Primal Instinct II: 0.4 Seconds

A Birds of Prey (B/H) story

by Enginerd

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

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

Enginerd, February 2014

Chapter 1 - The Morning After

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

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

She didn't have to worry.

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

Helena smiled and tenderly caressed Barbara's cheek. "Good morning," she said softly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Indeed, Hel," Barbara smiled, her fingers lazily tracing over the younger woman's arm.

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

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

Helena blinked then smiled broadly. "Damn I'm good!"

"Well, I can't argue with that," Barbara said, chuckling.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Wow. You could combust?" Helena asked with great interest.

"Helen . . . ahhhh."


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

"It's a fundamental of nature, Barbara. You've got to eat," Helena said earnestly.

"Of course, but . . .." Barbara sighed.

The toaster dinged. "Hold that thought!"

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

"Ah, so the real reason comes out."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"They're not here now," Helena said dismissively.

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

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

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

"Oh yeah," Helena breathed into Barbara's neck, calming down from the intense high.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barbara rolled her eyes as she rolled to her bedroom.

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Ok!" Helena capitulated, sighing heavily.

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

"What?" Helena said with an incredulous laugh.

"Turn around," Barbara said firmly.

"We've just had sex on the . . . ."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Hel, I'm so…."

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

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

Delphi alarmed.

"Thank god," Barbara muttered, making Helena chuckle.

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

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

"What does Daley Imports import?"

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

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

"Could you go check it out?" Barbara looked up.

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

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

"Yeeees?" Helena asked playfully.

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

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


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

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

"Understood," Oracle said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

"What happened?"

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


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

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

"Sit," Barbara said, ignoring the vials offered to her.

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

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

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

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

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

"Helena, why did you fall?" Barbara asked tensely.

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

"You don't misjudge distances, Helena," Barbara responded firmly.

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

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

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

"Did you feel dizzy before you jumped?" Barbara persisted.

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

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

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

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

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

"I . . . yes," Barbara said uneasily.


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

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

"You think I'm overreacting," Barbara said with worry.

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

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

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

"Helena," Barbara warned sternly.

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

"I hate to burst your bubble, sweetie, but we're having dinner with Dad tonight," Barbara said.

"When did that happen?" Helena asked with surprise.

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

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

"Helena! His house is off limits," she warned.

"Party pooper."

TBC – Chapter 2