"Coffee?" Gibson offered as he entered the med lab. She was sitting over her young protégé's unconscious body, leaning forward in her chair with her hands folded over her nose and mouth and her thumbs pressing upwards against her chin. Her red hair was pulled back into a messy ponytail that nonetheless made her look quite beautiful in it's simplicity.

"Thanks," Barbara replied, reaching out to take the warm mug. She encased it with two slender if not slightly trembling hands. She sipped it and smiled. "French vanilla."

"Everyone likes vanilla," Gibson answered meekly. He pulled up a chair and seated himself next to Barbara. "Crazy days."

"Something like that," she laughed. She took a hand off the cup and reached forward to stroke Helena's face. With her thumb she brushed a stray tendril of sweaty black hair away from the girls' ashen forehead. She glanced over at the monitors and was relieved to see them holding steady. She wondered idly if it was folly to hope that Helena was fighting.

"We don't have much of a choice," he offered up suddenly.

"Hm?" she asked, turning to look at him with her brow lifted.

"She doesn't give a choice. We know we shouldn't believe that she'll make it through this but we do. We just do."

"Sometimes I don't know why," Barbara admitted. "Helena's strong but even she is still human and can only be as strong as her body and mind allow her to be. Then again, you're right, we still...have faith I guess."

"And you should," a very groggy voice said the bed. Barbara snapped around, eyes suddenly wide and blazing. "Because I always win eventually. Even if someone has to kick me in the ass first to get there."

"Helena?" she gasped. She looked down at the young girl and was shocked to see her bloodshot blues staring back at her, oddly aware.

"A bit wet but here," Helena said. She coughed a couple times, like she was trying to clear her throat and lungs of water. She lifted her arms up and groaned. "Why am I chained down?"

Barbara smiled slightly. She wheeled herself closer to her brunette protégé and placed the flat of her slightly trembling palm against the girls' feverish forehead. "Still warm." She murmured.

"Did you expect me to be instantly better?" Helena said with her lip quirked in amusement. She looked exhausted but somehow in an oddly good mood considering all she'd been through. "I'm a fast healer but come on Gordon, cut me some slack."

Barbara laughed, feeling some of the tension bleed away from her shoulders and in fact her body as a whole. She took her hand off of Helena and turned to Gibson who watching the scene with a look of amazement. That confirmed her suspicions; while he'd been hoping and praying that Helena would find a way to pull through it; he hadn't believed that she would anymore than anyone else had.

Anyone that wasn't Alfred Pennyworth that was.

"Gibson," Barbara said softly, mindful of alarming him. He seemed almost like he was in a trance, barely moving or breathing, eyes locked on Helena. She knew however that he could see and hear everything going on around him so she decided to continue even without him first acknowledging her. "Get me some water. Get Dinah."

"Dinah?" he said, blinking three times in rapid succession.

She touched his shoulder. "Get me some water first."

"Right," he drawled.

Helena laughed. "Gibson, I'm okay but the water thing, I'm all about that." She wrinkled her nose. "Which is weird because I just came from water."

"What? Water?" Gibson asked, lifting his head up. "What are you talking about?"

"Can someone first unchain me?" Helena begged, glaring over at the binds that were strapped to her wrists. She moved a bit in them, listening to the soft but annoying jingle.

Barbara wheeled back to her and started to release the chains. They had been put there to prevent Helena from hurting anyone when she had been in her delusional state due to the poison in her blood. "What do you mean by you were just in water?"

"Swam upstream right?" Helena asked, suddenly unable to meet her mentor's green eyes. She looked over to where Gibson was standing, next to the sink. His hands were shaking and it was taking him longer than usual to fill a faded green glass with the clear liquid. She wanted to go over to him and put her hands over his to steady him but she rather guessed that her legs weren't quite ready to support her weight just yet. She moved forward a bit on the bed and heard several of her joints crack and then pop. "Dammit."

"Easy, you're probably very stiff," Barbara commented, eyes narrowed as she studied the read-outs flashing across one of her flat panel displays.

"You think?" Helena said lightly. She smiled when she saw Gibson approach her. He held out the glass and she reached for it, taking it with one hand and sliding the other one over his to give him a slight squeeze. He opened his mouth as if to ask what that had been for and then just nodded, understanding.

"I'll get Reese and Dinah," Gibson said as he stepped back. Before he could even turn so much as an inch Helena tightened her hold on his hand and jerked him backwards, causing the boy to crash into the bed. He hissed in pain as his knee crashed against the cold metal. He looked down and wasn't at all surprised to see that his khakis were torn and the cloth was already stained red. "Did I say something wrong?" he asked softly, not willing to actually utter the first ten phrases that had raced through his mind.

"Reese?" she demanded gruffly. "What the hell are you talking about?"

"He's alive Hel," Barbara said, moving quickly to get between the two friends. She wasn't expecting any kind of physical contact but Gibson looked flustered and Helena impatient, which was always a volatile combination. "He survived what Harley did to him. He's alive."

The look that passed over Helena's face was near to indiscernible. Or at least to Barbara. At first it looked like raw delight and glee but that quickly gave way to some type of stabbing pain and then something that looked like uncertainty. It was clear that she didn't know how she was supposed to react.

Barbara swallowed hard. "Go ahead Gibson." He nodded and quickly exited the library. She turned back to her young protégé. "It's okay to be relieved Helena. You should be. I am. Reese dying wouldn't have made me feel better about Wade dying."

"I know that. I'd never think..."

"Yes you would," Barbara answered quickly. "Because that's how you think it works. I don't mean that as harshly as it sounds but you've always thought that you should be punished for everything and..."

"It's okay," Helena said quickly. "Really Barbara, I'm okay. I am."

Barbara clamped her mouth shut, wanting to say more but realizing that her window had just been slammed closed. She felt a stinging pain in her heart; she'd desperately hoped that Helena would finally be willing to talk things out. "Okay," she said finally. "Do you think you can stand up?"

"I'll try. What happened?"

"That poison that was put in your system almost killed you. It was a virus and it's gotten every other meta that it's infected."

"But I fought it back." Helena said with a smirk and a great deal of pride. Her eyes flashed brilliantly and not for the first time Barbara realized just how much the girl looked like her father. Strong and beautiful, dangerous and darkly compelling. "I won," Helena announced triumphantly. "I fucking rock."

"That you do," Barbara admitted with a laugh. She studied her young charge, wanting to say more. She had a feeling that there was more to Helena's victory than simple brute strength but she decided to let it go for now. It would do no good to push.

"Helena," a voice said from the doorway.

She turned and smiled brightly. "Reese."

"You expected more?" Dinah asked as she moved after Barbara. Her crutches clicked heavily against the ground and she was wearing an expression of frustration as she fought to keep up with her mentor who had apparently decided that her electronic wheelchair should double as a stockcar in a track race.

"Excuse me?" Barbara asked as she bent over Delphi and started typing, her fingers flashing furiously over the keyboard.

"You expected her to come out of her coma ready to talk."

Barbara turned and sighed. "That's not Helena. I should have known better."

"Give her time," Dinah said quietly. "You keep giving up on her."

"I don't," Barbara replied, her tone near to urgent but also irritated. "I've stood behind her every step of the way. I have always been there for her."

"And she for you," Dinah commented. She paused for effect and then added softly," Or do you disagree?"

Barbara turned quickly, looking as if she'd been gut-punched. She gaped for a moment like a cut fish, unable to form the proper words. Finally weakly she stammered, "No, no, never."

"I didn't think so and I don't think that this is just typical Helena either. I think something made her choose to fight and it wasn't just good old Huntress stubbornness. I think it was more and so do you," Dinah offered.

"You know I'm supposed to be the adult," Barbara noted. "I'm supposed to be the one guiding you."

"We take turns right?" Dinah chirped, a large smile spreading. She adjusted her arms a bit. "Besides, you shouldn't have to be strong all the time."

Barbara gave her a small wistful smile. "That's no excuse. You're right, I gave up on her."

"No you didn't," Dinah said with a shake of her head. "You just think you did."

And with that she turned and headed towards the kitchen. Barbara watched her go, brow drawn in confusion. She sighed and blew air out. She wondered if she had given up, she wondered what that meant.

She wondered if she could make it right.

"So I guess I have some apologizing to do," he said lightly. He slid an arm around her waist and helped her to her feet. "Maybe you should..." he stopped when he saw her glaring at him. "Right, zipping it."

She turned to face him. "Some apologizing? Try groveling. Try going out dancing with me every single night for the next two weeks. And not bitching about it once."

He made a face. Jesse Reese was definitely not a boogie 'til you can't kind of guy. "I don't think you'll be up for dancing for awhile," he said lamely.

"Come on Reese, you know me better than that."

"Uh huh. Dance 'til you drop. Even if it kills you in the process," he commented. He had meant the statement to be wry but found that it actually sounded rather bitter. "I didn't mean it like..."

"Oh stop being such an asshat Reese," Helena laughed. "I know what you meant." "Excuse me? Asshat? What the hell is that? And do I really want to know?"

She winked at him. "Just go with it."

"Right. Got it. Go with it," he said. He glanced down at his hands. "You don't trust me do you?"

She blinked and looked up at him. "What are you talking about?"

He turned around to face the wall, studying a small brown spot on the far wall. It was an odd blemish really, a distortion against the perfection of the nearly flawless white plaster. "Did you ever wonder why I'd say those things to you? Did it ever occur to you that I never would? That when I tell you I love you, I mean it. I mean how many more times do I have to prove my feelings to you?"

She swallowed hard. "It hurt," she finally admitted. "I...I didn't think it would."

He turned and grinned at her, his eyes sparkling a bit. "Is that a confession of feelings Ms. Kyle?"

"You already know I care," she answered quietly, almost shyly.

He nodded. "I do. Am I allowed to ask for more?"

"You can ask," she offered. "But I'm still me, Reese."

"What's that mean exactly?"

"It means slow. Take it slow."

"So is that your way of saying you forgive me?"

She laughed. "Well I guess that there were extenuating circumstances."

Reese took a step towards her. "That's certainly true. I mean I'm not that stupid. You really think I'd insult you from anywhere in the vicinity of you?"

"Hey you got lucky that night," she said, her tone light even if she didn't exactly feel it. She could still rather distinctly recall just how much the words he had said to her had torn through her. He had been under Harley's hypnotic powers but she hadn't known that at the time and those harsh statements were still banging around in her skull.

Reese took another step towards her, sliding one of his large cool hands against her still feverish skin. She whimpered a tiny bet and rubbed her cheek against his palm. He laughed. "I'm sure I did," he said with a devious grin. "I still distinctly recall you slapping the hell out of me."

"I don't slap," Helena laughed. "I never slap. I dropped your ass. So in essence you could say I bitchslapped you."

"Still a slap," he grinned.

"Yeah whatever."

"Yeah, whatever," he repeated, moving even closer. He dropped his head as if to kiss her but she moved her mouth, causing his lips to collide with her cheek. "Okay, what's wrong?"

"Sorry," she murmured. "I just..."

"Helena, talk to me," Reese insisted, sitting down on the bed. "I have no idea what you're thinking right now. You've got to let me catch up once in awhile."

"I know," she said. "I do know. I just...I'm..."


"No," she answered quickly, too quickly. "I'm not scared."

"Okay," he said with a bit of a half-smirk. "So what's upsetting you then?"

"I didn't say anything was."

"Helena," Reese said, shaking his head in exasperation. "Now you're doing this on purpose."

"You give me far too much power," she laughed.

"Really? You mean to wear someone down in less than three minutes?"

"Three?" she answered weakly. "I'm losing my touch."


"This is new for me," she stammered out, not making eye contact.

"Us?" he asked. "We've been together for a few months now."

"Not us," she said with a slight shake of her head. She paused for effect. "Us."

"You mean as a serious couple instead of two hot bedmates?"

She laughed. "Hot bedmates? Good God Reese, where did you come up with that?"

"Are you saying I'm not hot?" he asked innocently.

She shook her head, some of the tension bleeding away. He was working his ass off to lighten her up. It was working. "Well," she teased. "I wouldn't put a bag over your head in public."

"Good to hear. So we then?"

"I guess we're a we," she replied. "You do realize that I'm not gonna make this easy right?"

"I don't think it's supposed to be easy," he answered. "And I can't promise that I'll never hurt you though God I wish I could. I can promise that I will do everything in my power not to."

"And if it ends, you won't..."

"Why don't we not assume it's gonna end, okay?" Reese asked, touching her face. "Always the pessimist huh?"

"Everything good always ends for me," Helena said quietly.

"Then you're not paying attention," he replied. "Look around you Helena. Everything good is right here. Barbara. Dinah. Alfred." He smiled down at her. "Me."

"Oh for God's sake Reese, just kiss me," she laughed. "Before you start kissing yourself."

He opened his mouth as if to protest but before he could get a single word out she had grabbed the front of his shirt and pulled him to her, savagely attacking his lips with her own. After several heated moments she finally pulled away. "All better?" he gasped out, knees buckling. He could feel a faint pulsating pain in his chest where the knife wound was but his brain wasn't exactly registering it.

"Getting there," she said with a small smile. She touched his face with her fingers, enjoying the hard jaw lines and the rugged stubble." By the way," she said softly. "What you said earlier about how you feel?"

'Yeah?" he asked, wondering if she'd actually say the words.

"Me too."

He smiled. "Okay." He pressed a soft kiss to her forehead. "So what now?"

"Patience," she said with a grin. "I don't have it so you have to. In the meanwhile, there's something I have to do."

"You know I should really be working on creating a cure from the antibodies in her system. There are others who really need the vaccine. This could help a lot of metas. This could destroy the entire virus" Barbara insisted with a sigh. When she noticed that the elderly butler seemed uninterested in her protestations, she decided to change tracks. "Do you at least know where we're going?" He smiled at her kindly and shook his head. "You're just the driver?"

"Indeed. Miss Helena asked me to bring the car around and to gather you and Miss Dinah."

"You think she's okay to be up and around so soon? I mean just two hours ago we were on a deathwatch. This seems kind of surreal."

"Hardly new," Alfred commented dryly. "As for whether she should still be lying down, absolutely."

"I sense a but..."

"That sounds strange," Dinah said as she came from the kitchen. "Sensing butts? I mean can't you just see them?"

"Dinah," Barbara warned.

"What do you think Gibson? Can you sense a butt?" Dinah asked as she turned to the wavy haired boy who was standing behind her, nursing a can of soda.

He held up his hands and shook his head. "I know that look," he said, indicating towards the deadly gaze Barbara was kicking in their direction. "No way I cross that." He paused. "But no, I've never heard of a meta whose power is was to sense butts."

"Gibson," Barbara said, eyes narrowing.

Dinah snorted. "Oh come on, that's a lame stare. Not even remotely intimidated." She turned and stuck her tongue out at Barbara. "Try something more menacing, like eyebrows arched."

"I'm going to run over you with my wheelchair," Barbara said with a groan.

Dinah made a face. "Well at least that's likely to be slightly less painful than when Helena tried to back over me with the Hummer."

"I recall that," Barbara mused. "It was...funny."

"Yeah, you were laughing," Dinah said dryly. "Laughing at my grievous pain."

"That's because you weren't seriously hurt," Barbara pointed out.

"You didn't know that," Dinah protested. "For all you know every bone in my body could have been crushed."

Barbara shook her head and wrinkled her nose. "Nah, there was no blood."

"And therein lay the golden rule," Helena said as she exited the med lab, Reese's arm wrapped lightly around her waist. "If you ain't bleeding, don't be bitching."

"But the bruises," Dinah muttered. "The bruises."

"Beauty marks," Helena grinned. "Lovely for a date."

"Hey I'll have the two of you know that I got my fair share when I was in the field," Barbara shot back.

"Payback then?" Dinah asked Helena, an eye on her mentor who was trying her hardest to look indignant.

"Yep," Helena said, looking right at Barbara and smirking.

"You two suck," Barbara muttered, shaking her head.

Both Dinah and Helena looked up at her abruptly, seemingly stunned by her choice of words. After a moment they both started laughing. "Nice Gordon, real delicate."

"So Helena, where are we all going?" Barbara asked, curiosity seeping into her tone.

Helena let the smile slide away but her mood appeared to stay even. "Not all, Barbara."

"I don't understand."

"Just the three of us," Helena said softly. "The boys stay behind." She touched Alfred's arm and gave it a healthy squeeze. "You're not a boy."

"I'm not quite sure how I should take that," Alfred said with a smile.

She just answered him with a wink. "Saddle up ladies."

Barbara knew where they were going long before the Hummer pulled up in front of St. Mark's Cemetery in downtown New Gotham. Alfred came around to the door and helped her out even thought she didn't require the assistance. He squeezed her hand and then stepped back and away.

Helena was already crossing into the cemetery, moving awkwardly on a body that had no business being up and about after all the strain of her recent kidnapping and torture. Just the same, she continued weaving with a perverse sense of rhythm and grace between the granite markers. She held a long silver box under her arm. They had picked it up at the Dark Horse on the way over.

"Why are we here?" Dinah asked her mentor, glancing up to carefully inspect her mentor's facial expression. For her part the redhead seemed to be well put together.

"Not sure," Barbara murmured, letting the electric chair glide her towards Helena. Inwardly she mused that the three of them probably made a fascinating visual what with her in a chair, Dinah on crutches and Helena looking like Quasimodo with all the upwards stability she was presenting.

Helena pulled up short in front of a tombstone and looked down. As Barbara and Dinah approached, the blonde noticed her mentor pale considerably. She glanced down and saw the inscription on the granite: Wade Jason Brixton.

"Helena?" Barbara asked, looking at the brunette who was staring down at the tombstone.

"I thought we should all come here together. Say goodbye together," Helena offered. She ran a shaky hand over the granite. "I think we all need to put some things behind us. I guess deal."

Barbara looked up at her and locked eyes with the brunette. "That's a good idea."

"We all have people we love buried here," Helena said thickly. She glanced at Dinah. "Your mom is..."

"Over there," Dinah whispered, her eyes already gazing towards a beautiful gray statue of an angel with its wings spread wide. Using her crutches she moved herself away from the two women and went towards her mothers' final resting place.

"I'm sorry," Helena said suddenly, not looking at Barbara. She stared down at the words, her vision narrowing to include only them.


"Sorry I let you down. Sorry I keep letting you down."

"And I'm sorry I didn't believe in you," Barbara said softly.

Helena turned to look at her. "I don't understand. You've always believed in me. I've never understand why but you always have."

"Would things change between us if I told you I almost gave in?" Barbara asked, a slight tremor in her voice.

Helena shook his head. "You know Barbara, on occasion it's okay for you to be human too."

Barbara smiled wanly. "Okay Helena. On occasion it's okay for you to let down your walls and let people in."

"Touché," Helena laughed. "And I'm trying here."

'I know. I wish you also knew that I don't blame you."

"But you did."


"Okay to be human Barbara," Helena repeated.

"I don't..."

"You don't want to admit it do you?" Helena asked. "Because it makes you ugly. Hating someone you love, even if only for ten seconds make you ugly."

"Yes," Barbara admitted thickly, eyes darting around. She wanted out of this conversation all the sudden and yet knew that it was one they had to have. Right now. Right here.

"Then I guess we're all ugly sometimes," Helena said. She held Barbara's gaze, fighting to make a point. "After my mom died, I hated her. I did. I hated her with everything in me. She abandoned me. She left me to this." She closed her eyes. 'Then I hated me. I was ugly."

"When Wade died..."

"You blamed me," Helena finished for her.

"I didn't want to."

"I know."

"It wasn't your fault."

"I know. I mean in my head I know."

"It just hurt so much. I haven't loved anyone since Dick left me. I thought maybe it was a new beginning..."

"And I took that away from you."

"No!" Barbara said hotly. "Harley took it away from me."

"Barbara, you don't have to hold back. I can take it. I know my fault in all of this. Harley was wrong about a lot of things but she was right about that, I do bear some responsibility. I took away your chance to be happy."

Barbara nodded slowly. "Do you blame Reese for what he said to you while under her influence?"


"Then why should I blame you? To justify your guilt? I won't do that. You're right Hel, in the beginning I was angry at you. Furious. But I was more pissed off that you were willing to spill everything to your shrink when I was standing five feet away from you willing to listen."

Helena dropped her head, eyes back on the tombstone. "I'm sorry."

"But that's our work Helena. That's the job. Sometimes we love and live and sometimes we lose and die. Wade was murdered by Harley. That's her fault and hers alone."

"I know," Helena said softly. "I know."

"I just want you to talk to me. I just want you to let me in."

Helena nodded. "I'll try. It's all I can offer."

"I can deal with that. So, what's in the box."

"A goodbye to a friend," Helena said. She opened the box to reveal several roses.

"A friend? You and Wade?"

"I don't know how I'd ever explain that but I'm here with you right now because of Wade," Helena said softly. She took one of the roses out and offered it to Barbara. "Here."

Barbara took the long-stem red rose from the brunette. She noticed immediately that the thorns had been cut away. "This is what you picked up at the bar?"

"I had Leonard order them for me. He's sleeping with the owner of the flower shop. Hell of a discount."

Barbara laughed. "They're beautiful."

"Yeah," Helena said. She took another rose out and dropped it down on the grass in front of the tombstone. "Thank you," she whispered. She looked up at Barbara," I'll leave you alone with him."

"You don't have to."

"I know but there's someone I need to talk to," Helena replied with a smile.

"Okay," Barbara answered, looking down at the name on the stone. She slid herself out of her chair and moved down to the grass.

Helena watched her for a few moments and then moved away, walking towards where Dinah was. The blonde was bent over the metal plaque, running her fingers over it. Helena could see tears staining her cheeks. She bent down next to Dinah and squeezed her shoulder. "Here."

"What?" Dinah blinked and looked up. She saw the rose Helena was offering her. After a moment she took it.

"We're gonna be okay kid," Helena promised her.

Dinah nodded, some of the grief lifting a bit.

Helena stood and walked across the grass to the far side of the cemetery. She stopped in front of a marbled slab. The plaque on it read: Selena Kyle.

"Hi mom," she said softly. "Guess I'm still here and not up there with you. I kinda thought I would be." She swallowed hard. "I'm not ready yet. There are things I want to do here. There's a guy mom...I think...you know..."

She moved her feet a few inches. "I don't want to let her down again. I don't want to give up. I need her. I think she needs me." She bent down and touched her mothers' name. "I miss you so much sometimes. I think of you every day. I wonder what you would think of what I've become. I wonder if you're proud of me." She placed the remaining red rose on the plaque. "I hope so mom because this is where I belong. This is where I'm meant to be. Fighting."

She stood up and placed a hand over her mouth, a choked sob coming up from her throat. She felt an involuntary tear streak down her face. "Goodbye mom," she whispered.

"You don't have to say goodbye Miss Helena," Alfred assured her. He touched her arm and slid one of his own around her waist. He could see how unsteady she was on her own feet. The illness of the past few days as well as the strain of her recent ordeal was finally settling over her. "She will always be in your heart. She will always be guiding you." He paused a moment, catching her eye. "And she will always be proud of you."

"I know," Helena whispered. She glanced up over at the Hummer and saw that Barbara and Dinah were already over there, patiently waiting. They both looked across at her, wearing matching welcoming smiles.

"Shall we go home then?" Alfred asked.

She nodded. "Let's. I'm starved. You think I could bribe you into making me a five egg omelet with extra bacon?"

He made a face. "That's an obscene amount of food."

"Is that a yes?"

"I think I could be convinced," he said with a smile. "But only if you then go right to bed. You need your rest." She rolled her eyes dramatically but nodded her acceptance of the deal. Holding her gently he brought her away from the tombstone and moved her towards the Hummer.

And behind them, as they all entered the vehicle; four red roses sparkled in unison. A soft rain began to fall, brightening the green grass.

Monday was finally over.