A/N: It's not strictly necessary to read the second story, "Taming of the Shrew", however it is necessary to read the first "The Tempest" before reading this, the final story in my Huntress Trilogy. So...that recommendation done...I give you, my faithful readers...

Love's Labours Lost

Helena Bertinelli was not a nice woman. By association, neither was Huntress.

Dear Helena...

To compensate for this inward viciousness, much of said negative emotions were fueled into Huntress. Helena was a sweet-mannered kindergarten teacher, and Huntress was a tough-as-nails, balls-to-the-wall vigilante. In a world full of happy-go-lucky, justice and the American way superheroes, Huntress was one of few who took "An eye for an eye" to heart. This, more than anything, made it almost impossible for other "heroes" to work with and be around her. She was the truth of their hearts, and what they really wanted. She was the one thing most of them could never be, and never really wanted to be, but secretly were glad that someone had the guts to be. In the face of that, it's no wonder she didn't stick it in the Justice League.

In a world where no secret is safe from me, not even your lies hold up to the light.

Truth, lies, two sides of the same coin. Helena almost sounded like Two-Face on this subject. Lying and truth, two sides of every hero. To be truthful and to be on the side of justice, are one and the same to many. For many heroes, to be on the side of justice, means to lie, to smear the truth, until it's impossible to tell who you are...Helena? Or Huntress? As Fyodor Dostoyevsky said, "Lying to ourselves is more deeply ingrained than lying to others." Huntress doesn't lie. Never has. Truth is one of her most strong weapons. She refuses to hide things, because in lies, only the dark wins.

You wanted to hurt me. I can see this. You said things with the deliberate intention to hurt me.

Helena was only a human, though. She hurt, she loved, she bled. When Huntress was out in the city, beating criminals, exacting justice, taking blows without a flinch, it was Helena who came home and soaked the bruises. Helena who cried when she forced her arm back into its socket. Helena who felt the pain of losing the innocent. Huntress could be aloof and silent in the night, dancing in the shadows with a sardonic and slightly self-deprecating smile; it was Helena who cried for the lost children, and Helena who mourned hope and its frequent abandonment of her city. Such a play between two sides of truth. For many, they would break, unable to take the massive emotions that twisted and blossomed when leading this life. For Helena, it wasn't a double life. It was one live divided. She was both, uncaring Huntress, and repentant Helena. Sometimes, she was both at the same time, both vengeful and hurt. Vulnerable. She'd like to blame that for what she'd done. Inside, truth mocks, and Helena knows it was all her.

After you left, I immediately called up my sources, who reported that it wasn't true, what you'd told me. The probabilities and simulations support that.

She'd never trusted men, Helena or Huntress. It all went back to her daddy issues. Daddy left her at home with the nanny for most of her childhood. Where Daddy went, Mommy followed. When Daddy died, Mommy still followed. Daddy goneno Daddy lovemale authority figure issues. Or so $3300 in psychology bills told her. Truth, again, was that Helena didn't trust anyone. Who could ever promise not to hurt her? Not to die? Not a one. Or at least, no one capable of making that promise was making it. There were certain heroes who were either immortal or indestructible, but they meant nothing to her. She wanted those she loved to make those promises. She wanted those she wanted to make those promises. Perhaps, that was why, even hesitant as she was to love, she did love and with reckless abandon. Her heart may not be on her sleeve, but it was equally vulnerable locked deep in her chest.

I can only deduce you don't want me. You don't want my words, my apologies, or my love. I accept that...and move past. I've never given up before.

Helena didn't like to be hurt. She hated it. When someone she loved hurt her, it was so much worse. Rage, pain, betrayal, humiliation. All of it. She didn't forgive. There were no second chances with her. You either were, or you weren't. It was the only way to exist for Helena. Almost everything in her life was a dual. Good, and evil. Dark and light. Pain and pleasure. For her, it was stark. There was no blurring of the lines. No compromise, no adaptation, no shades of gray. Black and white. No forgiveness.

I won't give up now. I won't try to see you, given your history of violence. I quit like my face...what there is of it, where it is.

She'd lied to Question, when she'd told him she was marrying her boyfriend Captain Atom. Helena had lied to hurt him. She'd wanted him to feel that burn in his stomach, that pain, that rage that so consumed her. He'd hurt her, and she'd responded. It was instinctive for her. Cause and reaction.

I'm not giving up, being of the persistent sort. I love you.

Helena balled the note she'd found taped to her mirror in her hand. She hated him. With a passion. She wanted out, to move on. She was happy for the first time in a long time, no stipulations or lines attached. Nathaniel made her happy. Question hadn't made her happy. He'd made her angry, lustful, sad, and all sorts of things. She wanted a bit of peace in her life. Just a bit.

Sighing, heavily as usual, Helena climbed into bed. It was soft, comfy, and just what she needed after an eighteen hour day, ten at school, and another eight in the streets. She was sore, slightly bruised, and slightly covered in glitter (can you say arts and crafts?). She hadn't wanted this damn note. She hadn't wanted that damn man. She wanted to sleep. To rest. To not dream of him for once in this fucking week. To not dream at all.

Love, Vic