This fic is pre-series. It takes place right after Barbara was shot and Helena's mother was killed. Not a very sunny topic. As such, there is some coarse language.

This is still a work in progress, so I won't be posting it very fast.

I have two not quite fully functional legs. I don't know the emotions that would run through the mind and heart of someone newly paralyzed just like I don't know what it is like to lose a parent. I'm guessing here, folks. The physical therapist who shows up later is based off of the first one I had, but other than that I'm making extrapolations.

And, in the event that anyone was wondering, I haven't bought the rights to these characters since the last fic, and since I never owned 'em to begin with, they're still not mine.

Now that I've convinced you all that I have absolutely no right to be writing this fic, let's get to it, shall we?


"The sleeping woods, in undefined massiveness… sank into my soul, and I felt as if I had died in a dream, and should never more awake."

-George MacDonald, Phantastes

I hurt everywhere.

It starts in my back and radiates outwards to almost every part of me. The only part of my body that doesn't burn with the injustice of it all is my legs.

What I wouldn't give to feel them hurting like the rest of me.

The pain pools in my heart. My heart is drowning in it. Each day my spirit dims and wastes away with the muscles in my useless legs.

And I honestly don't care. Maybe that means I've already lost.

Bruce used to say that pain could be channeled. That after a while it quits burning and hardens deep in your chest and in your gut. If you made it work for you, it would fuel your fight. It would give you power. You could become a thing to be feared by all of the shadows daring to come out in the night.

I never asked what he was fighting.

Oh, God! What was he fighting?