I don't own, surprise, surprise. The good people at WB/DC do.
Someone Like You
Bruce watched his date intently, trying to read signs, waiting for some
sort of green light to advance. She picked up the glass of red wine again,
taking another careless drink. He thought she was especially endearing when
she was slightly intoxicated. One hand slid into her hair, tucking wild
blonde strands behind her ear, then she let out a little laugh.
"It's funny, you know. Life has been so incredibly. NORMAL for the last
four years or so. And I don't mean that as a slight to you. it's just. so
normal. And things couldn't be better." Selena Kyle's icy blue eyes looked
up at him, seemed to search for some sort of response that she wasn't being
"I'm. glad we've had this chance to catch up," Bruce answered
noncommittally. "You are looking exceptionally well."
"You too. I'm glad to see the night life hasn't caught up with you." Her
fork stabbed unceremoniously at the pasta on her plate. This was her third
glass of wine, and Bruce knew she couldn't handle it. He should have
stopped her, but the temptation to hear her lay her soul bare was too
A thin smile spread across his lips. "Not yet. And you. Retired, still?"
Her eyes lit with some sort of passionate fire when he asked this, and she
leaned forward. "Well, it's impossible to have a night-life with a little
person at home."
Bruce felt his heart catch in his chest.
"Father turned out to be a real loser. Found out I was pregnant, and ran
off with the guy next door. I kid you not. Which does WONDERS for your self
esteem, being dumped for a college student who works in a comic book store.
So much for 'normal.'" She stabbed at her food again, twisting the fork
with decreasing skill. "And you'll never guess this. It's like God slapping
you in the face with irony. She comes popping her head out one year to THE
DAY that I break up with you because I need a 'normal' life. Two weeks
early and hasn't been on time for a thing in her life since." Selena
blushed, realizing she was going on and on. "She's three now. Got an old
friend I met at the library watching her. My mother shit a brick when she
found out about a baby and no wedding ring, so it's not like I can rely on
her." Selena rolled her eyes. "Anyways. The babysitter's a great kid.
Really likes Helena and all. Well, that's enough of my tangent." With a
self-depreciating smile, she put the pasta into her mouth, then began
picking at her food again, so she wouldn't have to look at him.
"It sounds like things're. complicated."
Selena looked at him, pointing up with her fork. "They make more sense than
being out there, though. I mean. when you see the baby for the first time,
you realize. this is stupid. SHE is what I invest all my time and energy
into now, and I'm fine with that. And I have to thank you for it. You got
me to a place where I could see that there was a future, and not just
tonight, and tonight, and tonight. and when my future came popping out.
well, I guess that cured me of the rest. She really should meet you, you
know. And know the person who saved mommy's life."
Bruce's hands folded and came to rest on the edge of the table. "I. would
like that," he said uncomfortably.
"I'm signing her up for dance classes tomorrow. We saw the Nutcracker at
Christmas, and she's become absolutely obsessed. You can come with us.
It'll be fun."
"I'd like that," Bruce replied, with no intention of going. It wasn't until
her last statement that he realized how far gone from her life he had
become. He'd always hoped that they could get back together again. It had
been the thing that he thought about every morning for four years.
` * * *
"Helena." Barbara Gordon signed in frustration. "Your mom's going to be
home any minute. Which means I have to have you in bed. You don't want me
to get in trouble, do you?" She lifted a hand to the child, hoping the girl
would take it.
"Not going to bed," the child affirmed. She shook her head and her straight
black locks twisted around her head. She remained in a crouched position
atop a large slab of marble.
"Alright," Barbara said. Then you at least have to get down from the
mantle. What if you fall and crack your head?"
"I don't fall," Helena said with certainty. She stood up to show her
babysitter just how invincible she was.
"Helena, get down from there. NOW," Barbara said, slightly upset. She had
no idea why the child was so inclined to climb atop everything in the
apartment, but she didn't like it.
The girl huffed. "Fiiiiine." Without preamble, Helena jumped, landing in a
crouched position on the carpet. "I need potato chips." Without waiting for
approval, the girl stalked off to the kitchen.
Barbara watched the girl leave, finally feeling her heart start beating
again. She heard the door open behind her, and her shoulders fell. "How did
it go?" she asked.
Helena came back into the room, a two pound bag of flavored chips in tow.
She ran up to her mother, and wrapped her arms around Selena's leg. "It
went well. The ballet thing really freaked him out, like you said." There
was a note of disappointment in her voice.
"He doesn't handle frilly well," Barbara informed Selena.
"What about her birth certificate," the blonde woman asked, picking up her
"That's all been changed as of this morning. It just took a few good hacks.
Birth records, everything indicate the date you gave Bruce, not her actual
Sitting on the black leather sofa with her girl, Selena nodded. "I didn't
get a chance to thank you, Barbara." Helena continued shoveling potato
chips into her mouth, quietly listening to the grownups.
"I think you should have told him," Barbara pointed out distastefully. "But
if you're going to pull one over on him, you should at least do it right."
"I will tell him. Some day. When she can take care of herself." She took
the bag out of Helena's hand. "What did we say about snacks before bed
Barbara remained firmly planted in front of the fire place, folding her
arms over her chest in protest. "You should have at least given him the
"Barbara, I'm not going to discuss this again. I appreciate your help, but
I can't subject her to that world. Either one of them. Not until I'm sure
she can take care of herself."
Barbara looked behind her, at the mantle, remembering the girl's fearless
jump. "How long with that be?" she wondered, almost to herself. "I just
think." she muttered, even quieter. "He'd have been a good dad. That's
Helena had settled down. With the loss of her chips, she'd put her head on
her mother's shoulder, and was dozing. "If things were different. If we
both hadn't run around in the wrong circles.The Joker's been asking about
Catwoman. All I need is for him to connect us."
"I know," Barbara whispered sympathetically. "You're doing the only thing
you can," she conceded. She walked to the door and grabbed her backpack. "I
gotta get out there on patrol. And remember to keep all my lies straight."
Helena put her sleeping daughter down on the sofa and smiled. "Thank you."
Defeated, Barbara nodded, closing the heavy wooden door behind her.