I am making a difference.”

Jim eyed his daughter with a proud smile.  “I know.  Better than most.  I am proud of you, honey.  So very much,” he said sincerely, hugging her.

“That’s… nice to hear, Dad,” Barbara admitted awkwardly, savoring the warmth and acceptance.

“It’s nice to say,” he admitted softly.  “So what’s going on with Helena?”

Barbara sighed and leaned into his hug and told him.


“Helena?” Dinah said with alarm, rushing into the training room.  She came to an abrupt stop when she saw Helena lying back down on the floor and staring up at the ceiling with a heavy exhale.  “Oh no,” Dinah said with dread.  “Are you OK?!?” she said worriedly, kneeling at her side and reaching out only to have her hands slapped away with annoyance.

“Does it LOOK like I’m ok??” Helena growled and sat up again, catching the hurt look on Dinah’s face.  Helena sighed guiltily.  “Sorry.  I know you want to help,” Helena said, wearily combing her fingers through her hair, which caused more particles to rain down and another cough.

Dinah sat down next to her and looked up.  “D…did that just spontaneously happen?” she asked worriedly.

“I think I just spontaneously float, not become a projectile,” Helena offered with a frown, also looking at the damage above.

“Then…what happened?” Dinah asked cautiously.

Helena looked at her uneasily.  “I was trying to see if I could go up.”

Dinah blinked.  “You deliberately did that?!?”

“I did not deliberately try to do that!” Helena hissed, pointing to the hole in the ceiling.  “That just kinda . . . happened,” she finished weakly and scratched the back of her head.

“Well, you’re on the ground again, so that has to be a good thing, right?” Dinah offered cheerfully, missing the incredulous glare, as she picked up a sheared bolt and studied it a thoughtful moment before smiling brightly.  “This. Is. So. Cool!” she exclaimed. 


“This was rated for 50,000 pounds and you sheared this.”

Helena smiled weakly, not appreciating the point, which may have had something to do with her mild concussion, she considered as she coughed on the dust again.

“You wanted to go up and you did,” she said pointedly, then added excitedly “Do it again!”

“Crash into the ceiling??”  Helena grimaced, wondering if Dinah somehow managed to get a concussion too….

Dinah rolled her eyes.  “Levitate up! Come on!” Dinah hopped to her feet with a big smile. 

Helena looked at her cautiously as she slowly stood up, not exactly wanting to get hurt more.

“This will be great!  Just wait until Barbara sees you!”

“Whoa, big D.  You’re getting ahead of yourself,” Helena cautioned, brushing some more debris out of her hair.

“I think you can do it, Helena.  Just try it again.  Please??” Dinah said with a pout.

Helena frowned, making Dinah pout more. “Fine!” she said with exasperation, getting Dinah to smile happily and clap her hands.  Helena shook her head.

“W…What are you doing??” Dinah quickly said when Helena’s arm slipped around her waist.

Helena smiled tightly.  “You’re coming with me.”

“Uh…” Dinah blurted with alarm.

“Not so confident now, huh?” Helena said in challenge, withdrawing her arm to cross both over her chest, proving a point.

Guilt washed over Dinah.  “No. No.  You can do it, Helena.  I know it,” Dinah said earnestly, grabbing her arm back and placing it around her as she looked up.

“You don’t have to,” Helena said uncomfortably, retracting her arm again, though she did appreciate the kid’s gesture.

“I know.  But let’s do this,” Dinah said boldly, grabbing her arm again, which Helena yanked back.

“No!  I don’t want you to get hurt too.”

“You won’t hurt me,” Dinah said confidently, reaching for her arm which she narrowly missed as Helena jumped back.

“I might, if you keep grabbing my arm,” she growled with irritation.  “Stop it,” she said as Dinah dove for her arm again and once again Helena jumped back. 

“Make me,” Dinah said with a grin.

Chapter 6 - Hope

At lunchtime, Barbara rolled out of the Clock Tower elevator with her father following.  A cacophony of crashes and thuds greeted them.  Jim looked to his daughter curiously, wondering if that was normal.  From the concerned look on her face, he quickly concluded it wasn’t.

“What the…Helena?” Barbara said with alarm as she rolled towards the training room. 

She and Jim stopped, trying to comprehend what they were seeing.  Besides what looked like a war zone, with weapons and building debris littered all over, the two occupants were…in the air. 

“Put me down!” Dinah cried angrily, twisting with great frustration, looking up at Helena, who was happily holding her by the ankle as the blood rushed to the blonde’s head.

“If you insist,” Helena laughed and let go of her ankle.

“NO!” Dinah cried, quickly putting her arms out to hopefully break her fall to the rapidly advancing floor, not even thinking to create a protective bubble.  With a sudden jerk, her fall stopped and she was eased down to the ground.

Once to safety, Dinah scrambled to stand and angrily threw a telekinetic ball at Helena, whose eyes widened before she dove out of the way, letting the energy fly past and hit the wall with a loud bang, making the room shudder and more debris to rain down from the hole in the ceiling.

“Enough!” Barbara shouted, causing the two combatants to immediately freeze.  “WHAT is going on?!?” She bellowed as she rolled into the room, crunching over some of the debris.

Dinah and Helena glanced at each other uneasily as their unexpected guest followed Barbara.

Jim withheld a smile, wondering if Barbara always had to put up with this.  If so, it must get expensive, he considered, glancing around the wreckage. 

“Answer me,” Barbara demanded, rolling up to the two young women.

Dinah mumbled something so softly Barbara couldn’t hear but Helena did and snorted, earning a glare from Barbara.

“What?” Barbara snapped, turning her gaze to Dinah.

“Sparring??” Dinah repeated weakly with a shrug.

“Uh, Barbara?” Helena asked softly, briefly gaining Barbara’s gaze, before it went past her to curiously notice the broken harness and cabling.

“Your Dad is here,” Helena stated pointedly.  Dinah smiled weakly at the amused man, who just saw them use their meta-powers.

“Your powers of observation are truly impressive, Helena,” Jim said dryly.

Barbara looked back at her father, who smiled and had a sparkle in his eye.  “And it looks like you have a bit more control over…that,” he noted with encouragement, vaguely motioning towards the young woman and ceiling, causing Barbara to finally grasp that incredibly important point.

“Hel?” Barbara looked at her with such hope it broke Helena’s heart.

Helena took Barbara’s hand and knelt before her.  “I think . . . I’m getting the hang of this, Barbara,” she offered earnestly with a squeeze.

Unbidden, tears welled up in Barbara’s eyes as she let out an uneasy breath. 

“Oh Barbara.  I’m so, so sorry,” Helena said guiltily, reaching out to cup her face, wiping her thumb through a trail of tears as her own eyes welled up. “I know I hurt you but you’ve gotta belie….” Helena said but was interrupted when Barbara reached out and pulled her up, into a deep, passionate kiss, needing that connection.

Jim blinked.  Although pleased Helena apologized for her hurtful, defeatist comments, he really didn’t need to witness his little girl do THAT.

“Lunch?” Dinah suggested to him uncomfortably, getting a quick nod before the two fled for the kitchen.

Pulling back from the kiss, Barbara looked pointedly into Helena’s golden eyes. “If you ever even hint about giving up again…” she hoarsely warned.

“You’ll kick my ass,” Helena finished for her, their foreheads resting against each other as their hands possessively held onto necks, shoulders, and cheeks.  “I am SO sorry, Barbara,” Helena said again.

“I know.  But sweetie, we’re going to have more hurdles; it’s the nature of our lives.  But we can Never.  Ever.  Give up,” Barbara said forcefully, looking into Helena’s eyes.  “That’s not who we are,” she added with conviction.

Helena nodded uncomfortably. “You’re stronger than I am,” she admitted and prevented Barbara’s ready protest with gentle fingers on her lips.  “And I’m more selfish,” Helena added, gaining a frown beneath her fingertips.  “And I’ll keep stumbling and making mistakes, but I swear to you, I will keep trying to be better …for you.”

Barbara grabbed her hand that dropped from her lips and squeezed tightly.  “Hel, you were scared.  I know that.  So was I.  I still am,” she admitted reluctantly.  “I don’t know if this ability to control your levitation is going to improve or be fleeting.  But I need you.  Do you hear me?  In whatever condition you are in,” Barbara declared intensely.

Helena enjoyed the wonderful warmth of Barbara’s love.  “Well that sounds really optimistic,” she said dryly.

“Dinah’s the optimistic one, remember?” Barbara softly chuckled.

“Annoyingly so,” Helena offered.  “Speaking of your father…” she inelegantly changed the subject with a thin smile, looking at Barbara, who shifted uncomfortably; she hadn’t meant to disclose their secret without their agreement.  “It must have been a surprise to see us sparring…in the air, but oddly, he didn’t look surprised,” Helena said conversationally.  “Either he’s a man I never want to play poker with or….”

“You don’t want to play poker with him,” Barbara interjected honestly.  Helena rolled her eyes.  “And he had been a closer friend to Bruce than I had realized.”

“Huh,” Helena offered thoughtfully.

“Yeah.  Huh,” Barbara said with a small smile.

“I’m glad you have him . . . to talk to,” Helena said sincerely.  “You’re a chip off the ol’ block; his little girl fights crime,” she teased, pinching her check and getting her hand swatted away.  Helena grinned.

“It was nice to talk to him about…everything,” Barbara admitted softly, glancing around the debris.

A guilty look crossed Helena’s face again before her eyes dropped. 

Barbara reached out and caressed her cheek, prompting Helena to meet her gaze.  “Water under the bridge.  All right?” She asked softly, getting a small nod.

“Your arm!” Barbara blurted with alarm as she reached out to gently grab the limb, now without a cast.

“Just tender… hard to kick Dinah’s ass with a cast,” Helena joked.

Barbara frowned. “I’ll put another one on.”

“No,” Helena protested, getting a pointed look of disagreement.  “It’s too itchy!” Helena whined, causing Barbara to roll her eyes.  “Come on, it’s healed.  See?” She demonstrated the mobility of her limb.

“Fine,” Barbara exhaled wearily, causing Helena to smile happily. 

Helena started to levitate and got a few inches off the floor but she stopped herself and with wobbly effort lowered herself to the ground.  “Ta da!” she joked with a self-conscious shrug; she knew she was a far cry from being graceful.

Barbara’s eyes widened at the display, then dropped thoughtfully.  “Dad suggested . . . Bruce might be able to help us,” she said hesitantly, looking at Helena anxiously.

Helena stiffened. 

“Hel, we shouldn’t rule any options out,” Barbara quickly blurted.

“You know, I’m pretty sure Batman couldn’t fly…” Helena noted conversationally. “Well, except from his responsibilities,” she added coldly, walking out of the training room.

“Helena,” Barbara said with a groan as her lover marched off.  She pinched the bridge of her nose.  With a frustrated exhale, Barbara rolled after her.


Helena walked into the kitchen, where Jim and Dinah were making sandwiches.

“You want a turkey sandwich?” Jim asked as he cut a tomato and Dinah got the bread from the counter.

“That would be great,” Helena said with a small smile as Barbara rolled in behind her.

“Hey Barbara, your father is a chef!” Helena offered with a smile and headed to the refrigerator.

Jim did not need to be a telepath to sense the tension between the two.  He glanced at Dinah, who frowned.

“That’s a bit of a stretch,” Jim offered with a forced chuckle.

“Anyone who can make something more than a bowl of cereal or pop tarts is a chef to Helena,” Dinah noted.

“In my younger days, I couldn’t afford much more than cereal or pop tarts,” Jim said, finishing another sandwich.

“You like pop tarts?” Helena asked with interest, placing a carton of milk on the table.

“Uh…sure, doesn’t everybody?” Jim shrugged.

“Apparently not - your daughter hates them,” Helena said, crossing her arms over her chest, looking at Barbara.

“I never said I hated them,” Barbara said defensively.

“You said you didn’t care for them,” Helena responded.

“True, b…,” Barbara corrected.

“Ha!”  Helena interrupted in victory.

Barbara’s mouth dropped in amazement.  Then she just shook her head, electing not to continue the pointless argument.  She glanced at Helena, who smirked and placed a hand on her shoulder and squeezed.  Barbara’s hand covered Helena’s and caressed it.  The previous tension between them quickly dissipated.

Jim smiled as he finished assembling the sandwiches, considering Barbara certainly had her hands full with Helena.


After Dinah left for her friend’s house, Barbara showed her father the Tower and Delphi.  “So this is how you do it,” Jim said, glancing at the multiple screens and computer system with interest.

“This is how we do it,” Barbara clarified firmly.

Jim looked at her with a smile, knowing she was the brains behind the operation, but nodded.  He noted her gaze once again drift towards Helena, who stood out on the balcony, staring out over New Gotham.

“I wish she wouldn’t go out there,” Barbara said softly, still worried about Helena’s control of her newfound skill.

“She really didn’t like the idea of Bruce helping, did she?” Jim said softly, knowing Helena was upset.  It didn’t take a seasoned Detective to know Helena despised her hero-father for not preventing her mother from being murdered or staying around afterwards when they all learned Helena was his daughter.

“That’s an understatement,” Barbara said with a sigh.  “I wish she had with Bruce what I have with you.  But I’m pretty sure that will never happen.  She sees him as a man who was supposed to be a hero, but ran away from his responsibilities at the worst time in our lives.”

Jim frowned.  “How do you see him?” he asked curiously.

She was surprised by the question but gave it some thought before answering.  “As a man,” she said simply, which before the shooting and his disappearance, would never have been her answer.  He had been her mentor and inspiration, a true hero.  “A flawed man who had limits…and who let his heartache and guilt consume him.”

“I...didn’t help any,” Jim said with a heavy sigh, gaining a curious look.  “When you were shot, he needed a friend but I was an angry father,” he admitted reluctantly, surprising Barbara.  “I blamed him for getting you caught up in that dangerous life, which I now accept was your choice,” he offered, stopping her ready rebuttal. 

He sighed thoughtfully.  “I wonder, had I been that friend, would he have stayed and been the father he should have been to Helena?” Jim looked at his daughter uneasily, the guilt still weighing on him. 

Barbara shook her head gently.  “There’s no way to know.  But even if Bruce had stayed, I don’t think Helena would have been able to forgive him for Selena’s death.  She may have even turned to crime to spite him,” Barbara offered truthfully, causing Jim to glance out at the balcony, thankful that didn’t happen.

“What I do know is that having Helena with me, at that time in my life, was what I needed,” Barbara said honestly.  “She certainly didn’t give me much time to wallow in self-pity,” she added wryly, causing Jim to chuckle softly, both recalling the many brushes with the law and authority figures.  Still seeing the unease in his eyes, she added “You shouldn’t beat yourself up, Dad.  It turned out better than I could have hoped.  And I think she didn’t turn out too bad being with me,” Barbara said, grasping his hand and squeezing.

“I think she was lucky you thrive on challenges,” Jim offered with amusement.

Barbara grinned and looked at him curiously.  “Have you seen him since he left?”

“No.  But I would imagine Alfred is in contact with him,” Jim said, getting an absent nod from Barbara, who had the same suspicion but never broached the subject before, knowing it would have placed Alfred in an awkward position. 

“Are you going to try and contact him?” Jim asked curiously, noting his daughter’s worried gaze seek out Helena again.

“No.  I think he would only add stress to an already stressful situation.”

Jim nodded. 


With her father gone, Barbara rolled out onto the balcony.

“Sorry I wasn’t more social,” Helena said softly, continuing to look out over the skyline.

“It’s ok.  Why don’t we go back inside?”  She said uneasily as she rolled next to Helena and looked at her expectantly.

Helena briefly studied her.  “You still worried that I’ll float away?”

Barbara nodded uncomfortably. 

“Let’s go inside then,” Helena said reasonably, surprising Barbara, who expected a litany of complaints about her worrying too much or that she was fine or that she had it under control.  She hadn’t expected Helena to acquiesce.

“Thank you,” Barbara said sincerely.

“So the Kid’s gone, your father’s gone, and we’re all alone,” she said conversationally.  “By ourselves,” Helena added with a smirk as she followed Barbara into the Tower.

“You want to have sex,” Barbara said flatly, stopping.

“You make that sound like a bad thing,” Helena pouted, then smiled brightly and announced, “Of course I do!”

“So THAT’s why you were so willing to come back inside,” Barbara accused.

“So you don’t want to have sex?” Helena asked with frown.

“Helena!” she said incredulously.

“Barbara, you can not blame me for wanting you!  It’s…it’s a force of nature!” she cried dramatically.  Barbara blinked. “It’s like…needing to breathe!!  And we all need to breathe, right??” Helena argued innocently, prompting a begrudgingly amused chuckle from the redhead at her impeccable logic.  “And you are So. Fucking. Hot!” Helena growled softly and eyed Barbara, who watched the light blue turn into golden, lust-filled cat-eyes, which always was an incredibly arousing sight.

“Bedroom!” Barbara ordered, turning her chair abruptly and rolled towards said destination.  Helena smiled happily and followed.


“OOOh!” Barbara moaned in climax as Helena took care of her…again.  As she regained her breath, she felt Helena’s lips traveling over her shoulder, down her chest to a taut nipple, which was enveloped by a warm, skilled mouth.

“Helena,” Barbara moaned as another jolt of arousal surged.  “Sweetie.  Enough,” Barbara gasped as the plentiful sensations now bordered on almost painful.

Helena looked at her with concern.

“Sometimes there is a thing as too much pleasure,” Barbara explained with a wry chuckle.

“Crazy talk!” Helena huffed, then gently kissed Barbara’s very kissable shoulder.

“Perhaps, but true.  And, you need to let me catch my breath so I can return the favor…or rather, many favors,” Barbara offered with desire in her eyes as she caressed Helena’s cheek.

“I’m not keeping count, you know,” Helena said awkwardly.

“Well, it IS a rather large number,” Barbara joked, then quickly realized Helena was not finding it amusing.  She searched her lover’s eyes curiously.  “What’s wrong?” she asked softly.

Helena winced, not wanting to talk; she just wanted to show Barbara how much she loved her.

“Hel?”  Barbara encouraged, growing worried about Helena’s change in demeanor.

“I . . . ,” Helena said then fell silent, really uncomfortable and annoyed with herself for her awkward comment and reaction.

“I need you to talk to me, Hel,” Barbara said with growing concern.

“I just . . . I get worried, ok?” Helena said weakly.

Barbara blinked, then guessed at the problem as she looked towards the ceiling where Helena had previously floated to unexpectedly.  “You’ve been making remarkable progress, Hel,” she said with encouragement.

“Yeah.  But in the right areas?”  Helena said with a humorless snort, prompting a confused look.  She shook her head and sat up, the sheets pooling at her waist.

Barbara shifted and sat up as well, looking at a distraught Helena.  “Sweetie, tell me,” she said, kissing the back of Helena’s bare shoulder and wrapping her arms around her.

“I don’t want to screw this up, Red,” Helena said, motioning between the two of them.

“Neither do I.”

Helena rolled her eyes.  “Right.  If anyone is more likely to screw this up, it’s obviously me,” she scoffed at the notion Barbara could possibly screw anything up.

“I strongly disagree.  I’m more demanding and clearly have made you doubt our relationship,” Barbara said with a frown.

“You have not!” she argued.  “Who’s the one who retreated when things got hard?  Hurting you by….” Helena blurted guiltily, silenced by firm fingers on her lips.

“Helena…how many years did I hurt you?” Barbara asked guiltily, retracting her hand.

“Wh…Years?” Helena balked in surprise.  “Maybe you were right about too much pleasure, I think your brain has shorted out,” she said flatly, looking over Barbara’s face critically.

“I’m serious.  How many years had you known how you felt for me while I, the all seeing all knowing Oracle, had been clueless of what was right in front of me?” Barbara said with irritation for her blindness.

“What does that have to do with anything??”


“Clearly, I am not understanding,” Helena complained, plopped back on the bed, stared at the ceiling and mumbled “Or maybe your neurons need a vacation….”

“Did you try to hurt me?” Barbara asked simply, looking down at her lover.

“NO!  That’s the last thing I would want!” Helena quickly blurted, worriedly sitting back up.

“And I didn’t intend to hurt you by being oblivious to your love for me,” Barbara said with a tinge of annoyance.  “But I did hurt you, Helena,” she said, making Helena take a breath to interrupt and dismiss it.  “Like you hurt me,” Barbara quickly noted, preempting Helena’s interruption but gaining a wince.   “Unintentionally,” Barbara stressed pointedly.  “And hurt, unintentional or not, is always a risk with the ones you love,” she said softly, caressing Helena’s cheek. 

“Hel,” Barbara said as her hand dropped to Helena’s shoulder and squeezed in emphasis as she looked into her eyes.  “We can’t be caught up in the “what ifs” or fear of possibly making another mistake of hurting each other, because it will happen,” Barbara lectured, then shook her head and admitted with brutal honestly “If we wasted time thinking about all the things that could go wrong between us, it would be very hard to get up in the morning and face the day.”

Helena looked at her a quiet moment, then started to chuckle as she stuck an arm behind her head as a pillow.

“What??” Barbara said, clearly not understanding what was so funny.

“You do realize you really suck at pep talks, right?”  Helena giggled.

“But do you understand what I am trying to say?” Barbara said doggedly with mild irritation.

“Yeah,” Helena said as her laughter subsided and she traced her fingers affectionately down Barbara’s arm.  Barbara placed a hand over Helena’s and warmly squeezed.  “Even though you are as bad at talking about relationship stuff as I am.  Which is rather comforting …in an odd way,” Helena added with a chuckle.

“Glad I could provide you comfort,” Barbara grumbled and pulled the sheet up as she lay back down.

“You do.  But you know, I am much more comfortable doing things than talking about them,” Helena said honestly, also lying down and rolling on her side with her head propped on her hand. 

Barbara eyed her a serious moment.  “I do know that.  But we will still need to talk from time to time,” she said firmly.  “I’m not Dinah, you know,” Barbara noted.

“Oh, ewww.  We’re naked in bed together and you had to mention the kid?” Helena complained, prudishly pulling the sheet up to cover her body.

Barbara chuckled at the look of disgust on Helena’s face.  “Sorry,” she said without sincerity and a whole lot of amusement.

Helena frowned and stared at the ceiling, ignoring Barbara.  Ignoring the way a gentle hand found its way under the sheet, to her sensitive stomach.  Ignoring the electrifying touch as the fingers of that hand caressed her flesh.  Ignoring the intensity of those green eyes as they looked possessively at the beauty before her, making Helena’s hairs stand on end.

Helena tried to ignore the tingling sensation as sensuous lips enveloped her earlobe and an arousing tongue toyed with it. 

Helena blinked and swallowed as the sensuous lips and arousing tongue slowly and reverently migrated to her neck, leaving a warm wet trail, which ignited a surge of desire as a delicious hum vibrated against her skin.  “Are you sure there isn’t something I can do, to make up to you for ruining the mood?” 

Barbara already knew the answer to that obvious question; Helena could feel Barbara’s smug smile against her skin.  Helena shifted slightly to look into Barbara’s bright eyes, her own morphing into cat-slits.  After a taking a breath to answer the only answer she could give, an obnoxious blaring of Delphi interrupted. 

“Fuck,” Helena exhaled in defeat.

Barbara bit her lip in sympathy, then glanced over towards the door and Delphi uncertainly as if actually debating whether she should ignore it.

“Good GOD I am a bad influence on you!” Helena said incredulously and slid out of bed, grabbing their clothing strewn around the bedroom in their frantic disrobing.  “We’ve…” Helena announced, tossing Barbara’s jeans and top to her but pausing with her panties, on which her superior olfactory senses could still detect Barbara’s arousal.  With a grimace, she valiantly fought through her distraction and handed Barbara’s panties to her. “We…We’ve got people to save and …stuff,” Helena added absently, then stopped her internal debate with a brisk shake of her head. 

“Never let it be said,” Helena announced as she slipped on her underwear then her jeans, hopping on one foot, “that I actually succeeded in corrupting our fair Barbara Gordon from her duty.”  She looked for her bra, which had somehow got under the bed.  When she pulled it out, she frowned.  “Not mine,” she declared, staring at it a longing moment before reluctantly handing it to Barbara.

Barbara grasped Helena’s hand, gaining Helena’s uncertain gaze.  Her other hand cupped Helena’s cheek.  “You are not a bad influence on me.”

Helena sighed and grumbled, “I will be, if you keep caressing my cheek, Red.”

“I love you,” she said simply, knowing Helena would always try to do the right thing, in spite of her grumbled warnings or internal arguments.  

“Not helping the hero cause at all, Red,” Helena warned, then sternly huffed “Get dressed, we’ve got people to save…and stuff.” 

Barbara smiled lovingly at Helena, who bristled.  “What??  You’re the one who has always thought the citizens of New Gotham are worthy of saving.  Though, if you ask me, I’d say maybe a third are.  Give or take…most likely take…”

As Helena rambled, Barbara chuckled quietly and efficiently donned her clothes.


Barbara rolled up on the dais and put her glasses on.  Typing on the keyboard, she brought up several screens of information to understand what tripped Delphi’s alarm.

“Another sighting of lizard guy,” Barbara announced eagerly, typing another command and bringing up a traffic camera.

“Where is that?” Helena asked anxiously, seeing an overturned container truck but no lizard guy.  He had fled once again.

“I-89 out of Blüdhaven,” Barbara said.

“Isn’t that a sign for plutonium?” Helena asked with alarm, noting the distinctive tri-foil transportation placard.

“It’s for radioactive material.  It could be anything radioactive…” Barbara noted absently, zooming in on the license.  She quickly searched the DMV database, then the truck company’s shipping records. “Plutonium,” Barbara confirmed, making Helena smirk with satisfaction.  “5 kilograms of it.”

“Aren’t typical warheads about that amount?” Helena blurted with surprising insight.

“Yes,” Barbara said and asked curiously “How did you know that?”

“I can read, you know,” Helena said defensively, crossing her arms over her chest.

“And you just happened to read up on nuclear bombs?” Barbara asked with surprise.

“Well…I uh, actually saw it on a show about blowing things up,” Helena admitted reluctantly; she’d never be a doctor.  Or war-hero.  Or crime-fighting genius. 

Barbara nodded.  “It looks like explosives were used to overturn the truck,” she offered.

“Peter Fry’s work?” 


“I think I might get there in about 45 minutes…as the crow flies,” Helena announced with a smirk.

“What?!?” Barbara blurted with alarm, getting a frown from Helena.  Forcing a calming breath, Barbara responded again, in a calmer tone.  “Why?  He’s gone,” she said logically, firmly believing Helena trying to fly to Blüdhaven was not a good idea.

“To pick on Nightwing for letting lizard guy get away with Plutonium?” she muttered sarcastically.

“You could do that over the phone,” Barbara countered.

Helena sighed, then offered.  “Maybe I could pick up his trail?” 

“Hel, I really don’t think that’s a good idea,” Barbara said gently.  “Blüdhaven is too far away for your first…outing.”

Helena shook her head.  “You can’t keep me on a leash, Barbara.  I don’t do leashes!” She blurted in frustration.

“Is that what you think I’m doing?”  Barbara said, hurt.  “You just stopped spontaneously levitating, Hel!” 

Helena exhaled heavily, not wanting to hurt Barbara but needing to do something.  “You’ve hooked me up to every piece of lab equipment you have and sampled my blood like a bazillion times – and what?” Helena argued calmly.  “We’re not going to figure this out by more tests.  I’m a learn-by-doing, kind of gal.  Keeping me here isn’t helping us understand anything.  I need to . . . spread my wings,” Helena said poignantly; Barbara was not happy, making her wish they had just stayed in bed.  “And we have a few criminals to put away, who like to blow things up and just stole bomb-grade plutonium!” she pointed out.

Barbara frowned.

“You want to fly to Blüdhaven,” Barbara said flatly, getting a nod from Helena, knowing she was hell-bent on going unless she could convince her otherwise.  Glancing out to the balcony a moment, it came to her - the perfect argument to keep her at the Tower, she considered, with a thin, satisfied smile.  Sure it would be exploiting Helena’s main weakness, but Barbara was ready to fight dirty to change Helena’s mind.


“If you don’t stop touching it, it’ll fall off!” Barbara blurted with annoyance.

“It itches,” Helena complained, causing Barbara to roll her eyes.

“You’ll get used to it,” Barbara grumbled, annoyed she couldn’t convince her flying to Blüdhaven was a bad idea…and that it took this trip for Helena to finally agree to wear a sensible mask, contrary to her long-standing objections that it insulted her fashion sense.    

“It does look quite dashing on you, Miss Helena,” Alfred said approvingly, quite proud of his creation - and his ability to so quickly respond to her need for a mask.  Though truth be told, he had already anticipated Helena would require a mask at some point in her crime-fighting career and had one already made – as any good butler would.  “Are you sure you wouldn’t like a costume with a cape as well?” he offered eagerly.  “I just happen to …”

“Uh…No, thank you, Alfred,” Helena interjected quickly, then elaborated, “I saw the Incredibles.  Capes?  Not such a good idea,” she said seriously, and scratched her cheek below her mask…that she really did not think did anything to complement her overall outfit.  At least it wasn’t hideous….

“You are making crime-fighting wardrobe decisions based on a cartoon?” Barbara asked incredulously.

“Animated movie,” Helena corrected her, earning a glare from her unimpressed and still unhappy lover.  “Hey, good advice is good advice, regardless of the packaging,” Helena sagely tossed out.  Barbara sighed.

“Well, I’m ready,” Helena announced confidently, looking between Alfred and Barbara, who both sported worried looks about the first intentional aerial outing.

“And with that rousing cheer of support, I’m off,” she said with disappointment, heading to the balcony.

“Helena, wait,” Barbara said, rolling after her.

Helena stopped and looked at Barbara with a sigh, expecting another argument.  “I…” Barbara started but paused thoughtfully.  “Don’t be too long,” she said instead, pulling Helena into a tender kiss.

“Huh,” Barbara responded with surprise and pulled back. 


“It itches,” Barbara offered, rubbing her cheek.

“They say you’ll get used to it,” Helena said wryly and kissed her quickly again before heading out the balcony doors.

Torn between covering her eyes and watching, Barbara’s curiosity won out; she rolled onto the balcony after Helena. 

Helena took a deep breath and glanced at Barbara, who nodded with a forced smile of encouragement, which was not exactly encouraging. 

“I’m glad you never tried to make a living as a cheerleader.  You suck at it,” Helena said bluntly then jumped off the ledge, causing Barbara to draw in a startled breath and roll out, closer to the edge to see Helena descend rather quickly, like a rock.

“Hel!” Barbara gasped, watching Helena’s arms flap and body twist and wobble before she slowed her decent and made some forward motion – towards the office building adjacent to them.  A building she got to see up close and personal…when she slammed into it.

Barbara cringed and quickly tapped her coms link.  “Hel?!?  Come back now,” she said urgently.  “No!  No, uh, just…just land and I’ll come and…” Barbara anxiously corrected her previous order as she thought about the best and least harmful avenue.

“ even a … scratch, Oracle,” Helena interrupted tensely, now free from any nearby skyscrapers and gaining altitude.  “Mask still itches,” she offered, starting to gain confidence as she leveled out and flew further away from the Tower.

“Huntress, you are going the wrong direction.  Blüdhaven is West,” Barbara offered uneasily, her misgivings about this outing growing exponentially as she watched Helena grow smaller in the sky. 

“I’m … just getting the hang of going straight,” Helena answered with irritation.

Barbara shook her head in frustration and rolled back inside.  At Delphi, she called up the map and studied Helena’s GPS signal for several long minutes, unaware when Alfred quietly placed a cup of tea and some Oreos by her keyboard and left for the kitchen.  Barbara shut her eyes and counted to ten.  “Huntress?” she said calmly.


“Are you planning on turning anytime soon?” Barbara asked tersely as she noted Helena’s position, now several miles off course.  After getting no answer, Barbara pinched the bridge of her nose.  “Huntress, why don’t you just land and I’ll come and get you? Please??”

“No, no.  I’m . . . I’m turning . . . now,” Helena ground out, as if she were moving an extremely heavy weight.

Scanning the map for any change, her eyes widened. “You’re actually doing it!” Barbara said with clear amazement.

“You still . . . suck at . . . cheerleading,” Helena said, catching her breath.

“Give me an H,” Barbara said flatly, picking up her tea and taking a sip.

“Har, Dee. Har,”Helena responded, rolling her eyes.  “It’s a good thing you’re a kickass crime fighter and teacher . . . you make a lousy comedian too.”

Barbara shook her head with mild amusement.  “How fast do you think you can go?” she suddenly asked, tilting her head curiously.

“Why don’t we experiment later, after I’ve figured out how to stop,” Helena suggested sweetly.

“Hel?” Barbara said with alarm.

“Just kidding.  I know how to stop.  Just gotta find a building to slam into,” Hel said dryly.

“Hel?  Good thing you are a kickass crime fighter and bartender…” Barbara said flatly, shaking her head.  She was not amused, at all.  Though the sound of Helena’s chuckle still managed to bring a small smile to her worried face.


After forty-nine minutes and fourteen seconds after Helena finally headed in the correct direction, she was almost on top of the site of the vehicle crash. 

“Huntress?  Can you see it yet?”


“Huntress? Can you see it yet?” Barbara repeated with irritation.  Helena really did need to work on her focus….

“Uh…yeah.  Police are . . . ,” Helena said tiredly, her voice weak.

“Police are what, Huntress? Huntress??”

Helena faintly heard Barbara’s voice just before her foot touched the ground and she blacked out.

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