Chapter 13: Incomplete
Helena stepped out of the cab and looked around. The street was deserted but it's the only way a street in Hub City at 3 a.m. could be. It was said this city would eventually become as dangerous as Gotham City, but Helena doubted it. It couldn't be that dangerous as long as Question was around to make sure the cops did their job.
Helena was doing her duty, and for once it hadn't been an unpleasant one. She'd called Nathaniel, and invited him over. They'd had a pleasant enough time, both stalling until the inevitable after-dinner confession. Some people say confession is good for the soul. It's good for the soul, but bad for the heart.
They sat on opposite ends of the couch and stared at one another. He was leaning on his knees, his hands clasped in compliance. No words were being spoken. None needed to be. The words were in the air and truly nothing more could be said.
Nathaniel smiled, and in the wash of his blue face it seemed startling white. "Are you sure this is what you want? You won't regret this later?"
Helena smiled, and it was small. "I'm sure. I won't regret this. I won't regret anything. You're wonderful. He's wonderful. You make me laugh. He makes me laugh. In my heart, you're both loved. But they're two different kinds of love."
Nate's smile faded but some of the emotion remained around his eyes. "I think I knew that. It just got to my head, you know? I was so jealous, so blind with it."
"I know. I'm sorry."
Nathaniel stood and stretched. "You're going to tell him? Tomorrow?"
"Yes. As soon as possible."
Nathaniel nodded, then knelt beside her. He leaned over, brushing her lips with his own. They were oddly cool, matching that ice blue of his eyes. "Call me. Afterwards. I want to know what he says."
Helena laid her hand on his cheek. "Are you sure?"
"Yeah. I won't take it the way you think. I'll listen as a friend. I want to be there for you, no matter what."
"I know. I appreciate it. I love it."
Nathaniel nodded again and stood. He left without another word, but Helena didn't need them. This wasn't goodbye, it was simply another day.
The elevator was broken, and had been for months. She took the stairs slowly, knowing that this likely would be the last time she'd climb them. If she ever came to this rat hole again, the elevator damn well had better be fixed. Seven stories up and she was finally at the right floor, though she had to walk around the large "U" of a hallway to reach his door. There was no bell, but the camera winked at her from the corner. Her knock echoed in the hallway.
It opened immediately, confirming that Vic was always watching it and likely had alerts for when someone came to this floor and down this hall. He was only wearing slacks, and his red hair was mussed; he'd been asleep. His sleep drowsy eyes stared at her without emotion, not needing that damn mask to hide his thoughts.
She couldn't stand the silence of the hall. "Can I come in?"
"Always," Vic replied, standing aside to let her into his cluttered apartment. Newspapers littered the living room, and computer disks of all sorts of information covered an entire wall. The other walls were covered in books. You couldn't see the floor past the various papers, but Helena tried to not step on anything "important".
"I thought you said you'd hired a maid?"
"Gave her a lie detector test didn't you?"
"That wasn't what made the maid quit."
"The drug test."
"It was a man."
Helena quirked an eyebrow, and lowered herself onto Vic's couch. It was large, red, and plush. She'd fallen asleep on it a couple times when Vic had gotten obsessed in his work on a date night. It was comfortable, she thought as she fished a book out of the seams where it poked her in the back. With a shrug, she threw onto the nearest stack. "I came to talk to you."
"Here I thought you were just going to jump me and be done with it." That was Question for you. Delivering the most sarcastic lines with dry aplomb. God, he pissed her off.
Suddenly he was serious again. "I do."
She hated awkward silences. "I've chosen Nathaniel."
That surprised him. For all his theories and suspicions, Question was arrogant. He always thought he knew everything. He didn't know this was coming. Some petty part of Helena felt satisfaction.
Helena nodded. "I'm staying with him."
Helena stood, unable to say what needed to be said whilst he stood over her like an avenging angel. "You and I, we're attracted to each other. We have wild and fun times. But Nathaniel...he betters me. Makes me something I'm not. It's not a bad thing. He makes me someone I was supposed to be, but things kept holding me back."
"Things? Or people?" He was hurt. He couldn't hide that.
"Not you. Never you. I loved you. You hurt me and before I realized it I'd taken it to heart. I forgive you, but I can't ever forget."
"You're throwing us away?"
"I'm not throwing us away! I'm putting us in a box on a very high shelf in a back room," Helena explained with a smile. "The feelings are still there, but they'll fade."
"And if they don't?" He was angry now. His brown eyes shot daggers at her.
"They will," Helena replied, completely affirmed in that belief. It was all she really had to believe in. She'd worked her way back to the door, but her hand froze on the knob. "We're going to get married. Sometime this summer. I wanted to tell you."
She started to open the door to leave, but his voice rang out in the hall after her. "If you think this settles things. It doesn't. Things will never be over between us."
Helena shut the door and leaned against the wall for support. That was only the thing she feared most. So she walked away. From Question. From the League. She walked away. She looked back, though.
She'd just never admit it.
Just a peek.
Helena Bertinelli was a vigilante and she loved her work. She went by the codename Huntress and she loved doing just that, hunting down scum. Her home was Gotham City, and though the batty Bat Squad didn't like it, they couldn't drive her out. She'd underestimated the ole Bat Boy though. This was a new low even for him.
"You want me to WHAT!"
Batman shook his head as if to remove any memories of that screech. "I'm extending an invitation from the Justice League of membership to you."
"What's the catch?"
He quirked an eyebrow (which she could only tell because the black eye make-up around his eye moved)(what kind of man wears make-up?). "There is no catch. I believe it will be an opportunity for you to learn."
"To learn what?"
"Why do I need control?" Huntress asked, slightly offended. She considered her skills masterful.
Batman gestured to the three thugs surrounding them, one with an arrow in the arm and knocked unconscious, another with a broken arm, a cracked skull, and a pitiful whine, and the third...dead...he never should have tried to stab her. How was she supposed to know there was a jagged pole sticking out of that wall? She didn't have eyes in the back of her head.
"Ooooooooh...that? I guess I got a little carried away."
"Just a little."