My Mentor, My Father
Author: DebC
Rating: PG
Special warnings: None
Status: new, complete
Focus/Characters: Barbara, Helena
Keywords: post-episodic, character introspection
Spoilers: Pilot episode

Disclaimers: Birds of Prey, it's characters and concepts are the property of Warner bros, Tollin-Robbins Productions & DC Comics. See me? *points to self* I am affiliated with none of those people. I'm making no profit off this and never expect to. Dick Greyson mentioned because I can.
Summary: Barbara and Helena reflect on that which connects them

Author's Notes: This is my first attempt at a Birds of Prey fanfic. I don't really know these characters, but the only to know them is to watch and try. Especially if you don't know the comics. Which I don't. But I watched and now I'm trying. If anyone out there would like to beta read for me in the future, they could e-mail me at debchilson @ (sans spaces). I'm looking for someone who won't care that I know almost nothing about the comic versions of the character.

"My Mentor, My Father"

Helena and I are arguing again, this time over what we should do about the girl who'd followed her to our headquarters. The girl--Dinah--shouldn't be here but she is and something has to be done. We can't kill her; we don't kill. I told Helena that and she shrugged it off with all the sarcasm I've come to expect from Bruce and Selina's child.

Sometimes it amazes how much she reminds me of them. How much she reminds me of her father in particular.

Intense, dark and strong-willed--just like Bruce. She always has to have the last word in all our conversations... or the last glare as it often is. She just stares at you with that piecing gaze, the one that looks right through you and I can't even begin to count how many times I'd seen it from him before. That same I-know-you look he always used on me and Dick and... every criminal he ever fought. I used to be afraid to look into those eyes, because I knew I couldn't lie to him... couldn't hide anything from the man wielding them like omniscient weapons.

She inherited that from him, and so much more. Her dark beauty, for one thing. I know without a doubt that all who look upon her--friend and foe alike--love her for one shining moment. They loved Bruce the same way. The media, all of high society. Even the criminals he fought as Batman were drawn--infatuated--to his handsome mystique. They wanted to know him, unravel the mystery... use it to break him, bend him to their wills. It was their undoing, because no one got that close to Bruce Wayne or Batman without losing themselves.

Least of all me. I gave my life--a normal life--to fight by his side. He trained me and made me, and left me with the knowledge that my life would never be the same for having known him. As it will also never be the same for having known his daughter.

Sometimes I think that's why I did it--took her in and let her crash on that same couch where Dinah now sits. Because of him, of seeing him in her and not wanting to lose that feeling of having him around. He's there lurking in each argument--there glaring at me, getting the last word. Always, so long as she's there.

And sometimes I think how selfish that is--wanting to keep him when she never had him. Never knew him. I did know him--knew him better than most, except maybe Alfred--and it makes me feel guilty sometimes. Makes me feel like all that time I spent with him was time that should have been hers.

Selfishness. Guilt. Yes, those are both reasons I took her in and trained her. Passing on to her all the things her father gave to me. However, there was another reason. When I look at her, I see her potential to be greater than all of us--me, Dick, Selina... even Batman himself. She's already greater than us. As unfocused and reluctant as she is sometimes, she still surpasses anything rest of have done.

If only she'd commit herself to the fight...


I know what Barbara wants from me.

She wants me to be like... be like him. My father. She says I look like him. I hate to admit that sometimes, but she's right. I do look more like him than I do my mother. I'd rather look like Mom, rather see her face when I look in the mirror and have her eyes staring back at me. Not his. I don't know his. They aren't familiar, aren't comfortable.

They aren't because I don't know him. I know of him. The legend and the man. Everyone knows the legend--the big, black Bat haunting the shadows and keeping Gotham safe for innocent people. I've often wondered if that's why he couldn't keep my mother safe... because she wasn't innocent. Because she'd been his enemy in another life. Because she'd left him when she had me. Stopped being his enemy, stopped being his lover.

Is that why he *didn't* save her?

I don't know much about that night. Barbara won't tell me--can't I think. I know he fought the Joker and that it was horrible battle, one that raged for hours while the city slept. The Joker was defeated but not vanquished, and he killed my mother and hurt Barbara.

I feel sorry about that, her being hurt because of him. Sometimes, I wonder if he feels sorry about it, too. Wherever he is now, does he feel remorse for not being there when Mom fell dead and Babs lost her legs? Or doesn't he know, just like he doesn't know about me?

But I still know... about him. Many people know *about* him. The man... Bruce Wayne. I remember once, when I was a child, seeing him on the tv and thinking how pretty--I was five, everything was pretty at five--he was and how I'd love to meet him. Bruce Wayne, the dashing tv guy with all the money and the fancy cars and the nice clothes. I told Mom, and she just smiled and said "Maybe someday you will, honey." Said it like it just might happen.

Maybe she thought it would. Maybe she planned to take me up to that big, empty mansion and tell him about me. Maybe that's where we started for every Sunday when we got in the car and went for our traditional afternoon drive. Maybe she fully intended to drive up that huge circular driveway and present Bruce Wayne with his daughter. I remember passing it once, and pointing from the passenger. "Look, Mommy! That's where the pretty man lives!"

She smiled, I recall. "Yes, that's where he is."

He's not there now. No one's there, just a lonely old butler and lots of empty rooms. He invited me to stay there--Alfred, that is, and not my father. He said it was my right as "Master Bruce's daughter" and that he'd be more than happy to make up a room for me. I thought about it once. A little wish fulfillment couldn't hurt, right? Spend a night or two in the Manor. Pretend I belong there.

I never do, though. Never will. Because I don't belong there. I'm not really a part of his world, no more than he's a big part of mine. Not yet, but Barbara keeps trying...

~The End~